This release is supposed to feature German wines, but don’t expect to find anything special in the five wines the management decided to offer.
All are mediocre wines at best. It baffles me that in a country famous for exquisite white wines buyers could find only five below average products all priced below $ 20.00.
There is a respectable malbec selection from Argentina and a few fine products from France at very reasonable cost.
The original objective of Vintages was to introduce well-selected fine wines from everywhere, but now it seems that most of the time the offerings are competing with general list wines.
Here are my recommendations:
Dark Cove Single malt Scotch Whisky, Ardbegh, Scotland
A peaty, well-blended, smooth whisky with distinct caramel flavour buttressed by faint cinnamon, dried date and raisin flavours.
At 46/5 per cent ABV, which is cask strength, it is remarkably mellow.
Ceobanach Islay Malt, Bunnahabhain, Scotland
The Balvenie TUN 1509 Single Malt, Scotland
Milsean Private edition Highland Single Malt, Glenmorangie, Scotland
Estate Series Strawberry Wine, 2014, Sunnybrook Winery, Niagra Peninsula, Ontario
This is a fine fruit wine that qualifies as an excellent dessert wine to complement marinated local strawberries, or strawberry short cakes, or crepes stuffed with marinated strawberries. It exudes strawberry aromas aplenty with a fine acid and sugar balance in the mouth.
Brachetto d’Aqui, Balbi Soprano, Piedmont, Italy
Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Reserve Brut Champagne, Guy Charlemagne, Champagne, France
Vineyards located on predominantly chalky soils yield the most refines wines. This is one of them. It offers vibrant acidity, fruitiness, and biscuit flavours that English wine drinkers’ love.
Ready to enjoy as an aperitif, or with light foods.
Riddled Sparkling, 2009, Flat Rock Cellars, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Progression Sparkling Wine, 2014, Lighthall, Prince Edward County, Ontario
Premier Cuvee Blanc de Blancs, 2011, Graham Beck, Western Cape, South Africa
Chardonnay, 2014, Diamond Ridge, Napa Valley, California
Dark brilliant yellow. Aromas of citrus, cedar and “strong” spices lead to a silky, “frizzante” and polished, high alcohol wine. Creamy, typical California chardonnay you can complement with grilled shrimps, deep-fried breaded calamari, pan-fried tuna, or even Dover sole a la Meuniere.
Sauvignon Blanc, 2015, Thornbury, Marlborough, New Zealand
Delicately grassy, light, fresh, fruit example of sauvignon blanc exuding purity.
A fine wine at a reasonable cost.
Montee de Tonerre Chablis Premiere Cru, 2014, Jean Collet et Fils, Burgundy, France
Pale yellow. Oyster shell and herbal smells waft out of the glass. Good minerality and refined mouth feel. Long finish.
Les Guinottes Montagny, 2014, Andre Guichot, Burgundy, France
Domaine Sainte Clair Chablis, 2014, Jean-Marc Brocard, Burgundy, France
Riesling, 2015, Cliffhanger, Mosel, Germany
Riesling, 2011, Schloss Schonborn, Rheingau, Germany
Pinot Noir, 2014, Domaine Drouhin, Dundee Hills, Oregon, U S A
Typical Burgundian-style light red with brownish tinges in colour. Dark fruit, cassis and violet aromas lead to a medium bodied, elegant and refines wine. Long aftertaste.
Cesar, Cotes du Rhone Villages, 2012, Domaine Roche-Audran, Rhone Valley, France
This 100 per cent Grenache wine is brilliant in its conception exuding raspberry, cassis and vanilla aromas. Full-bodied, intense, balanced and eminently enjoyable on its own or with flavourful foods including aged cheeses.
Grand Reserva, 2005, Ontanon, Rioja, Spain
This refined and elegant wine from Rioja was aged for 24 months in American and French oak, and then three years after bottling.
Silky and refined mouths feel with excellent long after taste. Enjoyable now, but four to five years of cellaring will make it even more enjoyable.
Signature Series Shiraz, 2014, Robert Oakley, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Chateau la Bastide Optomee, 2011, Corbieres, France
Brecciarolo Rosso Piceno Superiore, 2013, Velenosi, Marche, Italy
Premium 50 Barricas Syrah, 2012, Alceno, Jumilla, Spain
Ciranza, 2011, Vina Olabarri, Rioja, Spain
Petit Bourgeois Rose, 2015, Henri Bourgeois, Loire, France
Reserve Rose, 2015, Famille Perrin, Rhone Valley, France
Saint Esprit Cotes du Rhone Rose, 2015, Delas, Rhone Valley, France
Cote des Roses Rose, 2015, Gerard Bertrand, Languedoc, France