Saturday, May 03, 2008

Others in May, 2008: 7 Tasted of 7

Some things picked up on the way home... completed tastings are in bold. Cheers, Ww 

  • Finca Flichman Misterio Malbec 2007, 86-1 -- G, Mendoza, Argentina, #028803 $9.90
  • Tomero Malbec 2005, 84 -- V, Mendoza, Argentina, #057943 $12.75
  • Bodega Catena Zapata Malbec 2006, 84 -- VC, Mendoza, Argentina, #478727 $19.95

  •  Freie Weingartener Wachau Gruner Veltliner 2006, 90-2 -- V, Wachau, Austria, #061127 $18.45
  • Black Prince Chardonnay 2006 VQA, 76 -- V, Prince Edward County, Canada, #068882 $14.95
  • Folonari Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie 2006, 76 -- Veneto, Italy, #229542 $14.45

  • Montes Cherub Rose of Syrah 2007, 86 -- V, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #037887 $16.80

(G - General, V - Vintages, VC - Essentials Collection, O - Other, r-v - Rating-Value)


TOMERO MALBEC 2005, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.3% XD, #057943 $12.75 (Tasted May 31, 2008)

A Vintages release of May 10, 2008 described as “Bright red-ruby. Medicinal cherry complicated by flint, pepper and tar on the nose. Juicy, tightly wound and light on its feet despite hinting at liqueur-like warmth. This fresh, fruity wine finishes with suave, fine-grained tannins and a suggestion of leather. 88/100 (Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, Jan./Feb. 2008)” My notes: A deep black cherry colour and fragrances including cranberry and ripe raspberry, somewhat peppery. Full-bodied with a sharp bite on the first sip and a ripe raspberry, cranberry follow-through, then a dry mineral finish lasting forever. Letting the bottle breathe for an hour helps. Not a sipper for me – offer to red aficionados wanting something different. Pair with spicy entrees: barbecued back ribs, a T-bone with Barbarian rub, lamb shank done in a rich herb sauce. Reasonably priced but try it before investing in a case – it has some rawness to work through which cellaring four+ years may cure. 84

LONARI PINOT GRIGIO DELLE VENEZIE 2006, Veneto, Italy, 12.0% D, #229542 $14.45 (Retasted May 26, 2008)

A General listing with a description that hasn’t changed since the 2005 vintage was tasted in 2006. That’s consistency! “Light lemon straw colour; dry and light bodied with citrus apple and light spicy floral notes. Serve with antipasto, light cream pastas, light seafood.” My notes: A very light straw colour, a light lemon and floral nose. Light bodied with flavours of faint citrus having a sugary sweet edge not entirely dry. The finish carries the sweet edge and a flat citrus both fading slowly. Results are consistent with the 2005 vintage: an uninteresting commercial white for any bland entree - not a sipper I'd give guests and not recommended. More appropriately priced in the US at $10. 76

Mendoza, Argentina, 14.0% XD, #478727 $19.95 (Tasted May 22, 2008)

Released by Vintages on May 10, 2008 described as “Catena has built their reputation on Malbec from Mendoza, so here's an excellent opportunity for you to get acquainted with this new addition to our Essentials Collection. This rich and polished, alluring wine features aromas of fig, mocha, new leather and sweet spice. Dry and flavourful, its fruit core is nicely supported by ripe tannins. The finish is long and lush. Enjoy it tonight the Argentinean way with rare barbecued steak sliced and dipped in kosher salt.” My notes: According to the label, a ‘High altitude malbec’ with all grapes from vineyards from 2800 - 5000 ft. above sea level on the Andes slopes. A deep, purple-ruby with thin legs and an equally thin nose of plums, cherries and licorice. The flavours are bright and cherry-like finishing dry, light and bright, moderately long with a delicate mint ending. Medium-bodied, average appeal as a sipper - flavours are a tad thin for a spicy meal. Have with tomato pizzas, mushroom pastas or tuna salad - was great with burgers. Cellaring for two years may introduce some complexities. Except for the price, it's suitable for an open house or an open bar but there are better malbec values. 84

N MISTERIO MALBEC 2007, Argentina, 13.0% D, #028803 $9.90 (Tasted April 27, 2008)

