The second wine at Virtual Tasting #29 was this Napa Cabernet. It has a deep ruby color and smells ‘yummy’ according to the group! Menthol was the first thing I noticed on the nose followed by dark chocolate, tobacco, green pepper, black cherry, blackcurrant and Kirsch. Medicinal notes along with a dusty component were commented on. Dry with medium acidity and medium intensity tannins that were very well melded made for a really nice mouthfeel. Medium to full bodied this Cabernet had flavors of black pepper, green pepper, tart cherry, tobacco, cranberry, pencil shavings and graphite. The group really felt it was red-fruit dominant and had started developing tertiary flavors. The finish was short-medium in length. This $28 wine gets 91 points from me making it a 5 star effort to drink till 2028. I would pair it with braised beef cheeks or a plate full of Osso Bucco. Salut….
Inky purple in the glass it has slow moving, thick legs (15.1% ABV) and leaves a purple stain on the wall. The nose has dusty earth, ripe blackcurrants, blackberry, menthol, cedar, pencil shavings and blueberry pie. The palate is dry with medium acidity and medium (+) tannins that are very smooth yet powerful. Pronounced flavors of blackberry, cassis, blueberry compote, baking spices, pencil shavings, mint and cedar along with that earthy dust make for a delicious wine that has a full body and a medium length finish. This wine has ripe fruit, great structure and just the right amount of oak treatment. It is really yummy stuff that gets 94 points from me and at $40- it’s a no brainer Napa Cabernet that will cellar nicely till 2030 at the least and pair beautifully with all types of grilled meats, stews and hearty pasta dishes. 5 stars. Salut….
Medium garnet colored this Cab Franc has pretty thin, slow moving legs (14.5% ABV). The nose gives me medium intensity aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, coconut, cedar plank, toasty oak, chocolate powder, blueberry jam and some brioche/yeast notes. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and super smooth medium tannins. The wine coats my mouth and is full bodied with rich blueberry flavors. The red fruit are there but not as prominent. Toasty oak and some cocoa with a hint of coconut round out the palate. The finish is medium-ish and very caressing- the tannins are fully melded in this 7 year old wine that is drinking en pointe. It is delicious and will pair beautifully with my Hangar steaks and mashed taters. 92 points from me for this $57 offering that gets 5 stars. Drink till 2025. Salut….
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….