Thursday, September 29, 2022

Apothic "Cab" 2020

Eggplant hue with aromas of ripe black berries, and dark plum, with a touch of spice.

Palate--Awkward first impression with strained identity, a bitter mid palate, tasting a bit like a "kit" wine.

My wife has her girl friends over when I go to play golf and they all prefer red wine. I have told her many times that this particular wine passing itself off as "Cabernet Sauvignon" is your basic *"plonk." She still tends to grab it off the shelf even though there are many alternatives for the same price that actually taste like "real" wine. Try Cabernet based wines from South Africa, or Chile (Concha Y Toro, Casa LaPostolle and a myriad of others) and California from proven vintners like Beaulieu, Buena Vista, and too many others to enumerate.

Whatever you do, do NOT taste this wine and tell yourself you don't like Cabernet Sauvignon. You have NEVER had Cabernet Sauvignon if this is your reference point. That's not being a snob, it's objective reality.  So pass this by and try something else. 

*Plonk--nasty, crappy; wine worth pouring down the drain...

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Mark West Pinot Noir (california) 2021


Young purple hue with light aromas ash, spices, strawberry fruit above the rim.

Palate--Nice first impression with a gentle structure, full of red spring and summer fruit, cherry and strawberry hard candies, and a finish that lingers for a bit.

Mark West tends to make value wines at the $10 price point and they do Pinot Noir particularly well. Don't expect the complexity of a Burgundy at 10 times the price, but the enjoyment and quaffing experience is quite nice.  Raise a glass!

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Leftie Wine Co. "Red Blend" (Thinking outside the glass!)


A tremendously dark hue--so much so that my first thought was this wine is corked! But no, it is just intensely dark with aromas of sweet berry fruit above the rim, loads of cinnamon "red hots" candies,  with ash and savory spices, with more fresh fruit and hard candies.

Palate--pleasant first impression with loads of interesting fruit, yet a nice touch of sweetness and a surprisingly good structure. There is the slightest brush of ripe red raspberry on the rear palate that is both tantalizing and fun AND again, surprising. 

OKAY--True confessions, I intended NOT to like this wine as I have this thing about creativity run amok, fruit wines pretending to even be wine when in my snobby opinion, WINE should be made with GRAPES. Call these fruit "wines" something else. But, BUT, blast it anyway, I really LIKE this wine.  There I said it.  

It is really nice to sip without food, and I wonder how it will pair with my homemade beef stew tonight.  I don't remember what I paid for it but I am going to guess around $9.

At any rate,  shoot, give it a try, I honestly think this will appeal to people who especially insist they do not like red wine etc.  So I am giving it the coveted *"Raise a glass!"  

*I don't know who covets this but hey, it means something to me because I don't endorse crap! :) 

And I just read this at their web site, no wonder I like it, Zinfandel is the base grape!: " Our full-bodied flavor will leave you floating on air. Starting with a fine California Zinfandel, the Red Blend undergoes a secondary fermentation with a squeeze of raspberry juice. The result is a bright wine balanced with notes of dark fruit and toasted oak for a velvety smooth finish."

In case you were wondering...

This blog averages 10-20,000 user hits per month, and I have 1.14 million hits since I began. In the days when I was able to track where the people were from using my blog, they were largely from America and  Europe but I was amazed at the numbers coming in from in some very unexpected places like India, VietNam, Turkey, and others too numerous to list here. 

I have not marketed my blog nor have I monetized it. I have been studying wine for over 45 years and amd a person of humble means which means I drink what most people drink! Yes I do splurge once in a while and I have been treated to some very nice and pricey wines over the years. But they are the exception.

Thanks for your interest and please feel free to leave comments. I am always interested in YOUR experience with wines I have reviewed.

Be blessed! 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Georges Du'Boeuf Beaujolais 2020


Pretty intense hue for Gamay with aromas of strawberries, sweet spiced raspberries and spiced apples.

Palate--Lovely Gamay first impression, with gentle but definite Gamay profile of sweet fruit, with structured foundation and a quick but definite finish of cinnamony fruit.

DuBoeuf was an iconic negociant who died a couple years ago. He had the rare talent of combining  quality with value.  This is one example of many! At $10 raise a glass!

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Chateau La Commanderie Du Bardelet 2020

Decent garnet and purple hue with aromas of milk chocolate, cherry-berry fruit, and a green beam of unripe fruit.

Palate--Tart first impression, with a steely core watery texture, lip smacking tannins, and short and unremarkable finish.

This Bordeaux blend comes with a gold "medal sticker" on the bottle. Sometimes I wonder if this isn't a marketing ploy to make the uninitiated think a wine tastes good when in fact it doesn't. It does not live up to the profile described on the back label not the "Grand Vin De Bordeaux" designation on the front label which used to mean something.

Granted this wine is young, very young, and granted it was only $9, and possibly this will become something palatable in a couple years but right now it is about to get poured down the drain.  I will let it breathe for a while and I will still try and drink it with dinner giving it every chance I can to come around. 

IF there is a change, I will certainly note it here.

*After a couple hours of breathing it is unchanged.  The bouquet is the best part of this wine.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Chateau Seguin 2020


Nice Dark aubergine hue with aromas of plum, fresh dark berries above rim

Palate--Lip smacking tannins, set up the nice berry and plum fruit with a structure that needs some time to into its own. Finishes quickly.

A Trader Joe's bargain at $10 but still too young to be enjoyed at its best.  Gkive it another couple years and it should show pretty well.


