A monthly look at the wines from Ontario you need in your cellar and on your table; plus all the latest from the world of Michael Pinkus Wine Review

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Ontario Wines: 

Top Wine Reviews of 2016

A quick look back at my top wines of 2016

January 2017 - Volume 18
Sadly Grape Guy Events is closed (for now) - once we establish the new direction of the app we'll let you know.
Must Watch
Video Wine Reviews:

Hinterland 2009 Les Etoiles (Ontario Wine Review #205)
2009 Les Etoiles
Trius 2012 Grand Red (Ontario Wine Review #204)
2012 Grand Red
Chateau de Rombeau 2011 Cuvee Elise (The Wine Review - Ep. 80)
Chateau de Rombeau
2011 Cuvee Elise (France)
Deep Roots 2015 Chardonnay (The Wine Review - Ep. 81)
Deep Roots Winery
2015 Chardonnay (British Columbia)
The Side Bar ...
Cellar Tastings and more:
Vintages Release:
January 7, 2017
Newsletter 275:
All I Want for Christmas
Taste it Again:
Couple of Chards Plus
Taste it Again:
Pondview 2010 Cabernet Franc
Taste it Again:
Mainly a Lost & Found White Selection
From the Cellar:
Charles Smith 2012 Cab Sauv (Washington)
Recent Podcasts
Episode 27:
Talkin' 'bout a Year End Tasting
Episode 28:
Talkin' to Jay Wright of Constellation Canada
A Few Words Before We Begin
Hello <<First Name>>,
Here we are with the first e-Blast of 2017 and I thought it'd be fun to look back at my top reviews from 2016 ... these wines rated four-and-a-half-plus stars or above, there were another 12 wines that received a four-and-a-half rating ... Here's looking forward to what's to come in 2017 from Ontario's wineries.

Also in this e-blast be sure to check out the latest videos and podcasts links now available for your watching and listening pleasure; including the interview with Jay Wright, the head of the new Constellation Canada.


Michael Pinkus -Grape Guy

The Tasting Bar ...
Hillebrand / Trius
2013 Chardonnay,
Showcase Wild Ferment - Oliveira Vineyards

($36.00 - Winery Only)
By now you know me, a self-proclaimed ABC (Anything But Chardonnay-er), but many have pointed out recently that I am drinking more of the stuff – Ontario is slowly changing my opinion on the grape and with this Trius version it’ll be hard for me to keep my ABC card intact. This award winning Chardonnay is loaded with everything you’re gonna love and plenty more: aromas of vanilla-coconut, lemon drop, buttery-caramel-apple … palate is even more exciting and enticing with creamy vanilla, buttery-caramel, along with apple and pear notes. Delve deeper into the glass over the course of an evening and you’ll find things like pralines, hazelnut and spice, especially on the finish. There’s a long luxurious finish with great acidity to balance the whole thing out … I’m not ready to pass the ABC card over but with a few more of these I just might. 
Rating: *****
Pondview Estate
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Bella Terra – Unfiltered

($34.95 - Winery Only)
If you’ve read my review of the Pondview Cabernet Franc, unfiltered, this Cabernet Sauvignon is the exact opposite, finish-wise. This is a pure delight on the palate and nose. Aromas start with cassis, chocolate, black cherry and blackberry – and never seems to relent, offering up more enticement the longer it’s in your glass. Palate kicks thins of with silky tannins, then adds cocoa nibs, black cherry and cassis before biting down hard on the tongue with tannins that’ll hold your attentive. And that’s the difference between the finishes: the Cabernet Sauvignon has a smooth start with an aggressive finish – but that’s a good thing. Think about lying one of these down at least 10 years.
Rating: **** ½+
Hinterland 2009 Etoiles
($49.00 - Winery Only)
It’s really not hard to recommend Hinterland bubbles, over the years they’ve just been so damn good and so damn consistent; but the 2009 Etoiles takes things to a whole new level. 5 years on lees with no dosage has brought about lemon drop and zest with hints of lime and green apple, but it also shows off it’s mineral-side along with a dry-yeasty quality and good bracing acidity that makes sparkling wine such a versatile food pairing wine (this one in particular). This 60/40 Chard/Pinot sparkling may not be perfect but it’s pretty damn near close; and the real surprise is how fresh it is after 5 years in this very bottle. Drink / Hold 5-10 years.
Rating: **** ½+
Two Sisters
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

($62.00 - Winery Only)
If you’ve visited Two Sisters winery you quickly realize that you’re not in Kansas anymore because it is one impressive place … though some say pricing is too high you can’t knock the quality of the wines winemaker Adam Pearce is putting out the cellar doors. This Cabernet Sauvignon is a great addition to their line-up and might be one of the best 2012 Cabernet Sauvignons I’ve had to date from Niagara. Aged up to 28 months in all French oak (15% new) and bottle aged an additional 8 months. Aromas of dark chocolate, black cherry, strawberry and dark plum. Palate is layered with flavours from fruit to subtle spices: big strawberry and dark chocolate plus everything found on the nose, plush ripe tannins grip the tongue leading to a lengthy raspberry-cinnamon-vanilla finish all kept honest by the great acidity.
Rating: **** ½+
Muscedere Vineyards
2012 Meritage

($30.00 - Winery Only)
Ontario wine lovers have been (or should) lament the loss the Lake Erie North Shore took during the past two winters – this is made even more tragic when you can taste something like this: a 53% Merlot dominated blend with 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Cabernet Franc balancing out the blend. Nose is incredibly alluring with chocolate and blueberry and a palate that goes out of its way to impress: rich black cherry, mocha / chocolate, vanilla – decadent and dense, robust and full-bodied with a gorgeously come-back-again-and-again cherries dipped in chocolate finish. 
Rating: **** ½+
The Grape Guy
Michael Pinkus
Michael Pinkus Wine Review
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