April 8th, 2017 Newsletter

Newsletter highlights include:

Australia flagVic continues to visit wineries in South Australia. He visited Wakefield Wines a premium, family-owned winery in the Clare Valley then tasted a number of wines with Phil Lehmann, son of the iconic Peter Lehmann in the Barossa Valley. Wakefield excels in value-for-money wine at every price point and they run the winery with incredible skill, passion and success. Phil Lehmann is Chief Winemaker for a select number of premium family-owned and family-run wineries and Vic tasted with Phil and members of his close-knit team with a number of wines reviewed in the attached feature. You can easily add interest and another layer to your wine-appreciation and wine-purchasing skill and enjoyment by Clicking here

Dave IsaacsDave Isaacs picked up the heavy lifting for this and the next Vintages release. As mentioned in the previous winecurrent newsletter, wine for the April 1 release was not made available for tasting in Ottawa until the week following the release date.

  • Exceptional-value wine Exceptional Value! – none of 50 wines in this newsletter currently in stores met the strict quality-price guidelines. They’re easily identified in the newsletter via the exceptional-value checkmark above. Which strict quality-price guidelines? Click here.
  • 5-star Wine – No wines currently available in stores rang the 5-star bell.
  • Dave’s Delights – Wines of Substance Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 earning 4 ½ stars @ $27.95 found under Feature: Visionaries, Innovators and Pioneers; Dandelion Vineyards ‘Lionheart of the Barossa’ Shiraz 2014 earning 4 ½ stars @ $21.95 found under Australia: Red Wine.
  • Vic Picks – Torresella Prosecco earning 4 stars @ $14.95 found under Sparkling Wine; Tawse ‘Sketches of Niagara’ Cabernet/Merlot 2012 earning 4 ½ stars @ $20.95 found under Ontario: Red Wine; Coriole ‘Estate Grown’ Shiraz 2014 earning 4 ½ stars @ $28.95 found under New in Vintages.

• Access the LCBO store nearest you with stock of any wine with an LCBO product number by clicking on the number shown in brackets in wine reviews then clicking on ‘Select Stores’ and entering your postal code—the number of bottles available stock in stores near you is displayed—or by clicking ‘Check all stores’ where you’ll see stock available in all LCBO stores. For Vintages Release wines, stock should be displayed the Friday before a Saturday release, updated every 24 hours, some stores post earlier. LCBO Portfolio wines (not Vintages) should always closely reflect stock in stores, updated every 24 hours. However, it’s always best to phone stores showing stock before you go.

Vintages Release: April 1, 2017

Feature: Visionaries, Innovators and Pioneers

****1/2 drink or cellar
Wines of Substance Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Washington $27.95 (419770) 13.5% alcohol
This superb Cab is opaque in the glass and alive with aromas of mocha, cherry, vanilla and traces of rosemary. It hits the palate full bodied and bursting with juicy, red fruit flavours. The tannin’s prominent but smooth and there’s good balance of acidity drawing out a pleasantly herbaceous finish. Cellar it for another 5 years or enjoy now with a juicy medium-rare steak. (Dave Isaacs)
***1/2 drink now
Vino Pinot Grigio 2014
Columbia Valley $19.95 (493205) 12.0% alcohol
This very pale golden wine greets you with aromas of pear and grapefruit. It offers a medium-to-full bodied mouthfeel with flavours of grapefruit with highlights of orange zest. Enjoy with grilled sea bass. (Dave Isaacs)

• The following 2015 ‘Bishop’ by Ben Glaetzer was sourced from low-yielding, 35- to 100-year-old Shiraz vines found in select plots in the renowned sub-district of Ebenezer—the most northern part of Barossa Valley. Fruit was fermented in one- and two-tonne open fermenters, underwent extended maceration then aged 16 months in a mix of 40% new and 60% 2nd and 3rd fill, 300L, oak hogshead barrel—90% French, 10% American. ‘Bishop’ is Ben Glaetzer’s late mother’s family name.

