Showing posts with label midi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label midi. Show all posts

Sunday, October 14, 2018

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  • Sunday, October 14, 2018

Cave de Roquebrun La Grange des Combes Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun 2010 (Midi) - Wine Review



beverage is a lovely red wine blend that I purchased 5 years ago from the LCBO VINTAGES Release. I also have the 2013 and 2015 vintages of this wine, which would've made for a nice vertical tasting, but alas, only the 2010 is opened tonight.

The latest vintage (2016) of this delicious wine can be found in the LCBO VINTAGES section for a couple of dollars more than what I paid for this wine 5 years ago.

Cave de Roquebrun La Grange des Combes Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun 2010 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

CAVE DE ROQUEBRUN LA GRANGE DES COMBES SAINT-CHINIAN-ROQUEBRUN 2010 - AC, Midi, France (#155804) (XD) - $17.95
Blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 20% Mourvèdre grown on schistous soils facing south and south-east. It was raised in stainless steel tanks and bottled unfiltered. Fragrant earthy, smoky, savoury, meaty nose accented by peppery spice, black cherry, and touches of floral aromas. It is almost full bodied on the lively palate with savoury dark cherry, mineral, smoke, garrigue, blackberry flavours. Acids are still quite fresh, while firm, gritty tannins are chalky and drying. Garrigue, pepper, savoury, and mineral notes linger on the fine, long finish. A pleasure to drink, but tannins are starting to overpower the fruit. Drink now. Score: 90 pts


Sunday, September 2, 2018

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  • Sunday, September 2, 2018

Wine Reviews from August 5, 2018 Birthday Party

Wine Line-up for Aug. 5 Birthday Party

Last month, we held a birthday party for my toddler daughter and a few of her close friends. And for the adults - there was wine!

The dry rosé was easily the most popular wine at the party, while the Riesling and Shiraz were a close second. All three wines are fairly recent releases to VINTAGES, so you should be able to pick up a bottle at your local LCBO. Full wine reviews are provided below.

Tasting Notes:

GÉRARD BERTRAND CÔTE DES ROSES ROSÉ 2017 - AP Languedoc, Midi, France (#373985) (XD) - $18.95
Glass enclosure. The medium+ intensity nose has appealing aromas of grapefruit, citrus, spring meadow and herbally notes. On the medium+ bodied palate, it has clean and crisp acids with nice texture. Herbally and grapefruit flavours on the dry flavour profile. Touch honeyed, with some bitterness on the long finish. Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah. Enjoy over the next 18 months. Part of the VINTAGES Essentials collection and released as part of the May 12 LCBO VINTAGES Release. Score: 89 pts

Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Rosé 2017 (89 pts)

REDSTONE LIMESTONE VINEYARD SOUTH RIESLING 2016 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#381251) (M) - $19.95
Screw cap. Lovely limestone mineral and petrol aromas mingle with white peach and citrus. It's medium-sweet with nicely balanced acids and flavours with white peach, orange zest, citrus, and green apple flavours with hints of mineral. Tart fruited, lip-smacking finish, with very good length. July 21 LCBO VINTAGES Release. Score: 89 pts

Redstone Limestone Vineyard South Riesling 2016 (89 pts)

DANDELION LIONESS OF MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#357475) (XD) - $21.95
Full wine review here.

Dandelion Lioness of McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016 (88+ pts)


Friday, August 17, 2018

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  • Friday, August 17, 2018

Château La Négly La Natice Rosé 2017 (Midi) - Wine Review

I enjoyed the 2016 Château La Négly La Natice Rosé last year and am pleased to see the lovely 2017 vintage come to LCBO VINTAGES on .

wine review is a lovely dry rosé that is produced by Château de la Negly. The winery is located in the Languedoc, overlooking the Mediterranean. The unique geographical location of the winery allows a synergy of the elements to take place - stroked by sea spray, and buffeted between the Tramontane (strong, cold winds from the north) and the sea wind, the land is bathed under the hot, Mediterranean sun that captures the heat which warms up the berries. The grapes for this rosé come from silty, sandy soils dating from the Miocene period (5 to 23 million years old) and face the Mediterranean sea.

Several families have managed the Domaine over the years. Today, it is the Paux-Rosset family that manages the vineyards and winery with the help of consultant oenologist and friend, Claude Gros. The winemaking process at Château La Négly is entirely focused on creating wines of quality and distinction, such as this gastronomic rosé wine.

Château La Négly La Natice Rosé 2017 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU LA NÉGLY LA NATICE ROSÉ 2017 - AP Languedoc, Midi, France (#492199) (XD) - $24.95
Mostly Mourvèdre with some Syrah and Cinsault completing the blend. Made using the saignée method and aged in tank on fine lees for 6 months. Glass enclosure. The medium intensity nose is spicy, herbally, and citrusy with hints of cherry and melon, and mineral undertones. It's medium bodied on the dry palate with melon, tart citrus, garrigue and spice flavours supported by crisp, vibrant acids that are nicely balanced. Very good flavour intensity. Spiced, juicy mid-palate. Nice mineral notes linger on the long finish. Give it a slight chill enjoy to 2019. Score: 90 pts


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

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  • Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Château de Treviac Corbières 2015 (Midi) - Wine Review

wine is a preview of a delicious red blend that will arrive in LCBO VINTAGES on .

