Mav Awards 2012

By / Magazine / February 3rd, 2015 / 1

Six years in, the Mav Wine and Spirits Awards focuses on the most interesting assemblage to be released in recent years. And that’s not all. We found amazing number of spirits and beers. Collated and tasted by Tony Aspler, Gurvinder Bhatia, Harry Hertscheg, Rick VanSickle, Evan Saviolidis, Tod Stewart, Sean Wood, Ron Liteplo, Carolyn Evans-Hammond and Jonathan Smithe.


Top Mavs

Burgess Cellars Enveiere 2002, Napa, USA ($43)

A Meritage blend of 5 classic Bordeaux varietals, this is deep garnet and smells entrancingly of strawberry jam drizzled with crème Anglaise, a hint of smoke and marmalade. The high alcohol (14.5%) is evident, but it is otherwise well-balanced and is rich with stewed fruit flavours. Drink now. (RL)*


Black Hills Alibi 2011, Okanagan ($25)

The fragrance charms with scents of citrus, ripe melon, tropical spice and fresh-cut lawn. The medium-body palate fills with white peach, grapefruit and passion fruit. The Sauv Blanc (75%) confers sleekness, while barrel-fermented Sémillon (25%) imbues lingering richness. Spectacular with chili squid. (HH)


Yalumba Octavius Shiraz 2006, Barossa Valley, Australia ($99)

This traditional Barossa Shiraz from Australia’s oldest family-owned winery — Yalumba — is an incredible force. Cascading flavours of black fruit, mocha, liquorice, fig, chocolate, white pepper and on and on. The structure is firm with well-integrated tannins and balanced acidity and alcohol. Long and lush. A top-notch Barossa Shiraz by any yardstick. (CH)



Flying Monkeys Smashbomb Atomic IPA, Ontario ($16.99/6pk)

Copper colour with aroma of citrus hops, tropical fruit and spice; flavours of grapefruit, orange peel, exotic fruit, spices, and a great floral bitterness on the finish. Complex and intriguing. (GB)


Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Oatmeal Stout, Denmark ($7.99)

Lots going on in this beer, but great balance of roasted malt, coffee and chocolate, rich and creamy texture, full flavours, a touch of citrus hoppiness, not overly sweet or bitter, great complexity and a long finish. (GB)


Indie Scotches

James MacArthur’s Fine Malt Selection Glen Ord 12 Year Old ($94.95/700 ml)

At once delicate and complex, this malt offers up an expressive nose of toasted grains, mild honey, a whiff of smoke and some fruity notes reminiscent of pear. Mildly spicy on the palate, with sweet barley, vanilla, citrus and cocoa powder. (TS)


Old Masters Linkwood 12 Year Old Single Barrel, Cask #11650 ($136.95/700 ml)

Earthy and slightly briny, with overtones of smoke, tobacco, barley and cloves on the nose. Weighty in the mouth with layers of toasted barley, black pepper, baked apple and some grassy/hay nuances and a hint of anise. Finishes long and warm. (TS)


Old Masters Glendullan 12 Year Old Single Barrel, Cask #5059 ($127.95/700 ml)

Fairly complex aromas sporting notes of roasted grain, beeswax, lanolin, lemon zest and vanilla with hints of cut grass, vanilla and white flowers. Assertive, malty/grainy flavours enhanced by some candied fruit that lingers into the peppery finish. (TS)


Spirited Mavs

Booker’s Small Batch Bourbon 7 years, USA ($69.95)

At 128.6 proof, drinking this bourbon neat can be a bit of a challenge, though many suggest this is the preferred way to enjoy it. Coffee, black pepper, charred wood, vanilla, clove and orange peel characterize the distinctive aromatic profile. Hot, powerful and assertive with spicy/smoky flavours enhanced by tobacco, spicy rye and vanilla bean nuances that carry it into a long, warm finish. (TS)


Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Single Barrel Bourbon, USA ($47.95)

Smoky oak; some sweet toffee notes with a touch of almond and some herbal aromatics. Silky, viscous and complex with some buckwheat honey, blackcurrant and candied orange in the mouth. The finish is long, memorable and seductive. (TS)


