Lighter in the glass than I was expecting but the nose- wow. Black berries, spice box, vanilla. On the palate there’s tons of spiciness, cedar box, black fruits, cinnamon. The bite from the acidity is pinpoint, tannins are very lithe. On the finish I get maduro, black cherry and more vanilla from the wood dressing this wine has been graced with. Very tasty Grenache, Syrah, Mourverdre blend. 92 points and 4 stars for this $54 wine. Drink now till 2024. Salut….
See-through purple. Nose is enticing with ripe blueberry, cocoa powder, mint and a touch of oak. The palate is very interesting with plum ganache, blueberry pie, cacao and super fine grained tannins. The mouthfeel is delightful, with some pinpoint acidity. The mid palate is ripe and rich, layered with espresso bean, vanilla and more oak. The finish is long, dry with tannins and mouthwatering with blueberry. 91 points and 5 stars for this $25 blend of Syrah (71%), Grenache Noir (15%), Cabernet Sauvignon (8%), Cinsault (5%) and Viognier (1%). It was a gift, but I will be buying more. Delicious stuff for immediate drinking or cellaring till 2023. Salut….
It’s a murky purple with a hint of bricking, not unusual for an 11 year old wine, but not likely for a CDP. The nose gives it away I’m afraid. This wine is over the hill, cooked. Aromas of stewed prunes and bacon hit me right away. I managed to coax a little plum out of the melange, but I was searching for it. The gaminess is a little much for me. On the palate there exists a port like profile. It smacks of dark fruits, cooked plums and blackberry jam. It is not a bad experience, just a shame really. This wine has some very interesting components that were probably on pointe a few years ago. I cannot determine if it is really over the hill (doubtful considering the heritage) or has been improperly cellared (it was a gift to my father). Either way, I cannot imagine this to be representative of the wine and will therefore pass on scoring this $50 effort. Sucks. Salut….
In my continued quest to to discover Portuguese wines, I have come across this $14 effort that piqued my interest. It is an equal blend of Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira, Syrah and Alicante Bouschet. My first hint is the 14.5% alcohol. The second is the deep, dark purple color in the glass. Both, to me, indicate an extracted, powerful wine that will grab me and not let go. I’m ready for it.
On the nose, I get the telltale Syrah notes- Plum, oak, cocoa. The wine has amazing ‘legs’ indicative of the alcohol content. The initial taste is as predicted, full on, powerful and alluring. The wine starts off with black berry, black currants and a delightful set of tannins that prop the wine up rather than detract from the fruit. The mid palate shows off more dark fruit and some earthiness. Tannic structure is great and they start to peak on the finish where menthol and anise flavors intertwine with berries. I am digging this wine and like the flavor profile. It has the correct structure to age for 2-5 years and is drinking well now if you like them a touch dry. I have to go 90 points and 5 stars for this wine. Salut….
Dark yet opaque purple in the glass. The nose is lush with blueberry, coffee, cedar. The palate is delicious- meaty, with blue fruits, crunchy tannins and a cutting acidity. The midpalate incorporates some black currant and smoke with the blueberries. The tannins, omnipresent are really gripping at this point. They don’t surrender, dominating the finish which has remnants of blue fruits and a charred oak note. I like it. 90 points and 5 stars for this $20 effort. Salut….
A reasonably priced number that hails from France, the Rhone Valley to be more precise. It is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre typical for the region. I bought it on sale for under $10, but it normally sells for $15.
A very pretty medium depth purple color bodes well! On the nose I get raspberry, spice, a hint of smoky oak and some bacon fat. The initial palate suggests more of the same, which is really a treat. I enjoy all those flavors melded together. The tannins are really nice, juicy and not too dry. They complement the fruit and don’t overpower. This wine has a great feeling mid palate, with some cassis, black olives and more raspberry making appearances. The finish is nice, longer than expected and offers an oaky tinge along with the fruit and tannins. I have to say, this is a really good wine, far more complex than the price would allude to, far tastier than I imagined and it has some short term cellaring potential to boot. I am drinking it with some Broccoli Cheddar soup, which seems to work really well. It would pair great with some thin crust brick oven pizza, perhaps even a Beef stew. I have to go 91 points, which is above and beyond the rating I saw, and award this wine 5 stars for sure. I wish I ordered more. Salut….
