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Home Wine Ratings June 2014 Wine Ratings

June 2014 Wine Ratings

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88 Malivoire Wine Company Musqué Spritz 2013, Beamsville Bench ($19.95)

Modelled after a Moscato d’Asti, this slightly effervescent wine beguiles with peach, honey, apples and fresh cut flowers.  Lengthy, slightly sweet and a sumptuous pour for patio sipping or cheese boards. (ES)

88 Trius WineryShowcase Riesling Ghost Creek Vineyard 2012, Four Mile Creek ($25)

This single vineyard Riesling serves up peach, pear, petrol, crushed sea shells, lime and spice. Mid weight, there is a fine spine of acidity, giving 5 to 7 years of cellaring potential. (ES)

88 Burning Kiln Winery Sweet Leaf Riesling 2012, Ontario ($24.95)

This soft Riesling doles out peach, lime, honeydew melon and white flowers. The alcohol is low, with a rich mid palate, some sweetness and considerable length.  Chill well and enjoy over the short term. (ES)

87 Burnt Ship Bay Pinot Grigio 2013, Niagara ($14.95)

I will preface this rating by saying that, as a general rule, I am not a fan of Pinot Grigio. That said, this PG is an absolute joy to drink! The pretty bouquet of banana, peach, honey and flowers give way to fresh apple, mineral and spice on the refreshing palate. Put a good chill to it and enjoy this summer/autumn on the patio or with grilled fish drizzled topped with lemon. (ES)

87 Pondview Estate Winery GR Gewürztraminer Riesling 2013, Niagara ($13.95)

Peach, honey, rose, red delicious apple, spice and tropical fruit are all in play in this off dry wine. There is  moderate acidity and decent length. Drink now with coconut curry shrimp or fish tacos topped with pineapple/jalapeno salsa. (ES)


92 Angels Gate Winery Mountainview Pinot Noir 2010, Beamsville Bench ($24)

For this price, this wine immensely over delivers. Concentrated and ripe, there is loads of plum, cassis, cherry, black tea, spice and vanilla which carry onto the long finale. Suave tannins allow another 4 years of aging. Mushroom risotto and lighter game fair will be a marvelous pairing with this beauty. (ES)

91 Rennie Estate Winery ‘G’ Assemblage 2011, Niagara ($55)

This Amarone inspired red clocks in with an alcohol level of 16.5%. This was accomplished via the Merlot (50%), Cabernet Sauvignon (25%) and Cabernet Franc (25%) grapes being dried for 70 days in specially climate controlled rooms, which caused a loss of 35% volume and a brix level close to 29. Aging then transpired in new and used oak barrels for 18 months. Full bodied and thick, there is a flattering profile of jam: plum, blackberry and cherry, as well as cocoa, coffee, cinnamon, tobacco, herbs and raisins. Concentrated, succulent and a long finish ensure this wine will age for another 8 years. (ES)

90 Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Niagara ($55)

A personality of sweet fruits: plum, cassis and raspberry melds with savoury elements à la herbs and tobacco. New oak adds cocoa, vanilla and spice to the mix, creating a complex wine. Medium to full body, the tannins will allow cellaring until 2020 and possibly beyond.  Pick your favorite cut of steak to enjoy with this impressive homegrown Cab! (ES)

88 Burning Kiln Winery Kiln Hanger-The Sequel 2010, Ontario ($59.95)

Made from 100% Cabernet Franc grapes that were dried for 8 days in old tobacco kilns. Raspberry, cassis, cherry, plum, herbs and vanilla are layered on a rather full bodied frame. The tannins are firm, so cellar it for a couple of years and then serve with lamb kabobs or pepper crusted bison steaks. (ES)

87 Pondview Estate Winery Cabernet Merlot 2011, Niagara ($18.95)

Although 2011 was not a great one for red wines in Niagara, Pondview has turned in a solid offering with this wine. Clocking in with a natural alcohol level of 14.3%, this mid weight blend churns out plum, raspberry, cherry, violets, smokey tobacco, roasted herbs and vanilla. The finish is grippy, so best grill up some steak or serve with braised lamb shank. (ES)



93 Bouchard Père et Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2012, Burgundy ($260)

This beauty was slightly closed at the time of tasting, but its stature was undeniable. Full bodied and powerful, it offers up a mélange of apple, mineral, spice, white flowers and minerals. The texture is a combination of creamy and crisp, with an oh-so long finale. Drink over the next decade. (ES)

92 Bouchard Père et Fils Meursault Genevrières Premier Cru 2012, Burgundy ($119)

Great white Burgundy, without a doubt. The oak and fruit come together to create a personality of apple, pear, yellow plum, spice, vanilla, hay and boat loads of minerals. Fullish, there is fresh acidity, providing structure and longevity. Drink until 2020 with sautéed prawns or cracked crab in a butter/lemon sauce. (ES)


