Saturday August 18, 2018 - Vintages Release Report

16 Aug 2018

 

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 … Down Under (DU) and Europe Less Travelled (ELT)
The Skinny … I would say France has the edge this week for the quality/value ratio (see bottom of report) – but there is some good stuff in the Australia (Down Under) part of the release while the Europe Less Traveled is much less exciting.

Argentina …
Chakana Estate 2015 Selection Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #555540) – mocha, black cherry and spice.  (*** ½)
La Posta 2016 Pizzella Malbec ($15.95 - #166298) – mocha, cherry and blackberry.  (*** ½+)

Australia …
Brokenwood 2016 Semillon ($22.95 - #657726) – lanolin, honeycomb and grapefruit rind.  (*** ½) … DU
De Bortoli 2017 GS Pinot Noir ($19.95 - #015511) – delicate, easy drinking, subtle spice with cranberry and black cherry.  (*** ½) … DU
La Boheme 2017 Act Four Syrah/Gamay ($24.95 - #571141) – an odd and interest (yet weird) grape combination that works on some level: juicy cherry with white pepper.  (***+) … DU
Schild Estate 2015 Shiraz ($19.95 - #066555) – earthy, blackberry, raspberry and black pepper.  (*** ½+) … DU
Torbreck 2016 Woodcutter’s Shiraz ($29.95 - #927533) – gorgeous blackberry, blueberry and plum with black cherry and pepper on the finish.  (****+) … DU
Wakefield 2015 Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.95 - #142398) – miny-menthol, chocolate, cherry and blueberry.  (*** ½) … DU

Austria …
Esterhazy Galantha 2017 Gruner Veltliner ($16.95 - #568501) – nice aromatics, pea pod and lemon zest.  (*** ½+) … ELT
Forstreiter 2015 Exclusiv Zeigelt ($19.95 - #572768) – Gamay-like, very easy drinking and chillable with blueberry and cherry notes.  (*** ½) … ELT

Canada (British Columbia) …
Quails’ Gate 2015 Chardonnay ($24.95 - #377770) – apple, peach pit, pear fruit with a spiced vanilla finish.  (*** ½)
Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Chateau des Charmes 2015 Old Vines Riesling ($18.95 - #277228) … *** ½+
Closson Chase 2016 Closson Chase Vineyard Pinot Noir ($34.95 - #145888) … _____
Featherstone 2017 Rosé ($15.95 - #117861) … *** ½+
Huff Estates 2016 South Bay Vineyards Cabernet Franc ($29.95 - #578849) … ****+
Keint-he 2014 Portage Pinot Noir ($25.00 - #373415) … ****+
Three of Hearts 2017 Rosé ($19.95 - #552562) … ****

Chile …
Morande 2014 Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #389254) – licorice, mocha, black cherry with nice spiciness to the finish.  (*** ½+)

France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau Langoiran 2015 Prestige ($17.95 - #308452) – chocolate, mocha, black cherry, floral and a coffee bean finish; there is a bigger oak note but that should resolve with time.  (****)
France (Midi) …
L’Ostal 2017 Rosé ($15.95 - #450809) – lemon, peach and strawberry.  (*** ½)
Mas Las Cabes 2016 Rouge ($17.95 - #194894) – spiced red fruit, boysenberry, cherry and mocha.  (*** ½)
France (Rhone) …
Fleur de Palay 2015 Cotes du Rhone ($20.95 - #494849) – cherry with a gamey note with good spice and hint of vanilla.  (***+)
La Ferme du Mont 2016 Premier Cote Cotes du Rhone ($18.95 - #251645) – blueberry, blackberry, spiced-cherry with a hint of floral and a long finish.  (****+)

Italy (Piedmont) …
Gemma Colarej 2013 Barolo ($39.95 - #232447) – elegant dried fruit, cedar, smoke and cherry.  (****)
Italy (Tuscany) …
Carpineto 2016 Chianti Classico ($19.95 - #356048) – spicy and oaky but with underlying coffee and cassis.  (*** ½)
Coli 2016 Chianti  Classico ($14.95 - #573444) – juicy blackberry, spiced plum and cedar.  (*** ½)

Portugal …
Monte da Ravasqueira 2016 Classico ($13.95 - #548842) – sweet mocha with cherry and plum.  (***+)

South Africa …
Elgin Vintners 2015 Pinot Noir ($24.95 - #512442) – leathery, spicy, cinnamon and black plum.  (*** ½+)
Rustenberg 2015 Buzzards Kloof Syrah ($24.95 - #414151) – meaty, mocha, black cherry, blackberry all with a dash of pepper.  (****)
Rustenberg 2016 Chardonnay ($19.95 - #598631) – buttery with pear and peach fruit and a little bruised apple quality.  (*** ½)

Spain …
El Coto 2014 Crianza ($16.95 - #190504) – silky smooth with blackberry.  (*** ½)
Villacreces 2016 Pruno ($22.95 - #312140) – nice hit of mocha, vanilla, smoke, cinnamon with great length and good spice.  (****)

United States (California) …
Cambria 2015 Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay ($29.95 - #980490) – starts off a little disjointed but resolves itself on the palate so stick with it.  (*** ½)
Decoy 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon ($37.95 - #186171) – silky, well-structured, easy drinking and fun.   (*** ½)
J. Lohr 2016 Arroyo Vista Chardonnay ($34.95 - #171272) – caramel apple, peach and melon; quite pretty.  (*** ½+)
La Crema 2015 Monterey Pinot Noir ($29.95 - #367896) – spiced cherry, cranberry and smoke; one of the best La Crema Pinots in quite some time.  (****)
Lander-Jenkins 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #161398) – easy drinking, blue and black fruit, mocha and subtle spice.  (*** ½+)
Ravenswood 2015 Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel ($19.95 - #942599) – soft, silky and smooth: plum, black cherry, and vanilla with a delicate spiced finish.  (*** ½+)
Stephen Ross 2015 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir ($42.95 - #568246) – strawberry, cherry with white pepper; it’s a juicy little Pinot with a great savoury element.  (****)
United States (Washington) …
Columbia Crest 2015 H3 Merlot ($19.95 - #209874) – blackberry, milk chocolate, hint of cherry; easy going and lush.  (*** ½)

Uruguay …
Garzon 2015 Reserva Tannat ($19.95 - #558916) – pretty floral, mocha-cherry and plum; easy drinking.  (*** ½)

________________________________________

In-Store Discoveries:  wines that appear at selected Vintages outlets …
Calados del Puntido 2013 Tempranillo, Spain ($39.95 - #574657) … *** ½+
Domaine Les Bugadelles 2014, France ($29.95 - #493536) … ****
Hugh Hamilton 2015 Jekyll & Hyde Shiraz / Viognier, Australia ($49.95 - #675587) … ****+
Jackson Estate 2014 Vintage Widow Pinot Noir, New Zealand ($29.95 - #696294) … ****
Les Halos de Jupiter 2011 Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France ($52.95 - #545855) … ****
Nuiton-Beaunoy 2015 Volnay, Burgundy ($58.95 - #558536) … ****
Radford Dale 2016 Renaissance Chenin Blanc, South Africa ($39.95 - #320853) … *** ½

If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Versado 2013 Reserva Ancient Malbec, Argentina ($59.95 - #316984) … (****+)


Best Values in this Release - (August 18, 2018) …
Chateau Langoiran 2015 Prestige ($17.95 - #308452) – France
La Ferme du Mont 2016 Premier Cote Cotes du Rhone ($18.95 - #251645) – France

Happy Shopping

 

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