Showing posts with label wine-picks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wine-picks. Show all posts

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  • Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Release July 20, 2019: Under $20 + Italian Whites



LCBO Wine Picks: July 20, 2019 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming July 20, 2019 LCBO VINTAGES Release features 20 Wines Under $20 as the main theme, while the mini-theme looks at fresh Italian white wines. All of these wines, plus those as part of the Main Release will be on VINTAGES shelves across Ontario by this Saturday.

We'll begin with the main theme that lists 20 wines under $20, of which only 3 are include among my top wine picks. The first wine from this group is a dry $19 Prosecco that is made with the Glera grape varietal. The lone white is a $15 Chenin Blanc from South Africa, while the red is a lovely $17 Ventoux from the southern Rhône Valley that consists of 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 20% Mourvèdre.

Xavier Vignon Ventoux 2017 (89 pts)Rustenberg Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc 2018 (89 pts)

From the mini-theme on fresh Italian white wines, five of the seven wines featured are included among my top wine recommendations. The idea behind this theme to get everyone to try some of the other fine white grape varietals from Italy and look beyond Pinot Grigio. First up is a Fiano, an ancient grape from at least the 13th century. Pecorino (not the cheese) is fresh, floral and vibrant and often comes from Abruzzo. Falanghina is my favourite Italian white wine varietal and often comes from the hilly, volcanic soils of Campania. The Greco varietal is also common in Campania and offers a distinct smoky minerality. Lastly, there is a premium, barrel-fermented and aged Trebbiano di Lugana (aka Verdicchio) from Piedmont.

Sergio Zenato Riserva Lugana 2016 (91 pts)Terre Stregate Svelato Falanghina del Sannio 2016 (89 pts)

Janare Fiano 2017 (89 pts)Citra Ferzo Abruzzo Pecorino Superiore 2017 (88 pts)

Lava Greco di Tufo 2017 (88 pts)

Among my red wine picks from the rest of the Release, the red wine from New Zealand is a blend of 82% Merlot and 18% Malbec. From Rhône, the Rasteau is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre, while the Côtes du Rhône is equal parts Syrah and Grenache, plus some Mourvèdre. The blend from Roussillon consists of 50% Syrah, 40% Mourvèdre, and 10% Grenache, and 2015 Bordeaux consists of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Lastly, from Spain, the Reserva is a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano, while the Crianza consists of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, and 5% Graciano.

Ka Tahi Merlot/Malbec 2015 (90 pts)Xavier Vignon Côtes du Rhône 2017 (89 pts)

Ortas Tradition Rasteau 2017 (88 pts)Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir Les Aspres Syrah/Mourvèdre/Grenache 2016 (88+ pts)

Marqués de Cáceres Crianza 2014 (88 pts)

From my white wine picks, all are single varietal wines. One of the stand outs is the always excellent Assyrtiko from Greece. If you prefer sweet wines, look for the Riesling Kabinett from Mosel.

Argyros Assyrtiko 2017 (90+ pts)Max Ferd. Richter Elisenberger Riesling Kabinett 2016 (90+ pts)

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • MARQUÉS DE CÁCERES CRIANZA 2014 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#638775) (D) - $16.95  88 pts  wine review
  • XAVIER VIGNON VENTOUX 2017 - AP, Rhône, France (#413211) (XD) - $16.95  89 pts  wine review
  • ORTAS TRADITION RASTEAU 2017 - AC, Rhône, France (#998716) (XD) - $17.95  88 pts  wine review
  • XAVIER VIGNON CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2017 - AP, Rhône, France (#297317) (XD) - $17.95  89 pts  wine review
  • BELLINGHAM HOMESTEAD SHIRAZ 2017 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#698290) (XD) - $18.95  89 pts  wine review
  • GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR LES ASPRES SYRAH / MOURVÈDRE / GRENACHE 2016 - AP Côtes du Roussillon, France (#413245) (XD) - $19.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • KA TAHI MERLOT/MALBEC 2015 - Hawke’s Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#645192) (XD) - $23.95  90 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU HAUT SELVE 2015 - AC Graves, Bordeaux, France (#738120) (XD) - $24.95
  • VIVANCO RESERVA 2012 - Selección de Familia, DOCa Rioja, Spain (#293431) (XD) - $29.95
  • YANGARRA SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#911974) (XD) - $34.95  FE
Bellingham Homestead Shiraz 2017 (89 pts)

