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Evan Wine Savvy

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Wine Reviews

June 2016 Wine Ratings

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Canada

White

90 Malivoire Moira Chardonnay 2012, Beamsville Bench ($39.95)

A full-bodied, oaked style of Chardonnay with a creamy texture. Banana, spice, honey, sweet apple, cream and anise carry long into the sunset, where mineral notes chime in. Lobster in butter is what you want to serve with beauty. (ES)

90 Thirty Bench Small Lot Riesling Triangle Vineyard 2014, Beamsville Bench ($30)

Sweet apple, white peach, mineral, lime cordial, apricots, bergamot and citrus are all in play. There is excellent length and even though there is some residual sugar, the steely acidity gives an impression of dryness. (ES)

89 Thirty Bench Gewurztraminer 2015, Beamsville Bench ($30)

A textbook Gewürztraminer! An explosion of lychee, rose, honey, cardamom, sweet peach and vanilla. It is dry with a broad mouthfeel and a long honey/spiced finale. Pair with Munster or other wash rind cheeses. (ES)

88 Kacaba Riesling Reserve 2015, Niagara ($18)

Citrus, bergamot, crushed rock, white flower and white peach lead into a palate which gives an impression of dryness. Fresh acidity provides lift, and there is great length. Chilled shellfish platter please! (ES)

88 Kacaba Unoaked Chardonnay 2015, Niagara ($15)

Crisp and clean with no oak to take away from the purity of the fruit. Ripe apple, pear, citrus, lilac and minerals. Dry and refreshing with great persistency. (ES)

Red

90 Malivoire Small Lot Gamay 2015, Niagara Escarpment ($19.95)

Malivoire continues to lead the Gamay revolution in Ontario. Pepper, raspberry, strawberry, earth, red flowers and cocoa.  Excellent length and ready to drink or can be cellared for a couple of years. Serve with burgers topped with blue cheese or spaghetti topped with an Italian sausage ragout.

90 Malivoire Stouck Merlot, Lincoln Lakeshore ($40)

A minor miracle for the vintage! Harvested at less than 1 ton per acre, the deep cherry colour with purple highlights leads into a bouquet of dark cherry, plum, oregano, hickory, dill, coconut and cured meats. Full in the mouth with ripe fruit and just a hint of herbaceousness. There is abundant tannin, but I would choose to drink over next five years. (ES)

89 Henry of Pelham Old Vines Baco Noir, Ontario ($19.95)

From the Baco-masters comes this full-bodied rendition made from 30 year-old-vines.  It is chock full of dark cherry, blackberry, cassis, bbq spice and cocoa. Baco’s natural acidity streaks through the concentrated and lengthy palate. Grilled and braised meats will shine with this wine. (ES)

Rose

89 Malivoire Vivant Rosé 2015, Beamsville Bench ($21.95)

This Pinot Noir rose was produced via a direct pressing hence the orange/peach colour.  Floral, cherry, earth and spice on the nose.  Elegant and tart with a cherry fruit finish. (ES)

88 Malivoire Ladybug Rosé 2015, Niagara ($15.95)

A blend of primarily Cab Franc with Gamay and Pinot Noir acting as backstop. Twenty-four hours of skin contact has produced a vibrant pink colour. Herbal, violets, cassis, cherry, tobacco, herbal, spice and cocoa are all present. Charcuterie and smoked salmon come to mind.

Greece

White

88 Boutari Moschofilero, Mantinia ($12.95)

Boutari has it done it again, delivering a bang for the buck Moschiofilero for the masses. A perfume of banana, lemon, white peach, honey, melon, jasmine and hints of ginger leads to a light yet lengthy  palate full of refreshing acidity. At 11% alcohol it will go down easy all by itself, or even better, with sushi, (ES)

87 Thalia White 2015, Crete (9.95)

Smokey mineral, herbs, grapefruit, lemon, white peach, green apple and white flowers are all present in the delicate blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Vilana. Refreshing with great length and a structure which makes for a perfect pairing with shellfish or mild cheeses.

