Showing posts with label diamond-estates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diamond-estates. Show all posts

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  • Saturday, December 10, 2016

FRESH Wines for the Holidays

wine reviews are a pair of wines from the FRESH brand produced by Diamond Estates.

The focus on FRESH is about fun, creative wines for wine drinkers who want to explore and try something different. The two wines reviewed below fit into the brand very nicely as the Riesling/Gewürztraminer blend and the Sparkling Wine made with Riesling are both relatively uncommon in the wine world.

These wines, among others in the FRESH line are available at the LCBO. However, you can order a case online at and have it delivered to your door in Ontario for FREE when you use promo code FRESHHoliday and enjoy these wines over the holidays!

Tasting Notes:

FRESH IDEAS SPARKLING RIESLING 2014 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#441162) (M) - $15.95
Lemon, honeysuckle, and wildflower aromas with a honeyed character from the cork. Honeyed citrus and floral aromas are somewhat muted in the glass. More honeyed citrus, orange and floral flavours on the medium sweet palate. Bubbles are nicely articulated. Sweetness is cut by bright, crisp acids and finishes on the dry side. Score: 87 pts

Fresh Ideas Sparkling Riesling 2014 - VQA Ontario, Canada (87 pts)

FRESH OPPORTUNITIES RIESLING GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#572156) (D) - $12.95
A blend of 60% Riesling and 40% Gewürztraminer. Screw cap. Low-medium intensity nose featuring ripe peach, citrus with a bit of earthy funkiness at the tail end. Off-dry on the palate with more peach and citrus flavours. Acids are sharp, but has a nice chalky mineral texture. Good length on the finish. Score: 86 pts

Fresh Opportunities Riesling Gewürztraminer 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (86 pts)

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  • Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Lakeview Cellars Syrah 2012 (Niagara) - Wine Review

I first tasted this wine last September when I visited Diamond Estates Winery during the Niagara Wine Festival. Lakeview Cellars was founded in 1991 by Eddy Gurinskas and is now the oldest brand at Diamond Estates.

The 2012 vintage was exceptional for red wine grapes in Niagara, pushing quality levels up throughout the region. The grapes for Lakeview Cellars wines are sourced from Diamond Estates' best vineyards in the Niagara Region. These vineyards are kissed by Lake Ontario's offshore breeze and create a more temperate climate; this can produce superior fruit with more intense flavours and complexity.

Lakeview Cellars Syrah 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAKEVIEW CELLARS SYRAH 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $24.95
Screw cap. Medium intensity aromas of barnyard and earth with subtle hints of dark berries, black pepper and dried herbs. The palate is medium+ bodied and rounded with pleasing aroma replays. Acids are lively, with supple tannins and lengthy finish. Available only at the winery. Score: 87 pts

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  • Friday, December 18, 2015

Lakeview Cellars Cabernet Franc Icewine 2013 (Niagara) - Wine Review

Tonight's treat for the holidays is a delicious Icewine from Lakeview Cellars, a brand of Diamond Estates.

Coming from a vintage that can be best described as average and slightly wet, approximately 6,600 tonnes of Icewine and Late Harvest grapes were netted for the 2013 season. It was a large crop that equalled the record tonnage of 2007.

For the holidays, not only would this Icewine be a nice gift for someone that enjoys sweet wine, but it would also be a nice accompaniment with dessert after a nice family dinner. The 200 mL is nearly sold out in LCBO VINTAGES, while the 375 mL is available online and at the winery.

Lakeview Cellars Cabernet Franc Icewine 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAKEVIEW CELLARS CABERNET FRANC ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#053397) (S) (200 mL / 375 mL) - $29.95 / $65
Yummy strawberry jelly aromas from the cork. The nose is highly aromatic with strawberry jam, wild berry, cranberry and cherry aromas. The sweet, rounded palate is medium-bodied with rich aroma replays, delicately balanced acidity and a lengthy finish. Score: 89 pts

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  • Sunday, October 6, 2013

Diamond Estates - Lakeview, Daredevil, Dan Aykroyd and De Sousa Tasting

I held a small wine tasting and invited a few friends over to indulge in some of the wines that arrived on my doorstep.

Of the four wines we tasted, the favourite was by far Dan Aykroyd's Cab/Shiraz. This red wine offered a bit of everything - aromas, flavours, acids, tannin, balance and finish. It had good crowd appeal, so I wasn't surprised that this was the favourite wine of the night. My personal favourite was a toss up between this one and the De Sousa Meritage.

Diamond Estates is a fairly large wine and spirits production, marketing and distribution company based in Toronto and Niagara, Canada. They market both Canadian and International wines. The 4 wines we tasted on this night were all from Ontario, and fruit for a couple of these were sourced only from Niagara.

Fruit for Lakeview Cellars wines are sourced from Diamond Estates' best vineyards in Niagara. Lakeview Cellars is known to be a premium Niagara wine producer, yet is able to keep prices relatively affordable. After tasting their 2012 Syrah Rosé, and previously, their 2008 "GMR" Sparkling Reserve, I am eagerly looking forward to tasting more from them.

Wine review of 2012 Lakeview Cellars Syrah Rosé

LAKEVIEW CELLARS SYRAH ROSÉ 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario (#) (XD) - $16.95
Also contains 8.5% Moscato and 1.5% Auxerrois, two grapes that are not widely planted in Niagara. Slightly sweet with low-to-medium intensity perfumy floral aromas. Good acidity and slightly chalky tannins which come from the Syrah. Palate is fruity and very slightly off-dry, with blueberry and raspberry notes showing through on the medium-length finish. This rosé wine is only available at the winery. Score: 86 pts

Wine review of 2011 Daredevil Cabernet

DAREDEVIL CABERNET 2011 - VQA Ontario (#) (XD) - $14.95
This is the first wine with their new label and is made using traditional Bordeaux grapes with a blend consisting of 48% Cab Sauv, 47% Cab Franc, and 5% Merlot. Medium intensity aromas with oak dominating the nose, with some underlying dark fruits. Interesting pepper notes developed in the glass. Palate is light-to-medium bodied with dark and red fruits, with a spiciness that shows up mid-palate and continues through to the medium-length finish. Tannins are harsh and very chalky. This was the least favourite among the group. Available only at the winery. Score: 85 pts

Wine review of 2011 Dan Aykroyd Discovery Series Cabernet/Shiraz

Dan Aykroyd Wines are one of the few, and growing, "celebrity wines" in Ontario. Dan's affinity for travel took him around the globe and he eventually developed a taste for fine wines. He worked closely with Diamond Estates' head winemaker Tom Green for nearly 2 years and launched his first wine in 2007.

Red wine blend of 38% Cab Franc, 37% Cab Sauv, and 25% Shiraz. Medium intensity aromas of black fruits, currant, and cassis. Medium-bodied with smooth, round tannins and nice aroma replays on the palate, with hints of blueberry on the smooth, lengthy finish. Quite fruit forward and has good acidity. Crowd pleaser and the favourite among my guests. Readily available at the LCBO. Score: 87 pts

Wine review of 2010 De Sousa Seasons Meritage Reserve

Originally from Portugal, the De Sousa family purchased some vineyards in the Beamsville Bench area in 1979. In 1990, the family was able to get a winery licence that enabled them to open a full-fledged winery. 20 years later, we have the Meritage Reserve below. In between, Diamond Estates purchased the winery and some of their vineyards. John De Sousa Jr. continues three generations of winemaking and remains on board as Operations Manager and Winemaker.

DE SOUSA SEASONS MERITAGE RESERVE 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario (#315911) (XD) - $14.95
Another Bordeaux blend consisting of 72% Merlot, 25% Cab Sauv, and 3% Cab Franc. Strong oak aromas from glass give way to black currant and blackberry aromas. This red wine is full bodied with chalky tannins that are integrating nicely. Sour cherry, blackberry jam, wood and hints of mocha on the palate. Has mouth-watering acidity and a long finish. Could be cellared 1-2 years. Vintages product and should re-appear in the Vintages section at the LCBO soon. Score: 87 pts

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  • Thursday, April 11, 2013

Diamond Estates + 7 Deadly Zins Wine Tasting

I hosted a small wine tasting. Invited were a few of our neighbours to taste some media samples of local Ontario wines from Diamond Estates Winery, and a red Lodi Zinfandel from Michael David Winery out in California.

Paired with these wines were some blueberries, watermelon, the L'Extra Brie, and the Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar. This cheddar from PEI has become one of my favourite cheeses - our guests enjoyed it too!

Wine and cheese tasting

LAKEVIEW "GMR" SPARKLING RESERVE 2008 - Traditional Method, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#) (XD) - $24.95
The letters "GMR" come from the winemaking team of Thomas Green, Scott McGregor & Jason Roller. This sparkling wine was hand-harvested and made from 50.4% Chardonnay and 49.6% Pinot Noir. Medium intensity aromas of apple, pear and yeastiness. Extra dry with apple and pear on the palate, plus some lemon and toast. Mouthfeel is slightly chalky. Fine stream of bubbles and a finish that is medium-long. Pairs well with mild-flavoured cheeses. Only available through the winery. Score: 88 pts

20 BEES PINOT GRIGIO 2011 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#060707) (D) - $11.95
Screw cap. Honeysuckle, orange and tropical aromas from this white wine. Light-bodied with lots of floral and tropical fruits on palate, and hints of honey. Low acidity and finish is medium-length. Refreshing palate cleanser, good as an apertif. Even though classified as extra dry, this is an off-dry P.G. Score: 86 pts

EASTDELL GAMAY NOIR 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#214890) (XD) - $12.95
Screw cap. Red berry and cherry, oak and pungent smoke aromas from the glass. Light-bodied and fruit-forward with red fruits, cherry, raspberry, and red currant flavours on the palate. Medium levels of acidity. Tannins are integrating nicely, will reward in 1-2 years. Score: 86 pts

3 wines from Diamond Estates Winery

7 DEADLY ZINS OLD VINE ZINFANDEL 2010 - Lodi, California, USA (#059311) (D) - $24.95
The 2010 was just released in Vintages and is part of the Essentials collection. Mostly Zinfandel and blended with Petite Sirah and Petite Verdot. Medium-intensity crushed black fruit and sweet red fruit aromas with cedar undertones. Medium-bodied and very fruit-forward with red fruits, red berries and black cherry on the palate. Medium acidity and integrated tannins. Crowd-pleaser and a good introduction to new red wine drinkers. This was favourite of the evening. Score: 88 pts

Label photo of 2010 7 Deadly Zins Old Vine Zinfandel

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