Saturday, August 01, 2015

August 2015 Wines - 14 Tasted of 15

Peter's Orchid*

Nine of the reds** in this month's collection were selected from a list of 36 wines tasted by a local tasting group. I was curious to see how my taste buds reacted by comparison. 'Tasting', with respect to wines, is an individual and personal reaction to seeing, smelling, an ability to sense a range of flavours and, more nebulous, a wine's depth and breadth. This reaction is then expressed meaningfully, usually in text, so others can relate to the experience. A rating can be used to
Wild Globe Thistle
summarize an individual's experience or, as in this case, a group.

Of the 36 wines, I had previously blogged ten, two were no longer available, another fifteen were over $16 (my imposed limit). This leaves the nine purchased and listed below along with four more reds, a white and a rosé to make up August`s total. When the dust settles I`ll see if any conclusions can be drawn.

My rating, out of 100, will be shown for each of the 9 reds as well as the group's, out of 20.

*A hybrid/cross between Paphiopedilum rothschildianum and Paphiopedilum philippinensis.

Cheers, Ww 

PS: Click here for a video of James Suckling explaining his use of the 100 point Rating System.

THE LINEUP:  (reds**, reds, whites, rosés)
  1. Casa Castillo Monastrell 2012, 91-2  --  G, Jumilla, Spain, #165621  $14.95  (12.0)
  2. Leone de Castris Maiana Salice Salentino 2013,  88-1  --  G, Puglia, Italy, #717959  $14.95  (12.8) 
  3. KWV Roodeberg Red 2013, 87-1  --  G, Western Cape, South Africa, #007187  $12.65 (15.1)
  4. Alamos Malbec 2013, 86 --  G, Mendoza, Argentina, #295139  $14.95 (15.3)
  5. No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Estates Merlot 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 86  --  G, Winona, Ontario, #063966  $15.95  (11.4)
  6. Vineland Cabernet Franc 2013, VQA Niagara Peninsula, 84  --  G, Winona, Ontario, #594127  $13.95 (13.5) 
  7. Domaine Boyar Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, 82  --  G, Thracian Lowlands, Bulgaria, #340851  $7.90*  (13.0) 
  8. The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvèdre Viognier 2014, 81  --  G,  Boekenhoutsloof, South Africa, #292557 $12.95  (11.6)
  9. Trapiche Extravaganza Red Blend 2014, r-v  --  G, Mendoza, Argentina, #360776  $15.95  (14.2)

  • Sueno Tempranillo 2011, 87-1  --  V, Casa de Haro, Spain, #397133  $18.95
  • Lavau Côtes du Rhône Villages 2011, 83  --  G, Rhône, France, #421024  $12.90 
  • Cesari Adesso Merlot d'Italia 2014, 82a  --  G, Veneto, Italy, #572453  $7.95 

  • Anselmi San Vincenzo 2013, 86  --  V, Veneto, Italy, #948158  $14.95*
  • Fünf 5 Riesling NV, 85  --  G, Rhein, Germany, #175026  $10.40 

  • Konigschaffhauser Vulkanfelsen Pinot Noir Rosé Trocken 2014, 87-1  --  V,  Baden, Germany,  #168237   $13.95
(V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, c - cellar,
NR - Not Recommended)


KWV ROODEBERG RED 2013, Western Cape, South Africa, 14.0% D 7g/L, #007187  $12.65  (Tasted August 4, 2015)

A General listing. My notes: A charcoal hued ruby and a sniff reveals a burnt ember with a soft prune edge. The first sip has the welcoming bite of bright cranberry and background of soft prune. The film spreads evenly krinkling at the rim and fragmenting as it falls - a tilt shows long legs. The finish is extra dry with a bright acid and pleasing warmth. Overall there are some interesting changes as a sip leads into a long finish. Pair with beef or game: grilled, stewed or roasted. This could become smoother with five years or so cellaring. B50 C5 N12 F&F13 P2 T5 87

TRAPICHE  EXTRAVAGANZA RED BLEND 2014, Mendoza, Argentina, 13.0%  D  17g/L, #360776  $15.95  (Tasted tbd)

A General listing. A blend of Malbec, Bonarda and Syrah.  My notes: 
VINELAND CABERNET FRANC 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Winona, Ontario, 12.5%  D  7g/L, #594127  $13.95  (Tasted August 3, 2015)

 A General listing.  My notes: A charcoal hued see-through ruby with a bright bell pepper, an indistinct raspberry and matchstick nose. Air thirty minutes before serving. A viscous film eventually drops long slow legs followed and combined with a veil of slow tears. A pronounced sharpness adds interest as a sipper leaving the palate dry with brambly berry remnants. Light-bodied with a strong character makes for pleasant sipping and flexible pairing. Not being accustomed to 'bell pepper' as a replacement for fruit it's not my choice for a sipper - it went well with a mild beef bourguignon.  B50 C5 N10 F&F14 P0 T5 84

DOMAINE BOYAR CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014, Thracian Lowlands, Bulgaria, 12.5%  D  7g/L, #340851  $7.90*  (Tasted August 7, 2015)

