Posts Tagged ‘wine from Argentina’

If I only had $100, I would buy….

Posted by Julie

Friday, November 24th, 2017

With the devastating news about the forest fires in Napa & surrounding area, there has been alot of focus on California wines.  Coincidentally, premium California wines are the main feature in this release at LCBO Vintages this weekend. While most bottles were too rich for my $100 budget for this blog, I was so pleased to sample & create this shopping list with an interesting assortment of fine wines that are easy on the credit card statement. Remember that I am working on a $100 budget, yet I highly recommend that you do splurge by adding a California wine into your shopping cart.

I also found several sparkling wines and beautiful icewines, that you can pick up to stash away for the gifting season.

As always, my shopping basket for this blog is always on the look out for bottles of wine that are priced lower than they actually taste.

I hope you like my picks!



If I only had $100, I would buy…
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday November 25, 2017


Tawse Spark Limestone Ridge Sparkling Riesling 2015

Traditional method, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontari
$20.95 (Vintages #370361) 12% alcohol

Green apples, lemon zest, crispy brioche all meld into a delicate creamy mousse that is crisp and clean on the palate and swirls on the tongue.

Lots going on in this sparkling Riesling with a hit of flint that seems only to come from Niagara Escarpment Rieslings.  Talk about a gift from Mother Earth and speaking of gifts – this one I highly recommend.

A great match for seafood or pick up a chilled bottle and some sushi one night for supper – now that would be a treat!



Robert Oatley Signature Series Chardonnay 2016

Margaret River, Western Australia
$18.95 (Vintages #350900) 12.5% alcohol

While certainly not a new wine in LCBO Vintages, this is always an easy Chardonnay to add to my shopping list. It’s a no-brainer for those Chardonnay lovers and those firmly in the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) crowd could easily be persuaded.

Full-boded yet crisp and refreshing for a Chardonnay with a multitude of tropical white stone fruit flavours (think white peach) on the palate and loads of tangerine citrus on the finish. Talk about a beautifully balanced white wine with just enough acidity to send you back for another sip.  And another.  And another.

A perfect wine to have with lunch for crab or lobster bisque with a puff pastry topping or chicken pot pie (for the less daring to cook).


Zuccardi Q Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Mendoza, Argentina
$19.95 (Vintages #140855) 13.9% alcohol

In such warm climate, grapes can ripen to their fullest so it is not a bit of wonder the product ends up being full-bodied and rich.

Big black fruit, ripe blueberries, blackberries mingle smoothly with silky lush tannin. The mouthfeel is plush and loaded with dark berry flavours.

A lovely lengthy aftertaste sprinkled with pepper. One great Cabernet Sauvignon to serve alongside ribs or a Sunday roast.



San Felice Chianti Classico 2015

DOCG, Italy
$19.95 (Vintages #282996) 13% alcohol

Predominantly Sangiovese with personality of ripe cherries and raspberries, a pinch of violet that also profiles this delicate Chianti. Medium-bodied and fruity it is a classic Chianti.

There’s some dustiness and leather whiffs on the finish, typical of wine aged in Slovonian oak casks for 10-12 months. Tannins are delicate and fresh, a wonderful wine to serve with your favourite pasta dish or a spicy lasagna.



Honoro Vera Monastrell 2015

DOP, Jumilla, Spain
$13.95 (Vintages #167684) 14.5% alcohol

DOP certification ensures that the grapes are locally grown and bottled. Dark and inky, some sweet spice aromas, bursts of ripe plums on the palate mixing cherry and mocha flavours on the lengthy finish.

Medium to full-bodied, fairly assertive tannins with a pinch of leather on the aftertaste.

You get a lot of pow for your dollar here and cannot beat the price point. This would be wonderful with a hearty stew and crusty bread.

This wine certainly grabs your attention with the cool label!


