Showing posts with label rioja. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rioja. Show all posts

Saturday, December 8, 2018

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  • Saturday, December 8, 2018

Gourmet Food & Wine Expo 2018 - Top Wines



2018 Gourmet Food & Wine Expo
On a cold night in November, I attended the 24th annual Gourmet Food & Wine Expo - a 4-day event that ran through . The first night was VIP Preview Night and attendance seemed a bit lighter than previous years. There also seemed to be fewer food and wine booths, but more craft breweries. Since my focus was mostly on the wines, I traversed the floor seeking some of the finest on offer and had a great time chatting with familiar faces en route.

Some of the highlights included wines in the Fine Wine Tasting Lounge, and at the Kolonaki Group booth where they featured many lovely Greek wines. There were also some fine wines at Wines from Spain, Wines of South Africa, Villa Maria Wines of New Zealand, and Grenache Wines booths. Here are some of my favourites from the show. All of these wines are available via the LCBO unless otherwise noted. Thank you Foodies on Foot for the tickets I won through their online contest!


CHAMPAGNE CUVÉE CARBON BRUT - AC, France (XD) - $350  92 pts
The official Champagne of Formula 1. Exclusive bottle wrapped in carbon looks awesome! Available via Bianchi & Nero.

Champagne Cuvée Carbon Brut (92 pts)Vidal Legacy Chardonnay 2016 (93 pts)

VIDAL LEGACY CHARDONNAY 2016 - Hawkes Bay, New Zealand (#570895) (XD) - $60  93 pts

CUNE GRAN RESERVA 2011 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#393553) (XD) - $39.95  92 pts

Cune Gran Reserva 2011 (92 pts)Mega Spileo Grand Cave Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (91 pts)

MEGA SPILEO GRAND CAVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011 - PGI Achaia, Greece (#539924) (XD) - $27.95  91 pts
Available via Shop Greek Wine.

MARTIN BERDUGO RESERVA 2010 - DO Ribera del Duero, Spain (#233741) (XD) - $38  91 pts

Martin Berdugo Reserva 2010 (91 pts)Te Awa Left Field Syrah 2015 (90+ pts)

TE AWA LEFT FIELD SYRAH 2015 - Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#377837) (XD) - $24.95  90+ pts

ARGYROS ASSYRTIKO 2017 - PDO Santorini, Greece (#387365) (XD) - $32  90+ pts
Available via Shop Greek Wine.

Argyros Assyrtiko 2017 (90+ pts)Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2017 (90 pts)

KEN FORRESTER OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC 2017 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#231282) (XD) - $17.95  90 pts

ONTAÑÓN RESERVA 2010 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#725895) (XD) - $25.95  90 pts

Ontañón Reserva 2010 (90 pts)Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir Les Aspres Syrah/Mourvèdre/Grenache 2015 (89 pts)

GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR LES ASPRES SYRAH / MOURVÈDRE  / GRENACHE 2015 - AP Côtes du Roussillon Les Aspres, France (#413245) (XD) - $18.95  89 pts

UMBERTO CESARI LIANO SANGIOVESE / CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - IGT Rubicone, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (#225086) (D) - $27.95  88 pts

Umberto Cesari Liano Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (88 pts)


Champagne Cuvée Carbon Brut
Kolonaki Group - ShopGreekWine.com
Foods & Wine from Spain
Wines of South Africa
Garnacha and Grenache Wines


Monday, November 5, 2018

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  • Monday, November 5, 2018

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Release Nov. 10, 2018: California + Rioja

LCBO Wine Picks: November 10, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The parade of premium wines continues with the LCBO VINTAGES Release that features coveted and iconic California wines as its main theme, while the mini-theme features classic gems from Rioja. All of these wines will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves across Ontario this .

We'll begin with main theme that features fifteen of some of California's most coveted and iconic wines, four of which are included among my top wine picks. From the whites, both are high-end Chardonnay. One is from Beringer, California's oldest continually operating winery (founded in 1876), while the other from a specialist in Sonoma Chardonnay - Kistler Vineyards. Among the reds, there is a lovely Pinot Noir from Flowers Vineyards & Winery, as well as a Napa Cab from Joseph Phelps that is actually a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 7% Petit Verdot.

