Showing posts with label 2018. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2018. Show all posts

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  • Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Marnes et Caillottes Sancerre 2018 (Loire) - Wine Review



wine review is a crisp, refreshing, and high quality Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

It is produced by Jean-Max Roger, one of my favourite Loire producers. The Roger family descends from a long line of winegrowers from the village of Bué, with the name first mentioned in texts in the 17th century. In the early 1970's, Jean-Max Roger took over the family estate and in 2004, two of his three sons, Etienne and Thibault, began working at the estate. Together, they strive to produce wines that both express their terroir and the work that they perform in the vineyards and at the winery. They are continually questioning their viticultural and winemaking practises with sustainability of the soil, the health of the vines, the purity of their musts and the meticulousness of their vinification and ageing processes which are top of mind on a daily basis.

The 2018 harvest in the Loire Valley was historically great in terms and quality and quantity, delivering one of the largest crops of the decade. It was the hottest summer since 2003, and the driest since 1945! From mid-June right through to harvest, sunny, dry weather persisted, resulting in clean fruit with ample ripeness and vivid acidity.

This lovely white white has been making an appearance in VINTAGES quite regularly over the past few years. I enjoyed the 2014 Jean-Max Roger Cuvée C.M. Sancerre Blanc a couple of years ago and I am excited to see the 2018 vintage as it comes to the LCBO in just over a week's time.

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Marnes et Caillottes Sancerre 2018 (92 pts)

Tasting Note:

JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE MARNES ET CAILLOTTES SANCERRE 2018 - AC, Loire, France (#196667) (XD) - $31.95
From 5 to 40 year old vines grown on Kimmeridgian Marls called "Marnes" and Limestone called "Caillottes", this Sauvignon Blanc underwent a long fermentation by natural yeasts and was aged on heavy lees from fermentation until the first racking. Fresh, clean, open, and fragrant nose of stony mineral mingles with lime citrus, stone fruit, and a hint of grassy herb. It is firmly structured and fresh on the palate with very good depth of fruit and flavour intensity, offering stony mineral, citrus, and saline flavours. Tangy, mouth-watering acids are fresh and lively, while the stony-citrus finish has excellent length. Highly recommended buy. Score: 92 pts


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  • Wednesday, October 23, 2019

M. Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut L'Esquerda 2018 (Roussillon) - Wine Review

wine review is this lovely red wine from the highly-acclaimed house of M. Chapoutier. While this is the 2018 vintage, the 2017 vintage will arrive on shelves at the LCBO as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

The story of M. Chapoutier begins in 1808, when Calvet et Compagnie was created in the Rue de l’Hermitage in Tain. In 1855, ownership was transferred to Octave Calvet and Frédéric Vogelgesang until it was purchased by Rodolphe Delépine in 1883. The Chapoutier name enters in 1897, when Marius Chapoutier joined forces with Rodolphe Delépine to found the company Delépine et Chapoutier. After Delépine retires in 1922, the company is renamed to Chapoutier et Compagnie and Marius creates the new Chapoutier winery in 1929 at the foot of the Hermitage hill. After Marius' death in 1937, his son Marc takes over the family business and in 1955 changes the name to M. Chapoutier, the name it still bears today.

In 1990, winemaker Michel Chapoutier asked for and received control of the company from his grandfather Marc. At this time, he also began applying biodynamic cultivation techniques. Expanding from the Rhône Valley, Michel acquired his first estate in the Roussillon area of France in 2000.

Domaine de Bila-Haut was founded by Chapoutier in Latour-de-France and the vines of the Bila-Haut and Occultum Lapidem wines became the first expression of this terroir. Years later, the L’Esquerda red wine was created from vines near the village of Lesquerde, which is located at 350 metres altitude some 15 kilometres west of Bila-Haut. The terroir here is steep with craggy limestone, arid soil, and is battered by the Tramontane northern winds.

Michel Chapoutier has earned a reputation for producing wines that are highly representative of where they are grown - offering a true snapshot of the terroir. He is also known for being a generous person with a human approach to business, becoming the first in the industry to include braille on all of his product labels in 1996.

Today, Michel and his wife Corinne are joined by their children Mathilde and Maxime - whose names by no coincidence also start with 'M'. Together, they continue to perpetuate the tradition of the family business and philosophy by creating wines based on the concept of 'terroir', while also helping make M. Chapoutier one of the most admired brand names in French wine.

M. Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut L'Esquerda 2018 (92 pts)

Tasting Note:

DOMAINE DE BILA-HAUT L'ESQUERDA 2018 - AC Côtes du Roussillon-Villages Lesquerde, Midi, France (#381020) (XD) - $27.95
This blend of mainly Syrah with Grenache and Carignan in support was aged in concrete vats for 7-8 months has a complex stream of wild dark berry, plum and garrigue aromas accented by meaty, spice, mineral, earthy, and floral characters wafting out of the glass. It is full bodied, dense, and chewy with ripe, structured, and finely-grained tannins that are a bit chalky textured. Scorched earth and touches of herbal notes join the fine aroma replays on the flavour profile, lifted by fresh, mouthwatering acidity. Mineral and scorched earth notes linger on the juicy finish, with excellent length. Has the stuffing to drink well over the next 7-8 years. Highly recommended buy. Score: 92 pts


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  • Friday, September 13, 2019

Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine review is an excellent white wine that is coming to LCBO VINTAGES this .

I recall enjoying the 2015 Kono Sauvignon Blanc when it came through VINTAGES a couple of years ago and am delighted to see how this latest vintage is tasting. It is produced by Kono Wines, New Zealand's first Māori owned and operated winery. The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand.

This white wine is crafted from carefully selected vineyards in Marlborough, from grapes grown with soil knowledge and cultivation methods passed down from Māori forebearers. This gift of knowledge and rich, unspoiled lands create wines of personality and purity. Furthermore, Kono vineyards are certified by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) and CEMARS (certified emissions measurement and reduction scheme) certified, which is integral to the values of kaitiakitanga - the guarding and protecting of the environment without compromise. The Māori culture has a strong spiritual connection to everything they grow and a responsibility to ensure that the land is passed onto future generations in pristine condition.

The grapes for this white wine were machine harvested from vineyards in Waihopai, Awatere, and Rapaura sub-regions and transported to the winery in Awatare Valley, then pressed in modern membrane presses. With juice from both free-run and harder pressings, they are combined in stainless steel tanks and fermented using selected yeast cultures and controlled temperatures. The 2017/2018 growing season was warmer than average, with challenging wet conditions appearing closer to harvest. However, vigilance in the vineyard from the team ensured that the fruit was in good condition at harvest, with excellent flavours seen in the winery.

Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

KONO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#441394) (XD) - $18.95
Screw cap. Fragrant nose of key lime, passionfruit, citrus, kiwi, guava tropical fruit and hints of asparagus aromas wafting from the glass. It is medium-full bodied and concentrated, brimming with vibrant, zesty acidity that freshens the palate. More lime, passion fruit, citrus, and tropical fruit flavours dance on the zesty and ripe palate. It's quite juicy on the mid-palate, while mineral notes appear on the long, dry finish. Highly recommended. Score: 90 pts


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  • Sunday, September 1, 2019

De Bortoli Rosé Rosé 2018 (Australia) - Wine Review

wine review is a pale coloured and dry rosé wine from Australia made with the Sangiovese grape varietal. It's a new wine that recently arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on and there is plenty of stock available throughout Ontario.

It is made by De Bortoli Wines, a member of Australia's First Families of Wines. However, their story actually begins in the 1920's in war-torn Europe when Vittorio and Giuseppina De Bortoli immigrated to Australia and through hard work, innovation and the support of family and friends formed De Bortoli Wines.

In 1928, Vittorio produced his first wine in Australia from grapes he acquired for free due to the glut of Shiraz grapes that vintage and sold his wine mostly to fellow European immigrants. In the 1950's, their middle child, Deen, left school to begin work at the family winery and at 21 years old was itching to modernize the winery. Soon thereafter, De Bortoli Wines expanded and consolidated under the direction of Deen and his wife Emeri. During the 1980's, Deen and Emeri's four children joined the family business and developed De Bortoli's repoutation for premium wine, firstly through their iconic Noble One dessert wine, followed closely by their success at the family's Yarra Valley Estate.

In the 1990's, the De Bortoli family purchased a vineyard in the King Valley - where the grapes for this rosé wine come from. The 90's also welcomed the 4th generation of the family.

Today, Deen and Emeri's children are the custodians of De Bortoli Wines. As the 4th generation of the family contemplates entering the family business, De Bortoli Wine’s official motto is Semper ad Majora (“always striving for better”) while the unofficial motto - good food, good wine and good friends - remain as true and central as ever.

