Showing posts with label australia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label australia. Show all posts
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  • Sunday, May 19, 2019

Peter Lehmann The Barossan Shiraz 2016 (Australia) - Wine Review

red wine review is a nice Australian Shiraz. The 2017 vintage of wine will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

Peter Lehmann was born in Barossa in 1930 and was the fifth generation of one of Barossa's pioneering families. In 1947, Peter apprenticed as a winemaker at Yalumba and in 1959 he became the Winemaker/Manager at the Barossa winery Saltram. In the late 1970's, during a difficult time in the winegrowing region when there was a grape surplus and contracts were being cancelled, Peter took a massive gamble by working with growers to process their grapes at Saltram (with the permission of Saltram's owners) as a side-project he called "Masterson" - a famous gambler from Guys and Dolls. After Saltram was sold, Peter parted ways with the new owners and he started Masterson Wines in 1979, which evolved into Peter Lehmann Wines.

Today, Peter Lehmann Wines is renowned as one of Australia’s most internationally awarded wineries and its wines are a celebration of the Barossa community and the benefits that passion, craft and collaboration can bring. Peter Lehmann Wines has strong relationships with more than 140 grape growers across the region and has access to some of Barossa’s finest fruit.

The fruit for The Barossan Shiraz come from high quality parcels that are selected from a diverse range of Shiraz vineyards throughout the Barossa Valley, many of which include vines over 100 years old.

Peter Lehmann The Barossan Shiraz 2016 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

PETER LEHMANN THE BAROSSAN SHIRAZ 2016 - Barossa, South Australia (#522235) (XD) - $21.95
Screw cap. Medium+ intensity nose offers ripe black cherry and blackberry aromas combined with enticing black pepper notes. It is medium-full bodied on the palate with mocha, licorice, oak spice and touches of mint joining the black cherry and black pepper notes on the flavour profile. It has fresh acids and smooth, supple tannins. Earthy and mocha notes linger on the finish, with very good length. Enjoyed with lamb burgers off the BBQ. Score: 88 pts

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  • Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Joiy Rosé Sparkling (Australia) - Wine Review

I am trying sparkling wine in a can. This is a new product that will be arriving at the LCBO very soon and will complement the Joiy Sparkling (Riesling) that is currently available.

I must admit, I have never tried wine from a can before and the traditionalist in me thinks that I will eventually drink it from a wine glass. However, I do see the advantages of packaging wine in a can as it is very portable, doesn't require any special openers, nor do you need a glass.

This particular sparkling wine is made by the New Zealand company Joiy in Australia using Australian wine. The winemaker is Chris Archer, an entrepreneur with over 25 years of winemaking experience. He wanted to create a truly unique product that broke the realms of the traditional wine industry. According to Chris, Joiy wines are "Delightfully chic and spirited, Joiy wines act as the catalyst for many social escapades. Joiy celebrates the day. The antidote to the ordinary, it sings of the promise of amusements yet to come. Wines to release a little mischief".

Joiy Rosé Sparkling

Tasting Note:

JOIY ROSÉ SPARKLING - Australia (#647313) (D) (250 mL) - $4.95
Fresh, candied cherry and strawberry aromas that follow through on the off-dry palate with some floral, citrus and bitter stemmy flavours. Crisp and lively acids balance the bubbles and helps keep the sweetness in check. Casual, easy drinking, and fun for a day at the beach or park.

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  • Friday, March 15, 2019

Wakefield Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (Australia) - Wine Review

yummy red wine from Australia is returning to LCBO VINTAGES on . It is the latest in a series of wines I've reviewed from Wakefield Wines over the past year.

Wakefield Wines have been crafted by the Taylor's family for three generations. Australia's iconic wine regions provide great diversity. The Jaraman range of wines are created from parcels of fruit that showcases the regions distinctive characteristics and style.

In 2015, Coonawarra experienced an excellent start to the growing season with average winter rainfall ensuring good soil moisture. However, Spring was not typical as it was very dry and one of the region's warmest, with conditions remaining this way through December. In January, there were some refreshing rains, while the Summer growing season was a classic with warm days and cool nights, leading to a long and cool ripening that is ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon.

In the Clare Valley, there was slightly higher than average rainfall leading up to the 2015 vintage. However, there was very little rainfall afterwards, making it the driest August ever recorded. In addition to an extremely dry Spring, it was also warm and windy, leading to higher water loss. This resulted in smaller bunch numbers. Rains in January provided a welcomed relief for the vines, and helped increase yields and quality.

Wakefield Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

WAKEFIELD JARAMAN CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - Coonawarra/Clare Valley, South Australia (#142398) (XD) - $24.95
100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra (76%) and Clare Valley (24%). Screw cap. The medium+ intensity nose is very minty with thyme and herbal aromas layered on top of ripe blackberry, red fruit, and oak spice notes. It is full-bodied and quite dense on the palate with firm tannins. Blackberry, mint, and oak spice flavours with high acids freshening the palate. Dry and chalky on the long finish with more blackberry, mint, and oak spice flavours. A big, enjoyable Aussie Cab that should be better in 2-3 years. Score: 89 pts

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  • Monday, February 11, 2019

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Release Feb. 16, 2019: Brand New + Australia

LCBO Wine Picks: February 16, 2019 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release highlights wines that are Brand New to VINTAGES in the main theme, while the mini-theme looks at cool wines from Australia. All of these wines, and many more, will arrive on VINTAGES shelves across Ontario by this .

