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Saturday March 16, 2019 - Vintages Release Report

14 Mar 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 … Southern France (SF) & Grape or Grain (GG)
The Skinny … A late in the day tasting creates its own set of interesting factors in the taste of the wines – like can these bottles stand the test of time (being opened for 4+ hours) – you’d be amazed at how many fall apart over that time – and some shock you as to their ability for longevity.  Italy, Argentina and Australia get gold stars in this release, while the real all-star is part of the Southern France highlight (and that’s rare). Read on and Happy Shopping.

Argentina …
Domaine Bousquet 2016 Reserve Chardonnay ($18.95 - #629451) – lovely fragrant nose that lures you in, there’s peach, apple and pear, and they all follow onto the palate, there’s even a note of smoky tangerine and some citrus on the finish.  (****)
Los Haroldos Estate 2015 Bonarda ($14.95 - #629626) – one of my favourite Argentine grapes makes another appearance and it does not disappoint: black cherry, licorice and a touch of white pepper, but above all this one is juicy.  (*** ½)

Australia …
Don’t Tell Gary 2016 Shiraz ($21.95 - #632620) – if you don’t tell Gary you’re doing him a disservice because this is one of the better Shiraz I have tasted in a while: big and juicy with cedar, meaty, pepper and smoky notes, all backed by great acidity.  (****+)
Heartland Wines 2014 Heart & Soul Shiraz ($19.95 - #632539) – rich with smoky and cherry notes, just what you think a Shiraz should be.  (*** ½+)
Hewitson 2015 Miss Harry ($24.95 - #107870) – lots of mocha, blackberry, red licorice, white smoke and cherry.  (****)
Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch 2016 Wild Ferment Shiraz ($34.965 - #243592) – pepper and smoked meat with black chery and herbal backing.  (*** ½)

Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Hidden Bench 2016 Estate Chardonnay ($29.95 - #068817) … ****
Lakeview Cellars 2017 Viognier ($18.95 - #646307) … ****
Organized Crime 2017 The Mischief ($18.95 - #434472) … ***+
Thirty Bench 2016 Winemaker’s Blend Red ($24.95 - #320986) … ***+

Chile …
Errazuriz 2017 Aconcagua Costa Sauvignon Blanc ($19.95 - #462614) – grassy, green pea pod with hay and mineral; sits more New Zealand than Sancerre.  (*** ½)

France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau de la Grave 2015 ($17.95 - #630079) – smoky, earthy, leather and cassis.  (*** ½+)
France (Lauguedoc) …
Antech 2015 Expression Brut Cremant de Limoux ($19.95 - #068239) – creamy with apple, melon and citrus notes.  (*** ½+) … SF
France (Rhone) …
Alain Jaume 2015 Clos de Sixte Lirac ($26.95 - #076349) – lots of red fruit with cedar, smoke, mocha and licorice.  (*** ½+)
Domaine La Crau des Papes 2016 Chateauneuf-du-Pape ($39.95 - #499186) – silky yet still with great tannic structure, lots of spice, dark fruit plus some mint and mocha.  (****)
Louis Bernard 2016 Vacqueyras ($24.95 - #546051) – juicy red cherry, red licorice, mineral and even hints of floral in the form of violets.  (****)
Xavier 2016 Cotes du Rhone ($17.95 - #297317) – floral along with blue and black fruit with a touch of pepper.  (*** ½)
France (Roussillon) …
Bastide Miraflors 2015 Syrah / Vieilles Vignes Grenache ($19.95 - #320499) – this is a wow wine and one of the best in the release: lots and lots of fruit plus smoked meat, black cherry, floral, smoke, vanilla and toasty and a juicy finish that lingers a long time.  (****+) … SF

