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Saturday November 25, 2017 - Vintages Release Report

23 Nov 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 … Premium California (PC)
The Skinny … While big ticket California is the focus there are still some great wines for not a lot of dough – look at the Rhone, Spain and a few from Italy.  There’s also a bargain of a Burgundian Sparkling Rosé to celebrate the holidays in style.

Argentina …
BenMarco 2015 Expressivo ($39.95 - #263517) – one of the richest and creamiest versions of this wine I’ve tasted: crème de cassis, blackberry and chocolate.  (*** ½+)
Catena 2014 Alta Historic Rows Malbec ($49.95 - #982355) – spicy cassis, blackberry, oaky and savoury on the finish.  (*** ½+)

Australia …
D’Arenberg 2016 The Hermit Crab Viognier/Marsanne ($17.95 - #662775) – nice aromatics with tropical fruit, grapefruit zest and a lanolin finish.  (****)

Austria …
Laurenz V. 2015 Friendly Gruner Veltliner ($19.95 - #66225) – pea pod, green bean and tropical fruit backed by nice acidity and a long finish.  (*** ½+)

Canada (British Columbia) …
Burrowing Owl 2014 Athene ($44.95 - #371336) – rich blackberry, mocha, black cherry with a spicy coffee-laden finish.  (****)
Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Chateau des Charmes 2014 Riesling Icewine ($67.00 / 375ml - #413724) - ****
Charles Baker 2014 Picone Vineyard Riesling ($35.20 - #241182) - ****
Domaine Queylus 2014 Tradition Pinot Noir ($29.95 - #392738) - *** ½+
Featherstone 2015 Joy Premium Cuvee Sparkling Rosé ($29.95 - #450700) - ****
Henry of Pelham 2012 Cuvee Catharine Carte Blanche ($44.95 - #315200) - **** ½
Henry of Pelham 2015 Cabernet Icewine ($39.95 / 200ml - #672402) - *** ½+
Henry of Pelham 2016 Estate Chardonnay ($19.95 - #268342) - *** ½
Hidden Bench 2015 Estate Chardonnay ($29.95 - #68817) - ****+
Peller Signature Series Ice Cuvee Rosé ($35.75 - #113035) - *** ½+
Reif 2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($25.95 - #304162) - *** ½
Stratus 2013 Red ($48.20 - #131037) - ****

Chile …
Concha y Toro 2015 Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay ($19.95 - #342857) – oak with plenty of butter and spice nuances: peach puree and baked apple also make an appearance.  (*** ½+)
Lapostolle 2013 Red Blend ($17.95 - #524892) – this is a simple sip but it sure is tasty.  (*** ½)
Perez Cruz 2013 Pircas de Liguai Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.95 - #536839) – silky smooth and supple with a touch of pepper, mocha-black cherry and earthy.  (****)

France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau Pierre de Montignac 2009 ($23.95 - #437954) – cassis, learther, blackberry and oak, all with a nice bit of age on it.  (*** ½)
Tauzinat 2015 L’Hermitage Red ($27.95 - #486704) – black raspberry, cherry, leather, smoke and hefty tannins.  (*** ½+)
France (Burgundy) …
Louis Bouillot Perle D’Aurore Brut Rosé Cremant de Bourgogne ($21.95 - #48793) – pleasant raspberry-cherry with lemon and lime; price makes it an accessible bubbly.  (****+)
France (Loire) …
Joseph Mellot 2016 La Chatellenie Sancerre ($29.95 - #525154) – lemon, tropical, peach with fruit driven sweetness yet has a dry citrus-pith finish. (*** ½+)
France (Midi) …
Chateau L’Hospitalet 2014 La Reserve Rouge ($28.95 - #682492) – blueberry, wood smoke, licorice and subtle spice.  (****)
Tessellae 2015 Old Vines Granache/Syrah/Mourvedre Cotes du Rousillon ($18.95 - #343517) – silky smooth with raspberry, cassis and black cherry.  (****)
France (Rhone) …
La Ferme du Mont 2015 Le Ponnant Cotes du Rhone-Villages ($20.95 - #171371) – delicious red berry, cherry, white pepper, hint of leather, develops complexity in the glass.  (****+)
La Ferme du Mont 2015 Premiere Cote Cotes du Rhone ($17.95 - #251645) – juicy red fruit dominant with blueberry backing; simple and sexy with a spicy finish.  (****)
Xavier 2015 Arcane XV Le Diable ($29.95 - #526301) – supple black cherry, chocolate, savoury and smoky.  (****)

Italy (Sicily) …
Fazio Aegades 2015 Grillo ($17.95 - #388637) – waxy and toasty with tropical and lanolin notes.  (*** ½)
Italy (Tuscany) …
Icario 2011 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ($19.95 - #534602) – chocolate, licorice, herbal and dried raspberry.  (****)
San Felice 2015 Chianti Classico ($19.95 - #282996) – spicy tobacco with both black cherry and blackberry.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Umbria) …
Castello della Sala Bramito 2016 Chardonnay ($24.95 - #176792) – fresh and lively with peach, apple, floral and a hint of vanilla. (*** ½+)
Italy (Venezie) …
Tommasi 2015 Palanca ($15.95 - #527077) – sweet cherry and dried dark fruit, very Zin-like with spiced cherry, wonderfully fresh and fruity with a spicy finish.  (****+)

New Zealand …
Stoneleigh 2017 Latitude Sauvignon Blanc ($21.95 - #324228) – grapefruit zest, pink grapefruit and zesty.  (*** ½+)
Whitehaven 2013 Pinot Noir ($24.95 - #532929) – earthy-cherry, nice texture and well-balanced.  (*** ½+)

Portugal …
Calem 2000 Colheita Single Harvest Tawny Port ($46.95 - #264259) – there’s a creamy texture here with hazelnut, spiced-orange peel and it just keeps giving; sip to enjoy.  (**** ½)
Crasto 2015 Vinho Tinto ($17.95 - #81588) – lots of deep dark black fruit with smoky anise and earthy-herbal notes.  (****)
Grilos 2014 Reserva Red ($16.95 - #523597) – blackberry, cassis, raspberry, sour cherry and spice.  (*** ½+)

South Africa …
Mulderbosch 2014 Faithful Hound ($20.95 - #922443) – smoky coffee and cassis with graphite and menthol.  (*** ½+)

Spain …
Altanza 2009 Club Lealtanza Reserva ($29.95 - #293852) – tobacco, cherry, mocha and spice.  (****)
Baron de Magana 2011 ($19.95 - #280552) – pleasant with sweet spices and red fruit; easy drinking.  (*** ½+)
Honoro Vera 2016 Monastrell ($13.95 - #167684) – sweet blackberry and cherry, mocha, vanilla, blueberry with a smoked meat finish.  (****+)

United States (California) …
Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs ($34.95 - #223792) – crisp and clean with green apple, lemon and a touch of almond biscotti.  (****+)
La Crema 2014 Russian River Pinot Noir ($45.95 - #906404) – spiced cran-blueberry and juicy cherry.  (*** ½+) – PC
Manifesto 2015 Zinfandel ($20.95 - #472472) – sweet raspberry-mocha but with nice balancing acidity and a respectable 13.9% alcohol.  (*** ½+)
Ravenswood 2013 Teldeschi Single Vineyard Zinfandel ($44.95 - #684589) – a rich version of Zinfandel but it really does pale compared to the Ridge in this release.  (*** ½) – PC
United States (Oregon) …
Domaine Drouhin 2014 Oregon Pinot Noir ($49.95 - #961284) – sweet cherry fruit, cran-cherry, white pepper and earthy tannins on the finish.  (*** ½+)
United States (Washington) …
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2015 Riesling ($16.95 - #685651) – talc, peach, apple, lemon and a nice hint of sweetness.  (*** ½)

________________________________________

In-Store Discoveries:  wines that appear on the shelves of your local Vintages outlet …
Don Maximiano 2014 Founder’s Reserve, Chile ($84.95 - #396333) - *** ½+
Flowers 2015 Chardonnay, California ($69.95 - #215210) - *** ½+

If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Alchimedes 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($79.95 - #431825) - ****+ (PC)
Andrea Oberto 2012 Albarella Barolo, Italy ($62.95 - #527374) - ****
Ca’Rome 2011 Romano Marengo Cerretta Barolo, Italy ($71.95 - #000455) - ****+
Caymus 2014 Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($199.95 - #711663) - **** ½ (PC)
Drappier 2012 Millesime Exception Champagne, France ($74.95 - #513895) - ****
Duckhorn 2014 Merlot, California ($64.95 - #992529) - **** (PC)
Far Niente 2015 Chardonnay, California ($108.95 - #539130) - *** ½+ (PC)
J. Lohr 2013 Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($88.95 - #246918) - **** (PC)
Moet & Chandon 2008 Grand Vintage Brut Rosé Champagne, France ($98.95 - #69831) - ****
MollyDooker 2016 Carnival of Love Shiraz, Australia ($89.95 - #242743) - ****
Ridge 2015 Geyserville, California ($64.95 - #723072) - **** ½ (PC)
Shafer 2014 One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($154.95 - #45476) - **** (PC)
Silver Oak 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($184.95 - #936039) - **** - (PC)
Two Hands 2015 Bella’s Garden Shiraz, Australia ($64.95 - #636407) - *** ½+

Other Stuff That’s Fine, But It’s Not Wine …
Alfred Schladerer Himbeergeist Black Forest Raspberry Eau-de-Vie, Germany ($38.95 - #58974) - ****
Lazzaroni Amaretto di Saronno, Italy ($39.95 - #242941) - ****+

What I’ll Be Lining Up For (November 25, 2017) …
Honoro Vera 2016 Monastrell ($13.95 - #167684) – Spain
Louis Bouillot Perle D’Aurore Brut Rosé Cremant de Bourgogne ($21.95 - #48793) – Burgundy
Tommasi 2015 Palanca ($15.95 - #527077) – Italy

Happy Shopping

 

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