Showing posts with label bordeaux. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bordeaux. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

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  • Tuesday, May 8, 2018

LCBO VINTAGES May 12, 2018: Bordeaux + New Zealand + Rosé



LCBO Wine Picks: May 12, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on is a solid, three-pronged release featuring wines from Bordeaux and New Zealand, while the third theme features Rosé wines just in time for warm weather. All of these wines will be available at LCBO outlets across Ontario this .

We'll begin with the wines from Bordeaux, where twelve wines (all red) are featured, and four are included among my top wine picks. Somewhat not surprisingly, three of my four picks are from the great 2010 vintage - the Godard Bellevue is a blend of 65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, the Fleur Haut Gaussens is a blend of 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Pierre de Montignac is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot. From the 2008 vintage, the nicely matured Margaux is a blend of 48% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, and 6% Cabernet Franc. Also from Bordeaux, but only featured as a Flagship Store Exclusive (FSE) is a white wine made with 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon.

The selection of wines from New Zealand is also quite good, with three of nine wines making my list of wine recommendations. Among these wines there is a lovely Hawkes Bay red blend that consists of 55% Merlot, 17% Tempranillo, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec and 7% Syrah, a dry Pinot Gris, and a Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. In addition, there are also quite a few wines from New Zealand featured as Flagship Store Exclusives at the back of the magazine, including a pair of Pinot Noirs and a complex, wild fermented Sauvignon Blanc.

Trinity Hill The Trinity Red Blend 2014 (90 pts)Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2014 (92 pts)

From the mini-theme featuring thirteen Rosé wines, four are included among my wine picks, including the Languedoc Rosé which is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah, and the premium-priced Provence Rosé which is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Rolle (Vermentino), Syrah, and Tibouren. Also from France, the Tavel is a blend of Grenache Noir & Blanc (45%), Clairette (20%), Cinsault (15%), Mourvèdre (8%), Syrah (6%), Bourboulenc (4%), and Picpoul (2%), while the Rosé from Ontario is made with 100% Pinot Noir.

Among my red wine picks from the rest of the release, the Douro red is a blend of 40% Touriga Franca, 30% Tinta Barroca, and 30% Tinta Roriz, while the Roussillon Villages red is an excellent wine consisting of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache.

La Valentina Pecorino 2016 (88+ pts)Papagiannakos Vieilles Vignes Savatiano 2016 (88 pts)

There are no blends or sweet wines among my top white wine picks, but there some crisp, dry white wines including a Savatiano, Pecorino, Albariño, and Semillon. There is also a Chablis and a pair of oaked Chardonnays. And lastly, the Pouilly-Fumé is a barrel-aged Sauvignon Blanc.

Enjoy my wine picks from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • LILÁS 2014 - DO Douro, Portugal (#525667) (XD) - $15.95
  • CHÂTEAU GODARD BELLEVUE 2010 - AC Côtes de Bordeaux – Francs, France (#426049) (XD) - $15.95
  • ERCAVIO ROBLE TEMPRANILLO 2014 - Vino de La Tierra de Castilla, Spain (#067504) (XD) - $17.95
  • CHÂTEAU FLEUR HAUT GAUSSENS 2010 - AC Bordeaux Supérieur, France (#445510) (XD) - $18.95
  • TRINITY HILL THE TRINITY RED BLEND 2014 - Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#551630) (XD) - $22.95  90 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU PIERRE DE MONTIGNAC 2010 - Cru Bourgeois, AC Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#437954) (XD) - $24.95
  • DOMAINE DE BILA-HAUT L’ESQUERDA 2016 - AC Côtes du Roussillon Villages Lesquerde, France (#381020) (XD) - $25.95
  • BUENA VISTA PINOT NOIR 2013 - Carneros, California, USA (#304105) (D) - $28.95  90 pts  wine review
  • MT. BEAUTIFUL PINOT NOIR 2015 - North Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand (#552026) (XD) - $37.95  FSE
  • GRASSHOPPER ROCK EARNSCLEUGH VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2015 - Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand (#493163) (XD) - $44.95  FSE
  • CHÂTEAU LA TOUR DE MONS 2008 - Cru Bourgeois, AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#550467) (XD) - $52.95
  • DOMAINE DE LA CÔTE PINOT NOIR 2014 - Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara County, California, USA (#548248) (XD) - $74.95
Buena Vista Pinot Noir 2013 (90 pts)

White Wine:

  • PAPAGIANNAKOS VIEILLES VIGNES SAVATIANO 2016 - Markopoulo, Greece (#546002) (XD) - $16.95  88 pts  wine review
  • LA VALENTINA PECORINO 2016 - IGT Colline Pescaresi, Abruzzo, Italy (#541433) (XD) - $17.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • ARBOLEDA SINGLE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2016 - Aconcagua Costa, Chile (#606772) (XD) - $19.95  88 pts  wine review
  • LAXAS ALBARIÑO 2015 - DO Rías Baixas, Spain (#021477) (XD) - $19.95
  • MOMO ORGANIC PINOT GRIS 2017 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#163535) (XD) - $19.95
  • MARGAN FAMILY HUNTER VALLEY SEMILLON 2017 - Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia (#493338) (XD) - $19.95

  • WITHER HILLS RARANGI SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Single Vineyard, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#551721) (XD) - $22.95
  • DOMAINE DE MAUPERTHUIS CHABLIS 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#524298) (XD) - $27.95
  • LA MOYNERIE POUILLY-FUMÉ 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#729178) (XD) - $31.95
  • GREYWACKE WILD SAUVIGNON 2014 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#282806) (D) - $39.95  FSE  92 pts  wine review
  • BACHELDER WISMER-FOXCROFT N. 2 CHARDONNAY 2015 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#547299) (XD) - $44.95  FSE
  • CHÂTEAU LA LOUVIÈRE BLANC 2012 - AC Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, France (#552067) (XD) - $47.95  FSE
Arboleda Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2016 (88 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • GÉRARD BERTRAND CÔTE DES ROSES ROSÉ 2017 - AP Languedoc, Midi, France (#373985) (XD) - $18.95
  • MARQUIS D’AQUERIA TAVEL ROSÉ 2017 - AP, Rhône, France (#556274) (XD) - $19.95
  • MALIVOIRE VIVANT ROSÉ 2017 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#498535) (XD) - $19.95
  • CAVES D’ESCLANS WHISPERING ANGEL ROSÉ 2017 - AC Côtes de Provence, France (#325076) (XD) - $29.95

Fortified:

  • FONSECA LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE PORT 2011 - Unfiltered, DOP, Portugal (#087551) (S) - $18.95


Friday, April 27, 2018

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  • Friday, April 27, 2018

Château Canteloup 2010 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

wine was purchased nearly 4 years ago from the LCBO VINTAGES Release, and actually showed up again in VINTAGES on . This wine has since been moved to the General List, with the most recent vintage widely available for $19.95 (#420000) at LCBO outlets across Ontario.

