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Evan Wine Savvy

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Wine Reviews

Throughout the year WineSavvy Consultants will be rating wines and posting their results monthly on this page.

Come back each month and have a look at what we have come up with, and click the button to the right to see previous months of tastings and reviews.



March 2009 Wine Ratings

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White

 

89 Peller Estates  Chardonnay Signature Series Sur Lie 2007, Niagara ($30)
This is a great Chardonnay that is packed with caramel, toast, tropical fruit, peach, pear and honey. Rich and round in the mouth, it offers up a creamy texture and a lengthy spice tinged finish. It is a worthy successor to the 2006. (ES)

 

88 Reif Estate Silver Meritage 2007, Niagara River ($25)
 Reif has joined the ranks of Ontario producers making a white Meritage. This, the inaugural vintage also commemorates the wineries 25th anniversary (hence silver). It is a blend of 56% Sauvignon Blanc and 44% Semillon that has seen 9 months oak aging. On the nose, there is a distinct yellow plum/Armagnac quality which mingles with melon, peach, spice and honey. In the mouth, the lanolin/waxy side of Semillon meshes together with apple and lime notes. Very good length. (ES)

 

88 Dan Aykroyd Discovery Series Riesling 2007, Niagara ($14.95)
A lovely perfume of lime, bergamot jam, flowers and peach weave their magic out of the glass and onto the taste buds. The crisp personality makes it perfectly suited for pool and patio weather. (ES)

 

87 Rosehall Run Chardonnay Cuvee County 2007, Prince Edward County ($17.95)
This wine contains 25% Chardonnay Musque, giving it a peachy quality that meshes together with the green apple, smoke and vanilla qualities. It is mid weight with very good length and a creamy texture in the mouth. Drink now (ES)

 

87 Angels Gate Winery Old Vines Chardonnay 2006, Beamsville Bench ($23.95)
The 06 version is easy a drinking wine with cream, honey, hazelnut, green apple and citrus qualities on the nose. In the mouth, it is creamy with spice and citrus on the lengthy finish. Serve with chicken a la king or a triple cram brie. (ES)

 

86 Angels Gate Gewurztraminer 2007, Niagara ($15.75)
A Gewurz that makes good on its name. Spicy notes mix together with a bouquet of grapefruit, honey, pear and flowers. Medium length with spice reverberating on the finish. Drink now. (ES)

Red

 

91 Vineland Estates Cabernet Merlot Reserve 2005, Niagara  ($49)
A real vin de plaisir! This blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot is an absolute stunner. It delivers high quality oak aromas of chocolate covered coffee beans that combine with super ripe cassis, blackberries and black cherries. The palate is medium to full bodied and laced with sweet fruit that borders on Californian. Excellent length and to be drunk over the next 5 years. (ES)

 

91 Pillitteri Estate Sticky Beak Red Icewine 2007, Niagara ($60/200ml)
In Aussie parlance, a ‘Sticky Beak’ is someone who finds pleasure in sticking their nose into other people’s business. In this case, it is highly recommended that you make this wine a part of your affairs. It is a unique blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Franc, Shiraz and Sangiovese that serves up strawberry rhubarb, cocoa, red pepper and spices. The finish is long and sweet. (ES)

89 Creekside Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2005, Niagara ($34.95)
The dynamic winemaking duo of Craig McDonald and Rob Powers did it again at this year’s Cuvee-this time around grabbing 4 awards, including ‘limited edition red wine’ for this bottling. This big boy spent 18 months in oak and offers a smoky side to the ripe blackberries and cassis. Full bodied with loads of tannins, so cellar it for a couple of years and then drink until 2019. (ES)

 

89 Niagara College Teaching Winery Dean’s List Pinot Noir 2007, Niagara ($32.95)
Winner of best Pinot Noir at Cuvee.  It serves up a nose of super ripe plums, black cherries and raspberries with added barrel notes of cocoa and spice. In the mouth, loads of dark fruit saturate the palate as well some floral notes. The acid is fresh and there is excellent length. Kudos to the students of Niagara College! (ES)        

 

88 Trius Red 2007, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($21.95)
Winemaker Darryl Brooker has hit the mark once again with his Trius red.  The 07 version is on par with his great 2005. The wine’s black cherry colour leads into a perfume of blackberries, plums, raspberry jam, cocoa and coconut. It is mid weight with very good length and supple tannins. Drink over the next 3 to 4 years. (ES)

 

88 Tawse Pinot Noir 2007, Niagara ($32)
This is a medium bodied Pinot that serves up plum, cherry and earth flavours. In the mouth, much of the same is found as well as very good length. As a side note, pinot-philes should prepare themselves for the reserve bottling from this winery. I have tried all the barrel samples  and they are indeed fine offerings. (ES)

 

87 Southbrook Triomphe Syrah 2007, Niagara ($24.95)
The medium ruby colour leads into a supple textured wine that reveals blackberries, plums, spice and cocoa. It finishes elegant with a good amount of tannins, so try with bison or ostrich burgers. (ES)

 

87 Dan Aykroyd Discovery Series Cabernet Shiraz 2007, Niagara ($14.75)
This is a value priced red that possess a black cherry colour and a profile of plums, cocoa, vanilla and spice. It is nicely concentrated, with a lengthy finish and supple tannins that can carry for another 3 to 4 years. Make it your BBQ wine for this summer. (ES)

 

87 Angels Gate Mountainview Pinot Noir 2007, Niagara ($24)

Medium cherry colour with a nose of plum, dark cherries, cocoa, smoke and coffee. The palate showcases much of the same as well as a soft and easy drinking personality. Very good length and made for tuna and salmon sashimi. (ES)

 

 

February 2009 Wine Ratings

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Australia

94 Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz 2001, Eden Valley ($515)
Ok, let’s face facts, unless you live in Dubai, the average wine lover is not able to afford this wine. Regardless, it is indeed an impressive offering with a hedonistic perfume of plums, spice, eucalyptus, raspberries and cocoa.  Long and concentrated with no harsh edges. It shows enough velvety tannins to allow aging until 2015, and maybe even longer. (ES)

 

France

92  Chateau Gillette Crème de Tête 1979, Sauternes ($195/500ml)
Gillette is unique amongst Sauternes producers as they age their wines for a minimum of 20 years in concrete vats. This way, the wines keep their youthfulness. The ’79 reveals a deep golden amber colour as well as a profile of thyme honey, dried apricots, caramel, porcini mushrooms and coconut. Full bodied and viscous with a long finish which reverberates with dried fruit, caramel and spice. (ES)

 

Germany

90 Bischöflische Riesling Kabinett 2005, Mosel ($20.95)
This is a great wine, from a great vintage and for a great price. The classic Mosel nose of lime, slate, petrol and hints of stone fruit combine with off dry palate which showcases lots of minerality and lime. There is excellent length with lots of fresh acid. Drink over the next decade.(ES)

 

88 Dr. Loosen  Dr. L Riesling 2007, Mosel ($14.95)
Come on, who are we kidding? For under$15 a bottle, buy as much as you can! Peach, honey, flowers and mineral worh there way around a medium bodied frame. Very good length. Drink over the next 5 to 7 years. (ES)

 

Italy

91 Vietti Barolo 2004, Piedmont ($120)
A beautiful perfume of flowers, cherry jam, toast, tar, leather and plum lead into Nebbiolo’s typically elevated acid and tannin. It is full bodied with a long finish. Hold until 2012 and drink over the subsequent 12 years. (ES)

 

Canada

White

90 Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery Reserve Chardonnay 2007, Niagara ($38)
This is a full bodied Chardonnay that has seen a good amount of oak. That being said, it is not a 2x4, as the wood has been absorbed into the concentration of the wine, giving it a beautiful nose of peach, tropical fruit, honey, caramel and spice. On the palate there is excellent length and a very Burgundian hazelnut quality that combines with caramel, green apple and pineapple. Drink over the next 5 years. (ES)

 

88 Soutbrook Vineyards Poetica Chardonnay 2003, Niagara ($59)
Poetica is Soutbrook’s top wine from each vintage. In 2003, they only produced two cases of this unfiltered wine. This might be to everyone’s taste as it has reached maturity and offers an evolved nose of hay, corn on the cob, calvados and cream. Dry with fresh acid and a creamy/caramel finish. Drink now. (ES)

88 Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery Chardonnay 2007, Niagara ($24)
This is more elegant than the Reserve bottling, but is still very much a delicious drop of wine. It is mid weight with peach, apples, hazelnut and caramel all the way around. Very good length and ready to drink now over the next 3 years. (ES)

 

88 Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery Riesling 2007, St Davids Bench ($28)
Light yellow colour, this wine was partially affected with botrytis. Its bouquet is that of peaches, honey, lime, pineapple and flowers. The palate shows a Kabinett level of sweetness with fresh acid backing it up. (ES)

