Posts Tagged ‘Peller Estates ‘Ice Cuvee’ Rose’

Festive fizz & must buy holiday wines

Posted by Susan

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Corks are popping as the festive season kicks into full swing.  Appropriately, the focus in this weekend’s LCBO Vintages release (Saturday December 7) is ‘Making Merry’ with a selection of  wines for the holidays…along with a truckload of fabulous fizz…you know sparkling wines!

When shopping for sparkling wines, it is best to know the ABCs…


What is Méthode Traditionelle?

Champagne is of course, at the top of Santa’s list, each Champagne House creates a unique blend of wines that reflects its signature flavours and texture. If your palate wants that creamy crispness but your wallet is calling ‘Halt!’, try some of the unique sparkling wines featured in this weekend’s LCBO Vintages release. Many of these sparkling wines are made in the classic ‘Méthode Traditionelle’, that is to say, with the second fermentation in the bottle, as in French Champagne, an approach that creates fine, persistent bubbles. 

Try the Peller Estates ‘Ice Cuvee’ Rose and the versatile Megalomaniac Bubblehead from Niagara, Chandon Rosé and Roederer Estate Sparkling Brut from California, Simonsig ‘Kaapse Vonkel’ Brut Cap Classique from South Africa, Juvé y Camps ‘Cinta Purpura Reserva’ Cava from Spain, Pfaffenheim ‘Blanc de Blancs’ Brut Crèmant d’Alsace and Charles Duret Brut Crémant de Bourgogne.

Or what about Méthode Charmat?

The ‘Charmat’ method, which sees the second fermentation in tank, is known for preserving fresh fruit flavours.  Good & tasty examples are the Perlage Canah Brut Prosecco also available this Vintages release. 

If you’re confused about some of these designations, remember that sparkling wines can be made from white or red grapes (in France, these would be Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or Chardonnay).  When the bubbly is made using only white grapes, it will state on the label ‘Blanc de Blancs’.  If made from red grapes, it will be state ‘Blanc de Noirs’. Now there is a tidbit to float during small talk at your next holiday party!

The Ho Ho Ho of White Wines…

In the Vintage release there’s a great selection excellent value wines.  Try such white wines as Trapiche ‘Finca las Palmas’ Chardonnay, Seresin Sauvignon Blanc (an organic product), Pierre Sparr Altenbourg Riesling or the concentrated Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio.

…and Red Wines

LCBO Vintages release December 7 2013In terms for red wines, I would recommend Belle Glos ‘Meiomi’ Pinot Noir, Irony Small Lot Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Château Bertinerie Merlot/Cabernet, Domaine Beau Mistral ‘Vieilles Vignes’ Rasteau, Villa Medoro ‘Rosso del Luca’ Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Luigi Righetti ‘Campolietti’ Ripasso.

Unfortunately, there were few Canadian wines at this release tasting, but I would recommend both the Pillitteri Antagonist (a tasty, easy-drinking blend of the Cabs and Merlot) as well as the biodynamic wine from Southbrook, Triomphe Cabernet-Merlot, showing lots of character and balance, despite the difficult 2008 vintage.

…. and a Truly special finish

Finally, if you like a touch of fizz with a dessert tart, enjoy the off-dry Nova 7 from Nova Scotia’s Benjamin Bridge, a unique, absolutely delightful low-alcohol sparkler that offers lovely floral, fresh fruit and citrus aromas.

Buy it now, drink it later

If you want a holiday treat for your sweetie or to stash away in your cellar, here are my picks to pick up: Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon or the Burrowing Owl Meritage. For those who like a touch of sweetness, you can choose from the unctuous de Bortoli ‘Noble One’ Botrytis Semillon or the richly textured Burmester 10 Year Old Tawny Port.

Happy and Safe Holidays to all!