****1/2 drink or cellar
Glaetzer Wines ‘Bishop’ 2015
Barossa Valley $39.95 (627869) 15.0% alcohol
This delightful Shiraz showcases full-blown, juicy fruit flavour, balance, persistent purity of fruit, depth and complexity. Aromas of baking spice, forest floor, savory herbs and berry fruit introduce a palate-coating, teeth-staining river of ripe mulberry and black plum flavour interwoven with piquant spice and savory notes persisting through the lingering finish. It’s underpinned by firm tannin structure suggesting a three-hour aeration/decant or reaping greater rewards for tucking away 2019-2026. (Vic Harradine)

• Winemaker extraordinaire, Ben Glaetzer and his iconic uncle, John Glaetzer—who sources fabulous fruit from Langhorne Creek for Heartland—pool their years of experience, considerable talents and all-consuming passion for fine wine that’s fruit-forward with deft balance and showcases good value, sense of place, elegance and restraint.

****1/2 drink or cellar
Heartland Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Langhorne Creek, South Australia $19.95 (58099) 14.5% alcohol
This is fruit forward, rich and luscious, balanced and beautiful—the price quality balance tips well in your favour. Eucalyptus and dark berry fruit aromas make way for a medium-full bodied, generously textured flow of black briary berry, black plum and sweet vanilla mingling with mocha and soft, ripe tannin. The finish lingers, lip-smacking good. Pouring well now—give it a go with rare-grilled, seasoned steak or rack of lamb. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar
M. Chapoutier Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem 2014
AOC Côtes du Roussillon-Village Latour de France $25.95 (643239) 14.0% alcohol
This Syrah/Grenache/Carignan is dark red, almost opaque. There are aromas of plum and strawberry in the foreground along with notes of lingering spice. It’s full bodied and rich interwoven with flavours of chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and spice, offset with balanced acidity and well-integrated tannins. Enjoy with a roast rack of lamb. (Dave Isaacs)

**** drink now
Ken Forrester ‘Old Vine – Reserve’ Chenin Blanc 2016
WO Stellenbosch $17.95 (231282) 13.5%
Fruit for this Reserve wine was sourced from 37-year-old vines. The wine spends 9 months in French oak barrel, 20% new. It’s medium-golden yellow with a nose of royal gala apple, toast and butter. This is medium-to-full bodied with creamy mouth feel and flavours of apple, lemon and an absolutely luscious line of acidity. Pair with grilled jumbo prawns. (Dave Isaacs)
**** drink or cellar
Ken Forrester ‘Renegade’ 2012
WO Western Cape $22.95 (487306) 14.5% alcohol
This red blend—49% Shiraz/16% Mourvèdre/35% Grenache—is dark red with aromas of cassis, cherry, and dried herbs. It’s full bodied and tart on the palate with strawberry, vanilla and well-integrated soft tannin all fading together in a harmonious finish. Enjoy with roasted, herbed chicken. (Dave Isaacs)

The Main Release

Fortified Wine: Sherry

**** drink now
Bodegas Hidalgo ‘La Gitana’ Manzanilla 

DO Jerez y Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain $16.95 500 mL (745448) 15.0% alcohol

The expressive nose on this fully-textured Sherry is pure 'rancio', a term almost defying description, but think of dried, spicy fruit, over-ripe cantaloupe and burnt sugar—once experienced, never to be forgotten. This is dry with wonderful mouth feel and offers salty, zesty flavours of nuts, figs and dried fruit. The finish is balanced, warm and lengthy. Serve chilled with ceviche or sea food, especially briny shrimp. (Vic Harradine)

Sparkling Wine

****1/2 drink now
Bailly Lapierre ‘Réserve’ Crémant de Bourgogne Non-Vintage

AOC Crémant de Bourgogne $19.95 (991562) + 375mL $11.95 (641423) 12.0% alcohol 

An almost transparent straw colour, this lovely sparkler has delicate aromas of pear, green apple and brioche. It’s quite rich and fruity on the palate—tree fruit in particular with a citrus note—and the mousse is soft and creamy. This is finely balanced, well-crafted and quite flavourful. An underlying minerality and fresh fruity acidity persist on the finish. This is good value. (Susan Desjardins)

**** drink now
Torresella Prosecco

DOC Prosecco $14.95 (400440) 11.0% alcohol

This provides great value as a light-on-its-feet sipper pouring well as a welcoming wine or when paired with lighter-styled appetizers. Toast, honey and earthy notes on the nose, it glides smoothly across the palate with mouth-watering flavours of lemon yoghurt, green tea and honey-tinged pear. This extra-dry Prosecco finishes in a blaze of mouth-watering tang… clean, crisp and refreshing. (Vic Harradine)

