Posts Tagged ‘wines from Italy’

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, June 6th, 2014
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While LCBO Vintages helped us celebrate Mother’s Day showcasing sparkling wines and rosés, for Father’s Day there are some high end whiskeys, cognac, and Italian  wines too.  That’s quite the collection of treats to help Dad celebrate his day.

TLCBO Vintages June 7he Italian whites were not available at the time of my tasting but generally I think most men, prefer a hearty red wines to match steak or ribs and there are some fabulous wines to match for the barbecue. I did notice a return of a red wine that I featured last December – Grant Burge, The Holy Trinity Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre 2011 (Vintages 236257) at $29.95 a bottle, and was tempted to do it again, but like this one, there are so many big bold reds from Australia, I felt I should  take my own advice – expand and try something new. (Truth be told, I did pick up a bottle though!)

If you give your Dad the winning lottery ticket for Father’s Day tip him off that Macallan Sherry Oak 25 years old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky can be purchased for $999.95. (Vintages #179150). Yes, you read that right, there is no typo in the price – Three 9”s after the $ sign.

Whatever you give your Dad & however you celebrate Father’s Day, here is my top picks to use as your shopping list at Vintages.

Cheers & enjoy!

Julie

If I only had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
June 7th, 2014 

Don David Reserve Torrontés 2012

Cafayate, Salta, Argentina (Michel Torino Estate)
$13.95 ( Vintages 727677) 13.9%

New to Vintages, this Torrontés was a Gold Medal winner at the 2013 International Wine Challenge. Medium bodied in weight, a little citrus, some ginger and spice, dried fruit flavours, bone dry and lots of guts. Don’t be fooled by the price, this is a white wine that would hold up to meats as well as fish. Fresh, fresh, fresh.

 

Carpineto Dogajolo RosatoCarpineto Dogajolo Rosato 2013

IGT Toscana, Italy
$15.95 (Vintages # 699934)  12.5% alcohol

Remember that old saying “real men eat quiche”?  Well I’m here to say that “real men drink rosé” too!  There is nothing that says summer like an engaging pale cranberry coloured wine in a big bowl shaped wine glass. This Tuscan rosé is bone dry made from the classic Chianti grapes: Sangiovese and Canaiolo. Aromas of red berries, some vegetal overtones, light and smooth and just slips down too easily wanting you to come back for more. A great companion to any summer fare; pasta, salads or on its own. The bottle also has a beautiful label which tells me if someone has gone to such lengths to produce an artistic label, something delicious inside must match. Try serving this wine with some chicken enchiladas and Caesar salad and everyone will not only love the wine I guarantee they will pick up the bottle to view the label…just you watch!

 

Geyser Peak Cabernet Sauvignon. jpgGeyser Peak Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, U.S.A.
$19.95 (Vintages #343467)   13.8% alcohol

Geyser Peak Winery is over 125 years old, so it’s no wonder they have had lots of time to perfect their Cabernet Sauvignon.  Not new to Vintages but new to me, this red wine is a power house red packed full of black currant aromas and flavours. Noticeable tannins but are very smooth, with a little chocolate, tobacco and pencil shavings on the finish. Proud structure and weight in this wine.  I’ve got this bottle ready for Father’s Day BBQ….who is picking up the ribs?

 

Domaine Tournon MathildeDomaine Tournon Mathilda Shiraz 2011

Victoria, Australia
$19.95 (Vintages# 327395) 13% alcohol

In the Vintages catalogue it states that wine critic Robert Parker awarded this wine 94 points.  Strangely there was no accompanying tasting note. I am little intimidated as to what he may possibly have said!  In this red wine I picked up lots of spice and black pepper combined with big robust juicy red and black berry flavours. There was also some campfire, leather and woodsmoke and a long blackberry finish. I liked the combination of the spice and fruit and did not find it too fruit forward like some Shiraz wines that just taste like berry juice. A beaut! Serve with a rack of lamb would score points with Dad.

 

Konzelmann HeritageKonzelmann Heritage Reserve 2012

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$26.95 (Vintages # 149179) 13% alcohol

Herbert Konzelmann is a pioneer in the Ontario wine industry and has received dozens of accolades both locally and internationally. Thankfully the family has continued his traditions of premium wine-making. This 2012 reserve red wine is a product to be collected. Rich and dark garnet in colour, it has a heady fragrances of ripe red berries, some plum with nuances of chocolate, coffee and cherry on the finish. There is something about the taste of a well made wine, the flavours and structure just integrate on the palate. Refined and elegant and a perfect match for a prime rib or some T-bone steaks.

 

GRAND TOTAL – $96.75

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Cabernet is King!

Posted by Debbie

Friday, February 28th, 2014
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Last weekend’s Academy Awards shone the spotlight on the top movies, actors & directors of the year.  While at the LCBO, they have crowned Cabernet Sauvignon as ‘King’ of their latest release.   I tried several from every point across the globe & was impressed by many.  Also impressed by the differences.  Typically we think of Cabernets as knock your socks off red to enjoy with steak & prime rib.  While the ones that I tasted made a statement, they ranged from medium to full bodied, were elegant, well balanced & made a good impression.  No doubt in my mind that they would be enhanced with food from BBQed pork chops to Sunday roasts with all of the trimmings.

And drinking only Cabernets – or many red wines for that matter – will turn your lips & teeth purple, I have added to my shopping list some white wines & other interesting reds to add to your shopping cart.

OLCBO cover March 1 2014h…and you may be surprised to see that the LCBO is shining the spotlight on wines from Israel. Mark my words – you will see more.  Five years ago, I was invited by the Embassy of Israel in Ottawa to join the first media tour of Canadian wine writers.  We were impressed by the incredible wineries that we visited & the HUGE wines that we tasted.  Now it is your turn to pick up a bottle & explore. Don’t by shy because it is labelled Kosher – this does not impact the taste, only the winemaking process.  All 6 wines from Israel in this release were good – splurge & you too will be impressed.

Cheers!
-Debbie

 

If I only had a $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages
February 28th, 2014

 

Wingspan Sauvignon BlancWingspan Sauvignon Blanc

New Zealand
$17.95 (Vintages 365403) 13% alcohol

This is springtime in a glass.  Classic Sauvignon Blanc – cut grass (do you remember that smell after this long hard winter?), fresh herbs (thyme & mint) combined with aromas & tastes of white flowers & citrus fruits. This will melt away all thoughts of winter.  Enjoy with spring roasted chicken or fresh asparagus.

 

Apollonio SquinzanoApollonio Squizano

Italy, Puglia
$17.95 (Vintages 362475)  14% alcohol

If you don’t speak Italian nor have 20/20 eyesight you will miss this wine all together! I have never seen a label with font so small….and it is all in Italian! Ask any LCBO Product Consultant (look for those with a gold badge) and say that you are looking for the ‘Squizzy’ wine, they will apparently know exactly what you are looking for.  This Nebillio red wine is my new favorite.  Apparently this winery releases frequently into Vintages incredible red wines under $20.  Big, loaded with black fruit and a long finish.  Be on the lookout for this wine from this lesser known Italian wine region 

Cedarcreek Cab MerlotCedarCreek Estates Cabernet Merlot

Okanagan Valley, BC
$24.95 (Vintages 175604) 13.9% alcohol

What?!?! Under $25 for this medium to full red wine from British Columbia – how can this be so? Loaded with red & black fruit, this wine deserves to be served with beef tenderloin, Sunday roast with all the trimmings or BBQed ribs.  Buy 2 or 3 bottles while you are at it!

 

treaty-tree-233x1000Flagstone Treaty Tree Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

South Africa
$16.95 (Vintages 278382) 13.5% alcohol

There was a buzz around the room about this wine.  Eyebrows were raising with each sip.  BIG and I mean BIG aromas & tastes in this plush red wine of black fruit (figs, dates) and bumbleberry jam.  Smooth texture & long finish – this was a great surprise. At this price, make it your weekday wine.

 

Dante Robino Bonarda

Argentina
$14.95 (Vintages 277640) 13.9% alcohol

Never heard of Bonarda grape variety? At this price, grab this wine & discover what you have been missing. Medium full bodied with concentrated aromas of red berries, plush texture in the mouth and well integrated tannins.  A food wine – bring on lamb chops or sit down to a hearty Sunday roast.

 

Grand total: $92.75

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On our podium – ‘Must buy’ wines for Olympic moments

Posted by Susan

Friday, February 14th, 2014
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Did you know. . . The LCBO is one of the largest purchasers of wine & spirits in the world! This latest release at the LCBO Vintages we benefit from an outstanding selection of ‘Buyer’s Picks’ from some of France’s best-known wine regions.  

LCBO Vintages Sat Feb 15There’s something for everyone. A selection of two Champagnes and numerous award-winning red wines representing such prestigious ‘appellation d’origine contrôlée’ or AOC (France’s designation of origin granted to specific geographical areas for wine, cheese and other products) from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône-Villages, Cahors, Beaune and Bordeaux, to name a few. Among these, I found that there are some good values to be had, including Paul Zinck ‘Portrait’ Gewürztraminer, Domaine Gautheron Chablis and Domaine Gerard Charvet ‘La Réserve d’Amélie’ Moulin-a-Vent.

Also on the Podium: Award-Winning Ontario Wines 

The spotlight shines on several stars from Ontario:

Konzelmann Vidal Icewine 2010 – recognized with a 2013 Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Ontario Wine

Huff Estates ‘Cuvée Peter F. Huff’ 2007 named in honour for the late son of the winery owners.  This sparkling wine has won two of the coveted Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Ontario Wine

Pillitteri ‘Exclamation Reserve’ Cabernet Franc 2010 – a gold-medal winner at the 2013 Ontario Wine Awards, and recipient of the award for Best Red Wine of the Year

Malivoire Gamay 2012 and Malivoire Chardonnay 2011 – won Gold and Silver respectively at the 2013 Ontario Wine Awards.

And there are more winners!

The general release (winespeak: the wines always available at the LCBO 24/7) offers a great selection of wines from around the world that are ‘must buys on my wine shopping list’.

Top of the list is my favorite Crémant de Bourgogne – Louis Bouillot Perle d’Aurore

The very tasty and well-structured Benzinger Cabernet Sauvignon

The full-flavoured Zuccardi ‘Q’ Malbec (my tasting notes below)

Tuscany’s tasty Bibbiano Chianti Classico

The value-laden Monasterio de las Vinas ‘Gran Reserva’ from the Carinena region of Spain.

And if you’re a Riesling lover, I’d recommend these two: Tawse ‘Sketches of Niagara’ Riesling 2012 (of course!), Kilkanoon ‘Killerman’s Run’ Riesling 2012.

Among the Ontario wines in the general release, I’ve already mentioned the Tawse Riesling. If you are looking for an organic or biodynamic wine, try the very fine Southbrook ‘Triomphe’ Chardonnay (my tasting notes below). Among the red wines, I would add to my shopping cart the very intense, robust Château des Charmes ‘Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard’ Pinot Noir 2010.  If you’re craving something sweet, you can’t go wrong with the Konzelmann Vidal Icewine.

Cheers and happy sipping with your Valentine,

Susan

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

 

Southbrook Triomph Chardonnay 2012Southbrook Vineyards ‘Triomphe’ Chardonnay 2012

VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
$22.95 (Vintages #172338) 12.5% alcohol

Enjoy the aromas of cinnamon toast, vanilla, tropical fruit, ripe pear and apple of this finely crafted dry, medium-bodied organic and biodynamic white wine. It’s wine is delightfully round and creamy, yet fresh, the pear and tropical fruit replaying on the palate, mingling with vanilla and toasted nut. The fresh yet subtle acidity brings balance and refinement to a rich fruity finish. Enjoy with a lemony roast chicken.

Zuccardi Q Malbec 2011Zuccardi ‘Q’ Malbec 2011

Mendoza, Argentina
$19.95 (Vintages #723478) 14.5% alcohol

Inky and opaque, this award winner delivers attractive complexity in aromas and flavours, balance of richness and structure. On the nose, lifted aromas of ripe black fruit, exotic spice, campfire smoke, licorice and vanilla dance. This red wine is dry, full bodied, the subtle underlying structure frames black berry and cherry fruit, toasty oak, sweet spice and hints of dark chocolate. Quite lush, it’s warm and deliciously fruity through the lasting, flavourful finish. A great choice on a cold winter’s night to pair with stew or meatballs in a mushroom sauce.

Domaine Gerard Charvet la Reserve d'Amelie Moulin a ventDomaine Gérard Charvet ‘La Réserve d’Amélie’ Moulin-à-Vent 2012

AP Moulin-à-Vent, France
$20.90 (Vintages #356741) 13.0% alcohol

An award-winner, this is really an outstanding example of a Cru Beaujolais Gamay. The nose entices with wonderful aromas of freshly-picked strawberry, red plum, sweet spice and a wisp of vanilla. Dry, medium bodied, the red fruit flavours are focused, the notes of spice and vanilla replaying. The defined yet refined structure of this red wine provides lovely balance, the texture is fresh and the finish is dry and flavourful. Enjoy this versatile red wine with duck confit, charcuterie, ham or beef bourgignon.

Tenuta Sant'Antonio Monti GarbiTenuta Sant’Antonio ‘Monti Garbi’ Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore 2010

Valpolicella Superiore, Italy
$17.95 (Vintages #29850) 14.0% alcohol

This ruby gem of a red wine has great depth of flavour, balance and refinement. Aromas and flavours of cherries and berries and dominate, mingling with spice and an earthy quality. Dry, medium-full bodied, the texture is clean and lively, a balance to the ripe red fruit, a touch of spice and the warmth of white pepper persisting on the long-lasting finish. Enjoy this with braised herbed chicken. 

Monasterio de las Vinas Gran REserva 2005Monasterio de las Viñas Gran Reserva 2005

Cariñena, Spain
$16.95 (Vintages #82024) 13.0% alcohol

Principally Garnacha, blended with Tempranillo and Cariñena, this evolved, balanced red wine was aged 2 years in oak and held 3 years in bottle prior to release. It’s opaque, with spicy fruit aromas, notes of vanilla and a whiff of leather. Dry, full bodied, there’s great depth of ripe fruit flavour, notions of sweet baking spice and a remarkably fresh texture to the wine. It retains good structure, flavour and depth of fruit flavour through the long dry finish. Enjoy with paella.

 

Grand Total: $98.70

 

 

 

 

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Star quality wines have landed at Vintages

Posted by Julie

Thursday, November 7th, 2013
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Looking to economize while drinking great wines? Entertaining season is just around the corner so I am game for the challenge to see how far we can stretch my $100 budget that I have been ‘given’ to do this blog. This weekend’s LCBO Vintages release features wines of “Premium Star Quality” along with an assortment of dessert wines. While we all tend to know what premium star quality means, I am on the mission to find wines of star quality that won’t break my budget with their price tag.

So what did I pick?

With the exception of two wines, I have chosen wines under $15 a bottle. I have also put together a selection that can easily take you through many dinner parties from appetizers through to dessert, without breaking the bank. 

I did not have the opportunity to taste two wines I am recommending – sound strange?  Don’t worry I taste wines for a living!  I am confident that knowing the wineries that they produce only quality wine.  And from previous wines that I have reviewed from these wineries, they have never disappointed. There are also a couple of wines from Italy that never fail to inspire and match any number of food dishes. 

I also wanted to tip you off a couple of the wines found in the LCBO’s general list area of the store that are under $15 & somehow always find their way into my shopping basket:

Cave Springs Riesling VQA at $14.95
Creekside Sauvignon Blanc VQA $13.95
and  L.A.Cetto Petite Sirah 2011 at $11.95

All that to say, you can have lots of star quality with $100 to spend.

Julie

 

 Abbazia Moscato D’Asti 2012

DOCG, Italy
$14.95 (Vintages #265397)  13% alcohol 

With a slight touch of sweetness, this off dry white wine is always festive, pretty and a lovely start to any party. It is nice to start with something spritzy especially if the rest of your dinner wines are packed with punch and/or you are serving wines with different courses. It has aromas and tastes of stone fruits: peaches, apricots, pears with delicate moussey bubbles that could accompany shrimp canapes or parmesan crisps. 

 

Rockway Small Lot Reserve White Assemblage 2012

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$16.95 (Vintages #359315) 11.5% alcohol 

Golden straw in colour, this delightful white wine blend of Chardonnay, Riesling and Gewurtztraminer is aromatic and tastes of all these grapes. The Chardonnay has some creaminess being aged in oak but there’s lots of stone fruit and apples from the other grape varietals. Great acidity and is beautifully balanced; just another example that we never have to look further than our own backyard. It would be perfect to sip with an uncomplicated boston lettuce salad with a soft olive oil, a little artisan bread or a spicey soup to start your evening. 

