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Saturday September 28, 2019 - Vintages Release Report

26 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 … Super Euro Signatures (SES) & Oregon Crafters (OC)

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 …

78 wines were NOT offered for tasting –
plus 15 “Flagship Exclusives” (aka. In Store Discoveries)

The Skinny … So this time out we see Signature European wines and some Oregon wines making the highlight reel at the LCBO – but really they are few and far between; I also found little in the way of great value wines to recommend, so I’ll raise my usual bar of $20 to $25 and put a Chianti Classico right at the bottom as the best wine for the price in this release. Let’s call this “shoulder season” as the Board gets ready for the big holiday blitz.

Argentina …
Vinalba 2017 Malbec/Bonarda ($17.95 - #122887) – juicy fruit with some cherry, raspberry notes that makes this one an ease and a breeze to recommend. (*** ½+)

Austria …
Rabl 2017 Loss Gruner Veltliner ($15.95 - #295709) – pea pod, mineral and citrus.  (*** ½) - SES

Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Adamo Estate 2016 Parke Vineyard Grower’s Series Pinot Noir ($28.95 - #011244) … ****
Angels Gate 2016 Mountainview Pinot Noir ($30.00 - #131201) … *** ½
Flat Rock 2016 Gravity Pinot Noir ($34.95 - #001560) … *** ½
Henry of Pelham 2017 Estate Pinot Noir ($24.95 - #268391) … *** ½+

France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau Rouselle 2015 ($23.95 - #649731) – cigar box, black cherry, pepper and smoke.  (*** ½)
France (Burgundy) …
Charton et Trebuchet 2017 Macon-Villages ($23.95 - #010342) – sweet apple, pear and a touch of vanilla-pineapple; quite a neat little experience for Burgundy.  (*** ½)
Domaine Beranger 2016 Pouilly-Fuisse ($37.95 - #648659) – apple, lemon and mineral; this one is quite fresh and pleasant.  (*** ½+)

Italy (Piedmont) …
Marchesi di Barolo 2018 Gavi del Comune di Gavi ($22.95 - #155382) – dry, crisp and light perfect summer sipper, so why is it coming out now? (shrug).  (*** ½) – SES
Italy (Tuscany) …
Rocca delle Macie 2016 Famiglia Zingarelli Riserva Chianti Classico ($24.95 - #930966) – full review can be found here … **** - SES

Portugal …
Deu la Deu 2018 Alvarinho ($19.95 - #040642) – lively with lemon-grapefruit citrusy style notes with a long finish that layers in subtle lanolin and bees wax.  (*** ½) – SES
Monte Cascas 2016 Colheita ($14.95 - #646059) – smoky tobacco notes along with black cherry fruit.  (*** ½)

Spain …
Lealtanza 2012 Reserva ($22.95 - #208223) – meaty, black cherry, smoky, earthy, strawberry, cassis and blueberry.  (*** ½) – SES

United States (California) …
Rutherford Ranch 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon ($39.95 - #073817) – tobacco, cigar box, black cherry and some wood smoke; I’m hoping more fruit emerges with a couple more years, have faith.  (*** ½)
United States (Oregon) …
Alexana 2016 Terroir Series Pinot Noir ($47.95 - #011256) – this one smacks of fresh red fruit yet it still has a nice grip of tannins: cran-cherry, strawberry and smoke take center-stage. (*** ½+) – OC
Foris 2017 Rogue Valley Pinot Noir ($24.95 - #937128) – fruit forward with cherry taking charge but with some mineral and subtle raspberry notes on the finish.  (*** ½) – OC
Pike Road 2017 Chardonnay ($23.95 - #011258) – mineral along with white fruits like apple plus some melon and a little chalkiness on the finish.  (*** ½+) – OC
Ponzi 2017 Tavola Pinot Noir ($46.95 – 011264) – cherry, vanilla, raspberry and white pepper, nice supple and approachable Pinot with elegance to spare.  (****) – OC

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If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Gardet 2012 Millesime Brut Champagne, France ($58.95 - #665869) … *** ½+
Penner-Ash 2016 Pinot Noir, Oregon ($59.95 - #011259) … ****+ (read full review here)

Best Values in this Release - (September 28, 2019) …
Rocca delle Macie 2016 Famiglia Zingarelli Riserva Chianti Classico ($24.95 - #930966) – Italy

 

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