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  • Date publishedMonday, September 20, 2021

Alpataco Pinot Noir 2019 (Argentina) - Wine Review

For red wine review, I travel to Patagonia in southern Argentina to continue the recent string of fine wines from this South American wine producing country. This Pinot Noir is a new arrival to the LCBO, landing on shelves across Ontario earlier this month as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release and is featured as a "Smart Buy".

It is produced by Familia Schroeder, whose story begins in 1927 when German immigrant Hermann Heinz Theodor Schroeder settles down in Patagonia and begins working in the wine industry. In 2001, his son, Hermann Schroeder, along with his own sons started the project of Familia Schroeder and with hard work and significant investments, the Schroeder family transformed the monotony of the Patagonian dry steppe into an eye-catching oasis.

The Estate is located at 39° South Latitude in Patagonia - a land of extremes with dry weather, frequent winds, rivers carrying pure snowmelt water, cool nights and long summer days. Located in Neuquén, the winery building is perched on a gentle slope that dominates the vineyards and blends in naturally with its surroundings, while also using gravity-flow winemaking. Leonardo Puppato is the Chief Enologist and has been part of the project since the beginning in 2002.

Patagonia is marked by large desolate expanses in the South, flanked by low, wooded mountains, a circuit of lakes in the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Winegrowing activities are fairly limited, with Patagonia representing just 2% of Argentina's total cultivated area. However, the region is noted for its great thermal amplitude (high diurnal temperature variation) which comes from its combination of latitude, low altitude, and abundant hours of sun, in addition to scarce rainfall and strong winds. All of these factors contribute to healthy grapes with greater colour concentration (in red varieties) and thicker skins.

Not widely grown in Argentina, Pinot Noir is the 7th most widely planted red varietal in the country, representing less than 2% of all red wine varietals. However, Argentinean Pinot Noir is noted for its concentration as a result of the high number of light hours, thermal amplitude, and soil. The product of a sunnier climate, the style of Pinot Noir from Neuquén, Patagonia, where this wine is from, is a style resembling Pinot from California - concentrated and fleshy.

Alpataco Pinot Noir 2019 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

ALPATACO PINOT NOIR 2019 - Patagonia, Argentina (#19386) (XD) - $14.95
100% Pinot Noir that was matured entirely on the lees in stainless steel tanks. Screw cap. Sunny and fruity aromas of ripe black and red cherry, raspberry, and strawberry flecked with stony-smoky mineral notes of medium+ intensity rise out of the glass. It's light-to-mid-weighted on the palate with dark red cherry, strawberry, and spice with a subtle savoury mineral edge on the flavour profile. Fresh acids lift the palate, while the lights tannins are finely textured. Leesy mineral with dark cherry notes linger on the finish, with good length. A very satisfying Pinot! Recommended buy. Score: 88 pts

Other delicious wines from Familia Schroeder can be ordered through their Agent - Sylvestre Wines & Spirits.

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  • Date publishedSunday, September 19, 2021

Rosewood Legacy Cyser Apple Honey Wine 2017 (Ontario) - Wine Review

wine review is an interesting and delicious apple honey wine made locally in Niagara by a family of beekeepers that also make mead and wine using traditional vitis vinifera varieties. Although this unique apple honey wine is available direct from the winery, it is also featured in this weekend's LCBO VINTAGES Release and should be on shelves across the province this week.

It is crafted by Rosewood Estates Winery & Meadery, a family-owned and -operated producer with over 85 years of farming experience. Rosewood's proprietor is Eugene Roman, a 2nd generation lifelong beekeeper who was inspired by his father, R.W. Roman, and always had a dream to produce world-class, age-worthy, and innovative meads. He first applied for a meadery licence in Ontario 1967, but gave up after several years of trying. In 1982, Eugene & Renata Roman honeymoon in Niagara-on-the-Lake and fell in love with the region and promises that one day they will build a winery & meadery together.

In 2000, the dream becomes a reality with the purchase of a 40 acre site on the Beamsville Bench - the future of Rosewood, and they plant their first vines in 2003. The winery was built in 2005, and in 2008 they released their first wine.

Today, Eugene and his son William Roman, along with their winemaking team practice low intervention winemaking in the pursuit of balance, texture, and vintage expression, while respecting the land. They are focused on premium, vintage-driven wines, innovative meads, and artisanal local honey. The vineyards and apiaries are managed using sustainable farming techniques that utilize modern technology, extensive hand-tending of vines, and integrated pest management systems to promote sustainable farm lands and healthy crops.

This particular honey wine was re-created after Rosewood recently discovered R.W. Roman's original recipe by co-fermenting apple cider and estate honey. This is his Legacy.

Rosewood Legacy Cyser Apple Honey Wine 2017 (90+ pts)

Tasting Note:

ROSEWOOD LEGACY CYSER APPLE HONEY WINE 2017 - Ontario, Canada (#521138) (500 mL) (S) - $19.95
The attractive, medium-high intensity nose has light honeyed aromas mingling with freshly cut apple and wildflowers. It's mid-weighted on the lightly sweet palate with fine honeyed apple and floral notes on the flavour profile. Nicely balanced with fresh acidity that cuts right through the sweet flavours. Beeswax notes with hints of apple linger on the finish, with very good length. Enjoy on its own or pair with lightly sweet desserts. Recommended buy. Score: 90+ pts

Some of Rosewood's wines are available at the LCBO, while their entire portfolio of wines and meads can be ordered directly from winery, as well as through their Agent - Churchill Cellars Ltd.

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  • Date publishedSunday, September 19, 2021

Great Italian Wines - Understanding Indigenous Grape Varieties - Carricante & Nerello Mascalese

Great Italian Wines - Understanding Indigenous Grape Varieties - Carricante & Nerello Mascalese
I had the pleasure of attending the fifth and final masterclass on "Great Italian Wines - Understanding Indigenous Grape Varieties" last evening. In this class, we ventured to the island of Sicily to discover Etna wines made with the indigenous varietals Carricante and Nerello Mascalese.

The wines from Mount Etna have garnered much international praise and recognition in recent years. Etna wines are recognized not only for their high quality, but also as one of the most important and fascinating winegrowing regions in Italy, and quite possibly the world.

Unlike previous masterclasses, joining us live from Etna (it was midnight over there!) for this masterclass were the producers of the wines we tasted. Ciro Biondi and his wife Stephanie from Azienda Agricola Biondi, and Alberto Graci of Azienda Agricola Graci were live on the Zoom call and told us a bit about their wines, philosophy, and about winegrowing on Etna.

The majestic Mount Etna is located in northeastern Sicily, near the city of Catania. Mount Etna is the highest and largest active volcano in Europe. In addition to being one of the world's biggest, Mount Etna is also considered the oldest volcano in the world and has been continuously growing for about 500,000 years, soaring to a height of 3,300 metres (10,800 feet) today with a base that spans 45 kilometres in diameter.

Although there are several wine regions on the island, we are only exploring the unique wines from the Etna DOC in this class. Established in 1968, the Etna DOC was the first DOC in Sicily. Today, there are 1,100 hectares of vines planted within the DOC, with much of it planted in terraced vineyards on steep slopes. The principal white wine varietal is Carricante, while the main red wine varietal is Nerello Mascalese. 55% of wines produced in the DOC are red, 31% are white wines, and the balance made up of Rosato and Spumante (i.e. sparkling wines).

Located just off the coast of Africa, Sicily and Etna experience long and hot African summers. However, because of the height of Mt. Etna, diurnal temperature variation between day and night in the vineyard can swing by as much as 30°C. Winegrowing on Etna occurs in a three-quarter ring from the northern end, around to the east, and down to the south. The eastern side of Etna receives cooling sea breezes from the Ionian sea. As a result of these unique climatic conditions, plus the rich volcanic soils that are constantly regenerated with with each volcanic eruption, there are many different volcanic terroirs which result in unique wines depending on where the grapes are grown. Much like the Cru system in Bordeaux or Burgundy, the growers on Etna have developed the Contrade system which names each of the unique plots of land. In all, there are currently 133 Contrade (i.e. named vineyards) on Etna and you will see its name on the label if it is a wine crafted using grapes from a specific Contrade.