A General listing.  My notes:  Pouring 2 samples, one being aerated I found both had the same nose, a light black fruit aroma with a whiff of vanilla and a polite edge. The colour has a bright raspberry hue darkened by subtle charcoal and shows a moderate film with a fragmenting rim and long legs. Now the sips. The 1st stings the throat, dries the palate and tastes of a flat  berry fruit at the start and going into a long finish - not a sipper. The 2nd (aerated) has an acceptable sharpness with the same berry and dryness for a finish - except for the dryness, close to chalk, a marginal sipper if with nibbles.  Better to pair with meat & potatoes splashed with moderate to rich sauces. A drink now. B50 C5 N11 F&F12 P0 T4 82

LEONE DE CASTRIS MAIANA SALICE SALENTINO 2013, Puglia, Italy, 13.5%  D  13g/L, #717959  $14.95  (Tasted August 30, 2015)

Released by Vintages on May 2, 2015 and rated 90 by Natalie MacLean (February 2015).  My notes: Air thirty minutes. A deep black cherry with a viscosity that clings to the glass, runs long fast legs and leaves a lacy pattern with lots of nodules. When is a nose not a nose? When it's this red - a residual of bramble and softly sweet berries encouraging guests to the first sip - a light cherry, pleasantly bright, a light tannin and a smooth background. A house red, not to impress but easily sipped then married with cheesy pizza, a sultry stroganof or juicy prime rib. Cellaring a few years may fuse characteristics for a higher rating - I'd chance it!   B50 C5 N11 F&F15 P2 T5 88

CASA CASTILLO MONASTRELL (Mourvèdre)  2012, Jumilla, Spain, 14.5%  XD 5g/L, #165621  $14.95  (Tasted August 6, 2015)

Release date by Vintages not given.  My notes:  A rich ruby flowing long legs from a krinkly rim, attractive on pouring. The nose is bright filled with the soft ripeness of berries still showing some youthfulness - allow to develop in the glass. A sip fulfills the promise of soft and bright while increasing a pleasing depth - well balanced. Finishes warm with a light tannin, a reserved fruit and an anticipation of the next sip. A flexible sipper and a complement with anything beefy from pizzas to bourguignon. Could age well over several years. B50 C5 N13 F&F14 P4 T5 91

NO. 99 WAYNE GRETZKY ESTATES MERLOT 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Winona, Ontario, 13.0%  D  6g/L, #063966  $15.95  (Tasted August 19, 2015)

A General listing.  My notes: The nose has the scent of smoky raspberries with a sharp edge. The colour is of crushed ripe berries. The rim fragments quickly as a thin film spreads evenly then starts a row of small tears that accumulate volume and drop slowly. The first sip dries the mouth while a flavour burst adds brightness. Although light in body it's silky and warm finishing light, long and retaining moderate flavours. A social sipper. Went well with Shepherds Pie and would complement most meat dishes, pizzas or burgers.  B50 C5 N12 F&F15 P0 T4 86

ALAMOS MALBEC 2013, Mendoza, Argentina, 13.5%  XD  5g/L, #295139  $14.95  (Tasted August 12, 2015)

A General listing. My notes: A vivid black cherry colour at the rim deepening to the bowl. Aromas of tangy blackberries, black cherries and distant vanilla. The film is firm initially running fast legs then slow tears as the full rim empties. There's a bright tang in the first sip, nicely warming with fruit flavours predominating. A warm finish carries the tang and fruit to provide a pleasing refresher in between sips or bites. Pair with anything beefy, saucy with sautéed mushrooms and onions and back ribs for sure. B50 C5 N12 F&F13 P1 T5 86

THE WOLFTRAP SYRAH MOURVÈDRE VIOGNIER 2014, Boekenhoutsloof, South Africa, 14.5%  D  6g/L, #292557 $12.95  (Tasted August 3, 2015)

A General listing and a blend of Syrah (82%) Mourvèdre (16%) and Viognier (2%). Price reduced from $13.95 until July 19th.  My notes:  A deep charcoal stained ruby meniscus that swirls a light film and recedes slowly leaving a fragmenting pattern. The nose is an earthy dark cherry noticeably acidic. The first sip is sharp with a burnt cherry/plum flavour then a long finish of drying tannins. Not a sipper - serve with herb scented sauces or spice rubbed meats. I wouldn't expect improvement if cellared. B50 C4 N11 F&F12 P0 T4 81

SUEÑO TEMPRANILLO 2011, Casa de Haro, Spain, 14.0% XD 7g/L, #397133  $18.95  (Tasted August 24, 2015)

Released by Vintages on January 24, 2015. Rated 91 by Neal Martin  (April 2013).  My notes:  A charcoal hued blackberry with a ruby shine. The film is moderate forming a thin rim slowly accumulating volume to show a ring of sagging tears. A combination of forest floor and crushed berries needing time to develop in the bowl. The first sip has substantial tang, tannin and warmth. The tang turns into a brightness that is carried through a long xdry finish, better partnered with a charcuterie of Italian meats and hard cheeses or pair with grilled meats and saucy roasts. Already four years in the bottle it may be passing its peak.  87

