2015 J. Bouchon Canto Sur Red Blend - Descorchados 93 Points!

The J. Bouchon Canto Sur is a Chilean blend of 50% Carmenere, 25% Carignan, and 25% Pais and with a little decanting, we, at the Tasting Team, believe this wine is a sterling example of those obscure varietals.

With five minutes of air, the Canto Sur exhibited a delightful melange of stone-ground herbs, peppercorns, baked black fruits, cherry licorice, and inky raspberries on the nose. A scant 10 minutes later, whiffs of soft chalky peppermint over a palate of sour cherry and raspberry demonstrated Carignan's place in this blend and the wine's friendly and approachable personality.

At 30 minutes of decanting, what was a jovial and light finish gains a breadth that endures past the 30-second mark.  With a little patience and aeration, the Canto Sur appeared to gain weight and mature into a more "serious" wine.

While the J. Bouchon Canto Sur can be slowly enjoyed after 20 minutes of decanting, it's at the 30-35 minutes that this wine begins to broaden and exhibit the fruits and spices of the Carmenere and Carignan grapes. 

At just $16.98, the 93 point Canto Sur red blend is a steal from J. Bouchon! A blend like this is ideal for the salinity and earthiness of a prosciutto and mushroom pizza or your favorite herb roasted chicken. Regardless, be sure to set aside a little time and thoroughly enjoy the 2015 J. Bouchon Canto Sur. 

2016 Boya Sauvignon Blanc - 93 Points Descorchados! 

With the mercury rising, we're entering prime Sauvignon Blanc weather in Jackson. To help combat the heat, our tasting team decided to put the 2016 Boya Leyda Valley (Chile) Sauvignon Blanc to the decanting test.

After initial agitation in the decanter, the Boya presented aromas of soft chalk, sea breeze, and salted cold pears. Within 25 minutes, aromas of white grapefruit, grass, and lime zest became evident as whiffs of green peppers added interest to the mix.

At 25 minutes, we had our first taste of this wine and were impressed by a persistent 50+ second finish that delivered energetic waves of oceanic salinity carrying zesty herbs, juicy lemons, and white grapefruit across the palate.

10 minutes later, aromas of elderflowers awoke on the nose while the wine continued to gracefully deliver powerful citrus flavors across the palate with great length.  

At $18.97 and 93 points from Descorchados, the 2016 Boya Sauvignon Blanc is one of the vintage's must-have Sauvignon Blancs! With an abundance of citrus and soft herbal notes, this wine would be sensational with steamed seafood, particularly mussels & clams. The Boya also makes the perfect wine for Spring and Summer backyard cookouts.

2014 Anne Amie Pinot Blanc, Chehalem Mountains, Oregon


The Pinot Blanc grapes used to make this wine love their home high in the Chehalem Mountains of Oregon. After chilling and agitating the wine in a decanter, a beautiful crisp minerality featuring aromas of white stones and mineral water balances generous concentrations of apple, pear, and lemon fruits. Notes of filo dough, honeysuckle nectar (wine is dry), cold butter, vanilla, brown baking spices, and faint whiffs wintergreen add impressive complexity. This refreshing wine is an excellent Spring and Summer patio wine for just $17.98! We love this Pinot Blanc with Redfish at The Mayflower Cafe. I expect that this wine will be scored around 92 points.

- Tasho Katsaboulas

Casas Del Bosque 2013 Reserva Pinot Noir, Vinous 90 points, $16.98

The Casas Del Bosque 2013 Reserva Pinot Noir ($16.98/Vinous 90 points) from the Casablanca Valley of Chile is a remarkable wine that we were very excited to try. Trying this wine were the usual crew of Jimm, Tasho, and myself (Kyle). We, as always, poured the wine into a decanter. We also served the wine with a small chill. The nose was very impressive on this wine with notes of peppery spice, dried herb, and also there was a dried mint component (think a stick of dried-out spearmint gum). Also, we picked up a slight gun-smoke minerality and slight hints of cooking chocolate. On the palate, their were gobs of delicious black cherry, black raspberry, and cherry pits. This wine had a remarkable 35+ second harmonic finish that wrapped up the experience of tasting in style. For $16.98, the Casas Del Bosque 2013 Reserva Pinot Noir is a value. Value can be an overused word in the wine world, but in this case, calling this wine a value is an understatement! 

Until We Taste Again,

This article was published on September 6, 2015

Vina Robles 2012 Red 4, $16.98, Wine Review 90 Points

Tasho and I (Jimm) tasted this wine under our usual rigorous tasting conditions, giving the wine ample time to open and show its hand. As mentioned, this is a Rhone-inspired blend from Paso Robles, California. However, atypical from Southern Rhones, this blend showcases an interesting 50% Petite Sirah with the normal Rhone elements of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre composing the other half. Also, while this wine does display a power one might expect from a Paso Robles red, it does it with finesse, complexity, and less alcohol (13.9%) than some of the high-octane offerings from the region. But the fruit is unmistakably the star of the show here and is well displayed and supported.

Initially, the nose reveals a tarry quality, yet combined with a dry, spicy leafiness. There is an earthy depth here, stewed plums with reduced blackberry paste, and blue fruit and dark chocolate powder that richly extends to the plush mid-palate. The fruit-forward finish is long and underpinned by an herbal/spice softness.

While not the usual would-be Rhone blend, fans of the style will find a welcome value here, rich and complex, powerful without unnecessary muscle, and delicious fruit served upon very balanced tannins. A joy to drink.


This article was published on February 12, 2016

2014 Firesteed Pinot Grigio, Oregon, Wine Review 94

When we evaluate our wines, our process boils down to two essential elements: the nose and the palette. In our experience, wines that deliver on one aspect tend to follow through on the other. However, there are exceptions to the rule.  One of those exceptions is the Firesteed 2014 Pinot Grigio.

After the initial pour, this Pinot Grigio exuded aromas of pear and white peaches with faint scents of pineapples over a slightly honeyed chalkiness. With 25 minutes of decanting, light struck-white-flint minerality, pear blossoms, and lanolin join the initial aromas. There's even a curious and subtle whiff of soft rubber like a white eraser or beach ball.

This profoundly complex aromatic profile had us confident that we were about to depart on an equally impressive journey on the palate. Sadly, this Pinot Grigio simply did not deliver on the palate. We found the wine to be linear and dominated by tart, energetic lemon and peach flavors. 

What the wine did offer on the palate, it did so quite well, but it paled in comparison to our aroma influenced expectations.  We at Kats disagree with Wine Review's 94 point score. This wine may certainly be a 94 on the nose, but with its linear palette, we feel that a 90 would be more appropriate.

That in mind, this wine does have a place. For warm days on the patio or for those who truly enjoy dissecting the complexity of a wine's aromas and want an energetic, refreshing palate, the  2014 Firesteed Pinot Grigio may still be a fair shake at $16.98.

- Andrew Dunaway, Jimm Brumley, and Tasho Katsaboulas