Our Top 20 Picks from This Week’s Vintages Release

Posted by: samy May 13, 2016 No Comments

We don’t think we’ve had such a diverse selection of top wines in, well, ever.

Running the gamut from $17 to $70, from America to Argentina there is a wide selection to pick from in these 20 wines. As usual, we have a hefty representation from Canada, including a 6-year-old fabulous Cab Franc from Lake Erie North Shore that will be dynamite with you upcoming long weekend cookout.

Yes, there’s lots to pick from here, and, if you are one of the lucky ducks heading up north on the May 24 long weekend to open the cottage, grab a few cases for the summer cellar. You’ll be happy you did.


IMG_4193Famiglia Bianchi Chardonnay, Mendoza 2015
$17.95 1461
Bright and fresh with uplifting acid giving vibrance to deep flavours of butterscotch, yellow pear and toast. Despite the barrel ferment, oak is judicious. Terrific value. 91 points.


IMG_4190Norman Hardie Riesling, VQA Ontario 2015
$21.00 131169
Aromas of peach schnapps and lemon lime show through on the nose. While the palate reveals razor’s-edged acidity with tangy citrus and stone fruit flavours. This wine somehow strikes a balance between delicacy and nervy brightness. 89 points.

Joie Farm Pinot Noir, VQA Okanagan Valley, BC 2013
$24.95 454819
Hand cream, creme brûlée topping and smoked plum all mingle on the nose. The palate is medium bodied with fine tannin, balanced acid and flavours of dark, plummy fruit and spice. Highly drinkable. 89 points.

Domaine Queylus “Tradition” Pinot Noir, VQA Niagara Peninsula, ON 2012
$29.95 392738
A rich nose of dark fruits, clay, spice and smoke echo on the round and supple palate, which shows increasingly firm tannins making it a likely contender for the long haul, likely lasting throughout the decade without a problem. 90 points.

IMG_4195Nyarai Cellars “Cadence,” VQA Niagara Peninsula, ON 2011
$21.95 451781
A Bordeaux blend with a splash of Syrah, black pepper, plum and mincemeat come through on the nose and palate which also adds some black and blue berry to the flavour mix. Ripe and round with firm tannins balanced by appropriate acidity, this is quite good. 89 points.

IMG_4196Viewpointe “Focal Pointe” Cabernet Franc, VQA Lake Erie North Shore, ON 2010
$24.95 450916
The sleeper hit of the release for us, we had our doubts about this 6-year-old wine, but were pleasantly surprised to be proven otherwise. It’s still going strong with rich and deep flavours of ripe blackberry and cherry, smoked meat and baking spice. An excellent choice for dockside steak dinners, or you could squirrel some away to enjoy over the next 2-3 years. 91 points.


IMG_4181Bailly LaPierre Reserve Brut Cremant de Bourgogne NV
$19.95 991562
A perennial favourite of ours, this fresh and clean bubbly offers notes of lemon-lime, wildflower stems, and a touch of puff pastry on the nose. Soft mousse on the palate but with great vibrancy and citrus flavours. Stock up on this one and enjoy for all your summer celebrations. 90 points.

Alain Chavy Puligny Montrachet, Burgundy 2013
$68.95 446351
A smokey nose leads to a creamy but focused palate with flavours of green apple and lemon countered by campfire ash and toast. Quite refined. 89 points.

IMG_4197Chateau Fleur Haut Gaussens, Bordeaux Superieur 2010
$18.95 445510
A good deal from a great vintage, this has a restrained and moderate nose with traces of dark fruit and sweet spice. The palate is rich and supple with ripe cherry and blackberry flavours with a bitter chocolate finish. 89 points.

Nuiton-Beaunoy, Beaune, Burgundy 2012
$37.95 447573
Potpourri, red cherry and dusty earth fill the nose of this garnet-coloured wine. Medium weight but rich with good depth and moderate tannins and fresh acid. Red cherry, cedar, crushed pepper and dried thyme flavours make up this earthy, elegant wine. 90 points.

Saint-Roch Vielles Vignes Syrah/Grenache, Cotes du Roussillion 2012
$16.95 195107
Lots to offer on this powerful wine that’s let’s it all hang out with aromas of meat, blackberry, cough syrup, chocolate and menthol. Rich and polished with dark fruit and sweet oak mocha flavours. Nothing subtle here. Bold red fans will love it. 88 points.

IMG_4239Ortas Prestige Rasteau, Cave de Rasteau, Rhone 2011
$21.95 985929
Aromas of toasted spice, kirsch, cherry compote and Black Forest cake come through on this deep, dense red. The palate adds some earthy asphalt and sweet mincemeat flavours. 89 points.

IMG_4240Pierre Amadieu Romane-Machotte Gigondas, Rhone 2013
$24.95 17400
A lovely blend of spice and dark fruit on this full and plush wine. Grippy tannin and balanced acid with a lasting finish. 90 points.


IMG_4189Bischofliche Weinguter Trier Ayler Kupp Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2013
$23.95 445809
This is a terrific Rielsing that offers up tons of juicy fruit by way of lime, grapefruit, apricot and peach all dipped in honey. The sweetness is certainly present in this off dry style but kept in line by energetic acidity. 90 points.


Boutari Grande Reserve Xinomavro, Naoussa 2010
$18.95 140111
Pouring a deep, translucent garnet with aromas of plump dark cherry and plum, dusty leather and a hint of beef bouillon. The palate is rich and complex with brandied cherry, salt, black licorice, black tea, woodsy notes and clove. Lots to offer for the price. 90 points.


Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico, Tuscany 2013
$24.95 970095
The slightly tight nose has earth and spice notes and should be a little more revealing with decanting. Smooth and supple on the palate with well-integrated tannin. A lovely balance between plum-cherry red fruit and deep, smokey spice with a tart cranberry finish. 90 points.


3 Stones “Premium Selection” Pinot Gris, Marlborough 2015
$16.95 362053
Simultaneously soft and creamy yet crisp and fresh, look for yellow Apple, pear and peach with an undercurrent of rocky mineral. 88 points.


IMG_4241Rickety Bridge “The Foundation” Stone Red, Western Cape 2013
$18.95 444521
A red blend made of the leading Rhone grapes Syrah, Cinsault, Mouvedre, Grenache and the white grape Viognier. Cured meat and dried herb aromas are present on the palate as well, though draped in dark, ripe fruit. Medium bodied, with balanced acid and well integrated tannin this would be terrific with gourmet burgers or lamb chops. 90 points.


IMG_4182Roederer Estate Brut Sparkling, Mendocino California
$39.95 294181
Soft and round aromas of passion fruit, sugar cookie and fresh party lead to generous flavours of pineapple, earthy mushroom and a tangy yellow grapefruit finish. Terrific length. 90 points.

IMG_4191Stags’ Leap Winery Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California 2014
$34.95 655381
One of the most impressive Chards we’ve tasted in a long time coming out of Napa. It’s rich to be sure, but shows restraint with mineral, green apple and lemon offsetting the peachy-creamy oak notes. Very well done. 90 points.

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