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Home Wine Ratings March 2015 Wine Ratings

March 2015 Wine Ratings

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Canada

White

90 Big Head Wines Chenin Blanc 2013, Niagara ($22)

For me, this is the best Chenin Blanc currently being made in Ontario. Naturally fermented, the lovely balance between the acidity and sweetness supports the lemon, lime, honey, peach, apple juice, pineapple, honey and minerals. Excellent length. Try with an ashed goat cheese.

90 Stratus White 2012, Niagara ($44)

The release of this Stratus White celebrates 2 important milestones- the 10th bottling of this wine as well as the 10th anniversary of the opening of the winery itself. Unlike previous renditions, this full-bodied white is a blend of only three grapes (usually 5 to 6) - 43% Chardonnay, 42% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Semillon. A bouquet of peach, pineapple, honey, pear, spice, vanilla, wax and cream is complimented by sound acidity. Fleshy, with excellent length, it should drink well over the next 3 to 4 years. (ES)

89 Flat Rock Cellars The Rusty Shed Chardonnay, Twenty Mile Bench ($24.95)

From a warm vintage comes this overt Chardonnay with peach, white flowers, pineapple, honey, red apple and spice on the nose. The same follows through on the palate with creaminess and minerality adding dimension. Ready to drink now. (ES)

88 Big Head Wines Sauvignon Blanc, Niagara ($19)

Another natural ferment wine from Big Head. Petrol, passion fruit, guava white flowers and grass are built on a medium-bodied frame. Crisp acidity and a mineral edged finale compliments everything. (ES)

88 Lakeview Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Tregunno Family Vineyards, Niagara ($17.95)

Here you will find an approachable Sauvignon Blanc with a personality of peach, apricot, fresh herbs, grapefruit and a slight toastiness from some barrel aging. There is very good length and fresh acid, making a perfect partner with freshwater fish. (ES)

88 Legends Estates Terroir Semillon 2013, Lincoln Lakeshore ($17.50)

This is one of the few mono-varietal Semillons produced in Ontario- a grape which suffered substantial damage from the severe winter of 2014. Peach, honey, kiwi, wax, spice and lanolin meet up with crunchy acidity and a slight sweetness. Drink now. (ES)

Red

91 Trius Grand Red 2012, Niagara ($55)

If you thought the 2012 Trius Red was great, wait until this beauty crosses the lips. Full-bodied and elegant, the layers of cassis, dark cherry, vanilla, violets, herb, spice and earth carry long on the finale. The fine tannins will ensure it ages over the next decade. A blend of 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 27% Cabernet Franc. (ES)

91 Rennie Estate Winery “G” Assemblage 2012, Niagara ($55)

An excellent follow-up to the impressive 2011, this Amarone inspired Meritage was aged in new oak for 18 months. It packs a wallop, with its 16% alcohol, concentrated mid-palate and profile of vanilla, raspberry, toast, cassis, plum, chocolate, raisins and spice. A long finish and loads of ripe tannins make the case for a decade of cellaring, if so desired. FYI- the grapes were dried for 100 days! (ES)

90 The Foreign Affair Petit Verdot "On Assignment" 2012 , Niagara ($49.95)

Fifteen percent of the grapes for this wine were dried à la Amarone. Full bodied, this 14.5% beauty doles out raspberry, cassis, dark cherry, violets, spice, cocoa and earth. The mid-palate shows a sweet/jammy texture before the ripe tannins sweep everything up. It should age well over the next decade. Braised lamb shanks or beef ribs were made for this wine. (ES)

90 Vineland Estates Winery Cabernet Franc Reserve 2012, Niagara ($40)

Full bodied with lots of smokey tobacco, cassis, vanilla, violets, raspberry, herbs, cocoa and spice. Excellent length and lots of ripe of tannins will ensure eight years of positive evolution. Pair with a NY strip topped with an herb demi-glace. (ES)

89 Malivoire Stouck Vineyard Meritage2011, Lincoln Lakeshore ($29.95)

Here you will find a great Meritage from a less than easy vintage for dark grapes. Medium body, the raspberry, cassis, savoury herbs, tea, toast and violets are supported by some granular tannins. Great length. Now to 2018. (ES)

Chile

88 Miguel Torres Las Mulas Sauvignon Blanc 2014 ($11.95)

There Sauv Blanc offers good depth of flavour, especially for the price.  Leans to the pungent side of the varietal, the ammonia, asparagus, guava, passion fruit, citrus and passion fruit are all preasent on a crisp frame. Drink now with fried appetizers. (ES)

New Zealand

90 Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Marlborough ($19.95)

This brilliant and focused Sauv Blanc pumps out a huge perfume of nectarine, followed by bergamot, passion fruit, guava, jalapeno and papaya. Fresh acidity, a concentrated mid-palate and long finale make this a sublime partner for a ceviche infused with some tropical fruit or tuna/salmon sashimi. (ES)

Spain

87 Miguel Torres Coronas Tempranillo 2012, Catalunya ($13.95)

This stalwart of the LCBO general list once again delivers the goods. Mid-weight, the cherry, plum, licorice, tobacco, leather and herbs glide across the palate. It is lengthy, with soft tannins and is ready to drink. Perfect for the bbq season- hamburgers and sausages! (ES)

United States

91 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Napa Valley ($34.95)

Another solid Mondavi Napa Cabernet Sauvignon! Full-bodied and elegant, this lovely wine doles out the cassis, black cherry, earth, mint, smoke, herbs vanilla and spice. Excellent length and ripe tannins will ensure a decade of life, with the best drinking starting around 2016. (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.