Friday, March 11, 2016


Released by Vintages on March 5, 2016 and produced by AED Wines . A blend of Avesso , Alvarinho and Arinto grapes grown using 'sustainable farming practices'.  (Reference: Wine Searcher )
POV 1 - Outside the Bottle: 

This bottle is the first I've seen that states content volume ranging from >0.50L =< 1L  (perhaps 2 bottle sizes with a dual label?). Imported from Portugal and at a low price point that I'd expect a pronounced tartness (Arinto) and with aroma and flavour (Avesso) on the citrus side. There will likely be a palate cleansing with each sip. This 'cleansing' will maintain its presence going into a long extra dry finish finally fading as a mild lemon zest. I wouldn't expect any perceptible lusciousness but some soft fullness. Serve at 10 degrees C with an ice bucket.

Now let's pop the cork!

POV 2 - Inside the Bottle:

CASA DO ARRABALDE  AVESSO/ALVARINHO/ARINTO 2014, Minho, Portugal, 12%  XD  8g/L,  #429324 $14.95     (Tasted March 11, 2106) 

My Tasting notes: A crystal clear light yellow and a faint tart hay fragrance starts off this tangy white. A swirl leaves a thin film hanging from a finely crinkled rim slowly dropping as a broken veil. The first sip has a brief touch of sweetness hanging from a mildly sumptuous fullness and an extra dry, fine as chalk, texture. As a burst of citrus fades a pronounced acid prolongs this white. Quaff for a pleasing tooth cleaning. A companion with delicate to flavourful seafood dishes and for guests that ponder over a crafted wine. 

Rating: B50 C5 N11 F&F16 P2 T5 89
Value  2 

(see side panel for detail)

Saturday, March 05, 2016


POV 1 - Outside the Bottle: 
Grape type
Viura (aka Macabeo) strikes me as producing a light- to medium-bodied mildly fragrant and crisp white, ie. no off flavoured nuances but those true to the varietal and terroir. Cellar ageing will have altered this under the winemaker's care. The back label gives temperature (6-8oC) suggestions as well as food pairings. A mid yellow and likely delicate with some finesse an off chill serving (10-12oC)  could bring out subtle aromas leading to an appealing finish. Being extra dry and from Spain this white could go well with seafood: breaded shrimp & scallops, grilled cod etc. on mounded lemon and/or caper flavored rice/orzo.  

Now I'll look inside the bottle. 

POV 2 - Inside the Bottle:

ONTAÑÓN VETIVER RIOJA VIURA 2013, Rioja, Spain, 13.0% XD 2g/L,  #437707  $15.95  (Tasted March 5, 2016)

Released by Vintages on December 12, 2015.  Produced from 100% Viura (Macabeo) grapes. (Reference: Wine Searcher )

My Tasting notes: I cooled this to 6oC and as it went offchill enjoyed the changes starting from chalk dry, flat with a neutral fragrance building to a mild lemon with each sip. At 10oC the lemon turns to a dominant zest to match a fuller dryness to start a long finish. At this point I'd call it a social sipper to be served with a mixed charcuterie. Up to 12oC this is delicate yet affirmative and enjoyable companion for a variety of grilled seafood although wearing out its welcome at 14oC. Cellaring short term, to 2018, could build a pleasant medium-bodied flexible white.

Rating: B50 C5 N12 F&F16 P1 T5 89   

Value  2

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

Wednesday, March 02, 2016


POV 1 - Outside the Bottle: 

Developing a Point Of View approach for tasting wines I initially look at the bottle interpreting the depth of colour, the marketing blurb and parentage as noted on the back label as well as the overall packaging approach. In this case the labeling resembles the Wild West somewhat, a Wanted Poster posing an entertaining imagery masking a charcoal tinted ruby inside. My experience with high alcohol levels suggests a touch of sweetness for balance, a flat fruit finishing with a dry fullness and a palate warmer. The vintage also suggests the likelihood of a youthful roughness. I'd guess cherries and blackberries offering both brightness and tannin going into a short finish. No finesse intended in this hamburger or savoury pork rib companion.

POV 2 - Inside the Bottle:

THE WANTED ZIN OLD VINES ZINFANDEL IGT 2014, Puglia, Italy, 14.5% M  xg/L,  #416487  $13.95  (Tasted March 2, 2016)

A General listing produced in Puglia, Italy and marketed by Orion Wines - formerly named 'The Grand Zin'  (Reference: Wine Searcher ).

My Tasting notes: The film is moderately viscous leaving a crinkled rim releasing slow tears. A sweetness balances a moderate raspberry/cherry flavour while a silky texture and mild warmth coats the palate. Sipping continues building both flavour and warmth. The finish fades quickly leaving only the sweet and dry. A social drink now, an option for an open bar and a pepperoni pizza partner.

