Estampa Gold Syrah Blend 2010


Estampa Gold Syrah Blend 2010

A blend from Colchagua Valley, Chile. Consists of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec, from a single vineyard. Sounds pretty exciting, time to dive in.

Colour: Dark ruby-purple core, medium garnet rim.

Nose: Crème de cassis, black currant leaf, pepper, meat, liquorice, mint, black raspberry, faint cigarette smoke.

Palate: Dry, medium+ bodied, high acidity, medium tannins. Plum, black cherry, sour cherry (almost tomato like), blackcurrant, light vanilla.

Finish: Long finish, liquorice, sour cherry, oak.

Score: 80/100

Hits you in the face with an initial blastoff crème de cassis, then followed by a peppery, meaty nose, black fruits and very specifically cigarette smoke on the exhale (I am not a smoker). Surprising amount of acidity suggest this is best consumed with food. Loads of dark fruits to start, very juicy due to the acidity. Towards the end vanilla, liquorice, and oak kicked in, lingering. Paired with sousvide rack of lamb later on, wonderful pairing. A decent blend, not intrigued by its complexity, but works wonders with food. The finish lasts for minutes. Drink now or in the coming 2-3 years.

Bodega Chakana Estate Selection Red Blend 2011


Bodega Chakana Estate Selection Red Blend 2011

Colour: Dark purple core, medium ruby rim.

Nose: Violets, blackberry, black raspberry, plum, black cherry, chocolate dust, cedar, faint pear.

Palate: Dry, full bodied, medium+ acidity, medium silky tannins. Plum, blackberry, black cherry, dried Asian dates.

Finish: Long finish, dark fruits, touch of orange puree, spice.

Score: 81/100

Caught my attention when Parker gave this wine a 94, and available for only like $23CAD back then. Really different from few years ago. The wine aromas and flavour are now integrated, developed some interesting notes not typically found in red wines, such as pear and orange. The tannins soften up quite a bit, but you still notice the alcohol even served at 16 degrees Celsius. Should hold onto the fruit for few more years, good value, bold red, but I disagree with the 94 Parker.

Kilikanoon M Reserve Shiraz 2005


Kilikanoon M Reserve Shiraz 2005

Colour: Dark purple core, light purple rim.

Nose: Herbal/dried medicinal herbs note, light white pepper, meat, minty, dark berries, tobacco. The notes are integrated which makes it harder to pick out.

Palate: Dry, medium-full bodied, medium+ acidity, medium soft tannins. Dark berries (again integrated), pepper, raspberry, touch of faint vanilla, light oak.

Finish: Medium+ finish, liquorice, oak.

Score: 82/100

Rather different from my expectation, only had handful of older Australian Shiraz before.

The Kilikanoon M Reserve Shiraz greets you with a whiff of herbal note, which I have yet to figure out what it is yet. The pepper is more tamed than I would expect, guess the age brought it down, followed by a harmony of aroma, meat, mint, dark fruits, and tobacco. All well integrated.

Velvet on the entry, the tannins are soften up. The integrated berries are back again, followed by raspberry, pepper, vanilla, and touch of oak. The acidity balances out the fruit very well. Followed by a decent length finish, with a kick of liquorice and oak in the back.

So far so good, on paper at least. There is something about this wine that I just don’t seem to enjoy. In theory, the notes all sound good, but just something I can’t quite put my finger on when I drink it, and the wine as a whole, makes me not like it as much as I thought it would. You can tell the quality of the wine, it’s good, given I was going in without any expectation in a somewhat blind tasting. I would recommend this to those who wants to try, and encourage if you own a bottle. Just because I am not a fan doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it more than I do. Drink up!

Château Laniote Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé 1993


Château Laniote Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé 1993

Colour: Medium garnet core, light ruby-brown rim.

Nose: Plum, worn leather, cherry, blackberry, cedar, floral, meat, hint of bell pepper, Chinese medicinal herb.

Palate: Dry, medium+ bodied, medium+ acidity, full grainy tannins. Plum, sour cherry, tobacco, cedar, leather.

Finish: Medium finish, red pepper, mineral.

Score: 83/100

For a 1993 Saint-Emilion that is not even First Growth, it’s still holding up well. A lot better on day 2 and 3.

Holding onto some nice complexity, very nice and complex nose, but the palate is on the simpler side with some tobacco and leathery notes, and interesting red pepper note on the finish. No reason to hold up, if you got a bottle, better drink it soon.

Villa Mora Montefalco Sagrantino 2006

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Villa Mora Montefalco Sagrantino 2006

Colour: Medium+ ruby core, light ruby rim

Nose: Sweet cherry, ripe plum, black raspberry, floral, leather, herbs, dark fruits, all well integrated.

Palate: Dry, full bodied, high acidity, full grippy tannins. Chocolate covered berries, plums, raisin, espresso, cedar, thyme.

Finish: Long finish, cacao dust, herbs, touch of nice earthiness.

Score: 84/100

First time having Sagrantino, and this one is brilliant! Pleasantly surprised, layed this one down for a long time. Needs 2-3 hours of decanting.

