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….
Dark purple, opaque. The nose is chock full of blackcurrants, spicy oak and some dusty tobacco. The palate is stark- dark and brooding with blackcurrants, oolong tea, nice gentle tannins and a touch of acidity. The midpalate is a bit edgy with some oak influence, charred wood, dark fruit and an increasing dryness from the tannins that are ramping up. The finish is really enjoyable- a nice dry mouthfeel, decent acidity and gobs of fruit. The blackcurrants are really delicious. This is a yummy wine for everyday that will cellar nicely for a few years and be a hit whether you are serving steaks or pizza. Drink till 2025. 90 points and 5 stars for this $20 effort. Ps. The label is one of coolest out there. Salut….
Our wine of the night at the second Virtual wine tasting. You can’t go wrong with a Cali Cab. The wine just oozes sunshine, rich fruit, nice oak and balance. The nose on this wine was all black cherry. Tons of it. The initial palate included those dark beauties alongside some plum, blueberry and coconut. Licorice featured on the mid palate where the tannins really started to grip. Mouthfeel was very full, rich and nicely balanced with acid, black tea and a touch of plum jam sweetness. The finish was really nice, long and a touch dry. This wine was drinking beautifully and was an easy ringer at the end of the night. 92 points from me, drink till 2028. For $27 it should feature in your cellar, 5 stars. Salut….
Lighter in the glass than I was expecting but the nose- wow. Black berries, spice box, vanilla. On the palate there’s tons of spiciness, cedar box, black fruits, cinnamon. The bite from the acidity is pinpoint, tannins are very lithe. On the finish I get maduro, black cherry and more vanilla from the wood dressing this wine has been graced with. Very tasty Grenache, Syrah, Mourverdre blend. 92 points and 4 stars for this $54 wine. Drink now till 2024. Salut….