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Feb 3, 2011 06:21 PM

Feb 5 Vintages release -- any interesting wines?

Just checking to see if anybody has any ideas...Here are some whites --

1. Calina Chardonnay Reserva 2009 Casablanca/Limari Valleys: tropical
fruit and lumber for the woodies, nice balance, great sipper. +640912,
$15.95, QPR: 89.

2. Zilzie Murray Darling Regional Collection Chardonnay 2009 Victoria:
loaded with goodness, oak, whiff of tropicality, toast-butter-vanilla.
Decent price. +186411, $17.95, QPR: 90.

3. La Cave de Sigolsheim Reserve Particuliere Muscat 2008 Alsace: dry
muscat tones, excellent body, flowers and orchard fruit. Gold Medalist.
+202408, $15.95, QPR: 90.

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  1. I think it's a poor release. The '07 Brancaia Tre is a re-release and is not bad but needs lots of air and I would decant for a few hours. The Wine Spectator score is overstated and definitely not a top 10 wine IMHO. The Two Hands Angels' Share is always a decent buy if you like Aussie Shirazes. Nothing else stands out for me. Check out board for other suggestions.

    1. This is a fantastic value at $17.95!!!

      VINTAGES | 179705 | 200 mL bottle

      Wine, White Wine
      11.5% Alcohol/Vol.

      Sugar Content : S
      This is a VQA wine

      Made in: Ontario, Canada
      By: Pillitteri Estates

      Release Date: Feb 5, 2011

      Tasting Note
      Wine Style: white, sweet, medium-bodied. Appearance: deep lemon-gold. Nose: honey, citrus, apricot, floral. Taste: sweet, vibrant acidity, medium alcohol; balanced, luscious, honeyed. , Score - 4 1/2 Stars (out of 5). (Tony Aspler,, June 2, 2010)

      9 Replies
      1. re: bogie

        That works out to over $60 per regular bottle.

        There's lots of competition around that price.

        1. re: estufarian

          Sorry, but I have to disagree. $17.95 for 200ml of icewine IS a great value. It's quite rare to find this quality of icewine below $20, in fact most are between $25-35 and as high as $45 for 200ml.

          1. re: bogie

            Have you tasted the wine or is the value proposition based on Aspler's review or both?

            1. re: bogie

              Don't disagree on the cost - only the 'value'.
              With Vidal I think the better value is in the Late Harvest (or Select Late Harvest) offerings. Although these occasionally exceed $30, most are less than that.
              Further evidence is in the wine notes - the emphasis on 'honey' (and mention of apricot) means that there's a strong 'botrytis' content - the same character that is found in the nominally lower attribute wines. Typically, I find this dominates any varietal character, whereas the LH (and SLH) still allow some of the grape character to show through.

              And anyone who pays $45 for 200ml has my sympathy. At over $150 per bottle there are MUCH better choices out there.

              1. re: estufarian

                What would be some of the grape characteristics that would show through? I'm not an oenophile, I just know what I like, but it's interesting to learn.

                Is it fair to compare to a regular sized bottle since most ice wines are sold in 200ml sizes?

                1. re: Apprentice

                  OK – these are my impressions – others may differ.

                  The overall impression of Vidal for me is ‘clean & straightforward’. It doesn’t show great complexity, neither does it tend to vary with the soil (few, if any, mineral notes – in contrast to Riesling with which it is often compared).
                  It certainly shows good acidity (side of tongue), although this can often be dominated by the sweetness (on entry). Solid flavour right through, rather than evolving in the mouth, with the fruit notes being of well- (but not over-) ripened fruit. For me I often get ‘green plums’ but certainly have found nectarine (more so than peach).
                  This is a good, solid, workmanlike grape, without hitting any great heights, but rarely showing bad characteristics either.

                  NOTE: NO ‘honey’ notes in my description – those attributes tend to come from a ‘mould’ (not necessarily a bad thing) that grows on the skins (in certain conditions) and which tends to occur somewhat later in the season. This generally means the grapes have been left longer on the vine, increasing the sugars at the expense of those components that favour aromatics and fruit acids (which give flavour).

