Bright purple with nice legs in the glass. Sweet blackberries on the nose with a vanilla bean twist. On the palate it is crisp, dry and delicious. Black cherry jam with blackberries topped with some espresso beans. The mid is more blueberries and plum, the tannins smoothing out. The finish has black fruits, tea, olive and a good whack of tannic grip. There’s a lot going on here folks, very intricate. 92 points and 4 stars for this $48 Napa beauty. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Dark shades of purple in the glass. The nose is overflowing with blackberries. There’s a slight oak tint as well as blueberry torte once the blackberry subsided. On the palate it is a touch astringent right up front but good fruit structure rolls in as well as some gripping tannins. Black stone fruits are the main focus, with violets and cranberries- for their tartness- seem to coexist. The tannins are relentless. Aerating would be key here unless you have a fatty, juicy steak. Nice finish with blackberry and dry tea. Astringent as heck but mouth watering and tasty. 90 points and 4 stars for this $40 effort. Drink till 2025. Salut….
Cherry nose. Iodine, plum and cigar box on the initial. Nice gentle tannins introduce themselves on the midpalate alongside bramble. The plums are really juicy in this wine. The finish gives me prune, black cherries and tobacco. Really tasty and easy to drink. Till 2024. 89 points and 3 stars for this $14 wine. Salut….
I have previously had the Eagle’s Trace Cabernet, in Magnum. Dark purple with a touch of brick. On the nose it has a bit of funk- hoping it blows off. Black cherry, cola, eucalyptus hit me after a hard swirl. On the palate it shows red fruits- a rich acidity and fine grained tannins. Raspberry, cherries jubilee and an oak influence all hit. The mid palate gets me back to cola. Sassafras appears on the tail end where the tannins start to grip and the mouthfeel turns astringent. Enjoyable if you like a dry finish. 89 points and not a bad choice for Thanksgiving that included a smoked turkey as well as a deep fried one. It did not hold up as well as I had hoped. For $55 it gets 2 stars from me. Salut….
The third wine in my Cali tasting adventure, and one that I returned to the store to re-try. It was that good.
Rich, brooding purple in the glass. Thick plum jam and spicy oak open up the nose. On the palate it is unctuous and full of blackberry reduction, vanilla, espresso and violet. Svelte tannins steer this wine to the delightful finish that is surprisingly short. 90 points. After a second try- 91 points. The nose is simply amazing. This is quintiscential Napa Cabernet, basking in the sun, ripening to perfection and then crafted into such a delectable drop. $65 makes it a pricy bottle, until you factor in the Napa appellation and quality. 4 stars and I would drink it alone. No pairing needed. Drink now till 2025. Salut….
Just looking at it I see a brooding monster. It is nearly black, fully opaque and taunting me. The nose is – wow.
Black cherry, plum jam, black currant and sassafras. The initial palate is thick with dark fruit compote, plum ganache, luscious oak and tannins that are en pointe. Plums really come out on the mid palate alongside a cedar shake note. The tannins start to grip and by the time I get to the finish they have me licking my gums. The dryness lingers forever and my teeth feel gritty- I’m loving it. This is a delightful sensation in the wine appreciation sense.
The finish, dry as hell, also features a mint meets eucalyptus oil note which I find intriguing. This is a delicious, structured wine that will cellar for the mid term but is drinkable now if you like some bite. 91 points and 4 stars for this $60 effort. If you like sunny Napa fruit and bold Cabs, this one is for you. Serve with a juicy steak or a roasted leg of Lamb. Salut….
The last time I tasted the 2009 Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon was in 2014. This bottle was cellared until now. I’m doing up a Tri-Tip roast on the grill to accompany it alongside some sautéed asparagus and heirloom tomatoes.
It shows a very dark, brooding purple in the glass, which is what I expect from a powerhouse Napa Cabernet. The nose is lush, plummy, full of fruit and a touch of oak. After another swirl I also get blackberry in waves. On the palate this wine is absolutely amazing. Layers of black and blue fruit, finely grained tannins and a balance so precise between the acidity and dryness. Ripe plums, sweet blackberries and vanilla bean are very concentrated. Great extraction of fruit without overdoing it. I just read the label, 85% Cab Sav, 9% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc and a dash of Petit Verdot- which makes this a classical old-school Bordeaux blend. Malbec being the kicker, they don’t use it much these days over there.
The mid palate of this wine exhibits plum pie, black olive and some coffee bean. The tannins start to reveal a slight astringency, but I am still digging it. The finish is medium in length with more of that coffee thing I caught earlier. Meat is what this wine begs for. Roast it, grill it, braise it…. 92 points from me for this $60 beauty. 4 stars. Drink now till 2025. Salut….
If you know me you will remember that we are moving. I transferred most of my wine into a climate controlled storage unit, but kept about 50 bottles in the wine fridge. Some are really nice, pricey and supposed to be for special occasions. Oh well, they are getting polished off now. I include this particularly good wine in that group. Bought for $65 and cellared since 2014 I am looking forward to comparing it to my earlier review.
It shows bright purple in the glass with a nose of plum ganache, black tea, figs and a touch of oak. On the palate it is super smooth with a tannic bite right upfront. Flavors of blueberry compote, plum, anise and black olives. The tannins are pretty forceful as the wine transitions to the mid palate. A dryness hits the gums and makes me pucker up. I do like that some times! The plum theme continues on to the long finish where I also get cherry cola and another touch of oak. The tannins peak at the very end, and the acidity balances it all out. Overall, a very nice package that has matured nicely and is drinking perfectly now. Not an everyday drinker, I would certainly pull this out for a special occasion. 93 points holds and 4 stars awarded. Tonight we pair it with Tomahawk Pork Chops, Flat Iron steaks, a Bratwurst, some Cauliflower Cheese and grilled Broccoli. Salut….
Medium dark purple in the glass. Plum, cassis, blackcurrant on the nose. On the palate- great integration of dark purple fruits, oak, tannins and some cocoa dust. The midpalate is very concentrated on the plum core, relinquishing nothing to the structure and concentrating mainly on the fruit. The wine is definitely Napa in flavor, full of sunshine, fresh tannins and plum flavors. It reeks of new world boldness, extraction and does not shy away from its 14.5% alcohol (which is well hidden) The acidity is somewhat muted but present nonetheless. This wine is ready to drink now and has some cellaring potential- albeit not long term. 89 points and 3 stars for its $52 price point. Salut….
This wine was given to me for my birthday recently. I was not sure what to expect from an American ‘Negociant’ wine, but I was willing to give it a try!
Very dark and thick in the glass, which is telltale for what I am expecting. The nose is plums and mocha with some eucalyptus. The initial taste is as predicted. Full bodied, rich, creamy and delicious. Tannins are at the forefront but not overwhelming. Plums, blackberry and a touch of oak are all part of the package. Mid palate wise, the acidity and tannic dryness roll in and take over from the fruit, not that this is a bad thing as I am enjoying the texture tremendously. The finish is well defined, long and consists of more plums, spice box and the well framed tannins. There is a cigar box component that I just noticed as well. Delicious. Overall, this is a well crafted wine that I am enjoying while Moxie cooks up some Sirloins in a peppercorn sauce. 91 points, drinking now till 2022. Pricey at $51, until you realize you are drinking Napa Cabernet- well worth it and 4 stars from me. Salut….