Showing posts with label loire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label loire. Show all posts

Friday, July 13, 2018

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  • Friday, July 13, 2018

Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2016 (Loire) - Wine Review



wine is a sneak preview of a white wine that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

I liked the 2015 Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie when it showed up in LCBO VINTAGES in and am pleased to see this wine return at the same price point.

Produced by Domaine la Haute Févrie in the heart of the Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine protected designation of origin (DO), the estate vines grow on the hills overlooking the Sèvre, between Saint-Fiacre and Monnières.

In 2016, Muscadet vines in the Loire Valley were heavily affected by frost and hydric stress (i.e. lots of water). However, perfect weather conditions in September ensured that grapes were of high quality, resulting in wines that should have good texture and mouthfeel, and plenty of fruit. Let's see how this Muscadet is tasting.

Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2016 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

LE FILS DES GRAS MOUTONS MUSCADET SÈVRE-ET-MAINE SUR LIE 2016 - AC, Loire, France (#363150) (XD) - $14.95
100% Melon de Bourgogne hand-picked from 40-70 year-old vines. Lemony aromas from the cork. In the glass, the nose is subtle, offering apple and citrus aromas with hints of stony minerals. Very good intensity on the crunchy palate with green apple and tart citrus flavours, plus some mineral and fennel notes, Fresh with vibrant, lively acids and a light spritz on the medium-bodied frame that is nicely textured. Stony mineral with hints of herbal linger on the finish, with very good length. The ideal oyster wine, but can also paired with shrimp. Very good buy. Score: 88 pts


Sunday, July 1, 2018

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  • Sunday, July 1, 2018

Jean-Max Roger La Grange Dîmière Sancerre Rosé 2017 (Loire) - Wine Review

lovely wine is the latest rosé from Jean-Max Roger and will be arriving at the LCBO as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Having enjoyed the 2016 Jean-Max Roger La Grange Dîmière Sancerre Rosé in , I am expecting a wine of similarly high-quality from this very good, reliable Loire producer.

Jean-Max Roger La Grange Dîmière Sancerre Rosé 2017 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

JEAN-MAX ROGER LA GRANGE DÎMIÈRE SANCERRE ROSÉ 2017 - AC, Loire, France (#490813) (XD) - $27.95
Direct pressed 100% Pinot Noir, and then cold settled for between 48 and 72 hours. Citrus, peach and melon aromas from the cork. In the glass, this has clean, fresh aromas of citrus, strawberry, melon, tropical fruit with hints of mineral and red berry, with very good intensity. The palate is medium-full bodied and dry, leading with fine saline minerality joined by citrus, melon, tropical fruit and hints of strawberry flavours. Acids are tart, crisp, very juicy, and lip-smackingly fresh. Finely balanced throughout with berry and citrus flavours lingering on the long finish. Perfect for this hot, summer day! Score: 90 pts


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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  • Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée La Grange Dîmière Sancerre Rouge 2013 (Loire) - Wine Review

Pinot Noir from Loire is a new release that arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on (with plenty still available for purchase as of this post).

This red wine is from Sancerre, a wine appellation in Loire, France, that is normally associated with fine expressions of Sauvignon Blanc. However, 30% of the vines at Jean-Max Roger are planted to Pinot Noir on flint, "terres blanches", and "caillottes" soil types. "La Grange Dîmière" refers to one of the village of Bue's ancient tithe barns. This barn was used by ancestors to make wine, and today it remains the oldest part of the winery.

I've enjoyed many wines from Jean-Max Roger over the years, but this is the first red wine from this winery. I am expecting another quality wine.

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée La Grange Dîmière Sancerre Rouge 2013 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE LA GRANGE DÎMIÈRE SANCERRE ROUGE 2013 - AC, Loire, France (#539858) (XD) - $29.95
100% Pinot Noir aged for 10-15 months, with 20-30% aged in 300 litre oak barrels, while the rest is aged in stainless steel tanks. Black plum, dark cherry and oak spice aromas from the cork. This has a medium+ intensity nose that offers ripe red berry and floral aromas with hints of candied cherry, earth and sandalwood oak spice. The tangy palate is light-bodied with fine tannins that are well-integrated and gains some grip with air. Tart acids are fresh. Sour cherry, floral and earthy flavours linger on the long, juicy finish, with touches of bitterness. Score: 89 pts


Saturday, April 22, 2017

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  • Saturday, April 22, 2017

Jean-Max Roger La Grange Dîmière Sancerre Rosé 2016 (France) - Wine Review

wine is something new to VINTAGES and will be available on LCBO shelves across Ontario as part of the upcoming VINTAGES Release on .

