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

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  • Sunday, July 5, 2020

Medici Ermete & Figli Arte e Concerto Lambrusco 2018 (Italy) - Wine Review



wine review is this lovely Lambrusco sparkling red wine that arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on .

Medici has been producing top-notch Lambrusco and other quality wines for more than a century. The story begins in the late 19th century, when Remigio Medici founded a wine cellar between Via Emilia and the first of the hills in the Enza Valley to make use of the family vineyards. Remigio's son, Ermete, expanded the business and helped develop the reputation for producing quality wines before handing over the company to his sons Valter and Giorgio.

Today, the fourth generation of the Medici family runs Medici Ermete, owning 75 hectares of land spread across the wine growing region of Emilia-Romagna, in the north-eastern part of Italy. Medici's success can be attributed to many years of experience and knowledge that have been passed down each generation, along with creating a close link between each vineyard and the winery. They also have a rigorous selection of grapes that are grown in harmony with nature and the environment. Combined with skilful vinification techniques using new machinery, Medici produces wines of unprecedented quality.

This particular sparkling wine is from the Lambrusco Reggiano DOC - the largest of the 8 Lambrusco wine regions. It is made with Salamino grapes that were grown on clayey soils and was naturally fermented into this tasty sparkling wine.

It is widely available for purchase in the VINTAGES section at LCBO outlets across Ontario. It is also available, along with other wines from Medici Ermete, through Profile Wine Group's new website.

Medici Ermete & Figli Arte e Concerto Lambrusco 2018 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

MEDICI ERMETE & FIGLI ARTE E CONCERTO LAMBRUSCO 2018 - DOC Reggiano Lambrusco, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (#208967) (D) - $19.95
Made with the Lambrusco Salamino varietal, this has a rich array of berry aromas including red berry, raspberry, boysenberry, blueberry, blackberry, and cherry notes. The medium-bodied palate is fresh with bright acidity. Nicely balanced red and dark berry replays on the flavour profile with fine, beady mousse that livens the palate. Finely textured with a touch tannic of grip and mineral on the long, juicy finish. If you've never tried Lambrusco, make this your first. Score: 89 pts


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  • Sunday, May 24, 2020

Villa Sandi Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2018 (Veneto) - Wine Review

Following up on the delicious Villa Sandi Prosecco Il Fresco that I enjoyed recently, wine review is a Pinot Grigio from the same producer. Like the Prosecco, this is a General List wine and widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario. It can be purchased in-store or online for pick-up or delivery.

Villa Sandi is a family-owned and operated winery situated in a Palladian style mansion that dates back to 1622 in the Province of Treviso, Veneto, in northeastern Italy. For many generations, the Moretti Polegato family, which owns Villa Sandi, have been devoted to wine culture. Today, Giancarlo Moretti Polegato proudly carries on the family tradition with his fondness and knowledge of the wine world. Being located in the region proudly known for its Prosecco, Villa Sandi is one of the regions leading producers of Prosecco sparkling wine, however, their portfolio also includes some still wines like this Pinot Grigio.

The grapes for this white wine come from two of Villa Sandi's five estates - the Crocetta del Montello Estate in the Veneto region, and the Spilimbergo Estate located in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, thus designating this wine as a delle Venezie. The Crocetta del Montello Estate vineyards are in close proximity to the Piave River with soils containing pebbles, stone, sand and some clay which help produce grapes with freshness and pleasant acidity. The Spilimbergo Estate vineyards are located in a flat area of the Fruili Grave and are composed mainly of stone and gravel soils which produce grapes with complexity and rich, fruity aromatics.

Villa Sandi Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2018 (86 pts)

Tasting Note:

VILLA SANDI PINOT GRIGIO DELLE VENEZIE 2018 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#580324) (XD) - $12.75
Screw cap. Clean, fresh stone fruit aromas with grapefruit, citrus, white floral, and whiffs of mineral. The light-to-medium bodied palate is ripe and honeyed, yet dry, with grapefruit, melon, peach, and lemon citrus flavours. It has gentle acidity and hints of mineral on the mid-palate with a slightly viscous texture. Some bitter, grapefruit pith, and lemon peel notes linger on the finish, with very good length. Score: 86 pts


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  • Sunday, May 17, 2020

Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classico 2018 (Tuscany) - Wine Review

red wine review is a nice Chianti Classico that is part of the VINTAGES Essentials collection and widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario for purchase in-store and online for either delivery or pick-up.

It is produced by Rocca delle Macìe, a relative newcomer to winegrowing in Italy as it was established in the Chianti Classico zone only in 1973. It was founded by film producer Italo Zingarelli to fulfill his life-long dream when he acquired the 93 hectare "Le Macìe" estate - of which only 2 hectares were planted to vine. The passion and love for the Tuscan land was passed along to his sons Sergio and Fabio in the mid-to-late 1980's, with Sergio becoming President in 1989. In collaboration with his sister Sandra, they set out to make quality wines and the company became quite popular and recognized worldwide. Today, Rocca delle Macìe has more than 500 hectares, 200 ha of which are planted to vines and 22 ha to olive groves, across its six estates which span the areas of Chianti Classico and Maremma in Tuscany.

This Chianti Classico was born along with the winery when the first vintage was bottled at least as far back as 1978, and growing to become the ambassador that represents Rocca delle Macìe. In fact, the history of Rocca delle Macìe is doubly intertwined with this Chianti Classico as the wine has evolved over the years both through the changes imposed upon it by updates to local wine regulations and through enhancements made in the vineyards thanks to replanting, soil analysis, and the clonal selection of Sangiovese.

Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classico 2018 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

ROCCA DELLE MACÌE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2018 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#741769) (XD) - $18.95
A blend of mainly Sangiovese (and 5% Merlot), that was selected and picked by hand, and aged for 6-10 months in Slavonian/French oak barrels. The medium intensity nose has a savoury, dark red cherry, and sweet spiced core flecked with dried herbal aromas. It's medium-bodied with fresh, lively acidity that lifts the savoury, red cherry, currant, and oak spice flavours. Soft, grainy tannins are a touch drying on the savoury, earthy finish, with very good length. Score: 88 pts


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  • Sunday, May 17, 2020

Bottega Sparkling Wines (May 2020)

Bottega Sparkling Wines + Grappa + Olive Oil
With in-person wine tastings cancelled since the lockdown in March, virtual wine tastings have grown in popularity and will likely continue for some time. As such, I participated in my first ever Zoom virtual wine tasting. It was hosted by Sandro Bottega of Bottega S.p.A. as we tasted through their charming bubbly's as well as a lovely grappa and enjoyed an organic olive oil.

Bottega is a family-owned company located approximately 45 km north of Venice in Bibano, Treviso, and has been producing premium quality, typical Italian wines, grappa, and spirits since 1977. It is a third-generation business led today by Barbara, Stefano, and th e aforementioned Sandro Bottega.

The company is headquartered in a 19th-century farmhouse that was renovated to preserve the original architectural and environmental characteristics, and surrounded by 10 hectares of vineyards. In addition, they also have a winery in Valpolicella and in Montalcino to produce the great wines of Veneto and Tuscany, including the beloved Amarone and Brunello. Throughout the portfolio, Bottega advocates the quality of Italian taste and authenticity, design that expresses the excellent aesthetic character of being made in Italy, and social responsibility towards the environment and community. Bottega has many sustainable initiatives such as using only electricity from alternative/green resources like the use of geothermal energy, while in the vineyard they use organic agricultural principles and cultivate by hand.

Bottega winery and distillery has been in Ontario for over 25 years. They are known for their high quality, food-friendly sparkling wines that appeal to many palates. In Ontario, they are best known and for their Bottega Gold - with it's fancy, shiny gold-coloured bottle - and Il Vino dei Poeti Prosecco DOC sparkling wines. In addtion to tasting these wines with Sandro, I also tasted a couple of other bottles of sparkling wine. All of these can be enjoyed on their own or mixed into a cocktail such as a Bellini, Rossini, Mimosa, or something specially crafted by Bottega - details and recipes are provided below. As part of this Zoom tasting, I also got to try Bottega's grappa and enjoy their organic extra virgin olive oil.

All four of these sparkling wines and the grappa are available for purchase at the LCBO. Other wines from Bottega's portfolio are available via private order through Noble Estates Wines & Spirits. Thank you to Speducci Mercatto for the food pairing items, and to Noble Estates and Sandro Bottega for the opportunity to try these fine products from Italy.

Tasting Notes:

BOTTEGA VINO DEI POETI PROSECCO 2018 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#897702) (D) - $15.95 $14.45 until
100% Glera. Clean, fruity melon, pear, and apple aromas with touches of lime citrus and mineral. The palate is off-dry with pleasing green apple, petar, citrus, and melon, and white flower flavours. Fine mousse is a touch frothy. Nicely balanced and smooth with fresh acidity that moves this bubbly towards a dry finish, with very good length. Score: 87 pts

Bottega Vino dei Poeti Prosecco 2018 (87 pts)Bottega Gold Prosecco (88 pts)

BOTTEGA GOLD PROSECCO - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#621458) (D) - $27.95 $24.95 until
100% Glera. Clean, medium+ intensity nose is focused and fresh with pear, white floral, and white peach aromas. It has good depth with very smooth, fine mousse and fresh acids on the nicely balanced, slightly off-dry palate with pear, green apple, and hints of tart lime citrus flavours. Very good length on the finish. Shiny, golden bottle. Available in LCBO VINTAGES. Score: 88 pts

Bottega Spritz cocktail recipe:
A fresh, soft and natural cocktail that combines Prosecco and Limoncino (Bottega) and satisfies the taste buds of those who do not love the bitter tones of traditional Spritz. Ingredients: 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Limoncino (Bottega), 1 part soda water, and ice. Preparation: Fill a large long stemmed wine glass with ice cubes. Pour in Limoncino with a circular movement (to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the glass). Add Prosecco and finish off with a splash of soda water. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of fresh mint.

