This blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet is quite brooding in the glass. Dark purple and completely opaque. On the nose it has a sweet blackberry note alongside earthy herbs and violets. The palate is fruit forward with black cherry, blackberries and steeped plum notes. A dusty earthiness is ever present and some lithe tannins present at the mid palate. I sense the alcohol and just read the content- 14.9%…. careful out there. Black tea and iodine hit me on the back end as the tannic grip envelopes the mouth and melds with the fruit. It’s a tasty one for sure and I like the blend. It’s rich, rewarding and the structure is decent for medium term cellaring. Moxie is cooking up some stuffed Green Peppers, I think it will work nicely. Drink till 2023. 89 points and 3 stars for this $45 wine. Salut….
This Napa blend of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah and Petite Sirah is really dark purple and inky in the glass. The nose is rich with blackberry flavors, iodine, a whiff of alcohol and oaky vanilla. The palate is very pleasing- blackberry compote, plump raisins, black cherry cola and bakers chocolate. The mid palate has a nice mouthfeel that has a touch of astringency and a whiff of acidity. Black fruits dominate and the oak influence is evident. Black tea, iodine and tannins round out the wine with a decent length finish that is neither dry nor sour. The structure feels like it will drink nicely till 2024, but extended cellaring probably won’t happen. It drinks nicely as is but I am pairing it with some Sous Vive Ribeyes, baked taters and grilled Asparagus. Overall- a decent drop that gets 89 points from me and 3 stars for its $45 release price. Salut….
I’m a fan of both the varietal and the region, they are exciting and interesting. This particular one is opaque and dark purple in the glass. On the nose I get a melange of blueberry, plum and black cherry. I often think of the color Purple when I smell this particular scent. There’s also a touch of oak and lavender. On the palate it has a great depth of blue fruit and is a touch tannic right off the bat. There is a nice violet component that comes through on the mid palate, giving the wine a nice rounded flavor profile. The tannins are a bit raw though, perhaps they need a bit of time. The finish is very dry with my teeth feeling gritty. The fruit is abundant though which makes it all worthwhile. Notes of coffee linger on the long finish. This wine is a young’un. Drink after a healthy decant or wait till 2023. It will last a fair amount in the cellar, till 2029 at the least. For $18, it’s a 5 star wine that gets 90 points from me. Salut….
The second wine of our virtual tasting was this Lodi blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot and Cab Sav. The nose was magnificent- lush, jammy blackberry, cocoa, dark plums. The palate was a different matter. We all immediately sensed a certain sweetness that we were not expecting. The wine is very fruity and concentrated with loads of black fruits. Tannins are apparent but not overbearing and there is a decent level of acidity to make for a nice mouthfeel. The cloying fruit however was a detractor for many in the group. Funnily enough, it was voted the best wine by a third of the attendees. I guess that sweetness appeals to some but not all. Each to his own. For me it was an 86 point wine that I feel was a little too manufactured and lacked finesse relying heavily on gobs of jammy fruit. Drink now. For $14 it gets 3 stars. Salut….
It’s got a beautiful shade of purple in the glass and I can almost see through. The nose is lush and rich with blackberry jam, fig paste, blueberries. On the palate it is very dark fruit heavy. Black berries, currants and chocolate. There’s a gripping set of tannins that get to work on my gums immediately. This is to be expected with this varietal, also known as Durif. On the mid palate there is more plum than blackberry, but it’s still black fruit dominant. There’s a juiciness to this wine that begs for hearty steaks. The finish reverts back to blackberry jam and some charcoal. It is shockingly dry and delicious. I am really enjoying this wine and it will pair beautifully with the grilled Skirt and Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus I am cooking. If you like a dry wine, or want to cellar something long term, this is it. 92 points, and 5 stars for this $13 steal Drink till 2030. Salut….
Dark and dense, totally opaque. The nose gives me blackberry jam, florals, cinnamon, but just a touch. On the palate it’s as rich as it smells. Full throttle with the black fruits, a touch of sour black cherry and a definitive tea component. There is an upfront astringency that goes head to head with a brisk acidity. Somewhat overpowering but balanced. The midpalate is all about the to-and-fro with these two components. The finish is really juicy, black fruited and tannic. Petite Sirah is typical of these notes. 90 points and 4 stars for this $40 wine. Pair with Moussaka or Bangers and Mash and drink till 2025. Salut….
Rich purple. Opaque. The nose offers up blackberries, violets, spice box. On the palate it’s primal- black fruit, cedar shake, very nice, gentle tannins with a touch of acidity. The midpalate turns into a more fruity wine with a tannic thrust. The fruits tend toward blackberry, black cherry and a slathering of breakfast tea. The finish is driven by the Petite Sirah- dark, brooding and enveloped in mouth puckering tannins. 89 points and 4 stars for this $13 steal. 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….
I’ve tasted the 2010 Spellbound and liked it. For dinner tonight I ordered it as I wasn’t in the mood for a big pricy bottle. It was $33 on the menu, the cheapest offering at this Bay Area steak house. Dark, inky purple in the glass as is to be expected for the varietal. The nose offers black fruits, bramble and dusty tannins. The palate gives me a nice, easy drinking black fruited wine with easy going acidity, smooth, lithe tannins and a nice dose of sunshine. This basic wine offers much gratification, lots of primal flavor and a great mouthfeel. 88 points and 5 stars for this $12 effort that I enjoyed quite a bit. Salut….
A lighter purple color which kinda surprised me. I get fig, black cherry and dates on the nose, a strange combination but I write ’em as I see ’em. The initial taste consists of a lighter set fruits, mostly blueberry, with some currants. Gentle tannins and mild acidity give this a nice easy mouthfeel while the mid palate shows off black berries and spice. The wine stays true to form on the finish with more blackberry and some very slight tannins. Not a blockbuster, but certainly an easy going wine to pull out at parties, barbecues or just a lazy evening. It will pair with many summer dishes and I would even use it for Coq au Vin. I think it merits 87 points and for $11 will be a repeat purchase worthy of 3 stars. Salut….