Posts Tagged ‘wines from New Zealand’

Yeah! Make it a Chardonnay!

Posted by Julie

Monday, July 10th, 2017
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It’s that time of year again when the annual International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (also known by those in the wine biz as ‘i4C’ or #i4C17) descends upon the Niagara region. Everyone gathers for this special i4C weekend to celebrate the most popular grape varietal in the world.

It is an incredible weekend – July 21 to 23 – where 30+ wineries from around the world PLUS 30 Ontario wineries gather to showcase their finest wines made with Chardonnay grapes – everything from sparkling, fresh Chardonnay, aged ones, Chablis style, fermented with wild yeast and those aged in barrels from around the world.  You get to sample everything. Even fine sweet wines made from Chardonnay grapes.  It is a heavenly weekend event!

At i4C, winemakers attend along with wine enthusiasts, Sommeliers, wine writers, restaurant owners and those who are simply visiting Niagara wanting to take in a top-notch event.  A number of us from the Savvy Team have attended and it is hands down an incredible learning and entertaining experience not to mention absolutely delicious & tasty. I highly recommend making i4C the reason for a weekend getaway to Niagara (if you need a reason!).

And for those of you who are ABCers (aka like Anything But Chardonnay), there is an incredible white wine from Spain that I discovered in the recent LCBO Vintages release from the feature or Spanish wines.  Spain often offers great value wines that taste like they should cost more, but my recommendations on those will have to wait for another time as I am filling my basket with 100% Chardonnay for this blog…and can’t wait to get sipping.

Long live i4C!
-Julie

i4C Social Media Information: Website  *   Twitter   *  Instagram 

 

 

If I only had $100, I would buy…
LBCO Vintages Release for Saturday July 8, 2017

 

Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay 2015 

VQA Niagara-on-the Lake
$24.95 (Vintages #172338) 12.5 % alcohol

In 2008, Southbrook was the first wine estate in Canada to earn both organic and biodynamic certification for its vineyard and winery. This is one smooth Chardonnay from start to finish. There is some minerality in this white wine which is unusual for a Chardonnay, but this only enhances the soft tropical fruits.

Mid-weight and beautifully balanced with some baked pear on the finish, it’s one lovely drink. Would partner nicely with BBQed chicken or salmon.

 

 

Emiliana Natura Unoaked Chardonnay 2016

Casablanca Valley, Chile
$15.95 (Vintages #439398) 14 % alcohol

In the last release I featured Emiliana Winery for their sparkling wine. And here they are again on my top picks list!

This unoaked Chardonnay wine is anything but “typicity”.  In winespeak, this is the degree in which the grape varietal reflects or demonstrates its characteristics from the origin or region. I found just a hint of effervescence, light-bodied with lime tanginess which is unusual for a Chardonnay.  It’s fresh and clean with a green apple finish. I really liked it and this white wine is definitely going into my shopping basket & right into my fridge for a hot summer afternoon where I will uncork it for lunch or a light dinner with something like a Watermelon, Feta Cheese & Black Olive Salad.

 

 

Buena Vista Chardonnay 2015

Sonoma County, U.S.A.
$24.95 (Vintages #396440) 13 % alcohol

In a little corner bordering Sonoma and Napa’s southern boundaries is the celebrated vinicultural area called Carneros. While only about 90 square miles, the region is recognized for producing world class Chardonnays.

This white wine is a style that is heavier and creamier than what comes from other Chardonnay growing regions but for those who love a ‘Big Bold Chard’, this wine is for you!  I put extra stars beside my tasting notes, indicating that I love this wine. Aromas of buttered popcorn, rich and smooth on the palate as the tropical fruit simply takes over the senses and abounds.  It’s dry, crisp with a lingering finish. Elegant and refined, a class-act Chardonnay. Would easily stand up to a dinner of Steak & frites…yes white wine with steak!

 

 

Invivo Gisborne Chardonnay 2016

Gisborne, North Island, New Zealand
$15.95 (Vintages #499855) 13 % alcohol

Although this was not available at my tasting, Invivo Wines is going to be present at i4C represented by Winemaker and Co-founder, Rob Cameron. I never have any difficulty recommending a wine from New Zealand, especially the Gisborne region, since wines that are produced are always top notch. Tasting notes indicate an easy drinking style with citrus and ripe stone fruit on the palate.

At this incredible price point, (remember it travelled half way around the world to get onto the LCBO shelves), this white wine is definitely going in my basket. It is worth a try!