Kistler Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay 2016 (93 pts)Flowers Pinot Noir 2016 (92 pts)

The mini-theme features only seven wines from Rioja (Spain), but four are include among my top wine recommendations. First up is the lone white that is made with the Viura (aka Macabeo) grape and can be aged for at least another 5 years. The red wines include some stellar mature wines from 1996, 2005, and 2009. The '96 is a blend of 90% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo, while the '05 is a blend of 75% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha, 5% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo. Lastly, the '09 is 100% Tempranillo.

Wine blends among my top red wine picks include the Saint-Roch that is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Carignan, while the Madiran is a blend of 80% Tannat and 20% Cabernet Franc from 40-50 year old vines. From Rhône, the '15 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre, while the '16 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a made with 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah, 10% Counoise, and 5% Cinsault. From Tuscany, the Luce is a 50/50 blend of Sangiovese and Merlot, while the baby Ornellaia is a blend of 44% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Petit Verdot, and 12% Cabernet Franc.

Luce 2015 (91 pts)Cave Spring Indian Summer Riesling 2016 (90 pts)

Among my white wine picks, the Marsannay is made with Chardonnay, while the Muscadet is made with Melon de Bourgogne from old vines that average 80-years-old. If you like your wines with some sweetness, the Niagara Riesling is your best bet. Moving on to dessert wines, the Cave Spring Riesling is a Late Harvest and along with the Tokaj are the least sweetest of the bunch. Both the Vidal Icewine and the Botrytis Semillon are lusciously sweet dessert wines.

Enjoy my top wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU SAINT-ROCH CHIMÈRES 2016 - AP Côtes du Roussillon-Villages, France (#119354) (D) - $17.00
  • LA TREMENDA MONASTRELL 2016 - DO Alicante, Spain (#490011) (XD) - $17.95
  • SALENTEIN RESERVE PINOT NOIR 2016 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#578179) (XD) - $18.95
  • GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR LES ASPRES SYRAH / MOURVÈDRE / GRENACHE 2015 - AP Côtes du Roussillon Les Aspres, France (#413245) (XD) - $18.95
  • CHÂTEAU PEYROS VIEILLES VIGNES MADIRAN 2013 - AC, Southwest, France (#234997) (XD) - $19.95

  • FEUDO MONTONI LAGNUSA NERO D’AVOLA 2015 - DOC Sicilia, Italy (#523738) (XD) - $23.95
  • MONTECILLO GRAN RESERVA 2009 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#239277) (XD) - $29.95
  • DOMAINE DE LA SOLITUDE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#560987) (XD) - $41.95
  • VIÑA TONDONIA RESERVA 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#356337) (XD) - $49.95
  • URBINA GRAN RESERVA 1996 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#355743) (XD) - $54.95

  • LE SERRE NUOVE DELL’ORNELLAIA 2016 - DOC Bolgheri Rosso, Tuscany, Italy (#606194) (XD) - $64.95
  • FLOWERS PINOT NOIR 2016 - Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California, USA (#215202) (XD) - $64.95  92 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU DE BEAUCASTEL CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2016 - AC, Rhône, France (#711317) (XD) - $93.95
  • LUCE 2015 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#685263) (XD) - $114.95  91 pts  wine review
  • JOSEPH PHELPS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#189795) (XD) - $118.95

White Wine:

  • ILOK CELLARS CLASSIC GRASEVINA 2017 - Croatia (#517474) (XD) - $14.95
  • VETIVER VIURA 2014 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#437707) (XD) - $16.95
  • GADAIS VIEILLES VIGNES MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE 2015 - Sur lie, AC, Loire, France (#444406) (XD) - $17.95
  • KEN FORRESTER OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC 2017 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#231282) (XD) - $17.95
  • PADDY BORTHWICK PINOT GRIS 2016 - Wairarapa, North Island, New Zealand (#555516) (XD) - $19.95
  • TAWSE LIMESTONE RIDGE-NORTH ESTATE BOTTLED RIESLING 2016 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#431593) (M) - $23.95
  • LOUIS LATOUR MARSANNAY BLANC 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#435156) (XD) - $32.95
  • BERINGER PRIVATE RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2016 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#026682) (D) - $64.95
  • KISTLER SONOMA MOUNTAIN CHARDONNAY 2016 - Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma County, California, USA (#183921) (XD) - $107.95  93 pts  wine review

Rosé Wine:

  • MIMI EN PROVENCE GRANDE RÉSERVE ROSÉ 2017 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#452573) (XD) - $18.95

Fortified:

  • QUINTA VALE D. MARIA VINTAGE PORT 2015 - DOP, Portugal (#582965) (S) (375 mL) - $49.95

Dessert Wine:

  • BIRO SO SWEET TOKAJ 2016 - Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary (#617324) (S) (375 mL) - $17.95
  • CAVE SPRING INDIAN SUMMER RIESLING 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#415901) (S) (375 mL) - $24.95  90 pts  wine review
  • DE BORTOLI NOBLE ONE BOTRYTIS SEMILLON 2016 - New South Wales, Australia (#917252) (S) (375 mL) - $29.95
  • SOUTHBROOK ORGANIC VIDAL ICEWINE 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#581165) (S) (375 mL) - $49.95


Friday, September 7, 2018

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  • Friday, September 7, 2018

Marqués de Caceres Rosado 2017 (Spain) - Wine Review

wine review is a nice rosado (a.k.a. rosé) from Spain that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

The story of Marqués de Cáceres begins its roots in 1920, when Enrique Forner's grandfather and father founded Vinícola Forner - a small family business devoted to producing wine. Enrique worked in the wine trade as a boy and, after being exiled to France during the Civil War, he founded a similar business in France in 1952. Eventually, he returned to Spain and founded Marqués de Cáceres in 1970. He has been part of an enterprising family that has been devoted to the wine trade now for five generations, including his daughter, Cristina Forner, who manages the winery today.

In the 1990s, the trend for innovation continued as young oenologists and wine producers looked to Bordeaux for inspiration. Michel Rolland, the most influential enologist in Bordeaux at the time, was brought on as an adviser. Marqués de Cáceres and Michel were united in their obsession to produce quality wines.

Today, Marqués de Cáceres has the leading Rioja in Spain and exports their wines to more than 120 countries around the globe, including delicious wines such as this Rosado in Ontario, Canada.

Marqués de Caceres Rosado 2017 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

MARQUÉS DE CACERES ROSADO 2017 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#622142) (XD) - $14.95
Blend of 96% Tempranillo and 4% Garnacha Tinta from 15-20-year old vines grown on mainly clay and limestone. Screw cap. This has a medium+ intensity nose with herbally and red currant aromas surrounded by a core of red cherry, strawberry, and watermelon notes. The crunchy palate is a touch honeyed, yet dry, and offers more cherry, strawberry, and watermelon flavours on a medium+ bodied frame. It has food-friendly acids, while the finish length is very good. Score: 87 pts


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

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  • Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Montecillo Rioja Reserva 2011 (Spain) - Wine Review

As the world comes together in a few days to celebrate their top athletes and diversity, PMA Canada is celebrating the diversity of its international portfolio with award-winning wines that have received high accolades on the global stage.

wine is from Bodegas Montecillo is the third and final wine in the series. This red wine has received high scores ranging from 90-92 points from internationally-acclaimed critics and publications. Having tasted and enjoyed the 2011 Montecillo Crianza last year, I am expecting similar (if not higher) quality levels with this wine, but with a more noticeable oak component as Spanish Reserva wines are required to spend at least 1 year in oak.

Montecillo Rioja Reserva 2011 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

MONTECILLO RIOJA RESERVA 2011 - DOCa, Rioja, Spain (#621003) (XD) - $17.90
A blend of 95% Tempranillo, 3% Mazuelo, and 2% Garnacha from the excellent 2011 vintage and raised in French and American oak casks for 24 months. This has a medium intensity nose of sandalwood, savoury, umami and earthy nose with hints of blackberry, dark currant and dried cherry, along some sweet spice notes at the tail end. It is medium-full bodied on the palate with sneaky tannins that are refined and smooth, yet build steadily in the mouth. Acids are mouthwatering. The mature palate doles out licorice, dark currant, wood, and some dried fruit characters in a savoury profile. Some sourness mid-palate. Finishes savoury and woody with hints of very appealing sweet spice and dried cherry flavours. Enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 89 pts

This red wine is a General List product and widely available in-store at the LCBO. It can also be purchased online at LCBO.com.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

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  • Sunday, July 9, 2017

Montecillo Crianza 2011 (Rioja) and Lamberti Santepietre Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2015 (Veneto) - Wine Reviews

Wines for Summer Drinking
As we begin enjoying the hot summer weather, here are a couple of affordable wines that should quench your thirst. The first is a Pinot Grigio and is usually a crowd favourite, while the Crianza is a savoury red wine made with Tempranillo that will be suitable for your backyard BBQ party. Both of these wines are widely available at the LCBO.

