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Home Wine Ratings February 2013 Wine Ratings

February 2013 Wine Ratings

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87 Thorn-Clark Terra Barossa Merlot 2010, Barossa ($15.95)
This Merlot is chock full of cherry jam, blackberries, plum, menthol, graphite and spice. Mid weight, the palate is ripe and fruit driven with essence of cherry dancing all the way down. (ES)



91 Pondview Estate Winery Vidal Icewine 2010, Niagara ($24.95/200ml)
Here is an excellent value from the realm of Icewine. Honeyed apricots, apple juice, toast, spice, sponge toffee and honey are found in this concentrated and sweet offering. The finish is long and there is a sound acidity which brings everything into focus. (ES)

90 Riverview Cellars Vidal Icewine 2011, Niagara ($34.95/200ml)
This might be Riverview’s best Vidal Icewine to date. Honey, peach compote, pear, caramel and citrus are all in play with this great stickie. Excellent length and fresh acid rounds the wine out. (ES)

88 Château des Charmes Old Vines Riesling 2010, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($16.95)
At CDC, “Old Vines” means estate grown fruit which is a minimum age of 20 years old. The nose of this Riesling leans towards an austere mineral, lime and apple profile with slight undercurrents of peach and bergamot. Dry, fresh acidity and very good length make for a fine pairing with fried shellfish or salmon carpaccio. (ES)

87 Rosewood Sémillion 2011, Beamsville Bench ($18)
This vintage of Rosewood’s Sémillion is a lighter than last year’s rendition. Aromatically, it has the lanolin, peach and honey qualities associated with the varietal, but then a “Grüner” quality emerges in the form of white pepper and herbs. The palate exudes refreshing acidity and there is very good length. (ES)

87 Rosewood Natalie’s Süssreserve Riesling 2010, Niagara ($15)
Because of the heat in 2010, the nose is fast developing. It is the petrol quality which has taken the lead, followed by lime, grapefruit, peach and bergamot. The palate is soft with some noticeable sweetness and honey tones chiming in on the finale. Chill well and drink over the summer months. (ES)


92 Pondview Estate Winery Cabernet Franc Icewine 2010, Niagara ($35/200ml)
This is an amazing Cab Franc Icewine, especially for the price! Strawberry jam, guava paste, spice, cocoa, buckwheat honey and herbs are all layered on a viscous texture. Length is not an issue, as it carries on the taste buds. (ES)

89 Calamus Estate Meritage 2010, Niagara ($28)
Calamus’ Meritage is a blend of 42% each of Merlot and Sauvignon and the remainder Cabernet Franc. Still slightly restrained, this wine will show better in a year. Plum, cherry, raspberry, cassis, mocha, clove and herbs are built on a solid tannic backbone. Drink over the next 5 years. (ES)

90 Rosewood Merlot 2010, Niagara Escarpment ($22)
This is a pretty Merlot…so pretty, that it even won a gold medal at the annual Decanter Wine Awards. Plum, dark cherry, earth, smoke, cocoa and spice are the dominant qualities. There is also a slight floral and animal quality which trickles underneath. There is richness, suave tannins and enough stuffing to allow age it to age for another 3 or 4 years. (ES)

89 Calamus Estate Merlot 2010, Lincoln Lakeshore ($25)
Of all of Calamus’ top end 2010 reds, this is the most open and accessible. Smoke, plums, dark cherries, earth and spice are all present on the plush frame. The dark fruits carry long on the finish and the supple tannins rounds everything out. (ES)

89 Calamus Estate Cabernet Franc 2010, Lincoln Lakeshore ($20)
Smokey tobacco, cassis, black raspberry, clove, mocha and fresh herbs come together both on the nose and the palate. There is density, but no heaviness, with fresh acidity and a soft, yet lengthy finale. (ES)

88 Calamus Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Lincoln Lakeshore ($22)
Well aware of Cab Sauv’s difficult stature in Ontario’s climate, winemaker Arthur Harder only makes a mono-varietal Cab in the warmest years. The cassis, blackberry, raspberry, spice, coffee, vanilla and herbs make for a great pairing with herb crusted rack of lamb. (ES)

88 Calamus Cosmic Red, Niagara ($19.95)
Cosmic is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13%Merlot and 7% Pinot Noir …yes, I did say Pinot Noir. That dash of the latter just gives a little lift and rounds out the experience. Cassis, dark cherries, spice, mocha and smoke all come to play. The tannins are soft and the wine is already approachable. (ES)


91 Vignobles Maynard Clos du Calvaire Châteaneuf-du-Pape 2010, Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($28.95)
This new general list (LCBO) CNP is an absolute steal for under $30. High octane (15.5%), there is plum, kirsch, raspberry, black pepper, anise, lavender, smoked meat and earth to be found both on the nose and palate. There is a rich texture, great persistency and ripe tannins. Pair with bbq dry rubbed ribs or grilled lamb chops. Drink over the next 5 years. (ES)



90 Anselmi San Vincenzo 2011, Veneto IGT ($14.95)
This blend of 80% Garganega, 10% Chardonnay and 10% Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Soave region of Veneto. That being said, it has nothing to do with the acid water offerings which are usually found on liquor store shelves; rather, it is an aromatic offering full of red apple, spiced pear, pineapple, honey and white flowers.  There is crisp acidity with apple and pear reverberating on long finish. (ES)


85 Araldica BBQ Barbera, Piedmont ($9.95)
The name here is very apropos as this wine is well suited for lighter grilled fair as well as tomato based dishes. Smooth and easy drinking, this Barbera serves up dark cherry, plum, anise and cocoa. At this price, one bottle can easily become two…or three…especially on the patio this summer. (ES)

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.