Monday, October 01, 2012

October 2012 Wines: 25 Tasted of 25

The start of wines to be tasted during October are listed below. Included so far are seven Ontario VQAs consisting of two from Cave Spring Estate, two from Flat Rock Cellars, and singles from Colio Estate Vineyards, Angels Gate and Tawse. Among the twenty-five there are five Pinot Noir, four Chardonnay, two Sauvignon Blanc, a viognier and two bubbly.

Perhaps illustrating what a difference a vintage makes are the two 'O's from France.

If you have a chance pick up a bottle let me know what you think. We don`t have to match - your taste is yours and mine is mine.

Happy tasting, Ww

THE LINEUP - grouped by reds, whites, rosés, bubblies and other:

  • 'O' Pinot Noir by Gilles Louvet Organic 2010,  90-2 --  G, Narbonne, France, #292995   $13.95
  • J.P. Chenet Limited Release Premier de Cuvée Pinot Noir 2011, 89-2  --  G, Midi, France, #142406   $11.95
  • Ferraton Père & Fils Plan de Dieu Côtes de Rhône-Village 2009,  89-2  --  V, Rhône, France, #074229   $15.95
  • Domaine Boisson Côtes du Rhône-Villages Cairanne 2009, 89a-1  --  V, Vaucluse, France,  #264630  $19.95 
  • Vina Tarapacà Gran Reserva Carmenere 2010, 88a-1  --  V, Maipo Valley, Chile,  #057513  $16.95 
  • Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir 2010 VQA Niagara Escarpment, 88a-1  --  V, Jordan, Ontario, #001545  $19.95
  • Flat Rock Cellars Gravity Pinot Noir 2010 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, 87  --  V, Jordan, Ontario, #001560  $29.95 
  • Cave Spring Estate Cave Red 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 86-1a  --  G, Jordan, Ontario, #305110  $14.95
  • J.P. Chenet Premier de Cuvée Merlot Cabernet 2010, 85-1  --  G, Pays d'Oc, France,  #621995 $10.95*  
  • Fuzion Alta Reserve Malbec 2011, 83  -- G, Maipu, Argentina, #135475 $9.95
  • 'O' Pinot Noir by Gilles Louvet Organic 2011,  83 --  G, Narbonne, France, #292995   $13.95 
  • Gabbiano Chianti Classico DOCG 2009, 83  --  G, Chianti, Italy,  #292995 $14.95* 
  • Château Paul Mas Clos des Mures 2010 Coteaux de Languedoc, 83a  --  V, Midi, France, #286393  $18.95 

  • Anakena Lilen Single Vineyard Viognier 2011, 92-3  --  V,  Rapel Valley, Chile,  #045138 $14.95
  • Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011, 92-2  --  V,  Marlborough, NZ, #677450    $21.95
  • Quintay Q Sauvignon Blanc 2011, 90-2  --  V, Casablanca, Chile, #276493 $14.95 
  • Tawse Quarry Road Riesling 2011 VQA Vinemount Ridge, 88  --  V, Vineland, Ontario, #198853  $23.95 
  • Cave Spring Estate Cave White 2011 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 87a-1  --  G, Jordan, Ontario, #305128  $14.95
  • William Fèvre Champs Royaux Chablis 2011, 85  --  G, Burgundy, France, #276436  $22.05
  • Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2010, 84  --  V, Casablanca Valley, Chile, #738393 $17.95
  • Angels Gate Mountainview Chardonnay 2010 VQA Beamsville Bench,  83  --  V, Beamsville, Ontario, #116384  $18.95 
  • J.P. Chenet Reserve Premier de Cuvée Chardonnay 2011, 81  --  G, Pays d'Oc, France,  #255885  $9.95
  • Colio Estate Vineyards CEV Chardonnay Musqué 2007 VQA Lake Erie North Shore, 78  --  V, Harrow, Ontario, #116509  $15.55 

  • Domaine de Nerleux le Folie des Loups Brut Crémant de Loire NV,  84  --  V, Loire, France,  #048686 $16.95
  • Reyes d'Aragon Brut Reserva Cava 2009, 79  --  V,  Calatuyad, Spain, #194803  $13.95
(V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, NR - Not Rated)


