Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vintages October 25th release

A few goodies, but look around for some leftovers from the 11th too. It was such a good release! This week’s highlight - big Amarones all around $50 bucks. I think the top two Valpolicellas will deliver more QPR pleasure, but if you must try an Amarone, I’d go with the Zenato.
My Picks ( including a white and a website):
HEDGES CELLARS CMS 2006 Columbia Valley, Wash. St. I like Hedges and I like Washington reds CabSauv, Merlot and Syrah should be soft and rich $17.95
DOG POINT VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2007 –Take two guys from a Cult Winery and a great vineyard location and you get as good a wine as Cloudy Bay at almost half the price! guava fruit, hints of basil and silky citrus mineral spine $21.95
ZONIN VALPOLICELLA SUPERIORE RIPASSO 2006 – should be Really good $19.95
TEDESCHI CAPITEL DEI NICALO VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE 2006 – Never met a Capitel dei Nicalo I didn’t like – going back 7 years! $18.95
Not often I pick a website but has just opened up and beginning soon will be a new channel for all wine fans to access more varied options from the world, I hope!

The Rest

Lurton Reserva MAlbec – not sure why it’s a reserva – good for the price tho.13.95
Two Chilean Cabs at 19.95 and 22.95 – neither one as good as last week’s Pick – find it, there’s more around still.
CATHEDRAL CELLAR CHARDONNAY 2005 TASTING NOTE: smoky, oaky chardonnay. A bargain if you like smoke a rerelease I think$14.95
CATHEDRAL CELLAR SHIRAZ 2004 ... savoury with brambly fruit, well-dusted with black pepper; Measured opulence? I have to remember that one! It’ll get me laughed out of the kitchen! Very well priced $16.95
TWO HANDS LUCKY COUNTRY SHIRAZ 2006 – Standard Barossa Big fruit, well priced $17.95
WYNNS COONAWARRA ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2005 – Sorry I cannot recommend this – the 2002 was in the regular list at $20 bucks. Reduced to clear at $15 – what a buy! Can’t bring myself to spend this much for it now! $24.95 Score - 95. (Jeremy Oliver) No way! – maybe 89-90.
WAKEFIELD SHIRAZ 2006 Good value. Score - 90. $18.95
JACKSON-TRIGGS PROPRIETORS' GRAND RESERVE MERITAGE 2005 VQA Niagara – 2005 was a great year here. Intensely flavoured, medium full-bodied red , let it breath a bit. $24.95
ELDERTON SHIRAZ 2005. Single vineyard, nose of smoke, tar, licorice, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. Full-bodied and voluptuous,( sounds like Pam Anderson in a glass!) it is dense ( even more like Pam Anderson!) and concentrated, with gobs of spicy black fruit flavors.. $32.95
SEGHESIO ZINFANDEL 2006 BBQ wines. Always good- Shows robust black cherry and spice aromas and blackberry jam and licorice flavors. The tannins firm up the finish. Drink now through 2012. Score - 91. ($24.95) and BEAULIEU VINEYARD ZINFANDEL 2005 Want to compare two good Zin’s? Now is your chance! 25.95
3 0f 3 from Gambero rosso – a rare thing! Think $34.95 for a great Barolo! But please be patient with it.
TRAVAGLINI GATTINARA 2003 - WS Top 100 Wine – It’s OK. dried flowers and very ripe fruits, with a Christmas pudding undertone. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a long, rich finish. A little Port-like, but rich and impressive. Best after 2010. Score - 91. $29.95

The Big Ticket Items of the week

Zenato Amarone – would be my pick among the Amarones
ANTINORI PIAN DELLE VIGNE BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2003 DOCG, Unfiltered – always a great wine! Drink while the Theme from the Godfather is playing! 91. $63.95
LE SERRE NUOVE DELL'ORNELLAIA 2006, a blend of Merlot, Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc and Petit Verdot, is a bright and fruity wine with red and black berries tinged by subtle oak flavours of chocolate and clove. Previous vintages have consistently been rated in the 90s by top wine critics. $59.95
LUCE DELLA VITE LUCE 2005 TASTING NOTE: Shows blackberry, dark chocolate and roasted coffee on the nose. Full-bodied, with velvety, almost chewy tannins and lots of rich fruit that finishes with a vanilla bean and coffee aftertaste. Rich and delicious, but will be better with a few years of bottle age. Sangiovese and Merlot. Best after 2011. Score - 93. (James Suckling,, Web Only, 2008) $99.95
Instore Discoveries
Christmas is coming so out come the big bottles including lots of high priced stuff for collectors including
JOSEPH PHELPS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2005 1500 mL A Big Bottle $151.95

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Vintages October 11th Release - Super!!!!

