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

Monday, January 15, 2018

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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 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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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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

Monday, January 16, 2017

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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

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

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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)

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)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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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

Monday, January 18, 2016

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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 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


  • 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

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

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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

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

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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

Monday, September 22, 2014

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  • Monday, September 22, 2014

Sept. 27 LCBO Wine Picks: Pioneers + Portugal

LCBO Wine Picks from September 27, 2014 VINTAGES Release
The next LCBO Vintages release will be on shelves this . The main focus of this release is titled "Breaking Ground" and highlights top wines from 11 pioneers from the world of wine. The mini-feature of this release is on wines from Portugal.

Of the eight wines from Portugal, just one made my list of wine picks. The red wine from Quinta de Pancas is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and hails from the DOC Lisboa, a region that until 2009 was formerly known as Estremadura. This is a wine you'll want to cellar for at least a couple of years. A brief mention in this section points you to the back of the magazine, where a stellar selection of Vintage Ports from the outstanding 2011 vintage can be found. These Port wines will easily last 30 years, and are available in limited quantities throughout the province. If you had a child born in 2011, get one and open it to celebrate their 30th birthday!

From the "Breaking Ground" section, there are four wines that caught my attention. First up is the Catena Alta Malbec by Nicolas Catena - a man who pioneered winemaking in high-altitude vineyards, as well as helped develop the premium wine scene in Argentina. Next is John Shafer of Shafer Vineyards who helped pioneer the big, burly California Cabs from challenging hillside vines. However, it's his Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay (barrel-fermented using wild yeasts, and partially aged in French oak) that I am recommending. In South Africa, Tim Hamilton Russell pioneered the idea that South Africa could produce quality wines from cool-climate varietals - and he was right! His Pinot Noir in this release is from Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, a wine region that is considered to be cool-climate. Lastly, "Breaking Ground" in the case of Rockway Vineyards in Niagara literally meant that - with a wine museum, gourmet dining and a golf course adjacent to the winery boosting local wine tourism in the region. Their 2011 Small Lot Meritage (38% Cab Sauv, 38% Cab Franc, and 24% Merlot) is featured in this weekend's Vintages release.

From the rest of the release, the Domaine Lafage is an 80/20 Grenache/Syrah blend, while the Domaine des Andrines also contains Syrah & Grenache. Also from Rhône is the Domaine Brusset, consisting of 65% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, and 5% Cinsault. From Spain, the Vizcarra (100% Tempranillo) returns one year later with another year of development under its belt. The last of the reds is an SGM from John Duval that blends 48% Shiraz, 31% Grenache, 21% Mourvèdre.

In white wines, the off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) Vouvray from Clos le Vigneau and is 100% Chenin Blanc. Sweet wine lovers can once again look to Riesling to satisfy their sweet tooth, but should also check out the Port wines for maximum enjoyment.

Enjoy my wine recommendations for this week. Cheers!

Red Wine:
  • DOMAINE LAFAGE VIGNES MAGIQUES GRENACHE/SYRAH 2011 - Lieu-dit La Pantaline, AP, Midi, France (#383752) (XD) - $17.95
  • DOMAINE DES ANDRINES CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#380592) (XD) - $17.95
  • QUINTA DE PANCAS SELECÇÃO DO ENÓLOGO 2010 - DOC Lisboa, Portugal (#380931) (XD) - $18.95
  • ROCKWAY ESTATE SMALL LOT MERITAGE 2011 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#388264) (XD) - $19.95
  • VENTISQUERO GREY SINGLE BLOCK CARMENÈRE 2011 - Trinidad Vineyard, Maipo Valley, Chile (#325415) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • BODEGAS VIZCARRA JC VIZCARRA 2010 - DO Ribera del Duero, Spain (#214650) (XD) - $30.95
  • HAMILTON RUSSELL PINOT NOIR 2012 - WO Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Walker Bay, South Africa (#999516) (D) - $44.95
  • CATENA ALTA MALBEC 2011 - Mendoza, Argentina (#982355) (XD) - $49.95
  • JOHN DUVAL PLEXUS SHIRAZ/GRENACHE/MOURVÈDRE 2009 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#073049) (XD) - $49.95

