Showing posts with label 2010. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2010. Show all posts

Sunday, October 14, 2018

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  • Sunday, October 14, 2018

Cave de Roquebrun La Grange des Combes Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun 2010 (Midi) - Wine Review



beverage is a lovely red wine blend that I purchased 5 years ago from the LCBO VINTAGES Release. I also have the 2013 and 2015 vintages of this wine, which would've made for a nice vertical tasting, but alas, only the 2010 is opened tonight.

The latest vintage (2016) of this delicious wine can be found in the LCBO VINTAGES section for a couple of dollars more than what I paid for this wine 5 years ago.

Cave de Roquebrun La Grange des Combes Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun 2010 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

CAVE DE ROQUEBRUN LA GRANGE DES COMBES SAINT-CHINIAN-ROQUEBRUN 2010 - AC, Midi, France (#155804) (XD) - $17.95
Blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 20% Mourvèdre grown on schistous soils facing south and south-east. It was raised in stainless steel tanks and bottled unfiltered. Fragrant earthy, smoky, savoury, meaty nose accented by peppery spice, black cherry, and touches of floral aromas. It is almost full bodied on the lively palate with savoury dark cherry, mineral, smoke, garrigue, blackberry flavours. Acids are still quite fresh, while firm, gritty tannins are chalky and drying. Garrigue, pepper, savoury, and mineral notes linger on the fine, long finish. A pleasure to drink, but tannins are starting to overpower the fruit. Drink now. Score: 90 pts


Sunday, October 7, 2018

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  • Sunday, October 7, 2018

Pierre Sparr Réserve Pinot Gris 2016 (Alsace) and Vieni Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (Niagara) - Wine Reviews

Pierre Sparr Réserve Pinot Gris 2016 and Vieni Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Opened up these two delicious wines to celebrate long weekend.

The Pinot Gris was purchased from the recent LCBO VINTAGES Release, while the Cabernet Sauvignon is from an excellent 2010 Niagara vintage and was purchased when visiting the winery in .

Tasting Notes:

PIERRE SPARR RÉSERVE PINOT GRIS 2016 - AC Alsace, France (#983395) (D) - $18.95
The nose is soft and mild, featuring waxy, lemon, and orange citrus aromas. The plush palate is more lively and a touch oily, with nice orange citrus, honeyed, and peach flavours in an off-dry style on a medium+ bodied frame. Acids are bright, fresh, and provide lift, while the finish is long and juicy. Score: 88+ pts

Pierre Sparr Réserve Pinot Gris 2016 (88+ pts)

VIENI RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#373308) (XD) - $19.95
Matured considerably since I last tasted this wine. The mature nose has savoury black plum, earth, and barnyard aromas. It's medium-full bodied on the palate with currant, cassis, red and black fruits all wrapped around a savoury profile. Tannins are soft and nearly fully integrated, with just a touch of grip. Juicy acids. Very good length on the savoury, earthy finish. Score: 88 pts

Vieni Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (88 pts)


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

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  • Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Wine Reviews - June 24 Birthday Party

Wine Lineup for June 24, 2018 Birthday Party

On , we threw a birthday party at Bombay Touch in Thornhill for my son who just turned a year old. I brought in my own wines for the occasion, spanning a fairly wide range of categories so that each guest could find at least one wine that would appeal to their palate. Wines styles included a dry rosé, a dry white wine, a sweet white wine, and a variety of dry red wines. The most popular wines were the Mencía, the rosé, and the Riesling.

All of the wines are fairly recent additions to VINTAGES and should still be available for purchase in the VINTAGES section at the LCBO. Wines reviews of each of the wines are posted below.

Tasting Notes:

MALIVOIRE VIVANT ROSÉ 2017 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#498535) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. Pale pink colour much the same as Provence. Lovely, highly aromatic, bright and fresh aromas of mineral, white grapefruit, and lemon citrus. The palate is dry with complex white grapefruit, orange peel, herbs, and mineral with hints of lemon, on a medium-full bodied frame and lifted with crisp, vibrant acidity. Nicely balanced throughout with hints of strawberry and cherry flavours. Excellent finish length with lemony nuances. Released in LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 91 pts

Malivoire Vivant Rosé 2017 (91 pts)

TAHBILK MARSANNE 2017 - Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria, Australia (#117945) (XD) - $17.95
Screw cap. Fresh and highly aromatic with grassy, lemon/lime, pear, flinty mineral, and hints of herbal and stone fruits. It has a dry, medium+ body palate with a nice, slightly chalky texture and balanced aroma replays. Balanced acids with a touch viscous mouthfeel on the mid-palate, while the finish is long with nice mineral notes. Released in LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 89 pts

Tahbilk Marsanne 2017 (89 pts)Tawse Sketches of Niagara Riesling 2016 (90 pts)

TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA RIESLING 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#089029) (M) - $18.95
Screw cap. Wow. Highly aromatic and pretty aromas of peach and orange which give way to ripe apple, mineral and hints of petrol. It's medium+ bodied on the palate with very good fruit concentration and medium sweet flavours that are nicely balanced and mimic the aroma profile. High acids are crisp and provide a lip-smacking, long finish with just a touch of sourness. Released in LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 90 pts

ROMIO PRIMITIVO 2016 - IGT Puglia, Italy (#569954) (XD) - $13.95
Full review here.

