Wednesday, January 31, 2018

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  • Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Emiliana Coyam 2013 (Chile) - Wine Review



wine is the first in a series from PMA Canada's portfolio that highlights a few top scoring wines from around the globe to help you gear up for the International Sports Stage in February, namely the 2018 Winter Olympics.

As the world comes together this February to celebrate their top athletes, PMA Canada celebrates diversity by offering a selection of award-winning wines from around the globe.

PMA Canada not only prides itself on offering a vast selection of international wines, but also on the fact that the wines presented are of the highest and most renowned quality. So, as different countries battle to come out on top, cheer on your team with a top scoring wine from PMA Canada.

This particular red wine from Chile's Emiliana - Organic Vineyards is the winery's signature wine. "Coyam" means "Chilean oak" and is named in honour of the trees that surround the vineyard that supplies the grapes for this blend. The label, with its tree ring pattern, stylishly matches the name. Scores for this wine range from 90 to 93 points, including 90+ points from me when I tasted this delicious wine back in . Let's see how this wine is tasting tonight.

Emiliana Coyam 2013 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

EMILIANA COYAM 2013 - Los Robles Estate, Colchagua Valley, Chile (#063891) (XD) - $29.95
This organic and biodynamic wine is made with 48% Syrah, 24% Carmenere, 11% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Mourvedre, 3% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot that was manually harvested and double sorted. Ageing occurred for 13 months in French (85%) and American oak, spread evenly between casks that were new, single use, and twice used. Dark plum with hints of savoury meaty notes from the cork. This has fine, savoury, meaty, forest floor, crushed blackberry, and evergreen aromas along with hints of white pepper and licorice that gain intensity with air. Very complex and fairly intense nose. It's medium-full bodied on the palate and shows finesse with smooth, supple tannins that fold into the wine very nicely. Complex savoury, blackcurrant, pepper and herbal flavours are well-balanced and lifted by bright, juicy acids. Some evergreen on the mid-palate. Finishes long and savoury. An amazing wine to enjoy over the next 4-5 years. Score: 91 pts

Last released into VINTAGES on October 14, 2017, and (surprisingly!) is still widely available throughout Ontario.


Monday, January 29, 2018

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  • Monday, January 29, 2018

Konzelmann Chardonnay Reserve 2015 (Niagara) - Wine Review

Opened up this delicious, oaked Chardonnay to wind down what was a very hectic - and somewhat challenging - weekend. This white wine is a companion to the 2016 Konzelmann Merlot Barrel Aged Reserve that I enjoyed a couple of weeks ago.

Like the Merlot, this is a new release from Konzelmann Estate Winery and is available for purchase only at the winery or through their online web store. Use promo code FREESHIP and receive free shipping when you order 12 or more bottles.

Konzelmann Chardonnay Reserve 2015 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

KONZELMANN CHARDONNAY RESERVE 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (D) - $17.95
Screw cap. This has medium+ intensity ripe, buttery apple and pear nose with hints of pineapple. On the creamy, medium-full bodied palate, it is a touch sweetish, but leads with a saline note followed by baked stone fruits, apple, along with hints of vanilla and baking spice. Acids are juicy and well-balanced, while the finish length is very good. A ripe, oaked Chardonnay in the New World style that should have wide appeal. Score: 88 pts


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  • Monday, January 29, 2018

VINTAGES Release February 3, 2018: Mediterranean + Fun Facts

LCBO Wine Picks: February 3, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on features wines from the sunny Mediterranean - which in this release includes wines from France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Lebanon - that are suitable for any table and any budget is the main theme. Meanwhile, the mini-theme is titled "Fun Facts about Fine Wine". These new wines will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves this .

We'll begin with the main theme that lists fifteen wines from five countries, and while the list is quite respectable, just three wines are included among my top wine picks. First up is the Assyrtiko white wine from Greece that is always delicious and minerally-driven. The second white wine from this section is made with Inzolia, a grape long associated with the production of Marsala fortified wine, but now seen on its own in dry table wine. Lastly, the Château de Tréviac is a lovely blend of 60% Syrah, and 40% Grenache from 35 year old vines.

