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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for MAY 28, 2016.

 
WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for MAY 28, 2016.
=======================================================
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My Internet compendium "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at www.deantudor.com since 1994.
 
So many people have asked me for wine recommendations, with numbers only. The readers' most common response is that while they like what I say, they only relate to the score. The score is a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, where e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone and not like a Northern Rhone) and Quality/Price Ratio. Let's take it for granted that, e.g., a Riesling tastes like a Riesling, and the wine has some value in the marketplace either above or below its selling price. This way too I can also cover more wines.
 
This restructured wine newsletter for the Ontario market, with wines available through the LCBO and Vintages on a bi-weekly basis, can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at www.deantudor.com
 
20 under $20
=========
W-Pieropan Soave Classico 2014, +946848, $17.95, 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  88.
W-Puklus Pinceszet Tokaji Dry Furmint 2014 Hungary, 12% ABV, +445718, $16.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Provolo Camptorbian Ripass Valpolicella Superiore 2011,  14% A, +974402, $19.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Fielding Red Conception 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 13% A,  +189183, $18.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Finca El Origen Estate Reserva Torrontes 2015 Salta, 14.3% A, +262089, $15.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Montgras Antu Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Maipo, 14.5%ABV, +444703, $17.95, +MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Rustenberg Chardonnay 2014 WO Stellenbosch, 14%ABV, +598631, $19.95, MVC/QPR: 90.
W-Domaine de Rocherin Vieille Vignes Bourgogne Chardonnay 2014, 12.5% ABV, +445254, $19.95, MVC/QPR: 90
W-Charles Bove Vouvray 2014, 11.5% ABV, +448563, $17.95, MVC/QPR: 91.
R-Chateau du Donjon Grande Tradition Minervois 2012, 14% ABV, +275578, $15.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Santa Duc Les Vieilles Vignes Cotes du Rhone 2009, 14% ABV, +101543, $16.95, MVC/QPR: 92.
W-Muga Barrel Fermented White Rioja 2015,  13.5% ABV, +958736, $14.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha 2014 Campo de Borja, 15% ABV, +273748, $19.95, MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Baron de Magana 2010 Navarra, 14.5% ABV, +280552, $19.95,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Masserie Pisari Primitivo 2013 IGT Salento Rosso, 14% ABV, +270306, $13.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Cant. Tollo Aldiano Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva 2011, 14% , +51706, $19.95, MVC/QPR: 88
W-Fratelli Povero Terre del Conte Roero Arneis 2014, 13% ABV, +436915, $16.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Chateau Peyros Vieilles Vignes Madiran 2010, 14% ABV, +234997, $18.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Benmarco Malbec 2013 Uco Mendoza, 14% ABV, +657601, $17.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Familia Garces Silva Boya Pinot Noir 2013 Leyda,  13% ABV,  +444711, $14.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
 
20 over $20
========
Sparkling – Jackson-Triggs Entourage Grand Reserve Brut 2011 MT VQA Niagara Peninsula, 12% ABV, +234161, $24.95, MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Allegrini Palazzo della Torre 2012 IGT Veronese, 13.5%ABV, +672931, $24.95,  MVC/QPR: 91.
R-Cantine di Ora Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore 2013, 14.5% ABV, +451666, $22.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2013 Napa, 14.1% ABV, +346304, $67.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Tawse Growers Blend Pinot Noir 2011 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 13% ABV, +130989, $24.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-La Crema Chardonnay 2014 Russian River  Sonoma, 13.5% A,  $39.95, +67231, MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay 2013 Columbia Valley, 13.5%A,+232439, $20.95, MVC/QPR:88
W-Kim Crawford Wild Grace Small Parcels Chardonnay 2013, 13% ,+378604, $24.95,  MVC/QPR:92
R-Domaine Mathieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012, 15% ABV, +971564, $41.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 2010, 14% ABV, +378257, $54.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Ruffino Ducale Oro Riserva Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2010, 14.5% ABV, +353201, $47.95, MVC/QPR: 90
R-La Tercera Reserva 2010 Rioja, 13.5% ABV, +432443, $27.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Lopez de Haro Gran Reserva 2008 Rioja, 14% ABV< +431973, $27.95, MVC/QPR: 91.
R-Tobia Seleccion Crianza 2010 Rioja, 14% ABV, +364828, $21.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2010, 13.5% A,  +368910, $29.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Pascal Bouchard Les Champs Blancs Chablis 2014, 12.5% ABV, +445338, $26.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Vasse Felix Filius Cabernet/Merlot 2013 Margaret River, 14.5% A, +446682, $24.95, MVC/QPR: 88
R-John Glaetzer John's Blend No. 38 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Langhorne Creek, 14.5% ABV, +927640, $39.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Ridge Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Monte Bello  Santa Cruz, 13.5% ABV, +89284, $74.95, MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Bachelder La Petite Charmotte Nuits Saint Georges 2013, 13% A, +357228, $58.95,MVC/QPR: 89.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Event: Lunch with Jean-Edouard de Rochebouet, Director General of Atamisque in Uco Mendoza Argentina

