Posts Tagged ‘If I only had $100 I would buy at Vintages’

6 Sparkling wines under $100

Posted by Julie

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017
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What perfect timing! Canada Day, Canadian Winemakers Around the World and Bubbles are featured in this release. LCBO & Vintages sometimes does this to me, all my favourite wine topics are featured at once – Oh Canada!

I plan to celebrate my “Canuck-ness” with bubbles. I will raise some “fizz” to toast Canada’s 150th birthday of accumulated strength in heritage and multiculturalism – this is the country where there is something for everyone.

This is also true of my selections for this release;  SIX sparkling wines from SIX countries to demonstrate a mosaic of diversity. I hope you find at least one to enjoy and join me as we raise a glass together.

Happy 150 years Canada!

-Julie

 

 

If I only had $100, I would buy…
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday June 24, 2017

Vieni Momenti Sparkling Wine

Charmat Method, VQA Ontario
$13.95 (Vintages # 435784)  11.3% alcohol

 Last fall, I had the opportunity to taste this sparkling wine at one of our Taste & Buy events and recently “re-enjoyed” it since a friend of mine had purchased several bottles too.  It was a top seller at our event….and no doubt it will fly off the Vintages shelves too.

Pale yellow in colour, this unique blend of Vidal and Pinot Grigio grapes is fresh and aromatic. It has a light fine mousse (tiny bubbles) embracing soft tropical fruit flavours. At that price point you cannot go wrong. I will definitely be stocking up on this delicious sparkling wine. Great on its own or with lighter fare.

 

Chevalier Monopole Brut Rosé

AC, Champagne Region, France
$15.95 (Vintages #485920) 12% alcohol

First, I loved the unusual pale tangerine colour but then secondly, when several LCBO Product Consultants (aka wine experts who work in the Vintages section) are all smacking their lips, exclaiming what a fabulous wine not to mention great value, I knew I’d hit the bulleye!

Monopole is a term meaning “wholly owned” and can be used by a producer when the grapes used in the wine are exclusively owned buy the winemaker and not purchased.  It’s an easy sipping sparkling wine, full of citrusy orange and lime flavours, gentle, soft and juicy with enough acidity to pair with grilled chicken or tacos. Absolutely. Delicious.

 

Emiliana Organic Brut Sparkling

Charmat method, Casablanca Valley, Chile
$15.95 (Vintages #451914) 13% alcohol

Emiliana is Chile’s biggest organic wine producer. Artfully crafted , pale golden in colour with amazing aromas and tastes of ripe pineapple and papaya.

A Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend (classic grape varieties used for sparkling wines) that is easy going and fresh with a citrusy lime aftertaste. Nicely balanced with noticeable acidity.  This bubbly from Chile is another great sipper on its own or  with fish, summer salads, or sushi.  Perfect for a picnic with the easy snap top bottle.

 

Graham Beck Brut Rosé

Méthode Cap Classique, WO Western Cape, South Africa
$19.95 (Vintages #175588) 12.5% alcohol

A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, silvery pink and shimmery in colour just like a cocktail dress, this just glows with excitement. Loads of sweet and sour cherries, raspberries, other red berries, smooth on the palate and loads of the above berries on the aftertaste.

It has a healthy weight for a sparkling wine but in South African style, would pair well with anything grilled, salad on the side.  Another delicious bubbly.

 

Castillo Perelada Brut Rosé Cava

Traditional method, DO, Spain
$15.95 (Vintages # 226266) 11.5% alcohol

An elegant pale pink colour this sparkling wine shimmers in the glass. To start, it just looks pretty. Then, as you take in the aromas and tastes of strawberries, cherries with a little peppermint on the light-bodied finish it is no wonder that Spain has become famous for its Cava (winespeak: Spanish sparkling wines).  Cavas are typically affordable priced and this is no exception. Would be perfect for a wedding reception or bridal shower or more importantly no occasion at all.

 

Valdo Marca Oro Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore

DOCG, Italy
$16.95 (Vintages #422840) 11% alcohol

Year round Prosecco is a great sparkling wine. Floral and croissant aromas hover around the bubbles that burst playfully with suggestions of citrus, green apple and apricot flavours.  Fresh and always delicious, it pairs with just about anything under the sun from charcuterie to pan seared fish.

