Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mid Year Summary 2010*

I’m a tad late summarizing the first half of my 2010 tastings.  Of 153 wines 62 were rated in the 90’s. Although a rating isn’t complete without tasting notes (found using the search option at the side) it’s the starting point for finding value in wine selections. I purchase wines with little discretion - often the look of the label, a vintner that’s familiar or a label or grape mentioned in a tweet. Both the ratings and notes shown here are based on my tastes with numbers derived using the Wine Advocate Rating System. A summary is in the side panel. If by some stroke of luck there’s a sameness with your tastes the list could be meaningful.

A US publication read this month, The Wine Trials 2010, is written from a consumer perspective and has several pertinent conclusions from blind tastings as well as independent studies of consumers and their wine preferences.  The early chapters describe various influences when tastings are not ‘brown-bag blind’ - influences that alter pyschological and physiological aspects affecting the tasting experience. Generally wine is consumed as an integral part of a social setting consequently other factors - visual sensors, information from labels or discussion - come into play and further influence wine appreciation at the moment. Chapter 4 introduces the term ’conspicuous consumption’ by which a Brand is marketed as exemplary of success, socially or in business, and is priced inordinately high. The Brand association drives consumer purchases rather than the merit of the product.  Also found particularly interesting is a commentary relating to the role of ‘Critics and critiques’ which offers insight into a dissenting view.

The bulk of the book is dedicated to ’Winners of the 2010 Trials’ and lists wines $15 and below found through ‘brown-bag blind tastings’ as those preferred by a majority of us common folk.  I found the book a ‘meaty read’ and at just over 200 pages can be digested in short order. It can be a basis for putting in perspective the formidable volume of 'wine trade information'.

Now on to my Mid Year Summary… Reds, Whites, Rosés, Sparkling and Dessert wines are separately listed.  The wine, vintage and price shown were at  time of purchase and may no longer be current - and if the LCBO link (#nnnnnn) doesn't find a wine it's no longer in inventory.  I've highlighted wines rated 83+, 83 being considered 'fringe enjoyable' - see sidebar.   *Now updated with Value levels. 

Cheers, Ww  

(G - General Listing, V - Vintages, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value)


  • Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, 94-3 -- V, Paso Robles, California, USA, #738823 $18.95
  • Rosenvale Estate Grenache 2005,  94-3 --  V, Barossa Valley, Australia, #059881 $21.95
  • Liberty School Syrah 2007,  94-3 -- V, Paso Robles, California, USA, #942383 $18.95
  • Terra d’Aligi Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2007,   93-2 -- G, Abruzzo, Italy, #028530 $11.95
  • Manzone Dolcetto D’Alba ‘La Serra’ 2001,   93-2 --  V, Piedmont, Italy, #715680 $16.95
  • Sartori Vigneti di Valdimezzo Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore 2007,  93-2 --  V, Negrar, Italy, #160374 $16.95
  • Campo de Borja Aragonia Crianza 2001,   93-2 --  V,  Fuendejaron, Spain, CP151-2664 (Opimian) $13.42
  • Wyndham Estate Show Reserve Shiraz 2003,  92-2  --  G, South Australia, #GiftBox $35.95
  • d'Arenberg ‘The Galvo Garage’ 2006,   92-2 --  V, McLaren Vale, Australia, #907584 $27.95
  • George Wyndham Founder’s Reserve Shiraz Tempranillo 2007,   92-2 -- G, Barossa, Australia, #n/a $17.00
  • Vista Touriga Nacional Berias Red 2004,   92-2 --  G, Portugal, #613919 $13.20
  • Clos de los Siète 2005,   92-2 --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #622571 $23.95
  • Irony Cabernet Sauvignon 2005,   92-2  --  V, Napa Valley, USA, #025106 $19.95
  • Errazuriz Max Reserva Shiraz 2006,  92-2 --  G, Chile, #614750 $17.75
  • Domaine Grand Veneur ‘Les Champauvins’ Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2007,  91-2 --  V, Rhône, France, #076331 $19.95
  • Ortas Tradition Rasteau 2008,   91-2 --   V, Rhône, France, #998716 $15.00
  • Sogrape Vila Regia Reserva 2006 Douro DOC, 91-2 -- G, Douro, Portugal, #613950 $12.50
  • J.P. Chenet Premier de Cuvée Merlot Cabernet 2007,   90-2 --  G, Languedoc, France, #621995 $11.95 #621995 $11.95
  • St. Hallett ‘Faith’ Shiraz 2007,  90-2  --  V, New South Wales, Australia, #980631 $19.95
  • Zenato Valpolicella Superiore Ripassa 2006,  90-2 --  V, Veneto, Italy  #479766 $24.95
  • Casa Nueva Carmenère 2003,   90-2 --  O, Molina, Chile, CP152-2746 $13.08
  • 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
  • Pikes ‘The Assemblage’ Shiraz/Mourvedre/Grenache 2006,   90-2 --  V, Clare Valley, Australia, 14.5% XD, #014332 $18.95
  • 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
  • Dark Side of the Moon Shiraz 2008,  90-2 -- V, Leasingham, Australia, #072652 $25.95
  • Vigne & Vini Zinfandel Primitivo Del Salento 2006 IGT,  90-2 -- V, Puglia, Italy, #136002 $14.95
  • Jeanneret Grace & Favour 2005,   90-2 -- O, Clare Valley, Australia, B&W Wines, $22.46
  • Muga Reserva Rioja 2005,  90-2 -- V, Rioja, Spain, #177345 $24.95
  • William Hill Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 1981,   90   - O, Napa Valley, USA, #Winery,  $* 
  • Chakana ‘Andean Wines’ Malbec 2008,   89-2 --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #003509 $13.95
  • Gemtree Bloodstone Shiraz/Viognier 2008,   89-1 --  V, McLaren Vale, Australia, #022111 $18.95
  • Stella Bella Shiraz 2006,    88-1 --  V, Margaret River, Australia, #048553 $20.95 
  • Nyarai Cellars Syrah 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula,    88-1 --  O, Vineland, Ontario, #Winery  $20.20
  • Konzelmann Pinot Noir Spaetburgunder 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula,   88-1 -- G, Niagara -on-the-Lake, Ontario,  #200584 $12.70
  • Katnook Estate ‘Founder’s Block’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2006,  88-1 -- G, Coonawara, Australia,  #620070 $17.95
  • Farnese ‘Casale Vecchio’ Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2008,   88-1 -- G, Abruzzo, Italy, #612788 $9.95
  • Z-52 Lodi Zinfandel 2006,   88-1 --  V, Morgan Hill, California, #161588 $17.95
  • Stoney Ridge ‘Warren Classic’ Pinot Noir 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula,   87-1  --  G, Vineland, Ontario, #156125 $12.00
  •  J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2007,  87-1 -- V, Paso Robles, California, #656561 $21.95
  • Louis Mousset Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1999,  87   - O, Rhone, France, #Opimian,  $*
  •  Kleine Zalze ‘Vineyard Selection’ Shiraz 2006,  86-1 -- V, Stellenbosch, S.A., #906081 $21.95
  • Malivoire Old Vines Foch 2002 (Canadian Oak) VQA Ontario,   86-1 --  O, Beamsville, Canada, #Winery $25.00
  • Villa Maria ‘Private Bin’ Pinot Noir 2007,   86-1 --  G, Marlborough, NZ,  #146548 $19.95
  • De Bortoli ‘dB Selection’ Petite Syrah 2007,   85-1 --  V, Barossa, Australia, #694802  $14.95
  • Antinori Pèppoli Chianti Classico 2007,   85-1 -- V, Italy,  #606541 $19.95 
  • Cave Spring Gamay 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula,   85-1 -- G, Jordan, Ontario, #228569 $12.95
  • No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Estates Merlot 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula,   84-1 -- G, Vineland, Ontario, #063966  $15.95
  • Beringer Founders’ Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2007,   84 -- G, California, USA, #534263 $19.95
  • Alamos Malbec 2008,  84-1 -- V, Mendoza, Argentina, #467951 $13.95 
  • Callia Alta Malbec 2009,    84-1 --  G, San Juan, Argentina, #160978 $10.95
  • Perrin Réserve Côtes du Rhône 2007,   84-1 -- V, Rhône, France, #363457 $14.95
  • Mezzomondo Negroamaro Salento Daunia 2008 IGT,   84  --  G, Puglia, Italy, #588962  $8.95  
  • 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
  • Malivoire Red 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  82  --  G, Beamsville, Ontario, #141523 $14.95
  • Kim Crawford Pinot Noir 2008,   82 -- V, Marlborough, NZ, #626390 $19.95
  • Kilikanoon ‘Killerman’s Run’ Shiraz 2006,   82  --  V, South Australia, #925453 $18.45   
  • Pierre Jean Saint-Émilion 1990,   81   - O, Gironde, France, CP97-920   $22.50
  • Fazi Battaglia Verdicchio Classico 2008 DOC,   81 -- G, Marches, Italy, #024422 $10.95
  • Rosehall Run Cuvee County Cabernet Franc 2007 VQA Prince Edward County,   80  --  V, Wellington, Ontario, #122267 $18.95
  • 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
  • MontGras Quatro 2007,   80 -- V, Colchagua Valley, Chile,  #050641 $15.95
  • Pérez Cruz Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2008,   80 -- V, Maipo Valley, Chile, #694208 $14.95 (pg147)
  • Borgo Scopeta Chianti Classico 2006 DOCG,   80 -- V, Tuscany, Italy, #023325 $19.80
  • Katnook Estate ‘Founder’s Block’ Merlot 2004,  76 -- G, Coonawara, Australia, #141267 $16.95
  • Bellingham Shiraz/Viognier 2006 ,   75 -- G, Coastal Region, S. Africa, #554360 $13.95
  • Château Perrin Merlot 1998 Cuvée Barriques,  74  --  O, Côtes de Castillon, France, CP143-2207 $15.58
  • Château Roquefort Bordeaux 1997,   74  --   O, Gironde, France, #Opimian $20.42
  • Château Glaudet Bordeaux 2000,  72  --  O, Bordeaux, France, CP148-2490 $12.92
  • Mezzomondo Sangiovese Merlot 2008 IGT,  68  --  G, Puglia, Italy, #079327 $9.95
(G - General Listing, V - Vintages, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value)


