Thursday, April 30, 2015

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  • Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wines of Donatella Cinelli Colombini (Tuscany)



Wines of Donatella Cinelli Colombini
, I had the pleasure of meeting Donatella Cinelli Colombini and tasting 8 of her wines at the Fine Wine Reserve. Donatella is a petite woman, but strong, and someone that I get a sense is very determined back home in Tuscany.

The history of the Colombini family dates back to 1592, when Donatella's ancestors began building Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda, while also paying taxes for the cultivation of Casato in Montalcino. They lost the property in Trequenda in disputes, but it eventually returned back to the family three hundred years later due to the efforts of Donatella's great-grandfather. Meanwhile, the Montalcino estate was always handed down, mostly from mother to daughter, and was eventually was handed over to Donatella. Later on, Donatella was appointed by her father to manage Fattoria del Colle.

Winemaking excellence began in the Colombini family in 1790, when Fattoria dei Barbi was founded. The heritage of Barbi continues on the labels of Dontella's wines with the (angled) shield on every wine. Furthermore, the Leono Rosso wine has a rampant lion on the label - this lion was the symbol of Donatella Cinelli Colombini's ancestors. Also found on the labels is a large white dove that appears to be flying away from the shield - this represents Donatella who is "fleeing the coop" so-to-speak from her ancestral roots.

Donatella Cinelli Colombini
Donatella has run the two estates since 1998 and has changed them dramatically by combining modern technology with tradition. Donatella has been a major force in the world of Italian wine, including conceptualizing "Cantine Aperte" - a nationwide day for winemakers to welcome visitors. She also salvaged the ancient Sienese rootstock "Foglia Tonda", a grape who's total acreage is apparently only 40 hectares worldwide, and now grown with much enthusiasm at Donatella's Fattoria del Colle estate in the relatively new DOC Orcia (inaugurated only in the year 2000.)

Casato Prime Donne winery was the first all-female winery in Italy, proving that producing great wines does not rely on gender, but on intelligence and spirit. Recently joining the team is world famous oenologist Valerie Lavigne. Hailing from Bordeaux, Valerie works on a team that consults with Chateau Marguax, Chateau d'Yquem, and Cheval Blanc. The only Italian winery that Valerie consults with is Donatella Cinelli Colombini.

All of these delicious wines are available through the winery's agent Le Sommelier via Consignment, except for the 2008 Brunello (which available via Private Order). Furthermore, at the time of this writing, there are a dozen bottles of the Brunello Riserva available in VINTAGES.

Tasting Notes:
2010 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Leone Rosso from DOC Orcia, Tuscany, Italy (88+ pts)2010 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Cenerentola from DOC Orcia, Tuscany, Italy (87 pts)2010 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Il Drago e le 8 Colombe from IGT Toscana, Italy (90+ pts)

DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI LEONE ROSSO 2010 - DOC Orcia, Tuscany, Italy (#) (XD) - $20.95
Blend of 60% Sangiovese and 40% Merlot. Medium+ intensity aromas with a musky, matchstick, and smoke nose with underlying red cherry and berry notes.. It's fairly light-weighted with fresh acidity and fruit-forward flavours of red cherry, currant and red berries. Matured 18 months in French oak, the tannins are well-integrated. Finish is medium-length with subtle oak spice notes. Made in a very approachable style. Score: 88+ pts

DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI CENERENTOLA 2010 - DOC Orcia, Tuscany, Italy (#) (XD) - $42.95
Blend of 65% Sangiovese and 35% of the relativey rare Foglia Tonda. Nose seemed somewhat closed but showed elegant florals and cherries. The palate is medium-to-full bodied with oak spice, red and black cherry, blackberry and leather notes. Medium level of tannins with integrated oak and balanced acids. Spice elements come to the fore on the mid-palate, while the finish is medium-long with currant flavours. This will pair well with bigger meat dishes. Score 87 pts

DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI IL DRAGO E LE 8 COLOMBE 2010 - IGT Tuscany, Italy (#) (XD) - $31.95
First vintage for winemaker Valerie Lavigne and contains 60% Sangiovese Grosso, 20% Merlot and 20% Sagrantino. Elegant flowers, dark cherry, tar, mineral, and spice scented nose with very nice aroma replays on the juicy palate. It's medium-to-full bodied with grippy tannins and fresh, vibrant acids. Well-balanced and lengthy finish. Could be cellared up to 5-6 years. Score: 90+ pts

2010 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino from DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (90 pts)2008 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino from DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (92 pts)2007 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino from DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (91 pts)

DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#113357) (XD) - $63.95
Medium intensity aromas featuring smoke, cherry, underbrush, blackberry and floral notes. Medium-bodied, lush mouthfeel on the palate with black cherry, plum, sweet spice and subtle oak flavours. It has fresh acids and firm tannins that are integrating nicely. Excellent length on the finish. Score: 90 pts

DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2008 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#113357) (XD) - $63.95
Highly aromatic with tobacco, leather, earth, and red fruits in a savoury, elegant style. The palate is medium-to-full bodied with integrated tannins, slightly chalky mouthfeel, and pleasing aroma replays. This is a well-balanced wine with balanced acids, good structure and clean, long finish. Score: 92 pts

DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2007 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#113357) (XD) - $63.95
Elegant, savoury aromas of barnyard, earth and red fruits of high intensity. Medium-bodied palate with nice aroma replays and subtle sweet spice notes. It is well-balanced with tannins integrating very nicely. It has very good structure, mouth-watering acids, and a very long finish. Score: 91 pts

2010 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino "Prime Donne" from DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (92 pts)2007 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino Riserva from DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (91 pts)

DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO PRIME DONNE 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#) (XD) - $79.95
Medium-to-high aromatics with subtle tobacco, earth, black cherry, and smoked hickory notes. On the medium-to-full bodied palate, it displays a savoury, earthy profile with sweet oak spice, tobacco, cherry to keep things interesting. It is well-structured with mouth-watering acids and good balance overall. Drying tannins on woodsy, lengthy finish. Enjoyable now, but I would age this a couple of years. Score: 92 pts

DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO RISERVA 2007 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#107508) (XD) - $97.00
Aged 3.5 years in oak barrels. Highly aromatic nose featuring florals, plum, red cherry, sweet spice and hints of barnyard and earth. It's medium+ bodied on the palate with pleasing floral, red & black cherry and blackberry flavours with fresh, mouth-watering acids. Finish length is excellent. Has good structure, but tannins are still a bit tight - would cellar 3-4 years. Score: 91 pts


Monday, April 27, 2015

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  • Monday, April 27, 2015

May 2 LCBO Wine Picks: New Zealand + Germany + Rosés

Wine Picks from May 2, 2015 LCBO VINTAGES Release
The next LCBO VINTAGES release will be on shelves across Ontario on . With warm weather approaching in the coming weeks (days?), this release focuses on wines from two countries - New Zealand and Germany - that are primarily known for their white wines and make excellent warm weather sippers. Also in the release is a feature on rosé wines - another fine category of wines for warm-weather sipping.

Of the 11 wines featured as part of the feature on New Zealand, three made my list of wine picks. New Zealand is known for its Sauvignon Blanc. The Savvy from Sugar Loaf Wines, being from Marlborough, is on the tropical fruit side of the spectrum. New Zealand's take on Pinot Gris tends to lean towards to the robust, sweeter versions found in Alsace, such as the version from Waimea Estates that's found in this release. Also from Waimea Estates is a just off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) Riesling that hails from Nelson on the South Island. Lastly, placed near the back of the magazine as part of the Flagship Store Exclusive is a stunning Pinot Noir from Dog Point Vineyard.

The feature on German wines is titled "Next-Generation Germany" and focuses on 8 winemakers who are making waves within the German wine world and abroad. Seven of the eight wines featured are included among my wine recommendations, with wines ranging from bone-dry to medium-sweet, and include grapes (styles) such as Pinot Blanc (Trocken/dry), Pinot Gris, Riesling, Riesling (Kabinett), and Gewürztraminer (Spätlese/late harvest.)

