This blend from Paso Robles is medium ruby colored. The nose has medium intensity aromas of black fruit, cedar, blueberry and vanilla. The palate is enticing with flavors of blackberry, black plums, rich blueberry, oak nuance from cedar and vanilla with medium (+) acidity, medium tannins, medium body and a shortish finish. It’s easy to drink and quite versatile- roast chicken, veal parmesan or shish kebabs would pair nicely. I think it deserves 88 points and for the $24 price point- 3 stars. Drink till 2026. Salut….
Almost opaque, this dark ruby colored ‘Red Wine’ is a blend of Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah that rings in at 13.9% ABV. The nose has rich black plum, blackberry coulis, licorice and vanilla. The palate is meh… Tart, dry and lacking depth of fruit. I do get some blackberry and plum but I’m missing the oak nuance, the licorice and am distracted by the sourness. The tannins are medium (+) and the wine is mid weight. The finish is short, TG. Not impressed by this $18 wine (I paid $10) that gets 84 points from me. 1 star and a major pass. I’m pairing it with leftover Lasagna. Salut….
When shopping for the 21st Virtual Wine Tasting, I selected Durif as the keyword which is basically another name for Petite Sirah- one of my current favorites. This wine did not disappoint. Basking in sunny Paso Robles (California), the grapes for this elixir were harvested very ripe which makes a pretty potent 15.2%ABV wine that has rich, jammy fruit flavors. It looks menacing, nearly fully opaque with a dark shade of purple. The nose and palate gave the group flavors and aromas of blackberry preserves, black plum, dark chocolate covered raisins, leather, coffee, black pepper, blueberry and black tea (on the finish). Mid grade tannins and nice, gentle acidity made for a beautiful mouthfeel that was mid weight, leading to a decent length finish. I did not score it the highest on my scoring sheet but I believe it is worthy of 91 points. It was a crowd pleasing $17 bottle from DAOU vineyards that gets 5 stars from me. I would love to pair this wine with some grilled Venison. Drink till 2026. Salut….
When I saw this vintage I had to buy it- the 2018 Daou was amazing so I’m hoping for a repeat. This one is opaque purple. On the nose it is rich with pronounced intensity aromas of blackberry, black plum, black cherry, tomato leaf, mint and charred oak. The palate is sweet from ripe fruit- blackberry jam, licorice, charred oak, black tea, good acidity and a hefty dose of back-end tannins. Medium to full bodied it fills the mouth with great fruit notes and ripe tannins. The California sunshine is evident in this fruit bomb. I really like it for what it is- Cali Cab with great structure that will pair beautifully with steaks, pasta and game. 91 points for this $20 steal makes it a 5 star home-run. Buy in bulk and drink till 2026. Salut….
As I practice writing notes for my wine class I am trying to get the format correct and use only the approved words from the lexicon they gave us. I know it’s not my style, nor do I like the restricted descriptors, but hey- it’s only temporary till I pass the tests. So, bare with me as we taste this $18 smooth sipper from out west that gets 89 points from me and 4 stars. Salut….
- Appearance- hazy deep garnet.
- Nose- medium (+) intensity, aromas of plum, blackberry, white pepper, cinnamon, coconut. Developing.
- Palate- dry, medium (-) acidity, medium body, medium (-) tannins, medium (+) flavor intensity of plum, blackberry, white pepper, coconut. Finish medium (-).
- Conclusions- quality level is good, can drink now but has potential for aging.
A very smooth Syrah with some bottle age that is at peak now.
This Paso Zin is a lovely shade of purple but only 50% opaque. The legs give a hint of what to expect, 14.8% ABV is pretty hefty kick, beware. On the nose I get wafts of the alcohol but it subsides and the flavors of dark plum, white pepper, cloves and creamy blackberry ganache. On the palate it is rich and powerful. The fruit profile is more toward the blackberry side but I do get the peppery notes I would expect from this varietal. There is a slightly astringent hit from black tea notes as well as some decent acidity. The tannins kick in very gently on the back end. A lovely, full mouthfeel for this wine that carries it to a medium length finish. The dark fruit flavors ever present. I sense a touch of oak overall, but it is not over done. The heat is the only concern as this wine drinks very easily, one can get caught up in the moment if one is not careful!. A decent drop that will go well with a lean cut of beef on the grill. 89 points from me and at $14, it’s a 4 star effort worthy of a try! Salut….
Bright purple, semi opaque. On the nose it is very fruity with bright blackberries, dark cherry and red twizzlers. The palate is very fresh with lighter black fruit notes, some cherry cola and vibrant tannins. The finish is simple yet full of fruit flavors and a modicum of tannins. There is a good dose of acidity that keeps it lively. This is meant for immediate drinking and will go well with marinated sirloin or pasta with red sauce. 87 points and for $14 it gets 4 stars from me. Salut….
Semi opaque and a bright shade of purple in the glass. On the nose I get blueberry pie, red licorice and zesty cranberry. On the palate it is very fruity- blueberry dominant with a sweet spiciness and very gentle acidity that make for a very enticing mouthfeel. The mid palate has an oak note that I did not catch at the beginning. It joins the blue fruits and some very lithe tannins. The finish is very fresh- the acidity keeping it zesty while the blueberry and plum notes hang around for a while. The tannins are very integrated in this wine already and the cellaring potential is somewhat short. I would drink till 2025. It’s really tasty and easy to drink, getting 88 points from me. For $16 it gets 3 stars. Salut….
At the 12th virtual wine tasting we drank this Viognier at room temp first and then chilled. As usual there is a marked difference in both smell and taste, but this time I preferred the chilled version- it seemed more focused on fewer key flavors, the warm version was all over the place. Here are some of the notes I recorded from the group.
Pale gold, straw or even Goldenrod in the glass. The nose has a sweetness to it with orange, honey, apricot, pear and floral notes. On the palate we got apricots, orange rind, bakers spices, ‘Icewine’ and a yeasty/bready flavor. The chilled version had melon, pineapple and that bread component on the nose. The palate was softer and smoother with tangerine, honeysuckle and gingerbread with good acidity. One of the tasters remarked that it tasted like good Riesling. Overall it scored decently and I would give it 90 points. Drink till 2022. For $17, it’s a nice intro to the varietal and gets 4 stars from me. Salut….
This Cab Sav is a beautiful dark purple in the glass and is nearly opaque. The nose is lush with black currants, flint and charred oak. On the palate it’s quite tart right off the bat. Black fruits, dark colas, sassafras and enamel searing tannins. The mid palate opens the wine up tremendously- still black fruits and now I get a nice minerality, some black tea, more cola and oak. The finish is surprisingly not as dry as I was fearing, it’s quite balanced with the tannic component really getting checked by the acidity and fruit. Anise, blackberry and vanilla are all present on the medium length finish. Drink till 2027, but if you fear the tannins- decant or aerate the heck out of this one. It’s tasty in the end and I give it 89 points. For $14, it’s a 3 star effort that will go well with my lamb tagine. Salut….