Pretty dark and broody in the glass. The nose gives me leather, smoke and a touch of oak alongside dark plums. The palate is a bit obscure, the fruit is battling with a volatility that’s throwing me off. I do get Charcoal, blackberries, more plum and that smoky leathery component. It’s a rather interesting combo that really takes off on the mid palate, where the wine finally comes together. Medium grade tannins don’t punish the gums but give the wine a nice structure. They caress over the decent length finish that has a long, dry presence to go with the black berry and charcoal notes I tasted. Overall this wine was much better on night 2, after the Virtual tasting #6. I’m going 89 points and for $29 it gets 3 stars. Drink till 2024. Salut….
Typical for the varietal, it shows a semi opaque light purple color in the glass. The nose is stunning- cherries, cinnamon, blackberry. On the palate this wine is fruity, New World in style but somewhat restrained. Red fruit galore, some pepper and a hint of upfront acidity. The midpalate gives me cherry jam, some cedar and an intro to the very lithe tannins. This is some lip smacking juice people, absolutely delicious with a very nice mouthfeel and great balance. The finish is medium in length, juicy with some sour cherry and mid length. For $30 this is a great Pinot from one of my favorite wine making regions, the Russian River Valley. 92 points from me and 5 stars, buy it by the case. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Inky purple in the glass. I am really hoping for an extracted powerhouse, that’s what I am in the mood for. The nose has black currants, a hint of oak, some cinnamon and fig paste. On the palate I am ecstatic- it is full bodied, tannic and surely a mouthful. Black fruits intertwine with the brooding tannins, mouthwatering acidity and smoky notes. A great level of balance even though this wine is very tannic right now. It needs several years in the cellar to soften unless you need a dry wine right now, or have a Vinturi to run it through. The wine later exhibits some black cherry and eucalyptus, only to be overshadowed on the finish by the tannins. I think this wine will develop nicely and am going with 91 points. For $24 it’s hardly a steal but gets 4 stars from me. Pair now with hearty game, Prime Rib or a char-grilled Porterhouse. Salut….
My dad opened this one up for Christmas dinner. What a stunner! Bright yellow in the glass with a touch of gold. On the nose it is amazing. Pineapple, citrus, nutmeg, lemon curd. On the palate it exhibits a very smooth intro to lemon meringue, green apple, lanolin, butterscotch and touch of brioche. It has a very balanced level of acidity that gives it great structure and finesse. This wine is really good, pricey at $95 it’s worthy of 4 stars because it gets 93 points from me. I can’t even imagine pairings with this wine, it’s so good all by itself. Drink now till 2020. Salut….
From Sonoma, a Cabernet I have heard of but never tried. Purply and dark in the glass it shows promise of power and extraction. On the nose I get cassis, blackberry, ripe oak and a funk I hate to think might be cork taint. The wine itself tastes a little off. I get blackberry essence, ink, crunchy tannins and a hit of toasty oak. The mid palate has a really defined tannic dryness that I am enjoying. More black fruits come around for the finish as well as some espresso, cocoa powder and the omnipresent tannins. They really are persistent. Overall I think this wine has good potential and will cellar well, my only concern is with this particular bottle. I have been lucky not to have many corked bottles over the years, but it happens every once in a while. Technically speaking this one is an 86 point wine but has the potential to rise to 91 if it were not faulty. A shame really for this $43 effort. I’ll go with 4 stars as a compromise. Think steaks, au gratin and creamed spinach for a pairing. Salut….
Dark purple, but not as ‘heavy’ as I was expecting. A nose of black currant and blackberry with hints of vanilla. On the palate- really soft and supple profile that offers up delicious black fruit sorbet, juicy acidity and very fine grained tannins. This wine makes my mouth water, it’s bizarre. I am really enjoying it! The mid palate is more down to earth with plain Jane blackberry and some oak. The finish gets ramped up with the tannins that linger for a long time while more dark fruits emerge. This is a tasty little number that begs for Osso Bucco, eggplant parm or even a hearty stew. 91 points from me and drink till 2022. All yours for $12 which makes this a 5 star wine. Salut….
No nose- I’m sitting in an airplane with a plastic cup. The initial impression I get is of mellow plums, really nice acidity and some earthiness. The mid palate is generous with the dark fruits and I am enjoying the very mild dryness the tannins are giving. On second thought, it is really packed with plum flavors. The finish is shortish but tasty. The strength of this wine lies on the generous mid palate, which is where the flavors and technical components all seem to materialize. Considering I am cooped up in a pressurized tube I think the winemakers have a winner here. They have crafted something I am really enjoying. 90 points and kudos. I paired it with pasta and meatball, courtesy of United Airlines. For $19 this wine gets 4 stars and is widely available. Salut….
From Sonoma comes this delicious Cabernet Sauvignon that got great reviews. I was excited to try it when I saw the bottle and was not disappointed.
Dark purple in the glass with a nose of red berries, a touch of oak and some cinnamon. On the palate, red fruits, bright acidity and some cola. On the mid palate , a hint of sasparilla, some eucalyptus and the ever present sharpness of the acidity, now with some offsetting tannins. The finish is decent in length and gives off strawberry notes with vanilla overtones. Overall a nice wine for the short to medium term. 89 points and for $18 it should be on your radar. 4 stars. Salut….
I was recently in an airport lounge and saw this wine being offered. I am a fan of the winery since our visit there in 2015. If you are ever in the area and want to enjoy a nice tasting, fun staff and cool dog I suggest you visit Alexander Valley Vineyards.
Nice rich purple in the glass with a nose of eucalyptus and plum jam -maybe blackberry reduction. The initial taste is super smooth. I mean seriously smooth, with blackberry, nutmeg and tobacco flavors. This wine has a seamless transition from front to back. Amazing and extremely balanced. I’m loving it. 92 points, which is high but this wine is drinking on pointe and deserves credit for its immediate satisfaction. It may cellar for another 3-5 years but why wait? I found it online for $15, but MSRP is around $22. They blended a touch of my favorites in for color, aroma and balance. Merlot at 6%, with a touch of Cab Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. For sure a 5 star wine, stock up and serve alone or with pretty much all the classic red wine pairings. Salut….
With no varietals mentioned on the label I took a chance on this $30 offering that was on BOGO at the local. Brooding nose of black fruits and chocolate dust. Mouth of ripe plums, cinnamon, ganache and green pepper (kinda strange I know). Rich acidity and mellow tannins. 88 points from me and 2-3 stars. Not sure yet, perhaps it needs some time. This wine hails from Sonoma and I suspect it is loaded with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Salut….