ANSELMI SAN VINCENZO 2013,  Veneto, Italy,  12.5%  D  15g/L, #948158  $14.95*  (Tasted August 25, 2015)

Released by Vintages on April 1, 2015. Price reduced from $16.95 until July 19, 2015.  My notes:  The colour of lime juice and a short nose of subdued lime zest is an appealing start. A thin film leaves a rim that drops a thin veil, krinkly at the top and fragmenting on the way down. The first sip has a refreshing tartness, a smooth texture, a dry mineral and a background taste of lemon pulp, indiscernible as fruit and forming a short finish. Keep chilled, for a summer day cooler or pair with grilled seafood or sliced chicken to add some contrast. Went well with chicken teriyaki. Overall not a value. 86   

KÖNIGSCHAFFHAUSER VULKANFELSEN PINOT NOIR ROSÉ TROCKEN 2014, Baden, Germany, 12.5%  D  11g/L, #168237   $13.95  (Tasted August 8, 2015)

A Vintages release on May 30, 2015.  My notes:  A festive salmon hue in the glass with a subtle peach fuzz aroma. A swirl lays a fine film quickly fragmenting at the rim then falling as a lacy curtain.  Serve chilled there's a mellow softness, a cleansing tang and a building nectarine flavour all carrying into a long finish. A thin chalky coating benefits if finger food is nearby - or have with seared shrimp, scallops or whitefish: cod, halibut or basa. Serve to summer patio company with a mixed fruit and cheese tray. A pleasing quaff now. 87

CESARI ADESSO MERLOT D'ITALIA 2014, Veneto, Italy, 12.0% D 11g/L,  #572453  $7.95  (Tasted August 20, 2015)

A General listing.  My notes:  The colour is a charcoal hued ruby and a swirl lays a thin film that immediately fragments finely at the rim then recedes uniformly. A berry aroma has a touch of sharpness balanced with an earthy pungency - suitable for sipping if aerated. The first sip shows a metallic accent to young berry flavours and enough tart tannins to dry out a thin and long finish. Pair with a buffet spread or serve as a house red for a sports night with spicy oily pizzas. A drink now. B50 C4 N11 F&F12 P0 T5 82a

LAVAU CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES 2011, Rhône, France, 13.5% XD xg/L, #421024  $12.90  (Tasted August 28, 2015)

A General listing.  Rated 87 of 100 by Beppi Crosariol in his newsletter August 14, 2015 My notes: The colour is a charcoal hued blackberry and a crushed blackberry aroma comes with a sniff of black pepper. A tilt runs long fast legs while a swirl lays a thin film that edges the rim with lace soon to show fragmented pattern on the glass.  Smooth and bright, warm and extra dry accompany woody berry tannin similar to south Italy reds. Nicely balanced and a sipper if you prefer rough. Have with Osso Buco, beef bouguignon or braised ribs. Not for cellar. 83  

Fünf 5 RIESLING NV, Rhein, Germany, 9.0%  MS  38g/L, #175026  $10.40  (Tasted August 21, 2015)

A General listing and made by H. Schmitt Soehne.  My notes: A pale lime green with a nose to match, a subtle lime essence. A swirl causes a thin film that leaves a rippled rim to fall down as a curtain on the glass. More subdued lime in the first sip, a pleasing sweetness and a dry succulence sustained over a long finish. Perfect as a patio sipper with a low enough alcohol to allow continued refreshment on a hot day. Try with grilled tilapia or Artic Char - better paired with slices of cantaloupe and/or green seedless grapes or thinly sliced prosciutto wrapped brie.  Enjoy as a drink now.  85  

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

July 2015 wines - 15 Tasted of 15

Cheers, Ww

THE LINEUP:  (reds, whites, rosés and bubblies)
  • Torres Celeste Crianza Tempranillo 2011, 90-1  --  V,  Ribadeo, Spain, #210872 $20.95
  • Bodega Norton Reserva Malbec 2011,  87a  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #017061 $17.00
  • Casas del Bosque Reserva Carmenère 2013, 83  --  V, Rapel Valley, Chile, #205872  $14.95   
  • Seven Falls Cabernet Sauvignon 2011,  82  --  V, Washington, USA, #360222  $19.95
  • Faustino VII Tempranillo Rioja 2012, 81  --  G, Rioja, Spain, #315234  $12.95

  • Colomé Torrontés 2013, 91-3  --  V,  Valle Calchaqui, Argentina, #357913  $13.95
  • Eradus Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2014, 90-2  --  V,  Marlborough, NZ, #225557  $18.95
  • Casas del Bosque Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2014,  89-2  --  V,  Casablanca Valley, Chile, #974717  $13.95 
  • Ironstone Obsession Symphony 2012, NAPA Valley, 86  --  G, California, #295931  $14.95 
  • Faustino VII Blanco Rioja 2013, 85  --  G, Rioja, Spain, #399568 $12.65      

  • Faustino V Rioja Tempranillo Rosé 2014, 84  --  G,  Rioja, Spain, #404517 $12.90
  • Gassier Sables d'Azur Rosé 2014, 83  --  V, Provence, France,  #033621  $15.95
  • Charles & Charles Rosé 2014, 82  --  G,  Columbia Valley, Washington,  #406603  $15.95

