Monday, August 01, 2016

August 2016 Wines - 12 Tasted of 16

Arbutus Ridge, Vancouver Island

Our first BC home is third from end of second row setback from the channel on a street aptly named Saltspring View.

Cheers, Ww

LINEUP:  Reds, Whites and Bubblies:



  • Balzac Cafe, July 30 '16
    Domaine Santa Duc Roaix les Crottes 2010,  93-3  --  V, Côtes du Rhône Villages, France, #437491  $17.25  
  • Tapiz Alta Collection Malbec 2013, 93-3  --  V, Uco Valley, Argentina, #450155  $19.95
  • Chateau Peyros Madiran Tannat/Cabernet Franc 2010,  85  --  V, Corbere Aberes, France,  #208249  $15.95  
  • Susana Balbo CRIOS Cabernet Sauvignon 2013,  83  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #640979  $12.75
  • Santa Duc les Vieilles Vignes Côtes du Rhône,  r-v  --  V,  Rhone, France, #101543  $16.95
  • Ortas Cave de Rasteau la Domelière Rasteau 2014,  r-v  --  V, Côtes du Rhône, France, #222927  $16.95  
  • Alamos Seleccion Malbec 2013,  r-v --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #322800  $16.95  
  • Undurraga Sibaris Gran Reserva Syrah 2013,  r-v  --  V, Cachapaol, Chile, #443556  $16.95  
 

Caribana Crowd coming our way, July 30 '16
  • Mount Riley Limited Release Sauvignon Blanc 2015, 93-3  --  V, Marlborough, New Zealand,  #447425  $18.95
  • Peninsula Ridge Barrel Aged Chardonnay 2014 VQA Beamsville Bench, 89-2  --  V, Beamsville, Ontario, #211490  $15.95
  • See Ya Later Ranch Pinot Gris 2014 VQA Okanagan Valley, 89-1  --  V, British Columbia, Canada, #263699   $17.95
  • Susana Balbo CRIOS Torrontés 2015, 84  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #001834  $13.95
  • Zuccardi Serie A Torrontés 2014, 84  --  V, Salta, Argentina, #389262   $15.95   
  • Finca El Origen Estate Reserva Torrontés 2015, 84  --  V, Uco Valley, Argentina, #262089  $15.95
  • Riverlore Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015, 83  --  G, Marlborough, New Zealand, #417600,  $15.95   
  
  • Aurora Sparkling White Brut Pinot Noir , 89-2 --  V,  Serra Gaúcha, Brazil, #412536  $12.80*
  
               (V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, c - cellar, NR - Not Recommended)


 TASTINGS:

ZUCCARDI SERIE A TORRONTÉS 2014, Salta, Argentina, 14.5% XD 5g/L, #389262   $15.95  (Tasted August 21, 2016)


Released by Vintages on July 7, 2016.  My notes: Rated 90 by James Parker of The Wine Advocate and 92 by James Suckling  (June 23, 2015).  Poured at 10oC the film sticks then separates and falls quickly.  A crisp and clear pale yellow, lemon scented, salt edged and nutty belying any tropical fruit that could be expected. The nose builds slightly as temperature rises (14oC) and is preferred. The first sip sucks away thoughts of sweet leaving the throat through a long, arid, unique finish. Pair with a seafood platter - or mains of grilled wild cod or tilapia on mounded lemon risotto. A drink now.  84 

SEE YA LATER RANCH PINOT GRIS 2014 VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada 13.0%  D  8g/L, #263699   $17.95  (Tasted August 5, 2016)


Released by Vintages on February 20, 2016. A Constellation Brands Inc. winery.  My notes: A mid yellow spreading a viscous film enough to slowly form a few tears gradually dropping from a jagged rim. Served at 10oC the nose is pleasantly acidic balanced between green fruit and a mineral depth. The first sip confirms a youthful harvest possibly crushed with stems. A sipper with flavour to match a stir fry of cherry tomatoes, onions and caper/anchovy sauce over crusted veal or pork. Has staying power, extra dry and warm. The empty bottle weighs in just under 1.5 pounds.  Keep chilled. 89
 
TAPIZ ALTA COLLECTION MALBEC 2013, Uco Valley, Argentina, 14.2%  XD  5g/L,  #450155   $19.95  (Tasted July 18, 2016)


Released by Vintages on June 25, 2016. Rated 95 by James Suckling (June 2, 2015).  My notes: There's a bite of spice added to the soft freshness of Malbec. A balanced fermentation retains the varietal's place over three years in the bottle. The colour is a deep ruby with a swirl laying a fragmenting film falling under a lacy rim.  Full-bodied, the first sip offers up more tang, a dryness and warmth - very assertive. A quaff intensifies the warmth with a slosh (is that a word?) and a firm swallow. The finish is on the woody side with little fresh fruit being retained. Pair with savoury stews or beef tenderloin rubbed with salt/pepper and left five minutes to tenderize. Aerating is worth the extra step - it mellows an acid edge. 93

CHÂTEAU PEYROS MADIRAN TANNAT/CABERNET 2010, Corbere Aberes, France,  14.0%  XD  4g/L,  #208249  $15.95  (Tasted August 2, 2016)


Released by Vintages on February 6, 2016. Rated 91 and a Best Buy by Roger Voss Wine Enthusiast  (March 2015).  My notes: A blend of 80% Tannat and 20% Cabernet Franc.  A swirl starts tiny tears that run slowly from a lightly rounded rim. A sip releases a penetrating bite and a powdery presence combines with a light bramble texture, a purple plum scent and cranberry bitterness. A lightish body with a warmth that's slow to build along with a chalk ending.  Pair with savoury stews - ours was with Osso Buco  . Tannat dominates this blend. A drink now. 85   

FINCA EL ORIGEN ESTATE RESERVA TORRONTÉS 2015, Uco Valley, Argentina, 14.3%  XD 4g/L,  #262089  $15.95  (Tasted August 6, 2016)


Released by Vintages on May 28, 2016.  My notes:  A mid yellow showing a viscous film motionless while building volume then slowly draining the sides. The nose has a soft pear scent that fades quickly in contrast to the first sip that bites the palate finishing bright, extra dry and a notion of warm pear. Medium-bodied, well balanced with a firm structure - a partner for any seafood and saucy vegetable stir fry or serve chilled as a social drink-now.   84

SUSANA BALBO CRIOS TORRONTÉS 2015, Mendoza, Argentina, 13.5%  D  4g/L, #001834  $13.95  (Tasted August 2, 2016)


Released by Vintages on April 1, 2016. Reduced to $11.95 until July 17, 2016.  My notes: The 2014 vintage was tasted on August 1st and rated 84. The colour of this vintage is a lighter yellow with a green tint. Served at 11oC there's a soft edge of chilled unripe grapefruit - interesting but not appealing. The film sticks and descends en masse from a crinkled rim. The first sip has an unripe citrus tartness quickly fading to a mineral tang and chalk dry ending. Have with a mixed buffet rather than solo. Flavours fade ending with green apple bias. Try cellaring a few years to mellow existing youthfulness or serve with halibut/sole/cod with risotto/rice/mashed Yukon Gold or blended cauliflower.  84

SUSANA BALBO CRIOS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.0%  D  7g/L,  #640979  $12.75  (Tasted August 7, 2016)


Released by Vintages on February 6, 2016.  My notes:  There are no significant changes from aerating - the nose and flavours remain the same. A mild plum softens a rough edge of a blackberry scent and the flavours of the first sip. A ruby colour has a slight charcoal hue. Medium-bodied, extra dry with a finish that gradually loses intensity changing to woody berry with a just noticeable warmth and herby tang. A thin film is quick to release a cascade of tears. Have with grilled or baked beef - is especially suited to grilled servings: barbecued steaks, ribs, burgers or stews.  83

PENINSULA RIDGE BARREL AGED CHARDONNAY 2014 VQA Beamsville Bench, Beamsville, Ontario, 12.5%  XD  4g/L, #211490  $15.95  (Tasted August 9, 2016)


Released by Vintages on March 5, 2016. My notes:  Crystal clear, mid yellow and showing a light film that clings then forms tears leaving a glistening rim. Served at 9oC there`s a delicate scent of pear, apple and butter combines with a slight byte and dry texture carrying into a long finish. Flexible as a drink now as well as a seafood complement. We sipped waiting for flattened Cornish game hens in a thyme/lemon/lime marinade to bake. A puréed parsnip cauliflower completed the medley. 89

MOUNT RILEY LIMITED RELEASE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand,  13.0%  XD  5g/L,  #447425  $18.95  (Tasted August 12, 2016)


Released by Vintages on July 9, 2016.  Rated 95 by Bob Campbell  (Feb 11, 2015).  My notes:  My notes: The aroma of a cool gooseberry cluster in your hand and delicate pear, nicely herbal. The colour is a traditional mid yellow and a spin creates a thin film with crinkled rim. The flavour of Meyer lemons bright with a pithy smoothness staying 'til the unctuous state with each swallow. Sip straight in the shade of a canopy or pair with seared garlic scallops wrapped in side bacon. Have on crushed ice and vodka if inclined (pls no lemon slice unless it's Meyer's). Other shellfish in garlic and white wine broth - make a meal of it adding toasty ciabatta (biga) slices. 93

AURORA SPARKLING WHITE BRUT PINOT NOIR NV, Serra Gaúcha, Brazil,  12.0%  D  12g/L, #412536  $12.80*  (Tasted August 10, 2016)


Released by Vintages on June 27, 2015.  *reduced from $19.95 for a limited time.  My notes: Bursts when opened to settle with a half inch of froth then continue with a display of all-size bubbles. A mid yellow colour with an interesting aroma of orange zest blended with lemon pith. Finishes extra dry with flavours following the aroma and mellowing slightly as acid adds freshness and smoothness adds appeal. I suggest tasting before the initial serving as flavours may have specific appeal. Pair with mussels in wine and garlic sauce. Mine went well with Panko crumb coated garlic shrimp seared in white wine, mashed garlic and sprinkled with fresh parsley. 89

DOMAINE SANTA DUC LES VIEILLES VIGNES CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2009,  Rhone, France, 14.0%  D  8g/L,  #101543  $16.95  (Tasted tbd) 

Released by Vintages on May 28, 2016.  Joe Czerwinski, Wine Enthusiast, rated this wine 90 (July 2012).  My Notes:

ORTAS CAVE DE RASTEAU LA DOMELIÈRE RASTEAU 2014, Cotes du Rhone, France,  14.0%  XD 4g/L, #222927  $16.95  (Tasted tbd)


Released by Vintages on June 25, 2016.  My notes: 
 
ALAMOS SELECCIÓN MALBEC 2013, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.0%  XD  5g/L, #322800  $16.95  (Tasted tbd)


Released by Vintages on June 25, 2016. Rated 91 by Luis Gutierrez, (August 2015.  My notes:  

DOMAINE SANTA DUC ROAIX LES CROTTES 2010, Cotes du Rhone Villages, France, 15%  XD 13g/L,  #437491  $17.25  (Tasted August 19, 2016)

Released by Vintages on Apr 16, 2016.  Rated 88-90 by Robert Parker Jr   (October 2011).  My notes:  Velvet smooth with a thick film on the glass that quickly runs full legs. A charcoal hue to a clean ruby, an intense sting and concentration gives the impression of a cigar companion - but it's fleeting (those days have long gone). Full-bodied and a smoky pepper on ripe plum lingers narrows this as a client sipper. Pair with wild game, a savoury tenderloin or rich Montreal smoked meat. Six years since picking and may go another six if it's your style. Soften by aerating.  93   

UNDURRAGA SIBARIS GRAN RESERVA SYRAH 2013, Cachapaol Valley, Chile, 14%  XD  6g/L,  #443556  $16.95  (Tasted tbd)
 

Release by Vintages on July 9, 2016.  My notes:


RIVERLORE SAUVIGNON BLANC MARLBOROUGH 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand, 13.0%  XD  2g/L,  #417600,  $15.95  (Tasted August 18, 2016)

A General listing and a product of Wairau River Wines Ltd. .  My notes: A pale yellow with a green tint, a clear and crisp sipper. Extra dry leaving the tongue with tingling sparkles. A thin film on the glass hangs from a crackled rim each edge quickly shrinking. Flavours include young gooseberry, tart crab apple and hints of pineapple core and mango. The finish is long fading to extra dry. Pair with seared mussels in a garlic and butter sauce or boarded Atlantic Salmon flamed. Perhaps will soften in several years. Try aerating.  83



 




 

Friday, July 01, 2016

July 2016 Wines - 14 Tasted of 14

West Coast, Low Tide

Cheers, Ww

LINEUP:  Reds, Whites, Rosés and Bubblies:
My new toy

  • Byron & Harold Rose & Thorns Shiraz 2013  95-3  --  V, Western Australia, #453183  $19.95
  • Zonte's Footstep Baron Von Nemesis Shiraz 2013, 92a-2  --  V, Barossa Valley, Australia, #212936  $17.95
  • Wirra Wirra Church Block Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Merlot 2013, 91-2  --  V,  McLaren Vale, Australia, #024034  $19.95 
  • Chateau Terra Mare Rhône Paradox Côtes du Rhône Homini 2012, 89-1 --  V, Rhône, France, #447912  $16.95
  • Château Pégau Cuvée Maclura Côtes-du-Rhône 2013, 89-1  --  V,  Rhône, France, #452250  $19.95 
  • Mirasso Winery Pinot Noir 2014,  88-2  --  G, Modesto, California, #185249  $11.95* 
  • Susana Balbo CRIOS Pinot Noir 2014, 88-1  --  V, Mendoza Argentina, #450098  $14.95  
  • Protea Merlot 2014, 87a-1  --  V, Western Cape, South Africa, #443481  $14.95
     
  • Santa Ema Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2014, 92-3  --  V,  Leyda Valley, Chile, #443507  $15.95 
  • Montes Outer Limits Sauvignon Blanc 2015, 90-1 --  V,  Zapallar Coast, Chile, #389643 $19.95 
  • Concha Y Toro Serie Riberas Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2013, 89-1  --  V, Colchagua, Chile, #287995  $16.95
  • Susana Balbo CRIOS Chardonnay 2014, 88c-1  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, 13.0%  XD  6g/L, #243196 $13.95 
  • Domaine LaFage Cuvée Centenaire 2014, 88-1  --  V,  Cotes du Roussillon, France, #343491  $19.95  

  • Mionetto Prosecco DOC Treviso NV,  89-1  --  G, Veneto, Italy,  #266023  $18.15 
(V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, c - cellar,           NR - Not Recommended)

TASTINGS:
 
PROTEA MERLOT 2014, Western Cape, South Africa, 14.0%  XD 7g/L, #443481  $14.95  (Tasted July 3, 2016)


