Saturday November 26, 2016 - Vintages Release Report

22 Nov 2016

 

 

Key to the 5-star rating system:
5 = Outstanding … 4.5 = Excellent … 4 = Very Good … 3.5 = Good

Wine colour indicators - Red, Whites, etc.

The Foci … Our Finest (OF)
The Skinny … The annual “Our Finest” release shows off some of the best wines the LCBO has to offer – that also means some expensive wines are also on the menu. For those looking for a bargain, the French come to the rescue with a bottle of Xavier that should help you through the holidays and take the chill off those cold evenings.

Argentina …
Santa Julia 2014 Magna ($15.95 - #93799) – pleasant and simple with dark berries, blueberry, plum and chocolate.  (*** ½+)
Tintonegro 2012 Malbec ($16.95 - #364075) – appealing with blueberry and other dark fruit, black cherry, black licorice; quite pleasant.  (****)

Australia …
D’Arenberg 2015 The Hermit Crab Viognier/Marsanne ($17.95 - #662775) – melon rind, floral and lanolin, ending dry.  (*** ½+)
Torbreck 2014 Cuvee Juveniles ($27.95 - #723940) – clean and lengthy with lots of raspberry, eucalyptus and plum with sweet herbs and cherry cola notes.  (****)
Yalumba 2012 Menzies The Cigar Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.95 - #165829) – smoky tobacco, herbal, dark fruit with hints of floral; this one needs some time.  (*** ½+)

Canada (British Columbia) …
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate 2014 Grand Reserve Chardonnay ($19.95 - #467563) – like the buttery nose with stone fruit and pineapple mixed in but it’s just a tad too oaky for my taste, but it seems to hit the right notes for others.  (*** ½+)

Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
2027 Cellars 2013 Aberdeen Road Vineyard Chardonnay ($35.00 - #472241) … ****+ - OF (see video review here)

2027 Cellars 2013 Pinot Noir Queenston Road Vineyard ($35.00 - #421370) ... ****
Cave Spring 2013 Indian Summer Select Late Harvest Riesling ($24.95 / 375ml - #415901) … *** ½
Georgian Hills 2014 Bartlett Frozen to the Core ($19.95 / 375ml - #347401) … *** ½+
Henry of Pelham 2010 Speck Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot ($39.95 - #616433) … **** - OF
Lakeview Cellars 2014 Eddy’s Blend ($24.95 - #472258) … ****
Peninsula Ridge 2015 Beal Vineyard Reserve Merlot ($19.95 - #257311) … *** ½+
Rosewood 2015 Mead Royale Honey Wine ($16.95 / 500ml - #296178) … ***
Stratus 2012 Petit Verdot ($38.20 - #142638) … ****
Stratus 2012 Red ($44.20 - #131037) … ****+ - OF

Chile …
Casas del Toqui 2015 Barrel Series Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon ($16.95 - #469296) – fresh red berries: raspberry, plum a real simple sipper.  (*** ½)

France (Alsace) …
Willy Gisselbrecht 2014 Tradition Pinot Gris ($17.95 - #641597) – sweet but with nice mouthfeel giving it some weight; pleasant white fruit and subtle peach.  (***)
France (Beaujolais) …
Chateau Grange Cochard 2013 Vieilles Vignes Morgon ($19.95 - #469627) – blackberry, boysemberry and a touch of a savoury element.  (*** ½+)
Domaine de la Madone 2015 Le Perreon Beaujolais-Villages ($15.95 - #981175) – juicy black cherry, touch earthy on the finish; this is a good value Beaujolais.  (*** ½+)
France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau de Panigon 2010 ($19.95 - #348250) – silky with baked cherry pie, leather and coffee with some fine tannins.  (*** ½)
Chateau Roc de Levraut 2014 ($13.95 - #468280) – fresh ground coffee beans with booze, it’s an alternative verversion those South African “coffee” Pinotages.  (***)
France (Champagne) …
Le Mesnil Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($49.95 - #460840) – yeasty, biscuit, biscotti-like and toasty.  (*** ½)
France (Loire) …
Chavet & Fils 2015 La Dame de Jacques Coeur Menetou-Salon Blanc ($19.95 - #525048) – grassy, fresh hay and lemon zest with a long finish.  (*** ½)
Domaine de la Gaverie 2015 Demi-Sec Vouvray ($17.95 - #470948) – pretty with mineral, floral, touch of lanolin and hint of sweetness.  (*** ½+)
France (Midi) …
M Chapoutier 2014 Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem ($55.95 / 1500ml - #474957) – nice spicy tannins with dark berry fruit, cocoa and sweet black licorice and balsamic strawberries on the finish.  (*** ½+) – OF
France (Rhone) …
Xavier 2012 100% Cotes du Rhone ($16.95 - #437079) – juicy and plumy, black and red cherry, raspberry, blue and black cherry layers with a floral element; jazzy berries with and elegant finish this is a real steal.  (****+)

Italy (Emilia-Romania) …
Umberto Cesari 2013 Liano Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon ($27.95 - #225086) – toasty, dark chocolate, blackberry, black cherry and sweet coffee.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Puglia) …
Amastuola 2013 Organic Primitivo ($15.95 - #300004) – sweet cherry, plum and chocolate; simple but fun.  (***)
Cantine de Falco 2010 Falco Nero Riserva ($18.95 - #455204) – coffee, blackberry and spice with good weight on the palate, plus a long finish.  (****)
Italy (Sardinia) …
Vigne Surrau Branu 2014 Vermentino di Gallura ($21.95 - #455246) – delicate with fresh almond, lime zest and pith.  (*** ½)
Italy (Tuscany) …
Rocca da Castagnoli Stielle 2011 Gran Selezione Chianti Classico ($45.95 - #459529) – lovely fruit with mocha cherry and elegant spice, very tasty.  (****)
San Felice 2013 Chianti Classico ($19.95 - #282996) – sweet dark fruit with a little floral, delicate herbal/spice but always with the fruit front and center.  (****)
Villa Cafaggio 2013 Cianti Classico ($21.95 - #176776) – good raspberry and strawberry with elegant spice on the mid-palate.  (****)
Italy (Veneto) …
Monte del Fra 2013 Lena di Mezzo Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore ($21.95 - #165662) – cherry cough drop with mocha and licorice.  (*** ½)

New Zealand …
Wither Hills 2015 Sauvignon Blanc ($19.95 - #919514) – grassy, grapefruit rind and zest with a nice mineral / stoniness on the finish.  (*** ½+)

Portugal …
Herdade Peso Trinca Bolotas Tinto 2014 ($15.95 - #431064) – juicy and sweetish with black cherry, black raspberry and balsamic strawberry notes.  (*** ½+)
Quinta de Curvos 2015 Afectus Alvarinho ($17.95 - #471276) – crisp and floral with apricot, tangerine, melon and mango fruit.  (*** ½+)
Quinta de la Rosa 2012 Tinto ($21.95 - #933101) – simply a delicious red that’s juicy and full of red fruit flavour, drink by the bucket load.  (****)
Warre’s 2004 LBV Bottle Aged Port ($35.95 - #434936) – I have long believed in ageing LBVs, here they’ve done it for you:  silky with fig, cassis, plum and spice, there’s also some rugged acidity but it’s a fine drink.  (****)

Spain …
Alvear Solera 1927 Pedro Ximenez ($19.95 / 375ml - #463034) – caramel, almond, fig, rich and molasses like but with a lean mouthfeel that makes it so sippable.  (****+)
Balbas 2005 Reserva ($22.95 - #85183) – need something aged to impress your friends? This’ll do the trick, just tell them you held it and they’ll be even more impressed.  (*** ½+)
Baron de Ley 2010 Reserva ($21.95 - #958868) – mocha, strawberry, licorice, cassis and smoke.  (*** ½+)
Borsao 2013 Bole ($15.95 - #471565) – sweet and juicy sipper that requires little thought ot enjoy, just a glass.  (*** ½)
Castano 2013 Solanera Vinas Viejas ($17.95 - #276162) – still a good buy with its dark berries, vanilla, cinnamon, gentle spice and dusty oak.  (*** ½+)
Magana 2012 Dignus ($15.95 - #391573) – vanilla, cherry, red licorice and cigar box.  (*** ½+)
Muriel 2007 Gran Rserva ($29.95 - #984187) – that lean slightly oxidative note that’s Rioja but still with dried fruit character and plenty of spice and acidity.  (****)

United States (California) …
Calera 2014 Pinot Noir ($49.95 - #933044) – black fruit driven, white smoke, mocha and boysenberry; beauty of a California Pinot Noir.  (****)
La Crema 2014 Pinot Noir ($45.95 - #906404) – a nice juicy Russian River Valley Pinot with blackberry, Black cherry, white pepper, hint of black plums, good acidity, nice depth and well balanced; plus a little high on the alcohol level for a gentle sweetness, 14.5%.  (****+) – OF
Rodney Strong 2014 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($29.95 - #465724) – creamy vanilla, touch of citrus with apple and peach wrapped around an oak core.  (*** ½+)
United States (Oregon) …
Duck Pond Cellars 2015 Pinot Gris ($19.95 - #333286) – fresh citrus, honeydew and lemongrass.  (*** ½+)
Elouan 2014 Pinot Noir ($29.95 - #420760) – better acid but also with California-style fruitness and a nice finish.  (****)
Rex Hill 2013 Pinot Noir ($46.95 - #275735) – more restrained fruit with a hint of white pepper and black cherry.  (****)
United States (Washington) …
Columbia Crest 2012 H3 Les Chevaux Red Blend ($19.95 - #287425) – still a delightful wine with soft supple mouthfeel: plum and blackberry with black cherry, chocolate and a final floral element.  (****)
Seven Falls 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon ($20.95 - #360222) – delicious and full flavoured black chery, vanilla, plum, spice, blackberry and really juicy; yum.  (****+)

________________________________________

In-Store Discoveries:  wines that appear on the shelves of your local Vintages outlet …
13th Street 2013 Sandstone Gamay Noir ($29.95 - #130195) – Ontario … *** ½+
Anakota 2013 Helena Montana Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($158.95 - #181131) – California … ****
The Pundit 2014 Syrah ($39.95 - #462945) – Washington … *** ½+


If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Banfi 2011 Brunello di Montalcino ($54.95 - #378257) – Tuscany … **** - OF
Beringer 2012 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($166.95 - #149955) – California … **** ½ - OF
Bollinger Special Cuvee Brut Champagne ($78.95 - #384529) – Champagne … **** - OF
Caymus 2014 Napa Zinfandel ($59.95 - #718759) – California … ****
Caymus 2013 Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon ($175.95 - #711663) – California … ****+ - OF
Chateau Laforge 2010 ($99.95 - #474940) – Bordeaux … ****+ - OF
Concha y Toro 2012 Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon ($74.95 - #256073) – Chile … **** ½ - OF
D’Arenberg 2012 The Dead Arm Shiraz ($54.95 - #430512) – Australia … *** ½+ - OF
Duckhorn 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon ($84.95 - #24190) – California … **** - OF
Elderton 2012 Command Single Vineyard Shiraz ($89.95 - #716142) – Australia … ****+ - OF
Far Niente 2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($244.95 - #539098) - California … ****+ - OF
Francis Ford Coppola 2013 Archimedes Cabernet Sauvignon ($79.95 - #431825) – California … ****
Kistler 2014 Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay ($111.95 - #183921) – California … *** ½+ - OF
Kopke 1996 Colheita Port ($59.95 - ****+) – Portugal … ****+
Luce 2013 ($114.95- #685263) – Tuscany … **** - OF
Montes 2013 Purple Angel ($59.95 - #62364) – Chile … ****+ - OF
Sassicaia 2013 ($212.95 - #480533) – Tuscany … ****+ - OF
Shafer 2014 Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay ($94.95 - #45583) – California … *** ½ - OF
Shafer 2013 One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon ($139.95 - #45476) – California … *** ½ - OF
Col Solare 2013 ($99.95 - #20487) – Washington … ****+ - OF
Versado 2012 Reserva Malbec ($59.95 - #316984) – Argentina …****


What I’ll Be Lining Up For (November 26, 2016) …
San Felice 2013 Chianti Classico ($19.95 - #282996) – Tuscany
Xavier 2012 100% Cotes du Rhone ($16.95 - #437079) – France

Happy Shopping

 

 

Get Our Newsletter

Follow Us on Social Media

Facebook Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Google+ tumblr