Posts Tagged ‘Le Clos Jordanne’

Great Wine Picks from Ontario & France For Your Easter Weekend

Posted by Susan

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Easter weekend arrives early this year, the last weekend of March, and the March 30 LCBO Vintages is right on cue, with a special feature including a bevy of Ontario wines to serve with your ham, turkey or prime rib. To get you started, try the always delectable 13th Street Premier Cuvée sparkling wine, a fine, focused effort from the 2008 vintage.


With ham or turkey, you have a choice of wines, including Chardonnay from Thomas Bachelder or Le Clos Jordanne, or single vineyard Pinot Noir from Le Clos Jordanne or Peninsula Ridge. With prime rib or ham, give the Featherstone Cabernet Franc from the great 2011 vintage a whirl.


Looking for a grand finale to the Easter meal, enjoy Fielding Estates’ luscious yet balanced Vidal Icewine, winner of a silver medal at the Canadian Wine Awards. The main feature, showcasing Southern France, also offers a fine sparkling wine from the Languedoc, Domaine J. Laurens ‘Le Moulin’ Brut Blanquette de Limoux. Made in the same method as champagne, with the second fermentation in bottle, Blanquette de Limoux is recognized as the first sparkling wine made in France – earliest references date back to Benedictine monks in the 16th century.  If you’re feeling adventurous, buy a bottle of both the Blanquette de Limoux and the 13th Street sparkler, and compare!

Southern France Shines Through

The remainder of the Southern France feature comprises mostly red wine blends, from appellations such as Minervois, Côtes de Roussillon, Corbières and the Côtes du Languedoc, most offering great value in the $15-20 range. This area of France is quite fascinating, with influences from southern Bordeaux, the Mediterranean and northern Spain. French melts into Catalan, fields of lavender rush to meet the sea, and vineyards climb the rocky hills. It’s a region of innovation and ancient history, stretching back to the Romans. With somewhat looser rules in its appellations, the Languedoc was one of the first regions in France to create tasty, relatively inexpensive wines for export naming the grape varieties on the label. You will finds blends that combine varying concentrations of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and/or Mourvèdre, such as the Cave de Roquebrun “La Grange des Combes’ Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun (awarded 4 stars by Decanter World Wine Awards), the Château de Treviac from Corbières near the Spanish border, and the Château Saint-Roch Chimères, included in our selection.

 California Wine Fair Comes to Ottawa April 5, 2013

The general release also offers some great value, including a couple of California red wines—Irony ‘Small Lot Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon and the unique Langtry Guenoc Petite Syrah.  Reminder – the California Wine Fair stops in Ottawa just after Easter (April 5 at the Westin) and in Toronto the following week  (April 8 at the Fairmont Royal York). Erasmo is a fabulous Cab/Merlot blend from Chile, while Otazu is an award-winning wine from Spain. Don’t miss Luigi Righetti’s ‘Campolieto’ Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore from the 2010 vintage – it’s fabulous and one of our choices. I just opened a bottle of 2005 that was divine, so pick up a few bottles of this wine—a great deal at $16.95—to enjoy now and to cellar.


Cheers and Enjoy!


Ormarine Picpoul de Pinet 2011

AP Coteaux du Languedoc, France
$12.95 (Vintages #525287) 12.5% alcohol
Load up the wagon with this great value white wine! Straw-hued, it’s fragrant with white flowers, citrus zest and a touch of crisp green apple. Dry, clean and tangy, with a fine silky texture, the flavours of lemon/lime and green apple replay right through the tasty, palate-cleansing finish. A lively sipper or a great wine to pair with fish or seafood.

Château Saint-Roch Chimères 2010

AOC Côtes du Roussillon-Villages, France
$18.95 (Vintages #119354) 14.5% alcohol
This is a big, flavourful red wine blend—Grenache, Syrah and Carignan—a bold wine offering intriguing aromas of blueberry, smoked meat, dried herbs, tar and earth. Dry, full bodied, the intense flavours of berries replay, mingling with elusive notes of sweet spice and dark chocolate. Displaying well-integrated tannins and oak, it’s loaded with flavour and finishes with a peppery flourish. Serve with herbed rack of lamb.