Argyros Assyrtiko 2016 (90 pts)Château de Tréviac Corbières 2015 (89 pts)

From the mini-theme of the release, the nine facts are interesting, as well as some of the nine wines listed in this feature, however, just two of these wines are listed among my wine recommendations. The fun fact tied to the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is that the Kiwis figured out how to farm sunshine - New Zealand is a cool-climate wine region and, in terms of wine, is rather difficult to get sunshine down there. The second fun fact is related to Brunello di Montalcino wines that are made with 100% Sangiovese using a specific clonal variation (natural mutation) of the grape found in Chianti, and is now found only in Montalcino.

Among my red wine picks from the rest of the release, Syrah/Shiraz plays a large part with three single varietal wines, plus the Gigondas that is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre. The 2008 Bordeaux red is fully mature and made with 74% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Barbaresco is made with 100% Nebbiolo.

In white wines, there are a pair of interesting white blends. The Pekin White from South Africa is mostly Chenin Blanc with small amounts Roussanne, Muscat de Frontignan, Viognier and Sémillon, while the Loire white is a blend of Melon de Bourgogne, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Folle. For sweet wine lovers, the German Riesling or the Pinot Gris from Alsace are your best bets.

It's always nice to rosé arrive during the winter months, and in this release we have a dry rosé wine from Chile that consists of 56% Cinsault, 25% Syrah, 12% Grenache and 7% Mourvèdre.

Enjoy my top wine picks from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • LUA CHEIA OLD VINES RED 2015 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#266882) (XD) - $13.95
  • CHAKANA NUNA ESTATE MALBEC 2016 - Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina (#018671) (XD) - $16.95  89 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU DE TRÉVIAC CORBIÈRES 2015 - AP, Midi, France (#670505) (XD) - $16.95  89 pts  wine review
  • MOUNT RILEY SYRAH 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#535856) (XD) - $18.95
  • BOSCHENDAL 1685 SHIRAZ 2015 - WO Coastal Region, South Africa (#542787) (XD) - $19.95
  • WYNNS COONAWARRA ESTATE SHIRAZ 2015 - Coonawarra, South Australia (#433060) (XD) - $22.95
  • BERSANO MANTICO BARBARESCO 2012 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#452805) (XD) - $39.95
  • CHÂTEAU LA VIEILLE CURE 2008 - AC Fronsac, Bordeaux, France (#484253) (XD) - $41.95
  • E. GUIGAL GIGONDAS 2014 - AC, Rhône, France (#331900) (XD) - $42.95
  • LAZZERETTI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#318352) (D) - $53.95
Chakana Nuna Estate Malbec 2016 (89 pts)

White Wine:

  • AVONDALE JONTY’S DUCKS PEKIN WHITE 2015 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#439554) (XD) - $15.95
  • DOMAINE DE LA FRUITIÈRE VIGNES BLANCHES 2015 - IGP Val de Loire, France (#527184) (XD) - $16.95
  • RABL KITTMANSBERG GRÜNER VELTLINER 2016 - DAC Kamptal, Austria (#346007) (XD) - $16.95
  • FRAMINGHAM SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#606848) (XD) - $19.95
  • PEWSEY VALE SINGLE VINEYARD ESTATE RIESLING 2016 - Eden Valley, South Australia (#686600) (XD) - $19.95
  • DARTING DÜERKHEIMER HOCHBENN RIESLING KABINETT 2015 - Prädikatswein, Pfalz, Germany (#523944) (S) - $21.95
  • INZOLIA DEI FORNELLI 2016 - DOC Sicilia, Italy (#539932) (XD) - $22.95
  • ARGYROS ASSYRTIKO 2016 - PDO Santorini, Greece (#387365) (XD) - $27.95  90 pts  wine review
  • DOMAINES SCHLUMBERGER KESSLER PINOT GRIS 2012 - AC Alsace Grand Cru, France (#249623) (D) - $29.95
  • DOMAINE LAROCHE LES FOURCHAUMES 1ER CRU CHABLIS 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#530162) (XD) - $44.95  FSE

