Posts Tagged ‘Wines from Argentina’

If I only had $100, I would buy….wines from Argentina!

Posted by Julie

Thursday, January 19th, 2017
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This time last year, my husband and I spent a month in Buenos Aires, so when I saw that this release focused on Argentina, I was VERY excited to see what new wines would come into LCBO’s Vintages. Here are 3 wines from Mendoza (Argentina’s largest wine region) since it is the leader in quantity and quality of Malbec wines.

Three interesting facts Argentina & their wine:

Fact #1 – 80% of the country’s wine production is centered in this desert region located sandwiched between the Andes Mountain range (that borders Chile) and about 650 miles west of Buenos Aires. The region rarely sees challenges of insects, fungi or mould due to the high altitude and low humidity. And honestly, the daily temperatures ranged between 26C to 30C…that is certainly sounding pretty good right now as we suffer through a cold snap.

Fact #2 – In 2010, the Argentina government declared wine as Argentina’s national liquor. Tuck that one away for trivia night!

Fact #3 – Canada is the 3rd largest market for Argentina wines…behind England & the US.

As they say in Argentina ‘Salud’,

-Julie

 

If I only had $100, I would buy…
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday January 21, 2017

 

Joseph Cattin Brut Rosé Crémant D’Alsace

Méthode Traditionnelle, AC, France
$19.95 (Vintages #264572)

Before I get into the Argentina feature, I must shine the spotlight on this sparkling wine.  Often found gracing the Vintages shelves, this beautiful pale cranberry coloured bubbly is always an elegant crowd-pleaser. For those of you who like sparkling wine and Rosé, it is a first class choice.

Made entirely from the Pinot Noir grapes, it’s characterised by cherry and currant flavours. It’s dry, creamy and refreshing. A perfect aperitif, celebration wine or even served with dessert – a strawberry cheesecake or fruit torte it could be magical. I’m definitely going to give it a try!  Now if I could only find juicy strawberries in January…

 

Colome Torrontes 2015

Calchaqui Valley, Salta, Argentina 
$15.95 (Vintages # 357913) 13.5% alcohol

Whenever I serve Torrontes wine to guests, people always ask what wine I am serving, where it comes from, where they can buy it. It is a great find! Often there are one or two Torrontes wines available in the Vintages section of the LCBO. While not common, Torrontes has become the signature white wine of Argentina.

Dry as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, there’s a little lanolin or honeyed taste that coats the palate while many soft citrus flavours explode. Mandarin oranges, lemons, apricots with lingering finishes of savory and grass.

It’s a great tapas wine: sardines, almonds, olives, chips or just on its own.

 

Fabre Montmayou Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 

Mendoza, Argentina  
$18.95 (Vintages # 261891) 14.5% alcohol

Although Christmas is long gone, that heavenly aroma of traditional fruit cake and Christmas pudding loaded with dark ripe dried fruit and nuts reminded me of how great wine aromas like this one can trigger memories & fill your senses.

Medium bodied and dry, dark red/blackberry flavours dance on the palate and your senses are filled with some divine vanilla in the aftertaste.  It’s a great on its own or with the usual grilled fare.  Absolutely. Delicious.

 

Zuccardi Q Malbec 2013

Uco Valley, Province of Mendoza, Argentina
$19.95 (Vintages #723478) 14% alcohol

This is a classic expression of Malbec. Deep and dark in colour, violet aromas tantalize and blueberry blackberries and savoury play on the palate. Tannins are soft and smooth with a little mocha and tar on the finish.

Last month, Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm spent a day at the new Zuccardi Winery and was WOWed by the setting, the vineyards,  the hospitality & of course…the wines.  “What impressed me is that the winery is using concrete tanks rather than the typical stainless tanks commonly used.  And there are only a few oak barrels in the cellar….the winemaking team at Zuccardi focuses on creating wines to bring out the natural flavours without the help of oak. That is incredible and the result is pure and outstanding.”

Uncork this red wine to enjoy with a herb encrusted pork tenderloin or Sunday roast beef. Guaranteed that there will be smiles around the table.

 

Susana Balbo Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Uco Valley, Province of Mendoza, Argentina
$19.95 (Vintages #260919) 14% alcohol 

With over 20 years as a consultant winemaker for national and international wine companies, when Susana decided to build a winery, she did in style and with much panache.  In 1981, she was the first woman in Argentina to receive a degree in enology, and in 2012, she was recognized as one of the most influential women winemakers by The Drink Business Magazine.

This Cabernet Sauvignon is one charmer from start to finish. Full-bodied, ripe currants, herbal notes, tobacco, savoury – loads of complexity and backbone. This red wine overflows with character and strength.  Roasts or grill meats & vegetables would be fabulous.

