Evan Saviolidis

Evan Wine Savvy

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Wine Reviews

Throughout the year WineSavvy Consultants will be rating wines and posting their results monthly on this page.

Come back each month and have a look at what we have come up with, and click the button to the right to see previous months of tastings and reviews.



January 2005 Wine Ratings

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94 Solaia 2001, Tuscany IGT ($145)
The 01 Solaia at the time of tasting displayed a multi dimensional, ever changing bouquet of smoke, cassis, blackberries, cherries, tobacco, violets, earth and vanilla. Full bodied with a long finish. Still young and rather tannic, it requires 4 years of aging before being broached. A good long term cellar candidate; until 2020. (ES)

Canada

White

91 Maleta Vidal Icewine 2001, Niagara ($24.95/200ml)
Aged 1 month in both new French and American barrels. Full bodied with peach, honey, spice and a touch of caramel. Concentrated, the palate starts thick and sweet but balance arrives in the form fresh acid. Drink over the next 3 years. (ES)

90 Pillitteri Vidal Icewine 2003, Niagara ($35/375ml)
Peach, honey and floral aromas come forth on the nose. On the taste buds, the wine is intense with loads of peach and apricot which leads into a refreshing finish.

89 Reif Riesling Icewine 2002, Niagara ($26.95/200ml)
A fruit forward, low acid Icewine with a bouquet of peach, honey, apricot and spice. The finish is lengthy and echoes apples. Drink now. (ES)

89 Lakeview Riesling Icewine 2003, Niagara ($49.95/375ml)
Apricot, flowers, apple juice and caramel are all present in this medium bodied Icewine. The palate emulates the nose, with very good length. (ES)

89 Marynissen Chardonnay French Oak 2002, Niagara ($18.95)
Of all of the 02 Chardonnay's released by Marynissen, I have a marginal preference for the French Oak version which displays a powerful nose of caramel, buttered popcorn, spice, figs and tropical fruit scents. Full bodied, the palate has a creamy, soft texture with a dab of acid and a dash of sweetness, which provides more weight. Drink over the next 3 years. (ES)

88 Marynissen Chardonnay Canton Oak 2002, Niagara ($16)
A sweet vanilla, fig, pear and toasty bouquet say hello in the glass. Medium bodied with serious ripeness, thanks to the heat wave in 02. Very good length with mild acid. Drink now to 2008. (ES)

87 Angel's Gate Old Vines Chardonnay 2003, Niagara ($23.95)
Vanilla infused crème brulée, spice, wax and green apple work there way frontward and backwards on the nose and palate. Medium bodied and crisp. Drink over the next 2 years. (ES)

Red

90 Marynissen Merlot 2002, Niagara ($18.95)
Tasting at family wineries is a small joy to me as the owners do much of the work and are never off the clock. Example, my most recent tasting with Glen Muir (Sandra Marynissen's husband and one of the business' most down to earth guys), who on a minus degree day was in the middle of filtering and bottling in a winter coat when I came a knocking. Needless to say he was darn proud to show of his lineup of 02 wines, which are all superb. Medium to full bodied the wines are on par if not better than the 01's. Plum, chocolate, coffee, spice and black cherry are present in the dense yet elegant mouthful of a wine. Now to 2015 and a real steal at this price. (ES)

89 Marynissen Cabernet Franc 2002, Niagara ($18.95)
An opaque purple/ruby colour with a nose of raspberry, coffee, roasted herbs, maple and spice. The palate is a touch light right now but more weight should appear with bottle age The lengthy finish echoes spice and earthiness. Now to 2013. (ES)

87 Inniskillin Meritage Reserve 2002, Niagara ($16.95)
A young wine which a dark cherry colour with a ruby rim. The wine displays aromas of plum, cherries, herbs, mint, earth and vanilla. Ripe in the mouth with cherry, cassis vanilla and chocolate flavours. Very good length. Now to 2008. (ES)

87 Angel's Gate Merlot Single Vineyard 2002, Niagara ($26)
Angel's Merlot is medium bodied with a medium to deep ruby colour and aromas of chocolate, plums, spice, vanilla and bell pepper tones. Tannins are supple. Now to 2008. (ES)

