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  • Date publishedMonday, February 19, 2024

Puente Austral Reserva Privada Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 (Chile) - Wine Review



red wine review is a delicious, sustainably crafted Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon that arrived at the LCBO earlier this month as part of the feature on wines from Chile in the LCBO VINTAGES New Release Collection.

It is produced by Maturana Winery, a family-owned winery that was established in Colchagua, central Chile, in 2010 by José Ignacio Maturana, together with his brother Sebastian and his family. Their passion for making excellent wines developed after the great earthquake that affected Chile. Since that time, Maturana has developed unique wines, which also represent a way of life and how to sustainably keep intact the conditions from which our grapes come from.

One of the ways Maturana differentiates themselves is due to innovation. They aim to capture the identity of each variety and specific place, and deliver the best expression in each wine. To achieve this goal, they use different and innovative materials such as concrete in different shapes and sizes, clay amphoras, or French oak, which allows Maturana to capture and develop the best ageing capabilities for each variety. While the Chilean wine industry has developed in much the same way for decades, in a classic and traditional way, and there is nothing wrong with that, Maturana wants to do things that are different in every way possible, embracing differentiation as an opportunity.

With sustainability a core value of Maturana, the family supports the management of the vineyards in a natural and responsible manner that also benefits the growers and their families. For example, Maturana pays their growers more than 7 times the market average for the price per kilo of grapes. They believe in the concept of horizontal growth, whereby the grower of heritage vineyards, the grape processor, and the international marketing of wines all grow together. Maturana also has a strong commitment to making known the old vineyards that exist in central Chile, with some of these vineyards dating back to the year 1900 and featuring native strains of grape varieties.

At Maturana, they believe that producing the best quality wines is their responsibility, and it goes hand-in-hand with their concept of creating something unique. The Puente Austral brand of wines is Maturana's second label, with the Reserva Privada range created as a result of their innovative spirit and openness to taking risks. The origin of Reserva Privada wines lies in their constant search for new vineyard sites, new varieties, and unique blends, while restricted in production. The Puente Austral Reserva Privada wines are approachable, medium-bodied wines that stand out for their fruitiness, freshness, and intensity.

From a very good to excellent vintage, let's see how this 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile is tasting tonight...

Puente Austral Reserva Privada Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

PUENTE AUSTRAL RESERVA PRIVADA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2021 - Sustainable, Valle de Colchagua, Chile (#21960) (XD) - $16.95
100% Cabernet Sauvignon that was aged in third-use French barrels for 6 months. The medium+ to medium-high intensity nose has attractive, ripe, red fruited currant, cassis, cran-cherry, and red plum aromas accented with touches of vanilla and oak spice. On the dry, medium to medium-full bodied palate it offers deliciously harmonious, ripe, and fruit-forward flavours of red currant, cran-cherry, cassis, and red plum, plus touches of earthy oak adding savoury tones. It has fresh, juicy acidity and smooth, creamy, and fine-grained tannins. It has a supple grip with savoury, earthy oak, and touches of mineral notes lingering on the finish, with very good length. Enjoy this highly recommended buy over the next 2-3 years. Score: 89 pts

Other delicious wines by Maturana Winery can be found at the LCBO, or ordered through their Agent - Kolonaki Fine Wines & Spirits.


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  • Date publishedThursday, February 15, 2024

Calcu Tiny Blocks Gran Reserva Cabernet Franc 2020 (Chile) - Wine Review

red wine review is a lovely, sustainable and vegan-friendly Cabernet Franc from Chile. It is brand new to the LCBO and arrived on shelves earlier this month as part of the feature on wines from Chile in the recent LCBO VINTAGES New Release Collection on .

It is produced by Calcu Vineyards, a winery project that was established in 2003 by the Hurtado family. With over a century's worth of experience making quality wines in the Colchagua Valley, the Hurtado family found a unique place in Marchigüe, within the Colchagua Valley in central Chile, that is marked by hills of granite stone. The hills are the inspiration for the name Calcu Vineyards - "CAL: Hill" and "CUrá: Stone" - and means Hills of Stone.