  • Lillet Blanc (NV),  94-3 -- V, Podensac, Bordeaux, France, #322297 $13.95
  • Fielding Estate Rock Pile Pinot Gris 2009 VQA Lincoln Lakeshore,  94-2 --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery $25.95
  • Fog Head Reserve Chardonnay Monterey 2008,  93-3 -- V, Manteca, California, #158568 $19.95 
  • Anakena Single Vineyard Viognier 2007,   93-3 --  V, Rapel Valley, Chile, #045138 $13.95
  • 20-27 Cellars ‘Fox Croft Vineyard' Riesling 2009 VQA Twenty Mile Bench,   93-2  --  O, Vineland, Ontario, #Winery $25.15
  • Conundrum 2006,   93-2 --  V, Rutherford, USA, #694653 $26.95
  • Jose Maria da Fonseca Alambre Moscatel 2000,   92-3 -- V, Setúbal, Portugal, #357996  $13.95
  • Wente ‘Morning Fog’ Chardonnay 2008,   92-3 -- G, Livermore Valley, California,  #175430 $16.45
  • Hidden Bench Estate ‘Felseck Vineyard’ Gewurztraminer 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench,   92-2 --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery $31.70
  • Rosewood Estates ‘Renaceau Vineyard’ Chardonnay Reserve 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench,    92-2 --  O, Beamsville, Canada, #Winery $25.15
  • Rosewood Estates ‘Renaceau Vineyard’ Chardonnay Reserve 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench,   92-2 --  O, Beamsville, Canada, #Winery $25.15
  • J.J. Vincent & Fils ‘Marie-Antoinette’ Pouilly-Fuissé Chardonnay 2006,  92-2 --  V, Burgundy, France, #525113 $27.95
  • Peninsula Ridge ‘Inox’ Chardonnay 2008,  91-2 -- G, Niagara, Ontario, #594200 $12.95
  • Lammershoek Barrique Chenin Blanc 2007,   91-2 -- V, Swartland, South Africa, #058206 $18.95
  • Hidden Bench Estate ‘Roman’s Block’ Riesling VQA Beamsville Bench,   91-1 --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery $35.90 
  • Nyarai Cellars Chardonnay 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula,   90-2 --  O, Vineland, Ontario, #Winery  $16.20
  • Irony ‘Napa Valley’ Chardonnay 2008,   90-2 --  V, Manteca, California,  #027409 $19.95
  • Trius Riesling VQA Niagara Peninsula 2008,    90-2 --  G, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #303792 $13.25*
  • Cave Spring Vineyard Chardonnay Musqué 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench,    90-2  -  V, Niagara, Ontario, #246579 $15.95 
  • Concilio Pinot Grigio Trentino 2008,  90-2 --  G, Volano, Italy, #637595 $12.40
  • Fielding Estate White Conception 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  90-2 --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery $18.95
  • Nyarai Cellars Chardonnay 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula,   90-2 --  O, Vineland, Ontario, #Winery  $16.20
  • Featherstone Estate ‘Black Sheep’ Riesling 2009 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  90-2 --  O, Vineland, Ontario, #Winery $17.15 
  • Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2008,   90-1 -- V, Marlborough, NZ, #304469 $29.95
  • Southbrook Vineyards ‘Triomphe’ Chardonnay 2008 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake,   90-1 --  V, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario,  #172338  $21.95
  • Hidden Bench Estate Chardonnay 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench,   90 --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery $36.95
  • Craggy Range Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2007,  90 --  V, Hawkes Bay, NZ,  #132043 $34.95*
  • Anakena Single Vineyard Viognier 2009,   89-2 -- V, Rapel Valley, Chile, #045138 $12.95
  • Steltzner Oak Knoll Ranch Sauvignon Blanc 1992,   89-1  - O, Napa Valley, USA, CP96-898  $23.51
  • Lailey Vidal 2008 VQA Ontario,  88-2 --  O, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #Winery $12.20 
  • Peninsula Ridge Viognier 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  88-1 -- Beamsville, Ontario, #662601 $12.95
  • La Chablisienne Sauvignon Blanc Saint-Bris 2008,   88-1 -- V, Burgundy, France, #641753 $14.95
  • Domaine des Aspes Viognier 2008,  88-1 --  V,  Languedoc, France, #712638 $14.95
  • Megalomaniac ‘Edra’s Vineyard’ Narcissist Riesling 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  88-1 --  V, Vineland, Ontario, #067587 $17.95
  • Gérard Bertrand Réserve Spéciale Viognier 2008,   88-1 --  V, Languedoc, France, #147975 $16.95
  • Loredona Pinot Grigio 2008,   87-1 -- V, Monterey, California, #059188 $16.95
  • Konzelmann Pinot Blanc Weissburgunder 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  87-1 -- G, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #219279 $10.95 
  • McManis Family Vineyards Viognier 2007,  87  --  O, San Joaquin Valley, California, #658112 $21.95
  • 20-27 Cellars ‘Featherstone Vineyard’ Riesling 2009 VQA Twenty Mile Bench,    86  --  O, Vineland, Ontario, #Winery  $25.15
  • Trius Unoaked Chardonnay VQA Niagara Peninsula 2008,  86 -- G, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #497248 $14.25
  • Malivoire Pinot Gris 2009 VQA Niagara Escarpment,  86 --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery, $19.95
  • Domaine Marcel Deiss Pinot d’Alsace 2004,  85 --  V, Bergheim, Alsace, #165365  $17.95
  • Malivoire Musqué Spritz 2009 VQA Beamsville Bench, 85 --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery, $19.95
  • Sileni Cellar Selection Pinot Gris 2008,  85 -- V, Hawke's Bay, NZ, #032292 $15.75
  • Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery ‘The Census Count’ Chardonnay 2006 VQA, 84 -- G, Okanagan Valley, Canada, #092296 $14.95
  • Malivoire Chardonnay 2007 VQA Niagara Escarpment,  84  --  V, Beamsville, Ontario, #573147 $19.95
  • Mountain Road Wines Co. Reserve Chardonnay 2003 VQA Beamsville Bench, 84  --  O, Beamsville, Niagara, #Winery $26.15
  • Lailey Vidal 2008 VQA Ontario,  83 -- O, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #Winery $12.20
  • Fielding Estate Riesling 2008 VQA Beamsville Bench,  83  --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery $15.95 
  • Fielding Estate Lot No. 17 Riesling 2008 VQA Beamsville Bench,  83  --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery  $24.95
  • Antonin Rodet Puligny-Montrachet 2006,  83 -- Burgundy, France, #084541 $34.95
  • Le Clos Jordanne ‘Claystone Terrace’ Chardonnay 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 82  --  V, Lincoln, Ontario, #056929  $40.00
  • Highfield Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2008,  82 -- V, Marlborough, NZ, #012674  $19.95
  • Jaffelin Pouilly-Fuissé 2007,  81  --  G, Burgundy, France, #242909 $25.95
  • Bouchard Père & Fils Pouilly-Fuissé 2007,  80  --  G, Burgundy, France, #056580 $27.85
  • Mike Weir Sauvignon Blanc 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 80 -- G, Beamsville, Ontario, #686972 $15.95
  • Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2009,  80 -- V, Marlborough, NZ, #316570 $18.95
  • Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay 2008,  80  --  V, West Coast, S. Africa, #328559 $14.95
  • Featherstone Estate Winery 'Canadian Oak' Chardonnay 2008 VQA Twenty Mile Bench,  79  --  O, Vineland, Ontario, #Winery $22.15 
  • Featherstone Estate Winery 'Canadian Oak' Chardonnay 2008 VQA Twenty Mile Bench,  79  --  O, Vineland, Ontario, #Winery $22.15
  • Amayna Sauvignon Blanc 2006,   78  --  V, Leyda Valley, Chile, #077693 $20.95
  • Vineland Estates Chardonnay 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula,   77  --  G, Vineland, Ontario, #669374 $12.85
  • Yering Station ‘Little Yering’ Chardonnay 2008,   68  --  G, Victoria, Australia, #145318 $14.95
  • Jackson-Triggs Pinot Grigio Proprietors Selection CIC NV,  65 -- G, Niagara, Canada, #621110 $9.95
(G - General Listing, V - Vintages, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value)


