Saturday, April 22, 2017

  • Saturday, April 22, 2017

Jean-Max Roger La Grange Dîmière Sancerre Rosé 2016 (France) - Wine Review



wine is something new to VINTAGES and will be available on LCBO shelves across Ontario as part of the upcoming VINTAGES Release on .

This rose wine is produced by Jean-Max Roger, a family from the village of Bué with winegrowing traditions dating back to the 17th century. This winery produces white wines from Sauvignon Blanc and red and rosé wines from Pinot Noir, such as this La Grange Dîmière Sancerre Rosé.

The name "La Grange Dîmière" for this wine is in reference to one of Bué's ancient tithe barns which constitutes the oldest part of their winery. The grapes are pressed using a pneumatic press and the must is cold-settled for between 48 and 72 hours. Grape sediment is carefully removed and the clear juice is brought up to temperature, followed by addition of yeasts and fermentation taking place for 4-8 weeks under controlled temperatures. The wine is finished using Bentonite fining and Kieselguhr filtering.

Jean-Max Roger La Grange Dîmière Sancerre Rosé 2016 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

JEAN-MAX ROGER LA GRANGE DÎMIÈRE SANCERRE ROSÉ 2016 - AC, Loire, France (#490813) (XD) - $25.95
100% Pinot Noir and pretty salmon pink colour. Pretty red cherry, strawberry and tart citrus aromas from the cork. Aromas of tart red cherry, red currant, strawberry, citrus and whiffs of banana from the glass are quite intense and a touch candied. The palate is medium-bodied with a silky mouthfeel and fresh, balanced acids. More cherry, currant, and banana flavours with hints of herbal mint and minerality add complexity. Dry overall with excellent finish length. Ideal as an apertif or pair with salads, fish or poultry. Score: 90 pts


Sunday, April 16, 2017

  • Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bel Echo Pinot Noir 2012 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine was purchased back in 2014 from the LCBO VINTAGES Release, where "Summery New Zealand Wines" were featured as the main release and this wine was listed as the Benchmark/Wine of the Month.

Produced by Clos Henri, a French family from Sancerre whose roots in winemaking go back 10 generations. The grapes for this wine are grown predominantly on their free draining river stone soil, without any irrigation, thereby stressing the vines and providing fruit with the purest expression of terroir,

The 2012 is no longer available at the LCBO, but small quantities of the 2014 vintage are available, and if history is any indication, the 2016 should come through VINTAGES next year.

Bel Echo Pinot Noir 2012 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

BEL ECHO PINOT NOIR 2012 - 'Terroir: Greywacke', Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#159137) (XD) - $22.95
Terroir blend of Greywacke riverbed (65%) and Broadbridge clay (35%) soil, and bottled under screw cap. Screw cap. Highly aromatic, complex and alluring nose that bounces between blackberry, mulberry, cherry, red currant, sweet spice, earth and a hint of herbs. Some dried cherry and floral notes also appear with time in glass. The palate is medium-bodied with silky smooth and refined tannins. With air, flavour profile offers earthy spiciness along with cherry and strawberry notes. Rush of acidity mid-palate gives way to long, juicy finish. If you still have it, enjoy this fine wine over the next 12 months. Score: 91 pts


Saturday, April 15, 2017

  • Saturday, April 15, 2017

Southbrook Vineyards Wine Tasting - March 2017

Southbrook Vineyards Portfolio Tasting
, I was invited to a wine tasting by André Proulx to taste through some of the latest wines from Southbrook Vineyards - a winery that pursues organic and biodynamic viticulture that I've featured many times on this blog.

There were 13 wines available for tasting, including the 2015 Southbrook Organic Triomphe Pinot Noir and 2015 Southbrook Organic Triomphe Chardonnay that I previously tasted earlier this year, as well as other wines from the Triomphe line of wines that are an expression of carefully tended vines that produce quality wines.

The majority of the wines were from the Estate Grown Small Lot series and tended to be my favourite of the bunch. These organic and biodynamic wines are hand-made to express the unique contributors to winemaking - site, soil, climate, vintage, and the human touch. A sub-series within this line of wines is the Estate Barrel Series, where winemaker Ann Sperling illustrates the subtleties that different barrels can make to Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc bottlings. We got to taste the exquisite 'Allier' Chardonnay, but there are 3 other Chardonnays in this line as well, plus 6 Cabernet Francs - it would've been great to taste all of these side-by-side. A visit to the winery to taste through the rest of the Estate Barrel Series may be in order.

In addition to the above, there was also a wild ferment cider, an effervescent bubbly made with 100% Vidal, and a lovely Chardonnay from their top-of-the-line Poetica series.

Guiding us through the tasting were Paul DeCampo, Director of Marketing & Sales, and Andrew Redelmeier, son of owners Bill and Marilyn Redelmeier who is also a Sales & Marketing Specialist at Southbrook Vineyards.

Wine reviews of my favourite wines at this tasting are provided below, and all of the wines are available (or will be available soon) for purchase direct through the winery.

