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Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s December 11th Release – Tasting Notes

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Back in business, and just in time for the concluding release of 2010 that is scheduled to hit the shelves on December 11th. Ouch, time does fly by, especially when one is having fun, and fun I had, as there are several great wines to be found. Those most notable are from the Golden State, Italy, Australia and Ontario. Happy holidays as we have to say now, and have a safe and wine-filled New Year.

Speaking of New Year, here is an array of fine bubblies, at all levels of pricing, which will fit the occasion nicely.

183434 DELAMOTTE BRUT CHAMPAGNE $47.95
Aromas of citrus, grass and fresh flowers lead to a nicely textured palate featuring peach and apple flavours. Crispness from the citrus is apparent; the finish has solid white tree fruit flavours and stony mineral. Find this wine

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068288 HEIDSIECK & CO. MONOPOLE BLUE TOP BRUT CHAMPAGNE $49.95
Look past the somewhat non coloured coordinated label, because inside the bottle is a wine packed full of clay, mineral and limestone, rendering a bubbly not to be missed. Along with the terrior, there is guava, toasted bread, vanilla cream and orange blossom. The mousse tingles and there is great structure on the palate. Find this wine

069773 MOËT & CHANDON GRAND VINTAGE BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2003 $79.95
More money, but the nose of roasted almond, baked pear, wheat cereal and ginger is enticing. Delicate best describes the mouth feel, while the balance between the well aged fruit and lively acidity is awesome. The long lingering finish shows the wine has power and the structure to age a while longer. Find this wine

069831 MOËT & CHANDON GRAND VINTAGE BRUT ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE 2003 $87.95
The expressive nose of red cherry, strawberry, mineral and warm steamy brioche prevails. Drinking well, super fine mousse and dried red fruits on the finish. Find this wine

142679 13th STREET PREMIER CUVÉE BRUT SPARKLING WINE Niagara Peninsula, Traditional Method $29.95
Ontario is becoming a benchmark for New World sparklers and after tasting some of the icons of Northern France, 13th Street’s rendition easily holds its own. Aromas of buttery apple pie, citrus, mineral and white tree fruit abound. The leesy/yeasty texture on the palate is captivating backed up superbly by plenty of green apple, citrus oil and toast. Find this wine

264879 SUMAC RIDGE STELLER’S JAY BRUT SPARKLING WINE 2006 Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $24.95
A pink hued wine offering up apple, vanilla, poached pear, wheat cereal and a touch of toffee that all run to a palate of cooked fruit and a trace of caramel. Find this wine

192898 GLORIA FERRER SONOMA BRUT SPARKLING WINE Sonoma County, California $23.95
Ferrer’s offering shows a mix of citrus, Asian pear and warm buttered toast. Full bodied, good spritz and plenty of toasty fruit equates to a good valued sparkler. Find this wine

183392 ROEDERER ESTATE L’ERMITAGE BRUT SPARKLING WINE 2002 Anderson Valley, California $49.95
Classic wine, earmarked as a single vintage, tough to beat for quality and value. Tart green apple, candied ginger, toasted oats, rose petal and mineral combine so nicely. The mouth feel is rich, yet elegant. One of my favourites of the day. Find this wine

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593483 GRAHAM BECK BRUT SPARKLING WINE Western Cape, South Africa, Méthode Cap Classique $17.95
Forward and bold, bragging aromas of dried tangerine, lemon grass, caramel and apple that carry on to the palate. Good wine at a decent price. Find this wine

185694 CHARLES DURET BRUT CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE Burgundy, France $17.95
Grape aromas, mineral, iron, pastry and citrus, with a foamy texture, good balance and a note of toast on the finish. Find this wine

183731 LACHETEAU BLANC BRUT CRÉMANT DE LOIRE AC, Loire, France $15.95
Good mousse, honeysuckle, asparagus and candle wax, nice richness on the palate and a decent finish. Find this wine

CANADA – RED WINE – ONTARIO

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117960 CREEKSIDE ESTATE LAURA’S RED 2007 Niagara Peninsula $19.95
Creekside has used all five traditional Bordeaux grapes in this blend resulting in a full bodied wine showing dark fruit, forest floor, blackcurrant acidity on the palate and some discernable tannin. Good wine from a highly touted vintage that is affordable and will shed its veil of tannin in a year or two allowing the layers of fruit to come forth. Find this wine

091132 INNISKILLIN RESERVE SERIES MERITAGE 2007 Niagara Peninsula $18.95
Lots of upfront dark fruit, bright cherry, a floral note, pipe tobacco, mineral and stone; a tight palate, some tea-like tannin and a touch of toasty oak. Find this wine

