Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

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Fine Ruby Port

Postby Belgian » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:23 pm

Bulas Fine Ruby Port / Porto

Very fine indeed, almost drinks like a good solid Portugal red but with added richness. By turns sweet, acidic and dry. Some warm-climate herbals & florals at back of palate, interesting intense red fruit, cherry. Some peppery spice. It is somewhat simple and friendly as a Ruby Port, hence the color and yet it is also solid from some barrel aging and blending (average of 3 years.) This might not last forever as a tipple in the fridge, it should hold for several days then start to oxidize a bit... but after that it will still be amazing for a beef saute.

I love these wines! So much range, value and quality in the fortified styles. They seem to be good with snacks like nuts and chocolate. The Burmester 10y Tawny Porto I opened months ago still tastes really decent, it's a more 'oxidated' style so I naturally expect it to live in the fridge a bit longer.
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Rhone on the Strange

Postby Belgian » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:42 pm

Foncalieu Réserve du Crouzau St.-Gervais Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2012

Sounded promising, as I tend to love Rhone wines; disappointingly the bottle I tried did not seem very good. It came across as fairly raw and un-integrated, lacking good Rhone grape character & defined structure. Tough going and not much to enjoy in the drinking, even at a fair value point for a CdR (that really depends on quality.)

Aside: I have read with wines of a high production volume it can be hard to make all batches of bottles exactly the same. There is simply no way to combine all the harvest from all plots & grape types into one ginormous blending vat for theoretically perfect consistency of all bottles. So instead they approximate the blend for each batch while trying to compensate for the variances in what they are blending, with the intention that different bottling batches are similar enough as to make no difference.
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Fine Ruby, Tawny & Vintage Port

Postby Belgian » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:19 pm

Belgian wrote:Bulas Fine Ruby Port / Porto
Very fine indeed, almost drinks like a good solid Portugal red but with added richness. ... be amazing for a beef saute.

So the Bulas is now over 5 bucks off at Coxwell / O'Connor, perhaps elsewhere? This turns out to be more of a sipping wine than for cooking, it's better to use a 'Madeirized' or oxidated style Port/Sherry for beef dishes etc. I think this is now a nice deal if you want to try one. It's bigger / richer (but not cloying) VS a regular Douro red - It's therefore very approachable, but also not as 'serious' and long-ageing as the Burmester 10-Year-Old Tawny Port (LINK). That Burmester Tawny is a world away in style and the intensity of effort to produce each bottle of it.

Speaking of long-lived Ports, in my weakness to try new things I got a Warre's Quinta da Cavadinha Vintage Port 2004 today (the last one on the shelf, always a good sign.) Vintage Ports, the rarest kind have the best potential for ageing and complexity so they are, paradoxically removed from barrels & bottled earlier so as to not prematurely rob them of this slow-ageing potential. This will be my first 'declared Vintage' Port whenever I get to it.

Do YOU recall what you were doing in 2004? That year I was in Italy the first time (Venice, Florence) plus visiting around relatives & that trip I also last saw someone dear who is no longer alive. That's the magic of old vintage stuff I think, it's like going back to a distant year of time and memories. Good Porto and Xerez is under-valued compared to many exceptional long-aged wines, which is probably good for your wallet.
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Re: Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

Postby Craig » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:03 pm

2007 Marynissen 66

This is their cab sauv, drawn from lot 66, which is...better? Maybe planted earlier, I guess.

Regardless, this is delightful. All the harsh edges it had when younger are gone, save for a slight tannic note. Lots of blackberry, generally smooth and elegant. Probably a touch past prime, as I think a little heat might help this, but generally really nice. One of the best Ontario reds I've ever had.

Also vastly better than any wine I've had from this winery since it was sold to Chinese investors. I'm not sure if that's due to a decline in quality, the better wines being sent overseas, or simply that 07 was a solid year in Ontario.
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Campo de Borja, Spain

Postby Belgian » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:10 am

Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha 2015 Grenache

Here's a very approachable and slightly sassy Spanish Grenache with some definite oak influences (part French oak aged) - vanilla and sandalwoody spice, the barrel wood is nicely integrated. Tres Pico is supposed to last another 8 or so years but very drinkable now.

The layers and the finish are very engaging - dark plum and sunripe black cherry-berry, dark violet florals, leather mineral and rooty herbals / licorice and good moderate acidity. Don't expect a huge arrogant wine but a very pleasing one; if you subtract the clever spicy oak it's kind Spain's answer to good Beaujolais - low tannins & gracefulness leaving space for some interesting beauty. Good one!

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Re: Spain! Navarra!

Postby Belgian » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:42 pm

midlife crisis wrote:
Belgian wrote:Magaña Dignus 2012 Tempranillo Blend
... basically a good clean hybrid of Bordeaux and Rioja type grapes with plenty of style and character on its own. This is probably the future of wine that has old-world style with a competitive modern market penetration...

... Loving it. I am a big fan of well-oaked reds mind you, generally Spanish. If you are the same, I think you'll love this one.....

I noticed that oak less specifically the first few tries. Opening bottle right now, I immediately really appreciate the 'old' French oak which has now taken on three years of barrel character. If you like oak-aged Belgian Flemish ales / Lambics or other beer that shows off this flavor, this wine is a great showcase for that kind of barrel oak. Certainly it works well with beers that have a wine-like quality.
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Nebbiolo Barbaresco from the Piedmont

Postby Belgian » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:58 pm

Marchesi di Barolo Barbaresco 2013 Nebbiolo

'Beautiful purity' is a good description of this moderately dry Barbaresco (not Barolo) red - the balance of sun-ripe berry fruit and gentle-yet-serious structure is showing off the Neb grape really well. Has all these nice little underplays of earthy spice and shrubby herbs and salty-sanguine Umami/meaty notes. Mouth watering, just enough acidity to lift the sweet warm red fruits a bit while allowing an overall softness. Insistently Italian Terroir and style here. Decent value Sunday dinner red.
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Ventoux S.Rhone Red

Postby Belgian » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:43 pm

Château Juvénal La Terre du Petit Homme 2014 Ventoux, Rhone

Blending equal parts (1:1) Grenache/Syrah, the dominant calling card grapes of Rhone wines (the N Rhone favors Syrah, the South leans toward Grenache.) A Ventoux Red is Southeastern Rhone from one of the many communes there - Ventoux & Ch. Juvenal are not terribly far from Ch. Neuf-du-Pape and esp. Vacqueyras / Gigondas. The Ventoux AOC is less high-ranked and generally easier on the wallet. So maybe we're getting a little different blend, Terroir & overall style.

Dense garnet-red pour, aromas of cassis and herbs. Taste rich black and brambly wild berry fruit (plus ripe black cherry, cassis jam) & Garrigue herbals, supported with some good smoothly dry tannins and acidity... good spicy finish for days with some peppery, the late whiffs of tar/petrol make it extra worthwhile. It's both juicy and a little serious and challenging; the Syrah-typical fatness & bit of residual sugar plus the gently warm alcohol suggest it would yield rewards from cellaring but it is so enjoyable right now. Silky and beautiful wine, very pleasing purchase for just over $23.
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2004 Warre's Quinta da Cavadinha

Postby Belgian » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:42 pm

Belgian wrote:[Speaking of long-lived Ports, in my weakness to try new things I got a Warre's Quinta da Cavadinha Vintage Port 2004 today (the last one on the shelf, always a good sign.) Vintage Ports, the rarest kind have the best potential for ageing and complexity so they are, paradoxically removed from barrels & bottled earlier so as to not prematurely rob them of this slow-ageing potential. This will be my first 'declared Vintage' Port whenever I get to it.

