Another star of the Palate Press Grand Tasting, earning a consensus four out of five stars and introducing many of our guests to Cabernet Franc. It was a lean, powerful Cabernet Franc, exhibiting the typical tobacco under clean blackberries and light but clear tannins. This will continue to age nicely for several years. Drink with New York strip steak. It is a particularly good choice for those who prefer their meat medium or more, rather than rare.
This is a very pleasantly juicy, reasonably-priced meritage. Cherries overly blackcurrant flavors, while dark chocolate, tobacco, and eucalyptus appear on the mid-palate. Tannins and acids are well balanced, and moderate, and the finish has a pleasant mintiness behind the mixed red and black fruits. Drink with duck.
This red blend is a real Frankenwine, lots of different parts sewn together creating a bit of a monster. Candied cherry shines through on the nose from the Sangiovese, but on the palate the Syrah blasts its way to the fore. Smoked meat, blackberries, and sage are there, but they're fighting it out with the Cabernet's blackcurrants and black cherry from the Merlot. Tannins are powerful to the point of harsh. Acids are just as big. The two together, along with the kitchen sink blend, make for an aggressive mouthful of wine. It might settle down settle down and knit together in five to ten years, but right now if you put it in your mouth it just tries to fight its way out to look for a village to burn and a kid to throw in the river.
Green aromas and flavors really dominate this wine. There is no mistaking the green pepper of Chilean Carmenere, or the tobacco leaf of Cabernet Franc. They appear on the palate, too, along with red currants and very tart cherries. Tannins are rather big and rough, but balanced by loads of acid. Tannins and acids will settle down over time, but as fruit fades green flavors will get even more dominant. Little hints of violets in the finish indicate some florals might shine through after a few years in the cellar. Drink with beef cazuela or ropa vieja.
Bright, medium-deep intensity, ruby with some purple. On the nose, dark fruit, bramble, blueberry, black cherry, raspberry jam. All fruits are on their way to being cooked, but not stewed. New oak, baking spice, vanilla, some herbs—but not prominent. Dry, medium+ body, medium intensity. Fruits confirmed: black cherry, raspberry, plum, jam. Toasted oak, vanilla, cinnamon, and coffee on the palate. Medium acidity, medium tannin, medium alcohol, medium-long finish. The spice from the oak and some fruit linger. In summary, this is a fairly decent table wine, especially given the price. The finish is really good for a wine that might be presumed to be "low quality." No doubt this is mass-produced, but is an excellent every day wine. I'll definitely buy again.
A big wine, a full, spicy mouthful of black fruit - blackcurrant and blackberry - and loads of spice - black pepper, white pepper, eucalyptus and toasted maple. Wood treatment is obvious, but the fruit is big enough to balance it out. Tannins are powerful but smooth, showing years of remaining cellar life. Drink with a porterhouse, with the filet side early, and the strip side after it gets some air.
The Harrison Hill was the top of the heap for me in our DeLille tasting (with the Doyenne and Chaleur Blanc close behind). Big and dark and tannic and complex, with a finish that lasted well into each next taste. A bit pricey at $75 a bottle, but this one I think is worth it. Read more on RJ's Wine Blog.