A General listing described as "Dark ruby in colour, the nose shows aromas of dark berry, toasted vanilla and oak spices. It is medium-bodied, fruity and toasty. Serve with grilled steak, smoked sausages." Toronto Life gave the 2006 vintage an 87/100 saying "... Charming, clean, soft, ripe bing cherry, vanilla, with typical Argentina dusty sage nose. Medium-full bodied, quite plush; soft tannin and some heat. Good length. Now to 2011." My notes: This was first tasted at a dinner of friends and a beautifully prepared Beef Wellington. A deep ruby with a violet tinge and nice legs, warm aromas of plum, herbs and ripe black cherry - both colour and nose add to the first sip which is soft with subdued ripe black cherry. There's a hint of licorice in a long finish with the fruit being mellow and quite subtle. 100% malbec and a sociable sipper for any crowd - like a merlot with an attitude - have in for a family get together, an open house, a special birthday finger food or buffet service or have with roast turkey with cranberry sauce, pork tenderloin with lingonberries or tangy chicken wings. Cellaring might be rewarding but I'd call it a drink-now. A real value. 86

MONTES CHERUB ROSÉ OF SYRAH 2007, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 13.5% D, #037887 $16.80 (Tasted May 4, 2008)

A Vintages release on February 2, 2008 described as "Feeling playful on Valentine's? Then this playfully labelled bottle with its chubby, cartoon cherub is the perfect accessory. The label may be in good fun, but this is a serious rosé made exclusively with Syrah. Hot pink colour with a pretty strawberry-, rhubarb-, pomegranate-, sour cherry-scented nose. Dry and crisp with excellent fruit freshness and a lively, tangy/fruit finish. Enjoy with sushi, king crab legs or grilled ocean fish. (VINTAGES panel, Dec. 2007)." My notes: Serve well chilled and swirl briefly to aerate in the glass for delicate fruity aromas - a soft cherry bubble gum methinks. A light strawberry colour with short legs and a dry texture from the first sip, flavourings of faint strawberry cream lasting lightly on the palate and building nicely. A syrah having less spice or pepper but with an edge of same. For the romantic at heart... serve with strawberry cream pie, lime and orange sorbet, angel cake with lemon filling or just sip. Given a special circumstance it could add something festive. Having a creamy chardonnay on the table with the Cherub could pair nicely with Alaskan King Crab. 86

FREIE WEINGÄRTENER WACHAU GRÜNER VELTLINER 2006, Wachau, Austria, 13.5% D, #061127 $18.45 (Tasted May 15, 2008)

A Vintages release on February 16, 2008 described as "In 1983, as an affirmation of the Wachau district's commitment to quality, the newly formed Vinea Wachau association established three quality levels for its dry white wines. This wine was given the district's highest quality designation of 'Smaradg'. Dry and crisp, this medium-bodied white exhibits lovely floral aromas with intriguing notes of white pepper, snow peas and lemon. (extrapolated from Jancis Robinson, MW, The Oxford Companion to Wine, 2006)." My notes: A light blond with a golden tint and aromas of light clover honey and citrus. Served chilled then allowed to warm slightly in glass, the first sip is round, dry edged with delicate flavours of snap pea and lemon zest finishing long, dry, lemony with strands of straw. A different sipper with very interesting flavours although may not appeal to some. Have as an alternate white with thai, sushi, chinese… or with halibut, arctic char, planked salmon or sliced cold chicken on greens. 90

BLACK PRINCE CHARDONNAY 2006 VQA ONTARIO, Prince Edward County, Canada, 12.5% D, #068882 $14.95 (Tasted May 18, 2008)

A Vintages release on March 15, 2008. Founded in 2000, the Black Prince Winery first planted in 2002, on 10 acres of sandy loam ridge near Picton, Ontario, vines that included chardonnay, cabernet franc, chambourcin, baco noir, regent, marechal foch and vidal. This chardonnay won a bronze medal at 2007 Artevino and is the official white wine of the 07/08 Ontario Legislative Assembly. Their website describes it as “Clean with a vibrant aroma of ripe green apple and gentle overtones of orange blossom and a touch of honey. Soft and quite rich in the mouth, with some nice expansion in the middle palate - green fruit, kiwi and macadamia nut nuances lead to a long rich finish.” My notes: A noticeable viscous nature to the pouring, yellow blond in the glass, and aromas of floral and straw. Flavourings are a combination of litchee, apple and apricot finishing with green apple and litchee fading slowly into a cloying clay and glycerine. Perhaps a distinct terroir of Picton but the ‘VQA’ indicates grapes could come from anywhere in Ontario. I’d put this in the category of ‘confused commercial’. For me, don’t sip… have with spicy mussels, grilled whitefish or paella. 76

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