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….
This classic from Chateauneuf Du Pape is a dark shade of purple and is 75% opaque. The nose is gorgeous- raspberries, rosewater, ripe cherry and some spice. On the palate the raspberry theme continues with oolong tea, violet and lithe tannins. It has minerality and some modicum of acidity to go along with the red fruit. On the mid palate it is very smooth and has concentrated flavors of raspberry along with some strawberry extract. Red licorice and lively tannins show up at the back end where the finish is long, full bodied and delicious. This is a very tasty wine that is not too bold, but caresses with nice rounded fruit, a decent dose of tannins that are very well integrated and some balancing acidity which gives it a wonderful mouthfeel. Delightful stuff, made even better that it was bet with my buddy over a football game- I won! 93 points from me, the pros went a point or two more. At $105, this is a treat blend of mainly Grenache with Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault adding to the mix. Drink this 4 star wine till 2030. Salut….
Third up at our virtual tasting event was this Grenache blend. I had high hopes for another stunner from CdP but alas, you cannot hit home run after home run. This wine was semi opaque and had notes of toasted marshmallow, candied raspberry, plum, black pepper and stone fruit on the nose. Someone in the group decried “A beautiful, pretty smell”. Someone else said it was flowery. The palate gave us spice, rich black raspberry, cigar smoke, licorice and a streak of minerality. I scored it a paltry 8.5 of 20 but for some it was a huge hit. I’m not a fan of sweetness in red wine, the candy theme is not to my taste, hence the low number. Technically speaking I gave this $45 wine 89 points, the pros went much higher at 92. It gets 2 stars from me. Drink till 2026. Salut….
Tonight is the first Sunday of the New Year, which means we are celebrating 2021 with a standing Rib Roast plus all the trimmings. A juicy, fatty cut like this needs a tannic wine, so I searched for something young that would help temper the Beef.
This Grenache is semi opaque in the glass and a pretty shade of purple. The nose is very inviting- black raspberry, bacon, blueberry jam and a hint of blackberry. Very intricate and complex. The palate is beautiful, with a perfect set of tannins for my meal. The flavor profile is more black fruit with some very well integrated oak nuances. Violets and lavender also come to mind. The mid palate has lush dollops of more black fruit and a tea component. The tannins are really fine grained but ever present for a really delicious mouthfeel. The finish has a definitive blueberry note that I got from the nose. Very complex and swirling, this wine is a treat. I paid $35 for this stunner that scored upwards of 97 points with the pros. I have to say, it is really delicious but a touch young… worthy of at least 95 points which makes it a 5 star effort that I will be stocking up on. I plan to drink until 2028 at the very least. Salut….
Very dark red/purple in the glass. On the nose this Grenache blend gives me some raspberry, game, violets and pomegranate. The palate is exceedingly smooth with layers of dark red fruits. Raspberries, rhubarb, pomegranate, blueberry and Ceylon tea notes are abundant. There is a very lithe tannic component with really mellow, balancing acidity to give this wine a nice mouthfeel. The mid palate goes a touch drier but the fruit components remain the same. The finish has more black tea and is quite dry, the tannins kicking it up a notch. Very smooth still and tasty to boot. Moxie is fixing up some Filets and this was the perfect pairing for the lean meat. I really am enjoying the melange of red and blue fruits as well as the structure of this wine. I’m going with 92 points. The pros went way higher (96 and 95). Lovely stuff that can be had for $30 and gets 5 stars from me. Blended with Syrah and Mourvedre as is typical for Rhone wines. Drink till 2029. Salut….
Dark purple and semi opaque. The nose is rich, spicy with black pepper and gamy with bacon fat plus plum reduction. On the palate this wine is mature- rich plums, raspberry extract, gamy notes and earthiness. Slightly stewed prunes hint at the age of this wine. Bakers spice and super fine grained tannins highlight the midpalate but it’s the flavor of dried mushrooms being reconstituted with a salty umami component that really carry the moment. The finish is rather short but l get sour cherry, raspberries and dark chocolate. This wine will appeal to lovers of mature old world wines that are earthy, loaded with terroir and have tones of tertiary flavors. For me- 89 points but drink sooner rather than later. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Muscardin and Counoise that runs $40 and gets 3 stars. Salut….
Orange, bricked and nearly see through in the glass. Stewed prunes, almonds, port and raisins on the nose. Tinny and over the hill but it has some reticent notes of steeped raspberries, traces of tannins and a modicum of acidity. It’s too bad that this one is past it’s due date cause I reckon it would have been a decent wine. No score or points. Salut….
The fourth wine of the #10 Virtual tasting was a home run for me. This $60 Grenache was silky smooth, layered with flavors, complex and had an amazing mouthfeel.
It was semi opaque and had a lighter purple shade in the glass. The nose was very fruity with notes of Cedar, prunes, black cherry, smoky meat, pepper and cinnamon. One taster also threw in ‘bug spray’. On the palate it was very smooth and tasted ‘cold’- in a sense that this wine was very focused and had a concentration of flavors. It was Moxie’s favorite wine of the night and she’s not a huge fan of the reds. The tannins are what I think she liked- very fine grained and well integrated leading to a not-so-dry mouthfeel that was complex, balanced and chock full of red fruits and spice. Prunes showed up on the medium length finish. This wine was astounding to me, my first truly remarkable CDP in forever. I think the 5 years of cellaring was the key to softening this wine and allowing the tertiary notes to begin their emergence. I rated this wine 19 points on my tasting scale, a monster effort that translates into 95 points in the real world. The pro’s went 94, not far off. I know sixty bones is a big step in the wallet but well worth it for an exceptional wine that I award 5 stars to. Drink till 2030. No pairing needed, delicious all by itself. Salut….