Posts Tagged ‘International Wine & Spirit Competition’

If I had $100…I would buy these wines at Vintages

Posted by Julie

Friday, October 24th, 2014
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Look at all the new wines from Chile, Tuscany, Ontario…and around the world in this weekend’s LCBO Vintages release. By the time the end of October rolls around, everyone is into their fall schedules, programs, sports and school, but being retired I’m looking for a new travel destination.

LCBO Vintages magazine Oct25

Chile has always been on my bucket list and it is with renewed interest that this release features many new Chilean wines. Vintages is also featuring some wines from Tuscany and I better not get started on my love of Italy and Italian wines.

As much as we all love fall, we know what comes after so its no surprise that Vintages has started their “Gifting” for Christmas. Beautiful bottles, glossy packaging even ships containing liqueurs will start to decorate the stores (if not your mantle?). Even if you are not planning to purchase any gifts from Vintages, it is worth the stroll through your nearest store and you may find yourself changing your mind.

There are also some extravagant whiskey’s in this release as well as champagnes. While I cannot afford the Armand De Brignac Brut Gold Champagne at $299.95 a bottle (why do they add the .95 cents?), it would sure make for nice bling as a centrepiece.

I will be picking up a few of these new releases on the 25th of October and I hope you find something to sip while shelling out on Halloween… if only to keep the “bad spirits” away.
Julie  

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…

October 25, 2014

 

Williams & Humber Oloroso SherryWilliams and Hunbert Walnut Brown Oloroso Sherry

DO Jerez-Xérèz-Sherry – Spain
$13.95 (Vintages #437467) 19.5% alcohol

I remember in Sommelier school, one professor saying that this only comes out once a year and he always picked up a few bottles.  I too, have purchased this year after year. Dark mahogany in colour, light and sweet, yellow raisins, Christmas cake, almonds a little bitter orange, toasted almonds and butterscotch flavours tantalize the tastebuds sending you back for another delicious sip. How could anyone not be enticed with such flavours AND at this price point.  It is a lovely afternoon sipper on ice or my favourite is to serve this sherry as a desert drink with apple/pear crisp and blue cheese.

Graham Beck Brut Sparkling WineGraham Beck Brut Sparkling Wine

WO Western Cape, South Africa
Méthode Cap Classique $18.95 (Vintages #593483) 12.% alcohol 

A lovely sparkling wine from South Africa, toasty, creamy smooth and citrusy tastes. Lots of fine mousse (bubbles) and a slight after taste of grapefruit.  The méthode classique (winespeak: the wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle which can offer a yeasty flavour to the wine.

I’m always looking for a new sparkler to serve for a brunch or pre-dinner drinks and this offers a fabulous change.

Montes Outer Limits Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Zapallar Vineyard, Aconcagua Valley, Chile
$19.95 (Vintages #389643) 12.5% alcohol

When a vineyard is located just seven kilometres from the sea, it is not a bit of wonder this Sauvignon Blanc tastes so clean and fresh. Pale gold, almost shimmery, the nose highlights white grapefruit and wet stone. There’s lots of fresh citrus, with a slight vegetal taste and a limey finish. It is absolutely mouth-watering good with great acidity. A fabulous white wine thirst quencher on its own or with any white sauced dishes to cut the “rich”.

Stratus Wildass RedStratus Wildass Red 2011

Niagara -on-the-Lake, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages #86363)  14.8% alcohol 

I always try to include at least one Canadian wine in my shopping basket and this does not disappoint. While not new to Vintages, it is the first time I tasted it and talk about finding a new favourite. You have to love the name “Wildass”! I am guessing it is on account of a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Gamay and Sangiovese. Something for everyone? Deep ruby red, this red wine has great depth of ripe berry flavours, juicy and layered with taste, a little chocolate on the finish. Medium bodied and would pair everything from roast chicken to roast beef to a mocha torte- absolutely delicious.

Ruffino ModusRuffino Modus 2011

IGT Toscana, Italy
$29.95 (Vintages # 912956)  13.5% alcohol 

You are probably more familiar with the DOC or DOCG labels on Italian wines, but the “IGT”means that the rules for wine producers are not quite as strict and a little more generous than those other status labels. In other words, the geography for the grapes might be less reduced as well as the kind of grapes that go into the wine. But don’t let that fool you. Wines with IGT status can equally hold their own and this is a good example.

