Showing posts with label mendoza. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mendoza. Show all posts

Sunday, August 19, 2018

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  • Sunday, August 19, 2018

Zuccardi Serie A Malbec 2016 (Argentina) - Wine Review



wine review is a red wine that came through VINTAGES earlier this year (and sold out), but will be returning to shelves as part of the upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release.

It is produced by Zuccardi Wines, a winemaking family going on three generations. It was founded in 1963 by engineer, Alberto Zuccardi, when he planted his first acre of vines in Maipú, Mendoza, Zuccardi has continued to develop and grow, while positioning itself as an important benchmark for Argentina's winemaking industry.

Today, Sebastian Zuccardi represents the third generation of the family and heads up a young agricultural and winemaking team responsible for producing quality wines from the Uco Valley. In 2008, the winery created an area for Research & Development to study terroir and the different variables that affect wine quality. The aim is to produce wines that express the place and region.

The "Serie A" (or Argentina Series) wines seek to reveal the richness of Argentina's soils and micro-climates through wines that express each grape variety. Malbec, such as tonight's wine, shows best in the Uco Valley.

Zuccardi Serie A Malbec 2016 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

ZUCCARDI SERIE A MALBEC 2016 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#167619) (XD) - $16.95
Fermented and aged mostly in concrete, with 10% aged in used French barrels. Plummy with black and red cherry aromas from the cork. The medium+ intensity nose is pretty and ripe with blackberry and black plum aromas, with touches of floral, mineral, tea leaf, and herbs. It is medium-full bodied and clean with nice aroma replays and very good fruit expression on the palate. Ripe tannins are smooth and well-integrated. Nicely textured with some chalkiness. It has good acidity and a juicy mid-palate. Very good finish length. Drink over the next 1-2 years. Score: 88 pts


Sunday, January 21, 2018

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  • Sunday, January 21, 2018

Chakana Nuna Estate Malbec 2016 (Argentina) - Wine Review

wine is a delightful organic red wine that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

Chakana was founded in 2002 and is dedicated to the study and understanding of some of the best terroirs in Mendoza and produce authentic wines that express the character and identity of the Andean soils. In 2012, Chakana began a conversion process to become an organic/biodynamic producer, and this Malbec is just one of the results from this conversion. The winemaking style at Chakana subscribes to the minimum interventionist style by using indigenous yeasts, minimizing the use of sulphur and other additives, and selecting porous materials for ageing that are adapted to preserve the grape's sense of place.

The winemaker is Gabriel Bloise and is a member of the new generation of Mendoza winemakers, and also has experience with harvests in Tuscany, California, Priorat, and Australia. He believes that winemaking is a tool to express nature, and the best wines are those that hide the hand of the maker.

Chakana Nuna Estate Malbec 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHAKANA NUNA ESTATE MALBEC 2016 - Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina (#018671) (XD) - $16.95
100% Malbec grown at 960 metres elevation, this was aged for 10 months in concrete vats, followed by further ageing in used barrels. Faint nose of dark plum and earth from the cork. In the glass, this has a fresh, medium-high intensity bouquet of exotic spice, tea leaves, blackberry, black plum, and hints of purple flower aromas. It's medium-bodied on the palate with fine tannins offering nice texture and building with air. Flavours lead with tea leaves, spice, and graphite layered on top of floral and dark plum notes. Fresh acids are bright and juicy. Some warmth on the mid-palate. Shows fine balance overall, finishing with graphite and dark berry flavours. Really digging concrete-aged wines like this. Enjoy this organic wine over the next 3-4 years. Score: 89 pts


Sunday, September 17, 2017

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  • Sunday, September 17, 2017

Catena High Mountain Vines Malbec 2015 (Argentina) - Wine Review

wine is a VINTAGES Essential and is always available in the VINTAGES section at many LCBO outlets across the province. And because this red wine always available, it does go on promotion from time to time with either Bonus Air Miles or a couple of dollars off the regular retail price.

This wine has been produced by Bodega Catena Zapata for many years now, going back to at least 1996. My personal records show that I tasted the 2002 and 2005 vintages of this wine, as well as more recent vintages. Like the 2016 Catena High Mountain Vines Chardonnay that I enjoyed recently, the grapes for this 100% Malbec also come from 4 different high altitude mountain vineyards located at various elevations - Lunlunta (920 m), Agrelo (950 m), El Cepillo / Eugenio Bustos (1,090 m), and Gualtallary (1,450 m).

