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  • Date publishedFriday, September 30, 2011

2010 Mission Hill Five Vineyards Rosé (B.C.) - Wine Review

This pretty Rosé wine was purchased this summer as part of the July 23 Vintages Release - and what a gem it is!

MISSION HILL FIVE VINEYARDS ROSÉ 2010 - VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#229716) (D) - $15.95

Tasting Note:
A lot of bubbles that sink to the bottom for a wine that is not a sparkling wine. Aromas of sweet cherries, sandalwood and grapefruit. Candy covered cherries and blueberries on the palate. Off-dry and absolutely delicious! Will be enjoying this with chicken nachos. If you know someone who is not a wine drinker, this would a be a great introduction to wine for that person.

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  • Date publishedMonday, September 26, 2011

Syrah & Shiraz Around the World: October 1 Vintages Release

The next Vintages release on features Syrah and Shiraz from around the world. If you didn't know, these 2 grapes are identical. So, when you see either "Syrah" or "Shiraz" on the bottle, it really is a reflection of the style of wine. Also, Syrahs tend to be from the Old World, while Shirazes tend to be from the New World. I like both Syrahs and Shirazes, so I've picked 1 from each region in this release. Perhaps you can see the difference.

Other wine picks in this release are quite good, including a Chardonnay from Chile - great value!

Also featured in this release is a guide on how to start a cellar and wines for .

Red Wine:
  • THORN-CLARKE TERRA BAROSSA SHIRAZ 2009 - Barossa, South Australia, Australia (#595306) (XD) - $16.95
  • CAVE DE ROQUEBRUN ROCHES NOIRES 2009 - AC Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun, Midi, France (#251637) (D) - $19.95
  • WAYNE GRETZKY NO. 99 ESTATE SERIES PINOT NOIR 2008 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#129056) (XD) - $18.95
  • POST HOUSE PENNY BLACK Unfiltered 2008 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#148619) (XD) - $19.95
  • DOMAINE LES YEUSES LES ÉPICES SYRAH 2008 - Vin de Pays d’Oc, Midi, France (#177584) (XD) - $14.95

White Wine:
  • SOL DE ANDES RESERVA CHARDONNAY 2009 - Casablanca Valley, Chile (#254334) (XD) - $13.95
  • DR. HERMANN RIESLING KABINETT 2008 - Prädikatswein, Erdener Treppchen, Mosel, Germany (#189647) (MD) - $16.95
  • VINELAND ST. URBAN RIESLING 2009 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#038117) (MD) - $19.95

Dessert Wine:
  • FLEUR DU CAP NOBLE LATE HARVEST 2008 - WO Coastal Region, South Africa (#173781) (S) 375mL - $20.95

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  • Date publishedFriday, September 23, 2011

2007 Château de Flaugergues (Languedoc) - Wine Review

Purchased this red wine last month as part of the August 20 Vintages Release, the wine label on this bottle would be a top 3 finalist for most boring. However, it's what's inside that counts...

CHÂTEAU DE FLAUGERGUES CUVÉE SOMMELIÈRE 2007 - La Méjanelle, AC Coteaux du Languedoc, France (#065896) (XD) - $17.95

Tasting Note:
Cork smelled lovely on this one. Delicious aromas of red berries, and wood/earth permeate from the glass. Dried fruit (prune/figs), finishing with milk chocolate and mocha. Medium-full bodied with a clean finish. Could be aged a little longer (1-2 years), but definitely ready to drink now. This wine will go well with the chicken biryani that I'll be enjoying tonight.

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  • Date publishedThursday, September 15, 2011

Vintage Ink Mark of Passion Merlot/Cabernet 2009 (Niagara) - Wine Review

Purchased only a few days ago from the most recent Vintages Release that featured only wines from Ontario. This wine was opened so soon because everything else in my cellar is still not quite ready to open.

VINTAGE INK MARK OF PASSION MERLOT/CABERNET 2009 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#250209) (XD) - $17.95

Tasting Note:
Spicy bouquet with black fruit, some cedar, earth and licorice. Light- to medium-bodied with no overly strong flavours of blackberries and cedar/oak. A good wine, but I wouldn't rate it a 90+ as another critic had rated it - an 89 is more suitable. I'll post another review in an hour or so after it's had time to air out.

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  • Date publishedWednesday, September 14, 2011

2008 Bordeaux + Pinots + New Zealand: September 17 Vintages Release

The next LCBO Vintages Release on doesn't appear to be your typical release because it focuses on 2 rather unique, and interesting subjects - the sleeper 2008 Bordeaux Vintage, and comparing Pinot Noirs from Oregon & Burgundy. The 3rd highlight in this release are high-scoring (but very pricey) wines from New Zealand.

