Showing posts with label carmenere. Show all posts
Showing posts with label carmenere. Show all posts

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  • Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Errázuriz Icons Wine Tasting 2019 with Winemaker Francisco Baettig

Errázuriz Icons Wine Tasting 2019
In , I had the pleasure of tasting some iconic wines from the quality, award-winning Chilean producer Viña Errázuriz with Winemaker Francisco Baettig in attendance. I've tasted previous vintages of the Icon wines - La Cumbre, Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve, and Kai - recalling the time I was first introduced to these delicious wines back in , but these wines are so good that it's always a treat to taste them every year.

However, this tasting was really about introducing the Las Pizarras wines. Eduardo Chadwick Claro is the President of Viña Errázuriz and also a descendant of Don Maximiano Errázuriz, the winery's founder. He was named Decanter's Man of the Year in 2018 and is one of the most important people within the Chilean wine scene. He has worked tirelessly to promote the wines of Chile around the world, becoming a true ambassador for the country’s potential to produce premium wines. As Francisco explained, the Las Pizarras wines were borne out of Eduardo Chadwick's desire to create an Icon white wine - as there were none among the existing portfolio. This desire resulted in the creation of a very fine Las Pizarras Chardonnay (now in its 4th vintage) that expresses the estate's terroir. Tagging along with the Chardonnay is also an excellent Las Pizarras Pinot Noir, The Las Pizarras collection also includes a Syrah, which was unfortunately not available for tasting.

Errázuriz Winemaker - Francisco Baettig

In addition to the Icon Wines, there were also wines from their Aconcagua Costa and Aconcagua Alto ranges. The tasting was held at Oretta Restaurant in downtown Toronto and featured a unique food pairing with each of the 10 wines that were available for tasting. I didn't try any of the food items (since my focus was on the wine), but was told by a few others in attendance that the food was quite delicious and paired really well with the wines.

Most of these wines are available at the LCBO, but you can also reach out to Dandurand or Galleon Wines to purchase the Las Pizarras Icon Wines, back vintages, or other wines from the Errázuriz portfolio.

Errázuriz - From the best land, the best wine.

Tasting Notes:

ERRÁZURIZ LAS PIZARRAS CHARDONNAY 2017 - Aconcagua Coast, Chile (XD) - $69.95
From a 5 hectare plot on the Aconcagua Coast estate. The shy nose has a nutty profile with some passion fruit, ripe and slightly baked apple, citrus and vanilla nuances. It is medium-full bodied with lively, fresh acids that are well-balanced with nutty aroma replays. Very nice chalky texture on the palate with nutty aroma replays and touches of vanilla. Cool-climate style. Excellent finish length. Score: 92 pts

Errázuriz Las Pizarras Chardonnay 2017 (92 pts)Errázuriz Las Pizarras Pinot Noir 2017 (92 pts)

ERRÁZURIZ LAS PIZARRAS PINOT NOIR 2017 - Aconcagua Coast, Chile (XD) - $92.95
One of the stars of the tasting. From the cool-climate terroir of the Aconcagua Coast estate that has slate and schist soils. Clean, medium-high intensity aromatics offer elegant spice, red berry, currant, mineral, earth, and hints of tobacco. Nicely textured with fine, elegant tannins on the medium-bodied palate with hints of black tea and spice flavours, plus lovely aroma replays. Lively, balanced acidity lifts the palate. Long, persistent finish. Score: 92 pts

ERRÁZURIZ LA CUMBRE SYRAH 2016 - Aconcagua Valley, Chile (#579821) (XD) - $90
100% Syrah with lovely white pepper, herbs, dill, meaty, black and blueberry, and spice aromas of medium-high intensity. It is medium+ bodied on the palate with elegant, refined tannins that provide structure. There's nice dark-fruited aroma replays on the flavour profile, plus some earthy minerality. Juicy mid-palate with balanced acidity and a nice, long finish. Drinking well now. Score: 92 pts

Errázuriz La Cumbre Syrah 2016 (92 pts)Errázuriz Kai Carmenère 2016 (93 pts)