The Date and Time: Tuesday, May 10, 2016 Noon - 2PM
The Event: Lunch with Jean-Edouard de Rochebouet, Director General of Atamisque in Uco Mendoza Argentina
The Venue: Le Select Bistro
The Availability/Catalogue: Two reds were listed last year at Vintages, two more will be coming this fall. These latter two were the reds I tasted today. Previously, I had rated the earlier two as: 
-BODEGA ATAMISQUE SERBAL ASSEMBLAGE 2012 Tupungato  +415331 $19.95 (100 cases) 14.5%ABV Varietal: Cabernet Franc Blend Gothic Epicures Rating: 3.5 stars
-ATAMISQUE MALBEC 2011 Old Vines (90 yr old) La Consulta (252 cases) +415208 $29.95
14.5% ABV Varietal: Malbec Gothic Epicures Rating: 4 stars
The Quote/Background: JE described the terroir and the winemaking processes. 80% of the production is for export, mainly to US and Canada. Atamisque makes 18 different wines with different clones at different selling prices. In 2016 they will make about half a million bottles, just under 42,000 cases. They have a capacity for one million bottles. This has been the fastest selling wine for the agent in Ontario. MCO says they have had four orders in a year. Atamisque is also known for selling grapes to Catena.
The Wines: Both wines had labels picturing local trees.
 
-Bodega Atamisque Serbal Malbec 2014 Tupungato, Uco Mendoza, $16.95 +444737 Sept 17 Vintages: earthy, forest floor, black fruit nose with a spicy finish for aromatics. Deep pluminess as a well-modulated and dense Malbec, good structure and brightness on the palate. No wood. Six months bottle aging. 14% ABV. 594 cases ordered. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
-Bodega Atamisque Catalpa Malbec 2013 Tupungato, Uco Mendoza, $19.95 +194126 Oct 1 Vintages Arrive in Style – High-Scoring/High-volume New World Wines: deep black fruit nose with mocha, vanillin oak expressions, more cherry-berry intensity on the palate. Some would say a good mouth-feel.14.8% ABV. One year French oak, 50% second use. 1500 (!) cases ordered. Could also taste better a year from now. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
The Food: off the menu. I had duck leg confit. And of course it was a good fit.
The Contact Person: jer@atamisque.com; mco@mcowines.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Event: Porto and Douro Wine Tasting - IVDP

The Date and Time: Monday May 2, 2016, 4PM to 8 PM
The Event: Porto and Douro Wine Tasting - IVDP
The Venue: Hyatt Regency King Street
The Target Audience: wine trade and consumers.
The Availability/Catalogue: Wines were largely available as future arrivals in the LCBO system or by consignment. There were fewer wines than last year from fewer producers. Five agents manned the tables. We had blank pages for a catalogue.
The Quote/Background: There was a seminar ahead of the show but I was unable to attend.
The Wines: There was no over all listing and notes were handscribed over the noise. My apologies for lack of information and errors.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Grahams 20 Year Old Port  Mark Anthony
-Crasto Superior Douro Red 2013, $32 FWP
-Crasto Reserva 20122, $41  FWP
-Murcas Reserva Red Douro 2011, $42   Eurovintage
-Taylor's 40 Year Old Port   Sylvestre
-Taylor's 30 Year Old Port   Sylvestre
-Taylor's 20 Year Old Port   Sylvestre
-C. da Silva Douro Colheita Porto 1995  Case for Wine, $35 PO
-DFJ Vinhos Vega 2013 Red Douro, $15 – 17   FWP
-DFJ Vinhos Escada 2007 Red Douro, $40 – 42  FWP
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Warre Otima 10 Year Old Tawny Port, +566174, 500 ml, $21.95
-C. da Silva Douro Red 2012, +452714, ~$13.95 Vintages Sept/16
-Quinta do Convento Douro 2013, Eurovintage
-Senhora do Convento Tawny 10 year old Port, Eurovintage
-Crasto Red 2014, $20.25  FWP
-Esporao Assobio 2015 White Douro, $15 – 17 Eurovintage
-Esporao Assobio 2014 Red Douro, $15 – 17  Eurovintage
-Taylor's 10 Year Old Port   Sylvestre
-J Rosas Quinta da Touriga Puro Red 2013 $17-18   FWP
-DFJ Vinhos Patamar Reserva 2013 Red Douro, $23 – 24  FWP
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Senhora do Convento Red Douro 2012, Eurovintage
-Crasto White Douro 2014, $16.10 FWP
 
The Food: good bread and water, with www.davidhchow.com providing great artisanal chocolates, some designed just for this event. There was "Figo" (fig + port jam, vincotto ganache), "Avela" (milk chocolate and hazelnut praline), "Tablet" (dark chocolate, sundried cherries, dried raspberries; another version had black figs and pistachios), "Miele" (Ontario buckwheat honey, salted walnut, dark chocolate ganache), and my fave: "Tonka" (salted butter,caramel, and pecan). Wonderful craftsmanship, often better than the wines!
The Downside: it got crowded really fast, and there were few wines to try.
The Upside: great tawnies.
The Contact Person: madison@wolffpublicrelations.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 82.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Friday, May 20, 2016

DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! Southern Spirits (Ten Speed Press)

 
SOUTHERN SPIRITS (Ten Speed Press, 2016, 316 pages, ISBN 978-1-60774-867-0, $24.99 USD hardbound) is by Robert F. Moss, a food and drink writer in Charleston, South Carolina. He has written free-lance articles plus books on southern BBQ and dining. Here, he expands on four hundr3d years of drinking in the American south, with archival black and white illustrations and with recipes. While most people will relate to moonshine and mint juleps, southerners also drank lagers, applejack, and peach brandy/bourbon  (precursor to Southern Comfort) and imported beverages such as Madeira, cognac, and rye.
He does a great job in dispelling the "bourbon" myth as being the only drink. The research is fascinating and impeccable. There is a bibliography and an index, with all the 25 drink recipes collated together under the entry "Recipes" as well as alphabetically within the main index itself. These preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: culinary historians; Southern US history buffs; drinkers.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: apple cider sidecar; black walnut orgeat; coca-cola simple syrup; creole contentment; moonshine margarita; ramos gin fizz; rum punch.
The downside to this book: I would have liked more recipes.
The upside to this book: he's a culinary historian, so it is a well-researched package.
Quality/Price Rating: 92.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, May 19, 2016

* FOOD BOOK OF THE MONTH! *

NOURISH; whole food recipes featuring seeds, nuts & beans (Whitecap, 2015, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-77050-243-7, $29.95 CDN paper covers) is by Nettie Cronish (cookbook author, veggie chef) and Cara Rosenbloom, RD. And ounce for ounce, you really cannot beat any combo of seeds, nuts and beans for nutritional value. The health benefits flow from fibre, protein, and oils contained within these embryotic eggs of the veggie world. Coupled with meats/dairy/seafood, they can provide anything that men desire in the way of food. My regular breakfast is a combo of seeds (hemp, chia, sesame, ground flax, sunflower, pumpkin) and nuts (peanuts, almonds) with an ever changing sauce or liquid. Often, I have a lunch or dinner of "fagioli e minestri" (Italian for beans and greens). At dinner I add Italian sausage, maybe some pasta. Hey, that's my ideal food day! So I am already converted. After the primer describing these ingredients, the arrangement is by course, apps through desserts. The 101 preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements.
Audience and level of use: those looking for more nutrition and flavours in their lives.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: chicken, greens and beans stew; strawberry kale salad with garam masala-spiced seeds; almond fennel celery slaw; watermelon salad with chickpeas and feta; fruit crisp with pumpkin seed crumble; scrambled eggs with black beans and salsa.
The downside to this book: nothing really, very comprehensive, maybe it could use a few more preps.
The upside to this book: there is a bibliography and a nutritional analysis.
Quality/Price Rating: 90.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

RE: The Event: Dr. Loosen Masterclass Mosel Tasting of Riesling and Pfalz Pinot Noir, with Ernst Loosen, April 2016

Thanks Dean!

 

Liz Morellato Trade Marketing Manager
Ph: +1 416 367 5600 Ext.19 |  Toronto, ON

From: Dean Tudor [mailto:dtudor@pathcom.com]
Sent: May 17, 2016 6:51 PM
To: blog1 <dtudor2.epicures@blogger.com>
Subject: The Event: Dr. Loosen Masterclass Mosel Tasting of Riesling and Pfalz Pinot Noir, with Ernst Loosen, April 2016

 

The Date and Time: Wednesday April 27, 2016  2PM to 5 PM

The Event: Dr. Loosen Masterclass Mosel Tasting of Riesling and Pfalz Pinot Noir, with Ernst Loosen.

The Venue: Select Wines Office

The Target Audience: wine writers and sommeliers.

The Availability/Catalogue: most wines are at Vintages or LCBO general listing; others are TBD or private order.

The Quote/Background: Ernst talked about his Washington State venture with Chateau Ste. Michelle, emphasizing the similarities of terrain and micro-climates. In Mosel, he insists on fully mature fruit that has been strictly selected and with minimal technology. Sustainability and organic principles are also followed.

The Wines: Of course, Germany is the largest producer of Riesling wines in the world.

 

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Dr. Loosen Graacher Himmelreich Riesling GG (Great Growth) Dry 2014, TBD

-Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Riesling Kabinett Mosel 2015 Bernkastel, +160846, $22.95  8% ABV

-Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett Single Vineyard Old Vines 2014, TBD 7.5% ABV

-Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett Single Vineyard Old Vines 2014, TBD 7.5% ABV

-Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese Single Vineyard Old Vines 2014, TBD 7.5% ABV, $40 – 50 TBD

-Dr. Loosen Erdener Pralat Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel Single Vineyard Old Vines 2014, TBD 7.5% ABV $60 TBD

-Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Beerenauslese Single Vineyard Old Vines 2005, +62778, $108.25 375 mL bottle

 

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Dr. L Riesling Sparkling NV, +296095, $14.95

-Dr. L Riesling Dry 2015 Mosel, +423566, $13.95

-Dr. L Riesling 2014 Mosel, +599274, $13.95

-Dr. Loosen Riesling Kabinett Mosel Single Vineyard 2015 Bernkasteler, TBD $25 - 30 7.5% ABV

 

*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-E Loosen Villa Wolf Pinot Noir 2014 Pfalz, +291971, $12.95

-E Loosen Villa Wolf Riesling Dry 2014 Pfalz, +394023, $12.95

 

The Food: international cheeses from the Cheese Boutique, biscuits, breads.

The Downside: Ernst spoke a lot, I wished that I had a recorder.

The Upside: I personally really learned a lot, especially from the very attractive booklet we were given. All of the wines were carefully exp0lained and mapped; the pictures were vivid.

The Contact Person: morellato@selectwines.ca

The Event’s Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Event: Dr. Loosen Masterclass Mosel Tasting of Riesling and Pfalz Pinot Noir, with Ernst Loosen, April 2016

The Date and Time: Wednesday April 27, 2016  2PM to 5 PM
The Event: Dr. Loosen Masterclass Mosel Tasting of Riesling and Pfalz Pinot Noir, with Ernst Loosen.
The Venue: Select Wines Office
The Target Audience: wine writers and sommeliers.
The Availability/Catalogue: most wines are at Vintages or LCBO general listing; others are TBD or private order.
The Quote/Background: Ernst talked about his Washington State venture with Chateau Ste. Michelle, emphasizing the similarities of terrain and micro-climates. In Mosel, he insists on fully mature fruit that has been strictly selected and with minimal technology. Sustainability and organic principles are also followed.
The Wines: Of course, Germany is the largest producer of Riesling wines in the world.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Dr. Loosen Graacher Himmelreich Riesling GG (Great Growth) Dry 2014, TBD
-Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Riesling Kabinett Mosel 2015 Bernkastel, +160846, $22.95  8% ABV
-Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett Single Vineyard Old Vines 2014, TBD 7.5% ABV
-Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett Single Vineyard Old Vines 2014, TBD 7.5% ABV
-Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese Single Vineyard Old Vines 2014, TBD 7.5% ABV, $40 – 50 TBD
-Dr. Loosen Erdener Pralat Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel Single Vineyard Old Vines 2014, TBD 7.5% ABV $60 TBD
-Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Beerenauslese Single Vineyard Old Vines 2005, +62778, $108.25 375 mL bottle
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Dr. L Riesling Sparkling NV, +296095, $14.95
-Dr. L Riesling Dry 2015 Mosel, +423566, $13.95
-Dr. L Riesling 2014 Mosel, +599274, $13.95
-Dr. Loosen Riesling Kabinett Mosel Single Vineyard 2015 Bernkasteler, TBD $25 - 30 7.5% ABV
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-E Loosen Villa Wolf Pinot Noir 2014 Pfalz, +291971, $12.95
-E Loosen Villa Wolf Riesling Dry 2014 Pfalz, +394023, $12.95
 
The Food: international cheeses from the Cheese Boutique, biscuits, breads.
The Downside: Ernst spoke a lot, I wished that I had a recorder.
The Upside: I personally really learned a lot, especially from the very attractive booklet we were given. All of the wines were carefully exp0lained and mapped; the pictures were vivid.
The Contact Person: morellato@selectwines.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for MAY 14, 2016.

 
WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for  MAY 14, 2016.
=======================================================================
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My Internet compendium "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at www.deantudor.com since 1994.
 
So many people have asked me for wine recommendations, with numbers only. The readers' most common response is that while they like what I say, they only relate to the score. The score is a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, where e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone and not like a Northern Rhone) and Quality/Price Ratio. Let's take it for granted that, e.g., a Riesling tastes like a Riesling, and the wine has some value in the marketplace either above or below its selling price. This way too I can also cover more wines.
 
This restructured wine newsletter for the Ontario market, with wines available through the LCBO and Vintages on a bi-weekly basis can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at www.deantudor.com
 