We'll begin with the main theme that features eighteen wines in the theme titled "Brand New to VINTAGES", of which six are included among my top wine picks. From the white wines, there is a nice indigenous Greco from Campania, as well as a barrel-fermented Pouilly-Fuissé Chardonnay from Burgundy. Among the red wines, there is a lovely single vineyard Syrah from the coastal cool-climate region of Leyda Valley in Chile. From Rhône, there is the excellent Domaine Alary Cairanne, as well as the Camille Cayran Plan de Dieu, both of which are made with 100% Grenache. Lastly, there is an alluring 2011 Barolo made with Nebbiolo.

Domaine Alary La Jean de Verde Cairanne 2015 (91 pts)Viña Leyda Canelo Single Vineyard Syrah 2015 (90 pts)

From the mini-theme that focuses on refined and elegant wines from the cool-climate regions of Australia, three of the seven wines are included among my wine recommendations. From the cool-climate region of Adelaide Hills in South Australia there is a single vineyard (and single block) Australian Shiraz. From the Margaret River region in Western Australia, the Stella Bella Chardonnay is a fine barrel-fermented example. Also from Margaret River is a lovely Syrah (note the spelling) that is actually a blend of 95% Syrah, 3% Viognier, and 2% Malbec, and shows elegance and finesse reminiscent of wines from Rhône.

Among my red wine picks from the rest of the Release, the Patrick Lesec Cairanne is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and old-vines Carignan that was raised almost entirely in tank, while the Bordeaux is a blend of 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. From Tuscany, the Chianti Classico is a blend of 96% Sangiovese and 4% Merlot, while the Palazzino is made with Colorino - a grape normally used for blends. From the volcanic soils of Etna (Sicily), the Piano dei Diani is a blend of 90% Nerello Mascalese and 10% Nerello Cappuccio, while the Portuguese wine is a field blend of 30 grape varietals, but primarily Touriga Franca, Tempranillo and Touriga Nacional.

My white wine picks are all single varietals, including a Pinot Grigio that shows some sweetness. The rest are all dry white wines including Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre (Loire, France), Chile, and New Zealand, and Chardonnay from Meursault (Burgundy) and Australia.

Cliffhanger Pinot Grigio 2017 (86 pts)

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • SANTA CAROLINA GRAN RESERVA PETIT VERDOT 2014 - DO Rapel Valley, Chile (#007484) (XD) - $16.95
  • CAMILLE CAYRAN LA RÉSERVE PLAN DE DIEU 2017 - AP Côtes du Rhône-Villages, France (#644286) (XD) - $17.95
  • PATRICK LESEC CAIRANNE 2016 - AP, Rhône, France (#636217) (XD) - $19.95
  • PIERRE LURTON BORDEAUX 2016 - AC, France (#632984) (XD) - $19.95
  • VIÑA LEYDA CANELO SINGLE VINEYARD SYRAH 2015 - DO Leyda Valley, Chile (#632703) (XD) - $19.95  90 pts  wine review
  • DOMAINE NATURALISTE DISCOVERY SYRAH 2014 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#632596) (XD) - $24.95

  • PIANO DEI DIANI 2015 - DOC Etna Rosso, Sicily, Italy (#589242) (XD) - $26.95
  • DOMAINE ALARY LA JEAN DE VERDE CAIRANNE 2015 - AC Côtes du Rhône-Villages, France (#639914) (XD) - $28.95  91 pts  wine review
  • THE LANE SINGLE VINEYARD BLOCK 14 BASKET PRESS SHIRAZ 2016 - Adelaide Hills, South Australia (#470591) (XD) - $29.95
  • AMA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2015 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#515759) (XD) - $34.95
  • IL PALAZZINO STAGI 2012 - IGT Toscana, Tuscany, Italy (#629212) (XD) - $37.95  FE
  • PINTAS CHARACTER 2015 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#292599) (XD) - $49.95  FE
  • LA SPINONA SORÌ GEPIN BAROLO 2011 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#577874) (XD) - $68.95

White Wine:

  • CLIFFHANGER PINOT GRIGIO 2017 - DOC Trentino, Italy (#528687) (XD) - $15.95  86 pts  wine review
  • TARAPACÁ GRAN RESERVA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - DO Leyda Valley, Chile (#632349) (XD) - $17.95
  • LA GUARDIENSE JANARE DEL SANNIO GRECO 2017 - DOP, Campania, Italy (#631085) (XD) - $18.95
  • CHAVET & FILS LA DAME DE JACQUES COEUR MENETOU-SALON BLANC 2017 - AC, Loire, France (#525048) (XD) - $20.95
  • AWATERE RIVER BY LOUIS VAVASOUR SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#492272) (XD) - $21.95
  • STELLA BELLA CHARDONNAY 2016 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#102061) (XD) - $28.95
  • JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE GENÈSE SANCERRE 2017 - AC, Loire, France (#189126) (XD) - $29.95
  • DOMAINE NATURALISTE FLORIS CHARDONNAY 2015 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#609339) (XD) - $33.95  FE
  • DOMAINE SANGOUARD-GUYOT QUINTESSENCE POUILLY-FUISSÉ 2016 - AP, Burgundy, France (#637850) (XD) - $34.95
  • BOUCHARD PÈRE & FILS LES CLOUS MEURSAULT 2016 - AC, Burgundy, France (#661322) (XD) - $68.95  FE

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  • Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Wakefield Jaraman Shiraz 2016 (Australia) - Wine Review (Bottle 2)

red wine is a frequent arrival in VINTAGES and was recently featured in the LCBO VINTAGES Release. It is currently available for purchase in the VINTAGES section at many LCBO outlets across Ontario.