Among the 2008 Bordeaux's, only one made my list - the Vintages "Wine of the Month" Fayan (#243295). I'm a big fan of good Pinot Noirs - most people love this grape or hate it. Which side of the fence are you on? The Red Shot Lane from Willamette looks very intriguing and is a must buy for any Pinot lovers.

The rest of my selections from this release all look very good, included among them is a rare Pinot Gris from B.C. Also noticeable is the absence of any Ontario wines this week, as they had their own "Special Edition" Release last weekend. Enjoy!

Red Wine:
  • RED SHOT LANE PINOT NOIR 2009 - Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#242560) (XD) - $18.95
  • EMILIANA WINEMAKER’S SELECTION SYRAH/MOURVÈDRE 2007 - Los Robles, Colchagua Valley, Chile (#243394) (XD) - $18.95
  • CHÂTEAU FAYAN 2008 - AC Puisseguin-Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (#243295) (XD) - $18.95
  • VIÑA COBOS FELINO CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2008 - Mendoza, Argentina (#132365) (XD) - $19.95
  • JIP JIP ROCKS SHIRAZ 2009 - Padthaway, South Australia, Australia (#673897) (D) - $16.95

White Wine:
  • GEHRINGER BROTHERS PRIVATE RESERVE PINOT GRIS 2009 - VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#347203) (XD) - $17.95
  • JOSEPH CATTIN GEWURZTRAMINER 2009 - AC Alsace, France (#224626) (D) - $16.95

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  • Date publishedSunday, September 11, 2011

Ferré I Catasús Brut Reserva Cava (Spain) - Wine Review

My experience with Bruts/Sparkling Wines/Champagnes is quite limited, but if you enjoy this type of wine, you might be interested in this sparkler from Spain.

FERRÉ I CATASÚS BRUT RESERVA CAVA - Spain (#224717) (D) - $16.95

Tasting Note:
Apple, lime aromas. Crisp apple and nutty flavours. Dry. It's well made and fills your mouth with bubbles quite well with every sip. Will be enjoying this with Tandoori Chicken on the BBQ.

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  • Date publishedWednesday, September 7, 2011

2007 Tierra Alta Reserva Carmenère (Chile) - Wine Review

This Decanter award-winning wine was purchased on Saturday as part of the September 3 Vintages Release.

TIERRA ALTA RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2007 - Maule Valley, Chile (#236067) (XD) - $13.95

Tasting Note:
Lovely blackberry, mocha, wet earth, flower aromas. Palate has ripe fruit with raspberry at the fore. Dry with a touch of tannin. Medium-bodied. Will pair nicely with the spicy, creamy chicken dish that I will be enjoying tonight.

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  • Date publishedMonday, September 5, 2011

Celebrating Ontario Wine: September 10 Special Vintages Release

This Special Edition Vintages release focuses entirely on Ontario wines from the Niagara region - to coincide with the Niagara Wine Festival that begins the following week. The release is a small one, with only 20 wines. Hope you enjoy my top 5 picks!

Red Wine:
  • VINTAGE INK MARK OF PASSION MERLOT/CABERNET 2009 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#250209) (XD) - $17.95
  • TAWSE SKETCHES CABERNET/MERLOT 2009 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#130252) (XD) - $19.95
  • GREENLANE GREETINGS CABERNET/MERLOT 2007 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#256271) (XD) - $14.95

White Wine:
  • FLAT ROCK CHARDONNAY 2008 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#681247) (XD) - $16.95
  • FEATHERSTONE GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2010 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#064592) (D) - $19.95

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  • Date publishedThursday, September 1, 2011

2009 Chalone Monterey County Chardonnay (California) - Wine Review

This wine is a good reminder me of why you should always smell the cork when you open a bottle of wine. Do you smell the cork when you open a bottle of wine? If not, then definitely start taking a whiff.

This wine was purchased from latest Vintages Release on August 20.

CHALONE MONTEREY COUNTY CHARDONNAY 2009 - Monterey County, California, USA (#080226) (XD) - $16.95

Tasting Note:
Cork: Very nice citrus, orange, banana aromas. Lovely butter, toast, banana aromas in the glass. Interesting crisp green apple, plus butter and pear on the palate. Crisp and refreshing. Slightly acidic on the long finish. Very well-made and could have been aged another 1-2 years, but definitely enjoyable now. Will be having this with bhel puri.

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