Wednesday, November 01, 2017

November 2017 wines

November 2017 wines: 15 Tasted of 15 

To the Top, June 23 2016
Cheers, Ww

LINEUP: Reds, Whites, Rosés and Bubblies

  • Don’t Hesitate Shiraz 2015,  93-3 -- V, McLaren Vale, Australia, #434159 $17.95
  • Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2015, 91a-2 -- V, California, USA, #678698 $17.95
  • Antiche Terre Venete Ripasso Valpolicella 2014, 90-2 -- V, Veneto, Italy, #178459 $16.95
  • Thorn-Clarke Barossa Grenache Shiraz 2016, 90-2 -- G, Barossa Valley, Australia, 14.5% XD 2g/L, #499616 $17.95
  • Brazin (B) Old Vine Zinfandel 2014,  90-2 -- V, Lodi, California, #256750 $18.75
  • Gnarly Head Pinot Noir 2015, 88-1 -- G, California, USA, #358911 $15.95
  • Root: 1 Carmenère Colchagua 2015, 85 -- G, Colchagua, Chile, #350546 $10.95*

  • Goss Creek Chenin Blanc 2015, 85 -- V, Napa, California, #512715 $15.95
  • Spier Signature Chardonnay 2017, 84 -- G, Stellenbosch, South Africa, #487181 $11.95
  • William Cole Mirador Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2016, 83 -- V, Casablanca Valley, Chile, #093948 $14.95
  • Bliss Sauvignon Blanc 2015,  83  --  V, California, USA, #512772   $18.95
  • Susana Balboa Crios Torrontés 2016, 82 -- V, Mendoza, Argentina, #001834 $13.95
  • The Landings Map Series Sauvignon Blanc 2016, 78NR  -- V, Adelaide Hills, Australia, #490680 $15.95

  • Tessellae Rosé 2016, 84 -- V, Roussillon, France, #450817 $15.95

  • Foss Marai Etxra Dry NV,  90-1  -- V, Veneto, Italy,  #729392  $19.95

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


THORN-CLARKE BAROSSA GRENACHE SHIRAZ 2016, Barossa Valley, Australia, 14.5% XD 2g/L, #499616 $17.95 (Tasted October 23, 2017)

A General listing. My notes: A smoky plum/ raspberry/ strawberry greets the sipper. A charcoal hued raspberry colour shows a wrinkled edged veil staying firm on the glass accumulating volume soon to become a dozen smooth tears. With a nose that gradually fills the bowl a sip reveals a chalk dry tart- to-the-tonsils & so-so taken solo. Aerating merges texture elements but not enough to recommend – an example of how Grenache adds gentleness and mellows a bright Shiraz. Pair with beef grilled or roasted, in a stew or as a steak. 90

TESSELLAE ROSÉ 2016, Roussillon, France, 12.0% XD 5g/L, #450817 $15.95 (Tasted October 19, 2017)

A Vintages release on September 30, 2017.  My notes: A delicate pink grapefruit colour with lasting dryness from the rind and cream from a soft pulp. Serve chilled and sip slowly to relish the faint citric nuances or pair with crisp tempura veggie pieces and stretched Tiger shrimp drizzled with lemon/lime squeezes. Swirling shows a film that runs quickly fragmenting as it drops from a thin rim. Buy in to relish a meal with complimenting textures and flavours – in our case, halibut on buttered rice. A drink now.  84

WILLIAM COLE MIRADOR SELECTION SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016, Casablanca Valley, Chile, 12.5% XD 2g/L, #093948 $14.95 (Tasted October 13, 2017)

Released by Vintages on August 5, 2017. My notes: A pale yellow colour spreads from a rim that wrinkles spontaneously from the first swirl. Serving well chilled to allows a delicate freshness introduce the wine. Sharp, dry & grassy, a balanced citrus without distinct fruit. Quaffing gives a fuller expression of how this white will complement roast chicken, grilled shrimp, scallops or Thai. A different sauvignon blanc to be tried a few times to find its place. 83