 

A dynamite wine from Spain you have to try …

Barón De ley Blanco 2016

DOCa Rioja
$13.95 (Vintages #145995) 12 % alcohol

A blend of Viura (90%) and Malvasia (10%) grapes, this fresh aromatic white wine is easy to drink. While not common grape varietals, these are quite at home in Navarra in the DOC Rioja region.

The winemaking process is carried out in stainless steel tanks which lends to its super fresh lemon lime flavours with a citrusy finish. Fresh and a light-bodied whine, makes for a terrific wine on a hot summer’s day.

 

 

Grand Total = $95.75

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

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 4th, 2016
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February was a long month with Leap Year. Now March is loaded with holidays. March Break, St Patrick’s Day and Easter are reasons to pop corks! This week’s release at Vintages is loaded with interesting wines, Irish Whiskies & sparkling wines for exactly that occasion.

LCBO Magazine March 5I must confess that I am learning to enjoy whisky as opposed to a whisky lover! The Knappogue Castle 16 year old Irish Single Malt tempted me to try a wee dram. Glad that I did! The sherry finish made this a smooth sip.

And while you are there, you may be wondering why the store shelves will be overflowing with goodies from California. It is to whet your taste buds & prep you for the arrival of California winemakers when they tour across Canada on their annual roadshow stopping in at Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver and Calgary. Click here to see when they land near you. If you happen to know you are getting a tax refund, consider splurging on a bottle of – Kistler McCrea Vineyards Chardonnay – was delicious, but I won’t be including it on this shopping list as it would break my budget (its $120.95…a bottle!). The Treana White is always a treat with its 50-50 blend of Viognier and Marsanne at $29.95.

Take this shopping list and head on into your local LCBO store to pick up these gems – I recommend it!

Cheers,
Debbie

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

Saturday March 5, 2016

 

Vietti Moscato d’Asti 2014

Piedmont, Italy
$19.95 (Vintages #441253) 5% alcohol

A sure fire sign of spring is when Moscato d’Asti wines start filling the shelves. Delicious bubbly equally balanced with spring flower aromas (think daffodils & hyacinths) with fruit salad taste of juicy peach, pineapple and melon. A perfect sparkling wine to serve for brunch as it is low in alcohol, or pop it open for an aperitif or to finish a meal instead of a dessert.

 

Fielding Gewürztraminer 2012Fielding Gewürztraminer VQA 2013

Niagara, ON
$18.95 (Vintages #146753)  12.5% alcohol

Everything Fielding’s winemaker Richie Roberts makes seems to turn to gold. This yummy Gewürztraminer will get your heart racing with its spring-like aromas and flavours. Floral aromas combined with candied ginger and tropical fruit tastes (think mangos, kiwi) make this a well balanced and delicious medium bodied white wine. Chill and sip while you make dinner or serve with something spicy like Phad Thai, Indian curry or Mexican dish.

 

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2014Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Malborough, New Zealand
$19.95 (Vintages #974527) 13% alcohol

This is the first wine from the 2015 vintage that I have had…and WOW! A stunning Sauvignon Blanc with loads of lemon-lime tastes with a touch of cut green grass (a typical characteristic of Sauv Blanc). Smooth, round feeling in the mouth – a classy wine. It is not surprising that Villa Maria is one of New Zealand’s most awarded winery. Serve this white wine with roasted chicken, steamed mussels or save a bottle for when fiddleheads & asparagus are in season.

 

Barón de Ley Reserva 2010Baron de Ley Reserva 2010

Rioja, Spain
$21.95 (Vintages #958868) xx alcohol

I often find gems in the Spanish red wine section. This one is featured as Vintages “Wine of the Month” & there is a good reason for that. Everything about this wine is black – the dark inky colour, dark fruit notes & tastes and rich warm spices. Well balanced with complex with ever changing aromas & tastes, makes this a great wine to enjoy now (it is already been aged 5 years) or put down for a few more years. Another great red wine to serve now with Tortiere, roast beef, cheese & charcuterie board or hold onto till you christen your BBQ this spring.

 

Château Mamin

Graves, France
$21.95 (Vintages #444281) 13% alcohol

Start the car! This is one of the best French wines that I have had in awhile. Red fruit, tobacco & cigar waft from the glass then follows through the taste with a warm fireside heat. I was blown away when I found out the price tag. Tastes double the price. I will definitely be buying a case. Enjoy with cheese, lamb, hearty stew or pull out over the spring & summer when you fire up the BBQ.