This red wine is produced by Arnaud Sié at his family's estate that he took responsibility over in the year 2000. The southern facing vineyards are situated 200 to 350 metres elevation, on very rocky limestone-clay soils - perfect terroir for Syrah and Grenache - and surrounded by garrigue. The crop is completely hand-harvested and sorted in the vineyard, after which the grapes are then de-stemmed and crushed when they arrive in the cellar.

Having enjoyed the 2012 Château de Treviac that I tasted nearly three years ago, and given that the 2015 vintage winegrowing season was rated slightly better than the very good 2012 season, I am expecting this wine to be just as good (perhaps even better?) than the tasty 2012 bottling.

Château de Treviac Corbières 2015 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU DE TREVIAC CORBIÈRES 2015 - AP, Midi, France (#670505) (XD) - $16.95
A blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache (35 year old vines) that was aged in tank. Faint notes of cherry from the cork. Medium-high intensity nose of cassis, licorice, and black pepper with savoury meaty notes throughout. With air, the nose reveals red currant and garrigue aromas. On the medium bodied palate, there are very nice aroma replays - cassis, garrigue, licorice and black pepper on a bed of fine, chalky textured, and slightly grippy tannins. Acids are bright and juicy. The finish length is very good with lingering earth and garrigue notes. Nicely balanced overall. Enjoy over the next 5-6 years. Score: 89 pts


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

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  • Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Mas d'Auzières Sympathie Pour Les Stones 2009 (Languedoc) - Wine Review

wine is the first bottle I'm opening in 2018. It was purchased nearly 6 years ago from the LCBO VINTAGES Release and no newer vintages have reached VINTAGES shelves since.

This red wine is made with Syrah and the name is not only a tribute to the Rolling Stones song "Sympathy of the Devil", but also gives a nod to the rocks (i.e. terroir) in the vineyard from where these grapes were grown in the Languedoc. Let's see how this tastes after half a decade in the cellar.

Mas d'Auzières Sympathie Pour Les Stones 2009 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

MAS D'AUZIÈRES SYMPATHIE POUR LES STONES 2009 - AC Côteaux du Languedoc, Midi, France (#277046) (XD) - $19.95
Dark plum and scorched earth aromas from the cork. This Syrah shows a mature aroma profile in the glass with meaty, umami, wet earth, and forest floor notes along with hints of dark berry compote and dried fruit aromas. The medium-full bodied palate is smooth as tannins have nicely folded into the wine. Flavours are in the savoury spectrum with stony mineral, forest floor, black spice, and mocha chocolate notes. Acids are juicy and still provide nice lift. Just a touch of heat mid-palate. Finish length is very good with savoury mocha chocolate and fig flavours. If you still have this delicious, mature red wine, then drink by 2020. Score: 90 pts


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

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  • Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tessellae Old Vines Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre Côtes du Roussillon 2015 (Midi) - Wine Review

I opened up this delightful red blend from the Roussillon on night. This was purchased from the recent VINTAGES Release and is still widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario. This red wine is made by the famed house of Domaine Lafage.

Tessellae Old Vines Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre Côtes du Roussillon 2015 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

TESSELLAE OLD VINES GRENACHE/SYRAH/MOURVÈDRE CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON 2015 - AC, Midi, France (#343517) (XD) - $18.95
From vines more than 65 years old on schist soils, this is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre that was tank-fermented and followed by aging in concrete tanks. Red and black fruit notes, plus some dark plum aromas from the cork. In the glass, this has a medium+ intensity nose leads with flinty minerality and is layered with red and black fruits, white pepper, wild herbs, and hints of black plum and evergreen. It's medium-full bodied on the palate with ripe fruited, peppery, dark berry, and black plum, with good fruit purity and concentration. Acids are bright and zesty. Suave tannins provide subtle grip. Some bitterness mid palate. Juicy finish with good length. Drink over the next 4-5 years. Score: 88 pts


Monday, September 4, 2017

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  • Monday, September 4, 2017

Hecht & Bannier Côtes du Roussillon-Villages 2008 (Midi) - Wine Review

wine to end a busy Summer is this red wine blend from one of my favourite producers in the Languedoc - Hecht & Bannier. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the founders of this winery, Gregory Hecht, a few years ago and will likely meet him again this Fall.

This wine was purchased from a VINTAGES Release in . Newer vintages have periodically shown up in VINTAGES as well, with the most recent appearance of this wine showing up in . Since it is currently not available at the LCBO, you can contact Halpern Enterprises to order this wine by the case.

Hecht & Bannier Côtes du Roussillon-Villages 2008 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

HECHT & BANNIER CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON-VILLAGES 2008 - AC, Midi, France (#142802) (XD) - $22.95
A blend of mostly Grenache with some Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan. Prune, dried fig and leathery aromas from the cork. In this glass, this has a fragrant, mature nose of garrigue, wet earth/forest floor, blackberry, along with subtle hints of dried floral, dried cherry and sweet oak spice. It's full-bodied and somewhat chalky textured on the palate with smooth tannins that are well-integrated and nearly fully resolved. Complex garrigue, dark fruit, blackberry, and hints of fig with flavours moving towards savoury on the mid-palate. Acids are juicy. The finish is long and savoury with touches of florality, dried cherry, bitterness, and mineral. Showing fine complexity and maturity and should drink well for another 2-3 years. Lovely! Score: 91 pts


Sunday, July 16, 2017

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  • Sunday, July 16, 2017

Claude Gros La Condamine Paulignan Minervois 2013 (Midi) - Wine Review

wine review is a new wine that will be released into LCBO VINTAGES on .

