Wednesday, March 02, 2016

March 2016 Wines - 16 Tasted of 16

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Cheers, Ww

LINEUP:  Reds, Whites, Rosés and Bubblies/Sweet:

  • Bodega Don Cristobal 1492 Barrel Selection Shiraz 2012, 91-2  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #236133 $15.95
  • Toneles Tonel 22 Malbec 2012, 91-2  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #415018  $17.95 
  • Alberto Furque Malbec 2013, 90-2  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #366112  $16.95
  • Antico Sigillo Primitivo di Manduria 2013, 90-2  --  V, Taranto, Italy,  #439596  $19.95 
  • Bellingham Ancient Earth Pinotage 2014, 88-1a  --  V, Western Cape, S. Africa, #438317  $14.95
  • Vina Cobos Felino Malbec 2014,  88-1 --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #118067  $19.95 
  • Trapiche Broquel Malbec 2014, 83a  --  G,  Mendoza, Argentina, #234385  $14.95*           
  • Meandro Do Vale Meao 2012, 82NR  --  V,  Douro, Portugal,  #244731  $24.95       

  • Cave Spring Estate Bottled Chardonnay Musqué 2013 VQA Beamsville Bench, 92-3  --  V,  Beamsville, Ontario, #246579  $16.95
  • Cave Spring Estate Bottled Chardonnay 2012 VQA Beamsville Bench, 89-1  --  V, Jordan, Ontario, #256552   $18.95
  • Chloe Chardonnay 2014, 88-1  --  G, Sonoma California, #392597  $17.95* 
  • Vina Cobos Felino Chardonnay 2014, 88-1  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #119099  $19.95    

    • Cave Spring Dry Rosé 2014 VQA Niagara Escarpment, 88-1  --  G, Jordan, Ontario, #295006  $14.95 
    • Pillitteri Blossom Rosé 2013 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, 82  --  G, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #441188  $13.95

    • Bottega Petalo il Vino Dell'Amore Moscato NV, 89-2  --  G, Montebelluna, Italy, #588780 $12.95
    • Il Sodale Moscato d'Asti 2014, 88-1  --  V, Piedmont, Italy, #422444   $16.95  
    (V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, c - cellar, NR - Not Recommended)


    ANTICO SIGILLO PRIMITIVO DI MANDURIA 2013, Taranto, Italy, 14%  XD  13g/L,  #439596  $19.95  (Tasted March 12, 2016)

    Released by Vintages on January 9, 2016. Rated 91 by Alison Napjus  June 15 2015.  My notes: A dark ruby that swirls a lacy film. There's a fruity aroma soft on the nose and a sharp black cherry/raspberry to brighten the palate followed by a long, flat, dry finish. Looks brooding whereas the flavour is light with a brightness on the front edge and going into a long finish. Luscious to sip and will carry itself well with savoury beef meals. Further ageing should mellow acid and show more fruit - I'd guess five more years.  90

    VIÑA COBOS FELINO MALBEC 2014, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.5%  XD  7g/L, #118067  $19.95  (Tasted March 10, 2016) 

    Released by Vintages on January 9, 2016. A Paul Hobbs wine rated 91 by James Suckling   (June 2 2015).  My notes:  Aerated and non-aerated tastings were poured for comparison. Both with the same colour, a deep ruby. Both offer the full fruit of blackberry, sharp cranberry, smooth texture full in the mouth a drying on the tongue - like licking slate. A swirl shows a moderate film with a full rim that empties quickly through fast tears. Warmth wells up until the palate acclimates then settles for a long, flat finish.  Uneventful sipped solo - better with a tray of sliced meats and cheeses or paired with grilled lamb chops, T-bone steaks or a savoury beef stew. Drink now to a year. 88

    CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY MUSQUÉ 2013 VQA Beamsville Bench, Beamsville, Ontario, 13.5%  D  2g/L, #246579  $16.95  (Tasted January 31, 2016)

    The 2014 vintage was released by Vintages on February 6, 2015 and there's mixed vintages on the shelves.   My notes: Having tasted several vintages previously this as well as other Cave Spring whites have become our favourite social whites. A clone of Chardonnay the Musqué has pronounced soft floral aromas as well as citrus and spice flavours. A swirl leaves a thin film with a lacy fringe falling quickly adding a few slow tears. Served at 10oC the first sip is slightly sweet balanced with a dry edge and delicate citric nip. Normal warming carries the nose and flavours through long scrumptious finish. Medium-bodied gives a depth that coats the palate with some cream but mainly flavours making this a complement with Chinese and Japanese dishes. A polished pale blond that will cellar well several years. 92

    VIÑA COBOS FELINO CHARDONNAY 2014, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.5%  XD  3g/L,  #119099  $19.95  (Tasted March 20, 2016)