Included along with my tasting kit was an antipasto platter with Grana Padano DOP and Pecorino Calabrese cheeses, as well as Caponata - a Sicilian dish consisting of eggplant seasoned with olive oil, tomato paste, celery, olives, capers, and pine nuts - that was made in-house at Spaccio, Terroni's central kitchen. There was also some Taralli with fennel adding a Sicilian twist to this toroidal Italian snack food.

Thank you to the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario Canada (ICCO Canada) for putting on an excellent series of True Italian Taste masterclasses this year, and to Cavinona for presenting the wines. For a limited time, you can use the special discount code ICCOETNA for 10% off any case purchase on I look forward to seeing what ICCO Canada has planned for 2022.

@trueitaliantaste #ExtraordinaryItalianTaste #TrueItalianTaste #iffoodcouldtalk

Tasting Notes:

BIONDI OUTIS ETNA BIANCO 2018 - DOC, Sicily, Italy (XD) - $48.45
A blend of 90% Carricante and 10% Catarrato / Minella from the southeast Comune of Trecastagni that was organically grown on sandy volcanic soils between 650 and 700 metres above sea level. Matured in stainless steel vats with 9 months on lees. The medium-high intensity nose is reductive with a mix of wet stone minerality, fresh lemon citrus, and nutty aromas. It's light-to-medium bodied with lovely lemon citrus, wet stone, and herbal flavours in a spicy profile on the palate, supported by fresh, lively acidity. Juicy, succulent, and crisp with lovely flavour replays joined by pear, stone fruit, and leesy mineral notes that linger on the long finish. Elegant, harmonious, and really nicely balanced with fine acidity bringing it all together. Score: 91+ pts

Biondi Outis Etna Bianco 2018 (91+ pts)

GRACI ETNA ROSSO 2018 - DOC, Sicily, Italy (XD) - $38.28
100% Nerello Mascalese from Passopisciaro in the northern Comune of Castiglione di Sicilia. It was organically grown on iron rich volcanic soils at an altitude of 600 to 700 metres above sea level. Aged for 18 months in mostly concrete vats and 20% in large oak tini. Sweet cinnamon spice and red fruited aromas of cran-cherry-raspberry and strawberry with a faint hint of smoky mineral rise out of the glass. It's medium+ bodied with fine-grained, supple tannins and lovely spice, cran-cherry, raspberry, and strawberry flavours with underlying savoury, mineral, and smoky characters. It has fresh, juicy acidity and a supple grip with cranberry and some bitterness, tobacco, and white pepper lingering on the long, smoky mineral finish. Score: 91 pts

Graci Etna Rosso 2018 (91 pts)

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  • Date publishedThursday, September 16, 2021

September 18, 2021 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Ontario

LCBO Wine Picks: September 18, 2021 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming September 18, 2021 LCBO VINTAGES Release is the annual harvest season look at Local Wines from Ontario. It is a mono-thematic Release, as per the usual. All of these local wines, plus those from main release will be on shelves across Ontario by this Saturday.

We begin with the theme on Local Wines from various wine regions across Ontario. Of the seventeen wines listed as part of this theme, three are included among my top wine picks. At the top of this list is a fine, off-dry Riesling (i.e. slightly sweet) by Charles Baker from Niagara. Also from Niagara is a Chardonnay Musqué, an aromatic mutation of Chardonnay that is grown primarily in Niagara and Finger Lakes wine regions. Lastly, there is a Pinot Noir from Prince Edward Country, located along Lake Ontario between Toronto and Kingston, Ontario. Although not part of the theme, there are also a pair of lovely wines from Two Sisters Vineyards in Niagara - a semi-sweet Riesling and a dry rosé made with Bordeaux varietals such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. There's also a mead that was co-fermented with apple cider from a recipe written in 1980, resulting in an interesting (and delicious) Apple Honey Wine by Rosewood Estates Winery.