Wakefield Wines is a family-owned and -operated winery located in the southern end of Clare Valley, South Australia. Wakefield is also a member of Australia's First Families of Wine, a group of twelve of Australia's oldest and most respected family-owned, multi-generational wineries who collectively have over 1,380 years of winemaking experience.

I reviewed this delicious Shiraz back in and am curious to see if this bottling, which is enclosed with a screw cap, has changed much over the last 5 months.

Wakefield Jaraman Shiraz 2016 (88 pts)

Wine Review/Tasting Note:

WAKEFIELD JARAMAN SHIRAZ 2016 - Clare Valley/McLaren Vale, South Australia (#377036) (XD) - $24.95
Screw cap. Dark berry, mint, pepper and spice aromas waft from the glass with some jamminess. It is a touch confected on the full-bodied palate with smooth, silky tannins and fresh, lively acids supporting the minty, blueberry, dark berry, cocoa, and spice flavours. Some chalkiness arrives mid-palate. Smooth berry, mocha, and earthy notes linger on the juicy finish, with very good length. Aussie Shiraz lovers will like this. Score: 88 pts

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  • Saturday, October 20, 2018

McWilliam's Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2006 (Australia) - Wine Review

Something really special, wine review is an aged Hunter Valley Semillon that was purchased from an LCBO VINTAGES Release .

Hunter Valley (in Australia, just north of Sydney) is known for producing outstanding Semillon that can be enjoyed young or admired when allowed to age gracefully. Let's see how this is tasting tonight!

McWilliam's Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2006 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

MCWILLIAM'S MOUNT PLEASANT ELIZABETH SEMILLON 2006 - Cellar aged, Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia (#724492) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. Medium yellow-gold colour. Medium-high intensity aromatics are mature and very complex, offering lovely petrol, yellow flower, paraffin, fig, candle and beeswax. It's medium-full bodied with aromas coming up in spades on the mature palate, supported by bracing, juicy acidity. Some lemon/lime flavours appear mid-palate and continue through to the long finish that is flecked with beeswax, butter, and green herb, and finishes with stony minerality. Can be enjoyed over the next 1-2 years. Brilliant! Score: 91 pts

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  • Sunday, September 2, 2018

Wine Reviews from August 5, 2018 Birthday Party

Wine Line-up for Aug. 5 Birthday Party

Last month, we held a birthday party for my toddler daughter and a few of her close friends. And for the adults - there was wine!

The dry rosé was easily the most popular wine at the party, while the Riesling and Shiraz were a close second. All three wines are fairly recent releases to VINTAGES, so you should be able to pick up a bottle at your local LCBO. Full wine reviews are provided below.

Tasting Notes:

GÉRARD BERTRAND CÔTE DES ROSES ROSÉ 2017 - AP Languedoc, Midi, France (#373985) (XD) - $18.95
Glass enclosure. The medium+ intensity nose has appealing aromas of grapefruit, citrus, spring meadow and herbally notes. On the medium+ bodied palate, it has clean and crisp acids with nice texture. Herbally and grapefruit flavours on the dry flavour profile. Touch honeyed, with some bitterness on the long finish. Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah. Enjoy over the next 18 months. Part of the VINTAGES Essentials collection and released as part of the May 12 LCBO VINTAGES Release. Score: 89 pts

Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Rosé 2017 (89 pts)

REDSTONE LIMESTONE VINEYARD SOUTH RIESLING 2016 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#381251) (M) - $19.95
Screw cap. Lovely limestone mineral and petrol aromas mingle with white peach and citrus. It's medium-sweet with nicely balanced acids and flavours with white peach, orange zest, citrus, and green apple flavours with hints of mineral. Tart fruited, lip-smacking finish, with very good length. July 21 LCBO VINTAGES Release. Score: 89 pts

Redstone Limestone Vineyard South Riesling 2016 (89 pts)

DANDELION LIONESS OF MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#357475) (XD) - $21.95
Full wine review here.

Dandelion Lioness of McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016 (88+ pts)

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  • Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Wakefield Jaraman Shiraz 2016 (Australia) - Wine Review

wine review is an Australian Shiraz that arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on .

Like the 2016 Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon that I enjoyed in June, this red wine is produced by the family-owned and -operated Wakefield Wines. This particular red wine is part of their Jaraman Collection - a selection of premium wines that represent the celebration the regional diversity, bringing together two of Australia's finest wine regions in a single varietal wine.

This is a blend of 63% Clare Valley fruit and 37% McLaren Vale fruit. Clare Valley experienced low, but timely, rainfall, while flowering conditions were ideal. Combined with the vines being stress-free heading into winter, this led to the vintage being called one of the greats. In McLaren Vale, there was low rainfall leading up to the growing season, as well as lower than average rainfall during vintage and long dry spells in between. However, intense rainfall over two days in early February helped increase yields. Overall, it was fairly dry year in McLaren Vale, which is ideal for Shiraz.

Wakefield Jaraman Shiraz 2016 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

WAKEFIELD JARAMAN SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale/Clare Valley, South Australia (#377036) (XD) - $24.95
Screw cap. The richly spiced nose has aromas of blackberry, dark cherry, mocha chocolate, and vanilla oak with hints of black plum. It is full-bodied on the richly concentrated and ripe palate with blueberry and blackberry fruit flavours. There is some jamminess on the flavour profile, but it's backed by earthy, mocha, and savoury notes with hints of pepper spice, putting the jamminess firmly in the background (which I like). Acids are fresh, while tannins are smooth, supple and well-integrated. Very good finish length. Score: 88 pts

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  • Monday, August 13, 2018

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Release August 18, 2018: Australia + Europe Less Travelled

LCBO Wine Picks: August 18, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release features wines from Australia as its main theme, while the mini-theme is titled "Europe less travelled". The underlying message is really a chance for you to explore what's new in Australia, as well as the wines from Europe's lesser-known wine regions. There are also a couple of other relatively obscure wines from the New World. All of these wines will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves across Ontario this .

