April 10, 2017 Newsletter

Newsletter highlights include:

Australia flagContinuing to focus on premium family-owned wineries, Vic spent considerable time tasting and conversing with wine legends and wine legends in the making. Their family names should ring bells with Aussie wine lovers—Henschke, Glaetzer, Lehmann. You can easily add interest and another layer to your wine-appreciation and wine-purchasing skills and enjoyment by clicking here.

  • Exceptional-value wine Exceptional Value! – 2 of 43 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 – Only one wine currently available in stores rang the 5-star bell.
  • Dave’s Delights – Aromo ‘Private Reserve’ Carmenère 2013 earning 4 stars @ $16.95 found under Chile: Red Wine; Sacred Hill ‘Reserve’ Sauvignon Blanc 2016 earning 4 ½ stars @ $21.95 found under New Zealand: White Wine; Feudi San Pio Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2014 earning 4 ½ stars @ $19.95 found under Italy: Red Wine.
  • Vic Picks – Tawse Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine 2014 earning 5 stars @$34.95 for 200 mL found under Ontario: Icewine; Ravenswood ‘Old Vine’ Zinfandel 2014 earning 4 ½ stars @ $21.95 found under California: Red Wine.

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 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 (wine not in 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 15, 2017

The Main Release

Ontario: Icewine

***** drink now Oh Canada!
Tawse Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine 2014

VQA Niagara Peninsula $34.95 (359133) 200mL 11.0% alcohol

This nectar of the gods is unctuous without being cloying and truly stunning. Aromas of strawberry jam and spice abound. It coats the palate with a smorgasbord of flavour with fresh strawberry, red plum compote and red raspberry to the fore. It’s fully textured and creamy smooth with the lingering finish providing enough balancing acidity to make this an enjoyable experience, sip, after sip, after sip. Serve well chilled. (Vic Harradine)

Sparkling Wine

****1/2 drink now
Domaine Louis Bouillot ‘Perle d’Aurore’ Brut Rosé

AOC Crémant de Bourgogne $21.95 (48793) 12.0% alcohol

Pale-salmon hued, this is absolutely delightful—a medium-bodied sparkler that’s fruity and dry. From subtle aromas of summer berries, spice and brioche through to the delicate creamy mousse that refreshes the palate, it offers light, red berry flavours and a lengthy mouth-watering finish. Great value, enjoy it whiling away an afternoon or with smoked salmon. (Susan Desjardins)

Ontario: White Wine

**** drink now Oh Canada!
13th Street ‘White Palette’ 2015

VQA Niagara Peninsula $15.95 (207340) 12.5% alcohol

The price-quality ratio skews well in your favour here. Perfumed and lifted aromas of exotic spice, rose petals and licorice abound on the nose. A juicy, lively stream of lemon curd, lime cordial and crisp green apple blanket the palate infusing the refreshing finish. It’s well balanced, well paced, and well… lip-smacking good. Pour alongside pan-seared fish or lightly spiced/curried dishes. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink now Exceptional Value! Oh Canada!
Henry of Pelham ‘Estate’ Riesling 2013

VQA Niagara Short Hills Bench $17.95 (557165) 11.0% alcohol

This showcases persistent purity of fruit, lifted aromas and tangy flavour with a lengthy mouth-watering finish. Aromatic on the nose, this dishes up aromas of mineral and petrol notes along with spice and racy citrus galore. A medium weight, nicely textured river of tang-laden lemon-lime and piquant spice streams over the palate infusing the lengthy, lip-smacking finish and aftertaste. Pour with charcuterie or pan-seared trout or pickerel. (Vic Harradine)

Ontario: Red Wine

• The following red blend celebrates the idea of ‘family’ by sourcing grapes not only from their own Speck-family vineyards, but also the family-owned vineyards of their friends and neighbours across the Niagara Peninsula.

****1/2 drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Henry of Pelham ‘Family Tree Red’ 2014
VQA Niagara Peninsula $18.95 (247882) 13.5% alcohol
This is a marvellously complex and uniquely Ontario blend of Syrah/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Baco Noir. Dark plum, almost opaque, aromas of dry leather, black pepper, pencil shavings and red fruit abound. It's full bodied with flavours of cherry and vanilla with well integrated tannins and balanced acidity carrying them to a long finish. Drink now or cellar up to 4 more years enjoying with pepper steak. (Dave Isaacs)

**** cellar Oh Canada!
Peninsula Ridge Reserve Meritage 2015
VQA Niagara Peninsula $24.95 (299180) 14.0% alcohol
This 57% Merlot/43% Cabernet Sauvignon blend will make a fine addition to a cellar. It’s dark purple with aromas of dried fruit and coffee. Full bodied on the palate with tart acidity and flavours of wild cherry, the still-evolving tannin is perceptible. Pop corks 2019-2023 pairing with roast rack of lamb. (Dave Isaacs)

California: White Wine

**** drink now
Napa Cellars Chardonnay 2014

Napa Valley $28.95 (225342) 13.0% alcohol

Smoke, toast and baking spice introduce a spice-infused, palate-bathing wash of sweet vanilla, tangy lemon and ripe yellow plum joined by notions of toasty oak and grapefruit pith. It’s mid weight with good texture and a long, refreshing finish and aftertaste. Give this a go with roast chicken or breaded pork cutlets. (Vic Harradine)

• The following white blend wine—45% Viognier/45% Marsanne/10% Roussanne—pays homage to the white grapes of the Rhône Valley.

****1/2 drink or cellar
Treana ‘Blanc’ 2014
Central Coast $29.95 (11247) 14.5% alcohol
It’s bright straw yellow with foreground aromas of creamy oak and buttered popcorn—flowery notes hide in the background. This is full bodied on the palate with creamy mouthfeel adorned with flavours of gentle oak and butter. The fine balance of mouth-watering acidity leaves you anticipating another sip. Drinking well now and pairing nicely with roast chicken. (Dave Isaacs)

California: Red Wine

**** drink or cellar
Bold Vine ‘Old Vine’ Zinfandel 2013
Lodi $18.95 (281600) 14.5% alcohol
This old-vine Zinfandel lives up to its name. It’s dark red in colour and bursting with aromas of
mint, black pepper, and cherry. This is big, bold and full bodied on the palate with smooth tannin
gently underpinning flavours of cherry and smoke. There’s a good line of acidity framing the
finish leaving your palate refreshed. Enjoy this with grilled, cheeseburgers. (Dave Isaacs)

****1/2 drink or cellar
Ravenswood ‘Old Vine’ Zinfandel 2014

Lodi $21.95 (942599) 14.5% alcohol

Sage and thyme aromas meld with dark berry fruit on the nose of this gorgeous, fruit- and spice-laden Zin. A fully textured wash of crowd-friendly, luscious dark fruit—bramble berry, plum and cherry—garnished with baking and peppery spice coat the palate infusing the balanced, juicy aftertaste. There’s a fine-grained tannin underpinning that’s easily ameliorated with a three-hour aeration/decant. Pour alongside barbecued back ribs mopped with spicy red sauce. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar
St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Sonoma County $29.95 (671174) 14.8% alcohol
This medium-full bodied red blend—98% Cabernet Sauvignon with splashes of Malbec and Petit Verdot—was aged 18 months in French oak barrel, 20% new. It’s opaque plum with aromas of smoke, vanilla and cherry. Medium to full bodied on the palate, it dishes up flavours of peppery spice and red berry jam accompanied by firm tannin and good acidity. Drink now to 2022 pairing with grilled pork ribs with a hickory-smoked sauce. (Dave Isaacs)

**** drink or cellar
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Napa Valley $69.95 (708982) 14.5% alcohol
This is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot and Malbec. Although approaching 4-years old, there’s plenty left. There are aromas of green leaf, shiitake mushroom and cherry. It's full bodied with good acidity for balance, and strong chewy tannin layered on top of red fruit flavours. You could drink today with a three-hour aeration/decant and medium-rare steak and mushrooms, but it’ll reward careful cellaring for another five years. (Dave Isaacs)

Chile: Red Wine

**** drink or cellar
Aromo ‘Private Reserve’ Carmenère 2013
Maule Valley $16.95 (243535) 13.5% alcohol
This is good value—fruit was sourced from 100% hand-harvested Carmenère with 60% aged American and French oak barrels for 6 months. The wine is almost opaque in the glass. On the nose there are aromas of fresh green leaves with notes of coffee and chocolate. It’s medium bodied with jammy fruit flavours and good acidity for balance. The tannin begins smoothly strutting their stuff--along with lip-smacking sweet and tang—on the finish. Pair with strips of stir-fried beef, mushrooms and green peppers. (Dave Isaacs)

Australia: White Wine

**** drink now
M. Chapoutier ‘Tournon Mathilda’ 2014
Victoria $17.95 (401398) 13.0% alcohol
A blend of Viognier and Marsanne, it spent 5 months on lees in stainless steel tanks. It’s pale gold with a slight green cast. On the nose you'll find floral and fruity aromas while on the palate it’s medium-full bodied with flavours of pear, honey and a beautifully luscious acidity. Pair this wine with pear and chèvre salad. (Dave Isaacs)

Australia: Red Wine

• The following Coriole ‘Reserve’ is named for one of the founders, Mary Kathleen Lloyd. It was sourced from three small, estate vineyards with average age of vines +35 years. It’s a 90% Cabernet Sauvignon/10% Merlot blend—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)

**** drink now
Rolf Binder ‘Hales’ Shiraz 2013
Barossa Valley $20.95 (54239) 13.5% alcohol
Fruit was sourced from a selection of Barossa Valley vineyards then spent approximately one year in American and French oak. The nose of earthy/forest floor and mocha aromas provide segue for a nicely balanced, medium-plus bodied stream of ripe mulberry, briary black berry with hints of cassis and espresso roast bathing the palate persisting through the finish and aftertaste. Pour alongside grilled red meat or gourmet sausage. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar
Heartland ‘Spice Trader’ Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Langhorne Creek $16.95 (429241) 14.5% alcohol
Fruit from 52% Shiraz/48% Cabernet Sauvignon was fermented and matured separately for 12 months in a mix of 3-year-old American and French oak barrels then blended before bottling. It’s deep garnet with aromas of cherries and freshly picked mint leaves. Medium to full bodied and ready to drink, flavours of spice and jammy red fruit interplay with soft, ripe tannin. Enjoy this with grilled beef burgers. (Dave Isaacs)

**** drink or cellar
Jim Jim (The Down-Underdog) Shiraz 2014
South Australia $16.95 (682005) 14.5% alcohol
Medium-red hued with oodles of eucalyptus, pepper, red fruit and vanilla on the nose, this offers the down-under Shiraz experience at a very good price. It's full bodied and smoothly textured with juicy flavours of vanilla and cherry jam followed by a juicy lingering finish. Pair with slow-grilled, pulled pork. (Dave Isaacs)

**** drink or cellar
Pirramimma Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
McLaren Vale $24.95 (730374) 14.6% alcohol
This is opaque with a generous nose of blueberry, smoke and slightly herbal highlights. It’s medium-full bodied on the palate with still-evolving tannin interwoven with flavours of cherry, vanilla and mouth-watering acidity. Aerate/decant for a couple of hours before serving. Pair with grilled, medium-rare pepper steak. (Dave Isaacs)

New Zealand: White wine

****1/2 drink now
Sacred Hill ‘Reserve’ Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Marlborough $21.95 (490326) 12.5% alcohol
This appears very pale gold, almost clear. However, aromas of savory herbs, cut grass, clover, and honey fairly leap from the glass. It's medium-to-light bodied with flavours of racy lime with herbaceous notes and a wonderfully balanced acidity. There’s a pleasant tangy bite on the finish. Enjoy with milk-marinated, pan-seared sea scallops or mussels steamed in white wine. (Dave Isaacs)

France: Red Wine

**** drink or cellar
Château La Verrière 2014

AOC Bordeaux Supérieur $18.95 (349274) 14.0% alcohol

Smoke, oak and tarry bits mingle on the nose with aromas red and black cherry/berry fruit. This 85% Merlot/15% Cabernet Sauvignon blend dishes up a lovely stream of dark black cherry, ripe black currant and racy cranberry sporting considerable depth and complexity. It’s mid weight with good mouthfeel and a firm underpinning that could use another year in bottle, but can be easily negotiated with a three hour aeration/decant and a slab of prime beef, seasoned, grilled rare. (Vic Harradine)