From left to right: André Proulx, Paul DeCampo and Andrew Redelmeier

Southbrook Portfolio Tasting + Cheese

Tasting Notes:

SOUTHBROOK ESTATE GROWN SMALL LOT 'ALLIER' CHARDONNAY 2013 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $39.95
Aged for 11 months in combination of new and old oak sourced from the Allier forest in central France, this has a gorgeous nose that is very appealing with elegant, sweet vanilla, nutty, butter and integrated oak with hints of pear. The palate is medium-bodied with nice depth, balanced acids and very nice aroma replays led by more nutty characters and hints of caramel and smoke. Excellent finish length. Score: 91 pts

Southbrook Estate Grown Small Lot 'Allier' Chardonnay 2013 (91 pts)Southbrook Poetica Chardonnay 2013 (91 pts)

SOUTHBROOK POETICA CHARDONNAY 2013 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#366500) (XD) - $49.95
Seems somewhat closed compared to a couple of weeks ago at Taste Ontario, offering medium-high aromatics of stone fruit and oak. The palate is medium-bodied and minerally textured with rich stone fruit flavours and integrated oak notes. Refined with balanced acids. Very good finish length with some nutty flavours adding interest. Has the stuffing to age a number of years, but is enjoyable now. Score: 91 pts

SOUTHBROOK ESTATE GROWN SMALL LOT '101' CABERNET FRANC 2013 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $34.95
My favourite red of the tasting, this is 91% Cabernet Franc and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon that is sourced from the "101" vineyard, this is highly aromatic with very nice red & black fruits, herbaceous, tobacco, leather, and dark currant aromas. The palate is medium-full bodied with ripe tannins integrating nicely and very appealing aroma replays. Refined with finely balanced acids and long finishing. Will reward 2+ years ageing and drink to 2023. Score: 91 pts

Southbrook Estate Grown Small Lot '101' Cabernet Franc 2013 (91 pts)

SOUTHBROOK ESTATE GROWN SMALL LOT PETIT VERDOT 2013 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $39.95
Appears shy at the moment, offering glimpses of dark berry fruit, black cherry, and oak along with hints of purple fruit, earth and barnyard notes, all of which come through nicely on the full-bodied palate. Tannins are well-integrated and balanced by very good, juicy acids. The finish length is very good. Score: 89 pts

Southbrook Estate Grown Small Lot Petit Verdot 2013 (89 pts)Southbrook Estate Grown Small Lot 'Witness Block' Cabernet Sauvignon / Cabernet Franc 2013 (90+ pts)

SOUTHBROOK ESTATE GROWN SMALL LOT 'WITNESS BLOCK' CABERNET SAUVIGNON / CABERNET FRANC 2013 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $39.95
A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon (from 2003 planting), 37% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Merlot, this has medium-high aromatics that offer touches of evergreen, red and black fruits, cassis and black cherry. Oak is well-integrated on the full-bodied palate with nice aroma replays and balanced acids. Long finishing. Slightly chalky tannins should soften with time. Drink over the next 5 years. Score: 90+ pts


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

  • Tuesday, April 11, 2017

VINTAGES Release April 15, 2017: Mediterranean + Aussie Whites

LCBO Wine Picks from April 15, 2017 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on will be on shelves this coming and features wines that basked in the Mediterranean Sun as its main theme, while the mini-theme highlights 3 styles of Aussie white wines perfect for Spring sipping.

We'll begin with the main feature on wines from sunny Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Spain, Greece and Croatia. Even though this is the main feature, it only lists 8 wines. On the bright side, 3 of the 8 wines are included among my top wine picks. From Italy, there is a nice, clean and lively Fiano from the sunny climes of Campania in southwestern Italy. Also from Italy is a lovely blend of local varietals Nerello Mascalese (95%) and Nerello Cappuccio (5%) from the island of Sicily in southern Italy - the grapes for this wine come from the volcanic soils on the northern slopes of Mount Etna. The third and final wine from the main theme is the Jaspi Negre (Black Jade) and consists of 45% Grenache, 25% Carignan, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Syrah from vines that are as much as 90 years old.

Likewise, the mini-theme of Aussie whites for Spring sipping lists only 7 wines, but 3 are included among my wine recommendations. First up is a premium off-dry Riesling with bright acids. Meanwhile, the Tournon Mathilda is a blend of Viognier and Marsanne, while the Alkoomi is a blend of 67% Semillon and 33% Sauvignon Blanc.

Other whites in this release include the Bordeaux Blanc that's a blend of 55% Sauvignon Blanc and 45% Sémillon, the Muscadet Sèvre & Maine that is made with the Melon de Bourgogne varietal, and the 1er Cru Chablis is a lightly oaked Chardonnay.

In red wines from France, the Château de Tréviac is a blend of Syrah and Grenache, and the Château Beau-Site is a blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and some Merlot. In the Riojas from Spain, the Lealtanza is 100% Tempranillo, while the Muga Rioja is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha / Mazuelo / Graciano. And lastly, the Napa Cab is actually a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 9% Merlot, 1% Malbec, 1% Petite Verdot, and 1% Syrah.

Enjoy my wine picks from this release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • BOUTARI NAOUSSA XINOMAVRO 2014 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (#023218) (XD) - $13.95  reviewed here
  • ECHEVERRIA GRAN RESERVA PINOT NOIR 2014 - Leyda Valley, Chile (#485284) (XD) - $15.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE TRÉVIAC 2014 - AP Corbières, Midi, France (#670505) (XD) - $16.95
  • RUCA MALEN RESERVA MALBEC 2013 - Mendoza, Argentina (#482778) (XD) - $17.95
  • JASPI NEGRE 2013 - DO Montsant, Spain (#481085) (XD) - $17.95
  • TORNATORE NERELLO MASCALESE 2014 - DOC Etna Rosso, Sicily, Italy (#487090) (XD) - $21.95
  • LEALTANZA SELECCIÓN DE FAMILIA RESERVA 2009 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#472704) (XD) - $29.95  FSE
  • CLOSSON CHASE CLOSSON CHASE VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2014 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (#145888) (XD) - $29.95  FSE  reviewed here
  • CHÂTEAU BEAU-SITE 2011 - AC Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux, France (#967844) (XD) - $44.95
  • SEQUOIA GROVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#060020) (XD) - $64.95
  • MUGA PRADO ENEA GRAN RESERVA 2009 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#743310) (XD) - $57.95  FSE
Closson Chase Closson Chase Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 (90 pts)

White Wine:

