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Home Wine Ratings August 2014 Wine Ratings

August 2014 Wine Ratings

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89 Peter Lehmann H&V Chardonnay 2012, Eden Valley ($20)

This is not your parents’ Aussie Chardonnay! Planted on rock soils, in the cool Eden Valley, this wine is all about restraint and elegance. Huge citrus, apple, honey and minerals are supported by cinnamon and vanilla notes from partial barrel aging. The crisp personality, 12% alcohol and long finish make this well suited for grilled salmon or roasted chicken.  (ES)


89 Peter Lehmann Layers Red 2011, Barossa ($17.95)

A definite crowd pleaser! From a cool vintage comes this GSM plus Tempranillo blend. Dark plum, sweet cherry, strawberry and raspberry mesh with the oak flavours of vanilla, cocoa and spice. Rather full bodied, the texture is soft, and there is very good length. Ready to drink, preferably with boeuf bourguignon or lamb chops. (ES)



91 Hillebrand Showcase Series Wild Ferment Oliveira Vineyards Chardonnay 2012, Lincoln Lakeshore ($36)

This impressive Chardonnay doles out toast, honey, apple, fig, citrus, honey and caramel qualities. It is full bodied with excellent length and a fine spine of acid. Pair with butter poached lobster. (ES)

88 Rosehall Run The Finisher Liquoreux 2013, Prince Edward County ($17.95/375ml)

This playfully named dessert wine is a blend of 85% Ehrenfelser and 15% Muscat. With 70g/l of sugar (think Auslese), fresh acid, and a profile of peach, honey, white flowers and spice, this dessert wine is a perfect foil for foie gras or fresh fruit custard desserts topped with an apricot glaze. (ES)

88 Peller Estates Private Reserve Chardonnay 2012, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($18.95)

Apple, citrus, white flowers, honey and hints of tropical fruit are all in play in this medium bodied, refined wine. There was no malolactic, so there is fresh acid as well as very good length. (ES)

88 Hidden Bench Estate Chardonnay 2012, Beamsville Bench ($28.75)

Yes, there is oak, but it is kept in check by the fruit, producing a mix of caramel, honey, vanilla, peach, pineapple, citrus and sweet apple. Medium to full body, there is sound acid and a lengthy aftertaste. (ES)

88 Soutbrook Triomphe Chardonnay 2012, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($22.95)

The ripe and round Chardonnay has seen 50% oak. That said, it is not overt, rather the fruit and wood are in balance, producing a lifted nose of pear, pineapple, grilled peach, apple, vanilla and caramel. It is mid-weight with a lengthy aftertaste and good acidity.  Ready to drink. (ES)

86 Coyote’s Run Gewürztraminer 2013, Niagara ($14.95)

Coyote’s first ever Gewürz is a textbook sample. Peach, rose water, orange blossom, honey, cinnamon and pineapple find themselves on a medium bodied frame. Dry, there is moderate length and uplifting acidity. (ES)


90 Rosehall Run The Certain Ratio 2012, Ontario ($29.95)

The grapes for this Meritage were sourced from PEC and Niagara. The ratio is 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 21% Cabernet Franc. Full-bodied, concentrated and layered; the tobacco, dark cherry, plum, olive, spice, mocha and vanilla flavours are underpinned by loads of ripe, yet unobtrusive tannins. It should age well for the next eight years. (ES)

90 Coyote’s Run David Sheppard Vintage 30 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($36.95)

This one-shot release was created to commemorate winemaker David Sheppard’s 30th harvest in the Niagara wine business. It is full bodied and backwards, and at this early stage, plum, vanilla, spice, and cassis are present. The tannins are elevated, so two options exist. The first, if you wish to drink now, is to pair with an extremely rare cut of beef.  The second, as well as my personal preference, is to cellar for three years and then drink until 2025. (ES)

89 Coyote’s Run Red Paw Vineyard Merlot 2012, Four Mile Creek ($24.95)

A huge bouquet of damson plum, sweet cherry, mocha, vanilla are all present in this 14.5% alcohol wine. It is ripe and concentrated with the sweet fruit on the palate meshing with a light herbal note. There is a long finish and firm tannins, so hold for two years and then drink until 2020. (ES)



91 Ktima Biblia Chora Assyrtiko/Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Pangeon IGP ($22.95)

This 40/60 blend starts off with a pale straw colour and then leads into a perfume of fresh cut grass, bergamot, passion fruit, white pepper, mango, green apple and honey. Once on the taste buds, the minerals and citrus kick-in, creating a long finale.  Great juice and the price is right! (ES)

90 Ktima Tselepos Amalia Brut, Arkadia IGP ($25.95)

This 100% Moschofilero, traditional method sparkling wine is my favorite Greek bubbly. It totally flatters with peach, honey, white flowers and spice qualities which become enveloped by the small pinpoint bubbles.  It is dry with a long finish and is an absolute delight with any appetizer course or celebration. (ES)

90 Ktima Biblia Chora Ovilos 2013, Pangeon IGP ($29.25)

Many believe that Greece’s finest wines are those that are blends between indigenous and French grapes. Here, you will find a marriage of Sémillon and Assyrtiko. The prior provides the weight and aroma and the later balances with freshness and minerality. Peach, red apple, mineral, honey, wax, evergreen and pineapple on the nose meshes with lanolin, spice and cream on the palate. Long aftertaste. It will age well, especially if you find the mature qualities of Sémillon enticing. (ES)

89 Domaine Gerovassiliou Malagousia 2013, Epanomi ($29.95)

Depending on your point of view, Malagousia is Greece’ answer to Gewürz or Muscat. One of the main difference between it and the aforementioned grapes is the fact that it retains acidity. Gerovassiliou’s version serves up honey, peach, spice, orange blossom, bergamot, citrus and spice qualities. Superb length makes this wine a natural partner for sushi or deep fried appetizers. (ES)

89 Domaine Gerovassiliou White 2013, Epanomi ($22.95)

This is a 50/50 blend of Malagousia and Assyrtiko, the famous white grape of Santorini, which has now been transplanted all over Greece. By blending the two, the exotic aromas of Malagousia find a home with Assyrtiko’s mineral driven, crisp personality. Peach, honey, white flowers, crushed rock and spice are all in play. Splendid length and ready to drink. (ES)


91 Domaine Gerovassiliou Avaton 2011, Epanomi ($44.95)

This intriguing, indigenous blend of Limnio, Mavroudi and Mavrotragano is a big wine full of plum, smoke, violets, cherry jam, earth and mocha aromas. The palate is quite punchy with lots of tannin enveloping the raisin, red and dark fruit flavours. Excellent length and a decade of life ahead. (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.