I am privileged to try so many wines from around the world each year, here in Vancouver. Sparkling, rose, red, white, and fortified wines have all passed my lips. And for some instances there is a wine that stops you in your tracks, all your senses become heightened as they focus on the spectacular wine in your glass. I would like you to be able to experience this as well. These 5 Star wines that I tasted this year I think will do that for you. Please share these wines with family and friends. A great Christmas/holiday gift to give or receive. Below are my tasting notes from the year for these wines. Enjoy!
My 5 Star Rated Wines
White and Sparkling Wines
Maison Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey Grand Cru, 2010, France – Very light intensity citrus and vanilla aromas. Medium body, round, soft and silky on the palate. Tropical fruit with sweet spice and vanilla flavours. Medium acidity. Mouth watering, crisp apple finish. A wonderful wine.
Champagne Barons de Rothschild Blanc de Blancs N/V, France – The grapes for this Champagne only come from Grand Cru vineyards. It is a blend of 3 vintages; 2008 primarily along with 2007 and 2006. Only 50,000 bottles were produced. It has a very light citrus nose. On the palate it is quite biscuity, along with lots of mouth filling bubbles. Sour/crisp apple leads to a sweeter apple flavour. Dry on the palate with only 6g/l of dosage. An excellent Champagne!
Nicolas Feuillatte Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs, 2004, France – Light stone fruit aromas in the glass. Medium minus body, dry but very fruity. Red fruits and apples on the palate along with a mineral streak. Wonderful Champagne.
Le Vieux Pin Equinoxe Syrah, 2011, BC (~$80) – Equinoxe Syrah is the top wine for Le Vieux Pin with a limited production of 268 cases. As is sometimes done in the Rhone Valley, this Syrah was co-fermented with 1% Viognier, which helps produce a deeper colour to the wine as well as offer a floral component in some cases. This was aged in French oak barriques for 18 months, with 36% being new barrels. This was also also deep ruby in colour, almost opaque from core to the rim. The baby powder aroma in this wine was more intense than in the regular Syrah. It was followed by raspberry, plum and blueberry aromas. Later on there was black cherries and black currants, followed by smokiness and dark chocolate. On my second day of tasting, the smokiness was more prominent and the baby powder aroma was subdued. Dry with medium tannins and acidity, but medium plus body and flavour intensity. Dry with some roundness on the tongue. The fruit flavour intensity builds to the finish. The fruit flavours again came in one after the other starting with raspberries, then black cherries and blueberries. In addition I picked up some oak, red currant and sweet spice. Up front with the fruit was nice saline minerality. On Day 2 of my tasting, smokiness showed up together with the raspberries on the palate. Medium plus finish with plums, berries, sweet spice and oak flavours, and tannins running down the centre of your tongue. An outstanding wine that I would leave to age for 1-4 years. Day 3 update – Violets on the palate are quite prominent. It is so interesting to taste a wine as it changes over time!
Cesari Bosan Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore, 2005, Italy (SPEC $38.99) – Nice ripe berry fruit nose. Medium body, soft and dry. Round mouthfeel. Very tasty ripe berries, red cherries and vanilla, together with light spice. Wow.
Cesari Amarone Della Valpolicella, 2011, Italy (SPEC $79.99) – Nice nose, with berries and candied black fruit. Fuller bodied, round and soft, with sweet spice, red cherries and berry fruits. Balanced fruit and acidity.
Kangarilla Road Scare Earth 2012, Australia (SPEC $59.99) – Opaque ruby in colour. Ripe dark purple fruit, blueberries, nutmeg, and vanilla on the nose. Full body, with ripe black fruit, blueberries and spice. Heavy mouthfeel. Some vanilla and blueberries on the finish. This wine is one of the site specific locations as defined by the geological mapping of Kevin’s group. As such, I noted that this wine feels very site specific and focused.
Kangarilla Road Q 2009, Australia (SPEC $69.99) – This is a single vineyard wine, which will join the Scarce Earth project. It is opaque garnet in the glass. A nice nose, with vanilla, woodiness, and hints of flowers and nutmeg. Full bodied, mouth filling, with high minerality. Ripe black and purple fruit, with some chocolate and cocoa. Fine tannins, but provide good structure to the wine. Should last for many years.
Bouchard Père & Fils Beaune Greves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus Premier Cru, 2010, France ($115) – Light smoky dark fruit and vanilla aromas. Full body, soft and round with cassis, red cherries, and a hint of vanilla and smoke. Nutmeg spice on the finish. A wow wine.
Brigaldara Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, 2009 (Veneto, Italy) – Old wood/oak and dill on the nose. Full body with ripe pruny dark fruit, vanilla and dill. Soft and supple on the palate with long length. This wine is my OVERALL FAVOURITE of the entire tasting (Gambero Rosso).
One of these above wines was also my “Ultimate Favourite Wine of 2014“. Can you guess which one?
Stay tuned for my next article which will be my 4.5 Star Rated wines for 2014. Wines that almost reached the pinnacle, but are also truly awesome and not to be missed!