Friday, July 01, 2011

July 2011 Wines: 23 Tasted of 23

If you’re near an LCBO drop in and pick up a copy of their Food & Drink - not so much for their magazine but for the insert that’s included in the cello wrapped package. I’m referring to the yearly edition of Wine Country Ontario’s 2011 Year-round Travel Guide. It’s a staple for planning seasonal trips along Ontario’s Wine Routes. Alternatively, if a computer is handy click on Wine Country Ontario  and the icon on the Homepage that represents their information packed booklet  WCO:The 2011 Year-round Travel Guide .

With the number of new wineries each year the Guide is a convenient update with photos, short histories, a list of winemakers, opening hours and a keyed map for quickly locating individual wineries and websites. Advertisements in this publication aren’t the commercial variety - well actually they are but in this case they pictorialize events, accommodations, eateries and nearby historic sites that could be your introduction to the wine country of Prince Edward County in the East through Niagara Peninsula to Lake Erie North Shore in the West, about 580 kilometres, a trip made more enjoyable if planned to include each wine region. 

The Lineup this month includes leftovers from June. There also are several VQA labels from wineries new to me and recommended by Ontario wine critics. I took advantage of Tawse’ offer of six ‘summer sippers’ delivered free of charge to Ontario residences. David Lawrason rated Alvento’s reds high which encouraged me to take a look at their wines. I've included 3 reds and 3 vintages of Viognier. Wines can be ordered through their website.
Grab a bottle on the way home and sip comparing your notes with mine… or just enjoy paired with a home cooked meal.   

Cheers, Ww
The Start
The Finish
The Alvento viogniers plus one unknown (Domaine des Aspes Viognier 2009) are setup for blind tasting this aft (July 9th). Not the 120 wines tasted in a day by career tasters but fun nonetheless and it keeps me off the streets. The results are below. 

THE LINEUP - grouped by reds, whites, sparkles and other:
  • Gigondas La Cave l’Intense Gigondas 2007,  93-2  --  V, Rhône, France, #216382 $26.95
  • Lealtanza Reserva Seleccion Rioja 2004,  92-3  --  V, Rioja, Spain, #208223 $17.95  
  • Alvento 'Elige' 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 91-2  --  V, Vineland, Ontario, #226019  $19.95
  • Alvento 'Sondra' Merlot Cabernet Franc 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Vineland, 91-2  --  V, Ontario, #207332 $23.95 
  • Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir 2009, 91-2  -- V, Rutherford, California, #130138 $26.95
  • Vina la Rosa ‘La Capitana’ Carmènere 2009,  90-2  --  V, Cachapoal Valley, Chile,  #169896 $13.95
  • L.A. Cetto ‘Valle de Guadalupe’ Zinfandel 2008, 88-2  --  V, Baja, Mexico, #405605  $10.95
  • Compagnia di Volpaia Citto 2008,  85-1  --  V, Tuscany, Italy, #134817 $11.70
  • Tawse Cabernet Franc 'Laundry Vineyard' 2009 VQA Lincoln Lakeshore,  83  --  O, Vineland, Ontario, #Winery  $31.95
  • Alvento 'Aria' Nebbiolo 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  82  --  V, Vineland, Ontario, #167874  $21.35 

  • Tawse Chardonnay 'Estate Vineyards' 2009 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 89  --  O, Vineland, Ontario, #Winery $29.95 
  • Alvento 'Vio' Viognier 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 88 --  O, Vineland, Ontario,  #Winery  $25.95
  • Tawse Riesling 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 87  --  O, Vineland, Ontario, #Winery $19.95
  • Sue-Ann Staff Estate Robert’s Block Riesling 2009 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 87  --  V, St. Catharines, Ontario, #231415 $20.95
  • Alvento ‘Vio’ Viognier 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 84 --  O, Vineland, Ontario,  #Winery  $23.95
  • Domaine des Aspes Viognier 2009, 83  --  V, Languedoc, France, #712638 $15.95
  • Alvento ‘Vio’ Viognier 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 82 --  O, Vineland, Ontario,  #Winery  $19.95 
  • Donini Collezione Rubicone Trebbiano Chardonnay 2009, 80  --  G, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, #160317 (1000mL) $9.45 
  • Tawse Sauvignon Blanc 'Laundry Vineyard' 2010 VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, 80  --  O, Vineland, Ontario, #Winery  $24.95   
  • McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2010, 79  --  V, Adelaide Hills, Australia, #225441 $19.95