 

Grand Total – $ 94.75

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, May 13th, 2016
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In the 2016 merry month of May, LCBO Vintages brings back all kinds of “Customer Favourites”. In the May 14 release, there’s a varied collection of wines from around the world that you will just LOVE!

LCBO Vintages Magazine May 14These are tried & true bestsellers that come with our Vintages customers’ seal of approval.  There are also some great new picks from New Zealand to help us give summer a push.  Believe me when I say…this is the time to go looking for new favorite wines.

I found a little trivia on the month when I was scouting on the internet. Things I did not know is that 1) May was named after the Greek goddess Maia, of fertility and 2) in any given year, no month ever begins or ends on the same day of the week as May does. How’s that for (useless) information.

But it’s a beautiful month and everything with legs is out there walking, running, cycling etc…and speaking of legs, there are some great wine picks here and some even have legs!

Cheers,
Julie

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

Saturday May , 2016

 

Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2015Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Marlborough, South Island
$24.95 (Vintages #677450) 13.5% alcohol

Year after year “Dog Point” produces first class Sauvignon Blanc’s.  Pungent aromas of lemon, lime, a little ginger that follows through on the palate. It’s light to medium weight delivering great fruit flavour. There’s some grapefruit on the aftertaste that pulls it all together with a tangy white peppery finish. Clean and fresh, it never disappoints. It’s one great sipper.

 

Fielding Rosé 2015Fielding Estate Rosé 2015

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$15.95 (Vintages #53421) 12.3% alcohol 

For those of you who follow my column, you know I am a big fan of Fielding wines and this rosé is the best ever.  And so pretty in PINK, a lighter colour than other years; I really do prefer the lighter coloured rosés, they just seem to have more “class”. There’s a hint of sweetness in the off dry candy floss taste but it’s very smooth and edgey with enough acidity to make it interesting while delivering culprits of tart rhubarb and ripe strawberries.  It is a lovely rosé. I hope winemaker Richie Roberts made enough to last the summer.  There’s a case of this on my list.

 

Conundrum Red 2013Conundrum Red 2013

25th anniversary edition, California
$24.95 (Vintages #294298) 14.2% alcohol

A fabulously deep ruby red and the label on this bottle tells that the Wagner family has gone all out to celebrate. There is outstanding intensity to this big robust red. Rich ripe dark berries that are generous in flavours make it extremely palatable. Soft tannins offer good balance and a delicate mix of spice at the end make this year’s Conundrum special indeed.  With the usual food groups that demand a red wine, this is superb.

 

Zolo Reserve Malbec 2013Zolo Reserve Malbec 2013

Mendoza Fincas Patagonica, Argentina
$18.95 (Vintages# 81091) 14% alcohol 

Aged 14 months in American and French oak barrels makes this Malbec even more delicious than other years. Ripe nose of violets, blueberries and black currants, it’s dark and inky in colour.

The palate is full-bodied with fine-grained tannins , a touch of mint on the finish; it’s just begging for some rare grilled steak.

 

Ardal Crianza 2010Ardal Crianza 2010

DO Ribera del Duero
Bodegas Balbás, Spain $17.95 (Vintages #167601) 14% alcohol

A winemaker can hardly go wrong with a blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, certainly two of my favourite varietals. Intense dried black fruit notes, full bodied and nicely polished. There is good volume and it just flows on the palate with tannins building into a spicy bramble, peppery aftertaste.  One great choice for spicy burgers.

 

Grand Total = $101.75    

(oops, I changed coats so I am looking in my pockets for spare change)

 

 

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, February 19th, 2016
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The Red Carpet Ontario Awards and Australia are featured in this LCBO Vintages release. Just like the Academy Awards, I look forward to the Red Carpet Ontario awards since I’m cheering for all my favourite wineries and winemakers to win, many which I have visited over the years and it’s just too exciting.

LCBO Magazine Feb 20As for the Australian features, I don’t know anyone who does not enjoy a big fruity Shiraz. There were too many to fit in my basket but I thought I’d take advantage of all these reds since by mid-winter I’ve perfected the hearty stews and they are going to have great accompaniments.

I’m picking up a few of everything to help me stay warm at the end of winter, ahem.

Cheers,
Julie

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
Saturday
February 20, 2016

 

Creekside Estate Queenston Road Pinot Noir 2014Creekside Estate Queenstown Road Pinot Noir 2014

VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara Peninsula
$18.95 (Vintages #415877) 12.5% alcohol

Great things grow along that Queenstown Road, even if the vineyards are situated some 105 metres above sea level. Cherry and cranberry aromas and tastes, smooth as silk on the palate, medium bodied weight and tannins with some beloved St. David Bench earthiness and minerality on the spine of this red wine. For Pinot lovers, don’t miss out.

