August 2003 Wine Ratings


90 Stoney Ridge Founder’s Signature Charlotte’s Chardonnay 2002, Niagara (winery, $24.95, ON )

After a couple years in limbo, SR has returned to form-and what form it is! This unoaked Chardonnay displays ripe flavors of banana, melon, pineapple and mango undertones. There is good acid and a hint of residual sugar on the long finish. Drink over the next 3 to 4 years. Try with asian grilled salmon. (ES)

87 Stoney Ridge Pinot Grigio 2002, Niagara (winery, $11.95, ON)

A delectable little Grigio with moderate aromas of peach, flowers, candied white fruit and citrus. Light to medium body with very good length and a citrus finish. Drink now. (ES)

86 Hillebrand Chardonnay Showcase Sur Lie Unfiltered 2000, Niagara (981043, $35, ON)

Some might knock this wine for having had its lees bottled within. None the less these same lees gives the wine a distinctive yeasty aroma with added scents of butter, pear, fig and tropical notes. Medium bodied with medium plus length. Not as good as the 99 version. (ES)

86 Vineland Estates Chardonnay Musque, Niagara (winery, $18.95, ON)

Moderatley aromatic with a spritzy nose of flowers, spice, pear, citrus and green apple. Medium bodied with fresh acidity a lengthy finish, ending on a spicy note. Now to 2005. (ES)

85 Vineland Estates Meritage 2001, Niagara (winery, $49, ON)

The inaugural white Meritage from Vineland displays a pale yellow colour and a bouquet of citrus, melon apple, nectarine and white flowers. On the taste buds there is some herbal and spice notes which make an appearance. Medium bodied and length and ready to drink. (ES)


90 Stoney Ridge Cabernet Franc Reserve Fox Vineyard 2002, Niagara (winery, $22.95, ON)

This Cab Franc really impresses with its extract and concentration, all the more so that it was produced from 6 year old vines. Medium to full bodied with aromas of bell pepper, raspberry, tobacco leaf and vanilla. The palate adds spicy cigar and chocolate tones, with supple tannins and fresh acidity. Drink over the next 4 to 6 years. (ES)

87 Magnotta Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Edition 2001, Niagara (winery, $18.95, ON)

Deep ruby in colour with a nose of cassis, mint, black cherry and some tobacco/weediness. Medium bodied with very good length. Hold of until 2004 so as to subdue some of the youthful puckery tannins and drink until 2008. (ES)

86 Birchwood Cabernet Merlot 2001, Niagara (winery, $14.95, ON)

This little winery off the highway in Beamsville continues to produce an array of well made/well priced wines. Medium ruby colour with a bouquet of black fruits, BBQ spice, flowers and vanilla. Light to medium bodied with medium length and supple tannins. Ready to go

85 Stoney Ridge Pinot Noir 2002, Niagara (240903, $12.95, ON)

Thirteen dollars for this bottle or $20 for an over-cropped, thin generic red burgundy-the choice is yours. Pale to medium garnet with a nose of earth, cherry, vanilla, plum and some blackfruits. Medium length and ready to please. Try with wild mushroom risotto. (ES)

84 Birchwood Cabernet Franc 2001 Niagara (winery, $11.95, ON)

On the nose, bell pepper, vanilla and spice are apparent, while the palate gives more in the way of blackberries and smoke. Flavorful with good length and a smooth finish. Drink now.

82 Magnotta Merlot Merritt Road Vineyard 2002, Niagara (winery, $9.95, ON)

A no non sense, easy drinking Merlot with flavors of dark cherry, spice, raspberry and plum. Light bodied with good length and ready to drink this summer BBQ season. (ES)


93 Gourt de Mautens 2000, Rasteau (862771, $46.25, PQ)

Lovers of Southern Rhone wines should hunt high and low for this star on the rise! Made from low yields, on average 1.25 tons per acre, this 100% Grenache is super concentrated with flavors of black and red fruits, spice, licorice and herb de provence. Easily bests most Chateauneufs and has at least 10 years ahead of it. (ES)


93 Gunderloch Riesling Auslese Nackenheimer Rothenberg 2001, Rheinhessen (722405, $39.95, ON)

This Auslese was one of my favorites at the German Wine Fair this past April. Packed and stacked with loads of fruit- namely apricot, peach, pink grapefruit and citrus. With 110 grams of residual sugar and vibrant acidity the wines has 10 to 15 years ahead of it, eyes closed. Think peach flan, topped with crème anglaise. (ES)

92 St. Urbans-Hof Riesling Ockfener Bockstein Auslese 2001, Mosel (720904, $44.60, ON)

Distinctivley yeasty on the nose with apricot, flowers and slate through in for good measure. Lots of vibrant acidity offsets the 70 g/l of residual sugar in the wine. Excellent length and with a great future ahead. Now to 2015. (ES)

91 St. Urbans-Hof Riesling Ockfener Spatlese 2001, Mosel (718791, $22.60, ON)

Very pale yellow colour with a citrusy, floral, peach jam and yeasty nose. The palate adds some tropical nuances. Medium bodied with a lingering finish and loads of zippy acidity. Now to 2012. (ES)

91 Anselmann Siegerrebe Spätlese 2001, Pfalz (722041, $13.75, ON)

An incredible value from Germany. Made from the singular Siegerrebe grape, it is reminiscent of a Gewurz with its fragrance of peach, flowers, honey and cloves. The wine is medium bodied, with some sweetness, which is buttressed nicely by the acidity and has a long fruity finish. Buy it buy the case! (ES)

91 Künstler Riesling Auslese (Gold Cap) Hochheimer Holle 1998, Rheingau (726513, $37.25, ON)

Showing its age, as witnessedby the petrolium overtones, along with apricot, peach, honey and minerals. In the mouth the wine has lots of vibrant acidity with citrus, mineral and creamy flavors. Now to 2015. (ES)

88 St. Urbans-Hof Riesling QbA Ockfener Bockstein, Mosel (945535, $17.55, ON)

Almost water in colour with peach, citrus, flowers apple and minerals flavors. Light bodied yet packs weight and length. Drink until 2007. A refreshing wine for those 30° days in the middle of summer. (ES)