Release by Vintages on June 11, 2016. Reference:  WineSearcher. My notes:   An attractive pattern is imprinted on the bottle, Protea, the national flower of South Africa. A deep ruby swirls a moderate film that quickly flows long fast legs. The raspberry scent is accented with pine, for tang and freshness, and dark cocoa for smoothness. The first sip attacks the tongue then a quick swallow dries the throat to a chalk level. Overall a warm, rough finish needs the calming aspect of savoury appetizers or a main course of marinade steaks grilled on an open fire. Aerating does much to calm this red's intensity and is recommended. I'd call it a meal red and a drink now.  87a

SUSANA BALBO CRIOS PINOT NOIR 2014, Mendoza Argentina,  14.0%  XD 5g/L, #450098  $14.95  (Tasted July 30, 2016)


Released by Vintages on June 11, 2016. Reference: WineSearcher . My notes:  Held to the light there's a clear clean ruby and a swirl lays a thin film that sticks, slowly fragments then drops a curtain of slow tears. A sniff reveals a soft, warm, floral, subtle blueberry scent pleasing as a sipper or as a  complement to a mixed sliced hard cheese and meat buffet. The first sip has a soft texture, is medium-bodied and lightly flavoured with berry fruit - crushed black cherry, strawberry - politely stinging its way past the lips going into a long, warm and dry finish. Have with the above buffet or as a complement to grilled lamb or veal and, more comfortably, with cedar-planked Atlantic salmon. Cellaring more years may mellow out some of this pinot's brightness.  88

MIRASSOU WINERY PINOT NOIR 2014, Modesto, California, 13.5%  D  14g/L, #185249  $11.95*  (Tasted July 21, 2016)


A General listing. *Reduced from $13.95 until June 19, 2016. Reference: WineSearcherMy notes:  A clear black cherry light for a red but appropriate for the varietal. A swirl shows a viscous film fragmenting from the rim attempting to run tears instead shattering into isolated islands. The nose is slightly floral with a pleasing warmth and modest tang. Black cherry flavouring, a soft dryness and sustained finish supports sipping or meal pairing: Salmon/trout, Artic char or a light fruit salad pear and asiago dressing - air and lite chill (10oC) for a social sipper and light buffet. Short term cellaring is possible. 88-2

SUSANA BALBO CRIOS CHARDONNAY 2014, Mendoza, Argentina, 13.0%  XD  6g/L, #243196 $13.95  (Tasted July 17, 2016)


Released by Vintages on June 11, 2016. My notes:  A clean mid yellow that smears the glass with an unbroken film quickly fragmenting from a clinging rim. A mild citrus melon aroma half way to a vegetable scent has neutral appeal. The first sip stings with fresh lemon and a predominant mineral note leaves a fading dryness. I'd call it a refreshing lightish medium-body quaffer as well as a partner with fish filets: pecan crusted cod/tilapia, pickerel, Artic char or seared scallops. A value white that may provide dividends if cellared - check third  year.  88c

BYRON & HAROLD ROSE & THORNS SHIRAZ 2013, Western Australia, 14.0%  XD  5g/L,  #453183  $19.95  (Tasted July 23, 2016)


Released by Vintages on June 11, 2016. Rated 95 by Campbell Mattinson  (July 27, 2015) Reference: WineSearcherMy notes:  The nose entices one to rush but hold off to sense the aromas and intensity of character: subtle berries blended with soft woods, a polite but bright spice for an edge -- Now sip. There's a dry layer covered by ripe blackberry and tamed cranberry and substantial body to sustain a long finish. The film quickly releases a dozen fast tears. Pair with lamb kebobs, a medium rare tenderloin or Polish sausage on a well decorated bun. Drink now or cellar another period. 95-3 

WIRRA WIRRA CHURCH BLOCK CABERNET SAUVIGNON / SHIRAZ / MERLOT 2013, McLaren Vale, Australia, 14.5%  XD  7g/L, #024034   $19.95  (Tasted July 17, 2016)

Released by Vintages on June 11, 2016. Rated 94 by James Halliday  (November 14, 2015). Reference: WineSearcher . My notes: A smooth aroma of dark chocolate, raspberry and cranberry tang gently presented on the first sniff. A full-bodied blend of 50% Cab Sauv, 37% Shiraz and 13% Merlot. The film sticks following the release of a ring of slow tears. Take the first sip slowly to avoid the sting and penetration of persistent acids. A charcoal hue gives density to the royal ruby.  The finish quickly levels out prolonging dry fruit with a velvet texture. Pair with stewed, braised, wood fired grilled top grade beef. Cellaring over several more years should mellow its present bold character meanwhile aerating softened some of the bite for a sip now.  91-2

CONCHA Y TORO SERIE RIBERAS GRAN RESERVA CHARDONNAY 2013, Colchagua, Chile, 14.0% XD 8g/L, #287995  $16.95  (Tasted July 8, 2016)