The 2010 Bordeaux vintage was truly great, with optimal ripeness, firm acidity and tannins, thus allowing wines to age gracefully for many years. My notes indicated that this wine would be best until 2018. Let's see how this is tasting tonight...

Château Canteloup 2010 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU CANTELOUP 2010 - AC Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#243923) (XD) - $16.95
Blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon. Savoury barnyard, earth and oak aromas from the cork. Leads with mature savoury earthy aromas and hints of barnyard layered on top of dried cherry and red florals. It is medium-to-full bodied with fine-grained tannins that are nearly fully resolved. There's just a touch of tannic grip on the back palate. Earthy, forest floor flavours mingle with dark berry, dried cherry, black plum, and leather notes in a mature flavour profile. Acids are still quite juicy. Dark berry and earthy notes linger on the long, savoury finish. Delicious! Drink up within the next year or so if you still have this bottle. Score: 89 pts


Monday, February 5, 2018

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  • Monday, February 5, 2018

Château Timberlay 2014 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

This wine review is the second in the series celebrating the internationally-acclaimed, award-winning, and high-scoring wines from the PMA Canada portfolio.

As the world comes together in a few days to celebrate diversity and cheer on their top athletes, PMA Canada is celebrating it's diverse portfolio of high quality and high-scoring wines, such as this red wine from Bordeaux that was opened during Superbowl Sunday.

Château Timberlay is produced by Robert Giraud and is Terra Vitis certified, while regularly receiving top scores in its long history, with the most recent vintage receiving scores of 87-88 points. The property's origin dates back to the 14th century, during the 100 Years' War, when Aquitaine was under English domination. More recently, the château was destroyed during the French Revolution, later rebuilt, and was completely renovated after the Second World War.

Château Timberlay 2014 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU TIMBERLAY 2014 - AOC Bordeaux Supérieur, France (#030072) (XD) - $16.95 $14.95
A blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc. Ripe blackberry, plum and earthy aromas from the cork. In the glass, the nose is subtle with ripe red cherry, raspberry, and blackberry with a tinge of prune. On the palate, this has more prune notes followed by dark cherry, cedar oak, and peppery nuances. Dry overall with fresh acids, structured tannins that drying on the mid-palate. Good length on the dry, woody, earthy, and dark berry finish. Pair with big meats like lamb or steak. Score: 87 pts

A General List wine at the LCBO, this red wine is widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario, as well as online at LCBO.com. Buy now and save $2 off the regular price until February 25th.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

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  • Sunday, June 18, 2017

Charme d’Aliénor Crémant de Bordeaux (France) - Wine Review

wine to celebrate is a sparkling wine is new to Ontario and will be available on LCBO shelves as part of the VINTAGES Release on .

This wine is produced by the co-operative Union de Guyenne, also known as UG Bordeaux. In 2007, UG Bordeaux joined the Caves of Sauveterre de Guyenne, Saint-Pey-Génissac and Blasimon. Today, 250 operators combine their savoir-fare to produce wines such as this Crémant de Bordeaux sparkling wine. From vineyard to bottle, quality, traceability, and commitment to environmental protection are priorities.

Charme d’Aliénor Crémant de Bordeaux (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHARME D’ALIÉNOR CRÉMANT DE BORDEAUX - Traditional method, AC, France (#483008) (D) - $16.95
Hand-harvested and unique blend of 90% Semillon and 10% Cabernet Franc. This has a bready, autolytic nose of medium intensity with hints of pastry and white flowers. There's a vague impression of sweetness, but essentially dry on the medium-bodied palate, with crisp, balanced acids. Frothy mousse is gentle and dissipates quickly. Lemon and apple flavours on the palate, with earthy mineral notes lingering on the finish, with good length. Clean and easy drinking for current enjoyment. Score: 87 pts


Sunday, November 27, 2016

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  • Sunday, November 27, 2016

Château Bertin 2014 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

wine review is another sneak preview of a wine that will be in LCBO VINTAGES on .

This red wine is produced by Vignobles Jean-Bernard Saby & Fils, a family-owned winery with a winemaking history dating back to the 18th Century and spanning 9 generations.

The grapes for this wine come from Château Bertin, within the town of Lussac, on the right bank, approximately 45 kilometres from the city of Bordeaux. The plot of land where these grapes were grown are near the centre of village, next to a school and bordering the house of Château Haut Brion. The vineyard is south-facing and has extraordinary potential.

Château Bertin 2014 - AC Lussac St-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU BERTIN 2014 - AC Lussac St-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (#244046) (D) - $19.95
100% Merlot that was hand-harvested and matured in oak for 12 months. Wet earth, forest floor, plum and whiffs of incense aromas from the cork. Ripe black cherry, cassis aromas followed by notions of milk chocolate, herbs and vanilla oak of medium intensity. Medium-bodied with a soft, plush mouthfeel and dusty tannins that become chalkier with air. Acids are juicy. Black cherry, currant, cocoa, milk chocolate, and cedar oak flavours, finishing long with earthy notes. Will be a fine match over the holidays with poultry or red meats. Score: 88 pts


Thursday, November 3, 2016

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  • Thursday, November 3, 2016

Château Guillou 2014 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

Last November, the 2012 Château Guillou landed in VINTAGES. wine is the 2014 vintage of this wine and will be in LCBO VINTAGES on .

