2015 Wayne Gretzky Pinot Noir mini review

Garnet in color with a lovely varietal soft red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely rich, bold red fruites, strawberry and raspberries. I’d hear about this wine, and was anxious to taste it, and it didn’t disappoint. On the medium length finish the wine displays some firm acidity and tannins. The wine might be just a little young right now, but a lovely pinot none the less. I would give it an 88+ !! Not in the LCBO but available from the winery for $29.95 a bottle.

From the winery’s web site:
Medium-bodied, elegant and fruit forward, this Pinot Noir shows wonderful fruit flavours of cherry and red berry, with a touch of spice and oak. The soft tannins leave a slight drying sensation on the finish with flavours of red berry tea, spice and pomegranate.

Serve with Portobello mushroom burgers, mushroom risotto, meaty lasagna, beef tenderloin (and left over beef wraps), or pizzas. Chill wine for 20 minutes before serving to bring out the fruit flavours. Drink now to 2019.

CRITICAL ACCLAIM:
Silver Medal – WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada 2017

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Wine events

I thought I would post a few unique upcoming wine events you might be interested in. First and foremost, if you haven’t already take a moment and subscribe to The Juice a weekly newsletter of wine events in your area. A great resource.

I’ve been to Prince Edward County a couple of time, actually due for a trip back! Once a year there is a gathering of County wines held here in downtown Toronto called County in the City that is a unique chance to try a lot of Prince Edward County wines in a single evening.

My regular readers know that I’ve recently been exploring, and been suitably impressed by, a number of Greek wines. A new event has just been released that is a portfolio tasting of Kolonaki Group’s offerings. This is another unique opportunity to try a number of Greek products in one evening! Register now!

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2012 Redstone limestone vineyard pinot noir

I love pinot noirs. So food friendly. Salmon, veal, poultry … And Niagara does some amazing ones! Varietal and yummy. I last reviewed Redstone’s Cab Franc and was impressed. Redstone are doing some great work! This one is garnet in color with a nice mild red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely strawberries to match the nose along with some nice firm tannins, acidity and rustic notes on the medium length finish. This is another well made yummy pinot noir. I would give it an 88 or so, which for the price is excellent.

From the LCBO web site Check LCBO stock:
Redstone Limestone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 — VINTAGES#: 546473
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
This elegant, sustainably farmed Pinot Noir shows pretty floral notes, raspberry, red cherry, strawberry and smoke, with good depth of flavour and brilliant, food-friendly acidity. Pour with prime rib and root vegetables. (Vintages panel, Aug. 2017) $22.00
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:March 17, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 12.5% Made in:Ontario, Canada By: Redstone Winery Inc. Sugar Content:6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style: Medium-bodied & Fruity Varietal:Pinot Noir Description: Redstone was named Winery of the Year at the 2017 National Wine Awards of Canada.

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Rustenberg Buzzard Kloof Syrah 2014

As we all know, Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape with different names. The difference being the style the wine is made in. This one is inky dark in color with a mild black berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely vibrant black berries to match the nose, maybe even blueberry. On the medium length finish the wine packs a punch with BIG pepper notes, firm acidity and firm tannins. This is a BIG wine. The dark berries live on nicely in the mouth. This wine is absolutely not for wimps 🙂 It’s quite a complex bruiser of a wine. You could close your eyes and believe this to be a well made Aussie shiraz and I mean that as a compliment. I would give it an 89 or so. The LCBO say full bodied and firm … I would say hell ya! Yum. Be sure and pair it with something with some bite or not a chance your tasting ANYTHING but the wine.

From the LCBO web site:
Rustenberg Buzzard Kloof Syrah 2014 — VINTAGES#: 414151
STYLE – Full-bodied & Firm
The name ‘Buzzard Kloof’ comes from the buzzards that can be seen circling above the kloof (ravine) within which the vineyard resides. The wine offers up boysenberry, blueberry, sweet spices and black pepper notes wrapped in chewy tannins. Drink now through 2022 with beef or mushroom burgers. (Vintages panel, Jan. 2018) $24.95

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Mathieu Paquet Pinot Noir 2016

When I first read the back of the wine I saw an AOP designation and thought, ok WTF is that? Well it seems I’m a little behind in my French wine legislation reading 🙂 Turns out Appellation d’Origine Protégée or AoP is the new top of the quality designations. A great article from the International Wine Guid explained the new laws.

