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  • Date publishedSunday, June 20, 2021

Studert-Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett 2012 (Mosel) - Wine Review



Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there! For wine review I dive into my cellar for this lovely Mosel Riesling that I purchased nearly 7 years ago when it arrived at the LCBO as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release. Of course, this vintage is long sold out, while the 2018 vintage appeared on VINTAGES shelves back in April for a few dollars more, with plenty still available for purchase.

Studert-Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett 2012 (93 pts)

Tasting Note:

STUDERT-PRÜM GRAACHER HIMMELREICH RIESLING KABINETT 2012 - Prädikatswein, Gutsabfüllung, Mosel, Germany (#160853) (M) - $20.95
Screw cap. Gorgeous, highly aromatic nose is complex and elegant, delivering petrol and beeswax, plus apple, peach, pear, lemon citrus, some ripe tropical fruit and pineapple notes. It's medium-full bodied and richly concentrated with lovely, fairly sweet flavours of orange citrus, honey, and roasted pineapple with touches of petrol and wet stone. The sweetness is balanced with still vibrant acidity, while wet stone, slate, petrol, and mineral flavours linger on the finish, with excellent length. Will continue to drink well into the late 20's, maybe even longer. Score: 93 pts


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  • Date publishedFriday, June 18, 2021

Laura Hartwig Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (Chile) - Wine Review

Following up on the delicious 2018 Laura Hartwig Single Vineyard Carménère that I enjoyed back in April, wine review is another delicious offering from the same producer. This Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon arrived at the LCBO last weekend and was featured as part of theme on wines from Chile in the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

It is produced by Laura Hartwig Premium Wines, a winery whose roots go back to when Osvaldo Bisquertt purchased the property in 1928 to cultivate annual crops and raise cattle. In 1966, his daughter Laura Bisquert inherited the "Santa Laura" farm and further expanded the estate. While living in Toronto and Montreal in the 1970's, Laura and her husband, Alejandro Hartwig, developed a passion for wine and decided to turn their estate back in Chile into a winery. Together, they planted their first vines in 1978 with the aim of producing wines that reflect their origin in Santa Cruz, the heart of the Colchagua Valley. Laura Hartwig uses a non-interventionist philosophy and human scale production to craft their wines. In this way, they are able to take detailed care with each step of the winemaking process.

This Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is composed of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot that was crafted from carefully selected 40 year old vines grown in the town of Santa Cruz, in central Chile's Colchagua Valley. The soils here are clay on the surface with sandy deposits in the deeper strata. The grapes were hand-harvested, then gently destemmed and sorted, fermented in stainless steel tanks, and then aged in French oak barrels and staves for 13 months. Let's see how this Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile is tasting tonight...

Laura Hartwig Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAURA HARTWIG SINGLE VINEYARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2018 - DO Colchagua Valley, Chile (#13428) (XD) - $16.95
This Cabernet Sauvignon, which includes 5% Petit Verdot has a fresh, medium-high intensity nose that delivers aromas of red and black fruit, cassis, currant, herbal and spice with savoury undertones. The fresh and chewy, medium-full bodied palate has ripe red and black fruit, currant, cassis, and herbal aroma replays on the flavour profile that turns savoury on the mid-palate. Acids are fresh, while the finely textured, powdery tannins are a touch drying. Savoury graphite with hints of dark berry linger on the finish, with good length. Score: 88 pts

The aforementioned Carménère can be found at the LCBO, while other delicious wines from Laura Hartwig can be ordered through their Agent - Profile Wine Group, who also now offer Air Miles® Reward Miles with purchase.


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  • Date publishedWednesday, June 16, 2021

Château Guillou 2016 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

wine review is this delicious red wine from Bordeaux that arrived at the LCBO last weekend as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Château Guillou has been winegrowing in its current form since 1870. It is located within the Montagne-Saint-Émilion AOC, a satellite of the Saint-Émilion appellation, on the Right Bank of the Dordogne River in Bordeaux. The Château's 62 hectares of vines are mostly located on a plateau with clay-limestone soils, and hillsides with clayey-silty soils. Today, the wines of Château Guillou are produced by Vignobles Jean-Bernard Saby & Fils, a family that has been making wine for nine generations since the 18th century.