Ontario: White Wine

***1/2 drink now Oh Canada!
Flat Rock Unplugged Chardonnay 2015
VQA Niagara Peninsula $16.95 (68015) 12.5% alcohol
This wine is fermented in a combination of stainless steel and old oak barrels, allowing the fruit to put its best foot forward. You will find notes of peach and pear on the nose, and a palate that is medium bodied with a racy acidity that carries flavours of pear through to the finish. Enjoy with a balsamic drizzled spinach, cherry tomato and goat cheese salad. (Dave Isaacs)
**** drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Tzafona Cellars Cold Climate Unoaked Chardonnay KP 2015
VQA Niagara Peninsula $22.95 (485276) 13.0% alcohol
This stylish Chardonnay is part of the lineup of Kosher for Passover Certified wines produced by Tzafona Cellars. It's golden yellow with notes of green apple on the nose. It's crisp on the palate with hints of lime and apple and a long citrus finish. Enjoy with lemon-poached chicken breast. (Dave Isaacs)
• The following Tawse Chardonnay regular price is $21.95 and will offer this $2.00 discounted price now to April 23, 2017.

****1/2 drink now Oh Canada!
Tawse ‘Sketches of Niagara’ Chardonnay 2013

VQA Niagara Peninsula $19.95 (89037) 12.5% alcohol

Fruit was barrel fermented by indigenous yeast then aged in French oak barrel for 12 months. It jumps from the glass with heady aromas of tropical fruit, wisps of minerality, nutty notes and sweet vanilla interwoven with green apple and toasty bits. The price-quality balance tips well in your favour. It’s medium bodied with generous mouthfeel and a crisp, clean finish. The lengthy aftertaste is nicely balanced. (Vic Harradine)

***1/2 drink now Oh Canada!
Wildass Riesling 2015
VQA Niagara Peninsula $16.95 (129700) 11.6% alcohol
This wine is very pale gold in colour, with notes of lemon and orange zest on the nose. It's medium sweet on the palate, with a full body and a crisp acidity that lingers in a long apple finish. Pair with an apple and walnut salad. (Dave Isaacs)

Ontario: Red Wine

****1/2 drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Stratus Red 2012

VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake $44.95 (131037) 13.8% alcohol

The doyen of blending wine in this neighbourhood, J.L. Groulx of Stratus, fashioned yet another masterpiece—kudos! This red blend—29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Franc, 13% Petit Verdot, 3% Tannat, 3% Malbec—wafts from the glass with aromas of charred toast, dark juicy berry fruit and baking spice. It coats the palate with a stylish, smooth-as-silk river of bramble berry, sweet ripe mulberry and wisps of mocha. It’s full bodied and structured with a long finish that’s lip-smacking good—a stunning wine that’s good to go now after a two-hour aeration/decant. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Tawse Winery ‘Growers Blend’ Pinot Noir 2012

VQA Niagara Peninsula $25.25 (130989) 12.0% alcohol

From one of Niagara’s stellar vintages this matured 16 months in French oak barrel before bottling. Aromas of cherry pastilles and roasted herbs provide segue for a well-paced river of cranberry, strawberry and red plum flavour. This has firm structure, purity of fruit and a monumentally long and luscious finish and aftertaste laced with piquant spice. Aerate/decant for three hours before pouring with crispy, smoked and oven-grilled duck breasts. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Tawse ‘Sketches of Niagara’ Cabernet/Merlot 2012