Italy (Puglia) …
Tommasi 2016 Masseria Surani Ares Primitivo / Cabernet Sauvignon ($15.95 - #635763) – sweet plum and licorice nose with some lovely black cherry mixed in.  (***+)
Italy (Tuscany) …
Banfi 2016 Rosso di Montalcino ($23.95 - #681262) – licorice, cedar, spice, leather, tobacco with hints of cassis and black pepper on the finish.  (*** ½+)
San Fabiano Calcinaia 2013 Cellole Gran Selezione Chianti Classico ($42.95 - #411389) – lean and herbal with cassis, it has a silkiness but still with bite; pretty impressive 2013.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Veneto) …
Feudi San Pio 2016 Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore ($17.95 - #181446) – plum, black cherry, chocolate, subtly smoky with a vanilla latte finish. (****)
Masi Serego Alighieri 2014 Monte Piazzo Valpolicella Classico Superiore ($21.95 - #661306) – mocha, black cherry, earthy, blackberry with even some blue fruit; it’s layered and lovely and even smoky in places.  (****)
Pieropan 2016 Soave Classico ($19.95 - #946848) – crisp and clean with good balancing acidity, and mineral there’s even peach pit and citrus; pretty wine for a summer afternoon and a nice change of pace for you New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc fans.

New Zealand …
Te Awa 2017 Left Field Pinot Gris ($19.95 - #630525) – juicy apple and pear; a refreshing summer sip, buy now and just wait for those first hot rays of summer.  (*** ½)

Portugal …
Quinta da Carvalhas 2011 Late Harvest Vintage Port ($22.95 - #644898) – silky with mocha sweetness, black cherry and a chocolate finish; late harvest port ages well and this really show.  (*** ½+)
Quinta do Crasto 2015 Vintage Port ($29.95 / 375ml - #644880) – Inky black in colour with lots of licorice, coffee, black plum, and dark chocolate; thick and lush.  (****)

South Africa …
Duncan Savage 2017 Untamed Shiraz ($16.95 - #634659) – a real crowd pleaser with juicy fruit and slightly smoky notes and a spiced vanilla, blackberry and pepper finish.  (*** ½+)
Nederburg 2015 The Brew Master ($21.95 - #634881) – cedar, earthy, plum, blackberry and biting tannins.  (*** ½)

Spain …
Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro ($16.95 / 500ml - #642173) – there’s a sort of floral sweetness here and some fig and orange peel that helps to make this like no other sweet wine you have tried, and it is a beauty.  (*** ½+)
Zuazo Gaston 2015 Finca Costanillas ($19.95 - #644864) – it’s new style Rioja with juicy black fruit, floral, pepper and spice with the old style creeping in with its slight herbal note.  (*** ½+)

United States (California) …
Decoy 2017 Pinot Noir ($35.95 - #191833) – a pure delight for California Pinot lovers with its delicate, easy drinking style and juicy upfront fruit.  (*** ½)
Josh Cellars 2016 North Coast Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.95 - #648675) – lots of purple and blue fruit on this easy drinking and juicy red.  (***+)
United States (Oregon) …
Maison Noir 2016 OPP Pinot Noir ($29.95 - #487900) – this is very Oregon with great acidity, sour cherry, herbal and hints of under-brush, one taste and you’ll know where it is from.  (****)
________________________________________

In-Store Discoveries:  wines that appear at selected Vintages outlets …
Chateau St. Jean 2014 Cinq Cepages, California ($130.00 - #710913) … ****+
Contino 2014 Reserva, Spain ($42.95 - #672923) … ****
L’Ecole No. 41 2014 Apogee Pepper Bridge Vineyard Proprietary Red, Washington ($90.00 - #271361) … ****
Roux Pere & Fils 2015 Les Valozieres Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru, Burgundy ($87.00 - #443564) … ****+


If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Barossa Valley Estate 2014 E&E Black Pepper Shiraz, Australia ($89.95 - #731620) … ****+
Bunea Vista 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($59.95 - #539106) … *** ½+


Other Stuff That’s Fine, But It’s Not Wine …
Comte de Lauvia Reserve Armagnac, France ($64.95 - #635540) … *** ½+ (GG)
Sanchez Romate Hnos Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserve Brandy, Spain ($79.95 - #185280) … *** ½+ (GG)


Best Values in this Release - (March 16, 2019) …
Bastide Miraflors 2015 Syrah / Vieilles Vignes Grenache ($19.95 - #320499) – France
Domaine Bousquet 2016 Reserve Chardonnay ($18.95 - #629451) – Argentina
Don’t Tell Gary 2016 Shiraz ($21.95 - #632620) – Australia
Feudi San Pio 2016 Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore ($17.95 - #181446) – Italy

© 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

 

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