May 2007 Wine Ratings

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Australia

90 3 Rings Shiraz 2005, Barossa ($21.95)
This is a high octane, lavishly full bodied, jammy, extracted wine, the likes of which makes Aussie fanatics go gaga. Crammed to the hilt with plums, blackberries, spice and vanilla. Full bodied with excellent length and some noticeable heat (15.5% alcohol) on the finish. Screw cap closure. (ES)

 

Canada

Red

91 Stoney Ridge Cabernet Franc Wismer Vineyard 2005, Twenty Mile Bench ($37.95)
Having tasted all the vintages of the 00’s, I can unequivocally state that this is the best version to date. The vineyard is on a slope with a privileged eastern aspect. This helps the grapes to capture the first rays of sunlight, in turn increasing ripeness. Harvested at an incredible 25.2 brix, the wine has a natural alcohol level of 14.4%! Full bodied with lots of blackberries, cassis, vanilla and spice as well as a light herbal note. The palate is almost sweet with a texture akin to suede, with plenty of tannins giving unobtrusive support. Long finish. Now to 2016, and possibly beyond. (ES)

 

89 Stoney Ridge Founder’s Signature Collection Meritage 2005, Niagara ($42.95)
The heat of 2005 shows through as the wine has lots of blackberries, plums and raspberries as well as licorice, vanilla, cocoa and coffee. It is elegant, with excellent tannin structure and an admirable finish. Drink over the next 5 to 10 years. (ES)

 

88 Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir Reserve 2005, Niagara ($29.95)
Constantly one of Niagara’s best Pinots as witnessed by the Gold Medal at this year’s Cuvee Awards. Lots of plums, cherries, violets, spice and earth flavours built on a smooth frame. Tannins are supple and will allow short term aging. Now to 2011. (ES)

 

88 Calamus Meritage 2005, Niagara ($28)
This new winery in Jordan has come out of the gates strong with its first releases. This blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Franc and 6% Merlot is a medium to full bodied offering with aromas of toasty oak, cassis, cocoa and bell pepper on the nose as well as a ripe core of blackberries, spice, cassis and vanilla on the palate. Very good length with grip on the finish. From 2008 to 2013. (ES)

 

88 Calamus Red 2005, Niagara ($13)
This is an incredible value in homegrown product and a definite case purchase. More approachable than the Calamus Meritage, it is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. It serves up a nose of cassis, vanilla, spice, raspberry and tobacco. The palate is ripe with notes of cocoa as well as very good length. Now to 2011. (ES)

 

88 Stoney Ridge Cabernet Franc Icewine 2005, Niagara ($59.95)
Just like strawberry jam slathered on a piece of buttered toast. Mid weight, rich texture and balanced. (ES)

White

 

88 Angels Gate Old Vines Chardonnay 2004, Niagara ($23.95)
The oak influence of caramel, vanilla and spice meshes together with the green apple and citrus flavours. Mid weight, length finish and well balanced. (ES)

 

88 Stoney Ridge Chenin Blanc Icewine 2006, Niagara ($59.95/375ml)
There are only 150 cases of this wine, which will be released later on this year. Apple juice, apple puree, pear puree and minerals are all present in this singular offering. Even though there is good amount of sweetness, it is balanced by lots of natural brisk acidity. Pair it up with Tarte Tartin. (ES)

 

87 Henry of Pelham Chardonnay Reserve 2005, Niagara ($13.95)
A steal at this price. Honey, toast, spice and green apple are all present with just the right amount of acidity and creaminess. Clean finish with a touch of minerality. (ES)

 

87 Calamus Gewurztraminer 2006, Niagara ($16)
This is a mid weight Gewurz with characteristics of  honey, spice, floral, pineapple and baked apples. Lengthy finish with just a touch of residual sugar. (ES)

 

87 Stoney Ridge Proprietor’s Reserve Brut 2005, Niagara ($34.95)
Stoney’s first release of a Traditional Method sparkler is full of pinpoint bubbles and a character that concentrates on green apple, citrus, honey and mild toasty notes. A blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir. (ES)

 

87 Stoney Ridge Reserve Chardonnay 2005, Niagara ($19)
This is a blend of old vine Chardonnay aged in new French oak and Chardonnay Musque which was vinified in stainless steal. Together they compliment each other nicely. Lots of toasty, smoky, floral, and tropical fruit aromas as well as a delicate mouth feel and refreshing acid. Serve with 3 year old aged Cheddar. (ES)

 

86 Stoney Ridge 2006 Beamsville Bench Riesling, Niagara ($11.85)
A white gold colour is followed by a bouquet of pear, peach, honey and cactus fruit. In the mouth, the wine has lift as well as a light sweetness and medium length. (ES)

 

86 Calmus Riesling 2005, Niagara ($14)
Made from young vines, the wine displays a white gold colour as well as a bouquet petrol, lime, slate, honey, peach and citrus. Medium length, off dry and a good dose of alcohol on the finish. (ES)