Italy: Red Wine

**** drink or cellar
Papale ‘Linea Oro’ Primitivo di Manduria 2013

DOP Primitivo di Manduria $22.95 (261784) 14.0% alcohol

This rich Italian cousin of Zin is opaque and expressive enticing with aromas of dried fruit, plum and cherry interwoven with savoury notes of smoked meat, earth and grilled toast. It’s full bodied, round and approachable delivering a mouth-filling wash of succulent ripe fruit garnished with tasty spicy, peppery notes. The earthy quality underlies the weighty fruit with smoky toasty notes replaying on the full-flavoured finish. This is a real crowd pleaser offering good value. Serve it with ribs. (Susan Desjardins)

• Ripasso wines—literally meaning ‘repassed’—are created when grape skins and seeds left from the production of Amarone are mixed with light and lively Valpolicella wine for a period of re-fermentation. The Ripasso shares some of the characteristics of Amarone, at a greatly reduced price.

****1/2 drink or cellar
Feudi San Pio Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2014
DOC Valpolicella Ripasso $19.95 (181446) 14.0% alcohol
This lovely, value-packed Ripasso is dark-cherry hued with aromas of cocoa powder, chocolate, red fruit, raisins and vanilla. The aromas replay on the palate accompanied by ripe, smooth tannin and a great balance of lip-smacking acidity. Enjoy with a plate of hearty lasagna. (Dave Isaacs)

****1/2 drink or cellar
Tommasi ‘Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico’ 2012

DOCG Valpolicella Classico $49.95 (356220) 15.0% alcohol

Dried raisins and wisps of figs on the nose, this shifts into high gear with a gorgeous river of deep, rich fruit flavour—black plum compote and black cherry—and hints of Ribena coating the palate infusing the lingering finish. It was crafted from hand-harvested Corvina/Corvinone/ Rondinella/Oseleta and aged in Slovenian oak barrel. It’s full bodied and well balanced with firm structure and good bones. Drink now, after a two-hour aeration/decant, and on to 2023. (Vic Harradine)

Portugal: White wine

***1/2 drink now
Muralhas de Monção Vinho Verde 2015
DOC Vinho Verde $15.95 (80374) 12.5% alcohol
This is a light-on-its-feet and lively Vinho Verde that’s a vibrant pale gold in the glass. There are aromas of honeydew melon followed by racy flavours of apple and pineapple layered on a mineral base. This’ll pair well with stir-fried prawns. (Dave Isaacs)

Portugal: Red wine

**** drink or cellar Exceptional Value!
Vicente Faria Animus 2014
Douro $13.95 (385302) 13.0% alcohol
This red blend—40% Touriga Franca/30% Tempranillo/30% Touriga Nacional--is dark plum in colour with a reserved nose that teases with aromas of cherry and mint. It's medium bodied on the palate with smooth tannins and slight medicinal flavours of cherry and vanilla. There’s a good line of acidity carrying the vanilla flavours through to the finish. It pairs well with aged cheddar cheese. (Dave Isaacs)

Romania: White Wine

• The following white wine is sourced from Fetească Albă grapes that are indigenous to Moldova and widely planted in Eastern Europe. It’s most often used to make sweet wines due to its naturally high levels of sugar.

***1/2 drink now
Cotnari Fetească Albă 2014
DOC Cotnari $12.95 (12088) 12.0% alcohol
This wine from DOC Cotnari, Romania is medium sweet, with floral aromas reminiscent of honeysuckle and clover. It’s medium-sweet on the palate with flavours of apple and cinnamon while the acidity is somewhat muted. Enjoy with pork chops stuffed with spiced apple and raisins. (Dave Isaacs)

Spain: Red wine

****1/2 drink or cellar
Barón de Magaña 2010
DO Navarra $19.95 (280552) 14.5% alcohol
A fantastic, value-laden blend of Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Tempranillo/Syrah, it showcases a complex nose of fall leaves, musty mushroom, dried fruit and smoke. It's full bodied with flavours of fruit and vanilla and a perfect balance of acidity carrying the wine to a fruity finish. The firm tannin underpinning suggest laying down another 5 years. If opened now, decant for two hours enjoying with roast lamb. (Dave Isaacs)

Upstream in Vintages

Vintages Release: Date TBD

***1/2 cellar
Château Vrai Caillou 2014
AOC Bordeaux Supérieur $15.95 (348292) 12.5% alcohol
This wine is dark plum, not quite opaque, in colour. The nose is reminiscent of cocoa powder with hints of red berries. It is medium-to-full bodied on the palate, with very strong tannins layered on top of hints of chocolate and spice. A well-priced wine for someone looking to start a cellar, this will keep for at least another 5 years after which it can be enjoyed with lamb and aged cheeses. (Dave Isaacs)

• If you’re in Ontario, order Glaetzer and Heartland wines online by the case for shipping to your home, office or restaurant from The Vine Agency.

