2009 Ravens Wood Vintner’s Blend Zinfandel - [description] “Ravenswood was one of a handful of wineries that recognized early on  that Zinfandel was an exceptional grape variety for fine wine  production. Their Vintners Blend Zin is ready for any occasion with  aromas of spice, raspberry, and mocha. Soft and round with lots of fruit  and cocoa flavour, enjoy it with pork chops or barbecued chicken.”Rating N/APrice $17.95Alcohol content 13.6%Made in California, United States

Ravenswood was one of my first California Zinfendels. I used to think Zinfendels were like rose but carbonated. How ignorant I once was.
This wine was exciting for me. A new grape, and excellent rating, and the promise of something special. I knew I was in for a surprise when I opened the bottle. I was immediately struck by the smells of sweet perfectly ripe strawberries. If you close your eyes and smell this wine it screams summer. It was even better in the glass. Because of my over exuberance I didn’t let the wine sit, but heck I didn’t have to. Once I got my nose in there the smell of strawberries was all consuming. It literally smelled as though the wine were bottled an hour earlier. The stawberries were coupled with smells of smoke, mocha and what I thought were raspberries (the smell of raspberries becomes very distinct after you smell it a few times).
Now for the good part, the first taste. One word. Delicious! This is a wine you want to share with people. You say: “try this! it’s amazing!” The wine has young soft tannins and is definetely a fruit forward wine, as all Zin’s should be. What amazed me the most was how the wine wasn’t chewey. I find most fruity wines, espeically those from Australia almost feel like you can bite into them, like a very thin candy. This, is not one of those wines. It was a delicate balance of fresh fruit and alcohol. I would highly recomend this wine, espeically with it’s price tag and if I were to give it a rating I would rate it as high as a 91. I would however give one warning. This is not a wine for dinner. This is a wine to be paired with chocolate, cheese, or on it’s own. It is far too fruit forward and tannin free for food.
Enjoy!

2009 Ravens Wood Vintner’s Blend Zinfandel - [description] “Ravenswood was one of a handful of wineries that recognized early on that Zinfandel was an exceptional grape variety for fine wine production. Their Vintners Blend Zin is ready for any occasion with aromas of spice, raspberry, and mocha. Soft and round with lots of fruit and cocoa flavour, enjoy it with pork chops or barbecued chicken.”

Rating N/A
Price $17.95
Alcohol content 13.6%
Made in California, United States

Ravenswood was one of my first California Zinfendels. I used to think Zinfendels were like rose but carbonated. How ignorant I once was.

This wine was exciting for me. A new grape, and excellent rating, and the promise of something special. I knew I was in for a surprise when I opened the bottle. I was immediately struck by the smells of sweet perfectly ripe strawberries. If you close your eyes and smell this wine it screams summer. It was even better in the glass. Because of my over exuberance I didn’t let the wine sit, but heck I didn’t have to. Once I got my nose in there the smell of strawberries was all consuming. It literally smelled as though the wine were bottled an hour earlier. The stawberries were coupled with smells of smoke, mocha and what I thought were raspberries (the smell of raspberries becomes very distinct after you smell it a few times).

Now for the good part, the first taste. One word. Delicious! This is a wine you want to share with people. You say: “try this! it’s amazing!” The wine has young soft tannins and is definetely a fruit forward wine, as all Zin’s should be. What amazed me the most was how the wine wasn’t chewey. I find most fruity wines, espeically those from Australia almost feel like you can bite into them, like a very thin candy. This, is not one of those wines. It was a delicate balance of fresh fruit and alcohol. I would highly recomend this wine, espeically with it’s price tag and if I were to give it a rating I would rate it as high as a 91. I would however give one warning. This is not a wine for dinner. This is a wine to be paired with chocolate, cheese, or on it’s own. It is far too fruit forward and tannin free for food.

Enjoy!

2008 Box Pillar Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon - [description] “About 30% of the 2008 Pillar Box Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was matured  in oak, 90% French and 10% American. This label is essentially a barrel  selection of the best barrels destined for the Pillar Box wine. Due to  the warm 2008 vintage, about 17% of the fruit this year came from cooler  Mt Benson. Deep garnet-purple colored, it has pronounced aromas of warm  blackcurrant, kirsch, spice box, cloves, and bay leaf plus a touch of  mint. Very crisp in the mouth, the acid cuts through the rich, full  bodied warm berry fruit while a medium level of fine tannins provide  just enough texture. It has a good long finish. Drinking now, it will be  at its best before 2017.”Rating 89 (Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW,  erobertparker.com, Oct. 2010)Price $24.95Alcohol content 14.5%Made in South Australia

