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LCBO Autumn 2003 Classics Tasting Notes - Toronto


futronic
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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.

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Thanks for the notes.

Did you try to order any wines?

Last time I went, I was only able to order about half of what I wanted - they were already sold out! And I was unsuccessful in the lottery too.

So I haven't bothered going back.

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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.

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