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Alan Kerr’s September 18th 2010, Vintage’s Release – Tasting Notes

“The buzz on what we do best” is the theme of this week’s Vintages release that promotes indigenous wines of Ontario. However, wine makers in Lake Erie North Shore have no representation whatsoever and there is a mere one bottle from Prince Edward County. So, here are my notes on the wines of Niagara. There are some good Niagara wines available, but one should remember many of the wineries here in Niagara that make superb wines make them in very limited production and can’t supply enough for Vintages inventory requirements. All the more reason to spend time in Niagara and find out for yourself, yes?


268342 HENRY OF PELHAM BARREL FERMENTED CHARDONNAY 2007 Niagara Escarpment $19.95
Buttery with notes of canned pineapple and lime, the 40% new French oak is well integrated. Nice texture on the palate, no excessive oak, flavours of ripe pear, good acidity and just a touch of butterscotch on the finish. The twenty dollar price tag is more than fair for wine of this caliber. find this wine

143974 LE CLOS JORDANNE TALON RIDGE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2008 Niagara Peninsula, Vinemount Ridge $37.00
Only the second vintage for Clos Jordanne’s Talon Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay, it does show lots of promise. There is excellent concentration focusing on aromas of dried mixed peel, kiwi, almond, peach, hay and mineral. The palate is sound, has a creamy texture and a balanced finish with good fruit, lime acidity and mineral. find this wine

064584 FEATHERSTONE OLD VINES RIESLING 2008 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula $19.95
A mixture of peach, apple, lime and gooseberry combines with the mineral effects of limestone and shale. There is a lovely tartness on the palate with plenty of white tree fruit and a touch of grapefruit on the finish. find this wine

038117 VINELAND ESTATES ST. URBAN RIESLING 2008 VQA Niagara Escarpment $19.95
Notes of musk melon and lime syrup, canned fruit cocktail and mineral appear on the nose. There is a slight degree of sweetness on the palate, tamed nicely by the acidity. Apple sauce and citric acid are focused on the long and tasty finish. find this wine

566026 CAVE SPRING CSV CAVE SPRING VINEYARD RIESLING 2008 Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula $29.95
Classic Riesling, tight and concentrated, loaded with aromas of lime zest, lime leaf, cordial, guava and floral aromas. Crab apple and lime on the palate meld with the distinct bench minerality. On the mid palate there is a touch of pure ripe sweetness that runs through to the super long finish. find this wine

277228 CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES OLD VINES RIESLING 2007 Niagara-on-the-Lake $16.95
Riesling grown in the warmer and drought vintage of 2007 produced a wine that is rich, laden with aromas of apricot, white peach and apple. There are secondary notes of petrol, lamp oil, cereal, and cheese rind that add layers of complexity to the wine. The palate is full, resulting in a lower perception of acidity; the finish is balanced and ends with a touch of toffee/caramel. find this wine

129056 WAYNE GRETZKY No. 99 ESTATE SERIES PINOT NOIR 2007 Niagara Peninsula $18.95
A bruiser of a wine showing dark fruit, mocha, plum, dried thyme and chocolate. The palate has blackberry and plum, loads of tannins that create an astringent note on the finish. find this wine

125310 NORMAN HARDIE COUNTY PINOT NOIR 2008 Prince Edward County, Unfiltered $35.20
Fruit from Prince Edward County in a cooler year needs the skill of an accomplished wine making to showcase the pretty aromas of cranberry, red cherry, cooked rhubarb and red currant. The palate is light; it mixes the red fruits with notes of underbrush and mineral. Nice acidity and gentle oak. find this wine

079228 COYOTE’S RUN RED PAW VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2008 Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula $22.95
A few swirls of the glass release pleasing spicy Asian aromas that combine with those of red licorice, caramel, raspberry and vanilla. There is a taste of anise along with strawberry and vanilla on the palate. find this wine

591404 LAILEY PINOT NOIR 2008 Niagara Peninsula $25.00
Strawberry and plum aromas are supported by notes of licorice root, balsa, and dried mushrooms. The medium bodied palate has a nice streak of red berry fruit, cooked beet and enough acid and an oak to render a balanced wine. find this wine

187377 FLAT ROCK RIDDLED SPARKLING 2007 Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula $24.95
Yeasty and toasty, full of crisp apple aromas, lime zest and mineral with great mousse, fine bubbles, crisp acidity and a clean bright finish. find this wine

Slight coppery colour, subtle hints of red fruit, warm bread, almond and custard, crisp acidity, a touch of sweetness and pleasing flavours of strawberry, apple sauce and lime zest. Nice bubbly for fewer than twenty bucks. find this wine


