Monday, May 16, 2011

Saturday May 28, 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

Today’s release looks at wine from California (CALI) and some interesting stuff from the region of Alsace (AL) in France … I have also added a feature for you bargain seekers:  Best Buys …

Argentina …
Red - 
Kaiken 2007 Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #0135202) – year in year out I love this wine, and yet again it’s a must purchase. (****+)
Santa Julia 2009 Magna ($14.95 - #0218974) – smooth chocolate and blackberry; simple yet good. (*** ½)

Australia … 
Red –
Henry’s Drive 2008 Pillar Box Red ($14.95 - #0685941) – always tasty and a good value red bruiser Aussie blend, not as good as in some years but still quite good. (*** ½)
Plunkett Fowles 2008 Stone Dwellers Merlot ($19.95 - #0221838) – smooth and supple, not blow-you-away fantastic but worth the money, spiced through mid-palate. (*** ½)
Rockbare 2008 Shiraz ($24.95 - #0661991) – good black fruit Shiraz with quite a hunk of chocolate in the middle. (****)
Zonte’s 2008 Footstep Baron Von Nemesis Shiraz ($15.95 - #0212936) – eucalyptus and black fruit, soft supple tannins and well priced. (*** ½+)
Sparkling –
The Black Chook Sparkling Shiraz ($17.95 - #0221986) – lots of dark berry flavour with a hint of spice and leather, interesting wine to pour, not what you expect in a bubbly. (***+)

Canada … 
Rosé -
(Ontario)
Featherstone Estate 2010 Rosé ($14.95 - #0117861)
White – 
(Ontario)
Mike Weir 2008 Riesling ($14.95 - #0229286)

Chile …
Red -
Emiliana 2009 Winemaker’s Selection Syrah ($18.95 - #0212407) – blackberry and mint with a touch of smoked mint on the finish; good price for this one. (****)

France … 
Red – 
(Alsace)
Joseph Cattin 2009 Pinot Noir ($14.95 - #0224618) – if you’ve never had the chance to try at Alsatian Pinot Noir now’s your chance, a decent price for a decent wine. (*** ½) - AL
(Beaujolais)
Domaine de Saint Ennemond Vieilles Vignes Moulin-a-Vent ($17.95 - #0207910) – black cherry, vanilla-cinnamon, anise, has real presence warm, but might I suggest chilling it down for summer. (****)
(Midi)
Domaine Lacroix-Vanel Cuvee Melanie 2005 ($24.95 - #0221978) – sweet blackberry nose with cassis, chocolate, blackberry palate. (****)
Sparkling –
(Burgundy)
Veuve Ambal Brut Cremant de Bourgogne ($15.95 - #0209619) – apple, vanilla and really quite creamy but with a nice balance of acidity. (****)
White – 
(Alsace)
Faller Geisberg 2007 Riesling ($20.95 - #0225169) – sweet apple juice nose though drier than expected on the palate with a nice apple finish. (***+) – AL
Heimberger 2009 Les Origines Vieilles Vignes Gewurztraminer ($17.95 - #0223933) – nice restraint shown on the nose and palate, the flavours are there though the nose is shy, tasty with some spice on the finish. (****) – AL
Joseph Cattin 2009 Muscat ($14.95 - #0224634) – nice apple nose that leads you to believe it’ll be sweet but it shows nice restraint on the palate. (***+) - AL
(Burgundy)
Louis Robin 2009 Chablis ($19.95 - #0210831) – this one shows some real finesse in Chardonnay-ville with mineral notes that are the stand out here. (****)
(Loire)
Domaine Sylvain Bailly 2009 Terroirs Sancerre ($24.95 - #0223859) – very refreshing with fruit and citrus, but not too much, enough to make it interesting. (*** ½+)
Henri Bourgeois 2009 Petit Bourgeois Sauvignon ($14.95 - #0672345) – only on the finish does it finally hit you that this is Sauvignon Blanc; light, easy and refreshing. (*** ½+) 

Germany …
White –
C.H. Berres 2007 Riesling Kabinett ($18.95 - #0207274) – it starts off with pear delivers good acidity on the finish along with limeade and peach. (****)
Gunderloch 2009 Fritz’s Riesling ($13.95 - #0216366) – pleasant, lovely and inexpensive; a nice beginners Riesling. (*** ½)

Greece …
Red -
Domaine Mercouri 2008 Red ($18.95 - #0652874) – quite chunky but with nice fruit. (*** ½)

Italy …
Red – 
(Emilia-Romagna)
Drei Dona-Tenuta la Palazza Notturno Sangiovese 2008 ($17.95 - #0039958) – rustic spice and fruit with grit and guile, nice mouth presence. (*** ½+)
(Tuscany)
Barone Ricasoli 2006 Casalferro ($39.95 - #0092973) – rich dark fruit nose with blackberry, cassis and cardamom; the palate is spiced- dark berry with lots of tannin grit. (****+)
La Castellina Squarcialupi Chianti Classico Riserva 2006 ($27.95 - #0214627) – coffee, dark chocolate with sour cherry; chalky yet elegant finish. (****+)
(Veneto)
Antiche Terre Ripasso Valpolicella ($14.95 - #0178459) – dark fruit and black cherry with lots of tannins to make this one good for the long haul. (*** ½+)

