Showing posts with label organic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label organic. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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  • Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Southbrook Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2017 (Niagara) - Wine Review



wine review is an organic and biodynamic Chardonnay from Niagara that is also suitable for vegans and vegetarians. I enjoyed the 2013 Southbrook Estate Grown Small Lot Wild Ferment Chardonnay almost 3 years ago to the date (and still have another bottle in the cellar), so I am curious to see how this latest version will be.

This delicious white wine is produced by Southbrook Vineyards, a leading producer of organic wines and based in Niagara-on-the-Lake. While previous editions of the Wild Ferment Chardonnay were estate grown, this latest edition is the first "Wild Ferment Chardonnay" that uses grapes sourced from selected organic Chardonnay growers across the Niagara Escarpment, including grapes from the Saunders' family home vineyard in Beamsville. Individual vineyard lots were separately fermented wild in French oak barrels, and only after ageing were selected barrels blended to create the final wine.

This lovely bottle was just released this month and is available for purchase on-site at the winery, and will be available online through their web store very soon.

Southbrook Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2017 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

SOUTHBROOK WILD FERMENT CHARDONNAY 2017 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $40
Yellow fruit scented with pear, apple, citrus, and buttery vanilla notes in a slightly reductive style. It is medium-bodied on the palate with fresh and lively acids. Ripe and slightly honeyed on the dry flavour profile with pear, apple, lemon and orange citrus, and subtle oak spice flavours. Fine mineral texture adds complexity to the flavours mid-palate and lingers through to the long, juicy mineral and citrusy finish. Clean and elegant, enjoy this fine Chardonnay over the next 5 years. Score: 91 pts


Monday, November 19, 2018

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  • Monday, November 19, 2018

Southbrook Vidal Skin Fermented White Orange Wine 2017 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine is a very interesting natural, organic and biodynamic orange wine produced by Southbrook Vineyards. Technically, orange wines are now known as a skin-fermented white wines. Southbrook has produced this style of wine under the guiding hands of winemaker Ann Sperling for several years now, with latest rendition being the 2017 vintage that was bottled in January and released for sale in June.

The grapes for this wine were hand-harvested from Southbrook's Estate in the Four Mile Creek sub-appellation of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Small lots of grapes, including stems, were cluster-sorted and foot-trodden before undergoing wild yeast and malolactic fermentation over 30 days. After gentle pressing, the wine was naturally chilled outdoors, settled, and bottled without any filtration or additives, and is free of sulphites.

This orange wine is suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and available for purchase through the winery and soon at the LCBO.

Southbrook Vidal Skin Fermented White Orange Wine 2017 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

SOUTHBROOK VIDAL SKIN FERMENTED WHITE ORANGE WINE 2017 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#628065) (XD) - $29.95
Stelvin screw cap enclosure. Cloudy orange colour. Highly fragrant nose offers aromas of citrus and black tea leaves with hints of floral and sage. More pronounced tart citrus, floral, and black tea flavours are well-balanced on the nicely textured, medium-bodied palate. Dry mouthfeel with some chalkiness. Acids are bright and balanced. Some tea, sage and earthy notes linger on the long finish. I'll be honest, I have tasted previous vintages and never really been a big fan of this wine, but this latest vintage is very compelling and engaging. Highly recommended. Best with a light chill. Score: 91 pts


Friday, November 16, 2018

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  • Friday, November 16, 2018

Southbrook Organic Triomphe Chardonnay 2016 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine review is a nice, organic Chardonnay from Southbrook Vineyards, one of the leading producer of organic and biodynamic wines in Niagara. This white wine is also suitable for vegans and vegetarians. It is available for purchase through the winery and in LCBO VINTAGES.

Founded in 1991, Southbrook Vineyards is the epitome and evolution of co-owners Marilyn and Bill Redelmeier's love story with wine, the land, and all things local. Southbrook also has taken a leadership role in sustainability, including third-party endorsements such as LEED Gold for architecture and Intervin Winery of the Year, as well as obtaining biodynamic and organic certifications, which affirms the Redelmeier's goal to inspire others to commit to sustainability, pursue their passions, and create fine wines.

Having tasted each of the past 4 vintages of this lovely Chardonnay, this has proven to been a fairly consistent, high-quality white wine, which continues with the 2016 vintage. It should come as no surprise as Chardonnay is truly one of the great grape varietals produced in Niagara, especially when placed in the hands of internationally-acclaimed winemaker at Southbrook, Ann Sperling.

