Showing posts with label 2009. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2009. Show all posts

Sunday, June 10, 2018

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  • Sunday, June 10, 2018

Tenuta PoggioVerrano Infinity 2009 (Tuscany) - Wine Review



red wine is a new wine coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

Even though Tenuta PoggioVerrano was founded in the shining and rural landscape of Maremma Toscana at the turn of the century in the year 2000, this appears to be the first vintage for this particular red wine. The property has 27 hectares of vines planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Alicante, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Franc on rocky soils of a calcareous and clayey nature, and located between 170 metres and 300 metres elevation. The vineyards are facing south-southwest and are located just 15 kilometres from the Mediterranean. The winery is built upon gravity flow principles and is fully underground.

Tenuta PoggioVerrano Infinity 2009 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

INFINITY 2009 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#540906) (XD) - $25.95
This excellent Super Tuscan is a blend of 35% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, and 20% Alicante that was aged for 2 years is French oak barriques and 3 years in small stainless steel tanks before bottling. Intriguing black plum, blackberry, and oak spice aromas from the cork. Highly aromatic, pretty aromas in the glass with a nice, mature mix of savoury and dried fruits - think red floral, savoury wet forest floor, dried cherry, and sweet oak spice, along with hints of cinnamon, black plum, and black licorice. The palate is medium-full bodied with nicely balanced, complex aroma replays. Supple tannins are nicely folding into the palate, offering some grip and dusty texture. Acids are fresh. Savoury notes linger on the finish, with excellent length. Drinking great now, but can also be enjoyed over the next 5 years. Score: 91 pts


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

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  • Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Mas d'Auzières Sympathie Pour Les Stones 2009 (Languedoc) - Wine Review

wine is the first bottle I'm opening in 2018. It was purchased nearly 6 years ago from the LCBO VINTAGES Release and no newer vintages have reached VINTAGES shelves since.

This red wine is made with Syrah and the name is not only a tribute to the Rolling Stones song "Sympathy of the Devil", but also gives a nod to the rocks (i.e. terroir) in the vineyard from where these grapes were grown in the Languedoc. Let's see how this tastes after half a decade in the cellar.

Mas d'Auzières Sympathie Pour Les Stones 2009 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

MAS D'AUZIÈRES SYMPATHIE POUR LES STONES 2009 - AC Côteaux du Languedoc, Midi, France (#277046) (XD) - $19.95
Dark plum and scorched earth aromas from the cork. This Syrah shows a mature aroma profile in the glass with meaty, umami, wet earth, and forest floor notes along with hints of dark berry compote and dried fruit aromas. The medium-full bodied palate is smooth as tannins have nicely folded into the wine. Flavours are in the savoury spectrum with stony mineral, forest floor, black spice, and mocha chocolate notes. Acids are juicy and still provide nice lift. Just a touch of heat mid-palate. Finish length is very good with savoury mocha chocolate and fig flavours. If you still have this delicious, mature red wine, then drink by 2020. Score: 90 pts


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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  • Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Niagara Wine Tasting - Get Fresh in the Valley 2017

Redstone Limestone Riesling with Fried Shrimp Slider
On , I travelled to Niagara Wine Country to visit some wineries I had never been to before, as well as participate in some of Twenty Valley's Get Fresh in the Valley food & wine experiences.

The day began at Rosewood Estates Winery, an award-winning winery and meadery. And even though I had tasted the wines from this winery before, as well as driven by many, many times, this was my first ever on-site visit. Unfortunately, I missed taking the tour which would have included an opportunity to see the apiary (beeyard), tank cellar and barrel room. On the bright side, I did get to taste through some delicious wines and mead from their current portfolio - wine reviews of my favourites are provided below.

The next stop of the day was nearby in Beamsville at Redstone Winery. The property was formerly the Thomas and Vaughan Estate Winery and purchased by Moray Tawse (of his namesake in winery in Vineland, Ontario) in 2009. In June 2015, they opened up their beautiful hospitality centre, retail tasting room, and restaurant. The Get Fresh pairing here was their very delicious 2013 Redstone Limestone Riesling with a Fried Shrimp Slider with a Buttermilk Ranch & Iceberg Slaw. The brilliant acidity in the wine complemented the Fried Shrimp very well, while the Buttermilk Ranch sauce and sweetness in the wine balanced out the touch of heat from chili powder that was added to the batter. Overall, this was very well done. This was my first ever visit and I definitely want to come back for a dining experience as the restaurant menu looks delicious! In hindsight, I wish I had picked up a bottle of the Riesling (because it's THAT good!), but hopefully it will show up in VINTAGES this Summer.

GreenLane Cabernet with Lil' Lamb Slider
My third stop of the day was a short drive away along King Street at GreenLane Estate Winery for a Lil' Lamb Slider with Mint & Caper Mayo that was paired with their 2013 GreenLane Cabernet (60% Cabernet Franc & 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, $16.95, 87 pts). The green flavours coming from both the wine and mint dominated the flavour profile in this pairing, while the tannins in the Cabernet blend offered enough structure to balance the protein. This was a very well balanced and delicious Get Fresh pairing that I would be happy to enjoy again at home since I have the recipe.

Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery was the fourth stop of the afternoon. Amazingly, in all my years of visiting Niagara, I had never been to Henry of Pelham - until this day. After tasting a few wines, I enjoyed a quick tour of Canada's largest underground barrel cellar room which houses more than 1500 barrels. The winery was founded in 1988, but the heritage of the property goes back to circa 1778 when it was deeded to the Speck Brothers great, great, great Grandfather, Nicholas Smith, and has been in the family ever since. In 1842, Nicholas' youngest son Henry - for which the winery is named - built an inn, tavern, and carriage house which now serves as the tasting room and wine boutique.

Henry of Pelham Barrel RoomHenry of Pelham Sparkling Wine Disgorging

Henry of Pelham Barrel RoomHenry of Pelham

As it was quite late in the day by the time everything wrapped up at the previous winery, the final few stops on Saturday were rather quick. I popped into Aure Wines (my first ever visit and now known as London Born Wine Co.) for a Get Fresh pairing of their delicious 2011 Aure Wild Ferment Pinot Noir and a Red Wine Cupcake Bite that was topped with Cherry Swirl Icing. The Pinot itself was quite nice, maturing well and paired nicely with the cupcake, bringing out sweet cherry flavours and baking spice notes from the wine. One wouldn't normally think of pairing Pinot with dessert, but this worked out quite well because each offered just a hint of sweetness. Aure Wines is known for their Marechal Foch and White Gamay, but unfortunately (for me) neither one was available for tasting as they were sold out. I'll have to make a point to visit again.

Aure Wild Ferment Pinot Noir wih Red Wine CupcakeFielding Rosé with Sweet Pepper Bruschetta

The next stop was at Fielding Estate Winery for a Get Fresh pairing of Sweet Pepper Bruschetta with Feta Cheese on a Focaccia, and paired with their 2016 Fielding Estate Rosé (#053421, $15.95, 86 pts). This was a very flavourful pairing with lots of interesting piquant, herbally, tart and sour flavours from the Bruschetta competing with somewhat sweet melon and herbally notes in the wine. I would call it a flavour explosion, but in a very pleasing and appealing way that still worked well together. If I get my hands on the recipe, I would definitely try this at home. If you plan to be in Niagara over the next few weeks, Fielding will be releasing the latest vintage of quite a few wines.

Angels Gate Pinot Noir with Spring Salad
My last stop of the day was at Angels Gate Winery, a winery I have known about for many years, but I recall this being my first ever visit to the site. The Get Fresh food & wine pairing here was a Spring Salad with Strawberries, Goat Cheese, Candied Pecans and Strawberry Balsamic Dressing paired with their 2014 Angels Gate Pinot Noir (#308486, $17.95, 88+ pts). The strawberry salad was delicious and really brought out the strawberry flavours in the wine, while the creamy goat cheese helped balance the acids in the balsamic dressing and the wine, leading to a very enjoyable pairing overall. Since this was my last stop, I managed to squeeze in a few tastings from a list that featured many delicious wines that had some age on them.

Overall, I really enjoyed my visit to Niagara Wine Country this time around. It was especially nice to check out some wineries that I had never visited before. It was also really great that the wineries provided recipes of their food pairings - I can't wait to enjoy them at home. If anyone would like the recipe of the Fried Shrimp Slider or the Lamb Slider, please let me know and I'll send it to you.

Wine review of my favourite wines tasted at each winery are provided below. Most of these wines are only available at the winery. However, some might be available through the VINTAGES section at the LCBO.