The Good Earth Dry Riesling 2010

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages #324244) 11.3% alcohol
Owner Nicolette Novak isn’t kidding when she includes the word ‘good’ in the name of her winery – there’s nothing but good food and wine at Good Earth. This Riesling is a fine example! Deftly crafted by young winemaker Dré Glass it’s a finely balanced dry, mid weight white wine where clean, tangy acidity is married with lovely aromas and flavours of pithy citrus and crisp apple. A fine mineral edge enhances the keen, lively texture and carries through the lengthy refreshing finish. Serve it with lobster with lemon butter, or with ham.

Irony ‘Small Lot Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Napa Valley, California
$19.95 (Vintages #25106) 14.5% alcohol
The quality of this red wine makes me glad the Indelicato brothers came back to their roots after ‘escaping’ (their words) the family farm! Dense and dark, this outstanding, finely balanced dry wine offers lovely aromas of ripe dark fruit, cedar, spiced vanilla and fragrant dried herbs. Dry, full bodied,  it’s a warm, approachable and intensely flavourful wine displaying well integrated oak, fresh acidity and velvety tannins married to a core of sweet spiced cassis, blackberry and plum. Great fruit-filled finish! 

Luigi Righetti ‘Campolieti’ Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2010

DOC Valpolicella, Italy
$16.95 (Vintages #695890) 13.5% alcohol
Ruby, semi-opaque this fine, compelling red wine blend offers totally alluring aromas of sweet ripe dark fruit, vanilla, incense and chocolate-coated cherries. Dry, medium-full bodied, you couldn’t ask for a more balanced wine. Well-integrated oak, ripe tannins and fine acidity create a velvety texture that wraps around full-flavoured, concentrated black berry and plum-flavoured fruit that glides through a yielding finish. Since you’ll want to taste it right now, buy at least one other bottle for the cellar!

Grand Total: $88.75





If I only had $100, I would buy…

Posted by Susan

Friday, October 15th, 2010

“If I only had $100, I would buy…’
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, October 16, 2010


The October 16 LCBO Vintages release features Bordeaux wines—reds from the Left and Right Banks, whites from Graves and Pessac-Léognan, as well as a couple of dessert wines. I found some great values here. You’ll also enjoy the French sparkling wines on offer, Cremants from Alsace, the Loire, Burgundy, Bordeaux, as well as Blanquette de Limoux. It’s always a challenge to choose the wines for this selection, but I hope you’ll enjoy my “If I only had $100, I would buy…” picks.



Château d’Argadens Bordeaux Supérieur 2006
AOC Bordeaux, France
$16.95 (Vintages #681643) 13.0% alcohol
Predominantly Merlot (65%), this balanced gold-medal winner is a great value. The aromas are alluring—spicy, richly fruity, with nuances of cedar, vanilla and licorice. Firmly structured and dry, the wine has chewy tannins, fresh acidity and subtle herbal notes complementing the fine fruit. There are hints of dark chocolate and toast on the lengthy, dry, flavourful finish. It entices you to take another sip and at this price, you should!

Pierre Sparr ‘Brut Réserve’ Cremant d’Alsace nv (NV is winespeak for non-vintage)
AOC Alsace, France
$18.95 (Vintages #173401) 12.0% alcohol
Light on it’s feet yet creamy and generous, this fresh citrusy wine has fine aromas and flavours of toasted brioche, stone fruit and lemon-chiffon pie. It’s vibrant, lively and refreshing with a fine mousse and palate-cleansing mid-length finish. Lovely to sip on its own and a great match for a veal or pork dish.

Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve 2008
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$25.00 (Vintages #33894) 12.5% alcohol
Le Clos Jordanne creates consistently good cool-clmate Pinot Noir, and this is no exception. From the fruit of 4 vineyards, separately fermented, this assemblage displays warm aromas of subtly-spiced cherry/berry fruit—raspberry/blueberry pie fresh from the oven comes to mind—along with nuances of mineral and cedar. Medium bodied, its dry and vibrant, with a tangy texture and bright red berry flavours—raspberry and cranberry. Great consistency and a spice-infused lively fruity finish. Try it with osso bucco, or cellar for 2-3 years

Terredora Falanghina 2008
IGT Campania, Italy
$15.95 (Vintages #642074) 13.0% alcohol
Fragrant aromas of orchard and tropical fruit marry with floral notes and a certain pungency. Spritzy, the wine is fresh and bright with a core of stone fruit and citrus. Dry, medium bodied and balanced with zesty acidity, it has a lasting and refreshing lemon-lime finish. Serve it with hors d’oeuvres or soft cheeses.

