Showing posts with label 2005. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2005. Show all posts

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  • Sunday, September 29, 2019

Vallobera Crianza 2005 (Spain) - Wine Review

wine review is a nice red wine that I purchased from an LCBO VINTAGES Release way back in .

The tasting note in the VINTAGES magazine indicated that this Crianza could be aged until 2020. However, my research today indicates that this wine probably should have been opened 3-4 years ago. Looking at my bottle, I see there is noticeable ullage (the gap of air between the top of the wine and the cork), indicating that some oxidation has occurred. Let's see how this red wine is tasting tonight...

Vallobera Crianza 2005 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

VALLOBERA CRIANZA 2005 - DOCa, Rioja, Spain (#092429) (XD) - $19.95
This 100% Tempranillo was aged in French and American oak for 14 months. The medium intensity nose has mature dried berry, blackberry, sweet baking spice and sweet oak aromas with touches of rose floral and scorched earth adding complexity. It is medium bodied with savoury and earthy flavours along with touches of dried plum, fig, cigar box, and sweet spice. Mature tannins have a slightly grippy, drying texture. More earthy, tobacco, and savoury notes on the long, juicy finish. Enjoyable, but drink now if you have a bottle. Score: 88+ pts

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  • Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Niagara Wine Festival Review 2016 - Day 1 of 2

The of my 2-day visit to Niagara for the annual Grape & Wine Festival was on . We visited 4 wineries on this day, two in Twenty Valley and two in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Our first stop was at Magnotta Winery to whet our appetite with a fresh Caprese Salad that was paired with 2 wines - 2015 Magnotta Pinot Noir Equus Rosé ($9.95, 87 pts) and the 2014 Magnotta Pinot Gris Special Reserve ($12.95, 86 pts). The Caprese salad was delicious with it's fresh bonnacini, cherry tomatoes, and basil with a freshly baked foccaccia bread and drizzled with balsamic wine vinegar and olive oil on the side. Since some group members were not keen on this type of salad, the rest of us got extras! The pairing was quite good with each wine as the fresh acidity in the wines complemented the acids in the salad, while also adding a nice texture. In general, salads pair well with both rosé and white wines.

Caprese Salad paired with Magnotta Pinot Noir Rosé and Pinot GrisLegends Terroir Rosé paired with Chocolate Ice Cream with Raspberry Center

The second stop was a decadent dessert item at Legends Estates Winery where we enjoyed a creamy chocolate ice cream with a raspberry ice center, sitting atop a chocolate wafer, and the whole thing covered in a milk chocolate coating. It was paired with the newly released 2015 Legends Estates Terroir Rosé ($12.95, 86 pts). Normally, one wouldn't even think of pairing a rosé wine with ice cream, so I was surprised to see this being offered and was quite intrigued. The ice cream was cold and sweet (as expected), and the raspberry center provided some interesting fruit flavours. Initially, the raspberry center gently pulled out plenty of cherry, strawberry flavours from the wine, but with each spoon and sip, the raspberry center took over the palate. To help balance this, it was the milk chocolate coating that brought all the flavours back in alignment, with a nice lingering mix of red fruits and chocolate flavours, as well as a creaminess that helped balanced the high acids in the wine. This was quite the experience!

While at Legends Estates, I was also able to taste a couple of wines from (former winemaker at Lailey Vineyards) Derek Barnett's latest endeavour - Meldville Wines. The wines on the whole were satisfactory, including a Chardonnay that was my favourite, but I would wager that future vintages will be better.

Green Curry Chicken on Morrocan Bean Salad paired with EastDell Riesling

We headed over to Niagara-on-the-Lake for our third stop at Diamond Estates Winery. On the menu here was a Green Curry Chicken served on a bed of Morrocan bean salad courtesy of Chef James from The Heat is On Catering. It was paired with the 2015 EastDell Riesling (reviewed below). The dish was designed to be served cold and didn't show any signs of hot spices, which caught us by surprise. The pairing was fresh and brought out squeaky clean lemony flavours. After some time, subtle hints of spice from the chicken started to emerge and provided a nice warming sensation on the finish which was very interesting! We also took a quick tour of the winery and were told that a brand new retail tasting facility was going to be built and scheduled to open in Spring 2017.

Chicken Tikka Naan with Pillitteri Cabernet Merlot

The final stop of the day was at Pillitteri Estates Winery for a South East Asian inspired Spicy Chicken Tikka Roti Wrap topped with sprouts and pickled kachumber and raita. We had a choice to pair with either the 2014 Pillitteri Fusion Gewürztraminer Riesling ($12.95, #349126, 87 pts) or the 2013 Pillitteri Cabernet Merlot ($17.50, 86 pts) - I opted for the Cab Merlot. By itself, the Chicken Tikka Roti (more like Naan) Wrap was delicious - just the right amount of mild spice and flavour and very filling. I would love to get my hands on the recipe for Chez Megz. Since I opted to pair the Wrap with the Cabernet Merlot, it was a very balanced pairing with the tannins and gamey-ness in the wine complementing the chicken very nicely. This was a delicious comfort food pairing, providing a perfect segue into Fall.

Most of the wines I tasted during this trip are available at the winery only, so you'll have to visit the winery in person or order the wines online via the winery website to get your hands on these wines.

All-in-all, I was very impressed with the food & wine pairings on this day, with plenty of surprising combinations that worked really well. Expectations were certainly raised as I prepared for another set of food & wine pairings - a full review will be posted soon. Stay tuned. is posted here.

Tasting Notes:

MAGNOTTA CHARDONNAY LIMITED EDITION 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $16.95
The medium-high intensity nose offers appealing vanilla, butter, apple and pear aromas with much of the same on the medium-bodied and very creamy palate. There's some spice on the mid-palate. It has fresh acids and finishes long. Score: 88 pts

Magnotta Chardonnay Limited Edition 2014 (88 pts)Magnotta Merlot Gran Riserva 2011 (89 pts)

MAGNOTTA MERLOT GRAN RISERVA 2011 - Ontario, Canada (XD) - $29.95
Medium-high aromatics offering black plum, chocolate, leather, oak, cocoa and hints of green pepper. It's medium-full bodied with supple tannins and nice aroma replays. Acids are very good while the finish is long. A big wine that can be aged for at least half a dozen years. Score: 89 pts

LEGENDS ESTATES CHARDONNAY RESERVE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $18.95
Aromas of medium+ intensity with notes of vanilla, butter, apple and pear and reappear on the medium-full bodied palate. Well-balanced overall with good acidity, slightly oak-spiced mid-palate and finishing long. Score: 89+ pts

Legends Estates Chardonnay Reserve 2013 (89+ pts)Legends Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2012 (89 pts)

LEGENDS ESTATES CABERNET SAUVIGNON RESERVE 2012 - Lizak Vineyard, VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $22.10
A medium-high intensity nose with savoury olive, earthy, forest floor and meaty aromas. Full bodied on the palate with green pepper, olive, earthy tones. It has balanced acids and tannins that are smooth and quite evolved. Very good length on the finish. Score: 89 pts

MELDVILLE DEREK BARNETT FIRST EDITION CHARDONNAY 2015 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $20
Very fruit forward with stone fruit, apple and pear aromas and flavours. Minimal oak intervention. Clean, fresh acids and good length on the finish. Score: 87 pts

Meldville Derek Barnett First Edition Chardonnay 2015 (87 pts)EastDell Riesling 2015 (87 pts)

EASTDELL RIESLING 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#481556) (M) - $13.95
Medium+ intensity nose of green apple, tropical fruit, white peach and hints of mineral and orange. It is off-dry with crisp, refreshing acids and flavours of orange, mineral and citrus. Finishes long with some bitterness. Score: 87 pts

