Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Made with 100% Sagrantino grapes, under the DOCG rule, that it must be aged for 12 months in oak and a further 18 months in bottle before release, alcohol comes in at 15.5%.
Deep opaque, purple, almost black in color, this wine opened up with aromas of dark cherry/plum fruit, dried mushroom, licorice, saddle leather, dried violet and light meaty notes. On the mouthfeel, full bodied with a powerful, dry and firm structured, concentrated flavours, balance acidity and muscular tannins. The length on the finish is very good, with intense flavours and a lingering tannic grip. This wine was most interesting, and one that I would not have associated with most Italian wines. It should appeal to fans of Napa Valley Cabernet, although seven years old this wine would still benefit from another 2-3 additional years in bottle. Great value and an excellent addition to your cellar, score 90 points.
Purchased August 17, 2013 LCBO Vintages New Release (342394) at $19.95
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
A pretty ruby red in color, this Pinot Noir opened up with aromas of sour cherries, red currants, beets and light earthy notes. On the mouthfeel, light bodied (alcohol comes in at 12.5%), lean, dry, austere with very little fruit, lively acidity and dusty tannins. This wine's finish is short and tart. It was recommended that I should wait a few years before opening (which I did) but I cannot see this Pinot Noir getting any better, I wonder if this wine was made with any fruit at all. Not particularly memorable or pleasant, score 84 points.
Purchased February 19, 2011 LCBO Vintages New Release (209602) at $19.95
Straw yellow in color, this Garganega/Trebbiano blend opened up with aromas of grapefruit, pears and light stony, minerality notes. On the mouthfeel, light to medium bodied (alcohol comes in at 12.5%), a lot of citrus fruit, tree fruit with light minerality and vibrant acidity. Medium length on the finish, a bit tart with grapefruit flavors lingering. Enjoyable, but for me, this vintage was not as ripe as the 2009 vintage, score 89 points.
Purchased March 30, 2013 LCBO Vintages New Release (269969) at $18.95
Monday, October 7, 2013
Made with 100% Zinfandel with maturation for 12 months in 100% American oak barrels of which 30% is new oak and the remaining 70% is second vintage, alcohol comes in at 14.5%.
This Zin opened up with pleasant aromas of wild berry fruit, strawberry jam, vanilla and gentle wood spices. On the mouthfeel, medium bodied and well balanced by soft seductive ripe fruit flavors, fresh acidity and fine tannins. Medium length and very smooth on the finish. I don’t often associate California Zinfandel with elegance and finesse but in this case the team at Duckhorn manage just that. While I really enjoyed this wine I feel it does not represent good value in our market, I see many US retailers selling it for between $17 to $22 US dollars. As Ontario is one of the biggest buyer of wine in the world, they should have managed a better price for us. Score 91 points.
Purchased August 3, 2013 LCBO Vintages New Release (327502) at $29.95
A lovely blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache, this wine opened up with aromas of ripe berry fruit, plum, savory herbs, black pepper and light licorice notes. On the mouthfeel, medium-full bodied with alcohol at a generous 15%, the texture is smooth, ripe and silky, fresh acidity and well integrated fine grained tannins. On the finish, the length is very good, the texture is pure velvet with flavors of ripe fruit, prune and savory notes lingering. This was my first experience from this winery and I was blown away, when you consider the quality of this flavorful age-worthy Rhône blend and its price. Great value and strongly recommended, score 90 points.
Purchased March 30, 2013 LCBO Vintages New Release (670505) at $15.95
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
This wine is made mostly with Tempranillo with 90% and the remaining 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, maturation in three year old French oak barrels for 12 months and alcohol coming in at 14%.
This wine opened up with aromas of black cherry, dark plums, exotic spices, coffee grinds, toasty oak and a hint of tobacco. On the mouthfeel, medium-full bodied, dry with concentrated robust flavours, low acidity and firm but not overbearing tannins. Very good length on the finish with concentrated flavours and notes of damp earth and leather lingering. This is a rich, intense well structured Tempranillo blend which should acquire some elegance if given time in bottle (2-5 years). Great potential, strongly recommended, score 90 points.
Purchased September 28, 2013 LCBO Vintages New Release (312140) at $19.95
Also available at the SAQ (11881940) at $21.45
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
75% of this Rioja is made with Grenache, and in a supporting role Tempranillo at 20% and Mazuelo at 5%, maturation in mostly French oak (90%) with the remaining 10% American oak and alcohol comes in at 14%.
Ruby red in the glass with a tings of violet this wine opened up with aromas of red berry fruit, plums, leather, spices and light cedar and vanilla. On the mouthfeel, medium bodied with spicy bright flavors, lively acidity and well integrated fine tannins. Good energy and length on the finish with flavors of sweet and tangy berry fruit lingering. Another great wine from Alvaro Palacios, showing lots of charm and personality. I can almost describe this as a spicy Pinot Noir, strongly recommended score 89 points.
Purchased September 14, 2013 at the SAQ (10556993) at $19.65