Saturday February 2, 2019 - Vintages Release Report

31 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 … Argentina (ARG) and Perfect Portugal (PP)

The Skinny …

Before we begin, let me call out the LCBO on their totally tone deaf approach to dealing with Norman Hardie and his admitted sexual misconduct – his wines are back in Vintages less than 6 months after the Globe and Mail (link to article) brought to light his own admitted behaviour (link to article). Shame on the LCBO for this; I for one will not be writing about any of his wines now, and into the future.

On a lighter note both the Argentinean and Portuguese spotlights show some very good wine and the best values are spread out evenly between the new (Australia & California) and old (Portugal  & Italy) world wine regions – check it all out below.

Argentina …
Catena 2015 Alta Historic Rows Cabernet Sauvignon ($48.95 - #959965) – concentrated dark fruit with mineral, coffee, floral, blackberry and spice.  (*** ½+) … ARG
Catena 2016 Appellation San Carlos Cabernet Franc ($19.95 - #450106) - Argentina gives both Loire and Ontario a run for their money with Franc: this is a single vineyard, single appellation Franc full of sweet tobacco, cherry, mocha, strawberry essence and delicate spice.  (****) … ARG
El Enemigo 2014 Single Vineyard Bonarda La Esperanza ($21.95 _ #629782) - Offers great fruit and something different than Malbec: juicy blueberry and cherry with some liquorice and spice - this one has some unexpected depth.  (****) … ARG
Trapiche 2014 Terroir Series Finca Ambrosia Single Vineyard Malbec ($42.95 - #402941) – This is what serious Malbec tastes like with a real concentration of black and red fruit plus spice and mineral.  (****+) … ARG
Wapisa 2016 Malbec ($19.95 - #631879) – really lovely mocha, chocolate and black cherry.  (*** ½+)

Australia …
Penfold’s 2016 Max’s Shiraz/Cabernet ($39.95 - #629238) – approachable early with mocha, black cherry and smoked-cassis.  (****)
Yalumba 2015 The Strapper GSM ($19.95 - #295873) – leathery and earthy with cassis, blackberry and cocoa nibs.  (****)

Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Henry of Pelham 2017 Cabernet Icewine ($39.95 - #672402) … *** ½
Lakeview Cellars 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine ($39.95 - #471813) … ***+
Peninsula Ridge 2016 Beal Vineyard Reserve Merlot ($19.95 - #257311) … ****+

Chile …
Montgras 2015 Antu Carmenere ($18.95 - #632752) – smoky blackberry, garrigue and cigar notes.  (*** ½)

France (Burgundy) …
Faiveley 2015 Nourgogne Pinot Noir ($26.95 - #528018) – spiced-earth, black cherry and tannins with a little bit of grit.  (*** ½)
J. Moreau & Fils 2017 Chablis ($24.95 - #466144) – toned down minerality with some peach and spiced apple notes.  (*** ½+)
Jean-Marc Brocard 2017 Kimmeridgien Chardonnay ($19.95 - #290049) – crisp with a nice minerality and gentle white fruit.  (*** ½)
France (Loire) …
Charles Bove 2017 Vouvray ($19.95 - #448563) – hints of honeysuckle and pear with a subtle sweetness; really pleasant.  (*** ½)
France (Midi) …
Chateau de Segure 2015 Vieilles Vignes Fitou ($17.95 - #370254) – meaty, blackberry and spice.  (*** ½)
France (Rhone) …
Chateau le Grand Retour 2016 Plan de Dieu Cotes du Rhone-Villages ($15.95 - #224592) – spiced-blackberry, black cherry with hints of mocha and anise.  (*** ½+)
Coudoulet de Beaucastel 2016 Cotes du Rhone ($29.95 - #048884) – This second wine Beaucastel of Chateauneuf-du-Pape is rich and ripe with great concentration of fruit: plum, blackberry, and spice … lots and lots of spice.  (****)

Italy …
Masi Modello Brut Prosecco ($17.95 - #624932) – bright, fresh and lively with lemon, apple and subtle fresh biscuit notes.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Campania) …
Vinosia 2013 Taurasi Santandrea ($27.95 - #172692) – really smoky and earthy with rich tannins and spice.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Piedmont) …
FontanaFredda 2014 Seeralunga D’Alba Barolo ($49.95 - #943290) – wonderful upfront cherry with lots of spice and acidity.  (****)
Italy (Puglia) …
Giordano 2017 Appassimento Rosso ($17.95 - #631572) – sure to please with its mocha sweetness plus plum, black cherry and pleasant spice; it’s 15% alcohol and really easy drinking.  (****)
Italy (Trentino) …
Ferrari 2010 Perle Brut ($37.95 - #632190) – nice aged character with some bruised apple and lemon zest.  (*** ½)
Italy (Tuscany) …
Lornano 2013 Chianti Classico ($17.95 - #211599) – smooth and silky dark fruit with enough tannin bit and acidity to keep things all together.  (*** ½)
Italy (Veneto) …
Masi 2014 Brolo Campofiorin Oro ($26.95 - #976092) – leathery and smoky with spiced plum and black cherry.  (*** ½+)