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


Juvé y Camps ‘Cinta Purpura Reserva’ Brut Cava 2009

Penedes, Spain
$17.95 (Vintages #352864) 12.0% alcohol

Generally produced from the indigenous Macabeu, Parellada and Xarel-lo grapes in the traditional method,  Cava sparkling wines tend to offer great quality and value – this sparkling wine is no exception!

Classic notes of white flower, ripe apple, pear, citrus and toast pop from the glass. It is clean and fresh, the mousse is fine, mouth-filling and long-lasting, framing tangy notes of citrus, green apple and yeast that persist through the tasty, refreshing finish. Offering poise and refinement, this is an excellent choice for any holiday gathering.


Vignobles Guilheim Le Viognier 2012

Pays d’Oc, France
$15.95 (Vintages #358507) 13.5% alcohol

A golden gem, this Viognier delivers! From the lifted aromas of tropical fruit, white flowers, sweet citrus and honey to the clean fresh texture and depth of flavour—mango, peach and lemon zest jump to the fore. Dry, medium-full bodied, this white wine offers a wonderful fullness and that characteristic pleasing touch of tangy bitterness on the finish. An excellent value, enjoy it with roast pork loin or lemon-herb chicken.


Château Bertinerie Cru Réserve 2009

Côtes de Bordeaux-Blaye, France
$18.95 (Vintages #244640) 13.5% alcohol

From one of the lesser-known Bordeaux appellation, this blend of Merlot and Cabernets is a remarkable value red wine. Cherries, plum and berries are layered with spice, cedar and vanilla. Dry, medium-full bodied, the fruit and spice replays, a sweet note of toasty oak and a hint of chocolate mingling with a whiff of dried herbs. Well structured and balanced, appealingly accessible and fruity, this is a great wine to cellar or serve with herb-crusted leg of lamb or with your favorite roast of beef.


Les Vignerons de Visan ‘Visan’ Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2011

Côtes du Rhône-Villages, France
$15.95 (Vintages #179234) 14.5% alcohol

There’s finesse to the structure of this intensely fruity medium-full bodied red wine. The nose offers lashings of sweet fruit, vanilla, spice and garigue. The palate is dry yet smooth, showcasing loads of luscious clean, ripe fruit, balance assured by well-integrated tannins and fresh acidity. The spice and herbs replay on the dry, tasty finish. An excellent value that will pair with roast beef au jus. 


Luigi Righetti ‘Campolieti’ Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2011

Valpolicella, Italy
$17.95 (Vintages #695890) 13.5% alcohol

I recommended the 2010 vintage of this wine earlier this year, and definitely feel the new vintage is worth purchasing as well! Crafted from fruit harvested in the original Valpolicella viticultural area, this dry, medium-full bodied wine displays added intensity and depth from the use of dried grapes in the winemaking process. There’s complexity of aromas and flavours—floral notes, berry, vanilla, notions of dried cherries, herbs and spice—on a subtle structure. Clean, fresh acidity frames bright tasty fruit, the lasting aftertaste offering notions of chocolate and pleasantly toasty oak. Cellar or serve this wine with beef tenderloin with a pinenut and sun-dried tomato stuffing.

Grand Total: $86.75





“If I only had $100, I would buy at Vintages”

Posted by Susan

Friday, December 10th, 2010

“If I only had $100, I would buy…’
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, November 27, 2010

This week’s LCBO Vintages release once again offers a broad choice of wine, with another feature on sparklers and other wines recommended for holiday festivities. From Champagne through Cremant, to Cava and Prosecco, there is something for everyone’s taste. And there’s a nice little feature on Ontario icewine as well! Given the $100 budget, I’ve selected 5 wines that I believe offer excellent value and that you’ll enjoy sharing with friends. I would also highlight a few Canadian wines that are given prominent press in this release, all of which I’ve tasted and would recommend:  Peller Estates ‘Ice Cuvee’ Rose, 13th Street ‘Premier Cuvee’ Brut, Sumac Ridge ‘Stellar’s Jay’ Brut 2006, Inniskillin ‘Reserve Series’ Meritage 2007, Nk’Mip Cellars Merlot 2007, Coyote’s Run Riesling Icewine 2008, and Ice House ‘Northern Ice’ Vidal Icewine 2006. May the holidays be happy and safe, while you enjoy the wines presented below with the various delicacies of the season.



