Showing posts with label 2007. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2007. Show all posts

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  • Sunday, February 23, 2020

Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva Vertical Wine Tasting at EVOO Ristorante



, I had the pleasure of tasting a fine vertical of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva wines from Carpineto. The tasting was led by the owner of Carpineto, Antonio Mario Zaccheo and hosted by Univins & Spirits at EVOO Ristorante in Toronto.

Carpineto was founded in 1967 by Antonio and his business partner Giovanni Carlo Sacchet, setting out to produce internationally renowned Chianti Classico wines. Being wine fanatics, they saw enormous potential in the Tuscan soil and knew that applying cutting-edge technology could further help produce quality wines. Over the years, the intensity, integrity and consistency of their wines have earned Carpineto a solid reputation among consumers and critics alike.

The wines of Carpineto are grounded in tradition, influencing everything from sustainable winegrowing to how wine cellars are maintained. Carpineto wines are the fruit of an age-old connection to the land that bears its grapes and gives the wine it's unique qualities. all the while using advanced scientific and oenological processes and techniques which respect the territorial integrity of the land.

Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2015 - 2011 vertical wine tasting

Carpineto has five estates within Tuscany - two in Chianti Classico DOCG, and one each in Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, and Maremma DOC.

In 1966, not long after the DOC (Denominazione di origine controllata) system was implemented in Italy, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano became one of the country’s first DOC wines. And in 1980, when the DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) system - an even higher designation of quality - was implemented, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was again one of the first appellations to receive this status. The wines of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are made primarily with Sangiovese (minimum 70%), known locally as Prugnollo Gentile, and often blended with Canaiolo and other permitted varietals.

Carpineto's Montepulciano Estate sits on softly rolling hills, at an elevation of 250 metres, with 84.5 hectares of dry-farmed vineyards planted across 184 tillable hectares. These vineyards are planted with new clones of Sangiovese and international grape varietals that are dedicated to their age-worthy wines, as well as their Appodiati single vineyard programs. Modern trellising methods are used in the vineyards with clones and rootstocks varying according to soil type.

In addition, Carpineto also has 12 hectares of olive groves on the Montepulciano Estate planted to the classic Tuscan varieties of Frantoio, Moraiolo, Leccino and Pendolino that are used to produce the Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We got to taste their olive oil at the luncheon and it was delicious!

Arugula Salad with Feta and Crostini paired with Carpineto WinesPappardelle with Lamb paired with Carpineto Wines

The estate also contains an old farmhouse complex that is complete with vinification and ageing cellars that date back to the 1700's and are still in use today. Carpineto uses primarily oval Slavonian oak casks and small barrels for their ageing program. In 2010, a new state-of-the-art winery with a ventilated wooden roof and an integrated solar panel system was inaugurated to help reduce their environmental footprint.

The Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva wines comes from vineyards that are planted to a minimum of 70% Sangiovese (Prugnolo Gentile) and a maximum of 30% Canaiolo and other authorized grape varietals. It is aged for two years in large 5,500 litre Slavonian oak barrels, with a small part in French oak barrels.

In addition to tasting the lovely Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva wines, I also got to taste the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino (92 pts), 2015 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione (92 pts), and the 2015 Chianti Classico (88 pts).

Thank you very much to Univins & Spirits for the opportunity to taste these wonderful wines. Please contact Univins in order to purchase any of these wines as all were available for purchase at the time of the tasting.

EVOO Ristorante Biscotti with Carpineto Wines

Tasting Notes:

CARPINETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO RISERVA 2015 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#368910) (XD) - $32.95
From an excellent vintage, this has a fragrant, medium-high to highly aromatic and complex nose of red and black cherry, oak spice, earthy, barnyard, licorice, and leathery aromas with touches of violet and some prune notes. It's medium-full bodied with structured, dusty, and fine-grained tannins. Nice aroma replays on the flavour profile, turning savoury with more dark cherry/berry notes prominent. It has juicy, mouth-watering acids and a long, structured finish. Score: 91 pts

Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2015 (91 pts)Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2013 (89 pts)

CARPINETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO RISERVA 2013 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#368910) (XD) - $34.95
From a demanding vintage, the shy nose offers woody, dark berry, and dark plum aromas. It's medium-full bodied on the palate with soft, dusty textured tannins that have a touch of grippiness. It has vibrant acids and closes out with very good length on the finish. Score: 89 pts

CARPINETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO RISERVA 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#368910) (XD) - $32.95
From a vintage that promises excellent varietal and terroir expression, the 2012 is showing some maturity at this point, with dark berry, plum, forest floor, and hints of floral aromas, with more dark berry, earthy, and wood spice flavours showing up on the medium-full bodied palate. It has very good, balanced acidity which is supported by smooth, fine tannins that are structured with some grip. Evolving nicely with very good length on the finish. Score: 91 pts

Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2012 (91 pts)Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2011 (90+ pts)

CARPINETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO RISERVA 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#368910) (XD) - $32.95
Medium-high intensity nose has dusty, earthy, forest floor, woodsy, dark berry, blackberry with some floral, savoury, and leather aromas that continued to evolve in the glass. The medium-full bodied has very good acidity with nicely balanced aroma replays supported by smooth, fine, dusty tannins that still have a supple grip. Stony mineral joins the currant, dark berry, and sweet spice flavours on the long finish. Score: 90+ pts

CARPINETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO RISERVA 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#368910) (XD) - $29.95
Lovely floral, savoury, dried cherry, and sweet baking spice aromas with savoury notes more prominent on the full-bodied palate. It's very smooth with refined tannins that still have some structure and chalky textured characters. Nicely balanced throughout with very good acidity. Excellent finish length with savoury and earthy flavours. Still quite youthful. Enjoy over the next 5-6 years. Score: 92 pts

Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2010 (92 pts)Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2007 (90+ pts)

CARPINETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO RISERVA 2007 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#368910) (XD) - $29.95
From a hot vintage, this has a mature, medium intensity nose with savoury, leathery, barnyard, and earthy aromas with hints of floral and cherry. It's full-bodied with smooth, refined tannins and balanced acids. Nice aroma replays on the flavour profile that becomes savoury on the long finish. Still drinking quite well. Score: 90+ pts

CARPINETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO RISERVA 1995 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#368910) (XD) - $65
Colour shows some brown on the edges. Medium-high intensity nose offers some pruney, dark berry, and savoury aromas that evolves in the glass, adding lovely dried cherry and floral complexity. It's full-bodied and quite dense on the palate with very good fruit concentration and lovely aroma replays. Tannins are smooth and a touch grippy, while juicy acids are still very good. Excellent length with forest floor and savoury notes. Will continue to drink well for a few more years. Score: 92 pts

Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 1995 (92 pts)Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 1990 (93 pts)

CARPINETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO RISERVA 1990 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#368910) (XD) - $65
The medium-high intensity, mature nose is all earthy, savoury, and nutty with subtle wood spice aromas. Full-bodied and smooth on the palate with refined tannins that are very nicely integrated. It still has fresh acids and very good fruit, showing some primary, secondary, and tertiary flavours. Prune, dried fruit, and nutty flavours linger on the long finish. Still has enough life to enjoy over the next 4-5 years. Score: 93 pts


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  • Sunday, November 24, 2019

Rolly Gassmann Rotleibel de Rorschwihr Auxerrois 2007 (Alsace) - Wine Review

wine review was inspired after my visit to the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo on Thursday, where I visited the Vins d'Alsace booth and tasted some amazing white wines.

This lovely late harvest white wine is made by a producer who has been vine growing since 1611. The Auxerrois grape varietal is grown mostly in Alsace (France), with other sizable plantings grown only in Germany and Luxembourg. In Alsace, Auxerrois is the 4th most widely planted varietal and is commonly blended into Pinot blanc wines. It is rare to find an Auxerrois on its own, and even rarer to find at the LCBO.

