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Home Wine Ratings March 2016 Wine Ratings

March 2016 Wine Ratings

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89 Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay 2014, Adelaide Hills ($24.90)

Lots of polish to this Chardonnay, which clocks in at 12.5% alcohol. Smoke, hazelnut, peach, sweet apple, pear and anise are all found in the glass. Mid-weight, the palate is restrained, with vibrant acidity, a slight creaminess as well as mineral driven aftertaste. Seared scallops or cracked crab would be perfect with this wine.  (ES)


90 Wolf Blass Gold Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Coonawarra ($23.95)

A powerful Coonawarra Cab with a bouquet of chocolate, cassis, raspberry, cherry, mint, violets and herbs. Medium body with some gritty tannins and great length. Drink until 2021. (ES)

90 Teusner Joshua 2013, Barossa Valley ($29.95)

Full-bodied, this Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre blend doles out plum, blackberry, sweet black cherry, spice, vanilla, roasted herbs, anise and vanilla. Long finish, lots of ripe tannins and a good amount of acid make for an excellent food wine. (ES)

89 Wolf Blass Gold Label Syrah 2012, Adelaide Hills ($24.90)

Deep ruby with purple highlights. Full bodied, yet elegant, there is masses of plum, blackberry, cassis, raspberry, eucalyptus, anise, tar, and violets. Concentrated, ripe and excellent length. The alcohol is 14.5%, but there is no burn. Nice balance. (ES)

88 19 Crimes Shiraz Durif 2014, Victoria ($18.95)

From the cooler Victoria comes this dark ruby/purple coloured red. Blackberry, black cherry, plum, violets, spice, cocoa, ink, cookie dough and vanilla replay from the nose to the palate. Full bodied with some warmth and fine length. (ES)



90 Rockway Vineyards Small Lot Block 15-183 Riesling 2014, Twenty Mile Bench ($19.95)

Rockway continues to shine under winemaker David Stasiuk. Taught and racy, this wine serves up peach, lime, pink grapefruit, mineral and white flowers. There is some residual sugar, but the brisk acidity gives the impression of a dry wine. Excellent length and a match made in heaven with sushi. (ES)

90 Rockway Vineyards Chardonnay Wild Ferment 2014, Twenty Mile Bench ($22.95)

A medium body Chardonnay, which shows great poise. Peach, green apple, pear, citrus, honey and vanilla are built on a creamy texture and excellent length. Without a doubt, this is a wine that requires lobster or Alaskan king crab with drawn butter. (ES)

90 Château des Charmes Riesling Old Vines 2013, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($16.95)

Pale water colour with a bouquet of bergamot, white peach, lemon, lime, green apple, white flowers and hints of honey. Comes across as dry on the palate because of the refreshing acidity. Splendid mineral aftertaste. (ES)

88 Fielding Estate Winery Riesling Estate Bottled 2014, Beamsville Bench ($18.95)

A bouquet of lime, pink grapefruit, peach, white flowers and honey also carry over onto the palate. Splendid length with some residual sugar balancing out the fresh acidity. Well crafted and ready to drink. (ES)

88 Pondview Bella Terra Chardonnay Barrel Fermented 2013, Four Mile Creek ($25)

As the name denotes, there is new oak I the form of vanilla, toast and anise. Add in pineapple, banana, apple and orange attributes from the grape itself and you have a sophisticated and delicious drop of juice. Medium to full body, there is a creamy texture and great length. Lobster risotto with this for sure! (ES)

88 Konzelmann Old Vines Riesling 2014, Niagara ($22.95)

Dry, this Riesling features aromas of sweet peach, nectarines, bergamot, marzipan, spice and lemon. The palate, although crisp, features slight creamy notes from barrel fermentation and a lengthy apple/mineral-tinged finish. (ES)

88 Pondview Estate Winery Bella Terra 2013, Four Mile Creek ($19.95)

A heftier Gris thanks to a combination of partial new oak and lees stirring. Peach, honey, cream, apple, citrus, lemon, smoke, spice and yellow flowers. Creamy in the mouth with good acid and very good length. Pickerel in a beurre blanc sauce would be killer with this wine.

87 Fielding Estate Winery Viognier 2014, Niagara ($22.95)

A mid-weight Viognier, which leans more towards a citrus/grapefruit personality rather than the blowsy tropical/ warmer style. There is some spice, peach, apricot and floral undertones. Fine length and ready to drink. (ES)

87 Henry of Pelham Family Tree White 2012, Niagara ($17.95)

A Chardonnay, Viognier, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc blend. Tropical dominant on the nose with a good dose of oak afterwards. It is soft and easy drinking with mature elements of caramel chiming on the palate. Ready to drink. (ES)


86 Fielding Estate Winery Rosé 2015, Niagara ($15.95)

A dry and easy drinking Rose with flavours of strawberry, raspberry, pink grapefruit and hints of pepper. Good length, fresh acid and ready for patio sipping or charcuterie boards. (ES)


92 Fielding Estate The Chosen Few 2012, Niagara ($59.95)

Only made in the best years, this, the second vintage of this wine (the first was in 2007) is truly impressive. The final blend of 38% Cabernet Franc, 37% Syrah and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon was a selection of Fielding’s best barrels and there was no fining and filtering whatsoever. Medium to full body, there is a rich texture and lots smoke, chocolate, dark cherry, cassis, blackberry, black pepper/spice and olive. Great length and structure to allow to age another 7 to 8 years. (ES)