This wine is garnet in color with a nice soft red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some soft red berries, think raspberries and the like along with some unusual flavors. This LCBO describe what they call new leather, and that may be it. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice dryness, acidity and tannins. I can’t say I loved this wine, and frankly if I had more I’d return them. I would give it an 87-88, not really to my tastes.

From the LCBO web site Check stock:
Mathieu Paquet Pinot Noir 2016 — VINTAGES#: 527937
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
Bright and pretty, with notes of raspberry and strawberry, intriguing tones of new leather and a refreshing acidity. It’s soft, easy-drinking and great value. Enjoy this tonight with roast beef or mild cheeses or cellar for 3+ years. (Vintages panel, May 2017) $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 17, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 12.4% Made in:Burgundy, France By: Mathieu Paquet Montagnac Bourgogne Sugar Content: 4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry

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Hãhã Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Pale in color with a citrus nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some softer citrus notes. On the medium length finsih the wine displays some nice acidity and dryness. Not a bad sauv blanc, but I prefer them a little more boisterous. This one would be more “elegant” in style. I would give it an -88

From the LCBO web site Check stock:
Hãhã Sauvignon Blanc 2016 — VINTAGES#: 388363
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
Youthful, bright and elegantly fragrant, the bouquet shows feijoa, white stone fruit, lime zest and passionfruit aromas, leading to a concentrated and focused palate that is lively and vibrant. The wine offers excellent fruit purity and intensity, wonderfully framed by juicy acidity. A delightful sauvignon offering plenty of delectable flavours. At its best: now to 2019. Score – 93. (Sam Kim, wineorbit.co.nz, Nov. 2016) $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 17, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 13.0% Made in: Marlborough, New Zealand By: Haha Wine Company Ltd Sugar Content: 2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

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Sister’s Run Old Testament Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Dark in color with a nice red cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some juicy red cherries coming through. On the medium length finsih the wine displays some nice dryness and smooth tannins. A super food friendly cab, that definitely leans more towards fruit forward. I would give it an 88 or so, which for the price is not bad. The LCBO call it full bodied and smooth and I would have to agree!

From the LCBO web site Check stock:
Sister’s Run Old Testament Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 — VINTAGES#: 478271
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
$16.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 3, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 14.5% Made in:South Australia, Australia By: Heirloom Vineyards Wine Company Pty Sugar Content: 2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry Style: Full-bodied & Smooth Varietal:Cabernet Sauvignon
Description: Cabernet Sauvignon is the king of wines, and the famous terra rossa soils of Coonawarra are where you’ll find the grape’s throne room in Australia. It’s here that vines, grown in iron-oxide-rich soils atop a limestone base, produce Australia’s most renowned Cabernets. This single-vineyard example will be a textured, layered, complex wine with rich dark fruit accented by chocolate and spice notes. Ideal for a wide range of barbecue fare.

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Château Recougne 2014

Dark in color with a mild red berry nose along with some oak. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice smooth red berries, plum and cherries along with some noticeable oak. The cab franc in spite of being so small in the blend is noticeable. On the medium length finish the wine displays some bright acidity along with some mild tannins, and some nice dryness. The wine is a little young and could use about a year to soften a bit. I would give it an 88 or so. For the price, not a bad deal! The LCBO say medium bodied and fruity and I’d agree.

From the LCBO web site:
Château Recougne 2014 — VINTAGES#: 368167
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
The Château Recougne 2014 is a blend of 90% Merlot, 2% Carmenere and 8% Cabernet Franc. It has a lovely, well-defined and vibrant nose, classic in style just like the old school label. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh red berry fruit, a keen line of acidity, plenty of vibrant cherries coming towards the graphite tinged finish. If you want a well crafted old fashioned Bordeaux wine, look no further! This is a great success for the estate under the guiding hand of Dr. Alain Raynaud. Drink Date: 2017-2024. Score – 89-91. (Neal Martin, robertparker.com, April 29, 2015 ) $15.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 17, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 14.0% Made in: Bordeaux, France By: Vignobles Xavier Milhade Sugar Content: 3 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style: Medium-bodied & Fruity

