Monday, June 13, 2011

Saturday June 25, 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 Argentina (ARG), a special Canada Day release (CAN) and  looks at “pure expression” wines (PE) … In addition to the "what I'll be lining up for" section at the bottom, I have also added a feature for you bargain seekers:  Best Buys - this week you'll find four bargains under $15 that over deliver at that price point …

Argentina …
Red - 
Salentein 2009 Reserve Malbec ($19.95 - #0640854) – lovely rich black fruit, chocolate and spice with a nice mouthfeel. (****) - ARG
Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec ($17.95 - #0029280) – dark floral notes with delicate dark fruit; delicious flavour and all for a decent price. (****) - ARG
Zuccardi 2007 Q Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #0140855) – cinnamon, clove, lavender and black currant, rich and robust. (****) - ARG
White –
Alamos 2010 Chardonnay ($13.95 - #0801571) – a pretty standard Chardonnay but with a redeeming finish; a summer sipper at a more than an attractive price. (*** ½) – ARG
Alta Vista 2010 Premium Torrontes ($13.95 - #0037127) – a lovely version of this unheralded  grape; think of it as a toned down Gewurztraminer (if you need a comparison) with nice acidity on the finish. (****)

Australia … 
Red –
Marquis Philips 2008 Shiraz ($15.00 - #0017475) – forget fruit bomb, this is an alcoholic missle (16%), all the sweet red and black berry fruit which jumps out of the glass and lands smack dab on your palate.  Finish is raspberry and chocolate … stay home and enjoy. (**** ½)
Peter Lehmann 2007 The Futures Shiraz ($29.95 - #0606780) – lots of fruit here, with a decent amount of spice that keeps you dipping back into the glass for more. (****)
Pikes 2008 Eastside Shiraz ($23.95 - #0077891) – jammy and juicy: blackberry, black cherry, chocolaty and toasty. (*** ½)

Austria …
White –
Salomon-Undhof Wieden & Berg Tradition Gruner Veltliner 2009 ($19.95 - #0670513) – peapod and citrus aromas with peach, white pepper and pear notes in the mouth … yum. (****+)

Canada … 
Dessert –
(Ontario)
Red -
(Ontario)
Sparkling –
White – 
(Ontario)
Casa-Dea 2009 Pinot Gris ($18.95 - #0237883)
Flat Rock Cellars 2010 Riesling ($16.95 - #0043281) – PE
(Quebec)
Ciderie St. Nicolas Pom’or Tradition Crackling Cider ($12.95 - #0179473) – refreshing and clean, low alcohol, pure apple enjoyment. (*** ½) - CAN

Chile …
Red -
Santa Carolina 2009 Barrica Selection Carmenere ($14.95 - #0640888) – lots of raspberry and brambly notes and lots of big sweet fruit on the palate. (****)

France … 
Red – 
(Bordeaux)
Chateau Fonteneil 2006 ($49.95 - #0567404) – licorice and dark fruit intermingle with toasted chocolate and cinnamon. (****)
(Beaujolais)
Sublime 2009 Vieilles Vignes Julienas ($17.95 - #0208009) – black cherry galore, hints of violet and nice spice, not the light easy drinking patio sipper many Beaujolais can be, this one has some real stuffing.  Not “sublime” but really darn good. (****+)
(Burgundy)
Bouchard Pere & Fils 2008 Cote de Beaune-Villages ($25.95 - #0714998) – cranberry-sour cherry, plum, vanilla and yeah, it’s good. (****)
(Rhone)
Louis Bernard 2008 Gigondas ($19.95 - #0222596) – nice chocolate, blackberry, smooth and silky with a peppered finish. (*** ½)
Perrin 2009 Les Cornuds Vinsobres ($15.00 - #0241604) – a raspberry cherry nose, very fruit driven palate with blueberry and raspberry notes … the flavours are delicious and don’t let go until the bottle is empty, small consolation is the lingering finish with chocolate and cherry. (**** ½) 
White – 
(Alsace)
Pfaffenheim 2009 Cuvee Bacchus Gewurztraminer ($19.95 - #0996017) – rose petals on the nose with a touch of Thrills gum and drops of spiciness, a touch of sweetness helps to balance this wine nicely. (****+) - PE
(Bordeaux)
Charmes de Rieussec 2007 ($23.00 / 375ml - #0098202) – it’s a Sauternes, a delicious half-bottle of Sauternes, need I say more? (****+)
(Loire)
Domaine Tabordet 2009 Pouilly-Fume ($22.95 - #0907824) – nice melon and grass notes with a touch of grapefruit cocktail on the finish. (*** ½) - PE