Tasting Notes:

ROSEWOOD ESTATES ORIGIN MIMA'S BLOCK RIESLING 2014 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (D) - $15.95
Medium-high intensity aromatics offer nice petrol, orange citrus, lemon/lime and some green apple. Ripe lemon/lime flavours on the off-dry palate are balanced by tart and gentle acids. The finish length is very good. Coming to VINTAGES later this month. Score: 88 pts

Rosewood Estates Origin Mima's Block Riesling 2014 (88 pts)Rosewood Estates Origin Cabernet Franc 2014 (89 pts)

ROSEWOOD ESTATES ORIGIN CABERNET FRANC 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $29.95
Highly intense aromas that are herbaceous with green pepper, black cherry, blackberry, toasty oak, and earthy barnyard notes. The palate is medium+ bodied with ripe fruited dark cherry, dark berry flavours, along with some bitterness. Acids are bright, while the tannins somewhat tight at the moment. The finish length is very good. Drinkable now, but should improve in 2-3 years as tannins integrate. Score: 89 pts

ROSEWOOD ESTATES MEAD ROYALE HONEY WINE 2015 - Ontario, Canada (#296178) (S) - $16.95
Barrel-aged for 6 months in French oak, this honey wine has a medium-intensity nose of honeysuckle, citrus and floral, all with honeyed overtones and much of the same on the chalky textured, light-to-medium bodied palate. Long, satisfying finish. It's sweet, but not as sweet as one might expect. Score: 88 pts

Rosewood Estates Mead Royale Honey Wine 2015 (88 pts)

REDSTONE LIMESTONE VINEYARD RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2013 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $38.95
This Chardonnay was barrel-fermented and aged for 12 months in French oak, 30% new, and offers ripe tropical fruits, golden apple and buttery aromas that continue onto the lush, medium-bodied palate. Nicely balanced overall, textured, and lifted by bright, refreshing acids. The finish length is very good. Score: 89 pts

REDSTONE LIMESTONE VINEYARD SOUTH RIESLING 2013 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#381251) (M) - $18.95
Lovely aromatics of medium-high intensity features a nice mineral, petrol, peach and candied orange citrus nose. The palate is medium-bodied with intense, sweet fruited citrusy aroma replays along with hints of lemon/lime and limestone minerality. Acids are bright and a touch sour. Nicely balanced overall and finishes with more minerally notes and excellent length. Sold out at the winery, but some still available in VINTAGES. Score: 90 pts

Redstone Limestone Vineyard South Riesling 2013 (90 pts)Redstone Meritage 2012 (90 pts)

REDSTONE MERITAGE 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $45.95
A blend of 60/20/20 blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, this has medium-high intensity aromas notes of dark berry, toasty oak, black currant and cassis that should open up further with air. It's full-bodied with very nice aroma replays, structured tannins, and very good acidity adding freshness. Satisfying on the long finish with some bretty, barnyard, and earthy notes. Score: 90 pts

GREENLANE RIESLING 2014 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (D) - $15.95
A blend of estate fruit that's combined with their old vines, this has medium+ intensity aromas of peach, apricot, and orange citrus that continue on the off-dry palate with additional flavours of Flintstones vitamins. Tart acids provide freshness, while there's a hint of mineral texture on the palate. There's good length on the finish. Score: 87 pts

Greenlane Riesling 2014 (87 pts)Greenlane Dry Riesling 2013 (89 pts)

GREENLANE DRY RIESLING 2013 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $40
This bone dry Riesling has an austere, medium intensity nose with notes of honeysuckle and slate. The palate is medium+ bodied with mineral-driven flavours of lemon/lime, citrus and a hint of apricot. Fine chalky mineral texture, balanced acids and long finishing. Score: 89 pts

GREENLANE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $32.95
Highly aromatic on the nose with appealing cassis, dark currant, black cherry, blackberry and floral aromas. It's full-bodied with smooth, velvety tannins and very nice aroma replays along with hints of earth and barnyard. There's some alcohol warmth, but good depth of fruit supports it well. Acids are mouth-watering and the finish length is excellent. Will age 5-6 years, but highly enjoyable now. One of the favourite wines of the day! Score: 90+ pts

Greenlane Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (90+ pts)

HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE RIESLING 2016 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#643361) (MD) - $24.95
From vines planted in 1984, this has delicate, elegant, and fruit forward aromas of peach, apricot, orange citrus, and Flintstones vitamins. It's medium-dry on the palate with nice aroma replays, juicy acids, and medium-long finish with hints of mineral. Score: 89 pts

HENRY OF PELHAM CUVÉE CATHARINE CARTE BLANCHE BLANC DE BLANC 2012 - Traditional method, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#315200) (XD) - $44.95
100% estate grown Chardonnay, partially barrel-fermented and then aged for 5 years in bottle before being disgorged, this has medium-high intensity aromas that are bready, nutty and lemony. On the palate, it's medium-full bodied with citrus and biscuity flavours, a hint of sweetness that's balanced by lively acids and bright mousse. The finish is long, clean, and dry with hints of mineral. Score: 91 pts

Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Carte Blanche Blanc de Blanc 2012 (91 pts)Henry of Pelham Riesling Icewine 2014 (91 pts)

HENRY OF PELHAM RIESLING ICEWINE 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#430561) (S) (375 mL) - $49.95
Highly aromatic, gorgeous nose that's honeyed with apricot, sweet lemon, mango, and tropical fruit aromas. It is full-bodied with very nice aromas replays and supported by high acids adding freshness and texture, while also balancing the sweetness very well. Finish length is excellent. Score: 91 pts

AURE RESERVE PINOT NOIR 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $40?
Open, fine nose of red cherry, strawberry, truffle, earth and subtle oak spice with very good intensity. The palate is light-weighted with light tannins that gain texture and volume in the mouth, with lovely aroma replays and fine acidity. Nicely balanced with a bit of old and new world in this Pinot. Finish length is excellent. Score: 90 pts

FIELDING ESTATE BOTTLED RIESLING 2016 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#251439) (M) - $20.15
Ripe apple, citrus, and melon aromas of medium+ intensity. The medium-bodied palate is fleshy with tightly wound acids, medium sweet flavours that follow through from the aroma profile, plus some herbally hints. The finish length is very good. Will be better after 1-2 years of cellaring. Score: 89 pts

Fielding Estate Bottled Riesling 2016 (89 pts)Angels Gate Archangel Pinot Noir Brut Rosé 2009 (89 pts)

ANGELS GATE ARCHANGEL PINOT NOIR BRUT ROSÉ 2009 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (D) - $28.95
Medium-high intensity aromas feature ripe cherry and strawberry compote notes. On the medium-bodied palate, it has finely balanced mousse and pleasing aroma replays. Flavour profile is off-dry, but finishes on the dry side with some yeasty and bready notes, with very good length. Score: 89 pts

ANGELS GATE MOUNTAINVIEW CHARDONNAY 2009 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $19.95
This mature Chardonnay spent 14 months in French oak and has medium-high intensity aromas that are nutty and buttery, with hints of vanilla on the nose. The palate is medium-full bodied with a somewhat creamy texture and very nice aroma replays joined by some apple notes. Well-balanced overall thanks to the very good acidity. Finish length is excellent. Score: 89 pts

Angels Gate Mountainview Chardonnay 2009 (89 pts)Angels Gate Mountainview Riesling 2008 (91 pts)

ANGELS GATE MOUNTAINVIEW RIESLING 2008 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (D) - $16.95
Lovely, highly aromatic nose is showing mature notes of mineral, petrol, lemon, and hints of white peach. The palate is medium-bodied with still bright and lemony acids. It has an off-dry flavour profile that's mineral-driven with lemony citrus notes. Finish length is excellent. Score: 91 pts


Monday, August 22, 2016

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  • Monday, August 22, 2016

Niagara New Vintage Wine Festival Review 2016 - Day 1

On the weekend of -12, 2016, I visited Niagara wine country to take in the annual New Vintage Festival and indulge in Discovery Pass Experiences throughout the region. activities centered around the wineries of the Niagara Escarpment and Twenty Valley. A full review of Sunday's activities, which were mostly in Niagara-on-the-Lake, will be posted in a few days. is posted here.

Scratch Bakery #PieholeApproved Strawberry Tart with Mike Weir 4 Barrel Chardonnay
We began the day at Mike Weir Winery for a #pieholeapproved strawberry tailgate tart paired with their 4 Barrel Chardonnay.  The tart by itself was to die for! An exquisite creation by the folks at Scratch Bakery that consisted of a basil shortbread crust with a balsamic mascarpone whip and topped with a balsamic strawberry and rhubarb glaze. The Chardonnay paired really well with the tart, showing off a very fine sweet and savoury balance. Most impressively was how the mascarpone cheese cream helped balance the acid in the wine to create a smooth, harmonious mouthfeel.

