Showing posts with label oregon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oregon. Show all posts

Monday, April 23, 2018

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  • Monday, April 23, 2018

VINTAGES Release April 28, 2018: Pacific Northwest + Germany



LCBO Wine Picks: April 28, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release features as the main theme the cool-climate regions of the Pacific Northwest, which includes British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington. The mini-theme features the wines from Germany. All of these wines will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves across Ontario this .

We'll begin with the main theme that features the wines from British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington, commonly grouped together as the Pacific Northwest. None of the five wines listed from Oregon and eight wines listed from Washington are included among my wine picks. British Columbia seemed to get shortchanged (again?) with just three wines listed. However, the Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin is the only wine among my top wine recommendations from the Pacific Northwest; it is always a classy wine and for the 2014 vintage is a blend of 68% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 5% Malbec.

The mini-feature on German wines is also rather weak, with six wines listed and just one included among my top wine picks. My lone pick from the German feature is a dry Riesling that's also known as Riesling Trocken. As part of the Flagship Store Exclusives (FSE) at the back of the magazine is a very sweet Riesling Spätlese and is one of the top wines of the Release.

From my top red wine picks, the Saint-Roch is a blend of approximately equal parts Syrah and Grenache, while the Vacqueyras is an organic wine from the excellent 2015 vintage made with Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. The Douro red wine from Portugal is made with Touriga Nacional. Lastly, the Rioja is a blend of 89% Tempranillo, 9% Graciano, and 2% Garnacha.

Roda Reserva 2012 (91 pts)

Among my white wine picks, the Soave wine is made with 100% Garganega from vines that range between 10-50 years old. The Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is an organic wine. For sweet wine lovers, in order of least sweet to most sweet, there is the Hidden Bench Riesling (organic), Megalomaniac Riesling, and the Gewürztraminer, as well as the aforementioned Riesling Spätlese. For fans looking for lusciously sweet wines, the Tawse Chardonnay Icewine is also worth seeking.

Hidden Bench Estate Riesling 2016 (90+ pts)Tawse Chardonnay Icewine 2013 (92 pts)

As the weather gets warmer, Rosé wines return with more frequency at the LCBO. One of the first to arrive is the Miraval Rosé, with vines coming from an average of 1,200 feet above sea level and made using a blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Rolle. This wine is also featured as the Wine of the Month and will be available at just about every LCBO outlet.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • SAINT-ROCH VIEILLES VIGNES SYRAH/GRENACHE 2015 - AP Côtes du Roussillon, France (#195107) (XD) - $16.95
  • MORANDÉ GRAN RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2014 - Single vineyard, Maipo Valley, Chile (#371112) (XD) - $17.00
  • QUINTA DAS CARVALHAS TINTO 2013 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#523647) (XD) - $17.95
  • BISQUERTT ECOS DE RULO CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - Single vineyard, Colchagua Valley, Chile (#546515) (XD) - $18.95
  • ROCKCLIFFE THIRD REEF SHIRAZ 2015 - Great Southern, Western Australia (#453209) (XD) - $19.95
  • CASAR DE BURBIA MENCÍA 2014 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#392530) (XD) - $19.95
  • TENUTA DI RENIERI CHIANTI CLASSICO 2013 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#540849) (XD) - $22.95  89 pts  wine review
  • DOMAINE DE L’OISELET VACQUEYRAS 2015 - AP, Rhône, France (#537951) (XD) - $27.95
  • FLAT ROCK GRAVITY PINOT NOIR 2014 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#001560) (XD) - $34.95
  • KENWOOD JACK LONDON VINEYARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014 - Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma County, California, USA (#944843) (XD) - $39.95
  • OSOYOOS LAROSE LE GRAND VIN 2014 - VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#626325) (XD) - $47.95
  • RODA RESERVA 2012 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#664557) (XD) - $52.95  FSE  91 pts  wine review
  • BREZZA SARMASSA BAROLO 2013 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#999730) (D) - $87.95  FSE
Tenuta di Renieri Chianti Classico 2013 (89 pts)

White Wine:

  • INDOMITA GRAN RESERVA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Casablanca Valley, Chile (#544213) (XD) - $16.95
  • MEGALOMANIAC NARCISSIST RIESLING 2017 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#067587) (D) - $18.95
  • FLAT ROCK CHARDONNAY 2016 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#286278) (D) - $19.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • WEINGUT TINA PFAFFMANN T NO. 9 RIESLING TROCKEN 2016 - Qualitätswein, Pfalz, Germany (#549774) (XD) - $19.95
  • MOMO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#009167) (XD) - $19.95
  • HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE RIESLING 2016 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#183491) (D) - $23.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • PIERRE SPARR MAMBOURG GEWURZTRAMINER 2015 - AC Alsace Grand Cru, France (#915157) (M) - $26.95
  • CAVE SPRING CSV CHARDONNAY 2015 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#529941) (XD) - $29.95  91 pts  wine review
  • PIEROPAN LA ROCCA SOAVE CLASSICO 2015 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#092437) (D) - $39.95
  • BRAUNEBERGER JUFFER-SONNENUHR RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2014 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#298182) (S) - $40.95  FSE
  • FESS PARKER BIEN NACIDO VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2015 - Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County, California, USA (#547158) (XD) - $44.95
Cave Spring CSV Chardonnay 2015 (91 pts)Flat Rock Chardonnay 2016 (88+ pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • MIRAVAL ROSÉ 2017 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#342584) (XD) - $23.95