If you're heading outdoors, you can pack your wines (and food items) in a cooler bag so they stay nice and cool. You'll also want to remember to pack plastic wine glasses because you don't want to risk breaking your expensive stemware. And lastly, you'll want to pick up a set of DrinkGuards - these are non-slip silicone drink covers that keep bugs and debris out of your glass, which also doubles as a drink marker and even a coaster!

Tasting Notes:

LAMBERTI SANTEPIETRE PINOT GRIGIO DELLE VENEZIE 2015 - IGT, Veneto, Italy (#560524) (XD) - $12.10
Screw cap. Clean, fresh lemon and citrus aromas of medium+ intensity with a hint of white flowers from the glass. Some earthy/musky notes arrive as it warms up. The palate is fleshy, medium-bodied and dry with lemony white floral, and herbally flavours. It has balanced acidity, with good finish length that has touches of minerality. Easy going wine to enjoy on the patio. Score: 87 pts

Lamberti Santepietre Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2015 (87 pts)

MONTECILLO CRIANZA 2011 - DOC, Rioja, Spain (#144493) (XD) - $14.95
Sweet oak spice and black plum aromas from the cork. Medium+ intensity nose from glass, showing sandalwood, oak spice, cherry, raspberry, earth, forest floor, and barnyard aromas all mingling nicely. The palate is medium+ bodied with good fruit concentration, tannins a touch drying, and more savoury earthy, dark cherry, forest floor, barnyard, and oak flavours. It has juicy acids, some heat on the mid-palate, while the finish length is very good with more savoury earthy, forest floor and barnyard notes. A savoury wine ideal for the BBQ. Drink over the next 2 years. Score: 88 pts

Montecillo Crianza 2011 (88 pts)


Sunday, November 13, 2016

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  • Sunday, November 13, 2016

Montebuena Cuvée KPF 2014 (Spain) - Wine Review

wine is a red wine that will be available in LCBO VINTAGES on .

Having enjoyed the 2012 Montebuena Cuvée KPF that showed up in VINTAGES in , I am expecting the 2014 to be equally as good as (or better than) the 2012 vintage to due a harvest that improved in quality.

It is produced by Bodegas y Viñedos Labastida, a winery that is part of the Unión de Cosecheros of Labastida co-operative. This co-op was formed in the 1960s and is now the largest co-operative winery in the Basque Country, with a production capacity of 7 million litres.

Montebuena Cuvée KPF 2014 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

MONTEBUENA CUVÉE KPF 2014 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#211029) (XD) - $15.95
100% Tempranillo that was hand-harvested from the Montebuena vineyard. The 2012 was bottled under cork, but this vintage is now under screw cap. Nicely appealing mulberry, sweet herbs, freshly tilled earth and red fruit aromas of medium intensity. The palate is medium-bodied with nice aroma replays. Acids are juicy and tannins are ripe and smooth. Forest floor notes linger on the finish. Delicious wine to drink over the next 2 years. Score: 88 pts


Monday, September 26, 2016

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  • Monday, September 26, 2016

VINTAGES Release October 1: Tuscany + Rioja + Thanksgiving Wines

LCBO Wine Picks from October 1, 2016 VINTAGES Release
New wines from the VINTAGES Release on October 1st on will be on LCBO shelves this coming and features wines from Tuscany for elegant dining, as well as a mini-feature on Rioja, and wines for Thanksgiving celebrations. As we approach the holiday season, now would be a good time to start collecting those fine wines for holiday gift giving, as there are quite a few very nice wines in this release.

The Tuscany thematic features only 8 wines, but 2 are included among my wine picks and both are top tier wines. The Gran Selezione Chianti Classico is a blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Malvasia Nera and Merlot, while the Brunello di Montalcino is from the excellent 2010 vintage and made with 100% Sangiovese.

From Rioja, Spain, there are 7 wines listed and 2 made my list of wine recommendations. The Crianza is a light-weighted red blend consisting of 85% Tempranillo and 15% Garnacha Tinta and Mazuelo. The other Rioja is also a blend made mostly with Tempranillo, but offers a more substantial mouthfeel in a refined, elegant package.

Wines for Thanksgiving include a barely off-dry (i.e. just slightly sweet) and ever versatile Riesling from Alsace, and a Pinot Noir from Ontario from the 6 wines that were highlighted in the Thanksgiving wines feature.

