Matt's review: Five Farms sources the fresh cream that makes the base of their premium Irish Cream Liqueur from five family-owned and operated farms in the south of Ireland in a region called County Cork. As they say a happy... Continue Reading →
A blend of 89% Merlot with 4% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Cabernet Franc bringing additional aromatic and flavour complexity to this impressive wine. Ruby red with a garnet hue, the nose shows savoury dark fruits, plum, sweet spices, with a hint of wood smoke and familiar Okanagan Black Sage. A fantastic expression of premium Okanagan Merlot. Great intensity, exceptionally well balanced, the youthful fine grained tannins make this a great choice to enjoy with grilled steak, mushroom risotto, or firm aged cheese. Decant and enjoy over the next decade. Tasted September 2022. 93-94 points. Matt Steeves - http://www.quercusvino.ca
Donnafugata's Sul Vulcano Etna Bianco DOC highlights the incredible minerality and texture this volcanic region is renowned for. The nose shows ripe citrus, fragrant floral blossom, and a very inviting sea breeze salinity. The palate is refreshing with a creaminess and pronounced minerality on the long finish. Enjoy with seafood, creamy pasta, BBQ shrimp, or your favourite hors d'oeuvre. Tasted March 2023. 92 points. Matt Steeves - http://www.quercusvino.ca
wine review: A Lake Country (Okanagan, BC) Icon in the making – O’Rourke Family Estate Twisted Pine Chardonnay 2020
When I toured the Okanagan Valley in fall 2022 I had the opportunity to visit Lake Country's newest winery (and I'm quite sure it's also the largest mixed-use winery facility and event space in all of the Okanagan). Although it was still under construction it was an impressive glimpse into what they have planned and it's exciting. Its called O’Rourke Family Estate winery, which also includes several dining and bar facilities, event spaces, and even luxury lodging/suites. Situated high up in Lake Country it features 300 acres of breathtaking views of the vineyards, Okanagan Lake, and hilly lakeside mountains. The estate features ~110 acres of vines, 300 metres of winding tunnels and 12,000 square feet of caves that provide optimal conditions for storing and bottle aging their wines. The facilities were designed by renowned San Francisco-based architecture firm Backen & Backen and inspired by O'Rourke's owner, Dennis O'Rourke, who clearly has big plans for this world-class facility.
Culmina’s Decora Riesling shows great varietal characteristics with lively acidity and impressive minerality making this an exceptionally fresh and energetic wine. Crisp orchard fruit, honey, and minerality on the nose and palate. Enjoy with spicy cuisine, bratwurst, schnitzel, and Autumn soups. Enjoy 2022-2026. Tasted Fall 2022, 90+ points.
2018 Zymé Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Classico (barrel sample)– Big and bold, deeply coloured, the nose shows rich dried red and dark fruits, with fragrant balsamic and tobacco notes. Fresh with great intensity of flavours, the palate is loaded with delicious dried fruit, raspberry, Fragrant nose showing dark fruits, roasted beets, sweet spices, herbs. Full bodied, with lively youthful tannis, there’s a remarkable freshness with dried dark fruits and raspberry notes persisting. An great wine from an iconic producer, and a wine you’ll want to enjoy over the next few decades. Drink 2028-2048+. 94-95+ points.
2018 Domini Veneti Jago Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG – From the renowned Valpolicella Cru vineyard, Jago, in the Classico region, Domini Veneti’s Jago Amarone shows impressive dried dark fruits, spice, balsamic and tobacco notes on the nose and repeating on the palate. Simply delicious, with a harmonious texture and balance, dried dark fruit, currants, and sweet spices persisting on the long finish. 93 points.
2018 Villa San Carlo Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG (barrel) – When tasted during the Anteprima tasting, it showed wonderfully. Very fresh, impressive complexity with spices, menthol, prunes, herbal, balsamic and dried cherry notes. Youthful fine-grained tannins, the palate shows refreshing bright cherry and dried fruits, some citrus and dark chocolate notes persisting too. An impressive preview of a wine that will be hitting markets in the near future, and one that will be enjoyed in the short, medium, and long term. Enjoy 2024-2035+. 93 points.
2018 San Cassiano Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG – Deep colour with a midnight black/completely opaque core. The nose is inviting with dried dark fruits, plum, prunes, tobacco and herbs. Great texture, balance, and length in this youthful Amarone. Enjoy 2025-2035+. 93 points.
2018 Vigna ‘800 Virgo Moron Classico Riserva (organic) – Fresh and elegant, this Classico Riserva greets you with inviting dried red berries, sweet spices, espresso and leather. Beautifully balanced, complex with great length on the finish. Another Amarone that consistently impresses with each vintage. 94 points.
wine review: 2018 Terre di Leone Il Re Pazzo Armani Amarone della Valpolicella Classico (barrel sample)
2018 Terre di Leone Il Re Pazzo Classico (barrel) – Complex bouquet showing dried cherry, raspberry, menthol and balsamic evergreen notes. Lovely Classico expression – great freshness and beautifully balanced with fine textured tannins and bitter chocolate persisting on the finish. Enjoy over the next two decades. 92-93 points.
2018 Albino Armani Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG – Albino Armani’s winery is located in Marano di Valpolicella, with vineyards reaching 500m in elevation. Armani’s high altitude terraced vineyards and the cool mountain breezes that work their way through those vineyards, help to produce the fresh and elegant style of high altitude Amarone which Armani is known for. The nose on the 2018 Amarone shows dried raspberry, cherry, herbs, and earthy notes. Very refreshing and elegant, its fine texture highlights the delicious dried red berries, cherry, and dark chocolate on the finish. Enjoy this refreshing Amarone upon release in Spring 2023 and over the next decade with a wide range of dishes from BBQ, pasta, and aged cheese. 92-93 points.
2018 Falezze di Luca Anselmi – Sweet dark fruits, luscious palate showing decadent dark and dried fruits with citrus notes. Showing great now. 93 points.
wine review: 2018 Corte Figaretto Valpantena Brolo del Figaretto Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
2018 Corte Figaretto Valpantena Brolo del Figaretto – Inky, fresh and dried sweet dark fruits, dark chocolate, brandied cherry. Dark cherry and sweet spices on the finish. Enjoy over the next decade. 92 points.
2018 Sartori Reius Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG – Inky, fresh and dried sweet dark fruits, dark chocolate, and brandied cherry on the nose. Full bodied, with dark cherry and sweet spices on the finish. Consistently a great expression of Amarone from this storied winery. Enjoy over the next decade with hearty dishes and aged cheese. 92+ points.
Ca’ La Bionda’s organic terraced vineyards are situated in the Marano Valley of the Classico region of Valpolicella, and since 2015 they’ve been picking a couple weeks earlier than most (as early as mid-August) to ensure the retention of that bright acidity in their wines, which is critical in support of their winemaking vision of producing terroir-focused wines with great freshness, complexity, and drinkability. 2018 Ravazzol shows delicious dried fruit, fig, cherry, spice, and tobacco on the nose. The palate is equally layered and complex, with great structure, freshness, and elegance. A premium Amarone to make room for in your cellar, every vintage. Enjoy now and over the next two plus decades. 94+ points.