Rosé Wine:

  • LAPOSTOLLE LE ROSÉ 2016 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#524967) (XD) - $17.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • STARS BRUT NATURE RESERVA CAVA 2015 - Traditional method, DO, Spain (#515221) (XD) - $16.95
  • PATRICK CHAN SPARKLING BLANC DE BLANCS 2011 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#546291) (D) - $29.95

Fortified:

  • VALE MEÃO VINTAGE PORT 2014 - DOP, Portugal (#545046) (S) - $65.95


Saturday, January 27, 2018

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  • Saturday, January 27, 2018

Giveaway - Win Touring Passes to Days of Wine & Chocolate 2018

Win Touring Passes to Days of Wine & Chocolate

Days of Wine and Chocolate is Niagara-on-the-Lake’s must-do event in February! This annual event takes place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in February and allows you to explore the decadently sweet and savoury art of wine and chocolate pairing!

With your Touring Pass, you can visit over 20 distinctive wineries sampling chocolate-infused food expertly paired with VQA wines. It's just the thing to do to either celebrate Valentine’s Day, keep the winter blues away, or get away with some friends.

While I have never personally attended Days of Wine & Chocolate, it has been on my radar for a couple of years now. The list of wine and chocolate pairings looks fabulous again this year!

Thanks to Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake, I am pleased to offer you the chance to win a pair of Touring Passes to Days of Wine & Chocolate valued at approximately $100/pair.

Share and follow the excitement online:
Instagram: @niagarawine
Facebook: Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake
Twitter: @NiagaraWine
Hashtags: #DaysOfWineAndChocolate #DOWC2018 #NOTLWine

Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

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  • Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Château de Treviac Corbières 2015 (Midi) - Wine Review

wine is a preview of a delicious red blend that will arrive in LCBO VINTAGES on .

This red wine is produced by Arnaud Sié at his family's estate that he took responsibility over in the year 2000. The southern facing vineyards are situated 200 to 350 metres elevation, on very rocky limestone-clay soils - perfect terroir for Syrah and Grenache - and surrounded by garrigue. The crop is completely hand-harvested and sorted in the vineyard, after which the grapes are then de-stemmed and crushed when they arrive in the cellar.

Having enjoyed the 2012 Château de Treviac that I tasted nearly three years ago, and given that the 2015 vintage winegrowing season was rated slightly better than the very good 2012 season, I am expecting this wine to be just as good (perhaps even better?) than the tasty 2012 bottling.

Château de Treviac Corbières 2015 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU DE TREVIAC CORBIÈRES 2015 - AP, Midi, France (#670505) (XD) - $16.95
A blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache (35 year old vines) that was aged in tank. Faint notes of cherry from the cork. Medium-high intensity nose of cassis, licorice, and black pepper with savoury meaty notes throughout. With air, the nose reveals red currant and garrigue aromas. On the medium bodied palate, there are very nice aroma replays - cassis, garrigue, licorice and black pepper on a bed of fine, chalky textured, and slightly grippy tannins. Acids are bright and juicy. The finish length is very good with lingering earth and garrigue notes. Nicely balanced overall. Enjoy over the next 5-6 years. Score: 89 pts


Sunday, January 21, 2018

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  • Sunday, January 21, 2018

Chakana Nuna Estate Malbec 2016 (Argentina) - Wine Review

wine is a delightful organic red wine that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

Chakana was founded in 2002 and is dedicated to the study and understanding of some of the best terroirs in Mendoza and produce authentic wines that express the character and identity of the Andean soils. In 2012, Chakana began a conversion process to become an organic/biodynamic producer, and this Malbec is just one of the results from this conversion. The winemaking style at Chakana subscribes to the minimum interventionist style by using indigenous yeasts, minimizing the use of sulphur and other additives, and selecting porous materials for ageing that are adapted to preserve the grape's sense of place.