91 Fielding Estate Winery Syrah 2012, Niagara ($39.95)

A warm, ripe and complex Syrah with cassis, plum, black pepper, oregano, violets, chocolate, and toast. Medium plus body, ripe tannins, concentrated mid palate and superb length will allow this wine to age over the next five years. (ES)

89 Henry of Pelham Cabernet-Merlot Estate 2012, Short Hills Bench ($24.95)

Cassis, raspberry, mint, spice, vanilla and herbs are present in this stylish Bordeaux-inspired red. On the fuller side, the tannins are present and the finale long. Grilled lamb chops and vegetables would be sublime. Drink until 2021. (ES)

87 Henry of Pelham Family Tree Red 2013, Ontario ($18.95)

A five-grape blend where Syrah and Merlot and dominate, the Cabernets act as backstop and Baco Noir chimes in at 5%.   Blackcurrant, black pepper, raspberry, tobacco, herbs and a slight gamey feature. Mid-weight, fresh acid and very good length. (ES)



87 Root: 1 Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Casablanca Valley ($12.95)

This is the new white companion to the Root: 1 Carmenere. Starts off with lime, grapefruit and nectarine qualities and then shifts into more herbal and mineral elements. Light-weight, crisp and dry. Perfect for the summer months of patio sipping. (ES)


91 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Maipo ($21.95)

A superb Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon with textbook aromas of blackberry, cassis, cherry, mint, vanilla, cocoa, tar and smoke. Concentrated, the tannins are plush and the finale long with just the right amount of warmth.  Drink over the next five years. Steak all the way with wine! (ES)


90 Château Mont-Redon Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2011 ($46.95)

A serious CNP, which clocks in at 14.5% alcohol. Cherry, plum, cassis, anise black pepper, smoke and vague oregano qualities waft out of the glass. Tannins are dry and there is great length. A midterm cellar candidate - drink until 2020. (ES)


88 Thörle Riesling Feinherb 2014, Rheinhessen ($20)

The term Feinherb denotes a wine which is off-dry. This is a light Riesling which packs lots of flavour. Lime, peach, powdered candies, yeast and minerals. Very good length and ready to drink. Pair with sushi or schnitzel. (ES)


92 Santo Wines Assyrtiko Grand Reserve 2013, Santorini ($29.95)

This wine is a worthy successor to the fabulous 2012! Full bodied, this oak aged Assyrtiko exudes toast, peach, pineapple, citrus, red apple, honey, anise and bay leaf. The palate is a combination of cream and acidity with a brilliant finale. Singular superb Santorini! (ES)

90 Santo Wines Vinsanto 2008, Santorini ($33/500ml)

This dessert wine is a blend of 85% Assyrtiko and 15% Aidani that was sun-dried for ten days. Syrupy and concentrated, it possesses 280 grams of residual sugar and a personality of raisins, dried figs, prunes, molasses, maple syrup and buckwheat honey. There is a long finale with just enough acidity to provide symmetry. (ES)

90 Santo Wines Santorini Assyrtiko 2015, Santorini ($14.95)

This wine, soon to be released to the LCBO general list is an incredible value! Grown at the highest elevations of the island, it delivers nectarine, citrus, green apple, hints of honey and salty minerals. Dry, Assyrtiko’s crystalline acidity helps carry the long finish. There is enough power here to pair with fish, poultry and even pork. For this price, make sure to pick up a few bottles. (ES)

89 Santo Wines Sparkling Brut 2013, Santorini ($33)

This is the only sparkling wine produced on the island of Santorini.  Made from 100% Assyrtiko and vinified via the traditional method, there are pinpoint creamy bubbles and aromas of mineral, apple, citrus and yeast. The palate possesses crisp acidity and excellent length. (ES)

New Zealand

90 Lagoon Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Martinborough ($18.95)

From the Martinborough region located on NZ’s North Island comes this expressive single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc which was organically farmed. The mango, guava, orange, passion fruit, lime, pink grapefruit and herbs jump out of the glass and onto the tastebuds where spice and lively acidity frame everything quite nicely. Ready to drink. (ES)

South Africa


86 Goats do Roam White 2015, Western Cape ($11.95)

Moderate aromas of peach, honey, spice, peanuts, white flowers and honey. Mid-weight, there is some creaminess on the palate as well as a brisk finale. A singular blend of 61% Viognier, 20% Roussanne and 19% Grenache Blanc. (ES)


88 The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvèdre and Viognier 2014, Western Cape ($13.95)

This Rhone inspired delivers the goods at an affordable price. Cassis, plum, dark cherry, smoke, leather, spice and vanilla are supported by soft tannins and an easy drinking nature. BBQ all the way! (ES)


89 La Crema Pinot Noir 2013, Sonoma Coast ($31.95)

Sweet cherry, raspberry, strawberry, plum, herbs and baking spice are all present in the silky offering. Elegant, the tannins are on the lighter side and there is a touch of warmth on the finale. An appealing Pinot this is ready to drink. (ES)

87 Sledgehammer Zinfandel 2013, California ($16.95)

A wine which will appeal to those who loves soft and succulent reds. Bramble fruit, spice, raisins, black tea and tobacco are layered on soft tannins. There is a slight sweetness, but this is Zin, so not a problem at all. Great length and ready to drink. (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.