Alan’s August 2002 Vintages Release
Release date August 3, 2002
Maybe it was the intense heat outside the tasting
room or possibly it was because the red wines from this month’s release
had little appeal to me but for whatever reason, I found the white wines
to be far superior and generally offer better value this month. There was
only one red from Australia and a couple from the states submitted for
evaluation so consequently, that steered me to sample some of the Italian
offerings that I must confess to often passing by. Well all I can say is
"Italy to the rescue!" Several of the Tuscan wines were well
priced and simply charming.
Those collectors with excessive amounts of wines
tucked waiting for the rainy days might be interested in lessening the
load via Ontario’s first official public wine auction. This heralded
event is to be held on November 9, under the direct supervision of Vintages
of course, in Toronto. Click
here for information.
Just to avoid any confusion, the "two releases
per month" system introduced by Vintages a few a months ago has been
put on the back burner for the month of August. The board has decided to
go with just one release for this release only. As a result, all the wines
this month will be available on August 3!
500975 AUXERROIS/PINOT BLANC 2000 $ 10.95,
Niagara Peninsula Cave Spring Cellars.
Great value here from this medium bodied, flavour packed fruit bomb. A
lovely mix of apple, pear and sun ripened peaches went right from the nose
through to the finish. Little overtones of mineral and stone rounded this
out beautifully. Truly a steal at this price.
253278 RIESLING RESERVE 1999 $ 12.95, Niagara
This is the white wine of the month and it certainly was not a style
to suit my tastes. Way too much high-octane petrol and paraffin with
little if any fruit to back it up. Incidentally, most of the Riesling
geeks present held similar opinions.
963124 SAUVIGNON BLANC 2001 $ 18.95, Marlborough,
South Island, Jackson Estate, NZ.
Aromas of citrus, anise and gooseberry dominated the nose. Good solid
fruit/acid balance on the palate that featured tropical mango, pear and
lime oil. Had a lovely long lingering finish. Very good stuff.
744730 CHABLIS 1998 $ 21.90, Grande Réserve du
Domaine, Vieilles Vignes, Pascal Bouchard.
Not your everyday Chablis here. The nose showed banana peel, crab
apples and some barnyard funk. Quite opulent on the palate, classic apple
and pear combination one expects but with noticeable pineapple and passion
fruit flavours too. The texture was cloying with an overall sensation of
canned fruit cocktail on the finish. All in all a lovely Chardonnay.
179556 CHÂTEAU DE CHAMIREY 1999 $ 27.95,
'Marquis de Jouennes d'Herville', Mercurey, R. de Jouennes.
Very appealing lemony gold colour. Lemon furniture polish and
butterscotch aromas, good extraction full of apple juice, mineral, tree
fruit and citrus flavours.
711325 POUILLY-FUMÉ 2000 $ 19.95, 'Les Cocques'
Domaine Patrick Coulbois.
I detected a touch of sulphur on the nose, which detracted from the
underlying and pleasing lemon and apple aromas. It was not apparent on the
palate but personally I would take the NZ Sauvignon given the price.
712265 CHAPELLE SAINTE-MARIE 2001 $ 9.90,
This traditional Rhone blend of Marsanne, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc
has to be the most unique wine of the release. The nose was laden with
honey, preserved lemons, apricot, sweet peach and ripe cantaloupe. Quite
full-bodied and beautifully balanced the fruit, almost cloying at times,
went right through to the finish. A wonderful aperitif and a steal at this
711341 PICPOUL DE PINET 2001 $ 10.80, Domaine de
la Mirande, Coteaux du Languedoc, M. & Mme. Albajan Joseph.
Another summer sipper brimming with lemon acidity, lime peel, Anjou
pear and melon. Medium bodied with refreshing acidity in the close. If you
are tired of the onslaught of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, try this. It
is a fun wine.
737957 CHÂTEAU DE LA JAUBERTIE 2000 $ 11.80,
Quite spicy and aromatic on the nose. Hints of gooseberry, citrus,
peach and fennel. Pleasing mid palate and crisp lingering finish.
701565 GEWÜRZTRAMINER KABINETT 2000 $ 14.95,
Dürkheimer Feuerberg, Erzeugerabfüllung, Coop
Medium to yellow gold colour, aromas of
liquorish, flower petals and lichee fruit. It had a lovely creamy toffee
texture on the full bodied mid palate that echoed long into the slightly
sweet finish. I loved it and how often do I rave about German wines?
432096 CABERNET FRANC RESERVE 1999 $ 19.95,
"CEV" Lake Erie North Shore, Colio Estate Vineyards.
Light to medium body that seems over shadowed by the memory of the
magnificent 98. Aromas of mushroom peelings, tobacco, leather sweet toffee
and black raspberry. Well balanced but it finished with a touch of
gaminess that overpowered everything else.
307173 CABERNET SAUVIGNON 1999 $ 24.95, Niagara
Peninsula, Lakeview Cellars Estate Winery.
Dark ruby purple colour. Spicy and earthy aromas combined well with
the thick veil of black and red berry fruits, coffee and leather. Dusty
tannin, lead pencil and black olives were also lurking in the background.
Just a touch of astringency on the finish that should decline with time.
448340 CABERNET SAUVIGNON 1999 $ 24.95, Lailey
Vineyard, Niagara Peninsula, Southbrook Winery.