This rose wine is produced by Jean-Max Roger, a family from the village of Bué with winegrowing traditions dating back to the 17th century. This winery produces white wines from Sauvignon Blanc and red and rosé wines from Pinot Noir, such as this La Grange Dîmière Sancerre Rosé.

The name "La Grange Dîmière" for this wine is in reference to one of Bué's ancient tithe barns which constitutes the oldest part of their winery. The grapes are pressed using a pneumatic press and the must is cold-settled for between 48 and 72 hours. Grape sediment is carefully removed and the clear juice is brought up to temperature, followed by addition of yeasts and fermentation taking place for 4-8 weeks under controlled temperatures. The wine is finished using Bentonite fining and Kieselguhr filtering.

Jean-Max Roger La Grange Dîmière Sancerre Rosé 2016 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

JEAN-MAX ROGER LA GRANGE DÎMIÈRE SANCERRE ROSÉ 2016 - AC, Loire, France (#490813) (XD) - $25.95
100% Pinot Noir and pretty salmon pink colour. Pretty red cherry, strawberry and tart citrus aromas from the cork. Aromas of tart red cherry, red currant, strawberry, citrus and whiffs of banana from the glass are quite intense and a touch candied. The palate is medium-bodied with a silky mouthfeel and fresh, balanced acids. More cherry, currant, and banana flavours with hints of herbal mint and minerality add complexity. Dry overall with excellent finish length. Ideal as an apertif or pair with salads, fish or poultry. Score: 90 pts


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

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  • Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2015 (Loire) - Wine Review

wine is a nice little sipper ideal for oysters or as an apertif. This white wine will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves this weekend as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

It is produced by Domaine la Haute Févrie, a winery located southeast of Nantes, in the heart of the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine DO, in the western end of the Loire Valley. The estate's 30 hectares of vines grow on the hills overlooking the river Sèvre, between the communes of Saint-Fiacre and Monnières. Terroir consists of several plots of vineyards, each with a different aspect and soil: siliceous clay or gravelly shallow, and all on metamorphic rock (gneiss, orthogneiss, and amphibolites), resulting in a range of highly individualized blocks.

The family that produced this wine has four generations of winemaking experience, and currently manages their vineyard using environmentally-friendly principles, subscribing to the Terra Vitis method of sustainable wine growing by, among other things, not using any chemical fertilizers.

Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2015 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

LE FILS DES GRAS MOUTONS MUSCADET SÈVRE-ET-MAINE SUR LIE 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#363150) (XD) - $14.95
Nice lemon citrus and fennel aromas from the cork. Made with 100% Melon de Bourgogne that was hand-picked from 40-70 year-old vines, this has pleasing orange citrus, floral and fennel with whiffs of beeswax and mineral of medium-high intensity from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a light refreshing spritz, dry and flavourful with notes of lemon/lime citrus, and floral. Texture is slightly viscous and minerally. Crisp acids. Finishes with good length and a stony mineral flavour. Score: 87 pts


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

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  • Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Genèse Sancerre 2015 (Loire) - Wine Review

I opened up this delicious white wine ahead of it's release into LCBO VINTAGES on .

Recent vintages of this wine have been excellent, including the 2014 vintage that I tasted in November 2015 and showed up in VINTAGES on that same year. For the 2015 vintage, this wine has undergone a name change - from Cuvée G.C. to Cuvée Genèse - to reflect a change in the wine.

It is still 100% Sauvignon Blanc, but comes from "caillottes" plots located in the commune of Bué which are the ancestral lands where this estate was found. The wines produced from these plots have shaped the palate of several generations of the Roger family. These lands represent the origin of their history - the Genesis (or Genèse in French).

Jean-Max Roger took over the 4 hectares of vines left to him by his parents in the 1970s and proceeded to expand the estate to its current size of 26 hectares. The Roger family descends from a long line of winegrowers from the village of Bué, with the name being mentioned in texts as early as the 17th century.

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Genèse Sancerre 2015 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE GENÈSE SANCERRE 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#189126) (XD) - $27.95
Faint aromas of lime citrus and white flower from the cork. Seems a bit shy at the moment, but offers ripe yellow plum, white floral, citrus aromas with hints of herbally and stone fruit notes that are quite appealing. It is medium-full bodied with lively acids that cut through the slightly fleshy palate. It's rich with very nice aroma replays plus some grassy flavours with good intensity. There's also a nice mineral edge arriving mid-palate and continues through to the long finish. Lovely wine that should be served with only light chill. Score: 91 pts


Monday, January 30, 2017

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  • Monday, January 30, 2017

VINTAGES Release February 4: Back Roads of Europe + South Africa + Valentine's

LCBO Wine Picks from February 4, 2017 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on focuses on wines from Europe's Back Roads in its main theme, while the mini-themes highlight wines from South Africa and wines for celebrations. All of these wines will be on shelves across Ontario this coming .

