Showing posts with label italy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label italy. Show all posts

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  • Sunday, July 5, 2020

Medici Ermete & Figli Arte e Concerto Lambrusco 2018 (Italy) - Wine Review



wine review is this lovely Lambrusco sparkling red wine that arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on .

Medici has been producing top-notch Lambrusco and other quality wines for more than a century. The story begins in the late 19th century, when Remigio Medici founded a wine cellar between Via Emilia and the first of the hills in the Enza Valley to make use of the family vineyards. Remigio's son, Ermete, expanded the business and helped develop the reputation for producing quality wines before handing over the company to his sons Valter and Giorgio.

Today, the fourth generation of the Medici family runs Medici Ermete, owning 75 hectares of land spread across the wine growing region of Emilia-Romagna, in the north-eastern part of Italy. Medici's success can be attributed to many years of experience and knowledge that have been passed down each generation, along with creating a close link between each vineyard and the winery. They also have a rigorous selection of grapes that are grown in harmony with nature and the environment. Combined with skilful vinification techniques using new machinery, Medici produces wines of unprecedented quality.

This particular sparkling wine is from the Lambrusco Reggiano DOC - the largest of the 8 Lambrusco wine regions. It is made with Salamino grapes that were grown on clayey soils and was naturally fermented into this tasty sparkling wine.

It is widely available for purchase in the VINTAGES section at LCBO outlets across Ontario. It is also available, along with other wines from Medici Ermete, through Profile Wine Group's new website.

Medici Ermete & Figli Arte e Concerto Lambrusco 2018 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

MEDICI ERMETE & FIGLI ARTE E CONCERTO LAMBRUSCO 2018 - DOC Reggiano Lambrusco, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (#208967) (D) - $19.95
Made with the Lambrusco Salamino varietal, this has a rich array of berry aromas including red berry, raspberry, boysenberry, blueberry, blackberry, and cherry notes. The medium-bodied palate is fresh with bright acidity. Nicely balanced red and dark berry replays on the flavour profile with fine, beady mousse that livens the palate. Finely textured with a touch tannic of grip and mineral on the long, juicy finish. If you've never tried Lambrusco, make this your first. Score: 89 pts


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  • Thursday, June 25, 2020

Nativ Rue dell'Inchiostro Aglianico 2017 (Campania) - Wine Review

wine review is a lovely red wine made with Aglianico from Campania. This bottle was so popular when it arrived in VINTAGES in May 2019 that the LCBO decided to bring it back for another round this year. As such, this Aglianico is coming to the LCBO as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

It is produced by Nativ, a winery founded in Campania in 2008 and focused on making typical wines of the region. Each wine from Nativ has a unique character - produced through the use of innovative winemaking techniques, while also respecting tradition. The grapes are grown on their own lands which are known for their particular fertility thanks to the presence of volcanic soils, extending for about 15 hectares between Paternopoli and Taurasi. In particular, the grapes Nativ focuses on are Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo, Falanghina, Aglianico, and Aglianico of Taurasi.

The Aglianico grape was introduced to Campania by the Greeks along the Tyrrhenian coast (the western coast of Italy) sometime around the 6th or 7th century B.C. It is one of Italy's oldest grape verieties. The grapes for this Aglianico come from within the town and commune of Paternopoli, which is in the province of Avellino in Campania. They were grown on hilly soils of predominantly volcanic and clay-limestone, rich in minerals, at an altitude of 500 metres above sea level.

I've enjoyed other wines from Nativ previously, including most recently their 2018 Nativ Greco di Tufo, and am sure this will also be delightful. Let's see how it is tasting tonight...

Nativ Rue dell'Inchiostro Aglianico 2017 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

NATIV RUE DELL'INCHIOSTRO AGLIANICO 2017 - IGT Campania, Italy (#631606) (D) - $19.95
This Aglianico was raised completely in tank, followed by a short time in bottle prior to release. The medium+ intensity aromas are fresh and fruity with inky dark fruit, dark berry, and sweet spice flavours flecked with black pepper and savoury undertones. It is medium-full bodied on the slightly sweet palate with delicious ripe dark berry fruit flavours with some raisin, savoury, and peppery spice notes adding interest. Acids are fresh and lively while tannins are refined and dusty. Fruity with subtle savoury mineral notes linger on the finish, with very good length. Score: 89 pts


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  • Wednesday, June 24, 2020

June 27, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Summery Food Wines + Italian Whites

LCBO Wine Picks: June 27, 2020 VINTAGES Release
The main theme of the June 27, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release focuses on Summery Food Wines when Dining Out at Home, while the mini-theme takes a look at crisp white wines from Italy. All of the wines from the themes, as well as the rest of the Release will be on shelves by this Saturday.

We begin with the main theme that focuses on wines to enjoy when Dining Out at Home. It's a big theme with nineteen wines featured and five included among my top wine picks. For lighter meals, try the Morgon from Beaujolais that is made with Gamay, or the always-lovely Chenin Blanc from South Africa, or the Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. For casual sipping, try the Brut Trento Traditional Method Sparkling Wine from Italy that is made with Chardonnay, or the organic dry Rosé from Niagara that is predominantly Pinot Noir.

Invivo X by Sarah Jessica Parker Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (89 pts)

If you didn't know by now, there's so much more to the world of Italian white wines beyond Pinot Grigio. Featured in this Release as part of the theme are seven wines from seven different grapes - none named Pinot Grigio, and three of these wines are included among my top wine recommendations. First up is a Vernaccia di San Gimignano - a wine made with the Vernaccia grape from the Tuscan town of San Gimignano. There is also a Falanghina from Campania, while the Gavi di Gavi is made with the Cortese grape from Piedmont.

Fontanafredda Gavi di Gavi 2018 (89 pts)

There are plenty of lovely red wines to choose from the rest of the Release. We begin in Spain, with the Rioja consisting of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Graciano, and 10% Mazuelo, while the Portuguese red is a blend of mostly Grand Noir, followed by Trincadeira and Aragonês in support. From France, the Languedoc wine is a blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 5% Carignan, while the Côtes du Rhône-Villages is an organic wine made with 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah. From Italy, both the Chianti Classico and Brunello wines are made with pure Sangiovese. Other single varietal wines include a lovely Pinot Noir from New Zealand, as well as an Aglianico from Campania that sold out very quickly when it appeared in VINTAGES last Spring.

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 2009 (90+ pts)Whitehaven Pinot Noir 2016 (90 pts)

Nativ Rue dell'Inchiostro Aglianico 2017 (89 pts)

Among my white wine picks, all are single varietal wines. The Muscadet is made with Melon de Bourgogne. There is also a lovely Chardonnay and a dry Riesling. For those that prefer sweeter wines, try the off-dry (Old Vines) Gewurztraminer from Alsace, or the very sweet Riesling Kabinett from Mosel.

Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Chardonnay 2018 (90+ pts)

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • LES DARONS 2017 - AP Languedoc, France (#448464) (XD) - $16.95
  • JOSÉ DE SOUSA 2016 - Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal (#494153) (XD) - $17.95
  • ROMAIN DUVERNAY VISAN 2017 - AP Côtes du Rhône-Villages, France (#13321) (XD) - $19.95
  • NATIV RUE DELL'INCHIOSTRO AGLIANICO 2017 - IGT Campania, Italy (#631606) (D) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • G. MARQUIS THE SILVER LINE PINOT NOIR 2018 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#258673) (D) - $19.95
  • DOMAINE NATURALISTE DISCOVERY SYRAH 2017 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#632596) (XD) - $24.95
  • CHÂTEAU DU CHATELARD CUVÉE LES ROCHES MORGON 2017 - AC, Beaujolais, France (#558528) (XD) - $24.95
  • WHITEHAVEN PINOT NOIR 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#532929) (XD) - $26.95  90 pts  wine review
  • RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 2009 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#114454) (XD) - $27.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • ANTINORI BADIA A PASSIGNANO GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2016 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#384552) (XD) - $48.95
  • CERBAIA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2014 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#652446) (XD) - $66.95

White Wine:

  • LA FORTEZZA TABURNO FALANGHINA DEL SANNIO 2018 - DOC, Campania, Italy (#527630) (XD) - $15.95
  • LE FILS DES GRAS MOUTONS MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE 2018 - AC, Loire, France (#363150) (XD) - $16.95
  • POGGIO ALLORO VERNACCIA DI SAN GIMIGNANO 2018 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#14025) (XD) - $17.95
  • KEN FORRESTER OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC 2019 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#231282) (XD) - $17.95
  • HUNAWIHR KUHLMANN-PLATZ VIEILLES VIGNES GEWURZTRAMINER 2018 - AC Alsace, France (#169474) (D) - $19.95
  • VON SCHUBERT MAXIMIN GRÜNHAUS MONOPOL RIESLING 2018 - Qualitätswein, Mosel, Germany (#14797) (XD) - $19.95
  • FONTANAFREDDA GAVI DI GAVI 2018 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#366948) (D) - $21.95  89 pts  wine review
  • INVIVO X, BY SARAH JESSICA PARKER SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#14278) (XD) - $22.95  89 pts  wine review
  • KANZEMER ALTENBERG RIESLING KABINETT 2016 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#15292) (S) - $27.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2018 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#616466) (XD) - $29.95  90+ pts  wine review

Rosé Wine:

  • HUGH HAMILTON THE FLOOZIE SANGIOVESE ROSÉ 2019 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#558106) (XD) - $18.95
  • HIDDEN BENCH LOCUST LANE ROSÉ 2019 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#68833) (XD) - $24.95
  • LA CADIÉRENNE CUVÉE GRANDE TRADITION BANDOL ROSÉ 2019 - AC, Provence, France (#119453) (XD) - $24.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • ROTARI PLATINUM LABEL BRUT TRENTO 2014 - Traditional method, DOC, Trentino, Italy (#15679) (D) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES BLANC DE BLANCS SPARKLING 2015 - Traditional method, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#423111) (D) - $34.95  90 pts  wine review
  • DRAPPIER BRUT NATURE PINOT NOIR CHAMPAGNE - AC, France (#179275) (XD) - $62.95
  • DOM PÉRIGNON BRUT ROSÉ VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE 2006 - AC, Champagne, France (#91777) (XD) - $347.95  FE
Château des Charmes Blanc de Blancs Sparkling 2015 (90 pts)


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  • Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Riserva 2016 (Tuscany) - Wine Review

red wine review is a nice follow-up to the delicious 2018 Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classico that I enjoyed a couple of weekends ago. Like the Chianti Classico, this Chianti is a VINTAGES Essentials product at the LCBO and widely available for purchase in-store across Ontario.

Rocca delle Macìe was established in 1973 by film producer Italo Zingarelli to fulfill his life-long dream. It was established on a solid base of ethical values constructed by Italo and today is run by his children Sergio, Fabio, and Sandra, to become one of the largest wine producers in Italy.

Sustainability is a key pillar of Rocca delle Macìe as they continue to implement agronomic techniques that are geared not only towards constantly improving the products, but also towards respecting the environment. Some of these practices include integrated pest management, streamlining the consumption of non-renewable resources, avoiding non-essential waste of natural resources, and limiting human activity on the equilibrium of the ecosystem. By using high-precision viticulture, Rocca delle Macìe is able to make winemaking rational and sustainable, while at the same time enhancing the land. With this in mind, Rocca delle Macìe still aims to express the very best of the vine and terroir, and achieve products of the highest quality.

In addition to producing wines from the Chianti Classico and Maremma zones, Rocca delle Macìe also produces wines thanks in part to collaboration with old and new Tuscany producers in other zones such as Chianti, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Bolgheri, San Gimignano, and Orvieto. This particular red wine is from the Chianti DOCG from carefully selected and ripened Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot grapes. It is vinified with the latest controlled fermentation techniques and undergoes maturation in oak for a period of two years prior to being released.

Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Riserva 2016 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

ROCCA DELLE MACÌE CHIANTI RISERVA 2016 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#111641) (XD) - $15.95
A blend of 90% Sangiovese with equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot completing the blend, and aged for 24 months is large oak barrels. Medium+ intensity nose is savoury with currant, plum, red cherry, and earth aromas. It's ripe fruited on the palate with currant, sour cherry, oak spice, and leathery flavours on the medium-bodied palate. Light tannins have just enough texture to keep things interesting, while lemony acids are food-friendly. Savoury, currant, and chocolate notes linger on the finish, with very good length. A fine, simple Chianti for mid-week drinking. Score: 88 pts


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  • Sunday, May 24, 2020

Villa Sandi Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2018 (Veneto) - Wine Review

Following up on the delicious Villa Sandi Prosecco Il Fresco that I enjoyed recently, wine review is a Pinot Grigio from the same producer. Like the Prosecco, this is a General List wine and widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario. It can be purchased in-store or online for pick-up or delivery.

Villa Sandi is a family-owned and operated winery situated in a Palladian style mansion that dates back to 1622 in the Province of Treviso, Veneto, in northeastern Italy. For many generations, the Moretti Polegato family, which owns Villa Sandi, have been devoted to wine culture. Today, Giancarlo Moretti Polegato proudly carries on the family tradition with his fondness and knowledge of the wine world. Being located in the region proudly known for its Prosecco, Villa Sandi is one of the regions leading producers of Prosecco sparkling wine, however, their portfolio also includes some still wines like this Pinot Grigio.

The grapes for this white wine come from two of Villa Sandi's five estates - the Crocetta del Montello Estate in the Veneto region, and the Spilimbergo Estate located in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, thus designating this wine as a delle Venezie. The Crocetta del Montello Estate vineyards are in close proximity to the Piave River with soils containing pebbles, stone, sand and some clay which help produce grapes with freshness and pleasant acidity. The Spilimbergo Estate vineyards are located in a flat area of the Fruili Grave and are composed mainly of stone and gravel soils which produce grapes with complexity and rich, fruity aromatics.

Villa Sandi Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2018 (86 pts)

Tasting Note:

VILLA SANDI PINOT GRIGIO DELLE VENEZIE 2018 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#580324) (XD) - $12.75
Screw cap. Clean, fresh stone fruit aromas with grapefruit, citrus, white floral, and whiffs of mineral. The light-to-medium bodied palate is ripe and honeyed, yet dry, with grapefruit, melon, peach, and lemon citrus flavours. It has gentle acidity and hints of mineral on the mid-palate with a slightly viscous texture. Some bitter, grapefruit pith, and lemon peel notes linger on the finish, with very good length. Score: 86 pts


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  • Sunday, May 17, 2020

Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classico 2018 (Tuscany) - Wine Review

red wine review is a nice Chianti Classico that is part of the VINTAGES Essentials collection and widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario for purchase in-store and online for either delivery or pick-up.

It is produced by Rocca delle Macìe, a relative newcomer to winegrowing in Italy as it was established in the Chianti Classico zone only in 1973. It was founded by film producer Italo Zingarelli to fulfill his life-long dream when he acquired the 93 hectare "Le Macìe" estate - of which only 2 hectares were planted to vine. The passion and love for the Tuscan land was passed along to his sons Sergio and Fabio in the mid-to-late 1980's, with Sergio becoming President in 1989. In collaboration with his sister Sandra, they set out to make quality wines and the company became quite popular and recognized worldwide. Today, Rocca delle Macìe has more than 500 hectares, 200 ha of which are planted to vines and 22 ha to olive groves, across its six estates which span the areas of Chianti Classico and Maremma in Tuscany.

This Chianti Classico was born along with the winery when the first vintage was bottled at least as far back as 1978, and growing to become the ambassador that represents Rocca delle Macìe. In fact, the history of Rocca delle Macìe is doubly intertwined with this Chianti Classico as the wine has evolved over the years both through the changes imposed upon it by updates to local wine regulations and through enhancements made in the vineyards thanks to replanting, soil analysis, and the clonal selection of Sangiovese.

Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classico 2018 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

ROCCA DELLE MACÌE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2018 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#741769) (XD) - $18.95
A blend of mainly Sangiovese (and 5% Merlot), that was selected and picked by hand, and aged for 6-10 months in Slavonian/French oak barrels. The medium intensity nose has a savoury, dark red cherry, and sweet spiced core flecked with dried herbal aromas. It's medium-bodied with fresh, lively acidity that lifts the savoury, red cherry, currant, and oak spice flavours. Soft, grainy tannins are a touch drying on the savoury, earthy finish, with very good length. Score: 88 pts


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  • Sunday, May 17, 2020

Bottega Sparkling Wines (May 2020)

Bottega Sparkling Wines + Grappa + Olive Oil
With in-person wine tastings cancelled since the lockdown in March, virtual wine tastings have grown in popularity and will likely continue for some time. As such, I participated in my first ever Zoom virtual wine tasting. It was hosted by Sandro Bottega of Bottega S.p.A. as we tasted through their charming bubbly's as well as a lovely grappa and enjoyed an organic olive oil.

Bottega is a family-owned company located approximately 45 km north of Venice in Bibano, Treviso, and has been producing premium quality, typical Italian wines, grappa, and spirits since 1977. It is a third-generation business led today by Barbara, Stefano, and th e aforementioned Sandro Bottega.

The company is headquartered in a 19th-century farmhouse that was renovated to preserve the original architectural and environmental characteristics, and surrounded by 10 hectares of vineyards. In addition, they also have a winery in Valpolicella and in Montalcino to produce the great wines of Veneto and Tuscany, including the beloved Amarone and Brunello. Throughout the portfolio, Bottega advocates the quality of Italian taste and authenticity, design that expresses the excellent aesthetic character of being made in Italy, and social responsibility towards the environment and community. Bottega has many sustainable initiatives such as using only electricity from alternative/green resources like the use of geothermal energy, while in the vineyard they use organic agricultural principles and cultivate by hand.

