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Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s July 9 Release – Tasting Notes

It’s that time of the year again when the LCBO boffins come out full tilt with the critically acclaimed big boys, otherwise known as the “Top Marks 90+ Wines”. Vintages has assembled a few liquid treats from around the wine world that have been blessed and highly touted by some of the most influential wine gurus, applying a score of 90 points or more. Some are worth their high degree of hype and some are clearly not!

Do you like Sauvignon Blanc? Good, I do too and there are a couple I particularly enjoyed, so best read on.


927582 KILIKANOON PRODIGAL GRENACHE 2007 Clare Valley, South Australia $29.95
One of two excellent Grenache wines from down under, this one spending time in both French and American oak, flaunting aromas of chocolate, black fruit, mineral, slate and lavender. Its palate is ripe, but balanced, showing layers of blackberry and currant, some Asian spice flavours and perfect acidity to complement the fruit. Find this wine
Jay Miller,, 90 points
Yours truly, 91 points

066555 SCHILD SHIRAZ 2007 Barossa, South Australia $27.95

Leathery and spicy, dried herb and balsa, a great under-layer of damson, black cherry and dark fruit lead to a palate that shows the level of extraction, huge, notes of Moroccan spice, dark fruit and a long finish. Find this wine
Harvey Steiman,, 92 points
Yours truly, 90 points

225136 VALLETTA GRENACHE/SHIRAZ 2005 McLaren Vale, South Australia $37.95
Possibly the wine of the release for me, it has intriguing, fun aromas of freshly crushed blackcurrants, blueberry syrup, Asian spice and some creamy mocha. It hits the palate with its pure intensity; there is some chalky tannin, but it is already integrating nicely. Its fruit is nothing short of intoxicating, oak is gentle and the overall structure is amazing. Find this wine
Jay Miller, 93 points
Yours truly, 96 points

018796 THORN-CLARKE SHOTFIRE SHIRAZ 2008 Barossa, South Australia $21.95

Earthy, notes of clay with freshly cut flowers, blueberry and blackberry lead to a palate of well balanced black fruit, some chocolaty flavours and decent length. Find this wine
Jay Miller, 90 points
Yours truly, 87 points

019042 CONCHA Y TORO MARQUÉS DE CASA CONCHA SYRAH 2008 Maipo Valley $19.95

Layers of plum, sweet blackberry and currants, backed up with leather, tar, smoked meat and black licorice; palate is plumy, fleshy, quite tannic, but silky with a long spicy laden finish. Find this wine
James Molesworth, winespectator 90 points
Yours truly, 87 points

172676 CHÂTEAU MALMAISON 2006 Moulis-en-Médoc, Bordeaux $28.95

A New world styled wine, sweet oak, very tight, rather thin on the palate, uninteresting and very tannic. May show better with age. Find this wine
James Suckling,, 90 points
Yours truly, 75 points

A marvelous mix of wet animal fur, clove, dried mushroom, leather, smoke, black raspberry and red cherry. The palate shows lovely blackberry, black cherry, dried herbs, cola and mineral flavours. Find this wine
Robert Parker Jr., 90
Yours truly, 92 points


Soft, some nice red berry, raspberry, anise and earthy aromas, clean fruit on the palate, lovely texture with gentle tannin. Find this wine
Antonio Galloni, 90 points
Yours truly, 84 points

224311 VITICCIO BERE 2007, Tuscany $17.95

Power packed little fruit bomb at first, lots of plum, cherry and blackcurrant aromas show well, nice earthy backdrop, fleshy palate, showing good structure and balance, a trifle shy on the finish. Find this wine
James Suckling, 90 points
Yours truly, 86 points


A sweet fragrance of Bassets Licorice Allsorts, floral, dark fruit, vanilla and charcoal, youthful palate, dusty tannins and sweet oak prevail; blueberry and sweet red fruit are lurking, long and very spicy finish. Find this wine
Mark Squires, 91 points
Yours truly, 91 points

