Available in Ontario November 12, 2016
This set of red wines is headlined by the very fine 2012 Terroir Caché Meritage, a Merlot-dominant blend from Niagara’s Hidden Bench. Argentina is well-represented by the 2014 Catena Malbec, here in Magnum format, in an elegant style that I find very appealing. Two Pinot Noirs include an authentic 2014 Vignerons de Buxy Millebuis Mercurey Rouge, and a pretty, simple Pinot from the Limari Valley in Chile, the 2014 Maycas de Limari Reserva Especial.
Three Italian wines hail from Puglia, Tuscany and Piedmont, respectively: the 2009 Rivera Il Falcone Riserva Castel Del Monte, the 2013 Castello Di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva, and the 2014 Paolo Conterno Bricco Barbera D’Alba. The final wine is an expressive Xinomavro from Naoussa, the 2013 Thymiopoulos Young Vines.
HIDDEN BENCH TERROIR CACHÉ MERITAGE 2012, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment
Vintages #505610 • $38.00 • 750ml. • 91/100Hidden Bench Terroir Caché is a Bordeaux-style blend of 46% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc,16% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Malbec, all estate-grown fruit from vineyards on the Beamsville Bench. The wine is deep ruby-red, still showing some glints of purple. Dense, rich, sensual blackberry, black currant and plum fruit aromas are backed by notes of chocolate, twigs and dry earth. The wine is dry, with firm acidity, balanced alcohol, and grippy, mouth-coating tannins. There is still lots of freshness in the ripe fruit, oak is integrating nicely, and some menthol notes emerge towards the lengthy finish. Complex, and just starting to evolve, this wine can be served at the table now — I'd certainly decant it — but will benefit from at least another two or three years in cellar, and will comfortably age much longer than that. First rate indeed!
Tasted Oct 7, 2016 • MARK ANTHONY BRANDS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
CATENA MALBEC 2014, Mendoza
Vintages #468066 • $39.95 • 1500ml. • 90/100Here the drama of a magnum adds fun to the dependable Catena Malbec, a Vintages Essential in the 750 ml format. The wine pours rather deep ruby purple. A pretty floral note leads the blueberry and blackberry fruit aromas, dusted with a hint of pepper. The wine is dry, well-balanced, with pleasant acidity and soft tannins. Chocolate, spice, and a nuance of twigs and dry herbs complement the berry fruit, and the tannins linger on the fruit-filled finish.
Tasted Nov 1, 2016 • TRIALTO WINE GROUP LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
VIGNERONS DE BUXY MILLEBUIS MERCUREY ROUGE AC 2014
Vintages #474841 • $28.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This is a very pleasant and authentic red Burgundy from the dependable co-operative Vignerons de Buxy. The wine pours medium ruby-garnet, with both fresh and ripe cherry, cranberry, raspberry and blackberry fruit, with hints of vanilla and oak spice. The wine is dry, with modest alcohol, a medium body, and fine tannins that lightly persist to the finish. The fruit stays fresh and vibrant on the palate, and the finish dries nicely. Elegant and approachable.
Tasted Oct 14, 2016 • VINEXX (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
MAYCAS DE LIMARI RESERVA ESPECIAL PINOT NOIR 2014, Limari Valley
Vintages #469213 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100This Pinot Noir from the Limari Valley shows translucent but rather deep ruby red. The nose is lightly smoky, with a note of dry earth, and an intense core of cherry, raspberry and blackberry fruit. The wine is dry and balanced, with fine tannins. The earthy and twiggy character underlies the fruit on the palate, with sour cherry carrying into the finish, where the tannins dry out the fruit, and linger with a whisper of acidity. While the wine is a little too extracted for true Pinot elegance, it is nicely structured overall — a pleasure to find so much Pinot character for this price.
Tasted Oct 7, 2016 • FREE HOUSE ONTARIO WINE & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
RIVERA IL FALCONE RISERVA CASTEL DEL MONTE DOC 2009
Vintages #177295 • $23.95 • 750ml. • 89.5/100This wine is 70% Nero di Troia, which is grown almost exclusively in northern Puglia, with Castel del Monte producing some of the best examples. The balance of the grapes are local varieties, including Montepulciano. This is a deeply coloured ruby red wine, with rustic black and red berry fruit, cinnamon and other baking spices, and earthy undertones. Firm acidity backs the soft and persistent tannins, and the fruit on the palate is juicy and dense — although there is still a pleasing suppleness that comes close to elegance. The leathery, spicy and savoury elements become more prevalent towards the finish. An intriguing wine!
Tasted Oct 14, 2016 • S. SCHIRALLI AGENCIES LTD., (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
CASTELLO DI GABBIANO CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA DOCG 2013
Vintages #216309 • $22.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100This Chianti is 95% Sangiovese with 5% Merlot. It is elegant and fine-boned, with relatively moderate oak treatment, 50% barriques and 50% larger casks, with 20% new wood. The wine is ruby-red, with bright cherry, raspberry, blackberry fruit, a floral-violet component, and some modest oak-derived spice. The wine is dry, with firm acidity, balanced alcohol, and fine, mouth-coating tannins. The pretty cherry and berry fruit on the palate are supplemented by a hint of menthol and an undertone of dry earth. The tannins and fruit linger and dry on the lengthy finish. Lots of elegance here, and very appealing.
Tasted Oct 14, 2016 • TREASURY WINE ESTATES (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
PAOLO CONTERNO BRICCO BARBERA D'ALBA DOC 2014
Vintages #744714 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100This is a fresh and slightly tart Barbera, with pleasant blackberry and black cherry fruit, violets, and notes of dark chocolate and vanilla. Bright acidity balances a hint of sweetness, and silky tannins linger on the fruit-filled finish. Pleasant and approachable — drink over the shorter term.
Tasted Oct 14, 2016 • PREVEDELLO AND MATHEWS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
THYMIOPOULOS YOUNG VINES XINOMAVRO 2013, Naoussa
Vintages #466474 • $17.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100Thymiopoulos Vineyards is a biodynamic estate located in the southern part of PDO Naoussa, and Xinomavro is the authorized grape of the appellation. The wine is ruby-red, just starting to show some garnet on the rim. Lovely fresh cherry, raspberry and blackberry fruit dances over cinnamon and baking spice, a hint of barnyard, and a savoury-herbal undertone. Brisk acidity and chalky tannins define the palate, which is surprisingly light-bodied and fresh, despite notable extraction. This is a pretty wine, a great value, and well worth discovering.
Tasted Oct 7, 2016 • VICTORY WINE & SPIRITS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation