Posts Tagged ‘wines from Australia’

If I only had $100…I would buy…

Posted by Julie

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017
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Australia is renowned for it’s big juicy fruit driven Shiraz so it was refreshing to see a release that features Aussie whites.  But don’t be shy to venture further when shopping at LCBO’s Vintages this month.  There is an extremely handsome collection of some old tried and trues wines and of course also features wines from the Mediterranean.

Any chance your plans have you traveling to Europe anytime soon?  There are some wines in this release that are bound to put you in the mood for packing for a trip!

I’d say…this shopping list definitely puts me in the mood to pick up one of everything.

Cheers to all good things and the arrival of Spring,

-Julie

 

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

 

Madison Ranch Chardonnay 2014

Napa Valley, California
$22.95 (Vintages #441113) 14.5% alcohol

Plush aromas of baked cake and tropical fruit. A full bodied elegant white wine loaded with ripe yellow apple and banana flavours, rich, creamy and buttery, a classic California Chardonnay.

With a soft seam of acidity, there is some vanilla and lemony sweet spice on the end, a full-bodied Chardonnay not for those who like a wine with style.  Absolutely delicious.

 

 

 

Chapoutier Tournon Mathilda 2014

Victoria, Australia
$17.95 (Vintages #401398) 13% alcohol

Aromas you could catch across a room! Expansive fruit with floral overtones, soft white blossoms, honeysuckle, almost perfumed tropical fruit in this blend of Viognier and Marsanne white wine. Juicy peaches and pears on the palate, soft, easy and smooth, it’s the type of wine that everyone would like, inoffensive yet delicate, loaded with nutty fruit flavours.

Enjoy on it’s own or with lighter fare, it would also be perfect with summer salads.

 

 

 

Cotnari Fetească Albă 2014

DOC Cotnari, Roumania
$12.95  (Vintages #012088) 12% alcohol

Cotnari is the most famous Romanian wine producing region located in eastern Romania very near the Moldovan border. Fetească Albă is the most widely grown and best known grape varietal. I love discovering a new wine at such an incredible price point. This golden coloured nectar is slightly off-dry with tropical fruit aromas. It’s fruity; there’s pineapple, ripe pear and honeysuckle on the creamy palate but also got some mandarin and petrol on the smooth finish. It’s an easy wine wine sipper or would be a great match for spicy foods.

 

 

 

Henry of Pelham Family Tree Red 2014

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$18.95 (Vintages #247882) 13.5% alcohol

The Speck family has yet another reason to be proud. On the nose are aromas of the unmistakeable Baco Noir grape, a little smokiness, then layers of cherries and nutty flavours from the time spent in French and American oak for 17 months. Aside from Baco Noir is the classic blend of Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Loads of personality as these varietals complement each other. Bone dry and juicy, well structured tannins; bring out a roast of beef or grilled ribs, it’s a beauty.

 

Papale Linea Oro Primitivo Di Manduria 2013

DOP, Puglia, Italy
$18.95 (Vintages #261784) 14% alcohol

Way back in July 2013, I discovered this gem and wrote on it in my If I had $100 blog.  Papale is made from the Primitivo grape vinified in the Puglia region. In 2008, 115 bottles of the vintage  was purchased by the Vatican following the election of Pope Francis in 2013.

I call this my Osso Bucco wine. Any chef knows that if you go through the labour of love to prepare Osso Bucco, you want a great wine to accompany.  Deep crimson bold with personality of firm ripe cherries, plums and peppery spice highlight the palate. Full-bodied, a little chewy and deep berry flavours intermingle with noticeable tannins that linger forever on the smooth finish. I would serve this dinner to the Pope!

 

 

GRAND TOTAL – $91.75

 

BTW…Since I came in well under budget, I thought I’d recommend a great medium bodied Portuguese wine called Animus 2014 from Douro at $12.95 a bottle.  Great for burgers, pizza or those mindless nights that call for something cheap and cheerful – it’s a steal and I’m picking up a few.  (Vintages #385302).  If you find an extra $4.70 your grand total is $104.70.

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TOP PICKS: 7 wines for under $15

Posted by Julie

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017
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This Vintages release is guaranteed to  be pick-up for anyone with holiday hangovers & January blahs. The LCBO often kicks off the new year with a “Smart Buys 2017” edition with a fabulous assortment of tried and true wines for every palate and budget with great tastes around the $15 price point.