Romio Primitivo 2016 (87 pts)Marrenon Versant Nord Luberon 2015 (88+ pts)

MARRENON VERSANT NORD LUBERON 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#537969) (XD) - $15.95
A single vineyard blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache. The medium-high intensity aromas offer complex blackberry, dark currant, pepper, and meaty aromas with some savoury and dark cherry notes as well. On the medium-full bodied, crunchy palate, it has plummy, blueberry, and dark berry flavours, plus savoury hints of oak spice and peppery notes. Vibrant acids and supple tannins with a touch of grip add to the character of this wine, while the finish length is very good. Released in LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 88+ pts

WAKEFIELD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2016 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#744235) (XD) - $19.95
Full review here.

Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (87 pts)Gancedo Xestal Mencía 2010 (90 pts)

GANCEDO XESTAL MENCÍA 2010 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#553743) (XD) - $17.95
From 60+ year old vines, this maturing Mencía has a gorgeous, highly aromatic nose offering a pretty bouquet of red cherry, raspberry, red floral, and sweet oak spice. It's full bodied with fine, dusty tannins providing some grip, and very appealing aroma replays, plus some baking spice and cinnamon, and earthy/savoury elements on the flavour profile. Acids are juicy. Touch warming on the mid-palate. Excellent finish length. Released in LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 90 pts


Thursday, June 14, 2018

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  • Thursday, June 14, 2018

Niagara Grape & Wine Festival 2017 - Day 1 of 2

Pacific Snapper Ceviche and Niagara Apple Slaw with 2016 Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Riesling
Last , I visited Niagara to take in the 66th Annual Niagara Grape and Wine Festival that celebrates the harvest season. I have been fortunate to attend this festival many times and have always enjoyed the visit. Once again, I visited Niagara over two days and my review from second day will be posted shortly.

Our tour began in Niagara-on-the-Lake, at Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery for some Pacific snapper ceviche and Niagara Apple Slaw paired with their 2016 Grand Reserve Riesling. This was a nicely crisp, balanced pairing where the off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) Riesling wine suddenly became quite dry when paired with the slaw due to the high, lemony acids from the ceviche overtaking the sugary elements in the wine. This was really quite well done. Using my Winemaker's Selections' Tasting Passes, we also got to taste their intriguing, and uncommon Entourage Grand Reserve Sparkling Wine made with Sauvignon Blanc, but otherwise did not taste any other wines as the tasting bar is always a zoo. Full wine reviews from Jackson-Triggs and all the other wineries visited on this day are provided below.

Harvest Barn Apple Cinnamon Chicken Wing with 2013 Rancourt Unoaked Chardonnay
The second stop of the day was at Rancourt Winery for grilled chicken wings brushed with Harvest Barn’s signature Apple Cinnamon grilling sauce, and paired with their 2013 Rancourt Unoaked Chardonnay ($14.80, 86 pts). I do wings and wine at home quite often and find it to be delightful. The pairing at Rancourt was also good, with mild stone fruit flavours from the wine meshing well with the mildly flavoured wings.

Moving along to the Beamsville Bench area of Niagara, Cave Spring Cellars was our third stop of the day. They were not participating in the Discovery Pass Experience, so we simply tasted a few wines from their lovely portfolio, followed by a short stroll on picturesque Main Street in Jordan Village.

The fourth stop of the afternoon was at GreenLane Estate Winery to taste their newly released 2014 GreenLane Guts and Glory Blend ($19.95, 87 pts), which is a blend of 55% Unoaked Chardonnay (Guts) and 45% Riesling (Glory), and paired with a Macaroni and Gorgonzola Fritter by Just Cooking. This was a nicely balanced pairing as the high acidity in the wine cut through the deep fried mac & cheese ball, while also providing a nice mouthfeel. The ambience on their outdoor patio is always such a delightful place, we took our time before heading inside and tasting a few of their top wines.

Just Cooking Macaroni and Gorgonzola Fritter with 2014 GreenLane Guts and GloryItty Bitty Pie Company Brie and Caramelized Onions Pie with 2013 Legends Estates Chardonnay Reserve

Our fifth and final stop of the day was at Legends Estates Winery. The food and wine pairing here was a mouthwatering, bite-sized pie stuffed with Brie and caramelized onions from the Itty Bitty Pie Company, and paired with their award-winning 2013 Legends Estates Chardonnay Reserve and 2012 Legends Estates Shiraz Reserve. Having tasted both of these wines previously, I was curious to see how each wine would the on prior visits to the winery, so I opted to pair the pie with the Chardonnay as the rich, buttery, butterscotch, and vanilla notes in the wine accentuated caramelized flavours in the pie filling, as well as the buttery flavours in the pie crust. Delicious pairing, indeed.