Rating: B50 C5 N12 F&F14 P0 T5 86
Value  2 

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

March 2016 Wines - 16 Tasted of 16

Home Suite Home

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

    Tuesday, March 01, 2016

    2015 2nd Half Summary - Whites+

    Front St. looking East
    The 41 Whites+ consisting of 30 whites, 5 rosés and 6 bubblies tasted from July 1st through December 31st of 2015 are listed below.  Shown in brackets is the month of tasting where the original notes can be found.  Five  wines rated 90 and above are considered enjoyable to excellent either to sip or with a meal. Those 85 to 89 are increasingly enjoyable while those 84 and below have progressive degrees of being less pleasurable as the rating approaches 80/NR.  See the side panel for details.

    The value that is hyphenated to the rating indicates whether a wine is 'worth the price', one that I'd buy in 'multiples', or one I'd buy in 'quantity'.

    Consider this one person's view and perhaps a starting point for finding bargain wines. Click here for the 2015 2nd half Reds.

    Cheers, Ww

    Whites (30):

    • Colomé Torrontés 2013, 91-3  --  V,  Valle Calchaqui, Argentina, #357913  $13.95 (July)
    • ZOLO Torrontés 2014,  91-2  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #183913  $14.95 (Dec)
    • l'Arjolle Sauvignon Blanc-Viognier 2014, 90-2  --  G, Thongue, France, 12.0% D 10g/L, #348904  $12.15 (Sep)
    • Pietro Marini Torrontés 2013, 90-2  --  V, Calchaqui Valley, Argentina, #408443  $12.95  (Oct)
    • Eradus Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2014,  90-2  --  V,  Marlborough, NZ, #225557  $18.95 (July)
    • Casas del Bosque Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2014, 89-2  --  V, Casablanca Valley, Chile,  #974717  $13.95 (Dec)
    • Sueno Tempranillo 2011, 88-1  --  V, Casa de Haro, Spain, #397133  $18.95  (Aug)
    • Kellermeister Barossa Vineyards Chardonnay 2011,  87-1  --  G, Lyndoch, South Australia, #400424  $15.10 (Nov)
    • Bollini Pinot Grigio 2014,  87-1  --  V, Trentino, Italy, #951319  $16.95 (Oct)
    • Cheval-Quancard Reserve Bordeaux Blanc 2013,  86-1  --  G, Bordeaux, France, #401604  $13.90 (Oct)
    • Ironstone Obsession Symphony 2012, NAPA Valley, 86  --  G, California, #295931  $14.95 (July)
    • Anselmi San Vincenzo 2013, 86  --  V, Veneto, Italy, #948158  $14.95* (Aug)
    • Fünf 5 Riesling NV,  85  --  G, Rhein, Germany, #175026  $10.40  (Aug)
    • Faustino VII Blanco Rioja 2013,  85  --  G, Rioja, Spain, #399568 $12.65 (July)
    • d'Arenberg The Stump Jump White 2014,  85  -- V, McLaren Vale, South Australia, 113.8% D 7g/L,  #922203 $14.95  (Nov) 
    • Rosewood Sussreserve Riesling 2014 VQA Niagara Escarpment, 84 --  V,  Beamsville, Ontario, #258806  $12.25 (Dec)
    • Pillitteri Estates Winery Protagonist 2012 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  84  --  V,  Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario,  #294025  $13.25  (Dec)
    • Domaine Saint Paul Viognier Pays d'Oc 2013, 84  --  V, Meursault, France, 13.0%  XD  4g/L, #414490 $13.95 (Nov)
    • Gorgo San Michelin Custoza 2014, 84  --   V, Veneto, Italy, #428045  $14.95 (Oct)
    • House of Mandela Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Paarl, South Africa,  83  --  G, South Africa, #407882 $12.85 (Dec)
    • Calamus Estate Riesling 2013 VQA Vinemount Ridge, 83 --  V,  Jordan, Ontario, #158642  $13.75  (Dec)
    • Duca Catemario Collezione Privata Pinot Grigio 2014, 83 --   V, Friuli, Italy, #120782  $14.95  (Oct)
    • Cave Spring Riesling 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 82  --  G,  Jordan, Ontario, #234583  $14.95 (Sep)
    • Domaine Bousquet Cameleon Chardonnay 2014,  81  --  V, Tupungato Valley, Argentina,  #408450 $13.95 (Nov)
    • Beringer Founders' Estate Pinot Grigio,  81  -- G, California, USA, #045641 $16.95 (Sep)
    • Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier 2015, 80  --  G, Chile, #064287  $9.95
    • J.P. Chenet Chardonnay Reserve Pays d'Doc 2014, 80  --  G, France,  #255885 $11.95* (Sep)
    • Apothic White Winemakers Blend 2013, 80 --  G, Modesto, California, #419978 $16.15 (Nov)
    • Cono Sur Reserva Chardonnay 2014,  79  --  G, Casablanca Valley, Chile, #270066 $12.95 (Sep)
    • Fat Bastard Chardonnay Pays d'Oc 2013,  79/NR  --  G, Pay d'Doc, France, #563130 $14.95  (Oct)