ERRÁZURIZ KAI CARMENÈRE 2016 - Aconcagua Valley, Chile (#055863) (XD) - $150
93% Carmenère and 7% Syrah. This has an elegant, medium-high intensity nose of dark berry, tobacco, black pepper, graphite, and cedar oak spice. It is medium-full bodied on the palate with nice peppery replays and well-integrated oak flavours. Structured with supple tannins and balanced acidity add to the elegance. Excellent finish length. Score: 93 pts

ERRÁZURIZ DON MAXIMIANO FOUNDER'S RESERVE 2016 - Aconcagua Valley, Chile (#501247) (XD) - $90
This blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Carmenère, 8% Malbec, 7% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc has a fairly intense, and pleasing nose of currant, cassis, black and blue fruit and oak aromas. It is full-bodied and dense with very good fruit concentration on the palate with big tannins that are integrating nicely. A touch drying with succulent, mouth-watering acids and lovely aroma replays on the flavour profile. Excellent finish length. Should age gracefully for 10-15 years. Score: 94 pts

Errázuriz Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve 2016 (94 pts)

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  • Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Pérez Cruz Limited Edition Carménère 2012 (Chile) - Wine Review

lovely red wine had been sitting in my cellar for nearly 5 years and, according to my notes, was reaching full maturity. It was purchased from the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Of course, the 2012 is long gone from stores, but the 2016 is available for purchase at $20.95.

Pérez Cruz Limited Edition Carménère 2012 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

PÉREZ CRUZ LIMITED EDITION CARMÉNÈRE 2012 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#670539) (XD) - $19.95
Hand-picked blend of 93% Carménère, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Petit Verdot from the piedmont stony soils of the Fundo Liguai de Huelquen vineyard. Maturing reddish-brown colour. Lovely, fragrant aromatics from the glass with herbally, olive tapenade, savoury earthy characters and subtle oak spice. It is full-bodied on the palate with suave, silky smooth, and finely-grained tannins. Nicely textured with well-balanced acids, A touch warm on the mid-palate. Mature flavours of tilled earth, dark berry, leather, oak spice with hints of dried berries and floral, all of which linger on the long, slightly chalky finish. Fine, mature wine that should drink well for another 1-2 years. Score: 90 pts

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  • Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Emiliana Coyam 2013 (Chile) - Wine Review

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

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

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

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

Emiliana Coyam 2013 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

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

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

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  • Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Novas Gran Reserva Carmenere Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (Chile) - Wine Review

organic red wine is the last in a series featuring delicious turkey recipes that I'm sure would also work well with chicken. It is produced by Emiliana, a winery known for producing fine organic wines and was recently named Winery of the Year in 2015.

This particular wine comes from their Novas line, and is made with organic grapes from carefully selected vineyards, resulting in wines of excellent quality that fully express their terroir. Its name comes from the ancient astronomers who used the word “Novas” to denote the birth of a new star.

This red wine is a General List product at the LCBO and readily available at LCBO outlets across Ontario.

Novas Gran Reserva Carmenere Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

NOVAS GRAN RESERVA CARMENERE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#434662) (XD) - $16.15
An organic wine that's a blend of 85% Carmenere and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon that was aged for 12 months in a combination of French and American oak, as well as stainless steel tanks. Light plum and blackberry notes from the cork. An initial red pepper nose gives way to oak spice, blackberry, and herbs, with whiffs of minty cassis and chocolate. The palate is medium-to-full bodied with supple tannins that are a touch chalky, and acids are lively and food-friendly. More dark berry, blackberry and herbal flavours with some cassis and mint on the palate. The finish length is very good, with an earthy chocolate aftertaste. Enjoyed with oven roasted chicken. Score: 87 pts

Southern-Style Rotisserie Turkey Recipe:

  • 1 12 lb. turkey, preferably fresh

  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • Ice

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1-1/2 tsp fresh oregano
  • 1 chipotle pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 sprig fresh sage, roughly chopped

  • 1 apple, cored and quartered
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1/2 white onion, cut into six
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed

To Prepare:
Place all brine ingredients – except for ice – in a pot large enough to fit the turkey. On the stovetop, heat until sugar and salt dissolve, stirring gently. Remove from heat and let sit until liquid reaches room temperature. Place turkey inside the pot and fill with ice. Cover and place in the fridge for 12 hours.

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the rub. Mix with a fork until fully incorporated. Set aside.

To Cook:
Remove the pot from the fridge and remove turkey from the brine. Place the turkey in a sink and wash with cold water. Pat the turkey as dry as possible and let sit out at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Using your fingers, gently separate turkey skin from the muscles. 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.

Stuff the bird with apple, lemon, sage, parsley, onion and garlic. Twine the legs together and fold the wings under the breast. Season outside skin with salt. Outfit the turkey with the rotisserie rod and forks. Place a parchment-lined tray on the bottom rack of your oven and add the turkey to the rotisserie. Let the turkey cook for 20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 320°F and cook for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until the breast reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

When finished, remove from the oven and rest for 1 hour at room temperature. Remove rod and forks before serving.

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  • Tuesday, August 29, 2017

LCBO VINTAGES September 2, 2017: New World Benchmarks + Syrah vs. Shiraz

LCBO Wine Picks from September 2, 2017 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming release in LCBO VINTAGES on is titled "Reference Library" and features benchmark varietals in new world wine regions as its main theme. Meanwhile, the mini-theme compares Syrah and Shiraz. These new wines will be on shelves this coming .

We'll begin with the feature on new world benchmark varietals, which lists 11 wines across 7 varietals. The wines in this feature include Ontario Chardonnay, California Cabernet Sauvignon, Oregon Pinot Noir, Argentinean Malbec, Australian Shiraz, Chilean Carmenere, and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Just two wines from this theme are included on my list of top wine picks - the lovely 2027 Chardonnay (which came through VINTAGES in ) and a Carmenère from Chile.

2027 Wismer Vineyard Fox Croft Block Chardonnay 2014 (90 pts)Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère 2014 (88+ pts)

The mini-theme compares Syrah and Shiraz, two grapes that are identical but can yield very different styles of wines. Personally, I prefer the Syrah style of wine, which tends to be savoury, earthy, and meaty with black pepper nuances instead of the riper, jammy style of Shiraz found so often in Australia. In this thematic, there are eight wines listed and two made my list of wine recommendations - both are Syrah.

Creekside Iconoclast Syrah 2014 (89 pts)

From the rest of the release among red wines, the Forca Real is an unoaked blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre, while the Family Tree Red is a blend of 33% Syrah, 29% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Baco Noir. The Schild GMS is a blend of 52% Grenache, 24% Mourvèdre, and 24% Shiraz. Also, the California Cab contains 9% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. Single varietal wines include the Crianza that's made with Tempranillo, and the wine from Lazio that is made using a grape you've probable never heard of - Cesanese.

Among my white wine picks, the Creekside Iconoclast is a blend of 74% Semillon and 26% Sauvignon Blanc, while the Anselmi is an off-dry wine made with Garganega. The rest are all single varietals. For sweet wine lovers, you'll want to check out the Gewürztraminer or the Riesling from Ontario. For those who want just a hint of sweetness, look to the Riesling from Austria, or the Semillon from Australia.

Riverview Angelina’s Reserve Gewurztraminer 2014 (88 pts)Flat Rock Riesling 2015 (88 pts)

