Showing posts with label 1995. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1995. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

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  • Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Top Wines from Port & Douro Tasting - May 2016



May was an extremely busy month for tastings, so I've decided to highlight some of my favourites from each tasting.

The first post in this series is the Porto and Douro wine tasting - a small event held at the beginning of . This annual tasting normally has a very low turnout, but this time attendance was very good. The room at the Hyatt Regency Toronto was also on the small side, but suited the event perfectly and helped create a buzzy atmosphere. The tasting featured a combination of mostly Port wine, some very fine red wines, and at least one white wine. Here were my top wines from the Port & Douro tasting.

Tasting Notes:

DALVA COLHEITA PORT 1995 - Douro, Portugal (#069930) (S) - $32.95
This vintage-dated Tawny Port has a highly aromatic, complex nose that's nutty and warm with caramel and hints of orange. Lovely aroma replays on the palate, plus some honey and molasses flavours. Mouthfeel is soft. Excellent length on the warm finish. Will age for many years. Should arrive in VINTAGES again. Contact The Case For Wine for ordering information. Score: 92 pts

Dalva Colheita Port 1995 - Douro, Portugal (92 pts)

TAYLOR FLADGATE 20 YEAR OLD TAWNY PORT - Douro, Portugal (#149047) (S) - $68.95
The nose is highly aromatic with complex notes of nutty, honey, caramel and sweet spice aromas. On the smooth medium-to-full bodied palate, it shows many of the same aromas in a nicely balanced, sweet package that continues through to a slightly spiced mid-palate. The finish length is excellent and shows hints of raisin. Well balanced overall and consistently well-made, year after year. Readily available in VINTAGES. Score: 92 pts

Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Port - Douro, Portugal (92 pts)

ESPORÃO QUINTA DOS MURÇAS 10 YEAR OLD TAWNY PORT - Douro, Portugal (S)
Highly aromatic nose of caramel, honey and some orange citrus. It's medium-to-full bodied with a silky mouthfeel and some very nice aroma replays. The mid-palate has some mildly spiced notes to add complexity. Very good length on the finish. Contact Fine Wines of Portugal to order. Score: 91 pts

Esporão Quinta dos Murças 10 Year Old Tawny Port - Douro, Portugal (91 pts)

WARRE'S OTIMA 10 YEAR OLD TAWNY PORT - Douro, Portugal (#566174) (S) (500mL) - $21.95
Burnt nose featuring complex aromas of orange, caramel, maple wood, burnt sugar and fig that follow through on the sweet, creamy palate joined by hints of fruitcake and more nuttiness. The finish is long and smooth. Rather easy drinking and should have wide appeal. Readily available at the LCBO. Score: 90 pts

Warre's Otima 10 Year Old Tawny Port - Douro, Portugal (90 pts)

DFJ VINHOS ESCADA 2007 - DOC Douro, Portugal (XD)
Blend of Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, and Touriga Nacional that is highly aromatic with lovely violet, flowers, and sweet herbs notes that follow through to the medium-bodied palate. It has juicy acids, supple tannins, and a fine mineral streak on the long finish. Drink over the next 5-7 years. Contact Fine Wines of Portugal to order. Score: 91 pts

DFJ Vinhos Escada 2007 - DOC Douro, Portugal (91 pts)


Monday, December 28, 2015

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  • Monday, December 28, 2015

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva Vertical Wine Tasting

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva Vertical Wine Tasting
Back in , I was invited to a very nice vertical tasting of Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva wines dating back to 1982.

These red wines are produced by Bodegas Franco-Españolas, a winery that was founded in 1890 in Logrono, Spain, in the aftermath of the French wine industry's most devastating incidents - the phylloxera plague. Bordeaux winemakers affected by the plague departed for Spain in search of the country's best soil and climate to continue their winemaking traditions. From the Bordeaux firm "Anglade", Frederick Anglade Saurat and other Spanish partners founded Bodegas Franco-Españolas. The winery name translates in English to "French Spanish Wineries". By 1922, the winery became entirely Spanish-owned. Today, it is owned by Carlos and Rosa Eguizabal, the second generation of the Eguizabal family that has owned the winery.

At Bodegas Franco-Españolas, the philosophy is to age all of its wines longer than legally required. For example, the Gran Reservas are barrel aged for 36 months instead of the minimum legal requirement of 24 months. Furthermore, all barrel ageing at Bodegas Franco-Españolas is done in American oak.

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva Vertical Wine Tasting
The winery and its vines are located in a long valley in the Northern-Central part of Spain with a very special micro-climate defined by mountain chains to the north and south, and the Ebro River that runs between the two mountain ranges. Bodegas Franco-Españolas farms nearly 600 acres of vineyards while also collaborating with local farmers in Rioja.

It's interesting to note that Oenologist Carlos Estecha began working with the Eguizabal Group of Companies since 1988 and continues to this day - that's 27 years!

Today, Bodegas Franco-Españolas is one of the oldest and most prestigious wineries in Spain and in 2015 celebrated its 125th Anniversary.