All-in-all, I was quite satisfied with yet another trip to Niagara Wine Country. This is only part 1 of my review, as I ended up visiting Niagara a couple of weeks later to partake in more Discovery Pass Experiences. Stay tuned, as that review will be posted in a few days time.

Tasting Notes:

JACKSON-TRIGGS GRAND RESERVE RIESLING 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#367102) (D) - $21
Fragrant nose of tropical fruits, orange citrus, Flintstone vitamins and mineral waft from the glass, and all of it coming through nicely on the off-dry palate, balanced by clean acids. The finish is long with some bitterness and comes off as dry. Score: 88+ pts

Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Riesling 2016 (88+ pts)Jackson-Triggs Entourage Grand Reserve Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (88 pts)

JACKSON-TRIGGS ENTOURAGE GRAND RESERVE SPARKLING SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#353078) (D) - $29.95
A sparkling wine that is tart and sour with pink grapefruit notes, followed by some brioche, leesy and green stemmy aromas and flavours. It comes off as mostly dry on the palate with frothy mousse and a toasty brioche edge. Nicely balanced with a medium-long finish. Score: 88 pts

RANCOURT FOUNDER'S BLEND 2012 - VQA Niagara Lakeshore, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD)
Equal parts Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot, this is highly aromatic with lots of woodsy, barnyard, brett, and oak spice aromas, with underlying cassis and blackberry notes. It's full-bodied with nice aroma replays on the palate with notable, but well-integrated oak. Ripe tannins are smooth and refined. Acids are very good, while the finish is long. Score: 89 pts

Rancourt Founder's Blend 2012 (89 pts)Rancourt Gewürztraminer Icewine 2013 (90+ pts)

RANCOURT GEWÜRZTRAMINER ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (200 mL) - $30
Tasted a few times now, and still drinking very well. The highly aromatic nose offers sweet honey, pear, stone fruit, peach and some spices. The palate has very nice, balanced aroma replays. It's sweet, but the fresh acids keep everything nicely balanced. Excellent finish length. Score: 90+ pts

CAVE SPRING CSV CHARDONNAY 2015 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#529941) (XD) - $29.95
From 41-year old vines, 100% barrel fermented and aged for 10 months in French oak barriques and puncheons, this has a richly buttered nose of apple, pear, and lemon aromas of medium-high intensity. It has a medium+ body that is rich and buttery with, apple, vanilla and well-integrated oak flavours. Nicely textured with crisp, balanced acidity. Excellent finish length. Still a bit young - age this 1-2 years. Score: 91 pts

Cave Spring CSV Chardonnay 2015 (91 pts)Cave Spring Estate Bottled Riesling 2015 (89 pts)

CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED RIESLING 2015 - VQA, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment,, Ontario, Canada (#286377) (D) - $18.95
This has a medium-high intensity nose of orange citrus, peach, lime, and some limestone mineral aromas. It's medium-bodied with a chalky limestone mineral texture on the off-dry palate. Clean acids are a touch sour. Long finishing. Will age gracefully for many years. Score: 89 pts

GREENLANE OLD VINES RIESLING 2010 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (MD) - $34.95
The medium-high intensity aromas are quite fragrant and open with orange citrus, mineral notes, and hints of petrol. The palate is medium-bodied with very nice aroma replays in a medium-dry profile and lifted by vibrant acids. Excellent finish length. Lovely! Score: 90+ pts

GreenLane Old Vines Riesling 2010 (90+ pts)GreenLane Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (91 pts)

GREENLANE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $32.95
Ripe, medium-high intensity nose of evergreen, cassis, black currant, cocoa, and chocolate aromas, all of which come through very nicely on the wood-driven, full bodied palate. Balanced acids. Tannins are chalky, yet well-integrated and quite refined. The finish goes on and on. Score: 91 pts

LEGENDS ESTATES CHARDONNAY RESERVE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $18.95
The medium-intensity nose offers rich, buttery aromas with butterscotch, vanilla, and poached apple joining fray, all of which come through nicely on the medium-bodied palate. Acids are still clean, while the finish length is very good. Score: 88+ pts

Legends Estates Chardonnay Reserve 2013 (88+ pts)Legends Estates Reserve Shiraz 2012 (89 pts)

LEGENDS ESTATES RESERVE SHIRAZ 2012 - Lizak Vineyard, VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $23.95
This has a medium-high intensity nose that's very savoury with wood spice, green olive, meaty, and gamey aromas. On the medium-full bodied palate, this has black peppercorn, gamey and charcuterie flavours surrounded by good acidity and refined tannins. The finish length is very good. Score: 89 pts


Friday, April 27, 2018

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  • Friday, April 27, 2018

Château Canteloup 2010 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

wine was purchased nearly 4 years ago from the LCBO VINTAGES Release, and actually showed up again in VINTAGES on . This wine has since been moved to the General List, with the most recent vintage widely available for $19.95 (#420000) at LCBO outlets across Ontario.

