Showing posts with label portugal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label portugal. Show all posts

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  • Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April 4, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Easter + Portugal



LCBO Wine Picks: April 4, 2020 VINTAGES Release
While most of us continue to stay at home and practice physical distancing, the LCBO remains open as it is deemed an essential service, albeit with reduced hours and now closed on Mondays until the foreseeable future, the upcoming LCBO VINTAGES is nearly upon us and features wines for Easter Feasts in its main theme, while the mini-theme focuses on wines from Portugal. All of these wines will be on VINTAGES shelves across Ontario by this .

It is unlikely we will see any large, family gatherings for Easter this year. However, if you are inclined to host a virtual gathering, there are 14 wines featured as part of theme on wines for Easter Feasts, with 4 wines included among my top wine picks. For vegetarian fare, try the Rosé that is made with Pinot Noir, or the Sancerre that is made using Sauvignon Blanc. If you are inclined to make Turkey during these times, try the Radford Dale Vinum Chenin Blanc or Grüner Veltliner as both will be delicious.

The mini-theme on wines from Portugal is indeed rather small - with just five wines included as part of the feature. My lone wine recommendation is the 2017 Crasto which is a blend of traditional Douro varietals Touriga Nacional (35%), Tinta Roriz (30%), Touriga Franca (25%), and Tinta Barroca (10%). I enjoyed the 2018 Crasto and would expect much of the same in the 2017.

From my red wine recommendations, there are a pair of quality Rhône reds - the Côtes du Rhône-Villages is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre, while the Costières de Nîmes is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, and 10% Syrah. The latest edition of the Pétalos is a blend of 90% Mencía, 4% Alicante Bouschet, and the balance other varietals, while the Te Kahu is a blend of 63% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon,14% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, and 2% Malbec. Lastly, the Gran Selezione Chianti Classico is a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 13% Merlot, and 7% Malvasia Nera. Single varietal wines include a Cinsault, a lovely Barolo made with Nebbiolo, and a Sicilian wine made with Nero d'Avola.

Boasso Barolo del Comune di Serralunga d'Alba 2015 (91 pts)Craggy Range Te Kahu 2016 (90 pts)

Scattered Earth Bush Vine Cinsault 2018 (88 pts)

Among my white wine picks, the Roussillon Blanc is a blend of 80% Grenache Blanc and 20% Roussanne, while the Côtes du Rhône is a blend of 60% Viognier, 15% Roussanne, 10% Marsanne, 8% Clairette, 5% Bourboulenc, and 2% Grenache Blanc. From Veneto, the Soave is a blend of 85% Garganega and 15% Trebbiano di Soave. For Riesling wine lovers, the version from Australia is dry, while the version from Ontario has some sweetness. If you want a Riesling more for after dinner sipping, although it will be quite fine for the table, the Late Harvest Riesling from New Zealand is the one to buy.

13th Street June's Vineyard Riesling 2019 (90 pts)Greywacke Late Harvest Riesling 2011 (91 pts)

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

Red Wine:

  • SCATTERED EARTH BUSH VINE CINSAULT 2018 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#13350) (XD) - $12.95  88 pts  wine review
  • CUVÉE SABRINE CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES 2016 - AC, Rhône, France (#538496) (XD) - $15.95
  • FERZO MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO 2016 - DOP, Abruzzo, Italy (#573675) (D) - $18.95  88 pts  wine review
  • CRASTO 2017 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#81588) (XD) - $18.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE NAGES VIEILLES VIGNES COSTIÈRES DE NÎMES 2017 - AP, Rhône, France (#40964) (XD) - $19.95
  • DESCENDIENTES DE J. PALACIOS PÉTALOS 2017 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#446484) (XD) - $24.95
  • CRAGGY RANGE TE KAHU 2016 - Single vineyard, Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#493023) (XD) - $29.95  FE  90 pts  wine review
  • BOASSO BAROLO DEL COMUNE DI SERRALUNGA D'ALBA 2015 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#109116) (XD) - $39.95  91 pts  wine review
  • PLANETA SANTA CECILIA NOTO 2015 - DOC, Sicily, Italy (#354589) (XD) - $49.95  FE
  • CASTELLO DI AMA SAN LORENZO GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2015 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#418897) (XD) - $56.95
Ferzo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2016 (88 pts)

White Wine:

  • SAINT-ROCH VIEILLES VIGNES CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON BLANC 2018 - AP, Midi, France (#175232) (XD) - $15.95
  • RADFORD DALE VINUM CHENIN BLANC 2017 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#13338) (XD) - $17.95
  • E. GUIGAL CÔTES DU RHÔNE BLANC 2018 - AC, Rhône, France (#290296) (XD) - $18.95
  • ALLRAM STRASS GRÜNER VELTLINER 2018 - Vegan, certified sustainable, DAC Kamptal, Austria (#14189) (XD) - $19.95
  • SONS OF EDEN FREYA RIESLING 2018 - Eden Valley, South Australia (#12652) (XD) - $19.95
  • PIEROPAN SOAVE CLASSICO 2018 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#946848) (XD) - $19.95
  • 13TH STREET JUNE'S VINEYARD RIESLING 2019 - VQA Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#147512) (D) - $19.95  90 pts  wine review
  • ROGER & DIDIER RAIMBAULT SANCERRE 2018 - AC, Loire, France (#82255) (XD) - $32.95
  • QUEENSTON MILE BARREL FERMENTED CHARDONNAY 2017 - Estate bottled, VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#10137) (XD) - $35.00  FE  91 pts  wine review
  • DE MORGENZON RESERVE CHENIN BLANC 2017 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#339762) (XD) - $46.95  FE
Queenston Mile Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2017 (91 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • MALIVOIRE VIVANT ROSÉ 2019 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#498535) (XD) - $19.95

Dessert Wine:

  • GREYWACKE LATE HARVEST RIESLING 2011 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#12637) (S) (375 mL) - $29.95  FE  91 pts  wine review


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  • Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Crasto 2018 (Portugal) - Wine Review

wine review is a delicious blend of Douro red grape varieties from Portugal. The 2017 vintage of this red wine will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

It is produced by Quinta do Crasto, an estate whose name comes from the Latin castrum meaning "Roman fort", and its history dates far back into ancient times, with the first mention of its wine production dating back to 1615. Between the years of 1758 and 1761, 335 large granite markers were installed around the Douro Valley to delineate the first ever Demarcated Region in the world. One of these pillars can still be seen by the century-old farm house at Quinta do Crasto.

In the early part of the 20th century, Quinta do Crasto was purchased by the founder of the renowned Constantino wine house, Constantino de Almeida. Following his death in 1923, his son Fernando Moreira d’Almeida took over the management of Quinta do Crasto. In 1981, Leonor Roquette (daughter of Fernando Moreira d’Almeida) and her husband Jorge Roquette took over majority ownership as well as the management of the estate. With their sons, Miguel and Tomás Roquette, the fourth generation of the family began the process of renovating and expanding the vineyards, while also starting the production of Douro DOC table wines such as this Crasto Red.

Crasto 2018 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

CRASTO 2018 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#81588) (XD) - $18.95
A blend of traditional Douro grape varieties Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Barroca, and raised mostly in stainless steel tanks. Fresh, wild dark berry aromas lift out of the glass followed by some floral, schist mineral, purple fruit, and savoury earthy notes. It's medium+ bodied with lovely schist mineral and wild dark berry flavours supported by fresh, juicy acidity and smooth, fine-grained, and slightly chalky mineral tannins. Fine mineral, dark berry, and floral flavours linger on the long, balanced, mouth-watering, and textured finish. Enjoy over the next 3-5 years. Recommended buy. Score: 89 pts


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  • Monday, September 9, 2019

Destino Fifth Empire Red Blend 2015 (Portugal) - Wine Review

wine review is a new red wine blend from Portugal that showed up at the LCBO recently as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

The wines for The Fifth Empire Wine Co. are produced at historic Quinta do Portal, a family-owned and -operated producer that is well-known for making Port wines since the late 19th century. However, the family has also been producing Douro wines since the early 1990's, with winemaking of The Fitfth Empire Wines overseen by Paulo Coutinho who has been with Quinta do Portal since 1994.

The Fifth Empire is led by Roger Sobreiro with the goal of producing authentic Portuguese wines for enjoyment across the globe. Ancient Greece was the first empire, while Ancient Rome was the second empire. Christianity was the third empire, and a fusion of both the first and second empires. Europe was the fourth empire with its Great British and Anglo-Saxon hegemony. The fifth empire is the concept of a global Portuguese empire with spiritual and temporal power, based on Daniel 2 and the Book of Revelation interpreted by Antonio Vieira. Beyond territory, The Fifth Empire is the spiritual and linguistic embodiment of Portugal spread throughout the world.

Let's see how this Portuguese red is tasting in Canada tonight...

Destino Fifth Empire Red Blend 2015 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

DESTINO FIFTH EMPIRE RED BLEND 2015 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#646901) (XD) - $22.95
A blend of 45% Tinta Roriz, 30% Touriga Franca, and 25% Touriga Nacional that was aged for 9 months in French oak. Medium+ intensity nose of blackberry, oak spice, vanilla and black plums. The medium-bodied palate offers more blackberry and vanilla notes supported by mouth-watering acidity and finely-grained tannins. There's some earthy nuances on the mid-palate that linger through to the long finish joined by some woody spice notes. Enjoy over the next 3 years. Score: 88+ pts


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  • Monday, July 1, 2019

Gloria Reserva 2016 (Portugal) - Wine Review

On this glorious Monday of a long weekend, red wine review is a blend from Douro that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

Vicente Faria founded his winery in 2001, but his story of success begins in the early part of the 19th century, when Vicente’s ancestors began producing wine in the Douro Valley region in northern Portugal. As a child, Vicente knew that one day he would run his own winery, just like his parents, grandparents, and great grandparents had done for more than 200 years. Starting in the same family vineyard, Vicente Faria Vinhos is now the 7th largest exporter and produces wine in several regions in Portugal

Winemaker Vicente Leite de Faria first learned about winemaking as a child from his great grandfather. He completed a winemaking degree in Portgual and followed that up with further studies at the Unveristy of Bordeaux to learn French wine making techniques. Vicente also worked in Bordeaux with world famous winemakers in several renowned French Châteaux’s where he learned best practices and some of the industry's best kept secrets. Today, he combines the techniques he has learned from both winemaking regions to create extraordinary wines.

Gloria Reserva 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

GLORIA RESERVA 2016 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#146522) (XD) - $16.95
A blend of 40% Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), 30% Touriga Franca, and 30% Touriga Nacional that spent a minimum of 12 months in American oak barrels. Generous aromas of spice, red berry, blackberry, wood, and subtle rustic earthiness from the glass. It is medium-bodied with supple, dusty textured, and slightly drying tannins. Fresh acids brighten the palate. Delicious blackberry, dark plum, sweet cinnamon spice, and hints of floral flavours surround a savoury-earthy core. More savoury notes with hints of mineral on the long finish. Score: 89 pts


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  • Sunday, April 28, 2019

Casa de Mouraz Tinto 2014 (Portugal) - Wine Review

red wine review is a lovely 7-varietal blend from Portugal that arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on .

António Ribeiro and his wife Sara Dionísio lead the estate of Casa de Mouraz. In 2000, they left their secure jobs in Lisbon and immersed themselves in what has become a family adventure of sustainable viticulture and authentic winemaking.

