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Everything posted by futronic

  1. You can't leave the ordering to the end of the night. I placed two orders last night, one for three bottles of '99 Terrabianca Campaccio, the other for three bottles of the '01 Craneford Shiraz. The Campaccio was ordered at 7pm, the Craneford at 9pm. The reason why stuff sells out is because there is only a small allocation available for sale at the tasting. I believe there were 15 cases each, respectively of the two wines I ordered. Sorry to hear your poor luck both at the tasting and the lottery. I've been quite fortunate to get at least some of what I ordered every time except once in the past two years.
  2. I motored through 28 wines last night at the Classics tasting hosted by the LCBO at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto. My two favourite wines from the tasting were the '99 Terrabianca Campaccio, and '01 Craneford Shiraz. NV CHARLES ELLNER BRUT ROSE CHAMPAGNE Pretty pink colour. Nose of apple, flowers, yeast. Good mouthfeel with citrus and strawberries and cream notes. 25-30s finish. Tasty NV. 90 points. 1995 R. & L. LEGRAS BLANC DE BLANCS CHAMPAGNE CUVEE PRESIDENCE Aromas of oatmeal biscuit, apple, cream, white flowers, toast. Full-bodied, rich, with sugar plums, citrus, flowers, and flint. 30s finish with some minerality. Was expecting more after the pretty nose. 87 points. 2000 ARGYLE PINOT NOIR RESERVE Pale red colour. Nose of cola, sour cherries. Medium-bodied with cherry, yogurt, and mocha on the palate. 30s finish with cherry notes. Not as good as the Failia Jordan Pinot I had in New Orleans. 87 points. 2000 HENRY’S DRIVE PADTHAWAY CABERNET SAUVIGNON Deep ruby red. Berry and blackcurrant nose with a hint of eucalyptus. Lush, unctuous, refined wine with dark crushed fruits and a hint of raw sugar on the lingering finish. 90 points. 1998 TRIMBACH GEWURZTRAMINER CUVEE DES SEIGNEURS DE RIBEAUPIERRE Pale yellow. Spicy nose with lychee fruit and white flowers. Rich, full-bodied, elegant wine with honey, lychee, citrus, and a 30-35s finish. 90 points. 2001 TWO HANDS SHIRAZ SOPHIE’S GARDEN Intense ruby/purple colour to rim. Blackberry, black cherry, bittersweet chocolate and just a whiff of caramel on this pretty nose. A very unique Shiraz. Rich, elegant wine. Refined, but bursting with raspberry and blueberry on the palate. Delicious and has a lingering blueberry finish. Yum! 93 points. 1998 RENATO RATTI BAROLO MARCENASCO Light ruby red to orange rim. Aromas of cherry, earth, hints of dark chocolate and truffles. Full-bodied, surprisingly integrated tannins with cherries, earth, and tar. Dry finish with tobacco notes, 20-25s. 87 points. 1998 RUFFINO MODUS Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot (50/25/25, approx). Medium ruby red and already showing some bricking. Barnyard on the nose with mocha and cherries. Restrained. Full-bodied with red fruit and not much else. Tart finish. 83 points. 1999 BRIGALDARA AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO Intense ruby red. Not much on nose. Mushrooms, balsamic, earth, and flowers. Full-bodied, dry wine with good fruit. Chocolate, walnuts and cherries. Medium-long nutty finish. 87 points. 1999 CLOSE PEGASE MERLOT, MITSUKO’S VINEYARD Medium-dark ruby red, crystal clear in the glass. Nice nose of red fruit, allspice, nutmeg, flowers, and blackberry. Medium-full bodied, elegant wine. Dark fruits, good tannin. Dry, lingering finish. Let this one sleep. 90 points. 1999 CLARENDON HILLS OLD VINES GRENACHE, BLEWITT SPRINGS VINEYARD Light ruby red. Aromas of raspberry, peaches, and apricots. Very interesting to get that from a red. Full-bodied, sweet, glycerin, and dark fruits. Peppery finish. Parker got this one right. 91 points. 2000 DOMAINE BOIS DE BOURSAN CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE Medium-ruby colour. Barnyard nose with pepper, provencal herbs, and red fruits. Medium-full bodied, refined wine with pepper, cassis, and cherries. Long lingering finish with anise, cherries, and provencal herbs. Needs time. 89 points. 1998 BOSQUET DES PAPES CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE Pale garnet colour. Pretty nose with grilled meat, cinnamon, allspice. Full-bodied , elegant, refined, and very drinkable. Spice following through from nose with red fruits. Definitely showing more terroir in this CdP. 89 points. 1999 ELDERTON COMMAND SHIRAZ Intense ruby red. Nose of blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, and mint. Thick legs. Rich and unctuous. Full-bodied with excellent concentration. Fruit replays from nose with some chocolate and vanilla. 30-40s finish. Great wine that will improve. 93 points. 2000 CHATEAU CHASSE-SPLEEN Ruby-red/purple colour. Great nose of blackcurrant, cinnamon, nutmeg, and minerals. Big nose, but fresh. Full-bodied, very young wine. Not showing much other than cassis and herbs. Needs a lot of time but you can see the potential and quality. 90 points. 1999 CHATEAU MONTROSE Intense ruby/purple colour, almost opaque. Captivating nose of red and black berries, smoke, grilled meat, tobacco, and chocolate. I could smell the bouquet of this wine while it was being poured for me. Full-bodied, elegant wine with dark fruit peeking out from behind the tannin and oak. This is going to be great in 5 years. 92 points. 1999 ARTESA CABERNET SAUVIGNON Deep ruby red. Nose of cassis, blackberry. Thin legs in the glass. Full-bodied and refined. Excellent fruit with plenty of blackberry. Surprisingly ready to drink. 90 points. 1998 MARCHESI DE’ FRESCOBALDI LAMAIONE 100% Merlot. Opaque purple. Aromas of banana (yes, banana!), vanilla, cola, and earth. Full-bodied, integrated tannins. Good fruit layered over top of an earthiness to this wine. Surprisingly short finish, ~ 15s. 87 points. 1999 JOSEPH PHELPS MERLOT Deep ruby red/purple colour. Aromas of currant, spice, coffee, and chocolate. Palate presented with a full-bodied, plush wine. Well integrated tannin with cassis, spice and thyme. Still has time, but very approachable. 89 points. 2000 CATENA ZAPATA CABERNET SAUVIGNON, CATENA ALTA UXMAL VINEYARD Deep ruby red. Aromas of dark chocolate, espresso, blackcurrant, and black plums. Full-bodied, elegant wine with black crushed fruits, oak, and a touch of herbs that were not unpleasant. 15-20s finish. 90 points, could be 92-93 if the finish was longer. 1999 TENUTE DELL’ORNELLAIA ORNELLAIA It’s quite silly to pour the ’99 which is sold out when the ’00 is being sold in the catalogue. Go LCBO. Dark ruby red, intense colour. Great legs. Nose of oak, blackberry, blueberry; expansive. Full-bodied, rich, fruit replays from nose but hiding slightly behind the oak. Lots of potential. Dry, dry finish. Needs a lot of cellar time. 90 points. 1999 TERRABIANCA CAMPACCIO Medium-ruby red. Aromas of rawhide, oak, tobacco, flowers, and currant. Full-bodied with blackberry and dark fruits. Fresh tasting with a 30+s finish. 91 points. 1999 VILLA CALCINAIA CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA Medium garnet colour. Aromas of cherries, earth, roses, rosemary. Medium-bodied, slightly austere, earthy, and replays from nose. Dry with a nice cherry finish. 86 points. 1997 GIACOMO BORGOGNO BAROLO CLASSICO Garnet red to orange rim. Pretty nose, very traditional, with tar, roses, earth, red berries. Medium-full bodied with cherries, very present tannin and an earthiness to the wine. Dry, lingering finish with cherries and rose petals. Very tasty. Needs time for tannins to integrate. Hold until 2008+. 91 points. 1997 FATTORI DEI BARBI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO RISERVA Medium ruby colour. Aromas of rawhide, cedar, cassis, and a whiff of plastic that blew off with some swirling. Full bodied, and minimal fruit right now. Cherries and heavy tannin. Perhaps the fruit will come out with time. Dry, mouthpuckering finish. Needs a lot of time to come together, but that is not surprising for this very traditional house. 86 points. 1999 TENIMENTI ANGELINI CHIANTI CLASSICO MONSENESE Ruby red; aromas of lilacs, plums, cherries. Full bodied, very dry with cherries on the palate. Needs time to balance wood and fruit. 86 points. 2001 CRANEFORD SHIRAZ BAROSSA Deep ruby/purple colour. Powerful nose of cassis, mocha, anise, eucalyptus. Rich and unctuous wine. Full bodied, excellent concentration, but still displays elegance. Very nice dark fruit. Can cellar for 3-5 years to get everything out of this wine. Best QPR from the entire catalogue. 92 points. 2000 E. GUIGAL COTE-ROTIE BRUNE ET BLONDE Deep ruby red. Great nose of cassis, cassis, and more cassis. Also hints of minerals, pepper, and cedar. Very powerful nose that wants you to keep sniffing. Full-bodied with surprisingly accessible fruit of blueberry and blackberries replaying from nose. Peppery too. Tannins well integrated, and some oakiness to go with dark fruit on the 30-40s finish. Very good. 92 points.
  3. winecommune.com is an online wine auction site. Prices depend on competing bids, provenence of wine sold can sometimes be a question. I know several people that have purchased wine through the site, mostly with good results.
  4. futronic