Released by Vintages on May 14, 2016. Reference: WineSearcher  My notes:  A warm butter colour. A film sticks then runs a ring of slow tears from a stationary rim. The serving temperature balances a background warmth and tang- keep chilled. As a sipper a mineral dryness, delicate butterscotch and penetrating youthful citrus takes precedence - for Chard lovers. Its brightness and long finish would pair nicely with garlic shrimp, seared  mussels or a combination of whitefish pieces and buttery risotto. Bottle weight is an eco-unfriendly 1.4lbs. 89

ZONTE'S FOOTSTEP BARON VON NEMESIS SHIRAZ 2013, Barossa Valley, Australia, 14.5  XD  7g/L,  #212936   $17.95  (Tasted July 10, 2016)


Released by Vintages on June 11, 2016. Rated 94 by James Halliday  (July 27, 2015).  My notes: A black cast to a deep ruby would set up a mains of seasoned sirloin slices nicely. The nose has a charcoal edge matching initial impressions. A smooth rim dropping slow tears suggests a velvet touch to the first sip. Yes! Smooth with a penetrating warmth ending chalk dry and filled with ripened black cherries. Take time out to aerate. Now chalk has changed to mineral balancing nicely with spicy fruit. Full-bodied for a penetrating sipper or a solid companion to game meats or grilled beef cuts. Another few years in the cellar will develop this red further. 92a  


SANTA EMA RESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014, Leyda Valley, Chile, 13.5%  XD  3g/L, #443507  $15.95  (Tasted July 10, 2016)

Released by Vintages on  June 25, 2016.  My notes:  A green hue to a faint, crisp and clear blond colour and a nose offering faint rhubarb as a variation from gooseberry. Swirling leaves a moderate film and a formation of swollen tears falling slowly. Chilled then sampled at 10oC this has refreshing fruit with substantial body going into a long luscious finish. This is a Sauvignon Blanc with a citric brightness pleasing as a sipper and with a fullness to complement shellfish, a bento box mix and fresh water pickerel. Cellaring a few years may introduce some smoothness - personally I wouldn't wait.  92

DOMAINE LAFAGE CUVÉE CENTENAIRE 2014,  Cotes du Roussillon, France, 13.0%  XD  6g/L,  #343491  $19.95  (Tasted July 1, 2016)


Released by Vintages on Mar 5, 2016.  (80% Grenache Blanc, 20% Roussanne). Rated 91 by Jeb Dunnuck  (April 2015).  My notes: A mid yellow leaving a sticky film, a rounded rim and running fast legs. A touch of butter frames a soft lemon caramel aroma. Chill to 10oC min.  Sloshing fills the mouth with a lasting tang that subsides over a sustained warm finish - med-bodied. Pleasurable during and after a quaff. Pair with seafood of the quiet kind, ie. grilled, bento or raw. Has flexibility, for instance: from halibut on a mound of risotto to beer can chicken. 88

MONTES OUTER LIMITS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015, Zapallar Coast, Chile, 13.0% XD 6g/L,  #389643 $19.95  (Tasted July 1, 2016)


Released by Vintages on April 30, 2016.  Rated 90 by James Suckling  (October 29, 2015). My notes: Mid yellow with an acerbic lemon, green pea and faint butterscotch aroma. A thin film fills a rounded rim to drop a curtain of slow tears. An intense lemon with a softer caramel blend for a medium-bodied, new age sauvignon blanc. Rolling off the tongue as an extra dry almost chalky long finish this is a refresher when served chilled (10oC) on a summer afternoon of restful sunshine. Have with a salty cheese & cracker tray, grilled garlic shrimp on toothpicks, planked salmon or bacon wrapped asparagus spears. Still young and likely will cellar well.  90

CHÂTEAU PEGAU CUVÉE MACLURA CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2013,  Rhône, France, 14.0%  XD  xg/L,  #452250  $19.95  (Tasted July 27, 2016)


Release by Vintages on May 28, 2016.  My notes:  Swirls a firm film running bulging tears from a fragmented rim. When aerated rim is heavily fragmented and tears are slow to form before dropping.  There's a deep black cherry with a crushed cherry stone flavour and a subtle freshness. Well supported, medium bodied, a biting acidity with a warm start to mid throat finishing extra dry. No change when aerated. A solid complement to grilled beef patties, savoury stews, rare sirloin and tenderloin. Aged three years and likely several more are in the bottle. 89

CHÂTEAU TERRA MARE RHÔNE PARADOX CÔTES DU RHÔNE HOMINI 2012,  Rhône, France, 15.0%  XD  4g/L,  #447912  $16.95  (Tasted July 26, 2016)


Released by Vintages on Jun 11, 2016. Rated 90 by Jeb Dunnuck  (December 2013).  My notes: 100% Grenache. The colour is a deep ruby and a swirl brings out a thin film fragmenting at the rim then dropping a ring of long moderate tears. A scent of warm teak adds to a blackberry and soft liquorice flavour. Velvet smooth texture contrasts with a gradually fading acid and drying chalk finish. Pair with rare roast beef, cold as in a luncheon spread or hot with Yorkshire puddings. Short term - another 4 years. Primarily a drink now - aerate to soften bite.  89