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Thema White 2015

Those of my regular readers know I love sauv blancs … and have been exploring wines of Greece. Thus we have this wine. Pale in color with a citrus as well as a hint of honey suckle on the nose. On the mid palate the wine offers some nice crisp citrus notes, some floral notes and some honey suckle to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice lively acidity and dryness. It has some lovely mouth grip and complexity. This is a very nice wine. A unique flavor. I’m not even sure I did it justice. It’s a very food friendly wine. I would give it an 88 or so. Drink young, the wine not you :)-

From the LCBO web site:
Thema White 2015 — VINTAGES#: 178442
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
This blend starts with panache, offering aromas of vanilla cream, lemon, banana and crushed herbs. On the palate, it balances brisk acidity with alluring citrus and melon fruit flavors. The wine has a spicy spin that gives it extra spunk.Ranked #90 on the 2016 Wine Enthusiast Top 100. Score – 92. (Susan Kostrzewa, Wine Enthusiast, Aug. 1, 2016) $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 17, 2018
Alcohol/Vol13.1% Made in: Drama, Greece By: Ktima Pavlidis Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

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Barossa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 mini review

Inky dark in color with a lovely varietal red cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with lovely rich bold red cherries coming through. This is definitely more of a fruit forward cab. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice dryness, smooth tannins and acidity. The LCBO refer to it as full bodied and smooth and I think that’s pretty accurate. They also mention min in the tasting notes, I don’t get that. I would give it an 88+. A few still left around the province.

from the LCBO web site:
Barossa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 — VINTAGES#: 493551
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
Barossa Valley Estate is committed to producing only three wines – Shiraz, GSM and this Cabernet Sauvignon – all reds and all reflective of what they believe to be the very best that the Barossa Valley region has to offer. The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon offers eucalyptus and mint with roasted red pepper, cassis and black fruit with bramble and savoury undertones. Ripe, round, long and youthful. (Vintages panel, Oct. 2016) $18.75
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:August 5, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 14.3% Made in: South Australia, Australia By: Delegat Limited Sugar Content: 3 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Smooth

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Château d’Argadens Blanc 2016

Pale in color with a nice citrus note. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice crisp citrus notes to match the nose along with some floral hints. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice crisp food friendly acidity. White Bordeaux = Sauv Blanc often blended with Semillon and this one is pretty much what you’d expect. It’s a softer, more refined, less boisterous sauv blanc. I’d give it an 88 or so. There are more expressive sauv blancs from Ne Zealand for similar to lower prices but it depends on what your looking for.

From the LCBO web site:
Château d’Argadens Blanc 2016 — VINTAGES#: 159111
STYLE – Light & Crisp $17.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:January 6, 2018
Alcohol/Vol12.0% Made in: Bordeaux, France By: Famille Sichel Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Light & Crisp Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon Description The Sichel family, who also own Château d’Angludet, acquired Château d’Argadens in 2002 and since then have produced excellent wines at this estate. This 2016 Blanc blends 65% Sauvignon Blanc with 35% Semillon, lending grassy overtones to the gooseberry and pear fruit. Enjoy, lightly chilled, as an aperitif or with bouillabaisse.

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Ardal Crianza 2013

I’ve had this one before and been impressed, so when I saw it on the recent release I grabbed it. Inky dark in color with a mild nose. About the only thing about this wine that is mild. On the medium length finish the wine displays some big, bold, black berry fruit, and some mocha. On the longer finish the wine displays some lively acidity, firm tannins and lovely dryness. The complexity of this wine rises well above it’s price. The LCBO describe this as full bodied and firm and I’d definitely agree. I would give it an 88+. Be sure and pair it with something BIG or your won’t be tasting anything but the wine!! Given the tannins in this wine I would say it would have no problem holding it’s own for a couple years at least!

From the LCBO web site:
Ardal Crianza 2013 — VINTAGES#: 167601
STYLE – Full-bodied & Firm
This modern-style red delivers cherry, currant and licorice flavors, accented by espresso and mineral notes, supported by firm tannins and fresh acidity. Drink now through 2025. Score – 90. (Thomas Matthews, winespectator.com, Aug. 31, 2016) $19.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 17, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 14.0% Made in: Ribera del Duero, Spain By: Bodegas Balbas Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Firm Varietal:Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon Description This wine is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.

