Sunday, May 01, 2016

May 2016 Wines - 10 Tasted of 14

A Family Luncheon

Cheers, Ww 

Photos courtesy of P W McM.

LINEUP:  Reds, Whites, Rosés and Bubblies:

  • Lamadrid Single Vineyard Reserva Malbec 2012, 94-3  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #234492  $17.00
  • Luis Felipe Edwards Reserva Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, 93-3  --  G, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #308189  $13.90 
  • Barao de Vilar Proeza 2012, 90-2  --  V, Dão, Portugal, #427187  $13.95
  • Hardy's Bankside Shiraz 2012, 88-1  --  G, Reynella, Australia, #333948  $14.95      
  • Folonari Valpolicella Ripasso Classico 2014,  83  --  G,  Veneto, Italy, #481838  $15.95*
  • Forward Bold Malbec Cabernet 2015, 81a  --  G, Pelee Island, Ontario*, #427351  $9.45* 
  • Ravenswood Vintners Blend Old Vine Zinfandel 2013,  r-v  --   V, Acampo, California, #359257  $15.95* 
  • Gnarly Head Pinot Noir 2013,  r-v  --   G, Manteca, California, #358911  $14.95
  • Beronia Tempranillo Rioja 2012,  r-v  --  G, Rioja, Spain, #243055  $12.90            

  • Domaine Salmon Grande Réserve Muscadet Sur Lie 2014, 91-2  --  V, Loire, France, #438309  $16.95
  • Domaine Zinck Pinot Blanc 2014, 88  --  V, Alsace, France, #435040  $16.75 
  • Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2014,  84  --  G,  Marlborough, New Zealand, #415745 $14.95*
  • Cave Spring Estate Bottled Chardonnay Musqué 2014 VQA Niagara Escarpment,  r-v  --  V,  Niagara, Ontario, #246579 $16.95

  • Muga Rioja Rosé 2015, 89-2  --  V, Haro, Spain, #603795  $13.95  
(V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, c - cellar, NR - Not Recommended)


DOMAINE SALMON GRANDE RÉSERVE MUSCADET SÈVRE & MAINE SUR LIE 2014, Loire, France, 12%  XD  7g/L,  #438309  $16.95  (Tasted May 5, 2016)

Released by Vintages on December 12, 2015.  My notes: A mid yellow clear as crystal, a moderate film quickly disintegrating from the rim but taking its time to drop and a fresh aroma of lemon rind edged with appealing grapefruit sets the start of this tasting. A deep dryness with a full tang lasts indefinitely unless interrupted by seafood nibbles: lobster, scallops, seared garlic shrimp or grilled white filets. There's no sign of sweetness so relies on hors d'oeuvres to change the character. Cellaring several years could bring forward appealing nuances. 91

DOMAINE ZINCK PINOT BLANC 2014, Alsace, France, 12.5%  XD  4g/L,  #435040  $16.75  (Tasted May 13, 2016)

Released by Vintages on December 12, 2015. Suggested tasting of 8oC and having a cellar potential of 3 years.  My notes: A crisp yellow releasing a subdued aroma of caramel and vanilla. Pair with grilled shrimp, other seafood dishes, tempura and bento options or roast chicken pieces - skin on. The initial sip is tart then increases as a bright beginning shifting to chalk dry and ending with a flat mineral finish. A medium-bodied meal white with a balance of flavours and texture rather than a social sipper where it may prompt a discussion of Pinot Blanc styles - perhaps a mystery in a formal tasting? I enjoyed from 8oC (chilled) to 12oC. 88

RAVENSWOOD VINTNERS BLEND OLD VINE ZINFANDEL 2013, Acampo, California, 13.5%  D  7g/L, #359257  $15.95*  (Tasted tbd)

A Vintages release on April 1, 2016. Price reduced from $17.95 until April 24, 2016.  Claims to retain a true Zinfandel character: robust, brimming with spicy ripe raspberry, cherry and boysenberry.  My notes: 

BARÃO DE VILAR PROEZA 2012, Dão, Portugal, 13.0% XD xg/L, #427187  $13.95  (Tasted May 4, 2016)

