Showing posts with label roussillon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label roussillon. Show all posts

First image of this post
  • Sunday, January 19, 2020

Hecht & Bannier Côtes du Roussillon-Villages 2010 (France) - Wine Review

wine review is this lovely 2010 Roussillon-Villages red wine that I purchased back in 2013 when it came through LCBO VINTAGES on . I had the pleasure of tasting this wine with co-founder Gregory Hecht at the Halpern Enterprises portfolio tasting later that same year, and was pleasantly surprised to see it return to LCBO VINTAGES on .

Although this wine is no longer available at the LCBO, you should be able to get your hands on the latest vintage through Halpern Enterprises.

Hecht & Bannier Côtes du Roussillon-Villages 2010 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

HECHT & BANNIER CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON-VILLAGES 2010 - AC, Midi, France (#142802) (XD) - $23.95
A blend of Grenache from the Catalan Hills, Mourvèdre, high-altitude Syrah, and small amounts of Carignan and Lledoner Pelut that was raised in a combination of tanks, demi muids, and large oak casks. Mature deep garnet colour. Aromas of dried herb and dark berries mingle with wet schisty mineral, smoke, and hints of wet forest floor. It is medium+ bodied with more dried herbal, dark berry, schisty mineral, and smoke flavours. Acids are still quite juicy and mouth-watering. There's some warmth on the mid-palate, but it doesn't intrude on enjoyment. Fine, velvety tannins have fully integrated, offering a smooth mouthfeel, developing a nice, slightly chalky grip with each passing sip. Savoury mineral with dried dark berry and earthy notes linger on the very long finish. Drinking beautifully at 10 years from vintage. I wouldn't hold on to this much longer. Score: 91 pts

First image of this post
  • Wednesday, October 23, 2019

M. Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut L'Esquerda 2018 (Roussillon) - Wine Review

wine review is this lovely red wine from the highly-acclaimed house of M. Chapoutier. While this is the 2018 vintage, the 2017 vintage will arrive on shelves at the LCBO as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

The story of M. Chapoutier begins in 1808, when Calvet et Compagnie was created in the Rue de l’Hermitage in Tain. In 1855, ownership was transferred to Octave Calvet and Frédéric Vogelgesang until it was purchased by Rodolphe Delépine in 1883. The Chapoutier name enters in 1897, when Marius Chapoutier joined forces with Rodolphe Delépine to found the company Delépine et Chapoutier. After Delépine retires in 1922, the company is renamed to Chapoutier et Compagnie and Marius creates the new Chapoutier winery in 1929 at the foot of the Hermitage hill. After Marius' death in 1937, his son Marc takes over the family business and in 1955 changes the name to M. Chapoutier, the name it still bears today.

In 1990, winemaker Michel Chapoutier asked for and received control of the company from his grandfather Marc. At this time, he also began applying biodynamic cultivation techniques. Expanding from the Rhône Valley, Michel acquired his first estate in the Roussillon area of France in 2000.

Domaine de Bila-Haut was founded by Chapoutier in Latour-de-France and the vines of the Bila-Haut and Occultum Lapidem wines became the first expression of this terroir. Years later, the L’Esquerda red wine was created from vines near the village of Lesquerde, which is located at 350 metres altitude some 15 kilometres west of Bila-Haut. The terroir here is steep with craggy limestone, arid soil, and is battered by the Tramontane northern winds.

Michel Chapoutier has earned a reputation for producing wines that are highly representative of where they are grown - offering a true snapshot of the terroir. He is also known for being a generous person with a human approach to business, becoming the first in the industry to include braille on all of his product labels in 1996.

Today, Michel and his wife Corinne are joined by their children Mathilde and Maxime - whose names by no coincidence also start with 'M'. Together, they continue to perpetuate the tradition of the family business and philosophy by creating wines based on the concept of 'terroir', while also helping make M. Chapoutier one of the most admired brand names in French wine.

M. Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut L'Esquerda 2018 (92 pts)

Tasting Note:

DOMAINE DE BILA-HAUT L'ESQUERDA 2018 - AC Côtes du Roussillon-Villages Lesquerde, Midi, France (#381020) (XD) - $27.95
This blend of mainly Syrah with Grenache and Carignan in support was aged in concrete vats for 7-8 months has a complex stream of wild dark berry, plum and garrigue aromas accented by meaty, spice, mineral, earthy, and floral characters wafting out of the glass. It is full bodied, dense, and chewy with ripe, structured, and finely-grained tannins that are a bit chalky textured. Scorched earth and touches of herbal notes join the fine aroma replays on the flavour profile, lifted by fresh, mouthwatering acidity. Mineral and scorched earth notes linger on the juicy finish, with excellent length. Has the stuffing to drink well over the next 7-8 years. Highly recommended buy. Score: 92 pts

First image of this post
  • Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Release June 8, 2019: Euro Regions + Chile

LCBO Wine Picks: June 8, 2019 VINTAGES Release
The main theme of the upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on June 8, 2019 features European wine regions that should be on your radar, while the mini theme looks at wines from Chile. All of these wines, plus many others that are part of this Release will be available on VINTAGES shelves across Ontario by this Saturday.

We'll begin with the main theme that features wines from a few up-and-coming and lesser-known European wine regions. Of the twelve wines featured, four are included among my top wine picks. Three of the wines are from Languedoc-Roussillon. From Corbières, and one of the best buys of the Release, is a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache that was raised in tank. The red wine from Languedoc is also a blend of Grenache and Syrah, but was raised in concrete tanks. Lastly, the Roussillon wines is made with Grenache from 65-year-old vines. The lone white is a Falanghina from the mountainous and rugged region of Campania.

Château de Tréviac Corbières 2016 (90 pts)Mathilde Chapoutier Sélection 2017 (88 pts)

Domaine Lafage Cuvée Nicolas Vieilles Vignes Grenache Noir 2017 (89 pts)Villa Matilde Rocca dei Leoni Falanghina 2017 (89 pts)

The mini-theme of this release is titled "Spicy Chile" and features ten wines from the cool-climate wine-growing region of Chile. Three of these wines are among my top wine recommendations, including a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Carmenère, and an oaked Chardonnay. Last, but not least, no conversation of hot Chilean wines would be complete without mentioning the 2015 Montes Purple Angel (92 pts, review) that is an outstanding blend of 92% Carmenère and 8% Petit Verdot.

Miguel Torres Cordillera de los Andes Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (89 pts)San Pedro 1865 Selected Vineyards Carmenère 2017 (88 pts)

Casablanca Nimbus Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2017 (89 pts)

Red wines from the main Release includes a South African wine made with 52% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. The Bordeaux red hails from the great 2010 vintage and consists of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. Lastly, from Tuscany, the Fonterutoli contains 65% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot, while the latest edition of the iconic Ornellaia is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot.

Château Les Ormes 2010 (92 pts)Mazzei Poggio Badiola di Fonterutoli 2016 (88+ pts)

Among my white wine picks, all are dry, single varietal and some are unique wines that are worth a look. Included among them are a Moschofilero from Greece and an Aligoté from Burgundy. There is also a barrel-fermented Torrontés from Argentina. Of course, the Pouilly-Fumé is made with Sauvignon Blanc, while the Chablis is made with Chardonnay.