This red wine is produced by Select Vins, which is a collaboration between Château de la Négly owner, Jean Paux-Rosset, and his consulting winemaker, Claude Gros. Together, they have assembled some of the best grape growers from across the appellations of the Languedoc, including this wine from Minervois, which is located in the western part of the AOC.

Claude Gros La Condamine Paulignan Minervois 2013 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

CLAUDE GROS LA CONDAMINE PAULIGNAN MINERVOIS 2013 - AC, Midi, France (#493528) (XD) - $17.95
Raised completely in concrete tanks, this is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault. Dark fruit and sweet spice aromas from the cork. In the glass, it has dark fruits, rosemary herb, and olive notes joined by an earthy component and green leafy aromas of modest intensity. The palate is medium-full bodied with bright, spicy acids. Dusty tannins are a touch drying and add nice texture. Flavour profile is ripe with dark fruits, currant, black pepper, and earthy with a resinous character, Finish length is very good. Enjoy over the next 5-6 years. Score: 88 pts


Saturday, June 10, 2017

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  • Saturday, June 10, 2017

Château de la Négly La Natice 2016 (Midi) - Rosé Wine Review

National Rosé Day is celebrated annually on the second Saturday of June, and this year it falls on . wine to celebrate National Rosé Day is this delicious dry rosé from the Languedoc in France.

Château de la Negly is the producer of wine review and is located in the Languedoc, overlooking the Mediterranean, in the massif of La Clape. This privileged geographical location has a unique synergy of elements taking place: stroked by sea spray, buffeted between the Tramontane (wind) and the sea wind, and the land is bathed by the Mediterranean sun which warms up the berries. The terroir in this area is rich in alluvium. The Château has been around since the 18th century and is currently managed by the Paux-Rosset family with the assistance of consultant oenologist, Claude Gros.

This rosé wine will be available at the LCBO as part of the upcoming VINTAGES Release. A full wine review of this wine is posted below.

Share your special rosé experience on social media by using the hashtag #NationalRoséDay. What's in your glass today?

Château de la Négly La Natice 2016 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU DE LA NÉGLY LA NATICE 2016 - AP Languedoc, Midi, France (#492199) (XD) - $23.95
Made using the saignée method and consisting of 70% Mourvèdre, and rest equal parts Syrah and Cinsault. Enclosed using a glass stopper. Clean, medium-high intensity aromatics offer red currant, strawberry, red cherry, orange blossom and banana notes that echo on the palate, plus some watermelon flavours. It's medium-bodied and dry with crisp, refreshing acids. Some herbally notes arrive as it warms up in the glass. Finish length is very good with hints of earthy minerality. Score: 90 pts


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

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  • Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Château de Fontenelles Renaissance Corbières 2013 (Midi) - Wine Review

On night, I opened up this delicious red wine that will be available at the LCBO as part of the upcoming VINTAGES Release.

This red wine is produced by Château de Fontenelles, a winery located in the north-westerly commune of Douzens in Corbières. The Domaine, with over 40 hectares of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, and Mourvèdre, has been part of the family for five generations and is currently family-owned and operated by Thierry Tastu and his wife Nelly.

The vines for this wine are grown on argilo-limestone soil on the slopes of Mont Alaric, allowing the grapes to develop well due to the cooler temperatures. Two types of vinification was used to produce this wine: Cold vinification for a few days to preserve the quality of the tannins, and strict temperature-controlled vinification of whole grape clusters.

Château de Fontenelles Renaissance Corbières 2013 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU DE FONTENELLES RENAISSANCE CORBIÈRES 2013 - AP, Midi, France (#148692) (D) - $19.95
A blend of 55% Syrah, 25% Grenache, and 20% Carignan/Mourvèdre. Aromas of black plum, blackberry, and oak spice from the cork. In the glass, there are aromas of black pepper, blackberry and whiffs of violets, herbs and forest floor notes of medium-high intensity. Pleasing aroma replays continue on the medium-full bodied and dry palate with rich, structured tannins and very good acidity. Lovely savoury barnyard, meaty notes arrive with air and linger through to the long, earthy finish. Enjoyable now, but should improve in 2-3 years and drink well to 2024. Score: 89 pts


Thursday, October 13, 2016

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  • Thursday, October 13, 2016

Domaine Galaman Fitou 2013 (Midi) - Wine Review

wine is included as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release on .

This red wine comes from Langeudoc's Fitou appellation in southern France, bordering the Mediterranean sea. Fitou is one of the oldest wine sub-appellations in the Languedoc-Roussillon and the primary grapes grown in the region are Grenache, Carignan, Mourvèdre, and Syrah.

