available from October 15, 2016
I am featuring six Pinot Noirs from the October 15 release — three of them Canadian — along with a Canadian Cabernet blend, and Shiraz from two Australian producers.
The first wine is the 2014 Domaine Theulot-Juillot La Cailloute, Mercurey 1er Cru, a fine expression of Pinot Noir from the Côte Chalonnaise. The three Canadian wines are the 2013 Flat Rock Gravity Pinot Noir, the 2010 Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Pinot Noir, and the 2014 Keint-He Portage Pinot Noir. The final two Pinots are from the Antipodes, the 2015 De Bartoli G.S. Pinot Noir (Yarra Valley, Victoria), and the 2012 Stoneleigh Latitude Pinot Noir (Marlborough, New Zealand).
The Canadian Cabernet blend is the 2012 Creekside Laura’s Red. The final two wines are from South Australia: the 2014 Dandelion Vineyards Lioness of McLaren Vale Shiraz, and the 2013 Yalumba Patchwork Shiraz from Barossa.
DOMAINE THEULOT-JUILLOT LA CAILLOUTE MERCUREY 1ER CRU AC 2014
Vintages #473793 • $39.95 • 750ml. • 90/100This Pinot Noir is from La Cailloute, a small vineyard above the village of Mercurey in the Côte Chalonnaise. Berries are 100% destemmed prior to fermentation, and the wine is aged up to one year in French oak, 25% of which is new. The wine is medium ruby-red, showing aromas of cherries and blackberries, dry leaves and earth. The palate is fresh, crisp and vibrant, with lively acidity and fine, lingering tannins. The fruit remains fresh and tart into the finish, which picks up on the earthy notes and adds a stony minerality. A very good wine.
Tasted Sept 16, 2016 • JEAN-PIERRE RENARD (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
FLAT ROCK GRAVITY PINOT NOIR 2013, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula
Vintages #1560 • $30.25 • 750ml. • 89/100The Flat Rock Gravity Pinot Noir is a barrel selection from their estate Pinot. The wine is medium ruby-red, just beginning to show some garnet. The nose fills with earthy, red cherry, cranberry, raspberry and blackberry fruit, and the merest hint of green herbs — it's very expressive, with good Pinot character. The wine is dry, with firm acidity, balanced alcohol and fine tannins — earthy and slightly twiggy, with cedary notes underlying the red cherry and berry fruit. The fine tannins gather towards the finish, that lingers with the earthy fruit and a light stony note. Top notch!
Tasted Sept 16, 2016 • FLAT ROCK CELLARS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE PINOT NOIR 2010, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula
Vintages #657874 • $34.95 • 750ml. • 89/100I like this Pinot very much, but it is showing considerable evolution. I was able to taste it three times: one bottle was really on the downturn, but twice it was very compelling. The wine is ruby-garnet, showing garnet-orange on the rim. There is still a core of slightly lifted cranberry and cherry fruit, a little baked plum character, with earth, twigs, a hint of baking spice and leather. The wine is dry, with elevated acidity, balanced alcohol and fine, surprisingly persistent tannins. The fruit is mature on the palate, which is more savoury and earthy than fruity. Interesting, but drink soon.
Tasted Sept 16, 2016 • HENRY OF PELHAM FAMILY EST. WINERY (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
KEINT-HE PORTAGE PINOT NOIR 2014, VQA Prince Edward County
Vintages #373415 • $30.00 • 750ml. • 89/100Keint-He makes Pinot Noir from both Niagara and Prince Edward County, their home base, and the Portage is made from local PEC grapes. The wine is a lighter ruby-red, showing garnet on the rim. The nose is a little reticent at this point, but shows focused cranberry and cherry fruit, a little earthiness, and a hint of spice. The wine is dry, with crisp acidity, balanced alcohol, and fine tannins, with lots of freshness on the palate, and more complex and forward fruit with good breadth. The tannins lightly persist into the finish, underpinning lingering fruit and earthy notes. A good effort.
Tasted Sept 16, 2016 • KEINT-HE WINERY & VINEYARDS LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
DE BORTOLI G.S. PINOT NOIR 2015, Yarra Valley, Victoria
Vintages #15511 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This accessible Pinot from the Yarra Valley is made with uncrushed whole berries, 10% of which are whole bunch (i.e. with stems). The wine is medium-depth ruby red, with aromas of fresh raspberry, blackberry and black cherry fruit, reflecting the whole berry fermentation. The wine is bone-dry, with crisp acidity, modest alcohol, and fine, chalky tannins. I love the lively, juicy fruit on the palate, and the fruit-and-tannin finish. A very attractive wine at a very attractive price.
Tasted Sept 16, 2016 • DIONYSUS WINES & SPIRITS LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
STONELEIGH LATITUDE PINOT NOIR 2012, Marlborough, South Island
Vintages #325654 • $25.95 • 750ml. • 89/100The Latitude Pinot Noir is sourced from the "Golden Mile" area of the northern Wairau Valley. Grapes are destemmed, and fermentation is in open-top fermenters, started with ambient yeasts. Aging is ten and a half months in French oak, 26% new. The wine is ruby-red, just hinting at garnet on the rim. Smoky red cherry and cranberry fruit aromas are supplemented with notes of blackberries, dried herbs and cedary resin. The wine is dry, with firm acidity, balanced alcohol, and slightly elevated fine, rounded tannins. There is a little resinous oak around the edges, but I like the core of juicy, fresh fruit, and the additional savoury element on the mid-palate. The tannins carry through to the fruit-filled crisp finish. A very good new world Pinot.
Tasted Sept 16, 2016 • CORBY SPIRIT AND WINE LIMITED (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
CREEKSIDE LAURA'S RED 2012, VQA Niagara Peninsula
Vintages #117960 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 89/100Creekside is on point with the 2012 version of their Laura's red, a wine that I always look out for. It's a blend of Bordeaux varieties — 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot — with 3% Syrah. The wine is deep purple, with both fresh and ripe aromas of blackberry, black currant and plum fruit, a hint of florality, minty green herbs and cedar. The wine is dry, with crisp acidity, balanced alcohol. Sandy tannins underlie the focused fruit on the mid-palate, and dry on the lengthy finish. Oak is nicely understated. This wine will benefit from three to five years in the cellar, though it drinks well now, especially if you tame the tannins with beef, lamb or game.
Tasted Oct 4, 2016 • HOBBS & CO. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
DANDELION VINEYARDS LIONESS OF MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2014, McLaren Vale, South Australia
Vintages #357475 • $21.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100This is a deep, dense purple Shiraz from the McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide. Fermentation was with ambient yeasts and whole bunches, and the wine was aged for 18 months in French oak, 20% new. The nose features intense dark fruit aromas — blueberry, blackberry, black cherry and plum — with spicy and dark chocolate notes, and a hint of wood resin. The wine is dry, with balanced acidity, elevated alcohol, and firm tannins. The fruit on the palate is fully ripe, stopping short of over-ripeness and maintaining some freshness. All in all, this is a very good value.
Tasted Oct 11 2016 • DU CHASSE WINES & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
YALUMBA PATCHWORK SHIRAZ 2013, Barossa, South Australia
Vintages #98392 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100The Patchwork Shiraz is rather deep ruby-purple. Aromas suggest fresh and ripe blackberry and black cherry fruit, with hints of dark chocolate and spice. The wine is dry, with firm acidity, slightly elevated alcohol, and fine tannins. The fruit is ripe on the palate, complemented by a pleasant savoury and cedary element. The finish is clean and fresh, with lingering tannins. Very good value.
Tasted Oct 11 2016 • B AND W WINES (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation