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Home Wine Ratings March 2017 Wine Ratings

March 2017 Wine Ratings

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92 Trius Vidal Icewine 2015, Niagara ($54)

This is the first vintage of this wine not to be aged in old wood, thus imbuing it with a more fruit driven, fresher personality. Honey, sponge toffee, brined olive, peach compote, pink grapefruit and apple juice. Long sweet finale with lovely acidity. (ES)

91 Pondview Vidal Icewine 2014, Niagara ($19.95/200ml)

Superb value alert! This stickie inundates then palate with honey, peach, pineapple, lemon, lime, smoke and pear. Excellent length and perfect by itself or with a vanilla cheesecake. (ES)

90 Strewn Riesling Icewine 2013, Niagara ($63)

Mature elements of petrol, buckwheat honey, spice, cherry pith, lime on the nose mesh with caramel, wax and candied honey on the palate. Excellent length, luscious and ready to be served well chilled. (ES)

90 Ravine Vineyard Chardonnay 2015, Niagara ($30)

This Chardonnay was barrel fermented and aged in 20% new oak which has produced a wine of great balance and flavour. Toast, honey, vanilla, honey, peach, fig and yellow apple are all in play. Medium body with great length and ideally suited for lobster or crab dishes. (ES)

88 The Hare Wine Co. Frontier Collection Riesling Icewine 2013, Niagara ($65)

An easy drinking Riesling Icewine with moderate aromas of lime, mineral, peach, apple and sponge toffee. Very good length. Try with foie gras.

88 Strewn Winery Terroir French Oak Chardonnay, Niagara ($27.15)

Fifty percent new oak has added vanilla cream aromas to the green apple, peach, pineapple and fig. The palate shows sweet fruit qualities, fresh acidity and a spice tinged finale. Halibut, please! (ES)

87 The Hare Wine Co. Crown Land White 2014, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($18.50)

An off-dry blend of 55% Gewurztraminer and 45% Riesling. Petrol, peach, smokey minerals, flowers and spice flavours. Ready to drink and I would choose Szechuan cuisine as the perfect foil. (ES)



90 Kacaba Vineyards Winery Terrace Vineyards Syrah 2014, Niagara Escarpment ($29.95)

This is a powerful, youthful and somewhat backwards Syrah. The colour is inky purple and there is cassis, raspberry, cracked pepper, game, leather, chocolate and oregano. Full-bodied and concentration it should evolve nicely over the next 7 to 8 years. (ES)

89 Chateau des Charmes St. David’s Bench Vineyard Gamay Noir Droit, St. David’s Bench ($17.95)

This wine always more punch than your typical Gamay thanks to the ‘Droit’ clone that CDC discovered almost 20 years ago. Medium to full body, there is plum, cherry, strawberry, raspberry and black pepper qualities. There is enough stuffing here to pair with a porcini crusted pork loin topped with a mushroom demi-glace. (ES)

88 The Hare Wine Co. Crown Land Red 2013, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($25.50)

This new winery, on Niagara-on-the Lake’s Highway 55, first offerings are a solid lot. This Cabernet Franc (70%) based blend is a mid -weight and serves up cassis, herbs, tobacco, violets and cocoa. Elegant there is depth with fresh acidity and subdued tannins. Drink or hold. (ES)

88 Stoney Ridge Excellence Merlot 2015, Niagara ($24)

Plum, cherry, raspberry, vanilla, spice and cocoa are all present in this mid-weight Merlot. Nice density, fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity will ensure five years in the cellar, but it can be

broached right now, with some duck breast or rib eye steaks. (ES)

88 Mike Weir Limited Edition Cabernet Franc 2013, Beamsville Bench ($29.95)

Winemaker, Jeff Hundertmark, has pulled off a minor miracle considering that 2013 was a difficult one for red varietals in Ontario. Plum, cassis, red currant, herbs, violets, tobacco are all present in this fresh and friendly red. Ready to drink with braised meats or charcuterie. (ES)

87 Château des Charmes Cabernet Franc Estate Bottled 2015, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($14.95)

This is a straight up, well made and well priced Franc which delivers cassis, raspberry, tobacco, herbs, olive, cocoa and spice. Medium bodied, the tannins make this a go-to wine for the upcoming BBQ season. Fine length. (ES)


90 Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Napa Valley ($26.95)

An incredible value Napa Cab and a multiple bottle purchase is mandated! Smooth a silk, there is plum, blackberry, raspberry, vanilla, raisins and a touch of smoke in the full-bodied wine. Excellent length and ready to drink with NY strip. (ES)

89 Sextant Zinfandel 2013, Central Coast ($21.95)

For those who like hedonistic, over the top, jammy Zin, this is your ticket. Full bodied with gobs of red and dark fruit, tobacco and raisins. Concentrated with no harsh edges and ready to go with Memphis-style dry rubbed ribs. (ES)

89 Fess Parker Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills ($33.95)

A delightful Pinot Noir with cherry, raspberry, cranberry, porcini mushroom, dried flowers, vanilla, humus and tobacco. Ready to drink with salmon or roasted pork tenderloin with an herb jus. (ES)


92 Primus Carmenère 2013, Colchagua Valley ($19.95)

From Colchagua, which is prime Carmenere growing land, comes this full-bodied rendition with a distinct mix of blackberry, cassis, raspberry, tar, black olive, spice, herb, cured meats and Tahitian vanilla.  Long lasting and enough tannic backbone to age for another 6 or 7 years. (ES)


92 Jean-Max Roger Cuvée C.M. Sancerre Blanc 2014, Loire Valley ($27.95)

When Sancerre is done right, it is truly a thing of beautiful- case and point, this baby. Gooseberry, honey, nectarines, herbs, honey, white flowers and a boat load of minerals linger into the sunset. The brisk acidity and great depth will allow cellaring, but it is already approachable, especially when served alongside seafood. (ES)

New Zealand


89 Marisco Vineyards The King’s Thorn Pinot Gris 2016, Marlborough ($19.95)

Here you will find a full-bodied Gris which offers a rich mouthfeel, fine acidity and flavours of peach, cream, spice, honey, smoke and citrus. Dry with a gratifying finale. Pair with butternut squash soup or double cream brie. (ES)

88 The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough ($16.60)

Quintessential Kiwi Sauv Blanc with huge aromas of passion fruit, pink grapefruit, nectarine, honey, lime, guava and tomato vine on display. Brisk acidity and fine length round out the experience. (ES)


88 The Ned Pinot Noir 2014, Marlborough

An overt Pinot Noir with a bouquet of dark cherry, plum, spice, chocolate, earth and toast. The palate is all fruit and oak-driven with lovely acidity, supple tannins and great length. Pair with grilled quail or duck breast topped with a red fruit infused demi-glace. (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.