Red

88 Kir-Yianni Paranga 2013, Macedonia ($14.75)

This blend of 50% Xinomavro, 25% Syrah and 25% Merlot exudes black cherry, black licorice, plum, rose, roasted herbs, tar and vanilla. It is medium bodied with supple tannins and a lingering aftertaste. Ready to drink with a nice plate of pasta topped with braised sausage or veal in a tomato sauce. (ES)

87 Tsantali Rapsani 2013, Rapsani ($13.40)

From the southern slopes of Mount Olympus comes the blend of equal parts of Xinomavro, Krassato and Stavroto, which six months in oak have produced a nose of black cherry jam, roses, sweet spice, vanilla, plum, tomato paste and black olive. Somewhat grippy on the palate (which bodes well for the red meat factor) there is lifted acidity and persistency. (ES)

87 Boutari Agiorgitiko 2014, Nemea ($12.95)

Huge florality gives way to black cherry, cassis, cocoa, earth and clove qualities. Light with an appealing, easy drinking structure. Drink now and it won’t break the bank. (ES)

Italy

White

90 Réva Sauvignon Langhe 2015, Piedmont ($26.95)

A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris, which exudes grapefruit, passion fruit, nectarine, white peach, white flowers and herbs. Bright on the palate with fine length and a mineral-tinged finale. (ES)

Red

93 Réva Barolo Ravera 2012, Piedmont ($89.95)

The discovery of this winery at this year’s Nebbiolo Prima was one of my highlights!  Powerful, the cherry, plum, vanilla, spice, cocoa, tar, dried earth carry long into the sunset. With all the tannins, there is a twenty-year life ahead. (ES)

92 Monti Barolo Monforte d’Alba 2012, Piedmont ($50)

Made in an ultra-modern style where new oak envelopes the sweet cherry, tar, cola, anise, humus, and chestnut.  Full bodied, super-ripe, with a  long finish, lots of flavour and enough stuffing to age two decades. Purists might scoff at this wine, but there is no denying the quality. (ES)

92 Monti Barolo Riserva Bussia 2010, Piedmont ($65)

Full bodied, this modern Barolo sees a healthy dash of new oak, coming out on the other side with a  perfume of sweet cherry, vanilla, flowers, earth, tar and spice. Long on the finish with lots of polished tannins which bodes well for a great life ahead. (ES)

92 Rivetto dal 1902 Barolo Riserva Leon 2010 Piedmont ($90)

Tobacco, balsamic, potpourri, dark cherry, blackberry, anise, and minerals are layered on a firm yet lovely palate. Superb aftertaste and great longevity  – 25 years. (ES)

92 Cascina del Monastero Barolo Riserva Riund Bricco Rocca 2010, Piedmont ($95)

Opens up with a volley of cherry, spice, earth, dried rose and licorice. The palate delivers sweet fruit with a long vanilla and berry tinged finale.  Deep, balanced and refined. Start to drink after 2020 as it is still youthful. (ES)

91 Réva Barolo 2012, Piedmont ($59.95)

This superb Barolo is fragrant, revealing a bouquet of rose, cherry, cocoa, plum, fried leaves, vanilla and clove. Great length, with lots of grippy tannins which will allow the wine to evolve over the next 15 plus years. (ES)

91 Mauro Veglio Barolo Castelletto 2012, Piedmont ($65)

A well balanced Barolo with high notes of plum, vanilla, cherry, rose and dried earth. Rich and concentrated with excellent length. (ES)

91 Pira Luigi Barolo Margheria 2012, Piedmont ($80)

From the commune of Serrlunga d’Alba comes this full-bodied Nebbiolo with an intense nose of sweet cherry, flowers, plum, raspberry, vanilla and spice. Concentrated, there is great length and structure which will allow a long life. (ES)

90 Paolo Manzone Barolo Meriame 2012, Piedmont ($65)

This house continues to produce attractive wines at attractive prices. Cherry, plum, earth, spice and earth are all built on concentrated fame. Long aftertaste and lots of life ahead. (ES)

90 Renato Ratti Barolo Conca 2012, Piedmont ( $75)

A textbook Barolo full of cherry, prune, flowers, earth, vanilla and spice. Splendid length and well suited with braised lamb shanks. (ES)