MIONETTO PROSECCO DOC TREVISO NV, Veneto, Italy, 11.0%  D  17g/L,  #266023  $18.15  (Tasted July 6, 2016)

A General listing.  My notes: Mid-size bubbles quickly top the flute and cover the sides. A clear mid yellow matches the crisp and clean fragrance as does an almost dry balance of melon and subtle pear. A temperature of 10oC welcomes the senses on a hot (30oC) July day. There's a lasting suspicion of sweetness as well as an appealing fullness and, as a whole and given a few minutes, the spritz works its magic for a long finish. Freshen the morning with chilled oysters, strawberries and cream or back bacon chips and avocado slices - each chilled from a bowl of crushed ice. 89-1     

2016 1st Half Summary - Whites+


The Whites+, consisting of 36 whites, 5 rosés and 5 bubblies tasted from January 1st through June 30th this year, are listed in rating sequence below.  Shown in brackets is the month of tasting where my original notes can be found.  Nine wines rated 90 and above are considered enjoyable to excellent either to sip or with a meal. Those 85 to 89 are increasingly enjoyable while those 84 and below have progressive degrees of being less desirable as the rating approaches 80.  See the side panel for details.

The value that is hyphenated to the rating indicates whether a wine is 'worth the price', one that I'd buy in 'multiples', or one I'd buy in 'quantity'.

Consider this one person's view and perhaps a starting point for finding bargain wines. Click here for the 2016 1st half Reds.

Cheers, Ww

Whites (36)

  1. Cave Spring Estate Bottled Chardonnay Musqué 2013 VQA Beamsville Bench, 92-3  --  V,  Beamsville, Ontario, #246579  $16.95  (Mar)
  2. Gray Monk Pinot Auxerrois 2014 VQA Okanagan Valley, 91-2  --  V, Kelowna, BC, #BC096222,  $14.79  (Apr)
  3. Domaine Salmon Grande Réserve Muscadet Sur Lie 2014, 91-2  --  V, Loire, France, #438309  $16.95  (May)
  4. Vieni Estates Chardonnay 2012 VQA Vinemount Ridge, 91-2  --  V,  Beamsville, Ontario,  #388371  $18.25  (Apr)
  5. Joie Farm - A Noble Blend 2014 VQA, 91-2 --  O, Naramata, BC, #BC882027  $20.99 (Feb)
  6. Chateau l'Argenteyre 2010,  91-2  --  V, Medoc, France,  #441246  $22.95  (POV Feb)
  7. Konzelmann Estate Winery Unoaked Chardonnay 2014 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 90-2  --  G, Ontario, Canada, #200535  $10.65*  (Feb)
  8. Oro de Castilla Verdejo 2014, 90-2  --  V, Rueda, Spain, #745562  $15.95   (Jun)
  9. Charles Bove Vouvray 2014, 90-2  --  V,  Loire, France, #448563  $17.95  (Jun)

  • Casa do Arrabalde Avesso/Alvarinho/Arinto 2014, 89-2  --  V,  Minho, Portugal, #429324  $14.95 (Mar) 
  • Ontanon Vetiver Rioja Viura Blanco 2013, 89-2  --  V,  Rioja, Spain,  #437707  $15.95  (POV Mar)
  • Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gris 2014 VQA Okanagan Valley, 89-1  --  V, Oliver, BC, #BC530683, $17.49  (Apr)
  • Cave Spring Estate Bottled Chardonnay 2012 VQA Beamsville Bench, 89-1  --  V, Jordan, Ontario, #256552   $18.95  (Mar)
  • Vina Cobos Felino Chardonnay 2014, 89-1 --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #119099  $19.95  (Feb)
  • Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 89-1  --  V, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #172338 $22.95  (Jan)
  • Domaine Zinck Pinot Blanc 2014, 88-1  --  V, Alsace, France, #435040  $16.75  (May)
  • Chloe Chardonnay 2014, 88-1  --  G, Sonoma California, #392597  $17.95*  (Mar)
  • Vieni Sauvignon Blanc 2013 VQA Vinemount Ridge, 88  --  V, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery  $19.95  (Apr)
  • Tawse Sketches of Niagara Chardonnay 2012 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 88-1  --  V, Vineland, Ontario, #089037  $19.95  (Jun)
  • Vina Cobos Felino Chardonnay 2014, 88-1  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #119099  $19.95  (Mar)
  • Woodwork Central Coast Chardonnay 2013, 87-1  --  G, Sonoma, California, #428805 $16.95 (Jan)
  • Cave de Ribeauvillé Collection Pinot Gris 2014, 87  --  V, Alsace, France, #390633  $19.95  (Feb)
  • Cannonball Chardonnay 2013, 87  --  V, Sonoma County, California, #311563  $22.95  (Jan)
  • Te Whare RA Sauvignon Blanc 2014, 87  --   Renwick, Marlborough, #411603 $24.95  (Jan)
  • Zuccardi Serie A Chardonnay Viognier 2014, 86  --  V, Valle de Uco, Argentina, #262097  $15.95  (Jun)
  • Cave Spring Estate Bottled Chardonnay Musqué 2014 VQA Niagara Escarpment, 86 --  V,  Niagara, Ontario, #246579 $16.95  (May)

  • Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2014,  84  --  G,  Marlborough, New Zealand, #415745 $14.95*  (May)
  • Vieni Pinot Grigio 2013 VQA Vinemount Ridge, 84  --  V, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery  $14.95  (Apr)
  • The Crusher Viognier Wilson Vineyard 2013, 84  --  V,  Clarksburg, Napa, California, #361964  $16.95  (Feb)
  • Henschke Tilly's Vineyard 2013, 84 -- V, Adelaide Hills, Australia, #061705  $26.95  (Jan)
  • Daniel Lenko Chardonngay Unoaked Chardonnay 2012 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 82  --  Disc., Beamsville, Ontario, #260398  $12.10* (Jan)
  • Secreto Patagonia Chardonnay 2012, 82  --  V, Patagonia, Argentina, #380055  $16.25  (Jun)
  • Mauro Chardonnay 2014 IGT,  81  --  G, Puglia, Italy, #404491   $12.30  (Apr)
  • Mike Weir Chardonnay VQA Niagara Peninsula 2014,  81  --  G,  Beamsville, Ontario, #000026  $13.95*  (Feb)
  • Willm Réserve Riesling 2014, NR  --  V, Alsace, France, #011452  $15.95  (Feb)
  • Clay Station Unoaked Viognier 2014, 77NR  --  V, Lodi, California, #025411  $16.95  (Jun)

Roses (5)

  • Saint Clair Family Estate Premium Pinot Gris Rosé 2015, 90-2  --  V,  Marlborough, New Zealand, #451740  $16.95  (Jun)
  • Muga Rioja Rosé 2015, 89-2  --  V, Haro, Spain, #603795  $13.95  (May)
  • Cave Spring Dry Rosé 2014 VQA Niagara Escarpment, 88-1  --  G, Jordan, Ontario, #295006  $14.95   (Mar)
  • Vieni Bruce Trail Rosé Sparkling NV VQA Ontario,  85  --  G,  Beamsville, Ontario, #452276  $ 15.95 (Apr)
  • Pillitteri Blossom Rosé 2013 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, 82  --  G, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #441188  $13.95   (Mar)

Bubblies (5)

  • Zuccardi Blanc de Blancs Cuvée Especial 2008, 92-2  --  V,  Tupungato, Argentina, #435438  $19.95
  • Bottega Petalo il Vino Dell'Amore Moscato NV, 89-2  --  G, Montebelluna, Italy, #588780 $12.95   (Mar)
  • Il Sodale Moscato d'Asti 2014, 88-1  --  V, Piedmont, Italy, #422444   $16.95  (Mar)
  • Canella Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG 2014, 87-1  --  V, Veneto, Italy, #435503  $16.75 (Jun)
  • Cave de Beblenheim Brut Rosé Crémant d'Alsace NV,  87  --  V, Beblenheim, France, #168948  $18.95 (Jan)

2016 1st Half Summary - Reds


The 46 Reds tasted from January 1st through June 30 this year are listed below sequenced by rating.  Shown in brackets is the month of tasting where the original notes can be found.  There are 16 wines rated 90 and above. These are considered not lacking in any aspect and are excellent to sip and/or as a complement to a meal.  Another sixteen in the 85 to 89 range are enjoyable but lack in minor degrees of fullness, varietal character or some other element. 

Fourteen are rated 84 and below which although consumable are not necessarily enjoyable in some way - some will see this as a defect. See the side panel for more background.

The value that is hyphenated to the rating indicates whether a wine is 'worth the price', one that I'd buy in 'multiples', or one I'd buy in 'quantity'.  Click here for the 2016 1st half WHITES+.

Consider this one person's view and perhaps a starting point if it helps.

Cheers, Ww

Reds (46)

  1. Lamadrid Single Vineyard Reserva Malbec 2012, 94-3  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #234492  $17.00  (May)
  2. Luis Felipe Edwards Reserva Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, 93-3  --  G, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #308189  $13.90 (May)
  3. Tyrrell's Rufus Stone Shiraz 2012, 93-3  --  V, Victoria, Australia, #091488  $22.95  (Jan)
  4. Wakefield Promised Land Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, 92c-3  -- G,  Auburn, South Australia, #358838  $14.95  (Jun)
  5. Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha 2014,  92-2  --  V,  Borja, Spain, #273748  $19.95   (Jun)
  6. Meandro do Vale Meao 2012, 92-2  --  V, Douro, Portugal, #244731   $24.95  (Jan)
  7. Bodega Don Cristobal 1492 Barrel Selection Shiraz 2012, 91-2  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #236133 $15.95  (Mar)
  8. Toneles Tonel 22 Malbec 2012, 91-2  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #415018  $17.95   (Mar)
  9. I Vasari Old Vines Barba Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2011, 91a-2  --  V, Abruzzi, Italy, #289991  $19.95  (Feb)
  10. Chateau l'Argenteyre 2010,  91-2  --  V, Medoc, France,  #441246  $22.95  (POV Feb)
  11. Alberto Furque Malbec 2013, 90-2  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #366112  $16.95  (Mar)
  12. Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2012,  90-2  --  V,  Columbia Valley, Washington, #240093  $17.95  (POV Apr)
  13. Terrazas de Los Andes Reserva Malbec 2013,  90-2  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #029280   $18.95  (Apr)
  14. Antico Sigillo Primitivo di Manduria 2013, 90-2  --  V, Taranto, Italy,  #439596  $19.95  (Mar)
  15. Barao de Vilar Proeza 2012, 90-2  --  V, Dão, Portugal, #427187  $13.95 (May)
  16. Falernia Reserva Carmenére 2013,  90-1  --   V,  Valle de Elqui, Chile,  #269175  $19.95  (POV Apr)

