Medium ruby colored- this 14.7% ABV Zin has got thick, globby legs in the glass. The nose has pronounced aromas of stewed blackberry, prunes, blueberry compote, walnuts, vanilla, cedar and spice box. I like the tertiary notes of this developing wine. The palate is dry and fully bodied with well integrated tannins and juicy acidity. The flavors are delicious and pronounced as I swirl the nectar around my mouth, sucking air in to boost the flavors. The finish has a touch of heat on it but still shows lovely fruit flavors for a medium length finish. The alcohol is a bit of an unbalanced distraction that will cost a point or two. This $40 wine gets 91 points and 4 stars from me. It is really good all by itself but may pair well with grilled Picanha steaks or roasted duck with a cherry reduction. Drink till 2025. Salut….
Pale ruby, this see-through Pinot has beautiful color and watery legs in the glass. The nose is stunning- pronounced aromas of strawberry cobbler, red cherry, cherry cola, dusty wood, raspberry and red licorice. The palate is very smooth with a great expression of strawberry, cherry, raspberry, red cola and licorice with that sawdust-like earthiness. Very lithe tannins balance a medium acidity making for a mid weight mouthfeel that goes on and on. The finish is a touch tart and juicy but has great length. The thing I like so much about this varietal is it’s ease of drinking when young yet it has great aging capacity if made properly. This one is only 4 years old but will go on until 2030 at the least, pairing with roast pork, grilled Cornish hens, eggplant parmigiana or even a peppercorn filet mignon. It is seductive and lithe yet complex and mysterious. Delicious expression of the grape that gets 92 points from me and 5 stars for its $32 price point. Salut…..
This Pinot is quite dark and extracted. The color is damson red/light purple but it’s nearly opaque. On the nose it brims with New World goodness- cranberry/cherry jam, spicy cinnamon and Christmas fruit cake. On the palate it is full bodied and not ashamed to show off the fruitiness it’s been holding back. Layers of red jammy delight, spice box, a touch of leather and some oak greet me right off the bat. This wine continues the rich theme onto the mid palate where I get acidity, just a touch. There is barely a trace of tannic grip but I am enjoying the richness of this wine so much I am not worried about any astringent accents. The finish is medium length and shows off yet more red fruit. If you like a rich Pinot, this one is right up your alley. I usually like them much more restrained, but this one simply knocked my socks off. I am a fan- 93 points for this $36 wine make it a 5 star effort to be drunk by 2024. Salut….
This was the first wine of my Second Lockdown Virtual Tasting. It was the only white in the lineup, so it had to be a Chardonnay from California. I instructed everyone to chill half the bottle and reserve the other half at room temperature. We were going to do an experiment.
The wine is a nice golden color in the glass. The nose of the chilled wine had pear, apple and citrus notes. On the palate it followed the theme with some nice acidity. The finish was decent in length and showed off that Apple/pear combo nicely. I had researched whether this wine had undergone Malolactic fermentation but could not find proof from any literature, except to assume it had as the winery mentioned one other Chard in their portfolio that specifically did not go through Malo. The wine was quite sharp and lacked the telltale butter notes of the secondary fermentation, I’m baffled.
Anyways- we then tried the same wine at room temp. Huge differences with flavors and mouthfeel. The experiment worked, the point being that most pros taste whites at room temperature and we needed to see the differences. Besides the fuller body it included less citrus, more pear and apple, alongside a touch of baking spices. The wine drank beautifully for me and I gave it 91 points. I would pair it with summer salad, prawn cocktail or blackened Salmon and drink till 2026. $20 gets it 5 stars. Salut….
A darker shade of purple for Pinot, but see through as expected. The nose screams New World with strawberry, cherry pie, pecans. I know- strange descriptor. On the palate it is silky with bright red fruits galore, cherry cola, sasparilla and juicy acidity. The mid palate shows off the strawberries and tart cherry. The acid starts to peak. There’s a trace of tannic grip as we enter the finish. Overall it has quite an acidic overtone, leaving my mouth a bit puckered. It’s tasty mind you…. I like it but the $77 price is a little off-putting. 90 points from me and 3 stars. Drink till 2027. Salut….
I wrote about the 2016 Failla recently so it was interesting to sample the younger version. Strawberry coulis nose from this darker red Pinot Noir On the palate I get raspberry, strawberry and crunchy tannins. The mid palate has a pepper component alongside bing cherry. The finish is medium in length with that strawberry core flavor returning. The acidity is decent and the mouthfeel is good. A touch young- it could benefit from some cellaring. Drink till 2029. 89 points $39 make this a solid 3 star wine. Consistent with the previous vintage. Salut….
I stepped into a wine store in Cali where they had an extensive list of wines available to taste. I took the opportunity to do so, but my notes were rushed and very brief, please bear with me.
Very new world Pinot Noir on the nose- strawberry, cherry. Very light on the palate but tasty with red fruits, very lithe and fresh. There is a tartness that presents itself on the medium length finish that I am enjoying. 89 points from me for this $34 offering make it a 3 star wine to drink now through 2021. Salut….
I wrote about this wine back in 2012 (Cosentino Reserve Sonoma), with a note to re-taste in 5 years. The wine is transparent, light purple, seductive. The nose is fresh, with strawberry, barnyard and raspberry. On the palate it is super smooth. The strawberry coulis is forefront with red berry extract and a caressing tannic structure. Acidity is perfect and the wine balances itself all the way to the rather long finish. I would imagine this wine is approaching peak. It has hints of tertiary flavors while maintaining the freshness of the red fruits. It has a good backbone and the structure is there to allow for further development. I would drink till 2026 and pair it with game, poultry and perhaps Filet Mignon. It is a rather delicate profile, sexy and lithe- not a brooding, big and bold wine. I am sticking with 92 points and 5 stars. Salut….
The last time I wrote about this winery was over 4 years ago, on the Russian River Valley 2009 David Noyes Pinot Noir. I loved it then and gave it high marks, so when an opportunity came along to get more from this winery, I jumped.
Picked up a case of this a while back and never got around to rating it. One thing I have noticed about every bottle I have opened is the amount of crystallized Tartrates in the bottle. What the heck are those you ask? The crystals form when the tartaric acid in wine combines with potassium under cold temperature conditions forming potassium bitartrate. It’s basically Cream of Tartar used in cooking or baking. It doesn’t look pleasant, nor does it taste very nice, better to decant the wine if you see some in the bottle.
I wondered how this was possible as the wine was not cheap, I suspected some very cold storage or transportation issues. Either way, it won’t hurt you and is actually proof that the winery has not “cold stabilized”, filtered or messed with the wine too much- this is a good thing.
So, back to the vino itself- pretty good stuff. Made in a more restrained style, it shows good California fruit, balance and the ever-important acidity. The use of oak is very gentle here, not chewing on a wood stick, no butter, just straight forward quality of the Chardonnay grapes. The pro’s gave it 89, I am adding my two cents with a 3 star review. Would I buy it again? Perhaps, if on sale.