I last enjoyed the 2014 Château Guillou nearly five years ago when it came through VINTAGES in November 2016. It is typically a blend of mostly Merlot and some Cabernet Franc, with the exact composition varying slightly each vintage. This particular vintage consists of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, which is more Merlot than the last time I tasted this wine. The grapes were hand-picked and sorted, fermented in temperature-controlled tanks, then aged in a combination of new and used oak barrels. Although the 2016 vintage was mixed across Right Bank appellations, some estates produced their best wines ever. Let's see how this lovely Bordeaux red wine is tasting tonight...

Château Guillou 2016 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU GUILLOU 2016 - AC Montagne-Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (#140483) (XD) - $23.95
Composed of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the fresh, open, medium-high to highly aromatic nose is ripe, plummy, and dark berry scented with some lovely floral, sweet spice, and licorice notes adding interest and complexity. It's medium-full to full-bodied with lovely savoury, earthy, tobacco, and dark berry flavours, while the acidity is fresh and juicy. Tannins are smooth with a very fine, dusty texture, yet still somewhat chalky and drying. Savoury, earthy, and chocolatey oak notes linger on the long finish. An impressive step up from previous vintages. Highly recommended buy to enjoy over the next few years. Score: 91 pts

Other lovely wines from Vignobles Jean-Bernard Saby & Fils can be ordered through their Agent - Connexion Oenophilia.


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  • Date publishedMonday, June 14, 2021

Wakefield Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 and Pinot Noir 2018 (Australia) - Wine Reviews

wine reviews are a pair of delicious Australian red wines from the ever-reliable Wakefield Wines. Both arrived at the LCBO last month as part of the main feature on wines from Australia in the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Wakefield Wines was founded in 1969 by Bill Taylor Sr. and his two sons, Bill and John, by the Wakefield River in South Australia's Clare Valley with a desire to create authentic, estate grown wines where the vineyards and winery both reside at the same location. The very first wines the Taylor family crafted were the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (reviewed below) and Shiraz, which are the heart and soul of the business. Wakefield Wines achieved overwhelming success over the years, expanding and growing their portfolio. Today, they also source fruit for their Estate Label wines from other wine regions mainly due to the fruit's higher quality, as is the case with the Pinot Noir that is reviewed below. Both of the wines reviewed in this post are from Wakefield's Estate Label range of wines.

A perennial visitor to LCBO VINTAGES, I last enjoyed the 2017 Wakefield Estate Cabernet Sauvignon back in August of last year. The 2018 vintage in Clare Valley can be characterized as warm and dry, and warmer than 2017. Thankfully, there were also no major heatwaves as these can be very damaging to the grapes. Overall, the team at Wakefield Wines was very excited about the quality of the wines from this vintage. With Cabernet Sauvignon in particular, the general consensus was that it may be one of the best vintages in quite a while with fantastic colour, flavour development and tannin structure.

The grapes for the Pinot Noir were sourced from Adelaide Hills, a vibrant, cool-climate wine region located in the Mount Lofty Ranges just east of the city of Adelaide in South Australia. Adelaide Hills is one of Australia's largest geographical wine regions, stretching north-south in a narrow band approximately 70 km in length, and bordered by Barossa Valley to the North and McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek to the South. For reference, Clare Valley is located further north, just over 100 kilometres north of Adelaide Hills.

All Estate range wines, which includes these two wines, have an Optimum Drinking Temperature sensor on the back label that will tell you when each wine is ready to enjoy. This innovative sensor is calibrated to each varietal and wine. It is touch-activated and changes colour depending on the temperature of the wine. To use, simply touch the sensor and compare its colour to the chart located on the left. If the colour of the sensor falls between the optimum temperature indicated in the chart, then the wine is ready to drink. Let's see how these wines are tasting...

