Red Wine Reviews
I drank these 30 wines and tasted black fruit, blue fruit, bright, cassis, cherry, red fruit, smoky, smooth tannin, spice, vanilla. The wines are aged, biodynamic, food friendly, my favorites, organic, small production, whole cluster and came from a variety of sources, including wine clubs, wineries, and wine stores.
Wine reviews by: Jessyca Frederick |
The nose was classic blackberry and graphite, with a hint of pyrazine. It was fairly bright for a Napa Cab, and lighter bodied than I expected, too. I tasted cedar and clove, blackcurrant, and some plum.
Tasting notes: bright, black fruit
Among the three wines I tried from Stag’s Leap Winery in April, this was my favorite. I like Merlot and I’m not ashamed to say so.
Tasting notes: smooth tannins, bright, black fruit, blue fruit
Great crowd-pleasing Bordeaux-style blend. Fruit-forward but balanced with smooth tannins, great acidity, and just a touch of vanilla from the oak.
Tasting notes: red fruit, vanilla, bright, smooth tannin
Talinay is like Bourgogne in Chile, but with a fruit forward, new world sensibility. This is a winery to know if you like Pinot Noir (or Chablis-style Chardonnay)
Tasting notes: black cherry, berry, spice, bright
On the palate I tasted red fruits, blue fruits, black fruits (all the fruits, no, not really). The tannins were slightly grippy.
Tasting notes: red fruit, leather, grippy tannins, black fruit, blue fruit
People who like a sweeter red wine, like a jammy Syrah, would enjoy this bottle. The sweetness was balanced with strong tannins in this full-bodied red wine.
Tasting notes: jammy, slightly sweet, red fruit, bold tannins
This Sangiovese was slightly sweet and bright, had nice tannins, and savory notes. As $15 red wine goes, I gave this a thumbs up.
Tasting notes: bright, food friendly, lightly fruity, slightly sweet
White pepper and raspberry are common flavors in Pinot Noir, but this one brought pomegranate to the glass, too.
Tasting notes: red fruit, raspberry
A subtle version of what this grape can produce, but a great introduction to it if you’re not familiar and looking for an alternative bold red wine to Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasting notes: dark fruit, tobacco, spice, subtle
Easy-drinking, well-made California Cabernet Sauvignon featuring cherry, cassis, and soft tannins. Quite enjoyable.
Tasting notes: cherry, cassis, smooth tannin
A round, juicy, red fruit Pinot with smooth tannins and a long finish. Also an impressive value at $25. These are things I don’t find enough of in most of Willamette’s Pinot Noir, and rarely find in a Pinot that costs less than $45.
Tasting notes: fruity, juicy, smooth tannin
It is really rare I find a red wine under $15 I like. This Malbec — not cloying, flabby, or oaky — proves you can make great red wine at this price.
Tasting notes: smooth tannin, balanced
This delightful, balanced, and unique red wine offered savoriness and tart cherry, after slightly sweet butter cookies. Wrapped up with a cherry bomb at the back of the mouth.
Tasting notes: cherry, savory
The 2017 Envision, a blend of some of SYV’s best vineyards, represented a classic style of Pinot Noir common to the area.
Tasting notes: smoky, red fruit, bright
Rioja Alta (both a region and the winery which produces this wine) is an insider favorite, typically because it offers such great drinking value and ageability.
Well-balanced, rich, deep, beautiful fruit-forward Shiraz — an excellent sipping wine. Brambly black fruit was dominant, with some subtle raspberry fruit in the background. A long slightly vanilla finish was supported by fine-grain tannins.
Tasting notes: black fruit, brambly, raspberry, vanilla, smooth tannin
A medium-bodied red wine that tastes a bit like Pinot Noir had a love child with Mourvèdre (red fruit forward, especially black cherry, mixed with violets and a little spice), and it tends to be brighter than either of those imaginary progenitors.
Tasting notes: red fruit, bright, black cherry, violets, spice
This wine was magnificent and has made me completely rethink what I know of Amarone. The critics were mesmerized and so was I.
Tasting notes: cassis, liqueur, cherry, fig, prune
Big, mouth-coating red wine featuring dark red fruits, black fruits, and a host of other savory flavors.
Tasting notes: dark red fruit, black fruit, pepper
A complex, red-fruit forward, slightly smoky Pinot Noir that typifies the Sta. Rita Hills appellation and showcases winemaker Jessica Gasca’s love of letting the grapes shine.
Tasting notes: red fruit, smoky, smooth, cherry, cranberry
Portugal is one of the world’s best wine values right now and food-friendly red wine styles like this one are contributing to its growing popularity.
Tasting notes: red fruit, spice, smooth tannin
When I taste wines like this one, I’m reminded that Napa Valley wines are mostly overpriced and overhyped. It showcases Napa’s red wine grapes and terroir without breaking the bank.
Tasting notes: black fruit, graphite, chocolate, oaky, smooth tannin
For $15.99 this Pinot Noir was an impressive doppelganger for Santa Barbara’s more premium product, but the complexity and depth was missing.
Tasting notes: red fruit, earthy
This Duoro Tinto is smooth, with subtle fruit and spice. A bright and food-friendly wine that while enjoyable was not necessarily unique.
Tasting notes: smooth tannin, red fruit, spice, bright
A well-made, smooth Malbec with delicate spice, hints of espresso and violet, and enjoyable notes of black and blue fruits.
Tasting notes: smooth tannin, espresso, violet, black fruit, blue fruit
Subdued fruitiness and out of balance with too much eucalyptus and menthol. We were not impressed. Fortunately we didn't get hit with any bell pepper flavors.
Tasting notes: eucalyptus, smooth tannin
I personally tend to prefer my Cab Franc in a heavier-bodied, more fruit-forward style than this light one. This was a nice, but unremarkable, food-friendly red wine.
I really enjoyed this Merlot which we paired with my spicy Turkey Chili. Flavors of dark red fruit, soft tannins, and a medium body made it quite enjoyable.
Tasting notes: red fruit, dark fruit, smooth tannin
It had all the hallmarks of a classic Napa Cab — blackberry, cassis, and pretty smooth tannins for a young wine. And it retails for $20!
Tasting notes: blackberry, cassis, smooth tannin
This red blend embodies all of the best qualities of its grapes — a bit of spice, a bit of oak, some red fruit, some black fruit, a touch of smokiness… without being a punch in the mouth.
Tasting notes: spice, oak, red fruit, black fruit, smoky
Notice: I hold no formal wine credentials. I am a wine geek who has consumed 1000+ of bottles from 100+ different wine clubs and 1000s more bottles that didn’t come from those wine clubs. I do not accept payment for wine reviews, and I do not accept payments to influence my opinions. I happily accept free wine (and I buy wine).
Why read my wine reviews: Wine taste is subjective. What I like may not be what you like. I try to leave room for you to form your own opinions, so I don’t provide a score or a rating. I do point out wines that are an incredible value or truly not worth the money. I note flaws, wines that don’t have typicity (because this matters if you are buying wine without having tasted it yourself), when wines are out of balance, and when wines lack appropriate body.
I don’t like wasting money (or anything for that matter). I’m careful about where I spend my money and my mindset as a reviewer is to be careful about where you spend yours. I don’t believe a high price tag equals quality and I know for sure there are wines of very good quality that are also a great value.