Crush 2021 Wine and Whisky Lots

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Wine Vignettes by Robert Moyes

Hundred Acre “Ark Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon

California – 2013 | One Standard Bottle

Value – $800 | Donated by Anonymous

Hailing from Napa Valley, this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon bottling from Hundred Acre winery is surely one of California’s most collectable wines. Produced by flamboyant and contrarian winemaker Jayson Woodbridge, whose signature style features an incredibly opulent and creamy texture, this beauty was sourced from his 15-acre Ark Vineyard property on fabled Howell Mountain.

Hundred Acre wines are pretty rare in these parts, so this 2013 vintage, which was aged in cask for 32 months prior to being released, should be of considerable interest to serious collectors.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate was impressed enough to rate it at 100. The description is tantalizing: “Full-bodied, rich and velvety, the palate is completely packed with spicy fruit, finishing with lingering earthy notes.”

The Wine Spectator was also a fan: “Creamy, mocha-scented oak provides a seductive introduction, easing the way for a rich mix of cherry, currant, plum and licorice flavors. This continues to gain depth and nuance, ending as it begins.”

And two scribes from CellarTracker both bestowed a rating of 99, with this notable praise: “The 2013 Ark is as close to perfection as a wine can be! Floral aromas followed by flavors of black cherry, plum, blackberry and mocha.” And this from his colleague: “Simply outstanding. Great depth of flavor, rich mouthfeel, long finish.” Wow!

Lot 2

Marchesi Antinori Solaia

Italy – 1997 | One Standard Bottle

Value – $500 | Donated by Ame de Paoli

Solaia means “sunny one” in Italian, and is the name for the 10-hectare vineyard that is the source for this signature Super Tuscan. The Marchesi Antinori family goes back seven centuries as winemakers, but made recent history in 1971 when they launched their Tignanello blend, followed by Solaia in 1978. Initially controversial because these wines had “international” aspirations and used some non-Italian varietals, their stunningly rich flavours and charismatic opulence easily captured the wine world’s attention.

Tim Appelt of WineDiscovery was lucky enough to attend a vertical tasting spanning nearly a decade of A lush blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Franc, Solaia vintages have won many awards, and almost invariably score in the mid- to high 90s.

The 1997 is no exception, with Wine Enthusiast bestowing 97 points and these laudatory comments: “Top echelon, with a stunning purity and depth of layered fruit both sensuous and intellectually appealing . . . while the supple mouthfeel belies the wine’s profound power and structure.”

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate came in at 96, adding this rave: “The sensational, opaque blue/purple 1997 exhibits a complex nose of cedar, spice box, cassis and subtle oak. It is a thrilling Solaia.”

Wine maven Jancis Robinson loved the tremendous concentration and called the wine “outstanding.” One writer at CellarTracker praised it for being “juicy, deep and very silky” while another noted: “Stunning balance, sophistication and elegance. Incredible wine. So thankful I have more.” Enough said!

Château Cos d’Estournel

France – 1990 | Two Standard Bottles

Value – $820 for both | Donated by Anonymous

Surely there is no better source of brilliant wine than France’s fabled region of Bordeaux, which boasts many hundreds of châteaux producing wines the whole world craves.

And when it comes to bidding on fine French wine, why settle for just one bottle when the auction lot features a matched pair? This lovely brace of beauties from Château Cos d’Estournel comes from one of only five Grand Cru Classé-rated wineries in the Saint-Estephe region.

Coloured a dark crimson, this medium- to full-bodied wine has a silky texture and aromas of spice and sandalwood . . . and enough charm and character to earn 95 points from Vinous, as well as this hymn of praise: “I have always had a soft spot for the 1990. The palate is fresh and lively. It grips the mouth and offers black truffle and sage towards the slightly grainy textured finish that lingers on the palate. What a sublime Cos d’Estournel.”

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate awarded an impressive 94 points, noting, “The 1990 Cos has reached full maturity. It exhibits sweet berry fruit intermixed with spice box, herbs, and spring flowers.”

And Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar had this so say: “Perfumed aromas of cassis, redcurrant, plum, minerals, coconut and violet. Lush, dense and gentle; rich and chocolatey.” Yum!

