Saturday, September 16, 2017

October 2017 wines

October wines: 9 tasted of 15

Exposed strata, Chile
Cheers, Ww

LINEUP: Reds, Whites, Roses and Bubblies:

  • Sur de los Andes Premium Blend Malbec/ Cabernet Sauvignon 2010,  92-3  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #411298  $15.95
  • Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2016, 87-1 -- V, Boekenhoutskloof, South Africa, #595280 $15.95
  • Woodwork Pinot Noir 2015, 83a  --  G,  Sonoma, California,  #428839  $17.45
  • Marco Zunino Expresion Reserva Malbec 2014, 82  --  V,Mendoza, Argentina,  #494575  $17.95
  • Oscar’s Estate Vineyard Shiraz/Viognier2013,  r-v  --  V, Barossa Valley, Australia, #287961  $18.95
  • McManis Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2015,  r-v  --  V,  California, USA, #212126  $19.95

  • De Wetshof Limestone Hill Unwooded Chardonnay 2016, 91-2 -- V, Robertson, South Africa, #419622 $16.95
  • J. Lohr Riverstone Arroyo Seco Monterey Chardonnay 2016,  91-2  --  Monterey, California,  #258699   $19.95
  • Château de Nages Vieilles Vignes Costières de Nîmes 2014, 90-1 -- V, Rhône, France, #479659 $19.95
  • Pierre-Luc Bouchard Muscadet Sèvre & Maine sur Lie 2015, 80 -- V, Loire, France, #082461 $14.95
  • Root: 1 Sauvignon Blanc 2016, r-v -- G, Casablanca Valley, Chile, #445882 $12.95
  • Beringer Founders’ Estate Chardonnay 2015, r-v  --  G,  California, USA, #534230  $17.95
  • Chloe Chardonnay 2015,  r-v  --   G,  Sonoma County, California,  #392597  $19.95

  • Elyssia Gran Cuvée Brut Cava NR, 91-2 -- V, Penèdes, Spain, #392548 $19.95
  • Martini & Rossi Asti NV,  r-v  --  G, Italy, #361790  (200gm)$4.95
(V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, c - cellar, NR - Not Recommended)


CHÂTEAU DE NAGES VIEILLES VIGNES COSTIÈRES DE NÎMES 2014, Rhône, France, 13.0% XD 5g/L, #479659 $19.95 (Tasted August 17. 2017)

Released by Vintages on February 18, 2017. Rated 91 by Jeb Dunnuck, ( March 3, 2016. My notes: A gold brick yellow. A judicious blend of 40% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc and 15% Clairette. The rest is Viognier and Bourboulenc. Tears cluster around ripples in the rim slowly forming then dropping. The first sip has an appealing quince cleansing the palate with a slight acid. Paired well with rigatoni and chicken slices buried in a creamy Monterey Jack sauce. Additional flavours of broccoli flowers and chunks of asparagus complemented a good sprinkling of grated parmesan as a topping. Some warmth could be sensed from a moderate alcohol level. Serve chilled then allow to build expression. 90

PIERRE-LUC BOUCHAUD MUSCADET SÈVRE & MAINE SUR LIE 2015, Loire, France, 12% XD 2g/L, #082461 $14.95 (Tasted August 21, 2017)

Release by Vintages on July 22, 2017 and Rated 89 by Michael Godel( November 30, 2016. My notes: A faded grassy-green-yellow tainted with little aroma poured from the bottle. Nicely tart with slight lime and predominant chalk for a first impression. Served chilled there is hope for more… there’s a short finish ending with a mineral base and a bright touch. A flexible ‘seafood’ white or hot patio sipper. Add an ice bucket and a slice of lime if you’re slow on the sip. 80

ELYSSIA GRAN CUVÉE BRUT CAVA, Penedes, Spain, 12.0% XD  11g/L, #392548  $19.95  (Tasted August 15, 2017)

Released by Vintages on August 5, 2017. My notes: From large to micro bubbles playfully jostle on opening making this a pleasure to share with a crowd. Also pleasant for its delicate almond and pear scent with bountiful bubbles adding to the brightness. The colour has a true golden gleam conveying a sense of richness. The first sip builds expanding flavour and textures for a unique start to a long finish. Suitable for a toasty beginning of a special occasion, as a cooling sipper on a summer patio or a morning wakeup with a slice of warm buttered rye or grapefruit.  91

MARTINI & ROSSI ASTI  NV, Italy, 7%  S  82g/L,  #361790 (200gm)  $4.95  (Tasted tbd)

A General listing.  My notes:

DE WETSHOF LIMESTONE HILL UNWOODED CHARDONNAY 2016, Robertson, South Africa, 14.0% XD 4g/L, #419622 $16.95 (Tasted September 5, 2017)

Released by Vintages on August 19, 2017. My notes: Rated 91 by James Molesworth (December 15, 2016). A delicate lemon shade with a moderate film wrinkled at the rim and receding slowly. The fragrance is appealing with a tender sweet pea showing off against a fragile mineral. The first sip has some sweetness - enough to accentuate a tangy residue forming an extra dry finish. Extra body comes forward as temperature rises to 15oC. A luscious solo sipper and excellent companion to seared scallops or Tiger shrimp. 91

PORCUPINE RIDGE SYRAH 2016, Boekenhoutskloof, South Africa, 14.5% XD 2g/L, #595280   (Tasted September 3, 2017)

Released by Vintages - date not recorded.  My notes: The 2015 vintage was tasted in July this year with a rating of 91. This vintage retains the warm centre but with less defined fruit and balance. The colour is a deep ruby and flavour is edged with black/blue berries. A swirl lays a thin film that spreads quickly etching rugged islands. The first sip bites deeply carrying flavours of berry bramble. The bite continues until only warmth and bramble remain. Could be a solo sipper unless there’s a mis-swallow then the bite may have an unwelcomed penetration. Better with nippy cheddar or bacon on garlic bread. Aerating is recommended. 88a

J. LOHR RIVERSTONE CHARDONNAY 2016, Monterey, California, 13.5% XD 3g/L, #258699 $19.95 (Tasted September 4, 2017)

Released by Vintages on April 3, 2017. My notes: A touch of butter along with whiffs of mango, lemon and pineapple. Extra dry with a medium viscosity that spreads around the glass leaving broken traces. The first sip includes nosy flavours and a texture that adds a cleansing freshness that would give life to cheddar crisps and stuffed mushrooms. Also pair with salmon burgers or garlic shrimps seared to perfection. The last arch of a moderate film separates slowly. Blended to age. 91

SUR DE LOS ANDES PREMIUM BLEND MALBEC/CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.0%  D  3g/L, #411298  $15.95  (Tasted September 5, 2017)
Released by Vintages on August 19, 2017. My notes: Rated 91 by Michael Schachner Wine Enthusiast (May 2014). The black of ripe Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with the added density of ripe Malbec juices gives advance notice of a full sipper. A swirl sticks a tight film on the glass that, given a dozen seconds, releases streams of tears. The soft aroma of pressed berries adds to the senses and continues with each sniff. Sharp, chalk dry and warm gives backbone to a long extra dry finish - no sweetness here. Have with rare prime beef or Moroccan marinade sirloin tip - horse radish sauce on the side. Age for subtle changes but consume when opened. . 92

WOODWORK PINOT NOIR 2015, Sonoma, California, 13.5% D 7g/L, #428839 $17.45 (Tasted August 18, 2017)

A General listing. My notes: A swirl leaves a lightly scented arch that fragments quickly on the glass. There’s a woody accent of dried raspberry stems for a floral fragrance. A tart bite edges a smooth berry blend while aerating mellows a persistent sharpness. A light bodied pinot with a sustained aftertaste. Although modest in most aspects this could have initial appeal to a general crowd. We served with sliced chicken and rigatoni in a cream sauce. Did not pair well with grilled lab chops – perhaps the chops?  83a

MCMANIS FAMILY VINEYARDS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015, California, USA, 13.5% XD 2g/L, #212126 $19.95 (Tasted tbd)

Release by Vintages on April 3, 2017.  My notes:

CHLOE CHARDONNAY 2015, Sonoma County, California, 13.5% XD 4g.L, #392597 $19.95 (Tasted tbd)

A General listing. My notes:

BERINGER FOUNDERS' ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2015, California, USA, 13.9% D 9g/L, #534230 $17.95 (Tasted tbd)

A General listing. My notes:

ROOT: 1 SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016, Casablanca Valley, Chile, 12.0% XD 2g/L, #445882 $12.95 (Tasted tbd)
A General listing.  My notes:

MARCO ZUNINO EXPRESIÓN RESERVA MALBEC 2014, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.2% XD 2g/L, #494575 $17.95 (Tasted September 19, 2017)

Released by Vintages on September 2, 2017. My notes: Rated 92 by James Suckling (, May 20, 2016. A nose hinting of peppermint with black cherries and a colour matching charcoal stained weathered adobe. The first sniff predicts a long dry finish with an acrid edge. A swirl runs a firm film with rounded arch and pronounced tears. Raw to the taste buds needing a tray of pepperoni sticks or bacon wrapped anchovies for balance. Aerating shifts focus to a smoother texture retaining the prior rawness. Pair with Moroccan strip sirloin or savoury ribs. Past cellaring. 82

OSCAR'S ESTATE VINEYARD SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER 2013, Barossa Valley, Australia, 15.0% XD 2g/L, #287961 $18.95 (Tasted tbd)

Released by Vintages on February 18, 2017. My notes: A product of Small Gully Wines. Rated 92 by James Suckling,( May 20, 2016 and 89 by David Lawrason ( June 10 2015.

