Tuesday, March 02, 2010

March 2010 Wines: 30 Tasted of 30

Time to move house…. we’re busy packing boxes, painting walls and arranging the house for viewing.  Kijiji is helping to take care of ‘stuff’ to be downsized. Selling wine privately is frowned on so we will sip the cellar dry as conscientiously as we must. That means organizing to consume the mature ones and boxing with care the ones with time left.  I don’t buy green bananas consequently wine for cellaring hasn't been a priority. There are more reds so may have to balance with newly purchased whites. When tasted, wines will be sequenced by rating, reds then whites, rosés then sparklers followed by Icewines and Late Harvests.  

Cheers, Ww 


  • Campo de Borja Aragonia Crianza 2001,  93-3  --  V,  Fuendejaron, Spain, CP151-2664 (Opimian) $13.42
  • d'Arenberg ‘The Galvo Garage’ 2006,  92-2  --  V, McLaren Vale, Australia, #907584 $27.95 
  • Wyndham Estate Show Reserve Shiraz 2003, 92-1  --  G, South Australia, #GiftBox $35.95
  • Santa Julia Magna 2005,  90-2  -- V, Mendoza, Argentina, #093799 $14.95
  • Wolf Blass Yellow Label ‘Victoria’ Pinot Noir 2008*, 90-2  --  G, Victoria, Australia, #611509 $17.30
  • Ventisquero Queulat Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, 90-2 -- V, Maipo Valley, Chile, #061937 $16.95
  • Wyndham Estate Shiraz Bin 555 2005,  90-2  --  G, South Eastern Australia, #189415 $16.15 
  • Pikes ‘The Assemblage’ Shiraz/Mourvedre/Grenache 2006,  90-1  --  V, Clare Valley, Australia, 14.5% XD, #014332 $18.95
  • Chakana ‘Andean Wines’ Malbec 2008,  89-2  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #003509 $13.95 
  • Stella Bella Shiraz 2006,  88-1  --  V, Margaret River, Australia, #048553 $20.95  
  • Yering Station ‘Little Yering’ Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2005,  83  --  G, Victoria, Australia, #145326 $14.95
  • Grant Burge `Cameron Vale`Cabernet Sauvignon 2002,  83  --  V, South Australia, #937276 $19.95 
  • Pierre Jean Saint-Émilion 1990, 81   - O, Gironde, France, CP97-920   $22.50
  • Viña Carmen Carmenère Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2006, 80  --  G, Maipo Valley, Chile, #439166 $14.75 
  • Antonin Rodet Côtes du Rhône 2007,  80  --   G,  Rhône, France, #008979 $12.95
  • Château Perrin Merlot 1998 Cuvée Barriques, 74  --  O, Côtes de Castillon, France, CP143-2207 $15.58
  • Château Glaudet Bordeaux 2000, 72  --  O, Bordeaux, France, CP148-2490 $12.92  

  • Cave Spring Vineyard Chardonnay Musqué 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench,  90-2   -  V, Niagara, Ontario, #246579 $15.95
  • Steltzner Oak Knoll Ranch Sauvignon Blanc 1992, 89-1   - O, Napa Valley, USA, CP96-898  $23.51
  • Anakena Single Vineyard Viognier 2009,  88-1  --  V, Rapel Valley, Chile, #045138 $13.95
  • Malivoire Chardonnay 2007 VQA Niagara Escarpment,  84  --  V, Beamsville, Ontario, #573147 $19.95 
  • Mountain Road Wines Co. Reserve Chardonny 2003 VQA Beamsville Bench, 84  --  O, Beamsville, Niagara, #Winery $26.15
  • Amayna Sauvignon Blanc 2006,  78  --  V, Leyda Valley, Chile, #077693 $20.95
  • Château Roquefort Bordeaux 1997,  74  --   O, Gironde, France, #Opimian $20.42 
  • Yering Station ‘Little Yering’ Chardonnay 2008,  68  --  G, Victoria, Australia, #145318 $14.95
  • Zenato Bardolino Chiaretto 2007, 88-1  --  V, Veneto, Italy, #045203 $12.95

