Evan Saviolidis

Evan Wine Savvy

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Wine Ratings
Wine Reviews

July 2007 Wine Ratings

E-mail Print PDF


89 Henry of Pelham Riesling Off Dry 2006, Niagara ($14.95)
By the looks of it, 2006 is turning out to be another great Riesling vintage. This wine possesses a white gold colour and a youthful bouquet of peach, lime zest, minerals and honey. Medium body with a refreshingly long finish. Great value! (ES)


88 Reif Estate Winery Chenin Blanc 2006, Niagara River ($18.95)
A Chenin that teems with honeysuckle, green apple and minerals. The palate has a touch of sweetness, which works well with the fresh acid. The clean finish resonates with clementines and honey. Very good length. Has enough weight to pair up with fresh shucked oysters or Rockefeller style.


85 Reif Estate Winery Sauvignon Blanc
A light to medium bodied S.B. with mild flavours of fresh cut grass, minerals, grapefruit and gooseberries. Dry with a medium finish. (ES)


82 Coyote’s Run Pinot Gris 2006, Niagara
A light wine that is crisp with moderate aromas of pear, citrus and flint. Chill it down and enjoy it as an aperitif. (ES)



86 Reif Estate Gamay Rose, Niagara River ($10.95)
This is a serious dry Rose. Starting with a deep pink colour it heads into an intense bouquet of fresh strawberries, raspberries and black pepper. Medium length and easy to drink…maybe too easy!. Pair it up with grilled salmon or pork tenderloin in a mild bbq sauce.



88 Coyotes Run Meritage 2005, Niagara ($24)
A blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Cabernet Franc and 14% Merlot. The medium cherry colour leads the way to a bouquet of blackberries, plum, smoky chocolate and herbs. Medium to full body with firm tannins and very good length. Drink over the next 4 to 6 years. (ES)


86 Lakeview Merlot 2005, Niagara ($13.95)
This is just your everyday, good ol’ fashion everyday drinking Merlot.  It has a pleasant bouquet of plum, smoke, cherry and dark chocolate. Try it with braised short ribs. (ES)





87 Boutari Skalani Syrah/Kotsifali 2004, Crete ($19.95)
This is one of those new fangled international/indigenous grape combinations that Greece is becoming known for. The Syrah gives the plum, spice and licorice aromas and the Kotsifali gives the gamey and leather component. Mid weight with some heat on the finish and perfectly suited for roasted lamb. (ES)



91 St. Urbans-Hof Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Spatlese 2006, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer ($38.95)
During my visit to Germany, I had the chance to taste the entire line up of the 06’s at St. Urbans-Hof. This wine stood shoulders above the rest. A sublime nose of tropical fruits, honey and hefeweizen beer (think banana, yeast and spice) leads the way to a full bodied mouthful of pineapple and various fruits. Superb depth and length with noticeable sweetness, enough so to match with lighter fruit based desserts. (ES)



90 Selbach-Oster Zeltlinger Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett 2006, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer ($32.45)
Tasted at the winery with owner Johannes Selbach. A superb Kabinett with peach, honey, lime, pineapples and minerals on the nose and a ripe palate showcasing citrus, honey and a long mineral finish. At least a decade of aging ahead of it.(ES)



89 St.Urbans-Hof Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett 2006, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer ($23.95)
Normally this wine has a distinctive mineral personality but in 2006 there was an incredible amount of botrytis, so this version is riper, with a peach, apricot, pineapple and honey profile. In the mouth, the wine retains a good citrus backbone. Drink over the next 5 to 6 years. (ES)


88 Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Bernkastler Badstube Riesling Kabinett 2003. Mosel-Saar-Ruwer ($22.95)
This Kabinett benefited from the insane heat wave that hit Europe in 2003. It starts off rich and ripe with lots of peach and tropical fruit flavours. Only when it hits the palate does it turn “Moselesque;” with a lean personality, good acid, off dry and a dose of minerality. Drink over the next 4 years. (ES)


87 Lingenfelder Grosskarlbacher Osterberg Riesling Spatlese 2003, Pfalz ($21.95)
From one of the most famous in the Pfalz comes this mid weight Riesling with a profile of petrol, honey and lime. There is good depth with lots of crisp green apple on the finish. Now to 2008


87 St. Urbans-Hof Riesling Qba, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer ($19.99)
Pale yellow colour and off dry with pear, apple, citrus and qualities. The finish resonates with grapefruit and green apple. (ES)


87 Domdechant Werner Weingut Hochheimer Hoelle Riesling Kabinett 2004, Rheingau ($18.95)
A lighter style of Riesling with peach, citrus and honey and white flowers. Although it is slim in the mouth there is very good length. Drink now. (ES)