Enjoy my top wine recommendations from this release. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • DOMAINE FORCA REAL CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON VILLAGES 2013 - AP, Roussillon, France (#494161) (XD) - $17.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM FAMILY TREE RED 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#247882) (XD) - $18.95
  • CASALE DEL GIGLIO CESANESE 2014 - IGT Lazio Rosso, Italy (#498188) (XD) - $18.95
  • CONCHA Y TORO MARQUES DE CASA CONCHA CARMENÈRE 2014 - Peumo, Rapel Valley, Chile (#169862) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • SCHILD ESTATE GRENACHE/MOURVÈDRE/SHIRAZ 2014 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#108183) (XD) - $19.95
  • SEÑORÍO DE P. PECIÑA CRIANZA 2012 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#313726) (XD) - $21.95
  • CREEKSIDE ICONOCLAST SYRAH 2014 - VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#471797) (XD) - $24.95  reviewed here
  • MAISON ROCHE DE BELLENE VIEILLES VIGNES CÔTE DE NUITS-VILLAGES 2007 - AC, Burgundy, France (#487447) (XD) - $29.95
  • FESS PARKER SYRAH 2013 - Santa Barbara County, California, USA (#942136) (XD) - $34.95
  • SILVERADO VINEYARDS ESTATE GROWN CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#111880) (XD) - $61.95

White Wine:

  • RIVERVIEW ANGELINA’S RESERVE GEWURZTRAMINER 2014 - VQA Niagara River, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#511642) (M) - $17.15  reviewed here
  • FLAT ROCK RIESLING 2015 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#043281) (M) - $17.95  reviewed here
  • MARGAN FAMILY HUNTER VALLEY SÉMILLON 2016 - Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia (#493338) (D) - $19.95
  • REDSTONE CHARDONNAY 2013 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#398966) (XD) - $19.95
  • DOMÄNE WACHAU TERRASSEN FEDERSPIEL RIESLING 2015 - DAC Wachau, Austria (#491902) (D) - $21.95
  • CREEKSIDE ICONOCLAST SÉMILLON/SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#520627) (XD) - $22.50
  • 2027 WISMER VINEYARD FOX CROFT BLOCK CHARDONNAY 2014 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#421362) (XD) - $22.95  reviewed here
  • ANSELMI CAPITEL CROCE 2015 - IGT Veneto, Italy (#966655) (D) - $26.95  FSE
  • VILLA MARIA SOUTHERN CLAYS SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#447474) (XD) - $29.95  reviewed here
  • LA CHABLISIENNE CHABLIS BEAUROY 1ER CRU 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#490110) (XD) - $34.95  FSE
Villa Maria Southern Clays Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (90 pts)

Sparkling Wine:

  • VINELAND ESTATES SPARKLING PINOT MEUNIER RESERVE 2015 - Charmat method, VQA Ontario, Canada (#520700) (D) - $30.00


  • DELAFORCE VINTAGE PORT 2003 - DOP, Portugal (#459784) (S) - $77.95

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  • Friday, August 18, 2017

Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère 2008 (Chile) - Wine Review

delicious wine was purchased back in the Spring of 2014 from the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Obviously, the 2008 is no longer available at the LCBO, but this wine is always solid year after year, and the latest vintage should will show up in VINTAGES in . Keep an eye out on this blog as I'm sure it will be a recommended buy.

Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère 2008 (90+ pts)

Tasting Note:

CONCHA Y TORO MARQUES DE CASA CONCHA CARMENÈRE 2008 - Peumo Vineyard, Rapel Valley, Chile (#169862) (XD) - $19.95
Black plum with hints of red flowers and earth from the cork. Complex nose is showing fine maturity with lovely dried flowers and wet earth aromas which give way to lush blackberry, wild herbs, cassis, black licorice, and vanilla with very good intensity. The palate is full-bodied with dark currant, blackberry, cassis, mint, and herbs surrounded by mouth watering acidity. It's slightly chalky on the palate with refined, dusty tannins that are smooth and integrated very nicely. The long finish is earthy with hints of chocolate and dried flowers. Beautiful wine to enjoy now or over the next 2-3 years. Enjoyed with chicken fajitas. Score: 90+ pts

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  • Thursday, August 4, 2016

Arboleda Wine Tasting with Emily Faulconer

Arboleda Wine Tasting at El Catrin

In , I had the pleasure of tasting the wines of Arboleda from Chile with winemaker Emily Faulconer. The venue was El Catrin, in the Distillery District, where after tasting through the Arboleda portfolio, we had the opportunity to try the wines with various Mexican dishes.

