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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Churchill Cellars Portfolio Tasting, April 7, 2008

The Time and Date: Monday, April 7, 2008    3 PM to 7 PM

The Event: the sixth annual Churchill Cellars Portfolio Tasting.

The Venue: National Ballet School, Jarvis Street.

The Target Audience: trade, wine media, private clients.

The Availability/Catalogue: everything is landed and available, through the General List or Vintages. There were half a dozen private orders, and nothing from Consignment. A total of some 85 wines.

The Quote: "Most of the wines here are from the General List. I felt that while there was value here, there was a lost of uniqueness and character. Where were the wines of yesteryear? Quail's Gate? Leasingham? Ports?"

The Wines: there were some unannounced surprises that had to be requested, or were only available at certain times. I think that there were two bottles of each. Of course, these were super premium wines, full of richness and character. They are NOT included below, but they were outstanding: Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad ($30 ISD), a Robert Mondavi Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2001 ($160?), Pol Roger Brut Champagne Reserve ($82 ISD), Bay of Fires Tasmania Pinot Noir 2006 ($30), and Pol Roger Extra Rich in 375mL bottle. I was also unable to locate a vintage year in most cases, but presumably they are the latest vintage available.


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

-Pol Roger Brut Champagne NV GL $54.40 (or fight!)

-Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2005  GL $19.80

-Robert Mondavi Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2005  Vintages  $37.45 (15%ABV)

-D'Arenberg Dead Arm Shiraz  Vintages $55.30

-Hardy's Stamp of Australia Riesling Gewurztraminer GL  $9.60 (nominated as this summer's quaffer)


***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (8890 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Segura Viudas Brut Reserva GL $14.65

-Woodbridge by Mondavi Merlot GL $13.85 – very juicy

-Casa Silva Quinta Generacion Red Vintages $21.95

-Chivite Gran Feudo Reserva Red  Vintages $15.65

-D'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier Vintages $27.75

-Dr.Pauly-Bergweiler Riesling Kabinett Vintages $21.60

-D'Arenberg Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne Vintages $16.75

-D'Arenberg The Football Shiraz Vintages $21.75

-Bankside Shiraz Vintages $16.65

-Robertson Winery Prospect Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Vintages $18.75


*** Three Stars (8587 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Robert Mondavi Private Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2006 GL $15.85

-Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel Vintages $17.60

-Wilm Riesling Alsace Vintages $15.65

-Nobilo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc General $15.75


The Food: yummies everywhere, with cheese from the Cheese Boutique (asiago, paillot de chevre, mamirolle, benedictine blue), savoury cookies from M + G Kitchens (, and smoked turkey and ham sandwiches, plus sauces, from White House Meats.

The Downside: there was an accident that closed off part of Jarvis Street, and this made driving and parking particularly onerous.

The Upside: great food, some ambitious wines, good bunch of trade and private clients.

The Contact Person:

The Effectiveness (numerical grade): 88.



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