Saturday, May 31, 2014

  • Saturday, May 31, 2014

Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (Niagara) - Wine Review



Wine Review of 2012 Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Sauvignon from VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
Tonight's wine is the second in a series of wines from Southbrook Vineyards (first up was their Triomphe Cab Franc Rosé).

This red wine is certfied organic and biodynamic. In fact, the entire Triomphe line of wines has been certified organic since 2010. Furthermore, Southbrook was Canada's first certified biodynamic winery.

As this wine is a Vintages Essentials product, it is always available in the Vintages section. The 2012 version was featured as part of the Cabernet Sauvignon focus in the March 1 Vintages Release.

SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#193573) (XD) - $22.95

Wine Label of 2012 Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Sauvignon from VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
Tasting Note:
Stelvin screw cap closure. In addition to Cab Sauv, it contains 6.1% Petit Verdot, 3% Syrah, 2.3% Merlot, and 2.2% Cab Franc. Barnyard, vanillan oak, red currant aromas that also shows some meaty notes as it warms up in the glass. Medium-bodied with firm tannins. Flavour profile consists of sweet red currants, blackberries, subtle spice, and vanillan oak in the background. Good acids and a long finish that has hints of milk chocolate. Could be cellared another 2-3 years, but drinking well now. Has good crowd appeal. Score: 87 pts


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc Rosé 2012 (Niagara) - Wine Review

Wine Review of 2012 Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc Rosé from VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada
Last night's wine is the first in a series of wines that I'll be reviewing from Southbrook Vineyards.

The roots of this winery began as a farm in the 1860s at the head of the Don River by the Patterson family. William Redelmeier, who is the grandfather of current owner Bill Redelmeier, purchased Don Head Farms in 1941. In the 1980s, Bill and partner/co-owner Marilyn evolve the business from a roadside stand into a thriving farm market, which led to the creation of "Southbrook Farms". In 1991, a boutique winery and event space was born.

Today, Southbrook Vineyards is one of the leading organic and biodynamic wineries in Ontario. Their hospitality pavilion was the first winery to receive Gold level of LEED status back in November, 2008.

This rosé wine is certified organic and also vegan-friendly. It has been in Vintages previously but is now part of the LCBO General List and is available in small quantities throughout the province.

SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE ORGANIC CABERNET FRANC ROSÉ 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#279117) (XD) - $19.95

Wine label of 2012 Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc Rosé from VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada
Tasting Note:
Screw cap. Also contains 3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Gamay. Nose seems rather closed but shows an earthy character with notes of cherry and wild berries. Medium-bodied palate with tart fruit, and cherry flavours. It's dry (i.e. not sweet), with good acids and a medium-length finish. Serve only lightly chilled. Will be enjoyed with spiced rotisserie chicken off the BBQ. Score: 87 pts


Saturday, May 24, 2014

  • Saturday, May 24, 2014

Win Discovery Passes to 2014 Niagara New Vintage Wine Festival

Niagara New Vintage Festival
Join the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival for the 19th Annual New Vintage Festival this June. I attended this event in both 2012 and 2013 and had a great time each visit! A family wedding followed by some much needed vacation time will prevent me from attending the Niagara Wine festival with the best weather this year.

Wine Country in Ontario presents a calendar of year round events and none is as highly anticipated as the Annual TD Tailgate Party. The 5th installment of the Tailgate Party is set to take place on Saturday June 21st from 5:30-9:30 pm in the 2013/14 Grower of the Year's vineyard in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Grape King, Wes Wiens represents the legacy of a Niagara grape growing family and invites guests to join the Wiens family in their vineyard for this special night.

The focus of this annual backyard style event is squarely wine and culinary and guests will experience the best food and wine that Niagara has to offer. Eight incredible chefs will serve up mouthwatering creations using the freshest local ingredients with an eye on culinary trends. The Dairy Farmers of Canada will be on hand to present a selection of artisanal cheeses that are unique and delicious.

And the TD Tailgate Party will host over 35 of Niagara's favourite wineries and a showcase of their latest releases and wines that are a perfect complement to summer entertaining. Join winemakers and wine industry personnel as they share their passion. From Vintage cars, to Vintage wines and incredible food and live entertainment, this is the kick off to summer that everyone is talking about.

In addition to the Farm to Table experience at the TD Tailgate Party, guests can also sample the freshness of the season with the ever popular Discovery Pass Program. Culinary offerings produced with the first produce of the season or locally sourced ingredients will be served with perfectly paired wines. The program takes place on June 14, 15, 21 and 22, 2014. The Discovery Pass is your ticket to 8 wineries from the participating 38 winery partners across the region. Here is the Official Festival Guide, so you can plan your visit ahead of time.

Discovery Passes are $40 and Tailgate Party tickets are $85 (plus HST). All are available by ordering online at www.niagarawinefestival.com or calling the Festival office at 905-688-0212.

Are you excited yet? Enter the contest below for your chance to win a pair of Discovery Passes!

Good luck to all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, May 19, 2014

  • Monday, May 19, 2014

May 24 LCBO Wine Picks: Rhône + Crisp Whites

LCBO Wine Picks from May 24, 2014 Vintages Magazine
The next LCBO Vintages release will be on shelves across Ontario on . This edition's main focus is on wines from Rhône, while the secondary focus is on crisp white wines - as summer is just around the corner.

Sixteen wines were featured in the Rhône roundup, and a quarter of them made my wine picks. The Valériane is a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah, from old vines that are between 30-40 years of age, while the Lafond Lirac is 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 5% Carignan, and 5% Mourvèdre. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 80% old vines Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, and 5% others. And finally, the Clos Bellane is an unspecified Grenache-blend. As you can see from the above, Grenache tends to play a large role in Rhône, with Syrah not far behind. Within the region, wine can be traced as far back 600 B.C., and many houses have long traditions dating back several generations. Personally, Rhône is one of my favourite wine regions and I am quite pleased with the selection available in this release.

All six white wines I've recommended below are from the secondary focus on crisp white wines. None of these wines are sweet, and five are the classic, cool French grapes - Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. The Sancerre is a Sauvignon Blanc, while the Chablis is an unoaked Chardonnay. If you want to try something different and off the beaten path, then check out the Picpoul de Pinet - it's made using the Piquepoul grape, meant to served well-chilled and pairs well with seafood and shellfish.

From the rest of the release, the 2012 Bila-Haut continues to be a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan (same as the 2011), while the Château Vincens is an Malbec/Merlot (80/20) blend. There are a couple of very ageable reds from the Iberian peninsula that would make worthy additions to your cellar. Both of these wines are made using only local grapes - the Castro Ventosa is a 100% Mencía, while the Meandro do Vale is 35% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Franca, 27% Tinta Roriz, 3% Sousão, 3% Tinta Barroca and 2% Tinto Cão. The Barolo is, of course, made with Nebbiolo, and can be aged for at least the next dozen years.

Enjoy my wine picks for this week and let me know if you try any of these! Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • M. CHAPOUTIER LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON VILLAGES 2012 - AC, Midi, France (#168716) (D) - $14.95
  • DOMAINE LES YEUSES LES ÉPICES SYRAH 2011 - IGP Pays d’Oc, Midi, France (#177584) (XD) - $14.95
  • FABRE MONTMAYOU RESERVA MALBEC 2012 - Mendoza, Argentina (#261867) (XD) - $15.95
  • CHÂTEAU VINCENS PRESTIGE 2011 - AC Cahors, Southwest, France (#272427) (XD) - $17.95
  • DOMAINE DE LA VALÉRIANE VIEILLES VIGNES CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#374280) (XD) - $17.95
  • ROLF BINDER HALES SHIRAZ 2010 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#054239) (XD) - $18.95
  • DOMAINE LAFOND ROC-ÉPINE LIRAC 2011 - AP, Rhône, France (#128660) (XD) - $18.95  reviewed here
  • MONTES ALPHA SYRAH 2010 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#000612) (XD) - $19.95
  • CLOS BELLANE CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES VALRÉAS 2010 - AP, Rhône, France (#374991) (XD) - $19.95
  • MEANDRO DO VALE MEÃO 2011 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#244731) (XD) - $24.95
  • CASTRO VENTOSA EL CASTRO DE VALTUILLE 2010 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#366930) (XD) - $27.95
  • MARZIANO ABBONA TERLO RAVERA BAROLO 2008 - DOCG, Piedmont, France (#067918) (XD) - $49.95
  • E. GUIGAL CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2007 - AC, Rhône, France (#727503) (XD) - $59.95

White Wine:
  • BEAUVIGNAC PICPOUL DE PINET 2013 - AC Coteaux du Languedoc, Midi, France (#350124) (XD) - $13.95
  • LA JOYA RESERVE VIOGNIER 2013 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#168542) (XD) - $14.95
  • JACKSON-TRIGGS GRAND RESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#367797) (XD) - $19.95
  • STONELEIGH LATITUDE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#324228) (XD) - $21.95  reviewed here
  • ROGER & DIDIER RAIMBAULT SANCERRE BLANC 2012 - AC, Loire, France (#082255) (XD) - $27.95
  • JEAN-MARC BROCARD VAUCOUPIN CHABLIS 1 ER CRU 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#288019) (XD) - $27.95


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


Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • Saturday, May 17, 2014

Fleur du Cap Chardonnay 2012 (South Africa) - Wine Review

Tonight's wine is a barrel-fermented Chardonnay from Fleur du Cap in South Africa. It's interesting to note that fermentation of 20% of this wine started in tank and was completed in French (80%) and American (20%) oak barrels, while the remaining 80% was fermented in tanks on French (50%) and American (50%) oak staves. At $12.80, it's a pretty good buy from LCBO General List (i.e. always available) - just remember to chill it well prior to serving.

FLEUR DU CAP CHARDONNAY BERGKELDER SELECTION 2012 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#358960) (XD) - $12.80

Wine Review of 2012 Fleur du Cap Chardonnay from WO Western Cape, South Africa
Tasting Note:
Screw cap. Medium+ aromas that show notes of apple, butter, orchard fruits and hints of buttered popcorn. Palate is light-to-medium bodied with plenty of spice notes at the forefront, followed by lime, apple, and butter flavours. Fairly round on the palate, with good acids and a medium-length finish. Serve nicely chilled. Paired nicely with baked salmon. Score: 87 pts


Saturday, May 10, 2014

  • Saturday, May 10, 2014

Inception Deep Layered Red 2011 (South Africa) - Wine Review

Wine review of 2011 Inception Deep Layered Red from WO Western Cape, South Africa
Tonight's red wine is a new wine that is about to be launched across Canada in the coming days. This wine will be launched first in Canada before being made available in other markets. I was given the opportunity to sample it prior to its official launch at the LCBO in Ontario.

The Shiraz and Mourvèdre grapes were handpicked for this blend. All three grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks, then matured for 12-14 months in oak barrels.

Wine label fans will want to take a closer look at the intricate artwork, which is quite interesting (click on the photo below for a close look). Here's my wine review of what's inside the bottle...