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2017 Stoneleigh Sauv blanc

Stoneleigh Sauv Blanc has been a stable performer for quite a while. This is my first of the 2017 vintage. Pale in color with a pink grapefruit nose. This was super obvious right off the bat. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some nice pink grapefruit notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some vibrant acidity, this is a fairly food friendly wine. Whether you love it or hate it will depend on if you like grapefruit. I’d give it an -88.

From the LCBO web site:
Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc — LCBO#: 293043
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
Looking for something to please everyone? This famed New Zealand white has classic Sauvignon Blanc flavours of gooseberry, herbs and tropical fruit. It’s excellent with our scallops and chorizo bites. $17.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:November 18, 2016
Alcohol/Vol 13.0% Made in: New Zealand By:Pernod Ricard Pacific Pty Ltd Sugar Content:5 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

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2015 Chloe Chardonnay

This is a general list wine. Pale in color with nice varietal nose with apple and pear coming through. On the mid palate the wine displays spot on varietal notes with apple and pear being dominant. The fruit it quite expressive. On the medium length finish the wine displays lovely dryness along with some vanilla notes, some mild spicy notes along with some nice creamyness. This is a lovely chard that transcends it’s humble price. I would give it an 88+. Very nice. Not over oaked, but not under either. Yum. The LCBO say full bodied and rich and I would whole heartedly agree!!

From the LCBO web site:
Chloe Chardonnay — LCBO#: 392597
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
Medium lemon in colour; delicate aromas of apple and melon; the palate is dry and full body with flavours of apple, pear, toast, spice and vanilla with a toasty creamy texture. $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:October 15, 2014
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: California, USA By:Chloe Wines Sugar Content:4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

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Curtefranca Rosso Vigna Santella del Grom 2013

Another one from the Riccardo Ricci Curbastro tasting. This one is 30% Cab Franc, 12% Carménère 20% Cab sauv, 28% Merlot and 10% Barbera. I have to admit I had not heard of Carménère growing in Italy. And I had more widely associated it with Chile. In the Wikipedia article I learned it is a member of the Cabernet family of grapes, and it is considered part of the original six red grapes of Bordeaux, in spite of rarely being found in France today. Huh … who knew. Inky dark in color with a nice dark berry nose along with some oaky notes. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with nice black berry notes. On the medium length finish the wine has some nice dryness, complexity and tannins. This is a very approachable wine even now. I quite enjoyed it. I would give it an 88 or so. No in the LCBO but available from WineMoves for $26.95 a bottle in cases of 6.

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2016 Tinhorn Chardonnay

Pale in color with a mild nose of apple and pear. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some nice vibrant fruit, apple and pear coming through, whacked almost immediately by some strong pepper and spicy notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice acidity. This is one of those cases where terroir can not, and will not be ignored. It’s from Okanagan where soil rules!! I would give it an 88 or so. I’m not sure if some aging might allow the spicy notes to soften to allow the fruit to shine through more. I was serving quails and did a search for good pairing, and it suggested a chard … To my tastes while they didn’t fight, I don’t think they complimented each other either. I think I will stick with my goto next time for poultry, pinot noir. Not in the LCBO but available for $19.95 from the winery.

From the winery’s web site:
Tasting Notes
Its golden hue shows the barrel fermentation components and gentle aging of this wine. Nose is full of spice and tropical fruit, with hints of honey, minerals and lime. Palate is rich and textured with biscotti and graham cracker, before quickly shifting to plum skin and lemon zest in the bright long finish.
Awards
SILVER – 2017 BC Wine Awards
Vineyard Notes
A record early bud break had us thinking that we were in for another hot ripe year as in 2015, but a cool June and July slowed the growing season significantly. There was some moderate disease pressure for the first time in years so diligent work in the vineyard was required to keep the fruit clean and free from mold. In September the sun came out and resulted in an excellent year for whites, with slow steady sugar accumulation and beautiful acids retained with the cool nights. This Chardonnay was picked over several weeks, with each block selected at optimal ripeness.
Production Notes
We whole cluster pressed the early harvested fruit and fermented it in stainless steel barrels and tanks with selected yeast strains, and then took the machine harvested fruit and fermented it in oak (French and American) using only native yeast. The barrel portion went through malolactic fermentation, while the stainless component did not, retaining the great freshness of malic acid in the wine.
Production
Cases made: 2054