Portugal …
Altivo 2016 Red ($12.95 -#522292) – nice and easy it does it with this one: smooth and easy with strawberry and cherry.  (***+) … PP
Evel 2014 Tinto ($13.95 - #190694) – plum and mocha with some cherry-balsamic and gentle spice on the finish.  (*** ½) … PP
Feuerheerd’s 2013 LBV Port ($21.95 - #582999) - You’ll be told time and time again they should be drunk young, but they have great age-ability too: here there’s acid and spice along with red fruit, bittersweet chocolate and spiced cherry.  (****)
Perequita 2016 Reserva ($16.95 - #488007) – easy drinking mocha, plum and black cherry.  (*** ½) … PP
Quinta da Rede 2013 Reserva ($17.95 - #431742) – fresh red fruit, soft tannins, gentle spice and loads of plum and mocha all the way to the finish.  (****) … PP
Vila Nova 2016 Loureiro ($13.95 - #632547) – fresh and clean with honeysuckle, lemon and a touch of almond.  (***+) … PP

Spain …
Ardal 2006 Seleccion Especial Reserva ($23.95 - #167700) – smoky and spicy with earthy undertones.  (*** ½+)
Conde de Haro 2015 Brut Cava ($19.95 - #168559) – biscuit and lemony with a slightly, and welcome, bitter finish.  (***+)
Navajas 2015 Tinto Crianza ($14.95 - #639823) – new style Rioja with its juicy core and cherry chocolate notes.  (*** ½+)
Torres 2015 Salmos ($39.95 - #450734) - There is so much going on here, it’s hard to fully put into words, there’s cocoa, black cherry, vanilla, anise and delicate spice all making an appearance it’s hard not to fall in love with this wine.  (****+)

United States (California) …
Clayhouse 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon ($18.95 - #057869) – good valule Cab with lots of chocolate, black cherry, cassis and tobacco.  (****)
Cline 2016 Cashmere Black Magic Red ($22.95 - #539213) – easy drinking with floral, mocha, and cherry – it’s an odd blend with decent results.  (*** ½)
Ironstone 2016 Old Vine Zinfandel ($17.95 - #951889) – all coffee and smoky bacon bits.  (*** ½)
Josh Cellars 2015 Paso Robles Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.95 - #412320) – rich, ripe and juicy with notes of blueberry and mocha; easy drinking and tasty.  (*** ½)
MacMurray 2015 Russion River Valley Pinot Noir ($27.95 - #399311) – very cran-strawberry with earthy elements.  (*** ½)
Marietta 2015 Arme Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon ($37.95 - #635656) – lots of lovely red and black fruit with licorice, miont and spice backing.  (****)
Paso Creek 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #161141) – smooth and silky with mocha, cherry, strawberry and blackberry.  (*** ½+)
Raymond 2014 Reserve Merlot ($38.95 - #038059) – soft and silky with blue and black fruit with some slightly spicy notes and a rough tannin finish; but it’ll smooth out with time.  (*** ½+)
Rodney Strong 2016 Sonoma County Chardonnay ($22.95 - #226936) – oaky, spicy and buttery, pure California.  (*** ½)
United States (Washington) …
Borne of Fire 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.95 - #633651) – sweet and supple with hints of coffee, mocha, ripe cherry with a good acid hit.  (*** ½+)
________________________________________

If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Laurent-Perrier 2007 Brut Millesime Champagne, France ($83.95 - #983874) - ****
Tedeschi 2012 Capitel Monte Olmi Riserva Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico, Italy ($79.95 - #964403) - ****+
Tenuta SanGuido 2016 Guidalberto, Italy ($60.95 - #072439) - *** ½+


Best Values in this Release - (February 2, 2019) …
Clayhouse 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon ($18.95 - #057869) – California
Giordano 2017 Appassimento Rosso ($17.95 - #631572) – Italy
Quinta da Rede 2013 Reserva ($17.95 - #431742) – Portugal
Yalumba 2015 The Strapper GSM ($19.95 - #295873) – Australia

Happy Shopping

© MichaelPinkusWineReview.com 2019. All rights reserved. You may use the content of this newsletter by including full credit to Michael Pinkus, Grape Guy and a link to www.michaelpinktuwinereview.com

 

Get Our Newsletter

Follow Us on Social Media

Facebook Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Google+ tumblr