86 Thomas and Vaughn Cabernet Franc 2002, Niagara ($14.95)
A light to medium bodied wine that smartly uses oak to add chocolate to the raspberry, cassis and tobacco components. Medium length and to be consumed over the next 2 years. Try with pasta in a tomato sauce with chunky vegetables. (ES)

85 Thomas and Vaughn Marechal Foch 2002, Ontario ($14.95)
A black core with a deep ruby rim. Displays a bouquet of smoke, chocolate, spice and black/red fruits. The mouthfeel is soft with a floral element thrown in for good measure. Now to 2006. (ES)

France

86 Dopff au Moulin Riesling 2003, Alsace ($14.45)
A drink now Riesling or hold for the next couple of years. Minerals, petrol, white flowers and a touch of peach are present in this light bodied wine. An ideal foil for shellfish. (ES)

 

 

 

December 2004 Wine Ratings

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Aussie

94 D'Arenberg Dead Arm Shiraz 2002, McLaren Vale ($49.95)

Is it possible that there is such a thing as a bad bottle of Dead Arm? Although, not as massive as last year's gargantuan offering, the 02 is still full bodied, crammed to the hilt with plums, kirsch, vanilla, spice, smoke blackberries and menthol notes. Rich with excellent length and a long life ahead. Now to 2020. (ES)

Canada

White

90 Chateau des Charmes Riesling TBA Paul Bosc Vineyard 2001, Niagara ($29.95)
CDC always makes one of Ontario's top Late Harvest wines and in 01 climatic conditions conspired to produce a rare noble rot version. Medium bodied with apricot, wax, petrol, lime zest, honey and spice. The mouth is a lovely balance between sweetness and acidity, with a baked apple finish. Now to 2011. (ES)


88 Pillitteri Chardonnay Barrel Fermented 2002, Niagara ($18)
Thanks to 9 months barrel aging in new french oak, this is a toasty, caramel, pear, fig, cedar and vanilla Chardonnay built on a medium bodied frame. Very good length with a milky texture and fresh acid combining on the palate. Hint of nuttiness on the end. Drink over the next 4 years.

Red

91 Unity Wine Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2002, Canada ($29.95)
The 02 Unity picks up the ball and adds serious yardage from where the inaugural 01 left off. Still closed, the wine is full bodied with milk chocolate, blackberries, mint, dark cherries and earth. Dense and concentrated with excellent length. From 2006 to 2015. (ES)

90 Jackson Triggs Meritage Grand reserve 2002, Niagara ($23.95)
Cassis, herbs, mint, raspberry, chocolate and spice come together as one in this somewhat closed wine. Tight and puckery right now it could stand to age a year or two in the bottle and be consumed until 2014. (ES)

88 Magnotta Meritage 2002, Niagara ($19.95)
The 02 is a worthy successor to the 01, which also received 88 points. A deep ruby colour and a nose of blackberry, raspberry, smoke, chocolate and dried herb notes. The palate adds vanilla, cherry and plums. Medium bodied with firm tannins and a lengthy finish. (ES)

87 Pillitteri Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, Niagara ($18)
This C.S. leans more towards the herbaceous nature of the grape, but with time this will fade away, allowing more of the fruit character to emerge. Bell pepper, raspberry, spice and cassis. A tad bitter now, so hold off until 2006 and drink until 2010. (ES)

New Zealand

91 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2004, Marlborough ($19.95)
Awesome Sauv Blanc, with intense passion fruit, tomato vine, green peaches, asparagus, gooseberry and ammonia aromas. Full bodied, glycerin, long finish and mouth watering acidity. A serious step up from last year's offering and a must buy for SB lovers. (ES)

France

White

92 Chateau Guiraud 2001, Sauternes ($52/375ml)
The young 01 Guiraud is displays honey, wax, apricot, spice and caramel both on the nose and on the taste buds. Still needs a year or two to before it starts to shine. From 2006 until 2020. (ES)

88 Hugel Gewurtraminer 2002, Alsace ($19.95)
A shinning glassful of honey, grapefruit, cold cream, spice, flowers and a touch of pineapple. Medium bodied with sound acid and more spice on the palate. Drink up. (ES)


Red

87 Chateau du Tertre 2001, Margaux ($49)
A well made Bordeaux with cherries, smoke, green tobacco, spice and cedar on the nose. Medium bodied with supple tannins and raspberry/tobacco on the finish. Drink over the next 5 years. (ES)

Germany

94 Egon Muller Riesling Scharzhofberger Spatlese 2003, Mosel Saar Ruwer (NYA)
Fabulous wine, but totally atypical for its appellation. Usually Saar wines are the epitome of austerity, but thanks the insane heat wave which hit Europe in 03, this wine comes across as an Alsatian version. Ripe with peach, citrus, honey, pine nettles flavours and almost outstanding length and some sweetness. A Long life ahead. (ES)

Italy

92 Siepi Castello di Fonterutoli 2001, Tuscany IGT ($99)
A splendid offering from of Tuscany's great producers. Black/purple with blackberry, plum, spice and chocolate aromas. Black cherry, earth and chocolate swing in on the palate. Long finish with loads of silky tannins. Drink over the next 10 years.(ES)

90 Nemo Vigneto Il Mulino Monsanto 1999, Tuscany IGT ($68.50)
After spending $35 on the 97 it is kind to hard to pay double for a wine which albeit is excellent, is still not as good as the offering from the fabled vintage. Cassis, blackberries, wood smoke, green tobacco, vanilla and leather are found in this medium to full bodied wine. Now to 2012. (ES)

Spain

90 Torres Cabernet Sauvignon Mas La Plana 1998, Penedès ($41.50)
Mint, chocolate, cherries, mushrooms, vanilla and leather are built on a frame of sweet berry fruit. Firm tannins and solid length. Now to 2014.

 

 

October 2004 Wine Ratings

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90 Cave Springs Indian Summer Riesling 2003, Niagara ($23.95)
This baby delivers the goods. A mélange of pear, peach, honey, green apple and mineral flavours. Excellent length, with the 124 grams of residual sugar offset by the brisk acid. Now to 2011. (ES)

89 2003 Chateau des Charmes Gewurztraminer St Davids Bench 2003, Niagara ($14.95)
Jean Pierre Bosc continues his hot streak with Gewurz- consistently the best dry version of this varietal in Ontario. Peach, floral, citrus and spice are served up on the nose with lychee nut and roses appearing on the palate. Great length and refreshing. Drink over the next 3 years. (ES)

88 Henry of Pelham Riesling Reserve 2003, Niagara ($13.45)
Aqua colour with a nose of peach, lime zest and white flowers. Crisp with powdered candies, citrus and minerals on the tongue. Now to 2010. (ES)

88 Stoney Ridge Kew Vineyard Chardonnay 2003, Niagara ($24.95)
Carmel, citrus, green apple, honey and hints of earthiness are found in this medium to full bodied Chard. The palate is a yin yang of creaminess and acid with very good length and a hint of yeastiness at the end. Now to 2008. (ES)

87 Vineland Estates Chardonnay 2002, Niagara ($12.95)
A non-oaked version, which serves up peach, floral, citrus, cream and hints of spice. Light yet refreshing with lime, cream and spice in the mouth. Now to 2007.

 

87 Jackson Triggs Proprietors' Riesling 2003, Niagara ($10.25)
03 is turning out to be a great year for the Riesling grape. Example; this little wine which packs a serious punch, hitting the palate with loads of candied peach and apricot, white flowers, honey and lime zest. Zippy acid is there, but is offset by residual sugar. Great value to be drunk over the next 2 to3 years. (ES)

84 Jackson Triggs Proprietors'Gewurztraminer 2003, Niagara
Not as intense as last year's offering, but still well done with moderate aromas of peach, honey and rose. A touch spicy. Drink now (ES)

89 Magnotta Enotrium 2001, Niagara ($39)
Enter Enotrium, Canada's first ever commercial release of an "Amarone-style" wine- the grapes were left to air dry on racks for 3 weeks. The blend is 50% Merlot and the rest equal parts of both Cabs. Full bodied with a terrific nose of plums, blackberries, mint, violets, spice and vanilla and some alcohol. The palate adds coffee, chocolate and dark fruits. Long finish with noticeable heat, which is normal for this style of wine. From 2006 to 2012. (ES)

87 Jackson Triggs Delaine Vineyard Merlot 2002, Niagara ($24.95)
Black cherry with a pink rim and a bouquet of dark cherries, chocolate, blackberry, raspberry and plum. Medium bodied with a lengthy finish and a touch of heat. Now to 2008. (ES)