The winemaker is Gabriel Bloise and is a member of the new generation of Mendoza winemakers, and also has experience with harvests in Tuscany, California, Priorat, and Australia. He believes that winemaking is a tool to express nature, and the best wines are those that hide the hand of the maker.

Chakana Nuna Estate Malbec 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHAKANA NUNA ESTATE MALBEC 2016 - Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina (#018671) (XD) - $16.95
100% Malbec grown at 960 metres elevation, this was aged for 10 months in concrete vats, followed by further ageing in used barrels. Faint nose of dark plum and earth from the cork. In the glass, this has a fresh, medium-high intensity bouquet of exotic spice, tea leaves, blackberry, black plum, and hints of purple flower aromas. It's medium-bodied on the palate with fine tannins offering nice texture and building with air. Flavours lead with tea leaves, spice, and graphite layered on top of floral and dark plum notes. Fresh acids are bright and juicy. Some warmth on the mid-palate. Shows fine balance overall, finishing with graphite and dark berry flavours. Really digging concrete-aged wines like this. Enjoy this organic wine over the next 3-4 years. Score: 89 pts


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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  • Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Konzelmann Merlot Barrel Aged Reserve 2016 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine is a new release that is available exclusively at Konzelmann Estate Winery.

The winery was founded in 1984 by Herbert Konzelmann, a fourth-generation winemaker and the first in the family to leave Germany in search of the next perfect spot to grow grapes. He discovered the site on a property alongside the shores of Lake Ontario in Niagara-on-the-Lake. What attracted him to this site was the micro-climate, which is similar to Alsace with a wonderful balance of sun, soil, airflow and moisture conditions. This type of micro-climate is ideal for making clean, aromatic, and fruity wines. Konzelmann is Niagara’s only lakefront winery.

This delicious Niagara red wine is available for purchase either by visiting their picturesque property in Niagara-on-the-Lake or through their online web store. They have a promotion on now where you can get free shipping within Ontario when you buy 12 or more bottles or spend more than $150. Use promo code FREESHIP to take advantage of this offer!

Konzelmann Merlot Barrel Aged Reserve 2016 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

KONZELMANN MERLOT BARREL AGED RESERVE 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. From a very good 2016 vintage, this has a medium-intensity, dark fruited nose of crushed blackberry, dark cherry, currant and cocoa, with underlying subtle sweet oak spices, earth and stony minerality. It is medium-bodied on the dry palate with ripe flavours of blueberry, currant, dark cherry, cocoa and nicely integrated oak flavours. Pleasant smoky black pepper notes emerge with time. Juicy acids are clean and nicely balanced. Sweet, ripe tannins are well-knit and nicely fold into the wine. The savoury finish is long with smoke and earthy notes. Pretty solid for a Bordeaux-varietal red in Niagara at this price point. Score: 88 pts


Monday, January 15, 2018

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  • Monday, January 15, 2018

VINTAGES Release January 20, 2018: Chile + Portugal

LCBO Wine Picks from January 20, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The value-based releases of 2018 continues with this second release of the year. The main theme of the VINTAGES Release focuses on sustainable and green wines from Chile, while the mini-theme highlights the wines from the varied regions of Portugal. New wines will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves this .

Chile shines in this release, with nine of the fourteen wines included in my top wine picks. We'll begin with the organic sparkling wine that is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. Among the white wines from Chile, there is a single vineyard oaked Chardonnay, as well as an interesting blend from coastal vineyards made with 85% Chardonnay (oaked) and 15% Viognier. Among the reds there are numerous single varietal wines to choose from, including Syrah, Cot (the original name for Malbec in France), Carmenère, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The blends include a 2010 that consists of 80% Carignan from dry farmed 60-year-old vines, with the balance Mourvèdre. And lastly, the LFE 900 is a blend of 77% Syrah, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Mourvèdre, 4% Tempranillo, and 1% Grenache.

