I was a bit apprehensive when the cork snapped in two, hoping I could get the rest out without further ado. I was lucky, just one floating bit. You can never trust the provenance of a State liquor store bottle btw. Having said that, this dessert wine is medium gold in color with very viscous legs in the glass. The nose has pronounced aromas of apricot marmalade, honey, vanilla nib, candied lemon peel, creme caramel, peach pie and dried hazelnuts. The longer it sits there the more tantalizing the nose gets. The palate is sweet, as expected from this late-harvest and botrytized blend of Semillon and Sauvignon. Blanc. There is some great acidity here that balances out the sugar perfectly leaving me with a very slippery wine with amazing mouthfeel that just transcends the palate from front to back with such ease. The weight of this wine is sublime, full-bodied yet light and airy. The finish is long and just a tad juicy from the acidity. The whole package is amazing- worthy of 98 points that the pros at W.E. gave it. For 375ml expect to pay $75. A stunning 5 star wine that I will be serving with Blue Cheese and crackers after dinner. Salut….
A New World Albariño, I’m excited! Medium lemon colored, it has fast moving legs belying its modest 13% ABV. The nose has medium intensity aromas of pineapple, lemon zest, bruised apple, geranium and baking spice. On the palate it is dry, really dry, with high acidity and a tart opener. Lemon, underripe pineapple, green apple and spice. There is a piercing minerality on the mid palate that I am really enjoying. The body is fairly light whilst the finish is medium in length and refreshing with the cut I got initially. A nicely crafted wine that gets 90 points from me and 4 stars for it’s $37 sticker price. I am pairing it with Thai beef salad and some Szechuan fried veggies. Drink now. Salut….
Inky dark purple in the glass, this promises to be a big, bold wine with lots of body and flavor. Perfect to pair with my Sunday Rib Roast. Ripe blackberry, luscious blueberry compote, plums, coconut, purple licorice and a spice/baking component on the nose. The palate is rich, tannic, full bodied with medium acidity and bold flavors of blackberry, oak nuance and spice. The yeasty baking note is still there, albeit feint. Think blackberry puree with a lashing of black tea. Grippy with mouth searing tannins, deliciously fruity with a dry finish that lasts a decent length of time. The tannins however, lurk on my gums for an eternity. If you like them dry, this wine is for you. The 14.5% ABV has not even made itself known, well disguised in this nicely balanced wine. This $55 blockbuster is still in youth. The tannins need some taming unless you like that level of astringency. Personally, it’s fine as I am pairing it with a fatty cut of meat. It gets 93 points from me and 5 stars. Drink till 2030. Salut….
This Napa Cabernet is a deep ruby color and nearly opaque. The nose has wonderful aromas of blackcurrants, blackberry, black plum, anise, eucalyptus, cloves and vanilla. Very precise use of the oak BTW, it’s very subtle. The palate is interesting- sweet, yet dry. I think the Cali sunshine is throwing me here. I would hazard a guess that there is a touch of residual sugar, but I’m not sure. Medium (+) tannins that are a touch gritty, medium (+) acidity and a full body which stems from the 14.8% ABV (which is pretty well masked). The fruit flavors are medium (+) intense and I get the black fruit, oak nuance, eucalyptus and anise notes. The wine is a bit disjointed by the tannins, but it is young. The mouthfeel is good if you like an astringent wine. I think it needs to flesh out a little. The finish is medium in length. I am pairing this wine with Beef Short Ribs, which have been braising all day. The tannins should do the trick of balancing out the fatty meat. 92 points from me for this $90 wine that gets 4 stars. Definitely a date-night wine. Drink till 2033. Salut…
Inky, opaque AF and a beautiful shade of deep purple. The nose of this Napa Cabernet is quite pronounced. I get aromas of blackberry, cassis, eucalyptus, oak, black plum and ripe blueberry compote. The palate is delicious, if a touch young. Dry with medium (+) tannins that are a bit green and youthful. Medium (+) acidity, full body and a caressing melange of black fruit, oak, the intriguing eucalyptus, licorice and that jammy blueberry note. The fruit flavors are very distinct and primal, this wine will meld over time and develop tertiary notes. The whole package of tannins, acidity and fruit are balanced but not in unison just yet. I would drink this 91 point wine till 2030. I am pairing it with grilled Hanger steak, roasted potatoes, asparagus spears and some Peruvian spiced veggies. For $48, it gets 4 stars from me. Salut….
Opaque ruby-purple, this wine has thick legs in the glass (14.5% ABV). The nose shows off primal blackberry, blueberry, black cherry licorice/candy and blackcurrant candy drops. The candy component is a little strong for me. The palate is quite tasty and the candy component is gone, thank god. The fruit is very ripe- blackberry, blueberry, black cherry and currants with some very slight oak notes. The wine has good acidity and medium tannins that coat the gums but are not astringent. The finish turns juicy from the acidity and is medium in length. This full bodied wine is delicious now and will drink well until 2027 with steaks, grilled sausage or chorizo on the charcoal. 89 points for this $20 effort ($14 at Costco) makes it a 4 star effort to buy a few bottles of. Salut….
Wow- opaque AF. The nose is loaded with black fruits, charred wood, cassis- very complex but I’m at a loss for descriptors. The palate is dry with a herbaceous entry that leads to the blackberry, blackcurrants and black cherry notes. The tannins are mid grade and a touch astringent, they may need more integration. The finish is medium length and gives me more of that charred wood note. This wine is mid weight and a touch out of balance right now but I think it will flesh out. Drink from 2024-2029. 90 points from me at this stage but the pros averaged 92, give it time. It’s a pricy bottle at $140 so pick the right moment to enjoy this 4 star gem. Salut….
This Bordeaux blend is quite deceiving- not very opaque at all considering it should be a blend of Merlot, Cab Sav and perhaps Cab Franc. Definitely Cab Franc as I get perfume and violets on the nose, plus some cassis, blackcurrants, toasty oak and eucalyptus. The palate is very smooth and well endowed with rich black fruits, well integrated tannins and juicy acidity. The mid palate has some pencil shavings and a metallic tinge, kinda interesting. The rich blackberry and blackcurrant flavors carry through to the long finish where some black tea notes are found alongside vanilla. This wine has good complexity, a nice full body and plenty of fruit and structure to reward patient cellaring but it drinks beautifully right now at 8 years of age. I am really digging the mouthfeel and think this wine gets 93 points. It would normally run around the $25 mark making it a 5 star effort for sure. Serve it up with some grilled sausages and steak. Salut….
My assignment this week for tasting wines included this Old Vine Zin. The format and lexicon of descriptors is very limiting so I must add that this was not my favorite wine. It had a very astringent mid palate and the overpowering whiff on the nose was annoying. It can be had for $25 and gets 87 points from me. I can’t figure out where I got it from though. 3 stars, trending to 2. Drink now till 2025 with some burgers or ribs. Salut….
Girard Old Vine Zinfandel 2017, Napa Valley, CA 15.0% ABV
- Appearance- Medium ruby with thin legs.
- Nose- medium (+) intensity with aromas of blackcurrant, black plum, blackberry, licorice, white pepper. Youthful.
- Palate- Dry, high acidity, medium (+) tannin, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity with flavors of black plum, blackberry, jamminess, white pepper with a medium (+) finish.
- Conclusion- good quality wine that can drink now, but has potential for aging or further aging.
Why do I keep drinking such alcoholic wines? I had to blow into the glass for a few minutes to get the alcohol to dissipate. Not as jammy and peppery as most Old Vine Zins I have tasted but still yummy.
Super purple and totally opaque- not what I was expecting from this varietal. The nose is very rich with cherry extract, toasty oak and strawberry jam. It’s very concentrated. The palate is packed with red fruit preserves, cherries jubilee and a hint of tobacco. There’s a nice acidic tone from the get-go alongside medium level tannins. I’m enjoying the whole package- the mouthfeel is very lively, balanced and complex. The finish is medium in length, pseudo dry and quite juicy. I’m really liking this atypical wine that gets 92 points from me. At $74 it’s worthy of 4 stars. Drink till 2027 and pair it with Lamb Chops, Venison Tenderloins or even Eggplant Parm. So delicious I may want to try it again! (Ps. I just read the winery notes- they use the Ripasso method to really extrude as much color, tannins and essence from the grapes which makes sense why it is so dense, full bodied and delicious). Salut….