Domaine Galaman is produced by Jean Paux-Rosset (owner of Château de la Négly) and his consulting winemaker Claude Gros. The area has a multi-coloured sandy schist soil-type that naturally imparts acidity and elegance to the grapes.

Domaine Galaman Fitou 2013 - AP, Midi, France (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

DOMAINE GALAMAN FITOU 2013 - AP, Midi, France (#395467) (XD) - $14.95
Ripe black plum, blackberry and dark cherry aromas from the cork. This blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah has earthy mineral aromas that give way to blackberry and currant, with herbal and gentle baking spice accents. Quite dense on the full bodied palate with currant, herbally, dark berry, and boysenberry flavours. Acids are mouth-watering and the fine tannins are a touch drying. Finish length is very good. Approachable now, but should improve in 1-2 years and enjoy over the next half dozen years. Score: 88 pts


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

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  • Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Château Rigaud 2012 (Midi) - Wine Review

Opened up this pretty red wine from Midi tonight ahead of its VINTAGES Release on .

This wine comes from Languedoc's Faugères appellation, located 20 km northwest of Beziers, a town just off the Mediterranean sea. Château Rigaud is produced by Jean Paux-Rosset, owner of Château de la Négly, and his consulting winemaker, Claude Gros. The Faugères area has multi-coloured sandy schist soils that naturally imparts acidity and elegance to the grapes. Furthermore, the area is unique in that it has the only homogeneous terroir in the region.

Château Rigaud 2012 - AP Faugères, Midi, France (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU RIGAUD 2012 - AP Faugères, Midi, France (#393561) (XD) - $16.95
Blend of 55% Syrah, 26% Mourvèdre and 19% Grenache, from organically-grown grapes on flaky schist soils with southern exposure. Black plum, dark fruit and some sweet oak spice aromas from the cork. Initially a rustic earthy nose that gives way to ripe blackberry, black cherry, and hints of floral and sweet oak spice. With air, lovely floral aromas really pop from the glass. Full-bodied on the palate with pretty floral, red and black fruits, and sweet oak spice flavours layered over earth. Slightly tart acids are fresh and juicy. Fine-grained tannins gain texture in the glass. Long, satisfying finish with hints of minerality. A lot going on in this bottle, evolving very nicely from sip-to-sip. Enjoy tasting and smelling this pretty wine over an evening. Score: 88 pts


Friday, June 24, 2016

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  • Friday, June 24, 2016

VINTAGES Release June 25: Southern France + Canada Day

LCBO Wine Picks from VINTAGES Release June 25, 2016
The VINTAGES Release on June 25 features wines from southern France as its main theme, while the mini-theme highlights some wines for a Canada Day picnic. All these wines will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves this coming Saturday.

From the main theme on wines from southern France - which in this release encompasses the regions of Southwest, Languedoc, Roussillon, Rhône and Provence - 3 of the 16 wines made my list of wine picks, and all are red wines. We'll begin with the Domaine les Yeuses Syrah, one of the best values around, year-after-year. Also in this release is the Domaine de l'Alba l'Ermite that is a blend of 60% Carignan, 30% Grenache, and 10% Syrah. Lastly, the Domaine des Terrisses is a rich blend, mostly consisting of grapes you've likely never heard of - 60% Braucol (a.k.a. Fer Servadou), 20% Duras, and 20% Syrah.

Domaine de l'Alba l'Ermite 2013 - AC Corbières, Midi, France (88 pts)

To celebrate Canada Day with some Canadian wine, there is a fine selection of wines, all of which happen to come from Ontario. Among my wine recommendations for Canada Day celebrations is a 55/45 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, an always delicious off-dry Riesling, a lovely oaked Baco Noir - a grape I generally don't like but found this wine to be quite nice, and an Icewine that's rarely made using Chardonnay. A pair of rosé wines not included as part of the "Canada Day" theme, but can certainly be opened to celebrate the day include a dry rosé from Southbrook, and an off-dry version from Wildass.

Henry of Pelham Reserve Baco Noir 2013 - VQA Ontario, Canada (90 pts)Southbrook Triomphe Organic Cabernet Franc Rosé 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88 pts)

Among the red wines from the rest of the release, the Australian wine is a biodynamic wine made using a 65/35 blend of Shiraz and Grenache, while the Amarone is a blend of 65% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, and 15% Corvinone.

In white wines, the Gavi is made with the Cortese varietal. And for sweet wine lovers, in order from least sweetest to most sweetest, look for the Gewürztraminer or the Rieslings from Alsace, Niagara, or Germany.

Enjoy my wine recommendations for this week. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • DOMAINE LES YEUSES LES ÉPICES SYRAH 2013 - IGP Pays d’Oc, Midi, France (#177584) (XD) - $15.95
  • DOMAINE DE L’ALBA L’ERMITE 2013 - AC Corbières, Midi, France (#446138) (XD) - $17.00  reviewed here
  • DOMAINE DES TERRISSES GRANDE TRADITION GAILLAC 2012 - AC, Southwest, France (#451922) (XD) - $17.95
  • KACABA CABERNET/SYRAH 2013 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#317925) (XD) - $18.95  reviewed here
  • PAXTON AAA SHIRAZ/GRENACHE 2013 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#149898) (D) - $19.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM RESERVE BACO NOIR 2013 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#461699) (D) - $24.95  reviewed here
  • CA’ VIOLA BRICHET BARBERA D’ALBA 2012 - DOC, Piedmont, Italy (#452813) (XD) - $36.95  reviewed here
  • PODERE LA CAPPELLA QUERCIOLO CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA 2011 - Unfiltered, DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#095893) (XD) - $38.95  FSE
  • GEMMA GIBLIN RISERVA BAROLO 2007 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#185025) (XD) - $38.95
  • MONTE DEL FRÁ LENA DI MEZZO AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2011 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#047506) (D) - $53.95  reviewed here
  • CHIMNEY ROCK CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California, USA (#731810) (XD) - $99.95

Ca' Viola Brichet Barbera d'Alba 2012 - DOC, Piedmont, Italy (91 pts) Monte del Frá Lena di Mezzo Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (92 pts)

White Wine:

  • JARDIN INSPECTOR PÉRINGUEY CHENIN BLANC 2014 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#443473) (XD) - $15.95
  • BERSANO GAVI DI GAVI 2014 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#999979) (XD) - $16.95  reviewed here
  • EL GORDO DEL CIRCO VERDEJO 2014 - DO Rueda, Spain (#441220) (XD) - $17.95
  • CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2013 - Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#302059) (D) - $17.95
  • PARKER COONAWARRA ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2014 - South Australia (#447029) (XD) - $19.95
  • ST. URBANS-HOF OLD VINES RIESLING 2014 - Qualitätswein, Mosel, Germany (#995746) (M) - $21.95  reviewed here
  • HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE RIESLING 2014 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#183491) (D) - $23.95
  • DOMAINE BOTT-GEYL SCHOENENBOURG GRAND CRU RIESLING 2012 - AC Alsace, France (#456970) (D) - $50.95  FSE
  • TOLPUDDLE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2013 - Tasmania, Australia (#447045) (XD) - $58.95  FSE
Bersano Gavi di Gavi 2014 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (88 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • WILDASS ROSÉ 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#071712) (D) - $17.95
  • SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE ORGANIC CABERNET FRANC ROSÉ 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#279117) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here

Dessert Wine:

  • TAWSE CHARDONNAY ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#443739) (S) (200 mL) - $34.95


Friday, June 10, 2016

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  • Friday, June 10, 2016

Domaine de l'Alba l'Ermite 2013 (Midi) - Wine Review

wine is a sneak preview of a red wine blend that is new to the LCBO and will be on shelves as part of the VINTAGES Release on .

This wine is produced by Select Vins - a collaboration between Jean Paux-Rosset (owner of Château de la Négly) and his consulting winemaker, Claude Gros. Together, they have assembled some of the best grape growers across the appellations of the Languedoc. The grapes for this delicious wine come from Corbières, the largest Languedoc appellation.

Domaine de l’Alba l’Ermite 2013 - AC Corbières, Midi, France (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

DOMAINE DE L'ALBA L'ERMITE 2013 - AC Corbières, Midi, France (#446138) (XD) - $17.00
This blend of (60%) Carignan, (30%) Grenache, and (10%) Syrah is aged 6 months in concrete vats, followed by 6 months in French oak barrels. Plum and cherry aromas from the cork. An earthy, underbrush, clove nose of medium intensity gives way to brambly, cherry, violet, and spicebox aromas. It's medium-bodied with light, supple tannins that develop texture with air. Appealing on the palate with flavours of herbal, dark cherry, plum, menthol and spice. It has juicy acids, a smooth and silky mouthfeel, and very good length on the finish. Enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Recommended buy. Score: 88 pts


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

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  • Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Lacroix-Vanel Fine Amor Pézenas 2008 (Midi) - Wine Review

wine is this delightful offering from Lacroix-Vanel that was purchased from a VINTAGES Release back in .

Lacroix-Vanel Fine Amor Pézenas 2008 - AC Coteaux du Languedoc, Midi, France (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

LACROIX-VANEL FINE AMOR PÉZENAS 2008 - AC Coteaux du Languedoc, Midi, France (#343418) (XD) - $19.95
About 50% Grenache, with Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvedre and Carignan making up the other half of the blend. Black cherry, plum and barnyard aromas from the cork. Medium+ intensity, perfumed nose of dried herbs, garrigue, black fruits, blackberry surrounded by earthy, barnyard elements. It is medium-to-full bodied with chunky, dusty tannins that are slightly drying, but well supported by good fruit concentration. Yummy flavours of violets, black cherry, black berry, and oak spices. It has juicy acids and is long finishing with earthy, black cherry flavours. Fantastic! Enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 90 pts


Monday, February 1, 2016

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  • Monday, February 1, 2016

February 6 VINTAGES Release: Southern France + South Africa + Valentines

LCBO Wine Picks from February 6, 2016 VINTAGES Release
The VINTAGES Release will be on shelves this coming and continues the on-going theme of the year to focus on wine regions offering good value wines. In this edition, wines from Southern Franc are the main theme, while the mini-theme focuses on wines from South Africa. Also featured in this release are wines for .