  • Astoria Extra Dry Prosecco NV, 86-1  --  G, Treviso district, Italy, #593855  $13.90
  • Cavas Hill 1887 Brut NV, 84  --  G,  Penedès, Spain, #370866  $13.20    
(V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, c - cellar, NR - Not Recommended)


GASSIER SABLES D'AZUR ROSÉ 2014, Provence, France,  12.5%  D  3g/L, #033621  $15.95  (Tasted July 8, 2015)

Release by Vintages on May 30, 2015 and rated 92 by Natalie MacLean (December 2004).  My notes: The 2010 vintage, priced $14.95, was tasted on May 14, 2011 and rated 89. The same delicate salmon blush lays a thin film with a krinkly rim that falls quickly. Served at 8oC there's just a slight aroma of fuzzy fruit giving the presentation a coquettish inference. The first sip has a whisper of sweet outweighed by a dry tartness. The dry combined with mid strawberry could be a neutral sipper on the patio, better as a gulper or as a subtle compliment with saucy seafood or sliced fowl on basmati rice - difficult to recommend, perhaps as a change from the Faustino V and a faint image of the 2010.  Slightly rounder at 14oC. A drink now. 83

TORRES CELESTE CRIANZA TEMPRANILLO 2011,  Ribadeo, Spain, 14.0% XD 7g/L, #210872 $20.95  (Tasted July 4, 2015)

Released by Vintages on April 18, 2015.  My notes: The 2003 vintage, priced $19.95, was tasted on March 14, 2006 before ratings. This 2011 has an interesting texture and near full body on first sip. Lots of soft tannins backed by a raw dryness and crushed plums and blackberries. A swirl shows a moderate film with a viscosity that holds a ragged rim and flows long fast legs to clear the glass. A mouthful generates an intensity that penetrates then subsides for a long ride. The meniscus is a dusty ruby showing some future - five years. Sipping, cellaring and pairing makes this a flexible if not rough red. Have with grilled steaks and beef ribs or lamb cuts in  savoury sauces. 90 

SEVEN FALLS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011, Washington, USA, 14.5% D  10g/L,  #360222  $19.95  (Tasted July 10, 2015)

Released by Vintages on May 30, 2015. Rated 90 by Harvey Steiman (June 15, 2014).  My notes.  A Château Ste. Michelle wine. A black cherry colour leaving a thin film, a thin rim and slow, long tears. A natural scent of crushed black cherries, near ripeness so as to add brightness. The first sip is light-bodied but with a pleasing intensity and penetrating warmth. Fine tannins come forward and continue through a long dry finish. Vanilla and oak gives some depth while the fruity acid adds a prominent metallic texture. Serve with anything grilled and beefy: stripped sirloin, lamb chops or shanks. A commercial drink now. 82

FAUSTINO  VII TEMPRANILLO RIOJA 2012, Rioja, Spain, 13.0% XD 5g/L, #315234  $12.95  (Tasted July 9, 2015)

A General listing. Beppi Crosariol in his June column rated this Rioja an 88.  My notes:  The ruby colour is charcoal hued for a 'muddy' appearance - possibly a hint of adobe. A swirl lays a moderate film with a thin rim and slow tears. The black cherry/plum scent has a dusty edge that matches a mild fruit presence. Then a touch of spice saves the day brightening from the first sip. Aerating doesn't change either flavour or nose and is unneeded. The finish is long, flat and extra dry. This is a red that could benefit from a savoury sauce and, combined, be a positive compliment to grilled beef or pork souvlakis, even a chorizo pasta or pepperoni pizza. Past peak - a drink now - discarded bottle. 81

FAUSTINO VII BLANCO RIOJA 2013, Rioja, Spain, 11.5% XD xg/L, #399568 $12.65  (Tasted July 12, 2015)

A General listing. My notes: Made from 100% Viura grapes.  A pale yellow, a swirl lays a light film that recedes quickly from a lacy rim. The nose is a delicate pear/lemon just distinguishable and with a slight tartness - air in the glass for more character. Extra dry in the mouth leading to an extra dry finish and the flavour continuing unchanged. Serve with side bacon wrapped asparagus, tortillas with chicken slices or shrimp/snails/oysters. A drink now - guaff for more intensity and an interesting terroir. 85

FAUSTINO V RIOJA TEMPRANILLO ROSADO*, Rioja, Spain, 13.0% XD xg/L, #404517   $12.90  (Tasted July 6, 2015)

A General listing.  My notes: A deep pink the shade of mid strawberry and an aroma, herbal and grassy, mild enough for an interesting sipper. The film is thin leaving a ragged and empty rim that falls quickly. The first sip has a hint of strawberry flavour mostly mild  bramble, very dry with a chalky leftover going into a long extra dry finish. Best sipped beside a party tray with hummus for the crackers. Served chilled with an ice bucket. Imagine tapas or chicken wraps at an umbrella'd table watching town square strollers. Went well with Greek souvlakis.  Add a few maraschinos with syrup and it's a social drink now. Sip or quaff through the summer months.  84