665034 STRATUS CABERNET FRANC 2007 Niagara Peninsula $38.20
First rate, loaded with Christmas cake spice, a touch of lavender, toast and layers of black raspberry and blackberry fruit. Ripe chewy fruit leaps out on the palate, the acidity is spot on and the finish is long and lively. Find this wine

BRITISH COLUMBIA

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071464 LAUGHING STOCK PORTFOLIO 2007 Naramata Bench $54.95
Another true Bordeaux blend featuring 56% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, 6% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot . Owners David and Cynthia Enns set the price of the winery’s premium flagship blend to the stock market index when offering the wine in a futures program. The Toronto index back then was about 9000. It had dropped as low as 7,600 in the earlier market crash. The futures price of Portfolio was $35 a bottle, but if the market crashed again by the time the actual wine was released in September, there would be a further discount. Buyers would be entitled to a rebate that would take the price of the bottle to $28. The winery called this “recession-proof pricing.” Very clever, although the market didn’t plummet, those lucky enough to buy at that price still got a great deal. Herb, bay leaf, chocolate, cedar, aniseed, black fruit and spice showcase a wine with great structure and balance. The tannin is ripe, but unobtrusive, drink now or put this away for a while. Find this wine

626416 NK’MIP CELLARS MERLOT 2007 Okanagan Valley $24.95
Earthy and dusty, tart red fruit and lozenges, red berries and cocoa, a wine that needs time to settle and develop in the bottle. Find this wine

USA

211292 FOG CREST CHARDONNAY 2006 Russian River Valley $47.95
This is an interesting wine of great depth and complexity; canned fruit cocktail, mango and butterscotch aromas turn to sweet apple and roasted pear on the palate. It is a concentrated wine that finishes with a touch of caramel and canned coconut milk. Find this wine

717181 TALBOTT CHARDONNAY 2007 Monterey County $34.95
Ripe and fat, model Chardonnay flavours, with buttery textures on the palate. Find this wine

149955 BERINGER PRIVATE RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2005 Napa Valley $119.95
A big punchy wine showing mineral, coal dust, some fruit, but very tight. Palate corresponds showing little fruit and a mass of tannin, plenty of spice and creamy oak. Certainly needs time to show its best. Find this wine

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014209 CLIFF LEDE POETRY CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2006 Stags Leap District, Napa Valley $124.95
Poetry in motion, aromas of hay, ash, charcoal, earth and swampy water give way to layer after layer of blackberry, Ribena, blueberry and Asian spice. The palate is sublime, elegant, yet powerful; fruit is solid and tannins are integrating well. Find this wine

089318 CORTÉ RIVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2005 Napa/Sonoma Counties $77.95
Mint and vanilla, sweet cherry, blackcurrant, cigar leaf and cherry cola lead to a rich juicy palate, fruit laden, spicy and sweet. Find this wine

191833 DUCKHORN DECOY PINOT NOIR 2008 Anderson Valley $29.95
Funky, almost Bret like aromas, showing mineral, aniseed, cinnamon and cooked stewed fruit make this wine tough to pick out as a Pinot. Find this wine

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709204 DUNN VINEYARDS HOWELL MOUNTAIN CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2006 Napa Valley $92.95
Tasty and most desirable, black fruits abound, with leather, dried herb and mineral rock. A monster tamed by chocolate tannins, fine acidity and deftly administered oak. Time in the glass brings forth elegance to the wine, elevating the fruit and showcasing its seamless qualities. Find this wine

025080 HESS SELECT CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007 Mendocino/Lake/Napa Counties $23.95
Amongst all these high priced Californian Cabernets proudly sits this bottle of Hess Select. It offers plum, tar, balsa, cocoa and cedar notes, its palate has serious levels of sweet toasty fruit, a lovely texture and good length on the finish. Find this wine

031831 MOUNT EDEN ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2006 Santa Cruz Mountains $52.95
Aromas of forest floor, morel mushroom, dark fruit, mocha and vanilla with a well balanced palate, great structure, gentle oak, mellow tannins and mineral. It drinks beautifully now, but is built to improve with time. A lovely wine. Find this wine

723072 RIDGE GEYSERVILLE 2008 Sonoma County $43.95
The 2008 Geyserville is composed of 72% Zinfandel, 20% Carignan rounded out with Petite Sirah and Mataro. Blueberry, blackberry and raspberry combine with sweet oak, candy floss, briar and mineral. Sweet and plush on the palate, fruit is authoritative, spicy oak needs time to integrate, finishing with raspberry ripple, aniseed ball, and a creamy texture. Find this wine

050427 RODNEY STRONG CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007 Alexander Valley $27.95
A clean, simple, well made fleshy wine boasting red cherry, blackcurrant, a little dusty tannin and good acidity. Find this wine