90 Brovia Barolo Rocche di Castiglione 2012 ($100)

Plum, cherry, earth, spice, vanilla, game, floral and tar. Nice weight and length. Drink this wine over the next decade. (ES)

Spain

90 Goru El Blanco Moscatel-Chardonnay 2015, Jumilla ($13.95)

From Jumilla, Spain’s hotbed of value, comes this singular blend of Muscat and Chardonnay. Dry, there is great texture and ripe fruit which inundates the senses. Orange blossom, banana, pineapple, honey, red and delicious apple and spice are all in play. It is long lasting with just the right pinch of acidity. Fish tacos or Szechuan-inspired dishes are made for this wine. (ES)

USA

88 Chateau St Jean Chardonnay 2014, Sonoma County ($18.95)

A wooded Chardonnay, which is soft and creamy with smoke, honey, fruit salad, pineapple, yellow apple, smoke and spice. There is a solid backbone of acidity which alleviates any heaviness on the lengthy finale. (ES)

 

May 2016 Wine Ratings

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Canada

White

92 Cave Spring Riesling Icewine 2014, Niagara ($49.95/375ml)

Medium golden colour with a gorgeous personality of peach compote, honeycomb, spice, apple juice, melon and lime. Concentrated, the sweetness is offset by brilliant acidity. Long finale. (ES)

91 Creekside Sauvignon Blanc Backyard Bubbly 2013, Creek Shores ($24.95)

Fuller-bodied and fruitier than most Pinot/Chardonnay based bubbles! That said, this is the best SB sparkling wine I have ever tasted from Ontario.  Guava, blackcurrant juice, lemon verbena, grapefruit, lime, passion fruit and hints of yeast are present on the nose and palate. Excellent length, fresh acidity and 13.5 % alcohol rounds everything out. A must try! (ES)

90 Bachelder Niagara Chardonnay 2013, Niagara ($24.95)

Texture, balance and elegance all wrapped up in a delightful package. Peach, citrus, golden apple, honey, vanilla and pineapple are built on a medium-bodied frame. Lingering with just the right amount of freshness. Pair with swordfish steaks topped with beurre blanc. (ES)

90 Cave Spring Riesling The Adam Steps 2014, Beamsville Bench ($24.95)

Fermented via natural yeasts, this Riesling exudes a perfume of peach, honey, white flowers, banana and anise while the plate adds grapefruit, nectarine and lime. Off-dry, brisk acidity and lovely length. It should age well over the next decade. (ES)

88 Cave Spring Riesling 2014, Niagara ($14.95)

Cave’s entry off-dry Riesling delivers the goods in the 2014 vintage. Expressive, there is smokey minerals, peach, lime, apple and petrol. Refreshing, with a long lime finale. (ES)

88 Eastdell Estates Black Label Viognier 2013, Ontario ($17.95)

Here you find a refreshing Viognier with aromas of peach, white flower, orange blossom and hints of pineapple. A perfect patio wine or serve with chicken satay or fish tacos. (ES)

Red

90 Cave Spring La Penna 2011, Beamsville Bench ($39.95)

Cave’s appassimento (think Amarone) wine is made entirely from Cabernet Franc grapes which were air dried for nine weeks before pressing and fermentation. Even though the label says 14.5%, it is closer to 15.5%. A profile of plum, mint, chocolate, dark cherry, vanilla, coconut, tobacco and spice meets up with a long aftertaste. Ready to drink now or until 2021. (ES)

89  Cave Spring Cabernet Franc Estate 2013, Beamsville Bench ($29.95)

Fullish, this Cab Franc is hugely floral with tobacco, cassis, raspberry, vanilla, earth, green herbs and cocoa. Fold in the tannins and 14.5% natural alcohol and there is enough structure to cellar over the next five years. (ES)

88 Cave Spring Gamay 2014, Niagara Escarpment ($15.95)

Packs a lot of flavour for the price.  Strawberry, cherry, plum, earth and black pepper. Mid-weight with a soft mouthfeel and just the right amount of juiciness. Superb length and ready to drink. Pasta Bolognese or charcuterie would be solid choices with this wine. (ES)

