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Saturday October 12, 2019 - Vintages Release Report

10 Oct 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 … Red Giant Cabernets (RGC) & Rioja Wines (RW)

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 …

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

The Skinny …
Light on wines this time out, feels like there is less and less to recommend every week – but I have found some good stuff that I can stand behind as good recommendations and here they are:

Australia …
Jim Barry 2016 Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #677476) - If you think Australia is all about Shiraz, think again, this Cab delivers on a variety of levels with notes of cola, coffee, vanilla, plum and blackberry; it needs a little time (2 years) so find a cool dark place to lie it down.  (****) … RGC
The Hedonist 2015 Shiraz ($21.95 - #090191) – big and ballsy peppery display plus red and black berries along with currant and vanilla undertones.  (*** ½+)

Canada (British Columbia) …
Burrowing Owl 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Bottled ($44.95 - #073098) - A nicely composed west coast Canada Cab with cassis, black cherry, smoke and strawberry plus some subtle oak and mocha notes.  (****) … RGC
Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Cuddy by Tawse 2015 Cabernet/Merlot ($27.95 - #469031) - *** ½
Domaine Queylus 2016 Tradition Cabernet Franc ($27.95 - #011581) - ****+
Domaine Queylus 2016 Tradition Chardonnay ($27.95 - #417774) - ****

France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau Pierre de Montignac 2014 ($24.95 - #437954) - Lots of subtleties from the get go, the fruit to the oak and even a little graphite get all up into the olfactories; but let it open and you’ll find some blackberry, cassis and even a nice spice.  (*** ½) … RGC
France (Lauguedoc) …
Camel & Joseph 2015 Saint Chenin ($15.95 - #010623) – juicy core with licorice, raspberry, herbal and floral.  (*** ½+)
Gerard Bertrand 2017 Thomas Jefferson Brut Rose Cremand de Limoux ($22.95 - #648618) – pretty little bubbles with fresh citrus notes and slight raspberry aromas.  (*** ½)
France (Rhone) …
M. Chapoutier 2017 Belleruche Cotes du Rhone Grenache/Syrah ($16.95 - #328831) – floral, stony, cassis and graphite.  (*** ½+)
France (Southwest) …
Jean-Luc Baldes 2015 Clos Triguedina Malbec ($16.95 - #010319) – red licorice, red currants, blackberry, white smoke with a ballsy finish.  (*** ½+)

Greece …
Domaine Mega Spileo 2011 Grand Cave Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.95 - #539924) – well-aged wine from Greece with lean fruit, coffee bean and smoke.  (***+)

Italy (Piedmont) …
Diego Pressenda 2016 La Torricella Dolcetto D’Alba Superiore ($23.95 - #011215) – sweer juicy fruit core, yet it has a lovely dryness to the finish; it’s a Dolcetto with some stuffing and red berry fruit.  (*** ½)

Portugal …
Bergamota 2015 Private Selection ($13.95 - #646893) – delicate spice, good dark fruit with sweet red fruit backing.  (*** ½+)

Spain …
Cune 2012 Gran Reserve ($28.95 - #393553) – well balanced with fruit and spice but it’s also great smoothness here.  (*** ½) – RW
Rioja Vega 2016 Crianza ($16.695 - #471854) – modern Rioja style with dark berries and a lively juiciness: black and blue fruit with a hint of spice.  (*** ½+)

United States (California) …
Cline 2017 Sonoma Coast Syrah ($22.95 - #010463) – juicy and peppery, subtle smoke and charry notes, a little chewy and a little chocolate.  (*** ½+)
Concannon Vineyard 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon ($21.95 - #010039) – subtle red fruit but mainly dark fruit with mocha, cherry and vanilla backing.  (*** ½) … RGC
J. Lohr 2016 Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon ($49.95 - #686584) – full-bodied, silky and smooth with mocha, blackberry, cassis, black cherry and good tannin backbone.  (****)
Klinker Brick 2016 Brickmason Red Blend ($21.95 - #010465) – layered Zin blend without the sweetness: smooth and silky but also with plum, cocoa and cherry notes.  (*** ½+)
Purple Cowboy 2015 Paso Robles Tenacious Red ($24.95 - #010881) – easy drinking with dark fruit and spice, there’s even a bit of chocolate here.  (*** ½)
Truchard 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon ($41.95 - #059683) - Lots of texture in the mouth, it’s something you can almost chew, with plenty of dark fruit at its core, but mid-palate it comes off a little sweet with blackberry, so not the mouth drying wine one would expect at the outset.  (*** ½+) … RGC
Wente 2016 Wetmore Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.95 - #963397) - Blended with 9% Petite Sirah, 8% Petit Verdot, and 4% Malbec which gives it more oomph that one might expect: chocolate and black cherry kick things off, adding in white smoke, cassis, and licorice all leading to a peppery finish – this is a delight.  (****) … RGC
United States (Washington) …
Double Canyon 2015 Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.95 - #131888) - Raspberry, cherry, strawberry and red currant notes all make an appearance along with some subtle spices and a definite shake of pepper.  (*** ½+) … RGC
________________________________________

If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Elderton 2015 Command Single Vineyard Shiraz, Australia ($99.99 - #716142) - ****+
La Rioja 2009 Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva, Spain ($54.95 - #315531) - *** ½ … RW
Segla 2010, Bordeaux ($68.95 - #359810) - ****
Silver Oak 2014 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($121.95 - #943472) - ****+ … RGC


Best Values in this Release - (October 12, 2019) …
Bergamota 2015 Private Selection ($13.95 - #646893) – Portugal
Jim Barry 2016 Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #677476) – Australia

 

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© 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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