192351 SADDLEBACK CELLARS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2004 Napa Valley Venge Vineyards $54.95
At six years of age, this wine is not to be rushed. The mocha, dried fruit, pop corn, forest floor, milk chocolate and the huge concentration of fruit is dampened down on the palate by the layers of dusty tannin. It is a great wine, old world in style, with potential to become superb with a couple more years of aging. Find this wine

186858 DOMAINE SERENE YAMHILL CUVÉE PINOT NOIR 2007 Willamette Valley $46.95
A dark coloured Pinot that emits lavender, a floral note, Moroccan spice, black fruit, plum and leather. It has a great texture on the palate, with a mix of red and dark fruit and chocolate tannins that round out the palate. Find this wine

076307 SANTA EMA AMPLUS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007 $19.95
A “wine of the month” that I have to say is tasty with big, bold and well balanced; fruit laden yes, but with sweet spice, a touch of vanilla and nice earthy and mineral notes to back it up. Find this wine

AUSTRALIA – RED WINE

198929 BIRD IN HAND MT LOFTY RANGES SHIRAZ 2008 South Australia $24.95
Sweet and jammy fruit, a note of orange dust, quite spicy and floral with expressive fruit on the palate, but it is by no means over the top, well balanced and finishes with dusty tannins. Find this wine

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976423 ELDERTON ODE TO LORRAINE CABERNET SAUVIGNON/SHIRAZ/MERLOT 2008 Barossa Valley, South Australia $42.95
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Shiraz and 8% Merlot gives this sweet black monster plenty to boast about. It is currently disjointed; the cherry cola, juniper, dried mint and elderberry aromas fight for supremacy over the toasty oak and smoke. Palate is rich, ripe, fruit laden, very spicy and needs time. Find this wine

144535 GLAYMOND LANDRACE SHIRAZ/MATARO 2006 Barossa Valley, South Australia $29.95
Tar and licorice blend with creamy red blueberry and blackberry fruit and a touch of wet black soil. The well-balanced palate shows nicely. Find this wine

198333 HAZYBLUR SHIRAZ 2006 McLaren Vale, South Australia $28.95
Dusty and sweet, aromas of Fry’s coconut cream bar, layers of blackberry, mineral and chocolate tannins on the palate. Find this wine

510875 PENFOLDS ST. HENRI SHIRAZ 2006 South Australia $74.95
Balsa, toffee, toasty and sweet, but serious fruit concentration and great structure; blackberry and blackcurrant, earth and mineral all combine on the palate along with rich and chewy tannin. Not for the faint of heart or those that lack the patience to wait. Find this wine

524926 YALUMBA SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER 2008 Barossa, South Australia $19.95
Dusty with dark fruit, spicy pepper and the three percent Viognier adds a floral honeysuckle tier to the wine. Lovely red fruit on the palate, a touch of toasty oak and good acidity. Find this wine

NEW ZEALAND

035337 KIM CRAWFORD SMALL PARCEL RISE-AND-SHINE CREEK PINOT NOIR 2007 Central Otago, South Island $29.95
Harvey Steinman’s notes suggest a wine “Light in texture, with crisp juicy acidity to balance”. Totally the opposite of my assumptions; to me it has layers of sweet caramel, cedar, black toffee with a touch of mint and lots of flesh blackberry fruit. A prototypical Pinot it is not, but nonetheless, it’s one tasty wine. Find this wine

FRANCE

141226 ANNE BOECKLIN RÉSERVE GEWURZTRAMINER 2008 Alsace $17.95
A true-to-form and reasonably priced Gewurztraminer, showing lychee, baked pear and Indian spice box. A full palate, mellow acidity and a trace of dried banana on the finish. Find this wine

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206250 DOMAINE MARTELET DE CHERISEY LA GENELOTTE MEURSAULT-BLAGNY 1er CRU 2007 $74.95
Oily, petrol and an almost Riesling aromas of lime leaf, honeysuckle and almond extract with a pear tart/crème Anglaise flavoured palate, lots of ripe fruit and a super concentrated finish. Find this wine

983882 JEAN-MARC BROCARD CHABLIS MONTMAINS 1er CRU 2008 $33.95
A little different than your average Chablis, showing sandy till, baked apple and a touch of canned pear. It has a fat palate, a touch of sweetness and a good dose of flinty mineral on the finish. Find this wine

113589 REMOISSENET PÈRE & FILS MORGEOT CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET 1er CRU 2008 $79.95
Lemon grass, straw and mineral, a note of crème brulee, green apple custard and lime acidity. A palate that is elegant, has great acidity, a touch of peach flavour and earthiness. A lovely wine. Find this wine

