Saturday December 9, 2017 - Vintages Release Report

07 Dec 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 … Fetes & Feasts (F&F) and Best Bubblies (BB)
The Skinny … Look, I get it, this time of year Champagne is king but there is bubbly from other places that offer great taste and great value (Veuve Ambal is a great example in this release) … Those looking for a value red look at the Tom Gore Cab – plus there are some other really delicious wines to choose from.

Argentina …
Alta Vista 2015 Premium Estate Malbec ($16.95 - #677443) – pleasant with smoky notes along with juicy blackberry and blueberry.  (*** ½+)
Trivento 2014 Golden Reserve Malbec ($19.95 - #588731) – smoked cherry, blueberry and a little toasty oak.  (*** ½) – F&F

Australia …
Sister’s Run 2015 Calvary Hill Shiraz ($17.95 - #222018) – nice juicy version of Shiraz with plenty of black fruit at its core.  (*** ½)
Two Hands 2015 Brave Face Grenache/Mourvedre/Shiraz ($24.95 - #660035) – plenty of raspberry and other red berries along with cherry, mocha and floral.  (****)

Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Featherstone 2016 Black Sheep Riesling ($16.95 - #80234) - ****
Foreign Affair 2016 The Embrace ($16.95 - #538041) - ***+
Peninsula Ridge 2016 Barrel Aged Chardonnay ($16.95 - #211490) - *** ½
Sunnybrook 2015 Estate Series Cranberry ($23.95 - #539049) - *** ½+
The Tragically Hip 2015 Fully Completely Grand Reserve Red ($24.95 - #411595) - ***+
Thirty Bench 2015 Winemaker’s Blend Red ($24.20 - #320986) - *** ½+
Vieni 2012 Private Reserve Chardonnay ($29.95 - #520247) - ***

Chile …
Casas del Bosque 2015 Reserva Carmenere ($15.95 - #205872) – sweet black cherry, smoky vanilla and mocha mint on the finish.  (*** ½) – F&F
Errazuriz 2015 Aconcagua Alto Cabernet Sauvignon ($21.95 - #203364) – minty cherry and blackberry upfront but it seems to have a hollow part in the middle.  (*** ½)
Intriga 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon ($22.95 - #57901) – oak takes over here with tannins on the finish, fruit is mainly of the cassis variety.  (*** ½)

France (Alsace) …
Arthur Metz Cuvee Prestige Brut Cremant D’Alsace ($19.95 - #369116) – lively and fresh with nice acidity and a hint of bready.  (*** ½)
France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau La Fleur Pourret 2010 ($39.95 - #455667) – smoky, black currant and oaky.  (*** ½)
Chateau Teyssier 2014 ($51.95 / 1500ml - #512590) – good value in a large format Bordeaux, perfect for the gathering you’ll have come holiday time. (*** ½+) - F&F
France (Burgundy) …
Veuve Ambal Grande Cuvee Brut Rosé Cremant de Bourgogne ($19.95 - #439257) – strawberry, raspberry and lime; great bubble for the money.  (****)
France (Champagne) …
Gardet Cuvee Saint Flavy Tradition Brut Champagne ($42.95 - #924654) – biscuit, bready, lively, toasty; it hits all the right notes.  (****+) – BB
France (Midi) …
Gerard Bertrand 2014 Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre ($16.95 - #394288) – pleasantly smoky with black cherry, red plum and herbal.  (*** ½+) – F&F
France (Rhone) …
Chateau de Beaucastel 2015 Coudoulet de Beaucastel Blanc ($34.95 - #48892) – pleasant pineapple rind, melon and grapefruit.  (*** ½+)
Domaine les Grands Bois 2015 Cuvee Les Trois Soeurs Cotes du Rhone ($16.95 - #281147) – rich mocha, cherry, raspberry; a real value in deliciousness.  (****)
Famille Perrin 2014 les Christins Vacqueyras ($24.95 - #973453) – nice depth with pepper, cherry and spice.  (*** ½+)
Halos de Jupiter 2016 Cotes du Rhone ($17.95 - #276956) – floral, cherry, mocha and ripe red berry fruit on the back palate.  (****)
Tardieu Laurent 2015 Vieilles Vignes Vacqueyras ($39.95 - #526657) – deeper, richer and smokier than the Perrin with plum, blackberry and floral undertones.  (****)

Germany …
Dr. Loosen 2016 Blue Slate Riesling Kabinett ($22.95 - #160846) – bites hard with its searing acidity, plus mineral, lime-lemon and green apple fruit.  (****)

Italy (Campania) …
La Fortezza Taburno 2016 Falanghina del Sannio ($16.95 - #527630) – citrus zest, candied apple and floral.  (***+)
Italy (Emilia-Romagna) …
Umberto Cesari 2014 Liano Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon ($27.95 - #225086) – coffee liqueur, licorice and red cherry.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Tuscany) …
Le Volte dell’Orenellaia 2015 ($29.95 - #964221) – earthy, sour cherry and blackberry this wine has a certain elegance to it.  (****+) – F&F
Marchese Antinori 2014 Tenuta Tignanello Riserva Chianti Classico ($42.95 - #512384) – coffee, blackberry, wood smoke and vanilla.  (****)
Ricasoli 2015 Brolio Chianti Classico ($23.95 - #003962) – supple and clean with pencil shavings first and floral with cherry blossom finish.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Veneto) …
Le Contesse Brut Prosecco ($17.95 - #516583) – bright, fresh with apple and lemon.  (*** ½)