Dessert Wine:

  • TAWSE CHARDONNAY ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#443739) (200 mL) (S) - $35.95  92 pts  wine review


Monday, April 24, 2017

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  • Monday, April 24, 2017

VINTAGES Release April 29, 2017: Oregon + Washington + Germany + Rosé

LCBO Wine Picks from April 29, 2017 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on will be on shelves this coming and features the wines from Washington and Oregon as its main theme. The mini-themes highlight the wines from Germany, as well as a fresh crop of Rosé wines for Spring sipping.

We'll begin with the feature on wines from the U.S. Pacific Northwest States of Oregon and Washington. For some odd reason, only 5 wines were listed from Oregon, whereas Washington received double the amount with 10 wines listed. From Oregon, only the (dry) Pinot Gris from Willamette Valley made my list of wine picks - I suppose all the great Willamette Pinot Noir is being saved for the Fall/Holiday Releases. From Washington, there is an aromatic Viognier and an off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) Riesling, both from Columbia Valley.

Elk Cove Pinot Gris 2015 (89 pts)Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt Kaseler Nies’chen Riesling Kabinett 2014 (91 pts)

The mini-theme from Germany is also rather small, listing just 4 wines to showcase the different styles of wines that are produced by this country. The main attraction though is the varied styles of Riesling, ranging from dry to sweet. Two of the three Rieslings are listed among my wine recommendations, and both on the sweeter side - a Riesling Kabinett and even more sweeter Riesling Spätlese.

The last thematic features 11 Rosé wines, and 2 are included among my wine picks. Both of these Rosés are dry (i.e. not sweet) in style and are made with Pinot Noir.

Jean-Max Roger La Grange Dimière Sancerre Rosé 2016 (90 pts)Marqués de Cáceres Gran Reserva 2009 (90 pts)

From the rest of the release, in red wines, the Quinta de Cabriz is a blend of 40% Alfrocheiro, 40% Tinta Roriz, and 20% Touriga Nacional, while the Spanish Rioja is a blend of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha and 5% Graciano. From France, the Chinon is 100% Cabernet Franc, while the Cave de Roquebrun is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. For 2013, The Hess Colletion's 19 Block Mountain Cuvee is a Malbec-heavy (61%) blend that also contains 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot/Syrah.

In whites wines, the Burgundy is Chardonnay, while the Sancerre is a Sauvignon Blanc.

Enjoy my top wine picks from this release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • QUINTA DE CABRIZ COLHEITA SELECCIONADA 2014 - DOC Dão, Portugal (#247973) (D) - $13.95
  • TOURNON MATHILDA CHAPOUTIER SHIRAZ 2013 - Victoria, Australia (#336966) (XD) - $17.95
  • CAVE DE ROQUEBRUN LA GRANGE DES COMBES SAINT-CHINIAN-ROQUEBRUN 2014 - AC, Midi, France (#155804) (D) - $18.95
  • SERGE & BRUNO SOURDAIS LE LOGIS DE LA BOUCHARDIÈRE CHINON 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#490375) (XD) - $18.95
  • PENLEY ESTATE HYLAND SHIRAZ 2014 - Coonawarra, South Australia (#409078) (XD) - $18.95
  • ZUCCARDI APELACIÓN VISTA FLORES MALBEC 2014 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#482760) (XD) - $24.95
  • MITCHELL SEVENHILL VINEYARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2008 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#673129) (XD) - $24.95
  • MARQUÉS DE CÁCERES GRAN RESERVA 2009 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#976670) (XD) - $29.95  reviewed here
  • BURROWING OWL SYRAH 2014 - VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#073072) (XD) - $40.95
  • THE HESS COLLECTION 19 BLOCK MOUNTAIN CUVÉE 2013 - Mount Veeder/Napa Valley, California, USA (#018879) (XD) - $49.95
  • BUON TEMPO ALTA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#483784) (XD) - $69.95  FSE

White Wine:

  • HOGUE RIESLING 2014 - Columbia Valley, Washington, USA (#363291) (D) - $15.95
  • ERNIE ELS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#455907) (XD) - $16.95
  • FLAT ROCK CHARDONNAY 2015 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#286278) (D) - $18.95  reviewed here
  • POWERS COLUMBIA VALLEY VIOGNIER 2015 - Talcott Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley, Washington, USA (#486993) (XD) - $18.95
  • MOMO PINOT GRIS 2015 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#163535) (D) - $19.95
  • ELK COVE PINOT GRIS 2015 - Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#955906) (XD) - $24.95  reviewed here
  • REICHSGRAF VON KESSELSTATT KASELER NIES’CHEN RIESLING KABINETT 2014 - VDP Grosse Lage, Pradikätswein, Mosel, Germany (#940809) (MS) - $24.95  reviewed here
  • DOMAINE DE LA DENANTE LES MAILLETTES SAINT-VÉRAN 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#491738) (XD) - $26.95
  • PASCAL JOLIVET SANCERRE 2016 - AC, Loire, France (#264945) (XD) - $29.95
  • SCHLOSS VOLLRADS RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2014 - Pradikätswein, Rheingau, Germany (#101972) (M) - $34.95