20 under $20
=========
W-Te Pa Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Marlborough, +450668, $19.95, MVC/QPR:  88.
W-Rosewood Sussreserve Riesling 2015 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +258806, $14.95, 10.1% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Famiglia Bianchi Chardonnay 2015 Mendoza, +1461, $17.95, 14% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-San Pedro 1865 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Maipo, +37911, $19.95, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Terra Noble Gran Reserva Carmenere 2012 Maule, +957050, $19.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Zonte's Footstep Lake Doctor Shiraz 2013 Langhorne Creek, +72975, $17.95, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Chateau de Panigon 2010 Cru Bourgeois Medoc, +348250, $19.95, 14% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Chateau du Chatelard Cuvee Les Vieilles Vignes Beaujolais-Villages 2014, +445320, $17.95, 12.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-D'Angelo Sacravite 2013 IGT Basilicata, +440834, $15.95, 13% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Rendola Rosso de Montalcino 2009, +438564, $15.95, 13.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR:  89.
R-San Leonino Chianti Classico 2012, +412387, $19.95, 13.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Oro de Castilla Verdejo 2014 Rueda Spain, +745562, $15.95, 13% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Bod. Balbas Ardal Crianza 2010 Ribera del Duero, +167601, $18.95, 14% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Marin Old Vine Garnacha 2010 Carinena, +214205, $14.95, 13.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Monterebro Seleccion 2013 Jumilla, +443929, $19.95, 14.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2014 Lodi, +460659, $17.95, 14.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Liberty School Syrah 2013 Central Coast, +942383, $18.95, 13.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Graham Beck Game Reserve Chenin Blanc 2014 WO Paarl, +443366, $15.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Rabl Kittmansberg Gruner Veltliner 2014 Kamptal, +346007, $15.95, 12.5% ABV.  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Gerard Bertrand Syrah/Grenache 2013 Languedoc, +413237, $16.95, 13.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
 
20 over $20
=========
W-Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Marlborough, +677450, $24.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Ernest Meurgey-Perron Pouilly-Fuisse 2012, +448852, 13% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Pierre Amadieu Romane-Machotte Gigondas 2013, +17400, $24.95, 14.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Val di Suga Brunello di Monmtalcino 2010, +713719, $48.95, 14.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Latium Morini Campo Leon Amarone della Valpolicella 2010, +334300, $47.95,  MVC/QPR: 92.
R-Bod. Altanza Lealtanza Gran Reserva Rioja 2008, +453548,  $29.95, 13.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-La Regola Vallino 2008 IGT Rosso Toscano, +440602, $26.95, 14% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88,
R-Casetta Barolo 2011, +4523, $29.95, 14.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Cave de Rasteau Ortas Prestige Rasteau 2011, +985929, $21.95, 14.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Nuiton-Beaunoy Beaune 2012, +447573, $37.95, 13% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Chateau Brande-Bergere Cuvee O'Byrne 2009 Bordeaux Superieur, +446674, $25.95, 13.5%ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Tawse Sketches of Niagara Cabernet/Merlot 2012 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +130252, $20.95, 13% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Nyarai Cellars Cadence 2011 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  +451781, $21.95, 13% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88
R-Domaine Queylus Tradition Pinot Noir 2012 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +392738, $29.95, 13.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Auntsfield Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Southern Valleys Marlborough, +663286, $22.95,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Thornbury Pinot Noir 2014 Central Otago, +329706, $24.95, 13.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 87.
R-Elephant Hill Le Phant 2014 Hawkes Bay, +447367, $22.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Pascual Toso Alta Cabernet 2013 Barrancas Vineyards Mendoza, +441907, $32.95, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Viewpointe Focal Point Cabernet Franc 2010 VQA Lake Erie North Shore, +450916, $24.95, 13.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay 2013 Sonoma County, +275552, $24.95, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Event: County in the City -- Try and Buy Prince Edward County wines

The Date and Time: Thursday April 14 2016, 1PM to 4:30PM
The Event: County in the City Try and Buy
The Venue: Berkeley Church
The Target Audience: wine trade in the afternoon; consumers at night
The Availability/Catalogue: everything was available from the winery and/or LCBO channels.
The Quote/Background: This the fifth annual show of Prince Edward County wines in Toronto, and the media had a private table with iced wines and a seat for our computers. Consumers were able to mix and match bottles from different wineries and receive free shipping (minimum of six bottles).
The Wines: I did not taste all the wines.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-CLOSSON CHASE    2014 Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay    28.95   
-Closson Chase South Clos Chardonnay $35
-Stanners 2014 Chardonnay VQA PEC    30.00   
-Rosehall Run Winery JCR Rosehall Vineyard Chardonnay (2013)     29.95   
   
