Sunday, September 01, 2013

September 2013 Wines - 17 Tasted of 17

My September wines...

Cheers, Ww

THE LINEUP:  Reds, Whites then Bubblies

  • Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, 94-3  --  V, Paso Robles, California,  #738823 $19.95 
  • Yering Station Village Shiraz/Viognier 2010, 92-2  --  V,  Victoria, Australia, #311431 $21.95
  • Pedroncelli Petite Sirah 2010 Dry Creek Valley, 91-2  --  V,  Sonoma County, California,  #686691 $18.95
  • Vineland Estates Winery Pinot Meunier 2011 VQA Niagara Escarpment, 90-2  --  V,  Vineland, Ontario, #225508  $17.95
  • Famille Perrin 'Nature' Côtes du Rhône 2011, 90-2  --  V, Rhône, France, #010363 (375 mL) $9.45
  • Tournon Mathilda Victorian Shiraz 2010, 90-2  --  V, Victoria, Australia, #336966  $19.95 
  • Château Haut-Plaisance Montagne Saint Émilion 2010, 88-1  --  V,  Gironde, France, #326587 $17.00 
  • Laurence Feraud Plan Pégau 2011, 84  --  G,  Rhône, France, #312991 $15.05 
  • Jean-Philippe Janoueix L'Évidence 2011, 84  --  G, Bordeaux, France, #315226 $16.95 
  • Angels Gate Rage Red 2009 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 80  --  V, Beamsville, Ontario, #352351 $13.95 
  • Château le Chêne 2010 Haut-Médoc, 79  --  V, Bordeaux, France, #339994 $18.95

  • Brickyard Riesling 2012 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 88-1 --  G, Beamsville, Ontario, #346866 $13.95
  • Rosewood Estates Sémillon 2011 VQA Beamsville Bench, 87  --  V, Beamsville, Ontario, #177758 $17.95 
  • Cooper's Creek Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010, 84 --  V,  Marlborough, NZ, #957407 $18.95
  • Burge Family Olive Hill Premium Barossa Semillon 2011, 82 --  V, South Australia, #280917 $27.75

  • Bird in Hand Sparkling Pinot Noir 2011, 91-2 --  V, Adelaide Hills, Australia, #327429 $19.95
  • Graham Beck Méthode Cap Classique Brut Sparkling Wine NV, 87  --  V, Western Cape, South Africa,  #593483 $18.95
 (V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, NR - Not Rated)


PEDRONCELLI PETITE SIRAH 2010 DRY CREEK VALLEY, Sonoma County, California,  14.4%  XD 4g/L, #686691 $18.95  (Tasted September 6, 2013) 

Released by Vintages on July 20, 2013. The label shows a higher alcohol level than that listed by Vintages.  My notes: Earned 94 points as well as a Gold Medal at the California State Fair. Wine Enthusiast's rating was 85 points.  A purple tint to an opaque ruby and a warm scent of tobacco pouch and black currants hint at the fullness of the first sip. The sharpness is ongoing with furry black fruit coating and drying the mouth and lips over a long finish. Have with well seasoned roasted or bbq'd beef. Add to a bracing savoury sauce for bourguignon or short ribs. Cellar a dozen for a few years of dinners while putting aside a few for sipping in quiet moments. Aerating changes this red very little. 91
LIBERTY SCHOOL CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010,  Paso Robles, California, 13.5% D  7g/L,  #738823  $19.95  (Tasted September 9, 2013) 

Released by Vintages on April 18, 2013 and one of five Hope Family Wines label.  My notes: $16US on the wineries website and $21 in BC (until September 21st). Previous vintages tasted (2006 - Nov 7 '08 ($16.95), Feb 12 '09 ($17.95) and 2007-  Jan 12 '011 ($18.95)) were rated in the mid nineties. The 2010 is on the Customer Favourites shelf at the Oakville/Trafalgar LCBO - the young lady beside me volunteered "that's one of my favourites!" There's a familiar purple tint to the rich ruby and an exceptionally scented medley of dark fruit: blackberry and currant edged with a soft tang. A swirl leaves a smooth film slowly shedding columns of tears from a firm rim. A sip follows the nose with flavours and a penetrating tang. A mild lacquer note comes forward and continues through a long dry finish.  Drinking well now and should for several more years. Have with red meat dishes or just sip. 94