CHÂTEAU PAUL MAS CLOS DES MÛRES 2010 COTEAUX DU LANGUEDOC, Midi, France, 14.0%  D  4g/L,  #286393  $18.95  (Tasted October 30, 2012)  CS
Released by Vintages on August 18, 2012. Rated 4 of 5 by Decanter  and winner of a Silver Medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards  (2011). With a bottle weight of close to 2 lbs. and 88,772 produced there's potential for over 80 Tons of glass in landfill as well as a massive carbon footprint.  Designated a Grand Vin du Languedoc. The colour is a royal ruby and a swirl lays a firm film to shed long legs from a continuous rim. The nose has a soft berry scent. The first sip has a penetrating tang, fine tannins and a background of woody red cherry flavours. The finish is moderate ending extra dry and brambly. Aerating lessens the overall sharpness without affecting flavours or texture and is preferred. A meal red to pair with dark meat fowl or bbq'd pork ribs or chops with a cherry sauce. A drink now.  83a

ERRÁZURIZ WILD FERMENT CHARDONNAY 2010, Casablanca Valley, Chile, 14.5% D 2.18g/L, #738393 $17.95 (Tasted October 18, 2012)  CS
Released by Vintages on May 12, 2012. Rated 88 by James Molesworth  (Nov 30, 2011)  My notes: The 'Wild Ferment' Pinot Noir, 2005 and 2007 vintages, were tasted previously without high ratings - I wondered how a wild white will fare? Spicy pear, honey and lime are scents that come to mind when sniffing. A pale gold tinted slightly green and producing a film that sticks then separates from a lacy rim. The first sip is stringent, strongly flavoured with enough honey to tame a clean-your-teeth subtle lemon/lime - still with lots of tang left to be refreshing, if you're so inclined. Ends dry with dominant flavour remnants. A flexible sipper not solo but with a buffet table of choices or pair with a salmon steak, lemon scallops with brown rice or spicy Thai. Could keep for several years without improving. A drink now.  84

ANGELS GATE MOUNTAINVIEW CHARDONNAY 2010 VQA Beamsville Bench, Beamsville, Ontario, 13.5%  D  2g/L,  #116384  $18.95  (Tasted October 26, 2012)  CS

Released by Vintages on July 20, 2012 and rated 90 by Gord Stimmell   (May 31, 2012).  My notes: A faint tart nutty nose and a mid gold colour. The film sticks then flows long legs, an interesting decoration if one looks. Silky with an orange melon blend, a touch of sweet (my guess is 12g/L) and a lengthy finish ending with a tangy citrus almond pear combination. A smidge too viscous and a different flavour blend for my chardonnay - perhaps an Ontario view. Sip if you lean to Ontario... have with chicken cordon bleu or apple stuffed pork chop. A drink now.  83

FERRATON PÈRE & FILS PLAN DE DIEU CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGE 2009, Rhône, France, 14.5% XD 5g/L, #074229   $15.95  (Tasted October 3, 2012)  CS
Released by Vintages on September 15, 2012 and rated 89 by James Molseworth  (May 31, 2011).  My notes: Lays a thin film on the glass that slowly fragments into lacy islands. Has a dusty ruby shade and a spicy black cherry plum aroma. A pronounced acid brightens the palate and a smooth texture tries to appease while a soft flavour of cherry preserve entertains. In the end the flavours and texture win leaving the mouth dry, silky and warm. A pleasing earthy sipper with enough length for interest. Have with T-bone steak or beef eaters delight pizza. A drink now or cellar up to four years. 89

CAVE SPRING ESTATE CAVE RED 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Jordan, Ontario, 13.0% XD 5g/L, #305110  $14.95  (Tasted October 1, 2012)  CS
A General listing. My notes:A dusty ruby colour with a dusty blackberry strawberry scent, slow to develop, to start the tasting. The film is smooth on the glass and recedes very quickly from a continuous lacy rim. The first sip has a silky touch and a polite acid to complement berry flavours. Tannins leave the palate dry along with flavour remnants then ends with a touch of tobacco and bramble.  A meal red with some appeal as a sipper - better with a buffet of nibbles or have with T-bones grilled on the barbecue or beef tenderloin both covered in sautéed mushrooms. Aerating brings fruit forward slightly and is recommended. A drink now.  86a

CAVE SPRING ESTATE CAVE WHITE 2011 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Jordan, Ontario, 12.5% XD 3g/L, #305128   $14.95  (Tasted October 16, 2012)  CS
A General listing.  My notes: A crystal clear pale blond with a thin film that leaves a lacy rim to recede to a few small nodules. The first sip follows the nose having a taste of grapefruit pith, a touch of gooseberry and mineral the latter coming forward during a long extra dry finish. I found sipping needed a buffet selection: your choice of firm cheeses, stuffed mushrooms, shrimp ring or seared scallops. Aerating softened a light bitterness. Have with a slice of lime or lemon and cube for summer drinking - texture is great with Swiss Chalet chicken or leftover Turkey. A clean drink now.  87a 

REYES D'ARAGON BRUT RESERVA CAVA 2009,  Calatuyad, Spain, 11.5%  D  10g/L, #194803  $13.95  (Tasted October 24, 2012)  CS
Released by Vintages on September 1, 2012. A Bodegas Langa Hnos Brut and a blend of 70% Macabeo and 30% Chardonnay.   My notes: Priced at $8 in the US.  A mid gold that bursts with a full range of bubbles then continuous streams from the glass. The nose is a blend of a light lacquer, Bosc pear and soft lime that fills the first sip with a medium-bodied, tart date and lime flavour. Not my idea of a toasting bubbly nor one to drink unless with broiled garlic toasts or bruschetta.  May complement escargot or hard shelled crustacean pieces with a salsa sauce. I believe the process has distorted the blend of two fine grapes. Not for the cellar. An acquired taste - not mine.  79

DOMAINE BOISSON CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES CAIRANNE 2009, Vaucluse, France, 15.0% D 4g/L, #264630  $19.95  (Tasted October 23, 2012)  CS
Released by Vintages on May 12, 2012 and rated 90 by Robert Parker Jr.  (October 2010).   My notes: A blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre and 10% Carignan.  A nose of peppery berry edged with light tobacco and a deep plum opaque to view. The film sticks and leaves a contiguous rim hanging several slow tears. Full-bodied with furry tannins covering the throat and tongue, a light spice added to a light acid and extra dry to start a long warm finish with a cherry twist. Aerating lessens furriness. Doesn't reach 'hot' in spite of the alcohol level. Sip with a taste breaker, ie. stuffed mushrooms or bacon wrapped asparagus or pair with a veal stew. A drink now.  89a

TAWSE QUARRY ROAD RIESLING 2011 VQA Vinemount Ridge, Vineland, Ontario, 10.0%  M  21g/L, #198853   $23.95  (Tasted November 3, 2012)  CS
Released by Vintages on March 31, 2012 and rated 92 by John Szabo, MS (August 2012).  My notes:A light golden blond with a delicate pear apple scent, subtle floral if given a few minutes to develop. A thin film lays a lacy rim then slowly slides down. A touch of sweet apple and a thin chalk followed by a luscious density and more dolomite. A whisper of petrol, in the background, with the build-up of chalk gives additional interest as a sipper. Have with Thai or Chinese - not too seasoned... or with a white fish filet on a bed of rice with pineapple/mango sauce. Should develop more over three years - a crowd pleaser now. 88

VIÑA TARAPACÁ GRAN RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2010, Maipo Valley, Chile,  14.5%  XD  4g/L, #057513  $16.95  (Tasted November 1, 2012)  CS
Released by Vintages on September 1, 2012.  My notes:A musty but brightly edged cherry aroma with the colour of black cherries. Decanting or aerating (my choice) is recommended. The film is viscous with a solid rim and many long slow legs. The first sip has a penetrating acid, is smooth and has flavours of cranberry, plum and faint cedar, extra dry and full-bodied ending very warm. I'd guess, since I'm not a cigar lover, this would sip nicely with a mellow smoke - but not solo. Pair with a cheese tray, with gamey meats or Barbarian rubbed steaks or ribs. Cellaring for several years could work out - drink now then decide.  88a     

FLAT ROCK CELLARS PINOT NOIR 2010 VQA Niagara Escarpment, Jordan, Ontario,  12.5%  XD  5g/L,  #001545  $19.95  (Tasted October 11, 2012)  CS
Release by Vintages on April 18, 2012.  My notes: A sombre hue to a deep strawberry black cherry red and a first sniff of crushed strawberries. A swirl leaves a thin film to quickly recede from a lacy rim until only a minor trace is left. A pleasing tang, fine tannins, beet juice, strawberry, a silky texture and a long mineral finish all set the stage for sipping. The emphasis here leans to process rather than fresh fruit. Tonight we'll have it with grilled Atlantic salmon (did not pair - went to a Chard). I found decanting/aerating increased the smoothness while mellowing some of the acid so would recommend - the difference is subtle. Cellaring several years is likely - try two at a time. 88a

FLAT ROCK CELLARS GRAVITY PINOT NOIR 2010 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Jordan, Ontario,  13.2%  XD  3g/L,  #001560  $29.95  (Tasted October 13, 2012)  CS
Release date by Vintages is unknown.  My notes: There's a crushed strawberry hue to a clear and crisp colour and a hint of cedar to a sour cherry sniff. A swirl leaves a thin film and lacy rim that quickly recedes into small islands. The first sip has a crushed cherry flavour, earthy with a light tannin & matching acid, and a depth that carries into a long extra dry mineral finish. A rush to judgment could miss the subtleties as character builds with each sip. Aerating an oz. provided a side by side comparison but there's no difference. A lightweight to sip or to pair - quaff with a cheese or pastry tray, party shrimp - no dip. For a meal I'd try thinly sliced cold turkey or chicken breast with asparagus, scallops seared in butter or in a creamy pasta - no garlic. A drink now for Ontario oenophiles.  87

COLIO ESTATE VINEYARDS CEV CHARDONNAY MUSQUÉ 2007 VQA Lake Erie North Shore, Harrow, Ontario,  12.4% D 7.5g/L, #116509  $15.55  (Tasted October 14, 2012)  CS
Vintages Release date is not given.  My notes:  This could be the first white from this sub-app, Lake Erie North Shore, and from this winery I've tasted. The colour is a mid yellow and the nose has a faint vanilla and citrus scent. The film sticks to the sides until accumulating then flowing slow tears. The first sip has a lemon tang, a viscosity carrying lemon flavours then into a long, extra dry citrus, spice and light butterscotch finish. Unappealing as a sipper with the process masking marginal natural fruit  - perhaps an unfamiliar terroir. Pair with roast chicken or pork chops with orange or mango sauce. Was compatible with Turkey Burgers and green salad.  A drink now.  78

'O' PINOT NOIR BY GILLES LOUVET ORGANIC 2010, Narbonne, France, 13.5% D 7g/L, #292995   $13.95  (Tasted October 13, 2012)  CS
A General listing produced by Celliers Du Languedoc Vins Distribu.  My notes:  The 'O' is for Organic. John Szabo, MS gave this a thumbs up. The colour is of black cherry skins and shows a film that slowly drains on the glass from an initially smooth rim. The nose has a blackberry with a few raspberries in the blend and earthy. Medium-bodied, silky smooth, a good tang. a layer of fine tannins and flavours of raspberry/blackberry slow to come forward but builds. The finish is bright and long, extra dry and on the earthy side. I enjoyed this as a sipper and it's likely a crowd pleaser. Pair with grilled or roasted beef, wild meats and meat lovers' pizza. Aged two years now and could develop further over another four before declining. No change with aerating.  90 

'O' PINOT NOIR BY GILLES LOUVET ORGANIC 2011, Narbonne, France, 13.5% XD 7g/L, #292995   $13.95  (Tasted November 15, 2012)  CS

My notes:  I noticed the 2011 vintage was on the General shelf and wanted to see if there were differences from the 2010. Similar but a lighter colour, a thinner film with a lacy rim draining through fast legs. A scant berry nose and a first sip being lighter in body with drying tannins and appealing flavours of red cherries - leaves the mouth dry. An OK sipper but not outstanding. A quaffer. Pair with meat lover's pizza or grilled sausage on a bun. I'd say leave the 2011 on the shelf for someone else.  83  

