Every year, Vintages management releases a large selection of wines especially selected red and sparkling products.
This release contains an unusually large selection of American and Ontario white wines. Out of the 45 listed there are 20 chardonnay-based and chardonnay blends.
It is well known that chardonnay wines are very popular, but one would hope that other grape varieties are also featured, if for nothing else but to offer wine lovers at least a few opportunities to try other flavours.
American wines, especially those from California tend to be very high alcohol (14 ABV and above), and relatively low in acidity, making them too heavy and appear to contain too much residual sugar, which is the result of high alcohol.
Ontario whites (mostly chardonnay) in this release lacked depth and fruit, except one that was barrel aged.
Ontario Rieslings fared better, although none was scored 88 or above to be included here.
This release was so overwhelming that it had to be spilt into two sessions.
In December there is no release and this one was conceived to compensate.
I recommend to shop early since experience shows that closer to Christmas and New Year’s stores get too crowded and inventories of highly rated wines diminish accordingly.
Sortilege Prestige, Maison de Foutailes, Quebec
This seven-year old Canadian whisky and pure maple syrup is a hybrid spirit/liqueur, is sweet but not overly, with a high quality maple syrup superior quality rye whisky. A fine product to enjoy after dinner.
Quinta da Cavadinha Vintage Port 2004, Warre, Douro Valley, Portugal
Bottled in 2006, this fine vintage port exudes raspberry and liquorice aromas along with underlying minerality.
The mouth feel is silky, and flavour profile layered.
Well balanced, and ready to enjoy on its own, or properly baked pecan pie.
Almacenista Fino del Puerto Obregon, Emilio Lustau, Jerez de la Frontera, S|pain
500 ml., $ 20.95
Special Reserve Cabernet Franc Icewine, 2015, Dark Horse Valegro, Ontario
Rich and vibrant this exceptional cabernet franc icewine offers strawberry aromas. In the mouth, sweet spice flavours dominate Well balanced and ready to enjoy with vanilla or dark chocolate ice-cream, or on its own instead of dessert.
375 ml., $ 44.95
Late Harvest Tokaj, 2015, Royal Tokaji, Hungary
(Royal Tokaji is co-owned by the famous English wien writer Hugh Johnson)
This delightful, gently sweet, dark yellow Tokaji smells of grapefruit peel. The mouth-watering acidity makes wine particularly delicious. Ready to enjoy, but would become more memorable with three to four years of cellaring.
500 ml., $ 19.95
Brut Rose Champagne, Billecart-Salmon, Champagne, France
Longitude Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Premiere Cru Champagne, Larmandier-Bernier, Champagne, France
HBH Premiere Cru Champagne 2002, Louis Brochet, Champagne France
R de Ruinart Brut Champagne, Ruinart, Champagne, France
Brut Classique, L’Ormarins, South Africa
Cremant de Bourgogne,Laboure-Gontard, Burgundy, France
Barrel Aged Chardonnay, 2016, Peninsula Ridge Winery, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Beuroy Premiere Cru Chablis, 2015, Domaine de la Motte, Burgundy, France
Vieilles Vignes Bourgogne Chardonnay, 2015, Maison Roche de Bellene, Burgundy, France
Tralcetto Pinot Grigio, 2016, Zaccagnini, Abruzzo, Italy
Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Napa Valley, California
Dark, brilliant crimson. Montmorency cherry and Napa plum aromas jump out of the glass. In the mouth this full-bodied richly flavoured wine tastes of spices and dark roasted coffee beans. Well balanced , with dept and considerable “juiciness”.
Barrel Select Pinot Noir, 2014, River’s Edge, Oregon, U S A
Faint red with brownish tinges.
Black cheery and mocha aromas surge out of the glass. Although high in alcohol (14.8ABV), the extract is high enough to mitigate alcoholic flavours. Full bodied, well balanced, with rich and bright flavours. Excellent value. Pair with terrines, or roasted rack of veal, or lamb stew, or planked salmon.
Brave Faces (Grenache, Mourvedre, Shiraz), 2015, Two Hands, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Deep dark brilliant red. Expect blueberry and blackberry aromas. In the mouth this full-bodied wine offers anise, liquorice, and black tea favours. The blend in equal proportions of each grape variety appear to be just right. Long aftertaste. Ready to enjoy, but could improve with 10 – 15 years of cellaring.
Reserva Malbec, 2015, Terrazas de los Andes, Mendoza, Argentina
Intrgia Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, Vina Montes, Chile
Chateau La Fleur Pourret, 2010, St. Emilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France
Guado Al tasso, 2014, Marchesi Antinori Tuscany, Italy
Le Volte Dell Ornellaia, 2015, Tenuta Dell Ornellaia, Tuscany, Italy
Seleccion Reserva Rioja, 2012, Izadi, Rioja, Spain