June 2009 Wine Ratings




91 Weingut Kurt Angerer Kies Grüner Veltliner  2008, Kamptal ($22.95)
A killer Gruner! Peach is huge and along with citrus, honey and grapefruit the nose is inundated while spice, herbs and grapefruit add complexity in the mouth. A full bodied wine, it is rich and concentrated with fresh acid and superb length combining to make for an exciting experience. (ES)


90 Nikolaihof Grüner Vetliner Hefeabzug 2008, Wachau ($27.95)
‘GrüVe (groovy),’ as it is called in wine circles, is Austria’s gift to the world of fine white wine. Very versatile with food, it has finally achieved the respect it deserves along with bottling that is always top notch. This particular vintage offers a fine blend of minerals, herbs, citrus, pepper and honey. Dry with fresh acid and excellent length, it will age well for a few years to come without any problems. (ES)


90 Rabl Grüner Veltliner Eiswein 2006, Kamptal ($49)
With 265 grams of residual sugar, one would think this wine would be a syrupy monster. Not the case at all, as the acid lifts it right up. There is wall to wall sweet basil, peaches, honey, pink grapefruit and spice as well as a long finish. Drink it over the next 10 years. (ES)


88 Rabl Riesling Steinhaus 2008, Kamptal ($21.95)
This mid weight Riesling is a cornucopia of peach, mineral and green apples. Dry and crisp with bubble gum, lime and citrus, it meanders to a lengthy finish. (ES)



91 Weingut Kurt Angerer Zweigelt Granit 2007, Kamptal ($40)
This is the best Zweigelt I have ever tried! Purple/red color, it explodes with smoky blackberries, spice, cocoa and plums. Jammy, with more of the dark fruits in the mouth and accents of pepper, the wine glides to a long, ripe finish. Drink over the next 4 years to take advantage of its exuberance. (ES)



92 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve 2005, Napa ($129.95)
This rendition of Beringer’s top Cab is slightly lighter than previous vintages. Nonetheless, it has a rich, dark colour while offering an intense nose of blackberries, cocoa, toast, spice and minty herbs. There is excellent length and enough tannins to take 15 years. (ES)


91 St. Clement Star Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Rutherford ($99.95)
Blackberries, blueberries, black raspberries, Indian spice, mint and smoke are the hallmarks of this full bodied Cabernet. On the palate, there is structure in the form of ripe tannins and a scorched earth quality on the lengthy finish. It will only get better with time and will be best from 2010 to 2025. (ES)


90 St. Clement Vineyards Oroppas Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Napa ($64.95)
The Oroppas is a medium to full bodied Cab that has been seasoned with 7% Merlot. It delivers plum, raspberries, cherries, vanilla and some herbs on a velvety texture. The finish is long and tannins are present, but not over powering. It is good from now to 2014. (ES)


90 Charles Baker Riesling 2008, Vinemount Ridge ($35)
This is CB4-the fourth release of this wine from Charles Baker, Stratus’ Marketing and Sales Director. Peach, lime and minerals with crushed seashells waft over the senses. The palate is full bodied, youthful, expansive and full of zesty acid. The only thing missing is the classic aroma of petrol, which will start to show within a year of bottle aging. How can I be certain of this? Charles also poured his first three vintages as a comparison-they all showed that hallmark of the grape, as well as incredibly vibrant and youthful personalities. So, hold this bottle until 2010 and drink up to 2020.


88 Flat Rock Cellars Riesling 2008, Twenty Mile Bench ($16.95)
A solid value Riesling with flowers, peach, mineral, honey on the nose and bergamot, peach, grapefruit and honey in the mouth. It is medium bodied with fresh acid and very good length. Drink it over the next 5 to 6 years. (ES)


88 The Organized Crime Pinot Gris 2008, Niagara Peninsula ($18)
Light straw colour with a hint of peach, this is a mid weight Gris that is laced with spice, peaches, melon, white flowers and honey. Dry, crisp and refreshing, it is a late summer patio sipper. 


88 The Organized Crime Off Dry Riesling 2008, Beamsville Bench ($25)
Almost water color, the beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers, peach, lime and honey beguile the tasters. The tension between the acid and twenty two grams of residual is perfectly achieved, giving the impression of a dry wine. Crack this baby open with some Korean BBQ or Indian cuisine. (ES)



89 The Organized Crime Cabernet Franc 2007, Beamsville Bench ($34)
Still in relative infancy, this wine shows serious aromas of cherries, plums, dill, cigar, cocoa, spice and violets. In the mouth, it is ripe, but still compact, necessitating bottle age to show its full potential. Hold it until 2010 and enjoy it until 2017. (ES)


87 The Organized Crime Syrah 2007, Beamsville Bench ($34)
This blend of 85% Syrah and 15% Pinot Noir spent seventeen months in barrels, endowing the wine with vanilla and cocoa that combines with plum, spice, thyme and rosemary. The palate shows sweet berry fruit, supple tannins and very good length. Take pleasure in it from now until 2014. (ES)


87 Nyarai Cellars Syrah 2007, Niagara ($20)
Nyarai is a joint venture between Calamus’ winemaker Steve Byfield and industry pro Sharon Marks. Translated from South African, Nyarai means humble; a perfect metaphor for this wine. It is not over the top or overdone with showy oak, rather it is an elegant creature with a flattering nose of raspberry jam, cassis, vanilla, pepper and cocoa. There is very good length, soft tannin and fresh acid to round out the experience. (ES)