The rosé feature had 10 wines listed, three of which are included below. All three wines are dry in style (i.e. not sweet) - my preferred style of rosé. The version from Torres is a blend of Garnacha (a.k.a. Grenache) and Cariñena (a.k.a. Carignan.) Meanwhile, the two rosés from Rhône both contain Grenache and Syrah, while the Mas des Bressades adds some Cinsault.

From the rest of the release, there is a trifecta of Spanish wines worth your attention. The Costaño is made with 70% Monastrell, 15% Garnacha Tintorera, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, while the mature 2005 Hacienda Lopez de Haro is a blend of Tempranillo and Graciano. Lastly, the 2005 Marqués de Cáceres is a blend of mostly Tempranillo, with small amounts of Grenache and Graciano added. More Grenache (75%) is found in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape, along with 11% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah and 3 other grapes making up the final blend.

Last, but definitely not least, is a dessert wine from Austria that's made using botrytis-affected grapes and blended as 41% Sämling (Scheurebe), 24% Muscat Ottonel, 22% Chardonnay and 13% Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc.)

Enjoy my wine recommendations for this week. Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • CASTAÑO SOLANERA VIÑAS VIEJAS 2012 - DO Yecla, Spain (#276162) (D) - $16.95
  • GÉRARD BERTRAND LANGUEDOC SYRAH/GRENACHE 2011 - AP, Midi, France (#413237) (XD) - $17.00
  • HACIENDA LOPEZ DE HARO RESERVA 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#357335) (XD) - $18.95
  • TERRA NOBLE GRAN RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2011 - Maule Valley, Chile (#957050) (XD) - $18.95
  • TRIVENTO GOLDEN RESERVE MALBEC 2012 - Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina (#588731) (XD) - $19.95
  • MARQUÉS DE CÁCERES GRAN RESERVA 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#976670) (XD) - $29.95
  • BACHELDER LOWREY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2012 - VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#361816) (XD) - $44.95  Flagship Store Exclusive  reviewed here
  • BOSQUET DES PAPES CUVÉE TRADITION CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#726687) (D) - $49.95
  • DOG POINT PINOT NOIR 2012 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#329672) (XD) - $49.95  Flagship Store Exclusive

White Wine:
  • SANDER PINOT BLANC TROCKEN 2013 - Qualitätswein, Pfalz, Germany (#413930) (D) - $15.95
  • RUPPERTSBERGER LINSENBUSCH GEWÜRZTRAMINER SPÄTLESE 2014 - Prädikatswein, Pfalz, Germany (#320473) (MS) - $17.95  reviewed here
  • WAIMEA PINOT GRIS 2014 - Nelson, South Island, New Zealand (#408682) (D) - $18.95  reviewed here
  • WAIMEA CLASSIC RIESLING 2014 - Nelson, South Island, New Zealand (#408666) (D) - $18.95  reviewed here
  • SUGAR LOAF SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#410001) (XD) - $19.95
  • KLUMPP RIESLING 2013 - Qualitätswein, Baden, Germany (#409748) (D) - $19.95
  • MARKUS MOLITOR HAUS KLOSTERBERG RIESLING 2013 - Qualitätswein, Mosel, Germany (#409698) (D) - $20.95  reviewed here
  • SALWEY PINOT GRIS 2013 - Qualitätswein, Baden, Germany (#409912) (XD) - $21.95
  • FRIEDRICH-WILHELM-GYMNASIUM GRAACHER HIMMELREICH RIESLING KABINETT 2012 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#411249) (MS) - $22.95
  • C.H. BERRES ÜRZIGER WÜRZGARTEN RIESLING KABINETT 2012 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#207274) (MS) - $24.95  reviewed here
  • PHILIPPE COLIN CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET LES CHAUMÉES 1ER CRU 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#299933) (XD) - $87.95  Flagship Store Exclusive