Rosé Wine:

  • THE KING’S DESIRE PINOT ROSÉ 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#492926) (XD) - $19.95
  • JEAN-MAX ROGER LA GRANGE DIMIÈRE SANCERRE ROSÉ 2016 - AC, Loire, France (#490813) (XD) - $25.95  reviewed here


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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  • Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wine Tasting in Sonoma 2016

Stonestreet Wine Tasting
Back in , I had the pleasure of visiting Sonoma Wine Country for the very first time. This wine region has been on my radar for a while now, especially after the disappointment of not being able to visit Sonoma during my visit to nearby Napa Valley in 2012. After conducting various online searches and getting recommendations from friends of friends who had been to Sonoma previously, I settled on visiting 4 wineries, two of which who were new to me.

Sonoma County is quite a large and diverse wine region - also bigger than Napa Valley - comprising of various topographies, microclimates, and soil types. Almost 60,000 acres are planted with grapes, with the majority planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon - the 3 grapes I was most looking forward to tasting on this trip.

The view from Stonestreet Wines
The first stop was the furthest - about 1.5 hours north of home base (Concord) - and located within the Alexander Valley AVA, just west of the town of Healdsburg. Stonestreet Estate Vineyards is known for their premium, high-quality Mountain Vineyard wines. I tasted a few of their wines over the years back home in Toronto and was thoroughly impressed, thus increasing my desire to the visit the winery. It was founded by Jess Stonestreet Jackson (of Jackson Family Wines) and Barbara Banke in 1995 and has since been passed on to their son Christopher Jackson and his wife Ariel. As we tasted through the lineup, we were told that the grapes for the wines came from the mountain seen in the far distance between the two mountains in the fore (pictured above/left). There is a very cool digital mountain map on their website that shows where each of their vineyards are located on the mountain. It would have been very cool to go to the vineyards to get a closer look - perhaps on my next visit? Nevertheless, the wines here are excellent!

Holdredge Red Barn
The next stop, as we made our way back to home base, was Holdredge Wines - a small, family winery located within the town of Healdsburg. It was chosen based on a recommendation from a friend of a friend, and also on the fact that these wines aren't available in Ontario. The winery exists in a red barn that dates back to the late 1800s and has a long, rich history of continuous use, including during prohibition! The husband and wife team of John and Carri Holdredge (unfortunately didn't get to meet either of them) formed the winery back in 2001 with the intention of making what they knew best - Zinfandel and Syrah. However, that same year, renowned grower Saralee Kunde offered to sell some Pinot Noir to John and the wine took off. Today, Holdredge Wines now works with 14 different Pinot Vineyards all over Sonoma County - and no Zinfandel or Syrah. The wines are produced in a minimal interventionist style and I managed to taste through 6 Pinots - each sourced from a different vineyard - and there wasn't a bad wine in the group. I enjoyed all of them and am somewhat regretting the fact that I didn't pick up a bottle or two to bring to home as they offered relatively good value.

Holdredge Wine Lineup

Holdredge Winery

Inman Family Wines
Our third stop of the day was in the heart of the Russian River Valley at Inman Family Wines. The same fellow that recommended Holdredge Wines also recommended this small, family winery. The Inman story begins in the year 2000, when the Inman Family planted seven+ acres of Pinot Noir, and a patch of Pinot Gris on their ten-acre Olivet Grange property on Olivet Road. Winemaker Kathleen Inman's love for gardening began as a child and continues to this day, and in our brief conversation showed a lot passion and enthusiasm for her wines. The winery is committed to employing environmentally responsible, sustainable farming practices and using natural winemaking techniques. The organic fertilizers used in the vineyard are nutrient-rich and named "Four-Course Compost" because it is derived from the table scraps of high-end San Francisco restaurants. Production is small, with only 5,000 cases produced, and every wine is capped under Stelvin screw cap. We sat outside on the patio and tasted through quite a few wines, with reviews of my favourites - all single vineyard Pinot Noir - provided below. Unfortunately, these quality wines are also not available in Ontario.

La Crema Estate at Saralee's Vineyard
The final stop of the day was a short drive away to La Crema Winery. The winery was founded in 1979, but in June 2016 they opened up their new estate at Saralee's Vineyard. The centrepiece is the visitor experience centre sits in an historic barn that dates back to 1900 and sits on a knoll overlooking the storied Saralee's Vineyard. It was a bit chilly and windy outdoors, so we opted for only a tour of the building. Originally a hop barn, it later became the family home of Richard and Saralee Kunde, and thus felt very warm, cozy and inviting. This is a place where you can come visit, lose sense of time, and easily spend a whole afternoon tasting the many different wines on offer. We ended up spending the most time here as there were many delicious wines to taste, but also because we got quite comfortable and found it difficult to leave. Reviews of some of my favourite La Crema wines are posted below.

