I’ve been on a big Grenache kick lately and bought several different offerings from this producer whom I’ve tried before. This one is medium ruby colored and has some nice red fruit and meaty aromas. Raspberry, black cherry, bacon, lavender, red plum, red licorice and sweet cedar. The palate is dry and tannic upfront. Great acidity balances the well integrated tannic component and the flavors are delicious. Red fruit, Ceylon tea, game, florals and oak nuance all mingle together. The mid palate has a slight astringency akin to tea meets charred oak and mineral slate. The finish is quite long for this full bodied wine that needs a bit of time to flesh out methinks. I think it will be a great wine in a few years but right now it turned a bit angular on me. I’m going with 90 points for now on this $32 blend that has some Mourvedre in it. 4 stars with a drink between 2024-2030 window. Salut….
From the Southern Rhone comes this blend of Grenache 50%, Syrah 40% and Mourvedre 10%. It will hopefully go well with my braised Lamb shanks. The wine is medium ruby in color with quite a full-on nose of red raspberry, baking spice, pepper, blueberry compote, game, oak-derived vanilla and blackberry- quite an array of complexity from the three varietals. The palate is dry with dusty tannins, medium to full body and high alcohol (15.5% ABV). Red and black fruit interlaced with spice, pepper and oak make for a yummy flavor profile that is quite earthy, gamy and austere. The tannins are nicely integrated yet still showing plenty of grip, especially on the back end but balanced with medium acidity. The finish is medium in length with the astringency lasting a lot longer. I like this rustic wine- 91 points worth and for $25 it gets 5 stars. Drink till 2028 with hearty stews, braises or a hunk of meat on the grill. Salut….
I’m having Cassoulet for dinner. For grins I went online to see what others would pair with this rustic French dish of white beans, Duck Confit and sausage. Well, well- they all recommended a French wine, with deference to the southern regions. This bottle is a 50/50 blend of old vine Grenache and old vine Syrah from the North and Southern Rhone. It is slightly cloudy and a deep shade of ruby. The nose has pronounced aromas of black plum, black raspberry, smoke, meat, licorice, espresso, açaí and black pepper. That’s quite complex for a $20 bottle! The palate is tannic right off the bat. Black fruit and red fruit combine with spice and oak nuance that are all enveloped in a mouth coating dryness from the tannins along with juicy acidity. Full bodied, this 14.5% ABV wine is a not for the feint of heart- it is full throttle with the fruit, the tannins, the acidity and the mouthfeel. It has a mid length finish that remains quite mouth-puckering from the relentless tannic grip. I hope my dish mellows this 92 point wine out somewhat! Being an NV, I am not sure when it was made but this bottle will last till 2030 at the least. 5 stars. Salut….
I last drank this wine three years ago and did not care for it- 88 points with the disclaimer to try again. Well, I opened another bottle last night and was pleasantly surprised- and I figured out why. It’s a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre. That last component is what threw me initially. Mourvedre has a meaty, gamey, herby flavor profile which sets it off from other varietals, especially when young. I think it was not expected back when I first tasted it nor did I care for the flavor. I have matured somewhat in tasting wine and definitely expanded my palate somewhat.
Inky and opaque, this wine is a deep purple color. The nose has pronounced aromas of black fruit, game, green herbs, charred oak, licorice and white pepper. The palate is dry, with gripping/young tannins. The acidity is quite high in this full bodied wine. The bold, black fruit flavors are enveloped in searing tannins on the mid palate. The oak influence and gamey notes play second fiddle to blackberry, black plum and graphite. This is not a wine to serve to the uninitiated- it’s not a sipping wine either. It needs a big, juicy hunk of meat, either beef or lamb to mellow out the tannins and complement the bold flavors. I can see why the pros went upwards of 95 points on this $20+ wine. I’m thinking 92. It gets 5 stars technically, but like I said, be ready for a different beast with this one. Drink till 2030. Salut….