From the European Back Roads theme - which is meant to showcase lesser-known wines from Portugal, Spain, France and Italy - 4 of the 16 wines are included among my wine picks. From Burgundy, there is a Chardonnay from the tiny village of Chitry-le-Fort. Also from France, from the small appellation of Bourgueil in Loire, there is a nice Cabernet Franc. The other 2 wines are both from Italy, with the Monferrato a blend of 60% Barbera and 40% Syrah, and the white wine from Campania is 100% Greco.

The mini-theme on fine wines from South Africa features 7 wines, 2 of which are included in my wine recommendations. The first wine is an organic and biodynamic white wine made with the help of ducks, and is a blend consisting primarily of South Africa's signature white grape - Chenin Blanc. The other wine from South Africa is the Rustenberg - a red wine blend made with 50% Shiraz, 30% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.

In red wines from the rest of the release, the Chateau Saint-Roch is a blend of nearly equal parts Grenache, Syrah and Carignan and saw no oak. From Greece, the Domain Mega Spileo Red is a lovely red blend (60% Mavrodaphne and 40% Mavro Kalavritino) from 2 indigenous Greek varietals. The Beaujolais is 100% Gamay, while the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 68% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, 13% Syrah, and 4% Cinsault. Both Cali Cabs are, in fact, blends, with the Mt. Brave consisting of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 6.5% Malbec, 4.5% Cabernet Franc, while the Mount Veeder Cab consists of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 4% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Syrah. And last but not least, the Masi Amarone is a traditional blend of Corvina, Rondinella, Oseleta, and Molinara grape varietals.

Domain Mega Spileo Red 2010 (90 pts)Masi Costasera Riserva Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011 (91 pts)

In white wines, the Domaine FL is made with Chenin Blanc. For sweet wine lovers, you'll want to pick up the Riesling Spätlese from Germany.

Enjoy my wine picks from this release. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CHATEAU SAINT-ROCH VIEILLES VIGNES SYRAH/GRENACHE 2014 - AP Côtes du Roussillon, France (#195107) (D) - $15.95
  • DOMAINE LES PINS CUVÉE LES ROCHETTES BOURGUEIL 2014 - AC, Loire, France (#478263) (XD) - $17.95
  • PRUNOTTO MOMPERTONE MONFERRATO ROSSO 2014 - DOC, Piedmont, Italy (#388587) (XD) - $18.95
  • RUSTENBERG RM NICHOLSON 2014 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#278390) (XD) - $19.95
  • TECTONIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#480822) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU DU CHATELARD CUVÉE LES VIEUX GRANITS FLEURIE 2013 - AP, Beaujolais, France (#207886) (XD) - $22.95
  • DOMAIN MEGA SPILEO RED 2010 - Peloponnese, Greece (#466110) (XD) - $29.95  reviewed here
  • MOUNT VEEDER WINERY CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#708842) (XD) - $49.95
  • ANDREA OBERTO BAROLO 2012 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#477174) (XD) - $54.95  FSE
  • CLOS DES BRUSQUIÈRES CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#416289) (D) - $55.95
  • MASI COSTASERA RISERVA AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2011 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#324137) (D) - $69.95  reviewed here
  • MT. BRAVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, California (#329433) (D) - $110.95  FSE

White Wine:

  • PONTE PELLEGRINO GRECO DI TUFO 2015 - IGT Campania, Italy (#477760) (XD) - $13.95
  • MATETIC CORRALILLO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - San Antonio Valley, Chile (#347740) (XD) - $15.95
  • AVONDALE JONTY’S DUCKS PEKIN WHITE 2015 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#439554) (D) - $15.95
  • SIMONNET-FEBVRE BOURGOGNE CHITRY 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#479667) (XD) - $19.95
  • LA CHABLISIENNE GRANDE CUVÉE CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#685222) (XD) - $29.95
  • DOMAINE FL SAVENNIÈRES-CHENIN 2012 - AC, Loire, France (#470971) (XD) - $33.95  FSE
  • MAXIMIN GRÜNHÄUSER ABTSBERG RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2014 - Pradikätswein, Mosel, Germany (#481374) (S) - $39.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • NICOLAS FEUILLATTE CHARDONNAY BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2006 - AC, France (#009761) (D) - $59.95

Fortifieds:

  • WARRE’S QUINTA DA CAVADINHA VINTAGE PORT 2001 - Bottled 2003, DOC, Portugal (#189605) (S) - $49.95

Dessert Wine:

  • DISZNÓKÖ LATE HARVEST TOKAJI FURMINT 2012 - Hungary (#185074) (S) (500 mL) - $23.95


Saturday, January 14, 2017

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  • Saturday, January 14, 2017

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée C.M. Sancerre Blanc 2014 (France) - Wine Review

wine is a lovely white wine made with Sauvignon Blanc that will be released into LCBO VINTAGES on .