 

Peller Estates Private Reserve Gamay Noir 2013Peller Estates Private Reserve Gamay Noir 2013

VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula
$19.95 (Vintages #444745) 13.3% alcohol

In 2012 and 2013 Peller Estates vintages won the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Ontario Wines. The 2012 also won a Gold Medal from Wine Align’s National Wine Awards of Canada 2014, Silver Medal from the International Wine & Spirit Competition UK 2014, and Silver Medal from the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014. How’s that for credentials?

I did not have the opportunity to taste this red wine but tasting notes highlight cherry and red fruit flavours, some vegetal and earthy notes on the finish, light to medium bodied and would work with any number of dishes including salmon. Serve it slightly chilled so the fresh tastes are even more lasting. I can’t wait!

 

Trapiche Fincas Las Palmas Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2012Trapiche Fincas Las Palmas Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Mendoza, Argentina
$16.95 (Vintages #143206) 14.5% alcohol

Rich alluring aromas of cassis and vanilla waft through the glass and big ripe juicy red and black fruits dance on the palate. Last year this red wine flew off the shelves and I don’t expect this year to be any different, so if you like Cab. Sauv.’s from Argentina, stock up.

Fruity but bone dry with a little smokiness at the end of the long finish. Richly textured with great depth and fine tannins. A knock out for the price-tag so you can spend extra on the prime rib or crown roast of pork from your favourite butcher.

 

Tahbilk Cabernet Sauvignon 2012Tahbilk Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Nagamble Lakes, Central Victoria, Australia
$22.95 (Vintages #138818) 13.5% alcohol

Alluring, concentrated aromas of rich blackberry and black currant fruit. There’s savoury notes on the palate with a little chewy texture, well integrated tannins and it slips down very smooth. There’s some woodsmoke at the end of a long flavourful finish. It’s a lovely Cab. Sauv, and ready to take on any strong spicy meats, cheeses or charcuterie.

 

Heartland Shiraz 2013Heartland Shiraz 2013

Langhorne Creek, South Australia
$18.95 (Vintages #661934) 14.4% alcohol

Boasting big dark intense fruit flavours in aromas and tastes, this Shiraz is a beauty. Opaque, dark purple almost inky in colour, it exudes richness and depth. Full-bodied red wine with a little pepper dancing in the layered dark fruit flavours, there’s some bitter dark chocolate and a tinge of menthol on the long fruity finish. Bring on the rack of lamb and mint jelly.

 

Grand Total – $97.95  

 

 

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, October 30th, 2015
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On Saturday Oct. 31 you will find Whisky and Chilean wines are the main features of the LCBO release. We recently participated in a whisky tasting in Ireland and Chile is on our travel bucket list, so who would like to come to our house for a tasting?

LCBO Vintages Magazine Oct 31Good things grow on the side of the Andes, the world’s largest mountain range and the grape varietals are rich, diverse and amazing. Chile is fortunate to have climate conditions that are ideal for grape growing harvests.  Hot summers, coastal cooling breezes, and moderate rainfall.

Chile’s geographic barriers make Chile a veritable agriculture island protected in the north by the Atacama Desert, the Andes in the east, the Pacific Ocean in the west and the Patagonia ice fields in the south. The vineyards are totally protected against pests and disease. Just like in other parts to the world there are regional wine routes in the 14 grape growing regions with unforgettable wineries to discover. Perhaps after trying some of these releases, Chile might be on your bucket list too.

Slàinte,
Julie

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
Saturday October 31, 2015

 

Signos de Origen La Vinilla Chardonnay Viognier Marsanne Roussanne 2014Signo De Origen La Vinilla Chardonnay/Viognier/Marsanne/Roussanne 2014

Casablanca Valley
$19.95 (Vintages # 63909) 14.5 % alcohol

This is a winning combination for the winemaker. A blend of 63% Chardonnay, 15% Viognier, 14% Marsanne and 8% Roussanne and this luscious organic nectar takes the best from all the grapes. Golden to the eye, tropical fruit bathes the palate with layers of deliciousness. Some honey and floral aromas lead to flavours of baked pears, peaches and apricots, smooth and silky with an underlying seam of citrus acidity. Well-balanced and mouth filling with a long fruity finish. Sheer yum and a style of white wine I like on its own or with some grilled fish.

 

Falernia Reserva Carmenère 2013Falernia Réserva Carmenère 2013

Elqui Valley, Chile
$19.95 (Vintages #269175) 15% alcohol

Huge, broad and delicious, rich in concentrated deep purple. The grapes were partially dried before fermentation similar to the appassimento style which always leads to more concentrated flavours. Monstrous juicy ripe blackberry flavours, bone dry but some sweet spice and warmth at the end of the lengthy finish. It begs for a really good beef stew and crusty bread. Can’t wait to pick up a few bottles of this red wine.