  • Malivoire Ladybug Rosé 2009 VQA Niagara Escarpment,  89-2  --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #559088 $15.95
  • Zenato Bardolino Chiaretto 2007,   88-1 --  V, Veneto, Italy, #045203 $12.95
  • Château d’Aqueria Tavel Rosé 2008,   84 -- V, Tavel, France, #712000   $9.95 (375mL)
  • Sogrape Gazela Rosé NV,   84 -- G, Beiras, Portugal, #125757   $8.95


  • Villa Sandi Prosecco NV,   91-2 --  G, Veneto, Italy, #249722 $14.50
  • Codorniu Non Plus Ultra NV,   90-1 -- G, Penedès, Spain, #053660  $20.95
  • Konzelmann Estate Winery ‘Methode Cuvee Close’ Sparkling Wine NV VQA Ontario,   88-1 --  G, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario,  #031401 $14.95
  • Katnook ‘Founder’s Block’ Sparkling Shiraz Coonawarra 2004,    88-1 --  V, South Australia,  #053330 $19.95
  • Santa Julia Extra Brut ‘Sustainable by Nature’ NV,   85-1 --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #142042 $14.95
  • Pierre Sparr Brut Rosé Crémant d’Alsace NV,   84 -- V, Alsace, France, #039016 $18.95


  • Château des Charmes ‘Estate Bottled’ Late Harvest Riesling 2007 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake,    92-2 --  V, Niagara, Ontario, #432930 $21.95  (375mL)
  • Cave Spring ‘Indian Summer’ Select Late Harvest  Riesling 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  91-2 --  V, Niagara, Ontario, #415901  $24.95 (375mL)
  • Konzelmann ‘Special Late Harvest’ Vidal 2006 VQA Ontario,   89-1 --  V, NOTL, Ontario, #409474 $19.95 (375mL)
  • Malivoire Cabernet Franc Icewine 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  87  --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery, $* (187mL) 
  • NCT Winery Late Harvest Vidal 2002 VQA Ontario,  84  --  O, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada, #Winery $21.95 (375mL)
(G - General Listing, V - Vintages, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value)

Thursday, July 01, 2010

July 2010 Wines: 23 Tasted of 23

At Anchor
When tasted, wines will be sequenced by rating, reds then whites, rosés then sparklers followed by Ice Wines and Late Harvests.
Cheers, Ww 

  • Rosemount Traditional Show Reserve Cab Sauvignon/ Merlot/ Petit Verdot 2005,  91-1  --  V, South Australia, #484097  $34.95
  • Liberty School Zinfandel 2007, 90-2  --  V, Paso Robles, California, #041095 $18.95 
  • Balma ‘Beaumes de Venise’ 2008,  89-2  -- V, Côtes du Rhône, France, #652206 $13.95 
  • Pasqua ‘Villa Borghetti’ Rosso Veneto 2007 Metodo Passimento,  88-1 --  G, Venezie, Italy, #141952  $13.10 
  • Pasqua ‘Le Soraie’ Rosso Veronese 2006 Metodo Appassimento,  85 --  V, Verona, Italy, #097568 $18.95  
  • Godo Rosso Veronese IGT 2008, 84 --  V, Veneto, Italy, #171595 $13.95 
  • Brigaldara Valpolicella Classico 2008, 83   --  V, Verona, Italy, #917864  $14.95 
  • Hollick  ‘Wrattonbully’ Shiraz 2006,  79  --  V, Coonawarra, Australia, #165944  $23.95   

  • Concilio Pinot Grigio Trentino 2008,  91-3 --  G,  Volano, Italy, #637595, $12.40
  • Zenato Soave Classico 2008, 90-2 -- V, Veneto, Italy, #413146 $12.95
  • Abad Dom Bueno Godello 2008, 88-1  --  V, Bierzo, Spain, #154302 $14.95 
  • Rosehall Run Chardonnay Sur Lie 2008 VQA Ontario, 88-1 --  G, Wellington, Ontario, #111914 $15.05
  • McManis Family Vineyards Viognier 2007,  85 --  V, Ripon, California, #658112 $19.95 
  • Kapuka Sauvignon Blanc 2009, 83  -- V, Marlborough, NZ, #163576 $14.95
  • Cavit Collection Pinot Grigio 2008, 81  -- G, Venezie, Italy, #099218 $12.00 
  • Collavini 'Black Label' Pinot Grigio 2009,  79  --  G, Fruili, Italy, #033340 $13.95
  • De Bortoli ‘dB Selection’ Rosé 2008, 82  --  V, Australia, #120238 $8.95  
  • Bieler Pere & Fils Sabine Rosé 2009,  81  --  V, Provence, France, #071423 $12.95
  • Familia Zuccardi Fuzion Shiraz Rosé 2009,  75  --  G, Mendoza, Argentina, #122424  $7.45 