    Rosés (5):

    • Konigschaffhauser Vulkanfelsen Pinot Noir Rosé Trocken 2014,  87-1  --  V,  Baden, Germany,  #168237   $13.95 (Aug)
    • Château Val Joanis Tradition Rosé 2014,  87-1 --  V,  Rhône, France, #707281  $15.95  (Sep)
    • Faustino V Rioja Tempranillo Rosé 2014, 84  --  G,  Rioja, Spain, #404517   $12.90  (July)
    • Gassier Sables d'Azur Rosé 2014,  83  --  V, Provence, France,  #033621  $15.95 (July)
    • Charles & Charles Rosé 2014, 82  --  G,  Columbia Valley, Washington,  #406603  $15.95 (July)

    Bubblies (6):

    • Aurora Pinot Noir Espumante Natural Brut Procedencias NV,  90-2  --  V,  Brazil, #412536  $15.95 (Sep) 
    • Santa Alicia Tierra Sur Sparkling 2013,  89-1  --  V, Bio Bio Valley, Chile, #404103 $17.95  (Dec)
    • Astoria Extra Dry Prosecco NV,  86-1  --  G, Treviso district, Italy, #593855  $13.90  (July)
    • Vieni Momenti Sparkling Wines Extra Brut 2013 VQA Ontario, 85-1  --  G, Beamsville, Ontario, #435784  $13.95  (Nov)
    • Foss Marai Extra Dry Prosecco NV, 85  --  V, Veneto, Italy, #729392  $17.95* (Dec)
    • Cavas Hill 1887 Brut NV,  84  --  G,  Penedès, Spain, #370866  $13.20  (July)

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

    2015 2nd Half Summary - Reds

    Union Station looking West
     The 45 Reds tasted from July 1st through December 31st of 2015 are listed below sequenced by rating.  Shown in brackets is the month of tasting where the original notes can be found.  There are only 6 wines rated 90 and above. These are considered not lacking in any aspect and are excellent to sip and/or as a complement to a meal. Nineteen, in the 85 to 89 range,  are enjoyable but may lack in minor degrees of fullness, varietal character or some other element. Another nineteen are 84 and below - these may be consumable but not necessarily enjoyable. See the side panel for more background.

    The value that is hyphenated to the rating indicates whether a wine is 'worth the price', one that I'd buy in 'multiples', or one I'd buy in 'quantity'.  Again, the side panel has more detail. Click here for the 2015 2nd half WHITES+.

    Consider this one person's view and perhaps a starting point for finding bargain wines.

    Cheers, Ww

    Reds (45):

    • Gnarly Head Petite Sirah 2013, 92-3  --  V, Manteca, California, #427450  $17.95  (Nov)
    • BenMarco Cabernet Sauvignon 2013,  92-2  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #232637  $18.95  (Sep)
    • Casa Castillo Monastrell 2012, 91- 2  --  G, Jumilla, Spain, #165621  $14.95 (12.0) (Aug)
    • RompeSedas 2006,  91-2  --  V, Toro, Spain, #425868  $19.95  (Oct)
    • Vieni Briganti Reserve 2012 VQA Ontario, 90-2  --  V, Beamsville, Ontario, #419440  $18.95  (Nov)
    • Torres Celeste Crianza Tempranillo 2011,  90-1  --  V,  Ribadeo, Spain, #210872 $20.95  (Jul)