We'll begin with the main theme that features fifteen wines, five of which are included among my top wine picks. The island of Tasmania has been making wine for many years, but only recently has it been gaining notoriety (some of it due to climate change) for wines such as the Jansz Sparkling Rosé that is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Australians are also innovating with wines such as rosé made with Sangiovese, a blend of 81% Syrah and 19% Gamay Noir, and an interesting Pinot Noir from Yarra Valley. And if you've never tried Hunter Valley Semillon, this release has a good one that should age for at least half a decade. Lastly, there is a wild fermented Savagnin that is a Flagship Exclusive (FE).

The mini-theme features a total of ten wines from six off-the-beaten-path European winemaking countries - Austria, Georgia, Lebanon, Greece, Hungary, and Romania. Personally, I wouldn't include Greece as part of this list, but that is a discussion for another day. Four of the wines are included among my wine recommendations. There is a Grüner Veltliner from Austria and a nice dessert wine from Hungary that is a blend of 70% Furmint and 30% Harslevelu. Both Greek wines featured are also among my recommended buys - a nicely floral Moschofilero and a 2010 red made with Agiorgitiko.

Cavino Nemea Grande Reserve 2010 (89 pts)Lakeview Cellars Morgan Vineyard Kerner 2017 (87 pts)

A pair of wines off-the-beaten-path from the New World include a Tannat from Uruguay, and for sweet wine lovers there is an off-dry Kerner from Niagara.

La Ferme du Mont Première Côte Côtes du Rhône 2016 (88 pts)Villacreces Pruno 2016 (89 pts)

Among my top red wine picks, the Côte du Rhône from France is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre, while the Ribera del Duero from Spain is a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CAVINO NEMEA GRANDE RESERVE 2010 - PDO Nemea, Greece (#295618) (XD) - $17.95  89 pts  wine review
  • LA FERME DU MONT PREMIÈRE CÔTE CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2016 - AP, France (#251645) (XD) - $18.95  88 pts  wine review
  • GARZON RESERVA TANNAT 2015 - Uruguay (#558916) (D) - $19.95
  • CHAKANA ESTATE SELECTION CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - Gualtallary, Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#555540) (XD) - $19.95
  • DE BORTOLI G.S. PINOT NOIR 2017 - Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia (#015511) (XD) - $19.95
  • VILLACRECES PRUNO 2016 - DO Ribera del Duero, Spain (#312140) (XD) - $22.95  89 pts  wine review
  • LA BOHÈME ACT FOUR SYRAH/GAMAY 2017 - Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia (#571141) (XD) - $24.95
  • KEINT-HE PORTAGE PINOT NOIR 2014 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (#373415) (XD) - $25.00  89 pts  wine review
  • STEPHEN ROSS SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS PINOT NOIR 2015 - Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, California, USA (#568246) (XD) - $42.95
  • VERSADO RESERVA ANCIENT MALBEC 2013 - Mendoza, Argentina (#316984) (XD) - $59.95
Keint-He Portage Pinot Noir 2014 (89 pts)

White Wine:

  • ZACHARIAS MOSCHOFILERO 2016 - PGI Peloponnese, Greece (#548222) (XD) - $14.95
  • ESTERHÁZY GALÁNTHA GRÜNER VELTLINER 2017 - Qualitätswein, Burgenland, Austria (#568501) (XD) - $16.95
  • LAKEVIEW CELLARS MORGAN VINEYARD KERNER 2017 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#443614) (D) - $17.95  87 pts  wine review
  • ORGANIZED CRIME CHARDONNAY 2016 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#408435) (XD) - $18.95
  • VILLA SPARINA GAVI DI GAVI 2016 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#541854) (XD) - $19.95
  • PACO & LOLA ALBARIÑO 2017 - DO Rías Baixas, Spain (#350041) (XD) - $19.95
  • RUSTENBERG CHARDONNAY 2016 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#598631) (XD) - $19.95
  • BROKENWOOD SEMILLON 2016 - Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia (#657726) (XD) - $22.95
  • HENRI DE VILLAMONT PRESTIGE BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#416123) (XD) - $24.95  89 pts  wine review
  • SOUMAH WILD SAVAGNIN 2015 - Hexham Vineyard, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia (#572743) (XD) - $31.95  FE
  • RADFORD DALE RENAISSANCE CHENIN BLANC 2016 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#320853) (XD) - $39.95  FE
Henri de Villamont Prestige Bourgogne Chardonnay 2015 (89 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • THE FLOOZIE SANGIOVESE ROSÉ 2017 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#558106) (XD) - $19.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • JANSZ PREMIUM SPARKLING ROSÉ - Tasmania, Australia (#037499) (D) - $27.95

Dessert Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU DERESZLA 5 PUTTONYOS TOKAJI ASZÚ 2009 - Tokaj, Hungary (#012203) (S) (500 mL) - $46.95

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  • Sunday, August 5, 2018

Dandelion Lioness of McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016 (Australia) - Wine Review

wine review is an Australian Shiraz that recently arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on .

Dandelion Vineyards is a unique fusion of vineyards and vignerons. The wines represent decades of experience, blending the fruit of old vine gardens with the finest traditions of artisan winemaking, while also allowing the unique character of these vineyards to express their terroir.

