A selection of releases from Australia and New Zealand

"... five Australian reds, a sparkler and a Chardonnay, and two New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs ..."

Reviews for wines available in Ontario after February 18, 2017

One of the features of the recent Vintages release was a promotion of Australian wines, and I’ve chosen to recommend seven of these along with two New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. The Australians include a traditional method sparkling wine from Tasmania and a Chardonnay from Margaret River. These are followed by two Shiraz (Strathbogie Ranges and Clare Valley in South Australia), two Cabernet Sauvignons (McLaren Vale and Coonawarra) and a Pinot Noir from Victoria.

The New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs include an intriguing entry-level wine from the highly respected producer Craggy Range from Martinborough on the North Island, as well as a fine, more mainstream wine from Marlborough.

7501

JANSZ PREMIUM CUVÉE SPARKLING WHITE, Tasmania, Australia

Vintages #566828 • $26.95 • 750ml. • 90/100
This is a pleasant, straightforward, dryish traditional method sparkling wine from Tasmania. The wine is lighter straw, slightly toasty on the nose, with notes of lemon, red apples and melon. The wine is dry, with a small amount of residual sugar mopped up by high acidity, just giving a little richness to the creamy palate. A suggestion of toasted almonds adds some complexity, and the finish is crisp and stony. Good value indeed.
Tasted 2/14/2017 • B AND W WINES (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



7527

2015 CRAGGY RANGE TE MUNA ROAD SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC, Martinborough, North Island

Vintages #466011 • $25.95 • 750ml. • 90/100
This is a fine introduction to the excellent wines of Craggy Range. Te Muna Road is the winery's Martinborough vineyard that focuses largely on Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. The wine takes a step or two beyond simple mainstream New Zealand Sauvignon. Fermentation and five months of aging take place in a mix of vessels: French oak barriques and larger cuves, along with standard stainless steel vats. There is a tiny portion of new French oak. The wine is medium straw, with a nose suggesting white grapefruit, lemon and lime, green apples, melons and pears. Vivid acidity is balanced by a nicely creamy texture, with subtle grapefruit, melon and pear on the palate, and a lightly earthy-stony finish. Very classy, elegant and refined.
Tasted 2/3/2017 • LIFFORD WINE & SPIRITS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



7526

2015 RAPAURA SPRINGS RESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC, Marlborough, South Island

Vintages #388421 • $22.95 • 750ml. • 89/100
The wine is pale straw, with an intense, mainstream Marlborough Sauvignon nose: grassy, with earthy green peppers, then grapefruit, green apple, melon and white flowers. The wine is dry, with brisk acidity, balanced alcohol and a medium body. There is a creaminess on the palate that nicely frames the zesty grapefruit, that comes to the fore as the vegetal notes recede. The finish dries, with the grapefruit accent taking on a light earthy undertone, and lingers with a crisp, stony finish. Very good value.
Tasted 2/3/2017 • VINEXX (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



7506

2015 ROBERT OATLEY SIGNATURE SERIES CHARDONNAY, Margaret River, Western Australia

Vintages #350900 • $18.95 • 750ml. • 89/100
This is a bright, pleasant Chardonnay from Margaret River in Western Australia. Malolactic conversion has been blocked to maintain acidity, and the wine was aged for a short period in French oak, with 20% new. It is pale straw, slightly smoky and reductive on the attack, with bright lemon and green apple fruit, and some riper melon and white peach notes. The wine is dry, with crisp acidity, moderate alcohol and a medium body. The palate presents both fresh and ripe fruit, with very subtle vanilla and cedary resin adding some depth, and a crisp, mineral-tinged finish. Excellent value.
Tasted 2/14/2017 • EPIC WINES AND SPIRITS INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



7426

2013 FOWLES STONE DWELLERS SHIRAZ, Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria

Vintages #265967 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 89/100
The vineyards of Fowles Wine are located in the somewhat cooler climate Strathbogie Ranges region of Victoria. The wine is deepish red, with aromas of ripe and juicy blackberry, black cherry, notes of mint, vanilla and oak resin. It is dry, with firm acidity, balanced alcohol and ripe tannins. The fruit is ripe and dense on the palate, lingering with spice and resin on the finish. Good value.
Tasted 2/14/2017 • VON TERRA ENTERPRISES LTD. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



7419

2013 JIM BARRY THE LODGE HILL SHIRAZ, Clare Valley, South Australia

Vintages #998476 • $24.95 • 750ml. • 89/100
This is 100% Shiraz from the Clare Valley estate of Jim Barry Wines. The wine is deep purple, showing lighter violet on the rim. The nose presents vivid blackberry, black currant and plum fruit, with a minty-herbal edge, and a note of spice and chocolate. It is dry, with firm acidity, slightly elevated alcohol, and fine but textured tannins. The fruit is ripe and juicy on the palate, and the finish shows some cedary oak. A lively, approachable Shiraz from this always excellent producer.
Tasted 2/14/2017 • FAMILY WINE MERCHANTS INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



7424

2015 TWO HANDS SEXY BEAST CABERNET SAUVIGNON, McLaren Vale, South Australia

Vintages #219469 • $29.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100
This is a warm, ripe Cabernet Sauvignon from South Australia's McLaren Vale. The wine is deep ruby-red. On the nose, a hint of tomato vine is followed by aromas of very ripe blueberries, blackberries and black currants, with a hint of violets and damp earth. The wine is dry, with balanced acidity, elevated alcohol that generates noticeable warmth, and ripe, persistent tannins. On the palate, the dense, ripe fruit takes on a roasted coffee undertone, with a lift of mint and eucalyptus on the mid-palate and finish. Rich, warm and crowd-pleasing.
Tasted 2/14/2017 • B AND W WINES (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



7420

2014 KATNOOK FOUNDER'S BLOCK CABERNET SAUVIGNON, Coonawarra, South Australia

Vintages #660332 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 88/100
This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra vineyards of the original founder of Katnook, John Riddoch. The wine is moderately deep red, with a narrow lighter red rim. Exuberant aromas of black currant, blackberry and mint, with a hint of chocolate underneath. The wine is dry, with fresh acidity, balanced alcohol, and firm, drying tannins. The ripe fruit and herbs take on a spicy note, and the fruit lingers on the finish. Take a sniff — to me, this really says "Australia" from a certain time and place.
Tasted 2/14/2017 • CHURCHILL CELLARS LTD. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



7427

2015 SHOOFLY PINOT NOIR, Victoria

Vintages #477067 • $16.95 • 750ml. • 88/100
This Pinot Noir is from the Yarra and King Valleys, east and a little north of Melbourne in Victoria. The wine is mid cherry-red, fading to garnet on the rim. Bright cherry and raspberry fruit in the forefront, backed by a floral note, fresh mint, dusty earth, and just a hint of baking spice. The wine is dry, balanced with medium tannins and perhaps just a notch less acidity than would be ideal. The fruit is ripe but still finely etched on the palate, and the light, earthy character gives it good Pinot character. The oak — nine months in second-use barrels — is nicely in the background. An excellent value.
Tasted 2/3/2017 • TERRA FINE WINES (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



 

Santé

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