Saturday January 5, 2019 - Vintages Release Report

03 Jan 2019

 

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 … Smart Buys (SB)
The Skinny … This is the annual cheapie release where the LCBO releases those wines that they could not find a place for during the rest of the year – typically it is one of worst releases of the year (there’s another mid-summer) but there can be found a few gems within – so read on and I will give you the lay of the land:

Argentina …
Graffigna 2017 Vesparo Malbec ($18.95 - #629790) – spicy intensity, blue and black fruit with a mocha-pepper finish.  (****)
Zaha 2014 El Corte ($24.95 - #629972) – blueberry and cassis with white pepper backing.  (*** ½)

Australia …
Bleasdale 2015 Mulberry Tree Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #661892) – intense coffee, black cherry, black licoriuce and bittersweet cocoa.  (****) – SB

Austria …
Rabl 2017 Langenlois Gruner Veltliner ($16.95 - #377457) – plenty of green pea and refreshing citrus; perfect for a winter’s day, not, buy now and save it for summer.  (*** ½+)

France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau Boutisse 2015 ($41.95 - #368175) – lots of black fruit: cherry, cassis, pepper, cedar and licorice.  (****)
Chateau Haut-Brisson 2016 ($48.95 - #519900) – smoky tannins, black fruit and cedar.  (*** ½)
France (Burgundy) …
Blason de Bourgogne 2016 Saint Veran ($19.95 - #621581) – nice lemon and almond character with subtle butter and peach.  (****)
Domaine Millet 2017 Chablis ($27.95 - #447193) – good mineral and lemon with green apple backing.  (*** ½)
Dufouleur Pere & Fils Brut Cremant de Bourgogne ($19.95 - #631762) – good acidity is backed by citrus and green apple notes; a good value bubble.  (*** ½)
France (Champagne) …
Moutard Pere & Fils Grande Cuvee Brut Champagne ($45.95 - #400432) – lots if biscuits, bread and toasty notes.  (*** ½+)
France (Loire) …
Domaine Jacky Marteau 2017 Sauvignon Touraine ($15.95 - #745349) – sweaty and citrusy with plenty of grapefruit at its core.  (*** ½) – SB
France (Rhone) …
Domaine Autrand 2016 Cotes du Rhone ($14.95 - #380675) – raspberry, smoke and pepper.  (*** ½) – SB

Greece …
St. Nicolas 2013 Commandaria ($25.95 - #692491) – it’s tawny Port-like except it’s has a creaminess plus almond, apricot, coffee and mandarin orange notes.  (****)

Italy (Marche) …
De Angelis Offida  2016 Pecorino ($15.95 - #577734) – juicy pear and apple with citrus and grapefruit rind.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Tuscany) …
Corte Medicea 2016 Cletus ($17.95 - #574137) – lovely black fruit, plum, black cherry, mocha and great backing acidity keeping it all in check; best value in this release.  (****+)
Ferrante 2016 Governo All’Uso ($14.95 - #575720) – herbal, cherry, dried fruit with intense acidity.  (****) – SB
Le Calvane Quercione 2015 Chianti ($14.95 - #454934) – cherry fruit with floral and herbal notes.  (*** ½+)
Paolo Conterno 2015 Anforti ($24.95 - #574269) – blackberry, plum, cherry, blueberry and subtle cedar.  (*** ½+)

New Zealand …
Mount Riley 2017 Pinot Noir ($18.95 - #60137) – spicy black cherry and red currants.  (*** ½)
Spinyback 2017 Sauvignon Blanc ($16.95 - #694737) – melon rind, green apple, grapefruit and good acidity.  (*** ½+) – SB

Portugal …
Delaforce Fine Ruby Port ($14.95 - #164608) – a nice place to start if you are just getting into Port; creamy mouthfeel, rich cherry, chocolate and nice balancing acidity.  (****+)
Odisseia 2015 Tinto ($16.95 - #631002) – herbal and cherry mixed with coffee and anise.  (****)

Spain …
Tarima 2016 Monastrell ($14.95 - #310151) – mocha cherry and vanilla cream.  (*** ½+) – SB

United States (California) …
Benziger 2015 Sonoma County Merlot ($21.95 - #633156) – juicy blue and red fruit with hints of chocolate and a spicy finish.  (*** ½+)
Castle Rock 2015 Petite Sirah ($18.95 - #633172) – mocha, white pepper, anise and floral; nbow this should have been part of the Smart Buys program.  (****)
Clos du Bois 2014 Sonoma Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.95 - #54080) – intense dark fruit, black cherry, cassis and spice.  (****)
Joel Gott 2016 Zinfandel ($24.95 - #224139) – bacon fat, coffee, vanilla and spiced plum.  (****+)
Ravenswood 2016 Old Vine Zinfandel ($21.95 - #942599) – plum, blueberry, cherry, mocha and licorice.  (****)
The Crusher 2016 Pinot Noir ($17.95 - #633164) – easy drinking, big cherry fruit along with plum and strawberry.  (*** ½+)
Tom Gore 2016 Chardonnay ($19.95 - #458810) – Once again Tom Gore delivers and this time with Chardonnay: caramel, butterscotch, and peach cobbler; it’s well-balanced, well-priced California Chard.  (****) – SB

________________________________________

In-Store Discoveries:  wines that appear at selected Vintages outlets …
Adelsheim 2016 Pinot Noir, Oregon ($49.95 - #683821) … ****

If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Antinori 2015 Guado al Tasso, Tuscany ($117.95 - #986380) … ****+


Best Values in this Release - (January 5, 2019) …
Bleasdale 2015 Mulberry Tree Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #661892) – Australia
Castle Rock 2015 Petite Sirah ($18.95 - #633172) – California
Corte Medicea 2016 Cletus ($17.95 - #574137) – Italy

Happy Shopping

 

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