Showing posts with label south-africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label south-africa. 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


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

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  • Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Nederburg Manor House Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (South Africa) - Wine Review

wine is a companion to the Nederburg Manor House Shiraz that I enjoyed on the. Like it's companion, this red wine is an LCBO VINTAGES product. However, since this Cabernet Sauvignon was released into VINTAGES last , there isn't much inventory available at the moment, but I suspect new stock will arrive in short order.

Produced by Nederburg, one of South Africa's most awarded wineries, the grapes for this wine were sourced from two dryland sites in the Paarl and Groenekloof regions where the soil is red/yellow Tukulu/Clovelly and ideal for root penetration. Both sites are low-yielding and produced small-berried, loose bunches picked at good phenolic ripeness. The Groenekloof fruit provided strong aromatics and dark fruit flavours, while the Paarl fruit contributed red fruit and gooseberry characters. Each block of fruit was vinified separately and matured in a combination of new-, second-, and third-fill French oak barrels for a period of 18 months prior to blending.

Nederburg Manor House Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

NEDERBURG MANOR HOUSE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#068767) (XD) - $16.95
Vague notions of curranty red and black fruit aromas from the cork. The medium intensity nose is ripe, offering aromas of cassis, black currant, dark fruit, grilled pepper and oak, with touches of mint. The medium-full bodied palate has a mix of red & black fruits, cassis, and oak notes on the flavour profile. Lively acids on the mid-palate. Tannins are supple and rounded, but gain some grip on the mid-palate. Woody notes linger on the long, dry finish. Drinking well now and should continue to drink well over the next 2-4 years. Score: 87 pts


Saturday, March 24, 2018

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  • Saturday, March 24, 2018

Nederburg Manor House Shiraz 2014 (South Africa) - Wine Review

Shiraz from South Africa was most recently released into LCBO VINTAGES on and featured as part of its main theme on wines from South of the Equator. It is widely available across Ontario.

Nederburg is one of South Africa's most awarded wineries and was most recently named Platter's Winery of the Year in 2017.

The story of Nederburg begins in 1791, when Philippus Wolvaart purchased a farm that lay between the Berg and Palmiet rivers. Together with his wife, Margaretha, they nurtured the land, innovated, and paid close attention to details, all of which helped build a strong foundation on which Nederburg flourishes today.

The Manor House is but one of a few wine labels among the Nederburg portfolio, and is comprised of single varietal wines made from Nederburg's best-of-best fruit. The line is inspired by the Cape Dutch manor house built by Philippus Wolvaart, Nederburg's founder and original wine master, for himself and his wife in 1800.

Nederburg Manor House Shiraz 2014 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

NEDERBURG MANOR HOUSE SHIRAZ 2014 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#068775) (D) - $16.95
Plummy, blackberry and blueberry aromas from the cork. This has a medium+ intensity nose featuring ripe blackberry and blueberry, along with some minty herbal and meaty notes, all wrapped in vanillan oak. It is full bodied on the palate with suave, well-integrated tannins and crunchy, juicy acids. The palate is sweet-fruited with ripe blackberry, blueberry, pepper, and sweet oak flavours. The finish length is very good. If you like 'Shiraz', you will like this. Score: 88 pts


Sunday, October 15, 2017

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  • Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fleur du Cap Chardonnay 2016 (South Africa) - Wine Review

The recent parade of South African wines continues with this Chardonnay from the Western Cape.

Produced by Fleur du Cap, the grapes were sourced from vines planted in 1990 (Stellenbosch) and from 2000-2006 (Somerset West, Elgin and Robertson). Soils varied from Karoo limestone and granite in Stellenbosch, and shale soils in Elgin and Somerset West. Crops in 2016 were the smallest in half a decade, resulting in concentrated, ripe wines. I tasted the 2012 Fleur du Cap Chardonnay and am expecting a similar profile this time around as the vinification techniques used in this vintage are nearly identical to the 2012.

As part of the media package I received, this Chardonnay would pair well with Spanish-Style Brick Turkey (recipe below) that you can make during your holiday celebrations. This turkey recipe was crafted by Chef Nikko Janico and should complement the Fleur du Cap Chardonnay, which is widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario.