LAKEVIEW CELLARS SYRAH 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#438408) (XD) - $24.95
The nose is medium-to-high intensity and offers a pleasing meaty, earthy, and charcuterie aromas with hints of black pepper and green olive. It's full-bodied on the palate with varietal black peppercorn, blackberry, dark fruits and oak flavours. Acids are very good. Lengthy finish. Score: 89 pts

Lakeview Cellars Syrah 2013 (89 pts)

LAKEVIEW CELLARS GEWÜRZTRAMINER ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $39.95
Tasted back-to-back with the 2012, this has a fragrant nose of fresh guava, molasses, honey, and orange, and floral aromas. The palate is quite dense with good fruit concentration and a viscous mouthfeel. Acids balance the lusciously sweet flavours. Excellent length on the finish. Score: 90+ pts

Lakeview Cellars Gewürztraminer Icewine 2013 (90+ pts)

PILLITTERI DOLCE RIESLING 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (M) - $15.50
Offers a medium-high intensity nose of petrol, mineral, peach, citrus and apple that echo on the palate in a medium sweet style. Fresh acids are nicely balanced. Long finish has notes of orange peel. Score: 88 pts

Pillitteri Dolce Riesling 2013 (88 pts)Pillitteri Winemakers Selection Exclamation Merlot 2012 (90 pts)

Matured in French oak for 2 years, this offer medium-to-high intensity aromatics of cigar box, sweet tobacco, blackberry, black current, white pepper, and sweet spices that echo very nicely on the complex, medium-bodied palate. It has very good acidity and smooth, velvety tannins. Excellent length on the finish. Score: 90 pts

PILLITTERI FAMILY RESERVE TRIVALENTE 2005 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $98
A blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot, this very fine mature wine has a captivating, highly aromatic and a very complex nose of dried floral, cherry, rhubarb, kirsch, blackberry liqueur, apple wood and some barnyard aromas. It's full-bodied with silky smooth tannins and lovely flavours of blackberry, cherry and floral. It still has very good acidity and shows some brambly notes on the long finish. Also tasted in 2014. Score: 92 pts

Pillitteri Family Reserve Trivalente 2005 (92 pts)Pillitteri Reserve Vidal Icewine 2013 (91 pts)

PILLITTERI RESERVE VIDAL ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (200 mL/375 mL) - $35/$65
My favourite of the Icewines tasted at Pillitteri, this has an highly aromatic nose of leach, apricot and lemon. It is medium-full bodied on the palate with very nice aroma replays plus hints of oak spice. It's very sweet, with pleasing acids keep the Icewine from being cloying. Long, citrusy finish. Very fine indeed. Score: 91 pts

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  • Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Taste of Greece - Top Greek Wines, May 2016

On , I was very pleased to attend the Taste of Greece grand wine tasting held at the Royal Ontario Museum, where nearly 50 of Greece's most popular wineries poured well over 200 wines. I had the pleasure of tasting many delicious wines at this tasting, and many offered very good QPR (Quality-to-Price Ratio).

I attended the media session just after lunch, and the place was quite busy. However, since I was still working my around the room, I ended up staying for the consumer portion of the tasting that began at 2 p.m. As people filed in, the atmosphere in the room went up a few notches with a live band performing traditional Greek music. The light appetizer service prepared by Daniel et Daniel also livened the place up, in addition to the many delightful Greek wines.

Braised Lamb Shank with Roasted Tomato, Spinach, and Feta OrzoCrab Claw with Jumbo Shrimp

Overall, I was quite impressed with the Greek wines (not unexpected, I've been a fan for many years), but was surprised by the sheer number of quality wines produced by the Greeks, one of the oldest wine regions in the world. It's too bad we don't see more Greek wines coming through the LCBO (including VINTAGES) as there are a lot of good value wines that I believe LCBO customers would enjoy.