Catena High Mountain Vines Malbec 2015 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

CATENA HIGH MOUNTAIN VINES MALBEC 2015 - Mendoza, Argentina (#478727) (XD) - $19.95
Ripe plum, berry, oak spices and a hint of violet aromas from the cork. The generous nose in the glass leads with blackberry and meaty aromas followed by hints of herb, oak spice and violet. The palate is medium-full bodied with fine tannins and lifted by bright acidity. Aromas come through nicely on the palate with blackberry, white pepper and meaty notes leading the way. The finish is long and earthy with hints of mocha. Paired well tonight with lamb burgers. A nice Malbec to enjoy over the next 5 years. Recommended buy. Score: 89 pts


Friday, September 8, 2017

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  • Friday, September 8, 2017

Catena High Mountain Vines Chardonnay 2016 (Argentina) - Wine Review

wine is a recent arrival to the LCBO, as it was released into LCBO VINTAGES on . It was featured as part of the theme on high altitude wines from Argentina.

This white wine is produced by the legendary Bodega Catena Zapata. Founded in 1902 by Nicolás Catena Zapata, this winery is known for its pioneering role in resurrecting Malbec and in discovering extreme high altitude terroirs in the Andean foothills of Mendoza.

Fourth generation vintner, Laura Catena, and chief winemaker, Alejandro Vigil, crafted this Chardonnay with grapes sourced from four vineyards that are located at various elevations - Agrelo (950 m), El Cepillo (1,090 m), Villa Bastías (1,120 m), and Gualtallary (1,450 m). Each vineyard adds different characteristics to the wine, most notably textural and mineral elements in the upper elevations. Higher elevation vineyards also help promote greater acidity in the grapes.

The 2016 Chardonnay was whole cluster pressed, fermented sur lies in a combination of barrels and stainless steel tanks with wild yeasts. It was raised for 10 months in a combination of first, second and third French oak, with 60% undergoing malolactic fermentation.

Catena High Mountain Vines Chardonnay 2016 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

CATENA HIGH MOUNTAIN VINES CHARDONNAY 2016 - Mendoza, Argentina (#918805) (XD) - $19.95
Ripe tropical fruit salad aromas from the cork are quite pretty. In the glass, it has ripe buttery, apple, pear, and lemon curd aromas with touches of caramel and vanilla of medium+ intensity. The dry palate is medium-full bodied and somewhat creamy with white flowers, lemon, and apple flavours. Notable wood is subtle and nicely integrated. Acids are clean and the finish length is very good with notes of tropical fruit and lemon curd. Easy drinking and widely appealing. Score: 88 pts


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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  • Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Chakana Estate Selection Red Blend 2014 (Argentina) - Wine Review

red wine is mostly Malbec and will be available at the LCBO soon as part of the VINTAGES Release on .

This wine is produced by Chakana Wines, a winery founded in 2002 by an Italian family whose winemaking roots go back to the 19th century in Valtelina, Italy. The name "Chakana" evokes the symbol represented by the Incas to the Southern Cross constellation that is only visible on our planet from the Southern Hemisphere. Moreover, the positioning of the Southern Cross in the skies was of great agricultural importance to the Incas.

The winery is located in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, where it owns 150 hectares of vineyards. Since 2012, the winery has begun the process to transition to organic & biodynamic cultivation methods for all of their farms. Winemaking principles at Chakana include minimal intervention during the fermentation processes, using indigenous yeasts, minimizing the use of sulphur dioxide and other additives, and favouring the use of porous materials in aging, such as cement without Epoxy and casks.

Chakana Estate Selection Red Blend 2014 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHAKANA ESTATE SELECTION RED BLEND 2014 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#322602) (D) - $24.95
Blend of 70% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc that was aged in large wooden and concrete vats for 12 months. Dark fruited aromas from the cork - currant, cherry, plum. Medium-high aromatics in the glass lead with florals followed by currant, blackberry, sweet herbs, dark cherry, and hints of wood. The palate is medium-full bodied with structured tannins that are a bit tight at the moment. Bright, juicy acids add freshness. Nice aroma replays on the flavour profile with earthy, mineral and wood notes lingering on the long finish. Age 1-2 years and drink to 2024. Delicious! Score: 89 pts


Saturday, October 22, 2016

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  • Saturday, October 22, 2016

Chakana Estate Selection Malbec 2014 (Argentina) - Wine Review

wine is featured as the "Arrive in Style" product in the upcoming VINTAGES Release on and will be on shelves this coming .

Chakana wines are made in Agrelo, near the centre of Mendoza, in a facility with a capacity of 2 million litres. However, small tank sizes are used to maintain grape identities which come from different soil types. The modular design of the winery is tailored to vineyard development, while also helping with careful and detailed management of the grapes and process control as part of the winemaking process.

