Thursday, September 28, 2023

SERIOUS Claymore Wines 2018 You'll Never Walk Alone

Mataro is Mourvedre, so this is a GSM blend with a different name; 

but this is a different kind of wine and wine company - let me explain: 

Claymore Wines 2018 You'll Never Walk Alone



This is a GSM blend (but call it Mataro, not Mourvedre), is full of black pepper, blackberry, dark and brooding fruit that keeps giving the more it stays open. Rich and close to unctuous, yet well-balanced with acid and tannins bringing it all together. It still has a few years ahead of it, but drinks well right now. It is 14.7% alcohol, so just beware.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Big Head Wines 2020 RAW Syrah (Ontario Wine)

In my books this is a rare bottle of wine, one you NEED to put your hands on, 

and represents the epitome of Syrah in Ontario

Big Head Wines 2020 RAW Syrah



It's hard not to assume that during a 20-plus wine tasting at Big Head with wine maker/owner Andrzej Lipinski, you’ll come away with some favourites; but the big surprise here was just how much this one stood heads and tails above all the rest. That was the case this 2020 Syrah, part of the Raw series, which see concrete with no wood being introduced. The wine is also bottled unfiltered, but even before that Andrzej co-fermented it with 5% Viognier with the Syrah, along with a few other tricks of the trade, including carbonic maceration. Then leaving it in concrete for a year and a half. The results lay plain in the bottle: Floral aromas that lean slightly smoky ... A palate loaded with smoky-black cherry and raspberry and balsamic strawberries. It's pure, it's pretty, it's ... Damn near perfect?

Thursday, September 21, 2023

SO GOOD : Nittardi 2020 Belcanto, Chianti Classico (Tuscany, Italy)

If you have never heard of this winery, 

but are a fan of Chianti Classico, then you are in for a treat

Nittardi 2020 Belcanto, Chianti Classico

Friday, September 15, 2023

BRILLIANT: Montes Wines 2019 Wings (Chile)

Montes makes some amazing wines, this one was new to me, 

but it still delivered everything I expect from this winery in Chile

Montes Wines 2019 Wings



A nod to Paul McCartney or Red Bull, either way, this wine flew high to represent another really good offering from Montes. Smoky-black cherry and hints of coffee - the fruit just sores and sings, and it's stays a long time on the palate. Beauty.

Friday, September 8, 2023

GET TO KNOW: Zonte's Footstep 2021 Love Symbol Grenache (Australia)

Grenache on its own can be a pretty exciting wine, like this version: 

Zonte's Footstep 2021 Love Symbol Grenache



This is a very pretty wine with a boatload of raspberry built right in and for right now enjoyment. Grenache is normally a very light and fruity grape, something I learned while in Spain, and here Zonte’s brings out all that beautiful fresh fruit and acidity to balance it off. When you think Australia, you might think thick and jammy, but this wine is far from that. It’s light colour hints at its delicate flavour and it delivers on that promise: raspberry, tart cranberry and supremely juicy; it’s a wine to chill and enjoy.  (****+)

Friday, September 1, 2023

INCREDIBLE - Stag's Leap Wine Cellars 2019 Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon (C...

Many superlatives can be used to describe the Artemis Cabernet. 

I use a few of my own in this video for the 

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars 2019 Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon



Marcus (winemaker) describes 2019 as a "challenging, but good. Vintage" overall. The wine has a drop (.5%) of Cabernet Franc and the blend spends 15 months in oak, 42%, new French and 6% new American, all the rest is in older French. The fruit is pure and robust: plum, black cherry, blackberry with notes of chocolate, white smoke and silky tannins. Through the evening, the wine opened and became even more silky and ultimately gorgeous for both sipping and sniffing – the grilled beef fillet was not let down by the wine, nor vice versa. Purity of fruit and complexity makes this wine and the cellaring potential sits at about 15 plus years.


