The Niagara Peninsula is Ontario's biggest wine region, with Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) arguably the most well-known of the sub-appellations. NOTL is synonymous with Icewine made using Vidal and Riesling grapes, and the always delicious Vidal Icewine from Château des Charmes available in this release. A rising star in Niagara - and my personal favourite Ontario red varietal - is Cabernet Franc. Southbrook's Cabernet Franc is organic and biodynamic.
These days, one cannot talk about Ontario wine without mentioning Norman Hardie and his wines from Prince Edward County. "The County" - as it's often known - is still a relatively new VQA wine region, with the first experimental vines planted in the 1980's and the first commercial vinifera vineyard established only in 1993. Norm's County Pinot Noir is a very fine example of the quality that can be found in The County.
From the second focus of this release on wines from Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, just one of the five wines featured made my list of wine picks. Wines from this DOCG fall figuratively and on the map between the lighter Chianti and the fuller Brunello. Known locally as Prugnolo Gentile, Sangiovese is the primary grape grown in this region, and 70% of each wine must be comprised of this grape. The version from Castellani contains 90% Prugnolo Gentile and 10% Canaiolo.
The rest of my LCBO wine picks feature mostly single varietal wines, with a few exceptions. The Côtes du Rhône-Villages is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah, while the Rioja is 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha (Grenache). For sweet wine lovers, there is a Pinot Gris, a Tokaji, and plenty of Rieslings for your pleasure.
Enjoy my wine recommendations for this week and hope to see you in Niagara for the upcoming Grape & Wine Festival. Cheers!
- DOMAINE DE LA CÔTE CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES VALRÉAS 2011 - AC, Rhône, France (#380634) (XD) - $16.95
- NINQUÉN ANTU CHILEAN MOUNTAIN VINEYARD SYRAH 2012 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#675371) (XD) - $17.95
- QUINTA DE PANCAS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Vinho Regional Lisboa, Portugal (#380568) (XD) - $18.95
- CASTELLANI FILICHETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#184937) (XD) - $19.95
- SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE CABERNET FRANC 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#275958) (XD) - $21.95 reviewed here
- REININGER CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Walla Walla Valley, Washington, USA (#387027) (XD) - $21.95
- THIRTY BENCH RED 2012 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#320986) (XD) - $24.00
- CEDERBERG SHIRAZ 2010 - WO Cederberg, South Africa (#374199) (XD) - $24.95
- NORMAN HARDIE COUNTY UNFILTERED PINOT NOIR 2012 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (#125310) (XD) - $39.00
- LA RIOJA ALTA VIÑA ARDANZA RESERVA 2004 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#315531) (XD) - $39.95
- BEAULIEU VINEYARD GEORGES DE LATOUR PRIVATE RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2009 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#080218) (XD) - $100.95
- FLAT ROCK RIESLING 2013 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#043281) (M) - $16.95
- STELLENRUST WILD YEAST BARREL FERMENTED CHARDONNAY 2011 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#382218) (XD) - $17.95
- BISCHÖFLICHE WEINGÜTER TRIER DOM RIESLING KABINETT 2011 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#378828) (MS) - $18.95
- ANDRÉ BLANCK & SES FILS CLOS SCHWENDI PINOT GRIS 2013 - AC Alsace, France (#686311) (M) - $19.95
- AUNTSFIELD SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Southern Valleys, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#663286) (XD) - $20.95
- STUDERT-PRÜM GRAACHER HIMMELREICH RIESLING KABINETT 2012 - Prädikatswein, Gutsabfüllung, Mosel, Germany (#160853) (M) - $20.95
- ROYAL TOKAJI 5 PUTTONYOS TOKAJI ASZÚ 2008 - Hungary (#972836) (S) (250 mL) - $23.95
- CHARLES BAKER PICONE VINEYARD RIESLING 2011 - VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#241182) (M) - $35.20 reviewed here
- GRGICH HILLS ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2011 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#346304) (XD) - $55.95 reviewed here
- VINCENT COUCHE BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2002 - AC, Champagne, France (#387035) (XD) - $49.95
- CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES ESTATE BOTTLED VIDAL ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#565861) (S) (200 mL) - $25.95
The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.