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Home Wine Ratings January 2018 Wine Ratings

January 2018 Wine Ratings

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Canada

White

87 Lakeview Cellars Kerner Morgan Vineyard 2016, Niagara ($17.95)
Kerner is aromatic varietal which was first created in 1929 by crossing Riesling with Trollinger. This rendition is chalk full of peach, pineapple, grapefruit, lime and white flowers. Very refreshing with a clean aftertaste. (ES)

87 Lakeview Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Niagara ($17.95)
An easy drinking Sauvignon Blanc with guava, lemon balm, white grapefruit, gooseberry, melon and herbs. Medium plus length, sound acid and ready to drink with fresh water perch or fried calamari. (ES)

Red

89 Rockway Vineyards Small Lot Block 11-140 Cabernet Franc 2015, Twenty Mile Bench ($24.95)
An absolutely delicious Ontario Franc with classic cassis, raspberry, vanilla, cocoa, smoke, herbs and tobacco flavours. Medium plus body with a long finish and enough tannins to allow five years of cellaring. Pair with braised short ribs or a coffee-rubbed NY Strip. (ES)

87 Château des Charmes Gamay Noir 2016, Niagara ($15.95)
Easy drinking, this Gamay serves up strawberry, plum, cherry and black pepper. Mid-weight, the tannins are smooth, and there is very good length. Pair with a charcuterie and cheese board. (ES)

87 Lakeview Cellars Merlot 2013, Niagara ($29.95)
Ready to drink, there is plum, cherry, spice and cocoa coupled with a herbaceous streak. Medium body with fresh acidity and mild tannins.

Chile

92 Valdivieso Éclat 2010, Maule ($29.95)

This wine bears the Vigno (Vignadores de Carignan) Association trademark. By law, any wine ordained Vigno must come from the Maule Valley, be a minimum 65% Carignan, from vines that are at least 30-yeas-old vines, unirrigated, and aged for two years before being released. This wine includes 34% Mourvedre, helping to produce an impressively concentrated offering with layers of dark cherry, plum, anise, chocolate. Tannins are gritty, so serve alongside some grilled sausage or porchetta. (ES)


89 Miguel Torres Cordillera de Los Andes Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Maipo Valley ($19.95)
Opaque black/purple, this quintessential Chilean Cab doles out the crème de cassis, blackberry, tobacco smoke, fresh herbs, baking spice, cocoa and vanilla. Full- bodied with ripe tannins and an extended aftertaste. (ES)

France

White

91 Louis Moreau Vaulignot Chablis 1er Cru 2015, Burgundy ($38.95)
Tasted both in Burgundy and here at home with the same score. The warm vintage has produced a wine with a  sumptuous texture and flavours of peach, sweet apple, lemon, white flowers and minerals. The finale is crisp and clean. Drink now. (ES)

91 André Blanck & Fils Altenbourg Gewurztraminer 2016, Alsace ($19.95)
Lovers of Gewurztraminer rejoice! Here you will find an intense, textbook offering which inundates the senses with rose, lychee, sweet peach, honey, grapefruit and cardamom. Off-dry, ripe and long-lasting. Epoisses or Munster cheese please! (ES)

Red

91 Domaine du Grande Tinel Côtes du Rhône 2015, Rhone Valley ($23.95)
This wine just serves to prove how great the 2015 vintage was in the Rhone Valley, as well as the rest of France! Made from 85% Grenache, this full-bodied red explodes with sweet cherries, plum jam, raspberry, Provencal herbs and anise. There is a sweet texture and a finale which carries long.  Easily bests many CNPs for double the price! (ES)

89 Ferraton Père et Fils Calendes Crozes-Hermitage 2015, Rhone Valley ($29.95)
From a top vintage comes this medium plus body red. Deep ruby/violet colour and linear in structure, it serves up a melange of cassis, violets, tobacco, black pepper, oregano and hints of vanilla. There is excellent length as well as fine-grained tannins which will ensure another five years of life ahead. (ES)