067868 ARROCAL 2008 Ribera del Duero $16.95

An intense purple robe, intriguing aromas of licorice root, dried currants, straw, mineral and lavender, rich and powerful palate, blackcurrant focused, nice earthy mineral notes and a long chewy finish. Find this wine
Jay Miller, 90 points
Yours truly, 92 points

906198 ATALON CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2004 Napa Valley, California $36.95

Mineral, dark fruit, cassis and slate abound, the touch of lead pencil is misleading; fabulous structure, layers of blackberry and blackcurrant, mineral, dusty tannin, sweet oak and perfect acidity. Find this wine
Robert Parker Jr., erobertparker. Com 90
Yours truly, 91 points

225672 GROTH CHARDONNAY 2008 Napa Valley, California $37.95

Nice, hot climate Chardonnay, showing nice ripe, but not overdone baked pear, pastry, dried tangerine peel, apple and spice with balanced fruit and a pleasing streak of acidity on the finish. Find this wine
James Laube, 91 points
Yours truly, 89 points

674952 OAKVILLE RANCH CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2006 Napa Valley, California $37.95

Minty, with coal dust, blackcurrant, black cherry and mineral aromas,; well structured palate, focusing on the black fruit while adding black raspberry, a soft finish with some chalky tannin. Find this wine
Robert Parker Jr., 90
Yours truly, 88 points

159293 SIDURI PINOT NOIR 2009 Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California $37.95
Kitchen aromas of anise, thyme, sage, and coffee grounds, backed with leather, floral aromas and tons of sweet black fruit. Chunky palate, has black raspberry, cherry, sweet milk chocolate, red licorice and a seriously disjointed feel. Not my idea of a Pinot, but it will appeal to some. Find this wine
James Laube, 91 Points
Yours truly, 83 points

510750 COOPER MOUNTAIN RESERVE PINOT NOIR 2008 Willamette Valley, Oregon $29.95

Organic and biodynamic certified; very plumy, showing nice Indian spice box, vibrant red fruit, a flashy palate, clean fruit, a strawberry caramel note, lively red fruit acids and a tasty finish. Find this wine
Jay Miller, 90 points
Yours truly, 89 points


242610 THE BOTANIST ISLAY DRY GIN Scotland (Bruichladdich Distillery) $44.95
Not being a gin aficionado-normally for me it is my beverage of choice with a splash of tonic on a long plane ride- I can’t really deconstruct this Scottish rendition as well as a pro probably could. However, the aromatics coming out of the bottle are nothing short of magical. It is made from 31 botanicals, 22 of which are native to Islay. The nose is captivating, showing juniper, Moroccan spice, cinnamon, citrus peel and coriander seed. Scottish gin, as oxymoronic as English haggis would be, but for the ardent martini fan, this is well worth trying.

087783 FLAT ROCK CELLARS SERIOUSLY TWISTED 2008 Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula $22.95
Seriously Twisted is Flat Rock’s proprietary blend of several white varieties that are vinified and aged separately in French oak. It is floral, has notes of tropical fruits, a touch of spice, lemon grass and tart apple. The palate is balanced has lovely pear flavours and a pleasing finish. Find this wine

234625 PONDVIEW ESTATE GEWÜRZTRAMINER/RIESLING 2009 Niagara Peninsula $14.20
Nice gewürztraminer aromatics, quite floral, canned fruit cocktail and peach, an off dry palate, with low acidity and a clean finish. Find this wine

A meld of straw, buttery apple, cereal and linalool, peach pear and melon all play a part on the palate; touch too oaky on the palate for me. Find this wine

071712 WILDASS ROSÉ 2009 Niagara Peninsula $19.95
Lovely fruit laden wine backed by mineral, earthy notes and layers of strawberry, black cherry, raspberry and plum, excellent acids and surprisingly full flavoured, tasty and fulfilling now, but perhaps even better next year. Wild Ass is the second wine of Stratus, made from various varietals that didn’t make the cut, but nonetheless, it is a fine example of the blending skills of wine maker J L Groux. Find this wine