From the rest of the release in red wines, there is a Portuguese red blend (Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz) that is dry and firmly structured that should be bought and placed in your cellar for at least a couple of years to allow the tannins to soften. The Malbec comes from vines that are more than 80 years old and located 1,150 metres above sea-level. From Washington, the red blend consists of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 8% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Malbec, while the lovely Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the usual blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, and 5% Cinsault.

In white wines, there is a surprising selection of fine Italian white wines, none of which are named Pinot Grigio. Instead, they are Soave (100% Garganega), Falanghina, and Arneis. There's also an aromatic white from Lebanon that is a blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, and Muscat d'Alexandrie. And lastly, the Loire white is 100% Chenin Blanc made in a semi-sweet style.

The sparkling wines among my wine picks include a Blanc de Blanc vintage sparkler from South Africa that's 100% Chardonnay, while the vintage Champagne is a blend of 54% Chardonnay and 46% Pinot Noir.

Enjoy my wine recommendations with your Thanksgiving feast. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CUNE RIOJA CRIANZA 2012 - DO Rioja, Spain (#039925) (XD) - $17.95
  • QUINTA DA REDE RESERVA 2012 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#431742) (XD) - $17.95
  • CONCHA Y TORO SERIE RIBERAS GRAN RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2014 - DO Peumo, Chile (#274043) (XD) - $17.95
  • CREEKSIDE ESTATE QUEENSTON ROAD PINOT NOIR 2014 - VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#415877) (D) - $18.95
  • ATAMISQUE CATALPA OLD VINES MALBEC 2013 - Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#194126) (XD) - $19.95
  • WATERKLOOF CIRCUMSTANCE SYRAH 2012 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#455782) (XD) - $22.95
  • BARÓN DE LEY GRAN RESERVA 2010 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#642496) (XD) - $29.95

  • HEDGES FAMILY ESTATE RED 2012 - Red Mountain, Washington, USA (#001594) (XD) - $39.95  FSE
  • CASTELLO DI AMA SAN LORENZO GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#418897) (XD) - $48.95
  • RENATO RATTI MARCENASCO BAROLO 2011 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#713479) (XD) - $53.95
  • HAMILTON RUSSELL PINOT NOIR 2015 - WO Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Walker Bay, South Africa (#999516) (XD) - $57.95
  • FLOWERS PINOT NOIR 2014 - Sonoma Coast, California, USA (#215202) (XD) - $68.95  FSE
  • POGGIO SAN POLO BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#650812) (XD) - $74.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE BEAUCASTEL CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2014 - AC, Rhone, France (#711317) (XD) - $89.95

White Wine:

  • SAN RAFFAELE MONTE TABOR SOAVE 2015 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#277392) (XD) - $14.95
  • TEANUM ALTA FALANGHINA 2014 - IGT Puglia, Italy (#161653) (XD) - $15.95
  • KUHLMANN-PLATZ RIESLING 2014 - AC Alsace, France (#196741) (D) - $16.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE RIESLING 2013 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#557165) (D) - $17.95
  • DOMAINE DES TOURELLES WHITE 2015 - Bekaa Valley, Lebanon (#447169) (XD) - $19.95
  • CORDERO DI MONTEZEMOLO ARNEIS LANGHE 2015 - DOC, Piedmont, Italy (#455162) (XD) - $21.95
  • SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE CHARDONNAY 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#172338) (XD) - $22.95  reviewed here
  • DOMAINE LOEW VÉRITÉ SYLVANER 2013 - AC Alsace, France (#462598) - $25.95  FSE
  • DOMAINE DES CHESNAIES CÔTEAUX DU LAYON 2014 - AC, Loire, France (#456129) (MS) - $27.95
  • DOMAINE LATOUR-GIRAUD LES NARVAUX MEURSAULT 2013 - AC, Burgundy, France (#012369) (XD) - $74.00  FSE
Southbrook Organic Triomphe Chardonnay 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)

Sparkling Wine:

  • AVONDALE ARMILLA BLANC DE BLANC 2009 - Méthode Cap Classique, WO Paarl, South Africa (#451930) (XD) - $29.95
  • DUMANGIN LE VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE 2004 - AC, France (#439232) (XD) - $61.95


Monday, December 28, 2015

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  • Monday, December 28, 2015

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva Vertical Wine Tasting

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva Vertical Wine Tasting
Back in , I was invited to a very nice vertical tasting of Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva wines dating back to 1982.