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-2014 Closson Chase Watson Pinot Noir    34.95   
-2015 Closson Chase Watson Pinot Gris    21.95   
-2014 Closson Chase The Brock Chardonnay $23           
-HUFF ESTATES WINERY    2013 Cuvée Janine (Sparkling Rose)     30.00   
-Huff Estates    2015 Pinot Gris    20.00   
-Huff Estates    2014 South Bay Chardonnay    30.00   
-KARLO ESTATES 2015 County Pinot Gris    29.00   
-Karlo Estates    2015 Lake on the Mountain Riesling     29.00   
-Karlo Estates     2013 Three Witches    26.00   
-Karlo Estates     2013 Trimvirate    36.00   
-Lighthall Vineyards    2014 Pinot Noir    30.00   
-TRAYNOR FAMILY VINEYARD Sauvignon Blanc    24.95   
-Trail Estate 2015 Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc Hughes Vineyard    28.00
-Trail Estate 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé    21.95   
-Norman Hardie 2013 Chardonnay Unfiltered    39.20   
-Keint-He Winery    2014 Portage Chardonnay    25.00   
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-BROKEN STONE WINERY    Broken Stone Winery Pinot Noir 2014, VQA PEC    25.00   
-Broken Stone Winery Cabernet Franc 2015, VQA Four Mile Creek    20.00   
-CASA DEA ESTATES WINERY 2015 Dea's Cuvée     18.95   
-GRANGE OF PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY     Chardonnay    20.00   
-Huff Estates     2013 Pinot Noir Reserve    30.00   
-Karlo Estates 2013 Chardonnay CHOA    25.00   
-NORMAN HARDIE WINERY & VINEYARD 2014 Cabernet Franc Unfiltered
-Traynor Family Chardonnay    24.95   
-TRAIL ESTATE WINERY    2014 Riesling    23.95   
-STANNERS VINEYARD    2014 Pinot Gris VQA PEC     25.00   
-Stanners Vineyard 2013 Pinot Noir VQA PEC    35.00   
-ROSEHALL RUN WINERY Hungry Point Unoaked Chardonnay (2015)     19.95   
-Rosehall Run Winery 77    Defiant Pinot Noir (2014)     18.95   
-LIGHTHALL VINYARDS    2013 Progression Sparkling    20.00   
-Lighthall Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay    25.00   
-KEINT-HE WINERY AND VINEYARD    2013 Voyageur Chardonnay    17.00   
-Keint-He Winery    2013 Frost Road Chardonnay    25.00   
-Keint-He Winery 2013 Portage Pinot Noir    30.00   
 
The Food: international cheeses and breads for the trade.
The Downside: I had just been to a wine tasting.
The Upside: a chance to catch up with PEC wines.
The Contact Person: katie@drinkinc.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Event: Austrian Tasting Toronto

The Date and Time: Thursday April 14, 2016  Noon - 4PM
The Event: Austrian Tasting Toronto
The Venue: St James Cathedral Centre
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: as in previous years, most of the wines are private order, although some are available through the LCBO distribution channels.
The Quote/Background: It has been quite a few years since the last Austrian show (2012 in fact, since the opening of the Trump Hotel), so it was good to reconnect with these wines.
The Wines: I did not taste all the wines; there were 17 agencies involved plus a few tables of wineries seeking representation.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Angerer Kurt Donatus Riesling 2015, $34.95  B & W
-Brundlmayer Klassik Zobinger Heiligenstein 1OTW Riesling 2013, $48  HHD Imports
-Loimer Reserve Langenlois Steinmassl 1OTW Riesling 2013, $62.95  Le Sommelier
-Sattlerhof Kranachberg GSTK Sauvignon Blanc 2013, $62.95 Le Sommelier
-Salomon Undhof Reserve Pfaffenberg Metternich & Salomon 1OTW Riesling 2011, $74 Lamprecht
-Zantho TBA Scheurbe 2013, $35 375mL  Noteworthy
-Nikolaihof Wachau Steinriesler Riesling 2002, $79.95  Living Vine
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-R&A Pfaffl Reserve GV Hommage 2014, $75.44   AMV-Whiz Trading
-R&A Pfaffl Klassik Terrassen Sonnleiten Riesling 2015, $32.69   AMV-Whiz Trading
-Schloss Gobelsburg Klassik Domaene Gobelsburg Riesling 2015, $25.49  Artisanal
-Schloss Gobelsburg Reserve Gaisberg 1OTW Riesling 2014, $45.95  Artisanal
-Stadt Krems Klassik Steinterrassen Riesling 2015  B Cojocaru Agencies
-Stadt Krems Reserve Steiner Ried Grillenparz 1OTW Riesling 2014   B Cojocaru Agencies
-Rabl Klassik Langenlois Riesling 2015  David Thompson Vintage Trade
-Rabl Reserve Schenkenbicl Riesling 2014  David Thompson Vintage Trade
-Winzer Krems Reserve Kremser Pfaffenberg Riesling 2013, $25  Dionysus
-Szigeti Sekt Brut GV 2013, $19.95  HHD Imports
-Szigeti Sekt Blanc de Blancs Adele Brut Chardonnay NV, $24.95  HHD Imports
-Nigl Reserve Senftenberger Pellingen Privat 1OTW Riesling 2014, $78.95  Le Sommelier
-Sattlerhof Sudsteiermark Sauvignon Blanc 2015, $24.95 Le Sommelier
-Sattlerhof Gamlitzer Sauvignon Blanc 2015, $31.95 Le Sommelier
-Sattlerhof Gamlitzer Weissburgunder 2015, $25.95 Le Sommelier
-Nikolaihof Wachau Smaragd Vom Stein Riesling 2012, $69.95  Living Vine
-Nikolaihof Wachau Steiner Hund Riesling 2012, $79.95  Living Vine
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Stift Klosterneuburg Klassik GV 2015, $18.60  Rare Earth
-Stift Klosterneuburg Hengsberg GV 2015, $19.60  Rare Earth
-Brundlmayer Klassik Kamptal Terrassen GV 2015, $29.95  HHD Imports
-Brundlmayer Klassik Kamptal Terrassen Riesling 2015, $29.95  HHD Imports
-Lenz Moser Fete Rose Blauer Zweigelt 2015, $13.95  HHD Imports
-Leopold Gerichtsthal Riesling 2014, $20.50  Lamprecht
-Nikolaihof Wachau Federspiel Vom Stein Riesling 2008, $79.95  Living Vine
 
