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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.



September 2008 Wine Ratings

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91 The Foreign Affair Riesling 2007, Vinemount Ridge ($28)
Andrejz Lipinski is making a name for himself as Ontario’s ‘driving winemaker’; currently he provides his services to four different wineries in the Beamsville area, including The Foreign Affair. This wine is impressive, as a portion of the grapes were dried before vinification as a means to give more punch. Indeed there is more power, as a huge perfume of peach and bergamot jam, honey and flowers soars out of the glass. On the palate, it explodes with added flavours of lime and spice, as well as a long finish. In a nutshell-great stuff! Drink over the next 5 to 7 years. (ES)

 

91 The Foreign Affair Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Vinemount Ridge ($32.50)
Twenty percent of the grapes in this wine were dried on racks as a means to give more depth. It is  aromatic, with passion fruit, gooseberries, lime zest, nectarine and honey aromas that lead into a full bodied mouthful of minerals, grassy notes and citrus qualities. Long finish and very concentrated. (ES)

 

90 Organized Crime Gewurztraminer 2007, Beamsville Bench ($25)
This is an extremely limited production Gewurz which soars aromatically with rose water, peaches, honey and spice. It is completely dry, with good density and flavours that match the nose. There is excellent length and a hint of bitter grapefruit on the finish. (ES)

 

89 Organized Crime Riesling 2007, Beamsville Bench ($20)
Winemaker Andrzej Lipinski continues his hot hand with Riesling. This charmer possesses a pale straw colour and a superb bouquet of peach, bergamot, honey and flowers. There is beautiful balance between the acid and residual sugar on the palate, as well as lime and minerals on the finish. (ES)

 

87 Organized Crime Unoaked Chardonnay 2007, Beamsville Bench ($18)
Medium yellow colour with a bouquet of honey, peach, flint and green apple. Dry, with a creamy palate and loads of pineapple fruit. (ES)

 

87 Cattail Creek Chardonnay Musqué  2007, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($17)
This is a simply delightful Musqué with an aromatic lift of peach, flowers, bubble gum and spice. Medium bodied and dry, the palate resonates with peach and citrus as well as perfumed finish. Very good length and ideal partner with pineapple chicken or as an aperitif. (ES)

 

87 Southbrook Triomphe Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Niagara ($18.95)
A very pungent Sauvignon Blanc with marked aromas of grass, passion fruit, citrus and gun flint. Dry with a citrus/herbal palate and fresh acid. (ES)

 

 

92 The Foreign Affair Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine 2007, Vinemount Ridge ($40/200ml)
A very rich Cabernet Sauvignon icewine that benefited from the intense heat of 2007 vintage. Stacked with guava, raspberry, strawberry and plum jam, and lighter accents of thyme honey, the finish hangs around on the taste buds for a long time.  Chocolate fondue would just be a mind blowing experience with this stickie. (ES)

 

 

 

91 The Foreign Affair Cabernet Franc 2006, Niagara ($110)
While working for the Canadian government in Italy, Len Crispino and his wife Marisa fell in love with the wines of Veneto, especially Amarone. After returning home, they decided to take the plunge and open an innovative winery that specializes in dried grape wine. They partnered with Len’s brother in law Louis, and The Foreign Affair winery was born! The appasimento (drying) period for this wine lasted 103 days in humidity controlled rooms, so as not to have any rot affect the grapes. The final product is full bodied and concentrated with wall to wall raisins, plums, raspberries, herbs and cocoa.  Drink over the next 5 years to take advantage of the exuberant nature of the wine. As a side note, I had the chance to try barrel samples of the 2007s. They are monsters that tip the scales at 17% alcohol, and easily shame many notable Amarones. (ES)

 

87 Colio Estate CEV Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Lake Erie North Shore($22)
Starting to stride in maturity, it offers a profile of blackcurrant, raspberries, leather, smoke, mint/herbs and spice. Medium bodied and elegant, there is plum, cassis, spice, dill and mint on the mid palate. Very good length and ready to drink now or over the next 3 years. (ES)

 

