Sunday, December 12, 2010

2010 Picks for the Season: 12 Tasted of 12

Listed are twelve wine selections for the Holiday season. They are meant to cover most situations which call for wine except for 'toasting' and dessert - there's no bubblies nor fortifieds. I’m not calling these ‘recommendations’ since I don’t claim to have a universal palate and, more importantly, I won’t know what I think until I’ve tasted the current vintage from LCBO shelves. For now they're 'my selections'. Starting with this blog, for ratings, I've dropped the Ww and the format is rating-value as outlined in the side panel.

I’ve enjoyed these wines in the past and hopefully there’s consistency in the vineyards, the winery and the winemaker’s skill for them to be enjoyable this season. In order to compare I’ve included notes for the previous vintage and will add notes for the current vintage as the wine is tasted over the next week or so. Wines are sequenced by rating and grouped red then white. For inventory at a local Outlet click on the link to WineAlign, #nnnnnn or the LCBO link, CS.

Cheers, Ww


Antonin Rodet Côtes Du Rhône 2007
Pérez Cruz Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 
Collin-Bourisset les Terres Bleues Côte de Brouilly 2009 
Cave Spring Gamay 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula
Cave de Tain Crozes Hermitage 2003
J.P. Chenet Premier de Cuvée Merlot Cabernet 2007

Vinecol Torrontés 2007
Cave Spring Chardonnay Musqué 2006
Malivoire White 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula
Wente ‘Morning Fog’ Chardonnay 2008
Weingut Stadt Krems Lossterrassen Grüner Veltliner 2009 
William Fevre Chablis Champs Royaux 2004
THE LINEUP -  Wine appears in Bold with a rating (r-v) when Tasted
  • Collin-Bourisset les Terres Bleues Côte de Brouilly 2009, 92-3  --  V, France, #590521  $15.95
  • Antonin Rodet Côtes Du Rhône 2009, 92-3  -- G, France, #008979 $12.95
  • J.P. Chenet Premier de Cuvée Merlot Cabernet 2009, 89-2   --  G, France, #621995 $11.95
  • Cave de Tain Crozes Hermitage 2007, 87   --  V, France, #572230 $17.95
  • Cave Spring Gamay 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 86-1 -- G, Canada, #228569  $13.95 
  • Pérez Cruz Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, 83  -- G, Chile, #694208 $14.95
  • William Fevre Chablis Champs Royaux 2009, 91-2  --  G, France, #276436 $20.70
  • Weingut Stadt Krems Lossterrassen Grüner Veltliner 2009, 90-2  --  V, Austria, #180778 $14.95
  • Cave Spring Chardonnay Musqué 2008, 90-2 --  V, Canada, #246579 $15.95
  • Malivoire White 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 88-1  -- G, Ontario, #141531 $14.95
  • Wente ‘Morning Fog’ Chardonnay 2009, 88-1 -- G, California, #175430 $16.45
  • Vinecol Torrontés 2009, 80  --  V, Argentina, #032748 $13.95

(G - General listing, V - Vintages release,   r-v - rating-value)


ANTONIN RODET CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2007, Rhône, France, 13.6% D, #008979 $12.95 CS  (Tasted November 18, 2008)

The 2007 vintage tasted in November 2008 had a black cherry colour in the bowl with a thin film followed by slow tears and a fragrance of smoke tinged cherry skins, soft and subtle. Its smoothness carries flavours of cherries brightened by a slight spice everything lasting through a long, delicate finish. This is more of an elegant sipper for a reception or buffet luncheon with flavours that build with each sip - scrumptious. Have with finger sandwiches or save for a prime rib entrée, mild sausages, game bird or beef bourguignon. Updated notes: Vintage 2009  $12.95 13.5% (Tasted December 14, 2010) ... A raspberry ruby colour with a pink meniscus and a smoky cherry raspberry subtly spiced nose. The film is thin receding evenly into slow tears and the first sip has a light touch of tannin, a hint of tobacco and an earthy cherry flavour. Smooth at the front and spicy at the back gives an ever changing finish ending with a light leather.  Further sipping comes easy with an interesting combination of textures and depth of flavour. A medium-bodied sipper with/without a buffet spread or pair with veal, ham steak, dark fowl or vegetarian pizza. Drink now or cellar a year.  92
PÉREZ CRUZ CABERNET SAUVIGNON RESERVA 2006, Maipo Valley, Chile, 14.5% XD, #694208 $14.95 (Tasted November 14, 2008)  CS