J.P. CHENET LIMITED RELEASE PREMIER DE CUVÉE PINOT NOIR 2011, Midi, France, 12.5% XD 4g/L, #142406   $11.95  (Tasted October 5, 2012)  CS
A General listing made by Les Grands Chais De France.  My notes:  The colour is a purple hued ruby, dense in the glass, and a swirl leaves a smooth film with a continuous rim that slowly sheds tears. An aroma of blackberries and strawberries somewhat spicy and a tad jammy. The first sip is full of flavour, a drying tannin coats the palate while a long finish shifts to an earthiness. Extra dry and full flavoured makes this an aggressive red. I enjoyed its boldness but overall it may tire as a sipper - pair with broiled turkey or duck meat with a sausage stuffing. Could also work with grilled beef or a rich stroganoff with egg noodles. Cellaring several years may mellow some roughness. 89

DOG POINT VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011, Marlborough, NZ, 13.5% XD 5g/L, #677450   $21.95  (Tasted October 25, 2012) CS

Released by Vintages on September 29, 2012 and produced by ex-Cloudy Bay Ivan Sutherland and James Healy.  My notes:  As far as the nose, Cloudy Bay has followed the winemaker to Dog Point. Beautifully full of Marlborough gooseberries, rich, tang with a real fruit mild sugar. You can sense the saltspray in the air from a sun drenched Ocean. A touch of spritz in a light straw colour and a moderate film running long legs hint of silk which is confirmed by the first sip. Except for the soft texture there's the same terroir as CB, the same tang and inviting flavours to interest a sipper. Have with lightly seasoned fish, tilapia, cod or halibut on a bed of basmati rice. Cellar four years then check - drinking well now.  Serve well chilled.  92

QUINTAY 'Q' SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011, Casablanca, Chile, 13.0% XD 3g/L, #276493  $14.95  (Tasted November 1, 2012)  CS

Release by Vintages on April 14, 2012.  My notes: A light blond and aromas of freshly crushed gooseberries, delicious. Leaves a slowly receding rim with a few slow tears. Quite tangy on the first and then, every sip, extra drying and a lightish medium-bodied with a fruit that's refreshing. Sip or quaff on a hot day or with a buffet table of hors d'oeuvres: bacon wrapped asparagus, brick and soft cheeses - or with a range of seafoods and fowl entrées. Finishes leaving a chalky dryness. Cellar for a few years but is drinking well now. Stock up if you want an economical kiwi style savvy on hand. 90-2

DOMAINE DE NERLEUX LE FOLIE DES LOUPS BRUT CRÉMANT DE LOIRE NV, Loire, France, 12.5%  XD  7g/L, #048686   $16.95  (Tasted tbd)  CS

Released by Vintages on August 4, 2012 and rated 88 by John Szabo, MS (March 30, 2010).  My notes:  A mid golden colour and a release of a profusion of bubbles of all sizes but no fine froth at the rim. Tart apple and soft pastry compose most of the nose, made more refreshing by the level of spritz that tickles the palate adding another dimension - flavours are faint lemon and light crabapple. The finish ends extra dry with a metallic touch. Perhaps too tart for a general crowd - have with raw oysters, battered fish filets or halibut and chips. Tonight we'll pair with pickerel lightly panko'd and pan fried.  84

FUZION  ALTA RESERVE MALBEC 2011, Maipu, Argentina, 13.5% XD 4g/L, #135475  $9.95  (Tasted October 28, 2012)  CS

A General listing.  My notes:  The 2008 vintage was enjoyed in October 2009 and rated 90 saying 'not bold, not demonstrative but a pleasing sipper'. Either me or the wine took a dip when the 2009 vintage was tasted in June 2011 rated 80.  The 2011 has the soft purple of Malbec with a nose that seems reluctant to show, then a light black- rasp- berry. The first sip is double smooth, a lightish medium-body. Flavours of smoky blackberry with a texture of suede, respectably tangy for sipping. Pair with grilled meats or Italian sausage. Nobody could be offended with this as a house red (free). I'd say it's more like a Merlot except for the colour.  A drink now.  83