87 Jackson Triggs Delaine Vineyard Cabernet Merlot 2002, Niagara ($24.95)
Both red offerings from JT's Delaine Vineyard are solid wines made from younger vines, and as I have said before, the quality will only improve as the vineyards mature. The Cab Merlot is all about cassis, earth, plums, vanilla and red currants and bell pepper. Very good length, nice structure and persistency. Now to 2009. (ES)

87 Stoney Ridge Baco Noir 2003, Niagara ($14.95)
By no means was 2003 an easy year for red wine making in Ontario, but by waiting until early November to pick his Baco grapes, Lubermir Popovic has turned in a splendid effort. Medium bodied, the wine is black/purple with a nose of wild raspberries, blueberries, plums smoke and spice. Even more impressive is the fact that it doesn't display any harshness sometimes associated with hybrids in lesser years. Drink now and a tip of the hat to a job well done. (ES)

86 Jackson Triggs Prorietors' Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, Niagara ($11.95)
Deep ruby with bell pepper, spice, plums, vanilla and cassis flavours. Light to medium bodied and a lingering finish of red currants, plums, vanilla and spice. (ES)


Chile

89 Errazuriz Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Aconagua ($18.00)
Loganberry, boysenberry, spice, licorice and notes of vanilla are a part of this medium to full bodied wine. Dry with rich fruit on the palate and chocolate nuances, the wine will go 5 years in the cellar. (ES)

France

91 Chateau Montus 2001, Madiran ($28.95)
Great Madiran from the Southwest of France is an excellent alternative to Bordeaux. As it is not as well known as its more famous neighbour, prices are much more affordable. That being said-prepare to bleach your teeth after drinking this young wine. Made from the super phenolic Tanat grape, the wine is a black hole with a vortex of cassis, vanilla, leather and spice. Full bodied it needs to age about 4 years before revisiting. From 2008 to 2017. (ES)

 

 

August 2004 Wine Ratings

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91 13th Street Wine Corp Sandstone Chardonnay Reserve, Niagara ($27)
13th continues to produce one of Niagara's most fruity and concentrated Chardonnays. Fresh baked peach pie, caramel, tropical fruit, citrus and honey soar out of the glass. The palate is dense with cream drenched biscuits, caramel and yeasty flavours. Acid is low with a touch of residual sugar and superb length. Drink over the next 3 to 4 years. (ES)

86 Henry of Pelham Off Dry Riesling 2003, Niagara ($14.95)
The 03 HOP Off Dry is water colour with a nose peach, white flowers, honey, tutti frutti gooseberries and lime. The palate is extremely refreshing with a peach/lime aftertaste. Would be great with civiche. Drink until 2008. (ES)

85 Angels Gate Sussreserve Riesling 2003, Niagara ($14.95)
Naturally sweet grape juice has been added to balance off the racy acidity of the wine. Very uplifting with peach, lime, white flowers and a touch of honey on the backend. Now to 2008. (ES)

85 13th Street Wine Corp. Funk Riesling 2002, Niagara ($16)
Crisper than previous vintages with a nose of peaches, orange blossom, flowers and grapefruit. Medium persistency and drinkable until 2008. (ES)

84 Chateau des Charmes Chardonnay Musqué Estate Bottled 2002, Niagara ($15.95)
This, the first Musqué from CDC is moderately aromatic with a nose of peach and flowers. The palate is dry and lingering with honey, peach and spice flavours and a crisp finish. Drink now. (ES)


89 Angels Gate Angels III 2002, Niagara ($35)
The 3rd release of A3 lives up to the quality of its predecessors. Medium bodied, the blend is 50% Merlot with the remainder being equal parts of both Cabs. Plums, black cherries, chocolate and coffee are all in the house. Long finish, somewhat thick and ripe tannins. From 2005 to 2011. (ES)

88 Angels Gate Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, Niagara ($23.95)
Cassis, plums, herbs and vanilla come together in the bouquet. On the palate the cassis comes through as well as the vanilla. Very good length and supple tannins. Now to 2011. (ES)

 

