Saturday, July 21, 2018

First image of this post
  • Saturday, July 21, 2018

Cantalici (Tuscany) Winemaker's Dinner at Mangia et Bevi



Cantalici Winemaker's Dinner at Mangia et Bevi
Last , I had the pleasure of tasting the wines from Tuscany's Cantalici Winery with Winemaker Carlo Cantalici and Export Manager Angela Butini at Mangia et Bevi in the eastern end of downtown Toronto.

After everyone arrived, we sat down at the long, communal-style dinner table and Angela and Carlo began telling us about their winery and taking us through the wines with course from the delicious 4-course meal, eventually ending the night with some Vin Santo.
The winery L'Antica Fornace di Ridolfo was formed by Carlo and his brother Daniele in Castagnoli, a small medieval hamlet close to the village of Gaiole in Chianti. It was named after an ancient kiln that was built in the 16th century by a wealthy Florentine family, and the kiln was preserved and integrated into the winery when Carlo and Daniele purchased the property in the late 1990's. Today, the estate has three properties in different areas of Chianti spread out over 90 hectares of hand-harvested vineyards, at altitudes from 300 to 450 metres above sea level.

The most interesting wine of the night was the 2012 Chianti Classico as it really blossomed over the course of the evening.

Thank you to AMV-Whiz for the invitation and hosting this event. It was a lovely evening with fine wines, delicious food, and very good conversation. You may find these wines at the LCBO, but can otherwise contact AMV-Whiz for availability.

Cantalici Winemaker Carlo Cantalici and Export Manager Angela Butini

Tasting Notes:

CANTALICI PETALI ORGANIC ROSÉ 2016 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#314004) (XD) - $18.15
100% Sangiovese. Medium intensity nose that has attractive herbal, strawberry and citrus notes. It's dry on the structured palate with balanced acids and a touch glycerin like texture. The mid-palate is spiced and finishes with blood orange and strawberry flavours, with good length. Score: 87 pts

Cantalici Petali Organic Rosé 2016 (87 pts)

CANTALICI CHIANTI CLASSICO 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#314012) (XD) - $25.15
A blend of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, quite shy initially, but eventually opens up beautifully with cinnamon, clove, sweet oak spice, dark cherry and rose flowers, all of which come through in spades on the medium-bodied palate with nicely integrated tannins and very good acidity. It has a medium-long finish. Give this a short decant (1 hour) prior to serving and drink over the next 3-5 years. Score: 90 pts

Cantalici Chianti Classico 2012 (90 pts)Cantalici Baruffo Chianti Classico 2013 (88 pts)

CANTALICI BARUFFO CHIANTI CLASSICO 2013 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#315795) (XD) - $25.15
100% Sangiovese. This has a medium+ intensity nose in a (new) wood and dark profile with dark berry/cherry, blackberry and oak spice aromas. It's medium-full bodied on the palate with tannins a touch chalky. This has nice aroma replays that are oak influenced with clove and sweet oak spices. Acids are fresh and the finish length is very good. Still young, should improve in 2-3 years. Score: 88 pts

CANTALICI MESSER RIDOLFO CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#315787) (XD) - $33.60
This 100% Sangiovese is named after the 1st owner of the property and who was also mayor of the town. It has a medium-high intensity nose with red berry, cherry, and subtle oak spices. The palate is richly concentrated with more dark cherry, berry and oak spices. Tannins are well-integrated, acids are juicy and the finish length is very good. Score: 89 pts

Cantalici Messer Ridolfo Chianti Classico Riserva 2011 (89 pts)Cantalici Baruffo Chianti Classico Riserva 2012 (90+ pts)

CANTALICI BARUFFO CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#541078) (XD) - $35.95
100% Sangiovese from vines planted 500 metres above sea-level, this has medium-high intensity aromas of sweet oak spice, floral, and dark berries. It is full-bodied and richly structured with smooth tannins and lovely aroma replays. Acids are mouth-watering and the finish length is excellent. Has the stuffing to age 10 years. Released into LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 90+ pts


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

First image of this post
  • Wednesday, July 18, 2018

J. Lohr October Night Chardonnay 2015 (California) - Wine Review

wine is a frequent visitor to the LCBO, and mostly recently arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on . You can still find this yummy white wine in the VINTAGES section at your local LCBO.

