Wednesday, March 01, 2017

March 2017 wines - 12 tasted of 12

March 2017 wines – 12 tasted of 12

A family community - Port Credit, Mississauga

LINEUP: Reds, Whites and Bubblies

  • Wakefield Clare Valley + McLaren Vale Jaraman Shiraz 2014, 93-2 -- V, Auburn, South Australia, #377036 $24.95
  • Cavino Deus Mavrodaphne of Patras NV, 91-2(Sweet) -- V, Aigio, Greece, #452060 $13.95
  • The Black Chook Shiraz/Viognier 2015, 91-2 -- V, McLaren Vale, South Australia, #066738 $18.95
  • Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, 87 -- V, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #322586 $17.95
  • Montes Limited Selection Carmenère 2014, 84a -- V, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #256685 $14.95

  • Wakefield Estate Chardonnay 2015, 91-2 -- V, Clare Valley, Australia, #711556 $15.95
  • Franklin Tate Estates Chardonnay 2015, 87-1 -- V, Western Australia, #453373 $17.95
  • Susana Balboa Crios Torrontés 2016, 86-1 -- V, 2016, Mendoza, Argentina #001834 $13.95
  • Tyrrell’s Lost Block Semillon 2015, 85 -- V, Hunter Valley, Australia, #933200 $17.95
  • Cave Spring Estate Riesling 2014 VQA Beamsville Bench, 84 -- G, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, #286377 $18.95
  • Hesketh Bright Young Things Sauvignon Blanc 2015, 83 -- V, South Australia, #447086 $14.95

  • Astoria Prosecco NV, 82 -- G, Astoria, Italy, #593855 $15.05

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


MONTES ALPHA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 14.0%  XD  9g/L,  #322586  $17.95   (Tasted March 1, 2017)

Released by Vintages on April 1, 2016.  My notes: Decanting for 20 minutes or aerating before serving is recommended – sipping or with a meal. In either case there’s a slightly rough feel on first sip and a mild acid. This has a rich ruby colour, usually a regal setting but, in this case made sombre by a hint of charcoal.  Texture is flat and the body is medium with a short spell of warmth combined with a blackberry flavour. Except for a latent fruity edge not quite a sipper and lacks body and acid for an ideal meal companion. Not a cellar candidate. 87
HESKETH BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015,  South Australia, 13.0%  XD  4g/L, #447086  $14.95   (Tasted January 23, 2017)

Released by Vintages on July 23, 2016.  My notes: The film thins from a fragmented rim until a laciness decorates the glass. The colour is a delicate lime showing some yellow in shadowed light. Aromas are less defined starting with a grassy pineapple and lime then trailing off to a neutral lemon; bright, thin, dry, long.  The finish paired nicely with delicate sweet buttery popcorn fed to a social crowd. Rated 3 ½ of 5 by an Australian taster, Tony Love of The Advertiser (November 27, 2015) the year put in bottle. 83  

FRANKLIN TATE ESTATES CHARDONNAY 2015, Western Australia, 12.8%  XD 2g/L, #453373   $17.95    (Tasted February 25, 2017)

Released by Vintages on July 9, 2016.  My notes: The film following a swirl indicates a silky touch and a crystal view. The nose is light with a young grapefruit aroma and a penetrating tang. Second sips confirm a refreshing brightness lasting through a long finish. Coconut shrimp, grilled whitefish with tomato sauces, or smoked salmon pizza could partner well. A touch of lime catches your breath at an extra dry  end. A no frills seafood or chicken white. Cellaring may flatten a bright personality if left too long. Drink now.  87
TYRRELL'S LOST BLOCK SEMILLON 2015, Hunter Valley, Australia, 11.0%  XD  6g/L,  #933200   $17.95  (Tasted February 26, 2017 )

Released by Vintages on October 29, 2016. My notes:   A bright grapefruit yellow with the fruit and aroma to match. The tart of lemon, the subtle edge of lime blending together and lasting finally fading to a refreshing dryness. Missing the fullness and silk of an unoaked chard but close.  A thin film releases several fast tears as the nose fades from presence. Quaff to revive a partner for salty and/or cheesy crackers or have with smoked salmon pizza slices. Should keep well in a cool cellar – possibly several years. 85 

SUSANA BALBO CRIOS TORRONTÉS 2016, Mendoza, Argentina  13.0% XD 4g/L, #001834  $13.95  (Tasted January 20, 2017)

Released by Vintages on April 1, 2016. My notes: Several vintages of Susan Balboa’s Torrontés have been tasted: 2015(84), 2014(84 ), 2013(91) and 2009(93). A trend may go one way or the other - this tasting may show which. A pale yellow lays a thin film with small tears falling from a rim that disintegrates on the glass. Perfumed with delicate honeysuckle and introducing a tangy edged grapefruit and lime  with a warm touch to the palate. This carries into a long dry finish. Pair with soft cheeses or sliced Italian meats. Keep chilled to maintain the early burst of flavour – loses character quickly above 15oC. A sociable drink now.  86

THE BLACK CHOOK SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER 2015, McLaren Vale, South Australia, 14.5%  XD  16g/L, #066738  $18.95  (Tasted March 4, 2017)

Released by Vintages on January 21, 2017.  My notes: A North Rhône style of Shiraz blended with Padthaway grapes and fermented with white Viognier. Aged leather comes to mind on the first sniff. The steaming warmth of a riding stable tempers the black currant and crushed blackberries completing the introduction. A viscous film drops dozens of tears framing a bright edge – a subtle roundness stays on the lips. Airing twenty minutes or decant, then quaff to overcome a background country aroma and, unless the terroir is familiar, share with grainy crackers, soft cheeses and patés - also welcomed with a savoury beef stew or Osso buco. A young red that may cellar well – try several years sampling often. 91   

CAVE SPRING ESTATE RIESLING 2014 VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, 11.0%  D  9g/L,  #286377   $18.95  (Tasted March 1, 2017)

Released by Vintages on April 1, 2016. My notes:A multitude of fine bubblies appear spontaneously on opening. The colour is a delicate grapefruit with a hint of metallic. The nose has a mild pie dough resemblance touched by lemon. Serve in chilled glasses with an ice bucket nearby otherwise it’s difficult to avoid a creeping flatness. A swirl leaves a finely wrinkled film that slides to the meniscus. A long finish pleasingly sweet balancing a pleasing acid. A flexible social sipper and a reasonable partner with light fish plates: halibut, tilapia, shrimp and scallops or have with toasted cheddar cheese sandwiches. 84  

MONTES LIMITED SELECTION CARMENÈRE 2014, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 13.5%  D  4g/L, #256685  $14.95  (Tasted March 13, 2017)

Released by Vintages on December 10, 2016.  My notes: A dense ruby, charcoal hued. A sniff of an aerated and non-aerated sample reveals the former has a background sharpness, not unappealing unless lacking an alternative for those wanting softness. A swirl lays a thin film and long legs, a chalk dry finish with bright young cherry/cranberry before then minimum fruit and a just noticeable metal edge after the swallow. Have with herb flavoured grilled centre cut pork chops or veal scaloppini and roasted parsnip/carrots, ie. a vegetable mix. Not a solo sipper- pair with eg. bacon wrapped asparagus -  nor is it a cellar candidate – try an open bar? where a choice can be made. 84

WAKEFIELD CLARE VALLEY MCLAREN VALE JARAMAN SHIRAZ 2014, Auburn, South Australia, 14.5%  XD  5g/L, #377036  $24.95  (Tasted February 12, 2017)
Released by Vintages on November 12, 2016. My notes: Winner of Gold medals in Germany and Spain, Silver in the UK. Fresh berry fruit springs from the glass on first pour. A sniff intensifies the fruit and a charcoal hue to the deep ruby colour gives some maturity. A swirl spreads a set film, wrinkles at the rim then dropping a dozen+ tears. Blackberries, as if warmed by the Auburn sun greets the palate, tangy yet velvety. A long finish extends sipping pleasure – no need for pairing. Could reward a diner of beef Wellington, savoury pork tenderloin or well marinated flank steak. In the bottle now four years and could do another four. A Shiraz worth purchasing in cases imho. 93

ASTORIA PROSECCO NV, Astoria, Italy, 11.0% D 11g/L, #593855 $15.05 (Tasted February 21, 2017)

A General listing. My notes: The first sip is tart with the ripple of spritz across the palate. The sensation fades quickly to an unexpected smoothness and a quiet finish. A delicate blend of pie dough, Granny Smith apple and mild melon settles quickly leaving behind a refreshing sensation. A brilliant pale yellow is attractive to view. Went well with Boursin cheese, basil and chives flavour with a mildness that balanced the bubbly’s tartness. Have in for visitors for a make-do green salad and cheese spread on the patio. Use flute glasses to emphasize both flavour and nose. Weight of bottle is 1.5lbs. 82

WAKEFIELD ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2015, Clare Valley, Australia, 13.0% XD 2g/L, #711556 $15.95 (Tasted January 23, 2017)

Released by Vintages on December 10, 2016. Rated 4 of 5 by Rod Phillips Winepointer Newsletter, November 2016. My notes: An excellent parsing of flavours from Rod Phillips (November 2016.) and a playful yellow, bright and bouncy from serving to finish – keep chilled below 14oC . There’s a crisp edge that not quite bites the palate while the texture smooths its way over a long finish to balance the fullness. A mild acid would be an enjoyable touch to seafood & risotto or scallopini dishes. Both body and fruit could cellar a few more years adding value. 91
CAVINO DEUS MAVRODAPHNE OF PATRAS NV, Aigio, Greece, 15.0% 136g/L S, #452060 $13.95 (Tasted March 6, 2017)

Released by Vintages on August 6, 2016.
My notes: I believe this is the first red dessert wine I've tasted. The rated it 90 in August 2014. A see-through black cherry – a blend of Mavrodaphne 70% and Black Corinth 30% . A red that spreads an even film falling gracefully to leave a clean glass. The aroma is a young white cherry and the first sip lives up to the sweetness level balanced with a mild acid and silky mouthfeel. The finish alone is worth a try – don’t be put off by the number (136g/L) just expect something special and enjoy. Aerating not recommended – chilling slightly adds dimension. Pair with a Enoki mushroom and cheese salad, apple ginger crumble cake, a nutty fruit cake infused with B&B or just sip solo for dessert. Long term cellaring could be interesting.  91