Chilcas Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Dark in color with a nice nose of red berries. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice nice red cherries to match the nose along with cassis and some nice oak. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice smooth tannins and dryness. This is a lovely smooth fruit forward cab sauv. Very well made. I would give it a solit 89. Very nice.

From the LCBO web site:
Chilcas Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 —VINTAGES#: 309757
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth $17.95

Release Date:June 27, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 14.5% Made in: Colchagua Valley, Chile By: Via Wine Group Sugar Content:4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style: Full-bodied & Smooth

Description From one of Chile’s best-known and best-loved wine regions, this single-vineyard Cabernet will show the richness and concentration the region is noted for. Look for impressive cassis, black and red fruit, herbs and smoke. This will make a popular addition to any barbecue.

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Gabbiano Chianti tastings

I recently had the pleasure of attending an iYellow event where the wine maker from Gabbiano, Frederico came along and told us all about Chianti’s. I thought I would pass along some of the tid bits I was able to glean from the evening. It was lovely. Below you will find my tasting notes for the wines we had at the event.

Chianti as you may know is a region within Italy (in Tuscany) where they grow predominantly the Sangiovese grape that is used in Chianti wines. There is a wonderful article on wikipedia all about the Chianti and Chianti Classico regions. As you may know the wine legislation in Italy grants a quality designation of DOCG for meeting all the requirements for the region.

An example of a Chianti is Gabbiano’s from the general list in the LCBO:
Gabbiano Chianti DOCG — LCBO#: 78006
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
Medium ruby red colour; aromas of red cherry, dried herbs, nuanced by vanilla notes; dry, medium-bodied, velvety tannins, displaying flavours of liquorice, spice and red cherries on the finish. $13.95

Alcohol/Vol 12.5% Made in: Italy By: Castello Di Gabbiano Sugar Content:5 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style: Medium-bodied & Fruity
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My Tasting Note for the 2014 vintage: Lighter in color with a simple fruity nose of light red berries. On the mid palate the wine is a simple fruit forward wine with a light finish. I would give it an 88 or so.

From the winemaker’s web site:
“This wine, with is marked freshness and ample enjoyment, comes from the vinification of native vines.”
Wine: 90% Sangiovese 10% and other red berry vines

Wine production: A very natural wine making process, in which the alcoholic fermentation is followed naturally by malolactic fermentation in steel casks. The ageing period of the wine before the bottling is brief, without passage in wood: in this way, the wine maintains and displays all the organoleptic characteristics of the grape, along with great freshness. It is a young, enjoyable wine that does not require ageing, which should be drunk in the first two years of life.

Another region beyond Chianti is called Chianti Classico. Here the Sangiovese is aged in oak. In the case of the Gabbiano one from the LCBO it is aged in larger oak casks leading to more subtle effects of the oak:
Gabbiano Chianti Classico DOCG — LCBO#: 219808
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
Medium ruby colour; aromas and flavours of dried cherry, red berry fruit and gentle baking spice; dry, medium-bodied, mild tannins and refreshing acidity. $16.95

Alcohol/Vol 13.0% Made in: Tuscany, Italy By: Castello Di Gabbiano Sugar Content: 5 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Medium-bodied & Fruity
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My tasting note for the 2012 vintage: Dark in color with a mild nose with some dried fruits coming through. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice red berries along with some dried fruit notes to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice dryness. I would give the wine an 88+. You can really see the additional complexity of this wine over the previous one coming through.

From the wine maker’s web site:
“Produced according to the classic method, this wine, with its full, balanced flavour, bears honest testimony to its territory and ancient tradition.”
Wine: 90% Sangiovese 10% and other red berry vines

Wine production: Produced according to the most traditional Chianti Classico fermentation processes on the skins, in temperature-controlled tanks at a temperature of 28°C. Malolactic fermentation takes place naturally in steel tanks. The wine is bottled a year after harvest, after several (5/7) months ageing in medium and large capacity French oak casks – from 15 to 50 hectolitres. The moderate use of the wood, the choice of large casks, according to the most classical method, allows the wine to preserve the most natural characteristics of the Sangiovese grape, bringing them into harmony: fruitiness, freshness and the level of tannin.

