Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

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Sauternes 2007

Postby Belgian » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:24 pm

Château de Malle Château de Sainte Hélène Sauternes 2004

A 'second label' wine of the vaunted De Malle, the Sainte Helene offers value from their less-ancient vineyards with similar vinification method of making several passes through the vineyard picking only selected Botrytis-infected grapes. These wines are very labor- and cost-intensive to produce due to the work involved & low yields.

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Viscous gold pour. Notable petrol, honey, cantaloupe and intense dried pale fruit notably apricot, dried citrus. Expected powerful, dense and rich flavors. Perhaps oak. Sometimes these have a bit more acidity but this is OK with the emphasis on richness. Overall a good wine but not mind-blowing Sauternes, probably spent <> $35 for this 375ml bottle. Expensive but not really.

These white Bordeaux dessert wines are always great to try, especially with the classic French pairing of goose liver paté (foie gras) and IMLE sometimes you do find a great one in the value range. The best Sauternes can last 100 years, and many of the others can age and improve for decades.

Here's the Queen of the lot, a decent vintage of Y'Quem in a magnum, of all things. These kinds of prices are typical for top-tier Saunternes but it does not deny how tasty simpler bottlings may be.
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Pinot at prices to put in the pot

Postby Belgian » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:01 pm

Not every totally solid wine is found in the Vintages section. Always note the red SALE tags in the LCBO regular list shelves.

Right now the Bichot Bourgogne Pinot Noir and the Baron Philippe-Rothchild Pinot Noir are both $2.00 off. Great summer Red wines for either the dining table or outside and also incredible in stews.

I just made a Beretta Farms beef stew with the extremely reasonable Rothschild while I enjoyed a tipple from the bottle as well. Best drank cool. Classic Burgundy-replacement wine for Coq au Vin also, and at this price who can argue about putting half a case away. You (or your kitchen) will use it up soon anyway.
Last edited by Belgian on Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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More New Wines that picked me out today

Postby Belgian » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:22 pm

Another newcomer I couldn't resist picking up is the Chateau La Barrade Malbec 2016, a wine with serious structure certain to please if it's cellar-worthy and flying off the shelves for $13.95. Review to come.

Same for the Saint-Amour Baptiste & Laurent Le Meilleur 2016. I was seriously digging the Brouilly earlier so I had to try my first Saint-Amour. Gamays from Beaujolais are so nice, and the best ones are all affordable & enjoyable. There's a new Morgon at the LC as well, possibly a shade better than this one, Morgon and Fleurie as serious players simply get less hype than the 'lovey-dovey valentines wine' Saint Amour has been marketed as. All are essentially Cru de Beaujolais, and good.
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Saint-Amour Baptiste & Laurent

Postby Belgian » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:15 pm

Saint-Amour Baptiste & Laurent Le Meilleur 2016

Takes a few minutes for this red to start to open up, then this S-A shows its own growing region in its tart red berry and softly peppery spice and gentle florals. Candy black and red cherry. Full enough while remaining lithe.

You get a different flavor and aroma profile from every Cru de Beaujolais region, each has its own type of geology.
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Malbec Cahors 2016, instant star

Postby Belgian » Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:59 pm

Chateau La Barrade Malbec Cahors

Wow, this is a General List treasure behaving a bit like a decent red Bordeaux or Bergerac, showing cassis and that nice 'sauna' stone-and-cedar effect, dark florals and rooty spice, the fetching $13.95 price placing it squarely in the value range vis-a-vis to the LCBO Cahors wines that have tried to take off into the 20-plus dollar stratosphere (boo!)

Nice dry tannins you might expect from old-world Malbec grape Reds that haven't been denatured of their dryness and character, perhaps worth grabbing one or six. Yes this is a cellar-stocker-upper, assuming you like it as much as I do.
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Gaussens 2010 Right-bank Bordeaux

Postby Belgian » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:37 pm

Château Fleur Haut Gaussens 2010

A 2010 Bordeaux Superior from the Right Bank, hence Merlot is the leading grape from this Rive Droite growing region for which the AOC Pomerol is most notable. This particular wine is holding itself together very nicely for a very approachable red with supple cassis & dark fruit, leather/spicy/wood and a moderate-firm tannic structure and acidity. Herbs and violet florals, hint licorice root. Some stony mineral. Especially good with food thanks to the tannins. Can hold a few bottles in the cellar another year or so if you enjoy this style at its very fair price point.

Soil limestone - clay
Blend 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc et Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec
Average vines age 30 years old
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2016 Bichot Bourgogne Pinot Noir Sale!

Postby Belgian » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:09 pm

Albert Bichot Bourgogne Pinot Noir AOC

At 17.95 now two bucks off a very legit entry-level Burgundy red that is of course 100% Pinot Noir - the 'heartbreak grape' so called because if its reluctance to produce an amazing harvest. This is a very charming, fresh and pretty 2016. Hints of pepper and beet grace the black and bing cherry tart-sweet complexity. Sun-warm raspberries, good medium finish. Some jamminess and limited red berry aromas of a decent everyday wine. Performs convincingly Burgundian for the price point, whether with snacks or straight up or to make amazing braises and stews that 'require' the specific character of Burgundy wine. Exceeds the Baron Philippe-Rothschild Laguedoc PN that is also on sale right now, this one probably has the edge with acidity, aromatic detail and body also.