  • ALKOOMI WHITE LABEL SÉMILLON/SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Frankland River, Western Australia (#428383) (XD) - $16.95
  • LA GRIFFE BERNARD CHÉREAU MUSCADET SÈVRE & MAINE 2015 - Sur Lie, AP, Loire, France (#948182) (XD) - $16.95
  • PORCONERO FIANO 2015 - IGP Campania, Italy (#485201) (XD) - $16.95
  • LÉGENDE BORDEAUX BLANC 2015 - AC Bordeaux, France (#479808) (XD) - $17.95
  • M. CHAPOUTIER TOURNON MATHILDA 2014 - Victoria, Australia (#401398) (XD) - $17.95
  • ATTEMS PINOT GRIGIO 2015 - IGT Venezia Giulia, Venezia, Italy (#707950) (D) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • SACRED HILL RESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#490326) (XD) - $21.95
  • MITCHELL WATERVALE RIESLING 2014 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#487785) (D) - $21.95
  • CHANSON PÈRE ET FILS MONTMAINS CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2013 - AC, Burgundy, France (#485318) (XD) - $44.95
Attems Pinot Grigio 2015 (89 pts)

Sparkling Wine:

  • JACQUESSON CUVÉE NO. 739 EXTRA BRUT CHAMPAGNE - AC, France (#234120) (XD) - $72.95


Saturday, April 8, 2017

  • Saturday, April 8, 2017

Domaine Tournon Mathilda Shiraz 2011 (Australia) - Wine Review

wine is a lovely Shiraz made by the visionary Michel Chapoutier. It was purchased nearly three years ago from the LCBO VINTAGES Release, and, obviously, not currently available at the LCBO, but does periodically show up in VINTAGES. As luck would have it, the 2013 vintage will be on VINTAGES shelves on .

Domaine Tournon Mathilda Shiraz 2011 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

DOMAINE TOURNON MATHILDA SHIRAZ 2011 - Victoria, Australia (#327395) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. Medium-high aromatics with terrific complexity offering white pepper, garrigue, blackberry, mint, with some earthy/barnyard funk. Dusty tannins are nicely integrated with just a touch of grip on the medium-bodied palate. Juicy blackberry, white pepper, black cherry, mint, earth and wood flavours in a dry style, Acids are fresh. Nice, long earthy finish. Old world in style and highly drinkable. Enjoyed with homemade butter chicken tonight. Score: 90 pts


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

  • Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Vineland Estates Wine Tasting at Opus Restaurant

Vineland Estates Wine Tasting at Opus Restaurant
In , I was invited by Halpern Enterprises to an exclusive tasting of Vineland Estates wines at the elegant Opus Restaurant in the Bloor-Yorkville Area in downtown Toronto.

It was a small-ish tasting, featuring 13 wines from their Classic, Elevation, and Reserve Series, with a focus more on licensees as most of the wines presented were only available for purchase direct through the winery (or the Agent).

Vineland Estates is located on the Niagara Escarpment and has been elevating the wine and culinary experience for over 30 years. The site features some very old structures, including the landmark stone tower that stands over a former Mennonite homestead with structures that date back to the 1840s. These structures now encompass a restaurant, retail store and wine tasting bar, underground barrel cellar, and the Carriage House that's used for private events. I have personally visited the winery quite a few times and have also enjoyed dinners at their restaurant.

In more recent news, the winery acquired a high-tech optical sorter to help produce better wines, in particular Cabernet Sauvignon. This grape requires a very long growing season to fully ripen, and is quite difficult to achieve full ripeness in the cool-climate region of Niagara. Every harvest produces exceptional grapes in all varieties, but the challenge is to find the best grapes out of the hundreds (or thousands) of tonnes that are produced. This cutting edge device optically sorts each individual grape according to ripeness levels at a rate of 10 tonnes per hour and discards the grapes that don't meet requirements. Vineland Estates' winemaker Brian Schmidt calls this technology a "game changer", and I fully expect an increase in quality in their wines going forward. Their "Game Changer" Red and White wines are made in reference to this technology.

Wine reviews of my 5 favourite wines from this tasting are provided below, a couple of which are available at the LCBO.

Tasting Notes:

VINELAND ESTATES BRUT RESERVE 2013 - VQA Ontario, Canada (D) - $28.00
Blended with 48.1% Pinot Meunier, 42.5% Chardonnay and 9.4% Riesling and using the Charmat Method to create this fine bubbly. Aromas of medium-high intensity showing citrus, peach, brioche, toasty, yeasty, and lemon/lime nose. It's medium-full bodied with fine, creamy bubbles providing a very next texture. Peach and citrus flavours on the palate are a touch sweet. Acids are juicy and well-balanced. Long, satisying finish. This is very fine. Score: 90 pts

Vineland Estates Brut Reserve 2013 (90 pts)Vineland Estates Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling 2015 (89 pts)

VINELAND ESTATES ELEVATION ST. URBAN VINEYARD RIESLING 2015 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#038117) (MS) - $19.95
Served much too cold, but hints of orange citrus, petrol, Flintstones vitamins, and golden apple peek through as it warms. It's medium-bodied with nice, brisk acidity to keep things fresh. Pleasing semi-sweet aroma replays on the palate with nuances of apple and honey. Finish is long and minerally. First released into VINTAGES on December 10th. Score: 89 pts

VINELAND ESTATES GAME CHANGER RED 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#457523) (XD) - $14.95
A blend of 92% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium intensity aromas of red and black fruits, subtle oak spice and currant which continue on the flavour profile. Sweet tannins are supple and nicely structured on the medium-bodied palate. Acids are fresh. Some bretty notes on the long finish. Score: 86 pts

Vineland Estates Game Changer Red 2014 (86 pts)Vineland Estates Elevation Cabernet 2014 (89 pts)

VINELAND ESTATES ELEVATION CABERNET 2014 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (D) - $28.00
Blend of 67% Cabernet Franc and 33% Cabernet Sauvignon. Somewhat closed (but should show well after short decant), this has currant, herbally, cassis and mineral aromas. It's full-bodied with nicely integrated tannins that are refined and smooth. Aroma replays are nicely balanced on the flavour profile. Acids are very good and finish is long. Score: 89 pts

VINELAND ESTATES SELECT LATE HARVEST CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (MS) (375 mL) - $24.95
Highly aromatic and appealing nose offers sweet cassis jelly, currant, strawberry jam and liqueur which continue on the medium-full bodied palate. A touch spicy on the mid-palate with balanced acids. Finishes long and a touch dry. Score: 88+ pts

Vineland Estates Select Late Harvest Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (88+ pts)


Friday, March 31, 2017

  • Friday, March 31, 2017

Emiliana Adobe Reserva Merlot Organic 2015 (Chile) - Wine Review

wine is an organic red wine made by Emiliana Organic Vineyards of Chile.

"Adobe" refers to an ancient natural material used for construction in Chile and is now the main foundation of Emiliana's winery in Chile. It is also the name of their "reserve" line of wines, one of many lines in their portfolio, that are made with organic grapes which reflect the quality of their vineyards. These wines are also made with deep respect for the environment and their workers.

This wine is a General List product and widely available at LCBO locations throughout Ontario and is perfectly suitable for upcoming Easter celebrations paired with red meats.

Emiliana Adobe Reserva Merlot Organic 2015 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

EMILIANA ADOBE RESERVA MERLOT ORGANIC 2015 - DO Rapel Valley, Chile (#322024) (D) - $12.95
Screw cap. This organic Merlot offers ripe fruited aromas of raspberry, blackberry, black cherry, black plum, along with wood-influenced cocoa, milk chocolate and oak notes. The palate is full-bodied with a plush mouthfeel, balanced by fresh acids and a flavour profile that mimics the aromas, plus some graphite tones. Sweet, dusty tannins gain volume and become quite chalky towards the long chocolatey finish. Ideal with red meat. Score: 87 pts


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

  • Tuesday, March 28, 2017

VINTAGES Release April 1, 2017: Visionaries, Innovators and Pioneers + Easter and Passover

LCBO Wine Picks from April 1, 2017 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on will be on shelves across Ontario this coming and features wines from "Visionaries, Innovators, & Pioneers" in its main theme. The mini-theme focuses on wines for and Passover.

From the main theme, 14 wines are listed and 4 are included among my top wine picks. A common theme among many of the wineries featured is that they were formed many years ago and passed down from generation to generation, with more recent generations producing wines using traditional methods combined with modern winemaking techniques. From the young and talented winemaker Ben Glaetzer in Australia is the Heartland Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Catena Family brings us their single-vineyard Altamira Malbec. The Gaja Family has been making wine since 1856, but their Promis is a more recent wine consisting of 55% Merlot, 35% Syrah, and 10% Sangiovese. From South Africa, Ken Forrester purchased the estate only in 1993, but the vines in his Old Vines Reserve Chenin Blanc are nearly 40 years old.

Heartland Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (89 pts)

In red wines, the Les Halos de Jupiter is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah and will be widely available as it is one of the Wines of the Month, while the Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, and 5% Cinsault. The Rosso di Montalcino is considered to be a "Baby Brunello" and is made with 100% Sangiovese, with the Portugese red is a blend of local varietals Aragonês, Trincadeira, and Alicante Bouschet. From Argentina, the Chakana blend is mostly Malbec, but also contains 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc.

Chakana Estate Selection Red Blend 2014 (89 pts)

For sweet wine lovers, the Riesling from New Zealand will be your best bet. And if you like your Roses dry, the latest vintage of Mas des Bressades arrives with the usual blend consisting of mostly Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • SENORIO DE LA ANTIGUA MENCÍA 2012 - IGP Castilla y Léon, Spain (#481549) (XD) - $13.95
  • LES HALOS DE JUPITER CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2014 - AC, Rhône, France (#276956) (XD) - $17.95
  • LEONARDO DA VINCI ROSSO DI MONTALCINO 2011 - DOC, Tuscany, Italy (#451419) (XD) - $18.95
  • HEARTLAND CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Langhorne Creek, South Australia (#058099) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • PAULO LAUREANO RESERVE TINTO 2014 - Vidigueira, DOC Alentejo, Portugal (#488775) (XD) - $19.95
  • CATENA APPELLATION PARAJE ALTAMIRA MALBEC 2014 - Single Vineyard, Mendoza, Argentina (#492413) (XD) - $22.95
  • CHAKANA ESTATE SELECTION RED BLEND 2014 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#322602) (D) - $24.95  reviewed here
  • DOMAINE PIERRE USSEGLIO ET FILS CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#381079) (XD) - $47.95
  • GAJA CA’ MARCANDA PROMIS 2014 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#745638) (XD) - $54.95  reviewed here
  • LA LECCIAIA RISERVA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#241307) (XD) - $69.95  FSE

White Wine:

  • FLAT ROCK UNPLUGGED CHARDONNAY 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#068015) (XD) - $16.95
  • GIESEN RIESLING 2014 - New Zealand (#277673) (MS) - $16.95
  • KEN FORRESTER OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC 2016 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#231282) (XD) - $17.95
  • MOMO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#009167) (XD) - $19.95
  • DOMAINES SCHLUMBERGER LES PRINCES ABBÉS PINOT GRIS 2014 - AC Alsace, France (#021253) (D) - $21.95
  • GUADO AL TASSO VERMENTINO 2015 - DOC Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy (#177428) (XD) - $21.95  reviewed here
  • KIM CRAWFORD WILD GRACE SMALL PARCELS CHARDONNAY 2015 - Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#378604) (XD) - $24.95
  • DOG POINT SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#677450) (XD) - $24.95
  • LOUIS MOREAU DOMAINE DE BIÉVILLE CHABLIS 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#106161) (XD) - $27.95
  • GROTH HILLVIEW VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2014 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#225672) (XD) - $57.95
Guado Al Tasso Vermentino 2015 (89 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • MAS DES BRESSADES CUVÉE TRADITION ROSÉ 2016 - AP Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (#950576) (XD) - $15.95

