Showing posts with label cabernet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cabernet. Show all posts

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  • Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Pillitteri 25th Anniversary Select Late Harvest Cabernet 2013 (Niagara) - Wine Review

I picked up sweet dessert wine while visiting the winery last month during the annual Days of Wine & Chocolate Event in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

With this wine, Pillitteri Estates Winery is celebrating 25 years of family, quality and tradition. This family winery opened its doors in June of 1993. Pillitteri has successfully grown with 3 generations working in the family business, having received over 1000 prestigious wine awards and sell to more than 35 countries worldwide. The family is thankful and proudly presents the 25th Silver Anniversary Collection of wines for all to enjoy.

Back in February during Days of Wine & Chocolate, they were offering BOGO on this particular late harvest dessert wine - what a great deal! Although this deal is no more, this delicious sweet wine is still available for purchase at the winery and through their online web store.

Pillitteri 25th Anniversary Select Late Harvest Cabernet 2013 (88+ pts)Pillitteri 25th Anniversary Select Late Harvest Cabernet 2013 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

Fresh red cherry and strawberry aromas waft from the glass with hints of white raisins and chocolate. On the medium-full bodied palate, it is somewhat dense and fairly sweet with just enough acidity to keep the palate fresh. More cherry, strawberry, and raisiny flavours continue through to the finish, with very good length. Enjoy well-chilled. Score: 88+ pts

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  • Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Sip and Sizzle in Niagara-on-the-Lake 2017

Grilled Prawn, Shoot and Sprout Salad and Citrus Zest Emulsion with 2016 Château des Charmes Sauvignon Blanc
On this cold, wintry day, let me take you back to when I visited Niagara-on-the-Lake to partake in the annual Sip & Sizzle food and wine pairing event thanks to winning a contest on Foodies on Foot. This excellent event was running on weekends in May at over 20 wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Unfortunately, due to my busy schedule, I was only able to attend on the final day of the event, so I tried to squeeze in as many wineries as I could in a single day.

The first stop was at Château des Charmes for a crisp pairing of their 2016 Château des Charmes Sauvignon Blanc Estate Grown & Bottled ($14.95, 87 pts) with a grilled prawn, shoot and sprout salad and citrus zest emulsion. This was a delicious pairing as the "sip" is an ideal match for seafood, while the green and citrus notes from the salad complemented the flavours from wine. The zesty dressing also added a bit of zip to the overall pairing, really brightening the flavours. This sizzling pairing was quite well done.

My second stop was at Ravine Vineyard to savour the 2016 Ravine Cabernet Rosé ($22, 88+ pts) paired with Rossco’s harissa grilled chicken thigh on a mixed grain salad. This was a nice, balanced pairing where nothing really jumped out, except for the herbally character in the wine that matched some of the herbs in the dish. The chicken was nicely grilled off the BBQ and added subtle smoky flavours to the overall pairing. Portion size was also very good. This was a nice, wholesome and comforting pairing.

Rossco’s Harissa Grilled Chicken Thigh on a Mixed Grain Salad with 2016 Ravine Cabernet RoséGrilled Chicken Taco topped with Mango Salsa with 2015 Riverview Bianco Riesling Gewürztraminer

Our third stop of the day was at Riverview Cellars Estate Winery for a mildly sweet 2015 Riverview Bianco Riesling Gewürztraminer ($14, 87 pts) blend that was paired with a grilled chicken taco topped with a mango salsa that was made with some of the Bianco white wine. This pairing was all about matching the sweet, fruity flavours from the wine to the mango salsa. The clean acids from the wine also helped create a balanced pairing. Overall, this was a well executed pairing that I would love to try at home.

At our fourth stop of the afternoon, we visited Inniskillin Wines for another grilled chicken taco, but this time it was spiced with chipotle and topped with avocado. It was paired with their 2013 Inniskillin Reserve Shiraz Cabernet ($25, 88+ pts). This was a quality and balanced pairing, with plenty of spiced, peppery notes from both the taco and the red wine complementing each other well.