White Wine:

  • RUSTENBERG STELLENBOSCH CHENIN BLANC 2018 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#698274) (XD) - $14.95  89 pts  wine review
  • WAKEFIELD CLARE VALLEY ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2017 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#711556) (XD) - $16.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • JANARE FIANO 2017 - DOP Sannio, Campania, Italy (#528786) (D) - $16.95  89 pts  wine review
  • CITRA FERZO ABRUZZO PECORINO SUPERIORE 2017 - DOP, Abruzzo, Italy (#573683) (D) $17.95  88 pts  wine review
  • TERRE STREGATE SVELATO FALANGHINA DEL SANNIO 2016 - DOP, Campania, Italy (#486076) (XD) - $18.95  89 pts  wine review
  • LAVA GRECO DI TUFO 2017 - DOCG, Campania, Italy (#631739) (XD) - $19.95  88 pts  wine review
  • PENINSULA RIDGE WISMER VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#155580) (D) - $19.95  88 pts  wine review
  • MAX FERD. RICHTER ELISENBERGER RIESLING KABINETT 2016 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#665984) (S) - $24.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • ARGYROS ASSYRTIKO 2017 - PDO Santorini, Greece (#387365) (XD) - $29.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • SERGIO ZENATO RISERVA LUGANA 2016 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#928218) (D) - $39.95  91 pts  wine review
  • FLOWERS CHARDONNAY 2017 - Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California, USA (#215210) (XD) - $59.95  FE
Wakefield Clare Valley Estate Chardonnay 2017 (88+ pts)Peninsula Ridge Wismer Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (88 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • HACIENDA LOPEZ DE HARO ROSADO 2018 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#450775) (XD) - $13.95  88 pts  wine review
  • PLANETA ROSÉ 2018 - DOC Sicilia, Italy (#111856) (XD) - $17.95  89 pts  wine review
  • LA CADIÉRENNE CUVÉE GRANDE TRADITION BANDOL ROSÉ 2018 - AC, Provence, France (#119453) (XD) - $22.95
Planeta Rosé 2018 (89 pts)Hacienda Lopez de Haro Rosado 2018 (88 pts)

Sparkling Wine:

  • LE MONDE BRUT PROSECCO - DOC Friuli Grave, Italy (#634121) (XD) - $18.95  88 pts  wine review

Dessert Wine:

  • CAVINO MUSCAT - PDO Samos, Greece (#113092) (S) (500 mL) - $12.95  88 pts  wine review
Cavino Muscat (88 pts)


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  • Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Release July 6, 2019: Cool-Climate New World + Chardonnay

LCBO Wine Picks: July 6, 2019 VINTAGES Release
Cool wines are the theme of the upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on July 6, 2019, with the major theme focusing on wines from Cool New World Regions, while the mini-theme is the annual look at Cool-Climate Chardonnay. All these wines, plus from the rest of the Release will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves across Ontario by this Saturday.