247031 BONNY DOON CONTRA RED 2009 Central Coast, Old Vine Field Blend $19.95
Lovely aromatics, pure dark fruit, tar, cinnamon, with a floral note, blackberry, plum, damson and cola on the palate, some dusty tannins to resolve, but nothing that interferes with the current enjoyment factor. Find this wine

224147 REDEMPTION ZIN ZINFANDEL 2007 Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County (Alexander Valley Vineyards) $21.95
The nose is gorgeous, layers of super ripe dark fruit, black raspberry, mineral, lavender, wet wood/tree bark and Asian spice. The palate is, for my tastes, too ripe; it is raisiny, pruney and overly sweet, although the acids carry it well. It carries plenty of bang for the buck, but a little too much bang for me. Find this wine

222018 SISTER’S RUN SHIRAZ 2008 Gods Hill Vineyard, Barossa Valley, South Australia $15.95
Sweet oak, dark chocolate, blueberry, damson and red licorice; the palate is well balanced, has clean fruit and a little chewy/creamy texture with a hit of mocha on the finish. Find this wine

098350 CHÂTEAU LARRIVET-HAUT-BRION BLANC 2007 Pessac-Léognan $55.00
Not cheap, but this Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend has that certain wow factor that makes trying it mandatory. The nose is enjoyable, oozing layers of sandy earth, floral notes, preserved lemon, honeydew melon skin, orange blossom, dried banana chips and spiced pineapple. The palate echoes the nose, adding a touch of honey and just enough acids to refresh. The low acid suggests it is not a keeper, so buy, chill and enjoy. Find this wine

100891 R DE RIEUSSEC 2007 Bordeaux $22.00
Wine produced using non-botrytised Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes, also very charming, showing orange zest, citrus and honey; clean and dry on the palate, nice white peach note on the finish. Find this wine

100867 CHÂTEAU FERRAN BLANC 2007 Pessac-Léognan $21.00
Lovely mineral, baked apple, red grapefruit, dried herbs and melon; palate has lively acidity, a cream note and good length. Find this wine

098798 CHÂTEAU GRAND CORBIN-DESPAGNE 2007 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru $34.00
Lots of sweet oak, sweet black fruit, muddy wet soil and tar; stylistically new world, very astringent palate, tightly wound finishes with a strong bitter note. Find this wine

102756 CHÂTEAU PIPEAU 2007 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru $28.00
Amazing, earthy aromas combine with lead pencil, licorice root, charcoal, blackcurrant and dark fruit aromas; mid-palate is overpowered by tannins, but the core of fruit is solid, and it is a keeper. Find this wine

970707 CASTELLANI CHIANTI RISERVA 2007, Tuscany $14.95
Lots of fresh berry aromas, a little bubble gum, plastic and medicinal aromas, plenty of simple red fruit, clean acids and gentle tannin. Find this wine


Related posts:

  1. Alan Kerr’s July 10th, 2010, Vintage’s Release – Tasting Notes
  2. Alan Kerr’s February 6th, 2010, Vintage’s Release – Tasting Notes
  3. Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s April 16th Release – Tasting Notes
  4. Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s May 28 Release – Tasting Notes
  5. Alan Kerr’s May 1st, 2010, Vintage’s Release – Tasting Notes

5 Responses to “Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s July 9 Release – Tasting Notes”

  • Alan:

    Jay, I am going to say yes, but I did not make a notation. Every older Australian wine that I have opened recently has aged well and certainly got better with time. Open one when we prep and we can see!

  • Alan:

    Jason, I only rated the wines that scored 90+ from the critics. The rest of the review is done as I normally do.

  • Jay Baldwin:

    Alan, do you remember the Schild Estate Shiraz well enough to say if it is ageworthy? I have 4 or 5 bottles of same which are a few years older in vintage.

  • jason carey:

    Sad you now feel the need to rate the wines with points.. really sad.

    • Kim Adams:

      Jason, I take it as more a joke Alan is playing with the points crowd. I don’t think he’s gone over to the dark side. :-)

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