Sunday, November 02, 2014

November 2014 wines - 15 Tasted of 15

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Except for McManis Family Estate the remaining wines listed below were picked at random. Paired with the elegant decor of The Keg (North York) McManis' Petite Sirah could not have been a better choice for grilled ribs, steaks, and filet mignon topped with assorted seafood. This prompted a focus on the two McManis wines presently available at our local LCBO. When will our monopoly be releasing their Petite Sirah and over a dozen other McManis wines? Who knows!  If you see any on a wine list anywhere please let me know. 

Also, a wine to look for in the November 8th Vintages Release is Michael Davids 6th Sense Syrah 2012 (#394395, $16.00US, $24.95LCBO). My nephew says it's beautifully endowed.

Salut, Ww

 THE LINEUP: (Reds, Whites, Bubblies)

  • McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2013, 90-1  --  V, Lodi, California, #256735  $19.95
  • McManis Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, 90a-1  --  V, California, USA, #212126  $19.95 
  • Michael David 6th Sense Syrah 2012, 90+  --  V, Lodi, California, #394395  $24.95
  • Daniel Lenko Estate 2008 Old Vines Merlot VQA Niagara Peninsula, 86 --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #075622 $30.05
  • Miguel Torres Cordillera de los Andes Syrah 2010, 83NR  --  V, Maule Valley, Chile, #389700  $19.95
  • Alamos Seleccion Malbec 2012,  82  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #322800  $16.95 
  • Aure Umoja Cabernet Franc 2011 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  82 -- V,  Beamsville, Ontario,  #367557  $19.95* 
  • Fuzion Alta Reserve Malbec 2013, 80  --  G, Mendoza, Argentina, #135475  $9.95
  • McWilliam's Hanwood Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, 78  --  G,  South Eastern Australia, #214577  $15.00 

  • La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012, 90  --  V, Santa Rosa, California, #158683 $25.95 
  • Paco & Lola Rias Baixas Albarino 2012, 88-1 --  V,  Rias Baixas, Spain, #350041 $18.95
  • Malivoire Musqué Spritz 2013 VQA Beamsville Bench,  87  --  O, Niagara, Ontario, #189670  $16.25
  • The Foreign Affair Enchanted 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 87  --  V, Vineland Station, Ontario, #389767  $17.95
  • MOMO Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013, 83 --  V, Marlborough, New Zealand, #009167  $17.95 

  • Tawse Spark Limestone Ridge Riesling Sparkling Wine 2012 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, 91-2  --  V, Vineland, Ontario, #370361 $19.95

      (V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, c - cellar, NR - Not Recommended)


AURE UMOJA CABERNET FRANC 2011 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  Beamsville, Ontario, 13.0%  XD  4g/L,  #367557  $19.95*  (Tasted November 14, 2014)

Released by Vintages on February 1, 2014. Reduced from $22.95.  My notes:  My opinion of a Cabernet Franc is as a blending grape to soften and uplift an otherwise aggressive or dense wine. There's an auburn tint to a charcoal hued ruby and a swirl brings a film that sticks slowly accumulating a rounded rim before releasing a curtain of reluctant legs. The fruit is a raspberry/strawberry with a touch of smoke. The first sip starts silky finishing with a metallic edge changing its character from fresh berry to spicy plum, from polite to a thin silk and from soft to fine tannins forming a long dry layer. Have with grilled bacon or a morning soufflé. Lacks sufficient boldness to pair with a savoury or spicy meal... a drink now. 82

PACO & LOLA RIAS BAIXAS ALBARIÑO 2012,  Rias Baixaz, Spain, 12.5%  XD  5g/L, #350041 $18.95  (Tasted November 10, 2014)

Released by Vintages - date not given.  My notes:  An empty bottle weighs in at 1.4lbs. A mid straw colour, green tinted and crystal in the glass. A full aroma of tangy apple and pineapple without sweetness, then a refreshing herbal and an unusual invitation to sip or as an accompaniment to sushi, a bento box of tempura greens and shrimp or grilled tilapia and basmati rice - great with chicken cordon bleu. Initial fruit fades slowly eventually leaving a neutral chalk on the palate. A moderate film recedes from a ragged rim leaving a clear surface. A drink now to be served chilled.  88

MIGUEL TORRES CORDILLERA DE LOS ANDES SYRAH 2010, Maule Valley, Chile, 14.0%  XD  5g/L,  #389700  $19.95  (Tasted November 21, 2014)

Released by Vintages on October 25, 2014.  My notes:   Bottle weight close to 1.5lbs - does not signify 'quality' nor ecology support. Purple edged with noticeable viscosity in the slow tears that form following a soft tilt. A strong berry noticeably sharp tolerated when complemented by matching flavours of the initial sip. Chalk dry tannins cover the tongue losing most of the fruit. Not a sipper unless repeatedly quaffed or accompanied with party sausage, stuffed mushrooms and the like. Was a match for a pork tenderloin stir-fry covered with a piquant sauce and rice risotto. Full-bodied, full-flavoured and a full warmth with each swallow, however the ending's full chalkiness and bramble are excessive. I doubt if further time will mellow this Syrah - not recommended.  83