Produced by a well-known Californian winery, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines was formed in the early 1970's when founder Jerry Lohr chose Monterey County's Arroyo Seco district for its cool, windy climate and rocky soils, which are ideal for Chardonnay. The establishment and growth of J. Lohr Vineyards & Winery resulted in the emergence of Central Coast as a world-class winegrowing region, with Jerry Lohr recognized as one of the region's pioneers.

The vineyards for this white wine are located in J. Lohr's Block 9 plantings in the Arroyo Seco AVA of Monterey County, near the mouth of the Arroyo Seco River in a slightly more wind-protected environment. The loamy soils are laden with "Greenfield potatoes" - stones that resemble potatoes in size and appearance.

J. Lohr October Night Chardonnay 2015 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

J. LOHR OCTOBER NIGHT CHARDONNAY 2015 - Arroyo Seco, Monterey County, California, USA (#225375) (XD) - $34.95
Aged in French barrels (50% new) sur lie for 10 months. Baked apple with hints of vanilla and smoke aromas from the cork. Pours a fairly deep yellow gold colour. The ripe medium+ intensity nose has aromas of baked apple, sweet vanilla oak, and tropical fruit notes with hints of yellow floral and marzipan. It's medium-full bodied on the sweet-edged palate with more baked apple and vanilla flavours, with bracing acids and some warmth on the mid-palate. Some toffee aromas and butterscotch flavours appear with time. Touch oxidative and bitter on the long finish. Best with a light chill. Score: 88 pts


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

First image of this post
  • Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Release July 21, 2018: BBQ Wines + Lodi

LCBO Wine Picks: July 21, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release focuses on BBQ wines as its main theme, while the mini-theme highlights wines from Lodi, California. All of these wines, plus other goodies throughout the Release will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves across Ontario this coming .

We'll begin with the main theme that highlights 18 wines for pairing with grilled items off the BBQ, of which 4 are included among my top wine picks. Red wines include a Carménère from Chile, while the Douro red is a blend of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca. For pairing with finely herbed chicken off the BBQ there is a Bandol Rosé that consists of Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Cinsault, while the Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is also suitable.

None of the 8 Lodi wines made my list of wine picks, so I'll just skip over that section.

Emiliana Coyam 2014 (91 pts)Pierre Amadieu Les Hautes Rives Cairanne 2015 (89 pts)

Among red wine recommendations from the rest of the Release, the lovely Rhône red from the excellent 2015 vintage is a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre, and 15% Syrah, while the Crianza is a blend of 85% Tempranillo and 15% Garnacha Tinta/Mazuelo. The blend in the organic Emiliana Coyam is led by Syrah and Carménère. Lastly, the Bordeaux blend consists of 57% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot.

Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2016 (88 pts)Mont Gravet Colombard 2017 (87 pts)

From my white wine picks, the Muscadet is made with Melon de Bourgogne, while the wine from Southwest, France, is made using Colombard, a varietal we don't see too often here in Ontario. The Pouilly-Fumé from Loire is made with Sauvignon Blanc. For sweet wine lovers, look for the off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) Gewürztraminer from Alsace, or the sweeter Riesling from Ontario.

Enjoy my top wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CUNE CRIANZA 2014 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#039925) (XD) - $16.95
  • APALTAGUA ENVERO GRAN RESERVA CARMÉNÈRE 2015 - DO Apalta, Colchagua Valley, Chile (#481010) (XD) - $18.95
  • PORCA DE MURÇA RESERVA TINTO 2014 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#684753) (XD) - $18.95
  • ARBOLEDA SINGLE VINEYARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - DO Aconcagua Valley, Chile (#606764) (XD) - $19.95  88 pts  wine review
  • PIERRE AMADIEU LES HAUTES RIVES CAIRANNE 2015 - AP, Rhône, France (#539890) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • ERNIE ELS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#278358) (XD) - $24.95
  • MOILLARD CUVÉE PRESTIGE RULLY 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#556407) (XD) - $28.95
  • EMILIANA COYAM 2014 - Los Robles Estate, DO Colchagua Valley, Chile (#063891) (XD) - $29.95  91 pts  wine review
  • DENIS PÈRE ET FILS PERNAND-VERGELESSES 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#559906) (XD) - $44.95  FE
  • CHÂTEAU TRONQUOY-LALANDE 2012 - AC Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux, France (#553008) (XD) - $57.95  FE
Arboleda Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (88 pts)

White Wine:

  • LE FILS DES GRAS MOUTONS MUSCADET SÈVRE-ET-MAINE SUR LIE 2016 - AC, Loire, France (#363150) (XD) - $14.95  88 pts  wine review
  • MONT GRAVET COLOMBARD 2017 - IGP Côtes de Gascogne, Southwest, France (#521930) (XD) - $15.95  87 pts  wine review
  • WITHER HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#919514) (XD) - $19.95
  • REDSTONE LIMESTONE VINEYARD SOUTH RIESLING 2016 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#381251) (M) - $19.95
  • HUNAWIHR KUHLMANN-PLATZ VIEILLES VIGNES GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2016 - AC Alsace, France (#169474) (D) - $19.95
  • RAPAURA SPRINGS RESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#388421) (XD) - $23.95
  • GÉNETIN POUILLY-FUMÉ 2015 - AP, Loire, France (#653154) (XD) - $28.95
  • LA CHABLISIENNE MONTMAINS CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#265090) (XD) - $34.95

Rosé Wine:

  • KIR-YIANNI AKAKIES XINOMAVRO ROSÉ 2017 - PGI Macedonia, Greece (#071050) (XD) $12.95  87 pts  wine review
  • CARTE NOIRE ROSÉ 2017 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#319384) (XD) - $18.95
  • HECHT & BANNIER BANDOL ROSÉ 2017 - AC, Provence, France (#450767) (XD) - $27.95
  • CHÂTEAU LÉOUBE ROSÉ DE LÉOUBE 2017 - AC Côtes de Provence, France (#491100) (XD) - $28.95
Kir-Yianni Akakies Xinomavro Rosé 2017 (87 pts)


Sunday, July 15, 2018

First image of this post
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018

Pierre Amadieu Les Hautes Rives Cairanne 2015 (Rhône) - Wine Review

To celebrate France's World Cup win, red wine is from the fantastic 2015 Rhône vintage that will be arriving in LCBO VINTAGES on .

It is produced by Pierre Amadieu, a winery that was established in 1929 with 7 hectares of vineyards in Gigondas that was passed on from generation to generation. Continued success allowed Pierre to grow and expand, eventually building a new winery in 1945. Pierre's son, Jean-Pierre joined the winery after he completed his business studies, and was followed by his brother Claude shortly thereafter. More recently, Claude's three children - Henri-Claude, Jean-Marie, and Marie - also joined the family's winemaking business.

I had the privilege to meet Henri-Claude Amadieu, grandson of Pierre, on a recent visit to the Rhône Valley. While I did not get the chance visit the winery (perhaps the next trip?), I did get a chance to taste some amazing wines - more on this to come.

Indeed, this is a family passionate about wine. Together, they strive to create wines of finesse and reflect their unique terroir, while holding a long-established family tradition of respect for the soil.

This particular wine comes from the Hautes Rives vineyards that are located on marl soils covered with pebble stones on the hillside slopes above the village of Cairanne, 200 metres above sea level. The vineyards are bordered by cliffs overlooking the Aygues River.

Pierre Amadieu Les Hautes Rives Cairanne 2015 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

PIERRE AMADIEU LES HAUTES RIVES CAIRANNE 2015 - AP, Rhône, France (#539890) (XD) - $19.95
A blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre, and 15% Syrah raised completely in stainless steel tanks. Plummy, black cherry and blackberry aromas from the cork. In the glass, this has enticing aromas of smoke, dark berry, and spice with savoury elements and hints of pepper, garrigue, and forest floor. It's medium-bodied with fine purity of fruit - lavender, pepper, dark berry/cherry, and spice flavours. Nicely textured with juicy, vibrant acids and smooth, refined tannins. Some mineral and smoky notes arrive on the long blackberry-pepper finish. Lovely wine to enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 89 pts


Friday, July 13, 2018

First image of this post
  • Friday, July 13, 2018

Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2016 (Loire) - Wine Review

wine is a sneak preview of a white wine that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

I liked the 2015 Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie when it showed up in LCBO VINTAGES in and am pleased to see this wine return at the same price point.

Produced by Domaine la Haute Févrie in the heart of the Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine protected designation of origin (DO), the estate vines grow on the hills overlooking the Sèvre, between Saint-Fiacre and Monnières.

In 2016, Muscadet vines in the Loire Valley were heavily affected by frost and hydric stress (i.e. lots of water). However, perfect weather conditions in September ensured that grapes were of high quality, resulting in wines that should have good texture and mouthfeel, and plenty of fruit. Let's see how this Muscadet is tasting.

Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2016 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

LE FILS DES GRAS MOUTONS MUSCADET SÈVRE-ET-MAINE SUR LIE 2016 - AC, Loire, France (#363150) (XD) - $14.95
100% Melon de Bourgogne hand-picked from 40-70 year-old vines. Lemony aromas from the cork. In the glass, the nose is subtle, offering apple and citrus aromas with hints of stony minerals. Very good intensity on the crunchy palate with green apple and tart citrus flavours, plus some mineral and fennel notes, Fresh with vibrant, lively acids and a light spritz on the medium-bodied frame that is nicely textured. Stony mineral with hints of herbal linger on the finish, with very good length. The ideal oyster wine, but can also paired with shrimp. Very good buy. Score: 88 pts


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

First image of this post
  • Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Mont Gravet Colombard 2017 (Southwest) - Wine Review

wine review is a white wine made using Colombard, a French white wine grape variety that is the offspring of Chenin Blanc and Gouais Blanc. Traditionally, this grape was grown in France for distilling into Cognac and Armagnac. Today, it is grown in South West France, Bordeaux, and in a few other wine regions around the world.

It is produced by Mont Gravet and hails from the appellation of Côtes de Gascogne, near the city of Toulouse, in the South West of France. The "Mont Gravet" name comes from the hills (i.e. "Mont" in French) in the area, while "Gravet" refers to the oval-shaped rocks commonly found in the area. This cool-climate area is ideal for viticulture with its Oceanic and Mediterranean influences. Mosaics, along with an excavation site revealed that wine-growing occurred as early as the 4th century.

This refreshing white wine will be arriving in LCBO VINTAGES on .

Mont Gravet Colombard 2017 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

MONT GRAVET COLOMBARD 2017 - IGP Côtes de Gascogne, Southwest, France (#521930) (XD) - $15.95
Screw cap. Aged on fine lees for 3 months. Fresh, clean and generous aromas of ripe peach, spring flower and pear, with some herbally hints. It is medium-bodied with clean, vibrant, and juicy acids supporting the ripe, slightly honeyed palate with citrus, peach, and herbal flavours. Good length on the finish with lemony notes. Score: 87 pts


First image of this post
  • Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Niagara Grape & Wine Festival 2017 - Day 2 of 2

Vineland Estates Bo-Teek Vineyard
Last , I visited Niagara twice over the course of the month to partake in the 66th Annual Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. You can read all about the activities here.

The fun-filled began at Vineland Estates Winery where we were given a guided tour of the property and facilities by David Hulley. The tour began on the patio over looking the prized Bo-Teek Vineyard with a gorgeous view of the Bench, and in the distance Lake Ontario, followed by a visit to the St. Urban Vineyard where some of Niagara's oldest Riesling vines (late '70's / early 80's) can be found. The winery is housed in picturesque structures that date back to the 1840's, including a former farmhouse, century barn, and a charming Carriage House. The tour concluded with a visit to the production facility, where I had the opportunity to get a closer look at their state-of-the-art optical sorting machine. This game changing machine accurately sorts up to 2,000 berries per second, separating lower quality grapes from the higher quality grapes. Vineland Estates is the only Canadian winery to have such technology.

Vineland Estates - New TanksVineland Estates - "Game Changer" Optical Sorting Machine

Beer and Cheddar Bisque paired with Vineland Estates Cabernet Franc

Following the tour, we headed downstairs to the tank room to enjoy their Discovery Pass Experience, which featured a Beer and Cheddar Bisque paired with their 2016 Vineland Estates Cabernet Franc (#594127, $14.95, 88 pts). The soup was made using Shawn & Ed's LagerShed Beer and Cow's Creamery 2-year-old Cheddar. It was creamy, if a touch sour, but offered nice balance when paired with the wine. A comfort pairing perfect for cooler months. After the food and wine pairing, we went to the tasting room to taste through some wines from their delicious portfolio. Wine reviews of some of these wines, plus others tasted on this day are provided below.

The second stop of the day was at Megalomaniac Winery. The wine pairing here was the 2016 Megalomaniac Selfie (#453506, $17.95, 86 pts), an easy-drinking, off-dry blend of Chardonnay Musqué, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling that paired very nicely with the small-proportioned Japanese-style buttermilk and panko-crusted chicken tenders, finished with a local freestone peach and ginger root glaze. The chicken tenders were very tasty, a little spicy, and when paired together with the off-dry white wine, the chicken tenders became even spicier and really enhanced the ginger flavours from the root glaze. A lively pairing that was really well done! Megalomaniac sits atop a hill, and relaxing on their outdoor patio while enjoying the view really enhanced the whole experience.

Megalomaniac Selfie paired with Japanese-Style Buttermilk and Panko-Crusted Chicken TendersPillitteri Estates Winery celebrating Canada 150 Potato Skins

Our third stop of the day was at Pillitteri Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, where they were celebrating Canada's 150th birthday by offering potato skins topped with ingredients from every province and territory in our great nation. With 13 ingredients making up this potato skin, you can bet there were going to be many flavours vying for your attention. Some of the ingredients included potatoes from Prince Edward Island (obviously), cheese from the three other Atlantic provinces, honey from Ontario, juniper berries from British Columbia, and Ox tail from the Yukon. Unfortunately, due to the complexity of this food item, and the fact that Pillitteri was very busy on this day, they weren't able to customize my potato skin. This led to me trying only a couple of bites before discarding it. Two wines were offered with this pairing - a choice of either the Pillitteri Gewurztraminer Riesling Fusion (#349126, $13.95) or the Pillitteri Cabernet Merlot ($20). I opted for the heartier Cab Merlot, thinking that it should go well with the starchy and complex, loaded potato skin. The Discovery Pass Experience was a bit of downer here for me, but I did get to taste some really special Icewines afterwards, which made the visit to Pillitteri worthwhile.

Coyote’s Run Estate Winery with Jamaican Jerk Glaze ChickenCoyote’s Run Estate Winery Barrel Room

The fourth and final stop of the day was a very interesting one at Coyote’s Run Estate Winery. The culinary creation here was a farm-raised chicken, slow-cooked in a Jamaican jerk glaze and topped with Your Farm Gate’s fresh Ontario peach chutney, while served on a bed of basmati rice salad. Once again, two wines were offered - the 2016 Coyote's Run Lambert Vineyard Riesling ($19.95, 87 pts) and the 2015 Coyote's Run Estate Cabernet Franc ($24.95, 88 pts). However, here at Coyote's Run we were encouraged to try both wines with the food pairing to see how they fare. The Jerk chicken was mildly flavoured and not spicy, while the Riesling was bordering on off-dry, bringing out peach flavours from the chutney and wine. With the Cab Franc, the pairing became earthier and comforting, along with some of the jerk spice flavours becoming more prominent. While this pairing was quite interesting, our visit went to a whole other level after we met Assistant Winemaker Chris Protonentis. He was able to give us a quick tour of the facility before heading to the cellar for some barrel sampling of a few wines coming down the pipeline.

This was another fine day spent touring Niagara Wine Country during the annual Grape and Wine Festival. And just like on the first day, I was able to bring home recipes of some of the food items so we could try them at home. Get in touch with me if you would like a copy of any of the recipes.

Tasting Notes:

VINELAND ESTATES ELEVATION CHARDONNAY 2014 - Bo-Teek Vineyard, VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#164459) (XD) - $25
The medium+ intensity aromas offer golden apple, pear, and butter notes with hints of hazelnut. It's medium-bodied on the somewhat creamy palate with balanced acids and nice aroma replays. The nutty finish has very good length. Score: 89 pts

Vineland Estates Elevation Chardonnay 2014 (89 pts)Vineland Estates Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling 2008 (91 pts)

VINELAND ESTATES ELEVATION ST. URBAN VINEYARD RIESLING 2008 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#038117) (MD) - $30
The highly aromatic nose is showing some maturity, offering lemon citrus with whiffs of petrol and hints of minerality. It's medium-bodied and nicely textured on the palate with acids that are still quite lively. Off-dry flavour profile with lovely lemon/lime citrus, honeyed peach and floral flavours. Excellent finish length. Will easily age another 10 years. Score: 91 pts

VINELAND ESTATES CABERNET FRANC RESERVE 2012 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $50
From a very good vintage, this has highly aromatic aromas of ripe blackberry, herbal, currant, cassis, mocha chocolate, and barnyard, all of which come through in appealing fashion on the medium+ bodied palate with smooth, refined tannins supported by very good, energetic acids. The smooth finish has excellent length. Score: 91+ pts

Vineland Estates Cabernet Franc Reserve 2012 (91+ pts)Megalomaniac Bespoke Pinot Noir 2015 (90+ pts)