Grand Total = $93.75


Wines from around the world for Thanksgiving

Posted by Julie

Friday, September 29th, 2017

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, what better time for LCBO’s Vintages to focus on drinks to serve with the family gathering with a headline of ‘Family Matters”.

With the family theme in this release, the LCBO is featuring family run vineyards & estates that have been handed down through the generations.  There are some great wine finds to accompany whatever dishes you are putting on your Thanksgiving table but I’m not taking any chances, I’m picking up one of each. to have on hand in case anyone drops in over the long weekend.

And there are some of the LCBO’s In Store Discoveries too that are worth putting in your shopping cart. Hope my tried & tested shopping list helps make your long weekend a breeze.

Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family!

– Julie


If I only had $100, I would buy…
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday September 30, 2017


Vinum Africa Chenin Blanc 2016

WO Stellenbosch, The Winery of Good Hope, South Africa
$14.95 (Vintages #739995) 12.5% alcohol

Chenin Blanc goes by different names;  in France this white wine it is known as Pineau de la Loire, and in South Africa it goes by the name of Steen. Either way the grape varietal displays succulent flavours of tropical fruit with every sip.

On the palate is a melange of ripe pears and apricots, pineapple and hazelnuts. Full bodied and rich, smooth as silk with a crisp refreshing finish. It’s a beauty and the price point is unbelievable. It’s bound to be a partner to serve with a feast of turkey or roasted ham for sure.




Famille Perrin Reserve Cotes Du Rhone Blanc 2015

AC, France
$14.95 (Vintages  #499509) 13% alcohol

Your first introduction is a delicate floral nose with great aromatic freshness.

This svelte white wine offers light, crisp apple and peach flavours bound by slight mineral notes on the finish.  Lots of finesse and depth for this price point and a perfect marriage with seafood or Mediterranean fare, bruschetta prepared with with heirloom tomatoes would be remarkable.





Tessellae Rosé 2016

IGP Côtes Catalanes, France
$15.95 (Vintages # 450817)  13.5% alcohol

This is an all year round Rosé wine. Pale salmon in colour, fresh, crisp and delicate. Ripe strawberries, tangerines and apricot flavours mingle with zesty lemon-lime notes on the finish. Talk about a fruit bowl!

It is a perfect afternoon sipper or to serve as an aperitif with some mild cheese or grilled shrimps, or with a ham for Thanksgiving, one lovely beverage.  Enjoy!





Kaiken Las Rocas Ultra Malbec 2015

Mendoza, Argentina
$24.95 (Vintages #50849) 14.5% alcohol

Lavender and blueberry aromas, full bodied and firm, it’s an outstanding Malbec. On the palate of this red wine, there are layers of ripe plums and dark berries, the tannins are ripe and refined. It’s smooth, rich and focussed with excellent length, a Malbec at its finest.

I’d pair this with braised short ribs and a mushroom risotto.





Tarima Monastrell 2015

DO Alicante, Spain
$14.95 (Vintages #310151) 14.5% alcohol

The heady nose on this red wine is almost electric with savoury and dark fruit.  Blackberries and blueberry flavours dance on the palate just bursting with flavour.

Look for dark, slightly spicy berries with a pinch of licorice on the finish. Great smooth aftertaste that integrates soft tannins, and juicy fruitiness.

It is absolutely delicious. Begs for something from the grill!




MAN Family Skaapveld Shiraz 2015

WO Coastal Region, South Africa
$13.95 (Vintages #71332)

I did not have the opportunity to taste this particular Shiraz, but I wanted to offer another bottle in my price point since the above was such incredible value. I mean…a Shiraz from South Africa at $13.95?

The Man Family website states that “Skaapbeld” refers to the grazing land for sheep that adjoins their Shiraz vineyards. And it has won more than one award, so I will be popping a bottle of this into my shopping cart and giving it a try.



Grand Total = $99.70


6 wines for under $100!

Posted by Julie

Friday, September 15th, 2017

In Niagara Falls, every August, the judging for the Intervin Wine Competition takes place. These wine awards are designed to recognize the very best of international wines available to Canadian consumers.