ERADUS AWATERE VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014, Marlborough, NZ, 13.5%  XD  6g/L, #225557  $18.95  (Tasted July 14, 2015)

Released by vintages on May 16, 2015. Rated 4 1/2 out of 5 by Rod Phillips (May 2015).  Previous vintages were rated 90+ by the Wine Enthusiast.  My notes: A Sauvignon Blanc with a distinct terroir: fruity, herbal, sharp and yet smooth, with an aroma of a green cooking apple, lemon zest and cilantro. The film is moderate showing a ragged curtain quickly falling uniformly clearing the glass. The first sip bursts with the flavour of overripe gooseberries, is unexpectedly warm, silky and with a more prominent herbal taint. The finish peaks with a pushy fullness then takes time to fade with a grassy focus. A unique sipper to be enjoyed for what it is - a savvy with a distinct difference. It was refreshing paired with baked tilapia and fried onion rings and should show flexibility.  90-2

BODEGA NORTON RESERVA MALBEC 2011, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.5% XD  8g/L,  #017061 $17.00  (Tasted July 13, 2015)

Released by Vintages on May 2, 2015. Nathan Wesley rated it 92  (November 15, 2013).  My notes: A charcoal tinted ruby swirling a moderate film, smooth with a full rim that drops tiny tears accumulating volume as they descend. Medium-bodied and unless aerated there's a noticeable sting to the nose edging a  blackberry scent. The first sip broadens the fruit with firm tannin and a touch of mocha. The finish attempts a flavour revival but quickly shifts to a warm and extra dry chalk layer. A sipper if you prefer bold versus finesse. More of a sirloin/stew or a Texas beef chili red. 87a

CASAS DEL BOSQUE RESERVA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014, Casablanca Valley, Chile, 13.5%  XD  4g/L,  #974717  $13.95  (Tasted July 19, 2015)
Released by Vintages on June 27, 2015. Beppi Crosariol gives this an 89 in his column June 27th.   My notes:   A pale yellow with a moderate film clinging then separating from a rippled rim, dropping slowly to leave a clean glass. A pleasing palate scrubber from the first sip with full gooseberry flavours accented with lemon and grapefruit zest. The second and following sips continue to freshen with a subtle sweet attempting but not succeeding to make its presence. A scrumptious finish fades evenly leaving a warm fruity reminder.  A few years in the cellar may soften the pungency without spoiling this bright savvy. 89-2

IRONSTONE OBSESSION SYMPHONY CALIFORNIA 2012, NAPA Valley, California, 12.0%  M  21g/L, #295931  $14.95  (Tasted July 5, 2015)

A General listing.  My notes: A pale yellow with a thin film topped by a fragmented rim that quickly leaves mini-nodules on the glass. There's a peach fuzz aspect to flavours of grapefruit with the added sweet of tart apple. Tartness is more evident as milder flavours carry into long finish with a lasting silky touch before a dust layered finale. More of a refreshing social sipper when served chilled (10oC) or pair with chicken and cheese pizza, Thai or buttery seafood. A drink now. 86

CHARLES & CHARLES ROSÉ 2014, Columbia Valley, Washington,  12.2%  XD  xg/L,  #406603  $15.95  (Tasted July 25, 2015)
A General listing.  My notes:  A powder puff cherry blush sets off a brilliant glow with a moderate film crinkling at the rim as it slowly falls. A faint aroma of watermelon and herb constitutes a subtle nose. The first sip cleans the teeth and lasts through a long crisp finish while a mild fruit with a prominent mineral note is carried along with the acid. Pair with shrimp and seafood sauce or with grilled salmon or halibut and potato risotto. Not much to develop by cellaring - a drink now.  82

COLOMÉ TORRONTÉS 2013, Valle Calchaqui, Argentina, 13.5%  XD  2g/L, #357913  $13.95   (Tasted July 2, 2015)

Released by Vintages on June 27, 2015.  Rated 91 by Stephen Tanzer (March 2014) and 89 by Beppi Crosariol in his June 27th columnMy notes:  A pale yellow leaving a thin film with long legs falling from a ragged rim ending with nodules on the glass. At pouring temp of 10oC an aroma of dewy green vines, not full fruit. The first sip is pleasantly silky with a broad taste of grapefruit zest, muted orange/lime. Interesting as a sipper for a lasting penetration that maintains its presence with seafood, broiled chicken and other fowl - XD. Went well with grilled trout showing pairing flexibility. Similar to the Torrontés from Susan Balboa tasted in June at the same price. Cellar several years or buy in as a house white. 91

CASAS DEL BOSQUE RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2013, Rapel Valley, Chile, 14.0%  D  4g/L, #205872  $14.95  (Tasted July 20, 2015)

Released by Vintages on June 27, 2015.  My notes:  I aerated this wine in a second glass to look for differences... for both there's a noticeable pungency on pouring that delayed my tasting 20 minutes. A moderate film leaves a crinkled rim and separates into a lacy pattern on both. The first sip is intense and warm covering dark overripe black cherry flavours and having a muddy mouthfeel drying the palate for a long flat finish. There's no benefit from aerating - better if opened two days ahead. If you prefer a pungent, earthy roughness this is it. A meal red & not a sipper. Pair with a spice rubbed steak, beef ribs or Texas Chili. Won't get better. 83

