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Saturday November 22, 2014 - Vintages Release Report

19 Nov 2014

To print this report click here for the PDF version.

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 … Finest Wines (FW)
The Skinny … “Finest Wines” means pricy wines and gift wines, so this release delivers on those; but there are also a few decent bargains to be had; also look out for the Perrin L’Andeol Rasteau, we tasted the awesome 2011 but the catalogue claims they are selling the 2012 (untasted) – hope that it’s a misprint.

Argentina …
Lamadrid 2009 Single Vineyard Gran Reserva Malbec ($25.95 - #375485) – cassis, mocha, blueberry, smoke and spice.  (*** ½+)

Australia …
Elderton 2012 High Altitude Shiraz ($19.95 - #382366) – not the jammy, over-ripe fruit you’ve come to expect, there’s some elegance of baking spice, cassis, plum and good acidity.  (*** ½+)
Josef Chromy 2012 Pepik Pinot Noir ($22.95 - #162990) – such a beautiful nose that lures you into the glass there’s even a floral aspect, but also light red berries and a supple juiciness all balanced by acidity.  (****+)
Penfolds 2011 Bin 389 Cabernet / Shiraz ($44.95 - #309625) – smoky, mocha dark fruit, a little pepper, a little chocolate and a little licorice goes an awful long way.  (****)
The Hedonist 2012 Shiraz ($21.95 - #90191) – a Shiraz that knows what it is: rich on dark berry fruit, spice, vanilla, cinnamon with a backbone of tannins and licorice all-sorts on the finish.  (****)

Canada (British Columbia) …
Mission Hill 2011 SLC Chardonnay ($24.95 - #144170) – toasty with lemon-apple and good acidity all kissed by a touch of oak. (*** ½+)
Quails’ Gate 2012 Merlot ($26.95 - #639633) – blueberry, cassis, white smoke, hints of cedar.  (****)
Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Calamus 2011 Cosmic Red ($17.95 - #342568) - *** ½
Cave Spring 2013 Riesling Icewine ($49.95 / 375ml - #447441) - ****
Coyote’s Run 2012 Red Paw Vineyard Chardonnay ($21.95 - #336115) - ****+
Fielding 2013 Estate Bottled Chardonnay ($21.95 - #355842) - *** ½+
Henry of Pelham 2013 Cabernet Icewine ($39.95 / 200ml - #672402) - ****
Henry of Pelham 2008 Cuvee Catharine Carte Blanche ($44.95 - #315200) - **** (FW)
Le Clos Jordanne 2011 Village Reserve Chardonnay ($30.00 - #33936) - *** ½+ (FW)
Pondview 2011 Bella Terra Chardonnay ($24.95 - #347922) - ****+
Reif 2012 Vidal Icewine ($24.95 / 200ml - #544791) - *** ½+
Tawse 2011 Daniel Lenko Vineyard Chardonnay ($44.95 - #344796) - ****+
Tawse 2010 Laidlaw Vineyard Pinot Noir ($44.95 - #264796) - ****+

Chile …
Santa Rita 2010 Medalla Real Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon ($17.95 - #275594) – blackberry, cassis, mint, tobacco, vanilla-wood with touch of black fruit sweetness.  (*** ½+)
Ventisquero 2011 Queulat Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon ($15.95 - #619937) – smooth, herbal, white pepper, mocha and mint.  (*** ½+)

France (Beaujolais) …
Domaine de L’Herminette 2013 Grand Cras Morgon ($19.95 - #390476) – needs a chill, but once there it’ll show lots of cherry, raspberry and floral.  (****)
France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau Lilian Ladouys 2010 ($31.85 - #257931) – smooth dark fruit with a supple almost creamy core, very pleasant.  (****)
Chateau Pindefleurs 2010 ($25.85 - #259523) – creamed coffee, smoke, tea bag and some nice grip.  (*** ½+)
Chateau Rahoul 2010 ($31.95 - #226043) – nice balance of dark smoke and coffee with hints of chocolate, mocha, blackberry and good tannins grip.  (****)
France (Burgundy) …
Bailly Lapierre Reserve Brut Cremant de Bourgogne ($19.95 - #991562) – crisp, lemon zest with apple sweetness and good acidity for balance.  (*** ½+)
Gerald Talmard 2012 Chardonnay Macon ($16.95 - #392712) – nice fruit, hint of creaminess with peach and lime pulp with a toasty edge to the finish.  Good length.  (*** ½+)
Louis Bouillot Perle D”Aurore Brut Rosé Cremant de Bourgogne ($19.95 - #48793) – refreshing and playful with a touch of tart raspberry flavour along with lemon-lime pith.  (*** ½+)
France (Midi) …
Nostre Pais 2012 Costieres de Nimes ($21.95 - #295410) – elegant with mocha, smoke, pepper, red currant, cassis and layers of flavour; a real nice dinner wine.  (****)
France (Rhone) …
Chateau de Nages 2012 JT Costieres de Nimes ($24.95 - #736876) – pepper, blackberry, plum, cassis and mocha; this wine has a lovely structure with mineral, herbal back-dropping some real elegant fruit.  (****+)
Domaine de Vieux Telegraphie 2012 Telegramme Chateauneuf-du-Pape ($49.95 - #292722) – full on fruit with added elements of spice, pepper, with just a touch of meatiness and a lovely finish.  (****+)
Domaine le Clos des Cazaux 2012 La Tour Sarrazine Gigondas ($29.95 - #279562) – very red fruit dominated with delicate spice.  (*** ½+)
Les Haloes de Jupiter 2012 Cotes du Rhone ($19.95 - #276956) – dried cherry, cassis, blueberry, white pepper and mocha.  (****)
Perrin 2011 L’Andeol Rasteau ($19.95 - #976845) – very nice fruit driven wine with cherry, plum, vanilla, blueberry, spice and that’s just the tip of it; the magazine says 2012, but we tried the 2011 – just be careful which you get.  (****+)

