Every year Mark Anthony Wine Merchants have a portfolio tasting of their wines from around the world. Every year I am impressed by wineries that I know, and new wineries I have yet to try. This year I have tasty wines for you from sparkling to still red and whites.
- Lanson Black Label, NV, France, ($64.99). Nice creamy, bready, citrus nose. Very tasty with toast and citrus up front, red apple mid palate, and some nuttiness on the finish. High acidity makes this wine very refreshing and would make a great pairing with oysters on the half shell
- Lanson Rose Label Brut, NV, France ($64.99). Yes Lanson champagnes are very good. This rose version has a pale apricot skin colour. Light toasty nose. Dry with medium plus acidity, strawberry and oak flavours.
Louis Latour Meursault Chateau Blagny 1er Cru, 2009, France ($71.99). Meursault is a region in Burgundy that produces a white wine made from Chardonnay, and red from Pinot Noir. This wine is a white Meursault. Pale lemony green with a faint stonefruit nose. Dry with citrus and pear flavour with a cinnamon undertone. Medium acidity and medium length. Elegant.
- Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay, 2009, California ($27.99). If you cannot afford some of the Old World wine prices, why not try North American wines? Rodney Strong produces consistently good wines in my opinion. This chardonnay has a light apple and vanilla nose. Medium body, round, with quite flavourful tropical fruit, and spices of cinnamon and vanilla. Medium length.
- Brotte Chateau du Bord Cotes du Rhone Villages Laudun, 2010, France ($24.99). The wines from the Cote du Rhone are a blend of several red grapes: Grenache (typically the major component), Syrah, Cinsault, Carignane, Counoise and Mourvèdre. I am not sure of the blend for this particular wine, but it’s components together make a very tasty wine. It has a light smoky nose. Strawberries, oak and cherry flavours. Light body, medium acidity and low tannins.
Brumont Chateau Boucasse, 2007, France ($24.99). This wine is from the Madiran region of France. It is famous for the Tannat grape, which to most of us is not well known. Tannat based wines tend to be high in tannins and traditionally require several years aging to be at its best. If you are a southern hemisphere wine lover, Uruguay also produces Tannat based wines. This wine had cherries and matchsticks on the nose. Medium body, light mouthfeel, with ripe cherries, some smoky oak and minerality on the palate. It has higher acidity which I think contributes to its lighter mouthfeel. It is very tasty.
- Brumont Chateau Montus, 2006, France ($34.99). This wine is also from Madiran, but is a blend of 80% Tannat and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium garnet in colour. It has aromas of dark fruit, vanilla, and dill, which was very intriguing. Medium body, dry, but with very ripe dark fruit flavours, and vanilla. Medium acidity and length. Dry tannins on the finish, but you can expect that from the Tannat grape, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon.
Dinastia Vivanco Rioja Crianza, 2008, Spain ($22.49). This wine was selected by Wine Spectator as one of the top 100 wines in 2011. The Dinastia Vivanco Crianza 2008 is a wine made exclusively from Tempranillo grapes selected from their vineyards across the Rioja region. The wine aged for 16 months in French and American oak barrels, and for more than a year in bottle, before being released. It is medium plus garnet in the glass. Nice aromas with currants, red cherries and spice. Medium body, dry, soft tannins, with cherries and cloves and cinnamon on the palate.
- Prats & Symington Post Scriptum, 2009, Portugal ($39.99). Portugal can produce some very characterful red wines from their indigenous grapes, and we have seen some of them at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. This is a blend of 41% Touriga Nacional, 36% Touriga Franca, 14% Tinta Roriz, and 9% Tinta Barroca, which you would also find in Port wines. Prats & Symington is a joint wine project between the Symington family of Port fame and Bruno Prats, former owner of Bordeaux’s Château Cos d’Estournel. This wine was opaque ruby in colour, and had a dark cherry syrup and vanilla nose. Dry on the palate, medium body, with cassis and cherries flavours. Very elegant.
- Antinori Marchese Antinori, 2007, Italy ($34.99). Moving to Italy, specifically Tuscany, we have the famous House of Antinori. Being a Super Tuscan, it is a blend primarily made from Sangiovese, but also has some Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium minus garnet in the glass. Nice nose, with a cherry, woody, and light vanilla nose. Medium body, with ripe sweet cherry flavours. Dry with medium acid and soft mouthfeel. Very tasty.
Prunotto Costamiole Barbera di Asti 2007, Italy ($54.99). Barbera d’Asti is one of the most famous wine areas in Italy’s north-western Piedmont region. This region focuses on red wines made from the Barbera grape. The grape is known for deep color, low tannins and high levels of acid. This wine had a nice sweet cherry and flowery nose. Light body, dry on the palate, with lots of big juicy fruit and spice coming on the mid palate. Medium acidity and low tannins.
- Cantina Negrar La Casetta Ripasso, 2009, Italy ($33.99). I think this wine was my favourite of the entire tasting. Ripasso is a special style of wine produced in Italy. The Valpolicella region produces Ripasso wines. They are more complex than regular Valpolicella wines as these wines are re-fermented on the pre-fermented, tannin-rich skins of grapes used to make the area’s dried-grape passito wines, giving extra flavour and colour to the wine. The grapes for Valpolicella come from the Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara varieties. The wine did have a deep ruby colour. The nose was quite interesting with violets, cherry and chocolate. Medium minus body with cherry, dark chocolate and nutmeg flavours. Dry with low tannins. My wow wine.
Checking back at my notes, it looks like the red wines won my heart this tasting, and Old World wines. I hope you have a chance to try some of these wines, as I did. Enjoy!