Medium strength purple in the glass with a touch of cloudiness. The nose is unique. Raspberries, sweet rhubarb jam, rooibos tea. The palate is yummy, crunchy, a touch acidic. I get dark fruits instead of red, an interesting transformation. Delightfully tannins greet me as we transition to the midpalate of crushed black cherry, graphite, black tea and mouth drying tannins. The finish has a short burst of black berrries, tea and an earthy minerality. This wine is drinking young at 7 years old, it still needs cellar time. Drink from 2023-2030 with Ribeyes or a Penne Arrabiata. 90 points and 4 stars for this $25 Cab. Salut
Very dark purple in the glass. The legs are almost nonexistent, belying the 14.5% alcohol. The nose has sweet cassis, fresh figs and a blueberry reduction. The palate is delightful, rich and smooth. Layers of blackberry, dark cherry, charcoal and anise flow from the initial to the finish. It’s a seamless transition with a nice touch of tannic bite at the end. I’m pairing with Picanha, mashed potatoes and grilled Brussel sprouts. Drink till 2028. 90 points and 4 stars for this $25 Cab. Salut….
This winery is one of the most consistent mass producers out there. I have never had a bad bottle and the QPR (Quality Price Ratio) is always tops. So, when I saw this at my local Costco- no brainer.
We start off with a slightly cloudy medium hued purple. It’s opaque AF though. The nose is lovely- leather, plums, cassis…. I am excited. The palate lives up to my expectations, lovely pure fruit flavors of plums, black currants and very well integrated oak. The mid palate is scrumptious. More dark fruits, some leather and a touch of wood. I will say: There is a very fine grained tannic component that is barely perceptible making this wine delicious and easy to drink now but does not bode well for extended cellaring. The acidity is feint and nicely balanced. The finish is relatively short but tasty, black fruits galore and that touch of dryness. This is a real treat to pop and pour if you can find it (just go to Costco!). It will pair well with many a mid-week meal yet hold it’s own against a leg of lamb on a Sunday roast. I’m really thinking Lasagna is the perfect match. Either way, enjoy this 91 point gem and drink till 2023. 5 stars for sure as you can pick it up all day long for under $15. Salut….
Bright purple. The nose is fruity, vibrant and full of blackberry and black cherry. On the palate- delicious rendition of dark berry compote meets vanilla bean and coffee reduction. The wine exhibits some dryness with slight tannins appearing midpalate. The dryness opens up on the finish and leaves the back cheeks somewhat astringent. The mid plate concentrated on black fruits and the finish carries it through with some cedar plank to boot. 89 points and 4 stars for this $20 blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah and Franc. Drink now with tapas, grilled Pork chops or pasta. Salut….
Number 4 in the line up, it followed a hard act. This is Drew Bledsoe’s brand (NFL QB).
Medium opacity in the glass. The nose starts off with a lot of wood. I swirl and swirl to finally get violet, damson and stone. On the palate it is quite young, bracingly tannic and somewhat shut down for business. What I do coax out of it include plums, fir tree essence, mocha. The finish is very dry and decent in length. 90 points is a decent score for this winery’s first vintage Cabernet Sauvignon. At $60 it’s a step up from everyday drinking wines, but it gets a decent 90 points from me and 4 stars. I would cellar it for a while and drink from 2020-2037. Pair it with some hearty grilled meats, Venison or even Osso Bucco. Salut….
A perennial favorite and surefire go-to wine that delivers consistency, value and widespread availability. It shows off a deep purple in the glass. The nose is full of blue fruit, coffee bean, a touch of oak. On the palate I sense some very lithe tannins that are very ingrained with blueberry, elderberry, cedar. The wine transitions very nicely to the mid palate and the finish gives me a definitive red currant note. The mouthfeel is very smooth, balanced and easygoing, making this a very flexible wine to pair with a variety of dishes. Cheese comes to mind as do the Sirloins I am grilling, with some Steamed Artichokes. The tannins are the longest running portion of this wine, leaving a definitive dry streak on the gums for quite a while. Not a hugely complex wine, it serves its purpose as an everyday drinker, capable of pairing with meats, pasta, cheese or all by its lonesome. Drink now. 89 points and 4 stars for this $14 wine. Salut….
As you may know, I am a fan of this winery and had to pick this up the other day. Very dark, near black and opaque in the glass. On the nose, bright fruit flavors of plum, espresso, tree bark and vanilla bean. On the palate I get a very smooth mouthful of violets, plum compote, spice and very lithe tannins that are very integrated. The acidity is very mild, making for a very soft mouthfeel. Easy to drink, yet I suspect there is some cellaring potential here, I’m just not sure where it’s going. The purple fruits are very prominent on the finish and the wine ends nicely with a dry note. Drink by itself or pair with lighter fare- cornish hens, burgers or a white pasta. 89 points from me. I paid $16 and am giving it 4 stars. Salut….
If you read my post about the Eve Chardonnay, you will know I am a fan of Charles Smith Wines. I couldn’t help myself and bought this Merlot for the tasing.
It appears as a very light purple with low opacity. The nose gives off candied plum, not my favorite profile mind you. There’s a bit of oak in there as well. I am leery going in for the first sip.
All is good- it is a decent wine, not overly oaked and offering ripe tannins, juicy acidity and plums galore. I get Blackberry on the mid palate transition after the initial plum injection. The wine is somewhat one dimensional but it will appeal to many for its smoothness and bracing tannins. The dryness is great if you are into that kinda thing. Overall, refreshing and tasty. An easy going wine that will do well with grilled New York Strip, perhaps a hearty baked ziti. I paid a mere $11 for it and am going with 89 points and 4 stars. You may want to sit on a few bottles until 2019 to see how they develop. Salut….
I am a fan of this winery. They produce good quality wine that is fairly priced. Always a go to in a pinch. I just ordered a bunch for my folks in Florida, they loved the variety that I sent.
This Chardonnay is from Washington state. It exhibits a bright yellow color and offers a nose of apples, pear, a hint of almond. On the palate I get a really creamy mouthfeel with green apple, Bartlett pears and more nuttiness. The flavor profile continues throughout the mid palate and ends up on the finish with some very faint acidity. A very generous and inviting wine, it is really easy to drink and fits the bill when you don’t want something too steely, loaded with minerality or overly tart with acidity. This wine will drink well with Lobster! I think it also could pair nicely with white pizza, fettuccine Alfredo and stuffed Portabello. Drink now as it doesn’t have the stuffing to go for cellaring. 90 points from me and for $12 this is a super amazing 5 star wine. Buy it by the case. Salut….
As I was pouring this wine I couldn’t help but notice the rich purple color, mesmerizing. On the nose I get gorgeous plum meets an oak shaving. This wine smells amazing. There is an intensity to the aroma that is really pure and focused. This pureness continues on to the initial taste. This is a great wine folks. It tastes amazing, has very fine grained tannins, is balanced and has got me grabbing for more. Plums continue to the mid palate and are joined with coffee beans, Ribena and a crescendo of tannins. They really hit on the back end with a really nice dryness that hits my gums in the right way. The wine finishes with cassis, espresso and a swath of tannins, delicious. An extremely well crafted wine that gets 92 plus points from me. I am a huge fan of Charles Smith, his winemaking is always on pointe. In fact, I search out his wines-looking for absolute gems like this one. I paid $13, and rate this as one of my all-time best buys. 5 Stars for sure and I am buying a case. Drink it alone or pretty much with everything from now till 2022. A steal, literally. Salut….