Showing posts with label mclaren-vale. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mclaren-vale. Show all posts

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  • Sunday, September 15, 2019

Gemtree Uncut Shiraz 2016 (Australia) - Wine Review



Enjoy Shiraz? wine review is an excellent organic Australian Shiraz that came to the LCBO last month as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release. Surprisingly, there is plenty of stock still available, so you can get your hands on this bottle too!

It is produced by Gemtree Wines, a winery in McLaren Vale whose story begins in the 1980's when Paul and Jill Buttery purchased a plot of land named Gemtree off the narrow, gum-lined track that is Elliot Road. In 1994, some years after the vineyards were already well-established, their daughter Melissa asked to work in the vineyards. Melissa would go on to become a qualified viticulturalist, a well-regarded expert in biodynamic and organic farming, and married a boy named Mike Brown who is now Gemtree's chief winemaker and managing director.

Melissa and Mike and were both mindful about the environment and earth, and soon pursued sustainable growing and farming of grapes. After experimenting with a few blocks of Tempranillo, which included trial and error, grit and determination, Melissa started to see more life in the vineyards and a better quality of fruit. From this point on wards, Melissa was determined to farm all of Gemtree’s blocks organically and Gemtree earned full organic certification in 2011.

In 2007, to improve Gemtree’s vineyards and wines, Melissa delved into biodynamics which introduced techniques that interweave the health of the soil, vines and resident fauna and flora. Inside the winery, Mike also began testing biodynamic winemaking practices.

Gemtree Uncut Shiraz 2016 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

GEMTREE UNCUT SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#627844) (XD) - $24.95
Named 'Uncut' because nothing is added from vineyard to bottle. Screw cap enclosure. This organic Shiraz has a fresh and highly aromatic array of dark berry, blackberry, black pepper, meaty, savoury, and cigar box aromas with just a wisp of blackberry jam. It's is medium-full bodied on the palate with fleshy dark fruits, black cherry, licorice, pepper spice, earth, and oak spice flavours. It has a very nice, supple mouthfeel with smooth, refined tannins, while acids are juicy and well-balanced. More black pepper, licorice, and oak spice on the mid-palate, while the long, juicy finish veers towards earthy and savoury notes. Enticing stony mineral notes arrive with time in the glass. Should drink nicely over the next decade. Highly recommended buy. Score: 91 pts


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  • Saturday, July 6, 2019

The Black Chook Shiraz/Viognier 2017 (Australia) - Wine Review

This popular red wine has come through VINTAGES many times over the years - and looking through my database I discovered that I purchased the 2007 vintage of this bottle in 2008. , I opened the latest vintage which arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on  - with plenty still available for purchase at the LCBO.

It is produced by Penny's Hill, a winery located in the rolling foothills east of McLaren Vale and named after a hill that sits at the base of the site in South Australia. The project began in 1988 by Tony and Susie Parkinson when they planted 32 ha of vines facing the waters of Gulf St.Vincent. In 1993, they acquired the newly-planted Malpas Road property, followed in 1996 by acquiring the adjacent, highly prized hay-producing paddock that was planted to vines and named Goss Corner. In 1998, the original Goss family homestead, "Ingleburne", was added to the Malpas and Goss properties to reconnect what had originally been one entire holding.

Today, Tony Parkinson still maintains ownership and management of the business, and joining him is his younger son, James, who is learning the vineyard ropes, and his elder son, David, who is a filmmaker and contributes much to the aesthetics of the enterprise.

The Penny’s Hill Cellar Door chook house is home to The Black Chook brand’s namesake, and the original "Black Chook" can be seen scratching and pecking for grubs under the big old gum tree. The fruit for the Black Chook range of wines are sourced from some of South Australia’s eminent wine regions and are made to be affordable, enjoyed, shared and celebrated. The Black Chook Shiraz/Viognier is sourced from McLaren Vale and Padthaway as both regions have very consistent climates, which helps produce some of the best Shiraz in Australia and work together harmoniously in the final blend.

The Black Chook Shiraz/Viognier 2017 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

THE BLACK CHOOK SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER 2017 - McLaren Vale/Padthaway, South Australia (#066738) (XD) - $18.95
A blend of Shiraz (96%) and Viognier (4%) that was co-fermented, while vineyard parcels were vinified and matured with suitable oak separately to best express the nuances of each block. The final wine was blended together after 12 months of oak ageing. Screw cap. Fresh, plummy, black cherry aromas mingle with peppery spice and oak notes, and just a hint of floral. It is medium-full bodied on the palate with dark currant and dark berry flavours, along with hints of pepper and oak spice in a dry flavour profile. It has soft, refined tannins and juicy acids. Wood and pepper spice notes linger on the finish. Score: 87 pts


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  • Friday, June 21, 2019

Wakefield Jaraman Shiraz 2017 (Australia) - Wine Review

After enjoying the 2016 Wakefield Jaraman Shiraz earlier this year, I am delighted to try the 2017 vintage of this wine that will be arriving in LCBO VINTAGES on .

It is produced by Wakefield Wines and within their Jaraman range of wines they search for parcels of extraordinary fruit to craft wines that showcase their distinctive regional characteristics and style.

The growing season leading up to the 2017 vintage in Clare Valley was rather wet and, in fact, the wettest recorded since 2000. Soil temperatures remained very low due to the waterlogged conditions, and below average ambient temperatures resulted in later budburst. However, weather conditions during flowering were favourable and, hence, fruit set was good across all varieties. Harvest began in late February and continued through early May. Overall, the winemakers at Wakefield declared the vintage to be an above average vintage in terms of quantity and quality.

In McLaren Vale, winter and spring saw above average rainfall, leading to full soil profiles. Like in Clare Valley, cooler than average temperatures led to delayed flowering and veraison, which also meant that harvest was also slightly delayed with very few vineyards picked in February. The weather during March & April was stable, with warm and dry conditions and little rainfall. Overall, the winemakers reported the reds to be lively, bright, spicy, vibrant, and elegant.

Compared with the 2016 vintage, the 2017 has a bit less fruit from Clare Valley, with the blend consisting of 60.5% Clare Valley and 39.5% McLaren Vale. The grapes were gently de-stemmed and fermented in small static stainless steel tanks using Shiraz-specific yeast isolate. Gentle pressing occurred in a mixture of American oak hogshead and barriques (30% 1 year old, 70% 2 to 3 year old) for secondary malolactic fermentation, and upon completion was transferred back to barrel for maturation before being fined, filtered, and bottled in August 2018.

Wakefield Jaraman Shiraz 2017 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

WAKEFIELD JARAMAN SHIRAZ 2017 - Clare Valley/McLaren Vale, South Australia (#377036) (XD) - $24.95
Screw cap. Medium+ intensity nose delivers blackberry pie, plum, dark cherry and spice with hints of violet and mint. The fresh medium+ bodied palate offers more spice notes surrounding a core of blackberry, plum, and dark cherry flavours. Acids are fresh, while tannins are smooth, refined and textured. Finishes on the woody side with a touch of bitter dark chocolate. Very good finish length. Score: 88 pts


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  • Friday, June 7, 2019

Paxton MV Shiraz 2016 (Australia) - Wine Review

red wine review is a lovely Australian Shiraz that arrived at the LCBO last month as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release - and plenty of bottles are available across Ontario.

It is produced by the Paxton family that has been winegrowing since 1979. Founder and owner, David Paxton, is also one of Australia’s most highly respected viticulturalists as he and his family have been nurturing their own vineyards in McLaren Vale for over 30 years. In 2000, the family released their first wine under their own label - a 1998 Paxton Shiraz.

Today, wines are made under the direction and guidance of Richard Freebairn Paxton to produce a range of estate grown wines under the family label. The range features an approachable collection of wines that showcases the quality of fruit and varietal expression from McLaren Vale. David Paxton and his team strive to minimize inputs and manage the Paxton vineyards biodynamically - whereby vineyards are farmed without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and with a focus on promoting healthy, living soils through the use of natural compost preparation. Inside the winery, the family practices minimal interventionist winemaking to ensure the integrity of the fruit from vineyard to bottle. In 2011, Paxton Wines became a fully certified organic and biodynamic wine producer.

Paxton MV Shiraz 2016 (90+ pts)

Tasting Note:

PAXTON MV SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#327403) (XD) - $19.95
This biodynamic wine was matured in French and American oak. Screw cap. Quite intense on the nose with lovely savoury, blackberry, earthy, and meaty aromas with hints of black pepper, licorice and oak. It is full-ish bodied on the palate with finely-grained and structured tannins. Nicely textured with juicy acids freshening the palate. On the flavour profile, there are blackberry, licorice, cedar oak spice, and vanillin notes with some peppery hints, all of which lingers nicely on the long, balanced finish. Recommended buy. Score: 90+ pts


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  • Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Wakefield Jaraman Shiraz 2016 (Australia) - Wine Review (Bottle 2)

red wine is a frequent arrival in VINTAGES and was recently featured in the LCBO VINTAGES Release. It is currently available for purchase in the VINTAGES section at many LCBO outlets across Ontario.

Wakefield Wines is a family-owned and -operated winery located in the southern end of Clare Valley, South Australia. Wakefield is also a member of Australia's First Families of Wine, a group of twelve of Australia's oldest and most respected family-owned, multi-generational wineries who collectively have over 1,380 years of winemaking experience.

I reviewed this delicious Shiraz back in and am curious to see if this bottling, which is enclosed with a screw cap, has changed much over the last 5 months.

Wakefield Jaraman Shiraz 2016 (88 pts)

Wine Review/Tasting Note:

WAKEFIELD JARAMAN SHIRAZ 2016 - Clare Valley/McLaren Vale, South Australia (#377036) (XD) - $24.95
Screw cap. Dark berry, mint, pepper and spice aromas waft from the glass with some jamminess. It is a touch confected on the full-bodied palate with smooth, silky tannins and fresh, lively acids supporting the minty, blueberry, dark berry, cocoa, and spice flavours. Some chalkiness arrives mid-palate. Smooth berry, mocha, and earthy notes linger on the juicy finish, with very good length. Aussie Shiraz lovers will like this. Score: 88 pts


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  • Sunday, September 2, 2018

Wine Reviews from August 5, 2018 Birthday Party

Wine Line-up for Aug. 5 Birthday Party

Last month, we held a birthday party for my toddler daughter and a few of her close friends. And for the adults - there was wine!

The dry rosé was easily the most popular wine at the party, while the Riesling and Shiraz were a close second. All three wines are fairly recent releases to VINTAGES, so you should be able to pick up a bottle at your local LCBO. Full wine reviews are provided below.

Tasting Notes:

GÉRARD BERTRAND CÔTE DES ROSES ROSÉ 2017 - AP Languedoc, Midi, France (#373985) (XD) - $18.95
Glass enclosure. The medium+ intensity nose has appealing aromas of grapefruit, citrus, spring meadow and herbally notes. On the medium+ bodied palate, it has clean and crisp acids with nice texture. Herbally and grapefruit flavours on the dry flavour profile. Touch honeyed, with some bitterness on the long finish. Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah. Enjoy over the next 18 months. Part of the VINTAGES Essentials collection and released as part of the May 12 LCBO VINTAGES Release. Score: 89 pts

Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Rosé 2017 (89 pts)

REDSTONE LIMESTONE VINEYARD SOUTH RIESLING 2016 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#381251) (M) - $19.95
Screw cap. Lovely limestone mineral and petrol aromas mingle with white peach and citrus. It's medium-sweet with nicely balanced acids and flavours with white peach, orange zest, citrus, and green apple flavours with hints of mineral. Tart fruited, lip-smacking finish, with very good length. July 21 LCBO VINTAGES Release. Score: 89 pts

Redstone Limestone Vineyard South Riesling 2016 (89 pts)

DANDELION LIONESS OF MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#357475) (XD) - $21.95
Full wine review here.

Dandelion Lioness of McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016 (88+ pts)


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  • Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Wakefield Jaraman Shiraz 2016 (Australia) - Wine Review

wine review is an Australian Shiraz that arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on .

Like the 2016 Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon that I enjoyed in June, this red wine is produced by the family-owned and -operated Wakefield Wines. This particular red wine is part of their Jaraman Collection - a selection of premium wines that represent the celebration the regional diversity, bringing together two of Australia's finest wine regions in a single varietal wine.

This is a blend of 63% Clare Valley fruit and 37% McLaren Vale fruit. Clare Valley experienced low, but timely, rainfall, while flowering conditions were ideal. Combined with the vines being stress-free heading into winter, this led to the vintage being called one of the greats. In McLaren Vale, there was low rainfall leading up to the growing season, as well as lower than average rainfall during vintage and long dry spells in between. However, intense rainfall over two days in early February helped increase yields. Overall, it was fairly dry year in McLaren Vale, which is ideal for Shiraz.

Wakefield Jaraman Shiraz 2016 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

WAKEFIELD JARAMAN SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale/Clare Valley, South Australia (#377036) (XD) - $24.95
Screw cap. The richly spiced nose has aromas of blackberry, dark cherry, mocha chocolate, and vanilla oak with hints of black plum. It is full-bodied on the richly concentrated and ripe palate with blueberry and blackberry fruit flavours. There is some jamminess on the flavour profile, but it's backed by earthy, mocha, and savoury notes with hints of pepper spice, putting the jamminess firmly in the background (which I like). Acids are fresh, while tannins are smooth, supple and well-integrated. Very good finish length. Score: 88 pts



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  • Sunday, August 5, 2018

Dandelion Lioness of McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016 (Australia) - Wine Review

wine review is an Australian Shiraz that recently arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on .

Dandelion Vineyards is a unique fusion of vineyards and vignerons. The wines represent decades of experience, blending the fruit of old vine gardens with the finest traditions of artisan winemaking, while also allowing the unique character of these vineyards to express their terroir.

The grapes for the Lioness of McLaren Vale Shiraz are sourced from Angus and Helen Tuck's vineyard located in the subregion of Bakers Gully, in the foothills of McLaren Vale. These are mature vines are grown on ironstone pebble laden clay loam, over ancient Kurrajong Formation geology, a silica cemented conglomerate most suited to grow Shiraz.

Dandelion Lioness of McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

DANDELION LIONESS OF MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#357475) (XD) - $21.95
Hand-picked and pressed in whole bunches, and raised in 20% new and 80% older French Oak barriques for 18 months. Screw cap. The medium-high intensity nose offers aromas of black plum, blackberry, jammy, black peppercorn, and oak spices with some jamminess. On the medium-full bodied palate, this has vibrant acids and nice black peppercorn and blue fruit aroma replays in a dry flavour profile, with jamminess firmly in the background. Rounded tannins are ripe, dusty, and smooth. Black peppercorn and chocolate notes linger on the long finish. Score: 88+ pts


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  • Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Top Wines from Savour Australia Wine Tasting - May 2016

This mid-May tasting titled "Savour Australia" featured wines from about 25 wineries and was held in a compact room at George Restaurant on Queen Street East. At times, the room felt very small due to the high number of people in attendance. Overall, there were many high quality wines at various price points. As is the case with most tastings, many of the wines are not available at the LCBO, but can be ordered through the winery's representing Agent here in Ontario. Many wines from Australia at this tasting were most definitely savoured and highly recommended. Here are some of my favourite Australian wines from this tasting.