Southern France is a large wine region bordering the Mediterranean coast that in this release comprises of Languedoc, Roussillon and Provence. Of the 11 wines featured from this region, 4 are included in my list of wine picks. First up is an extra-dry sparkling wine from Gérard Bertrand that consists of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Mauzac. In red wines, the Secret de Schistes is 100% Syrah, while the wine from Cave de Roquebrun is a blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre. Lastly, there is a 12-year-old blend of old vines Carignan, Grenache and Syrah from Château des Erles that is made only in the best years.

From South Africa, two of the eight wines are included among my wine picks. One of the principal varietals that South Africa does well is Chenin Blanc. The Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc is a dry take on the varietal from old vines that are nearly 40 years old. The other South African wine is also a white wine from the very interesting Avondale Wines that is a Chenin Blanc driven blend which also includes Roussanne, Muscat de Frontignan, Viognier and Semillon.

Wines for Valentine's Day celebrations include Champagnes from Lallier Rose (80/20 Pinot Noir/Chardonnay) and the 2008 Taittinger, as well as the Cabernet Franc Icewine from Lakeview Cellars.

Lakeview Cellars Cabernet Franc Icewine 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)Tiago Cabaço .com Premium White 2014 - Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal (88 pts)

From the rest of the release, Tiago Cabaço is an intriguing white wine blend of Antão Vaz, Verdelho, and Viognier, while the white Burgundies are all Chardonnay.

In red wines, the Fielding Red from the excellent 2012 Niagara vintage is a blend of 68% Cabernet Franc, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah and 6% Petit Verdot. The Quadrus Red from Portugal is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (a.k.a. Tempranillo) and Souzão, while the Valpolicella is 80% Corvina/Corvinone and 20% Rondinella.

Enjoy my wine recommendations for the week! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • BOUTARI NAOUSSA XINOMAVRO 2013 - Naoussa, Greece (#023218) (XD) - $13.95
  • VIÑA TARAPACÁ GRAN RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2013 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#057513) (D) - $17.95
  • FIELDING RED CONCEPTION 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#189183) (D) - $18.95
  • CAVE DE ROQUEBRUN LA GRANGE DES COMBES SAINT-CHINIAN-ROQUEBRUN 2013 - AC, Midi, France (#155804) (XD) - $18.95
  • CONCHA Y TORO MARQUES DE CASA CONCHA MERLOT 2013 - Maule Valley, Chile (#939827) (XD) - $19.95
  • MONTE DEL FRÁ LENA DI MEZZO VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO CLASSICO SUPERIORE 2013 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#165662) (D) - $19.95
  • QUADRUS RED 2010 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#440305) (XD) - $21.95
  • CHÂTEAU DES ERLES FITOU 2004 - AC, Midi, France (#654590) (XD) - $25.95
  • SECRET DE SCHISTES 2011 - IGP Côtes Catalanes, Midi, France (#440669) (XD) - $41.95
  • SAN GIACOMO BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#434548) (XD) - $49.95
  • LA JOTA HOWELL MOUNTAIN ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California, USA (#659755) (D) - $94.95

White Wine:

  • AVONDALE JONTY’S DUCKS PEKIN WHITE 2014 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#439554) (XD) - $14.95
  • TIAGO CABAÇO .COM PREMIUM WHITE 2014 - Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal (#429316) (XD) - $14.95  reviewed here
  • EMILIANA NATURA UNOAKED CHARDONNAY 2015 - Casablanca Valley, Chile (#439398) (XD) - $15.95
  • CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY MUSQUÉ 2014 - Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#246579) (D) - $16.95
  • KEN FORRESTER OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC 2015 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#231282) (XD) - $17.95
  • PIERRE SPARR SCHOENENBOURG RIESLING 2011 - AC Alsace Grand Cru, Alsace, France (#664995) (XD) - $22.95  FSE
  • LOUIS MOREAU DOMAINE DE BIÉVILLE CHABLIS 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#106161) (XD) - $25.95
  • DOMAINE DE BELLENE LES CHARMES DESSUS SANTENAY 2013 - AC, Burgundy, France (#435032) (XD) - $35.95
  • DOMAINE LAROCHE VIEILLES VIGNES LES VAILLONS CHABLIS 1 ER CRU 2012 - AC, Burgundy, France (#991893) (XD) - $36.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • GÉRARD BERTRAND CUVÉE THOMAS JEFFERSON BRUT CRÉMANT DE LIMOUX 2013 - Méthode Traditionnelle, AC, Languedoc, France (#438838) (XD) - $19.95
  • LALLIER GRAND CRU ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE - AC, Champagne, France (#385179) (D) - $56.95
  • TAITTINGER BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2008 - AC, Champagne, France (#989905) (XD) - $97.95

Dessert Wine:

  • GRÓF DEGENFELD TOKAJI SZAMORODNI SWEET 2010 - Hungary (#433946) (S) (500 mL) - $18.95
  • LAKEVIEW CABERNET FRANC ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#053397) (S) (200 mL) - $29.95  reviewed here


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

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  • Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Domaine les Yeuses les Épices Syrah 2011 (Midi) - Wine Review

Tonight's delicious wine was purchased in the Spring of 2014 from the VINTAGES Release. This red wine has been a frequent arrival on LCBO VINTAGES - however, the 2012 vintage was last released in , so we should see the 2013 vintage arrive soon.