    Released by Vintages on January 23, 2016.  A Paul Hobbs wine rated 90 by James Suckling  (June 23, 2015).  My notes: Grapes are from the Valle de Uco. A crisp and clear mid yellow. A swirl leaves a crinkled rim to fall cleanly. A reserved aroma with equal parts lemon, apple and pie dough with no sign of tart until that first sip then a penetrating tang. Medium-bodied and smoother as the acid wanes going into a long luscious finish. Have with grilled seafood, rainbow trout with mayo/capers/iceberg lettuce on a toasted bun. One of a kind to be served to Chard explorers. 88

    ALBERTO FURQUE MALBEC 2013, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.4%  XD  2g/L, #366112  $16.95  (Tasted March 7, 2016)

    Released by Vintages on November 14, 2015.  My notes:  The colour is a dense ruby that swirls a fine film to leave a rounded rim dropping a row of slow tears. The first sip is silky then warming then drying with no suspicion of sweet but leading into a long mellow plum and blackberry flavour. I'm prompted to slurp as a woody edge adds a solemn tone to a flat finish. A red for a crowd that is prepared for a dusty drink now - it has a laid back brightness but not for a bustling social scene. Pair with anything beefy - as a drink-now serve with dark chocolate(?). 90

    BODEGA DON CRISTOBAL 1492 BARREL SELECTION SHIRAZ 2012, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.0%  XD  8g/L, #236133  $15.95  (Tasted March 17, 2016)

    Released by Vintages on September 19, 2015.  My notes:  This swirls a moderate film with a rounded rim atop a sheet of cascading tears - and the colour is a rich ruby. There's a dominant blueberry, the bite of cranberry along with a warm waft to form a pleasing sniff and first sip. A penetrating tang rides a silky flow separating fruit from texture as it slides across the palate. The finish starts warm and tangy with no sweetness to compromise an extra dry end. Better to pair with a tray of slice Italian meats and hard cheeses or Argentinan rare beef than to sip. Now four years and could cellar another four.  91   

    CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY 2012 VQA Beamsville Bench, Jordan, Ontario, 13.0% XD  xg/L, #256552   $18.95  (Tasted March 2, 2016

    Released by Vintages on December 12, 2015 and rated 89 by David Lawrason  July 2, 2015.  My notes: A golden blond on the pale side with a slight sweet pea fragrance. The film is on the thin side of medium leaving a crinkled rim draining through a lace veil. The first sip is silky, xdry on the swallow and lasting a long while with a mild chalk lining. Going off chill retains roundness enhancing fragrance and citrus flavour. Sip socially or pair with Chinese or Japanese fare. Likely on the down side of cellaring but doing well. 89

    TONELES TONEL 22 MALBEC 2012,  Mendoza, Argentina, 14.0%  XD  5g/L, #415018  $17.95  (Tasted March 14, 2016)

    Release by Vintages on Januar 23, 2016 and winner of a Gold Medal as judged by the Decanter Tasting panel, 2014.  My notes: Swirls a thin film with a thin rim that slowly releases tiny tears. The nose has the freshness of crushed skins, a touch of warmth and a delicate floral fragrance. Luscious fruit flavours fill out the first sip along with the presence of drying tannin all contributing to a long tart finish. Serve with an assortment of Italian meats and hard cheeses or pair with savoury beefy stews. Aged four years this could cellar for another four.  91

    MEANDRO DO VALE MEÃO 2012,  Douro, Portugal,  14.0%  XD  5g/L,  #244731  $24.95  (Tasted March 23, 2016)

    Release by Vintages on May 16, 2015. A blend of 38% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Franca, 20% Tinta Roriz and others.  My notes:  An aroma of dried plums tainted with a mild liquorice and woody brambles - a charcoal tinted ruby colour. A swirl leaves a smooth film showing a rounded rim quickly releasing long fast legs. The first sip is tart changing to a dominant bitterness then a dull fruit and bramble remnant. Interesting to sip as intensity grows until the flavour drops. Medium-body and dry on the palate. Serving with savoury meat dishes may cover its underlying lack of fruit. I'd say it was well past peak.  82

    IL SODALE MOSCATO D'ASTI 2014, Piedmont, Italy, 5.0% S  111g/L,  #422444   $16.95  (Tasted March 4, 2016)

    Release by Vintages on December 12, 2015. My notes: A bubbly with a dense cork can be a challenge to open but otherwise manageable. Pale yellow and a profusion of bubbles makes for a refreshing sipper when poured at 8-10oC. The spritz has a lemon/pie dough aroma and flavour. A quaff brings a luscious tone to the palate, a soft texture on the lips and a level of sweetness that suits a hot day on a marine deck - not a freezing (-5oC) day in March. The finish retains the soft pie dough adding a bright lime edge. Have with vanilla pastries, strawberry cupcakes - keep chilled until pouring. Not the traditional style for a celebratory toast but could serve double purpose after a filling meal.  88

    BELLINGHAM ANCIENT EARTH PINOTAGE 2014, Western Cape, S. Africa, 14.0%  XD  5g/L, #438317  $14.95  (Tasted March 7, 2016)

