Alan’s October Vintages Release Tasting Notes

    Kerr, on the  Pio Cesare Barolo 2000, "I think you can see this certainly put a tilt in me


On October 1st. Vintages releases a few “muscular” wines from around the globe, plus the board focuses on Piedmont’s Barolo and Barberesco wines from the highly touted 2000 vintage. Here are a few of my thoughts and opinions on some of the wines that will be available.

537175 LAKEVIEW CELLARS PINOT NOIR ‘BUTLER'S GRANT' 2002 $13.95, Niagara Peninsula
Lakeview wines have always impressed me with their decent quality and fair pricing structure. This light ruby Pinot is no exception. It shows notes of leather, cherry, sawdust and chocolate. The finish echoes the fruit and it leaves with an earthy note.

222877 CAYMUS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2002 $94.95, Napa Valley
Heaps of sweet, creamy oak, a solid layer of Ribena and dusty powdered chocolate combine forming the principal aromas on the nose. Its palate is jam-packed with dark fruit, plum, silky tannin and Thai basil. Although it is nice right now, sometime spent snoozing would prove beneficial.

The step up in the price from this wine’s baby bro could be justified by the increased intensity of all the factors that contribute to crafting a great wine. The colour is denser and opaque; the nose is full of blackcurrant, dark berry, iodine, ink and sweet spice. Its balance is amazing, the structure is sturdy and the finish is tight, full and silky.


I have never had this wine before and virgin Zinfandel always gets me going. This one exhibits a nice dark silky ruby garnet robe. Pickled ginger, briar, red fruit, vanilla, milk chocolate and sweet cake candy provide an alluring aroma. The fruit on the palate shines through, but there is a slight degree of heat that becomes the last standing note to the finish. Sadly this is a $15.00 wine in the US, but, regardless, I am going to bite the bullet, it is decent stuff.

998666 LAFOND 'SRH' PINOT NOIR 2003 $25.95, Santa Rita Hills
Here is a wine with a deep ruby/purple colour that suggests a wine with a solid structure. It bears aromas of iodine, cough syrup, damp straw, stewed fruit and medicinal compound. Although there is fruit on the palate, this, to me, is hard to perceive as a Pinot.

975359 VIÑA CARMEN 'NATIVA' CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2002 $18.95, Maipo Valley, Chile
A sweet and perfume laden nose opens further to show notes of spearmint, lavender, cake spice and sweet ripe blueberries. Its texture is fleshy with sweet fruit, decent acids and mint. Very different.

657114 LINGENFELDER 'FOX LABEL' DORNFELDER 2002 $14.95, Pfalz, Germany
For those that love lots of sweet cherry, balsawood, simple syrup and candy flavours in their wine, this is one for you.

A few notes on some of the Barolo and Barberesco release

586321 BOSCO MALERA BAROLO 'LA LOGGIA' 2000 $29.95
A decent price for a lighter style Barolo that features pretty notes of plum, dried apricot and peach. It has some tar qualities and the spicy finish leaves a cocoa texture on the tongue.

945832 BURLOTTO BAROLO 'CANNUBI' 2000 $59.95
This fleshy nose of plum, damson, red berry, geranium and cedar carries its flavours right across the palate. Great structure and balance to this wine. Again a little dusty cocoa in the finish.

An intriguing nose of coffee, tar, plum spice and cherry cola promises lots and it delivers. It is elegant, yet powerful on the palate. The finish offers plenty of refreshing pluot sweetness and dark berry acidity. Good stuff.

586354 CABUTTO BAROLO 'VIGNA LA VOLTA' 2000 $57.95
At present this is really very youthful as it struggles to come together. There is plenty of sweet vanilla, dark fruit, crocus and mineral. It is extremely full; with a healthy kick of tannin that once settled, it should unveil a stellar wine.

The fruit is rather light, there are floral notes, sweet dusty spice and slate. It is gentle on the palate and it does finish with clean and pretty fruit flavours.

Lots of ripe fruit aromas jump from the glass along with Asian spice, milk chocolate and dried petals. It is fairly full on the palate, it shows some underbrush, a nice velvety texture, but it does not have the concentration of the rest of the bunch.

A nice wine that reflects aromas of sweet chocolate, plum, coffee grounds, vanilla and a dense layer of fresh picked flowers. There is little tannin to distract. The finish has crisp acids, ripe black fruit and a more refined chocolate note than I find on the nose.

Sweet spices, pipe tobacco, dark bitter chocolate, fleshy fruit and leafy notes on the nose. The palate is fruit laden and silky. The finish is rather sweet at this point in time, but it is damn tasty.

947465 PIO CESARE BARBARESCO 2000 $69.95
The rim shows a light rusty brown edge. Aromas of cooked fruit, with sweet spice, saddle leather; coffee, liquorish root and puffball (fried in bacon fat) flow from the glass. It shows off its fruit nicely on the tongue and the finish is killer.

736587 PIO CESARE BAROLO 2000 $69.95
It is hard to do a wine justice with one simple statement. However, I am up for a challenge. This combines rich ripe fruit, enticing organics, sublime acidity and creamy tannins resulting in a complete and radiant wine. I think you can see this certainly put a tilt in me kilt.

I find tons of dried black fruit, star anise, nutmeg, cigar leaf and dried morels on the nose. The palate and finish are both dry, but rich with dark fruit and spicy heat. This does need time.

978411 FRESCOBALDI 'LAMAIONE' 2000 $59.95, Tuscany
A dark black inky wine that throws aromas of salted black olives, black fruit, red liquorish, couvature and underbrush. The fabulous mouth feel of fruit and forest flavours lead to a solid and harmonious finish. Great structure and a great wine.

987586 MARCHESI ANTINORI ‘SOLAIA' 2001 $169.95, Tuscany
Although the intensely long cork is in pristine condition, the label is soiled to the point where one gets the impression the bottle has been cellared for a decade or two. The colour is deep and opaque in the centre, but it is showing touches of a brick red hue at the rim. The nose is classic showing pinecone, forest floor, lots of underlying black fruit a trace of pepper and cigar box.

The palate is simply delicious, the fruit is bold, I get hits of liquorish root, the tannins are there, but they are ripe and creamy. The fruit is clearly the star player on the finish. It is a treat to drink, but I am surprised how forward it is! Maybe it will shut down, I really don’t know.

657395 FUENTESPINA ‘ROBLE' TEMPRANILLO 2002 $15.95, Ribera del Duero, Spain
I believe countless families of the Asian ladybugs that plagued Ontario winemakers during the 2001 harvest, tired of the winter, uprooted and moved to Spain. There is an unpleasant layer of burnt peanut shell on the nose, which to me, smells like some of the Pyrazine tainted wines I drank from 2001 Ontario Vintage. Unfortunately it distracts from the fruit. I really would like to try another bottle.

617456 TORRES 'MAS LA PLANA' CABERNET SAUVIGNON 1999 $39.95, Penedès, Spain
Moroccan spices, dark fruit, cinnamon and coffee crisp bar all combine to tease. The fruit hits the palate; the tannins are gentle, yet the finish just seems a little lighter than it should. Tasty stuff though.



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