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….
Semi opaque in the glass, bright purple. On the nose I get graphite, blackcurrants, oak and twizzlers. On the palate there are some gentle notes of black cherries, a dose of dry tannins and some black tea to go along with black currants. The mid palate has a cherry cola component with black fruits and that slightly unbalanced tannic dryness. The finish is dry but fresh and packed with black fruit flavors, some oak and a touch of minerality. Decent wine for a weekday. 87 points, which contrasts with others opinions btw. Drink till 2024, 2 stars, $25. Salut….
Blackish blue in the glass that is somewhat murky. On the nose it’s delightful- blackberry pie, yeast, and iodine(strange, but believable). On the palate it has a unique flavor- blackberry meets charcoal. I can’t think of a better descriptor. There’s a vast cask influence here and I’m loving it, not over-oaked but the fundamentals are there. Vanilla, popcorn, coconut. It’s not over done, just a nice, deft use of it to give this wine a unique flavor. The mid palate continues the blackberry theme and the tannins creep up, barely noticeable until the finish and by then- dry gums! The whole package is mouth-filling, interesting, well structured and balanced. I like it, a lot. 91 points and 5 stars for this $19 wine. Drink till 2025. Salut….
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….