After making key contributions to the Super Tuscan movement at Antinori and Frescobaldi, consulting winemaker Alberto Antonini came to Argentina in 1995 and immediately sensed the potential of Malbec. The following 15 years were devoted to the re-discovery and perfection of what is now Argentina's signature grape. Mr. Antonini's winemaking philosophy is focused on using modern technology to express terroir and the true nature of grape flavours.

Chakana Estate Selection Malbec 2014 - Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHAKANA ESTATE SELECTION MALBEC 2014 - Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina (#219261) (D) - $21.95
Black plum and dark fruit aromas from the cork. Initial oak aromas give way to dark cherry, plum and cocoa, with hints of white pepper and mineral. The dry palate is full bodied, juicy and nicely textured with dark berry, dark plum, white pepper, oak spices and some herbally flavours. Some mocha notes on the long finish. Tannins are drying and a bit hard - needs some time to integrate. Drinkable now, but should be prime drinking in 2 years. Score: 88 pts


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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  • Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Bodega Norton Barrel Select Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Argentina) - Wine Review

Tonight's wine is a General List product that is always available at the LCBO. New shipments of this latest vintage will arrive on shelves with something new and unique - a cold sensor sticker called "Wine Polar".

This Sauvignon Blanc by Bodega Norton is the first white wine to use Polar Technology to help you enjoy your wine at the ideal temperature. Experience this wine best when the Polar sticker turns blue.

For my "experiment", this bottle was placed in the refrigerator this morning and remained there until late afternoon. Upon removing from the fridge, the snowflake on the Polar sticker showed blue, indicating that the wine was ready to be served. Using my Vacu Vin Thermometer, the blue started to fade at around 13° Celsius and sure enough, the wine did start to taste a little warm. At 15° Celsius, the blue indicators had just about disappeared and the wine was clearly too warm to be served. Based on my unscientific observations, I would say that Polar Technology works!

Polar Technology on Bodega Norton Barrel Select Sauvignon Blanc

Tasting Note:

BODEGA NORTON BARREL SELECT SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - Mendoza, Argentina (#400564) (XD) - $13.10
Screw cap. Partially barrel-fermented in French oak barrels, this has a rather soft and closed nose of earth, flint, with hints of lemon/lime and tropical fruits. The fleshy palate has lemon/lime, guava, tropical fruit and some vanilla flavours. Acids are fresh and finish length is very good. Easy drinking wine that should have wide appeal. Score: 86 pts

Bodega Norton Barrel Select Sauvignon Blanc 2015 - Mendoza, Argentina (86 pts)


Friday, February 19, 2016

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  • Friday, February 19, 2016

Zuccardi Q Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Argentina) - Wine Review

This savoury, earthy red wine was purchased more than 6 years ago from the November 7, 2009 LCBO VINTAGES Release, well before I starting blogging about wine. It's unfortunate that after the 2006 vintage there were only two vintages that were released through VINTAGES at the LCBO.

Zuccardi Q Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 - Mendoza, Argentina (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

ZUCCARDI Q CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2006 - Mendoza, Argentina (#140855) (XD) - $19.95
Destroyed the cork, so had to decant/filter. Perfumed, oxidative nose of old wood, damp earth, black fruit, dark plum, dried herb, and a hint of white pepper. On the palate, it is medium-to-full bodied with black currant, cassis, dried herb, earth and wood notes. It has juicy, balanced acids, but fruit is starting to fade, leaving behind tannins that are very much chalky. Savoury long and earthy finish. Drink now as this won't improve with further ageing. Will be enjoyed with Chicken Korma. Score: 88 pts


Saturday, August 30, 2014

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  • Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wine Reviews: Santa Alicia Carménère Reserva + Pascual Toso Malbec

I received these two nice, easy drinking red wines last week courtesy of Eurovintage International Inc. Both are LCBO General List products and widely available throughout the province.

My personal favourite of the two is the Malbec, from a very good producer in Argentina. I had tasted this and their Malbec Limited Edition at Malbec World Day back in April.