The colour of a black cherry skin with deep smoky cherry aromas and slow legs. Very smooth and spicy from the first sip lasting for a good while fading into a sumptuous layer of fine tannins and ripe cherry/berry flavours - a bit (8%) of carmenere and syrah in the blend. An excellent combination of fruit and spice full-bodied and silky smooth. A delectable sipper giving with each sip. Should go very well with grilled meat: T-bone, seared veal, rosemary'd rack of lamb. Drinking well now but could cellar another few years if you want to buy ahead. Very different from the bottle last tasted.  Updated notes: Vintage 2008  $14.95  14.0%  (Tasted Dec 15, 2010)   A deep ruby colour and a scent of currant tinged blackberry with a noticeable spicy note. Silky textured, blackberry and a touch of cherry as a flavour with light tannins and touch of pepper gives some interest for a social crowd. The finish doesn’t have a pronounced flavour carry over quickly fading to silken tobacco and very little warmth from the alcohol. Full-bodied with a light-bodied profile. A polite sipper or have with sausage patties, grilled steak or beef tenderloin. Nothing to cellar.  83

COLLIN-BOURISSET LES TERRES BLEUES CÔTE DE BROUILLY 2009, Burgundy, France, 13.0% D, #590521  $15.95  (Tasted September 10, 2010)  CS

A blueberry-raspberry and faint floral scent along with a purple tinted garnet ruby and a swirl leaves a firm film with lots of slow tears. There’s a light tannin dryness in the first sip, medium-bodied with acid supporting a smooth texture and, almost as second thought, soft boysenberry flavours. An elegant, delicate sipper lacking prominence for many grilled entrees but otherwise a very flexible red - fowl, pork, tuna, creamy salmon pastas, gnudis. Still young and cellaring for several years is likely but I’d try a year at a time. If I had room I’d buy a caseUpdated notes: Vintage 2009  $15.95  13.0%  (Tasted Dec 18, 2010)   Tasted in September this year the scent is still mostly berry with a layer of floral, one needing time to develop, and a regal purple ruby adds lustre. The film sheds lots of tears, slow to form and slow to fall and the first sip has a silkiness that is a main feature then a subtle expression of raspberries slowly turns an acceptable mix of tobacco and bramble. A smooth sipper with balanced tannin and tang makes a red to linger over. I can imagine this paired with Michael’s Backdoor tenderloin and lamb chops - super! Two to four years cellaring could be interesting although it’s full- and flavourful now so why wait?  92

CAVE DE TAIN CROZES HERMITAGE 2003, Rhône, France, 12.5% XD, #572230 $16.85 (Tasted March 1, 2008)  CS

Not tasted for awhile but from a winery known for consistency - hope the weather cooperated. A delicate aroma of berries and spice, a solid garnet ruby colour and a velvet layer of tart, medium- to full-bodied blend of raspberries and currants then finishing forever with dry, dark fruit, bright pepper and mushroom tones. Quite a nice sipper or as a quencher with stuffed mushroom caps or mild cheeses. Have with grilled meats or prime rib. A good value now and worth cellaring for many more years.  Updated notes: Vintage 2007  $17.95  12.5%  (Tasted Dec 17, 2010)  A real plum hue to the ruby and a firm film and long legs with each swirl gives this some initial interest. The nose is a light blackberry edged spicy cherry that carries through to the first sip and, given the deep colour, surprisingly lightly flavoured with red currant and tobacco. Medium-bodied with a fine tannin and light acid the finish is subtle ending with a touch of tobacco. Chill a tad and sip or have with veal scaloppini, bbq’d pork ribs or strips of rare tenderloin. A polite sipper. 87
J.P. CHENET PREMIER DE CUVÉE MERLOT - CABERNET 2007, Languedoc, France, 14.0% D, #621995 $11.95 (Tasted April 26, 2010)  CS

Definitely the label to look for is the 2007 vintage with the Orange sticker of a Gold medal from Concours National Des Vins de Pays 2008. However, the 2009 is on the shelf. A pleasing ruby with a sombre tint and aromas of bright raspberry softened by blackberries. Let air a short while, twenty minutes, for a full-bodied, silky smooth, oozing with luscious spicy berries sipper. After three years cellaring this is a solid value. Full flavoured black fruit is carried through a long finish along with fine tannins ending dry with a bit of chalky mineral. Have with anything grilled: sausage, steaks or lamb. Cellaring for another few years is likely.  Updated notes: Vintage 2009  $11.95  13.5%  (Tasted Dec 12, 2010) … A deep ruby, regal in the glass, and a soft spice aromas of rasp- and blackberries. The first sip has a minty raspberry and currant flavour, smooth but tart with well balanced acid. The finish tapers off slowly leaving flavour remnants along with a slight dry cedar edge. An appealing dry sipper for a social gathering - a flexible medium-bodied red to go with party hors d’oeuvres: wraps, sausages, black olive or mushroom focaccia or pair with light grilled beef entrees. A hint of sweetness never really shows. A drink now.  89
CAVE SPRING GAMAY 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Jordan, Canada, 12.5% D, #228569 $12.41 (Tasted May 1, 2009)  CS