Rosé Wine:
  • TORRES SANGRE DE TORO ROSÉ 2014 - DO Catalunya, Spain (#233437) (XD) - $13.95
  • MAS DES BRESSADES CUVÉE TRADITION ROSÉ 2014 - AP Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (#950576) (XD) - $15.95
  • BROTTE LES EGLANTIERS TAVEL 2014 - AC, Rhône, France (#654970) (XD) - $19.95

Sparkling Wine:
  • LABOURÉ-GONTARD BRUT CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE - Méthode Traditionnelle, AC, Burgundy, France (#401018) (XD) - $19.95

Dessert Wine:
  • LENZ MOSER PRESTIGE TROCKENBEERENAUSLESE 2012 - Prädikatswein, Burgenland, Austria (#729657) (S) (375 mL) - $20.95


The rest of the wines from this release are here.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

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  • Sunday, April 19, 2015

2008 Cavino Grande Reserve Nemea (Greece) - Wine Review

wine is the final instalment in my series of Wines from Peloponnese (links to part 1, part 2 and part 3).

Once again, this is 100% Agiorgitiko with all the grapes coming from the Nemea PDO. However, in this case, the grapes hail from small vineyards in the Mountains of Nemea at an altitiude of 750 - 900 metres. It has gone through malolactic fermentation and maturation in French and American oak barrels for about 18 months, then bottled for another 12 months prior to release.

This particular red wine was featured last year in the November 22 LCBO VINTAGES release. Quite a few bottles are still available on shelves.


CAVINO GRANDE RESERVE 2008 - PDO Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece (#295618) (D) - $17.95

2008 Cavino Grande Reserve from PDO Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece (88 pts)
Tasting Note:
Plum, dried fig and herb aromas from the cork. Medium+ aromatics from the glass with blackcurrant, leather, cocoa and plum notes. On the palate, it's medium-bodied with rubber, wild herb, leather, raspberry, and spice flavours. It has very good acidity, dusty tannins, and shows hints of cocoa on the medium-length finish. This fine, maturing wine will drink nicely for another 2-3 years. Score: 88 pts


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

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  • Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2013 Tselepos Classic Moschofilero (Greece) - Wine Review

Opened up this fragrant beauty of a wine on in my continuuing series on wines from Peloponnese (part 1, part 2), Greece.

Grapes for this wine were sourced within Mantinia PDO, from selected vineyards within the communes of Rizes, Lithovounia and Agiorgitika in Arcadia. The region is known for producing wines of distinct aromatic and flavour profiles using the grapes Moschofilero and Asproudes (a term often used to refer to unknown varietals.) This white wine is a classic, textbook example of Moschofilero with its fragrant qualities and naturally fresh acidity.

The wine was featured among my wine picks in the December 6th LCBO VINTAGES release at $17.95, but has now come down in price by $3 - excellent value at this price point! Small quantities are available throughout the province, so you should be able to find this bottle at your local LCBO outlet.


TSELEPOS CLASSIC MOSCHOFILERO 2013 - PDO Mantinia, Peloponnese, Greece (#724583) (XD) - $14.95

2013 Tselepos Classic Moschofilero from PDO Mantinia, Peloponnese, Greece (89 pts)
Tasting Note:
100% Moschofilero. Light orange-pinkish hue. Perfumed nose of orange, peach, blossom flowers, very Muscat-like. Palate is medium-bodied and dry (not sweet) with orange peel, citrus and floral notes, vibrant acidity. Quite warm mouthfeel with 13% alcohol. Excellent length on the finish. Recommended buy. Score: 89 pts


Monday, April 13, 2015

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  • Monday, April 13, 2015

Apr. 18 LCBO Wine Picks: Putting Family First

Wine Picks from April 18, 2015 LCBO VINTAGES Release
The next LCBO VINTAGES release will be in stores across Ontario on . In this release, the major theme centres around "Family", with Europe's Primum Familiae Vini (PFV) and California's Wagner Family being the focus.

