The second wine of the Birthday dinner at Chez Francois. This one was stunning. No notes were taken but I remember thinking that this is what being a wine lover is all about. Near perfection in the bottle. Rich, ripe, sumptuous, balanced, maturing yet showing youth and verve. This wine blends some Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc with the majority Sangiovese. It gets 94 points from me and 5 stars, even with its $125 current price tag. I believe I have one left in storage and will look forward to the next opportunity. Paired beautifully with Lamb Chops. Salut….
The first thing I noticed was the length of the cork. It was super long, Magnum size. Made me wonder… In the glass this wine is somewhat opaque with a lighter purple hue. On the nose it offers tart cherry, red berries and muted barnyard. On the palate I get some really refreshing strawberry and cherry notes. Crisp acidity and gentle tannins are also present. The wine is young, very young. Nutmeg and kirsch appear later on, a strange combination but I’m liking it. The tannins are really kicking in towards the mid to finish leaving me with a very dry sensation on the seemingly long finish. More classic Sangiovese flavors of tobacco and leather are evident in small amounts but the main thrust is the dominant cherry. Delicious, but I would love to see evolution, say another 5 years minimum. 92 points from me and for the hefty $80 price tag, 4 stars. If you are a cellaring type, this one will rock a roasted Cornish Hen some day. Salut….
I really loved the 2010 Campogiovanni when I drank it last year. So much so that I bought six bottles of the 2012 on spec. It got great ratings (96 WS), was priced right at $45 and delivered free.
This one shows a slight orange tinge when I poured it, which is unusual for such a young wine. The nose is cherry, earthy funk, mushroom, oak and a trace of truffle. On the palate it shows primal fruit flavors of cherry, leather, gorgeous tannins and a juiciness from the impeccably balanced acidity. The tannins deserve a sentence of their own- fine grained, discrete at the beginning, working themselves squarely into the mid palate and reaching a crescendo on the finish. Not mouth puckering, but certainly apparent, very lithe yet powerful. They hold the wine together nicely. The finish has an oak hint to go along with the cherry and game notes. This wine is very young, and holds promise for many years of cellaring that will help it develop secondary notes, maturing into a great Brunello. I can’t wait to taste the evolution, perhaps starting in 2020. I will have to go with 93 points right now and 5 stars. Tonight’s pairing is with a Beef Pot Roast, bathed in Petite Sirah and braised for 6 hours. Salut….
It’s pasta for a quick pre-ballet dinner with my daughter so I needed a quick and easy Italian wine. This one rolled in the other day at $10 so I figured it was worth a shot. The glass shows off a decent color palette of purple that is somewhat see-through. The nose offers red berries, raspberry and some clove. The Sangiovese in the blend gives me some cherry notes on the palate while the Merlot component brings out some plum while adding a bit of backbone to the wine. On the mid palate is where I get a nuttiness, almonds and a touch of oak. The wine has some very dry tannins that kick in on the finish and add a bite to the gums. Acidity is nice and the wine is balanced. I’m not sure I would go as high as the pros with 92, more like 89 points for me. Still a good value IMHO and worthy of 4 stars. Perfect for the midweek pasta dish or perhaps a thin crust wood oven pizza. Drink till 2020. Salut….
It’s a pasta/Italian kinda night here at the chateau so I decided to open a Chianti Rufina to keep with the theme. In the glass, it shows off a reddish hue but not opaque. The nose is somewhat muted but gives off whiffs of plum, some oregano and a dried bark component. The initial taste is an acidic attack with some dark cherry, dried herbs and a touch of oak. The fruit is somewhat cloaked I’m afraid. The mid palate is mostly a tannic affair with some faint fruit notes from the initial attack. The finish is long, with some nice acidity balancing the tannins as well as a dose of Kirsch. I paid $18 for this 89 pointer and give it 3 stars, it’s kinda boring in my opinion- perhaps it’s in a dumb phase. Sangiovese is the main player here folks. Ps. I’m serving grilled Squid, Tortellini and some Zucchini pasta with pine nuts. Salut….
I have said it before, Sangiovese reminds me of Pinot Noir. It looks like Pinot, smells like Pinot and in many cases tastes like Pinot. This particular wine starts off a little different. It is dark, opaque and and brooding.