ANGELS GATE RAGE RED 2009 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Ontario, 13.0%  XD 6g/L,  #352351  $13.95  (Tasted September 7, 2013)

Released by Vintages on August 17, 2013.  A Meritage blend.  My notes: Not listed on Angels Gate website. True to its name this is quite young with a bitterness and bright acid that aeration doesn't soften. A swirl leaves a thin film that runs fast legs. The nose has an interesting young cherry berry scent followed by the 'excellent acidity' described by Vintages Panel (June 13 2013) which shows its full presence at the first sip. A prominent fur with bitter fruit makes this a meal red to pair with well seasoned Italian pastas/pizzas with mild to hot sausage slices. 80  Note: For a more palatable sipper I blended a third of the Pedroncelli Petite Syrah (above) but any full-bodied red could do.

JEAN-PHILIPPE JANOUEIX  L'ÉVIDENCE 2011, Bordeaux, France, 14.0%  D  7g/L,   #315226  $16.95  (Tasted September 15, 2013) 

A General listing.  My notes: Rated 3 of 5 stars by uvinum (UK) and priced at 9.67Euros ($13.50).  The website plays a video of winery operation with no other information. The colour is a deep ruby and the nose is of crushed strawberries. A swirl leaves a viscous film with a rim that swells then sheds long tears. The first sip gives a warm jab to the back of the throat then, as the warmth spreads, strawberry and red cherry balanced with astringent tannin provides a long extra dry finish.  If you prefer old world this could be a sipper but is on the flat side and woody for new world consumers. Pair with grilled or bbq'd meats or a buffet selection: bruschetta, pigs in a blanket and firm cheeses. Cellaring may lose the fruit so a drink now. 84

LAURENCE FERAUD PLAN PÉGAU 2011, Rhône, France, 13.5%  XD  5g/L, #312991  $15.05  (Tasted September 11, 2013)

A General listing.  My notes: Leaves a sign of sediment on swirling and shows a thin film, smooth, with a rounded rim and shedding columns of fast legs. There's a mild nose of strawberry and a flavour of medium-bodied strawberry surrounded by delicate tannins and slight acid making this a pleasing quaffer. The finish is light but long ending dry with milder flavour remnants. Served as a social sipper combined with conversational Bridge or Euchre matches would satisfy most. Also, served with onion rings and chicken wings could work or pair with Italian pasta and shrimp and/or scallops in a light tomato sauce. A drink now - not for cellaring.  84

CHÂTEAU HAUT-PLAISANCE MONTAGNE SAINT ÉMILION 2010,  Gironde, France,   15.0%  XD  5g/L,  #326587  $17.00  (Tasted September 13, 2013) 

Released by Vintages on April 27, 2013.  Alcohol on label is shown and differs from the Vintages listing of 13.5%.  My notes: A charcoal tinted ruby, opaque to view with an aroma of earthy plum, blueberry and raspberry - a good intro for sipping. The film is light running columns of slow tears. The first taste bites the throat then mellows as tannins layer some velvet and chocolate coated berries add a flavour interest. The finish is extra dry and flavours wane leaving the palate furry. A sipper if near a buffet table and a flexible partner with anything from lamb to meatloaf. Not as hot as expected. Will likely keep a few years but at peak now. 88

PERRIN 'NATURE' CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2011, Rhône, France,  14.0% XD 3g/L, #10363 (375 mL)  $9.45  (Tasted September 11, 2013)  CS

Released by Vintages on August 3, 2013 and rated 91 by Natalie MacLean (February 17, 2013).  My notes: A full bottle (#948059 ) is $16.95. The reserved charm of this red is revealed by its dark cherry-raspberry colour and prominent soft plum/cherry scent. A swirl hangs a chain of draping tears from a loaded rim and a sip balances a bright tang with fine tannin as backdrop for muted cherry-blueberry flavours that continue into a long extra dry finish including a light oiliness. Pair with French Onion soup w/bread and sticky cheese, a saucy peppercorn steak or, my fave,  ale braised short ribs . A drink now or cellar a few years. 90

BIRD IN HAND SPARKLING PINOT NOIR 2011, Adelaide Hills, Australia, 12.0%  D  18g/L,  #327429  $19.95  (Tasted September 6, 2013)  CS

Released  by Vintages on August 17, 2013.  My notes: Starts with a light salmon colour and a burst of fine bubbles settling to a few at the rim fed by continuous streams. A fresh aroma of strawberry, melon and cherry titillates while the first sip is infused with flavours that build on the palate. A CO2 brightness and mild smoothness adds texture making sipping pleasurable. Plan for a toasting episode - ideal for a Spring wedding - or pair with fresh oysters or French toast and breakfast sausage drizzled with Maple syrup.  Cellar if you can but once discovered will be a popular summer quaffer. 91

GRAHAM BECK MÉTHODE CAP CLASSIQUE BRUT SPARKLING WINE NV, Western Cape, South Africa,  12.0%  D  10g/L,  #593483  $18.95  (Tasted September 21, 2013)  CS

Released by Vintages on June 22, 2013 and rated 89 by Stephen Tanzer (March/April 2009). A 54/46 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  My notes: (Blended in 2010) There's a tawny-ness to the light yellow and a faint clementine aroma precedes the first sip. A profusion of bubbles bursts on first pouring then settles to release a showing of fine streams. A bright spritz comes with each sip tingling the tonsils with flavours of faint yeast and dry pear-apricot, fairly full in the mouth. A short, puckering finish builds with each sip. Pair with fresh oysters, creamy brie on crackers or prosciutto wrapped asparagus spears. The empty is an eco-unfriendly ~2 lbs.  87

BRICKYARD RIESLING 2012 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Ontario, 10.0%  M  23g/L,  #346866  $13.95  (Tasted September 10, 2013)  CS

A General listing and rated 89 by Beppi Crosarial (September 3, 2013). This wine is the first produced by Redstone Vineyards, a new project by Moray Tawse (Tawse Winery) scheduled for completion in 2014.  My notes:A barely discernible green tint to the crystal in my glass and a clean scent of apple and lime presents itself modestly. The light laciness of the rim slowly recedes leaving a fine pattern. A silky first sip slips into a mineral dryness, a cleansing acid and tasty apple flavours filling the mouth with a long finish. A warm day sipper... add a cube and squeeze of lime if the sun is high. A modest sweetness is nicely balanced with acid and matches the intensity of the fruit making this a sociable drink now or one to pair with fresh oysters or grilled white fish: tilapia, halibut, sole, etc.  88

ROSEWOOD ESTATES SÉMILLON 2011 VQA Beamsville Bench, Beamsville, Ontario, 12.0%  D  11g/L, #177758   $17.95  (Tasted September 28, 2013)  CS

Released by Vintages on June 22, 2013 and rated 41/2 of 5 by Rod Phillips (February 15, 2013).  My notes:  The 2010 vintage was tasted following a trip to the Winery in August 2012 and was rated 91. On each visit the Rosewood winery staff along with their approach to wines is consistent: non assuming, good humoured and 'natural'. Their 2011 sémillon has a light honey aroma needing time and a bit of warmth to fully express itself. The film is thin fragmenting quickly shedding long tears ending in small drops. A pale golden blond sips easily with a pleasing racy apple citrus flavour and leaves a powdery layer on a light cream. A change from other whites sémillon is an interesting sipper this with a sweetness to balance the tang. More suitably matched with white fish, broiled scallops or lobster pieces - went well with Anna Gare's Creamy coconut fish (halibut) curry (recipe changed to purée and strain before serving).  Drinking well now. 87

VINELAND PINOT MEUNIER 2011 VQA Niagara Escarpment, Vineland, Ontario, 12.0%  XD  8g/L, #225508   $17.95  (Tasted September 21, 2013) CS

Released by Vintages on June 22, 2013 and rated 31/2 of 5 by Michael Pinkus (October 17, 2012) .  My notes: The 2009 vintage was tasted in May 2011 and rated 91. The 2011 has slightly less alcohol. The colour is a see-through, charcoal stained ruby, a beauty in candle light and the nose is a blend of strawberry, cranberry and raspberry with a leaning toward the latter two. A tart silk frames tight flavours following the nose while drying the tongue and soothing the throat. The finish is extra long, extra dry with flavour remnants both pleasing as a sipper as well as compliment with a tuna, swordfish, ham steak or sliced turkey breast with cranberry sauce. Cellaring several years should retain the fruit and increase the texture - drinking well now.  90