Valdivieso Éclat 2010 (90+ pts)Concha Y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère 2015 (89 pts)

The mini-theme from Portugal is very small, with just five wines listed, and the only one included among my wine picks is a dry, unoaked white wine made with the Avesso varietal from the Vinho Verde wine region in northwestern Portugal. It's not common to see single varietal wines made with this grape, and is very uncommon to see in our market.

From my top red wine picks in this release, the 2008 Bordeaux is a blend of roughly 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc. The Flagship Store Exclusives (FSE) in this release are also very good. From South Africa, the Optima is a blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, and 16% Cabernet Franc, while the Languedoc red is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and 20% old vine Syrah. There are also a pair of very fine Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines - the 2015 is a blend of 95% Grenache and 5% Mourvèdre / Vaccarèse / Cinsault, while the 2004 has Grenache as the main component, and but contains other varietals typical for the region.

Among my white wine picks, the Bila-Haut is a blend of 60% Grenache Blanc, 20% Macabeu, 10% Marsanne, and 10% Vermentino, while the rest are all single varietal wines. For sweet wine lovers, the Gewürztraminer is a must buy; there is also a Niagara Riesling which is a blend of grapes from both the Ivan and Picone vineyard.

Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Côtes du Roussillon Blanc 2015 (88 pts)

It's refreshing to see rosé wines on VINTAGES shelves in the middle of winter. The Il Borro is a dry, organic rosé wine from Tuscany made with 100% Sangiovese.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release! Salud!

Red Wine:

  • BOUTARI NAOUSSA XINOMAVRO 2015 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (#023218) (XD) - $13.95
  • SANTA EMA GRAN RESERVA SYRAH 2015 - Leyda Valley, Chile (#371161) (XD) - $18.95
  • PÉREZ CRUZ LIMITED EDITION COT 2015 - Estate bottled, Maipo Valley, Chile (#670547) (D) - $19.95
  • CONCHA Y TORO MARQUES DE CASA CONCHA CARMENÈRE 2015 - Peumo, Cachapoal Valley, Chile (#169862) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • ANKO FLOR DE CARDÓN MALBEC 2014 - Cafayate Valley, Salta, Argentina (#536706) (XD) - $19.95
  • MIGUEL TORRES CORDILLERA DE LOS ANDES CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#541169) (XD) - $19.95

  • IL MOLINO DI GRACE RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2013 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#382945) (XD) - $24.95
  • LUIS FELIPE EDWARDS LFE 900 SINGLE VINEYARD BLEND 2014 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#431809) (XD) - $24.95
  • ANTHONIJ RUPERT OPTIMA 2013 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#455915) (XD) - $27.95  FSE
  • VALDIVIESO ÉCLAT 2010 - Dry farmed, old vines, Maule Valley, Chile (#541128) (XD) - $29.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU PECH-REDON LA CENTAURÉE COTEAUX DU LANGUEDOC LA CLAPE 2012 - AC, Midi, France (#530246) (XD) - $33.95  FSE
  • CHÂTEAU BELLEGRAVE DU POUJEAU 2008 - AC Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#526921) (XD) - $38.95
  • CHÂTEAU LA NERTHE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2004 - AC, Rhône, France (#735407) (XD) - $52.95  FSE
  • CLOS DU CAILLOU LES SAFRES CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#525998) (XD) - $62.95  FSE

White Wine:

  • TETRAMYTHOS RODITIS 2016 - PDO Patras, Peloponnese, Greece (#261610) (XD) - $13.95  88 pts  wine review
  • DOMAINE DE LA FRUITIÈRE MUSCADET SÈVRE & MAINE SUR LIE 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#451112) (XD) - $14.95
  • LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON BLANC 2015 - AC, Midi, France (#485656) (XD) - $15.95  88 pts  wine review
  • COVELA EDIÇÃO NACIONAL AVESSO 2015 - Vinho Verde, Portugal (#524868) (XD) - $17.95
  • VISTAMAR CORTE DE CAMPO COASTAL BLEND 2015 - Single estate, Casablanca Costa Valley, Chile (#541003) (XD) - $18.95
  • SAN PEDRO 1865 SINGLE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2015 - Elquí Valley, Chile (#540781) (XD) - $19.95
  • ANDRÉ BLANCK & FILS ALTENBOURG GEWURZTRAMINER 2016 - AC Alsace, France (#168906) (M) - $19.95
  • CHARLES BAKER B-SIDE RIESLING 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#523845) (M) - $22.20
  • LOUIS MOREAU VAULIGNOT CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#525386) (XD) - $38.95
Tetramythos Roditis 2016 (88 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • IL BORRO ROSÉ DEL BORRO 2016 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#539940) (XD) - $19.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • EMILIANA ORGANIC BRUT SPARKLING - Traditional method, Casablanca Valley, Chile (#536607) (XD) - $17.95


Sunday, January 7, 2018

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  • Sunday, January 7, 2018

Pierre Amadieu La Grangelière Vacqueyras 2010 (Rhône) - Wine Review

Coming off the lovely 2009 Mas d'Auzières Sympathie Pour Les Stones that I opened , tonight's wine is another bottle that has seen some time in my cellar. This delicious wine was purchased from the LCBO VINTAGES Release - just over 5 years ago.

Pierre Amadieu La Grangelière Vacqueyras 2010 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

PIERRE AMADIEU LA GRANGELIÈRE VACQUEYRAS 2010 - AC, Rhône, France (#076398) (XD) - $19.95
Blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah grown on terraces where the soil is a mixture of gravel and alluvium deposits that was aged 60% in tank and 40% in 2-year-old oak barrels. Dark plum, earth and hints of violet aromas from the cork. In the glass, this has a medium+ intensity nose that's savoury with scorched earth and tobacco notes followed by blackberry, dark cherry, sweet spices and herbs, and hints of black pepper. Meaty notes come to the fore as it warms. It's full bodied and dense on the palate with drying, chalky tannins. Flavours are savoury and earthy with oak spice and meaty notes. Some stony minerality and warmth on the mid-palate. Good acids. Finishes long and savoury with lingering earthy and dark berry notes. From the excellent 2010 vintage, this should continue to drink well for another couple of years. Score: 89 pts


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

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  • Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Mas d'Auzières Sympathie Pour Les Stones 2009 (Languedoc) - Wine Review

wine is the first bottle I'm opening in 2018. It was purchased nearly 6 years ago from the LCBO VINTAGES Release and no newer vintages have reached VINTAGES shelves since.

This red wine is made with Syrah and the name is not only a tribute to the Rolling Stones song "Sympathy of the Devil", but also gives a nod to the rocks (i.e. terroir) in the vineyard from where these grapes were grown in the Languedoc. Let's see how this tastes after half a decade in the cellar.

Mas d'Auzières Sympathie Pour Les Stones 2009 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

MAS D'AUZIÈRES SYMPATHIE POUR LES STONES 2009 - AC Côteaux du Languedoc, Midi, France (#277046) (XD) - $19.95
Dark plum and scorched earth aromas from the cork. This Syrah shows a mature aroma profile in the glass with meaty, umami, wet earth, and forest floor notes along with hints of dark berry compote and dried fruit aromas. The medium-full bodied palate is smooth as tannins have nicely folded into the wine. Flavours are in the savoury spectrum with stony mineral, forest floor, black spice, and mocha chocolate notes. Acids are juicy and still provide nice lift. Just a touch of heat mid-palate. Finish length is very good with savoury mocha chocolate and fig flavours. If you still have this delicious, mature red wine, then drink by 2020. Score: 90 pts


Monday, January 1, 2018

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  • Monday, January 1, 2018

VINTAGES Release January 6, 2018: Smart Buys

LCBO Wine Picks from January 6, 2018 VINTAGES Release
This first LCBO VINTAGES release of the year always the annual Smart Buys release, and 2018 is no different. After the many high-priced releases leading up to the holidays, this release is filled with mostly sub-$20 wines - a welcome sight to many wallets, I'm sure. This release is also much smaller than the holiday-themed releases from October through December. Nonetheless, there are some quality buys in this release. New wines will be on shelves this .