 

Tabalí Reserva Especial 2011Tabali Reserva Especial 2011

Limari Valley, Chile
$23.95 (Vintages #107540) 14% alcohol

An assertive blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot delivers dense notes of deep dark berries with some underlying subtle herbal notes. Rich and creamy in texture, the dark cherry flavours intermingle with mocha and white pepper, soft tannins on the lengthy finish. This red wine would be lovely with pot roast or lamb tagine.

 

Ventisquero Grey Glacier Single Block Carmenère 2012Ventisquero Grey Glacier Single Block Carmenère 2012

Main Valley, Chile
$19.95 (Vintages #325415) 14% alcohol

18 months in French oak barrel gives this Carm. a big body with loads of black cherry flavours. Appealing notes of earth, woodsmoke, violet, red rose aromas combined with big berry and fruitcake flavours on the palate make it gutsy. Great interplay with strong but subtle tannins, well-balanced with a long peppery finish. This red wine is perfect for hearty pasta dishes like spaghetti bolognese.

 

Pascual Toso Chardonnay 2014Pascual Toso Chardonnay 2014

Mendoza, Argentina
$15.95 (Vintages #162636) 13.5 % alcohol

I’m just seeing who is paying attention since I inserted a country cousin from Argentina. It was part of this release and at this price point, it is such an amazing Chardonnay with lots of personality (I just had to sneak it in.) Honeysuckle aromas capture the nose. Look for an interplay of baked pears and crisp apples on the palate, bone dry but a buttery caramel finish that makes it so interesting. This white wine would pair beautifully with some juicy pork chops cooked with apples.

 

GRAND TOTAL – $ 95.75

 

 

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, October 16th, 2015
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I’m not sure about the rest of you but I find my $100 does not go nearly as far as what it used to. Wine inflation, or is it that my opportunity to taste many products is getting the better of me?

LCBO Magazine Oct 17The LCBO Vintages release of October 17 focuses on Barolo (Italy) and Napa (California) full-bodied wines at full-bodied prices. The reasons are varied from the outstanding property value where the grapes are harvested, to the methodology spent by the winemakers in producing such rich full-bodied wines.

Having just returned from Ireland, I was a little squeezed for cash for this month, but I am very pleased in offering three 3 great whites, a port and a red ruby with my last $100.00. and just a little change. Perhaps still on holiday mode, I overspent but not by much.

Slàinte,
Julie

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
Saturday October 17, 2015

Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage Port 2009Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage Port 2009

Unfiltered, DOP
$21.95 (Vintages #87551) 20% alcohol

THE SCOOP: I had forgot how delicious this Port can taste, talk about desert! It is like a liquified Christmas cake with a little chocolate on top. How is that for a tasting note? Aromas of caramel, toasted nuts and raisin pie, some ripe blackberry, creamy and luscious on the palate with loads of volume. The long, smooth, slightly peppery finish trickles warmly down the throat sending you back for one more sip, oh my it’s good. I hate to use an old cliché, but with some stinky strong cheese it is a match made in heaven.

 

Napa Cellars Chardonnay 2013Napa Cellars Chardonnay 2013

Napa Valley, California
$23.95 (Vintages #225342) 14.2% alcohol

THE SCOOP: For those of my friends who love a big full-bodied Chard., this one is for you.

The melange of tropical fruit is over the top, reminiscent of my baked pear and peach crisp with some toasted almonds. It’s creamy and buttery with concentrated caramel and vanilla on the lengthy finish. Not for the faint of heart, this Napa-style classic white wine has loads of finesse. It could easily stand up to a bbq’d steak or with some grilled swordfish or salmon.

 

Creekside Reserve Viognier 2013Creekside Reserve Viognier 2013

VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara Peninsula
$26.95 (Vintages #264168) 13.5% alcohol

THE SCOOP: A sensational Viognier and only 150 cases, so put it on your list. Delivers layers of soft tropical fruits, ripe yellow apple and peaches, wild honey, and a touch of spice. Ever so slightly off- dry but with a perfect seam of citrus acidity to round it out. Beautifully balanced, medium weight, smooth as silk and one taste keeps you coming back for more. Serve it slightly chilled and don’t spoil it with food – there’s just too much goodness in this bottle.

 

Zolo Torrontés 2014Zolo Torrentés 2014

Mendoza, Argentina
$14.95 (Vintages #183913) 13.8 % alcohol

THE SCOOP: Bright pale yellow bursting with a field of white flower aromas mingled with lychee and lemon-lime zest. Clean and fresh on the palate, lots of citrusy fruit flavours, a lovely zip of acidity with a tantalizing zippy finish. It would be fabulous with chicken Alfredo, lemon linguine, fish and chips or a lovely sipper on its own. One great price-point for a value packed wine.

