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….
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….