Southbrook Organic Triomphe Chardonnay 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

SOUTHBROOK ORGANIC TRIOMPHE CHARDONNAY 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#172338) (XD) - $24.95
Stelvin screw cap. Subtle nose of apple, pear and cereal, with hints of vanilla and oak. The medium-full bodied palate offers much more, with very interesting mealy flavours combined with nuts, honey, lemon, and vanilla layered on top of ripe white and yellow fruit. Oak is firmly in the background. Nicely textured with bright acids lifting the palate. Mealy, nutty, and citrus notes linger on the long finish. Not your typical Chardonnay, but indeed a fine expression. Serve with just a light chill. Score: 89 pts


Monday, October 1, 2018

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  • Monday, October 1, 2018

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

wine review is the delicious white wine companion to the red 2016 Momo Pinot Noir that I enjoyed recently, It was released into LCBO VINTAGES on April 28 and is virtually sold out at the moment, but will be coming back to shelves as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

This organic white wine is produced by Seresin Estate, a leading organic and biodynamic producer in New Zealand, and comes from their second line of wines called 'Momo', which means 'offspring' in Maori. This white wine is also suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

It was a challenging cold start in 2016, with pressure to fight frosts during the early stage of vine growth. However, a spectacularly long and warm summer, with dry weather during the harvest period allowed the fruit to be picked on-time, delivered intact, and without stress. One-third of the 100% certified organic fruit was sourced from their own Tatou and Raupo Creek vineyards, which also has biodynamic certification, while the remainder was sourced from certified organic growers - whose vineyards they help manage - in Wairau and Waihopai Valleys.

Momo Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

MOMO ORGANIC SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#009167) (XD) - $19.95
Naturally fermented with wild yeast in stainless steel tanks, and aged on the lees for 6 months. Screw cap. This has a lovely, open, fragrant nose of kiwi, guava, tropical fruit, asparagus, and lemon, with hints of yellow pepper and mineral adding complexity. It's medium-bodied on the palate with a nice creamy texture and lovely aroma replays joined by some wet wool flavours. Succulent, crisp acids are juicy. Minerally and grapefruit-tinged on the long finish. This is very nice. Highly recommended. Score: 90 pts


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

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  • Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Momo Pinot Noir 2016 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

red wine review is a nice organic Pinot Noir from New Zealand that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

Momo, meaning 'offspring' in Maori, is the second line of wines from the organic and biodynamic winery Seresin Estate. The estate is located in sun-soaked heart of Marlborough, at the top of New Zealand's South Island. It was founded by cinematographer Michael Seresin in the early 1990s with a desire to create wines in the most natural way possible, and without compromising on quality. The Momo range of wines is fermented naturally with wild yeasts and produced true to variety and reflect the essence of their fruit characters.

The majority (97%) of the fruit for this Pinot came from their Raupo Creek vineyard where the soils are rich and clay-based, while the remaining portion came from the Wairau Valley. The fruit was hand-picked and destemmed, and fermented using wild yeasts. Ageing occurred in French oak barriques for 10 months. This organic and biodynamic wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Momo Pinot Noir 2016 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

MOMO PINOT NOIR 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#163972) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. This organic wine has a medium intensity nose that offers ripe and attractive raspberry and cherry aromas with earthy and spicy undertones. It is light-to-medium bodied with smooth, elegant tannins on the palate with cherry, raspberry, earth, and beetroot flavours. Hints of tea leaf and cola arriving mid-palate add to the complexity, while tannins have a nice chalky texture. Acids are fresh. Very good length on the earthy, forest floor, and somewhat grippy finish. Enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 88+ pts


Sunday, September 16, 2018

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  • Sunday, September 16, 2018

Château Mourgues du Grès Fleur d'Eglantine 2017 (Rhône) - Wine Review

wine review is a lovely rosé that I picked up while visiting the winery in Rhône Valley back in .

Château Mourgues du Grès is a family-owned, certified organic winery located in Beaucaire, on the slopes of Costières de Nîmes and nestled between vineyards, orchards, and heath. Their terroir is quite rich and made up of the rounded stones (grès) and lies on argilo-calcerous marl, which help the vines draw moisture from greater depths. The stony alluvium was transported from the Alps by the glacier of the Rhône in the quaternary era (nearly 2 million years ago) and imparts miinerality, balance and freshness to the wines. The area is also nurtured by the influences of the Rhône river and the Mediterranean Sea.

The winery is committed to preserving the environment by being mindful of nature and respect for their terroir. The vineyards are maintained and kept fertile by sheep grazing and cover crops to prevent erosion and promote biodiversity. Since 2015, wines have been vinified without the use of sulphur, except for a small amount during bottling to ensure stability of the wine.

Vigneron François Collard returned to the family estate in 1990 and produced his first bottling in 1993. He strives to reveal the purity of fruit, freshness, aromas, and balance between the richness and minerality of every wine he produces, including this delightful rosé.

For availability in Ontario, please contact Brand New Day Wines & Spirits.

Château Mourgues du Grès Fleur d'Eglantine 2017 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU MOURGUES DU GRÈS FLEUR D'EGLANTINE 2017 - AP Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (XD) - €7.5
Mostly Grenache and Mourvèdre, with a dash of Syrah. Vague notions of spring flower and grapefruit from the cork. In the glass, this has delicate aromas of grapefruit and rhubarb with a fine mineral underpinning, and hints of strawberry. It's medium-full bodied on the clean, fresh palate with nicely dry grapefruit and rhubarb flavours. Fresh acids are nicely balanced. A fine salty mineral note and some spiciness arrives mid-palate and continues through to the long, juicy finish. Best with a light chill. Score: 88+ pts


Saturday, July 21, 2018

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  • Saturday, July 21, 2018

Cantalici (Tuscany) Winemaker's Dinner at Mangia et Bevi

Cantalici Winemaker's Dinner at Mangia et Bevi
Last , I had the pleasure of tasting the wines from Tuscany's Cantalici Winery with Winemaker Carlo Cantalici and Export Manager Angela Butini at Mangia et Bevi in the eastern end of downtown Toronto.

After everyone arrived, we sat down at the long, communal-style dinner table and Angela and Carlo began telling us about their winery and taking us through the wines with course from the delicious 4-course meal, eventually ending the night with some Vin Santo.

The winery, L'Antica Fornace di Ridolfo, was formed by Carlo and his brother Daniele in Castagnoli, a small medieval hamlet close to the village of Gaiole in Chianti. It was named after an ancient kiln that was built in the 16th century by a wealthy Florentine family, and the kiln was preserved and integrated into the winery when Carlo and Daniele purchased the property in the late 1990's. Today, the estate has three properties in different areas of Chianti spread out over 90 hectares of hand-harvested vineyards, at altitudes from 300 to 450 metres above sea level.

The most interesting wine of the night was the 2012 Chianti Classico as it really blossomed over the course of the evening.

Thank you to AMV-Whiz for the invitation and hosting this event. It was a lovely evening with fine wines, delicious food, and very good conversation. You may find these wines at the LCBO, but can otherwise contact AMV-Whiz for availability.

Cantalici Winemaker Carlo Cantalici and Export Manager Angela Butini

Tasting Notes:

CANTALICI PETALI ORGANIC ROSÉ 2016 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#314004) (XD) - $18.15
100% Sangiovese. Medium intensity nose that has attractive herbal, strawberry and citrus notes. It's dry on the structured palate with balanced acids and a touch glycerin like texture. The mid-palate is spiced and finishes with blood orange and strawberry flavours, with good length. Score: 87 pts

Cantalici Petali Organic Rosé 2016 (87 pts)

CANTALICI CHIANTI CLASSICO 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#314012) (XD) - $25.15
A blend of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, quite shy initially, but eventually opens up beautifully with cinnamon, clove, sweet oak spice, dark cherry and rose flowers, all of which come through in spades on the medium-bodied palate with nicely integrated tannins and very good acidity. It has a medium-long finish. Give this a short decant (1 hour) prior to serving and drink over the next 3-5 years. Score: 90 pts

Cantalici Chianti Classico 2012 (90 pts)Cantalici Baruffo Chianti Classico 2013 (88 pts)

CANTALICI BARUFFO CHIANTI CLASSICO 2013 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#315795) (XD) - $25.15
100% Sangiovese. This has a medium+ intensity nose in a (new) wood and dark profile with dark berry/cherry, blackberry and oak spice aromas. It's medium-full bodied on the palate with tannins a touch chalky. This has nice aroma replays that are oak influenced with clove and sweet oak spices. Acids are fresh and the finish length is very good. Still young, should improve in 2-3 years. Score: 88 pts

CANTALICI MESSER RIDOLFO CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#315787) (XD) - $33.60
This 100% Sangiovese is named after the 1st owner of the property and who was also mayor of the town. It has a medium-high intensity nose with red berry, cherry, and subtle oak spices. The palate is richly concentrated with more dark cherry, berry and oak spices. Tannins are well-integrated, acids are juicy and the finish length is very good. Score: 89 pts

Cantalici Messer Ridolfo Chianti Classico Riserva 2011 (89 pts)Cantalici Baruffo Chianti Classico Riserva 2012 (90+ pts)

CANTALICI BARUFFO CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#541078) (XD) - $35.95
100% Sangiovese from vines planted 500 metres above sea-level, this has medium-high intensity aromas of sweet oak spice, floral, and dark berries. It is full-bodied and richly structured with smooth tannins and lovely aroma replays. Acids are mouth-watering and the finish length is excellent. Has the stuffing to age 10 years. Released into LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 90+ pts


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

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  • Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Emiliana Coyam 2013 (Chile) - Wine Review

wine is the first in a series from PMA Canada's portfolio that highlights a few top scoring wines from around the globe to help you gear up for the International Sports Stage in February, namely the 2018 Winter Olympics.