88 Rockway Vineyards Small Lot Block 12-140 Syrah, Twenty Mile Bench ($24.95)

Put this red in a carafe for a half hour and then experience a complex mix of coffee, pepper, earth, blackcurrant, plum, leather, game, vanilla. Mid-weight and ready to go with rosemary and garlic rack of lamb. (ES)

87 Rockway Vineyards Small Lot Block 11-140  Cabernet Franc, Twenty Mile Bench ($22.95)

A juicy Cabernet Franc, which has a green streak which runs through the cassis, red currant, tobacco, graphite, violets and spice. Fine length and approachable right now. (ES)

87 Rockway Vineyards Small Lot Merlot 2013, Twenty Mile Bench ($21.95)

This Merlot will be Rockway’s last from their vineyards as the vines perished in the horrible winter of  2014. Very much textbook Merlot with plum, dark cherry, raspberry, dried herbs, dried earth and anise. (ES)

Portugal

White

88 Quinta de Curvos Afectus Alvarinho 2015, Vinho Verde ($17.95)

I am a sucker for good Alvarinho and this one certainly delivers to goods. Peach, apricot, lime, apple, mineral and floral qualities are framed by fresh acid and great length. Pair with sushi or chilled shellfish platters.  (ES)

88 Quinta de Courvos Loureiro 2015, Vinho Verde ($12.95)

Loureiro means laurel in English. Needless to say, there is definitive bay leaf quality which melds with green apple, peach, citrus and mineral. It is  refreshing with fine length. A perfect summer sipper and a steal for the price! (ES)

88 Quinta das Arcas Arca Nova Branco 2015, Vinho Verde ($12.95)

Great value! In typical Vinho Verde fashion, this wine is light, crisp and slightly sparkling. It is also flavorful with peach, citrus, bay leaf, white flower, smoke and apple. Very good length and ready to drink with white fish or spicy fair. (ES)

Red

88 Aphros Vinhão 2014, Vinho Verde ($25)

Aphros is widely considered the best producer of red Vinho Verde, as they pick late and eschew the tradition of capturing of CO2 (and subsequent funky aromas) in the wine via bottling before the completion of malolactic fermentation. Black/purple colour due to Vinhão being a teinturier grape, the wine exudes dark cherry, fraise de bois, raspberry, plum, spice, red flowers and herbs. Brisk acidity and tannins make for a versatile food wine with richer dishes. Individual juice indeed! (ES)

United States

White

90 Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc 2014, Napa Valley ($22.95)

Mondavi’s 2014 Fumé contains 6% Semillon, which combines with partial oak ageing and lees stirring, creating a weighty texture. Pink grapefruit, passion fruit, verbena, guava, nectarine, fresh grass, spice and cream make for a sophisticated offering. Excellent length with a lifted personality. (ES)

89 Michael David Chardonnay 2014, Lodi ($22.95)

This Chardonnay speaks to its California origins by way of the ripe fruit and new oak. Fullish, there is sweet peach, pineapple, cream, spice, vanilla, white flowers and honey. The palate reveals a combination of creaminess and sound acidity as well as great length. Pair with Chilean seabass topped with a tropical fruit and jalapeno salsa. (ES)

89 Diamond Ridge Chardonnay 2013, Napa Valley ($22)

Pear, apple, Meyer lemon, banana, anise and butterscotch are all wrapped up in a nice package. The palate is fruit driven with a creamy edge and good acidity. Lingers. (ES)

88 Cline Cellars Viognier 2014, North Coast ($19.95)

This wine captures Viognier’s perfurmed attributes of peach, pineapple, apricot, bananas, white flowers, spice and citrus. There is lifted acidity and a long aftertaste. Try with coconut based curries or Pir-Piri chicken. (ES)

88 Francis Ford Coppola Chardonnay 2014, Monterey County ($23.95)

Well made, with banana, sweet peach, spice, cream and vanilla attributes. Soft on the palate with a  fruit driven finish. Splendid length and ready to drink. (ES)

88 Tom Gore Vineyards Chardonnay 2014, California ($19.95)

This California appellation Chardonnay delivers lots of flavour for the price. Peach, pineapple, apple, honey, vanilla and spice aromas carry over to the palate where there is fine acidity and a great finale, which is punctuated by a mineral note. (ES)

Red

91 Francis Ford Coppola Director’s Cut Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley ($34.95)

A full-bodied, fleshy Cabernet from the famed director’s namesake winery. Blackberry, boysenberry, cassis, violets, roasted herbs, cinnamon, smoke and vanilla are all present. Long finish nd enough stuffing to age over the next 5 to 7 years. NY strip coated with Montreal steak spice is all that is required for this baby. (ES)

90  Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Napa Valley ($69.95)

Dark in colour, full-bodied and soft texture, the cassis, raspberry, black pepper, violets, tobacco, vanilla and dark cocoa flow over the taste buds. Great persistency and ready to drink now or over the next seven years. (ES)

88 Handcraft Petite Sirah 2013, California ($17.95)

A fruit forward, jammy wine, laced with blueberry, cassis, dark cherry, strawberry, violets, spice and tobacco. Warm on the palate with good tannins and a touch of sweetness. Grilled meats are prime for this wine. (ES)

88 Cline Cellars Pinot Noir 2014, Sonoma Coast ($25.95)

A straight forward Pinot Noir with cherry, plum, spice, red flowers and vanilla attributes. Fine length, suave tannins and ready to drink. (ES)

87 Tom Gore Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, California ($17)

A crowd pleaser of a Cabernet Sauvignon with a profile of cassis, blackberry, plum, mint, cocoa, vanilla and herbs. Ready to drink with a soft personality and lingering fruit-tinged aspect. (ES)

 

 

March 2016 Wine Ratings

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Australia

White

89 Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay 2014, Adelaide Hills ($24.90)

Lots of polish to this Chardonnay, which clocks in at 12.5% alcohol. Smoke, hazelnut, peach, sweet apple, pear and anise are all found in the glass. Mid-weight, the palate is restrained, with vibrant acidity, a slight creaminess as well as mineral driven aftertaste. Seared scallops or cracked crab would be perfect with this wine.  (ES)

Red

90 Wolf Blass Gold Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Coonawarra ($23.95)

A powerful Coonawarra Cab with a bouquet of chocolate, cassis, raspberry, cherry, mint, violets and herbs. Medium body with some gritty tannins and great length. Drink until 2021. (ES)

90 Teusner Joshua 2013, Barossa Valley ($29.95)

Full-bodied, this Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre blend doles out plum, blackberry, sweet black cherry, spice, vanilla, roasted herbs, anise and vanilla. Long finish, lots of ripe tannins and a good amount of acid make for an excellent food wine. (ES)

89 Wolf Blass Gold Label Syrah 2012, Adelaide Hills ($24.90)

Deep ruby with purple highlights. Full bodied, yet elegant, there is masses of plum, blackberry, cassis, raspberry, eucalyptus, anise, tar, and violets. Concentrated, ripe and excellent length. The alcohol is 14.5%, but there is no burn. Nice balance. (ES)

88 19 Crimes Shiraz Durif 2014, Victoria ($18.95)

From the cooler Victoria comes this dark ruby/purple coloured red. Blackberry, black cherry, plum, violets, spice, cocoa, ink, cookie dough and vanilla replay from the nose to the palate. Full bodied with some warmth and fine length. (ES)

Canada

White

90 Rockway Vineyards Small Lot Block 15-183 Riesling 2014, Twenty Mile Bench ($19.95)

Rockway continues to shine under winemaker David Stasiuk. Taught and racy, this wine serves up peach, lime, pink grapefruit, mineral and white flowers. There is some residual sugar, but the brisk acidity gives the impression of a dry wine. Excellent length and a match made in heaven with sushi. (ES)

90 Rockway Vineyards Chardonnay Wild Ferment 2014, Twenty Mile Bench ($22.95)

A medium body Chardonnay, which shows great poise. Peach, green apple, pear, citrus, honey and vanilla are built on a creamy texture and excellent length. Without a doubt, this is a wine that requires lobster or Alaskan king crab with drawn butter. (ES)

90 Château des Charmes Riesling Old Vines 2013, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($16.95)

Pale water colour with a bouquet of bergamot, white peach, lemon, lime, green apple, white flowers and hints of honey. Comes across as dry on the palate because of the refreshing acidity. Splendid mineral aftertaste. (ES)

