A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 752: Great Ports and Other Wines

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Lindsay Groves is the Ontario Ambassador for Taylor and Croft ports. She dropped by my house with samples of the 2017 vintage for us to taste together.

Croft Vintage Port 2017 (375 mL – $65.95)
Dense purple colour; spicy, spirity, mulberry nose with chocolate notes; full-bodied, rich, sweet blackberry, dark chocolate flavours with ripe tannins; well-structured, forward, with cocoa powder tannins. Drinking well now. (91–93)

Taylor Fladgate 2017 (375 mL – $82.95)
Opaque purple-ruby in colour; blackcurrant, blackberry nose with oak spice and a violet top note; medium to full-bodied, sweet, mulberry, firmly structured, richly extracted, elegant, beautifully balanced with evident but ripe tannins. Hold 5 years at least. (94–97+)

Taylor Fladgate Vargellas Vinha Velha 2017 (375 mL – $420 for the 750mL)
Opaque purple in colour; earthy, spicy, blackberry bouquet; medium to full-bodied, intense and concentrated black fruits, mocha chocolate; beautifully balanced with firm but supple tannins. (94–98+)

Croft Quinta Da Roeda Serikos 2017 (750 mL – $340)
Opaque purple colour; spicy, dark chocolate with a cedary note; medium to full-bodied, sweet, mulberry and blackcurrant with a firm tannic structure. Well-balanced and elegant with a lovely floral finishing note and great mouth-feel. (92–94)

Other wines tasted recently:

Copains Les Voisins Chardonnay 2017 (Alexander Valley, $42.95, Vintages #646158)
Bright, straw in colour; lightly toasty nose of apple; medium to full-bodied, dry, richly extracted, mouth-filling flavours of yellow apple, ripe melon and lemon; unctuous mouth-feel, beautifully balanced with well-integrated oak.  (90)

Culmina Hypothesis 2015 (Golden Mile Bench, $46; 36% Cabernet franc, 35% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec)
Dense purple in colour; cedary, herbal nose of black fruits; medium to full-bodied, dry, savoury, black olive and bitter chocolate flavours; firmly structured, beautifully balanced. A majestic wine. (93)

Culmina Hypothesis 2014 (Golden Mile Bench, $46: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc)
Dense purple colour; spicy, lightly cedary bouquet of black fruits; medium to full-bodied, dry, richly extracted, savoury, black berry and black plum flavours with a note of dark chocolate with powdery tannins; well-balanced with well-integrated oak. (91)

Culmina No. 006 Unfiltered “Jeunes Vignes” Malbec 2016 (Golden Mile Bench, $29, 100% Malbec)
Dense, deep purple colour; blackberry nose with vanilla oak spice; medium to full-bodied, dry, elegant, firmly structured, beautifully balanced blackberry flavour with a floral top note, carried on fresh acidity with evident but ripe tannins. Lovely mouth-feel. An amazing wine for young vines. (92)

Windrush Pinot Grigio Reserve 2018 (Hockley Valley)
Straw colour; lightly floral peach pit nose with citrus notes; medium-bodied, dry, white peach, melon and apple flavours with a lemony finish. Drink now. (88)

Windrush Pinot Noir Reserve 2018
Ruby in colour with a tawny hue; lifted nose of raspberries and note of mint; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, Volnay style with raspberry and sour cherry flavours; well-balanced and nicely integrated oak. Drink now and through 2021. (90)

Curvos Loureiro Vinho Verde 2017 (Portugal, $12.95, Vintages #471284)
Pale straw colour; minerally, lemony nose with a light floral note; light-bodied, crisply dry, Meyer lemon flavour. Excellent wine for fish and seafood. (89)

Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2018 (South Australia, $14.95, LCBO #470062)
Straw coloured; minerally, slightly reductive, lightly floral nose of white peach; medium-bodied, dry, peachy-lemony flavour. Nicely balanced with a long finish. Best Buy. (89.5)

Pelee Island Bella Sparkling Rosé (Pinot Noir/Auxerrois, $18.95)
Palest pink in colour with a bluish tint; slightly earthy raspberry nose with a barnyard note; light-bodied, fizzy, raspberry candy flavour with fresh acidity to ameliorate the sweetness. (88)

Pelee Island Hamilton Pinot Gris Vendage Tardive 2017 ($16.95)
Pale straw colour; peach pit nose; medium-bodied, ripe peach, unctuous mouth-feel, dry, peach flavour with a golden raisin note on the end taste. Nicely balanced with a floral uptick on the finish. (90)

Pelee Isand Lola Merlot 2017 ($14.95, LCBO #10486)
Deep purple-ruby colour; earthy, lightly cedary, cherry and plum bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, sour cherry flavour with enough tannin to give the wine structure. Lively acidic finish. (87)

Bookwalter Readers Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (with 18% Syrah, Washington State, $35.95, Vintages #13238)
Opaque purple in colour; cedary, black fruits with a black licorice note; medium to full-bodied, richly extracted plum and currant flavours; firmly structured, well-balanced and fleshy on the palate with a warm alcoholic finish. (89)

Quinta de Curvos Prova Cega 2017 (a blend of port grapes – Touriga Nacional, Sousao, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca and Tinta Barroca; Douro, $12.95, Vintages #446054)
Opaque purple-black in colour; earthy, mulberry nose with oak spice; full-bodied, richly extracted, sweet plum and mulberry flavours carried on lively acidity, beautifully balanced. Great value (90).

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