  • Tawse ‘Sketches’ Rosé 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  85  --  V, Vineland, Ontario,  #172643  $14.95

  • Jackson-Triggs Entourage Silver Series Brut Méthode Classique 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 92-2  --  V, NOTL, Ontario, #234161 $22.95 
  • Pierrel les Oressences Brut Champagne NV,  91  --  V, Epernay, France, #167502  $42.95 

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


JACKSON-TRIGGS ENTOURAGE SILVER SERIES BRUT MÉTHODE CLASSIQUE 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula, NOTL, Ontario, 12.0% XD, #234161  $22.95  (Tasted July 20, 2011)  CS

  A Vintages release on June 25, 2011.  My notes: A Vincor product and a blend of 70% Pinot Noir & 30% Chardonnay. First fermented in stainless steel tanks and then secondary fermentation in the bottle (Méthode Classique). A foam of minute, mid size & large bubbles burst in the glass then subside quickly with a mild aroma of buttered toast. A mid gold colour, the bubbles continue to provide a full spritz from the initial sip to well into a delayed finish. Clean pear and apple flavours combine with a steely mouthfeel and a chalk dry ending. Has a pleasing extra dry appeal for toasting good wishes, as an accompaniment with fresh oysters or as a refresher on a hot humid Ontario July day - a twist of lime is my preference.  Should cellar well into the next decade with deepening shadows and mellowing depth.  92

SUE-ANN STAFF ESTATE  ROBERT'S BLOCK RIESLING 2009 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Vineland, Ontario, 11.0% XD, #231415  $20.95  (Tasted July 4, 2011)  CS

A Vintages release on June 11, 2011. My notes: The website claims the grapes are ‘exclusively from the Estate vineyard’ in the Twenty Mile Bench area and yet the VQA is a wider source, the Niagara Peninsula.  Also ‘Selected yeasts’ were used for fermentation - a winemaker‘s choice. Crystal clear with a touch of green and a lightish scent of floral and lime in the nose. There’s no hint of sweet in the first taste altho’ with fried lime, cumin chili powder and cilantro seasoned tilapia it offered a milder touch compared to a NZ sauvignon blanc - amazing what buds will do when combined with food. The finish ends with delicate mineral, lime and dry on the palate. Cellaring should be OK but not likely to add more character.  87

DONINI COLLEZIONE RUBICONE ‘TREBBIANO CHARDONNAY’ 2009, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, 12.0% D, #160317 (1000mL) $9.45  (Tasted July 14, 2011)  CS

A General listing described as a white to be served with finger foods. A pale straw yellow colour; light aroma; green apple flavour, light body, short finish.  My notes: Recommended in a Tweet with a price that piqued my curiosity. A blond colour and an almost imperceptible aroma of apple. The first sip has a light flavour of green apple shifting quickly to a somewhat grassy and chalk dry mineral taste that stays until the next sip. Serve at an open bar as an economical finger food sipper. Becomes uninteresting in a short time. Paired OK with Swiss Chalet chicken breast and baked potato. A simple drink now.  80

ALVENTO WINERY , Vineland Station, Niagara Peninsula
Alvento Tying Party
Grapes are grown on the Alvento Winery's 16 acre waterfront vineyard at Harbour Jordan  on the Niagara Peninsula. The soil is a typical sandy loam and grapes are hand harvested then carefully sorted. Their website describes the processes for their wines as: Red wines follow a traditional vinification in temperature regulated stainless tanks with twice daily pumping. This is followed by malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tank then aged for 18-20 months in Burgundy Oak barrels. Clarification by egg whites.  Their white, 100% Viognier, follows crushing of the grapes with gentle pressing. The juice is clarified in stainless steel then fermented in 2/3 new French Oak barrel and 1/3 stainless steel. Juice is left on lees (sur lie) and stirred regularly into the wine (batonnage) - it is unfiltered.  I was interested in a vertical tasting of three Viognier vintages. An aside: Why pick a VQA of Niagara Peninsula if all of the grapes come from Lincoln Lakeshore? the location of Jordan Harbour.

The Domaine des Aspes Viognier 2009 was added as a 4th in the blind tasting.
DOMAINE DES ASPES VIOGNIER 2009, Languedoc, France, 13.5%  XD, #712638  $15.95  ( Retasted July 9, 2011/Tasted April 23, 2011)  CS
A Vintages release on March 19, 2011.   My notes:  A soft nose almost imperceptible - like sniffing cool water. A light blond colour with a thin film and slow tears. Much improved offchill.  The first sip has a pleasing astringency, a slight silk and a long refreshing acid with mild flavours of stone fruit. The finish retains the brightness ending pithy dry with stone fruit  flavour. Should be okay as a polite social sipper for a general crowd or on the summer patio, as an aperitif with a cold buffet mostly cheeses, sliced party meats or ‘pigs in a blanket’. Would not complement a hot meal well. A drink now.  83 

ALVENTO 'VIO' VIOGNIER 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Vineland, Ontario, 12.2% XD, #Winery  $23.95  (Tasted July 9, 2011)  CS
My notes: A deeper gold, but not ’old gold’, and a firm film leaving long legs from a lacy edge. There’s a scent of cool butter that accumulates as the bowl warms. A strong astringency fronts a first taste of mild clover honey and lemon that lasts awhile then ends dry edging citrus remnants. Went well with the cheddar cheese tray and a Quiznos Italian footlong. A mild nose and flavours take backseat to reasonable astringency that pairs well with assorted party foods. A drink now.  84  

ALVENTO 'VIO' VIOGNIER 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Vineland, Ontario, 13.5% XD, #Winery  $25.95  (Tasted July 9, 2011)  CS

. My notes: ‘Tiny bubbles in my wine’ - A Don Ho, Connie Frances or Dean Martin hit? This Viognier leaves tiny bubbles clinging to the glass while the film quickly fragments into a lacy islands.  A delicate spice aroma slowly accumulates, the colour is a crystal clear new gold and there’s a pungency in the first sip that gradually settles over a long finish that ends dry with savoury remnants of the first flavours - a combination of grapefruit, mild banana and faint cream. A Viognier lacking floral or fruit but still with interesting set of unique flavours when tasted solo - I recommend slightly off chill. Pair with seafood, mild chicken or cheesy pastas - went well with aged Balderson cheddar. Could develop more savoury depth if cellared a few years otherwise at peak now.  88

. ALVENTO 'VIO' VIOGNIER 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Vineland, Ontario, 12.0% XD, #Winery  $19.95  (Tasted July 9, 2011)  CS

. My notes: Fewer bubbles, which is neither here nor there, in this vintage. The colour is a light blond. The nose and flavour are similar but more delicate than the 2007. The film recedes more slowly but eventually separates into islands. The first sip is less pungent being nicely balanced with a savoury blend of white grapefruit and mild banana - no detectable cream this time. The finish is dry - a crisp, clean, refreshing sipper. Went nicely with a tray of new and aged cheddars and may with a buffet of sausage rolls, sliced meats, olives - may not hold its own for a hot meal. The fruit isn't dominant - there's more process present.  A drink now. 82   
ALVENTO  'ARIA' NEBBIOLO 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Vineland, Ontario, 12.5% XD, #167874   $21.35  (Tasted July 12, 2011)  CS
A Vintages release and given the nod by David Lawrason in a Tweet. My notes: 100% Nebbiolo grapes hand picked from Alvento’s single vineyard in Niagara. Came with a price sticker of $25.95 so has been discounted. The nose leads to a mystery - just delicate enough for uncertainty and distinct enough for cherries, a silky character and soft earth tones. A ripe cherry colour with a suspicion of brick swirls a firm film flowing long slow legs. Sharp and silky, minimal fruit, mild tannin, lasting a long while then finishing extra dry. An oldworld Italian style having an acerbic prominence. A meal red rather than a sipper. Have with seasoned grilled beef, lamb shank or marinated pork (Asian Pork Chops). Also has a mystery of a future - if you like process another six years may settle the acids but what else happens is a question - I'd say it's past due.  82 .

ALVENTO 'SONDRA' 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Vineland, Ontario, 12.5% XD, #207332  $23.95  (Tasted July 7, 2011)  CS
A Vintages release on January 8, 2011.  Rated 88 by David Lawrason and described (undated) as ‘pleasant, nicely maturing mid-weight merlot, with considerable dill, tobacco, vanilla and wood spice on the nose. Not a fruit-driven wine, but appealing regardless… quite smooth, with dry but not austere tannin on the finish. Etc.’  My notes: A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. This deserves airing a half hour to dissipate minor bottle odours then a smoky wood and spicy plum accumulates. The colour has that aged ruby look, kind of sultry. A swirl sticks a firm film to the sides and sheds streams of long tears. The first sip is velvety smooth and herbal flavours combined with red cherries stirring lots of interest - then declines on a woody, vanilla combo ending dry, full of oldworld elegance.  A wine for savoury pasta dishes, veal scaloppini or schnitzel, pot roast - something in a red wine sauce. This may keep awhile longer however is drinking well now.  89   PS. I decanted and left this wine overnight. Another day and it has developed exotic flavours and a prolonged finish - which carries aromas and textures to coat the palate and an interesting blend of vanilla, dark fruit and fine tobacco. A super chameleon of a red and at least a 91. .

ALVENTO  'ELIGE' 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Vineland, Ontario, 12.5% XD, #226019  $19.95  (Tasted July 13, 2011)  CS

A Vintages release on June 11, 2011 with notes from David Lawrason  (November 2010) and a rating of 91. ‘… The nose is surprisingly intense, piquant and complex marrying 65% cabernet sauvignon blackcurrant, with (33%) cab franc tobacco, some (2%) merlot suppleness, and leathery, meaty Euro-inspired aromas. It's medium-full bodied, elegant and taut with some cabernet sauvignon greenness and edgy sourness on the finish… etc.’  My notes:  According to the LCBO this was by ‘Bodega Foster S.A.’ The blend for this vintage and for 2006 is a change from the previous vintages, 2004 & 2005, which was 60%, 20%, 20%. This is an opaque garnet hued ruby and a viscous film running long slow tears gives an impression of quiet elegance. The first sip takes a well balanced approach: a distinct tang, moderate tannins, black cherry/berry flavours and a slight dry wood. The flavour of just ripened fruit lasts a long while accompanied by a medium-bodied texture then ends quietly. I found it to be a refreshing sipper to serve to any crowd. Have with prime rib, lamb or tuna steak. Drinking well now, should cellar several years and I suspect will continue to improve.  91 

. TAWSE RIESLING 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Vineland, Ontario, 10.3% D, #Winery  $19.95  (Tasted July 6, 2011)  CS
12,000 bottles produced:  My notes: Almost clear in the glass otherwise a faint blond and an aroma to match - perhaps faint lime. The film establishes itself well with a lacy edge and a few long slow tears. The first sip is where the flavour, texture and balanced acid is - a surprising lightish medium-bodied sipper and suited to the steamed lobster dish served tonight. The finish carries the tang well adding a touch of dry limey fullness to satisfy the plumpest lobster - & other white fish entrees. Not for cellaring.  87  

TAWSE CHARDONNAY 'ESTATE VINEYARDS' 2009 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Vineland, Ontario, 13.0% D, #Winery  $29.95  (Tasted July 7, 2011)   CS

6,800 bottles produced:  My notes: A yellow gold colour with a lightly sharp, butter grapefruit nose, a thin film with a lacy receding edge and a first sip that is well balanced with butter, acid and delicate lime/lemon/grapefruit flavours. The smoothness and flavours stay on the palate until fading, slowly, to a dry clay, mineral aftertaste. A polite sipper that couldn’t offend even an ABC imbiber. Have with light chicken or seafood dishes - beautiful before and after but faded with a chicken breast stuffed with brie, spinach and cheese. Cellaring for several years is likely - expect some softening and more butter, not too much flavour change.  89

TAWSE CABERNET FRANC 'LAUNDRY VINEYARD' 2009 VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Vineland, Ontario, 13.0% D, #Winery  $31.95  (Tasted July 19, 2011)  CS

7,600 bottles produced:  My notes: Perhaps this is an example of 'cool climate' or another euphemism for thin and moderately flavoured. The nose has a bright scent of cherries, the colour is a deep ruby and shows a film that runs quick tears before forming lacy islands suggestive of its lightness. The first sip is well balanced with tannins matching acid, dry with steely plum/berry flavours providing initial interest before fading to a woody cherry finish. More of a meal red than a sipper and a drink now. Pair with pork roast, prime rib or sweet Italian sausage.  83 .

TAWSE SAUVIGNON BLANC 'LAUNDRY VINEYARD' 2010 VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Vineland, Ontario, 10.3% D, #Winery  $24.95  (Tasted July 21, 2011)  CS

1,000 bottles produced:  My notes: A scant floral aroma - not enough to identify - from a light blond colour. The film is firm on the glass producing a ring of slow tears from a fragmenting rim. The first sip pushes a sharpness in front of slight flavours of straw and melon - a touch of sweet, light to medium-bodied and more prominent offchill. The finish has a hint of dry chalk and gooseberry. Pair with light seafood, a buffet table of appetizers: shrimp ring - no sauce, 3-corner sandwiches and fried squid or scampi. A drink now.  80 .

TAWSE SKETCHES ROSÉ 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Vineland, Ontario, 12.0% D, #Winery  $14.95  (Tasted July 13, 2011)  CS

My notes: This was recently tasted in May of this year. The colour is comparable to a Tavel rosé, a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Clairette, Bourboulenc and Mourvèdre each grape being fermented separately. The Sketches Rosé, a blend of Gamay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, is crisper. The nose is a just-perceptible scent of white cherries. The first sip is quite tangy matching a green apple/light cherry flavour fading slowly as the finish carries the tartness, dry with a touch of fine silk. Perfect for quaffing on a sunny patio or having slow sips with cheese or tunafish sandwiches - also fresh oysters. A polished style for drinking now. 85

GIGONDAS LA CAVE L'INTENSE GIGONDAS 2007, Rhône, France, 15.0%  XD, #216382  $26.95  (Tasted July 4, 2011)  CS
A Vintages release on June 11, 2011 and given 5 of 5 by Steven Spurrier of Decanter (Jan 2010) and bears a Decanter Gold Award on the label.  My notes:  The deep colour of black cherry and the aroma of spicy plum, bright blackberry, mild anise and warm forest floor. The first sip is rich with mint, blackberries, dark chocolate and a faint liquorice, a rewarding initial step and alluring for more.  The soft textures combine with the flavours lasting a full term finish. Pairing with grilled, roasted, bbq’d meats would satisfy the full-bodied nature of this red. Not aggressive nor bold but plays a balanced role in a meal. At peak and will cellar for a few more years possibly adding more depth. Very nice.  93 .

COMPAGNIA DI VOLPAIA CITTO 2008, Tuscany, Italy, 13.0%  XD, #134817  $11.70  (Tasted July 6, 2011)  CS
A Vintages release on January 8, 2011.  A blend of Sangiovese and a small amount of Cabernet.  My notes:   Vintages hasn’t changed their notes since the 2007 vintage was tasted in October 2009. At that time it was priced at $13.95 and I rated it 90-2 saying ‘if you like bold and sharp it’s a sipper but more of a meal red…’ . This vintage has a crimson glow to the ruby and a film that sticks accumulating at the rim before shedding slow tears. The nose has a soft herb and leather scent - the first sip expresses dark fruit tho’ the tang surrounds the mouth masking some fruit. The tannins and texture carries enough to enjoy the blend. The finish is moderate ending with a mineral edge. This could keep a few years - today it would pair nicely with tomato and meat pasta dishes. Discounted appropriately.  85

LEALTANZA RESERVA SELECCION RIOJA 2004, Rioja, Spain,13.5%  D, #208223  $17.95  (Tasted July 23, 2011)  CS 

A Vintages release on March 19, 2011 rated 92+ by Jay Miller  (June 2010).  My notes:  The film is firm refusing to give up tears for several seconds. The colour is an opaque black cherry skin and the nose is a spicy black cherry with a hint of smoke. Full-bodied, silky smooth and rich flavours of black cherries touched with liquorice meet the palate with the concentration of a light Port then fade elegantly. Have with a Beef and Pork Ragú  sided with a Sweet Potato & Shallots Casserole. Already past seven years with fruit and character for another seven - drinking well now.  92