  • Villa Sandi Prosecco NV, 91-2  --  G, Veneto, Italy, #249722 $14.50
  • Katnook ‘Founder’s Block’ Sparkling Shiraz Coonawarra 2004,  88  --  V, South Australia, #053330 $19.95     

  • Château des Charmes ‘Estate Bottled’ Late Harvest Riesling 2007 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake,  92-1  --  V, Niagara, Ontario, #432930 $21.95  (375mL) 
  • Konzelmann ‘Special Late Harvest’ Vidal 2006 VQA Ontario,  89  --  V, NOTL, Ontario, #409474 $19.95 (375mL) 
(G - General, V - Vintages, O - Other, r-v - Rating-Value)


CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES ( Map It! ) ‘ESTATE BOTTLED’ LATE HARVEST RIESLING 2007 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara, Ontario, 10.5% MS, #432930  $21.95  375mL (Tasted March 5, 2010) CS

A Vintages release on February 20, 2010 described anonymously (undated) as “Winner of a Gold Medal as Best Late Harvest Wine at the 2009 Ontario Wine Awards. Classic honeycomb, ripe peach, pear and mango dominate this delicious medium-sweet dessert wine. Its rich flavours are balanced beautifully by a seam of racy acidity. This long-finishing dessert wine is a great match for a cheese plate featuring Beemster or blue cheeses.”  My notes:A golden hue, crisp and clear, with honey, pear and ever so slight lavender essence on the nose. A thick film recedes quickly under its weight and the first sip washes the palate with fresh sweet apple-pear. Starting full with sweetness followed by a finish that’s bright, the fullness somehow dissipated leaving mostly a sweet pear flavouring. A very delectable before dinner or as dessert refresher. Was excellent when paired with cheeses.  92

KONZELMANN ( Map It! ) ‘SPECIAL SELECT LATE HARVEST’ VIDAL 2006 VQA Ontario, NOTL, Ontario, 10.5% MS, #409474  $19.95 375mL  (Tasted March 20, 2010) CS

A Vintages release on April 11, 2009 described by the Tasting Panel (Dec 2008) as “…  The honey texture and colour of this luscious libation almost gives it an Ice Wine profile. Stone fruits and apple on the nose are consummated on the tongue with more honey, lychee, candied citrus and warm, ripe tropical fruit, leaving a ripe, fleshy peach, apricot and honey finish balanced by sweet lemon zest.”  My notes:A burnished gold in the glass and has a strong aroma of glazed well ripened pear. A well developed scalloped film on a swirl: a syrupy, refreshing, tangy, reduced pear during sipping changing to a sumptuous citrus and caramel. By itself it’s a honeyed dessert or a sipper with shortbreads, ladyfingers, grapes or cheeses. 89

VINA CARMEN ( Map It! ) CARMENÈRE CABERNET SAUVIGNON RESERVA 2006,  Maipo Valley, Chile, 13.5% D, #439166  $14.75  (Tasted March 1, 2010) CS

A General listing described anonymously (undated) as “Deep purple ruby colour with violet hue; intense nose of cassis, licorice, violets, smoky oak, rich chocolate, truffle with some green pepper and dried herbs; dry, full-bodied, with big, solid flavours as in nose, medium tannins and good length. Serve with leg of lamb, roast or grilled beef, burgers, or a firm, hearty cheese.”  My notes: The LCBO description hasn’t changed for the several vintages now but the price is a toonie lower. 2003, 2004 and 2005 vintages were tasted with consistently ‘neither this nor that’, ie. simple to drinkable results. The 2006 is a deep ruby with a violet tint and has a negligible nose, a bit of cherry, earth and mint. The first sip has a light bramble, red cherry and liquorice  flavouring, the drinkable part, with mostly a flat earthy finish, the simple part. Otherwise well balanced with some tartness, a soft texture and an ending lacking appeal. Would be suitable with grilled steaks or chili. Not for cellaring.  80

ANTONIN RODET ( Map It! ) CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2007, Rhône, France, 13.6% D, #008979 $12.95 (Tasted March 11, 2010) CS