 

Grand Total  = $98.75
I was thrilled to find 6 sparklers within my $100 budget!

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Buyers Picks at Vintages

Posted by Julie

Thursday, May 11th, 2017
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‘Buyer’s Picks’ are the prominent feature of this weekend’s LCBO Vintages release, not to mention New Zealand and Sake wines.

I’m always curious about what ‘Buyers Picks’ really means: more Airmiles offered? Reduced prices on the bottle? or truly great products?  In any case, these are My Picks for you to decide if you want them in your shopping cart.

One thing for certain, these wines are all really good!

Cheers,
-Julie

 

If I only had $100, I would buy…
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday May 13, 2017

Tom Gore Chardonnay 2014

California
$19.95 (Vintages #458810) 13.5% alcohol

Aromas of baked apple and butter, on the palate are lush tropical fruit flavours, creamy and round. It’s medium to full-bodied white wine that is well-balanced and smooth. Dry apricots and almonds prevail on the long lasting finish. A typical California Chardonnay – rich and delicious.

If you have a special dinner party coming up with a seafood casserole or sauteed scallops it would be a match over the moon.

 

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand
$23.95 (Vintages #164228)  13.5% alcohol

This is a classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of gooseberry and passionfruit. Vinified in stainless steel gives this white wine a fresh clean mouthfeel.

Medium bodied with lime citrus and grapefruit pith bathe the palate, crisp and refreshing with just enough sweetness to balance the racy acidity. Lengthy with a cleansing finish. A beauty Sauvignon Blanc to enjoy on it’s own or with springtime dishes like BBQed Thai Turkey Burgers.

 

Zuccardi Serie A Malbec 2015

Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
$16.95 (Vintages #167619) 13% alcohol

Ever since my trip to Buenos Aires, a Malbec always finds its way into my shopping basket. Dark ripe plums and black cherries wash the palate, this full-bodied red wine has firm tannins and a leathery finish. The mouthfeel is plush and velvety. If you are looking for a Malbec, this is the one!  You simply couldn’t ask for more.

Grilled sausages or BBQed burgers would be a great match.

 

Santa Carolina Reserve Petit Verdot 2013

Rapel Valley, Chile
$16.95 (Vintages # 7484) 14.5% alcohol

“Petit” in this varietal comes from the small size of the grape berries known for their dense, inky, violet colours. They are good descriptors for the start of this red wine. There’s also a whiff of woodsy herbal aromas. Aged in French oak it offers a hint of vanilla and savoury spice while black currants and ripe plum flavours dance on the palate. Firm, rich tannins and dark fruit concentration hover in the long dry aftertaste. It is a work of art for the price point and begs to accompany something grilled or a Chilean bean stew. The latter food pairing may not be summer fare, but it could sure brighten up a rainy day.

 

C.J. Pask Gimblette Road Cabernet/Merlot/Malbec 2013

Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand
$19.95 (Vintages #279869) 13.5% alcohol

Talk about legs and length, this red wine blend says it all. This Bordeaux-style red blend delights with aromas of ripe dark plums garnished with smooth, savoury woodsy notes that release on the full fruity palate. Easy going with noticeable tannin and texture that support an enduring dark fruit finish. Would be perfect with a herbed crusted roast of lamb or pork.

 

GRAND TOTAL = $97.75

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If I only had $100…I would buy these Canadian wines!

Posted by Julie

Friday, June 20th, 2014
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It’s time to head to LCBO Vintages to stock up on fine Canadian wines to celebrate Canada Day. Oh Canada!!  In this blog, I pay tribute to our young – but rich in history – country with a selection of all-Canadian wines. Whether you are on Parliament Hill, at a cottage, on a golf course or just sitting back in a deck chair, this is our time to shine.

LCBO Vintages June 21As we all know, Canada Day is our national day celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act. I’d best not get on my history train, but it seems that in the past couple of weeks, we have seen many milestone commemorations including the 70th year anniversary D-Day invasion.  Raise a glass of European wine that are featured in this release to honour our Canadian veterans.

I had not planned to review 3 rosés but these are just so outstanding, I hope you pick up at least one to help make your Canada Day sparkle.  From coast to coast, thank you to our wineries and winemakers who have given us such outstanding selections.

With true patriot love of all our Canadian wines & Happy Canada Day from coast to coast to coast!