BOTTEGA VINO DEI POETI BRUT ROSÉ 2018 - DOC Venezia, Veneto, Italy (#277202) (D) - $14.95
Blend of Raboso and Pinot Nero (Noir). Steely, fresh, medium intensity nose offers red berry aromas like cherry and strawberry nuanced with mineral notes. The dry, medium+ bodied palate has good depth with fresh, lively, food-friendly acids and creamy, nicely balanced mousse. Appealing mineral and red berry replays, plus flavours of melon, peach, and grapefruit on the palate. Very good length with touches of vanilla on the finish. Ideal for the table. Score: 88 pts

Rosa Rosae cocktail recipe:
Ingredients: 35 mL sugarless white grape juice, 65 mL Il Vino dei Poeti Brut Rosé, and a few drops of cherry syrup. Preparation: Pour the grape juice into a wine glass and add a few drops of cherry syrup. Stir well and fill the glass with chilled Il Vino dei Poeti Brut Rosé. Garnish with a small bunch of grapes.

Bottega Vino dei Poeti Brut Rosé 2018 (88 pts)Bottega Petalo Il Vino dell'Amore Moscato (87 pts)

BOTTEGA PETALO IL VINO DELL'AMORE MOSCATO - Italy (#588780) (S) - $13.95
The name translates to "The Wine of Love". Crafted with Moscato grapes grown in northern Italy, this bubbly has fragrant and appealing aromas of rose floral and apple with anise and licorice adding some savoury notes. It’s gently sweet on the palate with creamy, frothy mousse supported by fresh, clean acidity. Nice floral, ripe red apple, and licorice flavours. Well-balanced with very good length on the finish. Ideal as an aperitif or after-dinner. Try with cheese or fruits like ripe strawberry, apple, or pear. Low alcohol at only 6.5%. Score: 87 pts

Mojito Moscato cocktail recipe:
Ingredients: 95 mL Rum, 50 mL lime juice, 15 ml sugar syrup, 3 Angostura drops, 12 mint leaves, Bottega Petalo Moscato sparkling wine to fill. Preparation: Muddle the sprig of mint with sugar and lime juice in a tumbler. Fill with crushed ice, rum and Angostura. Top up with Bottega Petalo Moscato sparkling wine. Stir well before serving.

SANDRO BOTTEGA CLUB GRAPPA - Italy (#478156) - $29.95
Beautiful teardrop shaped bottle that depicts the first drop of spirit to run off the still. Fresh, fragrant floral nose with floral, white peach, stone fruit flavours with touches of minty herb. Crisp, long, warming finish. Serve well-chilled after a meal.

Sandro Bottega Club GrappaBottega Extra Virgin Olive Oil Biologico

BOTTEGA EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL BIOLOGICO (750 mL) - $????
Made from organically cultivated, hand-harvested olives in Umbria, Italy since 1992 and packaged in a ceramic bottle that protects the oil from oxygen and light. Add a pinch of sea salt (as recommended by Sandro) and this yellowish-green hued olive oil is delicious, flavourful, and slightly spicy. Contact Danny Burns at MC Olive Inc. to purchase.


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  • Thursday, April 30, 2020

Nativ Greco di Tufo 2018 (Campania) - Wine Review

After enjoying the excellent 2013 Nativ Bicento a couple of years ago, for wine review I am delighted to try a Greco di Tufo from the same producer. This lovely white wine from Campania is a new arrival in LCBO VINTAGES on .

Nativ was founded in 2008 in the heart of Irpinia, within the town and comune in Paternopoli, Campania, by internationally renowned oenologist Dr. Mario Ercolino, and food science specialist Dr. Roberta Pirone. The goal was to produce wines of excellence from grapes that are typical of the region and territory. The wines should also exhibit of a sense of place. Each Nativ wine has a unique and unequivocal character, as it is produced through innovative winemaking methods, in the respect of tradition, always paying attention to keep the organoleptic structure of the grape unaltered.

Greco di Tufo is a clone of Greco Bianco and produced from ancient Greek vines called "Aminea Gemina". It was brought to Campania by the Pelagians, an ancient people from Thessaly in Greece. The name Tufo refers not only to one of the villages from which the wine comes from, but also the type of rock - which is made of ash ejected during an eruption and then compacts - that the village was built on. In Italy, this varietal was initially cultivated in the province of Naples and later introduced in some areas of the province of Avellino, in particular Tufo, whose sulphur-rich soil was particularly suitable for the cultivation of this grape variety.

Nativ Greco di Tufo 2018 (90+ pts)

Tasting Note:

NATIV GRECO DI TUFO 2018 - DOCG, Campania, Italy (#13640) (D) - $23.95
This Greco di Tufo was grown at an altitude of 450 metres above sea-level, on soils derived from the decomposition of clay rocks over thousands of years and are highly rich in calcium. Delicate, elegant nose is minerally off the top with honeyed citrus, yellow stone fruit, and whiffs of herb and smoke. It is medium+ bodied on the finely textured, off-dry palate with lively, citrusy acids that keeps the sweetness in check. Lovely aroma replays of honeyed citrus, yellow fruit, and flinty minerality on the flavour profile. Fine mineral and citrus notes linger on the persistent, dry finish, with excellent length. Recommended buy. Score: 90+ pts


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  • Monday, April 27, 2020

J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay 2018 (California) - Wine Review

white wine review is this popular California Chardonnay. It is a VINTAGES Essentials product - which means that it is always available in the VINTAGES section at LCBO outlets across Ontario. It is also available via online ordering at LCBO.com for delivery or pick-up at your local store.