MCMANIS FAMILY VINEYARDS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013, California, USA, 13.5% XD 9g/L, #212126  $19.95  (Tasted November 7, 2014)

Released by Vintages on April 18, 2014.  My notes: A familiar purple accent to an opaque ruby on pouring. The nose quickly loses intensity subsiding to a pleasing medley of blackberry, black currant, vanilla, slight liquorice and a smoky edge. The first sip shines the teeth while presenting a silky crushed berry acidity - a sipper if party sausage, mini pizza slices are nearby and, as a meal red, with The Keg steaks or ribs, a Wendy's Burger, maybe liver & onions. The film is firm enough to leave a rounded rim then long legs. Leftover wine tends to show more tartness - an excuse to finish that partial bottle. Aerating mutes some of the acidity and is recommended. As the LCBO recommends - respond drinkably!.  90a
MCMANIS FAMILY VINEYARDS ZINFANDEL 2013, Lodi, California, 13.5%  D  10g/L,  #256735  $19.95  (Tasted November 5, 2014)

Released by Vintages on October 25, 2014.  My notes: The first sip shows velvet and a latent fervour. Lots of depth warming as it spreads a blend of berries and vanilla. The colour is a dense ruby with a purple glow. A film sticks and quickly recedes to show a lacy topped soft rim. This must be sipped slowly for its  syrupy texture, soft fruit and fine tannins that continue through a long ending. Have with grilled English back bacon and multigrain toasts. Drink or cellar several years. Comes across as subdued unless given twenty minutes to develop in a broad bowl glass.  90

FUZION ALTA RESERVE MALBEC 2013, Mendoza, Argentina, 13.5% D 9g/L, #135475  $9.95  (Tasted November 11, 2104)

A General listing.   My notes:  A regal ruby, deep and velvet toned leaving a moderate film dropping long legs. A second sample was aerated for comparison - both have a smoky leather with a plum/blackberry scent the aerated being a touch cleaner. Both have a dull liquorice, black fruit flavour not appealing as a sipper. As fruit fades finish becomes dry with tannin layer revealing more dull liquorice. An acerbic background flavour conflicted with grilled beef strips and sliced veggie mix. Aerating is not a solution. Not recommended. 80
MCWILLIAM'S HANWOOD ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011, South Eastern Australia, 13.0%  D 7g/L, #214577  $15.00  (Tasted November 17, 2014)

A General listing.  My notes:  A charcoal hued ruby colour and a viscous film eventually running long slow legs. There was no noticeable improvement with aerating. A persevering acidity starts with the first sip and continues to dominate through a long extra dry jammy finish. A strong berry-like liquorice flavour overpowered my taste buds and for several minutes I was unable to stop sneezing. The liquorice continued to build becoming reminiscent of 'road tar' and continuing through the finish . I set aside the remainder of the bottle for a sauce to go with barbecued ribs. 78

DANIEL LENKO ESTATE 2008 OLD VINES MERLOT VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Ontario, 13.0% D, #075622 $30.05  (Tasted November 23, 2014)

Purchased from the Winery:  My notes:  Last tasted June 29, 2013 and rated 91. A polite red with a raspberry scent to greet the nose, smoky on the side and pleasingly tart. A moderate film sticks then runs long fast tears. Dry, medium-bodied, having a depth to carry flavours and a penetrating acid without fading for a long finish. The colour doesn't appear as bright as in 2013  with a hint of adobe showing - flavours are not as rich for sipping. A match for sliced pork with a light basmati sauce or chicken chunks with pineapple and sweet potatoes. A hurry up and drink now. 86

MALIVOIRE MUSQUÉ SPRITZ 2013 VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara, Ontario, 9% MS 35g/L, #189670  $16.25  (Tasted November 17, 2014)

Release by Vintages.   My notes:  Originally listed at $19.95 this is now shown as $16.25.  The 2011 vintage was tasted in April 2013 and rated 87: the 2009, in April 2010 at 85 and compared with SoGrape's Vinho Verde (NR) (#141432) at $8.95.  Bubbles show immediately on pouring and an aroma of grapefruit, vanilla cake and citrus suggests a festive occasion - but it needn't be. Light on the tongue but bright on the palate this white paired well with roast pork tenderloin and would with other mild dishes: pork, fish or breakfast sausage - or just sip on a warm afternoon. There's a touch of sweet and a slight chalk in the finish - nicely balanced for a social drink now -  serve chilled . 87

MICHAEL DAVID 6TH SENSE SYRAH 2012, Lodi, California, 15.0% D xg/L, #394395  $24.95  (Tasted November 9, 2014)