May 2007 Wine Ratings

E-mail Print PDF

90 3 Rings Shiraz 2005, Barossa ($21.95)
This is a high octane, lavishly full bodied, jammy, extracted wine, the likes of which makes Aussie fanatics go gaga. Crammed to the hilt with plums, blackberries, spice and vanilla. Full bodied with excellent length and some noticeable heat (15.5% alcohol) on the finish. Screw cap closure. (ES)




91 Stoney Ridge Cabernet Franc Wismer Vineyard 2005, Twenty Mile Bench ($37.95)
Having tasted all the vintages of the 00’s, I can unequivocally state that this is the best version to date. The vineyard is on a slope with a privileged eastern aspect. This helps the grapes to capture the first rays of sunlight, in turn increasing ripeness. Harvested at an incredible 25.2 brix, the wine has a natural alcohol level of 14.4%! Full bodied with lots of blackberries, cassis, vanilla and spice as well as a light herbal note. The palate is almost sweet with a texture akin to suede, with plenty of tannins giving unobtrusive support. Long finish. Now to 2016, and possibly beyond. (ES)


89 Stoney Ridge Founder’s Signature Collection Meritage 2005, Niagara ($42.95)
The heat of 2005 shows through as the wine has lots of blackberries, plums and raspberries as well as licorice, vanilla, cocoa and coffee. It is elegant, with excellent tannin structure and an admirable finish. Drink over the next 5 to 10 years. (ES)


88 Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir Reserve 2005, Niagara ($29.95)
Constantly one of Niagara’s best Pinots as witnessed by the Gold Medal at this year’s Cuvee Awards. Lots of plums, cherries, violets, spice and earth flavours built on a smooth frame. Tannins are supple and will allow short term aging. Now to 2011. (ES)


88 Calamus Meritage 2005, Niagara ($28)
This new winery in Jordan has come out of the gates strong with its first releases. This blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Franc and 6% Merlot is a medium to full bodied offering with aromas of toasty oak, cassis, cocoa and bell pepper on the nose as well as a ripe core of blackberries, spice, cassis and vanilla on the palate. Very good length with grip on the finish. From 2008 to 2013. (ES)


88 Calamus Red 2005, Niagara ($13)
This is an incredible value in homegrown product and a definite case purchase. More approachable than the Calamus Meritage, it is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. It serves up a nose of cassis, vanilla, spice, raspberry and tobacco. The palate is ripe with notes of cocoa as well as very good length. Now to 2011. (ES)


88 Stoney Ridge Cabernet Franc Icewine 2005, Niagara ($59.95)
Just like strawberry jam slathered on a piece of buttered toast. Mid weight, rich texture and balanced. (ES)



88 Angels Gate Old Vines Chardonnay 2004, Niagara ($23.95)
The oak influence of caramel, vanilla and spice meshes together with the green apple and citrus flavours. Mid weight, length finish and well balanced. (ES)


88 Stoney Ridge Chenin Blanc Icewine 2006, Niagara ($59.95/375ml)
There are only 150 cases of this wine, which will be released later on this year. Apple juice, apple puree, pear puree and minerals are all present in this singular offering. Even though there is good amount of sweetness, it is balanced by lots of natural brisk acidity. Pair it up with Tarte Tartin. (ES)


87 Henry of Pelham Chardonnay Reserve 2005, Niagara ($13.95)
A steal at this price. Honey, toast, spice and green apple are all present with just the right amount of acidity and creaminess. Clean finish with a touch of minerality. (ES)


87 Calamus Gewurztraminer 2006, Niagara ($16)
This is a mid weight Gewurz with characteristics of  honey, spice, floral, pineapple and baked apples. Lengthy finish with just a touch of residual sugar. (ES)


87 Stoney Ridge Proprietor’s Reserve Brut 2005, Niagara ($34.95)
Stoney’s first release of a Traditional Method sparkler is full of pinpoint bubbles and a character that concentrates on green apple, citrus, honey and mild toasty notes. A blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir. (ES)


87 Stoney Ridge Reserve Chardonnay 2005, Niagara ($19)
This is a blend of old vine Chardonnay aged in new French oak and Chardonnay Musque which was vinified in stainless steal. Together they compliment each other nicely. Lots of toasty, smoky, floral, and tropical fruit aromas as well as a delicate mouth feel and refreshing acid. Serve with 3 year old aged Cheddar. (ES)


86 Stoney Ridge 2006 Beamsville Bench Riesling, Niagara ($11.85)
A white gold colour is followed by a bouquet of pear, peach, honey and cactus fruit. In the mouth, the wine has lift as well as a light sweetness and medium length. (ES)


86 Calmus Riesling 2005, Niagara ($14)
Made from young vines, the wine displays a white gold colour as well as a bouquet petrol, lime, slate, honey, peach and citrus. Medium length, off dry and a good dose of alcohol on the finish. (ES)


March 2007 Wine Ratings

E-mail Print PDF

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)


Page 32 of 42

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.