190843 CHÂTEAU CASTERA 2005 Médoc $28.95
Mineral, iron, sawdust and cedar give way to red cherry, berry and menthol. It is low acid, with a savory palate and an astringent finish. Find this wine

195198 CHÂTEAU LA BIENFAISANCE 2008 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru $39.95
There is dense New World fruit, black wet soil and sweet plum on the nose; the palate is hard to figure as it is really tight and aggressive tannins are ruling the roost. Find this wine

191007 CHÂTEAU LA CHÈZE 2005 Premières Côtes de Bordeaux $18.95
Nice, plenty of plum, vanilla and creamy black currant, good acidity and the tannins are silky and smooth. Good Bordeaux wine for the price. Find this wine

183772 DOMAINE BESANCENOT CLOS DU ROI BEAUNE 1er CRU 2006 $32.95
The 2006 Clos Du Roi is light robed and sheer. It has aromas of rose petal, Basset’s Licorice Allsorts and nougatine. It carries simple red fruit flavours, little structure and the length and forcefulness of finish disappoints. Find this wine

199554 DOUDET NAUDIN PINOT NOIR BOURGOGNE HAUTES-CÔTES DE BEAUNE 2008 $24.95
If I am to buy red Burgundy from this release, my money will be spent here. Its rhubarb, redcurrant, black cherry and Middle Eastern spices have great appeal. The palate is silky, but has good structure, and is drinking nicely; the tannins are delicate and offer no interference. Find this wine

185637 VINCENT LACOMBE POMMARD 2009 $36.95
Aromas of cherry, dried herbs, tulip, vanilla and black plum run through to a palate that carries some spice, a note of green leaves, little depth and a short finish. Nothing like the rustic Pommards I have previously encountered. Find this wine

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194993 DOMAINE CHANTE CIGALE TRADITION CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2007 $37.95
Sweet and toasty brimming with dark fruit, toffee, black licorice, cardamom and pepper; the palate is rich and chewy, black cherry and blackcurrant sit on the palate and tease. Tannins are silky, but suggest time. Find this wine

ITALY

739920 ASCHERI VIGNA DEI POLA BAROLO 2005 $41.95
Red, red and red, licorice, berries and candy, flavoured with a little cardamom and silky tannin. Find this wine

204594 CASCINA BONGIOVANNI BAROLO 2006 $49.95
A very tight Barolo, showing traces of dark cherry, Turkish Delight, Asian spice and lavender. Palate reveals little other than plum and cherry fruit, while astringent tannins spoil the fun, at least for now. Find this wine

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185025 GEMMA GIBLIN RISERVA BAROLO 2001 $37.95
Green ferns, mocha chocolate, red fruit, marzipan and cola all lead to an open palate that has nice spicy flavours, good fruit and gentle tannin. Find this wine

650754 CASTELLO DI QUERCETO CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA 2006 $28.95
Add a little mushroom and straw to the James Suckling’s notes in the catalogue that state “black cherry and blackberry notes, with lilac, silky tannins and a lovely finish of dark chocolate” and there you have it. Tasty stuff for not-too-distant future drinking. Find this wine

928028 FATTORIA DEI BARBI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2004 $44.95
Anise, cola and plenty of black cherry and raspberry aromas set the stage for this well balanced wine with integrated tannins and plenty of ripe maturing fruit. Find this wine

198416 IL POGGIONE RISERVA VIGNA PAGANELLI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2003 $59.95
A lovely mix of wet bark, dried porcini and moss give way to show layers of red and dark fruit, Asian spice and Kirsch. It gives much pleasure now, but will continue to do so for years to come. A magnificent bottle of wine. Find this wine

189761 PIETRANERA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2004 $37.95
Dusty and leathery up front; prunes and lavender surface, then concentrated fruit appears as it sits in the glass along with iron and mineral. Lovely palate showing dark fruit, creamy toffee and sweet spice. Find this wine

735597 TENUTA SETTE PONTI ORENO 2007 $69.95
A New World styled wine right from the heart of Tuscany that is both elegant and powerful; floral and dark fruit aromas combine with earthy mineral and mocha. Great texture needs time, but very tasty now. Find this wine

Cheers, and all the best for 2011!

CZ

Related posts:

  1. Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s December 5th, 2009 Release – Tasting Notes
  2. Alan’s September 26th, 2009 Vintages Release Tasting Notes
  3. Alan’s October 10th, 2009 Vintages Release Tasting Notes
  4. Alan Kerr’s January 23rd, 2010, Vintage’s Release – Tasting Notes
  5. Alan Kerr’s January 9th, 2010, Vintage’s Release – Tasting Notes

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