The themes of this release are Napa Valley and pinot noir.
To my taste, Napa Valley wine now contain excessive levels of alcohol exceeding 15 per cent ABV which changes both the taste and texture of the wine unfavourably. To be sure there are a few winemakers who successfully produce wines that contain 14 or less ABV, and taste more appealing.
Of all the Napa Valley wines on offer, only a few scored above 88.
For the pinot noir feature, a lot is to be said about the delicacy of Burgundy products. The line up included pinot noirs from Burgundy, Ontario, Oregon, Chile, New Zealand, California, and British Columbia. Surprisingly, not one from Australia is on offer.
The only vantage port wine tastes great.
Both Scotch whiskies are fine products, but the Cognacs in this release are exceptional and well worth trying.
Here are my recommendations
Private Edition Bacalta Highland Single Malt, Glenmorangie, Scotland
Light golden colour, Apricot, and faint honey aromas. In the mouth, baked fruit and caramel flavours enfold. The finish is off dry and pleasant. \91/100
Le Sauvage Cognac, Augier, Charente, France
Pale in colour. This cognac opens up with apple, red grape and plum aromas, In the mouth it is smooth, elegant, refined with a satiny texture that envelops the tongue. Derived from ugni blanc in Petit Champagne region this cognac represents the highest art of distillation and aging.
700ml., $ 99.95
Signet Highland Single Malt, Scotland\90/100\$ 339.95
L’Oceanique Cognac, Augier, Charente, France
700 ml., $ 99.95
Liquore alla Camomlla in Grappa Finissima, Sibona, Italy
Golden brownish colour. Aromas of herbs and dried spices dominate the nose. The palate is sweet, but not cloying and honey like. Camille flavours begin to enfold in mid palate. A fine liqueur to enjoy on its own, with a cup of fragrant, freshly brewed coffee, or well prepared Darjeeling orange pekoe tea.
No price provided
Quinta Do Bomfim Vintage Port 2005, Graham, Douro Valley, Portugal
Bottled in 2007, this estate port smells of marzipan and black berries. Intense, warming, well balanced with a lingering aftertaste.
375 ml., $ 31.95
Castello di Pomino Vin Santo, 2008, Marchesi de Frescobaldi, Tuscany, Italy
This estate in Marchesi de Frescobaldi portfolio is well known for its white wines.
Vin santo in Tuscany is produced hanging bunches of healthy grapes from the ceiling of a well ventilated room for two to three months.\A s the grapes shrivel their flavour concentrates and sugar levels increase.
This vin santo smells of apricots, almonds and honey. The palate exudes viscosity and fine balance between bee’s wax, dried herbs and candied fruits. An exemplary vin santo.
500ml., $ 42.95
Special Cuvee Brut Champagne, Bollinger, Champagne, France Intense, pure, light, fragrant, and refined. Very fine champagne that smells of flowers, and roasted hazelnuts. Well balanced and delicate.
375 ml., No price provided
Brute Rose Cremant de Bourgogne, Cave Lugny, Burgundy, France
I Quercioli Reggiano Lambrusco Secco. Medici Ermete, Emilia Romagna, Italy
Note Although the label claims the wine to be dry. It is sweet.
Saunders Vineyard Chardonnay, 2013, Bachelder, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
A sophisticated chardonnay created by Bachelder from Saunders Vineyard on the Escarpment.
Aromas of citrus and orchard fruit waft out of the glass. Well balanced, nuanced, succulent and savoury. Very complex.
Enjoy with poached halibut with \sauce Hollandaise, or poached salmon with dilled-mayonnaise, or boiled lobster with drawn butter.
Mitsuko’s Vineyard Chardonnay, 2014, Clos Pegase, Carneros Napa Valley California
Although this vineyard is large (more than 180 hectares) its terroir is highly conducive to growing chardonnay.
Pale golden colour, Apple and pear aromas on the nose, with explosive fruit flavours in the mouth. Even its high alcohol (14.1 ABV) does not detract its intensity.
Chardonnay, 2015, Flat Rock, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, 2016, St Clair, Marlborough, New Zealand
No price provided
Mont de Mileu Premier Cru Chablis, 2014, Domain Besson, Burgundy, France
Durkheimer Nonnengarten Gewurztraminer Kabinett, 2015, Kurt Darting, Palatinate, Germany
Athena’s Vineyard Chardonnay, 2014, Belvale, Victoria, Australia
Dolomiti Pinot grigio, 2016, Alois Lageder, Alto Adige, Italy
Coyam 2013, Emiliana, Colchagua Valley, Chile
A blend of 48 per cent syrah, 24 carmenere, 11 merlot, 10 cabernet sauvignon, 3 mourvedre, 3 malbec, and one petit verdot, this exceptional wine represents the art of blending. The palate is succulent, absolutely enjoyable, balanced with a long aftertaste. Excellent value.
MV Shiraz, 2015, Paxton, Mc Laren Vale, South Australia
The bouquet confirms the enjoyable flavours in the mouth. Aged 12 months in both Americana and French oak barrels, the wine tastes of chocolate, is well structured, and could be enjoyed with flavourful food, but would benefit from cellaring fro five to seven years.
Cos Perpetual, 2014, Torres, Priorat, Spain
Torres is one of the largest and oldest wineries of Spain and owns a vineyard in Chile and one in California.
This full bodied garnacha based wine smells of dark berries underlined with chocolate and nutmeg.
An impressively complex taste profile and texture. An excellent wine to pair with game stews well-aged hard cheeses, medium rare steaks Sauce Bearnaise, grilled Chianina or Angus beef roasted strip loin sliced and served with Sauce Bordelaise.
Rasteau, 2014, Lavau, Rhone Valley, France
Cuvee Anonyme Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, 2010, Xavier, Rhone Valley
Rolland Galarreta Tempranillo/Merlot, 2012, Vatrviesa, Ribera del Duero, Spain