Quick Reviews

Carta Vieja Sauvignon Blanc – Chile – 2016

Surprisingly sweet and floral for a sauvignon blanc, but not oversweet. Comes off almost as a blend with chenin blanc. Still, it’s very drinkable but at 12% alcohol be careful. Pink grapefruit is the dominant note here.

Undurraga Sibaris Gran Reserva Carmenère – Chile – 2015

I’m surprised the Underraga carmeneres don’t rank higher, but they just don’t knock my socks off. Either my taste in carmy is too picky or I need looser socks. This one has some meaty notes with a little smoke and dark fruit, but a slight unnecessary bitterness harms the final product. Allowing to sit a while didn’t help. Not a bad wine, just not great.

TerraNoble Colchagua Cabernet Sauvignon – Chile – 2014

Very dry and came off as bitter, but improved after allowing to sit in the decanter for 30 mins and then running through an aerator. That was a lot of work to get the wine to break 3 stars though. Strong tannins make for a good pucker. Some wood comes through but the fruit is simplistic. So-so unless you put some muscle into it.

Domaine Delsol Picpoul de Pinet – France – 2016

A nose that hinted at cupcake suggested this might be interesting (or weird), but the taste is neither. Fairly tepid generic white, you’d be forgiven if you thought this was a routine pinot grigio. The pairing was unfair: put up against a bold soy glazed scallop plate, the wine all but disappeared. Pair this only with light fish. Still, very drinkable though.

Karl Kaspar Riesling – Germany – 2016

Slightly tart and medium sweet, this drink well by itself but the sugar might make it tough to pair. Apricot is the main note here with a very faint touch of spice. Vivino members rated this lower than I did, but this may be due to my preference for German Riesling. I would recommend this but not for those who like standard fare pinot gris or new world Riesling.

Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvée – California – 2016

A bit understated to the point of mumbling, this blend lacks any oomph to distinguish it from a million competitors. Notes of blackberry and smoke are subdued, but fans of subtle wine may find this acceptable. For me, it was just too timid. Paired with steak, it didn’t hold up. Insane blend invokes a wine made of floor sweepings: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Zinfandel and Petit Verdot. Seriously?

Justin Sauvignon Blanc – California – 2016

Subtle sauvignon blanc that gets close to a French offering but falls slightly short. Nose is asparagus but this doesn’t show up in the glass. Instead it very subdued hues of lemongrass and white raisin, but still adequately dry. It’s a fine glass but just lacking in what makes SB memorable.

Raymond Sommelier Selection Cabernet Sauvignon – California

[No year noted.] A bit too smooth and it loses edge as a result. Certainly silky but also lacking in potent flavors. If you like your cabs subtle this is fine, but this disappeared when paired with a simple steak. Nose is mighty powerful but that doesn’t make up for the overall boredom of the glass.