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Canadian Wine Guy


2015 Duckhorn Cab Sauv

I last wrote up the 2013 vintage of this wine and loved it. This wine is on the by the bottle list at the Keg for $64 which is not a bad deal for a wine that costs $34.75 from Rogers wines (and it comes into Vintages from time to time). So many restaurants mark up wine so excessively it’s nice to see ones like this. Dark in color with a lovely dark cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays lovely rich dark cherries to match the nose along with some mocha hints. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely tannins and acidity. This vintage is not quite as vibrant as the 2013, but still really good. It’s super food friendly and pairs perfectly with steaks. I would give it an 89+.

From the winery’s web site :
Production Notes
Varietal Content: 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 1% Petite Sirah, 1% Petit Verdot
Winemaker Notes: From its deep, inviting color to its enticing aromas of blackberry, currant and cocoa, this wine showcases what we love about great Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon. On the palate, the lush fruit flavors are framed by rich tannins and hints of sweet oak and spice.

Production
In Sonoma County, a warm, dry spring resulted in an early budbreak, while an extended flowering period brought a return to normal yields after three years of abundant crops. With berry weights down, the grapes offered great concentration, while retaining excellent acidity. We had one of our earliest harvests in the past decade, but a light rain in mid-September nourished the vines and provided welcome additional hangtime. Overall, the quality of the fruit was exceptional, with our white wines showing both richness and complexity, and our red grapes show/hide remainder of description displaying a fine balance between elegance and intensity, with gorgeous dark fruit flavors.

Wine Specs
Appellation: Napa Valley
Harvest Date: August 25 – October 15
Sugar: 25.5° Brix
Acid: 0.60 g/100 ml titratable acidity
pH 3.62
Aging 100% French Oak
Fermentation 10-15 days fermentation at 80°F
Alcohol %13.9



-- Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:42:31 +0000




2006 Groom Shiraz

Often times i head down to my cellar and look for something that I know I should pull and drink, but at the same time does not have some sort of significance that makes me want to hold off. I cannot fully explain why I have this reluctance to drink certain wines more than to say I get attached to them the same way baseball card collectors can often times not sell certain cards. It is usually the sentimentality of the occasion that frequently stops a bottle being opened, the "I remember buying this from the winery" moment. Quite often I hate to break up verticals as well. Nothing bothers me more than looking at six years of the same vintage sitting side by side and I cannot pull the bottle that needs drinking. These are all faults that keep bottles cellar’d longer than they should be, occasionally causing a wine to be opened flat and uninteresting.

Funny enough, this review is not about any of the above, I think I simply wanted a cathartic moment to chastise my reluctance to drink more great wine…

This Shiraz was purchased at the recommendation of one of my favorite wine dealers in Sydney on one of my many passing’s through the city over the past decade. I grabbed this in 2011 and was told that it could use some more time lying down. Usually I tend to buy two of any wine that comes recommended, but as a Canadian who has limited baggage space and even more limits on my legal limit in importing wine without being forced to pay taxes and duties in excess of 90% on wines, I only grabbed one of these. What a shame, as it was very rewarding to have kept it for nearly 6 full years.

Marschall Groom Cellars is a family owned winery in the famous Barossa Valley , just outside of Adelaide, Australia. Most people know the region for the big bold, high alcohol Shiraz that vary so much from the Syrahs grown in the old world.; this despite years of producing great show/hide remainder of description varietals and blends that do not begin with the letter S. While Barossa has been on the world stage for many decades, the most common comment I get is they like/dislike the region for their Shiraz’s. This wine in its current state would move most from the negative to the positive. It is a balanced and full bodied wine that has definitively been served by the patience in holding as opposed to drinking.