PFV is an exclusive guild of top winemakers from Europe, making many top wines that I'm sure you have at least heard of. Wines from all 11 members are featured in this release, and you can taste many, if not all, of these wines at a special VINTAGES walk-around tasting event on April 22 and also meet each of these winemakers at a reception/dinner on April 23. Tickets and details can be found here.

Established by Eloy Lecanda in 1864, the Vega Sicilia estate has changed owners many times before finally settling into the hands of the Alvarez family in 1982; the Vega Sicilia Alion is 100% Tempranillo. Symington Family Estates was established in 1882 and now remains the only family-owned Port company; Master Blender Charles Symington brings us his 2000 Warre's Colheita Tawny Port. Pol Roger was established in 1849 and produces some of best Champagne around. In this release, there is the 2004 Brut (60% Pinot Noir / 40% Chardonnay) and the 2006 Brut Rosé which is based on the Brut Vintage, but adds approximately 15% of still Pinot Noir prior to bottling and second fermentation - both of these Champagnes are a little sweet.

Antinori Solaia 2011 - IGT Toscana, Italy (93 pts)

I've been a big fan of wines from Famille Perrin, and their Beaucastel CdP is back in VINTAGES, consisting of 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 10% Counoise, 10% Syrah and 5% Cinsault, and can be enjoyed now or cellared for up to 2 decades. Marchesi Antinori is arguably the most recognizable name in Italian wine and his 2011 Solaia (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Franc) is featured as the benchmark in this release; it should be cellared for a few years and enjoyed over the next decade.

The last PFV wine is from Egon Müller-Scharzhof. His great-great-grandfather Jean-Jacques Koch purchased the legendary Scharzhof estate in 1797, a site widely believed to be planted by the Romans and in near-continuous use ever since. Egon Müller makes wine in several countries, but only produces Riesling, including the Château Belá Riesling from Slovakia.

2006 Abad Dom Bueno Crianza from DO Bierzo, Spain (90 pts)
From the rest of the release, the latest vintage of the Bila-Haut is back in VINTAGES with an unspecified blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. A pair of Spanish red wines are returning to VINTAGES a year older - the 2006 Abad Dom Bueno (100% Mencía) and the 2007 Conde de Valdemar (90% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuelo/Carignan and 5% Graciano.) From Veneto is the Brigaldara that consists of 40% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, and 40% Rondinella / Molinara / Sangiovese.

For fans of sweet Riesling, seek out the Ontario wines from Cave Spring and Henry of Pelham. If you prefer dry Rieslings, check out the Trimbach version or venture off the beaten path with the wine from Slovakia. Look at the Buissonnier Montagny if you prefer your Chardonnay unoaked, as the other two Chardonnays recommended below are oaked.

Lastly, the Blanc de Blancs Cremant sparkling wine has a little bit of sweetness and is made using Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois.

This was a very good release at the low end of the price scale for red wines. Stock up and enjoy my wine recommendations for this week. Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • BRIGALDARA VALPOLICELLA 2013 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#917864) (XD) - $14.95
  • M. CHAPOUTIER LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON VILLAGES 2013 - AC, Midi, France (#168716) (D) - $15.95
  • ABAD DOM BUENO CRIANZA 2006 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#244699) (XD) - $15.95  reviewed here
  • SECRETO PATAGÓNICO CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Patagonia, Argentina (#399204) (XD) - $18.95
  • FALERNIA RESERVA SYRAH 2010 - Elquí Valley, Chile (#208371) (XD) - $18.95
  • CARPINETO CHIANTI CLASSICO 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#356048) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU SAINT-NICOLAS 2010 - AC Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux, France (#405829) (XD) - $19.95
  • POEIRA DUSTY 2010 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#405100) (XD) - $19.95
  • CONDE DE VALDEMAR RESERVA 2007 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#947309) (XD) - $19.95

