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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Feb. 21 LCBO Wine Picks: Australia 2012 + Award-Winning Ontario Wines



Wine Picks from February 21, 2015 LCBO VINTAGES Release
Here are my wine picks from today's release. Apologies for the delay in posting my picks from the LCBO VINTAGES release as I am currently on vacation and had to deal with jet lag, a minor bout with a stomache virus, and a death in the family. Therefore, this will be a short write-up.

This release focuses on Australia's magnificent 2012 vintage, while the mini-theme highlights four award-winning local Ontario wines, three of which are included among my wine recommendations below. The wines from Château des Charmes, Peller Estates and Inniskillin are all award winners.

From the 16 wines featured in the Australia theme, four of the wines made my wine picks. Included in my list below is a dry (not sweet) Riesling, a Cabernet Sauvignon, and a pair of Australian Shirazes. Down the road, I will be anxiously awaiting an aged Semillon from this fine vintage.

Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • ROTLLÁN TORRA 2010 - DOCa Priorat, Spain (#267989) (XD) - $18.95
  • BLEASDALE MULBERRY TREE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Langhorne Creek, South Australia (#661892) (XD) - $17.95
  • FOWLES STONE DWELLERS SHIRAZ 2012 - Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria, Australia (#265967) (XD) - $19.95
  • LENTO LAMEZIA RISERVA 2010 - DOC Lamezia Rosso, Calabria, Italy (#972208) (XD) - $19.95
  • QUINTA DO MONDEGO 2009 - DOC Dão, Portugal (#399766) (XD) - $19.95
  • VIÑA CASABLANCA NIMBUS SINGLE VINEYARD SYRAH 2011 - Casablanca Valley, Chile (#399386) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU MOULINS-LISTRAC 2010 - AC Puisseguin Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (#403048) (XD) - $21.95
  • DOMAINE LES GRANDS BOIS CUVÉE MAXIMILIEN CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES CAIRANNE 2012 - Unfiltered, AC, Rhone, France (#286336) (D) - $22.95
  • DOMAINE DU GRAPILLON D’OR GIGONDAS 2012 - AC, Rhone, France (#981787) (XD) - $32.95
  • YANGARRA SHIRAZ 2012 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#911974) (XD) - $32.95
  • FONTODI CHIANTI CLASSICO 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#933317) (XD) - $34.95

White Wine:
  • JEAN BIECHER & FILS RESERVE RIESLING 2012 - AP Alsace, France (#403105) (D) - $14.95
  • RIDGE ROAD RIESLING 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#346858) (M) - $15.95
  • CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES OLD VINES RIESLING 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#277228) (D) - $16.95  reviewed here
  • LAWSON’S DRY HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#214460) (XD) - $18.95
  • ESSER CHARDONNAY 2012 - Monterey County, California, USA (#675017) (XD) - $18.95
  • WITHER HILLS RARANGI SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#288134) (XD) - $21.95
  • BURNING KILN STICK SHAKER SAVAGNIN 2013 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#367144) (D) - $24.95
  • JIM BARRY THE LODGE HILL DRY RIESLING 2012 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#262469) (XD) - $25.95
  • ANDREW PELLER SIGNATURE SERIES SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#405043) (XD) - $30.20  reviewed here
  • HARTFORD COURT CHARDONNAY 2012 - Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (#404277) (XD) - $39.95

Fortifieds:
  • LUSTAU PENÍNSULA SOLERA RESERVA PALO CORTADO - DO Jerez, Spain (#677856) (D) (375 mL) - $18.95  Flagship Store Exclusive
  • DALVA 20-YEAR-OLD TAWNY PORT - DOP, Portugal (#400689) (S) - $46.95

Dessert Wine:
  • INNISKILLIN DISCOVERY SERIES BOTRYTIS AFFECTED VIOGNIER 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#405027) (S) (375 mL) - $39.95


The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hoffmann-Simon Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese 2011 (Mosel) - Wine Review

Tonight's wine was purchased back in 2012 from the September 29 LCBO VINTAGES release and opened tonight to celebrate our 7th Wedding Anniversary. Not surprisingly, this excellent white wine is no longer available, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a future vintage re-appear on our shelves.

HOFFMANN-SIMON PIESPORTER GOLDTRÖPFCHEN RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2011 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#216499) (MS) - $21.95

Wine Review of 2011 Hoffmann-Simon Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese from Mosel, Germany (91 pts)
Tasting Note:
Screw cap. Elegantly perfumed nose of florals, orange peel, peach, nectarine, and hints of ginger and plum. Palate is lean with a fine seam of acidity that dances across your tongue. Balanced, medium-sweet orange, peach, nectarine, and honey flavour profile with a nice mineral streak running throughout. Slightly chalky texture on the mid-palate that continues on to the very long finish. Only 9% alc./vol. Superb. Highly recommended. Will be enjoyed with homemade Chicken Lasagne. Score: 91 pts

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Burrowing Owl (British Columbia) Wine Tasting

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Logo
In , I was invited to a very special tasting of wines by British Columbia's Burrow Owl Estate Winery. This tasting was hosted by their agent here in Ontario - Le Sommelier - and held at the Fine Wine Reserve.