MEGALOMANIAC BESPOKE PINOT NOIR 2015 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $49.95
Highly aromatic on the nose with elegant candied cherry, floral, raspberry, baking spice, and hints of minerality aromas. Fine tannins are light on the light-bodied palate with pretty aroma replays plus some oak spice elements that are lifted by fresh, bright acids. There's some structure to the palate and it's very well balanced. Great tension between fruit and oak. The long finish is a touch bitter. Score: 90+ pts

MEGALOMANIAC BESPOKE MERLOT 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $59.95
The intense aromas reveal lovely forest red berry, dark cherry, mocha, forest floor aromas with hints of bay leaf and evergreen. On the medium-full bodied palate, this offers layers red and black forest fruits, chocolate, blackberry, cedar oak and some floral nuances. Medium-level tannins offer some structure and is balanced with fresh acids. Textured, classy, and long finishing. Age 3-4 years and drink to 2027. 91 pts

Megalomaniac Bespoke Merlot 2015 (91 pts)Megalomaniac Bespoke Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (91+ pts)

MEGALOMANIAC BESPOKE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $59.95
The medium-high intensity nose offers lush cassis, blackcurrant, and hints of olive, game and earthiness. The palate is full-bodied with smooth, silky, and structured tannins. It has very nice aroma replays, followed by an earthy mid-palate. Bright acids provide lift, and the finish is long and smooth. Drink or hold until 2027. Score: 91+ pts

PILLITTERI VIDAL RESERVE ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $65
Fragrant and open with peach, apricot, lychee, orange citrus, honey and marmalade aromas. The palate is medium+ bodied and lush with delicate acids providing balanced freshness to complement the sweet aroma replays. The long finish is accented with some oak spice. Score: 91 pts

Pillitteri Vidal Reserve Icewine 2013 (91 pts)Pillitteri Gewurztraminer Icewine 2000 (90 pts)

PILLITTERI GEWURZTRAMINER ICEWINE 2000 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (200 mL) - $35
The medium-high intensity nose has a mature character, showing notes of molasses, burnt brown sugar, earth, and orange peel, in a slightly reductive style. It's medium-full bodied on the palate with smooth, silky, voluptuous and velvety mouthfeel with sweet, honeyed aroma replays. Palate still has some freshness. Excellent finish length. Such a treat to taste an Icewine at this age. Score: 90 pts

PILLITTERI CABERNET SAUVIGNON ICEWINE 2004 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $70
This has a medium-high intensity nose of dried cassis, dried red fruit and blackberry aromas. The palate is full bodied and sweet with raisiny, dried fig flavours lifted with very good acids, Long finishing with nice aroma replays. Score: 89 pts

Pillitteri Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine 2004 (89 pts)

COYOTE'S RUN ESTATE SYRAH 2015 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $34.95
From the red soil vineyard and matured for 18 months in an even split between Hungarian and French oak. The medium intensity nose seens closed, but offers complex glimpses of white pepper, meat, gamey, dark berry, earth, and savoury aromas. On the medium+ bodied palate, this offers crunchy tannins and very good acidity with balanced aroma replays that lean more towards fruit forward, with some savoury elements. The finish is long and clean. Very drinkable now, but I would age this for 2 years. Score: 89 pts

Coyote's Run Estate Syrah 2015 (89 pts)

COYOTE'S RUN ESTATE SYRAH 2016 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $34.95
Barrel sample. A mix of sweet and savoury bouquet with ripe dark berry, white pepper, sweet oak spice, and gamey notes. It's full-bodied on the palate with nice aroma replays. fresh acids, touch grippy tannins, and long finishing. Score: 89+ pts

COYOTE'S RUN RED PAW VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2016 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#079228) (XD) - $35
Barrel sample. Aged on the lees. This has floral, cherry, and earth aromas and flavours. It's light-weighted on the palate with structured tannins that are a touch grippy. Clean acids and a balanced, long finish. Score: 89 pts

Barrel Sampling with Chris Protonentis

COYOTE'S RUN BLACK PAW VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2016 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#116442) (XD) - $35
Barrel sample. This has a medium-high intensity nose featuring dark fruit, dark berry, tea leaf, and mineral aromas. It's light-to-medium bodied with more dark berry and dark fruit flavours lifted by fresh acids. It has grippy tannins and a long finish. Needs at least a couple of years to come together. Score: 90 pts


Blog Archive

Posts by Tag

Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget




  

Followers

Lists

OnToplist.com
BOTW Blogs - Vintages Wine Picks and Reviews
My Zimbio
blog search
Blogarama - Drinks & Beverages Blogs
Top Wine Sites
Wine blog
RSSChomp Blog Directory