Produced by Jean-Bernard Saby, this family has been making wines for nine generations since the 18th century. Today, the winery's vineyards consist of 62 hectares, yielding well-structured wines that are enhanced by perfectly absorbed tannins.

Château Guillou 2014 - AC Montagne Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU GUILLOU 2014 - AC Montagne Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (#140483) (XD) - $19.95
Has a bit less Merlot (75%) and more Cabernet Franc (25%) compared to the 2012 vintage. Plummy and milk chocolate aromas from the cork. The nose is not very intense, but offers juicy blackberry and oak along with hints of underbrush and herbal spice aromas. The palate is medium-full bodied and gains volume in the mouth with good fruit concentration. Palate is dry with juicy blackberry, dark fruit, chocolate, earth and well-integrated oak flavours. Appealing sweet spice flavours emerge with time. Acids are very good, balanced. Tannins are finely-grained, dusty, and just a touch grippy. Good length on the finish. Satisfying overall. Ideal with lamb right now. Enjoy over the next 5-6 years. Score: 88 pts


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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  • Tuesday, October 25, 2016

VINTAGES Release October 29: Bordeaux + Blends

LCBO Wine Picks: October 29, 2016 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on focuses on approachable and affordable Bordeaux wines as its main theme, while the mini-theme focuses on the art of blended wines.

We'll begin with the feature on Bordeaux that lists 11 wines, 3 of which are included among my wine picks. From Médoc and Fronsac are a pair of wines from outstanding 2010 Bordeaux vintage - both are Bordeaux blends, with the Fronsac wine consisting of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Also from the 2010 vintage is the Margaux Grande Cru Classé that is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Merlot. The 2012 Bois Chantant is also mostly Merlot (79%), with 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc added to round out the blend.

The fact that the majority of Bordeaux wines are blends is a nice segue into the mini-thematic - the art of the blend. This feature lists 8 wines, none of which are from Bordeaux, and only 1 wine is included in my wine recommendations. The vintage Champagne is a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 37% Pinot Noir, and 23% Pinot Meunier.

In red wines, we have a lovely blend Touriga Nacional, Jaen, and Alfrocheiro blend from Portugal - a wine region where most wines are blends. Surprisingly, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is 100% Grenache from vines that are 80-100 years old. The dry (i.e. not sweet) Amarone is a blend of 60% Corvina, 30% Rondinella, and 10% Molinara. Last, but not definitely not the least, is the Solaia that is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, and 5% Cabernet Franc.

Among my white wine picks, the Greek wine is a blend of 50/50 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Roditis, while the Sancerre is strictly Sauvignon Blanc. The sparkling Cava is a blend of local varietals Macabeo (67%) and Parellada (33%).

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Les Caillottes Sancerre 2015 - AC, Loire, France (90 pts)

Enjoy my wine picks from this release! Cheers!


Red Wine:

  • VIÑA TARAPACÁ GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - DO Maipo Valley, Chile (#018721) (XD) - $17.95
  • LAPILLI BENEVENTANO AGLIANICO 2014 - IGT, Campania, Italy (#472696) (XD) - $17.95
  • CHÂTEAU HAUT-CANTELOUP 2010 - AC Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#466565) (XD) - $17.95
  • CHÂTEAU DU BOIS CHANTANT CUVÉE LAURENCE H. 2012 - AP Bordeaux Supérieur, France (#421206) (XD) - $18.95
  • NIEPOORT DÃO RÓTULO RED 2013 - DOC Dão, Portugal (#452722) (XD) - $18.95
  • CHAKANA ESTATE SELECTION MALBEC 2014 - Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina (#219261) (D) - $21.95  reviewed here
  • CREEKSIDE ICONOCLAST SYRAH 2013 - VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#471797) (XD) - $22.95  reviewed here
Chakana Estate Selection Malbec 2014 - Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina (88 pts)Creekside Iconoclast Syrah 2013 - VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)

  • CHÂTEAU HERVÉ-LAROQUE 2010 - AC Fronsac, Bordeaux, France (#446393) (XD) - $26.95
  • MENDEL MALBEC 2013 - Mendoza, Argentina (#108225) (XD) - $29.95
  • FATTORIA DEI BARBI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#928028) (XD) - $53.95  reviewed here
  • CHÂTEAU DURFORT-VIVENS 2010 - Second wine of Château Durfort-Vivens, AC Margaux, Grand Cru Classé, Bordeaux, France (#466540) (XD) - $54.95
  • ZENI BARRIQUES AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2009 - DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#472688) (XD) - $59.95
  • DOMAINE DE CRISTIA VIEILLES VIGNES CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#071381) (XD) - $107.00  FSE
  • SOLAIA 2012 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#987586) (D) - $254.95
Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello di Montalcino 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (91 pts)

White Wine:

  • SAN RAFFAELE MONTE TABOR PINOT GRIGIO 2015 - IGT Veneto, Italy (#204768) (XD) - $13.95  reviewed here
  • KIR-YIANNI ESTATE WHITE 2015 - Samaropetra Vineyard, PGI Florina, Greece (#464511) - $17.95
  • TYRRELL’S LOST BLOCK SEMILLON 2015 - Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia (#933200) (XD) - $17.95
  • ST. PAULS CHARDONNAY 2014 - DOC Südtirol/Alto Adige, Italy (#455170) (XD) - $18.95
  • ANDRÉ BLANCK & FILS ALTENBURG GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2015 - AC, Alsace, France (#168906) (M) - $19.95
  • MASTROBERARDINO RADICI FIANO DI AVELLINO 2014 - DOCG, Campania, Italy (#323998) (XD) - $19.95
  • HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE RIESLING 2014 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#183491) (D) - $23.75  reviewed here
  • JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE LES CAILLOTTES SANCERRE 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#065573) (XD) - $26.95  reviewed here
  • WEINBACH CUVÉE LAURENCE GEWURZTRAMINER 2013 - AC Alsace, France (#581975) (M) - $64.00  FSE
  • STONY HILL CHARDONNAY 2010 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#444471) (XD) - $71.00  FSE
Hidden Bench Estate Riesling 2014 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (90 pts) San Raffaele Monte Tabor Pinot Grigio 2015 - IGT Veneto, Italy (87 pts)

Sparkling Wine:

  • SEGURA VIUDAS BRUT RESERVA HEREDAD CAVA - Méthode traditionnelle, DO, Spain (#558825) (D) - $29.95
  • MOËT & CHANDON GRAND VINTAGE BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2008 - AC, France (#069773) (D) - $89.95

Dessert Wine:

  • CAVE SPRING RIESLING ICEWINE 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#447441) (S) (375 mL) - $49.95  reviewed here
Cave Spring Riesling Icewine 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (91 pts)


Thursday, November 26, 2015

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  • Thursday, November 26, 2015

Château Guillou 2012 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

wine is part of the November 28, 2015 VINTAGES Release and is most likely already available for purchase on some LCBO shelves.

