Monday, May 21, 2018

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  • Monday, May 21, 2018

Domaine Queylus Pinot Noir Rosé 2017 (Niagara) - Wine Review



wine to cap off a wonderful long weekend is this dry rosé wine from Niagara's Domaine Queylus.

As described when I opened their 2015 Domaine Queylus Tradition Chardonnay last week, this is a relatively new winery that was formed in 2006. And even though they've been in operation for more than a decade, this is only the 3rd rosé that they've ever produced.

This deliciously dry rosé wine is newly released and only available at their winery in Niagara and through their online web store.

Domaine Queylus Pinot Noir Rosé 2017 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

DOMAINE QUEYLUS PINOT NOIR ROSÉ 2017 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $21.95
100% Pinot Noir. This has a medium-intensity nose featuring honeyed strawberries, orange zest, and red floral aromas with more red berry fruits and hints of earth. It is medium bodied and dry on the palate with cran-cherry, raspberry, and strawberry flavours with a mineral backbone. It has crisp, refreshing acids. Chalky mineral texture and flavours become more prominent mid-palate and continue through to the crisp finish, with good length. Serve with only a light chill. Perfect for summer sipping or pair with lightly herbed poultry. Score: 88 pts


Saturday, May 12, 2018

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  • Saturday, May 12, 2018

Domaine Queylus Tradition Chardonnay 2015 (Niagara) - Wine Review

white wine is the latest vintage of a wine that frequently visits LCBO VINTAGES.

Domaine Queylus was formed by a group of friends in 2006 after recognizing the immense potential to produce great wines in Niagara. The name 'Queylus' refers to Gabriel Thubières de Levy de Queylus, Seigneur of Montréal, and superior of the Sulpicians in New France in 1670. Gabriel de Queylus oversaw the first vinification ever on the shores of Lake Ontario.

Today, Queylus wines are produced under the guidance of chief winemaker Thomas Bachelder, who joined in 2010, and winemaker Kelly Mason. The winery is located in the Niagara Peninsula, where they utilize the strong terroir to attain an exceptional elegance in their wines. They are dedicated to a select, limited number of varieties - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc - that they have identified as perfectly adaptable to their vineyard's soils and microclimate. Their vineyards, which are all organic, cover 16 hectares spread over the Lincoln Lakeshore (Beamsville), Twenty Mile Bench (Jordan), and Vinemount Ridge (St. Ann's) appellations.

This delicious wine is currently available at the winery and through their online web store, while 2014 vintage is currently available in the VINTAGES section at the LCBO.

Domaine Queylus Tradition Chardonnay 2015 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

DOMAINE QUEYLUS TRADITION CHARDONNAY 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#489591) (XD) - $24.95
Hand-harvested from their organically-grown Estate vines in the Lincoln Lakeshoure sub-appellation in Beamsville. Fermented using indigenous yeasts and aged for 16 to 18 months in (20% new) French oak barrels. Rich buttery pear, vanilla, and butterscotch aromas from the cork. The medium+ intensity nose in the glass offers bright notions of lemon oil, pear, and vanilla with hints of butterscotch and baked pineapple aromas. The mid-weighted palate is fresh with bright acidity and more lemony, pear, and vanilla oak spice flavours. Subtle use of oak is well-integrated. Just a touch of creamy, glycerin-like texture gives way to more of a chalky-mineral texture. The finish offers stony mineral, lemon, and vanilla notes, with very good length. Keeps me coming back for another sip. Score: 89 pts


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

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  • Tuesday, May 8, 2018

LCBO VINTAGES May 12, 2018: Bordeaux + New Zealand + Rosé

LCBO Wine Picks: May 12, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on is a solid, three-pronged release featuring wines from Bordeaux and New Zealand, while the third theme features Rosé wines just in time for warm weather. All of these wines will be available at LCBO outlets across Ontario this .

We'll begin with the wines from Bordeaux, where twelve wines (all red) are featured, and four are included among my top wine picks. Somewhat not surprisingly, three of my four picks are from the great 2010 vintage - the Godard Bellevue is a blend of 65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, the Fleur Haut Gaussens is a blend of 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Pierre de Montignac is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot. From the 2008 vintage, the nicely matured Margaux is a blend of 48% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, and 6% Cabernet Franc. Also from Bordeaux, but only featured as a Flagship Store Exclusive (FSE) is a white wine made with 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon.