I vowed I would not go to the ATM before mid-January, but this is better than Boxing Day or Black Friday.Too many values to risk the miss. (try saying that after a few glasses !)

For the Scotch lovers, Robbie Burns Day is around the corner, but you don’t need expensive Scotch when you’ll find something delicious in my “budget-conscious” recommendations.

It is not often that I can offer you 7 wines with my $100 budget… so go wild.

Smart Buys here we come!

-Julie

 

 If I only had $100, I would buy…
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday January 7, 2017

 

Marynissen Estates Chardonnay 2013

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$15.00 (Vintages #907683) 13% alcohol

Introducing a white wine with pale golden colour, light body, fresh and clean with soft blossom aromas. Must have been fermented in stainless as it’s almost flinty with minerality, baked pears, almonds a lingering touch of pineapple on the finish.

Perfect for lighter foods or would stand up to grilled cheese and simple salad – sounds like one great lunch to me!

 

Budureasca Feteasca Regala 2015

DOC Dealu Mare, Romania
$11.95 (Vintages #416800) 12% alcohol

I know we are in January, but this is what I’d call the perfect summer white wine. At this price point, I’ll be picking up a bunch of bottles!

Light and citrusy, loads of soft lemon flavours and one easy sipping wine. There’s little savoury notes on the finish (perhaps from the vineyard soils?). It’s fresh with a really easy mouthfeel that has lots of appeal at this rock bottom price tag.

 

MAN Free-Run Steen 2015

WO Coastal Region, South Africa
$13.95 (Vintages #126847) 13% alcohol

Does the grape variety Steen have you wondering what this wine is all about?  It is the name that the South Africans use for Chenin Blanc grapes.

Fresh, clean and crisp, this free-run style white wine is packed with fruit flavours.  There is no usual pressing of grape skins in the making of this beautiful wine.  The grapes are left intact to allow the weight of the bunches naturally crush to create juice and ferment for 3-4 months before bottling. A very hands-off winemaking approach that magically makes great wines like this one.  Open a bottle of this wine and you will enjoy a balanced full bodied white wine with lingering acidity.  Great on it’s own or it would hold up to chicken pot pie or even a spicy curry. Another great buy.

 

Heartland Stickleback Red 2013

Langhorne Creek, South Australia
$14.95 (Vintages #116574) 14.5% alcohol

Simply put, you cannot go wrong with a red wine blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Grenache and Merlot.  Unbelievable that it is under $15!  Black fruit flavours, plums and blueberries play on the palate and some savory pepper on the finish. Matured in oak which lends richness and texture to this dark delight.

Another easy sipping red wine on a cold wintery evening or to enjoy when you go under cover to fire up the BBQ in the winter for a feast of spicy ribs or steak!

 

Michelle Chiarol Barbera D’Asti Superiore 2014

DOCG, Italy
$13.95 (Vintages #265413) 13.5% alcohol

Some wines are just meant for the easy spaghetti night.  You know what I mean…those evenings when you just want to open up a jar of tomato sauce to smother on fresh pasta, then sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese and open a bottle of easy drinking red wine.  This one has lots of red berry fruit – think raspberries & strawberries – it’s neither huge nor bold in taste and the finish is short, but it’s a great table wine for the simple nights where we can just enjoy an uncomplicated dinner.

And Mama Mia! Another wine under $15

 

The Goatfather 2014

WO Coastal Region, South Africa
$14.95 (Vintages #11072) 14% alcohol

You just have to love a South African wine (not to mention the name) that is made from various Italian grape varietals: Sangiovese, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Cabernet Sauvignon (the latter) from Stellenbosch. It’s a deep ruby red, hints of violet on the nose, loads of red fruit flavours, noticeable tannins that offer backbone to the wine.

It’s an easy going wine. I’d serve it up with cheeses, burgers, charcuterie.

 

Santa Carolina Reserva Estate Pinot Noir 2015

Leyda Valley, Chile
$12.95 (Vintages #480574) 13.5 % alcohol

It is no surprise that I selected this red wine from the 140 year old Santa Carolina vineyard wines especially with it being awarded Winery of the Year 2015. (I really like their whites too!). At this unbelievable price point, you have a Pinot Noir that offers a smooth, velvety mouthfeel, sweet and sour tart cherries, with noticeable ripe acidity and soft tannins that meld into a long fruity, earthy ending.

This is a delicious red wine that is hearty enough to stand up to a beef and mushroom stew or some sautéed salmon with dab of pesto.  A beaut of a wine!

