Showing posts with label new-zealand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new-zealand. Show all posts

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  • Date publishedSunday, October 4, 2020

Kahurangi Mount Arthur Reserve Riesling 2017 (New Zealand) - Wine Review



wine review is this lovely medium dry (i.e. somewhat sweet), vegan-friendly Riesling from New Zealand. This white wine is new to the LCBO and arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on - with plenty of bottles available in store, or online ordering for pick-up in store or home delivery.

The story of Kahurangi begins in 1973 when they planted their first Riesling vines - which are now some of the oldest on the South Island - while the Kahurangi brand was born in 1998, bringing together four families with a shared desire to craft wines that people will love. Kahurangi Estate is a small, boutique winery near Nelson, South Island, specialising in hand-made wines dedicated to quality.

Kahurangi is a Māori word with multiple meanings such as "treasured possession" and "precious jewel", while the logo is a stylised Nikau palm which is commonly found in the valleys and west coast beaches of the Kahurangi National Park.

Mt. Arthur is one of the highest mountains in Kahurangi National Park at 1,795 metres above sea level and stands as a magnificent backdrop to Kahurangi Estate vineyard. Kahurangi selected Mt. Arthur for their range of premium Reserve wines which stand out for their superior quality and structure.

The grapes for this delicious Riesling come from their estate vineyard in Upper Moutere, on soils that are made up of Moutere clay that add richness and texture to the grapes. Although 2017 was a challenging growing season, it was a longer than average flowering period with cooler summer temperatures. Harvest was also later than usual, but with careful vineyard management the fruit looked great! Let's see how this Riesling is tasting tonight...

Kahurangi Mount Arthur Reserve Riesling 2017 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

KAHURANGI MOUNT ARTHUR RESERVE RIESLING 2017 - Nelson, South Island, New Zealand (#14559) (M) - $23.95
Screw cap. Vegan-friendly. Lovely, elegant floral, lemon/lime, and peach aromas with a touch of petrol rising out of the glass. The textured, medium+ bodied palate is both slightly tart and honeyed with lemon pith and floral flavours in a slightly sweet profile that is balanced by lively acidity. It's chalky textured with floral and touches of earthy mineral on the long, dry, slightly taut finish. Enjoyable now, but should provide even more pleasure in a couple of years. Score: 89 pts

The Kahurangi Estate Sauvignon Blanc arrived in LCBO VINTAGES this weekend, while other wines from their portfolio can be ordered via their Agent - Rare Earth Wines.


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  • Date publishedSunday, May 3, 2020

May 2, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Popular Demand + New Zealand

LCBO Wine Picks: May 2, 2020 VINTAGES Release
The main theme of the LCBO VINTAGES Release features Favourite Wines that are back by Popular Demand, while the mini-theme focuses on wines from New Zealand. Wines arrived in the top 51 LCBO stores across Ontario and online yesterday, while another 50 stores will receive bottles a week after Release.

We begin with the main theme that features 21 Customer Favourites that are return to shelves by Popular Demand. A couple of these were recommended by me late last year - the Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2017 and Terrazas de Los Andes Reserva Malbec 2017, in case you were wondering - so I didn't include them this time around, thus, only two wines are included among my top wine picks. First up is the latest edition of the excellent Montes Purple Angel that consists of 92% Carmenere and 8% Petit Verdot. The only other wine from this portion of the Release is a Rioja that is a blend of 80% Tempranillo, 12% Graciano, 6% Mazuelo, and 2% Garnacha.

Montes Purple Angel 2017 (92 pts)

The mini-theme focuses on wines from New Zealand, a land of plenty with stellar scenery and a range of top-notch wines (as I discovered while visiting NZ earlier this year - more to come on this). Of the nine wines featured, five are included among my top wine recommendations. The four white wines are all New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wines from the 2018 vintage. However, they do differ by the regions that the grapes were grown in - ranging from Marlborough in the South Island, including the sub-region of the Awatere Valley, and Wairarapa on the North Island, which also encompasses the sub-region of Martinborough. Trying all four side-by-side would be a great comparison! The lone red wine from New Zealand is from Hawke's Bay and consists of roughly 72% Merlot, 18% Syrah, 5% Malbec, and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Babich Black Label Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (89 pts)Elephant Hill Le Phant 2016 (89 pts)

Among my red wine picks, we start with Romanian wine that is made using Fetească Neagră (Black Maiden) grape. There is also an unoaked red from Languedoc that is made with 50% Carignan, 30% Syrah, and 20% Grenache. From Italy, the excellent Chianti Classico consists of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, and 5% Syrah, while the lovely California Cabernet Sauvignon includes 17% Malbec.

Isole e Olena Chianti Classico 2016 (92 pts)The Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (92+ pts)

Budureasca Premium Fetească Neagră 2016 (87 pts)

There are no multi-varietal blends among my white wine picks. Single varietal white wines include a Muscadet that is made with the Melon de Bourgogne grape, and an excellent Greco di Tufo. For those that prefer sweeter wines, look to Riesling, such as the off-dry version from Flat Rock or the medium-sweet version from Thirty Bench.

Nativ Greco di Tufo 2018 (90+ pts)Thirty Bench Winemaker's Blend Riesling 2017 (90 pts)

Enjoy my recommendations from this Release! Cheers and stay safe!

Red Wine:

  • BUDUREASCA PREMIUM FETEASCĂ NEAGRĂ 2016 - DOC-CMD Dealu Mare, Romania (#263913) (XD) - $16.95  87 pts  wine review
  • TEDESCHI CAPITEL NICALÒ VALPOLICELLA SUPERIORE 2018 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#984997) (XD) - $17.95
  • CHÂTEAU OLLIEUX ROMANIS CUVÉE CLASSIQUE CORBIÈRES 2017 - AC, Languedoc, France (#568444) (XD) - $18.95
  • ROCKCLIFFE THIRD REEF CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017 - Great Southern, Western Australia (#12910) (XD) - $19.95
  • SUTHERLAND SYRAH 2015 - WO Elgin, South Africa (#13349) (XD) - $19.95
  • ELEPHANT HILL LE PHANT 2016 - Certified sustainable, Hawke's Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#447367) (XD) - $23.95  89 pts  wine review
  • SPERLING VINEYARDS PINOT NOIR 2018 - VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#382283) (XD) - $28.95
  • MARQUÉS DE MURRIETA FINCA YGAY RESERVA 2015 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#209148) (XD) - $29.95
  • ISOLE E OLENA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2016 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#704346) (XD) - $34.95  92 pts  wine review
  • MONTES PURPLE ANGEL 2017 - DO Colchagua Valley, Chile (#62364) (XD) - $69.95  92 pts  wine review
  • THE HESS COLLECTION CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014 - Certified sustainable, Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, California, USA (#662015) (D) - $99.95  92+ pts  wine review

White Wine:

  • ZACHARIAS ASSYRTIKO 2018 - PGI Peloponnese, Greece (#588814) (XD) - $13.95
  • PIERRE-LUC BOUCHAUD SUR LIE MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE 2018 - AC, Loire, France (#82461) (XD) - $15.95
  • FLAT ROCK RIESLING 2018 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#43281) (D) - $17.95
  • BABICH BLACK LABEL SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Certified sustainable, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#9142) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • BORTHWICK VINEYARD PADDY BORTHWICK SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Wairarapa, North Island, New Zealand (#361220) (XD) - $19.95
  • TOHU SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Certified sustainable, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#536177) (XD) - $21.95
  • CAVE DE TURCKHEIM COLLECTION TERROIRS PINOT GRIS 2016 - AC Alsace, France (#12114) (XD) - $21.95
  • THIRTY BENCH WINEMAKER'S BLEND RIESLING 2017 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#24133) (M) - $22.95  90 pts  wine review
  • NATIV GRECO DI TUFO 2018 - DOCG, Campania, Italy (#13640) (D) - $23.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • CRAGGY RANGE TE MUNA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Martinborough, North Island, New Zealand (#466011) (XD) - $27.95

Rosé Wine:

  • HENRI GAILLARD ROSÉ 2019 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#450825) (XD) - $18.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • TAWSE SPARK LIMESTONE RIDGE ORGANIC SPARKLING RIESLING 2017 - Traditional method, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#370361) (XD) - $20.95

Dessert Wine:

  • CAVE SPRING RIESLING ICEWINE 2017 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#447441) (S) (375 mL) - $49.95

Fortified:

  • KOPKE 10-YEAR-OLD TAWNY PORT - Matured in wood, DOP, Portugal (#14049) (S) (375 mL) - $17.95


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  • Date publishedWednesday, April 22, 2020

Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

To celebrate , white wine review is this lovely Sustainably Crafted Sauvignon Blanc that I picked up while visiting the winery in New Zealand in March. More about my fabulous trip visiting wineries in New Zealand is coming soon, so stay tuned!

Spy Valley Wines was founded in the 1990's by Bryan and Jan Johnson in Waihopai Valley, Marlborough, and was named after its proximity to the international satellite communications monitoring station - a spy base - located just down the road. With a passion for the land, they established 180 hectares of estate vineyards on land considered too hard, too dry and too unfertile for wine and have become one of New Zealand’s most successful family-run wineries. The Johnson family chose the Spy Valley terroir back in 1993 for its stony, free draining riverbed terrain, with terraced vines enjoying both rocky riverside gravels and deeper clay and silt soils.

Today, Spy Valley’s commitment remains to the land and to the people who tend it as they are simply farmers at heart, nurturing soil and vine to cultivate the complexities in their wines. They are also focused on sustainability, which will ensure their guardianship of the land for generations to come.