Germany …
Klump 2013 Pinot Gris ($23.95 – #394155) – white fruit, pear, peach, apple and mineral with balance.  (*** ½+)

Hungary …
Teleki Villanyi 2012 Kekfrankos ($13.95 - #142133) – one of the better Hungarian wins I’ve tasted through Vintages in quite a while, that wasn’t sweet, good spice, plum and dark fruit; really hope this type of wine becomes the new normal.  (*** ½+)

Italy (Alto Adige) …
Tramin 2013 Pinot Grigio ($17.95 - #627059) –simple but very tasty with lemon-lime zest and pear notes.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Piedmont) …
Brezza 2009 Sarmassa Barolo ($49.95 - #999730) – supple dried cherry, nice tannins and acidity with a floral bouquet and nice body.  (****)
Cascina Chicco Granera Alta Barbera D’Alba 2012 ($17.95 - #382754) – mouthfilling with anise and spice along with blueberry and pomegranate.  (*** ½+)
Principessa 2013 Gavia Gavi ($19.95 - *** ½+) – light and refreshing with hints of pear and mac apple with a touch of mineral and floral.  (*** ½+)
Tenua Stefano Farina 2009 Le Brume Langhe ($16.95 - #360073) – screams herbal on the nose with strawberry, earthy and meaty character; quite appealing.  (****)
Italy (Sicily) …
Cusumano 2011 Noa ($22.95 - #109512) – leather, chocolate, plum, rich in dark fruit with red backing; lots of tannins but still silky and supple in nature.  (****+)
Vigneti Zabu 2013 Il Passo Nerello Mascalese ($19.95 - #392837) – plenty of black fruit, cherry but not chunky, it’s earthy, blackberry, plum, new leather and smoked chocolate.  (****)
Italy (Tuscany) …
La Vite 2012 Lucente ($34.95 - #747030) – so pleasantly dark fruit forward you’d swear it was a new world wine, but the balance screams old world; love the blue and black berry, vanilla and spice that is the core of this wine.  (****+)
Palazzo Vecchio 2011 Maestro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ($24.95 - #348532) – nice oak and dried fruit with smoky and cassis notes, acidity is well balanced.  (*** ½+)
Tenuta La Fuga 2009 Brunello di Montalcino ($44.95 - #212837) – very modern style, it forgoes the rustic for fruity, yet it is well-balanced with good acidity.  (****+)
Tenuta Sette Ponti 2011 Crognolo ($34.95 - #727636) – super supple with delicious dark fruit, plum and chocolate notes.  (****)
Italy (Umbria) …
Lungarotti 2010 Rubesco Sangiovese/Canaiolo/Colorino ($19.95 - #368548) – nicely balanced spice, plum, black cherry and pretty hints of floral.  (****)
Villa Mora 2008 Montefalco Sagrantino ($21.95 - #342394) – back in August I gave the wine three-and-a-half-plus stars, but I’d raise it to a four at this time as it continues to get better.  (****)
Italy (Veneto) …
Allegrini 2011 Palazzo della Torre ($24.95 - #672931) – rich in red and black fruit with a sweet sort of mid-palate.  (****)

New Zealand …
Akarua 2012 Pinot Noir ($37.95 - #79541) – nice body, good spice, muscular with pomegranate and cranberry, black cherry and plum.  (****+)
Oyster Bay Brut Sparkling Cuvee ($21.95 - #163634) – fresh, light and breezy with nice acidity. (*** ½+)
Waimea Estates 2012 Chardonnay ($21.95 - #650242) – at first I was not a fan but this one grew on me with its rich mouthfeel, gentle acidity and good spice.  (*** ½+)
Waipara Springs 2013 Reserve Pinot Noir ($20.95 - #663294) – very pleasant with herbal and spice character which is the star, with a little cranberry and cassis as backdrop.  (****)
Wither Hills 2011 Pinot Noir ($29.95 - #919829) – pleasant with juicy strawberry.  (*** ½+)

