See through purple in the glass, which makes sense for a Sangiovese. The nose has a pretty floral note to it alongside red licorice, cedar and raspberry. On the palate it is more subdued, less flowery, with crisp flavors of red cherry juice, rhubarb and a dose of black tea. Tannins are rampant, from the get-go, they are quite present throughout the palate and are quite astringent. There is a greeness to the mid palate that is bothersome, but it gives way to more sour cherry on the finish that keeps this wine lively and fresh. Overall there is a slight unbalance between the fruit and the tannins, with the acidity being a touch heavy. This wine is for near term drinking and I would pair with BBQ, perhaps pizza and for sure Moussakka. 87 points from me and 3 stars for this $15 effort. Drink till 2021. Salut….
I bough this wine on its pedigree for $24. Medium opacity purple in the glass with visible legs. The nose has kirsch, raspberry and bing cherry by the boatload. On the palate it is brimming with red fruits, bright acidity and delightful tannins. Young and vibrant- it needs a little time to settle down. It is slightly one-dimensional at this time. I hope it evolves and gains tertiary flavors. The mid palate is more or less the same. The finish is of medium length with more cherry extract and a dose of rhubarb as well as lingonberry. The tartness of which shows up at the end. Overall- a decent wine that gets 89 points from me and 3 stars. Cab, Merlot and Sangiovese make up this Tuscan red. Drink from 2022 till 2027. Salut….
Bright purple in the glass. Black cherry and sassafras come to mind on the nose. The palate is very tasty, brimming with Black cherry, cola, and dark chocolate. Very fine grained tannins introduce themselves right off the bat and help to coat the gums very gently all the way through the mid palate and onto the finish. Speaking of the mid-palate, there’s more cola than fruit here along with some licorice. It’s quite nice! The finish is medium length and continues the theme. A very satisfying wine that I am enjoying with pasta and meatballs. 90 points, drink till 2025 with anything Italian! For the $13 price tag, you need some of this 5 star wine. Salut….
A few of these came across my desk at a reasonable price so to speak. I had to try. Quite a dark shade of purple in the glass. The nose is fresh, plummy and hinting of Ribena. The initial palate gives me quite a biting dose of plums, tannins and acidity. All at once. It kinda made we wince. The label says this wine is unfiltered, has a 14% alcohol and contains sulfites….
On the mid palate is where it opens up, adding some black currants and nutmeg to the mix. The tannins are searing however and this wine needs some time in the cellar. The finish is woody, with that astringency of young tannins. Strong black tea comes to mind. As does an old oak barrel. I like this wine, it has potential. I would decant/aerate the hell out of it if you want to drink before 2020. It will last a good while after that and hopefully mellow down some. I am giving it 90 points and 4 stars for the $20 I had to fork over for this 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Sangiovese blend. It got 93 points from the pros, so there is that. Think hearty stews, beef rib or even eggplant Parmigiana for this heavyweight. Salut….
The second wine of the Birthday dinner at Chez Francois. This one was stunning. No notes were taken but I remember thinking that this is what being a wine lover is all about. Near perfection in the bottle. Rich, ripe, sumptuous, balanced, maturing yet showing youth and verve. This wine blends some Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc with the majority Sangiovese. It gets 94 points from me and 5 stars, even with its $125 current price tag. I believe I have one left in storage and will look forward to the next opportunity. Paired beautifully with Lamb Chops. Salut….
It’s pasta for a quick pre-ballet dinner with my daughter so I needed a quick and easy Italian wine. This one rolled in the other day at $10 so I figured it was worth a shot. The glass shows off a decent color palette of purple that is somewhat see-through. The nose offers red berries, raspberry and some clove. The Sangiovese in the blend gives me some cherry notes on the palate while the Merlot component brings out some plum while adding a bit of backbone to the wine. On the mid palate is where I get a nuttiness, almonds and a touch of oak. The wine has some very dry tannins that kick in on the finish and add a bite to the gums. Acidity is nice and the wine is balanced. I’m not sure I would go as high as the pros with 92, more like 89 points for me. Still a good value IMHO and worthy of 4 stars. Perfect for the midweek pasta dish or perhaps a thin crust wood oven pizza. Drink till 2020. Salut….
