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Home Wine Ratings August 2016 Wine Ratings

August 2016 Wine Ratings

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87 Lindemans Bin 95 Sauvignon Blanc ($11.10)

A great little value! Passion fruit, pink grapefruit, tomato vine, lime and hints of fruit salad. A lively palate carries the finale. (ES)

86 Lindemans Bin 85 Pinot Grigio ($11.10)

Outclasses many Italian versions with higher price tags. Dry and vibrant, with pear, apple, lemon and hints of spice. Medium length and ready to go. (ES)



92 Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Chardonnay 2013, Short Hills Bench ($29.95)

Made from yields of 2 tonnes per acre and fermented in French oak, this beauty is elegant and concentrated. It reveals a multi-dimensional personality of toast, honey, apple, sweet peach, pineapple, banana, hazelnut, mineral and caper berry. Lobster or crab served with warm butter is perfect for this wine. (ES)

91 Domaine Queylus Chardonnay Reserve du Domaine 2014 ($34.95)

The fruit and oak mesh together creating a balanced Chardonnay with pear, apple, citrus, anise, white flower and honey qualities. Mid-weight with a great aftertaste and lovely pineapple and peach pinch at the end. (ES)

90 Charles Baker Riesling Ivan Vineyard 2015, Twenty Mile Bench ($27)

From a warm year comes this top-notch Riesling full of sweet peach, ripe apricot, lime, smokey minerals and white flowers. The bright acidity acts as a counterpoint to the residual sugar, creating a dry personality that is long lasting. Finishes with an apple note. (ES)

90 Huff Estates Riesling Off-Dry 2015, Ontario ($18)

A huge nose of mineral, green apple, white peach, honey, lime, lilac and smokey minerals leads into a palate full of juicy acidity, light sweetness and a long finale. Drink over the next five years. Great on its own or with food. (ES)

89 Tawse Gewürztraminer Quarry Road Vineyard 2014, Vinemount Ridge ($24.95)

An ultra-textbook Gewurz, which flaunts lychee, honey, rose water, orange, mango and cinnamon. Only 12% alcohol but with superb depth, definition and length. Off-dry and sound acidity make for an easy paring with Pad thai or sushi. (ES)

88 Huff Estates Pinot Gris 2015, Prince Edward County ($20)

Ripe on the nose with sweet peach, honey, cream, pineapple, spice and yellow flowers. The palate is tight and linear with an acidic lift, minerals and a spice-tinged aftertaste. (ES)

88 Hidden Bench Estate Chardonnay 2014, Beamsville Bench ($28.75)

Toast, honey, apple, white flower, spice and green apple are all present in this mid-weight Chardonnay. Very good length with crisp acidity. Try with grilled salmon. (ES)

88 Cuddy by Tawse Chardonnay 2013, Niagara ($24.95)

Jim Cuddy, Blue Rodeo’s front man, has partnered with Tawse to create his own brand. This Chardonnay is mid-weight and features green apple, citrus, yellow peach, spice and vanilla. Splendid length with a mineral backbone and a slight creaminess round the package out. (ES)

87 Tawse Redfoot Vineyard Pinot Gris 2015, Lincoln Lakeshore  ($24.95)

Water white with a moderate perfume of honey, peach, smoke, spice, yellow apple and cream is backed up by minerality, light alcohol, vibrant acidity and very good length. Ready to drink. (ES)

87 Tawse Unoaked Chardonnay 2015, Lincoln Lakeshore ($19.95)

Chardonnay purity in a glass. Sweet apple, pear, white apple, citrus, apple and mineral. Refreshing acidity makes me want to pair with a dozen or so fresh shucked oysters. (ES)


91 Tawse Tintern Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013, Vinemount Ridge ($44.95)

A new Pinot Noir from Tawse!  Even though it comes from young vines there is nothing but class and elegance in the glass. Cranberry, red cherry, raspberry, wild flowers, herbs, vanilla and spice are built on a svelte body and dusty tannins. Superb length and it should be drunk over the next 3 to 4 years. As the vines mature, quality will only get better, and personally I can’t wait! (ES)