  • Mezzomondo Sparkling Rosé NV, 86-1 --  G, Puglia, Italy, #143321  $10.75
  • Duca di Castelmonte ‘Simply Pink’ Spumante Rosato Brut NV,  84 --  V, Marsala, Italy, #176719  $14.95
  • Mountain Road Wine Company 1999 Vidal Icewine VQA Niagara Peninsula,  98-3 --  O, Niagara, Canada, #Winery, $? (200ml)
  • Flat Rock Cellars ‘Sweet Revenge’ Vidal Icewine 2007 VQA Short Hills Bench, 94-2 -- V, Jordan, Ontario, #047803  $44.95 (375mL)
(G - General Listing, V - Vintages, O - Other, r-v - Value levels)

McMANIS FAMILY VINEYARDS VIOGNIER 2007, San Joaquin Valley, California, 13.5% D, #658112, $21.95 (Tasted July 27 2010) CS

My notes: Fresh from the fridge at 14oC this has a golden blond colour and minimal fragrance on the first sniff no longer the delicate apple blossom of the last tasting (Ww87, April 2010). The film is firm slow to form legs and the first sip has a grassy tart apple and yellow plum flavour. Medium-bodied with a pleasing roundness and a steady tang that went well with pan-fried chicken thighs and roasted acorn squash. Has a slight buttery finish with a bright tartness to keep the palate refreshed. Should do well with most pan-fried seafood. My preference as a sipper is at room temp. Past cellaring and a drink now. 85 

LIBERTY SCHOOL (Map It!) ZINFANDEL 2007, Paso Robles, California, 13.5% D, #041095 $18.95 (Tasted July 3, 2010) CS
A Vintages release on June 26, 2010 rated 91 and described by Natalie MacLean (April 28, 2010) as “Rushes out of the glass with aromas of blackberry preserves, dark plums, licorice and black raspberry. Full-bodied, supple and lip-smacking delicious. A smoky dark chocolate finish.” My notes:An opaque - or perhaps cloudy - ruby colour with earthy aromas of plums mixed with a blackberry spiciness. The film is firm forming long tears. A rich velvety texture, full-bodied with a peppery edge to muted blackberry, a light liquorice and faint dark chocolate. The finish is surprisingly reserved carrying the textures and spice above the flavours. On the whole an interesting sipper without the overpowering fruit of Zinfandel. Choosing a meal pairing could be challenging: I’d try cheesy seafood pastas, grilled swordfish or pork tenderloin. Cellaring  few years should be OK but it’s drinking well now. 90
ROSEMOUNT ‘TRADITIONAL’ SHOW RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON /MERLOT /PETIT VERDOT 2005, South Australia, (Map It!) 14.5% XD, #484097  $34.95  (View it!) (Tasted July 1, 2010) CS

A Vintages release on May 1, 2010 rated 90 and described by Harvey Steiman   (October 15, 2008) as “Firm tannins underpin a silky flow of gorgeous currant, plum and berry fruit, hinting at tobacco and spice as the expressive finish expands on a medium-weight frame.”  My notes:  Rosemount is a Foster’S Company having multi-tier labels, this one’s near the top. A deep ruby with a dark cast and aromas of plum, figs and berry forecast the flavours of the first sip. Soft tannins, velvety smooth and drying on the palate. Nippy and warm, well ripened berries give length to a flavourful finish, full-bodied, balanced and bone dry. Should go nicely with grilled or roasted meats - a lamb shank slow cooked especially. Has cellared well, likely at peak tho’ with about a year left. 91 

ZENATO SOAVE CLASSICO 2008, Veneto, Italy, (Map it!) 12.5% XD, #413146  $12.95  (Tasted July 5, 2010) CS

A Vintages release on March 20, 2010 described (anonymously and undated) as “Zenato takes pride in every style of wine they produce and this intense, almost Sauvignon Blanc-like Soave is a revelation. Flavourful, crisp and clean, this is an exceptional palate-refresher, or enjoy it with grilled fish or warm chicken salad dishes.”  My notes:A golden blond colour with spicy aromas of lemon lime and crisp minerals. A ’palate refresher’ is right on: medium-bodied, round textured, a lemon zest vigour with grapefruit and touch of kiwi in the first delightful sip. Finishes long and clean, continuing to have presence ending on a mineral note. Pair with lemon chicken, curried mussels and risotto, a seafood stir fry or crab cakes. This should cellar well for a few years but now super as a young meal white.  90 
KAPUKA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2009, Marlborough, NZ, (Map it!) 12.5% XD, #163576 $14.95  (Tasted July 19, 2010) CS

A Vintages release on May 1, 2010 rated 3 ½ stars (of 5) by Vic Harradine (Feb 20, 2010) as “…  Aromas and flavours of zesty lime, savoury herbs, crisp green apple and hints of honeydew melon wash in waves over the palate finishing up crisp, refreshing and lip-smacking good. Sip on its own as an aperitif or pour alongside Greek salad, a deli plate or freshly shucked oysters. My notes: From Shepherds Ridge Wine Estate (View it!) a winery associated with Wither Hills in Marlborough.  A pale blond colour with slight melon to a faint pond scum aroma, not objectionable just not appealing - air a few minutes. The aroma gives way to a first sip that is fruity with gooseberries and lime predominating then leading into a long, fruity finish dry with a nice tang. The film is well established draining with long fast tears. Should pair nicely with seafoods, grilled or creamy, deep fried squid or crab cakes. Cellaring may be iffy… perhaps a year, primarily a drink now. 83

