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Sunday, April 19, 2015

2008 Cavino Grande Reserve Nemea (Greece) - Wine Review

wine is the final instalment in my series of Wines from Peloponnese (links to part 1, part 2 and part 3).

Once again, this is 100% Agiorgitiko with all the grapes coming from the Nemea PDO. However, in this case, the grapes hail from small vineyards in the Mountains of Nemea at an altitiude of 750 - 900 metres. It has gone through malolactic fermentation and maturation in French and American oak barrels for about 18 months, then bottled for another 12 months prior to release.

This particular red wine was featured last year in the November 22 LCBO VINTAGES release. Quite a few bottles are still available on shelves.

CAVINO GRANDE RESERVE 2008 - PDO Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece (#295618) (D) - $17.95

2008 Cavino Grande Reserve from PDO Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece (88 pts)
Tasting Note:
Plum, dried fig and herb aromas from the cork. Medium+ aromatics from the glass with blackcurrant, leather, cocoa and plum notes. On the palate, it's medium-bodied with rubber, wild herb, leather, raspberry, and spice flavours. It has very good acidity, dusty tannins, and shows hints of cocoa on the medium-length finish. This fine, maturing wine will drink nicely for another 2-3 years. Score: 88 pts

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2013 Tselepos Classic Moschofilero (Greece) - Wine Review

Opened up this fragrant beauty of a wine on in my continuuing series on wines from Peloponnese (part 1, part 2), Greece.

Grapes for this wine were sourced within Mantinia PDO, from selected vineyards within the communes of Rizes, Lithovounia and Agiorgitika in Arcadia. The region is known for producing wines of distinct aromatic and flavour profiles using the grapes Moschofilero and Asproudes (a term often used to refer to unknown varietals.) This white wine is a classic, textbook example of Moschofilero with its fragrant qualities and naturally fresh acidity.

The wine was featured among my wine picks in the December 6th LCBO VINTAGES release at $17.95, but has now come down in price by $3 - excellent value at this price point! Small quantities are available throughout the province, so you should be able to find this bottle at your local LCBO outlet.

TSELEPOS CLASSIC MOSCHOFILERO 2013 - PDO Mantinia, Peloponnese, Greece (#724583) (XD) - $14.95

2013 Tselepos Classic Moschofilero from PDO Mantinia, Peloponnese, Greece (89 pts)
Tasting Note:
100% Moschofilero. Light orange-pinkish hue. Perfumed nose of orange, peach, blossom flowers, very Muscat-like. Palate is medium-bodied and dry (not sweet) with orange peel, citrus and floral notes, vibrant acidity. Quite warm mouthfeel with 13% alcohol. Excellent length on the finish. Recommended buy. Score: 89 pts

Monday, April 13, 2015

Apr. 18 LCBO Wine Picks: Putting Family First

Wine Picks from April 18, 2015 LCBO VINTAGES Release
The next LCBO VINTAGES release will be in stores across Ontario on . In this release, the major theme centres around "Family", with Europe's Primum Familiae Vini (PFV) and California's Wagner Family being the focus.

PFV is an exclusive guild of top winemakers from Europe, making many top wines that I'm sure you have at least heard of. Wines from all 11 members are featured in this release, and you can taste many, if not all, of these wines at a special VINTAGES walk-around tasting event on April 22 and also meet each of these winemakers at a reception/dinner on April 23. Tickets and details can be found here.

Established by Eloy Lecanda in 1864, the Vega Sicilia estate has changed owners many times before finally settling into the hands of the Alvarez family in 1982; the Vega Sicilia Alion is 100% Tempranillo. Symington Family Estates was established in 1882 and now remains the only family-owned Port company; Master Blender Charles Symington brings us his 2000 Warre's Colheita Tawny Port. Pol Roger was established in 1849 and produces some of best Champagne around. In this release, there is the 2004 Brut (60% Pinot Noir / 40% Chardonnay) and the 2006 Brut Rosé which is based on the Brut Vintage, but adds approximately 15% of still Pinot Noir prior to bottling and second fermentation - both of these Champagnes are a little sweet.

I've been a big fan of wines from Famille Perrin, and their Beaucastel CdP is back in VINTAGES, consisting of 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 10% Counoise, 10% Syrah and 5% Cinsault, and can be enjoyed now or cellared for up to 2 decades. Marchesi Antinori is arguably the most recognizable name in Italian wine and his 2011 Solaia (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Franc) is featured as the benchmark in this release; it should be cellared for a few years and enjoyed over the next decade.

The last PFV wine is from Egon Müller-Scharzhof. His great-great-grandfather Jean-Jacques Koch purchased the legendary Scharzhof estate in 1797, a site widely believed to be planted by the Romans and in near-continuous use ever since. Egon Müller makes wine in several countries, but only produces Riesling, including the Château Belá Riesling from Slovakia.

2006 Abad Dom Bueno Crianza from DO Bierzo, Spain (90 pts)
From the rest of the release, the latest vintage of the Bila-Haut is back in VINTAGES with an unspecified blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. A pair of Spanish red wines are returning to VINTAGES a year older - the 2006 Abad Dom Bueno (100% Mencía) and the 2007 Conde de Valdemar (90% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuelo/Carignan and 5% Graciano.) From Veneto is the Brigaldara that consists of 40% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, and 40% Rondinella / Molinara / Sangiovese.

For fans of sweet Riesling, seek out the Ontario wines from Cave Spring and Henry of Pelham. If you prefer dry Rieslings, check out the Trimbach version or venture off the beaten path with the wine from Slovakia. Look at the Buissonnier Montagny if you prefer your Chardonnay unoaked, as the other two Chardonnays recommended below are oaked.

Lastly, the Blanc de Blancs Cremant sparkling wine has a little bit of sweetness and is made using Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois.

This was a very good release at the low end of the price scale for red wines. Stock up and enjoy my wine recommendations for this week. Cheers!

Red Wine:
  • BRIGALDARA VALPOLICELLA 2013 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#917864) (XD) - $14.95
  • ABAD DOM BUENO CRIANZA 2006 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#244699) (XD) - $15.95  reviewed here
  • SECRETO PATAGÓNICO CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Patagonia, Argentina (#399204) (XD) - $18.95
  • FALERNIA RESERVA SYRAH 2010 - Elquí Valley, Chile (#208371) (XD) - $18.95
  • CARPINETO CHIANTI CLASSICO 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#356048) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU SAINT-NICOLAS 2010 - AC Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux, France (#405829) (XD) - $19.95
  • POEIRA DUSTY 2010 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#405100) (XD) - $19.95
  • CONDE DE VALDEMAR RESERVA 2007 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#947309) (XD) - $19.95

  • ALPHA CRUCIS TITAN SHIRAZ 2012 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#377069) (XD) - $24.95
  • GREYWACKE PINOT NOIR 2011 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#402651) (XD) - $49.95  Flagship Store Exclusive
  • LOUIS JADOT BEAUNE BOUCHEROTTES 1 ER CRU 2009 - AC, Burgundy, France (#121319) (XD) - $59.95  Flagship Store Exclusive
  • CHÂTEAU DE BEAUCASTEL CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#711317) (D) - $89.95
  • ALIÓN 2011 - DO Ribera del Duero, Spain (#199331) (XD) - $89.95
  • ANTINORI SOLAIA 2011 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#987586) (XD) - $251.95

White Wine:
  • LA JOYA GRAN RESERVA VIOGNIER 2014 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#168542) (XD) - $15.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE RIESLING 2012 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#557165) (M) - $17.95
  • VIGNERONS DE BUXY BUISSONNIER MONTAGNY 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#382879) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU BELÁ RIESLING 2012 - Muzla, Slovakia (#410951) (XD) - $24.95
  • CAVE SPRING CSV RIESLING 2012 - Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#566026) (M) - $29.95
  • TRIMBACH RÉSERVE RIESLING 2011 - AC Alsace, France (#995316) (XD) - $29.95  Flagship Store Exclusive
  • NORMAN HARDIE NIAGARA UNFILTERED CHARDONNAY 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#184432) (XD) - $39.00
  • RAMEY RITCHIE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2011 - Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (#394528) (XD) - $90.00  Flagship Store Exclusive  reviewed here

Sparkling Wine:
  • CAVE DE HOEN MAUSBERG BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT CRÉMANT D’ALSACE - Méthode Traditionnelle, AC, Alsace, France (#171785) (D) - $17.95

Dessert Wine:
  • REIF VIDAL ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara River, Ontario, Canada (#544791) (S) (200 mL) - $24.95
  • CHÂTEAU SUDUIRAUT 2011 - AC Sauternes, 1 er Cru Classé, Bordeaux, France (#296012) (S) (375 mL) - $55.85  Flagship Store Exclusive

  • WARRE’S COLHEITA TAWNY PORT 2000 - DOC, Portugal (#411702) (S) - $39.95

The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Gaia Agiorgitiko by Gaia 2013 (Greece) - Wine Review

This is the 4th wine in my series featuring wines from the Peloponnese region of Greece. My first post about wines from Peloponnese featured a very easy drinking Agiorgitiko. red wine is made from the same grape, but is more robust, shows more complexity and is more my style of wine.

Agiorgitiko is grown almost exclusively within Nemea, the largest PDO appellation of Greece. Nemea is located in northeast Peloponnese. Falling between Gaia Wines' Notios Red (which is meant to be enjoyed in its youth) and the Gaia Estate (with its long ageing potential), the Agiorgitiko by Gaia is a wine that can be enjoyed now or cellared for a few years after bottling.

The enclosure used on this wine is a synthetic cork made by Nomacorc. There is some writing in Greek (or some other language) written on the cork. It's included in picture below and if anyone can read that, I'd love to know what it says.

GAIA AGIORGITIKO BY GAIA 2013 - PDO Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece (#) (XD) - $21.30

2013 Gaia Agiorgitiko by Gaia from PDO Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece (88 pts)
Tasting Note:
Synthetic Nomacorc cork. Perfumed nose of cherries, red currant, and raspberry with underlying cedar oak and vanilla aromas. On the mid-weighted palate, it has much of the same aromas, with fine, dusty tannins, good structure and fresh acidity. Slight warmth on the mid-palate. Bitter, lengthy finish that has hints of oak. Enjoyable now or cellar up to 3 years. Available on Consignment via Agent The Small Winemakers Collection. Score: 88 pts

Nomacorc Synthetic Cork