Saturday November 24, 2018 - Vintages Release Report

22 Nov 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 … Wines of Washington (WW) & Premium Products (PP)
The Skinny … A Strange pre-Christmas release that pairs Premium wines with Washington wines and maybe because of the dual focus neither really shines through … the good news is that there are some really great values to be had in this release and you can find those at the bottom – otherwise take a gander at my thoughts on this week’s release:

Argentina …
Alamos 2015 Seleccion Malbec ($16.95 - #322800) – floral, black cherry with savoury notes and cassis.  (****)
Bodega Norton 2015 DOC Malbec ($15.95 - #618348) – raspberry, black cherry and mocha.  (*** ½)
La Posta 2017 Estela Armando Bonarda ($15.95 - #261586) – juicy cherry and subtle blue fruit; get to know this grape it makes easy drinking, easy to please wines.  (*** ½+)
Mendel 2015 Malbec ($27.95 - #108225) – lots of coffee, mocha, vanilla and dark fruit.  (*** ½)
Versado 2014 Malbec ($22.95 - #317008) – mocha-coffee intensity from the get go plus smoke and black fruit.  (*** ½+)

Australia …
Sister’s Run 2016 Bethleheim Block Cabernet Sauvignon ($18.95 - #360636) – big and juicy black cherry with some mocha and floral.  (*** ½+)
Small Gully 2015 Mr. Black’s Little Book Shiraz ($19.95 - #287979) – subtle and easy drinking, smooth and silky with a blackberry core.  (*** ½)

Canada (British Columbia) …
Burrowing Owl 2015 Athene ($44.95 - #371336) – smoked cherry, cranberry and eathy  notes on the nose with blackberry, cassis and mocha on the palate.  (*** ½+)
Nk’Mip 2015 Qwam Qwmt Syrah ($34.95 - #230094) – nice peppery nuances on both the nose and palate; raspberry, strawberry, mocha, and blackberry; it’s pretty for subtle floral and a finish of white pepper and big tannins on the finish.  (****+)
Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review

Charles Baker 2015 Picone Vineyard Riesling ($37.20 - #241182) … ****
Domaine Queylus 2015 Pinot Noir Tradition ($29.95 - #392738) … ****
Flat Rock 2011 Riddled Sparkling ($34.95 - #383315) … *** ½+
Hidden Bench 2015 Terroir Cache Meritage ($44.95 - #505610) … ****+
Lakeview 2015 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.95 - #12617) … ****
Megalomaniac Bubblehead Sparkling Rosé ($34.95 - #363655) … *** ½
Stratus 2015 Red ($48.20 - #131037) … ****
Union 2012 Forte ($17.95 - #361758) … ****+

Chile …
Vina Tarapaca 2016 Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon ($17.95 - #18721) – minty, mocha, blackberry and herbal.  (*** ½+)

France (Bordeaux) …
Jean-Pierre Moueix 2015 ($17.95 - #516765) – smoky black cherry, coffee, tannins and a cedary finish.  (*** ½)
France (Rhone) …
Demazet 2015 Reserve des Armoiries Vieilles Vignes Cotes du Rhone ($15.95 - #561365) – smoked-cherry, coffee grounds, earthy-tobacco; this one needs a year or two to settle.  (*** ½+)
France (Southwest) …
Domaine de la Baume 2016 Elisabeth Viognier ($16.95 - #438796) – slight peach, apple, floral and mineral.   (*** ½)
Tessellae 2015 Vieilles Vignes Carignan ($18.95 - #343509) – earthy, seasoned cherry, herbal and Christmas spice.  (*** ½+)

Germany …
Loosen Bros. 2017 Dr. L Riesling ($14.95 - #599274) – mineral and sweetness mix with apple, citrus and talc; not the best of the Dr. L but still great value and delicious.  (***+)

Italy (Abruzzo) …
Zaccagnini 2016 Tralcetto Montepulciano D’Abruzzo ($19.95 - #396382) – plum and cherry with a mocha-strawberry finish.  (****)
Italy (Campania) …
Villa Matilde 2016 Stregamora Piedirosso ($18.95 - #575233) – soft and easy drinking red with red cherry and a raspberry kick.  (***+)
Italy (Tuscany) …
Le Volte 2016 Dell’Ornellaia ($29.95 - #964221) – silky and supple with dark berries, mocha, cherry, blackberry, spiced-plum … oh heck this wine is so layered and lovely.  (****+)
Rocca delle Macie 2015 Famiglia Zingarelli Riserva Chianti Classico ($24.95 - #930966) – plum and cherry with tobacco; big fruit with tannin/cedar backing, hold 2-3 years before drinking.  (****)
Tenute Sette Ponti 2015 Crognolo ($32.95 - #727636) – rich and young with chocolate and coffee character with cherry and dark fruit.  (****)
Italy (Veneto) …
Allegrini 2014 Palazzo della Torre ($24.95 - #672931) – lots of plum with spice and mocha-vanilla on the finish.  (****)
Belcanto di Bellussi Extra Dry Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore ($21.95 - #53215) – nice citrus throughout, good acidity and drier than one would expect from a Prosecco.  (*** ½)
Zenato 2017 San Benedetto Lugana ($18.95 - #707158) – melon rind and almond with yellow plum and peach.  (*** ½+)

Lebanon …
Domaine des Tourelles 2014 Red ($19.95 - #582155) – herbal, dark berries, and balsamic strawberry.  (*** ½)

New Zealand …
Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee Rosé ($21.95 - #280172) – lime, raspberry, citrus, subtle differences yet still better than previous vintage.  (*** ½)
Stoneleigh 2017 Latitude Sauvignon Blanc ($21.95 - #324228) – sweaty and grassy with citrus, peach and melon rind.  (*** ½+)

Portugal …
Quinta de Cabriz 2015 Colheita Selecionada ($13.95 - #247973) – supple and easy drinking all at a good price, there’s even some gentle wood spice on the finish.  (***+)

Spain …
Don Jacobo 2004 Gran Reserva ($39.95 - #923748) – old school Rioja plus some age gives it tea, subtle cedar, floral and dried herbs.  (*** ½)
Hacienda Valvares 2015 ($20.95 - #423509) – lots of red berry fruit up front with intense mocha and cocoa; there’s also some dark fruit backing – yum.  (****)
Hidalgo Napoleon Amontillado Sherry ($23.95 - #471094) – nutty with orange peel notes, dried fruit and toasted tea leaves.  (*** ½+)
Monasterio de las Vinas 2012 Reserva Garnacha/Tempranillo/Carinena ($14.95 - #166579) – good layering of minerality, chalky, smoky and dark fruit.  (*** ½+)

United States (California) …
Beringer 2015 The Waymaker Paso Robles Red ($29.95 - #631861) – fruit forward with black cherry, subtle spice and a juicy core.  (*** ½+)
Decoy 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon ($37.95 - #186171) – vanilla, cherry and blueberry.  (***+)
Heritance 2014 Napay Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($49.95 - #629154) – smoked-blackberry and cherry with tobacco, hints of herbal and a nice smooth finish.  (****+)
Irony 2014 Small Lot Reserve Merlot ($24.95 - #183186) – juicy cherry with a full on juicy fruity finish.  (*** ½+)
Rodney Strong 2016 Upshot Red Blend ($29.95 - #577494) – easy drinking with floral, blackberry and cherry.  (*** ½+)
Simi 2017 Chardonnay ($19.95 - #673806) – pleasant Cali-Chardonnay with all the buttery caramel, peach and other notes you would expect.  (*** ½+)
United States (Oregon) …
Domaine Drouhin 2015 Oregon Pinot Noir ($49.95 - #961284) – leather, cherry, earthy; good fruit backed by wood and has nice age-ability.  (*** ½+)
United States (Washington) …
Columbia Crest 2014 H3 Les Chevaux Red Blend ($19.95 - #287425) – lovely juicy fruit, blueberry, black cherry and mocha.  (****+) … WW
________________________________________

In-Store Discoveries:  wines that appear at selected Vintages outlets …
Donne Fittipaldi 2015, Tuscany ($45.95 - #574277) - ****
Flowers 2016 Chardonnay, California ($59.95 - #215210) - ***+
Hacienda Araucano 2014 Clos de Lolol Single Vineyard Red, Chile ($29.95 - #609354) - ****
Vineland Estates 2015 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Ontario ($49.95 - #582056) - ****


If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Antinori 2013 Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany ($61.95 - #651141) - ****+
Carpineto 2012 Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany ($63.95- #515486) - *** ½+
Caymus 2014 Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($199.95 - #711663) - ****
Domaine de Vieux Telegraphe 2015 Telegramme Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone ($52.95 - #292722) - ****+ … PP
Inglenook 2014 1882 Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($72.95 - #412502) - *** ½+
Pecchenino 2013 San Giuseppe Barolo, Piedmont ($59.95 - #181396) - ****
Segla 2010, Bordeaux ($69.95 - #359810) - **** … PP
Smith Woodhouse 1999 Madalena Port, Portugal ($52.95 - #583005) - **** ½
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 2015 Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($84.95 - #708982) - *** ½+


Best Values in this Release - (November 24, 2018) …
Alamos 2015 Seleccion Malbec ($16.95 - #322800) – Argentina
Columbia Crest 2014 H3 Les Chevaux Red Blend ($19.95 - #287425) – Washington
Hacienda Valvares 2015 ($20.95 - #423509) – Spain
La Posta 2017 Estela Armando Bonarda ($15.95 - #261586) – Argentina

Happy Shopping

 

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