A General listing described as “Rich ruby colour; attractive spice, anise and cherry fruit on the nose; well-balanced with hints of cherries, nuts and pepper on the palate. Serve with spare ribs; sausages; duck.”  My notes: Last tasted in November 2008 with a rating of 94. A deep black cherry skin colour. No nose to speak of now, perhaps a light smoke and the fist sip is earthy, the flavour of crushed cherry pits and very dry. The finish starts and ends with the pits and chalky dry. A passable sipper if you prefer diluted cherry juice - is medium-bodied and has a smooth texture with a long finish. More appropriate with prime rib or a rare rib eye straight from the grill no seasonings. Has not cellared well.  80

MOUNTAIN ROAD WINES CO. ( Map It! ) RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2003 VQA Beamsville Bench, Beamsville, Niagara, 14.7% D, #Winery $26.15 (Tasted March 17, 2010)

My notes: Last tasted in October 2007 rated 91/100 with the comment ’straw toned sipper better paired with seafoods’. Has lost much of its ‘straw’, served with grilled halibut the low fruit did little to complement the meal. An acid seam comes out in a long warm finish and livens up the palate between bites. A pale lemon colour with a touch of caramel in the nose and light butterscotch in the first sip makes for interest. Very dry, likely would pair well with bacon wrapped scallops or a cheesy ground beef lasagna. Now on the decline, further cellaring would not be worthwhile. 84

STELTZNER ( Map It! ) OAK KNOLL RANCH SAUVIGNON BLANC 1992, Napa Valley, USA, 13.0% XD, CP96-898  $23.51  (Tasted March 21, 2010)

My notes: Cellared in August 1994 after purchasing from The Opimian Society. This was lost for awhile - went from Ontario to BC and back since cellaring. It’s a brassy gold with faint scent of lemon and apple and a swirl leaves a scalloped film that recedes back to the rim. The first sip is full, tangy, a touch of natural fruit sugar matched by dry tang and flavours of light apple tainted with lemon. An intriguing sipper, especially given its history, with a long finish, a pleasing buttery texture and carried-through flavours that’s surprising.  Paired well with haddock and chips. 89

CHÂTEAU ROQUEFORT ( Map It! ) BORDEAUX 1997, Gironde, France, 12.0% XD, #Opimian $20.42  (Tasted March 27, 2010)

My notes: Cellared after purchasing from the Opimian Society in 2000. The colour is now a rich golden and the nose is a mix of clover honey and passionfruit. A well scalloped film with just a few legs draining slowly then prominent flavours of lemon and crushed lemon seed. Tangy, round, dry with mostly lemon seed going into a long finish… With only a tad of fruit left there’s too little to continue cellaring. A sipper without distinction but body and tang could carry with most white fish entrees.  74

MALIVOIRE ( Map It! ) CHARDONNAY 2007 VQA Niagara Escarpment, Beamsville, Ontario, 13.0% D, #573147 $19.95 (Tasted March 21, 2010) CS

My notes: Last tasted in December 2009 with a rating of 90. Much has changed in the short time with most of the fruit fading. This has a thin film with a few slow tears and delicate aromas of honey, apple and floral. The first sip has a strong tang, medium-bodied  and a dry, lemon and straw finish. A polished chardonnay with flavours of grapefruit seed and a tinge of chalk. A dry sipper. Have with roast pork or white fish entrées.  84 

PIERRE JEAN SAINT-ÉMILION 1990, Gironde, ( Map It! ) France, 12.5% XD, CP97-920  $22.50   (Tasted March 31, 2010)

My notes: Cellared in October 1994 after purchasing from The Opimian Society. There’s an adobe hue to the ruby colour and after decanting/aerating the nose is a delicate earthy red cherry. A thin film with fast legs and flavours that include red cherry, a light anise and texture smooth and dry as chalk. The texture is smooth lasting long on the palate without a distinct fruit but a subtle herb. May pair with prime rib but more likely with lightly seasoned cheese tomato, perhaps scallop or shrimp, pasta. Drink now rather than cellaring. Mindful of an $8 meritage.  81