ASTORIA EXTRA DRY PROSECCO  NV, Treviso district, Italy, 11.0%  D  15g/L, #593855  $13.90  (Tasted July 21, 2015)

A General listing.  My notes:  The bottle decor says Let's Party! elegantly. A pale yellow bursting with all size bubbles on pouring continuing with streams to the surface. I question if this has 15g/L of sweetness and doubt this is other than extra dry. Should be great with fresh oysters or Argentine Wild Caught 10/20 shrimp. A Toast to the Bride and Groom and to welcome all their guests. Not sharp, not perfumed just cleanly effervescent. The flavour is a light lemon with companion acid, some apple and softness of faint melon leaving the palate refreshed for the time between speeches. A drink now. 86
CAVAS HILL 1887 BRUT NV,  Penedès, Spain, 11.5%  XD  xg/L,  #370866  $13.20  (Tasted July 27, 2015)

A General listing.  My notes:  A traditional Spanish blend of Xarello, Macabeo and Parellada. There's a greenish hue to a crystal clear yellow and a burst of bubbles on pouring that quickly disperses making way for a few fine streams. The nose has green apple edged with a hint of lime and the first sip releases a fine foam feel with an imagined apple/pear flavour, extra dry with a fading finish. Serve chilled and with an ice bucket - a bubbly to hold by the stem. Bottle weight is an eco-unfriendly 2lbs. A biting drink now or pair with tapas, oysters or shrimps/scallops marinara. 84


2015 1st Half Summary - Whites+

The 42 Whites+ consisting of 4 sparkling and 38 whites tasted from January 1st through June 30 this year are listed below.  Shown in brackets is the month of tasting where the original notes can be found.  Fifteen wines rated 90 and above are considered enjoyable to excellent either to sip and/or with a meal. Those 85 to 89 are increasingly enjoyable while those 84 and below have progressive degrees of being less memorable.  See the side panel for details.

The value that is hyphenated to the rating indicates whether a wine is 'worth the price', one that I'd buy in 'multiples', or one I'd buy in 'quantity'.

Consider this one person's view and perhaps a starting point if it helps. Hope you find something of value.   Click here for the 2015 1st half Reds
Click on the Product code to search LCBO's OnLine Inventory.
Cheers, Ww

Whites  (38)

  • CRIOS de Susana Balboa Torrontés 2013,  91-3  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #001834  $13.95  (Jun)
  • L'Arjolle Sauvignon Blanc-Viognier 2013,  89-2  -- G, Côtes de Thongue, France, #348904  $12.20  (Jan)
  • Humberto Canale Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013,  89-2  --  V, Patagonia, Argentina, #384321  $14.95  (Jun)
  • Toasted Head Chardonnay, Barrel Aged 2013,  89-2  -- V, Acampo, California, #594341  $15.95*   (May)
  • UMA Coleccion Torrontés 2013, 88a-2  --  G, Mendoza, Argentina, #276626 $6.45   (Jan)
  • Domaine de Pellehaut 'Harmonie de Cascogne' Blanc 2013, 88-2  --  G,  Sichel, France, #319665  $9.95*  (Jan)
  • Pilliteri Canadian Gothic Chardonnay VQA Niagara Peninsula 2012,  88-2  --  G, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #395624  $12.95  (Apr)
  • Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2013, 88-1  --  G, Livermore Valley, California, #175430  $17.75  (Apr)
  • Ziraldo Riesling 2012 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  88-1  --  V, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #357640  $19.95  (Apr)
  • Kate Radburnd Sun Kissed Pinot Gris 2013,  87-1  --  G, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, #359000  $15.95  (Jan)
  • Forrest The Doctors' Sauvignon Blanc 2013,  87  --  V, Renwick, New Zealand,  #317842  $19.95  (May)
  • Ormarine Carte Noire Picpoul de Pinet 2013, 86-1  --  V,  Pinet, France,   #525287  $12.95  (Apr)
  • San Raffaele Monte Tabor Soave 2013, 86-1  --  V, Veneto, Italy, #277392  $13.95  (Apr)
  • Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay 2012 VQA Okanagan Valley, 86  --  V, Okanagan Valley, BC,  #545004  $19.95*  (May)
  • Willy Gisselbrecht Riesling Selection 2012, 85-1  -- G, Alsace, France, #315309  $9.95   (Jan)