Viña Arboleda is a relatively young winery, founded in 1999 by Eduardo Chadwick. He is a 5th generation member of the family that founded Viña Errazuriz. The name Arboleda means "a grove of trees" and is a tribute to the more than 1,450 hectares of native forest that is preserved among its vineyards. Arboleda's philosophy is to offer elegant wines that are the purest expression of the Aconcagua Valley, from sustainable vineyards. The main pillars of this philosophy include having a deep understanding and respect of the terroir, a passionate winemaking team, and the quest for excellence.

The Aconcagua Valley is located 100 km north of Santiago and stretches from the Andes to the Pacific Ocean. The wines for Arboleda come from two properties. The coastal Chilhué Vineyard is located just 12 km from the ocean and is where the cool-climate varieties are grown - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. The cool maritime winds that blow in from the sea allow the grapes to ripen slowly, which intensifies elegance and freshness. The soils at this site are quite diverse with metamorphosed rocks (including schist) and loam-clay, which produce grapes with different characteristics depending on where it's grown. This inevitably leads to a blending of grapes from different sites.

Chilhué Vineyard
Chilhué Vineyard

Las Vertientes Vineyard
Las Vertientes Vineyard

Further inland is the Las Vertientes Vineyard, where the 40 km distance to the ocean creates a warmer climate, allowing grapes to ripen over a long growing season. The climate in this zone is Mediterranean, with cold, rainy winters and warm, dry summers and autumns. Here, red varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Cabernet Franc and Syrah are planted between 380-590 metres above sea level. Daily temperature oscillation can reach a difference of 20°C, resulting in grapes with good acidity levels at time of harvest. The soils are of coluvial origin and vary from clay piedmont to terraces with high stone content, with a wide diversity in soil structure, depth and drainage. Once again, grapes from various sites contribute to the final blend.

Winemaker Emily Faulconer, Arboleda Wines
Viña Arboleda is certified under Chile's National Code of Sustainability, which guarantees environmentally-friendly practices and social responsibility within the communities. The sustainability philosophy at Arboleda focuses on Integrated Vineyard Management and Efficient Water and Energy Use to reduce consumption and the emission of greenhouse gases.

The entire lineup of Arboleda wines consists of the 6 wines we tasted on this day, totalling about 50,000 cases, 70% of which is Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere. While both the Cab Sauv and Carmenere are quite nice, I would love to see Emily create small lot wines of each and see the results, which I believe would produce an excellent wine.

We were told that pricing was $19.95 across the board, except for the Pinot Noir which was $21.95. However, as I was checking inventories on the LCBO website, it seems as though the LCBO may have negotiated slightly different prices for some of the wines.

If you're interested in purchasing any of these wines, click on the 6-digit product code of any wine below to view it on the LCBO website, then click on "check all stores" to view inventory. My quick check revealed a couple of wines that are available at the new Destination Chile LCBO located at 5100 Erin Mills Parkway. Moreover, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is scheduled to come through VINTAGES on September 3rd - stay tuned for that one. These wines can also be purchased by the case from the agent Noble Estates Wine & Spirits - please contact them directly for more information.

Thank you Ana and El Catrin for your gracious hospitality, and to Emily for providing her insight into the wines of Arboleda - it was a pleasure to meet you.

Freshly made guacamole at El CatrinBaja Cod Tacos at El Catrin

Tasting Notes:

ARBOLEDA CHARDONNAY 2015 - DO Aconcagua Coast, Chile (#208842) (XD) - $19.95
Medium+ intensity nose offering clean lime, apple, pear, stone fruits and some butter notes in a fresh package. It's medium-bodied on the juicy palate with sharp acids and pleasing aroma replays. It has a rounded mouthfeel, with good texture and some creaminess. Wild fermented. Good length on the finish. Paired really well with the fish tacos and really started to come to life as it warmed up in the glass. Score: 87 pts

