Saturday, November 22, 2008

November 22nd Pre Christmas release

This is the Christmas gift release – lots of high end options to suck up to the boss with.
My first reaction was ho hum, but upon further review, there are some beauts in the regular part of the release too.

The big big buck gift suggestions from the LCBO


ALION 2004 96. $80.95
Corbec – Think Amarone from Argentina…very interesting and $29.95
DESCENDIENTES DE J. PALACIOS PÉTALOS 2006 Probably the only high ender that I’ll buy! Should be very ‘different’. It also has a great label for the season.$25.95

The best of the rest and in some cases the best of the best!

MONTES ALPHA SYRAH 2006 – Always excellent, last years was a WS Top 100. Can’t go wrong! - 90. (Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, $22.95
SANTA CAROLINA VSC 2006 VSC is Viña Santa Carolina's flagship red. Should be good but maybe not up to the price tag $29.95
D'ARENBERG THE GALVO GARAGE 2006 – I think I’d take this over the VSC.This blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 18% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc won a Gold Medal at the Korea Wine Challenge 2008.TASTING NOTE: Nice wine. Lots of flavour. Full of dusty, cedary, tarry flavour. Sweet, soft heart. Firm dry tannins. $27.95

KILIKANOON THE MEDLEY 2006 Barossa Valley/Clare Valley, South Australia
The 2006 Medley is a GSM blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Shiraz and 10% Mourvèdre.. Try this one against the Burge Holy Trinity and you’ll say, Gee I’m glad I saved $11 bucks a bottle ( unless you drink them in 10 years, that is) $26.95

MAWSON'S HILL BLOCK 3 CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2005 Wrattonbully, South Australia (Yalumba Wine Company) I’m recommending this just cuz I like to say Wrattonbully. Wrattonbully. Wrattonbully. Wrattonbully. There, now I don’t need to buy any.Good price tho and a good wine for it. $19.95

VIRGARA WINES SHIRAZ 2004 $29.95 – No that’s not Viagra wines….hmmm interesting concept tho…ahhh back to the wine…not a bad choice.

MULDERBOSCH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2007 Always great, Score - 90. $18.95

VIGNERONS D'ESTÉZARGUES LA GRANACHA SIGNARGUES 2006 Expensive for a Cotes du Rhone but what the heck, I have this vision of a bunch of farmers standing around the grape press smoking Gaulloises discussing soccer and politics… Small is beautiful! $21.95
DOMAINE DE LA COLLINE SAINT-JEAN VACQUEYRAS 2004 - blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah. You know me and my Vacqueyras….gotta have some and while ’04 wasn’t quite ‘05 it should be in it’s prime. $25.95

Château Larroque ‘Winter Label’ 2005 AOC Bordeaux $16.95 – labelled for the season…and not a bad QPR.

Terra D’Aligi Tolos
Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2004 DOC Montepulciano D’Abruzzo $29.95 – should be excellent.

Lots of Chianti Classico reservas – I’d pick the Antinori or the Ruffino – but they’re not cheap!
And last but not least, two cheap Spaniards for under 20:

Monday, November 10, 2008

November 8th Release

Bordeaux Special – most of these will need time but there could be some good ones in the lot. I’m not a huge bordeaux fan. I find them too Tobacco-y on my palate and won’t be buying any. Of the rest of the release, some good QPR malbecs, some good syrahs, a couple of cabs and some Brunellos for the big ticket fans. But, I think my two faves of the release are ISD’s. Columbia Crest Walter Clore Vineyard and the Leasingham Classic Clare Cabernet. Big Bucks for both but ….mmmmm.

