Changes to VINTAGES release recommendations and notes


Dear Godello readers,

As you all know I am one of the five principle critics for WineAlign in Ontario. This is a position I am extremely proud of and very fortunate to hold. That I am able to work alongside Ontario’s most notable experts is something I say thanks for and appreciate every single day. David Lawrason, John Szabo M.S., Sara d’Amato and Steve Thurlow are my friends and colleagues. I could not ask for association with a finer group of writers.

Which brings me to why you need to know that I am making some changes at Since February of 2012 I have been posting VINTAGES release recommendations and notes on this website. Though in March of 2014 I eliminated scores on Godello I have continued to publish full tasting notes. Every single one of my VINTAGES release picks has been simultaneously published on WineAlign (with scores), along with dozens more on wines that don’t make the shortlist.

I will no longer be publishing my current VINTAGES release tasting notes on Godello. You can still read them on WineAlign though there is a paywall behind which only premium paying subscribers are able to see the most recent reviews in the first 30 days. This is necessary and I hope you will all understand why I feel so strong about the time being right to effect such a change. WineAlign is the most important, comprehensive and trusted source in Ontario for critical review of VINTAGES wine releases. I fully support and endorse our protocol and hope that you will visit the website for your Ontario wine purchasing needs.

For those of you who wish to read my full tastings notes, I would highly encourage you to pay the WineAlign $35 yearly subscription fee (or $9.95 per quarter) to read the reviews and get the scores as they are published, to the second, in real time. You can still access my bi-weekly list of picks and to do so all you have to do is sign up as a non-paying member. I have a link called “Michael’s Mix” and my VINTAGES recommendations are assembled there.

As for now, here is my list for November 26th, if only as a teaser so that I don’t leave you all high and dry.

Best regards,



Borsao Bole 2013, Campo De Borja, Spain (471565, $15.95)

@BorsaoBodegas  @ChartonHobbs


Afectus Alvarinho 2015, Vino Regional Minho, Portugal (471276, $17.95)

@quintadecurvos  @vinhosverdes

Peninsula Ridge Beal Vineyard Reserve Merlot 2015, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario (257311, $19.95)



Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz 2012, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia (433060, $22.95)

@WynnsEstate  @sueatwynns  @CoonawarraWine  @Wine_Australia  

Domaines Schlumberger Kessler Riesling 2012, Ac Alsace Grand Cru, Alsace, France (61176, $27.95)

@Sevschlumberger  @AlsaceWines  @VinsAlsace  @drinkAlsace  @Vinexxperts


Domaine Cauhapé Jurançon Symphonie De Novembre 2012, Southwest, France (470344, $38.95)

@DOMAINE_CAUHAPE  @VinsduJurancon  @HHDImports_Wine

Henry Of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Cabernet/Merlot 2010, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario (616433, $39.95)

@HenryofPelham  @SpeckBros


Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin 2012, BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia (626325, $44.95)

@OsoyoosLarose  @winebcdotcom

Rex Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2013, Oregon (275735, $46.95)

@REXHILLVyds  @Nicholaspearce_  @Oregon_Wine  @wvwine


Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello Di Montalcino 2009, Tuscany, Italy (474734, $49.95)

  @ConsBrunello  @ProfileWineGrp

Le Mesnil Brut Grand Cru Blanc De Blancs, Champagne, France (460840, $49.95)

Catena Alta Historic Rows Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina (982355, $49.95)

@LauraCatena  @CatenaWines  @Noble_Estates  @ArgentinaWineCA  @winesofarg

Domaine Daniel étienne Defaix Côtes De Lechet Chablis 1er Cru 2003, Ac, Burgundy, France (470435, $51.95)  @DanielEtienne  @vinsdechablis  @purechablis  @BourgogneWines  @vinsdebourgogne


Versado Reserva Ancient Malbec 2012, Mendoza, Mendoza, Argentina (316984, $59.95)

@VersadoWine  @AnnSperling


Kopke Colheita Port 1996, Douro, Portugal (63743, $59.95)

  @winesportugalCA  @wines_portugal


Concha Y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Maipo Valley, Chile (403980, $74.95)

@conchaytoro  @WinesofChile


Anakota Helena Montana Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, California (181131, $158.95)

  @sonomavintners  @CalifWines_CA  @CalifWines_US

Good to go!

Twitter: @mgodello

Instagram: mgodello


Looking for whites in all the right places

Laurent Fievet, AFP/Getty Images

as seen on

The big red chill offered a brief weekend respite from white wines but I’m still feelin’ hot, hot, hot. The sun’s arrow is pointed directly at my vinous heart so I’ve no choice but to bust-a-move towards a renewed search for thirst quenchers of the less-pigmented kind. These recently released great whites are waiting and willing to assist.

The grape: Sauvignon Blanc

The history: While perhaps not as versatile, potentially exciting and confounding as Chenin Blanc, this varietal outsells all else in the Loire. Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Touraine are the keys to the Loire’s success.

The lowdown: I can’t think of a blasphemic reason not to run out and buy this one by the dozen

The food match: Pan-Fried Pike in a Garlic Scape-Leek-Shallot Beurre Blanc

Domaine De La Colline Sauvignon Touraine 2010 (169656, $12.95) is the workday done sun-downer few Sauvignon Blancs can match for IVR* assurance. Eglantine and apple tisane. Bony and blanched shallot driven by the Loire’s rocky truffeau, with a smokey persimmon fini glacé.  88

The grape: Chardonnay

The history: Owned by Raventos of Spain, famous for Cava, the name means “handcrafted” in their native Catalan

The lowdown: The iconic white varietal of Burgundy is many things and while the Artesa is not a California ween of bananas and blow, its none of them either

The food match: Chicken Shish Kebabs

Artesa Chardonnay 2010 (657585, $23.95) is an understated and capital if not a once in a lifetime example of cool Carneros. “Under the rocks and stones, there is water underground.” It talks to me in a voice I can understand and heads in a faint citrus, CVR** direction. Tropical with apricot and longan, but is neither heavy nor bloated.  89

The grape: Pinot Gris

The history: Pinot Noir variant, third most planted varietal of Alsace, behind Riesling and Gewurztraminer

The lowdown: A producer of pedigree and passion despite some contrarian and snobbish grumblings of a conglomerate nature

The food match: Grilled Tilapia in a Soy, lime and Rice Vinegar marinade

Trimbach Réserve Pinot Gris 2008 (971762, $22.95) is seductively Sauternes-like in its orange marmalade viscosity. An immense Gewurz-like PG. Off-dry tropical fruit, lanolin and a macadamia nut streak foils lemon, peppery orange and gold nasturtium. The edible florals are replayed in its sun-blazing technicolour.  90

The Splurge

The grape: Chardonnay

The history: Chablis has reached a peak in quality that to me began with this 2002 vintage. The mineral, steel and flint of great Chablis is so unique to Chardonnay

The lowdown: As good as Premier Cru gets. As good as most Grand Cru that cost a minimum 50% more

The food match: Bouillabaisse, or any fish stew with high quality fish and seafood

Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Les Lys Chablis 1er Cru 2002 (289256, $44.95) 10 years on is impeccably balanced, with dry-roasted nuts, steel-cut oats and brilliant Marigolds wrapped up in a bursting mineral package. The age is imperceptible, the poise uncanny. You won’t fond this for less than $50 in the US. This is a steal and will drink beautifully for 5-10 years more.  92

IVR* – Vintage Direct Intrigue-t0-value ratio

CVR** – Vintage Direct Curiosity-t0-value ratio

Good to go!