Domaine Laroche Vieilles Vignes Les Vaillons Chablis 1er Cru 2017 (92 pts)Troupis Fteri Moschofilero 2017 (88 pts)

Lastly, a pair of local wines, the rosé is a blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir, while the sparkling wine is 100% Chardonnay.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • MATHILDE CHAPOUTIER SÉLECTION 2017 - AP Languedoc, France (#644468) (XD) - $14.95  88 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU DE TRÉVIAC CORBIÈRES 2016 - AP, Midi, France (#670505) (XD) - $16.95  90 pts  wine review
  • SAN PEDRO 1865 SELECTED VINEYARDS CARMENÈRE 2017 - DO Maule Valley, Chile (#249201) (XD) - $19.95  88 pts  wine review
  • MAZZEI POGGIO BADIOLA DI FONTERUTOLI 2016 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#330951) (XD) - $19.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • DOMAINE LAFAGE CUVÉE NICOLAS VIEILLES VIGNES GRENACHE NOIR 2017 - IGP Côtes Catalanes, Roussillon, France (#354191) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • MIGUEL TORRES CORDILLERA DE LOS ANDES CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#541169) (XD) - $22.95  89 pts  wine review
  • SPY VALLEY PINOT NOIR 2015 - Southern Valleys, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#734681) (XD) - $24.95  89 pts  wine review
  • RUSTENBERG JOHN X MERRIMAN 2015 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#707323) (XD) - $24.95
  • ASCHERI BAROLO 2013 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#496851) (XD) - $49.95
  • LA LECCIAIA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2013 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#121905) (XD) - $66.95
  • CHÂTEAU LES ORMES 2010 - AC Saint-Julien, Bordeaux, France (#648295) (XD) - $69.95  92 pts  wine review
  • ORNELLAIA 2016 - “La Tensione” label, DOC Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy (#722470) (XD) - $239.95
Spy Valley Pinot Noir 2015 (89 pts)

White Wine:

  • TROUPIS FTERI MOSCHOFILERO 2017 - PGI Arcadia, Greece (#647388) (XD) - $16.95  88 pts  wine review
  • BLASON DE BOURGOGNE ALIGOTÉ 2017 - AC Bourgogne, France (#648436) (D) - $17.95  88 pts  wine review
  • VILLA MATILDE ROCCA DEI LEONI FALANGHINA 2017 - IGT, Campania, Italy (#631747) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • CAVE SPRING ESTATE RIESLING 2016 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#286377) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • SUSANA BALBO SIGNATURE BARREL FERMENTED TORRONTÉS 2017 - Uco Valley, Argentina (#384339) (XD) - $19.95
  • CASABLANCA NIMBUS SINGLE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2017 - Casablanca Valley, Chile (#638411) (XD) - $24.95  89 pts  wine review
  • CHATELAIN LES VIGNES DE SAINT-LAURENT L’ABBAYE POUILLY-FUMÉ 2017 - AC, Loire, France (#958801) (XD) - $26.95
  • NAUTILUS CHARDONNAY 2017 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#331652) (XD) - $27.95
  • DOMAINE LAROCHE VIEILLES VIGNES LES VAILLONS CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2017 - AC, Burgundy, France (#991893) (XD) - $39.95  92 pts  wine review
  • GREYWACKE WILD SAUVIGNON 2015 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#282806) (D) - $39.95  FE
Cave Spring Estate Riesling 2016 (89 pts)

Rose Wine:

  • FIELDING ROSÉ 2018 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#053421) (XD) - $15.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • CAVE SPRING BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT SPARKLING - Traditional method, VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#213983) (XD) - $29.95

First image of this post
  • Monday, March 11, 2019

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Release Mar. 16, 2019: Southern France + Spirits

LCBO Wine Picks: March 16, 2019 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on features the sunny wines from Southern France as the main theme, while the mini-theme looks at fine spirits made with either grape or grain. All of these wines, plus many others from this Release should be available on LCBO VINTAGES shelves across Ontario by this .

We'll begin with the main theme that looks at wines from Southern France, a sunny area that stretches along the Mediterranean from the Spanish border to Nice. Of the eleven wines featured, five delicious wines are included among my top wine picks. The "DSM" wine is a blend of 30% Syrah, 27% Carignan, 23% Grenache, 14% Carignan, and 6% Lledoner Pelut from fairly old vines and altitudes 600 to 1300 feet above sea level. The Bastide Miraflors is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache, while the Tautavel consists of 70% Syrah, 20% Grenache, and 10% Carignan. The rosés from the South of France are also famous, as is the version from Gérard Bertrand that consists of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah, and is now a VINTAGES Essentials listing. Lastly, the bubbly is a dry sparkler made with Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Mauzac.

Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Rosé 2017 (89 pts)1879 Boutari Legacy 2007 (93 pts)

Red wines from the rest of the Release include a Merlot dominated blend from Bordeaux, while the Super Tuscan from Italy is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Alicante, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Franc. Single varietal wines include an excellent Xinomavro from Greece and a Shiraz from South Africa. From Australia, there's a lovely high-end Shiraz, as well as a nice Cabernet Sauvignon.

Barossa Valley Estate E&E Black Pepper Shiraz 2014 (93 pts)Wakefield Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (89 pts)

Among my white wine picks from this Release, the only blend is from Portugal and it consists of Antão Vaz, Arinto and Alvarinho. The rest are all single varietals, including lovely returnees to VINTAGES - a Chardonnay and Riesling from Ontario.

Cave Spring CSV Riesling 2016 (93 pts)Hidden Bench Estate Chardonnay 2016 (90 pts)

Enjoy my wine recommendations this from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • FIRRIATO CHIARAMONTE NERO D’AVOLA 2015 - IGT Terre Siciliane, Sicily, Italy (#121145) (D) - $15.95
  • DUNCAN SAVAGE UNTAMED SHIRAZ 2017 - WO Swartland, South Africa (#634659) (XD) - $16.95
  • CHÂTEAU HOURTOU CÔTES DE BOURG 2015 - AC, Bordeaux, France (#630038) (XD) - $18.95
  • HEARTLAND WINES HEART & SOIL SHIRAZ 2014 - Langhorne Creek, South Australia (#632539) (XD) - $19.95
  • BASTIDE MIRAFLORS SYRAH/VIEILLES VIGNES GRENACHE 2015 - AP Côtes du Roussillon, France (#320499) (XD) - $19.95
  • SOUS LA MONTAGNE DSM VIN D’ALTITUDE 2016 - AP Côtes du Roussillon-Villages, France (#647925) (XD) - $20.95
  • WAKEFIELD JARAMAN CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - Coonawarra/Clare Valley, South Australia (#142398) (XD) - $24.95  89 pts  wine review
  • VIGNERONS DE TAUTAVEL LES VINGT MARCHES TAUTAVEL 2015 - AP Côtes du Roussillon-Villages, France (#645358) (XD) - $29.95
  • POGGIO VERRANO DRÒMOS 2010 - IGT Maremma Toscana, Italy (#107383) (XD) - $43.95
  • 1879 BOUTARI LEGACY 2007 - Naoussa, Greece (#590497) (XD) - $60.00  FE  93 pts  wine review
  • BAROSSA VALLEY ESTATE E&E BLACK PEPPER SHIRAZ 2014 - Limited release, Barossa Valley, South Australia (#731620) (XD) - $89.95  93 pts  wine review

White Wine:

  • HERDADE DO ROCIM MARIANA BRANCO 2017 - Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal (#631507) (XD) - $13.95
  • LAKEVIEW CELLARS VIOGNIER 2017 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#646307) (D) - $18.95
  • TE AWA LEFT FIELD PINOT GRIS 2017 - Hawke’s Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#630525) (XD) - $19.95
  • ERRÁZURIZ ACONCAGUA COSTA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - DO Aconcagua Costa, Chile (#462614) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2016 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#068817) (XD) - $29.95  90 pts  wine review
  • CAVE SPRING CSV RIESLING 2016 - Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#566026) (XD) - $29.95  93 pts  wine review
  • SAINT CLAIR WAIRAU RESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#415653) (XD) - $32.95
  • DOMAINE LAROCHE LES VAUDEVEY CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2017 - AC, Burgundy, France (#416057) (XD) - $38.95
Errázuriz Aconcagua Costa Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (89 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • GÉRARD BERTRAND CÔTE DES ROSES ROSÉ 2017 - AP Languedoc, France (#373985) (XD) - $18.95  89 pts  wine review

Sparkling Wine:

  • ANTECH EXPRESSION BRUT CRÉMANT DE LIMOUX 2015 - Traditional method, AC, Languedoc, France (#068239) (XD) - $19.95


  • QUINTA DO CRASTO VINTAGE PORT 2015 - Bottled in 2017, DOP, Portugal (#644880) (375 mL) (S) - $29.95

First image of this post
  • Sunday, December 17, 2017

Celebrating 40 Years of Roussillon

Celebrating 40 Years of Roussillon

This year marks 40 years of recognition of the AOC status of Côtes du Roussillon and Côtes du Roussillon Villages. Although winemaking in the region goes back hundreds of years, it was only in 1977 when this southern France wine region was formally recognized as an AOP by the INAO. Moreover, it only achieved this status because of the 40+ years of work by Roussillon producers prior to 1977.

I have personally been a fan of wines from Roussillon for many years thanks to the high quality and good value on offer. The AOC Côtes du Roussillon produces crisp white wines, fruity rosés and powerful reds, while wines from the AOC Côtes du Roussillon Villages are entirely made up of red wines. The primary red wine grapes are Grenache Noir, Carignan, and Syrah, and Mourvèdre. Carignan, in particular, is notable for its high quality from historic old vines that can be over 100 years old. Among white wines, the primary grapes are Grenache Blanc, Macabeu, and Tourbat. Most of the wines produced in Roussillon are blends.

The AOP Côtes du Roussillon is the largest of the Roussillon appellations, covering an area of 4695 hectares spread over 102 municipalities in the Pyrénées-Orientales region. Both the white wine and the first red wine listed below come from this large appellation. The Latour de France is a sub-appellation of the AOP Côtes du Roussillon Villages covering 202 hectares in the northern part of the appellation and features mainly grey schist soils.

Wine Appellations of Roussillon

Surrounding the AOC Côtes du Roussillon are three mountain chains and the sea. To the north is the Corbières, the Pyrénées and the Mont Canigou are on the west side, the Albères is down south, and to the east is the Mediterranean Sea. Eighty percent of the vines are located on hillsides, and combined with the hot Mediterranean climate with minimal rainfall, helping create wines that are complex, aromatic and fresh.

Soil types are varied across the region, with a mix of granitic sand and gneiss, black and grey schist, red clay soils, sandy clay, and pebbly terraces.

To get a taste of what Roussillon offers, here are three quality wines that I enjoyed on and are a small sample of the various styles of wine you can expect from Roussillon. All three of these wines arrived in LCBO VINTAGES earlier this year. These wines are nearly sold out across the province, with only limited availability now.

To learn more about this fascinating wine region, visit Roussillon Wines.

40 Years of AOP Côtes du Roussillon & Villages

Tasting Notes:

LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON BLANC 2015 - AC, Midi, France (#485656) (XD) - $15.95
Blend of 60% Grenache Blanc, 20% Macabeu, 10% Marsanne, and 10% Vermentino. Floral, lemon, and tropical fruit aromas from the cork. In the glass, this has a medium+ intensity nose featuring grapefruit, lemon peel, white floral, and herbally notes, with a fine mineral component throughout. It's medium+ bodied and round on the palate with a nice mineral texture. Dry flavour profile features grapefruit, herbs, and floral notes, and a touch waxy. Juicy acids. The finish length is good, ending with a flinty mineral note. Released into LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 88 pts

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

LE PUIG CARIGNANE DE LA PERPIGNANE 2013 - AC Côtes du Roussillon, France (#480988) (XD) - $19.95
This organic wine was raised in concrete tank and consists of 60% Carignane and 40% Grenache. Faint aromas of black plum and dark berry from the cork. In the glass, this leads with a mineral and iron nose followed by dark berry/cherry, kirsch, menthol, and spice aromas. Also some meaty aromas with air. It's medium-bodied on the palate with fresh, balanced acids and ripe, dark berry and peppery spice flavours laced with earthy minerality. Supple, gritty tannins add texture, while the finish is juicy with good length. Drink over the next 4-5 years. Released into LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 89 pts