  • ALPHA CRUCIS TITAN SHIRAZ 2012 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#377069) (XD) - $24.95
  • GREYWACKE PINOT NOIR 2011 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#402651) (XD) - $49.95  Flagship Store Exclusive
  • LOUIS JADOT BEAUNE BOUCHEROTTES 1 ER CRU 2009 - AC, Burgundy, France (#121319) (XD) - $59.95  Flagship Store Exclusive
  • CHÂTEAU DE BEAUCASTEL CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#711317) (D) - $89.95
  • ALIÓN 2011 - DO Ribera del Duero, Spain (#199331) (XD) - $89.95
  • ANTINORI SOLAIA 2011 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#987586) (XD) - $251.95  reviewed here

White Wine:
  • LA JOYA GRAN RESERVA VIOGNIER 2014 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#168542) (XD) - $15.95
  • TOKAJ KERESKEDOHÁZ GRAND SELECTION SEMI-DRY TOKAJI FURMINT 2012 - PDO, Hungary (#396366) (M) - $16.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE RIESLING 2012 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#557165) (M) - $17.95
  • VIGNERONS DE BUXY BUISSONNIER MONTAGNY 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#382879) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU BELÁ RIESLING 2012 - Muzla, Slovakia (#410951) (XD) - $24.95
  • CAVE SPRING CSV RIESLING 2012 - Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#566026) (M) - $29.95
  • TRIMBACH RÉSERVE RIESLING 2011 - AC Alsace, France (#995316) (XD) - $29.95  Flagship Store Exclusive
  • NORMAN HARDIE NIAGARA UNFILTERED CHARDONNAY 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#184432) (XD) - $39.00
  • RAMEY RITCHIE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2011 - Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (#394528) (XD) - $90.00  Flagship Store Exclusive  reviewed here

Sparkling Wine:
  • CAVE DE HOEN MAUSBERG BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT CRÉMANT D’ALSACE - Méthode Traditionnelle, AC, Alsace, France (#171785) (D) - $17.95
  • POL ROGER VINTAGE EXTRA CUVEE DE RESERVE BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2004 - AC, France (#411793) (D) - $94.95
  • POL ROGER VINTAGE EXTRA CUVEE DE RESERVE BRUT ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE 2006 - AC, France (#411819) (D) - $105.95

Dessert Wine:
  • REIF VIDAL ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara River, Ontario, Canada (#544791) (S) (200 mL) - $24.95
  • CHÂTEAU SUDUIRAUT 2011 - AC Sauternes, 1 er Cru Classé, Bordeaux, France (#296012) (S) (375 mL) - $55.85  Flagship Store Exclusive

Fortified:
  • WARRE’S COLHEITA TAWNY PORT 2000 - DOC, Portugal (#411702) (S) - $39.95


The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

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  • Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Gaia Agiorgitiko by Gaia 2013 (Greece) - Wine Review

This is the 4th wine in my series featuring wines from the Peloponnese region of Greece. My first post about wines from Peloponnese featured a very easy drinking Agiorgitiko. red wine is made from the same grape, but is more robust, shows more complexity and is more my style of wine.

Agiorgitiko is grown almost exclusively within Nemea, the largest PDO appellation of Greece. Nemea is located in northeast Peloponnese. Falling between Gaia Wines' Notios Red (which is meant to be enjoyed in its youth) and the Gaia Estate (with its long ageing potential), the Agiorgitiko by Gaia is a wine that can be enjoyed now or cellared for a few years after bottling.

The enclosure used on this wine is a synthetic cork made by Nomacorc. There is some writing in Greek (or some other language) written on the cork. It's included in picture below and if anyone can read that, I'd love to know what it says.

GAIA AGIORGITIKO BY GAIA 2013 - PDO Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece (#) (XD) - $21.30

2013 Gaia Agiorgitiko by Gaia from PDO Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece (88 pts)
Tasting Note:
Synthetic Nomacorc cork. Perfumed nose of cherries, red currant, and raspberry with underlying cedar oak and vanilla aromas. On the mid-weighted palate, it has much of the same aromas, with fine, dusty tannins, good structure and fresh acidity. Slight warmth on the mid-palate. Bitter, lengthy finish that has hints of oak. Enjoyable now or cellar up to 3 years. Available on Consignment via Agent The Small Winemakers Collection. Score: 88 pts

Nomacorc Synthetic Cork


Sunday, April 5, 2015

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  • Sunday, April 5, 2015

Wines from Peloponnese, Greece

Wines of Peloponnese
This is the first post in a series that will feature the wines of Peloponnese to celebrate (April 12th) this year. In addition to the wines, I also received some very nice Greek products that I will be tweeting about over the coming days.