 

3 Rings Shiraz 20133 Rings Shiraz 2013

Barossa Valley, Australia
$18.95 (Vintages #15495) 15.2% alcohol

THE SCOOP: Huge dark fruit fruit; blackberries and blueberries, a little cassis and some green pepper at the end. One solid Shiraz with fine tannins underlying all the berry flavours ending in a peppery dried fruit finish. This beauty has length and depth. With some lamb burgers or chops it would be lip-smacking.There’s a lot of wine here for that price point.

 

 

GRAND TOTAL – $ 106.75 (oops)

 

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, August 7th, 2015
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Got the Long Weekend blues?  Try the new releases from LCBO Vintages on August 8 and you’ll think you’ve won the lottery. Although this release focuses on the Loire Valley and the Pacific North West, for those of you who know and read my blog I really am a Canadian at heart kind of gal so once again – I can only “brag” about our Canadian content.

LCBO Vintages Magazine August 8There’s quite a variety of new reds from all over Ontario especially the Lake Erie North shore and while I haven’t traveled down that way, it’s starting to look like a destination for wine lovers.

I can only encourage you to stroll through Vintages on 8 August and see for yourself, you may also want to pick up one or two of my suggestions which will not disappoint.

Cheers, Julie

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
Saturday August 8, 2015

 

Casa-Dea sparkling roseDea’s Sparkling Rosé 2013

VQA Prince Edward County, Casa Dea Vineyards
$19.95 (Vintages #424622) 11.4% alcohol

100% Gamay grapes went into producing this lovely rosé which offers huge berries and fine mousse on the palate, with just a little touch of citrus on the finish. There’s a pinch of earthiness which makes it interesting and adds complexity – crisp and refreshing, it’s one lovely sparkling rosé.

 

Foreign Affairs Enchanted RipassoForeign Affairs Enchanted 2013

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$17.95 (Vintages # 389767) 12% alcohol

With a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling it is almost impossible to go wrong. Floral nose and fruity flavours on the palate, lots of citrus; sweet pink grapefruit, peaches and lemon but dry and refreshing. Tastes clean and crisp; an elegant white wine blend to sip on its own or with a strawberry grilled chicken salad – a perfect summer afternoon delight.

 

Mission Hill ChardonnayMission Hill Reserve Chardonnay 2013

BC VQA Okanagan Valle,
$21.95 (Vintages # 545004) 13.5% alcohol

A few years ago, my husband and I lunched at the Mission Hills winery overlooking the beautiful vineyards in the Okanagan Valley. The Mission Hill Winery reminded me of a French Chateau; a first class act, very impressive and the wines were just generally fabulous. This is a beautifully made Chardonnay, crisp and layered with flavours of apricots, pears, melon the usual tropical fruit culprits but integrated into such creamy full body, no doubt as a result of some time spent in American oak barrels. A little butter on the finish of this white wine and worth every penny; elegant and refined. Chicken Alfredo comes to mind.

 

Anticha Masseria Jorche Primitovo di ManduriaAntica Masseria Jorche Primitivo di Manchuria 2010

DOP, Puglia, Italy, $21.95 (Vintages #417535) 15% alcohol

This intense dark opaque beauty oozes with ripe dark berry fruit. Dark fruit aromas and on the palate, layer upon layer of juicy goodness in this full-bodied red wine with aftertastes of Christmas cake and subtle vanilla flavours. While I don’t usually think about “winter” food in July , it would make an extremely handsome accompaniment with Osso Bucco and I’m stashing at least one away for November. Sheer yum.

 

Penfolds Cabernet SauvignonPenfolds Bin 9 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

South Australia$23.95 (Vintages #411504) 14.5 % alcohol

Black fruit notes prevail in a solidly built Cabernet Sauvignon. A big red wine; classic and complex with a blackcurrant, black cherry structure with suggestions of cedar and herbal notes. Medium to full bodied, bone dry with soft but grippy tannins, dark berries and mocha on the smooth finish. Worthy of a great roast. (Julie Stock)

 

 

GRAND TOTAL – $105.75  

(oops, but these were all so good)

 

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

Posted by Julie

Saturday, July 25th, 2015
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If your birthday coincides with the LCBO Vintages release on July 25th, your horoscope is dictated by Leo the Lion. You are supposedly characterized by being highly outgoing and independent, possessing a highly social nature so to give these characteristics adage, you should go shopping at Vintages.

LCBO Vintages Magazine July 25This release displays some old tried and trues with a focus on “Wines to Chill”, (probably both figuratively and literally) Argentina and Greece, great new choices for our last week of July 2015 and at terrific price points as you can see below.

And for a little trivia, July 25 is the 206th day of the year (207 in leap years), in the Gregorian calendar. How many of you knew that?