As the world comes together this February to celebrate their top athletes, PMA Canada celebrates diversity by offering a selection of award-winning wines from around the globe.

PMA Canada not only prides itself on offering a vast selection of international wines, but also on the fact that the wines presented are of the highest and most renowned quality. So, as different countries battle to come out on top, cheer on your team with a top scoring wine from PMA Canada.

This particular red wine from Chile's Emiliana - Organic Vineyards is the winery's signature wine. "Coyam" means "Chilean oak" and is named in honour of the trees that surround the vineyard that supplies the grapes for this blend. The label, with its tree ring pattern, stylishly matches the name. Scores for this wine range from 90 to 93 points, including 90+ points from me when I tasted this delicious wine back in . Let's see how this wine is tasting tonight.

Emiliana Coyam 2013 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

EMILIANA COYAM 2013 - Los Robles Estate, Colchagua Valley, Chile (#063891) (XD) - $29.95
This organic and biodynamic wine is made with 48% Syrah, 24% Carmenere, 11% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Mourvedre, 3% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot that was manually harvested and double sorted. Ageing occurred for 13 months in French (85%) and American oak, spread evenly between casks that were new, single use, and twice used. Dark plum with hints of savoury meaty notes from the cork. This has fine, savoury, meaty, forest floor, crushed blackberry, and evergreen aromas along with hints of white pepper and licorice that gain intensity with air. Very complex and fairly intense nose. It's medium-full bodied on the palate and shows finesse with smooth, supple tannins that fold into the wine very nicely. Complex savoury, blackcurrant, pepper and herbal flavours are well-balanced and lifted by bright, juicy acids. Some evergreen on the mid-palate. Finishes long and savoury. An amazing wine to enjoy over the next 4-5 years. Score: 91 pts

Last released into VINTAGES on October 14, 2017, and (surprisingly!) is still widely available throughout Ontario.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

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  • Sunday, January 21, 2018

Chakana Nuna Estate Malbec 2016 (Argentina) - Wine Review

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

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

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

Chakana Nuna Estate Malbec 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

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


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

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  • Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Novas Gran Reserva Carmenere Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (Chile) - Wine Review

organic red wine is the last in a series featuring delicious turkey recipes that I'm sure would also work well with chicken. It is produced by Emiliana, a winery known for producing fine organic wines and was recently named Winery of the Year in 2015.

This particular wine comes from their Novas line, and is made with organic grapes from carefully selected vineyards, resulting in wines of excellent quality that fully express their terroir. Its name comes from the ancient astronomers who used the word “Novas” to denote the birth of a new star.

This red wine is a General List product at the LCBO and readily available at LCBO outlets across Ontario.

Novas Gran Reserva Carmenere Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

NOVAS GRAN RESERVA CARMENERE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#434662) (XD) - $16.15
An organic wine that's a blend of 85% Carmenere and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon that was aged for 12 months in a combination of French and American oak, as well as stainless steel tanks. Light plum and blackberry notes from the cork. An initial red pepper nose gives way to oak spice, blackberry, and herbs, with whiffs of minty cassis and chocolate. The palate is medium-to-full bodied with supple tannins that are a touch chalky, and acids are lively and food-friendly. More dark berry, blackberry and herbal flavours with some cassis and mint on the palate. The finish length is very good, with an earthy chocolate aftertaste. Enjoyed with oven roasted chicken. Score: 87 pts

Southern-Style Rotisserie Turkey Recipe:


Ingredients:
  • 1 12 lb. turkey, preferably fresh

Brine:
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • Ice

Rub:
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1-1/2 tsp fresh oregano
  • 1 chipotle pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 sprig fresh sage, roughly chopped

Stuffing:
  • 1 apple, cored and quartered
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1/2 white onion, cut into six
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed

To Prepare:
Place all brine ingredients – except for ice – in a pot large enough to fit the turkey. On the stovetop, heat until sugar and salt dissolve, stirring gently. Remove from heat and let sit until liquid reaches room temperature. Place turkey inside the pot and fill with ice. Cover and place in the fridge for 12 hours.

