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.

Anteprime Toscana 2017: A Quick Look

11 Feb 2017


(February 11, 2017) ... TUSCANY - Look, it's not the flashiest of the tastings to come, nor is it always the best wines ... it is not the Grand Tasting, the Grand Selection or does it get the Grand Room (though an old fortress ain't a bad place to taste: Fortezza da Basso) - sadly, and for lack of a better phrase, it's the ALSO-RAN tasting, those off regions and Consorzios where they are just starting to hit the radar of wine drinkers and those just "bubbling under" in terms of brand recognition ... But, let's face it, Bordeaux wasn't the top dog from the moment they made wine either, at some point some ancient wine scribe or raconteur said, "Hey, have you tried those wines from that French region ... (snaps his fingers trying to jog his memory) ... Bor-something ... you know, I see some real promise there, not always the best wines, but real promising stuff.  (enthusaiastic snap) BORDEAUX, I knew I'd remember it."  Think of this tasting as one of those moments.

As for the wines, I did not take a copious amount of notes on them - by the time these wines see our shores (in Canada) they'll most likely be onto another vintage - but if you come across these wines in your travels I would suggest picking up a bottle and giving it a try - these are the wines I liked from each particular region.

Wines of Cortona

Val di Cornia

Valdarno di Sopra


Maremma Toscana

Isole d'Elba


Colline Lucchesi

Morellino di Scansano



International Roundup - January 2017

27 Jan 2017

Every so often I’ll add a number of new International reviews to the website: 

Looking for wines from Argentina, France, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain and California - I have you covered in this edition of the International Round Up:  this time out I have a real mixed bag of tasting notes highlighted by some wines from Charles Heidsieck (Champagne, France) and the unique wine for Marco Bonafante (Italy) - 29 wines in total ... see below for all the wines that made the cut (click on individual wines to see the full review):


Argentina …

Argento 2014 Malbec
Bodegas Colome 2013 Malbec, Autentico
Casa Bianati 2013 Malbec, Leo Premium
Catena Zapata 2010 Nicolas Cabernet-Malbec
Dominio del Plata 2014 Torrentes, Susana Balbo
Monteviejo 2010 Lindaflor Malbec-Syrah
Otaviano Penedo Borjes 2014 Chardonnay Reserve
Sin Fin Guardo 2013 Bonarda

France …

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne
Charles Heidsieck Rosé Reserve Champagne
G. Descombes 2014 Brouilly

Israel …

Tulip 2014 Just Blend

Italy …

Cesari 2013 Soave
Fantini 2014 Primitivo, Numero Uno
Marco Bonfante 2012 Albarossa ‘Albarone’
Marco Bonfante 2013 Nebbiolo ‘Imma'
Marco Bonfonte 2015 Ruero Arneis
Zenato 2013 Merlot, Sansonina
Zenato 2013 Veneto Rosso

New Zealand …

Saint Clair 2013 Chardonnay

Portugal …

Alianca 2011 Reserve, Bairrada

Spain …

Antano 2009 Reseva, Rioja
Bodegas Ateca 2014 Honoro Vera
Osbourne 2014 Solaz

United States - California …

Cambria 2014 Pinot Noir, Benchbreak
Jackson Estate 2014 Pinot Noir, Outland Ridge
La Jota 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain
Stonestreet 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Vineyard
Stonestreet 2014 Chardonnay, Estate Vineyard







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