In Part 2 of my report on this release, I focus on red wines. Starting with a red (or pink) sparkling Lambrusco, I follow with two Ontario reds (a Gamay and a Cabernet-Merlot), two Pinot Noirs from the antipodes (I particularly like the one from Tasmania), and then three reds from Crozes-Hermitages, Greece and Rioja.
CLETO CHIARLI E FIGLI VECCHIA MODENA PREMIUM LAMBRUSCO DI SORBARA DOC
Vintages #416024 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 88/100This pleasant Lambrusco is light neon pink. Despite the fact that the pretty strawberry and raspberry aromas take on a sweet and candied note, there is a slightly earthy nuance that I associate with this variety. The wine is very close to dry, with elevated acidity that keeps the fruit fresh and lively on the palate, and aided by the fine mousse, leads to a crisp finish. Kudos to the LCBO for bringing in a series of Lambruscos this summer.
Tasted July 17, 2015 • MARK ANTHONY BRANDS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
THE GOOD EARTH GAMAY NOIR 2012, VQA Niagara Peninsula
Vintages #424317 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100Here is another good Ontario Gamay, with fresh raspberry and cherry fruit aromas and a light floral lift, underpinned by some tobacco leaf and earthy notes. The wine is dry and crisp, with moderate alcohol and soft, smooth tannins. A light peppery note enhances the finish. This is a very nice effort that is ready to be enjoyed now!
Tasted July 10, 2015 • EPIC WINES AND SPIRITS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
COYOTE'S RUN CABERNET/MERLOT 2012, VQA Niagara Peninsula
Vintages #26757 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 88/100While 2012 was a warmer vintage in Niagara, this wine hasn't succumbed to the deceptive attraction of super-ripeness. Red and black fruit aromas suggest raspberries, red currants and blackberries, with some green cedar notes, earth and tobacco leaf, oak spice and vanilla. The palate is crisp and fresh, just medium in weight, with enough chalky grip from the tannins to give some interest. I think this is a style of Cabernet that makes very good sense for Ontario: crisp, easy and pleasant to drink.
Tasted July 10, 2015 • COYOTE'S RUN ESTATE WINERY (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
TAMAR RIDGE PINOT NOIR 2012, Tasmania
Vintages #411512 • $29.95 • 750ml. • 89.5/100The wine is medium ruby-red, with a hint of garnet on the rim. The vibrant nose suggests fresh raspberries, cherries and plums, with a little dry earth note adding depth. The excellent structure — fully dry, with crisp acidity, modest alcohol and softening tannins — keeps the fruit crunchy and fresh on the palate, although the oak-spice notes are a little more apparent than on the nose. While this could use another year in bottle to integrate further, it will be hard to resist drinking this now! This is a very good expression of New Zealand Pinot Noir, without the high alcohol that can sometimes detract, and that sells at a very fair price.
Tasted July 10, 2015 • ID AGENCY (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
SEVEN TERRACES PINOT NOIR 2013, Canterbury, South Island
Vintages #414037 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 88/100This is a very good basic Pinot Noir from New Zealand. Pure raspberry, cherry and earthy rhubarb aromas are accompanied by a hint of spice. The wine is dry, with elevated crisp acidity, balanced alcohol and soft tannins. The fruit is a little riper on the palate, but remains fresh and lively. All in all, a fine value.
Tasted July 10, 2015 • WOODMAN WINES & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
DELAS LES LAUNES CROZES-HERMITAGE AC 2012
Vintages #701359 • $24.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This is a good introduction to Syrah from the northern Rhône. It's still youthful, showing a deep ruby-purple, with appropriately "purple" fruit: aromas suggesting blueberries, blackberries and plums, with violets and garrigue, and a leathery-meaty note — all pretty much textbook Syrah. The wine is dry, with elevated acidity, balanced alcohol, and elevated tannins that are beginning to soften. Wood resin notes are more apparent on the palate, but the fruit maintains the dominant role. This needs some time to integrate, but has the fruit and acidity to improve over the next year or two in cellar.
Tasted July 10, 2015 • TANDEM SELECTIONS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
KTIMA KIR-YIANNI 2011, PGI Imathia
Vintages #419234 • $18.95 • 750ml. • 88/100This Xinamavro-Merlot blend is made in a modern style that is intended to appeal to the international market. Red currant, blackberry, plum and black currant fruit fill the nose, with some interesting green notes. Elevated acidity balances elevated alcohol, and tannins are prominent and still hard and grippy. There is just a suggestion of sweetness, as oak resin and vanilla underly the fruit on the palate. This is a modern, dense, chewy wine that needs some time to soften. Decant if you are drinking in the short term.
Tasted July 17, 2015 • THE KOLONAKI GROUP INC (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
LEALTANZA RESERVA 2009, DOCa Rioja
Vintages #208223 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This is a maturing Rioja that is showing some garnet on the narrow rim. You'll find aromas of ripe berry, cherry and plum fruit, light leathery notes and wood resin. Tannins still have a chalky grip, alcohol is slightly elevated with some heat on the palate, balanced by good acidity. The fruit continues to the slightly tannic finish. This is a well-balanced and intriguing wine, and a fine value.
Tasted July 17, 2015 • BARRIQUE WINES & SPIRITS IMPORTS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation