Thursday, June 05, 2014

June 2014 Wines - 16 Tasted of 16

The LCBO has changed their search routine for finding wines and where they are in the Province. See side panel for more detail... I'm returning to use the Vintages and LCBO links for two reasons: to avoid losing the link back to Strictlytasting as well as avoiding the LCBO Online Search graphic.

THE LINEUP: (Reds, Whites, Rosés)

  • Alta Vista Premium Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, 91-2  --   V, Mendoza, Argentina,  #129957 $14.95
  • Valdemar Inspiraciòn Selecciòn 2010, 91-2  --  V,  Rioja, Spain, #166512 $17.00
  • Feudi San Pio Valpolicella Classico Ripasso Superiore 2012,  91-2  --  V, Veneto, Italy, #181446 $17.95  
  • Haselgrove First Cut Vintage 2010 Shiraz, 91a-2  --  V, McLaren Vale, Australia,  #367425 $18.95
  • Rolf Binder Hales Shiraz 2010, 90-2  --  V,  Barossa Valley, Australia, #054239 $18.95
  • Leone de Castris Riserva Salice Salentino 2010, 89-1  --  V,  Apulia, Italy, #597534 $19.95 
  • Robert Oatley Signature Series Pinot Noir 2012, 87  --  V,  Yarra Valley, Australia, #357491 $18.95     
  • Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, 83  --  G, Napa, California, #055517 $14.95 
  • Geyser Peak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009,  83a  --  V,  Geyserville, California,  #343467 $19.95
  • Konrad Sauvignon Blanc 2012, 91-2  --  V, Renwick, New Zealand, #616243  $19.95
  • Volcanes de Chile Pomerape Limited Edition Sauvignon Blanc 2011,  90-2  --  V,  Leyda Valley, Chile, #371138  $14.95
  • Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio 2013, 89-1  --  V,  Alto Adige, Italy, #954024 $18.95    
  • San Silvestro Fossili Gavi di Gavi 2012, 84  --  V,  Piedmont, Italy, #368753 $16.95 
  • Hess Select Chardonnay Monterey County 2011,  83  --   G, Napa, California,  #270074  $15.95 
  • Yamhill Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris 2011, 81  --  V,  McMinnville, Oregon, #366294  $17.95   

  • Jean-Maurice Raffault Chinon Rosé 2013, 91-2  --  V, Loire, France, #119693 $16.95 
 (V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, NR - Not Rated)


HASELGROVE FIRST CUT VINTAGE 2010 SHIRAZ,  McLaren Vale, Australia, 14.0% XD  6g/L, #367425  $18.95  (Tasted June 5, 2014)

Released by Vintages on June 7, 2014 and rated 91 by James Halliday (July 17, 2012).  My notes: The colour is a rich regal ruby. A swirl leaves a smooth film topped by a full rim that sheds columns of long legs. An aroma of black liquorice, dark chocolate, black pepper and blackberry all mingle for a pleasing sniff. The first sip is silky smooth, well balanced with fine tannins, fruit now blended with smoke finishing with liquorice. Pair with a charcuterie of cold meats and cheeses, a T-bone, other grilled beef or rack of lamb. Now four and could go another four years in the cellar. A Haselgrove style or terroir that would be a great addition to any cellar. I preferred aerating. 91a

ALTA VISTA PREMIUM CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012,  Mendoza, Argentina, 14.5%  XD  5g/L,  #129957  $14.95  (Tasted June 15, 2014)

Released by Vintages on May 24, 2014 and rated 91 by Natalie MacLean  (December 27, 2013).  My notes:  There's a violet charcoal cast to this ruby: deep, dense and warm. The nose is full of fresh black berries with a touch of tang and a swirl leaves a firm film that drains long slow legs from a tardy smooth rim. The first sip has fresh blackberry combined with smoky liquorice flavours and a nose to match - ends surprisingly cool. Pair with beef stroganoff, T-bones, Prime rib or BBQ's back ribs. A moderately big red to go with many occasions from sipping to large beefy meals. Cellaring several years is likely to keep the fruit while smoothing the tang. 91

HESS SELECT CHARDONNAY MONTEREY COUNTY 2011,  Napa, California, 13.5%  XD  5g/L,  #270074   $15.95  (Tasted June 13, 2014)

A General listing.  My notes:  The colour of bright gold and a swirl leaves a fragmenting film until only nodules are left on the glass. A faint butterscotch scent with a grassy edge adds to a sharp bite and lemon, tart apple and pineapple mingle for an overall indistinct flavour blend. At the end of a sip a firm acid has quenched the palate while lean fruit has mellowed for a long extra dry finish. Pair with grilled Atlantic salmon with latkes and an asparagus side or chicken pot pie - great with a smoked salmon pizza. A balanced commercial drink-now to please but not linger over - perhaps young fruit. 83

SAN SILVESTRO FOSSILI GAVI DI GAVI 2012,  Piedmont, Italy, 12.5%  XD  4g/L, #368753   $16.95  (Tasted June 20, 2014)

Released by Vintages on June 7, 2014.  My notes:  A clear mid yellow that leaves a thin film with a jagged rim to creep down the glass. A sniff reveals a faint grassy green apple scent, dry and tangy. A sip parches the palate drying the tongue and refreshing the taste buds then into a long mineral finish. Young lemon showing the acid and flavour backbone but not full fruit.  A fish white - pair with calamari, lobster stuffed with shrimp, crab chunks or steamed mussels in a marinara sauce. A drink now - a quaffer or perhaps a warm weather sipper with crushed ice and an oz. of Grand Marnier or, my favourite, Disarrono to bolster character. 84

LEONE DE CASTRIS RISERVA SALICE SALENTINO 2010,  Apulia, Italy, 13.5%  D  12g/L, #597534  $19.95  (Tasted June 11, 2014)

Released by Vintages on June 7, 2014 and rated 3 of 3 by Gambero Rosso Italian Wines, 2014. A blend of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera grapes.  My notes: A deep charcoal hued ruby with a lean smoky plum scent.  A swirl casts a firm film to accumulate a full rim that quickly sheds long slow legs. The first sip is ultra smooth spreading warmth and a plum-cherry flavour balanced by polite acid. Second sips brighten the flavours now adding a layer of tannin going into a long finish. Have with Osso Bucco, mushroom pot pie or a chorizo pasta dish. Four years young peaking this year and with several more years potential. A quiet red with lots of warmth. 89

VALDEMAR INSPIRACIÓN SELECCIÓN 2010, Rioja, Spain, 14.0% XD 8g/L, #166512   $17.00  (Tasted June 28, 2014)

Released by Vintages on May 10, 2014 and rated 91 by Thomas Matthews  (December 31, 2013). Ranked #34 in Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2013.  My notes: .  My notes: A blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano grapes. A sniff reveals a pleasing blend of luscious raspberry/strawberry aromas supported by smoky walnut. The colour is an opaque black cherry and a firm film sticks then slowly forms a smooth rim hanging a circular row of long legs. Full-bodied and full flavoured, a combination of earthy liquorice, black cherry and charred raspberry will allure some sippers - heavy flavour notes and a prominent layering of tannin will quickly separate out the sippers, aye or nay. I've rated based on 'aye'. Cellaring could mellow some more, at peak now. Have with savoury steaks or rubbed and grilled beef ribs. 91

ROLF BINDER HALES SHIRAZ 2010, Barossa Valley, Australia, 13.5%  XD  7g/L,  #054239  $18.95  (Tasted June 6, 2014)

Released by Vintages on May 24, 2014 and rated 90+ by Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW,  (December 2011).  My notes: Loved the Riesling last month and loved this Shiraz too, a blend of 89% Barossa Shiraz with the addition of 4% Grenache and 7% Mataro. The ruby colour is rich and dense appearing opaque in the glass. The film is fairly thin sticking momentarily then fragmenting into lacework. The nose has a leaning to delicate floral combined with the blackberry but not enough to say it's 'fruity'. Plum added to the berry comes with a sip - appetizingly concentrated bursting with tang, spice with some steel to a silky texture then a long bone dry ending. Quaff for a fresher burst of all of the above. Pair with bbq'd ribs, steaks, burgers or meaty pizzas.  Drink now for its freshness or cellar to smoothen, perhaps 4 years.  90

SMOKING LOON CABERNET SAUVIGNON  2012, Napa, California, 13.5%  D  10g/L,  #055517  $14.95  (Tasted June 19, 2014)

A General listing.  My notes: The 2011 vintage was tasted last year and rated 91. The 2012 vintage has a considerably different character and devolving body. Ripe cherries dipped in dark chocolate is first impression from my nose. A violet tinge to deep ruby offers a setting for fresh berries. A swirl lays a moderate film with eventually a slightly rounded rim and several slow tears. The sharpness of the first sip slows down solo sipping as I go looking for a slice of peppery kabasa or a pepperoni stick. Save for a beefy steak grilled rare or ribs with a savoury rub. An extra dry finish offers ample fine tannins as fruit fades and a chalk texture takes over. A commercial red for an acquired taste - a drink now. 83

VOLCANES DE CHILE POMERAPE LIMITED EDITION SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011, Leyda Valley, Chile, 13.5%  XD  4g/L,  #371138   $14.95  (Tasted June 22, 2014)

Released by Vintages on June 7, 2014 and rated 90 by Michael Schaecher Wine Enthusiast  (December 2012).  My notes:  A light golden blond with minimum viscosity showing when swirled, with a jagged rim quickly fragmenting. Grapefruit, lime and herbal scents mingle for a unique scent. Just as the nose is neither floral nor vegetable the first sip is as unique tying matching flavours together with a acidic binding and finishing with a drying mineral. The character is better suited to seafood and was suitably paired with battered fish, halibut or cod, chips with ketchup and malt vinegar and a bright coleslaw.  Cellaring for several years is likely.  90

YAMHILL VALLEY VINEYARDS PINOT GRIS 2011,  McMinnville, Oregon,  13.1%  XD  4g/L,  #366294   $17.95  (Tasted June 17, 2014)

Released by Vintages on May 24, 2014.  My notes:  A slight green to a pale blond colour and faint honeysuckle nose. A swirl gives a smooth thin film accumulating long legs then tears hanging in columns. The first sip has a touch of beeswax and green apple with a prominent mineral dryness finishing long after the sparse fruit has gone. Has an unusual flavour blend, a sip starts 'mmmm' and ends 'yuhh' - not a sipper for most. Also I found difficult to pair with its fading light acid and bland finish. Was OK with a fruit and salad buffet plate. A drink now and perhaps on the decline. 81

KONRAD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012, Renwick, New Zealand, 13.0%  XD  6g/L,  #616243   $19.95  (Tasted June 21, 2014)

Release by Vintages on May 24, 2014 and given 3.5 of 5 by Michael Cooper, Buyer's Guide to NZ Wines  (2014).  My notes:  Airing a few minutes allows the nose to setup, then gooseberries become prominent. Colour is a crisp mid yellow. A faint caramel adds a difference to the nose and a swirl lays a moderate film with a rounded rim that eventually sheds long slow legs. Full flavours are on the grassy side of gooseberry and carry into a long chalk dry tangy finish. Different rather than comparable to a Cloudy Bay but still full-bodied and multi-faceted and as complex. Pair with potato and leek soup, shrimp mounded on a creamy pasta or cod on basmati rice drizzled with a coconut curry sauce. Cellaring several years is likely. Serve just off chill (15oC) for full flavour. 91