The selection of wines from New Zealand is also quite good, with three of nine wines making my list of wine recommendations. Among these wines there is a lovely Hawkes Bay red blend that consists of 55% Merlot, 17% Tempranillo, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec and 7% Syrah, a dry Pinot Gris, and a Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. In addition, there are also quite a few wines from New Zealand featured as Flagship Store Exclusives at the back of the magazine, including a pair of Pinot Noirs and a complex, wild fermented Sauvignon Blanc.

Trinity Hill The Trinity Red Blend 2014 (90 pts)Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2014 (92 pts)

From the mini-theme featuring thirteen Rosé wines, four are included among my wine picks, including the Languedoc Rosé which is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah, and the premium-priced Provence Rosé which is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Rolle (Vermentino), Syrah, and Tibouren. Also from France, the Tavel is a blend of Grenache Noir & Blanc (45%), Clairette (20%), Cinsault (15%), Mourvèdre (8%), Syrah (6%), Bourboulenc (4%), and Picpoul (2%), while the Rosé from Ontario is made with 100% Pinot Noir.

Among my red wine picks from the rest of the release, the Douro red is a blend of 40% Touriga Franca, 30% Tinta Barroca, and 30% Tinta Roriz, while the Roussillon Villages red is an excellent wine consisting of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache.

La Valentina Pecorino 2016 (88+ pts)Papagiannakos Vieilles Vignes Savatiano 2016 (88 pts)

There are no blends or sweet wines among my top white wine picks, but there some crisp, dry white wines including a Savatiano, Pecorino, Albariño, and Semillon. There is also a Chablis and a pair of oaked Chardonnays. And lastly, the Pouilly-Fumé is a barrel-aged Sauvignon Blanc.

Enjoy my wine picks from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • LILÁS 2014 - DO Douro, Portugal (#525667) (XD) - $15.95
  • CHÂTEAU GODARD BELLEVUE 2010 - AC Côtes de Bordeaux – Francs, France (#426049) (XD) - $15.95
  • ERCAVIO ROBLE TEMPRANILLO 2014 - Vino de La Tierra de Castilla, Spain (#067504) (XD) - $17.95
  • CHÂTEAU FLEUR HAUT GAUSSENS 2010 - AC Bordeaux Supérieur, France (#445510) (XD) - $18.95
  • TRINITY HILL THE TRINITY RED BLEND 2014 - Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#551630) (XD) - $22.95  90 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU PIERRE DE MONTIGNAC 2010 - Cru Bourgeois, AC Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#437954) (XD) - $24.95
  • DOMAINE DE BILA-HAUT L’ESQUERDA 2016 - AC Côtes du Roussillon Villages Lesquerde, France (#381020) (XD) - $25.95
  • BUENA VISTA PINOT NOIR 2013 - Carneros, California, USA (#304105) (D) - $28.95  90 pts  wine review
  • MT. BEAUTIFUL PINOT NOIR 2015 - North Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand (#552026) (XD) - $37.95  FSE
  • GRASSHOPPER ROCK EARNSCLEUGH VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2015 - Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand (#493163) (XD) - $44.95  FSE
  • CHÂTEAU LA TOUR DE MONS 2008 - Cru Bourgeois, AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#550467) (XD) - $52.95
  • DOMAINE DE LA CÔTE PINOT NOIR 2014 - Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara County, California, USA (#548248) (XD) - $74.95
Buena Vista Pinot Noir 2013 (90 pts)

White Wine:

  • PAPAGIANNAKOS VIEILLES VIGNES SAVATIANO 2016 - Markopoulo, Greece (#546002) (XD) - $16.95  88 pts  wine review
  • LA VALENTINA PECORINO 2016 - IGT Colline Pescaresi, Abruzzo, Italy (#541433) (XD) - $17.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • ARBOLEDA SINGLE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2016 - Aconcagua Costa, Chile (#606772) (XD) - $19.95  88 pts  wine review
  • LAXAS ALBARIÑO 2015 - DO Rías Baixas, Spain (#021477) (XD) - $19.95
  • MOMO ORGANIC PINOT GRIS 2017 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#163535) (XD) - $19.95
  • MARGAN FAMILY HUNTER VALLEY SEMILLON 2017 - Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia (#493338) (XD) - $19.95

