Showing posts with label syrah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label syrah. Show all posts

Sunday, October 14, 2018

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  • Sunday, October 14, 2018

Cave de Roquebrun La Grange des Combes Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun 2010 (Midi) - Wine Review



beverage is a lovely red wine blend that I purchased 5 years ago from the LCBO VINTAGES Release. I also have the 2013 and 2015 vintages of this wine, which would've made for a nice vertical tasting, but alas, only the 2010 is opened tonight.

The latest vintage (2016) of this delicious wine can be found in the LCBO VINTAGES section for a couple of dollars more than what I paid for this wine 5 years ago.

Cave de Roquebrun La Grange des Combes Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun 2010 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

CAVE DE ROQUEBRUN LA GRANGE DES COMBES SAINT-CHINIAN-ROQUEBRUN 2010 - AC, Midi, France (#155804) (XD) - $17.95
Blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 20% Mourvèdre grown on schistous soils facing south and south-east. It was raised in stainless steel tanks and bottled unfiltered. Fragrant earthy, smoky, savoury, meaty nose accented by peppery spice, black cherry, and touches of floral aromas. It is almost full bodied on the lively palate with savoury dark cherry, mineral, smoke, garrigue, blackberry flavours. Acids are still quite fresh, while firm, gritty tannins are chalky and drying. Garrigue, pepper, savoury, and mineral notes linger on the fine, long finish. A pleasure to drink, but tannins are starting to overpower the fruit. Drink now. Score: 90 pts


Sunday, September 2, 2018

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  • Sunday, September 2, 2018

Wine Reviews from August 5, 2018 Birthday Party

Wine Line-up for Aug. 5 Birthday Party

Last month, we held a birthday party for my toddler daughter and a few of her close friends. And for the adults - there was wine!

The dry rosé was easily the most popular wine at the party, while the Riesling and Shiraz were a close second. All three wines are fairly recent releases to VINTAGES, so you should be able to pick up a bottle at your local LCBO. Full wine reviews are provided below.

Tasting Notes:

GÉRARD BERTRAND CÔTE DES ROSES ROSÉ 2017 - AP Languedoc, Midi, France (#373985) (XD) - $18.95
Glass enclosure. The medium+ intensity nose has appealing aromas of grapefruit, citrus, spring meadow and herbally notes. On the medium+ bodied palate, it has clean and crisp acids with nice texture. Herbally and grapefruit flavours on the dry flavour profile. Touch honeyed, with some bitterness on the long finish. Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah. Enjoy over the next 18 months. Part of the VINTAGES Essentials collection and released as part of the May 12 LCBO VINTAGES Release. Score: 89 pts

Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Rosé 2017 (89 pts)

REDSTONE LIMESTONE VINEYARD SOUTH RIESLING 2016 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#381251) (M) - $19.95
Screw cap. Lovely limestone mineral and petrol aromas mingle with white peach and citrus. It's medium-sweet with nicely balanced acids and flavours with white peach, orange zest, citrus, and green apple flavours with hints of mineral. Tart fruited, lip-smacking finish, with very good length. July 21 LCBO VINTAGES Release. Score: 89 pts

Redstone Limestone Vineyard South Riesling 2016 (89 pts)

DANDELION LIONESS OF MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#357475) (XD) - $21.95
Full wine review here.

Dandelion Lioness of McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016 (88+ pts)


Saturday, August 25, 2018

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  • Saturday, August 25, 2018

Bodega Jesús Romero Rubus 2016 (Spain) - Wine Review

wine is another new release that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

It is produced by Bodegas Jesús Romero in partnership with San Alejandro's winemaker, Juan Vicente Alcañiz. Together, they purchased a three-hectare vineyard of 70-year-old Garnacha in Báguena, Aragón. They also work together on a nearly four-hectare plot of 10-year-old vines at 980 metres altitude.

The name "Rubus" was chosen for this red wine for two reasons. Firstly, it is a nod to its origins in the municipality of Rubielos de Mora (in Teruel, Aragón, Spain) and secondly, it refers to Rubus Ulmifolius, a species of wild blackberry that evokes its aromas and defines the landscape of the area.