I purchased this Auxerrois back in the summer of 2013 from the  LCBO VINTAGES Release - let's see how it is tasting 12 years from vintage...

Rolly Gassmann Rotleibel de Rorschwihr Auxerrois 2007 (92 pts)

Tasting Note:

ROLLY GASSMANN ROTLEIBEL DE RORSCHWIHR AUXERROIS 2007 - AC Alsace, France (#328872) (M) - $19.95
From darker brown clay and silt soils of Rotleibel, this late harvest Auxerrois pours a medium deep yellow gold and delivers medium+ intensity aromatics that slowly reveal aromas of dried apricot, peach, citrus, candied ginger, orange blossom, and some floral nuances. It is medium-full bodied with very good weight to the fruit and medium-dry honeyed flavours of dried apricot, ginger, orange peel, floral, and grilled pineapple. Acids are still quite lively and juicy. Excellent finish length with floral and orange peel notes veering towards dry. Great buy! Score: 92 pts


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  • Sunday, October 13, 2019

Ringbolt Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (Australia) - Wine Review

My wine review for Thanksgiving is this Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia.

This red wine was purchased from an LCBO VINTAGES Release nearly 10 years ago to the day, back in . Of course, the 2007 vintage of this wine is no longer available for purchase, but since it is listed as a VINTAGES Essential at the LCBO, a newer vintage of the Ringbolt Cabernet Sauvignon is always available in the VINTAGES section at your local LCBO outlet. It is interesting to note that while my 2007 bottling was enclosed by cork, newer vintages of this wine, like many Australian wines these days, are enclosed by screw cap.

Margaret River is known for producing highly acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The region is surrounded by forest, farmland, sea, enjoying the attributes of the mild maritime climate, rich soil, and fresh winds from both the Indian and Southern Oceans. The vineyards of Margaret River are planted primarily on gravel loam soils, which combine with summer sea breezes and temperature conditions during ripening that allow the grapes to develop complex varietal characters, elegance, and strength. At 12 years from vintage, let's see how this Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon is tasting tonight...

Ringbolt Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

RINGBOLT CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#606624) (XD) - $19.95
Medium intensity nose has olive, green pepper, tobacco, new leather, sandalwood, and whiffs of cassis liqueur characters. It is medium-full bodied with smooth, mature, and fully resolved tannins that offer just a touch of textural grippiness. Composed earthy and savoury flavours with sandalwood spice, forest floor, green pepper, and dark berry notes with hints of tobacco. Acids are still quite juicy, while the mid-palate is a touch warming. Very good length on the long, earthy-savoury finish accented by green pepper notes. Has aged quite well. Drink soon. Score: 89 pts


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  • Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Boutari Wine Tasting and Dinner at ONE Restaurant

Boutari Wine Tasting & Dinner at ONE Restaurant
In mid-October, I was invited to a very special and exclusive tasting of the fine wines from the Boutari portfolio. These Greek wines were paired with gourmet fare at Mark McEwan's ONE Restaurant in Yorkville, downtown Toronto.

The guest speaker for the evening was Dr. Yannis Voyatzis, CEO & General Manager at Boutari, and one of the leading Oenologists in Greece. He was joined by Christina Boutari, a 5th generation member of the Boutari family who kicked off the evening with an overview and some history about the winery.

The Boutari Company was established in 1879 by Ioannis Boutaris and currently owns many wineries and vineyards throughout Greece (and Europe). The 6 wineries owned by the company in Greece are situated in the country's most important winemaking regions - the AOCs of Naoussa, Goumenissa, Crete, Santorini, Mantinia, and Attica.

Heirloom Carrot Salad paired with MoschofileroChristina Boutari and Dr. Yannis Voyatzis

Dr. Voyatzis took us through all 8 wines over the course of the evening as they were paired with the 4-course meal that was crafted specially for this intimate event. The first course was an Heirloom Carrot Salad with pomegranate yoghurt, avocado, orange, pistachios, raisin chutney and cilantro vinaigrette which was paired with a pair of white wines. Both wines were made with 100% Moschofilero - a rose/grey coloured grape that is larger than Gewürztraminer. Most fascinating was the fact that each wine was made in a completely different style, but each paired quite well with the salad. The Moschofilero is quite versatile in that it can be served as a sipper or with lighter fare such as salads, while the Oropedio is more of a food wine and really accentuated the citrus flavours in the salad. Full tasting notes of these and other wines tasted on this night are provided below.