Bottega winery and distillery has been in Ontario for over 25 years. They are known for their high quality, food-friendly sparkling wines that appeal to many palates. In Ontario, they are best known and for their Bottega Gold - with it's fancy, shiny gold-coloured bottle - and Il Vino dei Poeti Prosecco DOC sparkling wines. In addtion to tasting these wines with Sandro, I also tasted a couple of other bottles of sparkling wine. All of these can be enjoyed on their own or mixed into a cocktail such as a Bellini, Rossini, Mimosa, or something specially crafted by Bottega - details and recipes are provided below. As part of this Zoom tasting, I also got to try Bottega's grappa and enjoy their organic extra virgin olive oil.

All four of these sparkling wines and the grappa are available for purchase at the LCBO. Other wines from Bottega's portfolio are available via private order through Noble Estates Wines & Spirits. Thank you to Speducci Mercatto for the food pairing items, and to Noble Estates and Sandro Bottega for the opportunity to try these fine products from Italy.

Tasting Notes:

BOTTEGA VINO DEI POETI PROSECCO 2018 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#897702) (D) - $15.95 $14.45 until
100% Glera. Clean, fruity melon, pear, and apple aromas with touches of lime citrus and mineral. The palate is off-dry with pleasing green apple, petar, citrus, and melon, and white flower flavours. Fine mousse is a touch frothy. Nicely balanced and smooth with fresh acidity that moves this bubbly towards a dry finish, with very good length. Score: 87 pts

Bottega Vino dei Poeti Prosecco 2018 (87 pts)Bottega Gold Prosecco (88 pts)

BOTTEGA GOLD PROSECCO - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#621458) (D) - $27.95 $24.95 until
100% Glera. Clean, medium+ intensity nose is focused and fresh with pear, white floral, and white peach aromas. It has good depth with very smooth, fine mousse and fresh acids on the nicely balanced, slightly off-dry palate with pear, green apple, and hints of tart lime citrus flavours. Very good length on the finish. Shiny, golden bottle. Available in LCBO VINTAGES. Score: 88 pts

Bottega Spritz cocktail recipe:
A fresh, soft and natural cocktail that combines Prosecco and Limoncino (Bottega) and satisfies the taste buds of those who do not love the bitter tones of traditional Spritz. Ingredients: 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Limoncino (Bottega), 1 part soda water, and ice. Preparation: Fill a large long stemmed wine glass with ice cubes. Pour in Limoncino with a circular movement (to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the glass). Add Prosecco and finish off with a splash of soda water. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of fresh mint.

BOTTEGA VINO DEI POETI BRUT ROSÉ 2018 - DOC Venezia, Veneto, Italy (#277202) (D) - $14.95
Blend of Raboso and Pinot Nero (Noir). Steely, fresh, medium intensity nose offers red berry aromas like cherry and strawberry nuanced with mineral notes. The dry, medium+ bodied palate has good depth with fresh, lively, food-friendly acids and creamy, nicely balanced mousse. Appealing mineral and red berry replays, plus flavours of melon, peach, and grapefruit on the palate. Very good length with touches of vanilla on the finish. Ideal for the table. Score: 88 pts

Rosa Rosae cocktail recipe:
Ingredients: 35 mL sugarless white grape juice, 65 mL Il Vino dei Poeti Brut Rosé, and a few drops of cherry syrup. Preparation: Pour the grape juice into a wine glass and add a few drops of cherry syrup. Stir well and fill the glass with chilled Il Vino dei Poeti Brut Rosé. Garnish with a small bunch of grapes.

Bottega Vino dei Poeti Brut Rosé 2018 (88 pts)Bottega Petalo Il Vino dell'Amore Moscato (87 pts)

BOTTEGA PETALO IL VINO DELL'AMORE MOSCATO - Italy (#588780) (S) - $13.95
The name translates to "The Wine of Love". Crafted with Moscato grapes grown in northern Italy, this bubbly has fragrant and appealing aromas of rose floral and apple with anise and licorice adding some savoury notes. It’s gently sweet on the palate with creamy, frothy mousse supported by fresh, clean acidity. Nice floral, ripe red apple, and licorice flavours. Well-balanced with very good length on the finish. Ideal as an aperitif or after-dinner. Try with cheese or fruits like ripe strawberry, apple, or pear. Low alcohol at only 6.5%. Score: 87 pts

Mojito Moscato cocktail recipe:
Ingredients: 95 mL Rum, 50 mL lime juice, 15 ml sugar syrup, 3 Angostura drops, 12 mint leaves, Bottega Petalo Moscato sparkling wine to fill. Preparation: Muddle the sprig of mint with sugar and lime juice in a tumbler. Fill with crushed ice, rum and Angostura. Top up with Bottega Petalo Moscato sparkling wine. Stir well before serving.

SANDRO BOTTEGA CLUB GRAPPA - Italy (#478156) - $29.95
Beautiful teardrop shaped bottle that depicts the first drop of spirit to run off the still. Fresh, fragrant floral nose with floral, white peach, stone fruit flavours with touches of minty herb. Crisp, long, warming finish. Serve well-chilled after a meal.

Sandro Bottega Club GrappaBottega Extra Virgin Olive Oil Biologico

BOTTEGA EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL BIOLOGICO (750 mL) - $????
Made from organically cultivated, hand-harvested olives in Umbria, Italy since 1992 and packaged in a ceramic bottle that protects the oil from oxygen and light. Add a pinch of sea salt (as recommended by Sandro) and this yellowish-green hued olive oil is delicious, flavourful, and slightly spicy. Contact Danny Burns at MC Olive Inc. to purchase.


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  • Sunday, May 3, 2020

Villa Sandi Prosecco Il Fresco (Veneto) - Wine Review

To celebrate a couple of days early with Chicken Fajitas, for wine review I opened this delightful Prosecco sparkling wine from Italy. This bubbly is a General List wine at the LCBO and widely available across Ontario.

Villa Sandi is located within the commune of Crocetta del Montello in the Province of Treviso in the Italian region of Veneto in a Palladian-style mansion that dates back to 1622. The building is protected by the hills of the Marca Trevigiana and rises out of a fertile countryside that pays homage to the local history. Moreover, it is situated between the areas of DOCG Valdobbiadene Prosecco and the DOC areas of Montello and Piave.

