Wine, Wine Reviews

Professor B’s December 6 Vintages Release Recommendations


Vintages management is billing the last release of 2014 as one of the finest and largest. It is true that it is the largest. We had to go to the lab twice to taste most of the wines.

It is prodigious, pricey. It contains a lot of very fine wines at very high prices, some good values, but also some duds.

I carefully tasted the wines presented and discovered some stellar products.

My picks are


Cleopatra Moscato Oro Grappa, Poli Distillery, Veneto, Italy
This enticingly smooth grappa was distilled in Poli’s innovative vacuum double boiler still, and aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. It is a stellar spirit for conversation after an extended dinner.
0349001, 700 ml $ 79.95

Prunella Mandorlata, Nonino Distillery, Friuli, Italy
A sweet, intensely aromatic, fruity, and complex liqueur that is best to enjoy after an extended dinner.
0348862, 700 ml. $ 45.95

Fortified wines

Quinta Nova 2009 LBV Port, Douro Valley, Portugal
An outstanding, intense, well-balanced port. Enjoy with friends and family for conversation.
No code number and price provided

La Gitana Manzanilla Sherry, Bodegas Hidalgo, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
La Gitana (gipsy) is named after fiery gypsy flmenego dancers of Andalusia. This is indeed a fine dry, slightly salty sherry, to enjoy with tapas and finger foods. A stellar wine for receptions, and seafood appetizers.
No code or price provided

Dessert wines

Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2008, Piklus Pinceszet, Tokaji, Hungary
Golden leaning to amber in colour. Aromas of quince, and honey stand out buttressed with chocolate, and hints of white truffles. Sweet, but not cloying with a firm acid backbone, and outstanding balance. A heavenly wine.
0047209, 500 ml $ 35.95

Bistro Semi Sweet Tokaj Sargamuskotaly, 2011, Tokaj Hatszolo, Tokaj, Hungary
This Muscat d’Alexandrie a petit grain (sargamuskotaly) is a fruity/floral, off dry wine with a fine balance and intensity.
Excellent value.
0385062, $ 16.95

Sparkling wines

Brut, 2004, Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin, Champagne, France
2004 vintage has been hailed as one of the better of the first decade of the 21st century. Dry, fruity, ephemeral and refined.

Rose Champagne Premier Cru, Lallier, Champagne, France
Brilliant orange to pink colour. Raspberry and cherry aromas abound. Excellent perlage with a toasty finish.
0385179, $ 56.95

Brut, J. Chromy, 2008, Tasmania, Australia
Tasmania, off the coast of South Australia is the up and coming sparkling wine region of Australia. J Chromy winery is well known for its chardonnays and pinot noirs. This stellar sparkling wine vinted using both varieties, exudes delicacy, refinement, and complexity.
0393629, $ 29.95

White wines

Chardonnay, 2009, Mount Adam, Eden Valley, South Australia
An exceptional birth starw-green chardonnay, fruity, elegant, soft and iconic. Enjoy as anaperitif, or with Dover soel filets in a shite wine and cream sauce, cream cheeses, or pasta with shrimps of smoked salmon.
0333211, $ 21.95

Meursault, 2011, Pierre Andre, Burgundy, France
Brilliant straw yellow colour. Aromas of apples and minerals. In the mouth, the wine is soft, supple, and beautifully balanced with an excellent finish.
0732792, $ 49.95

Chardonnay, 2011, Ashbrook Winery, Margaret River, Western Australia
Pale golden leaning to green colour. Aromas of peach, melon, and grape fruit dominate. Balanced, elegant and refined.
0684076, $ 24.95

Also recommended

Triomphe Chardonnay, 2013, Southbrook Winery, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada
0172338, $ 22.95

Chablis, 2012, Herve Azo, Chablis, Burgundy, France
0185736, $ 19.95

Sauvignon Touraine, 2013, Thierry Delaney, Loire valley, France
0391847, $ 14.95

Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese, 2012, J.J. Christoffel Erben, Mosel, Germany
0336396, $ 29.95

Red wines

Trailside Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006, Heitz Cellars, Napa Valley, California, U.S.A.
A stellar wine from a well established, and quality oriented winery. It is inky dark red, opulent, full bodied, powerful and well extracted wine. Well balanced, and ready to enjoy, but can be cellared for another six to eight years.
0992438, $ 119.95

Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012, Rutherford Ranch, Napa Valley, California, U.S.A
An exemplary `juicy` cabernet sauvignon from this winery. The wine is elegant, and refined, balanced, fruity, and eminently enjoyable with or without food.
0073817, $ 22.95

Purple Angel, 2011, Montes, Colchagua Valley, Chile
Brilliant and intense red colour. Full bodied exudes berry aromas. In the mouth is silky and layered. A class of its own.
0062364, $ 62.95

Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, 2012, Chateau de la Gardine, Rhone Valley, France
Bright violet colour. Dark berry, and dried flower aromas waft out of the glass. In the mouth, the wine opens up to spices and deep flavours. Full bodied, balanced, with a long aftertaste.
0298612, $ 39.95

Also recommended

Pinot Noir, Meyer, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
0392449, $ 29.95

Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011, Black Stallion Winery Napa Valley, California, U.S.A
o256768, $ 29/95

Clos de Los Siete, 2011, Mendoza, Argentina
0622571, no price provided

Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Shiraz, 2012, Fowles Wines, Victoria, Australia
0243592, $ 35.95

Petalos, 2012, Descendientes De J. Palacios, Bierzo, Spain
0675207, $ 26.95

Brunello di Montalcino, 2008, Corte Pavone, Tuscany, Italy
0237263, $ 49.95

Big Easy, 2012, Ernie Els, Western cape, South Africa
0220038, $ 19.95


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