Fortified:

  • DOW’S LBV PORT 2011 - DOP, Portugal (#533364) (S) - $19.95


Saturday, March 25, 2017

  • Saturday, March 25, 2017

Giveaway - Win Tickets to 2017 County in the City (Toronto)

Win Tickets to 2017 County in the City Toronto
The 6th Annual “County in the City” presented by WineAlign takes place on at Berkeley Church (Toronto). Sample more than 70 wines from at least 15 wineries from Prince Edward County (PEC) - a wine region located about 2 hours east of Toronto. I have personally attended this event since its inception back in 2012 and the wines have continued to get better and better every year. The region of PEC continues to grow as the vines mature, while the winemakers continue to gain knowledge and experience of working in The County.

Many of the wines showcased at this event are not available at retail wine outlets in the GTA, so you are strongly encouraged to take part in the “Try and Buy” program available on-site.

Participating Wineries & Partners:

Huff Estates Winery, Norman Hardie Winery & Vineyard, Rosehall Run Winery, Sandbanks Estate Winery, Light Hall Vineyards, Grange of Prince Edward County Vineyards & Estate Winery, Kent-He Winery & Vineyard, Casa Dea Estates Winery, Closson Chase Vineyards, Lacey Estates Winery, Waupoos Estates Winery, Stanners Vineyard, Trail Estate Winery, Threedog Winery, Karlo Estates, Kinsip Distillers, Cured Smokehouse, Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association, Visit the County and more!

Event Details:

County in the City presented by WineAlign
Where: Berkeley Church - 315 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario
When: from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission:

Advance tickets: $49 (includes all wine samples and two food samples)
Click here to purchase your ticket today!

Contest:

Here's your chance to WIN a pair of tickets to County in the City presented by WineAlign:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

  • Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Chakana Estate Selection Red Blend 2014 (Argentina) - Wine Review

red wine is mostly Malbec and will be available at the LCBO soon as part of the VINTAGES Release on .

This wine is produced by Chakana Wines, a winery founded in 2002 by an Italian family whose winemaking roots go back to the 19th century in Valtelina, Italy. The name "Chakana" evokes the symbol represented by the Incas to the Southern Cross constellation that is only visible on our planet from the Southern Hemisphere. Moreover, the positioning of the Southern Cross in the skies was of great agricultural importance to the Incas.

The winery is located in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, where it owns 150 hectares of vineyards. Since 2012, the winery has begun the process to transition to organic & biodynamic cultivation methods for all of their farms. Winemaking principles at Chakana include minimal intervention during the fermentation processes, using indigenous yeasts, minimizing the use of sulphur dioxide and other additives, and favouring the use of porous materials in aging, such as cement without Epoxy and casks.

Chakana Estate Selection Red Blend 2014 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHAKANA ESTATE SELECTION RED BLEND 2014 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#322602) (D) - $24.95
Blend of 70% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc that was aged in large wooden and concrete vats for 12 months. Dark fruited aromas from the cork - currant, cherry, plum. Medium-high aromatics in the glass lead with florals followed by currant, blackberry, sweet herbs, dark cherry, and hints of wood. The palate is medium-full bodied with structured tannins that are a bit tight at the moment. Bright, juicy acids add freshness. Nice aroma replays on the flavour profile with earthy, mineral and wood notes lingering on the long finish. Age 1-2 years and drink to 2024. Delicious! Score: 89 pts


  • Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Boutari Wine Tasting and Dinner at ONE Restaurant

Boutari Wine Tasting & Dinner at ONE Restaurant
In mid-October, I was invited to a very special and exclusive tasting of the fine wines from the Boutari portfolio. These Greek wines were paired with gourmet fare at Mark McEwan's ONE Restaurant in Yorkville, downtown Toronto.

The guest speaker for the evening was Dr. Yannis Voyatzis, CEO & General Manager at Boutari, and one of the leading Oenologists in Greece. He was joined by Christina Boutari, a 5th generation member of the Boutari family who kicked off the evening with an overview and some history about the winery.

The Boutari Company was established in 1879 by Ioannis Boutaris and currently owns many wineries and vineyards throughout Greece (and Europe). The 6 wineries owned by the company in Greece are situated in the country's most important winemaking regions - the AOCs of Naoussa, Goumenissa, Crete, Santorini, Mantinia, and Attica.

Heirloom Carrot Salad paired with MoschofileroChristina Boutari and Dr. Yannis Voyatzis

Dr. Voyatzis took us through all 8 wines over the course of the evening as they were paired with the 4-course meal that was crafted specially for this intimate event. The first course was an Heirloom Carrot Salad with pomegranate yoghurt, avocado, orange, pistachios, raisin chutney and cilantro vinaigrette which was paired with a pair of white wines. Both wines were made with 100% Moschofilero - a rose/grey coloured grape that is larger than Gewürztraminer. Most fascinating was the fact that each wine was made in a completely different style, but each paired quite well with the salad. The Moschofilero is quite versatile in that it can be served as a sipper or with lighter fare such as salads, while the Oropedio is more of a food wine and really accentuated the citrus flavours in the salad. Full tasting notes of these and other wines tasted on this night are provided below.

The second course was specially crafted for me because I don't eat octopus. Instead, I enjoyed a pair of falafels on a bed of risotto and topped with greens and a side of green mint chutney. It was paired with two wines that were quite different from each other - the light, ripe-fruited Agioritiko and the big, full-bodied Skalani that offered more floral notes. In this case, the Agioritiko was the better pairing with the falafel as it wasn't too heavy and offered freshness to balance out the chickpea-based falafel. For me, the Skalani is a wine I would have on its own or pair it with the main course on this night.