Arboleda Chardonnay 2015 - DO Aconcagua Coast, Chile (87 pts)Arboleda Sauvignon Blanc 2015 - DO Aconcagua Coast, Chile (86 pts)

ARBOLEDA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - DO Aconcagua Coast, Chile (#223007) - $19.95
Shows a lifted nose of kiwi, passion fruit and green aromas that also show up on the medium-bodied palate. Somewhat austere in style with a rounded mouthfeel, and lacking a bit of acidity. Good length on the finish. Was a lovely pairing with the freshly made guacamole. Score: 86 pts

ARBOLEDA PINOT NOIR 2014 - DO Aconcagua Coast, Chile (XD) - $21.95
The medium-intensity nose offers wet earth, cran-cherry, strawberry and develops some sourness with air. Appealing on the palate with aroma replays and beet root flavours on a medium-bodied frame. Acids are good, nicely balanced and juicy. Very good length on the finish. Good tannic structure should allow this wine to mature and drink well over the next 3-4 years. Really grew on me over the course of lunch. Score: 88 pts

Arboleda Pinot Noir 2014 - DO Aconcagua Coast, Chile (88 pts)Arboleda Carmenere 2014 - DO Aconcagua Valley, Chile (88+ pts)

ARBOLEDA CARMENERE 2014 - DO Aconcagua Valley, Chile (#223015) (XD) - $19.95
Contains 5% Petit Verdot, this has medium+ intensity aromas that are herbaceous with green pepper, hints of bramble, black olive, white pepper and brett adding complexity. The palate is medium-full bodied with pleasing aroma replays and juicy, mouth-watering acids. Long, earthy finish. Still a bit tight, but should be better in 1-2 years. Score: 88+ pts

ARBOLEDA SYRAH 2014 - DO Aconcagua Valley, Chile (XD) - $19.95
Closed at the moment but dark fruited tones of blackberry, black cherry, some black pepper and just a hint of jam that all appear on the full-bodied palate along with mint flavours. It has very good acids. Tannins a little drying, but have good structure and provide rich mouthfeel. Drink over the next 5-8 years. Score: 89 pts

Arboleda Syrah 2014 - DO Aconcagua Valley, Chile (89 pts)Arboleda Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 - DO Aconcagua Valley, Chile (89 pts)

ARBOLEDA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014 - DO Aconcagua Valley, Chile (#208859) (XD) - $19.95
Medium-high intensity nose of currant, cassis, floral, and some barnyard and oak adding interest. It's full-bodied with very nice aroma replays, juicy acids and excellent length on the finish. My favourite of the afternoon. Contains 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Syrah. Score: 89 pts

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  • Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Emiliana Novas Gran Reserva Carménère / Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (Chile) - Wine Review

Emiliana Novas Gran Reserva Carménère/Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 - Colchagua Valley, Chile
, I was invited to the iYellow Wine Cave to attend iYellow's most recent #WinemakerRAW event with Emiliana Organic Vineyards from Chile.

Having tasted quite a few Emiliana wines over the past few years at the annual Chilean Wine Tasting, I had a good feeling about this tasting. This night was about getting an up close and personal look at the 2013 Emiliana Nova Gran Reserva Carménère/Cabernet Sauvignon that was just released a few weeks prior to this event at the LCBO as a general list product (and is widely available throughout the province).

In attendance representing the winery was the Winemaker Emilio Contreras, as well as the Export Director Fernando Pavon. Mr. Contreras joined Emiliana's team of winemakers in 2007 and is currently responsible for the reserve wines (including the wine below) and the two premium organic lines.

Emiliana Organic Vineyards is an organic and biodynamic winery that is focused on creating high quality wines while showing respect for the environment and their people. Emiliana firmly believes that using sustainable, organic, and biodynamic agricultural practices help produce better-balanced, healthier, and more productive vineyards, which in turn results in better grapes and unique, terroir-driven wines.

