Saturday March 19, 2016 - Vintages Release Report

15 Mar 2016

 

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 … Viva Italia (VI) / Intriguing Israel (IS) / An Ontario Easter (ON)
The Skinny … The Italian spotlight is surprising well represented here, Ontario Easter lags a little bit, but the real surprises here are some of the gems from Israeli. There’s also a Chilean Syrah and a Beaujolais that blow you away.

Argentina …
Alta Vista 2013 Premium Estate Malbec ($19.95 - #677443) – blueberry, cassis and a real hit of smokiness.  (*** ½+)
Luca 2013 Laborde Double Select Syrah ($29.95 - #167346) – earthy notes with delicate spice, dark fruit and a white pepper finish.  (*** ½+)

Australia …
Ad Lib 2014 Hen & Chicken Chardonnay ($19.95 - #297697) – don’t usually dig on Australian Chard but this one is a good example of what they can do with its creamy peachy, apple freshness, vanilla notes and touch of floral.  (****)
Barossa Valley Estate 2012 Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre ($21.95 - #438440) – silky red fruit, a little white smoke, raspberry, cherry and subtle spice. (*** ½+)
Glaetzer 2012 Wallace Shiraz/Grenache ($28.95 - #047605) – fruit forward raspberry, strawberry, with chocolate, violets and woodsmoke; pretty and flavourful.  (****+)
Two Hands 2013 Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon ($27.95 - #219469) – gorgeous and silky with mint, strawberry, cassis, blackberry and a spicy finish.  (****)

Canada (British Columbia) …
Osoyoos Larose 2011 Le Grand Vin ($44.95 - #626325) – firm with pepper, smoke, leather and cedar; the fruit on the nose should come to the palate with time.  (*** ½+)
Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Cave Spring 2013 Estate Bottled Chardonnay ($18.95 - #256552) - *** … ON
Cave Spring 2013 Indian Summer Select Late Harvest Riesling ($24.95 / 375ml - #415901) - ****
Charles Baker 2012 Picone Vineyard Riesling ($35.20 - #241182) - ****+
Foreign Affair 2012 Dream ($29.95 - #364380) - *** ½+
Henry of Pelham 2012 Estate Cabernet / Merlot ($24.95 - #395855) - ****+ … ON
Inniskillin 2014 Riesling Icewine ($79.95 - #558288) - ****+ … ON
Tawse 2014 Sketches of Niagara Riesling ($17.95 - #089029) - *** ½+

Chile …
Antu 2014 Syrah ($17.95 - #675371) – Antu is back with this blockbuster value: roasted coffee, mocha and meaty with black pepper and spiced raspberry; perfect for the BBQ, so stock up.  (****+)
Caliterra 2013 Tributo Single Vineyard Carmenere ($16.95 - #0056630) – raspberry, smoke, vanilla and blueberry; smooth.  (*** ½+)
Intriga 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon ($22.95 - #057901) – silky blackberry, cassis and cherry with a touch of vanilla on the finish.  (****)
Merea 2014 Chardonnay ($22.95 - #439349) – great aromatics kicks this one off, then a tangy freshness on the palate meets vanilla, grapefruit and apple.  (****)

France (Beaujolais) …
Chasselay 2014 Quatre Saisons Beaujolais ($18.95 - #444372) – gorgeous cherry with a white and black pepper mix; insanely good for Beaujolais fans.  (****+)
France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau de Bordes-Quancard 2011 ($16.95 - #444042) – nice value Bordeaux with pleasant tannin grip, dark fruit and layers of spice; a little gritty but should smooth with time.  (*** ½+)
France (Midi) …
Chateau de L’ou 2012 Infiniment Syrah ($26.95 - #440610) – inky black in the glass with blackberry, black cherry, licorice and pepper.  (****+)
France (Rhone) …
Domaine Grand Veneur 2013 Les Champauvins Cotes du Rhone ($21.95 - #076331) – lovely cherry, raspberry, strawberry and spice with delicate use of wood.  (****)

Greece …
Skouras 2014 Moscofilero ($17.95 - #442178) – sweet grapefruit, melon rind and a touch of white pepper.  (*** ½)

Israel …
Gilgal 2013 Pinot Noir KP ($29.95 - #440651) – a good light sour and red cherry fruit Pinot from a part of the world you wouldn’t expect to make good Pinot, exciting. (*** ½+) … IS
Tulip 2014 Just Cabernet Sauvignon KP ($29.95 - #440420) – ripe red and black fruit, vanilla along with a good hit of spice on the finish.  (****+) … IS
Recanati 2012 David Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon KP ($42.95 - #356683) – silky smooth from beginning to end: blackberry, cassis and black cherry fruit, well-balanced tannins and acidity.  (****) … IS

Italy (Abruzzo) …
Zaccagnini 2013 Dal Tralcetto Montelpulciano D’Abruzzo ($19.95 - #396382) – interesting blackberry, cassis with a smoky-raspberry finish.  (*** ½+) … VI
Italy (Puglia) …
Cantele 2012 Riserva Salice Salentino ($14.95 - #724328) – coffee and black currant with leather and spice.  (*** ½+) … VI
Masseria Surani 2013 Heracles Primitivo ($17.95 - #434274) – plum, black cherry, black licorice and mocha galore along with a spicy finish and a black/white pepper mix. (****) … VI
Italy (Sardinia) …
Antichi Podere Jerzu 2011 Chuerra Riserva Cannonau di Sardegna ($17.95 - #270272) – nice blend of red fruit, pepper and smoke.  (*** ½) … VI
Italy (Tuscany) …
La Braccesca 2012 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ($24.95 - #566216) – lush black fruit, black cherry, cassis and smoky spices.  (****) … VI
Nozzole 2011 Chianti Classico Riserva ($19.95 - #324160) – well-priced Riserva with red and black fruit, hints of sour red berry and good acidity.  (*** ½+) … VI
Italy (Umbria) …
Villa Mora 2009 Montafalco Sagrantino ($25.95 - #342394) – still with 7 years under its belt this wine needs time, big tannins and acidity with dark fruit buried but emerging. (*** ½+) … VI
Italy (Veneto) …
Farina 2013 Appissilento ($15.95 - #438481) – sweet plum, cherry and mocha. (*** ½) … VI

New Zealand …
Clos Henri 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($28.95 - #675629) – more old world in style than the usually over-blown aromatics of New Zealand: gooseberry, apple, lemon rind and pea pod.  (*** ½+)

Portugal …
Mondeco 2010 Red ($13.95 - #442210) – mocha, licorice, plum and black cherry; at under $14 this offers up wonderful value to explore the Dao region’s wines.  (*** ½+)

South Africa …
Rustenberg 2011 Buzzard Kloof Syrah ($24.95 - #414151) – smoky, meaty with raspberry, cassis and strawberry fruit packed in; really tasty.  (****)
Vinum Africa 2013 Chenin Blanc ($15.95 - #739995) – lanolin, lemon, grapefruit rind and yellow plum.  (*** ½+)

Spain …
Muga 2010 Seleccion Especial ($39.95 - #712067) – black cherry, mocha, cedar and smoke.  (*** ½+)
Olivares 2013 Altos de la Hoya Monastrell ($13.95 - #163154) – licorice, mocha-chocolate and cassis; getting to know Monastrell is a good idea, here’s a good place to start.  (*** ½)

United States (California) …
Chateau St.Jean 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon ($39.95 - #977173) – herbal, mocha, vanilla, blackberry, black cherry and smoke.  (*** ½+)
Handcraft 2013 Petite Sirah ($17.95 - #361907) – plush blueberry, strawberry and raspberry, generous fruit, soft and sweet; really very yummy.  (****)
Hess Select 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.95 - #025080) – blackberry, mocha, plum and black cherry; pretty.  (*** ½+)
La Crema 2013 Pinot Noir ($31.95 - #719435) – silky with black and red fruits and a touch of that signature earthiness found in Pinot.  (*** ½+)
Liberty School 2013 Zinfandel ($19.95 - #041095) – big and sweet blueberry and plum notes, it’s an everyday drinking Zin in the Apothic vein.  (***)
United States (Washington) …
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Indian Wells Merlot ($25.95 - #408864) – soft and silky with plenty of mocha and blueberry.  (*** ½+)
________________________________________

In-Store Discoveries:  wines that appear on the shelves of your local Vintages outlet …
Domaine de Rancy 2001 Rivesaltes Ambre ($39.95 / 500ml - #165647) – France … *** ½+
Thorn-Clarke 2012 William Randall Shiraz ($44.95 - #922773) – Australia … ****

If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Ornellaia 2012 ($195.95 - # 722470) – Italy … **** (VI)
Giuseppe Quintarelli 2007 Rosso Ca’ Del Merlo ($99.95 - #958595) – Italy … *** ½+ (VI)

What I’ll Be Lining Up For:  March 19, 2016 …
Antu 2014 Syrah ($17.95 - #675371) – Chile
Chasselay 2014 Quatre Saisons Beaujolais ($18.95 - #444372) – France
Masseria Surani 2013 Heracles Primitivo ($17.95 - #434274) – Italy
Merea 2014 Chardonnay ($22.95 - #439349) – Chile

Happy Shopping

 

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