Falafel with Agioritiko and Boutari SkalaniLamb Chops with Xinomavro

Lamb chops with sides of tzatziki, herb roasted potatoes, and a Santorini salad that was topped with a lemon garlic vinaigrette. Food-wise, this was my highlight of the night! Lamb with a big, Greek red wine is a match made in heaven. What made this course even more special were the wines we paired the lamb with - the 2010 Grande Reserve Xinomavro which has been a favourite of mine a few years now, the 1879 Legacy 2007 which is an excellent wine, and last but definitely not the least, we had the opportunity to taste a 1992 Grande Reserve Xinomavro. All three wines were fabulous, with the 2010 G.R. Xinomavro and the Legacy pairing better with the lamb as this protein requires tannins for a balanced experienced. Furthermore, the Skalani tasted in the second course also paired really with the lamb. As for the 1992 G.R. Xinomavro, this is a great, mature wine to sip and enjoy on its own as it's not often one gets to taste a wine that's more than 20 years old.

Greek Vinsanto with Baklava and Halva

For dessert, we paired a Vinsanto that had some age on it with traditional Greek desserts baklava and halva made by Serano Bakery. Historical evidence suggests that Vinsanto's place of origin is Santorini, where late-harvested grapes are dried in the sun, otherwise known as the passito style. These fine, rich desserts were very sweet and paired beautifully with a 2008 Vinsanto that was also very sweet, but balanced by good acidity and has many years of enjoyment remaining.

Thank you to Kolonaki Group, Dr. Yiannis Voyatzis, Christina Boutari, and the staff at ONE Restaurant for your gracious hospitality. It was a very enjoyable and memorable evening!

Wine reviews of each wine tasted on this night are provided below. Unless otherwise noted, all of these wines can be found at the Destination Greece Specialty LCBO store at 200 Danforth Avenue. Moreover, some of these wines can also be found at other regular LCBO outlets - click on the wine's six-digit product code for more info. You can also contact the Agent to Kolonaki Group for more information or shop the Boutari collection online at ShopGreekWine.com.

Tasting Notes:

BOUTARI MOSCHOFILERO 2015 - PDO Mantinia, Greece (#172387) (D) - $13.10
Medium+ intensity aromatics offers fresh lemon, herbs, tropical fruits and floral aromas. The palate is medium-bodied and fleshy with crisp, juicy acids. Herbally and lemon pith flavours. The finish length is very good. Really appreciated this being served at the right temperature. Good for the patio or with salads. Score: 88 pts

Boutari Moschofilero 2015 (88 pts)Boutari Oropedio 2014 (88+ pts)

BOUTARI OROPEDIO 2014 - PDO Mantinia, Greece (XD) - $17.95
100% Moschofilero from oropedio (meaning "high plateau"), at 650 metres, altitude, and partially barrel-fermented, this has a medium-intensity nose featuring herbally, fennel, and mild oak nuances. It's also has some pine aromas, reminding me of a Retsina. The medium-bodied palate is dry and nicely textured, with softened acids due to oak, and pithy flavours. Medium-long finish. The 2016 vintage of this wine arrives on our shores this April. Score: 88+ pts

BOUTARI AGIORGITIKO 2015 - PDO Nemea, Greece (#172148) (XD) - $13.10
Aromas of medium+ intensity and offering ripe red fruits, earthy, cherry, red licorice, plum and some clove - quite complex. The palate is light-to-medium bodied with cherry, cough medicine, subtle oak spice, clove and cinnamon flavours. Lightly tannic with fresh, juicy acids. Medium finish length. Score: 88 pts

Boutari Agiorgitiko 2015 (88 pts)Boutari Skalani 2011 (91 pts)

BOUTARI SKALANI 2011 - PGI Heraklion, Greece (XD) - $29.95
A 50/50 blend of Kotsifali & Syrah, this has medium-high intensity aromas that are meaty and perfumed with purple fruits and sweet oak. It's full-bodied and juicy with blackberry, violet, floral, black plum and sweet oak flavours. It has refined tannins, very good acidity and excellent length on the finish. Drinakable now, but can age another 10 years. This is really fine! Score: 91 pts

BOUTARI GRANDE RESERVE XINOMAVRO 2010 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (#140111) (D) - $18.95
Tasted a few times now, and on this occasion I get lovely medium-high intensity aromas of cherry, clove, sweet floral and oak spice, and hints of olive and black pepper. Olive notes become more prominent with air. Medium-full bodied with still bright acids, nice black cherry, floral, some savoury notes, and hints of dried floral & fruit. Very good finish length. Approachable now, but can age another 3-5 years. Maturing well. Score: 90+ pts

Boutari Grande Reserve Xinomavro 2010 (90+ pts)Boutari 1879 Legacy 2007 (92 pts)

BOUTARI 1879 LEGACY 2007 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (#675081) (XD) - $49.60
First tasted in May, and delighted to be tasting again. This single vineyard Xinomavro has medium-high aromatics of great complexity - floral, cherry, clove, black berry, black pepper, black olive and oak and should open up further with decanting. The palate is full-bodied and complex led by an appealing floral note. There's good concentration of fruit balanced by mouth-watering acids. Finish length is excellent. A big wine that is drinking well now, but will age for decades. Score: 92 pts

BOUTARI GRANDE RESERVE XINOMAVRO 1992 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (XD) - $100
The treat of the night. This offers a medium-high intensity nose, very mature in profile with rose, cherry, dried fruit, umami, and just a touch of raisin/prune aromas. It's medium+ bodied with nice cherry-driven aroma replays. Still has very good acidity. Tannins are resolved, very smooth, velvety mouthfeel. Long finishing. Drink soon. Availability of this wonderful wine in Ontario is TBD. Score: 92 pts