The second course was specially crafted for me because I don't eat octopus. Instead, I enjoyed a pair of falafels on a bed of risotto and topped with greens and a side of green mint chutney. It was paired with two wines that were quite different from each other - the light, ripe-fruited Agioritiko and the big, full-bodied Skalani that offered more floral notes. In this case, the Agioritiko was the better pairing with the falafel as it wasn't too heavy and offered freshness to balance out the chickpea-based falafel. For me, the Skalani is a wine I would have on its own or pair it with the main course on this night.

Falafel with Agioritiko and Boutari SkalaniLamb Chops with Xinomavro

Lamb chops with sides of tzatziki, herb roasted potatoes, and a Santorini salad that was topped with a lemon garlic vinaigrette. Food-wise, this was my highlight of the night! Lamb with a big, Greek red wine is a match made in heaven. What made this course even more special were the wines we paired the lamb with - the 2010 Grande Reserve Xinomavro which has been a favourite of mine a few years now, the 1879 Legacy 2007 which is an excellent wine, and last but definitely not the least, we had the opportunity to taste a 1992 Grande Reserve Xinomavro. All three wines were fabulous, with the 2010 G.R. Xinomavro and the Legacy pairing better with the lamb as this protein requires tannins for a balanced experienced. Furthermore, the Skalani tasted in the second course also paired really with the lamb. As for the 1992 G.R. Xinomavro, this is a great, mature wine to sip and enjoy on its own as it's not often one gets to taste a wine that's more than 20 years old.

Greek Vinsanto with Baklava and Halva

For dessert, we paired a Vinsanto that had some age on it with traditional Greek desserts baklava and halva made by Serano Bakery. Historical evidence suggests that Vinsanto's place of origin is Santorini, where late-harvested grapes are dried in the sun, otherwise known as the passito style. These fine, rich desserts were very sweet and paired beautifully with a 2008 Vinsanto that was also very sweet, but balanced by good acidity and has many years of enjoyment remaining.

Thank you to Kolonaki Group, Dr. Yiannis Voyatzis, Christina Boutari, and the staff at ONE Restaurant for your gracious hospitality. It was a very enjoyable and memorable evening!

Wine reviews of each wine tasted on this night are provided below. Unless otherwise noted, all of these wines can be found at the Destination Greece Specialty LCBO store at 200 Danforth Avenue. Moreover, some of these wines can also be found at other regular LCBO outlets - click on the wine's six-digit product code for more info. You can also contact the Agent to Kolonaki Group for more information or shop the Boutari collection online at ShopGreekWine.com.

Tasting Notes:

BOUTARI MOSCHOFILERO 2015 - PDO Mantinia, Greece (#172387) (D) - $13.10
Medium+ intensity aromatics offers fresh lemon, herbs, tropical fruits and floral aromas. The palate is medium-bodied and fleshy with crisp, juicy acids. Herbally and lemon pith flavours. The finish length is very good. Really appreciated this being served at the right temperature. Good for the patio or with salads. Score: 88 pts

Boutari Moschofilero 2015 (88 pts)Boutari Oropedio 2014 (88+ pts)

BOUTARI OROPEDIO 2014 - PDO Mantinia, Greece (XD) - $17.95
100% Moschofilero from oropedio (meaning "high plateau"), at 650 metres, altitude, and partially barrel-fermented, this has a medium-intensity nose featuring herbally, fennel, and mild oak nuances. It's also has some pine aromas, reminding me of a Retsina. The medium-bodied palate is dry and nicely textured, with softened acids due to oak, and pithy flavours. Medium-long finish. The 2016 vintage of this wine arrives on our shores this April. Score: 88+ pts

BOUTARI AGIORGITIKO 2015 - PDO Nemea, Greece (#172148) (XD) - $13.10
Aromas of medium+ intensity and offering ripe red fruits, earthy, cherry, red licorice, plum and some clove - quite complex. The palate is light-to-medium bodied with cherry, cough medicine, subtle oak spice, clove and cinnamon flavours. Lightly tannic with fresh, juicy acids. Medium finish length. Score: 88 pts

Boutari Agiorgitiko 2015 (88 pts)Boutari Skalani 2011 (91 pts)

BOUTARI SKALANI 2011 - PGI Heraklion, Greece (XD) - $29.95
A 50/50 blend of Kotsifali & Syrah, this has medium-high intensity aromas that are meaty and perfumed with purple fruits and sweet oak. It's full-bodied and juicy with blackberry, violet, floral, black plum and sweet oak flavours. It has refined tannins, very good acidity and excellent length on the finish. Drinakable now, but can age another 10 years. This is really fine! Score: 91 pts

BOUTARI GRANDE RESERVE XINOMAVRO 2010 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (#140111) (D) - $18.95
Tasted a few times now, and on this occasion I get lovely medium-high intensity aromas of cherry, clove, sweet floral and oak spice, and hints of olive and black pepper. Olive notes become more prominent with air. Medium-full bodied with still bright acids, nice black cherry, floral, some savoury notes, and hints of dried floral & fruit. Very good finish length. Approachable now, but can age another 3-5 years. Maturing well. Score: 90+ pts

Boutari Grande Reserve Xinomavro 2010 (90+ pts)Boutari 1879 Legacy 2007 (92 pts)

BOUTARI 1879 LEGACY 2007 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (#675081) (XD) - $49.60
First tasted in May, and delighted to be tasting again. This single vineyard Xinomavro has medium-high aromatics of great complexity - floral, cherry, clove, black berry, black pepper, black olive and oak and should open up further with decanting. The palate is full-bodied and complex led by an appealing floral note. There's good concentration of fruit balanced by mouth-watering acids. Finish length is excellent. A big wine that is drinking well now, but will age for decades. Score: 92 pts

BOUTARI GRANDE RESERVE XINOMAVRO 1992 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (XD) - $100
The treat of the night. This offers a medium-high intensity nose, very mature in profile with rose, cherry, dried fruit, umami, and just a touch of raisin/prune aromas. It's medium+ bodied with nice cherry-driven aroma replays. Still has very good acidity. Tannins are resolved, very smooth, velvety mouthfeel. Long finishing. Drink soon. Availability of this wonderful wine in Ontario is TBD. Score: 92 pts

Boutari Grande Reserve Xinomavro 1992 (92 pts)Boutari Vinsanto 2008 (92 pts)

BOUTARI VINSANTO 2008 - PDO Santorini, Greece (S) (500 mL) - $32
Made with sun-dried grapes consisting of 90% Assyrtiko and the rest mainly Aidani. This has an inviting nose of burnt caramel, sugar, and dried apricots of medium-high intensity. The palate is medium-full bodied with a grainy texture due to the wine being unfiltered. Very sweet flavours of dried apricot, honey, citrus, all-spice, Christmas cake are balanced by very good acidity. Long finish. Currently not available in Ontario. Score: 92 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 ShopGreekWine.com. 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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  • 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)


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  • Friday, May 20, 2016

Castillo Perelada Wine Tasting

Castillo Perelada
On , I had the pleasure of tasting some nice Cava and red table wines from Castillo Perelada. This old Spanish winery is making it's first appearance in Canada and I was delighted to be among the first group of people to try some of their delicious wines.

Castillo Perelada was founded by Miguel Mateu when he purchased the site in 1923. This historic site is made up of a castle and the Carme Monastery, both dating back to the 14th century. Family-owned and operated since its inception, the legacy Castillo Perelada now spans three generations after it passed from Miguel Mateu to his only daughter Carmen Mateu de Suqué (and her husband Arturo Suqué Puig), and now to their children Isabel, Javier and Miguel Suqué Mateu. Today, it is Javier that manages the day-to-day operations.