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the rub. Mix with a fork until fully incorporated. Set aside.

To Cook:
Remove the pot from the fridge and remove turkey from the brine. Place the turkey in a sink and wash with cold water. Pat the turkey as dry as possible and let sit out at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Using your fingers, gently separate turkey skin from the muscles. Using your hands, grab small portions of the butter and place between turkey skin and meat. Make sure to evenly spread throughout as this will help with consistent browning. Lather the outside skin as well.

Stuff the bird with apple, lemon, sage, parsley, onion and garlic. Twine the legs together and fold the wings under the breast. Season outside skin with salt. Outfit the turkey with the rotisserie rod and forks. Place a parchment-lined tray on the bottom rack of your oven and add the turkey to the rotisserie. Let the turkey cook for 20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 320°F and cook for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until the breast reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

When finished, remove from the oven and rest for 1 hour at room temperature. Remove rod and forks before serving.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

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  • Saturday, April 15, 2017

Southbrook Vineyards Wine Tasting - March 2017

Southbrook Vineyards Portfolio Tasting
, I was invited to a wine tasting by André Proulx to taste through some of the latest wines from Southbrook Vineyards - a winery that pursues organic and biodynamic viticulture that I've featured many times on this blog.

There were 13 wines available for tasting, including the 2015 Southbrook Organic Triomphe Pinot Noir and 2015 Southbrook Organic Triomphe Chardonnay that I previously tasted earlier this year, as well as other wines from the Triomphe line of wines that are an expression of carefully tended vines that produce quality wines.

The majority of the wines were from the Estate Grown Small Lot series and tended to be my favourite of the bunch. These organic and biodynamic wines are hand-made to express the unique contributors to winemaking - site, soil, climate, vintage, and the human touch. A sub-series within this line of wines is the Estate Barrel Series, where winemaker Ann Sperling illustrates the subtleties that different barrels can make to Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc bottlings. We got to taste the exquisite 'Allier' Chardonnay, but there are 3 other Chardonnays in this line as well, plus 6 Cabernet Francs - it would've been great to taste all of these side-by-side. A visit to the winery to taste through the rest of the Estate Barrel Series may be in order.

In addition to the above, there was also a wild ferment cider, an effervescent bubbly made with 100% Vidal, and a lovely Chardonnay from their top-of-the-line Poetica series.

Guiding us through the tasting were Paul DeCampo, Director of Marketing & Sales, and Andrew Redelmeier, son of owners Bill and Marilyn Redelmeier who is also a Sales & Marketing Specialist at Southbrook Vineyards.

Wine reviews of my favourite wines at this tasting are provided below, and all of the wines are available (or will be available soon) for purchase direct through the winery.

From left to right: André Proulx, Paul DeCampo and Andrew Redelmeier

Southbrook Portfolio Tasting + Cheese

Tasting Notes:

SOUTHBROOK ESTATE GROWN SMALL LOT 'ALLIER' CHARDONNAY 2013 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $39.95
Aged for 11 months in combination of new and old oak sourced from the Allier forest in central France, this has a gorgeous nose that is very appealing with elegant, sweet vanilla, nutty, butter and integrated oak with hints of pear. The palate is medium-bodied with nice depth, balanced acids and very nice aroma replays led by more nutty characters and hints of caramel and smoke. Excellent finish length. Score: 91 pts

Southbrook Estate Grown Small Lot 'Allier' Chardonnay 2013 (91 pts)Southbrook Poetica Chardonnay 2013 (91 pts)

SOUTHBROOK POETICA CHARDONNAY 2013 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#366500) (XD) - $49.95
Seems somewhat closed compared to a couple of weeks ago at Taste Ontario, offering medium-high aromatics of stone fruit and oak. The palate is medium-bodied and minerally textured with rich stone fruit flavours and integrated oak notes. Refined with balanced acids. Very good finish length with some nutty flavours adding interest. Has the stuffing to age a number of years, but is enjoyable now. Score: 91 pts

SOUTHBROOK ESTATE GROWN SMALL LOT '101' CABERNET FRANC 2013 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $34.95
My favourite red of the tasting, this is 91% Cabernet Franc and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon that is sourced from the "101" vineyard, this is highly aromatic with very nice red & black fruits, herbaceous, tobacco, leather, and dark currant aromas. The palate is medium-full bodied with ripe tannins integrating nicely and very appealing aroma replays. Refined with finely balanced acids and long finishing. Will reward 2+ years ageing and drink to 2023. Score: 91 pts