 

Cavit Alta Luna Phases 2010

IGT Vigneti della Dolomiti, Italy
$14.95  (Vintages #354340)  12.5% alcohol 

A fabulous red wine blend made with the Teroldego, Lagrein and Merlot grapes from the foothills of Italy’s Dolomite Alps.  Dark plums and cherries fill the palate and being aged in oak, the wine has a richness to the taste with great tannins and a spicey finish. A great pizza or pasta wine or with some cheese.

 

Zuccardi Organica Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Mendoza, Argentina
$13.95 (Vintages #68452) 14% alcohol 

The Mendoza province is by far the largest wine region in western Argentina located on a high-altitude plateau at the edge of the Andes Mountains. The altitude is an important terroir characteristic since it means long sunny warm days that extend the growing season and contribute to ripe, rich grapes that do not sacrifice the acidity.  This dark cherry coloured baby is one red wine packed with punch. This red wine would make a fabulous partner with roast pork or a spicy sausage and eggplant pasta dish.

 

Natura Carmenere 2012

Colchagua Valley, Banfi, Chile
$14.95 (Vintages #56887)   14.1% alcohol 

For us red wine lovers, you can’t go far wrong with a blend of Carmenere, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Juicy and full, dark fruits, some spice, smokey and peppery all conjure up pictures of the beautiful Colchagua Valley (on my travel list !). I’m thinking ribs or beef stew.

 

Konzelmann Special Select Late Harvest Vidal 2011

VQA Ontario
$19.95 9Vintages #359216) 13.5% alcohol 

When presenting this finale to your dinner party you might want to mention that this late harvest wine was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2013 Ontario Wine Awards. There is citrus and apricot flavours with a creamy sweetness; you just want to roll it around your tongue to make it last. Serve with cheese, chocolates & fresh fruit for a beautiful ending of a feast. 

 

Grand Total: $95.70

 

 

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Need wine for Thanksgiving turkey or ham? Here’s a wine shopping list

Posted by Julie

Thursday, October 10th, 2013
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Around about two years ago, my husband Doug  &  I celebrated – we are both Savvy Sommeliers – our anniversary in Napa Valley in California.  You can imagine how excited I was when I saw that the LCBO Vintages release for October 13 features wines from Napa – it couldn’t have been timed better!  What caught my attention when reading the various reviews of the featured Napa wines, were the recurring wine critics comments about the region’s slope of the vineyards and climate.

The hilly ups & downs of growing grapes in Napa Valley

The Napa valley is a relatively small wine region but has huge temperature variables. This is on account of the San Pablo Bay and valleys that run east-west forming wind tunnels for wind and fog drawn in off the Pacific. The mountains also block cold winds and shield the grapes so that they can ripen. Winegrowers prefer north-facing slopes so the ripening process is slowed and lengthened and the grapes do not get sunburned. Not surprisingly, wines will be strikingly different from grapes grown at 2500 feet from those grown at 500 feet. Winegrowers have to cope with 3 different climates in the valley – might this challenge alone affects the steep prices of Napa wines?

Micro-climates of Burgundy & Piedmont

Moving away from California, this release features wines from Burgundy (France) and Piedmont (Italy), wine regions considered to have micro-climates. Similar to California, viticulturists (winespeak: grape growers) plant vines on southern facing hilly slopes to increase the vigour in growth for leaves & shoots. Leaves are critical for creating sugar in the grapes and also provide a canopy from the intense sun. Two of Italy’s most renowned wines – Barolo & Barbaresco – come from Piedmont and one wine in this release for the big splurge is the Pertinace Nervo Barbaresco 2009 at $39.95 (Vintages# 344705). This wine comes from the village of Treiso which has the highest vineyard sites in Barbaresco and the altitude has given the region the reputation of creating finessed Barbaresco.

Gobble Gobble!

With Thanksgiving feasts this weekend, I have purposely selected wines that I think would be fabulous to serve with turkey or glazed ham. These wines will be in my shopping basket & will be enjoyed at our Thanksgiving table.

Cheers & Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family!

Julie

 

William Hill Chardonnay 2012

Napa, California, U.S.A.
$27.95  (Vintages # 988840)  13.7% alcohol

These grapes are grown in a vineyard set on benchland off the valley floor located along the unspoiled Silverado Trail. The hills have southwestern exposure to allow the grapes to bask in abundant sunlight.  I am back in love with Chardonnay, time for a change from all the Rosés and Sauvignon Blancs that I have been sipping all summer. This white wine is pale golden in colour with aromas of baked pears and nuts. For those who like to match  buttery spuds and gravy on turkey breast with a full bodied white wine, this Chardonnay is meant for you. Rich, delicious and creamy with tropical fruit flavours and faint vanilla sweet spice on the finish. A fresh, elegant Chardonnay for any occasion.

 

Cygnus Brut Nature Reserva Cava

DO, Spain, Méthode Champenoise
$19.95 (Vintages # 352856)  11.5% alcohol

A big broad citrusy nose that bursts of bubbles, and teases the palate. This sparkling wine is so fresh and will make a wonderful appertif before the big bird!  Tastes of green apples and lemons, white grapefruit with a hint of minerality and stone. Very refreshing, and could easily take you from appertif through to pumpkin pie.

 

Angel’s Gate Riesling VQA 2010

VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$13.95 (Vintages #160523) 12% alcohol

A glimmery pale coloured white wine to serve with appetizers or to complement a Thanksgiving table. I think all Angel’s Gate wines are heavenly! Aromas and flavours are slightly floral, minerally, soft and slightly spritzy. Slightly off-dry, but more of the latter, with nice stone fruit tastes. A classic Niagara Riesling white wine that makes a perfect appertif, or afternoon sipper.

