Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Honsberger NV Blanc de Blancs (Ontario Wine #463)

Blanc de Blancs made from 100% Chardonnay, their first and it's really good

Honsberger NV Blanc de Blancs


After playing around with Riesling bubbles, Honsberger finally gets serious and puts the 2019 Schuele Chardonnay into bottle for 24 months on lees and creates a beauty of a traditional method white of whites. Great acidity is the hallmark followed by a nice toasty-biscuity-ness along with green apple and a touch of floral. Great first effort using Chardonnay looking forward to the future vintages of this wine – maybe even with a date on them.  Rating: ****+

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Castello Banfi 2018 Summus (Italian Wine)

This Super Tuscan international blend is one of those unforgettable wines

Castello Banfi 2018 Summus

(watch the video above)

Castello Banfi 2018 Summus
Very perfumed and very fruit forward with dark plums and black cherry dominating both the nose and palate. Elegant and delicate with a good backbone of acidity that manages to push its way through all that fruit to show it whose boss - but ultimately helps carry the wine to its next sip. Deep dark fruit wins the day here.  (****+)

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Flat Rock 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, Explore Series (Ontario Wine)

Ever wonder if Flar Rock is going to make more than Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling? 
The answer might surprise you 
Flat Rock 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, Explore Series

A Sauvignon Blanc from Flat Rock Cellars? What gives? It’s a way to try out new varieties without having to plant their own, but plant they must, as there is a plot of landing waiting for a new idea to bloom. This Sauv Blanc is subtly sweet with nice white fruit at its core, add in apple, citrus and guava plus a long finish and you have yourself a beauty of a barrel fermented Savvy B; if this is the future of Flat Rock I’m definitely in.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Luigi Bosca 2018 Finca Los Nobles Field Blend (Argentinean Wine)

A real bruiser of a wine that gets better the longer it is open : 
Luigi Bosca 2018 Finca Los Nobles Field Blend

This is one of those wines that really grows on you ... the more you sip the more you’re gonna love it - it also develops over the course of a few hours into something “wow”. Starts out smooth, supple and subtle - it has a little of a lot, but not too much of anything: dark fruit, pepper, mocha, charcoal, floral with a blueberry-esque finish, reminiscent of Brookside Dark Chocolate Covered Wild Blueberries ... And it just lingers and extra long time. Give it 5 years in the cellar before drinking or, if drinking now, decant.  (**** ½)

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Closson Chase 2019 Pinot Noir Stirling Barrique (Ontario Wine)

I spoke about this wine in its first release, now here we are again, and this one might be even better: 
Closson Chase 2019 Pinot Noir Stirling Barrique



This is the second iteration of this less than 100-mile wine ... Everything is not just Canadian (grapes, barrels, winemaker) but they are all within a short sip of the winery. This year the juice is 50% pressed and 50% free run and 100% from the Churchside vineyard. It spends 18 months in these barrels from Sterling Ontario - 3rd and 4th fill (two each) - so the fruit is what really shines here: violets, black cherry, smoke, sour cherry, cranberry with a nice tannin punch, while the acidity is on-point. And the finish goes on and on and on. This just might be even be better than the first time.  (****+)


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Novaripa 2020 Sotto il Cielo, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (Italian Wine)

Simple, elegance and really tasty. 
That can describe the wines from D'Abruzzo and this one fits the bill nicely
Novaripa 2020 Sotto il Cielo, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

Novaripa 2020 Sotto di Ciele. Montepulciano D’Abruzzo ...
Seems like a simple version of Montepulciano, but then you realize how much it is over delivering for a wine that's just kissed by oak. Look this is a drink now wine but it's got lots of dark fruit and spice with blackberry, black cherry and spiced plum. It's absolutely delicious and worth every penny. It's what you want your Montepulciano to be. (****)

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Gianni Gagliardo 2017 Barolo (Italian Wine)

This is not a single vineyard Barolo, nor a special selection Barolo, but it is a damn good Barolo
Gianni Gagliardo 2017 Barolo

