Posts Tagged ‘wines from Romania’

If I only had $100…I would buy…

Posted by Julie

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

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

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

Cheers to all good things and the arrival of Spring,

-Julie

 

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

 

Madison Ranch Chardonnay 2014

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

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

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

 

 

 

Chapoutier Tournon Mathilda 2014

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

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

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

 

 

 

Cotnari Fetească Albă 2014

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

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

 

 

 

Henry of Pelham Family Tree Red 2014

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

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

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

 

Papale Linea Oro Primitivo Di Manduria 2013

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

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

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

 

 

GRAND TOTAL – $91.75

 

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

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TOP PICKS: 7 wines for under $15

Posted by Julie

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

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

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

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

Smart Buys here we come!

-Julie

 

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

 

Marynissen Estates Chardonnay 2013

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

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

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

 

Budureasca Feteasca Regala 2015

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

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

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

 

MAN Free-Run Steen 2015

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

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

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

 

Heartland Stickleback Red 2013

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

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

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

 

Michelle Chiarol Barbera D’Asti Superiore 2014

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

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

And Mama Mia! Another wine under $15

 

The Goatfather 2014

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

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

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

 

Santa Carolina Reserva Estate Pinot Noir 2015

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

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

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

 

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

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, 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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