De Bortoli Rosé Rosé 2018 (86 pts)

Tasting Note:

DE BORTOLI ROSÉ ROSÉ 2018 - King Valley, Victoria, Australia (#668343) (XD) - $17.95
Screw cap. Mainly Sangiovese from their King Valley Estate Vineyard that was grown for the purpose of making this rosé, this has a medium intensity nose of floral, peach, red berry, and a hint of wild herbal notes. The mid-weighted palate is dry with clean fruit, offering herbally, red berry, strawberry, spice, and peach flavours. Acids cut nicely into palate that has a soft, rounded mouthfeel. Good length on the dry, herbally with hints of spice and mineral finish. Score: 86 pts


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  • Friday, August 9, 2019

Fantini Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo Rosé 2018 (Italy) - Wine Review

wine review is an Italian rosé made with Montepulciano d'Abruzzo that is available in the General List section at the LCBO and widely available across the province.

Vini Fantini is one of a number of wineries that make up the Farnese Vini group. Farnese is a young company has become the leading export company in the South of Italy, producing of over 24 million bottles per year, and garnering many awards over the years.

The refined Fantini wines are made with the best selected grapes coming from the Farneto Valley and other important estates in Abruzzo. The aging process for these wines is completed in the beautiful cellars of the Caldora Castle, a historical building that has a cultural heritage and viticultural traditions of the territory of Ortona, The winemaking team at Fantini is headed by two internationally renowned super-consultants who constantly dedicate their work to the care of each production phase and provide direction to the team of talented young winemakers and agronomists.

This particular rosé underwent soft stalk-stripping and crushing, followed by a brief maceration on skins for approximately 6 hours. It was fermented without skins for 15 days in order to obtain the desired colour and taste.

Fantini Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo Rosé 2018 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

FANTINI CERASUOLO D'ABRUZZO ROSÉ 2018 - DOC, Abruzzo, Italy (#635342) (D) - $10.95
Made with 100% Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and pours a fairly deep red with tinges of blood orange. Ripe red berry, strawberry, and cherry aromas with herbally hints. It's light-to-mid weighted on the spicy palate with more ripe red berry, herb, and white pepper flavours. There's some sweetness, but it hides well due to the lively, food-friendly acidity. Chalky textured on the finish, with good length. Score: 87 pts


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  • Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Pierre Sparr Gewurztraminer 2018 (Alsace) - Wine Review

wine review is a lovely, slightly sweet white wine from Alsace that was recently promoted from General List to a VINTAGES Essentials listing at the LCBO and should arrive on shelves within a week or so.

It is produced Pierre Sparr, from the historic Sparr winemaking family that has been making wine since 1680. In 1785, François Pierre Sparr influenced expanded the size of vineyards. Generations later, Charles Sparr developed the business further by increasing activities with trade and influencing the wine ageing process. Charles' son, Pierre, succeeded his father at the tender age of 20 and became a pioneer of estate bottling of wines in Alsace.

Unfortunately, the commune of Sigolsheim and all of its vineyards were completely destroyed during WWII. However, with courage and determination, Pierre Sparr rebuilt one of Alsace’s most beautiful and prestigious Domaines. With contributions from his sons René and Charles, Vins Sparr continued to grow and develop the business, expanding vineyards and exporting their wines to new markets.

Today, the 9th generation of the Sparr family continues the family tradition of making quality wines using ancestral knowledge and modern technology with passion and emotion. They also respect each varietal's own character that is a special harmony of soil and climate in Alsace. Maison Pierre Sparr is located in the heart of Alsace’s famous vineyard, working on 15 ha of estate vineyards while also sourcing grapes from 130 ha owned by experienced winegrowers.

Pierre Sparr Gewurztraminer 2018 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

PIERRE SPARR GEWURZTRAMINER 2018 - AC Alsace, France (#373373) (M) - $17.95
This single-vineyard Gewurztraminer comes from 35-year-old vines that were grown on granitic, limestone, and gneiss chalk & clay soils. Screw cap. Fragrant aromas of lychee, floral, and spice lift out of the glass. The medium+ bodied palate is structured and spicy with very good, mouthfilling fruit. It's medium sweet with nicely balanced flavours of lychee, rose floral, lemon citrus, and touches of honeyed apricot. Acids are lively and fresh, while the finish is long and dry. Enjoy nicely chilled. Recommended buy. Score: 88+ pts


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  • Tuesday, July 30, 2019

La Cadiérenne Cuvée Grande Tradition Bandol Rosé 2018 (Provence) - Wine Review

wine is a lovely rosé that came to the LCBO as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Les Vignerons de La Cadiérenne are a group of producers that have been making wine since 1929. While they make wines from various appellations in Provence, they are the largest producer of AOP Bandol wines. Their growers have approximately 600 ha of land within the region, of which 400 ha are planted to AOP classified vines and, for the most part, are planted on hillsides surrounding villages. La Cadiérenne is the most important cellar of western Var in Provence.