 

Grand Total – $ 97.70 …and that is for 7 wines!

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, September 2nd, 2016
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The dreaded Back-to-School frenzy. Although my school days are long gone, at this time of year, I get caught up in thoughts of buying gym socks, pads of paper and pencil cases, rather wine.

But good on LCBO and the Vintages buying team with this release with incredible buys of “Flagship ISD”, along with vintages septregional features on Burgundy, France and all of Chile.

Many of you may wonder what ISD stands for, it’s “In-Store Discoveries” and flagship of course refers to “the best or most important thing owned or produced” (Wikipedia’s definition). In other words, the most important example of a product. I think you get the drift.

Here are the wines I think will be top of the class. I plan to uncork them and reminisce about my university days while I can hear the frosh week festivities at the nearby university.

I hope you enjoy going back to school!

– Julie

If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday September 3, 2016

 

featherstoneFeatherstone Rosé

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$15.95 (Vintages #117861) 12.5% alcohol

Only a few weeks ago my husband and I visited the Featherstone Winery and came out loaded with purchases and a free wine tote. This rose wine was amongst our haul! Beautiful pale cranberry in colour that shimmers in the glass. Fresh and fruity on the palate with loads of strawberry and dry rhubarb flavours makes a wonderful summer wine. There’s some savory green pepper notes on the finish. Perfect for a picnic, salads or just on its own. Make summer long with this wine or save to serve at Thanksgiving.

 

signos

Signos De Origen La Vinilla Chardonnay/Viognier/Marsanne/Roussane 2015

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

 The aromas in these four noble grape varietals are exhaustive. When the winemaker blends them together, there is lots of personality and they party well. The tropical fruit of Chardonnay, the peaches and blossom fruit of Viognier, the full bodiness of Marsanne and the creaminess of the Roussane. Delicious!

Flavours on the palate remind me of a big fresh fruit salad with everything from peaches, green and yellow apple with a little citrus on the finish. This wine gives something for everyone. Great on its own or would partner well with some grilled fish.

 

Cotnari Francu A Cotnari 2014

DOC Frâncua, Romania
$12.95 (Vintages # 445767) 11.5% alcohol

Although this white wine was not available at the time of tasting, I’m putting it in my shopping basket. At this low price point, I am prepared to take a chance. The Vintages panel tasting notes indicates that it is light and fruity which sounds to me like a great summer choice. Not to mention the Cotnari winery has taken part in international contests and been awarded well to the point that they have a “medals gallery”. The Cotnari Vineyards dates back to 1250 and the name “Cotnari” refers to the fortune of being an expert in shaping barrels. All sounds good to me…I’ll take the risk.

 

Casa Silva Cool Coast Pinot Noir 2013

Colchagua Valley, Chile
$17.95 (Vintages #464420) 14% alcohol

 Aromas of tree fruit and forest floor waft from my glass. No surprise for a Pinot Noir but this red wine is smooth and delicate. There’s also some crisp edginess to it with loads of wild raspberry and cherry flavours on the palate. While Pinot Noir is not a grape varietal I tend to seek out, mark my words, this one is exceptional. Light to medium bodied, easy to drink with a long fruit finish.

segure

Chateau de Segure Fitou 2013

Mont Tauch, Burgundy, France
$16.95 (Vintages #370254) 13.5% alcohol

 A deep elegant ruby red with whiffs of ripe red berry. Flavourful and bold with tantalizing dark-fruit richness. The tannins are soft ,the finish is pepppery and savoury – something that reminds me of fresh herbs such as thyme and rosemary. This red wine calls for a hearty stew or a pork roast with all the trimmings. I’m stashing a few bottles away for when November rolls around.

 

wits endWits End Luna Shiraz 2014

McLaren Vale, South Australia
$17.00 (Vintages #311258) 14.5% alcohol

Dense purple with a big bouquet of blackberries and black pepper. The palate concentrates on ripe plums and black fruit with well-integrated tannins that lead to a spicy but not sweet finish. In this red wine, there is a small dallop of Barbera grapes blended in that lends a brambley note, but what is the most striking is how this wine is as smooth as velvet and very delicious. It’s a big wine with a little price, bring on the rack of lamb.

 

Grand Total: $100.75 – for 6 wines…that’s a lot of bang for my buck!

