Saturday August 17, 2019 - Vintages Release Report

15 Aug 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 … Argentina (ARG) and Hidden European Gems (HEM)

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 …

64 wines were NOT offered for tasting –
plus 6 “Flagship Exclusives” (aka. In Store Discoveries)

The Skinny … The story is getting worse about what we are allowed to try – this week we did not try any Tuscan red (there were 7 on offer), no Australian red (another 7 on offer) and no to 16 Ontario wines in total (shameful) … and yet we power on hoping the LCBO will change this policy (doubtful). So what did I try that was good? It’s all below …

Argentina …
Colome Estate 2016 Malbec ($24.95 - #477315) – so much going on here between the cocoa/mocha, black cherry and floral, the creamy mid-palate, the good acidity, the vanilla and subtle smokiness, right down to the spicy finish; it’s a well-made Malbec.  (****) – ARG
El Esteco 2015 Malbec ($22.95 - #113191) – meaty with cherry, pencil shavings and even some chocolate.  (****) – ARG
Fabre Montmayou 2016 Reserva Cabernet Franc ($18.95 - #492736) – tobacco, oak, cassis and some herbal notes.  (*** ½) – ARG
H.J. Fabre 2016 Barrel Selection Malbec ($18.95 - #114983) – spicy-cherry, blackberry and cassis; dark and brooding.  (*** ½+) – ARG  
Trapiche 2017 Costa & Pampa Pinot Noir ($23.95 - #668749) – light cranberry, strawberry and slightly earthy.  (*** ½) – ARG
Valle Las Acequias 2016 Bonarda ($16.95 - #668731) – red fruits of currant and cherry with hints of mocha; this one is smooth, silky and juicy.  (*** ½+) – ARG  

Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Creekside 2016 Laura’s Red ($25.00 - #117960) - ****+
Vineland 2018 Game Changer The Memory Rosé ($14.95 - #498758) - *** ½+

France (Burgundy) …
Jean Bouchard 2017 Petit-Chablis ($23.95 - #649855) – mineral and refreshing with light lemon, green apple fruit.  (*** ½+)
France (Provence) …
Fleurs de Prairie 2018 Rosé ($23.95 - #667329) – rhubarb, raspberry and lime zest.  (*** ½)
France (Rhone) …
Domaine Belle 2015 Cuvee Louis Belle Crozes-Hermitage ($43.95 - #645200) – deep colour with lots of plum, coffee bean, smoke and spice.  (*** ½+)
France (Roussillon) …
Gerard Bertarnd 2016 Grand Terroir Tautavel ($19.95 - #272575) – silky plum, black cherry, and cocoa bean with a punchy finish.  (*** ½+) – HEM

Italy (Campania) …
Indomito 2018 Falanghina del Beneventano ($14.95 - #562454) – there’s some weight to this white with lanolin and musky notes finishing with some lemon pith bitterness / freshness.  (*** ½) – HEM
Italy (Tuscany) …
Banfi 2016 Poggio Alle Mura Rosso di Montalcino ($28.95 - #644997) – see full review here
Italy (Veneto) …
Provolo Tenuta Ca’Nove 2014 Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore ($17.95 - #122002) – smooth with generous fruit and a sweetness but also with some coffee undertones.  (*** ½)

New Zealand …
Oyster Bay 2018 Rosé ($19.95 - #493171) – subtle with strawberry, lime and hints of raspberry.  (*** ½)

Portugal …
Carmim Terra Lenta 2016 Premium Reguengos ($13.95 - #646083) – mocha, plum with black raspberry and black cherry.  (***+) – HEM
Destino 2015 Fifth Empire Red Blend ($22.95 - #646901) – blackberry, earthy, leathery and smoky with hints of oak and it very pleasing on the palate.  (*** ½)

Spain …
Bodegas Teofile Reyes 2016 Tamiz Tempranillo ($18.95 - #010687) – good upfront black fruit with chocolate backing, it’s supple, silky and an easy sipper with enough punch on the finish from tannins and acidity; it’s a perfect end of summer BBQ red.  (****)
Monasterio de las Vinas 2016 Special Selection Old Vine Garnacha ($16.95 - #010635) – there’s some vanilla, mocha and floral with a subtle sweetness to the finish that is licorice laced like all-sorts of Good and Plenty candies.  (*** ½+)
Vina Esmeralda 2017 ($14.95 - #113696) – floral and soapy yet somehow still refreshing and light.  (*** ½) – HEM

United States (California) …
Ca’Momi 2017 Heartcraft North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 – 010356) – sweet fruited easy drinker with cassis, coffee, plum and vanilla.  (***+)
United States (Oregon) …
Westmount 2015 Pinot Noir ($19.95 - #010704) – earthy, smoky, cranberry, plum with a coffee ground finish; this is good Pinot at a good price.  (****)

Uruguay …
Juan Carrau 2017 Tannat ($15.95 - #638791) – there’s a sweetness of fruit here highlighted by cherry, smoky and mocha.  (*** ½)

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If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Piper-Hiedsieck Rosé Sauvage Brut Rosé Champagne, France ($69.95 - #665836)  - ****


Other Stuff That’s Fine, But It’s Not Wine …
Boulard Small Batch Bourbon Cask Finish VSOP Valvados, France ($69.95 - #666529) - *** ½


Best Values in this Release - (August 17, 2019) …
Bodegas Teofile Reyes 2016 Tamiz Tempranillo ($18.95 - #010687) – Spain
Westmount 2015 Pinot Noir ($19.95 - #010704) – Oregon

 

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