The Moretti Polegato family is the owner of Villa Sandi and they have been devoted to wine culture for many generations. Being one of Italy's leading Prosecco Estates, the family has contributed to the region's reputation for producing high quality sparkling wine. Today, Giancarlo Moretti Polegato proudly carries on the family tradition with his fondness and knowledge of the wine world, along with having great respect for the environment with a strong commitment to sustainability.

This particular Prosecco is made with 100% Glera grapes grown in DOC Treviso, the heart of Prosecco, in Northeastern Italy. Treviso is comprised of 95 municipalities, and the character of the soil here is influenced by the Piave river and contains a lot of pebbles, stones, sand and some clay. It was vinified by softly pressing whole grapes, then fermenting in temperature controlled tanks using selected yeast cultures. Fermentation is stopped by refrigeration once the required alcohol and sugar content levels are achieved. After spending two months on lees, the sparkling wine is ready for bottling.

Villa Sandi Prosecco Il Fresco (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

VILLA SANDI PROSECCO IL FRESCO - DOC Treviso, Veneto, Italy (#394387) (D) - $15.95
100% Glera crafted using the Charmat method, this Prosecco has fresh, delicate aromas of lemon citrus, grapefruit, white peach, pear, and even some mineral notes. It has very good mouthfeel on the medium-full bodied palate with fine, balanced mousse. There's a kiss of sweetness that is balanced by crisp, fresh acidity. Lovely lemon citrus flavours notes give way to grapefruit, white peach, melon, and mineral notes. Very good length on the minerally, dry finish. Recommended buy. Score: 88+ pts


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  • Thursday, April 30, 2020

Nativ Greco di Tufo 2018 (Campania) - Wine Review

After enjoying the excellent 2013 Nativ Bicento a couple of years ago, for wine review I am delighted to try a Greco di Tufo from the same producer. This lovely white wine from Campania is a new arrival in LCBO VINTAGES on .

Nativ was founded in 2008 in the heart of Irpinia, within the town and comune in Paternopoli, Campania, by internationally renowned oenologist Dr. Mario Ercolino, and food science specialist Dr. Roberta Pirone. The goal was to produce wines of excellence from grapes that are typical of the region and territory. The wines should also exhibit of a sense of place. Each Nativ wine has a unique and unequivocal character, as it is produced through innovative winemaking methods, in the respect of tradition, always paying attention to keep the organoleptic structure of the grape unaltered.

Greco di Tufo is a clone of Greco Bianco and produced from ancient Greek vines called "Aminea Gemina". It was brought to Campania by the Pelagians, an ancient people from Thessaly in Greece. The name Tufo refers not only to one of the villages from which the wine comes from, but also the type of rock - which is made of ash ejected during an eruption and then compacts - that the village was built on. In Italy, this varietal was initially cultivated in the province of Naples and later introduced in some areas of the province of Avellino, in particular Tufo, whose sulphur-rich soil was particularly suitable for the cultivation of this grape variety.

Nativ Greco di Tufo 2018 (90+ pts)

Tasting Note:

NATIV GRECO DI TUFO 2018 - DOCG, Campania, Italy (#13640) (D) - $23.95
This Greco di Tufo was grown at an altitude of 450 metres above sea-level, on soils derived from the decomposition of clay rocks over thousands of years and are highly rich in calcium. Delicate, elegant nose is minerally off the top with honeyed citrus, yellow stone fruit, and whiffs of herb and smoke. It is medium+ bodied on the finely textured, off-dry palate with lively, citrusy acids that keeps the sweetness in check. Lovely aroma replays of honeyed citrus, yellow fruit, and flinty minerality on the flavour profile. Fine mineral and citrus notes linger on the persistent, dry finish, with excellent length. Recommended buy. Score: 90+ pts


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  • Sunday, March 22, 2020

Boasso Barolo del Comune di Serralunga d'Alba 2015 (Piedmont) - Wine Review

Italy has been hit very hard by COVID-19, so for wine review, I opened this lovely Barolo from Piedmont.

It is produced by the Azienda Agricola Boasso Franco, a family-run winery that started producing it's own wines from its family-owned vineyards in the early 1970's. It is located in Gabutti, a first-class sub-zone within the commune of Serralunga d'Alba and managed by Franco Boasso and his sons, Ezio and Claudio. The wines are produced from their 4.5 hectares of vineyards that are located in the sub-zones of Meriame and Margheria, as well as Gabutti, with special attention, dedication, and conviction to produce great wines (like this Barolo) from prime quality grapes.

The age-worthy wines are produced at Boasso are thanks to green harvesting, taking great care in the vineyard, and selecting the optimal time for harvest. Nebbiolo grapes for this Barolo are hand-harvested, fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged for 36 months in new oak casks, followed by 6 months in bottle before release.

You can show your support for Italy by picking up this excellent Italian wine when it arrives at the LCBO as part of the upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Boasso Barolo del Comune di Serralunga d'Alba 2015 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

BOASSO BAROLO DEL COMUNE DI SERRALUNGA D'ALBA 2015 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#109116) (XD) - $39.95
Fragrant nose of nutmeg, wood spice, and ripe red cherries surrounded by earthy, forest floor notes. Hints of orange and floral also appear out of the glass. On the full-bodied palate, it has lovely, balanced aroma replays of ripe red cherry, earth, forest floor, rose floral, and nutmeg flavours. Acids are juicy and mouth-watering, while the smooth, structured tannins have some grip, but are very approachable right now. Orange, rose floral, earthy, and cedar oak spice notes linger on the long, structured, mouth-watering finish. Enjoy over the next 10+ years. Score: 91 pts


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  • Sunday, February 23, 2020

Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva Vertical Wine Tasting at EVOO Ristorante

, I had the pleasure of tasting a fine vertical of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva wines from Carpineto. The tasting was led by the owner of Carpineto, Antonio Mario Zaccheo and hosted by Univins & Spirits at EVOO Ristorante in Toronto.

Carpineto was founded in 1967 by Antonio and his business partner Giovanni Carlo Sacchet, setting out to produce internationally renowned Chianti Classico wines. Being wine fanatics, they saw enormous potential in the Tuscan soil and knew that applying cutting-edge technology could further help produce quality wines. Over the years, the intensity, integrity and consistency of their wines have earned Carpineto a solid reputation among consumers and critics alike.

