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May 2004 Wine Ratings

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Australia

87 Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay 2003, Marlborough (991950, $18.95, ON)

An invigorating change from all those wall to wall, oaky Chardonnays. A shiny pale gold colour with peach, white flower, passion fruit and nectarine aromatics. Very crisp with a lingering, clean finish. Fresh water fish in butter and lemon sounds great. (ES)

 

Canada
White

92 Cave Springs CSV Riesling 2003, Niagara (529941, $30, ON)

Last year I stated that the 2002 was the best CSV Riesling Cave had ever produced. I now amend that statement- the 03 is the top dog. Full bodied with so much going on the nose and the palate-the wine was constantly changing from honey to peaches, to pink grapefruit to white flowers to lime-need I say more! High acid ensures a long life ahead, 10 years plus. (ES)

90 Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Riesling 2002, Niagara (winery, $30, ON)

The wine screams “Mosel” in the glass. Made from 20 year old vines, this “dead ringer” exudes peaches, honey, candied fruit, lime, minerals and petrol. The mouth is mineral dominated with lime and citrus weaving around the pronounced acidity. Now to 2012. (ES)

89 Cave Springs Riesling Reserve 2003, Niagara (286377, $16.95, ON)

This is a nicely concentrated wine which offers peach, citrus, mineral and lime. Medium bodied with almost excellent length and a purity of fruit which sings on the finish. Great price. (ES)

88 Niagara College Late Harvest Vidal 2002, Niagara (winery, $14.95, ON)

Made from the 2nd pressing of the grapes which produced the 2002 Icewine-a wine which I rated 92 points earlier this year. Medium bodied with peach, apricot and floral aromas. Elegant and ready to drink. (ES)

88 Cave Springs Chardonnay Reserve, Niagara (256552, $19.95, ON)

Medium yellow colour with a bouquet of vanilla, cream, green apples and honey. Dry, medium plus bodied with a creamy texture and notes of spice, cream, fig and vanilla. Now to 2008. (ES)

87 Inniskillin Old Vines Riesling, Niagara (winery $16.95 approx., ON)

Made from 30 year vines this dry wine is surprisingly soft, due to low acid and displays a nose of peach, baby powder, lime and hints of honey. Dry, medium bodied and ready to drink. (ES)

87 Henry of Pelham Sauvignon Blanc 2003, Niagara (430546, $15.95, ON)

Henry of Pelham’s best Sauv Blanc to date. Crystalline and defined on the nose with aromas of candied passion fruit, citrus, asparagus and minerals. Crisp, refreshing and delicate on the finish. (ES)

87 Cave Springs Riesling Off Dry 2003, Niagara (234583, $11.95, ON)

I like this wine…especially for under 12 bucks! An intense nose of flint, passion fruit, lime and lemon. There is almost 20 grams of sugar to this wine but the high acidity gives the impression of a dry wine. Very good length and a joy to drink. Buy it by the case. (ES)

87 Henry of Pelham Chardonnay Reserve 2002, Niagara (252833, $13.95, ON)

Peaches, vanilla, oak and caramel on the nose with hints of honey underneath. Refined and elegant with a soft mouthfeel and a distinct minerality with undercurrents of oak and apples. Clean finish and solid value. Drink over the next 2 to 3 years. (ES)

86 Cave Springs Dry Riesling 2002, Niagara (233635, $11.95, ON)

Lime, grapefruit and slate on the nose. Dry and lemony on the finish. Drink over the next 3 years. (ES)

 

85 Cave Spring Gewurztraminer 2002, Niagara (302059, $14.95, On)

Pale yellow and moderately aromatic with flowers, spice, tropical fruit and cold cream. Dry and clean with hints of bitter grapefruit on the end. Age it for a year, as it should open up some more. From 2005 to 2007. (ES)


Red

88 Niagara College Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Fermented 2002, Niagara (winery, $16.95, ON)

A great lil value in Canadian wine and one that should be stocked up in the cellar. Purple/ruby with a bouquet of sweet raspberries, blackberries, vanilla and spice. Medium to full bodied with a lingering finish. Quantities are limited so get it while you can. Now to 2009. (ES)

88 Niagara College Meritage Barrel Fermented 2002, Niagara (winery, $18.95, ON)

The purple/ruby coloured Meritage is a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Cabernet Franc and 10% Merlot. Plums, cherries, blackberry, vanilla and chocolate are found on the nose while the palate offers much of the same. Very good length and structure to take it 5 years. (ES)

88 Lailey Vineyard Merlot 2002, Niagara (winery, $18.95, ON)

The 02 reveals a nose of plums, cherries, smoke, tobacco and pain grille. Medium to full bodied, the palate is concentrated with more raspberry, tobacco and smokiness with some cranberry nuances. Very good length with finely integrated tannins. Now to 2010. (ES)

87 Henry of Pelham Cabernet Merlot Unfiltered 2000, Niagara (395855, $24.95, ON)

Medium ruby colour with a nose of smoke, tobacco, black fruit, raspberry and hints of bell pepper underneath. Fresh raspberries and chocolate unfurl in the mouth with the tannins making an appearance at the end. Medium plus length. Now to 2008. (ES)

87 Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir Reserve 2002, Niagara (268391, $18.95, ON)

Henry of Pelham has made a sexy Pinot with a nose of raspberry, plums, vanilla and earth and cinnamon. Medium bodied with a solid finish and some firmness which requires a year of aging before drinking. From 2005 to 2009. (ES)

86 Henry of Pelham Meritage Cabernet Merlot 2002, Niagara (504241, $14.95, ON)

Tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, smoke, violets. Medium bodied albeit a tad lean in the mid palate, with very good length and supple tannins. (ES)

 

Wine Facts

Dom Perignon (1638-1715), the Benedictine Abbey (at Hautvillers) cellar master who is generally credited with “inventing” the Champagne making process, was blind.