Bodega Jesús Romero Rubus 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

BODEGA JESÚS ROMERO RUBUS 2016 - DO Aragón, Spain (#575944) (XD) - $18.95
A blend of roughly equal parts Garnacha and Syrah, and 20% Tempranillo completing the blend from vines on pebble soil with sandy loam texture, in a mountainous area between 900 and 1000 metres elevation. All raised in stainless steel and concrete tanks, and spent 5 months on the lees. This is quite fragrant in the glass with blackberry, red berry, and spice aromas accented by earthy mineral. It is medium-full bodied on the fresh, clean, and ripe palate that is fruit forward with blackberry, dark cherry, and spice flavours with a smoky mineral underpinning. Tannins are fairly soft and dusty, offering a nice textural character, with just a touch of grip. Fresh, juicy acids. Long, blackberry and spice finish. Enjoy over the next couple of years. Score: 89 pts


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

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  • Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Lavau Tavel Rosé 2017 (Rhône) - Wine Review

lovely wine is a new release that is coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

This rosé wine is produced by the Lavau family that has been involved in winemaking for several generations and settled in the Rhône Valley in 1964. Today, brothers Frederic and Benoit Lavau are rapidly building a reputation for excellent, value-oriented and critically-acclaimed wines which embody their savoir-faire and respect of terroir, including the many Lavau wines I've enjoyed over the years.

The vines producing this rosé average 30 years old and are located on the slopes of the right bank of the River Rhône, between the famous Pont d'Avignon and the Pont du Gard bridges. The soil type consists of sand, marly-limestone, and pebbles. Grapes are harvested at night (to keep the grapes cool) and are immediately pressed and transferred into stainless steel vats to undergo slow fermentation.

Lavau Tavel Rosé 2017 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAVAU TAVEL ROSÉ 2017 - AC, Rhône, France (#556175) (XD) - $18.95
A blend of 50% Grenache, 45% Cinsault, and 5% Syrah. Fresh strawberry and raspberry with herbally hints from the cork. In the glass, this has a medium+ intensity nose featuring pretty aromas of ripe strawberry, raspberry, and cherry notes sprinkled with herbs. It's medium-full bodied and somewhat structured on the palate with vibrant, juicy acids that gains body in the mouth. The dry flavour profile is clean and richly concentrated with cherry, strawberry and raspberry flavours. Nice chalky texture. Hints of cran-cherry on the lingering finish. Score: 89 pts


Friday, August 17, 2018

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  • Friday, August 17, 2018

Château La Négly La Natice Rosé 2017 (Midi) - Wine Review

I enjoyed the 2016 Château La Négly La Natice Rosé last year and am pleased to see the lovely 2017 vintage come to LCBO VINTAGES on .

wine review is a lovely dry rosé that is produced by Château de la Negly. The winery is located in the Languedoc, overlooking the Mediterranean. The unique geographical location of the winery allows a synergy of the elements to take place - stroked by sea spray, and buffeted between the Tramontane (strong, cold winds from the north) and the sea wind, the land is bathed under the hot, Mediterranean sun that captures the heat which warms up the berries. The grapes for this rosé come from silty, sandy soils dating from the Miocene period (5 to 23 million years old) and face the Mediterranean sea.

Several families have managed the Domaine over the years. Today, it is the Paux-Rosset family that manages the vineyards and winery with the help of consultant oenologist and friend, Claude Gros. The winemaking process at Château La Négly is entirely focused on creating wines of quality and distinction, such as this gastronomic rosé wine.

Château La Négly La Natice Rosé 2017 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU LA NÉGLY LA NATICE ROSÉ 2017 - AP Languedoc, Midi, France (#492199) (XD) - $24.95
Mostly Mourvèdre with some Syrah and Cinsault completing the blend. Made using the saignée method and aged in tank on fine lees for 6 months. Glass enclosure. The medium intensity nose is spicy, herbally, and citrusy with hints of cherry and melon, and mineral undertones. It's medium bodied on the dry palate with melon, tart citrus, garrigue and spice flavours supported by crisp, vibrant acids that are nicely balanced. Very good flavour intensity. Spiced, juicy mid-palate. Nice mineral notes linger on the long finish. Give it a slight chill enjoy to 2019. Score: 90 pts


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

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  • Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Wine Reviews - June 24 Birthday Party

Wine Lineup for June 24, 2018 Birthday Party

On , we threw a birthday party at Bombay Touch in Thornhill for my son who just turned a year old. I brought in my own wines for the occasion, spanning a fairly wide range of categories so that each guest could find at least one wine that would appeal to their palate. Wines styles included a dry rosé, a dry white wine, a sweet white wine, and a variety of dry red wines. The most popular wines were the Mencía, the rosé, and the Riesling.

All of the wines are fairly recent additions to VINTAGES and should still be available for purchase in the VINTAGES section at the LCBO. Wines reviews of each of the wines are posted below.

