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  • Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wine Reviews - 2012 Gourmet Food & Wine Expo

Cornerstone Estate Wine Bottles Being Chilled
Here are my wine reviews from the 2012 Gourmet Food & Wine Expo that was held last month at the Metro Convention Centre in downtown Toronto. To see my full review of the event, go here.

At the K&S Wine Imports booth, located in the VINES Fine Wine and Intervin Lounge, I tasted two wines from Dreissigacker. It's a shame that neither of these wines are available at the LCBO. However, they can be ordered via K&S Wine Imports.

DREISSIGACKER RIESLING 2011 - Rheinhessen, Germany (D) - $23.00
Mineral, lime and floral aromas with very fine, mineral-driven replays on the palate. Round and off-dry with moderate acidity. Well-balanced throughout. Crowd-pleaser. Score: 88-89 pts

DREISSIGACKER BECHTHEIMER RIESLING 2011 - Rheinhessen, Germany (D) - $35.00
Mineral, floral and some peach aromas. Off-dry with a very lively acidity and aromas replays that temper into a long-lasting, minerally finish. Very nice! Score: 90-91 pts

COYOTE'S RUN RARE VINTAGE MERITAGE 2010 - VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $32.95
Smoky, blackberry, currant, raspberry and oak aromas with fruit and oak replays on palate. Lively acidity and full-bodied, but still a bit tight with chalky and grippy tannins. I would cellar for 2 years. Score: 88 pts

CORNERSTONE ESTATE GEWURZTRAMINER 2010 - Barrel aged, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (D) - $14.00
Barrel aged for 10 months. Honeysuckle and lychee aromas. Oily texture and off-dry with more lychee and honey with some nutty notes. A touch hot towards the short finish. Score: 87 pts

CORNERSTONE ESTATE CABERNET FRANC 2008 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $16.00
Smoky barrels and dark fruit nose. Medium-full bodied with dark currant and mulberry on the palate. Round and well-balanced with bright acidity and a medium-length finish. Tannins a bit chalky and has 1-2 years further aging potential. Score: 88 pts

CORNERSTONE ESTATE CHENIN BLANC 2009 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada - $19.00
Quite aromatic with fruity, sweet citrus nose. Citrus and some lime palate gives way to high acidity. Light-bodied with a medium-length finish. Not complicated, and very easy to drink. A crowd-pleaser that would make a good apertif. Score: 87-88 pts

Unfortunately, no Cornerstone wines are available at the LCBO. But all can be purchased online through their website or by visiting the winery. I spent quite a bit of time speaking with President Jerry Kopanski and am looking forward to visiting this winery in the near future.

The next two wines were tasted at the Trialto booth. Both of these wines are available at the LCBO, but can also be purchased by the case directly from Trialto.

CHÂTEAU PIPEAU 2009 - Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France (#302018) (XD) - $34.95
90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. Lots of big oak, currant and dark fruit aromas. Gobs of chunky, dark fruits on palate that is joined by coffee and chocolate notes. French barrel oaking shines through on this very big, full-bodied Merlot. It's well-balanced, has very good acidity and a long finish. Score: 91 pts.

CATENA ALTA MALBEC 2009 - Mendoza, Argentina (#982355) (XD) - $49.95
Gorgeous ripe blackberry, and raspberry aromas. Medium-bodied with ripe dark fruits, and sweet, sexy vanillan on the palate. Balanced wine with a long finish. Lovely! Score: 92 pts

The following wine review was one of two tasted at the Wines of Georgia pavilion. I've always been intrigued by wines from this very old wine-region (recently discovered as quite possibly the oldest wine region ever). The second wine was a semi-sweet table red wine that was not my cup of tea. However, if you like sweet red table wines, then you should definitely look at the Georgia and it's neighbours. Get in touch with United Stars.

QVEVRIS 2011 - Georgia (XD) - $13.55
This white wine has a nose of cumin and other mild Asian spices. Light-bodied with a chalky/tannic mouthfeel. Flavours of fennel and black licorice. Slightly off-dry. Different. This will be available at the LCBO in the near future.

These two French wines were tasted at the large Wines of France booth. I've been impressed previous Rodet wines, and thought to give these entry-level wines a shot. Both are commendable efforts for the price and readily available at the LCBO.

ANTONIN RODET CÔTES-DU-RHÔNE 2010 - AC Côtes-du-Rhône, France (#008979) (XD) - $12.95
Red-blend. Closed nose with dark berries and hints of oak with more of the same on the palate. Evident tannin, well-balanced with a long finish. It's an easy-drinking, crowd-pleaser of a red. Score: 87-88 pts

ANTONIN RODET SYRAH 2010 - Vin de Pays d'Oc, Languedoc, France (#293035) (XD) - $11.95
Blueberry and currant aromas. Medium-bodied with mint, black currants, and ripe fruits on the palate. Round and balanced with integrated tannins. Medium-length finish. Score: 87 pts

The final two wines I tasted at the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo were from the local winery Hidden Bench Vineyards & Winery, located in Beamsville, Ontario. Both wines were yummy.

HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE RIESLING 2011 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#183491) (XD) - $24.00
Clean and fresh aromas of lime and minerality. Lots of zesty citrus with zippy acidity on the palate that finishes with some tart lime. Well-balanced with a medium-length finish. Needs some time to soften. Score: 89 pts

HIDDEN BENCH TERROIR CACHÉ - RED MERITAGE 2008 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#505610) (XD) - $35.20
Blend of 47% Merlot, 22% Cab Franc, 21% Cab Sauv and 10% Malbec. Lots of oak and smoky aromas with underlying dark fruits. Full-bodied with bright acidity and more dark fruit and tobacco flavours on the palate. Grippy tannins could use another 2-3 years in cellar, but drinking well now. Score: 90 pts


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