The Peloponnese wine region is located in the southern peninsula of Greece and is (mostly) separated from mainland Greece by the Gulf of Corinth. It is also the largest winemaking area in Greece. This region is home to ancient Olympia, site of the first Olympic Games, and has been producing wine for at least 4,000 years. Popular native grape varieties grown within the Peloponnese are Agiorgitiko, Moschofilero and Mavrodaphne.

Moschofilero (MOH-skoh-FEE-leh-roh) is a fragrant white grape with gray/pink/purple skin that exhibits floral, spice and perfumed characteristics. The wine reviewed below comes from Arcadia, in central Peloponnese, and shows very good typicity for the grape.

Agiorgitiko (ah-yohr-YEE-tee-koh) has to be one of the most difficult-to-pronounce grapes around. Fortunately, it also goes by the name 'St. George'. This black-skinned grape produces red wines that are quite fruity, as in the version below, similar to the Italian Barbera. Agiorgitiko is the second most widely planted red grape in all of Greece.

The last wine reviewed below is a blend using the Mavrodaphne and Black Korinthiaki grapes. The Mavrodaphne varietal is a black wine grape native to the Achaea region in Northern Peloponnese. It is typically used to produce fortified wine, as the Kourtaki is below. It is also typically blended using the solera method, which then produces a non-vintage wine.

The 2013 vintage of the Greek harvest is being hailed as one of the best in recent years, especially for white grapes. It showed in the Moschofilero. All the three wines reviewed below were quite easy drinking, have good crowd-appeal, and come at attractive price points at the LCBO.

Stay with me as I find kefi while taking you through the three remaining wines (two of which are from the 2013 vintage) to celebrate Easter and the wines of Peloponnese.

Tasting Notes:
TROUPIS FTERI MOSCHOFILERO 2013 - IGP Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece (#392936) (XD) - $15.20
Very pale yellow colour, almost clear white. Fragrant aromatics that show floral, citrus, peach and some lychee and herbal notes as it warms up. The palate is medium-bodied and creamy with balanced acids. Flavour profile consists of floral, white peach and hints of orange. Initial kiss of sweetness tapers off into the dry spectrum. Decent length on the finish. A very good introduction to the grape. Readily available as it's LCBO General List. Score: 87 pts

2013 Troupis Fteri Moschofilero from IGP Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece (87 pts)

BOUTARI AGIORGITIKO 2013 - PDO Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece (#172148) (XD) - $11.85
Plum and prune aromas from the cork. Medium intensity nose with red cherry, red currant and soft floral aromas. Palate is medium-bodied and dry, with soft, rounded tannins, balanced acids and red currant, cherry and mild spice flavours. Average length finish. Simple, easy drinking red. Readily available as it's LCBO General List. Score: 86 pts

2013 Boutari Agiorgitiko from PDO Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece (86 pts)

KOURTAKI MAVRODAPHNE OF PATRAS - PDO, Peloponnese, Greece (#208413) (S) - $14.95
Blend of Mavrodaphne and Black Korinthiaki. Prune and raisin aromas from the cork. Medium intensity aroams of raisins, dried figs, caramel and dates with medium sweet aroma replays on the palate. Smooth, slightly creamy texture, light-to-mid weight body with good acids. Medium length finish that has notes of semi-sweet milk chocolate from a hot fudge sundae. Serve well-chilled. This fortified wine was recently released into VINTAGES on March 21 and has good inventory levels. Score: 86 pts

Kourtaki Mavrodaphne of Patras from PDO, Peloponnese, Greece (86 pts)


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