Saturday September 2, 2017 - Vintages Release Report

31 Aug 2017

 

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 … New World Benchmarks (NWB) and Syrah vs Shiraz (SvS)
The Skinny … It’s an interesting array of wines in this release, California has quite a few gems, Spain has some easy recommends under $20 and so too does France.  The dual focus also make for some interesting selections this time out – though not sure I always agree with them – let’s take a look:

Argentina …
Fabre Montmayou 2013 Gran Reserva Malbec ($25.95 - #279802) – rich dark berries, subtle red cherries and pepper.  (*** ½+) – NWB

Australia …
Dandelion Vineyards 2015 Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz ($21.95 - #167189) – violets, pepper and cassis.  (*** ½+) – NWB
Shingleback 2013 Davey Estate Reserve Shiraz ($23.95 - #431296) – deep, dark rich blackberry, white pepper and chocolate.  (*** ½+)
Sidewood 2013 Mappinga Shiraz ($49.95 - #446609) – gentle and supple with lovely dark fruit, vanilla, cherry, licorice, plum and spice that kicks things up a notch; complex and continuously changing.  (****+) – SvS

Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
2027 2014 Chardonnay, Wismer Vineyard Fox Croft Block ($22.95 - #421362) - ****+ (NWB)
Creekside 2014 Syrah, Iconoclast ($24.95 - #471797) - **** (SvS)
Flat Rock Cellars 2015 Riesling ($17.95 - #43281) - ****
Henry of Pelham 2014 Family Tree Red ($18.95 - #247882) - *** ½+
The Foreign Affair 2016 Unoaked Chardonnay ($23.95 - #519009) - ***+ (NWB)
Vineland Estates 2015 Sparkling Pinot Meunier Reserve ($30.00 - #520700) - *** ½+

Chile …
Casa Lapostolle 2015 Grand Seleccion Cabernet Sauvignon ($15.95 - #514166) – black cherry, black raspberry and oak.  (*** ½+)

France (Alsace) …
Anne de Laweiss Collection 2015 Gewurztraminer ($19.95 - #141226) – sweet and oily but it’s Alsatian all the way through with its rosy, floral and candied citrus.  (*** ½+)
France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau Gaby 2011 ($36.95 - #487561) – decent and affordable Bordeaux with short-term ageability, it’s rough around the edges with spicy oak, smoke and dark brooding fruit.  (*** ½+)
France (Burgundy) …
Andre Delorme 2014 Rully ($31.95 - #488791) – subtle buttery and smoky notes yet with apple, pear and peach compote.  (*** ½+)
Maison Roche de Bellene 2007 Vieilles Vignes Cote de Nuits-Villages ($29.95 - #487447) – well aged, spicy-peppery-smoky with cranberry and dried cherry; drink now.  (*** ½+)
France (Loire) …
Chavet & Fils 2015 La Dame de Jacques Coeur Menetou-Salon Blanc ($19.95 - #525048) – nice savoury not with hints of herb and citrus.  (*** ½+)
France (Provence) …
Chanzy 2016 Vin de Provence-Coteaux Varois ($15.95 - #490821) – light with lemon and lime, orange blossom and nectarine; pleasantly dry rosé.  (*** ½+)
Esprit 2016 Gassier ($19.95 - #490839) - notes of raspberry, mineral and tangerine. (*** ½+)
France (Rhone) …
M. Chapoutier 2014 Rasteau ($19.95 - #517201) – delicate dark fruit, black cherry, black raspberry, a touch of cranberry and white smoke.  (****)
Paul Jaboulet Aine 2014 Les Jalets Crozes-Hermitage ($26.95 - #489443) – smoky, light pepper and plenty of dark fruit.  (*** ½+) – SvS
France (Roussillon) …
Domaine Forca Real 2013 Cotes du Rousillon Villages ($17.95 - #494161) – juicy cherry with violet and mint backing.  (*** ½+)
Domaine Lafage 2015 Cuvee Nicolas Vieilles Vignes Grenache Noir ($17.00 - #354191) – blue and black berries, hints of floral and delicate spice; this is a really pretty wine.  (****)