These red wines are produced by Bodegas Franco-Españolas, a winery that was founded in 1890 in Logrono, Spain, in the aftermath of the French wine industry's most devastating incidents - the phylloxera plague. Bordeaux winemakers affected by the plague departed for Spain in search of the country's best soil and climate to continue their winemaking traditions. From the Bordeaux firm "Anglade", Frederick Anglade Saurat and other Spanish partners founded Bodegas Franco-Españolas. The winery name translates in English to "French Spanish Wineries". By 1922, the winery became entirely Spanish-owned. Today, it is owned by Carlos and Rosa Eguizabal, the second generation of the Eguizabal family that has owned the winery.

At Bodegas Franco-Españolas, the philosophy is to age all of its wines longer than legally required. For example, the Gran Reservas are barrel aged for 36 months instead of the minimum legal requirement of 24 months. Furthermore, all barrel ageing at Bodegas Franco-Españolas is done in American oak.

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva Vertical Wine Tasting
The winery and its vines are located in a long valley in the Northern-Central part of Spain with a very special micro-climate defined by mountain chains to the north and south, and the Ebro River that runs between the two mountain ranges. Bodegas Franco-Españolas farms nearly 600 acres of vineyards while also collaborating with local farmers in Rioja.

It's interesting to note that Oenologist Carlos Estecha began working with the Eguizabal Group of Companies since 1988 and continues to this day - that's 27 years!

Today, Bodegas Franco-Españolas is one of the oldest and most prestigious wineries in Spain and in 2015 celebrated its 125th Anniversary.

Thank you Eurovintage Wines & Spirits for the opportunity to taste these lovely wines. The latest vintage of the Gran Reserva is widely available at the LCBO, while the Reserva and back vintage Gran Reserva wines may be available for purchase through the agent. Please contact Eurovintage for availability.

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 1982 to 2006

Tasting Notes:

RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 1982 - DO Rioja, Spain (XD)
Blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, and Mazuelo (a.k.a. Carignan). Medium+ intensity nose showing great complexity with rustic, earthy, tobacco, burnt caramel, old leather, blackberry and some dried herbs aromas. The palate is light-to-medium bodied with tannins fully resolved and flavours consisting of sour cherry and earth notes. Balanced acidity. It's a touch warm with dried herb notes on and the very long finish. Still very well-balanced at this mature age. Drink soon. Interesting to note that the empty bottle was extremely light. Score: 91 pts

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 1982 - DO Rioja, Spain (91 pts)

RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 1985 - DO Rioja, Spain (XD)
Blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha (a.k.a. Grenache) and Graciano. Medium+ intensity aromas of toasty smoke, wood, dark currant, dark cherry, mulling spice and some raisined notes. Medium bodied on the palate with herbal, coriander, dark fruits and some olive flavours. It has good acidity and a lengthy finish. Will continue to drink well for a number of years. Score: 89 pts

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 1985 - DO Rioja, Spain (89 pts)

RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 1994 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (XD)
Consisting of 80% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, 5% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo, this has medium-to-high aromas of blackberry, dark cherry, leather, forest floor and well-integrated oak. On the palate, it's medium+ bodied with a chalky spine, fresh acidity and very nice aroma replays. The finish is very long with hints of raspberry. Excellent balance overall. Good tannic structure will allow it to age another 7-8 years. One of my favourites of the tasting. A delight! Score: 91 pts

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 1994 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (91 pts)

RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 1995 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (XD)
Same blend as the 1994, this has medium+ intensity aromas of blackberry, earth, raspberry, spice and vanilla. It's medium-to-full bodied with a chalky spine and very good acidity. The aromas echo on the palate along with sour cherry and oak flavours. A touch warm on the lingering finish. Still has life. Score: 89 pts

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 1995 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (89 pts)

RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 2001 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#428060) (XD) - $22.95
Blend of 80% Tempranillo, 16% Garnacha, 2% Mazuelo and 2% Graciano. Medium-to-high aromatics with oak notes leading the way followed by dark berries and floral hints. It's full-bodied with nicely balanced flavours of herbal, eucalypt, blackberry, sandalwood, and spice on the palate. Mouth-watering acidity and a very long finish that is slightly hot, but fruit holds it up well. Nicely balanced with plenty of finesse. Drink over the next 10-15 years. My favourite of the tasting. Score: 91 pts