Rosewood Legacy Cyser Apple Honey Wine 2017 (90+ pts)

Nearly all of my red wine picks are from France and Italy, with the only wine not from either of these countries being a GSM blend from Australia that consists of 46% Grenache, 36% Shiraz, and 18% Mourvedre. From France, the Côtes du Rhône is a blend of 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Cinsault, while the Roussillon red consists of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah. The 2016 Corbières is a blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Syrah. The Beaujolais is made with Gamay, while the Costières de Nîmes Syrah includes 10% Grenache. From Italy, the Chianti Classico (Annata) and Brunello are both 100% Sangiovese, while the Gran Selezione Chianti Classico is a blend of 93% Sangiovese and 7% Colorino. Lastly, the fantastic Barolo is made with 100% Nebbiolo.

Rocca delle Macìe Single Vineyard Riserva di Fizzano Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2015 (91+ pts)Domaine la Rougeante 2016 (89 pts)

La Vie d'Arnaud Corbières 2017Lornano Chianti Classico 2016 (88 pts)

Among my white wine recommendations, the Bordeaux Blanc is a traditional blend of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc, while the Rhône white consists of Viognier, Grenache Blanc, and Roussanne. There are a trio of Sauvignon Blanc wines worth your consideration, with the versions from Margaret River (Australia) and Napa Valley (California) both seeing some oak ageing.

Château Thieuley Entre-Deux-Mers 2019

From my rosé wine picks are dry rosés, with the l'Escarelle a blend of mainly Rolle and Ugni Blanc, while the Paradis consists of 70% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre, and 10% Vermentino / Rolle. The rose from Languedoc is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah. The lone sparkling wine is a dry bubbly made using an uncommon blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Sauvignon Blanc. Last, but definitely not the least, is a lovely Sauternes dessert wine that is primarily Sémillon and a dollop of Sauvignon Blanc.

Reine des Fleurs Rosé 2020

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • LA VIE D'ARNAUD CORBIÈRES 2017 - AC, Languedoc, France (#18784) (XD) - $13.95  review coming soon...
  • FERRATON PÈRE & FILS SAMORËNS CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2019 - AC, France (#168708) (XD) - $16.95
  • MICHEL GASSIER FLEUR DE SYRAH 2019 - AC Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (#678086) (XD) - $18.95
  • DOMAINE LA ROUGEANTE 2016 - AC Corbières, Languedoc, France (#15298) (XD) - $18.95  89 pts  wine review
  • LORNANO CHIANTI CLASSICO 2016 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#211599) (XD) - $19.95  88 pts  wine review
  • LAURENT PERRACHON ROCHE BLEUE JULIÉNAS 2019 - AC, Beaujolais, France (#487165) (XD) - $19.95

  • FAMILLE LAFAGE LIEU DIT NARASSA 2017 - AP Côtes du Roussillon-Villages, France (#483313) (XD) - $23.95
  • SONS OF EDEN KENNEDY GRENACHE / SHIRAZ / MOURVÈDRE 2018 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#558692) (XD) - $24.95
  • ROCCA DELLE MACÌE SINGLE VINEYARD RISERVA DI FIZZANO GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2015 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#699454) (XD) - $34.95  91+ pts  wine review
  • CLOSSON CHASE CLOSSON CHASE VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2018 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (#145888) (XD) - $36.00
  • FATTOI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2015 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#33498) (XD) - $47.95
  • AURELIO SETTIMO ROCCHE DELL'ANNUNZIATA BAROLO 2015 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#293761) (XD) - $55.95

White Wine:

