Medium dark ruby. Many use cherry or raspberry to describe this wine's aroma and flavors, but I find it more tart--cranberries, green herbs and terpenes. Cool climate but not enough sun to bring out the full range of Pinot flavors. Donna likes the style more than I do, and reviews online show that the wine is popular. Retail price is about $15 so it represents good value.
Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Deep gold, bright and lively. Very aromatic: peaches, apricots, flowers, minerals. Full bodied and rich. A good combination; Chardonnay sweetens the bitterness of young Chenin Blanc. Buttery flavors counter the grapefruit acidity. Peachy, honeyed fruit emerges as the wine warms. Don't serve this wine too cold; it is best at just a touch above room temperature. For $11 (or twice that much), it is a great bargain.
Monday, September 26, 2022
Very light in color and body. Takes some time to blossom, but then offers up enticing Pinot scents and flavors. Cherries, cranberries, cinnamon, orange zest and black pepper. Peppery flavors, tinged with orange zest, that cling to the roof of the mouth. Tingling acidity. Perfect. At a good stage for drinking right now.
Saturday, September 24, 2022
Deep and dark ruby. Impressive for a 24-year-old wine. Incredibly strong fruit smells and flavors. Black currants, blue plums, cassis and oak. Rich and ripe but also finely textured and elegant. Still going strong in its second decade.
Deep and dark. Good color. Syrah herbal notes beginning to show up along with black fruits and spice. Tannic on the mid-palate and missing a bit of freshness. Australian Shiraz simply lacks the acidity of Northern Rhone Syrah, and that is what many Australian wine drinkers prefer. As far as I'm concerned, the lower acidity makes for a less complex and intriguing drink.
Much lighter than its Australian counterpart, of course. Brickish red but bright and clear. Two hours after the bottle was opened, the Northern Rhone scents begin to develop and grow. Red as well as black fruits, leather, balsamic. Notably acidic compared to the Australian Shiraz, and that is a plus for me. Black olives, cured meats, black pepper. Flavors get bigger and more complex with every sip. Lives up to my Thalabert expectations.
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Deep golden yellow. Intense smells and flavors of lemon, pear and minerals. French oak is also apparent, although not as the star player. Cool climate, high level of acidity, intensity that grabs your attention and clings to the finish.
Monday, September 19, 2022
Saturday, September 17, 2022
Light Pinot color. Translucent. Spicy, floral nose. Cinnamon, cloves, violets. Pretty and inviting. Flavors of cranherry, raspberry, orange zest and pepper. Light and elegant on the palate with a silky texture. Still well balanced. Red raspberries on the long finish. I like this wine.
Thursday, September 15, 2022
Bright golden yellow. The bottle has significant ullage, but I find no detectable oxidized smells or flavors. Still fresh and lively. Ripe pear, melon, spice and a hint of honey. The acidity that I noted when it was young has kept it fresh but has toned down enough to leave a mellow, easy feeling on the palate. Rich and ripe, not sweet. Many subtle nuances on the long and satisfying finish.
I remember buying this wine from Village Corner in Ann Arbor in 1984 or 1985. It was already mature at that time, but Cheryl McMillan of the VC staff told me I would not be disappointed. I was not then and still am not. Wish I had more.
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
Dark plummy color. Blackberries, currants, lavender and cassis.Fruitier and more accessible than a Northern Rhone Syrah. Not very tannic but still a bit rough on the mid-palate. Comes from hillside vineyards on granite soil in the Ardeche region. Ar least for tonight, I would prefer a bit more Grenache berry and pepper. And a bit more exuberance.
Sunday, September 11, 2022
Medium light garnet with orangish tints at the rim. Clear, bright and moderately intense. Exuberant scents of fresh cherries, roses and sweet spices that grow and change shape as the wine airs. The same on the palate along with tones of black licorice and minerals on a long and satisfying finish. Tannic grip reminiscent of Barolo along with substantial acidity that will keep the wine going and growing for many years. The grapes come from the Pugnane Vineyard in Monforte d'Alba from vines planted on clay soil in 1950 and 1997.