 

Grand Total: $102.75

Ooops! I am over budget a wee bit…but it is totally worth it!

 

 

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, December 11th, 2015
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Hop on your sled and dash to your local LCBO for great finds in this Saturday’s Vintages release! Bubbles, fizz, liquid foam, call it what you want but nothing starts a festive gathering like sparkling white wine. Whether it’s the tall, sexy flutes or those bubbles that tickle the nose, sparkling wine is a drinkable turn-on, the ultimate celebratory libation.

LCBO Magazine Sat Dec 12The world has come a long way with bubbles. Spain’s Cava, Alsace’s Cremant, Italy’s Prosecco, Sonoma’s Brut, not to mention our many Canadian fizzy gems.

While this release is filled with champagne I figured you’d want more than 2 bottles in the basket and kept in mind that, “ A woman cannot survive on champagne alone, she also needs shoes.”

So, it is Christmas and I went just a little over our budget to introduce two surprising finds. A dessert wine and a red wine blend from Romania. Even an LCBO product consultant agreed with me that the Romanian red blend at $14.00 was better than a Napa blend we compared at $44.00. So no better time to explore when your budget has constraints, especially at that price point. Not to mention conversation newbies.

Whatever tickles your nose this December, find something delicious at LCBO Vintages this Saturday to toast the season with friends, family and loved ones. As the song goes, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”.

Make it count and do it with style,
Julie

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
Saturday December 12, 2015

 

Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvée RoséOyster Bay Sparkling Cuvée

Charmat Method, New Zealand
$21.95 (Vintages # 280172) 12% alcohol

If the philosophy of Oyster Bay Winery is to produce fine, distinctly regional wines that are elegant and assertive with glorious fruit flavours, this sparkling wine hits the nose on the palate. Pale poached salmon in colour, lovely soft tropical fruit flavours capture the senses. A blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir make it a very easy sipper. Gentle ripe berries prevail throughout, a little strawberry and citrus on the finish. Would make a fabulous brunch wine or afternoon delight. Versatile, friendly and a real crowd-pleaser.

 

Louis Bouillot Perle d'Ivoire Brut Blanc de Blancs Crémant de BourgogneLouis Bouillon Perle D’Ivoire Brut Blanc de Blancs Crémant De Bourgogne

Méthode Traditionnelle, AC Burgundy, France
$19.95 (Vintages # 48801) 12% alcohol

Pours like Champagne, pale golden, zillions of soft creamy bubbles surface and I was saying to myself “please bring me some grilled shrimps to accompany”. Aromas of buttered toast and almonds, made from 100% Chardonnay grapes; it is medium-bodied, lean, citrusy with some yellow apple, bursting with flavours of lemon curd and bone dry on the palate from start to finish. Plush and undeniably decadent!

 

Cave de Beblenheim Brut Rosé Crémant d'AlsaceCave De Beblenheim Brut Rosé Crémant D’Alsace

Méthode Traditionnelle, AC Burgundy, France
$18.95 (Vintages #168948) 12.5% alcohol

Forgive me for featuring 2 sparkling wines from France, but they were both so good, I couldn’t decide so thought I’d let you be the judge. Pours like a bright pink grapefruit, 100% Pinot Noir grapes, fresh crisp cranberry and raspberry bubbles dance in the full-bodied mouthfeel. Talk about happy! Uplifting acidity on the finish that leaves the palate feeling refreshed. Appealing and easy, it’s juicy and incredibly good.

 

Frogpond Farm Gamay Noir 2013Frogpond Farm Gamay Noir 2013

VQA Niagara on the Lake
$16.00 (Vintages 245613) 12.2% alcohol

There is so much going on in this organic beauty from the first whiff to the end of the sip. Not a bit of wonder this red wine won Gold Medal at the 2014 Royal Agriculture Winter Fair Wine Competition. If you love cherries, this is your drink. Bright, sweet and pungent, savoury and a little spicy on the finish. I did not realize Gamay could have so much punch. It’s medium-bodied and so pure in texture, clean and bright. Probably the best Gamay I have tasted. The herbal tones at the end just add interest; I went back for one more taste, just to make sure I got it right.