The environment at Spy Valley has been one of the many secrets to their success. Since the beginning, Spy Valley Wines has been accredited under the New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowing initiative which promotes economically and environmentally sustainable vineyard management. Some of these initiatives include promoting biodiversity in and around the vineyards, using organic matter and compost to replace nutrients in the soils, minimising irrigation (2/3 of the vineyards are irrigation free), reducing energy use, and using low-toxic, environmentally-friendly products in the winery and vineyard.

Spy Valley abides by the principles to reduce, reuse and recycle throughout the winery. It is interesting to know that they crush their own bottles (which are made out of 96% recycled glass), providing them with a fine dust which they mulch and distribute below the grapevines to enhance light reflection.

This grapes for this Sustainably Crafted Sauvignon Blanc were grown in three places. The Waihopai Valley that has alluvial stony silt loams that are very well drained, the Mid Wairau Valley that has varying depths of alluvial silt loam over gravel and is well-drained, and from the Lower Wairau Valley which has deep alluvial silt deposits over gravel. All of the grapes were harvested in the cool mornings throughout the month of March and vinified in small vineyard batches until the final blending. It was predominantly fermented in stainless steel tanks, with several blocks fermented in barrels. The 2019 vintage was a very dry and warm growing season, bringing with it small yields with great fruit concentration.

This white wine always appears in LCBO VINTAGES (at least) once a year. The 2018 vintage showed up last Fall and small quantities are still available, while the 2019 vintage will arrive in LCBO VINTAGES in October later this year.

Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

SPY VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#686675) (XD) - $18.25
Screw cap. This Sustainably Crafted Sauvignon Blanc has a fresh, intense, yet restrained aromatics offering passion fruit, guava, lemon/lime citrus, gooseberry, nettle, and tropical fruit aromas with just a touch of leesy character. It is medium-full bodied on the richly concentrated and slightly creamy palate with very nice replays of passion fruit, guava, lime, and tart citrus flavours that are supported by fresh, vibrant acidity. Some tartness with mineral, citrus, and passion fruit notes linger on the finish, with very good length. Score: 89 pts


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  • Date publishedTuesday, April 14, 2020

Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

Following up on the delicious 2019 Yealands Sauvignon Blanc that I enjoyed late last year, tonight I am trying the 2018 vintage to see how it is holding up two years from vintage.

With the 2018 edition of this white wine, Yealands celebrated its 10th year of operations. Back in 2008, founder Peter Yealands set out to become one of the world’s most sustainable wine producers. He determined that the only way to craft truly beautiful, award-winning wines was in partnership with nature - a philosophy that holds true today and forms the basis of their approach to winemaking.

Peter Yealands is a third generation Marlborough native and his trademark "can do" attitude is the stuff of legend. The former founder had an irrepressible imagination, inexhaustible energy, and an unswerving passion for the land. He also had a career of leading-edge innovation across many industries. At the winery, they installed a large solar panel array on their winery roof, as well as bailed and burned their vine prunings to heat their water. The vision is to push boundaries, think innovatively and produce some of the most exceptional, and sustainable, wines around.

While this vintage is long gone from LCBO shelves, the latest vintage is the 2019 edition with its new label is widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario. Let's see how the 2018 is tasting tonight...

Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

YEALANDS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#277731) (XD) - $16.95
Screw cap and vegan-friendly, this NZ Sauvignon Blanc has an elegant, restrained nose of guava and passionfruit aromas followed by some lemon citrus, mint, and thyme notes. It's medium-bodied with bracing acidity that freshens the palate. Ripe and tart with flavours of lemon/lime citrus, guava, and gooseberry, with touches of pear and thyme. Well-balanced with touches of mineral on the mid-palate and very good length on the juicy, lip-smacking finish. Score: 89 pts


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  • Date publishedSunday, April 12, 2020

Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer 2019 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine review is this lovely Gewürztraminer that I picked up from the winery in Marlborough during my recent trip to New Zealand - just before all of the COVID-19 restrictions came into place here in Canada. More about my visit to Marlborough and other New Zealand winegrowing regions is coming soon, so stay tuned.

Johanneshof Cellars is an artisan boutique winery located in the mountainous locality of Koromiko, about 20 km north of Blenheim. It was established in 1991 by Edel Everling and Warwick Foley, two winemakers who were from opposites part of the globe.

Edel Everling, M.Sc.Oenology, grew up in Rheingau, Germany, in a winemaking family that had been making wine on both sides of her family for five generations. From an early age, Edel was helping in the vineyards overlooking the river Rhine, where vines grow on very steep slopes. The knowledge she gained here was beneficial when she met Warwick in New Zealand and helped him establish Marlborough's first steep hillside vineyard in 1977. Edel continued her travels and finished her degree in viticulture and oenology at Geisenheim University in Germany. She also worked at the world-renowned Wine Research Institute of Geisenheim in the Department of Grape Breeding and Grafting under the leadership of well-respected wine scientist Prof. Dr. Helmut Becker, which gave her an in-depth insight into vine growing and crafting wines from a scientific angle. Further knowledge was gained by working at different wineries and a distillery.