Very well integrated throughout, on the nose it’s a harmony of flowers and berries, touch of leather and herbs, hard to pin down the subtle notes. Still very tannic on the palate, good acidity. Again, chocolate covered berries, various dark fruits along with raisins, nice thyme and cedar to round things off. Followed by a long finish, full of cacao dust and herbs.

Wonderful wine, paired with sous-vide prime rib later-on, and this wine needs food with its massive tannins. This wine will live on for another 5+ years!

Glenrothes 1990 23 Year Old (SMWS 30.81 – A Baker’s Delight)


Glenrothes 1990 23 Year Old (SMWS 30.81 – A Baker’s Delight)

Region: Speyside

ABV: 56%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead


Colour: Gold

Nose: Biscotti, powdered sugar, apple, orange, pastry, dried apricot, floral, peach, vanilla custard, herbal.

Palate: Dried apricot, peach, butterscotch, nuts, oak, perfume, melon, grape, spice.

Finish: Long finish, malt, melon, oak, mineral

Score: 87/100


The nose is very interesting to kick off, nutty, biscotti character, with loads of fruits to back it up. Sweet fruity notes on the palate, with a kick of spice. With a long, malty finish, and a kick of oaky minerality in the end. Better than my previous Glenrothes experience, which have been the OB watery offerings.

Bowmore Vault Edition First Release – Atlantic Sea Salt


Bowmore Vault Edition First Release – Atlantic Sea Salt

“The Vault Editions from Bowmore is a four-part series of whiskies that highlight one characteristic of the distillery’s style. The first release is named Atlantic Sea Salt and focuses on Bowmore’s maritime style, while displaying its classic smoky and fruity nature.”

Region: Islay
ABV: 51.5%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No

Colour: Straw

Nose: Vanilla, cherry, cotton candy, earthy peat, wood smoke, brine, tissue paper, crystallised honey, hint of citrus peel.

Palate: Vanilla, cherry, apple, pear, sweet malt biscuit, salt, earthy.

Finish: Medium+ finish, sweet peat, salted caramel.

Score: 85/100


Bowmore apparently is discontinuing (or already discontinued?) their age-stated Tempest and Laimrig release. This is their follow up, not as salty as the name would suggest but rather well balanced, with nice complexity and very oily and smooth on the palate. On the sweet side, with loads of vanilla and fruits, can tell lots of first-fill bourbon cask used here. Rather pleasant, but I prefer the Laimrig 15 over this.

Tomatin 1990 25 Year Old Single Cask (2496) for LCBO


Tomatin 1990 25 Year Old Single Cask (2496)

Bottle for the LCBO here in Ontario, Canada.


Region: Highland
ABV: 51.4%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask No.: 2496
Cask Type: “Full maturation in traditional oak hogshead” Assuming Bourbon.
Distilled 14th February, 1990, Bottled 07th March 2016.


Colour: Light Gold

Nose: Wax, honey, peach, cereal, citrus, malt, black tea.

Palate: Oak, malt, melon, cereal, mineral.

Finish: Medium finish, oaky.

Score: 79/100


Nothing much to write home about, not much complexity, probably a refill cask. At $600CAD a bottle, I feel sorry for those who bought a bottle. Price doesn’t affect my scoring but damn this was boring.

Glendronach 1995 18 Year Old Tawny Port Pipe (Cask 5959)


Glendronach 1995 18 Year Old Tawny Port Pipe (Cask 5959)


Region: Highland
ABV: 53.6%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Number: 5959
Cask Type: Tawny Port Pipe


Colour: Mahogany

Nose: Sharp burst of ethanol, which died down after an hour. Strawberry, cantaloupe, pepper, caramel, ginger, roasted peanuts, lemon candy, hint of floral note.

Palate: Strawberry gum, ginger, pepper, sweet malt, orange peel, mineral.

Finish: Medium finish, mineral/metallic, cherry cough syrup, ginger.

Score: 85/100


Rather interesting dram, the nose was really filled with pungent ethanol at first, after it opened up, revealed a nice mix of fruit and spice, the strawberry note reminds me of the Tomatin 14 Portwood. On the palate it stays true to the nose, but towards the finish it revealed more spice and oddly some mineral notes, which threw off the balance. Overall I am glad to try this dram, very good experience!

Auchentoshan 1999 17 Year Old Cadenhead


Auchentoshan 1999 17 Year Old Cadenhead


Region: Lowland
ABV: 55.5%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Bourbon Hogshead


Colour: Straw

Nose: Biscotti, grass, almond chocolate, oily, citrus, toasted oak, faint steamed garlic.

Palate: Oily, honey, vanilla, stone fruits, grass, metallic, nuts, mineral.

Finish: Medium+ finish, rubber, mineral, pepper, oak.

Score: 86/100

Rather interesting experience, completely different from the OB I’ve experienced. Loads of nutty and grassy notes, less fruity than expected. Solid but not my style. Very glad to have tried this.