The names of many of the local Greek grape varietals may be difficult to pronounce, but it's what's inside the bottle that counts. My favourites Greek varietals are still Xinomavro [Ksee-no'-ma-vro], Assyrtiko [A-seer'-tee-ko], and Agioritiko [Ah-yor-yee'-ti-ko]. However, one grape I discovered at this tasting is a very floral, aromatic white wine grape called Savatiano [Sa-va-tya-no'].

A step in the right direction is headed by the LCBO with their "Products of the World" specialty boutique program within existing LCBO locations where customers can find many wines and spirits from a specific region. In May 2015, "Destination Greece" was the first of such boutiques to launch and is located at 200 Danforth Avenue. At this location, you can find nearly 100 Greek wines and spirits, more than anywhere else in Ontario. Quite a few of the wines tasted at Taste of Greece are available at the LCBO location on Danforth.

Destination Greece at LCBODestination Greece at LCBO

Here are some of my favourites from the Greek tasting, many which of you should be able to find at the LCBO outlet on Danforth. Alternatively, you can also contact the Agent for if you're interested in purchasing a case or more.

Ahead of the big event on Sunday, I was invited to a private tasting of Greek wines at the Vintage Conservatory on night and had the pleasure of meeting some of the men (and women) behind some very fine Greek wines. Among those in attendance was Dr. Yannis Voyiatzis, Oenologist, Head of Oenology and Viticulture Department and the winemaker behind the Boutari 1879 Legacy wine. In talking about this wine, Dr. Voyiatzis mentioned that the estate has wines from the 60's and 70's vintage and are still drinking well.

Photo Credit: Zis Parras, Kolonaki Group

Sunday Tasting Notes:

PAPAGIANNAKOS SAVATIANO OLD VINES 2015 - PGI Markopoulo, Greece (XD) - $15.60
From 60-year-old vines of the indigenous varietal Savatiano, this has explosive aromas in the glass that are very floral in nature, with hints of pear, anise, lees, and ripe fruits. It's light-to-mid weighted with citrus and floral flavours with a streak of mineral. It's very fresh and finishes off with a long, citrusy note. Contact Majestic Wine Cellars for availability. Score: 90 pts

Papagiannakos Savatiano Old Vines 2015 - PGI Markopoulo, Greece (90 pts)Alpha Estate Red 2012 - PGI Florina, Greece (91 pts)

ALPHA ESTATE RED 2012 - PGI Florina, Greece (#092361) (XD) - $32
This Syrah/Xinomavro/Merlot blend (60/20/20), some of which is old vines has a lovely nose of purple fruits, flowers, sweet spices and black pepper. The medium-firm tannins are nicely integrated on the full bodied palate. Nice aroma replays on the flavour profile. It has very good acidity and finishes long. Contact Eurovintage Wines & Spirits for availability. Score: 91 pts

DOMAINE GLINAVOS DRYADES 2007 - PGI Hepirus, Greece (XD) - $22
A blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 55% Vlachiko/Bekari from 30-year-old vines that has a medium-high intensity nose consisting of floral, blackberry and hints of graphite and iron. Refined with integrated tannins and complex aroma replays, it also has juicy acids and a long, smooth finish. Contact IntraVino for availability. Score: 90 pts

Domaine Glinavos Dryades 2007 - PGI Hepirus, Greece (90 pts)Papaioannou Microclima 2005 - PDO Nemea, Greece (91 pts)

PAPAIOANNOU MICROCLIMA 2005 - PDO Nemea, Greece (XD) - $75
Made with Agiorgitiko, this has a lovely mature nose of flowers, sweet spices and clove. The medium-full bodied offers pleasing aroma replays, with refined tannins and balanced acidity. Excellent length on the finish. Still has quite a few years of life remaining. Contact Kolonaki Group for availability. Score: 91 pts

