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  • Date publishedMonday, September 24, 2012

Sept. 29 LCBO Wine Picks: Tuscany + Pinot Noir

Cover photo of September 29, 2012 Vintages Wine Release
The next Vintages wine release will be in LCBO outlets across Ontario on . This release focuses on Tuscan Traditions, which includes some very nice red wines at a very high price points.

The Poggio Al Tesoro (blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc) and the Tenuta (blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese) are both cellar dwellars right now should be aged for at least 3-4 years. While the Antinori Brunello di Montalcino is made using 100% Sangiovese (Brunello) and can be enjoyed now or cellared for at least the next decade.

The secondary feature is on Pinot Noir from two very specific regions in Australia and New Zealand, of which a version from the Mornington Peninsula (Victoria, AU) is worth checking out. There is also a small feature on pairing wine with Thanksgiving side dishes, with the Vouvray, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling Spätlese all making my list - and can be enjoyed on their own as well.

Among the rest of the wines from this release, the Spanish Monastrell (a.k.a. Mataró or Mourvèdre) offers great value at only $13.95, while the barrel-fermented Finca Nueva Blanco is made using the Viura varietal. The Finca Flichman from Argentina consists of 55% Syrah, 35% Malbec and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. From France, we have a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend from the superb 2009 Bordeaux vintage, and a 2010 southern Rhône that is blended with 50% Grenache, 35% Mourvèdre, and 15% Syrah.

Enjoy my picks for this week! Cheers!

Red Wine:
  • CASA CASTILLO MONASTRELL 2010 - DO Jumilla, Spain (#165621) (XD) - $13.95
  • FINCA FLICHMAN PAISAJE DE BARRANCAS 2009 - Mendoza, Argentina (#017129) (D) - $17.95
  • HOGUE GENESIS MERLOT 2008 - Columbia Valley, Washington, USA (#349415) (D) - $18.95
  • CHÂTEAU MAISON BLANCHE 2009 - AC Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#295824) (XD) - $19.95
  • DOMAINE LES GRANDS BOIS CUVÉE MAXIMILIEN CAIRANNE 2010 - Unfiltered, AC Côtes du Rhône-Villages, France (#286336) (XD) - $21.95
  • STONIER PINOT NOIR 2010 - Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia (#025338) (XD) - $24.95
  • POGGIO AL TESORO SONDRAIA 2008 - DOC Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy (#292391) (XD) - $44.95
  • ANTINORI PIAN DELLE VIGNE BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2006 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#651141) (XD) - $59.95
  • TENUTA SETTE PONTI ORENO 2009 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#735597) (XD) - $71.95

White Wine:
  • DOMAINE DE VAUGONDY DRY VOUVRAY 2010 - AC, Loire, France (#189142) (D) - $14.95
  • FINCA NUEVA FERMENTADO EN BARRICA BLANCO 2010 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#280560) (XD) - $15.95
  • CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED CAVE SPRING VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2010 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#256552) (XD) - $18.95
  • HOFFMANN-SIMON PIESPORTER GOLDTRÖPFCHEN RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2011 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#216499) (MS) - $21.95
  • DOG POINT VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#677450) (XD) - $21.95
  • PALMINA LARNER VINEYARD MALVASIA BIANCA 2010 - Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, California, USA (#289157) (D) - $35.95

  • TAWSE CABERNET FRANC ICEWINE 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#306035) (S) (200 mL) - $34.95

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

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  • Date publishedFriday, September 14, 2012

Pascual Toso Reserve Malbec 2009 (Argentina) - Wine Review

Picked up this gem of a red wine while I was in Muskoka as I wasn't able to find it at an LCBO near me. It was purchased from the August 4 Vintages Release and there are quite a few still available.

PASCUAL TOSO RESERVE MALBEC 2009 - Barrancas Vineyards, Mendoza, Argentina (#183897) (XD) - $19.95

Label photo of 2009 Pascual Toso Reserve Malbec from Argentina
Tasting Note:
Earthy, mulberry and dark fruit aromas from the cork. In the glass, aromas of savoury spice lead to mulberry, bramble, vanilla and all surrounded by an earthy core. Full bodied on the palate with more mulberry and bramble replays, some earthy notes. Hints of milk chocolate and espresso on the long finish. Ripe fruit with mouth-watering acidity. Smooth tannins are well-integrated. Will be enjoyed with Chicken lasagne.

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  • Date publishedMonday, September 10, 2012

Sept. 15 LCBO Wine Picks: Ontario Wines

Cover photo of September 15 Vintages wine release
The next LCBO Vintages release will be in stores across the province on . The theme of this release is on wines from Ontario, to coincide with the upcoming #LCBOgoLOCAL campaign that runs from mid-September to mid-October.