87 13th Street Wine Corp. Cabernets Merlot Funk Vineyard 2002, Niagara ($20)
A little closed at the time of tasting but chocolate, coffee, plums, black cherries and raspberries worked their way out of the glass. Medium to full bodied with a peppery, tobacco and raspberry palate. From 2005 to 2010. (ES)

87 13th Street Wine Corp. Merlot 2002, Niagara ($25)
A black cherry, raspberry, floral bouquet with a sweet mid palate laced with chocolate and cherries. Tannins are supple with very good length. Now to 2009. (ES)

 

86 Jackson Triggs Proprietors' Reserve Merlot 2002, Okanagan ($12.95)
A jammy Merlot made in a down under style, but when compared against a comparable Aussie on price, this wine wins hands down. It is definitely one of those good old buy by the case purchases. Ruby/purple colour with a nose of chocolate, plums, black cherries, violets and smoke. Medium bodied and medium length. Drink over the next 2 years. (ES)

85 Chateau des Charmes Cabernet-Merlot 2002, Niagara ($14.25)
The wine displays Chateau's "tell tale" red wine nose of bell pepper/cigar/spice which is interwoven with cassis, plums, vanilla and red currant. Dry with soft tannins and an easy finish. Drink over the next 2 years. (ES)

Bordeaux

93 Chateau LaRame 2001, Ste Croix du Mont ($34.75/ 500ml)
Much has been hyped about the dessert wines of Bordeaux in 2001. This wine comes from a lesser known appellation near Sauternes and is an absolute killer, especially for the price. Full bodied with oodles of apricot, peaches, honey, spice and coconut. Drink until 2018. (ES)

92 Chateau Le Bon Pasteur 2001, Pomerol ($89 Futures)
Bon Pasteur is the home base of Michel Rolland, the world's foremost consultant of Merlot. Plums, spice, vanilla and chocolate on the nose with black raspberry, earth, smoke and chocolate on the palate. The mouth feel is concentrated and long. Drink over the next 10 to 12 years. (ES)

90 Sociando Mallet 2001, Haut Medoc ($65)
Those who have followed my ratings know my admiration for this house. The quality is constant and even puts to shame1st and 2nd growths in certain years. Black/purple colour with a bouquet of chocolate, bell pepper, cassis and black cherries. Medium bodied with excellent length and a soft finish. From late 2005 to 2012. (ES)

90 Chateau Quinault L'Enclos 2001, St Emilion ($120 Futures)
The '01 Quinault is black/purple coloured, medium bodied offering with loads of chocolate covered coffee bean, earth and blackfruits on the nose. Medium to full bodied, the palate is all chocolate, cherries, minerals and flowers. Length is excellent. Drink until 2016. (ES)

 

July 2004 Wine Ratings

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Italy

95 Allegrini Amarone 2000 ($100)
Without a doubt Allegrini is one of the superstars of Amarone. The wines from 97 of to 00 are some of the most powerful and concentrated that I have ever tasted out of the north east corner of Italy. It is more like dry port than wine, with enough tannin to warrant taking out extra dental insurance. Hold off for a few years to let everything come together. From 2008 to 2025. (ES)

92 Maculan Fratta 2000, Veneto ($68)
Made in a new world/Aussie style, focusing on intense fruit. The blend is 54% Cab Sauv and 46% Merlot. The attack is jammy and delivers loads of black cherries, blackberries, plums, tobacco and roasted herbs. Long finish with some heat. Drink over the next decade.

95 Arnaldo Capri 25 Anni Sagrantino di Montefalco 2001, Umbria ($100)
To enjoy young Sagrantino, you have to be in a Masochistic frame of mind. To be honest, I was scared to death after this opaque wine was poured into my glass, knowing what was in store. Simply put, it is a monster! Huge depth and even huger tannins. Aromas of plums, spice and vanilla are discernable at this young age. Hold of until 2010 and drink until 2030. (ES)

92 Maculan Fratta 2000, Veneto ($68)
Made in a new world/Aussie style, focusing on intense fruit. The blend is 54% Cab Sauv and 46% Merlot. The attack is jammy and delivers loads of black cherries, blackberries, plums, tobacco and roasted herbs. Long finish with some heat. Drink over the next decade.