87 Cattail Creek Pinot Noir 2007, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($18)
This is a delicate Pinot that has some good flavour going on-namely plum, blackberries, cherries and earth. In the mouth it is delicate, with sweet berry fruit, supple tannins and a lengthy finish. Essentially the type of wine made for pizza and tomato based pasta sauces. (ES)

 

87 Coyote’s Run Meritage 2006, Niagara ($24)
Not as powerful as the 2005, rather it is a softer, juicier version. The wine is all about plums, herbs, smoke and spice both on the palate and nose. Very good length and supple tannins. Drink over the next 2 to 3 years. (ES)

 

87 Organized Crime The Download 2006, Beamsville Bench ($25)
The Download is a Cabernet/Merlot blend, and even though it comes from a lighter vintage, it offers a bouquet of plums, raspberries, smoke, spice and herbs. Mid weight in the mouth, it serves up flavours of tobacco, raspberries, cherries and plums. Supple tannins and very good length make this a perfect partner for ratatouille or mousaka. (ES)

 

Italy

85 Gabbiano Pinot Grigio 2007, Venezie ($12.95)
This is a pleasant Grigio which compares favorably against higher priced competition. There are moderate aromas of pear, green apple and citrus, all built on a light bodied frame. Very refreshing with medium length.  (ES)

 

 

May 2008 Wine Ratings

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Germany

89 Darting Ungsteiner Herrenberg Riesling Spätlese 2006, Pfalz ($19.95)
I have tried this wine on two separate occasions. The first time was at the winery itself, and more recently at an LCBO tasting. The same score was given both times. Medium to full body, with a delightful nose of minerals, citrus and peach, as well as a mouthful of peach jam, honey, flowers and some residual sugar.  Excellent value! (ES)

 

 

87 Darting Dürkheimer Nonnengarten Gewürztraminer Kabinett 2005, Pfalz ($16.95)
Medium yellow with an intense spicy, lychee, orange blossom and peach profile. Medium bodied with 60 grams per liter of residual sugar. Very good length. Try with General Tao chicken. (ES)

 

Canada

 

 

93 Tawse Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine 2007, Niagara ($35/200ml)
This is the best Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine I have ever tasted- period!  It is superbly concentrated with loads of guava jam layered upon currants and cocoa. With a 40 second finish and 250 grams of sugar, this super sweet stickie coats the entire palate, but just before it becomes too heavy, the acid kicks in, giving it lift. Chocolate mousse is the way to go. (ES)

 

92 Strewn Riesling Icewine 2006, Niagara ($58)
A rock’em sock’em Icewine that is bursting at the seams with honey drenched stone fruit, flowers and spice. Full bodied, super concentrated and with superb length. Try it with a cheesecake topped with an apricot glaze. (ES)

 

90 Chateau des Charmes Gewurztraminer St. David’s Bench 2006, St. David’s Bench ($19.95)
Always in the top echelon of Ontario Gewurzs! Alsatian in style and hugely aromatic with lychee nut, rose water, honey, pineapple and grapefruit/citrus. It is full bodied and semi sweet with a honey/grapefruit tinged finish. Perfectly suited for pad thai or moderately spiced curries. (ES)

 

90 Tawse Carly’s Block Estate Risling 2007, Twenty Mile Bench ($30)
Another great Carly’s Block from the gang at Tawse. Pale yellow with a very youthful mineral, lemon rind, lime zest and anise nose. It is slightly off dry, with concentrated minerals, lime zest and bergamot on the lengthy finish. As a side note, I had the 02 version right beside this wine and it was aging beautifully- a testament to the age worthiness of this wine! Drink over the next 8 to 10 years. (ES)

 

89 Flat Rock The Rusty Shed Chardonnay 2005, Niagara ($24.95)
A worth successor to the great 2004! This vintage showcases melon, licorice, spice, honey and peach on the nose while the mouth adds vanilla and citrus. Excellent length. Try with an oven roasted Cornish game hen with roasted root vegetables accented with thyme honey.(ES)

 

