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June 2003 Wine Ratings

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France

91 Chateau Barde Haut, St Emilion (738104, $59, ON )

This opaque black colored wine was slightly closed at the time of tasting. Ripe with aromas of black cherry, cassis, vanilla cream and hazelnuts. Medium to full bodied with supple tannins and a long finish, it exemplifies the style of the 99’s and is an absolutely delicious wine to consume over the next 10 years. (ES)

Italy

90 Rosso del Conte Tasca d’Almerita 1999, Sicily (741124, $45, PQ )

A big Sicilian wine packed with flavors of plum, cherry, spice and sultana raisins. Rich and ripe in the mouth, this low acid wine has excellent length and a somewhat viscous texture. Not as big as the 94 but darn close. Drink over the next decade. (ES)

89 Chateau Lagrezette 2000, Cahors (972612, $21.75, ON)

With all the hoopla around the 2000 Bordeaux, most people are over looking the South West. The region, which benefited from much of the same weather as Bordeaux offers great values in 2000. Big and burly the wine is as dark as a black hole with aromas of plum, vanilla, cherry, blueberry and pain grille. Easily 10 years ahead of it and for the price-a case in the cellar won’t hurt! (ES)


Canada

White

91 Cave Springs Riesling CSV 2002, Niagara (566020, $24.95, ON)

I was totally blown away by the quality of this wine when it first hit my lips. Later, winemaker Angelo Pavan told me that he thought 2002 is probably the best Riesling vintage since 1989. Still young and a bit tight, and might even move up in score when released later this year. Peach, pear, floral and lemon/lime flavors are readily apparent with lots of zippy acidity and excellent length. Now to 2012 and maybe beyond. (ES)

90 13th Street Wine Corp Chardonnay Sandstone 2001, Niagara (winery, $25 approx, ON)

It has now been three years straight that the Sandstone Chard has come away with a 90+ plus score. Still young but the nose is on target with caramel, tropical fruits, peach, smoke, flowers and vanilla. Excellent length with a creamy texture and a spicy finish. Drink now to 2008. (ES)

89 Cave Springs Chardonnay CSV 2000, Niagara (529941, $35, ON)

Scheduled for release late summer or early autumn. The wine displays caramel, citrus, vanilla, green apple and fig aromas working in unison within the glass. Full bodied with classic Cave acidity in the way of citrus/ apple flavors dancing on tongue, giving the wine a lengthy finish. Drink until to 2009. (ES)

88 Harvest Estate Riesling 1999, Niagara (winery, $9.95, ON)

Winner of the best Riesling Award and runner up in the Best White Wine category at this year’s Cuvee Gala. Mosel like, with aromas of petrol, citrus, flowers, minerals and uniquely enough, some mint undertones. Nice aacisd/sugar balance with very good length, all this for under $10. (ES)

88 Malivoire Riesling Icewine 2001, Niagara (winery, $36, ON)

A delicate icewine with a bouquet of peach, apricot, red berries, honey and spice. Possesses very good length with the fresh acidity giving the wine balance and clarity. Ready to drink. (ES)

86 Jackson Triggs Chardonnay Delaine Vineyard 2001, Niagara (winery, $16. 95, ON)

A promising new offering from 3 year old vines. Not as oaky as the Grand Reserve, which allows more of the apple, citrusy flavors to show through. Medium bodied with very good length and a refreshing finish. If this is indicative of the quality to come, it is a wine to definitely watch out for. Drink now. (ES)

85 Jackson Triggs Riesling Delaine Vineyard 2001, Niagara (winery, $15.95, ON)

This other offering from the Delaine Vineyard is displaying moderate aromas of petrol, citrus and mineral. Light bodied with a peppery/citrus palate and good length. Once again from 3 year old vines. Drink now. (ES)

85 Malivoire Pinot Gris 2002, Niagara (591305, $18, ON)

Cleanly made with moderate aromatics of pear, citrus, apple and cream. On the palate the wine is light to medium bodied with roasted nuts flavors and mineral notes. Ready to drink and very refreshing. (ES)

85 Puddicombe Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2001, Niagara (winery, $15, ON)

Lindsay Puddicombe has down a fine job with this inaugural Sauvignon Blanc as witnessed by the wine’s citrus, gooseberry, celery and floral aromas. Crisp in the mouth with more of the citrus/gooseberry qualities showing through. Drink now. (ES)

85 Puddicombe Estate Muscat 2001, Niagara (winery, $9.50, ON)

Looking for a deal on a dry aromatic white wine-here is your purchase! Orange blossom, citrus and spice deliver on the nose while the palate shows more spice, cream and apple flavors, while finishing on a slight bitter note. (ES)

 

Canada

Red


91 Peninsula Ridge Cabernet Franc Icewine 2001, Niagara (winery, $54.95, ON)

Pale cherry colour with aromas of cherry, vanilla, raspberry, chocolate and grenadine. Thick texture with low acid and lots of raspberry fruit filling out on the long finish.


90 13th Street Wine Corp Sandstone Merlot 2001, Niagara (winery, $27 approx, ON)

Damn Impressive! Tasted blind you would think this to be a good St Emilion (and at half the price) with its bouquet of chocolate, cherry, plum, and herbs. Full bodied and ripe with a solid mid palate and excellent length. Lay it away for at least a year and drink until 2012. (ES)


89 Marynissen Merlot 2001, Niagara (winery, $28 approx, ON)

Last year I went on record, stating that 2001 is the year of Merlot and so far the results have been solid. The wine is by no means your friendly, supple drinking Merlot. Looks and behaves like a Cab Sauv with a black /purple colour, tightly wound tannic structure and flavors of black fruits, cherry, coffee, chocolate and nuts. Needs at least until 2006 to start showing its pedigree. Drink until 2015. (ES)


88 Pillitteri Select Late Harvest Cabernet Franc 2000, Niagara (winery, $29.95, ON)

One of the best late harvest CF’s I have tasted out of Ontario. Strawberry jam, mint, chocolate, cherry and herbs are present on the nose. Not cloying at all with very good length and a touch of bitterness at the end. (ES)


88 Malivoire Old Vines Foch 2001, Niagara (551036, $22, ON)

Malivoire continues its success with low yielding Marechal Foch grapes. Black/purple colour with a nose of chocolate, cherry, and gamey/meaty aromas. Medium to full bodied with a lingering finish, where the typical “hybrid’ acidity kicks in. Should age well. (ES)


87 Malivoire Rose 2002, Niagara (559088, $15, ON)

This year’s vintage release is made from majority Cabernet Franc and quite frankly is one of the best Rose’s I have tasted out of Ontario in a while. Dry and refreshing with aromas of cherries, red flowers and light vegetal notes. Has very good length and finishes on a chocolate note. Try with grilled salmon or tuna this summer.


87 Reif Estate Zinfandel 2001, Niagara (winery, $16.95/375ml, ON)

It has taken Reif 10 years of working with the grape before actually producing a Red Zin worthy of bottling. Not a bold in your face Californian rendition, but rather elegant and very much Canadian in style. The nose displays moderate aromas raspberry, chocolate, red flowers and vegetal tones, while the palate offers more in terms of flavor. Admirable density with very good length and a Frangelico finish. (ES)

 

 

Wine Facts

The lip of a red wine glass is sloped inward to capture the aromas of the wine and deliver them to your nose.