Monday, January 24, 2011

Saturday February 5, 2011 - 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

I am working on a new scoring system based on school grading system of A+ thru D- ... would love to hear your feedback on the new system as you folks who read my Vintages blog are my Guinea Pigs.
please send your feedback to me at michael@ontariowinereview.com - thanks.

We got a three focus release again this week at Vintages: Tuscany (T), Valentine’s Day (V) and Washington State (WS) … The wines that are part of the spotlight are labeled as such:

Argentina – Red …
Pasion 4 2008 Merlot ($12.95 - #0059287) – a little blueberry, a little spice, a little blackberry and a little of enough to make it interesting. (*** ½ or C+)
Trapiche Vina Domingo F. Sarmiento 2007 Single Vineyard Malbec ($39.95 - #0191841) – concentrated dark fruit and chocolate with hints of licorice and smoked meat. (**** or B) 

Australia – Red …
George Wyndham 2007 Founder’s Reserve Shiraz ($19.95 - #0107904) – dark fruit and spice with black pepper backing, there’s no reason not to like this one. (*** ½+ or B-)
Heartland 2008 Stickleback Red ($14.95 - #0116574) – Sweet succulent fruit, chocolate and subtle spice, quite nice; this is a guilty pleasure type of wine. (**** or B)  
Psyche Bend 2009 Shiraz ($14.95 - #0209338) – supple, smooth, sippable and with an Ontario connection, so it’s patriotic as well.  (*** ½+ or C+)
Two Hands 2009 Angels’ Share Shiraz ($27.95 - #0009480) – I always love the fruit and spice that comes out of this wine, there’s also some really nice chocolate notes; lovely. (**** ½ or A-)

Australia – Sparkling …
Jansz Premium Sparkling Rosé ($24.95 - #0037499) – nice nose lead to a nut-citrus bruised apple palate, touch of sweetness on the finish brings it all together. (**** or B) – (V)

Canada – Dessert …
(Ontario)
Flourish 2007 Vidal Icewine ($18.95 / 200ml - #0222356) – (V)

Canada – Sparkling …
(Ontario)

Chile – White …
Cono Sur 2010 Vision Single Vineyard Gewurztraminer ($14.95 - #0912949) – a lovely G-wine for a fraction of what you would expect to pay for it, delicious. (**** or B)
Cono Sur 2010 Vision Single Vineyard Riesling ($14.95 - #0590711) – nice peach, pear with slate on the nose, drier than expected palate, pretty zippy for a Chilean Riesling. (**** or B)

France – Red …
(Bordeaux)
Chateau Le Grand Moulin 2008 ($15.95 - #0198994) – nice bit of brambly spice with a new leather feeling on the tongue, tasty dark fruit finish. (*** ½ or C+)

(Beaujolais)
Vigneronnement Votre Fleurie 2009 ($14.95 - #0185652) – all red fruit nose, blacker fruit palate, demands a chill for even added enjoyment. (****+ or B+)

(Loire)
Domaine de Peyanne 2009 ($13.95 - #0197038) – Sweet cherry nose, sweet cherry-tobacco palate, almost Beaujolais-like (*** ½ or C+) 

(Midi)
Domaine Gardies 2009 Mas Las Cabes Rouge ($15.95 - #0194894) – blackberry and sweet plum, smooth and easy on the palate with silky tannins, well balanced. (**** ½ or A-) 

(Rhone)
Domaine Le Grand Retour 2009 Plan de Dieu Cotes du Rhone-Villages ($13.95 - #0127167) – giant raspberry nose, great sweetness of fruit on the palate with delicious cherry finish. (**** or B)

France – White …
(Burgundy)
Maison Kerlann 2008 Chablis ($21.95 - #0158964) – pretty basic Chardonnay with crisp clean fruit, nice minerality and a stony finish.  (*** ½ or C+)

(Loire)
Jean-Max Roger 2008 Cuvee C.M. Sancerre Blanc ($24.95 - #0196667) – nice grapefruit kick, pleasant and easy drinking, surprising taste and good acidity. (**** or B)

Germany – White …
Konigschaffhauser 2009 Pinot Gris Trocken ($13.95 - #0597500) – not what you expect when you think of a German white wine, quite interesting and tasty. (*** or C)
Pfeffingen 2008 Scheurebe Spatlese ($19.95 - #0014837) – sweet and tasty, Scheurebe is not your usual grape, and you should love the sweetness of pear here, give it a try. (*** ½+ or B-)

Italy – Red …
(Piedmont)
La Gironda 2009 Brachetto D’Acqui ($17.95 - #0188045) – this makes for a very romantic pairing with the moscato d’asti (also available this release), this one is a sweet red fizz that livens the party. (*** ½ or C+) – (V)

