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  • Date publishedWednesday, June 27, 2012

Fantasia Rosé 2011 (California) - Wine Review

Tonight's wine is a sweet sparkling rosé from Castello di Amorosa that is ideally suited for prior to dinner or with dessert. I believe this is also the first time I've ever had a "Sparkling Rosé" at home.

FANTASIA ROSÉ 2011 - Napa Valley, California, USA (M) - $28

Tasting Note:
Normally, I don't comment on colour, but this one has a gorgeous raspberry colour to it. Fresh & sweet aromas of red cherry and ripe strawberry. Smooth flavours of strawberry on the palate, joined by peach & apricot mid-palate. Round, short finish with hints of honeycomb. Medium in sweetness. Light-bodied. Easy-drinking, low-alcohol (7%) wine with light carbonation. Serve with strawberry shortcake.

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  • Date publishedThursday, June 21, 2012

Luigi Bosca Reserva Chardonnay 2010 - Wine Review

Purchased this one back in November from the Holiday Magic VINTAGES wine release. There are still a few available in the VINTAGES section of the LCBO across the province.

LUIGI BOSCA RESERVA CHARDONNAY 2010 - Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina (#142836) (XD) - $17.95

Tasting Note:
Melon/peach aromas from cork. Mango, pineapple, oak and barnyard aromas from the glass. Tropical fruits with hints of juicy sweetness dance with apple and butter notes, giving way to oaky finish in this dry, full-bodied white wine. This could be enjoyed on its own or paired with Dungeness Crab served with drawn butter. Tasty!

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  • Date publishedMonday, June 18, 2012

June 23 LCBO Wine Picks: Summer Sipping

Just in time for summer, the next VINTAGES release will be out in LCBO outlets on and is appropriately titled "Refresher Course - Fine Wines for Summer Sipping".

Among the many refreshing summer sippers in this release, my top pick in white wines is the dry Italian Pinot Grigio. Another dry white wine worth checking out is the Spanish Albariño. If you're looking for something off-dry, your best bets are a Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, or the Grüner Veltliner from Austria.

Also from the Refresher Course feature in this release is an off-dry rosé from Francis Coppola and a relatively sweet Moscato d'Asti sparkler from Michele Chiarlo.

In red wines, Concha y Toro brings us their lovely 2010 Carmenère. The Barón de Magaña from Spain is a blend made with Merlot 50%, Cabernet Sauvignon 30%, Tempranillo 10% and other varietals to make up the last 10%.

Enjoy my picks for this week!

Red Wine:
  • CONCHA Y TORO MARQUES DE CASA CONCHA CARMENÈRE 2010 - Peumo Vineyard, Rapel Valley, Chile (#169862) (XD) - $17.00
  • BARÓN DE MAGAÑA 2007 - DO Navarra, Spain (#280552) (XD) - $17.95
  • NIRO MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO 2009 - DOC, Abruzzo, Italy (#278150) (XD) - $15.95
  • KAESLER STONEHORSE SHIRAZ/GRENACHE/MOURVÈDRE 2008 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#006551) (D) - $20.95
  • J. LOHR SOUTH RIDGE SYRAH 2010 - Paso Robles, California, USA (#948240) (D) - $19.95
  • ALTA VISTA PREMIUM CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2009 - Mendoza, Argentina (#129957) (XD) - $14.95

White Wine:
  • TIEFENBRUNNER PINOT GRIGIO 2011 - DOC Südtirol-Alto Adige, Italy (#954024) (XD) - $17.95
  • ASTROLABE PROVINCE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#010421) (D) - $21.95
  • SEIFRIED RIESLING 2011 - Nelson, South Island, New Zealand (#989541) (D) - $17.95
  • NESSA ALBARIÑO 2010 - DO Rías Baixas, Spain (#282558) (XD) - $15.95
  • MEINKLANG GRÜNER VELTLINER 2010 - Burgenland, Austria (#219014) (D) - $15.95