Although the 2017 results will not be released until November it is fitting that LCBO Vintages is showcasing Ontario wines and Flagship In-Store-Discoveries (FISD) in this release.  Most of these “Flagships” are too pricey for my budget, but I had no difficulty finding some other gems at incredible price points.

My go to wine is always Ontario. This province has the VERY best of everything: from farm to table food, to sports and entertainment; our wine selection is unbeatable and incomparable. Harvest time will soon be here and I hope you’ll be inspired to pick up a few bottles you’ve not tried before. I can almost guarantee you may find a new favourite.

Here’s to Ontario wine shopping, a place to stand, a place to grow, Ontario-ario- ario !

That jingle never grows old!
– Julie


If I only had $100, I would buy…
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday September 16, 2017


Creekside Marianne Hill Riesling 2015

VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario
$20.95 (Vintages #443572) 10.5% alcohol

Stunning and expressive, well deserved for the Gold Medal winner at the 2017 National Wine Awards of Canada.

I can’t wait to see what other accolades may be in store for Creekside and this gem. Beautifully balanced with flavours of green and yellow apples, peaches and flinty wet stone which shows in many Niagara escarpment Rieslings.

Light-weight with gentle fruit flavours, a perfect afternoon wine to sip or to try with crab cakes, sushi or lighter lunch fare. Mellow and delicious.


Featherstone Four Feathers 2016

VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario
$14.95 (Vintages #341586) 12.5% alcohol

I have written previously on different Featherstone Estate Winery wines and this one is so lovely I could not neglect it in this release.

The blend of  Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc brings out the very best in each of these varietals. Slightly off-dry, delicate and aromatic, well structured and layered with flavours of apples and stone tree fruits that decorate the palate in one lovely wash. It has a lingering fruity finish.

Perfect for salads, grilled shrimp or fish tacos; an easy sipper and a wine that has something for everyone.

I cannot imagine anyone who could not like this wine.



Firebird Legend Pinot Grigio 2016

PGI Vulcansti, Moldova
$12.95 (Vintages #74351) 12% alcohol

The very odd time I feature a wine that I was not able to taste and this is one of those. Moldova is a country sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania in the Black Sea basin where the vines grow.

Historically, there are over 112 thousand hectres of vineyards and over 30 types of varietals so I assume these folks must have achieved some finesse somewhere along the lineage.  One website boasted tropical fruit flavours with zippy acidity, so for that price point, for me, it is worth a try.


Tawse Sketches of Niagara Rosé 2016

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$17.35 (Vintages #172643) 12%  alcohol

Not just any Rosé, this blend of Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Gamay makes a lively entry with it’s handsome cranberry colour and aromas of ripe cherries and a pinch of white pepper. On the palate are impressive strawberry and watermelon flavours.  It’s driven by lively acidity and some rhubarb on the elegant finish.

Bone dry which makes it a perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken, salmon or just on its own with some soft cheeses.

Always a class act.


13th Street Red Palette 2016

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$15.95 (Vintages #244558) 13 % alcohol

13th Street Winery has to one of the prettiest wineries along the Niagara Escarpment I think. Not only is there a spacious tasting room with floor to ceilings windows, but upon entry, the long spectacular table gives it an art gallery feel. The bakery farmhouse next door also makes it a worthwhile stop for lunch or to grab an outstanding butter-tart.

This Red Palette blend is so juicy; bursting with red cherry and ripe raspberry flavours with just a hint of green savoury spice on the finish. Medium bodied, the varietals of 62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Franc make it a perfect accompaniment to turkey, ham or salmon (I am already thinking about Thanksgiving!). Well rounded and perfectly balanced with soft tannins and a hint of smokey acidity on a decent cherry finish. You could partner this alongside just about anything from fish to pork/veggie kebabos or mild Thai take-out. Simply delicious.


