Lawrason’s Take on Vintages Feb 1 Release

Australia Encore and other Nuggets

David Lawrason

David Lawrason

At deadline I find myself jostling airline schedules and massive time zone changes as I return from eight days in Australia, where I have soaked up a refreshed perspective on the transformations underway down under while leading a tour of iconic wineries and exciting up and comers for Fine Vintage Ltd.  Australia, of course, is the major theme of VINTAGES Feb 1 release, and I covered off many of the wines in a special report published earlier this month (Australia Re-Visited). There is much more to say however as the massive Australian industry rights itself after a difficult decade in the 2000s, so I will be adding flesh to this skeleton edition in the days ahead.

Among other wines, the release really is actually rather spotty. The vast majority are lower to mid-priced wines that had to be sifted with some care to come up with the following nuggets. I regret that my notes lack the usual contextual detail this time, but you will see some of my pet themes and producers resurfacing – like Niagara riesling, obscure Italian whites, Susanna Balboa and Benmarco from Argentina, killer Montirius Vacqueyras, a very interesting tannat/petit verdot blend from South Africa, an inky sagrantino for Italy and a very fairly priced Barolo.  The selection is very much based on value, with most selections $20 or less. (As usual, you can link to my full review and score on our site).

My Aussie Red Picks

Schild Estate Old Bush Vine Grenache/Mourvedre/Shiraz 2011
Barossa, South Australia ($19.95)

Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Coonawarra, South Australia ($29.95)

Devil’s Corner Pinot Noir 2012
Tamar Ridge, Tasmania ($23.95)

Schild Estate Old Bush Vine Grenache Mourvedre Shiraz 2011Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2010Devil's Corner Pinot Noir 2012

Other Whites

Flat Rock Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling 2012
Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula ($19.95)

Jean Marc Brocard Domaine Sainte Claire Chablis 2011
Burgundy, France ($19.95)

Beni Di Batasiolo Granée Gavi Del Commune Di Gavi 2012
Piedmont, Italy ($16.95)

Flat Rock Nadja's Vineyard Riesling 2012Jean Marc Brocard Domaine Sainte Claire Chablis 2011Beni Di Batasiolo Granée Gavi Del Commune Di Gavi 2012

Other Reds

Jekel Pinot Noir 2011
Santa Barbara County, California ($19.95)

Benmarco Malbec 2012
Mendoza, Argentina ($18.95)

Dominio Del Plata Crios De Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Mendoza, Argentina ($13.95)

Glen Carlou Petit Verdot/Tannat 2009
Paar, south Africa ($21.95)

Jekel Pinot Noir 2011Benmarco Malbec 2012Dominio Del Plata Crios De Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon 2012Glen Carlou Petit Verdot Tannat 2009

Château De Lafaurie Monbadon 2010
Côtes de Bordeaux – Castillon ($15.95)

Montirius Garrigues Vacqueyras 2011
Rhone Valley ($27.95)

Luca Bosio Barolo 2009
Piedmont, Italy ($33.95)

Villa Mora Montefalco Rosso Riserva 2006
Umbria, Italy ($19.95)

Château De Lafaurie Monbadon 2010Montirius Garrigues Vacqueyras 2011Luca Bosio Barolo 2009Villa Mora Montefalco Rosso Riserva 2006

Please enjoy, and stay tuned. For those in Ontario, you may want to check out the WineAlign VIP Access to Cuvée 2014. It’s a Grand Tasting and Wine Experience weekend showcasing the stars of Ontario’s wine and culinary scene.

David Lawrason
VP of Wine

From the February 1, 2014 Vintages release:

David’s Featured Wines
All Reviews

Editors Note: You can find David Lawrason’s complete reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critics reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 30 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great wines!

 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz 2012

Cuvée Weekend 2014 – WineAlign VIP Access