Aniello 006 Riverside Estate Pinot Noir 2016
Pinot Noir has been called “the heartbreak grape.” And with good reason. It’s like the little girl with the curl because when it’s good, it’s very, very good, but when it’s bad it’s horrid. Well, here’s a very, very good version from Argentina at a very good price: Aniello 006 Riverside Estate Pinot Noir 2016. Cherry red in colour, it has a spicy, earthy nose of rose petals and raspberry candy. Medium-bodied and dry, the flavours of sweet raspberry and pomegranate fill the mouth. A beautifully balanced wine with a lovely mouth-feel. It costs $17.95 at Vintages outlets. Serve it with chicken or veal. That’s Aniello 006 Riverside Estate Pinot Noir 2016 from Argentina. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($17.95, Vintages #542092) (89)
Castelo do Mar Albariño 2016
Fed up with Chardonnay? Bored with Sauvignon Blanc? Try this Albariño from north-western Spain. Currently at Vintages is Castelo do Mar Albariño 2016, a deliciously crisp, dry white wine that sells for $17.95 a bottle. Bright straw in colour, minerally, lemony notes rise from the glass at first sniff. It’s medium-bodied, dry with a floral, peachy flavour and a lively citrus finish. A versatile wine for fish and seafood. That’s Castelo do Mar Albariño 2016 from Spain. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($17.95, Vintages #488734) (89)
Rabl Kittmansberg Grüner Veltiner 2016, Kamptal
($16.95, Vintages #346007)
Austria’s signature grape Grüner Veltiner produces a wonderfully versatile white wine. In its dry form, it has a nose of green peach and lemon with a note of white pepper and a thread of minerality. Straw-coloured with a hint of lime, this medium-bodied, dry wine finishes on a note of green apples. (90)
Food match: fish dishes; soft cheeses
Snapper Rock Marlborough Pinot Gris 2016, Marlborough
($16.95, Vintages #536185)
When it comes to white wines New Zealand is not only Sauvignon Blanc. This Pinot Gris is light straw in colour, offering a peach pit nose with lemon and mineral notes. Medium-bodied and dry, imagine a dish of sliced peaches and apples – that’s the flavour you experience. (89)
Food match: roast chicken; seafood pasta
Dandelion Vineyards Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz 2016, Barossa Valley
($21.95, Vintages #167189)
Dense purple in colour, this hefty red exudes a spicy, smoky, savoury bouquet of blackberries and black cherries. It’s full-bodied, fruit-driven and chewy. (89)
Food match: pepper steak or rich casseroles.
Sunday, March 4th: Arrived in Madrid having avoided having an Air Canada dinner by eating at Susur Lee’s restaurant in the airport. Although I had a middle seat sandwiched among three women, luckily we were in the bulkhead which meant more leg room. Thanks to a sleeping pill, I slept for four hours.
A taxi at Madrid airport took me to the Lagasca Hotel. Slept for a couple of hours then went for a walk. In the main square I took a photo of folded umbrellas that looked like nuns in conversation.
Madrid outdoor umbrellas masquerading as nuns
Found a great little wine bar called Ricon de Goya but it was closed. So settled for O’Caldina, where everything is monographed with their logo, including the tablecloths, plates, napkins and even the salt shakers.
Jamón and cheese
Posted in Wine Lover's Diary
Tagged Abadia Retuerta, Alonso del Yerro, Alto PS, Alvear, Arcos de la Frontera, Belondrade, Bodega Numanthia, Bodegas Enrique Mendoza, Cérvoles, Chivite, Cordoba, Cortijo Los Aguilares, Dehesa del Carrizal, El Churrasco, Filaboa, Finca Moncloa, Finca Sandoval, Finca Valpiedra, Gramona, Grandes Pagos de España, Madrid, Manuel Manzaneque, Mas Doix, Mauro, Mérida, Mustiguillo, O'Caldina, Pago Vallegarcia, Palacio Quemado, Propiedad de Arinzano, Ronda, San Román, Sevilla, Seville, Spain, Toledo, Valdespino, Vinas del Vera, Wine Lover's Diary
Bastide Milaflors Syrah Vieilles Vignes Grenache 2015
If you want to impress the wine lover in your life, pick up a bottle of Bastide Miraflors Syrah Vieilles Vignes Grenache 2015 from France’s Midi region. It’s available at Vintages for $19.95 a bottle. Dense purple in colour, its nose is a cornucopia of blackcurrant, plum and cherry aromas. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the palate with cedary, black fruit flavours with notes of smoked meat and dark chocolate. This wine cries out for pepper steak. That’s Bastide Milaflors Syrah Vieilles Vignes Grenache 2015 from France at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($19.95, Vintages #320499) (89)
Boutari Moschofilero 2016
I’m a great fan of Greek white wines, especially the aromatic Moschofilero grape. Currently on the LCBO’s general list is Boutari Moschofilero 2016. Light straw in colour, this fragrant wine has a bouquet of orange blossom and musk melon. Medium-light in body, it presents a dry flavour of green melon with tangy, lemony acidity which gives the wine a long, lingering finish. It costs $12.95 a bottle and makes a great aperitif wine before dinner. Or serve it with trout or sea bass. That’s Boutari Moschofilero 2016 from Greece on the LCBO’s general list. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($12.95, LCBO #172387) (89)
Piattelli Reserve Torrontes 2016
The Torrontes grape from Argentina is so fragrant you don’t know whether to drink it or slap it on as after-shave. It smells of orange blossom and cardamom, rather like a dry Muscat from Alsace. Recently released at Vintages is Piattelli Reserve Torrontes 2016. That intense aroma is matched by the flavour of a cantaloupe melon – it really is like drinking perfume that tastes deliciously dry. Torrontes makes a great aperitif before dinner or try it with runny cheeses. It costs $14.95 at Vintages outlets. That’s Piattelli Reserve Torrontes 2016 from Argentina. For Post City magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($14.95, Vintages #536672) (88.5)
Boekenhoutskloof Porcupine Ridge Chardonnay 2016
The South African winery Boekenhoutskloof makes great Syrah but recently I tasted their Porcupine Ridge Chardonnay and was very impressed by the price for the quality. Light straw in colour, the Boekenhoutskloof Porcupine Ridge Chardonnay 2016 has a woodsy, apple nose with a floral grace note; it’s medium-bodied, dry, faintly smoky with pear and lemon flavours. It costs a reasonable $14.95 at Vintages outlets and will match chicken or fish dishes. That’s Boekenhoutskloof Porcupine Ridge Chardonnay 2016 from South Africa. For Post City magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($14.95, Vintages #542175) (88.5)
Monday, February 26th: Took an early bus into Toronto to attend the annual Taste Ontario event at the ROM. A room was provided for the wine press so that we could sit down and taste at our leisure. I tasted several Rieslings: Charles Baker Riesling Picone Vineyard 2014 (91), Southbrook Vineyards Triomphe Organic Riesling 2016 (89), Charles Baker Riesling Ivan Vineyard 2014 and B-Side Riesling 2016 (both 89), Fielding Estate Bottled Riesling 2016 (89), and Hidden Bench Bistro Riesling 2015 (89).
Top Pinot Noir: Bachelder Wismer-Parker Pinot Noir 2014 (91), Domaine Queylus Reserve du Domaine Pinot Noir 2013 (90), Flat Rock Gravity Pinot Noir 2014 (90), Domaine Queylus Pinot Noir Tradition 2015 (89), Wescott Estate Pinot Noir 2015 (89), Norman Hardie County Pinot Noir 2016 (89), and 2027 Cellars Edgerock Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 (88).
Then I went down to the main room where the wineries were serving wines from tables. Here I tasted a bunch more wine. Top scoring wines were: Cave Spring Cabernet Franc Dolomite 2016 (89), Creekside Iconoclast Syrah 2015 (89), Nyarai Cellars Veritas 2012 (red blend – 89), ICellars Estate Syrah 2016 (89), and Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Shiraz 2015 (89). Continue reading
HãHã Sauvignon Blanc 2016
There’s a New Zealand wine currently at Vintages outlets labelled HãHã Sauvignon Blanc 2016. And that’s no joke. HãHã in the Maori language means savoury and luscious. And that pretty much sums it up. Bright straw in colour, it offers a grassy, grapefruit and apple nose with a mineral note; medium-bodied and crisply dry, flavours of gooseberries and green beans carried on zesty acidity fill the palate. It costs $18.95 at Vintages and partners well with oysters and shellfish. That’s HãHã Sauvignon Blanc 2016 from New Zealand at Vintages. For Post City magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($16.95, Vintages #388363) (88)
Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2015
Joel Peterson, who owns Ravenswood Winery in Lodi, California, has a sign that hangs in his tasting room – “No Wimpy Wines Allowed.” And that’s what you get in his range of Zinfandels. Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zin 2015 is deep ruby-purple in colour; The nose is spicy leather and black plum with cedary oak notes. It’s full-bodied, fruity but dry with coursing acidity that gives the wine its length of flavour. It costs $21.95 a bottle at Vintages outlets and cries out for chili or spicy ribs. That’s Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2015 from California. For Post City magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($21.95, Vintages #942599) (88)