Tasting Notes:

MALIVOIRE VIVANT ROSÉ 2017 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#498535) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. Pale pink colour much the same as Provence. Lovely, highly aromatic, bright and fresh aromas of mineral, white grapefruit, and lemon citrus. The palate is dry with complex white grapefruit, orange peel, herbs, and mineral with hints of lemon, on a medium-full bodied frame and lifted with crisp, vibrant acidity. Nicely balanced throughout with hints of strawberry and cherry flavours. Excellent finish length with lemony nuances. Released in LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 91 pts

Malivoire Vivant Rosé 2017 (91 pts)

TAHBILK MARSANNE 2017 - Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria, Australia (#117945) (XD) - $17.95
Screw cap. Fresh and highly aromatic with grassy, lemon/lime, pear, flinty mineral, and hints of herbal and stone fruits. It has a dry, medium+ body palate with a nice, slightly chalky texture and balanced aroma replays. Balanced acids with a touch viscous mouthfeel on the mid-palate, while the finish is long with nice mineral notes. Released in LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 89 pts

Tahbilk Marsanne 2017 (89 pts)Tawse Sketches of Niagara Riesling 2016 (90 pts)

TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA RIESLING 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#089029) (M) - $18.95
Screw cap. Wow. Highly aromatic and pretty aromas of peach and orange which give way to ripe apple, mineral and hints of petrol. It's medium+ bodied on the palate with very good fruit concentration and medium sweet flavours that are nicely balanced and mimic the aroma profile. High acids are crisp and provide a lip-smacking, long finish with just a touch of sourness. Released in LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 90 pts

ROMIO PRIMITIVO 2016 - IGT Puglia, Italy (#569954) (XD) - $13.95
Full review here.

Romio Primitivo 2016 (87 pts)Marrenon Versant Nord Luberon 2015 (88+ pts)

MARRENON VERSANT NORD LUBERON 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#537969) (XD) - $15.95
A single vineyard blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache. The medium-high intensity aromas offer complex blackberry, dark currant, pepper, and meaty aromas with some savoury and dark cherry notes as well. On the medium-full bodied, crunchy palate, it has plummy, blueberry, and dark berry flavours, plus savoury hints of oak spice and peppery notes. Vibrant acids and supple tannins with a touch of grip add to the character of this wine, while the finish length is very good. Released in LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 88+ pts

WAKEFIELD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2016 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#744235) (XD) - $19.95
Full review here.

Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (87 pts)Gancedo Xestal Mencía 2010 (90 pts)

GANCEDO XESTAL MENCÍA 2010 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#553743) (XD) - $17.95
From 60+ year old vines, this maturing Mencía has a gorgeous, highly aromatic nose offering a pretty bouquet of red cherry, raspberry, red floral, and sweet oak spice. It's full bodied with fine, dusty tannins providing some grip, and very appealing aroma replays, plus some baking spice and cinnamon, and earthy/savoury elements on the flavour profile. Acids are juicy. Touch warming on the mid-palate. Excellent finish length. Released in LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 90 pts


Sunday, July 15, 2018

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  • Sunday, July 15, 2018

Pierre Amadieu Les Hautes Rives Cairanne 2015 (Rhône) - Wine Review

To celebrate France's World Cup win, red wine is from the fantastic 2015 Rhône vintage that will be arriving in LCBO VINTAGES on .

It is produced by Pierre Amadieu, a winery that was established in 1929 with 7 hectares of vineyards in Gigondas that was passed on from generation to generation. Continued success allowed Pierre to grow and expand, eventually building a new winery in 1945. Pierre's son, Jean-Pierre joined the winery after he completed his business studies, and was followed by his brother Claude shortly thereafter. More recently, Claude's three children - Henri-Claude, Jean-Marie, and Marie - also joined the family's winemaking business.

I had the privilege to meet Henri-Claude Amadieu, grandson of Pierre, on a recent visit to the Rhône Valley. While I did not get the chance visit the winery (perhaps the next trip?), I did get a chance to taste some amazing wines - more on this to come.

Indeed, this is a family passionate about wine. Together, they strive to create wines of finesse and reflect their unique terroir, while holding a long-established family tradition of respect for the soil.

This particular wine comes from the Hautes Rives vineyards that are located on marl soils covered with pebble stones on the hillside slopes above the village of Cairanne, 200 metres above sea level. The vineyards are bordered by cliffs overlooking the Aygues River.

