Saturday November 28, 2015 - Vintages Release Report

24 Nov 2015

 

Key to the 5-star rating system:
5 = Outstanding … 4.5 = Excellent … 4 = Very Good … 3.5 = Good

Wine colour indicators - Red, Whites, etc.

The Foci … Our Finest (OF)
The Skinny … The annual “Our Finest” release is loaded with expensive wines that are meant to be presents for your wine-loving friends – for the rest of us there are wines from Spain, Washington, Argentina and Chile that could fit the bill quite nicely around your table and in your cellar.

Argentina …
Callejon del Crimen 2008 Gran Reserve Malbec ($22.95 - #357467) – dark blueberry, vanilla, black cherry, along with hints of cassis and blackberry.  (*** ½+)
Catena 2012 Alta Cabernet Sauvignon ($46.95 - #959965) – dark cherry, earthy, spiced plum, licorice and cocoa.  (*** ½+) – OF
Clos de los Siete 2012 ($23.95 - #622571) – better than the last few, deep in colour, spicy dark fruit, vanilla, black cherry, even a little peppery.  (****)
Mairena 2011 Sandy Soil Plot Selection Bonarda ($18.95 - #430603) – supple blackberry and black cherry, juicy and slightly sweet of plum; you just gotta try it: good Bonarda.  (****)

Australia …
Dandelion Vineyards 2013 Lioness of McLaren Vale Shiraz ($19.95 - #357475) – spicy chocolate with ballsy dark fruit, cassis and black pepper.  (*** ½)
Robert Oatley 2013 Shiraz ($19.95 - #327387) – coffee, mocha, black and blue berry, sweet fruited with nice spice.  (*** ½+)

Austria …
Leth Brunnthal 1OWT Gruner Veltliner ($24.95 - #12278) – pea pod and sweet pear with peach, an odd combination best well-chilled for max enjoyment and a chalky finish.  (*** ½)

Canada (British Columbia) …
Dirty Laundry 2012 Kay-Syrah ($26.95 - #437111) – Nice to see more than Gewurztraminer from the Laundry: meaty, raspberry, dose of white pepper, violet/floral note, delicate and delicious Okanagan Syrah.  (****)
Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Calamus 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon ($28.95 - #285809) - ****
Cave Spring 2013 Indian Summer Select Late Harvest Riesling ($24.95/375ml - #415901) - ****
Chateau des Charmes 2014 Vidal Icewine ($25.95 - #565861) - *** ½+ (OF)
Featherstone 2014 Black Sheep Riesling ($16.95 - #80234) - ****+
Flat Rock Cellars 2009 Riddled Sparkling ($29.95 / 200ml - #383315) - ****
Gilmour 2012 Corazon Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc ($22.95 - #440594) - ****
Henry of Pelham 2013 Cabernet Icewine ($39.95 / 200ml - #672402) - ****+ (OF)
Henry of Pelham 2013 Estate Chardonnay ($19.95 - #268342) - *** ½
Inniskillin 2014 Vidal Sparkling Icewine ($79.95 / 375ml - #560367) - **** (OF)
Reif 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($25.95 - #304162) - **** ½
Rockway Vineyards 2012 Small Lot Block 11-140 Cabernet Franc ($24.95 - #346239) - *** ½+

Chile …
Casas del Bosque 2014 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc ($13.95 - #974717) – fairly grassy with tropical and gooseberry notes, long finish with good acidity.  (*** ½+)
Concha y Toro 2012 Marques de Casa Concha Syrah ($19.95 - #19042) – simple and silky, meaty, big dark berries, robust, thick and chewy raspberry, and hints of mocha on the finish.  (****)
Santa Carolina 2013 Gran Reserva Chardonnay ($15.95 - #928580) – fresh with vanilla, apple, pear and a touch of tangerine.  (*** ½+)

