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Home Wine Ratings March 2007 Wine Ratings

March 2007 Wine Ratings

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87 Peter Lehmann Eights Songs 2001, Barossa ($39.95)
Displays typical Barossa qualities of spice, tar, cocoa and dark plums. Although the nose is beautiful, the palate lacks length and depth, giving way to a good dose of alcohol on the finish. (ES)



87 Crios De Susana Balbo Torrontes 2006, Cafayate ($10.95)
Torrontes, originally from the Galicia region of Spain has found its adopted home in the high altitude/dry areas of Argentina. What does Torrontes taste like? Well imagine a hypothetical blend of Gewurz, Viognier and Muscat. Perfumed to say the least;  lots of peach, honey, spice, orange blossom, flowers and lychee on the nose. The palate is dry and crisp with a touch of grapefruit bitterness on the finish. A steal at this price and the perfect fit for the summer months. (ES)



86 R.H. Philips Toasted Head Chardonnay 2005, California ($20.95)
This perennial consumer favorite clocks in with the usual slathering of oak, which encompasses the pineapple and apple aromas. Medium length and just the right amount of acid to provide lift. (ES)



91 Cousino-Macul Finis Terrae 2003, Maipo ($29.95)
A superb offering from the fabulous 03 vintage in Chile. Black colour with loads of cassis, smoke, blackberry, cocoa and herbs. Medium bodied with a concentrated core of jammy black fruits as well as excellent length and a solid backbone of tannin. Drink it over the next 5 years as it offers immediate gratification. A blend of 60% Cab Sauv and 40% Merlot. (ES)





90 Tawse Carly’s Block Riesling  2006, Twenty Mile Bench ($25)
Tawse has a new winemaking team in place. As a bonus, Montreal born Pascal Marchand, ex of Domaine de la Vougerie fame is the new wine consultant. Stylistically, the new wines are less over ripe (read elegant), but by no means are they lesser quality. This Riesling possesses a green/white gold colour and serves up flint, apple, lime, honey and pink grapefruit. There is also a perfect equilibrium between the residual sugar and acid. It is still young and will only get better with age. Now to 2015.  (ES)


89 Tawse Beamsville Bench Chardonnay 2004, Beamsville Bench ($42)
Honey, apple, spice, vanilla and toast are all part of the bouquet of this stylish wine. There is good depth, with the flavours emulating the nose. Almost excellent length with crisp acid and a touch of cream on the backend. (ES)


88 Fielding Estate Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2006, Beamsville Bench ($20)
A recent tasting of white wines at Fielding left me believing that I was playing “crazy 8s”- all four wines garnered 88 points. This Sauv Blanc is more of a fruit driven style rather than herbaceous, with lots of peach, tropical fruit, passion fruit and honey. The palate is ripe, with just the right amount of acid and a touch of sweetness. (ES)

88 Fielding Estate Chardonnay Musque 2006, Twenty Mile Bench ($15.75)
Without a doubt, Fielding’s Musque is consistently one of Onatrio’s best. The newest version serves up a good dose of orange blossoms which mesh together with peach, spice and honey. In the mouth there are pineapple and white pepper flavours as well as a touch of residual sugar. A perfect summer wine at a great price.  (ES)



88 Fielding Estate Fume Blanc 2006, Beamsville Bench ($24)
At first smell, the oak dominates, but with some time in the glass, the “grape” takes over; passion fruit, mineral, fruit salad, spice, grass and smoke/hickory. Dry and crisp with very good length. I envision this with halibut in a beurre noisette sauce. (ES)


88 Fielding Estate Pinot Gris 2006, Niagara Peninsula ($18)
Definitely Gris, rather than Grigio. Pale, almost water colour with a perfume of rose blossom/cold cream. Delicately made, it exhibits flavours of flint, honey and spice as well as a lengthy finish. Drink now. (ES)


88 Tawse Chardonnay Musque 2006, Twenty Mile Bench ($18)
Pale colour with a peach, floral, spice and pear compote bouquet. Lots of minerals, peach and honey on the palate and a crisp finish. (ES)


88 Tawse Riesling 2006, Twenty Mile Bench ($20)
Not as dense as the Carly’s, but is still a pure expression of Riesling. Mineral, flint, lime, grapefruit and a touch peachy. Lengthy, off dry and fresh acid. (ES)



90 Tawse 99/1 Pinot Noir, ($58)
Owner Moray Tawse is a big proponent of 100% home grown wines (VQA). He has always been vocal about the old school system (since 1966) of importing cheap wines from all over the globe and blending it with Canadian content. This practice, which has increased dramatically in recent years due to severe winter damage is a disturbing trend to many. His point is that Burgundy and Bordeaux do not import wines from elsewhere when there is a short crop, rather they live with it and move on. So, in the hopes of raising awareness while at the same time giving a little nudge to others, he imported nine barrels of very expensive Morey St Denis 1re Cru and blended it with his Pinot. Wall to wall dark fruit, spice, violets and licorice.  For 2005 only, a special amendment to the rules of 70% import and 30% local was authorized. The one time ratio of 99 to 1 is where the wine derives its name. (ES)


88 Tawse Cabernet Franc 2004, Lincoln Lakeshore ($29)
Medium pink colour with a slight orange on the rim. Bell pepper, cassis, tobacco, raspberry and BBQ spice on the nose with cassis, vanilla and raspberries chiming in on the taste buds. (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.