VQA Niagara Peninsula $20.95 (130252) 13.0% alcohol

This shows complexity, balance and plenty of style with the price-quality balance tipped well in your favour. Charred toast, dark cherry/berry fruit and piquant spice aromas set the table for a smorgasbord of flavour. Medium-full bodied and fully textured, a balanced river of black briary berry and dark Bing cherry adorned with mocha and tangy acidity flow endlessly over the palate and lengthy aftertaste. Pour with grilled striploin. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Thirty Bench Winemaker's ‘Blend Double Noir’ 2015
VQA Niagara Peninsula $18.95 (493973) 12.5% alcohol
This wine is a blend of Gamay Noir and Pinot Noir. It's pale red in colour, with a fascinating nose of strawberry, cedar hedge, and mocha. It's medium bodied with flavours of dried fruit, and lots of chewy tannins that linger in a slightly bitter finish. A great wine to match with some extra old cheddar. (Dave Isaacs)
**** drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Tzafona Cellars ‘Cold Climate’ Cabernet Sauvignon KP 2014
VQA Niagara Peninsula $29.95 (493981) 13.0% alcohol
This well-balanced Cab is part of the lineup of certified Kosher for Passover wines produced by Tzafona Cellars. It's medium-red with a tinge of orange around the edges. It has a striking nose of green leaf, grape stems, mushrooms, and earth with notes of clove in the background. It's medium bodied with dry chalky tannin, cherry flavour and a lingering finish. (Dave Isaacs)

California: White wine

****1/2 drink or cellar
Groth ‘Hillview Vineyard’ Chardonnay 2014
Napa Valley $57.95 (225672) 14.5% alcohol
This wine appears very pale gold in the glass with a nose of pear and nicely integrated oak. It has a medium to full body with flavours of pear and smoky cheese supported by brilliant acidity carrying all flavours to a wonderfully balanced finish. Pair with rotisserie-grilled or roasted whole chicken. (Dave Isaacs)
**** drink now
St. Supéry Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Napa Valley $39.95 (339663) 13.5% alcohol
This lovely Sauvignon Blanc is pale yellow with a tinge of green. It exhibits notes of lemon and zest on the nose. On the palate, it has wonderfully balanced acidity with flavours of grapefruit and applepersisting through the long finish. Enjoy with a platter of vegetables with a hummus dip. (Dave Isaacs)
**** drink or cellar
Stonehedge ‘Grand Reserve’ Chardonnay 2014
California $21.95 (311548) 14.5% alcohol
Pale-straw gold in colour, this California Chard has a pleasant nose of apples and buttered toast. It’s full bodied with a creamy mouth feel along with flavours of sweet apple and gentle acidity. Enjoy with grilled pork tenderloin. (Dave Isaacs)

Argentina: White wine

***1/2 drink now
Trapiche ‘Finca Las Palmas - Gran Reserva’ Chardonnay 2015
Uco Valley $16.95 (355610) 13.5% alcohol
This is a straightforward Chardonnay. You’ll find notes of peach, pear, and butter on the nose supported by a full-bodied creamy-smooth texture on the palate. Delectable flavours of peach and butterscotch persist through the balanced finish and aftertaste. Pair with apple-stuffed pork roast. (Dave Isaacs)

Chile: Red wine

**** drink or cellar
In Situ Reserva Carmenère 2015
Aconcagua Valley $16.95 (37952) 14.0% alcohol
There’s good value in this bold red from the mountains of Chile. The nose smells slightly stemmy with hints of chocolate and red fruit lurking on the edge. It's full bodied offering palate-bathing flavours of chocolate and cherry supported by well-integrated tannin and excellent balancing acidity. Enjoy with coffee-rubbed beef brisket. (Dave Isaacs)

Australia: Red Wine

****1/2drink or cellar

Dandelion Vineyards ‘Lionheart of the Barossa’ Shiraz 2014

Barossa Valley $21.95 (167189) 14.0% alcohol

This is a beautiful, big Australian Shiraz, it bursts with aromas of eucalyptus, spice, and oak. The tannins are well integrated and showcase smooth mouthfeel with flavours of vanilla and blueberry. It lingers with a delightful strawberry/vanilla finish. (Dave Isaacs)

****1/2 drink or cellar
Dutschke ‘GHR Neighbours’ Shiraz 2013
Barossa Valley $26.95 (247296) 14.5% alcohol
This stunner of a Shiraz is striking opaque plum with involved aromas of dried fruit, leather, eucalyptus and dry earth. It’s full bodied with racy acidity and juicy, ripe flavours of cherry along with sweet cassis. Enjoy with grilled ribs slathered in barbecue sauce. (Dave Isaacs)