Domaine les Yeuses les Épices Syrah 2011 - IGP Pays d’Oc, Midi, France (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

DOMAINE LES YEUSES LES ÉPICES SYRAH 2011 - IGP Pays d’Oc, Midi, France (#177584) (XD) - $14.95
Synthetic rubber cork. Medium+ intensity nose featuring complex earthy, olive, black pepper, dark fruit and hints of smoke aromas. It's full-bodied with savoury aroma replays and some mocha and baking spice notes on the palate. Very good length on the finish. With balanced acidity and dusty tannins that are integrating quite nicely, this should continue to drink well over the next 2-3 years. Score: 88 pts


Saturday, July 25, 2015

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  • Saturday, July 25, 2015

Château de Treviac 2012 (Midi) - Wine Review

Tonight's red wine is a sneak preview and will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves on .

Château de Treviac is the property of young and dynamic winemaker Arnaud Sié. The property itself is located in Talairan, which lies between Carcassonne and Perpignan, just off the coast of the Balearic Sea and north of the Spanish border in the Corbières appellation of Languedoc-Roussillon (Midi), France. Arnaud took over the responsibility of his family's estate in 2000 and now controls 20 hectares of vineyards, 14 of which are in the Corbières appellation. The vineyards are situated at an altitude between 200 to 350 metres above sea level on rocky limestone-clay soils and surrounded by garrigue.


CHÂTEAU DE TREVIAC 2012 - AP Corbières, Midi, France (#670505) (XD) - $16.95

Château de Treviac 2012 from AP Corbières, Midi, France (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

Unoaked blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache. Vanilla and cocoa aromas from the cork. Medium intensity nose with aromas of blackberry, black pepper, herbs and a hint of garrigue. The palate is medium+ bodied with rounded tannins and appealing flavours of black fruits, black pepper, sage and hints of blue fruit. It has very good acids and a slightly earthy, lengthy finish. Well balanced. Will be enjoyed with homemade Lamb Souvlaki. Score: 89 pts


Sunday, August 17, 2014

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  • Sunday, August 17, 2014

Wine Reviews - August 16th Birthday Party

Here are wine reviews of some of the wines we enjoyed yesterday at my 1-year-old daughter's 1st birthday party. The big winners among guests were definitely the Minervois and the Crianza as I received lots of positive comments about both of those red wines.

Tasting Notes:
KÖNIGSCHAFFHAUSER VULKANFELSEN PINOT NOIR ROSÉ TROCKEN 2013 - Qualitätswein, Baden, Germany (#168237) (D) - $13.95
From the Vintages release and quite a few remain in stock depending on which LCBO is nearest to you. Fresh aromas of medium+ intensity with a nose of strawberry, rose, cherry and grapefruit. It's light-to-medium bodied and off-dry on the palate with more grapefruit, cherry and hints of honey flavours. Very fresh mouthfeel with zippy, refreshing acids. Good length on the finish. Score: 88 pts
Wine Review of 2013 Königschaffhauser Vulkanfelsen Pinot Noir Rosé Trocken from Baden, Germany

ERRÁZURIZ MAX RESERVA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Aconcagua Costa, Chile (#273342) (XD) - $15.95
First tasted at the Errázuriz winemaker tasting . Highly aromatic gooseberry, cat pee, and herbal aromas from the glass. Light-to-medium bodied on the palate along with a slightly creamy texture. Balanced aroma replays, plus green pepper, lime peel notes on the palate. Has lively acidity and a lengthy finish. Classic Sauvignon Blanc. LCBO General List and on sale at select LCBO outlets. Score: 89 pts

Wine Review of 2013 Errázuriz Max Reserva Sauvignon Blanc from Aconcagua Valley, Chile

VINELAND ESTATES SEMI-DRY RIESLING 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#232033) (D) - $13.95
LCBO General List product. Medium-high aromas that show lemon, pear, tropical fruit and hint of petrol. Slight spritz on the off-dry palate with lively acids, lemon, mineral, and touch of honeyed fruit flavours. Finish is lengthy, with sweetness tapering off to a dry finish. Even though designated as "semi-dry", was not as sweet as I expected. Score: 88+ pts

Wine Review of 2012 Vineland Estates Semi-Dry Riesling from VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada

CHÂTEAU DE GOURGAZAUD CUVÉE MATHILDE MINERVOIS 2011 - AC, Midi, France (#958629) (XD) - $14.95
From Vintages release. Blend of Syrah and Mourvèdre. Medium+ aroma intensity with blackberry, blackcherry and hints of violet. On the palate, it's medium-full bodied with round tannins that are nicely integrated. Pleasing aroma replays, along with black pepper and red cherry notes. Acids are well-balanced. Finish is long and smooth. Score: 88 pts

Wine Review of 2011 Château de Gourgazaud Cuvée Mathilde Minervois from AC, Midi, France