Italy …
Red – 
(Piedmont)
Abbona Rinaldi 2008 Barbera d’Alba ($19.95 - #0216416) – dark chocolate notes with coffee, leather and licorice, there’s also lots of black cherry to tie it all together. (****)
Michele Chiarlo 2008 Airone ($17.95 - #0726091) – a wine to chill and enjoy with plenty of ripe red fruit. (*** ½+)
(Puglia)
Gladiator 2008 Primitivo di Manduria ($15.95 - #0023119) – rich vanilla, juicy, plum, black cherry and raspberry … Zinfandel in taste without Zin in name. (****)
(Tuscany)
San Polo Rubio 2008 ($18.95 - #0216275) – red cherry with a hint of mint, slick and silky with chocolate notes on the finish. (****)
(Veneto)
Le Arche 2008 Ripasso Valpolicella ($14.95 - #0095828) – good fruit in this incredible sippable style of ripasso; also find dark berries and toasted cocoa bean … stylish wine for a BBQ. (****)
White -
(Campania)
Terredora 2009 Fiano di Avellino ($18.95 - #0120048) – crazy entry that’ll make you wanna spit, but give it a moment, let it linger and you’ll see it turns out alright … worth trying. (***+) - PE

Portugal …
Red –
Herdade dos Ourives 2006 Colheita Seleccionada ($18.95 - #0240663) – sweet plum and red currant with a touch of chocolate-strawberry and a bit smoky. (****)
Rose – 
Sexy Rose 2010 ($15.95 - #0117077) – I thought this wine would run its coarse the last time it went thru the board, but it seems the LCBO is bringing sexy back – more a novelty type wine but fun to serve … chill, sip and enjoy. (***+)

South Africa …
Red –
Amani Pendana Shiraz 2007 ($18.95 - #0220079) – the usual gamy-tarryness gets lost (thankfully) amongst some nice fruit and floral notes, this is especially true on the palate … there is a little of that "funk" on the finish, but the journey is worth the destination. (****)

Spain …
Red -
Carlos Serres 2001 Gran Reserva ($27.95 - #0221945) – has a meaty, spicy and herbed quality; 10 years and still holding. (*** ½+)
Pago de San Gabriel Zubiolo 2007 ($n/a - #0242438) – coffee and mocha, perfect breakfast red. (****)
White –
Pedro Escudero Fuente Elvira Verdejo 2009 ($13.95 - #0218313) – very floral and peachy with a pineapple linger on the finish, this one’s really interesting and tasty. (*** ½)

United States …
Red –
(California)
Howling Moon 2008 Old Vine Zinfandel ($18.95 - #0057356) – this is a Zin worth having around, lots of vanilla, cherry and plum notes; lush, smooth and BBQ-ready, without the usual high alcohol in these wines. (****+)
(Oregon)
A to Z Wineworks 2008 Pinot Noir ($21.95 - #0229781) – raspberry-cherry, spice with nice hints of minerality and good acidity; a more than decent Pinot. (****)
Lachini Vineyards 2007 Lachini Family Estate Pinot Noir ($39.95 - #0222331) – not your typical Pinot with mocha notes amongst the black cherry and spice; on the finish there’s a very lovely spiced-vanilla finish. (****+)
(Washington)
Boomtown 2007 Syrah ($19.95 - #0233452) – plum and blackberry along with a mellow finish that makes this worth sipping on. (*** ½+)
White – 
(California)
De Loach 2008 OFS Chardonnay ($37.95 - #0729343) – a creamy vanilla finish rescues this one from being just a run of the mill Chardonnay. (*** ½)

Grape Guy Top 3 … what I’ll be lining up for on June 25, 2011:
Howling Moon 2008 Old Vine Zinfandel ($18.95 - #0057356) – United States
Marquis Philips 2008 Shiraz ($15.00 - #0017475) – Australia
Sublime 2009 Vieilles Vignes Julienas ($17.95 - #0208009) – France

Best Buys (wine(s) that over deliver at their price) …
Santa Carolina 2009 Barrica Selection Carmenere ($14.95 - #0640888)
Marquis Philips 2008 Shiraz ($15.00 - #0017475)
Perrin 2009 Les Cornuds Vinsobres ($15.00 - #0241604)
Le Arche 2008 Ripasso Valpolicella ($14.95 - #0095828)


2 comments:

Dean Tudor said...

