Sunday, November 29, 2015

First image of this post
  • Sunday, November 29, 2015

Domaine Hamelin Beauroy Chablis 1er Cru 2012 (Burgundy) - Wine Review



wine is this yummy unoaked Chardonnay from Burgundy, France.

Domaine Hamelin was started in the 1840's by Gustave Hamelin when he planted 2 hectares of vines alongside his mixed farm. It is located in northwest Burgundy and about 2 hours southeast from Paris. The small, family-owned operation had been passed along from generation to generation. Today, the 6th and 7th generation of the family carry on the family's wine growing tradition that is a mix of old traditions and modern-day techniques from more than 36 hectares of vines from the villages of Poinchy, Beines and Lignorelles.

The vineyards, all Chardonnay, are planted on soil that is 150 million years old, from the Kimméridgien era of the Jurassic period. During this period, Burgundy was under the sea and has now left behind many remains in the rock such as small oysters and ammonites. Thierry and his son Charles strive to produce Chablis wines that are true expressions of place or terroir.

This delicious white wine will be available at the LCBO as part of the upcoming December 12 VINTAGES Release.

Domaine Hamelin Beauroy Chablis 1er Cru 2012 - AC, Burgundy, France (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

DOMAINE HAMELIN BEAUROY CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2012 - AC, Burgundy, France (#391805) (XD) - $33.95
Harvested from an area of 3.9 ha, located on south-facing slopes, opposite Lake Beines. Stone fruit, citrus and saline aromas from the cork. Elegant nose of medium+ intensity featuring tropical fruit, lemon peel, cilantro and stony minerality. The palate is medium-bodied with finely cut acids. Lemon citrus, herbs, and mineral flavour profile with some saline notes mid-palate. Shows excellent balance and finishes long and clean with minerally aftertaste. Mouth-watering acids keep you coming back for another sip. Score: 91 pts


Thursday, November 26, 2015

First image of this post
  • Thursday, November 26, 2015

Château Guillou 2012 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

wine is part of the November 28, 2015 VINTAGES Release and is most likely already available for purchase on some LCBO shelves.

From the same producer as the 2011 Château Hauchat red wine that I tasted earlier this month, this Jean-Bernard Saby wine is produced by the 9th generation of the Saby family. Jean-Christophe and Jean-Phillippe are both oenologists and apply their new skills, as well as respecting the traditions and know-how of their father and grandfather in producing the wines at this estate.

Château Guillou 2012 - AC Montagne Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU GUILLOU 2012 - AC Montagne Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (#140483) (XD) - $18.95
Blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Dried spice, oak and whiff of plum from the cork.  Medium intensity herbally, spice, black currant, dark cherry, and some earthy characters on the nose. The palate is light-to-medium bodied with gritty, astringent tannins. Raspberry and dusty cocoa flavours join the aroma profile on the palate. Acids are fresh and juicy, while the finish length is good. Has a mineral/steely aftertaste. Perfectly fine for a Thursday night. Score: 87 pts



Monday, November 23, 2015

First image of this post
  • Monday, November 23, 2015

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée G.C. Sancerre 2014 (Loire) - Wine Review

Opened up this excellent white wine from Jean-Max Roger ahead of it's release in VINTAGES this Saturday, November 28th.

The Roger family descends from a long line of winegrowers from the village of Bué, dating back to the 17th century. In the early 1970's, Jean-Max Roger took over the 4 ha of vines left to him by his parents and expanded the estate to its current size of 26 ha. It is very much a family estate as two of his three sons joined him at the estate in 2004.

The grapes for this wine come mostly from a lieu-dit called "Le Grand Chemarin" - hence the name Cuvée G.C. - one of the most famous vineyards in the village of Bué. Soil characteristics include stony, clay-limestone based soils known as "caillotes", on slopes with a south-eastern exposure. Wines from this area tend to be elegant and show great finesse.

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée G.C. Sancerre 2014 - AC, Loire, France (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE G.C. SANCERRE 2014 - AC, Loire, France (#189126) (XD) - $28.95
100% Sauvignon Blanc. White flowers and lime aromas from the cork. Lovely nose of ripe Mirabelle plum, fresh white flowers and citrus notes. Aromas echo on the finely balanced palate, with notes of lime and gooseberry coming through as it warms up. The vibrant, fine seam of acidity is available from start to finish. Long finish ends slightly creamy with some saline notes. Excellent stuff. Score: 91 pts


First image of this post
  • Monday, November 23, 2015

November 28 VINTAGES Release: Finest Wines for the Holidays

LCBO Wine Picks from November 28, 2015 VINTAGES Release
The November 28 VINTAGES Release will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves this coming Saturday and features as it's main and only theme very fine wines and spirits for the holidays. The selection includes many fine wines at very high price points - wines suitable as expensive gifts or for extremely special occasions.

Of the 28 wines and spirits featured as part of this mono-thematic release, 9 are included among my wine picks. Brace yourself, as the least expensive of the nine wines costs $89.95 - it's the Châteauneuf-du-Pape consisting of Cinsault, Counoise, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah, and the Barossa Valley Shiraz.

Six of the wines I've recommended begin at $159.95 and go all the way up to almost $300. The iconic wines in this group include Cabernet Sauvignon's from Silver Oak (84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc) and Chateau Montelena. The Joseph Phelps Insignia is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 10% Merlot, 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc. From the two Bolgheri wineries in Italy, the Ornellaia consists of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot, while the Sassicaia consists of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc. Lastly, the Solaia contains 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, and 5% Cabernet Franc. Perhaps it's no surprise that all of these fine wines have a fairly strong Cabernet Sauvignon component and can be aged for many years.

Antinori Solaia 2011 - IGT Toscana, Italy (93 pts)

The only white wine among my wine recommendations from the mono-thematic is the Kistler Chardonnay.

From the rest of the release, the M. Chapoutier wine is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan, while the Lungarotti is 90% Sangiovese and 10% Colorino. The In Situ blend from Chile has 50% Syrah, 45% Mourvedre and 5% Viognier.

In white wines, the Greek wine is made with the Roditis grape, the Donnachiara is made with Greco di Tufo, the Montagny is Chardonnay, and lastly, the Sancerre is 100% Sauvignon Blanc.

Enjoy my wine picks for this week. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • M. CHAPOUTIER LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON VILLAGES 2014 - AC, Midi, France (#168716) (D) - $15.95
  • LUNGAROTTI RUBESCO SANGIOVESE/COLORINO 2012 - DOC Rosso di Torgiano, Umbria, Italy (#368548) (XD) - $17.95
  • CONCHA Y TORO MARQUÉS DE CASA CONCHA SYRAH 2012 - Buin, Maipo Valley, Chile (#019042) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • SUSANA BALBO SIGNATURE MALBEC 2013 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#079798) (D) - $19.95
  • IN SITU SIGNATURE WINES HILLSIDE BLEND 2012 - Aconcagua Valley, Chile (#431098) (XD) - $19.95
  • SIEGEL SINGLE VINEYARD LOS LINGUES CARMENÈRE 2012 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#431072) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
Concha Y Toro Marqués de Casa Concha Syrah 2012 - Buin, Maipo Valley, Chile (88 pts)Siegel Single Vineyard Los Lingues Carmenère 2012 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (89 pts)

  • CHAPELLE DE POTENSAC 2010 - AC Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#434761) (XD) - $29.95
  • L’EXPRESSON DE MARGAUX 2010 - AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#431734) (XD) - $33.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE BEAUCASTEL CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#711317) (D) - $89.95
  • BAROSSA VALLEY ESTATE E&E BLACK PEPPER SHIRAZ 2008 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#731620) (XD) - $89.95
  • SILVER OAK CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#936039) (D) - $159.95
  • CHATEAU MONTELENA ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011 - Calistoga, Napa Valley, California, USA (#709881) (XD) - $187.95
  • ORNELLAIA 2012 - DOC Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy (#382051 / #722470 / #382515) (D) (375 mL / 750 mL / 1500 mL) $103.95 / $195.95 / $465.95
  • SASSICAIA 2012 - DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia, Tuscany, Italy (#480533) (D) - $199.95
  • ANTINORI SOLAIA 2011 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#987586) (XD) - $249.95  reviewed here
  • JOSEPH PHELPS INSIGNIA 2012 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#710400) (D) - $299.95

White Wine:

  • GIANNIKOS AT SEA RODITIS 2014 - Product of Organic Farming, Peloponnese, Greece (#431684) (D) - $17.95
  • DELHEIM FAMILY CHENIN BLANC 2014 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#429720) (XD) - $17.95
  • DONNACHIARA GRECO DI TUFO 2013 - DOCG, Campania, Italy (#262964) (XD) - $17.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2013 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#268342) (XD) - $19.95
  • VIGNERONS DE BUXY BUISSONNIER MONTAGNY 2013 - AC, Burgundy, France (#382879) (XD) - $19.95
  • LETH BRUNNTHAL 1ÖWT GRÜNER VELTLINER 2013 - Qualitätswein, Fels am Wagram, Austria (#012278) (XD) - $24.95
  • JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE G.C. SANCERRE 2014 - AC, Loire, France (#189126) (XD) - $28.95  reviewed here
  • SPY VALLEY ENVOY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Waihopai Valley, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#429308) (XD) - $29.95
  • KÜNSTLER HOCHHEIMER STIELWEG OLD VINES RIESLING TROCKEN 2013 - Qualitätswein, Rheingau, Germany (#425041) (XD) - $42.95  FSE
  • KISTLER LES NOISETIERS CHARDONNAY 2013 - Sonoma Coast, California, USA (#251223) (XD) - $99.95
Jean-Max Roger Cuvée G.C. Sancerre 2014 - AC, Loire, France (91 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • MIRAVAL ROSÉ 2014 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#342584) (XD) - $22.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • BAILLY LAPIERRE RÉSERVE BRUT CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE - Méthode Traditionnelle, AC, Burgundy, France (#991562) (D) - $19.95

Dessert Wine:

  • CAVE SPRING INDIAN SUMMER SELECT LATE HARVEST RIESLING 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#415901) (S) (375 mL) - $24.95

Cognac/Armagnac:

  • CHÂTEAU DE LAUBADE BAS XO ARMAGNAC - AC, France (#055830) (700 mL) - $99.95
Château de Laubade Bas XO Armagnac - AC, France


Sunday, November 22, 2015

First image of this post
  • Sunday, November 22, 2015

Niagara Icewine Festival - Celebrating Another Year of Icewine Excellence

Niagara Icewine Festival 2016
The Niagara Icewine Festival is around the corner and I have begun planning my next visit to Niagara in January, as should you. The 2016 Xerox Icewine Gala marks the 21st regional celebration of the truly Canadian icon: Icewine.

What began as a gala event has evolved into three weekends of globally sought after Icewine experiences. From stunning formal affairs to outdoor ice village settings to wineries setting the stage with incredible culinary and Icewine delights - Niagara is the place to explore your senses, as I have done each of the past 4 years as you will see from my reviews in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.


  • Taste the best in culinary and wine, as noted Niagara chefs prepare Icewine-infused delights or create the ultimate Icewine pairing
  • Feel the cold on your cheeks as you stand amidst Icewine vines and learn how Icewine is produced
  • Gaze at the beauty that surrounds you as you follow the famed wine route as it threads its way from the Niagara Escarpment to the Niagara River
  • Smell the rich honey and peach undertones of a perfectly balanced Icewine, followed by a savoury morsel that is equally mouthwatering
  • Listen to the storytellers at our wineries as they share their memories of an Icewine Harvest
The Xerox Icewine Gala on is Niagara’s hottest wine and culinary ticket, as the Fallsview Casino Resort Grand Hall is transformed into an evening of luxury and opulence. Live entertainment, dancing and an evening of the best wine and food Niagara has to offer, sets the tone for a weekend to remember.

Follow up the Icewine Gala with the Discovery Pass presented by Outlet Collection At Niagara and explore the wintry landscape along the Niagara wine route. This ever popular tasting program runs Fridays through Sundays for three weekends beginning January 15th. Use your pass to experience eight (8) wine and culinary pairings from over 35 incredible wineries. From hearty chilis and savoury soups to sweet treats paired with VQA Icewines and table wines - the experiences are sweet, savoury and spicy.

New for 2016, we celebrate Winterfest in Downtown St. Catharines partnering with the popular Downtown D’Lish: the newest addition to the famed wine route in St. Catharines. Here you will discover a burgeoning culinary scene highlighting the bounty of Niagara. From to , partnering restaurants in The Heart of Niagara will be offering culinary creations and libations inspired by Icewine.

For a complete listing of all Icewine Festival programming and events, visit www.niagaraicewinefestival.com.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

First image of this post
  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2015 Niagara Wine Festival Review

On , I had the pleasure of visiting Niagara to sample a variety of food and wines as part of the Discovery Pass Experience and to celebrate the 64th Annual Niagara Wine Festival that takes place every September.

Lobster Bisque with Rancourt Chardonnay Reserve
Our tour began at Rancourt Winery for a delicious pairing of lobster bisque and their buttery 2013 Chardonnay Reserve. After fetching our pairing, we headed out to the patio where the sun was shining bright. The bisque was thick, rich and creamy with some chunks of lobster, along with potato adding texture and mild pepper spice for flavouring. Some of the Chardonnay Reserve was also added to the bisque, while it was topped with white chocolate shavings. The bisque was quite delicious and paired well with the Chardonnay, with bisque and wine flavours complementing each other, and the bright acidity cutting into creamy soup very effectively for a balanced pairing. The portion size was also just right.

Niagara Oast House Brewers tasting lineup

The next stop on our tour was somewhat unplanned. A week earlier I attended The Beer Experience and tasted some amazing local craft beer. At that event I met the sales rep from Niagara Oast House Brewers and he highly encouraged me to come to the brewery to taste their flagship Saison beer which remind many of carbonated wine. Since we were only a few minutes away from Niagara Oast House Brewers, we headed over and tasted a flight of beer, including the Saison.

Niagara Oast House Brewers Country Bumpkin Pumpkin-Spiced Ale
The Saison was tasty and did remind me of wine with it's black pepper and citrus flavours. More vividly, it brought up images of a white Shiraz. I also enjoyed the "Local Hopton IPA" that's made from fresh 100% Niagara-grown hops that are harvested the same day; it's a bitter, hoppy beer very much in the style of an IPA. My favourite beer was their seasonal Country Bumpkin - a fall harvest ale with strong pumpkin pie spice flavours. It smelled and tasted so great that I couldn't resist buying some in the only format available - a growler. Made fresh in small batches without preservatives, the Country Bumpkin needed to be opened within a few days and finished within 48 hours before it starts to lose its freshness. Besides restaurants, most of their beers are only available at the brewery.

Back to wine, our next stop was up the road to Diamond Estates - The Winery for a potato-filled vegetable samosa paired with their FRESH Sparkling Rosé 2012 ($14.95, #341347, 85 pts) and Lakeview Cellars Syrah Rosé 2012 ($16.95, #347450, 87 pts). The samosa had mild chutney drizzled on top and added some sweet & spicy flavours. The FRESH Sparkling Rosé is a dry (i.e. not sweet) Pinot Noir based blend with tart/sour flavours of strawberry, bing cherry, red fruit and olive but lacked the acidity and sweetness to pair well with the samosa. Meanwhile, the dry Lakeview Syrah Rosé contains 8.5% Moscato and 1.5% Auxerrois features bright acids and strawberry, currant, and peppery notes that not only made it enjoyable to sip on its own, but also paired quite well with the samosa.

Samosa with Diamond Estates FRESH Sparkling Rosé

2 Storey High Stainless Tanks at Diamond Estates
I also took a quick tour through the facilities where I shown the massive loading dock where the grapes arrive on trucks and get weighed prior to being brought into the warehouse for sorting and fermentation. Since it was a Saturday, it was pretty quiet, but you get the feeling that this is quite the operation on a weekday during harvest. Once inside you are immediately greeted with row-upon-row of 84,000 Litre stainless tanks (over 2 storeys high) used for fermentation - easily the largest tanks I have ever seen! As we moved further into the massive facility, we stood on a platform used for the Cellar Floor Experience and from this vantage point we had a very nice view of the production area that featured over 800 barrels, including several large Slovenian oak barrels, as well as more smaller tanks. Overall, I was quite impressed with one of the largest winemaking facilities in Niagara.

800+ Barrels at Diamond Estates Winemaking Facility

The tasting room was abuzz at Diamond Estates, so I didn't get a chance to taste everything I wanted, but I did taste 3 very good red wines from Lakeview Cellars, one of the many wine brands of Diamond Estates. Wine reviews are provided below.

Our third wine pairing of the day ending up being a bit of dud due to the fact the arancini prepared by Chef Lorenzo of Cucina A Go-Go contained veal - something that was not mentioned during the planning phase and no one in my group eats. What was most disappointing was the lack of a vegetarian option. I've been a fan of 13th Street Winery for many years, but this was my first visit to the winery, so, instead we ended up tasting a few delicious wines, including the Gamay that was part of the wine pairing. I also tasted some delicious aged cheddar cheese and visited the on-site bakery.

Rockway Vineyards Late Harvest Vidal with Wine Poached Pear
The final stop of the day was at Rockway Vineyards for a wine poached pear topped with a spicy cream and pecan that was paired with their 2013 Rockway Vineyards Late Harvest Vidal ($15.95, #413617, 86 pts). Neither the poached pear or the wine were very sweet, however, the sweetness from the Late Harvest wine did tame the spicy kick that resided in the cream. It was a balanced pairing that worked well together.