Summertime and my living is easy.
Cheers,
Julie

 

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
July 25
, 2015

 

Trius Divine WhiteTrius Divine White 

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$19.95 (Vintages #054957) 12.5% alcohol

Aromas of white blossoms and orchard fruits. Pale in colour, this delicate white wine is one beautiful light bodied blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurtztraminer and Chardonnay. The taste really is divinely light and fresh. I almost detected a slight effervescence on the palate combined with tastes of pear and melon with a little citrus on the finish. Makes for a lovely afternoon sipper or with some soft cheese, maybe some skewered shrimp in a Thai dressing. A class act.

 

Pietro Marini Torrontes 2013Pietro Marini Torrontés 2013

Salta, Argentina
$12.95 (Vintages #408443) 13.2% alcohol

The Argentinian signature Torrontes grape never fails to disappoint with its pale golden colour and aromatic nose of white flowers and fruit.Harvested at 1750 feet above sea level gives this wine a distinct light bodied appearance but with a backbone of fresh acidity, pear and lime flavours on the palate. It is a wonderful light-bodied summer white wine; great on its own or with seafood/ summer salads.

 

Squealing PigSquealing Pig Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Marlborough, New Zealand
$21.95 (Vintages #414789) 13.5 % alcohol

Aside from great marketing (and you should see the bottle!) your nose really perks up with pineapple and strong citrus aromas of lime. Lots of green apple and stone fruit on the palate of this white wine which makes it interesting for a Sauvignon Blanc. It’s so fresh and racy with a slightly herbaceous edge, makes you literally squeal with delight on the finish. Great acidity makes it a fab food partner. It’s fun and very yummy.

 

 

Valle Los Acequinas Oak Cabernet SauvignonValle Las Acequias Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Mendoza, Chile
$16.95 (Vintages #287516) 13% alcohol

This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon has it all. Spending 10 months in French Oak has created layers of ripe plums, blackberries and blueberries with aromas of cedar and pencil shavings. Although only 13% alcohol, it’s gutsy. Bone dry but luscious, velvety with soft tannins and a long fruity sweet spice finish. Deserving of a fine quality steak with the hottest horseradish you can find. This red wine stands up to be counted – nirvana.

 

Grant Burge 5th Generation ShirazGrant Burge 5th Generation Shiraz 2013

Australia
$18.95 (Vintages #361295) 14% alcohol

This 5th generation winery never fails to disappoint. This dense purple in colour and fruit forward Shiraz is loaded with opulent ripe plums and black fruit characteristics from start to finish. Some woodsy aromas prevail in this red wine with rich bouquets of the fruit. Ripe tannins with sweet spice and a little menthol on the finish. It reminds me of a chocolate coated mint that sends you back for another (sip) – delicious.

 

Grand Total: $90.75

 

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, May 15th, 2015
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The merry month of May, didn’t someone write a song about that? Regardless, the features this month are bound to make anyone merry…talk about something to look forward to! Australia, fresh whites and sake line this release and I can hardly wait. Not to mention, we’re finally getting some patio weather to enjoy these mouth-watering wines outdoors.

LCBO Vintages Magazine May 16If you have a wedding or anniversary or very special occasion there is an Armand De Brigand Brut Gold Champagne out that comes in a lacquered box right from France. According to LCBO Vintages it was the #1 holiday gift last year and sometimes referred to as the Ace of Spades. (Vintages # 220244, $299.95 a bottle)

Whatever is on the rest of your May’s agenda, I hope you pickup a bottle or two of the release to watch the flowers grow.

Cheers
Julie

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
Saturday May 16, 2015

 

Howard Park Flint Rock ChardonnayHoward Park Flint Rock Chardonnay 2012

Great Southern, Australia
$22.95 (LCBO Vintage #410027) 13% alcohol

Aromas of tropical fruit in this white wine that carry forth on the palate. A little butter coating the mouthfeel but does not take away from the banana,and apricot flavours that waltz on the palate when you savour this white wine. Very smooth with a clean seam of acidity and a long flinty finish. A first class choice to accompany some garlic mussels in a wine sauce.

 

Eradus Sauvignon BlancEradus Sauavignon Blanc

Aware Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand
$18.95 (Vintage #225557) 13% alcohol

Marlborough is located in the north east corner of the south island in New Zealand and is considered by many wine critics to produce the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc. Remember that commercial about the car with “zoom, zoom”? This is how I would describe this Sauv. Medium bodied, fresh lemon lime flavours, tangy and crisp, smooth and elegant. It won the gold at the International Wine Competition this year, need I say more? A white wine that’s delicious on its own or with a wide variety of summer fare; there’s lots of backbone and flavour.

 

Finca El Origen Reserva TorrontesFinca El Origen Reserva Torrontés 2014

Salta, Argentina
$15.95 (Vintages #262089) 13.5 % alcohol

The Torrontés Riojano varietal always produces wines that are crisp and interesting and this is no exception. Pale golden in colour with a slight greenish hue, aromas of tangerines and pineapple, slightly floral. There’s citrus on the palate of this white wine combined with a melange of other fruit flavours. Balanced acidity and light bodied, it makes a fabulous not just summer wine. I’d pair this with spicy tacos or seafood or just on its own. There’s lots of pizzazz here.

 

Howard Park Miamup Cabernet SauvignonHoward Park Miamup Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Margaret River, Australia
$19.95 (Vintages #410019) 14% alcohol

Deep brickish ruby red in colour, the wine spent 18 months in French oak barriques. Lots of blackberries and plums with savoury notes of rosemary and thyme on the palate. The tannins are soft and the finish is fruity on this red wine. A very approachable Cab. for roasted meats and grilled veggies.

 

 

Megalomaniac Pink Slip RoseMegalomaniac Pink Slip Pinot Noir Rosé 2014

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$17.95 (Vintages #85126) 14% alcohol

I would love a dress in this bright cranberry colour, not to mention how beautiful this rose wine looks in a tall stemmed glass. Aromas of summer, ripe red berries, strawberry and rhubarb on the palate, one medium bodied delicious mouthfeel, it’s a classy rosé with a crisp aftertaste that sends you back for more.

 

 

Grand Total: $ 95.75

 

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

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 6th, 2015
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OK wine shoppers, the wait is over!  There are amazing wines in the latest release at LCBO Vintages at INCREDIBLE prices.  Yes you heard me correctly, here are 6 wines that should in fact be double their price tag.

LCBO Vintages magazine March 7When I taste wine, I never consider the price until the end.  I sample the wine for its quality, guess to the price, then flip through the catalogue to seek out the actual cost.  The 6 wines I selected in this shopping list, I am baffled why the winemaker is ‘giving them away’.

You will see the shelves are well stocked with wines from British Columbia (yeah!) and Israel (give one a try – you’ll be amazed – guaranteed).  To remind us that St Patricks Day is in a few weeks, there are three different bottles of Irish whiskey on the store shelves.

“Start the car!” and get ready to fill your trunk with these gems.

 

Cheers!
Debbie

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
March 7, 2015

 

Bisol Jeio ProseccoJeio Colmei Extra Dry Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, Italy

Veneto, Italy DOCG
$16.95 (Vintages #30601) 11.5% alcohol

Grab three bottles (you will thank me) and be prepared to come back for more wine after you popped the cork on bottle #1.  Warning, once this sparkling wine is gone, it’s gone for good!  Aromas of fruit salad, crunchy apples, freshly grated ginger with a lime finish…and lively bubbles that are never ending. Chill, sip & repeat. 

 

 

Tinhorn Creek GewurztraminerTinhorn Creek Gewürztraminer VQA 2013, British Columbia

Okanagan, BC
$19.95 (Vintages #904185) 13% alcohol

A classic Gewurz with elegant aromas of green melon, lychee fruit and candied ginger.  Refreshing acidity with a long lingering finish makes this white wine beautiful & simply delicious. A classic match is spicy foods – Chicken Phad Thai, Morroccan Tangine  or a Asian Red Curry with coconut milk will be delicious.

 

 

Puklus Takaji Yellow MuscatPuklus Pincé Tokaji Yellow Muscat, Hungary

Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary
$15.95 (Vintages #46508) 13.5% alcohol

I am always on the lookout for hidden gems.  Knowing little about this particular wine, I thought I would give this wine a whirl (errr swirl). I was immediately impressed! Aromas of cantaloupe, honeydew melon and peach jump out of the glass.

Full bodied white wine with refreshing acidity that enhances the fruit – apple, mango, lime – flavours. A great white wine to serve with brunch, appetizers, Indian curry, or pork tenderloin with mango chutney.

“The volcanic/clay soils and hills of northeastern Hungary are to Muscat as Paris is to love or orange is to the new black.” – LCBO Vintages tasting notes

 

Olivares Altos de la HoyaOlivares Altos de la Hoya Monastrell

DO Jumilla, Spain
$13.95 (Vintages #163154) 14% alcohol

This red wine completely caught me off guard.  Everyone at the tasting was talking about the ‘Altos’ wine.  With one sip, I too have been talking about this wine ever since.  Deep ruby colour. Rich aromas, full bodied with predominant red and black fruits in each sip.  A long smoky finish with super smooth tannins.  I am sticker shocked that it is less than $15!

 

 

BenMarco MalbecBenMarco Malbec

Uco Valley, Mendoza Argentine
$18.95 (Vintages # 657601)

I have to confess, I chose this one because of its stunning label. This is a topnotch Malbec  loaded with fruit – pomegranate, boysenberry, ripe & juicy blackberries.  This red wine that is medium to full bodied with a long dark chocolate and coffee finish can be enjoyed with the full range from meatloaf to prime rib.

 

 

Emiliana Novas Grran Reserva Syrah MourvedreEmiliana Novas Gran Reserva Syrah/Mouvédre

Colchagua Valley, Chile
$15.95 (Vintages # 399360)

I have always been a fan of this organic winery.  This red wine blend of Syrah & Mouvédre  grape varieties (more common to French Côtes du Rhone) certainly WOWed me again.  Dark opaque in colour, it is concentrated with red fruit, dark chocolate, warm spices & pencil shavings with lots of tannins that will mellow out over time (cellar for 5 to 7 years) or when enjoyed with rich foods.   A rich wine that seems to last forever.  Fire up the BBQ for steak or get ready for a roast beef feast. An amazing price!

 

GRAND TOTAL: $101.70

 

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, February 6th, 2015
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Heritage Canada recently put out a pamphlet called “This is why I love Winter”, but they failed to mention the new wines in Vintages. For folks like myself this was a miss since indoor activities can offer up wonderful new tantalizing adventures. The LCBO Vintages release for February 7 offers all kinds of new kids on the block: “South of the Equator”, “Italy’s Native Grapes” and of course, “Valentine’s”.  Talk about something for everyone.

LCBO Vintages Magazine Feb 7Aside from the 37th Winterlude festivities, February can sometimes be dull, so why not sparkle it up with an afternoon brunch or lunch, featuring some new releases. Start with a sparkling or a new white wine and a red. A grouping of cheese, another for meats: interesting cold cuts, salamis’s with a few baguette thins and great mustard, tiny quiches, maybe a little soup (hot or cold) in a shooter, some one bite cupcakes or cocoa brownies to finish. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to make it fun and very satisfying. Introduce a little Port when the cappuccino machine goes on and folks will be talking about this for ages. Different and edgy.

Now this is why I love winter!
Julie

 

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

February 6, 2015

 

Poulet et Fils Cremant de DiePoulet et Fils Brut Crémant De Die

AC, Rhône, France
$17.95 (Vintages # 392555) 11.5% alcohol

The aromas are like putting your face into a bouquet of roses. Pale golden in colour, those tiny bubbles are just bursting with ripe strawberry and raspberry flavours that continue to effervesce with lemon-lime juiciness. It is a beautiful sparkling wine, perfect for a brunch or to share with a special someone during February. Would be divine with strong cheeses or just on its own.

 

 

Eradus Sauvignong BlancEradus Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand
$18.95 (Vintages #225557) 13.5% alcohol

While not new to Vintages, this 2013 release offers everything in a great Sauvignon Blanc. Pale in colour with lively green apple flavours that give your mouth a vivacious squirt of acidity. Very fresh with lots of lemon-lime on the palate this white wine is also soft and creamy, with a tangy and clean finish. Not overpowering but there’s lots of backbone and it will stand up to spinach spanakopitas.

 

 

Rolf BinderRolf Binder Heinrich Shiraz/Mataro/Grenache 2010

Barossa Valley, Australia
$24.95 (Vintages #995092) 14.5% alcohol

You can’t go wrong with a 65% Shiraz, 25% Mataro and 10% Grenache blend. Aromas of ripe plums and sweet spice carry through to the palate in this bold rich wine. Smooth as silk on the tongue with soft tannins and a fruity finish almost reminiscent of  Christmas cake. Layered and complex, lots going on with every sip and you could easily cellar this beauty for a few years. This red wine would be fabulous with a Cottage pie and don’t skimp on the garlic mash topping.

 

Lamadrid BonardaLamadrid Single Vineyard Bonarda 2011

Mendoza, Argentina
$14.95 (Vintages #232652) 14% alcohol 

Dark and inky in colour, smokey aromas waft from the glass. After just one sip of this red wine, sweet, very ripe dark berries coat the palate that seem to last forever. Blackberries and sweet spice permeate the long fruit finish. Tannins are soft but complex, the wine has good body and would stand up handsomely with anything grilled or some hot salami and olives. It’s also a  great sipper on its own with a page turner book and a fireplace.

 

Warre's Warrior Finest PortWarres Warrior Finest Reserve Port

Douro, Portugal
$16.95  (Vintages# 197202) 20% alcohol

DOP means Protected Denomination of Origin which means it has identifiable characteristics from a certain area in Portugal. With an unbelievable price point it did not disappoint. “Warrior” is the oldest brand of Port in the world, having been shipped continuously since the 1750’s.

A nose of buttered toast, hazelnuts and coffee, it is so big and smooth and deliciously sweet on the palate it reminded me of raisin pecan pie. Silky red fruits partner with the above on the tongue making this one delicious drink. I also got a little lemon and licorice the finish, the flavours did not stop coming and I was pretty impressed for that price. With some strong smelly cheese and a bowl of warm mixed nuts, that would be a powerful afternoon or after dinner delight. (Would also make a great hostess gift).

 

Grand Total: $93.75

 

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