CHÂTEAU PERRIN ( Map It! ) MERLOT 1998 CUVEE BARRIQUES, Cotes de Castillon, France, 12.0% XD, CP143-2207 $15.58 (Tasted March 14, 2010)

My notes:   Cellared in October 2002 and tasted October 2005 then March 2007. The colour is a deep and brooding black cherry with a delicate woody, cherry nose. Fast tears and moderate film says this is medium-bodied and somewhat silky - however, a sharp acid seam quickly kicks in. Red currants and a metallic edge lasting forever constantly wakes the taste buds. Not a sipper but a meal red to have with red meats, chili con carne or rich tomato pastas/pizzas. Cellaring well past Opimian’s suggestion of being ‘made to last and mature’ and any ‘wave of succulent blackcurrant’ has since left.  74

CHÂTEAU GLAUDET BORDEAUX 2000, Bordeaux, France, 12.0% XD, CP148-2490 $12.92 (Tasted March 12, 2010)

My notes: Cellared from June 2003 and last tasted in March 2007. The nose is dried blackberry not showing fresh fruit aromas and the colour is a rich ruby. After several hours airing, very dry-yyy on the first sip, tangy sour cherry with the flavour of crushed cherry pits continuing for a long, metallic finish. Not a sipper. A meal red to pair with rare steak, rosemary rack of lamb or saucy pasta. This last bottle didn’t reach seven years but peaked 2005 - 2007.  72

ANAKENA ( Map It! ) SINGLE VINEYARD VIOGNIER 2009, Rapel Valley, Chile, 13.5% D, #045138 $12.95 (Tasted March 4, 2010) CS

My notes:  I tasted this vintage last month and wanted to test my acidity index so to speak after finding the Amayna Sauvignon Blanc so tart. Previous vintages, 2007 and 2006, were value Viogniers and cellared several years without losing their fresh fruit appeal, delicately flavoured medium-bodied sippers. The 2009 has a spiciness to a wild floral nose and the first sip wakes the buds completely, showing some brightness. Like a dry lemonade on a summer day it leaves the palate puckered but not objectionably so. A sense of sweetness but not sweet, a creamy smooth finish with citrus, a touch of peach and a long mineral ending makes this appealing to pair with scallops, shrimp pastas, or oysters Rockefeller. Cellaring a year at a time should be OK.  88 

CAVE SPRING ( Map It! ) VINEYARD CHARDONNAY MUSQUÉ 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara, Ontario, 13.0% D, #246579 $15.95 (Tasted March 15, 2010) CS

My notes: Last tasted in February this year and rated 89. Now a soft lemon colour and delicate citrus nose, an evenly scalloped film that recedes quickly and more citrus, light, refreshingly tangy with a pleasing fullness in the first sip then a long finish. A sipper for bacon wrapped scallops. A meal white for anything fishy… a salmon pasta, grilled black cod with creamy linguine. Has a quiet chard grassiness, a muscat spice and although starting out polite accumulates zest along the way. Has lost some fruit but gained depth since a May 2009 purchase.  90

CHAKANA ‘ANDEAN WINES’ MALBEC 2008, Mendoza ( Map It! ), Argentina, 14.0% XD, #003509 $13.95 (Tasted March 31, 2010) CS

My notes: Last tasted in June 2009 and rated 77. This bottle is far different than last June’s, the aroma is a soft blackberry - no sign of Brett. A tinge of acid to the nose is pleasing and the colour reflects violet throughout the glass, pleasing to the eye.  Full flavoured blackberry, liquorice and slight earth makes for a good sipper. The finish is dry and long. I had with hot Italian sausage and a slight sweetness tamed to a degree the sausage pieces - a plain bagel did the rest. Cellaring suited this Malbec and could for another few years - likely near peak tho’. 89

SANTA JULIA MAGNA 2005, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.0% XD, #093799 $14.95 (Tasted March 30, 2010) CS