The grapes for the Lioness of McLaren Vale Shiraz are sourced from Angus and Helen Tuck's vineyard located in the subregion of Bakers Gully, in the foothills of McLaren Vale. These are mature vines are grown on ironstone pebble laden clay loam, over ancient Kurrajong Formation geology, a silica cemented conglomerate most suited to grow Shiraz.

Dandelion Lioness of McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

DANDELION LIONESS OF MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#357475) (XD) - $21.95
Hand-picked and pressed in whole bunches, and raised in 20% new and 80% older French Oak barriques for 18 months. Screw cap. The medium-high intensity nose offers aromas of black plum, blackberry, jammy, black peppercorn, and oak spices with some jamminess. On the medium-full bodied palate, this has vibrant acids and nice black peppercorn and blue fruit aroma replays in a dry flavour profile, with jamminess firmly in the background. Rounded tannins are ripe, dusty, and smooth. Black peppercorn and chocolate notes linger on the long finish. Score: 88+ pts

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  • Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Wine Reviews - June 24 Birthday Party

Wine Lineup for June 24, 2018 Birthday Party

On , we threw a birthday party at Bombay Touch in Thornhill for my son who just turned a year old. I brought in my own wines for the occasion, spanning a fairly wide range of categories so that each guest could find at least one wine that would appeal to their palate. Wines styles included a dry rosé, a dry white wine, a sweet white wine, and a variety of dry red wines. The most popular wines were the Mencía, the rosé, and the Riesling.

All of the wines are fairly recent additions to VINTAGES and should still be available for purchase in the VINTAGES section at the LCBO. Wines reviews of each of the wines are posted below.

Tasting Notes:

MALIVOIRE VIVANT ROSÉ 2017 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#498535) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. Pale pink colour much the same as Provence. Lovely, highly aromatic, bright and fresh aromas of mineral, white grapefruit, and lemon citrus. The palate is dry with complex white grapefruit, orange peel, herbs, and mineral with hints of lemon, on a medium-full bodied frame and lifted with crisp, vibrant acidity. Nicely balanced throughout with hints of strawberry and cherry flavours. Excellent finish length with lemony nuances. Released in LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 91 pts

Malivoire Vivant Rosé 2017 (91 pts)

TAHBILK MARSANNE 2017 - Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria, Australia (#117945) (XD) - $17.95
Screw cap. Fresh and highly aromatic with grassy, lemon/lime, pear, flinty mineral, and hints of herbal and stone fruits. It has a dry, medium+ body palate with a nice, slightly chalky texture and balanced aroma replays. Balanced acids with a touch viscous mouthfeel on the mid-palate, while the finish is long with nice mineral notes. Released in LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 89 pts

Tahbilk Marsanne 2017 (89 pts)Tawse Sketches of Niagara Riesling 2016 (90 pts)

TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA RIESLING 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#089029) (M) - $18.95
Screw cap. Wow. Highly aromatic and pretty aromas of peach and orange which give way to ripe apple, mineral and hints of petrol. It's medium+ bodied on the palate with very good fruit concentration and medium sweet flavours that are nicely balanced and mimic the aroma profile. High acids are crisp and provide a lip-smacking, long finish with just a touch of sourness. Released in LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 90 pts

ROMIO PRIMITIVO 2016 - IGT Puglia, Italy (#569954) (XD) - $13.95
Full review here.

Romio Primitivo 2016 (87 pts)Marrenon Versant Nord Luberon 2015 (88+ pts)

MARRENON VERSANT NORD LUBERON 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#537969) (XD) - $15.95
A single vineyard blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache. The medium-high intensity aromas offer complex blackberry, dark currant, pepper, and meaty aromas with some savoury and dark cherry notes as well. On the medium-full bodied, crunchy palate, it has plummy, blueberry, and dark berry flavours, plus savoury hints of oak spice and peppery notes. Vibrant acids and supple tannins with a touch of grip add to the character of this wine, while the finish length is very good. Released in LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 88+ pts

WAKEFIELD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2016 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#744235) (XD) - $19.95
Full review here.

Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (87 pts)Gancedo Xestal Mencía 2010 (90 pts)

GANCEDO XESTAL MENCÍA 2010 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#553743) (XD) - $17.95
From 60+ year old vines, this maturing Mencía has a gorgeous, highly aromatic nose offering a pretty bouquet of red cherry, raspberry, red floral, and sweet oak spice. It's full bodied with fine, dusty tannins providing some grip, and very appealing aroma replays, plus some baking spice and cinnamon, and earthy/savoury elements on the flavour profile. Acids are juicy. Touch warming on the mid-palate. Excellent finish length. Released in LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 90 pts

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  • Monday, June 25, 2018

Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (Australia) - Wine Review

wine review is a perennial visitor to the LCBO and was recently released into VINTAGES on . It is widely available across Ontario.

Wakefield Wines is a family-owned winery based near the Wakefield River in Clare Valley, South Australia. The Taylor family planted their first vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon) in 1969 with a vision to create authentic, estate grown wines. When Bill Taylor Sr. excavated a dam to secure a water source, he discovered tiny seahorses in the limestone bedrock - a reminder that these soils were under water more than 600 million years ago. The seahorse quickly became the symbol of the family's wine brand, with three seahorses now representing the three generations of Taylor family winemakers.

The family is also committed to operating in a responsible and sustainable manner to help protect the environment. In 2009, Wakefield received their ISO14001 certification for their Environmental Management System (EMS) which demonstrates a commitment to environmental stewardship. The EMS assists with identifying and controlling environmental impacts throughout the wine-growing process such as environmental risks, impact on land and biodiversity, and water conservation.

