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….
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….
A quick note from a party…. Unbelievable nose- black fruits galore, chai tea, olives and blueberry jam. On the palate I get gorgeous blue fruit ganache, really tight knit tannins – crunchy acidity. Sublime wine that is full bodied and long. It shows off bright Napa sunshine in the fruit which I think will evolve nicely in the next 10-15 years. Drink till 2030. 93 points if not 94 for this bold $45 effort. 5 Stars. 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….
A very gorgeous dark yellow in the glass gives way to waxy lemon, peach stone and pineapple core on the nose. On the palate it is quintessential Napa Chardonnay. Citrus, yellow apple, pear and lanolin hit me on the initial palate. The wine has a medium weight mouthfeel, with decent but not piercing acidity. The mid palate is mostly lemon and grapefruit. The finish is quite long, with more of that citrus component as well as that waxy note. This wine is nice and will pair well with Salmon, Moussaka even Osso Bucco (Hard to believe I know). I am thinking this wine is worthy of 90 points and 3 stars for the $50 price tag. Drink till 2025. 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….
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….
Solid, dark and brooding. On the nose it is somewhat muted in this particular glass but I managed to coax black cherry, olives, cinnamon stick. On the palate it is much more defined, albeit a bit tannic at first. Plum and black berries come out with some nuttiness to go along with the mouth drying tannins, which are rather forceful by the mid palate. Figs, a touch of oak and some more blue fruits tie it up with a mid length finish. The wine is young, the tannins are quite untamed. I would give this wine another 2 years in cellar and drink from 2020-2028. 88 points and 3 stars for this $19 effort. 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….