  • MATETIC CORRALILLO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Estate bottled, Valle de San Antonio, Chile (#347740) (XD) - $15.95
  • CHÂTEAU MONT-REDON RÉSERVE BLANC 2019 - AC Côtes du Rhône, France (#18602) (XD) - $17.95
  • CAVE SPRING ESTATE CHARDONNAY MUSQUÉ 2019 - Sustainable, Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#246579) (XD) - $17.95
  • CHÂTEAU THIEULEY ENTRE-DEUX-MERS 2019 - AC, Bordeaux, France (#21403) (XD) - $18.95  review coming soon...
  • HOWARD PARK MIAMUP SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#20018) (XD) - $19.95
  • TWO SISTERS VINEYARDS RIESLING 2018 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#20413) (M) - $35.00  FE
  • CHARLES BAKER PICONE VINEYARD RIESLING 2017 - VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#241182) (D) - $39.00
  • GRGICH HILLS FUMÉ BLANC DRY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - Estate grown, Napa Valley, California, USA (#346296) (XD) - $42.95  FE

Rosé Wine:

  • REINE DES FLEURS ROSÉ 2020 - AP Languedoc, France (#19841) (XD) - $14.95  review coming soon...
  • CHÂTEAU DE L'ESCARELLE LES DEUX ANGES ROSÉ 2020 - AP Coteaux Varois en Provence, France (#19902) (XD) - $24.95
  • CHÂTEAU PARADIS TERRE DES ANGES ROSÉ 2020 - AC Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, France (#19838) (XD) - $27.95
  • TWO SISTERS VINEYARDS MARGO ROSÉ 2020 - VQA Niagara River, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#22484) (XD) - $35.00  VOE

Sparkling Wine:

  • APALTAGUA COSTERO EXTRA BRUT SPARKLING - Valle de San Antonio, Chile (#18559) (XD) - $17.95

Dessert Wine:

  • ROSEWOOD LEGACY CYSER APPLE HONEY WINE 2017 - Ontario, Canada (#521138) (500 mL) (S) - $19.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • CASTELNAU DE SUDUIRAUT 2006 - Second wine of Château Suduiraut, AC Sauternes, Bordeaux, France (#29694) (375 mL) (S) - $23.95

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  • Date publishedMonday, September 13, 2021

Estancia Los Cardones Anko Torrontés 2019 (Argentina) - Wine Review

After enjoying a fine Malbec from Salta last week, I return to Argentina's northernmost wine region and a land of extremes for a delicious Torrontés for wine review. This white wine is new to the LCBO, arriving as part of the recent LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Found only in Argentina, Torrontés is its most famous criolla variety and is the signature white wine varietal of the country. thriving in the high altitude of northwestern Argentine wine country. There are three sub-varieties of Torrontés - Mendocino, Sanjuanino, and Riojano. The first two variants produce wines that are lighter and fresher, but it's the Riojano that is the most cultivated because it expresses the best qualities to produce fine wines, in particular those from Cafayate Valley, Salta. It is typically light-yellow in colour, but can also have golden or green hues, and is characterized by floral aromas like rose, jasmine, and geranium. While the aromas may indicate sweetness, it is typically dry with fresh acidity.

This lovely Torrontés is produced by Estancia Los Cardones, a winery that was established in 2008 by Fernando Saavedra Jr. and his father, along with partners Jeff Mausbach (Catena alumni) and renowned winemaker Alejandro (Colo) Sejanovich. Together, they realized their dream to create a boutique winery in their native province of Salta to produce wines that express the extreme beauty, altitude, and sunlight of the region. The name "Estancia Los Cardones" pays tribute to the region's giant cacti - Cardones - while Anko means "high water" in the native Indian language of Quechan. Anko is an high altitude oasis that was treasured as a precious sanctuary and provided protection from the harsh elements of nature.