INCEPTION DEEP LAYERED RED 2011 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#369967) (D) - $13.90
Wine label of 2011 Inception Deep Layered Red from WO Western Cape, South Africa
Tasting Note:
Screw cap. Blend of 81% Shiraz, 10% Petit Verdot, and 9% Mourvèdre. Medium intensity aromas consisting of black pepper, blackberry, clove spice, oak, and chocolate powder. Medium-bodied on the palate with sweet, ripe, lush and fruit-forward with blackberry/blueberry flavours, along with mocha, cherry and spice notes in support. It's definitely on the sweet side (off-dry), with refined tannins and good acids. Medium-length finish. This has good crowd appeal would be suitable for parties. Fans of Yellow Tail can look here for a suitable alternate. Score: 87 pts


Friday, May 9, 2014

  • Friday, May 9, 2014

Burgundy Wine Tasting

One Bourgogne Wine
, I attended an exclusive Bourgogne (Burgundy) wine tasting at Victor Restaurant. The tasting was led by John Szabo, Master Sommelier and Principal Critic at WineAlign. Joining him was François Labet, Chairman of the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) Marketing and Communication Commission.

Wine is a way of life for François. His family has been deeply entrenched in winemaking since 1492, and his grandfather was mayor of Beaune. François is the owner of a few renowned wineries and has been practicing organic viticulture since 1992, as well as omitting any additives during winemaking.

Together, we tasted 8 Burgundy Chardonnays and 7 Pinot Noirs one after another, with both John and Francois providing tidbits of information and perspective about the wines and region along the way. For example, a "Maison" wine is typically a négociant wine, whereby the Négociant (i.e. producer or merchant) will buy the grapes or juice from smaller growers to produce wine. Meanwhile, wines where small growers produce wine using only grapes they've grown are considered to be "Domaine" wines.

When one thinks of Burgundian wine, one automatically thinks of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir - perhaps not necessarily in that order. This is for good reason, as Chardonnay makes up nearly one-half of all grapes grown in Burgundy, while the second most planted grape in the region is Pinot Noir (35%).
Bourgogne Lineup

As we you will see in my Burgundy wine reviews below, almost all of the wines fall into the "premium and up" price range. Small harvests throughout the region, especially in recent vintages, have contributed to the rising cost of wines from this part of the world. Having said that, Burgundian wine is considered to be the pinnacle of Chardonnay and Pinot, and nearly all of the 15 wines we tasted on this day were either very good or excellent in quality.

Following the tasting, we had the opportunity to pair these delicious wines with a 4-course lunch prepared by Chef David Chrystian. It was great that they provided a couple of options for most of the courses!

First up, I ordered an organic green salad with beets, cucumber, pepitas and fried shallots with mustard vinaigrette. I paired this delicious salad with the Jaeger Chardonnay and the Bouchard Pinot. The flavours from both of these wines complemented the salad very well.

Organic Green Salad Crisp Heritage Buttermilk Chicken

For the main course, I opted for the crisp heritage buttermilk chicken with sides of hash, sauteed greens and mustard. The wine pairing I chose was the flavourful Girardin Montrachet Chardonnay and the light-weighted, yet slightly tannic Aurélien Verdet Pinot Noir. Once again, both wines complemented the dish well.

Cheese Course Chocolate and Chai Tea Pot de Crème

Following the cheese course was a dessert that featured an interesting chocolate and chai tea pot de crème with sweet curry twist and chili cashew praline. The infusion of chocolate and curry isn't something that generally comes top of mind when thinking about dessert, but it was interesting and worked well together in my opinion. Pairing this dessert would be difficult with sweeter wines, and as I suspected and confirmed, even more so with dry Burgundian Pinot and Chardonnay.

Reviews of all the wines I tasted are below. Many of these are available at the LCBO, albeit in small quantities. Anything not at the LCBO can be ordered via consignment (if you need more info on this, don't hesitate to ask). Enjoy reading my wine reviews and if you try any of these, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Cheers!

Burgundy lineup

Tasting Notes:
DOMAINE GAUTHERON CHABLIS 2012 - AC, Burgundy, France (#207902) (XD) - $24.95
Medium+ aromas featuring elegant tropical fruit and lemon. Medium-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Honeydew melon, lemon/lime, along with hints of spice and beeswax on the flavour palate. Lively acids and a long, tart finish that is lightly spiced. Elegant. Small quantities available in Vintages. Score: 89 pts

LA CHABLISIENNE MONTMAINS CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2010 - AC, Burgundy, France (#265090) (XD) - $28.95
Highly aromatic with complex notes of melon, tropical fruits, sweet kissed ripe fruit, mineral and nut. It's medium-bodied with a slightly grippy texture. Mineral, almond, tropical fruits on the palate. Balanced acids, lean and a long, clean, smooth finish. Small quantities of this lovely wine available in Vintages. Score: 91 pts

MAISON LOUIS JADOT CHARDONNAY BOURGOGNE 2013 - AC, Burgundy, France (#933077) (D) - $20.95
Medium-high aromas consisting of apple, buttered popcorn and mineral. Restrained oak notes are nicely balanced. Medium+ bodied and slightly creamy mouthfeel. Complex aroma replays joined by nutty and mineral notes. Fresh acidity that is nicely balanced. Slightly warm on the mid-palate and a lengthy finish. Vintages Essential and always available. Score: 89 pts

MAISON JOSEPH DROUHIN MÂCON-VILLAGES 2012 - AC, Burgundy, France (#356956) (XD) - $17.95
This unoaked Chardonnay has medium+ aromas with mineral, floral, green and hints of citrus. Medium-full bodied, creamy and slightly astringent. Palate consists of fresh orchard fruits (apple/pear), nutty, mineral and stone fruit. Fresh, balanced acids and long fruit/mineral driven finish. Available in Vintages. Score: 89 pts

DOMAINE JAEGER DEFAIX MONT-PALAIS RULLY 1ER CRU 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#) (XD) - $41.99
Very aromatic Chardonnay. Oak fermentation and ageing influence is evident with elegantly balanced aromas of apple, buttered popcorn, and pineapple. Medium-full bodied and a very creamy mouthfeel. Mineral driven palate, along with ripe fruit and pear flavours. Balanced acids and a long, smooth finish. Nice! Consignment availability. Score: 91 pts

CHÂTEAU VITALLIS VIEILLES VIGNES POUILLY FUISSÉ 2010 - AC, Burgundy, France (#360495) (XD) - $27.95
From vines 45-70 years old, this oaked Chardonnay has medium+ aromas of ripe tropical fruit, citrus and minerals. Medium-bodied with tropical fruit, spice and lime flavours. Nicely balanced overall with balanced acids and a long, smooth finish. Small quantities available in Vintages. Score: 90 pts

MAISON JOSEPH BURRIER CHÂTEAU DE BEAUREGARD POUILLY-FUISSÉ VERS CRAS 2010 - AC, Burgundy, France (#) (XD) - $49.95
This Chardonnay is 50% oak fermented. Medium-high aromas that feature nutty, mineral, pineapple and tropical fruit notes. Medium+ bodied with balanced acids, slightly creamy mouthfeel, and nice aroma replays. Long, smooth finish that has an oily texture and some light spice notes. Consignment availability. Score: 91 pts

MAISON VINCENT GIRARDIN VIEILLES VIGNES CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#364141) (XD) - $55.95
From the February 15th Vintages release and still available, this oaked Chardonnay comes from 50-year old vines. Highly aromatic with light smoky buttered popcorn, apple, nutty and mineral aromas. Palate is medium-bodied with tropical fruit, spice and nice interplay between oak and fruit. Balanced with very good acidity. Oak-influenced and nutty finish that's smooth and very lengthy. Gorgeous! Score: 92 pts

MAISON ANDRÉ DELORME BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR 2010 - AC, Burgundy, France (#366427) (XD) - $20.95
Medium+ aromas that are very red fruit forward, think strawberry and cherry, along with some cooking spice aromas. Medium-full bodied with red fruits on the palate. Bright acidity and dusty/chalky tannins. Long, slightly warm finish. Small quantities available in Vintages. Score: 87 pts

DOMAINE THÉNARD GIVRY 1ER CRU CELLIER AUX MOINES 2008 - AC, Burgundy, France (#) (XD) - $32.50
Medium+ aromas with floral, dried fruit, and lifted sweet fruits, also some greenness. Low-to-medium weighted with dried fruits, wilted floral, cherry and nut flavours on the palate. Firm tannins with good acids, medium-long dried fruit/oak finish. Consignment availability. Score: 88+ pts

DOMAINES BOUCHARD PÈRE & FILS BEAUNE DU CHATEAU PREMIER CRU 2009 - AC, Burgundy, France (#325142) (XD) - $36.90
Medium+ aromas with beetroot, earthy, bitter forest floor and mushroom nose. Low-to-medium bodied with earthy and cherry flavours on the palate. Has refined tannins, balanced acids, and elegant spice on a long, clean finish. LCBO General List. Score: 90 pts

MAISON ROCHE DE BELLENE LES GRÈVES BEAUNE 1ER CRU 2010 - AC, Burgundy, France (#) (XD) - $46.95
Medium+ aromas showing nicely balanced and elegant nose consisting of barnyard, cherry, and beetroot. Low-to-medium bodied with nice aroma replays along with some floral notes. Mouth-watering acids and a long, smooth finish. Good tannic structure has enough stuffing to age another 2 years. Consignment availability. Score: 90+ pts

MAISON DOMAINE DU PAVILLON CLOS DES URSULINES POMMARD 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#023820) (XD) - $49.95
Medium-high intensity bouquet featuring pomegranate, red & black fruits, elegant spice, and new oak. Medium-bodied with earthy, cherry-cran, and orange citrusy flavours on the palate. Slightly astringent tannins, balanced acids, savoury earthy & fruity finish. Will reward 2-3 years in cellar. Available in Vintages. Score: 90 pts

DOMAINE AURÉLIEN VERDET MOREY-SAINT-DENIS 2010 - AC, Burgundy, France (#354316) (XD) - $36.25
Aromas are of medium-high intensity and show lovely cherry, strawberry notes, with slight earthy and elegant floral tones. It's light-bodied with very nice aroma replays surrounded by an earthy core on the palate. Taut tannins could use another year or two. Has mouth-watering acids and a long, smooth finish. Very balanced overall. Nearly sold out in Vintages. Score: 91 pts

DOMAINE DANIEL RION & FILS VIEILLES VIGNES NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#356600) (XD) - $53.95
Medium-high intensity bouquet that has earthy/barnyard, sour cherry and hints of strawberry on the nose. Light-bodied with nice aroma replays, along with mushroom and mineral flavours on the palate. Slightly chalky tannins, should reward 2-3 years ageing. Acids are nicely balanced. Lengthy finish. Plenty available in Vintages. Score: 91+ pts

François Labet



Monday, May 5, 2014

  • Monday, May 5, 2014

May 10 Wine Picks: Twin Peaks + Germany + Rosé

LCBO Wine Picks from May 10, 2014 Vintages Magazine
The next LCBO Vintages release will be on shelves across Ontario this . There are 3 themes in this release, with the major theme focusing on wines from the Twin Peaks of South America - Chile and Argentina.

Chile is known for it's Carmenère, and is increasingly mastering other French varietals. Thus, it's no surprise that of the 7 Chilean wines featured in this release, three made my list of wine picks and include a Carmenère, an (oaked) Chardonnay, and a red blend (74% Syrah, 14% Merlot and 12% Cab Sauv) from Tabalí. The other half of the "Twin Peaks" release features 7 wines from Argentina, but just one made my list - a Malbec/Cab Sauv/Cab Franc blend from Ojo de Agua.

Another 7 wines represent the second feature in this release - wines from Germany. Those who prefer sweeter wines will want to pick up Max Ferdinand Richter's Riesling Kabinett. This Mosel winery was founded in 1680 and has continued to be owned and operated by the same family, now into its 10th generation. There may be another Riesling worth your attention, but I am awaiting a price confirmation before I recommend it, as there appears to be either a misprint or a huge price jump from prior vintages. Stay tuned.