My notes: Last tasted in March 2009 and rated 88.  Aroma of a black cherry jam without being sweet but with a spicy edge; a violet hued ruby dense to view and a moderate film with fast tears for an attractive glass. The first sip has a prominent acid seam that carries cherry, berry and a  soft tobacco tone, very dry on the palate then finishing bright, long and flavourful. A blend of Cabernet, Malbec and Syrah combine for a bold sipper. Still reminds me of a ‘ripasso lite’ and has improved from March last year - there’s a few more years cellaring potential left. 90

WYNDHAM ESTATE ( Map It! ) ‘SHOW RESERVE’ SHIRAZ 2003, South Australia, 14.5% D, #GiftBox  $n/a  (Tasted March 4, 2010)

My notes: One of two bottles in a Gift Pack available December 2007, tasted and rated 92. The nose is of warm chocolate and stewed cherries, dense and refined. A peppery edge frames velvet textures, smooth, dry with fine tannins and back fruit flavours softened by chocolate and mint tones. This is a full-bodied, delectable sipper for texture, fullness and flavour. Paired with grilled T-bone or rare beef tenderloin it should excel. Cellaring has mellowed, integrated the fruit with process - a ‘wine to mull over rather than hurrying’ and a real value.  92

WYNDHAM ESTATE ( Map It! ) ‘BIN 555’ SHIRAZ 2005,  South Australia, 14.5% D, #189415 $16.15  (Tasted March 17, 2010) CS

My notes: Previously tasted in June 2008 and rated 91/100. It is a deep ruby with delicate fruit on the nose, smoky blackberry. A firm film with fast legs and the first sip surprises the taste buds and leaves a slight sting on the lips. This is easily quaffed filling the mouth with peppery blackberries, a silky soft texture lasting forever and accumulating a steely edge. As a sipper it‘s, a great companion with steak, ribs, pizzas or rack of lamb. Shows no decline so far and will likely cellar for a few more years. I suggest trying yearly since astringency may increase. 90  

GRANT BURGE ( Map It! ) 'CAMERON VALE' CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2002,  South Australia, 14.5% XD, #937276* $19.95 (Tasted March 22, 2010) CS 

My notes: The first tasting in September 2005 noted ‘flavours are delayed but burst on the  tongue into a sharp edged blackberry, dark chocolate and plum blend…lots of fruit..’. March 2007 said ’somewhat steely edged’. Now sharp edged with a penetrating finish, fruit is now equal to a steel layer that lasts through a long, warm finish. There’s an evenly scalloped film, slow tears and aromas that settle to a delicate blackberry and plum. A touch of blackberry and liquorice makes this more of a seasoned steak, ribs or lamb shank red. Past cellaring altho’ some may enjoy the bright attack on the buds. Drink soon.  83

STELLA BELLA ( Map It! ) SHIRAZ 2006, Margaret River, Australia, 14.0% D, #048553 $20.95 (Tasted March 23, 2010)  CS

My notes: Last tasted in March 2009 with a rating of 92. Ruby red in the glass with a scalloped edge that recedes slowly to the rim, a few slow tears and a soft, delicate, floral, blackberry scent. The first sip is silky on the lips, has a penetrating tang and maintains black fruit flavours. This leads to a long dry finish with firm fine tannins ending a tad stemmy  showing some coarseness. Overall an interesting sipper, straightforward and gulpable. Have with rack of lamb, lamb shanks or grilled meats.  88    

AMAYNA ( Map It! ) SAUVIGNON BLANC 2006, Leyda Valley, Chile, 14.5% XD, #077693 $20.95 (Tasted March 2, 2010) CS

My notes: This has not cellared well since tasting last June and rated 90! There’s still a soft floral in the nose with a round mouthfeel leaving a silky stage for flavours. Now the flavours are masked by an acerbic afterbite taking away most of the delicate fruit freshness. The finish has most of the original delicate fruit but it's masked with acidity then a long grassy ending. A chicken pot pie didn’t quell the tartness and sipping doesn’t work now. Went well with Zatarain’s Dirty Rice mix done in chicken broth and pork chops seared in soya. Perhaps better as a cooking wine.  Proves the point.... never go by an undated rating, imho.  78