Grilled Chicken Taco spiced with Chipotle and topped with Avocado and paired with 2013 Inniskillin Reserve Shiraz CabernetCherry Cheesecake Flambé with 2012 Lailey Pinot Noir

The fifth stop was at Lailey Vineyard Winery, where the pairing was off the beaten path and a little adventurous by pairing a dessert item with red table wine. It was interesting to try their 2012 Lailey Pinot Noir (89 pts) paired with a dessert item - a cherry cheesecake flambé. The cherry flavours in the wine matched the cherry notes in the cheesecake, plus the wine's bright acidity balanced out the creamy texture from the cheesecake. The cheesecake also wasn't very sweet, which helped allow this to be a good pairing.

Wings are a popular item at Rancourt Winery, our sixth stop of the afternoon. On this day, we were offered BBQ chicken wings braised in Harvest Barn's famous Vidalia onion sauce and paired with their 2013 Rancourt Noble Rouge ($15, 86 pts), a Cabernet Merlot blend. Wings and red wine are always a good pairing in my books, and at Rancourt we had wings in a sweet sauce paired with a wine that also had some sweetness in it, providing for a balanced pairing. Unfortunately, I gobbled it down so fast that I forgot to take a picture.

Lamb Slider with 2014 Trius Merlot

The seventh stop was at Trius Winery where we were supposed to pair the 2015 Trius Merlot with a spiced lamb Merguez sausage, spring slaw, honey, and mint yogurt dressing. However, since we were approaching the end of the day on the last day of the event, it appears as though they ran out of that specific wine and the sausage because we got the 2014 Trius Merlot ($16, 87 pts) paired with a yummy lamb slider. No complaints from me! Bigger red wines with red meats are usually a pretty good pairing, and this was no exception.

Since the brand spanking new Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery & Distillery was (unofficially) open to the public next door to Trius, we decided to pop-in and check out the new digs. It was crazy busy here, so we only managed to taste a few wines before heading over to our final stop of the day. This is a place I definitely want to come back and taste through the distilled products.

Grilled Halloumi Cheese marinated in Curry Sauce on Naan Wedge and topped with Niagara peach, and paired 2016 Jack Rabbit White

The eighth and final stop of the day was at The Hare Wine Co. for a grilled Halloumi cheese marinated in a mild & creamy curry sauce on a Naan wedge topped with Niagara peach, and paired with the 2016 Jack Rabbit White ($14.50, 86 pts). The wine was off-dry with plenty of floral and citrusy flavours that paired well with the peach, while the acids in the wine helped balance the creamy cheese. A good pairing overall, even though the portions at this winery were a bit on the small side.

This was my first time attending Sip & Sizzle and I was quite pleased with the many sips and sizzling culinary creations. I would definitely recommend this event food and wine lovers, especially those folks who have an affinity for BBQ fare. I hope to attend this lovely event featuring the wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake again in 2018, and firmly believe that you should attend too! Wine reviews of some of my favourites wines tasted on this day are provided below.

Tasting Notes:

CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES ST. DAVID’S BENCH VINEYARD GAMAY NOIR DROIT 2015 - VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#346742) (XD) - $18.95
Medium-high intensity aromas of pepper, earth, black cherry, blackberry, and gamey notes that are quite complex with a certain rustic charm. It's medium-full bodied with cherry, oak spice, and brambly fruit flavours lifted by bright acids. There's supple tannins, good fruit concentration, and a long, juicy finish. Score: 89 pts

Château des Charmes St. David’s Bench Vineyard Gamay Noir Droit 2015 (89 pts)Château des Charmes Vidal Icewine 2015 (92 pts)

CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES VIDAL ICEWINE 2015 - Estate Bottled, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#565861) (S) (200 mL) - $26.95
Highly aromatic and complex nose of peach, apricot, honeysuckle, pineapple and honeydew melon. The palate is medium-full bodied with bright fruited aroma replays that are nicely balanced. It's lusciously sweet, but balanced with very good acidity. The finish length is excellent and nicely balanced. Score: 92 pts

RAVINE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $30
Aromas of medium-high intensity with rich, oak-influenced buttery, apple, and smoke notes, plus hints of butterscotch, pineapple and caramel. The medium-bodied palate offers nice aroma replays that are well-balanced and supported by nicely articulated acids. Finishes long with caramel, sweet oak, and vanilla notes. Score: 91 pts

Ravine Vineyard Chardonnay 2015 (91 pts)Ravine Vineyard Reserve Riesling 2015 (90+ pts)

RAVINE VINEYARD RESERVE RIESLING 2015 - VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (MD) - $35
Contains 30% botrytis affected grapes, this has medium-high intensity aromatics of petrol, honeycomb, and apricot. The palate is medium-dry (i.e. noticeably sweet) with very nice aroma replays and a light mineral texture. Acids are bright and refreshing. Finish length is excellent. Score: 90+ pts

RIVERVIEW CELLARS SALVATORE'S RESERVE CABERNET FRANC 2012 - VQA Niagara River, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $30.15
Medium-high intensity aromas show white pepper, herbaceous, leafy, brambly, blackberry and medicinal aromas that are slightly cooked/stewed. It's medium-bodied with herbally, dark fruited, medicinal, and iodine flavours, plus touches of chocolate mocha. Refined tannins are well-integrated and acids are balanced. Earthy, mocha, and vanilla notes linger on the medium-long finish. Score: 88 pts

Riverview Cellars Salvatore's Reserve Cabernet Franc 2012 (88 pts)Riverview Cellars Salvatore's Reserve Syrah 2013 (89 pts)

RIVERVIEW CELLARS SALVATORE'S RESERVE SYRAH 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $30.15
Medium-high intensity nose offers white pepper, blackberry, dark fruits, earthy, and vanilla oak aromas. This is much more open and fruit forward compared to when I tasted this in September 2016. It's full-bodied with pleasing aroma replays lifted by bright acidity. Smooth, refined tannins. Long, earthy-peppery finish. Score: 89 pts

INNISKILLIN NIAGARA RESERVE SHIRAZ CABERNET 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#225482) (D) - $24.95
Medium+ intensity aromas that are ripe with red cherry, white pepper, currant, cassis, and herbs. It's medium-full bodied and dense on the palate with oak spiced aroma replays that have a touch of sweetness. Acids are bright, tannins a touch grippy, and the finish length is very good. Score: 88 pts

Inniskillin Niagara Reserve Shiraz Cabernet 2015 (88 pts)Inniskillin Montague Vineyard Chardonnay 2014 (88 pts)

INNISKILLIN MONTAGUE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2014 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#586347) (XD) - $24.95
Clean apple, pear, and butter aromas of medium-high intensity with hints of tart citrus and melon. The palate is medium+ bodied with nice aroma replays plus toasty oak notes. Acids are very good. Long, buttery finish. Score: 88 pts

LAILEY BARREL SELECT CHARDONNAY 2013 - VQA Niagara River, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $30
From four outstanding barrels, this has medium-high intensity aromatics featuring clean apple, butter, pear, sweet oak vanilla and hints of nuttiness. It's mid-weighted with lovely well-balanced aromas replays, crisp acids, while finishing long and clean. Score: 90 pts

Lailey Barrel Select Chardonnay 2013 (90 pts)Lailey Syrah 2013 (90+ pts)

LAILEY SYRAH 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $30
Medium-high intensity aromas have complex gamey, black peppercorn, oak, olive and earthy notes. It's medium+ bodied on the palate with nice aroma replays and fresh acids. Tannins are integrating nicely. Long, balanced finish. Will provide pleasure over the next 5 years. Score: 90+ pts

RANCOURT CABERNET FRANC 2012 - VQA Niagara Lakeshore, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $20
The complex nose is ripe with sweet oak spice, herbaceous, white pepper, dark fruits and chocolate aromas of very good intensity. The palate is medium+ bodied with fresh acids and nice aroma replays. Refined tannins are integrating nicely. Finish length is very good. Drink over the next 3-5 years. Score: 88 pts

Rancourt Cabernet Franc 2012 (88 pts)

TRIUS SHIRAZ 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $22.75
This new arrival is blended with 5% Viognier. Aromas of medium-high intensity offer black peppercorn, blackberry, gamey, dark currant, and dark berry notes. It's full-bodied with some tannic grip and very nice aroma replays. It has fresh acids and finishes long. This well-made wine should be aged 2+ years for the tannins to soften. Score: 88 pts

Trius Shiraz 2015 (88 pts)Trius Showcase Red Shale Cabernet Franc 2012 (91 pts)

TRIUS SHOWCASE RED SHALE CABERNET FRANC 2012 - Clark Farm Vineyard, VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $45.20
From the Clark Farm Vineyard, this has medium-high intensity and complex aromas of currant, leafy, herbaceous, oak, and forest floor. It's full-bodied and structured with some tannic grip and nicely balanced aroma replays. Very good and juicy acids add freshness and lift. Hints of minerality exist on the long finish. This is a serious Cab Franc to enjoy over the next decade. Score: 91 pts

WAYNE GRETZKY NO. 99 RIESLING 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#144865) (M) - $14.95
Medium+ intensity aromas feature some mature petrol notes, along with mineral, green apple, citrus and peach aromas. There's a nice mineral texture on the light-weighted palate with appealing off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) aroma replays. Vibrant acids keep things fresh, while the finish length is very good. Score: 88+ pts

Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Riesling 2015 (88+ pts)The Hare Frontier Cabernet Franc 2013 (89 pts)

THE HARE FRONTIER CABERNET FRANC 2013 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $50
Contains trace amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, this has medium-high intensity, oak-influenced aromas of tobacco, cigar, smoke, dark cherry, pepper, and dark currant with very good complexity that continues on the medium-full bodied palate. It has vibrant acids, good tannic structure, and long finishing. Enjoy over the next half decade. Score: 89 pts

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  • Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Vineland Estates Wine Tasting at Opus Restaurant

Vineland Estates Wine Tasting at Opus Restaurant
In , I was invited by Halpern Enterprises to an exclusive tasting of Vineland Estates wines at the elegant Opus Restaurant in the Bloor-Yorkville Area in downtown Toronto.

It was a small-ish tasting, featuring 13 wines from their Classic, Elevation, and Reserve Series, with a focus more on licensees as most of the wines presented were only available for purchase direct through the winery (or the Agent).

Vineland Estates is located on the Niagara Escarpment and has been elevating the wine and culinary experience for over 30 years. The site features some very old structures, including the landmark stone tower that stands over a former Mennonite homestead with structures that date back to the 1840s. These structures now encompass a restaurant, retail store and wine tasting bar, underground barrel cellar, and the Carriage House that's used for private events. I have personally visited the winery quite a few times and have also enjoyed dinners at their restaurant.

In more recent news, the winery acquired a high-tech optical sorter to help produce better wines, in particular Cabernet Sauvignon. This grape requires a very long growing season to fully ripen, and is quite difficult to achieve full ripeness in the cool-climate region of Niagara. Every harvest produces exceptional grapes in all varieties, but the challenge is to find the best grapes out of the hundreds (or thousands) of tonnes that are produced. This cutting edge device optically sorts each individual grape according to ripeness levels at a rate of 10 tonnes per hour and discards the grapes that don't meet requirements. Vineland Estates' winemaker Brian Schmidt calls this technology a "game changer", and I fully expect an increase in quality in their wines going forward. Their "Game Changer" Red and White wines are made in reference to this technology.

Wine reviews of my 5 favourite wines from this tasting are provided below, a couple of which are available at the LCBO.