There are 5 vineyards that encompass Castillo Perelada. The Garbet vineyard is 12 hectares, located north of Cap de Creus, and has slatey soil farmed terraces which overlook the Mediterranean. The Malaveïna vineyard has reddish clay and pebbles on 19 hectares of gentle slopes. La Garriga vineyard is 41 hectares of flat terrain, clay silt with sand and gravel, and contains Perelada's oldest vineyards - Garnatxa (Garnacha/Grenache) and Samsó (Cariñena) that are both over 50 years old. The Espolla vineyard is located on the slopes of the Pre-Pyrenees in l'Albera and is 21 hectares of slatey, black soil. Lastly, the Pont de Molins vineyard is 38 hectares of flat terrain with a sandy texture and a slight silt content. The 5 Fincas Reserva that is reviewed below uses grapes from all 5 vineyards.

Peter Neal, Daniel Marquez and Andrew Hanna

Representing the Castillo Perelada at the tasting was Daniel Marquez, Sales Manager for North America.

Below you will find wine reviews of some of the wines I enjoyed on this evening. I am expecting a few wines from the Perelada portfolio show up on LCBO shelves in the future. However, if you're interested in purchasing sooner rather than later (and from a wider selection), you can contact the agent Hanna Neal Wine Merchants.

Thank you to Andrew, Peter and Chris for the invite and your hospitality! The wines were delicious and so were the hors d'oeuvres!

Tasting Notes:

CASTILLO PERELADA BRUT RESERVA CAVA - DO, Spain (D) - $15.95
Medium intensity nose featuring toasty, yeasty notes with hints of lime and peach. It has fine, mouthfilling mousse with off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) flavours of apricot and orchard fruits. It has good acidity and good length on the finish. Fairly easy drinking and should have wide appeal. Score: 87 pts

Castillo Perelada Brut Reserva Cava - DO, Spain (87 pts)

CASTILLO PERELADA STARS BRUT NATURE CAVA 2014 - DO, Spain (XD) - $15
Shows very good intensity on the nose, and after an initial whiff of sulphur reveals appealing smoke, citrus and peach aromas. On the palate it has fine, soft mousse on a medium+ bodied frame. Hint of sweetness with tangy citrus and orchard fruit flavours that continue through to the long, dry-ish finish. Score: 88 pts

Castillo Perelada Stars Brut Nature Cava 2014 - DO, Spain (88 pts)

CASTILLO PERELADA 5 FINCAS RESERVA 2012 - DO, Spain (XD) - $21.95
Grapes from each of the 5 Castillo Perelada vineyards make up this blend of Merlot (40%), Garnatxa (20%), Cabernet Sauvignon (15%), Syrah (15%), Tempranillo (5%) and Cabernet Franc (5%). Medium+ intensity nose featuring sour cherry and hints of barnyard and earth. The palate is medium-to-full bodied with supple tannins and good acidity. Brambly flavours with hints of floral and sweet vanilla are quite appealing. Finishes long. Score: 88 pts

Castillo Perelada 5 Fincas Reserva 2012 - DO, Spain (88 pts)

CASTILLO PERELADA FINCA GARBET 2007 - DO Empordà, Spain (XD) - $125
Here's a lovely 100% Syrah from vineyards located along the banks of the Mediterranean. Highly aromatic nose on the dark fruit side with lovely black cherry, blackberry, black pepper, dark currant and subtle hints of oak. The palate is medium-to-full bodied with very nice aroma replays that weave together seamlessly. It has juicy acids and ripe, integrated tannins. The finish is long and earthy with hints of currant. Only 1000 bottles made, and tasted from bottle #0843. Score: 91 pts

Castillo Perelada Finca Garbet 2007 - DO Empordà, Spain (91 pts)Castillo Perelada Finca Garbet 2007 - Bottle 843 of 1000


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