Warwick Foley is a 5th generation New Zealander and grew up on the property where Johanneshof Cellars resides. As a teenager, he planted one of the first vineyards in Marlborough on their steep hillside land in Koromiko in 1977, just four years after the first commercial grapes were introduced to Marlborough. This vineyard consisted of mainly Riesling, but was re-planted to Pinot Noir and named "Maybern Vineyard" in honour of Warwick's parents May and Bernhard. Warwick met Edel in the early 1980's while learning about winemaking and working at New Zealand's first wine research station in Te Kauwhata, near Hamilton. He took up viticulture and winemaking training in Germany, followed by working at various wineries in Rheingau and Baden.

Upon returning to New Zealand, Edel and Warwick combined European wine traditions with modern technology and founded one of Marlborough's pioneering artisan wineries to produce a collection of outstanding fine wines from New Zealand, such as this Gewürztraminer.

Johanneshof Cellars is renowned for producing multi-award winning table wines, classic Methode Traditionnelle sparkling wines, and some outstanding spirits such as Brandy and Grappa. They are part of New Zealand Winegrowers, an accredited member of New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowing, and a founding member of Methode Marlborough.

Unfortunately, the lovely wines from Johanneshof Cellars are currently not available in Ontario - or anywhere Canada for that matter. However, they are seeking representation and would love to have their wines in our market. If any Agents read this, you can inquire directly with the winery or reach out to me and I can connect you with Edel and Warwick.

Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer 2019 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

JOHANNESHOF CELLARS GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2019 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (D) - $31 NZD
Screw cap. This hand-harvested Gewürztraminer has a gorgeous, intense, focused, and very pure nose of lychee, rose floral, lemon citrus, and musky spice aromas. The concentrated, full-ish palate is off-dry with lovely lychee, floral and spice replays with touches of marzipan on the mid-palate. Bracing acids are juicy and keep things nicely balanced. More rose and lychee notes complete the dry finish, with excellent length. Top NZ Gewürztraminer! Score: 91 pts


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  • Date publishedMonday, February 10, 2020

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine review is a lovely Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand that will be arriving in LCBO VINTAGES on .

It is produced by the legendary Kevin Judd at Greywacke - his Marlborough label on the South Island of New Zealand. Greywacke is the fulfillment of a long-held dream, a name adopted by Kevin and his wife Kimberley for their first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura which has a high prevalence of rounded greywacke stones in the soils of the vineyard. I am excited to be visiting New Zealand later this month and will be meeting up with Kevin at Greywacke and hope to see these stones in person. Stay tuned.

The grapes for this Sauvignon Blanc were sourced from various prime vineyard sites in Marlborough's Southern Valleys, the central Wairau Plains (specifically in Woodbourne, Renwick, and Rapaura), and a spectacular river terrace site in the upper Awatere Valley. Soil types vary from the young alluvial soils of Rapaura, Renwick and the upper Awatere, which contain high proportions of New Zealand’s ubiquitous greywacke river stones, to the older and denser clay-loams of the Southern Valleys.

The previous three vintages of the Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc that I tasted have all been amazing, high-quality wines - and perhaps not really surprising given who is behind these wines - so, I fully expect this latest vintage to also be delicious! The 2018 vintage was very warm and humid, but also very wet, resulting in a challenging year that promises to deliver quality wines. Let's see how the 2018 is tasting tonight...

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

GREYWACKE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#164228) (XD) - $24.95
Screw cap. Ripe, medium-high intensity nose delivers guava, kiwi, passion fruit, tropical fruit, gooseberry, and citrus aromas with a fine mineral underpinning. It is medium-bodied with good weight to the fruit and slightly creamy textured. Zesty citrus, ripe kiwi, guava, and passion fruit flavours with touches of spice and floral are lifted by the fresh, vibrant acidity. Fine mineral and lime zest notes linger on the long, crisp finish, with excellent length. Lovely, as always. Score: 91 pts


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  • Date publishedFriday, December 6, 2019

Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine review is a delightful, vegan-friendly, award-winning Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand that comes to us with a fresh, new label for the 2019 vintage.

It is produced by Yealands, a winery that opened its doors on August 8, 2008 (i.e. 08-08-08) with a vision to become one of the world’s most sustainable wine producers and determined to craft beautiful wines in partnership with nature - a philosophy that continues to hold true and forms the basis of their approach to winemaking.

The fresh new look for the Yealands range (formerly Peter Yealands) reflects their stunning location in the Awatere Valley, Marlborough, as well as the unique features of their vineyard. The new label starts with the eye-catching Y that represents the White Road that runs through the heart of their Seaview Vineyard. The White Road takes you on a journey through this stunning coastal vineyard, and captures the breathtaking vistas of Yealands Estate and its unique sustainability initiatives such as New Zealand's largest solar panel installation on the winery roof.