Casa de Mouraz is located in the heart of the Dão region and has been farmed by Antonio's family in a holistic and ecological manner for many generations. Antonio is the 4th generation of the family to farm this land. He was born in the granite house that took his father two years to build and sits above the winery. The landscape and terroir where Casa de Mouraz resides has been shaped by its people and geography, with old and new vineyards coexisting alongside pine, oak, chestnut and cork trees in a wild forest. The vineyards are spread over several parcels with granite and clay soils, and altitudes ranging from 140 to 400 metres. In 1997, all of the estate's vineyards gained ECOCERT’s Organic certification. In 2006, they began Biodynamic preparations and practices.

Surprisingly, there are still many bottles available for purchase at LCBO outlets across Ontario.

Casa de Mouraz Tinto 2014 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

CASA DE MOURAZ TINTO 2014 - DOC Dão, Portugal (#456079) (XD) - $20.95
This organic and biodynamic wine is a blend of 7 varietals - Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Alfrocheiro, Jaen, Água-Santa, Tinta Pinheira and Baga - from different vineyard plots that have granite soil. Grapes were co-fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tank, and 20% was aged for 8 months in used French oak barrels. Complex, medium+ intensity nose has ripe blackberry, earth, spice and twiggy herbal aromas. It is medium-full bodied on the palate with finely-grained, drying tannins and fresh, vibrant acidity that brightens the palate. Nicely balanced flavours of blackberry, currant, cassis, oak, and herbs. Earthy minerality and blackberry notes linger on the long, savoury finish. Score: 90 pts


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  • Monday, January 28, 2019

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Release Feb. 2, 2019: Argentina + Portugal

LCBO Wine Picks: February 2, 2019 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release focuses on wines from Argentina in the main theme, while the mini-theme looks at wines from Portugal. Wines from this Release will be on shelves at LCBO outlets across Ontario this .

We'll begin with the main theme that features some of the new regions, styles, and producers that are defining Argentina's wine scene. Among the thirteen wines featured, six are included among my top Argentinean wine picks. There are two white wines from Argentina among my picks - a Torrontés grown at 1,830 m altitude in the mountainous Cafayate Valley, and an unoaked Chardonnay that was made without malolactic fermentation. Among the reds, Cabernet Franc is gaining in popularity (and quality) in Argentina. There's also a pair of quality Argentinean Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Lastly, no Argentinean list is complete without the country's signature varietal - Malbec, of which there is an excellent single vineyard example from Trapiche.

In the mini-theme that features wines from Portugal, two of the seven wines are among my wine recommendations. The white wine is made with the indigenous Loureiro, while the red wine is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, and Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo).

Among my red wine recommendations from the rest of the Release, the Côtes du Rhône-Village is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, the Côtes du Rhône is a blend of 40% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 20% Syrah, and 10% Cinsault, and the Roussillon is made with 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre. From Spain, the Priorat red is a blend of Cariñena, Garnacha, and Syrah. From Italy, the Morellino consists of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Merlot, while the Guidalberto (Sassicaia's little brother) is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. The Brunello is 100% Sangiovese Grosso, and the Amarone is a blend of 30% Corvina, 30% Corvinone, 30% Rondinella, and 10% Oseleta / Negrara / Dindarella / Croatina / Forselina.

Torres Salmos 2015 (91 pts)Viticcio Morellino di Scansano 2015 (88 pts)

From my white wine picks, the Spanish white is an intriguing blend of Moscatel and Chardonnay, while the rest are single varietal wines. For sweet wine lovers, the Ontario Riesling will be medium sweet, while the Riesling Spätlese from Mosel will be very sweet.

Both sparkling wine picks are dry, with the Cava consisting of 90% Viura and 10% Malvasía, while the Champagne is equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release. Salud!

Red Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU LE GRAND RETOUR PLAN DE DIEU CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES 2016 - AC, France (#224592) (XD) - $15.95
  • OPTA RED 2015 - DOC Dão, Portugal (#633834) (D) - $15.95
  • TESSELLAE OLD VINES GRENACHE/SYRAH/MOURVÈDRE CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON 2016 - AP, Midi, France (#343517) (XD) - $18.95
  • VITICCIO MORELLINO DI SCANSANO 2015 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#574186) (XD) - $19.95  88 pts  wine review
  • ZUCCARDI Q CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - Tupungato & La Consulta, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#140855) (XD) - $19.95
  • CATENA APPELLATION SAN CARLOS CABERNET FRANC 2016 - Mendoza, Argentina (#450106) (XD) - $19.95

  • COUDOULET DE BEAUCASTEL CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2016 - AC, France (#048884) (XD) - $29.95
  • TORRES SALMOS 2015 - DOCa Priorat, Spain (#450734) (XD) - $39.95  91 pts  wine review
  • TRAPICHE TERROIR SERIES FINCA AMBROSÍA SINGLE VINEYARD MALBEC 2014 - Gualtallary, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#402941) (XD) - $42.95
  • CATENA ALTA HISTORIC ROWS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - Mendoza, Argentina (#959965) (XD) - $48.95
  • ABBADIA ARDENGA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2013 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#672337) (XD) - $50.95
  • TENUTA SAN GUIDO GUIDALBERTO 2016 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#072439) (XD) - $60.95
  • TEDESCHI CAPITEL MONTE OLMI RISERVA AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2012 - DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#964403) (XD) - $79.95

White Wine:

  • GORU EL BLANCO 2017 - DO Jumilla, Spain (#625962) (XD) - $13.95
  • VILA NOVA LOUREIRO 2016 - DOC Vinho Verde, Portugal (#632547) (XD) - $13.95
  • PIATTELLI RESERVE TORRONTÉS 2017 - Cafayate Valley, Salta, Argentina (#536672) (XD) - $14.95
  • GOLDSCHILD ÜRZIGER WÜRZGARTEN RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2015 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#621482) (S) - $16.95
  • FAMILIA SCHROEDER ALPATACO CHARDONNAY 2017 - Patagonia, Argentina (#629428) (XD) - $16.95
  • MOUNT RILEY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#981670) (XD) - $17.95
  • JEAN-MARC BROCARD KIMMERIDGIEN CHARDONNAY 2017 - AC Bourgogne, France (#290049) (XD) - $19.95
  • FIELDING ESTATE BOTTLED RIESLING 2017 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#251439) (M) - $19.95
  • J. MOREAU & FILS CHABLIS 2017 - AC, Burgundy, France (#466144) (XD) - $25.95