Traipiche Fina Las Palmas Gran Reeserva Malbec 2014

Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
$16.95 (Vintages # 186668) 14.5 % alcohol

Malbec is Argentina’s signature grape and no one grows it better than Traipiche. At altitudes higher than the CN tower, Trapiche was one of the first Argentinian wineries to enter the international scene. In 1889, the winery received its first international award in Paris.

Dark and inky in colour, rich and expansive on the nose your senses are fillled with luscious black and ripe red fruits that flow through on the palate. Everything Traipiche produces is worth picking up and their wines are a great price point. This Malbec is full-bodied and not for the faint-hearted, structured with layers of blueberry and ripe plum favours, some spice and tobacco on the finish. It’ll be forever in memory with braised short ribs and spicey sausages.

I can’t wait to pick this up and head to the butcher.


Grand Total = $ 99.10 
6 wines – now that is VALUE !!


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

Posted by Julie

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

For someone who is not a winter person the LCBO Vintages release this Saturday Jan 23 are real perk me ups. This release features the dynamic duo of Argentina and Chilean wines and since Buenos Aires is on my travel list, it’s great timing. Not to mention there are fabulous wines at a popular price point.

LCBO Magazine Sat Jan 23Don’t forget that Robbie Burns Day is right around the corner and if you are a whisky lover the LCBO has whisky tastings to help you celebrate. While I can’t fit many single malts into my shopping basket without going over my $100 budget, there’s nothing to stop YOU!

If you have cabin fever, I noticed that all over Ontario, the LCBO is offering workshops on everything from wine appreciation, to pairings to “bubbles”. So if you have the winter blah’s, one of these workshops, plus a couple of new releases will surely beat the mid-winter blues.

Light the fire & enjoy a glass of one of these wines,


Trivento Amado Sur Malbec Bonarda Syrah 2013Trivento Amado Sur

Mendoza, Argentina
$16.95 (Vintages #37036) 14% alcohol

A powerful trio of 70% Malbec, 20% Bonarda and 10% Syrah this black inky beauty is one fine red wine. Loads of ripe blueberries, blackberries and plums. If you like big fruity and dense wines, this one is for you. Although the Malbec grape steals the show, the Bonarda grape, offers the black cherry easy going fruit flavours. Soft tannins, creamy and smooth, a great hallmark for a classic Argentinian blend. Charred meats, grilled veggies, it’s worth the splurge of a porterhouse steak under the oven grill.


Trapiche Broquel Bonarda 2013Trapiche Broquel Bonarda 2013

Mendoza, Argentina
$14.95 (Vintages #055558) 14.5% alcohol

The Bonarda grape slipped into the country in the 19th century (sounds like an illegal) and has mysterious origins. There’s 3 different Bonarda grape varietals grown in Italy, one in Croatia and another in California where is known as Charbono. It’s the second most planted grape in Argentina after Malbec and has become known as a workhorse for its easy, less demanding growth compared with other varietals.

Lots of juicy plum and chocolate flavours in this red wine, very smooth sipping and spicy on the long finish. Talk about Argentina’s best kept wine secret, this one is a steal.


Santa Alicia Gran Reserva de Los Andes Cabernet Sauvignon 2011Santa Alicia Gran Reserva De Los Andes Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Maipo Valley, Chile
$15.95 (Vintages #60244) 14% alcohol

Maipo valley is the closest wine region to Santiago, the capital of Chile, extending east from the city to the Andes mountains. Although Chile is known for its Carmenere, the Maipo valley is often described as the Bordeaux of South America with its rich fruit-driven Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged in French oak , this nectar offers scents of dark fruit and ripe red berry flavours that follow through on flavour of this red wine. The finish delivers easy going tannins with pencil shavings, tobacco and a little spice. Fantastic value with great character.