My "take away" from this trip was the rather impressive display of Syrah in Niagara. I don't ever recall tasting and enjoying as many Syrah on any prior trip to Niagara as I did on this visit. The Syrah star in Niagara is definitely on the rise and one to look out for as time moves along.

Tasting Notes:

RANCOURT CHARDONNAY RESERVE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $23
Rich and buttery with toasty vanilla and hints of butterscotch aromas of medium+ intensity. The medium+ bodied palate offered butterscotch-led aroma replays with a hint of caramel. It has bright and lengthy finish. Score: 88+ pts

RANCOURT SYRAH 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $30
After spending 2 years in new French oak, this has medium+ intensity aromas of black pepper and peppercorn followed by some plum and black cherry notes. It's medium-bodied on the palate with a viscous/glycerin-like mouthfeel and slightly herbally, red & blue fruit flavour profile. It has good acidity and finishes long. Score: 87-88 pts

Lakeview Cellars Merlot Reserve 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88 pts)Lakeview Cellars Syrah 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (87 pts)Lakeview Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (88 pts)

LAKEVIEW CELLARS MERLOT RESERVE 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#002157) (XD) - $29.95
Medium+ intensity nose with dried fruit, cherry, cocoa, milk chocolate and sweet spices that replay on the palate. Medium-bodied on the palate with rounded tannins, good acids and slightly sour on the long finish. Score: 88 pts

LAKEVIEW CELLARS SYRAH 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $24.95
Medium intensity nose featuring black olive and white pepper notes. Palate is medium+ bodied with integrated tannins, aroma replays with a hint of green pepper. Fresh acids, some bitterness mid-palate, and good length on the finish. Score: 87 pts

LAKEVIEW CELLARS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#438390) (XD) - $29.95
Medium intensity aromas that show meaty, cassis, black pepper, and sandalwood that echo nicely on the medium-to-full bodied palate. It has very good acidity and excellent length on the finish. A nice effort from a formidable vintage. Drinking well now and should improve in 1-2 years. Score: 88 pts

13th Street Gamay Noir 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88 pts)13th Street June's Vineyard Riesling 2013 - VQA Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)13th Street Essence Syrah 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (90 pts)

13TH STREET GAMAY NOIR 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#177824) (D) - $19.95
Savoury medium intensity nose with meat, charcuterie, dark berry, smoke and beet aromas. It's light-to-medium bodied with red cherry and earthy flavours on the palate, low in tannin, fresh acids and medium-to-long finish. Score: 88 pts

13TH STREET JUNE'S VINEYARD RIESLING 2013 - VQA Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#147512) (D) - $19.95
Medium-to-high aromatics showing a somewhat mature nose of petrol along with peach, apricot, and hints of melon. It's medium-bodied with off-dry flavours of orange, peach and lime. It has very good acidity and a chalky, medium-to-long finish. Score: 89 pts

13TH STREET ESSENCE SYRAH 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $44.95
Aromas of medium-to-high intensity showing very nice blackberry, black pepper, wild herb, smoked meat and spices that echo very nicely on the full-bodied palate. The acids are mouth-watering, while the finish length is excellent. Score: 90 pts

Rockway Vineyards Meritage 2012 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88 pts)Rockway Vineyards Small Lot Block 12-140 Syrah 2012 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (90 pts)Rockway Vineyards Vidal Icewine 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (90 pts)

ROCKWAY VINEYARDS MERITAGE 2012 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#388264) (D) - $19.95
Medium-to-high intensity aromas that is quite complex with smoky, meaty, dusty cocoa, milk chocolate, wild herb, sage and peppery flavours that all make appearance on the medium-bodied palate. It's got fresh acids and shows good balance. Finishes long. Slightly taut tannins should soften and be better in 1-2 years. Score: 88 pts

ROCKWAY VINEYARDS SMALL LOT BLOCK 12-140 SYRAH 2012 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $29.95
Medium+ intensity aromas of wild blueberry, meaty, white pepper and spices that intermingle pleasantly on the full-bodied palate. Very good acidity and finishing long with bitter chocolate flavours. Score: 90 pts

ROCKWAY VINEYARDS VIDAL ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (750 mL) - $29.95
Highly aromatic nose featuring peach and apricot notes that replay very nicely on the light-to-medium bodied palate. It's sweet with a slightly chalky mouthfeel. Acids are bright. Finishes long with hints of pineapple, mango and lemon preserve. Very enjoyable. Score: 90 pts


Sunday, November 15, 2015

First image of this post
  • Sunday, November 15, 2015

Terredora Aglianico 2010 (Italy) - Wine Review

red wine was purchased almost 2 years ago from the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Even though Aglianico is one of the my favourite indigenous varietals from Italy, this is the first Aglianico I've opened at home since I started blogging in 2011.

Terredora Aglianico 2010 - IGT Campania, Italy (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

TERREDORA AGLIANICO 2010 - IGT Campania, Italy (#602284) (XD) - $16.95
Black licorice, sandalwood and wild herb aromas from the cork. Dried flower, woodsy nose of medium+ intensity with some herbal and dried red fruit aromas. On the medium-to-full bodied palate it has herbal, cassis, and black cherry flavours with a hint of leather. Acids are mouth-watering, while tannins are integrated very well. Juicy, with some tannic grip on the long finish. Still has good structure to age a couple more years, but drinking great right now! Score: 89 pts


Thursday, November 12, 2015

First image of this post
  • Thursday, November 12, 2015

CHANTILLY French Cream Liqueur (Ontario) - Review

I was offered the opportunity to taste a liqueur that was just released at the LCBO - just in time for the holiday season.

The CHANTILLY French Cream is a cream liqueur that's made using all natural ingredients using a proprietary process that creates a lighter, smoother cream liqueur. It is made using fresh dairy cream, organic sugar and only natural flavours, without the use of any preservatives. Furthermore, it is blended by hand in small batches.

Normally, I don't comment on packaging, but this alcoholic beverage (17% abv) comes in a classy opaque black bottle that evokes images of French luxury. I thought for sure this was a very expensive imported product. However, after looking more closely, I discovered that it is made locally by Maverick Distillery in Oakville, Ontario - the makers of TAG Vodka.

CHANTILLY French Cream (Ontario) - Review

Tasting Note:

CHANTILLY FRENCH CREAM - Ontario, Canada (#424044) (750 mL) - $29.95
Yummy notes of marzipan, almond, vanilla, maple, and dark rum on a light, creamy palate. Lasting, milky finish. Personally, I would enjoy this over ice as its great on its own, but you could easily use CHANTILLY French cream as part of a shooter or coffee-based drinks - recipes are provided on the attached bottle tag. I think I like this more than another popular brand of cream liqueur.

Bonus Offer: FREE Tag Double Espresso Vodka 50 mL until (or while supplies last)!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

First image of this post
  • Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Château Hauchat 2011 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

This fairly easy drinking red wine will be in VINTAGES on November 14th and is suitable for mid-week sipping.

The Château Hauchat property was re-acquired by the Saby family in 1973. In 1989, current owner Jean-Bernard Saby purchased the property from his uncle. The Saby family has been making wine in the region for an astounding 8 centuries now.

The property is located within the commune of Saint-Aignan, to the west of neighbouring Pomerol and Saint Émilion in Bordeaux, France. On the high plateau of Saint-Aignan, the Château is in one of the finest growing areas of the Fronsac appellation. Well drained clay-limestone soil and perfect south/southwest exposure to the sun are two of its most distinctive features. Château Hauchat also grows just a single grape variety on its property - Merlot.

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU HAUCHAT 2011 - AC Fronsac, Bordeaux, France (#123489) (XD) - $15.95
100% Merlot. Plummy and black cherry aromas from the cork. Medium intensity aromas from the glass showing plum, blackberry, sour cherry, black spices, soft cedar vanilla oak, mineral and hints of cocoa notes. It's medium-bodied on the palate with tart red berry and mineral/iodine flavours. Has good acids, fairly rounded but gritty tannins. Good length on the cocoa-tinged finish. Score: 86 pts

Château Hauchat 2011 - AC Fronsac, Bordeaux, France (86 pts)


Monday, November 9, 2015

First image of this post
  • Monday, November 9, 2015

November 14 LCBO VINTAGES Release: Top Wines for the Holidays

LCBO Wine Picks from November 14, 2015 VINTAGES Release
The VINTAGES Release will be on LCBO shelves this coming . This is a thick release that is using a more expensive perfect bound to keep the magazine together. It features a star studded lineup of wines for the holidays as it's main theme, while the secondary theme highlights crowd pleasing wines that are available in large format magnum (1500 mL) bottles.

Thirty-two wines are featured as part of the star studded lineup, and eight are included among my wine picks. Red wines among my wine recommendations include the Versado Malbec, the organic Emiliana Coyam (38% Syrah, 31% Carmenère, 19% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Mourvedre, and 1% Malbec), and The Dead Arm Shiraz.

Emiliana Coyam 2011 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (91 pts)d’Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2010 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (92 pts)

In white wines, there are a pair of cool-climate Chardonnays - the Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and Bachelder Chardonnay from Niagara.

A trio of fortified wines are also available in this release, including a 2003 LBV Aged Port and a Vintage Port from the great 2011 vintage. There is also a very sweet Sherry that is made using the Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez grapes.

If you're looking to stock up on Amarone, this would be a great release to pick up a few bottles. The first wine recommendation is a single vineyard Amarone from Speri. Meanwhile, the big house of Masi has a 750 mL bottle of Campolongo di Torbe Amarone that also comes from a single vineyard that has been producing grapes since the 12th Century. There is also 1500 mL magnum bottling of the Masi Costasera Amarone. The primary grapes in all of these very special wines is a blend of Corvina and Rondinella.

Masi Campolongo di Torbe Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2009 - DOCG, Veneto, Italy (94 pts)Masi Riserva Costasera Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva 2009 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (92 pts)

Of the 10 magnum bottles featured in the mini-thematic, 2 are recommended buys. The Masi Amarone mentioned above is definitely a special buy, while at the lower end of the price spectrum is the Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon.

PoggioVerrano Dròmos 2005 - IGT Maremma Toscana, Italy (92 pts)Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia 2013 - DOC Bolgheri Rosso, Tuscany, Italy (92 pts)

From the rest of the release, the Glenelly Red is 42% Shiraz, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot, while the gorgeous PoggioVerrano Dròmos is an unspecified blend consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Alicante, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. And last - but definitely not the least - is the second wine of Ornellaia that consists of 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 12% Petit Verdot.

Enjoy my wine recommendations for this week. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • BOUTARI GRANDE RESERVE XINOMAVRO 2008 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (#140111) (D) - $18.95
  • CANTINA DEL TABURNO FIDELIS SANNIO AGLIANICO 2011 - DOP, Campania, Italy (#651299) (XD) - $19.95
  • MICHELE CASTELLANI I CASTEI COSTAMARAN RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE 2012 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#972406) (D) - $19.95
  • GIACOMO MORI CHIANTI 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#068858) (D) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • GRAND VIN DE GLENELLY RED 2009 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#360339) (D) - $19.95
Giacomo Mori Chianti 2012 - DOCG Tuscany, Italy (90 pts)