88 Fielding Estate Winery Riesling Estate Bottled 2014, Beamsville Bench ($18.95)

A bouquet of lime, pink grapefruit, peach, white flowers and honey also carry over onto the palate. Splendid length with some residual sugar balancing out the fresh acidity. Well crafted and ready to drink. (ES)

88 Pondview Bella Terra Chardonnay Barrel Fermented 2013, Four Mile Creek ($25)

As the name denotes, there is new oak I the form of vanilla, toast and anise. Add in pineapple, banana, apple and orange attributes from the grape itself and you have a sophisticated and delicious drop of juice. Medium to full body, there is a creamy texture and great length. Lobster risotto with this for sure! (ES)

88 Konzelmann Old Vines Riesling 2014, Niagara ($22.95)

Dry, this Riesling features aromas of sweet peach, nectarines, bergamot, marzipan, spice and lemon. The palate, although crisp, features slight creamy notes from barrel fermentation and a lengthy apple/mineral-tinged finish. (ES)

88 Pondview Estate Winery Bella Terra 2013, Four Mile Creek ($19.95)

A heftier Gris thanks to a combination of partial new oak and lees stirring. Peach, honey, cream, apple, citrus, lemon, smoke, spice and yellow flowers. Creamy in the mouth with good acid and very good length. Pickerel in a beurre blanc sauce would be killer with this wine.

87 Fielding Estate Winery Viognier 2014, Niagara ($22.95)

A mid-weight Viognier, which leans more towards a citrus/grapefruit personality rather than the blowsy tropical/ warmer style. There is some spice, peach, apricot and floral undertones. Fine length and ready to drink. (ES)

87 Henry of Pelham Family Tree White 2012, Niagara ($17.95)

A Chardonnay, Viognier, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc blend. Tropical dominant on the nose with a good dose of oak afterwards. It is soft and easy drinking with mature elements of caramel chiming on the palate. Ready to drink. (ES)

Rose

86 Fielding Estate Winery Rosé 2015, Niagara ($15.95)

A dry and easy drinking Rose with flavours of strawberry, raspberry, pink grapefruit and hints of pepper. Good length, fresh acid and ready for patio sipping or charcuterie boards. (ES)

Red

92 Fielding Estate The Chosen Few 2012, Niagara ($59.95)

Only made in the best years, this, the second vintage of this wine (the first was in 2007) is truly impressive. The final blend of 38% Cabernet Franc, 37% Syrah and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon was a selection of Fielding’s best barrels and there was no fining and filtering whatsoever. Medium to full body, there is a rich texture and lots smoke, chocolate, dark cherry, cassis, blackberry, black pepper/spice and olive. Great length and structure to allow to age another 7 to 8 years. (ES)

91 Fielding Estate Winery Syrah 2012, Niagara ($39.95)

A warm, ripe and complex Syrah with cassis, plum, black pepper, oregano, violets, chocolate, and toast. Medium plus body, ripe tannins, concentrated mid palate and superb length will allow this wine to age over the next five years. (ES)

89 Henry of Pelham Cabernet-Merlot Estate 2012, Short Hills Bench ($24.95)

Cassis, raspberry, mint, spice, vanilla and herbs are present in this stylish Bordeaux-inspired red. On the fuller side, the tannins are present and the finale long. Grilled lamb chops and vegetables would be sublime. Drink until 2021. (ES)

87 Henry of Pelham Family Tree Red 2013, Ontario ($18.95)

A five-grape blend where Syrah and Merlot and dominate, the Cabernets act as backstop and Baco Noir chimes in at 5%.   Blackcurrant, black pepper, raspberry, tobacco, herbs and a slight gamey feature. Mid-weight, fresh acid and very good length. (ES)

Chile

White

87 Root: 1 Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Casablanca Valley ($12.95)

This is the new white companion to the Root: 1 Carmenere. Starts off with lime, grapefruit and nectarine qualities and then shifts into more herbal and mineral elements. Light-weight, crisp and dry. Perfect for the summer months of patio sipping. (ES)

Red

91 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Maipo ($21.95)

