Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Kuentz-Bas Alsace 2015 White Wine





Kuentz-Bas Alsace 2015 White Wine, $15.99-$18.99, 86 points, was a pale yellow color.
Aromatically nondescript with scarcely a hint of pome fruit and their blossoms.
Light-bodied with good acidity and a faint straight-forward apple cider flavor.
Finished fair on the trailing palate with a balanced 13% alcohol, soft ginger ale flavor, and little else.
Varietals were 50% Sylvaner, 30% Muscat, and 20% Auxerrois (oh-sehr-WAH).
Paired fine with my Maryland crab-cakes and baked North Atlantic sea scallops.

Index-of-reviewed-wines

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Bersano 2016 Gavi (DOCG)





Bersano 2016 Gavi (DOCG), $8.49-$18.99, 90 points, was a light glossy gold color.
Aromas were shy, but lovely white pepper and a candied-floral vibe pleased.
The light body with good acidity was sleek and gently sophisticated as it managed furtive flavors of lime with the trailing aroma-reflected flavors.
Finished well on lemon/lime, a hint of ginger, and a well-balanced 12.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my fried sautéed Icelandic cod loin.

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Francois El Albar Lurton 2014 Vino De La Tierra De Castilla 2014 Tempranillo




Francois El Albar Lurton 2014 Vino De La Tierra De Castilla 2014 Tempranillo, $8.49-$23.99, 87 points, poured black except for the penumbra verging on the broad clear wine ring and lightly draped glass bowl.
Lots of interesting aromas eked their way out of the swishing and swirling, mainly brownies, plum, cedar, black cherry, earth, and oak.
Medium-bodied with good acidity and a sufficient underlayment of tannin managed an early-palate weakness, but mustered late-palate rich flavors of licorice, plum, and cherry fruit.
Finished okay on a bit of sour pomegranate and mulberry, easy spice notes, and a rather potent 14.5% alcohol.
Paired fine with our burgers and nachos, which made this Tempranillo a high quality/price/ratio (QPR) red table wine.

Index-of-reviewed-wines

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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Bodegas Naia Rueda 2016 Verdejo (Castilla y Leon, Spain)






Bodegas Naia Rueda 2016 Verdejo (Castilla y Leon, Spain), $13.49-$14.99, 90 points, poured a glossy gold color clearing at the glass edge.
Beautiful honeydew melon aroma and redolent apple pie vanilla à la Mode smell were outstanding.
Medium-plus body with bright acidity carried the flavors reflective of the nose throughout the palate and deep into the long finish marked by nice ginger notes and a round embracing 13.5% alcohol.
Paired fine with my St. A's haddock specialty.

Index-of-reviewed-wines

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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Cantine Fratelli Bellini Rufina 2003 Chianti Riserva (DOCG)






Cantine Fratelli Bellini Rufina 2003 Chianti Riserva (DOCG) $14.99-$17.99, 87 points, poured as an unfiltered ruby red grading more orange/red at the bleeding clear rim and moderately leggy glass bowl.
This Chianti needed a little breathing to settle down the powerful and offsetting violet aroma, and eliciting black olives, licorice, and brine.
Near full-bodied (dry) with good acidity and mostly resolved tannin managed to deliver surprising rich black cherry and the aroma-translated flavors.
Finished long on the trailing palate with a hint of fig, intensely spicy, and a restrained 12.5% alcohol.
Paired fine with my spaghetti in a beefy Marinara sauce.


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Tenuta di Arceno 2013 Chianti Classico (DOCG)




Tenuta di Arceno 2013 Chianti Classico (DOCG), $15.29-$21.99, 89 points, poured an opaque ruby grading brilliant ruby at the clear wine ring and lightly draped bowl.
Aromatic toasty cherry fruit, roses, and a hint of cocoa were excellent.
Medium-bodied with food friendly acidity and a firm grainy underlayment of tannin supported a good Sangiovese flavor-genre wine marked by black tea, cherry fruit, and nuanced cooking spices.
Finished long on the trailing palate, spearmint, truffle, and a 14% alcohol inspirited white pepper.
Paired fine with our Texas burgers.