The 2010 Bordeaux vintage was truly great, with optimal ripeness, firm acidity and tannins, thus allowing wines to age gracefully for many years. My notes indicated that this wine would be best until 2018. Let's see how this is tasting tonight...

Château Canteloup 2010 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU CANTELOUP 2010 - AC Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#243923) (XD) - $16.95
Blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon. Savoury barnyard, earth and oak aromas from the cork. Leads with mature savoury earthy aromas and hints of barnyard layered on top of dried cherry and red florals. It is medium-to-full bodied with fine-grained tannins that are nearly fully resolved. There's just a touch of tannic grip on the back palate. Earthy, forest floor flavours mingle with dark berry, dried cherry, black plum, and leather notes in a mature flavour profile. Acids are still quite juicy. Dark berry and earthy notes linger on the long, savoury finish. Delicious! Drink up within the next year or so if you still have this bottle. Score: 89 pts


Sunday, January 7, 2018

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  • Sunday, January 7, 2018

Pierre Amadieu La Grangelière Vacqueyras 2010 (Rhône) - Wine Review

Coming off the lovely 2009 Mas d'Auzières Sympathie Pour Les Stones that I opened , tonight's wine is another bottle that has seen some time in my cellar. This delicious wine was purchased from the LCBO VINTAGES Release - just over 5 years ago.

Pierre Amadieu La Grangelière Vacqueyras 2010 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

PIERRE AMADIEU LA GRANGELIÈRE VACQUEYRAS 2010 - AC, Rhône, France (#076398) (XD) - $19.95
Blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah grown on terraces where the soil is a mixture of gravel and alluvium deposits that was aged 60% in tank and 40% in 2-year-old oak barrels. Dark plum, earth and hints of violet aromas from the cork. In the glass, this has a medium+ intensity nose that's savoury with scorched earth and tobacco notes followed by blackberry, dark cherry, sweet spices and herbs, and hints of black pepper. Meaty notes come to the fore as it warms. It's full bodied and dense on the palate with drying, chalky tannins. Flavours are savoury and earthy with oak spice and meaty notes. Some stony minerality and warmth on the mid-palate. Good acids. Finishes long and savoury with lingering earthy and dark berry notes. From the excellent 2010 vintage, this should continue to drink well for another couple of years. Score: 89 pts


Monday, July 24, 2017

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  • Monday, July 24, 2017

Niagara Icewine Festival Review 2017 - Day 2 of 2

Legends Estates Terroir Semillon with Creamy Canadian Lobster Bisque
On , I visited Niagara for the second weekend in a row to partake in Icewine and food pairings during the Niagara Icewine Festival. All of the wineries visited on this day were located in Twenty Valley. You can read all about my visit to Niagara Wine Country from the here.

The first stop on this day was at Legends Estates Winery for a delicious Creamy Canadian Lobster Bisque that was paired with a choice of their 2013 Legends Estates Terroir Semillon ($13.25, 87 pts, #400366) or 2013 Legends Estates Chardonnay Reserve ($18.95, 89 pts). I opted for the Semillon based on a recommendation at the winery, as well as the fact that I tasted (and very much enjoyed) their Chardonnay the last time I visited Legends Estates. The Semillon was mostly tropical and citrus in nature with just a hint of savoury characters, but turned very savoury and smoky, in a pleasant way, when paired with the thick and savoury Bisque. Moreover, the fresh acidity in the wine helped balance the creamy texture of the soup. Overall, this was a very intriguing pairing with the wine changing immensely when paired with the Lobster Bisque.

At Vieni Estates, which was our second stop of the day, we had the option of a "The Terrific Two" Layered Flakie Custard Pastry paired with the 2011 Vieni Vidal Icewine ($39.95, 375 mL, 89 pts) or a Triple Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti paired with 2014 Vidal Sparkling Icewine. Since I was there with my wife, we got one of each food item and I opted for the Vidal Icewine while my wife got the non-alcoholic red berry fruit juice. Surprisingly, the Icewine paired quite well with the Biscotti, bringing out the nutty notes in the nicely maturing Icewine. Very few producers make Sparkling Icewine, so I tasted it at the end and was quite pleased with the quality of the sparkling dessert wine - a wine review is provided below.

Vieni Vidal Icewine with Triple Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti and Layered Flakie Custard PastryRockway Vidal Icewine with Salted Caramel Peanut Brittle

Picard's Salted Caramel Peanut BrittleThe third stop of the day was Rockway Vineyards, where we enjoyed a very decadent Salted Caramel Peanut Brittle created by Chef Stefan Olk, and paired with their 2013 Rockway Vidal Icewine. This indulgence was for those with a sweet tooth. On its own, the Brittle was intensely sweet, while the salt and peanuts added some much needed nuance to balance out the sweetness. The wine was also very sweet and paired very well with the Brittle as the sweetness levels from both the wine and Brittle were evenly matched, while the Brittle also brought out some very nice caramel notes in the wine. Enjoyable pairing for sure, but you must have a sweet tooth as a prerequisite.

Our final stop of the afternoon was at Hernder Estate Wines, where I always seem to have an unusual experience - and this time was no different. I won't go into any details as things were rectified quickly, and some of the wines I tasted were top-notch. The pairing here was a Vanilla Bean Cake Pop engulfed in a robe of Dark Chocolate and topped with Gold Leaf Sprinkles, and paired with their 2013 Hernder Cabernet Franc Icewine ($50.05, 375 mL, 89 pts). The Cake Pop was fresh and juicy and had just the right amount of sweetness to balance the sweet cherry, strawberry jam flavours in the wine. Berries and chocolate always make for a delightful pairing.

Hernder Cabernet Franc Icewine with Vanilla Bean Cake Pop

This concludes my report from my visit to Niagara during the annual Icewine Festival. Wine reviews of my favourite wines tasted on this day are provided below. If you're interested in purchasing any of these wines, please contact the winery as none of these wines are available at he LCBO.

Tasting Notes:

LEGENDS ESTATES RESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 - Lizak Vineyard, VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $16.95
Ripe stone and orchard fruit aromas of very good intensity that continue on the palate, joined by grapefruit flavours. Still on the dry side, and balanced with fresh acidity on a medium-bodied frame. Finish length is very good. Score: 88 pts

Legends Estates Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (88 pts)Legends Estates Reserve Shiraz 2012 (89 pts)

LEGENDS ESTATES RESERVE SHIRAZ 2012 - Lizak Vineyard, VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $23.95
The nose is highly aromatic with meaty, savoury notes, along with touches of sour cherry. It's full-bodied with smooth, velvety tannins and more meaty/savoury flavours. Very good finish length. It has mouth-watering acids and some structure for ageing, but this is quite enjoyable now. Score: 89 pts

LEGENDS ESTATES VIDAL ICEWINE 2006 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $49.90
Highly aromatic and very appealing with aromas of peach, apricot, honeysuckle and some sweet vanilla notes. On the palate, it's medium-full bodied and thick, but well-balanced by vibrant acids. Lovely mature burnt sugar and caramel flavours lead the way on the palate, followed by peach, pineapple, and apricot. Excellent finish length. Enjoy now or hold a few years. Score: 91 pts

Legends Estates Vidal Icewine 2006 (91 pts)

VIENI CABERNET FRANC PRIVATE RESERVE 2012 - VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $22.95
Medium-high aromas that are herbaceous in nature, followed by spice and toasty oak (from 18 months in oak) and ripe red & black fruits. It's full-bodied on the palate with nice aroma replays and has a slightly chalky mouthfeel from the medium-firm tannins. Acids are very good and finishes long. Score: 89 pts

Vieni Cabernet Franc Private Reserve 2012 (89 pts)Vieni Pinot Noir Private Reserve 2012 (89+ pts)

VIENI PINOT NOIR PRIVATE RESERVE 2012 - VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $39.95
Medium+ intensity nose offers a lot of dark fruit notes - berry, cherry and plum - along with earth and sweet spice notes. It's medium-bodied with earthy, beetroot, black cherry and savoury flavours framed by good acidity. There's some structure to the tannins. Finishes long. Score: 89+ pts

VIENI SPARKLING VIDAL ICEWINE 2014 - VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $49.95
Rare to find, this has medium+ intensity aromas consisting of apple, green mango, tropical fruits, and pineapple with some tartness. It is sweet on the full-ish palate, with very nice aroma replays and hints of honey. Nice bubbles, juicy, and finishing long. Score: 89+ pts

Vieni Sparkling Vidal Icewine 2014 (89+ pts)

ROCKWAY VINEYARDS PINOT NOIR 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#498790) (XD) - $19.95
The nose is slightly candied with red cherry, strawberry, beetroot and earth aromas of medium+ intensity. It's light-to-medium bodied with slightly dusty and young tannins. The palate is dry with with nice red fruit, black cherry and black plum flavours, and very subtle oak nuances. Acids are very good and the finish is long and juicy. Coming to VINTAGES on August 8th. Score: 88 pts

Rockway Vineyards Pinot Noir 2014 (88 pts)

ROCKWAY VINEYARDS VIDAL ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $34.95
Medium-high aromatics offers lemon, pineapple, and a touch of tart citrus notes. The medium+ body is luscious with balanced acids and very nice aroma replays along with hints of caramel flavours. Long finishing. Score: 90 pts

Rockway Vineyards Vidal Icewine 2013 (90 pts)Rockway Vineyards Riesling Icewine 2013 (91 pts)

ROCKWAY VINEYARDS RIESLING ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (200 mL) - $29.95
Highly aromatic on the nose, showing lovely mineral, petrol and honeysuckle notes. The palate is sweet, but is balanced by bracing acidity. The aromas come through on the palate and are joined by lemon citrus, orange, apricot and tropical fruit flavours. Excellent finish length. Delicious! Score: 91 pts

HERNDER RIESLING RESERVE 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $12.95
Maturing well, this has a medium-high intensity nose that's essentially dry with mineral-driven aromas of petrol, slate and lime. The palate is more of the same with lemon/lime and mineral with just a kiss of sweetness. Delicate acids provide freshness and the finish length is medium-long. Very good value! Score: 88

Hernder Riesling Reserve 2010 (88 pts)

HERNDER DEEP ROOTS CABERNET FRANC RESERVE 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $39.95
This refined, elegant wine has medium-high intensity aromas of dark berry, dark fruit, oak, leafy, along with touches of green, herbaceous notes. The palate is medium-full bodied with nicely extracted fruit offering complex aroma replays and supple tannins that are still a bit tight. It has very good acidity and excellent finish length. Age this another 2 years and drink over the 5-7 years. Score: 91 pts

Hernder Deep Roots Cabernet Franc Reserve 2012 (91 pts)Hernder Deep Roots Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2012 (91 pts)

HERNDER DEEP ROOTS CABERNET SAUVIGNON RESERVE 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $44.95
The nose seems a bit shy and offers white pepper, cassis, black currant, and evergreen aromas of medium-high intensity. It is medium-full bodied on the palate with flavours of evergreen, currant, and cassis, accented by oak elements. It has smooth, refined tannins that are supported by mouth-watering acids. Long finishing. A powerful Niagara Cab with years of enjoyment ahead. Score: 91 pts


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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  • Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Porca de Murça Reserva Tinto 2010 (Portugal) - Wine Review

wine was purchased almost 4 years ago to the day from the LCBO VINTAGES Release, where this red wine was featured as part of a selection of wines for the BBQ.

Obviously, this vintage no longer available at the LCBO. Moreover, the current vintage is also not available. If you have this wine in your cellar, you should open it within the next couple of years. A full wine review is provided below.

Porca de Murça Reserva Tinto 2010 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

PORCA DE MURÇA RESERVA TINTO 2010 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#684753) (XD) - $17.95
Black plum and prune aromas from the cork. This blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) has a medium intensity nose seems a bit closed, but offers mature dried blackberry, blueberry and a distinct earthy-mineral component. The palate is medium-full bodied with tannins that are resolving quite nicely but still have some grip. Dried fruit flavours of cherry, blackberry, blueberry, and fig, followed by dark plum and some sweet oak spice notes on the flavour profile. Acids are still well-balanced and the finish length is very good with raisiny notes emerging. Maturing well, this should be enjoyed over the next 1-2 years. Score: 89 pts


Friday, June 9, 2017

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  • Friday, June 9, 2017

Niagara Icewine Festival Review 2017 - Day 1 of 2

Butter Chicken and Naan with 2012 Fielding Riesling Icewine
On , I visited Niagara Wine Country to experience the annual Niagara Icewine Festival to taste some fine Icewine paired with culinary creations. This was the first of two straight Saturday's in Niagara - review from activities will be posted soon are posted here.

The first stop of the day was at Fielding Estate Winery for a pairing of their 2012 Fielding Riesling Icewine (89 pts) with a savoury Butter Chicken and Naan prepared by The Smokin' Buddha. The butter chicken was flavourful and had a fairly thick gravy that seemed a bit heavy on the oregano. It was also mildly spiced, complementing the sweet flavours from the Icewine. Furthermore, the acids in the Icewine cut into some of the rich, creamy gravy from the Butter Chicken that helped lighten the pairing overall. Very good portion size as well. This was a tasty experience with a lot of different flavours battling for your attention.

On the downside, it was unfortunate that the Fielding Riesling Icewine was not available for purchase, as some folks in my group wanted to take home a bottle or two. Moreover, it was somewhat odd that not even one Icewine was available for purchase in the boutique. I suspect that the wine was nearly sold out and they used whatever remaining stock they had just for the festival, while newer vintages of this Icewine were not ready yet due to the harsh winter of 2013-2014 (remember the "Polar Vortex"?) that led to severe crop damage and limited Icewine production capabilities across the region. On the bright side, I have been advised that a newer Riesling Icewine from Fielding is coming in the near future and should be on shelves soon.

2012 Niagara College Teaching Winery Dean's List Savant Icewine with White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake on a Dark Chocolate Crust

The rest of our Icewine Tour was in Niagara-on-the-Lake, with the next stop being at Niagara College Teaching Winery for a delicious, mouth-watering White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake on a Dark Chocolate Crust that was quite small in stature but packed plenty of flavour, and was paired with their 2012 Dean's List Savant Icewine. This was a very nice pairing xxxxxas the red berry flavours from each item played well together, while the fresh acids in the wine complemented the creaminess in the cheesecake. Overall, this was a sweet, balanced, and harmonious pairing that was well executed.

Our third stop of the afternoon was at The Hare Wine Co., a new winery that just opened it's doors in November. For their first appearance at the Niagara Icewine Festival, they offered a delicious Sticky Toffee Pudding prepared by Ello Gov'na that was paired with their 2014 Frontier Vidal Icewine. Portions (especially the Icewine) were once again small, however, the gooey toffee cake that was smothered in a treacle sauce and topped with Icewine Chantilly was lusciously sweet and delicious, while pairing beautifully together. The toffee cake sauce really brought out the butterscotch notes in the Icewine. Lovely pairing!

The Hare Wine Co.Sticky Toffee Pudding with 2014 The Hare Wine Co. Frontier Vidal Icewine

Hinterbrook Estate Winery was the fourth stop of the day. The pairing here was a Baked Square Crust filled with fresh Pineapple Jam Fruits and topped with Pine Nuts, paired with their 2014 Vidal Icewine. Lots going in the baked square - sweet, savoury, fruity, and nutty - which led to many different flavours brought out of the Icewine, especially enhanced pineapple notes. Once again, a nicely thought out pairing that worked well together.

Baked Square Crust filled with fresh Pineapple Jam Fruits and topped with Pine Nuts, paired with 2014 Nomad Vidal IcewineLobster Bisque paired with 2010 Konzelmann Estate Vidal Icewine

The final stop of the day was at Konzelmann Estate Winery, Niagara's only lakefront winery, for a Lobster Bisque with a hint of spice prepared by Tide & Vine and paired with their 2010 Vidal Icewine. I recall having this combo in the past at Konzelmann and enjoyed it very much, fully expecting that I would enjoy it this time around as well! The bisque was rich and creamy with small chunks of lobster and had a hint spice that paired beautifully with the Vidal Icewine. There was just enough acids in the Icewine that helped balance the creamy bisque, while the subtle spicy notes were subdued because of the sweet flavours in the wine. Following the food & Icewine pairing, we took a private tour of the winery which included a visit to the vineyard, a tour of the facilities, and finished up in an underground tasting room where we had the opportunity to taste some of their very fine Reserve wines.

Konzelmann Estate Winery VineyardsKonzelmann Estate Winery Production Facility

Konzelmann Estate Winery Stainless Steel TanksKonzelmann Estate Winery Bottling Equipment

All-in-all, this was a very successful visit to Niagara Wine Country, with delicious food & Icewine pairings, as well as tasting many other delicious, local wines. Many of the wines I tasted are only available for purchase at the winery (or from the winery's website), and wine reviews of some of my favourites are provided below.

My trip to Niagara during the Icewine Festival did not end on this day, as I visited region the following weekend for more food & wine experiences. A review from the 2nd day of tasting will be posted in the coming days.

Tasting Notes:

FIELDING ESTATE BOTTLED RIESLING 2015 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#251439) (M) - $19.95
Medium+ aromas of lime, citrus and mineral, with tart/sour aroma replays on the palate. Off-dry in style, but with bright acids that cut into the sweetness. Nice chalky mineral texture that lingers on the long finish. Score: 89 pts

Fielding Estate Bottled Riesling 2015 (89 pts)

FIELDING SYRAH 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $39.95
Aromas are of medium-high intensity, but seem somewhat closed at the moment, and offer black pepper, dark fruits and integrated oak notes. It's full bodied with fleshy tannins, balanced acids. Some elegance and suave. Long bitter finish with some dark chocolate flavours. Will age gracefully for 5-8 years. Score: 89 pts

Fielding Syrah 2012 (89 pts)Fielding Chosen Few 2012 (90 pts)

FIELDING CHOSEN FEW 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $59.95
Made only in the best years with wines from a chosen few barrels, the 2012 is a blend of 38% Cabernet Franc, 37% Syrah, and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. Pleasant, appealing aromas that are meaty and savoury combined with dark fruits of great intensity. The palate is full-bodied with well-knit flavours of black currant, dark fruit, and toasty oak. It has very good acidity and firm tannins. Finish length is excellent. Drinkable now, but should be better few years. Score: 90 pts

NIAGARA COLLEGE TEACHING WINERY BALANCE BARREL FERMENTED CHARDONNAY 2012 - VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $18.95
Medium+ intensity aromas that are heavily oak-influenced with pineapple, woody, apple and baking spice notes. It's medium-full bodied with more apple and oak spiced flavours on the palate. It has balanced acidity and very good finish length. Score: 88 pts

Niagara College Teaching Winery Balance Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2012 (88 pts)

NIAGARA COLLEGE TEACHING WINERY DEAN'S LIST PRODIGY ICEWINE 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (S) (200 mL) - $33.00
This blend of white grape varietals (Vidal, Riesling and Chardonnay) has fresh, appealing aromas of apricots, pineapple, honey and lemon citrus of high intensity. The palate is medium+ bodied and offers very sweet aroma replays on the palate, balanced by fresh acids, and finishing long. Score: 90 pts