In the late 1960's, Jerry Lohr embarked on a career change by seeking California grape growing regions for his first vineyard, eventually settling in the Central Coast. Founder of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Mr. Lohr was one of a handful of early pioneers in the region, and among the first the realize the potential of Monterey and Paso Robles for producing high quality grapes and superb wines. In the early 1970's, he chose Monterey County’s Arroyo Seco (meaning "Dry Creek") district for its cool, windy climate and rocky soils ideally suited for Chardonnay. In 1972 and 1973, he planted his first vineyard - 280 acres in Arroyo Seco, near Greenfield.

Today, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines is still family-owned and operated, with Jerry very much still involved with his children and co-owners Steve, Cynthia, and Lawrence. J. Lohr now includes more than 1,400 acres of cool-climate estate vineyards in the Arroyo Seco and Santa Lucia Highlands regions of Monterey County, 2,700 acres of vineyards in Paso Robles, and over 30 acres in Napa Valley.

This Chardonnay is crafted from grapes grown in the Arroyo Seco AVA, in the middle of the Salinas Valley in Monterey County, California. The grapes were grown primarily on Elder loam soils that cover a base of Riverstones - also called Greenfield Potatoes - which were deposited over thousands of years by the Arroyo Seco River. These stones limit soil depth from one to four feet, although roots are found at greater depths. This unique combination of sandy loam and cobblestone soil keeps the vines' vegetative growth and fruit in balance.

The 2018 vintage in Arroyo Seco was characterized by a cool spring with foggy mornings and evenings, and daytime highs in the 80's Fahrenheit (27°C) throughout the summer. Harvest began on October 4th, which was later than recent vintages, and was completed on November 8. This wine was barrel-fermented and aged for 7 to 9 months in new to fifth-fill American, Hungarian, and French oak barrels. The final blend of the 2018 Riverstone Chardonnay is comprised of nine Chardonnay clones, each adding complexity by adding its own flavour, texture, and acidity.

J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay 2018 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

J. LOHR RIVERSTONE CHARDONNAY 2018 - Arroyo Seco Monterey, California, USA (#258699) (XD) - $19.95
Ripe, medium intensity nose of pineapple, banana, nectarine, and mango with some sweet vanilla and spice aromas. It is medium-full bodied and somewhat warming on the rich, sweet-ish palate with pineapple, banana, ripe apple, sweet vanilla, clove spice, and touches of buttery flavours supported by fresh, juicy acidity. Very good length on the finish with buttery, vanilla, and wood spice notes. Fans of California Chardonnay will like this. Serve well-chilled. Score: 87 pts


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  • Sunday, April 19, 2020

13th Street Gamay 2018 (Niagara) - Wine Review

red wine review is the latest Gamay from 13th Street Winery in Niagara. I was first introduced to this winery's Gamay nine years ago when I enjoyed their 2008 13th Street Gamay Noir that showed up in LCBO VINTAGES in .

The 2008 vintage would've been current owners John & June Mann's and Doug & Karen Whitty's first vintage as they purchased 13th Street Winery in September of that year, right around harvest time. 13th Street Winery evolved from a desire to create exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir of Niagara, while also providing a place for guests to congregate and escape, to relax and discover, and to experience and learn. I have tasted many 13th Street wines over the years and have visited the winery on a number of occasions - always leaving with a smile.

Winemaker Jean Pierre Colas is one of Niagara's champions of Gamay and is known for producing some fine examples and 13th Street Winery has a few Gamay's in their portfolio. Including this wine, there is also the fine Whitty Vineyard Gamay and Sandstone Vineyard Gamay - both are lovely wines. The grapes for this particular Gamay are from select Niagara Peninsula vineyards, with harvest taking place in late September and early October, and vinified separately. The 2018 vintage was hot and humid, but luckily, the rains started in September and a freshened the grapes. Unfortunately, the rains did not stop and put pressure to pick early ripening reds, like Gamay, before disease set in. This meant that the grapes were sorted in the vineyard, as well as on the sorting table to ensure only pristine bunches were kept. The result was intense ripness of the grapes, but with lower yields. After fermentation in tanks, the wines were kept separate until the final blending and bottling which occurred in early June 2019.

This Gamay is a VINTAGES Essential listing at the LCBO and is always available at LCBO outlets across Ontario. In VINTAGES, the 2018 vintage should be on shelves soon - if not already. Having said that, this delicious red wine is available for purchase at the winery via Porch Pickup or contact-less delivery. As an added bonus, 13th Street is currently offering free shipping on any wine purchase (with no minimums!) for deliveries in Ontario. Simply use promo code FREE when you place your order.

13th Street Gamay 2018 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

13TH STREET GAMAY 2018 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#177824) (XD) - $19.95
Fermented with minimal intervention and raised entirely in stainless steel tanks. Screw cap enclosure. This Gamay has a lovely dark plum, cherry, blackberry, and gentle spice nose with some savoury earthy characters and just a touch of floral. It's light-to-mid-weighted on the palate with light tannins and fresh acidity framing the spice, cherry, and red currant, and plum flavours. Nicely textured and well-balanced with very good length on the earthy-savoury finish. Enjoy over the next 2-3 years. Score: 89 pts


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  • Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

Following up on the delicious 2019 Yealands Sauvignon Blanc that I enjoyed late last year, tonight I am trying the 2018 vintage to see how it is holding up two years from vintage.