167627 QUINTA DOS ACIPRESTES RESERVA 2007 Douro $21.95
Powerful and concentrated, emitting aromas of hot baked blueberry and blackberry pie, with super ripe fruit while earthy and iron aromas play the back up line. There are huge ripe tannins that clog the palate, but the fruit is plentiful, acidity is firm, blackcurrant and chocolate are both apparent on the finish. find this wine

170217 QUINTA DO TEDO VINHO TINTO 2007 Douro $17.95
Mineral and underbrush tussle with char/charcoal aromas. Little fruit on the nose, but once on the palate black cherry, raspberry and plum flavours abound. It’s tannic and will need a year or two to show its best. find this wine

167650 QUINTA DO NOVAL MARIA MANSA 2004 Douro $19.95
An interesting assortment showing chocolate, dried mint, ripe black fruit, pink peppercorns, hay and juniper. The palate is full bodied, loaded with creamy chocolate, solid fruit, spice box and a decent finish. find this wine

167676 VALE DO BOMFIM 2008 Douro $14.95
The nose reminds me of black fruit jelly with a touch of damson and thyme. Dusty and tight best describes the palate; there is some recognizable red fruit, but there’s a high degree of acidity that chokes it. find this wine

707224 CAKEBREAD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2007 Napa Valley $39.95
Not what I would call textbook book Sauvignon Blanc, but nonetheless it is a flavoursome wine. It conjures up aromas of kiwi, passion fruit, melon and red grapefruit. Texture is creamy and ripe, fruit flavours have power and the oak is gentle. find this wine

An intense cabernet offering notes of soy, blackcurrant mousse, dark chocolate and canned green peppercorns. It carries a thick sweet texture on the palate, with dark fruit and currant, plenty of spice and punchy tannins. find this wine

183418 BURGE FAMILY SHIRAZ/GRENACHE/MOURVEDRE OLIVE HILL 2006 Barossa Valley, South Australia $34.95
68% Shiraz, 18% Grenache, and 14% Mourvedre equals one succulent and concentrated wine full of aromas of black and blueberries with leather, animal skin and Moroccan spice. The palate is rich, chunky and power packed. Delicious now, but will only get better with time. find this wine

182972 FROGMORE CREEK PINOT NOIR 2006 Tasmania $26.95
Dried mushrooms, mahogany, red berries and a twiggy note lead to a palate of lively fruit, silky tannin and a clean finish. find this wine

Dark and inky, tight at first, but quickly shows appealing perfume and floral notes. Creamy and soft mouth feel with well integrated tannin, little splurts of mocha, Szechwan pepper, blackcurrant and pure sweet blueberry fruit. find this wine

A Tannat based wine with an addition of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon into its blend. There are plumy and blueberry aromas mixed with floral and an odd soapy aroma. Dusty tannins ride the palate along with sour cherry and bitter chocolate. find this wine

035097 TULIP WINERY JUST CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2008 Upper Galilee $19.95
Blackcurrant leads the way and is support well by notes of iron, mineral, green and jasmine teas. The palate has red fruit and currant flavours, a touch of sweetness and it finishes with the nuances of a chocolate/coffee candy bar. find this wine

Tight, very tight, after a while the wine surrenders a little caramel, plum, sweet Moroccan spice and cola. The palate is lighter than previous vintages; it features flavours of cherry and cola and does have a nice chewy finish. find this wine

114660 MONTEPELOSO ENEO 2006 $44.95
Wine on steroids, this is one powerful flavour packed glass of juice loaded with blackberry, macerated dark cherries, earthy mud, fern, prune and hazelnut. It rests so darkly in the glass. The palate buzzes with flavours of pure fruit extract, dusty tannins and a pleasing medicinal note lingers on the super long finish. Eneo is composed of 40% Montepulciano 40% Sangiovese, 10% Marselan and 10% Alicante. A great wine that although enjoyable now, has the guts and structure to hold for a decade or even two. find this wine

Styled in a New World fashion, it has that Napa Valley dark and dusty cabernet trait to it. Pure dark fruit, a note of walnut shell, just enough spicy oak, black licorice and a satisfying lip smacking palate. find this wine

Bursting with aromas of red fruit candy, lavender, black cherry and chocolate that rebounded on the silky textured palate, that carries enough lively acids to balance. The wine is produced with the “Mencia” grape, a grape I can’t recall consuming before. find this wine

050203 BERONIA RESERVA 2006 Rioja $17.95
A classic Rioja nose, boasting dark sweet fruit, raspberry, cedar, white mushrooms, sweet spice and black licorice. Great structure, gentle tannins, deftly administered oak and a long sweet finish. find this wine


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  3. Alan Kerr’s May 15th, 2010, Vintage’s Release – Tasting Notes
  4. Alan Kerr’s June 12th, 2010, Vintage’s Release – Tasting Notes
  5. Alan Kerr’s August 21st, 2010, Vintage’s Release – Tasting Notes

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