JEAN-MAURICE RAFFAULT CHINON ROSÉ 2013, Loire, France, 12.5%  XD  2g/L, #119693  $16.95  (Tasted June 24, 2014)

Released by Vintages on May 10, 2014.  My notes:  A blushing salmon colour, if there's such a thing, very appealing glowing brilliantly in the glass. A thin film shreds quickly as it falls without forming a rim. There's a powdery touch to a faint strawberry and cherry aroma. The first sip is luscious, a bright acid refreshes cleaning the palate then leaving an extra dry metallic finish while retaining the fruit.  Sip slowly when well chilled (serve at 8oC) allowing warm hands (15oC) to augment the nose and smoothen the texture - très agréable - or pair with slices of smoked salmon pizza, Grilled Arctic char or munching through a shrimp ring. Keeping a dozen in the cellar six years is possible.  91

TIEFENBRUNNER PINOT GRIGIO 2013, Alto Adige, Italy, 13.5%  XD  6g/L, #954024 $18.95  (Tasted June 27, 2014)

Release by Vintages on June 7, 2014. Rated 90 by Natalie MacLean (January 22, 2014).  My notes:  A noticeable floral and mineral fragrance hits the nasal nodes - just enough floral for a pleasing balance. The film is thin and leaves a receding jagged rim. The colour is a soft blond. A cool serving would go nicely as an aperitif having a touch of silk, a slight roundness and flavours of grapefruit, lime and limestone - a polite acid makes this a refreshing sipper. Four years in the cellar should be OK.  Pair with seafood. 89

GEYSER PEAK ALEXANDER VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2009, Geyserville, California,  13.5%  XD 7g/L,  #343467  $19.95  (Tasted June 24, 2014)

Released by Vintages on June 7, 2014. Rated 89 by Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast (April 2013).  My notes:  One whiff and I aerated before sniffing and sipping. The colour is blackened ripe cherry and a swirl leaves a firm film with a rounded rim that sheds a combo of long legs and slow tears.  There's an acrid touch to a dark plum nose, some smoke and liquorice on the side. The acid level overrides dark berry fruit until a long finish mellows it and a blend of blackberries, smoky liquorice comes forward. Have with rubbed beef steaks, beef eaters pizza or pepperoni sticks. Pairing is limited by the acid/flavour intensity. Cellaring several years may modify but not improve. 83a

ROBERT OATLEY SIGNATURE SERIES PINOT NOIR 2012,   Yarra Valley, Australia, 13.5%  XD  5g/L,  #357491  $18.95  (Tasted June 25, 2014)

Released by Vintages on February 1, 2014.  My notes:  A faint aroma of crushed strawberries in a mild smoky setting and, with a see through mid red cherry colour, jovial in spirit. The first sip senses a thin silky veil with delicately blended herbs. The finish balances acid and flavours now possibly softened by buffet nibbles. At 10oC this is a pleasing sipper or a match for trout or pickerel, bass or sunfish, any delicate freshwater fish with a touch of sweet. A drink now. 87

FEUDI SAN PIO VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO RIPASSO SUPERIORE 2012, Veneto, Italy, 14.0%  D  11g/L,  #181446   $17.95  (Tasted June 29, 2014)

Released by Vintages on June 7, 2014.  My notes: The 2008 vintage was priced at $15.95 and rated 90 by Beppi Crosariol of the G&M.  Current inventory can be checked on The Liquery website.  This has a deep black cherry colour and a muted metallic, blackberry nose. A swirl leaves a viscous film and rounded rim that fragments on the glass and a string of tiny tears. A tactful acid frames fresh berry flavours peaking then fading slowly to a long bright finish. Acceptably dry on the palate while retaining the original fruit makes this a delightful sipper. Pair with a variety of red sauced pastas with chicken, chorizo sausage or a mixed pork veal ragout.  Cellaring several years should bring out more mellowness and added depth. 91


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