Released by Vintages on January 23, 2016. My notes: An agreeable red with a rustic nose on first sip. A socialiser that could get a 'meet and greet' going then on to a buffet of hors d'oeuvres. A cheerful ruby spreading a fragmented veil, very smooth on the lips then a full fruity expression and polite tang on the palate. The finish starts dry with the freshness of mainly raspberries balanced with blackberries. A modest length allowing time to appreciate its delicate structure between sips - is there a touch of sweetness or not? A drink now and would pair nicely with rare filet mignon & red/yellow pepper side or calves liver & caramelized onions. 90

GNARLY HEAD PINOT NOIR 2013,  Manteca, California, 13.5%  D  8g/L,  #358911  $14.95  (Tasted tbd)

A General listing and a product of Delicato Vineyards.  My notes:

CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY MUSQUÉ 2014 VQA Beamsville Bench,  Niagara, Ontario, 13.5%  XD  xg/L, #246579 $16.95  (Tasted tbd) 

Released by Vintages on April 2, 2016. Rated 88 by John Zabo, MS  (January 28, 2016). My notes:
MUGA RIOJA ROSÉ 2015, Haro, Spain, 13.5%  XD  6g/L, #603795  $13.95  (Tasted April 30, 2016)

Released by Vintages on April 16, 2016. A blend of three Spanish grapes, Tempranillo, Garnacha and Viura.  My notes: A salmon blush colour, crystal clear - to look means to sip. A swirl leaves a crinkled rim and a sip leaves an arch of long fast legs before fragmenting as a silk curtain. A delicate melon strawberry invites the first sip soft on the tongue with a suspicion of sweetness, then chalk dry, warming in the throat, slowly receding as a long tangy finish. A fish white or have with slices of turkey or chicken, an iceberg salad with breaded shrimp - not demanding. Try as an aperitif. A drink now. 89

FOLONARI VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO CLASSICO 2014, Veneto, Italy, 14.0%  D  10g/L, #481838  $15.95*  (Tasted May 2, 2016)

 A General listing reduced from $17.95 until April 24, 2016.  My notes: One aerated and one Not. First with the Not. The colour is a deep charcoal tainted ruby with an acerbic edge to a cherry, black currant, rhubarb nose. The film sticks before thin becomes a fragmented curtain. The first sip leaves a dry coating on the palate, is tart and parts with an unusual cranberry twist to black cherry. A long finish allows a distinct mustiness to show itself. However I can see how this Ripasso could become a regular pasta and pizza partner. Aerating lessens the 'unusual' of flavour, nose and finish as does opening an hour before serving. Medium-bodied with the same colour, dryness and finish as Not and a meal red. 83

BERONIA TEMPRANILLO RIOJA 2012, Rioja, Spain, 14.0%  XD  5g/L,  #243055  $12.90  (Tasted tbd)

A General listing. My notes: 

LUIS FELIPE EDWARDS RESERVA SHIRAZ CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014. Colchagua Valley, Chile, 14.0% XD  xg/L, #308189  $13.90  (Tasted May 19, 2016)  (Reference: Wine Searcher)

A General listing.  My notes: Apparently lots available as of writing - vintage?  A ripe black cherry colour opaque to view leaving a thin film and an arch of slow tears. A black cherry aroma edged with dark chocolate and a light spice. The texture is extra dry, velvety smooth building brightness with each sip and finishing long and lively. A medium-bodied meal red leading as a pleasing socializer. Have with beef steak, beef bourguignon or deluxe pizza loaded with Italian sausages and spices. An excellent blend with good cellar potential 93

FORWARD  BOLD MALBEC CABERNET 2015 (nonVQA), Kingsville, Ontario*, 13.5% D 15g/L, #427351  $9.45*  (Tasted May 12, 2016)

A General listing reduced from $10.95 until May 22, 2016.  My notes: A nonVQA wine referred to as an International Blend made from non Canadian and Canadian wines. The information on the website is sparse with tasting notes  for the 2013 'vintage': a crisp and tart socialiser with 'a kick to it!'  I aerated for a second sample. First the non aerated: there's a purple tint to a deep ruby. A firm film lays a few long tears then many smaller drops appear suspended on the glass. A burnt toast edge and whiff of sourdough on tart red cherry carry the main flavours. The first sip starts silky, is extra dry with jammy flavours extended through a long thin finish. Aerating or decanting lessens the sourdough aspect in both nose and flavour and either is recommended. Pair with salt crackers, pepperoni pizza or spicy tomato lasagnas. A drink now. The bottle was discarded.  81a