**** drink or cellar
Sister’s Run ‘Epiphany’ Shiraz 2014

McLaren Vale, South Australia $16.95 (269464) 14.5% alcohol

Robust aromas of spice, black cherry and jammy dark berries leap from the glass. A full-fruited river of sweet, ripe fruit coats the palate with a surge of ripe, sweet mulberry, black Bing cherry and black currant preserve. It full bodied and densely packed with sweet, black fruit from cork pop to last drop. Pour with smoked, grilled back ribs mopped with spicy hot sauce. (Vic Harradine)

New Zealand: White Wine

**** drink or cellar
Giesen Riesling 2014
New Zealand $16.95 (277673) 9.0% alcohol
This Kiwi Riesling is pale-gold with a fascinating musky nose showcasing peach with notes of candlewax. It’s on the sweet side of off-dry with medium body and balanced acidity delivering a long finish of peach and stewed pears. Pair with a spicy pork stir fry. (Dave Isaacs)

Italy: Red Wine

***1/2 drink now
Santa Margherita Chianti Classico 2013
DOCG Chianti Classico $19.95 (91694) 13.5% alcohol
This pleasantly smooth 100% Sangiovese is pale red with aromas of strawberry, spice and smoke on the nose. It's medium bodied with flavours of sour cherry and well integrated tannin. The lip-smacking tartness guides the wine to a mouth-watering, lengthy finish. This’ll pair particularly well with chicken marsala. (Dave Isaacs)

Spain: Red Wine

**** drink or cellar
Ardal ‘Reserva’ 2006 

DO Ribera del Duero $21.95 (167700) 14.5% alcohol 

A bouquet of black licorice, dried, dark berries and leather herald a full-bodied, fully flavoured stream of flavours—cassis, espresso roast and dark chocolate-dipped black cherries to the fore. It’s medium-weight with good mouth feel, balance and plenty of charm. It’s well structured and has the oomph, from a ripe tannin underpinning, to pair well with osso buco or rare-grilled striploin. (Vic Harradine)

Upstream in winecurrent

Vintages Release: April 15, 2017

• The following Coriole ‘Reserve’ is named for one of the founders, Mary Kathleen Lloyd. It was sourced from three small, estate vineyards planted between 1968 and 1986—average age of vines, +35 years. It’s a 90% Cabernet Sauvignon/10% Merlot blend—all carefully selected and hand-picked.

****1/2 drink or cellar
Coriole ‘Mary Kathleen - Reserve’ 2012
McLaren Vale $40.95 (745489) 14.0% alcohol
Predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, the highly perfumed nose of dark berry fruit, savory herbs and peppery spice aromas abound. A delicious surge of sour cherry, rhubarb and bramble berry adorned with sweet vanilla, piquant spice and bittersweet chocolate coats the palate along with soft, ripe tannin. It’s medium-full bodied with generous mouthfeel and oodles of charm. Best opened 2020 – 2032. Impatient?—aerate/decant three hours pouring with seasoned, grilled-medium-rare striploin. (Vic Harradine)

Vintages Release date: May 13, 2017

****1/2 drink or cellar
Wakefield Wines ‘Estate’ Merlot 2015
Clare Valley $18.95 (683201) 14.0% alcohol
Black raspberry, vanilla and black plum aromas provide segue for a flood of rich, luscious palate-coating, boysenberry jam nicely balanced with tang-laden passion fruit, spice and racy pie cherry. There’s terrific value, good structure, soft tannin, smooth texture and persistent purity of fruit. It’s lively and juicy with a fruit-filled, tang-laden, and monumentally long aftertaste—it was tough to spit; it flirted with 5 stars. Pour with braised lamb shanks and grilled root veggies. (Vic Harradine)

Vintages Release date: May 27, 2017

• Fruit for the following Wakefield Chardonnay was sourced from their Estate vineyard in cool-climate, Clare Valley. It was picked at night, taken directly to the winery, chilled and whole-bunch pressed; after settling most was fermented in French oak barrel, only 10% new, and stayed on lees a short four months, with the oak nicely integrated at bottling.

