Thursday, January 17, 2013
Saturday January 19, 2013 - Vintages Release Report
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
Key: Wine colour indicators - Red are red wines, Yellow are whites, etc.
The Foci ... BC Wines (BC) and Spanish Wines (SPN) - Robbie Burns also fits in here somewhere, but that ain't my bag (do people still say that?)
The Skinny ... Some really lovely Italian fare for not a lot of dough, and one of the best damn LBVs I've had in quite some time.
Dante Robino 2009 Reserva Malbec ($19.95 - #301473) - nice black cherry, vanilla and rhapsody in cherry-plum and port like. (****)
Pascual Toso Alta Reserve Malbec 2009 ($32.95 - #261958) - juicy and sweet of fruit with hints of tobacco, cherry and blackberry. (****)
Chain of Ponds 2008 The Ledge Shiraz ($29.95 - #59899) - complex Shiraz plays games in the mouth with spice and fruit while adding chocolate, mocha, raspberry, cherry and freewheeling tannins. (**** 1/2)
MollyDooker 2010 The Maitre D' Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.95 - #246629) - juicy, jammy and jazzy; this is one delicious sip. (****)
Canada (British Columbia) ...
Burrowing Owl 2009 Merlot ($41.95 - #585737) - lots of smoky edges with strawberry, plum, blackberry and blueberry on the interior. (****) - BC
Burrowing Owl 2010 Pinot Noir ($41.95 - #556613) - easy on the cherry, cranberry, tart at the beginning with a cherry fruit finish and nice tannins. (*** 1/2+) - BC
Mission Hill 2008 Quatrain ($44.95 - #218636) - there's a mocha note throughout this one, very spicy and some violet character before tannins take over; hold for a couple of years. (****+) - BC
Quail's Gate 2011 Chardonnay ($20.95 - #377770) - nicely quaffable with really good fruit expression. (*** 1/2+) - BC
Canada (Ontario) ... click on wine name for full review
Flat Rock 2009 Chardonnay ($16.95 - #286278) - ****+
Foreign Affair 2009 Sauvignon Blanc ($24.95 - #307587) - *** 1/2
Jackson-Triggs 2010 Grand Reserve Shiraz ($19.95 - #317941) - ****+
Pillitteri Estates 2010 Cabernet Franc ($17.95 - #13763) - *** 1/2+
Pondview 2010 Cabernet Merlot ($19.15 - #307561) - *** 1/2
Bisquertt 2010 La Joya Reserve Merlot ($13.95 - #301440) - lots of nice minty aromas with sweet blackberry, blueberry, mocha and spice. (****)
Valdivieso 2009 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #312769) - it may be typically Chilean with mint and dark fruit but it also has a juicy core that really wins you over; this is just really delicious. (**** 1/2)
France (Alsace) ...
Anne Boecklin 2010 Gewurztraminer ($18.95 - #141226) - sweet Alsatian Gewurzt that hits all the right notes. (*** 1/2)
France (Bordeaux) ...
Chateau de Gironville 2009 ($23.85 - #193086) - mocha hits the front palate, coffee on the mid with a dark fruit finish. (****)
Chateau La Fleur Jonquet 2009 ($20.95 - #307280) - coffee nose, smooth blackberry fruit on the palate with mocha and spice backing. (*** 1/2+)
France (Burgundy) ...
Mallory & Benjamin Talmard 2010 Macon-Uchizy ($14.95 - #733956) - fresh and lively well-integrated Chardonnay. (****)
Roche de Bellene 2010 Vieilles Vignes Bourgogne Chardonnay ($19.95 - #299867) - fresh white fruit, pear, apple and a little lemon meringue. (*** 1/2+)
France (Champagne) ...
Beaumont des Crayerer Grande Reserve Brut Champagne ($41.95 - #309922) - nice and biscuity with fresh bread and almond notes. (****)
France (Southwest) ...
Clos Troteligotte Kor Malbec 2009 ($16.95 - #299982) - brambly berry and spice with nice heft on the palate. (*** 1/2+)
CH Berres 2010 Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese ($24.95 - #301952) - sweet with nice balanced acidity making it sweet but with bite. (****)
Italy (Calabria) ...
Odoardi Savuto 2006 ($13.95 - #303057) - interesting blend of indigenous grapes, of which only 10% is the recognizable Sangiovese; mint and herbal notes, nice mineral with sweet mocha and toffee mixed with blackberry fruit. (****)
Italy (Piedmont) ...
Casetta 2008 Barolo ($29.95 - #004523) - sweet smokiness with herbed licorice. (*** 1/2+)
Italy (Puglia) ...
Masserie Pisari 2010 Primitivo ($14.95 - #270306) - a pure Zinfandel knock off from the fruit to the spice, vanilla and cola. (****)
Italy (Sicily) ...
