Villa San-Juliette Cabernet Sauvignon 2012


Villa San-Juliette Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Colour: Medium+ ruby core

Nose: Cassis, red cherry, vanilla.

Palate: Dry, medium+ body, medium+ tannins, medium+ acidity. Tart red cherry, cassis, cocoa, liquorice.

Finish: Medium finish, cherry, touch of mineral.

Score: 77+/100

Fairly well-made for the price, still youthful, classic Cabernet Sauvignon, on the simple side, tannins still grippy. Would recomming 2 more years in the cellar. Drink now or hold.

Mas des Bressades Cuvée Tradition Rosé 2016


Mas des Bressades Cuvée Tradition Rosé 2016

*Tasting notes taken indoor.


Colour: Deep Salmon

Nose: Strawberry, raspberry, floral, touch of meatiness, light thyme.

Palate: Dry, medium body, medium acidity. Strawberry, raspberry, rhubarb, savoury herbs.

Finish: Medium finish, touch of mineral, grapefruit skin.



More complex than I would have expected, although I haven’t tried Rose from Costieres de Nimes yet. The Syrah is certainly showing itself, adding nice savoury herbs on the nose and palate, light red fruits, with a touch of minerality and grapefruit skin bitterness on the finish, very refreshing.

Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico Riserva 2009


Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico Riserva 2009

Colour: Medium+ garnet core, light garnet rim.

Nose: Leather, cedar, matured plum, tobacco, black cherry, balsamic, white pepper.

Palate: Dry, medium body, high acidity, medium silky tannins. Sour cherry, tobacco, plum, integrated oak.

Finish: Medium finish, touch of pepper, mellow black raspberry.

Score: 82/100

Chianti Classico is one of my favourite affordable wine region, for food pairings. Always offering up good QPR and this wine is no exception.

Decanted for 1 hour. Starts off with a classic matured Chianti Classico nose, full of leather, black cherry, plum, balsamic, and tobacco notes. The palate is well-integrated, resolved tannins and acidity. The fruit is on the soft side, the classic sour cherry and tobacco, with a nice touch of oak; followed by a medium finish with a touch of pepper, and mellowed black fruits. Drinking very well now, and would continue to do so for the next 2-3 years

Bodegas Benito Urbina Rioja Selección 1999


Bodegas Benito Urbina Rioja Selección 1999

Colour: Medium garnet core, lighter on the edge.

Nose: Plum, dates, vanilla, crème de cassis, faint tobacco, integrated oak

Palate: Dry, medium body, medium acidity, medium soft tannins. Red cherry, blackberry, mineral, plum.

Finish: Medium finish, light oak, stone, touch of spice.

Score: 77/100

The nose smells like classic Rioja, very fruit forward, still smells fresh, wouldn’t have guessed it was an 18 years old wine. The usual black fruits along with vanilla and touch of oak. The palate is very soft, and a bit hollow mid-palate. Carries the fruit from the nose, with a touch of minerality; followed by a medium finish with a touch of spice.

Overall a pleasant wine to drink, but it’s rather simple. The whole wine is very integrated, knocked some points off on the palate. Would drink now.

Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2009


Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2009

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

Nose: Ripe cherry, raspberry, liquroice, plum, graphite.

Palate: Dry, full bodied, medium+ acidity, full grippy tannins. Black cherry, plum, graphite, black raspberry, faint orange peel.

Finish: Long finish, pepper, plum, earth, alcohol kick (went away after 4-5 hours of decanting).

Score: 79+/100

Not sure if the wine is in a dumb phase, but the nose seems somewhat closed after 2 hours of decanting. Not showing too much on the nose or palate. Despite the higher 15.5% alcohol, the wine isn’t jammy, matured black cherry and plum forward. The wine isn’t showing much at the moment, would check back on day two.

Day two is more or less the same story, nothing much have changed. Perhaps this is the true form of the wine in this stage, or it needs a much longer cellar time. Drink 2020+.

Bottom line:

Rather disappointing experience, even on day 2, I decanted it for 5 hours. It feels to me as a nicer village level Cotes-du-Rhone, like a Rasteau of some sort, instead of a midrange CDP. Concentrated berries fruit, but lacks complexity and depth. Got a lot of tannins for further aging, but I am not sure it got what it takes to become a great wine. What a shame at this price.

Breca Old Vines Garnacha 2010


Breca Old Vines Garnacha 2010

Decanted for 3 hours.

Colour: Dark ruby core, lighter on the edges.

Nose: Noticeable alcohol on the nose, jammy; black raspberry, blackberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, baking spice, stone, violet, touch of meatiness.

Palate: Dry, medium+ body, medium+ acidity, full grippy tannins. Concentrated and rich; black raspberry, blackberry, sour cherry, crushed stone, spices.

Finish: Medium finish, black raspberry skin, touch of pepper.

Score: 79/100

Purchased this wine 3 years ago based on Robert Parker’s rating of 94, and set it aside. Figured it should be a good time to open in 2017, let’s see how it developed.

It took a long time decanting to somewhat tamed the still noticeable whiff of alcohol on the nose. After I got behind that, you can tell this wine is right up Parker’s alley; very rich and concentrated on the nose, with waves after waves of black fruits such as black raspberry, blackberry, and black cherry throughout, followed by touch of dark chocolate and spices, with some violets, stone, and meaty notes to add to the complexity.