89 Château Puygureaud 2015, Cotes de Bordeaux- Francs ($28.95)
This is a small property located near the St-Emilion border. This blend of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec serves up plum, chocolate, cherry, spice and herbs, or in other words, a textbook example. Alcohol is on the high end, so chill slightly. (ES)

Greece

White

88 Tetramythos Roditis 2016, Patras ($13.95)
A straight-forward, unpretentious Greek white with flavours of peach, citrus, white flowers and mineral notes. Refreshing, there is very good length. Chill and serve on the patio this summer. (ES)

Red

88 Boutari Naoussa Xinomavro 2015, Macedonia ($13.95)
This wine continues to be one of Greece’s greatest red wine values-period! Medium-bodied and linear, there is a profile of cherry, plum, tar, herbs, tomato paste, vanilla and dried earth. Great length and some gritty tannins make for an ideal pairing with a braised lamb shank or a medium rare NY Strip! By it by the case and enjoy until 2022. (ES)

Italy

White

89 Ca’Bolani Pinot Grigio 2016, Friuli Aquileia ($16.95)
Packs lots of flavour, and easily bests many Italian Pinot Grigio’s out there in the marketplace. Peach, apple, citrus, honey, white flower and hints of pineapple are layered on a lively acidity and a long finish. (ES)

88 Mastroberardino Mastro Greco 2016, Campania ($16.95)
This southern Italian white is reminiscent of Gewurztraminer, what with its lychee, peach, floral qualities which mesh with lemon and pear. A creamy texture finishes off with minerality. Drink up. (ES)

Red

93 Quintarelli Rosso Ca’Del Merlo 2009, Veneto IGT ($111.95)
Yes, it is Quintarelli. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, it is entirely delicious! Simply put, it blends eight grapes that were aged for seven years in old wood, creating a concentrated red full of dried fruit flavours, accented by savoury and spicy notes.  Drinking well know, but can still cellar for many years to come. (ES)

92 San Felice Il Grigio Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2013, Tuscany ($48.95)
An impressive Chianti Classico with a bouquet of violets, leather, cherry, raspberry, tobacco and undergrowth. It is concentrated with elevated acidity and refined tannins. Drink until 2024. (ES)

89 LaTorre Guinzano San Gimignano Rosso 2013, Tuscany ($16.95)
An absolute steal from Tuscany! Made from 70% Sangiovese and the rest Cab Sauv and Merlot, it is an elegant red with dark cherry, plum, cassis, chocolate, humus and spice. Sangiovese’s acidity is present, and the tannins are suave. Great length and delicious! (ES)

Portugal

94 Fonseca Vintage Port 2009 ($58.95)
Incredible value! I remember trying this Port, at the winery, back in 2012, just before being released and was blown away by the quality. Big, rich and full bodied, the 09 Fonseca possesses a saturated colour and a bouquet of crème de cassis, plums, raisins, spice, violets, dark cherries and earth. There is a concentrated palate, internse tannic structure and a long finish, which equates to 30 plus years of longevity. (ES)

Spain

86 Torres Altos Ibéricos Crianza 2014, Rioja ($14.95)
Soft, easy drinking and juicy, this 100% Tempranillo is all about cherry, plum, strawberry, tobacco and cedar. Ready to drink alongside grilled sausage or spaghetti and meatballs. (ES)

USA

90 Simi Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Alexander Valley ($22.95)
Superb value! Plum, blackberry, raspberry, anise, cocoa and mint weave together around polished tannins a plush mid-palate, suave tannins and sound acidity. Excellent length. Drink or hold. (ES)

89 Gunsight Rock Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Paso Robles ($24.95)
If you are in the market for a new world, fruit forward red, look no further. Full-bodied and smooth, there are masses of cassis jam, blackberry, Chambord liqueur, plum, vanilla, cocoa and mint. Long aftertaste and ready to serve alongside some prime rib. The price is right! (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.