Château Les Ormes de Pez

France – 1990 | Two Standard Bottles

Value – $205 for both | Donated by Anonymous

Saint-Estephe is the northern-most of the Medoc communes, and is increasingly recognized as an excellent source for both high quality and great value Bordeaux reds.

Case in point is Château Les Ormes de Pez, whose 33-hectare vineyard is planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc and yields some of Saint-Estephe’s leading Cru Bourgeois wines.

The 1990 vintage received a rating of 91 from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, which made some mouth-watering comments: “It is certainly showing wonderfully well . . . a very deep garnet color, a lifted cedar and pencil-lead nose . . . The palate is full-bodied with superb balance, vibrant acidity, plump black fruits, one of those St. Estephe wines that gets the saliva flowing, but easing up nicely towards the precise, dry finish. Very satisfying. Drink now-2020.”

The Wine Spectator was similarly smitten with the 1990, and had these remarks: “Beautiful structure to this wine. Dark ruby color. Loads of tar and spice on the nose. Full-bodied and very concentrated, with velvety tannins and a long, long finish.”

And CellarTracker (92 points) delighted in the “excellent nose of red and black berries, forest floor and leather . . . and much the same on the palate. Really pretty classic aged Bordeaux.” This auction lot consists of a pair of Ormes de Pez – sounds like a good chance to double your pleasure with a garlicky roast lamb dinner!

Château Lynch-Bages

France – 1988 | One Standard Bottle

Value – $285 | Donated by Anonymous

Although technically only a “fifth growth” in ranking, Lynch-Bages is an unfailingly rich and robust wine that becomes ever more delicious with age; a Bordeaux from the Pauillac region, it is a wine that, in the words of renowned critic Hugh Johnson, “aspires to greatness.”

This venerable Château produces wines that are reliably silky, plush and full-bodied, and this vertical trio has much to offer Beaucastel’s ardent fans. The 2015 vintage sure impressed the critics, with almost everyone posting 95- to 97-point ratings.

The 1988 Lynch-Bages certainly pleased the experts. The Wine Spectator awarded this Grand Cru Classé a generous 95 points, adding: “Complex aromas of dark chocolate, currant and cigar box. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins . . . finishes with loads of ripe fruits. Big and juicy wine.”

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (92 points) had this to say: “It is a beautiful, classic claret. Dark ruby-colored with purple hues, it reveals aromas of dried herbs, smoke, leather, grilled meats, and copious black cherry and currant fruit. Medium-bodied, powerful, rich, and surprisingly evolved.”

Various scribes at CellarTracker rated it from 90 to 95 points. Here are some of their comments, all dating from 2021: “Drinking beautifully – can enjoy now but also no rush.” “Light cedar nose; initially reserved with tannin; softened later and plummy; long sweet blackberry finish.” “A richly complex nose of cassis, plum, iron, [and] leather. Medium body, beautifully balanced, great mix of crisp and complex fruit . . . drinking beautifully and should continue to do so for another decade or more, great old-school Bordeaux.”

Lot 3

Château Cheval Blanc

France – 1999 | One Standard Bottle

Value – $600 | Donated by Patrick Stewart

One of only four Saint-Émilion estates to merit a Grand Cru designation, Château Cheval Blanc is one of Bordeaux’s most well known wines. The 1999 vintage is a blend of 59% Merlot and 41% Cabernet Franc, with Cheval Blanc being considered the most esteemed Cab Franc-based wine in the world.

Very much a celebrity, it has been featured in many movies and TV shows, having had cameos in episodes of Rumpole of the Bailey and Inspector Morse, and various films such as Ratatouille, Sideways, and the James Bond thriller Never Say Never Again.

Appropriately, this wine “star” has many fans amongst the critics, including Robert Parker whose Wine Advocate awarded the 1999 vintage 93 points and mouth-watering praise: “Once past the blockbuster bouquet of menthol, leather, black fruits, licorice, and mocha, the wine reveals medium body, extraordinary elegance, purity, and sweet, harmonious flavours . . . this is a seamless beauty of finesse, charm, and concentration.”

The Wine Spectator was similarly impressed, calling the wine “opulent, yet reserved, and beautiful. Offering so much finesse and beauty, this is a polished and gorgeous Cheval.”