 

Cotnari Vin Alb Dulce Tãmâioasã Româneascã 2012Cotnari Vin Alb Dulce Tãmâioasã Româneascã 2012

DOC Cotnari, Romania
$13.95 (Vintages #651653) 11.5% alcohol

The grape Tamaioasa Romaneasca is also know as Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains which is purported to be one of the oldest grape wines in the world. This wine was listed in the Vintages releases under Dessert Wine.

Upon tasting, I found it to be a light-bodied, off dry, floral with soft tree fruit flavours, a little honey at the end that could translate into other venues besides dessert. The grapes exhibit a natural sweetness but so subtle that you could easily serve this with salads or seafood or even with a light cream based soup to start dinner. A noticeable seam of acidity runs through it. There’s not much on the finish, but it’s an easy sipper. Romanian cuisine is very similar to Turkey and Greece. As a dessert wine it would be awesome with Baclava consisting of honey and nuts, native to the region and wow, what a partnership.

 Monser Feteascã Neagrã 2012

Monser Feteascã Neagrã 2012

IG Dealurile Hu_ilor
Senator Prodimpex
$14.00 (Vintages #315069) 12.5% alcohol

Feteasca Meagra translates to Black maiden and this old pre-phylloxeric variety is also known as the Moldovan grape cultivated in the Romanian regions of Moldovia and Muntenia. The grape produces wines tasting of Italian and French character. Deep ruby red, aromas of dark berries and currants that follow through on the palate. Medium-bodied, stand-up tannins and a real pleasant drinking wine. (I hate to say Bordeaux style, but it is what it is) It would be great with stew, spaghetti or pizza or on 26th December with leftovers.

 

6 interesting wines for just over $100.00.
Have a sparkling new year!

GRAND TOTAL – $ 104.80  

 

 

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

Posted by Julie

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

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

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

Summertime and my living is easy.
Cheers,
Julie

 

 

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

 

Trius Divine WhiteTrius Divine White 

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

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

 

Pietro Marini Torrontes 2013Pietro Marini Torrontés 2013

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

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

 

Squealing PigSquealing Pig Sauvignon Blanc 2014

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

Australia
$18.95 (Vintages #361295) 14% alcohol

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

 

Grand Total: $90.75

 

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

Posted by Julie

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

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

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

Cheers
Julie

 

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

 

Howard Park Flint Rock ChardonnayHoward Park Flint Rock Chardonnay 2012

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

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

 

Eradus Sauvignon BlancEradus Sauavignon Blanc

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

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

 

Finca El Origen Reserva TorrontesFinca El Origen Reserva Torrontés 2014

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

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

 

Howard Park Miamup Cabernet SauvignonHoward Park Miamup Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

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

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

 

 

Megalomaniac Pink Slip RoseMegalomaniac Pink Slip Pinot Noir Rosé 2014

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

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

 

 

Grand Total: $ 95.75

 

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, May 1st, 2015
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The LCBO Vintages release on May 2nd focuses on New Zealand, Germany and rosé wines (High time for the latter). If you’ve had the pleasure of visiting “greenland” down under, you will know that the region is famous for the crisp LCBO Vintages new arrivals magazine May 2Sauvignon Blanc’s and Pinot Noir’s. New Zealand even has an official Sauvignon Blanc day in April; how’s that for promoting the varietal?

Although New Zealand only produces less than 1% of the world’s wine, there is an impressive array of varieties and styles.

Rosés just never go out of style and are a fabulous accompaniment to many foods. This release will display all kinds of pink on the shelves so I hope you pick up one or three and think “pink”. Here’s to warm weather and the patio!

 

Cheers,
Julie

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
May 2, 2015

 

Te Whare Ra Sauvignon Blanc

Te Whare Ra Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand
$24.95 (Vintages # 411603) 13% alcohol

Gooseberry and grassy aromas support the fleshy backbone of stone fruit. Flavours of ripe peach, the citrus has some spicy notes but this white wine is smooth as silk. It’s harmonious and gave me the impression of a well made wine. Balanced with an aftertaste of sweet pink grapefruit pith. A great sipper or with some fish tacos or salmon salad.

 

 

Frogpond Organic ChardonnayFrogpond Organic Chardonnay 2013

VQA Niagara on the Lake
$15.00 (Vintages # 203547) 12.2% alcohol

A fresh and lively new Chard. from the Niagara region. The winemaking philosophy behind Frogpond is “harmony in nature is the prerequisite for truly authentic wine”. I was not disappointed and more than amazed at the price point of this white wine.

