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Home Wine Ratings September 2015 Wine Ratings

September 2015 Wine Ratings

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92 Cave Spring Riesling Icewine 2013, Niagara ($49.95)

Always one of Niagara’s star Riesling Icewines. Peach, apricot, lime, apple juice, pink grapefruit and smokey minerals are all in play. The tension between the sweetness and acidity is brilliant, and there is sublime length. No need for dessert with this beauty! (ES)

92 Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Chardonnay 2011, Twenty Mile Bench ($65)

The “Grand Cru” of the Clos Jordanne portfolio is a full-bodied and layered offering with waves of peach, pear, apple, citrus, honey, hazelnut, toast and spice. The palate is dense, yet refined, with an underlying current of minerality as well as fresh acidity. Ready to drink.  A triple cream brie or roast chicken stuffed with mushrooms would be sublime with this wine. (ES)

91 Charles Baker Riesling Ivan Vineyard 2014, Twenty Mile Bench ($27)

Charles Baker continues to produce some of Niagara’s most profound Rieslings. This vintage is leaner but still possesses great persistency. Pale straw with a green tinge, the bergamot, white peach, lime zest, honey and lilac on the nose meet up with apple, pear and huge minerality on the palate. Long finish with zesty acid and slightly off-dry. I dream about Choucroute garnie with this beauty! (ES)

91 Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Terrace Chardonnay 2012, Twenty Mile Bench ($40)

Pale straw colour with peach, sweet apple, pear, mineral, vanilla, spice and a hint of nuttiness. There is 14% alcohol, smooth texture and excellent length. Nice balance. No need to cellar as it is ready to drink. (ES)

90 Southbrook Estate Grown Small Lot Wild Ferment Chardonnay, Four Mile Creek

Only seven barrels of this impressive Chardonnay were produced. A medium golden colour leads into a layered bouquet of coconut, butter cookies, honey, anise, golden apple, Bosc pear and white flower. On the palate, it is all about minerality, citrus, spice, toast and green apple melding with high acidity and a long aftertaste. Pair with grilled salmon topped with an herb cream sauce. (ES)

89 Malivoire Wine Moira Chardonnay 2011, Beamsville Bench ($39.95)

Banana, peach, tutti frutti, cream, spice, honey and vanilla are present on a medium-bodied frame. The alcohol plays well on the palate, with a creamy texture and excellent length, echoing spice, sweet corn and minerality. (ES)

89 Malivoire Wine Mottiar Chardonnay 2012, Beamsville Bench ($29.95)

Reminiscent of a top Puligny! The green apple, mineral and citrus on the nose meets up with smokey minerals, spice, vanilla and toast on the palate. Elegant and poised, there is sound acidity and great length.  (ES)

89 Cave Spring Riesling The Adam Steps Estate Bottled, Beamsville Bench ($24.95)

This is Cave’s take on a Mosel Riesling Kabinett, with its lower alcohol and slightly higher residual sugar. Fermented via natural yeasts, the peach, pink grapefruit, honey, lime and apple juice are built on brisk acidity and great length. Hold for another year as this wine as it still evolving. (ES)

88 Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve Chardonnay, Niagara ($30)

This Chardonnay is starting to show mature notes of nuttiness and bruised apple that accompany the cream, lemon, green apple and mineral profile. Mid-weight and ready to drink. (ES)

88 Cave Spring Riesling Estate Bottled, Beamsville Bench ($17.95)

Sweet peach, white flowers, tutti frutti, spruce beer, orange rind and mineral jump off the nose and onto the palate. Off-dry, with crisp acidity and very good length, this wine will partner brilliantly with a platter of sushi/sashimi or shrimp tacos. (ES)

86 Cave Spring Dry Riesling 2013, Niagara ($14.95)

Huge lime, mineral, orange peel and honey on the nose. It is mineral driven and dry on the palate with a floral element lingering on the finish. (ES)

87 Colio Lily Sparkling Wine NV, Ontario ($16.95)

A new classy label for this stalwart Ontario bubbly that won a silver medal at this year’s Ontario Wine Awards. Made from 100% Riesling and off-dry, it features baked apple, peach, citrus and minerals. Perfect with spicy appetizers or coconut shrimp. (ES)


93 Stratus Red 2012, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($44)

Quite possibly the best Stratus Red to date! A saturated ruby colour leads into a complex mix of blackberry, cassis, raspberry, cocoa, coconut, vanilla, violets, mint and pepper/anise. It is concentrated and long lasting with sweet fruit on the mid-palate before the firm, dry tannins make an appearance. Hold for four years and then drink until 2025, preferably with a NY strip.  A blend of all three Bordeaux varietals plus a smidge of Tannat. (ES)

89 Henry of Pelham Estate Cabernet Merlot 2010, Short Hills Bench ($24.95)

From a great red wine vintage comes this maturing Bordeaux blend. Cedar, cassis, raspberry, herbs/tobacco, dark cocoa and dried violet are all on a medium body frame. Still somewhat tannic, so drink or hold until 2020. (ES)

89 Cave Spring Cabernet Franc Estate Bottled 2012, Niagara ($29.95)

A rather hefty and complex Franc with smoke, cassis, raspberry, cedar, graphite, black olive, violets and vanilla. Still grippy on the palate, I suggest holding it for another twelve months and then drinking it until 2020. Pair with espresso rubbed steaks. (ES)