Julie

If I only had $100, I would buy these wines
at LCBO Vintages…
June 21st, 2014 

 

Norman Hardie Riesling 2012

Prince Edward County, Ontario
$21.00 (Vintages 131169)  10.2%

Norman Hardie does not make huge amounts of wine so when this wine comes to Vintages, I would grab a few bottles. Many of his wines are only available to enjoy at a handful of restaurants in Prince Edward County, Kingston, Ottawa and in Toronto. This white wine is light-bodied, crisp clean and delicious, with tastes of limestone and citrus with a great seam of minerality . A more than perfect summer afternoon sipper with a modest alcohol content. If you are having a crowd, stock-up, since I guarantee, it will literally disappear before your eyes.

 

Union Squared RedUnion Squared Red 2012

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$17.95 (Vintages #292359) 13.8% alcohol

This is a perfect wine for juicy burgers – lamb, beef, even vegetarian. It is bright cherry in colour, a blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Gamay Noir. You can never go wrong with these persistent grape varieties since they grow so well in Ontario soil. This red wine boasts ripe red fruits with grippy tannins which is why is would soak up a juicy rare burger and is bone dry. There’s also a little pepper floating on the palate and makes for an interesting blend.

 

Mission Hill Five Vineyards RoséMission Hill Five Vineyards Rosé 2013

VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
$14.95 (Vintages # 229716) 13.5% alcohol

Years ago, my husband and I visited Mission Hill and it is as memorable as any chateau in France. Lush expanses of vineyards, a tasting room reminiscent of a high end department store and a terrace to lunch which has more view than any room. Despite strong watermelon and strawberry flavours, this rosé could stand up to any grilled chop. Crisp, dry with lots of fruit on the finish. Yum.

 

Tawse Sketches RoséTawse Sketches of Niagara Rosé 2013

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$15.95 (Vintages# 172643) 12.5% alcohol

I’m sorry but some wines are just worth repeating! Winery of the year for three years running – 2010, 2011, 2012 – would indicate to anyone that Tawse makes premium VQA wines. This Sketches Rosé just bursts with red fruit flavours of multiple grape varieties. I find it just slightly off-dry with structure and strength to offer versatility to many foods. Refreshing ripe cherries, cranberries and plums with a great squirt of acidity to keep you coming back for more. Definitely a partner for salmon or pork tenderloin.

 

Pondview Cabernet Franc RoséPondview Cabernet Franc Rosé 2013

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$14.95 (Vintages #241802) 13% alcohol

Many decades ago, as the story goes, winery owner Lou Puglisi was wandering about his property and said to his wife “what a great view of the pond”- hence the name Pondview.  Winemaker, Fred Di Profio allowed the grape skins to remain in contact with the grape juice for several hours creating this beautiful light cranberry colour.  Whether it is the power of suggestion, I taste lots of tart cranberry flavours with hint of pink grapefruit. Bone dry, great acidity and very crisp this medium bodied wine would be fabulous with a charcuterie or just on its own.  Does the yum never end?

 

I totalled my price & realized I had $15.20 left in my $100 budget, so here is a non-Canadian choice of a great summer sipper.

 

Alamos TorrontésAlamos Torrontés 2013

Catena, Argentina
$13.95  (Vintages #81539)  13.5% alcohol

This white wine frequently finds its way to my shopping basket. Torrontes is Argentina’s signature white grape varietal and a great price point. Pale in colour, white blossom aromas, lots citrus, lemon-lime flavour, a little grassy on the finish. It kind of reminds me of a Sauvignon Blanc but is short on the finish. What you taste is what you get, but I love the refreshing clean taste and it’s a great summer wine.

 

GRAND TOTAL – $98.75

 

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Made in France

Posted by Susan

Thursday, March 1st, 2012
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French wine fans will enjoy the March 3rd LCBO Vintages segment featuring signature varieties of France, many of which have now proliferated around the globe. Among the whites are classic crisp intensely aromatic varietals from Alsace (Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer), Chardonnay in two unique styles from Burgundy (Chablis and Meursault), and a vibrant penetrating Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire (Sancerre). The selection of French red wines in the feature provides the opportunity to taste well-known single-varietal wines, such as Morgon (Gamay), Volnay (Pinot Noir), Crozes-Hermitage (Syrah) and Cahors (Malbec). For a sampling of the unique blends found in some of France’s best-known appellations, try a Cabernet or Merlot-dominated Bordeaux, a Grenache-based Vacqueyras or Châteauneuf-du-Pape, or a Grenache-Carignan blend from the South. The selection emphasizes the wide range of terroir and wine styles to be found in this long-established Old World region.