A mini-theme of my picks this week includes 5 Chardonnays of various styles that includes 2 wines from Niagara, and 1 each from Prince Edward County, Chile, and a Chablis from France. If you prefer the unoaked style of Chardonnay, your best best is the Chablis from Burgundy as it was aged in steel tanks. Having said that, the three Ontario Chardonnays from Lailey, Closson Chase and Bachelder are not the big, oaky-type, but do have just enough to be aged a few years in the cellar. All are very well-made.

If you didn't know already, Ontario does Cabernet Franc quite well. Among my red wine picks, there is a fine example from Featherstone, who is among the leaders of this varietal here in Ontario. They also have a very interesting set of eco-friendly practices that include sheep labour and falconry. Pinot Noir is also quite well-made here in Ontario, with Le Clos Jordanne among the best producers of this varietal with a focus on terroir.

Among the rest of my wine picks, the Côte de l'Ange is a 2010 Rhone blend consisting of 95% Grenache and 5% Mourvedre. The Brunello di Montalcino is the made with 100% Sangiovese (Brunello) and should be cellared for at least 2 years. While The Black Chook is mostly Shiraz, and fermented with some Viognier to add lovely aromatics.

This release also coincides with the annual Niagara Grape & Wine Festival, that runs Sept 21-30, of which I will also be in attendance. Say 'hello' if you see me around in Niagara during the Festival. Cheers!

Red Wine:
  • FEATHERSTONE CABERNET FRANC 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#64618) (XD) - $16.95
  • THE BLACK CHOOK SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER 2010 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#66738) (D) - $17.95
  • JUANA DE SOL RESERVA MALBEC 2010 - Single Vineyard, Mendoza, Argentina (#288381) (XD) - $15.95
  • DOMAINE DE LA CÔTE DE L’ANGE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2010 - AC, Rhône, France (#074856) (XD) - $37.95
  • COLLOSORBO BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2006 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#285742) (XD) - $49.95
  • LE CLOS JORDANNE CLAYSTONE TERRACE PINOT NOIR 2009 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario, Canada (#033951) (D) - $45.00

White Wine:
  • LAILEY CHARDONNAY 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#193482) (XD) - $19.95
  • SOL DE ANDES RESERVA ESPECIAL CHARDONNAY 2009 - Casablanca Valley, Chile (#254326) (XD) - $17.95
  • DOMAINE SÉGUINOT-BORDET CHABLIS 2010 - AC, Burgundy, France (#289371) (XD) - $19.95
  • DRIFT SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011 - Awatere Valley, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#278465) (D) - $19.95
  • NALS MARGREID PINOT GRIGIO 2011 - DOC Südtirol Alto Adige, Italy (#290924) (XD) - $17.95
  • CLOSSON CHASE CHARDONNAY 2009 - Closson Chase Vineyard, VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (#148866) (XD) - $29.95
  • BACHELDER NIAGARA CHARDONNAY 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#302083) (XD) - $29.95

Sparkling Wine:
  • ROEDERER ESTATE L’ERMITAGE BRUT SPARKLING WINE 2003 - Anderson Valley, California (#183392) (D) - $54.95
  • INNISKILLIN VIDAL SPARKLING ICEWINE 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#560367) (S) (375 mL) - $79.95

  • CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES ESTATE BOTTLED VIDAL ICEWINE 2009 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#565861) (S) (200 mL) - $25.95

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

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  • Date publishedFriday, September 7, 2012

Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère 2010 (Chile) - Wine Review

Opened this lovely Chilean red wine that was purchased from the June 23 Vintages wine release.

CONCHA Y TORO MARQUES DE CASA CONCHA CARMENÈRE 2010 - Peumo Vineyard, Rapel Valley, Chile (#169862) (XD) - $17.00

Label photo of 2010 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère from Chile
Tasting Note:
Plum and cherry cola nose from the cork. Alluring spice box and cherry aromas from the glass. Medium-bodied with savoury black cherry and dark red fruits on the palate. Very light tannins are backed by mouth-watering good acidity. Short finish is a touch hot. Could cellar for 2 years, but definitely enjoyable now. Tip: Serve this straight out of the cellar or even chill for 5-10 minutes prior to serving. Will pair well with the homemade pizza we're having tonight.

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  • Date publishedSunday, September 2, 2012

Bosman Adama White 2010 (South Africa) - Wine Review

Purchased this white wine last month from the August 18 Vintages release.

BOSMAN ADAMA WHITE 2010 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#282764) (D) - $18.95

Label photo of Bosman Adama White 2010 from South Africa
Tasting Note:
A white blend that is primarily Chenin Blanc with Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Viognier and Semillon playing a supporting role. Peach and tart citrus aromas from the cork. Grapefruit, citrus, peach and mineral aromas. More grapefruit and stoney minerailty on the palate, joined by citrus and green flavours. Lively acidity with a short finish. Smells sweeter than it tastes, only very slightly off-dry on the palate. Quite good. Will be enjoyed with chicken kebabs off the BBQ.

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