Wakefield has won numerous medals for its wines, including this Cabernet Sauvignon. They also had a run of four years (from 2013 to 2016) being named one of the top 5 wineries in the world. In 2004, they were the first major Australian wine company to bottle 100% of their wines under screw cap - a trend which continues all over the world today.

Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

WAKEFIELD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2016 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#744235) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. This has evergreen aromas wrapped around cassis, red and black fruits, dark currants and sweet oak, with medium+ intensity. On the medium-full bodied palate, this has medium-firm, gritty tannins with nice aroma replays, and just a touch of sweetness hidden by the bright acids. The finish length is very good. Age 2+ years for better tannin integration. Score: 87 pts

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  • Monday, March 19, 2018

Rawson's Retreat Private Release Chardonnay 2013 (Australia) - Wine Review

This wine was purchased at a Liquor World (the liquor store attached to New World IGA Supermarket) in Suva, Fiji, and while there on a recent vacation. At each of the few liquor shops I visited, shelves were stocked with mostly wines from Australia and New Zealand. I recognized quite a few of the wine brands, however, I would be hard pressed to find these specific wines at an LCBO.

Since I wanted to try something new, and with almost no shelf talkers or award stickers, I was pretty much in the dark as to what to get. I opted for this white wine made by Penfolds, a fairly reliable brand owned by Treasury Wine Estates that tends to produce quality wines throughout the range, and because Chardonnay tends to pair well with local Spiny Lobster.

Rawson's Retreat Private Release Chardonnay 2013 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

RAWSON'S RETREAT PRIVATE RELEASE CHARDONNAY 2013 - South Eastern Australia (XD) - $33 FJD / ~$22 CAD
The medium intensity nose is very ripe with banana, tropical fruit, melon, and citrus fruit aromas. On the medium bodied palate it is a touch sweet with stone fruit and pear aroma replays, plus a salty mineral character and hints of lime. It has fresh acids and sweet vanilla notes with good length on the finish. Score: 87 pts

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  • Saturday, October 21, 2017

Nugan Annelise Pinot Grigio 2017 (Australia) - Wine Review

Opened up this crisp Pinot Grigio on this fine (that feels more like Spring, to be honest) and is widely available at the LCBO. This white wine is also currently on promotion, offering 10 Bonus Air Miles with every purchase until .

This white wine is produced by Nugan Estate from Australia and seems to be made for Canada-only as I can't find any info about this wine on the winery's website. The Nugan Group was founded in 1940 by Alfredo Nugan, after he emigrated from Spain with his family, including his wife Annelise, to start a small fruit and vegetable packing operation in New South Wales. This wine is part of a limited release collection of wines that are a tribute to the family's vision and passion to pursue their ideals of outstanding quality and service.

While you may see the 2016 vintage on shelves right now, the 2017 will be arriving soon and can be enjoyed over the holidays. This will pair nicely with salads, seafood, and poultry. It will also pair with turkey cooked in the traditional manner - a recipe for Traditional Turkey has been provided below.

Nugan Annelise Pinot Grigio 2017 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

NUGAN ANNELISE PINOT GRIGIO 2017 - New South Wales, Australia (#483230) (XD) - $14.95
Screw cap. This has appealing aromas of pear, green apple, grapefruit, lime, tropical fruits and minerals of modest intensity. The palate is bright and crisp with vibrant acids that are nicely balanced on a slightly honeyed, yet dry, flavour profile with more citrus, pear, apple flavours and some mineral accents. Some interesting saline notes mid-palate. Good finish length. Score: 87 pts

Traditional Turkey Recipe:

  • 1 12 lb. turkey, preferably fresh

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

  • 1 pear, quartered
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

To Prepare:
In a small bowl combine all ingredients for the rub. Mix with a fork until well incorporated. Set aside. Using your fingers, gently separate the skin from the breast muscle. Using your hands, grab small portions of the butter and place between turkey skin and meat. Make sure to evenly spread throughout as this will help with consistent browning. Lather the outside skin as well. Place turkey on a wire rack over top of a baking sheet and chill uncovered in the fridge for 6–12 hours.

To Cook:
Pull the turkey from the fridge. Stuff the cavity with pear, lemon, onion, garlic, parsley and thyme. Twine the legs together and fold the wings under the breast. Let the turkey stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 450°F. Season the turkey with salt and place in the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 320°F and cook for 1 hour 45 minutes or until the turkey breast reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. When finished, remove from the oven and loosely tent with tin foil. Rest at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.

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  • Monday, June 5, 2017

June 10, 2017 VINTAGES Release: Australia + France + Father's Day + Canada 150

LCBO Wine Picks from June 10, 2017 VINTAGES Magazine
The VINTAGES Release will be on shelves at LCBO outlets across Ontario this coming and has four themes featured. In this Release, the main themes are warm-weather wines from Australia, French wines under $20, Father's Day gifts, and many Canadian wines to celebrate Canada 150. There could also easily be a fifth theme with all of the fine Rosé wines listed.

We'll begin with main theme which lists twelve wines for summer fare from Australia. Just two of the twelve wines made my list of wine picks, and includes a nice Aussie Shiraz from Margaret River in Western Australia. The other wine from Australia is a Viognier from Tahbilk - a family-owned winery since 1860 that was named 2016 Winery of the Year by James Halliday.

As part of the Australian thematic, there's a neat side note about wine serving temperatures. As a general rule, you should chill your white wines for 2 hours in the fridge (or 20 minutes in an ice bucket), rose wines for 1.5 hours in the fridge (or 15 minutes in an ice bucket), and red wines for 1 hour in the fridge (or 10 minutes in an ice bucket).

