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Saturday December 12, 2015 - Vintages Release Report

09 Dec 2015

 

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 … Champagne (CH) and Holiday Gatherings (HG)
The Skinny … The LCBO does a disservice to the sparkling wine industry by persuading us that only Champagne is good enough for the big day (New Year’s Eve) cause there is all kinds of great bubbles to choose from (though not necessarily in this release) … other wines of note here are from Argentina, BC, South Africa and Portugal.

Argentina …
La Posta 2014 Angel Paulucci Vineyard Malbec ($15.95 - #75515) – mocha, chocolate, plum, violets with lots great character and just the right amount of spice.  (****)
La Posta 2014 Pizella Malbec ($15.95 - #166298) – fresh, fruity and well-priced.  (*** ½)
Luca 2012 Malbec ($32.95 - #167312) – intense yet elegant, dark chocolate, blueberry, white smoke, white pepper, boysenberry, blackberry, hint of licorice on the finish; serious and sophisticated.  (****+)

Australia …
Pirramimma 2012 White Label Cabernet Sauvignon ($23.95 - #730374) – cassis, blackberry with peppery-spices but also some herbal notes and roasted coffee.  (****) … HG

Canada (British Columbia) …
Calliope 2013 Figure 8 Cabernet/Merlot ($19.95 - #324582) – priced great for a BC red, nicely layered dark fruit, herbal and spice notes with great linger on the finish, but it’s the fruit that keeps this rockin’.  (****)
Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Featherstone 2013 Canadian Oak Chardonnay ($21.95 - #1499302) … ****+
KEW 2011 Soldier’s Grant ($18.95 - #367318) … *** ½+
Patrick Chan 2012 On Ice Riesling Icewine ($34.95 - #43886) … *** ½+
Tawse 2013 Spark Limestone Ridge Sparkling Riesling ($19.95 - #370361) … ****
The Foreign Affair 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon ($34.95 - #127324) … **** ½+ (see the video review here)
Trius Brut Rosé ($29.95 - #184309) … ****

Chile …
Vina Tarapaca 2012 Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon ($17.95 - #18721) – sweet gentle red fruit with hints of spice and white pepper.  (*** ½+)

France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau Faizeau 2012 Vieilles Vignes ($28.95 - #437574) – gorgeous blackberry, anise and wood nose; palate follows but the fruit is ready to rise to the top with blueberry skin tannins on the finish.  (****)
Chateau Suau 2010 ($20.95 - #437889) – black fruit, silky with hints of vanilla.  (*** ½+)
France (Burgundy) …
Domaine de Chalet 2013 Pouilly Pouilly-Fuisse ($34.95 - #295717) – lime pith / zest with nice green apple acidity.  (*** ½+)
Domaine Gagey 2013 Clos du Roy Marsannay ($44.95 - #124826) – earthy raspberry and pepper.  (*** ½+)
Domaine Hamelin 2012 Beauroy Chablis 1er Cru ($33.95 - #391805) – enough creamy texture to be mistaken for a US bottle but enough elegance to make it French; spicy finish with good acidity, drinks very well.  (****)
Louis Bouillot Perle D’Ivoire Brut Blanc de Blancs Cremant de Bourgogne ($19.95 - #48801) – mineral and good acidity with biscuits and fresh croissant notes.  (*** ½+)
France (Champagne) …
Charles Mignon Premium Reserve Brut Champagne ($47.95 - #421032) – fresh and biscuity with floral, apple and good acidity.  (****) … CH
Pierre Brigandat & Fils Tradition Brut Champagne ($43.95 - #421057) – baked cobbler and buttery toast, real pure pleasure with balanced acidity.  (****+) … CH
France (Loire) …
Domaine Chatelain 2014 Les Chailloux Silex Pouilly-Fume ($21.95 - #428367) – grass and grapefruit mingle with a lovely crispness and fresh acidity.  (*** ½+) … HG
Domaine Salmon 2014 Grande Reserve Muscadet Sevre & Maine Sur Lie ($16.95 - #438309) – crispy yet creamy (is that even possible) with grapefruit zest and floral notes.  (*** ½+)
France (Rhone) …
Domaine Les Aphillanthes 2012 Vieilles Vignes Cotes du Rhone-Villages ($29.95 - #144832) – raspberry from start to finish with strawberry, cherry And plum thrown into the mix, finishes it off with spice.  (****)

Germany …
Meyer-Nakel 2013 Spatburgunder ($32.95 - #427898) – earthy, smoky, toasty, black cherry and black pepper.  (*** ½+)

Italy (Lombardy) …
Ca’Del Bosco Cuvee Prestige Brut Franciacorta ($39.95 - #105353) – crisp green apple on the finish; mid-palate of baked bread and bruised apple.  (*** ½)
Italy (Piedmont) …
Giusti Brut Asolo Prosecco ($19.95 - #422857) – fresh, fruit, bubbly and simple.  (*** ½)
Italy (Tuscany) …
Fontodi 2012 Chianti Classico ($36.95 - #933317) – red and black fruit, anise and a touch juicy with clove and pepper.  (*** ½+)
Ruffino 2010 Ducale Oro Riserva Gran Selezione Chianti Classico ($46.95 - #353201) – anise, smoky, violet and black plum.   (*** ½+)
Italy (Umbria) …
Signae 2009 Montefalco Sagrantino ($25.95 - #429142) – dried fruit layered with chalky tannins, coffee beans and wood smoke.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Veneto) …
Remo Farina 2013 Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore ($17.95 - #999946) – smooth black cherry and gentle spice.  (*** ½)
Zenato 2014 San Benedetto Lugana ($16.95 - #707158) – melon rind, pineapple and floral.  (*** ½+) … HG