White Wine:
  • HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE RIESLING 2012 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#557165) (M) - $17.95
  • BABICH BLACK LABEL SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#009142) (XD) - $17.95
  • LAWSON’S DRY HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#214460) (XD) - $18.95
  • DEU LA DEU ALVARINHO VINHO VERDE 2013 - Monção e Melgaço, DOC, Portugal (#040642) (XD) - $19.95
  • CLOS LE VIGNEAU VOUVRAY 2012 - AC, Loire, France (#318840) (D) - $19.95
  • SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#117556) (XD) - $21.95  reviewed here
  • QUAILS’ GATE CHARDONNAY 2012 - VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#377770) (XD) - $21.95
  • TEGERNSEERHOF SMARAGD BERGDISTEL GRÜNER VELTLINER 2012 - Wachau, Austria (#377606) (XD) - $24.95
  • WEGELER RÜDESHEIMER BERG SCHLOSSBERG RIESLING KABINETT 2012 - Rheingau, Germany (#378083) (M) - $25.95  reviewed here
  • JEAN-MARC BROCARD VAU DE VAY CHABLIS 1 ER CRU 2012 - AC, Burgundy, France (#159012) (XD) - $29.95
  • SHAFER RED SHOULDER RANCH CHARDONNAY 2012 - Carneros, Napa Valley, California, USA (#045583) (XD) - $67.95

  • PILLITTERI CABERNET SAUVIGNON ICEWINE 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#589093) (S) (200 mL) - $34.95  reviewed here

  • COCKBURN’S VINTAGE PORT 2011 - DOC Duoro, Portugal (#362251) (MS) - $80.00
  • QUINTA DO NOVAL VINTAGE PORT 2011 - DOC Duoro, Portugal (#362525) (MS) - $90.00
  • TAYLOR FLADGATE VINTAGE PORT 2011 - DOC Duoro, Portugal (#362293) (MS) - $130.00  also available in 375mL and 1500mL

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

Monday, April 8, 2013

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  • Monday, April 8, 2013

Apr. 13 LCBO Wine Picks: New Zealand + Portugal

LCBO Vintages Wine Picks: April 13, 2013 Wine Release
The next Vintages release focuses on wines from 4 "premium" producers in New Zealand, while the secondary feature is on wines from Portugal. In Local Talent, Prince Edward County is featured - probably to coincide with the upcoming PEC in the City tasting - with 4 premium wines.

From New Zealand, a trio of Sauvignon Blancs from two producers are worth checking out. Both Dog Point and Cloudy Bay produce high-quality, premium wines, at premium price points. You will likely not be disappointed with Dog Point's Sauvignon Blanc or their Section 94 Sauvignon Blanc. Going further up in price is the Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc. All three are quite complex and interesting, and not your typical grassy/cat pee Savvys.

A couple of good value wines from Portugal also exist in this release. The Adriano Romas Pinto consists of 6 different local varietals, led by (45%) what is generally considered to be Portugal's best varietal - Touriga Nacional. If you want to try this varietal on its own, the Delaforce is a great choice as it's 100% Touriga Nacional.

From the rest of the release, it's interesting to note that the 2009 Maycas del Limarí Chardonnay is only arriving in Vintages now, while the 2010 arrived last June. The 2005 Marqués de Cáceres is already aged for your and made with 85% Tempranillo, and 15% Garnacha Tinta (Grenache) & Graciano. The 2010 Rhône from Domaine Durieu consists of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, 3% Cinsault, and 2% Counoise and can be enjoyed now or a decade later. And finally, from our own backyard is the 2010 Château des Charmes Equuleus - it's a blend of 50% Cab Sauv, 25% Cab Franc and 25% Merlot and is made only in the best years.

Enjoy my picks for this week! New wines will be on LCBO Vintages shelves on . Cheers!