Friday, September 01, 2017

September 2017 wines

September 2017 wines – 15 tasted of 15

 South American Treasure Hunt 

Cheers, Ww

Reds, Whites, Bubblies:
  • Zuccardi Serie A Malbec 2015, 88-1 -- V, Uco Valley, Argentina, #167619 $16.95
  • Monte Zovo Sa’ Solin Ripasso Valpolicella 2014, 87 -- V, Veneto, Italy, #650713 $18.95
  • KWV Cathedral Cellar Shiraz 2014, 85  --  V, Western Cape, S. Africa,   #561142  $16.95
  • Sterling Vintner’s Merlot 2014, 84 -- G, California, USA, #622837 $16.15
  • Trapiche Pure Black Malbec Ltd. Ed. 2015,  83a --  G,  Mendosa, Argentina, #462861  $15.95
  • 19 Crimes Shiraz Durif 2014, 83a  --  G,  Victoria, Australia, #369777  $19.20

  • Rockway Vineyards Fergie Jenkins Limited Edition Riesling 2014 VQA Twenty Mile Bench,  91-3 --  V, Ste Catherines, Ontario, #485326  $13.25
  • The Foreign Affair Enchanted 2015 VQA Ontario, 90-2  --  V,  Vineland Station, Ontario, #389767  $17.95
  • Sterling Vintner’s Collection Chardonnay 2015, 90-1  --  G, California, USA, #669242 $16.15
  • Babich Black Label Sauvignon Blanc 2015, 90-1  --  V, Marlborough, New Zealand,  #009142  $19.95
  • Penmara The White Ribbon Semillon 2016,  89-2  --  V,  Hunter Valley, Australia, #474031   $14.95 
  • Astrolabe Province Sauvignon Blanc 2016, 89-1 -- V, Marlborough, New Zealand, #010421 $19.95*
  • Peninsula Ridge INOX-Unoaked Chardonnay VQA Niagara Peninsula 2016, 87-1  --  G, Beamsville, Ontario,  #594200   $14.95 
  • Marynissen Platinum Sauvignon Blanc 2014 VQA Niagara Lakeshore,  86 --  V,  Kasper Vineyards, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario,  #472506  $18.25
  • Cave Spring Dolomite Riesling VQA Niagara Escarpment 2015, Jordan, Ontario,   85  --   #Winery  $Gift

(V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, c - cellar, NR - Not Recommended)


PENINSULA RIDGE  INOX-UNOAKED CHARDONNAY VQA Niagara Peninsula 2016, Beamsville, Ontario, 13.0% XD 4g/L, #594200 $14.95 (Tasted August 25, 2017)

A General listing.  My notes: A polished light yellow and a welcomed sipper on a hot summer day. The light film etches a wrinkled edge as it quickly drops. A grassy scent is barely noticeable when served chilled needing some warmth to release it from the crushed grapes grip. The first sip stings before drying the palate - once dry further sips maintain a long finish with a warm mineral flavour. Pair with cod on basmati rice, seared tiger shrimp or grilled rainbow trout and greens. Can cellar several years. 87

ZUCCARDI SERIE A MALBEC 2015, Uco Valley, Argentina, 13.0% XD 2g/L, #167619 $16.95 (Tasted July 7, 2017)

Released by Vintages on May 13, 2017. My notes: Rated 90 by Tim Atkin, MW 2016. The colour is a rich plum shade appearing as full-bodied although a swirl shows a light film. The first sip is dry with a bright blackberry cranberry intensity on the throat. Aerating reduces or delays some of the brightness tho’ still extending as a long finish. Aerating is not required, nor recommended, if served soon after purchase. I miss the softness of mature grapes but appreciate the moderately ‘youthful fruit’. Pair with pepperoni pizza or, for a spicy touch, include chorizo sausage. Serve at ‘log cabin’ temperature. The finish has a pleasing warmth. 88