**** drink or cellar
Wakefield Wines ‘Estate’ Chardonnay 2016
Clare Valley $15.95 (711556) 13.5% alcohol
This offers a generously textured, mouth-filling stream of crisp, refreshing flavour from twist top to final drop of the lengthy finish and aftertaste. Aromas of tropical fruit, ginger and nutmeg abound. They precede a medium-full bodied, tapestry of palate-bathing flavour—white nectarine, apple pie spice, nutty notes and gorgeous lemony tang. It’s well balanced, well priced and well … delicious. Long story short—pick up a few. (Vic Harradine)

Vintages Release date: July 8, 2017

****1/2 drink now
Wakefield Wines ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir 2016
Adelaide Hills $19.95 (197392) 14.0% alcohol
Lifted aromas of red berry fruit, cherry and savory herb set the table for a smorgasbord of palate-coating flavour. Racy passion fruit and tangy red currant interweave with juicy black cherry and ripe raspberry berry notes providing a yin and yang / sweet and tang experience that’s balanced and beautiful. It’s medium-weight and well textured with a dry, mouth-watering finish that lingers—you shouldn’t, the price-quality balance tips well in your favour. (Vic Harradine)

Vintages Release date: TBD

• The following Wakefield ‘Estate’ Cab is fashioned for the long haul with firm tannin underpinning, full complement of ripe luscious fruit and excellent, cool-climate Clare tang and acidity.

**** drink now
Wakefield Wines ‘Estate’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Clare Valley $18.95 (744235) 14.0% alcohol
The lifted lively nose is resplendent with black currant, spice and espresso roast aromas. It coats the palate with a full-bodied, full-textured, full-Monty gusher of chewy cassis, mulberry, peppery and minty notes joined by tang-laden pie cherry persisting through the lengthy mouth-watering finish. It’s a bit taut at present handsomely rewarding a three-hour aeration/decant or careful cellaring 2018-2023. (Vic Harradine)

• The following ‘Jaraman’ Shiraz and its label have quite a story to tell. You may have noticed the three tiny Seahorses on Wakefield wine labels. Shortly after the Taylor family purchased their Clare Valley property they dug a dam uncovering tiny shells of Seahorses. In geological terms that indicates a former salt-water body of water (true Seahorses live only in salt, or brackish water) and this would lead one to believe there’s also limestone base. There was and still is, and it and the terra rossa topsoil contribute to the high quality of this and all Wakefield Clare wines. Jaraman translates to ‘horse’ in a number of Australian Aboriginal languages and dialects.

***** drink or cellar Exceptional Value!
Wakefield Wines ‘Jaraman’ Shiraz 2015
Clare Valley / McLaren Vale $24.95 (377036) 14.5% alcohol
Baking spice, dark cherry/berry fruit, sweet vanilla and sprigs of savory herb aromas leap from this stunning multi-region Shiraz. It’s rich, luscious, balanced and beautiful showcasing a dazzling array of ripe fruit flavour with mulberry, black plum and red cherry to the fore adorned with black pepper, dark bittersweet chocolate and hints of eucalyptus. There’s persistent purity of fruit, good structure, complexity and an incredibly long finish and aftertaste. (Vic Harradine) 

**** drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Henry of Pelham Estate Riesling 2016
VQA Short Hills Bench $17.95 (557165) 12.0% alcohol
Fruit for Henry of Pelham's Estate wines are sourced within the small Short Hills Bench appellation—one of the warmest in Niagara. This is pale yellow in colour with a slight green cast. There are aromas of lemon and apple on the nose. On the palate it’s full bodied and just off dry. The palate flavours—gentle sweetness and crisp acidity—entwine in a manner reminiscent of lemon meringue pie. The effect fades away in the finish, leaving you with flavours of nectar and honey. A great match for spicy Pad Thai. (Dave Isaacs)
**** drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Henry of Pelham Estate Pinot Noir 2015
VQA Short Hills Bench $24.95 (268391) 13.5% alcohol
Medium-pale red with a slight orange tinge, this has notes of dried fruit, cherry jam and smoke on the nose. It's dry, light bodied, and tart on the palate with sour cherry and tannin that starts in the background and then slowly moves forward. There’s a lengthy tang-laden finish. It pairs well with cherry-glazed duck breast. (Dave Isaacs)

New in Vintages

• The 2014 vintage was challenging, but the overall result was quite good for those that handled it with kid gloves and impeccable timing. The following Coriole ‘Estate Grown’ Shiraz shows good structure, deft balance and an extended finish. This is the 40th vintage of this wine—it was fermented in open-top fermenters, hand plunged and aged in 300L French oak hogshead barrels.