A spectacular release if you’re a fan of fruit driven, big wines. Almost too many to mention at prices from $15 thru ‘the sky’s the limit’. There are so many good ones to choose (or to choose from) that I’m going to shorten my notes. This big red bigot has a cornucopia of cabernets, a sheaf of shiraz, a sack full of sangiovese, a big batch of blends, indeed a plethora of pleasant picks this week. Almost any cork you pull will make you happy, and lord knows we need that!
Top Picks: too many to choose! Pirramimma Shiraz, Ripa Delle More, Santa Rita Reserva Cab or the Vacqueyras or the the Thorn Clarke or Briccotondo or the Gamekeeper Reserve or the Peppoli or the Langmeil 3 Gardens GSM or the …(Oh, I could go on and on).
Under $20
. A terrific value. Drink now through 2014. Score - 91. $19.95
Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Great producer, great price! Drink now through 2013. Smart Buy. Score - 90. $15.95
FONTANAFREDDA BARBERA BRICCOTONDO 2007 DOC – Last year’s was a WS Top 100 and was terrific. According to the LCBO, this could be better, and a great price too. This’ll be lighter than any cabs or shiraz, it’ll be a good red for turkey and the price is right! $15.95
GRAHAM BECK GAMESKEEPER RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2006 Last year’s was a terrific bargain and a very, very nice wine – fruit and tannins in fine balance – 88-90 from BP. $19.95
THE BLACK CHOOK SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER 2007 – a 90 point wine, under $20 – very good. $17.95
Clos la Chance Ruby Throated Cabernet - a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot and 8% Merlot. A California cab, well priced at $17.95
RUST EN VREDE ESTATE MERLOT 2005 - WO Stellenbosch – great producer in a great area at a great price. $18.95
QUINTA DE VENTOZELO TOURIGA NACIONAL TINTO 2004 - A dark, brooding wine, the acidity and fruit are impressive. An Editor's Choice. Score - 90. $18.95
PASO A PASO TEMPRANILLO 2006: you’ll pucker, methinks. If you’re a Tempranillo fan, give it a shot…I’m not.$14.95
RINGBOLT CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2006 I think there are better wines this week for the same price, but it is always good. $19.95
NORTON RESERVA MALBEC 2005 – if you have to have a malbec and missed the Luigi Bosca a few weeks ago, this is not a bad choice. $17.95

Under $30
Pirramimma Shiraz 2005 – Perennially, this is my Favourite Shiraz. $24.95
Elderton Cabernet 2005– Doug’s favourite Cab, but give it at least 6 months to a year in a quiet dark place – it’s very young. - $29.95
Langmeil Three Gardens GSM 2006 Shiraz (44%) - Grenache (35%) - Mourvedre (21%) – nice to compare this one to the Torbreck special LCBO release of a few months ago, or the Cuvee Juveniles in this release $21.95
TORBRECK CUVÉE JUVENILES 2006 a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mataro, and 20% Shiraz. Drink this great value over the next 6 years. Score - 91. $29.95
CASTIGLIONI CABERNET SAUVIGNON/SANGIOVESE 2006 Used to be 19.95, but still a good value, just not quite as good.: 2008-2010. Score - 89. $23.95
ANTINORI PÈPPOLI CHIANTI CLASSICO 2005 Two sizes, always terrific - too bad it kind of gets lost in this release $21.95 and $12.95 for the little bottle.
Clos Montirius Vacqueyras Should be terrific but a wee bit expensive at $28.95
DOMAINE BELLE CROZES-HERMITAGE LES PIERELLES 2005 Northern Rhône red made with Syrah (a.k.a. Shiraz). $24.95

DOMAINE ROCHEVINE SAINT-JOSEPH 2005 - Another Syrah $27.95
$30 - $40
I’d match the following 3 against any 3 Brunellos and at 2/3rds the price!
CASTELLO VICCHIOMAGGIO RIPA DELLE MORE 2004 Super Tuscan, one of my favourite wines, have a sip or two, then let it breathe for two hours and come back to it. You’ll wonder who switched wines on you! Best after 2008. Score - 90. $38.95
AMPELEIA 2004 IGT Maremma Toscana - Should be another wine that’ll need time! Best after 2009.Score - 91. $37.95
TERRABIANCA PIANO DEL CIPRESSO 2004 IGT Toscana - the third of the 3 musketeers ( oh wait, the musketeers were French)...ah well,. $37.95
CCHIA AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA 2005 - Great price for an Amarone. $39.95
ALVARO PALACIOS LES TERRASSES 2006 A former WS Top 100 Wine. Priorat - Les Terrasses is highly scored and highly sought-after year after year. $39.95

SEÑORÍO DE P. PECIÑA RESERVA 1999 yes 1999 –Should be in it’s prime. $34.95
TINTO PESQUERA CRIANZA 2005best from 2012 to 2025. Score - 92. $30.95
The Big Spender Zone – if there are big spenders left after the carnage in the markets. The rule for these is lay them down for years or if you must drink them now, do so after decanting for at least 2 hours.
E. GUIGAL CÔTE-RÔTIE BRUNE ET BLONDE 2004 a semi cult wine with notes of beef, dark olive and tobacco holding sway over the dark cherry and currant core. The smoky finish shows lots of tobacco and olive notes. Drink now through 2020. Score - 91. $69.95
PODERI COLLA BAROLO DARDI LE ROSE BUSSIA 2004. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026. Score - 93. $59.95
TINTO PESQUERA RESERVA 2004, a thick, plush palate feel, gobs of fruit, and superb balance. it will be at its best in another 4-6 years and provide pleasure through 2030. Score - 94. $47.95
PENFOLDS RWT SHIRAZ 2005 – A massive Wine- but a massive price too! from 2010 through 2020. Score - 93. $133.95