Let me begin by saying that this is the best wine I’ve ever had; and I’ve had a lot of wine. I can’t begin to tell you how good this wine is. I actually chose this wine as an accident. It was on the very end of the Australia section and I thought it was a California Cabernet, which are typically big bold and in your face, exactly what I was looking for.
Where do I begin. On the nose it’s a symphony. Different scents dance around your nose, and like I’ve said before breath in like your taking a sip, the smells will hit your tongue. The first thing you notice right away is the rich, deep, fresh smell of oak. This wine is perfectly oak-ed in my opinion. Not overbearing but rich and crisp. The smell and taste of Oak can often be overpowering and weigh a wine down, and give it the quality of being heavy and lethargic. Not this wine, it immediately grabs your attention and says “this is gonna be a ride buddy, so hold on”. Along with the oak you can smell some nice white pepper, a bit of strawberry and spice (very typical of Australian wines to be “spicy”).
I couldn’t wait to drink this wine. As soon as it hit my tongue I was over whelmed. An incredibly complex wine. Oak, berry, and strong robust tannins hit you immediately. For such a strong wine it was incredibly well balanced. Not one taste or scent over whelmed the other. In fact the tastes spread across your tongue almost in order. First Oak, then Berry, finished with the clean sharp taste of those young tannins. Mmmm Mmm it was delicious. This is a wine you definitely want to pair with a great steak. It will compliment the taste and texture of red meat and wash your taste buds clean so you can enjoy the next bite. This is not a wine you can or want to drink all night. It will over power you. One bottle will suffice. Mark my words, this wine is unforgettable.
I often like to give wine human characteristic and personality traits. This wine is like a strict father. Regal and protecting while also being gentle and sophisticated. It wouldn’t dare step out of place or show you any weakness at all. It looks down on lazy wines, and will be there when you’ve had bottle after bottle of horrible vinegar passed off as wine.
If I were to rate this wine, based on price, taste, and smell. I would go as high as 93, age is three to five years and I’m positive it could hit 94 or 95 and be up there with some low class Bordeaux’s.
Try this wine. Try it now. Forget about the cost and drink it. All of it. Then tell someone else about it.

2008 Box Pillar Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon - [description] “About 30% of the 2008 Pillar Box Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was matured in oak, 90% French and 10% American. This label is essentially a barrel selection of the best barrels destined for the Pillar Box wine. Due to the warm 2008 vintage, about 17% of the fruit this year came from cooler Mt Benson. Deep garnet-purple colored, it has pronounced aromas of warm blackcurrant, kirsch, spice box, cloves, and bay leaf plus a touch of mint. Very crisp in the mouth, the acid cuts through the rich, full bodied warm berry fruit while a medium level of fine tannins provide just enough texture. It has a good long finish. Drinking now, it will be at its best before 2017.”

Rating 89 (Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW, erobertparker.com, Oct. 2010)
Price $24.95
Alcohol content 14.5%
Made in South Australia

Let me begin by saying that this is the best wine I’ve ever had; and I’ve had a lot of wine. I can’t begin to tell you how good this wine is. I actually chose this wine as an accident. It was on the very end of the Australia section and I thought it was a California Cabernet, which are typically big bold and in your face, exactly what I was looking for.

Where do I begin. On the nose it’s a symphony. Different scents dance around your nose, and like I’ve said before breath in like your taking a sip, the smells will hit your tongue. The first thing you notice right away is the rich, deep, fresh smell of oak. This wine is perfectly oak-ed in my opinion. Not overbearing but rich and crisp. The smell and taste of Oak can often be overpowering and weigh a wine down, and give it the quality of being heavy and lethargic. Not this wine, it immediately grabs your attention and says “this is gonna be a ride buddy, so hold on”. Along with the oak you can smell some nice white pepper, a bit of strawberry and spice (very typical of Australian wines to be “spicy”).

I couldn’t wait to drink this wine. As soon as it hit my tongue I was over whelmed. An incredibly complex wine. Oak, berry, and strong robust tannins hit you immediately. For such a strong wine it was incredibly well balanced. Not one taste or scent over whelmed the other. In fact the tastes spread across your tongue almost in order. First Oak, then Berry, finished with the clean sharp taste of those young tannins. Mmmm Mmm it was delicious. This is a wine you definitely want to pair with a great steak. It will compliment the taste and texture of red meat and wash your taste buds clean so you can enjoy the next bite. This is not a wine you can or want to drink all night. It will over power you. One bottle will suffice. Mark my words, this wine is unforgettable.

I often like to give wine human characteristic and personality traits. This wine is like a strict father. Regal and protecting while also being gentle and sophisticated. It wouldn’t dare step out of place or show you any weakness at all. It looks down on lazy wines, and will be there when you’ve had bottle after bottle of horrible vinegar passed off as wine.

If I were to rate this wine, based on price, taste, and smell. I would go as high as 93, age is three to five years and I’m positive it could hit 94 or 95 and be up there with some low class Bordeaux’s.

Try this wine. Try it now. Forget about the cost and drink it. All of it. Then tell someone else about it.