Tasting Notes:
SANTA ALICIA CARMÉNÈRE RESERVA 2012 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#309302) (XD) - $13.00
Screw cap. Medium+ intensity aromas featuring ripe, green pepper and mineral notes. On the palate, it's medium-bodied with very green, herbal notes and hints of smoke lingering on the long, slightly warm finish. Acids are bright and balanced, while tannins are a touch tight. Score: 87 pts

Wine Review of 2012 Santa Alicia Carménère Reserva from Maipo Valley, Chile

PASCUAL TOSO MALBEC 2013 - Mendoza, Argentina (#035170) (XD) - $13.95
Screw cap. Medium intensity aromas of plum, blackberry and blackcherry which replay nicely on the medium-bodied palate. Mineral and oak also show up on the dry flavour profile. Fruit-forward. Refreshing acids and ripe, integrated tannins and a clean finish make this a very good weekday wine. Score: 88+ pts
Wine Review of 2013 Pascual Toso Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina


Thursday, April 17, 2014

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  • Thursday, April 17, 2014

Malbec World Day Toronto

On , I attended #MalbecWorldDayTO that was co-hosted by iYellow Wine Club and Wines of Argentina at The Great Hall in the Queen West area in downtown Toronto.

is celebrated around the world every April 17th to commemorate the day when the President of Argentina Domingo Faustino Sarmiento officially made it his mission in 1853 to transform Argentina's wine industry and make it a world player in the wine scene. 150 years later, it is safe to say that he has succeeded in reaching that goal.

Today, Argentina is now the 5th largest producer of wine and Malbec is the most planted in grape in the country. Furthermore, even though Malbec's original home is in Cahors, France, nowhere in the world is there more acreage of Malbec grown than in Argentina.

Tuesday night's event featured more than 50 wines from 18 different Argentinian wineries. Among the many Malbecs and Malbec-blends were wines made from Torrontes, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes. Included with your admission were latin-inspired chicken, beef and goat cheese empanadas, as well as beef and Argentinian rice on corn tortillas – this was a great touch as both food pairings complemented the wines very well.

All in all, it was a fun event with some fun, easy drinking wines, as well as a few serious wines for serious winos. The live DJ battle kept folks hopping throughout the night as well.

Here are wine reviews of 6 wines that I really enjoyed - 5 of which are currently available at the LCBO - to help you celebrate Malbec World Day this year. Enjoy!

Wine Review of 2012 Trapiche Malbec Reserve from Mendoza, ArgentinaWine Review of 2012 Pascual Toso Malbec Limited Edition from Mendoza, ArgentinaWine Review of 2011 Luigi Bosca Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina

TRAPICHE MALBEC RESERVE 2012 - Mendoza, Argentina (#614651) (D) - $11.95
Medium-high aromas with earthy, green, black cherry, and hint of brett (barnyard) notes. Full-bodied with sweet ripe black fruits and gentle oak spice flavours. Tannins are big, yet very smooth and integrated. Very good acids and finishing long. Fine value at this price! LCBO General List and always available. Score: 88 pts

PASCUAL TOSO MALBEC LIMITED EDITION 2012 - Mendoza, Argentina (#162610) (D) - $15.95
A terroir-driven wine that hails from Barrancas, the 2012 is highly aromatic with mineral, wet stone and plum aromas. It's medium-bodied with refined tannins. Palate has mineral, dark fruit, wet stone, and elegant oak spice flavours. Very good acids and a long finish that is slightly warm. LCBO General List product and always available. Score: 89 pts

LUIGI BOSCA MALBEC 2011 - Mendoza, Argentina (#079293) (XD) - $17.95
Made from vines over 50 years old that are located 960 metres above sea level. Medium intensity nose with green, ripe black fruit and oak aromas. Medium-bodied with pleasant aroma replays and notes of bitter chocolate. Chalky tannins will reward another year or two in cellar. Mouth-watering acids and a long finish. Vintages product. Score: 88 pts

Wine Review of 2010 Kaiken Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza, ArgentinaWine Review of 2010 Clos de los Siete from Mendoza, ArgentinaWine Review of 2010 Norton Privada from Mendoza, Argentina

KAIKEN ULTRA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Mendoza, Argentina (#135202) (D) - $19.95
Medium+ intensity aromas showing cassis, red fruits and new oak. Medium+ bodied with chalky tannins on the palate. Flavour profile consists of sweet ripe fruits, plum, milk chocolate, and leather. Good acids and long finishing. Vintages product. Score: 89 pts

CLOS DE LOS SIETE 2010 - Mendoza, Argentina (#622571) (XD) - $21.95
Malbec blend containing 57% Malbec, 15% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, and 3% Petit Verdot. Medium-high intensity aromas consisting of spice, peppercorn, oak and dark fruits. Palate is full-bodied showing sweet tobacco, red & black fruits, and Asian spice. Firm, yet refined, tannins, very good acids and finishing long. Vintages product. Score: 90 pts

NORTON PRIVADA 2010 - Mendoza, Argentina (#) (XD) - $24.95
Blend of Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Beautiful floral, purple, dark fruit, blackberry, cedar oak and mocha aromas. It's full bodied with big, silky smooth tannins. Flavour palate has nice blackberry liquer, oak, dark chocolate, and spice flavours. Balanced acids and a long, smooth finish. Delicious! Score: 91 pts

Chicken Empanada with Salsa


Friday, September 14, 2012

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  • Friday, September 14, 2012

Pascual Toso Reserve Malbec 2009 (Argentina) - Wine Review

Picked up this gem of a red wine while I was in Muskoka as I wasn't able to find it at an LCBO near me. It was purchased from the August 4 Vintages Release and there are quite a few still available.

