Bright purple- almost sparkly in the glass. The nose is full-on Napa cab. Rich plums, blackberries and cedar. The palate mirrors- and it’s super smooth with a gentle ramp up of tannins. The mid palate continues the dark fruit theme but this is where the black tea, crunchy tannins and Maduro leaf appear. The finish is very dry, long and filled with blackberry jam, more tea and a touch of oak. Delicious and worth 91 points in my book. The only thing holding it back is the slight greenness of the tannins. I’m serving up Sunday roast with this beauty. 4 stars for this $40 Cabernet that can be cellared or drunk till 2028. Salut….
I just rolled up to the Aloft hotel bar and ordered this Cabernet from their menu, taking a chance on it’s provenance and style. I was pleasantly surprised. Forget the color, it was nigh on impossible to tell in the current venue. The nose has a warmth to it along with blackberry, slate and eucalyptus. On the palate I get a really smooth intro to the blackberry notes as well as graphite and black cherry. The core flavors continue to the mid palate and beyond along with some very fine tannins that really pop on the finish. The wine has a great mouthfeel with gentle acidity omnipresent but not obtrusive. Atypical for this varietal from Napa, this wine is more on the subtle side, a refreshing change. 90 points, $19 and 4 stars from me. Pair it with some steaks and mushroom sauce, or perhaps a Cornish Hen dressed up in a garlic rub. Salut….
Mocha and plum nose that entices. Initial taste of dark plum and black cherry with some ganache. Still young with firm tannins and crunchy acidity. Mid palate hints of coffee and chocolate powder. Very dry finish that coats the teeth and gums which tells me this wine is a keeper. I may have poured too soon. It got 94 points from the pro’s but I’m going with 90 for now. 2017-2025 would be a suggested window to let the tannins meld more. It lists at $85, which is rather steep making it a 3 star wine in my books. Salut….
One thing I love about the Fall is cooking Sunday Roast. Being half English, it’s in my blood to bang out Beef, roast veggies, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. The Brits wouldn’t serve up such fare without a bottle or two of Claret (Bordeaux red). I switched it up a touch and went west, to Napa. This wine was simply amazing.
Huge nose of violets, plums and blue fruits from a beautiful purple-hued glass. Big mouthfulls of black plums, dark currants and absolutely gorgeous tannins greeted me right off the bat. Perfectly balanced with a hint of acidity and a polished finish that lasted forever. I later got olives, fig paste and perhaps a touch of eaucalyptus. This is a stunning wine. 93 points for me for this $60 effort make it a 4 star wine. Salut….
This bottle has been cellared for a few years, waiting the right moment. I pulled it out the other night for a red meat pairing, hoping it would live up to it’s pedigree. Gorgeous purple in the glass with a nose of plums and sawdust. I was intrigued. It then showed cassis and black currants after I swirled the heck out of the glass. Subdued plums and eaucalyptus come out initially on the first taste with some oak on the nose after airing. The tannins are completely melded and there is a clear acidic component. Mouth filling aromas and tastes of plum torte with briar patch and Napa dirt were the strong flavors after a little ‘glass time’. I feel that this wine is nearing it’s peak and will start to fade after 2017 which is a far cry from the 1996 Burgess that I so adore. 89 points for this $50 effort making it a 2 star wine in my books. Don’t get me wrong, it is a delicious wine, yet lacks technical merits to warrant a higher score. Salut….
I went in to a wine store this past weekend looking for a special bottle for a friend’s 50th party. This was one of the ‘gifts’ we took and managed to drink. It is a special anniversary bottling and my first experience with this winery. I must say I enjoyed the wine, it is very much a Napa style, but very approachable young. It started with blackberry pie and blue berries on the nose. Very smooth tannins and balanced acidity were my first impression of the structure with delicious berries and dark fruits opening the show. On the mid palate is where I got plums and nutmeg with some chocolate and cassis. A strange yet compelling combination. The 14.6% alcohol barely showed itself and the whole package was very balanced and certainly drinkable. The wine is ready now and will go for another 10 years easily. I would guess this wine to be a 91 pointer in my opinion and for the $55 price tag, it’s worthy of 3 stars. We drank it before dinner as an aperitif but it would also pair well with grilled meats and some gratin potatoes. I’m still learning about Napa cabs and this is certainly a nice way to enter the foray. Salut….
I took a bottle of 2001 Calon Segur to my friend’s house for dinner last night. After we had finished the Piper Heidsieck with the appetizers, we drank the decanted Bordeaux. When that was done, he showed me his tiny refrigerated ‘cave’ where he stored some real gems going back to the ’50s. He pulled the pristine ’96 Napa cab out and proceeded to open it. I had no presumptions about this wine, but it shocked me. For a 17 year old bottle of Cabernet, it was fresh and lively yet mature and brooding. It had cassis, black fruit, leather, earth, plums and eucalyptus on the palate with ample tannins and vibrant acidity. It rolled in at 13.5 % and was a delight. Still dark purple in the glass, this wine has some years to go and can be found for roughly $75. I have always been a lover of French Claret, eschewing Napa Valley as overpriced and under-delivering. It’s wines like this that make me realize how narrow my focus used to be and I am grateful for the opportunity to expand my palate. If you need a very special treat, this is sure-fire. 92 points and 5 stars, albeit quite pricey it’s worth the coin. Salut….
Jam on the nose, the dark purple kind I used to eat with toast as a kid in England….. On the palate, somewhat confusing. Atypical of Napa Cabernet, I get sublime hints of Herbs Du Provence, plum and cassis Kinda weird and exciting. Sulking beneath this complexity hides a strong tannic frame, very well integrated and adding to the yummy mouthfeel. I am digging this wine, but can’t pinpoint why…. It’s different, fruity, complex and interesting. 92 points and for $39- 4 stars. I think it’s drinking nicely now and will cellar for 7 years at the least.
At 6 years of age, this blend of Napa and Sonoma Cab Sav is still young. Grippy tannins are prominent yet unobtrusive and meld nicely. On the nose, dark, brooding berry fruits. On the palate, chocolate and plum that finish nicely with the caressing tannins. Good balance and acidity make this a really good bottle, coupled with the decent price makes this a 4 star wine. I would give it 90 points and serve it up with some New York Strips on the charcoal. Really yummy.
This is classic Napa Cabernet….. Dark blue fruits on the nose mixed with some spice transition to a beautiful palate of blueberry meets plum and cassis. Notes of spice come through that mix it up with the well integrated tannins and help form a mouth-puckering finish that lasts a long time. I was worried about this bottle when I inspected the cork and saw a wide line all the way up the side….
But alas, all was well. Seven years of age and this wine is showing nicely with at least another 7 to go. Unfortunately, this winery had some issues ( google Cosentino winery). A shame really as the wine fulfills the requirements of Napa Cab in all the right ways at a price that wont kill ya. I reckon at least 4 stars and 91 points, (it keeps getting better as I write). Glad I have more! Cheers