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….
Talk about a New World version of Pinot. This wine was full of stuffing- evident right away. In the glass it was brooding, dark and semi opaque. The nose was full throttle- big, ripe cherry, cinnamon, plum and sassafras. A heady palate ensued with fruit flavors clamoring for attention, pushing aside the lithe tannins and making the acidity stand in line to be noticed. If you like big, fruit forward versions of Pinot, this one is right up your alley. Technically speaking, it gets 90 points from me but is not really my cup of tea. I prefer a more restrained style of Pinot, a là Burgundy, or even cooler climate a là Oregon. This wine comes from a great appellation and is well made. At $16 a pop, it’s well worth stashing a few and drinking over the next 6 years. 5 stars. Salut….
I tasted this wine previously and liked it enough to order some for the virtual tasting #5. I think I preferred it the first time around, this bottle seemed a little tired and over the plateau. The wine showed secondary flavors of tobacco, leather, horse whip but lacked much core fruit and tannic structure. Overall it scored 88 points from me with a drink now recommendation. $24 is not over the top, but I would not order more. We decanted 6 hours prior, that may have made the difference. 3 stars. Salut….
This was our opening wine at virtual tasting #5. As before, I had everyone reserve half at room temperature and chill the other half. Mixed results as usual with some enjoying the rounder, fuller nose and palate of the unchilled version whilst others preferred the slight cut and edge of the chilled. I got quince, pineapple and honey. It was not very acidic, nor was it sweet, a trait commonly found in Riesling. Overall a very serviceable white that I will be ordering more of. 87 points this time around, which contrasts with the last time I drank it. My previous notes showed it to be sweeter but I preferred it in this iteration whilst scoring it lower…. hmmm. $13 is a good price btw, 4 stars. Salut….
Nearly black in the glass. Blackcurrant and smoky wood on the nose. On the palate it offers black cherry, dark currants, superb tannins and olives. The midpalate gets a dose of dryness from the tannins to go with more dark berries. The finish is blackberry coulis, tea and a touch of wood. Overall a very good but young wine that needs two to three years in the cellar. After that- drink till 2028 with heavy duty meat dishes. 91 points for now. I would love to revisit in 3 years. $55 makes this a 4 star effort. 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….
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….
Reddish purple but nearly see through in the glass. The nose is of strawberry and rhubarb. On the palate it is strawberry pie meets cherry with a noticeable up front acidity. The mid palate is where it’s at with this wine- much rounder mouthfeel with flavors of red berries, more rhubarb and some tannins that are ever so gently caressing my gums. The finish is really smooth, long and reminiscent of more strawberry notes. Roasted chicken with garlic comes to mind. 89 points and 3 stars for this $56 effort. Salut….