Inside La Crema Estate at Saralee's Vineyard

Group Photo

Overall, I was very pleased with my first ever visit to Sonoma County. Quite often we'll see single vineyard bottles, but never get to the see the vineyard itself because it's somewhere off-property that's relatively inaccessible. One thing I really appreciated as we drove along was that there were signs at every vineyard indicating the name of that vineyard, some names which I actually recognized. To see a vineyard name on a bottle, and then be able to see the vineyard with your own eyes was quite satisfying and visualized the sense of place.

I would've preferred to visit a couple of more wineries, but the 425+ wineries in Sonoma County are widely scattered across this large region. As such, it is somewhat difficult to cover many wineries in a single day. Another trip (or five) to this region is most definitely required to fully appreciate the wines from this area, including visiting the many small, family-run houses whose wines aren't available in Ontario.

And lastly, I was very satisfied with the quality of the Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir I tasted on this visit. I was especially impressed with the Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley, as well as the mountain vineyard Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons. If you wish to acquire any of these wines, please contact the agent in Ontario (B&W Wines) for availability and ordering of Stonestreet and La Crema wines. To order Holdredge and Inman Family wines, please contact the winery directly, or better yet - go visit them in Sonoma County in person!

Tasting Notes:

STONESTREET COUGAR RIDGE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2013 - Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (D) - $55
From south-facing vineyards at an elevation of 850 feet. The nose is a bit shy, but has hints of apple, golden pear, butter, sweet vanilla and hints of pineapple. It's fairly light-weighted with fresh, crisp, balanced and very nice, ripe-fruited aroma replays showing a touch of sweetness. Nicely balanced, with hints of butterscotch, toffee, and caramel on the long finish. Score: 90 pts

Stonestreet Cougar Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 (90 pts)Stonestreet Upper Barn Chardonnay 2013 (92 pts)

STONESTREET UPPER BARN CHARDONNAY 2013 - Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (#253542) (XD) - $90
From vines planted in 1973 at an elevation between 1,600 - 1,800 feet, this also initially had a closed that hinted at light green apple, minerals, vanilla, and butter. It really started to open up with time in the glass. Medium-bodied with balanced acids and flavours of pineapple, pear, and subtle oak spice. A delicate and elegant wine with touches of butter and vanilla notes on the long finish. Score: 92 pts

STONESTREET BEAR POINT VINEYARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (XD) - $60
Sourced from vines at an elevation between 1,000 - 1,200 feet, this has a very lifted fruit-forward nose of dark cherry, blackberry and sweet cedar oak spices adding complexity. It's full-bodied with appealing currant, cassis, blackberry, black cherry, and sweet oak spice flavours. Acids are fresh, while the ripe, refined tannins provide support, handling the 14.5% abv well. There's very good depth of fruit. Excellent length on the finish with a fine mineral streak. Score: 91 pts

Stonestreet Bear Point Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (91 pts)Stonestreet Rockfall Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (93 pts)

STONESTREET ROCKFALL VINEYARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (#249367) (XD) - $100
From vines at 2,200 feet above sea level and above the fog line, this warmer site has produced a Cab that's highly aromatic that's earthy and terroir-driven profile, backed by black cherry, blackberry, and dark currant notes. It's full-bodied with firm tannins and nicely balanced, complex aroma replays. Acids are mouth-watering, while the finish length is excellent and offers currant and hints of mint and cassis flavours. Still a bit tight and should be better in 2-3 and enjoy over the next decade or two. Score: 93 pts

HOLDREDGE "SHAKEN NOT STIRRED" PINOT NOIR 2013 - Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (XD) - $45
Made from only the Martini clone from Saralee's Vineyard, this offers a lovely complex bouquet of cherry, cola, black tea, black cherry and some earthy aromas of medium-to-high intensity. It's light-weighted with refined tannins with appealing fruit-forward aroma replays along with some earthy spice notes. Acids are bright and refreshing, while the finish length is excellent. Score: 91 pts

Holdredge "Shaken Not Stirred" Pinot Noir 2013 (91 pts)Holdredge "The True" Pinot Noir 2014 (91+ pts)

HOLDREDGE "THE TRUE" PINOT NOIR 2014 - Sonoma Coast, California, USA (XD) - $50
The grapes for this wine are from a single-vineyard in Annapolis, in northern Sonoma. Highly aromatic with lovely floral, black tea, cherry and mineral nose. It's medium-bodied with very nice aroma replays on the palate supported by good tannic structure and crisp, fresh acids. Excellent finish length. Drinking well now, but will improve in 3-4 years. Score: 91+ pts

HOLDREDGE "JUDGMENT TREE" PINOT NOIR 2013 - Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (XD) - $70
From the Rochioli Vineyard, 5 miles south of the winery, this has clean, well-balanced and complex aromas of black tea, cherry, earth and sweet spice aromas. It is medium-bodied on the palate with racy acids, fine tannic structure, and very nice aroma replays. Harmonious and showing plenty of finesse, while also having juicy acids and a long-lasting finish. Highly drinkable now, but should improve further over the coming 5 years. Score: 92 pts

Holdredge "Judgment Tree" Pinot Noir 2013 (92 pts)

