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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.

Pure Discovery : New Zealand Wine Fair 2019

28 May 2019

(May 2019) … The annual New Zealand Wine Fair came to Toronto in what seemed like a much smaller affair than usual.  23 wineries in attendance, 135 wines on offer … nice to see a number of spotlight tables focusing in on some of the lesser known things New Zealand does so well, like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and aromatic whites.

Below are the wines that scored three stars or above during my tasting … only one wine actually falls into the 3 star camp (average), but the price makes it something that might end up being a gateway for people looking to experiment with New Zealand wines.    

Three PLUS Stars (***+)

Babich 2018 Te Henga Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough ($12.95 – arriving LCBO soon)

Three-and-a-Half Stars (*** ½)

Aronui 2016 Chardonnay, Nelson New Zealand Fair 2019
Churton 2016 Viognier, Marlborough
Imigrant Vineyard 2018 Ruru Pinot Gris, Central Otago
Loveblock 2018 Pinot Gris Awatere Valley, Marlborough
Luna Estate 2016 Eclipse Vineyard Pinot Noir, Marlborough
Nobilo 2018 Icon Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough
Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee Rosé, Hawke’s Bay
Sacred Hill 2018 Pinot Noir, Marlborough
Villa Maria 2018 Reserve Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough
Villa Maria 2017 Cellar Selection Chardonnay, Marlborough
Whitehaven 2018 Greg Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough
Whitehaven 2017 Pinot Gris, Marlborough
Whitehaven 2018 Pinot Noir Rosé, Marlborough
Yealands 2017 Gruner Veltline Awatere Valley, Marlborough

Three-and-a-Half PLUS Stars (*** ½+)

Babich 2018 Albarino, Marlborough
Babich 2018 Rosé, Marlborough
Babich 2017 Black Label Pinot Gris, Marlborough
Babich 2017 Black Label Chardonnay, Hawke’s Bay
Felton Road 2010 Bannockburn Pinot Noir, Central Otago
Immigrant Vineyard 2016 Ruru Pinot Noir Alexandra, Central Otago
Loveblock 2018 Pinot Noir Bendigo, Central Otago
Luna Estate 2017 Eclipse Chardonnay, Martinborough
Luna Estate 2016 Blue Rock Vineyard Pinot Noir, Martinborough
Nautilus Estate 2015 Pinot Noir, Marlborough
Nobilo 2017 Icon Pinot Noir, Marlborough
Sacred Hill 2018 Reserve Chardonnay, Hawke’s Bay
Te Awanga Estate 2017 Syrah, Hawke’s Bay
Vidal 2017 Reserve Pinot Gris, Marlborough
Whitehaven 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough

Four Stars (****)

Auntsfield 2016 Single Vineyard Chardonnay, Marlborough
Babich 2016 Winemaker’s Reserve Merlot, Hawke’s Bay
Craggy Range 2017 Chardonnay, Hawke’s Bay
Esk Valley 2014 Winemakers Reserve Syrah, Hawke’s Bay (see write up)
Felton Road 2010 Chardonnay Bannockburn, Central Otago
Nautilus Estate 2015 Cuvee Brut, Marlborough
Whitehaven 2015 Pinot Noir, Marlborough


The Oregon Wine Trail Tasting 2019 - Toronto

07 May 2019

(April 9, 2019) ... Time for the annual Oregon wine fair in Toronto and a quick look at the wines of Oregon from the varieties that matter to the wiens I tried and scored.

Top 5 Grape Varieties of Oregon:
58% Pinot Noir / 14% Pinot Gris / 6% Chardonnay / 4% Syrah / 3% Cabernet Sauvignon
15% Other (including Merlot and Riesling)

Oregon by the numbers:
37 wineries / 136 wines / 86 wines tried / 33 wines scored

Three-and-a-Half Stars …

Adelsheim 2016 Staking Claim Chardonnay
Airlie Winery 2017 Pinot Blanc
Airlie Winery 2018 Pinot Gris
Anne Amie Vineyards 2016 Gamay Noir
Anne Amie Vineyards 2015 Two Estates Pinot Noir
Antiquum Farm 2017 Daisy Pinot Gris
Archery 2017 Pinot Noir
Argyle Winery 2016 Nuthouse Pinot Noir
Penner-Ash Wine Cellars 2015 Syrah
Phelps Creek Vineyards 2016 Cuvee Alexandrine
Portlandia Vintners 2018 Rosé
Stoller Family Estate 2018 Pinot Noir Rosé
Stoller Family Estate 2017 Pinot Noir
The Four Graces 2017 Pinot Gris
Union Wine Company 2018 Underwood Pinot Gris

Three-and-a-Half PLUS Stars … Oregon 2019

Acrobat 2018 Rosé
Anne Amie Vineyards 2017 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Argyle Winery 2015 Vintage Brut
Argyle Winery 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir
Boedecker Cellars 2014 Steward Pinot Noir
Elk Cove Vineyards 2016 Pinot Noir
Elk Cove Vineyards 2016 Mount Richmond Pinot Noir
Foris Vineyards 2017 Estate Pinot Noir
Lavinea 2016 Elton Vineyard Pinot Noir

Four Stars …

Acrobat 2016 Pinot Noir
Archery Summit 2016 Pinot Noir
Boedecker Cellars 2014 Athena Pinot Noir
Cristom Vineyards 2016 Louise Vineyard Pinot Noir
Domane Drouhin 2016 Roserock Chardonnay
Domaine Drouhin 2016 Roserock Zephirine Pinot Noir
Penner-Ash Wine Cellars 2016 Pinot Noir

Four-and-a-Half PLUS Stars …

Archery Summit 2016 Arcus Pinot Noir
Domaine Drouhin 2015 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir


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