This excellent rosé comes from a long tradition of wine production in Bandol, where wine has been made since the Greeks first colonized the area over 2,600 years ago. The wine region of Bandol is located in the South of France and specializes in rosé wine, with 60% of its entire production devoted to rosé.

I last enjoyed the 2015 La Cadiérenne Cuvée Grande Tradition Bandol Rosé nearly 3 years ago to the day and am expecting the current vintage to be just as good, if not better. Let's see how this Bandol Rosé is tasting tonight...

La Cadiérenne Cuvée Grande Tradition Bandol Rosé 2018 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

LA CADIÉRENNE CUVÉE GRANDE TRADITION BANDOL ROSÉ 2018 - AC, Provence, France (#119453) (XD) - $22.95
A blend of 40% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache, and 30% Cinsault that was vinified separately prior to creating the final cuvée. Clean, fresh and fragrant nose of grapefruit, citrus, herb, and garrigue aromas with hints of stony mineral. It is medium-full bodied on the palate with plenty of fruit and structure that is supported by crisp, juicy, mouth-watering acidity. It's dry on the flavour profile with lovely floral, peach blossom, grapefruit, red berry notes and a spicy mid-palate. There's a fine mineral note that lingers on the long, succulent finish. Nicely textured and well-balanced throughout. An excellent buy to enjoy over the next couple of years. Score: 91 pts


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  • Sunday, July 14, 2019

Planeta Rosé 2018 (Sicily) - Wine Review

wine review is a nice, dry rosé wine from Sicily that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

Planeta Winery is one of the premier wine estates of Sicily and a veritable fine wine empire. The company has vineyards and estates all over the island of Sicily including the Ulmo Contrada and vineyards in Sambuca di Sicilia where you can find their first winemaking facility and beautiful ancestral family home, located on the Arancio Lake; the Dispensa vineyard in Menfi, where they also make high-end olive oils at the nearby Capparina mill; the lovely Dorilli estate in Vittoria in southern Sicily; the Buonvini vineyards and underground winery near the Baroque town of Noto in southeastern Sicily; the Sciaranuova vineyard and estate located in the exciting fine wine region of volcanic Mount Etna; and their newest and smallest estate is the Capo Milazzo winery located in northeastern Sicily.

This rosé comes from their Dispensa Vineyard within the Menfi (Agrigento) district on the western part of the island. Menfi is where is the history of the family and their business began. The family planted their first vines on the Ulmo estate, a few metres from Lake Arancio and the 16th century farmhouse which has been in the family for 17 generations. The family houses all reside within the area in Baglio, as well as their library which holds hundreds of Italian and foreign books from 1700 to the present day, all dedicated to vines and wine. It is also in Menfi where you can find the remains of an ancient Phoenician wine press.

The soils in Menfi are moderately limey with mixed yellow and grey chalk, moderately fine textured, and a few stones present. It was vinified by destalking and sent to soft pressing for a brief maceration of 1-2 hours to achieve a perfect extraction of colour. After must was obtained, it was decanted, then transferred and fermented at 15°C in stainless steel vats.

Planeta Rosé 2018 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

PLANETA ROSÉ 2018 - DOC Sicilia, Italy (#111856) (XD) - $17.95
Screw cap. Equal parts Nero d’Avola and Syrah. Fresh, medium intensity nose offers floral, orange blossom, melon, ripe berry, herbal notes and some minerality. It is medium-bodied and dry with saline minerality, citrus, melon, strawberry and herbal flavours that are supported by crisp, vibrant acidity that is ideal for food pairing. More saline mineral and melon notes linger on the finish, with very good length. Score: 89 pts


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  • Friday, July 5, 2019

Château de Manissy Le Moulin de Notre Dame Tavel 2018 (Rhône) - Wine Review

wine review is a nice organic and vegan-friendly Tavel that recently arrived at the LCBO as a General List product and is widely available across Ontario.

It is produced by Château de Manissy, a winery located in the heart of Provence, on the right side of the Rhône Valley. Château de Manissy is owned by the Holy Family's Missionaries and has been producing rosé wines since the beginning of the 20th century, all the while developing a reputation for the barrel-aged rosé.