Getting down to the details of the wine are pretty easy. The red colour had hints of the earthy tones that you see with a wine that was made over 11 years ago. Once decanted, the sediment was significant but not a hindrance. The first whiffs show vanilla and cherry on the nose. Digging into the wine brings a wine with a bit of a bite to start and a long, lingering finish. Throughout the bottle this did not change, the balance of the wine holding up to an hour of exposure. The fruit was solid and not muted at all, and with a 14.3% ABV the alcohol was not countering the quality of the overall experience. If you could summarize the encounter with this Shiraz it boil it down to "great". It was this word that kept coming to mind.

As few things: i) this cannot be found in any stores I’ve seen across Canada ii) this wine for sure could be put in the obscure category. However, online wine merchants can get you basically anything, so if you want it, I am sure you could buy it. Good Luck!

The CWG Subjective Rating is 91 out of 100.



-- Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:28:52 +0000




Oak Bay Pinot Noir 2013

I love pinots and love Okanagan wines, the terroir from the region is distinct. This wine is lovely garnet in color with a lovely varietal rustic nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with lovely rich rustic notes, some nice soft red berries, raspberries and the like. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely firm tannins and crisp acidity. If you like your pinots soft an fruity … ahhh this is so not the wine for you. It’s big it’s bold and it’s beautiful. Yumm. The tannins mean this ought to have some life in it, 2-5 years or so. I would give it a solit 89+ BUY MORE!!!!

From the LCBO web site:
Oak Bay Pinot Noir 2013 — VINTAGES#: 267146
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
This wine is sustainably farmed and fermented in French oak. It offers sour cherry, beetroot, earthy notes and a touch of toasty woodsmoke. The producer suggests pouring it alongside scallops with back bacon and vanilla. (Vintages panel, March 2017) $19.95
Release Date:July 22, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 12.9% Made in:British Columbia, Canada By: Gebert Family, St. Hubertus Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Medium-bodied & Fruity Varietal:Pinot NoirT his is a VQA wine



-- Sun, 13 Aug 2017 00:28:16 +0000

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Alba Vega Albariño 2015

Albariño as you may know is a white grape grown primarily in Spain that when done right creates a lovely crisp, dry, food friendly, sauv blanc like wine. This one is no exception. Pale in color with a nice crisp nose with lovely dry minerality coming through. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with lovely crisp dry minerality, and some nice citrus notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely lively acidity. This is indeed a very food friendly wine. We don’t get a lot of Albariño in Ontario, so if you like it buy a few, but be aware this wine is best appreciated young. You can substitute this wine anywhere you would put a sauv blanc. I would give the wine an 88+ which for the price is a really good deal. Get it while you can.

From the LCBO web site:
Alba Vega Albariño 2015 — VINTAGES#: 488973
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
This is a lovely albariño from its star region on Spain’s Atlantic coast. Look for fine fruit that’s well defined and layered, with some rich ripeness in the flavours. A little viscosity in the texture echoes the richness of the fruit and the acid adds an effective counter-balance that gives the wine its attractive and food-friendly freshness. Score – 4.5 Stars (out of 5). (Rod Phillips, Winepointer Newsletter, May 2016) $16.95



-- Thu, 10 Aug 2017 14:57:48 +0000




Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc 2016

Pale in color with a lovely crisp dry nose, with some nice minerality and citrus notes coming through. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely crisp dry citrus notes to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine’s crispness and lively acidity linger on nicely in the mouth. This is a super food friendly wine. I would give it an 88+, which for the price is a major bargoon!!!

From the LCBO web site:
Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc 2016 — VINTAGES#: 675421
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful $14.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:July 8, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: Western Cape, South Africa By: Mulderbosch Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Aromatic & Flavourful Varietal:Chenin Blanc Description: Chenin Blanc is perhaps best known for the work it has done in the Loire, but Chenin is the signature white grape of South Africa where it has been long known as ‘Steen’ and has been produced in South Africa since the 1600s. You can expect to discover a ripe wine with impressive tropical fruit flavours and a fine mineral tone. This wine is typically fresh and lively with an underlying spice character.



-- Tue, 08 Aug 2017 13:13:48 +0000




Xavier Ventoux 2015

The back of this wine says AOC Protogee … I did a bunch of digging and eventually found out the wine is from the Rhone valley and the wine is 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 20% Mourvèdre. Dark in color with a nice black berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice black berries to match the nose along with some slight sweetness. On the medium length finish the wine displays some light tannins and acidity. This is for me similar to Cotes du Rhone village wine. It’s lighter. The LCBO say full bodied and smooth which I would say would be generous. I’d give it an 87-88. It’s not a bad wine, but not a great one either. I won’t be rushing out to grab more.

From the LCBO web site:
Xavier Ventoux 2015 Red Blend — VINTAGES#: 413211
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
Named for Mount Ventoux, this region has seen winemaking since at least the first century BCE, and a potter’s workshop uncovered by archaeological excavations in the region places the earliest evidence of amphorae production in France in this region. This 2015 offers notes of fresh berry, cherry, spice and savoury wood tones crafted in a smooth and approachable style. (Vintages panel, June 2016)
$15.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:April 1, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 14.5% Made in: Rhône, France By: Xavier Vins Sugar Content:11 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style:Full-bodied & Smooth

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-- Sun, 06 Aug 2017 01:23:48 +0000

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Waimea Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Pale in color with a nice crisp nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely grassy notes along with some nice pink grapefruit. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice crisp acidity and some nice lingering mouth grip. I paired it with crab and shrimp ravioli and it went well. A very food friendly wine. I quite enjoyed it. I would give it an 88+ which for the price is quite good.

From the LCBO web site:
Waimea Sauvignon Blanc 2016 — VINTAGES#: 714295
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
This gorgeous sauvignon is filled with tropical fruit, nectarine and mandarin characters with a subtle infusion of fresh herbs. It is succulent and intensely flavoured on the palate, and delivers lovely fruit purity, wonderfully framed by juicy acidity, finishing superbly long and delicious. At its best: now to 2019. Score – 93. (Sam Kim, wineorbit.co.nz, July 2016) $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:July 22, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: Nelson, New Zealand By: Waimea Estates Sugar Content: 4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Aromatic & Flavourful



-- Thu, 03 Aug 2017 12:35:07 +0000




Arboleda Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Inky dark in color with a nice vibrant cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with nice dark cherries coming through along with some oak. I previously reviewed the 2008 vintage of this wine and loved it. This vintage is not as bold as the 2008, but still quite good. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely smooth tannins, dryness and acidity. This is a lovely wine. I would give it an 88+ and very varietal. Given the tannins I would say it should keep quite nicely. This is spot on varietal to my tastes. The LCBO call it full bodied and firm and I would whole heartedly agree!

From the LCBO web site:
Arboleda Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 — VINTAGES#: 606764
STYLE – Full-bodied & Firm
This is a pretty coastal cabernet with flower and black currant aromas and flavors. Medium to full body, very fine tannins and a crisp finish. Elegant style. Drink now. Score – 92. (James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, May 12, 2016) $19.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:July 22, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 14.0% Made in: Aconcagua Valley, Chile By: Vina Sena S.A.Sugar Content:6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Firm



-- Sun, 30 Jul 2017 23:20:20 +0000




Wakefield Pinot Noir 2016

Garnet in color with a mild light red berry nose. On the mid palate there are some varietal pinot noir notes, this raspberries and the like. On the mid palate the wine displays some varietal pinot noir notes to match the nose, some light red berries along with a hint of black berries. On the medium length finish the wine displays some slight peppery notes, some smooth tannins and some nice dryness. This is a good pinot noir, but not a great one. Medium bodied and fruity is how the LCBO describe it and I would agree. I won’t rush back to get more … I would give it an -88

From the LCBO web site:
Wakefield Pinot Noir 2016 Pinot Noir — VINTAGES#: 197392
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
One of the most trusted names in Australian wine, Wakefield (known as Taylor in Australia) is a member of the Australian First Families of Wine – an organization comprised of 12 of Australia’s most important and iconic family-run wineries. This 2016 Pinot Noir is floral, smooth and easy-drinking with bright red fruit and juicy blackberry, plus a touch of spice. (Vintages panel, Sept. 2016) $19.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:July 22, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 14.0% Made in: South Australia, Australia By: Wakefield Wines Pty Ltd. Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry Style:Medium-bodied & Fruity



-- Wed, 26 Jul 2017 13:24:15 +0000

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2016 Pondview Dragonfly Pinot Grigio

Pale in color with a mild crisp nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice dry crisp notes along with a hint of peach,and pear and stone fruits. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice crisp dry notes, along with some nice acidity and some citrus. This is a super dry, subtle wine, very food friendly. I would give it an -88. If your looking for a wine to simply sip on the patio, then this is not a bad choice at all!

From the LCBO web site:
Pondview Dragonfly Pinot Grigio VQA — LCBO#: 260372
STYLE – Light & Crisp
Light-bodied with crisp peachy flavours. $16.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:September 29, 2011
750 mL bottle Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in:Ontario, Canada By: Pondview Estate Winery Ltd.Sugar Content:6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style: Light & Crisp Varietal: Pinot Grigio



-- Mon, 24 Jul 2017 14:05:13 +0000




2014 Pepper Tree Merlot mini review

Sorry to be a little slow on the updates. Life’s been a bit busy. Dark in color with a dark berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some bold dark fruits and some plum. On the medium length finish the wine displays nice tannins. I would give it an 88 or so. $22.95 coming to the LCBO in Vintages Nov 11th.

From the winery’s web site :
2015 VARIETAL MERLOT Wrattonbully
Merlot 100%

MATURATION
Individual blocks machine harvested once flavour ripe and destemmed, sorted in the vineyard. The fruit is chilled at the winery and cold soaked for four days before being inoculated. Fermented with M2 yeast in static fermenters for 10-14 days before being pressed off skins. Wines are then racked to oak for 18 months maturation before blending and bottling.

VINEYARD / SOIL
Wrattonbully adjoins the Coonawarra area in the southern part of the Limestone Coast wine zone. The prominent viticultural feature of the area is the series of ancient beach ridges and dunes which run roughly north-south through the area. These ridges are made up of soft crumbly limestone which weathers to produce the red and brown Terra Rossa clay loam soils so highly prized for grape growing. The ridges and dunes have elevations of up to 30m compared with the Coonawarra Terra Rossa ‘high’ of less than 5m. The extra elevation on the Wrattonbully dunes produce the advantage of cold air drainage which reduces the risk of frost during the growing season.

BOTTLING DATE April 2017

BOTTLING SPECIFICATION pH: 3.43 TA: 6.7 g/l Alc/Vol: 13.9%

NOTES
An enticing nose of dark plum and red fruits with a spicy lift. The rich, soft palate is rounded with sweet berry fruits and savoury spice. Balanced by subtle oak, the fine tannins provide good length for a silky finish.

WINEMAKER Gwyn Olsen

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-- Fri, 21 Jul 2017 14:04:15 +0000




2015 Dalrymple Pinot noir mini review

Garnet in color with a lovely varietal nose. On the mid palate the wine displays the usual soft red berries and some nice rustic notes. This is a spot on varietal pinot … On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice firm acidity and tannins. This is a lovely well made pinot. I would give it an -89 Not in the LCBO but available for $42.95 a bottle. Very nice.