Released by Vintages on November 8, 2014.  My notes:  Nicely packaged although a bottle weight of 1.38lbs questions the winery's ecological support and LCBO's price uplift of $8 drops it below a 'Value' level.  There's a deep purple hue and a swirl reveals medium-body as a full rim quickly disintegrates into slow running tears. A just-detectable sense of crushed blackberry invites a sip. There's a wow factor contrasting delicate nose with a flavour burst combining fresh berries, red currant, balanced acid and fine tannins. A luscious xdry finish continues to embellish this wines' character. Serve with a savoury T-bone or braised beef short ribs or just sip. Cellaring several years could bring forward what's hidden today. Try it.  90+

LA CREMA SONOMA COAST CHARDONNAY 2012, Santa Rosa, California, 13.5%  XD  2g/L, #158683 $25.95  (375mL, #728352 $15.95, Released by Vintages on November 8, 2014) (Tasted November 15, 2014)

Released by Vintages on July 24, 2014. My notes: Keeping within my budget I chose the half size bottle for this tasting. A brilliant yellow in the glass and showing a light but sticky film yielding tears that expand into short legs as the rim falls. A spicy citrus leaning toward a tangerine/ grapefruit pith scent adds interest as a sipper for Chard lovers. The first sip brightens the palate with lemon lime followed by a layer of fine chalk going into a long extra dry finish. A citrus push adds to the interest. Chicken slices on a mound of rice risotto with a sweet Asian sauce paired nicely as would most mid-eastern dishes. A drink now with good cellaring potential. 375mL not a value at the LCBO price. 90

THE FOREIGN AFFAIR ENCHANTED 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Vineland Station, Ontario, 12.0%  XD  18g/L, #389767  $17.95  (Tasted November 11, 2014)

Released by Vintages on November 8, 2014. Rated 88 by Rick Van Sickle (May 2014).  My notes: It's difficult for this to be XD with a sugar level as shown. A blend of 55% Sauvignon Blanc, 45% Riesling that glows like polished crystal with a mild yellow colour. The nose has elements of tamed gooseberry, citrus and tarragon, not one scent being dominant. The film is light leaving a jagged rim to slowly recede. Sugar level is well balanced with a polite tartness - 5g/L sugar level is more like it. This one is to sip then savour slowly allowing roundness and subtle flavours to develop before a moderate, dry finish. Pair with grilled halibut, cod or shrimps with green vegetables. A drink now.  87

MOMO MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand, 13.0%  XDs  3g/L, #009167  $17.95  (Tasted November 16, 2014)

Released by Vintages on November 8, 2014. A Seresin Estate wine.  My notes: A tarnished gold showing bright in a wide bowl with a film that spreads thinly quickly forming long legs from a rippled rim. Served chilled the taste has a touch of burnt toast, a tart lemon zest and a dry herbal aftertaste, interesting but insufficient fruit for balance.  An acquired taste as a sipper needing some nibbles: stuffed mushrooms or prosciutto wrapped asparagus or pair with Arctic char, Pickerel filets or seared scallops w/diced tomato & spaghettini. Serve chilled and watch for changes as aromas carry into flavours into finish starting dry and ending drier. A drink now. 83

ALAMOS SELECCIÓN MALBEC 2012, Uco Valley, Argentina, 13.5% D 7g/L, #322800  $16.95  (Tasted November 13, 2014)

Released by Vintages on October 25, 2014. Rated 90 by Luis Gutierrez (April 2014).  My notes: Shows ruby with a deep pink edge and a smooth film that starts to build a rim but slowly falls as a curtain separating into long legs. A mild scent of cinnamon adds to that of smoky young berries. The first sip, aerated, brightens the berries adding fine tannins and a touch of flat spice for a finish. The second sip, non-aerated, is more of the same with any difference undetectable. Light-bodied (thin), smooth and bright when quaffed with an appealing tartness - complement with a hamburger or pepperoni (no cheese) pizza. Drink now. 82

TAWSE SPARK LIMESTONE RIDGE RIESLING SPARKLING WINE 2012 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Vineland, Ontario, 11.5%  D  11g/L, #370361 $19.95  (Tasted November 18, 2014)

Released by Vintages on November 8, 2014. Rated 89 by Sarah d'Amato (April 2014). My notes: Tasted in May this year I was impressed with the delicate tree fruit flavours balanced with texture and depth. Only a few months now to see if anything has changed. A profusion of bubbles on pouring covering the surface with a layer of white. This quickly subsides but continues to effervesce tickling the nose on that premature first sip. A citric sharpness slows the pace with some pear but overall less fruit in the nose as remembered - a puckering dryness, XD, and a long mineral finish. More Spanish than French... perhaps it'll turn the corner in the next year.  Have with chilled oysters, a Tempura filled Bento box or Teriyaki chicken slices on rice risotto. A drink now to several years cellaring.  91-2


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