My take...

TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $20 or so.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
But first: Ciderie St. Nicolas Pom’or Tradition Crackling Cider: great
for summer, with its 7% ABV and cider apple component. +179473, $12.95,
QPR: 90.

1. Alamos 2010 Chardonnay Mendoza: MVC Chardonnay but with a summer
sipper-like finish. +801571, $13.95, QPR: 89.
2. Familia Zuccardi Organica Torrontes 2010 Mendoza: fruity, a bit on
the orange side with low bitterness, great for patios. Organic.
+232694, $13.95.
3. Pfaffenheim 2009 Cuvee Bacchus Gewurztraminer Alsace:
rose petals on the nose, slightly bitter finish, very definitive MVC.
Spiciness, a touch of sweetness. +996017, $19.95, QPR: 90.
4. Don Sebastiani SKN Chardonnay 2007 Napa: one for the woodies, 13.5%
ABV, lots of caramel and toast. +225367, $16.95, QPR: 90.
5. Balthasar Ress Riesling Spatlese 1998 Hattenheim Nussbrunnen
Rheingau: a modest 8.5% ABV, but very well-aged and exceptionally
priced. Expect honeyed tones plus the usual aged petrol component.
+160762, $20.95, QPR: 91.

TOP VALUE RED WINES under $20 or so.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1. Casa Silva Los Lingues Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Colchagua: wonderful bouquet of flavours and aromas, right through to
the finish and beyond: florals, smokes, minerals, red and black
berries, really complicated. 14.5% ABV. +640870, $17.95, QPR: 90.
2. Howling Moon 2008 Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi: smokey wood tones linger,
13.5% ABV, rich, full, off-dry, BBQ necessary. +57356, $18.95, QPR: 90.
3. Marquis Philips 2008 Shiraz McLaren Vale: loaded with character and
16% ABV. Smoked bacon, blackberries, mocha, etc. +17475, $15, QPR: 91.
4. Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz: very Rhonish, 14% ABV, a keeper or
drink now. +433060, $19.95, QPR: 90.
5. Amani Pendana Shiraz 2007 Stellenbosch: again, very gamey Rhonish,
perhaps some brett on the finish. 14.5% ABV. +220079, $18.95, QPR: 90.
6. Rupert & Rothschild Classique 2008 Western Cape: another fine
Bordeaux-style blend (cabernet sauvignon – merlot) at 13.5% ABV, very
Euro in mode. +717991, $19.95, QPR: 89.
7. Herdade dos Ourives 2006 Colheita Seleccionada Alentejano: very
upfront juicy in NA appeal, plummy, smokey, red currants and chocolate
finish. +240663, $18.95, QPR: 89.
8. Pago de San Gabriel Zubiola 2007 Navarra: mocha, oaked, 14% ABV,
boredeaux-blend and some of the style (pencils, smokey toast, black
fruits). +242438, $20.95, QPR: 90.

VALUE: “RESTAURANT READY” or “BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE” over $20
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Restaurants should consider offering these FINE VALUE wines at a $10
markup over retail; the wines are READY to enjoy right NOW. Consumers
should buy these wines to bring to restaurants with corkage programs.

1. De Loach 2008 OFS Chardonnay Russian River, $37.95 retail, +0729343
2. Chateau Fonteneil 2006 Fronsac, $49.95, +567404
3. Carlos Serres 2001 Gran Reserva Rioja, $27.95, +221945)
4. Closson Chase 2008 KJ Watson Vineyard Chardonnay Niagara River,
$39.95, +230912
5. Quails’ Gate Pinot Noir 2008 Okanagan, $24.95, +585760
6. Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Napa, $49.95, +932400
7. Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Napa, $69.95, +71407
8. Antucura Calvulcura 2008 Uco Valley Mendoza, $23.95, +233973
9. Pikes 2008 Eastside Shiraz Clare Valley, $23.95, +77891
10. Kim Crawford SP Spitfire Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Marlborough, $24.95,
+38240
11. Suoi Barolo 2006 Piedmont, $33.95, +212522
12. Poggio Scalette Il Carbonaione 2007 IGT Alta Valle Tuscany, $58.95,
+719872

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