89 Malivoire Stouck Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Lincoln Lakeshore ($29.95)

Made from 27-year-old vines, this wine features a black colour with a ruby rim. Aged for 18 months in new French oak, it displays a perfume of lilac, BBQ spice, cassis, raspberry, dark cocoa and vanilla. Elegant in the mouth with great length and fine-grained tannins, steak was made for this wine. (ES)

89 Malivoire Wine Mottiar Pinot Noir, Beamsville Bench ($34.95)

Medium ruby in colour with a bouquet of sweet cherry, black raspberry, spice, dried earth, violets and anise. Good depth, with a fruit driven palate that reciprocates what is on the nose. Nice freshness, suave tannins and ready to drink. Serve with confit de canard. (ES)

89 Malivoire Wine Gamay 2014, Niagara ($17.95)

Wowser- delicious Gamay alert! Juicy, yet concentrated, the raspberry cream, strawberry, dried herbs, and white pepper are just magic in the glass.  With all of its upfront flash, it is ready to drink, with or without food. (ES)

88 Malivoire Wine Courtney Gamay 2013, Niagara ($25.95)

Somewhat tight, earth, roasted herbs, vanilla, black pepper, dark raspberry, sweet strawberry and red flowers reveal themselves. Splendid length. Drink over the next 2 to 3 years. (ES)

88 Malivoire Wine Cabernet Franc 2013, Creek Shores ($24.95)

Sings Cabernet Franc on the nose: smokey tobacco, herbs, cassis, red currant and graphite. Dark cocoa chimes in on the palate, with moderate tannins and fine length.  Ratatouille or spaghetti would be heavenly pairings. (ES)

88 Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc 2013, Niagara ($21.95)

Here, you will find a refined Franc with cassis, red currant, raspberry, herbs, lavender and smoke qualities. Mid-weight, there is bright acid, supple tannins and a great finale. Ready to go. (ES)

88 Cave Spring Cabernet Franc 2013, Niagara Escarpment ($19.95)

From a cool vintage, this wine achieved an impressive natural alcohol of 14.5%. A combination of cassis, raspberry, fresh herbs/mint, smoke, vanilla and anise are featured.  On the attack, the initial perception is that of sweet/ripe fruit, before turning elegant, and finishing with fine-grained tannins. Drink over the next 3 to 4 years. (ES)

88 Cave Spring Pinot Noir Dolomite 2013, Niagara Escarpment ($23.95)

Very Cote de Beaune with all of its strawberry, cherry, iron, red flowers, spice and cocoa flavours. There is considerable refinement, with fresh acidity and soft tannins rounding out this medium bodied wine. Ready to drink. (ES)

86 Cave Spring Gamay 2013, Niagara ($15.95)

A rather pleasing Gamay which will multi-task with different menu items: pasta, pizza, charcuterie and grilled sausage. Put a slight chill to it and enjoy all the juicy strawberry and cherry flavours that work alongside black pepper, biscuit and herbal elements. (ES)

86 Hat Trick Cabernet Merlot 2014, Ontario ($14.95)

The NHL Alumni Association has partnered with Colio Estates to produce the newest edition of this wine. Easy drinking, it doles out cassis, plum, herbs and vanilla. Grab some pizza or pasta, crack open the bottle and watch your favorite team play on Saturday nights. (ES)


90 Domaine Sigalas Kavalieros 2013, Santorini ($31)

Another great performance from Sigalas! This single vineyard Assyrtiko, made from vines over 50 years old, spent 18 months on its lees so as to give more complexity. It pumps out massive quantities of peach, pear, honey, white flowers, oregano, citrus and volcanic minerals. Full bodied, there is brisk acidity and great length, ensuring 8 years of cellaring. (ES)

90 Estate Argyros Assyrtiko 2014, Santorini ($25)

Every sip of this wine evokes memories of whitewashed homes, azure waters, bucket-list sunsets and the freshest seafood possible.  The average age of the vines used in the production of this wine were 150 years and because of this it churns out a complex mix of white peach, banana, toast, mineral, lemon and apple. High acidity, great concentration and a long aftertaste will allow this wine to age until 2022. (ES)


92 Oddero Poderi E Cantine Barolo Riserva Bussia Vigna Mondoca 2009, Piedmont ($100)

A powerful Barolo from the village of Monforte d’Alba. It features a complex personality of cherry, plum, earth, spice, cocoa, chicken broth and dried rose.  Full-bodied, with a long tannic finish, it has at least 20 years of life ahead. (ES)

92 Rivetto Dal 1902 Barolo Riserva Leon 2009, Piedmont ($80)

A Barolo which leans towards the old school style. Tar, dried earth, dried cherry, dried rose, spice, cocoa are all present. On the palate, the fruit still shows sweetness along with enough tannins that will ensure twenty years of longevity. (ES)

92 Paolo Scavino Barolo Riserva Rocche Dell'Annunziata 2009, Piedmont ($150)

An impressive Barolo that combines ripeness and judicious new oak.  Dark in colour, there is ripe cherry, plum, spice, cocoa and rose.  Nice weight, suave tannins and excellent persistency. It will only get better with time. (ES)

92 Cordero Di Montezemolo Barolo Riserva Gorette 2009, Piedmont ($80)

Hugely aromatic with cherry, plum, vanilla, earth, rose, spice and cocoa. Concentrated on the palate with magnificent length and at least two plus decades of life ahead. (ES)



Wine Facts

The lip of a red wine glass is sloped inward to capture the aromas of the wine and deliver them to your nose.