Next up are Chianti Classico reservas. These spend longer in oak and in the case of the Gabbiano are aged in smaller casks, new oak, which imparts more of the oak into the wine. From the LCBO web site:
Castello di Gabbiano Riserva Chianti Classico 2011 — VINTAGES#: 216309
STYLE – Full-bodied & Firm
Excellent red with layers of subtle fruit, toasted oak, mushroom and truffles. Full body with firm, racy tannins and a long, flavorful finish. A solid example of a riserva Chianti Classico with lovely balance and structure. Drink now. Score – 92. (James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, Oct. 20, 2014) $22.95

Release Date:May 30, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 14.2% Made in: Tuscany, Italy By:Treasury Wine Estates Sugar Content: 6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style: Full-bodied & Firm
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My tasting notes for the 2011 vintage: Dark in color with a nice smooth red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays nice smooth red berries to match the nose along with some minty notes. I’m never a lover of mint :( The finish on the wine is on the lighter side of medium in length. I would give it an 87-88.

From the wine maker’s web site:
“Created from the property’s oldest Chianti Classico vineyards, the castle’s Riserva is a wine that maintains all the most typical organoleptic characteristics of Chianti Classico, emphasised by a balanced ageing in wood.”

Wine: 95% Sangiovese 5% merlot
Wine production: The best grapes from the castle vineyards, harvested by hand, are quickly taken to the cellar. After delicately pressing and removing the grapes from the stalks, the alcoholic fermentation in the skins is carried out, in short fermentations, individually monitored with great care, so that the pumping of must over the grape dregs and the shedding are carried out in the ideal measure and times for each must.

The wine, therefore, spontaneously takes the malolactic fermentation to its conclusion, only partly in wood (casks of medium capacity or barriques of new French oak). In the following 16/18 months before bottling, the wine ages in casks of medium to large capacity – from 15 to 35 hectolitres – and in barriques of French oak of 225 litres. A wine that rewards the more patient consumer, since it requires a long ageing in bottles.

Next up they poured the 2011 Bellezza Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione. This wine is not currently in the LCBO but lists for $39.95.

My tasting note for the 2011 vintage: Dark in color with a lovely nose of red berries along with some oak. On the mid palate there are some nice red berries to match the nose along with some earthy notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice dryness and tannins. The complexity of the wine is very nice. I would give it an 88-89.

From the wine maker’s web site:
“A wine with an entirely Tuscan soul, presented in a new way.”

The highest quality grapes selection from a unique estate vineyard gives us this powerful Chianti Classico wine of class, made in a modern style.
The word ‘Bellezza’(Beauty) was familiarly used by workers to name this vineyard for its beauty and special production, thus it became the vineyard nickname.

Wine: 100% Sangiovese

Wine production: The same attention and care which is given to the grape on the vine continues in the cellar in the processes of pressing and removing the grapes from the stalks, which means every day during the alcoholic fermentation and the subsequent malolactic fermentation, which takes place in new barriques of French oak.

The wine is aged, therefore, for a period of 14/16 months in small capacity barrels (225 litres) and barriques (225 litres) of French oak of first passage, which bestow softness on the wine and emphasise the typical tang of this grape. Long refinement in the bottle completes the ageing and emphasises the tertiary fragrances.
Bellezza01

And last but not least is a category of wines called “Super Tuscans”. These are wines that were made outside the rigid laws defining DOC/DOCG. This allowed wine makers in Chianti to use smaller percentage of Sangiovese grapes (and even little to no Sangiovese). They are designated IGT on the bottle. As an example of this was the 2011 Solatìo.

My tasting notes: Inky dark in color with a lovely nose of dark berries and some oak. On the mid palate the wine displays nice dark berries to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some super dry pucker power along with some nice tannins. This is a lovely wine. I would give it a solid 89. Not in the LCBO and I forgot to take note of the price.

from the wine maker’s web site:
A new entry in the family!”

“A lovely, fine wine whose name tells about a sunny land. It exhibits a clear character. A rich and captivating taste and great freshness, which intend to ingratiate a wide audience. A wine that will be placed on the market in a range of non-exclusive access.”

Wine: 50% Syrah 45% Cabernet Sauvignon 5% Sangiovese.

Winemaking
Separate fermentations. Just a short oak contact.
Solatio

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2014 Gabbiano Promessa Pinot Grigio

Pale in color with a nice crisp nose with minerality and citrus notes coming through. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with nice crisp dry minerality and citrus notes. On the medium length finish the wine has some lovely dryness, and some good length that build in the mouth along with some nice fresh acidity. This is a surprisingly good wine for the money. A perfect patio sipper. The length of the finish increased nicely as the wine warmed up. Be sure to not serve it too cold or you will miss a lot of the complexity of the wine. This would be a very food friendly wine. The wine is 90% Pinot Grigio and 10% Chardonnay grown outside of the Chianti region. I would give it an 88+. A bargoon for the price.

From the LCBO web site:
Gabbiano Pinot Grigio IGT — LCBO#: 77990
STYLE – Light & Crisp
Pale yellow colour; aromas of ripe pear, citrus with tropical notes; dry, light bodied, with citrus, mineral and apple flavours; medium long finish.
$12.95

Alcohol/Vol 12.0% Made in: Italy By: Castello Di Gabbiano Sugar Content: 6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry Style:Light & Crisp
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Château Saint-Nicolas 2010 Bordeaux

Inky dark in color with a nice nose of black berries. On the mid palate the wine displays rich black cherries to match the nose. On the medium length finish, right out of the bottle the wine displayed noticeable alcohol and acidity. These faded quickly leaving some nice dryness and tannins. It’s still a bit young I would suspect. I would give it an 88-89. Quite a nice wine. We paired it with a BBQ striploin and it went well. Given the tannins structures this wine should have some cellar life in it too.

From the LCBO web site:
Château Saint-Nicolas 2010 Bordeaux — VINTAGES#: 405829
STYLE – Full-bodied & Firm
Richly aromatic, with blue and black fruit and plum and coffee notes. This is a great value in 2010 Bordeaux. Balanced, ripe, rich and long, with impressive weight and complexity throughout. (VINTAGES panel, Sept. 2014) $19.95

Release Date:April 18, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 14.0% Made in: Bordeaux, France By: Nath. Johnston & Fils Sugar Content:4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Firm

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Featherstone Canadian Oak Chardonnay 2012

Pale in color with a nice nose of pear. On the mid palate the wine displays some bold fruit flavors, pear and the like. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice vanilla, butterscotch and oaky notes. There some lively acidity and minerality as well. As the wine built in the mouth I noticed a subtle metal taste that coated my teeth and lingered. By the end of the bottle this was quite prominent. I would give this wine an 87-88. The back of the bottle indicates the wine is a very small lot, 296 cases, and that the oak from the barrels was grown close to the winery. Neat …

From the LCBO web site:
Featherstone Canadian Oak Chardonnay 2012 VINTAGES#: 149302
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
How much more Canadian can you get then this: Canadian grapes, aged in Canadian oak, using indigenous (wild) yeast. Sounds like home to me. Wine spends 12 months in 25% new oak and has become quite an exciting wine in the process. Nose is butterscotch, vanilla and coconut husk; palate proves just as exciting with coconut, butterscotch, sweet banana skin and a nice toasty-ness. Ballsy use of oak has given spiciness to the finish and the acidity balances out the apparent sweetness … this one is still young so the fruit should emerge within a year or two. Score – 4 Stars (out of 5). (Michael Pinkus, ontariowinereview.com, Sept. 2014) $21.95

Release Date:December 6, 2014 Alcohol/Vol 13.0% Made in: Ontario, Canada By: Featherstone Estate Winery Sugar Content:12 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Rich

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Cygnus Brut Nature Reserva Cava

As a public service announcement I thought I would pass along a tip CWG gave me. Today Bordeaux Futures ordering opened on the Vintages web site for the 2014 year. The futures program gives you a chance to preorder wines not yet available at discounted prices. Pay 25% now and then the rest in 2017 when the wines become available. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program :)

Pale in color with a nice citrus nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice dry minerality along with some nice citrus notes to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine has some nice lively acidity that lingers nicely. The bubbles are fine making this a food friendly wine. A very nice wine. I would give it an 88 or so. Yumm.