ANAKENA LILÉN SINGLE VINEYARD VIOGNIER 2011,  Rapel Valley, Chile, 13.5%  D  xg/L, #045138  $14.95  (Tasted November 9, 2012)  CS

Released by Vintages on August 18, 2012.  My notes:  The 2010 vintage, a loonie less, was rated 90 August 20th last year.  A subtle floral papaya greets the nose from a delicate crisp golden making this appealing from the start. A swirl lays a lacy film that recedes slowly and evenly. The first sip introduces a silky tangy texture, flavour of papaya and lychee nut starting a long luscious finish ending refreshing and dry with a touch of mineral oil on the lips. Pleasing as a sipper and with sufficient character to complement a wide range of seafoods. Cellar for a few years. 92

J.P. CHENET RESERVE PREMIER DE CUVÉE CHARDONNAY 2011, Pays d'Oc, France, 13.0% XD 5g/L, #255885   $9.95  (Tasted October 10, 2012)  CS

A General listing.  My notes:  A clean & deep lemon colour with a touch of butter with lemon on the nose. The film is thin and leaves a lacy rim before falling gradually wihtout a trace left behind. The first sip has butter, lemon, lime, pineapple flavours, medium-bodied with a sharp acid accent. The finish is long ending with mild pineapple edged, grassy with slightly burnt butter. A commercial sipper if that's your bent... more of a meal white strong enough to complement flavourful roast chicken, a vegetarian pizza or even breaded salmon steaks. A drink now and an alternative to [yellowtail].  81

J.P. CHENET PREMIER DE CUVÉE MERLOT CABERNET 2010, Pays d'Oc, France, 13.0%  D  8g/L, #621995  $10.95*  (Tasted October 17, 2012)  CS

A General listing and *price reduced from $11.95 until October 14th.  My notes:  This vintage was tasted in March this year and rated 84... I'll see if I get the same results this time around with the new temporary price. A dense ruby colour leaving a lacy rim quickly draining through long fast legs. The first sip is silky, with modest tannins and lightly tart wrapped around earthy flavours of raspberry and blackberry. A dry, fruity sipper with a long mellow finish. Have with meaty pizzas or well done rack of lamb. Spicy entrees may overpower this red - stick to wine sauces or lightly rosemary'd roast turkey or sausage stuffed quail.  A social hour drink now.  85

GABBIANO  CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG 2009,  Chianti, Italy, 13.5% XD  4g/L,  #219808  $14.95*  (Tasted November 3, 2012)  CS


A General listing and *price reduced from $16.95 until October 14th.  My notes: Their 2008 Pinot Grigio, #77990 @ $12.95, wasn't recommended when tasted in October 2009. Perhaps a style not amenable to me. A confusing heritage being 'A Foster'S Wine Estates and a Beringer Blass Italia label at the time. The film is firm with a solid rim and many slow tears. The nose is an earthy black cherry and plum combination and is reflected in the deep ruby colour. Silky smooth first sip, fine tannins, dry, medium full-bodied with milder flavours than the nose would tell. Aerating mellows the character minimally but is preferred... or decant. At peak and would partner with a meaty pizza, cheesy panzerotti, or tomato pastas dish.  83   

WILLIAM FÈVRE CHAMPS ROYAUX CHABLIS 2011, Burgundy, France, 12.5%  XD  4g/L, #276436  $22.05  (Tasted November 11, 2012)  CS

A General listing.  My notes:Several vintages have been tasted in past years, each rated 90+ and showing some improvement with cellaring. This vintage is priced $1.30 higher.  The colour has a tint of green in the light gold with a clarity of a diamond. The nose has negligible gooseberry compared to past vintages with possibly a touch of apple - disappointing. The film sticks showing a light layer and shedding long fast legs. The first sip is tangy, has a silky texture but fairly light-bodied with green apple flavours going into a finish having a touch of oil and dry mineral. Refreshing as a sipper but more of a white to pair with grilled or fried, lightly seasoned, seafood dishes. Storing a few years would be OK but not likely to improve.  85

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