D'ARENBERG ( Map It! ) ‘THE GALVO GARAGE’ 2006, McLaren Vale, Australia, 14.5% D, #907584 $27.95 (Tasted March 18, 2010) CS

My notes: Last tasted in November 2008 and rated 96. Bordeaux inspired blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc having a deep ruby colour and a thin film with fast tears. Smooth and full-bodied, the initial flavour is full of fine tannins, spicy black currants, steely berries and vanilla. More than the ‘slight nip’ of the last tasting leading to pairing with saucy grilled ribs or seasoned T-bones if drinking now. Or a very bold sipper attacking anything that senses with an interesting and distinctive nose of black cherries and cedar wrap. Gets marks for potential needing a few more years.  92

CAMPO DE BORJA ( Map It! ) ARAGONIA CRIANZA 2001,  Fuendejaron, Spain, 13.5% XD, CP151-2664 (Opimian) $13.42 (Tasted March 9, 2010)

My notes: Originally purchased in Feb 2004 and last tasted in June 2007 (before ratings). A blend of Garnacha and Tempranilla, the colour now has a hint of adobe to a deep scarlet. Warm vapours of an earthy cherry compote fill the nostrils and a swirl brings a firm film with long slow legs. A velvet texture, smooth with flavours of sweet cherry and mild liquorice edged with fine tannins and mild acid. Nicely balanced process with aged fruit left to fade slowly on the palate makes for a long dry finish. An interesting sipper and a good companion to slow cooked lamb shanks, duck in reduced wine sauce, or a dirty rice and ground beef dish. This has cellared well and should for a few more years, likely at peak now tho'.  93

PIKES 'THE ASSEMBLAGE' SHIRAZ/ MOURVEDRE/GRENACHE 2006, Clare Valley, Australia,( Map It! ) 14.5% XD, #014332 $18.95 (Tasted March 16, 2010) CS

My notes: Last tasted in June 2009 with a 91 rating. A light floral nose, an evenly scalloped film with a few slow tears and a colour that is a deep scarlet. There is a strong sharpness to the first sip with a warming of the throat as flavours of blueberry, red cherry and white pepper introduce themselves. A long warm finish, surprisingly full on fruit, with a nuttiness and metallic edge, very dry. A bold sipper and good partner to rack of lamb or beef tenderloin. Cellaring well… may show more acid but also develop more texture in the next year.  90

ZENATO ( Map It! ) BARDOLINO CHIARETTO 2007, Veneto, Italy, 12.5% D, #045203 $12.95 (Tasted March 11, 2010) CS

My notes: Cellared in June 2008 and last tasted in July 2009 rated 88. The nose is quite muted now with some red cherries remaining, not much. The colour is unchanged, a touch of salmon pink, and the first sip is dry with subtle sweetness edged with almost ripe apricot then finishing dry, a silky texture and long taste of almost ripe peach. An interesting sipper that will continue to evolve over a few years - but sipping well now. Have with shaved Italian meats, crisps with olive spread or tapas. 88

KATNOOK ( Map It! ) 'FOUNDERS BLOCK' SPARKLING SHIRAZ COONAWARRA 2004, South Australia, 13.0% D, #053330 $19.95 (Tasted March 25, 2010) CS

My notes: Last tasted in October 2008 with previous tastings in December 2007 both rated 89. A profusion of medium and small bubbles on pouring then settling to a continuous flow of fine. Medium-bodied and other than a whiff of bread dough the nose is quite subdued. The first sip has a soft blackberry accompanied by drying tannins and a smidgeon of bramble all layering the palate. The berry and bramble continue as the main theme of a bone dry finish. Lots of spritz for interest as a social sipper and a worthwhile compromise for diehard red drinkers when a toast is expected. Not as fruity nor as tart, consequently not as ‘lip smacking luscious‘, as previously tasted but pleasing nevertheless. A quaffer with meaty nibbles. 88

Anthony Gismondi’s Vancouver Sun article of March 5, 2010 prompted the purchase of these two wines. The subject of the article concerned Languedoc’s faking a Pinot Noir sold to a US winery.  Gismondi was prompted to describe six Pinots from other countries and each having a different style based on terroir and process. Curiousity got the best and I searched Ontario inventories - I was determined to try at least one. Although not Pinots the two Yerings below were the only related wines stocked in Ontario. So much for pursuing out-of-Province recommendations.   