Pierre Amadieu Les Hautes Rives Cairanne 2015 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

PIERRE AMADIEU LES HAUTES RIVES CAIRANNE 2015 - AP, Rhône, France (#539890) (XD) - $19.95
A blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre, and 15% Syrah raised completely in stainless steel tanks. Plummy, black cherry and blackberry aromas from the cork. In the glass, this has enticing aromas of smoke, dark berry, and spice with savoury elements and hints of pepper, garrigue, and forest floor. It's medium-bodied with fine purity of fruit - lavender, pepper, dark berry/cherry, and spice flavours. Nicely textured with juicy, vibrant acids and smooth, refined tannins. Some mineral and smoky notes arrive on the long blackberry-pepper finish. Lovely wine to enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 89 pts


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

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  • Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Niagara Grape & Wine Festival 2017 - Day 2 of 2

Vineland Estates Bo-Teek Vineyard
Last , I visited Niagara twice over the course of the month to partake in the 66th Annual Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. You can read all about the activities here.

The fun-filled began at Vineland Estates Winery where we were given a guided tour of the property and facilities by David Hulley. The tour began on the patio over looking the prized Bo-Teek Vineyard with a gorgeous view of the Bench, and in the distance Lake Ontario, followed by a visit to the St. Urban Vineyard where some of Niagara's oldest Riesling vines (late '70's / early 80's) can be found. The winery is housed in picturesque structures that date back to the 1840's, including a former farmhouse, century barn, and a charming Carriage House. The tour concluded with a visit to the production facility, where I had the opportunity to get a closer look at their state-of-the-art optical sorting machine. This game changing machine accurately sorts up to 2,000 berries per second, separating lower quality grapes from the higher quality grapes. Vineland Estates is the only Canadian winery to have such technology.

Vineland Estates - New TanksVineland Estates - "Game Changer" Optical Sorting Machine

Beer and Cheddar Bisque paired with Vineland Estates Cabernet Franc

Following the tour, we headed downstairs to the tank room to enjoy their Discovery Pass Experience, which featured a Beer and Cheddar Bisque paired with their 2016 Vineland Estates Cabernet Franc (#594127, $14.95, 88 pts). The soup was made using Shawn & Ed's LagerShed Beer and Cow's Creamery 2-year-old Cheddar. It was creamy, if a touch sour, but offered nice balance when paired with the wine. A comfort pairing perfect for cooler months. After the food and wine pairing, we went to the tasting room to taste through some wines from their delicious portfolio. Wine reviews of some of these wines, plus others tasted on this day are provided below.

The second stop of the day was at Megalomaniac Winery. The wine pairing here was the 2016 Megalomaniac Selfie (#453506, $17.95, 86 pts), an easy-drinking, off-dry blend of Chardonnay Musqué, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling that paired very nicely with the small-proportioned Japanese-style buttermilk and panko-crusted chicken tenders, finished with a local freestone peach and ginger root glaze. The chicken tenders were very tasty, a little spicy, and when paired together with the off-dry white wine, the chicken tenders became even spicier and really enhanced the ginger flavours from the root glaze. A lively pairing that was really well done! Megalomaniac sits atop a hill, and relaxing on their outdoor patio while enjoying the view really enhanced the whole experience.

Megalomaniac Selfie paired with Japanese-Style Buttermilk and Panko-Crusted Chicken TendersPillitteri Estates Winery celebrating Canada 150 Potato Skins

Our third stop of the day was at Pillitteri Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, where they were celebrating Canada's 150th birthday by offering potato skins topped with ingredients from every province and territory in our great nation. With 13 ingredients making up this potato skin, you can bet there were going to be many flavours vying for your attention. Some of the ingredients included potatoes from Prince Edward Island (obviously), cheese from the three other Atlantic provinces, honey from Ontario, juniper berries from British Columbia, and Ox tail from the Yukon. Unfortunately, due to the complexity of this food item, and the fact that Pillitteri was very busy on this day, they weren't able to customize my potato skin. This led to me trying only a couple of bites before discarding it. Two wines were offered with this pairing - a choice of either the Pillitteri Gewurztraminer Riesling Fusion (#349126, $13.95) or the Pillitteri Cabernet Merlot ($20). I opted for the heartier Cab Merlot, thinking that it should go well with the starchy and complex, loaded potato skin. The Discovery Pass Experience was a bit of downer here for me, but I did get to taste some really special Icewines afterwards, which made the visit to Pillitteri worthwhile.

Coyote’s Run Estate Winery with Jamaican Jerk Glaze ChickenCoyote’s Run Estate Winery Barrel Room

The fourth and final stop of the day was a very interesting one at Coyote’s Run Estate Winery. The culinary creation here was a farm-raised chicken, slow-cooked in a Jamaican jerk glaze and topped with Your Farm Gate’s fresh Ontario peach chutney, while served on a bed of basmati rice salad. Once again, two wines were offered - the 2016 Coyote's Run Lambert Vineyard Riesling ($19.95, 87 pts) and the 2015 Coyote's Run Estate Cabernet Franc ($24.95, 88 pts). However, here at Coyote's Run we were encouraged to try both wines with the food pairing to see how they fare. The Jerk chicken was mildly flavoured and not spicy, while the Riesling was bordering on off-dry, bringing out peach flavours from the chutney and wine. With the Cab Franc, the pairing became earthier and comforting, along with some of the jerk spice flavours becoming more prominent. While this pairing was quite interesting, our visit went to a whole other level after we met Assistant Winemaker Chris Protonentis. He was able to give us a quick tour of the facility before heading to the cellar for some barrel sampling of a few wines coming down the pipeline.

This was another fine day spent touring Niagara Wine Country during the annual Grape and Wine Festival. And just like on the first day, I was able to bring home recipes of some of the food items so we could try them at home. Get in touch with me if you would like a copy of any of the recipes.

Tasting Notes:

VINELAND ESTATES ELEVATION CHARDONNAY 2014 - Bo-Teek Vineyard, VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#164459) (XD) - $25
The medium+ intensity aromas offer golden apple, pear, and butter notes with hints of hazelnut. It's medium-bodied on the somewhat creamy palate with balanced acids and nice aroma replays. The nutty finish has very good length. Score: 89 pts

Vineland Estates Elevation Chardonnay 2014 (89 pts)Vineland Estates Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling 2008 (91 pts)

VINELAND ESTATES ELEVATION ST. URBAN VINEYARD RIESLING 2008 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#038117) (MD) - $30
The highly aromatic nose is showing some maturity, offering lemon citrus with whiffs of petrol and hints of minerality. It's medium-bodied and nicely textured on the palate with acids that are still quite lively. Off-dry flavour profile with lovely lemon/lime citrus, honeyed peach and floral flavours. Excellent finish length. Will easily age another 10 years. Score: 91 pts

VINELAND ESTATES CABERNET FRANC RESERVE 2012 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $50
From a very good vintage, this has highly aromatic aromas of ripe blackberry, herbal, currant, cassis, mocha chocolate, and barnyard, all of which come through in appealing fashion on the medium+ bodied palate with smooth, refined tannins supported by very good, energetic acids. The smooth finish has excellent length. Score: 91+ pts

Vineland Estates Cabernet Franc Reserve 2012 (91+ pts)Megalomaniac Bespoke Pinot Noir 2015 (90+ pts)

MEGALOMANIAC BESPOKE PINOT NOIR 2015 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $49.95
Highly aromatic on the nose with elegant candied cherry, floral, raspberry, baking spice, and hints of minerality aromas. Fine tannins are light on the light-bodied palate with pretty aroma replays plus some oak spice elements that are lifted by fresh, bright acids. There's some structure to the palate and it's very well balanced. Great tension between fruit and oak. The long finish is a touch bitter. Score: 90+ pts

MEGALOMANIAC BESPOKE MERLOT 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $59.95
The intense aromas reveal lovely forest red berry, dark cherry, mocha, forest floor aromas with hints of bay leaf and evergreen. On the medium-full bodied palate, this offers layers red and black forest fruits, chocolate, blackberry, cedar oak and some floral nuances. Medium-level tannins offer some structure and is balanced with fresh acids. Textured, classy, and long finishing. Age 3-4 years and drink to 2027. 91 pts

Megalomaniac Bespoke Merlot 2015 (91 pts)Megalomaniac Bespoke Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (91+ pts)

MEGALOMANIAC BESPOKE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $59.95
The medium-high intensity nose offers lush cassis, blackcurrant, and hints of olive, game and earthiness. The palate is full-bodied with smooth, silky, and structured tannins. It has very nice aroma replays, followed by an earthy mid-palate. Bright acids provide lift, and the finish is long and smooth. Drink or hold until 2027. Score: 91+ pts

PILLITTERI VIDAL RESERVE ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $65
Fragrant and open with peach, apricot, lychee, orange citrus, honey and marmalade aromas. The palate is medium+ bodied and lush with delicate acids providing balanced freshness to complement the sweet aroma replays. The long finish is accented with some oak spice. Score: 91 pts

Pillitteri Vidal Reserve Icewine 2013 (91 pts)Pillitteri Gewurztraminer Icewine 2000 (90 pts)