• The following ‘Wallace’ red blend—78% Shiraz/22% Grenache was sourced from the sub-appellation of Ebenezer from 60-year-old Grenache bush vine fruit, fermented in stainless steel tank to preserve its juicy flavour. ‘Wallace’ is an ancestral name of Colin's wife, Judith, who hailed from Scotland. The Wallace symbol - a Celtic cross, thistle and Celtic knot speaks to her ancestry.

****1/2 drink or cellar
Glaetzer Wines ‘Wallace’ Shiraz/Grenache 2015
Barossa Valley $25.00 $25.00 14.5% alcohol
Lifted aromas of earthy notes mingle with piquant spice, black licorice and perfumed floral notes precede a tang-laden stream of palate-bathing flavour with bright red berry, mixed spice and wisps of dark bittersweet chocolate to the fore. It’s medium weight with good texture, persistent purity of fruit and sports a lengthy, lip-smacking aftertaste. Drinking well now, it pairs well with grilled rib-eye and Portobello mushrooms. (Vic Harradine)

• The following ‘Anaperenna’ red blend—76% Shiraz/24% Cabernet Sauvignon—was sourced from the northern tip of the Geographical Indication of Barossa Valley in the sub-region, ‘Ebenezer’, as are all Ben Glaetzer wines. Low-yielding fruit was matured 16 months in new 300L oak hogsheads, 92% French, balance American.

***** cellar
Glaetzer Wines ‘Anaperenna’ 2015
Barossa Valley $60.00 15.0% alcohol
Winemaker Ben Glaetzer leaves his experienced, confident fingerprints all over this. It showcases great depth, good balance, tang and complexity with good purity of fruit and firm underpinning, but not overworked or overblown. Involved aromas of baking spice, savory herbs, espresso roast and dark cherry/berry and plum fruit abound. A gusher of spice, ripe mulberry, black plum and black currant coat the palate infusing the lengthy, tang-laden, balanced finish and aftertaste. The ripe, fine-grained tannins are easily handled by opening 2020 to 2035 – an inspired choice for the cellar. (Vic Harradine)

• The following two wines refer to Amon-Ra, king of all gods in Egyptian mythology. The ‘all-seeing eye’ icon on the label represents six senses—touch, taste, hearing, sight, smell and thought. Winemaker Ben Glaetzer created this legacy red to appeal to them all. The fruit for the 2014 was sourced from 50 to 130-year-old, dry-grown Shiraz, aged 16 months in 100% new oak hogsheads, 95% French, 5% American, bottled unfiltered.

***** cellar
Glaetzer Wines ‘Amon-Ra’ Shiraz 2014
Barossa Valley $85.00 (58032) 15.0% alcohol
There’s a profusion of perfumed aromas—mixed spice, cedar and bright red fruit. A tapestry of juicy, ripe mulberry and black currant fruit engulf the palate interweaving with savory herbs, anise and wisps of sweet vanilla. It’s medium-plus weight with generous mouthfeel, good depth, complexity and persistent purity of fruit that’s framed with lip-smacking tang and underpinned by a firm tannin structure—all quite stunning and stylish. Kudos to winemaker extraordinaire, Ben Glaetzer, who passed his magic wand over this. Pop corks 2022 to 2040. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Glaetzer 2015 ‘Amon-Ra’ sourced fruit from a great vintage and 50 to 145 year-old vines from the Ebenezer sub-appellation of the northernmost tip of Barossa Valley. The Amon-Ra is listed in the über-prestigious Langton’s Classification of Australian Fine Wines.

****1/2 cellar
Glaetzer Wines ‘Amon-Ra’ Shiraz 2015
Barossa Valley $85.00 (58032) 15.5% alcohol
The nose on this full-bodied, fully textured cellar dweller offers aromas of spice, floral and cedar with notes of bramble berry. It envelops the palate with a rich flow of briary berry, black, juicy Bing cherry interlaced with excellent tang, black licorice and cassis persisting through the long, balanced and beautiful, finish and aftertaste. There are strong signs this will be quite special, though tight and taut with firm, fine-grain tannin for now—open 2025 to 2037. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Heartland ‘Foreign Correspondent’ is a 51% Lagrein/49% Dolcetto red blend. Both Dolcetto vines and the less-common Lagrein are grown primarily in northern Italy with the first plantings of Lagrein in Australia in 1988.