From the winery’s web site :
Pinot Noir 2015
CRUSHED BOYSENBERRY • CINNAMON • VIOLETS
Vintage was characterized by a cool to mild spring followed by an early summer with above average rainfall. Yields were average to above average and well matched for ripening with a healthy canopy. Conditions changed just prior to harvest in March, and a mild to warm air system settled over Tasmania. We experienced only blue skies and mild temperatures, perfect for ripening and maintaining the fine acid that had developed through the cooler months. A blend of Pinot Noir parcels from our own vineyard at Pipers River, Coal River Valley and our grower in the Upper Derwent Valley. Each of these sites is unique with distinctive individual terroirs, building complexity into the final wine blend. Each of the different parcels of fruit from across the vineyard sites were picked on their merit. Fermentation started after 2-3 days with plunging of the cap to extract colour and tannin from the skins. The wine was pressed at completion of fermentation and settled before being placed into French oak barriques, where malolactic fermentation took place, prior to filtration and bottling. A brilliant purple-red colour that shines in the glass. Aromas of violets, crushed boysenberry and blackberry with hints of roasted cinnamon, clove and green pepper. A balanced mid palate leads to a fine tannin finish with spices and show/hide remainder of description length supported by French oak. Although fresh and appealing
in its youth, the 2015 will reward cool cellaring for 8-12 years for those looking to enjoy the full complexity of fine Pinot Noir over time.

FOOD MATCH : Peking duck pancakes or for something different, warm apple pie.



-- Mon, 17 Jul 2017 12:17:48 +0000

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2014 Gretzky Estates Merlot

Dark in color with a mild dark berry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some nice dark berries coming through along with some earthy notes and some oak. On the medium length finish the wine displays some smooth tannins and dryness. This has a bit of everything in it, not a bad wine. We paired it with steaks and it held it’s own, and went well with chocolate cookies for dessert! I would give it an -88 which for the price is not bad.

Wayne Gretzky Merlot VQA — LCBO#: 63966
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
Medium ruby in colour with aromas of red cherry plus hints of vanilla. It is medium-bodied, slightly austere with flavours of red cherry ending with tart acidity. $15.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:January 1, 2001
Alcohol/Vol 12.8% Made in:Ontario, Canada By:No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Estates Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Medium-bodied & Fruity



-- Wed, 12 Jul 2017 18:45:30 +0000




Pinot Grigio Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT 2015 (mini review)

Pale in color with a lovely crisp nose, with some nice minerality coming through. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some lovely crisp citrus notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely vibrant acidity that lives on nicely in the mouth. This would be a super food friendly wine. I would give it an 88-89, very nice. Not in the LCBO but $19.95 a bottle. I couldn’t find the supplier in Ontario 🙁

From the winery’s web site for a different year:
Pinot Grigio Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT 2016
Made from 100% Pinot Grigio, this wine radiates youthfulness and purity of fruit. This is achieved through stainless steel fermentation and the use of a cork-free closure.

Wine Production
Temperature-controlled fermentation at 68 °F in steel tanks; four-month aging on the fine lees in concrete vats prior to bottling.

Tasting Notes
Straw yellow in color with lemon highlights, this Pinot Grigio is youthful and lively. On the nose, this wine has aromas of citrus, white flowers, pears, apples, and meadow grass. Up-front citrus flavors give way to stony minerality and a crisp finish.

Food Pairing
Wonderful as an apperativ as well as a wine that will pair well with butter-poached fish, scampi’s, and pasta primavera.



-- Mon, 10 Jul 2017 14:12:46 +0000




2015 Vignamaggio Monna Lisa Chianti Classico (mini review)

Dark in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some varietal Chianti flavors, red berries and the like. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice smooth tannins and some lovely dryness. This is a surprisingly complex wine for the price. I was suitably impressed and will grab a bottle for a more in depth tasting of this wine. I would give it an 88 or so. If you want to read more about the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany/Italy you can read more here.

From the LCBO web site:
Vignamaggio Monna Lisa Chianti Classico — LCBO#: 378133
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
Medium garnet; notes of cherry, clove and leather on the nose; the palate is dry and medium bodied with flavours of raspberry, earth and baking spice; moderate acidity and tannins. $15.75



-- Fri, 07 Jul 2017 13:16:47 +0000

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