The Food: from enville.com caterers we were treated to veggie rolls, Cheese Boutique cheeses, cold cuts, breads, salads, beef open-faced sandwiches, and assorted garnishes such as ground cherries.
The Downside: there was another tasting going on at the same time.
The Upside: a chance to reconnect with Austrian wines.
The Contact Person: Birgitta.samavarchian@advantageaustria.org
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, May 8, 2016

SOME NEW BEVERAGES TASTED THIS MONTH OF APRIL 2016 --

1.Henry of Pelham Estate Chardonnay 2014 VQA Short Hills Bench Niagara, +268342 Vintages, $19.95: a really fresh tasting chardonnay, tempered by oak notes from barrel fermentation (90% French oak, one-quarter new) and some short aging in barrels for about 8 months. It typifies deftness at 13.5% ABV: ripeness, balance of oaking and fruit, integrated style in place, while wood integration produces creaminess in the finish. Cork closure. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
2.Henry of Pelham Estate Pinot Noir 2010 VQA Short Hills Bench Niagara, +268391 Vintages, $24.95: part of a burgundian-styled pair with the chardonnay at the April 16 release. Here is another deft wine, with cherry-berry tones, some toast, mildly opulent sty, not cool climate at all. Fermented in stainless and aged in "European" oak (30% new). Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
3.Miguel Torres Cordillera de los Andes Special Reserva Carmenere 2009 Curico Valley, +301432 Vintages, $21.95: a warmer climate wine, with 14.5% ABV reflected in the cherry-berry flavours with spices (including anise and some mint). Aged a year in French oak (30% new). Still needs time. Quality/Price rating is 87 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
4abc.I tasted some mid-weight mid-priced Italian chardonnays from north Italy, offered by Majestic Wine Cellars as part of their consignment stock, to compare and contrast in an evaluation. This is an area of intense competition, the mid-point of $15 a bottle. We make a nice chardonnay in Ontario at that price point, but so do others in the world. I started with Cantina Valpantena Veneto Chardonnay IGT 2015 ($10.60 Majestic private stock, plastic cork). It's a definite antipasto wine since it was light lemons with lively acidity, some tart apples, 12% ABV, and a longer finish than I was expecting (87 points). Quite pleasant. I moved on to Albino Armani Claps Chardonnay Friuli Grave Sequal 2014 ($14.15 Majestic private stock, composition cork) at 12.5% ABV, a more mellow, rounder wine with less acid (more sweet apples) by a longer finish in the mouth (88 points). I next tasted Albino Armani 1607 Chardonnay Trentino 2014 ($16.75 Majestic private stock, composition cork) which had sweet apples, limes and citrus, and a brightness from the stainless steel (89 points), a definite pre-prandial wine.
 