From the LCBO web site:
Cygnus Brut Nature Reserva Cava — VINTAGES#: 352856

STYLE – Medium-bodied & Flavourful
Here’s a fine, Champagne-style bubbly that comes with two bonuses where some consumers are concerned: It’s organic; and it weighs in at an impressively low 11.5-per-cent alcohol. But those are hardly the only reasons to love this electric-crisp Cygnus. Absolutely bone-dry and light, it’s got piercing, sour lemon-lime fruit underpinned by toasty bread and a suggestion of mineral. Score – 90. (Beppi Crosariol, The Globe and Mail, Oct. 14, 2014) $17.95

Release Date:June 13, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 11.5% Made in: Penedès, Spain By:U Mes U Fan Tres (1+1=3) Sugar Content: 5 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Medium-bodied & Flavourful
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Miguel Torres Altos Ibéricos Crianza 2012

Dark in color with a mild nose of red berries. On the mid palate the wine displays some lighter red berries to match the nose, but this wine lives in the finish where it displays some firm tannins, nice dryness and peppery notes. There’s also a hint of dark chocolate to the wine. Quite complex. It’s still a little young. I would give it an 88-89. Which for the price is a very good deal. It should age for a bit too!

From the LCBO web site:
Miguel Torres Altos Ibéricos Crianza 2012 — VINTAGES#: 381046
Style – Full-bodied & Smooth  › $16.95
Release Date:April 18, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 14.0% Made in: Rioja, Spain By: Miguel Torres S.A.,Sugar Content:9 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style:Full-bodied & Smooth Varietal

Description: It may surprise you to learn that despite Torres’s enviable international reputation and presence, the Catalan-based Torres family did not produce a wine in Rioja until the inaugural vintage of the Ibéricos Crianza in 2006. This 100% Tempranillo undergoes 12 months of ageing in oak before receiving a further six months in bottle. It will offer red fruit notes with oak and spice accents and is a perfect example of the level of craftsmanship and care that Torres insists upon for its entire range.

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Elderton High Altitude Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Happy Father’s day all!
Ink dark in color with a black berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some bold rich black cherries to match the nose, slightly sweet. On the finish the wine displays some nice firm acidity and tannins. I would give it an 88 or so.

From the LCBO web site:
Elderton High Altitude Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 — VINTAGES#: 408989
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
Bright crimson-magenta; cassis fruit strikes first on the bouquet and palate, then more savoury characters come through, part tannin-derived, part from oak. Will provide good drinking over the next 5 or so years. Drink by: 2020. Score – 89. (James Halliday, winecompanion.com.au, July 27, 2014) $19.95

Release Date:June 13, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: South Australia, Australia By: Elderton Wines Sugar Content:6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style:Full-bodied & Smooth
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Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2014 mini review

Pale in color with a nice smooth nose of grapefruit and citrus. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some smooth citrus and grapefruit. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice crisp acidity along with nice citrus notes. This is a smooth well made food friendly Sauv Blanc. I would give it an 88 or so. Very nice

From the LCBO web site:
Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2014 — VINTAGES#: 214460
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful $18.95

Release Date:February 21, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 13.0% Made in: Marlborough, New Zealand By: Lawsons Dry Hills Sugar Content:5 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Aromatic & Flavourful
DescriptionAfter growing grapes since 1980, Ross and Barbara Lawson made the leap to winemaking in 1992. They are a member of the Family of Twelve, an organization of 12 prestigious and artisanal wineries (six from the North Island and six from the South) that was established in 2005. Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc is barrel-fermented and will have a touch of toasty oak in addition to the typical tropical and herbal notes so loved in Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
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2012 Jackson-Triggs Merlot Grand Réserve Niagara Peninsula VQA

Inky dark in color with a mild nose of black berries. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice black cherries to match the nose along with some mocha notes, but where this wine lives is in the finish! On the medium to long finish the wine displays some firm tannins along with some nice dryness that builds nicely in the mouth. This wine is not a varietal Merlot, but not a bad wine none the less. I would give it an 88-89. If you like your wines edgy then this is a drink now and enjoy the complexity it has to offer. If you prefer your wines softer I suggest you wait a while. Might even be 2-5 years for the tannins to soften out.

From the LCBO web site:
Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Merlot 2012 — VINTAGES#: 563197
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
Well-articulated aromas of ripe red fruit, dark berry, cassis, mocha and cocoa powder. Impressive replays, balance and freshness on the palate. Silky smooth and delicious. (VINTAGES panel, Sept. 2014) $24.95

Release Date:April 4, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 14.0% Made in:Ontario, Canada By:Constellation Brands Inc. Sugar Content:7 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Medium-bodied & Fruity

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Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay 2013 mini review

A reminder mini-reviews were based on a small sample. This one was tasted at the California Wine fair.
Pale in color with lovely varietal chard nose. On the mid palate the wine displays lovely chard fruit with some nice apple and pear coming through. On the medium length finish the wine has some nice acidity along with some vanilla notes. Not a bad chard at all! I would give it an 88+

From the LCBO web site (for a different year):
Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay 2012 — VINTAGES#: 979344
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
Creamy, oaky Chardonnay with plenty of ripe orchard fruit and juicy tropical fruit. There’s a pretty floral element to the aromas, too. Enjoy it with pork chops and roasted potatoes. (VINTAGES panel, Jan. 2014) $21.95
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Wakefield Shiraz 2013

Inky dark in color with a mild dark berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice black berries to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some firm tannins, peppery notes and acidity along with some nice dryness. The wine is a bit on the young side. In about 6 months it would be been better. The fruit right now is kind of overwhelmed. I would give it an 88 or so.

From the LCBO web sie:
Wakefield Shiraz 2013 — VINTAGES#: 943787
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
Dark purple. Ripe dark berries, licorice and woodsmoke on the nose, with a peppery nuance adding lift. A silky, gently sweet midweight that offers tangy blackcurrant and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of vanilla. Shows good energy and focus on the finish, leaving behind bitter chocolate and allspice notes. Score – 89. (Josh Raynolds, vinousmedia.com, July 2014) $17.95

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2014 Villa Sandi Pinot Grigio

Pale in color with a nice nose of peach, stone fruit and nice minerality. On the mid palate the wine is a lovely, dry crisp wine with a hint of peach to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine shows some nice minerality and acidity, maybe even some grapefruit. The wine shows some nice complexity in the finish. This would be a very food friendly, versatile wine. I would give it an 88 or so. For the price this wine is a bargain.

From the LCBO web site:
Villa Sandi Pinot Grigio IGT — LCBO#: 580324
STYLE – Light & Crisp
Pale straw yellow colour; light stone fruit, mildly mineral nose with some floral and lemon drop notes; dry, fresh lemon and mineral flavours with crisp finish. $10.95

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Frei Brothers Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

I’ve bought this wine for a number of years now, after tasting it at a Society for American Wines event. This one is dark in color with a mild nose of cherries. On the mid palate the wine displays nice red cherries to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice smooth tannins and dryness. This is a smooth well made wine, but perhaps not as fruit forward as past years. I would give it an 88 or so. We paired it with a Maltese baked macaroni and it went well and complemented the meal nicely.

From the LCBO web site:
Frei Brothers Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 — VINTAGES#: 38075
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
This is a fairly big and assertive, but well-structured and balanced cabernet that exemplifies the move, among upper-tier wines everywhere, away from an emphasis on fruit-power toward more nuanced and versatile styles. This one shows that concentrated flavours and full body are not inconsistent with those styles. You’ll fine good definition, and breadth as well as depth in the fruit, well-proportioned acidity, and ripe, slightly grippy tannins. The whole package is very successful. It’s drinking very well now, but will evolve for a few years. I would drink it by 2020. Score – 4 1/2 Stars (out of 5). (Rod Phillips, rodphillipsonwine.com, May 14, 2015) $26.95

Release Date: May 16, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 14.2% Made in: California, USA By: E. & J. Gallo Winery Sugar Content:7 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: D – Dry Style: Full-bodied & Smooth Description: While the hillside vineyards of cool-climate Alexander Valley are home to a range of crisp and aromatic white wine grapes, the gravel-rich valley floor is all about Cabernet. This robustly flavoured and textured wine shows why. Enjoy it over the next 3-5 years with grilled meats or tomato pastas.

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Carpineto Chianti Classico 2012

Dark color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some red berries along with some mild minty notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lively acidity firm tannins and firm dryness. As it breathed it eased some with the fruit coming through a little more than at first. Probably a bit too young. I would give it an 88 or so.

From the LCBO web site:
Carpineto Chianti Classico 2012 — VINTAGES#: 356048
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
For Chianti Classico, 2012 was a good year, not too warm yet ripening occurred early, with the quality set to high, but the quantities were low. A winemaker’s vintage. Carpineto’s CC comes from the northern aspect of the appellation, from a conca (amphitheater) seven km’s east of Greve, by the piccolo hamlet of Dudda. It’s cooler in this part of Chianti, with more rock imparting flavour and textured sensations into the reds. The ’12 is essentially 90 percent Sangiovese and 10 per cent Canaiolo, give or take 10 per cent. Aromas of roses and wet rocks, fresh ripe plums mashed into tomatoes, herbs and a spicy side note. Old school and precisely what CC should be, minus the funk (which it does not have or need). Ultimate pasta wine right here. Traditional style in an up to date way with temperature control and all the tools of a modern facility. No VA, no barnyard, but really natural. This explains the axiom of maintaining tradition. With so many story lines already spoken for in sectarian Chianti, maybe that is the only thing Carpineto has left to hang their Zuccotto on. David Lawrason hits the nail head on. A Chianti that ‘resets the compass.’ Tasted September 2014. Score – 90. (Michael Godel, winealign.com, Sept. 11, 2014) $19.95
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2004 Cavallotto Fratelli Barolo Bricco Boschis

Sorry I’m a bit late with a post :( Life happens …

I recently attended a 2004 Barolo/Barbaresco tasting event with Toronto Vintners Club where this was one of the stars of the night. Interestingly it was the first wine of the evening. Dark in color with a nose of dark berries and dried fruits. On the mid palate the wine still has some lovely red fruits backed almost immediately by some firm tannins and some super complex dryness. This wine is holding it own very well. I would give it a 90. A lovely big wine. Be sure and pair it with something big or you won’t be tasting the food. And be sure and try the wine without food to enjoy the complexities of the finish. Yumm.

2004 Cavallotto Fratelli Barolo Bricco Boschis (Barolo) $59
The 2004 Barolo Bricco Boschis tastes just like it did from barrel, which is to say sweet, layered and totally irresistible. The ripe red fruit is incredibly primary, and this wine is years away from offering its finest drinking, but it is already very impressive at this stage. This is an especially refined, elegant vintage for this wine, and I can only say that I await the Riservas with eager anticipation. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024. 93 pts. Wine Advocate, October 2008

From the LCBO web site for the current vintage in the stores:
Cavallotto Bricco Boschis Barolo 2009 – VINTAGES#: 579276
STYLE – Full-bodied & Firm
Cavallotto still travels under the radar, but is one of the finest Barolo producers. Its Bricco Boschis is bold and beautiful, offering intense rose and berry aromas layered with eucalyptus. The creamy palate delivers cherry, spice and balsamic notes, along with hints of Alpine herbs. To let this complex wine develop fully, drink it after 2019. Special Designation: Editor’s Choice. Score – 95. (Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, Sept. 2013)
$88.00

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2012 Murphy Goode Cab Sauv Mini review

I last wrote about the 2010 vintage of this wine and enjoyed it. This one is Dark in color with lovely fruit forward nose of red cherries coming up to greet you. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some lovely smooth fruit forward red cherries and cassis. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice tannins. I enjoyed this one and would give it an 89. Sadly not in the LCBO, available for $22.95 a bottle by the 12 bottle case from Wine-Wire.

From the winery’s web site:
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a wonderful expression of the varietal from a really great vintage. Petit Verdot was added to give the blend some added richness and depth, and a bit of Merlot provides some nice softness. Look forward to aromas and flavors of black berries and cherry with just a hint of black licorice. The finish will add notes of chocolate, vanilla, and sweet toastiness.

