On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Mark Anthony: Port And Place 2024

16 May 2024

Anthony 1a

(September 2023) … Mass tastings/ agent tastings have fallen out of favor in the last few years, which is why I was thrilled to see Mark Anthony throw the doors open and have one. There are some great producers in attendance and some great wines on display. Anything under four stars? Just received a mark; above four, got a note.

Here are the wines that impressed ...

(Three-and-a-Half PLUS)

Alois Lageder 2022 Chardonnay – Alto Adige(Italy)
Alois Lageder 2020 Krafuss Pinot Noir(Italy)
Arboleda 2022 Pinot Noir ... (Chile)
Attems Ramato DOC Friuli ... (Italy)
Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella Valpantena ... (Italy)
Brotte 2020 CDR Villages Cairanne Creation Grosset ... (France)
Brotte 2021 Le Fiole Cote du Rhone ... (France)
Chateau St Jean 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon(U.S.A)
Garzon 2018 Balasto ... (Uruguay)
Hope Family 2020 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon(USA)
Maison Louis Latour 2020 Saint Aubin 1er Cru ... (France)
Rodney Strong Merlot, Sonoma ... (USA)
Velvet Devil 2020 Merlot ... (Washington)
Kung Fu Girl 2022 Riesling ... (Washington)
Gobbiano Riserva Chianti Classico ... (Italy)
Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz – Cabernet ... (Australia)


Attems Cicinis DOC Collio(Italy)
Attems Pinot Grigio DOC Friuli(Italy)
Bertani Soave Original Vintage Edition (Italy)
Bertani Valpolicella Valpantena (Italy)
Brotte 2022 Cote de Rhone Villages, Laudun Bord Elegance(France)
Chateau St Jean 2021 Chardonnay(USA)
Garzon 2023 Estate Pinot Noir Rosé(Uruguay)
Garzon 2023 Reserva Albarino(Uruguay)

(FOUR Stars)

Alois Lageder 2018 Cor romigberg - Cabernet Sauvignon(Italy)
- Good balance in a cool climate Cab: earthy, juicy cranberry, rhubarb … quite Pinot-esque

Brotte 2018 Domaine Barville CDP Red(France)
- This is a dense and delicious bottle of Grenache with a little Syrah and Mourvedre added in.

Brotte 2019 Hauts de Barville CDP(France)
- Red and black fruit with subtle spice and good structure.

Hope Family Wines 2021 Austin Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon(USA)
- Succulent: easy mocha, cherry with a sweet fruit finish

Lanson Black Label (France)
- Base wines are from 2017 – the 4.5 years on lees; creamy mid with good acidity on the finish.

Lanson Green Label - 2018 Base Wine(France)
- Base wine is from 2018; acidity sings. This wine’s claim to fame is it is all single harvested from a single vineyard.

Maison Louis Latour 2020 Corton - Charlemagne Grand Cru(France)
- Rich, supple and pleasant with notes of butter and toffee.

Ornellaia 2021 Le Volte(Italy) Le Volte
- Great fruit core with smoky nuances – all backed by dark fruit and a long finish.

Ornellaia 2020 DOC Bolgheri Superiore(Italy)
- Earthy, smoky and blackberry, plus a little cassis on the finish.

ImageryImagery 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon(USA)
- A really pretty palate with good tannins, good fruit and a lovely spicy finish.







Alois Lageder 2022 Vernatsch-Schiava(Italy) Schiava
- Lovely and fresh, a fruit driven wine that’s juicy with a hint of pepper.

Chateau St. Jean 2018 Cing Cepages(USA)
- Smooth and silky; undertones of herbal and floral with a dark fruit core.

Henkell 2016 Cremant de Loire Brut AOC(Germany / France)
- Big surprise here, the German giant making a Loire bubble: nice acidity with a purity of fruit and mineral mix.

Lanson RoseLanson NV Rosé (France)
- Pretty floral, raspberry and lime – very pretty.

Maison Louis Latour 2020 Corton Grancey(France)
- Smooth black fruit, subtle earthy character and spiced plum.

Rodney Strong 2020 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon(USA)
- 5% Merlot and 4% Malbec – good mouthfeel; smooth and smoky, with a pleasant coffee and cherry note running all the way to the finish.

Tenuta Luce 2020 Luce ICT Toscana(Italy) Luce
- Smoky black cherry; with a cran-cassis finish.




Spirits (out of 3)

Bearface Wilderness Series 02
- Smoky and salty: smooth and unique - this one is yummy … (2.5)

GlendaloughGlendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey
- A fruity mid-palate and a silky, smooth finish; this is a Super Bowl whisky … (2)


Martin's Lane Tasting - 2020 Release

13 May 2024

(December 2023) … Martin’s Lane is celebrating their 10th vintage – this is a producer in British Columbia that focuses on Pinot Noir and Riesling. Today, the focus was on their 2020 Pinot Noirs; so much diversity from different parts of the vineyard, and all with their own characteristics ... in a good way.

The wines see similar treatment, so that the diversity they display is vineyard and terroir derived: 25-30% new oak for the most part - Austrian cooperage – and it’s all about the subtlety of oak.

Martin's Lane Winery 2020 Fritzi's Vineyard Pinot Noir
Highest yielding vineyard / clay soil in this hilly vineyard which gets plenty of morning sun ... A silky, luxurious Pinot with pleasant fruit notes (plum and strawberry), spice sits under the fruit and there's an herbal sensation - delicate and delicious - the tannins are seamlessly integrated.  (**** ½+)

Martin's Lane Winery 2020 Simes Vineyard Pinot Noir
This is the last vineyard to be picked completely, it north facing, is slower to ripen allowing the fruit to mature at at even pace. Then it is 70% whole bunch pressed and fermented in concrete ... Kicks at the nose like a sniff of Chanel no. 5 ... This is a pretty Pinot, with lots of floral notes with a nice cherry strawberry spiced-rhubarb. Tannins are silky by comparison to the other Pinots in this line-up.  (**** ½)

Martin's Lane Winery 2020 Naramata Ranch - Zenith Pinot Noir
Very last parcel picked at Martin's, and their first single block release. It is the coolest and warmest block based on the diurnal shifts. It sits 100m from the lake and 100m higher ... Dark fruit along with anise / sage / herbal with a nice bit of smoke in the mid-palate, tannins are not in the way but they play in there.  (**** ½)

Martin's Lane Winery 2020 Dehart Vineyard Pinot Noir
Furtherest vineyard from the lake / multi-clones = different harvest dates / 60-65% whole cluster. There’s a floral and earthy note that retains a pretty palate and plenty of acidity - tannins a little grippy - good texture, needs a few years - but there is a lovely elegance here.  (****+)

Martin's Lane Winery 2020 Naramata Ranch Pinot Noir
Spectacular looking vineyard, diverse vineyard that will be broken up into blocks going forward / Much dark fruit - licorice and subtle smoke - palate is approachable, but lackluster and lacking cohesion to the point of being boring as compared to the first.  (*** ½)


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