NOBILO REGIONAL COLLECTION SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand, 12.5%  XD  7g/L, #415745 $14.95*  (Tasted May 14, 2016)

A General listing *reduced from $16.95 until May 22, 2016.  My notes:  A straw blond that leaves a thin film with crinkly edge flowing long legs. At 10oC faint grassy aromas attempt attracting attention without success - a full citrus with smooth roundness. I miss the gooseberries. The first sip is extra dry and tart, an appealing lip smacker. The finish carries forward a lemon lime flavour suitably mild and with enough depth for a variety of seafood and Asian dishes. Refreshing as a summer patio appetizer - throw in an ice cube. Young although may not improve with cellaring. B50 C5 N10 F&F14 P0 T5 84

LAMADRID SINGLE VINEYARD RESERVA MALBEC 2012, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.0% XD 6g/L, #234492  $17.00  (Tasted May 7, 2016)

Released by Vintages on April 30, 2016. Rated 92 by Michael Schachner Wine Enthusiast (February 2015). James Suckling rated it 94 (July 30 2014).  My notes: As dense a ruby I've seen and a swirl leaves a firm film dropping as a single sheet. A tilt shows long legs from a curved veil and a sniff senses black- and blueberries behind a wall of aged oak. Everything is a mystery before the first sip then silken fruit slowly unfolds and builds on the taste buds. Well balanced tannin and brightness to match berries blended with dark chocolate and spice. There's lots to slow the sloshing to appreciate this wine's character and how it complements a savoury stew, pork tenderloin with glazed mushrooms or Osso Buco. At peak now with some years left. Beautiful!  94

HARDYS BANKSIDE SHIRAZ 2012, Reynella, Australia, 14.0%  D  6g/L,  #333948  $14.95  (Tasted May 16, 2016)

A General listing and a Constellation Wines Australia product.  My notes: The colour and flavour of black cherries blended with rustic oak and a slight mint. Nicely nippy on the tongue with fruit coming forward and the warmth of alcohol. The film decorates the glass running fast legs and rounded arches. Medium-bodied with staying power for a long finish softening as mild tannin spreads evenly across the palate. Pair with spicy pizzas, tomato and beefy lasagna or a Keg T-bone. Meant to drink now it may keep on the shelf for a year or two. Aerating mellows the bite a touch for those needing relief, albeit minor, from a pleasing intensity. 88

Mmmmm! A Tasty Treat!

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Released by Vintages on October 31, 2015.  Rated 16 out of 20 by Jancis Robinson, February 18, 2015. (Reference: Wine Searcher )

POV 1 - Outside the Bottle:  What makes this carmenére special? From outside the bottle it's difficult to say. An opaque glass weighty enough to give an impression of 'quality'. A stylish tapered label tells a brief outline of Valle de Elqui, the most northern Valley of Chile offering long dry (arid) summers where day and night breezes often stress the vines. Accordingly all grapes used were planted in a single vineyard with consistent soil with planned drainage. Grapes were allowed to dry on the vine for an appassimento style producing density and richness and perhaps encouraging fresh and fruity, ripe and bold - even warm and penetrating. I'll guess it's pleasing to sip with a long penetrating smoke plush with dark chocolate. Ready for several years cellaring achieving a smoother companion for grilled and savoury beef or game. 

POV 2 - Inside the Bottle:  I, as a consumer, now have to decide whether to purchase this red based on the anticipation of PVO 1. If I'm fortunate to have read a critics opinion and if that critic has a taste similar to mine I may luck out.  

FALERNIA RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2013, Valle de Elqui , Chile, 15%  D  14g/L,  #269175  $19.95  (Tasted April 16, 2016)

My Tasting notes:  From the bottle this red has a mild cranberry edged with a light rhubarb. The colour is a rich ruby opaque to view and a swirl lays a fine film crinkled at the rim then receding quickly.  Smooth on the lips with cherry aromas and a light tang. A soft ripeness suggests silky vanilla and a very warm swallow fades quickly leaving only the fruit and soft reminder. A pleasing sipper that earns a quaff at times. A medium-bodied companion to lamb, beef or duck. Three years cellared and a few more to go before this starts its decline possibly losing some of its brightness /freshness. A flexible house red and no need to aerate. 