****1/2 drink or cellar
Coriole ‘Estate Grown’ Shiraz 2014
McLaren Vale $28.95 (931600) 14.5% alcohol
Lively aromas of spice, cedar and cassis introduce a medium-plus bodied, nicely textured swath of pie cherry and black plum interlaced with grilled savory herbs, espresso roast and flecks of cocoa on the palate. There’s persistent fruit, plenty of acidity, fine-grained tannin and a lengthy, mouth-watering finish and aftertaste. Aerate/decant for a couple of hours pouring with grilled rack of lamb. (Vic Harradine)

New in the LCBO
**** drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Henry Of Pelham Riesling 2016
VQA Niagara Peninsula $14.95 (268375) 11.0% alcohol
This is a lovely off-dry Riesling offering terrific value. Pale-gold in colour and offering a nose of apple and citrus, it’s full bodied and nicely balanced with palate sweetness offset by racy tang. Look for apple flavours with nuances of cinnamon and nutmeg. Enjoy this now with pork chops and apple sauce or cellar for up to 3 or 4 years. (Dave Isaacs)

***1/2 drink now Oh Canada!
Henry of Pelham Pinot Grigio 2016
VQA Niagara Peninsula $14.95 (250217) 12.5% alcohol
This is medium gold with a slight orange hue. There are aromas of grapefruit, lemon, and pear on the nose. It’s medium bodied with mellow acidity and flavours of grapefruit and citrus peel bathing the palate followed by a lemony finish. Enjoy with pan-fried fish. (Dave Isaacs)

***1/2 drink now Oh Canada!
Pink House Wine Co. Chardonnay / Merlot Rosé 2016
VQA Niagara Peninsula $13.95 (324558) 12.0% alcohol
This versatile Rosé has a peachy-pink colour and aromas of strawberry jam. It's off dry and medium bodied on the palate decorated with strawberry flavour. The gentle acidity and barely perceptible tannin carry through to the finish with a spice-laden bite. This is a great wine to sip at a backyard BBQ with filet of salmon cooking on the grill. (Dave Isaacs)

***1/2 drink now Oh Canada!
Sibling Rivalry Pink 2016
VQA Niagara Peninsula $13.95 (171033) 12% alcohol
Fashioned from Cabernet/Gamay/Merlot, the juice was allowed to draw colour from the grape skins for 24 hours after crushing. The result is a pinkish-gold hued wine with aromas of dry leaves, strawberry and undertones of earth. It's full bodied and slightly sweet—strawberry/cherry—on the palate, with no perceptible tannin and a nice balance of acidity—goes particularly well with red pizza. (Dave Isaacs)

The following wines may be released through Vintages in the future.

Upstream in winecurrent

Vintages Release date: TBD

• Fruit for the following Parker Coonawarra Estate ‘Terra Rossa’ Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from the rich red soils at the southern end of Coonawarra on their Abbey vineyard from 4 separate blocks—Scarlett, Pepper Tree Single Wire, Pepper Tree Double Wire and Ash. The micro-climate provides beneficial, extended hang time.

***** cellar Exceptional Value!
Parker Coonawarra ‘Terra Rossa’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Coonawarra $34.95 14.5% alcohol
This is both elegant and firmly structured showcasing ripe fruit, deft balance, tang-laden acidity and a monumentally long finish and aftertaste. Aromas of red and black berry fruit mingle with spice and hints of mint and mocha on the nose. It coats the palate with a medium-plus bodied, nicely textured surge of boysenberry and blueberry interweaving with fennel and dark bittersweet chocolate. The aftertaste goes on and on with juicy ripe fruit and excellent acidity underpinned by fine-grained tannin. Open from 2019 to 2035. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar
Parker Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Coonawarra $19.95 (467571) 14.5% alcohol
Perfumed aromas of minty notes, spice and dark berry fruit open the door to a smooth and mellow flow of red berry fruit and savory herbs interwoven with red licorice on the palate. It’s medium bodied with generous mouthfeel and a lengthy finish and aftertaste Pour now after a two-hour aeration/decant alongside rare to medium-rare, grilled striploin. Vic Harradine)

• The following fabulous Coonawarra Chardonnay was fashioned from cooler plots predominantly from viticulturist, Brett Williams’ vineyard, the balance from a small plot from V&A Lane. The Williams fruit was barrel-fermented—first malolactic conversion followed by alcohol fermentation –then aged in new French oak barriques for 9 months with regular lees stirring. The V&A was fermented in stainless steel and blended later.

