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.

Tasting Wines from Different Vineyards (Loire Valley)

30 Jan 2023

(April 29, 2022) … A three in one thematic where Chenin Blanc takes center stage and Sauvignon Blanc takes a back seat – but in truth after tasting I noticed that it should have been the other way around …

All wines below are 100% Chenin Blanc                            
(due to the amount of wines at this tasting I used my Good / Good+ scoring system – that way I could get through more of the wines)

Cosme Thierry 2017 Cuvée Prestige Brut - Fines Bulles Bruts Blanc    ... Good
Gaudron Christophe 2016 Brut - Fines Bulles Millésimées Blanc ... Good
Earl Domaine Nicolas Brunet 2018 Méthode Traditionnelle Brut - Fines Bulles Millésimées Blanc ... Good
Brisebarre Philippe 2020 Vignoble Brisebarre Sec - Blanc ... Good
Vigneau Christophe Et Stéphane 2020 Sec Silex Sec - Blanc ... Good
Domaine Du Viking 2017 Cuvée Sec - Blanc ... Good
Maison Darragon 2020 Haut Des Ruettes Demi Sec - Blanc ... Good
Domaine Huet 2020 Le Haut Lieu Demi Sec Demi Sec - Blanc ... Good
Domaine D'orfeuilles 2009 Réserve D'automne Moelleux - Blanc ... Good

all wines below are 100% Chenin Blanc                        
(due to the amount of wines at this tasting I used my Good / Good+ scoring system – that way I could get through more of the wines)
Chateau Soucherie 2019 Clos Des Perrières ... Good
La Croix PicotChâteau D'epiré 2019 La Croix Picot ... Good+
Domaine Du Closel 2019 Clos Du Papillon ... Good
Domaine Taillandier Marc 2020 Domaine Taillandier Marc ... Good
Domaine Des Baumard 2018 Clos Du Papillon ... Good
Terra Vita Vinum 2018 Bigottière ... Good
Patrick Baudouin 2019 Bellevue ... Good
Raymond Morin 2019 Chateau De Varennes ... Good
Domaine Thibaud Boudignon 2020 La Vigne Cendree ... Good
Domaine Des Forges 2020 Savennieres Clos Du Papillon ... Good+ Pappillon
Château De Plaisance 2020 Savennieres ... Good




The Sauvignon Grape: Under the PGI Val de Loire
all wines below are 100% Sauvignon Blanc, unless otherwise stated        
(due to the amount of wines at this tasting I used my Good / Good+ scoring system – that way I could get through more of the wines)
PotardiereDomaine De La Potardiere 2021 Sauvignon – Blanc ... Good+
Domaine Delaunay 2021 Sauvignon - Blanc ... Good
Le Moulin De La Touche 2021 Sauvignon Gris - Blanc ... Good
Vignoble Cogné 2021 Sauvignon Blanc - Blanc ... Good
Château D'avrillé 2021 Sauvignon - Blanc ... Good
Famille Bougrier 2021 Famille Bourgier Collection - Blanc ... Good+
Joël Delaunay 2021 Le Grand Ballon - Blanc ... Good



Les Crus De L'Anjou Blanc   Guy with the stones                         

An interesting look at the vineyards, and soils – complete with geologist explanation. And a tasting at Le Chateau Fort … plus a washroom with the best view I have ever seen (seriously)

Domaine Du Petit Clocher 2019 Les Audacieuses - Blanc
16 month in barrels - Lemon zest and beeswax.  (*** ½)

Domaine De La Clartière 2020 Terres De Paillé - Blanc
Decent minerality with lemon zest and nice acidity.  (*** ½+)

Château De Suronde 2018 Grand Vin De Suronde - Blanc
Fresh mineral with lemon and other citrus notes.  (*** ½)

Saint Lambert Dont Bonnes Blanches    
Domaine Ogereau 2020 Bonnes Blanches Sec - Blanc
Gentle minerality, stony-freshness, good lemon and good acidity.  (*** ½+)

Secteur Ardenay                    
Domaine Patrick Baudouin 2018 Le Cornillard - Blanc
Sweet nose, but everything else is a delight: complex enough to make you take sip after sip and nod you head with pleasure.  (*** ½+)

Faye d'Anjou                    
Château Du Fresne 2020 Chevalier Le Bascle - BlancBathroom Break
Easy drinking with enough acidity to keep its freshness.  (*** ½+)

Bonnezeaux - Burnizellius                    
Domaine Des Fontaines 2020 Cuvée Landry - Blanc
lively and fresh – great afternoon sip.  (*** ½+)

Chateau De Fesles 2018 La Chapelle - Blanc
Beeswax and lemon notes take center stage.  (*** ½)

Saint Aubin de Luigné                    
Domaine Des Forges 2020 L'Audace - Blanc
Dry, mineral driven, totally fresh and lively.  (*** ½+)

Pierre Bise                    
Le Clos Galerne 2018 Moulin Brûlé 2018 Blanc
Nice richness, thick mouthfeel but it finishes on the gentle side.  (*** ½+)

Aubance                     Castle
Domaine De Haute Perche 2020 Le Clos Des Constant - Blanc
There’s a richness of beeswax, lanolin and apple, mid-palate to finish.  (*** ½)

Martigné Briand                    
Sagesse Des Sols 2020 Toucher Terre - Blanc
Lemon, mineral and apple.  (*** ½)

TruffiereLa Tuffière                    
Domaine De La Tuffière 2019 Ledit Vin Chenin - Blanc
Peachy on the palate and punchy with acidity.  (****)

Autres secteurs                    
Domaine De Huillé 2018 Blanc
Peach, nectarine and pear – pure yum.  (****)



Cabernet Franc Dinner

The farewell dinner was a treasure trove of delicious Cabernet Francs; both as part of a pre-dinner walk around tasting, and then paired with the meal. Once again, my Good / Good+ rating was employed.        

Mont des OlivierDomaine Olivier 2020 Mont Des Olivier - Rouge ... Good+
Manoir De La Tête Rouge 2018 Enchantoir - Rouge ... Good
Domaine Des Sanzay 2020 Les Poyeux - Rouge ... Good
Domaine Des Chapelles 2020 Louis - Rouge ... Good
Domaine Du Mortier 2020 Les Graviers - Rouge ... Good


Beatrice Et Pascal Lambert 2018 Chêne Vert - Rouge ... Good+ Chene Vert
Domaine Des Ouches 2019 Coteaux Des Ouches - Rouge ... Good
La Folie Luce 2020 Encore - Rouge ... Good
Domaine Des Rochelles 2019 Breton - Rouge ... Good
Domaine Wilfrid Rousse 2018 Clos De La Roche - Rouge ... Good




New Zealand Tasting in TO 2022

26 Jan 2023


(May 2022) … It’s the annual New Zealand wine tasting, and it was a free pour event – walk around and pour your own – they even had an app that helped collect notes. So without further ado, I present my edited notes from three-and-a-half star wines up to the four star wines.

Ata Rangi 2016 Pinot Noir - Martinborough    … *** ½+
Pretty floral notes, primarily violet with black raspberry, hints of smoke, a little black licorice; tannins are silky.

Babich Wines 2021 Sauvignon Blanc – Marlborough*** ½
Has the goods for a good price: typical grapefruit pith, lemon and grassy with balancing good acidity.

Te HengaBabich Wines 2021 Te Henga Sauvignon Blanc – Marlborough*** ½+
This is really good value, at 13 95 at the LCBO and  on the general list (readily available). Delivers everything you want it Savvy B. plus it’s refreshing and pretty on both the nose and palate. I don't usually judge on price but this over delivers.

Dry River Wines 2019 Dry River Riesling 'Craighall' – Martinborough*** ½
Notes of floral with nice acidity, hint of grapefruit and talc.

Eradus 2021 Eradus Sauvignon Blanc - Marlborough *** ½+
Grassy, grapefruit, and cat’s pee; all the essentials in New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Kumeu River Wines 2020 Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay – Auckland*** ½
Generous mouth feel, with bruised apple and peach pit.

Loveblock 2018 Gewürztraminer, Loveblock Estate – Marlborough*** ½+
Very lovely and not over the top notes are floral, lychee and peachy.

Loveblock 2020 Pinot Gris, Loveblock Estate – Marlborough*** ½
A little thick in the mouth, and lacks the acidity I'm looking for, but it does have nice texture and some nice grapefruit / lemon character.

Loveblock 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, Loveblock Estate – Marlborough*** ½+
It's so chalked with texture and very tasty. It's like licking a fresh grapefruit with all of its pulp included; all with just a hint of grassiness.

Luna Estate 2020 Luna Estate Pinot Noir – Martinborough*** ½+
Loaded with red fruit, slightly earthy, gentle smokiness, black raspberry and hints of coffee bean.

Misha's Vineyard Wines 2019 The High Note Pinot Noir - Central Otago*** ½
Decent version of Pinot Noir: sour cherry, cranberry, with good acidity and a little bit of smoke.

Nautilus 2021 Sauvignon Blanc – Marlborough*** ½+
Plenty of grapefruit with some texture on the palate, it comes across as bitterness, almost like lime zest, but it also has a touch of grassiness; could be very refreshing on a hot day.

No.1 Family Estate Cuvee No.1 Chardonnay – Marlborough*** ½
Good acidic bubbly. Crisp, clean, with lemon apple.

Peregrine 2021 Sauvignon Blanc - Central Otago*** ½
Nice yellow grapefruit, along with some lemon, a little grassy, and a great mouth feel.

Rabbit Ranch 2020 Rabbit Ranch Pinot Noir - Central Otago*** ½+
“Nothing wrong with that.” Decent sour and black cherry black raspberry and hint of smoke.

Saint Clair Family Estate 2020 Sauvignon Blanc – Marlborough*** ½
Simple and easy. Nothing too complicated. Lots of grapefruit and lemon with some grassiness.

Seifried Estate 2021 Grüner Veltliner – Nelson*** ½
Pretty bang on, there's some peapod and some green notes, along with decent acidity.

The Hunting Lodge 2019 Seasonal Albarino – Marlborough *** ½+
Nice version of Albarino with it’s lemon, grapefruit and beeswax notes.

The Landing 2020 Chardonnay - Northland*** ½+
Yeasty, apple, peach, and even a slight smokiness.

Wild Rock Estate 2017 Pinot Grigio – Marlborough*** ½
Another wine with good texture, but it lacks acidity; which is made up for through the length of its finish.

Matawhero Wines 2020 Single Vineyard Chardonnay – Gisborne*** ½
Pretty basic Chardonnay apple, pear, peach with other pretty white fruit notes. Slight hint of vanilla on the finish.

Matawhero Wines 2020 Single Vineyard Pinot Gris – Gisborne*** ½
Nice freshness with peach, apple, and lemon.

Auntsfield 2010 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir - Marlborough****
Floral and smoky, black cherry, blackberry, earthy, plenty of cranberry, but also lots of smoky notes.

Burn Cottage 2017 Pinot Noir, Estate Vineyard - Central Otago**** ½ Burn Cottage
Nice oak integration. Good black fruit: black cherry, black raspberry, and a little  smoked-sour-cherry I could drink this all the time. Well-balance, a really good drinking wine.

Ceres Wines 2017 Bannockburn Composition Pinot Noir - Central Otago****
Solid Pinot Noir with smoky-cherry, smoky-cranberry and well-integrated oak. Quite tasty.

Craggy Range 2019 Le Sol Syrah - Hawke's Bay****+
White pepper, smoky cassis, black raspberry, black pepper on the finish and there’s even some cigarette ash and tobacco.

Elephant Hill Winery 2017 Syrah - Hawke's Bay ****
Typically good Elephant Hill syrah: black raspberry, smoked-black pepper. There's a lot going on here.

Felton Road 2019 Calvert Pinot Noir - Central Otago****
Very nice... it’s what I expect from Felton Road: pretty cranberry, red raspberry, black cherry and slightly smoky. Everything is very well integrated.

Felton Road 2018 Chardonnay Bannockburn - Central Otago****
Well-integrated oak. Plenty of white fruit along with a notes of vanilla and burnt butter. There’s also just a touch of popcorn on the mid-palate. Plenty to get excited about here.

Hans Herzog Estate 2016 Hans Family Estate Pinot Noir – Marlborough****+
Lovely version of Pinot. It starts off with lots of fruit, ends with quite a bit of tannin with a nice smoky middle, and black raspberry dominates on the finish.

Mahi 2019 Pinot Noir – Marlborough****
Earthy, smoky and blackberry ... Notes of cassis white pepper and smoky.

Bone LineThe Boneline 2018 Amphitheatre Cabernet Franc - Canterbury / Waipara****+
This is a pretty good Cabernet Franc. Shows a smokiness tobacco, black fruit, cassis black raspberry really tasty. Didn't expect that from New Zealand.

The Elder Pinot 2016 Pinot Noir – Martinborough****+
This wine packs a dark punch with its blackberry, black cherry, and black raspberry. Which leads into vanilla and cinnamon on the finish. Well-aged easy-drinking and very tasty.

Trinity Hill 2020 Syrah - Hawke's Bay****
Smoky white pepper, silky black fruit: cassis and black raspberry. Really easy drinking Syrah.

Villa Maria 2020 Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc – Marlborough****
Lovely smoky-black cherry, earthy, cranberry ... Touched by pepper, but that smokiness really comes through.


Get Our Newsletter

* indicates required

Follow Us on Social Media

Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube