Saturday January 21, 2017 - Vintages Release Report

17 Jan 2017

 

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 … Portugal (PRT) and Argentina (ARG)
The Skinny … Not the greatest of releases, but not the worst; the Portuguese wines are the saddest grouping I have tasted in a while, but the Argentinean stuff more than makes up for it.  There are a couple of nice wines in the “What I’d Get” line-up for under $20, and there’s a Rhone Valley red for $26 that’s the best in the release.

Argentina …
Altaland 2015 Historico Tinto ($16.95 - #477323) – hints of mocha, wood, cassis, finishing smoky.  (***) – ARG
Catena Alta 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon ($47.95 - #959965) – good fruit flavours of blueberry and cassis with a tangy and herbal component.  (*** ½) – ARG
Colome Estate 2013 Malbec ($29.95 - #477315) – blueberry, spice and pepper with good acidity.  (****) – ARG
Fabre Montmayou 2014 Barrel Selection Malbec ($18.95 - #477364) – blue and black berry with black cherry and spice.  (*** ½+) – ARG
Vina Cobos 2015 Felino Chardonnay ($19.95 - #119099) – nice weight with good tropical, pineapple, peach, vanilla, butter and with a spicy finish; very California in style.  (****) – ARG
Vina Cobos 2015 Felino Malbec ($19.95 - #118067) – supple and smooth with black cherry, and a peppery note to the finish.  (*** ½) – ARG
Zuccardi 2014 Emma Bonarda ($39.95 - #477372) – dark fruit and spice, this wine is a nice version of Bonarda, but price is an issue here.  (***) – ARG

Australia …
Penfolds 2014 Bin 2 Shiraz/Mataro ($24.95 - #468629) – nuanced flavours or white pepper, mocha, blackberry, cassis and red currants with hints of spice on the finish.  (*** ½+)

Austria …
Rabl 2015 Langenlois Gruner Veltliner ($14.95 - #377457) – peapod, citrus and mineral with a long finish.  (*** ½)

Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Chateau des Charmes 2015 St. David’s Bench Vineyard Gamay Noir Droit ($17.95 - #346742) - *** ½+
Featherstone 2015 Black Sheep Riesling ($16.95 - #80234) - ****+
Inniskillin 2014 Cabernet Franc Icewine ($54.95 / 200ml - #149963) - ****
The Tragically Hip 2015 Fully Completely Grand Reserve Red ($24.95 - #411595) - ***+

Chile …
Santa Alicia 2012 Millantu ($24.95 - #469288) – layers of dark fruit, chocolate, herbal, floral and spice; playful yet serious at the same time, with a lengthy spiced finish.  (****)

France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau Larose-Trintaudon 2012 ($24.95 - #297945) – nice balance of oak, smoke, and blackberry; needs time but will reward.  (*** ½+)
France (Loire) …
Jean-Max Roger 2014 Cuvee CM Sancerre Blanc ($27.95 - #196667) – nice grassy and grapefruit zest note.  (*** ½+)
France (Rhone) …
Domaine Durieu 2014 Chateauneuf-du-Pape ($41.95 - #320168) – good balance of dark and red fruit, cherry, chocolate, mocha, pepper and spice.  (****)
Ferraton Pere & Fils 2014 Samorens Cotes du Rhone ($15.95 - #168708) – dark fruit and berries with mocha-cherry notes.  (*** ½)
Lavau 2014 Vacqueyras ($25.95 - #104927)  - plum, cherry, blackberry, chocolate with a touch of oak, it’s well balanced with good acidity on the finish; best wine in the release.  (****+)

Germany …
Loosen Bros. 2015 Dr. L Riesling ($13.95 - #599274) – nice acid / sweetness balance ratio with apple, pear, peach and mineral-stoniness; great value for a really good wine.  (****)

Italy (Piedmont) …
Michele Chiarlo 2015 Le Marne Gavi ($16.95 - #228528) – crisp with plenty of citrus zest.  (*** ½)
Italy (Puglia) …
San Marzano 2012 Vindoro Negroamaro ($18.95 - #473181) – sweet fruit, fresh, dark and concentrated; smooth and silky.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Tuscany) …
Basciano 2013 Chianti Rufina ($15.95 - #68163) – red berries, cedar with bramble note on the finish.  (*** ½)
Bibbiano 2013 Chianti Classico ($23.95 - #168286) – smooth and approachable but with enough acidity to make it food friendly.  (*** ½+)
Corte Medicea 2014 Athos ($29.95 - #475996) – pleasant dark berry, mocha, black cherry, nice mouthfeel with hints of plum and oak on the mid-palate.  (****)
Italy (Veneto) …
Bolla 2014 Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore ($19.95 - #475574) – real smoky with coffee notes lead the charge, vanilla, black cherry and mocha take over mid to finish.  (*** ½+)
Gran Passione 2015 Rosso ($16.95 - #410704) – plum, leather, and cherry are the real stars of this show; the nose dissuades but the palate really comes through: vanilla-cinnamon finish with friendly lingering spice.  (****)

New Zealand …
Babich 2014 Black Label Pinot Noir ($24.95 - #465963) – smooth and silky with violets, cherry and smoky flavours and aromas.  (****)

Portugal …
Beyra 2014 Vinhos de Altitude Red ($12.95 - #408120) – nice red fruit flavours touched by spice.  (*** ½) – PRT
Quinta do Portal 2014 Frontaria ($14.95 - #324533) – it has a cherry core and a little blackberry and spice.  (*** ½) – PRT

Spain …
Borsao 2013 Crianza ($15.95 - #472563) – good approachability, easy and smooth.  (*** ½)
Don Jacobo 2009 Reserva ($22.95 - #313270) – raspberry, cherry, coffee, menthol and cedar.  (*** ½)
Honoro Vera 2015 Monastrell ($13.95 - #167684) – generous dark berry fruit concentrated on both the aroma and flavour, great value in a soft, easy drinking, approachable red.  (*** ½+)

United States (California) …
Bogle 2014 Essential Red ($21.95 - #394452) – sweet plum, cherry, vanilla with cocoa playing in the background.  (***)
Ironstone 2015 Chardonnay ($17.95 - #355776) – touched by tropical and peach pit notes, it’s a decent Chardonnay for the price.  (*** ½)
Sterling Vineyards 2014 Oak Knoll Chardonnay ($29.95 - #478891) – very oaky, smoky, grapefruit zest and apple.  (*** ½)
________________________________________

In-Store Discoveries:  wines that appear on the shelves of your local Vintages outlet …
Camus Elegance XO Cognac, France ($216.95 - #79288) … ****
Domaine Poulet & Fils Tradition Clairette de Die, France ($17.95 - #460758) … *** ½
Spy Valley 2012 Envoy Outpost Vineyard Pinot Noir, New Zealand ($49.95 - #465872) - *** ½  
Vigneti Zabu 2011 Impari Nero D’Avola, Italy ($36.95 - #477968) - ****

If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Antinori 2011 Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino, Italy ($62.95 - #651141) - ****+

What I’ll Be Lining Up For (January 21, 2017) …
Loosen Bros. 2015 Dr. L Riesling ($13.95 - #599274) – Germany
Gran Passione 2015 Rosso ($16.95 - #410704) – Italy
Vina Cobos 2015 Felino Chardonnay ($19.95 - #119099) – Argentina

Happy Shopping

 

 

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