Two writers at CellarTracker recently awarded 95 and 96, and suggested that this vintage’s time in the cellar was coming to an end. “It’s outstanding – such complexity, lovely long finish. It’s perfect now,” wrote one, with the other scribe adding: “Splendid, simply splendid, at its prime now, don’t wait too much longer.”

Lot 7

Château Léoville Poyferré

France – 2005 | One Standard Bottle

Value – $600 | Donated by Anonymous

An early version of this Saint-Julien estate dates from the 1600s; much later, Château Léoville Poyferré was one of 15 Second Growths in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.

Modernization and other improvements in the last few decades have pushed Léoville Poyferré to even greater heights: this is an elegant, refined and complex wine that offers lush, ripe fruit in a concentrated and powerful style.

The 2005 vintage, a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, and 6% Petit Verdot, was very well received. James Suckling gave it 96 points, complimenting it for being “full-bodied with velvety tannins that are layered and beautiful.” Overall he admired its “plushness and beauty.”

Coming in at 95 points was Wine & Spirit, with this comment: “It’s massive, with dark extract and exotic spice, a sophisticated wine that ends on sweetness, bitter chocolate and dark berry fruit.”

Appropriately enthusiastic, Wine Enthusiast (94 points) had this to say: “Hugely concentrated and packed with tannins, this wine shows considerable amounts of dark, extracted fruit. It wins out on impressive power driving the fruit through the tannins, giving great richness.”

And Wine Spectator loved its “beautiful, caressing aftertaste,” while Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate opined that this was “a gorgeously opulent, approachable wine . . . exhibiting a dense purple color as well as a sweet bouquet of mocha, black chocolate, crème de cassis, licorice and toasty oak.”

Il Poggione Vigna Paganelli Brunello di Montalcino Reserva

Italy – 2015 | One Magnum Bottle

Value – $256 | Donated by Anonymous

With the predominance of Bordeaux at this auction, it’s easy to forget that other countries in Europe also produce superlative wines. Such is most certainly the case with Brunello di Montalcino, the superstar of Tuscany and arguably Italy’s most collectable and cellar-worthy red.

Il Poggione was established in the late 19th century, and is one of the three original producers of Brunello di Montalcino. Their “Vigna Paganelli” Reserva is only produced in the best vintages and comes from the oldest vineyard on the estate. And lucky is the bidder who wins this 2012 bottle, all 1.5 liters of it.

James Suckling rated it at 97, praising its “great subtlety, enormous depth and a ton of tannin behind the opulence.” Although this vintage is drinking now (according to many critics), Suckling adds, “This stunning Brunello has decades of life ahead of it.”

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate crafted this compelling love poem: “Here’s a beautifully rich and succulent Brunello that drinks very nicely straight out of the gate [delivering] a warm, inviting and velvety presentation. What stands out most, however, is the wine’s rich texture that floods the mouth from front to back.”

And Wine Spectator combined a rating of 95 points with these tasty comments: “Rich and evocative of cherry, currant, mineral, spice and tobacco flavors, this tightly knit red is harmonious and solidly built. Remains vibrant and persists on the mineral-inflected aftertaste. Fine length. Best from 2023 through 2038.” And given that this bottle is a magnum, that’s double your pleasure with one of this auction’s most hedonistic wines.

Champagne Trio

  • Egly-Ouriet Brut Grand Cru Champagne – NV | One Standard Bottle
  • Robert Moncuit “Vozémieux” Extra Brut Grand Cru Champagne – 2010 | One Standard Bottle
  • Pierre Paillard “Les Parcelles” Bouzy Grand Cru XV Champagne | One Magnum Bottle

Value – $416 | Donated by Anonymous

The monk who invented champagne famously declared, “I am drinking stars!” In the four centuries since then, enthusiasm for sparkling wine has only increased. Which brings us, very happily, to this party-hearty trio of premium French champagnes. Let’s start with the Egly-Ouriet Brut Grand Cru, a non-vintage bubbly, that is 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and is fermented and aged in barrel. Wineanorak rated it at 94 points, and lavished it with praise: “Broad and complex on the nose with toast and ripe pear notes. Some apricot and nuts, too. Rich and weighty on the palate. Such concentration. Mineral and pristine.”