With the 2018 edition of this white wine, Yealands celebrated its 10th year of operations. Back in 2008, founder Peter Yealands set out to become one of the world’s most sustainable wine producers. He determined that the only way to craft truly beautiful, award-winning wines was in partnership with nature - a philosophy that holds true today and forms the basis of their approach to winemaking.

Peter Yealands is a third generation Marlborough native and his trademark "can do" attitude is the stuff of legend. The former founder had an irrepressible imagination, inexhaustible energy, and an unswerving passion for the land. He also had a career of leading-edge innovation across many industries. At the winery, they installed a large solar panel array on their winery roof, as well as bailed and burned their vine prunings to heat their water. The vision is to push boundaries, think innovatively and produce some of the most exceptional, and sustainable, wines around.

While this vintage is long gone from LCBO shelves, the latest vintage is the 2019 edition with its new label is widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario. Let's see how the 2018 is tasting tonight...

Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

YEALANDS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#277731) (XD) - $16.95
Screw cap and vegan-friendly, this NZ Sauvignon Blanc has an elegant, restrained nose of guava and passionfruit aromas followed by some lemon citrus, mint, and thyme notes. It's medium-bodied with bracing acidity that freshens the palate. Ripe and tart with flavours of lemon/lime citrus, guava, and gooseberry, with touches of pear and thyme. Well-balanced with touches of mineral on the mid-palate and very good length on the juicy, lip-smacking finish. Score: 89 pts


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  • Thursday, April 9, 2020

Pascual Toso Chardonnay 2018 (Argentina) - Wine Review

wine review is the companion white wine to the 2017 Pascual Toso Malbec red wine that I enjoyed last week. Like the Malbec, this Chardonnay from Argentina is widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario.

Pascual Toso was established in 1890 and the Estate line of wines are an expression of their passion, commitment to quality, and terroir of Barrancas. The Estate wines come from specially selected vines that are 15 to 25 years old, on high trellises, and watered by a drip irrigation system which allows them to manage the flow of water to obtain the best results. The portfolio of the Estate line of wines includes the varietals Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Torrontes.

Pascual Toso Chardonnay 2018 (86 pts)

Tasting Note:

PASCUAL TOSO CHARDONNAY 2018 - Mendoza, Argentina (#634808) (XD) - $12.95
The fragrant smoky, toasty nose gives way to buttery, ripe apple, pear, and honey aromas. It's full-bodied on the ripe palate with buttery, ripe apple, pear, toasty oak flavours, along with hints of vanilla. It has food-friendly acidity, a toasty mid-palate, and very good length on the buttery, vanilla, and apple flavoured finish. Score: 86 pts


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  • Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Crasto 2018 (Portugal) - Wine Review

wine review is a delicious blend of Douro red grape varieties from Portugal. The 2017 vintage of this red wine will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

It is produced by Quinta do Crasto, an estate whose name comes from the Latin castrum meaning "Roman fort", and its history dates far back into ancient times, with the first mention of its wine production dating back to 1615. Between the years of 1758 and 1761, 335 large granite markers were installed around the Douro Valley to delineate the first ever Demarcated Region in the world. One of these pillars can still be seen by the century-old farm house at Quinta do Crasto.

In the early part of the 20th century, Quinta do Crasto was purchased by the founder of the renowned Constantino wine house, Constantino de Almeida. Following his death in 1923, his son Fernando Moreira d’Almeida took over the management of Quinta do Crasto. In 1981, Leonor Roquette (daughter of Fernando Moreira d’Almeida) and her husband Jorge Roquette took over majority ownership as well as the management of the estate. With their sons, Miguel and Tomás Roquette, the fourth generation of the family began the process of renovating and expanding the vineyards, while also starting the production of Douro DOC table wines such as this Crasto Red.

Crasto 2018 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

CRASTO 2018 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#81588) (XD) - $18.95
A blend of traditional Douro grape varieties Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Barroca, and raised mostly in stainless steel tanks. Fresh, wild dark berry aromas lift out of the glass followed by some floral, schist mineral, purple fruit, and savoury earthy notes. It's medium+ bodied with lovely schist mineral and wild dark berry flavours supported by fresh, juicy acidity and smooth, fine-grained, and slightly chalky mineral tannins. Fine mineral, dark berry, and floral flavours linger on the long, balanced, mouth-watering, and textured finish. Enjoy over the next 3-5 years. Recommended buy. Score: 89 pts


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  • Saturday, March 28, 2020

Scattered Earth Bush Vine Cinsault 2018 (South Africa) - Wine Review

wine review is a delicious, wallet-friendly, and intriguing Cinsault from South Africa that will arrive in LCBO VINTAGES on .

Scattered Earth is a relatively new brand of wines - launched within the last couple of years - and created by South Africa's co-operative - KWV. The Scattered Earth brand follows the learnings of The Mentors brand. With Mentors, the story is about innovation and experimentation, along with regionality. The exciting new winemakers created a micro-winery within KWV, and used what they learned about The Mentors line to create a range of Scattered Earth wines that are still regionally specific, and created on a fairly small scale, but bigger than Mentors so that they could be produced in larger quantities.

