Thursday, December 2, 2010

Saturday December 11, 2010 - Vintages Release


I am using a 5-star rating system, which appears at the end of each review; here’s the key to the stars:
5 = Outstanding … 4.5 = Excellent … 4 = Very Good … 3.5 = Good … 3 = Average

The only release in December is all about “festive celebrating”, as we get into gift giving season the LCBO believes you’re going to pry your wallet open a little wider.  I am going to forego segregating the “holiday” wines and put them all in their country of origin.  Here we go …

Argentina – Red …
Kaiken 2008 Ultra Malbec ($19.95 - #0050849) – sweet black fruit, black cherry, plum and licorice notes, with a little vanilla on the finish. (****)
Los Clop 2006 Reserva Malbec ($15.95 - #0186650) – a good price for this sweet red licorice dominated wine. (*** ½)
Trapiche Fausto Orellana de Escobar Single Vineyard Malbec 2007 ($39.95 - #0178145) – rich colour which matches the flavour:  lots of big black fruit, coffee, mocha blackberry and a touch of mineral complexity. (**** ½) 

Argentina – White …
Alamos 2009 Torrontes ($13.95 - #0081539) – you’d swear this is a Gewurztraminer knock-off on the nose with all the floral/rosy notes coming off it, and the palate is no different … this one’s nice and light at a price worth picking up.  If you haven’t tried Torrontes yet this would be a good time.  (*** ½)

Australia – Dessert …
Dutschke Old Codger Tawny ($19.95 - #0199786) – this is a real beauty for those who like Tawnies with a twist: caramel coated roasted almonds with a cherry sweetness and spicy finish. (**** ½)

Canada – Dessert …
(Ontario)

Canada – Red …
(Ontario)
Stratus 2007 Cabernet Franc ($38.20 - #0665034)

Canada – Sparkling …
(British Columbia)
Sumac Ridge 2006 Steller’s Jay Brut Sparkling Wine ($24.95) – there’s a lovely lemony smell which turns into a fun fizz with a touch of sweet apple and lemon rind on the palate, the real winning part here is the peach finish. (****)
(Ontario)
Peller Estates Ice Cuvee Rosé ($35.20 - #0113035)

Canada – White …
(Ontario)
Thirty Bench 2009 Riesling ($18.70 - #0024133)

Chile – Red …
Casa Silva 2008 Los Lingues Gran Reserva Carmenere ($17.95 - #0059477) – big on mint, black fruit and raspberry liqueur. (****)
Santa Ema Amplus Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 ($19.95 - #0076307) – the nose smells juicy with sweet red fruit but does not lead to juiciness on the palate where it’s dry dark fruit, this interesting dichotomy ends with a nice black fruit finish. (****)

France – Red …
(Bordeaux)
Chateau Rigaud 2008 ($18.95 - #0198366) – lots of darkness in fruit and colour, graphite, blackberry, cassis, cinnamon, spice with coffee finish and plenty of tannin grip. (****)
(Burgundy)
Vincent Lacombe Pommard 2009 ($36.95 - #0185637) – cherry and plum kicks it off leading to dark fruit and tannins in the mouth; this Pinot has real stuffing with spices and herbs on the finish, leaves the tongue a little dusty. (****)
(Midi)
Hecht & Bannier Minervois 2007 ($18.95 - #0017764) – nice dark fruit: cassis, black cherry jam with just enough spice to make the mix very delish. (**** ½)
(Rhone)
Le Vieux Donjon 2008 Chateauneuf-du-Pape ($52.95 - #0700922) – sweet smoke and red licorice on the nose, spice, licorice and blackberry on the palate. (****)

France – Sparkling …
(Burgundy)
Charles Duret Brut Cremant de Bourgogne ($17.95 – 0185694) – great acidity with bread, biscuit and hazelnut; simple yet sexy. (****)
(Champagne)
Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Blue Top Brut Champagne ($49.95 - #0068288) – toasty and nutty with an alluring nose and nice palate, creamy smooth and delicious. (**** ½)

France – White …
(Alsace)
Anne Boecklin 2008 Reserve Gewurztraminer ($17.95 - #0141226) – now here’s the real deal.  Pretty nose with an even better palate: touch of floral, a little bit of thrills gum soapiness with a dash of spice; delicate and delicious while being impressively priced. (**** ½)
(Burgundy)
Jean-Pierre Teissedre 2009 Pouilly Fuisse ($22.95 - #0183483) – delicate and fresh, fruity and flavourful, definitely one you’ll enjoy. (****)