Southbrook Estate Grown Small Lot '101' Cabernet Franc 2013 (91 pts)

SOUTHBROOK ESTATE GROWN SMALL LOT PETIT VERDOT 2013 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $39.95
Appears shy at the moment, offering glimpses of dark berry fruit, black cherry, and oak along with hints of purple fruit, earth and barnyard notes, all of which come through nicely on the full-bodied palate. Tannins are well-integrated and balanced by very good, juicy acids. The finish length is very good. Score: 89 pts

Southbrook Estate Grown Small Lot Petit Verdot 2013 (89 pts)Southbrook Estate Grown Small Lot 'Witness Block' Cabernet Sauvignon / Cabernet Franc 2013 (90+ pts)

SOUTHBROOK ESTATE GROWN SMALL LOT 'WITNESS BLOCK' CABERNET SAUVIGNON / CABERNET FRANC 2013 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $39.95
A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon (from 2003 planting), 37% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Merlot, this has medium-high aromatics that offer touches of evergreen, red and black fruits, cassis and black cherry. Oak is well-integrated on the full-bodied palate with nice aroma replays and balanced acids. Long finishing. Slightly chalky tannins should soften with time. Drink over the next 5 years. Score: 90+ pts


Friday, March 31, 2017

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  • Friday, March 31, 2017

Emiliana Adobe Reserva Merlot Organic 2015 (Chile) - Wine Review

wine is an organic red wine made by Emiliana Organic Vineyards of Chile.

"Adobe" refers to an ancient natural material used for construction in Chile and is now the main foundation of Emiliana's winery in Chile. It is also the name of their "reserve" line of wines, one of many lines in their portfolio, that are made with organic grapes which reflect the quality of their vineyards. These wines are also made with deep respect for the environment and their workers.

This wine is a General List product and widely available at LCBO locations throughout Ontario and is perfectly suitable for upcoming Easter celebrations paired with red meats.

Emiliana Adobe Reserva Merlot Organic 2015 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

EMILIANA ADOBE RESERVA MERLOT ORGANIC 2015 - DO Rapel Valley, Chile (#322024) (D) - $12.95
Screw cap. This organic Merlot offers ripe fruited aromas of raspberry, blackberry, black cherry, black plum, along with wood-influenced cocoa, milk chocolate and oak notes. The palate is full-bodied with a plush mouthfeel, balanced by fresh acids and a flavour profile that mimics the aromas, plus some graphite tones. Sweet, dusty tannins gain volume and become quite chalky towards the long chocolatey finish. Ideal with red meat. Score: 87 pts


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

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  • Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Southbrook Connect Organic White 2014 (Ontario) - Wine Review (Bottle 2)

I first tried organic white wine from Southbrook Vineyards just over a year ago. And tonight, I am opening the second bottle with an expectation that it has matured a little. This wine is bottled under Stelvin screw cap, so I am expecting only subtle changes, if any at all.

If you're interested in purchasing this wine, there may be some 2014s left at the LCBO, but I suspect they have shifted to the next vintage as the 2015 is now available for purchase on the Southbrook Vineyards website. You should also know that the 2014 was a blend of 58% Vidal, 21% Chardonnay, 12% Riesling, and 9% Sauvignon Blanc, while the 2015 is a blend of 56% Vidal, 31% Riesling, 13% Sauvignon Blanc - bigger Riesling component and no Chardonnay.

Southbrook Connect Organic White 2014 (86 pts)

Tasting Note:

SOUTHBROOK CONNECT ORGANIC WHITE 2014 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#249078) (D) - $15.95
Waxy and slightly oxidative, along with subtle aromas of melon, citrus and white peach of medium-intensity. The palate is soft, round and full-ish with sour edged flavours of honey and ripe citrus. Delicate acids. There's a hint of sweetness, but finishes with bitter notes of average length. Drink now. Score: 86 pts


Sunday, January 22, 2017

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  • Sunday, January 22, 2017

Southbrook Organic Triomphe Chardonnay 2015 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine was bottled last , but only released by the winery for home delivery across Canada a few weeks ago.

This small batch organic Chardonnay has been produced by Southbrook Vineyards for many years now. I've tasted the previous 3 vintages (2014, 2013 and 2012), which were all delicious, and I expect the 2015 to also be delicious, while continuing to be suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Ann Sperling is director of winemaking and viticulture at Southbrook, and with three decades of experience in winegrowing and winemaking, she is considered a leading force in the Canadian movement towards organic and biodynamic winemaking.