Fleur du Cap Chardonnay Bergkelder Selection 2016 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

FLEUR DU CAP CHARDONNAY BERGKELDER SELECTION 2016 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#358960) (XD) - $13.10
Screw cap. Ripe buttery aromas with baked apple and subtle hints of coconut, sweet vanillan oak, and minerality. The palate is medium+ bodied with a creamy texture and juicy acids. Flavours consist of butter, lemon citrus, pineapple, butterscotch and a touch of honeyed sweetness. There's a nice touch of smoky minerality mid-palate. Finishes with lemon citrus and mineral notes, with good length. Best with just a slight chill. Score: 87 pts

Spanish-Style Brick Turkey Recipe:

Ingredients:
  • 1 12 lb. turkey, preferably fresh
  • 2 apples, cored and quartered
  • 3 jalapeños, halved
  • 2 yellow onions, quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Vegetable oil

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

To Prepare:
In a small bowl combine all ingredients for the rub. Mix with a fork until well incorporated. Set aside. Start by placing the turkey with the breast resting on the cutting board. Using sharp kitchen scissors, cut along both sides of the backbone to remove it. Flip the turkey over and open the cavity so both legs are spread out with the breast facing up. Press down on the breastbone to flatten. Using your fingers, gently separate the skin from the breast muscle. Using your hands, grab small portions of the butter and place between turkey skin and meat. Make sure to evenly spread throughout as this will help with consistent browning. Lather the outside skin as well. Place turkey on a wire rack over top a baking sheet and chill uncovered in the fridge for 6–12 hours.

To Cook:
Remove turkey from the fridge and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 450°F. Tuck wings under the breast. Lay apples, jalapeños, yellow onion and garlic on a parchment-lined baking tray and lather with vegetable oil. Place the turkey on top of the ingredients and season the skin with salt. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until skin starts to darken. Reduce heat to 320°F and cook for another 40 minutes or until the breast reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. When finished, remove from the oven and loosely tent with tin foil. Rest at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.


Friday, October 13, 2017

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  • Friday, October 13, 2017

Goats do Roam Red 2016 (South Africa) - Wine Review

wine is the companion to the 2017 Goats do Roam White that I opened last month. I recall enjoying this wine many, many years ago when I first got into wine, but hadn't tasted it recently. The catchy name, interesting label and low price point is what drew me to this wine many years ago, and if I recall correctly, the price hasn't moved much since that time. I'm curious to see how this wine tastes today.

It is produced by the Fairview Wine Farm, a winery that proudly owns all of their vineyards, with land in Paarl, Darling, Swartland and Stellenbosch. Owner Charles Back has also always been an advocate of social development in the Cape and under Apartheid, he was one of a number of producers who campaigned for and implemented better conditions for farm workers. In 1997, he established the Fair Valley Worker’s Association, which gave his employees a chance to farm their own land.

This dry red wine from South Africa is widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario, with the 2016 vintage on shelves already or arriving really soon.

Goats do Roam Red 2016 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

GOATS DO ROAM RED 2016 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#718940) (XD) - $13.00
Blend of 49% Shiraz, 24% Cinsault, 12% Grenache, 11% Mourvèdre, 2% Petite Sirah, and 2% Carignan. Screw cap. This has generous aromas that are soft with plummy, peppery and red cherry notes, along with some meaty and vanillan oak nuances. It's medium-bodied on the dry palate with candied red berry fruit, chocolate oak and resinous flavours with touches of menthol. It has bright and juicy acids, some warmth mid-palate (14% abv), and soft tannins. Finish length is good with earthy-curranty notes. An easy drinking red for current consumption. Score: 87 pts


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

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  • Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Goats do Roam White 2017 (South Africa) - Wine Review

wine is an easy drinking white wine with a unique/fun name that you may have come across while browsing LCBO shelves as it's been available in our market for quite a few years now.

It is produced by the Fairview Wine Farm in South Africa, and while the name "Goats do Roam" is considered by some to be a play on "Côtes du Rhône" as it contains the same varietals found in Rhône whites, it is in fact (according to the website) from legend.

The story behind the name goes like this: Some errant members of Fairview’s long-established goat herd once escaped from their paddock into the Fairview vineyards after Charles Back’s young son Jason accidentally left the gate open; The little group happily roamed among the vineyards, showing rare discernment by selecting some of the ripest berries from the vines; Those berries were then used to make this white blend.

The 2017 vintage is the latest vintage and packaged in an eco-friendly, lighter-weight bottle. It is widely available (if not already, then really soon) at LCBO outlets across Ontario as it is a General List product.

Goats do Roam White 2017 (86 pts)

Tasting Note:

GOATS DO ROAM WHITE 2017 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#237313) (XD) - $11.95
Bottled under screw cap, this is a traditional Rhône blend of 49% Viognier, 28% Roussanne, and 23% Grenache Blanc. The medium intensity nose offers widely appealing ripe tropical fruit, orange zest, white peach and white floral aromas. On the medium-full bodied palate, it's got zesty acids with more ripe tropical fruit, melon, and orange peel flavours in an essentially dry profile. There's some bitterness on the mid-palate and good length on the finish. Chill well and serve with hearty fish such as Salmon. Score: 86 pts


Monday, August 14, 2017

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  • 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

Fortified:

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


Monday, January 30, 2017

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  • Monday, January 30, 2017

VINTAGES Release February 4: Back Roads of Europe + South Africa + Valentine's

LCBO Wine Picks from February 4, 2017 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on focuses on wines from Europe's Back Roads in its main theme, while the mini-themes highlight wines from South Africa and wines for celebrations. All of these wines will be on shelves across Ontario this coming .