Tasting Notes:

WAKEFIELD ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2018 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#744235) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. The fragrant, lifted nose has aromas of minty-leafy, dark berry, currant, and cassis with savoury, earthy undertones rising out of the glass. It's medium-to-full bodied with minty, cassis, dark berry, blackberry, currant, and savoury oak flavours supported by fresh, balanced acidity and smooth, dusty-textured tannins that have a subtle grip. Nicely balanced throughout with savoury, earthy oak notes lingering on the finish, with very good length. Score: 89 pts

Wakefield Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (89 pts)Wakefield Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 with Optimum Drinking Temperature Sensor

WAKEFIELD PINOT NOIR 2018 - Adelaide Hills, South Australia (#197392) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. The pretty, medium+ intensity nose offers sweet and ripe red cherry, red berry, and strawberry aromas flecked with tea leaf, earthy, and beet root notes. There's a kiss of sweetness on the ripe, light-to-mid weighted palate balanced with fresh, lively acidity and flavours of ripe red cherry, red berry, and sweet cinnamon spice with subtle wood notes. Light tannins are subtly textured, while sweet spice, vanilla, and cherry notes linger on the juicy finish, with very good length. Delicious New World Pinot! Score: 89 pts

Wakefield Pinot Noir 2018 (89 pts)Wakefield Pinot Noir 2018 with Optimum Drinking Temperature Sensor

Other fine wines from Wakefield Wines can be found at the LCBO, as well as through their Agent - Profile Wine Group. In some exciting news, Profile Wine Group also now offers Air Miles® Reward Miles with purchase.


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  • Date publishedThursday, June 10, 2021

Château des Ferrages Mon Plaisir Sainte-Victoire Rosé 2020 (Provence) - Wine Review

For , which is the second Saturday in June every year and coming up in a couple of days, wine review is a lovely dry rosé from Provence. This dry rosé wine is a new arrival to the LCBO and will be on shelves across Ontario as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Château des Ferrages is located in the village of Pourcieux, between Aix-en-Provence and Saint-Maximin in the lowland of Sainte-Victoire. Château des Ferrages was owned by winemaker Jose Garcia, whose family had been running the 30 hectare estate for three generations and making wines, primarily rosé, since 1980. In 2016, Château des Ferrages was cherry-picked by Mathilde Chapoutier Selection and acquired by legendary Rhône wine estate Maison M. Chapoutier. Two Sélections Parcellaires have emerged from these lands and apply biodynamic farming principles.

This blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Rolle (aka Vermentino) was grown on shallow, well-draining clay-limestone soils with varying amounts of sand. The parcels are located in the villages of Pourcieux and Pourrières, at the feet of Mount Aurélien and Mount Sainte-Victoire, respectively, which have a Mediterranean climate. The grapes were machine harvested at night to preserve freshness and aromas. It was produced by using the direct press method, then aged on fine lees in stainless steel vats. Let's see how this rosé is tasting tonight...

Château des Ferrages Mon Plaisir Sainte-Victoire Rosé 2020 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU DES FERRAGES MON PLAISIR SAINTE-VICTOIRE ROSÉ 2020 - AC Côtes de Provence, France (#19834) (XD) - $22.95
This lovely dry rosé is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Rolle (aka Vermentino) that has a medium+ intensity nose offering lovely grapefruit, white floral, red berry, strawberry, and citrus aromas with mineral undertones. The medium-full bodied, concentrated palate is dry and complex with flavours of floral, grapefruit, orange rind, citrus, and mineral with hints of white peach. It has balanced acidity and a lick of saline on the mid-palate, while the long finish is dry, crisp, and minerally. Enjoy this recommended buy nicely chilled with hearty fish or poultry. Score: 91 pts

Other lovely wines from Château des Ferrages can be ordered through their Agent who recently launched their new website - Connexion Oenophilia.


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  • Date publishedThursday, June 10, 2021

June 12, 2021 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Chile + Fizz

LCBO Wine Picks: June 12, 2021 VINTAGES Release
The main theme from the June 12, 2021 LCBO VINTAGES Release focuses on wines from Chile, while the mini-feature looks at sparkling wines. All of these wines from the themes, as well as those from the main release should be on shelves across Ontario by this Saturday.

