Showing posts with label valentines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label valentines. Show all posts

First image of this post
  • 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:



  • 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

First image of this post
  • 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
  • CONCHA Y TORO MARQUES DE CASA CONCHA MERLOT 2013 - Maule Valley, Chile (#939827) (XD) - $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

First image of this post
  • Monday, January 27, 2014

Feb. 1 LCBO Wine Picks: Australia + Valentine's

LCBO Wine Picks from February 1, 2014 Vintages Magazine
The next Vintages release will be on LCBO shelves across Ontario on . This edition focuses on food-friendly wines from Australia. The small secondary features are on new noteworthy wines & wineries, and wines for .

We'll begin with the Australian section, which highlights 15 wines for pairing with beef burgers, rack of lamb, duck, roasted chicken and blue crabs. Personally, I am not so rigid with food pairings because if I was, I wouldn't be able to drink wines of certain styles as much as I would like to. However, one important facet of food and wine pairings is the amount of tannins in the wine.

The bigger Australian Shirazes such as the Jip Jip Rocks and the two wines from Dandelion will pair exquisitely with meatier dishes like beef and lamb because of the greater amount of tannins. Year after after, the Jip Jip Rocks Shiraz has shown to be very good quality, and is now probably my "house" Shiraz. The two Shirazes from Dandelion Vineyards are both from the 2011 vintage, but from different areas within South Australia. The Lionheart is from the Barossa Valley and is unfined and unfiltered; it comes in half bottle size. Meanwhile, the Lioness is from McLaren Vale. Both are extra dry. Get both and taste the difference!

There are lesser tannins in the Chapel Hill Grenache and the Schild Old Bush Vine GMS (approx. 45% Grenache, 28% Mourvedre and 27% Shiraz), making them ideal for lighter meats such as poultry. You can also pair Chardonnays with poultry, such as the oaked version from Mountadam Vineyards. Of course, there are no tannins in white wine, but the full-bodied and flavourful Chardonnay grape lends itself well to poultry dishes.

Most interesting of all the Australian wines in this release is a cellar aged Semillon from McWilliam's that is suitable for pairing with shellfish or vegetarian dishes. The magazine suggests serving this white wine with blue crabs in black peppercorns - the recipe looks delicious!

From the secondary feature highlighting new wineries and new wines, two wines made my list of wine picks. First is a light-to-medium bodied Mencía from Spain. The second wine is the Kew Vineyards Soldier's Grant. It's an intriguing Ontario Bordeaux-blend red (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc) for under $20 from a winery that only opened it's doors last fall.

For Valentine's Day, there are six wines featured in the magazine. From this portion of the release, the Henry of Pelham Cabernet (Franc) Icewine and Flat Rock's Nadja's Riesling made my list.

From the rest of the release, the Cave de Roquebrun returns with the 2011 vintage and is a blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 20% Mourvèdre. I still have the 2010 version of this red wine in my cellar, so it would be interesting to compare the two in a vertical tasting. Also from France is the Château Tour Calon from the fabulous 2009 Bordeaux vintage and is a blend of 88% Merlot, 7% Cab Sauv, 5% Cab Franc. And finally, Glen Carlou provides us with an almost unheard of blend consisting of Petit Verdot and Tannat, which looks like it may have been specially crafted for the LCBO.

Enjoy my wine recommendations for this week! Cheers!

Red Wine:
  • JIP JIP ROCKS SHIRAZ 2011 - Padthaway, South Australia (#673897) (XD) - $16.95
  • KEW VINEYARDS SOLDIER’S GRANT 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#367318) (XD) - $18.95
  • TILENUS ENVEJECIDO EN ROBLE MENCÍA 2010 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#297143) (XD) - $18.95
  • SCHILD ESTATE OLD BUSH VINE GMS GRENACHE/MOURVÈDRE/SHIRAZ 2011 - Barossa, South Australia (#108183) (XD) - $19.95
  • THYMIOPOULOS VINEYARDS YN KAI OUPAVÓS XINOMAVRO 2010 - Unfiltered, AP Naoussa, Greece (#360750) (XD) - $19.95
  • DANDELION LIONESS OF MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2011 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#357475) (XD) - $19.95
  • DANDELION VINEYARDS LIONHEART OF THE BAROSSA SHIRAZ 2011 - Unfined and Unfiltered, Barossa Valley, South Australia (#358127) (XD) (375 mL) - $10.95
  • CHÂTEAU TOUR CALON 2009 - AC Montagne Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (#362012) (XD) - $20.95
  • GLEN CARLOU PETIT VERDOT/TANNAT 2009 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#363440) (XD) - $21.95
  • CHAPEL HILL BUSH VINE GRENACHE 2011 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#262105) (XD) - $26.95
  • VILLA GIRARDI AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2009 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#159913) (D) - $41.95

  • FEATHERSTONE BLACK SHEEP RIESLING 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#080234) (M) - $16.95
  • FLAT ROCK NADJA’S VINEYARD RIESLING 2012 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#578625) (D) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • JEAN-MARC BROCARD DOMAINE SAINTE CLAIRE CHABLIS 2011 - Single Vineyard, AC, Burgundy, France (#356634) (XD) - $19.95
  • MCWILLIAM’S MOUNT PLEASANT ELIZABETH SEMILLON 2006 - Cellar aged, Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia (#724492) (XD) - $19.95
  • MOUNTADAM ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2009 - High Eden, Eden Valley, South Australia (#333211) (XD) - $24.95

Dessert Wine:
  • HENRY OF PELHAM CABERNET ICEWINE 2012 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#672402) (S) (200 mL) - $39.95
  • BULAS VINTAGE PORT 2009 - Unfiltered, DO Douro, Portugal (#363119) (S) - $49.95

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

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