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Home Wine Ratings November 2015 Wine Ratings

November 2015 Wine Ratings

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92 Marynissen Estates Vidal Icewine 2013, Niagara ($40/375ml)

Hugely extracted this stickie exudes intense peach, honeycomb, orange marmalade, vanilla, sponge toffee and spice. Excellent length and well suited for blue cheeses or custard based desserts. (ES)

91 Coyote’s Run Rare Vintage Chardonnay 2014, Four Mile Creek ($24.95)

If you are a lover of great Chardonnay, this is one that should not be missed. Medium to full-bodied, it is ripe with peach, cream, baked apple, pineapple, spice and lilac on the nose. On the palate, cream, vanilla, banana and minerals add dimension. Long finish, fresh acid and superb length make for a brilliant pairing with lobster or poultry. (ES)

90 Coyote’s Run Rare Vintage Late Harvest Pinot Gris, Four Mile Creek ($24.95)

Made in the style of an Alsatian Vendanges Tardives, this Pinot Gris is medium sweet with 50 g/l of residual sugar.  That said, the concentration and lowish acidity combine with the sweetnes to give the impression of something that is sweeter. Full bodied, there is enormous peach, honey, cream spice, red apple and cream. Drink with a foie gras appetizer or munster (or other wash rind cheeses) after a meal. (ES)

89 Redstone Reserve Chardonnay 2011, Beamsville Bench ($38.95)

Medium plus body, this Chardonnay was fermented via natural yeasts and spent 12 months maturing in partial new French oak. Enticing aromas of peach, toast, honey, anise, pineapple and golden apple are all present. Fresh acid, a lush mid-palate and great finale round everything out. Now until 2019. (ES)

89 Palatine Hills Sauvignon Blanc Neufeld Vineyard 2014, Niagara Lakeshore ($18)

Partially barrel fermented, this Sauvignon Blanc gushes gooseberry, passion fruit, tomato vine, fruit salad, herbs and vanilla on the nose. On the palate, peach, citrus and honey chime in. Long finish with vibrant acidity and a touch of sweetness makes for a superb pairing with crab cakes or pasta primavera topped with feta cheese. (ES)

88 Palatine Hills Riesling 2014, Niagara Lakeshore ($13)

If you are a Riesling lover, you should run to pick up this steal of adeal. Peach, lime, honey, bergamot, grapefruit and white flowers inundate the senses. Off-dry with tangy acidity and great length. (ES)

87 Marynissen Estates Pinot Gris Kasper Vineyard 2014, Niagara Lakeshore ($17)

Twelve hours of skin contact and partial barrel fermentation has created a bouquet of peach, red apple, honey, banana, cream and spice. Pineapple and yeasty flavours combine with the fresh acidity and fine length. (ES)


91 Marynissen Estates Cabernet Franc Icewine 2013, Niagara ($55/375ml)

This Icewine busts out a perfume of strawberry, raspberry, guava, cassis, vanilla and herbs. On the tongue, it is pure essence of berry with a succulent aftertaste. Chocolate fondue all the way. (ES)

89 Redstone Winery Cabernet Franc Icewine 2010, Niagara ($25.95/200ml)

Ready to drink, this rock solid Cab Franc Icewine pumps out strawberry, red currant, cassis, dried cherries, and red flowers. Splendid length, soft texture and low acid make for a perfect pairing with a flourless chocolate cake. (ES)

89 Coyote’s Run Rare Vintage Cabernet Syrah 2012, Four Mile Creek ($32.95)

From one of Ontario’s best red wine vintages ever comes this singular blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon and 43% Syrah. Dark coloured, the complex nose of cassis vanilla, herbs, smoke, black cherry, black olive and violets carry over to the palate where the tannins add support. Long finish. Drink now to 2021. (ES)

89 Marynissen Estates Gamay Noir Marynissen Vineyard 2013, Four Mile Creek ($30)

A great surprise from a cool vintage. Clocking in with a natural alcohol of 14.5%, this Gamay resembles a cru Beaujolais with is plum, boysenberry, raspberry, strawberry and pepper personality. Suave tannins, fresh acid and a long aftertaste complete the package. Charcuterie was made for this wine.  (ES)