I was also delighted (and surprised!) to see both the 2010 Merlot and 2010 Meritage still available for purchase at the winery at $20 each. These should be added to every red wine lover's cellar for those seeking quality local red wine on a budget.

Vieni Momenti Sparkling with Maryland Crab Meat Patty
The next stop was Vieni Estates for a rich and delicate Maryland crab meat patty crusted with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese, and topped with with a chipotle aioli that added some spice. It was paired with their always easy-drinking Momenti Sparkling (reviewed below). The bubbles from the Sparkling Wine added interest and texture to the dense patty that had small pieces of crab meat embedded within. Furthermore, the sweetness from the sparkler cooled down some of the chili heat from the crab meat patty. Overall, an enjoyable pairing that was very satisfying.

Malivoire Lady Bug Rosé with Cheesy Guys Grillable Cheese, Strawberries and Greens
Our third stop of the day was at Malivoire Wine Company , where the Cheesy Guys brought a delectable BBQ-friendly grillable cheese to life in a salad with local greens, strawberries and nuts. It was paired with their dry 2015 Malivoire Lady Bug Rosé (#559088, $15.95, 87 pts). This rosé was one of the first rosé wines I enjoyed when I first took in interest in wine many, many years ago and is still enjoyable to this day - it's a refreshingly dry (i.e. not sweet) rosé that you too will enjoy if you're a fan of the style. The pairing with the salad was good - fresh, crisp, savoury, some sweetness from the nuts, and well-balanced overall.

Since I had tasted through many of Malivoires wines back in January, I opted to taste through the wines of Rennie Estate Winery. This winery produces only 4 wines, from grapes that are 100% estate grown. The vineyard is the Heron Pond Benchland Vineyard, a 50 acre site that has been producing grapes as early as the 1960's - making it one of the oldest in Niagara. I really enjoyed two wines from the Rennie portfolio and reviews of those are provided below. The wines are available for purchase online or by visiting Malvoire Wine Company.

Stoney Ridge Cabernet Franc with Scratch Bakery Dark Chocolate and Strawberry Tart
The final stop of the day was nearby at Stoney Ridge Estate Winery where Scratch Bakery once again provided the culinary creation. The pairing here was the 2014 Stoney Ridge Cabernet Franc (#369702, $14.95, 88 pts) with a dark chocolate tart topped with a farm fresh Ontario strawberry. This pairing was a whole lot of chocolate - lots of chocolate flavours coming from the wine that meshed well with the dark chocolate tart. However, I was quite chocolated-out after it was finished.

Since all the stops on this day were quite close to each other, we still had much of the afternoon to check-in to the hotel in Niagara Falls and rest up prior to dinner. Another full day of wine tasting paired with delicious culinary creations was awaiting us on Sunday, a review of which will be posted in a couple of days.

Full wine reviews of the many wines I enjoyed on Saturday are posted below. Most of these wines are not available at the LCBO, but can be ordered online by visiting the winery's website.

Thank you to each and every winery - your gracious hospitality was very much appreciated by myself and the group.

Tasting Notes:

MIKE WEIR 4 BARREL CHARDONNAY 2013 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $24.95
Medium intensity nose of pear, lime, floral with just hints of wood influence. On the palate, it is medium-bodied with bright acids and flavours of buttery, apple and pear notes. Quite fruit forward with hints of vanilla and butterscotch. It has juicy, tart acids and the finish length is very good. Score: 88+ pts

Mike Weir 4 Barrel Chardonnay 2013 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88+ pts)

MIKE WEIR PINOT NOIR 2009 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#000075) (D) - $16.95
Amazing to still be able to find a 2009 Pinot. This Pinot offers a medium+ intensity nose of forest floor and cherry, along with some strawberry and earthy tones. The palate is medium-bodied and shows a complex, savoury flavour profile consisting of red and black fruits, spiced oak, currant and herbally hints. Acids are bright and still quite fresh. Very good length on the finish. Supple tannins should allow this wine to drink well for a few more years. Score: 88+ pts

Mike Weir Pinot Noir 2009 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88+ pts)Mike Weir Limited Edition Merlot 2013 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88 pts)