Cinsault is one of the parent grapes of the hybrid Pinotage, and it is uncommon to find Cinsault on its own in a bottle of wine. The grapes for this Cinsault come from Bush Vines, a system of perfectly straight rows of uniform height and short trunks. The Bush Vines are free-standing and best-suited to low-vigour vineyards in hot, drier climates, such as those found in the Western Cape in South Africa. Bush Vines tend to produce smaller crops with smaller berries that have thicker skins, resulting in much more concentrated colour and flavours. Let's see how this straight Cinsault is tasting tonight...

Scattered Earth Bush Vine Cinsault 2018 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

SCATTERED EARTH BUSH VINE CINSAULT 2018 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#13350) (XD) - $12.95
Aged in oak for 8-10 months and enclosed by screw cap. Fresh, fruity nose of red berry, raspberry, cherry notes with floral, violet, and some rustic earthiness, dried herb and spice notes that add intrigue. It is medium-full bodied with impressive concentration on the palate. Ripe flavours of red berry, raspberry, cherry, and strawberry give way to rustic earthy and smoky wood spice notes. It has juicy acidity, while medium level tannins are well-integrated and have some structure. Nicely balanced with earthy, wood spice and touches of dark chocolate on the finish, with very good length. Would pair nicely with lamb burgers. Score: 88 pts


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  • Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Lakeview Cellars Morgan Vineyard Kerner 2018 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine review is a nice white wine from Niagara that is crafted from the aromatic Kerner grape varietal. I enjoyed the 2017 Lakeview Cellars Morgan Vineyard Kerner back in 2018 and am delighted to see Lakeview Wine Co. make this wine again due to popular demand.

Lakeview Cellars was established in 1991 and built a worldwide reputation as a leading producer of premium wines and is now part of the Diamond Estates Wine & Spirits Ltd. organization. With a passion for creating high quality wines, Lakeview Cellars wines are produced in limited quantities and only from vintages that their winemakers deem fit to bear the Lakeview label.

While the previous vintage of this wine showed up in LCBO VINTAGES in August 2018, the current vintage is available exclusively at the winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake and through their online web store.

Lakeview Cellars Morgan Vineyard Kerner 2018 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAKEVIEW CELLARS MORGAN VINEYARD KERNER 2018 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#443614) (D) - $19.95
From the Morgan Vineyard within the Lincoln Lakeshore sub-appellation, the 20+ year old vines are planted on sandy soils. Screw cap. Generous aromas of floral, honeysuckle, orange blossom, and peach waft out of the glass, all of which come through nicely on the balanced, off-dry palate. Racy acids and spice notes keep things fresh on the mid-weighted palate. Adding further interest on the mid-palate are some grapefruit and herbally notes. Clean, crisp, and juicy on the finish, with very good length. Score: 88 pts


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  • Monday, March 9, 2020

Wines of Argentina Masterclass

Tastes of Argentina masterclass on wine

In , I had the pleasure of attending a Tastes of Argentina masterclass to explore the climatic and cultural factors shaping today's wines from Argentina. The event was hosted by The Consulate of Argentina, represented by Maria de los Angeles Arrieta, Deputy Consul General Trade Commissioner from Consulate General of Argentina, and leading the masterclass was Christopher Waters, Dip. WSET.

Elizabeth Luzza, Christopher Waters, and Maria de los Angeles Arrieta

Argentina is the 2nd largest country in South America and 8th largest country in the world. The winegrowing regions in Argentina are located approximately between 30° to 50° latitude - the sweet-spot for grape-growing in the Southern Hemisphere, and within the same latitude range as other major wine regions in the South Hemisphere such as Chile, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. There are six major factors that make the wines of Argentina unique and compelling.

We begin with the first factor - altitude. The vineyards in Argentina are planted within a range at the low-end of 1,000 ft. (300 m) all the way up to 10,000 ft. (3,000 m) above sea level. These high altitudes help create a variety of terroirs and microclimates that distinguish Argentina from the rest of the world. It was interesting to learn that even though vines are planted at high altitudes, many of the vineyards are located on plateaus and not on steep slopes. Planting on plateaus allows for easier monitoring during the grape-growing season as well as harvests that are less labour intensive. The highest vineyards are located in the cooler climate Salta region in northern Argentina, falling under the Winkler I index and are some of the coolest vineyards on the planet.

Terroir is the second major factor. Being one the largest countries in the world, spanning nearly 3,800 kilometres from north to south, the terroir is quite diverse due to wide-ranging altitudes and latitudes. With vineyards across large areas, it is only natural to see variability in soils. The presence of the Andes mountains and rainfall regime are also key factors that affect the terroir. All of these factors contribute to the great diversity of terroirs in Argentina.

The third major factor that makes the wines of Argentina unique is the climate - which is dry and continental. Argentina is very unique in that its traditional wine regions are located in high-altitude valleys, far from the oceans, making Argentina one of the few continental viticultural areas in the world. Moreover, because the Andes mountain range is to the west of Argentina, the cold winds and rain are essentially blocked, leaving only hot and dry winds to flow through the vines. This dryness of the climate helps maintain vineyard health almost completely naturally, which contributes to the production of organic wines.

Poor (or low fertility) soils make for better wine, and the low fertility soils in Argentina are fairly young and nutrient-deprived, with low organic matter, leading to desirable restricted vine growth. Poor soils also help promote natural development of the grape with genuinely distinct flavours.

