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….
Very dark in the glass. The nose is plummy with sweet black currant syrup hints. The palate has black currants, espresso and nutmeg notes. Mouth drying tannins appear on the mid-palate where I get big doses of coffee and charcoal. The tannins really grip on the finish. The wine begs for aeration or a juicy ribeye. The acidity is there, somewhere. I just can’t sense it. Overall- quite tasty, young and in need of cellaring or aerating. Drink till 2026 with hearty fare. 88 points from me which is in stark contrast with the monster 92+ points the pros gave it. I think a re-taste is in order. For now this $20 effort gets 3 stars. Salut….
Really rich hues of purple in the glass. The nose contains a certain funk…. not sure if that blows away. Earthy, plum, iodine and ink all come to mind while swirling. The initial palate is typical for the region. Bold, punchy and full of black fruits. Great balance between the medium tannins and acidity alongside a dollop of blackberry jam. The midpalate is drier, more primal. The dark fruits hold on and overcome the tannic bite, barely. This wine is a seesaw of fruit vs. structure- I’m loving it. The finish is long, dry with heaps of blackberry, oregano and olives. Very much in-your-face. 91 points, drink till 2024 with charcuterie, roasted game, lamb chops or a hearty pasta. This is tasty stuff folks. 5 stars for the $17 price tag. Salut….
Medium opacity with a lighter purple hue. On the nose it screams black currants with some bacon fat and oregano. There is a hint of forest floor at the back end of the nose. On the palate – berries, medium intensity tannins, tea and olives. The wine transitions nicely to the mid palate with the tannins providing a nice dryness to the mouthfeel. The flavors are consistent through to the finish where I also get some licorice. The balance is nice for a wine that is made for medium term drinking. Perfect for a game dish, even a seasoned Cornish Hen. Drink now till 2033. 91 points and 4 stars for this $34 blend of mainly Grenache mixed with Syrah and Mouvedre. Salut….