Next up is the Robert Moncuit “Vozémieux” Extra Brut Grand Cru Champagne, a single-vineyard production from 2010 that is made from Chardonnay; this blanc de blancs is considered to be powerful and masculine, with aromatic complexity and a bright, full-bodied palate with notable limestone minerality. Called “seriously delicious” by, this vintage was also prized by Vivino, which wrote: “This $100 bottle easily beats well known $200+ brands Intense golden color, amazing complex bouquet, multilayered palate, perfect balance and oak influence, flavorful and delicious.”

And let’s cap the party with a 1.5 liter bottle, the Pierre Paillard “Les Parcelles” Grand Cru XV from the (undeniably amusingly named) village of Bouzy. Wine maven Jancis Robinson was clearly smitten with this wine that is 70% Pinot Noir: “Pretty full-on mousse. This is almost more like a pale red burgundy that happens to have bubbles. Quite a statement!” K&L Wine Merchants were similarly impressed, and had this to say: “This wine has such power and presence it deserves a great pairing like lobster, but also has the elegance to enjoy as an aperitif.” And Vivino added their own gush of praise: “A great way to finish a fun dinner with friends. Lively acidity and beautiful bubbles were complemented by sweet citrus on the nose and an excellent mouthfeel. Nice champer!”

Lot 52

Bordeaux Starter Pack

  • Haan Wilhelmus, 2002 (Australia)
  • De Toren Fusion V, 2003 (South Africa)
  • Long Shadows Pirouette, 2003 (Washington State)
  • Craggy Range “Sophia” Merlot, Gimblett Gravels, 2009 (New Zealand)
  • Ornallaia “Le Serre Nuove,” 2008 (Italy)
  • Clos de L’Oratoire, 2006 (France)

Value- $60/$160/$80/$105/$105/$125 ($655 for all six) | Donated by Ernest Sargent

Crush has auctioned six-bottle “party packs” before, but this diverse and exciting collection of wines from all over the world is more like a miniature – and well aged – wine cellar. First up is the Haan Wilhelmus, a classy Bordeaux blend from Australia’s Barossa Valley. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate rated it from 91-94 and loved its “. . . gorgeous aromas of graphite, cedar wood, black currants, and licorice. The fragrant perfume is followed by a full-bodied red reminiscent of a top-flight Pauillac. Complex, elegant and intensely flavorful without being heavy.” Then it’s off to South Africa for the 2003 De Toren Fusion V, another Bordeaux blend that is De Toren’s flagship wine – one that has been reaping accolades from around the world. Here are some mouthwatering comments from Vivino: “17 years young! Such a blessing to still have some of this vintage in the cellar. Still inky black in the glass . . . the nose still shows blackcurrant, blueberry, cassis, black plum and licorice. The palate is silky smooth . . . this is what an iconic wine should taste like.” Here is another 2003 beauty, this one hailing from Washington State’s Columbia Valley. The Long Shadows “Pirouette” is 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, and lesser amounts of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. Wine Spectator liked it enough to give it 93 points and some serious praise: “This rich, opulent red teems with currant, blackberry, plum, and exotic spice flavours.” Wine Enthusiast, also a big fan, was won over by how it “hits the palate quite soft, seamless, classy, rich and luscious in a Napa Valley style.” New Zealand is the source of our next red, the 2009 Craggy Range “Sophia” Merlot, Gimblett Gravels. This one averaged 92 points with serious critics, and wine goddess Jancis Robinson added some serious praise: “Very grown-up, sophisticated, complex nose. Lovely build. Fluid fruit with masses of minerality and some nicely judged tannins. A wine for the long term. Really appetizing.” Italy’s renowned Tuscany region provides our next entry, the 2008 Ornallaia “Le Serre Nuove,” a Merlot-heavy blend that includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. It earned 93 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate – and glowing words to match: “Drop-dead gorgeous. Mocha, smoke, tar, grilled herbs and black fruit emerge from the glass, followed by a dense core of fruit.” And Wine Spectator found it “full-bodied, with juicy, velvety tannins and a very long finish. A lovely combination of ripe fruit and toasty oak.” France is our final stop, via the 2006 Clos de L’Oratoire, a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé that was called “full and silky” by Wine Spectator, while Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate raved that this mostly Merlot wine was a “surprisingly opulent, flamboyant, fleshy soft crowd-pleaser displaying abundant amounts of smoked herbs, sweet black cherry and cassis fruit, licorice, espresso roast, chocolate and toast.” Wow!