Tasting Notes:

VINELAND ESTATES BRUT RESERVE 2013 - VQA Ontario, Canada (D) - $28.00
Blended with 48.1% Pinot Meunier, 42.5% Chardonnay and 9.4% Riesling and using the Charmat Method to create this fine bubbly. Aromas of medium-high intensity showing citrus, peach, brioche, toasty, yeasty, and lemon/lime nose. It's medium-full bodied with fine, creamy bubbles providing a very next texture. Peach and citrus flavours on the palate are a touch sweet. Acids are juicy and well-balanced. Long, satisying finish. This is very fine. Score: 90 pts

Vineland Estates Brut Reserve 2013 (90 pts)Vineland Estates Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling 2015 (89 pts)

VINELAND ESTATES ELEVATION ST. URBAN VINEYARD RIESLING 2015 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#038117) (MS) - $19.95
Served much too cold, but hints of orange citrus, petrol, Flintstones vitamins, and golden apple peek through as it warms. It's medium-bodied with nice, brisk acidity to keep things fresh. Pleasing semi-sweet aroma replays on the palate with nuances of apple and honey. Finish is long and minerally. First released into VINTAGES on December 10th. Score: 89 pts

VINELAND ESTATES GAME CHANGER RED 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#457523) (XD) - $14.95
A blend of 92% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium intensity aromas of red and black fruits, subtle oak spice and currant which continue on the flavour profile. Sweet tannins are supple and nicely structured on the medium-bodied palate. Acids are fresh. Some bretty notes on the long finish. Score: 86 pts

Vineland Estates Game Changer Red 2014 (86 pts)Vineland Estates Elevation Cabernet 2014 (89 pts)

VINELAND ESTATES ELEVATION CABERNET 2014 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (D) - $28.00
Blend of 67% Cabernet Franc and 33% Cabernet Sauvignon. Somewhat closed (but should show well after short decant), this has currant, herbally, cassis and mineral aromas. It's full-bodied with nicely integrated tannins that are refined and smooth. Aroma replays are nicely balanced on the flavour profile. Acids are very good and finish is long. Score: 89 pts

VINELAND ESTATES SELECT LATE HARVEST CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (MS) (375 mL) - $24.95
Highly aromatic and appealing nose offers sweet cassis jelly, currant, strawberry jam and liqueur which continue on the medium-full bodied palate. A touch spicy on the mid-palate with balanced acids. Finishes long and a touch dry. Score: 88+ pts

Vineland Estates Select Late Harvest Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (88+ pts)

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  • Wednesday, August 10, 2016

McMichael Collection Group of Seven Cabernet Merlot 2014 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine is an LCBO General List product that was released into the market in June and is readily available throughout Ontario.

Produced by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, in Kleinburg, just north of Toronto, in partnership with Niagara's Diamond Estates Winery, the Cabernet Merlot (along with an unoaked Chardonnay) is part of a new collection of wines to celebrate the institution's 50th anniversary. The unique labels adorning the bottles feature works from the Group of Seven. Furthermore, fifty cents from every bottle sold goes to the McMichael Collection.

Each member of the Group of Seven is honoured with a label depicting their artwork on one of the two wines. If you're an art lover, you'll recognize that my Cab Merlot features the Road to Baie St. Paul (1933) by A.Y. Jackson.

McMichael Collection Group of Seven Cabernet Merlot 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (85 pts)

Tasting Note:

MCMICHAEL COLLECTION GROUP OF SEVEN CABERNET MERLOT 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#456590) (XD) - $14.95
A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Franc. Screw cap. Earthy and red berry aromas with hints of sweet spices and green herbs. The palate is medium bodied with young, gritty tannins. Flavours of dark berry, earth and oak spices. It has fresh acids and good length on the finish. Requires a meaty dish to balance the tannin. Score: 85 pts

This wine is currently on promotion, offering 6 Bonus Air Miles reward miles until .

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  • Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Creekside Estate Winery Wine Tasting

Wine reviews of various wines from Creekside Estate Winery
I received these delicious wine samples from Creekside Estate Winery recently and opened them up a couple of weeks ago on a crisp, Fall .

Creekside has been making premium wine since 1997, when owner Laura McCain pursued a passion for wine by purchasing a 15-acre vineyard and winery on Fourth Avenue in Jordan. The darlings of their portfolio at the time were Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz - neither grape particularly known for doing well in Niagara during this period.

