Medium opacity with good purple color and very fine-stranded legs. The nose is dark. Blackberry, hoisin, raisins and cinnamon. On the palate it’s slightly lighter- sweet black cherries, violets and creosote. Very lithe tannins sneak up on me and the mid palate becomes a mouth puckering event that allows waves of black cherry to mingle with rooibos tea and tar. The tannic grip is further highlighted on the finish. Evergreen, black tea and blackberries surrounded by that astringency take me to a medium length ending that has my mouth watering. Delicious, youthful and cellarworthy. This wine is versatile in its power and flavor profile. Really yummy and worthy of 92 points from me. One pro went as high as 94! Great stuff for $11, a steal really. Drink till 2026. 5 stars for sure for this 85% Grenache/15% Syrah blend. Salut….
A blend of 36% Petit Verdot, 28% Syrah, 20% Cab Sav and 16% Boral (Never heard of her)- got me excited to try this Spanish red that is a medium opacity purple in the glass. On the nose it is reminds me of wild fruit, damson, red licorice and bramble. There is a dustiness that is typical for Rioja’s but I have no experience with this appellation- Ribera del Jucar. The initial palate is really nice with purple fruits galore. Plum reduction, black cherry and really crispy tannins. The structure is very solid with fine acidity balancing the tannic bite. The mid palate has iodine and more black cherry with a touch of charcoal. The finish is long and dry, the tannins starting to get hold of the gums. It’s a nice feeling that I am enjoying for a good 30-45 seconds. I like the combination of the blend, the Petit Verdot giving a nice backbone and some floral hints throughout. Well made and drinkable till 2028 with some pasta, perhaps Strip Steak or even Osso Bucco. 91 points from me and 5 stars for this $13 gem. Salut….
Good blackish color. The nose is smoky, meaty and has hints of fig and charcoal. This 50% Garnacha, 30% Tempranillo and 20% Carignan blend is right up my alley. The nose leads me to a delightful palate of blackberry, more charcoal, some tar and really tight tannins. The mid palate concentrates on the fruit with tasty blackberries and some currant. The tannins are ever-present but not overpowering, they caress instead of attack. There is a juicy acidity towards the finish that reveals a touch of wood. The oak is nicely integrated and gives a touch of vanilla. The finish is medium length and really tasty. I’m digging this wine- 91 points and 5 stars for this $15 effort. I’m pairing it with Bacon Alfredo and it’s on pointe. Salut….
It’s a nice shade of purple, perhaps a bit subdued. On the nose it reeks of Rioja earth, bramble, plum and tar. The palate has a definitive creosote taste that I look forward to in Spanish Tempranillos. Plum, blackcurrants and fig paste all come out on the palate. I get a nice acidity on the mid palate alongside some earthy bramble and violets. The finish is dusty, plummy and dry from the meek tannins that finally show up. They are very well integrated and barely perceptible until the end, well played. Overall this wine leaves me with a delicious aftertaste that I’m enjoying for a good 60 seconds, after having had a mouthful of delicious flavors. I like it, a lot. 92 points from me and 5 stars for this $35 effort. Ps. It got a whopping 97 Decanter points, that’s huge. Drink till 2027 with slow cooked beef ribs, stuffed mushroom caps or a grilled duck breast. Salut….
Medium intensity purple, almost seethrough. On the nose there’s a definitive charcoal note alongside blackberries and bramble. Licorice kicks in a little later after a good swirl. On the palate it’s pretty tasty with black cherry, coffee and more licorice. Tempranillo sometimes has a dusty, earthy component that I enjoy in Riojas, this wine has a hint of that. The tannins grip on the midpalate alongside dark fruits . There is a certain amount of oak at play here, but it’s not overdone. The long finish is a touch dry from the decent tannic kick. More blackberry and some vanilla carry me through to the very end. Drink till 2026 with hearty pastas, steak or roasted chicken- this wine needs food. 90 points from me and 4 stars for its $18 price point. Salut….
Opaque, deep purple in the glass with fast disappearing legs. On the nose I get bramble, iodine and blackberry. On the palate it is very appealing with a gorgeous mouthfeel of lush black fruits, lithe, yet integrated tannins and a nice acidity. The iodine note reappears on the midpalate alongside that telltale creosote that I love in Tempranillo. On the back end it is more subdued with black cherry jam and those delightful tannins finishing me off with a nice dry tinge on my gums. Well made but not long in the cellar. Drink now till 2024 with charcuterie. 90 points and 3 stars for this $30 Tempranillo. Salut….
Dark purple in the glass with decent legs showing. On the nose I get cherry and rhubarb alongside birch bark. On the palate it has an interesting taste- sour cherry meets cherry cola and bramble. It is quite sour too, not from acidity unfortunately. The mid palate is tart, with more sour cherry notes as well as some earthiness and unripe plums. The finish is where I sense the tannic impact, with an astringency that hits my jowls. This wine is one dimensional, lacking in ripe fruits and certainly not worth $20 in my opinion. 2 stars for this 85 point wine. I am at complete odds with the pros here- 94 JS, 91 RP. I must either have a strange bottle or I really need to calibrate my buds. Salut…
Murky, dark purple in the glass. The nose has Blackberry, some funk and creosote. I have a feeling this wine might be off unfortunately. Let’s see.
On the palate, it does taste slightly off. The murkiness of the wine may be a clue. There is a stewed fruit component for sure alongside some really nice tannins. Unfortunate. The wine needs a re-taste, which will happen soon.
Bottle number 2 was definitely showing better in the glass. That murkiness is not apparent, the color a much purer purple. The nose has a perfumed scent, black berry and violets come to mind. The palate is far better this time around. Dark fruits, boysenberry and black olives. The mid palate is fresh and lively with some nice acidity to go alongside the medium tannins. More dark fruit emerges with tapenade and smoky flavors appearing. The finish is quite dry, not astringent at all. The blackberry fruits really shine with some cedar notes. This is a tasty wine with depth and complexity. It has had 10+ years in the cellar and is on pointe now. 92 points and 4 stars for this $45 Tempranillo. Really tasty- it will pair great with Tapas, a Filet or even a toasted cheese sandwich! Salut….
Bright purple, semi opaque. Bramble, earthiness and blackberry on the nose. On the palate I get more black fruits, delicious integrated oak, lithe tannins and good acidity. There is a juicy fruit preserve component on the midpalate that I’m really enjoying. Licorice hits me on the back end alongside chocolate powder, interesting. This wine is not overly built, it drinks well and has some cellaring potential . 90 points and 4 stars for this $14 value. Salut….
Medium color and opacity. Nose of plum, earth and licorice. The initial palate is quite sour, acidic but refreshing with blueberry, plums and creosote. The mid palate is more sour cherry-like with that bracing acidity really taking over. The finish has more cherry than blue fruits and is where the tannins finally appear. Slightly unbalanced but tasty nonetheless. 88 points and 3 stars- $22. Drink now. Salut….