Friday, July 01, 2016

July 2016 Wines - 14 Tasted of 14

West Coast, Low Tide

Cheers, Ww

LINEUP:  Reds, Whites, Rosés and Bubblies:
My new toy

  • Byron & Harold Rose & Thorns Shiraz 2013  95-3  --  V, Western Australia, #453183  $19.95
  • Zonte's Footstep Baron Von Nemesis Shiraz 2013, 92a-2  --  V, Barossa Valley, Australia, #212936  $17.95
  • Wirra Wirra Church Block Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Merlot 2013, 91-2  --  V,  McLaren Vale, Australia, #024034  $19.95 
  • Chateau Terra Mare Rhône Paradox Côtes du Rhône Homini 2012, 89-1 --  V, Rhône, France, #447912  $16.95
  • Château Pégau Cuvée Maclura Côtes-du-Rhône 2013, 89-1  --  V,  Rhône, France, #452250  $19.95 
  • Mirasso Winery Pinot Noir 2014,  88-2  --  G, Modesto, California, #185249  $11.95* 
  • Susana Balbo CRIOS Pinot Noir 2014, 88-1  --  V, Mendoza Argentina, #450098  $14.95  
  • Protea Merlot 2014, 87a-1  --  V, Western Cape, South Africa, #443481  $14.95
  • Santa Ema Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2014, 92-3  --  V,  Leyda Valley, Chile, #443507  $15.95 
  • Montes Outer Limits Sauvignon Blanc 2015, 90-1 --  V,  Zapallar Coast, Chile, #389643 $19.95 
  • Concha Y Toro Serie Riberas Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2013, 89-1  --  V, Colchagua, Chile, #287995  $16.95
  • Susana Balbo CRIOS Chardonnay 2014, 88c-1  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, 13.0%  XD  6g/L, #243196 $13.95 
  • Domaine LaFage Cuvée Centenaire 2014, 88-1  --  V,  Cotes du Roussillon, France, #343491  $19.95  

  • Mionetto Prosecco DOC Treviso NV,  89-1  --  G, Veneto, Italy,  #266023  $18.15 
(V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, c - cellar,           NR - Not Recommended)

PROTEA MERLOT 2014, Western Cape, South Africa, 14.0%  XD 7g/L, #443481  $14.95  (Tasted July 3, 2016)

Release by Vintages on June 11, 2016. Reference:  WineSearcher. My notes:   An attractive pattern is imprinted on the bottle, Protea, the national flower of South Africa. A deep ruby swirls a moderate film that quickly flows long fast legs. The raspberry scent is accented with pine, for tang and freshness, and dark cocoa for smoothness. The first sip attacks the tongue then a quick swallow dries the throat to a chalk level. Overall a warm, rough finish needs the calming aspect of savoury appetizers or a main course of marinade steaks grilled on an open fire. Aerating does much to calm this red's intensity and is recommended. I'd call it a meal red and a drink now.  87a

SUSANA BALBO CRIOS PINOT NOIR 2014, Mendoza Argentina,  14.0%  XD 5g/L, #450098  $14.95  (Tasted July 30, 2016)

Released by Vintages on June 11, 2016. Reference: WineSearcher . My notes:  Held to the light there's a clear clean ruby and a swirl lays a thin film that sticks, slowly fragments then drops a curtain of slow tears. A sniff reveals a soft, warm, floral, subtle blueberry scent pleasing as a sipper or as a  complement to a mixed sliced hard cheese and meat buffet. The first sip has a soft texture, is medium-bodied and lightly flavoured with berry fruit - crushed black cherry, strawberry - politely stinging its way past the lips going into a long, warm and dry finish. Have with the above buffet or as a complement to grilled lamb or veal and, more comfortably, with cedar-planked Atlantic salmon. Cellaring more years may mellow out some of this pinot's brightness.  88

MIRASSOU WINERY PINOT NOIR 2014, Modesto, California, 13.5%  D  14g/L, #185249  $11.95*  (Tasted July 21, 2016)

A General listing. *Reduced from $13.95 until June 19, 2016. Reference: WineSearcherMy notes:  A clear black cherry light for a red but appropriate for the varietal. A swirl shows a viscous film fragmenting from the rim attempting to run tears instead shattering into isolated islands. The nose is slightly floral with a pleasing warmth and modest tang. Black cherry flavouring, a soft dryness and sustained finish supports sipping or meal pairing: Salmon/trout, Artic char or a light fruit salad pear and asiago dressing - air and lite chill (10oC) for a social sipper and light buffet. Short term cellaring is possible. 88-2