Tahbilk Viognier 2016 (89 pts)

The second theme of the release is titled "French Lessons" and lists seven wines from France, all under $20, two of which are included among my top wine recommendations. From Beaujolais, there is a Gamay from Vieilles Vignes (i.e. Old Vines) that are more than 40 years old. The second wine from this mini-theme is a mature Malbec from Cahors, the native home of the Malbec grape.

From the Father's Day thematic which listed five wines plus a Cognac, and being a Father myself, I would love to have either the Châteauneuf-du-Pape (which is a blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Mourvèdre) or the Amarone that is a blend of 70% Corvina/Corvinone, 20% Rondinella, and 10% Croatina/Oseleta.

For Canada 150 celebrations, there are sixteen wines listed and many good choices among them. Viognier is not grown much in Ontario, but there's a good one from Creekside, a producer that's been making quality Viognier for quite a few years now. A pair of dry rosés are also worth your attention, one is made by Creekside using Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Malivoire Rosé is made with Pinot Noir.

This leads us into the fine selection of rosé wines that are being released, most of which are from France. The rosé wine from Rhône is a blend of Syrah and Grenache, while the La Riviera is a blend of Grenache and Cinsault, and the Leoube Rosé consists of Grenache, Cinsault with touches of Syrah and Mourvèdre.

In red wines from the rest of the release, from Midi, the M. Chapoutier is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Carignan, while the Bugadelles is a blend of Syrah and Grenache. From Spain, the Crianza is 100% Tempranillo, while the Rioja is actually a blend of 77% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, 8% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo. From Chile, the Intriga Cabernet Sauvignon contains 8% Cabernet Franc, and last but not least, the Barbaresco from Piedmont is made with Nebbiolo.

Intriga Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (90+ pts)

Among my white wine picks, the white Bordeaux is mostly Sauvignon Blanc, with Semillon added to complete the blend. For sweet wine lovers, the mature Riesling Kabinett should be on your list, as well as the Tokaji from Hungary.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • LIONEL OSMIN & CIE CAHORS MALBEC 2012 - AC Cahors, Southwest, France (#247544) (XD) - $16.95
  • OVIDIO GARCÍA ESENCIA CRIANZA 2009 - DO Cigales, Spain (#489757) (XD) - $18.95
  • STÉPHANE AVIRON VIEILLES VIGNES MOULIN-À-VENT 2013 - AC, Beaujolais, France (#368134) (XD) - $19.95
  • FRANKLIN TATE ESTATES SHIRAZ 2015 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#489948) (XD) - $19.95
  • INTRIGA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#057901) (XD) - $22.95  reviewed here
  • DOMAINE LES BUGADELLES 2014 - IGP Pays d’Oc, Midi, France (#493536) (XD) - $25.95  FSE
  • MARQUÉS DE MURRIETA FINCA YGAY RESERVA 2012 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#209148) (D) - $29.95
  • PASQUALE PELISSERO BRICCO SAN GIULIANO BARBARESCO 2012 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#214551) (XD) - $38.95
  • CHÂTEAU FORTIA CUVÉE DU BARON CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#959999) (D) - $44.95
  • LATIUM MORINI CAMPO LEÒN AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA 2011 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#334300) (D) - $46.95

White Wine:

  • BELLINGHAM HOMESTEAD SERIES THE OLD ORCHARDS CHENIN BLANC 2015 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#484055) (XD) - $15.95
  • CHÂTEAU ROQUEFORT BLANC 2016 - AC Bordeaux, France (#313346) (XD) - $16.95
  • TAHBILK VIOGNIER 2016 - Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria, Australia (#271387) (XD) - $18.95  reviewed here
  • MARKUS HUBER TERRASSEN GRÜNER VELTLINER 2015 - DAC Traisental, Austria (#484956) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • HEDGES H.I.P DIONYSUS VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2013 - Columbia Valley, Washington, USA (#488528) (XD) - $19.95
  • SCHLOSS SCHÖNBORN HATTENHEIM NUSBRUNNEN RIESLING KABINETT 2008 - Hattenheim, Rheingau, Germany (#496497) (MS) - $19.95
  • DOMAINE RAOUL GAUTHERIN CHABLIS 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#488809) (XD) - $24.95
  • CREEKSIDE RESERVE VIOGNIER 2014 - Queenston Road Vineyard, VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#264168) (D) - $29.95
Markus Huber Terrassen Grüner Veltliner 2015 (89 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • CREEKSIDE CABERNET ROSÉ 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#048819) (XD) - $14.95
  • CHÂTEAU VAL JOANIS TRADITION ROSÉ 2016 - AP Luberon, Rhône, France (#707281) (XD) - $15.95
  • LA RIVIERA CÔTES DE PROVENCE ROSÉ 2016 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#494120) (XD) - $18.95
  • MALIVOIRE VIVANT ROSÉ 2016 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#498535) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU LÉOUBE ROSÉ DE LÉOUBE 2016 - AC Côtes de Provence, France (#491100) (XD) - $25.95

Dessert Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU DERESZLA 5 PUTTONYOS TOKAJI ASZÚ 2009 - Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary (#012203) (S) (500 mL) - $45.95

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  • Tuesday, April 11, 2017

VINTAGES Release April 15, 2017: Mediterranean + Aussie Whites

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy my wine picks from this release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

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

White Wine:

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

Sparkling Wine:

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

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  • Saturday, April 8, 2017

Domaine Tournon Mathilda Shiraz 2011 (Australia) - Wine Review

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

Domaine Tournon Mathilda Shiraz 2011 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

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

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  • Monday, February 13, 2017

VINTAGES Release February 18: Australia + Ontario + Israel

LCBO Wine Picks from February 18, 2017 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming VINTAGES Release on will be on LCBO shelves across Ontario this and features diverse wines from Australia as its main theme, while the mini-theme highlights award-winning wines from Ontario. There's also a third feature - a mini-theme on wines from Israel for upcoming Passover celebrations.

