Showing posts with label lakeview-wine-co. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lakeview-wine-co. Show all posts

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  • Monday, April 6, 2020

FRESH Sparkling Rosé (Ontario) - Wine Review



wine review is this casual, fun, and easy drinking rosé sparkling wine from Niagara.

FRESH Wines are crafted in Niagara-on-the-Lake by Lakeview Wine Co., a division of Diamond Estates, with a focus on creative, high-quality wines. FRESH is the perfect Niagara wine brand for intrepid wine drinkers who dare to try something a little different.

Each wine from the FRESH line is crafted from 100% Ontario grapes, grown by Ontario farmers and their families. FRESH wines are available in several popular varieties, respectfully priced and readily available to join you on your personal journey of possibilities.

This appealing bubbly is widely available at the LCBO, but you can also stay at home and order online directly from Lakeview Wine Co. where they are offering free shipping on orders of $50+ with promo code LWCLOVE. You can get this bottle along with a few other Lakeview wines I enjoyed recently.

FRESH Sparkling Rosé (86 pts)

Tasting Note:

FRESH SPARKLING ROSÉ - Méthode Cuve Close, VQA Ontario, Canada (#341347) (D) - $16.95
A blend of 60% Riesling and 40% Gamay made in the Charmat method. Soft, gentle nose offers honeysuckle, red berry, floral, and lemon pith aromas. The palate is off-dry with strawberry, citrus, floral, honeysuckle, and grapefruit flavours. Mousse is a touch frothy while clean, fresh acidity livens the palate. Floral, grapefruit, and citrus notes linger on the pithy finish. Easy drinking bubbly ideal as an aperitif. Score: 86 pts


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  • Friday, March 20, 2020

Lakeview Cellars Malbec 2016 (Niagara) - Wine Review

While I'm practising self-isolation and social distancing, wine review is a lovely Malbec from Niagara... yes, you read that right!

Lakeview Cellars was founded in 1991 by Eddy Gurinskas. Today, Lakeview Cellars is the oldest label that forms the group of brands from Lakeview Wine Co., a division of Niagara's Diamond Estates.

Malbec is not commonly grown in Niagara, so I was delightfully surprised to find this delicious wine while visiting Lakeview Wine Co. back in January. This Malbec is produced using grapes from a small, single vineyard called the Southshore Vineyards that is located in the Niagara Lakeshore sub-appellation in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The small block of 1.5 acres has sandy loam soils and is situated on a relatively flat piece of land, with a gentle slope right on the shores of Lake Ontario, ensuring uninterrupted sunlight exposure. Malbec ripens at roughly the same time as Merlot, thus requiring a fairly long growing season. The grape for this vintage were harvested beginning in late October, then fermented in 5,000 L tank, then aged in Hungarian oak barrels (new and older) for 18-24 months.

The 2017 Malbec (which winemaker Tom Green tells me is" dynamite") was just bottled last month and I expect it to hit shelves next month. Meanwhile, this lovely 2016 continues to be available at the winery can be ordered online with free shipping over $50 throughout the month with promo code MARCH. You can order this and a bottle of the 2017 Lakeview Cellars Fumé Blanc and have them shipped to your door for free.

Lakeview Cellars Malbec 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAKEVIEW CELLARS MALBEC 2016 - Southshore Vineyards, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $34.95
The medium-high intensity nose offers sweet, ripe red fruits of plum, raspberry, and cherry aromas that are nuanced with stony mineral, smoky, and white pepper notes. The palate is medium-bodied with smooth, well-integrated tannins and food-friendly acidity. Some stewed cherry, black cherry, blackberry flavours come through on the flavour profile, along with smoky and peppery spice notes. Earthy, dark plum, and dark berry notes linger on the long finish. Enjoy over the next 1-2 years. Score: 89 pts


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  • Monday, March 16, 2020

Lakeview Cellars Fumé Blanc 2017 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine review is a yummy Fumé Blanc (i.e. Sauvignon Blanc) from Niagara. The French term "fumé" translates to "smoke", and is derived from a thick layer of fog that would cover the Loire Valley in France. In the new world, as they do at Lakeview Cellars, a wine brand of Lakeview Wine Co., which itself is a division of Niagara's Diamond Estates, they add some mild oak aging to an already delicious Sauvignon Blanc to add some complexity, depth, and smoky characters.

The grapes for Lakeview Cellars wines are sourced from their best vineyards in the Niagara Region, which are kissed by Lake Ontario's offshore breeze. Having tasted many delicious wines from Lakeview Cellars over the years, their reputation is based on their commitment to producing premium VQA wines at affordable prices.

This delicious white wine is only available through their winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake - which is still open for business at the time of this writing. However, due to heightened concerns about COVID-19, I would recommend you shop online through their web store (which is open 24/7) as they are offering free shipping on all orders over $50 this month with promo code MARCH.

Lakeview Cellars Fumé Blanc 2017 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAKEVIEW CELLARS FUMÉ BLANC 2017 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $22.95
Screw cap. Ripe tropical fruit and melon aromas are layered over lime zest and subtle smoky characters. It is medium-full bodied on the ripe palate with more tropical fruit flavours like melon and pineapple, plus some leesy notes. The mild oak aging adds some pleasing smoky notes on the mid-palate, along with a very good mouthfeel, all supported juicy, balanced acidity. It's nicely balanced throughout with very good length on the lime citrus and tropical fruit flavoured finish with hints of smoke. Score: 88 pts


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  • Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Lakeview Cellars Morgan Vineyard Kerner 2018 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine review is a nice white wine from Niagara that is crafted from the aromatic Kerner grape varietal. I enjoyed the 2017 Lakeview Cellars Morgan Vineyard Kerner back in 2018 and am delighted to see Lakeview Wine Co. make this wine again due to popular demand.

Lakeview Cellars was established in 1991 and built a worldwide reputation as a leading producer of premium wines and is now part of the Diamond Estates Wine & Spirits Ltd. organization. With a passion for creating high quality wines, Lakeview Cellars wines are produced in limited quantities and only from vintages that their winemakers deem fit to bear the Lakeview label.

While the previous vintage of this wine showed up in LCBO VINTAGES in August 2018, the current vintage is available exclusively at the winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake and through their online web store.

Lakeview Cellars Morgan Vineyard Kerner 2018 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAKEVIEW CELLARS MORGAN VINEYARD KERNER 2018 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#443614) (D) - $19.95
From the Morgan Vineyard within the Lincoln Lakeshore sub-appellation, the 20+ year old vines are planted on sandy soils. Screw cap. Generous aromas of floral, honeysuckle, orange blossom, and peach waft out of the glass, all of which come through nicely on the balanced, off-dry palate. Racy acids and spice notes keep things fresh on the mid-weighted palate. Adding further interest on the mid-palate are some grapefruit and herbally notes. Clean, crisp, and juicy on the finish, with very good length. Score: 88 pts


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  • Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Lakeview Cellars Serenity Baco Noir 2017 (Ontario) - Wine Review

wine review is the companion red to the delicious Lakeview Cellars Serenity Sauvignon Blanc white I opened on .

Like the Sauvignon Blanc, this red wine is produced by Lakeview Wine Co., a division of Diamond Estates Wine & Spirits Ltd., at their property in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Baco Noir makes up half of the Serenity Wines collection, which aims to be part of the feeling of Serenity created by quiet conversations, easy smiles, magical moments with friends or simply your own personal oasis.

Baco Noir is a hybrid red wine grape variety produced by Francois Baco from a cross of Vitis vinifera var. It is grown primarily in cool-climate wine North American wine regions such as Canada and in Northeast USA. Baco Noir has performed quite well here in Ontario, with a few producers growing this varietal and having success.

This particular bottling from Lakeview Cellars uses grapes grown in Niagara. The grapes were harvested in late September, with fermentation lasting two weeks. The wine was left on its skins for three weeks, and after fermentation it was pressed, rough filtered and oak aged for 8 months in new French and Hungarian oak barrels.

The Lakeview Cellars Serenity Baco Noir is widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario, as well as at the winery and their online web store.

Lakeview Cellars Serenity Baco Noir 2017 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAKEVIEW CELLARS SERENITY BACO NOIR 2017 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#688556) (D) - $16.95
With 8 months of ageing in new French and Hungarian oak barrels, the medium+ intensity nose offers smoky blackberry with toasty oak spice aromas and touches of black cherry. It's ripe fruited with more smoky blackberry and toasty oak flavours joined by some black plum and grapey notes. It's juicy and light-to-mid weighted on the palate with light tannins. Well-balanced throughout, with plummy, blackberry, and touches of smoke on the finish, with very good length. Score: 87 pts


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  • Sunday, January 26, 2020

Lakeview Cellars Serenity Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (Niagara) - Wine Review

It's been a crazy couple of weeks, plus today's tragic news of Kobe Bryant, so for wine review I feel like having some serenity now with this Sauvignon Blanc from Niagara.

Serenity is that feeling created by quiet conversations, easy smiles, magical moments with friends or simply your personal oasis - and is exactly what this delicious white wine was created to be part of.

The Serenity collection of wines, which also includes the Serenity Baco Noir, is a new addition to the Lakeview Cellars brand. These wines are produced by Lakeview Wine Co., a division of Diamond Estates Wine & Spirits Ltd. in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Winemaker Scott McGregor says that he enjoys crafting these premium and approachable Serenity Wines. He also mentions that this Sauvignon Blanc would be a great patio wine.

Given that it is January in Toronto, I have no doubt that this will be a hit on patios come Spring, but I will pass on the patio for now and move indoors to my serene spot on the couch, bundled up with warm slippers.

This white wine is widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario, as well as at the winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake or by shopping online.

Lakeview Cellars Serenity Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAKEVIEW CELLARS SERENITY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#688549) (D) - $16.95
Screw cap. Fragrant nose of gooseberry, green, grassy, and lime zest aromas. It's medium+ bodied with good fruit concentration and gooseberry, kiwi, tropical fruit, and lime citrus flavours supported by bracing acidity. Good length on the finish. Serve well-chilled. Score: 87 pts


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  • Thursday, September 13, 2018

Lakeview Cellars Viognier 2016 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine review is a locally made white wine made with Viognier, a varietal not commonly grown here in Ontario.

It is produced by Lakeview Wine Co., a division of Diamond Estates Wine & Spirits Ltd., a large winery based in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake. This particular wine was sourced from high quality Niagara vineyards and gently pressed in pneumatic bladder style presses. It was then cool fermented in stainless steel for 14 days at 16ºC, followed by ageing in stainless steel tanks and cold stabilized and bottled to preserve natural and typical fruit characters.

I picked up this delicious white wine while visiting the winery in the spring, and you can too as it is only available at the winery or through their online web store.

Lakeview Cellars Viognier 2016 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAKEVIEW CELLARS VIOGNIER 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $18.95
Screw cap. This has a tart and floral nose with orange blossom, lime citrus, and a whiff of anise and herbally aromas. On the mid-weighted palate, it has vibrant, crunchy acids supporting the citrus, floral, and herbal flavours. There's a touch of candied lime giving off an impression of sweetness. Good length on the finish. Score: 87 pts


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  • Saturday, September 1, 2018

McMichael Collection Group of Seven Cabernet Merlot 2015 (Niagara) - Wine Review

is celebrated every , so I'm a couple of days late in celebrating with wine review of a locally-made Cabernet-Merlot blend from Niagara that honours our Canadian Artists.

Produced by Niagara's Lakeview Wine Co. (a division of Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Ltd.), the McMichael Collection of wines were created in celebration of McMichael Art Collection's 50th anniversary.

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is located in Kleinburg, just north of Toronto and is renowned for its collection of stunning Canadian art, including works by the Group of Seven. This line of Niagara wines were created to pay tribute to the artists that were part of this group. A portion of the proceeds from each bottle helps support the preservation of the art collection.

This red wine is available for purchase at the winery and at your local LCBO. Additionally, it is currently on promotion at the LCBO until , where you will receive 7 bonus Air Miles with every bottle purchased.

McMichael Collection Group of Seven Cabernet Merlot 2015 (86 pts)

Tasting Note:

MCMICHAEL COLLECTION GROUP OF SEVEN CABERNET MERLOT 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#456590) (XD) - $14.95
A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, and 20% Merlot that was aged in French and American oak barrels for 10 months. Screw cap. It's light on the aromatics, featuring hints of red berry, earth, oak vanillan, and herbs. It's medium-bodied and more savoury on the palate, with hints of black cherry, herbs, and oak flavours. Dusty tannins are well-integrated, with some grip mid-palate. Balanced acids keep everything nice and fresh. Good length on the finish. Simple, easy drinking. Score: 86 pts


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  • Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Lakeview Cellars Morgan Vineyard Kerner 2017 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine review is a unique white wine that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

The Kerner grape is an aromatic white grape variety that was bred in Germany in 1929 by crossing Trollinger (a red grape variety) with Riesling. Today, most Kerner plantings are in Germany, while some are also grown in Austria, Switzerland, and South Tyrol (in Northern Italy).

With only a few vineyards in Niagara producing Kerner, this wine by Lakeview Cellars comes from the Morgan Vineyard located on the Lincoln Lakeshore sub-appellation. Approximately 2 acres of vines are 20+ years old, and are all planted on sandy soils. This wine has been produced since at least the 2000 vintage. Let's see how the 2017 is tasting tonight...

Lakeview Cellars Morgan Vineyard Kerner 2017 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAKEVIEW CELLARS MORGAN VINEYARD KERNER 2017 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#443614) (D) - $17.95
Screw cap. The generous nose has white floral, ripe apple and peach aromas, with some honeyed and grapey notes. It's off-dry on the palate with more apple, floral, and peach flavours lifted by bright acidity. There's some bitterness on the honeyed-floral finish, with good length. A casual sipper to enjoy on a hot summer's day. Serve well-chilled. Score: 87 pts


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  • Sunday, July 22, 2018

Backyard Vineyards Nosey Neighbour Cabernet Franc 2015 & EastDell Pinot Noir 2016 (Niagara) - Wine Reviews

Lakeview Wine Co. Wines
wine reviews are a pair of wines produced by Lakeview Wine Co., a division of Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Ltd. Based in Niagara-on-the-Lake, this large wine producer has many brands within their portfolio, including EastDell, 20 Bees, FRESH Wines, McMichael Collection, Dan Aykroyd, Lakeview Cellars, and more recently, Backyard Vineyards.

The Backyard Vineyards brand has it's roots coming from an award-winning British Columbia winery that Diamond Estates recently acquired. The label is identical to the B.C. wine, except this wine is VQA Niagara Peninsula and is made using only Cabernet Franc, whereas the B.C. version is a blend. There is a companion White to the Red (reviewed below), and I suspect more wines bearing the Backyard Vineyards name will be coming down the pipeline.

EastDell Estates was founded 1999 by Michael East and the Late Susan O’Dell, and was located on Locust Lane in Beamsville, Ontario. It later merged with Diamond Estates in 2005. EastDell wines are known to be casual in nature and quite easy-drinking. However, they are also crafted with just enough sophistication and style for special occasions.

In addition to finding Lakeview Wine Co.'s wines on premises at their winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, they also have an online web store. Many of their wines can also be found at the LCBO.

Tasting Note:

BACKYARD VINEYARDS NOSEY NEIGHBOUR CABERNET FRANC 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#469247) (D) - $14.95
100% Cabernet Franc. Screw cap. Medium+ intensity nose leads with typical herbaceous notes followed by blackberry, spice, peppery aromas, and hints of cedar oak. It's medium+ bodied and a touch sweet with ripe blackberry, dark berry, plum, grilled pepper and oak spice flavours surrounded by juicy acids. It's a touch warm on the mid-palate. Supple tannins offer some structure and grip. The finish length is very good with grilled pepper and oak spice notes. Drink over the next 2-3 years. Coming to LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 87 pts

Backyard Vineyards Nosey Neighbour Cabernet Franc 2015 (87 pts)EastDell Pinot Noir 2016 (87 pts)

EASTDELL PINOT NOIR 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#613059) (XD) - $13.95
Screw cap. The soft nose has earthy and cherry aromas with hints of beetroot. It's light-to-medium bodied on the dry palate with supple tannins adding nice texture. Fresh acids are well-balanced. Notes of cranberry, cherry and red plum with hints of vanilla on the flavour profile. Good length on the finish with savoury and bitter chocolate notes. Honest Pinot for casual fare. Will be available for purchase next month. Score: 87 pts


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  • Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Lakeview Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine is a back vintage of a wine that was recently released into LCBO VINTAGES on .

This white wine is produced by Lakeview Wine Co. (formerly known as Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits) and is one of the largest wine producers in the country. The re-brand of the winery coincided with the launch of their brand new retail and tasting centre in Niagara-on-the-Lake, in the spring of 2017. The building features a unique architectural and interior design that creates a welcoming atmosphere. I visited Lakeview last month for Sip & Sizzle and must say the building is quite nice - much improved over the old building and it feels warm and inviting. Definitely worth checking out if you're in the area.

Founded in 1991 by Eddy Gurinskas, Lakeview Cellars is the winery's oldest brand. Lakeview Cellars wines use grapes sourced from their best vineyards in Niagara. The fruit for this Sauvignon Blanc come from 5 acres of mature vines that have been farmed by the Tregunno family for four generations.

While the 2015 vintage is no longer available, and the 2016 vintage looks to be sold out at the LCBO, you can pick up the 2016 at the winery or shop online.

Lakeview Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAKEVIEW CELLARS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#483958) (XD) - $18.95
Screw cap. The nose is subtle, offering grassy and tropical fruit aromas with hints of gooseberry, kiwi, guava, and orange zest. It's light-to-medium bodied and dry on the palate with crisp and fresh acids. Ripe fruited flavour profile - think melon, guava, kiwi, with lemon citrus and grassy notes. Some bitterness on the finish. Score: 87 pts


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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 FRESHwines.ca 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, November 16, 2016

EastDell Unoaked Chardonnay 2015 (Ontario) - Wine Review

wine is an unoaked Chardonnay and, similar to the 2014 EastDell Gamay Noir, is now on LCBO shelves with an updated, modern label that still retains the iconic heron.

The 2015 vintage began with unusually cold temperatures throughout Winter and Spring. Fortunately, weather conditions improved greatly during the Summer growing season, with favourable conditions continuuing through to harvest.

Produced by Diamond Estates, this easy-drinking Chardonnay is available at the Winery Boutique (at Diamond Estates) and at the LCBO.

EastDell Unoaked Chardonnay 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (86 pts)

Tasting Note:

EASTDELL UNOAKED CHARDONNAY 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#609867) (XD) - $13.95
Screw cap. Aromas of fresh lemon/lime citrus with ripe golden apple undertones. The palate is medium-bodied and fleshy with more ripe apple and citrus fruit flavours. Some grapefruit notes emerge with time in glass. Acids are clean and balanced. Good length on the finish. This is a clean, easy-drinking (unoaked) Chardonnay to drink in the near term with seafood, salads or poultry. Score: 86 pts


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  • Wednesday, November 9, 2016

EastDell Gamay Noir 2014 (Ontario) - Wine Review

wine review is the latest Gamay from EastDell Estates.

I tasted the 2010 EastDell Gamay Noir three years ago, but this wine has since undergone a label change and comes to us now with a brand new, modern label that still includes the iconic heron.

The summer in 2014 had average-to-cooler than normal temperatures, while late summer and into September brought much needed sunshine to push the grapes to maturity. Harvest began 10 days later than normal and lasted into October. This wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks for 12 days, followed by ageing in French and American oak barrels for 8 months, half which were new oak and half in 2 year old barrels.

This easy-drinking red wine is widely available at the LCBO and at the Diamond Estates winery boutique in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

EastDell Gamay Noir 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

EASTDELL GAMAY NOIR 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#214890) (XD) - $13.95
Screw cap. Impressive array of black and red cherry, mushroom and sweet cinnamon spice aromas that also come through on the juicy, light-to-medium bodied palate. There's good fruit concentration and depth here, with fresh acids and supple tannins adding to the widely appealing package. It's juicy and finishes long with red cherry, sweet oak spice flavours and some floral notes with air. I am really impressed by this - well done! Will be enjoyed with homemade Chicken Lasagne. Score: 88 pts


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  • Monday, August 15, 2016

McMichael Collection Group of Seven Chardonnay 2014 (Niagara) - Wine Review

Sunday night's wine was this Unoaked Chardonnay that was created by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in collaboration with Diamond Estates Winery. It is one of two wines that is part of the collection - the other is the 2014 McMichael Collection Group of Seven Cabernet Merlot that I reviewed last week.

There are 7 different labels for the two wines - with each member of the Group of Seven Canadian artists represented once. My bottle of Chardonnay has a version of F.H. Varley's "Stormy Weather, Georgian Bay" (c. 1920).

Both wines in this collection are widely available at the LCBO, with fifty cents from each bottle sold going to the McMichael Collection.

I tasted this delicious wine first at the Winetario tasting event in June, where it was poured after being freshly awarded Gold in the Unoaked Chardonnay category at the 2016 Ontario Wine Awards. Let's see how this bottle is...