  • EMILIANA COYAM 2011 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#063891) (XD) - $29.95  reviewed here
  • MARCHESE ANTINORI CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#512384) (D) - $32.95
  • SANTA CAROLINA RESERVA DE FAMILIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2008 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#430728) (XD) (1500 mL) - $37.95
  • POGGIOVERRANO DRÒMOS 2005 - IGT Maremma Toscana, Italy (#107383) (XD) - $39.95  reviewed here
  • RUFFINO GREPPONE MAZZI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2008 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#926402) (XD) - $49.95  FSE
  • D’ARENBERG THE DEAD ARM SHIRAZ 2010 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#430512) (XD) - $54.95  reviewed here
  • LE SERRE NUOVE DELL’ORNELLAIA 2013 - DOC Bolgheri Rosso, Tuscany, Italy (#606194) (XD) - $59.95  reviewed here
  • VERSADO RESERVA ANCIENT MALBEC 2011 - Mendoza, Argentina (#316984) (D) - $59.95
  • SPERI VIGNETO MONTE SANT’URBANO AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2010 - DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#205294) (D) - $74.95
  • MASI CAMPOLONGO DI TORBE AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2009 - DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#548677) (D) - $101.95  reviewed here
  • MASI RISERVA COSTASERA AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO RISERVA 2009 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#348037) (D) (1500 mL) - $149.95  reviewed here

White Wine:

  • QUERCUS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014 - Goriška Brda, Slovenia (#429936) (XD) - $14.95
  • TERREDORA FALANGHINA 2014 - IGT Campania, Italy (#642074) (XD) - $16.95
  • CASA SILVA COOL COAST SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#419812) (XD) - $16.95
  • FRITZ WILLI RIESLING 2013 - Mosel, Germany (#436873) (M) - $18.00
  • J. FRITSCH RIESLING 2014 - AC Alsace, France (#430520) (XD) - $19.95
  • CLOSSON CHASE CLOSSON CHASE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2013 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (#148866) (D) - $27.95  reviewed here
  • JERMANN PINOT GRIGIO 2014 - IGT Venezia Giulia, Friuli, Italy (#117093) (XD) - $32.95
  • ZILLIKEN SAARBURGER RAUSCH RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2009 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#949966) (S) - $43.00  FSE
  • BACHELDER SAUNDERS VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2012 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#324103) (D) - $44.95
  • DOMAINE BILLAUD-SIMON MONT DE MILIEU CHABLIS 1 ER CRU 2010 - AC, Burgundy, France (#373548) (XD) - $44.95  FSE
  • FLOWERS SONOMA COAST CHARDONNAY 2013 - Sonoma Coast, California, USA (#215210) (XD) - $64.95
Closson Chase Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (91 pts)

Fortifieds:

  • WARRE’S LBV BOTTLE AGED PORT 2003 - Unfiltered, DOP, Portugal (#434936) (S) - $34.95
  • SANDEMAN VINTAGE PORT 2011 - DOP, Portugal (#362491) (MS) - $70.00

Sherry:

  • LUSTAU EAST INDIA SOLERA SHERRY - DO, Spain (#342931) (S) (500 mL) - $24.95


Saturday, November 7, 2015

First image of this post
  • Saturday, November 7, 2015

PoggioVerrano Dròmos 2005 (Tuscany) - Wine Review

wine is a very special red wine that'll be in LCBO VINTAGES on November 14th.

This wine comes from Tenuta PoggioVerrano, located in the Maremma wine region in southern Tuscany. The vineyards are 27 hectares in size with rocky soils of calcareous and clayey nature, and height between 170 and 300 metres above sea level, and 15 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea. PoggioVerrano uses gravity flow technology that is fully underground and must be quite the impressive sight to see.

The winemaker, Francesco Bolla, is a third generation winemaker who started up this winery in 2000 with the vision "to create a red wine that is expression of the territory it comes from, the Maremma Toscana".

Let's see how the wine is...

Tasting Note:

POGGIOVERRANO DRÒMOS 2005 - IGT Maremma Toscana, Italy (#107383) (XD) - $39.95
This Super Tuscan is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Alicante, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc and underwent malolactic fermentation. Lovely mature nose of violets, dried fruit, and floral with hints of fig, cedar wood, earth and whiffs of prune. On the medium-bodied palate it has earthy, herbal, and resin notes with hints of mint and leather throughout. Some high-toned spice tones and warmth mid-palate is balanced well by fruit, oak and acids and gives way to long, smooth finish. Tannins are almost fully resolved. Should continue to drink well for another 4-5 years. Superb! Score: 92 pts

PoggioVerrano Dròmos 2005 - IGT Maremma Toscana, Italy (92 pts)


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

First image of this post
  • Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Giacomo Mori Chianti 2012 (Tuscany) - Wine Review

delicious red wine will be available at the LCBO soon, as part of the VINTAGES Release.

The Giacomo Mori estate is located in San Casciano dei Bagni, at the southern edge of the Province of Siena and Tuscany in Central Italy. Eight of the ten hectares of vineyards were replanted in 1995 with meticulous attention paid to the selection of grape varieties, clones and rootstocks. The winery was renovated over 5 years, between 1996-2000.

Giacomo Mori Chianti 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

GIACOMO MORI CHIANTI 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#068858) (D) - $19.95
Mostly Sangiovese (95%) with Colorino and Canaiolo rounding out the blend. Black plum and cherry scents from the cork. Enticing aromas of red berries, earth, baking spice, and hints of leather. The plush palate is medium+ bodied with sweet red berries, tilled earth, herbs and sandalwood flavours. It is well-balanced with mouth-watering acidity. Dusty tannins become tight on the long, cocoa-tinged finish. Enjoyable now, but give this another 2 years to further integrate and drink to 2022. Score: 90 pts


Sunday, November 1, 2015

First image of this post
  • Sunday, November 1, 2015

PondView Lot 74 Red and White 2014 (Niagara) - Wine Reviews

Here are wine reviews of a pair of wines from PondView Estate Winery that were recently re-launched with a new, classic heritage label that is reminiscent of a time when farmlands in Niagara-on-the-Lake were referred to as nothing more than Lot numbers.

Giuseppe Puglisi emigrated from Sicily (Italy) to Canada in 1965 and brought with him a passion for grape-growing and winemaking. More than 40 years ago, the Puglisi family bought their first plot of farmland in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It was Lot 74. Located on Line 2 in the heart of the Four Mile Creek appellation, the vines planted on that lot bore fruit for several wineries over the years, including many award-winning vintages.