Osoyoos Larose “Le Grand Vin,” 2004/2005/2006 (British Columbia)

Value – $165 | Donated by Ernest Sargent

Osoyoos Larose is one of the Okanagan’s flagship wineries, and their “Le Grand Vin” Bordeaux blend is eminently collectable, a wine cherished for its richness and complexity. Although there is a new winemaker at the helm these days, Bordeaux-raised Pascal Madevon spent 12 fastidious and inspired years at Larose. This auction lot of three features a vertical array from 2004 to 2006, and these well-aged beauties all display the master’s touch. Le Grand Vin is a true Bordeaux blend, containing mostly Merlot alongside Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. Canadian wine maven Natalie MacLean scored the 2004 at 93, and had this to say: “Classic Bordeaux style with a distinctly Canadian interpretation. Notes of cassis, blackberry, smoke, oak, and finesse. Buy a case!” She was similarly impressed with the 2006: “A fabulous, full-bodied red with classic lines and structure. Blends Old World finesse and New World power and flavour beautifully.” Tim Appelt of WineDiscovery was lucky enough to attend a vertical tasting spanning nearly a decade of Madevon-vinted wines and here are a few representative comments: “The nose is rich, intense and fruit-forward [suggestive of] black currants, cherries, blackberries, plums, along with violets and baking spice. Mouth-filling fruit, chocolate and coffee bean flavours.” And of the 2005, one of Appelt’s top picks, he added: “There is real elegance here, a wine that will interest those who aren’t looking for raw power.”

Osoyoos Larose “Le Grand Vin,” 2015 (British Columbia)

Value – $110 | Donated by Scott Cumming

The history and delectable virtues of Osoyoos Larose’s “Le Grand Vin” Bordeaux blend are touched on in two other descriptions in this auction catalogue. So let’s cut to the chase with details of this magnum (1.5-litre) bottle of the 2015 vintage. Natalie MacLean awarded 93 points and these comments: “Osoyoos Larose is produced by single-vineyard varietals and this vintage is beautifully lush, balanced and juicy with ripe dark berry, cherry, raspberry plum, tobacco leaf and baking spice flavours on the palate. Finishing long and luxurious. Can easily cellar for 10 years to show its best.” Anthony Gismondi on Wine awarded 91 points and had these praiseful insights: “This is one of the most successful Bordeaux blends that I’ve tried from 2015. It shows a traditionally styled nose with cedar and dried sage, with sweet, ripe black fruits. Given the top price of Bordeaux today, this over-delivers. And if you’re torn between opening up a new or old world wine, this will certainly fill the bill for both.” And the America-based Vivino was downright exuberant: “Okanagan is Canadian for excellence. Another beautiful, complex vintage from B.C. Red currant, pepper, juicy prune and plum . . . a Canadian Bordeaux blend that blew my mind. Merlot dominant, with CF CS, PV and Malbec. Beautiful, delicious dark fruit, with perfectly textured tannins. It has a super long finish. A definite buy!”

Osoyoos Larose “Le Grand Vin,” 2014 (British Columbia)

Value – $220 | Donated by Deep Cove Chalet

Osoyoos Larose was designed from the start to be a Bordeaux-inspired property: the rootstock and clone combinations were selected in Bordeaux, shipped to Canada and planted by hand. The result has been one of the Okanagan’s most polished and iconic red blends, and this particular “Le Grand Vin” is a massive 3-litre bottle that is surely destined to be the centrepiece of a remarkable dinner party. The 2014 vintage has been well received by the critics. Natalie MacLean bestowed 93 points and praised the “spectacular” blend before adding, “The Okanagan structure is fully present here with a generosity of dark fruit aromas and rich, full-bodied weight. A long, satisfying finish.”’s Sara d’Amato went 92 points, and had these tasty comments: “This 2014 incarnation of Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin highlights the elegance and refinement that was the initial intention of the estate. In this vintage the blend is heavy on Merlot at 68% with Cab Franc coming in second place at 11% and Cab Sauv, Malbec, and Petit Verdot taking tertiary roles. The wine is, unexpectedly, perfectly ripe, showing both fine acidity and elegant tannic structure.” And Anthony Gismondi joined in the chorus of praise: “The 2014 might be the friendliest OL since its launch, with elegance and silky tannins leading the way. The palate is a youthful mix of black currants, black cherries and plums with savoury supple tannins.”