Italy – Red …
(Tuscany)
Rocca Delle Macie Chianti Riserva 2006 ($15.00 - #0111641) – good value for this wine that’s a little rough around the edges, but the herbs, spice and dried fruit make it very delicious. (****½)
Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno 2007 ($69.95 - #0735597) – a real beauty, big, luscious and delicious. (**** ½)
(Veneto)
Tenuta Sant’Antonio Selezione Antonio Castagnedi Amarone Della Valpolicella 2006 ($41.95 - #0685107) – this one is lovely, simply lovely. (****)
Italy – Sparkling Wine …
(Veneto)
Santa Margherita Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore ($17.95 - #0687582) – light and fruity, good fizz with lemon and apple notes; an easy sipper. (****)

New Zealand – Red …
Kim Crawford Small Parcel Rise and Shine Creek Pinot Noir 2007 ($29.95 - #0035337) – lots of dark fruit with hints of earth and smoked cranberry. (****)

New Zealand – White …
Wither Hills Wairau Valley 2009 Sauvignon Blanc ($18.95 - #0919514) – typical fruit driven number with lots of grass, gooseberry and grapefruit all with good acidity; very appealing. (****)

Spain – Red …
Acustic Celler Acustic 2008 ($18.95 - #0190728) – nice fruit, sweet blackberry, cassis, hints of red licorice; layers of fruit, spice and chocolate. (**** ½)
Juan Gil 2009 White Label de Cepas Viejas Monastrell ($14.95 - #0013656) – cherries and spice and everything nice, that’s what this Juan Gil is made of; good value too. (**** ½)
Solar de Libano 2006 Crianza ($14.95 - #0190579) – red raspberry and licorice with good wood notes, touch of dried cran-cherry, lots of life in this bottle. (****)
Vina Vilano Crianza 2006 ($14.95 - #0190777) – sweet fruit of both red and black, pepper, spice, a little woody with some mineral notes on the finish. (****)

Spain – Sparkling …
Segura Viudas Brut Reserve Heredad Cava ($29.95 - #0558825) – slightly sweet sparkle with mac apple, this is a good fizz for easy quaffing and a fair bit of partying. (****)

United States – Red …
(California)
Cliff Lede 2006 Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon ($126.95 - #0014209) – the smell is supple, silky and sexy, so is the taste; pricey but tasty. (****)
Ridge 2008 Geyserville ($43.95 - #0723072) – inky colour, flavours are smoky, chocolate, mocha mixed in with some black raspberry. (****)
(Oregon)
Domaine Serene Yamhill Cuvee Pinot Noir 2007 ($46.95 - #0186858) – it’s a cross between the earthiness of France and the fruitiness of California, a nice bridge showing what has made Oregon famous. (****)

United States – Sparkling …
(California)
Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut Sparkling Wine ($23.95 - #0192898) – Gloria makes some nice bubbles with light aromatics that are fizzy and friendly, this is no different. (****)

United States – White …
Fog Crest 2006 Chardonnay ($47.95 - #0211292) – holy cow, what a lovely nose of baked caramel apple pie, the palate is succulent with almond/hazelnut toffee and I liked the apparent sweetness though it finished dry; and that finish was cheek-sucklingly good. (****½)
Gainey Vineyard 2008 Chardonnay ($24.95 - #0205484) – nice vanilla and fruit with a touch of caramel, nut and it all culminates on a beautiful finish that makes it very appealing. (****) 
McManis Family Vineyards 2009 Viognier ($19.95 - #0658112) – big exotic fruit nose and the palate follows; decent amount of acidity on the finish, all finished with the flavour of pineapple core which seems to hang around forever. (**** ½)

Grape Guy Holiday Top 5 … I’ll be lining up for on December 11, 2010:
Dutschke Old Codger Tawny ($19.95 - #0199786) – Australia
McManis Family Vineyards 2009 Viognier ($19.95 - #0658112) – USA
Hecht & Bannier Minervois 2007 ($18.95 - #0017764) – France
Rocca Delle Macie Chianti Riserva 2006 ($15.00 - #0111641) - Italy
Acustic Celler Acustic 2008 ($18.95 - #0190728) - Spain

Happy Shopping.


1 comment:

Monica said...

Argentine wines are really great!
Once I went to a Buenos Aires apartment which had different types of wines and I could buy the bottles for almost nothing.