ASTROLABE PROVINCE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand, 13.0% D 4g.L, #010421 $19.95* (Tasted July 18, 2017)

A Vintages release on April 3, 2017. My notes: Normally priced at $22.95. *Reduced to $19.95 until July 16, 2017.  Grapefruit yellow with a tender grapefruit/lime aroma and having a rounded film followed by flowing tears. Consume early for fuller flavours and textures. Sharpness balances well with a touch of sweet and drying tannin for a long finish. Have with seafood, shell or fin, and fowl.  89

MONTE ZOVO SA' SOLIN RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA 2014, Veneto, Italy, 14.0%  D  10g/L,  #650713  $18.95   (Tasted July 14, 2017)

Released by Vintages on April 3, 2017. My notes: There’s a hint of charcoal in the dark cherry colouring and the nose has a soft cherry/plum scent complete with a slight acid. A sip displays more bite along with warm thin tannin residual. A dozen fast tears spread as a theatre stage curtain falls on closing, lights to floor. Airing has removed any herbal taint allow fruit to dominate a long finish. Sipping rather than quaffing keeps perspective on the natural elements – three years in the cellar has mellowed this to a basic red. Pair with meaty pizzas and firm cheeses. 87

ROCKWAY VINEYARDS FERGIE JENKINS LIMITED EDITION RIESLING 2014 Twenty Mile Bench, Ste Catherines, Ontario, 10%  M  23g/L, #485326 $13.25 (Tasted July 31, 2017)

A Vintages release on March 4, 2017. My notes:A light yellow with a hint of almond showing against a clear background. A mild pear scented to match and a crinkled rim hanging a fine film slowly receding to leave a crystal palette. The first sip shows a finely balanced Riesling nicely tart still retaining a noticeable sweet Bosc pear and adding a delicate lime. Pair with seafood or fowl. Sipped, it has a luscious finish. We paired with chicken pieces sliced and covered with a creamy sauce on white rice. A value purchase. 91  

STERLING VINTNER'S COLLECTION CHARDONNAY 2015, California, USA, 13.5% XD 5g/L, #669242 $16.15 (Tasted July 18, 2017)

A General listing.  My notes: Best served chilled then allowed to show off its flavour and terroir. The colour is that of the flesh of a ripe pineapple. A touch of brine and flavours of mostly apple and lime combine for an interesting sipper. An underlying tannin strikes a balance for a long dry finish. Not expected as a kiwi one to expand the range available. Pair with any seafood, shell- or fin- or fowl. Should add a plus to a cellar collection for a few years. 90

THE FOREIGN AFFAIR ENCHANTED 2015 VQA Ontario, Vineland Station, Ontario, 11.8% M 23g/L, #389767 $17.95 (Tasted August 7, 2017)

Released by Vintages on June 24, 2017. My notes: Blending riesling with chardonnay and fermented ripasso style this Niagara white attains a class of its own. Enjoy as a sipper for its brightness, sensing a touch of sweet. Balanced nicely with a nudge of lime, and you may find a hint of Macintosh apple, to pair with coconut shrimp or seared scallops. An almond hue gives elegance in the right light. Trying with spring rolls wouldn’t be misplaced. Or with cod over a soft rice sided with asparagus spears wrapped in prosciutto or side bacon. Luscious where extra dry is a contradiction – but could be true giving the long flavourful finish. And cellaring is a mystery – I’d say not given the pleasure of today. 90

MARYNISSEN PLATINUM SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014 VQA Niagara Lakeshore, Kasper Vineyards, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, 12.6% XD 2g/L, #472506 $18.25 (Tasted July 26, 2017)

Released by Vintages on March 18, 2017. My notes: A sense of Ontario dandelion among fresh grass, bright as the colour is lasting. A light film displays on the glass fragmenting at the rim and flowing fast tears. The first sip attacks the palate with extra dry gooseberry, a cold climate variety. We served with reheated roast chicken and broiled turnip cubes. Sampling solo it tends to be tooth cleaner finishing on the pungent side. Pair with white fish seared in a tomato and caper sauce. Showed more body at 14oC.  86

PENMARA THE WHITE RIBBON SÉMILLON 2016, Hunter Valley, Australia, 10.5% XD 2g/L, #474031 $14.95 (Tasted July 21, 2017)

Released by Vintages on February 18, 2017. My notes: A pale gold with a well defined film releasing full tears, crystal clear. 
An aroma of fuzzy apricots subtle yet matched to the nose that reinforces the terroir and winemaker’s style. Definitely a popular sipper at a banquet… perhaps set aside a few for late arrivals. Have with a green salad side or shellfish hors d’oeuvre or repas on a shaded patio. Balanced acid and soft fruit this is near scrumptious. 89

