This Washington State Cab Sav is a murky, dark shade of purple and totally opaque. On the nose I get a whiff of alcohol followed by plums, black currants and cedar shake. The palate starts off with a healthy dose of tannins and black fruit salad. When I say healthy, I mean teeth coating astringency- wow. The fruit flavors are having a hella time trying to get center stage here. The mid palate has black currants and tea notes that are vying for space with the grip of tannins. On the finish it is a very dry affair that is short lived from the fruit. I need to get the Vinturi out and re-try. I picked the right wine for tonight’s pairing- Picanha steaks, which have a thick edge of fat in need of some hefty tannins. This wine has tremendous structure and will cellar nicely for a few years but if you need it now, aerate it or you will be lost in a sea of mouth searing tannins. Overall I think this wine will end up really nice and considering the aging capacity I am going with 90 points. It retails for $23 and gets 5 stars from me. Drink from 2023 till 2027. Salut….
Very rich purple and about 80% opaque. This Washington state Cab Sav has notes of black cherry, black berries and oak nuances on the nose. The palate it is very interesting- sweet black fruit salad with iodine and Kirsch. The tannins are very much present but not obtrusive. The mid palate carries on the black fruit theme, primarily black berry but there is something else…. fruitcake? The finish is quite tasty with baking spices, black cherry and loads of tannins. The acidity is present but the wine is very dry at this stage of it’s youth. I like it and am looking forward to the Flank Steak and roasted asparagus that will pair tonight. 91 points from me and 5 stars for this $29 charmer. Drink till 2026. Salut….
Almost opaque with a dark purple, almost black color in the glass. The nose offers up dark fruit, some earthiness and a meaty note. The palate is really tasty- black cherry, black currants and cola. Really nice acidity and a hint of tannins make for a very approachable mouthfeel. The midpalate really accentuates the black fruit flavors and adds a little licorice and white pepper. The acidity is starting to overtake the tannic grip and the wine finishes with a long burst of black currants, focused acidity and that gamy note I got on the nose. Yummy stuff that needs to be drunk by 2025. I’m baking a Brisket with peaches, should be just about right. 90 points and 4 stars for this $22 wine. Salut….
Pale gold. The nose is sugary- apple juice meets apricot jam. On the palate it’s quite sweet with great minerality, nice acidity and notes of apple cider and green apple pie. A great midpalate with medium level acidity and some mouth filling glycerine. It’s delicious, sweet but not unctuous and has a nice cut with a great, rounded mouthfeel. It would work well post prandial or as an aperitif but I feel it would need some Foie Gras to mellow out the acidity and sweetness. I’m really enjoying it. 92 points and 5 stars- $15 for 500ml bottle. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Pale yellow with a combo of medium and large bubbles. On the nose l get biscuits, some green apple and grapefruit. The palate is medium dry with good fizz. Yellow apples, a touch of citrus and more of that biscuit flavor all meld nicely with the bubbles on the palate. The wine lacks any serious acidity but it drinks nicely at our Thanksgiving brunch. 87 points and 4 stars for this $13 quaffer. Makes a great Mimosa btw. Salut….
This Merlot is nearly opaque in the glass and shows a deep purple color, albeit slightly murky. On the nose I get cranberry, plum and spice box. On the palate it has an upfront astringency that catches me off-guard. Once past that the fruit flavors are very interesting- Pomegranate, blackberry and plum. There is a peppery note as well. The mid palate is quite tannic and the wine gets darker in the fruit flavor department. That spice box I got on the nose plays a bigger part as the wine progresses. The finish is a juicy affair with loads of acidity and tannins. Blackberry notes come through right at the end. I get the impression that this wine is a touch young and could use a few years in cellar. It feels a bit disjointed, with a bit of greeness showing through. I’m enjoying it now but recommend a drinking window of 2022-2026. It’s going with Alfredo tonight, a good pairing methinks. 89 points and 3 stars for this $17 effort. Salut….
This semi opaque Merlot is a light shade of purple in the glass. The nose gives me red berries, cherry and anise- it’s very enticing. On the palate it has a juicy intro with currants, more of that licorice note and some really integrated oak. There is a modicum of tannic bite, but it is very lithe. The mid palate has cocoa powder to go around the currants and some strawberry. Nicely balanced acidity leads to a smooth mouthfeel that is super easy to drink. The finish has a touch of dryness, a hint of acidity and loads of red fruits. This wine has matured nicely for what it is and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It drinks well by itself but I would also put it up against Filet, roast Game Hen or even Lasagna. 89 points from me makes this $25 wine a 3 star effort. Really yummy. Drink till 2024. Salut….
This was our first wine at the #7 virtual tasting event. It turned out to be my wine of the night. Charles Smith makes good wine, and is very reasonable. I’m a fan and was happy this wine rocked.
We tasted the wine at room temp and chilled. I preferred the room temp wine as it had a far wider nose, more generous fruit flavors and was more complex. The chilled version was still very good. Apples, lemon, pineapple and pear notes were recorded with the first tasting while Granny Smith apples, honeysuckle and more acidity were noted with the chilled version. It’s difficult for me to do a proper tasting while conducting the virtual tastings but this wine gets an overall score of 91 from me. At $12 per bottle this needs to bought by the case, 5 stars. Drink till 2023. Salut….
Wine number 3 in the virtual tasting was the ringer. A $15 perennial favorite that is as consistent as the rising sun. This Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington State wowed the drinkers with its intense fruity attack of blackberries, plum, great tannins and balanced acidity. It was an instant hit with friends clamoring to see where they could buy it in bulk. It will drink well till 2025 all by itself or paired with pretty much any meat dish. 5 stars for this 92 pointer. Salut….
Tonight I’m cooking outside the box, chicken livers in peri-peri sauce and some in a Port wine reduction. I’m grilling a pork loin as a backup. So, I needed something white that will take the heat of the spicy sauce, Riesling is the obvious choice.
It’s a light shade of yellow in the glass, the nose is very fresh with citrus, melon, apple peel. On the palate it’s quite sweet, round and full bodied. It’s not as focused and acidic as I was hoping for, it’s more of a salmon or pate on toast kinda wine. It will work I think, but the style is wrong for the pairing.
The palate offers up yellow pear, banana, melon and a touch of candied apple. Not a lemon or lime in sight. The midpalate is really rich, expanding into those flavors whilst the finish is short and sweet- literally. I’m enjoying this wine all by itself, really tasty and easy to drink. I’m going 89 points and 4 stars for this $12 bottle. Salut….