Dark ruby red, leathery, dusty aromas and brambly on the palate, almost prickly like only age old ripe vines can offer.  With strong tannins and a long dusty finish, this red wine would accompany a rare Tuscan steak with panache.  It won a Gold medal at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2014. I would lay this down for a year or two – outstanding.

Grand Total: $ 102.75  

 

 

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Bordeaux invasion at the LCBO

Posted by Julie

Thursday, October 25th, 2012
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There’s nothing like a new Vintages release to chase away the post-Thanksgiving blues. The left-overs are gone as are the rellies and friends that made it all so special. But the thoughts of new Bordeaux coming to town just perks me right up and makes me long for a huge wine cellar.

With approximately 7,000 châteaux and 21 appellations it is not surprising that the Bordeaux region of France is the world’s major wine industry capital. Appellations in France are similar to our wine regions in Canada. For those of you who have not been to France, the Bordeaux region is located in the southwest part of France on the Atlantic coast.

Bordeaux produces quality and quantity red and white wines. The red wines are mostly blends from grapes such as: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and even Carménère. White Bordeaux is made from Sauvignon blanc, Semillon and/or Muscadelle grapes. It’s hard to go astray in your choices with these crème de la crème grapes and your choices will be more price dependent than anything else-as the quality is always there.

This release made me think of some of my favorites that I had not picked up for a while so it was a wonderful reminder of how well some red Bordeaux pair with beef and lamb and the white’s with shellfish.

Well this is not the first time that reading about these new releases made me want to jump on a plane, but since it will not be for this year, I’ll have to be content with picking up some new bottles to stash away for when it gets really cold.  I hope you will join me.

Santé, Julie

 

Chateau Toumilon Blanc 2009 France
$16.95 (Vintages #314864) 12.5% alcohol
This is such a light easy sipper, pale straw yellow, mild citrusy aromas with light – medium soft textures in the mouth. I got some delicate flavors of pears in this bone dry white wine and it is just slightly acidic with some minerality on the finish.  If anyone is looking for a new “house” wine, I’d suggest you pick up a bottle of this. It slips down pretty easy and does not have a lengthy finish but it sure sends you back for more.  It also won a Silver Medal (Best in Class) at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, 2011. I was not the only one that liked this wine!

Three Saints Chardonnay 2009
Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara,U.S.A.
$20.95 (Vintages #297531) 14%
The “Three Saints” signify the three valleys were the Dierberg family grow their grapes. These Chardonnay grapes are grown in the coastal Santa Maria vineyard; the other vineyards are the Santa Rita Hills and the Santa Ynez Valley where Pinot Noir and Syrah are grown. The wine has inviting aromas of ripe melon, yellow apples and a little citrus that carry through leaving a little honey and roasted nuts on the aftertaste. A medium bodied white wine that is crisp and refreshing with rich tropical fruit flavors. Lovely on it’s own or with some turkey pot pie with flakey pastry, it would be scrumptious.

Angel’s Gate Mountainview Merlot 2010
VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula
$18.95 (Vintages #299172) 12.5% alcohol
Angel’s Gate Winery is on property that was once owned by the Congregation of Missionary Sisters and in 1995 the land was converted into a vineyard. I have found all of the Angel’s Gate selections to be pretty heavenly. The winery itself has historic, distinct gables and a tower reminiscent of a church. Think dark cherries in colour with tastes of violets, strawberries a little chocolate cake and a pinch of earth. Smooth and supple, rich in texture and tannins and all you need is some Prime Rib for a first class dinner.

 

Rolf Binder Heinrich Shiraz/Mataro/Grenache 2008
Barossa Valley, South Australia
$24.95 (Vintages# 90258) 14% alcohol

For those of you not familiar with the Mataro grape, it is also known as Mourvèdre and originated in Spain. A lovely dark rich violet color with aromas of sweet dark ripe berries, blueberries and plums that follow through with a fairly hefty mouth feel. It has lots of juicy sweet spice and peppery flavors that come through on the aftertaste. This red wine is smooth and complex and would pair it with any red meat but it’s a yummy sipper on its own.

Château Lalande Mausse 2009
AC Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
$16.95 (Vintages #303859) 14% alcohol
The Bordeaux in this release are in a class of their own and for the price this shows beautifully. Lovely dark cherry color, aromas of red berry fruits and a little tobacco. The flavors of this red wine follow through on the palette, medium bodied with decent acidity and a tad earthy.  Sheer class.

Grand Total: $98.75

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