December 2006 Wine Ratings



87 Wynns Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra Estate, Coonawarra ($19.95)
The wine displays an opaque center with a slight evolution on the rim. Lots of upfront plums, blackberries, minty sage, spice and chocolate.  It is medium weight with a lengthy finish. Drink now to 2009. (ES)





88 Chateau Bastor Lamontagne 2003, Sauternes ($41)
One of the unsung heroes of Sauternes, offering a very good quality/price ratio. Straw yellow with a bouquet of honeysuckle, currants, white flowers and dried apricots. Very good length with flavours of wax, nuts and orange rind. Now to 2016. (ES)



87 Frederic Magnien Fixin Crais de Chene 2003, Fixin ($33.95)
Frederic Magnien is without a doubt one of the young superstar winemakers of Burgundy. Even though he owns no vineyards, he selects the best growers to purchase grapes from, and in some cases even works the vineyards himself. This wine, from a lesser known appellation in the Cote de Nuits showcases a flattering nose of plums, dark fruit, violets and cocoa. Supple texture, lengthy finish and no harsh edges. 2007 to 2012. (ES)



88 Chateau d’Issan 2003, Margaux ($50)
This is a soft and seductive offering, serving up cassis, earth, cloves and tobacco. In the mouth it is mid weight with cassis, smoke and vanilla resonating on the lengthy finish. Tannins are unobtrusive, so drink now until 2016. (ES)




89 Jackson Triggs Vidal Icewine 2004, Niagara ($45.95/375ml)
An intense pure nose of peach, apricots and honey. Harmonious with a good backbone of acid and a lengthy finish.


88 13th Street Wine Corp Chardonnay Reserve 2004, Niagara ($25)
A rather intense Chardonnay dominated by lots of oaky, toasty, roasted nut, spice and vanilla aromas which tornado around the pear, green apple, figs and apricots. Full malolactic was done so there is a creamy feel in the mouth. Drink over the next 2 to 3 years. (ES)


88 Riverbend Chardonnay 2005, Niagara ($25)
This is the inaugural vintage of this wine. The grapes come from the Riverbend Inn vineyard and are completely vinified by Reif winery. It was aged for 10 months in a combination of new French and American oak; displaying a yeasty, toasty, vanilla, caramel, pear and green apple profile. Creamy in the mouth with lots of caramel, vanilla, green apple flavours as well as roasted nuts. (ES)

87 13th Street Wine Corp Riesling 2005, Niagara ($18)
This is a return to the style that was established in the late 90’s and early 00’s. There is mineral, honey, peach and flowers present. In the mouth, it is somewhat lean but with good persistency to the fruit. Off dry with good acid balance. Now to 2011. (ES)


87 13th Street Wine Corp Premier Cuvee, Niagara ($28)
This sparkler is made in the traditional method and is a blend of 68% Pinot Noir and 32% Chardonnay. Moderately aromatic with biscuits, honey, anise and toast. Medium length with lovely pinpoint bubbles. (ES)


87 Henry of Pelham Select Late Harvest Vidal, Niagara ($19.95)
A straight forward dessert wine with aromas of green apple, peach and honey. Lengthy finish. It will work perfectly with cheesecake. (ES)


86 Konzelmann Riesling 2005, Niagara ($10.95)
This wine represents great value. It delivers up a rather complex nose of peach, baby powder, lime, honey and wax. On the palate it is a touch off dry with admirable depth and medium length. Pair it up with jerk rubbed pork tenderloin and revel in the sensation. (ES)


85 Lakeview Riesling 2005, Niagara ($10.95)
Floral, honey and waxy on the nose with a white pepper, mineral palate. Light bodied with good length and a refreshing tang. Seared sea scallops would be divine. (ES)




89 Reif First Growth Merlot 2002, Niagara ($50)
Made from low yields of 35hl/ha.  There are concentrated flavours of cherries, plums, spice, cedar, smoke and root beer. On the palate there is more of the same as well as a chocolate drenched finish. Now to 2014 (E.S)


89 Reif First Growth Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, Niagara ($50)
A powerful wine which is stacked with cassis, vanilla, smoke, spice and mint. Medium to full body with a lingering finish and somewhat assertive tannin. From 2008 to 2016. (ES)


87 13th Street Cabernet Franc 2004, Niagara ($20)
A supple offering which shows of tobacco, dill, red currant, raspberry, plums and vanilla. Medium plus length. Drink over the next 2 to 3 years. (ES)