On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Chilean Wine Tasting 2023

21 Mar 2024

 Chile 1

(November 2023) … This year’s Chilean event was held in a much smaller room than in year’s past, which made for a cramped show, so you made friends quickly; and bumped into them often

Chile is broken into 3 Regions - North to South
Andes / Costa / Entre Cordilleras


Chile 2

... and 16 Valleys (click the pictures above to explore mine)

Copiapo Valley - Huasco Valley - Elqui Valley - Limari & Choapa Valleys -
Aconcagua Valley - Casablanca Valley - San Antonio Valley - Maipo Valley
Cachapoal Valley - Colchagua Valley - Curico Valley - Maule Valley
Itata Valley - Bio Bio & Malleco Valleys - Cautin Valley - Osorno Valley


Last year, I named a winery of the tasting. This year it’s a completely different winery, and they had the most wines I tried that were scoreable, and good scores at that.

This year’s winery was Vina Sutil Wines – from the fruit driven Chardonnay to the Carmenere with its own frame of reference, without leaning on everyone else’s version of the grape. The Cabernet delivered on purity; and their blends, especially Acrux were wonderful wines to sip on – this winery just seemed to be showing off with each wine.

Winery of the tasting: Vina Sutil Wines

Vina Sutil 2022 Gran Reserva
Vineyard is 25km from ocean; This wine shows off with plenty of fruit, loaded with green apple freshness backed by lovely acidity ... (****+)

Vina Sutil 2020 Acrux Chile 4
(Carmenere / Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc / Malbec / Petit Verdot)
Spicy yet still silky; pretty, dark berries, pencil shavings – this wine is aged in 3000L foudres to keep the fruitiness front and center ... (****+)

Vina Sutil 2023 Bella
(Garnacha Mourvedre)
Pretty fruit with good acidity ... (****)

Vina Sutil 2022 Gran Reserva
(Cabernet Sauvignon)
Good mouthfeel: blackberry, plum, smoked cherry ... (*** ½+)

Vina Sutil 2021 Limited Release
Pure fruit and fun ... (*** ½+)

Vina Sutil 2022 Gran Reserva
Good fruit core and even though the wine spends 10 months in oak, it never gets in the way of the fruit; a nice balancing act. ... (*** ½)

Best of the Rest …

Casas del Bosque 2021 Pequenas Syrah  
Silky black cherry with a nice spicy finish ... (****+)

Chile 5Perez Cruz 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Piedra Seca  
Spice, plum, and blackberry - very approachable; 1st ever production of this wine - well worth the wait … (****+)




Casas del Toqui 2021 Gran Toqui Cabernet Sauvignon  
Smoky and smooth with nice berry fruit, vanilla, spice and a silky finish ... (****)

Concha y Toro 2022 Diable Crystal Chile 9
(Sauvignon Blanc)
Young, fresh, lively and clean - drop of herbal with lots of fruity freshness ... (****)

Errazuriz 2021 Aconcagua Costa
(Pinot Noir)
Pretty floral, cran-cherry, gentle and easy across the palate, but with good acidity ... (****)

Montes 2021 Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon  
Smooth and silky; easy drinking - lots of blueberry and plum ... (****)

Perez Cruz 2020 Pircas Cabernet Sauvignon  
Black cherry and blackberry; this is a nice sipping wine ... (****)

San Pedro 2021 Sideral
(Cabernet Sauvignon / Syrah / Carmenere / Cabernet Franc / Petit Verdot)
Silky smooth, plum, black cherry with a smoky finish ... (****)

Chile 6Tarapaca 2020 Gran Reserva Etiqueta Azul
(Cabernet Sauvignon / Syrah / Cabernet Franc)
Lovely length, spicy, plum, blueberry and mocha ... (****)



Casas del Bosque 2023 La Cantera
(Sauvignon Blanc)
Richer and fuller bodied from their regular Savvy B, this is due to the lees contact ... (*** ½+)

Casas del Toqui 2023 Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc  
Fresh, bright and clean ... (*** ½+)

Montes 2021 Alpha Chardonnay  Chile 7
A little spicy with good acidity ... (*** ½+)

Santa Carolina 2020 Reserva de Familia
(Cabernet Sauvignon)
Minty and easy; this is an after eight in the glass wrapped in cassis and blackberry ... (*** ½+)

Leyda 2022 Reserva
(Sauvignon Blanc) Chile 8
Lordy there's a nice grapefruit, that’s fresh, fruity and zippy - good length on the finish ... (*** ½+)

Tarapaca 2022 Gran Reserva
(Cabernet Sauvignon)
Spice driven, smoky, plum and other dark fruits ... (*** ½+)

Arboleda 2022 Chardonnay  
Fresh and light ... (*** ½)


Rogers & Company Tasting 2023

04 Mar 2024

(October 2023) … These guys carry some of the most iconic premium labels that come into the province of Ontario: from Champagne to Napa Valley Cabs, Rogers has the big names collectors want in their cellars. The iconic Cabs from Forman, O’Shaughnessy, Dominus, etc. don’t need my help to sell bottles of wine – but this agency also has an eye for other wines from around the world. I turned my main focus onto those wines.

Let’s take a look at those that impressed.


Three and a Half stars

Marques de Murrieta 2011 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial (Spain)
Tenute Orestiadi 2021 Nero d’Avola DOC (Sicily)
Vins Denuziere 2020 Cotes du Rhone (France)

Three and a Half Plus stars

Bodegas Martinez Lacuesta 2019 Crianza (Spain)
Buehler Vineyards 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (California)
Calera 2021 Central Coast Chardonnay (California) Peay Vineyards
Duckhorn 2021 Decoy Limited Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (California)
Giovanni Rosso 2021 Langhe Nebbiolo (Piedmont)
Peay Vineyards 2020 Estate Pinot Noir (California)
Ponzi Vineyards 2021 Tavola Pinot Noir (Oregon)
Porter & Plot 2020 Chardonnay (California)
Vignole 2018 “Campicaia” Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG (Tuscany)
Vins Denuziere 2020 Saint-Joseph (Rhone Valley)

Four stars

Rogers 3Altesino 2018 Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli (Tuscany)
Astrolabe 2020 Marlborough Pinot Noir (New Zealand)
Astrolabe 2022 Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)
Bevan Cellars 2021 Tenah Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (California)
Duckhorn 2020 “Three Palms” Vineyard Napa Valley Merlot (California)
Shafer 2019 “Hillside Select” Cabernet Sauvignon (California)

Four Plus stars

Avignonesi 2018 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Tuscany) Rogers 4
Marques de Murrieta 2019 Dalmau (Spain)
Ridge Vineyards 2021 Lytton Springs (California)
Tenute Falezza 2019 Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore DOC (Veneto)
Vine Hill Ranch 2019 “VHR” Cabernet Sauvignon (California)

Four and a Half Plus stars

Rogers 5Blue Mountain NV Brut (British Columbia)
Bodegas Martinez Lacuesta 2015 Campeador Reserva (Spain)
Peay Vineyard 2021 Pinot Noir “Pomariium” West Sonoma Coast (California)


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