From the European Back Roads theme - which is meant to showcase lesser-known wines from Portugal, Spain, France and Italy - 4 of the 16 wines are included among my wine picks. From Burgundy, there is a Chardonnay from the tiny village of Chitry-le-Fort. Also from France, from the small appellation of Bourgueil in Loire, there is a nice Cabernet Franc. The other 2 wines are both from Italy, with the Monferrato a blend of 60% Barbera and 40% Syrah, and the white wine from Campania is 100% Greco.

The mini-theme on fine wines from South Africa features 7 wines, 2 of which are included in my wine recommendations. The first wine is an organic and biodynamic white wine made with the help of ducks, and is a blend consisting primarily of South Africa's signature white grape - Chenin Blanc. The other wine from South Africa is the Rustenberg - a red wine blend made with 50% Shiraz, 30% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.

In red wines from the rest of the release, the Chateau Saint-Roch is a blend of nearly equal parts Grenache, Syrah and Carignan and saw no oak. From Greece, the Domain Mega Spileo Red is a lovely red blend (60% Mavrodaphne and 40% Mavro Kalavritino) from 2 indigenous Greek varietals. The Beaujolais is 100% Gamay, while the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 68% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, 13% Syrah, and 4% Cinsault. Both Cali Cabs are, in fact, blends, with the Mt. Brave consisting of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 6.5% Malbec, 4.5% Cabernet Franc, while the Mount Veeder Cab consists of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 4% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Syrah. And last but not least, the Masi Amarone is a traditional blend of Corvina, Rondinella, Oseleta, and Molinara grape varietals.

Domain Mega Spileo Red 2010 (90 pts)Masi Costasera Riserva Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011 (91 pts)

In white wines, the Domaine FL is made with Chenin Blanc. For sweet wine lovers, you'll want to pick up the Riesling Spätlese from Germany.

Enjoy my wine picks from this release. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CHATEAU SAINT-ROCH VIEILLES VIGNES SYRAH/GRENACHE 2014 - AP Côtes du Roussillon, France (#195107) (D) - $15.95
  • DOMAINE LES PINS CUVÉE LES ROCHETTES BOURGUEIL 2014 - AC, Loire, France (#478263) (XD) - $17.95
  • PRUNOTTO MOMPERTONE MONFERRATO ROSSO 2014 - DOC, Piedmont, Italy (#388587) (XD) - $18.95
  • RUSTENBERG RM NICHOLSON 2014 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#278390) (XD) - $19.95
  • TECTONIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#480822) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU DU CHATELARD CUVÉE LES VIEUX GRANITS FLEURIE 2013 - AP, Beaujolais, France (#207886) (XD) - $22.95
  • DOMAIN MEGA SPILEO RED 2010 - Peloponnese, Greece (#466110) (XD) - $29.95  reviewed here
  • MOUNT VEEDER WINERY CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#708842) (XD) - $49.95
  • ANDREA OBERTO BAROLO 2012 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#477174) (XD) - $54.95  FSE
  • CLOS DES BRUSQUIÈRES CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#416289) (D) - $55.95
  • MASI COSTASERA RISERVA AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2011 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#324137) (D) - $69.95  reviewed here
  • MT. BRAVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, California (#329433) (D) - $110.95  FSE

White Wine:

  • PONTE PELLEGRINO GRECO DI TUFO 2015 - IGT Campania, Italy (#477760) (XD) - $13.95
  • MATETIC CORRALILLO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - San Antonio Valley, Chile (#347740) (XD) - $15.95
  • AVONDALE JONTY’S DUCKS PEKIN WHITE 2015 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#439554) (D) - $15.95
  • SIMONNET-FEBVRE BOURGOGNE CHITRY 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#479667) (XD) - $19.95
  • LA CHABLISIENNE GRANDE CUVÉE CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#685222) (XD) - $29.95
  • DOMAINE FL SAVENNIÈRES-CHENIN 2012 - AC, Loire, France (#470971) (XD) - $33.95  FSE
  • MAXIMIN GRÜNHÄUSER ABTSBERG RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2014 - Pradikätswein, Mosel, Germany (#481374) (S) - $39.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • NICOLAS FEUILLATTE CHARDONNAY BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2006 - AC, France (#009761) (D) - $59.95

Fortifieds:

  • WARRE’S QUINTA DA CAVADINHA VINTAGE PORT 2001 - Bottled 2003, DOC, Portugal (#189605) (S) - $49.95

Dessert Wine:

  • DISZNÓKÖ LATE HARVEST TOKAJI FURMINT 2012 - Hungary (#185074) (S) (500 mL) - $23.95


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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  • Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Durbanville Hills Atlantic View Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (South Africa) - Wine Review

On this wintry day filled with snow, wine is this bright white wine from the warmer climes of South Africa.