MIKE WEIR LIMITED EDITION MERLOT 2013 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $29.95
Medium+ bodied with some sulphur off the top, but gives way to red and black fruits, currant, green pepper, and mocha aromas. It's medium-bodied with medium-level of tannins and flavours of currant, chocolate, cocoa and black cherry. Acids are well-balanced and finishing long. Enjoy to 2021. Score: 88 pts

VIENI MOMENTI SPARKLING 2013 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#435784) (MD) - $13.95
A blend 60% Vidal and 40% Pinot Grigio, this has an appealing nose of honey, peach and sweet limes. Easy drinking with medium-sweet aroma replays. Some tartness on the bubbles. Would make a nice apertif or pair with mildly spiced dishes. Score: 88 pts

Vieni Momenti Sparkling 2013 - VQA Ontario, Canada (88 pts)

VIENI PINOT GRIGIO 2013 - VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (D) - $14.95
A light nose features a floral, herbal and mineral character. Medium-bodied with a rounded mouthfeel and flavours of stone fruits, white peach and more mineral. Balanced acids and good length on the finish. Score: 88 pts

Vieni Pinot Grigio 2013 - VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88 pts)Vieni Chardonnay 2012 - VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88+ pts)

VIENI CHARDONNAY 2012 - VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#388371) (XD) - $22.95
Medium intensity nose of golden apple, pear and coconut. It's medium-to-full bodied with nice aroma replays. Well-balanced with a nicely spiced mid-palate and balanced acids. Long finish. Score: 88+ pts

MALIVOIRE PINOT GRIS 2015 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#591305) (D) - $21.95
Notions of lemon/lime, floral and stone fruit aromas of medium intensity from the glass. The medium-bodied palate offers a clean, crisp and fresh wine that's nicely balanced with nice mineral and peach flavours. Well-delineated acids and hints of honey on a finish length that's very good. Score: 89 pts

Malivoire Pinot Gris 2015 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)

RENNIE ESTATE CHRISTINE CHARDONNAY 2013 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $35
This unfiltered, oaked Chardonnay has a lovely nose of pear, apple, butterscotch, tropical fruits and hints of ginger. The full-bodied palate is rich and creamy with beautiful aroma replays and some mildly spice notes on the mid-palate add some nice texture. It's quite well-balanced with good acidity and excellent length on the finish. Score: 91 pts

Rennie Estate Christine Chardonnay 2013 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (91 pts)Rennie Estate Paradox Pinot Noir 2013 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (91 pts)

RENNIE ESTATE PARADOX PINOT NOIR 2013 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $40
An elegant nose of medium-high intensity offers complex strawberry, cherry, earth, with hints of herbs and oak spices. The palate is medium-bodied and smooth with exotic spice notes joining the red fruited flavours. Terrific complexity and depth. Long finish. Tight tannic structure will allow this wine to age a number of years. Score: 91 pts

STONEY RIDGE EXCELLENCE CHARDONNAY 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#254243) (XD) - $24.95
Medium intensity nose of butterscotch, pineapple, vanilla and pear, along with hints of bubblegum. The palate is medium-bodied with vanilla, butter, and baked apple flavours with a spiced mid-palate, balanced acids and long finish. Score: 88 pts

Stoney Ridge Excellence Chardonnay 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88 pts)Stoney Ridge Excellence Pinot Noir 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88+ pts)

STONEY RIDGE EXCELLENCE PINOT NOIR 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $29
Has a medium intensity nose featuring elegant cherry, strawberry and red pepper jelly, with more of the same on the flavour profile, plus beetroot and earthy flavours. The palate is medium+ bodied with bright, balanced acids and refined tannins. Very good length on the finish. Score: 88+ pts


Friday, July 8, 2016

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  • Friday, July 8, 2016

Food Truck Fest 2016 at Mike Weir Winery

Mike Weir Winery Food Truck Fest
On , Mike Weir Winery will be hosting it's 3rd Annual Food Truck Fest. This event provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate summer in the vineyards at Mike Weir Winery, where the Food Truck Fest is held annually in their Merlot Block. Some of the winery's best wines will be poured by the glass, to go along with Live Music all day, and the best local eats you can get around town! As a bonus, all gourmet eats will be prepared using ingredients sourced from local farmers within the Lincoln area, ensuring freshness across the board.

The entire venue is licensed and guests may walk through our vineyards, the Bruce Trail, and enjoy panoramic views from the property. The retail and hospitality building will be in full function as well, offering wines by the glass and tastings all day to the general public and Food Truck Fest guests.