New Zealand …
Clos Henri 2015 Pinot Noir ($34.95 - #56556) – juicy cran-cherry and earthy.  (*** ½)
Dog Point 2016 Sauvignon Blanc ($26.95 - #677450) – curious Savvy B with stony mineral, grapefruit  zest, green melon and a touch of tar.  (*** ½) – F&F
Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee Rosé ($21.95 - #280172) – strawberry, lemon-lime with good acidity; best Oyster Bay bubbly to come out in a few years.  (*** ½+) – F&F

Portugal …
Joao M. Barbosa 2014 Lapa Dos Gaivoes ($18.95 - #523605) – dark cherry, blackberry, chocolate, mocha, meaty and complex.  (****)
Quadrus 2011 Reserva ($30.95 - #534271) – smoky, mocha, blackberry with a slight floral undertone.  (*** ½+)
Quinta do Portal 2011 LBV Port ($31.95 - #473041) – very black cherry and chocolate with good backing acidity; it’s pretty but pricey.  (*** ½+)

Spain …
Borsao 2015 Tres Picos Garnacha ($19.95 - #273748) – black cherry, blackberry and mocha.  (*** ½) – F&F
Montgo 2015 Old Vines Monastrell ($14.95 - #452136) – rich and juicy with chocolate, cherry and anise.  (*** ½)
Solanera 2015 Vinas Viejas ($18.95 - #276162) – subtle and silky with cinnamon, mocha and dense dark fruit.  (****)

United States (California) …
Ca’Momi 2015 Zinfandel ($24.95 - #396168) – sits with subtlety between meaty and vanilla notes with black cherry and licorice cola.  (****)
Decoy 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon ($32.95 - #186171) – juicy raspberry, blueberry and vanilla.  (*** ½+)
Joel Gott 2015 815 Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.95 - #444059) – juicy strawberry with a dry finish; this one’s easy and simple.  (*** ½) – F&F
Joel Gott 2015 Zinfandel ($24.95 - #224139) – smoked meat from beginning to end with blackberry, black cherry and a delicious smoky finish; I’m a happy Zin-fan with this one.  (****)
La Crema 2015 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($29.95 - #962886) – pear, peach, and green apple puree.  (*** ½)
Stags’ Leap Winery 2014 Merlot ($44.95 - #655399) – lots of up-front mocha, black cherry and licorice; give it a couple of years before popping the cork.  (****)
Tom Gore 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #451336) – very tasty and very juicy with mocha-cherry, raspberry, sweet up front with a dry finish; great value Cali-Cab.  (****+)
United States (Oregon) …
River’s Edge 2014 Barrel Select Pinot Noir ($29.95 - #456764) – earthy black cherry and a vanilla smokiness.  (****)
United States (Washington) …
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon ($21.95 - #269357) – nice juicy mocha and smoky core with white pepper and vanilla-oak.  (*** ½+) – F&F
________________________________________

In-Store Discoveries:  wines that appear on the shelves of your local Vintages outlet …
Karlo 2015 Cabernet Franc, Ontario ($39.00 - #524389) - *** ½  - (see full review here)
Patz & Hall 2015 Chardonnay, California ($64.95 - #200808) - *** ½+
Roco 2014 Marsh  Estate Pinot Noir, Oregon ($57.95 - #521161) - ****


If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Antinori 2014 Guado al Tasso, Italy ($109.95 - #986380) - ****
Banfi 2012 Brunello di Montalcino, Italy ($56.95 - #378257) - *** ½+ (F&F)
Belle Glos 2014 Las Alturas Vineyard Pinot Noir, California ($59.95 - #212076) - *** ½
Beringer 2014 Quantum, California ($79.95 - #362400) - ****+
Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne, France ($109.95 - #724559) - *** ½+ (BB)
Burrowing Owl 2014 Meritage, British Columbia ($58.95 - #343038) - **** - (see full review here)
Gianni Gagliardo 2012 Barolo, Italy ($54.95 - #548719) - *** ½
Goldeneye 2014 Pinot Noir, California ($69.95 - #659854) - ***+
Joseph Phelps 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($114.95 - #189795) - ****
Le Vieux Donjon 2015 Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France ($65.95 - #700922) - ****
Moet & Chandon 2008 Grand Vintage Brut Champagne, France ($92.95 - #69773) - **** (BB)
Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Champagne, France ($56.95 - #240085) - **** (BB)
Ornellaia 2014, Italy ($199.95 - #722470) - ****
Ruinart R de Ruinart Brut Champagne, France ($86.95 - #189878) - **** (BB)
Sandeman 20-year-old Tawny Port, Portugal ($64.95 - #116178) - ****+
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 2014 Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($79.95 - #708982) - ****
Tenuta San Guido 2015 Guildalberto, Italy ($59.95 - #72439) - ****+
Terrasole 2010 Vigna Pian Bossolino Brunello di Montalcino, Italy ($100.95 - #515775) - *** ½+
Warre’s 2014 Quinta da Cavadinha Vintage Port, Portugal ($54.95 - #189605) - ****


Other Stuff That’s Fine, But It’s Not Wine …
Sortilege Presitage, Quebec ($50.95 - #317206) - *** ½


What I’ll Be Lining Up For (December 9, 2017) …
Domaine les Grands Bois 2015 Cuvee Les Trois Soeurs Cotes du Rhone ($16.95 - #281147) – France
Halos de Jupiter 2016 Cotes du Rhone ($17.95 - #276956) – France
Joao M. Barbosa 2014 Lapa Dos Gaivoes ($18.95 - #523605) – Portugal
Solanera 2015 Vinas Viejas ($18.95 - #276162) – Spain
Tom Gore 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #451336) – California
Veuve Ambal Grande Cuvee Brut Rosé Cremant de Bourgogne ($19.95 - #439257) – France

Happy Shopping

 

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