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Franciacorta Ricci Curbastro NV Brut

I had the pleasure of listening to Riccardo Ricci Curbastro speak at a recent IEEM event where we got to taste this wine while learning about the Italian wine scene. As you probably know, a sparkling can not be called a champagne unless it comes from the Champagne region of France. The EU has now made this distinction a reality. So sparklings made in the traditional method are often referred to as Bruts. This wine is different than the Proseccos which Italy is well known for. This particular wine is 60% chard, 30% Pinot Blanc and 10% Pinot Pinot Noir (called Pinot Nero in Italy). By contrast a champagne is sometimes made from pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay. As you may have noticed in the name this wine is NV, or non vintage. What this means is that they blend grapes from different years to create a consistent flavor profile year to year. On with this wine. Pale in color with a lovely crisp varietal champagne nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with beautiful crisp flavors with some mild citrus note. On the long finish the wine displays some crisp lively acidity and lovely mouth grip, living on in the mouth. This is a lovely well made brut. I was truly impressed. It does not have the finer bubbles found in a Prosecco. One could easily close there eyes and mistake this for a French champagne. Now I don’t consider myself an afficiando of champagne, but I thought this was impressive. I would give it an 89 or so. Sadly not in the LCBO but available from Wine Moves for $42.95 a bottle in cases of 6.

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Murphy-Goode Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Dark in color with a mild cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some cherry notes along with some noticeable green pepper notes. I'm not sure if the wine is simply to young or what. I've had this wine over many years and never encountered this. On the medium length finish the wine displays some soft tannins and acidity. All in all I don't hate the wine, but I'm not enthralled by it either I would give it an 87-88 at best. If I more I'd return them 🙁

From the LCBO web site Check stock:
Murphy-Goode Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 – VINTAGES#: 427542
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
From the stellar 2014 vintage, this offers a rich medley of cassis, cherry, blackberry, herbs, vanilla and delicately applied oak. Round and smooth with excellent freshness and depth. A really well-made, approachable wine from a trusted producer. (Vintages panel, May 2017) $22.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:January 6, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: California, USA By: Jackson Wine Estates International Sugar Content:5 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Smooth

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Grati Chianti 2016

Slightly garnet in color with a nice mild nose of dried fruits. On the mid palate the wine delivers a lovely fruit forward chianti, showing lovely soft red fruits. On the medium length finish the wine displays some vibrant acidity (but not overwhelming) along with some mild tannins. This is really a pretty good chianti given the price. The finish is a little on the simple side, but this leaves you with a super food friendly wine that would be perfect with things like salmon or red pastas. The LCBO say Medium bodied and fruity, I can go with that. I would give it an 88+. I would consider this more of a drink now than a keeper …

from the LCBO web site:
Grati Chianti 2016 – VINTAGES#: 539866
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
This is a blend of 90% Sangiovese, 7% Canaiolo and 3% Colorino. It’s generous and intense with excellent cherry and raspberry tones throughout. A juicy, balanced, food-friendly wine that will delight with a variety of meat pastas, chicken dishes and everyday casual fare. (Vintages panel, July 2017) $14.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:January 20, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 12.5% Made in: Tuscany, Italy By:F.Lli Grati-Fattorie Galiga Vetrice Sugar Content:3 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

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2016 Arterra Chard

I read about this one in the Toronto Star and they were raving about it so I thought I would give it a try. This wine took a bit of digging to find out the details of. It’s a new brand from Jackson Triggs. In fact I learned most from this article.

Pale in color with nice nose of apple/pear, spot on varietal chard. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with lovely vibrant apple/pear, again spot on what one would expect. The wine is lovely and dry. There are some mild hints of vanilla due to the fact that this is a lightly oaked chard. It’s definitely a good chard with lovely fruit. We paired it with pan seared scallops and it went well. I would give it an 88 or so. You can grab this from Winerack.com for $29.95 a bottle.