Argentina also has great water purity, with the main source of irrigation in mountain valleys coming from meltwater in the Andes. This pure, snowmelt water from the mountains is free from any contaminants.

The final factor that makes Argentine wine unique is the new generation of winemakers. The first vitis vinifera wines were produced by the Spanish settlers in 1551. In 1853, the first School of Agriculture was formed and the wine industry subsequently expanded nationwide. The modernization of the wine industry in Argentina began in the 1990’s with local and foreign investments in the search for new markets to export Argentinian wine.

Today, a new generation of agricultural engineers, oenologists, and winemakers is taking the lead and breaking new ground when it comes to producing quality wines. Sebastian Zuccardi, Laura Catena, Luis Reginato, and Alejandro Vigil are just some of the people making exceptional wines in Argentina. With the help of technology applied to the study of soils and climate, new Geographical Indications (GIs) were discovered. Similar to systems used in other winegrowing regions, GIs indicate the origin of the grape and its differential attributes.

Together, the six factors of altitude, terroir, climate, soil, water, and the new generation of winemakers combine to give Argentina it’s unique habitat for creating cutting edge wines.

Tastes of Argentina masterclass on wine

Malbec is usually the first wine that comes to mind when thinking of Argentine wine. It is not surprising given that Malbec is the most widely planted and most important vitis vinifera varietal in Argentina. However, other varieties are becoming more prevalent. In addition to tasting some fine Malbec wines at this masterclass, the 12-wine structured tasting also featured wines made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Torrontés, and Cabernet Franc that are thriving in Argentina and gaining recognition across the globe. Tasting notes of my favourite wines from this wine tasting are provided below. Most of the wines are currently available or coming soon to the LCBO, or otherwise can be ordered via the Agent.

Tasting Notes:

CATENA ZAPATA WHITE BONES ADRIANNA VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2016 - Gualtallary, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#514844) (XD) - $125
A super premium Chardonnay with a clean, medium+ intensity nose of pear, apple, orchard fruit and some limestone mineral, earthy, leesy, and buttery characters, all of which show up beautifully on the nicely balanced, medium-full bodied palate. There's some structure to the fruit, along with a touch of bitterness. Earthy-mineral elements linger on the long, juicy finish. Agent: Noble Estates. Score: 93 pts

Catena Zapata White Bones Adrianna Vineyard Chardonnay 2016 (93 pts)El Esteco 1945 Old Vines Torrontés 2018 (92 pts)

EL ESTECO 1945 OLD VINES TORRONTÉS 2018 - Calchaquí Valley, Argentina (#010695) (XD) - $25.95
From vines planted in 1945, the lovely, highly aromatic nose jumps out of the glass with clean, floral and herbal aromas, along with hints of lemon citrus, white grapefruit, and salty mineral notes adding complexity. There's very good fruit on the medium-bodied palate with tension between the fruit and acids. Very nice aroma replays on the flavour profile. Excellent length on the long, earthy and minerally finish. Agent: Vins Dandurand. Score: 92 pts

EL ENEMIGO CABERNET FRANC 2015 - Gualtallary, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#011813) (XD) - $23.95
From a specific plot of the Adrianna Vineyard in Gualtallary, the medium-high intensity nose delivers classic Cabernet Franc herbaceous, tobacco, and dark berry aromas along with some vanilla spice notes. It is medium+ bodied with very nice aromas replays on the flavour profile, plus some dark currant, dark cherry, and smoky notes adding complexity. Acids are crunchy, while tannins are smooth and refined. Long, balanced finish and should drink well over the next 5-6 years. Coming to LCBO VINTAGES Mar. 7, 2020. Agent: Noble Estates. Score: 89 pts

El Enemigo Cabernet Franc 2015 (89 pts)Trapiche Medalla Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (89 pts)

TRAPICHE MEDALLA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2016 - Lujan de Cuyo & Maipu, Mendoza, Argentina (#568865) (XD) - $19.95
Subtle nose of currant, cassis, and minerals with some earthy spice tones. It's full-bodied with structured tannins that are well-integrated and very approachable. It has very nice aroma replays on the flavour profile with more spice, currant, cassis, and dark berry flavours, lifted by bright acidity and crunchy fruit. Pleasing notes of dark berry, cherry with hints of floral linger on the finish. Arrived in LCBO VINTAGES Feb. 8, 2020. Agent: Vins Dandurand. Score: 89 pts

BODEGA DEL ARTE CLAROSCURO MALBEC 2017 - Tunuyan, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (XD) - $18.95
Although I seemed to be among the very few, this was my favourite of the Malbecs. The subtle nose gives off aromas of currant, cassis, mineral, and hints of earthy spice, while the full-bodied, crunchy palate has structured tannins that are well-integrated and quite approachable. It has also has very nice aroma replays with lovely spice, currant, cassis, and dark berry notes, supported by bright acidity. Appealing notes of dark berry, cherry, and hints of floral linger on the long finish. Available via Abcon. Score: 89 pts

Bodega del Arte Claroscuro Malbec 2017 (89 pts)Dona Paula 1350 Red Terroir Blend 2015 (89 pts)

DONA PAULA 1350 RED TERROIR BLEND 2015 - Gualtallary, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#568956) (XD) - $20.75
This blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 45% Malbec, and 5% Casavecchi has a medium-high, fairly complex nose that is Cab Franc dominant with red and black fruits, oak spice, and herbaceous notes. It is full-bodied and structured with a touch grippy and tight tannins, and nice aroma replays on the flavour profile. It has juicy acids and very good finish length. Best after 2-3 years of ageing. Agent: Select Wines & Spirits. Score: 89 pts


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  • Monday, February 10, 2020

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine review is a lovely Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand that will be arriving in LCBO VINTAGES on .