FLAT ROCK CELLARS (Map It!) ‘SWEET REVENGE’ VIDAL ICEWINE 2007 VQA Short Hills Bench, Jordan, Ontario, 12.6% S, #047803 (375mL) $44.95 (Tasted July 21, 2010) CS

Release by Vintages on March 28, 2009 described anonymously (undated) as “… Expect another complex, soft and lusciously sweet wine with layers of honey, apricot, pears and peaches all balanced by a trademark seam of refreshing acidity… serve cold ... ”  My notes:  Intense aromas of honey, raisins and pear and the colour of bold Manuka honey. Syrupy smooth with some tang, the flavour of caramelized pear and needing slow sips to savour its fullness. The finish ends with a touch of sweet liquorice. I’d say the sugar code is double digits as it takes a good while to fade. Serve chilled as a dessert treat with ladyfingers or pour liberally on vanilla parfait or a nutty cream sorbet.  94

MOUNTAIN ROAD WINE COMPANY 1999 VIDAL ICEWINE VQA Niagara Peninsula, Niagara, Canada, (Map It!) 12.1% S, #Winery, 200ml $? (Tasted July 26, 2010)
My notes: A Gold medal winner in Ottawa in 2004 and now a brilliant gold in the glass with caramelized peach aromas that kiss the senses. The nose carries a spicy edge, less so in the flavours turning spice into a sugary brightness. Finishes full, sweet and consistent lessening any need to sip quickly. Modest servings as a dessert with Scotch shortbreads or pour conservatively over a creamy caramel ice.  A great model for a Niagara icewine. I believe this could cellar for years more. 98 
CONCILIO PINOT GRIGIO TRENTINO 2008, Volano, Italy, (Map It!) 13.5% D, #637595, $12.40  (Tasted July 1, 2010) CS
.My notes: Tasted in February this year with a rating of 90 and so flexible it has become our staple ’house white’.  A pale golden and crystal clear the aroma from the glass has a spicy Granny smith apple bouquet with a hint of apple blossom. A swirl leaves an evenly receding film and the first sip confirms a dry, silky texture with a crisp acid that cleanses the palate. Quite tart in a long finish the Granny turns to a touch of Crab apple. Chilled or off chill this is an interesting sipper. Perfect with crab pieces in drawn butter, garlic prawns or bacon wrapped scallops. A drink now or after cellaring up to two years.  91
 FAMILIA ZUCCARDI FUZION SHIRAZ ROSE 2009, Mendoza, Argentina, 13.5%  D, #122424  $7.45 (Tasted July 12, 2010) CS

My notes: A General listing and may be one of several value priced wines from Familia Zuccardi. The colour is a rich, some would say ’artificial’, cherry red and the nose is of unripe strawberry but can easily be missed. A thin film recedes quickly and the first sip is smooth with negligible acid and flavours of soft strawberry and watermelon finishing without a distinct fruit. Overall, a shallow sipper with insufficient depth for pairing with a meal - could be an economical sipper for a non-discerning crowd. Personally I’d skip a round.  75
ABAD DOM BUENO GODELLO 2008, Bierzo, Spain, (View it!) 12.5% XD, #154302 $14.95 (Tasted July 14, 2010)  CS

A Vintages release on April 3, 2010 rated 90 and described by Jay Miller (February 2009) as “The 2008 Abad Dom Bueno Godello is medium straw-colored with an attractive nose of baking spices, mineral, and citrus. Mouth-filling, intense, and vibrant, it has superb grip and length. Drink it over the next 2-3 years.”  My notes: A light golden blond colour with aromas of nettles and grapefruit. A thin film recedes evenly and the first sip is a mellow mixture of melon, lime and stone fruit. The flavour medley carries long into a dry finish tailing off with a tangy mineral note. Pair with creamed chicken risotto, a mixed tapas plate or side of Spanish rice. Body and texture compare with a Kiwi sauvignon blanc with flavours missing only the gooseberries. Would make an interesting blind tasting.  Ww88
MEZZOMONDO SPARKLING ROSÉ NV, Puglia, Italy, 11.5% D, #143321  $10.75  (Tasted July 11, 2010)  CS
A General listing not described except for “Enjoy as an aperitif or with salads, grilled fish or chicken.”  My notes: Tasting results have fluctuated widely for Mezzomondo wines, the most recent, their 2008 Sangiovese Merlot tasted in February this year, being discarded. This sparkling rose shows a soft peach colour with a frosty dew forming on the glass. A steady stream of fine bubbles and a soft peach stone aroma, faint but there, adds to the attraction. Fine bubbles continue through a first sip having a light pear apple flavour, smooth on the lips then fading slowly to a light mineral tinged finish. An interesting sipper with a carbon dioxide tang and could be paired with chicken pieces in a creamy risotto. Cellaring a few years should be okay - more of a drink now.  86

COLLAVINI 'BLACK LABEL' PINOT GRIGIO 2009, Fruili, Italy, (View it!)  12.5% D, #033340 $13.95  (Tasted July 24, 2010) CS
A General listing described anonymously (undated) as “Pale straw colour; citrus, light mineral and melon aromas with herbal notes; light-bodied with citrus, green apple flavours with good acidity. Serve with pasta in cream sauce; risotto; aperitif.”  My notes: A pale gold with faint grassy aromas, leaves a thin film that recedes quickly and has the flavour of not quite ripe grapefruit and citrus then finishes with a nippy grab at the palate. I didn't sense any natural sugars finding it tart enough to be XD also lacking sufficient fruit to have interest as a sipper in spite of a moderate roundness. Have with seared chicken slices and a creamy mushroom risotto or mussels in a curried broth. A drink now. (much better next day as an aperitif) 79