Friday, September 9, 2022
Deep lemon yellow, showing its age. This wine is mature, perhaps a bit overly mature, but I love what it offers. White peaches, pears, a hint of almonds. More oak than is usual with Wind Gap wines but it's well integrated. Lemon cream acidity. Finish is long and complex, offering many nuances.
Tuesday, September 6, 2022
This wine, a Trader Joe's bargain, has always struck me as more like a Cotes du Rhone than an Aussie Shiraz. It has lively fruit, medium body and minimal oak tannins, making it easy to drink right now. Tonight, I tasted it alongside a good Southern Rhone, the Famille Perrin Ventoux, and decided the two are really not all that much alike.
Medium ruby, no purple or blue tones. Berries, plums, spice and pepper. Even without the oak influence, though, the tannins in the Shiraz are much heavier and more noticeable than those in the Ventoux. The acidity is markedly lower and the wine is a bit more sluggish on the palate. I like both but still prefer the Southern Rhone.
Sunday, September 4, 2022
Beautiful bright red. Lush and silky. Red berry smells and flavors along with clove and black pepper on the finish. Perfect balance of fruit, acidity and tannin. Carignan and Cinsault are now in the blend along with Grenache and Syrah, but the flavor profile is still classic Southern Rhone, bold, spicy and fruity. Has everything I love in Ventoux red wine.
Friday, September 2, 2022
Deep lemon yellow. Aromatic breadth and depth--flint, minerals, lime. Acidity has been tamed a bit by time in the bottle but stony Chablis qualities are strong. Lemon curd on palate. Mellow and deep with a long finish. I need to buy more Chablis.
Monday, August 29, 2022
Deep gold color. Best when only slightly chilled and well aerated. Scents of honeydew melon and white peach emerge slowly but surely. Same on the palate. Ripe fruit flavors, almost pretty for a Chenin Blanc. Does not have the depth or complexity of a Savennieres but it is very good and drinking well right now.
Saturday, August 27, 2022
Deep golden color but not overly mature. Crisp apple and freshly sliced lemon. More than ample acidity that blends well with flavors and texture of the fish. Hints of butter in the flavor but not the body or texture. Crisp apple fruit on the satisfying finish.
Thursday, August 25, 2022
Beautiful red ruby color. Scents of cherries,strawberries, flowers and spice. Characterisrtic Barbera acidity, almost tart, but countered by firm tannins. Has been matured in French oak barriques. The estate considers this a 5- to 7-year wine, but I can envision greater complexity with at least another year or two of bottle age.
Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Medium crimson/ruby. Vibrant young fruit with yeasty tones. Red berries, earth and pepper. Rich on the palate, well balanced. Lovely now and will improve over the next three years or so.
Deep and dark for a Pinot Noir. Could be mistaken for a Syrah or Cabernet. Has the lilting aromas of Pinot Noir. Cherry, pomegranate, earth and ginger. A big wine, lacks the delicacy that is usually associated with Pinot Noir. But the flavors are rich and unmistakbly Willamette Valley Pinot with a peppery, spicy, orange zest finish.
Sunday, August 21, 2022
Deep, dark Cabernet color. Intriguing nose of dark cherries, cassis, mint and vanilla. Nicely developed for a five-year-old wine. Tannins are ripe and countered by a good level of acidity. Grainy texture that teases the taste buds at the back of the tongue. Long, beautiful finish. At $35, this is still well priced for a California Cab. I am going to put Kenwood Cab back on my shopping list.
Thursday, August 18, 2022
Deep tawny color with amber at the rim. Rich bouquet of dried berries, nuts, dates, figs, toffee and more. Mellow and rich on the palate with amazingly complex flavors that seem to last forever. A pefect conclusion to a fine meal.