Lou Puglisi, Giuseppe's son, was eventually handed the torch. After Lou was crowned the 2008 Grape King, it was decided that the efforts in the vineyard would be replicated in a winery, drawing on generations of winemaking heritage from the Puglisi family's Sicilian roots. All the grapes for the Lot 74 wines come from vines surrounding the property.

Both of these approachable, easy drinking wines are readily available at LCBO outlets throughout the province.

PondView Lot 74 White 2014 and Red 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada

Tasting Notes:

PONDVIEW LOT 74 WHITE 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#308718) (D) - $14.95
Screw cap. Based on Chardonnay, with Gewürztraminer and Riesling added to round out the blend, this white wine has a perfumed nose of ripe tropical fruit, melon and lemon peel. Fleshy mouthfeel on the off-dry palate with honeyed aroma replays. Vibrant acidity and decent length on the finish. Should have wide appeal. Score: 85 pts

PONDVIEW LOT 74 RED 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#336495) (D) - $14.95
Screw cap. Blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas of ripe strawberry, and cherry, with hints of salsa and green pepper. The palate on this red wine is medium-bodied with sweet ripe red fruits, red currant, and black cherry flavours and a hint of sweetness. It has juicy acidity and soft, rounded tannins. Good length on the finish. Crowd pleaser. Score: 86 pts


First image of this post
  • Sunday, November 1, 2015

Ontario Cabernet Franc Wine Tasting

Ontario Cabernet Franc lineup
On a rainy , I had the opportunity to taste 47 different Cabernet Franc wines from Ontario. The tasting event was organized by André Proulx and took place at Archive 909. Among those in attendance was Krista Lamb to reunite our #BlendedCru wine tasting group.

The small venue was perfect for this tasting as we had the whole place to ourselves. The impressive display of wines were placed in a line and very nearly filled the full length of the expansive bar. Wines ranged in vintage from 2009 to 2013, while pricing fell between $12 and $78. It was great to see all three major Ontario wine regions represented - Niagara Peninsula and it's sub-appellations, Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore. Quite a few of the wines are available at the LCBO, but most are available only at the winery.

Below you will find wine reviews of the wines I enjoyed the most - and there were quite a few! Looking back, I am disappointed to see that no wine under $20 is in my list, including my usual "go-to" Ontario Cabernet Franc from Featherstone ($18.95, #064618). Having said that, less than 1/3 of the wines we tasted were less than $20, while the majority were between $20-$35.

I spoke to André after the event and we both agreed it was pretty crazy to taste so many wines in one sitting. However, it was a great experience that we all enjoyed and is something I hope we can do again with another grape that does well in Ontario. Varietals such as Chardonnay, Riesling and Gamay are ideal candidates for the next tasting.

A big thank you to André for organizing this huge, epic tasting, as well as all the wineries who provided the samples for us to taste!

Tasting Notes:

BACK 10 CELLARS THE BIG LEAP CABERNET FRANC 2013 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $28.95
Screw cap. Fragrant nose featuring raspberry, bramble, green pepper, and herbaceous aromas of medium+ intensity. Light tannins and light-to-medium bodied with nice aroma replays. It has bright acids and a medium-to-long finish. Score: 89 pts

Back 10 Cellars The Big Leap Cabernet Franc 2013 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)

BENCH TRIAL SUBPOENA CABERNET FRANC 2010 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $40.00
Nose appeared somewhat closed but featured notes of plum, raspberry, oak spice, dark cherry and chocolate. On the palate, it's full-bodied with good fruit extraction and complex aroma replays. It has mouth-watering acids and a very long finish. Decant for an hour and serve to allow the aromas to fully bloom. Score: 90 pts

Bench Trial Subpoena Cabernet Franc 2010 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (90 pts)Bench Trial Testimony Cabernet Franc 2011 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (91 pts)

BENCH TRIAL TESTIMONY CABERNET FRANC 2011 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $35.00
Perfumed medium-to-high intensity aromas of spice, black cherry, herbs, and exotic flowers. The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy taut tannins and very nice aroma replays accented by vanillan oak spice. It has very good acids and finishes very long. Score: 91 pts

CAVE SPRING CABERNET FRANC ESTATE BOTTLED CAVE SPRING VINEYARD 2012 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (D) - $29.95
Medium+ intensity aromas of sweet ripe fruit, spices, sage, and herbally notes. The palate is medium+ bodied and fleshy with spice and aroma replays. It has very good acidity and finishes long. Taut tannins will reward with 1-2 years in cellar. Drink up to 2019. Score: 88+ pts

Cave Spring Cabernet Franc Estate Bottled Cave Spring Vineyard 2012 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88+ pts)Cooper's Hawk Reserve Cabernet Franc 2012 - VQA Lake Erie North Shore, Ontario, Canada (90 pts)

COOPER'S HAWK RESERVE CABERNET FRANC 2012 - VQA Lake Erie North Shore, Ontario, Canada (#335729) (XD) - $34.95
Medium-to-high aromatics showing grilled pepper, white pepper and herbaceous aromas. It's medium-to-full bodied with black cherry, black plum, and vanillan oak flavours. Very good acidity, medium-to-firm tannins and an oak-spiced finish. Drinkable now, will reward 2 years ageing. Score: 90 pts

COYOTE'S RUN RARE VINTAGE CABERNET FRANC 2012 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $32.95
Aromas of medium-to-high intensity featuring savoury earthy and black cherry notes. On the palate, it's medium-to-full bodied with white pepper and sour cherry flavours. It has mouth-watering acids, good structure, firm tannins and a excellent length on the finish. Drinking well now, but will reward with 2 years in cellar. Score: 89-90 pts

Coyote's Run Rare Vintage Cabernet Franc 2012 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89-90 pts)Fielding Cabernet Franc 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)

FIELDING CABERNET FRANC 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#036194) (XD) - $21.95
Medium+ intensity aromas featuring complex black cherry, oak spice, currant and cedar notes. The palate is medium+ bodied with savoury aroma replays. It has very good acids, taut tannins amd finishes long and smooth. Drinkable now, but should be better in 2 years. Score: 89 pts