INMAN FAMILY SEXTON ROAD RANCH PINOT NOIR 2013 - Sonoma Coast, California, USA (XD) - $68
The nose is medium-to-high intensity and features lovely ripe fruited cherry, earth and spice aromas. It's medium-bodied with integrated, crunchy tannins and a flavour profile that continues from the aromas, joined by compelling incense flavours. It has juicy acids and finishes long with exotic spice notes. Score: 90 pts

Inman Family Sexton Road Ranch Pinot Noir 2013 (90 pts)Inman Family Thorn Ridge Ranch Pinot Noir 2012 (90+ pts)

INMAN FAMILY THORN RIDGE RANCH PINOT NOIR 2012 - Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (XD) - $68
Medium-high intensity nose offers lovely black tea, earth, dark cherry, and blackberry aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with very nice, well-balanced aroma replays, and tannins that are a touch chalky. Nicely spiced mid-palate. The finish is a touch on the sweet side, showing some mature dried fruit/floral characters. Lovely stuff. Score: 90+ pts

INMAN FAMILY OGV ESTATE PINOT NOIR 2013 - Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (XD) - $73
The medium-high intensity nose has appealing aromas of cherry, sweet spice, and some dried cherry and floral aromas. It's medium-bodied with refined tannins providing an elegantly structured mouthfeel and very pleasing aroma replays. Balanced acids. Nice wood spice notes linger on the long finish. Drinkable now or age at least 3 years and drink to 2024. Score: 92 pts

Inman Family OGV Estate Pinot Noir 2013 (92 pts)

LA CREMA SARALEE'S VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2013 - Russian River Valley, California, USA (XD) - $50
Aged in a mix of new and used French oak for 9 months, this has complex medium-high intensity aromas of bing cherry, earth, cola, white pepper and mushroom. The palate is medium-bodied with gritty tannins, fresh acids and nice earthy aroma replays along with hints of dark cherry. Fine finish length. Score: 89 pts

La Crema Saralee's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013 (89 pts)La Crema Fog Veil Pinot Noir 2013 (89 pts)

LA CREMA FOG VEIL PINOT NOIR 2013 - Russian River Valley, California, USA (XD) - $50
Sourced from a vineyard located in the Santa Rosa Plains, this has medium-high intensity aromas of tea leaves, red cherry and plum. On the light-to-medium bodied palate, it has flavours of dark berry, cherry, black plum and subtle oak spice. It has balanced acids, refined tannins, and a long, spiced finish. Score: 89 pts

LA CREMA CHEHALEM MOUNTAINS PINOT NOIR 2012 - Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (XD) - $45
Medium-high aromatics offer pretty hibiscus flower, tea leaves, red cherry and more exotic floral notes. It's light-weighted with lovely floral aroma replays. Acids are balanced and crunchy tannins are well-integrated. The finish is long with hints of dried fruit. Score: 90 pts

La Crema Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir 2012 (90 pts)

All prices in this post are the local price in Sonoma in USD.


Monday, April 25, 2016

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  • Monday, April 25, 2016

April 30 VINTAGES Release: Pacific Northwest + Aussie Whites + Rosé

LCBO Wine Picks from April 30, 2016 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release will be on shelves this coming Saturday and features wines from the Pacific Northwest as its main thematic - although noticeably absent this time around is the omission of British Columbia. There are two mini-themes in this release - great Australian white wines and some very fine rosés - both arriving just in time for warmer weather.

From the major theme of the release, the 8 wines from Washington are mostly a disappointment with only a dry Riesling making my list of wine picks. Meanwhile, the Oregon portion of the Pacific Northwest feature was only 6 wines, but 2 (of 4) Oregon Pinot Noirs are included among my wine picks. The Pinot from Two Messengers is a very big Pinot, but will also likely arrive late to shelves.

The first mini-theme is on great Australian whites and highlights 6 wines for your pleasure this Spring. Of the 6 wines, fully half are included among my wine recommendations. First up is an Organic Viognier from Australia's oldest family-owned winery. There's also an off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) Riesling, and from Western Australia an off-dry blend of 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Semillon.

A rather large selection of 12 rosé wines yielded 4 fine wines, all of which are blends from the 2015 vintage from France. From Tavel, Rhône, is the Domaine Maby rosé that is a blend of 74% Grenache Noir with the balance made up of at least 5 other grapes, while the Gabriel Meffre rose is primarily Grenache with Syrah and Cinsault added in support. Lastly, the Château La Tour de l’Évêque is a blend primarily of Cinsault (40%), Grenache (35%), and Syrah (12%), with the balance made up of 5 other varietals.

In red wines from the rest of the release, the Bordeaux red is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Wildass Red is a Meritage type of blend. In white wines, the Spanish white is mostly Albariño.

Enjoy my wine picks for this week. Cheers!