Bichot also makes a Pinot Noir / Gamay hybrid that is 16.95, it may be good but I see no need to try that right now for a buck less and despite my respect for Gamay I love the purity of a PN varietal.
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Re: Tannat Blend, Madiran SW France

Postby Belgian » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:25 pm

Belgian wrote:Château Bouscassé 2013 Madiran Tannat/Cabernet Franc /Cabernet Sauvignon

... emphaisis on structure with good layers of dark sweet-tart cassis and blackberry and good acidity and dryness. Enjoyable dark floral underplays and toasty oak nuances and licorice. Not far off from a Bordeaux in general style. Quite a nice little beast.


On sale 30% off at Queen/Coxwell, perhaps other stores? Over six bucks off is a nice deal.
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Fleurie Stunner

Postby Belgian » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:35 pm

Château du Chatelard Cuvée Les Vieux Granits Fleurie 2015 - Gamay

An outstanding Gamay grape red from a Cru de Beaujolais known as Fleurie. Immediate perfume and flavor of graphite/mineral, herb, black tart fruit and dark florals. Really distinctive red! Medium-full body, dryness moderated by the lower tannins that Gamay grapes show. It's serious and graceful at the same time. Really nice stuff.

I'd like to try the Château du Chatelard Cuvée Les Roches Morgon as well. I expect great things from this wine maker.

And speaking of that check out this Baronne du Chatelard Rosé d'Été 2017- I am geeked to try a few of these too.
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Portugal Palate Pleaser

Postby Belgian » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:31 pm

Casa de Cambres Reserva Red 2011

A spicy-oaky note over the deep black, almost raisin-y fruit. This is why you must keep your eye on Portugal. This red rides the border between the serious and the agreeable, not unlike some Spanish wines I've checked out.

Grapes: Touriga Franca · Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) · Touriga Nacional

Some have compared Touriga Nacional's relationship with Touriga Francesa to 'the partnership between Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, the former providing structure, the latter filling out the bouquet.'

A solid one for $14.95.
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Mostly Malbec Mix

Postby Belgian » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:56 pm

Château Nozières Cuvée Ambroise de l'Her Malbec Cahors 2014

I would call this a solid mid-weight Cahors Malbec (95%) red with nice dry-sweet berry and good herbal complexity. Licorice overtones. Possesses the typical French dryness and the right bit of mouth-watering acidity in the structure that I like. Worthy!
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Re: Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

Postby Belgian » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:02 pm

Château Larroque 2015 Bordeaux Red

This is I guess a right-bank style blend featuring 63% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc. Deep black cherry black fruit cassis and wild berry, nice dryness and acid yet smooth round and full. A bit spicy, probably the oak influence.

You won't regret trying one but I personally wouldn't buy a whole case just based on the 95 score from Decanter. Excellent typicity but nothing that individualistic in the character. A smooth wine drinker's Bordeaux red for sure. Would be an excellent General List Merlot-focused Bordeaux for three bucks less.
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Rosé Beaujolais

Postby Belgian » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:19 pm

Baronne du Chatelard Rosé d'Été 2017

I missed getting the Chatelard Morgon at Summerhill but they did still have a few of these pale salmon-colored beauties. Unusual, a 100% Gamay Rosé (like much Rosé it is pressed from 'black' grapes but allowed only minimal contact with the grape skins.)

This style in France usually requires some of the best grapes of the harvest to show it off really well, so it's generally a nice buy whether you get Rosé from Provénce or elsewhere. Good Rosé from anywhere is really like good white wine with a turbo boost. This Chatelard example from Beaujolais has the nice strawberry-like fruit over the dryness, complimented with full round sweetness and also some tanginess. Field herbs and pepper. Not hugely complex and detailed, yet I think different and good.

This is worth a try and affordable, and I'd still suggest the Chatelard Fleurie if you want something special in a red from this producer.
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Fumees Blanches $2 off if you hurry

Postby Belgian » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:48 pm

Francois Lurton Fumees Blanches Sauvignon Blanc

Great value! On sale still today, Saturday and Sunday. A complex, detailed and harmonious wine for the price - fruit and herbs galore. The fruit is typical SB gooseberry (with its famous 'cat pee' funkiness) plus tropical (pineapple, guava) and citrus (lime and clementine and sweet lemon.) Mineral, nice acidity whets the palate.

I don't think you'll regret buying one or two. Please note I drank this warm, which should actually expose flaws (and good if it doesn't) - update, it's also really nice cold, as expected the sweet fruit firms up. General List, 2017 vintage right now.
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Nuiton-Beaunoy Burgundy 2015

Postby Belgian » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:57 pm

Nuiton-Beaunoy Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2015

A beauty of a Pinot Noir red from its wine-making birthplace in Burgundy, France. This one has some dense black cherry and red berry, a little beetroot and hints of earthy spices (cardamon, sandalwood, licorice root.) Good Burgundy-style typicity. Solid body, no thin austere wine here.

Sophisticated aromas suggest black and tart cherry plus peony and lavender florals.

I'd appreciate a touch more 'layered complexity' typical in the some great Burgundy Pinot Noir, maybe a hint more racy acidity and dryness against the evidently ripe sweetness. There's always something more to crave. But this one delivers for its price point just shy of 20 bucks. Very content with this, it should improve cooled down from the ridiculous warm Toronto temperatures we experience today. Don't drink reds at 28ºC, try closer to 18º or lower for serving them. Err on the side of serving a bit cold because when too warm they easily get 'flabby.'

This Pinot is selling fast at my local, apparently - it was released yesterday.
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