Gnarly Head Viognier 2013Gnarly Head Viognier 2013

$17.95 (Vintages #396416) 13.5% alcohol

Great Viognier at a reasonable price tag is hard to find. These golden hue beauties often have a higher alcohol content than other whites since the thick-skinned grape has to be left on the vine a long time before developing its characteristic heady aromas. That said, when the scents of orange blossoms, apricots and honeysuckle hit the olfactory, it is paradise to the nose. Slightly off dry, creamy smooth with loads of orchard fruit flavours make it extremely palatable. There is not much acidity, but its a lovely sipper or try it with a seafood casserole. I’m already planning my next dinner party.


Duck Pond Cellars Pinot Gris 2014Duck Pond Cellars Pinot Gris 2014

Willamette Valley, Oregon
$19.95 (Vintages #333286) 14% alcohol

Pale in colour but not in taste. The Pinot Gris grape originated in France and is the same grape varietal as the Italian Pinot Grigio but the change in names have come to infer a slightly different style of wine. The latter being more light-bodied with stone fruit and floral aromas. I never used to pay much attention to the Pinot Gris grape varietal, but recently I’ve found such fabulous citrus and zesty acidity; this one really shines. Layered with vibrant fruit and a medium rich texture: honeymelon, yellow and green apple, aromatic nectarines and lots of citrus. How could anyone not love this white wine? It’s fresh but the earthy minerality at the end adds interest and depth. It’s a versatile match for all kinds of lighter fare food. Delicious.


Symington Altano 2013Symington Altano 2013

DOC Douro
$12.95 (Vintages #579862) 13.5% alcohol

Some wines are just meant for cheap and cheerful spaghetti nights and this is one of those.

Altano is the name given to warm summer thermal winds that blow across the vineyards. Ripe blackberries, blueberries and cherries pretty much sum up this red wine, medium bodied with firm tannins. A little young and bone dry and made for the above.


Grand Total – $98.70




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

Posted by Susan

Friday, September 12th, 2014

If you’re a lover of Ontario wines, as many of our Savvy Selections subscribers are, you’ll be delighted with the September 13 LCBO Vintages releases, which showcases the diversity of terroir and wines across the province.

Vintages magazine Sept 13 2014

State of the Art in Ontario

This billion-dollar industry has come into its own over the last 30 years, and we’ve been contributing to it! Most Ontario wine is consumed in Canada, and the shift in consumer tastes away from spirits to dry table wine can only accelerate the growth of the industry.

Old Vines, Part of Our Heritage

The province’s wine industry is located at approximately the same latitude as Burgundy, so we can ripen most Vitis vinifera grapes – Paul Bosc Sr. was one of the first to demonstrate this at Château des Charmes, where the first vines were planted in 1978 – and produce a range of wine styles, from crisp sparkling wines, such as The Grange of Prince Edward County Sparkling Riesling and Peller Estates Ice Cuvée Rosé, through off-dry and dry white or red wines to the iconic ice wine that reintroduced the Canadian wine industry to the world, represented in this release by Château des Charmes’  beautifully crafted ‘Estate Bottled’ Vidal Icewine.

Nature & Nurture

There’s a particular focus in this Ontario feature on the Cabernet Franc grape, which ripens particularly well in Niagara.  Used in Bordeaux blends, and produced as a single varietal wine in the Chinon and Bourgeuil appellations in France, Cabernet Franc has come into its own in Canada’s wine regions. The Ontario feature includes great examples from such producers as Peller Estates, Southbrook, Tawse and Thirty Bench (its Red is built around Cabernet the Cabernet grapes).

Taste the Place

I have visited Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore several times, and usually make at least one annual pilgrimage to Niagara. It never ceases to amaze me how many new wineries are sprouting from the soil, how successful the well-established ones are, and how many wine lovers are stopping in to taste the wines, meet the winemakers, and take home a selection of wines. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to visit one of the regions in person, take advantage of this Vintages release to put together your own tasting party of Ontario wines!