This wine is produced by Durbanville Hills, a winery located in Durbanville, just 20 minutes outside Cape Town. The winery has a spectacular view overlooking Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, whose cool crisp air and rolling mists embrace the vineyards. The Durbanville area is the second oldest winegrowing region in South Africa and is considered a cool-climate region that is renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc.

For the 2016 vintage, this white wine arrives at the LCBO with new packaging and is quite readily available throughout Ontario as a General List product.

Durbanville Hills Atlantic View Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

DURBANVILLE HILLS ATLANTIC VIEW SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - WO Durbanville, South Africa (#022251) (XD) - $11.95
Integrity and sustainability certified. Screw cap. Quite fragrant on the nose with gooseberry, kiwi, asparagus, key lime, citrus and hints of steely minerality. The palate is medium-bodied and fleshy with high acids. Citrus, asparagus, melon, and pear flavour profile. Juicy finish. Refreshing wine to pair with veggie night, poultry, or seafood. Score: 87 pts


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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  • Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Fleur du Cap Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (South Africa) - Wine Review

wine just arrived at the LCBO last week and is now widely available throughout the province.

The grapes for this Fleur du Cap Cabernet Sauvignon were sourced from the Somerset West vineyards, planted in decomposed shale and Stellenbosch vines in decomposed granite. The vines are between 14 and 17 years of age. Pest and disease control was implemented according to South African Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) standards that focus on environmental sustainability. It was aged for 12 months in a combination of new French, and 2nd and 3rd use American oak barrels.

Fleur du Cap Bergkelder Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

FLEUR DU CAP BERGKELDER SELECTION CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#457101) (XD) - $12.95
Currant and dark plum aromas from the cork. Lush aromas of blackcurrant, cassis, dark fruits with touches of smoke, cocoa and earth. It's medium-to-full bodied with ripe red cherry flavours and some spice notes. It has fresh acids to go with supple tannins that are integrated and smooth. Good length on the earthy finish. Perfectly fine mid-week red. Enjoying with some aged cheddar. Score: 87 pts


Monday, February 1, 2016

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  • Monday, February 1, 2016

February 6 VINTAGES Release: Southern France + South Africa + Valentines

LCBO Wine Picks from February 6, 2016 VINTAGES Release
The VINTAGES Release will be on shelves this coming and continues the on-going theme of the year to focus on wine regions offering good value wines. In this edition, wines from Southern Franc are the main theme, while the mini-theme focuses on wines from South Africa. Also featured in this release are wines for .

Southern France is a large wine region bordering the Mediterranean coast that in this release comprises of Languedoc, Roussillon and Provence. Of the 11 wines featured from this region, 4 are included in my list of wine picks. First up is an extra-dry sparkling wine from Gérard Bertrand that consists of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Mauzac. In red wines, the Secret de Schistes is 100% Syrah, while the wine from Cave de Roquebrun is a blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre. Lastly, there is a 12-year-old blend of old vines Carignan, Grenache and Syrah from Château des Erles that is made only in the best years.

From South Africa, two of the eight wines are included among my wine picks. One of the principal varietals that South Africa does well is Chenin Blanc. The Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc is a dry take on the varietal from old vines that are nearly 40 years old. The other South African wine is also a white wine from the very interesting Avondale Wines that is a Chenin Blanc driven blend which also includes Roussanne, Muscat de Frontignan, Viognier and Semillon.

Wines for Valentine's Day celebrations include Champagnes from Lallier Rose (80/20 Pinot Noir/Chardonnay) and the 2008 Taittinger, as well as the Cabernet Franc Icewine from Lakeview Cellars.

Lakeview Cellars Cabernet Franc Icewine 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)Tiago Cabaço .com Premium White 2014 - Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal (88 pts)

From the rest of the release, Tiago Cabaço is an intriguing white wine blend of Antão Vaz, Verdelho, and Viognier, while the white Burgundies are all Chardonnay.

In red wines, the Fielding Red from the excellent 2012 Niagara vintage is a blend of 68% Cabernet Franc, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah and 6% Petit Verdot. The Quadrus Red from Portugal is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (a.k.a. Tempranillo) and Souzão, while the Valpolicella is 80% Corvina/Corvinone and 20% Rondinella.

Enjoy my wine recommendations for the week! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • BOUTARI NAOUSSA XINOMAVRO 2013 - Naoussa, Greece (#023218) (XD) - $13.95
  • VIÑA TARAPACÁ GRAN RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2013 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#057513) (D) - $17.95
  • FIELDING RED CONCEPTION 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#189183) (D) - $18.95
  • CAVE DE ROQUEBRUN LA GRANGE DES COMBES SAINT-CHINIAN-ROQUEBRUN 2013 - AC, Midi, France (#155804) (XD) - $18.95
  • CONCHA Y TORO MARQUES DE CASA CONCHA MERLOT 2013 - Maule Valley, Chile (#939827) (XD) - $19.95
  • MONTE DEL FRÁ LENA DI MEZZO VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO CLASSICO SUPERIORE 2013 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#165662) (D) - $19.95
  • QUADRUS RED 2010 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#440305) (XD) - $21.95
  • CHÂTEAU DES ERLES FITOU 2004 - AC, Midi, France (#654590) (XD) - $25.95
  • SECRET DE SCHISTES 2011 - IGP Côtes Catalanes, Midi, France (#440669) (XD) - $41.95
  • SAN GIACOMO BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#434548) (XD) - $49.95
  • LA JOTA HOWELL MOUNTAIN ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California, USA (#659755) (D) - $94.95

White Wine:

  • AVONDALE JONTY’S DUCKS PEKIN WHITE 2014 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#439554) (XD) - $14.95
  • TIAGO CABAÇO .COM PREMIUM WHITE 2014 - Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal (#429316) (XD) - $14.95  reviewed here
  • EMILIANA NATURA UNOAKED CHARDONNAY 2015 - Casablanca Valley, Chile (#439398) (XD) - $15.95
  • CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY MUSQUÉ 2014 - Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#246579) (D) - $16.95
  • KEN FORRESTER OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC 2015 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#231282) (XD) - $17.95
  • PIERRE SPARR SCHOENENBOURG RIESLING 2011 - AC Alsace Grand Cru, Alsace, France (#664995) (XD) - $22.95  FSE
  • LOUIS MOREAU DOMAINE DE BIÉVILLE CHABLIS 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#106161) (XD) - $25.95
  • DOMAINE DE BELLENE LES CHARMES DESSUS SANTENAY 2013 - AC, Burgundy, France (#435032) (XD) - $35.95
  • DOMAINE LAROCHE VIEILLES VIGNES LES VAILLONS CHABLIS 1 ER CRU 2012 - AC, Burgundy, France (#991893) (XD) - $36.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • GÉRARD BERTRAND CUVÉE THOMAS JEFFERSON BRUT CRÉMANT DE LIMOUX 2013 - Méthode Traditionnelle, AC, Languedoc, France (#438838) (XD) - $19.95
  • LALLIER GRAND CRU ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE - AC, Champagne, France (#385179) (D) - $56.95
  • TAITTINGER BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2008 - AC, Champagne, France (#989905) (XD) - $97.95

Dessert Wine:

  • GRÓF DEGENFELD TOKAJI SZAMORODNI SWEET 2010 - Hungary (#433946) (S) (500 mL) - $18.95
  • LAKEVIEW CABERNET FRANC ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#053397) (S) (200 mL) - $29.95  reviewed here


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

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  • Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Avondale Wine Tasting (South Africa)

Avondale Terra Est Vita
, I had the pleasure of tasting the wines of Avondale with proprietor Johnathan Grieve.

Avondale is located on a 160-hectare, picturesque farm in the Paarl valley in the southwestern part of South Africa, only 35 minutes from Cape Town, and has been cultivated for more than 300 years. Early records also indicate that this piece of land was one first in Paarl valley to be allocated specifically for the production of grapes.

Johnathan Grieve
Although the farm was established as early as 1693, current owners John and Ginny Grieve (Johnathan's parents) only began producing wine on the site in 1999, two years after purchasing the land. Today, it continues to be family-owned and operated with Johnathan taking up the challenge to transform the land into a balanced vineyard ecosystem using organic and biodynamic viticultural practices that he developed, along with modern science, and now terms BioLOGIC.

One of the ways Avondale promotes a balanced ecosystem is through the use of natural predators. Beginning more than 15 years ago, Avondale began unleashing White Pekin Ducks to feast on snails that were proliferating throughout the vineyards and eating the vines. Johnathan showed us a fascinating video of the ducks in action that you can view here:


Other natural predators include predatory wasps (to combat mealy bugs), Spotted Eagle Owls, Rock Kestrels, Yellow-billed and Black-shouldered Kites.

Continuing on the theme of "natural" is the waste water system that mimics the way Nature cleans water. The system is comprised of three dams interlinked by spiralling channels of cleansing reeds that replicates the natural river system. This closed-nutrient cycle yields quality water that is then used for their irrigation needs.

Avondale Wine
Avondale has 13 different soil types on their land, and vines are planted within pockets of soil types. Furthermore, when Avondale built their cellar, it was designed such that each block of fruit from these different soil types could be vinified independently of each other, allowing for terroir expression. The soil is often re-balanced using the soil balancing system pioneered by Dr. William Albrecht, followed by re-mineralization of the soil. To further help balance the soil and ecosystem, legumes and other cover crops are used to create a vibrant and diverse plant community.

All of the wines at Avondale go through natural fermentation - a process which is much slower than commercial fermentation. Some wines are also warm-fermented at this estate, producing wines that can be aged for longer periods when compared with wines that are cool-fermented.

One thing Johnathan talked about that really intrigued me was the Luna Tasting Calendar. This calendar is based on the Biodynamic Planting Calendar that was developed in the 1950's by Maria Thun and centres around the 12 Zodiac constellations and the lunar cycle. Within the calendar there are four cycles: Fruit, Root, Flower and Leaf. The Luna Tasting Calendar conjectures that any given wine will taste different based on the current cycle. The Flower cycle is regarded as the best day for tasting wine. I personally have not tried tasting wine based on this, but it's on my list of things to do this year.

The dowsing experiment using rods that Johnathan performed on one of the attendees was also very interesting. I have a pair of dowsing rods that I haven't used in quite a few years, so it was refreshing to see somebody else perform dowsing, and do it well!

Avondale Wines Lineup

Overall, I was quite pleased with the tasting. It was an eye-opener in terms of the many organic and biodynamic practices that are followed. The labels are also very pretty - with a unique story behind each of them. However, it's what's inside the bottle that counts - and the wines are delicious.

Thank you Rare Earth Wines for the invitation and the opportunity to taste these fabulous wines that also happen to be organic & biodynamic. Since most of these wines are not (yet) available at the LCBO, you can order these wines directly with Rare Earth Wines.

Tasting Notes:

AVONDALE ARMILLA BLANC DE BLANC 2009 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#) (XD) - $28
100% Chardonnay. Medium-high aromatics with toast, bread, poached pear and citrus notes. The palate has vibrant mousse and show hints of sweetness that are cut very quickly by the vibrant acids. Medium-long finish. Score: 88 pts

Avondale Armilla Blanc de Blanc 2009 - WO Paarl, South Africa (88 pts)Avondale Jonty's Ducks Pekin White 2013 - WO Paarl, South Africa (87 pts)

AVONDALE JONTY'S DUCKS PEKIN WHITE 2013 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#) (XD) - $14.95
Primarily Chenin Blanc (85%) with Roussanne, Muscat de Frontignan, Viognier and Semillon rounding out the blend. Aromas of medium-to-high intensity consisting of sweet ripe peach, citrus and lemon notes. On the palate, it's medium-bodied and fleshy with flavours of lemon/lime, citrus, tangy peach and hints of honey. Some chalky minerality mid-palate. Balanced acids and medium-length finish. Score: 87 pts

AVONDALE ANIMA 2013 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#) (D) - $22.95
100% Chenin Blanc. Elegant, medium+ intensity aromas of honeyed fruit, white peach and tropical fruit. Palate is medium-bodied with very nice aroma replays showing nice complexity. It's off-dry with good tension between fruit and vibrant, yet balanced, acidity. Long finishing. Score: 89 pts

Avondale Anima Chenin Blanc 2013 - WO Paarl, South Africa (89 pts)Avondale Cyclus 2012 - WO Paarl, South Africa (90+ pts)

AVONDALE CYCLUS 2012 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#295220) (XD) - $26.95
White wine blend consisting of equal parts Viognier, Chardonnay, Roussanne & Chenin Blanc, and a small amount of Semillon. Medium-high aromatics that are elegant with notions of apples, orchard fruit, floral and fennel. The palate is medium-bodied, dry, and slightly oily with a chalky mineral texture and fresh, vibrant acids. Layered flavours of herb, lemon and floral continue through to the very long finish. Score: 90+ pts

AVONDALE JONTY'S DUCKS PEKIN RED 2011 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#383547) (XD) - $14.95
Blend of 37% Shiraz, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec. Medium+ aromatic intensity with complex herbal, wild dark/red berry fruit, currant, cassis and elegant oak aromas. On the palate, it is medium-bodied with ripe, supple tannins and flavours of red/black fruits, black cherry, black currant, vanilla and chocolate. Good, balanced acids and a medium-long finish. Currently in VINTAGES. Score: 88+ pts