The year 1999 marked the first of several major face lifts to the site, including the addition of shiny new stainless steel tanks with temperature control jackets, a brand new crush pad, and a pneumatic press. In 2000, an underground barrel cellar for fermentation and aging was added to the site.

Growing consumer demand meant more grapes were required to produce more wine. Creekside purchased a 50-acre vineyard site on St. David's Bench and named it the Queenston Road Vineyard (QRV). This site now produces some of their best wines, including their award-winning Syrah that I tasted at the winery in September.

Due to growing popularity over the years, a brand new retail store and covered outdoor deck was built in 2008. During this time, new labels, packaging and website were all face-lifted and are the current look-and-feel that you see today.

Creekside's slogan is "Serious wine from an irreverent bunch". After visiting them last month and my wine reviews below, I can agree that their wines are serious.

Tasting Notes:
CREEKSIDE PINOT GRIGIO 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#083196) (XD) - $14.95
Screw cap. Medium+ intensity aromas with lime, peach, apple and leesy notes. Dry, medium-bodied palate with crisp, lively acids and pleasing aroma replays. Crisp, medium-length finish that is slightly bitter and tart. LCBO General List and widely available. Score: 87 pts

Wine review of 2012 Creekside Pinot Grigio from VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada

CREEKSIDE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#620724) (XD) - $13.95
Screw cap. Elegant, medium intensity nose showing gooseberry, kiwi, guava and lime aromas. It's medium-weighted and echos the aromas, along with some greenness on the flavour profile. Balanced acids. Tropical fruit & lime flavours on the medium+ length on the finish. Well balanced overall. LCBO General List and widely available. Score: 88 pts

Wine review of 2013 Creekside Sauvignon Blanc from VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada

ICONOCLAST SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - VQA Creek Shores, Ontario, Canada (#) (XD) - $17.95
Screw cap. Nose seems somewhat closed but shows mandarine orange, guava, kiwi and some earthy aromas. Medium+ bodied and fleshy palate with lemon/lime, green leaf and mineral flavours. Has a fine seam of acidity that dances on the long, dry finish. Score: 88 pts

Wine review of 2013 Iconoclast Sauvignon Blanc from VQA Creek Shores, Ontario, Canada

CREEKSIDE CABERNET SHIRAZ 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#305300) (XD)  - $16.95
Comprised of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon and 34% Shiraz. Screw cap. Lifted nose featuring smoky, meaty, peppercorn and cassis aromas, Some distinct barnyard notes as it opens up in the glass. Medium-full bodied palate with dark, brooding tannins and mouth-watering acids. Flavours of blackberry, black cherry, raspberry, black pepper, vanillan oak and cocoa. Drinkable now and can be enjoyed over the next 3-4 years. LCBO General List and widely available. Score: 88+ pts

Wine review of 2012 Creekside Cabernet Shiraz from VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada

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  • Monday, July 29, 2013

Cat Amongst The Pigeons Fat Cat Shiraz Cabernet 2008 (Barossa) - Wine Review

As promised in my most recent wine review post, the next wine I open would be a red wine. I can't believe it's been more than 2 months since I last opened a red wine at home!

I purchased this wine back in June of 2011 from a Father's Day release and opened this last night. Unfortunately, it is no longer available at the LCBO.

CAT AMONGST THE PIGEONS FAT CAT SHIRAZ CABERNET 2008 - Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia (#222042) - $17.95
2008 Cat Amongst The Pigeons Fat Cat Shiraz Cabernet from Barossa Valley, South Australia - Wine Review
Tasting Note:
Blend of 55% Shiraz and 45% Cab. Screw cap. Medium-high intensity aromas of black cherry, currant, cassis, chocolate and tilled earth. Medium-full bodied with a crisp mouthfeel. Ripe fruit on the palate with bumbleberry, blueberry, mint and cedar notes. Chunky tannins are nicely integrated. Crisp acids and medium-long dark chocolate-oak finish. Prime drinking window right now, serve slightly chilled. Was a decent pairing with deliciously made Chicken Korma.

