Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

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Grand Retour Rhône Villages '17

Postby Belgian » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:53 pm

Belgian wrote:Château Le Grand Retour Plan de Dieu Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2016

Here is a well put together GSM blend red from the Côtes du Rhône, with the 'Villages' on the label to indicate more select vineyards. Grenache, my favourite Rhone grape leads the way making up over half the blend, the rich Syrah and moody Mourvèdre make up the remainder. Some good black fruit fullness, spice box and herbaceous florals. I like the acidity and dry tannins framing the structure and the black cherry nuances. Very good for $15.95

A year later we have the 2017, still this price. Very full and black berry-fruity with warm spice and brambles, a hot dry climate Southern Rhône red, budget style.

It's still slightly youthful and sulfury when first opened and could use some air, but all the good bits seemto be here, acidity and nice tannins. Great mouth feel.

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Paul Mas Collection Reserve Viognier 2018

Postby Belgian » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:22 pm

Paul Mas Single Vineyard Collection Reserve Viognier 2018

Here is a varietal White from France, and for my liking the Cono Sur Viognier is a bit better. This one is slightly fatter so it's got density and sweetness, and some herbality but I like the Cono Sur one a whole lo for it's nice dryness and acidity.

Viognier also makes for a decent French sparkling wine.

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A corker of a Bordeaux superieure

Postby Belgian » Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:07 pm

Château Plaisance Les Palues 2015 Bordeaux Superieure.

Wow nice. This Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc blend delivers a nice focused package of elegant fruit, a beguiling steely but enjoyable acidity and all the tannins nicely tucked into place. Some nice dark violet florals and hint of graphite. Perfect little hints of oak vanilla.

The last gulp has tatrtrite crystals revealing this is not a filtered wine and would age for years. A killer wine for 18 bucks, but it's already pretty much sold out.

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A tale of two Nebbiolo (Stefano Barolo)

Postby Belgian » Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:21 pm

Stefano Farina Barolo 2012 Nebbiolo

So Barolo and Barbaresco share top-tier status as Piedmont, Northern Italian reds made with Nebbiolo grapes, sometimes with justification but that's hardly the full story. Gattinara is another medium-upper tier Nebbiolo red that can be close to those wines. And the wines marked 'Langhe Nebbiolo' are both much more affordable and also easier to drink with less ageing.

I recently had the Renato Ratti OCHETTI Langhe Nebbiolo, and for $25 it does extremely well - it has some added tartness but you get the Nebbiolo character and some of the nuances of the heavy hitters in an easier package.

This Stefano Farina 2012 Barolo is recognizably the same grape, but has some added layers. There's some more leathery/umami character and the overall shape is finer. The cherry acidity is less bright but still powerful. Tannins... Dry-dry, in good way. It has a long linger of cherry. This is not the most interesting and varied Piedmont wine ever, but it is extremely focused and true. Great stuff.
'
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On The Rhône Again (Perrin Vacqueyras '16)

Postby Belgian » Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:55 pm

Famille Perrin Les Christins Vacqueyras 2016

Here is a tight presentation of a Southern Rhône red, which has more Grenache than Syrah and shows a ripe dark and red berry character offset by good dryness and acidity. Pepper and licorice.

The flavor has a good wild strawberry presence, good poised Rhône acidity, a deep red dark cherry-berry ripe richness and Cassis jam concentration, blueberry minerality and nice dry tannins. Some light wild herbs.

Perrin is quality for the price point. Still available. I intend to review the Bois de Menge Gigondas next, never tried this AOC before.

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Bois de Menge Gigondas 2017 Southern Rhône

Postby Belgian » Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:53 pm

Bois de Menge Gigondas 2017 Grenache/Syrah

Not a bad southern Rhône red, already silky. Has the expected ripe red and black berry and also some florals and phenolic spice box. Some cherry acidity and fine tannins, blueberry. Vanilla, li or ice root and umami elements.

Maybe a bit riper fruit than some Vacqueyras I've tasted, I'd like to try a few more Gigondas if I see a good one.

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Pasquale Barbaresco 2016 Nebbiolo

Postby Belgian » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:15 pm

Pasquale Pelissero Cascina Crosa Barbaresco 2016 Nebbiolo

Well this is a big, deep serious Nebbiolo-based red from the Barbaresco DOC of the Piedmont, in northeastern Italy. Has layers of dark berry fruit and compote, cherry and sweet fruit under a positively ringing cherry acidity & gripping tannins that are not quite rough but still very present. Herbs, and a very light sanguine saltiness. French oak lingers, touch of vanillin.

In terms of distinctive secondary complexity, not much to report (a little mocha) although this is just day one so maybe an update will be in order. A worthy experience as an enjoyable 'character' wine at a reasonable price point given the not-cheap market of Barolo,and Barbaresco.