A 30,000 bottle production where all crus contribute to the blend; it's a majority of La Morra, admits Stefano, and it is a wine released “ready to drink, but will age as well.” Lovely red and black fruit notes with strawberry, cherry, floral and menthol aromas ... Palate is all about freshness; but also with dark and red fruit, subtle pepper and other spices - shows more elegance than power and it's incredibly drinkable the moment the cork is popped. The finish has a lovely linger with balsamic and herbs.  (****+)

Friday, April 8, 2022

Leaning Post 2017 Merlot (Ontario Wine)

Is Merlot Ontario's red grape? No. 
But in the right hands it can be made into some beautiful wines - like this 
Leaning Post 2017 Merlot

Combine Ontario's miracle vintage with a grape that miraculously survived certain death at the hands of a popular movie, and you've got yourself something special. This Merlot saw 18 months in a mix of American and French (new) oak barrels with 20% going into neutral barrels. Surprisingly the nose is shy, but the palate more than makes up for it: blackberry, cassis, smoke, spice and even some vanilla notes give the palate a nice warm hug as the black cherry and black raspberry lingering on the finish. A super expressive, super complex wine that shows what Merlot, done well, can be in Ontario.  Rating: ****+

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Cesari 2016 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico (Italian Wine)

Fattoria dei Barbi 2016 Brunello di Montalcino, Vigna del Fiore

Brunello is a special wine unto itself, add in a single plot or single vineyard and you just up the ante
Fattoria Barbi 2016 Brunello di Montalcino, Vigna del Fiore

The first vintage of this single vineyard offering was in 1981 - it's a southeast facing vineyard that sits at 250 meters above sea level and the oldest vines within the vineyard are between 20 to 25 years old. The wine spends one year in older barriques of three to five years of age; then another two years in 500-liter Slavonian oak (aka tonneau) ... Only 5,000 bottles are produced - so quite a small lot. Nice concentration and depth, yet subtle in so many ways ... Red fruit: cherry, red currant, strawberries and that oak is hidden so well behind a wall of spice and red fruit; there's even a floral aspect to this wine. It totally delivers on what single vineyard wines should be.  (**** ½)

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Montes Alpha 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon (Chilean Wine)

Once again Montes puts another delicious Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon into the bottle : 
Montes Alpha 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon

--- The Written Review ---
A real beauty with its mint and smoke on the nose; on the palate there’s a real depth with lots of lush dark fruit, this one hits all the right notes: black cherry, blackberry, vanilla and smoke - I reiterate, it’s a beauty.  (****+)   

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Le Clos Jordanne 2019 Jordan Village Pinot Noir (Ontario Wine)

Another new wine from the folks at Le Clos, still Pinot Noir, but from a different kind of location
Le Clos Jordanne 2019 Jordan Village Pinot Noir

This new line from Le Clos is a vineyard blend they’ve labeled “Jordan Village”: fruit comes from Talon and Claystone vineyards and celebrates the village closest to these vineyards. This Pinot is a juicy number with a lovely fruit core plus notes of floral, black raspberry and cranberry plus a bite of peppery-spice on the finish; but there’s also a silkiness here that makes it a pleasure to sip on.  (****+)

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Chateau D'Aigueville 2017 Cotes-du-Rhone Villages (French Wine)

Today wine is a Cotes-du-Rhone wine that delivers both on taste and price, ya gotta love CdR wines
Chateau D'Aigueville 2017 Cotes-du-Rhone Villages
A red blend of Grenach, Syrah and Carignan, plus a few other grapes unlisted. Nose is pretty simple with white pepper and dark berry fruit. Taste is layered with smoky, dark berry, spice, blackberry, cassis, plus nice tannin backbone and a peppery-coffee finish.  (****)

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Malivoire 2019 Mottiar Vineyard Pinot Noir (Ontario Wine)

Single vineyard Pinot Noir is all the rage, but Malivoire has been doing it for years
Malivoire 2019 Mottiar Vineyard Pinot Noir 
The man's name is Shiraz (winemaker of Malivoire), but he seems pretty adept with more Burgundian and Beaujolais grapes like Pinot Noir and Gamay. Here he sources Pinot from his own eponymously named Vineyard and creates a real pleasant version: kicking off with light and earthy notes plus cranberry and sour cherry; add in some violets and subtle peppery nuances, good acid punch and a long finish, and you got one of Shiraz's tastier Pinots to date.  (****+)