Rosé Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU LÉOUBE LOVE ROSÉ 2017 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#575282) (XD) - $23.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • CONDE DE HARO BRUT CAVA 2015 - Traditional method, DO, Spain (#168559) (XD) - $19.95
  • LAURENT-PERRIER BRUT MILLÉSIMÉ CHAMPAGNE 2007 - AC, France (#983874) (XD) - $83.95


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  • Monday, January 15, 2018

VINTAGES Release January 20, 2018: Chile + Portugal

LCBO Wine Picks from January 20, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The value-based releases of 2018 continues with this second release of the year. The main theme of the VINTAGES Release focuses on sustainable and green wines from Chile, while the mini-theme highlights the wines from the varied regions of Portugal. New wines will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves this .

Chile shines in this release, with nine of the fourteen wines included in my top wine picks. We'll begin with the organic sparkling wine that is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. Among the white wines from Chile, there is a single vineyard oaked Chardonnay, as well as an interesting blend from coastal vineyards made with 85% Chardonnay (oaked) and 15% Viognier. Among the reds there are numerous single varietal wines to choose from, including Syrah, Cot (the original name for Malbec in France), Carmenère, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The blends include a 2010 that consists of 80% Carignan from dry farmed 60-year-old vines, with the balance Mourvèdre. And lastly, the LFE 900 is a blend of 77% Syrah, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Mourvèdre, 4% Tempranillo, and 1% Grenache.

Valdivieso Éclat 2010 (90+ pts)Concha Y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère 2015 (89 pts)

The mini-theme from Portugal is very small, with just five wines listed, and the only one included among my wine picks is a dry, unoaked white wine made with the Avesso varietal from the Vinho Verde wine region in northwestern Portugal. It's not common to see single varietal wines made with this grape, and is very uncommon to see in our market.

From my top red wine picks in this release, the 2008 Bordeaux is a blend of roughly 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc. The Flagship Store Exclusives (FSE) in this release are also very good. From South Africa, the Optima is a blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, and 16% Cabernet Franc, while the Languedoc red is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and 20% old vine Syrah. There are also a pair of very fine Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines - the 2015 is a blend of 95% Grenache and 5% Mourvèdre / Vaccarèse / Cinsault, while the 2004 has Grenache as the main component, and but contains other varietals typical for the region.

Among my white wine picks, the Bila-Haut is a blend of 60% Grenache Blanc, 20% Macabeu, 10% Marsanne, and 10% Vermentino, while the rest are all single varietal wines. For sweet wine lovers, the Gewürztraminer is a must buy; there is also a Niagara Riesling which is a blend of grapes from both the Ivan and Picone vineyard.

Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Côtes du Roussillon Blanc 2015 (88 pts)

It's refreshing to see rosé wines on VINTAGES shelves in the middle of winter. The Il Borro is a dry, organic rosé wine from Tuscany made with 100% Sangiovese.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release! Salud!

Red Wine:

  • BOUTARI NAOUSSA XINOMAVRO 2015 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (#023218) (XD) - $13.95
  • SANTA EMA GRAN RESERVA SYRAH 2015 - Leyda Valley, Chile (#371161) (XD) - $18.95
  • PÉREZ CRUZ LIMITED EDITION COT 2015 - Estate bottled, Maipo Valley, Chile (#670547) (D) - $19.95
  • CONCHA Y TORO MARQUES DE CASA CONCHA CARMENÈRE 2015 - Peumo, Cachapoal Valley, Chile (#169862) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • ANKO FLOR DE CARDÓN MALBEC 2014 - Cafayate Valley, Salta, Argentina (#536706) (XD) - $19.95
  • MIGUEL TORRES CORDILLERA DE LOS ANDES CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#541169) (XD) - $19.95

  • IL MOLINO DI GRACE RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2013 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#382945) (XD) - $24.95
  • LUIS FELIPE EDWARDS LFE 900 SINGLE VINEYARD BLEND 2014 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#431809) (XD) - $24.95
  • ANTHONIJ RUPERT OPTIMA 2013 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#455915) (XD) - $27.95  FSE
  • VALDIVIESO ÉCLAT 2010 - Dry farmed, old vines, Maule Valley, Chile (#541128) (XD) - $29.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU PECH-REDON LA CENTAURÉE COTEAUX DU LANGUEDOC LA CLAPE 2012 - AC, Midi, France (#530246) (XD) - $33.95  FSE
  • CHÂTEAU BELLEGRAVE DU POUJEAU 2008 - AC Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#526921) (XD) - $38.95
  • CHÂTEAU LA NERTHE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2004 - AC, Rhône, France (#735407) (XD) - $52.95  FSE
  • CLOS DU CAILLOU LES SAFRES CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#525998) (XD) - $62.95  FSE

White Wine:

  • TETRAMYTHOS RODITIS 2016 - PDO Patras, Peloponnese, Greece (#261610) (XD) - $13.95  88 pts  wine review
  • DOMAINE DE LA FRUITIÈRE MUSCADET SÈVRE & MAINE SUR LIE 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#451112) (XD) - $14.95
  • LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON BLANC 2015 - AC, Midi, France (#485656) (XD) - $15.95  88 pts  wine review
  • COVELA EDIÇÃO NACIONAL AVESSO 2015 - Vinho Verde, Portugal (#524868) (XD) - $17.95
  • VISTAMAR CORTE DE CAMPO COASTAL BLEND 2015 - Single estate, Casablanca Costa Valley, Chile (#541003) (XD) - $18.95
  • SAN PEDRO 1865 SINGLE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2015 - Elquí Valley, Chile (#540781) (XD) - $19.95
  • ANDRÉ BLANCK & FILS ALTENBOURG GEWURZTRAMINER 2016 - AC Alsace, France (#168906) (M) - $19.95
  • CHARLES BAKER B-SIDE RIESLING 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#523845) (M) - $22.20
  • LOUIS MOREAU VAULIGNOT CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#525386) (XD) - $38.95
Tetramythos Roditis 2016 (88 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • IL BORRO ROSÉ DEL BORRO 2016 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#539940) (XD) - $19.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • EMILIANA ORGANIC BRUT SPARKLING - Traditional method, Casablanca Valley, Chile (#536607) (XD) - $17.95


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  • Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Porca de Murça Reserva Tinto 2010 (Portugal) - Wine Review

wine was purchased almost 4 years ago to the day from the LCBO VINTAGES Release, where this red wine was featured as part of a selection of wines for the BBQ.