Boutari Grande Reserve Xinomavro 1992 (92 pts)Boutari Vinsanto 2008 (92 pts)

BOUTARI VINSANTO 2008 - PDO Santorini, Greece (S) (500 mL) - $32
Made with sun-dried grapes consisting of 90% Assyrtiko and the rest mainly Aidani. This has an inviting nose of burnt caramel, sugar, and dried apricots of medium-high intensity. The palate is medium-full bodied with a grainy texture due to the wine being unfiltered. Very sweet flavours of dried apricot, honey, citrus, all-spice, Christmas cake are balanced by very good acidity. Long finish. Currently not available in Ontario. Score: 92 pts


Saturday, March 18, 2017

  • Saturday, March 18, 2017

Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2015 (California) - Wine Review

wine is a VINTAGES Essential and is always available in the VINTAGES section at the LCBO. This year, this wine celebrates its milestone 25th year as America's number one selling Chardonnay and is also the fastest growing Chardonnay at the LCBO at present.

This white wine is produced by Kendall-Jackson, a winery that has been committed to producing fine wines from grapes grown in California's cool, coastal vineyards for over three decades. The beginnings of this wine were formed in 1974 when Jess Jackson purchased an 80-acre pear and walnut orchard in Lake County, just north of Napa Valley, and replanted it with Chardonnay grapevines. In 1982, Jess and the family set out to make a premium, yet affordable, California wine, and the first ever case of the Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay was sold a year later in New York City. That same year, a Platinum Award win and some praise from First Lady Nancy Reagan added to the notoriety of this wine, eventually becoming the number one selling Chardonnay in America in 1992.

Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2015 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

KENDALL-JACKSON VINTNER'S RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2015 - California, USA (#369686) (D) - $19.95
Whole cluster pressed, 95% barrel-fermented and aged sur lie with monthly batonnage (lees stirring) for 7 months in (53%) American and (44%) French oak. Eco-friendly, recyclable plastic cork has light stone fruit and pineapple aromas. Medium+ aromatics offer generous tropical fruit, pineapple, poached apple, sweet vanilla, and buttery tones. The palate is full-ish, soft and rounded with more ripe tropical fruit flavours surrounded by sweet vanilla oak. Acids are light and fresh, with good length on the slightly sweet finish. Easy-drinking with crowd-friendly appeal. Score: 87 pts


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

  • Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2015 (Loire) - Wine Review

wine is a nice little sipper ideal for oysters or as an apertif. This white wine will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves this weekend as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

It is produced by Domaine la Haute Févrie, a winery located southeast of Nantes, in the heart of the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine DO, in the western end of the Loire Valley. The estate's 30 hectares of vines grow on the hills overlooking the river Sèvre, between the communes of Saint-Fiacre and Monnières. Terroir consists of several plots of vineyards, each with a different aspect and soil: siliceous clay or gravelly shallow, and all on metamorphic rock (gneiss, orthogneiss, and amphibolites), resulting in a range of highly individualized blocks.

The family that produced this wine has four generations of winemaking experience, and currently manages their vineyard using environmentally-friendly principles, subscribing to the Terra Vitis method of sustainable wine growing by, among other things, not using any chemical fertilizers.

Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2015 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

LE FILS DES GRAS MOUTONS MUSCADET SÈVRE-ET-MAINE SUR LIE 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#363150) (XD) - $14.95
Nice lemon citrus and fennel aromas from the cork. Made with 100% Melon de Bourgogne that was hand-picked from 40-70 year-old vines, this has pleasing orange citrus, floral and fennel with whiffs of beeswax and mineral of medium-high intensity from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a light refreshing spritz, dry and flavourful with notes of lemon/lime citrus, and floral. Texture is slightly viscous and minerally. Crisp acids. Finishes with good length and a stony mineral flavour. Score: 87 pts


  • Tuesday, March 14, 2017

VINTAGES Release March 18: California Stars

LCBO Wine Picks from March 18, 2017 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES on will be on shelves this coming and is a mono-thematic release titled "California Stars" featuring the first-class wines from 16 top producers in California.

From the "California Stars" thematic, 17 wines were featured and 4 are included among my top wine picks. Single-varietal wines include a Sonoma Mountain single vineyard Chardonnay and the Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon. Meanwhile, the dry Zinfandel consists of 85% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah, 3% Carignan, and 3% Syrah, and the Merlot usually contains small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc to round out the blend.

Among red wines from the rest of the release, there is a pleasant Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Lebanon, while the mature Minervois is a blend of 50% Mourvèdre, 38% Grenache Noir, and 12% Carignan. From Spain, the Cara Nord is a blend of 42% Grenache, 38% Syrah and the little-known (20%) Garrut. From Rhône, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 43% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 22% Mourvèdre and the rest other varietals, while the Amarone is a blend of 70% Corvina/Corvinone and 30% Rondinella.

In white wines, the Soave is a blend of 85% Garganega and 15% Trebbiano, while the Côtes du Rhône is primarily Viognier (65%), but also contains 15% Roussanne, 8% Marsanne, 8% Clairette, 2% Bourboulenc, 2% Grenache Blanc. If you enjoy Sauvignon Blanc, there are very good options to try side-by-side from South Africa, Loire, and a barrel-fermented and oak-aged version from New Zealand. Furthermore, the Bordeaux white is a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon.