We'll begin with the main theme that features 13 wines from 10 New World cool-climate wine regions. Typically, cool-climate wines are fresh, refined, and food-friendly, and are influenced by the cooling breezes off a body of water, altitude, vineyard direction and steepness, and latitude. Four of the wines from this theme are among my top wine picks. From New Zealand, there are two lovely wines - a Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Noir that are both reductive in style. From the high altitude vineyards in Argentina is a Gran Reserva that is a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Lastly, the excellent sparkling wine from British Columbia is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (90 pts)Summerhouse Pinot Noir 2015 (90 pts)

Bodega Fin del Mundo Neuquén Gran Reserva 2015 (89 pts)Sperling Brut Reserve 2011 (92 pts)

From the mini-theme on Cool-Climate Chardonnays, which coincides with the Cool-Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4C) taking place in Niagara later this month, just two of the eleven wines are included among my top wine recommendations. The first is a nice Chardonnay from Niagara, while the second wine is a lovely cool Chardonnay from South Africa.

Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay 2017 (90+ pts)

Among my red wine picks from the rest of the Release, the Beaujolais is, of course, made with Gamay, while the Portuguese red wine is a blend of 40% Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), 30% Touriga Franca, and 30% Touriga Nacional. If you like Châteauneuf-du-Pape, both of my recommendations excellent - they are from different vintages and are different in style, with the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape consisting of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, and 5% Muscardin, while the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 60% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 5% Mourvèdre.

Domaine Chante-Perdrix Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2016 (92 pts)Giraud Tradition Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2015 (92 pts)

Gloria Reserva 2016 (89 pts)Bel-Air Clochers Saint-Amour 2017 (88 pts)

From my white wine picks, all are single varietal wines. The white Bordeaux is made with Sauvignon Blanc, while both white wines from Burgundy are made with Chardonnay.

Laroche Les Beauroys Chablis 1er Cru 2017 (91+ pts)Château Briot 2017 (88 pts)

Lastly, there are a pair of wines from Uruguay's Bodega Garzón, a winery that was awarded 2018 New World Winery of the Year for its innovation and leadership by using sustainable practices, modern technology, and most importantly - making some pretty delicious wines from Tannat (Uruguay's signature varietal) and Albariño.

Bodega Garzón Reserva Tannat 2016 (90 pts)Bodega Garzón Reserva Albariño 2018 (90 pts)

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • GLORIA RESERVA 2016 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#146522) (XD) - $16.95  89 pts  wine review
  • SALENTEIN RESERVE MALBEC 2017 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#640854) (XD) - $17.95
  • FEUDO MACCARI NOTO NERO D’AVOLA 2016 - IGP Terre Siciliane, Sicily, Italy (#339101) (XD) - $17.95
  • BEL-AIR CLOCHERS SAINT-AMOUR 2017 - AP, Beaujolais, France (#648527) (XD) - $18.95  88 pts  wine review
  • ZUCCARDI Q MALBEC 2016 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#723478) (XD) - $19.95
  • BODEGA GARZÓN RESERVA TANNAT 2016 - Uruguay (#558916) (D) - $21.95  90 pts  wine review
  • BODEGA FIN DEL MUNDO NEUQUÉN GRAN RESERVA 2015 - Patagonia, Argentina (#668285) (XD) - $24.95  89 pts  wine review
  • SUMMERHOUSE PINOT NOIR 2015 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#492728) (XD) - $27.95  90 pts  wine review
  • GEYSER PEAK WINERY WALKING TREE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (#161323) (XD) - $29.95  90 pts  wine review
  • DOMAINE CHANTE-PERDRIX CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2016 - AC, Rhône, France (#121723) (XD) - $45.95  92 pts  wine review
  • GIRAUD TRADITION CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#182899) (XD) - $59.95  92 pts  wine review
Geyser Peak Winery Walking Tree Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (90 pts)

White Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU BRIOT 2017 - AC Bordeaux, France (#668855) (XD) - $14.95  88 pts  wine review
  • DeMORGENZON DMZ SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#698324) (XD) - $17.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • NOVELLUM CHARDONNAY 2017 - France (#390781) (XD) - $18.95
  • MARKUS HUBER TERRASSEN GRÜNER VELTLINER 2018 - DAC Traisental, Austria (#484956) (XD) - $18.95
  • BODEGA GARZÓN RESERVA ALBARIÑO 2018 - Maldonado, Uruguay (#646802) (XD) - $21.95  90 pts  wine review
  • LEANING POST THE FIFTY CHARDONNAY 2017 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#578864) (XD) - $21.95  90 pts  wine review
  • DOG POINT SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#677450) (XD) - $26.95  90 pts  wine review
  • PAUL CLUVER ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2017 - WO Elgin, South Africa (#570952) (XD) - $29.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • LAROCHE LES BEAUROYS CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2017 - AC, Burgundy, France (#648469) (XD) - $39.95  91+ pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU DE LAVERNETTE VERS CHÂNE POUILLY FUISSÉ 2016 - AC, Burgundy, France (#499657) (XD) - $44.95  FE
DeMorgenzon DMZ Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (88+ pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • MIMI EN PROVENCE GRANDE RÉSERVE ROSÉ 2018 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#452573) (XD) - $20.95  89 pts  wine review
  • ASHLEY MARY LIMITED EDITION M DE MINUTY ROSÉ 2018 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#575316) (XD) - $26.95
Mimi en Provence Grande Réserve Rosé 2018 (89 pts)

Sparkling Wine:

  • 13TH STREET CUVÉE BRUT ROSÉ - Traditional method, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#147504) (XD) - $29.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • SPERLING BRUT RESERVE 2011 - VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#635144) (XD) - $48.95  92 pts  wine review
13th Street Cuvée Brut Rosé (90+ pts)

Liqueur:

  • SIVÓ SHÁMÁN HERBAL LIQUEUR - Matured in oak casks, Canada (#653436) (500 mL) - $27.95
Sivó Shámán Herbal Liqueur


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  • Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Release June 22, 2019: Australia + Loire vs. New World

LCBO Wine Picks: June 22, 2019 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release June 22, 2019 features wines from Australia in the main theme, while the mini-theme compares and contrasts wines from Loire and the New World. All of these wines, plus those from the main Release will be on VINTAGES shelves across Ontario by this Saturday.

We'll begin with the main theme that looks at the wide array of grape varieties (and wine styles) that are thriving in Australia. In all, there are seven grapes/styles, encompassing thirteen wines, of which five wines are included among my top wine picks from Australia. We all know about Australian Shiraz - two of which are included among my wine picks - but Australia also makes some fabulous Chardonnay, as well as off-dry Riesling wines. After Shiraz, the second most popular red grape varietal grown in Australia is Cabernet Sauvignon, with many fine examples to be found in Coonawarra.

Cape Barren Native Goose Shiraz 2016 (90 pts)Bibliotheque Travel Writing Shiraz 2015 (88 pts)

Oakridge Vineyard Series Henk Chardonnay 2017 (91 pts)Best’s Great Western Riesling 2017 (90 pts)

Penley Estate Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (89 pts)

The mini-theme compares the wines from Loire and their New World counterparts. The comparison looks at Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Franc in Loire and their New World examples. Of the six wines featured, three are included among my wine recommendations, and all three are lovely. First up are a pair of Sauvignon Blanc wines - one from Sancerre (Loire) and the other from New Zealand. Lastly, there is an excellent Chenin Blanc from South Africa.

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Les Caillottes Sancerre 2017 (91 pts)Saint Clair Pioneer Block 20 Cash Block Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (90 pts)

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

From the rest of the release, my red wine picks include a 2015 Bordeaux red that consists of 80% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec, and 1% Petit Verdot. Also from France, there is a lovely Châteauneuf-du-Pape that is made with 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah, 10% Counoise, and 5% Cinsault. From Italy, the wine from Puglia is made with the indigenous Nero di Troia, while the Barbaresco is made with 100% Nebbiolo.

Château du Vieux Puit 2015 (88 pts)Enrico Serafino Barbaresco 2015 (90 pts)

Among my white wine picks, all are single varietal wines made from fairly common grape varietals. The lone wine that you may have not heard of is made with the Jacquère grape from Savoie. If you are looking for sweeter wines, the Gewurztraminer is off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet), while the Ontario Riesling is semi-dry (i.e. fairly sweet).

Domaine de l’Ldylle Jacquère Savoie 2017 (89 pts)l’Ostal Rosé 2018 (88 pts)

The rosé wines are all blends. The rosé from Midi is a 50/50 blend of Grenache and Syrah, while the rosé from Provence is a 50/50 blend of Grenache and Cinsault. And finally, the rosé from Ontario is a blend of 97% Pinot Noir and 3% Viognier.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • BIBLIOTHEQUE TRAVEL WRITING SHIRAZ 2015 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#668608) (XD) - $16.95  88 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU DU VIEUX PUIT 2015 - AC Côtes de Bordeaux - Blaye, France (#630012) (XD) - $17.95  88 pts  wine review
  • MICHEL GASSIER LES PILIERS SYRAH 2016 - AC Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (#678086) (XD) - $17.95
  • SECRETO PATAGÓNICO MALBEC 2017 - Patagonia, Argentina (#635961) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • PENLEY ESTATE PHOENIX CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2016 - Coonawarra, South Australia (#639575) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • TORREVENTO CASTEL DEL MONTE VIGNA PEDALE RISERVA 2014 - DOCG, Puglia, Italy (#208256) (D) - $19.95  89 pts
  • CAPE BARREN NATIVE GOOSE SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#668590) (XD) - $22.95  90 pts  wine review
  • ENRICO SERAFINO BARBARESCO 2015 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#157347) (XD) - $29.95  90 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU DE BEAUCASTEL CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2016 - AC, Rhône, France (#711317) (XD) - $93.95
Secreto Patagónico Malbec 2017 (89 pts)

White Wine:

  • DOMAINE DE L’IDYLLE JACQUÈRE SAVOIE 2017 - AC, Savoie, France (#645333) (XD) - $16.95  89 pts  wine review
  • KEN FORRESTER OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC 2017 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#231282) (XD) - $17.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • PIERRE SPARR GRANDE RÉSERVE GEWURZTRAMINER 2017 - AC Alsace, France (#747600) (D) - $18.95
  • TIEFENBRUNNER PINOT GRIGIO 2018 - IGT Vigneti delle Dolomiti, Alto Adige, Italy (#474742) (XD) - $19.95
  • BEST’S GREAT WESTERN RIESLING 2017 - Great Western, Victoria, Australia (#688259) (D) - $19.95  90 pts  wine review
  • CASTELLO DELLA SALA BRAMÌTO CHARDONNAY 2017 - IGT Umbria, Italy (#176792) (XD) - $22.95
  • SAINT CLAIR PIONEER BLOCK 20 CASH BLOCK SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - Single Vineyard, Dillons Point, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#483065) (XD) - $28.95  90 pts  wine review
  • OAKRIDGE VINEYARD SERIES HENK CHARDONNAY 2017 - Henk Vineyard, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia (#688242) (XD) - $29.95  91 pts  wine review
  • JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE LES CAILLOTTES SANCERRE 2017 - AC, Loire, France (#065573) (XD) - $30.95  91 pts  wine review
  • CHARLES BAKER PICONE VINEYARD RIESLING 2016 - VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#241182) (M) - $37.20

Rosé Wine:

  • TYPIC CINSAULT/SYRAH ROSÉ 2018 - IGP Pays d'Oc, Languedoc, France (#668699) (XD) - $13.95  88 pts  wine review
  • L’OSTAL ROSÉ 2018 - IGP Pays d’Oc, Midi, France (#450809) (XD) - $15.95  88 pts  wine review
  • HIDDEN BENCH LOCUST LANE ROSÉ 2018 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#068833) (XD) - $23.95
  • LÉOUBE LOVE ROSÉ 2018 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#575282) (XD) - $24.95
Typic Cinsault/Syrah Rosé 2018 (88 pts)


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