 

87 Inniskillin Winemaker’s Series Riesling Two Vineyards 2007, Niagara
This mid weight Riesling showcases lime, minerals and peach. Very refreshin on the palate with a beautiful acid backbone, this wine should age well for the 4 or 5 years. (ES)

 

86 Rosehall Run Chardonnay Sur Lie 2007, Ontario ($14.95)
Located in Prince Edward County, Rosehall Run’s Chardonnay is a crisp, non-oaked offering that delivers green apples, lemon zest, melon and minerals both on the nose and palate. Medium length and ready to drink with a civiche or a mild brie. (ES)

 

Rose

87 Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery Cabernet Franc Rosé 2007, Niagara ($17)
A serious rosé with strawberries, plum, earth and green tobacco qualities. It is refreshing on the palate with a chocolate tone adding an extra layer to the complexity. Drink over the summer. (ES)

 

Red

88 Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery Merlot Reserve 2007, St Davids Bench ($55)
Reminds me of a very good St-Emilion! This Merlot contains 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, giving it an undercurrent of mint which combines with the more pronounced cocoa, smoke, plums, cassis and dark cherries. There is a lingering finish with lots of tannin, but my preference would be to drink it over the next 4 to 6 years with a nice cut of prime rib.

 

87 Rosehall Run Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Ontario ($29.95)
Made from 4 year old vines, this wine really benefited from the intense heat and low yields of the 2005 vintage. It displays an ‘Aussie’ nose of blackberries, plums, black cherries and smoke. The palate returns to its Canuck origins, becoming elegant with a good acid and a lengthy finish endowed with smoke and small berry fruit. Drink over the next 2 to 3 years. (ES)

 

January 2009 Wine Ratings

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White

91 Inniskillin Sparkling Vidal Icewine 2006, Niagara($69.95)
Inniskillin has crafted another superb sparkling stickie. It exudes copious amount of peach, apricots, mango and honey. Full bodied but not cloying thanks to the bubbles and acidity.  There is excellent length as well as a finish that is endowed with honey drenched stone fruit. (ES)

 

90 Cave Springs Riesling Icewine 2006, Beamsville Bench ($59.95)
Medium gold colour with loads of honey soaked peaches, flowers and coconut. The palate is viscous with more honey and peach revealing themselves, as well as a long spicy finish. It should age well for 5 to 6 years. (ES)

 

90 Fielding Estate Viognier 2007, Niagara ($30)
This is Fielding’s best Viognier yet! This grape loves heat, and it definitely benefited from Mother Nature’s generosity in 2007. It is full bodied with a bouquet of peach, pear, honey, summer flowers and fresh yogurt. In the mouth it is ripe and concentrated with a creamy texture and definite spiciness adding to the complexity. The finish is long  with just the right amount of acid.  Drink now.(ES)

 

90 Cave Springs Riesling CSV 2007, Beamsville Bench ($29.95)
This is just a baby of a wine! It needs a minimum of two years of aging and can easily last a decade or more. A youthful nose of peach, honey, smoky flint, spice and lime zest leads into a concentrated mouthful of fruit, minerals and citrus. Excellent length and lots of vibrant acidity. (ES)

 

88 Cave Springs Dolomite Riesling, Niagara Escarpment ($15.95)
Of all of CS Riesling’s, this is the most terroir driven. In the glass, waves of smoky flint weave between green apple, peach, honey and bergamot jam. A round mouthfeel and minerals complete the experience. (ES)

 

88 Cave Springs Riesling 2007, Niagara ($14.25)
The balance between acid and sweetness is nicely done, giving it both tang and roundness on the palate. Flavours or peach, pineapple, basil and flinty minerals are built onto a light to medium bodied frame. There is distance in the mouth and enough structure to take it 7 or 8 years. (ES)

 

87 Creekside Select Late Harvest Pinot Gris, Niagara ($23.95)
A medium gold colour with reflections of peach, this dessert wine serves up spice, honey, orange blossom, peach jam and marmalade. It is mid weight with good depth, a lengthy finish and just a touch bitterness. Drink now with a white chocolate cheesecake or a fresh fruit cocktail macerated in cinnamon scented simple syrup. (ES)

 

87 Cave Springs Chenin Blanc, Niagara ($18.95)
The wine shows all the hallmarks of Chenin-apple juice, smoke and minerals. It is dry and tightly wound with lots of zesty acidity and lengthy finish. There is one singular choice to be had with this wine-oysters on the half shell! (ES)

 

 

 

87 Creekside Laura White  2007, Niagara ($17.95)
Laura is rather oaky at this early juncture of her life- notably roasted hazelnuts, coconut and spice. None the less, there are some peach, green apple, grapefruit and honey qualities to be found. My suggestion is to lay it down in the cellar until spring so as to allow the oak and fruit to better integrate. Very good length. A unique blend of 36.6% S.Blanc, 23.9% Chardonnay , 15.8% P.Gris, 7.9% VIognier and 3.9% Riesling. (ES)

 

86 Creekside Pinot Grigio 2007, Niagara ($13.95)
This is a well made Grigio that is definitely superior to most Italian ‘acid water’ which attempts to pass itself off as Grigio. Light peach straw colour with aromas of bosc pear, green apple and honey. The mouth adds spice and creaminess to the green apple flavours. The balance and weight make it a good match for tiropita or a cheese platter. (ES)

 

86 Inniskillin Riesling Reserve Series 2007, Niagara ($14.25)
Peach, lime zest, honey and peach appear both on the nose and palate. There is a lingering finish as well as a good dose of minerality which streaks back and forth on the taste buds. (ES)

 

86 Palatine Hills Riesling Traminer 2007, Niagara Lakeshore ($13.95)
A soft and easy drinking white wine with peach, flowers and honey. Medium length and ready to serve with munster or epoisse cheese. (ES)

 

85 Creekside Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Niagara ($13.95)
This is a lighter style of Sauvignon Blanc. It is crisp and refreshing with a personality of peach, kiwi, grapefruit and herbs. Medium length and ready to be paired with sautéed shrimps in a butter garlic sauce. (ES)

 

Red

 

88 Cave Springs Estate Cabernet Franc 2006, Beamsville Bench ($24.95)
Hat’s off to Cave for having produced a solid red from a less than red friendly vintage. Aromas of cocoa mesh together with raspberries, strawberries, vanilla, spice and herbs. Medium body, there is a lengthy finish and enough structure to age 3 to 4 years. (ES)

 

Rose

87 Creekside Pinot Noir Rose 2007, Niagara ($14.95)
This Rose has more ‘guts’ than your typical kool-aid knockoff. Dry with beautiful strawberry and cherry flavours that mesh with undercurrents of smoke and herbs. In the mouth it is dry and tangy. Pair either with some California /tuna rolls or keep it until spring and serve it with the first BBQ involving salmon or quail. (ES)

 

December 2008 Wine Ratings

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Canada

 

White

91 Chateau des Charmes Savagnin Icewine 2006, St. Davids Bench  ($75)
The first question that begs to be answered is: What is Savagnin? It is a rare grape that is grown in the Jura region of France where it makes dry wines. The local specialty is Vin Jaune, a Sherry style oxidized wine that can last upwards of 50 years. Back to Canada! The Bosc family originally made dry wines from this varietal, but has now decided to produce the first ever Icewine from this grape. Medium body, it offers good amounts of fruit and acid, more along the lines of a refined Riesling Icewine rather than an over the top Vidal. This unique wine will age wonderfully for many years to come, and is well worth the price. It is a wonderful discovery. Kudos! (ES)

 

86 Black Prince Winery Melon de Bourgogne 2007, Prince Edward County ($16.75)
Melon de Bourgogne is the grape used to produce the famous Loire Valley wine, Muscadet. But, unlike the majority of Muscadet, which are thin and sharp, this wine has weight and depth. It has a light to medium body with minerals and citrus all the way around.  What to serve with this? Well, do as the French would do, oysters on a half shell anyone? (ES)

 

86 Black Prince Winery Chardonnay 2007, Prince Edward County ($14.75)
This is a delicious mid weight chardonnay that serves up green apple, pear, citrus, minerals and stone fruit flavours. On the finish there is a touch of honey as well as fresh acid with very good length. Pair it with shrimp and scallops in a garlic butter sauce. (ES)

 

86 Strewn Pinot Blanc 2007, Niagara Lakeshore 2007 ($13.75)
This wine is a rather full Pinot Blanc with green apple and citrus qualities. There is almost 14% alcohol, so chill it right down and use it as an aperitif at your next social gathering. (ES)

 

Red

89 Wayne Gretzky Shiraz Icewine 2006, Niagara ($55)
Number 99 scores a solid 89 points for his inaugural Shiraz stickie. Imagine, if you will, biting into a liquid form of strawberry rhubarb pie, and you have the essential personality of this wine.  It has a lengthy finish with just a hint of cocoa and spice. (ES)

 

85 Black Prince Winery Cabernet Franc Reserve 2007, Prince Edward County ($15.75)
A soft red that delivers blackcurrant, raspberries, smoky/tobacco and herbs, it has a light to medium body, soft tannins and no overt vegetal qualities that are sometimes associated with Franc.  This wine is ready to drink with grilled sausages. (ES)

 

 

USA

93 Rubicon Estate Rubicon 2004, Napa Valley ($125)
Full bodied, powerful and ripe, this 96% Cabernet Sauvignon based wine delivers black cherries, cassis, licorice, spice and dark berries. The firm tannins clamp down on the rather long finish, making it a wine that you should lay away into the cellar and forget about opening until the next decade. From 2012 to 2028. (ES)

Chile

 

White

 

87 Vina Anakena Viognier Single Vineyard 2007, Rapel Valley ($14.95)
Great value alert! Viognier, the notoriously finicky Northern Rhone white grape of Condrieu, usually costs anywhere between $50 to $70 (read overpriced) a bottle. That is of course if you can find it. Well, here is a little gem from Chile that delivers the goods at a fraction of the cost of its more famous French confreres. The perfume of peaches, white flowers, honey, yogurt and spice flatter quickly draw you in. On the tongue, oak is detected, but not to the harm of the fruit, as peach, honey and flowers come to bear on the palate as well as some zesty acidity. Crack it open and enjoy the experience!

 

 

87 Vina Maipo Sauvignon Blanc Reserva Especial 2008, Casablanca Valley ($16.95)
From the cool area of Casblanca comes this pungent Sauvignon Blanc. It leans toward the vegetal, ammonia, citrus and mineral qualities of the grape with an undercurrent of green apple and kiwi. It is a  crisp and refreshing experience. (ES)

 

Red

87 Vina Porta Cabernet Sauvignon Boldo Reserva  Organic 2006, Aconcagua Valley ($18.95)
If you love After Eight Bars, or chocolate mint ice cream, this is your wine. Add some plum and cherry flavours, a medium body and a lingering finish, and you have a solid wine for rosemary scented lamb chops. (ES)

 

87 Vina Errazuriz Shiraz Max Reserva 2006, Aconcagua ($17.75)
Not as intense as previous vintages, but still a good gulp of grape juice. Mid weight with plum, raspberry, cassis and mintall the way around, it finishes with a dash of cocoa. (ES)

 

86 Vino Cousino Macul Cabernet Sauvignon Antiguas Reservas 2006, Maipo Valley ($15.45)
Soundly made, this Cab exudes a bouquet of raspberries, plum, herbs and cassis. On the palate there is much of the same, as well as tobacco and vanilla flavours. Its medium plus length is ready to drink. (ES)

 

France

90 Chapoutier Chateauneuf du Pape La Bernadine 2005, Rhone Valley ($40)
Elegent and medium in body, this CNP offers plum, herbs, black pepper, raspberries and cherries on the nose. On the palate there is a disitinctive mineal/earthy quality, lengthy finish and supple tannins. Drink over the next 3 to 4 years. (ES)

 

Greece

88 Boutari Moschofilero 2007,   (12.95)
Moschofilero is an indigenous grape from Greece, and one that that deserves more attention by consumers.  This superb value aromatic white sings with Viognier-esque qualities of spice, peach, honey and flowers. Light to medium body, elegan , very good length and most importantly , fresh acid.   (ES)

 

New Zealand

90 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Marlborough ($19.95)
The latest vintage continues down the quality path of its predecessors. Pungent with marked tomato vine, pink grapefruit, kiwi, lime, passion fruit and fruit cocktail-essentially text book SB. Excellent length and crisp finish. (ES)

 

October 2008 Wine Ratings

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White

92 Thirty Bench ‘Small Lot’ Riesling Icewine 2007, Beamsville Bench ($75)
What a beauty! Medium gold colour, this stickie beguiles with a perfume of peach jam, honey, spice and dried apricots. At the first sip it is rich and viscous, but then…Shazam!- the acid kicks in, giving lift on the long finish. (ES)

 

90 Inniskillin Canadian Oak Riesling Icewine 2006, Niagara ($99.95)
This frozen gem sings with a bouquet of peaches, pink grapefruit, honey, pear puree and cherries. In the mouth there is electric tension between the sweetness and acidity as well as excellent length and a finish that reverberates with grapefruit, pear and peaches. (ES)

 

89 Tawse Robyn’s Block Chardonnay 2006, Twenty Mile Bench ($48)
This year’s offering is more elegant when compared to last year’s version. Rather Burgundian in style, it weaves a seamless combination between the oak and fruit components. The pineapple, vanilla, honey, caramel, yeast and green apple aromas come through on the palate, where they combine with minerals, cream and citrus flavours. Fresh acid and excellent length complete the picture. Now to 2014. (ES)

 

88 Thirty Bench Riesling Riesling ‘Wood Post’ Vineyard 2007, Beamsville Bench ($30)
This is a Riesling that is built for food. The zippy acidity, touch of sweetness and profile of peaches, honey and minerals make for a sublime combination with California, spicy tuna/salmon rolls and tempura.  (ES)

 

88 Hillebrand Showcase Riesling Ghost Creek Vineyard Riesling, Niagara ($25)
The nose is rather terroir driven with smoky minerals and lime. When it hits the palate, it opens up with peach, white flowers and honey as well as a length mineral finale. Escargot in a dijon herb sauce will work perfectly. (ES)

 

86 Henry of Pelham Chardonnay Non-Oaked 2007, Niagara ($13.25)
Always a well made wine.  Shows green apple, citrus, peach and banana flavours and aromas. Light bodied with good acid and length. (ES)

 

86 Riverview Bianco 2007, Niagara River ($15.95)
Bianco is an off dry blend of 65% Riesling and 35% Gewurztraminer. Peach, flowers, honey and orange blossom mesh together on a mid weight frame. Medium plus length, it is a wine that is clearly made for spicier dishes such as shrimps in a green curry or pad thai. (ES)

 

88 Thirty Bench Riesling ‘Triangle Vineyard’ 2007, Beamsville Bench ($30)
This is a mid weight wine with peach, honey, white flowers and green apple qualities. Pink grapefruit and minerality comes to bare on the dry palate, while the fresh acid keeps everything perked up. (ES)

 

 

 

Red

 

89 Hillebrand Showcase Cabernet Franc Icewine 2007, Niagara ($70)
Raspberry jam, guava and buckwheat honey pave the way to cocoa and red berry jam infused with herbs on the palate. It is weighty with sound acidity holding everything in balance. (ES)

 

89 Riverview Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine 2007. Niagara River ($39.95/200ml)
Medium ruby colour with a pink rim, this sugar bomb (24%) serves up grenadine, guava, plums, herbs and hints of caramel. Rich with excellent length, this stickie will work with decadent desserts such as pecan or Mississippi mud pie. (ES)

 

88 Tawse Meritage 2006, Niagara ($48)
From a cooler vintage comes this rather impressive black tinted red wine.  The powerful nose of smoke, cocoa, coffee, cassis, plums and minty/herbs leads into a medium to full bodied mouthful of dark fruits and oak enhanced flavours. Tannins show their mark, so drink it over the next 4 to 5 years. (ES)

 

87 Thirty Bench Winemaker’s Red 2006, Beamsville Bench ($22)
This blend of 40% Merlot, 32% C.S and 28% C.F. is indeed oaky, with cocoa, smoke and coconut covering the plums, dark cherries, spice and herbs. The slightly green tannins clamp down on the finish. Very good length. Drink over the next 3 to 4 years. (ES)

 

86 Reif Shiraz 2007, Niagara ($16.95)
More Northern Rhone Syrah in style than Shiraz.  This black/purple wine reveals plums, blackcurrant juice, raspberries, black pepper and oregano. In the mouth it is very soft and immensely quaffable right now. (ES)

 

86 Henry of Pelham Gamay 2007, Short Hills Bench ($14.95)
A good value juicy Gamay that delivers plum, strawberry, raspberry, black pepper and slight gamey notes. It is those same gamey and peppery notes that make me think prosciutto and antipasto. (ES)

 

86 Hillebrand Trius Cabernet Franc 2005, Niagara ($14.95)
A great value for fewer than 15 bucks. Cherry, plum, cocoa, spice and mint aromas lead the charge into a mouthful of plum, spice and minty/herbs. This finish is grippy, so serve it with some grilled lamb chops marinated in rosemary and garlic. (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