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Home Wine Ratings February 2016 Wine Ratings

February 2016 Wine Ratings

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94 Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Coonawarra ($99.95)

Exciting stuff! Made only in the best years, this icon wine is without a doubt one of the top Cabs in all of Coonawarra. Concentrated, elegant and layered, there is wall to wall plum, blackberry, dark cherry, eucalyptus, vanilla, anise, violets, black olive, herbs and chocolate. With all of the tannin, I suggest holding until 2018 and then drink until 2032. (ES)

91 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Coonawarra ($27.95)

This perennial 90+ point wine does it again in the 2013 vintage. Full bodied, polished and elegant, it serves up a soaring bouquet of blackberry, plum, mint and violets. The palate adds eucalyptus, vanilla, spice and a chocolate-tinged finish. It should age well over the next 8 to 10 years. For the price, make sure to pick up a few bottles for the cellar. (ES)


86 Domaine Boyar Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 ($8.90)

If you are looking for a bang for the buck, everyday sipper, this is your wine! It is smooth and easy drinking with plum, dark cherry, mint, spice and violet flavours. Medium body and length. Ready to drink with pasta, pizza or burgers. For this price, a case purchase is mandated. (ES)



92 Sue-Ann Staff Winery Vidal Icewine 2012 ($24.95/200ml)

This double gold medal winning Icewine possesses a brilliant golden colour an intense perfume of honey soaked peaches, golden raisins, dried apricots and spice. Rich, but not heavy thanks to the fresh acidity. Lingers long. (ES)

91 Vineland Estates Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling 2014, Twenty Mile Bench ($19.95)

The combination of aromatic purity, power and balance are truly impressive. Huge lime, bergamot, white peach and crystalline minerality soar across the senses. The palate achieves the status of a lovely Kabinett with a long aftertaste. Still an infant, it will be interesting revisit this wine as it evolves over the next decade, at least.  (ES)

91 Rockway Vineyards Vidal Icewine 2013, Niagara ($29.95/375ml)

Huge peach, honey, sponge toffee, toast, candied pear, bergamot and candied lemon are present on a concentrated frame. Vibrant acidity tidies up any heaviness and the final carries long. (ES)

91 Pillitteri Reserve Vidal Icewine 2013, Niagara ($35/200ml)

Pillitteri’s 2013 Vidal Icewine churns out enormous peach, honey, lychee, pineapple, candied citrus and spice flavours. Excellent extraction and weight with a crisp edge giving definition. Great length. (ES)

91 Mike Weir Winery Vidal Icewine 2013, Niagara ($49/375ml)

Honey, candied peach, apple concentrate and sponge toffee are all present in this stickie. Excellent length with solid acidity. Pair with an apricot and almond custard tart. (ES)

90 Between The Lines Vidal Icewine 2013, Niagara ($39.95)

A dark golden/orange colour introduce the apple concentrate, candied pear, peaches in honey and spice. Long finish, focused with just the right amount of acidic lift. (ES)

90 Château des Charmes Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard Riesling Icewine 2014, St. David’s Bench ($65)

A lighter style compared to previous vintages but one which still of high quality. Riesling’s natural acidity frames the sweetness quite nicely and the flavours of peach, pear, apple compote, mineral and lime carry long. (ES)

90 Redstone Chardonnay 2011, Beamsville Bench ($31.95)

Toast, caramel, apple, white flower, honey and smoke on the nose meet up spice and cream on the palate. Fine length, solid acid and a round mouthfeel make for a perfect pairing with grilled salmon. (ES)

90 Peninsula Ridge Vintners Reserve Chardonnay 2013, Beamsville Bench ($29.95)

An impressive Chardonnay for Peninsula Ridge, which features peach, banana, pineapple, toast, white flowers, sweet apple, vanilla and honey qualities. Medium plus body, concentrated and long on the finish. (ES)

90 Trius Showcase Sparkling 5 Blanc de Noir 2009, Niagara ($55)

The five denotes that the wine spent that amount of time aging on its yeast cells before being disgorged. This has created a bubbly with lots of toasty/yeasty qualities which marry with strawberry, peach, cherry and earth qualities. Bright acidity, long finish and a certain austerity hallmark this wine. (ES)

89 Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Niagara ($19.95)

A lively Sauv Blanc with a lifted personality of nectarine, passion fruit, fruit salad, lemongrass, and flowers. Mid-weight, with great length. Pair with sole topped with lemon dill sauce. (ES)

89 Mike Weir Winery Limited Edition Riesling 2014, Beamsville Bench ($22.95)

A fabulous Riesling from Weir, which has a soaring bouquet of bergamot, lime, honey, smokey minerals, while flowers on the nose. The palate is decidedly mineral with a long citrus aftertaste and just a hint of residual to round everything out. (ES)

88 Ravine Vineyard Small Batch Riesling 2014, St. David’s Bench ($28)

Bergamot, honey, lime, white flower, green apple and minerals carry from the nose to the taste buds. A hint of residual sugar and vibrant acidity make for a fine match up with Thai or sushi. (ES)

88 Konzelmann Riesling 2013, Niagara ($13.65)

Konzelmann continues to churn out great bang for the back whites at a sub $15 price point. Peach, lime, citrus and apple are all wrapped up nicely by some sweetness and fresh acidity. Very good length. (ES)

88 Peninsula Ridge Barrel Aged 2014, Beamsville Bench 2014 ($15.95)

A lot of stuffing here for the price. Medium-bodied, there is green apple, citrus, spice and hints of stone fruit. The crisp acidity makes for a very food friendly wine. Ready to drink. (ES)

87 Kacaba Oak Aged Chardonnay 2014, Niagara Escarpment ($24.95)

Vanilla bean, pear, red apple, cinnamon and honey and citrus flavours fold into a creamy texture with a good amount of acidity. Elegant with very good length and lifted acidity.  Pair with crab cakes or grilled kalamari topped with a garlic aioli. (ES)

86 Château des Charmes Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2014, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($13.95)

This nicely balanced Chardonnay has just the right amount of fruit to oak ratio. Flavorful with peach, red apple, toast, spice and notes of honey. Medium length and ready to drink. (ES)

86 Small Talk Vineyards Burning Ambition 2013, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($14.95)

A blend of Riesling and Gewürztraminer. Peach, pineapple, spice, flowers and honey are all in play. Needs something spicy such as Pad Thai or a green curry dish to act as a counterpoint to the sweetness. (ES)


89 Fielding Estate Sparkling Rose NV, Niagara ($30)

A blend of 85% Pinot Noir and 15% Chardonnay. Strawberry, cherry, earth, yeast and toast are all present on a creamy texture. Combined with great length and fresh acid, it makes for a splendid pairing with duck rillettes or charcuterie. (ES)


90 Fielding Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Niagara ($29.95)

Deep ruby colour, there is evident oak in the form of chocolate, coffee and spice which folds into the dark cherry and blackberry fruit. Ripe tannins and great length mean it should be consumed over the next 5 to 7 years. (ES)

89 Kacaba Merlot 2013, Niagara Escarpment ($29.95)

To ensure that the Merlot was fully ripe in the cool 2013 vintage, Kacaba left the grapes to hang until mid-October. The result is a rather fullish red with plum, dark cherry, toast, chocolate, spice and green olive qualities. Cuban ropa vieja or a skirt steak with chimichurri would be stellar pairings. (ES)

88 Kacaba Silver Bridge Vineyard Syrah 2013, Niagara Escarpment ($29.95)

Made from 25-year-old vines, this Syrah is still a tad closed but features plum, raspberry and cranberry flavours which encapsulate black pepper, cocoa, incense, oregano and vanilla notes. Very good length, fine acid and approachable.  (ES)

87 Kacaba Terraced Vineyard Syrah 2013, Niagara Escarpment ($29.95)

Compared to the Silver Bridge Syrah, this is a more open rendition which sings black pepper, dark cocoa, plum, raspberry, oregano and violets. Ready to drink with pot roast. (ES)

87 Rockway Vineyards Red Assemblage 2013, Twenty Mile Bench ($17.95)

Rockway continues their qualitative ascension. This blend of 54% Cabernet Franc, 31% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon reveals cassis, raspberry, mint, herbs, tobacco and violets. Splendid length, good acid and suave tannins. (ES)


89 Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2012, Tuscany ($22.95)

Always great value from the realm of CCR! Ripe cherry, tomato, plum, raspberry, tobacco and some oak spice are built on a medium to full body. Nice concentration, great length and some dry tannins make for a top partner with classic Italian fare. A blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Merlot. (ES)

87 Gabbiano Chianti Classico 2013, Tuscany ($16.95)

A touch jammy, the cherry, cocoa, tobacco, herbs, red flowers and forest floor aromas meet up with fresh acid and sound tannins. Very good length. Pair with lasagna or grilled sausages. (ES)


Wine Facts

To prevent a sparkling wine from foaming out of the glass, pour an ounce, which will settle quickly. Pouring the remainder of the serving into this starter will not foam as much.