The winery is located in Tolombón, Salta, just south of the city of Cafayate at 1,700 metres (5,500 feet) above sea level at the top of the eastern slopes of the Calchaquí Valleys. At this altitude, Salta is exposed to intense sunlight during the day, and cold mountain nights which ensure excellent natural acid retention and imparts freshness, elegance and balance. The soil profile at the winery is very rocky, with abundant splintered shale and crushed mica, lending distinct minerality to the wines.

Estancia Los Cardones Anko Torrontés 2019 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

ESTANCIA LOS CARDONES ANKO TORRONTÉS 2019 - Salta, Argentina (#19394) (XD) - $16.95
Gently whole cluster pressed, cold macerated, and fermented using natural yeast, this unoaked Torrontés was grown on sandy soils with crushed mica at 1,700 metres (5,500 feet) above sea level. Screw cap. Delicate, medium-high intensity aromas offer lovely lychee, jasmine floral, tropical fruit, and citrus notes with a subtle earthy mineral element rising out of the glass. On the spicy, medium+ bodied palate, it has very good concentration and delicious aroma replays of lychee, citrus, jasmine, and tropical fruit flavours lifted by fresh, balanced acidity. Dry and crisp, with notes of saline and oyster shell minerality lingering on the long, satisfying finish. Recommended buy! Score: 89 pts

Other lovely wines by the team at Estancia Los Cardones are available through their Agent - Noble Estates Wines & Spirits.

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  • Date publishedSaturday, September 11, 2021

Château Siaurac 2010 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

wine review is a lovely Bordeaux from the legendary 2010 vintage that returned to the LCBO last weekend as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Château Siaurac is the largest and most emblematic estate in the Lalande de Pomerol appellation. It is located on a single, contiguous plot on the plateau of Néac, which is a continuation of the famous plateau of neighbouring Pomerol, separated by a small trickle of water called the Barbane.

The Château's origins of winegrowing date back to at least the mid-18th century, with documents showing casks of red and white wine sold to the son of a wine merchant in Libourne, nearby to the southwest of the estate. The Domaine has been passed down familial lines since Pierre Brisson purchased the estate in 1832. When his son, Benjamin Brisson, inherited the estate and married Elise Chaperon, the Château was mentioned in their marriage contract. Their only son, Joseph Brisson, was a town councillor, Mayor of Néac, and Member of Parliament for the Gironde region in 1902. Joseph managed the Siaurac holdings and estate for 50 years, fighting for the recognition of the quality of wines from Néac. He was also President of the Winegrower's Association from 1919 and tried to merge the appellation of Néac with that of Pomerol.

After marriage in 1919, Joseph and his wife, Marthe, had a daughter named Madeleine. She married into the Guichard family, and their son Oliver inherited the lands and vineyards in 1978. Starting in 2004, the estate was managed by his daughter Aline Guichard and her husband Paul Goldschmidt. After Artémis Domaines acquired a stake in 2014, the property was sold to Les Terroirs de Suravenir in 2020 with the intention of developing the Château over the long-term and realizing its full potential.

In addition to the magnificent vineyards, Château Siaurac also has gardens on the property which are on the list of the 300 most exceptional gardens in France, featuring some extraordinary trees that are as much as 350 years old.

This red wine was grown in the Château's 41 hectare vineyard (which is 46 hectares today) on gravel, deep clays, and sandy clay soils. The vineyard has 40 distinct plots which are planted to 74% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Malbec, while the blend of this red wine is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc from a selection of the best plots of the vineyard. After a controlled and gentle extraction, followed by fermentation, it was aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, 20% new.

Although this 2010 Bordeaux has shown up in VINTAGES a number of times over the years, this is actually my first time trying it. Let's see how this 2010 Bordeaux is tasting now, 11 years from vintage.