Portugal …
Anselmo Mendes 2013 Contacto Alvarinho ($19.95 - #393058) – there’s something here I like: lime and peach seem to be the dominant and most enjoyable flavours with a long finish.  (*** ½+)
Quinta da Romaneira 2010 Touriga Nacional/Syrah ($29.95 - #392316) – interesting blend of native and imported grapes: smoky and meaty amongst the rich dark fruit.  (*** ½+)
Vallado 2011 ($22.95 - #694992) – dark fruit with lots of smoky character, mineral, plum and blackberry are also present.  (****)

South Africa …
Darling Cellars 2008 Kroon Premium Shiraz ($16.95 - #704486) – bacon, vanilla, smoke and coffee; which all leads to a certain appeal here.  (****)

Spain …
Barahonda 2011 Sin Madera Monastrell ($15.95 - #366823) – lots of sweet red berries, cherry-raspberry with hints of vanilla-tobacco.  (*** ½+)
Bodega Divina 2011 Proporcion Madremia ($29.95 - #393116) – lots of brooding dark fruit and spicy tannins along with a mocha-cherry finish.  (****)
Lealtanza 2011 Crianza ($17.95 - #114835) – lively red fruit and chocolate take centre stage here.  (*** ½+)

United States (California) …
Buehler 2012 Chardonnay ($27.95 - #391888) – comparatively this is a light version of Chardonnay that shows more than just oak, butter and toffee.  (****)
Ca’Momi 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.95 - #315002) – vanilla, mocha, supple blackberry and plum; very drinkable.  (****)
Calera 2012 Pinot Noir ($33.95 - #933044) – juicy plum and cherry dominate on this very Cali-style Pinot.  (*** ½+)
Macrostie 2012 Chardonnay ($29.95 - #244467) – gentle and easy drinking:  tangerine, mango, apple and limeade.  (*** ½+)
Ravenswood 2011 Teldeschi Single Vineyard Zinfandel ($44.95 - #684589) – you get what you pay for here, big fruit, mammoth structure and plenty of spice.  (****)
St. Supery 2012 Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon ($39.95 - #423822) – supple black cherry sweetness with lots of vanilla and white pepper.  (*** ½)
Stonehedge 2012 Reserve Zinfandel ($19.95 - #394411) – violets, plum and vanilla along with sweet black cherry; this one really delivers on the palate at a good value.  (****+)
Wente 2012 Ria Ranch Chardonnay ($21.95 - #979344) – creamy vanilla, toffee/butterscotch and apple sauce with tropical notes.  (*** ½+)
United States (Washington) …
Seven Falls 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #360222) – there’s a sorta Washington style in this bottle with a blueberry-smoky-vanilla sweetness that appears on the finish.  (*** ½+)
________________________________________

In-Store Discoveries – wines that appear on the shelves of your local Vintages outlet …
Chateau Fombrauge 2010 ($45.85 – 258020) Bordeaux - *** ½+
Chateau Gloria 2010 ($74.85 - #259945) Bordeaux - ****
Chateau Suduiraut 2010 (#129.85 -  #256214) Sauternes - ****
Halter Ranch 2009 Ancestor ($49.95 - #396531) California - ****
Pocas 20 Year Old Tawny ($54.95 - #385690) Portugal - ****

If You Can Afford It – wines worth their high price …
Alpha Omega 2010 Proprietary Red ($119.95 - #396374) California - **** (FW)
Barossa Valley Estate 2008 E&E Black Pepper Shiraz ($89.95 - #731620) Australia - ****+
Chateau Malescot St. Exupery 2010 ($149.95 - #261552) Bordeaux - **** (FW)
Chateau Pontet-Canet 2010 ($249.85 - #various numbers) Bordeaux - **** ½ (FW)
Croft 2011 Vintage Port ($120.00 - #362343) - ****+ (FW)
Dutton-Goldfield 2012 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay ($58.95 - #287854) California - *** ½+
Joseph Phelps 2011 Insignia ($258.95 - #710400) California - ****+ (FW)
Laurent-Perrier 2004 Brut Millesime Champagne ($84.95 - #983874) Champagne - *** ½ (FW)
Masi 2007 Campolonge di Torbe Amarone della Valpolicella Classico ($101.95 - #548677) - ****+ (FW)
Pine Ridge 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon ($79.95 - #396184) California - **** (FW)
Plumpjack Estate 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon ($140.95) California - **** (FW)
Sassicaia 2011 ($199.95 - #480533) Tuscany – ****+ (FW)
Spottswoode Estate 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon ($167.95 - #399592) California - **** (FW)
Two Hands 2012 Bella’s Garden Shiraz ($63.95 - #636407) Australia - *** ½+
Vincent Sauvestre 2012 Clos de la Platiere Pommard ($59.95 - #390534) Burgundy - ****

What I’ll Be Lining Up For – November 22, 2014 …
Chateau de Nages 2012 JT Costieres de Nimes ($24.95 - #736876) – France
Josef Chromy 2012 Pepik Pinot Noir ($22.95 - #162990) – Australia
Perrin 2011 L’Andeol Rasteau ($19.95 - #976845) – France
Vigneti Zabu 2013 Il Passo Nerello Mascalese ($19.95 - #392837) – Italy

Happy Shopping

To print this article click here for the PDF version.

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