  • WITHER HILLS RARANGI SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Single Vineyard, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#551721) (XD) - $22.95
  • DOMAINE DE MAUPERTHUIS CHABLIS 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#524298) (XD) - $27.95
  • LA MOYNERIE POUILLY-FUMÉ 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#729178) (XD) - $31.95
  • GREYWACKE WILD SAUVIGNON 2014 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#282806) (D) - $39.95  FSE  92 pts  wine review
  • BACHELDER WISMER-FOXCROFT N. 2 CHARDONNAY 2015 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#547299) (XD) - $44.95  FSE
  • CHÂTEAU LA LOUVIÈRE BLANC 2012 - AC Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, France (#552067) (XD) - $47.95  FSE
Arboleda Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2016 (88 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • GÉRARD BERTRAND CÔTE DES ROSES ROSÉ 2017 - AP Languedoc, Midi, France (#373985) (XD) - $18.95
  • MARQUIS D’AQUERIA TAVEL ROSÉ 2017 - AP, Rhône, France (#556274) (XD) - $19.95
  • MALIVOIRE VIVANT ROSÉ 2017 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#498535) (XD) - $19.95
  • CAVES D’ESCLANS WHISPERING ANGEL ROSÉ 2017 - AC Côtes de Provence, France (#325076) (XD) - $29.95

Fortified:

  • FONSECA LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE PORT 2011 - Unfiltered, DOP, Portugal (#087551) (S) - $18.95


Monday, May 7, 2018

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  • Monday, May 7, 2018

La Valentina Pecorino 2016 (Abruzzo) - Wine Review

white wine is another new release that is coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

The farm La Valentina began operations in 1990 and is located in the hills overlooking Spoltore, near Pescara on the Adriatic - on the eastern side ("calf") of Italy within the Abruzzo DOC. The owners, Sabatino, Roberto, and Andrea Di Properzio have been running the company since inception and continually strive to improve the quality of their wines. Sustainable development, as well as respect for the environment are core values at La Valentina.

By understanding, respecting, and tending their land to produce healthier vines with each passing vintage, leading to vines being able to fight off parasites and disease on their own. Healthy vines lead to healthy grapes, which in turn helps produce better quality wine. La Valentina uses low intervention viticulture and winemaking techniques, allowing the wines to express their terroir.

Personally, I've always preferred Italian white wines other than Pinot Grigio as there are such a wide variety of pleasant & interesting wines to choose from that are also food-friendly, including wines like this Pecorino.

La Valentina Pecorino 2016 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

LA VALENTINA PECORINO 2016 - IGT Colline Pescaresi, Abruzzo, Italy (#541433) (XD) - $17.95
Raised completely in stainless steel tanks, with a couple of months sur lie. Crisp lemon/lime zest, tropical fruit, and citrus aromas from the cork. The medium+ intensity nose offers ripe apple and lemon with hints of white floral and tropical aromas in the glass. The medium+ bodied palate is slightly creamy and oily textured. Ripe with nice aroma replays and a salty mineral character emerging as it warms in the glass. Zesty acids keep the palate fresh. Very good length with white floral notes on the finish. Best served with a light chill. Score: 88+ pts


Sunday, May 6, 2018

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  • Sunday, May 6, 2018

Trinity Hill The Trinity Red Blend 2014 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine is a new release that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

This red wine blend is produced by Trinity Hill, a winery that was established on a stony site in Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand, in the early 90's after a conversation over a glass of wine between Winemaker John Hancock and the owners of the London restaurant Bleeding Heart, Robert and Robyn Wilson. They were convinced that the Hawkes Bay’s Gimblett Gravels winegrowing region could produce world-class wines and became one of the region's early pioneers.