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

Posted by Julie

Thursday, April 28th, 2016
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Pop into your closest LCBO Vintages for the release on Saturday April 30 – just in time for Mother’s Day! you’ll find Pacific Northwest Wines, Aussie whites and interesting coloured  Rosés. There is something for every mum!

LCBO Vintages magazine April 30I haven’t made the wine trek to Oregon but whenever wines appear from the Willamette and Columbia Valleys. they are always exciting and the price points are not as staggering as their nearby neighbours.

And thinking of Mum’s, this release features sparkling wines from both France and Italy plus some ice cider from Quebec that won  the Félibre Givré Gold Medal at the 2015 All Canadian Wine Championships. Any of these is bound to make Mum smile on her special day. I’m counting on a sunny May 8 to accompany and share my “delights”.

All Mum’s are special,
Julie

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
Saturday 30, 2016

 

Cloudline Pinot Gris 2014Cloudline Pinot Gris 2014

Willamette Valley, U.S.A.
$21.95 (Vintages #159988) 13.5% alcohol 

Aromas of spring flowers, very pale but shimmery in the glassy with citrusy clean flavours on the palate and a tangy white peppery finish. Bone dry with crisp acidity, lends itself to everything from an aperitif to lighter food fare, salads and seafood pasta. Trust me, there’s no one who would not like this wine.

 

Joel Gott Riesling 2012Joel Gott Riesling 2012

Columbia Valley, U.S.A.
$19.95 (Vintages #443143) 12.9% alcohol 

Be sure to serve this in a stem glass since it is almost watery green in colour, but don’t let that be a detriment. It’s a playful and seductive Riesling, lots of of lemon-lime fruits, medium bodied with green apples dancing on the aftertastes. It’s clean, fresh, and vibrant and a fantastic choice for an afternoon sip, maybe a few shrimps on the side or pan-seared scallops— pure yum.

 

Yalumba Organic ViognierYalumba Organic Viognier 2015

South Australia
$17.95 (Vintages #288217) 14.5% alcohol 

Floral and peach pie aromas with tastes of baked pear crisp and something almost vanilla-like on the palate. It’s rich and creamy but dry with concentrated fruit flavours and a little lanolin on the aftertaste. Concentrated and full, a great match for curry or fish or just on its own. 

 

 

Gassier RoseGassier Sables D’Azur Rosé

AP Côtes de Provence, France
$15.95 (Vintages #33621) 12.5% alcohol 

Anyone who designs such a beautiful bottle, something akin to Marilyn Munroe’s figure, must have placed something delicious inside. Soft peachy pink in colour, this nectar is downright dreamy with alluring scents of summer flowers. Tangy strawberry rhubarb flavours with some orange blossom and flinty aftertastes. It’s has some minerality on the palate which lends to a very fresh stainless steel taste but remains bone-dry, soft and packed with flavour.  One delicious rosé to match with everything from a picnic lunch to charcuterie.

 

Lamadrid Single Vineyard Reserva Malbec 2012Lamadrid Single Vineyard Reserva Malbec 2012

Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
Fincas de Agrelo, Argentina
$17.00 (Vintages # 234492) 14.5% alcohol

Having just returned from Argentina where I enjoyed many Malbecs, I look forward to picking this one up at such a great price point. It has all the bookmarks of a great Malbec: dark inky in colour, aromas of violets and chocolate, some woodsiness and pure red fruits abound on the palate. Intense berries, ripe and refined tannins, lovely depth with lasting flavour.  Begging for lamb chops or grilled rare meat, I can’t wait.

 

Grand Total – $ 92.80

 

 

 

 

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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 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

Saturday, September 19th, 2015
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The LCBO Vintages release on September 19 focuses on Canadian and Emerging European wines. Want the ‘full story’ on our local wines then stop by your local LCBO this weekend to find out more about Ontario producers that are serving up world-class wines.

LCBO Vintages Magazine Sept 19 2015Those of you who follow our blog know well our love for Canadian wines and this release offers some beauties, so here’s my scoop. Vic Harradine (winecurrent.com) filled in for me on the last blogs and made some fabulous recommendations and notes on new discoveries.

I know since I tried many of them out, so the heat is on for me to find some equally good matches.

Enjoy September…it’s still Summer until the 21st!

 

Cheers
Julie

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
Saturday September 19, 2015

 

Featherstone Black Sheep RieslingFeatherstone Black Sheep Riesling 2014

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$16.95 (Vintages #80234) 9.5% alcohol

THE SCOOP: I would be at fault not to place this fabulous wine at the top of the list. Layer after layer of delicious waves of fruit flavours, mouthwatering acidity; think green apples glistening in the glass, with slight pinch of residual sugar. Ottawa Citizen Wine Critic, Rod Phillips, gave this white wine a score of 5 out of 5 and while it’s boring to follow suit, it really is quite lovely. My husband and I visited Featherstone Winery years ago and were enchanted by the sheep eating the green leaves to expose the grapes to the sunshine. Put a couple of bottles away, it won’t last.

 

Calamus Barrel Kissed ChardonnayCalamus Barrel Kissed Chardonnay 2013

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$16.95 (Vintages #330613) 12.9% alcohol

THE SCOOP: A very pretty Chard. featuring stone fruit and baked yellow apple flavours; light and creamy on the palate. There’s some grassy wet flint which makes it interesting. Light-medium bodied and surprisingly some mineral for a Chardonnay but given the soil in the Niagara region, not surprising the wine reflects the land. This white wine was housed in French oak for 18 months which provides some vanilla reflections on the finish. It’s very yummy.

 

 

Finca Flinchman Expresiones Reserve Shiraz CabernetFinca Flichman Expresiones Reserve Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Mendoza, Argentina
$15.95 (Vintages #17111) 14.5% alcohol

THE SCOOP: Sometimes high alcohol content does not feel hot on the palate and this is one of those wines. With a blend of 60% Shiraz and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, this red wine brings out the best in both.Massaged in French oak for 12 months, there are the delicious red, black fruit flavours plus woodsy, earthy aromas on the palate. A peppery menthol seam runs through the stern backbone with some sweet and savour spice on the finish; it’s one easy sipper. With a roast on a spit or foiled in the bbq, it would be perfect, not to mention a fantastic price point. Perfect for winter nights.

 

Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz MataroPenfolds Bin 2 Shiraz/Mataro 2013

Barossa Valley, Australia
$24.95 (Vintages #468629) 14.5% alcohol

THE SCOOP: A family-owned winery of 170 years, they’ve had lots of practice to get it right. A rich deep garnet coloured red wine with a coppery aroma amongst assertive dark fruit. Satiny smooth in the mouthfeel, full bodied dark fruit and well balanced between some noticeable tannins and lengthy fruit ending. Simply delicious. I’m thinking prune and nut stuffed pork tenderloin and scalloped potatoes.

 

Reif Vidal IcewineReif Vidal Icewine 2013

VQA Niagara River, Niagara Peninsula
$24.95 (Vintages #544791) 10% alcohol

THE SCOOP: Golden in colour, layer after layer of baked apple and pear flavours, deliciously sweet and concentrated nectar with a seam of beautiful acidity and a hint of mineralogy at the end. Luscious and refined, this icewine is a beautiful ending to any meal. I’d serve it on its own slightly chilled – it really is desert.

 

 GRAND TOTAL – $ 99.75

 

 

 

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

Posted by Debbie

Friday, August 21st, 2015
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Are you off to the LCBO to pick up the latest releases from Vintages this weekend?  Look no further, we have you covered. This is a surreal moment…the person who began my wine soaked journey – Vic Haradine – called me and asked if he could write a blog or two for us! Without hesitation, I said yes…and gave him $100 to spend at Vintages. Well, not the hard cold cash, rather the goal to find wines in this release that would tally to be no more than $100.

Vic knows his wines. He was one of the pillars of the Algonquin Sommelier Program (and my Wine Tasting 101 instructor), he is a wine judge and does countless wine reviews under his banner – winecurrent.com

LCBO Vintages Magazine Aug 22Here is Vic’s If I had $100…I would buy these wines at Vintages:

This release is chockfull of quality wine with many at attractive prices. I’m feeling very fortunate to have a great deal of choice in the quest to find high-quality wine with a favourable price-quality ratio.

With $100 in my pocket, I chose four whites and two red wines – one each from Canada, Austria, South Africa, Italy and two from Australia. Warm weather is still with us so numerous opportunities to drink and enjoy white wine. Your barbecue grill and red wine is a match made in heaven. This wide assortment may entice you out of your usual hunting grounds, and that can be good thing.

For those interested in knowing only the wine, the price and how it smells, feels and tastes, it’ll be a lightening quick read. If you’re interested in knowing a bit more about the wine, winery, possibly the grapes involved, it will still be a short read, but should enhance your understanding and hopefully enjoyment of each wine. If you read and consider each one, purchase a couple or more and enjoy them… mission accomplished!

Cheers!
Vic

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
Saturday August 22, 2015

 

Featherstone 4 Feathers 2014 Riesling BlendFeatherstone Estates ‘Four Feathers’ 2014

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Canada
$14.95 (341586) 12.0% alcohol

The Skinny –This off-dry white blend delivers a wash of tropical fruit, lemon-pie filling and grilled pineapple. It’s medium-full bodied with a long, textured, balanced aftertaste. Pick up a few to sip or pour with lighter appetizers or spicy Asian cuisine.

More – Featherstone is family owned and managed, producing carefully crafted, well-made wine from sustainably farmed fruit; the quality-price balance tips in your favour.

 

Lenz Moser Prestige Gruner VeltlinerLenz Moser ‘Prestige’ Grüner Veltliner 2013

Qualitätswein, Niederösterreich, Austria
$13.95 (71233) 12.5% alcohol

The Skinny – Floral, spice and notions of lemongrass on the nose, this dishes up a lovely mouthful of ripe tropical fruit, yellow peach and plum on the palate and fruit-filled finish. Sip this white wine on its own or serve well chilled with spicy Asian cuisine.

More – This is unique Grüner Veltliner with very little tang and acidity, it’s quite attractive & will find many admirers. Qualitätswein is a step up from a Landwein designation; Niederösterreich is the premium & largest Grüner growing area in Austria.

 

MAN Vintners Free Run Steen Chenin BlancMAN Vintners ‘Free-Run Steen’ Chenin Blanc 2014

WO Coastal Region, South Africa
$13.95 (126847) 13.5% alcohol

The Skinny – This white has loads of lemon citrus notes with notions of orchard fruit on the nose. It streaks over the palate with a fairly balanced river of ripe pineapple and lemon-lime yoghurt and notes of tangy orange. There’s a snappy, crisp finish. Serve with prawn ceviche or pan-seared fish.

More – Steen was the name of a grape first planted in South Africa in the 1600s from unknown European cuttings. It was eventually identified as being identical to Chenin Blanc from Loire Valley, France. MAN is the acronym from the first names of wives owning this winery—Marie, Anette, Nicky.

 

Willow Bridge Dragon Fly Sauvignon Blanc SemillonWillow Bridge Estate ‘Dragonfly’ Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2014

Geographe, Western Australia
$16.95 (418368) 12.3% alcohol

The Skinny – Citrus and grassy aromas give way to a crisp wash of racy lemon-lime and white grapefruit joining ripe nectarine and tropical fruit on the palate. It has good mouth feel and oodles of charm. Serve with grilled seafood or steamed mussels.

More – This white blend is signature Australian, although Geographe—two hours south of Perth—is a relatively new wine area, established in 1999. The maritime climate, with a cool afternoon sea breeze, makes it an ideal growing area. Family owned and managed, Willow Bridge Estate has 150 acres under vine.

 

Castelliani Filicheto Vino Nobile di Montipulciano 2011Castellani Filicheto Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano 2010

DOCG Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano, Italy
$19.95 (184937) 13.5% alcohol

The Skinny – Involved aromas of savory spice, red and black currant, grilled herbs and pipe tobacco swirl from the glass. This red wine has a rich, luscious stream of dark berry fruit, juicy black cherry and cassis coat the palate, balanced, beautiful. It’s an elegant, value-laden treat.

More –Vineyards surround the town of Montepulciano tracing its history back 12 centuries, the ‘Nobile’ (know-buh-lay) may stem from a Pope’s cellar master’s quote, ‘wine fit for a Nobleman’. The main grape is Prugnello gentile, a variation of Sangiovese.

 

Turkey Flat Butchers Block Shiraz MourvedreTurkey Flat ‘Butcher’s Block’ Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvèdre 2012

Barossa Valley, South Australia
$19.95 (90241) 14.5% alcohol

The Skinny – Aromas of mocha, cedar and black cherry unleash a structured, balanced and elegant flow of ripe mulberry, mixed spice and mocha. This is deftly balanced red wine showcasing polished tannin, purity of fruit and a lingering, dry, fruity finish.

More – Some of the fruit in here was sourced from 1847, non-irrigated, bush vines. Turkey Flat is family owned and world renowned, still retaining its artisan ways producing only 20,000 cases annually.

Grand Total: $99.70

 

 

 

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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 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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