Sunday, October 01, 2017

October 2017 wines

October wines: 15 tasted of 15

Exposed strata, Chile
Cheers, Ww

LINEUP: Reds, Whites, Rosés and Bubblies:

  • Sur de los Andes Premium Blend Malbec/ Cabernet Sauvignon 2010,  92-3  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #411298  $15.95
  • McManis Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2015,  90-2  --  V,  California, USA, #212126  $19.95
  • Oscar’s Estate Vineyard Shiraz/Viognier2013,  89a-1  --  V, Barossa Valley, Australia, #287961  $18.95
  • Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2016, 87-1 -- V, Boekenhoutskloof, South Africa, #595280 $15.95
  • Woodwork Pinot Noir 2015, 83a  --  G,  Sonoma, California,  #428839  $17.45
  • Marco Zunino Expresion Reserva Malbec 2014, 82  --  V,Mendoza, Argentina,  #494575  $17.95

  • De Wetshof Limestone Hill Unwooded Chardonnay 2016, 91-2 -- V, Robertson, South Africa, #419622 $16.95
  • J. Lohr Riverstone Arroyo Seco Monterey Chardonnay 2016,  91-2  --  Monterey, California,  #258699   $19.95
  • Château de Nages Vieilles Vignes Costières de Nîmes 2014, 90-1 -- V, Rhône, France, #479659 $19.95
  • Root: 1 Sauvignon Blanc 2016, 89-2 -- G, Casablanca Valley, Chile, #445882 $12.95
  • Beringer Founder' Estate Chardonnay 2015, 87-1 -- G, California, USA, #534230 $17.95
  • Chloe Chardonnay 2015,  82  --   G,  Sonoma County, California,  #392597  $18.95  
  • Pierre-Luc Bouchard Muscadet Sèvre & Maine sur Lie 2015, 80 -- V, Loire, France, #082461 $14.95

  • Elyssia Gran Cuvée Brut Cava NR, 91-2 -- V, Penèdes, Spain, #392548 $19.9519.95
  • Martini & Rossi Asti NV,  85 --  G, Italy, #361790  (200gm)$4.95
(V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, c - cellar, NR - Not Recommended)


CHÂTEAU DE NAGES VIEILLES VIGNES COSTIÈRES DE NÎMES 2014, Rhône, France, 13.0% XD 5g/L, #479659 $19.95 (Tasted August 17. 2017)

Released by Vintages on February 18, 2017. Rated 91 by Jeb Dunnuck, ( March 3, 2016. My notes: A gold brick yellow. A judicious blend of 40% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc and 15% Clairette. The rest is Viognier and Bourboulenc. Tears cluster around ripples in the rim slowly forming then dropping. The first sip has an appealing quince cleansing the palate with a slight acid. Paired well with rigatoni and chicken slices buried in a creamy Monterey Jack sauce. Additional flavours of broccoli flowers and chunks of asparagus complemented a good sprinkling of grated parmesan as a topping. Some warmth could be sensed from a moderate alcohol level. Serve chilled then allow to build expression. 90

PIERRE-LUC BOUCHAUD MUSCADET SÈVRE & MAINE SUR LIE 2015, Loire, France, 12% XD 2g/L, #082461 $14.95 (Tasted August 21, 2017)

Release by Vintages on July 22, 2017 and Rated 89 by Michael Godel( November 30, 2016. My notes: A faded grassy-green-yellow tainted with little aroma poured from the bottle. Nicely tart with slight lime and predominant chalk for a first impression. Served chilled there is hope for more… there’s a short finish ending with a mineral base and a bright touch. A flexible ‘seafood’ white or hot patio sipper. Add an ice bucket and a slice of lime if you’re slow on the sip. 80

ELYSSIA GRAN CUVÉE BRUT CAVA, Penedes, Spain, 12.0% XD  11g/L, #392548  $19.95  (Tasted August 15, 2017)

Released by Vintages on August 5, 2017. My notes: From large to micro bubbles playfully jostle on opening making this a pleasure to share with a crowd. Also pleasant for its delicate almond and pear scent with bountiful bubbles adding to the brightness. The colour has a true golden gleam conveying a sense of richness. The first sip builds expanding flavour and textures for a unique start to a long finish. Suitable for a toasty beginning of a special occasion, as a cooling sipper on a summer patio or a morning wakeup with a slice of warm buttered rye or grapefruit.  91