A mid ruby with a dull cast and light film sending fast tears down the glass. This has an aroma that needs time to develop in the bowl, a combination of earth, a ripe berry blend and white pepper. Then a delicate first sip that builds on the roof with warmth and spicy berries and leaving a velvet fuzz on the tongue. On the thin side of medium-bodied, with well developed flavours but not overpowered by fruit, ie. well balanced. Have as a companion to prime rib roast or a grilled rib eye. This should cellar well adding satin and a deeper complexity to make this an excellent value.  Updated notes: Vintage 2008  $13.95  12.0%  (Tasted Dec 17, 2010)  This vintage as well is a mid ruby with a dull cast and a thin film sends fast tears down the bowl. The aroma is a woody cherry evenly balanced so the fruit isn’t dominant - a whisper of BRETT in the background. Light-bodied, silky textured with acids, cherries and smoky wood also evenly balanced. The finish is long, smooth, dry with a seam of light acid. Serve slightly chilled as a conversational sipper or pair with party sausages, mushroom caps, with cold crab or lobster, a shrimp ring or cheese puffs. A drink now.   86
VINECOL TORRONTÉS 2007, Mendoza, Argentina, 13.3% D, #032748 $13.95 (Tasted August 18, 2008)  CS

A pleasant fragrance of wild flowers and honey fading into sweet grass. A light golden colour having a soft texture with flavours of citrus, melon and mild minerals. Leaves a softness on the lips with a bright reminder of citrus and a clay finish. A sociable summer sipper for a mixed crowd – no one would refuse a refill and may lead to a guessing game for a ‘varietal’. Serve well chilled with a fruit tray, with brie, gruyere and edam, or a shrimp ring. Pair with roasted chicken or turkey breast and lingonberry, pork chop with apple sauce or a seasoned seafood dish. A drink nowUpdated notes: Vintage 2009  $13.95  12.8%  (Tasted December 16, 2010)  An aroma of softened butter, more nutty than floral becoming perceptible as the chill goes. The first sip is round, tart, with a mix of mango and citrus fading slowly retaining some flavour and tartness finally ending with just a touch of chalk. Leaves an impression of late ripening fruit picked early. As a sipper it’s drinkable but uninteresting. Have with battered halibut/haddock and chips or roast chicken. A drink now. 80

WEINGUT STADT KREMS LÖSSTERRASSEN GRÜNER VELTLINER 2009, Krems, Austria, 12.0% XD, #180778  $14.95  (Tasted August 30, 2010)  CS

A pale straw with honeyed layered floral and citrus aromas initially taming to a delicate lemon floral. An even film and a penetrating but appealing tang to the palate says this is a refresher, perhaps an amuse bouche. Dry in the finish, with a mineral, pear and grapefruit. Served chilled, a very interesting a sipper but begs a mixed buffet: stuffed mushrooms, bacon wrapped scallops, proscuitto wrapped asparagus for starters. Move on to lobster or crab pieces with a creamed risotto dish. This should keep well for a year but is meant to be consumed soon.  Updated notes: Vintage 2009  $14.95  12.0%  (Tasted December 20, 2010)  The same light floral as sniffed last August and the same scent of lemon and honey needing time to develop. A yellow blond colour with the first sip bringing an evenly cascading film, fast tears and an interesting flavour of lemon and d’Anjou pear, missing the grapefruit this time, any sweetness balanced by a creamy fullness and firm acid. The finish is silky, long, full of flavour and the scent of the nose. The tartness is more suitably paired with a fish stew: e.g. cod covered with tomato pieces in a mornay sauce. A meal white now to a year.  90

CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY MUSQUÉ 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench, Jordan, Canada, 13.0% MD, #246579 $15.28 (Tasted May 12, 2009)  CS

