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  • Date publishedTuesday, August 27, 2013

Aug. 31 Wine Picks: 90 Plus Wines + Champagne

LCBO Wine Picks: August 31, 2013 Vintages Release
The next Vintages wine release will be on shelves at the LCBO on . The main feature in this edition (which is done annually) focuses on wines from around the globe that scored 90+ points.

In all, there are 30 wines that are part of the "90+" wine feature. If you're looking for a big, oaky, Chardonnay, then look no further than Gallo Chardonnay from Russian River Valley. If you prefer the less oak in your Chardonnay, then I invite you to check out Maison Champy's 1er Cru - your wallet may become lighter, but you won't be disappointed. Both can be aged for 3-4 years. In other whites, there is a very ageable Riesling that is slightly off-dry from Alsace that can be enjoyed now or in a decade.

In reds from the 90+ feature, fans of Malbec will find a fruity version from Achaval Ferrer. There's also finally an Australian Shiraz worthy of my recommendation that is relatively easy on your wallet and will provide pleasure. And continuing to reach our shores are the newly-released 2011 (Southern) Rhône wines, with the Perrin Peyre Blanche consisting of a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. From Northern Rhône is the Pierre Amadieu Gigondas that it is also a 2011 and a blend of Grenache and Syrah. Last but not least the 100% Aglianico from Rivera that is already 7 years old, but will age gracefully for almost another decade.

The secondary feature in this release coincides with TIFF and features the big names from the world of Champagne - Dom Perignon, Cristal, Laurent-Perrier, Taittinger and Billecart-Simon.

From the rest of the release, there is a 100% Tempranillo from Spain, and the Mandrarossa from Sicily is 100% Nero d'Avola. Both of these wines can be enjoyed now or over the next 2 years.

That's it for this week. Enjoy my wine picks and I'll see you in September!

Red Wine:
  • BARCO DE PIEDRA TINTO 2011 - DO Ribera del Duero, Spain (#336289) (XD) - $17.00
  • PERRIN PEYRE BLANCHE CAIRANNE CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES 2011 - AC, Rhône, France (#650960) (XD) - $17.95
  • RIVERA CAPPELLACCIO RISERVA AGLIANICO 2006 - DOC Castel del Monte, Puglia, Italy (#305276) (XD) - $17.95
  • MANDRAROSSA CARTAGHO 2009 - IGT Sicilia, Italy (#346593) (XD) - $19.95
  • ACHAVAL FERRER MALBEC 2011 - Mendoza, Argentina (#024737) (XD) - $24.95
  • NUGAN ESTATE MCLAREN PARISH VINEYARD SHIRAZ 2010 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#072603) (D) - $24.95
  • PIERRE AMADIEU ROMANE MACHOTTE GIGONDAS 2011 - AC, Rhône, France (#017400) (XD) - $24.95

White Wine:
  • SANTO ASSYRTIKO 2011 - PDO Santorini, Greece (#627760) (XD) - $16.95  reviewed here
  • CALAMUS RIESLING 2011 - VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#158642) (XD) - $16.95
  • LAILEY CHARDONNAY 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#193482) (XD) - $19.95
  • GALLO FAMILY LAGUNA VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2009 - Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (#544981) (XD) - $19.95
  • BOLLIG-LEHNERT TRITTENHEIMER APOTHEKE RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2011 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#338186) (M) - $20.95
  • ZIND HUMBRECHT TURCKHEIM RIESLING 2010 - AC Alsace, France (#031039) (D) - $26.95
  • CHAMPY PERNAND-VERGELESSES EN CARADEUX 1ER CRU 2010 - AC, Burgundy, France (#344143) (XD) - $49.95

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

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  • Date publishedThursday, August 15, 2013

Château Kamnik Temjanika 2011 (Macedonia) - Wine Review

This white wine is from the July 20 Vintages release. I was gifted this wine from a good friend of mine who is Macedonian. This was my first time tasting a wine from Macedonia, and I was quite pleasantly surprised.

CHÂTEAU KAMNIK TEMJANIKA 2011 - Skopje, Macedonia (#317305) (D) - $17.95

Label photo of 2011 Château Kamnik Temjanika from Skopje, Macedonia
Tasting Note:
Made from 100% Temjanika, which is a variety of very aromatic Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains. Cork was a bit depressed inside the neck and seemed a bit loose as it was removed quite easily. Aromas of orange, incense and wild honey from the cork. Intense, full on ripe peach and tropical aromas with incense in the background from the glass. Medium-bodied with strong flavours on the palate consisting of guava, passion fruit, and tropical fruits. Off-dry with a medium-long finish. Quite nice and definitely a crowd-pleaser.

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  • Date publishedMonday, August 12, 2013

Aug. 17 Wine Picks: Italy + Aussie Whites

Wine Picks from August 17, 2013 Vintages Release
The next batch of wines will be on LCBO Vintages shelves this . This edition highlights Italian wines off the beaten path from regions such as Calabria and Sicily from the south, Abruzzo, Lazio, and Umbria in central Italy, and Alto Adige/Trentino in the north. There's also a red wine from the island of Sardinia. These regions produce wines using local varietals that are generally not grown anywhere else and are relatively unknown around the globe.

Of the 16 wines featured from the nether regions of Italy, I can recommend three worthy buys. From Puglia in the south (the heel of the country), we have a Salice Salentino Rosso that is 80% Negromaro and 20% Malvasia Nera. Also from the south in Campania is the consistently good Greco di Tufo from Terradora. And finally, from the Friuli region in the north (near Veneto), we have a very interesting 100% Friulano. This is a great opportunity to try some new grapes!