ABAD DOM BUENO CRIANZA 2006 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#244699) (XD) - $14.95
From the Vintages release and virtually sold out. Made using the Mencía grape and highly fragrant with sinewy black fruits, violets, smoky oak and hint of barnyard from the glass. On the palate, it's full-bodied with very nice aroma replays, earthy and elegant oak spice. Big, smooth tannins are still full and integrating nicely. Very good acids and length. Ageing gracefully at 8 years old, will reward further 4-5 years in cellar. Expect some sediment. Reminds me of a Brunello. Amazing value. Score: 90 pts
Wine Review of 2006 Abad Dom Bueno Crianza from DO Bierzo, Spain


Monday, August 11, 2014

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  • Monday, August 11, 2014

Aug. 16 LCBO Wine Picks: Southern Belles + Malbec

Wine Picks from August 16, 2014 LCBO Vintages Magazine
The next Vintages release will be in LCBO outlets across Ontario on . The major theme of this release highlights wines from the South of France, a region frequently referred to as Midi or Languedoc, while the second theme focuses on Argentina's signature grape - Malbec.

I was surprised to see only 12 wines listed in the South of France feature as it's rather small compared to recent main Vintages themes. However, nearly half made my list of wine picks, and the lone white is a Viognier. Among the reds, 2 wines from Minervois appellation made the cut. From Gourgazaud is a blend of Syrah and Mourvèdre, while the version from Hecht & Bannier is mostly Syrah, some Grenache, and drops of Carignan. Also from Hecht & Bannier is their Saint-Chinian, which is mainly Syrah, with Grenache and Mourvèdre blended in support, all of which hails from the Saint-Chinian AOC. And lastly, from Gérard Bertrand is a blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache and comes from the Pic Saint-Loup appellation.

The feature on Argentina's Malbec was a bit disappointing as there were some good wines, but represented poor value. Just one of the six wines made my list of recommendations below. The Malbec from Finca Decero hails from a single vineyard located 1,050 metres above sea level in Agrelo.

From the rest of the release, the Basa Blanco is a crisp, dry white wine that is a blend consisting of 85% Verdejo, 12% Viura, and 3% Sauvignon Blanc. Sweet wine lovers will want to consider any of the 4 Rieslings I've recommended below - there are two each from Ontario and Germany. The Tavel Rosé is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvèdre. In red wines, the Crianza is mostly Tempranillo, with Garnacha tinta (Grenache) and Graciano also blended in. And finally, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is 70% Grenache, with Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault and other grape varieties making up the final 30% of the blend.

Enjoy my Vintages wine recommendations for this week. Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • CHÂTEAU DE GOURGAZAUD CUVÉE MATHILDE MINERVOIS 2011 - AC, Midi, France (#958629) (XD) - $14.95
  • LÓPEZ DE HARO CRIANZA 2008 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#377481) (XD) - $15.95
  • CASA SILVA LOS LINGUES GRAN RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2012 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#059477) (XD) - $15.95
  • GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR PIC SAINT LOUP 2011 - AP Coteaux du Languedoc, Midi, France (#376491) (XD) - $19.95
  • HECHT & BANNIER MINERVOIS 2011 - AC, Midi, France (#017764) (XD) - $20.95
  • DECERO REMOLINOS VINEYARD MALBEC 2011 - Agrelo, Central Region, Mendoza, Argentina (#247304) (XD) - $22.95
  • HECHT & BANNIER SAINT-CHINIAN 2011 - AC, Midi, France (#184184) (XD) - $25.95  reviewed here
  • VILLA ANNABERTA AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA 2010 - DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#338921) (D) - $39.95
  • DOMAINE MONPERTUIS CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2010 - AC, Rhone, France (#358663) (XD) - $42.95
  • RAYMOND DISTRICT COLLECTION CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2009 - St. Helena, Napa Valley, California, USA (#054734) (XD) - $74.95

White Wine:
  • GUILLAUME AURÈLE VIOGNIER 2013 - IGP Pays d’Oc, Midi, France (#380741) (XD) - $13.95
  • POIRON DABIN VIEILLES VIGNES MUSCADET SÈVRE & MAINE SUR LIE 2012 - AC, Loire, France (#380006) (XD) - $14.95
  • BASA BLANCO 2013 - DO Rueda, Spain (#381558) (XD) - $17.95
  • REDSTONE LIMESTONE VINEYARD SOUTH RIESLING 2012 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#381251) (M) - $18.95  reviewed here
  • VINELAND ESTATES ELEVATION ST. URBAN VINEYARD RIESLING 2012 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#038117) (M) - $19.95
  • REICHSGRAF VON KESSELSTATT KASELER NIES'CHEN RIESLING KABINETT 2006 - Pradikätswein, Mosel, Germany (#940809) (MD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • DR. HERMANN ERDENER TREPPCHEN RIESLING AUSLESE 2005 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#376368) (M) - $23.95
  • NORMAN HARDIE NIAGARA UNFILTERED CHARDONNAY 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#184432) (XD) - $39.20
  • DOMAINE BILLAUD-SIMON LES VAILLONS CHABLIS 1 ER CRU 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#330175) (XD) - $39.95

Rosé Wine:
  • DOMAINE LA ROCALIÈRE TAVEL ROSÉ 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#375618) (XD) - $19.95

Fortifieds:
  • VALDESPINO INOCENTE SINGLE VINEYARD FINO DRY SHERRY - DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, Spain (#378919) (XD) - $22.95



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


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