CHÂTEAU LA COURONNE 2005 AC St-Émilion(Mähler-Besse). Best after 2012. Score - 90. (James Suckling,, Web Only, 2008) $29.95
CHÂTEAU LE CARILLON 2005 AC Pomerol Best 2008 to 2013. Score - 92. (David Lawrason, Toronto Life Wineblog, Nov. 13, 2007) $39.95
CHÂTEAU LILIAN LADOUYS 2003AC Saint-Estèphe . Best after 2010. Score - 90. (James Suckling,, March 31, 2006) $35.95
Best of the Rest
LA POSTA ANGEL PAULUCCI VINEYARD MALBEC 2006 Mendoza TASTING NOTE: The 2006 Malbec "Paulucci Vineyard" was aged for 10 months in 100% French oak, 20% new. Purple-colored, it offers a lovely bouquet of violets, smoke, black cherry, and blackberry. Score - 90. (Jay Miller,, Dec. 2007) $15.95
DOÑA PAULA ESTATE MALBEC 2006 Mendoza TASTING NOTE: Solid, with a juicy core of red plum, raspberry and red licorice flavors backed by alluring spice and floral notes on the finish. Drink now through 2008. Score 89. (James Molesworth,, Oct. 31, 2007) $16.95
RUSTENBERG JOHN X MERRIMAN 2005 WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch Haven’t tried this one, I’m thinking it could be one of the sleepers this week.'Modern classic' Bordeaux-style blend ... A real charmer. Entices with fresh, ripe fruit perfume, silky sleekness, restraining ripe tannins. Merlot-led (54%), with Cabernet Sauvignon (33%) Cabernet Franc (4%), Petit Verdot (6%), and Malbec (3%). French oaked [aged], 50% new, [for] 20 mths. $27.95
5 nice Syrahs
GRANT BURGE MIAMBA SHIRAZ 2006Barossa, supple, medium-bodied wine, with appealing spicy fruit nuances, fine tannins and subtle oak; bears testament to the vintage; long finish. Score - 93. (James Halliday,, March 2008) $23.95
JACKSON-TRIGGS DELAINE VINEYARD SYRAH 2005 – Compare this one to the CAlifornia following or the Crozes Hermitage from Caves de Tain VQA Niagara Peninsula This single-vineyard Syrah exhibits real, Rhône-like complexity, with smoked meat and white peppery notes adding interest on the nose and palate. Score - (out of 5). $29.95
TORBRECK WOODCUTTER'S SHIRAZ 2006 always tasty and very well priced. This one can be unfined and unfiltered so the last glass should be poured with has an attractive array of pepper, spicy blackberry, black cherry, and blueberry muffin aromas. Full-bodied and opulent on the palate, delivers gobs of meaty, full-flavored blue and black fruits to accompany its forward, easy-going personality. Drink this incredible value over the next 4-6 years. Score - 92. (Jay Miller, Oct. 2007) $26.95
ARROWOOD LE BEAU MÉLANGE SYRAH 2002 Sonoma Valley, Unfined and Unfiltereda chocolaty, earthy effort revealing a hint of new saddle leather, full-bodied flavors, and an exuberant, typically California personality with its up-front fruit and precocious personality. Score - (90-93). (Robert Parker Jr.,, Dec. 2003) $29.95
CAVE DE TAIN CROZES HERMITAGE FINE FLEUR DE CROZES 2005 classic northern Rhône Syrah is designed for early enjoyment. Barrel aged and fermented, it's deep ruby in colour with aromas of blackcurrant, spice, mineral and toasty oak notes. It's rich and silky with fresh black fruit flavours mingling with mineral notes, decent acidity and smooth medium tannins. Enjoy with roasted lamb sprinkled with rosemary or a spicy beef stew. $22.95
Couple of Cabs
KENDALL-JACKSON VINTNER'S RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2004 may underwhelm in its tenderness, but has very good focus and length. Ripe cherry-berry, tobacco, earth and spice, all well combined. The wine is mid-weight, supple but not sweet, with fine acidity and tannin. Excellent length. Enjoy now to 2011. Score - 90. (David Lawrason, 2008) $22.95
RODNEY STRONG CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2005 Highly Score - 88. $22.95

PIRRAMIMMA PETIT VERDOT A quality producer - This rare single-varietal offering of the lesser-known Bordeaux grape is considered among the world's best.Lots and Lots of Licorice as I recall.$23.95
PRIMA 2006 (Bodegas y Viñedos Maurodos) (90% tempranillo and 10% garnacha) Deep ruby. Smoky cherry and blackberry aromas. Fresh and racy, with pure red and dark fruit flavors, fine-grained tannins and good tangy lift. Score - 90. (Josh Raynolds, Int’l Wine Cellar, 2008) $24.95

Christmas is coming and so are The BIG, BIG Buck Ones

COTO REAL RESERVA 2001- DOC Rioja Complex and expressive, this elegant red is rich with black plum, licorice, mineral, smoke and floral notes, all beautifully balanced, fresh and long on the palate. Still young and lively. Drink now through 2015.Score - 93. (, Nov. 15, 2007) $39.95
LEASINGHAM CLASSIC CLARE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2003 Clare Valley, South Australia "Uncompromising full-bodied wine; masses of black fruits, but even more tannins; needs a minimum of 10 years before approaching ... Score - 94. (If you just can't wait, decant and try it with a rare steak. $51.95
COLUMBIA CREST WALTER CLORE PRIVATE RESERVE RED 2003 – Oh boy, this one should be amazing! But an ISD, so few bottles in few stores….Columbia Valley "A classy nose of smoky oak, vanilla, lead pencil, plum, black currant, and blackberry leads to a rich, still youthful wine with loads of extract, thick fruit, superb integration of oak, tannin, and acidity, and a very long finish." Score - 93. (Jay Miller,, August 2007) $49.95
MASSOLINO BAROLO 2004TASTING NOTE: Raspberry, truffle, tobacco and cedar on the nose. Full-bodied, with a solid core of fruit and ultrafine tannins. This is refined, yet structured and muscular. Best after 2011. Score - 91. (James Suckling,) $58.95
TERRE DA VINO BAROLO ESSENZE 2003 Premier Vineyards TASTING NOTE: Shows a wonderful richness of fruit, with a spicy, decadent undertone. Full-bodied, with soft tannins and a long, caressing finish. Needs bottle age to mellow. Best after 2009. Score - 90. (James Suckling, $44.95
MARCHESI DE' FRESCOBALDI MORMORETO CASTELLO DI NIPOZZANO 2005 This always-impressive Tuscan-take on Bordeaux blends Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Regal in stature, this deep ruby/purple wine features dark berries, cinnamon, and leather characteristics. Full-bodied, classy, with firm tannins, this is a powerhouse red to pair with roast beef or lamb. $59.95
SILVIO NARDI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2003 DOCG TASTING NOTE: Nardi's 2003 Brunello di Montalcino is an elegant, finessed wine with remarkable clarity and precision in its ripe fruit. It offers notable persistence on the palate and a long, lingering finish. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2018. Score - 91. (Antonio Galloni,, April 2008) $59.95
TENEMENTI ANGELINI VAL DI SUGA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2003 DOCG Offers pretty blackberry and raspberry aromas. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and a fresh, floral, berry aftertaste. Best after 2009.Score - 91. (James Suckling,, May 15, 2008) $51.95