MARTINI & ROSSI ASTI  NV, Italy, 7%  S  82g/L,  #361790 (200gm)  $4.95  (Tasted September 19, 2017

A General listing. My notes: Mainly large bubbles bursting on opening settling quickly to a sparse effervescence. A modest nose with a healthy dose of sweetener. Difficult to recognize any accompanying fruit neither at first sip nor as nominal ’flavour’ builds. Finish is short lacking boldness and length. A toaster for small events, potable and easily portable but not to impress. Sip slowly and solo. 85 

DE WETSHOF LIMESTONE HILL UNWOODED CHARDONNAY 2016, Robertson, South Africa, 14.0% XD 4g/L, #419622 $16.95 (Tasted September 5, 2017)

Released by Vintages on August 19, 2017. My notes: Rated 91 by James Molesworth (December 15, 2016). A delicate lemon shade with a moderate film wrinkled at the rim and receding slowly. The fragrance is appealing with a tender sweet pea showing off against a fragile mineral. The first sip has some sweetness - enough to accentuate a tangy residue forming an extra dry finish. Extra body comes forward as temperature rises to 15oC. A luscious solo sipper and excellent companion to seared scallops or Tiger shrimp. 91

PORCUPINE RIDGE SYRAH 2016, Boekenhoutskloof, South Africa, 14.5% XD 2g/L, #595280   (Tasted September 3, 2017)

Released by Vintages - date not recorded.  My notes: The 2015 vintage was tasted in July this year with a rating of 91. This vintage retains the warm centre but with less defined fruit and balance. The colour is a deep ruby and flavour is edged with black/blue berries. A swirl lays a thin film that spreads quickly etching rugged islands. The first sip bites deeply carrying flavours of berry bramble. The bite continues until only warmth and bramble remain. Could be a solo sipper unless there’s a mis-swallow then the bite may have an unwelcomed penetration. Better with nippy cheddar or bacon on garlic bread. Aerating is recommended. 88a

J. LOHR RIVERSTONE CHARDONNAY 2016, Monterey, California, 13.5% XD 3g/L, #258699 $19.95 (Tasted September 4, 2017)

Released by Vintages on April 3, 2017. My notes: A touch of butter along with whiffs of mango, lemon and pineapple. Extra dry with a medium viscosity that spreads around the glass leaving broken traces. The first sip includes nosy flavours and a texture that adds a cleansing freshness that would give life to cheddar crisps and stuffed mushrooms. Also pair with salmon burgers or garlic shrimps seared to perfection. The last arch of a moderate film separates slowly. Blended to age. 91

SUR DE LOS ANDES PREMIUM BLEND MALBEC/CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.0%  D  3g/L, #411298  $15.95  (Tasted September 5, 2017)
Released by Vintages on August 19, 2017. My notes: Rated 91 by Michael Schachner Wine Enthusiast (May 2014). The black of ripe Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with the added density of ripe Malbec juices gives advance notice of a full sipper. A swirl sticks a tight film on the glass that, given a dozen seconds, releases streams of tears. The soft aroma of pressed berries adds to the senses and continues with each sniff. Sharp, chalk dry and warm gives backbone to a long extra dry finish - no sweetness here. Have with rare prime beef or Moroccan marinade sirloin tip - horse radish sauce on the side. Age for subtle changes but consume when opened. . 92

WOODWORK PINOT NOIR 2015, Sonoma, California, 13.5% D 7g/L, #428839 $17.45 (Tasted August 18, 2017)

A General listing. My notes: A swirl leaves a lightly scented arch that fragments quickly on the glass. There’s a woody accent of dried raspberry stems for a floral fragrance. A tart bite edges a smooth berry blend while aerating mellows a persistent sharpness. A light bodied pinot with a sustained aftertaste. Although modest in most aspects this could have initial appeal to a general crowd. We served with sliced chicken and rigatoni in a cream sauce. Did not pair well with grilled lab chops – perhaps the chops?  83a