We begin with the main theme that looks at the wine valleys of Chile. Among the thirteen wines featured, six are included among my top wine picks. Starting in one of Chile's northernmost winegrowing regions, the Limarí Valley, there is a traditional method sparkling wine made with 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. From the coastal part of the Aconcagua Valley, just north of Santiago, is a lovely cool-climate Syrah. Moving to the south-side of Santiago, from Cachapoal Valley, which is a sub-region of the Rapel Valley, the Sideral is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, and 3% Carmenère. Just south of Cachapoal Valley is the Colchagua Valley, and from here there is a fine Sauvignon Gris - a clonal mutation of Sauvignon Blanc, as well as a Cabernet Sauvignon that is blended with 5% Petit Verdot. The fifth and final wine is a little further south, from the Maule Valley, Chile's largest winemaking region, and this red wine is made with 100% Carignan.

Errázuriz Syrah 2018 (91 pts)Laura Hartwig Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (88 pts)

In all, there are eight wines featured as part of the mini-theme on sparkling wines and just one bubbly is included among my wine recommendations. Surprisingly, the lone fizz is from New Mexico (!) and is made in the traditional method using 100% Pinot Noir.

From my red wine picks, the Côtes du Rhône-Villages is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, while the Bordeaux red consists of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The rest are all single varietal wines that offer a fairly wide array of options for just about any palate.

Château Guillou 2016 (91 pts)Anthony Joseph Vidal Reserve Pinot Noir 2017 (90 pts)

Among my white wine picks, all are single varietal wines with quite a few Chardonnay recommendations, including an unoaked Chardonnay from Niagara. Other wines include a Torrontés from Argentina, a Vermentino from Italy, and a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. If you want a wine with a little bit of sweetness, the Niagara Riesling is your choice!

Both of my rosé recommendations are dry rosé wines. The lovely rosé from Provence is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Rolle (aka Vermentino), while the rosé from Roussillon consists of 45% Grenache Gris, 45% Grenache Noir, and 10% Macabeu.

Château des Ferrages Mon Plaisir Sainte-Victoire Rosé 2020 (91 pts)

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Salud!

Red Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU LE GRAND RETOUR PLAN DE DIEU CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES 2018 - AC, France (#224592) (XD) - $15.95
  • LAURA HARTWIG SINGLE VINEYARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2018 - DO Colchagua Valley, Chile (#13428) (XD) - $16.95  88 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU SAINT-SERNIN MALBEC DE CALCAIRE 2015 - AC Cahors, Southwest, France (#15773) (XD) - $18.95
  • PENLEY PHOENIX CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2019 - Coonawarra, South Australia (#639575) (XD) - $18.95
  • EMILIANA VIGNO VIGNADORES DE CARIGNAN 2017 - Vegan, sustainable, DO Maule Valley, Chile (#19247) (XD) - $19.95
  • PAXTON MV SHIRAZ 2019 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#327403) (XD) - $19.95  review coming soon...

  • ERRÁZURIZ SYRAH 2018 - DO Aconcagua Costa, Chile (#387910) (XD) - $21.95  91 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU GUILLOU 2016 - AC Montagne-Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (#140483) (XD) - $23.95  91 pts  wine review
  • ANTHONY JOSEPH VIDAL RESERVE PINOT NOIR 2017 - Sustainable, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#538900) (XD) - $24.95  90 pts  wine review
  • SAN PEDRO SIDERAL 2018 - DO Cachapoal Valley Andes, Chile (#632927) (XD) - $29.95
  • QUINTA DO COVÃO RESERVA TOURIGA NACIONAL 2016 - DOC Dão, Portugal (#18410) (XD) - $33.95
  • BRAMASOLE LA BRACCESCA SYRAH 2017 - DOC Cortona, Tuscany, Italy (#12741) (XD) - $66.95  FE

White Wine:

  • FLAT ROCK UNPLUGGED UNOAKED CHARDONNAY 2019 - Sustainable, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#68015) (XD) - $17.95
  • KAIKEN TERROIR SERIES TORRONTÉS 2020 - Vegan, Cafayate, Salta, Argentina (#330407) (XD) - $18.95
  • CASA SILVA 1912 VINES SAUVIGNON GRIS 2020 - Sustainable, DO Colchagua Valley, Chile (#19580) (XD) - $19.95
  • CANTINE DI DOLIANOVA PRENDAS VERMENTINO DI SARDEGNA 2019 - DOC, Sardinia, Italy (#17770) (XD) - $21.95
  • VILLA MARIA CELLAR SELECTION SAUVIGNON BLANC 2020 - Sustainable, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#974527) (XD) - $21.95
  • NAUTILUS CHARDONNAY 2019 - Vegan, sustainable, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#331652) (XD) - $27.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE RIESLING 2019 - Sustainable, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#643361) (D) - $27.95
  • SOUTHBROOK LAUNDRY VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2018 - Vegan, VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#16078) (XD) - $35.00  FE
  • KISTLER LES NOISETIERS CHARDONNAY 2019 - Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California, USA (#251223) (XD) - $96.95

Rosé Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU DES FERRAGES MON PLAISIR SAINTE-VICTOIRE ROSÉ 2020 - AC Côtes de Provence, France (#19834) (XD) - $22.95  91 pts  wine review
  • DOMAINE LAFAGE GALLICA ROSÉ 2020 - AP Côtes du Roussillon, France (#19848) (XD) - $24.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • GEMMA SPARKLING ROSÉ - Traditional method, Limarí Valley, Chile (#18558) (XD) - $18.95
  • GRUET BRUT SPARKLING ROSÉ - Traditional method, New Mexico, USA (#15686) (XD) - $25.95

Dessert Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES VIDAL ICEWINE 2018 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#565861) (S) (200 mL) - $28.95




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  • Date publishedSaturday, June 5, 2021

Errázuriz Syrah 2018 (Chile) - Wine Review

Following up on the lovely 2019 Errázuriz Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir, wine review is another fine wine from the Chile's Viña Errázuriz. This cool-climate Syrah arrives at the LCBO next weekend as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Viña Errázuriz is one of Chile's best and most internationally recognized wineries. It was founded in 1870 by Don Maximiano Errázuriz, a man whose family played an important role in Chile's social and cultural life for over two and a half centuries. In addition to Don Maximiano's duties as a politician, diplomat, and entrepreneur, he was also passionate about wine and ventured to plant the country's first French grape varieties in the Aconcagua Valley. Viña Errázuriz has since been passed down along familial lines and today it is led by the fifth generation of the family - Eduardo Chadwick Claro.

Like the Pinot Noir, this Syrah is from Errázuriz's "Specialties" range of wines which explores the Aconcagua Valley for the best and purest expression of each variety through wines that show their true sense of origin. Two geographical landmarks make up this line of wines: Mount Aconcagua - the highest peak in the western hemisphere; Pacific Ocean - the coldest waters in the world. Aconcagua Alto (Mount Aconcagua) wines are from the highest area of the Aconcagua Valley, while wines from Aconcagua Costa are located in vineyards just 12 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean.

This cool-climate Syrah was grown in a coastal vineyard in DO Aconcagua Costa, 12 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean, from vines planted by Viña Errázuriz in 2005 and 2009. The soil here is composed of a thin layer of loamy texture and sitting on a base of clay and metamorphic rock (slate/schist) that add mineral characters to the wine. The grapes were hand-picked and fermented using native yeasts. It was matured for 14 months, 85% of the which was aged in mostly used French oak barrels, while the remainder was aged in aged in Stockinger foudres. Although I have tasted many wines from Errázuriz over the years, I believe this is the first time I am tasting this Syrah. Let's see how it's tasting tonight...

Errázuriz Syrah 2018 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

ERRÁZURIZ SYRAH 2018 - DO Aconcagua Costa, Chile (#387910) (XD) - $21.95
The medium-high intensity nose is intriguing and complex with black olive and peppery spice aromas layered over crushed blackberry, raspberry and savoury notes with touches of violet and meaty notes. On the medium-full bodied palate it has lovely blackberry, raspberry, pepper spice, savoury, meaty, and nut flavours with touches of olive, all framed by fresh, mouth-watering acidity and smooth, fine-grained, slightly grippy tannins. Tar notes join the savoury, blackberry, and spice finish, with excellent length. Highly recommended buy for Syrah wine lovers! Score: 91 pts

Other fine wines from Viña Errázuriz can be found at the LCBO, as well as through their Agent - Dandurand.


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