Laughing Stock “Portfolio,” 2004/2005/2006 (British Columbia)

Value – $195 | Donated by Ernest Sargent

Two decades ago husband-and-wife stockbrokers David and Cynthia Enns shed their power suits and Toronto address for gumboots and a promising patch of dirt on the Naramata Bench. Hard work and talent soon resulted in the drolly-named Laughing Stock Vineyards. Hardly a laughing stock, this has long-since been a celebrated Okanagan winery, and is justly famed for its iconic “Portfolio” bottling, a lush Bordeaux blend that regularly delights the critics. There is a consensus that Portfolio hit its stride in 2004, and this auction lot is an early vertical trio from 2004 to 2006. The 2004 won a silver medal at the 2006 Canadian Wine Awards and was awarded 91 points by revered wine scribe John Schreiner, who was charmed by its “aromas of vanilla and cassis, with berry flavours that are still bright. The finish has notes of chocolate, thyme and sage.” The 2005 stepped it up and won a gold medal at the 2007 Canadian Wine Awards. It also earned 94 points from John Schreiner, whose tasty description noted that, “It has matured to display aromas of cassis, blueberry and mulberry and to offer a core of cherry and vanilla flavours.” Next year’s vintage won a silver medal at the San Francisco International Wine Competition, and more flag-waving from John Schreiner, who praised the wine’s “concentrated texture with flavours of plum, black currant, chocolate and espresso.” This is a great opportunity to buy a trio of historic bottles from one of B.C.’s most celebrated wineries.

Stags’ Leap

  • Stags’ Leap “The Investor,” 2015 (California)
  • Stags’ Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 (California)

Value – $70 / $165 ($235 for both) | Donated by Cook St. Liquor / Whitney Laughlin

Aside from its very romantic name, Stags’ Leap Wine Cellars is considered a Napa Valley first-growth estate. Oh, and they also won the Cabernet Sauvignon competition in the legendary 1976 Judgment of Paris that humiliated French wine snobs and put California on the map. Their “The Investor” is a lush and vivid blended red, with the 2015 vintage offering 42% Merlot, 30% Petite Sirah, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 9% Malbec that was aged on oak for 18 months. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate gave it 92 points and this praise: “Very deep garnet-purple in color, it reveals crushed black and red currants, black cherries and unsmoked cigars with hints of violets, chocolate box and cedar. Full-bodied and packed with vibrant fruit layers . . . finishes long and spicy.” TastingPanelMag also went 92, then enthused that it was “smooth, juicy and ripe with rich spice and velvety texture.” SL’s 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is even more impressive, with WineAlign’s David Lawrason bestowing 93 points and lots of love: “This has more structure and firmness than many Napa cabs. Really like the blackcurrant fruit focus with fine oak, vanillin and some mint. Dense, elegant and almost crisp.” WineAlign colleague Steve Thurlow went 92 points, calling this “a beautiful California cabernet, balanced, elegant and nicely structured for mid-term cellaring. It’s full-bodied and dense yet juicy with complex flavours.” And James Suckling went 94 points: “Very fine indeed. Better in 2020 but so beautiful now.”