Château Siaurac 2010 (93 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU SIAURAC 2010 - AC Lalande de Pomerol, Bordeaux, France (#309831) (XD) - $44.95
This blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc pours deep ruby in colour. The maturing nose is intensely aromatic and complex with very attractive sweet baking spices, sweet plums, dried cherry, dried roses, and sandalwood aromas with savoury earth undertones. It's medium-full bodied on the spicy, slightly warm palate with dark berry, black cherry, blackberry, and plum flavours surrounding a savoury-earthy, and sweet spice core. Acids are well-balanced, while tannins are still a bit tight and grippy. Excellent length on the savoury, sweet spiced finish. Should continue to drink well for a number of years. Highly recommended buy! Score: 93 pts

As they only make two wines, the other wine from Château Siaurac can be ordered through their Agent - Connexion Oenophilia.

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  • Date publishedThursday, September 9, 2021

Piattelli Reserve Malbec 2019 (Argentina) - Wine Review

To continue the recent string of lovely Argentine wines, tonight's wine review is another lovely Malbec that arrived at the LCBO over the long weekend and is featured as a "Smart Buy" in the September 4th LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Crafted by Piattelli Vineyards, their story begins in the 1940s, when the Giovanni Piattelli family immigrated from Tuscany to Mendoza and brought along with them a winemaking legacy, tradition, and passion. In the late 1990s, American businessman Jon Malinski was visiting Argentina on the hunt for lumber to import into the U.S.A. By chance, Jon met the Piattelli family and found incredible vineyards and wine, amazing people, beautiful landscapes, and couldn't bear the thought of leaving the country. Soon thereafter, the Malinski and Piattelli families came together to form Piattelli Vineyards.

Today, Piattelli Vineyards continues to be family-owned and managed. At the heart of their operations is the winery that opened in 2002 in the town of Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo (Mendoza). In 2009, they expanded into Cafayete (Salta) - where this wine is from - with vineyards and a brand new gravity flow winery. A 4th generation winemaker and daughter of a famous Mendozan winemaker, Valeria Antolin is the Principal Winemaker at Piattelli. She has been with Piattelli since the beginning and leads all winemaking decisions at both facilities.

Sustainability is a core value at Piattelli Vineyards, believing that what is good for the environment is also good for the wine. They are committed to producing wines that reflect their landscape and climate, while preserving natural resources.

Although Malbec is widely cultivated in Argentina, this particular Malbec is from the northern region of Salta, which is home to not only some of Argentina's highest vineyards, but also the world's, ranging in elevation from 1,530 to 3,111 metres (5,000 to 10,200 feet) above sea level. The climate in Salta is arid and dry, with high average temperatures, a wide daily thermal amplitude (i.e. large diurnal temperature range), and intense solar radiation enhanced by the altitude and long summers.

The system of mountain valleys in northern Argentina are called the "Calchaquí Valleys" and were formed 5 million years ago, stretching 270 km within the region. This Malbec was grown in Cafayate Valley in Salta at an elevation of 1,700 metres (5,600 feet) on soils that are mostly free-draining chalky loam, and in some areas quite rocky. Since Cafayate has a desert climate with very low rainfall and humidity, the vines rely on meltwater from the Andes to keep them hydrated, while the dry soils cause stress in the vines, leading to fewer, but more concentrated grapes rich in flavours. Let's see how this high-altitude Malbec from Cafayate is tasting tonight...

Piattelli Reserve Malbec 2019 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

PIATTELLI RESERVE MALBEC 2019 - Valle de Cafayate, Salta, Argentina (#452029) (XD) - $16.95
100% Malbec that was aged for 8 months in American and French oak barrels. The perfumed, medium-high intensity nose has complex aromas of dark berry, blackberry, inky, violet, meaty, reductive, and spice aromas with savoury, wet earth undertones. It's medium-full bodied on the ripe palate with pleasing dark berry, blackberry, violet, and dark plum flavours accented with wood spices. It has fresh, balanced acidity and smooth, fine-grained tannins with a subtle, fine chalky texture. Savoury, earthy, and woody with blackberry and violets lingering on the finish, with very good length. Recommended buy. Score: 89 pts

Other delicious wines from Piattelli Vineyards can be ordered through their Agent - Imprese Inc. or Kinetic Brands.

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