92 Arnaldo Capri Collepiano Sagrantino di Montefalco 2001, Umbria ($40)
Here is one for you wine trivia buffs- what is the most tannic grape in the world? Answer-Sagrantino. Gentle is the not an adjective I would use for this wine, as it is fiercely tannic yet beautifully concentrated, with superb length. Drink over the next 15 years with meat, preferably rare to still mooing. (ES)

90 Fattoria di Felsina Chainti Classico Berardenga Rancia 2001, Tuscany ($60)
The nose is cherries, plums, spice and fresh bread, while the mouth is laced with humus and menthol notes. Nicely concentrated with firm tannins and excellent length. Now to 2014. (ES)

90 Zenato Amarone 2000, Veneto ($48.95)
The combination of grapes being dried for 4 months and aging in new barrels has produced a bouquet of plums, vanilla, black cherries, blackberries, chocolate and allspice. Excellent quality, the wine is ripe and long in the month with some alcohol on the backend. Now to 2016. (ES)

89 Fattoria di Felsina Chianti Classico Berardenga 2001, Tuscany ($34.36)
A touch lighter than the “Rancia.” Black fruits, spice, vanilla and toasted bread are present in this medium to full bodied wine. Drink now to 2011. (ES)

89 Fontodi Flaccianello 2000, Tuscany ($70)
This 100% Sangiovese bottling delivers cherries, buttered popcorn, cassis and earthy flavours. Medium to full bodied with excellent length. Now to 2011. (ES)

89 Antinori Tiganello 2001, Tuscany ($90)
Rather disappointing when tasted recently in Italy. Medium bodied with cherry, hummus and charred oak aromas. There is lots of tannin, but the finish is airy, so I would prefer to drink it over the next 5 years. Maybe it is just in a dumb phase, but my gut tells me otherwise. Not worth the money. (ES)

88 Fontodi Chianti Classico 2001, Tuscany ($32.47)
Medium ruby with a pink rim. Cherry, earth and vanilla on the nose with sweet cherries on the palate. Dry with nice length. Now to 2010. (ES)

Canada

White

90 Thirty Bench Riesling Limited Yield 2003, Niagara (winery, $19.95)

"Limited Yield" refers to a certain amount of grapes clusters removed from the vine during the growth cycle so as to concentrate the flavour in the remaining bunches. Moderately aromatic with an Auslese level of sweetness. There is a concentrated mouthful of peaches, honey, lemon, lime, minerals and green apples which envelops the crisp acid. Now to 2011. (ES)

89 Lakeview Cellars Chardonnay Reserve 2002, Niagara ($25)

The heat of the 2002 vintage, coupled with 18 months aging in new french oak has produced a full bodied Chard with a bouquet of caramel, banana, figs, citrus and green apple. The texture is creamy with spice, apples and nuts appearing on the finish. Drink over the next 4 years as the acid is low and the wine is a already enjoyable .(ES)

86 Birchwood Estates Auxerrois 2002, Niagara (winery, $12.95)

One of the most aromatic Auxerrois out of Ontario. Peaches, cream, tutti frutti and honey served up. Light bodied, but perfectly ideal as an aperitif or with a poached fish dish. Drink now. (ES)

85 Pelee Island Late Harvest Scheurebe 2002, Pelee Island ($9.00)

A nose of peaches, white pepper and honey. Sweet with good length and easy drinking. (ES)

Red

88 Lakeview Cellars Pinot Noir Reserve Butlers Grant Vineyard 2002 ($24.95)

A fruit driven style of Pinot with a nose of cherries, raspberries, blackfruits and rich vanilla. The palate is chock full of berry fruits which are interwoven with vanilla. Now to 2009. (ES)

 

87 Pelee Island Winery Pinot Noir Reserve 2002, Pelee Island ($14.04)

The wine displays a deep ruby colour and a nose of black cherries, black raspberries and vanilla bean. The same is reciprocated on the palate. Dry with very good length and a somewhat firm finish. Now to 2008.

86 Birchwood Estates Baco Noir 2002, Niagara (winery, $10.95)

A good value Baco with aromas of plums, vanilla and spice. Dry with medium length and a roasted nut finish. Drink over the next 2 years.

 


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Wine Facts

Although “château” means castle, it may also be a mansion or a little house next to a vineyard that meets the requirements for winemaking with storage facilities on its property.