Hawkes Bay is the second largest wine growing region in New Zealand, but is responsible for 85% of the production of Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet within the country. What makes Trintiy Hill special is that most of their grape harvest comes from unique gravel soils and micro-climate of the Gimblett Gravels region.

All wines at Trinity Hill are produced with the utmost care and respect for the grapes and with minimum intervention. The winery is known for consistently delivering quality wines across the range.

Trinity Hill The Trinity Red Blend 2014 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

TRINITY HILL THE TRINITY RED BLEND 2014 - Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#551630) (XD) - $22.95
Predominantly Merlot (55%), with 17% Tempranillo, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec and 7% Syrah completing the blend. Individual blocks were aged for 14 months in small French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks prior to blending. Screw cap. The generous nose is complex, offering cassis, black & blueberry, black plum, leather, sweet oak spice and cocoa aromas. It's medium-bodied with a lush mouthfeel and ripe black plum, blackberry, earthy, leather, and cocoa flavours. Nice black pepper notes arrive with time in the glass. Ripe, dusty tannins are refined and offer nice texture, while offering some grip towards the mid- and back-palate. Earthy, forest floor notes linger on the very long finish. Enjoy this fine wine over the next 3-4 years. Score: 90 pts


Friday, May 4, 2018

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  • Friday, May 4, 2018

Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

International Sauvignon Blanc Day is celebrated around the globe the first Friday in May. This year, the occasion falls on and I am celebrating with this yummy Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. This white wine is a General List product at the LCBO and is widely available across Ontario. It is also suitable for vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free diets.

Peter Yealands is part of the Yealands Wine Group that was formed in 2008 with a vision to become the world's leading sustainable wine producer. In 2008, the winery opened to become the first winery in the world to be accredited carboNZero certified from inception. Mr. Yealands himself is known for his pioneering and innovative ways, all of which is chronicled in the book A Bloke for All Seasons: The Peter Yealands Story.

Today, Peter and his family focus their energies on building Yealands Estate into a global brand with sustainability at top of mind. The winery opened in August 2008 Some of the sustainable initiatives at Yealands include developing wetlands, making their own special compost, and using natural pest control methods. They are also working at reducing their emissions by producing their own renewable energy, and using environmentally-friendly packaging.

Which Sauvignon Blanc is in your glass tonight? Leave a comment below or join the conversation online by using the hashtags #SauvBlancDay and #SauvBlanc.

Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

PETER YEALANDS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#277731) (XD) - $17.20
Fruit comes from 75% (Seaview) Awatere Valley and 25% Wairau Valley. Screw cap. Bright nose is typically pungent for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with green aromas with lime zest, passion fruit, guava, and herbs. The medium bodied palate is crunchy and fresh with lip-smacking acidity and flavours of green herbs, lemon, guava, passion fruit, and asparagus. Touches of salty mineral on the mid-palate. Finishes long and juicy with some sourness and hints of mineral. Enjoy nicely chilled. Score: 88 pts


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

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  • Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Rancourt Gewürztraminer Icewine 2013 (Niagara) - Wine Review

At my wife's request, I opened up this delicious Icewine after dinner to cap off the weekend. I tasted this yummy Icewine numerous times over the years, including in and . This bottle was purchased when I visited the winery in and noticed that it was on promotion for the hard-to-resist price of $25 for the 200 mL bottle.

It's rare to find Icewine made with Gewürztraminer, and this is definitely one of the better ones out there. Surprisingly, the Rancourt Gewürztraminer Icewine is still available for purchase through the winery.

Rancourt Gewürztraminer Icewine 2013 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

RANCOURT GEWÜRZTRAMINER ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (200 mL) - $30
Honeyed orange marmalade aromas with hints of spice from the cork. Complex aromas of peach, apricot, orange marmalade, honey and hints of hazelnut and oak spice waft from the glass. The palate is medium-to-full bodied with a viscous, silky mouthfeel and lusciously sweet flavours of peach preserves, honey, candied citrus, orange marmalade and caramel. Gentle acids provide lift and balance. Excellent finish length with hints of caramel and brown sugar. Starting to show some maturity, but should drink well for at least another 5+ years. Score: 90 pts


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