**** drink now
Heartland ‘Foreign Correspondent’ 2016
Langhorne Creek $26.00 12.0% alcohol
This opens with aromas of bright, red berry fruit along with wisps of spice and sprigs of savory herbs following through and replaying on the palate with spice-laced pie cherry and red currant framed by juicy tang. It’s crisp and refreshing with a racy finish. This unique Lagrein/Dolcetto red blend saw no oak, can be slightly chilled served and pours particularly well with charcouterie board or cheese platter. (Vic Harradine)

• The following 2013 ‘Director’s Cut’ was sourced from some of the best vineyards in Langhorne Creek of +40-year-old, premium Shiraz fruit picked in the cool of the night then crushed to small, open-top stainless steel fermenters. After eight days of cool fermentation on skins, all wine was transferred to new 80% French/20% American, 300L oak hogsheads for 14 months ageing.

****1/2 drink or cellar
Heartland ‘Director’s Cut’ Shiraz 2013
Langhorne Creek $39.95 14.5% alcohol
Surprisingly approachable for such a powerful red, this delivers the proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove—it’s full flavoured, full bodied and fully textured. Aromas of grilled herbs, sweet vanilla and gamy notes leap from the glass. A gusher of fruit, tannin and tang coat the palate with gusto—bramble berry, cassis and black plum mingling with spice, dark bittersweet chocolate and considerable élan. Best to open 2018 to 2023, you could also aerate/decant for three hours before pouring now. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar
Heartland Shiraz 2014
Langhorne Creek $19.95 (661934) 14.5% alcohol
This medium-plus bodied, nicely textured Shiraz is fruit-forward with complexity, structure and oodles of charm. Aromas of bramble berry, peppery spice and black licorice set the table for a smorgasbord of palate flavours with red and black currant and black raspberry fruit joined by piquant spice, earthy bits and a delectable line of juicy tang to the fore. There’s fine-grained tannin and good acidity decorating the long juicy finish and aftertaste. Good to go now and pours well with grilled steak, burgers or gourmet sausage. (Vic Harradine)

• Order Henschke wines by the case for delivery in Ontario to your home, office or restaurant online from B & W Wines.

• This is the 25th vintage for the following ‘Julius’ Riesling—a wine named in honour of Julius Henschke, a highly acclaimed artist and sculptor. Fruit was sourced from Eden Valley with the 2016 vintage classified as ‘exceptional’ and the Henschkes estimating a drinking window for this wine up to 2041.

***** cellar Exceptional Value!
Henschke ‘Julius’ Riesling 2016
Eden Valley $39.00 11.5% alcohol
This is bright, pale-yellow with hints of green. Aromas of floral notes, minerality and lemon zest abound. An elegantly structured, medium-weight mouthful of lime, lemon curd, mineral salinity and pit fruit streak across the palate with great élan infusing the taut, lengthy, lip-smacking finish. Fruit was sourced from the absolute best of their Eden Valley Riesling. The aftertaste layers on piquant spice and green apple tang. Careful cellaring 2030 to 2035 will be rewarded. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar
Henschke ‘Croft’ Chardonnay 2015
Adelaide Hills $46.00 13.5% alcohol
This dishes up a creamy-smooth mouthful of baked apple, cloves, cinnamon and nutty notes from nine months ageing in French barrique, 24% new, now fairly-well integrated. Fruit for this wine was sourced from bio-dynamically farmed Lenswood vineyard. It’s medium-plus bodied with excellent texture, and a solid line of mouth-watering tang from twist top to last drop. It finishes clean, crisp and refreshing with a lengthy, tangy finish laced with lemon curd, green apple and ripe pear. (Vic Harradine)

• Fruit for the following Henschke ‘Giles’ Pinot Noir was biodynamically farmed, undergoing a 21- to 30-day ferment and cold soak, followed by 10 months maturation in French barrique, 31% new.

