While I am looking forward to embracing all that 2017 has to offer me, I still look back on 2016 with some fondness. Whether it be lessons learned from loss, recognizing the beauty in the little things or remembering the experiences made possible through the wines I’ve tasted, 2016 was valuable. What I want to share with you today, are 10 of the wines I enjoyed through the year and the enjoyment of the wines below was not just based on taste, but also the stories behind the wines and the winemakers.
Top Wines for 2016
Malivoire Gamay 2014
On colour, the Malivoire Gamay 2014 holds a gentle scarlet hue. On the nose, oak, red berries, and moist soil are present. On the palate is where this Gamay gets you. You’ll pick up bouncy tannins, strawberry, bell pepper, and anise at the left-back of the tongue, making the light acidity and robust tannins a complex, but beautiful finisher in the mouth.
If it’s been a while since you’ve indulged in a glass of Gamay, we highly recommend you rekindle the relationship starting with Malivoire Gamay 2014. Now, I am on a hunt for other vintages from Malivoire!
Charles Baker Ivan Vineyards Riesling 2015
On colour, the Charles Baker Ivan Vineyards Riesling 2015 holds a bright golden hue. On the nose, pear, apple, hard candy and lemon are noted. On the palate, you’ll experience lemon, peach, pink grapefruit, some smokiness with a medium off dry finish. When paired appropriately and served at the right temperatures you’ll find melon hints will abound.
We paired our Charles Baker Riesling with eggplant that was stuffed with chorizo.
This wine retails at the LCBO for $27.20
This wine cannot be found at the LCBO, but it can be ordered few several distributors. Chateau du Val d’Or Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009 could be drunk now or even cellared for a few, making a case purchase worthwhile as it gives you a chance to try this wine through several stages of its maturation.
This wine retails for an estimated $31.99 per bottle
Stags Leap Wine Cellars Karia Chardonnay 2013
On colour, the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Karia Chardonnay 2013 hold a light golden hue. On the nose, lavender, grapefruit, and peach all blend to create a beautiful bouquet. On the palate, lemon, caramel, light oak, a metallic sense, melon and well-tempered acidity are found. This wine finishes on the palate with an elegantly structured burst of vanilla, mineral and darting acidity. This was a wonderful wine experience and worth every penny.
The Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Karia Chardonnay 2013 could be drunk now, or could be laid down for a few years.
Aleceno Seleccion Crianza 2012
On colour, the Aleceno Seleccion Crianza 2012 holds a scarlet hue. On the nose, cherry, mineral hints, and candy apple are picked up. On the palate, you’ll find this wine to be very fruit forward, with a medium finish and just enough tannins to give it a delightful structure. Spice, vanilla, tobacco and light mineral finish off the mouth feel of this wine. Aleceno Seleccion Crianza 2012, a blend of Monastrell (75%), Syrah (15% ), Tempranillo (10% ), is a definite must buy and has been addAlceno Seleccion Crianzaed to my staple list of red wines!
Trius Red is made up of Cabernet Franc (55%), Merlot (25% ), Cabernet Sauvignon (20% ), and is very much a Bordeaux-styled wine, but with a twist. While most Bordeaux wines dominate with Cabernet Sauvignon, winemaker, Craig McDonald, chose Cabernet Franc as the dominant varietal and I believe this is what lends to the wine’s delightful complexity on the palate.
Willy Gisselbrecht Tradition Pinot Gris 2014
On colour, Willy Gisselbrecht Tradition Pinot Gris 2014 holds a crisp golden hue. On the nose, apple, peach and pear and hard candy jump out. On the palate, tempered acidity, smokiness, tobacco blended into a medium sweet feel that ends with slight mineral at the back of the mouth is experienced. It has a mild level of complexity that makes this a somewhat palate agnostic and great party favour wine.
Though I was surprised by the sweetness in Willy Gisselbrecht Tradition Pinot Gris 2014, the complex nature of this wine balanced out the residual sugar notes, making this a Pinot Gris I would definitely buy again.
The Pepik Sekt sparkling wine comes with no shortage of fine, dancing bubbles in your glass providing great insight, and resulting anticipation, into the quality of this sparkling. On the palate, green apple, and pear is balanced with refined acidity and hints of apricot and spice. Pepik Sekt, while not quite Brut, it is one I would class as Extra Dry.
In all, Pepik Sekt has made it to my short list of celebratory bubbles that are softer on the pocket book, but a banger on the palate! I encourage you to explore Tasmanian sparkling yourselves. Even though this region is relatively young in the world of wine, it is clear that Tasmania beholds a formidable position in the world of sparkling.
Teaching Winery Cabernet Franc 2010
On colour, the Teaching Winery Cabernet Franc 2010 holds a crisp ruby hue. On the nose, rhubarb, oak, light mineral, and blueberry are noted. On the palate, spice, caramel, oak, plum, a touch of anise, and well-tempered tannins are present.
Teaching Winery Cabernet Franc 2010 is smooth on the mouth, with a medium finish, and silky tannins. This is a must try wine in our books and it does not hurt that by partaking in a bottle you are putting a little back into education.
Aydie l’Origine Madiran 2012
On colour, Aydie l’Origine Madiran 2012 holds a deep eggplant hue, largely because of the Tannat grape. On the nose, an abundance of fruit consisting of strawberry, and cherry, coupled with vanilla is present. On the palate, plum, blackberry, well-rounded tannins and vanilla are noted.
Aydie l’Origine Madiran 2012 is not only a great wine but an affordable buy at that. We highly encourage you to add this Madiran to your ‘try’ list.