From the same producer as the 2011 Château Hauchat red wine that I tasted earlier this month, this Jean-Bernard Saby wine is produced by the 9th generation of the Saby family. Jean-Christophe and Jean-Phillippe are both oenologists and apply their new skills, as well as respecting the traditions and know-how of their father and grandfather in producing the wines at this estate.

Château Guillou 2012 - AC Montagne Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU GUILLOU 2012 - AC Montagne Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (#140483) (XD) - $18.95
Blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Dried spice, oak and whiff of plum from the cork.  Medium intensity herbally, spice, black currant, dark cherry, and some earthy characters on the nose. The palate is light-to-medium bodied with gritty, astringent tannins. Raspberry and dusty cocoa flavours join the aroma profile on the palate. Acids are fresh and juicy, while the finish length is good. Has a mineral/steely aftertaste. Perfectly fine for a Thursday night. Score: 87 pts



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

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  • Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Château Hauchat 2011 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

This fairly easy drinking red wine will be in VINTAGES on November 14th and is suitable for mid-week sipping.

The Château Hauchat property was re-acquired by the Saby family in 1973. In 1989, current owner Jean-Bernard Saby purchased the property from his uncle. The Saby family has been making wine in the region for an astounding 8 centuries now.

The property is located within the commune of Saint-Aignan, to the west of neighbouring Pomerol and Saint Émilion in Bordeaux, France. On the high plateau of Saint-Aignan, the Château is in one of the finest growing areas of the Fronsac appellation. Well drained clay-limestone soil and perfect south/southwest exposure to the sun are two of its most distinctive features. Château Hauchat also grows just a single grape variety on its property - Merlot.

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU HAUCHAT 2011 - AC Fronsac, Bordeaux, France (#123489) (XD) - $15.95
100% Merlot. Plummy and black cherry aromas from the cork. Medium intensity aromas from the glass showing plum, blackberry, sour cherry, black spices, soft cedar vanilla oak, mineral and hints of cocoa notes. It's medium-bodied on the palate with tart red berry and mineral/iodine flavours. Has good acids, fairly rounded but gritty tannins. Good length on the cocoa-tinged finish. Score: 86 pts

Château Hauchat 2011 - AC Fronsac, Bordeaux, France (86 pts)


Monday, October 12, 2015

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  • Monday, October 12, 2015

Château Renard Mondesir 2009 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

Opened up this delicious red wine on to celebrate with the family. It is produced by the Négociant Chassagnoux & Fils.

The story of Chassagnoux & Fils begins with Amedee Chassagnoux arriving in Bordeaux in the early 50's. His son Pierre discovers the vineyards of Saint Emilion and distributes them with a passion in Northern France and Belgium. Today, Pierre's son, Xavier and his daughter Laurence manage the property, marking 4 generations of family involvement.

An 18th Century residence, Château Renard was purchased in 1978 by Xavier. It is located in The Rivère within the Fronsac appellation in Bordeaux and surrounded by 12 hectares of vines planted on hillsides, ensuring fully ripened grapes.

The wine below is the first wine of Château Renard and has been regularly produced since 1990. It comes from the best plots and is a selection of rich, concentrated grapes, harvested with great care.

It will be available in VINTAGES on October 17th.

Château Renard Mondesir 2009 - AC Fronsac, Bordeaux, France (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU RENARD MONDESIR 2009 - AC Fronsac, Bordeaux, France (#420299) (XD) - $26.95
Blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Blackberry, dark fruits and a whiff of dried fruit aromas from the cork. Dark garnet coloured with a tinge of brown forming along the rim. Savoury medium intensity nose with earthy, cherry, dried herbs and hints of tobacco in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, spiced tobacco, black cherry, sage, and leathery notes. Has very good acidity. Finishes long and a touch warm with dark currant, earthy and mineral after taste. Enjoy over the next 5-6 years. Score: 89 pts


Monday, September 28, 2015

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  • Monday, September 28, 2015

VINTAGES Release October 3: Bordeaux + Spain + Thanksgiving

LCBO Wine Picks from October 3, 2015 LCBO VINTAGES Release
The main theme from the VINTAGES Release is on wines from Bordeaux, while mini-themes feature premium-priced wines from Spain, and wines for celebrations. All of these wines will be on LCBO shelves across Ontario this coming .

Generally speaking, the wines from the Bordeaux feature were all quite good, however, it was difficult to find really good values. Having said that, the Château Guiraud Sauternes (65% Sémillon / 35% Sauvignon Blanc) dessert wine is an excellent buy. The other Bordeaux wine is a fruit-forward red blend consisting of Merlot and Cabernet Franc and a very good value from the excellent 2010 vintage.

The Spanish feature with 7 wines revealed an exemplary white wine blend from Rías Baixas DO that consists of 70% Albariño, 18% Loureiro and 12% Caíño Blanco. This was the only white wine among the featured Spanish wines. While many of the red wines were also good, they were priced a little bit too high in my opinion.

For Thanksgiving, the Alsatian Riesling is a food-friendly, off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) that will surely delight with your turkey or served with appetizers. Having said that, many of the white wines recommended below will pair nicely with turkey, such as the wine from Gorgo that is new to our market and consists of Cortese, Tocai, Trebbiano Toscano, and Garganega, and the 100% Fiano; both of these wines are from Italy.