MCMANIS FAMILY VINEYARDS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015, California, USA, 13.5% XD 2g/L, #212126 $19.95 (Tasted September 21, 2017)
Release by Vintages on April 3, 2017. My notes:A black cherry red that swirls a moderate film with a well padded rim. Several tears drop before fragmenting into islands. A light fragrance of cherry and moist earth pleases from the first sip. Stone dry suggests pairing with a savoury stew or a juicy rib portion – there’s a hint of sweetness building on top of youthful warmth. Missing the spice of shiraz but lots of fruit to enjoy. Cellar 5-8 years. 90-2

CHLOE CHARDONNAY 2015, Sonoma County, California, 13.5% XD 4g/L, #392597 $18.95 (Tasted October 25, 2017)

A General listing.   My notes: A light lemon colour with a delicate lemon nose when served chilled (10oC). The film is thin dropping a few tears from a fragmenting rim. A sip shows a dry tartness and bright start to a long finish while leaving the palate with grassy and flat flavoured building as a meal progresses. Was refreshing when quaffed with grilled maple-bacon salmon trout wrapped with several tarragon sprigs. A meal white with roast fowl and grilled seafoods. A drink now. 82

BERINGER FOUNDERS' ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2015, California, USA, 13.9% D 9g/L, #534230 $17.95 (Tasted September 28, 2017)

A General listing.  My notes:  A touch of sweet with sharpness and chalk sets a different direction when picking a pairing for this chardonnay. A mid yellow colour hangs a ring of slow tears illustrating a substantial viscosity. The second and third sip sets up a noticeable cloying not my meal preference although of interest when comparing several samples – cross country, elevations or commercial grades. Sip then enjoy a prolonged finish. Perhaps some caramel will develop if cellared several years. Serve then observe. 87

ROOT: 1 SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016, Casablanca Valley, Chile, 12.0% XD 2g/L, #445882 $12.95 (Tasted September 27, 2017)

A General listing. My notes: A chilled Root:1 bottle frosted and newly opened to pair with strips of marinated chicken breast or grilled garlic shrimp over warmed bruschetta -  perfect to welcome guests. A mid yellow showing off a mellow banana scent touched by the tang of crushed lemon. Medium bodied and smooth, with enough brightness between sips to carry through to a clean pleasing finish. A complement for a garden event accompanied with a choice of Carmenère, Pinot Noir and chilled Spring rosés. Without the gooseberry of a kiwi sauvignon blanc but a citrus leaning Chilean version. Put down a case to see how it ages. 89A General listing.  My notes:

MARCO ZUNINO EXPRESIÓN RESERVA MALBEC 2014, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.2% XD 2g/L, #494575 $17.95 (Tasted September 19, 2017)

Released by Vintages on September 2, 2017. My notes: Rated 92 by James Suckling (, May 20, 2016. A nose hinting of peppermint with black cherries and a colour matching charcoal stained weathered adobe - or mahogamy. The first sniff predicts a long dry finish with an acrid edge. A swirl runs a firm film with rounded arch and pronounced tears. Raw to the taste buds needing a tray of pepperoni sticks or bacon wrapped anchovies for balance. Aerating shifts focus to a smoother texture retaining the prior rawness. Pair with Moroccan strip sirloin or savoury ribs. Past cellaring. 82

OSCAR'S ESTATE VINEYARD SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER 2013, Barossa Valley, Australia, 15.0% XD 2g/L, #287961 $18.95 (Tasted October 15, 2017)

Released by Vintages on February 18, 2017. My notes: A product of Small Gully Wines. Rated 92 by James Suckling,( May 20, 2016 and 89 by David Lawrason ( June 10 2015. The colour is a blackened ruby. A sniff receives a soft cherry highlighted by a woody berry blend, pleasing and well balanced. A swirl brings a thin veil fragmenting at the rim and covering the glass. Airing twenty minutes the second swallow dries the palate leaving a mixed berry bramble flavour. Replenish with a quaff for a sipper with enough body to pair with a broiled roast or T-bone. Aerating/airing is prerequisite for full enjoyment of this red - sip or pair. Nearing the end of cellaring. 89a