The wines of Carpineto are grounded in tradition, influencing everything from sustainable winegrowing to how wine cellars are maintained. Carpineto wines are the fruit of an age-old connection to the land that bears its grapes and gives the wine it's unique qualities. all the while using advanced scientific and oenological processes and techniques which respect the territorial integrity of the land.

Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2015 - 2011 vertical wine tasting

Carpineto has five estates within Tuscany - two in Chianti Classico DOCG, and one each in Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, and Maremma DOC.

In 1966, not long after the DOC (Denominazione di origine controllata) system was implemented in Italy, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano became one of the country’s first DOC wines. And in 1980, when the DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) system - an even higher designation of quality - was implemented, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was again one of the first appellations to receive this status. The wines of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are made primarily with Sangiovese (minimum 70%), known locally as Prugnollo Gentile, and often blended with Canaiolo and other permitted varietals.

Carpineto's Montepulciano Estate sits on softly rolling hills, at an elevation of 250 metres, with 84.5 hectares of dry-farmed vineyards planted across 184 tillable hectares. These vineyards are planted with new clones of Sangiovese and international grape varietals that are dedicated to their age-worthy wines, as well as their Appodiati single vineyard programs. Modern trellising methods are used in the vineyards with clones and rootstocks varying according to soil type.

In addition, Carpineto also has 12 hectares of olive groves on the Montepulciano Estate planted to the classic Tuscan varieties of Frantoio, Moraiolo, Leccino and Pendolino that are used to produce the Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We got to taste their olive oil at the luncheon and it was delicious!

Arugula Salad with Feta and Crostini paired with Carpineto WinesPappardelle with Lamb paired with Carpineto Wines

The estate also contains an old farmhouse complex that is complete with vinification and ageing cellars that date back to the 1700's and are still in use today. Carpineto uses primarily oval Slavonian oak casks and small barrels for their ageing program. In 2010, a new state-of-the-art winery with a ventilated wooden roof and an integrated solar panel system was inaugurated to help reduce their environmental footprint.

The Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva wines comes from vineyards that are planted to a minimum of 70% Sangiovese (Prugnolo Gentile) and a maximum of 30% Canaiolo and other authorized grape varietals. It is aged for two years in large 5,500 litre Slavonian oak barrels, with a small part in French oak barrels.

In addition to tasting the lovely Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva wines, I also got to taste the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino (92 pts), 2015 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione (92 pts), and the 2015 Chianti Classico (88 pts).

Thank you very much to Univins & Spirits for the opportunity to taste these wonderful wines. Please contact Univins in order to purchase any of these wines as all were available for purchase at the time of the tasting.

EVOO Ristorante Biscotti with Carpineto Wines

Tasting Notes:

CARPINETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO RISERVA 2015 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#368910) (XD) - $32.95
From an excellent vintage, this has a fragrant, medium-high to highly aromatic and complex nose of red and black cherry, oak spice, earthy, barnyard, licorice, and leathery aromas with touches of violet and some prune notes. It's medium-full bodied with structured, dusty, and fine-grained tannins. Nice aroma replays on the flavour profile, turning savoury with more dark cherry/berry notes prominent. It has juicy, mouth-watering acids and a long, structured finish. Score: 91 pts

Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2015 (91 pts)Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2013 (89 pts)

CARPINETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO RISERVA 2013 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#368910) (XD) - $34.95
From a demanding vintage, the shy nose offers woody, dark berry, and dark plum aromas. It's medium-full bodied on the palate with soft, dusty textured tannins that have a touch of grippiness. It has vibrant acids and closes out with very good length on the finish. Score: 89 pts

CARPINETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO RISERVA 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#368910) (XD) - $32.95
From a vintage that promises excellent varietal and terroir expression, the 2012 is showing some maturity at this point, with dark berry, plum, forest floor, and hints of floral aromas, with more dark berry, earthy, and wood spice flavours showing up on the medium-full bodied palate. It has very good, balanced acidity which is supported by smooth, fine tannins that are structured with some grip. Evolving nicely with very good length on the finish. Score: 91 pts

Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2012 (91 pts)Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2011 (90+ pts)

CARPINETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO RISERVA 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#368910) (XD) - $32.95
Medium-high intensity nose has dusty, earthy, forest floor, woodsy, dark berry, blackberry with some floral, savoury, and leather aromas that continued to evolve in the glass. The medium-full bodied has very good acidity with nicely balanced aroma replays supported by smooth, fine, dusty tannins that still have a supple grip. Stony mineral joins the currant, dark berry, and sweet spice flavours on the long finish. Score: 90+ pts

CARPINETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO RISERVA 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#368910) (XD) - $29.95
Lovely floral, savoury, dried cherry, and sweet baking spice aromas with savoury notes more prominent on the full-bodied palate. It's very smooth with refined tannins that still have some structure and chalky textured characters. Nicely balanced throughout with very good acidity. Excellent finish length with savoury and earthy flavours. Still quite youthful. Enjoy over the next 5-6 years. Score: 92 pts

Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2010 (92 pts)Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2007 (90+ pts)

CARPINETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO RISERVA 2007 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#368910) (XD) - $29.95
From a hot vintage, this has a mature, medium intensity nose with savoury, leathery, barnyard, and earthy aromas with hints of floral and cherry. It's full-bodied with smooth, refined tannins and balanced acids. Nice aroma replays on the flavour profile that becomes savoury on the long finish. Still drinking quite well. Score: 90+ pts

CARPINETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO RISERVA 1995 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#368910) (XD) - $65
Colour shows some brown on the edges. Medium-high intensity nose offers some pruney, dark berry, and savoury aromas that evolves in the glass, adding lovely dried cherry and floral complexity. It's full-bodied and quite dense on the palate with very good fruit concentration and lovely aroma replays. Tannins are smooth and a touch grippy, while juicy acids are still very good. Excellent length with forest floor and savoury notes. Will continue to drink well for a few more years. Score: 92 pts

Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 1995 (92 pts)Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 1990 (93 pts)

CARPINETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO RISERVA 1990 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#368910) (XD) - $65
The medium-high intensity, mature nose is all earthy, savoury, and nutty with subtle wood spice aromas. Full-bodied and smooth on the palate with refined tannins that are very nicely integrated. It still has fresh acids and very good fruit, showing some primary, secondary, and tertiary flavours. Prune, dried fruit, and nutty flavours linger on the long finish. Still has enough life to enjoy over the next 4-5 years. Score: 93 pts


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  • Monday, February 3, 2020

Tenuta Iuzzolini Cirò Rosso Classico 2017 (Calabria) - Wine Review

wine review is a nice red wine made with a relatively unknown grape called Gagliappo. It is an indigenous varietal to southern Italy and grown mostly in Calabria. Wines from Calabria are rare to find at the LCBO, so I am delighted to see that this will arrive in LCBO VINTAGES on .