And last, but definitely not least, there are a dozen Rosés to (finally!) welcome Spring. These dozen wines come from all parts of the globe and vary in sweetness from dry (not sweet) to medium (mid-sweet). The 5 that I've recommended are all dry, from the 2013 vintage, and from the southern part of France. Nearly all are returnees to Vintages. From Rhône, the Mas des Bressades is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, while the Tavel is a blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Mourvèdre. From Languedoc is a Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah-blend Rosé that is capped with a glass stopper and comes in an eye-catching bottle that could potentially be held as a keep-sake. Lastly, the Château la Tour de l'Évêque is an organic wine consisting of 64% Grenache, 29% Cinsault, 4% Syrah, 2% Rolle and 1% Sémillon.

From the rest of the release, the Valdemar is 80% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and 10% Maturana, while the Bordón is a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan). And finally, if you've never tasted a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, there is a very good version from Famille Perrin that's in a half-size bottle and makes the price-point for this Grenache/Mourvèdre/Syrah wine very approachable.

Enjoy my wine recommendations for this week. Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • VALDEMAR INSPIRACIÓN SELECCIÓN 2010 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#166512) (XD) - $17.00
  • OSCAR’S ESTATE VINEYARD SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER 2011 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#287961) (D) - $17.95
  • VALLE SECRETO FIRST EDITION CARMENÈRE 2011 - Cachapoal Valley, Chile (#371153) (XD) - $18.95
  • D’ANGELO AGLIANICO DEL VULTURE 2009 - DOC, Basilicata, Italy (#971689) (XD) - $18.95
  • RIOJA BORDÓN RESERVA 2008 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#194753) (XD) - $19.95
  • FAMILLE PERRIN LES SINARDS CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2011 - AC, Rhone, France (#005975) (XD) - (375 mL) $19.95
  • OJO DE AGUA CUVÉE SPÉCIALE 2011 - Mendoza, Argentina (#359141) (XD) - $20.95
  • TABALÍ RESERVA ESPECIAL 2009 - Limarí Valley, Chile (#107540) (XD) - $22.95
  • MASI SEREGO ALIGHIERI VAIO ARMARON AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2006 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#462812) (XD) - $69.95

White Wine:
  • FEATHERSTONE BLACK SHEEP RIESLING 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#080234) (M) - $16.95
  • THE NED PINOT GRIS 2013 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#267138) (XD) - $16.95  reviewed here
  • PAUL MAS NICOLE VINEYARD VIOGNIER 2012 - Pays d’Oc IGP, Midi, France (#370098) (XD) - $17.95
  • MAYCAS DEL LIMARÍ RESERVA ESPECIAL CHARDONNAY 2010 - Limarí Valley, Chile (#162040) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • MAX FERD. RICHTER WEHLENER SONNENUHR RIESLING KABINETT 2007 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#998120) (M) - $20.95
  • DOG POINT SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#677450) (XD) - $23.95
  • FLAT ROCK THE RUSTY SHED CHARDONNAY 2011 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#001552) (XD) - $24.95

Rosé Wine:
  • CHÂTEAU VAL JOANIS TRADITION SYRAH ROSÉ 2013 - AC Luberon, Rhône, France (#707281) (XD) - $15.95
  • MAS DES BRESSADES CUVÉE TRADITION ROSÉ 2013 - AC Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (#950576) (XD) - $15.95
  • CHÂTEAU LA TOUR DE L’ÉVÊQUE ROSÉ 2013 - Hand harvested, AC Côtes de Provence, France (#319392) (XD) - $18.95
  • FAMILLE PERRIN TAVEL ROSÉ 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#680801) (XD) - $19.95
  • GÉRARD BERTRAND CÔTE DES ROSES ROSÉ 2013 - AP Languedoc, Midi, France (#373985) (XD) - $19.95


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


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