McMichael Collection Group of Seven Chardonnay 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

MCMICHAEL COLLECTION GROUP OF SEVEN CHARDONNAY 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#456582) (D) - $14.95
Screw cap. This unoaked Chardonnay was fermented and aged for 8 months in stainless steel tanks. Fresh pear, citrus aromas with hints of mineral and peach. The fleshy palate is medium+ bodied and a shade off-dry with citrusy, melon, green apple, white pepper and hints of stony mineral flavours. Acids are juicy, nice and fresh. Fine length on the finish. Serve nicely chilled and enjoy this summer. Score: 88 pts


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  • Wednesday, August 10, 2016

McMichael Collection Group of Seven Cabernet Merlot 2014 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine is an LCBO General List product that was released into the market in June and is readily available throughout Ontario.

Produced by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, in Kleinburg, just north of Toronto, in partnership with Niagara's Diamond Estates Winery, the Cabernet Merlot (along with an unoaked Chardonnay) is part of a new collection of wines to celebrate the institution's 50th anniversary. The unique labels adorning the bottles feature works from the Group of Seven. Furthermore, fifty cents from every bottle sold goes to the McMichael Collection.

Each member of the Group of Seven is honoured with a label depicting their artwork on one of the two wines. If you're an art lover, you'll recognize that my Cab Merlot features the Road to Baie St. Paul (1933) by A.Y. Jackson.

McMichael Collection Group of Seven Cabernet Merlot 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (85 pts)

Tasting Note:

MCMICHAEL COLLECTION GROUP OF SEVEN CABERNET MERLOT 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#456590) (XD) - $14.95
A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Franc. Screw cap. Earthy and red berry aromas with hints of sweet spices and green herbs. The palate is medium bodied with young, gritty tannins. Flavours of dark berry, earth and oak spices. It has fresh acids and good length on the finish. Requires a meaty dish to balance the tannin. Score: 85 pts

This wine is currently on promotion, offering 6 Bonus Air Miles reward miles until .


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  • Saturday, April 2, 2016

EastDell Estates Black Label Cabernet Merlot 2013 (Ontario) - Wine Review

wine is the 2nd in my recent series on wines from EastDell Estates (the first wine being the 2014 EastDell Estates Black Label Viognier that I tasted last week).

The 2013 vintage season was an interesting year in Niagara with some significant weather variations throughout the growing season. Temperatures were close to normal, while precipitation ranged from normal to a bit wet. Spring was cool and wet with some isolated late frosts, but then moved quickly into hot weather. Towards the end of the growing season in September and October, temperatures were higher than normal and helped produce a relatively large crop, allowing harvest season to stretch well into November.

Already available for purchase online and at the winery, Diamond Estates, this quaffable wine will also be at the LCBO next month as part of the VINTAGES Release.

EastDell Estates Black Label Cabernet Merlot 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

EastDell Estates Black Label Cabernet Merlot 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#443630) (XD) - $19.95
Relatively equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon (38%), Merlot (33%) and Cabernet Franc (29%). Medium intensity nose of blackberry, chocolate, leather and peppery aromas in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, dusty tannins and ripe fruited flavours that echo the aroma profile. It has juicy acids ideal for pairing with meals. Good length on the cocoa-dusted finish. Enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 87 pts


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  • Tuesday, March 29, 2016

EastDell Estates Black Label Viognier 2014 (Ontario) - Wine Review

wine is a delicious Ontario Viognier that is already available at the winery, but will also be released into VINTAGES on .

EastDell Estates was founded in 1999 and sold to current owner, Diamond Estates, in 2005. The EastDell logo depicts a blue heron, which has a natural migration path across their vineyards. I'm generally not one to comment on labels, but really do like the foil blue heron on this label - it's quite intricately designed and definitely catches the eye when hitting the light. Including tonight's Viognier, the wines of EastDell are typically made in an easy-drinking style that pair well with meals.

The grapes for this wine were sourced from high quality Ontario vineyards and then gently pressed in pneumatic bladder style presses. It was then cool-fermented in stainless steel before being aged in stainless steel tanks.

EastDell Estates Black Label Viognier 2014 - VQA Ontario, Canada (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

EASTDELL ESTATES BLACK LABEL VIOGNIER 2014 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#443622) (D) - $17.95
Screw cap. Inviting nose of orange blossom, white flower and peach aromas. The palate is full-ish with vibrant, refreshing acids. It is just off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) with juicy floral, orange peel and white peach flavours. Finishes dry with orange peel and peach notes. Quite well-balanced overall. A fine Viognier with substance that can be enjoyed on the patio, or better yet, with chicken or a mildly spiced dish. Score: 88 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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