A superb Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon with textbook aromas of blackberry, cassis, cherry, mint, vanilla, cocoa, tar and smoke. Concentrated, the tannins are plush and the finale long with just the right amount of warmth.  Drink over the next five years. Steak all the way with wine! (ES)

France

90 Château Mont-Redon Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2011 ($46.95)

A serious CNP, which clocks in at 14.5% alcohol. Cherry, plum, cassis, anise black pepper, smoke and vague oregano qualities waft out of the glass. Tannins are dry and there is great length. A midterm cellar candidate - drink until 2020. (ES)

Germany

88 Thörle Riesling Feinherb 2014, Rheinhessen ($20)

The term Feinherb denotes a wine which is off-dry. This is a light Riesling which packs lots of flavour. Lime, peach, powdered candies, yeast and minerals. Very good length and ready to drink. Pair with sushi or schnitzel. (ES)

Greece

92 Santo Wines Assyrtiko Grand Reserve 2013, Santorini ($29.95)

This wine is a worthy successor to the fabulous 2012! Full bodied, this oak aged Assyrtiko exudes toast, peach, pineapple, citrus, red apple, honey, anise and bay leaf. The palate is a combination of cream and acidity with a brilliant finale. Singular superb Santorini! (ES)

90 Santo Wines Vinsanto 2008, Santorini ($33/500ml)

This dessert wine is a blend of 85% Assyrtiko and 15% Aidani that was sun-dried for ten days. Syrupy and concentrated, it possesses 280 grams of residual sugar and a personality of raisins, dried figs, prunes, molasses, maple syrup and buckwheat honey. There is a long finale with just enough acidity to provide symmetry. (ES)

90 Santo Wines Santorini Assyrtiko 2015, Santorini ($14.95)

This wine, soon to be released to the LCBO general list is an incredible value! Grown at the highest elevations of the island, it delivers nectarine, citrus, green apple, hints of honey and salty minerals. Dry, Assyrtiko’s crystalline acidity helps carry the long finish. There is enough power here to pair with fish, poultry and even pork. For this price, make sure to pick up a few bottles. (ES)

89 Santo Wines Sparkling Brut 2013, Santorini ($33)

This is the only sparkling wine produced on the island of Santorini.  Made from 100% Assyrtiko and vinified via the traditional method, there are pinpoint creamy bubbles and aromas of mineral, apple, citrus and yeast. The palate possesses crisp acidity and excellent length. (ES)

New Zealand

90 Lagoon Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Martinborough ($18.95)

From the Martinborough region located on NZ’s North Island comes this expressive single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc which was organically farmed. The mango, guava, orange, passion fruit, lime, pink grapefruit and herbs jump out of the glass and onto the tastebuds where spice and lively acidity frame everything quite nicely. Ready to drink. (ES)

South Africa

White

86 Goats do Roam White 2015, Western Cape ($11.95)

Moderate aromas of peach, honey, spice, peanuts, white flowers and honey. Mid-weight, there is some creaminess on the palate as well as a brisk finale. A singular blend of 61% Viognier, 20% Roussanne and 19% Grenache Blanc. (ES)

Red

88 The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvèdre and Viognier 2014, Western Cape ($13.95)

This Rhone inspired delivers the goods at an affordable price. Cassis, plum, dark cherry, smoke, leather, spice and vanilla are supported by soft tannins and an easy drinking nature. BBQ all the way! (ES)

USA

89 La Crema Pinot Noir 2013, Sonoma Coast ($31.95)

Sweet cherry, raspberry, strawberry, plum, herbs and baking spice are all present in the silky offering. Elegant, the tannins are on the lighter side and there is a touch of warmth on the finale. An appealing Pinot this is ready to drink. (ES)

87 Sledgehammer Zinfandel 2013, California ($16.95)

A wine which will appeal to those who loves soft and succulent reds. Bramble fruit, spice, raisins, black tea and tobacco are layered on soft tannins. There is a slight sweetness, but this is Zin, so not a problem at all. Great length and ready to drink. (ES)

 


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Wine Facts

Wine is often called the nectar of the gods, but Sangiovese is the only grape named after a god. Sangiovese means “blood of Jove