San Salvatore

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.

Anteprima Sagrantino: Montefalco Rosso Riserva

19 Sep 2022

(May 2022) … Some of the wines below are barrel samples, and therefore are given a Good / Better / Best rating for potential in the future. Any wine that is finished and in bottle is given a star rating.

Observations and Comments …

This might sound like a putdown, but it's a serious comment/criticism about this style of wine: it’s un-necessary and dilutes the output; to me it’s a style in search of a reason, and it shows in the product. There’s nothing wrong with these wines, but to carry a “Riserva” moniker on the label one should be wow-ed by the wine inside the bottle, here there was very little "wow-factor".

Here is something to seriously consideration: as more consumers look away from the Reserve realm and more into Single Vineyard, or wines of small sources or limited origin, I believe it would serve the region much better to turn this level of wine into a single vineyard, or "cru" level, instead of using "Riserva" on the label. 

Lungarotti 2019 Montefalco Rosso DOC Riserva (barrel sample) ... Good
Adanti 2015 Montefalco Rosso DOC Riserva ... *** ½
Briziarelli 2018 Montefalco Rosso DOC Riserva Rosso Matone ... (*** ½+)
Moretti Omera 2018 Montefalco Rosso DOC Riserva Faccia Tosta … (*** ½)
Terre de la Custodia 2016 Montefalco Rosso DOC Rubium … (*** ½+)
Pardi 2019 Montefalco Rosso DOC (barrel sample) ... Good
Tenuta di Saragano 2017 Montefalco Rosso DOC Saragano (barrel sample) ... Good
Terre San Felice 2018 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (*** ½)
Valdangius 2018 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (*** ½+)



Wakefield Returns

16 Sep 2022

Chef Erin


(April 6th, 2022) ... The irony here is that the last tasting in Toronto I did before we locked down for 2 years was Wakefield ... And now that we have opened back up, Justin Taylor is back for a dinner and discussion about Wakefield at the Dish Cooking Studio, where chef Erin Ross doled out some delicious items in an attempt to pair food with these, mostly, powerhouse wines. I think she did all right.

Wakefield RieslingThe opening wine is a Riesling, which proved that Wakefield seems to be doing wonders with this variety in the hot-as-balls Aussie climate. Canapés were passed around to match.



First course, paired with 2020 Chardonnay

Dungeness crab cake with charred corn and sweet pepper relish, plus fresh dill crema

Wakefield ShirazWakefield 2020 Chardonnay ($16.95 – Australia – LCBO 711556)
This subtly oaky, but mostly fruity Chardonnay is full of creamy, buttery, and caramel apple notes; decent acidity and subtle spice. Well-balanced and better in the freshness department than you should expect from any Aussie Chardonnay. (****)



Second course, paired with 2019 Shiraz

Beef tenderloin with roasted garlic, white bean puree, red wine, pan sauce, caramelized mushroom and crispy parsnip

Wakefield ShirazWakefield 2019 Jaraman Shiraz ($24.95 – Australia – LCBO 377036)
This is one of those tasty wines that just keeps getting better the more you sip on it. Plenty of plum, blackberry, cassis and white pepper upfront, which then repeats full-force on the palate: super-juicy. The more you sip the more the pepper begins to materialize on the palate, and while the fruit stays constant and concentrated that pepper note balances the fruit and then adds some silky tannins.  (****+)



Third course, paired with 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Jaraman

Black pepper and rosemary crusted grilled lamb with braised lentils and caramelized fennel

Wakefield 2018 Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.95 – Australia – LCBO 142398)Wakefield Cab Sauv
This single region Cabernet is a double region in the 2018 version being from Clare Valley and Coonawarra. This is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to Wakefield wines. Jaraman are always beauty bottles: this year it’s all about the black cherry along with some vanilla and chocolate notes; they develop over the course of an evening, getting more complex. Well worth picking up two or three, with a couple for the cellar.  (****)


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