STERLING VINTNER'S MERLOT 2014, 84 -- G, California, USA, #622837 $16.15  (Tasted July 21, 2017)

A General release.  My notes: A charcoal tainted ruby with a thin film showing negligible viscosity. The nose is non-intrusive but pleasantly cherry. The first swallow is bright, extra dry and having a cherry base. The second sip, a tad deeper, is demonstrably warmer. Sugar free with a tannin touch and staying power - definitely needing a nibble or two. Politely pick up a mushroom stuffed with bacon bits or two. The tang shows restraint and can contribute without overdoing the stay as it mellows out. Extend a bottle with grilled lamb or a beef steak. An economical dinner red and a drink now.  84

BABICH BLACK LABEL SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand, 13.0%  XD  2g/L,  #009142  $19.95  (Tasted August 11, 2017)

Release by Vintages on November 12, 2016.  My notes: Pleasing by sight, aroma, texture and flavour blend. The first sip highlights a papaya blend with good overall balance. There’s an unusual twist that evolves from the traditional tangy gooseberry that may take time to adjust. ‘Tropical’ adds a quiet fullness that carries through a long finish. Serve chilled with a shrimp ring, pineapple/ watermelon chunks, fruit cakes or sushi. A cool drink now. 90

KWV CATHEDRAL CELLAR SHIRAZ 2014, Western Cape, S. Africa, 14.0%  D  4g/L,  #561142   $16.95   (Tasted July 27, 2017)

Released by Vintages on July 8, 2017. My notes: A charcoal ruby that lays a viscous film fragmenting at the rim and releasing a few long slow legs. A warm blackberry aroma softened by the smoke of smouldering moss but having a pungent edge. The intensity shifts to high gear from the fist sip ending only when the palate has a brief recovery. Provide cheese nibbles to relieve much of the sharpness leaving only a woody texture. Pair with rare beef steak, Osso buco or a pizza layered with artichoke and chorizo slices. Cellaring could mellow however there’s a bitterness that may remain. Aerating did not help.  85   

CAVE SPRING DOLOMITE RIESLING 2015 VQA Niagara Escarpment, Jordan, Ontario, 11.5%  D  15g/L,  #Winery  $Gift from Winery  (Tasted July 24, 2017)

Gift of winery at their International Cool Climate Chardonny Celebration (i4C) event on July 22, 2017. My notes: Tasted a few times at earlier vintage levels this has the same gentle pouring but with less discernible ‘dolomite’. A delicate grapefruit colour and, when served at 10oC there’s no nose per se but a gentle chill of freshness. A swirl brings a fragile film with minute fracturing around the rim. A note of sweet touches the palate along with a balanced lime tang and a dryness that leaves its impression throughout a moderate finish. Citrus sherbert flavours develop as the temperature rises to 14oC, my preference, and the combination becomes unctuous. Pair with mild cheddar, salty crackers and selections from a mixed buffet. An ’enjoy now’ drink. 85

TRAPICHE PURE BLACK MALBEC LTD. ED. 2015, Mendosa, Argentina, 14.0%  XD  2g/L,  #462861  $15.95  (Tasted August 13, 2017)

A General listing and produced by Penaflor/Trapiche.  My notes:My notes: Gazing into the abyss… not quite… the deepest charcoal tinted ruby gives that appearance when peering into a freshly poured glass. The nose has a smooth plum scented aroma, a controlled tang and a viscosity shown by several trails of slow tears on the glass. The first sip has an essence of ripe plum filled with an earthy warmth. Delaying ten minutes for the initial tasting lets the initial bottle impact settle. Aeration balances an otherwise astringent rawness of a smooth finish. Partner with appetizers of stuffed mushrooms, bacon wrapped asparagus and entrées of grilled lamb chops or rubbed ribs. A meal red. 83a   

19 CRIMES SHIRAZ DURIF 2014, Victoria, Australia, 14.5% XD xg/L, #369777 $19.20 (Tasted August 14, 2017)

A General listing produced by Treasury Wine Estates. My notes: The first sip of an aerated sample gave a tart grab to the palate. Hot and dry with leather and dried blackberry leaves a firm sense before settling across my throat. A second and fuller sip prompted a reach for a toasted crisp. Letting the aerated portion breathe softened early sampling although partnering with grilled beef is recommended. Letting it breathe longer on opening, thirty minutes, makes this marginally palatable - unless you enjoy ‘rough and ready’. Try cellaring several years. A meal red. 83a