It’s not often I get to drink a 17 year old wine, but I received two bottles of the 2000 St. Thomas recently. Given to me by a cousin and hand carried by my uncle half way across the globe. I was very gentle in opening the bottle, using my Two Prong Puller to prevent any cork failure. There was none, in fact the cork looked very good. The wine has a burnt hue to it, a slight bricking which is expected at this age. It is pretty dark though which is interesting. On the nose I initially got a dank whiff which has since blown off. I now get a fresh dose of plums, some tobacco and espresso bean. The palate is wonderful- soft, flavorful, balanced and easy to drink. Flavors of black berry, toasty oak, cherry, leather and cassis all hit me in layers. The mid palate offers up the tannins, bone dry and and still a force to be reckoned with. The acidity is juicy, yet not tart- balanced. The finish is long, with loads of tannin, dark fruit compote and more of the coffee/tobacco that I got on the nose. This wine believe it or not, is young. I see room for more development, more mellowing and believe the structure is there to hold it all together. It is a delicious, dry wine that begs for charcoal grilled Filets, which is what I am going to cook. An amazing wine from a distant relative’s winery that is excellent in every facet. 91 points from me for this vintage. I have no idea on price but newer vintages are running $22 and are equally delicious, even in their relative youth. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. I would give this wine 5 stars for sure. See my reviews of other St. Thomas vintages. Salut….
It was three years ago that I reviewed the 2006 Piggott Range Syrah from Clarendon Hills. I was blown away and am continuing to enjoy their wines. I bought a bunch of different wines from the winery and have been watching their evolution for some time now.
This time around this wine still shows a nearly inky black color, with no signs of aging. On the nose I get -“Oh my”. Seriously, my first whiff was heavenly. Thick plums, blackberry syrup and a touch of oak. It’s making my mouth water before I have even tasted it.
On the first taste- super smooth introduction to some delightful plums, cassis and blackberry pie. This wine is powerful, yet not jammy. I have always said that Clarendon Hills does Aussie wines in a French style, hence the name Syrah versus Shiraz on the label. The latter from Downunda usually indicates a big jammy thing. The Syrah style is more elegant, less in your face, but they can still be powerful wines- like this one. The extraction is near perfect here with lots of fruit, but not overly done. The mid palate is more cassis but with a touch of enticing heat popping up. The finish is a continuation of the black fruits with a touch of tannins. This wine is 11 years young and shows no sign of letting up. The transformation has begun and there are tertiary flavors starting to evolve. This wine has the backbone and structure to last a fair while, probably till 2030 in my mind. I’m serving it up with Filet Mignons and grilled leeks plus a creamed Kale dish. It would certainly rock a leg of lamb grilled to a pink center with a charred edge. I think this wine has improved and I am giving it 95 points, my previous tasting being so different! The pros range this one from 92-98, an amazing score. It’s currently running $150, which is an astronomical price, but it is a holiday weekend and I am grilling Filets! 5 stars because this wine is just so awesome. Salut….
I just recently had a birthday, not quite the big one, but just shy. I had a few mates over for what turned out to be a large night. We hit many regions and varietals, really hard. Anyway, this was a gift from one of my South African friends, I did not drink it that night, saving it for a proper tasting night. I’m glad I did!
A pretty purple color. Gorgeous nose of blueberries, oak, plums and leather. The initial taste consists of a very smooth dollop of blueberries, some fig paste and a dash of funky dryness that I can’t pinpoint. Tannins are well integrated but there is a nagging bitterness that troubles me. The midpalate has some very nice plums, a generous dose of acidity and some oak. The wine finishes strong with a dusty component and more blue fruits. This wine has a nice ‘spice meets leather and earth’ combo. I’m digging it if not for that irksome bitterness at the front end, which drops the score to a 90. The pros went high on this one, up to 94, but the consensus amongst the amateur crowd is in line with my rating. This wine is pricy if bought in the US, $50+, but a very sexy and seductive version of Syrah that should be enjoyed with a nice Filet. 3 stars. Salut….
Very dark purple in the glass. A nose of plum, blue berries and a funky earthiness. The initial taste is of plum sauce, black olive and acai berry. Really interesting. On the mid palate I am getting dark fruits and some fig. It’s not until the finish do I sense the dryness of tannins, with some very slight acidity. This is a tasty wine with good mouthfeel that is drinking well right now and may reward some short term cellaring. 89 points. $22 make this a 3 star wine in my books. Salut….