(Tuscany)
Abbadia Ardenga Rosso di Montalcino ($19.95 - #0184945) – sweet spice and black fruit. (*** ½ or C+) – (T)
Rocca delle Macie 2006 Chianti Classico Riserva ($21.95 - #0930966) – ballsy black fruit, lots of spice with cellar worthy tannins. (**** or B)
Cecchi 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ($24.95 - #0123588) – dark fruit with leather and spice. (*** ½+ or B-) – (T)
Isole e Olena 2007 Chinati Classico ($26.95 - #0704346) – cherry and strawberry notes, nice spice mid-palate, sweet fruit throughout with a nice finish. (**** or B) – (T) 
Le Cinciole 2007 Chianti Classico ($31.95 - #0207795) – nice fruit, mix of spice and herbs a little tree bark grit, in a good way. (*** ½ or C+) – (T) 
Le Sughere di Frassinello 2007 ($31.95 - #0025700) – very interesting mix of fruits with lovely leather notes on the finish, hints of licorice and a long persistent finish. (**** + or B+) – (T) 
Mastrojanni 2007 San Pio ($29.95 - #0944603) – raspberry, black licorice, blueberry, fine Corinthian leather, smooth and supple, nice spicy bite on the finish. (**** or B) – (T) 
Ravazzi 2007 Chianti Riserva ($15.95 - #0135657) – chocolate, strawberry, spice and a nice peppery finish. (*** ½ or C+) – (T) 

(Veneto)
Masi 2006 Brolo di Campofiorin ($24.95 - #0978092) – lovely cherry nose, cherry comes racing through with acidity and good tannin backbone. (**** or B)

Mexico – Red …
L.A. Cetto 2008 Petite Sirah ($11.95 - #0983742) – good value red with sweet strawberry, raspberry, cherry, and touch of mocha on the finish. (**** or B)

New Zealand – Red …
The Crossing 2009 Pinot Noir ($17.95 - #0694471) – touch of sweet mocha on the front palate, turns earthy mid-to-finish with a nice sour cherry finish that lingers. (**** or B)

Portugal – Dessert …
Quinta da Romaneira Fine Tawny Port ($16.95 - #0197020) – this is a basic but tasty tawny with nutty spiced cherry and nice acid balance. (*** ½ or C+)

South Africa – Red …
Fairview 2009 Pinotage ($14.95 - #0205203) – smoked coffee, hints of mocha, nice and clean and doesn’t smell of dirt, which I find typical on the ‘tage, it’s pretty lush for a Pinotage. (*** ½+ or B-)

South Africa – White …
Kleine Zalze 2009 Barrel Fermented Vineyard Selection Chardonnay ($15.95 - #0096495) – vanilla cream nose with a caramel apple vanilla palate. (**** or B)

Spain – Red …
Bodegas Lan 2004 Vina Lanciano Reserva ($28.95 - #0955096) – spiced black fruit, touch of leather with licorice mint and a spiced finish. (**** or B)
Langa Centenaria Garnacha 2006 ($13.95 - #0194795) – powerful red fruit on both the nose and palate and cherries galore. (*** ½+ or B-)
Vina Vilano 2004 Reserva ($22.95 - #0190736) – black cherry, sweet spices and mineral, nice finish. (**** or B)

United States – Red …
(California)
Diamond Ridge 2007 Zinfandel ($17.95 - #0205781) – a down to earth priced Zin with really good flavours like cherry cola, cherry, vanilla and plum with a nice spiced finish. (****+ or B+)
McManis 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #0212126) – sweet fruit nose with good follow through on the palate. (*** ½ or C+)
Newman’s Own 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon ($17.95 - #0104182) – lush blackberry, plum, black cherry, juicy and smooth. (**** or B)
Ridge 2008 Three Valleys ($29.95 - #0652875) – a cool blend of 6 grapes that includes Carignan, Syrah and Grenache, nice fruit, good flavour. (**** or B)
Robert Mondavi 2006 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon ($54.95 - #0029207) – full bodied and quite lovely, a real pleasure to sip on. (**** + or B+)
Seghesio 2009 Sonoma Zinfandel ($29.95 - #0942151) – hard to beat Seghesio for Zins, lovely structure, out of this world taste, I can’t wait to BBQ with a bottle of this wine by my side. (**** ½ or A-)

(Washington)
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2006 Ethos Cabernet Sauvignon ($39.95 - #0209866) – lots of spice and black fruit, mocha and spice on the palate and a spiced pepper finish. (**** or B) – (WS)
Columbia Crest 2007 H3 Merlot ($19.95 - #0209874) – spiced red cherries and chocolate, what more could you ask for. (**** + or B+) – (WS)

United States – White …
(California)
Beringer 2009 Founder’s Estate Sauvignon Blanc ($17.95 - #0031815) – tropical with kiwi-pineapple notes, soft and easy drinking. (*** ½ or C+)
Kali-Hart 2008 Chardonnay ($21.95 - #0046417) – sweet vanilla cream and citrus grab the nose, while pear and guava cross the tongue along with their friends above, ending with something pleasantly spicy on the finish. (****+ or B+)

Grape Guy Top 3 … what I’ll be lining up for on February 5, 2011:
Vigneronnement Votre Fleurie 2009 ($14.95 - #0185652) - France
Domaine Gardies 2009 Mas Las Cabes Rouge ($15.95 - #0194894) – France
Columbia Crest 2007 H3 Merlot ($19.95 - #0209874) – United States

Happy Shopping


1 comment:

Janet said...

Hey Michael. I prefer the "old school" style rating better than the stars rating. Somehow it's easier to grasp the minute differences between a B and a B-

Thanks