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 2001 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (91 pts)

RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#428060) (D) - $22.95
Consisting of 80% Tempranillo, 10% Mazuelo, and 10% Graciano, this has a somewhat closed nose but shows ripe fruit, blackberry, sweet vanilla, barnyard and some blue fruit aromas. It's medium-to-full bodied with nice aroma replays, bright acidity and finishing long. Big, full-throttle wine. Doesn't seem to have matured much over the last 10 years. Lay this one down for 5 years and drink over the next 10-15 years. Score: 90 pts

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (90 pts)

RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 2006 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#428060) (XD) - $22.95
Blend of 80% Tempranillo, 10% Mazuelo and 10% Graciano and features medium+ intensity aromas of pached raspberry, kirsch, blackberry liquer, sandalwood and some earth. It's medium-to-full bodied with aromas echoing on the palate and a chalky spine. Acids are mouth-watering, while the finish is long and warm with floral hints. Will age gracefully for 10 years or more. Score: 91 pts

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 2006 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (91 pts)

RIOJA BORDÓN RESERVA 2007 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#194753) (XD) - $19.95
Barnyard, earth, mushroom and sandalwood aromas from the glass. The palate is medium-to-full bodied with bright acidity with blackberry and sandalwood flavours. Chalky tannins. Excellent length on the finish. Better in 4-5 years. Score: 90+ pts

RIOJA BORDÓN RESERVA 2008 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#194753) (XD) - $19.95
The nose somewhat reserved but shows pleasing raspberry, blackberry, sandalwood notes with an earthy streak. It's medium-bodied with nice aroma replays. Still a bit tight, but has juicy acids and a medium-long finish. Score: 89 pts

RIOJA BORDÓN RESERVA 2009 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#194753) (XD) - $19.95
Medium+ intensity nose led by smoky oak notes with underlying raspberry and blackberry aromas. On the palate, it's medium+ bodied dark and red cherry, blackberry, and subtle oak flavours. It has very good acidity, while the tannins are still very tight, and finish length is medium-to-long. Cellar 2-3 years or decant and serve now. Score: 88 pts

Rioja Bordón Reserva 2007 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (90+ pts)Rioja Bordón Reserva 2008 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (89 pts)Rioja Bordón Reserva 2009 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (88 pts)


Saturday, May 30, 2015

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  • Saturday, May 30, 2015

Montebuena Cuvée KPF 2012 (Spain) - Wine Review

Tonight's red wine is another sneak preview of a wine that will be returning to LCBO VINTAGES on June 13th.

The wine is made by Bodegas y Viñedos Labastida as part of the Unión de Cosecheros of Labastida co-operative that was formed in the mid-1960's. As can be expected, the co-operative has gone through a number of enhancements to its facilities since then, including using modern equipment such as stainless steel tanks, a cooling unit for regulating fermentation temperatures, and a new bottling plant.

Grapes for this wine were hand-harvested from the Montebuena estate vineyard, with vines averaging 25 years of age. This wine saw light oak ageing of 4 months in American oak. It will be enjoyed with Gosht (lamb curry) and fulia.

Montebuena Cuvée KPF 2012 from DOC Rioja, Spain (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

MONTEBUENA CUVÉE KPF 2012 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#211029) (XD) - $15.95
100% Tempranillo. Prune and cedar oak aromas from the cork. Black cherry, mulberry surrounded by forest floor and earthy aromas of medium intensity. The palate is medium bodied with silky, refined tannins and balanced acidity. Good complexity on the palate with flavours of black cherry, resin, light oak spice and pepper that linger through to the long finish, which also has hints of mocha. Enjoy over the next couple of years. Score: 88 pts


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

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  • Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Miguel Torres Ibéricos Crianza 2010 (Spain) - Wine Review

Somehow I missed posting this red wine review of a bottle I opened a . The 2011 vintage of this wine was released in VINTAGES in September and is still quite readily available in stores.