  • Douglas Green Sauvignon Blanc 2014, 84 --  G, Wellington, S. Africa, #367821 $10.80  (Jan)
  • Errazuriz Estate Series Chardonnay 2013,  84  --  G, Casablanca Valley, Chile, #318741 $10.95*   (Feb)
  • Jean Biecher & Fils Reserve Riesling 2012, 84  --  V, Alsace, France, #403105  $14.95  (Apr)
  • Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2013,  84  --  G, Marlborough, New Zealand, #308288  $15.80*   (May)
  • Horse Valley Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2013,  84  --  V, Danube Plain, Bulgaria, #398222  $15.95*  (Jun)
  • Chloe Chardonnay Sonoma County 2012, 84 -- G, Livermore, California, #392597  $17.95  (Apr) 
  • Las Mulas Organic Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2014,  83  --  G, Central Valley, Chile, #272609  $12.95  (Jun)
  • Jean Geiler Réserve Particulière Riesling 2013,  83  --  V,  Haut-Rhin, France, #408237  $14.95  (Apr)
  • Rabl Loss Gruner Veltliner 2013, 83  --  V, Kamptal, Austria,  #295709  $14.95  (Apr)
  • Charles & Charles Chardonnay 2013, 83  --  G, Washington State, USA, #394734  $15.95  (Jun)
  • See Ya Later Ranch Chardonnay 2012 VQA Okanagan Valley, 83  --  V,  Okanagan, BC, #126912  $17.95  (Jun)
  • Guy Saget Sancerre 2013, 83  --  G, Loire, France, #319657  $21.95*  (Jan)
  • Miguel Torres Santa Digna Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2014,  82  --  G, Central Valley, Chile, #177444  $14.95  (May)
  • Mezzomondo Pinot Grigio Chardonnay IGT 2013, 81  --  G, Sicily, Italy, 12.%  XD  7g/L, #079301  $8.95*  (Jun)
  • Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc 2014, 81 --  G, Stellenbosch, South Africa, #340380  $10.25  (Mar)
  • Fowles Wine 'Are you Game?' Chardonnay 2013, 81  --  G, Victoria, Australia, #359984  $15.95  (Jan)
  • Sterling 'Vintner's Collection' Central Coast Chardonnay 2013, 80 --  G, Sonoma, California, #669242  $15.95  (Jan)
  • Lindemans Bin 85 Pinot Grigio 2014, 78  --  G, Victoria, Australia,  #668947  $10.95  (Feb)
  • Hardy's 'Stamp Series' Riesling Gewurztraminer 2013, NR  --  G, South Eastern Australia, #448548 $9.90  (Feb)
  • McWilliam's 'Hanwood Estate' Moscato NV,  NR  --  G,  South Eastern Australia, #212696  $14.40  (Jan) 
  • Tic Tok Pocketwatch Central Ranges Chardonnay 2013,  NR  --  G, NSW, Australia, #187104  $14.95  (Jan)
  • Voga Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie 2013, NR (75)  --  G, Veneto, Italy, #669226  $15.30  (Mar)
  • Finca el Origen Reserva Torrontés 2014,  NR  --  V, Cafayete Valley, Argentina, #262089  $15.95  (Jun)
Bubblies (4)
  • Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Cap Classique 2012, 90-1  --  Stellenbosch, South Africa, #342758  $22.95  (May)
  • Bisol Desiderio Jeio Colmei Extra Dry Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore NV,  89-1  --  V, Veneto, Italy, #030601  $16.95  (Jun)
  • Bisol Desiderio Jeio Colmei Extra Dry Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore NV,  88-1  --  Veneto, Italy, #030601  $16.95  (Apr)
  • La Jara Brut Prosecco Organic NV,  86  --  V, Veneto, Italy, #402438  $15.95  (May)

2015 1st Half Summary - Reds

The 47 Reds tasted from January 1st through June 30 this year are listed below sequenced by rating.  Shown in brackets is the month of tasting where the original notes can be found.  There are 9 wines rated 90 and above. These are considered not lacking in any aspect and are excellent to sip and/or as a complement to a meal. Another fifteen in the 85 to 89 range are enjoyable but lack in minor degrees of fullness, varietal character or some other element. Twenty-three are 84 and below - these may be consumable but not necessarily enjoyable in some way. See the side panel for more background.

The value that is hyphenated to the rating indicates whether a wine is 'worth the price', one that I'd buy in 'multiples', or one I'd buy in 'quantity'.  See the side panel for more background. Click here for the 2015 1st half WHITES+.  Click on the Product code to search LCBO OnLine Inventory.

Consider this one person's view and perhaps a starting point if it helps.

Cheers, Ww

Reds (47)