Cru Bourgeois Classics – Saint-Estèphe

  • Château Meyney, 2016 (France)
  • Château Phélan Ségur, 2016 (France)

Value – $80 / $100 ($180 for both) | Donated by Il Terrazzo / Cook St. Liquor

Here are two lovely Cru Bourgeois classics from the Saint-Estèphe region of Bordeaux. Château Meyney, which neighbours fabled Château Montrose, is planted to 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 10% Petit Verdot. Their wines are typically full-bodied, complex and harmonious. The 2016 got a remarkable 96 points from James Suckling, whose rave included these remarks: “Wild nose. Impressive, deep hue and a wealth of fresh, violet-like aromas, as well as cassis, graphite, and dark cherries. A classic Meyney. Best since 1961!” Decanter, which rated this one of the value picks of the vintage, awarded 94 points and this praise: “Rich and full, this is very St.-Estèphe: round through the mid-palate, with an amazingly tasty balance of richness and freshness.” And Wine Spectator loved the “dark and juicy core of currant, plum and blackberry reduction flavours, inlaid with charcoal.” Château Phélan Ségur inspired similar enthusiasm in the critics. James Suckling went 95 and then added, “A very serious St.-Estèphe with excellent concentration, firm tannins and a dark soul. I love the earth, walnut, bark and smoke aromas that pour out of this.” Decanter, obviously a big fan at 94 points, had this to say: “Wow, this is silky-smooth and incredibly accomplished, straying very close to being sensational. Cassis, damson, and dark chocolate flavours are joined by brushed tannins and great lift. Is this their best-ever wine?” And Jeb Dunnick called it “incredibly impressive” before saluting the “pure cassis, violets, damp earth, lead pencil and spice-driven aromas.”

Meursault Lot

  • Chartron et Trébuchet Meursault, 2015 (France)
  • Domaine Henri Boillot Meursault, 2017 (France)

Value – $100 / $85 ($185 for both) | Donated by Cook St. Liquor / Anonymous

Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune region is famous for its Meursault, one of the world’s great expressions of Chardonnay. This double lot begins with the 2015 Chartron et Trébuchet, a Grand Vin de Bourgogne. Vivino was a big fan of this vintage: “This 2015 Meursault is a generous wine, open and expressive, with fleshy white fruit, honey and nuts. There is intensity on the palate, and a lovely citrus freshness. A very good wine.” A second Vivino scribe was equally enamoured: “Citrus, oak and butter on the palate. Dry, well-balanced acidity. Complex with good fruitiness. Lovely finish.” Wine & Spirits awarded 91 points and had these comments: “The driving acidity keeps it tight and crunchy. This should be fascinating to follow as it ages.” The Domaine Henri Boillot is a youthful 2017, and certainly capable of turning heads. Jancis Robinson admired its “Good vibrant blend of bright fruit . . . crystalline and super punchy” while Vinous Reverie added this: “While this well-made effort is certainly energetic, the mouthfeel is almost delicate. In a word, lovely. Don’t miss! Outstanding.” The writers at ranged from 90 to 93 points, and their comments were appropriately enthusiastic: “Needed some time to hit its stride but really a beautiful wine.” “This is evolving nicely. Not a very complicated wine but just such a pleasure to drink.” “Fresh and savoury.”

Auchentoshan 21 Years (Scotland)

Value – $335 | Donated by Peter & Helen Malcolm

A mellow and refined 21 year old that’s triple distilled and aged in bourbon and sherry casks. Shows aromas and flavours of honey, light spice, vanilla with citrus peel and hay notes. The initially dry palate, follows with a smooth/creamy mouthfeel and a long and complex finish. Savour as a perfect conclusion to a fine meal!

Glen Grant 1969 Adelphi Distillery (Scotland)

Value – $2500 | Donated by Peter & Helen Malcolm

A vintage from 1969 and bottled in 2000. Sherry Cask. Cask number 1772 and only 1 of 511 bottles produced.

Nose: Leather, tomato, dark roast coffee, black licorice, cherry cough syrup, orange peel, floral hints

Taste: Toffee, walnut, cherry, black licorice, leather, coffee, nutmeg, clove tea

Finish: Dark roast coffee, clove, leather, cinnamon

Glenrothes 1973 (Scotland)

Value – $1160 | Donated by Peter & Helen Malcolm

An exceptionally complex 27yo The Glenrothes from the 1973 vintage, bottled in July 2000. Rich and deep, with hints of orange peel.

Nose – More fine and long. Heather and sweet fruits, spice floral, apple, prune, nutmeg.

Taste – Layers of orange. Vanille, spice, and raisin flowing together. Fine tannins.

Finish – Nutty. Everlasting. Quintessential Glenrothes.

