Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Saturday December 5, 2009 - Vintages Release

I have gone to a stars rating system which appears at the end of each review; here’s the key to those stars:
5 = Outstanding … 4.5 = Excellent … 4 = Very Good … 3.5 = Good … 3 = Average
I’m always looking for good value 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.

It’s the last Vintages release of the year, which means the LCBO has partying on its mind – so today’s release has dinner wines and fizzy wines on the menu.

What’s for Dinner …
First up, we’ll start with dessert, no better way to begin a party on paper then with a wine that wraps the whole party up. Delaforce 2004 Late Bottled Vintage Port ($16.95 - #014087), red cherries and chocolate, a touch of cinnamon and some spiced plum; well priced (*****). From the Napa Valley comes the Clos Pegase 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon ($52.95 - #0268235), this wine has good black fruit and fine Corinthian leather on the nose, the palate is like going to the fruit market in a new Chrysler Cordoba, also nice finishing tannins here (****). Also from California is the Macrostie 2006 Pinot Noir ($25.95 - #0674911), loads of juicy cherry on the nose, earthy, mineral palate with a big finish (****). Argentinean wine fans will enjoy the Bodegas Santa Ana 2006 La Mascota Cabernet Sauvignon ($17.95 - #0066720), minty blackberry, chocolate, smoky, spice and a nice tannin component (****). French vino fans will enjoy the Chateau Camensac 1995 ($54.95 - #0155564), yup a ’95, you’re heard of the In Store Discoveries at the LCBO, well this in a Lost In Warehouse Discovery, but it was a good time to find this one: smooth dried fruit and cedar notes; if you don’t have the inclination to age your wines the LCBO has done it for you (****). From Italy, Piccini 2005 Chianti Classico Reserva ($19.95 - #0134791), coffee, leather, black fruit, nice tannins and a dry finish (****). Portugal should also have a reservation at your holiday table, V. Leite de Faria Gloria Reserva 2004 ($17.95 - #0146522), juicy red and black fruit, herbs and spice, gentle tannins and a smoky finish (****). Finally, I can recommend a Spanish goody, Herencia Remondo La Montesa 2006 ($19.95 - #0674572), sweet plumy notes, juicy cherry, hints of raspberry and a floral sensation (****½).

Here Comes the Fizz …
I have three to recommend here: 13th Street 2004 Premier Cuvee Brut ($28.00 - #0142679), mac apple and lemon curd on the nose, green apple and nice acidity in the mouth (****½). Chandon Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine ($23.95 - #0100693), moussey character, apple and creamy with good acid and nice length. And then there’s this Burgundian beauty, Louis Bouillot Perle D’Aurore Brut Rosee Cremant de Bourgogne ($18.95 - #0048793), beautiful light pink in colour, creamy light strawberry in the mouth, gentle bubbly mousse at a really good price; very enjoyable (****½).

Argentina – Red …
Catena 2007 Merlot ($19.95 - #0057976) – My only 5-star table wine of the release, and this is a beauty. Lovely ripe red fruit nose with cherry and licorice. The palate is juicy and loaded with fruit and just the right amount of dustiness on the finish. (*****)
Los Clop 2008 Malbec ($10.95 - #0135244) – This is an amazing bargain of a wine. The nose is chocolate, cherry, plum and cassis while the palate is juicy as sin loaded with cherry, chocolate and vanilla.
Zolo 2006 Reserve Malbec ($16.95 - #0081091) – Another value wine from Argentina with huge blackberry, cassis, dark chocolate and plum notes on the nose. Palate-wise its dusty with a dark fruit finish. It needs time to come around, but shows signs of being wonderful in the next few years.

Australia – Red …
Coriole Redstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 ($17.95 - #0141960) – mint, cherry, cassis, vanilla, cinnamon with a touch of dried plum. (****)
Fools Bay 2008 Dusty’s Desire Shiraz ($17.95 - #0141887) – big blackberry, cassis and mocha notes which follow on the palate with great juiciness, lots of sweet fruit and a dab of pepper … watch out for the high alcohol on this easy on the palate wine. (****)
Wolf Blass 2007 Gold Label Cabernet Sauvignon ($27.95 - #0606939) – nice rich black fruit with spiced plum backing. (****)

Canada – Red …
Inniskillin 2007 Reserve Series Cabernet Franc ($16.95 - #0091140)

Canada – White …
Flat Rock Cellars 2008 Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling (#0578625)

Chile – White …
Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2008 ($15.95 - #0135426) – big, bright and lively: gooseberry, lemon-lime and grassy notes with a racy finish. (****½)
Tabali Reserva Especial Chardonnay 2007 ($18.95 - #0663005) – peachy vibrancy, easy sipper with not too much oak on the palate; there’s good balance here. (****)

France – Red …
Chateau Hauchat 2006 ($15.00 - #0123489) – Good value for a Bordeaux red; nice juicy black fruit, spices and big tannins, quite enjoyable. (****)
La Fleur Anne 2005 ($19.95 - #0139048) – vanilla, smoky, tobacco, big tannin bite that dries out the mouth, there is a nice juiciness through the mid-palate which turns a bit hollow near the end giving way to that dryness mentioned above. (****)
Domaine des Mascarons Cotes du Rhone-Villages 2007 ($14.95 - #0142174) – spiced cherry and plum, the aromas follow smoothly across the tongue ending with a peppery lengthy finish with herbs and spice, and a little dustiness. Great value. (****½)

France – White …
Helfrich 2008 Pinot Gris ($13.95 - #0141788) – sweet peach and pear notes, refreshing and tasty, it might have a short finish but it’s still very pleasant going down. (****)

Italy – Red …
Antinori 2006 Guado al Tasso ($89.95 - #0986380) – mineral, black fruit and pepper, with big tannins; this one is going places in years to come. (****½)

Italy – White …
L’Armangia Il Giai Moscato D’Asti 2008 ($14.95 - #0135632) – grapey ginger ale notes on the nose, tropical flavoured with bubble gum and melony tastes. (****)

Portugal – Red …
Catapereiro 2006 Vinho Tinto ($14.95 - #008358) – jammy and juicy is the best way to describe this one; raspberry pie, blackberry fruit and a touch of dried cherries with earthy tannins on the finish. (****½)

South Africa – Red …
The Goatfather 2008 ($13.95 - #0011072) – cherry and brambly notes with some earth and leather on the back palate; slightly tarry but that’s mixed with nice blackberry notes on the aftertaste. (****)

Spain – Red …
Puerta Bonita G5 Garnacha 2007 ($19.95 - #0132266) – sweet cherries all the way through, it’s a one dimensional wine but a dimension I’d go back to again and again – enjoy that long cherry finish. (****)

United States – Red …
Frei Brothers 2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($23.95 - #0038075) – blackberry, tobacco and black cherry on the nose, smoky, sweet mid-palate with a little white pepper. (****)
J. Lohr 2007 Los Osos Merlot ($18.95 - #0027516) – juicy, almost sweet blackberry and cherry, this one’s quite tasty. (****)
Ridge 2007 Three Valleys ($31.95 - #0652875) – a blend with Zinfandel taking the lion’s share of the work (76%); sweet fruit, cherry, plum with dusty tannins. (****)

Grape Guy Top 3 … what I’ll be lining up for on December 5, 2009:
Catena 2007 Merlot ($19.95 - #0057976) – Argentina
Los Clop 2008 Malbec ($10.95 - #0135244) – Argentina
Domaine des Mascarons Cotes du Rhone-Villages 2007 ($14.95 - #0142174) – France

Happy Shopping.

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