90 Huff Estates Pinot Noir Reserve 2014, Prince Edward County ($35)

An explosive nose of sweet cherry, raspberry, rose, iodine, beetroot, spice, earth and violets. On the palate, there is cranberry, bitter cherry, fresh acidity and easy tannins. Great length, only 12% alcohol and ready to serve with braised beef or lamb dishes. (ES)

90 Stratus Tempranillo 2012, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($42)

Yes, there is no typo, this is a 100% Tempranillo from Ontario. From a warm vintage comes this fullish rendition with plum, strawberry, black raspberry, cedar, coffee, pepper and vanilla. It is dry with good grip and a long finish. Now to 2022. (ES)

90 Two Sisters Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2012, Niagara River ($49)

An ambitious Cabernet Franc with plum, boysenberry, mint, spice, scorched earth and anise. Full-bodied and ripe, it  clocks in at 14.5% alcohol. Long lasting. Drink until 2021 to take advantage of its exuberance. (ES)

89 Huff Estates South Bay Vineyards Merlot 2013, Prince Edward County ($39.95)

A dead ringer for a top Saint-Émilion and a worthy successor to the delicious 2012. A deep ruby/purple colour leads into a compelling and polished bouquet of plum, dark cherry, cocoa, coffee, leather, cloves and red flowers. There are lots of firm tannins, but my preference would be to drink it over the next 4 to 5 years. Duck confit all the way. (ES)

88 Bachelder Lowrey Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013, St. David’s Bench ($44.95)

Bing cherry, rosehip, mushroom, spice, vanilla and earth are all present in this bright in Pinot. Delicate on the tongue, the red fruit carries long. Ready to drink. (ES)


88 Miguel Torres Las Mulas Merlot 2015 ($12.95)

A great addition to the LCBO general list! Plum, blackberry, dark cherry, eucalyptus, herbs, cocoa, vanilla and anise. Medium body with a lingering aftertaste and price that won’t break the bank! Buy a few bottles of this organic wine to be served alongside pasta or pizza. (ES)



93 Ca' del Bosco Franciacorta Dosage Zero Noir Vintage Collection 2006, Lombardy ($90)

An impressive bubbly made in the traditional method from 100% Pinot Noir grapes and aged for over eight and half years on its yeast cells. Copper colour with small pinpoint bubbles. It is bone dry, with a profile of yeast, brioche, cherry, strawberry, spice, chalk and earth. Long creamy aftertaste with brisk acidity. (ES)


92 Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011, Veneto ($90)

Lighter in style than previous vintages but still of elevated stature. Full bodied, both on the nose and palate, it resonates with plum, crème de cassis, dark cherry, raisins, cocoa, anise and violets. Full-bodied and long and with the structure to age two decades. (ES)

New Zealand


90 Dog Point Vineyard Chardonnay 2014, Marlborough ($41.95)

Lots of verve to this Chardonnay with smokey minerals, pear, fresh apple and honey. Even though there is 14%, there is not a trace of heat whatsoever, and crystalline acidity relieves any form of heaviness. (ES)


90 Archangel Pinot Noir 2012, Central Otago ($39.95)

An explosive nose of dark cherry, black raspberry, damson plum, spice, beetroot, raisins and cocoa are all present in this rather hefty Pinot Noir. It turns juicy on the palate and finishes on an alcoholic note. Beautiful length. Duck breast all the way. (ES)

South Africa

91 Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale Chardonnay 2014, Hemel-En-Arde ($39.95)

From “The Heaven on Earth” region comes this Chardonnay with a  good dose of oak in the form of vanilla, caramel and spice which envelopes the tropical fruit, mineral, honey and peach qualities. Lingers and there is a lifted finale which bodes well for food friendliness. (ES)



91 Sonoma-Cutrer Winery Russian River Ranches Chardonnay 2014, Sonoma ($27.95)

Peach pie, pineapple, honey, nutmeg, vanilla, caramel, citrus, cream, orange peel and sweet apple are all present in this polished Chardonnay. Excellent length, crisp acidity and a spice tinged finale cap it all off.  (ES)


94 Robert Mondavi Winery To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Oakville, Napa Valley ($150)

Mondavi’s flagship red is a big, powerful Napa Cab with no harsh edges. Concentrated and ripe, there is cassis, blackberry, plum, raspberry, mint, mocha, creosote, vanilla and earth. Full-bodied with grand length and tannins to take it to 2035. (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.