PILLITTERI GEWURZTRAMINER ICEWINE 2000 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (200 mL) - $35
The medium-high intensity nose has a mature character, showing notes of molasses, burnt brown sugar, earth, and orange peel, in a slightly reductive style. It's medium-full bodied on the palate with smooth, silky, voluptuous and velvety mouthfeel with sweet, honeyed aroma replays. Palate still has some freshness. Excellent finish length. Such a treat to taste an Icewine at this age. Score: 90 pts

PILLITTERI CABERNET SAUVIGNON ICEWINE 2004 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $70
This has a medium-high intensity nose of dried cassis, dried red fruit and blackberry aromas. The palate is full bodied and sweet with raisiny, dried fig flavours lifted with very good acids, Long finishing with nice aroma replays. Score: 89 pts

Pillitteri Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine 2004 (89 pts)

COYOTE'S RUN ESTATE SYRAH 2015 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $34.95
From the red soil vineyard and matured for 18 months in an even split between Hungarian and French oak. The medium intensity nose seens closed, but offers complex glimpses of white pepper, meat, gamey, dark berry, earth, and savoury aromas. On the medium+ bodied palate, this offers crunchy tannins and very good acidity with balanced aroma replays that lean more towards fruit forward, with some savoury elements. The finish is long and clean. Very drinkable now, but I would age this for 2 years. Score: 89 pts

Coyote's Run Estate Syrah 2015 (89 pts)

COYOTE'S RUN ESTATE SYRAH 2016 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $34.95
Barrel sample. A mix of sweet and savoury bouquet with ripe dark berry, white pepper, sweet oak spice, and gamey notes. It's full-bodied on the palate with nice aroma replays. fresh acids, touch grippy tannins, and long finishing. Score: 89+ pts

COYOTE'S RUN RED PAW VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2016 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#079228) (XD) - $35
Barrel sample. Aged on the lees. This has floral, cherry, and earth aromas and flavours. It's light-weighted on the palate with structured tannins that are a touch grippy. Clean acids and a balanced, long finish. Score: 89 pts

Barrel Sampling with Chris Protonentis

COYOTE'S RUN BLACK PAW VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2016 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#116442) (XD) - $35
Barrel sample. This has a medium-high intensity nose featuring dark fruit, dark berry, tea leaf, and mineral aromas. It's light-to-medium bodied with more dark berry and dark fruit flavours lifted by fresh acids. It has grippy tannins and a long finish. Needs at least a couple of years to come together. Score: 90 pts


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

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  • Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Lavau Vacqueyras 2014 (Rhône) - Wine Review (Bottle 2)

I had previously enjoyed the 2014 Lavau Vacqueyras in and noted that a further 1-2 years of cellar time would benefit an already delicious wine. Well, it's 18 months since I last tasted this beautiful red wine and, lo and behold, wine is returning to LCBO VINTAGES on .

Lavau Vacqueyras 2014 (90+ pts)

The Lavau family has been involved in winemaking for several generations, beginning in St. Emilion in the 19th century, then Tunisia, then returning to France and settling in the Rhône Valley in 1962. Maison Lavau was officially created in 1965 by Jean-Guy Lavau and his wife, Anne-Mariein. In the 1990's both of their sons - Frédéric and Benoît - returned to France after completing their studies in Canada to join the family's winemaking business. The sons eventually took over the business as their parents retired in the year 2000.

Today, Maison Lavau is one of the last family-run and independent wine estates in the Rhône Valley. With its three winemaking cellars and 180 hectares of vines, it has made its name as a major winemaker, trader and producer in Rhône wines.

On a side note, while visiting the exciting Cairanne Appellation in the southern Rhône Valley last month (more on this in a future post coming soon), we ended up driving by the Lavau winery. Having enjoyed many of their wines over the years, I was delighted get a glimpse of this fairly large winery.

Maison Lavau

Tasting Note:

LAVAU VACQUEYRAS 2014 - AC, Rhône, France (#104927) (XD) - $26.95
Blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre that was aged in a combination of vat and used 450 Litre barrels. Plummy, blackberry and oak spice aromas from the cork. Medium-high aromatic intensity and complex with cassis, blackberry, dark fruit, oak spice aromas with a savoury component throughout. Hints of rocky mineral and peppery notes arrive as it opens up in the glass. The full-bodied palate is smooth and dense with finely knit tannins that have meshed into the palate very nicely. Dark, ripe fruit, plum, cassis with hints of peppery, savoury oak spices on the flavour profile. Acids are juicy and mouth-watering, while the finish is long, smooth and savoury. In a fine place right now, and will continue to age well over the next 3-5 years. Recommended buy. Score: 90+ pts


Friday, April 20, 2018

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  • Friday, April 20, 2018

Château d'Aigueville Côtes-du-Rhône Villages 2016 (France) - Wine Review

I had the pleasure of tasting the 2015 Château d'Aigueville Côtes-du-Rhône Villages last Spring, so I was delighted to try the latest vintage of this red wine .