Tasting Notes:

CIRILLO 1850 ANCESTOR SEMILLON 2011 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#250281) (XD) - $42.65
Vines from 1849 and produced by the 9th generation of this family-owned winery, this Semillon has a very appealing and highly aromatic nose of mineral, wet stone, white flowers and hints honey. On the palate, it is medium-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel and tart lime and mineral flavours. It is a dry wine with very good acids and excellent length on the finish. Excellent wine will age for at least 5 years. Superb! Contact Bokke Wines for availability. Now available online at LCBO.com and at the Eglinton & Laird LCBO. Score: 92 pts

Cirillo 1850 Ancestor Semillon 2011 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (92 pts)

HOLLICK RAVENSWOOD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Coonawarra, South Australia (XD) - $75
Highly aromatic with elegant notes of sweet spice, red and black fruits, currant, cassis, hints of pencil lead and slightly jammy fruit notes, all of which echo very nicely on the full-bodied palate. Acids are juicy and mouth-watering, while the finish is excellent. Tannins are firm and drying, but also provide very good structure. This should be better in 2-3 years and drink well for at least decade. Contact Lifford Wine & Spirits for availability. Score: 92 pts

Hollick Ravenswood Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 - Coonawarra, South Australia (92 pts)

ALPHA BOX & DICE APOSTLE SHIRAZ DURIF 2012 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (XD) - $50
This 85/15 blend of Shiraz and Durif (aka Petite Sirah) has a medium-to-high intensity nose of red, black and purple fruits intermingling with sweet spice, herbs, mint and violets. On the palate, it is full-bodied and offers complex aroma replays framed by very good acidity and integrated tannins. In my excitement, I guess I forgot to take a photo of this absolutely delicious wine! Score: 91+ pts

STONIER CHARDONNAY 2015 - Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia (#025353) (XD) - $35
Medium-high intensity nose that's fresh and clean with bright orchard fruits and pear aromas. The mouthfeel is full with a nice texture and pleasing aroma replays on the palate. It has very good acidity and finishes long. Very well-balanced. 30% barrel fermented. Contact Select Wines to order. Score: 90+ pts

Stonier Chardonnay 2015 - Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia (90+ pts)

KILIKANOON MORT'S BLOCK RIESLING 2015 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#428342) (XD) - $19.95
A medium-to-high intensity nose offers lovely petrol aromas with underlying mineral and wet rock along hints of stone fruit, all of which show up on the flavour profile. There's some sweetness on the palate, but is shaded by bright acids. Minerally finish is long and dry with hints of citrus. Should arrive in VINTAGES in the Fall. Contact Charton Hobbs for quicker availability. Score: 90+ pts
Kilikanoon Mort's Block Riesling 2015 - Clare Valley, South Australia (90+ pts)



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  • Monday, October 28, 2013

Dandelion Vineyards Lion’s Tooth of McLaren Vale Shiraz/Riesling 2010 (Australia) - Wine Review

This red wine - that has a dash of white mixed in - was purchased from a Vintages release last March. It is composed of an unusual blend of 97% Shiraz and 3% Riesling, although the Riesling isn't noticeable on the palate. And in case you wanted to buy this, you'll probably have to wait for the 2011 vintage, as the 2010 is completely sold out at the LCBO.

DANDELION VINEYARDS LION’S TOOTH OF MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ/RIESLING 2010 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#311233) (D) - $19.95

Wine Review of 2010 Dandelion Vineyards Lion’s Tooth of McLaren Vale Shiraz/Riesling from South Australia
Tasting Note:
Screw cap. Cedar oak aromas lead the way with undertones of plum and blackcurrants. Medium-full bodied and quite fruit-forward with sweet red fruits, plum, blueberry jam, and oak. Slightly off-dry. Good acids and smooth tannins. Medium-length, mocha-tinged finish that is on the hot side. Chill slightly. Score: 87 pts


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