  • Valdemar Fincas Valdemacuco Roble 2012, 89-1  --  V, Ribera del Duero, Spain, #417683  $17.25   (Jun)
  • Montes Alpha Syrah 2012, 89-1  --  V, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #000612  $19.95  (Jan)
  • Hardy's Bankside Shiraz 2012, 88-1  --  G, Reynella, Australia, #333948  $14.95  (May)
  • Bellingham Ancient Earth Pinotage 2014, 88-1a  --  V, Western Cape, S. Africa, #438317  $14.95  (Mar)
  • Penthouse Pinot Noir 2013, 88a-1  --  V, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, #432864  $16.95  (Feb)
  •  Vina Cobos Felino Malbec 2014,  88-1 --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #118067  $19.95  (Mar)
  • Wakefield Promised Land Shiraz 2014, 87a (90c-2)  --  G, Auburn, South Australia, #441543  $14.95  (Jun)
  • Irony Merlot Napa Valley 2012,  87  --  V, California, USA, #183186  $17.95*  (Jan)
  • Dauvergne Ranvier Grand Vin Cotes du Rhone-Villages 2013, 87a  --  V,  Rhône, France, #436907  $18.95  (Jun)
  • Woodwork Pinot Noir 2013 (Batch #7), 87-1  --  G, Sonoma, California, #428839  $13.95*  (Feb)
  • The Wanted Zin Old Vines Zinfandel IGT 2014, 86-2 --  G, Puglia, Italy, #416487  $13.95  (POV Mar)
  • Muga Reserva Rioja 2011, 86  --  V, Haro, Spain, #177345  $23.95  (Feb)
  • Crios Limited Edition Red Blend 2013,  85a  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #366146  $14.95  (Feb)
  • Vieni Briganti Red 2012 VQA Ontario, 85  --  V, Beamsville, Ontario, #435792  $ 12.95  (Apr)
  • Year of the Monkey Pinot Noir 2014, 85  --  G, Baden, Germany, #425108  $14.95  (Jan)
  •  Ascheri Barbera d'Alba DOC 2013, 85a  --  G, Piedmont Italy, #219790 $16.15  (Jun)
  
  • Ravenswood Vintners Blend Old Vine Zinfandel 2013, 84  --   V, Acampo, California, #359257  $15.95*  (May)
  • Xavier 100% Côtes du Rhône 2012 vins d'Experts, 84  --  V, Rhône, France, #437079   $17.00  (Apr)
  • Marchesi de' Frescobaldi Tenuta di Castiglioni 2012, 84  --  V, Tuscany, Italy, #145920  $18.95*   (Feb) 
  • Trapiche Broquel Malbec 2014, 83a  --  G,  Mendoza, Argentina, #234385  $14.95*  (Mar)
  • Folonari Valpolicella Ripasso Classico 2014,  83  --  G,  Veneto, Italy, #481838  $15.95*  (May)
  • Vieni Bruce Trail Red 2011 VQA Ontario, 82  --  G, Beamsville, Ontario, #452169  $ 12.95  (Apr)
  • Meandro Do Vale Meao 2012, 82NR  --  V,  Douro, Portugal,  #244731  $24.95  (Mar)
  • Hahn Pinot Noir Monterey Count 2014, 83a --  G, Soledad, California, #226555  $18.95  (Feb)
  • Cline Family Cellars Lodi Zinfandel 2013, 81a  --  G, Sonoma, California, #489278  $16.55  (Jan)
  • Forward Bold Malbec Cabernet 2015, 81NR  --  G, Pelee Island, Ontario*, #427351  $9.45*  (May)
  • Beronia Tempranillo Rioja 2012,  81NR  --  G, Rioja, Spain, #243055  $12.90  (May)
  • Gnarly Head Pinot Noir 2013, 80NR  --   G, Manteca, California, #358911  $14.95  (May)
  • Clos du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, 80a  --  V, Geyserville, California, #308304  $15.95  (Jan)
  • Carmen Premier Reserva Carmenére 2015, NR*  --  O, Valle de Colchagua, Chile,  #Gift  $xx.xx  (Apr)