The palate is more or less the same story, concentrated black fruits, minerals and spices, followed by a dab of pepper in the finish. The tannins are not yet resolved, still grainy and grippy, which suggests the wine still have more life to come.

A big, jammy, bold wine from Spain, I checked the label afterwards found out it contains a whopping 16.1% alcohol, although the alcohol is mostly tamed on the palate, still very noticeable on the nose. Not a very complex wine just very concentrated. This wine isn’t for everybody, some might think it’s too heavy and jammy. Decant for 3+ hours, drink now or hold for 2-3 more years.

Side note: Would recommend this wine with food, something fatty like a nice rib eye steak.

Domaine de la Denante Les Maillettes Saint-Veran 2014


Domaine de la Denante Les Maillettes Saint-Veran 2014

Colour: Pale straw

Nose: Honey, peach, melon, stone, grass, white flower, light citrus, touch of oak.

Palate: Dry, medium+ body, medium acidity. Melon, citrus, mineral, honey.

Finish: Long finish, crushed stone, salt, faint nuts.

Score: 77+/100

First time having a wine from Saint-Veran, and it was a pleasant surprise. The wine throughout gives me a very rounded impression.

The nose was youthful, but rather complex, showing various concentrated stone fruits and touch of floral and grassiness, alongside a touch of oak.

It feels very rounded on the palate, but falls short on complexity, wouldn’t describe it as elegant either, just rather simple. Followed by a mineral driven finish with a touch of warm nuttiness in the very end.

Even though on the back label it says “Drink by 2020”, I would say this wine will definitely evolve with 1-2 more years of age. Drinking well now despite falling short on the palate, would hold.

I brought this wine to a blind tasting, since one of my whisky friend said him and his wife doesn’t enjoy chardonnay, and I went on a mission to find one that they will enjoy. I assumed he didn’t enjoy the new world, bold style, buttery Sonoma/Napa chard. This wine was a great success, it was a lot more to his liking and it feels good to re-introduce someone to a grape.

Elderton E Series Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon 2014


Elderton E Series Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Colour: Dark purple-garnet

Nose: Blueberry jam, plum, vanilla, baking spice, touch of smoked meat.

Palate: Dry, medium+ body, medium acidity, medium+ fine grain tannins. Blackberry pie, raspberry, pepper, vanilla.

Finish: Medium+ finish, touch of liquorice, more dark fruits.

Score: 77/100

Very standard, big, bold, jammy Southern Australian Shiraz blend. The nose and palate shows similar notes of jammy berries, vanilla, and baking spice, with touch of liquorice kicking in during the finish. This wine feels like a blueberry pie, from the nose to the finish. Very solid wine for the price, if you are into this sort of profile, I personally don’t mind it. Drink now!

Foreign Affair Cabernet Sauvignon 2012


Foreign Affair Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Colour: Dark garnet core, light garnet rim.

Nose: Dominant black cherry, blackberry, blackcurrant, raspberry, plum, dried dates, vanilla, cedar, meat, worn leather.

Palate: Off-dry, medium acidity, medium silky tannins. Black cherry, blackberry, blackcurrant, vanilla sweetness, touch of herbs.

Finish: Long finish, sweet oak, touch of spice.

Score: 85/100

Coming from Vineland (St. Catharines/Niagara), Ontario, Canada. The Foreign Affair winery specializes in Italian wine making style. They make a wide range of wines with various types of grapes, Ripasso style, Appassimento (Partial or Fully), Recioto style.

The Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30%(32%?) of the grapes were set aside for the appassimento process. Aged in French and American oak for 24 months, resulting in a wine with a whopping 15.8% ABV.

The nose is very rich and blasts you in the face with waves after waves of dark fruits. Black cherry, blackberry, blackcurrant, you name it; followed by dried dates, vanilla, cedar, worn leather, and a faint suggestion of meat. Very welcoming.

On entry, you will notice a very well-rounded mouth-feel. The acidity seemed moderate, perhaps due to the sweetness balancing it off; the tannins are silky smooth.

Just like the nose, loads of black fruit, perhaps jammy, followed by sweet vanilla, and a touch of herbs. Followed by a long finish of sweet oak and touch of spice. You would not have guessed this wine is 15.8% ABV, it drinks more like 14-14.5%.

This wine is very well integrated already, I don’t see it evolving much more in the future, drink now or over the next 3 years.

In a blind tasting, I would’ve thought the wine is older than it is, judging by the colour and tannins.

Fantastic wines coming out from the Niagara region in Ontario right now, not sure about international availability, but be sure to grab one if you see it. Highly recommended for the price.

**Do note this wine is off-dry.

Montes Alpha Pinot Noir 2014


Montes Alpha Pinot Noir 2014

Colour: Light ruby core

Nose: Cherry, raspberry, brine, stone, plum, underbrush.

Palate: Dry, medium bodied, medium+ acidity, medium- soft tannins. Ripe cherry, plum, raspberry, crushed stone.

Finish: Medium+ finish, mineral, faint vanilla.

Score: 78/100

Rather interesting nose to start, the usual cherry and red fruits, with a blast of salty briny character. The tannins are soft, and the acidity integrates very well with the wine. Palate is driven by ripe fruits and stone minerality, with a suggestion of vanilla in the finish. I also sensed a touch higher alcohol content in this wine from the finish.

Overall a very well made pinot noir for its price, a foot in the old world style, a small gripe with the higher alcohol content. I paired this wine with duck confit later-on, which was a wonderful pairing. Would drink now.