Among red wines, from Greece is a 100% Agiorgitiko, while the red wine from Argentina is a Malbec-led blend. There is also a trifecta of Chianti Classico's available: the Fonterutoli is 90% Sangiovese and 10% Malvasia Nera / Colorino / Merlot, the Riserva (aged 2 years in oak) is 100% Sangiovese, and the Gran Selezione is a blend of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Merlot. Another wine from Italy is made with 100% Grignolino, a single varietal wine from a grape we don't see too often.

Enjoy my wine picks from this VINTAGES Release and Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Red Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU LES TOURELLES 2010 - AC Bordeaux, France (#426247) (XD) - $14.95
  • TABALI RESERVA SYRAH 2012 - Limarí Valley, Chile (#662692) (D) - $14.95
  • CAVINO GRANDE RESERVE 2008 - PDO Nemea, Greece (#295618) (D) - $17.95  reviewed here
  • FINCA FLICHMAN PAISAJE DE TUPUNGATO 2012 - Mendoza, Argentina (#415034) (XD) - $17.95
  • ACCORNERO BRICCO DEL BOSCO GRIGNOLINO DEL MONFERRATO CASALESE 2013 - DOC, Piedmont, Italy (#426635) (XD) - $19.95
  • ROSEWOOD ORIGIN CABERNET FRANC 2013 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#427534) (XD) - $25.95  reviewed here
  • FONTERUTOLI CHIANTI CLASSICO 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#977629) (XD) - $25.95
  • PENFOLDS BIN 128 SHIRAZ 2013 - Coonawarra, South Australia (#509919) (D) - $34.95
  • CASTELLO DI VOLPAIA RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#705335) (XD) - $41.95  FSE
  • TENUTA SAN VINCENTI GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#414417) (XD) - $54.95
  • LE VIEUX DONJON CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#700922) (XD) - $58.95
Cavino Grande Reserve 2008 - PDO Nemea, Greece (88 pts)Rosewood Origin Cabernet Franc 2013 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (90+ pts)

White Wine:

  • GORGO SAN MICHELIN CUSTOZA 2014 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#428045) (XD) - $14.95
  • PIERRE SPARR LIEU DIT ALTENBOURG RIESLING 2013 - AC Alsace. France (#906016) (D) - $16.95  reviewed here
  • DONNACHIARA MONTEFALCIONE FIANO DI AVELLINO 2013 - DOCG, Campania, Italy (#372482) (XD) - $17.95
  • SANTA ALICIA GRAN RESERVA DE LOS ANDES CHARDONNAY 2013 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#406991) (XD) - $18.95
  • JULES TAYLOR SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#224428) (XD) - $19.95
  • SERESIN CHARDONNAY 2012 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#019190) (XD) - $24.95
  • TERRAS GAUDA O ROSAL BLANCO 2013 - DO Rías Baixas, Spain (#040238) (XD) - $24.95
  • JOH. JOS. CHRISTOFFEL ERBEN ÜRZIGER WÜRZGARTEN RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2013 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#336396) (S) - $28.95  FSE
  • HENRI BOURGEOIS LA CHAPELLE DES AUGUSTINS SANCERRE 2012 - AC, Loire, France (#322628) (XD) - $29.95  FSE
  • 2027 WISMER VINEYARD FOX CROFT BLOCK CHARDONNAY 2012 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#421362) (XD) - $30.00

Dessert Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU GUIRAUD 2011 - 1er Grand Cru Classé en 1855, AC Sauternes, Bordeaux, France (#298943) (S) (375 mL) - $39.85



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

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  • Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Château Ampélia 2005 (Bordeaux) - Bottle 3 of 3 Wine Review

To ring in the New Year, I decided to open this red wine that turns 10 years old in 2015.

This is the last of the 3 bottles I purchased from the VINTAGES Bordeaux Futures program way back in February of 2006. The 2nd bottle of this wine was opened in March 2012. At that point in time, I commented that the tannins could have used more time to soften. Let's see how this red wine has evolved over the last (nearly) 3 years.

The 2009 vintage (#191171) of this wine was released in VINTAGES on Sept 28, 2013, with small quantities surprisingly still available.

CHÂTEAU AMPÉLIA 2005 - AC Côtes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France (#500330) (XD) - $20

Wine Review of 2005 Château Ampélia from AC Côtes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
Tasting Note:
Blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Wood and black plum aromas from the cork. Medium+ intensity aromas from the glass with aromas of dark currant, black plum, earth, wood and hints of dried herbs. Palate is medium+ bodied with a flavour profile that is quite complex - dried herb, clove flavours up front, followed by blackberry, currant, cedar, floral notes. Some prune and dried figs notes with air. Lengthy finish has clove, cocoa and oak flavours. Shows good balanced, acidity still quite fresh, while drying tannins have integrated very nicely. Could be aged another couple of years, but highly drinkable right now. Score: 89+ pts


Friday, December 5, 2014

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  • Friday, December 5, 2014

Château Palmer Wine Tasting

Château Palmer Wine Tasting
On , I attended a very special tasting of fine wines produced by world-renowned Château Palmer. This tasting was hosted by Eurovintage Wines & Spirits at the The National Club and featured 6 wines from this famous producer. The timing of this tasting coincided with the Château Palmer dinner that was organized by VINTAGES and taking place later that evening.

The first wine available for tasting was from their Alter Ego label. Given the expansive history of this house that began with the English General Charles Palmer in the early 1800s, the first vintage of Alter Ego wines is practically a baby - beginning only in 1998. This wine shows much of the same finesse, elegance, aromatic richness, harmony and length that is found in their main label, but with a much more approachable price tag.

Palmer was very much interested in the vineyards and wines of this estate, and by 1836 had owned 82 hectares of vines on this prized Margaux site in Bordeaux. The elegantly towered château that currently sits on the site was constructed in 1855 and I'm sure has many stories to tell. I hope to visit the site one of these days. In 1938, when fortunes turned for the worse, the heirs of Palmer had to sell the estate and it has since been turned over to families in England, Holland and France. In the years since, there has been a large focus on producing red wines that show character and terroir at Château Palmer.