    Menu Ideas

    I'd cellar the 1998 Grange for quite some time before drinking. That wine will be huge. If you must drink it, you'll likely have to decant it for 24 hours to smooth out. The '01 Shirvington will be equally monolithic. I understand this is a tasting event, but is there a reason you couldn't find other vintages with a bit of bottle age on them? It seems like a shame to open a masterpiece like the Grange in its infancy.
  5. Amarone ranks right up there on my list of favourite wines. When it comes to Amarone, you basically get what you pay for. I haven't had the opportunity to taste a Dal Forno Romano or Quintarelli, but I have had the 1995 DFR Valpolicella Superiore. Extrapolating that, I can just imaging the quality of an Amarone from this producer. Here are my notes on the Valpolicella if anyone was interested: As for the rest of the producers, normale bottlings of Tedeschi and Masi are quite good for the price. They're around the $33-34CAD mark in Ontario. Once you start getting into stuff like Allegrini, single-vineyard Masi, etc, the price increases dramatically - $75+ CAD a bottle. The quality is a vast improvement, however. As a reference point, Dal Forno and Quintarelli go for approximately $450 and $380, respectively. Does anyone else agree that you shouldn't drink Amarone prior to its sixth birthday, preferably waiting 8-10 years or more for quality bottles?
  6. I don't drink a lot of Cal Cabs, but the best I've had was the 1996 Shafer Hillside Select which I had from magnum this past July. I think it had been decanted for a couple hours as well. My notes: Good juice I tell ya.
  7. Don't get me started on my thoughts about the LCBO. It's too early in the morning to go off on a rant.
  8. I'm in Ontario. Yes, prices do vary from province to province. The best comparison is to Quebec and their SAQ (the Quebecois equivalent to the LCBO). Some of our prices are better while others are priced better in Quebec. It's pretty much a 50/50 split for common products. One word of note - never try to buy Port in Quebec. Their prices are outrageous! As a further note, there are rarely "sales" at the LCBO. Basically the sticker price is the price. Deal with it. I guess the way they see it is that if the product is going to sell eventually anyway, why discount it? They do a clearout once a year where they knock off a buck or two off a bottle price, but it's always plonk.
  9. I found the wine to be a little thin. If there would just more there, it would be worth the $17. Alternatively, if the wine was $10-$12, it would be acceptable as an easy quaffer as well. It's not a poor wine at all - just overpriced in my market.
  10. futronic

    1918 Yquem

    That's one heck of an expensive slushie! :p :D
  11. I had the '99 Centine and was not overly impressed either. My notes: I can think of better ways to spend $17CAD.
  12. Excellent article Craig. Like you, I prefer the traditional style of not only Barolo, but Barbaresco, Chianti and Brunello. I won't turn down anything made in the modern style, but I still like the old method of winemaking. Keep up the good work.
  13. futronic


    At the price Cristal commands, I'd rather have a 1990 Salon Blanc de Blancs. In April I attended a Salon vertical tasting in which we had (in order) the '95, '90, '88, and '82. They were all delicious. Here are my notes on the '90: A little darker than the '95, more golden in colour. More subtle nose as well. Fine, fine bubbles in the glass, like a bead of pearls. Apple, yeast and lemon peel on the nose leading to flavours of granny smith apple, lemon, biscuit, cream, toast, liquid caramel, and figs. An unbeliveably long finish that went on for minutes with honey and walnuts and toast. The most amazing Champagne I've ever had. The freshness and solid acidity surprised me. This one still has plenty of stuffing to age many more years.- 96 points
  14. futronic


    I had an '88 Pol Roger Cuvee Winston Churchill in July and it was phenomenal. From what I'm told, the '90 is even better. Go with the Pol Roger.
  15. Yay! I guess they were cutting over to the new line yesterday, because I couldn't access the site in the afternoon.
  16. Sounds like a plan. Thanks for the advice JAZ. I'll likely serve a sparkling wine with the amuse and first course then and move onto a full-bodied red for the main and cheese. It should work out nicely.
  17. futronic

    Dinner! 2003

    Anytime is a good time for carbonara! This is true! Since I made extra, I'll have the leftovers for dinner tonight.
  18. futronic