APPELLATION:California COMPOSITION:86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot T.A.:0.58g/100mL pH:3.61 ALC. BY VOL.:13.7%

Cabernet Sauvignon put California vineyards on the map, and our big, bold version comes from winegrowing regions spread throughout the state. Rock-n-roll is big here too, all part of the laid-back, free-stylin’ culture. That’s not to say things don’t get intense—we’ve got your power ballads, your penetrating lyrics, and your Cab full of hard-hitting blackberry and cherry flavors for real depth you won’t soon forget. Raise a glass, flip the steaks and turn up the volume.

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2012 Benzinger Chard mini review

Pale in color with a lovely varietal chard nose. Lots of pear/apple. On the mid palate the wine displays some beautiful fruit to match the nose, nice pear and apple coming through. On the medium length finish the wine is smooth displaying lots of nice vanilla notes. I would give it a solid 89. A very nice chard! The LCBO say full bodied and rich, I would agree!

From the LCBO web site:
Benziger Chardonnay 2012 – VINTAGES#: 34777
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
Juicy, bright Chardonnay with notions of peach, pear, and lemon meringe pie with an intriguing flint-smoke quality. A good choice for roast chicken. (VINTAGES panel, Aug. 2014) $19.95

Release Date:October 11, 2014
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: California, USA By: Kobrand Corporation Sugar Content:4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Rich

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2003 Devil’s Lair Red

This wine is Bordeaux style blend of 67% Cab Sauv, 25% Merlot and 8% cab franc. Dark in color with a nice mild nose of red berries. On the mid palate the wine displays red cherries and Cassis to match the nose along with some hints of plum and some lovely cab franc notes. Even at only 8% the cab franc is noticeable. On a medium length finish the wine displays some firm tannins and acidity on first opening that pass quickly and leave some nice tannins and smooth dryness. Interestingly I would say this wine still has some life to it, but I wouldn’t wait a whole lot longer or your won’t be appreciating the fruit. I would give it a solid 90. We paired it with a filet mignon and it went very well indeed. Yumm. I’ve had this one in my cellar since 2006 when it was given to me as a gift! So sadly not currently in the LCBO :(

From the LCBO web site at the time:
Full of powerful cassis-like fruit. Very good wine. Raw, floral, semi-sweet, a healthy squeeze of tannin and a reach of chocolate. Lots of ripe fruit, but balanced… Impressive. Drink: 2010-2016. Score – 92 (Campbell Mattinson, www.winefrontmonthly.com.au, 2006) $49.95

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Ruppertsberger 2012 Pinot Noir

I had the pleasure of attending a Next Generation Germany wine event last night and learned lots. As well as the usual assortments of Riesling and Gewurztraminer they had a number of Pinot Noirs there. I had never had a German Pinot so I was anxious to try them. The German name for them is Spätburgunder. This particular one is garnet in color with lovely rustic nose along with a hint of sweetness. On the mid palate the wine is an absolutely varietal Pinot displaying lovely rustic notes to match the nose along with some soft red berries, raspberries and the like. And then come the finish … this one is medium in length and packs a punch showing rich firm tannins, firm acidity and even some peppery notes. The alcohol was noticeable but not offensive. The complexity in the finish was really impressive. This is definitely a big edgy pinot. If your looking for a fruit bomb this sure aint it :) I would give it a solid 89. Sadly not in the LCBO $35 a bottle. Yumm. Probably one of my favorites of the evening! So much so I went back for seconds!

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Francis Ford Coppola 2013 Cab Sauv mini review

Dark in color with a lovely red cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some nice red cherries and cassis. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice acidity and tannins along with some nice dryness that linger in the mouth. A lovely fruit forward Cali cab sauv. Sadly not in the LCBO right now. $23.95 a bottle. I would give it an 88-89.

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Kacaba 2013 Barrel fermented Chardonnay

Golden in color with a lovely nose of pear and vanilla. On the mid palate the wine displays pear and vanilla to match the nose. The wine is a well made California style chard. On the medium length finish the wine is smooth and lingers nicely in the mouth. We paired it with pan fried scallops and it went very well. Yumm. I would give it a solid 90. Sadly not in the Lcbo and sold out at the winery. It was $39.95.

From the winery’s web site:
BARREL FERMENTED CHARDONNAY 2013
Details

A limited production wine sure to sell out quickly. A small batch wine with a projected bottling of 120 cases.

