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Home Wine Ratings February 2018 Wine Ratings

February 2018 Wine Ratings

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91 Coyote’s Run Vidal Icewine 2016, Niagara ($49.95/375ml)
Intense and rich, peach, orange marmalade, mango, pineapple, ginger, and honey are all found in this soft Icewine. Excellent length. (ES)

91 Fielding Estate Riesling Icewine 2016, Niagara ($36.95/200ml)
Peach, apricot, toffee, apple juice, lemon peel and thyme honey leap out of the glass an onto the palate. Fresh acidity provides lift, and it finishes on a mineral note. (ES)

90 Vineland Estates Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling 2016, Niagara Escarpment ($19.95)
From a warm vintage comes this intense Riesling featuring peach compote, bergamot, lime, citrus and mineral. The sweetness (35g/l) is more apparent in this vintage when compared to a cooler year such as 2014 (my favorite), where there is an electric acidity.  Drink now. (ES)

88 Lakeview Cellars Vidal Icewine 2016, Niagara ($21.95/200ml)
One of the best value Icewine’s on the market. Not overly sweet with apple juice, peach, fresh flowers, honey and citrus working in tandem. Fine length. (ES)

87 Sue-Ann Staff Fancy Farm Girl Frissonesque Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Niagara ($16.95)
SAS’s first ever Sauvignon blanc is a zesty offering which delivers fresh herbs, green apple, pink grapefruit, papaya, passion fruit and citrus. Serve alongside goat cheese crostini or grilled haddock drizzled with lemon, olive oil and fresh oregano. (ES)

87 Sue-Ann Staff Fancy Farm Girl Frivolous White 2015, Niagara ($14.95)
This is a 100% Riesling, which is off-dry (29g/l). There is brisk acidity and profile of lime, petrol, honey, mineral and grapefruit. It requires something spicy, so that the sweetness can tame the fire. Try with Thai coconut curry or sushi with a heavy dose of soy sauce and wasabi. (ES)

86 Henry of Pelham Chardonnay 2016, Niagara ($14.95)
A straight-up, non-oaked Chardonnay that has sen some sur-lie aging. Fresh acidity supports apple, pear, white grapefruit, yeast and hints of anise. Medium length. Drink up. (ES)


90 Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir Speck Family Reserve 2016, Short Hills Bench ($34.95)
Produced from HOP’s oldest Pinot Noir vines, this multi-clone offering reveals raspberry, black currant, cherry, red flowers and cinnamon.  Excellent length, and still tight, so hold until 2019 before opening. Roast chicken stuffed with black truffles would be be bliss with this wine. (ES)

89 13th Street Wine Corp Gamay Noir 2016, Niagara ($19.95)
A clean and fruit forward Gamay with candied strawberry and raspberry which meshes with blueberry, black pepper and herbs.  Perfect for Napolitana pizza or pasta and meat sauce. (ES)

89 Family Tree by Henry of Pelham 2016, Ontario ($18.95)
Blend five red grapes and add 17 months of oak aging and you have created a redolent red with smoke, chocolate, dark cherry, cassis, clove, violets and black olive. Lamb burgers or shish kabob, please!

88 Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir Estate 2016, Short Hills Bench ($24.95)
This Pinot possesses a pale ruby colour and aromas of cherry, plum, red flowers and hints of cocoa. Medium body and acidity with fine-grained tannins.  Serve alongside a duck breast with a red currant sauce. (ES)

87 Vineland Estates Cabernet Merlot 2016, Niagara ($15)
Approachable, this red packs the flavour for a solid price. Cassis, raspberry, plum, tobacco and violets are all in play. Medium plus length. A blend of Cabernet Franc 64%, Merlot 21% and Cabernet Sauvignon 15%. Grab a few bottles for the BBQ season! (ES)



89 San Pedro 1865 Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2015, Elqui Valley ($19.95)
From Elqui (The Valley of The Stars) comes this super crisp Chardonnay which is grown on chalky soils. Stone fruit, tree fruit and judicious oak create an elegant and food friendly wine. Lobster or seabass in a beurre blanc sauce would be divine. (ES)


91 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère 2015, Peumo ($19.95)
Delivers classic Carmenère flavours of crème de cassis, plum, bell pepper/mint, spice and violets. Full- bodied, there is a plush texture as well as elevated tannins. Excellent length. Drink over the next five years. (ES)


91 Tenuta Le Colonne 2015, Bolgheri ($26.95)
A blend of 70% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Shows the warmth of the 2015 vintage via the rich dark fruit: crème de cassis, blackberry, plum and Chambord liqueur. Add some dried herbs, cocoa, vanilla and spice and you have a full-bodied, smooth offering with an extended finale. (ES)

90 Sartori Amarone Della Valpolicella Corte Brà 2010, Veneto ($49.95)
Concentrated, this Amarone offers textbook aromas of raisins, currants, figs, dried herbs, potpourri, chocolate and licorice. Full-bodied with 15.5% alcohol backstopping the entire package. Drink until 2022. (ES)



88 Folie à Deux Chardonnay 2015, Russian River Valley ($24.95)
Plush, yet refined, thanks to RRV’s cool climate, this Chardonnay doles out the tropical fruit, sweet apple, spiced pear, vanilla and cream. On the full end of the spectrum, there is great length and it is ready to drink. (ES)


89 Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, California ($24.95)
A multi-appellation California Cab with lots of upfront blackberry, plum, dark cherry, vanilla, chocolate and spice.  Tannins are polished, so it is ready to drink alongside a medium rare rib-eye. (ES)

89 Napa Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Napa Valley ($34.95)
Textbook Napa, featuring blackberry, cassis, plum and mint wrapped around spice and vanilla. The palate is smooth, with a juicy edge, which is the hallmark of the 2014 vintage. Drink over the next three years. (ES)

89 Buena Vista The Legendary Badge Petite Sirah 2016 ($17.95)
Black/purple, as any self-respecting Petite Sirah should be! Full-bodied and intense, there are masses of cassis, blackberries, dark cherry, cocoa, vanilla and licorice. Tannins are present but rounded, and the protracted finish augurs well for prime rib. (ES)

87 Buena Vista Winery The Count Founder’s Red Wine 2014, Sonoma ($26.95)
This blend of unidentified red varietals pays homage to ‘Field Blends,’ the signature wine style of Sonoma from the mid-1800s right up until the 1970s. Plum, blackberry, mocha and undercurrent of weedy tobacco/herbs meet up with 14.5% alcohol. Medium plus length. (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.