McManis Family Vineyards Viognier 2009
California, USA
$19.95 (Vintages #658112) 13.5% alcohol
For lovers of Viognier, this is a must-have wine . . . Bright, golden, the aromas delight – floral notes, tropical and ripe stone fruit and a whiff of perfurmed musk. Medium bodied and try, it has a silky texture and succulent flavours of apricot, nectarine and lemon-lime, lovingly balanced with lively acidity and underlying minerality. There’s a bright note of citrus peel on the finish. A treat – go for it!

Creekside Estate ‘Laura’ Red 2007
VQA Niagara, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages #117960) 12.7% alcohol
This is another award winner from the famed 2007 vintage, a Bordeaux-style blend aged 21 months in French and American oak. For the first time, it includes all five varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to the fore, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Dry, medium full-bodied, the wine is deep and inky with loads of aromas and flavours of dark berries and plums, with some attractive cedar, sweet spice and herbal notes. Ripe tannins and fine acidity create the framework for lovely balance. The finish is dry and persistent. A good choice for hearty winter meals, it will also cellar in the short term.


Luigi Bosca ‘Reserva’ Syrah 2007
Maipu, Argentina
$17.95 (Vintages #143412) 14.1% alcohol
Produced from the fruit of low-yielding vines and aged in French oak for a year, this ruby red wine is fragrant with aromas of sweet dark fruit, licorice and smoke. Beautifully composed, dry, medium-full bodied, loads of dark berry, pit fruit and spicy, peppery flavours are deftly balanced with supple tannins and fresh acidity. The depth of fruit flavour is evident on the lengthy finish, which also offers a bright peppery tang. Drinking well now, it’s a candidate for mid-term cellaring.


Chateau de Gourgazaud Reserve 2006
AOC MInervois la Liviniere, France
$17.95 (Vintages #986083) 13.5% alcohol
A deep opaque red hue, this wine has an enticingly complex nose – cherry, plum, spice, cocoa and licorice. Dry, medium-full bodied, it’s a balanced mouthful of richly textured brooding dark fruit and spice, with supple tannins and fine acidity. The finish is pleasingly warm and fruity, with some lingering notes of dark chocolate. Great value – pick up a few bottles!


Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico 2007
DOCG Chianti Classico, Italy
$21.95 (Vintages #295964) 14.0% alcohol
This historic family-owned estate pays great attention to organic methods in the creation of its wine. The wine, semi-transparent with a hint of brick, has rich ripe aromas of red berry fruit, fragrant cedar and spice. Dry, medium bodied, it has outstanding balance – ripe supple tannins, fresh acidity and bright fruit complemented with hints of spice, pepper and licorice. Fine, consistent, with a smooth, fresh texture, it leaves a lasting imprint on the palate, but a light touch on the planet!


Grand Total: $97.75


An optional sparkling wine worth the splurge on:


Segura Viudas ‘Brut Reserva Heredad’ Cava
$29.95 (Vintages #558825) 12.0% alcohol
Golden with some green notes, displaying lovely depth and balance, this limited production wine is a blend of the first pressing of estate-grown Macabeo and Parellada. Intense aromas of pear, citrus and toasted butter pastry entice. Dry, bright and fresh, it has a fine creamy mousse and a lively crisp texture. Rich flavours of Bosc pear and lemon-lime wash across the palate and linger on the clean and persistent finish. A sparkling wine of presence and weight in an elegant hand-blown bottle with a pewter crest and base, it would present well as a gift or served at any holiday gathering. 

More about my blog post: 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!