It’s lively with some tropical fruit, green grass and apple, light bodied but very satisfying on the palate with a respectable fruity finish.

Perfect for a summer luncheon, salad fare or a wonderful sipper on its own.

 

Carpineto Dogajolo RosatoCarpineto Dogajolo Rosato 2014

IGT Toscana, Italy
$14.95 (Vintages #699934) 12.5% alcohol

Pale salmon in colour, floral and fruity aromas. Tart cherry and apple flavours, great acidity and soft in the mouthfeel. It’s light bodied, soft and juicy with a light fruity finish. A beautiful summer rose. I have served this with everything from fish to chicken and someone always ends up checking the beautiful label on the bottle, not (as we know) that that makes the wine! I recently found a recipe for crispy cod taco with a smoked pineapple sauce – this will be my summer match!

 

Wirra Wirra Church BlockWirra Wirra Church Block Cabernet/Shiraz/Merlot 2012

McLaren Vale, Australia
$19.95 (Vintages #24034) 14.5 % alcohol

There is lots going on here with 49% Cabernet, 35% Shiraz and 16% Merlot, not a bit of wonder this masterful red wine blend brings on aromas and flavours of dense, velvety, rich fruit. Impressive structure with soft tannins, lots of backbone! It is a rich wine that would stand up to anything grilled or just on its own – almost approaching nirvana. This is really yum.

 

Lenz Moser TrockenbeerenausleseLenz Moser Prestige Trockenbeerenauslese 2012

Prädikatswein, Burgenland, Austria
$20.95 (Vintages #729657) 10% alcohol

Deep golden yellow the flavours in this desert wine are absolutely delectable. Sweet luscious honeysuckle flavours of baked apple raisin compote with toasted almonds. Creamy deluxe with a seam of acidity that sends you back for more. Absolutely mouth coating and a perfect end to a dinner regardless of the season. Balanced and outstanding, it’s desert on its own but with a strong cheese, your tastebuds are pretty close to heaven.

 

Grand Total: $ 95.80

 

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

Posted by Julie

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

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

Now this is why I love winter!
Julie

 

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

February 6, 2015

 

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

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

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

 

 

Eradus Sauvignong BlancEradus Sauvignon Blanc 2013

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

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

 

 

Rolf BinderRolf Binder Heinrich Shiraz/Mataro/Grenache 2010

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

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

 

Lamadrid BonardaLamadrid Single Vineyard Bonarda 2011

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

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

 

Warre's Warrior Finest PortWarres Warrior Finest Reserve Port

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

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

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

 

Grand Total: $93.75

 

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

Posted by Susan

Friday, September 26th, 2014
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The September 27 LCBO Vintages release features New World Ground-breakers, wineries known for their innovative practices and outstanding wines. As suggested in the catalogue and demonstrated by the founders of these historic wineries, “the wine visionary starts with an unplanted vineyard and creates something amazing.”

LCBO Vintages magazine Sept 27

Visionaries in the wine world

Included in this feature is the iconic Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon from California’s Wagner family ; Chile’s Errazuriz, where Eduardo Chadwick is pushing the cool-climate envelope in the country’s coastal regions; and Argentina’s Catena, where Nicolás Catena and his daughter Laura are producing vibrant, concentrated wines from their high-altitude vineyards. South Africa presents its cool-climate gem, the Hamilton-Russell Pinot Noir, Cloudy Bay is recognized for putting New Zealand on the wine world map, and, of course, Australia’s success with the Shiraz grape variety is featured in Two Hands wines from McLaren Vale.

…and ground breakers close to home

Canada has not been left out! You’ll find Niagara’s Rockway Vineyard’s well-balanced ‘Small Lot’ Meritage and Organized Crimes’ Sauvignon Blanc among the mix. Don’t miss the creamy Chardonnay and powerful, concentrated Cabernet Franc from the south Okanagan’s Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, recognized as a leading producer of quality B.C. wines. Hardly surprising, these wineries exemplify long family traditions of commitment to the land and excellence in winemaking.

A Passion for Portugal

The old world is not to be forgotten, as the secondary feature focuses on Portugese wines—the country is not just known for Port—including well-known light and fresh Vinho Verde (vinified from the Alvarinho grape) and a series of intense, flavourful blended red wines produced from native grapes made famous by Port, such as Touriga Nacional, Tinto Roriz and Touriga Franca. Portugal has a long history of grape growing and wine making; it exported wine to the Roman and British Empires! And the Douro is one of the oldest designated wine-making regions in the world. Take advantage of the great value to be found among these wines, one of which is included in our selection.