It is produced by the legendary Kevin Judd at Greywacke - his Marlborough label on the South Island of New Zealand. Greywacke is the fulfillment of a long-held dream, a name adopted by Kevin and his wife Kimberley for their first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura which has a high prevalence of rounded greywacke stones in the soils of the vineyard. I am excited to be visiting New Zealand later this month and will be meeting up with Kevin at Greywacke and hope to see these stones in person. Stay tuned.

The grapes for this Sauvignon Blanc were sourced from various prime vineyard sites in Marlborough's Southern Valleys, the central Wairau Plains (specifically in Woodbourne, Renwick, and Rapaura), and a spectacular river terrace site in the upper Awatere Valley. Soil types vary from the young alluvial soils of Rapaura, Renwick and the upper Awatere, which contain high proportions of New Zealand’s ubiquitous greywacke river stones, to the older and denser clay-loams of the Southern Valleys.

The previous three vintages of the Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc that I tasted have all been amazing, high-quality wines - and perhaps not really surprising given who is behind these wines - so, I fully expect this latest vintage to also be delicious! The 2018 vintage was very warm and humid, but also very wet, resulting in a challenging year that promises to deliver quality wines. Let's see how the 2018 is tasting tonight...

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

GREYWACKE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#164228) (XD) - $24.95
Screw cap. Ripe, medium-high intensity nose delivers guava, kiwi, passion fruit, tropical fruit, gooseberry, and citrus aromas with a fine mineral underpinning. It is medium-bodied with good weight to the fruit and slightly creamy textured. Zesty citrus, ripe kiwi, guava, and passion fruit flavours with touches of spice and floral are lifted by the fresh, vibrant acidity. Fine mineral and lime zest notes linger on the long, crisp finish, with excellent length. Lovely, as always. Score: 91 pts


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  • Friday, February 7, 2020

Klippenkop Pinotage 2018 (South Africa) - Wine Review

red wine review is a Pinotage from South Africa that newly arrived at the LCBO last month as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

It is produced by Robertson Winery, a large wine producer situated just outside the town of Robertson, in the Breede River Valley in southwestern South Africa. The winery was established in 1941 in a stone church that was built by the community and serviced by missionaries, but was no longer in use and converted for use in winemaking and cellaring operations.

Robertson is nestled in a valley of abundance, from the sun-drenched mountain vineyards growing select varietals to plentiful river valley vineyards heavy with fruit. The Breede River is the life source of the Robertson Valley and is one of the most important rivers in the Western Cape. It flows from the Skurweberg to the sea at Witsands, and is joined by hundreds of streams off the surrounding Langeberg mountains along the way. They irrigate their vines from this vital artery.

This particular wine gets its name from the geographical term 'klippen', which refers to an outcrop of rock, while 'kop' in Afrikaans translates to either 'hillock' or 'head'.

Klippenkop Pinotage 2018 (85 pts)

Tasting Note:

KLIPPENKOP PINOTAGE 2018 - WO Robertson, South Africa (#012428) (XD) - $13.95
Screw cap. Matured on wood for 3 months, this has the distinctive wood-influenced smoky, coffee, and mocha chocolate nose so commonly found in South African Pinotage. The light-to-medium bodied palate is sour and tart with more coffee and mocha chocolate flavours. Acids are succulent, while the lingering finish has more coffee and mocha chocolate notes. Coffee lovers will probably enjoy this. Score: 85 pts


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  • Sunday, January 26, 2020

Lakeview Cellars Serenity Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (Niagara) - Wine Review

It's been a crazy couple of weeks, plus today's tragic news of Kobe Bryant, so for wine review I feel like having some serenity now with this Sauvignon Blanc from Niagara.

Serenity is that feeling created by quiet conversations, easy smiles, magical moments with friends or simply your personal oasis - and is exactly what this delicious white wine was created to be part of.

The Serenity collection of wines, which also includes the Serenity Baco Noir, is a new addition to the Lakeview Cellars brand. These wines are produced by Lakeview Wine Co., a division of Diamond Estates Wine & Spirits Ltd. in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Winemaker Scott McGregor says that he enjoys crafting these premium and approachable Serenity Wines. He also mentions that this Sauvignon Blanc would be a great patio wine.

Given that it is January in Toronto, I have no doubt that this will be a hit on patios come Spring, but I will pass on the patio for now and move indoors to my serene spot on the couch, bundled up with warm slippers.

This white wine is widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario, as well as at the winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake or by shopping online.

Lakeview Cellars Serenity Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAKEVIEW CELLARS SERENITY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#688549) (D) - $16.95
Screw cap. Fragrant nose of gooseberry, green, grassy, and lime zest aromas. It's medium+ bodied with good fruit concentration and gooseberry, kiwi, tropical fruit, and lime citrus flavours supported by bracing acidity. Good length on the finish. Serve well-chilled. Score: 87 pts


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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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