We then proceeded to tasted 4 Château Palmer wines from vintages spanning 21 years, ranging from 2004 to 1983. This was an excellent vertical tasting which showed that their wines are approachable now, built-to-last and can gracefully age over the years. All were fantastic quality and very enjoyable to drink right now. As you will see from the wine reviews below, my favourite of the bunch was the 1999 vintage, which appeared to be approaching its prime drinking window, yet still had plenty of stuffing to be cellared for another two decades.

Director, The Americas - Jean-Louis Carbonnier (left)
My second favourite wine was the 1983 Château Palmer. I refrained from tasting the first bottle as other wine folks before me had commented that it was off. The second bottle, which I tasted from, was outstanding! This was easily the oldest wine I had ever tasted. Very mature nose and palate, with balanced acids, alcohol, fruit and tannin. From all the excitement of tasting a wine that was nearly as old as me, I missed taking a picture of the bottle! Oh well... c'est la vie!

The last wine I tasted was the Historical XIXth Century Wine which, as described by Jean-Louis, is an experimental wine and an ode to the winery's past. It was discovered that more than 150 years ago, blending fine Bordeaux wines, including Château Palmer, with grapes from the Northern Rhône was a relatively common practice. This practice came to a halt when AOC regulations were put into place. Given that this wine does not meet the AOC regulations, you will notice that there is no vintage on the label, and it is designated "Vin de France".

Upon departing the tasting and taking some time to reflect, one word comes to mind when describing the wines of Château Palmer - elegant. These red wines have firm tannins, but are elegantly styled with excellent balance between fruit, oak, acids, and alcohol. For the most part, these wines can be enjoyed right now, but can be aged for a period ranging in the decades.

All of these wines are available for order, some in very limited quantities, until through the vintagesshoponline.com website.


Tasting Notes:
ALTER EGO 2008 - AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#403311) (XD) - $139.00
Blend of 52% Merlot and 48% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas of medium-high intensity showing elegant woodsmoke, earthy notes, and touches of sweet ripe black cherry and blackberry. Medium-bodied palate is elegant and juicy with pleasing aroma replays. Acids are nicely balanced, while tannins are refined and silky smooth. Long, smooth, bitter-tasting finish. Lovely! Score: 91 pts

Wine Review of 2008 Alter Ego from AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France

CHÂTEAU PALMER 2004 - AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#403303) (XD) - $415
This blend of 47% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot has aromas of medium+ intensity and an elegant, seductive nose consisting of red berries, currants, wet tilled earth, blackberry, plum and barnyard. Medium-to-full bodied with good structure and finesse, along with very nice aroma replays on the palate. Nicely balanced acids, as well as balance between fruit and oak. Taut tannins are otherwise smooth and crunchy. Hints of black pepper and minty herbal notes on the very long finish. Enjoyable now, but I would cellar this another 3-4 years and drink up to a decade from now. Score: 92 pts

Wine Review of 2004 Château Palmer from AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France

CHÂTEAU PALMER 1999 - AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#188664) (XD) (1500 mL) - $889
Tasted from the 750 mL bottle. Final blend consisting of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, and 6% Petit Verdot. Highly aromatic nose featuring lovely mulberry, blackberry, currant, earthy, leather, along with hints of cassis and licorice. It's medium-to-full bodied with flavours of crushed black fruits, black pepper, sweet spice, plum and oak. Still feels very fresh and youthful with vibrant, mouth-watering acids. Excellent length on the finish. At 15 years old, this is enjoyable now, but big tannins seem a bit young and should develop nicely over the next 15-20 years. My favourite wine of the tasting. Score: 93 pts

Wine Review of 1999 Château Palmer from AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France

CHÂTEAU PALMER 1995 - AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#403287) (XD) - $529
Blend of 51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 9% Cabernet Franc. Medium+ intensity aromas with mature dried fruits, exotic spice, sweet vanillan, tomato leaf, dried currant, and hints of nut and raisin. It's full-bodied with aroma replays following through on the flavour profile. Has balanced acids, while fine-grained tannins are sinewy and smooth. Very long, dry finish is slightly chalky and has some mature nutty and vanillan flavours. Enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 91 pts

Wine Review of 1995 Château Palmer from AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France

CHÂTEAU PALMER 1983 - AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#403279) (XD) - $1,479
Back in 1983, some Cabernet Franc (4%) was added to the blend that consisted of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. Medium-high intensity aromas immediately come off as mature - dried currants, red fruits, floral, cedar oak, mocha and some earthy notes. It's medium-to-full bodied with lovely aroma replays and also notes of sweet spice, tobacco and hints of mushroom. Acids are very good, balanced. Hints of sweet vanillan on the excellent, lengthy finish. Drying tannins could hold up to 5 more years, or drink now. Expect some sediment. Score: 95 pts

HISTORICAL XIXth CENTURY L20.07 - Vin de France (#403329) (XD) - $499
This blend contains equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah which was added after ageing. It has medium-high intensity, lifted nose consisting of red & black fruits, black peppercorn, and cedar aromas. On the palate, it's medium+ bodied with flavours of blackberry, currant, cassis, peppercorn and leather. Has mouth-watering acids and big, drying tannins. Complex with good structure, it has elegant oak spice notes and an excellent, lengthy finish. Score: 90 pts

Wine Review of Historical XIXth Century L20.07 from France


Monday, April 21, 2014

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  • Monday, April 21, 2014

Apr. 26 Wine Picks: Bordeaux + Sparkling Wine

LCBO Wine Picks from April 26, 2014 Vintages Release
The next LCBO Vintages release will be in stores this . The main focus of this release is on wines from Bordeaux, with a particular emphasis on "great values" from the famed 2009 and 2010 vintages, as well as the challenging 2011 vintage. The secondary focus is on Sparkling Wines and is definitely the highlight of this release.

Personally, I had a hard time finding great values among the 14 Bordeaux wines as only 2 wines made my wine picks. The 2010 Selve is a 50/50 blend of Merlot and Cab Sauv, while the 2009 Chantecaille is 80/20 blend of Merlot and Cab Franc. Both of these wines will reward ageing a couple of years. Perhaps save both of these for a special occasion in the future?