Château d'Aigueville is the Rhône property of Burgundian producer Henri de Villamont. It is located on a plateau between the villages of Sérignan and Uchaux, close to Orange. The estate benefits from exceptional terroir that has a very large proportion of pebbles, which is also commonly found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape terroir.

The grapes for this red blend come from a cluster of hills in Uchaux, at an altitude between 100 and 250 metres, from vines that are 30 years old. Soil consists of pebbles and either siliceous or clay limestone. Furthermore, plots are separated from each other by garrigue and olive groves.

Within the hierarchy of the Côtes-du-Rhône AOC, this wine is a level up from the generic/entry level designation. A "Villages" wine indicates a sense of place, which in turn is an indication of terroir and quality. There are approximately 90 municipalities within Rhône that can produce Côtes-du-Rhône Villages wines. Since this wine is designated as a Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, among other stipulations, it must contain at least 50% Grenache and at least 20% Syrah or Mourvèdre.

When the 2015 arrived at the LCBO last year, it was placed in the VINTAGES section. Now, due to its immense popularity and relatively low price point, the 2016 vintage is placed in the General List section and began arriving at LCBO outlets this week.

Château d'Aigueville Côtes-du-Rhône Villages 2016 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU D'AIGUEVILLE CÔTES-DU-RHÔNE VILLAGES 2016 - AC, Rhône, France (#544031) (XD) - $15.95
A blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Carignan, and the balance other varietals. Faint notes of plum, dark berry and currant aromas from the cork. In the glass, this has ripe blackberry and blueberry aromas mingling with charcuterie and peppery notes, and hints of cocoa and oak spice. It is medium-to-full bodied on the palate with fresh acidity providing lift. More blackberry, blueberry, pepper, and oak spice notes on the flavour profile. Fine-grained tannins are richly structured and gain grip with air. The finish is long and juicy with blackberry and earthy notes. 15% abv is held together quite well. Still quite young. Enjoyable now, but I would age this 3+ years more enjoyment later. Score: 88 pts


Thursday, April 5, 2018

First image of this post
  • Thursday, April 5, 2018

La Ferme Du Mont (Rhône) 2017 Wine Tasting

Stéphane Vedeau, La Ferme Du Mont
In , I had the pleasure of tasting through the wines of La Ferme Du Mont. Taking us through the tasting was the winemaker and vigneron Stéphane Vedeau. This was my third time tasting the wines from this Rhone winery, having previously met and tasted with Stéphane back in 2015 and 2013. I was quite impressed with the quality of the wines on both prior tastings, so I was expecting high quality this time around too.

The event got off to a very slow start as we waited for quite some time for other guests to arrive - some didn't even show up, so I was told. The pace of the wine tasting was also a bit slow. However, these shortcomings were forgotten as the event moved along as the quality of the wines just kept getting better and better.

The most interesting aspect of this tasting was the opportunity to taste multiple vintages of the same wine. We got to taste different vintages of three different wines - including five different vintages of the Côtes-du-Rhône Premiere Côte, two vintages of the Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Le Ponnant, and two vintages of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vendage. How often does one get to taste five different vintages of the same wine on the same day? Thus, it was most fascinating for me to taste the 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Premiere Côte wines. Each Premiere Côte was quite different from each other, and you could sort of see the evolution of this wine, as well as how the growing season and the blend contributed to the vintage.

La Ferme Du Mont Wine Tasting 2017

Grenache is the main component in nearly all of the wines at La Ferme Du Mont's. 50 hectares of old vines are cultivated on the estate, incorporating several AOC's, and grown in a completely natural environment in harmony with Provencal vegetation. Vines are tended all throughout the year while using only organic fertilizers to help produce top quality fruit and fine wines year after year.

Thank you to Eurovintage International Wines & Spirits for the opportunity to taste these lovely wines. Some of these wines may be available for purchase at the LCBO - click six-digit the product code (if listed) to find out. You can also reach out to Eurovintage directly for availability or to order by the case.