Fernando Pavon (left) and Winemaker Emilio ContrerasEmiliana Novas Gran Reserva Carménère/Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

EMILIANA NOVAS GRAN RESERVA CARMÉNÈRE/CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#434662) (XD) - $15.80
Blend of 85% Carménère and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium+ intensity nose of sweet oak, brett and earth with underlying sweet ripe black cherry and hints of purple fruit. It is medium-bodied on the palate with soft, rounded tannins. Black cherry, sweet vanilla and hints of cocoa on the medium-to-long finish. Organic wine made in an approachable style that should have wide appeal. Score: 88 pts

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  • Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wine Reviews: Santa Alicia Carménère Reserva + Pascual Toso Malbec

I received these two nice, easy drinking red wines last week courtesy of Eurovintage International Inc. Both are LCBO General List products and widely available throughout the province.

My personal favourite of the two is the Malbec, from a very good producer in Argentina. I had tasted this and their Malbec Limited Edition at Malbec World Day back in April.

Tasting Notes:
SANTA ALICIA CARMÉNÈRE RESERVA 2012 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#309302) (XD) - $13.00
Screw cap. Medium+ intensity aromas featuring ripe, green pepper and mineral notes. On the palate, it's medium-bodied with very green, herbal notes and hints of smoke lingering on the long, slightly warm finish. Acids are bright and balanced, while tannins are a touch tight. Score: 87 pts

Wine Review of 2012 Santa Alicia Carménère Reserva from Maipo Valley, Chile

PASCUAL TOSO MALBEC 2013 - Mendoza, Argentina (#035170) (XD) - $13.95
Screw cap. Medium intensity aromas of plum, blackberry and blackcherry which replay nicely on the medium-bodied palate. Mineral and oak also show up on the dry flavour profile. Fruit-forward. Refreshing acids and ripe, integrated tannins and a clean finish make this a very good weekday wine. Score: 88+ pts
Wine Review of 2013 Pascual Toso Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina

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  • Saturday, April 19, 2014

Montes Alpha Carmenère Apalta Vineyard 2007 (Chile) - Wine Review

This red wine was purchased way back in from a Vintages release that focused on Chile. The story of that release was about the previous 10 years in Chile and how Chilean wine had exploded on to the global wine scene. This Carmenère was one of the Wines of the Month.

I am certain there is a story behind why the 2007 vintage bottling was the last year that the grapes for this wine came from the Apalta Vineyard. Beginning in 2008, they began to use grapes from the Marchique Vineyard. Currently not available, I would expect a future vintage of this wine to show up in Vintages again.

MONTES ALPHA CARMENÈRE 2007 - Apalta Vineyard, Colchagua Valley, Chile (#143230) (D) - $19.95

Wine Review of 2007 Montes Alpha Carmenère from Apalta Vineyard, Colchagua Valley, Chile
Tasting Note:
Stewed blackberry and black currant aromas from the cork. Medium+ aromas of black currant, black cherry, and earth with hints of stewed black fruits and barnyard. Medium+ bodied with refined tannins that are silky smooth, yet drying. Nice black currant/blackberry sweet ripe fruits, oak spice, and earthy flavours. Good acids, rush of spice and hints of purple fruits on the slightly warm, and lengthy finish. Could be aged another 2 years, but drinking great now. Score: 89 pts

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  • Friday, September 7, 2012

Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère 2010 (Chile) - Wine Review

Opened this lovely Chilean red wine that was purchased from the June 23 Vintages wine release.

CONCHA Y TORO MARQUES DE CASA CONCHA CARMENÈRE 2010 - Peumo Vineyard, Rapel Valley, Chile (#169862) (XD) - $17.00

Label photo of 2010 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère from Chile
Tasting Note:
Plum and cherry cola nose from the cork. Alluring spice box and cherry aromas from the glass. Medium-bodied with savoury black cherry and dark red fruits on the palate. Very light tannins are backed by mouth-watering good acidity. Short finish is a touch hot. Could cellar for 2 years, but definitely enjoyable now. Tip: Serve this straight out of the cellar or even chill for 5-10 minutes prior to serving. Will pair well with the homemade pizza we're having tonight.

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  • Monday, February 27, 2012

Mar. 3 Wine Picks: Made in France + Carmenère

Cover of March 3, 2012 LCBO Vintages magazine.
The next LCBO Vintages release is on and there are lots of great buys. I am big fan of French wines, and the major feature in this release focuses on 13 benchmark-setting grapes from wines Made in France.

Of the French wines that made my list, the Moulin-à-Vent is made using the Gamay grape, which you see quite commonly planted here in Ontario, but is actually not planted widely anywhere else. The Crozes-Hermitage is a fabulous Rhône-style Syrah (a.k.a Shiraz), while the Vacqueyras is a blend of mostly Grenache and some Syrah.

The secondary wine feature of this release is on a grape varietal that is a favourite of mine - Carmenère. Chile does this grape better than anyone else and two wines emerged from this release that are worth tasting: Concha y Toro Terrunyo Block 27 Carmenère 2008 (#562892, $29.95) and the Misiones de Rengo Gran Reserva Cuvée Carmenère 2010 (#264937, $19.95).

Also featured in this release, and just in time for , are a selection of fine Irish Whiskies which you can peruse at your leisure from the magazine here. Enjoy my picks for this week!

Red Wine:
  • DELAS FRÈRES LES LAUNES CROZES-HERMITAGE 2009 - AC, Rhône, France (#701359) (XD) - $20.95
  • DOMAINE DES AILES MOULIN-À-VENT 2010 - AC, Beaujolais, France (#183442) (XD) - $16.95
  • PERRIN & FILS LES CHRISTINS VACQUEYRAS 2009 - AC, Rhône, France (#973453) (XD) - $23.95
  • CHÂTEAU LA BRIE PRESTIGE 2009 - AC Bergerac, Southwest, France (#061994) (XD) - $13.95
  • THE WATCHER SHIRAZ 2008 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#219196) (XD) - $19.95
  • THE GRINDER PINOTAGE 2010 - WO Swartland, South Africa (#269076) (XD) - $14.95

White Wine:
  • JOSEPH CATTIN HATSCHBOURG PINOT GRIS 2009 - AC Alsace Grand Cru, France (#260240) (M) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU PERRON BLANC 2009 - AC Graves, Bordeaux, France (#226126) (XD) - $17.95
  • GRAY MONK RIESLING 2009 - VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#273466) (D) - $18.95
  • STONEY RIDGE WARREN CLASSIC CHARDONNAY 2009 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#224113) (XD) - $16.95

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  • Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2007 Concha y Toro Winemaker's Lot 148 Carmenère (Chile) - Review

It's chicken fajita night. To celebrate, I turned to one of my favourite grapes: Carmenère. This little-known varietal is making its trademark in Chile and gaining popularity. Purchased in August, 2009 from the "Chile's Brilliant Showstoppers" release, it needed to be aged to soften the tannins and is now ready for primetime.

CONCHA Y TORO WINEMAKER'S LOT 148 CARMENÈRE 2007 - Las Pataguas Vineyard, Rapel Valley, Chile (#030957) (XD) - $16.95

Tasting Note:
Cork smells of plums, dark fruit and hints of raisin. Inky, smoky, chocolate, cassis, pomegranate and hints of mocha aromas from the glass. Cassis, herbal, white pepper, mocha, milk chocolate notes on the palate. Full bodied red with ripe tannins. Could be aged another 1-2 years, but can be savoured today. Recommended.

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  • Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2007 Tierra Alta Reserva Carmenère (Chile) - Wine Review

This Decanter award-winning wine was purchased on Saturday as part of the September 3 Vintages Release.

TIERRA ALTA RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2007 - Maule Valley, Chile (#236067) (XD) - $13.95

Tasting Note:
Lovely blackberry, mocha, wet earth, flower aromas. Palate has ripe fruit with raspberry at the fore. Dry with a touch of tannin. Medium-bodied. Will pair nicely with the spicy, creamy chicken dish that I will be enjoying tonight.

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