Ready for Thanksgiving?

It’s just around the corner so this release ensures that you have an array of wines to serve with ham, turkey, roast beef or a vegetarian option. You can choose from flavourful Riesling, ripe Pinot Grigio, lush Chardonnay, earthy Pinot Noir, classic Chianti, or robust Cabernet Sauvignon. For something a little different, consider the a Touriga Nacional or a fresh Stoney Ridge Cranberry Wine!

Cheers,

Susan
susan@savvyselections.ca

 

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

September 27, 2014

  

Henry of Pelham Estate RieslingHenry of Pelham Estate Riesling 2012

VQA Short Hills Bench, Ontario
$17.95 (Vintages 557165) 11.5% alcohol

Pale straw, this white wine offers lovely mineral notes mingling with orchard fruit and citrus. Dry, medium bodied, dashing clean acidity underlines the flavours of lime zest, ripe apple and pear. The fine silky texture and crisp refreshing finish make it a must-have wine, and a great choice for Thanksgiving ham or turkey. Pick up a few bottles!

 

Bestheim Pinot GrisBestheim ‘Réserve’ Pinot Gris 2012

AOC Alsace, France
$15.95 (Vintages 315143) 13.0% alcohol

This off-dry award winning white wine is loaded with rich stone fruit and melon aromas and flavours. The ripe fruit is nicely balanced by a backbone of lively acidity, while a hint of sweet grapefruit and a touch of pithiness add a lift on the finish. Enjoy chilled with gently spiced Asian dishes or ginger-maple marinated salmon.

 

 

Versado MalbecVersado Malbec 2013

Luján de Cuyo, Argentina
$25.95 (Vintages 317008) 14.8% alcohol

Canada’s Ann Sperling and husband Peter Gamble are the magicians behind this big, bold Malbec. Inky, opaque, the basket of aromas includes a bevy of black fruits, sweet spice and notions of cedar. Dry, full bodied, the palate is awash with plush, velvety black fruit, while fine-grained underlying tannins and fine acidity create balance. There’s warmth on the finish and appealing notes of vanilla, toast, dried fruits and white pepper adding to the intensity of the wine. Savour and serve with rare grilled meats.

 

 

Rockway Estate ‘Small Lot’ Meritage 2011

Twenty Mile Bench
$19.95 (Vintages #388262) 13.0% alcohol

Evocative and complex aromas of sweet black fruits, vanilla, earth, smoky toast, spiced rose and herbs tantalize the nose. Dry, medium-full bodied, this blend of the Cabernets and Merlot flows across the palate like velvet, offering power and harmony, a fresh texture and supple tannins to balance the savoury ripe fruit, and lovely notes of dark chocolate and dried herbs through the long, flavourful finish. An excellent value, this finely crafted candidate for the cellar will pair well with full-flavoured meat dishes.

 

Quinta da PancasQuinta de Pancas Seleccão do Enólogo 2010

DOC Lisboa, Portugal
$18.95 (Vintages #380931) 13.5% alcohol

This award-winning blend is dense and inky, offering tantalizing aromas of vanilla, smoke, fresh black berry and dried fruits. Dry, medium-full bodied red, it’s smooth and velvety in texture, substantial and rich on the palate.  The ripe fruit flavours are framed by ripe tannins and fine acidity, and enhanced by well-integrated oak. Notes of exotic spice extend through the full-flavoured finish. Serve with hearty meat dishes.

 

 

GRAND TOTAL $98.75

 

 

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, July 4th, 2014
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Happy July 4th! By the time we get into the first week of July, we’re here – it’s summertime – we’ve arrived.  How many months did we so anxiously wait for July? The LCBO has brought in for the Vintages July 5 release, a great selection of New Zealand wines to help us cheer summer on. Lots of no fail choices plus some great repeat wines from Spain – it almost gives me the travel bug. (more…)

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30 Reasons to love Vintages

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 28th, 2014
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We can always count on Vintages to bring in new products every few weeks to expand our palate & keep our hopes pining on new wines, if not spring. So even if it looks like this winter is never going to end…pop into your local LCBO Vintages with this shopping list to discover a whole new world of wine.