The label is inspired by the coast that surrounds their vineyard, showing the proximity of their vines to the coast through the frame of the U, so close to the ocean that the vines are often misted with sea spray. The beauty of their environment influences how they craft wine, respectful of nature and the land. Yealands believes in sustainable winemaking and creating thoughtfully crafted wines such as this Sauvignon Blanc that work in harmony with their landscape.

This lovely white wine, with its fresh, new label is widely available now at LCBO outlets across Ontario.

Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

YEALANDS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#277731) (XD) - $16.95
Enclosed by screw cap, this vegan-friendly Sauvignon Blanc has a clean, fresh and fragrant nose of tropical fruit, kiwi, guava, gooseberry, and nettles with whiffs of mineral. It's medium-bodied on the spicy palate with vibrant, food-friendly acidity and ripe flavours of tropical fruit, guava, and citrus. A fine mineral note lingers through to the long, clean finish. Score: 89 pts


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  • Date publishedFriday, September 13, 2019

Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine review is an excellent white wine that is coming to LCBO VINTAGES this .

I recall enjoying the 2015 Kono Sauvignon Blanc when it came through VINTAGES a couple of years ago and am delighted to see how this latest vintage is tasting. It is produced by Kono Wines, New Zealand's first Māori owned and operated winery. The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand.

This white wine is crafted from carefully selected vineyards in Marlborough, from grapes grown with soil knowledge and cultivation methods passed down from Māori forebearers. This gift of knowledge and rich, unspoiled lands create wines of personality and purity. Furthermore, Kono vineyards are certified by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) and CEMARS (certified emissions measurement and reduction scheme) certified, which is integral to the values of kaitiakitanga - the guarding and protecting of the environment without compromise. The Māori culture has a strong spiritual connection to everything they grow and a responsibility to ensure that the land is passed onto future generations in pristine condition.

The grapes for this white wine were machine harvested from vineyards in Waihopai, Awatere, and Rapaura sub-regions and transported to the winery in Awatare Valley, then pressed in modern membrane presses. With juice from both free-run and harder pressings, they are combined in stainless steel tanks and fermented using selected yeast cultures and controlled temperatures. The 2017/2018 growing season was warmer than average, with challenging wet conditions appearing closer to harvest. However, vigilance in the vineyard from the team ensured that the fruit was in good condition at harvest, with excellent flavours seen in the winery.

Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

KONO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#441394) (XD) - $18.95
Screw cap. Fragrant nose of key lime, passionfruit, citrus, kiwi, guava tropical fruit and hints of asparagus aromas wafting from the glass. It is medium-full bodied and concentrated, brimming with vibrant, zesty acidity that freshens the palate. More lime, passion fruit, citrus, and tropical fruit flavours dance on the zesty and ripe palate. It's quite juicy on the mid-palate, while mineral notes appear on the long, dry finish. Highly recommended. Score: 90 pts


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  • Date publishedFriday, July 19, 2019

Momo Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (New Zealand) - Wine Review (Bottle 2)

I last enjoyed the 2016 Momo Organic Sauvignon Blanc in and am delighted to see how this white wine is faring , on this hot and sweltering day, three years after vintage. It returned to LCBO VINTAGES on and plenty are still available throughout Ontario.

Seresin Estate is a leading organic and biodynamic producer in New Zealand and this white wine comes from their Momo range of wines. Cinematographer Michael Seresin created Seresin Estate, a new world winery with an old world approach. They are in no hurry when it comes to their wines as they let the wild yeasts that live in their vineyard ferment the grape juice into wine. This approach to winemaking does take a little more time, but the results yield wines with added savouriness, and more mouth watering textures and flavours. They also show a unique sense of place. All of Seresin's wines spend time in barrel or bottle before release because, as we all know, good things come to those who wait.

This organic white wine was naturally fermented with wild yeast in stainless steel tanks, and aged on the lees for 6 months. It is also suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Since it doesn't look like a 2017 vintage of this delicious wine was made - likely due to it being a challenging vintage with cold temperatures leading to lower yields - we'll continue to enjoy the 2016 vintage until the 2018 shows up in Ontario.

Momo Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

MOMO ORGANIC SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#009167) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. Medium+ intensity nose is ripe with gooseberry, kiwi, guava, tropical fruit, and leesy characters with lemony hints. It is medium+ bodied with a slight spritz on the creamy, nicely textured palate. It is dry and ripe with lemon citrus, tropical fruit, guava, and kiwi flavours. Crisp acids are still quite refreshing. Leesy, citrus, and tropical fruit notes linger on the long, balanced finish. Enjoy until 2021. Score: 89 pts


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  • Date publishedWednesday, July 3, 2019

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Release July 6, 2019: Cool-Climate New World + Chardonnay

LCBO Wine Picks: July 6, 2019 VINTAGES Release
Cool wines are the theme of the upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on July 6, 2019, with the major theme focusing on wines from Cool New World Regions, while the mini-theme is the annual look at Cool-Climate Chardonnay. All these wines, plus from the rest of the Release will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves across Ontario by this Saturday.

