This Merlot is opaque and a dark shade of purple with a gorgeous nose of steeped plum, toasty oak, licorice and iodine. On the palate it offers rich fruit, nice acidity and grippy tannins. Blackberry, plums, charred oak and blueberry pie all hit me. The mid palate is quite smooth with lush fruit interlacing the rather powerful tannins that slightly overtake the acidity. The finish is medium length and quite dry. I sense this wine is a tad young and will drink nicely till 2028. I am roasting up a rack of Lamb with mint sauce and steamed greens- should work a treat. I’m enjoying the softness of the varietal but am surprised at the structure, the tannins just won’t quit. Yummy stuff. 90 points and 5 stars from me for this $16 wine. Salut….
Golden yellow with apple and pineapple on the nose. On the palate- yellow apple, marzipan, pineapple and green melon. Low levels of acidity make for a full mouthfeel. It’s a very nice wine that doesn’t rely on loads of oak, rather it leans on warm fruits, lithe acidity and good length. 90 points. Enjoy with warm goat cheese salad. Drink till 2024. For about $15 it’s worth stocking up on as it gets 5 stars. Salut….
Pale yellow in the glass. On the nose I get watermelon, lime spritz and melon. On the palate it is fruity and flavorful- quince, pear and a buttery note. The mid palate continues the full bodied mouthfeel and flavor profile. The finish is decent in length and offers up some honey alongside yellow apple and more pear. It’s an interesting and tasty wine for sure, refreshing yet it has some depth and viscosity. The malolactic fermentation has given it a touch of butter and flab, enough to notice but not overdone. This wine will pair well with grilled Salmon, Cobb salad or baked Aubergine in tomatoes. Drink till 2024. For $13, this is a no-brainer to keep on hand. 88 points make it a 4 star effort. Salut….
It’s a broody looking Pinot, dark shade of purple and semi opaque in the glass. The nose is clearly New World in style. Ripe cranberry, rich cherry coulis and cloves. On the palate it’s a touch sweet- like cherry jam and pomegranate syrup. It’s got an intense spiciness that I am enjoying to go alongside the sweetness. There is an underlying level of heat that I only sense on the mid palate- the 14.4% alcohol being well masked. I also get a touch of fizziness which is intriguing. The finish shows off some lithe tannins and more cherry coulis. There’s a modicum of oak present that I am enjoying but I also get a touch of tartness, not from acidity, that is nagging at me. Right at the end is where the acidity kicks in on the medium length finish. Overall, not a bad drop to alongside T-Bones and hand cut fries with Bearnais. I am giving this wine 90 points with a drinking window of 2020-2026. No pricing info available as it was given to me by a friend. Salut….
In the glass this wine is textbook Pinot Noir- bright red, see-through with lithe legs. On the nose I get cherry cola, strawberry and faint wood. On the palate it screams New World Pinot with strawberry coulis, bing cherry and delightful tannins that ease into a full blown black tea extravaganza that leave my gums puckered and my teeth thoroughly dry. The mid palate turns a little blue on me with berries and tar. The finish is back to the original strawberry/cherry combo that I love. The finish is long with nice balanced acidity offsetting the tannins. 91 points for this $20 wine makes it a 5 star effort IMHO. Drink now till 2027. I am pairing it with roasted Cornish Hens, baked Sweet Potatoes with Feta and sautéed Zucchini. Salut….
Some more Kirkland Signature wines are on the horizon in my search for value priced offerings. This one cost $10. It shows nicely in the glass with a see-through medium hued purple. The nose is mostly plum with a hint of nutmeg. The palate is very inviting, easy to drink and fresh. Blue fruits dominate with a touch of tannic vibrancy that tickles the gums. Acidity is present and the wine has a really nice balance. The mid palate has a core of plum that carries through to the finish. There’s not much complexity here, but it does serve the purpose. This wine is great value for a Sonoma County Cabernet that drinks easily, will handle burgers, pizza and make an awesome coq au vin. I would buy it up, serving all summer long out by the grill. Drink till 2020. 89 points and 5 stars. Salut….
I good mate of mine brought this over for Thanksgiving but we never got around to it. I am glad in a way as it meant I could devote the proper attention to tasting this well crafted beauty. A quick check of the internet reveals a price of $70- yikes. But damn is this wine good…
Beautiful reddish purple in the glass. A nose of cherries jubilee, spicebox, cedar. On the palate a gorgeous medley of cherries, rhubarb and black berries. Nicely integrated tannins meld well with the acidity and give the mid palate a smooth mouthfeel with notes of cinnamon, more cherry and some espresso. The coffee theme runs into the finish that shows just a touch of acidity and some vanilla. There is a citrus peel component on the finish that leaves it a little tart which is my only concern. Overall a very well made wine which has enough earthiness and an abundance of fruit to pull off many matches, both Burgundian and New World. 92 points from me and 4 stars. I paired it with Lasagne because that was what was for dinner- you can do better with a Coq Au Vin dish, perhaps even a roasted Cornish hen with wild rice. Really delicious. Salut….
I am becoming a fan of Armida’s wines. I wrote about their other offerings previously with the Poizin and my first experience with the Maple Creek Zin 2009. The style is not overly jammy, nor heavy but relies on old vines for complexity and depth. On pouring this rather young wine I noted that it was dark purple in hue with hints of cloves intertwined with plums on the nose. Easy drinking yet powerful with a lithe tannic backbone and entrenched acidity. The 14.9 % alcohol was well hidden but could sneak up on the unsuspecting. As the wine evolved we got a dark core of black fruits with plums on the secondary and lithe hints of chocolate and bramble bush. A nice depth of different nuances made this a very good wine indeed. I believe it can be found for about $35 and I’m going with 91 points, making this a solid 3 star effort in my book. We drank it before a dinner of fresh caught Salmon, but I would go with any red meats, perhaps some olives and tapenade would suffice. Salut….
I am a fan of this winery and have had many bottles of their regular Pinot. I brought this particular wine from home, all the way to Asia and opened it on Christmas day with the fellas before dinner. The wine is labelled a Sonoma Coast product yet it merges Old World Pinot with New World fruitiness. A great cherry component with underlings of earth, iodine and strawberry. The cherry fruit becomes a bit muted on the mid palate and is replaced with red currants and some cola. The mouthfeel is good and the acidity is present but not biting. Perhaps this particular bottle is suffering some jet lag. I think it is somewhat muted and could use a few days to settle down after the journey. I paid $20 for it and am going with 88 points right now. It potentially could go to 90 if it balances out after some cellaring. 3 Stars from me, Salut….
I’m back in Asia, re-united with my partner in crime- The Beave. He brought this highly rated Sonoma Zin from home for us to share. Black cherry and tar with some Asian plums and a hint of oak. Extremely smooth with gentle tannins that caress the mouth yet manage to hide the whopping 14.8% alcohol. A long finish and good acidic structure make this a really good wine that could be cellared for a few years, but why wait? I think he laid out about $20 for this 90 pointer and I am going with 3 stars. Salut….