New Zealand … 
Red –
Wild Rock 2008 Cupid’s Arrow Pinot Noir ($21.95 - #0061242) – flavours of spiced fruit. (*** ½+)
White - 
Lawson’s 2009 Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc ($16.95 - #0214460) – gooseberry and lime steal the show here. (*** ½)
Nobilo 2010 Icon Sauvignon Blanc ($24.95 - #0912337) – this is everything you think of when you think of New Zealand Savvy B all kicked into overdrive. (*** ½) 

Portugal …
Dessert -
Warre’s Otima 20-Year-Old Port ($39.95 / 500ml - #0682716) – dried apricot, orange zest, loads of spice, nutty notes and dried cherry; a new side of Otima Port. (****)
Red –
R de Romaneira 2007 ($19.95 - #0214288) – inky with charm, sweet red fruit entry, plum and chocolate; lovely, simply lovely with black cherry, boysenberry, it has a playful side yet its serious. (**** ½)
White –
Quinta de Linhares 2009 Azal Branco Vinho Verde ($14.95 - #0218222) – biting acidity is the first thing you’ll notice but there is also lovely pear and lemonade nuances; quite refreshing. (*** ½)

Spain …
Red -
Almira Los Dos Old Vines Grenache / Syrah ($12.95 - #0173120) – a pure pleasure sipper loaded with red berries, some spice and nice tannins. (****+)
Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorat 2008 ($22.95 - #0216291) – violets, chocolate, and sweet cherry; pretty wine. (****+)
Ardal 2005 Crianza ($16.95 - #0167601) – black cherry, chocolate, firm yet fleshy, there’s some vanilla that adds depth. (****)
Etim 2005 Old Vines Seleccion Grenache ($19.95 - #0214304) – black cherry and licorice, lots of spice, herbs and cedar notes. (****+)

United States … 
Red – 
(California)
7 Deadly Zins 2008 Old Vines Zinfandel ($24.95 - #0059311) – lots of sweet plum, vanilla and a touch of cherry. (*** ½) - CALI
Bommarito 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon ($18.95 - #0213918) – sweet, smooth and easy drinking; a Cab without complication. (*** ½) - CALI
Duckhorn 2008 Merlot ($54.95 - #0992529) – loads of chocolate on this one. (****) - CALI
Freemark Abbey 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.95 - #0238758) – good fruit and good flavour, if just a little bit tired. (*** ½) - CALI
J. Lohr 2009 Syrah ($18.95 - #0948240) – blackberry and black cherry, supple and smooth almost jammy. (*** ½+) - CALI
Pahlmeyer 2008 Pinot Noir ($79.95 - #0148536) – lovely rich red berry nose but a leathery wrapped raspberry palate. (*** ½) - CALI
Predator 2008 Old Vines Zinfandel ($17.95 - #0219485) – this one had interesting Zin flavour (though it may have been a touch corked) this is something worth tasting and talking about. (*** ½) – CALI
Ridge 2008 Lytton Springs ($43.95 - #0982413) – plum, red cherry, blackberry with a nice sweetness of fruit with supple tannins. (****) – CALI
Stanza 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon ($16.95 - #0232363) – not gonna blow you away but it won’t disappoint, easy wine to have around. (***+) – CALI
Westside Red Troublemaker Blend 1 ($19.95 - #0682831) – spiced black cherry and plum notes, nice ballsy finish. (****) – CALI
(Oregon)
Aubichon 2007 Reserve Pinot Noir ($47.95 - #0220442) – black cherry and floral aromas, good smooth black cherry flavours, touch of cigar box to spice things up; good finish. (****+)
Sparkling –
Mumm Napa Rosé ($29.95 - #0205641) – pretty colour, nice mousse and light raspberry flavour. (*** ½) - CALI
White – 
(California)
Kenneth Volk 2007 Santa Maria Cuvee Chardonnay ($19.95 - #0233981) – good fruit to oak ratio here, a touch more oak than fruit but nicely so. (*** ½) - CALI
Sanford 2008 Chardonnay ($26.95 - #0956003) – this one is more fruit than wood, which is also nice, so in this release you have your pick. (*** ½) - CALI

Best Buys (wine(s) that over deliver at their price) …
Almira Los Dos Old Vines Grenache / Syrah ($12.95 - #0173120)

Grape Guy Top 3 … what I’ll be lining up for on May 28, 2011:
Kaiken 2007 Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #0135202) – Argentina
R de Romaneira 2007 ($19.95 - #0214288) – Portugal 
Etim 2005 Old Vines Seleccion Grenache ($19.95 - #0214304) – Spain

Happy Shopping.


 

2 comments:

jcrawley said...

I don't know about the rest of you but I find it very difficult to read the names of the red wines against that #135 blue background. I don't know what other colour to suggest in keeping the your wine/colour scheme.

Other than that your site is one of the best around.

Michael Pinkus - Grape Guy said...

Over the summer I will be revamping the main OntarioWineReview website as well as looking at updating the blogs ... please be patient as I will be addressing you concern. Cheers and thanks for reading.