Sierra Milenario Tequila Extra Añejo, Mexico ($69.95/700 ml)

Designer tequilas have been gaining in popularity for a number of years now. And that’s a good thing. The bad thing is that sometimes the well-aged “añejos” have more to do with wood than they do tequila. Thankfully, this is not the case with Sierra Milenario’s “extra aged” version. Though the three years the spirit spends in cask does lend some warm, oaky notes, they do not interfere with the true tequila character. Aromas of clove and pumpkin lead into smooth, silky, complex flavours with herbal, caramel and white-pepper highlights. (TS)


Gin Mare Mediterranean Gin Colección de Autor, Spain ($49.74)

Characteristic juniper scent is readily apparent on the nose together with citrus peel, a definite whiff of thyme and a suggestion of olive. Resinous rosemary scent can also be picked up with fragrant basil in the background. Silky smooth on the palate with a complex array of subtle flavours that linger forever on the finish. Good enough to drink neat or with a few ice cubes. Among the very finest gins one can buy. (SW)


After Dinner

Estate Argyros Vinsanto 1990, Santorini, Greece ($102)

This is a truly majestic wine from an equally majestic island! After the grapes were harvested, they were laid to rest under the hot Mediterranean sun for 14 days. The resulting raisins were pressed, vinified and then stored away in old wood casks for 18 years. An explosion of caramel, dried fruits soaked in honey, nuts and spice gives way to a viscous and sweet palate, with low acidity. Glorious stuff! (ES)


Benjamin Bridge Vineyards Nova 7 2011, Nova Scotia ($25.95)

A Canadian Moscato D’Asti that’s a pure delight. Very pale in colour with a nose of orange blossom and honeysuckle. The initial attack is off-dry with honey and orange flavours but it finishes with zesty acidity. So light it fairly dances on the palate with the faintest of petillance. (TA)


Old World Mavs

 Churchill Barco Alto 2005, Douro, Portugal ($19.50)

Medium-deep garnet, with suspended fine particles.  Smells of cherry jam, coffee, leather and roasted red peppers. Plenty of fruit (raisins, figs) and still-gruff tannins promise this will plateau gracefully for a few years. (RL)*


Bouchard Père & Fils Chevalier-Montrachet 2009, Burgundy, France ($260)

White flowers, poached pear, apple, purity of fruit and flinty minerality on the nose of this lush showstopper of a Chard. It is intense, with overt fruits that come at you in wave after wave with neatly woven minerals and spice. (RV)



Louis Latour Bâtard-Montrachet 2009, Burgundy, France ($250)

Toasty brioche notes, lemon zest and Asian pear on the nose of this lofty Chardonnay. It’s smoky-toasty on the palate with layered fruits that are broad in the mouth and textured. Tightly knit, it will improve for 5 to 10 or 15 years. (RV)


Sergio Traverso Carménère/Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva 2003, Curico, Chile ($23.17)

Youthful-looking, deep plum-red.  The nose, though, is more mature, with stewed plums, a bit of barnyard, leather and pipe tobacco.  After those scents, the wine surprises:  light-bodied with fresh acidity based on blackcurrants and blackberries.  The tannins are very soft, but it still has a few years of life. (RL)*


Trius Grand Red 2010, Niagara ($55)

This is the top wine made under the Trius label, which is owned by the Peller family of wines. The Grand Red, a Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot, Cab Franc and Cab Sauvignon, is an age-worthy wine with a nose of rich black fruits, sweet oak, and layers of spice. It’s tightly wound with a firm bed of dusty tannins but just beginning to reveal blackcurrants, plum, lavish spices and layers of interest. Will improve for 10 years or more, or enjoy now with a big, juicy steak. (RV)


Emiliana Gê 2008, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($75)

Rich, dark and fresh with bright aromas of blackberries, black cherries, spice, mint and tobacco, a full, mouth-coating texture and firm, velvety tannins. Multi-dimensional and multi-layered blend of Syrah, Carménère and Cabernet Sauvignon, and a great match with wild game. (GB)



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