Taste 2011For a real-life taste, come to TASTE 2014.  Come & meet some of the region’s finest chefs, winemakers, beer, spirits and cider masters. Sample the best gourmet food from top local restaurants and artisan food producers. Buy fresh produce and VQA wines in our farmer’s market. Come to Prince Edward County and see why TASTE Community Grown is Eastern Ontario’s most anticipated culinary event of 2014.

Tuscany’s Third Pillar – again

There’s always a secondary feature in the Vintages release, and this one will appeal to lovers of Sangiovese, specifically the Prugnolo gentile clone that is used in the production of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.  This wine is designed for aging and is known for its firm structure, dark fruit and earthy character. Five producers are represented in the release – take your pick!

And, of course, there are some great values to be had in the general release, a couple of which are included in the selection below.

Sources:  The Ontario Wine Industry: Provincial Policy at a Crossroads, Pelling & Hira


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

September 13, 2014 


Flat Rock RieslingFlat Rock Cellars Riesling 2013

VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario
$16.95 (Vintages 43281) 11.0% alcohol

Fabulous aromas of peach, nectarine, pear, lime and some mineral notes lift from the class of this off-dry white wine. It’s a masterpiece of balance, showcasing a beautifully crisp texture juxtaposed to round, well-ripened fruit flavours and that subtle mineral character. It’s juicy and flavourful to the last drop! Sip well chilled paired with soft cheeses on a warm autumn afternoon.


Talmard Macon UchizyMallory & Benjamin Talmard Mâcon-Uzichy 2012

AOC Mâcon-Uzichy, France
$16.95 (Vintages 733956) 13.0% alcohol

This classic white wine of southern Burgundy combines stone and orchard fruit aromas with the scent of sweet woodruff and smoke. Dry, medium bodied, it’s ripe round texture is perfectly matched to a fine seam of acidity. Flavours of apple and lemon-lime dance on the palate, garnished with a touch of toasted nut. Well balanced and absolutely lovely, it’s a match for lemon roast chicken or your choice of seafood. 


13th Street Cabernet Merlot13th Street Cabernet/Merlot 2012

VQA Creek Shores, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages 56598) 13.5% alcohol

Dense and inky, this red wine blend offers lovely aromas of ripe dark fruit, earthy notes and hints of lavender and dried herbs. Dry, medium-full bodied, it’s polished tannins and tangy texture harmonize with dark berry and plum. There’s depth and intensity here, spice and smoky toast complementing the fruit on the extended finish. Enjoy with grilled red meats.


Chakana Cabernet SauvignonCkakana ‘Yaguaraté Collection’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 

Mendoza, Argentina
$13.95 (Vintages #663161) 14.5% alcohol

Ripe aromas of black currant, spice, toast and licorice lift from the glass of this appealing, full-bodied varietal wine. It offers a warm welcome, round mouth feel, soft tannins and generous ripe fruit accented by spice and tasty notes of coffee bean. This red wine is a crowd-pleaser with a pleasantly dry finish, it’s a great value and made for barbequed meats.


Dominio Cepas Viejas MenciaDominio de Tares ‘Cepas Viejas’ Mencia 2009

DO Bierzo, Spain
$29.95 (Vintages #379891) 14.5% alcohol

Subtle aromas—cherry, berry, leather, meaty notes, spice and vanilla—tantalize the nose and offer a well-rehearsed intro to the velvety, round texture of this captivating old-vines wine. It’s produced from Mencia, a grape native to Spain’s northwest and shown, through DNA testing, to be related to a grape native to Portugal.

Dry, combining finesse and power, it showcases great intensity and depth of fruit, a well-defined, refined structure, and the complexity of French and American barrel aging. The dry finish offers warmth and great length. Just fabulous, treat yourself to a bottle and you’ll enjoy tasting this wine before a dinner built around rare grilled meats. 






