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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Miguel Torres Ibéricos Crianza 2010 (Spain) - Wine Review



Somehow I missed posting this red wine review of a bottle I opened a . The 2011 vintage of this wine was released in VINTAGES in September and is still quite readily available in stores.

MIGUEL TORRES IBÉRICOS CRIANZA 2010 - DOC Rioja, Spain (#381046) (XD) - $16.95

Wine Review of 2010 Miguel Torres Ibéricos Crianza from DOC Rioja, Spain
Tasting Note:
100% Tempranillo. Woodsy, cedar and currant aromas from the cork. Medium-intensity aromas featuring sour cherry, wet earth, berry, and sweet spice aromas with much of the same, fruit-forward flavours on the palate. It's medium-bodied and dry with fresh acids and ripe tannins. Balanced oak is definitely in the background. Decent length on the finish that shows hints of prune. Easy drinking, well-made, weekday wine. Score: 87 pts



Saturday, December 13, 2014

Parés Baltà Calcari 2013 (Spain) - Wine Review

Tonight's white wine is organic & biodynamic and comes from a family-owned winery with traditions dating back to 1970 (although you wouldn't have guessed it given the very modern look of the label.) It is available by Consignment only via Trialto Wine Group.

PARÉS BALTÀ CALCARI 2013 - DO Penedès, Spain (#781286) (XD) - $16.95

Wine Review of 2013 Parés Baltà Calcari from DO Penedès, Spain
Tasting Note:
Made using 100% Xarel-lo, a grape traditionally used to make Cava. Screw cap. Medium intensity nose with lemony and grapefruit aromas. Medium-full bodied with very chalky, mineral mouthfeel with tarty lemon, grapefruit pith and salty flavours on the dry palate. Fresh, balanced acids and a long, tart finish. Would serve this with oily foods such as fish & chips. Score: 87 pts

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Torres Gran Coronas Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2010 (Spain) - Wine Review

With the snowy and relatively cold weather we're having right now, it's always nice to open up a bottle of red wine, preferably from some place warm, such as is this Cab from Spain. I opened this at our annual building pot luck holiday party. It is a VINTAGES Essential product and always available in the VINTAGES section at the LCBO.

TORRES GRAN CORONAS CABERNET SAUVIGNON RESERVA 2010 - DO Penedès, Spain (#036483) (D) - $19.95

Wine Review of 2010 Torres Gran Coronas Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva from DO Penedès, Spain
Tasting Note:
Cherry and fresh cedar aromas from the cork. Savoury nicotine, smoky and earthy nose, followed by herbal and blackberry aromas of medium+ intensity. Palate is medium-bodied with lively acids. Oak spice, red & black cherry, herbal flavour profile. Medium+ level tannins and a long, warm, oak-spiced and bitter chocolate finish. Spice calmed down to a more pleasing level with air. Score: 87 pts

Friday, December 5, 2014

Château Palmer Wine Tasting

Château Palmer Wine Tasting
On , I attended a very special tasting of fine wines produced by world-renowned Château Palmer. This tasting was hosted by Eurovintage Wines & Spirits at the The National Club and featured 6 wines from this famous producer. The timing of this tasting coincided with the Château Palmer dinner that was organized by VINTAGES and taking place later that evening.

The first wine available for tasting was from their Alter Ego label. Given the expansive history of this house that began with the English General Charles Palmer in the early 1800s, the first vintage of Alter Ego wines is practically a baby - beginning only in 1998. This wine shows much of the same finesse, elegance, aromatic richness, harmony and length that is found in their main label, but with a much more approachable price tag.

Palmer was very much interested in the vineyards and wines of this estate, and by 1836 had owned 82 hectares of vines on this prized Margaux site in Bordeaux. The elegantly towered château that currently sits on the site was constructed in 1855 and I'm sure has many stories to tell. I hope to visit the site one of these days. In 1938, when fortunes turned for the worse, the heirs of Palmer had to sell the estate and it has since been turned over to families in England, Holland and France. In the years since, there has been a large focus on producing red wines that show character and terroir at Château Palmer.

We then proceeded to tasted 4 Château Palmer wines from vintages spanning 21 years, ranging from 2004 to 1983. This was an excellent vertical tasting which showed that their wines are approachable now, built-to-last and can gracefully age over the years. All were fantastic quality and very enjoyable to drink right now. As you will see from the wine reviews below, my favourite of the bunch was the 1999 vintage, which appeared to be approaching its prime drinking window, yet still had plenty of stuffing to be cellared for another two decades.

