Monday, August 01, 2016

August 2016 Wines - 16 Tasted of 16

Arbutus Ridge, Vancouver Island

Our first BC home is third from end of second row setback from the channel on a street aptly named Saltspring View.

Cheers, Ww

LINEUP:  Reds, Whites and Bubblies:

  • Balzac Cafe, July 30 '16
    Undurraga Sibaris Gran Reserva Syrah 2013, 94-3  --  V, Cachapaol, Chile, #443556  $16.95
  • Domaine Santa Duc Roaix les Crottes 2010,  93-3  --  V, Côtes du Rhône Villages, France, #437491  $17.25  
  • Tapiz Alta Collection Malbec 2013, 93-3  --  V, Uco Valley, Argentina, #450155  $19.95
  • Santa Duc les Vieilles Vignes Côtes du Rhône, 90-2  --  V,  Rhone, France, #101543  $16.95
  • Chateau Peyros Madiran Tannat/Cabernet Franc 2010,  85  --  V, Corbere Aberes, France,  #208249  $15.95 
  • Alamos Seleccion Malbec 2013, 84 --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #322800  $16.95  
  • Susana Balbo CRIOS Cabernet Sauvignon 2013,  83  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #640979  $12.75
  • Ortas Cave de Rasteau la Domelière Rasteau 2014, 82  --  V, Côtes du Rhône, France, #222927  $16.95  


Caribana Crowd coming our way, July 30 '16
  • Mount Riley Limited Release Sauvignon Blanc 2015, 93-3  --  V, Marlborough, New Zealand,  #447425  $18.95
  • Peninsula Ridge Barrel Aged Chardonnay 2014 VQA Beamsville Bench, 89-2  --  V, Beamsville, Ontario, #211490  $15.95
  • See Ya Later Ranch Pinot Gris 2014 VQA Okanagan Valley, 89-1  --  V, British Columbia, Canada, #263699   $17.95
  • Susana Balbo CRIOS Torrontés 2015, 84  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #001834  $13.95
  • Zuccardi Serie A Torrontés 2014, 84  --  V, Salta, Argentina, #389262   $15.95   
  • Finca El Origen Estate Reserva Torrontés 2015, 84  --  V, Uco Valley, Argentina, #262089  $15.95
  • Riverlore Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015, 83  --  G, Marlborough, New Zealand, #417600,  $15.95   
  • Aurora Sparkling White Brut Pinot Noir , 89-2 --  V,  Serra Gaúcha, Brazil, #412536  $12.80*
               (V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, c - cellar, NR - Not Recommended)


ZUCCARDI SERIE A TORRONTÉS 2014, Salta, Argentina, 14.5% XD 5g/L, #389262   $15.95  (Tasted August 21, 2016)

Released by Vintages on July 7, 2016.  My notes: Rated 90 by James Parker of The Wine Advocate and 92 by James Suckling  (June 23, 2015).  Poured at 10oC the film sticks then separates and falls quickly.  A crisp and clear pale yellow, lemon scented, salt edged and nutty belying any tropical fruit that could be expected. The nose builds slightly as temperature rises (14oC) and is preferred. The first sip sucks away thoughts of sweet leaving the throat through a long, arid, unique finish. Pair with a seafood platter - or mains of grilled wild cod or tilapia on mounded lemon risotto. A drink now.  84 

SEE YA LATER RANCH PINOT GRIS 2014 VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada 13.0%  D  8g/L, #263699   $17.95  (Tasted August 5, 2016)

Released by Vintages on February 20, 2016. A Constellation Brands Inc. winery.  My notes: A mid yellow spreading a viscous film enough to slowly form a few tears gradually dropping from a jagged rim. Served at 10oC the nose is pleasantly acidic balanced between green fruit and a mineral depth. The first sip confirms a youthful harvest possibly crushed with stems. A sipper with flavour to match a stir fry of cherry tomatoes, onions and caper/anchovy sauce over crusted veal or pork. Has staying power, extra dry and warm. The empty bottle weighs in just under 1.5 pounds.  Keep chilled. 89
TAPIZ ALTA COLLECTION MALBEC 2013, Uco Valley, Argentina, 14.2%  XD  5g/L,  #450155   $19.95  (Tasted July 18, 2016)

Released by Vintages on June 25, 2016. Rated 95 by James Suckling (June 2, 2015).  My notes: There's a bite of spice added to the soft freshness of Malbec. A balanced fermentation retains the varietal's place over three years in the bottle. The colour is a deep ruby with a swirl laying a fragmenting film falling under a lacy rim.  Full-bodied, the first sip offers up more tang, a dryness and warmth - very assertive. A quaff intensifies the warmth with a slosh (is that a word?) and a firm swallow. The finish is on the woody side with little fresh fruit being retained. Pair with savoury stews or beef tenderloin rubbed with salt/pepper and left five minutes to tenderize. Aerating is worth the extra step - it mellows an acid edge. 93

CHÂTEAU PEYROS MADIRAN TANNAT/CABERNET 2010, Corbere Aberes, France,  14.0%  XD  4g/L,  #208249  $15.95  (Tasted August 2, 2016)

Released by Vintages on February 6, 2016. Rated 91 and a Best Buy by Roger Voss Wine Enthusiast  (March 2015).  My notes: A blend of 80% Tannat and 20% Cabernet Franc.  A swirl starts tiny tears that run slowly from a lightly rounded rim. A sip releases a penetrating bite and a powdery presence combines with a light bramble texture, a purple plum scent and cranberry bitterness. A lightish body with a warmth that's slow to build along with a chalk ending.  Pair with savoury stews - ours was with Osso Buco  . Tannat dominates this blend. A drink now. 85   

FINCA EL ORIGEN ESTATE RESERVA TORRONTÉS 2015, Uco Valley, Argentina, 14.3%  XD 4g/L,  #262089  $15.95  (Tasted August 6, 2016)

Released by Vintages on May 28, 2016.  My notes:  A mid yellow showing a viscous film motionless while building volume then slowly draining the sides. The nose has a soft pear scent that fades quickly in contrast to the first sip that bites the palate finishing bright, extra dry and a notion of warm pear. Medium-bodied, well balanced with a firm structure - a partner for any seafood and saucy vegetable stir fry or serve chilled as a social drink-now.   84

SUSANA BALBO CRIOS TORRONTÉS 2015, Mendoza, Argentina, 13.5%  D  4g/L, #001834  $13.95  (Tasted August 2, 2016)

Released by Vintages on April 1, 2016. Reduced to $11.95 until July 17, 2016.  My notes: The 2014 vintage was tasted on August 1st and rated 84. The colour of this vintage is a lighter yellow with a green tint. Served at 11oC there's a soft edge of chilled unripe grapefruit - interesting but not appealing. The film sticks and descends en masse from a crinkled rim. The first sip has an unripe citrus tartness quickly fading to a mineral tang and chalk dry ending. Have with a mixed buffet rather than solo. Flavours fade ending with green apple bias. Try cellaring a few years to mellow existing youthfulness or serve with halibut/sole/cod with risotto/rice/mashed Yukon Gold or blended cauliflower.  84

SUSANA BALBO CRIOS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.0%  D  7g/L,  #640979  $12.75  (Tasted August 7, 2016)

Released by Vintages on February 6, 2016.  My notes:  There are no significant changes from aerating - the nose and flavours remain the same. A mild plum softens a rough edge of a blackberry scent and the flavours of the first sip. A ruby colour has a slight charcoal hue. Medium-bodied, extra dry with a finish that gradually loses intensity changing to woody berry with a just noticeable warmth and herby tang. A thin film is quick to release a cascade of tears. Have with grilled or baked beef - is especially suited to grilled servings: barbecued steaks, ribs, burgers or stews.  83

PENINSULA RIDGE BARREL AGED CHARDONNAY 2014 VQA Beamsville Bench, Beamsville, Ontario, 12.5%  XD  4g/L, #211490  $15.95  (Tasted August 9, 2016)

Released by Vintages on March 5, 2016. My notes:  Crystal clear, mid yellow and showing a light film that clings then forms tears leaving a glistening rim. Served at 9oC there`s a delicate scent of pear, apple and butter combines with a slight byte and dry texture carrying into a long finish. Flexible as a drink now as well as a seafood complement. We sipped waiting for flattened Cornish game hens in a thyme/lemon/lime marinade to bake. A puréed parsnip cauliflower completed the medley. 89

MOUNT RILEY LIMITED RELEASE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand,  13.0%  XD  5g/L,  #447425  $18.95  (Tasted August 12, 2016)

Released by Vintages on July 9, 2016.  Rated 95 by Bob Campbell  (Feb 11, 2015).  My notes:  My notes: The aroma of a cool gooseberry cluster in your hand and delicate pear, nicely herbal. The colour is a traditional mid yellow and a spin creates a thin film with crinkled rim. The flavour of Meyer lemons bright with a pithy smoothness staying 'til the unctuous state with each swallow. Sip straight in the shade of a canopy or pair with seared garlic scallops wrapped in side bacon. Have on crushed ice and vodka if inclined (pls no lemon slice unless it's Meyer's). Other shellfish in garlic and white wine broth - make a meal of it adding toasty ciabatta (biga) slices. 93

AURORA SPARKLING WHITE BRUT PINOT NOIR NV, Serra Gaúcha, Brazil,  12.0%  D  12g/L, #412536  $12.80*  (Tasted August 10, 2016)

Released by Vintages on June 27, 2015.  *reduced from $19.95 for a limited time.  My notes: Bursts when opened to settle with a half inch of froth then continue with a display of all-size bubbles. A mid yellow colour with an interesting aroma of orange zest blended with lemon pith. Finishes extra dry with flavours following the aroma and mellowing slightly as acid adds freshness and smoothness adds appeal. I suggest tasting before the initial serving as flavours may have specific appeal. Pair with mussels in wine and garlic sauce. Mine went well with Panko crumb coated garlic shrimp seared in white wine, mashed garlic and sprinkled with fresh parsley. 89

SANTA DUC LES VIEILLES VIGNES CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2009,  Rhone, France, 14.0%  D  8g/L,  #101543  $16.95  (Tasted September 2, 2016) 

Released by Vintages on May 28, 2016.  Joe Czerwinski, Wine Enthusiast, rated this wine 90 (July 2012).  My Notes:  The colour and scent of ripe black cherries full bodied and balanced for savoury meals. A swirl leaves a syrupy wash offloading its viscosity through streaming tears. The nose builds and a sip brings a an intense tang and a metallic brush across the teeth. Enjoy for its long finish starting on a high note continuing to grab attention with its intensity. A early nose suggests sweetness but this is stone dry.  90

ORTAS CAVE DE RASTEAU LA DOMELIÈRE RASTEAU 2014, Cotes du Rhone, France,  14.0%  XD 4g/L, #222927  $16.95  (Tasted September 9, 2016)

Released by Vintages on June 25, 2016.  My notes: Combine raspberries, black cherries and a mild herb to replicate the nose. Darken the same mix for colour. Successive sips sting the mouth and leaves a parched dryness to  start a long extra dry finish. Young and rough and not that pleasing as a sipper nor as a complement to a meal. Try it with a savoury meal: a full flavoured stew or grilled tenderloin slices with red wine gravy. Decanting thirty minutes before serving may soften but not likely. 82
ALAMOS SELECCIÓN MALBEC 2013, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.0%  XD  5g/L, #322800  $16.95  (Tasted September 8, 2016)

Released by Vintages on June 25, 2016. Rated 91 by Luis Gutierrez, (August 2015).  My notes:  The colour is a dense black cherry and carries a scent rich in burnt charcoal and dark chocolate with a bright  tartness. A swirl washes the side with a medium viscosity covering then running long legs before separating into a fragmented veil. Penetrating at first, stinging at second, warm and tingly on the tongue then flat and extra dry for a long finish. More bland than grand in flavours and texture. Better as a companion red with savoury stews and grilled/roasted beef or game. A drink now and approaching the downside of cellaring. Aerating introduced a mineral element.  84     

DOMAINE SANTA DUC ROAIX LES CROTTES 2010, Cotes du Rhone Villages, France, 15%  XD 13g/L,  #437491  $17.25  (Tasted August 19, 2016)

Released by Vintages on Apr 16, 2016.  Rated 88-90 by Robert Parker Jr   (October 2011).  My notes:  Velvet smooth with a thick film on the glass that quickly runs full legs. A charcoal hue to a clean ruby, an intense sting and concentration gives the impression of a cigar companion - but it's fleeting (those days have long gone). Full-bodied and a smoky pepper on ripe plum lingers narrows this as a client sipper. Pair with wild game, a savoury tenderloin or rich Montreal smoked meat. Six years since picking and may go another six if it's your style. Soften by aerating.  93   

UNDURRAGA SIBARIS GRAN RESERVA SYRAH 2013, Cachapaol Valley, Chile, 14%  XD  6g/L,  #443556  $16.95  (Tasted September 5, 2016)

Release by Vintages on July 9, 2016.  My notes:Pours a deep black cherries. A sniff carries the steamy warmth of crushed fruit and a swirl shows a slow viscosity with tears idling downward. There's a balance to the fruit, the texture, full-bodied treat that comes with sipping. A suspicion of sugar may be included although the finish is long and dry. Toast the occasion or pair with beef tenderloin, stews, gamey recipes but don't overdo the savoury of this red.  Still a lot of longevity to put away several cases. Why spend wordage on geography when there's so much to say about this wine.  94    

RIVERLORE SAUVIGNON BLANC MARLBOROUGH 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand, 13.0%  XD  2g/L,  #417600,  $15.95  (Tasted August 18, 2016)

A General listing and a product of Wairau River Wines Ltd. .  My notes: A pale yellow with a green tint, a clear and crisp sipper. Extra dry leaving the tongue with tingling sparkles. A thin film on the glass hangs from a crackled rim each edge quickly shrinking. Flavours include young gooseberry, tart crab apple and hints of pineapple core and mango. The finish is long fading to extra dry. Pair with seared mussels in a garlic and butter sauce or boarded Atlantic Salmon flamed. Perhaps will soften in several years. Try aerating.  83