 
5.Southbrook Vineyards Seriously Cool Red 2013 VQA Ontario, $15.95 Winery: an interesting blend of pinot noir (65%), gamay (25%), zweigelt (8%) and syrah (2%) from sustainable vineyards. The label is touted to be suitable for vegans. It is all stainless steel, with twist tops, at 12.5% ABV. Expect classic Ontario red fruit (cherry-berry) plus some tart cranberry for refreshment and finish. The back label has little description; it would have been nice to know the grape names and proportions. (Union does this on their front label). Quality/Price rating is 87 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
6.Southbrook Vineyards Serious Cool Chardonnay 2015 VQA Ontario, $15.95 Winery: a closely knitted blend of chardonnay musque (65%), chardonnay (26%), and riesling (9%). Yet residual sugar is 5 g/l, less than the comparable Seriously Cool Red. The winery notes that 80% of the grapes were harvested from vineyards transitioning to organic, so the source vineyards are at least "sustainable plus".A good quaffer or social wine or even a first course white wine, displaying Ontario orchard fruit (apple, peach, et al) and some vanilla tones from subtle oaking. The back label has little description; it would have been nice to know the grape names and proportions. (Union does this on their front label). Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
7.Calamus Estate Steely Chardonnay 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +210062 Vintages, $14.95: steely indeed, fresh and crisp still at this point. Twist top, 12.5% ABV, like a softer (it has some partial malo treatment) Chablis-style at a good price. My impression is that it has improved in the bottle. First course wine, especially good with a winter salad. Loaded with orchard fruit from start to finish. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
8.Calamus Estate Riesling 2013 VQA Vinemount Ridge, +158642 LCBO, $14.20: from 13 year old vines, typical of Ontario riesling but more appley and citric, off-dry mode (some peaches), 11.6% ABV. Try as an aperitif social wine for its fruity finish, or spicy first course such as seafood. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
9.Calamus Estate Cosmic White 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +255893 LCBO, $14.95: every Ontario winery by now has a white blend and a red blend, doubling as social drinking or as a house wine for restaurants. Most of these are sold on pricepoint alone. This one has 43% riesling, 43% chardonnay, and 14% gewurztraminer (although the proportions may vary from vintage to vintage, and some wineries even add or delete grape varieties). It is a very popular drink style and as an Ontario Wine Awards judge I have found it hard to blindly pick through the wines. Invariably, I always give the highest marks to what turns out to be the most expensive wine. But that is not the point of the winemaking. In all circumstances, while the winery wants to sell its wine, it has to have an appeal to the customer at a great price for retail or licensee. Here, we have a mix of value, from three highly regarded grapes (two very aromatic and one with structural backbone). Done up in stainless, coming in at 12.1% ABV, and showing multiple orchard fruits. It is a good social wine at a fair pricepoint. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
10.Calamus Estate Calvin's Cabernet 2012 VQA Niagara Peninsula, $17.50 Winery Only: Ontario needs a good Cabernet for under $20, and here is one candidate. It is a definite BBQ wine, with 83% cab sauvignon and 17% cab franc done up for 26 months in French and US oak. Twist top with 13.4% ABV, winner of a Best Value award from Intervin in 2015. Typical MVC of cassis, smoke and other wood tones and vanilla. Long finish. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
11.Calamus Estate Meritage 2012 VQA Niagara Peninsula, $32.20 Winery Only: another Bordeaux-styled red from the glorious 2012 vintage, possibly the finest for Ontario, especially for cabernet family. And here we are with 58% cabernet sauvignon, 33% merlot, and 9% cabernet franc, making it a "Meritage" wine since it uses at least three of the Bordeaux varieties. Stored in French oak for 21 months, and 13.2% ABV. Wood tones are getting more pronounced (I tasted this wine over several days) so that means a certain leafiness augmented by light vanilla and cedar from the oak. Black cherry-berry fruit dominates, cassis, along with merlot plumminess. Long, long meaty finish from the integration and aging so far. With a twist top, the wine could age differently than Bordeaux. One to check in with later....save me a bottle. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
12.Cloudline Pinot Gris 2014 Willamette Valley Oregon, +159988, $24.95 Vintages: I've always preferred pinot gris over pinot grigio, and this is a classic gris from Domaine Drouhin Oregon. Its long dry finish is preceded by light floral and good aromatics of citric fruit, posed with a concentrated body of flavours with texture. Definite first course wine. One for the advanced pinot gris and grigio lover. 13.9% ABV with twist top. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
13. Fratelli Branca CARPANO ANTICA FORMULA VERMOUTH, $47.95 litre; $18.95 for 375 mL
Ontario by Majestic Wine Cellars: a revelation in the vermouth world, created in 1786. This is red vermouth, numbered in hand-blown glasses, emphasizing vanilla, dried fruit, dates and orange zest. Bitter-sweet, with some gentian root notes. 16.5% ABV, long persistent finish, best on the rocks as an aperitif or after a meal straight up. Many Toronto bars use it in their cocktails, such as Negroni or Manhattan. Quality/Price rating is 93 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
14.Morgan Bay Cellars Chardonnay 2013 California, $14.15 Majestic private stock, which had well-rounded texture meant to appeal to the US palate. There were lemons and green apples, but also the softness and taste of a creamy caramel. 13.5% ABV. The label says California (which to many means "off-dry" or a sweetness reminiscent of at least some sugar), but there is also enough finishing acid for a first course. Otherwise, sip away; I was expecting more food bite and stainless steel at this price level.
Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
15.Rutherford Ranch Lander-Jenkins Chardonnay California 2013, +162651 Vintages, $19.95: a typical mid-priced California chardonnay, just under $20 but sure to go up with the exchange rate (like all the other $19.95 American wines) to maintain that quality. Expect caramel and cream and citric tones on the finish, as well as a concentrated body. 13% ABV, well-made. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
16.Rutherford Ranch Chardonnay 2014 Napa, (2013 was +136382, $22.95 Vintages): a soft wine full of orchard fruit, creamy, bright, some vanilla but modest oak. Aperitif or with seafood. 13.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
16.Puklus Pinceszet Sweet Tokaji Szamorodni 2009, +179374 Vintages, $18.95 for 500 mL:
a second-tier Tokay wine, usually medium-sweet and done naturally with no added puttonyos. Botrytised grapes would vary from vintage to vintage and from producer to producer. The last Puklus we had was 2006 vintage; this current version (2009) seems to also offer bitterish dried apricot flavours and oxidative notes. A good dessert wine, certainly affordable, and perhaps best with egg dishes such as custards. 13.5%
ABV. 100% Furmint. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com