89 Tawe Robyn’s Block Estate Chardonay 2005, Twenty Mile Bench ($48)
All the intense hazelnut, vanilla, peach, pear puree and pineapple make you think this will be a monster in the mouth. Not so. Yes it is concentrated, but it is rather stylish, with honey, smoke, pineapple and green apple flavours with a creamy texture and fresh acid. Drink over the next 4 years. (ES)

89 Tawse Wismer Vineyard Riesling, Niagara ($25)
More restrained than the Carly’s Block, this terroir driven Riesling which is all about mineral and lime that combines with anise and bergamot.  Dry with good depth on the palate and crisp finish. Now to 2015. (ES)

 

88 Flat Rock Cellars Gravity Pinot Noir 2005, Niagara ($29.95)
Pale cherry colour with a pink rim. Plum, cherry and spice aromas combine with flavours of cassis on the palate. Delicate, yet lengthy with fresh acid and soft tannins. Drink now. (ES)

 

88 Tawse Sketches of Niagara Riesling 2007, Niagara ($18)
Sketches is Tawse’s new value priced Riesling. It is an aromatic wine with lots of peach, honey, orange blossom and minerals. The palate offers much of the same with a lime lasting finale. Even though there is 20 grams of sugar, it comes across as dry because of the lively acidity. Now to 2014. (ES)

 

87 Konzelmann Special Select Late Harvest Vidal 2006, Niagara ($19.95)
Medium golden colour with a nose of acacia flower, peach, honey and lemon. Mid weight with spice, honey and lemon on the palate as well as bitter almond finish. Very good length. (ES)

 

87 Konzelmann Old Cellar Door Cuvee Brut, Niagara ($30)
OCD is a traditional method sparkling which combines Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. It reveals strawberry, green apple, citrus and earthy aromas as well as a biscuity edge in the mouth with just an undercurrent of caramel starting to show through. Try with mussels in a white wine sauce.(ES)

 

87  Tawse Chardonnay Musque 2007,Niagara
Pale water colour with moderate aromas of peach, honey and white flowers. There is a touch of residual sugar with good freshness and very good length. (ES)

 

87 Inniskillin Montague Vineyard Chardonnay 2006, Niagara ($18.30)
Starts out with an oaky profile of spice and vanilla and is buttressed by banana cream and tropical fruit tones. Medium to full body with crisp acid and a tropical fruit finish. (ES)

 

86 Legends Estate Unoaked Chardonnay, Niagara ($11.95)
A good value in homegrown product that delivers melon, green apple, peach and minerals. Light to medium body with a somewhat oily texture and clean finish. (ES)

 

86 Konzelmann White Moose, Niagara ($15)
White Moose is a new release from Konzelmann and one that is made from Riesling. It is slightly off dry with a lime, white peach and mineral profile. (ES)

 

85 Kacaba Vineyards Horizon Ridge Sur Lie Chardonnay 2006, Niagara ($15.95)
This Chardonnay spent 4 months on the lees, giving it a distinctive yeasty note that combines with peach, honey and pear. Light bodied, the palate is creamy with a mineral/pear finish. (ES)

 

 

California

 

88 Gallo of Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Sonoma County ($16.95)
This is a superb value from the Sunshine State! This medium bodied Cab possesses a black/purple colour and equally dark nose of blackberries, plums and cassis which is underpinned by mocha, licorice and herbs. Very good length and ready to drink with bison steak in a blackberry sauce. Drink over the next 4 to 6 years. (ES)

 

 

 

March 2008 Wine Ratings

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France

 

 

88 Saumur-Champigny Lieu-dit Les Poyeux 2005, Loire ($16.85)

Excellent value! Benefiting from the heat of 2005, this Cabernet Franc wine displays a black colour with a pink/purple rim. Not a powerhouse, rather it is elegant and juicy with plum, raspberry, toast, coffee, herbs and smoke. Tannins are soft, so drink over the next 2 to 3 years.   (ES)

 

Canada

White

 

92 Hidden Bench Têtes de Cuvée Chardonnay 2005, Beamsville Bench ($50)

Hidden Bench continues to impress with their limited production /high quality offerings. Still tightly wound, this full bodied yet elegant wine requires two years of cellaring before being broached. It possesses a pale yellow colour as well as green apple, smoke, peach, pear, honey and spice profile. Delightful stuff!

 

90 Konzelmann Special Select Late Harvest Riesling Traminer ($30)

With 180g/l of residual sugar, this dessert wine has the same sweetness level of some icewines, but no cloying sensation thanks to the fresh acidity. Wall to wall peach, honey, pineapple and spice as well as excellent length. (ES)

 

90 Hidden Bench Roman’s Block Riesling 2006, Beamsville Bench ($32)

This is a style of Riesling for purists of the grape.  It is a terroir-mineral-slate driven style, with lots of lime as well as apricot, peach and mandarin accents. The acid is definitely on the lively side, so it will age well, but my preference would to crack open a dozen malpeque oysters and revel in the perfect pairing. (ES)

 

90 Hidden Bench Fume Blanc 2006, Beamsville Bench ($28)

An intense nose of smokey minerals jumps out of the glass and is followed by snap peas, vanilla, gooseberries, grapefruit, green apple and spice. Full bodied with lots of acid to clean everything up. Ideally this should be served with a filet of halibut topped with a butter sauce infused with five spice. (ES)

 

90 Hidden Bench Gewurztraminer 2006, Beamsville Bench ($35)

Sings like only a great Gewurztraminer can! Rose water, orange blossom, spice, peach and honey crescendo both on the nose and palate. Medium to full bodied with excellent length and some heat from the 15% alcohol. (ES)

 

89 Flat Rock Cellars Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling 2006, Twenty Mile Bench ($18.95)

Lots of lively acidity supports a profile of minerals, lime, grapefruit, green apple and vague stone fruit. Very good length and perfectly suited for a sushi platter. (ES)

 

88 Hidden Bench Estate Riesling 2006, Beamsville Bench ($24)

Lighter than the Roman’s Block Riesling, but like its bigger sibling, it is a terroir driven wine with loads of lime juice, citrus and minerals supported by zippy acidity. (ES)

87 Angels Gate Winery Single Vineyard Riesling, Niagara ($22)

A dry Riesling with mineral, lime, citrus and green apple flavours. Light to medium body with a mineral/slate finish. Drink now.

 

87 Featherstone Gewurztraminer 2007, Niagara ($18.95)

Gewurztraminer aromas of peach, flowers, spice and honey waft out of the glass. On the lips it is off dry with a creamy texture as well as flavours of lychee, grapefruit and peach. Very good length. (ES)

 

Red

 

89 Mike Weir Cabernet/Shiraz 2005, Niagara ($25)

This blend of 75% of Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Shiraz delivers plum, cassis, herbs and cocoa on the nose. The palate starts off with Shirazy flavours of herbs, black pepper and spice and finishes with plum and vanilla. There is a very good length as well as supple tannins, making it perfectly suited for a grilled leg of lamb seasoned with Herb de Provence. (ES)

 

89 Chateau des Charmes Equuleus Paul Bosc Estate 2005, St. David’s Bench ($40)

This, CDC’s top red wine, is only released in the best years. A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Franc and 25% Merlot, it is full bodied with lots of firm tannins that will allow it to age for a decade. It serves up plum, cassis, vanilla, spice and toast on the nose and flavours of vanilla, smokey herbs and cassis in the mouth. Two to three years of cellaring and a thick cut of prime rib will do great justice to this wine. (ES)

 

88 Pelee Island Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Pelee Island ($26.15)

A dark cherry colour launches into a bouquet of plum, leather, spice, herbs and cocoa. Medium to full bodied with plum, spice, vanilla and pencil shavings in the mouth. Drink over the next 3 to 5 years. (ES)

 

88 Vineland Estates Elevation Cabernet-Merlot 2005, Niagara ($25)

This blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot delivers a seductive nose of plums, cassis, smoke, vanilla and herbs. Medium to full body, the palate offers ripe dark fruits, a vanilla finish and supple tannins. Drink over the next 2 to 3 years. (ES)

 

88 Coyote’s Run Winery Merlot 2005, Niagara ($25)

Coyote’s run continues their hot hand in 05 with another solid release. The 05 Merlot exemplifies what a Merlot should be- plum, chocolate, cherries and spice flavours built on a soft frame with just the right amount of tannin. Drink over the next 3 to 4 years. (ES)

 

88 Strewn Cabernet Franc Icewine 2004, Niagara ($63)

Imagine yourself walking into an old time candy store and you essentially have the olfactory experience of this wine- wall to wall strawberry jam, plums, blackberries and vanilla.  It  demands a chocolate fondue with lots of red and dark berries to dip. (ES)
 

January 2008 Wine Ratings

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Canada

White

 

91 Chateau des Charmes Vidal Icewine 2006, Niagara ($25/200ml)

Always one of the best Vidal Icewines on the market! This vintage offers up an intense nose of peach, honey and apple as well as excellent length and just the right amount of acid. (ES)

 

89 Mounatin Road Wine Company Vidal Icewine 2003, Niagara ($34.85)

This is a soft, low acid and very much ready to drink Icewine with dried apricot, peach and spice. Serve it with a crème brulee and revel in the pure self-gratifying experience. (ES)

 

88 Mountain Road Wine Company Vidal Icewine 2004, Niagara ($34.85)

A couple years of bottle age have added a sponge toffee/caramel component to the peach, dried apricot and honey. The finish is lengthy, but no heavy, due to the fresh acid which frames everything nicely. (ES)

 

88 Pillitteri Estate Winery Semillon Icewine 2006, Niagara ($40/200ml)

Attempting to grow Semillon, the heat and sun loving grape of Bordeaux in Ontario’s cooler climate is somewhat of challenge. Leaving it on the vine until winter, when the notoriously thin skin may rot or break is pretty much crazy. None the less, Mark Bradshaw, Pillitteri’s winemaster rolled the dice and came up big-producing Canada’s first Semillon Icewine. An intense green melon perfume greets the taster, followed by spice, honey and pineapple. Very good length. (ES)

 

88 Fielding Estate Chardonnay Reserve 2006, Niagara ($25)

The butterscotch and vanilla are the primary aromas in the glass, which are then followed by Anjou pear, honey and green apple. The wine is mid weight with more of the oak, pear and green apple showing through on the palate. (ES)

 

87 Chateau Des Charmes Brut NV, Niagara ($22.95)

A delicate sparkler that is less yeasty than previous vintages and more fruit driven-green apple and citrus, which are supported by lots of pinpoint bubbles. Very good length and ready to drink with cracked crab. (ES)

 

87 Jackson Triggs Grand Reserve White Meritage 2006, Niagara ($24.75)

The 06 version is a blend of 87% Sauvignon Blanc and 13% Semillon. It is moderately aromatic with gooseberry, green melon, grapefruit, honey and pear. The finish is crisp, resonateing with lime and spice. Try with sautéed shrimps and scallops in a white wine/feta sauce. (ES)

87 Mountain Road Winery Unoaked Chardonnay 2005, Beamsville Bench ($14.95)

This is a pure expression of Chardonnay, akin to a Chablis, with wall to wall mineral, lemon and green apple. It simply cries out for fresh seafood, along the lines of shucked oysters, chilled shrimp and fresh scallops. (ES)

 

Red

88 Fielding Estate Meritage 2005, Niagara ($34.95)

The nose greets the taster with cassis, raspberries, mint, roasted nuts, black pepper and smoke. Medium to full body with lots or ripe fruit and tannins, as well as a lengthy finish. From 2009 to 2015. (ES)

 

 

88 Le Clos Jordanne Pinot Noir Village Reserve 2005, Niagara ($25)

This wine offers a superb quality/price ratio in homegrown Pinot Noir. Fuller and riper than the 2004 version (thanks to the heat in 2005,) it flatters with plum, sweet cherries, cocoa and violets. There is very good length with lots of ripe berry fruit and present tannins. Drink over the next 5 years. (ES)

 

New Zealand

 

89 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Marlborough ($19.95)

Always a great offering! Classic Sauvignon Blanc; passion fruit, lime cordial, fruit salad, gooseberries and herbs mesh together with uplifting acid and lengthy finish. Drink now. (ES)

 

Portugal

90 Taylor Fladgate Quinta de Vargellas Vintage Port 2005, Oporto ($60)

This single quinta (estate) Port possess a black/purple colour and superbly delineated bouquet of plum, dark cherries, liquorice, spice and violets. Full bodied, it requires a good five years of cellaring before it is broached on a cool Christmas Eve, or any St. Nick eve over the subsequent twenty years. (ES)

 

USA

White

86 Beringer Founders’ Estate Chardonnay, California ($18.95)

A moderately aromatic wine with caramel, vanilla, pear and green apple. The palate is mid weight with apple, pear and smoky vanilla notes. Drink now. (ES)

 

Red

86 Beringer Founders’ Estate Merlot, California ($19.95)

There is a small quantity of Petite Syrah and Syrah added to this Merlot. Plum, cherry and raspberry jam, clove, black pepper and cocoa are found on the soft finish. (ES) 87 Mountain Road Winery Unoaked Chardonnay 2005, Beamsville Bench ($14.95)

This is a pure expression of Chardonnay, akin to a Chablis, with wall to wall mineral, lemon and green apple. It simply cries out for fresh seafood, along the lines of shucked oysters, chilled shrimp and fresh scallops. (ES)

 

Red

88 Fielding Estate Meritage 2005, Niagara ($34.95)

The nose greets the taster with cassis, raspberries, mint, roasted nuts, black pepper and smoke. Medium to full body with lots or ripe fruit and tannins, as well as a lengthy finish. From 2009 to 2015. (ES)

 

 

88 Le Clos Jordanne Pinot Noir Village Reserve 2005, Niagara ($25)

This wine offers a superb quality/price ratio in homegrown Pinot Noir. Fuller and riper than the 2004 version (thanks to the heat in 2005,) it flatters with plum, sweet cherries, cocoa and violets. There is very good length with lots of ripe berry fruit and present tannins. Drink over the next 5 years. (ES)

 

New Zealand

 

89 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Marlborough ($19.95)

Always a great offering! Classic Sauvignon Blanc; passion fruit, lime cordial, fruit salad, gooseberries and herbs mesh together with uplifting acid and lengthy finish. Drink now. (ES)

 

Portugal

90 Taylor Fladgate Quinta de Vargellas Vintage Port 2005, Oporto ($60)

This single quinta (estate) Port possess a black/purple colour and superbly delineated bouquet of plum, dark cherries, liquorice, spice and violets. Full bodied, it requires a good five years of cellaring before it is broached on a cool Christmas Eve, or any St. Nick eve over the subsequent twenty years. (ES)

 

USA

White

86 Beringer Founders’ Estate Chardonnay, California ($18.95)

A moderately aromatic wine with caramel, vanilla, pear and green apple. The palate is mid weight with apple, pear and smoky vanilla notes. Drink now. (ES)

 

Red

86 Beringer Founders’ Estate Merlot, California ($19.95)

There is a small quantity of Petite Syrah and Syrah added to this Merlot. Plum, cherry and raspberry jam, clove, black pepper and cocoa are found on the soft finish. (ES)
 

December 2007 Wine Ratings

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Australia

88 Wolf Blass Cabernet Sauvignon GreyLabel 2004, Langhorne Creek ($33.25)
This is a rather beefy Cab with aromas of plum, cocoa, espresso, vanilla, spice and a combination of mint/eucalyptus. There is a rich texture and loads of ripe fruit, while finishing with some heat due to the 14.5% alcohol. Drink over the next 3 to 4 years. (ES)

 

Canada

89 Cattail Creek Winery Barrel Fermented Vidal Icewine 2006, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($50)
This new winery has hit the mark with their first Icewine. It is concentrated with loads of peach, honey, cream, spice and toffee. Medium to full body with the acid framing everything nicely. (ES)

 

89 Creekside Sauvignon Blanc  Reserve 2006, Niagara Peninsula ($19.95)
A top notch oak aged Sauv Blanc that deserves considerable attention. Exudes lots of spice, smoke, lime and fruit salad. Full bodied with lots of lively acid, spice and cream on the superb finish. (ES)