The 2015 vintage is currently only available at the winery, or online through their website. Previous vintages of this wine have showed up on LCBO VINTAGES shelves. However, since only 800 cases were produced, it may or may not show up this time around.

Southbrook Organic Triomphe Chardonnay 2015 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

SOUTHBROOK ORGANIC TRIOMPHE CHARDONNAY 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#172338) (XD) - $22.95
Stelvin screw cap. Quite a change in style compared to the last vintage, this has subtle aromas of orchard fruits, earth and yeast. The palate is medium+ bodied with more orchard fruit flavours like apple and pear, with underlying earthy flavours, and ending with slightly honeyed notes. Some interesting salty notes mid-palate. Acids are prickly and juicy, providing freshness. Finish is earthy and dry, with very good length. I would put this away for another year to let it develop further. Serve with only a light chill. Score: 88 pts


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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  • Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Southbrook Organic Triomphe Pinot Noir 2015 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine is something we haven't seen in many, many years - a Triomphe Pinot Noir from Southbrook Vineyards.

Since moving to Niagara and starting their own organic production, only organically grown grapes are chosen for Southbrook's Triomphe line of wines. And since they didn't plant any Pinot Noir (or Riesling) at their site in Four Mile Creek (in Niagara-on-the-Lake), they did not produce a Pinot Noir for their Triomphe line - until now. The grapes for this wine are sourced from Heather Laundry's certified organic vineyard at their Lincoln Lakeshore site.

For this vintage, the grapes were hand-harvested and naturally fermented with 40% whole clusters. It was matured for 9 months in mostly neutral French oak.

This organic wine is only available from the winery and can be ordered for home delivery across the country. Only 250 cases produced, so visit the Southbrook Vineyards website to place your order today!

Southbrook Organic Triomphe Pinot Noir 2015 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

SOUTHBROOK ORGANIC TRIOMPHE PINOT NOIR 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $29.95
Subtle aromas of strawberry, cherry and subtle spice from the cork. Crafted by the talented Ann Sperling with grapes sourced from the Laundry Vineyard, this organic red wine has medium+ intensity aromatics offering cherry, strawberry, raspberry, sweet herbs and a whiff of earthiness in the glass. Some dried floral aromas emerge with air. It's light-bodied but gains texture in the mouth. Smooth, refined tannins on the palate with earthy, red currant strawberry, cherry and mushroom flavours. Acids are fresh and balanced. Some milk chocolate notes on the long finish. Fairly complex overall and should evolve nicely over the next 3-4 years. Score: 89 pts


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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  • Tuesday, October 25, 2016

San Raffaele Monte Tabor Pinot Grigio 2015 (Veneto) - Wine Review

Opened up this organic white wine ahead of it's release onto LCBO VINTAGES shelves on .

The grapes for this organic Pinot Grigio come from vineyards in the area around Verona, west of Venice, and is managed by winegrowers who have been cultivating organically for more than 25 years.

This 2015 vintage is a step up in quality from the 2014 San Raffaele Monte Tabor Pinot Grigio that I tasted last year, and is sure to be liked by many.

San Raffaele Monte Tabor Pinot Grigio 2015 - IGT Veneto, Italy (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

SAN RAFFAELE MONTE TABOR PINOT GRIGIO 2015 - IGT Veneto, Italy (#204768) (XD) - $13.95
Organic wine. Light aromas of fresh lemon and tropical fruits from the cork. Perfumed aromas of melon, tropical fruit and lemon of medium intensity. The palate is ripe and juicy with good fruit concentration, showing peach, apricot and lemon flavours in a dry style (i.e. not sweet). Acids are fresh, while the finish length is good. Should appeal to many. Score: 87 pts


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

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  • Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Southbrook Organic Triomphe Cabernet Franc 2013 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine returns to VINTAGES soon and will be on shelves at the LCBO as part of the upcoming VINTAGES Release on .

I tasted this organic wine produced by Southbrook Vineyards previously at the epic Ontario Cabernet Franc tasting in . It's now had more than a year in bottle to soften any hard edges and comes across as quite smooth today, as noted in my wine review below.

The organic grapes for this wine were sourced from Southbrook's own vineyards, as well as 3 other growers, and picked, de-stemmed and fermented separately in either a stainless steel tank or oak vat over an average total maceration time of 3 weeks. Gentle pressing, settling and racking to oak barrels occurred for nine months before careful blending, filtering and bottling, without fining.

Southbrook Organic Triomphe Cabernet Franc 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

SOUTHBROOK ORGANIC TRIOMPHE CABERNET FRANC 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#275958) (D) - $21.95
Blend of 95% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot. Stelvin screw cap. Cocoa-dusted, forest floor and earthy aromas give way to lovely sweet herbs, clove, red floral, black cherry, blackberry notes. The tannins have integrated very nicely, offering a nice and smooth mouthfeel on the medium bodied frame. Nice, sweet-fruited aroma replays - clove, red currant, floral, and vanilla flavours open up nicely with air. Acids are juicy and finish length is very good. In a nice place right now, but will drink well over the next 2-3 years. Score: 89 pts


Monday, September 26, 2016

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  • Monday, September 26, 2016

Southbrook Organic Triomphe Chardonnay 2014 (Niagara) - Wine Review

I opened up this nice organic Chardonnay to pair with rotisserie chicken - and it paired very well indeed!

This white wine is the latest vintage of Southbrook Vineyards' Triomphe Chardonnay and is included as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release on . Having tasted both the 2013 and 2012 vintages of this wine, this latest vintage comes across as quite reductive in style and may shock you if you've never tasted a style of wine like this.

The organic grapes for this wine come from both the Saunders and Sabourin vineyards and were handpicked, sorted and gently whole cluster pressed to extract the juice. Fermentation and lees aging occurred in 100% French cooperage over a period of 12 months prior to barrel selection, blending and bottling.

Southbrook Organic Triomphe Chardonnay 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

SOUTHBROOK ORGANIC TRIOMPHE CHARDONNAY 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#172338) (XD) - $22.95
Stelvin screw cap. Lifted aromatics that are reductive in style with matchstick most prominent followed by lemon, herbs, buttered popcorn and yellow pear aromas. It's medium-bodied on the palate with clean, refreshing lemony acids. Balanced flavours of lemon, buttered popcorn, herbal and smoky nuances linger on the long finish. This should improve in a year's time as the wine integrates. Paired really well with the smoky flavours from the rotisserie chicken off the BBQ. Score: 89 pts


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

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  • Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Southbrook Triomphe Organic Cabernet Franc Rosé 2015 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine is a sneak preview of a dry rosé that will be available at the LCBO as part of the VINTAGES Release on .

This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc, from grapes grown organically at the Estate, as well as from the Saunders and Sabourin Vineyards.

Southbrook Triomphe Organic Cabernet Franc Rosé 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE ORGANIC CABERNET FRANC ROSÉ 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#279117) (XD) - $19.95
Stelvin screw cap. Pretty salmon colour. Shy nose offers glimpses of red fruit, strawberry, floral, sweet herbs and hints of honey. The plush, medium-bodied palate has honeyed cran-cherry flavours with some pepper and herbally nuances. It's dry with gentle acids and good length on the finish. Best enjoyed with just a slight chill. Score: 88 pts


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

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  • Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Emiliana Novas Gran Reserva Carménère / Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (Chile) - Wine Review

Emiliana Novas Gran Reserva Carménère/Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 - Colchagua Valley, Chile
, I was invited to the iYellow Wine Cave to attend iYellow's most recent #WinemakerRAW event with Emiliana Organic Vineyards from Chile.

Having tasted quite a few Emiliana wines over the past few years at the annual Chilean Wine Tasting, I had a good feeling about this tasting. This night was about getting an up close and personal look at the 2013 Emiliana Nova Gran Reserva Carménère/Cabernet Sauvignon that was just released a few weeks prior to this event at the LCBO as a general list product (and is widely available throughout the province).

In attendance representing the winery was the Winemaker Emilio Contreras, as well as the Export Director Fernando Pavon. Mr. Contreras joined Emiliana's team of winemakers in 2007 and is currently responsible for the reserve wines (including the wine below) and the two premium organic lines.

Emiliana Organic Vineyards is an organic and biodynamic winery that is focused on creating high quality wines while showing respect for the environment and their people. Emiliana firmly believes that using sustainable, organic, and biodynamic agricultural practices help produce better-balanced, healthier, and more productive vineyards, which in turn results in better grapes and unique, terroir-driven wines.

Fernando Pavon (left) and Winemaker Emilio ContrerasEmiliana Novas Gran Reserva Carménère/Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

EMILIANA NOVAS GRAN RESERVA CARMÉNÈRE/CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#434662) (XD) - $15.80
Blend of 85% Carménère and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium+ intensity nose of sweet oak, brett and earth with underlying sweet ripe black cherry and hints of purple fruit. It is medium-bodied on the palate with soft, rounded tannins. Black cherry, sweet vanilla and hints of cocoa on the medium-to-long finish. Organic wine made in an approachable style that should have wide appeal. Score: 88 pts


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