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Genèse Sancerre 2015 (91 pts)Spy Valley Envoy Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (91 pts)

There are two lovely Champagnes in this release, with the Gimonnet made with 100% Chardonnay, while the Bollinger is 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, and 15% Pinot Meunier.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CHATEAU KSARA CLOS ST. ALPHONSE SYRAH/CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Bekaa Valley, Lebanon (#465955) (XD) - $13.95
  • CHATEAU DE SÉRAME MINERVOIS 2010 - AC, South of France (#480889) (XD) - $16.95
  • ANIELLO 006 MERLOT 2014 - Patagonia, Argentina (#480731) (XD) - $17.95  reviewed here
  • CARA NORD RED 2014 - DO Conca De Barberà, Spain (#418186) (XD) - $18.95
  • STELLENRUST PEPPERGRINDER’S SHIRAZ 2012 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#455899) (XD) - $19.95
  • SEGHESIO SONOMA ZINFANDEL 2015 - Sonoma County, California, USA (#942151) (XD) - $29.95
  • STAGS’ LEAP WINERY MERLOT 2013 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#655399) (D) - $39.95
  • CHÂTEAU LA NERTHE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#735407) (XD) - $52.95
  • SANTA SOFIA AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2009 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#713669) (D) - $54.95  FSE
  • TWO HANDS SAMANTHA’S GARDEN SHIRAZ 2014 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#067355) (D) - $73.95  FSE
  • HEITZ CELLAR CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#642124) (XD) - $94.95
Aniello 006 Merlot 2014 (89 pts)

White Wine:

  • RUSTENBERG STELLENBOSCH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#456020) (XD) - $14.95
  • PUKLUS PINCÉSZET TOKAJI SEMI-SWEET YELLOW MUSCAT 2015 - Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary (#046508) (M) - $16.95
  • PIEROPAN SOAVE CLASSICO 2015 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#946848) (XD) - $18.95
  • DASHWOOD CHARDONNAY 2015 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#312942) (XD) - $19.95
  • E. GUIGAL CÔTES DU RHÔNE BLANC 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#290296) (XD) - $19.95
  • 2027 WISMER VINEYARD FOX CROFT BLOCK CHARDONNAY 2014 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#421362) (XD) - $22.95  reviewed here
  • LE G DE CHÂTEAU GUIRAUD 2015 - AC, Bordeaux, France (#488585) (XD) - $26.95  FSE
  • JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE GENÈSE SANCERRE 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#189126) (XD) - $27.95  reviewed here
  • SPY VALLEY ENVOY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014 - Johnson Vineyard, Waihopai Valley, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#429308) (XD) - $29.95  reviewed here
  • KISTLER MCCREA VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2014 - Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma County, California, USA (#353706) (XD) - $129.95
2027 Wismer Vineyard Fox Croft Block Chardonnay 2014 (90 pts)

Sparkling Wine:

  • PIERRE GIMONNET CUVÉE FLEURON 1ER CRU BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2009 - AC, France (#340133) (XD) - $72.95
  • BOLLINGER SPECIAL CUVÉE BRUT CHAMPAGNE - AC, France (#384529) (XD) - $78.95

Dessert Wine:

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


Sunday, March 12, 2017

  • Sunday, March 12, 2017

Aniello 006 Merlot 2014 (Argentina) - Wine Review

wine is a new arrival to the LCBO and will be on shelves as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Even though this wine is new to VINTAGES, Bodega Aniello is a winery that was originally built in 1927. This small estate winery began with 1 hectare of old vineyards planted in 1932, and growing to 4 hectares in 1947. Today, the winery continues to explore the value of the ancient winemaking tradition of Patagonia, while keeping a connection with one of the owner's Italian roots.

Terroir consists of alluvial soils that are very heterogeneous, moderately deep, with stone-dominated areas, and others with sandy/loamy soil types. The winery is moving towards sustainable agriculture along with integrated vineyard management to reduce their carbon footprint and use natural alternatives for fertilization, pests, disease and weed control and prevention.

Aniello 006 Merlot 2014 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

ANIELLO 006 MERLOT 2014 - Patagonia, Argentina (#480731) (XD) - $17.95
Only 30% oak-aged for 12 months. Plum, red fruit and cherry aromas from the cork. Medium-high aromatics are quite complex, offering red & black fruits, raspberry, blackberry, dark currant, black plum, some green herbal, mint, and cocoa nuances. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. Chocolate, oak-spiced, dark currant, and herbally flavours on the palate. Some savoury and black tea aromas and flavours emerge with air. Acids are bright and fresh. Dry overall with a nice cocoa-dusted finish. Enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 89 pts


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

  • Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Genèse Sancerre 2015 (Loire) - Wine Review

I opened up this delicious white wine ahead of it's release into LCBO VINTAGES on .

Recent vintages of this wine have been excellent, including the 2014 vintage that I tasted in November 2015 and showed up in VINTAGES on that same year. For the 2015 vintage, this wine has undergone a name change - from Cuvée G.C. to Cuvée Genèse - to reflect a change in the wine.

It is still 100% Sauvignon Blanc, but comes from "caillottes" plots located in the commune of Bué which are the ancestral lands where this estate was found. The wines produced from these plots have shaped the palate of several generations of the Roger family. These lands represent the origin of their history - the Genesis (or Genèse in French).

Jean-Max Roger took over the 4 hectares of vines left to him by his parents in the 1970s and proceeded to expand the estate to its current size of 26 hectares. The Roger family descends from a long line of winegrowers from the village of Bué, with the name being mentioned in texts as early as the 17th century.

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Genèse Sancerre 2015 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE GENÈSE SANCERRE 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#189126) (XD) - $27.95
Faint aromas of lime citrus and white flower from the cork. Seems a bit shy at the moment, but offers ripe yellow plum, white floral, citrus aromas with hints of herbally and stone fruit notes that are quite appealing. It is medium-full bodied with lively acids that cut through the slightly fleshy palate. It's rich with very nice aroma replays plus some grassy flavours with good intensity. There's also a nice mineral edge arriving mid-palate and continues through to the long finish. Lovely wine that should be served with only light chill. Score: 91 pts


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