****1/2 drink or cellar
Parker Coonawarra Estate Chardonnay 2015
Coonawarra $19.95 (447029) 13.5% alcohol
This value-laden gem leaps from the glass with aromas of baking spice, peach, apricot and nutty notes. It coats the palate with a nicely textured surge of lemon zest and green apple adorned with melon and pear. It’s mid-plus weight with good complexity, structure and purity of fruit—it’s balanced and beautiful from twist top to last drop. Pour with roast chicken, veal or pork. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Hesketh Sauvignon Blanc is the 2016 vintage. The 2015 vintage is presently available on Vintages’ shelves—you may want to give it a try.

**** drink now
Hesketh ‘Bright Young Things’ Sauvignon Blanc 2016
South Australia $14.95 (447086) 13.5% alcohol
Fruit for this was sourced 2/3rds from Adelaide Hills and 1/3rd from the Limestone Coast GI. Lifted aromas of tropical fruit and floral notes abound. A light-medium bodied, nicely textured, balanced stream of crisp, clean, refreshing flavour bathes the palate infusing the mouth-watering finish and aftertaste—Granny Smith apple and melon decorated with savory herbal notes. The price-quality balance tips well in your favour. (Vic Harradine)

• Shiraz and Mataro, aka Mourvèdre, fruit for the following wine was sourced from the Old Mundulla Vineyard, then open top, cool fermented on skins 8-10 days. Winemaker Phil Lehmann maintains, ‘cool fermentation retains purity, enhances aromatics and lowers tannin extraction’. 90% was then matured six months in 2nd and 3rd fill, 300L French hogsheads before final blending and bottling.

**** drink now
Hesketh ‘Mezzo – Single Vineyard’ Shiraz/Mataro 2015
Tatiara District, South Australia $19.95 14.5% alcohol
This red blend is rich and juicy with ripe fruit flavour underpinned by firm structure. There’s persistent purity of fruit, deft balance and lingering aftertaste. Aromas of spice, vanilla and dark berry fruit introduce a medium-plus bodied, generously textured river of bramble berry and tang-laden red cherry interwoven with mocha and wisps of peppery notes. The finish layers on fruit and acidity in equal portions with a brushstroke of ripe, fine-grained tannin. Aerate/decant for two hours prior to serving. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2drink or cellar

Vickery Watervale Riesling 2016
Watervale $23.00 12.0% alcohol
This classy, elegant Riesling dances from the glass with robust aromas of citrus, spice and mineral notes. An outpouring of Key Lime, lemon pie filling and saline/minerality ride a bracing line of delectable acidity across the palate infusing the crisp, clean and refreshing aftertaste. There’s excellent depth, good balance and ability to age here. Pour with grilled calamari or pan-seared fish. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Chardonnay is unique and stunningly delicious. Sourced from Dijon clone fruit from the cooler Eden Valley, 60% underwent malolactic conversion before indigenous-yeast fermentation (reverse fermentation) in 50% new and 50% second-fill, French, 300L hogshead, remaining in barrel 11 months on their lees.

****1/2 drink or cellar
St. John’s Road ‘PL – Reversed Ferment’ Chardonnay 2015
Eden Valley $30.00 13.5 % alcohol
This is a spectacular cool-climate Chardonnay balanced-on-a-pin with depth, complexity and charm. Alluring aromas of baking spice, sweet vanilla and citrus precede a medium-plus bodied stream of full-blown flavour—lemon curd, Granny Smith apple and nutty notes. It finishes with mouth-watering citrus tang and oaky bits. This needs a further, carefully cellared, 12 months in bottle to be handsomely rewarded with a 5-star wine. (Vic Harradine)

Cheers, Vic and Dave