GOSS CREEK CHENIN BLANC 2015, Napa, California, 12.1% D 8g/L, #512715 $15.95 (Tasted October 11, 2017)

Released by Vintages on August 19, 2017. My notes: From the Seghesio Wineries of Napa.  A pale blond in the glass to be served chilled (10oC) to enjoy the mild Bosc and lime tang. A swirl leaves a thin film with micro wrinkles around the rim. A luscious first sip wakens the buds from tip of tongue and gives a warming finish on the throat. A different white to be added to a flight possibly to test the breadth of guest tasters. My favoured sipping temp (14oC) is when the chill drops and the flavour and body becomes sufficient to balance a chalky dryness. A wine that matched our entrée of seared Tiger shrimp and creamy sauce on linguine with asparagus, diced shallots and red pepper slices. A drink now. 85

ANTICHE TERRE VENETE RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA 2014, Veneto, Italy, 13.5% D 9g/L, #178459 $16.95 (Tasted October 31, 2017)

Released by Vintages on September 30, 2017. My notes: Medium-bodied with some viscosity showing on a tilt. A crescent on the glass drops a few long slow tears. A ripasso-deepened raspberry red delivers a tart, flavourful blend of berries and smoke that will continue to satisfy the fruit in you. Aeration reduces the bite and dryness for an amenable sipper. Take straight for beef or lamb recipes – aerated for social sipping and grilled ham slices. Short term cellaring still possible. 90

THE LANDINGS MAP SERIES SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016, Adelaide Hills, Australia, 12.9% XD 2g/L, #490680 $15.95 (Tasted October 27, 2017)

Released by Vintages on July 8, 2017. My notes: Produced by Atkins Family Vineyards  . Not much information on their website at present time. This SB is penetrating with little nose and flavour. When served chilled it's crystal clean with a ragged rim on top of a thin film. Bright from the first sip with a light warmth to coat the palate then relaxes as a light chalk takes over. Main flavour is of unripe/young gooseberries with no hint of sweet. The next sip offers temporary relief from a building bitterness. Share with salty crackers or a similar appetizer. Anchovies and pepperoni on a cheesy pizza could be a partner. 78

SPIER SIGNATURE CHARDONNAY 2017, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 13.0% XD 4g/L, #487181 $11.95 (Tasted October 7, 2017)

A General listing. My notes: A pale yellow that swirls a firm ragged film dropping slow tears. Serve chilled for its delicate doughy scent building to a mild apricot at 14oC. A touch of caramel and a hint of sweet pea opens up to a surprising tang quickly subsiding leaving a lemon/lime flavour, chalk dry with noticeable fullness. Have with Asian sweet and sour chicken with pineapple chunks or shrimp tempura bento . Enjoyable as a casual sipper for its long finish. 84

ROOT: 1  CARMENÈRE COLCHAGUA 2015, Colchagua, Chile, 13.5% XD 5g/L, #350546 $10.95* (Tasted October 2, 2017)

A General listing *priced until October 8, 2017 - regular price $12.95. My notes: A black plum shade that lays a gripping film eventually dropping several slow tears. A sniff senses an initial blackberry slowly building into a lighter version releasing sharp jabs and for a short time. A quaff lines the mouth with dry berry paired with a warm brightness with some appeal. Fruit is reserved slow to develop making this a snack red: pepperoni stick/pizza or balance with Texas chili. Sipped beforehand it could put focus on following fuller and softer reds. Cellaring would be optimistic although price could encourage laying down a case. 85

SUSANA BALBO CRIOS TORRONTÉS 2016, Mendoza, Argentina, 13.0% XD 2g/L, #001834 $13.95 (Tasted October 9, 2017)

Released by Vintages on April 3, 2017. My notes: A pale blond that leaves a light film and a wrinkled meniscus that shrinks to nothing. Nary a scent to tempt the nostrils and dry as chalk on the palate. A concentration of delicate fumes form a moderate finish. The serving temperature and a balance of light citrus leaves a favourable impression. Save for the summer patio – possibly adding a squirt of lime, lemon or cranberry. 82

DON'T HESITATE SHIRAZ 2015, McLaren Vale, Australia, 15% XD 2g/L, #434159 $17.95 (Tasted October 23, 2017)
Released by Vintages on August 19, 2017. My notes: A viscous film immediately runs a dozen long slow legs. An opaque dark blackberry conveys a sombre character intended to provoke a slow introduction, a thoughtful pause rather than a rush to judgement. The first sip is well balanced, full-bodied and full flavoured to match 99% of blood soaked beef or hoofed game. Enjoyable as a sipper the finish has an appealing smoothness without dominating a herbal accented meal. Believe the label – buy it, taste it, position it in your library and cellar some. 93

GNARLY HEAD PINOT NOIR 2015, California, USA, 13.5% D 8g/L, #358911 $15.95 (Tasted October 5, 2017)

A General listing. My notes: From Delicato Vineyards. A light, smoke scented red cherry is apparent on initial sniff. A swirl leaves a silky layer flowing a ring of fast tears. I suggest quaffing for a concentration of a balanced fruit, smoke and tender body – much to be appreciated rather than analyzing immediately. Pair with veal, pork tenderloin, ham steak or duck/turkey. Aerating may mellow increase body at the expense of overall flavour. Taste now for its enjoyable sharpness and length then serve an alternate with the meal although we served with our Thanksgiving dinner buying ahead to take advantage of the current value.  88 

BRAZIN (B)OLD VINE ZINFANDEL 2014, Lodi, California, 14.5% XD 4g/L, #256750 $18.75  (Tasted October 26, 2017)

Released by Vintages on May 13, 2017 from Delicato Vineyards.  My notes: Bright and enjoyably penetrating from the first sip. The warmth is maintained throughout supporting a rich blackberry and dry finish. The film has a viscosity that leaves a rim of slow tears with some immediate wrinkling. Grilled pork ribs are recommended – I would expand that to beef ribs, a savoury stew and pulled pork. Has the depth of aged vines with the sparkle of youth and still some cellaring potential.  Swish, swirl and swallow… you’ll enjoy.  90   

GNARLY HEAD OLD VINE ZINFANDEL 2015, California, USA,  14.5%  D 7g/L,  #678698  $17.95   (Tasted October 19, 2017)

Released by Vintages on April 3, 2017. Produced by Delicato Vineyards.  
My notes: A deep blackberry colour, smooth with a furry texture, immediately warming that follows the throat for a long finish. A bright tang holds the palate’s attention start to end. Sip solo for its balanced blends of berries, herbal spice and drying fullness then follow on with a mains of sirloin steak, liver and onions or standing rib. Cellar several years to soften sharpness or aerate before serving. An expressive red deserving separate focus.  91a

BLISS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015, California, USA,  13.5%  XD  5g/L, #512772   $18.95   (Tasted October 19, 2017

Released by Vintages on August 19, 2017.  A product of Wineteam, Inc and rated 90 by Jim Gordon, Wine 
Enthusiast, April 1, 2017.  My notes: A swirl leaves a thin film hanging from a finely wrinkled rim. A fine grassy citrus aroma is noticeable when offchill (14oC). Continued sipping builds a creamy layer, with a sumptuous sweetness and polite tang both cracker and hummus/dip ready. The finish builds then maintains a prominent chalk touch. Enjoyable for its bright and dry contrast. 83

FOSS MARAI EXTRA DRY NV, Veneto, Italy, 11.5%  D  14g/L,  #729392  $19.95  (Tasted October 21, 2017)

Released by Vintages on April 3, 2017.  
My notes: ‘Exuberance’ comes to mind when popping the cork. Large, small with extreme volume in rapidly rising bubbles – from tiny to large rushing to the rim in Granny Smith effervescence. Colour is a clear almond. Sipping brings an aroma and fruit flavour quickly to the palate laying down a fresh tartness to quench while pairing with a complete cheese and salty cracker range. Clink glasses and adlib a blessing as the lively spritz partners with nibbles - stuffed mushrooms, cheddar and bacon wrapped asparagus, also seared garlic shrimp. Entertainment value is tops while you gulp the last mouthful. 90