We'll begin with the main theme that features 13 wines from 10 New World cool-climate wine regions. Typically, cool-climate wines are fresh, refined, and food-friendly, and are influenced by the cooling breezes off a body of water, altitude, vineyard direction and steepness, and latitude. Four of the wines from this theme are among my top wine picks. From New Zealand, there are two lovely wines - a Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Noir that are both reductive in style. From the high altitude vineyards in Argentina is a Gran Reserva that is a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Lastly, the excellent sparkling wine from British Columbia is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (90 pts)Summerhouse Pinot Noir 2015 (90 pts)

Bodega Fin del Mundo Neuquén Gran Reserva 2015 (89 pts)Sperling Brut Reserve 2011 (92 pts)

From the mini-theme on Cool-Climate Chardonnays, which coincides with the Cool-Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4C) taking place in Niagara later this month, just two of the eleven wines are included among my top wine recommendations. The first is a nice Chardonnay from Niagara, while the second wine is a lovely cool Chardonnay from South Africa.

Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay 2017 (90+ pts)

Among my red wine picks from the rest of the Release, the Beaujolais is, of course, made with Gamay, while the Portuguese red wine is a blend of 40% Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), 30% Touriga Franca, and 30% Touriga Nacional. If you like Châteauneuf-du-Pape, both of my recommendations excellent - they are from different vintages and are different in style, with the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape consisting of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, and 5% Muscardin, while the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 60% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 5% Mourvèdre.

Domaine Chante-Perdrix Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2016 (92 pts)Giraud Tradition Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2015 (92 pts)

Gloria Reserva 2016 (89 pts)Bel-Air Clochers Saint-Amour 2017 (88 pts)

From my white wine picks, all are single varietal wines. The white Bordeaux is made with Sauvignon Blanc, while both white wines from Burgundy are made with Chardonnay.

Laroche Les Beauroys Chablis 1er Cru 2017 (91+ pts)Château Briot 2017 (88 pts)

Lastly, there are a pair of wines from Uruguay's Bodega Garzón, a winery that was awarded 2018 New World Winery of the Year for its innovation and leadership by using sustainable practices, modern technology, and most importantly - making some pretty delicious wines from Tannat (Uruguay's signature varietal) and Albariño.

Bodega Garzón Reserva Tannat 2016 (90 pts)Bodega Garzón Reserva Albariño 2018 (90 pts)

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • GLORIA RESERVA 2016 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#146522) (XD) - $16.95  89 pts  wine review
  • SALENTEIN RESERVE MALBEC 2017 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#640854) (XD) - $17.95
  • FEUDO MACCARI NOTO NERO D’AVOLA 2016 - IGP Terre Siciliane, Sicily, Italy (#339101) (XD) - $17.95
  • BEL-AIR CLOCHERS SAINT-AMOUR 2017 - AP, Beaujolais, France (#648527) (XD) - $18.95  88 pts  wine review
  • ZUCCARDI Q MALBEC 2016 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#723478) (XD) - $19.95
  • BODEGA GARZÓN RESERVA TANNAT 2016 - Uruguay (#558916) (D) - $21.95  90 pts  wine review
  • BODEGA FIN DEL MUNDO NEUQUÉN GRAN RESERVA 2015 - Patagonia, Argentina (#668285) (XD) - $24.95  89 pts  wine review
  • SUMMERHOUSE PINOT NOIR 2015 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#492728) (XD) - $27.95  90 pts  wine review
  • GEYSER PEAK WINERY WALKING TREE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (#161323) (XD) - $29.95  90 pts  wine review
  • DOMAINE CHANTE-PERDRIX CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2016 - AC, Rhône, France (#121723) (XD) - $45.95  92 pts  wine review
  • GIRAUD TRADITION CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#182899) (XD) - $59.95  92 pts  wine review
Geyser Peak Winery Walking Tree Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (90 pts)

White Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU BRIOT 2017 - AC Bordeaux, France (#668855) (XD) - $14.95  88 pts  wine review
  • DeMORGENZON DMZ SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#698324) (XD) - $17.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • NOVELLUM CHARDONNAY 2017 - France (#390781) (XD) - $18.95
  • MARKUS HUBER TERRASSEN GRÜNER VELTLINER 2018 - DAC Traisental, Austria (#484956) (XD) - $18.95
  • BODEGA GARZÓN RESERVA ALBARIÑO 2018 - Maldonado, Uruguay (#646802) (XD) - $21.95  90 pts  wine review
  • LEANING POST THE FIFTY CHARDONNAY 2017 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#578864) (XD) - $21.95  90 pts  wine review
  • DOG POINT SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#677450) (XD) - $26.95  90 pts  wine review
  • PAUL CLUVER ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2017 - WO Elgin, South Africa (#570952) (XD) - $29.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • LAROCHE LES BEAUROYS CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2017 - AC, Burgundy, France (#648469) (XD) - $39.95  91+ pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU DE LAVERNETTE VERS CHÂNE POUILLY FUISSÉ 2016 - AC, Burgundy, France (#499657) (XD) - $44.95  FE
DeMorgenzon DMZ Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (88+ pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • MIMI EN PROVENCE GRANDE RÉSERVE ROSÉ 2018 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#452573) (XD) - $20.95  89 pts  wine review
  • ASHLEY MARY LIMITED EDITION M DE MINUTY ROSÉ 2018 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#575316) (XD) - $26.95
Mimi en Provence Grande Réserve Rosé 2018 (89 pts)