Rating:  B50 C5 N12 F&F16 P2 T5 90
Value  1 

(see side panel for more details)

96-100 Extraordinary
90 - 95 Outstanding
86 - 89 Interesting to Excellent
80 - 85 Drinkable to Enjoyable
70 - 79 Uninteresting to Simple
60 - 69 Unpleasant
50 - 59 Unacceptable 

Wednesday, April 06, 2016


Released by Vintages on March 5, 2016.  Produced by Chateau Ste Michelle from 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot grapes. (Reference: Wine Searcher )
POV 1 - Outside the Bottle:

The 2012 retains the distinctive Crest of the previous vintage. Bottle shape as well shows a mature styling although bottle weight abuses eco interests. The small (2%) percentage Merlot will have taken the edge off a bold Cabernet Sauvignon suggesting this to be a great beef match as well as a rich, full-bodied sipper in the quiet time post dining. A touch of sweet typical of full West Coast reds adds rounding for a long woody finish. Grapes are from the same vineyards as the highly rated Columbia Crest Horse Heaven Hills red tasted in August 2015 . Aged four years I'd expect this to be at peak with an additional four years to mellow - a value purchase at the current price. 

POV 2 - Inside the Bottle:

COLUMBIA CREST GRAND ESTATES CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 , Columbia Valley, Washington, 13.5% D 5.6g/L, #
240093  $17.95  (Tasted April 6, 2016)

Tasting notes: A crushed blackberry colour with a full meniscus tilting a circle of long legs. A swirl adheres to the glass momentarily before dropping in a slow motion cascade. A tangy and penetrating aroma anticipates a spicy first sip that doesn't disappoint. Silky, dry and slightly warming as berry juice spreads across the palate. Have with cheese crackers of the salty kind to cleanse before the next sip or have with beef, lamb or Texas chili, brighter than expected. At peak now with a few more years to build on a sturdy backbone.

B50 C5 N13 F&F16 P2 T5 91
Value  2 
(see side panel for details) 

96-100 Extraordinary
90 - 95 Outstanding
86 - 89 Interesting to Excellent
80 - 85 Drinkable to Enjoyable
70 - 79 Uninteresting to Simple
60 - 69 Unpleasant
50 - 59 Unacceptable

Friday, April 01, 2016

April 2016 Wines - 12 Tasted of 12

Spring's Frosty Canopy


LINEUP:  Reds, Whites, Rosés and Bubblies:

  • Terrazas de Los Andes Reserva Malbec 2013,  90-2  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #029280   $18.95
  • Vieni Briganti Red 2012 VQA Ontario, 85  --  V, Beamsville, Ontario, #435792  $ 12.95
  • Xavier 100% Cotes du Rhone 2012 vins d'Experts, 84  --  V, Rhône, France, #437079   $17.00
  • Vieni Bruce Trail Red 2011 VQA Ontario, 82  --  G, Beamsville, Ontario, #452169  $ 12.95 
  • Carmen Premier Reserva Carmenere 2015, NR*  --  O, Valle de Colchagua, Chile,  #Gift  $xx.xx

  • Gray Monk Pinot Auxerrois 2014 VQA Okanagan Valley, 91-2  --  V, Kelowna, BC, #BC096222,  $14.79
  • Vieni Estates Chardonnay 2012 VQA Vinemount Ridge, 91-2  --  V,  Beamsville, Ontario,  #388371  $18.25
  • Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gris 2014 VQA Okanagan Valley, 89-1  --  V, Oliver, BC, #BC530683, $17.49 
  • Vieni Sauvignon Blanc 2013 VQA Vinemount Ridge, 88  --  V, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery  $19.95
  • Vieni Pinot Grigio 2013 VQA Vinemount Ridge, 84  --  V, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery  $14.95
  • Mauro Chardonnay 2014 IGT,  81  --  G, Puglia, Italy, #404491   $12.30 
  • Vieni Bruce Trail Rosé Sparkling NV VQA Ontario,  85  --  G,  Beamsville, Ontario, #452276  $ 15.95

Cheers, Ww


VIENI ESTATES CHARDONNAY 2012 VQA Vinemount Ridge, Beamsville, Ontario,  14.0%  XD  7g/L.  #388371  $18.25  (Tasted April 6, 2016)

Release by Vintages not listed. My notes: A golden hue gives a luxurious appearance to this Chard. A spicy caramel adds to the intro while a burnt butter combines with an extra dry texture and appealing tang to expand the sipping experience. A long mineral finish adds an extra element when paired with Thai stir fry and West Coast prawns - or ginger bean sprouts and seared mussels. Add to your Wine List for its 'difference'. A drink now. 91