Le Puig Carignane de la Perpignane 2013 (89 pts)

DOMAINE DE L’AGLY LATOUR DE FRANCE LES CIMES 2013 - AC Côtes du Roussillon Villages, France (#480897) (XD) - $29.95
From a 12 hectare vineyard with mica schist and blue granite soils at 300 metres elevation in the magnificent Agly Valley, this is a blend of 35% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 17% Mourvèdre, and 13% Carignan brought up in barrique (one-third new), and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Earthy, dark berry and smoke aromas from the cork. Very ripe and fruit forward on the nose with raspberry, blackberry, crushed rocks, flowers and touches of vanilla. The seamless palate is bright and medium-full bodied with balanced dark berry, blackberry, white pepper, along with hints of violet and meaty flavours, Acids are very bright. Tannins have some grip and gain volume over time. The finish length is very good with some fine mineral notes. Drink over the next 6-8 years. Released into LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 90 pts

Domaine de l’Agly Latour de France Les Cimes 2013 (90 pts)

First image of this post
  • Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tessellae Old Vines Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre Côtes du Roussillon 2015 (Midi) - Wine Review

I opened up this delightful red blend from the Roussillon on night. This was purchased from the recent VINTAGES Release and is still widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario. This red wine is made by the famed house of Domaine Lafage.

Tessellae Old Vines Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre Côtes du Roussillon 2015 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

From vines more than 65 years old on schist soils, this is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre that was tank-fermented and followed by aging in concrete tanks. Red and black fruit notes, plus some dark plum aromas from the cork. In the glass, this has a medium+ intensity nose leads with flinty minerality and is layered with red and black fruits, white pepper, wild herbs, and hints of black plum and evergreen. It's medium-full bodied on the palate with ripe fruited, peppery, dark berry, and black plum, with good fruit purity and concentration. Acids are bright and zesty. Suave tannins provide subtle grip. Some bitterness mid palate. Juicy finish with good length. Drink over the next 4-5 years. Score: 88 pts

First image of this post
  • Monday, August 14, 2017

LCBO VINTAGES August 19, 2017: South of France + South Africa

LCBO Wine Picks: August 19, 2017 VINTAGES Release
New wines from the upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on will be on shelves across the province this and features two wine regions known for producing quality wines at very good prices. The main thematic features the wines from the South of France, while the mini-theme features wines from South Africa.

We'll begin with the South of France feature that's titled "Southern Charm". There are 11 wines listed as part of this theme and 4 are included among my top wine picks. The lone white wine is a blend of 55% Vermentino and 45% Viognier that's been partially aged in oak and comes for a region bordering Spain. The Minervois is a blend of 37% Mourvèdre, 28% Grenache, and 25% Syrah and is showing fine maturity, while the La Clape is a blend of rougly 40% Syrah, 30% Carignan, and 30% Mourvèdre. Lastly, the Saint-Chinian is a blend 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah.

Le Secret des Capitelles Saint-Chinian 2014 (88 pts)

South Africa is the mini-theme and features many fine wines on offer as 7 of the 8 wines listed are included on my list of wine recommendations. Among the red wines, there is a Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and an honest Pinotage that doesn't taste like coffee. Among the South African white wines, there is a Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and an unoaked Chardonnay. And last but not least, there is a Vintage Brut Rosé that is a blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay.

Among red wines from the rest of the release, the 2008 La Granja is made with Tempranillo, as is the much younger and more modern Crianza. Both the Beni di Batasiolo and the Barolo are made Nebbiolo, while the Brunello is made with Sangiovese.