Founder Jim Wyse had no intention of starting a winery when he began replanting vineyards in 1993 - his goal was to produce world class, premium quality grapes. Soon enough, however, he realized that his grapes were producing wines that gained immediate recognition. In 1997, Jim decided to build Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, with construction beginning early in 1998 and completing in time for that year's harvest. Today, Burrowing Owl uses state-of-the-art technologies, including a gravity-flow system to ensure grapes are handled delicately, with proven, classic winemaking traditions. Burrowing Owl also has a temperature controlled cave/cellar for fermentation and barrel ageing.

The vineyards at Burrowing Owl are varied and have deceptively fragile ecosystems which the team tries to maintain using environmentally-friendly methods. For pest control, bluebird boxes and bat nurseries are used to help contain insects in the vineyard, while snakes are safely relocated, and bears and big horned sheep are discouraged from munching on grapes but never harmed.

Nearly all of the 9 wines that were available for tasting were enjoyable. Here are wine reviews of 6 of my favourites.


Tasting Notes:
BURROWING OWL CHARDONNAY 2012 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley (#208694) (XD) - $33.95
Barrel fermented in 90% French oak and 10% American oak. Highly aromatic and very balanced nose showing orchard fruits, apple, pear and butter. It's medium-full bodied on the palate with bracing acids and very nice aroma replays. Oak-spiced mid-palate and very long finish. Released in VINTAGES last September and plenty in stock. Recommended. Score: 90+ pts

Wine Review of 2012 Burrowing Owl Chardonnay from BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (90+ pts)Wine Review of 2012 Burrowing Owl Pinot Noir from BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (89 pts)

BURROWING OWL PINOT NOIR 2012 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley (#556613) (XD) - $40.95
Nose appeared somewhat closed but had an appealing aromas of dark currant, beet root, and hints of raspberry, strawberry and cherry. Medium+ bodied and slightly creamy, with dark currants and aroma replays on the flavour profile. Fresh, mouth-watering acids, along with integrated tannins and a medium+ length, spiced finish. Plenty available in VINTAGES. Score: 89 pts

BURROWING OWL ATHENE 2010 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley (#373336) (XD) - $44.95
Blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Cab Sauv has a medium-to-high lifted nose of barnyard and earth with nuances of raspberry, plum and cedar aromas. On the palate, it's medium-to-full bodied with currant, blue fruits, dark cherry, floral, and cassis flavours. Very good, balanced acids and oak spiced mid-palate giving way to a long, warm finish. Firm tannins are still a bit tight - will be better in 2-3 years and will last up to 2020. Fine stuff. Score: 91 pts

Wine Review of 2010 Burrowing Owl Athene from BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (91 pts)Wine Review of 2012 Burrowing Owl Cabernet Franc from BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (90 pts)

BURROWING OWL CABERNET FRANC 2012 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley (#349019) (XD) - $43.95
Medium+ intensity aromas with green pepper, herb, currant, smoke and cedar aromas. Palate is medium-to-full bodied and crunchy with very good tannic structure. Savoury red & black fruits, currants, green pepper and oak flavour profile. Has mouth-watering acids and a medium-long finish. Will reward with 2-3 years cellar time. Available in VINTAGES. Score: 90 pts

BURROWING OWL MERLOT 2010 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley (#585737) (XD) - $40.95
Medium intensity aromas with oak at the forefront and underlying notes of mocha, dark berries, chocolate and plum. It's medium-to-full bodied with more oak-influenced flavours of vanillan, cedar, hickory, woodsy, and some black fruits and cocoa notes. Very good acids, firm tannins are integrating nicely. Long finish is warm. The 2011 is currently in VINTAGES. Score: 89 pts

Wine Review of 2010 Burrowing Owl Merlot from BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (89 pts)Wine Review of 2010 Burrowing Owl Meritage from BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (90 pts)

BURROWING OWL MERITAGE 2010 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley (#343038) (XD) - $59.95
Blend of 55% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.5% Malbec and 2.5% Petit Verdot. Aromas of medium+ intensity show musky, fresh new wood, blackberry and eucalypt. Complex red & black fruits, mint, cassis, and woodsy flavours on a medium-bodied frame. Lively, fresh acids on the mid-palate, followed by firm, dusty tannins on the very long, slightly warm finish. Only 1 remaining at the LCBO (in Liberty Village, Toronto) as of this post. Score: 90 pts

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

San Raffaele Monte Tabor Soave 2013 (Veneto) - Wine Review

Opened this crisp and refreshing white wine .

Monte Tabor has been cultivating vines organically since 1970. In 2006, Monte Tabor began managing another 50 hectares of Soave vineyards in Illasi. Today, viticulturalists and oenologists collaborate on the production of organic wines from these vineyards with the Fasoli family - a family that has been organic producers in the area for over 25 years.

This organic wine is featured in the  LCBO VINTAGES release and will be on shelves this Saturday.


SAN RAFFAELE MONTE TABOR SOAVE 2013 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#277392) (XD) - $13.95

Wine Review of 2013 San Raffaele Monte Tabor Soave from DOC, Veneto, Italy (86 pts)
Tasting Note:
100% Garganega. Elegant lime, peach and orange aromas from the cork. In the glass, aromas are low-to-medium intensity with ripe notes of citrus, peach and almond with much of same on the medium-bodied palate. Vibrant acids give way to mineral notes and a kiss of citrus sweetness. Decent length. Score: 86 pts