Sparkling Wine:

  • 13TH STREET CUVÉE BRUT ROSÉ - Traditional method, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#147504) (XD) - $29.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • SPERLING BRUT RESERVE 2011 - VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#635144) (XD) - $48.95  92 pts  wine review
13th Street Cuvée Brut Rosé (90+ pts)

Liqueur:

  • SIVÓ SHÁMÁN HERBAL LIQUEUR - Matured in oak casks, Canada (#653436) (500 mL) - $27.95
Sivó Shámán Herbal Liqueur


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  • Date publishedMonday, June 3, 2019

Spy Valley Pinot Noir 2015 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine review is a lovely red wine for Pinot lovers that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

Spy Valley Wines was founded deep in the Waihopai Valley by Bryan and Jan Johnson in the 1990s, at a time when the Marlborough region was undergoing discovery. They established 180 hectares of estate vineyards on land that was considered too hard, too dry and too unfertile for wine. However, as this wine can attest too, as well as others from Spy Valley that I have tasted in the past, this couldn't be further from the truth.

This family-run winery began with a passion for the land. Today, it remains committed to the land and to the people who tend it, focusing on sustainability to ensure guardianship of the land for generations to come. Since the beginning, Spy Valley has been accredited under the New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowing scheme, an initiative that promotes economically and environmentally sustainable vineyard management that includes their own winery and vineyards, as well as their grower vineyards.

Fun fact: The winery is named after a spy base that is located just down the road from the winery.

Spy Valley Pinot Noir 2015 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

SPY VALLEY PINOT NOIR 2015 - Southern Valleys, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#734681) (XD) - $24.95
Screw cap. As it warms in the glass, this offers an appealing, medium+ intensity nose of red cherry, black cherry, tea leaf, floral, and subtle oak spice. It is medium-full bodied on the palate with chunky, mouthfilling tannins that have a slightly dusty texture to go along with juicy, balanced acids. Nice black cherry, beetroot, and tea leaf flavours. Hints of mocha on the finish, with very good length. Score: 89 pts


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  • Date publishedTuesday, May 7, 2019

Joiy Rosé Sparkling (Australia) - Wine Review

I am trying sparkling wine in a can. This is a new product that will be arriving at the LCBO very soon and will complement the Joiy Sparkling (Riesling) that is currently available.

I must admit, I have never tried wine from a can before and the traditionalist in me thinks that I will eventually drink it from a wine glass. However, I do see the advantages of packaging wine in a can as it is very portable, doesn't require any special openers, nor do you need a glass.

This particular sparkling wine is made by the New Zealand company Joiy in Australia using Australian wine. The winemaker is Chris Archer, an entrepreneur with over 25 years of winemaking experience. He wanted to create a truly unique product that broke the realms of the traditional wine industry. According to Chris, Joiy wines are "Delightfully chic and spirited, Joiy wines act as the catalyst for many social escapades. Joiy celebrates the day. The antidote to the ordinary, it sings of the promise of amusements yet to come. Wines to release a little mischief".

Joiy Rosé Sparkling

Tasting Note:

JOIY ROSÉ SPARKLING - Australia (#647313) (D) (250 mL) - $4.95
Fresh, candied cherry and strawberry aromas that follow through on the off-dry palate with some floral, citrus and bitter stemmy flavours. Crisp and lively acids balance the bubbles and helps keep the sweetness in check. Casual, easy drinking, and fun for a day at the beach or park.


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  • Date publishedMonday, May 6, 2019

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Release May 11, 2019: People's Choice + New Zealand

LCBO Wine Picks: May 11, 2019 VINTAGES Release
The main theme from the upcoming May 11, 2019 LCBO VINTAGES Release is titled "The People's Choice", while the mini-theme focuses on wines from New Zealand. All of these wines, plus many more will arrive on LCBO VINTAGES shelves across Ontario by this Saturday.

We'll begin with the main theme titled "The People's Choice". This feature lists twenty wines that are grouped together as "Customer Favourites", of which five are included among my top wine picks. The lone white is a lovely, minerally Sancerre from Loire that is made with Sauvignon Blanc. The rose from Château Saint Roch is a blend of Grenache Noir, Grenache Gris, and Mourvèdre. Among the red wines, there is a nice, meaty Australian Shiraz that includes 2% Barbera. There is also the latest vintage of the La Ferme Du Mont Première Côte that is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre, as well as the Monasterio de las Viñas which consists of Garnacha, Cariñena, and Tempranillo.