Avondale Jonty's Ducks Pekin Red 2011 - WO Paarl, South Africa (88+ pts)Avondale Samsara Syrah 2009 - WO Paarl, South Africa (90 pts)

AVONDALE SAMSARA 2009 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#295550) (XD) - $32.95
100% Syrah. Medium+ intensity aromas of red cherry, berry, white pepper, dark plum, and soft vanillan oak. Flavours of spiced oak, plum, white pepper and currants on the medium+ bodied palate. It has brilliant acidity and firm, chalky tannins. Hints of chocolate on the spiced finish. Will age gracefully for 5-8 years. Score: 90 pts

AVONDALE LA LUNA 2009 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#) (XD) - $34.95
A Bordeaux-blend consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec, this red wine has medium+ intensity aromas with suggestions of elegant plum, red & dark fruits, floral, cedar oak and some purple fruits. It's full-bodied with refined tannins and very nice aroma replays. It also has very good acids and a long, smooth finish. Score: 91 pts

Avondale La Luna 2009 - WO Paarl, South Africa (91 pts)


Monday, February 2, 2015

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  • Monday, February 2, 2015

Feb. 7 LCBO Wine Picks: Italy + Southern Hemisphere

LCBO Wine Picks from February 7, 2015 VINTAGES Release
The next LCBO VINTAGES release will be on shelves across Ontario on . The major feature of this release highlights 11 native grapes found in Italy, while the mini-feature highlights wines from the 5 major winemaking powers in the Southern Hemisphere - Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Italy has many native grape varieties - over 500 at last count. VINTAGES highlights only 11 of these grapes, and only 3 of the 17 wines are included among my wine recommendations below. If you prefer dry, floral and fragrant white wines, check out the Falanghina grape. Tuscany is synonymous with Sangiovese, but also goes by various other names within the region. The Salcheto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is made with this grape, but goes by its local name - Prugnolo Gentile, while the Villa Cafaggio uses Sangiovese. Lastly, if you've ever tried some of the Zinfandels from California and found them too sweet, then check out the dry, earthy Primitivo (a.k.a. Zinfandel) from Puglia.

One other Italian wine is included in the magazine, but for some reason not part of the native Italian grape theme - a Pecorino from Abruzzo. The last Italian wine to be included below is a traditional Bordeaux blend from Poggio al Tesoro - 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, balance is Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

From the mini-feature, a total of 4 wines from Chile, Argentina and South Africa are worth your attention. Chile's winemaking power Concha Y Toro brings us a Carmenère that hails from a single block within a single vineyard, while Fabre Montmayou from neighbouring Argentina has a Malbec that comes from vines over 60 years old. Both wines from South Africa made my list of wine picks - a Chenin Blanc (the most widely planted white grape in the country) and a Shiraz (a.k.a. Syrah and rising in popularity in South Africa.)

Hess Collection 19 Block Mountain Cuvée 2010 from Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, California, USA (91 pts)
The rest of the release features yet another fabulous Mencía wine from Bierzo, Spain, as well as a red blend from Hess Collection (68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Malbec, 11% Syrah, 6% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot) that I had the pleasure of tasting at the winery last June.

In white wines, the Sancerre is a Sauvignon Blanc, while the wine from Switzerland is made using the Chasselas grape. Last, but definitely not the least, is a 9-grape, dry white wine blend from Austria that will be available only on VINTAGES Flagship stores.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release! Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • FEUDI SALENTINI LUPORANO PRIMITIVO DEL TARANTINO 2012 - IGP, Puglia, Italy (#395368) (XD) - $17.95
  • VILLA CAFAGGIO CHIANTI CLASSICO 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#176776) (XD) - $19.95
  • J. LOHR SOUTH RIDGE SYRAH 2012 - Paso Robles, California, USA (#948240) (XD) - $19.95
  • RUSTENBERG SHIRAZ 2011 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#399246) (XD) - $19.95
  • FINCA LA CUESTA 2011 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#166702) (XD) - $19.95
  • FABRE MONTMAYOU GRAN RESERVA MALBEC 2011 - Mendoza, Argentina (#279802) (XD) - $22.95
  • SALCHETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#685180) (D) - $29.95  reviewed here
  • CONCHA Y TORO TERRUNYO PEUMO VINEYARD BLOCK 27 CARMENÈRE 2011 - Entre Cordilleras, Peumo, Cachapoal Valley, Chile (#562892) (XD) - $29.95
  • HESS COLLECTION 19 BLOCK MOUNTAIN CUVÉE 2010 - Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, California, USA (#018879) (XD) - $49.95  reviewed here
  • POGGIO AL TESORO SONDRAIA 2010 - DOC Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy (#292391) (XD) - $49.95