I just saw the 95 point sticker on the label, it must be good or this particular critic is dead to me…
Dark purple color, from the 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. Lets see what the 50% Sangiovese brings. Olives, plum jam and seaweed hit the nose. On the palate I get a very intriguing flavor. I can’t quite put my finger on it…Black plums, dark, dark stone fruits and perhaps black tea leaves. I am getting a very one dimensional hit of tannins as well. The mid palate is all black tea and tannins. The finish is bitter, with faint notes of black plum and oversteeped tea. I don’t get it. This wine was hyped by a pro, written up by the seller as soft and supple, with gentle tannins. Quite the opposite for me, and bottle variation doesn’t count here. This wine is barely 86 points in my book and for $20 I think I will look elsewhere. 2 stars. Salut….
Have you ever had Ribena? That is exactly what this blockbuster looks like in the glass. It is a 100% Merlot from Tuscany that got huge marks from some pros. I bought in on the hype and could afford the $20 entry fee.
The nose is rich with blackberry and stone. The initial taste is really delicious, with more black berries and plum mixing it up with gorgeous tannins and acidity. I also get smoky mineral notes. These flavors transcend the mid plate and meet up with dried blueberry on the finish. The tannins are lush in this wine and give off a nice mouthfeel all the way through the finish.
I must be missing something about the 97 points given by an Italian critic, for me this is a solid wine that should get 90. For the price paid it is a really good Merlot that I will be serving with Sunday Roast- 4 stars. Salut.
I’m in Japan and wanted to enjoy something red in my hotel room. I found this bottle at what looked like an Import Gourmet shop. I paid 1280 Japanese Yen for it, but it can be found for $8 USD. The notes: See-through pale purple that gives away the extraction of this wine. On the nose- subdued hints of dark cherry fruit and a touch of leather. Very hard to discern from a straight glass (no wine glasses in the hotel room!). On the palate I’m getting some black fruit and telltale Sangiovese notes. The wine has a refreshing acidity and a slight dryness from the well camouflaged tannins. The finish is short but decent, leaving behind some tannic components that grip the gums. This wine is relatively light in extraction, easy to quaff and a decent sundowner. 84 points make this a 2 star wine. Would I buy it again? Negative. Salut….
Mixed emotions on this one as I have opened three bottles on different occasions before coming to a conclusion. It was rated very highly when I bought a case of this 50/50 blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. I would not normally drink such a blend, but with a nice write-up, what the heck. Firstly, this blend does not work for me, secondly- my initial bottle was tremendously disappointing. Thin is the descriptor that comes to mind. This wine had nothing going for it. Sangiovese is well known in Chiantis and is regarded as a light grape. When mixed with the powerhouse Cabernet, neither grape got a chance to shine, merely masking the power of the Cab, and totally drowning out the Sangio. With 6 years of age, there could have been some secondary flavors starting to develop, but I sensed none. The nose lacked any formal fruit, and the tannins were a little screwy. Over a period of three hours, it did develop some Strawberry hints on the mid-palate, thanks to the Sangiovese, but nothing really powerful. Bottle two was a bit better as there was a definite delineation between the two grapes. I could make out some of the nuances of each but still had a hard time with the winemakers choice of blend. Bottle three was by far the best and was actually pretty good. I detected telltale fruit on the nose, the midpalate seemed right and the tannins were present but unobtrusive. Overall this wine is a major letdown and a big pass. 2 Stars, and only because the third bottle came through for me. As for a formal rating, I cannot even dream of what it deserves, perhaps an 80-88 depending on which bottle you get stuck with. Wish me luck on the remaining 9……