Roger & Didier Raimbault Sancerre 2017 (90 pts)Château Saint Roch Le Rosé 2018 (88 pts)

La Ferme Du Mont Première Côte Côtes du Rhône 2017 (88+ pts)Wits End Luna Shiraz 2017 (88 pts)

The mini-theme looks at wines from New Zealand, where producer's these days are fine-tuning the country's wine story by focusing on site selection. Of the ten wines featured, just two are included among my wine recommendations. The first wine is an organic Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, while the second wine is a lovely Pinot Noir from Central Otago.

Rapaura Springs Reserve Pinot Noir 2017 (90 pts)Momo Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (90 pts)

For lovers of red wines, from the fantastic 2015 Bordeaux vintage is the Cap Royal Rouge that consists of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Château Le Boscq is a blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot. From Rhône, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is mostly Grenache with small amounts of Syrah and Mourvèdre completing the blend - all of which was raised entirely in concrete tanks.

Château Le Boscq 2015 (92 pts)Tawse Limestone Ridge-North Estate Bottled Riesling 2016 (91 pts)

Among my white wine picks, the only blend is from Rioja that consists of Viura and other varietals, and also sees some time in barrel. The rest are all single varietal wines, including a Grillo, a barrel fermented Chardonnay, and a dry Riesling from Alsace. For those that prefer sweeter wines, you will enjoy the lovely Riesling from Niagara's Tawse Winery.

Enjoy my wine picks from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • MONASTERIO DE LAS VIÑAS RESERVA GARNACHA / TEMPRANILLO / CARIÑENA 2014 - DOP Cariñena, Spain (#166579) (XD) - $14.95  88 pts  wine review
  • WITS END LUNA SHIRAZ 2017 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#311258) (XD) - $17.95  88 pts  wine review
  • LA FERME DU MONT PREMIÈRE CÔTE CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2017 - AP, France (#251645) (XD) - $18.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • CAP ROYAL ROUGE 2015 - AC Bordeaux Supérieur, France (#486761) (XD) - $18.95
  • CREEKSIDE GAMAY 2017 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#646521) (XD) - $19.00  88+ pts  wine review
  • ALPHA BOX & DICE TAROT GRENACHE 2017 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#632612) (XD) - $21.95
  • RAPAURA SPRINGS RESERVE PINOT NOIR 2017 - Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand (#645184) (XD) - $24.95  90 pts  wine review
  • DAMILANO LECINQUEVIGNE BAROLO 2013 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#454488) (XD) - $45.95
  • CHÂTEAU LE BOSCQ 2015 - Cru Bourgeois, AC Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux, France (#633891) (XD) - $51.95  92 pts  wine review
  • LE PARVIS CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2016 - AC, Rhône, France (#638551) (XD) - $53.95
Creekside Gamay 2017 (88+ pts)

White Wine:

  • FEUDO MACCARI OLLI GRILLO 2017 - DOC Sicilia, Italy (#477877) (XD) - $15.95
  • EDGEBASTON CHARDONNAY 2017 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#636019) (XD) - $15.95  88 pts  wine review
  • OHH POITOU SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - AP Haut-Poitou, Loire, France (#635854) (XD) - $16.95  88 pts  wine review
  • MOMO ORGANIC SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#009167) (XD) - $19.95  90 pts  wine review
  • TAWSE LIMESTONE RIDGE-NORTH ESTATE BOTTLED RIESLING 2016 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#431593) (M) - $25.95  91 pts  wine review
  • ROGER & DIDIER RAIMBAULT SANCERRE 2017 - AC, Loire, France (#082255) (XD) - $31.95  90 pts  wine review
  • CVNE MONOPOLE CLÁSICO 2015 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#489583) (XD) - $31.95
  • TRIMBACH RÉSERVE RIESLING 2016 - AC Alsace, France (#247023) (XD) - $34.95  FE
Edgebaston Chardonnay 2017 (88 pts)Ohh Poitou Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (88 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • CABRIZ ROSÉ 2018 - DOC Dão, Portugal (#030445) (XD) - $13.95  88 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU SAINT ROCH LE ROSÉ 2018 - AP Côtes du Roussillon, Midi, France (#557900) (XD) - $17.95  88 pts  wine review
  • MIRAVAL ROSÉ 2018 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#342584 / #490870) (XD) - $24.95 / $48.95  90 pts  wine review
Miraval Rosé 2018 (90 pts)Cabriz Rosé 2018 (88 pts)

Sparkling Wine:

  • TAWSE SPARK LIMESTONE RIDGE ORGANIC SPARKLING RIESLING 2016 - Traditional method, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#370361) (D) - $20.95  89 pts  wine review
  • ANGELS GATE ARCHANGEL BRUT CHARDONNAY 2013 - Traditional method, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#227009) (XD) - $29.95  90 pts  wine review
Angels Gate Archangel Brut Chardonnay 2013 (90 pts)Tawse Spark Limestone Ridge Organic Sparkling Riesling 2016 (89 pts)


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