 

87 Cattail Creek Winery Select Late Harvest Vidal 2006, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($20)
Made from the second pressing of Icewine grapes, this mid weight dessert wine offers peach, honey and pink grapefruit. Lengthy finish and well suited for a foie gras terrine or Fourme d’Ambert. (ES)

 

87 Cattail Creek Riesling Reserve 2006, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($20)
Smokey minerals, honey, lime and grapefruit come together in this light to medium offering. The minerals resonate on the tongue. Drink now. (ES)

 

87 Reif Estate Chardonnay Reserve 2005, Niagara River ($19.95)
This is a mid weight Chardonnay with a good coating of oak; in the form of crème caramel, smoke and cardamom. This meshes together with green apple and tropical fruit tones. Very good length and perfectly suited with halibut in a butter sauce accented with five spice. (ES)

 

85 Mike Weir Chardonnay 2006, Niagara
The latest version of this wine is moderately aromatic with apple, cream, vanilla, minerals and apple. Light to medium body and good length. (ES)

Red           

89  Creekside Broken Press Shiraz 2005, St. David’s Bench ($32.75)
A rather hefty Shiraz that benefited from a hot year in Niagara wine country. It is black as night with plum, blackcurrant, black pepper, cocoa and spice. Tannins are gritty and the acid seems a bit high, but the finish is long and satisfying. It needs a hearty osso bucco to take the edge off. (ES)

 

86 Mike Weir Cabernet Merlot 2006, Niagara ($16.95)
Plum, cassis, vanilla, smoky/tobacco and spice appear in the glass. Tannins are supple and the finish is lingers. (ES)

Germany

92 Wegeler Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Spatlese 2005, Mosel ($65)

The most expensive wine transaction in Germany occurred in 1900, when a Wegeler ancestor bought a portion of the “Doctor” vineyard, paying 100 gold marks per vine. This was the story that current owner Tom Wegeler recounted, as I tasted this wine with him in Germany last year. It was definitely money well spent as there is no doubt about the quality. Even though the wine is concentrated, it remains airy due to the fresh acid. The nose offers pure Mosel qualities of minerals, lime, flowers and petrol which meshes together with pineapple and spice on the long finish. Drink over the next 25 years. (ES)

 

90 Wegeler Berg Rootland Riesling Spatlese 2004, Rheingau ($29.95)
Wegeler owns some of the finest vineyards in both the Mosel and Rheingau; a rare state of affairs in German viticulture. Somewhat restrained with mineral, apple, pine, flint and honey, all backed up with tons of vivacious acid. Now to 2020. (ES)

 

88 Markus Molito Bernkastler Badstube Riesling Feinherb Spatlese 2006 ($29.30)

Feinherb is the new official term for halbtroken (off dry) wines in Germany.  On the nose there is mineral, flint, lemon zest, peach and yeast. Lime, peach and minerals complete the experience on the lips.  Drink over the next 5 years, (ES)

 

88 Schonbon Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Spatlese 2002, Rheingau ($28.95)

Tasted at the Weingut last summer. It is a wine with tropical qualities; pineapple and peach flavours that come together with honey, cream and spice. Very good length with a touch of mature oxidation starting to creep in. Drink now. (ES)

 

Greece

 

87 Limnos Wines Muscat e Limnos 2006, Limnos ($11.95)

Some of the greatest dessert wine values in the world come from the islands of Limnos and Samos. This version displays and orange/golden color and an intense bouquet of orange marmalade, honey drenched peaches and spice. The palate is concentrated with more marmalade, as well as spice and some heat, due to the fortification process. (ES)

 

85 Boutari Naoussa 2004, Macedonia ($11.95)
Plum, cherry, vanilla, olive and spice are the hallmarks of this mid weight wine. The finish lingers and the tannins are a little rustic.  Enjoy with grilled lamb chops or keftedes (Greek meatballs.) (ES)

 


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Wine Facts

The lip of a red wine glass is sloped inward to capture the aromas of the wine and deliver them to your nose.