The secondary feature highlights 4 summer white wines from Australia that are BBQ-friendly. The Yalumba Viognier should go nicely with seafood and vegetables off the grill, or even rotisserie chicken.

From the rest of the release, I was shocked to find the new wine from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's estate in this release. The Miraval Rosé is organically cultivated (but not certified) and consists of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Rolle. A little pricey, but worth the hype! The bottle is quite pretty too! The latest iteration of Rimauresq rosé wine makes its way into Vintages again with a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. The third and final rosé is a Tavel and also extra dry and made with 60% Grenache, 10% Cinsault, 10% Syrah, 5% Carignan and 4 grapes making up the balance.

In red wine, the Caparzo is from Tuscany - probably the best-known wine region in Italy - and made with 100% Sangiovese. There are also 3 French wines that you should consider. A traditional GSM-blend from the famed 2010 Rhône vintage is the Domaine Marie, consisting of 40% Grenache, 40% Syrah, and 20% Mourvedre. Next are a couple of Bordeauxs from the very good 2009 and 2010 vintages. The 2009 Croix-Mouton is 86% Merlot and the rest mostly Cab Franc, while the 2010 Peyrabon is a blend of 60% Cab Sauv, 30% Merlot, 6.4% Cab Franc, and 3.6% Petit Verdot.

That's it for this week. Enjoy my wine picks!

Red Wine:
  • TAURINO RISERVA SALICE SALENTINO ROSSO 2009 - DOP, Puglia, Italy (#177527) (XD) - $14.95
  • DE MARTINO LEGADO RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2010 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#236059) (XD) - $15.95
  • CHÂTEAU CROIX-MOUTON 2009 - AC Bordeaux Supérieur, France (#192120) (XD) - $19.85
  • CAPARZO ROSSO DI MONTALCINO 2010 - DOC, Tuscany, Italy (#333575) (XD) - $19.95
  • DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR CLOS DE SIXTE LIRAC 2010 - AC, Rhône, France (#076349) (XD) - $23.95
  • CHÂTEAU PEYRABON 2010 - AC Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#336925) (XD) - $28.95
  • KENWOOD JACK LONDON VINEYARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Sonoma Mountain, California, USA (#944843) (XD) - $39.95

White Wine:
  • ANDRÉ BLANCK ET SES FILS ROSENBOURG PINOT BLANC 2011 - AC Alsace, France (#626606) (XD) - $14.95
  • YALUMBA THE Y SERIES VIOGNIER 2012 - South Australia (#624502) (XD) - $16.95
  • TERREDORA LOGGIA DELLA SERRA GRECO DI TUFO 2011 - DOCG, Campania, Italy (#983197) (XD) - $17.95
  • BASTIANICH ADRIATICO FRIULANO 2011 - DOC Coli Orientali del Friuli, Friuli, Italy (#277467) (XD) - $19.95
  • SIMONNET-FEBVRE CHABLIS 2010 - AC, Burgundy, France (#041780) (XD) - $19.95
  • J. LOHR OCTOBER NIGHT CHARDONNAY 2011 - Arroyo Seco, Monterey County, California, USA (#225375) (XD) - $26.95

Rosé Wine:
  • PETIT RIMAURESQ GRENACHE/CINSAULT/SYRAH ROSÉ 2012 - AC Côtes de Provence, France (#276360) (XD) - $13.95
  • DOMAINE LAFOND ROC-ÉPINE TAVEL ROSÉ 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#950709) (XD) - $17.95
  • MIRAVAL ROSÉ 2012 - AC Côtes de Provence, France (#342584) (XD) - $24.95

Sparkling Wine:
  • PIERRE SPARR BRUT ROSÉ CRÉMANT D’ALSACE - Méthode Traditionnelle, AC, Alsace, France (#039016) (D) - $17.95

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

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  • Date publishedThursday, August 8, 2013

Studert-Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese 2007 (Mosel) - Wine Review

Opened this on Monday to celebrate the recent birth of my first born. Purchased in March 2012 from a Vintages release that focused on food-friendly wines for Easter. This is a white wine that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with food. I hope you bought this gorgeous wine last year, because it is sold out now.

STUDERT-PRÜM WEHLENER SONNENUHR RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2007 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#114777) (M) - $17.95

Label for 2007 Studert-Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese from Mosel, Germany
Tasting Note:
Lime and orange aromas from the cork. Fresh floral and honey aromas waft from the glass, which turn into orange, tropical fruit and mineral aromas as it warms up in the glass. Crisp acidity, tropical fruits and orange on the palate. Nicely balanced with a lengthy wet stone finish. Fabulous and highly recommended if you can get your hands on it.

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  • Date publishedWednesday, August 7, 2013

Pierre Laplace Madiran 2009 (Southwest) - Wine Review

Purchased this red wine last December from the annual Vintages "Festive Season" release and opened it over the weekend. It's no longer available.

PIERRE LAPLACE MADIRAN 2009 - AC, Southwest, France (#103705) (XD) - $14.95
Photo of 2009 Pierre Laplace Madiran from Southwest, France
Tasting Note:
Blend of 80% Tannat and 20% Cabernets. Oak and raisin aromas from the cork. Medium-high intensity plum and black fruit aromas from the glass. Palate is medium-full bodied with plum, raisin, sweet blackberry, licorice and light spice flavours. Fruit is ripe with smooth, integrated tannins. Mouth-watering acidity and medium-length finish. Easy drinking.

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