Rendola Brunello di Montalcino 2004 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (91 pts)Pascual Toso Barrancas Vineyards Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 - Mendoza, Argentina (90 pts)

Red Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU DES DEMOISELLES 2011 - AC Côtes de Bordeaux – Castillon, France (#348755) (XD) - $17.95
  • TABALÍ RESERVA ESPECIAL SYRAH 2012 - Limarí Valley, Chile (#213538) (XD) - $17.95
  • WILDASS RED 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#086363) (XD) - $19.95
  • ERRAZURIZ ACONCAGUA ALTO CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Aconcagua Valley, Chile (#203364) (XD) - $19.95
  • PASCUAL TOSO BARRANCAS VINEYARDS RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Mendoza, Argentina (#083337) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • SOLÉNA DOMAINE DANIELLE LAURENT PINOT NOIR 2012 - Yamhill-Carlton, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#446112) (XD) - $35.95
  • RENDOLA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2004 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#181412) (XD) - $39.95  reviewed here
  • TRAPICHE TERROIR SERIES FINCA AMBROSIA SINGLE VINEYARD MALBEC 2010 - Gualtallary, Mendoza, Argentina (#402941) (XD) - $39.95  FSE
  • MAISON L’ENVOYÉ TWO MESSENGERS PINOT NOIR 2013 - Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#453357) (XD) - $41.95  late arrival
  • SORDO GIOVANNI ROCCHE DI CASTIGLIONE RISERVA BAROLO 2008 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#442004) (XD) - $49.95
  • FERRARI-CARANO RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Mountain Vineyards, Alexander Valley, Sonoma, California, USA (#450429) (XD) - $74.95

White Wine:

  • FEATHERSTONE BLACK SHEEP RIESLING 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#080234) (M) - $16.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE TRÉVIAC 2014 - AP Corbières, Midi, France (#438747) (XD) - $17.95
  • YALUMBA ORGANIC VIOGNIER 2015 - South Australia (#288217) (XD) - $17.95
  • SKUTTLEBUTT SAUVIGNON BLANC/SEMILLON 2014 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#047621) (D) - $18.95
  • JOEL GOTT RIESLING 2012 - Columbia Valley, Washington, USA (#443143) (XD) - $19.95
  • PIKES TRADITIONALE RIESLING 2015 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#066894) (D) - $23.95
  • QUINTA DE COUSELO O ROSAL 2014 - DO Rías Baixas, Spain (#440362) (XD) - $23.95
  • VINCENT MOTHE CHABLIS 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#390468) (XD) - $26.95
  • NORMAN HARDIE UNFILTERED CHARDONNAY 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#184432) (XD) - $39.00

Rosé Wine:

  • DOMAINE MABY LA FORCADIÈRE TAVEL ROSÉ 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#701318) (XD) - $18.95
  • GABRIEL MEFFRE SAINT FERRÉOL TAVEL ROSÉ 2015 - AP, Rhône, France (#450866) (D) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU LA TOUR DE L’ÉVÊQUE ROSÉ 2015 - Harvested by hand, AC Côtes de Provence, France (#319392) (XD) - $19.95
  • SAINT AIX ROSÉ 2015 - AP Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, France (#451906) (XD) - $22.95

Dessert Wine:

  • PUKLUS PINCÉSZET SZAMORODNI SWEET TOKAJI 2009 - Hungary (#179374) (S) (500 mL) - $18.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM CABERNET ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#672402) (S) (200 mL) - $39.95

Cider:

  • DOMAINE FÉLIBRE GIVRÉ ICE CIDER 2014 - Product of Quebec, Canada (#393611) (S) (375 mL) - $21.95  reviewed here
Domaine Félibre Givré Ice Cider 2014 - Product of Quebec, Canada


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

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  • Wednesday, August 5, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy my LCBO wine recommendations from this release. Cheers!

Red Wine:

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

White Wine:

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

Rosé Wine:

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

Sparkling Wine:

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


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


Monday, August 25, 2014

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  • Monday, August 25, 2014

Aug. 30 LCBO Wine Picks: 90+ + Washington + Oregon + Champagne

LCBO Wine Picks from August 30, 2014 VINTAGES Release
The next LCBO Vintages release will be in stores this . This is the annual 90+ point wine release, along with features on the Pacific Northwest (Washington and Oregon) and some of the biggest names in Champagne.

We'll begin with the Pacific Northwest, where eight rather ho-hum wines are featured and none made my LCBO wine picks. It seems to almost always be the case that wines coming into Vintages from Washington, Oregon, and even B.C., tend to be lacklustre. Having said that, if you look near the end pages of the magazine, there is a fine oaked Chardonnay from Evening Land Vineyards in Oregon that you will find only at Vintages Flagship Stores.

Of the 31 wines listed in the 90+ feature, 9 are listed below. Included among them are Cabs from Domaine Bousquet and Forest Hill, a Carménère from Santa Carolina, the Marziano Abbona Barolo (Nebbiolo grape), Penfold's Shiraz, a Grenache-Syrah blend from Patrice Magni, and Schubert's Pinot Noir. Not surprisingly, most of these red wines fall into the premium price category. Just one white wine and one rosé from this list made the cut - a Sauvignon Blanc from Robert Oatley, and the "Brangelina" Miraval Rosé (Cinsault, Grenache, Rolle, Syrah blend).