    Dinner! 2003

    Pasta alla carbonara. Probably not the best thing to have for dinner at 11pm, but such is life.
  19. I'm having my neighbours over on Monday evening for a long-weekend dinner and am perplexed about what to do for an appetizer. They love my bruschetta, and have asked me to make that for them, but I would prefer to mix it up a little bit for them. Here's what I was thinking: Grilled vegetable (zucchini and yellow squash) napoleon with creme fraiche and chevre Filet mignon with green peppercorn/cognac/cream sauce, grilled radicchio, blanched haricots sauteed in butter Assorted cheeses (Will likely stick to hard cheeses such as parmigiano-reggiano and peccorino) Fruit pie brought by my neighbours, maybe strawberry-rhubarb Now, should I make bruschetta instead of the veggie napoleon, make both, or just stick with the plan? I just don't see how the tomatoes would work in the progression of dishes, going from acidic to a real savoury dish with the filet. Any input on flow would be appreciated.
  20. I hosted our monthly wine tasting last Tuesday and the theme was Australian Shiraz. As opposed to the usual cheese plates, I made beef satay marinated in rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame seed oil and garlic. 2001 Kirralaa Bushvine Shiraz This is one of two Mondavi/Rosemount joint efforts. Mondavi does the Kirralaa winemaking in Australia, Rosemount does the Talomas (sister brand) winemaking in California. Dark ruby/purple colour; intense. Coats walls, lots of slow fat legs. Aromas of raspberry, chocolate, jammy cassis, and vanilla. Medium-full bodied with dark crushed fruit, and mint and a very disappointing, virtually non-existant finish that falls on its face. Lots up front, nothing in the back. 86 points. 1999 Stanley Brothers 'John Hancock' Shiraz Opaque purple, loads of thing legs. Aromas of alcohol, pepper, barnyard, black fruits, mint. A concentrated nose. Full-bodied with vanilla, cassis, raspberry, and overall good fruit. Dry finish ~ 30 seconds with peppery notes. 88 points 2000 Eldredge Blue Chip Shiraz Dark ruby red. Aromas of vanilla, blackberry, blueberry, mocha, and a very slight vegetal note that's not unpleasant at all. Full bodied with mint, cassis, and raspberry. Dry lingering finish, 30-40s. 90 points and consensus WOTN. 2001 Daringa Cellars 'Peter Dennis' Shiraz Opaque dark purple with teardrop legs. Raspberry, cassis, vanilla, and cherries on the nose. Full-bodied with cassis, blueberry and more dark fruit. Clean wine with well-integrated tannins. 20-30s finish. Drink now. 89 points. 2000 Diamond Ridge Shiraz Dark ruby red. Aromas cranberry and brio. Medium-full bodied with pepper, and red fruits (currant). Tannic with a short finish. 83 points. 2000 Angove's Classic Reserve Shiraz Medium-ruby colour. Alcoholic nose with cherries and medicinal notes. Doesn't look or smell like shiraz. Light-medium bodied. Pepper and mint on the palate with plenty of tannin. Thin finish. An overall non-descript wine that could be from anywhere. 81 points. 2000 Howard Park Madfish Shiraz Medium-dark ruby red with thin legs. Aromas of currant, raspberry, cherry, grilled meat, vanilla, and smoke. Full-bodied with pepper, cherry, and currant on the palate. Kind of short on the finish, but still tasty. Almost like a pinot noir, not shiraz. 87 points.
  21. futronic

    Help A Total Newbie

    Moscato from Italy might be a thought as well. It's usually around 5.5% alcohol and it doesn't get much (any) lower than that in the wine world. Add that to the fact that it's a fruity, off dry bubbly that's very easy to drink on a patio, and I think you might have your wine induction right there.
  22. futronic

    How Long and How Big ?

    I've only been collecting for a little over a year, but I'm at 180 bottles and counting. Stored in an overflowing Vintage Keeper unit. About 80+% Italian, although there are some Rhone, Australian, and smaller selections of other new world wines in there.
  23. The Casterno Solera had more than just bottle variation. There was a huge kafuffle if you recall about there being different blends altogether targeted towards US and European markets. Hopefully the few bottles of MP Shiraz I have are of good quality. I didn't lug them back from the US for nothing! :p
  24. tj, Keep in mind that this is only the Bin 407 and not the Bin 707. 1998 was a good year in Oz generally speaking, but the better fruit always goes into the 707. I don't recall the vineyard breakdown of what ends up in each bottling.
  25. Andre, Yes, I had a nice rib-eye steak grilled rare with it. There was a clear difference in the quality of the two bottles. My understanding is that the Marquis Philips Shiraz and Cab are other wines that have a lot of bottle variation.
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