 

 

Heitlinger Mellow Silk Pinot Noir 2011

Qualitatswein, Germany
$16.95 (Vintages#344697)   13.5 % alcohol

Of all the wines in this release, I am most especially excited about this red wine. I would never think of Germany as Pinot Noir country, nor does this tend to be my go to grape, however I wanted a red wine for our Thanksgiving dinner and this Pinot Noir will be perfect.  A lovely light cherry red in colour with aromas of dark toast and raspberry.  Plenty of red berry fruit and they don’t put “SILK” in the name of this wine for show. It is silky smooth and mellow with slightly grippy tannins but easy sipping. I think I will throw a few dried mushrooms in my turkey stuffing to enhance this match.  This is a very pretty Pinot at this amazing price.

 

Chateau De Saint-Lager Brouilly 2011

AC, France
$19.95 (Vintages 330027)   13% alcohol

The Beaujolais region is located in east central France and although qiute distinct is considered a part of Burgundy. This Beaujolais is red raspberry in colour, medium weight flavours of red berries, pinch floral, light cassis, a little tart with just enough acidity to cut through rich foods. This light to medium bodied red wine has some spicey depth with personality and an excellent choice for the folks out there who prefer red wine with their Thanksgiving feast. There is a certain delicacy but this red wine is smooth, refined and refreshingly long.

 

Grand Total: $ 98.75

 

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Fire up the BBQ & uncork these wines…

Posted by Julie

Friday, August 16th, 2013
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This weekend’s LCBO Vintages release offers some great red Italian wines for barbeque grilling, as well as some Aussie selections that will match kebobs any night of the week.  There is also a varied assortment of Pinot Noir’s that are worth putting into your shopping cart.  One from British Columbia that impressed me is Quail’s Gate Winery (featured below).  And if you would like to splurge, the Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Noir ($37.95, Vintages # 234534) is worth every penny!

This week’s wine lingo lesson…

Ever wonder what DOC or DOCG means on the label of some Italian wines?  This is the equivalent of the French AOC, Appellation d’Origine Controlee which means the wines must be made from certain government zones intended to preserve the wine’s character from a specific region.  DOC stands for “Denominazione di Origine Controllata” or controlled designation of origin while DOCG stands for “Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita” meaning controlled designation of origin guaranteed. The latter classification is the highest quality recognition for Italian wines.  

So here are 5 great wines to help you choose what meat or veggies to grill….or vice versa! 

Cheers & Enjoy!

Julie 

PS – Send me along your favorite wines from this release as there are so many great wines…and so little time!

Quail’s Gate Pinot Noir 2011

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
$26.95 (Vintages #585760)  14% alcohol 

Travel tip: A few years ago my husband and I visited the Quail’s Gate Winery. If the Okanagan Valley is in your travel plans anytime soon, I would highly recommend stopping in for lunch or dinner at this breathtakingly beautiful winery. Pinot Noir is without a doubt their flagship product (and for white wines my pick is their Chenin Blanc). 2011 was a fantastic cool climate year on the Mount Boucherie Bench where the grapes are grown & the winery is located. Rich and bright red fruit flavours open up on the palate into a dusty, smooth, earthy yet velvety texture of sour cherries, a pinch of spice and fine tannins on the finish. Elegant and refined.  I noticed on the winery’s dinner menu that they suggested pairing this wine with a game Cornish hen. Oh yum ! 

 

Mezzacorona Teroldego Rotaliano Riserva 2009

DOC, Italy
$15.95 (Vintages #732222) 13% alcohol 

A perfect summer red ! You can practically smell the hand-picked grapes full of ripe aromas of delicious red and black berries, coming from Piana Rotaliana, the northeastern region of Italy. Medium-bodied with wafts of strawberry and raspberry, great acidity but lots of fruit flavour, a little spice and green tomato on the finish. Would pair beautifully with grilled vegetables, risotto, cold pasta salads. A wine that you would swear was more than $16!

Palatine Hills Neufeld Sauvignon Blanc 2012

VQA Niagara Lakeshore, Ontario
$18.00 (Vintages # 352344) 13.5% alcohol 

Another great Niagara sipper – this white wine was so refreshing! I found this quite fruity for a Sauvignon Blanc. Aromas of ripe pineapple, a tad off-dry in taste, grassy but with great acidity and lots of mouth coating ripe melon flavours on the palate.  Very clean-tasting with a little herbeousness on the finish. You could pair this with all the usual grilled chicken culprits or light kebobs that are a great match with Sauvignon Blanc, but it’s so flavourful that some soft mild or briney cheese (Brie and Goat’s cheese) and raincoast crackers would be a perfect start (or finish) to a dinner party.

 

Di Giovanna Grillo 2011

IGP Sicilia
$15.95 (Vintages #343053) 13.5% alcohol 

A great white wine to take to the a cottage or have at the beach! The aromas remind me of summer with wild flower and daisy fragrance; the freshness of lemon and citrus on the palate is also reminiscent of the Italian riviera. As soon as I tasted it, I was thinking of crispy prawns or grilled calamari, crusty bread and a green salad. This bright tasting white wine is bone dry and belongs to a fabulous summer’s day but if you don’t happen to have a cottage or beach close-by, just chill it and enjoy with a few nibbles and a great book to read.

 

Ernie Els Big Easy 2011

South Africa
$19.95 (Vintages #220038) 14.5% alcohol 

My neighbours recently returned from the USA and brought us a bottle of the Ernie Els, “Proprietor’s Blend” which was a fabulous choice with our BBQed T-bone steaks and twice baked potatoes.  I happened to look up the Ernie Els winery website which looks as classy as the wine. 

