Saturday February 8, 2020 - Vintages Release Report

01 Feb 2020

 

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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 … Sun, Soil & Soaring (SSS)

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 …

44 wines were NOT offered for tasting –
plus 7 (all) “Flagship Exclusives” (aka. In Store Discoveries)

The Skinny … It’s a lean release for great value so I have upped the limit to under-$25 and found a couple more you’ll want to put your hands on. The focus is Soil and Sun, basically terroir driven wines … and there are some good ones to be had in this release, if you are willing to pay the price.

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Argentina …
Catena 2017 Lunlunta Old Vines Appellation Malbec ($22.95 - #11769) – mocha, anise and blackberry.  (*** ½)

Australia …
Don’t Tell Gary Shiraz 2017 ($21.95 - #632620) – Gary’s bottle is back and while I did not try this vintage last year’s version was one of the best Shiraz I tried all year …  fingers are crossed for this one.  (good risk to take)
Trentham Estate 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir ($24.95 - #12845) – if you have never tried Tasmanian Pinot this is a nice place to start: cherry and cran-raspberry, good Pinot character and lovely acidity.  (****)

Canada (British Columbia) …
Black Sage Vineyard 2016 Shiraz ($31.95 - #11818) – mocha, vanilla and good richness of fruit like plum and black cherry plus pepper and spice notes on the finish.  (****+)
Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Chateau des Charmes 2017 Vidal Icewine ($28.95 / 200ml - #565861) - *** ½+
Three of Hearts 2018 Rosé ($19.95 - #552562) - *** ½+

Chile …
Casa Silva 2016 Lolol Gran Terroir de La Costa Syrah ($19.95 - #010806) – fruit forward with blackberry leading the charge plus some mocha and soft tannins.  (*** ½) – SSS

France (Beaujolais) …
Laurent Perrachon et Fils 2017 Terres Roses Moulin-a-Vent ($19.95- #011877) – rich cherry, white pepper but that upfront fruit is just what doctor ordered; long, lingering and delicious.  (****)
France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau Vrai Caillou 2016 ($15.95 - #348292) – soft and easy drinking, this one is ready to go with it’s red fruit notes, it tastes older than it actually is.  (*** ½)
France (Burgundy) …
Francois Martenot 2018 Les Marquettes Chablis ($24.95 - #011913) – stony-minerality with apple and lemon notes; this one is brisk on the palate.  (*** ½+)
France (Rhone) …
Domaine Coudoulis 2016 Evidence Lirac ($19.95 - #01351) – spicy black fruit, mocha, black cherry and grippy tannins on the finish.  (*** ½+)
Pierre Amadieu 2017 Domaine Grand Romane Cuvee Prestige Vieilles Vignes Gigondas ($32.95 - #968693) – mocha with red and black cherry, smoky-vanilla and a little bit on the creamy side.  (****) – SSS

Italy (Campania) …
Donnachiara  2017 Irpinia Aglianico ($24.95 - #262956) – dark and brooding with coffee bean, black cherry and plum.  (*** ½+) – SSS
Italy (Sicily) …
Tornatore 2017 Nerello Mascalese / Nerello Cappuccio ($23.95 - #487090) – light and easy, probably would be good with a little chill, nice mineral aspect with red berries; quite a fresh red.  (*** ½+) – SSS
Italy (Trento) …
Ferrari Brut Sparkling ($24.95 - #352153) – it’s back and still a great bottle of bubbles, if you missed it the last time pick some up – if you’re running low from last time pick up more.  (****+) – see full review here
Italy (Tuscany) …
Bernardeschi Governo 2017 All’Uso Rosso ($19.95 - #013519) – sweet plum and cherry fruit; very drinkable and easy going down.  (*** ½)
Carpineto 2015 Riserva Chianti Classico ($28.95 - #047118) – good tannins, ripe, rich and robust with red and black fruit, hint of smoke, touch of cedar, good acidity – very well-balanced.  (****+) – SSS
Petra Hebo 2016 Suvereto ($24.95 - #012094) – nice tannins with blackberry and cassis in the mix.  (*** ½)
Italy (Veneto) …
Ca’ del Sette 2016 Apasssionante ($19.95 - #12837) – smoky dark fruit with some bittersweet chocolate and subtle earthiness.  (***+)

South Africa …
Le Riche 2017 Chardonnay ($19.95 - #012431) – delicate apple, pear, lemon with a hint of vanilla cream; quite the pleasant version of Chardonnay.  (*** ½+) – SSS

United States (California) …
La Crema 2017 Monterey Chardonnay ($26.95 - #158683) – pleasant with nice minerality and acidity: apple, pear and peach with very-Cali tendencies.  (*** ½+)
Tuck Beckstoffer 2017 The 75 Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon ($37.95 - #13692) – ripe Cali-fruit, mainly cherry forward with plum, pepper and licorice.  (****+)
United States (Washington) …
Airfield  Estates 2015 Merlot ($29.95 - #420703) – yummy with red and black cherry, coffee/mocha, cinnamon and hints of cedar on the finish.  (****) – SSS
Bookwalter 2016 Readers Cabernet Sauvignon ($35.95 - #13238) – floral, smoky, with raspberry and strawberry notes with some mocha on the finish.  (*** ½)
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If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Stefano Farina 2012 Barolo, Piedmont ($50.95 - #384131) - *** ½

Other Stuff That’s Fine, But It’s Not Wine …
Dillon’s Vermouth, Ontario ($19.95 - #571133) - ****


Best Values in this Release - (February 8, 2020) …
Ferrari Brut Sparkling ($24.95 - #352153) – Italy
Laurent Perrachon et Fils 2017 Terres Roses Moulin-a-Vent ($19.95- #011877) – France
Trentham Estate 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir ($24.95 - #12845) – Australia

 

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