Among white wines, there's an Albariño and Falanghina, as well as a 100% Turbiana (a.k.a. Trebbiano) di Lugana from Lombardy. The Hermit Crab from Australia is a blend of 72%Viognier and 28% Marsanne. The oaked La Crema Chardonnay is actually one of the Wines of the Month and will be widely available across the province. For sweet wine lovers, your best bet is the Riesling from Ontario.

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2015 (89 pts)2027 Cellars Wismer Vineyard Fox Croft Block Riesling 2016 (89 pts)

Enjoy my wine picks from this release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • LE SECRET DES CAPITELLES SAINT-CHINIAN 2014 - AP, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (#156299) (XD) - $15.95  reviewed here
  • BENI DI BATASIOLO NEBBIOLO 2015 - DOC Langhe, Italy (#908079) (XD) - $16.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE SÉRAME MINERVOIS 2010 - AC, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (#480889) (XD) - $16.95
  • GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR LA CLAPE SYRAH / CARIGNAN / MOURVÈDRE 2014 - AP Coteaux du Languedoc La Clape, Languedoc, France (#370262) (XD) - $18.95
  • PEREZ CRUZ LIMITED EDITION CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - Maipo Andes, Chile (#431015) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • RUSTENBERG SHIRAZ 2014 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#399246) (XD) - $19.95
  • ALEJANDRO FERNÁNDEZ DEHESA LA GRANJA 2008 - Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León, Spain (#192476) (XD) - $20.95
  • PALACIOS REMONDO LA MONTESA CRIANZA 2014 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#674572) (XD) - $24.95
  • ERNIE ELS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#278358) (XD) - $24.95
  • SOUTHERN RIGHT PINOTAGE 2015 - WO Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Walker Bay, South Africa (#486167) (XD) - $26.95
  • PODERI COLLA DARDI LE ROSE BUSSIA BAROLO 2011 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#596890) (XD) - $54.95
  • IL GRAPPOLO BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#452151) (XD) - $54.95
Perez Cruz Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (89 pts)

White Wine:

  • DE WETSHOF LIMESTONE HILL UNWOODED CHARDONNAY 2016 - WO Robertson, South Africa (#419622) (XD) - $16.95
  • TERRE STREGATE SVELATO FALANGHINA DEL SANNIO 2015 - DOP, Campania, Italy (#486076) (XD) - $17.95
  • D’ARENBERG THE HERMIT CRAB VIOGNIER/MARSANNE 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#662775) (XD) - $17.95
  • PACO & LOLA ALBARIÑO 2016 - DO Rías Baixas, Spain (#350041) (XD) - $18.95
  • LES NEIGES DE L’AGLY VERMENTINO/VIOGNIER 2013 - IGP Côtes Catalanes, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (#512566) (XD) - $19.95
  • SOUTHERN RIGHT SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Walker Bay, WO Western Cape, South Africa (#512277) (XD) - $21.95
  • RAATS ORIGINAL CHENIN BLANC 2016 - Unwooded, WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#651497) (XD) - $21.95
  • 2027 CELLARS WISMER VINEYARD FOX CROFT BLOCK RIESLING 2016 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#225490) (M) - $22.95  FSE  reviewed here
  • TENUTA ROVEGLIA VIGNE DI CATULLO LUGANA RISERVA 2013 - DOC, Lombardy, Italy (#437004) (D) - $24.95
  • LA CREMA SONOMA COAST CHARDONNAY 2015 - Sonoma Coast, California, USA (#962886) (XD) - $29.95  reviewed here

Sparkling Wine:

  • GRAHAM BECK BRUT ROSÉ 2011 - Disgorged March 2017, Méthode Cap Classique, WO Western Cape, South Africa (#004085) (XD) - $21.95
  • DOM PÉRIGNON VINTAGE BRUT ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE 2004 - AC, Champagne, France (#091777) (XD) - $337.95  FSE


  • KOURTAKI MUSCAT OF SAMOS - PDO Samos, Greece (#938407) (S) - $15.95

First image of this post
  • Friday, August 11, 2017

Le Secret des Capitelles Saint-Chinian 2014 (Languedoc) - Wine Review

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

It is produced by Les Vignerons de Saint Chinian, a cooperative founded in 1937 and now includes 186 winegrowers over 850 hectares of vines across Languedoc-Roussillon. Their vineyards range in altitude from 120 to 300 metres above sea level, and are mostly on schist and calcareous-clay soils, which are naturally poor (but good for wine!)