Italy (Emilia-Romagna) …
Podere La Berta 2013 Solano Sangiovese Superiore ($24.95 - #508218) – spicy and toasty with some smoky dark fruit in the background.  (*** ½)
Italy (Lazio) …
Casale de Giglio 2014 Cesanese ($18.95 - #498188) – silky blackberry, vanilla and subtle licorice.  (*** ½)
Italy (Puglia) …
Antinca Masseria Jorche 2012 Primitivo di Manduria ($22.95 - #417535) – sweet black cherry, plum, new leather, and white smoke, but it’s the rich fruit that’s the star here.  (****)
Italy (Tuscany) …
Borgo Scopeto 2014 Borgonero ($17.95 - #421396) – fresh and lively with good fruit concentration of dark berries and herbal notes.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Veneto) …
Tenuta S. Anna Prosecco Superiore di Valdobbiadene ($19.95 - #281386) – sweet fruit with lovely apple and simple lemon.  (*** ½)
Tommasi 2014 Graticcio Appassionato ($15.95 - #338939) – smooth and silky with black cherry, plum and a hint of anise; really easy drinking.  (*** ½+)

New Zealand …
Awatere River by Louis Vavasour 2015 Sauvignon Blanc ($21.95 - #492272) – sweaty and herbaceous with lime intensity; long tart finish.  (*** ½+) – NWB  

Portugal …
Delaforce 2003 Vintage Port ($77.95 - #459784) – great pick up for Port fans: spicy and sweet with a long finish and great acidity.  (****+)

South Africa …
The Grinder 2014 Shiraz ($13.95 - #486209) – in this year’s version the strong coffee note is muted and that’s a good thing.  (*** ½) - SvS

Spain …
Borsao 2013 Berola ($18.95 - #371518) – rich black fruit with vanilla, spice, pepper, plum and black cherry.  (****)
Codorniu Seleccion Raventos Brut Cava ($16.95 - #521773) – lemon-lime and baked apple with nice depth and flavour.  (*** ½+)
El Goru 2015 Monastrell/Syrah/Petit Verdot ($13.95 - #443945) – juicy and smoke with vanilla, black cherry, plum, sweetly smoky and delicate; an easy recommend here.  (****)
Lealtanza 2011 Reserva ($19.95 - #208223) – dried strawberry, floral and sweet spices.  (*** ½+)

United States (California) …
Avalon 2013 Cab Cabernet Sauvignon ($16.95 - #684399) – chocolate cherry and vanilla with a touch of spice, it’s easy drinking with a little red plum on the finish.  (*** ½+)
Fess Parker 2013 Syrah ($34.95 - #942136) – balsamic, cherry and strawberry with white pepper, tobacco and wood smoke; big whack of spice on the finish.  (****) – SvS
Frog’s Leap 2014 Zinfandel ($49.95 - #593525) – a spicy / sweet combination with plum and black cherry, meaty notes, pepper and vanilla oak; the spice wins out here making this a really interesting Zin.  (****+)
Rutherford Ranch 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon ($39.95 - #73817) – minty, peppery and spicy, rich cherry and cassis with mouth-filling dark chocolate.  (****+) – NWB
St. Francis 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.95 - #671164) – juicy red berries with red licorice, sweet vanilla and gentle spice.  (****) – NWB
United States (Oregon) …
Firesteed Oregon 2014 Pinot Gris ($19.95 - #323808) – delicate with nice pear, apple, and lemon zest; fresh and good acidity with balance.  (****)
United States (Washington) …
Chateau Ste Michelle 2013 Syrah ($19.95 - #949651) – gentle and supple Syrah with loads of red and black fruit and a white pepper finish.  (*** ½+) – SvS
________________________________________

In-Store Discoveries:  wines that appear on the shelves of your local Vintages outlet …
Anselmi Capitel Croce 2015, Italy - Veneto ($26.95 - #966655) - *** ½
La Chablisienne 2014 Chablis Beauroy 1er Cru, Burgundy ($34.95 - #490110) - ****
Marchand-Tawse 2014 Savigny-Les-Beaune Les Lavieres 1er Cru, Burgundy ($54.95 - #487371) - *** ½+

If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Ornellaia 2013, Italy - Tuscany ($199.95 - #722470) - ****
Silverado Vineyards 2013 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($61.95 - #111880) - ****+

What I’d Be Getting, If I Were You - (September 2, 2017) …
Domaine Lafage 2015 Cuvee Nicolas Vieilles Vignes Grenache Noir ($17.00 - #354191) – France
El Goru 2015 Monastrell/Syrah/Petit Verdot ($13.95 - #443945) – Spain
M. Chapoutier 2014 Rasteau ($19.95 - #517201) – France

Happy Shopping

 

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