Marchesi Mazzei Zisola Nero D'Avola 2009 ($25.95 - #303925) - sweet dark fruit to its very core, boysenberry, raspberry mix with vanilla and plum. (****+)
Italy (Sparkling) ...
Fantinel Extra Dry Prosecco ($14.95 - #297812) - lovely, elegant, sweet apple and tropical notes; this is a pretty sipper that could get you in a whole lotta trouble. (****)
Italy (Tuscany) ...
Caprili 2007 Brunello di Montalcino ($44.95 - #305888) - mocha, strawberry with hints of herbal notes along with spice. (****)
Castellani Poggio Al Casone 2010 La Cattura ($18.95 - #121194) - has an interesting peppered-blackberry with sweetness at its core; really tasty. (****+)
Fattoria La Ripa 2009 Chianti Classico ($19.95 - #651596) - modern take on Chianti that seems to keep a rustic edge. (***1/2+)
I Greppi Greppicante Bolgheri 2009 ($23.95 - #170381) - nice and soft, almost too easy to drink. (****)
Bovin 2010 Vranec ($13.95 - #144345) - highly drinkable with chocolate and cherry; this is the surprise of the release. (*** 1/2)
LA Cetto 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon ($11.95 - #114066) - juicy strawberry, raspberry, kirsch; good value. (*** 1/2)
New Zealand ...
Spy Valley 2011 Sauvignon Blanc ($19.95 - #686675) - easy drinking Sauv Blanc with a mix of tropical and grapefruit. (*** 1/2)
Borges 2007 Vintage Port ($29.95 - #250639) - softer than you would expect from a young vintage port, though there is nice spice here. (****)
Dow's 2007 Late Bottled Vintage Port ($16.95 - #613927) - lovely and expressive version of LBV with spiced chocolate and generous dark fruit; this is a must buy. (**** 1/2+)
Quinta de Foz de Arouce Red 2008 ($19.95 - #303545) - nicely integrated with juicy fruit and drying tannins, makes it an interesting wine to drink. (*** 1/2+)
Dunkeld Atholl Brose ($49.95 - #303230) - not really sure what to make of this but wow talk about a head clearer: creamy, spicy, vanilla, it burns with some real bite yet there's an oatmeal note; weird but tasty. (****)
South Africa ...
The Grinder 2011 Pinotage ($13.95 - #269076) - your morning beverage awaits in a glass of wine. (*** 1/2)
Borsao 2010 Tres Picos Garnacha ($19.95 - #273748) - lush and juicy, great dark fruit with chocolate at its core; good finish that screams black cherry, vanilla and just the right amount of tannins. (****+) - SPN
Planets de Prior Pons 2008 ($22.95 - #314559) - nice plummy, chocolaty notes with cranberry and licorice. (*** 1/2+) - SPN
Rioja Bordon 2004 Gran Reserva ($22.95 - #114454) - black cherry, spiced cassis, hints of cinnamon and tannins. (*** 1/2+) - SPN
Sarada 2009 Seleccion Garnacha Tintorera/Monastrell ($15.95 - #309872) - think juicy then dial it back a notch, dry finish with big spice. (****) - SPN
Senorio de Rubios 2011 Albarino ($17.95 - #314427) - think of this one as a soft Sauvignon Blanc; interesting. (*** 1/2) - SPN
Solar de Sael 2007 Crianza Mencia ($15.95 - #311902) - cherry, plum, chocolate though all drier than expected. (*** 1/2+) - SPN
United States (California) ...
Ca'Momi 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon ($22.95 - #315002) - cassis and blueberry, easy to drink. (*** 1/2+)
Cline Cellars 2010 Cashmere ($19.95 - #161539) - pretty with lavender and cherry notes. (*** 1/2)
Ironstone 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel ($17.95 - #951889) - for Zin fans who can’t wait for BBQ-season; the juicy, jammy typical Zin, but still tasty. (*** 1/2)
J. Lohr 2011 October Night Chardonnay ($26.95 - #225375) - starts off fully loaded with oak but ends tropically delicious with fruit and vanilla with just a hint of toffee and nicely spiced. (****+)
United States (Washington) ...
Columbia Crest 2009 H3 Merlot ($19.95 - #209874) - soft, supple and easy drinking. (*** 1/2+)
What I'll Be Lining Up For - January 19, 2013 ...
Bisquertt 2010 La Joya Reserve Merlot ($13.95 - #301440) - Chile
Castellani Poggio Al Casone 2010 La Cattura ($18.95 - #121194) - Italy
Dow's 2007 Late Bottled Vintage Port ($16.95 - #613927) - Portugal
J. Lohr 2011 October Night Chardonnay ($26.95 - #225375) - United States
Valdivieso 2009 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #312769) - Chile