SUSANA BALBO CRIOS CHARDONNAY 2014, Mendoza, Argentina, 13.0%  XD  6g/L, #243196 $13.95  (Tasted July 17, 2016)

Released by Vintages on June 11, 2016. My notes:  A clean mid yellow that smears the glass with an unbroken film quickly fragmenting from a clinging rim. A mild citrus melon aroma half way to a vegetable scent has neutral appeal. The first sip stings with fresh lemon and a predominant mineral note leaves a fading dryness. I'd call it a refreshing lightish medium-body quaffer as well as a partner with fish filets: pecan crusted cod/tilapia, pickerel, Artic char or seared scallops. A value white that may provide dividends if cellared - check third  year.  88c

BYRON & HAROLD ROSE & THORNS SHIRAZ 2013, Western Australia, 14.0%  XD  5g/L,  #453183  $19.95  (Tasted July 23, 2016)

Released by Vintages on June 11, 2016. Rated 95 by Campbell Mattinson  (July 27, 2015) Reference: WineSearcherMy notes:  The nose entices one to rush but hold off to sense the aromas and intensity of character: subtle berries blended with soft woods, a polite but bright spice for an edge -- Now sip. There's a dry layer covered by ripe blackberry and tamed cranberry and substantial body to sustain a long finish. The film quickly releases a dozen fast tears. Pair with lamb kebobs, a medium rare tenderloin or Polish sausage on a well decorated bun. Drink now or cellar another period. 95-3 

WIRRA WIRRA CHURCH BLOCK CABERNET SAUVIGNON / SHIRAZ / MERLOT 2013, McLaren Vale, Australia, 14.5%  XD  7g/L, #024034   $19.95  (Tasted July 17, 2016)

Released by Vintages on June 11, 2016. Rated 94 by James Halliday  (November 14, 2015). Reference: WineSearcher . My notes: A smooth aroma of dark chocolate, raspberry and cranberry tang gently presented on the first sniff. A full-bodied blend of 50% Cab Sauv, 37% Shiraz and 13% Merlot. The film sticks following the release of a ring of slow tears. Take the first sip slowly to avoid the sting and penetration of persistent acids. A charcoal hue gives density to the royal ruby.  The finish quickly levels out prolonging dry fruit with a velvet texture. Pair with stewed, braised, wood fired grilled top grade beef. Cellaring over several more years should mellow its present bold character meanwhile aerating softened some of the bite for a sip now.  91-2

CONCHA Y TORO SERIE RIBERAS GRAN RESERVA CHARDONNAY 2013, Colchagua, Chile, 14.0% XD 8g/L, #287995  $16.95  (Tasted July 8, 2016)

Released by Vintages on May 14, 2016. Reference: WineSearcher  My notes:  A warm butter colour. A film sticks then runs a ring of slow tears from a stationary rim. The serving temperature balances a background warmth and tang- keep chilled. As a sipper a mineral dryness, delicate butterscotch and penetrating youthful citrus takes precedence - for Chard lovers. Its brightness and long finish would pair nicely with garlic shrimp, seared  mussels or a combination of whitefish pieces and buttery risotto. Bottle weight is an eco-unfriendly 1.4lbs. 89

ZONTE'S FOOTSTEP BARON VON NEMESIS SHIRAZ 2013, Barossa Valley, Australia, 14.5  XD  7g/L,  #212936   $17.95  (Tasted July 10, 2016)

Released by Vintages on June 11, 2016. Rated 94 by James Halliday  (July 27, 2015).  My notes: A black cast to a deep ruby would set up a mains of seasoned sirloin slices nicely. The nose has a charcoal edge matching initial impressions. A smooth rim dropping slow tears suggests a velvet touch to the first sip. Yes! Smooth with a penetrating warmth ending chalk dry and filled with ripened black cherries. Take time out to aerate. Now chalk has changed to mineral balancing nicely with spicy fruit. Full-bodied for a penetrating sipper or a solid companion to game meats or grilled beef cuts. Another few years in the cellar will develop this red further. 92a  

SANTA EMA RESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014, Leyda Valley, Chile, 13.5%  XD  3g/L, #443507  $15.95  (Tasted July 10, 2016)

Released by Vintages on  June 25, 2016.  My notes:  A green hue to a faint, crisp and clear blond colour and a nose offering faint rhubarb as a variation from gooseberry. Swirling leaves a moderate film and a formation of swollen tears falling slowly. Chilled then sampled at 10oC this has refreshing fruit with substantial body going into a long luscious finish. This is a Sauvignon Blanc with a citric brightness pleasing as a sipper and with a fullness to complement shellfish, a bento box mix and fresh water pickerel. Cellaring a few years may introduce some smoothness - personally I wouldn't wait.  92

DOMAINE LAFAGE CUVÉE CENTENAIRE 2014,  Cotes du Roussillon, France, 13.0%  XD  6g/L,  #343491  $19.95  (Tasted July 1, 2016)

Released by Vintages on Mar 5, 2016.  (80% Grenache Blanc, 20% Roussanne). Rated 91 by Jeb Dunnuck  (April 2015).  My notes: A mid yellow leaving a sticky film, a rounded rim and running fast legs. A touch of butter frames a soft lemon caramel aroma. Chill to 10oC min.  Sloshing fills the mouth with a lasting tang that subsides over a sustained warm finish - med-bodied. Pleasurable during and after a quaff. Pair with seafood of the quiet kind, ie. grilled, bento or raw. Has flexibility, for instance: from halibut on a mound of risotto to beer can chicken. 88

MONTES OUTER LIMITS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015, Zapallar Coast, Chile, 13.0% XD 6g/L,  #389643 $19.95  (Tasted July 1, 2016)

Released by Vintages on April 30, 2016.  Rated 90 by James Suckling  (October 29, 2015). My notes: Mid yellow with an acerbic lemon, green pea and faint butterscotch aroma. A thin film fills a rounded rim to drop a curtain of slow tears. An intense lemon with a softer caramel blend for a medium-bodied, new age sauvignon blanc. Rolling off the tongue as an extra dry almost chalky long finish this is a refresher when served chilled (10oC) on a summer afternoon of restful sunshine. Have with a salty cheese & cracker tray, grilled garlic shrimp on toothpicks, planked salmon or bacon wrapped asparagus spears. Still young and likely will cellar well.  90

CHÂTEAU PEGAU CUVÉE MACLURA CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2013,  Rhône, France, 14.0%  XD  xg/L,  #452250  $19.95  (Tasted July 27, 2016)

Release by Vintages on May 28, 2016.  My notes:  Swirls a firm film running bulging tears from a fragmented rim. When aerated rim is heavily fragmented and tears are slow to form before dropping.  There's a deep black cherry with a crushed cherry stone flavour and a subtle freshness. Well supported, medium bodied, a biting acidity with a warm start to mid throat finishing extra dry. No change when aerated. A solid complement to grilled beef patties, savoury stews, rare sirloin and tenderloin. Aged three years and likely several more are in the bottle. 89

CHÂTEAU TERRA MARE RHÔNE PARADOX CÔTES DU RHÔNE HOMINI 2012,  Rhône, France, 15.0%  XD  4g/L,  #447912  $16.95  (Tasted July 26, 2016)

Released by Vintages on Jun 11, 2016. Rated 90 by Jeb Dunnuck  (December 2013).  My notes: 100% Grenache. The colour is a deep ruby and a swirl brings out a thin film fragmenting at the rim then dropping a ring of long moderate tears. A scent of warm teak adds to a blackberry and soft liquorice flavour. Velvet smooth texture contrasts with a gradually fading acid and drying chalk finish. Pair with rare roast beef, cold as in a luncheon spread or hot with Yorkshire puddings. Short term - another 4 years. Primarily a drink now - aerate to soften bite.  89

MIONETTO PROSECCO DOC TREVISO NV, Veneto, Italy, 11.0%  D  17g/L,  #266023  $18.15  (Tasted July 6, 2016)

A General listing.  My notes: Mid-size bubbles quickly top the flute and cover the sides. A clear mid yellow matches the crisp and clean fragrance as does an almost dry balance of melon and subtle pear. A temperature of 10oC welcomes the senses on a hot (30oC) July day. There's a lasting suspicion of sweetness as well as an appealing fullness and, as a whole and given a few minutes, the spritz works its magic for a long finish. Freshen the morning with chilled oysters, strawberries and cream or back bacon chips and avocado slices - each chilled from a bowl of crushed ice. 89-1     

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