Dark, opaque. Duxoup usually incorporates about 10% Cabernet Sauvignon in its Syrah wines, and it shows. Big, extracted smells and flavors. Boysenberries, dark plums. Full bodied with moderate acidity and big fruit flavors that linger on the finish. Not a lot of complexity at this stage of its development.
Monday, August 15, 2022
Dark ruby, the color of Barbera more than Nebbiolo. Dark cherries, blue plums, flowers, black pepper and a hint of menthol. Very aromatic. Full bodied in the mouth but elegant. Acid, tannin and alcohol in perfect balance. No hard edges. Ripe, round and smooth. I could drink this wine every night.
Thursday, August 11, 2022
Domaine du Haut des Terres Blanches Chateauneuf was widely available in my marketing area in Michigan in the early part of this century. I sampled the wines at tastings and bought them enthusiastically. Tasted over the last several years, the 1998 did not meet my expectations, perhaps because of poor storage or transportation before I received it. This 2000 bottle meets my expectations plus plus.
Medium crimson with amber at rim. Bouquet is slow to open but clearly very deep and concentrated. Cherries, red berries, pomegranates and a touch of black pepper. Very concentrated old vine character. Teases the taste buds, then slowly releases flavors that build to a crescendo long after the wine is swallowed. This wine is already 22 years of age but has a long life ahead of it.
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Medium deep crimson. Intense red berry fruit backed by a peppery spice. Full bodied with appropriate warmth but no heat. Very easy to drink but not at all simple. I usually buy this for about $10 a bottle at the D&W online wine sale.
Sunday, August 7, 2022
Friday, August 5, 2022
Dark ruby red, shading to brown at the rim. Beautifully bright. Dark cherries, violets, Mourvedre spice, herbs and even a hint of black pepper that I don't usually find in Sainte-Anne wines.Plush mouth feel. Majestic. Deep flavors that run from front to back, ending in a long, delightful finish.
60 to 70% Mourvedre, 15 to 20% Syrah and 15 to 20% Genache from vines planted in the early- to mid-1960s.
Thursday, August 4, 2022
Beautiful deep ruby red. Dark cherries black raspberries, mushrooms and herbs. Abundant youthful fruit, medium bodied. Acidity seems to be showing more prominently than it did a few months ago but that gives the wine vigor and intensity.
Monday, August 1, 2022
Very light, almost clear. Green apples, pear, lime zest. Medium body for a wine with only 12.5% alcohol. Fewer herbal tones than MezzaCorona and more flavor interest than Giacomo d'Aquino, a similarly priced wine sold at Trader Joe's. Clean, fresh finish.
While the wine is not made for aging, I suspect it would develop some interestring nuances if I kept it for a couple of years. At the price, of course, I probably won't.
Saturday, July 30, 2022
Friday, July 29, 2022
Beautiful dark ruby red, very Barbera. Very aromatic: black fruits, plums, cassis, black pepper and spice. More tannin that you might expect from Barbera but ripe and accessible. Characteristic acidity that blends with, rather than fights, the acidity of the red sauce. Good balance, delicious wine.
Thursday, July 28, 2022
Deep lemon yellow. Bright and lively. Penetrating scents of lemon and unripe peaches. Very concentrated with grip and intensity. 12.9% alcohol; the growing season was probably cool or the grapes were picked slightly unripe. Bracing acidity, maybe a bit much for me, even though I prefer this over the big, buttery style that is more prevalent among California Chardonnays.
Monday, July 25, 2022
Medium light color, shading lighter at the rim. Compelling bouquet of cranberries, pomegranates, flowers and Pinot spice. Irresistible. Similar flavors but the texture is not as smooth as I remember ir from my first bottle two years ago. An excellent bottle of wine and a great value at $15 a bottle.
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Still a good color with minimal bricking at the edges. Smells and tastes like a very good Cbateauneuf du Pape in its prime. Compact like a fruit cake: dried cherries and berries, nuts and brioche. Very intense and very concentrated. A perfect match for grilled lamb with mint sauce: gamey, meaty flavors under lifted notes of bay leaves, mint and rosemary. An enchanting experience. Unfortunately, this is my last bottle.l.