PASCUAL TOSO RESERVE MALBEC 2009 - Barrancas Vineyards, Mendoza, Argentina (#183897) (XD) - $19.95

Label photo of 2009 Pascual Toso Reserve Malbec from Argentina
Tasting Note:
Earthy, mulberry and dark fruit aromas from the cork. In the glass, aromas of savoury spice lead to mulberry, bramble, vanilla and all surrounded by an earthy core. Full bodied on the palate with more mulberry and bramble replays, some earthy notes. Hints of milk chocolate and espresso on the long finish. Ripe fruit with mouth-watering acidity. Smooth tannins are well-integrated. Will be enjoyed with Chicken lasagne.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

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  • Thursday, June 21, 2012

Luigi Bosca Reserva Chardonnay 2010 - Wine Review

Purchased this one back in November from the Holiday Magic VINTAGES wine release. There are still a few available in the VINTAGES section of the LCBO across the province.

LUIGI BOSCA RESERVA CHARDONNAY 2010 - Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina (#142836) (XD) - $17.95

Tasting Note:
Melon/peach aromas from cork. Mango, pineapple, oak and barnyard aromas from the glass. Tropical fruits with hints of juicy sweetness dance with apple and butter notes, giving way to oaky finish in this dry, full-bodied white wine. This could be enjoyed on its own or paired with Dungeness Crab served with drawn butter. Tasty!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

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  • Sunday, December 25, 2011

2009 Maipe Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Argentina) - Wine Review

Purchased this Argentinian Cabernet Sauvignon from the November 12 Vintages release, and probably should've held on to this red wine a bit longer as the tannins needed more time to develop.

MAIPE RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2009 - Mendoza, Argentina (#246116) (D) - $17.95

Tasting Note:
Cherry aromas from the cork. Earth, currant and cassis aromas in the glass, and follow through on the palate with herbal spiciness and espresso. I knew I should've waited opening this one, as tannins need more time (1-2 years) to settle down. It went well with homemade Christmas fruit cake.

***edit***
Chocolate and espresso flavours come to the fore on the second day. This is tasting MUCH better tonight. Try an aerator or decant if opening in the near future. This should pair well with oven-roasted whole chicken, with garlic mash potatoes.


Monday, August 1, 2011

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  • Monday, August 1, 2011

2008 Zuccardi Q Tempranillo (Argentina) - Wine Review

Last night's wine was purchased from the June 25 Vintages Release, which had a major focus on wines from Argentina.

ZUCCARDI Q TEMPRANILLO 2008 - Santa Rosa Vineyards, Mendoza, Argentina (#973503) - $19.95


Tasting Note:
Made with grapes from 40 year-old vines. Aromas of red berries, blackberry join the flavour profile with lots of pepper/spice, and a touch of cola. Letting the wine breathe in glass relieves some of the spiciness. Chewy tannins will reward ageing another 1-2 years. This is definitely a good wine for the BBQ. I enjoyed this wine with chicken shish kebabs and wings prepared over a charcoal BBQ.


Friday, January 28, 2011

  • Friday, January 28, 2011

Review: Chakana Bonarda 2007 - Mendoza, Argentina

Got this one back in January 2008 and let it sit in the basement until this evening.

CHAKANA BONARDA 2007 - Mendoza, Argentina (#003525) - $13.95

Tasting Note:
Made with 'Bonarda' grapes, this wine has sweet, ripe, dark fruit, earth and light oak aromas. Raspberry, milk chocolate flavours. Light-medium bodied. Ripe. Starts off extremely dry, and fruit comes forward at mid-length. Very dry and tasty. Would go well with lighter fare - I'll be having it with Jhura (sp?) Chicken tonight.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

  • Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fuzion Alta Malbec Reserva 2009 - Mendoza, Argentina

I opened the Fuzion Alta Malbec Reserva 2009 (#135475) from the Zuccardi Family of wines last night and did not really enjoy it. It was lacking some complexity and seemed shallow.

Blackberry, dark fruit aromas. Inky, blackberry, iodine, cocoa flavours. Medium-long finish.

It was a Christmas gift from someone. For $9.95, it wasn't bad, I suppose.

There is a white Fuzion also waiting to be opened. *crossing fingers*


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