Within my circles, sparkling wines tend to be opened only on special occasions. And unless you can afford to otherwise, I would suggest 3 Champagnes from this release should be reserved for a special occasions. The 2006 vintage Champagnes from Marguet is dry and 100% Chardonnay, while the Moutard is off-dry (slightly sweet) and is equal parts Arbane, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The Fleury non-vintage Champagne is made with 100% Pinot Noir. Lastly, it's refreshing to see a Sparkling Wine made from Riesling - I reckon we will see more of this in the future.

From the rest of the release, the Remhoogte Estate Wine returns with the 2007 composed of 32% Merlot, 29% Syrah, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 13% Pinotage, which is slightly different than the 2006 version.

Four premium Spanish reds are worth your attention. We'll begin with the 2006 Ardal that contains 80% Tempranillo and 20% Cab Sauv. The Alvaro Palacios is a blend consisting of 60% Cariñena (Carignan), 30% Garnacha, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah from old vines, some of which are 100 years old. There are also two Riojas to consider, including a 2001 Faustino that is earthy, funky, and bretty and still has some stuffing to age another few years; it's made with 86% Tempranillo, 9% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo and may not be for everyone. Lastly, the Maetierra Dominum is a blend of 93% Tempranillo, 4% Graciano and 3% Garnacha Tinta. Save for the Faustino, these Spanish reds will all reward another 4-5 years in the cellar.

White wine lovers looking for bargains under $20 will want to skip this release, as there isn't anything worth your attention unless you're willing to go up the price bracket.

Enjoy my wine recommendations for this week. Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • CHAKANA RESERVE MALBEC 2012 - Mendoza, Argentina (#018671) (XD) - $16.95
  • KEINT-HE VOYAGEUR PINOT NOIR 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#373407) (D) - $17.95  reviewed here
  • REMHOOGTE ESTATE WINE 2007 - WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, South Africa (#694539) (D) - $18.95
  • CASARENA RAMANEGRA RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011 - Mendoza, Argentina (#366138) (XD) - $18.95
  • VILLA CAFAGGIO CHIANTI CLASSICO 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#176776) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU HAUT SELVE 2010 - AC Graves, Bordeaux, France (#738120) (XD) - $21.95
  • ARDAL RESERVA 2006 - DO Ribera del Duero, Spain (#167700) (XD) - $22.95
  • MAETIERRA DOMINUM QP 2006 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#246660) (XD) - $22.95
  • CHÂTEAU LA CROIX CHANTECAILLE 2009 - AC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France (#349936) (XD) - $29.95
  • FAUSTINO I GRAN RESERVA 2001 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#976662) (XD) - $32.95
  • ALVARO PALACIOS VELLES VINYES LES TERRASSES 2011 - DOCa Priorat, Spain (#977843) (XD) - $46.95
  • BURGESS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2009 - Estate Vineyards, Napa Valley, California, USA (#291914) (XD) - $48.95

White Wine:
  • YALUMBA VIOGNIER 2012 - Eden Valley, South Australia (#954644) (XD) - $24.95
  • DOMAINE DE RIAUX POUILLY-FUMÉ 2012 - AC, Loire, France (#200063) (XD) - $25.95
  • FREEMARK ABBEY CHARDONNAY 2012 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#361949) (XD) - $27.95  reviewed here

Sparkling Wine:
  • TAWSE SPARK LIMESTONE RIDGE RIESLING SPARKLING WINE 2012 - Limestone Ridge Estate Vineyard, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#370361) (D) - $19.95
  • FLEURY BLANC DE NOIRS BRUT CHAMPAGNE - AC, Champagne, France (#368761) (XD) - $54.95
  • MARGUET PÈRE & FILS GRAND CRU BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2006 - AC, Ambonnay, Champagne, France (#068791) (XD) - $65.95
  • MOUTARD PÈRE & FILS CUVÉE DES 6 CÉPAGES BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2006 - AC, Champagne, France (#185595) (D) - $87.95


The rest of the wines from this Vintages release can be found here.


Monday, October 21, 2013

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  • Monday, October 21, 2013

Oct. 26 Wine Picks: 2010 Bordeaux + Oregon + Washington

LCBO Vintages Recommendations from October 26, 2013 Release
The next LCBO Vintages release will be on shelves across Ontario on . The main focus of this release is the much heralded 2010 Bordeaux vintage - often described as the "vintage of the decade" and "one of the best ever".

However, looking at the majority of 17 wines that are featured, one might wonder what is so special about the 2010 vintage. Well, to sum it up - the 2010s are robust and very age-worthy, and should be aged a number of years before they will reach their prime drinking window. The extreme weather conditions, including dehydration, from El Niño forced winemakers to wait to pick their grapes, which resulted in slightly shrivelled (raisined) grapes, which meant less juice and more skin (i.e. tannin) per grape. The fruit is strong enough to hold up to the tannins. The cooler-than-normal Autumn temperatures also helped produce wines with higher acidity and alcohols. Personally, I think I prefer the 2009s over the 2010s.

Just one of the 2010 Bordeauxs made my list of wine picks - the Chateau de Maison Neuve that is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon that you may want to cellar for a few years before imbibing. Suffice it to say, the selection featured in this release doesn't provide a full spectrum of the 2010s, as it's missing many of the higher-end wines that I would have liked to see. The LCBO's minimum case requirement and cost may have been a barrier.

The secondary feature in this release is a small one (just 6 wines) and highlights the Western USA states of Oregon and Washington. I'm a big fan of wines from both of these states, but just one of the 6 wines intrigued me - the Elk Cove Pinot Gris. It's made in a extra dry style and has a slight spritz. In Oregon, Pinot Noir is the most widely planted varietal, while Pinot Gris is second most.

From the rest of the release, there are a couple of wines from the Iberian Peninsula worth your consideration. Age for a couple of years the Portuguese Quinta do Portal, which is made using 50% Touriga Nacional, 40% Touriga Roriz, and 10% Touriga Franca. From Spain is the Coto de Imaz, which is 100% Tempranillo and can be enjoyed now or in a few years. And finally, the Vacqueyras from Rhone is a GSM-blend (70% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre) that can be enjoyed now or in 4 years.

