Purchased from Genoa Cellars Tasting Room in Woodinville, WA, $35
Aaron: I really enjoyed this. There’s a powerful smell of damp berries and leather. The full flavor matches the strength of the nose with lingering tannins. Lots of oak and big juicy red berries dance with a hint of mushroom in the background making this a fun journey. 91 points.
Teri: Warm and spicy oak on the nose with flavors of plum, sweet oak (on the finish), vanilla and tart cherry. There are noticeable tannins but they give good structure to the wine. Complex and hearty. 90 points. Overall, I enjoyed most of the wines from this winery. We will go back!
Info on Wine Searcher
Aaron: Crisp apple and seawater nose. Lots of fruity pears and red apple. Not super harsh and doesn’t remind me of a traditional brut. Pretty tasty and full. 90 points
Teri: Light smell with flavors of pear and peach on the wine. Balanced bubbled and flavor. I enjoy the crispness of the sparkling wine plus the beautiful flavor. This bottle is not only beautiful but also delicious. Great gift or bring to a festive party! 90 points
Total Wine & More, $46.99
Taylor Fladgate Website
Aaron: This is AWESOME! It’s a little pricey for our wine blog (gift from a friend) but definitely worth it. Super rich, smooth flavors with less raisin and prune flavors than most ports. More traditional wine flavors with dark berries and a great oakiness. The finish is gentle but still full. This is exactly what I want, not syrupy but still flavorful and a brandy flavor without the brandy burn. 94 points
Teri: This bottle is worth the splurge. Most people think of ports’ tasting similar to liquid raisins. After being aged for 20 years, this port is smooth with beautiful flavors of blackberries and mild but not overpowering warmth. It drinks like a wine with smooth complexity and pairs beautifully with desserts and cheeses. Impress your dessert loving friends by bringing this bottle along! 93 points
Purchased from Trader Joes, $12.99
Aaron: For a Trader Joe’s branded wine I really can’t complain. Good flavor as a stand alone bottle with some decent spice and berries. This is a solid bottle. 89 points
Teri: I could smell mushroom and herb on the nose with flavors of vanilla, blackberry, dried fruits and oak within the wine itself. This bottle had smooth tannins with a hearty flavor and an easy drinking feel. This is a good go-to bottle for any occasion. 89 points
Total Wine & More, $19.97
Cellar Tracker Website
Aaron: Drink this wine with food. It’s really not great as a standalone in my opinion but went great with a nice flavorful cheese. The bright oak and small, red berries gave me a sense of youth while charred tobacco leaves added some complexity. I noticed some maple syrup on the nose which was an interesting change but unfortunately, the flavor was not as full as the smell. A little too much chalkiness is why this wine needs food and the flavor escaped too quickly for my preference. 87 alone, 90 with food.
Teri: This is a hearty but easy to drink bottle. I enjoyed the sweet blackberry flavors with a subtle hint of cedar and firm but smooth tannins and a bit of black pepper. Not too complex but delicious. Bring this one to that dinner party or give as a gift to a friend who enjoys wine. 90 points