It is produced by Jean-Max Roger and his family that come from a long line of winegrowers dating back to at least the 17th century. He took over the four hectares of vines left to him by his parents in the early 1970s and expanded the estate to its current size of 26 ha in the Sancerre AOC and 6 ha of vines in the Menetou-Salon AOC.

This "C.M." cuvee is named after the soil types where the grapes for this Sauvignon Blanc wine were grown: "Caillottes" and "Kimmeridgian Marls". Each soil type imparts different characteristics - Caillottes gives the wine its floral and fruity notes, along with lightness and freshness, while the Kimmeridgian Marls ("terres blanches") provides structure, richness and power.

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée C.M. Sancerre Blanc 2014 (90+ pts)

Tasting Note:

JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE C.M. SANCERRE BLANC 2014 - AC, Loire, France (#196667) (XD) - $27.95
Inviting lemon flower, honey and citrus aromas from the cork. In the glass, this has highly aromatic and complex aromas of citrusy fruit - lemon/lime mingling with asparagus, herbal, nettle qualities, a tinge of honey, all surrounded by mineral elements. The palate is medium-bodied and fleshy with grapefruit, lemon citrus, herbal, and nettle flavours. Nicely balanced acids are juicy. Finishing long. Well-composed and elegant overall. Very enjoyable. Score: 90+ pts


Saturday, October 29, 2016

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  • Saturday, October 29, 2016

Rémy Pannier Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Loire) - Wine Review

Given Spring-like weather, wine calls for something suitable such as this Sauvignon Blanc.

The company was founded by Francois Rémy in 1885. He began as a barrel-making worker, then a wine transporter, and finally, a wine merchant. In the 1930s, his son Louis associated his wife's name to the company to become Rémy Pannier. The company grew further when Louis' son, Maurice, launched business initiatives in the U.S., the French supermarket trade, and other export markets in 1960.

Today, Rémy Pannier is one of the leading brands of Ackerman, and is Loire Valley's single largest wine producer, accounting for approximately 15% of all wine production in the Valley.

For this latest vintage, this wine has been given a fresh, new look and is now widely available at the LCBO.

Rémy Pannier Sauvignon Blanc 2015 - AOP Touraine, Loire, France (85 pts)

Tasting Note:

RÉMY PANNIER SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - AOP Touraine, Loire, France (#068676) (XD) - $15.95
Light-to-medium intensity aromatics give off ripe tropical fruits, kiwi, and lime, with some earthy mineral notes at the tail end. The palate is fresh with ripe, almost honeyed fruit aroma replays. Rounded mouthfeel with nicely textured acids. Good length on the finish that has a stony mineral character, and a touch warming. This is a patio sipper. Score: 85 pts


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

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  • Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Les Caillottes Sancerre 2015 (Loire) - Wine Review

Opened up this pretty white wine . It is a lovely peak into a wine that will be in LCBO VINTAGES on .

The Roger family descends from a long line of winegrowers from the village of Bue, dating back to the early 17th century. Jean-Max Roger took over the vines left to him by his parents in the early 1970s and expanded the estate to its current size. Today, the estate now covers 26 hectares in the Sancerre AOC along the Loire River.

The grapes for this wine come from various plots in the villages of Bué, Amigny and Sancerre, where the soil is a stony, clay-limestone mix known locally as "caillottes". The vines range in 6-40 years old and are located on a south/southwestern exposure.

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Les Caillottes Sancerre 2015 - AC, Loire, France (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE LES CAILLOTTES SANCERRE 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#065573) (XD) - $26.95
100% Sauvignon Blanc with lees ageing has inviting orange citrus and peach aromas from cork. Medium-high intensity aromatics featuring candied lemon with hints of grass, nettle, herbaceousness and mineral. The palate is medium-fullish with a somewhat fleshy and creamy mouthfeel. Ripe fruited aroma replays with fresh acids coat the tongue. Finish length is very good. Will have wide appeal. Paired well with Dungeness crab curry. Score: 90 pts


Monday, November 23, 2015

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  • Monday, November 23, 2015

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée G.C. Sancerre 2014 (Loire) - Wine Review

Opened up this excellent white wine from Jean-Max Roger ahead of it's release in VINTAGES this Saturday, November 28th.

The Roger family descends from a long line of winegrowers from the village of Bué, dating back to the 17th century. In the early 1970's, Jean-Max Roger took over the 4 ha of vines left to him by his parents and expanded the estate to its current size of 26 ha. It is very much a family estate as two of his three sons joined him at the estate in 2004.