ARGYROS SANTORINI ASSYRTIKO 2015 - PDO Santorini, Greece (#387365) (XD) - $22.95 From 60-120 year old vines, this is a mineral-driven wine with lime and stone aromas. The medium+ bodied palate offers more mineral and lime flavours joined by some saline notes. Tightly wound with vibrant acids and chalky texture. Long finishing. Let this one sit for a couple of years and enjoy until 2026. Available in VINTAGES. Score: 90 pts

Argyros Santorini Assyrtiko 2015 - PDO Santorini, Greece (90 pts)Argyros Vinsanto 4 Years 2008 - PDO Santorini, Greece (92 pts)

ARGYROS VINSANTO 4 YEARS 2008 - PDO Santorini, Greece (#189778) (S) (500 mL) - $44.95
Matured in barrel for 4 years. Gorgeous, highly aromatic and sweet nose of caramel, peach and honey notes that follow through on the full-bodied, chalky textured palate. It has bright acids to keep things fresh and keep the very sweet wine from being cloying. Well-balanced and finishing long. Blend of Assyrtiko, Aidani and Athiri. Available at Destination Greece LCBO location. Score: 92 pts

Friday Tasting Notes:

BOUTARI 1879 LEGACY 2007 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (#675081) (XD) - $50
This single vineyard wine is 100% Xinomavro and has medium-to-high intensity aromas that are elegant and refined with pleasing notes of cherry, floral, brambly and some barnyard. Very nice aroma replays on the palate with some sweet spice notes emerging with air. It is a full-bodied, powerful wine with a rich structure and dense tannins that can age easily 10-15 years. Excellent length on the finish. Drink or hold. Available via Score: 91 pts

Boutari 1879 Legacy 2007 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (91 pts)Cavino Domain Mega Spileo Grand Cave Red 2009 - PGI Achaia, Peloponnese, Greece (90 pts)

CAVINO DOMAIN MEGA SPILEO GRAND CAVE RED 2009 - PGI Achaia, Peloponnese, Greece (XD) - $30
Lovely, complex nose of dried herbs, flowers, black cherry, blackberry and oak vanilla that is medium-to-high intensity. Aroma replays echo on the medium bodied palate. It is well-balanced with very good acidity and the finish length is excellent. With medium-to-firm tannins, this can be enjoyed now or over the next 5-6 years. Blend of 60% Mavrodafne and 40% Mavro Kalavritino. Slated to be in VINTAGES later this year. Score: 90 pts

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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:

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)

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)

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)

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)

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  • Saturday, November 7, 2015

PoggioVerrano Dròmos 2005 (Tuscany) - Wine Review

wine is a very special red wine that'll be in LCBO VINTAGES on November 14th.

This wine comes from Tenuta PoggioVerrano, located in the Maremma wine region in southern Tuscany. The vineyards are 27 hectares in size with rocky soils of calcareous and clayey nature, and height between 170 and 300 metres above sea level, and 15 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea. PoggioVerrano uses gravity flow technology that is fully underground and must be quite the impressive sight to see.

The winemaker, Francesco Bolla, is a third generation winemaker who started up this winery in 2000 with the vision "to create a red wine that is expression of the territory it comes from, the Maremma Toscana".

Let's see how the wine is...

Tasting Note:

POGGIOVERRANO DRÒMOS 2005 - IGT Maremma Toscana, Italy (#107383) (XD) - $39.95
This Super Tuscan is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Alicante, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc and underwent malolactic fermentation. Lovely mature nose of violets, dried fruit, and floral with hints of fig, cedar wood, earth and whiffs of prune. On the medium-bodied palate it has earthy, herbal, and resin notes with hints of mint and leather throughout. Some high-toned spice tones and warmth mid-palate is balanced well by fruit, oak and acids and gives way to long, smooth finish. Tannins are almost fully resolved. Should continue to drink well for another 4-5 years. Superb! Score: 92 pts

PoggioVerrano Dròmos 2005 - IGT Maremma Toscana, Italy (92 pts)

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  • Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Château Ampélia 2005 (Bordeaux) - Bottle 3 of 3 Wine Review

To ring in the New Year, I decided to open this red wine that turns 10 years old in 2015.