New Zealand …
Momo 2013 Pinot Noir ($19.95 - #163972) – hints of savoury, herbal, raspberry-strawberry with bright acidity.  (*** ½+)
Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee Rosé ($21.95 - #280172) – raspberry, cranberry cocktail, lemon curd, lime meringue and a hint of sweetness.  (*** ½+) … HG

Portugal …
Cabriz 2012 Reserva ($17.95 - #21410) – wood, black and blue berries, vanilla-smoke, spiced-raspberry jam, and a little herbal note to keep things interesting on the finish.  (****)

Romania …
Monser 2012 Feteasca Neagra ($14.95 - #315069) – raspberry aroma, easy drinking and some oomph on the finish.  (*** ½)

South Africa …
Doolhof 2013 Dark Lady of the Labyrinth Dark Delight Pinotage ($19.95 - #376889) – sure there’s that smoky-coffee-toastiness yet there’s also a juicy note in the middle.  (*** ½+)
Ernie Els 2013 Big Easy ($19.95 - #220038) – good and tasty; pepper, black fruit, spice and smoke with mocha, nice tannins on the finish – good Shiraz character (41% of blend).  (****)

Spain …
Borsao 2013 Tres Picos Garnacha ($19.95 - #273748) – mocha, vanilla, black cherry; silky smooth.  (****)
Cerro 2009 Anon Reserva ($21.95 - #114306) – rich, smoky and spicy with black currants and anise.  (****)
Lan 2007 Gran Reserva ($31.95 - #928622) – well-structured, good complexity including pencil shavings and freeze-dried-smoked strawberries.  (*** ½+)
Rodriguez 2011 Sanzo Lacrimus Crianza ($18.95 - #359968) – spiced-raspberry, cigar box and smoke with touches of fine Corinthian leather.  (*** ½+)

United States (California) …
Beringer 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon ($49.95 - #91058) – lovely balance of fruit, spice, oak, nothing overwhelms and nothing underwhelms it’s quite simply a gorgeous wine.   (****+)
Michael David 2012 6th Sense Syrah ($24.95 - #394395) – there’s something here that really entices: blueberry, smoky, rich raspberry, spicy, yet all nicely balanced; very alluring.  (****+)
Michael David 2013 Petite Petit ($24.95 - #213017) – continues to impress, who knew these two grapes went so great together; intense and tasty.  (****)
Pedroncelli 2012 Three Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon ($25.95 - #431866) – white pepper grabs the tongue, blueberry and white cherry keeps up the fruit end of the stick; nicely balanced with acidity and spice – this wine shows nice restraint.  (****)
Ravenswood 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel ($19.95 - #942599) – pure raspberry, plum, cherry and vanilla: sweet fruit, good acidity and nice balance.  (****) … HG
Renwood 2012 Fiddletown Zinfandel ($24.95 - #432872) – nice plum, cherry, vanilla, balanced acidity with hint of spice.  (****)
William Hill 2013 Chardonnay ($19.95 - #437251) – caramel/toffee, sweet apple, nice acidity and a spiced finish.  (*** ½+) … HG
United States (Washington) …
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Indian Wells Red Blend ($25.95 - #421081) – nice touch of blueberry skin, plum and vanilla with some meaty and floral tones.  (*** ½+) … HG

________________________________________

In-Store Discoveries:  wines that appear on the shelves of your local Vintages outlet …
Groom 2012 Shiraz ($49.95 - #74237) – Australia (****)
La Crema 2012 Panorama Vineyard Pinot Noir ($47.95 - #417303) – California (****+)
Matthews 2012 Blackboard Red ($46.95 - #432849) – Washington (*** ½+)

If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Barone Ricasoli 2011 Castello di Brolio Gran Selezione Chianti Classico ($59.95 - #942607) – Tuscany (****+)
Burgess 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon ($56.95 - #291914) - California (****)
Caymus 2012 Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon ($199.95 - #711663) – California (****)
Henri Giraud Hommage Francois Hemart Ax Grand Cru Champagne ($79.95 - #436071) – France (**** ½) … CH
Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne ($69.95 - #268771) – France (****+) … CH
Montes 2012 Purple Angel ($59.95 - #62364) – Chile (****+) ... HG
Stonestreet 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon ($52.95 - #435099) – California (****+)
 

Other Stuff That’s Fine, But It’s Not Wine …
ItalyPoli Amaro ($37.95 - #662726) – lots of minty notes with some bitter and a touch of lemon, it’s a fun little gift that would be good to give or receive.  (*** ½+)


What I’ll Be Lining Up For:  December 12, 2015 …
Cabriz 2012 Reserva ($17.95 - #21410) – Portugal
Calliope 2013 Figure 8 Cabernet/Merlot ($19.95 - #324582) – British Columbia
Ernie Els 2013 Big Easy ($19.95 - #220038) – South Africa
La Posta 2014 Angel Paulucci Vineyard Malbec ($15.95 - #75515) – Argentina

Happy Shopping

 

 

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