Saturday September 14, 2019 - Vintages Release Report

12 Sep 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 … Bring Local Home (BLH)

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 …

85 wines were NOT offered for tasting –
plus 17 “Flagship Exclusives” (aka. In Store Discoveries)

The Skinny … This week is all about Ontario wine and there are quite a bunch of good ones to be had – the list is just below because Austria and Australia don’t make wine anymore (according to those who set up our tastings) … anyway there are also a number of good wines from Italy, in particular Tuscany and Piedmont show some real great values in red wine, so pick ‘em up while you can. As for the rest of the release … 

Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Cave Spring 2016 Chardonnay Musque Estate ($17.95 - #246579) - **** … BLH
Cloudsley Cellars 2015 Twenty Mile Bench Pinot Noir ($35.00 - #011665) - *** ½ … BLH
Coffin Ridge 2016 Back From the Dead Red ($19.95 - #260463) - *** ½+ … BLH
Colchester Ridge 2016 CREW Meritage ($21.95 - #426833) - *** ½ … BLH
Featherstone 2017 Cabernet Franc ($19.95 - #064618) - *** ½+ … BLH
Flat Rock 2017 Chardonnay ($19.95 - #286278) – ****+ … BLH
Henry of Pelham 2016 Speck Family Reserve Baco Noir ($24.95 - #461699) - ****+ … BLH
iCellars Estate 2016 Cabernet Franc ($29.95 - #011681) - **** … BLH
Queenston Mile Vineyard 2017 Pinot Noir ($40.00 - #010138) - **** … BLH
Redstone 2016 Pinot Noir Sparkling Rosé ($29.95 - #644781) - **** … BLH
Trius 2016 Red ($24.95 - #303800) - **** ½+ … BLH
Vieni 2013 Classic Method Private Reserve Appassimento ($54.95 - #646752) - ****+ … BLH

Chile …
Puente Austral 2015 Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon ($18.95 - #010593) – hints of mint, smoke, black cherry and blackberry.  (*** ½)

France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau Carignan 2015 Prima ($33.95 - #648931) – smoky-earthy-cherry.  (*** ½)
Chateau du Ballandreau 2015 Cuvee Excellence ($15.95 - #667246) – soft, silky and smooth with reddish fruit and floral notes.  (*** ½)
Chateau Haut-Lalande 2015 ($18.95 - #546069) – approachable and easy drinking with earthy notes to the finish.  (*** ½)
France (Burgundy) …
Marchand-Tawse 2016 Vire-Clesse ($31.95 - #648576) – the LCBO calls this “light and crisp” but it is not, it’s full of buttery, vanilla and oaky notes, it’s a big Chardonnay oak-bomb where Burgundy meets California, the acidity props it up.  (*** ½)
France (Lauguedoc) …
Cazal Viel 2016 Vieilles Vignes Saint Chinian ($19.95 - #698985) – rich dark fruit with licorice, mocha and black cherry.  (*** ½+)
France (Rhone) …
Cave de Tain 2017 King in the North ($19.95 - #010657) – garrigue, mineral, smoke and black cherry.  (*** ½+)

Italy (Lombardy) …
Bonfadini Carpe Diem Saten Franciacorta ($41.95 - #667204) – creamy mouthfeel, nice minerality, citrus and green apple acidity.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Piedmont) …
Stefano Farina 2017 Barbera D’Alba ($16.95 - #010601) – floral and silky, nice mouthfeel and some sexy red fruit.  (****)
Italy (Sicily) …
Valle Dell’acate 2017 Il Frappato ($25.95 - #010932) – big floral with cherry, raspberry and strawberry.  (***+)
Italy (Tuscany) …
Uggiano 2015 Roccialta Chianti Riserva ($15.95 - #010605) – hella good Chianti with red and black fruit plus mocha, strawberry, balsamic and a long finish.  This is a multi-purchase for sure.  (****)

New Zealand …
Marisco Vineyards 2017 Leefield Station Pinot Gris ($17.95 - #148437) – pea pod, herbal and citrus; there is also a savoury element here.  (*** ½)

Portugal …
Maynard’s 10-Year-Old Aged Tawny Port ($17.95 - #011087) – orange peel and burnt cherry with some really nice acidity for balance.  (****)

Spain …
Delgado Zuleta Pedro Ximenez Sherry ($17.95 - #645077) – love Pedro-derived sherry and this one delivers with toasted pecans, caramel and almonds.  (****)

United States (Oregon) …
Domaine Drouhin Oregon 2016 Pinot Noir ($37.95 - #011263) – juicy red licorice, strawberry, and cherry; this is a tasty wine where California juicy meets Oregon-Pinot style.  (****)
________________________________________

If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Chateau La Haye 2015, Bordeaux ($56.95 - #647875) - ****

Other Stuff That’s Fine, But It’s Not Wine …
Vinea, Ontario ($29.95 - #645937) … **** - BLH

Best Values in this Release - (September 14, 2019) …
Maynard’s 10-Year-Old Aged Tawny Port ($17.95 - #011087) – Portugal
Stefano Farina 2017 Barbera D’Alba ($16.95 - #010601) – Italy
Uggiano 2015 Roccialta Chianti Riserva ($15.95 - #010605) – Italy

 

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