    • Root:1 Carmenère Colchagua Valley 2013,  89-2  --  G,  Donihue, Chile, #350546,  $12.95 (Oct)
    • Pasqua Passimento Rosso IGT 2013, 89-2  --  G, Veneto, Italy, #141952  $13.95 (Sep)
    • Casas del Bosque Reserva Carmenère 2013,  89-2  --  V, Rapel Valley, Chile, #205872  $14.95  (Jul)
    • Trapiche Extravaganza Red Blend 2014,  89-2 --  G, Mendoza, Argentina, #360776  $15.95 (14.2)  (Aug)
    • Apothic Dark Red Blend 2014,  89-1  --  G, Modesto, California, #392654  $16.15  (Nov)
    • Bodega Paiman Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, 89  --  V,  Chanarmuyo Valley, Argentina, #423186 $19.95  (Oct) 
    • Ca' Momi Zinfandel 2013,  89-1  --  V, Napa, California, #396168  $21.95 (Nov)
    • Leone de Castris Maiana Salice Salentino 2013,  88-1  --  G, Puglia, Italy, #717959  $14.95 (12.8)  (Aug)
    • Velletri Terrae de Volsci Riserva DOP 2009,  88-1  --  G,  Lazio, Italy, #175141  $14.85 (Sep)
    • Dominio del Plata Crios Limited Edition Red Blend 2013,  88-1  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #366146  $14.95  (Sep)
    • Catena Zapata Family Malbec 2013, 88-1  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina,  #478727 $17.95*  (Sep)
    • Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin Lodi 2013, 88-1  --   V, Manteca, California, #678698  $17.95 (Dec)
    • Torres Cordillera de Los Andes Carignan 2010, 87a-1  --  V,  Maule Valley, Chile,  #389692  $16.00*  (Sep)
    • KWV Roodeberg Red 2013,  87-1  --  G, Western Cape, South Africa, #007187  $12.65  (15.1)  (Aug)
    • Bodega Norton Reserva Malbec 2011, 87a  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #017061 $17.00  (Jul)
    • Alamos Malbec 2013,  86  --  G, Mendoza, Argentina, #295139  $14.95 (15.3)  (Aug)
    • Gnarly Head Cabernet Sauvignon 2013,  86  --   G, Manteca, California, #068924  $14.95  (Dec)
    • NO. 99 Wayne Gretzky Estates Merlot 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 86  --  G, Winona, Ontario, #063966  $15.95  (11.4)  (Aug)
    • Apothic Red Winemakers Blend 2013,  85 --  G, Modesto, California,  #234369 $16.15  (Nov)

    • Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet 2013,  84  --  G, Livermore, California, #260851  $12.95*  (Dec)
    • Rocca Alata Leggermente Appassito Rosso Veneto 2013,  84  --   G, Veneto, Italy, #398057  $13.60  (Nov)
    • Fat Bastard Shiraz Pays d'Oc 2013, 84  --  G, Pay d'Doc, France, #563122 $14.95  (Oct)
    • Gnarly Head Pinot Noir 2013, 84  --  G, Manteca, California, #358911  $14.95 (Dec)
    • Vineland Cabernet Franc 2013, VQA Niagara Peninsula, 84  --  G, Winona, Ontario, #594127  $13.95 (13.5)  (Aug)
    • Domaine Boyar Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, 83  --  G, Thracian Lowlands, Bulgaria, #340851  $7.90* (13.0)  (Aug)
    • Vieni Briganti Red 2012 VQA Ontario, 83  --  G, Beamsville, Ontario, #435792  $12.95  (Nov)
    • Fat Bastard Cabernet Sauvignon Pays d'Oc 2013, 83  --  G, Pay d'Doc, France, #028506  $14.95  (Oct)
    • Sterling Vintner's Collection Pinot Noir 2014,  83  --  G, Sonoma, California, #226571  $15.95  (Dec)
    • McManis Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2014,  83  --  V, Ripon, California, #212126  $19.95  (Oct)
    • Ogier Heritages Côtes du Rhône 2013,  82  --  G, Rhone, France, #535849 $14.95  (Oct)
    • Chapillon Siendra 2011, 82  --  V, Calatayud, Spain, #417675 $14.95  (Sep)
    • Terra d'Oro Zinfandel 2012, 82  --  V, Amador County, California, #429225  $21.95  (Nov)
    • Faustino VII Tempranillo Rioja 2012,  81  --  G, Rioja, Spain, #315234  $12.95 (Jul)
    • The Wolftrap Syrah Mouvèdre Viognier 2014, 81  --  G,  Boekenhoutsloof, South Africa, #292557 $12.95*  (11.6)  (Aug)
    • Celler Cercavins Lo Virol 2014,  81  --  V, Costers del Segre, Spain, #425702 $14.95  (Sep)
    • Carpineto Dogajolo Rosso Veneto Toscano IGT 2013, 81  --   G, Tuscany, Italy,  #361501  $16.05 (Oct)
    • Gérard Bertrand Fitou Grenache/Carignan 2011, 81  -- V,  Narbonne, France, #403683  $16.95  (Dec)
    • Copper Moon 'Moonlight Harvest' Merlot NV,  80  --  Kelowna, BC, #173526  $9.45 (Nov)
    • Fat Bastard Merlot VDP Pays d'Oc 2013, 79/NR  --  G, Pay d'Doc, France, #610857 $14.95 (Oct)
     (V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, c - cellar, NR - Not Recommended)