From the rest of the release, we have a few red-blends, including a Grenache-Syrah blend from Famille Perrin, a 60% Corvina / 35% Rondinella / 5% Molinara blend from Montresor, and a Merlot-dominated blend from Château de Ricaud. Also a blend is the Mas de Bressades Rosé, consisting of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 20% Cinsault. Those who prefer sweeter wines can seek any of the three Rieslings I've mentioned below.

Hope you will enjoy the last few days of summer with a few of my wine recommendations. Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • DOMAINE BOUSQUET RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Tupungato Valley, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#678813) (XD) - $14.95
  • BARAHONDA BARRICA MONASTRELL/SYRAH 2011 - DO Yecla, Spain (#378869) (XD) - $17.95
  • FAMILLE PERRIN LES CORNUDS VINSOBRES 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#566844) (D) - $17.95
  • MONTRESOR CAPITEL DELLA CROSARA VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO 2011 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#379172) (D) - $18.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE RICAUD RÉSERVE DES COTEAUX 2010 - AC Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux, France (#365643) (D) - $18.95
  • SANTA CAROLINA RESERVA DE FAMILIA CARMÉNÈRE 2010 - Rapel Valley, Chile (#034942) (XD) - $18.95
  • FOREST HILL ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Great Southern, Western Australia (#380840) (XD) - $32.95
  • PENFOLDS BIN 128 SHIRAZ 2012 - Coonawarra, South Australia (#509919) (XD) - $34.95
  • DOMAINE PATRICE MAGNI CHÂTEAUNEUF DU PAPE 2011 - AC, Rhône, France (#380626) (XD) - $47.95
  • MARZIANO ABBONA PRESSENDA BAROLO 2008 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#276584) (XD) - $52.95
  • SCHUBERT BLOCK B PINOT NOIR 2011 - Wairarapa, New Zealand (#066985) (XD) - $55.95

White Wine:
  • VIEIL ARMAND MÉDAILLE RIESLING 2010 - AC Alsace, France (#377754) (D) - $15.95
  • FEATHERSTONE BLACK SHEEP RIESLING 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#080234) (M) - $16.95
  • CREEKSIDE BACKYARD BLOCK SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - VQA Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#341792) (XD) - $17.95
  • ROBERT OATLEY MARGARET RIVER SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#186106) (XD) - $18.95
  • MURI-GRIES PINOT GRIGIO 2013 - DOC Alto Adige, Italy (#270983) (D) - $19.95
  • SCHLOSS REINHARTSHAUSEN HATTENHEIMER WISSELBRUNNEN RIESLING KABINETT 2012 - Deutscher Prädikatswein, Rheingau, Germany (#114801) (M) - $20.95
  • DOMAINE LE VERGER CHABLIS 2012 - AC, Burgundy, France (#181289) (XD) - $22.95
  • STAGS’ LEAP WINERY VIOGNIER 2013 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#597369) (XD) - $34.95
  • STAGS’ LEAP WINERY CHARDONNAY 2012 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#655381) (XD) - $34.95
  • EVENING LAND SEVEN SPRINGS CHARDONNAY 2011 - Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#375048) (XD) - $58.95

Rosé Wine:
  • MAS DES BRESSADES CUVÉE TRADITION ROSÉ 2013 - AP Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (#950576) (XD) - $15.95
  • MIRAVAL ROSÉ 2013 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#342584) (XD) - $22.95


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


Monday, October 21, 2013

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  • Monday, October 21, 2013

Oct. 26 Wine Picks: 2010 Bordeaux + Oregon + Washington

LCBO Vintages Recommendations from October 26, 2013 Release
The next LCBO Vintages release will be on shelves across Ontario on . The main focus of this release is the much heralded 2010 Bordeaux vintage - often described as the "vintage of the decade" and "one of the best ever".

However, looking at the majority of 17 wines that are featured, one might wonder what is so special about the 2010 vintage. Well, to sum it up - the 2010s are robust and very age-worthy, and should be aged a number of years before they will reach their prime drinking window. The extreme weather conditions, including dehydration, from El Niño forced winemakers to wait to pick their grapes, which resulted in slightly shrivelled (raisined) grapes, which meant less juice and more skin (i.e. tannin) per grape. The fruit is strong enough to hold up to the tannins. The cooler-than-normal Autumn temperatures also helped produce wines with higher acidity and alcohols. Personally, I think I prefer the 2009s over the 2010s.

Just one of the 2010 Bordeauxs made my list of wine picks - the Chateau de Maison Neuve that is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon that you may want to cellar for a few years before imbibing. Suffice it to say, the selection featured in this release doesn't provide a full spectrum of the 2010s, as it's missing many of the higher-end wines that I would have liked to see. The LCBO's minimum case requirement and cost may have been a barrier.

The secondary feature in this release is a small one (just 6 wines) and highlights the Western USA states of Oregon and Washington. I'm a big fan of wines from both of these states, but just one of the 6 wines intrigued me - the Elk Cove Pinot Gris. It's made in a extra dry style and has a slight spritz. In Oregon, Pinot Noir is the most widely planted varietal, while Pinot Gris is second most.

From the rest of the release, there are a couple of wines from the Iberian Peninsula worth your consideration. Age for a couple of years the Portuguese Quinta do Portal, which is made using 50% Touriga Nacional, 40% Touriga Roriz, and 10% Touriga Franca. From Spain is the Coto de Imaz, which is 100% Tempranillo and can be enjoyed now or in a few years. And finally, the Vacqueyras from Rhone is a GSM-blend (70% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre) that can be enjoyed now or in 4 years.

Enjoy my Vintages wine recommendations for this week. Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • ZOLO RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Mendoza, Argentina (#054098) (XD) - $17.00
  • SMALL GULLY MR BLACK’S LITTLE BOOK SHIRAZ 2010 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#287979) (XD) - $17.95
  • VINOS SIN LEY “M” OLD VINE MONASTRELL 2011 - DO Yecla, Spain (#344226) (D) - $18.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE MAISON NEUVE 2010 - AC Montagne Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (#351965) (D) - $19.95
  • JOURNEY’S END SHIRAZ 2007 - Single Vineyard, WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#337642) (XD) - $19.95
  • COTO DE IMAZ RESERVA 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#023762) (XD) - $20.95
  • CHÂTEAU DES ROQUES VACQUEYRAS 2009 - AC, Rhône, France (#352039) (XD) - $21.95
  • QUINTA DO PORTAL RESERVA 2009 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#280578) (XD) - $21.95
  • REDEMPTION ZIN ZINFANDEL 2009 - Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, USA (#224147) (XD) - $26.95
  • STAGS’ LEAP WINERY MERLOT 2010 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#655399) (XD) - $39.95

White Wine:
  • QU CHARDONNAY 2011 - Curicó, Chile (#357392) (XD) - $15.95
  • MOMO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#009167) (XD) - $17.95
  • FIELDING ESTATE RIESLING 2012 - Estate Bottled, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#251439) (M) - $18.95
  • BOLLIG-LEHNERT DHRONER HOFBERGER RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2011 - Prädikatswein, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany (#339945) (XD) - $21.95  reviewed here
  • D’ARENBERG THE MONEY SPIDER ROUSSANNE 2011 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#656710) (XD) - $21.95
  • WILLIAM FÈVRE CHABLIS 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#124578) (XD) - $24.95
  • ELK COVE PINOT GRIS 2012 - Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#955906) (XD) - $24.95

Dessert Wine:
  • KONZELMANN VIDAL ICEWINE 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#167866) (S) (200 mL) - $25.10


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


Friday, December 16, 2011

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  • Friday, December 16, 2011

Red Shot Lane Pinot Noir 2009 (Oregon) - Wine Review

Purchased this red wine from the Sept. 17 Vintages Release which compared Burgundy and Oregon Pinot Noir. I went with the Oregon version, as we do not get enough wines from that region here in Ontario. Willamette Valley is a region widely becoming known for their first class Pinots that rival Burgundy.

RED SHOT LANE PINOT NOIR 2009 - Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#242560) (XD) - $18.95
Tasting Note:
Not a fan of plastic corks, but good aromas emanating from it. Freshly tilled earth is the first thing you will notice, followed by cherry, toast, and smoke aromas in the glass. Strawberry, cherry, and some light spiciness at mid-length on the palate. A classic Pinot, but with a little weight added to this light- to medium-bodied red wine and slightly chewy tannins on the medium-long finish. Enjoying this right now with Chardonnay Wine Biscuits, followed by a Canadian classic - Swiss Chalet. This one is yummy and highly recommended.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

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  • Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2008 Bordeaux + Pinots + New Zealand: September 17 Vintages Release

The next LCBO Vintages Release on doesn't appear to be your typical release because it focuses on 2 rather unique, and interesting subjects - the sleeper 2008 Bordeaux Vintage, and comparing Pinot Noirs from Oregon & Burgundy. The 3rd highlight in this release are high-scoring (but very pricey) wines from New Zealand.

Among the 2008 Bordeaux's, only one made my list - the Vintages "Wine of the Month" Fayan (#243295). I'm a big fan of good Pinot Noirs - most people love this grape or hate it. Which side of the fence are you on? The Red Shot Lane from Willamette looks very intriguing and is a must buy for any Pinot lovers.

The rest of my selections from this release all look very good, included among them is a rare Pinot Gris from B.C. Also noticeable is the absence of any Ontario wines this week, as they had their own "Special Edition" Release last weekend. Enjoy!


Red Wine:
  • RED SHOT LANE PINOT NOIR 2009 - Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#242560) (XD) - $18.95
  • EMILIANA WINEMAKER’S SELECTION SYRAH/MOURVÈDRE 2007 - Los Robles, Colchagua Valley, Chile (#243394) (XD) - $18.95
  • CHÂTEAU FAYAN 2008 - AC Puisseguin-Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (#243295) (XD) - $18.95
  • VIÑA COBOS FELINO CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2008 - Mendoza, Argentina (#132365) (XD) - $19.95
  • JIP JIP ROCKS SHIRAZ 2009 - Padthaway, South Australia, Australia (#673897) (D) - $16.95

White Wine:
  • GEHRINGER BROTHERS PRIVATE RESERVE PINOT GRIS 2009 - VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#347203) (XD) - $17.95
  • JOSEPH CATTIN GEWURZTRAMINER 2009 - AC Alsace, France (#224626) (D) - $16.95


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