Obviously, this vintage no longer available at the LCBO. Moreover, the current vintage is also not available. If you have this wine in your cellar, you should open it within the next couple of years. A full wine review is provided below.

Porca de Murça Reserva Tinto 2010 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

PORCA DE MURÇA RESERVA TINTO 2010 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#684753) (XD) - $17.95
Black plum and prune aromas from the cork. This blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) has a medium intensity nose seems a bit closed, but offers mature dried blackberry, blueberry and a distinct earthy-mineral component. The palate is medium-full bodied with tannins that are resolving quite nicely but still have some grip. Dried fruit flavours of cherry, blackberry, blueberry, and fig, followed by dark plum and some sweet oak spice notes on the flavour profile. Acids are still well-balanced and the finish length is very good with raisiny notes emerging. Maturing well, this should be enjoyed over the next 1-2 years. Score: 89 pts


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  • Monday, January 16, 2017

VINTAGES Release January 21: Argentina + Portugal

LCBO Wine Picks from January 21, 2017 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming VINTAGES Release on brings with it the return of duo-thematic releases. However, the wines in the second theme (Portugal) aren't very interesting, so we'll stick with the main theme that is Argentina. As per the usual, wines will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves on - or a few days earlier depending on the store.

Wines from 6 top producers in Argentina is the main theme and each producer got 2 wines listed, for a total of 12 wines. It's a solid selection, with 7 of the 12 wines included among my top wine picks. In white wines, there is a nice Chardonnay from Mendoza, while the excellent Torrontés is from the northern Argentina wine region of Salta. At the top-end in red wines is a Cabernet Sauvignon from the iconic Catena Zapata wine family. Lastly, there are four Malbec wines ranging in price from $19 to $30, and from vintages 2013 to a fairly young 2015. Argentina is synonymous with Malbec, and the grapes for the wines I've chosen are grown in various parts of the country, from Salta in the north, to Mendoza in central Argentina, and Patagonia to the south. Buy all of them and taste the differences side-by-side!

Lavau Vacqueyras 2014 (90 pts)

From the rest of the release, in red wines from Rhône, the Vacqueyras is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre, while the Saint-Joseph is an old vines Syrah. Also from Rhône, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, 3% Cinsault and 2% Counoise. The Gamay Noir "Droit" is made from a clone of Gamay that presented itself at the vineyards of Château des Charmes - it's a much bigger and more complex wine than your typical Gamay and definitely worth checking out. Lastly, the 2010 Rioja comes from an excellent vintage and is blend with 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo (Carignan).

In white wines, the Gavi is made with Cortese, while the Sancerre is a Sauvignon Blanc. For sweet wine lovers, the Gewürztraminer is your best bet. The rest of the wines are all oaked Chardonnay.

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée C.M. Sancerre Blanc 2014 (90+ pts)The Tragically Hip Ahead By A Century Chardonnay 2014 (88 pts)

There are a pair of aged Champagnes worth your attention. The 1997 Champagne is a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for consumption now, while the 2006 Pol Roger is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay that can be aged further.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release! Salud!

Red Wine:

  • ESPELT VITICULTORS OLD VINES GARNACHA 2015 - DO Empordà, Spain (#422469) (D) - $15.95
  • CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES ST. DAVID’S BENCH VINEYARD GAMAY NOIR DROIT 2015 - VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#346742) (XD) - $17.95
  • FABRE MONTMAYOU BARREL SELECTION MALBEC 2014 - Patagonia, Argentina (#477364) (XD) - $18.95
  • VIÑA COBOS FELINO MALBEC 2015 - Mendoza, Argentina (#118067) (XD) - $19.95
  • ZUCCARDI Q MALBEC 2013 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#723478) (D) - $19.95
  • RUSTENBERG MERLOT 2014 - WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, South Africa (#404194) (D) - $19.95
  • LAVAU VACQUEYRAS 2014 - AC, Rhône, France (#104927) (D) - $25.95  reviewed here
  • PLANETA NOTO NERO D’AVOLA 2012 - DOC, Sicily, Italy (#477190) (XD) - $26.95
  • COLOMÉ ESTATE MALBEC 2013 - Calchaquí Valley, Salta, Argentina (#477315) (XD) - $29.95
  • J. L. CHAVE SÉLECTION OFFERUS SAINT-JOSEPH 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#359109) (XD) - $36.95  FSE
  • CVNE IMPERIAL RESERVA 2010 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#424390) (D) - $38.95
  • DOMAINE DURIEU CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2014 - AC, Rhône, France (#320168) (XD) - $41.95
  • CATENA ALTA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Mendoza, Argentina (#959965) (XD) - $47.95

White Wine:

  • COLOMÉ TORRONTÉS 2015 - Calchaquí Valley, Salta, Argentina (#357913) (XD) - $15.95
  • MICHELE CHIARLO LE MARNE GAVI 2015 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#228528) (XD) - $16.95  reviewed here
  • VINELAND ESTATES GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#434779) (M) - $17.95
  • THE TRAGICALLY HIP AHEAD BY A CENTURY CHARDONNAY 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#483875) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • VIÑA COBOS FELINO CHARDONNAY 2015 - Mendoza, Argentina (#119099) (XD) - $19.95
  • JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE C.M. SANCERRE BLANC 2014 - AC, Loire, France (#196667) (XD) - $27.95  reviewed here
  • MARCHAND-TAWSE BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#414557) (XD) - $28.95
  • STERLING VINEYARDS OAK KNOLL CHARDONNAY 2014 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#478891) (XD) - $29.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • SENSATION CHAMPAGNE 1997 - Disgorged in 2012, AC, France (#403006) (XD) - $75.95  FSE
  • POL ROGER VINTAGE BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2006 - AC, France (#411793) (D) - $95.95


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  • Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Top Wines from Port & Douro Tasting - May 2016

May was an extremely busy month for tastings, so I've decided to highlight some of my favourites from each tasting.