France (Alsace) …
Domaine Ehrhart Rosenberg 2014 Gewurztraminer ($21.95 - #315705) – sweet yet spicy with over-ripe apple and pear.  (*** ½)
France (Bordeaux) …
Chapelle de Pontesac 2010 ($29.95 - #434761) – dry, dusty red berries, woodsmoke, floral and cassis, pepper on the mid-to-finish.  (*** ½+)
Chateau Cantenac 2010 ($38.95 - #24430) – blueberry, licorice, vanilla, smoked-cherry, purity of delightful dark fruit.  (****+)
Chateau Clarke 2009 ($39.95 - #503904) – delicious dark fruit, cassis, smoky, blackberry with some cocoa, licorice on the finish yet still with weight and longevity on its side.  (****+)
Chateau Guillou 2012 ($18.95 - #140483) – cranberry-menthol with strawberry, and black cherry; still a little rugged but nice.  (*** ½+)
France (Burgundy) …
Bailly Lapierre Reserve Brut Cremant de Bourgogne ($19.95 - #991562) – very biscuity with some restrained fruit and mineral.  (*** ½+)
France (Loire) …
Jean-Max Roger 2014 Cuvee GC Sancerre ($28.95 - #189126) – pretty floral and grapefruit notes with plenty of pith on the finish.  (*** ½+)
France (Midi) …
Chateau Maris 2011 Las Combes Minervois la Liviniere ($25.95 - #341958) – lovely rich blueberry and plum, violets and cassis round it off.  (****)
M. Chapoutier 2014 Les Vignes de Billa-Haut Cotes du Rousillon Villages ($15.95 - #168716) – cherry-herbal and minerality.  (*** ½)
France (Provence) …
Miraval 2014 Rosé ($22.95 - #342584) – dry raspberry, floral and strawberry pith, mineral and super dry on the finish … this should have been a summer release.  (****)
France (Rhone) …
Chateau de Beaucastel 2014 Coudoulet de Beaucastel Blanc ($33.95 - #48892) – creamy and textured with tropical fruit, pineapple, guava, yellow plum and good linger.  (****)

Italy (Piedmont) …
Olim Bauda 2012 Le Rocchette Barbera D’Asti Superiore ($28.95 - #434258) – smoky blackberry, blueberry and vanilla.  (*** ½+)
Saracco 2014 Moscato D’Asti ($16.95 - #106385) – peach, honey, floral with concentrated pear juice; delightful.  (*** ½)
Stefano Farina 2010 Le Brume Langhe Rosso ($16.95 - #360073) – coffee and mocha with cherry, plum and spice.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Puglia) …
Fatalone 2011 Primitivo ($19.95 - #279729) – round plum, cassis, and blueberry jam.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Tuscany) …
Castello di Gabbiano 2012 Riserva Chianti Classico ($22.95 - #216309) – modern meets rustic style with good dusty, smoky, red fruit, cranberry, cherry, blackberry and cassis.  (*** ½+)
Italy (Umbria) …
Lungarotti 2012 Rubesco Sangiovese / Colorino ($17.95 - #368548) – really pleasant cherry with anise and a smoky-dusty finish.  (*** ½)
Italy (Veneto) …
Allegrini 2012 Palazzo della Torre ($24.95 - #672931) – coffee, and a whole lot of it, with black cherry, plum and vanilla chai.  (*** ½+)
Salatin 2013 Millesimato Extra Dry Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore ($19.95 - #426692) – gently fruity, crisp, clean and easy on the palate.  (*** ½+)

Portugal …
Prazo de Roriz 2011 Tinto ($19.95 - #590547) – prime ripe fruit, plum, black cherry, vanilla, raspberry along with some cocoa-mineral.  (****)

South Africa …
Delheim Family 2014 Chenin Blanc ($17.95 - #429720) – grapefruit / pineapple with savoury notes that are seductive with some richness on the mid-palate.  (****)

Spain …
Alto Moncayo 2012 Veraton Garnacha ($33.95 - #173211) - incredibly juicy with lots of cherry, both red and black.  (*** ½+)
Casa Castillo el Molar 2013 ($17.95 - #397190) – full bodied, sweet blackberry, black cherry, vanilla, black licorice and plum.  (****+)
Castano 2013 Solanera Vinas Viejas ($16.95 - #276162) – another gorgeous big wine from Spain, fruity blueberry, plum, vanilla and sweetness of alcohol.  (****)