The grapes for this wine come mostly from a lieu-dit called "Le Grand Chemarin" - hence the name Cuvée G.C. - one of the most famous vineyards in the village of Bué. Soil characteristics include stony, clay-limestone based soils known as "caillotes", on slopes with a south-eastern exposure. Wines from this area tend to be elegant and show great finesse.

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée G.C. Sancerre 2014 - AC, Loire, France (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE G.C. SANCERRE 2014 - AC, Loire, France (#189126) (XD) - $28.95
100% Sauvignon Blanc. White flowers and lime aromas from the cork. Lovely nose of ripe Mirabelle plum, fresh white flowers and citrus notes. Aromas echo on the finely balanced palate, with notes of lime and gooseberry coming through as it warms up. The vibrant, fine seam of acidity is available from start to finish. Long finish ends slightly creamy with some saline notes. Excellent stuff. Score: 91 pts


Thursday, August 27, 2015

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  • Thursday, August 27, 2015

Domaine la Haute Févrie Sur Lie Muscadet Sèvre & Maine 2014 (Loire) - Wine Review

wine is a sneak preview of a white wine that will be in VINTAGES on .

Domaine la Haute Févrie is situated in the western part of France, within Loire, and 18 km southeast of Nantes, and located in the heart of the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine appellation. Family-owned and operated while producing 4 generations of winemakers that carefully tended to the vines over the years to produce the very best grapes possible.

Today, Domaine la Haute Févrie covers 30 hectares of vineyards, all within Muscadet Sèvre et Maine appellation. Several plots make up the 30 hecatres, each with different soils such as either siliceous clay or gravelly and shallow, all on metamorphic rock. Furthermore, this winery subscribes to the Terra Vitis methods of sustainable wine growing approach including no use of chemical fertilizers, and yield control by hand. They are also moving towards natural management of the vines.

This white wine comes from Clos de la Févrie, the earliest maturing plots of the entire estate, located in the hills overlooking the Maine river to the south in Saint-Fiacre.


DOMAINE LA HAUTE FÉVRIE SUR LIE MUSCADET SÈVRE & MAINE 2014 - AC, Loire, France (#390625) (XD) - $13.95

Domaine la Haute Févrie Sur Lie Muscadet Sèvre & Maine 2014 from AC, Loire, France (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

From 35 year old vines, hand-harvested and on the lees for 7 months. 100% Melon de Bourgogne. Refreshing lemon/lime aromas from the cork. Very good aromas of sweet lemons, citrus, wet earth, and a perfumed flowery note on the back end. The palate is medium-bodied with finely cut acids. It's dry with citrus, Asian pear, floral and honeyed-fruit flavours on the palate. Mineral, citrus and honeysuckle notes on the lingering finish. Some saline notes as it warms up in the glass. This is a wine that changes quite a bit depending on temperature. Over chill it and see how it changes as it warms up. Score: 88+ pts


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

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  • Wednesday, August 5, 2015

LCBO VINTAGES Release August 8: Oregon + Washington + B.C. + Loire

LCBO Wine Picks from August 8, 2015 VINTAGES Release
The LCBO VINTAGES Release on will be on shelves this Saturday and highlights 23 wines from The Great Northwest, while the mini-feature displays 7 Summery wines from Loire Valley.

The Great Northwest thematic highlights wines from Oregon and Washington in the U.S.A., and wines from Canada's British Columbia. Unfortunately, only one wine - a Cabernet Sauvignon from B.C. - is among my wine picks. There's also a Pinot Noir from Oregon found in the back of the magazine, but it's a Flagship Store Exclusive (FSE) and only available at select VINTAGES outlets. Disappointed with the lack of selection from those three wine regions again. Was there nothing else that could have been brought in?

Furthermore, just one wine from Loire made my list of wine picks - a Pouilly-Fumé that is 100% Sauvignon Blanc.

From the rest of the release, there is a nice Rasteau from Rhône that's blended using 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre, and an 80/20 Syrah-Grenache blend from Midi. Also from France is a 70/20/10 blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon & Petit Verdot from Bordeaux, and a Pinot Noir from Burgundy. The majority of dry table red wines from Portugal are blends, including the version from Ramos Pinto in this release that is primarily Touriga Nacional (43%) and Touriga Franca (37%), and the final 20% is a blend of 6 other local Douro grape varieties.

In white wines, the Domaine Lafage is an interesting blend of 50% Grenache Blanc, 30% Chardonnay, and 20% Marsanne. Lastly, the Grecomusc' is the local name of the Rovello grape which offers alluring floral aromas in a dry style of wine.

For sweet wine lovers, you'll want to pick up either the Pinot Gris from Alsace or the much sweeter Riesling from Germany.

