Saturday June 8, 2019 - Vintages Release Report

06 Jun 2019

 

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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 … Euro Regions (ER) and Hot Chile (HC)

The New Normal … The LCBO has curbed our tasting of Vintages releases by almost half – they are “curating” what we taste, so instead of finding those gems from the full list of wines being released the LCBO is telling us what they want us to taste and then we are to pick the gems out of those wines …

63 wines were NOT offered for tasting –
plus 15 “Flagship Exclusives” (aka. In Store Discoveries)
Shockingly: NO Rosés were tasted – out of 9 possible

The Skinny … Another tasting where half the wines were not on offer for tasting, Rose was scarce (as in none was offered up for tasting - as we go into summer that seems downright shortsighted), and the wines that were there for tasting seemed to be, for the most part, lackluster at best. The good news is I did find some winners and some under $20 gems ...


Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Cave Spring Estate 2016 Chardonnay Musque ($17.95 - #246579) - *** ½+
Cave Spring Estate 2016 Gewurztraminer ($18.95 - #302059) - *** ½
Three of Hearts 2018 Rosé ($19.95 - #552562) - *** ½+

Chile …
Boya 2017 Sauvignon Blanc ($14.95 - #389726) – this one is the green, green, grass of home with lots of grapefruit pith.  (***+) … HC
Casablanca 2017 Nimbus Single Vineyard Chardonnay ($24.95 - #638411) – mineral and stone fruit with a touch of spice on the finish.  (*** ½+) … HC
In Situ 2016 Signature Wines Syrah/Mourvedre/Viognier ($16.95 - #431098) – minty, meaty, smoky and cherry.  (*** ½+) … HC
Miguel Torres 2015 Cordillera de Los Andes Cabernet Sauvignon ($22.95 - #541169) – hints of coffee, smoky-cherry, good concentration of fruit and balance of acidity; good juice.  (****) … HC

France (Bordeaux) …
Clarence Dillon 2015 Clarendelle Red ($23.95 - #028837) – smoky tannins with cassis, coffee and bittersweet cocoa; better in past release but this one is still good.  (*** ½+)
Les Fiefs de LaGrange 2010 ($47.95 - #633669) – smoky blueberry and black cherry with white pepper.  (*** ½+)
France (Midi) …
Chateau de Treviac 2016 Corbieres ($16.95 - #670505) – smoky red cherry, mineral and a hint of floral.  (*** ½+) … ER
France (Roussillon) …
Domaine Lafage 2017 Cuvee Nicolas Vieilles Vignes Grenache Noir ($19.95 - #354191) – smoky black cherry, blue and black cherry with vanilla and a nice meaty notes.  (****) … ER

Italy (Campania) …
Villa Matilde 2017 Rocca dei Leoni Falanghina ($19.95 - #631747) – lanolin, waxy, lemon with fresh apple and pear fruit in the background.  (*** ½) … ER
Italy (Puglia) …
Produttori Vini Manduria 2017 Zin Fiano ($13.95 - #909283) – sweet nose that is very Muscat-like with nuances of pineapple, mango and lime.  (*** ½+) … ER
Tormaresca 2016 Torcicoda Primitivo ($19.95 - #320929) – plum, licorice, spice, black cherry and good tannins, can seem a little over extracted at times but that’s the nature of this wine.  (****) … ER
Italy (Tuscany) …
Mazzei 2016 Poggio Badiola di Fonterutoli ($19.95 - #330951) – coffee, spice, dried plum and black cherry.  (*** ½)

Portugal …
Altano 2017 Organic ($16.95 - #646117) – good tannin bite with black fruits like plum, cherry and spice.  (*** ½) … ER
Lua Cheia 2017 Old  Vines Red ($14.95 - #266882) – sweet cherry, mocha, vanilla and pipe tobacco.  (*** ½+) … ER

South Africa …
Nederburg 2017 The Anchorman Chenin Blanc ($19.95 - #667212) – pleasant pear, peach and even a fun little smoky note.  (*** ½+)

Spain …
Alvear 2016 Palacio Quemado La Zarcita ($22.95 - #645044) – rich cherry and plum, fairly easy drinking that’s very fruit forward with subtle mocha notes.  (****)
Vino de Pago 2015 Ayles S de Ayles Garnacha ($24.95 - #645796) – weirdly appealing yet light and quaffable with smoky tobacco, mocha-cherry and lots of spice on the finish; the more I tasted it the more I liked it.  (****)

United States (California) …
J Vineyards Cuvee 20 Brut Sparkling ($47.95 - #635151) – good acidity makes this a crisp bubble with lovely notes of green apple and citrus.  (*** ½+)
St. Francis 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon ($34.95 - #671164) – sweet cherry, chocolate, plum and vanilla; slick and supple with a gentle spice on the finish.  (****)

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If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Guy Charlemagne Classic Brut Champagne, France ($57.95 - #632299) … *** ½
Montes 2015 Purple Angel, Chile ($62.95 - #062364) … ****+ (HC)


Best Values in this Release - (June 8, 2018) …
Domaine Lafage 2017 Cuvee Nicolas Vieilles Vignes Grenache Noir ($19.95 - #354191) – France
Tormaresca 2016 Torcicoda Primitivo ($19.95 - #320929) – Italy

 

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