COOPERS CREEK MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010,  Marlborough, NZ, 13.5%  XD  5g/L, #957407  $18.95  (Tasted September 18, 2013) CS
Released by Vintages - date uncertain for this vintage.  My notes: The 2010 has a green tint to a light yellow and the nose has a distinct tangy scent of gooseberries, lime and touch of yeast. A swirl forms a viscous film with a smooth rim that sheds long tears then leaves scattered nodules here and there. A sip confirms the gooseberry contrasted with a mineral and yeast smoothness, light but there, extra dry on the finish with a touch of oil on the lips. An odd blend comes forward in the finish that builds a commercial  unctuousness not to my preference. Buffet nibbles as well as a seafood entrée would mask this aspect. Cellaring is possible but without improvement - a commercial white for unexpected guests. 84

TOURNON MATHILDA VICTORIAN SHIRAZ 2010, Victoria, Australia, 13.5%  XD  4g/L,  #336966   $19.95  (Tasted September 23, 2013)  CS

Release by Vintages on August 17, 2013 and rated 89 by Harvey Steiman  (2012).  My notes: A Michel Chapoutier wine priced $14.90 (Aussie dollars) at the winery. A thin film sticks well then quickly flows fast legs from a fragmenting rim. A delicate fragrance of blackberry edged with light smoke has minor  appeal as a sipper however, a sip is a smooth combination of blackberry and red currant on a broad seam of tannin and tang - interesting. Flavours build to a delectable level while drying the palate for a long stay. A rack of lamb's best friend but flexible - went well with tuna & tomato pasta sauce. Cellaring for several more years is likely but drinking close to peak now. 90.

YERING STATION VILLAGE SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER 2010 ,  Victoria, Australia, 14.5%  XD  3g/L,  #311431  $21.95  (Tasted September 27, 2013) 

Released by Vintages on May 25, 2013 and rated 93 by James Halliday (July 17, 2012).  My notes: : 95% Shiraz and 5% Viognier, the Shiraz adding considerable body and intensity while the Viognier mellows the acid and adds a touch of floral. The colour is the deepest ruby with a thick film staying until swollen tears flow slowly. A sip brings warmth and an aggressive tang, full, with a layer of velvet. Ripe blackberries and red currant blend for an interesting sipper with a long, extra dry finish. Have with anything savoury and meaty, went well with ale braised short ribs. Drinking well now and should cellar 5 to 10 years. 92

CHÂTEAU LE CHÊNE 2010 HAUT-MÉDOC, Bordeaux, France, 13.0%  XD  4g/L, #339994  $18.95  (Tasted September 29, 2013) CS

Released by Vintages on September 14, 2013 rated 90 by Roger Vos of Wine Enthusiast (February 1, 2013).  My notes:  A deep ruby colour and a soft aroma of figs and raspberries introduces this red. A swirl shows a moderate film smooth on the glass and running slow legs as the rim swells. Also has a smooth first sip with a blend of bramble, dried leaves and red currant, although not enough fruit to overcome a poor first impression. Did not add to a meal of bbq'd spice rubbed pork tenderloin and needing a touchup with a bolder red to be palatable. Not for the cellar. Aeration did not improve and the bottle was set aside to use for cooking. 79

BURGE FAMILY OLIVE HILL PREMIUM BAROSSA SÉMILLON 2011, South Australia, 11.5%  D  3g/L,  #280917  $27.75  (Tasted September 30, 2013)  CS

Released by Vintages on October 17, 2012 rated 88 by Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW, (February 2012).  My notes:  A mid yellow with a green tint leaving a thin film and fragmenting rim. There's a scent of overripe pineapple with a prominent seam of acid. Flavours follow the nose with intensity adding a drying texture carrying into a long finish. Light-bodied with a taste profile I haven't acquired preferring more fresh fruit brought forward by a gentle fermentation and oaking. A meal white but did not pair well with a coconut fish (halibut) curry entrée (recipe not recommended).  Try with sliced meats, spreads or paté on toasted bread squares or crackers from a buffet table. 82