Enjoy my LCBO wine recommendations from this release. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • ESPELT VITICULTORS OLD VINES GARNACHA 2013 - DO Empordà, Spain (#422469) (XD) - $14.95
  • ORTAS CAVE DE RASTEAU LA DOMELIÈRE RASTEAU 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#222927) (XD) - $15.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE TREVIAC 2012 - AP Corbières, Midi, France (#670505) (XD) - $16.95  reviewed here
  • RAMOS PINTO DUAS QUINTAS 2013 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#359893) (D) - $17.95
  • CHÂTEAU PLAISANCE 2009 - AC Bordeaux Supérieur, France (#404285) (XD) - $19.95
  • MISSION HILL RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#553321) (XD) - $26.95  reviewed here
  • VICCHIOMAGGIO AGOSTINO PETRI RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#993360) (XD) - $29.95
  • PAOLO CONTERNO RIVA DEL BRIC BAROLO 2010 - Unfiltered, DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#172783) (XD) - $39.95
  • DOMAINE DROUHIN PINOT NOIR 2012 - Dundee Hills, Oregon, USA (#961284) (XD) - $49.95  FSE
  • DOMAINE PAVELOT SAVIGNY-LES-BEAUNE AUX GRAVAINS 1ER CRU 2012 - AC, Burgundy, France (#206136) (XD) - $53.95  FSE
Château de Treviac 2012 - AP Corbières, Midi, France (89 pts)

White Wine:

  • VICENTE GANDÍA NEBLA VERDEJO 2014 - DO Rueda, Spain (#422048) (XD) - $14.95
  • DOMAINE LAFAGE CÔTÉ EST 2013 - IGP Côtes Catalanes, Midi, France (#179838) (XD) - $14.95
  • YALUMBA THE Y SERIES VIOGNIER 2014 - South Australia (#624502) (D) - $16.95
  • WEGELER SWEET RIESLING 2012 - VDP Gutswein, Mosel, Germany (#409672) (MS) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • CHÂTEAU FAVRAY POUILLY-FUMÉ 2014 - AC, Loire, France (#323642) (XD) - $21.95
  • RIEFLÉ STEINERT PINOT GRIS 2010 - AC Alsace Grand Cru, France (#408229) (M) - $24.95
  • CONTRADE DI TAURASI GRECOMUSC’ 2012 - IGT Campania Bianco, Italy (#418715) (XD) - $32.95
Wegeler Sweet Riesling 2012 - VDP Gutswein, Mosel, Germany (89 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU VAL JOANIS TRADITION ROSÉ 2014 - AP Luberon, Rhône, France (#707281) (XD) - $15.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • PIPER-HEIDSIECK BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2006 - AC, France (#409326) (XD) - $79.95


The rest of the wines from the August 8 VINTAGES release can be found here.


Monday, July 28, 2014

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  • Monday, July 28, 2014

Aug. 2 LCBO Wine Picks: California + Alsace + Loire

LCBO Wine Picks from August 2, 2014 Vintages Release
The next LCBO Vintages release will be on shelves across Ontario this . The major theme of this release is on top wines from California, with an emphasis on Cabs, Zins and Chards. There are two minor themes - one which focuses on white wines from Loire and Alsace, while the second focuses on mostly disappointing Greek wines.

Just one of the 18 wines from the California feature made my list of wine picks. This is due to the fact that even though California continues to produce good wine, many of them arrive on our shores with prices beyond the reach of most folks, while failing to deliver on the quality that one would expect in that price range. Also, at the lower-end of the scale, many California wines - especially the reds - tend have a sweet, sugary character that I personally do not enjoy. Thus, my lone wine pick from California is from Cameron Hughes. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a single block of vines from the Rutherford district and can be enjoyed between now and 2022.

Far more interesting are the white wines from Loire and Alsace. Five of the seven wines made my list of wine recommendations, including all three from Alsace. One interesting thing to note about labels is that Loire wines use regional labelling, while Alsace puts the name of the grape on the label. Thus, in order to know what's inside the bottle of wine from Loire, you will have to know the region. The dry wines from Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre are both made using Sauvignon Blanc. Alsace wines tend to be between off-dry and medium in sweetness. The Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris wines from Alsace listed below all fit within this range and will be enjoyed by anyone who prefers sweeter wines.

From the rest of the release, the Whispering Angel Rosé is a dry (i.e. not sweet) blend consisting of Grenache, Rolle (Vermentino), Cinsault, Syrah and Tibouren. In whites, there is an interesting white wine from Lebanon that is a blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon and 20% Chardonnay. Also, if you missed the 2004 Loan Semillon that came to Vintages last year, check out the 2005 version - it's just as delicious!