Wines from each of the five major wine regions of Australia are represented in the main thematic, with a total of fourteen wines listed, six of which are included among my wine picks. The island of Tasmania is known for their sparkling wines, and the wine featured in this release is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. On to mainland Australia, from Victoria in South Eastern Australia is the Fowles Stone Dwellers Shiraz, and from Coonawarra is a Penfolds Shiraz. Barossa is one of my favourite Australian wine regions, and both wines listed are blends - Yalumba's The Strapper GSM (Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro) and Oscar's Shiraz/Viognier. And lastly, from Clare Valley on the western side of South Eastern Australia is Jim Barry's Lodge Hill Shiraz. You'll find that most wines from Australia these days use a screw cap enclosure, which certainly makes opening a bottle of wine that much easier.

Only four wines were chosen for the award-winning Ontario wines feature, and two are included among my wine picks. The excellent Tawse Sketches of Niagara Riesling is a returnee to VINTAGES, while the other wine is a Marsanne. Yes, I didn't know Ontario made any Marsanne either.

Red wines from the rest of the release include a Bierzo Crianza that is back in VINTAGES and is made with Mencía, while the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a blend of 90% Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese clone) and 10% Merlot. Also from Tuscany is the Ghizzano that's a blend of 70% Sangiovese and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. And finally, single varietal wines include the Saint-Joseph from Rhône that is 100% Syrah, and the Lungarotti (which is a Flagship Store Exclusive [FSE]) which is 100% Sagrantino.

Lungarotti Sagrantino di Montefalco 2010 (92 pts)Abad Dom Bueno Crianza 2006 (90 pts)

In white wines, the Greek wine is a blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Assyrtiko, while the Rhône white is a blend of 40% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc, 15% Clairette, 10% Viognier, and 5% Bourboulenc.

Fielding Estate Bottled Riesling 2015 (89 pts)Domaine Costa Lazaridi Amethystos White 2015 (88 pts)

From my sparkling wine recommendations, the Champagne is a blend of 60% Pinot Meunier, 30 Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, while the Limoux is a blend of 90% Mauzac and 10% Chardonnay.

Domaine J. Laurens Le Moulin Brut Blanquette de Limoux (89 pts)

Red Wine:

  • ABAD DOM BUENO CRIANZA 2006 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#244699) (XD) - $15.95  reviewed here
  • SANTA CAROLINA SPECIALTIES DRY FARMING CARIGNAN 2012 - Cauquenes Valley, Chile (#213520) (XD) - $17.95
  • OSCAR’S ESTATE VINEYARD SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER 2013 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#287961) (XD) - $18.95
  • FOWLES STONE DWELLERS SHIRAZ 2013 - Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria, Australia (#265967) (D) - $19.95
  • YALUMBA THE STRAPPER GSM 2014 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#295873) (D) - $19.95
  • JIM BARRY THE LODGE HILL SHIRAZ 2013 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#998476) (XD) - $24.95
  • TENUTA DI GHIZZANO VENEROSO 2012 - DOC Terre di Pisa, Tuscany, Italy (#103218) (XD) - $29.95
  • PENFOLDS BIN 128 SHIRAZ 2014 - Coonawarra, South Australia (#509919) (XD) - $34.95
  • MAISON NICOLAS PERRIN SAINT-JOSEPH 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#225052) (XD) - $39.95
  • LUNGAROTTI SAGRANTINO DI MONTEFALCO 2010 - DOCG, Umbria, Italy (#315499) (D) - $42.95  FSE  reviewed here
  • CIACCI PICCOLOMINI D’ARAGONA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#001065) (XD) - $71.95

White Wine:

  • SENTIERI PECORINO 2015 - DOC, Abruzzo, Italy (#477752) (XD) - $15.95
  • TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA RIESLING 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#089029) (M) - $18.95
  • DOMAINE COSTA LAZARIDI AMETHYSTOS WHITE 2015 - PGI Drama, Greece (#984864) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • CHÂTEAU DE NAGES VIEILLES VIGNES COSTIÈRES DE NÎMES 2014 - AC, Rhône, France (#479659) (XD) - $19.95
  • KEW MARSANNE 2014 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#485334) (XD) - $19.95
  • FIELDING ESTATE BOTTLED RIESLING 2015 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#251439) (M) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • CRAGGY RANGE TE MUNA ROAD SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - Martinborough, North Island, New Zealand (#466011) (XD) - $25.95
  • PASCAL BOUCHARD BEAUROY CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#994350) (XD) - $34.95
  • PLANETA CHARDONNAY 2014 - DOC Sicilia, Italy (#485102) (XD) - $45.95  FSE

Sparkling Wine:

  • DOMAINE J. LAURENS LE MOULIN BRUT BLANQUETTE DE LIMOUX - Traditional method, AC, France (#180323) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • JANSZ PREMIUM CUVÉE SPARKLING WHITE - Tasmania, Australia (#566828) (D) - $26.95


  • TAYLOR FLADGATE VINTAGE PORT 2003 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#951962) (S) - $139.95  FSE

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