. BELLE GLOS MEIOMI PINOT NOIR 2009, Rutherford, California, 13.9% XD, #130138  $26.95  (Tasted July 2, 2011)  CS
. A Vintages release on June 11, 2011. Meomi means ’coast’ in the language of the Wappo tribe. A blend of 47% grapes from Sonoma County, 34% from Santa Barbara and 19% from Monterey County.  My notes:  A Caymus Vineyards label.  This was fantastic with a chicken/vegetable/asiago thin crust pizza and should do equally well with most fowl dishes. Smooth almost silky in texture, moderate in mint, plum and cherry flavours, acids and tannins with enough body to penetrate most tasty entrees. The nose is subdued but consistent with flavours. The finish decays slowly balanced until a dry, fruity ending - very nice. Not a strawberry bomb but a polite bomb nonetheless this has strong interest as a social sipper. Have with a tuna steak or veal schnitzel.  A drink now with a few years cellar potential. It's odd... a good red makes me sneeze. I'm sneezing a storm right now!   91

MCWILLIAM'S MOUNT PLEASANT ESTATE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010, Adelaide Hills, Australia, 13.0% D, #225441  $19.95  (Tasted July 21, 2011)  CS

A Vintages wine with an unknown Release date. The label says ‘…generous passion fruit and lime flavours… a touch of mineral complexity.’  My notes:  ‘A blond with a possible greenish tint, a delicate colour’ as above. The nose has a blandness that is difficult to ignore - as the chill subsides there is some gooseberry creeping through. The film laces at the top and quickly runs slow tears and fragmented islands, medium-bodied. Off-fruit flavours of the first sip and pithy ending leaves a negative impression as a sipper, however, there is a tangy dryness at the start that provides interest.  Pairing with steamed cod or grilled tilapia OK could provide a moderate freshness with a meal.  79

VIÑA LA ROSA ‘LA CAPITANA’ BARREL RESERVE  CARMÈNERE 2009, Cachapoal, Chile, 14.5% XD, #169896  $13.95  (Tasted July 26, 2011)

Vintages’ release date wasn’t given.  My notes: An opaque ruby with a purple cast and a scent of red currants blessed by warm smoke. A swirl leaves a film that clings releasing a ring of slow tears while continuing to edge down. The first sip has bright acid, moderate tannins, mellow black cherry and plum flavours all carried through a warm drying finish. A very acceptable sipper and should do well with rack of lamb, T-bone or grilling steak. Cellaring for several years is likely to develop a smoother and deeper character.  90    

PIERREL LES ORESSENCES BRUT CHAMPAGNE NV, Epernay, France, 12.0% XD, #167502   $42.95  (Tasted July 17, 2011)  CS

A Vintages release on June 25, 2011. My notes:  A beautiful golden bottle for our 50th Anniversary.  I hope it lives up to appearances. There’s a full head of bubbles on pouring and continuing through many sips. A mid gold colour, very dry from the first sip through a long finish with steady streams of fine bubbles. There’s a delicate apple pie with a touch of spicy caramel but not distinct aroma, a mild tartness from the bubbles - refreshing. The flavour is full crème caramel in a glass even finishing with a toasted taint and tart apple to maintain its freshness. Have to celebrate a special occasion or to pair with a slice of warmed apple pie, a shrimp plate or salty crackers. A drink now.  91 

L.A. CETTO ‘VALLE DE GUADALUPE’ ZINFANDEL 2008, Baja, Mexico,  14.5% XD, #405605  $10.95  (Tasted July 25, 2011)  CS
A Vintages release on July 23, 2011. My notes: Without being side by side the Petite Sirah and Zinfandel could be mistaken one or t’other. The Zinfandel has less fruit on the nose. The colour and firmness of the film is the same running long tears from a fixed rim. Full-bodied with a first sip that has a pleasing nip, a soft tannin and body filling the mouth with mostly spicy blackberry. The finish starts with noticeable fruit fades modestly then ends warm and dry.  Pair with  Beef & Pork Ragu or a similar well seasoned stew. This should keep for five years or so but drinking well now - worth a try due to the price but I’d go yearly.  88

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