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Home Wine Ratings September 2016 Wine Ratings

September 2016 Wine Ratings

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85 Bodega Norton Barrel Select Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Mendoza ($13.20)

A grassy, sweet pea quality greets the senses, which is the followed by citrus, grapefruit, anise and vague florality. Light bodied. Chill well be serving. (ES)



91 Big Head Riesling Icewine 2014, Niagara Lakeshore ($68)

Fermented via natural yeasts, this brilliant stickie exudes petrol, honey, beeswax, honeycomb, thyme honey, coconut and spice. Rich with lifted acidity and a prolonged stone fruit/ lime aftertaste. (ES)

90 Big Head Old Vines Chardonnay 2015, Niagara Lakeshore

Made from 32-year-old-vines, this is a ripe and giving Chardonnay which exudes copious amounts of pineapple, peach, honey, sweet apple, banana, cream and spice. There is oak, but it was applied judiciously. Long, full-texture, succulent and ready to drink. (ES)

90 Big Head Big Bang Sparkling NV, St. David’s Bench ($45)

If you enjoy mature elements in your bubbly, this wine will fall smack dab in your wheelhouse. Yeast, caramel, bruised apple, honey, dried flowers and caramel flow out of the glass. Crisp, with creamy bubbles and long lasting. (ES)

90 Big Head B.A. Chenin Blanc 2014, Niagara Lakeshore ($34)

Partially affected by noble rot, this is  Chenin what with its honey, wax, mushroom, chamomile, apricot and bruised apple. Rich, off dry and long lasting with some warmth on the finale. Pair with a torchon of foie gras or red curry dishes. (ES)

90 Henry of Pelham Riesling Estate 2013, Short Hills Bench ($17.95)

My favorite Riesling from HOP as it regularly delivers above its price tag. It is delicate and flavorful with lots of tension.  There is lime, bergamot, smokey mineral, white flower and green apple. Even though there is some residual sugar; it comes across as dry because of the acidity. Drink over the next five years. Pair with Cajun spiced pork chops topped with an apple slaw. (ES)

89 Pondview Vidal Icewine 2014, Niagara ($19.95)

All Vidal with its honey, peach, apricot, lychee, orange marmalade and sponge toffee qualities. Rich and sweet with a good amount of acidity giving the proper lift. Ready to drink by itself or with some blue cheese. (ES)

89 McMichael Collection Group of Seven Chardonnay 2014, Niagara ($14.95)

Gold medal winner at this year’s Ontario Wine Awards this wine packs a lot of punch for the price. Mid-weight, the fruit and work in tandem to produce a profile of pear, apple, citrus, cream, spice and honey. It lingers with a crisp edge making for a beautiful partner with salmon or halibut. (ES)

88 Chateau des Charmes Paul Bosc Estate Chardonnay 2013, St. David’s Bench ($22.95)

Starting to show mature notes of crème brulée which melds with hazelnut, vanilla, apple, pear, baking spice and quince. Medium body with a creamy texture. Butter poached lobster would be Nirvana with this wine.

87 Pondview Estate Winery Viognier 2015, Niagara ($16.95)

A refreshing style of Viognier which captures some of the exotic nature of a Condrieu. Nectarine, citrus, honey, anise, fresh flowers. There is the classic Viognier yogurt/creaminess in the mouth with great length. (ES)

87 Henry of Pelham Riesling 2015, Niagara ($14.95)

From a warm vintage comes this soft Riesling, revealing peach, honey, lime cordial, white flower and some minerality. Off-dry and approachable, chill well and serve with sushi or General Tao chicken.

87 Château des Charmes Aligoté 2015, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($14.95)

A pale straw colour leads into a perfume of apple, lemon, pear, white flower and hints of honey. For an Aligioté, there is nice weight, depth and length. Ready to drink with fresh water fish or brie. (ES)


88 Sue-Ann Staff Fancy Farm Girl Foxy Pink 2014, Niagara ($14.95)

SAS’ Rosé is a singular blend of 92% Riesling and the remainder Cabernet Franc. Lime, raspberry, strawberry, grapefruit, green apple and peach are all present. Refreshing and off-dry, the fruit dances on the tongue for a long time. Pair with terrines tuna steaks. (ES)


91 Henry of Pelham Cabernet-Merlot Speck Family Reserve 2010, Short Hills Bench ($39.95)

This Bordeaux modelled blend has started to transition into adolescence as the tannins have softened and complexity has emerged. Cassis, tobacco, black cherry, mocha, vanilla, spice are apparent from start to finish. It is complex, layered and long. It will go another 6 years. (ES)

87 McMichael Collection Group of Seven Cabernet Merlot 2014, Niagara ($14.95)

A perfume of blackcurrant, cherry, herbs, cocoa powder, violets and spice meets up with a medium-bodied palate which presents soft tannins and sound acidity. Great length and ready to drink. (ES)

87 Pondview Estate Winery Lot 74 Cabernet Merlot 2015, Niagara ($14.95)

If you are looking for go to everyday dinner red, then this is your wine. A blend of Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon and Merlot, it offers pleasing cassis, plum, violet, herbs, cocoa and spice attributes. Mid-weight with very good length and supple tannins. Ready to drink. (ES)


86 Masi Modello  Delle Venezie Pinot Grigio 2015, Venezie IGT ($12.10)

This Pinot Grigio that is priced right.  It delivers some white peach, earth, lemon and spice. Light bodied with sound acidity and a linear structure. Fried seafood, please. (ES)


85 Jean-Claude Mas Syrah Reserve 2014, Pays d’Oc ($12.95)

A workhorse Syrah which is distinctly peppery with violets, cassis, vanilla and oregano. Ready to drink, preferably with charcuterie or hamburgers. (ES)

85 Jean-Claude Mas Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Reserve, Pays d’Oc ($13.95)

From France’s land of sunshine comes this easy drinking blend which features cassis, plum, dark cherry, herbs, rubber, spice and cocoa. Medium length and ready to pair with pasta or pizza. (ES)

South Africa

91 Waterkloof Circumstance Syrah 2012, Stellenbosch 2012 ($22.95)

Most definitely a cool climate interpretation of Syrah. Grown at higher elevations and on granite soils (which Syrah loves), it is elegant, with black pepper, violets, plum, oregano, cured meat and hints of hickory. Tannins are flush and provide five years of cellaring if so desired. Rack of lamb marinated in rosemary and garlic is the way to go.  (ES)


88 Torres Ibéricos Crianza 2013, Rioja ($16.95)

Made from 100% Tempranillo and aged 12 months in a combination of American and French, of which a portion was new. Strawberry, raspberry, plum, cedar, coconut, vanilla and tomato concentrate are all in play. Fine length with suave tannins. Lamb chops I the way to go with this wine (ES)


Wine Facts

Although “château” means castle, it may also be a mansion or a little house next to a vineyard that meets the requirements for winemaking with storage facilities on its property.