93 Bouchard Père et Fils Chambertin Clos-De-Bèze Grand Cu 2012, Burgundy ($406)

Yes, the price is stratospheric for mere mortals. That said, if you have the means, this is a perfumed and elegant Grand Cru full of cherry, rose, animal, barnyard, herbal and iodine qualities. The lengthy aftertaste is supported by fresh acidity and ripe tannins. This is not built for the long haul, rather, I would opt to drink over the next 5 to 7 years, so as to enjoy its soothing personality. (ES)

90 Bouchard Père et Fils Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Cailles Premier Cru 2012, Burgundy ($146)

This Pinot leans to the dark fruit end of the spectrum: plum and dark cherry. Spice, cocoa, earth and iron play into the mix as well. Mid weight, it is airy, yet long on the palate. Tannins are ripe and polished. Now until 2018. (ES)



89 Domaine Tselepos Moschofilero 2013, Mantinia ($19)

A youthful bouquet of peach, tangerine, banana, white flowers and honey also reveal themselves on the palate, along with lime, stoney minerals and crisp acidity. Although lithe, there is ample length. Pair with fried shrimp topped with lemon or a spiced ceviche infused with tropical fruit.

89 Domaine Gerovassiliou Malagousia 2012, Macedonia ($29.95)

Evangelos Gerovassiliou is the man who rescued the aromatic Malagousia grape from extinction back in the 70s. Personally, I describe the varietal as being Greece’s answer to Gewurz. Peach, honey, banana, citrus, flowers and spice flatter the senses. The crisp personality makes this a perfect pairing with grilled octopus topped with a Moroccan harissa sauce.



92 Beringer Vineyards Private Reserve Chardonnay 2012, Napa Valley ($45)

I have become a big fan of this wine since winemaker, Laurie Hook, has toned down the oak level. Still full-bodied and full of flavour, the peach, pineapple, honey, apple and toast on the nose meet up with banana cream pie and spice on the long finale. Drink over the next 5 years, preferably with a salt and pepper grilled salmon filet or a chicken breast topped with a jalapeno/tropical fruit salsa. (ES)

90 Stags’ Leap Winery Viognier 2011, Napa Valley ($36.95)

Not flamboyant like some V-wines, but it is varietally correct with its peach, apricot, nectarine, banana, honey, spice and white flower character. There is even fresh acidity and a mineral undercurrent, which perks things up and adds sophistication. Ready to drink. (ES)

90 Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc 2012, Napa Valley ($22.95)

As the label denotes, this is a dry Sauvignon Blanc (with the addition of 13% Semillon). Furthermore, it is an aromatic beauty with nectarine, verbena, gooseberry, lime, fresh herbs and minerals. Lengthy on the finish with refreshing acidity. Ceviche and fresh water fish were made for this food friendly bottling. (ES)

89 Beringer Vineyards Chardonnay 2012, Napa Valley ($19.95)

This quality of this Chardonnay continues to impress, especially for the price. Bosc pear, sweet apple peach, honey, anise, cream, vanilla and minerals are framed on a medium body. There is fresh acidity and superb length. Just make sure to put a good chill to it, so as to subdue the 14.5% alcohol. (ES)


94 Robert Mondavi Winery Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Napa Valley ($139.95)

I tried this wine 5 times over the period of one month, and every time the wine scored the same. Powerful, concentrated, intense, rich and layered were but some of the descriptors I used. Full bodied, the dark fruit comes at you from every direction, followed by mint, violets, cinnamon, cocoa and vanilla. Needless to say, the finale is super long, and there is a boat load of tannins which will ensure 3 decades of aging. (ES)

93 Beringer Vineyards Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Napa Valley ($150)

This iconic, black/purple Napa Cab is starting to sing at the top of its lungs. Blackberry jam, cassis, dark cherry, vanilla, cinnamon and earth just flatter the senses. Full-bodied and concentrated, the textured mid palate and firm, yet unobtrusive tannins will ensure another 15 years of life ahead, at least. Impressive juice indeed. (ES)

92 Stags’ Leap Winery Ne Cede Malis Petite Sirah 2010, Napa Valley ($89.95)

Not for the faint of heart, this purple/black coloured monster reveals layers of black fruit, violets and spice. Powerful and extracted, there is a rich personality with loads of tannins and a long finish. Drink until 2030. (ES)

90 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Napa Valley ($49.95)

This combination of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot and 3% Franc is a medium bodied offering with a personality of plum, cherry, raspberry, savoury herbs, smoke and spice. Excellent length and supple tannins make for immediate drinkability. Rack of lamb was made for this wine. (ES)

89 Stags’ Leap Winery Petite Sirah 2011, Napa Valley ($40)

From a cooler vintage, this Petite Sirah reveals lots of hickory on top of blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, violets and vanilla. There is depth, but the finish is on the dry and hard side. Protein is required here, so grab a rib steak, crust it with salt and pepper and cook it to medium rare. (ES)

89 Ca’Momi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Napa Valley ($19.95)

This Nap Cab represents excellent value! On the full side, this fruit driven wine shows a seductive nature of blackberry, cassis, raspberry, toast, cocoa and herbs. The palate shows ripe, almost sweet fruit, medium tannins and very good length. It should age well over the next 5 years. Make sure to pick up a couple of bottles for the wine rack. (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.