Tenuta Iuzzolini was founded in 2004 by Fortunato Iuzzolini with his wife Giovanna Colicchio. Together, they transferred their love and passion for the land to their four sons are also part of the Iuzzolini Estate. It is located in Cirò, a small Calabrian town with Greek roots along the Ionian coast of Crotone. With approximately 500 hectares of land on the Estate, they have planted 100 hectares to vineyards, 50 hectares to secular olive groves, 100 hectares of arable land, and the remaining part consists of pastures and woods for livestock raised in the wild.

Part of the goal of the Iuzzolini family is to recover and enhance of native Calabrian vines. In addition to planting various international varietals in their Estate vineyard, they also cultivate three varietals autochthonous to Calabria - Greco Bianco, Gaglioppo, and Magliocco. Gaglioppo is the most widely planted of the three grapes as it has been cultivated for thousands of years in the area of Cirò due to its adaptability to dryness and disease.

Tenuta Iuzzolini Cirò Rosso Classico 2017 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

TENUTA IUZZOLINI CIRÒ ROSSO CLASSICO 2017 - DOC, Calabria, Italy (#013034) (D) - $17.95
100% Gagliappo from white clay soils located 50 to 100 metres above sea level. This red sees very little time in barriques and has a bouquet of bright red berry, peppery spice, rose floral, and red plum aromas with savoury touches. More red berry, spice, and plum flavours that become a bit darker on the ripe, medium-bodied palate with light, gritty tannins and fresh, juicy acidity. Wanted a bit more length on the juicy, structured finish that adds intrigue with toffee and sweet spice notes. Worthy exploration of this grape. Score: 87 pts


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  • Wednesday, October 23, 2019

October 26, 2019 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: France vs. Italy + Wine & Cheese

LCBO Wine Picks: October 26, 2019 VINTAGES Release
The October 26, 2019 LCBO VINTAGES Release compares and contrasts France and Italy in its main theme, while the mini-theme looks at wine and cheese pairings. All of the wines featured as part of themes, as well everything else from the Main Release will arrive on shelves by Saturday. This is another Release where you'll want to stock up for the holidays or pick up special bottles for holiday gift-giving.

We'll begin with the main theme that compares wines from the two titans of the wine world - France and Italy. There are twenty-two wines featured as part of this theme, eleven from each country, and seven are included among my top wine picks. From the first category on Traditional Method sparkling wines, we have a lovely Bollinger Champagne that consists of 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, and 15% Pinot Meunier. From the Classic Premium Grape category, there is a fine Barolo that is made with the Nebbiolo grape. The Southern Values category features a nice Côtes du Rhône that consists of equal parts Syrah and Grenache, plus some Mourvèdre. Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio wines are actually made using the same grape, but often in different styles, hence the distinction in name. In this Release, there is a fine, dry, quality Pinot Grigio from a place it calls home in northern Italy. The last category focuses on the Revered Regions of Bordeaux and Tuscany. From Bordeaux, we have a Saint-Émilion Grand Cru that is a blend of roughly 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Tuscany also makes some fine Bordeaux blends, such as the baby Ornellaia that consists of 54% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot. Lastly, the Chianti Classico, which is also from Tuscany, is made with 100% Sangiovese and reminds me a little bit of a wine from Montalcino.

Le Serre Nuove Dell'Ornellaia 2017 (92 pts)Castello di Bossi C. Berardenga Chianti Classico 2015 (91 pts)

Xavier Vignon Côtes du Rhône 2017 (89 pts)

From the feature on wine and cheese pairings, which can be done year-round but becomes especially popular during the holidays. Of the nine wines featured, just one is included among my top wine picks - a lightly oaked Chardonnay from Niagara's Thirty Bench. There is also an excellent Masi Amarone (#548677) included as part of this theme, but I didn't include it in my list below because you would have probably bought it when it came out in VINTAGES last year. You can read more about wine and cheese pairings in the magazine.

My red wine picks include an unoaked blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 5% Carignan from Languedoc, while the Spanish red is a blend of Garnacha, Cariñena (Samsó), Syrah, and Merlot. From France, the Beaujolais is made with Gamay, while the Roussillon red is a blend of mainly Syrah with Grenache and Carignan in support. Lastly, the iconic Sassicaia is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc.

Most of my white wine recommendations happen to be minimally oaked Chardonnays. However, Flat Rock's Unplugged Chardonnay is actually an unoaked Chardonnay, while the Umbrian white is a blend of mostly Chardonnay and some Grechetto. There is also a white blend of Loureiro and Alvarinho from Portugal.