Friday, August 25, 2023

WONDERFUL Malivoire 2020 Courtney Gamay

Gamay is Malivoire's thing, and this thing is one of Malivoire's best (ever) : 

Malivoire 2020 Courtney Gamay



The pinnacle of Malivoire Gamays is this single block/ single vineyard that lies just outside the wineries front door. It sees oak for 14 months mixing older, newer and larger barrels. It's named for the lady who owned the land on which the vineyard sits: Selma Courtney. She was Malivoire’s neighbour up until she sold the land and Martin - and it is in her honoured he named the wine. This is possibly the winery’s annual best. The first vintage was in 2002; and 18 years later, and this is a big statement: this might be their best to date, but certainly the best since 2015. Firm and full yet fresh with lots of fresh black cherry, blackberry, black raspberry and delicate spices: vanilla, clove, and even some smoky notes show up on the lingering finish. An absolute beauty that needs time to fully evolve.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

CLASSIC - Tenuta San Guido 2020 Guidalberto (Italy)

An iconic producer creates a second tier wine 

to honuor a founder of the area, from a great vintage 

Tenuta San Guido 2020 Guidalberto


Tenuta San Guido 2020 Guidalberto

(60% Cabernet Sauvignon / 40% Merlot)

First vintage 2000 … dry and round in the mouth, fruit is dried and dipped in balsamic. It’s young, so the wood dominates now, but there is also plenty of plush dark fruit, subtle balsamic & spice notes with the tannins nipping playfully. The acidity is on-point and the finish is long – this should turn opulent with time.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

DELICIOUS - Duckhorn 2019 Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon (California)

As a fan of this juicy Cabernet from Duckhorn it's time to talk about it; 

it's a second wine that drinks like top-shelf product

Duckhorn 2019 Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon


This is Duckhorn Vineyards’ second wine, and it’s a real treat. Powerful fruit offering red plum and plush chocolate along with hints of spice and smoke. It’s dangerously drinkable, on its own or with … whatever you want.  (****+)

Friday, August 4, 2023

AMAZING Cave Spring Cellars 2019 Estate Chardonnay (Ontario Wine)

This ABCer finds another Chardonnay that floats his boat 

Cave Spring Cellars 2019 Estate Chardonnay


This is a stunning wine that delivers a bit of spice along with some richness that pairs nicely with its acidity to keep it light on the palate. Thanks to a cool growing season, 2019 was a challenging vintage, but the folks at Cave Spring clearly didn’t get the memo. This may be the best Chardonnay in the LCBO at this price point from anywhere. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

STUNNING Stags' Leap Winery 2018 Petite Sirah (California, USA)

This is not a grape you seen on its own very often, 

but after tasting this my only question is - Why Not?

Stags' Leap Winery 2018 Petite Sirah


Stags’ Leap Winery 2018 Petite Sirah 

Now this is the bee's knees. Really good. Smile inducing – add your platitude here. Dark fruit and spice, subtle pepper, white smoke, cassis and black cherry; I love that spice on the end, the great length, I have much more to say about it, but I want to get back to the glass. You need this wine in your life.  (**** ½)


Friday, July 28, 2023

Niagara College 2020 Gastronomy Shiraz (Ontario Wine)

Shiraz? In Ontario? Is this a bottle of misnamed wine? I'll let you know talking about this 

Niagara College 2020 Gastronomy Shiraz



How I hate to see the word Shiraz on a label of Ontario Syrah - it's confusing - and I thought we had passed that; then again, maybe not. The wine itself was aged 20 months in French and American oak, bottled unfiltered and from the toasty 2020 vintage, which should also tell you how the wine is. But there's still no excuse for the name, especially from the Teaching College, of all places. The actual wine in the bottle has notes of raspberry and pepper - both red and black - on the nose; palate is full of spicy-black fruit and that peppery goodness comes through as well. If only it was named properly, then I could relax and be a bigger fan than I already am.  (****+)