89 Marynissen Estates Platinum Series Syrah 2013, Four Mile Creek ($35)

An impressive Syrah which was harvested at a paltry one ton per acre. Smoke, plum, dark cherry, raspberry, cassis, black pepper, vanilla and oregano on the nose meet up with purple flowers and graphite on the taste buds. Soft texture with a vibrant personality and long finale. (ES)

88 Redstone Winery Merlot Redstone Vineyard 2011, Lincoln Lakeshore ($39.95)

Plum, smoke, chocolate chip cookie dough, raspberry, vanilla, dried earth and carnations are all present in the soft and alluring Merlot. Mid-weight, with great length and suave tannins make for immediate accessibility. (ES)

86 Coyote’s Run Five Mile Red 2014, Niagara ($15.95)

This crowd pleaser is a blend of 55% Cabernet (both), 36% Merlot and the remainder Pinot Noir and Syrah. Mid-weight, there is an intense perfume of raspberry, blackberry, cassis, herbs, vanilla, spice and smoke. The palate is soft with fresh acid and medium length. (ES)



92 Domaine Eric & Joel Durand Empreintes Cornas 2012, Rhone Valley($46.95)

This 100% Syrah offers depth and complexity. Smoke, cassis, rosemary, cured meat, iron, violets and licorice are all present on the nose. The same reciprocates on the palate as well as a cocoa/pepper elements that carry the finale. Medium body. Now until 2022. (ES)

91 Château Pesquié Les Terrasses 2014, Ventoux ($17.95)

Pesquié, the undeniable star of the Ventoux, continues to churn out impressive wines at all price points. The 2014 Les Terrasses possesses a black/purple colour and doles out violets, crème de cassis, kirsch, oregano, anise, olive and graphite. Full bodied and concentrated, the plummy tannins will ensure a decade of aging. For the price, make sure to pick up a few bottles for the cellar. (ES)

91 Château de Braude 2010, Haut-Médoc ($33.95)

This Cru Bourgeois, from the great 2010 vintage, is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. It is a textbook example with its cassis, black olive, tobacco, mint and medicinal qualities. Pick your cut of steak to enjoy with this wine. Drink until 2022. (ES)

90 Château Fleur La Mothe 2009, Médoc ($24.95)

This is a stunning value from an ultra-warm vintage in Bordeaux. Made in a modern style, there is a prodigious nose of blackberry, cassis, smoke, tobacco, black olive and anise. Suave and silky on the palate it is ready to drink now until 2020. (ES)


91 Bischöfliche Weingüter Trier Scharzhofberger Spätlese Riesling 2012, Mosel ($31.95)

From the prized Scharzhofberger comes this hugely floral Riesling with honey, lime, apricot, peach, green apple and minerals acting as backup. The crisp acidity is balanced by the sweetness giving the impression of an off-dry wine. Chill well, pour and sit back and relax. (ES)



91 Tselepos Santorini 2014, Santorini ($40)

Having mastered the Moschofilero grape of the Peloponnese, Yiannis Tselepos has turned his sights south, to the volcanic beauty of Santorini and its singular superstar grape - Assyrtiko! Full-bodied and concentrated, this wine’s power is held in check by brisk acidity. Salty minerals, white peach, lime and honey are abound in this dry wine. Long finish. Great now but better in 3 to 4 years. (ES)

91 Biblia Chora Ovilos 2013, Macedonia ($30.75)

Greece’s answer to a great Pessac-Léognan! Full bodied, this oaked blend of 50% Semillon and 50% Assyrtiko doles out honey, wax, lanolin, peach, herbs, vanilla, spice and huge minerals. Long aftertaste with great acidity. Halibut in beurre blanc sauce or a pork roast would be sublime with this wine. (ES)