The “Big Easy” available at the LCBO is a no-fail red wine blend of Syrah, Grenahc, Cinsault, Mourvedre and Viognier with a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon. This blend is an “easy” sell; aromas and flavours of deep dark fruit, plums, wild and sweet blueberries, a little brambly with an earthy, slightly herbaceous finish. It’s a pretty “easy” wine that could match several grilled lamb or steak kebobs since it’s not too heavy.  Also, an extremely handsome sipper on its own. One is going in my basket for sure, thanks to my neighbours for the introduction!

Grand Total: $ 96.80 – I saved you a few dollars this week!

 

 

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Change of season – time to shop for different wines

Posted by Julie

Friday, April 26th, 2013
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During my recent trip to Shanghai I tasted some “Great Wall” wines which really did not inspire me to climb the wall despite the fact that China is the fifth world’s wine producing country. I’m so glad to be back in Ottawa in time for signs of Spring which to me include all the great wines in the LCBO Vintages release on Saturday April 27.

Although we’re all ready for a change in temperature and switching lighter style wines,  this release focuses on Italy’s Veneto, Appassimento and organic wines all perfect for hearty pastas. 

 What are Veneto wines?

No need for translation here…however Apassimento style wine is an ancient wine technique where the grapes are laid out on straw mats to allow them to dry. Depending on humidity and temperature, the grapes shrivel and develop high sugar concentration levels. After being crushed they produce concentrated rich wines such as Amarone and desert ones like “vin santo”.

The real splurge…

Although I cannot fathom anyone tiring of ice or late harvest wine, for something different, this release offers a wonderful Italian desert wine and a myriad of really big reds for those who are biting to grill some meat. There are also some fabulous new white wines from our Niagara region.

The real splurge however, would be the Veuve Clicquot Pondsardin Vintage Rose Champagne 2004 at $97.95, oh the mousse in this is divine and it does comes with a gift box.

So all this to say, if you are planning a special lunch or dinner, this release offers quite a selection of new beverages to help dress up any occasion.

Spring Cheers!

Julie

The Good Earth the Good Wine Betty’s Blend 2011

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$17.95 (Vintages #327791) 11.6% alcohol

Winery owner Nicolette Novak isn’t kidding when she includes the word ‘good’ in the name of her winery – there’s nothing but good wine at Good Earth. This blend is pale in colour with aromas of white blossoms and a bit of wet stone. Deliciously delicate in taste with a lovely mix of tree fruits like apricot and a pinch of tart apple. It’s dry fresh and light and a wine that I would call a crowd pleaser – no one could not like this wine!  It is a perfect afternoon drink on its own or with some soft cheese or light lunch.

 

La Cappuccina Soave 2012  (Organic)

DOC, Veneto, Italy
$14.95 (Vintages #081489) 12% alcohol

Perhaps it is because the grapes are grown at the site of an ancient chapel housed by Franciscan friars who, for over a century really knew how to grow grapes. The pale straw coloured wine is fresh and crisp with tastes of lemon-lime on the palate. It is clean tasting, fruity but bone dry & the wine is sulphur free with lively acidity.  It’s a fabulous sipper or would be perfect with some shellfish or other seafood. I can practically imagine an Italian piazza, some brilliant sunshine, nibbles of grilled calamari and of course having a glass of this cool zesty delicious Soave.

 

EOS Estate Petite Sirah 2009

Paso Robles, California, U.S.A.
$19.95 (Vintages #317677) 13.9% alcohol

It is coincidental that on 5 April 2013, in Ottawa, I poured for the EOS Estate Winery at the California Wine Show. There were not many Petite Sirah’s at the show so this wine was a popular novelty.  EOS, named after the Greek Goddess of dawn, is the largest winery on California’s Central Coast to run completely on alternative energy. Layered with dark fruits and a peppery pinch of coffee on the finish; a great sipper on its own or with a lamb/feta burger.

 

Chateau Haut-Plaisance 2010

Ac Montagne Saint Emilion, France
$17.00 (Vintages 326587) 15% alcohol

A rich garnet red Bordeaux blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabnert Franc – a classic full bodied Meritage. Heady aromas of ripe dark fruit and violets that follow through with a little leather and pepper on the medium long finish. It is positively mouthcoating and delcious with firm medium tannins that would match a prime rib any day. It also won Gold Medals at the Concours General Agricole de Paris and Concours des Grands Vins de France in 2012- need I say more?

 

Antolini Recioto Della Valpolicella Classico 2009  (Dessert Wine)

DOC, Italy
$28.95 (Vintages #135533) 13.5% alcohol

Valpolicella ranks just after Chianti in total Italian Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) wine production. This rich, luscious desert wine, made with Corvina and Rondinella grapes, derives part of its name (recioto) from ancient Greek dialect “recie” meaning ears. This refers to the lobes of a grape cluster that appear as “ears” becoming very ripe with direct sun exposure which in turn allows the natural sugars to concentrate. Following harvest, DOC Regulations dictate that Reciotos cannot be pressed before January 1. The grapes in this wine matured a year before bottling. Aromas and tastes of rich dark fruit, roasted almonds with chocolate overtones and spices reminiscent of Christmas cake. With a piece of dark chocolate or unsweetened chocolate cake, it would be heaven

 

Grand Total: $98.80

 

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Great Wine Picks from Ontario & France For Your Easter Weekend

Posted by Susan

Thursday, March 28th, 2013
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Easter weekend arrives early this year, the last weekend of March, and the March 30 LCBO Vintages is right on cue, with a special feature including a bevy of Ontario wines to serve with your ham, turkey or prime rib. To get you started, try the always delectable 13th Street Premier Cuvée sparkling wine, a fine, focused effort from the 2008 vintage.

 

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

 

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

Southern France Shines Through

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

 California Wine Fair Comes to Ottawa April 5, 2013

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

 

Cheers and Enjoy!