YERING STATION ( Map It! ) ‘LITTLE YERING’ CHARDONNAY 2008, Victoria, Australia, 13.0% D, #145318 $14.95 (Tasted March 8, 2010) CS

My notes: A General listing not described. Air this for a few minutes then aromas are closer to natural, delicate nettles and citrus. The colour is a dull blond and the film recedes with evenly scalloped edges. Flavourings of light citrus and almond, a reasonable tang and roundness but then the finish declines quickly leaving a hollow ending. Quite unpleasant as a sipper and not likely to improve with a meal. For a wine that's featured in the latest Food & Drink mag…I‘d say avoid it!   68 

YERING STATION ( Map It! ) ‘LITTLE YERING’ CABERNET SHIRAZ MERLOT 2005, Victoria, Australia, 14.5% D, #145326 $14.95 (Tasted March 7, 2010) CS

My notes:A General listing not described. The colour is a deep ruby and the nose suggests sweet plum, blackberry and softly scented floral. A firm film with long fast legs leads a smooth textured fullness with an intense tang that brightens the palate. The tang continues into a finish of berries and light anise ending dry and 'hot'. This paired well with seasoned rib eye steak and would with meaty pizzas, pastas or short ribs. Acceptable as a sipper but a tad rough… a meal drink now.  83

VENTISQUERO QUEULAT GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2005, Maipo Valley, Chile,( Map It! ) 14.5% XD, #061937 $16.95 (Tasted March 13, 2010) CS
My notes: Tasted in August 2008 then in September 2009, named by Vintages as one of the top value brands. Cellaring has kept this image having been rated in the 90’s.  This has a rich ruby colour with velvet tones of earthy black currant muted by soft blackberry. A firm film with long slow legs and a first sip full of fine tannins, sweet edged blackberries and dry cedar, well balanced and lasting long after. A great companion with anything beefy, grilled and seasoned - or just sip. Has levelled somewhat since first purchased but could cellar for another few years. 90

VILLA SANDI ( Map It! ) PROSECCO NV, Veneto, Italy, 11.0% D, #249722 $14.50 (Tasted March 18, 2010) CS

My notes: The Villa Sandi was tasted in March 2006 (before ratings) and is the same price as Giovello Prosecco NV (#085316) tasted in November 2009 (82/100). An attractive yellow with a profusion of bubbles settling to a steady stream, a definite aroma of birthday cake w/lemon frosting and the fullness of a sip combined with a lemon spritz makes this an enjoyable sipper for any occasion. Fine bubbles rim the glass for a long, smooth, refreshing finish. The tang complements the creaminess making this a good summer deck social or to have with fresh oysters, bacon wrapped scallops or shaved proscuitto on dry bread. A NV and could cellar awhile.  91  

WOLF BLASS YELLOW LABEL ‘VICTORIA’ PINOT NOIR 2008, Victoria, Australia, ( Map It! ) 13.5%, #611509 $17.30  (Tasted March 20, 2010) CS

My notes: *I wasn’t able to find this specific label on the LCBO website so I’ve assumed it’s a substitute for WOLF BLASS YARRA VALLEY PINOT NOIR. I tasted the ‘Yarra Valley’ Pinot Noir 2001 in March 2005 finding it outstanding… ’Gotta be a 90...’. It had cellared from October 2003. The 'Victoria' Pinot has an earthy nose of beetroot and raspberries, some spice but gentle. The colour has a cherry glow in a large bowl and a swirl brings a firm film with fast tears. Well balanced tannins, acid and muted cherry flavours give the buds a start then finishes smooth, dry with some cherry pit residue. An interesting sipper - pairing with planked salmon or a grilled ham slice would be ideal, otherwise just sip. Cellaring for a few years should be OK.  90