87 Thalia White 2014, Crete ($9.95)

Great bang for the buck from Greece’s southernmost island!  This 50/50 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and indigenous Vilana is delicate yet flavorful with apple, melon, peach, white flower and nougat aromas. On the palate, crisp acidity, fine length and minerality complete the package. Drink with hors d’oeuvres such as fried shrimp/kalamari or mild cheeses. (ES)


88 Tselepos Amalia Brut Rose NV, Arcadia PGI ($25)

Yiannis Tselepos, famous for his white Amalia Brut, made from the aromatic Moschofilero varietal is now producing a companion rose bubbly made from the local Agiorgitiko grape. Strawberry, cherry, red flowers, dried earth and herb flavours are all in play. A fine mousse, fresh acid and great length make for a perfect pairing with smoked salmon and charcuterie. (ES)


92 Messias Colheita Port 2005 ($24.95)

A Colheita is a single Vintage Tawny Port, which by law must age a minimum of seven years in wood before being released to the marketplace. This wine over delivers for the price especially considering it is a full-size bottle. The brick red colour leads to a combination of prunes, dried raspberry, dried flowers, spice and hazelnut. Smooth and well balanced with a long aftertaste. (ES)

91 Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos Vintage Port 2004 ($29.95/375ml)

With the cold nights now upon us, there is nothing quite as satisfying and cathartic as a glass of Port in front of a roaring fireplace. Black as night, this single Quinta (farm/vineyard) Vintage Port is concentrated with masses of cassis, plum, kirsch, violets, mint and dark cocoa. It will evolve nicely over the next 15 years. Superb value! (ES)

United States


91 Talbott Kali Hart Chardonnay 2013, Monterey County ($27.95)

This wine certainly has a lot of heart! Golden apple, pineapple, mango, peaches and cream corn, butter and vanilla flatter. Ripe, it is rich on the palate with fine acidity giving a lift on the long, spice-tinged finale. (ES)

91 Robert Mondavi Reserve Chardonnay 2012, Carneros ($45.95)

Full-bodied, Mondavi’s flagship Chardonnay is a class act that is starting to show mature qualities. Peach, golden apple, pineapple, smoke, honey and mineral are all present. It is balanced, concentrated and possesses terrific length. Drink until 2019 (ES)

90 Beringer Chardonnay 2013, Napa Valley ($22.95)

This Chardonnay is always a stalwart of quality. Apple, peach, pear, vanilla and cream corn are all present in this medium-bodied chardonnay. Lengthy, it is not heavy, thanks to the fresh acidity that tidies everything up. Very versatile with food. (ES)


93 Justin Isosceles 2012, Paso Robles ($117.95)

The 2012 vintage of this Icon wine from Paso Robles is a 15.5% monster that throws masses of dark fruit at you in the form of blackberry, plum, cherry and blueberry. Additionally, there are mocha, caper, mint, balsamic, vanilla and cola qualities that add dimension. Thick, almost syrupy on the palate with sublime length and enough tannins to cellar for a decade, if so desired. That said, it is in fine drinking form right now as it just keeps on giving. (ES)

91 Rodney Strong Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Alexander Valley ($59.95)

This 15% Cabernet Sauvignon is ripe, lush and velvety. It offers wall to wall dark raspberry, blackberry, plum, cassis and chocolate flavours. It is quite flattering right now, but it has the stuffing to go another five to six years. (ES)

90 Rutherford Ranch Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Napa Valley ($53.95)

An explosive nose of dark plum, cassis, mint, balsamic, licorice and vanilla are all present in this wine that shows a combination of ripeness and elegance. Long finish and ready to drink now over the next 7 years. (ES)

88 Murphy-Goode Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, California ($19.95)

An open and approachable Cali Cab with plum, dark cherry, mint, cocoa and hints of animal. A touch sweet, there is very good length and is drinking well now. (ES)

87 Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel 2012, Lodi ($19.95)

Here is a straight up, no holds barred, fruit driven Zin with a tell-tale personality of red and black jam, raisin and spice. It is ripe, but not clumsy, and will fare well with braised and bbq foods. Drink now. (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.