HOLLICK ‘WRATTONBULLY’ SHIRAZ 2006, Coonawarra, Australia, (View it!), 14.0% D, #165944 $23.95  (Tasted July 22, 2010)  CS

A Vintages release on June 26, 2010 rated 90 and described (April, 2008) by Jeremy Oliver as “Ripe and juicy, with a spicy, slightly smoky expression of blackberries, blueberries and dark plums knit with mocha-like dark chocolate/vanilla oak. Medium to full in weight, it's smooth and polished, with a lingering, slightly sour-edged expression of fruit and undertones of cloves and cinnamon above a fine, drying chassis, finishing just slightly angular.”  My notes:An opaque ruby with sour blackberry touched with floral aromas (similar to a can of acrylic paint spray) - decant or air for thirty minutes. The film leads to slow tears and the first sip bites hard at the palate leaving it tannic, evenly coated with a brambly berry and ‘hot’ in the alcoholic sense. The texture is smooth but masked by an overriding metallic edge and emphasizing the bramble. Not a sipper. Too in-your-face to pair with a Barberian’s spiced grilled steak. Perhaps will mellow with a few years cellaring but I doubt it. A lot has changed since the 2008 rating.  79
DE BORTOLI ‘dB SELECTION’ ROSÉ 2008, Australia, 12.5% MD, #120238 $8.95  (Tasted July 21, 2010)  CS
A Vintages release on August 1, 2009 described anonymously (undated) as “… De Bortoli has crafted a wonderful medium-dry rosé with lifted strawberry and cherry fruit aromas, terrific flavour intensity and a delightful finish of sweet fruit. Lovely as an aperitif, either on its own or with canapés.”  My notes: A low price. Is it a reasonable value? At 6 degrees C the nose has a faint aroma of US strawberries wrapped in wet newspapers, not measurable though. The colour is a soft and deep apricot, the side facing the sun. A swirl leaves an evenly receding film and a first sip has a dry texture with flavours of berries and Melba apple with acid to balance the light fruit sugars. Both nose and flavour become more pronounced as the temp heads for a preferred temp, 12 degrees - wet newspapers become faint crushed strawberries retaining the Melba now finishing with an added touch of softness. Less fruity than other rosés if that’s a preference. Have as an aperitif or refresher on a warm afternoon. A drink now. 82
PASQUA ‘LE SORAIE’ ROSSO VERONESE 2006 METODO APPASSIMENTO, Verona, Italy, (View it!) 14.0 XD, #097568  $18.95  (Tasted July 19, 2010)  CS

A Vintages release on February 6, 2010 described anonymously (undated) as “Dry, driven by cherry fruit with juicy tannins and texture. Silver Medal (Decanter World Wine Awards, 2009)”  My notes:There’s an opaqueness to a slightly plummy hued ruby, a tinge of brick showing, and slight varnish scent in the dark berry aroma. An acid edged nose and a smooth textured, tangy and dry burst of well ripened berries in the first sip. Past peak although still a pleasing sipper… more of a medium-bodied pizza and pasta red. A delicate earthiness comes through in the long, warm finish when the flavour depth develops. Cellaring isn’t a benefit - a drink now. 85

PASQUA ‘VILLA BORGHETTI’ ROSSO VENETO 2007 METODO PASSIMENTO, Venezie, Italy, 14.0% D, #141952  $13.10  (Tasted July 18, 2010)  CS

A General listing described (anonymously) as “Great with red meat and game or with aged cheeses.”  My notes: We enjoyed a pre-dinner glass ($11, 6 oz.) at Alioli's in Mississauga City Centre so wanted to take time for a rating. A blend of Corvina, Croatina and Merlot and using the passimento method during which grapes are partially dried before fermenting for a rich, raisiny red.  A thin film with slow tears and a plummy tint to the rich red form first impressions. The nose has raisins for sure with ripe cherries and a few earthy black berries, nicely peppered. Smoothness from the passimento treatment gives this sip appeal, a penetrating tang gives this meal appeal - a dish of risotto gorgonzola ‘funghi’ or seasoned grilled beef. Finishes with a cherry bramble dryness and somewhat ’hot’ as a sipper. Perhaps rough for some but interesting enough to serve to a group of wine-oohs. This should keep over a year, perhaps three, but is available on the General shelf so no need to buy ahead.  88

BALMA ‘BEAUMES DE VENISE’ 2008, Côtes du Rhône, France, (Map It!)  14.0% XD, #652206 $13.95 (View it!)   (Tasted July 26, 2010)   CS

A Vintages release on July 10, 2010 not rated but described by the Vintages panel (Jan 2010) as “A ruby red Grenache(60%), Syrah(35%) [+Cinsault(3%), Carignan(2%)] lend. Aromas of fresh ripe cherry, plum, and spice greet you, and then echo in the pleasing combination of flavours. A wine with good concentration and length, and a sweet toasty finish. You can save this red in your cellar for a few years, or enjoy it tonight with cinnamon chicken.”  My notes:A purple tint adds a touch of richness to the ruby colour and warm earthy aromas of blackberries and ripe cherries. A swirl produces lots of slow tears and the first swallow yields tartness, a mellow smoothness and peppery flavours of dark fruit, mainly berries, conditioned by old world process. The finish is drying and warming with velvet tannins lasting ‘til an earthy end. A red leaning to being full-bodied to offer at an open house: a soft red to pair with grilled beef or lamb: a savoury red to have with meaty pizza or spicy pastas: so flexible and reasonably priced.  89