Cave Spring has consistency producing a lightly sweetened Musqué. A pale golden colour and aromas of orange and peach fill the bowl making this an inviting sipper. The firm nip and flavours of green melon and spice refreshes the palate going well with seafood dishes, cold and sliced chicken breast or Asian fare. I’d say it’s leaning toward being full-bodied with a noticeable touch of sweetness, a viscous mouthfeel and lasting melon grassiness to the long finish. Save for a mixed social including ABC imbibers. Showing some youthfulness now and should keep up to two years.  Updated notes: Vintage 2008  $15.95 (Tasted December 18, 2010)   A green tinge to a gold colour and the nose is a mix of orange and olive. Nicely clean and creamy with the first sip with an infusion of orange and melon carrying to a long smooth concentrated flavour fading slowly leaving a smooth citrus as a reminder. Not obviously a chardonnay nor a musqué and tart enough for oysters, fresh or Rockefeller, adding enough flavours to pair with fish dishes. Cellaring up to two years may develop character without losing too much fruit and be an overall plus.  90
MALIVOIRE WHITE 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Ontario, 12.0% D, #141531 $14.95 (Tasted December 1, 2009)  CS

Shiraz, the winemaker, has introduced a fresh style to all of Malivoire`s wines, red and white. This is a blend of 80% Chardonnay, 15% Riesling and 5% Gewurztraminer and tasted this past October, 2009. Serve chilled, ~10 - 12C. A delicate aroma of vanilla and orange blossom greeting the senses makes this a crowd pleaser. A light golden, crystal and crisp in the glass with firm film and legs that develop slowly followed by a first sip having a round mouth feel, a tinge of sweetness, a tang of tart, stone fruit and lime flavours. The long, warm taste and smooth finish is also appealing - pluses all around. Cellaring for a year should be OK.  Updated notes: Vintage 2008  $14.95  12.0%  (Tasted December 13, 2010) ... A light straw colour with a nutty taint to chilled orange and lime nose, a soft touch of dry almond orange in the first sip of nicely balanced fruit and tart. A well made delicate sipper that wouldn‘t offend anyone looking for a refesher on a hot day or as an intro to light conversation at anytime. A quaffer with a moderate finish ending with citrus and mineral. Have with  grilled whitefish entrees. A drink now. 88
WENTE MORNING FOG CHARDONNAY 2008, Livermore Valley, California, 13.5% D, #175430 $16.45 (Tasted January 3, 2010)  CS

The 2008 is a mid gold, crystal clear in the bowl and has a clean light scent of butterscotch. Flavours of lemon and faint orange with balanced acid and a sweet edge makes this an elegant white. A smooth butter starts then a clean tang takes over for a long finish. Serve chilled and it’s a super aperitif. Let go off chill and the smoothness makes sipping interesting and refreshing. Have with grilled whitefish, crab cakes or creamy lobster pieces on thins. Should cellar a few years.  Updated notes: Vintage 2009  $16.95  13.5%  (Tasted December 22, 2010)  A golden blond with a faint scent of lemon zest complete with spicy edge and there’s an intense tang with the first sip and flavours of orange and soft butter. Full-bodied, a burst of acid surrounds flavours that fade slowly to a dry, grassy finish. A meal white or for a finger food buffet. Have with light/dark meat fowl, bacon bits on focaccia, or grilled portabello slices. Cellaring for a few years should do well.  88
WILLIAM FEVRE CHABLIS CHAMPS ROYAUX 2004, Burgundy, France, 12.5% D, #276436 $21.80 (Tasted May 16, 2008)  CS

From a reputable winery and likely a later vintage will be on the shelves. This had a delicate fragrance of nettles, soft gooseberry and hint of citrus, a light golden colour with scant legs. The first sip is very interesting, steely edged with a tactful nip followed by a light citrus, straw, pear and faint gooseberry finishing round, with well balanced acids and a clay mineral feel. Could do for a sipper until the entrée: vinaigrette on greens with feta then a grilled whitefish with herbed risotto… or have with planked salmon, shrimp kebob, bacon wrapped scallops or a creamy mushroom pasta. Updated notes: Vintage 2009  $20.70  12.5%  (Tasted December 23, 2010)  A delicate nettles and gooseberry are there in this vintage as well as short legs slowly lengthening and a light golden colour. Flavours of gooseberry and apple, citrus for a polite tang and a light buttery smoothness give this appeal as a sipper. The finish stays faithful to the flavours continuing long until fading quietly - doesn’t  need nibbles. Chicken or light fowl, grilled seafood, crab cakes, trout on greens or curried mussels could match nicely tho'. Lighter than the 2004 and a drink now.  91

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