On the nose, I am confused. Tar, dark fruits and a leather component would make me guess Tempranillo, for sure. The initial tastes confirm what my nose suspected. This wine acts like it came straight from Rioja. Earth, gaminess, dark plums and bramble along with the creosote. It all points to an extraction and aging issue. This wine has been made in a different style that had me fooled. It is delicious, no doubt, but atypical. The mid palate is bursting with blueberry and dark plums along with the earthiness. The finish is more blue than black fruits. Tannins are very lithe, acidity is very mellow and the alcohol level is a mild 12.5%. 89 points from me and 5 stars because you can pick it up for $9! Enjoy alone or with pasta, charcuterie or even veal parmesan. Drink now till 2020. Salut….
Very see-through purple, almost Pinot like. Nose of cherries Jubilee with licorice and mocha. On the palate I get a really nice, smooth intro to some cherry kirsch, a strawberry note and some more exotic spices. The acidity is on pointe here, creating just the right amount of tartness yet leaving room for the lithe tannins to make an appearance. On the mid palate I get more of the same, but with the addition of some mushrooms and a bit of gaminess. It is bizarre. The finish wraps up with the tannins taking control and leaving the mouth pleasantly dry, to the gums. I am really enjoying this rather light, refreshing wine that has some serious complexity. I must go with 90 points and recommend it for a nice summer evening with charcuterie, perhaps some olive tapenade on crusty baguette. For $14 you can’t go wrong. 5 stars and drink till 2024. Salut….
It’s pasta night and I need a Sangiovese. This one happens to be ready to go on my daily drinking shelf and I am excited.
In the glass, the color is a pale, see through reddish purple- reminiscent of Pinot Noir. On the nose, strawberry and cherry, just like Pinot. The palate introduces me to delicious strawberry and capsicum flavors, but I get a dose of heat right away. A quick glance reveals a 14.5% lurker here.
The wine transitions on the mid palate to more strawberries and a red raspberry jam. The alcohol still permeates though and I am not sensing much in the way of tannins, until the very end. The finish is where they appear, very well integrated but lacking a good dose of acidity, just more heat. The wine is delicious, yet unbalanced and I fear it will not hold out well in the cellar, which is a shame as I would love to revisit this one in 10 years. 88 points, the structure and excessive alcohol being detractors. I really do enjoy the flavors though. For $28 it is a 2 star wine for me. Salut….
I just saw the 95 point sticker on the label, it must be good or this particular critic is dead to me…
Dark purple color, from the 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. Lets see what the 50% Sangiovese brings. Olives, plum jam and seaweed hit the nose. On the palate I get a very intriguing flavor. I can’t quite put my finger on it…Black plums, dark, dark stone fruits and perhaps black tea leaves. I am getting a very one dimensional hit of tannins as well. The mid palate is all black tea and tannins. The finish is bitter, with faint notes of black plum and oversteeped tea. I don’t get it. This wine was hyped by a pro, written up by the seller as soft and supple, with gentle tannins. Quite the opposite for me, and bottle variation doesn’t count here. This wine is barely 86 points in my book and for $20 I think I will look elsewhere. 2 stars. Salut….
I bought two bottles from this producer for a grand total of $8. One was a Nero D’Avola and this one being a Sangiovese. I was not expecting much, but really enjoyed the Nero poolside watching my daughter splash around at a hotel we just stayed in. I took no notes but decided I should do so with this bottle now that I am home and not reeking of chlorine.
A pale purple color shows typicity of the varietal as does the nose of faint cherries and cinnamon. I’m not expecting complexity or depth here but am pleasantly surprised so far as the wine comes across very smoothly on the intro and gives some cherry notes along with a cola thing. The wine has more acidity than tannins and lacks any semblance of wood. The finish is decent in length and leaves me with a slightly drying sensation, hinting at some minuscule level of tannins being offered up. Like I said- this is a basic wine. It drinks easily and is a serious contender for a backyard BBQ, a poolside quaff or even a light pizza partner. For $4 or even $6 this wine rocks it and I am giving it 84 points and 4 stars. (I have had far worse wine in the First Class sections of many airlines). Salut….