Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Saturday October 10, 2009 - Vintages Release

Have you missed me … I’d have to say I’ve missed you; and I’ve also missed tasting over 120 wines on a Friday morning and scrubbing my teeth with steel wool just to get them white again – but I’m not complaining, I like wine. And so do you or you would not be reading this.For this week’s release we’re going to Italy, to taste wines from that old world country, and we’ll also be making stops in France, New Zealand, Portugal and other countries around the world … but first let’s look in at what the LCBO Vintages buyer has brought back from It-aly.

I have gone to a stars rating system which appears at the end of each review; here’s how those stars break down:
5 = Outstanding … 4.5 = Excellent … 4 = Very Good … 3.5 = Good … 3 = Average
I’m always looking for good values and I’m not afraid to give or take away a half mark for it – I’ll let you know when I’ve done so.

You and me in Italy …
We’ll start our tour of Italy with one of my favourite styles of white, a nice fizzy Asti: Enrico Serafino 2008 Moscato D’asti ($16.95 - #0134833) with its pleasant grapy flavour, hints of grapefruit and a gentle fizz, delicious (****). Another popular Italian white is Soave, and there’s a nice one of those in this release too: Tedeschi Capitel Tenda 2008 Soave Classico ($15.95 - #0730903), this is not the light white your father grew up with – instead it’s tropical fruit flavours with real mouth presence. Moving on to the reds there’s a nice Terra D’Aligi Tatone 2005 Montepulciano D’Abruzzo ($15.95 - #0994616), this one has some real fleshy fruit, but there’s this drawback of an alcohol smell on the nose, but all is forgiven once it hits the mouth, cause this one’s big on flavour with sweet fruit on the mid-palate and weighty tannins at the back end – nice price too (****½). I have reviewed the Cantine due Palme 2005 Primitivo ($15.95 - #0658351) before, it’s jammy and very Zin-like, I love the pluminess of this wine (****). The Volpaia 2007 Citto ($13.95 - #0134817) is a nice blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon; earthy, black pepper and blackberry on the nose, good mouth feel, nice acidity with good follow through from the nose – this one gets an extra half point for value (****). One of my favourite red styles of wine comes from Italy, it’s the Ripasso method that combines Amarone heft with Valpolicella fruitiness: Remo Farina 2005 Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore ($16.95 - #0999946), rich plumy fruit with nice chocolate-cherry notes; a nice long dried cherry finish polishes this one off nicely (****). Looking for a sweet treat, don’t pass up the Antolini 2006 Recioto Della Valpolicella Classico ($29.95 / 500ml - #0135533), grapy and raisiny with milk chocolate cherries on the back palate (****).

Argentina – Red …
Finca El Origen 2007 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon ($14.95 - #0128991) – just might be one of the better wines of the release. Nice red fruit nose which follows in the mouth with licorice and chocolate flavours. Juicy with great acidity and a spicy long finish. (*****)
Trapiche Broquel 2007 Bonarda ($15.95 - #0055558) – this rarely seen grape variety offers great value for those who like a wine that’s spicy and plumy with black fruit and vanilla, oh, and there’s a nice long finish too. (****½)

Australia – Red …
Bishop By Ben Glaetzer 2007 Shiraz ($29.95 - #0627869) – as this wine hits the glass you’ll notice it’s almost black in colour; on the palate it has sweet chocolate, white pepper, black fruit, vanilla, licorice and mocha. (****½)
Tait 2005 Basked Pressed Shiraz ($49.95 - #0138339) – big fruit, chocolate, a touch of pepper with vanilla and caramel notes on the finish. (****)

Canada – White …
(British Columbia)
Burrowing Owl 2007 Pinot Gris ($30.95 - #0585745) – a tad pricey for a Pinot Gris but there’s good fruit, nice acidity and a long finish – look for lemon and nectarine here. (****)
Henry of Pelham 2007 Gamay ($14.95 - #0291112)
Malivoire 2008 Ladybug Rosé ($15.95 - #0559088)

France – Red …
Chateau Thebot ($16.95 - #0138792) – this is a big wine: big black fruit, big plum, big tannins, big on the vanilla and black cherry notes, good ageability that could see this one go 5-10 years. (****½)

France – White …
Domaine Bonnard 2008 Sancerre ($22.95 - #0140525) – a wine that makes you stand up and take notice; grassy, citrus and mineral notes, it all hits the mouth with nice biting acidity – this would have been a great summer wine, to bad it’s the middle of autumn. (****½)

New Zealand – White …
Twin Islands 2008 Sauvignon Blanc ($14.95 - #0903625) – this is exactly what you expect from a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, it won’t surprise on either the nose or the taste; it’s the price that’s really surprising … good value. (****)

Portugal – Dessert …
Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Port ($22.95 - #0208405) – chocolate entry, cocoa middle, raspberry-cherry finish with a touch of tannins and spice. (****)

Portugal – Red …
Aragones de Sao Miguel Dos Descobridores 2007 ($17.95 - #0131847) – spicy blackberry and herbs; there’s a dash of cocoa and vanilla-toast with a gritty mouth feel. (****)

Spain – Red …
Miguel Torres Mas La Plana 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon ($44.95 - #0129676) – coffee, cocoa, red fruit, blackberry, and cassis; tasty and still quite ageworthy. (****)

United States – Red …
Glass Mountain 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon ($13.95 - #0727511) – smooth and simple, easy on the palate, hardly any sign of tannin just nice red fruit; add an extra half mark for the price. (****)
Leese-Fitch 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon ($17.95 - #0135285) – nicely balanced wine with juicy fruit, vanilla and a nice weighted mouth feel. (****½)

United States – White …
Chateau St. Jean 2007 Chardonnay ($19.95 - #0421644) – generous fruit with a nice delicate use of oak, look for peach and tropical notes. (****)

Grape Guy Top 3 … what I’ll be lining up for on October 10, 2009:
Finca El Origen 2007 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon ($14.95 - #0128991) – Argentina
Domaine Bonnard 2008 Sancerre ($22.95 - #0140525) – France
Bishop By Ben Glaetzer 2007 Shiraz ($29.95 - #0627869) – Australia

Happy Shopping.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Saturday September 12, 2009 - Vintages Release

Once again summer got in the way of me tasting the Vintages release for this Saturday, but since the focus is Ontario I can definitely point you in the right direction on a few of these wines. Here is a list of the wines I tried which link back to their original review:

And of course, there will be more to follow in Newsletter and on the website in the months to come.