From the wine rack web site:
Arterra Chardonnay 750 ML Bottle $29.95
Notes of juicy tropical fruit and white floral notes with hints of vanilla bean and butterscotch. Pair with a mild chicken curry, crab cakes with a lightly spiced aioli or chicken Caesar salad. Residual sugar: 3.0 g/L

From the winery:
A hot, dry summer provided ideal growing conditions for our Niagara grapevines, yielding very good quality in our fruit. An early harvest, starting at the beginning of September, with the daytime heat nicely complemented by cool evenings allowed the grapes the perfect environment to develop both flavour and aromatics. The resulting wines boast great fruit flavours with no
green notes, showcasing good balance and bright varietal expression. Selected from the best sites in Niagara, the fruit used to produce this wine was picked at optimum maturity, balance, and character. Carefully harvested and pressed immediately, the juice was clarified and started fermentation with yeast selected to promote the unique character of the grape and vineyard. The
wine then fermented in 100% French oak where it also underwent complete malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged on lees, occasionally being stirred to extract mouthfeel and texture until deemed ready for bottling. Layers of citrus fruits, honey, wet river stone, white flowers, and subtle undertones of guava and light smoke on the nose and the palate. This beautiful
and intricate Chardonnay is round and full with a very plush texture which is perfectly complemented by fresh, tense acidity. On the finish this wine boasts lasting notes of lemon candy and butterscotch. Try this complex and elegant Chardonnay with Fettuccini Alfredo with chicken, shrimp scampi, crab cakes with a lemon aioli, creamy risotto Prima Vera or your favourite soft cheese like Brie or Camembert.

PRODUCT INFORMATION
Winemaker: Marco Piccoli
TECHNICAL ANALYSIS
Alcohol/Vol: 13.5%
PH 3.45
Residual sugar 2 g/L
Total Acidity 5.8 g/L

30 % new oak, rest 1 year old aged~7 months

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Boutari Naoussa Xinomavro 2015

My regular readers know I’ve been exploring greek wines recently after I was blown away by a Ki-Yianni Diaporos. This particular one is garnet in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine has an interesting almost dried berry flavor along with some firm dryness and tannins. The LCBO describe this as medium bodied and fruity. That’s for me a gentle descriptor. It’s surprisingly complex for the price. The flavor has some almost vermouth notes. I would give it an 87-88.

From the LCBO web site:
Xinomavro 2015 — VINTAGES#: 23218
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity $13.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:January 20, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: Macedonia, Greece By:Jean Boutari & Fils S.A. Sugar Content:4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style: Medium-bodied & Fruity Varietal: Xinomavro Description: Boutari was founded in 1879 and is one of Greece’s oldest and most important wineries. Though they make a wide range of wines in sites throughout Greece, it is Naoussa and Xinomavro that represent the soul of Boutari. This 100% Xinomavro is a wine that’s typically crafted in a fruity, easy-to-enjoy style with a lithe mouth feel, moderately grippy tannins and complex vanilla and earthy tones. This will be superb this evening with a lamb or beef stew but will also continue to evolve for another 3-5 years.

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McManis Chardonnay 2016

Pale in color with a mild varietal nose with apple and pear coming through. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with nice apple and pear notes. The fruit is quite vibrant. On the medium length finish the wine is nice and dry with some nice acidity to it along with some vanilla. I would give the wine an 88 or so. As usual, be careful not to serve this too cold or you will miss out on the complexity of the wine. This is clearly oaked, but by no way over the top at all. The LCBO refer to it as Fully Bodied and rich and I would agree!

From the LCBO web site Check stock:
McManis Chardonnay 2016 — VINTAGES#: 265983
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
A medium-bodied, balanced California Chardonnay with soft acidity, and attractive flavours of peach and pear. Finishes with pineapple and buttered toast. This winery is Certified Sustainable, practicing farming and winemaking methods that have a lower impact on the environment. Pair with salmon casserole. Drink: 2017-2019. Score – 90. (Natalie MacLean, nataliemaclean.com, Aug. 5, 2017) $19.95
Release Date:January 6, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in:California, USA By:Mcmanis Family Vineyards Sugar Content:4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

From the winery’s web site:
Wine Specs
Appellation: River Junction Vineyard Designation: River Junction
Harvest Date: August 14 – 22, 2016 Sugar 23.7 Acid 6.18 g/L pH 3.57
Aging New and Used French and American Oak Fermentation Stainless Steel
Bottling DateApril 2017 – First Bottling
Alcohol %13.5
Wine Enthusiast88