The Kacaba 2013 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay was barrel fermented using exclusively new French oak, which gives it its rich golden color and great texture. Aromas of honeyed apple, nuts, lemon-lime, and oak spices complement the full flavored palate of silky, buttercream flavors with hints of toasted bread and oak. This 2013 Chardonnay is nicely balanced, full bodied, and ends with a clean, elegant finish. Enjoy this wine on its own or match with poultry, creamy dishes, salmon or lobster.

Kacaba Vineyards Winery’s previous Barrel Fermented Chardonnay vintages have garnered ratings as high as 92 Points and are always impressive values.

Alcohol Level 13.00%
Residual Sugar (g/l) 4.7
Tasting Notes
The Kacaba 2013 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay was barrel fermented using exclusively new French oak, which gives it its rich golden color and great texture. Aromas of honeyed apple, nuts, lemon-lime, and oak spices complement the full flavored palate of silky, buttercream flavors with hints of toasted bread and oak. This 2013 Chardonnay is nicely balanced, full bodied, and ends with a clean, elegant finish. Kacaba Vineyards Winery’s previous Barrel Fermented Chardonnay vintages have garnered ratings as high as 92 Points and are always impressive values.

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2012 Murphy Goode Pinot Noir mini review

Garnet in color with a beautiful soft light red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays soft light red berries to match the nose. Strawberries and raspberries along with some nice rustic notes. There’s a hint of sweetness. I would give it an 88-89 or so. Not in the LCBO but $22.98 available from Wine-wire.

From the winery’s web site:
We sourced our 2013 Pinot Noir from the cool, windswept regions this varietal likes best. From Mendocino to Monterey, we chose coastal vineyards that ripen grapes to vibrant black cherry character and bring out the hints of dried sage this wine reveals under the right conditions. Aging in both French and American oak contributed subtle notes of vanilla. No one can resist a darn Goode Pinot—try this one with coastal fare like cedar plank salmon or pair with your favorite pulled pork sandwich.

APPELLATION:California COMPOSITION:100% Pinot Noir T.A.:0.55g/100mL BOTTLE SIZE:750 ml pH:3.8 ALC. BY VOL.:13.5%

Our 2013 Pinot Noir comes from vineyards up and down the coast of California, including Monterey, Santa Barbara and Mendocino. Cool conditions in these prime growing spots keep grapes at a perfect balance between vibrant dark fruit character and bright acidity. Notes of vanilla from aging in French and American oak add complexity to the intense black cherry aromas and flavors.

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Ca’ Momi Chardonnay 2013

Pale in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some apple along with some honeysuckle and a bit of sweetness. Think almost Riesling like. On the medium length finish the wine displays some spicy notes along with some acidity. Not a fabulous chard. I would give it an 87-88. If I had more … I’d take them back. I actually poured the rest of the bottle down the drain :( Sorry fishies.

From the LCBO web site:
Ca’ Momi Chardonnay 2013 — VINTAGES#: 361972
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich $19.95

Release Date:April 4, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 13.9% Made in: California, USA By: Ca’Momi Sugar Content:6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style:Full-bodied & Rich Description The name ‘Ca’ Momi’ means ‘house of Momi’ and refers to Momi dea Bionda, a fastidious vineyard keeper in Veneto, the region from whence the three proprietors of this winery hail. This big, delightfully palate-whomping Napa Chardonnay serves up ripe pineapple, peach nectar, melon and apple sauce with a wisp of smoke. It’s a great choice for barbecued pork.

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Zenato San Benedetto Lugana 2013

Pale in color with a mild nose with some peach coming through. On the mid palate the wine displays some strong peach notes along with some nice acidity and minerality. On the medium length finish the wine displays some firm acidity which lingers nicely in the mouth. This is a very food friendly wine. I would give it an 88 or so.

From the LCBO web site:
Zenato San Benedetto Lugana 2013
Trebbiano — VINTAGES#: 707158
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
Seductively demure aromas of orchard blossoms, freshly cut hay, and apple-peach cobbler. There’s a suggestion of sweetness and plenty of flavour on the palate, with applesauce on the outset leading to crunchy, crisp apple riding the knife-edge acidity of the tangy finish. (VINTAGES panel, Feb. 2015)
$16.95
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