This, to my knowledge, is the largest release of Vintages featuring 147 wines.
There are two features, California’s Napa Valley and Piedmont.
Most of the Napa Valley wines happen to be cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay as Americans like them and wineries are more than happy to provide what sells.
Truth be told, cabernet sauvignon grows well in the “Valley”, but so does merlot ( there are a few in this release that everyone who likes the fruitiness of merlot should try).
Chardonnays reflect warm climate characteristics with high alcohol (14 per cent ABV and above) and extraordinary fruitiness.
As for the Barolos (2010 vintage was rated 8 or 9 by reviewers but my impression is average based on the wines Vintages buyers have selected. There is only one Barolo I scored more than 89.
Generally, my cut off point for recommended wines is 88, with rare exceptions.
My recommendations follow:
The Maltman 18-Year-Ols Scotch Whisky
Ben Nevis, Scotland
Brilliant brown colour. Butterscotch, toffee, and smoke dominate the nose. In the mouth, the whisky tastes mellow with a spicy undertone. Blend with a little water to release the subtleties of this fine whisky.
700 ml., No Price
Lismore 21-Year-Old Speyside Single Malt, William Lundie and Co.
Eau-de-vie Rare Ginger Brandy, G.E. Massenez, Alsace, France
700 ml. $ 69.95
LBV Port, 2009, Fonseca, Douro Valley, Portugal
This unfiltered wine is inky red in colour. The wine has been aged for five years, and bottled unfiltered. It contains 10 per cent residual sugar. It offers aromas of elderberries and other ripe berries. In the mouth it shows its power, elegance, and balance. Long finish.
Armada Superior Cream Sherry, Sandeman, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Muscat de Limnos, 2014, Limnos Wines, Greece
Limnos is one of the Aegean islands of Greece where Muscat grapes thrive. This wine is made exclusively using Muscat of Alexandria, offering aromas of orange, honey, and apricots, in addition to floral overtones. Soft and silky mouth feel. An excellent finish for a meal with fresh, ripe seasonal fruits.
Sake Une-No-Mai Junmai Shu, Takanoi Shuzo Co. Ltd. Japan
Boasts aromas of pears, pecan and banana. Off dry, but crisp. A fine sake to pair with relatively robust dishes.
720 ml., $ 29.95
Brut reserve, Duval-Leroy, Champagne, France
A delicate, fruity and racy-acid wine. Elegant, light, and refined mouth feel. Fine balance.
Borealis Method Charmat Rose, Hinterland, Prince Edward County, Ontario
Animate Franciacorta Brut, Barone Pizzini, Lombardy, Italy
Chardonnay, 2013, Chateau Montlena, Napa Valley, California
Golden colour. Citrus and white flower aromas greet the nose. In teh mouth the wine is vibrant, displaying an elegant minerality. Well balanced, and high in alcohol (14.5 per cent ABV) but it contains enough extract to counter the high alcohol.
Chardonnay, 2013, Napa Cellars, Napa Valley, California
Old gold colour. Boasts toasted almond, peach/pear aromas. This robust chardonnay offers layers of tropical fruits and freshly bakes bread. Powerful, yet elegant. Well balanced with a long finish.
Meursault Les Tillets, 2012, Patrick Javillier, Burgundy, France
Bright light yellow. Aromas of peach, lime, and hazelnut. Rich, supple flavours and minerality in the mouth dominate..
Riesling, 2012, Trimbach, Alsace, France
Rebource Rully Premier Cru, 2012, Domaine Jaeger-Defaix, Loire Valley, France
Imperial Reserve, 2009, CVNE, Rioja, Spain
Vivid ruby colour. This blend ( 85 tempranillo, 10 graciano, and 15 mazuelo) smells of vanilla, fresh leather, cherry and blackberry. The tannins very fine, almost dusty and barely perceptible. Spicy, intense, and most intriguing combination of flavours make this wine appealing. Ready to enjoy, but can be cellared for five to six years. Long with a satisfying aftertaste.
One Point five Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012, Shafer, Napa Valley, California
Opaque bluish purple colour. In the mouth it tastes chocolaty, underlined by liquorice and cassis, excellent balance with power (14.5 ABV). Long aftertaste. Ready to enjoy, but better to cellar for eight to ten years for more refinement.
Mollydooker The Boxer, 2013, Sarah and Sparky Margens, South Australia
Offers plum and blackberry aromas. In the mouth, spicy and intense, with “polished” tannins. An outstanding, youthful, and invigorating wine to enjoy with game stews, hard cheeses, game pates, and grilled steaks. 92/100
Red Tail Merlot, 2013, Featherstone, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada
Quantum, 2012, Bringer, Napa valley, California
Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, Caymus, Napa Valley, California
Merlot, 2012, Freemark Abbey, Napa Valley, California
Pinot Noir, 2012, La Creama, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Shea Vineyard Pinto Noir, 2011, Stephen Goff, Oregon
Sagrantino di Montefalco, 20067, Adanti, Umbria, Italy
Capitel Nicalo, 2013, Tedeschi, Veneto, Italy
Cepas Viejas Mencia, 2011, Domini de Tarres, Mencia, Spain