***** drink or cellar
Henschke ‘Giles’ Pinot Noir 2014
Adelaide Hills $50.00 13.0% alcohol
Perfumed rose petals, piquant spice and a profusion of cherry/berry aromas leap from the glass. This showcases oodles of tangy acidity, persistent purity of ripe fruit flavour and a balanced, lingering finish and aftertaste. It bathes the palate with a medium-weight, nicely textured stream of juicy ripe fruit—red currant, black raspberry and black Bing cherry—nicely balanced by a surge of lip-smacking tang decorated with savoury herbs and piquant spice all persisting through the lingering finish. (Vic Harradine)

• The following ‘Henry’s Seven’ red blend—65% Shiraz/20% Grenache/10% Mataro/5% Viognier—was sourced from the Barossa Valley and Eden Valley hence the ‘Barossa’ Geographical Indication (GI) on bottle.

****1/2 drink or cellar
Henschke ‘Henry’s Seven’ 2015
Barossa $49.95 (198621) 14.5% alcohol
This crowd-pleasing Shiraz is as close as you’ll get to a drink-me-now red from Henschke—and it still showcases complexity, deft balance, purity of fruit and lengthy, dry finish. A lifted, aromatic nose of black pepper notes and savory herbs introduce a tang-laden river of palate-bathing, red and black currant and black plum adorned with fennel and mixed spice. It’s medium-full bodied with good mouthfeel and it’s absolutely delicious. (Vic Harradine)

• The following ‘Keyneton Euphonium’ red blend was sourced from Eden Valley and Barossa Valley fruit—45% Shiraz/36% Cabernet Sauvignon/17% Merlot/2% Cabernet Franc. It was aged in 15% new and 85% seasoned—85% French and 15% American—300L oak hogsheads for 18 months then blended and bottled.

***** drink or cellar
Henschke ‘Keyneton Euphonium’ 2013
Barossa $75.00 14.0% alcohol
Lively aromas of poultry seasoning and baking spice mingle with lively field berry fruit on the nose of this balanced and beautiful red blend. It surges over the palate with a medium-full bodied, generously textured flow of spice and tang-laden boysenberry, black plum and ripe mulberry interweaving with dark bittersweet chocolate and piquant spice all persisting through the monumentally long finish and aftertaste. There’s a long life ahead for this structured gem, though you could pop corks now, after a three- or four-hour aeration/decant, better 2020 to 2035. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Mount Edelstone was sourced from 102-year-old, dry-grown, ungrafted, centenarian Shiraz vines from the Eden Valley. It was first bottled as a single-vineyard wine in 1952 becoming recognised as one of Australia’s greatest Shiraz—it’s now farmed biodynamically.

***** cellar
Henschke ‘Mount Edelstone’ 2014
Eden Valley $218.00 (718601) 14.5% alcohol
Heavily perfumed floral and sharp black pepper aromas leap from this stunning Shiraz. A profusion of ripe, luscious fruit—red and black currants, black plum and hints of blueberry—interlaced with sprigs of savory herbs and excellent tang. This is full fruited, full bodied and full of charm and elegance. There’s persistent purity of fruit, firm structure, deft balance and a long, long finish and aftertaste. Carefully cellar 2023 to 2037. (Vic Harradine)

• The following ‘Hill of Grace’ Shiraz was sourced from 100% pre-phylloxera material brought from Europe by settlers in the mid-1800s and grown on the single-vineyard, ‘Hill of Grace’ in the ‘High Eden’ at approximately 430m. The now biodynamically farmed vineyard is located opposite a beautiful Lutheran church named after a region in Silesia called ‘Gnadenberg’, meaning Hill of Grace. This wine was aged 18 months in 65% new, 35% seasoned—95% French and 5% American—300L hogsheads.

***** drink or cellar
Henschke ‘Hill of Grace’ 2010
Eden Valley $1023.00 (399675) 14.5% alcohol
An involved nose of cedar, black pepper, savory herbs and dark cherry/berry fruit provide segue for a complex, full-bodied, well-textured Shiraz. A gusher of tangy red fruit—red currant and pie cherry—intertwined with rich, luscious ripe fruit flavour—mulberry and black plum—along with firm structure and excellent balance, reverberates on the palate throughout. It’s stylish and succulent, requiring time to mature—cellar carefully 2025 to 2037. (Vic Harradine)

Cheers, Vic and Dave