The granite hills with clay seams, combined with the proximity of the vineyard to the sea at just 26 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean, as well as the altitude of the vineyard with different orientations of the slopes allows for a perfect blend that reflects the personality of the vineyard. By combining all of these features, it enables each Calcu wine to showcase the brand's characteristic freshness, structure, verve, and depth.

The core values at Calcu Vineyards are excellence, perseverance, and honesty. While sustainability is also one of the four essential values of the Hurtado family, whereby caring for the environment, workers, and the local community is key, Calcu Vineyards was created with the ambition of redefining the Colchagua Valley with world-class, handcrafted wines. With the assistance of winemaking advisor, Xavier Choné, the Hurtado family designed each of the 166 micro-terroirs using a high-precision manual process that followed the orientation of the slopes and natural clay seams that are present on the site. This resulted in a vineyard architecture of small blocks, with many less than 1 hectare in size, with varying slopes and irregular shapes. The nature of these blocks allows each variety to find the ideal place within the vineyard, where it can express its maximum potential. One of the most important aspects of the site is the gentle granitic slopes on the coastal hills. The soil on these slopes contains important seams of clay, which are preserved and maintained as they contribute structure, texture, and depth to the resulting wines.

To craft this red wine, the grapes were manually harvested and double sorted from vineyards situated at their Marchigüe Estate vineyard, 25 km from the Pacific Ocean. The vineyard is planted on the gentle hills of the coastal hills, where the soft sea breeze moderates the temperatures and allows the grapes to develop excellent concentration and fresh, aromatic fruit. The soil in this vineyard is mainly granitic with a significant clay content, characters that positively influence concentration and persistent aromas. The tiny blocks selected for this Cabernet Franc (which also includes splashes of Petit Verdot and Carménère) are planted in the highest sectors of soil with a high presence of quartz, which provides a fantastic combination of fresh fruit, structure, and elegance. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks at temperatures between 20ºC and 24ºC, and underwent 18 days of maceration time with its skins. After completing malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks, it was aged for 12 months in French oak barrels.

The 2020 growing season at Calcu was marked by a warm and dry climate. This challenged the team at Calcu because they needed to be more alert than ever in identifying the opportune time for harvest in order to maintain the elegance and natural balance that characterizes the wines from this terroir. The resulting wines from the high quality 2020 vintage have high concentration, excellent colour intensity and complexity, and very good ageing capability. Let's see how this 2020 Cabernet Franc from Chile is tasting tonight...

Calcu Tiny Blocks Gran Reserva Cabernet Franc 2020 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

CALCU TINY BLOCKS GRAN RESERVA CABERNET FRANC 2020 - Sustainable, Valle de Colchagua, Chile (#35677) (XD) - $14.95
This blend of 95% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, and 2% Carménère has a lovely, lifted, medium-high intensity nose of wet earth, mineral, dark fruited (blackberry, black cherry), minty herb, and sweet tobacco aromas. On the dry, ripe, medium+ bodied palate it has lovely, elegant, and balanced aroma replays of dark fruit, mineral, savoury wet earth, blackberry, black cherry, and tobacco flavours with some spicy and herbal notes. It is well-structured with very good acidity and grippy, structured, and mouth puckering tannins. Minerally with dark fruit and tobacco notes linger on the long, crisp, and juicy finish. Enjoyable now, but will reward with 2-3 years in the cellar. Highly recommended buy! Score: 90 pts

While only a limited number of the excellent 2018 Calcu Winemaker's Selection Blend is available on clearance at the LCBO, all wines in the Calcu Vineyards portfolio can be ordered through Agent - Don Ackerman's Wines & Spirits.


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  • Date publishedWednesday, February 14, 2024

February 17, 2024 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: France

LCBO Wine Picks: February 17, 2024 VINTAGES New Release Collection
Here's my top wine picks from the February 17, 2024 LCBO VINTAGES New Release Collection. It's another small-ish release with 85 wines offered, although a number of these are VINTAGES Essentials products. The feature of the release focuses on the wines from France, and all the wines should be available for purchase by this Saturday.

We begin with the feature that looks at the wines from France. There are nineteen wines as part of the theme, but six of these are VINTAGES Essentials products that are always available. Overall, it is a weak theme with several important categories missing, such as wines from Loire, Rhône whites, and reds from Languedoc. Of the nineteen wines in the theme, only three are included among my top wine recommendations. There are two whites - a Gewurztraminer from Alsace and an Aligoté from Burgundy, while the lone red wine is from Bordeaux, and it is crafted with 50/50 Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Closerie des Alisiers Bourgogne Aligoté 2022

Leading the way in the main release among my top red wine picks is Italy with five recommended wines, most of which are from Tuscany. At the top of the list is the Brunello di Montalcino, which is crafted with 100% Sangiovese Grosso, followed by the Rosso di Montalcino that is made with 100% Sangiovese. The Chianti Classico Annata is also 100% Sangiovese, while the Riserva Chianti Classico is a blend with a minimum of 80% Sangiovese. The last wine from Italy is the Wine of the Month - a Valpolicella that is composed of 70% Corvina Veronese, 20% Corvinone, and 10% Rondinella. Red wine blends from other parts of the world include the Niagara Syrah which is actually a co-fermented blend of 99.4% Syrah and 0.6% Viognier, while the Gualtallary red from Argentina is composed of 50% Cabernet Franc, 45% Malbec, and 5% Casavecchia. There is also an Australian GSM that is made with 67% Grenache, 27% Shiraz, and 6% Mataro, as well as the red from South Africa that is crafted with 82% Cabernet Sauvignon and 18% Syrah. And last, but not least, the Rhône red is a 50/50 blend of Grenache and Syrah.

Carpineto Brunello di Montalcino 2018 (92+ pts)Corte Pavone Rosso di Montalcino 2021 (91 pts)

Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico 2019 (90+ pts)Castelgreve Riserva Chianti Classico 2019

Bertani Catullo Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2019Creekside Iconoclast Syrah 2020 (91 pts)

LAVAU Rasteau 2020

Among my white wine recommendations from the main release, all are mono-varietal wines. From Italy, there is a Fiano from Campania, and the Lugana from Veneto is crafted with the Turbiana varietal. The other white wines are a Chenin Blanc from South Africa, and an unoaked Chardonnay from Niagara. If you enjoy decadently sweet wines, the Sherry made with Pedro Ximénez will be right up your alley.

Enjoy my top wine recommendations from this release! Salud!

Red Wine:

  • KIR YIANNI CUVÉE VILLAGES XINOMAVRO 2020 - Vegan, PDO Naoussa, Greece (#14151) (XD) - $17.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • SHANAHANS THE BARKING DOG GSM 2021 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#20880) (XD) - $18.95
  • HENRY LAGARDE OLD VINES ORGANIC MALBEC 2022 - Vegan, Mendoza, Argentina (#36182) (XD) - $20.95
  • DOÑA PAULA 1350 ALTITUDE SERIES RED 2020 - Gualtallary, Tupungato, Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina (#17382) (XD) - $22.95
  • CHÂTEAU FONTAINE DE L'AUBIER 2016 - AC Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#35619) (XD) - $22.95
  • CASTELGREVE RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2019 - Sustainable, DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#344416) (XD) - $23.95  review coming soon...

  • LAVAU RASTEAU 2020 - AC, Rhône, France (#394650) (XD) - $23.95
  • GREAT HEART RED BLEND 2020 - WO Swartland, South Africa (#33288) (XD) - $23.95
  • IL MOLINO DI GRACE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2019 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#85209) (XD) - $24.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • CREEKSIDE ICONOCLAST SYRAH 2020 - Queen's Road Vineyard, VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#471797) (XD) - $25.00  91 pts  wine review
  • BERTANI CATULLO VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO CLASSICO SUPERIORE 2019 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#17777) (XD) - $26.95  review coming soon...
  • CORTE PAVONE ROSSO DI MONTALCINO 2021 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#550699) (XD) - $28.95  91 pts  wine review
  • CARPINETO BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2018 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#14857) (XD) - $66.95  92+ pts  wine review
Kir Yianni Cuvée Villages Xinomavro 2020 (90+ pts)

White Wine:

  • CANTINA SAN PAOLO FIANO 2022 - IGP, Campania, Italy (#36304) (XD) - $15.95
  • TOMMASI LE FORNACI LUGANA 2022 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#23866) (XD) - $19.95
  • JOSEPH CATTIN GEWURZTRAMINER 2022 - Sustainable, AC Alsace, France (#224626) (M) - $19.95
  • ROCKWAY VINEYARDS UNOAKED CHARDONNAY 2022 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#483891) (XD) - $20.00
  • CLOSERIE DES ALISIERS BOURGOGNE ALIGOTÉ 2022 - AP, Burgundy, France (#557728) (XD) - $22.95
  • GREAT HEART CHENIN BLANC 2021 - WO Swartland, South Africa (#24764) (XD) - $23.95

Fortified Wine:

  • GONZÁLEZ BYASS NECTAR PEDRO XIMÉNEZ DULCE SHERRY - Vegan, DO, Spain (#87577) (S) - $26.95


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  • Date publishedTuesday, February 13, 2024

Indómita Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2022 (Chile) - Wine Review

white wine review is a lovely Sauvignon Blanc from Chile that arrived at the LCBO as part of the feature on wines from Chile in the recent LCBO VINTAGES New Release Collection.

It is produced by Viña Indómita, a prominent Chilean winery that was established in 2001 by the Del Pedregal family in a privileged location between Chile's two most important cities - Santiago and Valparaíso - in the cool-climate of the Casablanca Valley. As a fairly young wine producer, the modern architecture of the winery building has an unrivalled panoramic view of the valley, while nestled within the hill is the barrel room in which the temperature and humidity is naturally regulated.

Indómita's mission is to produce quality wines with a focus on sustainability and fair trade values. From vineyard to bottle, the grapes and the subsequent wine are carefully monitored to obtain the best
expression of the land. The mission is to create an ethical and responsible supply chain that benefits everyone from our winemakers to our end customers, while also promoting fair and transparent business practices that have a positive impact on our communities and the environment.

With several ranges of wines in the Indómita portfolio, this white wine is from their Gran Reserva range and represents the spirit of their vineyards. Indómita's Gran Reserva wines have character, are powerful, and outstanding. The Gran Reserva wines invite you to learn more about wine and its benefits, and is also an invitation to live the Indómita experience and enjoy life.

The Sauvignon Blanc grapes for this wine were grown in Casablanca Valley, a cold-weather valley that experiences the cool and saline winds of the Pacific Ocean, and is an extreme location for winegrowing due to the annual accumulation of heat barely reaching the minimum suggested levels for vineyards. The vines for this Sauvignon Blanc were planted in 2002 and 2006 on hillsides and the valley floor, on soil that ranges between a sandy and deep clay structure, with some gravel. The vineyards are planted in both North-South and West-East orientations, a combination that produces high oenological potential with very disparate profiles, and delivers powerful acidity and briny minerality. The grapes were crushed in a reductive environment, with only the free run juice obtained by gravity used to craft this wine. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks using selected yeasts, with gentle lees treatment. To add complexity, 3% of this wine was barrel-fermented and aged in barrels for 3 months.

The 2022 growing season in Chile's coastal wine regions, such as Casablanca Valley, has delivered a promising vintage with fresh and focused wines from a slightly cooler than average year. Cool-climate varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc particularly excelled. Let's see how this 2022 Sauvignon Blanc from Chile is tasting tonight...

Indómita Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2022 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

INDÓMITA GRAN RESERVA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2022 - DO Valle de Casablanca, Chile (#544213) (XD) - $15.95
Elegantly aromatic with a medium-high intensity nose of guava, green herbs, lemon/lime citrus, grassy, melon, and jalapeño aromas with an underlying saline minerality. It has good weight on the medium+ bodied, dry and creamy palate with lovely lemon/lime citrus, green herb, guava, grassy, and melon flavour replays supported by juicy, well-balanced acidity. There's a touch of spice, along with some leesy minerality on the mid-palate. It's nicely textured with good structure, while leesy mineral notes linger on the long, succulent finish. Enjoy this highly recommended buy with seafood! Score: 89 pts

Other lovely wines by Viña Indómita can be ordered through their Agent - Rare Earth Wines.


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  • Date publishedSaturday, February 10, 2024

Catena Lunlunta Old Vines Appellation Malbec 2021 (Argentina) - Wine Review

After enjoying the excellent 2018 Catena Lunlunta Old Vines Appellation Malbec three years ago, red wine review is the latest vintage of this terrific wine that arrived at the LCBO last weekend as part of the theme on wines from Argentina in the LCBO VINTAGES New Release Collection.

It is produced by Catena Zapata, one of Argentina's and the world's most renowned and prestigious wine growers and producers. The winery was founded in 1902 by Italian immigrant Nicola Catena in Mendoza, Argentina, and was later revitalized to international acclaim in the 1980s by Nicola's grandson - Nicolás Catena Zapata.

Today, the family-run winery is now in the hands of the fourth generation - Dr. Laura Catena, daughter of Nicolás. The Catena family is one of the most iconic and influential wine families and have been instrumental in developing Mendoza into a world-class wine region over the past 100+ years. As one of Argentina's pioneering wineries, Catena Zapata is known for its commitment to innovation, quality, and sustainability, and was one of the first Argentine wineries to introduce modern viticultural and winemaking techniques to the country. The Catena family also played a significant role in elevating Malbec to its current status as Argentina's flagship grape variety. Catena Zapata produces several Malbec wines that showcase the grape's potential, while also focusing on expressing the terroir of Mendoza.

Catena Zapata has several ranges of wines in their portfolio. This particular red wine is from their Appellation Village series of wines, which borrows the idea from Burgundy whereby grapes grown in the territory of certain villages give their name to the appellation. In Argentina, the rural towns of Lunlunta, Vista Flores, San Carlos, Tupungato, Agrelo, and La Consulta lend their names to the beautiful historic vineyards that surround them. Also, like in France where village vineyards are small and often owned by siblings and cousins within the same family due to the Napoleonic code (which establishes that at a person's death, his or her land is divided equally among his or her heirs), in Argentina, over half of the vineyards in Mendoza are less than 4 hectares and owned by multiple family members. The wines of the Catena Appellation Village range express the diversity of terroir and the historic farming customs of these local families.

Like previous vintages, this red wine is crafted with 100% Malbec that was grown in the small Lunlunta district that straddles the administrative departments of both Maipú and Lujan de Cuyo, along the Mendoza River, within the Mendoza wine region. Lunlunta is an idyllic district of small orchards and tree-lined country roads, and is well-known for its ancient Malbec vines. This Malbec is from a vineyard situated at 2,785 feet above sea level that was planted in 1930. The soil composition in this vineyard is sandy and loamy, with 50% sand, 30% silt, 20% clay, and 5% surface stones, and has northwestern exposure to the sun. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks and underwent malolactic fermentation. It was aged in a combination of both stainless steel tanks and 1-year-old 225 L French oak for 12 months, then aged a further 10 months in bottle prior to release.

The 2021 growing season in Argentina was interesting with wetter and colder than normal conditions, along with damp conditions that persisted into summer. Furthermore, spring experienced significant frosts, which cut yields dramatically. The cool humidity meant that growers had to be vigilant against rot and disease, while the general lack of sunlight resulted in grapes taking longer to reach phenolic ripeness. The long growing season ensured that the resulting fruit was in good condition, with the wines showing fine aromatics, acidity, and elegance. Let's see how this 2021 Malbec from Argentina is tasting tonight...

Catena Lunlunta Old Vines Appellation Malbec 2021 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

CATENA LUNLUNTA OLD VINES APPELLATION MALBEC 2021 - Sustainable, Mendoza, Argentina (#11769) - (XD) - $24.95
From vines planted in 1930, this lovely Malbec has a medium-high intensity nose that is elegant and ripe with a lovely mix of plummy, blackberry, earthy-stony mineral, spice, and some herbal aromas. On the spicy, medium+ to medium-full bodied palate it has very fruit-acid-tannin tension that provides a well-structured mouthfeel. Dry with lovely mineral-driven, dark fruited, blackberry, spice, black cherry, plum, and herbal flavours. Structured with tangy and juicy acidity, and medium-firm structured tannins that offer a pleasant, gently chalky grip. Minerally with blackberry, black cherry, and spice notes linger on the long, smoky finish. Enjoyable now, but will reward with a few years in the cellar and drink well to the end of the decade. Highly recommended buy! Score: 91 pts

Many fine wines by Catena are available at the LCBO, as well as through their Agent - Noble Estates Wines & Spirits.


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  • Date publishedWednesday, February 7, 2024

Attems Pinot Grigio 2022 (Friuli) - Wine Review

white wine review is a lovely Pinot Grigio from DOC Friuli in northeastern Italy that returned to the LCBO last weekend as part of the LCBO VINTAGES New Release Collection.

It is produced by Attems, an estate winery with a dynasty that dates as far back as 1106 with documentation that confirms ownership of the land dedicated to viticulture in Collio. Synonymous with the history of wine in Friuli Venezia Giulia, there are also general ledgers from 1764 for the production of Ribolla Gialla and Refosco wines.

With a thousand years of tradition, Attems has become a local reference point with Count Douglas Attems as the key protagonist. It was Douglas that founded the Consorzio dei Vini del Collio in 1964, the third (in chronological terms) Consorzio founded in Italy and the first in the Friuli wine region. The story of Attems is interwoven with history from the Patriarchate of Aquileia to the County of Gorizia, from the First World War to the present day. As the area is particularly suited to viticulture, Friuli Venezia Giulia is one of Italy's leading grape-growing regions.

Today, Attems is situated in the Collio Goriziano, in the far eastern part of northern Italy, with 44 hectares of south-facing terraced slopes to the west of Gorizia. This unique territory is protected from the cold northern winds and the characteristic “bora” wind of Trieste. The estate is surrounded by nature that is unspoiled and rich in biodiversity, important factors in the cultivation of grape vines. The microclimate of the territory has three distinctive features - the diversity of the three types of soils, diurnal temperature fluctuations and summers that are not excessively hot, and the refractive sunlight from the Adriatic coast a mere 15 kilometres from the vineyards that provides optimal ripening conditions. The philosophy at Attems is to create wines that are an expression of the territory, and with no intervention.

In 2000, Attems was acquired by the renowned Frescobaldi family, and with a fascinating past and an accomplished present, the future will be filled with innovation. With the Frescobaldi family at the helm, they continue to pursue Attems tradition with great respect for the estate's distinctive characteristics.

This white wine is crafted with 100% Pinot Grigio that was grown in vineyards located between the plains and slopes in the Province of Gorizia, at the far eastern edge of Friuli Venezia Giulia, at an average of 60 metres above sea level. The vineyard age averages 20 years old and is planted on soil that is composed of Eocene sandstone, which was formed when the sea bed lifted 50 million years ago, naturally moist clay-rich soil, and deep soil with many pebbles. The grapes were hand-harvested from the last ten days of August to the beginning of September and gently pressed upon arrival at the winery. The juice was left to decant for 24 to 48 hours and then began its alcoholic fermentation at low temperatures in mainly steel containers, and 10% in barriques. After fermentation, the wine was aged on its noble lees.

The growing season in 2022 began with a dry winter, with little rainfall and mild temperatures. Attems delayed the opening of the buds by about 10 days (compared to local averages) by using late pruning techniques. Spring was characterized by mild temperatures and generally good weather, which ensured constant vegetation growth. The Pinot Grigio grapes reached full bloom on around May 25, which was much earlier than the previous two vintages, while the summer heat in June and July was mitigated by some beneficial rain, which allowed the grapes to head into August without an excessive water imbalance. The Pinot Grigio bunches were relatively sparse, and harvest was carried out over as many days as possible, which allowed for a good balance between sugar content and acidity in the must. Within the first few days of fermentation, the must was already releasing some excellent aromas. Let's see how this 2022 Pinot Grigio from Friuli is tasting tonight...

Attems Pinot Grigio 2022 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

ATTEMS PINOT GRIGIO 2022 - DOC Friuli, Italy (#707950) (XD) - $19.95
Elegantly aromatic with a medium-high intensity nose of lemon peel, citrus, melon, tropical fruit, orange, floral, and mineral aromas with a tinge of honey. It is impressively concentrated on the dry, medium+ bodied palate with lovely ripe citrus, grapefruit, honey, yellow floral and spice flavours. It has a very nicely textured mouthfeel and fresh acidity. Balanced and intriguing with leesy mineral and spice notes lingering on the long, gently sticky, and dry finish. Highly recommended buy! Score: 90 pts

While only a small quantity of the fabulous Attems Cicinis is available at the LCBO, the full portfolio of wines by Attems can be ordered through their Agent - Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits.


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  • Date publishedMonday, February 5, 2024

Wakefield Estate Label Chardonnay 2022 (Australia) - Wine Review

white wine review is the latest vintage of a perennially delicious Chardonnay from South Australia that arrived at the LCBO over the weekend in the LCBO VINTAGES New Release Collection.

It is produced by the renowned and well-respected Wakefield Wines. The family estate winery was established in 1969 by Bill Taylor Sr. and his two sons near the Wakefield River in Clare Valley, South Australia. After working as wine merchants, the Taylor family desired to have their own vineyards and create their own, authentic, and estate-grown wines. The Estate Label wines were the first wines established by the Taylor family, with the Chardonnay joining the range several years later.

Today, Wakefield Wines is led by the third generation of the family - brothers Mitchell, Justin, and Clinton - with a focus on continuing the family tradition of making delicious wines that stand the test of time. The family's philosophy is to produce wines sustainably and responsibly, while respecting the fruit and where it comes from. The family also has a strong innovative spirit, and one of their innovations is the Optimum Drinking Sensor that is located on the back label of their Estate Label and Promised Land wines, including this Estate Label Chardonnay.

While the 2021 Wakefield Estate Label Chardonnay was crafted with fruit predominantly from Padthaway, this vintage is composed of 51% Clare Valley fruit and 49% from the Limestone Coast zone. Padthaway is one of a number of wine regions situated within the Limestone Coast zone. The different parcels of fruit from both regions were kept separate during the vinification process. It was matured for 10 months in French oak, mostly 2- and 3-years-old, and then blended and bottled.

The 2022 growing season in Clare Valley produced fruit of both high-quality and quantity, with crops of all varieties basking in mild, sunny days with no rain or humidity. It was a beautiful, idyllic vintage of uninterrupted weather that was more typical of the better vintages of the 80s and 90s. Growing conditions across the Limestone Coast zone were mostly good, with yields in Padthaway slightly below average due to mild and dry conditions. Let's see how this 2022 Chardonnay from South Australia is tasting tonight...

Wakefield Estate Label Chardonnay 2022 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

WAKEFIELD ESTATE LABEL CHARDONNAY 2022 - Clare Valley / Limestone Coast, South Australia (#711556) (XD) - $16.95
Screw cap. The fragrant, open, and perfumed nose offers attractive aromas of ripe orchard fruit, apple, and pear nuanced with vanilla spice and lemon citrus, plus touches of banana and ripe tropical fruits adding further complexity. It has good weight on the dry, medium+ to medium-full bodied palate with ripe apple, pear, lemon citrus, and vanilla spice flavours. It has a nicely textured mouthfeel and crisp, juicy acidity, while leesy mineral notes linger on the lengthy finish. Highly recommended buy! Score: 89 pts

Other lovely wines by Wakefield Wines are available at the LCBO and through their Agent - Profile Wine Group.


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