Bright purple. On the nose I get blueberry, vanilla, wafers and sweet oak. On the palate it is fresh, with gobs of sour cherry, rhubarb and blueberry. There is a nice tannic bite that starts off gently and reaches a decent level of dryness without being overly astringent. The sour cherry component really takes charge on the midpalate and the acidity peaks. The finish is quite sour yet refreshing. The oak has long disappeared, the ending being red fruits galore with rooibos tea and crunchy tannins. It’s a decent wine that is a touch out of balance with the heavy handed acidity. It may smooth out after a while. 88 points and 3 stars- $18. Salut….
If you look at my previous reviews of this amazing Bella’s Garden, you will see some differences, and some similarities over the years. This wine has evolved beautifully and the fact that I picked up extras is awesome, for me!
Nearly black in the glass and somewhat surprising with it’s lack of legs considering the monster 15.5% alcohol. On the nose it’s very rich with dark plums, black berries, cinnamon stick. The palate is lush, rich, layered and delightful. Dark fruits meld with extremely well integrated tannins, deft oak and syrupy cassis. The mid palate is gorgeous, bright dashes of those black fruits with a great mouthfeel which balances the tannins with a touch of acidity. This wine is young at 9 years. Primal fruit is still in full force with a great structure which will assure a long cellaring potential and the possibility of tertiary flavors evolving. The finish is long, filled with blackberry reduction and black tea. There’s a nice hint of vanilla on the back end. Great wine. 95 points. 5 stars for this $75 jewel. Drink till 2035. Salut….
To say I am excited about today’s tasting would be an understatement. Many years ago, I discovered this Shiraz in a wine shop in Anchorage, Alaska. The local restaurant also carried it so it was easy to avail myself of this heady Shiraz, the little brother to the iconic Armagh. I have searched high and low for over 10 years, until today. Nestled into a corner of the local wine shop in Hong Kong were 5 bottles. I’m trying this one out and will return for the others if it works out. Here goes….
It has changed with the absence of a cork, replaced with the ease of a screw cap. Fully opaque, dark and brooding… Like I remember. The nose offers up sweet damson, charred oak, plums and lilac. I get a little blackberry jam note as well. The palate is as I remember- rich, deep, layered and chock full of flavors. It’s a lighter, less jammy version of the older ones which makes it a bit fresher and easier to drink. Blackberries, delicious oak, blueberry pie and vanilla all swirl around the palate. There is a very gradual introduction to the tannins, which are super fine grained and not very obtrusive. This wine has a very lush mouthfeel, it coats my gums and palate with delicious dark fruits from the front to the back. The astringency is well in check and there is a touch of acidity that keeps it fresh. This wine is a pleasure to drink, I am loving it. I would imagine it would pair beautifully with Filet and Bearnaise, or you can just sip it alone like I am. 93 points from me for this $38 effort that gets 5 stars from me. Drink till 2029. Salut….
Mataro is also known as Mourvedre apparently…. Very dark and enticing purple in the glass. On the nose there is lush blackberry, currant, oak. On the palate it is straight up delicious. Loads of black fruit, entwined with cloves, bramble and very subtle tannins. The mouthfeel of this wine is phenomenal, very balanced and not overly dry nor acidic. The mid palate shows off some sage brush alongside iodine with the friendly tannins running as well. On the finish it starts to dry up a touch as the grip of the tannins kicks it up just a small notch. Blackberry, Lapsang Souchong tea and that earthy brush are the main components of the medium length finish. This is a really nice drop to drink now or cellar till 2027. 92 points and 5 stars for this $20 wine. Salut….
Very dark in the glass. Nose of black jam, eucalyptus and charcoal. On the palate there’s a rich warm black currant note with lithe tannins and a fruitcake hint. The mid palate is very smooth with a tannic bite that kicks in. The finish is gentler, mid length and chock full of black jam, cedar and a touch of vanilla bean. 91 points and 4 stars for this $29 effort. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Really dark purple, extruded looking. The nose is of lush ripe plums, black cherry and cinnamon stick. On the palate I get a very smooth intro of black currant preserves, black cherry extract and the beginnings of a dose of mouth coating tannins. The mid palate is heavy with the black fruits and tannins. They coat the teeth, the gums. Rooibos tea is the balancing flavor here. Everything else is dark and brooding. The mouthfeel is great, if you like a dry wine. It is not overly tannic, but will most definitely get your attention. The finish is of medium length and focuses on the black currant preserves I got at the outset. Overall a decent drop that gets 89 points from me and would do well with hearty game, roasted meats and even Bolognese. $15 and 3 stars. Salut….
Wow…. super dark and brooding. I get nice, rich blackberry notes with coffee bean and vanilla extract on the nose. The initial palate is thick with black fruit preserves, finely integrated tannins, chocolate powder and an oak hint. The mid palate continues the theme but the tannins start to build. By the finish my mouth is coated with caressing dryness and a blackberry meets tar note. Intriguing. I think this wine will open up with decanting and develop somewhat in the glass. It is young and the potential for it to gain tertiary flavors is definitely there. I would cellar for another 2-3 years and pair it with roast lamb all day long. Delicious, powerful, well made and worthy of 92 points. For $36 it is not an everyday wine, but it gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
Very purple in the glass with a nose of Ribena, sweet oak, white pepper and blackberry jam. On the palate it is smooth, supple and has tons of blackberry, silky tannins, cedar slate, vanilla bean and ripe acidity. The mid palate stresses the vanilla component and allows the tannins to really shine. The finish focuses on dark fruits and the astringency of the tannins. The wine is decent, full bodied and quite tasty. 89 points and 4 stars for this $11 wine. Salut….
I have written about the Mollydooker Two Left Feet 2012 vintage before. I sat on this bottle for an eternity and since we are moving house, it’s time to drink up. I have not read my old review so as not to taint this one.
I must say, all Mollydooker red wines appear dark and very purply in the glass. This one is no exception. Extraction is the key to their success methinks. It has a nose of plums, sarsaparilla, fig. I already performed the Mollydooker Shake in case you were wondering. The palate gives up super smooth flavors of blue fruits. Blueberry, plum, currant jam, that root beer thing again and some super ingrained tannins. Like, so smooth and barely detectable. The astringency hits on the finish, but the wine drinks beautifully with nice, if somewhat restrained acidity. The mouthfeel on this wine is sublime, extracted, rich and smooth. The finish shows a faint trace of the well hidden, monstrous 16% alcohol. Beware…
I am pairing it with pan seared Flat-Iron steak that I coated with Santa Maria rub, plus some sautéed mushrooms, a tomato salad and edamame to boot. 91 points from me for this $25 offering. 5 stars for this blend of 69% Shiraz, 16% Cabernet, 15% Merlot. Salut….
Somewhat opaque but dark purple. The nose gives up candies, plum, oak, cherry pie, vanilla bean. The palate is super spicy, loaded with fruit and very smooth. Plum ganache, mocha, cafe au lait and blackberry preserve round out the initial palate. The transition to mid palate shows off some very integrated tannins, a red berry note and some cedar plank. The finish is mid length and coats the mouth in plum sauce, coffee and chocolate dust. 92 points from me for this $32 effort, which contradicts the pro’s 89, oh well. I liked it and will buy again for a juicy Sunday roast companion. 5 stars for this Shiraz/Grenache/Viognier blend. Salut….