The first post in this series is the Porto and Douro wine tasting - a small event held at the beginning of . This annual tasting normally has a very low turnout, but this time attendance was very good. The room at the Hyatt Regency Toronto was also on the small side, but suited the event perfectly and helped create a buzzy atmosphere. The tasting featured a combination of mostly Port wine, some very fine red wines, and at least one white wine. Here were my top wines from the Port & Douro tasting.

Tasting Notes:

DALVA COLHEITA PORT 1995 - Douro, Portugal (#069930) (S) - $32.95
This vintage-dated Tawny Port has a highly aromatic, complex nose that's nutty and warm with caramel and hints of orange. Lovely aroma replays on the palate, plus some honey and molasses flavours. Mouthfeel is soft. Excellent length on the warm finish. Will age for many years. Should arrive in VINTAGES again. Contact The Case For Wine for ordering information. Score: 92 pts

Dalva Colheita Port 1995 - Douro, Portugal (92 pts)

TAYLOR FLADGATE 20 YEAR OLD TAWNY PORT - Douro, Portugal (#149047) (S) - $68.95
The nose is highly aromatic with complex notes of nutty, honey, caramel and sweet spice aromas. On the smooth medium-to-full bodied palate, it shows many of the same aromas in a nicely balanced, sweet package that continues through to a slightly spiced mid-palate. The finish length is excellent and shows hints of raisin. Well balanced overall and consistently well-made, year after year. Readily available in VINTAGES. Score: 92 pts

Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Port - Douro, Portugal (92 pts)

ESPORÃO QUINTA DOS MURÇAS 10 YEAR OLD TAWNY PORT - Douro, Portugal (S)
Highly aromatic nose of caramel, honey and some orange citrus. It's medium-to-full bodied with a silky mouthfeel and some very nice aroma replays. The mid-palate has some mildly spiced notes to add complexity. Very good length on the finish. Contact Fine Wines of Portugal to order. Score: 91 pts

Esporão Quinta dos Murças 10 Year Old Tawny Port - Douro, Portugal (91 pts)

WARRE'S OTIMA 10 YEAR OLD TAWNY PORT - Douro, Portugal (#566174) (S) (500mL) - $21.95
Burnt nose featuring complex aromas of orange, caramel, maple wood, burnt sugar and fig that follow through on the sweet, creamy palate joined by hints of fruitcake and more nuttiness. The finish is long and smooth. Rather easy drinking and should have wide appeal. Readily available at the LCBO. Score: 90 pts

Warre's Otima 10 Year Old Tawny Port - Douro, Portugal (90 pts)

DFJ VINHOS ESCADA 2007 - DOC Douro, Portugal (XD)
Blend of Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, and Touriga Nacional that is highly aromatic with lovely violet, flowers, and sweet herbs notes that follow through to the medium-bodied palate. It has juicy acids, supple tannins, and a fine mineral streak on the long finish. Drink over the next 5-7 years. Contact Fine Wines of Portugal to order. Score: 91 pts

DFJ Vinhos Escada 2007 - DOC Douro, Portugal (91 pts)


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  • Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tiago Cabaço .com Premium White 2014 (Portugal) - Wine Review

white wine comes from the Alentejo region in southern Portugal. It is produced by Tiago Cabaço - one of the most promising producers in Alentejo.

Tiago was born and raised in Estremoz, in the heart of the Alentejo wine region, and worked in his parent's vineyard at an early age where he learned first hand about grape growing, grape varieties, and the best soils and climate for each of the grapes. In 2004, Tiago began his own wine project and with an opportunity to showcase his own winemaking capabilities. Today, with access to some of regions best and oldest vineyards, Tiago Cabaço is one of the stars of the new Alentejo.

It will be available at the LCBO as part of the upcoming February 6 VINTAGES release.

Tasting Note:

TIAGO CABAÇO .COM PREMIUM WHITE 2014 - Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal (#429316) (XD) - $14.95
Unique blend of Antão Vaz, Verdelho, and Viognier. Citrus and spring flower aromas from the cork. Elegant nose of floral, citrus zest, tropical fruits and some minerality. On the light-to-midweighted palate, it has a fleshy character with flavours that mimic the aroma profile along with some pear notes. Vibrant, juicy acids make this very much a wine for pairing with food. Very good length on the finish. Don't overchill this white wine. Will be enjoyed with oven roasted chicken. Score: 88 pts


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  • Monday, January 18, 2016

January 23 VINTAGES Release: Argentina + Chile + Portugal

LCBO Wine Picks from January 23, 2016 VINTAGES Release
The VINTAGES Release will be on LCBO shelves this coming and features wines from South America's dynamic duo - Argentina and Chile as part of its main thematic, while the mini-theme is on wines from Portugal. All three countries produce wines offering great value, and should continue to do so in spite of our plunging loonie!

In this release, there are 7 wines each from Argentina and Chile. Three of the seven wines from Argentina are included among my wine picks. No Argentinian list is complete without a nice Malbec, but also among my wine recommendations is a heavily oaked Chardonnay for those that are fans of the style. Last, but not least, is a ripe red wine made using Bonarda - a grape Argentina does quite well.

The Chilean offering is also strong with three of the seven wines included in my wine picks. All are red wines with some special characteristics, such as the single vineyard Carménère from Chile's big house of Concha y Toro. There is also a Cabernet Sauvignon from a single block within a single vineyard from Cono Sur Vineyards & Winery. The third wine is made from 80-year-old vines of Carignan that were dry farmed (i.e. using only natural rainfall). The last Chilean wine recommendation is found near the back of the magazine, as part of the Flagship Store Exclusive (FSE) program - the 2006 Albis is 10 years old and is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Carménère made in collaboration with the famous Antinori family of Italy.

From Portugal, two of the ten wines made my list. The Vale do Bomfim red table wine is a blend of 30% Tinta Barroca, 25% Touriga Nacional, 25% Touriga Franca, 15% Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and 5% Tinto Cão, while the LBV Vintage Port is a sweet blend consisting of 50% Touriga Nacional, 10% Touriga Franca, and 10% Tinto Cão. It's beyond me why the Warre's Vintage Port was not featured as part of the Portuguese theme, but it's there as part of the rest of the release and it's great!

From the rest of the release, the only organic wine of the release is a red wine from Puglia that is a blend of 70% Aglianico, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, while the Santenay is 100% Pinot Noir from vines that are 45 years old.

In white wines, the Pouilly Fumé is made with Sauvignon Blanc, while the two white Burgundies are Chardonnay. The Côtes du Rhône Blanc is a blend of 50% Grenache, 15% Clairette, 15% Bourboulenc, 10% Viognier, and 10% Roussanne. If you enjoy sweeter wines, the Gewürztraminer from Alsace will fit the bill. Also for sweet wine lovers is the Flat Rock Twisted White (a VINTAGES Essential item) and a blend of Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Chardonnay that's on sale for one week at only $13.95 - a very good value in my books.

Enjoy my wine recommendations for this week. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • TRAPICHE BROQUEL BONARDA 2013 - Mendoza, Argentina (#055558) (D) - $14.95
  • VALE DO BOMFIM 2013 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#167676) (XD) - $15.95
  • SANTA CAROLINA SPECIALTIES DRY FARMING CARIGNAN 2011 - Cauquenes Valley, Chile (#213520) (D) - $17.95
  • TERRAZAS DE LOS ANDES RESERVA MALBEC 2013 - Mendoza, Argentina (#029280) (D) - $18.95
  • CONO SUR SINGLE VINEYARD EL RECURSO BLOCK 18 CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#439364) (D) - $18.95
  • CONCHA Y TORO MARQUES DE CASA CONCHA CARMÉNÈRE 2013 - Peumo Vineyard, Cachapoal Valley, Chile (#169862) (XD) - $19.95
  • FOWLES STONE DWELLERS SHIRAZ 2013 - Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria, Australia (#265967) (D) - $19.95
  • TORMARESCA TRENTANGELI 2012 - DOC Castel del Monte, Puglia, Italy (#435529) (XD) - $19.95
  • VINCENT GIRARDIN VIEILLES VIGNES SANTENAY 2013 - AC, Burgundy, France (#435552) (XD) - $37.95
  • ALBIS 2006 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#579813) (XD) - $39.95  FSE
  • PETER FRANUS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#907477) (XD) - $66.95

White Wine:

  • RABL LANGENLOIS GRÜNER VELTLINER 2013 - Kamptal, Austria (#377457) (XD) - $14.95
  • FLAT ROCK TWISTED WHITE 2013 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#001578) (M) - $16.95 (only $13.95 from Jan. 21-27)
  • WILLY GISSELBRECHT TRADITION GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2013 - AC Alsace, France (#928390) (M) - $18.95
  • VIÑA COBOS FELINO CHARDONNAY 2014 - Mendoza, Argentina (#119099) (XD) - $19.95
  • DOMAINE CHATELAIN LES VIGNES DE SAINT-LAURENT-L’ABBAYE POUILLY FUMÉ 2014 - AC, Loire, France (#958801) (XD) - $19.95
  • DOMAINE DE LA JANASSE CÔTES DU RHÔNE BLANC 2014 - AC, Rhône, France (#707588) (XD) - $21.95
  • DOMAINE CHEVALLIER CHABLIS 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#112227) (XD) - $23.95
  • BLUE MOUNTAIN CHARDONNAY 2014 - Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#350108) (XD) - $24.95
  • MARCHAND-TAWSE SAINT ROMAIN 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#440206) (XD) - $31.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • LOUIS BOUILLOT PERLE D’AURORE BRUT ROSÉ CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE - Méthode Traditionnelle, AC, Burgundy, France (#048793) (D) - $19.95

Fortifieds:

  • DALVA LBV PORT 2010 - DOP, Portugal (#169755) (S) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • WARRE’S QUINTA DA CAVADINHA VINTAGE PORT 2001 - Bottled 2003, DOP, Portugal (#189605) (S) - $49.95


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  • Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Senhora Do Convento Wine Tasting

Senhora Do Convento Port Wines
Last , I had the pleasure of tasting the wines of Senhora Do Convento with Donald Ziraldo and his Victoria. Included in this tasting were 3 red table wines, followed by a Ruby Port and Tawny Port (both of which are readily available at the LCBO). We ended the casual walk-around tasting with a pair of aged Tawny Ports, followed by a pair of Vintage Ports.

Fine Port wines have been produced at the Senhora Do Convento property in Tavora, Portugal, within the heart of the Douro Valley, for the past 9 centuries and continues to this day. The impressive 12th Century Monastery still stands on the 150 hectare property that overlooks a 27 hectare vineyard where the grapes for fine wine were originally grown by Cistercian monks.

Besides growing grapes, the large property also has numerous almond, quince, cherry, peach, orange and fig trees along with the woods of chestnut, cork, wild cherry, oak and pine trees, many of which were planted by the Cistercian monks ages ago.

In 2006, a state-of-the-art gravity flow winery was built adjacent to the monastery to produce fine Port and table wines.


If you're new to port wine, you should find out your Port Personality on SDC's website where you can learn more about their entry-level Ruby and Tawny Ports. You will also find interesting cocktail recipes using these two port wines.

One of the most interesting things that Victoria spoke to me about was the romantic legend of Ardinia at the monastery. The love story begins with Ardinia attempting to flee to the monastery to be with her love and also convert to Christianity. Unfortunately for Ardinia, her dream was not realized as her father followed her to the monastery one day and in his rage beheaded his daughter. There have been rumours of a lady dressed in white lace known to make an appearance to the men who arrive on site. Strange sounds and objects being shifted have also been reported over the years.

The next time I visit Portugal, I am definitely making a point to visit Senhora Do Convento, and if courage allows, spend a night on the property.

Thank you to Eurovintage, Donald and Victoria for the opportunity to taste these wines. Full wine reviews of all the wines tasted are provided below. A couple of these wines are available at the LCBO, while the remainder can be purchased through Eurovintage.

Tasting Notes:

Senhora Do Convento Douro Red 2012 - Douro, Portugal (88 pts)Senhora Do Convento Aguias 2012 - Douro, Portugal (87 pts)Quinta Do Convento 2009 - DOC Douro, Portugal (90+ pts)

SENHORA DO CONVENTO DOURO RED 2012 - Douro, Portugal (XD) - $18.95
Medium+ intensity aromas of oak spice, red fruits, spices, herbs and a hint of lavender. Soft, integrated tannins on the medium+ bodied palate with nice aroma replays. Good acids. Bitter on the medium-to-long finish. Blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz. Score: 88 pts

SENHORA DO CONVENTO AGUIAS 2012 - Douro, Portugal (XD) - $39.95
All estate fruit. Nose somewhat closed but showed black cherry, blackberry and vanillan oak aromas which echoed on the soft, rounded palate. It has balanced acids and a lengthy finish. Score: 87 pts

QUINTA DO CONVENTO 2009 - DOC Douro, Portugal (XD) - $24.95
A blend of 25-year-old Touriga Nacional and 22-year-old Tinta Roriz, both from schist soils, and Touriga Franca from granitic soils. Pleasing, elegant nose showing good savoury/fruit balance with notes of tilled earth, forest floor, dark berry, cherry and spice aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with nice aroma replays and a mineral component. It is well-balanced with tannins nicely integrated, good structure and balanced acidity. The smooth finish is very long. Score: 90+ pts

SDC RUBY PORT - Portugal (#398230) (S) - $16.95
Pleasing aromas of ripe berries, blackberry jam, and some herbal complexity that follow through on the sweet palate. Soft mouthfeel, smooth with some alcohol heat on the long finish. Score: 87 pts

SDC Ruby Port - Portugal (87 pts)SDC Tawny Port - Portugal (86 pts)

SDC TAWNY PORT - Portugal (#398248) (S) - $16.95
Highly aromatic and perfumed nose with dried fig, raisin, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla and cherry notes with nice, sweet flavour replays. The medium-bodied palate become a touch hot mid-palate. The finish length is very good with spice and hazelnut flavours. Score: 86 pts

SENHORA DO CONVENTO 10 YEAR TAWNY PORT - Douro, Portugal (#298554) (MS) - $19.95
Golden amber colour. Medium-to-high aromatics of butter caramel, dried cherry, brown sugar, fig and woody notes. On the palate, it's medium-bodied and quite sweet with wood, mineral, butter caramel and vanilla flavours. It has good acidity and a very good length on the finish. Score: 88 pts

Senhora Do Convento 10 Year Tawny Port - Douro, Portugal (88 pts)Senhora Do Convento 20 Year Tawny Port - Douro, Portugal (89 pts)

SENHORA DO CONVENTO 20 YEAR TAWNY PORT - Douro, Portugal (S) - $29.95
Golden amber colour. Highly aromatic nose featuring burnt caramel, brown sugar, and vanilla. The palate is medium+ bodied with hints of Meyer lemon and spice to go along with echoes from the aroma profile. Good, crisp finish. Score: 89 pts

SENHORA DO CONVENTO VINTAGE PORT 2009 - Douro, Portugal (S) - $28.95
Deep, dark red, almost black colour. Medium+ intensity aromas of cherry, red berry compote, subtle oak spice and some tartness on the nose. It's full-bodied with lovely cherry liquer and black cherry flavours. Smooth with balanced acids and a finish that goes on and on. Score: 91 pts

Senhora Do Convento Vintage Port 2009 - Douro, Portugal (91 pts)Senhora Do Convento Vintage Port 2011 - Douro, Portugal (92 pts)

SENHORA DO CONVENTO VINTAGE PORT 2011 - Douro, Portugal (S) - $89.95
Dark red colour. Medium+ intensity nose of blackberry liquer, dark cherry and some white pepper spice. On the palate, it's full-bodied with very nice, balanced aroma replays and subtle oak spice. Excellent alcohol, fruit, oak, acid and tannin balance. Smooth, lingering finish. Very good structure will allow this port to age for 20 years. Score: 92 pts

Victoria and Donald Ziraldo with Tom Noitsis



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  • Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Herdade do Sobroso Sobro Red 2012 (Portugal) - Wine Review

Opened this delicious red wine . It was purchased from the July 19 VINTAGES release and tiny quantities are still available at the LCBO.

HERDADE DO SOBROSO SOBRO RED 2012 - Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal (#306563) (D) - $14.95

Wine Review of 2012 Herdade do Sobroso Sobro Red from Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal
Tasting Note:
Blend of 30% Aragonez, 30% Alicante Bouschet, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Syrah. Plummy aromas from the cork. In the glass, it has medium intensity aromatics with notions of purple flowers, blackberries, clove and new cedar oak with pleasing replays on the palate. Some meaty and dried herb notes as well. Spicy mid-palate, balanced acids and a smooth, lengthy finish. Firm, grippy tannins will soften in a year or two, but highly drinkable right now. Score: 88+ pts


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