  • Root: 1 Carmenère Colchagua Valley 2012,  92-3  --  G, Donihue, Chile, #350546  $12.80  (Jan)
  • Casa LaPostolle Gran Seleccion Carmenere 2012,  92-3  --  G, Rapel Valley, Chile, #168740   $14.90  (Jan)
  • Charles & Charles Red Blend 2013, 92-3  -- G, Washington State, USA, #363838 $15.95  (Jan)
  • Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2013,  92-2  --  V, Puente Alto, Chile, #337238 $21.95  (Feb)
  • Tempus Two 'Limestone Coast' Cabernet Merlot 2011, 91-3  --  G, Pokolbin, New South Wales, #308197  $8.75  (Jan)
  • Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, 89-2** (91-3)  --  G,  Modesto, California,  #392647  $14.95*   (Apr)
  • Buried Hope Cabernet Sauvignon 2010,  North Coast California,  91-1  --  G,  North Coast, California, #356113 $19.95  (Mar)
  • Oatley Tic Tok Pocketwatch Central Ranges Cabernet Sauvignon 2011,  90-2  --  G, New South Wales, Australia, #187179   $12.85*  (Jan)
  • Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, 90-2  --  V, Columbia Valley, California, #210047   $16.95* (May)
  • Chateau Timberlay Bordeaux Superieur Merlot - Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, 89-1  -- G, Bordeaux, France, #030072  $16.45  (Mar)
  • Harewood Shiraz 2011,  89-1  --  V, Denmark, Australia, #401380  $19.95  (Apr)
  • Akarua Rua Pinot Noir 2012, 89-1  --  V, Central Otago, New Zealand, #295592  $24.95  (Apr)
  • Valle Andino Reserva Especial Syrah 2012, 88a-1  --  V, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #272682  $12.75  (Jun)
  • Zuccardi Santa Julia Magna 2012, 88-1  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #093799 $13.45*  (May)
  • ZOLO Classic Bonarda 2013,  88-1  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #398271   $13.95  (Mar)
  • CRIOS Malbec 2013, Mendoza, 88a-1  --  V, Argentina, #162529 $14.95  (Jun)
  • 35° South Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Organic 2013,  87-1  --  G, Molina, Chile, #218859  $12.95  (Jan)
  • Passion of Portugal Red Reserva 2013,  86-1  --  G, Alentejo, Portugal, #146449 $8.25  (Jun)
  • Cono Sur Bicicleta Shiraz 2013, 86-1 --  G, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #064295  $10.00  (Feb)
  • Chloe Red No. 249 2012,  86  --  G, Livermore, California,  #392589  $16.95*  (Apr)
  • Wynn's Coonawarra Estate Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, 86  V,  Coonawarra, Australia, #084996 $24.95  (Feb)
  • Nederburg Winemaker's Reserve Shiraz 2013, 85-1  --  G, Western Cape, South Africa, #527457 $9.95  (Feb)
  • MontGras Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2013, 85a  --  G,  Santiago, Chile, #619205  $12.05  (Apr)
  • Domaine Les Yeuses Les Épices Syrah 2012, 85  --  V, Midi, France, #177584  $15.95  (Apr)
  • C. J. Pask Gimblett Road Cabernet/Merlot/Malbec 2010, 85  --  V,  Hawkes Bay, New Zealand,  #279869  $19.95  (May)

  • Bodega Volcanes de Chile Summit Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah 2013,  84  --  G,  Rapel Valley, Chile,  #350553  $10.95  (Jan)
  • Wolf Blass Langhorne Creek Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2013,  84  --  G, McLaren Vale, Australia, #251876  $13.95*  (May)
  • JP Azeitao Red Tinto 2014,  83  --  G, Setubal, Portugal, #286195  $8.95  (Jun)
  • La Mascota Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, 83  --  G,  Mendoza, Argentina, #292110  $13.95  (Jan)
  • Lionel Osmin & Cie Reserve Malbec 2011, 83a --  V, Cénac, France,  #328641  $13.95  (Apr)
  • Santa Digna Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2013, 83  -- V, Central Valley, Chile, #323881  $14.90  (May)
  • Yauquen Bonarda Bodega Ruca Malen 2013,  83  -- V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #360115 $14.95  (Jun)
  • Rocca Delle Macie Chianti Riserva 2010, 83  --  V,  Siena, Italy, #111641  $15.95  (Apr)
  • Cline Family Cellars Zinfandel 2013, 83  --  G, Lodi California, #489278  $15.95  (May)
  • Michel Lynch Merlot Gran Vin de Bordeaux 2011,  83  --  G, Bordeaux, France, #361550  $17.05  (Jan)
  • Wente Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, 83  --  G, Livermore Valley, California, #301507  $17.95  (May)
  • Ring-Bolt Cabernet Sauvignon 2012,  83  --  V,  Margaret River, Australia, 14.0% D 4g/L, #606624  $19.95  (May)
  • Candidato Oro Tempranillo Garnacha 2011,  82 --  G,  Castilla, Spain, #523811  $7.60  (Jun)
  • Castello di Ama Riserva Chianti Classico 2009,  82  --  V,  Tuscany, Italy, #403824 (375 mL)  $16.95  (May)
  • Fowles Wine 'Are You Game?' Shiraz 2012,  82  --  G, Victoria, Australia, #327320  $17.05  (Jan)
  • Vina Real Plata Crianza 2010,  82  --  V, Rioja, Spain, #657411 $18.95  (Feb)
  • P|K|N|T Reserve Carmenère 2013,  81c --  G, Rapel Valley, Chile, #191858  $9.95  (Feb)
  • Undurraga Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2013, 81a  --  G, Maipo Valley, Chile, #358945  $10.00  (Feb)
  • Villa Ponciago Grand Vins Beaujolais-Villages 2012, 80  --  G, Fleurie, France, #325134  $14.95  (Jan)
  • Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz 2013, 80 --  G, Barossa, South Australia, #665471 $14.95*  (Mar)
  • Trapiche Reserve Syrah 2013,  79  --  G, Mendoza, Argentina, #222281 $10.95*   (Feb)
  • Thelema Mountain Red 2012, NR  --  G, Helshoogle, South Africa, #222570 $12.95  (Jun)