Interesting wine! Definitely on the rich fruity side, perhaps I've opened this a decade or two before its true shining potential so there are lots of residual sugars. I'm getting the haunting licorice flavors more than licorice aroma. Probably not worth buying for $55 & opening right now, however it has its subtle charms.
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C'est Vendredi. Santé!

Postby Belgian » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:01 pm

Henri Bardouin Pastis

As ^ described, this tipple from Provence is not just a traditional Pastis but has much more varied & complex spice additions. It's really good! A bottle goes a long way (and with 45% ABV it keeps for years.) I like to pour this in small glasses over chunks of ice and a few oz of water, allowing the ice to melt so the flavor is nice when it chills down. Like Ouzo, it changes from clear to a more milky appearance when water is added. It looks cool.

If you dislike good natural black licorice / anise flavors this might really not be your thing. It is a contemplative sipper that probably takes developing a taste for it, but there's nothing like it. It's a French moment for sure. Maybe it will come back to the LC later this Spring?
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Re: C'est Vendredi. Santé!

Postby MatttthewGeorge » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:34 pm

Belgian wrote:Henri Bardouin Pastis

As ^ described, this tipple from Provence is not just a traditional Pastis but has much more varied & complex spice additions. It's really good! A bottle goes a long way (and with 45% ABV it keeps for years.) I like to pour this in small glasses over chunks of ice and a few oz of water, allowing the ice to melt so the flavor is nice when it chills down. Like Ouzo, it changes from clear to a more milky appearance when water is added. It looks cool.

If you dislike good natural black licorice / anise flavors this might really not be your thing. It is a contemplative sipper that probably takes developing a taste for it, but there's nothing like it. It's a French moment for sure. Maybe it will come back to the LC later this Spring?


If it does let us know; this sounds right up my alley!
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Re: Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

Postby dale cannon » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:08 pm

Buffalo Trace, at just over $40, is a solid value in an everyday bourbon. Knob Creek Single Barrel (provided you get a good barrel!), is a bargain at $58.

Any other bourbon ‘steals’ at the lcbo in your opinions?

Feel free to mention any other spirits available at the lcbo that strike a fantastic balance between price and quality.
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Re: Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

Postby sofakingdrunk » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:18 pm

dale cannon wrote:Buffalo Trace, at just over $40, is a solid value in an everyday bourbon. Knob Creek Single Barrel (provided you get a good barrel!), is a bargain at $58.

Any other bourbon ‘steals’ at the lcbo in your opinions?

Feel free to mention any other spirits available at the lcbo that strike a fantastic balance between price and quality.



El Jimador tequila(in perticular the Reposado). Much butter than a lot of higher priced tequila. Decent enough to drink neat, and cheap enough to use in cocktails. Milagro is also really nice at a decent price.

Mount gay rum, or Flor de Cana both good value.

Not sure if it's still available @lcbo or not, but Dictador rum(from Columbia). Although not cheap(somewhere around 70$) is still in my opinion a good deal. I'd take it over any similarly priced single malt whisky I've ever had. Loaded with flavour and smooth as silk. I've got about 2oz left I've been saving for 2 years now. Fantastic stuff
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Re: Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

Postby portwood » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:26 am

dale cannon wrote:Buffalo Trace, at just over $40, is a solid value in an everyday bourbon. Knob Creek Single Barrel (provided you get a good barrel!), is a bargain at $58.

Any other bourbon ‘steals’ at the lcbo in your opinions?

Four Roses Small Batch ($41)
Four Roses Single Barrel ($48)
Elijah Craig at $48 may be worth a try (I haven't tried it since they removed the 12yr age statement but reviews suggest its still good)

Going up in price, Blanton's "The Original single barrel bourbon" ($70) is a must try
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Re: Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

Postby dale cannon » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:44 am

portwood wrote:Elijah Craig at $48 may be worth a try (I haven't tried it since they removed the 12yr age statement but reviews suggest its still good)


That is my go to for cocktails at present, it’s good value.
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