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  • Thursday, September 15, 2011

Vintage Ink Mark of Passion Merlot/Cabernet 2009 (Niagara) - Wine Review

Purchased only a few days ago from the most recent Vintages Release that featured only wines from Ontario. This wine was opened so soon because everything else in my cellar is still not quite ready to open.

VINTAGE INK MARK OF PASSION MERLOT/CABERNET 2009 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#250209) (XD) - $17.95

Tasting Note:
Spicy bouquet with black fruit, some cedar, earth and licorice. Light- to medium-bodied with no overly strong flavours of blackberries and cedar/oak. A good wine, but I wouldn't rate it a 90+ as another critic had rated it - an 89 is more suitable. I'll post another review in an hour or so after it's had time to air out.

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  • Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2008 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet (Australia) - Wine Review

Life outside of wine has been keeping me busy, hence the long time between wine reviews. Tonight's wine is from the general LCBO listing and was recently gifted to us.

PENFOLDS KOONUNGA HILL CABERNET/SHIRAZ 2008 - South Australia, Australia (#285544) (D) - $16.55

Tasting Note:
Red berries, touch of earth aromas. Gentle ripe fruit, currants and light oak on the palate. Medium-full bodied. Chalky tannins really get onto your teeth - will definitely have to brush well tonight! Not big and uncomplicated. Good, everyday wine that will go well with many simple meat dishes, including curries and pastas.

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  • Tuesday, July 12, 2011

2006 The Garden Path Shiraz/Cabernet (Australia) - Wine Review

Purchased this one back in November of 2010, and could have cellared it for a couple more years, but felt like opening it tonight.

THE GARDEN PATH SHIRAZ/CABERNET 2006 - Langhorne Creek, South Australia, Australia (#199539) (XD) - $17.95

Tasting Note:
Mint, cassis, black currant, oak, earth/barnyard aromas. Black currant and blueberries on the palate. Ripe tannins. Fleshy, medium-bodied. Tasty. I think it will go well with the Chicken Biryani we're having tonight!

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  • Tuesday, May 3, 2011

2007 Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Estate Series Cabernet/Merlot - Review

Purchased this gem from fabulous Ontario Strikes Gold Release back in February.

WAYNE GRETZKY NO. 99 ESTATE SERIES CABERNET/MERLOT 2007 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#128652) - $19.95

Tasting Note:
VERY good offering from #99 himself. Lead/pencil/graphite, smoke aromas. All remain on the palate + cassis notes and blackberry. Medium-full bodied with a long finish. Chalky tannins that would have rewarded 2-3 years in the cellar, but definitely enjoyable now with a full flavoured dish - as I did last night.

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  • Tuesday, April 12, 2011

2008 Kacaba Escarpment Cabernet/Syrah - Review

Received this from a friend last week who was at Kacaba Vineyards hosting an event that I was, unfortunately, unable to attend due to short notice. But, she graciously brought back this red wine for me.

Tasting Note:
Aromas of plum and raisin when opening. Crushed red berries, earth, barnyard, oak aromas in the glass. Currant, smoky, and light, new oak on the palate. Chalky tannins. Medium-bodied. Ripe and ready-to-drink. Overall, this red makes a nice impression, but something seems to be lacking that would make it an "exceptional" wine.

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  • Sunday, March 27, 2011

2008 Chateau d'Argan AC Medoc: Review

Opened this Bronze Medal winner on Saturday evening:

CHÂTEAU D'ARGAN 2008 - AC Medoc, Bordeaux, France (#199018) - $16.95

Tasting Note:
Cassis, blackberry and black cherry notes. Some fine tannins remain, could have been aged for 1-2 years, but definitely enjoyable now. Dry, medium-bodied. Very good!

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  • Sunday, February 20, 2011

Review: Château la Chèze 2005, Bordeaux, France

Choice for tonight was a 2005 Bordeaux.

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

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

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