Thank you Eurovintage Wines & Spirits for the opportunity to taste these lovely wines. The latest vintage of the Gran Reserva is widely available at the LCBO, while the Reserva and back vintage Gran Reserva wines may be available for purchase through the agent. Please contact Eurovintage for availability.

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 1982 to 2006

Tasting Notes:

RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 1982 - DO Rioja, Spain (XD)
Blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, and Mazuelo (a.k.a. Carignan). Medium+ intensity nose showing great complexity with rustic, earthy, tobacco, burnt caramel, old leather, blackberry and some dried herbs aromas. The palate is light-to-medium bodied with tannins fully resolved and flavours consisting of sour cherry and earth notes. Balanced acidity. It's a touch warm with dried herb notes on and the very long finish. Still very well-balanced at this mature age. Drink soon. Interesting to note that the empty bottle was extremely light. Score: 91 pts

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 1982 - DO Rioja, Spain (91 pts)

RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 1985 - DO Rioja, Spain (XD)
Blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha (a.k.a. Grenache) and Graciano. Medium+ intensity aromas of toasty smoke, wood, dark currant, dark cherry, mulling spice and some raisined notes. Medium bodied on the palate with herbal, coriander, dark fruits and some olive flavours. It has good acidity and a lengthy finish. Will continue to drink well for a number of years. Score: 89 pts

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 1985 - DO Rioja, Spain (89 pts)

RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 1994 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (XD)
Consisting of 80% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, 5% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo, this has medium-to-high aromas of blackberry, dark cherry, leather, forest floor and well-integrated oak. On the palate, it's medium+ bodied with a chalky spine, fresh acidity and very nice aroma replays. The finish is very long with hints of raspberry. Excellent balance overall. Good tannic structure will allow it to age another 7-8 years. One of my favourites of the tasting. A delight! Score: 91 pts

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 1994 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (91 pts)

RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 1995 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (XD)
Same blend as the 1994, this has medium+ intensity aromas of blackberry, earth, raspberry, spice and vanilla. It's medium-to-full bodied with a chalky spine and very good acidity. The aromas echo on the palate along with sour cherry and oak flavours. A touch warm on the lingering finish. Still has life. Score: 89 pts

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 1995 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (89 pts)

RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 2001 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#428060) (XD) - $22.95
Blend of 80% Tempranillo, 16% Garnacha, 2% Mazuelo and 2% Graciano. Medium-to-high aromatics with oak notes leading the way followed by dark berries and floral hints. It's full-bodied with nicely balanced flavours of herbal, eucalypt, blackberry, sandalwood, and spice on the palate. Mouth-watering acidity and a very long finish that is slightly hot, but fruit holds it up well. Nicely balanced with plenty of finesse. Drink over the next 10-15 years. My favourite of the tasting. Score: 91 pts

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 2001 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (91 pts)

RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#428060) (D) - $22.95
Consisting of 80% Tempranillo, 10% Mazuelo, and 10% Graciano, this has a somewhat closed nose but shows ripe fruit, blackberry, sweet vanilla, barnyard and some blue fruit aromas. It's medium-to-full bodied with nice aroma replays, bright acidity and finishing long. Big, full-throttle wine. Doesn't seem to have matured much over the last 10 years. Lay this one down for 5 years and drink over the next 10-15 years. Score: 90 pts

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (90 pts)

RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 2006 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#428060) (XD) - $22.95
Blend of 80% Tempranillo, 10% Mazuelo and 10% Graciano and features medium+ intensity aromas of pached raspberry, kirsch, blackberry liquer, sandalwood and some earth. It's medium-to-full bodied with aromas echoing on the palate and a chalky spine. Acids are mouth-watering, while the finish is long and warm with floral hints. Will age gracefully for 10 years or more. Score: 91 pts

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 2006 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (91 pts)

RIOJA BORDÓN RESERVA 2007 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#194753) (XD) - $19.95
Barnyard, earth, mushroom and sandalwood aromas from the glass. The palate is medium-to-full bodied with bright acidity with blackberry and sandalwood flavours. Chalky tannins. Excellent length on the finish. Better in 4-5 years. Score: 90+ pts

RIOJA BORDÓN RESERVA 2008 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#194753) (XD) - $19.95
The nose somewhat reserved but shows pleasing raspberry, blackberry, sandalwood notes with an earthy streak. It's medium-bodied with nice aroma replays. Still a bit tight, but has juicy acids and a medium-long finish. Score: 89 pts

RIOJA BORDÓN RESERVA 2009 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#194753) (XD) - $19.95
Medium+ intensity nose led by smoky oak notes with underlying raspberry and blackberry aromas. On the palate, it's medium+ bodied dark and red cherry, blackberry, and subtle oak flavours. It has very good acidity, while the tannins are still very tight, and finish length is medium-to-long. Cellar 2-3 years or decant and serve now. Score: 88 pts

Rioja Bordón Reserva 2007 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (90+ pts)Rioja Bordón Reserva 2008 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (89 pts)Rioja Bordón Reserva 2009 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (88 pts)


Friday, December 5, 2014

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  • 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


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