Archive for February, 2014

Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s March 1st Release – Tasting Notes

A fleet of Cabs will be cruising onto the LCBO shelves this March 1st. Many are really tasty, a couple are well…not so much. In time for Passover, there are a couple of new additions to the Vintage’s portfolio and I am happy to say Kosher wines have come a long way.

THE CABERNET SAUVIGNONS

060525 RUTHERFORD RANCH RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2009 Napa Valley, California $49.95
Heaps of dusty clay, mineral, dried herbs and pure black fruit run to a chewy and meaty palate of fleshy fruit, dried blueberry, blackcurrant, with bright acidity and silky dark chocolate tannins. Tasty now with time in a decanter, but it will get even better with time in the cellar. Find this wine

642207 DRY CREEK VINEYARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California $25.95
The aromas of black forest torte, blackcurrant and sweet vanilla entice, while the pure clean palate offers mouth-watering flavours of currant and black raspberry. It has great texture, is well balanced and although noticeable, the silky tannins do not interfere. Find this wine

725150 STARMONT CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2009 Napa Valley, California $35.95
A costly, but tasty entry level wine from Napa’s renowned Merryvale Vineyards, that is rustic and hard showing notes of iron, mineral, dark fruit, Dutch licorice and cassis. The blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec is built to last. It is brawny, has solid tannins, the right amount of oak and pure clean fruit on the finish. Find this wine

161398 LANDER-JENKINS SPIRIT HAWK CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 California $19.95
If I only grab one Cab from this release, you are lucky enough to be reading about it. It’s aromas of dark cherry, chocolate, currant and bay leaves are quite enthralling. The balance between dark fruit, lively acidity and sweet spice is spot on. Although its AVA is merely California, it offers up the drinking pleasure of some more prestigious wines at twice the price. Find this wine

001594 HEDGES FAMILY ESTATE RED 2011 Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Washington State $32.95
A non-conventional blend of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 16% Syrah, 4% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Franc, boasting aromas of sweet mint, dried fruit, tar, peppery spice, blackcurrant and vanilla, with super structure on the palate, layers of dark fruit, chunky tannins, mineral and a finish of cassis and baking chocolate. Find this wine

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February 18, 2014 – Florida Jim Cowan’s 2014 Tasting Notes Archive

Jim Cowan Photo by Chris Witkowski - click to enlarge

The 2014 archive is presented by date the notes were compiled and submitted. Prior year’s tasting notes may be found here.

February 18, 2014

All wines purchased at Total Wine, St. Petersburg, Florida.

2009 Marquis de Monistrol, Cava Brut Winemaker’s Select:
12% abv; energetic bead, nice creaminess but still bright and lively in the mouth; charming and the equal of many N/V Champagnes. Buy more. $15. Find this wine

2012 Terramore, Nero D’Avola:
12.5 % abv, organic grapes, screwcap; correct to its variety with hints of an herbaceous side; a bit of a puzzle as I like it and at the same time I’m not sure of it. I’ll buy another and try again. $10. Find this wine

2012 Greek Wine Cellars, Assyrtiko Santorini:
12.5% abv; aromas, textures and flavors that reference Chenin blanc with the addition of some sappy fruit that is both sweet and bright (the wine, however, is dry); best at refrigerator temperature as it becomes oddly cloying at room temp. Probably not. $13. Find this wine

2011 Poderi di Carlo, Ribolla Gialla Venezia Giulia:
12.0% abv; no evidence of skin contact as this is acidic and not especially intense, but it does have the characteristic scent of peach and nutmeg just at a lower intensity; quite clean and very bright, dry. I like it but I seem to crave more flavor. Maybe more. $13. Find this wine

2012 Hugues de Beauvignac, Picpoul de Pinet Coteaux du Landguedoc:
12.5% abv, screwcap; floral and citrus nose; clean and crisp in the mouth with light fruit flavors; nicely persistent. Interesting both cold and warmed to room temp. Maybe more. $11. Find this wine

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Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s Feb. 15th Release – Tasting Notes

Those that head to their local vintages corner on February 15th. will have a selection of regional French wines to choose from; sadly though, I can’t give too many recommendations on what to buy as the powers that be on the top floor of the LCBO were a bit stingy with what they sent out for sampling. However, as always, there are a couple of wines worth seeking out especially at the friendlier on the wallet pricing point.  (Click images to enlarge)

REGIONAL WINES OF FRANCE

356741 DOMAINE GÉRARD CHARVET LA RÉSERVE D’AMÉLIE MOULIN-À-VENT 2012 $20.90
Not being known to be a fan of Beaujolais, I must confess to finding this wine more than just a pleasant surprise. Its bright, fresh and perfumed nose emits aromas of lavender, blackberry, yellow plum and brandied cherries. It has black raspberry on the palate along with some peppery spice, dried cherry and clean acidity. Find this wine

309245 LA FERME DU MONT VENDANGE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2011 $46.95
Very fruit forward, dark jam aromas, not a lot of complexity, but some interesting hits of sweet spice and cola. At this point in time, the palate is lacklustre and one dimensional with an element of heat on the finish. Well reviewed by one of Parker’s peeps, so maybe my comments are a little harsh. Find this wine

283424 DOMAINE DES OUCHES IGORANDA BOURGUEIL 2011 $16.95
Cab Franc as cab Franc should be, at least if you make wine in this part of the world. It is very herbaceous, showing dill ferns, bell pepper and faint whiffs of dried red fruits. There is a dose of tannin on the finish that shuts down the miserly degree of fruit. Worth buying to see what happens with a year or so in the cellar. Find this wine

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