VIENI BRUCE TRAIL RED 2011 VQA Ontario, Beamsville, Ontario, 12.5% D  xg/L, #452169 D  xg/L  $ 12.95  (Tasted April 19, 2016)

A General listing. My notes: There's a touch of charcoal to this ruby red and a swirl leaves a film that sticks then drops a dozen fast tears. The nose has a noticeable tang to restrained plum and sweet cherry aromas and the first sip has a penetrating bitterness that carries into a long extra dry finish. I aerated at this point - there's less of a bite in the nose as well as the sip however a penetrating sharpness lingers for a long finish. Light bodied. Not a sipper but could pair with beef burgers with mustard, tomato and a slice of red onion, a Polish sausage with same toppings or a spicy pizza. We added sweet potato fries smothered in ketchup. A tad milder when left open overnight.  82

VIENI BRIGANTI RED 2012 VQA Ontario, Beamsville, Ontario, 12.0%  D  4g/L, #435792  $ 12.95  (Tasted April 24, 2016)

Release by Vintages not listed. My notes: A blend of Foch, Baco and a lesser known North American hybrid DeChaunac.  This medium-bodied blend is a black ruby that lays a firm but thin film to accumulate then drop a continuous rim of slow tears. The nose is soft black cherry wrinkled by the sun and releasing an aroma of warm plums. A sip casts tannin that lasts  through a long chalk dry finish showing prominent sweet jam, pleasant when quaffed, cloying when sipped. Cooling slightly (12-18oC) made an enjoyable sipper. Match with soft cheeses, Texas chili or savoury beef stew. 85

VIENI SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 VQA Vinemount Ridge, Beamsville, Ontario, 13.0% xx  xg/L, #Winery  $19.95  (Tasted April 4, 2016)

Purchased at the Winery on March 16, 2016:  My notes: Serve well chilled (8-10oC) for a balanced body, dry and smooth texture and the flavour of tangy citrus. A faint yellow tints an otherwise untouched canvas. There's a mystery aroma that creeps from the chill expressing itself as subdued papaya or passion fruit. The finish is long with a predominant limestone edge and a touch of warmth. A drink now and pleasing as a solo sipper for a social setting, better with a cheese tray or mild seafood dishes - great with garlic shrimp and linguine. 88

VIENI PINOT GRIGIO 2013 VQA Vinemount Ridge, Beamsville, Ontario, 12.5% D  xxg/L, #Winery  $14.95  (Tasted March 31, 2016)

Purchased at the Winery on March 16, 2016:  My notes:  Poured at 10oC the nose is faint and a thin film fragments from a circular rim then gradually falls. The colour is a clear, crisp golden. The first sip is dry and has a suspicion of sweet melon. A fragrance of mild apricot edges forward as the temperature rises to 15oC, my preference. A long finish combines the dry texture, slight warmth and flavours for an interesting sipper altho' could be masked depending on the main course - pair with grilled sole, cod or shrimp. A unique drink now.  84

Valle de Colchagua, Chile, 13.5%  xx  xg/L,  #Winery  $xx.xx  (Tasted April 12, 2016)

Purchased at the Vieni Winery.  My notes:  A dense ruby showing a film flowing a curtain of slow tears. An aroma of crushed blackberries drying in the sun tangy with a suspicion of sweet jam, smooth with a dry texture. Discarded as a sipper better with a grilled strip beef marinade. As flavour settles most fruit fades leaving a long finish of bramble and smoky black liquorice - better to pair with spicy pizza, savoury meat stew, or rubbed ribs. Aerating was not helpful. Try cellaring five years or skip. NR (*Much improved left open two days).      

TERRAZAS DE LOS ANDES RESERVA MALBEC 2013, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.5%  D  7g/L,  #029280   $18.95   (Tasted April 26, 2016)

Released by Vintages on January 23, 2016.  Rated 92 by James Suckling  (June 2, 2015).  My notes:  The colour is a clear deep ruby. The film sticks eventually releasing a rim of tears - a tearful arch when tilted. Soft berries, a subtle black or reserved rasp- start from a smooth sip. Some brightness and a penetrating warmth builds in the second sip - a blueberry edge creeps in for a long quiet finish. The aroma is subtle contributing a mild mineral focus. Could be an alternative red to cabernet sauvignon or Rhône blend on a social occasion. Match with a buffet of cold meats: rare strip steak on Panini bun - or stuffed mushrooms. Could cellar a few years. 90-2        

XAVIER 100% CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2012 VINS D'EXPERTS, Rhône, France, 14.5%  XD  xg/L,  #437079   $17.00   (Tasted April 23, 2016)

Released by Vintages on March 5, 2016. Rated 91 by Jeb Dunnuck  (October 2014).  My notes:  A blend of 40% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and 25% Cinsault, Carignan and Marselan. Quite a blend of backbone builders, a balance of traditional flavours with dusty spices. If there's a dining hall of tasters mired in wine heritage this red would find a healthy list of admirers. But what of tasters having experienced the breadth of new world styles? A focus on balance from start to finish with smoothness and an interesting bite? A fruity freshness that carries across a long sumptuous finish. Flavours that standout and are able to pair with modern cuisine? Personally I think it's time to bring ratings into this century. 84

GRAY MONK PINOT AUXERROIS 2014 VQA Okanagan Valley, Kelowna, BC, #BC096222, 11.5%  XD 5.8g/L,   $14.79  (Tasted April 15, 2016)

Purchased in Burnaby in March 2016.  My notes:  A light lemon colour crystal clear in the glass displaying a thin film and wrinkled rim dropping in unison. The nose is pleasing initially subtle before adding a slight warmth. Full, fruity, dry and modestly tangy leads the first sip sensation that develops on the palate and stays for a long luscious finish. Enough chalk to encourage pairing with a tray of soft cheeses and spicy sausage slices - or meals of mussels, coconut shrimp, grilled halibut or a deep fried (then drained) fish and chip dinner. Cellaring may enhance fragrance. 91

TINHORN CREEK PINOT GRIS 2014 VQA Okanagan Valley, Oliver, BC,  #BC530683, 13.5%  XD  5.7g/L, $17.49  (Tasted
April 13, 2016)

Purchased in Burnaby in March 2016.  My notes: Poured at 10oC so the chill captures the fresh apple, quince and faint honeysuckle aroma. A crinkled rim releases fast tears unloading enough volume to remain as a stubborn film. Soft from the first sip belying a mild acid then a brief warmth leaving an extra dry mineral coating the palate. This matched nicely our microwaved roast chicken leftover from the evening before: breast, legs/thighs, backbone and wrinkled skin. Kept chilled (below 14oC) flavours and body complemented the added lingonberry. A drink now or several years in the cellar sampling now and then.  A North American PG. 89

VIENI BRUCE TRAIL ROSÉ SPARKLING NV VQA Ontario, Beamsville, Ontario, 11.5% M  xg/L,  #452276  $ 15.95  (Tasted April 21, 2016)

A General listing. My notes: The LCBO classes the sweetness level as Medium.  The LCBO classes the sweetness level as Medium. A touch of salmon to a coquettish pink gives visual appeal. Bubbles are subdued although continue as tiny streams throughout early sips into the finish. The aroma has a suspicion of cherry and strawberry both subtle. A fine spritz is sustained during sips and continue to appeal as a bright soft tang comprises a long finish. Pair with vanilla layered cake, white icing and strawberry filling. Avoid unctious in the cake so rosé can cleanse and take prominence.  Serve well chilled, say 6-8oC. 85

MAURO CHARDONNAY 2014 IGT, Puglia, Italy, 13.0%  XD  5g/L, #404491   $12.30  (Tasted April 8, 2016)
 A General listing tasted by Beppi Crosariol in his G&M column April 1, 2016.  My notes:  A swirl cascades slow tears from a minutely rippled rim. The colour is a lemon juice yellow and there's a barely discernible unripe melon aroma combined with a refreshing tang. The first flavour to arrive is an unappealing mineral more suitable with shellfish than as a solo sipper: clams in a white wine sauce, raw oyster or mussels in a garlic sauce where the chosen flavours can predominate the meal. I preferred sipping at 15oC at which the texture smoothens and aroma and flavours settle. 81  

(see side panel for value ratings)

96-100 Extraordinary
90 - 95 Outstanding
86 - 89 Interesting to Excellent
80 - 85 Drinkable to Enjoyable
70 - 79 Uninteresting to Simple
60 - 69 Unpleasant
50 - 59 Unacceptable