Vintages Release February 6, 2016 Part 2: Red wines from Canada, New Zealand and France

In Part 2 of my review notes I have chosen three Canadian reds, a Pinot from New Zealand and four wines from France. The Canadian wines are the 2012 Merlot from Burrowing Owl in the Okanagan, and two from Niagara, the 2012 Fielding Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2013 Merlot from Creekside Estate Winery. The New Zealand wine is the 2013 Dashwood Pinot Noir from Marlborough.

The first French red is a 2013 Morgon from Château des Jaques. The last three are from southern France: a very good 2013 Sant-Chinian-Roquebrun from Cave de Roquebrun, the 2013 Hecht & Bannier Minervois, and a 2013 Côtes de Provence from Domaine Houchart.

4012

BURROWING OWL MERLOT 2012, BC VQA Okanagan Valley

Vintages #585737 • $39.95 • 750ml. • 90/100
This is a luxurious Merlot from the southern Okanagan, that reflects its warm and desert-like environment. On the nose you will find round rich fruit aromas, suggesting strawberries, raspberries, cherries and plums, with some floral notes, vanilla, cedary resin and a light dusting of dry herbs. The wine has elevated alcohol and surprisingly firm and persistent tannins. As the heat subsides towards the finish, the vanilla, chocolate and red and black fruit carry into a lengthy finish. Big and opulent.
Tasted Feb 2, 2016 • WYSE WINE AGENCY (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



4014

FIELDING CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012, VQA Niagara Peninsula

Vintages #444661 • $29.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100
There is abundant ripe blackberry, black currant and plum fruit on the nose, with a lifted violet note, backed by dry earth, vanilla, cedar and (despite the ripeness from the warm vintage) a suggestion of green herbs and leafiness that speaks of the grape variety. The wine is nicely structured, with slightly elevated acidity balancing modest alcohol and persistent tannins, and pleasant fruit lingers on the finish. Nicely done.
Tasted Feb 2, 2016 • FIELDING ESTATE WINERY (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



4013

CREEKSIDE MERLOT 2013, VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula

Vintages #444752 • $24.95 • 750ml. • 88/100
This is a deeply coloured Merlot that features aromas of ripe raspberry, cherry, blackberry and plum, some florality, with darkly toasted and roasted notes. Slightly elevated acidity and tannins nicely balance each other, while roasted coffee and dry earth focus the fruit flavours as they expand on the lengthy finish. Decant and aerate for early drinking, or cellar for a year or two.
Tasted Feb 2, 2016 • HOBBS & CO. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



4053

DASHWOOD PINOT NOIR 2013, Marlborough, South Island

Vintages #296202 • $24.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100
The nose is bright and clean, with aromas of ripe cherry, raspberry and cranberry fruit, complemented by enough of a light earth and mushroom undertone that the wine's Pinot character remains true. Brisk acidity balances slightly chalky tannins, and the ripe fruit, earth and herbal notes on the palate play into a crisp finish. Very good value for a representative Marlborough Pinot Noir.
Tasted Jan 23, 2016 • LIFFORD WINE & SPIRITS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



4021

CHÂTEAU DES JACQUES MORGON AC 2013

Vintages #653584 • $24.95 • 750ml. • 89/100
This is a well-priced Morgon, that ticks all the boxes. It is a pretty, medium ruby-red in the glass, with a vibrant nose of cherry and blackberry fruit, black pepper and a whiff of violets. The wine is crisp, with modest but lingering tannins, and notes of dry earth and dry leaves nicely complement the fresh fruit and pepper flavours. Very drinkable indeed.
Tasted Jan 23, 2016 • HALPERN ENTERPRISES (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



4024

CAVE DE ROQUEBRUN LA GRANGE DES COMBES SAINT-CHINIAN-ROQUEBRUN AC 2013

Vintages #155804 • $18.95 • 750ml. • 90/100
This is a hearty blend of Syrah (50%), Grenache (30%) and Mourvèdre (20%) from the village of Roquebrun in Saint-Chinian, Languedoc. It is slightly volatile with dense blackberry and black currant fruit, and a floral-violet nuance on the nose. Elevated acidity, alcohol and grippy, mouth-coating tannins provide a big frame for the fully ripe to slightly jammy fruit, with blueberries complementing the darker blackberry flavours, and dry earth, herbs and roasted notes rounding out the palate. This is a big, and slightly rustic wine that will complement those hearty winter stews.
Tasted Jan 23, 2016 • EUROVINTAGE INTERNATIONAL INC (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



4031

HECHT & BANNIER MINERVOIS AC 2013

Vintages #17764 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 89/100
This is a deep, dense, crowd-pleasing wine, with pretty blueberry, blackberry and plum fruit with a light dusting of baking spice and garrigue. The palate is rich and full, the alcohol is slightly hot, and tannins are elevated but ripe, washed by the juicy fruit and spice into a warm and slightly earthy finish. Excellent value.
Tasted Jan 23, 2016 • HALPERN ENTERPRISES (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



4027

DOMAINE HOUCHART RED 2013, AC Côtes de Provence

Vintages #438614 • $16.95 • 750ml. • 87.5/100
This cheerful Grenache blend from Provence still shows a youthful violet on the rim. The attractive nose suggests ripe raspberries, blackberries and cherries, with violets, pepper and garrigue. Acidity is brisk, tannins are slightly sandy, and the mouth-filling fruit carries into a drying finish. Good value.
Tasted Jan 23, 2016 • TANDEM SELECTIONS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



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