Sunday, September 11, 2022

Susumaniello Ruggero Di Bardo 2021

A very dark pour with aromas of flowers fresh cut and put in a bouquet so you get that burst of floral wonder. Lovely sweet powder above the rim with red berries and superior sweet and savory spices blending harmoniously together.  This bouquet is aMAZing!

Palate- Sweet first impression with a spray of berry compote, baked bread,  and a sweet finish with a desire to go back right away for another quaff.

This is another Trader Joe's exclusive made from the susumaniello grape. This may be a first for me and a  new varietal unless it has another name in another part of the world. I love this wine and it costs just $10 which is a steal. Don't let the short stubby bottle dissuade you from trying it.  Do DO and you'll be glad you did!

Saturday, September 10, 2022

La Vie En Rose Cinsault Rosé 2020

Exceedingly pale pink hue with an orange twinge and aromas of very light strawberry/raspberry and a hint of citrus with candied notes of baby powder and those orange "circus peanuts" made of who knows what.  LOL. 

Palate-- slight mineral front with nice notes of fruity, raspberry and strawberry juice with a nice balance with a slightly lingering finish of mandarin orange.

This wine is made up of Cinsault which is a wonderful red blending grape in the wine region of S. France. called the Langeudoc-Roussillon.  If you want to find very reliable and very value priced French wines, this region is king in my book! 

I paid around $10 for this Rosé and it is just lovely. I pared it with the sometimes difficult to pair "Indian" foods with all their great spices and heat. This wine tones down the heat and boosts the subtle herbs and spices in Indian cuisine. Worth searching out and raising many glasses! 

Rosa Dell Olmo "Barolo" 2017

Lighter, garnet with a tawny hue typical of the Nebbiolo grape.  Aromas of Savory spiced cherries, cigar ash, a suggestion of black licorice or anise, with sweet candied cherries above the rim.

Palate--Tart, juicy acidity, angular, with an awkward first impression and clunky tannins.  This is not what one would expect from a nice Nebbiolo. Perhaps it needs more time to breathe. 

This is not a good representation of the fantastic Nebbiolo grape. This wine is just awkward, and a bit unpleasant by itself but while I was ready to completely write this one off, I then had it with a tomato based pasta dish and it was quite a different wine paired with food. This is not unusual; some wines, particularly "old world" wines are much better with food than drinking them as a pool side drink or aperitif. But with the change globally from old world style to new world style (wines that are ready to drink on release) food friendly wines like this one are rarer than they once were especially at this lower end of the wine price spectrum. Still, at $25 this is an over-priced table wine.

Thursday, September 08, 2022

Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel (Contra Costa Co.) 2020


Darker magenta hue with aromas touches of root beer, savory spice mixed with sweet spices and wood.

Thick and rich texture with nice flavors of rich, ripedark berries, loads of sweet and savory spices and a hint of cola.

Cline has several iterations of their Zinfandel. They make a decent production level Zin at the $10 price point and then another "Ancient Vines" Zin from Lodi and this is one I from the Costa Contra AVA of California.  This is my first tasting of this particular Zin and at $3-$4 more This is a little more complex and has a terrific silky texture. At $14, raise a glass!

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Famille Perrin Côtes Du Rhône Villages 2019

Very nice visual of rather intensely pigmented hue of light purple with an underlay of deep garnet accompanied by aromas of raspberry/strawberry pie with savory spice with a touch of sweet baking spices.  Lovely!

Palate--Wonderful first impression of well structured fruity, foundation with plentiful bright red berries, [fresh ground pepper, plum] vanilla and a lot more hiding behind a presence that needs to be breathed for a couple hours.

At $14, this is a very nice Rhone wine and I will gladly grab some more. Raise a glass!

Saturday, September 03, 2022

Reserve De Chastelles Tavel 2020


The hue of this rosê is a gentle watermelon juice hue with a nuanced amber/orange suggestion.  Aromas are muted with lime, raspberry, and sweet cherry hard candies above the rim,   

Palate- Light on the tongue, a nice line of acidity, and tannic structure with subtle raspberry, and a nice lime rind in the rear palate. This rosê finishes with a very subtle reminder of what you just drank.

Tavel was the only region in the world where rosês were being produced that had structure, character, and a complexity you find only in red wines. But then 20 years ago or so, the world started to wake up to how rosês could be made with care into a quality quaff. Rosês exploded around the globe. I have to say that while I enjoy well made rosês I think this may be the best I have ever had! It has many of the traits of red wine yet maintains the freshness and body of "real" wine instead of overly sweet, simple plonk that abounds.

This is an under $10 wine and is a really nice value so raise a glass!

Friday, September 02, 2022

CK Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

Lighter cranberry jelly hue with aromas of cherry berry fruit with touches of fresh cranberries, a touch of cigar ash, and maybe a hint of eucalyptus. (A decent bouquet)

Palate--First impression is a sweet metallic, "hot" presentation, that overwhelms the thin and watery flavors of this wine. Gach!

This is another pretty bad wine wearing the prestigious Mondavi name but it is not the of the order of wine that merits the attention that Robert Mondavi wines did in the past. This wine borders on offensive and is a shame to wear the label "Cabernet Sauvignon" as some people will taste this is determine they hate Cabernet Sauvignon which would be a crying shame. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the greatest of the great wine grapes and are among the most expensive wines in the world. PLEASE do not equate this plonk with honest Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Run from this nastiness and spend a little more to try decent Cabernet. It can be had for $15-$20 and if you have the means to spend more the sky is the limit.  In the arena of $40-$50 you can have "real" Cabernet Sauvignon AND a special experience.