Niagara College Teaching Winery Dean's List Prodigy Icewine 2012 (90 pts)Niagara College Teaching Winery Dean's List Savant Icewine 2012 (89 pts)

NIAGARA COLLEGE TEACHING WINERY DEAN'S LIST SAVANT ICEWINE 2012 - VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (200 mL) - $39.00
A blend of 5 red grape varietals, aromas are of medium-high intensity with notes of strawberry, burnt sugar and caramel that also appear on the palate along with flavours of honey and hints of coffee. It's very sweet, a touch syrupy, but has nicely balanced acids. Finish length is very good. Score: 89 pts

THE HARE JACK RABBIT RED 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (D) - $15.50
Selected as the official red wine of Ontario's Legislative Assembly for 2017, this has medium-intensity aromas of red & black fruits, subtle oak, and plummy notes. It's medium-bodied with sweet, rounded tannins and ripe fruited flavours. Balanced acids and medium-long finishing. There's some tannic structure for short term ageing, but I would drink this now. Blend of 60% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Score: 87 pts

The Hare Jack Rabbit Red 2013 (87 pts)The Hare Frontier Riesling Icewine 2013 (89 pts)

THE HARE FRONTIER RIESLING ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $65.00
The fragrant nose offers sweet peach, apricot, and lemon aromas and flavours. It's medium-full bodied and balanced by nicely textured acids. Slightly tart mid-palate while having a medium-long finish. Score: 89 pts

THE HARE FRONTIER VIDAL ICEWINE 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $65.00
Oak-aged for 1 year in French oak, this offers medium-high aromas of honey, apricot, peach, butterscotch and steely mineral notes with pleasingly sweet aroma replays on the palate. Some oak-spiced notes appear mid-palate. Acids are well-balanced and finish length is very good. Score: 89 pts

NOMAD CABERNET FRANC RESERVE 2012 - VQA Niagara Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $69.95
Medium-high and well-balanced aromas give off a clean, elegant bouquet that's focuses on black fruits, herbs and sweet oak. It's medium-bodied on the palate with the same aromas on the flavour profile. Bitter tannins are well-integrated. It has bright acids and a milk chocolate finish. Score: 90 pts

Nomad Cabernet France Reserve 2012 (90 pts)

NOMAD VIDAL ICEWINE 2014 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $49.95
Appealing aromas of medium-high intensity, featuring pineapple, honey and orange citrus notes that continue on the very sweet palate. Perhaps a touch cloying with delicately balanced acids. Very good finish length. Score: 90 pts

Nomad Vidal Icewine 2014 (90 pts)Nomad Cabernet Franc Icewine 2014 (90+ pts)

NOMAD CABERNET FRANC ICEWINE 2014 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $69.95
The highly aromatic nose offers cherry, strawberry jam, rhubarb and more sweet red fruits. The palate is medium-full bodied with well-balanced acidity and very appealing aroma replays and hints of orange peel. Finish length is excellent. Score: 90+ pts

KONZELMANN ESTATE VIDAL ICEWINE 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $65.00
I recall tasting this back in 2014 and it was very delicious then. Today, it is still highly aromatic with pineapple, and mature aromas of caramel and brown sugar. It's very sweet and thick with low acids making this just a touch cloying. Delicious flavours of burnt sugar and caramel on the palate. Finishes long. Drink over next year or two. Score: 90 pts

Konzelmann Estate Vidal Icewine 2010 (90 pts)Konzelmann Chardonnay Family Reserve 2012 (90 pts)

KONZELMANN CHARDONNAY FAMILY RESERVE 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $49.95
Medium-high aromatics offer pear, nutty, binned apple, and hints of bubblegum. Medium-bodied on the palate with pleasing and elegant aroma replays along with baking spice and hints of lime flavours. the finish length is very good with some mineral notes. Score: 90 pts

KONZELMANN CABERNET MERLOT RESERVE 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $39.95
A blend of 43% Cabernet Franc, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, this has an highly aromatic nose that's elegant with red and black fruits, well-integrated oak and a touch bretty. It's full-bodied on the smooth palate with suave, elegant and structured tannins. Very nice aroma replays with integrated oak flavours come through on the palate. It's well-balanced with very good acidity. Warming, long finish that's held together quite well. Drink now or better to wait and enjoy over the next 5-10 years. Score: 91+ pts

Konzelmann Cabernet Merlot Reserve 2012 (91+ pts)Konzelmann Cabernet Merlot Family Reserve 2012 (92 pts)

KONZELMANN CABERNET MERLOT FAMILY RESERVE 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $49.95
Similarly blended as the Reserve, this has elegant black currant, cassis, vanilla and oak aromas of medium-high intensity and seems a bit shy right now. The palate is full-bodied with structured tannins that are a bit tight. Very nice aroma replays along with some black cherry and floral hints, balanced by juicy acids. Excellent finish length. A powerful, finesse wine that should be cellared for at least few years and drink to 2020. Score 92 pts


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