Susan

Ormarine Picpoul de Pinet 2011

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

Château Saint-Roch Chimères 2010

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

The Good Earth Dry Riesling 2010

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

Irony ‘Small Lot Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

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

Luigi Righetti ‘Campolieti’ Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2010

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

Grand Total: $88.75

 

 

 

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Six sure fire signs of spring

Posted by Susan

Thursday, March 14th, 2013
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Without skipping a beat, a sign of spring is the arrival of the annual California Wine Fair.  This always quickly sells out. Ottawa is April 5 at the Westin Hotel and Toronto is April 8 at the Fairmont Royal York. The Fair features 130+ wineries offering 400 wines!  This year  features some of the new trends in the California wine industry.

Can’t wait until the California wine industry arrives in town?  Then this weekend’s LCBO Vintages March 16 release highlights California wines, focusing on pioneering winemakers who made a mark on the industry, starting in the mid 1970s, with their keen attention to quality. These determined winemakers combed their focus on matching key grape varieties to ideal soils and new hillside sites with single-minded attention to viticultural practices and innovative winemaking techniques.

Recognition came in 1976, when Château Montelena’s Chardonnay and Stag’s Leap founder Warren Winiarski’s Cabernet Sauvignon won the Judgement of Paris in their respective categories. This LCBO Vintages release provides the opportunity to savour some of these iconic wines, from Château Montelena Chardonnay to Duckhorn Merlot, Ravenswood Zinfandel, Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon and Inglenook ‘Rubicon’ Cabernet Sauvignon. These iconic California wines are priced beyond my budget of an assortment of wines that total max $100 for this blog.  I do however recommend that you consider splurging!

Another sign of spring is the focus of the clean fresh white wines produced in Europe’s alpine regions—Austria, Alsace, Germany, Hungary and Italy. Look for some fabulous Rieslngs and Pinot Gris. The general release delivers great value wines.  Others worth noting beyond my list below are: the perennial value, Château Hauchat ($14.95), Pierre Henri Morel’s absolutely fabulous Côtes du Rhône-Villages ($15.95), Torre Quarto’s ‘Bottaccia’ produced from Puglia’s little-known but delicious Uva di Troia ($14.95) and an outstanding value from Spain, Piñol’s Grenache blend, Ludovicus ($13.95).

Given all the great values, here are my top picks and there are 6 wines just under my $100 set limit!

Cheers and Enjoy!

Susan

 

If I only had $100, I would buy. . .
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, March 16, 2013

 

Balthasar Ress ‘Hattenheimer Schützenhaus’ Riesling Kabinett 2011

Rheingau, Germany
$17.95 (Vintages #735241) 10.0% alcohol


Straw/green, this is a fabulous Riesling displaying subtle, complex aromas and flavours of mineral, citrus, stone fruit and herb. Dry, a touch spritzy, the fruit and herb notes are framed by fine acidity and the underlying minerality.

 

Cave de Hoen ‘Heimberger’ Brut Rosé Crémant d’Alsace NV

AOC Alsace, France
$16.95 (Vintages #168948) 12.5% alcohol
This dry, pale salmon sparkling wine made in the traditional method, displays a fine effervescence that persists on the palate. Delicate aromas and flavours of red field berries—cranberry, currant and raspberry—dominate, while lively acidity carries the flavours through a crisp, palate-cleansing finish. A great wine for sipping at Easter, or to be paired with salads, fish or white meats.

 

Malivoire Riesling 2011

VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario
$15.95 (Vintages #277438) 10.5% alcohol
Finely crafted, this is a clean, lively white wine offering an attractive floral fragrance, along with aromas of citrus, orchard fruit and mineral. Light-medium bodied, a touch of residual sugar is paired with clean, refreshing acidity. Great balance and lovely flavours of lemon-lime, ripe apple and mineral right through the finish. Enjoy with pan-fried halibut or roast chicken or pork.

 

Rockway Vineyards ‘Small Lot Reserve’ Red Assemblage 2010

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$16.95 (Vintages #321893) 14.0% alcohol
High-toned aromas of ripe dark fruit, spiced rose and a touch of roasted red pepper lift from the glass of  this blend of the Cabernets and Merlot. Dry, on the full side of medium bodied, this red wine is round, smooth, balanced and flavourful. Quite lush dark berry and plum flavours wash across the palate, supported by the subtle structure of well-integrated tannins and fine acidity. Notes of sweet baking spice and toasty oak garnish the fresh, round, fruity finish. Deftly crafted and an excellent value. 

 

 

 

Château Hauchat 2010

AOC Fronsac, France
$14.95 (Vintages #123489) 13.5% alcohol
This fragrant, dry, medium-full bodied Merlot-domianted red wine is a remarkable value! There’s complexity on the nose—red and black fruit, spice, vanilla and mineral. On the palate, there’s a fine marriage of firm tannins, plum and cherry/berry fruit, and fresh acidity, while lovely spicy notes and nuances of mineral and toast carry through the dry finish. A few bottles are in order for meals featuring robust red meats.

Nuova Cappelletta Barbera del Monferrato 2010

DOC Barbera del Monferrato, Italy
$16.95 (Vintages #719518) 14.0% alcohol
This is a reliably good producer known for its commitment to biodynamic agriculture. The red wine doesn’t disappoint, with lovely floral aromas, red fruits, spice and a touch of vanilla. Dry, medium bodied, sweet spice and vanilla replay, combining with flavours of red berries and kirsch. The wine is subtly yet firmly structured and beautifully balanced, offering a touch of warmth on a long mouth-watering finish. A great choice for mushroom arrosto with roast pork.