Cuatro Pasos Mencia 2008
DO Bierzo, Spain
$16.95 (Vintages #39313) 13.5% alcohol
From an indigenous varietal of northwestern Spain, this wine is produced from the fruit of decades-old vines and lightly aged in French and American oak. Deep purple, its intensely aromatic—raspberry pie to the fore, licorice, spice and a mineral note. Medium bodied, the texture is soft with quite an intense concentrated core of ripe red and black berry fruit, nicely balanced by fine tannins and fresh acidity. Great value – you won’t be disappointed!

Grand Total: $93.80

A special treat worth the splurge: 

Le Dauphin de Guiraud 2003
AOC Sauterns, France
$24.95 (Vintages #190496) 13.5% alcohol
Golden amber, this fabulous dessert wine has great depth and presence. Aromas of marmalade, orange rind, honeyed caramel and vanilla beckon. On the palate, a satiny texture, warmth and acidity wrap around flavours of spun brown sugar, candied citrus and five-fruit marmalade. The extended finish replays these exotic flavours. Totally compelling – you just want more . . . Imagine the most decadent matches – Roquefort, foie gras, crème brulée—and secure an extra bottle for long-term cellaring. An outstanding value!


More about my If I only had $100, I would buy…
There is a myriad of wines out there, so it’s often a challenge deciding what to select when the LCBO Vintages catalogue comes out every two weeks or so. Like a kid in a candy shop, your attention darts from one treat to another, but what to choose . . . Something to serve to your guests this weekend? Something to put away for a special occasion? Something to store for a autumn afternoon?

I recognize that each person’s tastes and preferences are unique. “If I had $100 . . .”, will be posted just prior to LCBO Vintages releases and will highlight unique wines I have tasted that provide good value; the selection will total no more than $100.

Occasionally, I may include an optional wine – you can substitute or add it for a little more or a little less! Print this off as your shopping list knowing that these wines have been selected by a Savvy Sommelier who has sipped, savoured & swirled countless wines before they arrived on the shelves in Vintages.  Hopefully you too will find a new favorite wine.  And when you do, quickly save your pennies to buy a bottle or two more.  Warning that once a wine is gone from a particular Vintages release, that vintage, and sometimes that wine, is gone for good!




Le Clos Jordanne – a fabulous Ontario Pinot Noir

Posted by Susan

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Looking for a unique gift for the holiday season?  Don’t miss the LCBO Vintages Wine of the Month, Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve (#33894, $30), released December 6, 2008.  This Pinot Noir is an excellent value Ontario Pinot Noir, which can be cellared for 3-5 years.

I had the opportunity to participate in a tasting let by Thomas Bachelder, Le Clos Jordanne winemaker.  Thomas is a native Montrealer who developed his winemaking expertise in Burgundy, while pursuing a formal education in Viticulture and Oenology in Beaune.  He has tremendous enthusiasm for Le Clos Jordanne terroir, for the winemaking team, and for his wine. 

Le Clos Jordanne’s approach to the vines and the land is to allow the wine to express its ‘sense of place’.  In order to ensure this, the vines and fruit are tended and harvested by hand, and no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides are used.  In 2005, the winery received its first Ecocert Canada certification for organic farming.

Last summer, I had the opportunity of a private visit to Le Clos Jordanne winemaking facilities in Niagara,   This winery was established in 1998 as a joint venture between Vincor and the French firm, Boisset.  They were convinced that the Niagara property had similar characteristics of slope, climate, soil and terroir to the Cote d’Or in Burgundy.

The focus of Le Clos Jordanne is on premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The grapes are grown on several properties which are uniquely situated; they include La Petite, Talon Ridge, Claystone Terrace and Le Clos Jordanne vineyards.  The wine from each of its properties in unique, as I discovered during a barrel tasting.  For instance, Claystone East produces a fairly robust Pinot, which may be blended with Talon Ridge, along with deselected barrels of the other single vineyards, to produce Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve.

If you love fine Pinot Noir, as I do, visit the Vintages section of your LCBO, or contact us regarding the opportunity to purchase a case directly from Le Clos Jordanne. 

Happy holidays