What I've Been Tasting - May 2024

30 May 2024


Big Head Wines 2020 Raw Malbec (Ontario)    
Beautiful florality on the nose; black raspberry / cherry, smoky-vanilla, creme de cassis; and weirdly empty glass shows a cucumber aroma character (neat party trick) - not a primary aroma, but a residual one that's a head scratcher.  (Sold Out) ... ****


Cambria Estate 2021 Pinot Noir - Julia's Vineyard (California) Cambria
This is a nice drinking Pinot from California. The cranberry weaves between the black and sour cherry with a nice acidity that shows up on the finish. Comes across more juicy than mouth puckering. Tasty.  ($44.95 - #980482) ... *** 1/2+


El Esteco 2021 Don David Reserva Malbec (Argentina)
Blue and black fruit meet, chief among them cassis and blueberry; also look for some spice with a subtle graphite note. Not smooth right now, but give it a few years or a little extra time out of the bottle and smoothness can be yours.  ($21.00 - #483263) ... *** 1/2+


Leaning Post 2020 Chardonnay - The Fifty (Ontario)
Fresh with a little pith to balance it out on the finish - good apple and bosc pear freshness at its core. Another tasty version of the 50 - this one is always a good bet.  (Sold Out) ... ****


Malivoire 2023 Melon (Ontario)
This is one of those wines that sneaks up on you and the more you taste it, the more you like it: tropical notes lead things off, adding in pear and ending with dryness and length. Fun little summer wine for the patio.  ($25.00 - Winery) ... *** 1/2+


Peninsula Ridge 2020 Merlot - Beal Vineyard Reserve (Ontario) Penn Ridge
Soft and supple, just what you expect from a Pen Ridge Merlot, a grape they always have success with. Black and blue fruit mix with a little marzipan, giving this wine a little extra edge.  ($21.95 - Winery) ... *** 1/2+


Pondview (Bella Terra) 2022 Pinot Grigio (Ontario)
What sorcery is this? A Pinot Grigio with flavour - say it isn't so. This Pondview (Bella Terra) version is peachy and punchy with good lemon drop notes on the finish. It has summertime imbedded in every sip and seems to almost be crossing the Rubicon into Savvy B territory.  (Sold Out) ... ****

RavineRavine Vineyard 2021 Gamay Noir (Ontario) - see the video    
How exciting to see yet another winery foisting Gamay into the limelight here in Ontario. This Ravine version is bright, easy to drink and fresh across the palate. There are notes of cherry and even some cranberry with raspberry undertones. It's a lovely fruit driven affair that evokes some of the best of what Niagara Gamay is all about.  ($34.00 - winery) ... ****


Sandpoint 2022 Chardonnay (California) Sandpoint
Subtle buttery nose but on the palate it is a fruit driven and easy drinking affair: peach and spice with good acidity. Creamy with hints of vanilla wrapping around the fruit but not getting in the way. Pretty impressive, especially at the price point.  ($16.95 - #11194) ... *** 1/2+


Trapiche 2021 Reserva Malbec (Argentina)
Smooth and spicy: blackberry, cassis and mocha with a graphite-like finish.  ($17.95 - #614651) ... *** 1/2+

WakefieldWakefield 2021 Jaraman Shiraz (Australia)
Usually I find myself gravitating towards their Cabernet from this line, it has a great consistency - the Shiraz is a little more hit and miss. This version is blessed with lots of vanilla and black cherry, but it seems strangely tame compared to previous versions. Still good, just lacking the punch I've come to expect.  ($24.95 - #377036) ... *** 1/2+




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