Production Notes
The grapes for our 2016 Chardonnay were harvested between August 14 – 22nd, 2016 with an average Brix of 23.7. The wine was cold fermented in Stainless Steel and filtered prior to oak aging. Approximately two thirds of the wine was allowed to go through Malolactic Fermentation to further add to the complexity of the wine.
Winemaker Notes
The 2016 McManis Family Vineyards Chardonnay is light golden straw in color. Bright fruit aromas of Pear, Melon and Peach are accompanied by a bouquet of Vanilla, Hazelnut, and a hint of buttered popcorn. The wine is rich, creamy and full of sweet Pear, Banana and toasty oak flavors.

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Chanson Réserve du Bastion Pinot Noir 2014

This is another in the new wave of clearly labelled (albeit blandly labelled) French wines with the grape clearly lablled. It’s an AOC. Garnet in color with a nice rustic nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely rustic notes to match the nose along with some soft red berries, raspberries and strawberries. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice lively acidity, and some lighter tannins. This is a spot on pinot and exactly what one should expect. I would give it a solid 88. And it should easily keep a year or so, so feel free to grab a few! We paired it with salmon (red fish red wine) and it went perfectly. A lovely compliment. I will probably go back and grab a few.

From the LCBO web site:
Chanson Réserve du Bastion Pinot Noir 2014 — VINTAGES#: 50575
Chanson Réserve du Bastion Pinot Noir 2014
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity $19.95 WAS $23.95 SAVE $4.00
Limited Time Offer Until January 28, 2018
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:October 14, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 12.5% Made in:Burgundy, France By:Chanson Père & Fils Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra DryStyle:Medium-bodied & FruityVarietal:Pinot NoirDescriptionChanson is rooted in local history: the house was founded during the reign of Louis XV and its cellars are located in a 15th-century tower called Bastion de l’Oratoire. The wine is elegant, with sour cherry, mineral and spice. Unlike many wines at this price point, it’s composed entirely of fruit from the Côte d’Or. Food-friendly, it’s perfect with grilled eggplant with veal cutlets, rotisserie chicken or rack of lamb.

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Ca’ Momi Merlot 2015

Dark in color with a a mild cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some rich bold cherry notes. This wine’s fruit intensity is over the top. On the medium length finish the wine displays some mild pepper notes, smooth acidity and light tannins. I would give this an 88 or so. The LCBO refer to it as Full bodied and smooth, I think I’d agree! I would give it an -88.

From the LCBO web site:
Ca’ Momi Merlot 2015 — VINTAGES#: 470187
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
Founded in 2006 by three Italian immigrants – Valentina Guolo-Migotto, Dario De Conti and Stefano Migotto – Ca’ Momi has gained a fine reputation for crafting Napa wines that deliver quality and value. This 2015 Merlot is loaded with rich, smoky black fruit, plum, cocoa and charred wood aromas and flavours. This has excellent structure, sweet tannins and a lingering smoky note on the finish. Perfect for lamb stew. (Vintages panel, May 2017) $24.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:January 6, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 13.9% Made in: California, USA By:Ca’Momi Sugar Content:7 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style:Full-bodied & Smooth

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Tussock Jumper Chenin Blanc 2017

Pale in color with a minerally nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with loads of crisp dry minerality coming through. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice lively acidity and maybe some citrus notes. I had a bit of a hard time coming up with the specific flavors of the wine. It is super food friendly and for the price a very good deal. I would give it an 88 or so, a perfect dry Chenin. The LCBO say full bodied and rich, I don’t get that at all.

From the LCBO web site:
Tussock Jumper Chenin Blanc 2017 — VINTAGES#: 480764
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
The classic South African white wine, Chenin Blanc (once known as Steen), is a native of the Loire Valley. Few places outside of France, South Africa principal among them, can produce premium-quality examples. This one suggests white blossom floral tones with ripe peach, tropical fruit and a spicy underpinning. If you’re looking for a crisp, mouthwatering, fun white wine to pair with shrimp, crab or pork chops, this wine is your one-stop shopping spree. (Vintages panel, June 2017) $12.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:January 6, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 13.6% Made in: Western Cape, South Africa By: Wineforces Sarl Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Rich

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