Our Virtual Wine Tasting group has drunk numerous Pinot Noirs over the past 2 years. This one hails from the southerly Santa Barbara county. I wanted to introduce a different style of Pinot to show how climactic differences and terroir can affect a single varietal wine. I was not disappointed with my choice. This medium-ruby wine had very defined legs in the glass and packs a 14% ABV punch. Aromas of black cherry, root beer, cola, Dr. Pepper, ripe raspberry, cinnamon, nutmeg and a saline note. The palate had medium tannins, medium (-) acidity, a medium weight body and brooding flavors of cranberry, mulling spices, black cherry and a tart cherry finish. 14/20 from me and 91 points for this $20 wine makes it a 5 star effort to drink over the next 5 years. Salut….
I hosted the 14th Virtual Wine tasting last night but this wine was tasted twice. We originally planned to have the tasting a few weeks ago, so I opened my bottle that morning to decant some to taste at room temp and the rest was chilled. The actual group tasting was delayed but I did sample this wine with one other couple. I will reveal the scores at the end, which are somewhat consistent.
The wine itself is a light shade of gold. The nose on the room temp glass gave us apple, brioche, butter, honeysuckle, melon and pears. The palate tasted better than the smell with tangerine, green apples, nuts and pear on the decent length finish. The chilled version showed more minerality on the nose with butter, lemons, melon and a metallic note reminiscent of tin foil. It was noted as being more pungent. The palate was refreshing but I wrote originally that it had less flavor. Subsequently the group noted a touch of oak, green apples and Maraschino cherries.
My original rating was 16 and 13 but last night I docked the room temp version down to 13, and upped the chilled one to 14 points on my scoring system. Overall, both times the wine got a solid 90 points on the official scale and for $23, it’s a 5 star effort that rated 92+ from the pros. Drink till 2025 with all kinds of seafood. Salut….
It’s got a really bright yellow/gold color in the glass. The nose has butterscotch, green apple and melon. The palate is full bodied with a nice round mouthfeel. Apples, pear and some lemon interlaced with a touch of acidity open up for me on the palate. The mid palate is very smooth with more of the same flavors coming forth. I get some nutty notes and caramel on the back end along with the pear and apple melange. It’s quite a complex wine, punching way above its $14 price point. I am thoroughly enjoying it. The mouthfeel is great, the fruit is prominent, the acidity is apparent without cutting too much and the whole package rolls off the palate very nicely. 91 points from me and a 5 stars for sure. If you like Chardonnay, stock up on this one. Drink till 2024. Salut….
My friends and I ordered this Syrah to be tasted at our virtual event- 6 bottles in total sent to various places in the Northeast and Texas. When I opened mine, I was mortified, it smelled like a fish market. I let everyone open theirs and one by one the reaction was similar. I don’t know if we had a bad batch, but all were shipped independently to different addresses and have been sitting for 5 to 6 weeks. I hope this is not indicative of the wine, perhaps a bad barrel. Anyway, for now I would not order this wine. Shame as it was going to round out our 10th wine from CH, I was hoping to finish with a bang. 0 stars. No points allotted. Salut….
Very golden in the glass, beautiful and rich. On the nose I get peach stone, yellow apple, melon. On the palate it’s quite different- I still get peach stone, but the focus is more pineapple, honeydew, lanolin. The mouthfeel is quite full, a nice level of acidity and some glycerin. The mid palate shows off stone fruit and a touch of sour apple. The finish is medium length and continues the theme nicely. This is a good blend of Roussane, Viognier and Marsanne that I would serve with caeser salad, smoked salmon or grilled chicken. 89 points, $14 and 4 stars. Salut….
I have to remember that wine is very subjective, and what I like or dislike is often opposite of others. This one is a perfect example of that. It shows medium intensity in the glass. The nose has that candied oak waft that I don’t like. The palate mirrored that profile so I just spilled the glass and moved on to the next wine bottle at the tasting. A review of the web shows it available for $35. Salut….
I just returned home from my whirlwind Asian tour to find Moxie fixing up some BBQ chicken and veggies. I decided to try this well known California Chardonnay that I have been saving. Straw yellow in the glass it had a buttery nose of apple and lemon zest. More citrus and cloves on the initial with a marked acidity lurking in the background. Quince on the back end with a long finish which I found quite interesting. The wine appears to have undergone Malolactic fermentation with an oak influence, but it is not overdone. Balanced and bright without the flabbiness usually associated with this style of Cali chardonnay. I picked it up for $18 and give it 89 points. It went well with the Barbecue sauce by the way. I would pair it with seafood all day, it would kill a dozen oysters with ease. The wine sits at 13.5% alcohol, so be careful if you plan on sipping it poolside. A good effort from this well respected winery making it worthy of 4 Stars. Salut….
I loved the 2008 Belle Glos and was looking forward to this updated version. It was dark purple in the glass and had a strong nose of cherry and vanilla. On the palate, very extracted and plush. This wine is huge in stature and offers a certain level of complexity yet goes against the grain. In addition to the primary cherry flavors I got plums and berry with some spice on the mid palate. The oak is well integrated and the tannins are very smooth. This wine is neither Old World or New, it goes against the rules and strikes out in a new direction. The extraction bothered me and detracted from the essence of the varietal. Pinot is supposed to be seductive, intricate and restrained. This wine was a like a bull, strong and in your face with the 14.6% alcohol cleverly hidden. I believe it can be had for about $36 and only gets 88 points from me making it a 3 star effort. Salut….
A cloudy looking Pinot in the glass, this is an interesting beast. I have never seen a wine look so unfiltered, yet taste so refined. A whopping 14.7% alcohol was so deftly masked that it can really sneak up on the unsuspecting. A mix of Old and New World styles, I was intrigued by this wine from Santa Barbara County. It showed off an interesting mix of cherry and cloves, a certain spiciness I have never tasted before. Very smooth, I mean like ‘Buttah’. Very well integrated tannins and a juicy acidity leave you with a nice mouthfeel. We drank two bottles and they were identical, no variation. A serious Pinot Noir that is hitting peak and should last another 5 years minimum. At $40 plus, it’s not an everyday drinker, but certainly worthy of a Sunday Roast, perhaps Veal Saltimboca or even a cheese plate after dinner. 4 stars and 92 points in my books.