Thursday, 28 March 2013

Vintages Release - March 30, 2013

VINTAGES RELEASE – MARCH 30, 2013 – OUR PICKS

Bubbly:
RENÉ GEOFFROY PREMIER CRU BRUT ROSÉ DE SAIGNÉE CHAMPAGNE   $55.95
VINTAGES 245878 | 750 mL bottle
Champagne, France

Tasting Note
The NV Brut Rose de Saignee is 100% Pinot Noir from the 2008 vintage. The rich, vinous style is beautifully balanced by the coolness and minerality of the year. This is a gorgeous, complete Champagne bursting with personality and sheer class. The wine boasts fabulous depth and remarkable nuance without ever coming across as heavy. To be sure, this is an intense, bold style that needs to be paired with food. Disgorged July 5, 2011. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2018. Score - 93. (Antonio Galloni, erobertparker.com, Nov. 2011)

ARGYLE BRUT SPARKLING WINE 2008   $29.95
VINTAGES 258160 | 750 mL bottle
Oregon, USA

Tasting Note
While, as [winemaker Rollin] Soles repeatedly emphasizes, his parameters are flexible, at around two-thirds Pinot; fermented the first time in a mixture of barrel and tank; with a foundation of fruit from Knudsen Vineyard in the Dundee Hills; and having spent three years sur latte, Argyle's 2008 Brut is pretty typical of the estate's basic blend. Ripe apple, pear and grapefruit garlanded with honeysuckle make for a fetching nose and luscious, silken, palate that perfectly integrates ten or a dozen grams of residual sugar, finishing with effusive fruit; hints of honey and marzipan balanced by a bite of pink grapefruit rind; lovely underlying nutty piquancy; and sheer next sip-inducing savor. Score - 90. (David Schildknecht, erobertparker.com, Aug. 2012)

White:

GÉRARD BERTRAND RÉSERVE SPÉCIALE VIOGNIER 2011   $15.95
VINTAGES 147975 | 750 mL bottle
Midi, France


Tasting Note
Very forthright aromas of apricot, honey, herbs, and grapefruit. The palate is medium-bodied and equally unabashed with expressive honey, herbal and fruit notes and a crisp acidity. Rich, ripe and balanced, this is a very nice Viognier that will make a wonderful companion for grilled shrimp, or lobster. (VINTAGES panel, June 2012)

CALERA CHARDONNAY 2011   $24.95
VINTAGES 713313 | 750 mL bottle
California, USA


Tasting Note
Calera's 2011 Chardonnay Central Coast is super-impressive, especially for the money. A textured, inviting wine, the 2011 boasts gorgeous depth and tons of finesse. Deeply expressive varietal notes wrap around the creamy finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016. Score - 90. (Antonio Galloni, erobertparker.com, Dec. 2012)

MAN VINTNERS CHENIN BLANC 2011   $13.95
VINTAGES 126847 | 750 mL bottle
Coastal Region, South Africa

Description
Chenin Blanc has long been a specialty of South Africa's vintners. This crisp, dry version makes a refreshing sipper and is heaven with seafood.

Tasting Note
A bright, pure style, with lively green fig, pear skin and white peach flavors, offset by a nice hint of bitter almond on the finish. Drink now. Score - 88. (James Molesworth, winespectator.com, Web Only, 2012)

DOMAINE FOUASSIER LES GRANDS GROUX SANCERRE 2010   $24.95
VINTAGES 267948 | 750 mL bottle
Loire, France


Tasting Note
This has richness and zip, with lemon zest, grapefruit pulp and straw notes backed by a long, gooseberry-filled finish. Drink now through 2013. Score - 90. (James Molesworth, winespectator.com, May 31, 2012)

I CAMPI CAMPO VULCANO SOAVE CLASSICO 2010   $18.95
VINTAGES 269969 | 750 mL bottle
Veneto, Italy

Description
This wine was awareded the coveted Three Glasses (out of three) in the 2012 Gambero Rosso Guide to Italian Wines.

Tasting Note
The delicate nose offers subtle and lovely notes of buttercream,yellow plum, white flowers and stony mineral. Extra dry, medium-bodied and focused with a crisp mouthfeel. Tangy, with green apple tones emerging. A refreshing finish. A nice pairing with pork skewers. (VINTAGES panel, Feb. 2013)

Red:

CHÂTEAU PECH-REDON L'ÉPERVIER 2010   $19.95
VINTAGES 129965 | 750 mL bottle
Midi, France

Description
It is believed that the Romans valued the wines of La Clape as the finest in the region, as it was these wines that were transported back to Rome. Today, La Clape is the only sup-appellation in the Languedoc permitted to append its name to both white and red wines.

Tasting Note
(Translated from the French) The flavors are of exceptional intensity and the sensuality of La Clape is magical. Need we say more? From 2011 to 2016. Score - 17 (out of 20). (Guide Bettane & Desseauve, 2012)

CHÂTEAU SAINT-ROCH CHIMÈRES 2010   $18.95
VINTAGES 119354 | 750 mL bottle
Midi, France


Tasting Note
This is a joint venture of Domaine Lafage's Jean-Marc Lafage and Eric Solomon. A blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Carignan aged 8-12 months in demi-muids and concrete vats, this 4,000-case cuvee comes from the slate-like soils of the Cotes du Roussillon. Its Zinfandel-like bouquet offers up peppery, briary, blue and red fruits (raspberries and cherries), garrigue, and loamy, earthy, underbrush notes. This ripe, rich, medium to full-bodied effort is both a hedonistic and intellectual turn-on. Enjoy it over the next 2-4 years. Score - 90. (Robert Parker Jr., erobertparker.com, June 2012)

CALMEL + J JOSEPH FAUGÈRES 2009   $16.95
VINTAGES 310193 | 750 mL bottle
Midi, France


Tasting Note
Unctuous black fruit and chocolate aromas. Ripe black cherry characteristics. Pleasant generosity through finish with hints of rose and pepper. Score - 5 Stars (out of 5). (Decanter World Wine Awards, 2011)

HECHT & BANNIER ST-CHINIAN 2010   $23.95
VINTAGES 184184 | 750 mL bottle
Midi, France

Tasting Note
Tasted as a definitive blend although the actual assemblage would not take place for months and bottling not until mid-2012, Hecht & Bannier's 2010 Saint-Chinian represents a felicitous marriage of virtually all of their sources (which are far fewer for this appellation than for their Minervois) of dominant Syrah - on both schist and chalk-clay - with Grenache and small amounts of Mourvedre and Carignan. High-toned kirsch, framboise, and cassis distillates seem to shadow the ripe fresh berries from the nose all the way through a sappily-concentrated, subtly silken mid-palate to an effusively juicy, uplifting finish. Along the way, inflections of crushed stone, smoky black tea, resinous herbs, licorice, and juniper better contribute to a rivetingly dynamic interplay whose finish will leave your tongue fluttering and your salivary glands pumping overtime. I've noted on several occasions this talented team's ability to meet expectations set by the finest estates in each appellation with which they work, but in all fairness to the finest bottling growers in Saint-Chinian (whose numbers could use boosting), who makes any more complex or convincing wine from this appellation today than the wine I have in my glass? What's more, here's betting this will remain glorious for the better part of a decade, if not beyond. Score - 92-93+. (David Schildknecht, erobertparker.com, June 2011)

LANDER-JENKINS SPIRIT HAWK CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010   $18.95
VINTAGES 161398 | 750 mL bottle
California, USA


Tasting Note
Loads of fruit on the nose with considerable mineral, herbal and licorice notes too. The palate is fruit-forward and balanced with more mineral and herbal notes and a lovely long finish. A great Californian Cabernet that is hitting well above its price point. A real bargain. Fire up the grill and match this sizzling Cab to a juicy grilled beef tenderloin. (VINTAGES panel, July 2012)

LANGTRY GUENOC PETITE SIRAH 2011   $17.95
VINTAGES 19935 | 750 mL bottle
California, USA


Tasting Note
Blueberry, black cherry and plum aromas with chocolate, cedar and kirsch flavours with a spearmint undertone. Elegant. Food suggestion: Butterflied leg of lamb. Score - 90. (Gordon Stimmell, The Toronto Star, Jan. 3, 2013)

TRIVENTO AMADO SUR MALBEC/BONARDA/SYRAH 2010   $16.95
VINTAGES 37036 | 750 mL bottle
Mendoza, Argentina


Tasting Note
The 2010 Amado Sur is a blend of 80% Malbec, 10% Bonarda and 10% Syrah that is aged for 12 months in Taransaud barrels. The nose is tightly wound and demands coaxing, offering baked red cherries, leather and graphite with time. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannins. This is a feminine, smooth, silky red blend with shimmering red berry fruit and a sorbet-like freshness on the finish. Delicious! Drink now-2018. Score - 90. (Neal Martin, erobertparker.com, Oct. 2012)

ERASMO 2006   $21.95
VINTAGES 311837 | 750 mL bottle
Maule Valley, Chile


Tasting Note
Francesco Marone Cinzano of Montalcino's snazzy-looking 'winery at the end of the world'. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Dry farmed and quite distinctive. Quite fragile and transparent fruit - this wine positively pulsates with life. Very natural-tasting acidity. Good stuff that is not remotely like a Brunello. Superior. Drink 2010 to 2014. Score - 17 (out of 20). (Jancis Robinson, MW, jancisrobinson.com, Sept. 30, 2010)

HICKINBOTHAM SHIRAZ/CABERNET 2009   $16.95
VINTAGES 159632 | 750 mL bottle
South Australia



Tasting Note
Very deep garnet-purple colored, Hickinbotham's 2009 Shiraz Cabernet has pronounced cassis, graphite, cedar, lavender, earth, tar and tobacco leaf aromas with a whiff of black olives. Rich, opulent and spicy in the mouth with tons of dark berry fruit, it is not shy on the structure either giving crisp acid and medium-firm grainy tannins that lend a taut backbone through the long finish. Delicious now, it should keep drinking well until 2016+. Score - 91. (Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW, erobertparker.com, Dec. 2010)

MITOLO JESTER CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010   $21.95
VINTAGES 43224 | 750 mL bottle
South Australia, Australia


Tasting Note
This is smooth, velvety and appealing for its juicy blackberry and cherry flavors, zinging through the lively, wet earth-tinged finish. Best from 2013 through 2018. Score - 90. (Harvey Steiman, winespectator.com, July 31, 2012)

CHÂTEAU SÉNÉJAC 2009   $28.85
VINTAGES 193037 | 750 mL bottle
Bordeaux, France

Tasting Note
This is a major sleeper of the vintage and the finest Senejac I have tasted. The team from Pontet Canet, who have done such a phenomenal job at that estate, were in charge of making this Senejac, and the result, not surprisingly, is a sensational wine that consumers need to buy by the case. Dense purple, with notes of creme de cassis, incense, licorice and forest floor, this wine is delicious and full-bodied, with sweet tannins, low acidity, copious fruit and exceptional concentration. Everything is in balance, and the wine is capable of lasting 10 or more years. Score - 93. (Robert Parker Jr., erobertparker.com, Feb. 2012)


Sweet:

DELAFORCE QUINTA DA CORTE VINTAGE PORT 1995   $34.95
VINTAGES 180836 | 750 mL bottle
Douro, Portugal

Description
The 1995 Delaforce Quinta da Corte Vintage Port, represents a spectacular value from an outstanding year that saw many producers opt to create single-quinta (farm) Ports, rather than the usual blends from multiple sites.

Tasting Note
... The '95 single-quinta [Port] from Delaforce (Quinta da Corte) ... [is an] outstanding young [Port], with plenty of fruit and stuffing for long-term aging. Score - 92. (James Suckling, winespectator.com, Jan. 31, 2001)


-The OttawaWineJournal Team

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