Monday, July 18, 2022
Medium ruby red. Grenache (50%), Syrah (30%) and Carignan (20%), destemmed, vinified separately and aged in concrete vats. Fragrant notes of Grenache strawberry and crushed black peppercorn with a hint of clove. Just right on the palate. Enough tannin to keep it serious but not enough to obscure the beautiful fruity/savory flavors. Peppery spice and berries on the finish.
Sunday, July 17, 2022
Small cork, crusted with sediment but relatively easy to remove. Medium light red/garnet. The bouquet is rich and deep. Caramel, fruit cake, plum, cinnamon and a hint of citrus zest. Even better on the palate. Black licorice and blood orange emerge as the wine airs. Only moderately sweet but rich and complex. A very good vintage port that has aged well.
Beautiful ruby/garnet. Looks younger than 36 years. Gorgeous bouquet of red currants, boysenberry, lavender and purple flowers. The layered flavors are equally intense and expansive. Savory, like a fine Cote Rotie with the nuances that come from old vines and long aging. Fruit, acid, tennins in perfect balance. This is one of the best Syrah wines I have ever had.
Deep lemon yellow, showing some maturity. Intense aromas of lime, lemon zest and wet stone. Intense flavors of lemon curd with a hint of butter. A level of acidity I associate with French Chablis and Oregon Chardonnay accompanied by oak-associated spice. Powerful finish.
Les Pierres ages well. We had a bottle from 1983 that was drinking well in 2021.
Saturday, July 16, 2022
Light yellow with green glints. White peach, pears, flowers, hints of salt and minerals. Fresh and easy to drink--maybe too easy to force you to concentrate on the subtle nuances.
Thursday, July 14, 2022
Deep and dark. Sangiovese cherries, red raspberries and oak spice. Not at all soft: good acidity, medium body and accessible tannins. A good restaurant wine.
Sunday, July 10, 2022
Willakenzie specializes in single vineyard Pinots, each offering up unique qualities.This Estate Cuvee, though, is a blend from several of these vineyards. And it is very good.
Medium garnet. Very open from the time the cork is popped. Red fruits, spice and beautifully ripe flavors. Seems straightforward but aromas and flavors continue to evolve in the glass. Layers of complexity. Black pepper and orange zest on the long, satisfying finish.
Medium light red. Still a bit shy to release smells and flavors. Cranberry, cherry, forest floor and savory spices. Medium bodied with good balance. At this stage, does not measure up to the Willakenzie Pinot from Oregon beside it at the table. I will wait a few years to open the next bottle.
Mary Elke Vineyrds, unfortunately, is now definct, but their wines will live on.
Saturday, July 9, 2022
Dark, deep Syrah color. Still a young wine in appearance, aroma and flavor. Beautiful, expansive bouquet. Black fruits, herbs and spice. Firm on the mid-palate--maybe a bit too firm for my taste--but tannins are fine enough to allow a good range of flavors on the finish.
Not really Rhone or Australian in style but a third approach that works very well.
Friday, July 8, 2022
Medium garnet, showing more age than I would expect from a young Barbera. I also detect some volatile acidity and an off note in the smells and flavors but these gradually subside as the wine airs and warms. Some nice cherry'rhubarb notes emerge along with some earth and leather. Seems mature for its age and a tad rustic, but I like it and will make a note to drink it over the next several years rather than the next decade.
Thursday, July 7, 2022
Medium light color. Incredibly complex aromas and flavors--pomegranates, red berries and orange peel. Intense acidity and subtle tannins to carry the fruit to a powerful finish. Drinking beautifully now, but I suspect it will get even better over the next several years.
Tuesday, July 5, 2022
Even deeper gold in color. Honey, beeswax, quince and pineapple. Followed by ripe pears, apricot and more honey. A remarkable experience.