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

Posted by Debbie

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Relax.  It’s still summer. Thoughts of snowbanks & black ice are far from our minds right now.  Advertisements might be using the F-word: Fall.  While commercials are reminding you that you need to get into back-to-school routine, we’re here to tell you sit back & sip.

LCBO Vintages Magazine Aug 16Relax, its mid-August and there are many lazy days of summer still left in the calendar.

The hardest job for me to do when I taste & review wine is pick the best ones to recommend.  Seriously, it is hard to do! For this If I had $100, I would buy at Vintages, I decided that I would offer you tips on wines to sip & relax with. Pick these up at a LCBO, then pull up a Muskoka chair and chill….summer is short, so enjoy every last minute of it.



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

August 16, 2014


Fielding Pinot GrisFielding Pinot Gris 2013

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$21.95 (Vintages # 251108) % alcohol

Keep this white wine in the fridge until one of those scorching hot afternoons when nothing seems to quench your thirst.  This wine will come to the rescue. Crisp & refreshing this wine has mentions of peach, pear and fresh baked apple crisp.  This white wine doesn’t need any food, but if you must, creamy cheese or BBQ pork skewers would do the trick.


Lailey Sauvignong BlancLailey Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages #72728)  12% alcohol

Promise me this….if you only grab one of the wines I recommend, you’ll pick up this one.  Derek Barnett, the winemaker at Lailey, makes amazing wines – full stop.  Over a cold one (yes, he loves his beer) he told me that Sauvignon Blanc is one of his favorite white wines to make.  This one hits the mark straight on.  Floral, citrus & herbal notes jump out of the glass – classic Sauvignon Blanc characteristics.  Each sip is class act.  Pack a picnic basket. include this wine and loads of finger foods & salads or fire up the BBQ & grill up some shrimp. You’ll be a happy camper.


tessellae_old_vines_2012_cdr_petit_formatTessellae Carignan Old Vines, Cotes du Rousillon 2012

Rousillon, France
$18.95 (Vintages #343517) 14% alcohol

This one takes me back to a summer holiday I had in France.  The little hillside town of Roussillon with its array of striking colours of terracotta made each building a piece of artwork.  I took photos constantly.

This is a classic blend of 40% Grenache from 60 year old vines at the base of the hilltop town combined with 40% Syrah & 20% Mouvedre grapes.  Interestingly, the wines were aged in concrete tanks for a year rather than oak barrels.  This is a BIG red wine begging to be enjoyed with a BBQ steak, lamb or grilled mushrooms.   Intense colour with cocoa, blackberry and peppery notes, this is one complex wine.  Treat yourself and buy a few bottles – some to enjoy now & another bottle for when you are buried under the white stuff to bring back memories of summer!


Domaine Bousquet Reseve MalbecDomaine Bousquet Reserve Malbec 2012

Mendoza, Argentina
$15.95 (Vintages #55244) 13% alcohol

I was suspicious about the price, but holy Toledo, it had me at the first sip!  Mark my words, this red wine won’t last on the Vintages shelves till Labour Day. HUGE fruit notions of blackberry jam, black cherries and warm spices sprinkled with dark chocolate to round out the smooth texture.  Made with certified organic grapes grown high on the mountain side, a sip of this wine will make you hungry for burgers or kick it up a notch and serve with a beef tenderloin.  Buy 3 bottles because it will disappear fast.


 And what is summer without a Rose wine?

Domaine La Rocaliere TavelDomane la Rocalière Tavel Rose 2013

Tavel, France
$19.95 (Vintages #375618) 14.5% alcohol

Hands down a summertime classic.  In the Tavel region of France (South West), they craft only Rosé wines.  The outstanding calibre sets the bar for winemakers around the world who dabble with adding Rosé wines to their portfolio each year. This is a serious Rosé wine made with Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes and the result is an elegant wine hints of strawberry jam (or is it raspberry jam?), wild flowers with a zippy taste that makes this a great crisp & refreshing wine…exactly what you want to unwind with as the summer sun sets.