Enjoy my Vintages wine recommendations for this week. Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • ZOLO RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Mendoza, Argentina (#054098) (XD) - $17.00
  • SMALL GULLY MR BLACK’S LITTLE BOOK SHIRAZ 2010 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#287979) (XD) - $17.95
  • VINOS SIN LEY “M” OLD VINE MONASTRELL 2011 - DO Yecla, Spain (#344226) (D) - $18.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE MAISON NEUVE 2010 - AC Montagne Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (#351965) (D) - $19.95
  • JOURNEY’S END SHIRAZ 2007 - Single Vineyard, WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#337642) (XD) - $19.95
  • COTO DE IMAZ RESERVA 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#023762) (XD) - $20.95
  • CHÂTEAU DES ROQUES VACQUEYRAS 2009 - AC, Rhône, France (#352039) (XD) - $21.95
  • QUINTA DO PORTAL RESERVA 2009 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#280578) (XD) - $21.95
  • REDEMPTION ZIN ZINFANDEL 2009 - Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, USA (#224147) (XD) - $26.95
  • STAGS’ LEAP WINERY MERLOT 2010 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#655399) (XD) - $39.95

White Wine:
  • QU CHARDONNAY 2011 - Curicó, Chile (#357392) (XD) - $15.95
  • MOMO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#009167) (XD) - $17.95
  • FIELDING ESTATE RIESLING 2012 - Estate Bottled, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#251439) (M) - $18.95
  • BOLLIG-LEHNERT DHRONER HOFBERGER RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2011 - Prädikatswein, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany (#339945) (XD) - $21.95  reviewed here
  • D’ARENBERG THE MONEY SPIDER ROUSSANNE 2011 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#656710) (XD) - $21.95
  • WILLIAM FÈVRE CHABLIS 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#124578) (XD) - $24.95
  • ELK COVE PINOT GRIS 2012 - Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#955906) (XD) - $24.95

Dessert Wine:
  • KONZELMANN VIDAL ICEWINE 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#167866) (S) (200 mL) - $25.10


The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.


Monday, October 22, 2012

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  • Monday, October 22, 2012

Oct. 27 LCBO Wine Picks: 2009 Bordeaux

Cover photo of October 27, 2012 LCBO Vintages Wine Magazine
The next Vintages release will be in LCBO outlets across Ontario on . The main feature in this release is on the critically-acclaimed 2009 Bordeaux vintage - once hailed as the "Vintage of the Century".

However, looking at the 16 red Bordeaux wines in this release, I was a little underwhelmed with the offerings - I was expecting greatness! I was more impressed with the two white Bordeauxs. The Château Toumilon - made using 60% Semillion and 40% Sauvignon Blanc, and the Château de Cruzeau - which is 100% Sauvignon Blanc are both outstanding. Among the reds, the Lestruelle is a good introduction to the vintage, consisting of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Château Sénéjac is (likely) a blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

The secondary feature in this release is on small, boutique wineries from California. Not surprisingly, they all come in at rather high price points. If money is no object, grab a few bottles of the Juslyn Spring Mountain Cab Sauv and open one every 5 years.

From the rest of the release, the Hecht & Bannier Minervois consists of mostly Syrah, some Grenache, and drops of Carignan. The Fattoi is, of course, 100% Sangiovese.

Among my white wine picks, the Simonnet-Febvre is, of course, 100% Chardonnay. Also, consider getting both the Preiss-Zimmer and the Dr. Loosen Rieslings and taste them side-by-side. Both are similar in sweetness levels, as the German wine is just off-dry (unusual for Mosel Rieslings) and would allow for a good comparison between these two fine Riesling wine regions.

Enjoy my picks for this week! Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • CHÂTEAU LESTRUELLE 2009 - AC Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#295840) (XD) - $18.95
  • TRAPICHE FINCAS LAS PALMAS MALBEC 2007 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#186668) (XD) - $17.95
  • CANEPA FINÍSIMO GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2009 - Marchigüe, Colchagua Valley, Chile (#211920) (XD) - $17.95
  • HECHT & BANNIER MINERVOIS 2010 - AC, Midi, France (#017764) (XD) - $19.95
  • GRA² GRACIANO 2010 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#190819) (XD) - $16.95
  • CHÂTEAU SÉNÉJAC 2009 - AC Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#193177) (XD) - $28.85
  • FATTOI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2007 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#033498) (XD) - $34.95
  • JUSLYN SPRING MOUNTAIN CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#289868) (XD) - $139.95

White Wine:
  • PREISS-ZIMMER VIEILLES VIGNES RIESLING 2008 - AC Alsace, France (#292193) (D) - $18.95
  • SIMONNET-FEBVRE CHABLIS 2010 - AC, Burgundy, France (#041780) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU TOUMILON BLANC 2009 - AC Graves, Bordeaux, France (#314864) (XD) - $16.95
  • DR. LOOSEN RED SLATE RIESLING DRY 2011 - Qualitätswein, Mosel, Germany (#295923) (D) - $19.95
  • MIKE WEIR SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#686972) (XD) - $14.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE CRUZEAU BLANC 2009 - AC Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, France (#966010) (XD) - $27.95


The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

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  • Sunday, March 4, 2012

Château Ampélia 2005 (Bordeaux) - Bottle 2 of 3 Wine Review

Ordered this red wine back in February 2006, in lots of 3 bottles from the Vintages Bordeaux Futures program and arrived at my doorstep in March of 2008. The intent was to experience the evolution of a wine at various stages as it ages in the bottle. The 2005 Bordeaux's were remarked as possibly greatest vintage ever!

The first bottle was, ironically, opened on my wife's birthday in June of 2010 and based on my notes it looks like I did enjoy it. The second bottle was opened this evening, and here is my review...

CHÂTEAU AMPÉLIA 2005 - Côtes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France (#500330) (XD) - $20

Photo of Chateau Ampelia Bordeaux 2005
Tasting Note:
Some oak resin aromas from cork. Earthy, cedar, dark fruit, and some plum aromas. Fairly straightforward on the palate with dark and red fruits, finishing with pepper and some mocha notes. Full bodied wine. Tannins integrating nicely, but still need more time. This should drink well for at least another 4-5 years. Will be enjoying this with homemade Chicken Enchiladas.


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