White Wine:
  • REICHSGRAF VON KESSELSTATT RK RIESLING 2008 - QbA Mosel, Germany (#733295) (M) - $15.95  reviewed here
  • WEINGUT ZAHEL RIEDENCUVÉE GRÜNER VELTLINER 2013 - Wiener Lagen, Austria (#181594) (XD) - $16.95
  • ECO PECORINO D’ABRUZZO SUPERIORE 2013 - DOC, Abruzzo, Italy (#395020) (XD) - $17.95
  • OCONE FLORA FALANGHINA 2012 - DOP Taburno Falanghina del Sannio, Campania, Italy (#326694) (XD) - $18.95
  • REDSTONE CHARDONNAY 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#398966) (XD) - $18.95
  • CAVES ORSAT FENDANT 2013 - AC Valais, Switzerland (#402669) (XD) - $19.95
  • SIMONSIG CHENIN AVEC CHÊNE CHENIN BLANC 2012 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#282772) (XD) - $25.95
  • DOMAINE DE SAINT-PIERRE SANCERRE 2013 - AC, Loire, France (#170258) (XD) - $26.95
  • WIENINGER NUSSBERG ALTE REBEN WIENER GEMISCHTER SATZ 2012 - DAC, Wien, Austria (#395640) (XD) - $37.00

Sparkling Wine:
  • POULET ET FILS BRUT CRÉMANT DE DIE - Méthode Traditionnelle, AC, Rhône, France (#392555) (D) - $17.95
  • TAITTINGER PRESTIGE BRUT ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE - AC, France (#993113) (D) - $89.95

Fortified Wine:
  • FONSECA QUINTA DO PANASCAL VINTAGE PORT 2001 - Bottled in 2003, DOP, Portugal (#402354) (S) (375 mL) - $39.95

Dessert Wine:
  • FEATHERSTONE SELECT LATE HARVEST CABERNET FRANC 2011 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#210757) (S) (375 mL) - $19.95  reviewed here


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


Saturday, September 20, 2014

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  • Saturday, September 20, 2014

Celebrating Canada Braai Day 2014

Canada Braai Day
Today, , is the 2nd Annual Canada Braai Day.

Braai is the Afrikaans term for barbecue. Not only is braai a popular pastime in South Africa, it is a national day of celebration. Every September 24th, South Africans celebrate . At the core of this public holiday is braai - where South Africans across all cultures light fires and have great feasts. Tonight, I will be enjoying these two popular South African beverages to celebrate Braai Day in Canada, both of which are readily available at the LCBO.

(A sensuous Sosaties lamb feast off the barbecue was planned, but unfortunately had to be cancelled due to unforeseen events. Recipe provided below.)


Tasting Notes:
SAVANNA DRY PREMIUM CIDER - South Africa (#379818) - $9.95 / 4pk
All sorts of apple aromas - caramelized, apple sauce, ripe apple juice. Mild apple flavours on the palate. Finely balanced mousse with a short, crisp finish. 5% abv. Available in 4 x 330 mL packs.

TWO OCEANS SHIRAZ 2013 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#699249) (D) - $10.25
A refreshed, and much classier looking label compared to the last time I had this wine. Screw cap. Medium+ intensity aromas with smoky oak jumping out of the glass and giving way to blackberry, meaty, blackberry and cherry notes. It's medium-bodied on the palate with flavours of black cherry, vanillan spice, and roasted coffee. Balanced, refreshing acids and a medium-length, dark roast coffee and vanillan flavoured finish. Easy drinking, BBQ wine. Score: 86 pts

Celebrating Canada Braai Day with Savanna Premium Cider and 2013 Two Oceans Shiraz from South Africa


Sosaties Recipe (makes 12 skewers) provided by Chef Master Martin Moore of Durbanville Hills Cellar 

Ingredients:
  • 1.5kg leg of lamb, deboned and cut into 25mm cubes
  • 2 medium onions peeled and halved lengthwise, then blanched for 5 minutes;
  • Refresh in ice water and layers separated
  • 2/3 cup dried apricots, soaked in onion water

Curried Marinade:
  • 4 large onions, sliced
  • 3 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam or 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Pinch of chili powder

Method:
Marinate meat in curried marinade overnight. Sauté onions in heated cooking oil until translucent. Add curry powder and fry for approximately 2 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients, simmer and set aside to cool. Thread the skewers, alternating the meat, apricots and onion pieces. Grill slowly over hot coals.


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