In red wines, the Perrin from Rhône is a fruit-forward blend of 80% tank-aged Grenache and 20% barrel-aged Syrah. The Falcoaria comes from vines that are more than 80 years old and is blend of Castelão, Trincadeira, Cabernet Sauvignon, Touriga Nacional and Alicante Bouschet. From Italy, the Piccini is a blend of 60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet, and 20% Merlot.

That's all for this week. Enjoy my wine recommendations. Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • CLOS TROTELIGOTTE K-OR MALBEC 2011 - AC Cahors, Southwest, France (#299982) (XD) - $16.95
  • PERRIN PEYRE BLANCHE CAIRANNE CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#650960) (XD) - $17.95
  • PICCINI SASSO AL POGGIO 2008 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#134809) (D) - $19.95
  • DANDELION VINEYARDS LIONHEART OF THE BAROSSA SHIRAZ 2012 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#167189) (D) - $19.95
  • FALCOARIA CLÁSSICO 2011 - DOC do Tejo, Portugal (#379214) (XD) - $19.95
  • LONGVIEW DEVIL’S ELBOW CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Adelaide Hills, South Australia (#660050) (XD) - $22.95
  • MATETIC CORRALILLO SYRAH 2011 - San Antonio Valley, Chile (#146407) (XD) - $23.95
  • LE CLOS JORDANNE VILLAGE RESERVE PINOT NOIR 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#033894) (D) - $30.00  reviewed here
  • CAMERON HUGHES LOT 345 CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Rutherford, Napa Valley, California, USA (#372383) (XD) - $31.95
  • FEUDI SAN PIO NERO DI LUPO AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA 2010 - DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#375527) (XD) - $36.95

White Wine:
  • CHÂTEAU KSARA BLANC DE BLANCS 2012 - Békaa Valley, Lebanon (#744805) (XD) - $16.95
  • LOAN WINES SPECIAL RESERVE SEMILLON 2005 - Unoaked, Barossa Valley, South Australia (#301127) (XD) - $16.95
  • PIERRE SPARR GRANIT RIESLING 2010 - AC Alsace, France (#378356) (M) - $16.95
  • BARON DE HOEN RÉSERVE GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2012 - AC Alsace, France (#377721) (D) - $17.95
  • KUHLMANN PLATZ PINOT GRIS 2012 - AC Alsace, France (#224204) (D) - $17.95
  • SPINYBACK SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Nelson, South Island, New Zealand (#694737) (XD) - $19.95
  • HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE RIESLING 2013 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#183491) (D) - $23.95  reviewed here
  • FOURNIER PÈRE & FILS LES DEUX CAILLOUX POUILLY-FUMÉ 2012 - AC, Loire, France (#379750) (XD) - $26.95
  • JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE C.M. SANCERRE BLANC 2012 - AC, Loire, France (#196667) (XD) - $27.95
  • HUFF ESTATES SOUTH BAY CHARDONNAY 2010 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (#088955) (XD) - $29.95  reviewed here

Rosé Wine:
  • CAVES D’ESCLANS WHISPERING ANGEL ROSÉ 2013 - AC Côtes de Provence, France (#325076) (XD) - $23.95

Sparkling Wine:
  • PREVEDELLO ASOLO SUPERIORE EXTRA DRY PROSECCO 2013 - DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#262881) (D) - $17.95


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


Sunday, November 10, 2013

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  • Sunday, November 10, 2013

Réserve des Vignerons Saumur-Champigny 2010 (Loire) - Wine Review

Tonight's wine is from Loire and made with the Cabernet Franc grape. This red wine was purchased from this weekend's LCBO Vintages release.

Normally, I am not one to buy and consume within days after purchase. However, I knew that this wine was nearing the end of it's peak drinking window and felt it was time to open sooner rather than later. It's quite nice, and plenty are available at the LCBO. If you do buy it, make sure to drink it over the next couple of months.

CAVE DE SAUMUR RÉSERVE DES VIGNERONS SAUMUR-CHAMPIGNY 2010 - AC, Loire, France (#103879) (XD) - $17.95

Wine Review of Cave de Saumur Réserve des Vignerons Saumur-Champigny 2010 from Loire, France
Tasting Note:
Currant, plum and deli meat aromas from the cork. Medium intensity aromas of bramble, currant, blackberry, and forest floor. Medium-bodied with dusty tannins. Palate has bramble, red & black fruits and sweet vanillan flavours. Raisined fruit notes show as it warms up in the glass. Fine acidity will allow it to pair with foods. Finish is medium-long with currant, cherry and dry soil notes. Drink now. Will be enjoyed with chicken lasagne. Score: Wife gives it a 10/10. Me: 89 pts


Sunday, November 25, 2012

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  • Sunday, November 25, 2012

Domaine du Petit Souper Bourgueil 2008 (Loire) - Wine Review

Tonight's wine to celebrate the 100th Grey Cup is a red wine that is made with Cabernet Franc - a varietal which Ontario does quite well. It was purchased way back in July of 2010 and is drinking superbly right now.