Director, The Americas - Jean-Louis Carbonnier (left)
My second favourite wine was the 1983 Château Palmer. I refrained from tasting the first bottle as other wine folks before me had commented that it was off. The second bottle, which I tasted from, was outstanding! This was easily the oldest wine I had ever tasted. Very mature nose and palate, with balanced acids, alcohol, fruit and tannin. From all the excitement of tasting a wine that was nearly as old as me, I missed taking a picture of the bottle! Oh well... c'est la vie!

The last wine I tasted was the Historical XIXth Century Wine which, as described by Jean-Louis, is an experimental wine and an ode to the winery's past. It was discovered that more than 150 years ago, blending fine Bordeaux wines, including Château Palmer, with grapes from the Northern Rhône was a relatively common practice. This practice came to a halt when AOC regulations were put into place. Given that this wine does not meet the AOC regulations, you will notice that there is no vintage on the label, and it is designated "Vin de France".

Upon departing the tasting and taking some time to reflect, one word comes to mind when describing the wines of Château Palmer - elegant. These red wines have firm tannins, but are elegantly styled with excellent balance between fruit, oak, acids, and alcohol. For the most part, these wines can be enjoyed right now, but can be aged for a period ranging in the decades.

All of these wines are available for order, some in very limited quantities, until through the vintagesshoponline.com website.


Tasting Notes:
ALTER EGO 2008 - AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#403311) (XD) - $139.00
Blend of 52% Merlot and 48% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas of medium-high intensity showing elegant woodsmoke, earthy notes, and touches of sweet ripe black cherry and blackberry. Medium-bodied palate is elegant and juicy with pleasing aroma replays. Acids are nicely balanced, while tannins are refined and silky smooth. Long, smooth, bitter-tasting finish. Lovely! Score: 91 pts

Wine Review of 2008 Alter Ego from AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France

CHÂTEAU PALMER 2004 - AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#403303) (XD) - $415
This blend of 47% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot has aromas of medium+ intensity and an elegant, seductive nose consisting of red berries, currants, wet tilled earth, blackberry, plum and barnyard. Medium-to-full bodied with good structure and finesse, along with very nice aroma replays on the palate. Nicely balanced acids, as well as balance between fruit and oak. Taut tannins are otherwise smooth and crunchy. Hints of black pepper and minty herbal notes on the very long finish. Enjoyable now, but I would cellar this another 3-4 years and drink up to a decade from now. Score: 92 pts

Wine Review of 2004 Château Palmer from AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France

CHÂTEAU PALMER 1999 - AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#188664) (XD) (1500 mL) - $889
Tasted from the 750 mL bottle. Final blend consisting of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, and 6% Petit Verdot. Highly aromatic nose featuring lovely mulberry, blackberry, currant, earthy, leather, along with hints of cassis and licorice. It's medium-to-full bodied with flavours of crushed black fruits, black pepper, sweet spice, plum and oak. Still feels very fresh and youthful with vibrant, mouth-watering acids. Excellent length on the finish. At 15 years old, this is enjoyable now, but big tannins seem a bit young and should develop nicely over the next 15-20 years. My favourite wine of the tasting. Score: 93 pts

Wine Review of 1999 Château Palmer from AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France

CHÂTEAU PALMER 1995 - AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#403287) (XD) - $529
Blend of 51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 9% Cabernet Franc. Medium+ intensity aromas with mature dried fruits, exotic spice, sweet vanillan, tomato leaf, dried currant, and hints of nut and raisin. It's full-bodied with aroma replays following through on the flavour profile. Has balanced acids, while fine-grained tannins are sinewy and smooth. Very long, dry finish is slightly chalky and has some mature nutty and vanillan flavours. Enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 91 pts

Wine Review of 1995 Château Palmer from AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France

CHÂTEAU PALMER 1983 - AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#403279) (XD) - $1,479
Back in 1983, some Cabernet Franc (4%) was added to the blend that consisted of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. Medium-high intensity aromas immediately come off as mature - dried currants, red fruits, floral, cedar oak, mocha and some earthy notes. It's medium-to-full bodied with lovely aroma replays and also notes of sweet spice, tobacco and hints of mushroom. Acids are very good, balanced. Hints of sweet vanillan on the excellent, lengthy finish. Drying tannins could hold up to 5 more years, or drink now. Expect some sediment. Score: 95 pts

HISTORICAL XIXth CENTURY L20.07 - Vin de France (#403329) (XD) - $499
This blend contains equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah which was added after ageing. It has medium-high intensity, lifted nose consisting of red & black fruits, black peppercorn, and cedar aromas. On the palate, it's medium+ bodied with flavours of blackberry, currant, cassis, peppercorn and leather. Has mouth-watering acids and big, drying tannins. Complex with good structure, it has elegant oak spice notes and an excellent, lengthy finish. Score: 90 pts

Wine Review of Historical XIXth Century L20.07 from France