LCBO Vintages March 29 magazineThis weekend’s LCBO Vintages release features wineries, places and grapes that I have never read or heard about let alone tasted.  All the while educating my own mind and palate I hope to offer you some new information as well. I guess a wine writer should not admit such things, but the more I read and taste, the more I realize I have hardly scratched the surface in the wine world.

So if there is a less than a perfect spring day in the near future, have a stroll through Vintages, pick up some bottles, read new labels and I hope you venture into the unknown as I have done with these choices below.

Spring will come…eventually!

Julie

 

 If I only had a $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages
March 29th

 

Invivo Pinot Gris 2012Invivo Pinot Gris 2012

Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand
$18.95 (Vintages # 367771) 13.5% alcohol

I never think there is enough in a Pinot Gris to keep me interested but this one sure proves me wrong. Aromatic and crisp flavours of citrus, ripe pear and green apple but bone dry. It is a medium bodied white wine, full of fresh flavours with a lingering wet stone finish and some tropical fruit. I found this Pinot to be absolutely delicious and is a perfect afternoon sipper or with a light lunch with simple open faced sandwiches and a little salad.

 

Jip Jip Rocks Unoaked Chardonnay 2012Jip Jip Rocks Unoaked Chardonnay 2012

Padthaway, South Australia
$15.95 (Vintages #175752) 13% alcohol

The label on the wine says “seriously fun” so you have to wonder what this means. But it is a nice easy Chardonnay that almost has flavours of a Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling (oh dare I said that) but it has a great minerality taste with mild tropical fruits, very fresh and clean on the palate. A great afternoon white wine sipper and that to me is “fun”.

 

Frogpond Farm Organic Chambourcin 2010Frogpond Farm Organic Chambourcin 2010

VQA Ontario
$14.00 (Vintages #367078) 12.4% alcohol 

Frogpond Farm is a fully organic-certified winery in Ontario. This means their wines are created without any insecticides, herbicides, synthetic fungicides or chemical fertilizers.  Don’t ask me what the first three are, but if the rest of the wine I drink contains these elements, maybe I better have a look at the label.

Made from the Chambourcin grape –  a French/American hybrid – which means a European grape vine was crossed with an American vine. The latter are known to be more resistant to disease.  Frogpond Chambourcin red wine is light-bodied with loads of red berry flavours. It is a little reminiscent of a Beaujolais or a great Gamay wine and would be a nice accompaniment to a chicken in a creamy sauce.

 

Las Moras Black Label Cabernet 2010Las Moras Black Label Cabernet/Cabernet 2010

San Juan, Argentina
$15.95 (Vintages # 357921) 14% alcohol 

A yummy blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, rich in dark berry colours, a few pencil shavings (that is a good thing!), some leather, green pepper, and chocolate. Can easily be enjoyed on its own but has enough structure and depth to pair with any grilled meats or sausage.

This wine also happened to be the winner of Silver medals at the at the International Wine and Spirit Competition and the Decanter Asia Wine Awards in 2012. At that price point, you can’t go wrong – pick up a travel magazine on Argentina, pour yourself a glass & sit back to enjoy.

 

Giordano Chianti Riserva 2010Giordano Chianti Riserva 2010

DOCG, Italy
$17.95 (Vintages #366971) 13% alcohol 

A fabulous new red wine addition to the Vintages collection, this aromatic blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo is full of dark cherry flavours, smooth and medium bodied. It’s a juicy blend with a little woodsmoke that would be great with pizza or a simple pasta with spicy tomato sauce, not too many tannins and a little sweet spice on the finish, a fabulous new find.

 

Kim Crawford Pansy! Rosé 2013Kim Crawford Pansy! Rosé 2013

Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand
$17.95 (Vintages #650325) 12 % alcohol

Not new to Vintages but I snuck this one in to see who is paying attention. I am a huge “Kimmy” fan and at least one of his wines is usually stocked in my cupboard at home. His winery and “The man behind the Brand” also makes for an interesting read in that his winery was not without some scandal, thankfully that all cleared his name. “Pansy” is a lovely rosé wine. A Malbec and Merlot blend, such a pretty pink in a glass. It reminds me of the wild berries I used to pick in the field behind house I grew up in. If hope could spring eternal in a bottle, this would be it. I am reminded that very soon I will be gazing at tulips and sipping rosé.

 

Grand Total: $100.75

Can anyone spare me 75 cents? I did find 6 great new releases- you be the judge.

 

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