The Italians Are Coming!

  • Produttori del Barbaresco, Rio Sordo Riserva, 2015 (Italy)
  • Altesino Brunello di Montalcino, 2015 (Italy)
  • Elio Sandri, Langhe Nebbiolo, 2018 (Italy)
  • Paiagallo Barolo, 2015 (Italy)
  • Tedeschi “Marne 180” Amarone della Valpolicella, 2015 (Italy)
  • Ricasoli Granello, 2010 (Italy)

Value – $77 / $78 / $38 / $47 / $63 / $33 ($336 for all six) | Donated by Vessel Liquor

Viva Italia! In recent years there have been a greater number of fine Italian wines coming up for auction at Crush, and this six-pack is certainly noteworthy. First up is the 2015 Rio Sordo Riserva, which hails from fabled Produttori del Barbaresco, a unique collective based in Piedmont that produces impressive, deeply flavoured wines from the Nebbiolo grape. This beauty got 96 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (“. . . especially profound in 2015, striking a careful balance between elegance against power”), with Wine Spectator close on its heels at 95 points (“This is lush and harmonious, laced with cherry, plum, licorice, iron and eucalyptus aromas and flavours.”). Nuff said! Brunello di Montalcino is one of Italy’s greatest wine pleasures and the 2015 Altesino clearly delighted the critics. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate went 95 points (“. . . shows beautiful depth and latitude, with broad fruit aromas of dark cherry and cassis”); and James Suckling also went 95 (“balanced and stylish”). Not far behind at 93 points, Wine Enthusiast clearly approved: “Medium-bodied palate, licorice and clove accent a core of juicy black cherry while polished tannins lend refined support. Fresh acidity keeps it balanced.” The Elio Sandri family winery is a boutique producer and their 2018 Langhe Nebbiolo has much to offer according to Anthony Gismondi on Wine, which awarded 89 points and these comments: “This Nebbiolo opens with crushed rosehips and candle wax, before moving into raspberry and wild cherry on a fine, salted palate. The finish lingers with subtle salted bergamot, and a swell of warmth.” Added ChambersStWines: “Approachable tannins make this a great current drinking Nebbiolo, especially with heartier fare.” There is also lots to recommend the 2015 Broccardo Paiagallo, yet another tasty Nebbiolo from Piedmont’s Barolo region. According to Wine Enthusiast, “Subtle aromas of orange zest, tilled soil and green peppercorn emerge from the glass. The straightforward palate delivers baked plum, clove and cocoa alongside taut, astringent tannins. Drink after 2022.” And one fan at Vivino had this so say: “Wine very elegant, well-balanced with soft tannins, ripe fruit acidity. Finish very persistent, energetic, memorable.” And who doesn’t love a succulent Amarone? The 2015 Tedeschi “Marne 180” Amarone della Valpolicella consistently got ratings in the low to middle 90s, with tasty comments to match: “Offering bright primary fruit with good complexity in the form of spice, tobacco and dried herbs” (Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate); “Dark cherries and brambleberries abound. Plush and chewy, this full-bodied red delivers soft, juicy tannins against a backdrop of ostentatious dark fruit” (James Suckling). And now, dessert! Located in Tuscany’s Chianti Classico region, Barone Ricasoli dates from the 12th century and is one of the world’s oldest wineries still run by its founding family. Their Granello is a not overly sweet “vino dolce” made mostly from Sauvignon Blanc. The 2010 vintage was clearly a hit with the writers at Vivino: “Funky with loads of dried apricots and a light nuttiness. Medium sweet but ripping acidity to balance”; “soft body, medium dry, rich creamy with hints of tropical fruit. Waited 7 years to drink this and it was worth the wait”; “Really good. Best sweet Italian wine I’ve had.”

Every bottle in this auction was donated by someone just like you. Please consider donating something from your cellar to raise funds for the Belfry Theatre in 2022.

The Belfry Theatre thanks the members of the Crush 2021 Committee for all they do to help make this fundraiser possible: Scott Cumming, Ame DePaoli, Tracy Mitchell, Nora Kidston, Kini McDonald, Andy Stephenson, Paddy Stewart, Vivienne Zhang and Earl Wilde.