Saturday April 1, 2017 - Vintages Release Report

29 Mar 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 … Visionaries / Innovators & Pioneers (VIP) + Easter & Passover (EP)
The Skinny … There’s a pretty good array of Ontario wines this release but the Kosher wines aren’t among them, the VIP wines are a strange mix of great winemakers and some pretty blasé spotlight wines (they make far better) and then there are the wines you should get, I expanded the “What I’d Be Lining Up For” section to include the best wines under $30 – these are the best value wines of this release.

Argentina …
Catena 2014 Appellation Agrelo Cabernet Sauvignon ($22.95 - #484303) – I like the light-weight red and black berries with subtle spice; this does not beat you over the head it’s as elegant as Cab can get.  (****) … VIP
    
Australia …
Dutschke 2013 GHR Neigbours Shiraz ($26.95 - #247296) – like the herbal, cocoa, black cherry with smoky and savoury notes; spicy fruit, good acidity and nice intensity.  (****+)
Glaetzer 2015 Bishop Shiraz ($39.95 - #627869) – full bodied and rich with chocolate, black cherry and blackberry.  (****) … VIP

Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Flat Rock 2015 Unplugged Chardonnay ($16.95 - #068015) - *** ½
Foreign Affair 2012 Chardonnay ($26.95 - #149211) - *** ½+
Henry of Pelham 2014 Speck Family Reserve Chardonnay ($29.95 - #616466) - **** (EP)
Ridgepoint Wines 2011 Ripasso Cabernet/Merlot ($19.95 - #485599) - *** ½ (EP)
Stratus 2012 Red ($44.20 - #131037) - ****+
Stratus 2015 Wildass Riesling ($16.95 - #129700) - *** ½+
Tawse 2012 Sketches of Niagara Cabernet/Merlot ($20.95 - #130252) - *** ½ (VIP)
Union 2012 Forte ($17.95 - #361758) - ****+

Chile …
Chocalan 2015 Origen gran reserve Syrah ($15.95 - #038513) – sweet and smoky with dark fruit and blackberry.  (*** ½)

France (Beaujolais) …
P. Ferraud & Fils 2015 Domaine Ferraud Les Charmes Morgon ($17.95 - #268052) – licorice, cherry, raspberry with good concentration within; drink 5+ years.  (****)
France (Burgundy) …
Bailly Lapierre Reserve Brut Cremant de Bourgogne ($19.95 - #991562) – fresh lime/lemon, bracing acidity and green apple on the finish.  (****)
France (Rhone) …
Domaine du Grapillon D’or 2014 Gigondas ($32.95 - #981787) – elegant, mineral, cherry, spice, garrigue and floral; this is a pretty wine.  (****+)
Les Halos de Jupiter 2014 Cotes du Rhone ($17.95 - #276956) – cherry, raspberry, smoky, herbal and easy drinking.  (*** ½)
Xavier 2015 Ventoux ($15.95 - #413211) – plum, black cherry, blueberry and smoke.  (*** ½+)
France (Roussillon) …
Famille Lafage 2014 Lieu Dit Narassa ($24.95 - #483313) – mainly Grenache with 30% Syrah, rich and flavourful with a big 15% alcohol; black currant, plum, black cherry, chocolate with a café latte finish.  (****+)
France (Southwest) …
Brumont 2011 Tour Bouscasse ($18.95 - #414615) – plum and cigar box with herbal and savoury notes.  (*** ½)

Italy (Tuscany) …
Brancaia 2013 Riserva Chianti Classico ($36.95 - #260802) – smoky black cherry and herbal, with nice acidity and quite age-able.  (****)
Leonardo da Vinci 2011 Rosso di Montalcino ($18.95 - #451419) – herbal, cherry, nice drink-nowness with food friendly acidity.  (*** ½+)
Tommasi Casisano 2011 Brunello di Montalcino ($49.95 - #483800) – bold and generous of fruit with plum, blackberry, black cherry along with a touch of raspberry and raspberry on the finish.  (****)
Italy (Veneto) …
Remo Farina 2015 Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore ($17.95 - #999946) – rather simple with notes of chocolate and cherry.  (*** ½)