2008 Chateau LaBrande Malbec - [description] “Densely dark in color, a wine with beautiful rounded fruit flavors,  hints of mint and a rich tannic structure. The wine glows with ripe  fruit.”Rating 92. (Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast, Sept. 2010)Price $16.95Alcohol content 13.5%Made in Southwest France

2008 Chateau LaBrande Malbec - [description] “Densely dark in color, a wine with beautiful rounded fruit flavors, hints of mint and a rich tannic structure. The wine glows with ripe fruit.”

Rating 92. (Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast, Sept. 2010)
Price $16.95
Alcohol content 13.5%
Made in Southwest France

2009 Red Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon - [description] “Clear ruby red colour; cassis and plum with a touch of vanilla oak; dry,  meduim body; ripe berry and spice flavours with soft tannins and a good  finish.”Rating N/APrice $14.30Alcohol content 13.5%Made in Washington, United States.

2009 Red Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon - [description] “Clear ruby red colour; cassis and plum with a touch of vanilla oak; dry, meduim body; ripe berry and spice flavours with soft tannins and a good finish.”

Rating N/A
Price
$14.30
Alcohol content
13.5%
Made in Washington, United States.

2008 Inniskillin Cabernet Franc - [description] "The 2008 Cabernet Franc displays raspberry, cranberry and floral aromas  and flavours. It is medium bodied and very approachable with soft  tannins and a clean finish."Rating N/APrice $13.50Alcohol content 13.0%Made in VQA Niagara, Canada
*Click through to the profile website.

Ugh, Inniskillin…where do I begin. First off let me explain why I bought this wine. The LCBO was closed and the only thing open was a wine rack, so I was left with mass produced Canadian wines. I chose Cab Franc because it’s really the only wine that Canada can do well (although some would argue they do Pinot Noir well, but those people should be hung form their feet in the town square). Cabernet Franc is an early harvest grape that ripens quicker then most. Because Canadian winters approach so quickly it’s really the only grape that can stand up to the climate. So through process of elimination I chose the lesser of all evils that is Canadian red wine.
On the nose, it’s flat. The smell of alcohol is strong, which is not a bad thing, but it’s not coupled with anything. No fruit and certainly no oak. You do get a good sense of spice though. Unfortunately it doesn’t carry over to the taste.
As soon as it hit my tongue I knew I was gonna hate it. THIN, so thin, like an anorexic teenager. It had no body, and no finish. As Paul Giamati says in Sideways: “Quaffable, yet far from transcendent.” This wine was barely quaffable. It should be used for cooking. Enough said.

2008 Inniskillin Cabernet Franc - [description] "The 2008 Cabernet Franc displays raspberry, cranberry and floral aromas and flavours. It is medium bodied and very approachable with soft tannins and a clean finish."

Rating N/A
Price $13.50
Alcohol content
13.0%
Made in VQA Niagara, Canada

*Click through to the profile website.

Ugh, Inniskillin…where do I begin. First off let me explain why I bought this wine. The LCBO was closed and the only thing open was a wine rack, so I was left with mass produced Canadian wines. I chose Cab Franc because it’s really the only wine that Canada can do well (although some would argue they do Pinot Noir well, but those people should be hung form their feet in the town square). Cabernet Franc is an early harvest grape that ripens quicker then most. Because Canadian winters approach so quickly it’s really the only grape that can stand up to the climate. So through process of elimination I chose the lesser of all evils that is Canadian red wine.

On the nose, it’s flat. The smell of alcohol is strong, which is not a bad thing, but it’s not coupled with anything. No fruit and certainly no oak. You do get a good sense of spice though. Unfortunately it doesn’t carry over to the taste.

As soon as it hit my tongue I knew I was gonna hate it. THIN, so thin, like an anorexic teenager. It had no body, and no finish. As Paul Giamati says in Sideways: “Quaffable, yet far from transcendent.” This wine was barely quaffable. It should be used for cooking. Enough said.

2008 Catena Malbec - [description] "The 2008 Catena Malbec shows a dark violet color with deep bluish-black  tones. The nose offers ripe, concentrated dark fruit aromas with  delicate floral notes and traces of vanilla and mocha. The mouthfeel is  rich and lush, with spices, tobacco and a touch of leather. The finish  presents soft, supple tannins with bright, crisp acidity and a flinty  minerality that gives the wine exceptional length."Rating (according to wine.com) RP 91, W&S 91, WS 90, WE 90, ST 90Cost $19.95Alcohol content 13.5%Made in Mendoza, Argentina

2008 Catena Malbec - [description] "The 2008 Catena Malbec shows a dark violet color with deep bluish-black tones. The nose offers ripe, concentrated dark fruit aromas with delicate floral notes and traces of vanilla and mocha. The mouthfeel is rich and lush, with spices, tobacco and a touch of leather. The finish presents soft, supple tannins with bright, crisp acidity and a flinty minerality that gives the wine exceptional length."

Rating (according to wine.com) RP 91, W&S 91, WS 90, WE 90, ST 90
Cost $19.95
Alcohol content 13.5%
Made in Mendoza, Argentina