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Renato Ratti 2017 Nebbiolo

Postby Belgian » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:18 pm

Renato Ratti Ochetti Langhe Nebbiolo 2017

When you see Langhe Nebbiolo, grab it. This one takes a bit of air to open it up, but you are rewarded with nicely acidic cherry and meadow herbs. The jammy berry undertones come into alignment after some air. Some florals play out on the finish. Nice dry red. This is a solid Neb for about $25.

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2007 Pier Vila Res Barbaresco

Postby Belgian » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:37 pm

Pier Vila Riserva Barbaresco 2007

I grab this on special from the Front and Spadina store while being rushed out at 6 PM yesterday. Wow, just noticed it is a 2007, that's quite a long time to age of wine before putting on the market. When I open it, this is a nicely tart dry Nebbiolo, hint of leather on the nose and spice on the palate, but on opening it's a bit short in the complexity ifn the detail. The cherry- berry generosity is going away a bit and what remains is a bit austere with a hint gauze-like herbality.

The Renato Ratti (above) seems in many ways a more complete Nebbiolo wine.

Update: having been open a few hours, the wine dramatically softness it's harder edges and you get a peek at the berry fruit under the almost cranberry cherry tartness. There's now hints of vanilla and almost nutty toasty gentle oak; I was clearly rushing this wine and it's actually an interesting drop.

Lesson: when a wine seems unyielding - wait.

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Occultum 2016 Revisited

Postby Belgian » Sat May 09, 2020 12:39 am

Belgian Dec 7 2014 wrote:Domaine De Bila-Haut OCCULTUM LAPIDEM 2012 Syrah-Grenache-Carignan Blend. Midi France

- the smoky-tarry and herbal/mulberry notes are interesting, a lot of berry depth and structure to this Northern Rhone-style red blend from the Midi. Big long flavors of black fruit set off with just enough fine tannins and acidity to keep it punchy. I can see why the good reviews. Can keep a case going for several years, 24.95 a bottle, well that's only 300... ah maybe half a case? I can't regret this one in the cellar.

I had a 2016 in my cellar for a year or two and it's mellowing nice. The Syrah is showing slight chocolate notes under the red fruit. Body is smoother. Peppery herbs.

This competes with fairly expensive wines. The 2016 would still keep on ageing for 5-6 years. Still available in some LC stores.

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Re: A corker of a Bordeaux superieure

Postby Belgian » Sat May 09, 2020 7:40 pm

Belgian wrote:Château Plaisance Les Palues 2015 Bordeaux Superieure.

Wow nice. This Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc blend delivers a nice focused package of elegant fruit, a beguiling steely but enjoyable acidity and all the tannins nicely tucked into place. Some nice dark violet florals and hint of graphite. Perfect little hints of oak vanilla.

The last gulp has tatrtrite crystals revealing this is not a filtered wine and would age for years. A killer wine for 18 bucks, but it's already pretty much sold out.

Another good bottle of this, very smooth and complete flavours with nice acidity... I grabbed the remaining stock (4) at the Thornhill LCBO a few weeks ago. This is everything a sub-$20 Bordeaux red wine should be.

Interesting personal story, I had planned to go up that way to visit the neighbourhood where I lived when I was in grade one, just north of there in Richmond Hill. So the same day I went by the house where I had lived with a foster family for a year when I was 5–6 years old. This was my first time there since I was a kid.
Strange vivid memories, some of it had changed and some of it felt very much the same. I wandered in some of the wooded ravine parks in Yongehurst and Richdale, Good area.
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Ch. Fontaine Sauternes 2016

Postby Belgian » Tue May 12, 2020 9:41 pm

Château Fontaine 2016 Sauternes.

A decent basic example of the famous sweet white wine of Bordeaux, a Semillon blend made with botrytis-infected grapes that creates unusual flavour impressions. This one has the honey, apricot and lychee fruit, some florals and wax, not bad and probably ready to drink right now (top Sauternes can age for several decades.)
There's better of course but this one is under 20 bucks for a 'half bottle.'

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Rabl 2017 Langenlois Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal)

Postby Belgian » Sat May 23, 2020 4:39 pm

Rabl 2017 Langenlois Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal)

Here is an old vines Grüner Veltliner grape wine from Austria which displays richness, offset by nice tartness and tropical pale fruit nuances. Seems to contain a bit of gentle oak, good concentration and length with sweet lemon.

I believe this was originally $49 and I saved 25%. It's been cleared off the LCBO website, but the "DAC Kamptal Reserve" is the good stuff this winery offers. Delicious. Kamptal is a special wine region north of Vienna.

Sometimes you gotta go for the best bottlings from Austrian and German producers just to see what they can really do. These are still relative bargains in the wine world.

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