Showing posts with label israel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label israel. Show all posts

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  • Monday, February 13, 2017

VINTAGES Release February 18: Australia + Ontario + Israel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Red Wine:

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

White Wine:

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

Sparkling Wine:

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


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

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  • Monday, March 14, 2016

March 19 VINTAGES Release: Italy + Israel + Easter

LCBO Wine Picks from March 19, 2016 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release will be on shelves this and features classic wines from Italy as its main feature. The mini-theme features wines from Israel, while the Ontario theme features wines for .

For the second consecutive release, Italy is one of the feature themes. This time, there are quite a few amazing wines that wine enthusiasts should seek out, wallet-permitting. Out of the 23 Italian wines featured, 5 are included among my wine picks. The lone white wine is made from the indigenous Greco grape varietal by Terredora di Paolo and is a favourite of mine year-after-year. The Ornellaia is a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot, while the Quintarelli is a ripasso-style of wine consisting of 55% Corvina and Corvinone, 30% Rondinella, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and trace amounts of Nebbiolo, Croatina, and Sangiovese. Last, but definitely not least, both the Brunello and the Chianti are 100% Sangiovese.

Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino 2008 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (92 pts)Terredora di Paolo Loggia Della Serra Greco di Tufo 2014 - DOCG, Campania, Italy (90 pts)

Wines from Israel were included in this release due to upcoming Purim and Passover celebrations. However, I didn't find much value in this section.

Of the 6 Ontario wines for Easter, two are included among my wine picks. Enjoy Easter appetizers or dinner with Cave Spring's (lightly-oaked) Chardonnay, while finishing off celebrations with Inniskillin's amazing Riesling Icewine.

Inniskillin Riesling Icewine 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (92 pts)

From the rest of the release, among my red wine recommendations is the Mondeco Red that is a blend of 30% Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), 25% Touriga Nacional, 20% Alfrocheiro, 15% Jaen, and 10% Baga. From Spain, the mature Monasterio de las Viñas Reserva is a blend of 70% Garnacha, 20% Tempranillo, and 10% Carinena, while the Viña los Valles is a 70/30 blend of Tempranillo and Graciano. Lastly, the 2005 Château Coufran is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon from vines that are 50 years old.

For lovers of sweeter wines, look for the off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) Charles Baker Riesling or the medium sweet Tawse Riesling. Want more sweet? Look for Cave Spring Late Harvest Riesling.

Enjoy my wine recommendations for this release. Salute!

Red Wine:

  • MONDECO RED 2010 - DO Dão, Portugal (#442210) (XD) - $13.95
  • MONASTERIO DE LAS VIÑAS RESERVA 2006 - DO Cariñena, Spain (#166579) (XD) - $14.95
  • ANTU SYRAH 2014 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#675371) (D) - $17.95
  • SUSANA BALBO SIGNATURE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#260919) (D) - $19.95
  • VIÑA LOS VALLES TEMPRANILLO/GRACIANO CRIANZA 2010 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#438721) (XD) - $19.95
  • RUSTENBERG BUZZARD KLOOF SYRAH 2011 - WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, South Africa (#414151) (XD) - $24.95
  • DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2008 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#113357) (XD) - $44.95  reviewed here
  • CHÂTEAU COUFRAN 2005 - AC Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#446666) (XD) - $56.95
  • GIUSEPPE QUINTARELLI ROSSO CA’ DEL MERLO 2007 - IGT Veneto, Italy (#958595) (D) - $99.95
  • ORNELLAIA 2012 - DOC Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy (#722470) (D) - $195.95

White Wine:

  • VINUM AFRICA CHENIN BLANC 2013 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#739995) (XD) - $15.95
  • TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA RIESLING 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#089029) (M) - $17.95
  • CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY 2013 - Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#256552) (XD) - $18.95
  • GARCÉS SILVA AMAYNA BARREL FERMENTED SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 - Leyda Valley, Chile (#143511) (XD) - $19.95  FSE
  • TERREDORA DI PAOLO LOGGIA DELLA SERRA GRECO DI TUFO 2014 - DOCG, Campania, Italy (#983197) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • CULMINA DECORA RIESLING 2014 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#444836) (XD) - $24.95
  • CLOS HENRI SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#675629) (XD) - $28.95
  • CHARLES BAKER PICONE VINEYARD RIESLING 2012 - VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#241182) (D) - $35.20

Dessert Wine:

  • CAVE SPRING INDIAN SUMMER SELECT LATE HARVEST RIESLING 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#415901) (S) (375 mL) - $24.95
  • INNISKILLIN RIESLING ICEWINE 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#558288) (S) (375 mL) - $79.95  reviewed here

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  • Monday, February 24, 2014

Mar. 1 LCBO Wine Picks: Cabernet Sauvignon + Israel

LCBO Wine Picks from March 1, 2014 Vintages Magazine
The next Vintages release will be on LCBO shelves across Ontario on . The major feature of this release is on the grape Cabernet Sauvignon, while the minor feature is on wines from Israel.