New Zealand …
Giesen 2014 Riesling ($16.95 - #277673) – nice talcy note, mineral, pear with a semi-sweet note on the finish.  (*** ½+)
Invivo 2014 Central Otago Pinot Noir ($24.95 - #466029) – nice layering with black and red cherry, cranberry cocktail and white pepper.  (****)
Squealing Pig 2014 Pinot Noir ($24.95 - #427211) – subtle yet flavourful with sweet and sour cherry and cran-apple notes.  (*** ½+)

Portugal …
Castello D’Alba 2013 Vinhas Velhas Grande Reserva ($22.95 - #427880) – nice cocoa powder, plum, cherry, and blackberry; very pleasing for the palate.  (*** ½+)
Dow’s 2011 LBV Port ($19.95 - #533364) – deep, rich and flavourful with raisins, plums and nice balancing acidity.  (****)

South Africa …
Ken Forrester 2016 Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc ($17.95 - #231282) – lanolin, lime, peach pit and grapefruit zest; this is great example of South African Chenin.  (*** ½+) … VIP

Spain …
Senorio de la Antigua 2012 Mencia ($13.95 - #481549) – red berries and spicy; very appealing. (*** ½+)

United States (California) …
J. Lohr 2014 Los Osos Merlot ($22.95 - #027516) – soft and silky Merlot with a juicy core of blueberry and raspberry. (****)
La Crema 2014 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($29.95 - #962886) – heavy oak, butter and vanilla, but it’s California so I expect it and lovers of this style will be all over it.  (*** ½+)
Stonehedge 2014 Grand Reserve Chardonnay ($21.95 - #311548) – quite woody but underneath  there is tangerine/mandarin orange and pear skin.  (*** ½)
United States (Washington) …
Airfield 2014 Yakima Valley Chardonnay ($24.95 - #479295) – apple, peach pit, vanilla, burnt butter and hints of tropical fruit with balancing acidity.  (****)
Wines of Substance 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon ($27.95 - #419770) – dark fruit flavours without being overwhelming, good tannins, pleasant plum and vanilla on the finish.  (****) … VIP
________________________________________

In-Store Discoveries:  wines that appear on the shelves of your local Vintages outlet …
Domaine Billaud-Simon 2012 Mont de Milieu Chablis 1er Cru, France ($49.95 - #373548) … *** ½+
Gonzalez Byass Del Duque Vors Amontillado Sherry, Spain ($40.00 - #694331) … ****
La Lecciaia 2010 Riserva Brunello di Montalcino, Italy ($69.95 - #241307) … *** ½+
Louis Roederer 2009 Nature Brut Champagne, France ($112.95 - #440891) … ****
Marchesi de’Frescobaldi 2012 Mormoreto, Italy ($63.95 - #951210) … *** ½+

If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Chateau Tronquoy Lalande 2009, France ($79.95 - #490128) … ****
Freemark Abbey 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($55.95 - #904532) … *** ½+
Gaja 2014 Ca’ Marcanda Promis, Italy ($54.95 - #745638) … **** (VIP)
Pietranera 2010 Riserva Brunello di Montalcino, Italy ($76.95 - #473116) … *** ½+

What I’ll Be Lining Up For (April 1, 2017) …
Catena 2014 Appellation Agrelo Cabernet Sauvignon ($22.95 - #484303) – Argentina
Dutschke 2013 GHR Neigbours Shiraz ($26.95 - #247296) – Australia
Famille Lafage 2014 Lieu Dit Narassa ($24.95 - #483313) – France
P. Ferraud & Fils 2015 Domaine Ferraud Les Charmes Morgon ($17.95 - #268052) – France

Happy Shopping

 

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