Maria Papoila Loureiro/Alvarinho 2018 (88 pts)

Among my sparkling wine picks, the Tasmanian Brut Rosé is primarily Pinot Noir, with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier completing the blend, while the Cava is a blend of indigenous varietals Macabeo (67%) and Parellada (33%). Lastly, the Dom Perignon is a traditional blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Jansz Premium Sparkling Rosé (90+ pts)Segura Viudas Heredad Reserva Brut Cava (90 pts)

Enjoy my top wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • LES DARONS 2017 - AP Languedoc, France (#448464) (XD) - $16.95
  • XAVIER VIGNON CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2017 - AP, France (#297317) (XD) - $16.95  89 pts  wine review
  • VAUCHER PÈRE & FILS FLEURIE 2016 - AC, Beaujolais, France (#534339) (XD) - $16.95
  • CHÂTEAU LAMARTINE PRESTIGE DU MALBEC 2015 - AP Cahors, Southwest, France (#010315) (XD) - $17.95
  • POTENTE 2016 - DO Montsant, Spain (#010682) (XD) - $18.95
  • PETER LEHMANN THE BAROSSAN SHIRAZ 2017 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#522235) (XD) - $21.95  89 pts  wine review
  • CASTELLO DI BOSSI C. BERARDENGA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2015 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#994608) (XD) - $22.95  91 pts  wine review

  • TINTO NEGRO FINCA LA ESCUELA LA PIEDRA MALBEC 2016 - Mendoza, Argentina (#010443) (XD) - $24.95  90 pts  wine review
  • DOMAINE DE BILA-HAUT L’ESQUERDA 2017 - AC Côtes du Roussillon-Villages Lesquerde, Midi, France (#381020) (XD) - $27.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE SAINT-PEY 2016 - AC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France (#011834) (XD) - $34.95
  • BENI DI BATASIOLO RISERVA BAROLO 2010 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#330704) (XD) - $39.95
  • ANTINORI BADIA A PASSIGNANO GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2015 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#384552) (XD) - $49.95  92 pts  wine review
  • LE SERRE NUOVE DELL'ORNELLAIA 2017 - DOC Bolgheri Rosso, Tuscany, Italy (#606194) (XD) - $69.95  92 pts  wine review
  • SASSICAIA 2016 - DOC Bolgheri-Sassicaia, Tuscany, Italy (#480533) (XD) - $229.95
Antinori Badia A Passignano Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2015 (92 pts)Tinto Negro Finca La Escuela La Piedra Malbec 2016 (90 pts)

Peter Lehmann The Barossan Shiraz 2017 (89 pts)

White Wine:

  • MARIA PAPOILA LOUREIRO/ALVARINHO 2018 - DOC Vinho Verde, Portugal (#408146) (XD) - $16.95  88 pts  wine review
  • FLAT ROCK UNPLUGGED CHARDONNAY 2018 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#068015) (XD) - $17.95
  • ZUCCARDI Q CHARDONNAY 2017 - Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#232702) (XD) - $19.95
  • THIRTY BENCH WINEMAKER’S BLEND CHARDONNAY 2017 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#547877) (XD) - $19.95
  • NALS MARGREID PINOT GRIGIO 2017 - DOC Südtirol-Alto Adige, Italy (#290924) (XD) - $19.95
  • CAMPBELL KIND WINE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#010556) (XD) - $19.95
  • HENRI BOURGEOIS LA CHAPELLE DES AUGUSTINS SANCERRE 2016 - AC, Loire, France (#322628) (XD) - $39.95
  • BACHELDER WISMER VINEYARD #1 WINGFIELD BLOCK CHARDONNAY 2015 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#520403) (XD) - $47.95  FE
  • HAMILTON RUSSELL CHARDONNAY 2018 - WO Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Walker Bay, South Africa (#931006) (XD) - $47.95  FE
  • CASTELLO DELLA SALA CERVARO DELLA SALA 2017 - IGT Umbria, Italy (#512376) (XD) - $74.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • JANSZ PREMIUM SPARKLING ROSÉ - Traditional method, Tasmania, Australia (#037499) (D) - $28.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • SEGURA VIUDAS HEREDAD RESERVA BRUT CAVA - Traditional method, DO, Spain (#558825) (D) - $32.95  90 pts  wine review
  • BOLLINGER SPECIAL CUVÉE BRUT CHAMPAGNE - AC, France (#384529) (XD) - $87.95
  • DOM PÉRIGNON LUMINOUS BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2008 - AC, France (#422584) (D) - $285.95  FE


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  • Friday, October 18, 2019

Castello di Bossi C. Berardenga Chianti Classico 2015 (Tuscany) - Wine Review

wine review is featured as the Wine of the Month from the upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release and will be on shelves across Ontario by next weekend.

Bacci Wines is the producer, and they make this fine red at their Castello di Bossi estate which is located in the southern area of the Chianti Classico zone within the commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga, in the province of Siena in Tuscany, approxaimtely 50 kilometres southeast of Florence and 14 kilometres east of Siena. This area tends to produce wines that are fuller and more structured than those from the rest of Chianti Classico, closely resembling those of Montalcino.

The name "Bossi" is apparently linked to a money chest, referred to as boxwood, which was made from a rare and prized type of wood that the Roman army would carry to its encampments to pay its soldiers. Local inscriptions on the site indicate that it was a Roman settlement as far back as the 1st century AD. In the 9th century, a noble family called the dei Berardenghi settled there and enjoyed a lengthy rule over the territories they owned, eventually withdrawing into private life and donating most of their landholdings to a church. However, they kept the property which today surrounds the castle.

At the centre of the estate is Bossi Castle. The first tower was built around the year 1099 and shows the area's early strategic importance. Around 1450, it was expanded into the 4-walled fortress that visitors can see today.

Castello di Bossi has changed hands many times over the years, and was in a slow decline until it was acquired by the Bacci family sometime after World War II. Today, the estate covers 650 hectares, of which 124 hectares are planted with vines. By employing modern viticultural practices, Castello di Bossi aims to harvest the best quality fruit year after year in order to express the best qualities of the terroir and individual grape varieties.

This red wine is made with 100% Sangiovese from soils that contain yellow clay, tuff, gravel and broken rocks, located in a vineyard 350 metres above sea level with southwest exposure. The average age of the vines is 18 years and is manually harvested.

Castello di Bossi C. Berardenga Chianti Classico 2015 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

CASTELLO DI BOSSI C. BERARDENGA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2015 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#994608) (XD) - $22.95
100% Sangiovese that spent 6 months in oak casks. Fragrant, perfumed nose of spice, red cherry, clove and incense aromas. It is medium-full bodied and quite savoury on the palate with red cherries, chocolate, spice and some stony mineral flavours. Acids are fresh and mouthwatering while textured tannins are a touch on the grippy side. Clean, savoury, stony mineral and red cherry notes linger on the long, succulent finish. Highly recommended wine to enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 91 pts


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