This wine is off-dry (17.5g/L residual sugar) with sufficient acid to give a sensation that it is drier. Floral aromas lead to pear, apricot and honey flavors, the sweetness counter-balanced by lightly tart key lime. Cloves and all-spice show on the mid-length finish. This uncloying but slightly sweet wine would be a great pairing with spicy Thai or Vietnamese food.
This moderately priced Rhône blend spent 14 months in a blend of French and European oak, and it shows. There is plenty of cherry and a little rhubarb, but the wood is slathered all over the fruit, overwhelming it. Sweet tannins and a maple flavor are wood-derived, making a difficult food match. Not recommended.
Hoist Nederburg's Winemaster's Reserve Pinotage in salute to the South African's efforts at the World Cup. There is a lot to like in a full-flavored, yet simple, and enjoyable glass of red wine. It's well balanced and spends some time with stainless steel and oak. Therefore, the wine is smooth enough for any wine newbie yet just enough tannin structure to be taken seriously. The fruit is really rich and maybe even mildly sweet. This wine would pair well with simple pasta and pizza. It has a modest 13.8 percent alcohol.
This wine is tight and seems very young. Hidden beneath the tannins are the flavors of licorice, brambles, menthol, and wild blackberries, with elusive hints of unsweetened chocolate espresso. Whether this moderately priced wine will last long enough for the tannins to settle down and let the interesting underlying flavors come to the fore is not clear, but at less than $20, putting a few up for a few years might be worth the gamble.
After a few hours to blow off some funk, this showed as earthy, with raspberry, some dried strawberries, allspice and cloves. Use of new oak is a little heavy, loading jarring vanilla onto the finish. A couple of years in the cellar might bring it together, but the risk is a dumb period followed by loss of fruit.
This under $30 Syrah was probably not intended to sleep in the cellar until 2010, but it awakened with surprising maturity and complexity. A wine described as "lavishly oaked" two or three years ago is now balanced, aromatic, and flat-out savory. Olives, hickory smoked bacon, black pepper, and sage are all lightly brushed with soy sauce for a savory northern Rhone doppelganger.
Intensely floral, this makes a wine lasagna with lavender and rose petals noodles between layers of elderberries, raspberries, lightly smoked pork, and leather. This practically begs to pair with meat, from sage-rubbed pork roast to lamb with rosemary. At its price point, $20, buy it by the case and drink it over the next two years.
A big, jammy wine, but balanced with a good streak of acid and very fine, firm tannins. Most of all, it is still very young, with many years of cellar improvement ahead of it. File this future tasting note away and test me in 10 years- blackberry and plums take a back seat to complex mature flavors of lavender, cigar box, a mix of leafy spices, marjoram, sage, and rosemary, and the meaty, crisp, smoky flavor of the well-done end of a nice prime rib.