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)