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Friday, February 23, 2018

Senhora Do Convento Douro 2014 Proprietor's Red Blend Portugal





Senhora Do Convento Douro 2014 Proprietor's Red Blend (Portugal), $15.29-$35.99, 87 points, appeared opaque purple/red with a broad clear rim and thick sticky legs.
Aromas of chocolate, black fruit, and a hint of brine were good.
Fair-plus acidity and soft tannins gave an impression short of the full body-feel.
Flavors of licorice, plum, black olives, and bland black jam were tasty enough, fruity, rich enough, and quite pair-able, just a bit short of character.
Finished well on easy spice notes and a balanced 13.5% alcohol.
Excellent red table wine intended as an inconspicuous adjunct to the meal (JMO).

Index-of-reviewed-wines
 
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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Château Faugères, Saint-Émilion, Grand Cru Classé 2014 Bordeaux Red Wine





Château Faugères, Saint-Émilion, Grand Cru Classé 2014 Bordeaux Red Wine, $33.14-$38.99, 92 points, poured broadly black with flashes of ruby, sizeable bleeding clear rim, and a lightly sheeted bowl.
Aromas of black fruit, hint of cedar, earth, chocolate, and a floral vibe were good.
Full-bodied with appropriate acidity and a comfortable spread of tannin managed to unfurl the flavors reflective of the aromas onto the palate with a blanket of plum.
Finished long on the trailing palate, warm spices, well-balanced 14% alcohol nuanced with hints of pomegranate, iron, and citrus.
Paired perfectly with my Peruvian asparagus covered with Portabella mushrooms in a savory beef sauce.

Bordeaux Red Wine vintage 2014
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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Terlato Vineyards Friuli 2016 Pinot Grigio (DOC)



 

Terlato Vineyards Friuli 2016 Pinot Grigio (DOC), $17.99-$22.99, 90 points, was a medium brass color with copper highlights.
Aromas of sweet Mackintosh apple, pome blossoms, and honeysuckle were fresh and pleasant.
The medium (fruity) body with good acidity carried a typical nondescript palate of Pinot Grigio grape and the translated subtle hints of the aromas.
Finished on the trailing nondescript palate, a hint of mint, a touch of black pepper, and a well-balanced 13% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my North Atlantic Sea scallops.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Castello Di Bossi Berardo 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva





Castello Di Bossi Berardo 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva, $25.99-$29.99, 92 points, poured a bright ruby red with a broad clear wine ring and moderate sheeting on the glass bowl.
Aromatic floral black tea, loam, and whiffs of red raspberry were excellent.
Medium-bodied with Italian cuisine-crunching acidity and gripping grainy tannins rightly supported red fruit flavors and spiced black tea with a hint of bay leaf.
Finished long on a floral infused minerality accented with white pepper and a dry 14.5% alcohol.
This is a sophisticated Sangiovese approaching Brunello quality, and has considerable staying power.
Salute!

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Bodegas Lan Gran Reserva 2007 Rioja Red Wine





Bodegas Lan Gran Reserva 2007 Rioja Red Wine, $23.79-$27.99, 90 points, poured ruby to red garnet with a clear wine rim and a glass bowl of copious tears.
The remarkable aromas of cedar, mulling spices, flowers, mushrooms, and subtle red fruits were just about as good as it gets.
Full-bodied with good acidity and mellow tannins managed to deliver a fair representation of the nose onto the palate plus hints of plum.
Finished on the fading palate, coffee, sweet tobacco, iron, an easy spiciness, hints of pomegranate, and a well-balanced 14% alcohol.
Varietals were 90% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo.

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Volver La Mancha 2014 Tempranillo





Volver La Mancha 2014 Tempranillo, $11.89-$15.99, 91 points, poured an impregnable purple/red with a transparent rim and a glass wall of heavy draping.
Aromatic red and black fruit nuanced with mocha, blueberry, and roses were excellent.
Near full-bodied with bright acidity and a firm dense underlayment of tannin faithfully translated the aromas onto the palate that reached deep into the long finish marked by chocolate covered strawberries, invigorating white pepper, plum, and a potent 15% alcohol.

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

So, what happened to Italy and Spain in 1976?


Belatedly, I’m shocked at The Judgment of Paris, or as it is otherwise known: Bottle Shock!
 

Steven Spurrier did something remarkable, and all told, advanced the gravitas and value of California wines and their winemakers; thirty years later California did it again by destroying the myth of French wine superiority (There are plenty of dubious minds).
But my belated shock is, whatever happened to the other two giants of the wine world, notably Italy and Spain? They were conspicuous by their absence and continue to be left out of the hubbub. Could four countries be that much more difficult to accommodate in such an important contest?
Well, my point is made, and I make no aspersions on Mr. Spurrier, but just wanted to be on record as saying that an evaluation of this sort of judgment panel and participants be examined for future grandiose wine events (Maybe they are happening unbeknownst to me).
Ideas like a Judgment of International Malbec, Riesling, or Sauvignon Blanc could be thematically plausible, equitable, and quite fun indeed.
Greater minds, energy, and resources than mine will have to be employed to consider the possibilities.
 
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Marques De Murrieta Reserva 2010 Rioja Red Wine




Marques De Murrieta Reserva 2010 Rioja Red Wine,  $28.99-$24.64, 91 points, poured core black grading purple/red toward the broad clear wine ring and heavily draped glass bowl.
Aromatic sweet-spice potpourri, cherry fruit, and a perfumed floral vibe were outstanding.
Medium to medium-plus body with good acidity and a comfortable blanket of tannins managed to deliver a delicious array of cherry flavors nuanced with marzipan, truffle, and cola notes.
Finished long on the trailing palate, anise, warm pepper notes, a hint of citrus, and an appropriate 14% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my rare spice-rubbed Angus rib eye.
Varietals were 93% Tempranillo, 4% Mazuelo, 2% Graciano, and 1% Garnacha.


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Friday, February 16, 2018

Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 2007 Tempranillo





Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 2007 Tempranillo, $9.99-$12.99, 89 points, poured broadly black grading brick red at the 'bleeding' clear wine ring and moderately heavy legged glass bowl.
Smells of dusty herbs, marzipan, Oreo cookie, dates, and blackberry jam were interesting if a bit muddled.
Full-bodied with fair-plus acidity and mostly resolved tannins presented a smooth rendition of Rioja's Tempranillo 85%. Graciano 10%, and Mazuelo 5% grapes.
Rich and complex flavors of black fig, coffee, tobacco, and plum were good.
Finished with hints of citrus and easy spice notes on the trailing palate.
Alcohol was a mellow 13.5%.

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Bodegas Franco-Españolas Rioja Bordón Reserva 2008 Tempranillo





Bodegas Franco-Españolas Rioja Bordón Reserva 2008 Tempranillo, $16.14-$18.99, 91 points, poured a deep sienna color with a clear wine ring and fat legs.
The spectacular bouquet of red and black fruits nuanced with coffee bean, violets, and juniper was outstanding.
Medium-bodied with good acidity and a soft supportive underlayment of tannin carried a carefully choreographed caricature of the bouquet onto the palate with a hint of fennel.
Finished long, juicy, spicy, profoundly delicious, and with a well-balanced 14% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my Mexican cuisine.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Harvest Moon Estate & Winery 2015 Late Harvest Gewürztraminer








Harvest Moon Estate and Winery 2015 Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, $16.99-$33.99 (375ML), 86 points, was a glossy gold color.
The profuse, almost pungent aromas of dusty honey, hops, and a pleasant floral vibe left me ambivalent.
Heavy-bodied with good acidity managed a complex array of flavors, notably: honey, mandarin orange, and apple.
Finished long with building ginger notes and a well-balanced 11.5% alcohol.


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Château Fage De Vayres Grand Vin 2014 White Bordeaux Wine





Château Fage De Vayres Grand Vin 2014 White Bordeaux Wine, $11.99-$14.99, 86 points, was a light gold color.
Aromas of hay with a hint of citrus were just okay for me.
Light-bodied with good acidity this white Bordeaux began a bit thin, but transitioned nicely into a very gingery finish nuanced with flavors of Necco wafers, lemon zest, a bit of grassiness, and a well-integrated 12.5% alcohol.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Nickel and Nickel Napa Valley 'Harris Vineyard' 2014 Merlot


NHWM's Continuous Search For Worthy Merlot.




Nickel and Nickel Napa Valley 'Harris Vineyard' 2014 Merlot, $53.54-$62.99, 92 points, was an opaque 'abstract' maroon color with a clear wine ring and dense tears.
Aromatic blackberry with nuanced fennel, sandalwood, and cocoa excelled.
Full-bodied with good acidity and fine grainy tannins supported cherry cola, red licorice, and plum flavors.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, slightly sweet red cherry, wood, and a well-balanced 14.1% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my spice-rubbed rare Angus rib eye.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Mer Soleil (Sea and Sun) Santa Lucia Highlands 2014 Reserve Chardonnay

 
 


Mer Soleil (Sea and Sun) Santa Lucia Highlands 2014 Reserve Chardonnay, $17.69-$37.99, 88 points, poured a dark coppery gold color.
Aromatic lemon zest dominated the nose, and was excellent, but hints of cantaloupe, yeast, and caramel were just okay for me.
The near-full body carried fair acidity, and sufficiently supported flavors that reflected the nose with a whisper of vanilla.
Finished well on apples, apricots, ginger, and a balanced, but potent 14.7% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my sweet-sausage sub.
I bought this Chardonnay at the Hannaford's supermarket of Bedford in the close-out bin.

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Rocca delle Macie 'Campomaccione' 2012 Morellino di Scansano (DOCG)





Rocca delle Macie 'Campomaccione' 2012 Morellino di Scansano (DOCG), $7.99-$15.99, 88 points, poured a bright ruby grading orange/red at the thin clear wine ring and heavy legged glass bowl.
Smells of mulberry, black cherry jam, mushrooms, cocoa, and red licorice were all okay.
Medium-bodied with good acidity and a firm underlayment of tannin showed a red cherry flavor profile.
Finished long with warm red pepper, a hint of bay-leaf, and an accommodating 13% alcohol.
At this price, this Morellino di Scansano would be an excellent red table-wine for everyday service (buy it by the case).
Paired perfectly with my chicken cacciatore.

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Cecchi 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva (Riserva Di Famiigia) DOCG





Cecchi 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva (Riserva Di Famiigia) DOCG, $24.64-$32.99, 88 points, poured mostly black moderating to purple/red at the medium fat tears and clear wine ring.
Shy aromas of earth, flowers, and cherry fruit were okay.
Medium-plus body with good acidity and a comfortable underlayment of tannin segued to rich flavors reflective of the aromas.
Finished long and tangy with flavors of plum, mint, red cherry, truffles, subtle spice notes, and a well-integrated 13.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our pizza supreme.

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Château Haut-Bergey Pessac-Léognan 2014 Bordeaux Red Wine




Château Haut-Bergey Pessac-Léognan 2014 Bordeaux Red Wine, $22.52-$26.49, 91 points, poured widely black with flashes of purple/red with a broad clear wine ring and moderate draping.
The interesting and curious nose was earthy, dusty plum, inscrutable black jam, and black olives.
Its rather smooth near-full body with good acidity and surprisingly comfortable tannins rightly translated the nose onto the palate with tangy pomegranate lending complexity.
Finished long on earth/mushroom accented plum, easy spice, citrus zest, and a well-balanced 13.5% alcohol.
Varietals were a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and a dollop of Petit Verdot.

Paired perfectly with my spice-rubbed strip steak.

Bordeaux Red Wine vintage 2014
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Friday, February 9, 2018

Enzo Boglietti Boiolo 2012 Barolo (DOCG)



Enzo Boglietti Boiolo 2012 Barolo (DOCG), $41.64-$75.99, 94 points, poured a bright ruby grading orange/red toward the broad clear wine ring and heavily tear laden glass bowl.
Aromatic black cherry cordial, flowers, and smoky savory notes were outstanding.
Full-bodied (dry) with mouthwatering acidity and taut, fine, and grainy tannins supported shifting flavors of violets, cherry cola, appropriate oak notes, and hints of bourbon.
Finished long and spicy with the lingering palate, pomegranate, and a significant 14% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my grass-fed Aussie rib eye.

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Silverado Miller Ranch Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc



Wow, more than a month without a good California Sauvignon Blanc; shame, shame! Now in the words of that mysterious Napa-person: I'll have to rectify that. And I have with a great SB!




Silverado Miller Ranch Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $19.99-$22.99, 91 points, poured a light brass color with green highlights.
Aromatic lemon grass, passion fruit, and a soft floral vibe were excellent.
The light body with bright acidity carried the aromas faithfully onto the palate which lingered long into the gingery finish nuanced with an appropriate 13.3% alcohol, and the faintest hint of menthol.
Paired perfectly with my baked North Atlantic cod.

Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Cali)
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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Santa Rita Maipo Valley 2012 Merlot Reserva (Chile)





Santa Rita Maipo Valley 2012 Merlot Reserva (Chile), $10.99-$13.99, 86 points, poured opaque purple/red with a bleeding wine ring and thick legs.
Smells of toasty plum, sandalwood, and soft floral perfume were excellent.
Full-bodied with good acidity and a comfortable underlayment of tannin managed a rather complex array of flavors, some of which were cola, plum, blackberry, and black truffle.
Finished long on the trailing palate, easy spice notes, chocolate, and an easy 13.5% alcohol.
Paired fine with my Mexican cuisine.

Merlot (International)
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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Viñedo De Los Vientos 2013 Tannat (Uruguay)



April 14 is Tannat Day!




Viñedo De Los Vientos 2013 Tannat (Uruguay), $13.99, 89 points, poured an impregnable black full body; only shallow glass area showed deep purple/reds with a crystal-clear wine ring, and moderately leggy bowl.
Shy aromas of herbs, coffee, and savory black fruit were excellent.
Fair-plus acidity and layered firm tannins supported rich flavors of ripe black fruit.
Finished long on graphite, ripe blackberry, plum, an enduring undercurrent of spice, and a well-balanced 13.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our brick-oven pepperoni pizza.

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Tannat, The Black 'Cat' With Furry Tannins.



Tannat, the black 'cat' with furry tannins.
 
 
 
Tannat is a big dark tough red wine that Uruguay has made delicious, but it's home is France's Madiran (South West France), Irouléguy (AOC certified), and Côtes de St. Mont, but Tannat isn't confined to this set of geographical locations (Tablas Creek has 3.5 acres under cultivation in California).
Tanat wines aren't common, but as I find them, I buy them, and following are my reviews.
 
 
 
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Monday, February 5, 2018

Cecchi La Mora 2011 Morellino Di Scansano Riserva (DOCG)





Cecchi La Mora 2011 Morellino Di Scansano Riserva (DOCG),  $7.99-$16.99, 90 points, was a close-out at the NHL-and Wine Outlet, and is one of the best-buy Sangiovese (Think Chianti) wines you're likely to find; as a food wine, Sangiovese is hard to beat.
Poured darker than a typical Chianti, and trended ruby to brick red at the clear wine ring and moderately leggy glass bowl.
Smells were earthy with red fruit and a soft floral vibe.
Medium to medium-plus body with expected bright acidity and more than supportive tannins managed an oak-based cherry fruit flavors with good spiciness.
Finished long on the trailing palate, tangy, hints of licorice, and a potent 14% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my spaghetti and meatballs.

Morellino di Scansano (Sangiovese, Region of Scansano)
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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Château La Couspaude Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2014 Bordeaux





Château La Couspaude Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2014 Bordeaux, $42.49-$49.99, 93 points, poured core black grading purple/red with a broad clear wine ring and thick sticky sheeting.
Aromas of flowers, truffle, plum, black fruit, sandalwood, and mulling spice were outstanding.
Dense body, dense flavors of blackberry, black cherry, violets, spice rack, and earth were supported with good acidity and fine firm tannins.
Finished long on the trailing palate, warm spices, a hint of cocoa, and an easy 13% alcohol.
A wine for the ages and can be 'held', provided you don't mind leaving it to the auctioneers.
Merlot-varietal (typically 75%) dominant Bordeaux blend.
Paired perfectly with my shepherd's pie.

Bordeaux Red Wine vintage 2014
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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Silk And Spice 2015 Red Wine (Portugal)




Silk And Spice 2015 Red Wine (Portugal), $11.04-$15.99, 88 points, poured an opaque sienna color with a very broad wine ring and moderately leggy glass bowl.
Smells from the sea, spice rack, red fruit bins, and a hint of leather were bright and pleasant.
Medium-bodied with lip-smacking acidity and firm underlayment of tannin supported invigorating and tasty flavors reflective of the aromas plus a touch of tobacco.
Though the wine was spicy, the texture wasn't quite silky, but certainly satisfying.
Finished fair on white pepper, nutmeg, the trailing palate, and a modest 13% alcohol.
Varietals were 40% Touriga Nacional, 20 Alicante Bouchet, 20% Syrah, and 20% Baga.




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Killibinbin Langhorne Creek 'Seduction' 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (South Australia)





Killibinbin Langhorne Creek 'Seduction' 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (South Australia), $13.99-$16.99, 83 points, poured core black grading ruby red toward the moderately leggy glass bowl and clear wine ring.
The aroma was herbaceous with soft black fruit and chocolate notes.
Full-bodied with good acidity and an easy layer of tannins had to cope with a rather unruly gang of tart, herbaceous, and even sour flavors.
Finished plummy and a bit boring for me.
The awkward 14.5% added to my dissatisfaction with underperforming down-under Cab.

Cabernet Sauvignon (Australia)
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