Gary Hewitt
Banville & Jones Wine Co.
Purchasing, Wine Educator, Certified Sommelier
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Delightful, mouthwatering, fresh blended red from the Veneto. Bright red cherry and plum flavours with savoury notes from the Cabernets. A terrific summer red best served cool. Excellent! (2015 tasted 8 June 2018)
Italy » Veneto
Nicely made linear and young unfiltered wine with slight haze. Medium body, unoaked, wet stones, apple, citrus and light almond. Improved with air exposure and will likely become more complex with 1-3 years bottle age. I allowed some to clarify, but preferred the slightly hazy version--feel free to invert the bottle. Excellent wine. Broad food compatibility. (2016 tasted 8 June 2018)
Italy » Veneto
100% Gamay rose wine with pale salmon colour, a light herbal grip backing cherry strawberry fruit character. The grip and fresh acidity make this more of a food pairing wine than a patio sipper--but I'm happy to be corrected! Herbed chicken, pork or roast veggies. Great Art Deco style package. (2017 tasted 2 June 2018)
France » Burgundy
Oh yeah, a bit of ringer for a North Rhone Syrah, but this Syrah-Grenache blend from south France is more open and immediately drinkable. Lots of deep blackberry fruit with Rhone-like black pepper, iron and raw meat, ripe tannins and a juicy finish. Totally enjoyable but built to evolve over 3-5 years. (2014 tasted 27 April 2018)
France, Syrah, Grenache
I like this wine, but like many natural, low-sulfite, unfiltered wines it's more about general appeal than definable traits. Extended contact with the grape skins gives deep colour and extra grip; ambient yeast ferment at relatively warm temp broadens the savoury traits and lessens the fruit character; and lack of filtration means that the wine is not perfectly clear. This is a generous wine with pear skin texture, excellent balance and finish that will keep you thinking. 2015 tasted 27april2018
Slovenia, with a community rating of 90/100
Classic Tuscan Sangiovese made by traditional methods and poised to develop over many years. Light colour with bricking to the edge. Complex aromas/flavours of red fruits (cherry/berry), dried citrus peel and savoury notes of dried leaves, fennel and cedar. Fresh, medium body with a long finish. Look for complexity, balance and finesse. Montevertine is small production and rare. Excellent, potentially outstanding. I love when famous wines live up to anticipation.(2013 tasted 27 April 2018)
Italy » Tuscany, 2013
Lots of everything: ripe Chardonnay fruit, new American oak, and experienced wine making--a winemaker's wine. The components don't fully meld, but the intensity carries the day in an expressive wine for drinking over the next year or two. (2013 vintage tasted 10 April 2018)
Canada » British Columbia » Okanagan Valley, Chardonnay
Fresh, grassy, grapefruit and gun-flint Sauv Blanc with racy acidity and a juicy finish. Pure Central Loire except that there's a sneaky 15% Chardonnay in the blend--all to the good. (2016 tasted 31 March 2018)
France » Loire Valley
Cali warmth + old world wine-making = rich, full Chardonnay with nutty, creamy, spicy character. Yes, it's the Jacuzzi hot tub family:). Drinking beautifully now and over near future. (2016 tasted 10 March 2018)
United States, Chardonnay
Pronounced honey, dried apricot and mango, rye bread, vanilla and toast; viscous, rich, sweet and round on the palate with bracing acidity holding it all together; lingering finish. The Barsac region is a sub-region of the more famous Sauternes region. The 2002 vintage for Sauternes was not highly rated: this wine shows how a good winemaker can make a terrific wine in a challenging year--bravo! Seared fois gras is the perfect match, but don't limit yourself. (2002 tasted 8 March 2018)
France » Bordeaux, 2002, Sweet/Dessert
Provocative complex nose of sweet herbs, honey, and sweet pea. Lively palate with edgy acidity, citrus peel and sappy oak. Juicy lingering finish with faint green-wood grip. Fresh pea risotto or herb-roasted chicken would pair nicely. Fully mature but will hold 1-2 years. Excellent. (2009 tasted 8 March 2018)
France » Bordeaux, 2009, with a community rating of 90/100
Walking the line between modern and classic--ripe, fresh and gulpable with dusty tannins, cherry and dried orange rind, all screaming Tuscan Sangiovese. Lovely level of extraction giving a grape pulp mid-palate with a balanced acid-tannin frame. Excellent. Drink any time. (2015 tasted 5 March 2018)
Italy » Tuscany, with a community rating of 92/100
From the oldest commercial Sangiovese vines in Australia, and considered the standard for Oz, this wine sure ain't Tuscany (the menthol-eucalyptus note is a give away) but the ripe red fruit (cherry, cranberry, raspberry) character and silky tannins shine in a balanced wine with a complex herbal underlay that has overt appeal. (2015 tasted 5 March 2018)
Australia » South Australia » Fleurieu » McLaren Vale, Sangiovese, with a community rating of 87/100
Classic, balanced Sancerre with flint-smoke, sweet pea, lemon and apple-pear that's fresh and intense on the palate. (2016 tasted 5 March 2018)
France, with a community rating of 96/100
Lovely, smooth and balanced tawny port with powdery ripe tannins, juicy red fruits, and caressing warmth on the sweet lingering finish. Not for aging--that was done at the winery--all the goodness is already there. Thankfully, the unnecessarily large label added to meet Canadian label laws is easily removed to show "Tawny Dee" in all his glory.
Portugal » Porto e Douro, Fortified
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