    A Vintages release on January 23, 2016. An 80% Pinotage and 20% Shiraz blend. Rated 90 by Stephen Tanzer,  April 2015.   My notes: Pinotage has a distinct flavour and fragrance that often merits aerating. I opened a day ahead for the nose to develop a soft raspberry/cranberry combination with a bitter chocolate infusion. A swirl leaves a full rim shedding long slow tears. The colour is deep/royal ruby. The first sip has a short bite partially muted by a pervasive smoke before a long, warm limestone finish. I suggest cellaring several years sampling after four although for those having aquired the taste this red has a full bodied style with a bitterness to match with Beef Wellington or Bourguignon now. 88a

    CHLOE  CHARDONNAY  2014, Livermore, California, 13.5%  D  8g/L, #392597  $17.95*  (Tasted March 14, 2016)
    A General listing and *Limited time offer of $13.95 until February 28, 2016.  My notes: The 2012 vintage was tasted on April 20, 2015 and rated 84. The 2014 is a mid yellow with a thin film fragmenting from a crinkled rim shedding long fast tears. Poured at 12oC there's a delicate citrus fragrance touched with a slight honey. Tasting reveals a refreshing acid, a brief suspicion of sweet and backbone of lemon tainted by dried grass. The finish is a long bright citrus. A few years in the cellar may harmonize what are now disparate elements and  improve this pleasurable summer sipper. A flexible drink now with appetizers: bacon wrapped asparagus, stuffed mushrooms and with a variety of seafood dishes: grilled shrimp, cod on lemon risotto.  88

    CAVE SPRING DRY ROSÉ 2014 VQA Niagara Escarpment, Jordan, Ontario, 12.5%  XD  7g/L,  #295006  $14.95  (Tasted March 3, 2016)

    A General listing.  My notes:   A brilliant salmon crystal clear with enough viscosity to lay a thin film that sticks. The rim laces quickly then drops without fragmenting. Served at 12oC there's a subtle rhubarb and melon fragrance edged with spice. A sip reveals a medium-bodied extra dry blending of strawberry and bright rhubarb. A quaff bursts with flavours then slowly fades to a quiet version of the sip. Match with a grapefruit/raspberry salad or an assortment of Brie, Cheddar or Roquefort cheese in a mix of shaved Italian meats. From start to finish a pleasing nippiness carries into a long dry finish. For me another 1% alc would make it standout.  88

    PILLITTERI BLOSSOM ROSÉ 2013 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, 12.5%  M  30g/L,  #441188  $13.95  (Tasted February 23, 2016)

    A General listing.  My notes: Crystal clear with a cranberry tint and showing a thin film gradually receding leaving a scalloped rim. Sipped immediately following pouring and at 9oC the texture is smooth with a subtle acid. The flavour improves at 12oC with a noticeable sweetness and a suspicion of raspberry/cherry. The sweetness prolongs depth through a fading finish. A dessert blush adds a different note to a pastry tray or slices of vanilla-strawberry cake.  A drink now for those interested in novelty. 82

    BOTTEGA PETALO IL VINO DELL'AMORE MOSCATO NV,  Montebelluna, Italy, 6.5%, S, 76g/L,  #588780 $12.95  (Tasted March 19, 2016) 

    A General listing.  My notes: Tasted on January 22, 2012 and rated 91. Seems each time tasted over the years this has been a consistent crowd pleaser (myself and spouse). Poured at 10oC a fine, quarter inch foam settled on the top then a continuous upside down rain of fine bubbles. The colour is a light lime on the yellow side. The nose has a light spice, a slight tartness, an aroma of honey touched apple juice with a pie dough edge - dissipates quickly. The first sip shows a lasting sweetness matching the tartness in the flavours - succulent. If you're looking for Extra Brut or even Brut this isn't it. An appetizing sipper or even, with the low alcohol, a quaffer. Mix with a fruit tray or slice of creamy lime, strawberry or vanilla cheese cake. Was great with a cheesy pepperoni pesto pizza. Likely to become 'fuller' with a few years in the cellar. 89

    TRAPICHE BROQUEL MALBEC 2014, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.5%  XD  5g/L, #234385  $14.95* (Tasted March 25, 2016)
    *A General listing reduced to $12.95 until March 27, 2016.  My Notes: Aerating is a must as it softens the bite and lessens the coarseness of the first sip. The colour is a dark ruby. A mild blackberry aroma is tainted with dark chocolate and a bite of tar. The first sip is drying, has the penetrating warmth of alcohol and a contrasting herbal, perhaps oregano, note. A thin film is topped by a rounded rim and falling legs. The remaining texture and flavour could benefit from a mellowing buffet of slice Italian meats, strong cheeses, stuffed mushrooms or a savoury stew. The finish is tart, long and extra dry. Not a cellar item and not a solo sipper. 83a 

    96-100 Extraordinary
    90 - 95 Outstanding
    86 - 89 Interesting to Excellent
    80 - 85 Drinkable to Enjoyable
    70 - 79 Uninteresting to Simple
    60 - 69 Unpleasant
    50 - 59 Unacceptable

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