There’s also a fabulous selection of Chilean Carmenère red wines in this release with a French connection! Did you know that Carmenère grape was part of the Bordeaux red wine blend prior to the vineyard devastation caused by infamous plant louse phylloxera? The grape was brought to Chile in the mid-1800s and misidentified as the Merlot grape until the mid-1990s. It’s a late-ripening varietal that prefers richer clay soils. When fully ripened, it displays an intense purple-red hue, a full velvety texture, aromas of berry fruit, spice and chocolate. The wines in this selection range from the iconic Montes Purple Angel, to Natura’s organic Carmenère. Enjoy these substantial and flavourful wines.

There are several good values at or under $15, including Cattail Creek ‘Estate’ Sauvignon Blanc, Don Cristobal 1492 Bonarda, Umani Ronchi ‘San Lorenzo’ Rosso Conero, Casa Silva Carmenère, Château de Parenchères and Palacios Remondo La Vendimia.

Among the Canadian wines, I would recommend the robust Jackson-Triggs Gold Series Sunrock Vineyard Shiraz  and the round, fruity Featherstone Red Tail Merlot.

Cheers and Enjoy,
Susan

If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, March 3, 2012

 

Marimar Estate ‘La Masía Don Miguel Vineyard’ Chardonnay 2007

Russian River Valley, California
$19.95 (Vintages #270090) 14.2% alcohol
Produced from organic grapes grown in a vineyard named after Miguel Torres, this Chardonnay has loads of personality. Dry, medium-full bodied white wine, it’s fragrant with ripe apple, pear and pineapple mingling with nutty, spicy aromas. Round, silky yet juicy and fresh, it delivers the zing of citrus, hints of caramel apple and roasted pear and a long mouthwatering finish. Enjoy now with chicken casserole or cellar 3-5 years.

Yalumba ‘The Y Series’ Viognier 2011

South Australia
$15.95 (Vintages #624502) 13.5% alcohol
Featuring perfumed floral and fruit aromas, this dry, mid-full bodied white wine is reliably good. It delivers nicely matched acidity and depth of fruit flavours—stone fruit and  sweet citrus to the fore—finishing with an appealing slightly bitter hint of zest adding tang to the fruit.

Perrin & Fils ‘Les Christins’ Vacqueyras 2009

AOC Vacqueyras, France
$23.95 (Vintages #973453) 14.5% alcohol
This appealing red wine blend of Grenache (dominantly) and Syrah displays great integration and balance while delivering a complex array of aromas—sweet fruit, spiced vanilla, floral notes and sweet dried herbs. Dry, medium-full bodied red wine, the sweetness of licorice mingles with the rich fruit flavours across the palate, subtle nuances of spice and toast persisting on the smooth supple finish. Enjoy it now or cellar medium term.

Misiones de Rengo ‘Gran Reserva Cuvée’ Carmenère 2010

Rapel Valley
$19.95 (Vintages #264937) 14.0% alcohol
Intriguing notes of dried herbs, flowers, red berries, cherries and exotic spice drift from the glass of this dry, medium-full bodied red wine. The framing is subtle, the texture fresh, well-integrated oak exists in fine balance with delicious red fruit and attractive notes of spiced dark chocolate. Quite refined, offering persistent fruit and notes of spice and toast on the lasting finish, this is a very good value that will cellar medium term.

Umani Ronchi ‘San Lorenzo’ Rosso Conero 2008
 DOCRosso Conero, Italy

$14.95 (Vintages #981191) 13.5% alcohol
Deep ruby violet, this is a very nice valued red wine produced from the Montepulciano grape, part of the wine aged in barrique and large cask. Aromas of sweet ripe fruit, black licorice, herbs and earth lift from the glass. Dry, medium bodied, the dark berry fruit is framed by sleek tannins and lively acidity, earthy notes and hints of char adding layers of flavour that persist through the mouthwatering dry finish. Enjoy now or cellar short term.

Grand Total: $94.75

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