This is the last of the 3 bottles I purchased from the VINTAGES Bordeaux Futures program way back in February of 2006. The 2nd bottle of this wine was opened in March 2012. At that point in time, I commented that the tannins could have used more time to soften. Let's see how this red wine has evolved over the last (nearly) 3 years.

The 2009 vintage (#191171) of this wine was released in VINTAGES on Sept 28, 2013, with small quantities surprisingly still available.

CHÂTEAU AMPÉLIA 2005 - AC Côtes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France (#500330) (XD) - $20

Wine Review of 2005 Château Ampélia from AC Côtes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
Tasting Note:
Blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Wood and black plum aromas from the cork. Medium+ intensity aromas from the glass with aromas of dark currant, black plum, earth, wood and hints of dried herbs. Palate is medium+ bodied with a flavour profile that is quite complex - dried herb, clove flavours up front, followed by blackberry, currant, cedar, floral notes. Some prune and dried figs notes with air. Lengthy finish has clove, cocoa and oak flavours. Shows good balanced, acidity still quite fresh, while drying tannins have integrated very nicely. Could be aged another couple of years, but highly drinkable right now. Score: 89+ pts

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  • Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bodegas Valdemar Inspiración Valdemar 2005 (Rioja) - Wine Review

Purchased this red wine from a Vintages release back in May of 2010 and obviously no longer available for purchase. However, the 2008 came out in Vintages in last March and is still available in select Vintages stores.

BODEGAS VALDEMAR INSPIRACIÓN VALDEMAR 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#166512) (XD) - $19.95

Label of 2005 Bodegas Valdemar Inspiración Valdemar from Rioja, Spain
Tasting Note:
Blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano. Oak and baked prune aromas from the cork. Leather, earth, barnyard, prune and burnt dark fruit aromas in the glass. Full bodied with dark fruit, wood spice, and hints of prune and espresso on the palate. Big tannins are chalky. Very good acidity. Lengthy finish is spicy. Could be aged another 3-4 years. It's good, but was expecting more. Wouldn't hesitate to taste the 2008 or future vintages.

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  • Sunday, March 4, 2012

Château Ampélia 2005 (Bordeaux) - Bottle 2 of 3 Wine Review

Ordered this red wine back in February 2006, in lots of 3 bottles from the Vintages Bordeaux Futures program and arrived at my doorstep in March of 2008. The intent was to experience the evolution of a wine at various stages as it ages in the bottle. The 2005 Bordeaux's were remarked as possibly greatest vintage ever!

The first bottle was, ironically, opened on my wife's birthday in June of 2010 and based on my notes it looks like I did enjoy it. The second bottle was opened this evening, and here is my review...

CHÂTEAU AMPÉLIA 2005 - Côtes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France (#500330) (XD) - $20

Photo of Chateau Ampelia Bordeaux 2005
Tasting Note:
Some oak resin aromas from cork. Earthy, cedar, dark fruit, and some plum aromas. Fairly straightforward on the palate with dark and red fruits, finishing with pepper and some mocha notes. Full bodied wine. Tannins integrating nicely, but still need more time. This should drink well for at least another 4-5 years. Will be enjoying this with homemade Chicken Enchiladas.

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  • Sunday, February 20, 2011

Review: Château la Chèze 2005, Bordeaux, France

Choice for tonight was a 2005 Bordeaux.

CHÂTEAU LA CHÈZE 2005 - AC Premières Côtes de Bordeaux, France (#191007) - $18.95

Tasting Note:
Blackberry, currant, earth aromas and flavours. Spicy palate at mid-length. Medium-long finish. Still tannic and very chalky. Probably could have used another year or two in bottle for tannins to settle. It paired nicely with chicken and lamb meatballs.

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