In this mono-thematic release, twenty wines are featured as Smart Buys, and four are listed among my top wine picks. The first is a nice Shiraz from South Africa, while the second red wine is a Carignan from 60+ year old vines in Roussillon. In white wines, both are sweet Rieslings, with one coming from British Columbia, and the other being a mature 2008 Riesling Kabinett from Germany.

St. Hubertus Riesling 2014 (88+ pts)Vineland Estates Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling 2016 (89+ pts)

In continuing the theme of nice (and sweet) Rieslings, you'll also want to check out the Niagara Riesling that comes from vines nearly 40 years of age and is always delicious year-after-year. It would be a nice comparison to taste the Niagara Riesling alongside the versions from the Okanagan and Mosel. Other white wines in this release include dry wines made with lesser-known varietals Godello and Fiano - neither of which make an appearance at the LCBO often. The dry white wine from Loire is made with Chenin Blanc, while the Burgundian white is a Chardonnay.

Among top red wine picks from this release, there is a Côtes du Rhône from the excellent 2015 vintage which contains 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah, while the Australian GSM is mostly Grenache with some Shiraz, and small amounts of Mataro (Mourvèdre). From Tuscany, the Brunello is made with Sangiovese Grosso, while the Morellino di Scansano is a blend of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Alicante, and 5% Malvasia Nero. Also from Tuscany, the Irrosso is a blend of 75% Sangiovese and 25% Colorino. And last, but not least, from Friuli is a red wine made with the little-known Schioppettino varietal.

Kilikanoon Killerman’s Run Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2013 (88+ pts)

Enjoy my top wine recommendations from this Release and Happy New Year to all! May you drink great wine in 2018. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • COURTOIS LA SOURCE CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#526640) (XD) - $14.95
  • LEEUWENKUIL SHIRAZ 2016 - WO Swartland, South Africa (#536631) (XD) - $14.95
  • D’ARENBERG THE FOOTBOLT SHIRAZ 2014 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#984021) (XD) - $17.00
  • FATTORIA LE PUPILLE MORELLINO DI SCANSANO 2015 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#455659) (XD) - $17.95
  • KILIKANOON KILLERMAN’S RUN GRENACHE/SHIRAZ/MATARO 2013 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#412189) (XD) - $19.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • MOMO PINOT NOIR 2015 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#163972) (XD) - $19.95
  • DOMAINE LAFAGE CAYROL VIEILLES VIGNES CARIGNAN 2014 - IGP Côtes Catalanes, Roussillon, France (#494039) (XD) - $19.95
  • CA’TULLIO LO SCHIOPPETTINO 2015 - DOC Colli Orientali, Friuli, Italy (#539072) (XD) - $21.95  FSE
  • IRROSSO 2015 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#536235) (XD) - $28.95
  • LA GERLA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#642561) (XD) - $61.95

White Wine:

  • ABAD DOM BUENO GODELLO 2015 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#154302) (XD) - $14.95
  • JANARE FIANO 2016 - DOP Sannio, Campania, Italy (#528786) (XD) - $16.95
  • DOMAINE DES QUINTS SAUMUR 2016 - AC, Loire, France (#527259) (XD) - $16.95
  • TERRES SECRÈTES LA ROCHE VINEUSE MÂCON 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#522193) (XD) - $17.95
  • DR. SIEMENS SERRIGER WÜRZBURG RIESLING KABINETT FEINHERB 2008 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#524827) (M) - $17.95
  • ST. HUBERTUS RIESLING 2014 - VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#544072) (M) - $18.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • VINELAND ESTATES ELEVATION ST. URBAN VINEYARD RIESLING 2016 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#038117) (M) - $19.95  89+ pts  wine review

Sparkling Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU MONCONTOUR TÊTE DE CUVÉE BRUT VOUVRAY - Traditional method, AC, Loire, France (#207936) (D) - $17.95


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