DOMAINE DU PETIT SOUPER BOURGUEIL 2008 - Cuvée La Godinière, AC, Loire, France (#169672) (XD) - $13.95

Label photo of 2008 Domaine du Petit Souper Bourgueil from Loire, France
Tasting Note:
Mix of grape-oak aromas from the cork. Elegant and complex bouquet of lilacs, earth. forest floor and blackberry. Dry and medium-full bodied with more dark fruits on palate. Has a medium-length, smooth finish with mocha notes. Refined tannins are well-integrated. Good acidity and well-balanced. It's yummy and will go really well with tonight's meal: Chicken Shawarma.


Monday, July 16, 2012

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  • Monday, July 16, 2012

July 21 Wine Picks: Cool-Climate Victoria + Loire

Cover photo of July 21 VINTAGES Wine Magazine
The next VINTAGES wine release will be in LCBO stores across Ontario on . The main feature in this release is on the cool-climate wines from Victoria, Australia, while the secondary feature is on wines from Loire. Overall, this is a very "cool" release, with white wines stealing the show.

From Central Victoria, we have a very intriguing Marsanne. From Malivoire in Ontario, we have the aromatic Gewürztraminer, while the Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is a steal at $20. My top white from this release is a 5-year-old Muscadet made with the Melon de Bourgogne grape from Loire (#653485, below) - the name is a mouthful, but I'm sure you will enjoy it if you like dry white wines.

Among red wines, the Grenache-blended Guintrandy from southen Rhône comes from the fabulous 2010 vintage, while the 2008 Grenache/Syrah/Carignan-blend from Gerard Bertrand comes from Midi. Pinot lovers will likely enjoy the De Bortoli offering from Victoria. My top value-red is the Castello d'Alba from Portugal and consists of Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and the Port varietals Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional.

If you're in need of a summer rosé, the off-dry Syrah/Grenache offering from Château Saint-Roch is a tasty good value. Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • CASTELLO D’ALBA RESERVA 2009 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#276204) (XD) - $14.95
  • GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR TAUTAVEL GRENACHE/SYRAH/CARIGNAN 2008 - AC Côtes du Roussillon-Villages Tautavel, Midi, France (#272575) (XD) - $17.95
  • DE BORTOLI WINDY PEAK PINOT NOIR 2010 - Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia (#048587) (D) - $17.95
  • DOMAINE LA GUINTRANDY CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES VISAN LE DEVÈS 2010 - AC, Rhône, France (#277368) (XD) - $14.95
  • DURIGUTTI MALBEC 2009 - Mendoza, Argentina (#246124) (XD) - $16.95
  • TAHBILK SHIRAZ 2008 - Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria, Australia (#214742) (D) - $20.95

White Wine:
  • COMTE LELOUP DU CHÂTEAU DE CHASSELOIR CUVÉE DES CEPS CENTENAIRES 2007 - AC Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine, Sur Lie, Loire, France (#653485) (XD) - $18.95
  • WHITEHAVEN SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#278556) (D) - $19.95
  • TAHBILK MUSEUM RELEASE MARSANNE 2007 - Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria, Australia (#276980) (D) - $22.95
  • MALIVOIRE GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2010 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#542522) (D) - $24.95
  • LA CHABLISIENNE VAULORENT CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2009 - AC, Burgundy, France (#111666) (XD) - $31.95

Rosé Wine:
  • CHÂTEAU SAINT-ROCH SYRAH/GRENACHE ROSÉ 2011 - AC Côtes du Roussillon, Midi, France (#276352) (D) - $14.95


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


Sunday, April 29, 2012

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  • Sunday, April 29, 2012

Michel Delhommeau Cuvée Harmonie Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine 2010 (Loire) - Wine Review

This white wine was purchased very recently from the April 14th VINTAGES release and can still be found in many stores across the province.

MICHEL DELHOMMEAU CUVÉE HARMONIE MUSCADET DE SÈVRE-ET-MAINE 2010 - AC, Loire, France (#164624) (XD) - $12.95

Label photo of Michel Delhommeau Cuvée Harmonie Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine 2010 from Loire, France
Tasting Note:
Made with 100% Melon de Bourgogne. Aromas of lime and citrus from the cork. More fresh lime aromas in the glass, followed by gooseberry notes that mingle nicely together on the palate. Hint of sweetness on the finish. Dry, with zippy acidity. Very well made summer sipper that can be enjoyed alone or with a simply prepared white fish or lightly herbed chicken.


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