Red Wine:
  • BODEGA SÉPTIMA SÉPTIMO DÍA MALBEC 2011 - Mendoza, Argentina (#219295) (D) - $15.95  reviewed here
  • ADRIANO RAMOS PINTO DUAS QUINTAS 2010 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#359893) (XD) - $16.95
  • DELAFORCE TOURIGA NACIONAL 2009 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#324517) (XD) - $18.95
  • CUSUMANO NOÀ 2008 - IGT Sicilia, Italy (#109512) (XD) - $18.95
  • ALPHA ESTATE HEDGEHOG VINEYARD XINOMAVRO 2008 - AOSQ Amyndeon, Greece (#259762) (D) - $19.95
  • MARQUÉS DE CÁCERES TINTO RESERVA 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#702761) (XD) - $24.95
  • NORMAN HARDIE COUNTY UNFILTERED PINOT NOIR 2011 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (#125310) (XD) - $35.00
  • DOMAINE DURIEU CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2010 - AC, Rhône, France (#320168) (XD) - $35.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE FONBEL 2009 - AC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France (#196451) (XD) - $37.85
  • CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES EQUULEUS 2010 - Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard, VQA St. David’s Bench (Niagara), Ontario, Canada (#319525) (XD) - $40.00  reviewed here
  • BREWER-CLIFTON MOUNT CARMEL PINOT NOIR 2009 - Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara County, California, USA (#311647) (XD) - $64.95

White Wine:
  • DR. HERMANN ÜRZIGER WÜRZGARTEN RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2007 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#313528) (M) - $16.95
  • KELLEREI KALTERN CALDARO PINOT GRIGIO 2011 - DOC Alto Adige, Italy (#317867) (D) - $16.95
  • CONCILIO CONOIDI GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2011 - DOC Trentino, Italy (#670711) (XD) - $16.95
  • MAYCAS DEL LIMARÍ RESERVA ESPECIAL CHARDONNAY 2009 - Limarí Valley, Chile (#162040) (D) - $19.95
  • RUSTENBERG CHARDONNAY 2011 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#598631) (D) - $22.95
  • DOG POINT VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#677450) (XD) - $22.95
  • DOG POINT VINEYARD SECTION 94 SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#325977) (XD) - $39.95
  • CLOUDY BAY TE KOKO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2009 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#084897) (XD) - $48.95

Rosé Wine:
  • CLAUDE RIFFAULT LA NOUE SANCERRE ROSÉ 2011 - AC, Loire, France (#323626) (XD) - $19.95

Sparkling Wine:
  • SHOENHEITZ BRUT CRÉMANT D’ALSACE - AC, Alsace, France (#319962) (D) - $19.95

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

Monday, May 21, 2012

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  • Monday, May 21, 2012

May 26 LCBO Wine Picks: 90+ Wines and Portugal

The next VINTAGES wine release from the LCBO will be out in stores across Ontario on . The theme of this release is on wines that scored 90 and higher. I've whittled down the many 90+ wines from this feature into a few that are worth pursuing.

Among them are the following red wines Lealtanza from Spain made with 100% Tempranillo; the Sequillo Cellars Red from South Africa that is a GSM blend plus Carignan and Cinsault, while the Antinori Brunello di Montalcino is 100% Sangiovese. In white wine, we have the C.H. Berres Riesling Kabinett, the Vasse Felix Chardonnay, and the Cave Spring CSV Riesling.

One wine that is not listed below but deserves a mention is the Mas d’Auzières Sympathie pour les Stones 2009 from Midi (#277046, $19.95). It's part of the 90+ feature but there's a note saying the product is currently not available. Why they would include this wine in this release if it's not going to be available?? I would keep an eye out for this once it does arrive in stores.

The secondary feature in this release is on wines from Portugal's hotspots. My pick from Portugal is the Cunha Martins, made from the varietals Touriga-Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Alfrocheiro-Preto and Jaen.

Among the rest of the my wine picks, the Umani Ronchi Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is an Organic wine made with 100% Montepulciano and has a very high QPR. As the weather gets warmer, rosés tend to quench the thirst. The 13th Street version is made using 6 different red and white varietals, while the Château Montet is 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon.

There are lots of good wines to choose from this release. Hope you enjoy my picks! Cheers!

Red Wine:
  • LEALTANZA RESERVA 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#276097) (XD) - $19.95
  • LA POSTA PIZZELLA FAMILY VINEYARD MALBEC 2009 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#166298) (D) - $15.95
  • UMANI RONCHI MONTIPAGANO MONTEPULCIANO D’ABRUZZO 2010 - DOC, Abruzzo, Italy (#134585) (XD) - $13.95
  • CUNHA MARTINS RESERVA 2008 - DOC Dão, Portugal (#276188) (XD) - $14.95
  • GAMMA RESERVA PRIVADA CABERNET/MERLOT 2008 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#269191) (D) - $16.95
  • BODEGA MONTEVIEJO LINDAFLOR MALBEC 2006 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#109322) (D) - $39.95
  • SEQUILLO CELLARS RED 2009 - WO Swartland, South Africa (#277996) (XD) - $29.95
  • ANTINORI PIAN DELLE VIGNE BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2006 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#651141) (XD) - $59.95

White Wine:
  • C.H. BERRES ÜRZIGER WÜRZGARTEN RIESLING KABINETT 2008 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#207274) (MD) - $19.95
  • LINGENFELDER FREINSHEIMER MUSIKANTENBUCKEL RIESLING KABINETT 2010 - Deutscher Prädikatswein, Pfalz, Germany (#087593) (MD) - $17.95
  • TRIMBACH RIESLING 2009 - AC Alsace, France (#734517) (XD) - $18.95
  • VASSE FELIX CHARDONNAY 2010 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#903617) (XD) - $20.95
  • CAVE SPRING CSV RIESLING 2008 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Cave Spring Vineyard, Ontario, Canada (#566026) (MD) - $29.95
  • WILLIAM FÈVRE SAUVIGNON BLANC SAINT-BRIS 2010 - AC, Burgundy, France (#626523) (XD) - $16.95

Rosé Wine:
  • 13TH STREET PINK PALETTE ROSÉ 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#275834) (D) - $14.95
  • CHÂTEAU MONTET ROSÉ 2011 - AC Bordeaux Rosé, France (#276386) (D) - $12.95

Sparkling Wine:
  • MARENCO STREV MOSCATO D’ASTI 2011 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#276600) (MS) - $14.95

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

Saturday, April 28, 2012

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  • Saturday, April 28, 2012

Vinho Verde Wine Tasting

Vinho Verde logo
It was a gorgeous spring evening when I recently attended a walk-around tasting of Vinho Verde wines. The weather was perfectly suited for tasting wines from this Portuguese region.

Prior to this event, I couldn't recall the last time I tasted a Vinho Verde as it must have been many years ago, so I was excited to be attending this tasting and getting re-acquainted the region.

The event was held at Verity Club on Queent St. East (Toronto) and featured about 10 wineries. Most wines produced in Vinho Verde are white wines, while rosé wines are becoming more popular; not many red wines are produced.

Overall, most of the white wines were very high in acidity, slightly tart and many had a slight spritz. The few red wines that were on hand were average at best and generally not my cup of tea. The rosé wines were my favourite of the evening, with notes of candied strawberries and cherries in a light, fruit foward style perfect for sipping on the patio on a hot summer day. Here are some of my tasting notes from the evening:

White Wine:
AVELEDA QUINTA DA AVELEDA 2010 - Colheita Seleccionada Vinho Verde (#089995) (XD) - $9.95
Fresh, delicate floral, herbal aromas. Grassy, tart, some tropical fruits on the palate with a slight spritz.

Grass, nettle, peach aromas and flavours. High acidity. Reminds me of a strong NZ Sauvignon Blanc.

Tropical fruits, floral and citrus aromas follow through on palate. Crisp acidity; will pair nicely with food.

QUINTA DE CARAPEÇOS ESCOLHA 2010 - Vinho Regional Tinto (XD)
This white wine had a closed nose with apple, butter notes on palate. Creamy mouthfeel with spicy notes on mid-palate. Quite nice. Would buy.

Lots of orange and citrus aromas and flavours. Spritzy.

Very aromatic, tree fruits, floral aromas and peach on the palate. Off-dry. Lacking a bit of acidity.

70% Loureiro, 30% Trajadero. Fresh floral aromas and flavours. Some sweetness, smooth, clean white. Nice.

50/50 blend of Loureiro and Trajadero. Aromatic white wine with anise notes.

Crisp, clean white wine with light acidity levels. Floral aromas and flavours.Slightly off-dry.

Smooth, crisp white wine with citrus notes, followed by floral and mineral flavour profile.

Floral aromas with sweet notes in the mouth, followed by slightly earthy tones. Interesting.

Clean, crisp aromas of grass and mineral also evident on palate. Slight spritz.

Clean, fresh white wine, very basic, straightforward and uncomplex.

Lime and grass aroma and flavour profile. Very tart and acidic.

Rosé Wine:
My favourite rosé of the event - very fruit forward with fresh raspberries and strawberries aromas and flavours. Off-dry. Perfect patio sipper.

Fairly straight-forward profile with lovely candy coated strawberries aromas and flavours with a nice seam of acidity. Off-dry. Nice!

Simple, fruit forward, rosé wine with balanced acidity.

Dry rosé wine with mineral, grassy and floral aromas and flavours.

Red Wine:
Fruit-forward red wine with lots of red berries. Light-bodied. Best red at the event.

Smoky, bacon, mushroom and barnyard profile. Not enjoyable.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

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  • Thursday, October 20, 2011

Douro & Port Wine Tasting in Toronto

Earlier this week, I attended the IVDP wine tasting event in downtown Toronto. This event featured many Ports and Douros commonly found in the LCBO general list, as well as a few from the Vintages section. Some wines could only be purchase by direct order only. I was excited to find out that some wines (which are currently not available at the LCBO) were being tasted in the coming days for possible inclusion in a future Vintages release.

About 75% of the wines available for tasting were Port, and most of the remainder were dry red table wines; only a handful of white table wines were available for tasting. There was also a selection of cheeses & crackers, fruits and a delicious tray of dark chocolate truffles that go perfectly with Port.

The music from the female DJ got better as the evening progressed - I found myself bobbing my head quite a bit to the electro-tech-house tunes.

Photo Courtesy of @TylerOnWine
In all, I tasted 18 wines (and, yes, I did spit out good wine). If you're not into Port and would like to get a nice introduction, I would highly recommend the Cálem or the Warre's Otima (both reviewed below). Here are some of my tasting notes:

Red Wine:
Red fruit aromas and cherry, blackberry flavours. Tannins present for ageing. Medium-full bodied. Looking forward to when this bottle is available in stores.

Prune, dark fruit aromas. Palate consists of dark fruits. Chalky tannins need more time to develop.

Dark berry, oak and currant aromas all follow through on palate. A little strong on the alcohol.

VEEDHA DOURO RED 2008 - DOC (#255851) (D) - $12.95
Red fruits, pepper, spice, herbs on the palate. Ripe fruit and ready to drink now.

Port Wine:
CÁLEM FINE WHITE PORT (#224568) (S) - $13.95
Honey, caramel aromas and flavours. Very smooth and syrupy. Reminds me of a Vidal Icewine. Delicious!

WARRE'S OTIMA 10 YEAR OLD TAWNY PORT (#566174) (S) - $21.95
Honey and caramel fill your senses. Smooth. Well made and highly recommended.

TAYLOR FLADGATE 30 YEAR OLD TAWNY (#540252) (S) - $183.95
Burnt honey, caramel notes. Acidic finish requires this one to be slightly chilled prior to serving. Quite good.

Very sweet with aromas of crème caramel. Tasty. Alcoholic finish.

Smooth, caramel aromas and taste and very well-focused. Recommended.

Who else attended and what were your impressions?

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