 

Grand Total: $99.70

 

 

 

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California Wine Fair coming to Ottawa & Toronto

Posted by Susan

Thursday, February 28th, 2013
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The California Wine Fair is visiting Canada this spring with stops in Toronto (April 8, the Fairmont Royal York) & Ottawa (April 5, Westin Ottawa).  Always a sell out, we recommend that you don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy a huge assortment of the newest wines & styles coming from the west coast wine regions.

Cutting-Edge California trends

To prep you for the California Wine Fair, March is the feature month for California wines in the LCBO.  To kick it all off, this weekend’s LCBO Vintages release focusing on ‘Cutting-Edge California’ trends. The Wine Institute of California has identified some of the evolving trends, including emerging regions and varietals, as well as more extensive use of environmentally friendly practices, such as dry farming, which relies only on rainfall and fog.

The new generation of California winemakers and grape growers is strongly committed to sustainable agriculture, which has become a common approach for California producers determined to preserve the quality of their vineyards and the state’s water resources. California is blessed with a wide range of growing conditions thanks to its varied topography, proximity to the Pacific Ocean and diverse soil conditions. As a result, grapes produced from international varieties such as Riesling Gewürztraminer, Merlot and Tempranillo are now appearing on California wine labels, while lesser known regions such as Mendocino and Napa’s Lake County are introducing wine from varieties long grown in California, such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

Must try California wines ….

I’d recommend in this release to seek out the classic Chardonnays, a Gewürztraminer from Monterey County, a unique blend of Viognier, Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc and Vermentino from Paso Robles.  When it comes to red wines, try the organic Pinot Noir from Bonterra, Napa classics such as Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, or a Vintages favorite, Liberty School Syrah.

… there are Italian wines featured too!

The secondary feature of this release draws attention to the native grapes of Italy’s southern mainland and the islands of Sardinia and Sicily, including wines produced from white grapes varieties such as the well-known Verdicchio, and from red wine varieties such as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Nero d’Avola, Cannonau di Sardegna (Grenache) and Italy’s noble southern grape, Aglianico.

Other wines to consider adding to your shopping cart – a lovely Pinot Gris from Malivoire, a fabulous Gamay Noir from Tawse, an award-winning Alsatian Pinot Blanc from Jean Geiler (only $14.95!), as well as Piñol’s Ludovicus, a Grenache blend and outstanding value at just $13.95.

There were so many great wines in this release that it made it difficult for me to keep within my $100 budget —I am over by 75 cents – no pennies required!

Cheers and Enjoy!

Susan

 

Vina Robles White 4 2010

Paso Robles, California
$18.95 (Vintages #313460) 14.2% alcohol


This assemblage of Viognier, Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc and Vermentino offers great complexity and style. It’s perfumed and aromatic, displaying floral notes, passion fruit, citrus, mango and stone fruit. Dry, medium bodied, creamy and rich in texture yet lively on the palate, the harmony of the fruit flavours replays and amplifies through the crisp finish. Lovely integration, balance, flavour and texture. Enjoy as a sipper or with light fare.

 

 

 

Bonterra Pinot Noir 2010

Mendocino County, California
$19.95 (Vintages #317685) 14.1% alcohol
Here’s another great example of the flavourful organic wines Bonterra has been producing for years. Enticing aromas of red cherry/berry fruit, sweet spice and a touch of toast rise from the glass. Dry, silky, the luscious core of ripe fruit mingles with notes of milk-chocolate-coated cherries and vanilla, the sweet spice and toast replaying. A very approachable wine, balanced and flavourful, it has the heft to pair with roast beef tenderloin with root vegetables.

Aldiano Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ‘Riserva’ 2008

DOC Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy
$17.95 (Vintages #61706) 14.0% alcohol
Inky, opaque and intensely aromatic, this is a stunning wine and a great value. Notes of plum, blueberry, pipe tobacco and vanilla tease the nose. On the palate, it’s dry yet velvety, mid-full weight, rich in dark fruit that’s framed by fine-grained tannins. There’s a freshness complementing the ripe fruit, while notes of espresso bean and a hint of earth linger on the finish. Serve with meat-based pasta.

Konzelmann Heritage 2010

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$24.95 (Vintages #149179) 14.0% alcohol
Here’s finely crafted assemblage of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot offering alluring aromas of fully ripened red and black fruits, baking spice, pepper and a whiff of smoke. Dry, medium-full bodied, the texture is velvety, the tangy flavours of black cherry, cassis and raspberry mingling with notes of spice, dried herbs and toasty oak. Soft ripe tannins and fresh acidity underpin the ripe fruit, lending fullness to a persistent warm finish graced with notes of spice and pepper. Pair with rare roast beef. It’s sold out at the winery, so don’t miss this opportunity!

 

Barossa Valley Estate ‘E Minor’ Shiraz 2010

Barossa Valley, Australia
$18.95 (Vintages #295907) 14.5% alcohol
Classic Shiraz from a reputable and reliable producer equals great value! Savour the high-toned aromas of black berry, kirsch, smoke, crushed pepper and sweet spice. Dry, full bodied, the wine offers a rush of intense, concentrated dark fruit and black pepper, along with a subtle earthy quality and notes of char. This is a big, powerful, well-balanced wine, well structured with a lasting fruity-filled finish.

Grand Total: $100.75

 

Got the urge to splurge?

Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Napa Valley, California
$56.95 (Vintages #932400) 13.9% alcohol
This is a powerful, complex cellar-worthy wine, inky purple and enticing with its layers of aromas and flavours—hints of menthol, lavender, dried herbs, cedar, cassis, black cherry and smoke. Dry, full bodied, firmly structured, it displays a clean tangy texture and a concentrated core of full-flavoured fruit. Finishing dry and long, it’s your wine of choice for rare red meats.

 

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