                  As to price comparison:
                  I think putting everything on the 'same scale' is more meaningful.
                  I know I always 'convert' wine prices on a restaurant price-list to a 'full-bottle-equivalent'.

              2. re: bogie

                The "competition" includes other sweet wines such as the German Auslese or Beerenauslese type wines or Muscat from other parts of Europe and Australia, etc.; and if you're talking in the range of $150 per 750/mL, you're in Sauternes territory. And then there's Vintage Port which is my value preference and part of my cellar collection.

                I agree with estufarian that these competitors gives ME greater value. At the end of the day, value means different things to different people, so I guess you're all right!

                  1. re: estufarian

                    Some reds and some pricey wines --

                    1. Diamond Ridge Zinfandel 2007 Howell Mountain Napa: balanced and
                    well-integrated MVC zinfandel complexity, good price. +205781, $17.95,
                    QPR: 90.
                    2. Our Daily Red 2009 California: very good basic blended red wine,
                    reminiscent of the South of France. Fully Organic. +203851, $14.95,
                    QPR: 89.
                    3. Columbia Crest H3 Merlot 2007 Horse Heaven Hills Columbia Valley:
                    hefty, chunky merlot featuring both red and black berries, drying out
                    nicely on the finish. 14.5% ABV. +209874, $19.95, QPR: 89.
                    4. R.J. Vinedos Pasion 4 Merlot 2008 Uco Valley Mendoza: North American
                    styled merlot, with mocha and smoke, black currants, long finish.
                    +59287, $12.95, QPR: 90.
                    5. Wyndham Estate George Wyndham Founder's Reserve Shiraz 2007
                    Langhorne Creek: deliciously black (mocha, berries, eucalyptus), wood
                    on finish. Needs food. 14% ABV. +107904, $19.95, QPR: 90.
                    6. Chateau Le Grand Moulin 2008 Premieres Cotes de Blaye: an MVC
                    Bordeaux bargain for a Gold Medalist. Smoke, toast, black fruit,
                    complex finish. +198994, $15.95, QPR: 90.
                    7. Domaine de Peyanne 2009 Saumur: good cab franc MVC, nice and tart
                    for food, some berries on the nose. +197038, $13.95, QPR: 89.
                    8. Domaine Gardies Mas Las Cabes Rouge 2009 Cotes de Roussillon: rich,
                    developing, balance of fruit, hot 14% ABV, lots of dense body. +194894,
                    $15.95, QPR: 89.
                    9. Diego Conterno Baluma Nebbiolo d'Alba 2008: poor man's Barolo, but
                    see also below at $26.95. Evolving nicely. +189829, $18.95, QPR: 89.
                    10. Tenuta Moraia Pietracupa Bolgheri 2007: cabernet makes this a
                    Bordeaux-styled wine, extremely beneficial price, long finish. +211458,
                    $18.95, QPR: 89.

                    VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $20
                    Restaurants should consider offering these FINE VALUE wines at a $10
                    markup over retail; the wines are READY to enjoy right NOW. Consumers
                    should buy these wines to bring to restaurants with corkage programs.

                    1. Jean-Max Roger Cuvee C.M. Sancerre Blanc 2008, +196667, $24.95
                    2. Maison Kerlann Chablis 2008, +158964, $21.95.
                    3. Frog's Leap Merlot 2007 Rutherford Napa, +707489, $44.95.
                    4. Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Sonoma, +226944, $22.95.
                    5. Elderton Shiraz 2007 Barossa, +713024, $32.95.
                    6. Chateau Reysson 2005 Haut-Medoc, +199083, $21.95.
                    7. Abbona La Pieve Barolo 2005, +213132, $26.95.
                    8. Brancaia Tre 2007 IGT Toscana, +164715, $24.95.
                    9. Icario Vino Nobile di Monepulciano 2007, +203430, $31.95.
                    10. Isole e Olena Chianti Classico 2007, +704346, $26.95.
                    11. I Casteil Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2006, +739979, $34.95
                    12. Vina Vilano Reserva 2004 Ribera del Duero, +190736, $22.95.
                    13. Bodegas Lan Vina Lanciano Reserva 2004, +955096, $28.95.