MIGUEL TORRES IBÉRICOS CRIANZA 2010 - DOC Rioja, Spain (#381046) (XD) - $16.95

Wine Review of 2010 Miguel Torres Ibéricos Crianza from DOC Rioja, Spain
Tasting Note:
100% Tempranillo. Woodsy, cedar and currant aromas from the cork. Medium-intensity aromas featuring sour cherry, wet earth, berry, and sweet spice aromas with much of the same, fruit-forward flavours on the palate. It's medium-bodied and dry with fresh acids and ripe tannins. Balanced oak is definitely in the background. Decent length on the finish that shows hints of prune. Easy drinking, well-made, weekday wine. Score: 87 pts


Saturday, November 8, 2014

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  • Saturday, November 8, 2014

Herederos Del Marqués de Riscal (Spain) - Wine Reviews

Tonight's wines are a pair of Spanish wines from Marqués de Riscal. Founded in 1858, Marques de Riscal is one of the oldest wineries in all of Rioja. Their first wines were bottled four years later, in 1862, and won numerous awards over the years. Fast forward to 1972, when Marqués de Riscal produced their first white wines in Rueda. This winery continued it's innovative and pioneering ways in 1995 when they introduced the very first grape sorting table within the Rioja appellation. And most recently, it was awarded Best European Winery in 2013 by Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Wine labels of Marqués de Riscal wines

As you will see from my wine review below, both of these wines are delicious. Furthermore, both of these wines are general listed at the LCBO and readily available.


Tasting Notes:
MARQUÉS DE RISCAL 2013 - DO Rueda, Spain (#036822) (XD) - $12.55
Screw cap. 100% Verdejo. Medium-high aromatics showing lovely floral, herbal nose, with a backdrop of earth, and hints of guava and banana. Very complex nose. Palate is medium+ bodied with herbal, white grapefruit, passion fruit and hints of tropical fruit. Fresh acids are nicely balanced, while the dry finish is very good. Excellent value! Get the 2013 while it's still available. Score: 88+ pts

Wine review of 2013 Marqués de Riscal from DO Rueda, Spain

MARQUÉS DE RISCAL RESERVA 2008 - DOC Rioja, Spain (#032656) (XD) - $24.65
Mostly Tempranillo with 7% Graciano and 3% Mazuelo (Carignan). Plum and old, wet wood aromas from the cork. Medium+ intensity aromas featuring dried fruit, cedar, blackberry, plums and hints of underbrush. It's medium-bodied with an earthy core surrounded by notions of black cherry, blackberry, dried fruits, and herbally notes. Acids are still very fresh. Tannins are slightly dusty, but otherwise very smooth. Excellent length on the cherry-earthy finish. Recommended buy. Score: 90 pts

Wine review of 2008 Marqués de Riscal Reserva from DOC Rioja, Spain


Saturday, September 7, 2013

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  • Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bodegas Valdemar Inspiración Valdemar 2005 (Rioja) - Wine Review

Purchased this red wine from a Vintages release back in May of 2010 and obviously no longer available for purchase. However, the 2008 came out in Vintages in last March and is still available in select Vintages stores.

BODEGAS VALDEMAR INSPIRACIÓN VALDEMAR 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#166512) (XD) - $19.95

Label of 2005 Bodegas Valdemar Inspiración Valdemar from Rioja, Spain
Tasting Note:
Blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano. Oak and baked prune aromas from the cork. Leather, earth, barnyard, prune and burnt dark fruit aromas in the glass. Full bodied with dark fruit, wood spice, and hints of prune and espresso on the palate. Big tannins are chalky. Very good acidity. Lengthy finish is spicy. Could be aged another 3-4 years. It's good, but was expecting more. Wouldn't hesitate to taste the 2008 or future vintages.


Friday, February 8, 2013

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  • Friday, February 8, 2013

Don Jacobo Reserva 2004 (Spain) - Wine Review

Purchased this red wine last month from the Vintages release that featured Spanish Wines. One of the good things about this wine is that all the ageing was done at the winery before being released, and it's drinking great right now! It's made using 90% Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha / Mazuelo (Carignan) and bottled in 2008.

DON JACOBO RESERVA 2004 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#313270) (XD) - $17.95

Don Jacobo Reserva 2004 from Spain
Tasting Note:
Interesting aromas of freshly cut wood, rubber and menthol from the cork. Lots of little hints of cranberry, sour cherry, pomegranate and violets. Medium-full bodied with finely-grained and dusty tannins on the palate with nice aroma replays plus hints of cocoa. Very good acidity and balanced throughout, while finishing long with integrated oak flavours. Even though it's already 9 years old and drinking well now, it could be aged another 2-3 years. Will be enjoying this with Piri-Piri Chicken Fajitas. It's a good one and definitely recommended if you like Tempranillo.


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