To keep the event fun and festive, the Groovy Food Band will be performing ALL DAY, rocking grooves from all decades and easy rock tunes! Furthermore, you can tune in to 105.7 FM as they will be playing live-to-air easy rock from the event.

The Vendors:

  • Avella’s Wood Fired Pizza – Handmade, Fresh to order
  • The Yellow Pear – Farm-to-Table cuisine, offering Gluten Free and Vegan Options*
  • The Wandering Gourmet – Authentic Californian Fresh Taco Cart, Farm-to-table
  • 494 Kitchen – International comfort food with a modern twist*
  • The Panwich Company – Anything in a panini, and I mean anything!
  • Eh Jose – Authentic Mexican
  • Gourmet Guyz – Fresh and Seasonal Fare
  • The Go-Go Food Co. (Cucina a-go-go) – Authentic Italian Street style
  • Scratch Bakery – Niagara's first Pie-Hole Approved bakery!
  • Hometown Ice Cream Truck – Creative Flavours you wouldn’t have thought, but unbelievable! (all local ingredients)

  • The Cigar Experience – Selling top quality stogies from internationally around the world. Makes a GREAT gift!

Location and Time:

Mike Weir Winery
4041 Locust Lane, Beamsville (Lincoln), Ontario L0R 1B0
Saturday, July 16, 2016 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Costs:

Entry fee is $5.00 per person (payable online or on-site), and includes one souvenir Govino glass, don’t lose it!

Vendors will have different ranges of pricing according to their menu by items. (usually between $5.00-$20.00 per plate - and worth EVERY penny)

Wine by the glass will be offered through a ticket system. Wine Tickets will be sold for $5.00 and then redeemed at the wine booth for a 5 oz. glass of wine. Wine varieties will be confirmed closer to the date, but you can bet there will be fresh, summery wines such as a rosé, Riesling, and fun reds. Here are a couple of wines that should be available at the event.

MIKE WEIR CRASH ROSÉ 2011 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada - $11.95
100% Cabernet Franc. Light, honeyed red fruit aromas from the cork. Medium-intensity nose has cooked strawberry and red cherry aromas with hints of flowers. The palate is medium+ bodied with aromas more cooked strawberry and cherry coming through on the palate, followed by herbally sage notes that add complexity and continue through to the medium-length finish. Just a touch of honey mid-palate, but essentially dry overall with juicy acids. A food wine that will go great with many of the offerings at the Food Truck Fest. Available at winery only. Score: 86 pts

Mike Weir Crash Rosé 2011 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (86 pts)

MIKE WEIR PINOT NOIR 2009 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#000075) (D)- $16.95
Ripe red berry, cherry aromas from the cork. Showing just a touch of brown on the rim. Lovely blend of spices followed by maturing red fruits, cherry and earth aromas. It's light-to-medium bodied with just a touch of tannic grip. Acids are fresh. Cherry-cranberry flavours with earthy and beetroot tones on the palate. Very good length on the finish. Enjoy by 2017. A wine that is widely available at the LCBO, but may not be the 2009 vintage. The 2009 is available at the winery. Score: 88 pts
Mike Weir Pinot Noir 2009 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88 pts)


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

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  • Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Descendientes de J. Palacios Pétalos 2009 (Spain) - Wine Review

For the long weekend, I opened up this beauty of a wine to pair with Greek-marinated chicken wraps. It was purchased from a VINTAGES Release back in January, 2012 and has been slowly evolving for more than 4 years.

This delicious wine has been consistently good vintage-after-vintage and regularly shows up on VINTAGES shelves.

Descendientes de J. Palacios Pétalos 2009 - DO Bierzo, Spain (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

DESCENDIENTES DE J. PALACIOS PÉTALOS 2009 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#675207) (XD) - $22.95
Dark plum, earth and spice aromas from the cork. Medium-to-high intensity aromatics offering forest floor and umami off the top with underlying herbs, sweet spice, and dark fruits. The palate is medium-bodied that picks up more body with air. Definitely on the savoury side with herbs, sweet oak, earth, black cherry and hints of mineral flavours on the palate. Acids are mouth-watering while the tannins are smooth and well-integrated. A warming mid-palate continues through to the long, earthy finish. Shows a lot of finesse. A nicely maturing wine to enjoy over the next half dozen years. 100% Mencía. Score: 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)


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