We'll begin with Israel as it highlights 6 wines, five of which of are from one of its top regions - Upper Galilee. Not all wines made in Israel are certified Kosher, but the each of the Israeli wines in this release are certified Kosher for Passover - to help you prepare for upcoming Passover celebrations. The single Israeli wine that made my wine picks is the Galil Mountain Alon that is a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Syrah, 8% Petit Verdot, and 6% Cabernet Franc. And in case you were wondering, Cab Sauv, Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc are the most widely planted grapes in Israel.

A recent study showed that Cabernet Sauvignon is now the most widely planted grape on the planet. In this release there are 15 Cabs highlighted, most of which are from the New World. A version from Chile's Santa Rita and a blend from Washington's Hedges Family Estate (44% Cab Sauv, 33% Merlot, 16% Syrah, 4% Malbec, 3% Cab Franc) are the only two Cabs I'm recommending from this section of the release. There's also a Cab Sauv from Argentina that's not part of the "Cab Fab" feature, but is found later on in the magazine. Why they separated this and other Cabernet Sauvignons from the rest is beyond me...

From the rest of the release, the Bodegas Olarra is a blend of mostly Tempranillo and small amounts of Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano, while the Brouilly from Beaujolais is made with Gamay Noir. And last but not least of the red wines is a gorgeous wine from Hecht & Bannier that returns to Vintages. I was delighted to have co-founder Gregory Hecht pour this fabulous wine for me at the Halpern Enterprises Grand Cru tasting last November. It's a highly aromatic blend and a big wine containing Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and trace amounts of Lladoner Pelut, a grape I had never heard of. Drink this wine over the next 5 years. I have both the 2008 and 2010 in my cellar and will probably open them both up over the next couple of years.

Only 4 white wines made my cut, and all are from France. The Sancerre (Sauvignon Blanc), Chardonnay, and Riesling are all dry, while the Altesse is off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet).

This concludes my take on this week's Vintages release. Enjoy my wine picks and, as usual, let me know if you try any of my recommendations. Cheers!

Red Wine:
  • SANTA CAROLINA GRAN RESERVA PETIT VERDOT 2011 - Rapel Valley, Chile (#007484) (D) - $15.95
  • LORNANO CHIANTI CLASSICO 2009 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#211599) (XD) - $17.95
  • SANTA RITA MEDALLA REAL GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2009 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#375386) (XD) - $17.95  reviewed here
  • FINCA SOPHENIA RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011 - Mendoza, Argentina (#350090) (D) - $17.00
  • BODEGAS OLARRA AÑARES RESERVA 2006 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#244723) (XD) - $19.95
  • JEAN-PAUL BRUN TERRES DORÉES CÔTE DE BROUILLY 2012 - AC, Beaujolais, France (#235127) (XD) - $20.95
  • GALIL MOUNTAIN ALON KP 2010 - Kosher for Passover, Upper Galilee, Israel (#354522) (XD) - $20.95
  • HECHT & BANNIER CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON-VILLAGES 2010 - AC, Midi, France (#142802) (XD) - $24.95  reviewed here
  • JIM BARRY THE LODGE HILL SHIRAZ 2012 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#998476) (XD) - $26.95
  • HEDGES FAMILY ESTATE RED 2011 - Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Washington State, USA (#001594) (XD) - $32.95

White Wine:
  • MAISON ADRIEN VACHER LES ADRETS ALTESSE ROUSSETTE DE SAVOIE 2012 - AC, Savoie, France (#365163) (D) - $16.95  reviewed here
  • DOMAINE FRANCK MILLET SANCERRE 2012 - AC, Loire, France (#297879) (XD) - $26.95
  • TRIMBACH RÉSERVE RIESLING 2010 - AC Alsace, France (#995316) (XD) - $27.95

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

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