KACABA CABERNET FRANC RESERVE 2010 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $44.95
Inviting aromas of forest floor, cherry, dark red fruit and grilled pepper of medium+ intensity. The flavour profile consists of oak spice, chocolate and aroma replays on a medium+ bodied frame. It has very good acids, slightly chalky tannins and a long, smooth finish. Score: 88 pts

Kacaba Cabernet Franc Reserve 2010 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88 pts)Megalomaniac Grounded Cabernet Franc 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)

MEGALOMANIAC GROUNDED CABERNET FRANC 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $44.95
Medium-to-high aromatics with a nose featuring savoury, earthy, forest floor and green pepper notes. The palate is medium+ bodied with ripe fruited flavours black cherry, oak spice, and plum. It has very good acids and finishes long. Score: 89 pts

NIAGARA COLLEGE TEACHING WINERY DEAN'S LIST CABERNET FRANC 2012 - Donald Ziraldo Vineyard, VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $28.15
Perfumed medium+ intensity nose featuring lovely floral, black cherry, raspberry and sweet spice aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with bright acids and nice aroma replays while finishing long. Medium-to-firm tannins could use 1-2 years to soften, but quite drinkable now. Score: 89 pts

Niagara College Teaching Winery Dean's List Cabernet Franc 2012 - Donald Ziraldo Vineyard, VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)Pillitteri Riserva Famiglia Cabernet Franc 2010 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (90+ pts)

PILLITTERI RISERVA FAMIGLIA CABERNET FRANC 2010 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (D) - $78.20
Made in the appassimento style, this Cab Franc has medium-to-high aromas of sweet red cherries, caramel and orange. It's medium-to-full bodied with off-dry flavours of sweet oak spice, vanilla, milk chocolate and cherry. It has very good acids and excellent length on the finish. Memorable and different. Score: 90+ pts

RAVINE VINEYARD CABERNET FRANC 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $35.00
Medium-to-high aromas featuring earthy, bretty, savoury and dark red fruit notes. The palate is medium-bodied with taut tannins and flavours of black cherry, mocha, earth and vanilla. It has mouth-watering acids and a medium+ length finish. 88+ pts

Ravine Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88+ pts)Ravine Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Franc 2012 - VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (90 pts)

RAVINE VINEYARD RESERVE CABERNET FRANC 2012 - VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $45.00
Aromas of black cherry and oak of medium intensity. This is full-bodied with big, brooding tannins, oak spice, black cherry, herbaceous, and green pepper flavours. It has mouth-watering acids and excellent length on the finish. Better in 2-3 years and beyond. Score: 90 pts

ROSEHALL RUN CUVÉE COUNTY CABERNET FRANC 2011 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $29.95
Medium intensity aromas of green pepper, black cherry and sour cherry which replay on the palate. It's medium-bodied and ripe with a medium level of tannins, good acids and a long, sour finish. Ageing nicely. Score: 88+ pts

Rosehall Run Cuvée County Cabernet Franc 2011 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (88+ pts)Rosehall Run Cuvée County Cabernet Franc 2012 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (88 pts)

ROSEHALL RUN CUVÉE COUNTY CABERNET FRANC 2012 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $29.95
Medium+ intensity, focused nose featuring green herbally notes, blackberry, black cherry and a hint of smoke. The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy tannins, aroma replays along with olive flavours. Good, balanced acidity and excellent length on the finish. Score: 88 pts

ROSEWOOD ORIGIN CABERNET FRANC 2013 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#427534) (XD) - $25.95
Complex medium-to-high aromatics featuring oak spice, sage, white pepper, pomegranate and bramble which follow through on the complex palate. It's medium-to-full bodied and shows excellent balance with mouth-watering acids and medium-level of tannin. The finish is very long and smooth. Could cellar 3-4 years but drinking great now! Vegan-friendly. Score: 90+ pts

Rosewood Origin Cabernet Franc 2013 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (90+ pts)

SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE CABERNET FRANC 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#275958) (XD) - $21.95
Medium+ intensity aromas featuring white pepper, green pepper, herbaceous with underlying black cherry aromas that replay nicely on the palate. It has good structure and acids, fine tannins, while finishing long. Score: 89 pts

Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)Southbrook Whimsy! Cabernet Franc 2012 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (90 pts)

SOUTHBROOK WHIMSY! CABERNET FRANC 2012 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $34.95
Medium-to-high aromatics with a pleasing bouquet of herbs, black pepper, herbaceous, raspberry and black cherry notes. On the palate, it's medium-to-full bodied with nice aroma replays and hints of ripe fruit, all surrounded by smooth, rounded tannins and balanced acids. Excellent length on the finish. Score: 90 pts

TAWSE GROWER'S BLEND CABERNET FRANC 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#284570) (XD) - $26.95
Medium intensity nose of sour cherry, white pepper, and hints of green pepper. The palate has nice aroma replays plus cassis flavours on a medium-to-full bodied frame that has good structure. The long finish has hints of coffee. Firm tannins could use 2-3 years to integrate. Score: 90 pts

Tawse Grower's Blend Cabernet Franc 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (90 pts)Vineland Reserve Cabernet Franc 2010 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (90+ pts)

VINELAND RESERVE CABERNET FRANC 2010 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $40
Medium+ intensity nose featuring black pepper, spice, cherry and herbaceous aromas. Medium-bodied on the palate with nice aroma replays, balanced acids, resolved tannins and a long finish. Very good balance between fruit and savoury oak flavours. Score: 90+ pts


Featured Post

LCBO VINTAGES October 14, 2017: Napa + Pinot Noir

Blog Archive

Posts by Tag

Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget




  The World Atlas of Wine

Followers

Lists

Food & Drink
Top Blogs
OnToplist.com
BOTW Blogs - Vintages Wine Picks and Reviews
My Zimbio
blog search
Blogarama - Drinks & Beverages Blogs
Top Wine Sites
Wine blog
RSSChomp Blog Directory