More recently, the talented young winegrower Florian André took over the property and continued it's traditional way of winemaking, while also having respect for the environment and growing wine according to the moon calendar. In 2009, the vineyards were converted to organic agriculture as it was well-known that organic winemaking is good for the soil, the environment, our health, and for future generations. Also in 2009, Florian became a father and thought it was the right time to go organic.

Florian created two more rosés to add to the portfolio, including this enjoyable Tavel that comes from clay soils that are scattered with pebbles which are particularly suited for rosé wine production.

I also can't help but notice that the new Tavel logo is embossed on this bottle - something I learned about when I visited Tavel last May.

Château de Manissy Le Moulin de Notre Dame Tavel 2018 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU DE MANISSY LE MOULIN DE NOTRE DAME TAVEL 2018 - AC, Rhône, France (#234542) (D) - $16.90
Blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah that was hand-picked early in the morning, when cool grapes are freshest. Aromas of fresh minerals are followed by subtle hints of herb, raspberry and red cherry notes. It is medium-full bodied and ripe on the palate with cherry, raspberry, strawberry and spice flavours. A touch honeyed on the mid-palate, but essentially dry. Acids are very fresh with a lingering finish that has spice, mineral, and red berry notes. Will be a fine match for seafood or salad over the next couple of years. Score: 88 pts


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  • Friday, June 28, 2019

Bodega Garzón Reserva Albariño 2018 (Uruguay) - Wine Review

After enjoying the 2016 Bodega Garzón Reserva Tannat from Uruguay earlier this week, wine review is a lovely white wine from the same producer. Like the Tannat, this will also be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

It is produced by Bodega Garzón at their sustainable estate winery in Punta del Este in southeastern Uruguay. The winery is located over natural terraces and built in the hills, using a gravity-flow system to gently move the wine through the various stages, which allows Garzón to produce fine wines of the utmost quality. Their energy-efficient facilities also generate their own energy via wind and solar cells. Impressively, their 19,050 m² building has a capacity of 2.2 million litres and is the first sustainable, LEED certified winery outside of North America.

While Uruguay is known more for their red wines, Albariño was actually the first varietal planted on the property at Bodega Garzón. This white wine varietal thrives in Maldonado due to its proximity to the ocean and it's soil, which are both similar to Albariño’s home in Galicia in northwestern Spain.

Bodega Garzón Reserva Albariño 2018 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

BODEGA GARZÓN RESERVA ALBARIÑO 2018 - Maldonado, Uruguay (#646802) (XD) - $21.95
Hand-picked and sorted, this Albariño spent 3 to 6 months on the lees in stainless steel tanks. The pretty nose offers fragrant and ripe apricot and peach aromas with hints of lemon citrus. It is medium-full bodied on the structured palate that has a slight spritzy character. Dry flavour profile with citrus, tangy grapefruit, white floral and herbally notes that are lifted with fresh, crisp, and bright acidity. Stone and citrus fruit flavours give way to mineral notes on the long, crisp finish. Score: 90 pts


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  • Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (South Africa) - Wine Review

wine review is an easy-drinking, mid-week Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa that is a General List product at the LCBO and widely available across Ontario. Looking through my blog, I see that I tasted the 2011 Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc .

Two Oceans is named after the awe-inspiring view at the southern tip of Africa, where the two powerful forces of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. The sheer scale and natural grandeur will give you pause and a chance to reflect, leaving you inspired, exhilarated and breathless. The wines of Two Oceans are inspired by this special place, where the elements of climate and natural beauty combine to create wines that are crisp, refreshing and easy drinking.

The grapes for this white wine come from vineyards in Stellenbosch, Paarl, Robertson and Worcester wine regions. The age of the vines ranges between 10 and 18 years of age and are grown in soils ranging from decomposed granite to deep Clovelly and Hutton, and are located 200 metres above sea level.

Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

TWO OCEANS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#340380) (XD) - $11.00
Screw cap. Pale straw colour. Quite generous and fresh on the nose with tropical fruit, lemon citrus zest, and grapefruit with a tinge of grassy and gooseberry aromas. The medium-bodied palate with fleshy with crisp acidity. Flavours are a touched honeyed with grapefruit and lemon citrus notes. Dry overall with herbal and earthy mineral notes on the finish. Widely appealing wine to chill well and pair with fish or poultry. Score: 87 pts


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