Rosé Wine:
  • FRANCIS COPPOLA SOFIA ROSÉ 2011 - Monterey County, California, USA (#284943) (D) - $19.95
  • PETIT RIMAURESQ GRENACHE/CINSAULT/SYRAH ROSÉ 2011 - AC Côtes de Provence, France (#276360) (XD) - $13.95

Sparkling Wine:
  • MICHELE CHIARLO NIVOLE MOSCATO D’ASTI 2010 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#942888) (MS) - $16.95
  • MAGNOTTA LIMITED EDITION SPARKLING ICE SPARKLING VIDAL ICEWINE 2008 - Single Vineyard, Charmat Method, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#050195) (S) (375 mL) - $69.95

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

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  • Date publishedTuesday, June 5, 2012

June 9 LCBO Wine Picks: Chile + South of France + Father's Day

Cover photo of June 9th LCBO VINTAGES Wine Release
The next VINTAGES Wine Release will be in LCBO outlets across Ontario on . The major feature in this release is on food-friendly Chilean wines - and there are some good values to be had.

We've got two wines from Concha y Toro's "Maycas del Limarí" label. Their Reserva Especial Syrah and Chardonnay are both very good. Chile is known for it's Carmenère and is one of my favourite varietals; if you've never tried this grape, the Mayu Reserva is a good place to start.

The 1st of two secondary features in this release focuses on wines from the South of France. In general, I have found that this region in France offers the best value wines in the country. Among these wines, the Syrah/Carignan/Grenache blend from Mont Tauch made my picks. The 2nd minor feature in this release is all about Father's Day. From this section, the Barolo from Marziano Abbona is a heavy-hitter and would make an excellent cellaring candidate.

A couple of wines that struck me, but aren't listed below, are worth a look if you want to try something a bit different. Firstly, the Domaine Boyar Royal Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (#259747, $13.95) is a nice introduction to wines from Bulgaria. The second wine is an unusual Italian red that tastes like a Gewürztraminer - the Ramosceto Lacrima di Morro d'Alba 2010 from Marche (#277889, $14.95).

Enjoy my picks for this week! Let me know if you try any of these. Cheers!

Red Wine:
  • CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2008 - Columbia Valley, Washington, USA (#269357) (XD) - $19.95
  • MAYCAS DEL LIMARÍ RESERVA ESPECIAL SYRAH 2008 - Limarí Valley, Chile (#269423) (XD) - $19.95
  • MAYU RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2009 - Elqui Valley, Chile (#090035) (XD) - $17.95
  • LAKEVIEW RESERVE SYRAH 2007 - VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#264150) (D) - $19.95
  • MONT TAUCH LE TAUCH FITOU 2009 - AC, Languedoc, France (#272484) (D) - $19.95
  • HEGARTY CHAMANS NO. 2 GRENACHE/MOURVÈDRE/CINSAULT 2009 - AC Minervois, Provence, France (#277061) (D) - $21.95
  • MARZIANO ABBONA PRESSENDA BAROLO 2007 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#276584) (D) - $43.95

White Wine:
  • MAYCAS DEL LIMARÍ RESERVA ESPECIAL CHARDONNAY 2010 - Limarí Valley, Chile (#162040) (XD) - $19.95
  • HUNTER’S JANE HUNTER SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#280271) (XD) - $19.95
  • COOPERS CREEK SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#957407) (XD) - $18.95
  • DR. PAULY-BERGWEILER WEHLENER SONNENUHR RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2009 - Pradikätswein, Mosel, Germany (#197186) (M) - $21.95
  • COYOTE'S RUN BLACK PAW VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2010 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#049775) (XD) - $21.95

Rosé Wine:
  • CARTE NOIRE ROSÉ 2011 - AC Côtes de Provence, France (#319384) (XD) - $14.95
  • KAIKEN MALBEC ROSÉ 2011 - Mendoza, Argentina (#169375) (D) - $14.95

Dessert Wine:
  • PANNON TOKAJ 3 PUTTONYOS TOKAJI ASZÚ 2005 - Hungary (#074328) (MS) (500 mL) - $21.95

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

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