Saturday, January 24, 2015

Report from ... Mark Anthony 2nd Annual Portfolio Tasting - November 5, 2014

Below is a look at some of the best wines poured at the Mark Anthony Portfolio Tasting listed by country.

Canada ...

Mission Hill 2010 Quatrain ($45.95)
40% Merlot / 20% Cabernet Sauvignon / 20% Cabernet Franc / 20% Syrah
12 months new French oak - fruit from Southern Okanagan
blueberry, cocoa, vanilla backed by black cherry and touch of spice (****)
Mission Hill 2010 Compendium ($45.95)
41% Cabernet Sauvignon / 38% Merlot / 21% Cabernet Franc
13 months new French oak - fruit from Black Sage and Osoyoos vineyards
sweet black cherry, vanilla, creamy smooth with a silkyness that contains
cocoa and a touch of smoke (**** 1/2)

Mission Hill 2010 Oculus ($80.95)
51% Merlot / 26% Cabernet Sauvignon / 23% Cabernet Franc
14 months new French oak - the wine is always Merlot dominated
chocolate and black cherry with an element of spice that tickles
and plays across the tongue (****)

Argentina ...
Dona Paula 2012 1100 Elevation ($19.95)
60% Malbec / 30% Cabernet Sauvignon / 10% Syrah
single vineyard wine made from the Uco Valley
smooth, raspberry, cherry, chocolate and peppery notes that really punch
on the finish ... very enticing. (****)

France ...

Louis Latour 2008 Volnay 1er Cru "En Chevret" ($70.21)
A nice blend of cherry and spice but with a smooth palate that shows
acidity and cranberry cocktail. (****)
Lanson 2006 Tsarine Blanc de Blanc ($59.95)
This is a mineral dominated 100% Chardonnay Grand Cru sparkler with
big green apple and lemon that's mouth-puckering with good acidity. (****+)

Italy ...

Eugenio Collavini 2012 More ($16.95)
blend of 40% Refosco and 60% Merlot - aged 12 months in oak
Blackberry and rich cassis with blueberry and black cherry;
smooth and quite supple (****)

Spain ...

Vivanco 2007 Crianza ($27.30)
100% Tempranillo aged 16 months in most American oak
lots of nice spicy notes but all backed by vanilla and spiced cherry (*** 1/2+)

South Africa ...

Nederburg 2011 Motorcycle Marvel ($24.95)
Grenache / Carignan / Syrah / Mourvedre / Cinsault
Smoky dark fruit and elegant spice (*** 1/2+)
Nederburg 2011 Manor House Cabernet Sauvignon ($16.95)
Cocoa, smoke, vanilla, blackberry, cassis and black pepper (*** 1/2+)

United States ...
Davis Bynum 2012 Jane's Vineyard Pinot Noir ($36.95)
Sweet cran-cherry with raspberry, strawberry,
nice spice and good acidity (*** 1/2+)
Rodney Strong 2010 Brothers Ridge Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($99.95)
100% Cabernet Sauvignon from 1200 foot elevation with 21 months in French oak
Juicy with vanilla and smoke backing; black cherry and blackberry are the fruits -
this one is most definitely smooth, sultry and sexy. (**** 1/2)
Rodney Strong 2011 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($27.95)
91% Cabernet Sauvignon with Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot also in here
Nice cherry and black cherry with sweet cherry and vanilla (****)
Rodney Strong 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve ($59.95)
100% Cabernet Sauvignon - 21 months French oak
Smooth, almost creamy upon entry with a hint of spice on the finish,
all wrapped around lovely black and blue fruit (****+)

New Zealand ...
Sacred Hill 2013 "Halo" Pinot Noir ($22.95)
Pinot Noir made from 9 year old vines - aged in new and 1 year old oak
Great fruit with a cherry-cranberry cocktail; nice tannins, good acidity,
touch smoky with great red fruit. (**** 1/2)

Australia ...
Tyrrell's 2011 Winemaker Selection Vat 8 Hunter Shiraz-Cabernet ($17.08)
Rich in fruit touched by white pepper (*** 1/2+)
Tyrrell's 2012 Lost Block Shiraz ($17.08)
Chocolate and white pepper with plenty of blackberry and black cherry (****)

Portugal ...
Cockburn's 2000 Quinta dos Cannais Vintage Port ($39.95)
Already aged and ready to buy and drink now ... chocolate, black cherry, spice,
sexy and smooth with enough acidity and spice to keep you coming back for more (****+)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Report from ... Umbria: Tenuta le Velette - November 4, 2014


Tenuta le Venette, from Umbria, came to town lined-up their wines in an ante-room at Grano restaurant in Toronto.  Of the close to a dozen wines here's a look at some of my favourites ...

Calanco 2009 - ($35.00)
60% Sangiovese / 40% Cabernet Sauvignon
Nose: blackberry, black cherry, and touch of red berry
Taste: elegant and seductive with its fruit-tannin mix;
it's quite aggressive
Score: ****
Accordo 2009 - ($20.00)
100% Sangiovese
Nose: fruit driven aromas that are all dark: cassis and black cherry with touch of smoke
Taste: black cherry, blackberry, smoky, cocoa, and decent tannins
Score: ****
Rosso di Spicca 2012 - ($16.00)
85% Sangiovese / 15% Canaiolo
Nose: plenty of red fruit aromas
Taste: rustic and bitter yet shows spices, blackberry and cassis;
it's definitely a pizza, pasta kinda wine
Score: *** 1/2+
Sole Uve 2011 - ($22.00)
100% Grechetto
an every day drinking wine that has notes of pineapple,
green apple, spice and a slight bitterness to the finish
Score: *** 1/2

Berganorio 2013 - ($16.00)
30% Trebbiano / 40% Grechetto / 10% Malvasia / 10% Verdello / 5% Drupeggio / 5% Others
floral, melon, pineapple, also with a slight bitterness to the finish
Score: *** 1/2