Unquestionably for me, the best Canadian red of the release. Full and
toasty on the nose, brimming with blackcurrants, blueberry, game,
chocolate and notes of Earl Grey tea. At this stage of its maturity it
appears quite clumsy but it shows so much potential to be a fabulous wine
in a few years once the massive fruit component harmonizes with the
mineral elements and teeth coating tannin.
965913 MERLOT 1996 $ 43.95, 'Winemaker's Grand
Reserve', Sonoma County, Rabbit Ridge.
If you want a chance to try an American Merlot close to full maturity
then try this. It age was evident from the deep garnet colour that showed
a touch of orange and amber at the rim. Based on prior experiences with
this producer I expected to be whacked in the head with a two by four but
to my pleasant surprise the aroma displayed perfectly harmonized fruit,
oak and acid. The flavour profile was dark chocolate, rich ripe cherry,
thyme, cola and black fruit. Drink soon though!
567933 SHIRAZ 2000 $ 14.85, 'South Eastern'
Hints of cinnamon, spice, blackberry and mint. Quite chewy and thick
textured. Good length and a touch of sweetness on the finish.
718163 SYRAH 1999 $ 13.65, 'Robles', Mendoza,
Bodegas Trapiche, Argentina.
Oh yeh, another candidate for best QPR of the release. Interesting
combination of dead leaves, black fruit and sweet coconut aromas. Dark
intense colour with a purple rim. Very concentrated, cooked fruit flavours,
blueberry, cherry and plum. Subtle hint of sweetness on the lengthy finish
519306 CHÂTEAU PUY CASTÉRA 1998 $ 21.75, Cru
Somewhat light and uninteresting showing mostly medicinal cherry cough
syrup with little hints of funk and toast. The fruit was tart and faded
quickly on the finish.
725804 CHOREY-LÈS-BEAUNE 1998 $ 29.70, Louis
Nice medium ruby colour, sweet cherries, funky vegetation and a touch
of cola on the nose. Mid palate offered up a pleasing mix of acids and
fruit combined with a pleasant hint of a balsamic quality. Flavours faded
to quickly on the finish.
735530 MARSANNAY 1998 $ 26.40, Les Clos de Jeu,
Château de Marsannay.
This appeared to be a fuller wine than the Chorey les Beaune. Nice
whiffs of sweet cherry, floral notes, and cooked berry compote. Good grip
on the mid palate but some of the fruit flavours appeared sour as they
708230 POMMARD 1999 $ 38.30, Domaine
Certainly the most elegant and refined of the Burgundies released.
Lovely deep garnet colour, lots of raspberry, chocolate and cherry aromas
with a faint hint of liquorish. Mid palate displayed full flavours of
cherry, red fruits, plum ands spice. Quite full bodied, the finish was
long with a tannic grip. Needs a little time to soften.
734616 DOMAINE LA COLOMBETTE 1999 $ 10.95, 'Puech
d'Hortes' Vin de Pays des Coteaux du Libron.
All I detected from this was wet sweaty horse fur and compost that
masked any fruit that may have lain beneath. I didn’t fancy tasting it
to be honest!
937771 GRAND CUVÉE 1999 $ 19.95, Corbières,
Soc. Coop de Vini. Castelmaure.
Ruby/purple colour, aromas of cocoa, plum skin, milk chocolate and
coffee. Some pleasing fruit flavours mostly that of red berry and cherry.
No great length to the finish.
936542 CHÂTEAU HAUT-MONTPLAISIR 1999 $ 19.85, AC
Cahors, 'Le Prestige'.
Pleasing wafts of tea, lead pencil and plum were the initial aromas until
the huge blackcurrant essence kicked in. Quite firm and fairly tannic as
the essence of chocolate took over the mid palate. Should be worth laying
one or two away for a while just to see what develops.
965988 CHIANTI 2000 $ 12.95, DOCG, Az. Agric.
This ruby coloured Sangiovese offered lots of cherry, blackberry and
mineral on the nose. Soft on the palate with hints of pepper and coffee.
606541 CHIANTI CLASSICO 1999 $ 22.00, DOCG, 'Peppoli',
Rich and vibrant scented wine loaded with spicy plum, nutshells,
cherry, clove and an almost raisiny structure. Lovely rich chewy texture
evolved into a long jammy finish. Wines like this could turn me into a
Chianti fan! Incidentally this will also be available in half sized
bottles priced at $12.50
741769 CHIANTI CLASSICO 1998 $ 14.95, DOCG, Rocca
Another well made Chianti that displayed sour cherry and milk
chocolate on the nose. Medium body, lots of chocolate and coffee bound
with sweet blueberry fruit. More good stuff
970822 MORELLINO DI SCANSANO 2000 $ 14.50, DOC, 'Podere
Aia della Macina'.
Solid structure showed blackberry and black raspberry flavours. Nice
acid fruit balance with a good long finish.
744284 'GRUMELLO' VALTELLINA SUPERIORE 1998 $
16.90, DOC Valtellina.
Ruby garnet colour with aromas of black fruit, forest floor and moss.
Seemed to be further aged than the vintage suggested but nonetheless a
pleasing wine with a well-balanced mouth licking finish.
931758 CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2000 $ 8.95, AOG Beni
M'Tir, Morocco, El Chergui Vineyards.
A candidate for the most interesting Cabernet of the bunch. Imagine a
bowl of Melba sauce sprinkled with grated dark chocolate with a drop of
maraschino cherry juice added for good measure. It was a little sweet and
cloying especially on the finish but worth buying at this price as a
Kerr's Home Page and Main Index