United States (California) …
B Side 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon ($34.95 - #317826) – ripe black fruit, blueberry, vanilla, with mocha sweetness and blackberry finish; simple and tasty.  (*** ½+)
Belle Glos 2013 Las Alturas Vineyard Pinot Noir ($44.95 - #212076) – continues to be the anti-Pinot Noir, but still labelled as such and yet so tasty for non-Pinotphiles: red licorice, chocolate, vanilla, smoke and black cherry.  (*** ½)
Candor Lot 6 Zinfandel ($21.95 - #133389) – best Candor in some time, not over the top: plum, black forest cake and vanilla.  (*** ½+)
Decoy 2014 Chardonnay ($29.95 - #311555) – richly American with lots of oomph in the vanilla-caramel apple department.  (*** ½+)
Stags’ Leap Winery 2012 Petite Sirah ($39.95 - #590356) – floral, licorice, black raspberry, blueberry, white pepper; a real tasty SOB for a grape we rarely see on its own.  (****)
United States (Washington) …
Columbia Crest 2012 Grand Estates Merlot ($17.95 - #263418) – ripe blueberry, plum, chocolate even some gentle coffee and floral.  (****)
JB Neufeld 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon ($47.95 - #434183) – menthol, sweet cherry, plum, floral, and mocha.  (*** ½+)
________________________________________

In-Store Discoveries:  wines that appear on the shelves of your local Vintages outlet …
Domaine Chanson 2011 Beaune Clos des Marconnets 1er Cru ($69.95 - #299792) – Burgundy (****)
Featherstone 2011 Joy Premium Cuvee Sparkling ($34.95 - #310334) – Ontario (*** ½+)

If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Antinori 2013 Castello della Sala Cervaro della Sala ($57.95 - #512376) – Umbria (****)
Antinori 2012 Guado al Tasso ($104.95 - #986380) – Tuscany (****) – OF
Antinori 2011 Solaia ($249.95 - #987586) – Tuscany (**** ½) – OF
Barossa Valley Estate 2008 E&E Black Pepper Shiraz ($89.95 - #731620) – Australia (****) – OF
Chateau Corbin 2009 ($69.95 - #435578) – Bordeaux (*** ½+)
Chateau de Beaucastel 2013 Chateauneuf-du-Pape ($89.95 - #711317) – Rhone (****) – OF
Donatella Cinelli Colombini 2010 Brunello di Montalcino ($56.95 - #431718) – Tuscany (*** ½+)
Far Niente Estate 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon ($218.95 - #539098) – California (****) – OF
Ferrari-Carano 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon ($50.95 - #38166) – California (****)
Joseph Phelps 2012 Insignia ($299.95 - #710400) – California (****+) – OF
Kistler 2013 Les Noisetiers Chardonnay ($99.95 - #251223) – California (*** ½+) – OF
Luce 2012 ($114.95 - #685263) – Tuscany (****+) – OF
Masi 2008 Serego Alighieri Vaio Armaron Amarone della Valpolicella Classico ($69.95 - #462812) – Veneto (****) – OF
Mollydooker 2011 Carnival of Love Shiraz ($116.95 - #418723) – Australia (****) – OF
Montes 2009 Aurelio’s Selection Napa Angel Cabernet Sauvignon ($52.95 - #255802) – California (****+)
Ornellaia 2012 ($195.95 - #722470) – Tuscany (****) – OF
Plumpjack Estate 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon ($154.95 - #296483) – California (****) – OF
Quintarelli 2007 Valpolicella Classico Superiore ($104.95 - #986117) – Veneto (****) – OF
Ridge 2013 Geyserville ($62.95 - #723072) – California (****+)
Sassicaia 2012 ($199.95 - #480533) – Tuscany (****+) – OF
Silver Oak 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon ($159.95 - #936039) – California (*** ½+) – OF
Terlato Family 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon ($69.95 - #437137) – California (****)
Two Hands 2013 Bella’s Garden Shiraz ($63.95 - #636407) – Australia (****)

Other Stuff That’s Fine, But It’s Not Wine …
Quebec – Sortilege Prestige ($49.95 - #317206) – smooth yet with power and a linger of maple sugar on the finish; I’m not a spirits guy but this one I could handle.  (*** ½+)

What I’ll Be Lining Up For:  November 28, 2015 …
Casa Castillo el Molar 2013 ($17.95 - #397190) – Spain
Columbia Crest 2012 Grand Estates Merlot ($17.95 - #263418) – Washington
Concha y Toro 2012 Marques de Casa Concha Syrah ($19.95 - #19042) – Chile
Mairena 2011 Sandy Soil Plot Selection Bonarda ($18.95 - #430603) – Argentina

Happy Shopping

 

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