Saturday December 10, 2016 - Vintages Release Report

06 Dec 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 … Holiday Dinner Wines (HDW)
The Skinny … It’s the last release of the year, you’ll find great wines, big prices and lots of wine (there are more in this release than any other single release throughout the year). There are few “deals” to be had here, but there are some outstanding values – this is the release you’ve been waiting for all year; but with so many wines it can be daunting, I'll help you wade through the clutter and get to the good stuff.

Argentina …
Domaine Jean Bousquet 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #678813) – spiced-cherry, blackberry, smoky, anise seed; very elegant.  (****)
Trapiche 2011 Terroir Series Finca Ambrosia Single Vineyard Malbec ($39.95 - #402941) – cherry, mocha with red and black licorice, plus violet, dried cranberry and big spice.  (*** ½+)

Australia …
Mollydooker 2015 The Boxer Shiraz ($33.95 - #246595) – white pepper, blackberry, plum, chocolate, mocha, blueberry and a spicy finish; great layering.  (****+)
Penfolds 2012 Bin 138 Shiraz/Grenache/Mataro ($39.95 - #468637) – spiced blackberry and plum with chocolate and violets.  (****)
Small Gully 2013 Mr. Black’s Concoction Shiraz/Viognier ($24.95 - #222059) – gentle spice, mocha, blackberry, cherry, raspberry and smoky.  (****)
Wakefield 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon ($18.95 - #744235) – juicy red and black fruit plus a touch of chocolate; good value.  (*** ½+)
Wakefield 2015 Chardonnay ($15.95 - #711556) – good acidity for an Aussie Chard with tropical fruit, heavy oak and slight bitterness to the finish; good Christmas Chardonnay.  (***+)

Canada (British Columbia) …
Dirty Laundry 2014 Not So Naughty Chardonnay ($19.95 - #353144) – tropical fruit with a hint of vanilla from lees contact as this is unoaked, pretty mac apple finish.  (*** ½)
Poplar Grove 2014 Pinot Gris ($23.95 - #467555) – a little sweet with pear, honeydew and nice citrus.  (*** ½+)

Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Featherstone 2012 Joy Premium Cuvee Sparkling ($34.95 - #310334) - ****+
Featherstone 2015 Black Sheep Riesling ($16.95 - #80234) - *** ½+
Henry of Pelham 2012 Estate Cabernet/Merlot ($24.95 - #395855) - ****
Megalomaniac 2015 Sparkling Personality ($19.95 - #469007) - *** ½
Tawse 2014 Limestone Ridge North Estate Riesling ($23.95 - #431593) - ****+ … HDW
Vineland Estates 2015 Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling ($19.95 - #38117) - ****

Chile …
Amaral 2015 Sauvignon Blanc ($14.95 - #367292) – grassy with hints of melon rind.  (*** ½)
Montes 2014 Limited Selection Carmenere ($14.95 - #256685) – cocoa nibs and blueberry skin.  (*** ½)
San Pedro 2013 1865 Unique Edition Cabernet Sauvignon ($21.95 - #469254) – spice, white pepper and cocoa/mocha frame hanging some cassis and blackberry fruit around it.  (*** ½) – HDW
San Pedro 2014 1865 Single Vineyard Carmenere ($19.95 - #249201) – bramble and blueberry, black cherry, balsamic-strawberry and elegant spice.  (****)
Vina Tarapaca 2015 Gran Reserva Pinot Noir ($17.95 - #404210) – smoky licorice, earthy, spiced raspberry, black cherry and hints of vanilla.  (****)

France (Beaujolais) …
Jean-Michel Dupre 2014 Vignes de 1940 Beaujolais-Villages ($19.95 - #468710) – black cherry fruit with white pepper.  (*** ½+)
Lucien Lardy 2014 Cote du Py Morgon ($24.95 - #468694) – pretty floral notes with black cherry and nice minerality.  (****)
France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau Andron Blanquet 2010 ($39.95 - #468389) – sweetly nuanced with cocoa, dark fruit, mineral and fine tannins.  (****)
Chateau Hyot 2012 ($16.95 - #63537) – toasty, coffee and smoky with blackberry, cherry and smoked meat.  (*** ½)
France (Burgundy) …
Cave de Lugny Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Blanc de Blancs ($21.95 - #460865) – nice and clean with apple, lemon rind, peach and mineral.  (****)
Joseph Drouhin 2014 Macon-Bussieres Les Clos ($20.95 - #470401) – lemon zest, apple, peach and apricot.  (*** ½+)
Louis Moreau 2015 La Vigne Blanche Chablis ($21.95 - #474932) – melon rind, mineral, and apple; pleasant.  (*** ½+)
France (Champagne) …
Gardet Cuvee Saint Flavy Brut Tradition Champagne ($42.95 - #924654) – yeasty, biscuit, bruised apple and lemon zest. (*** ½+) … HDW
Moutard Pere et Fils Rose de Cuvaison Brut Champagne ($49.95 – #340091) – raspberry, strawberry, peach and nice acidity with a pleasing palate.  (****) … HDW
France (Loire) …
Chateau de Sancerre 2014 Sancerre ($24.95 - #340893) – mineral and grapefruit zest.  (*** ½)
Pierre-Luc Bouchard 2015 Muscadet Sevre & Maine ($14.95 - #82461) – dry and minerally, mac apple but without the sweetness and a lime pith finish.  (*** ½)
France (Rhone) …
Famille Perrin 2013 Les Christins Vacqueyras ($24.95 - #973453) – smoky licorice, vanilla, blackberry and violets.  (****)

Hungary …
Puklus Pinceszet 2012 3 Puttonyos Tokaji Aszu ($20.95 - #980805) – subtle yet sweet with peach, pear, fig and honey.  (****)

Italy (Piedmont) …
Michele Chiarlo 2012 Palas Barolo ($37.95 - #474437) – dried cherry, smoky, with good acidity; a food friendly wine.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Puglia) …
Schola Sarmenti 2012 Nerio Riserva ($21.95 - #473082) – from 50 year old vines; smoky, meaty, spiced-mocha, chocolate-blueberries; funky but something with character and total enjoyability.  (****)
Italy (Sicily) …
Donnafugata 2014 Sedara ($16.95 - #900274) – coffee-mocha, blackberry and boysenberry.  (*** ½)
Italy (Tuscany) …
Caparzo 2011 Brunello di Montalcino ($46.95 - #579094) – fruit forward yet dry with subtle herbal and spice, black berry and cherry with some sweet vanilla and wood.  (****) – HDW
Castelli del Grevepesa 2011 Clemente VII Chianti Classico Riserva ($21.95 - #643205) – coffee, blackberry, cassis and smoky.  (*** ½+)
La Vite Lucente 2014 ($34.95 - #747030) – solid blackberry backbone with cassis, black tea and firm tannins.  (*** ½+) – HDW
Italy (Veneto) …
Azienda Agricola S. Cristina 2015 Chardonnay ($21.95 - #474924) – fruit forward with peach, pear, apple and good acidity.  (****)

New Zealand …
Momo 2014 Pinot Noir ($19.95 - #163972) – soft and approachable, cranberry and black cherry fruit.  (*** ½)
Villa Maria 2015 Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc ($19.95 - #974527) – grapefruit with lemon and lime pith.  (*** ½)

Portugal …
Dow’s 2002 Colheita Tawny Port ($39.95 - #473058) – still exceedingly fresh for its age, great fig, caramel, spice, nutmeg, cinnamon candy; layered and complex.  (**** ½) … HDW
Quinta das Setencostas 2012 Alenquer ($13.95 - #50930) – chalky, mineral but still with pleasant plum, cherry, vanilla and cinnamon.  (*** ½+)
Quinta do Quetzal Guadalupe 2012 Winemaker’s Selection Red ($15.95 - #408138) – herbal and spice lead things off with cherry, plum, vanilla and an elegant leaness that makes it truly inviting as a sipper or with food.  (****)

Spain …
Alto Moncayo Veraton 2013 Garnacha ($34.95 - #173211) – chocolate, blueberry, black cherry, vanilla, cassis, red plum and black licorice.  (****)
Burgo 2012 Viejo Crianza ($15.95 - #168815) – simple and supple with plum and cherry fruit.  (*** ½)
El Maestro Sierra 12-Year-Old Amontillado ($27.95 - #310458) – very nutty and salty with dried fruit and a dry finish.  (*** ½+)

United States (California) …
Austin Hope 2013 Syrah ($40.95 - #686121) – smooth with plum, black cherry, hint of coffee, rich and juicy with white pepper subtlety.  (****)
J Lohr 2014 Los Osos Merlot ($22.95 - #27516) – black cherry, plum, vanilla and mocha.  (*** ½+)0
J Lohr 2014 October Night Chardonnay ($34.95 - #225375) – fruit forward with subtlety of oak; baked apple, pear, spiced caramel and vanilla, quite elegant.  (****+)
Joel Gott 2013 815 Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.95 - #444059) – pleasant sweet red fruit entry with plum, vanilla, chocolate and mid-length finish.  (*** ½+)
McManis 2015 Chardonnay ($19.95 - #265983) – soft and supple with vanilla apple at its core.  (*** ½+)
Ravenswood 2014 Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel ($21.95 - #942599) – plum and black cherry is the backbone of this wine with blueberry, mocha and vanilla with subtle spiciness.  (****)
United States (Washington) …
14 Hands 2014 Chardonnay ($18.95 - #468546) – nice vanilla seam, less creamy more fruity with caramel undertones.  (*** ½)
14 Hands 2014 Merlot ($18.95 - #463000) – hints of coffee and campfire with a blackberry juiciness.  (*** ½)
Chateau Smith 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.95 - #280107) – blueberry, plum, vanilla and floral.  (*** ½+)

________________________________________

In-Store Discoveries:  wines that appear on the shelves of your local Vintages outlet …
Chateau Ste Michelle 2012 Cold Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – Washington ($42.95 - #468520) - **** ½
Pahlmeyer 2013 Proprietary Red - California ($282.00 - #739565) - ****+
Stags’ Leap Winery 2013 Ne Cede Malis Petite Sirah - California ($89.95 - #589572) - *** ½+

If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Burrowing Owl 2013 Meritage - British Columbia ($58.95 - #343038) - ****
Cliff Lede 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon - California ($114.95 - #14217) - ****
E. Guigal 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape – France ($63.95 - #727503) - **** - HDW
Far Niente 2014 Chardonnay - California ($99.95 - #539130) - *** ½+
Ornellaia 2013 - Italy ($199.95 - #722470) - **** ½ - HDW
Paul Hobbs 2013 Crossbarn Cabernet Sauvignon – California ($69.95 - #118695) - ****
Paul Hobbs 2014 Russian River Valley Chardonnay - California ($64.95 - #119073) - *** ½+
Two Hands 2014 Bella’s Garden Shiraz - Australia ($64.95 - #636407) - ****

Other Stuff That’s Fine, But It’s Not Wine …
Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers Vermouth - Ontario ($19.95 - #477356) - **** … (HDW)

What I’ll Be Lining Up For (December 10, 2016) …
Quinta do Quetzal Guadalupe 2012 Winemaker’s Selection Red ($15.95 - #408138) – Portugal
Vina Tarapaca 2015 Gran Reserva Pinot Noir ($17.95 - #404210) - Chile

Happy Shopping

 

 

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