This Grenache blend was third up at our virtual tasting. It showed well but was not my favorite. Deep garnet, it was more opaque than I was expecting. Pomegranate, raspberry, pepper, anise, kirsch, bramble and strawberry jam notes on the nose were echoed on the palate. We also got a green olive aftertaste with cedar and charcoal on the mid palate. Very integrated tannins, low acidity, medium bodied and a long finish made this a 91 pointer. At $50 I was hoping it filled the 93 point hype the pros gave it, alas it was just decent. 3 stars from me. Drink till 2025. Salut…
This blend of Grenache and Syrah is semi opaque and shows off a bright ruby color in the glass. The legs are-a-watering- with 15% ABV that is to be expected. The nose is quite exuberant- plums, raspberry, red licorice, blueberry pie, bacon fat, violets and charcoal. The palate is dry with caressing tannins and medium acidity that keeps the fruit fresh. Medium bodied- the red and blue fruits are quite pronounced and the meaty component alongside oak nuance is present as well. The finish is medium in length and has a tannic grip for a while. There is a slight imbalance that I cannot point a finger at that will detract a point or two. Drinking nicely now this wine will pair with rich meaty stews, venison roasts or pasta till 2026. 90 points from me for this $20 effort makes it a 5 star wine. Salut….
This youthful blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre is semi opaque with a pretty shade of ruby/purple. The nose is chock full of ripe raspberry, red currants, pomegranate, bacon, evergreen leaf, granite and white pepper- quite complex. The palate is dry with pronounced flavors of red fruit, minerality, earthiness and game. Medium bodied, this semi tannic/medium acidity wine has a nice mouthfeel with a decent length finish. Whilst young, it is offering ripe fruit enjoyment with the structure to age and develop. I would love to have a case to document the evolution over the next 12 years. It got high marks from the pros, I agree. 93 points for this $55 bottle makes it a 5 star effort. I am pairing it with Venison tenderloins and an eggplant tagine. Salut….
I’m grilling Beef Tri-tip tonight so a hearty French red will do the trick. This blend of Grenache and Mourvedre is semi opaque ruby with watery legs which is a bit suspect as the label clearly states 15% ABV! The nose has got good red fruit flavors of raspberry, redcurrant, oak nuances of charred wood and clove alongside pepper, cinnamon and some meaty characteristics-perhaps from the dash of Mourvedre? Anyways, the palate is super smooth with gorgeously integrated tannins, medium acidity and medium body. The mouthfeel is stupendous. All the aromas I got are mirrored on the palate with some Rooibos tea as well. The mid palate and finish are where the tannins start to grip a touch, nothing overdone. The back end is very smooth and it lasts a good long while. A very impressive wine that is ready to go and will last till 2030 at the very least. 93 points from me and at $34 it is a great intro to yummy Southern Rhone wines. 5 stars. Salut….
In the final throes of studying for my WSET Level 3 exam comes the single page of text devoted to Fortified Muscats- well I had to try one. This particular bottle came in 375ml and costs $25. The wine is medium gold and has watery legs even though it sports a 15% ABV since it’s has been fortified. It has a pronounced nose, ie I get a whiff when approaching the glass. The aromas are perfume, rose water, lychee and flowers. Delicious notes, but rather simple. The palate is medium (-) sweet and viscous. Medium (-) acidity and low alcohol gives me a medium weight body. The palate reveals medium (+) intensity flavors of rose, lychee, orange peel and apricots. The finish is medium in length and very satisfying. I really like this style- it’s a touch fresher than a Botrytised wine and the aromatics of the Muscat grape are heavenly. Overall this wine would be classed as good in the Lexicon and I am awarding it 89 points and 3 stars. I will probably buy more as Moxie and I really enjoyed it. Drink with desserts till 2025 as it will age a bit and hopefully pick up some tertiary notes. Salut….
This Cotes-Du-Rhone comes from a highly regarded vintner and is a blend of Grenache and Mourvedre at 30% each with the balance being Syrah and Cinsault. I chose it off my tasting bench because I am cooking Duck l’orange tonight. I am hoping the pairing will work.
The wine is very dark purple in the glass and 75% opaque. The nose is heavenly with raspberry, black pepper, black cherry and oak influence, offset right at the end with some alcohol. I checked, it’s 14.1%. On the palate it is very smooth and supple. The reddish/black fruit notes are evident and the tannins are very lithe. Good acidity makes for a nice mouthfeel that is fresh. The red fruit them continues but I get a hint of capsicum, some herbaceous notes and a tad of astringency on the mid palate. The finish is medium in length and the fruit flavors linger nicely, not being overtaken by massive tannins. The acidity is obvious at this stage though and I get a touch of that alcohol right at the end. It’s a delightful wine that gets knocked down a point or two for the green notes, I am not sure if they had ripening issues. 89 points and for $26, it gets 3 stars with a drink by 2028 window. Salut….