Les Vignerons de Saint Chinian is constantly looking to produce high quality wines, which means a constant effort is applied to improve the skills of grape growers and the selective cultivation of vineyards. As part of these efforts, this coop achieved ISO certification in 2001.

The Languedoc-Roussillon wine region in the South of France is known for producing quality wines at very approachable prices, and this is no exception. You can pick up your bottle from the LCBO next weekend.

Le Secret des Capitelles Saint-Chinian 2014 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

LE SECRET DES CAPITELLES SAINT-CHINIAN 2014 - AP, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (#156299) (XD) - $15.95
This blend of 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah was aged for 12 months in oak. Light aromas of plum and red berry from the cork. Medium+ intensity nose is very savoury earthy in nature, followed by garrigue, wild herbs, black pepper, and blackberry with hints of florality. It's medium-bodied with nice peppery and garrigue aroma replays that are lifted by fresh acidity. Supple tannins are well-integrated and the finish is long and earthy. Nicely composed red wine to enjoy with herbed poultry over the next 2-3 years. Score: 88 pts

First image of this post
  • Sunday, July 24, 2016

Byrrh Grand Quinquina (France) - Review

Here's an interesting wine-based apertif I received to review and is now available at LCBO locations throughout the province.

Byrrh (pronounced "beer") was created in 1866 by brothers Pallade and Simon Violet in the small village of Thuir, France. Initially, it was distributed in pharmacies and appreciated for its medicinal benefits. Over time, Byrrh became a feature in bistros and grew in popularity through the Belle Époque (1890s - 1910s) and the Années folles (1920s). By 1935, Byrrh was the leading apertif brand in France with sales of more than 35 million litres.

The Bryrrh Grand Quinquina original recipe has remained unchanged since 1866 and is amazingly still produced in the original production facility in Thuir that was designed by Gustave Eiffel (of the famed tower) and created in 1873.

It is hand-crafted and produced by the maceration of the mistelles, naturally sweet and fruity wines (Macabeu and Grenache) which are then infused in alcohol with aromatic plants including coffee, bitter orange, colombo, cocoa, and the finest cinchona (quinine) barks. The final blend is then aged several years in one of the world's largest oak vats (1 million litres).

Byrrh Grand Quinquina - Roussillon, France (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

BYRRH GRAND QUINQUINA - Roussillon, France (#440909) (S) - $14.90
Grapey, caramel, nutty, golden raisin aromas, along with hints of sweet spice from the glass. Viscous, silky mouthfeel that's slightly warming with flavours of blackberry, orange peel, raisin, some potpourri and walnut. The palate is initially sweet, but finishes long and on the earthy, nutty side. Ideal as an apertif. I enjoyed this well-chilled, but it can also be mixed into a cocktail. Score: 87 pts

Serving Suggestions:

Byrrh on the Rocks - Served on ice

Byrrh Tonic - 1 part Byrrh Grand Quinquina, 1/2 freshly squeezed Lemon, 1 part Tonic water

Byyrh Blood & Sand - 1 part Byrrh Grand Quinquina, 1 part Te Bheag Scotch Whisky, 1 part freshly squeezed Orange Juice, 1 part Cherry Heering or Filthy Black Cherry

Blog Archive

Posts by Tag

Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget

  The World Atlas of Wine 8th Edition


BOTW Blogs - Vintages Wine Picks and Reviews
My Zimbio
Blogarama - Drinks & Beverages Blogs
Top Wine Sites
Wine blog
RSSChomp Blog Directory