La Ferme Du Mont Première Côte Vertical Tasting

Tasting Notes:

LA FERME DU MONT PREMIÈRE CÔTE CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2011 - Unfiltered, AP, France (#251645) (XD)
Medium-high intensity nose that is quite complex with sweet oak spice, blackberry, dark fruit, licorice, plum, cherry, and mature hints of dried fruit and floral. It's medium-full bodied with fresh acids and a spiced palate with lovely savoury aroma replays. This has supple tannins and a long, clean finish. Drink over the next 3-5 years. Score: 89 pts

LA FERME DU MONT PREMIÈRE CÔTE CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2013 - Unfiltered, AP, France (#251645) (XD)
Quite light in colour and has focused red cherry and earth aromas of medium-high intensity with subtle oak and smoke notes. The palate of medium bodied with nice red currant aroma replays plus chalky mineral flavours. It has fine tannins, juicy acids and a long finish with a nice mineral underpinning. Score: 88 pts

La Ferme Du Mont Première Côte Côtes du Rhône 2013 (88 pts)La Ferme Du Mont Première Côte Côtes du Rhône 2014 (88 pts)

LA FERME DU MONT PREMIÈRE CÔTE CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2014 - Unfiltered, AP, France (#251645) (XD)
The medium+ intensity nose offers dark berry, oak spice, raspberry, and sweet spices. It's medium-bodied with fine tannins, fresh balanced acids, and dark berry aroma replays. It finishes long with a currant and mineral aftertaste. Score: 88 pts

LA FERME DU MONT PREMIÈRE CÔTE CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2015 - Unfiltered, AP, France (#251645) (XD) - $17.95
A blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre, this has a medium+ intensity nose of dark berry, dark plum, oak, blackberry and herbal aromas that follow through on the flavour profile. The palate is medium+ bodied and more savoury with supple and ripe tannins that provide some grip. It has a crunchy texture. Still young and a bit tight. Acids are juicy and the finish length is very good. Should evolve nicely over the next 5-6 years. Score: 88+ pts

La Ferme Du Mont Première Côte Côtes du Rhône 2015 (88+ pts)La Ferme Du Mont Première Côte Côtes du Rhône 2016 (88 pts)

LA FERME DU MONT PREMIÈRE CÔTE CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2016 - Unfiltered, AP, France (#251645) (XD)
Medium+ intensity nose is ripe with dark cherry, dark berry, earth, brett, licorice, and raspberry aromas gain complexity with air, introducing kirsch liqueur and coffee aromas. It's medium+ bodied with ripe tannins, nice aroma replays plus some floral notes. Acid are very good and the finish length is good. Drinkable now, but will improve in a few years time. Score: 88 pts

LA FERME DU MONT LE PONNANT CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES 2014 - Unfiltered, AC, Rhône, France (#171371) (XD)
An 80/10/10 blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre that has an elegant medium-high intensity nose of dried cherry, floral and sweet spices. On the palate, this is medium-full bodied with medium-firm tannins that are ripe and offer some structure and fine aroma replays of dark berry, dark cherry, and licorice. This has very good juicy acids.and a long finish. 89 pts

La Ferme Du Mont Le Ponnant Côtes du Rhône Villages 2014 (89 pts)La Ferme Du Mont Le Ponnant Côtes du Rhône Villages 2015 (89+ pts)

LA FERME DU MONT LE PONNANT CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES 2015 - Unfiltered, AC, Rhône, France (#171371) (XD) - $20.95
A blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah. The medium-high intensity nose is ripe and high-toned with dark red berry, blackberry, white pepper, sweet oak aromas, all of which come through nicely on the medium+ bodied palate. It has bright, sharp, and fresh acidity. Medium+ tannins are supple and textured. Balanced acids. Long mineral finish. Softer than the 2014. Score: 89+ pts

LA FERME DU MONT CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE VENDANGE 2011 - AC, Rhône, France (XD) - $48.95
Highly aromatic nose is elegant and savoury, showing fine maturity with forest floor, wet earth, dried cherry, and a whiff of florality. It's medium-full bodied with very nice aroma replays and silky, sweet tannins that still have some crunch to them. Acids are finely balanced. Earthy and barnyard notes on the long finish. Score: 91+ pts

La Ferme Du Mont Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vendange 2011 (91+ pts)La Ferme Du Mont Châteauneuf-du-Pape Côtes Capelan 2013 (92 pts)

LA FERME DU MONT CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE CÔTES CAPELAN 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#078857) (XD) - $82.95
A blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre. The medium-high intensity nose is complex with dried cherry, floral, sweet spice, raspberry, red fruit, and some minerality. The medium+ bodied palate is chalky textured with medium-firm tannins that are well structured. Nice, complex aroma replays plus some graphite notes on the flavour profile. Acids are nice and bright, while the long finish is a touch warm, yet balanced. This is a powerful wine that is still quite young and should be aged 4-5 years and will continue to drink well for a decade or more. Score: 92 pts


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