GODÓ ROSSO VERONESE IGT 2008, Veneto, Italy, 13.5% D, #171595 $13.95  (Tasted July 29, 2010)  CS

Released by Vintages on June 12, 2010 described anonymously (undated) as “Designed for enjoyment within the first three years after the vintage, this blend of mostly Corvina with local and international varieties in support is aged strictly in stainless steel to retain the wine's bright fruitiness. This is a red that will even reward a light chill (15 minutes) before enjoying with grilled gourmet sausages or hamburgers.”  My notes:A spicy nose of blackberries including some bramble, a dark ruby colour and a film that can’t make up its mind: evenly recede or run a few slow tears - so it does both. The first sip has immediate interest for its tangy attack at the front of the mouth before dark fruit  flavours begin. The finish continues with softening tart, anise and earthy berry lasting quite long. This is a meal red, tomato pastas and meaty pizzas, or pair with a T-bone spiced with Barbarian seasoning. On the coarse side of rough with some velvet fruit to ease the earthy predominance. 84

BRIGALDARA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2008, Verona, Italy, 13.5% D, #917864  $14.95  (Tasted july 23, 2010)  CS

A Vintages release on May 15, 2010 described by the Vintags panel (March 2010) as "Intriguing lifted aromas of spicy cherry, plum, masala spice and tea leaves. Dry, good fruit tones with upfront acidity for balance. This medium-bodied, medium-finishing wine is a great choice for barbecued gourmet sausages or hamburgers."  My notes: A blend of Corvina (40%), Corvinone (20%) and the remainder of Rondinella, Molinara and Sangiovese that leads to a black cherry skin colour and a light jammy berry aroma. A swirl leaves a quickly receding film and the first sip receives a medium-bodied red with light tannins, an acid seam and just enough berry flavours to add interest. The acid carries through a long finish continuing to retain the tannins. This is a staple pasta/pizza wine. Have with chorizo pieces, saucy spaghetti with dry breads and liberal sprinkling of parmesan or veal parmegiana.  83

BIELER PÈRE & FILS SABINE ROSÉ 2009, Provence, France (Map It!), 13.5% XD, #071423  $12.95  (Tasted July 25, 2010) CS

A Vintages release on July 24, 2010 described by the Vintages panel (October 2009) as “A pretty pale salmon colour. Fresh aromas of cranberry, red plum, and sweet cherry mingle with tantalizing strawberry, citrus, rhubarb and mineral. The flavours replay on the palate, leading to a pleasing finish. A medium-bodied rosé offering good structure and terrific value… “  My notes: 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. From a region of France known worldwide for it’s rosés, Appellation Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Controlée. This has a soft pink hue on the peachy side and aromas of a delicate wild rose - needs time to develop - casting a thin film that recedes evenly and quickly. The flavour is unique… a light blend of negligible strawberry, a taint of cherry and mostly lightish bramble. There’s a mineral start to the finish ending with a dry tang, quite suitable as an aperitif. Perhaps a locally acquired taste but not a ‘terrific value’ for most, imho. Have with a tray of soft cheeses.  81

DUCA DI CASTELMONTE ‘SIMPLY PINK’ SPUMANTE ROSATO BRUT NV, Marsala, Italy,  (Map It!) 11.5% D, #176719  $14.95  (Tasted July 27, 2010)  CS

A Vintages release on July 24, 2010 described by the Vintages panel (January 2010) as “Light salmon hue. Brimming with aromas of candied fruit, strawberries and roses, plus a slight earthy note. Delicious ripe fruit is at this refreshing rosé's core: strawberry, raspberry and plum flavours all make their way to a crisp, fruity finish. A delightful, medium-bodied wine with a light spritz to perfectly highlight your summer meals… ”  My notes:  A soft pink with a profuse release of bubbles: small, tiny and large followed  by a bubblegum nose suggesting a light hearted celebration is at hand: a baby shower, an engagement. Then, the wake-me-up tang and fruit medley suggest a birthday cake may be close by... or serve chilled, 10oC, to quaff on a hot day. The finishing has consistent, delicate flavours and ends with a touch of sweetness and a slight mineral edge making this is a pleasing sipper.  An uncomplicated  drink now.  84
CAVIT COLLECTION PINOT GRIGIO 2008, Venezie, Italy, 12.0% XD, #099218  $12.00  (Tasted July 27, 2010)  CS
A General listing described anonymously (undated) as “Pale straw; light lemon-apple aroma and flavour; light bodied with a clean finish. Serve as an aperitif.”  My notes: A light lemon colour and a sniff finds a light grassy, citrus aroma, almost negligible. The texture is thin with slight roundness and flavours of apple-lemon combine altho’ indistinct and a core of acid sufficient to pair with grilled salmon, yellow pepper slices and creamed squash. The finish continues on the tangy side retaining a hint of natural flavours. Pair with fresh oysters, mussels or lemon chicken. A simple drink now.  81

ROSEHALL RUN CHARDONNAY SUR LIE 2008 VQA Ontario, Wellington, Ontario, (Map It!) 12.7% D, #111914  $15.05  (Tasted July 29, 2010)  CS

A General listing described anonymously (undated) as “Bright straw colour; peach and tropical fruit with hints of toast and nuts on the nose; dry, medium body with forward fruit flavour and balanced citrus finish.  Serve with creamy pasta and grilled chicken.”  My notes: A golden blond colour with a scent of melon and citrus, light but there, and leaves a light film that takes its time to show long legs. The first sip has a refreshing lightness, a light straw texture with perhaps watermelon and grapefruit flavours, then a finish that fades slowly leaving a light melon/citrus on the palate. This should pair nicely with grilled shrimp, scallops, or grilled halibut. A chardonnay to appeal to most palates… a sociable sipper. Cellaring a shortwhile should be OK. 88