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  • Date publishedFriday, March 31, 2017

Emiliana Adobe Reserva Merlot Organic 2015 (Chile) - Wine Review

wine is an organic red wine made by Emiliana Organic Vineyards of Chile.

"Adobe" refers to an ancient natural material used for construction in Chile and is now the main foundation of Emiliana's winery in Chile. It is also the name of their "reserve" line of wines, one of many lines in their portfolio, that are made with organic grapes which reflect the quality of their vineyards. These wines are also made with deep respect for the environment and their workers.

This wine is a General List product and widely available at LCBO locations throughout Ontario and is perfectly suitable for upcoming Easter celebrations paired with red meats.

Emiliana Adobe Reserva Merlot Organic 2015 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

EMILIANA ADOBE RESERVA MERLOT ORGANIC 2015 - DO Rapel Valley, Chile (#322024) (D) - $12.95
Screw cap. This organic Merlot offers ripe fruited aromas of raspberry, blackberry, black cherry, black plum, along with wood-influenced cocoa, milk chocolate and oak notes. The palate is full-bodied with a plush mouthfeel, balanced by fresh acids and a flavour profile that mimics the aromas, plus some graphite tones. Sweet, dusty tannins gain volume and become quite chalky towards the long chocolatey finish. Ideal with red meat. Score: 87 pts

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  • Date publishedTuesday, March 28, 2017

VINTAGES Release April 1, 2017: Visionaries, Innovators and Pioneers + Easter and Passover

LCBO Wine Picks from April 1, 2017 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on will be on shelves across Ontario this coming and features wines from "Visionaries, Innovators, & Pioneers" in its main theme. The mini-theme focuses on wines for and Passover.

From the main theme, 14 wines are listed and 4 are included among my top wine picks. A common theme among many of the wineries featured is that they were formed many years ago and passed down from generation to generation, with more recent generations producing wines using traditional methods combined with modern winemaking techniques. From the young and talented winemaker Ben Glaetzer in Australia is the Heartland Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Catena Family brings us their single-vineyard Altamira Malbec. The Gaja Family has been making wine since 1856, but their Promis is a more recent wine consisting of 55% Merlot, 35% Syrah, and 10% Sangiovese. From South Africa, Ken Forrester purchased the estate only in 1993, but the vines in his Old Vines Reserve Chenin Blanc are nearly 40 years old.

Heartland Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (89 pts)

In red wines, the Les Halos de Jupiter is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah and will be widely available as it is one of the Wines of the Month, while the Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, and 5% Cinsault. The Rosso di Montalcino is considered to be a "Baby Brunello" and is made with 100% Sangiovese, with the Portugese red is a blend of local varietals Aragonês, Trincadeira, and Alicante Bouschet. From Argentina, the Chakana blend is mostly Malbec, but also contains 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc.

Chakana Estate Selection Red Blend 2014 (89 pts)

For sweet wine lovers, the Riesling from New Zealand will be your best bet. And if you like your Roses dry, the latest vintage of Mas des Bressades arrives with the usual blend consisting of mostly Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • SENORIO DE LA ANTIGUA MENCÍA 2012 - IGP Castilla y Léon, Spain (#481549) (XD) - $13.95
  • LES HALOS DE JUPITER CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2014 - AC, Rhône, France (#276956) (XD) - $17.95
  • LEONARDO DA VINCI ROSSO DI MONTALCINO 2011 - DOC, Tuscany, Italy (#451419) (XD) - $18.95
  • HEARTLAND CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Langhorne Creek, South Australia (#058099) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • PAULO LAUREANO RESERVE TINTO 2014 - Vidigueira, DOC Alentejo, Portugal (#488775) (XD) - $19.95
  • CATENA APPELLATION PARAJE ALTAMIRA MALBEC 2014 - Single Vineyard, Mendoza, Argentina (#492413) (XD) - $22.95
  • CHAKANA ESTATE SELECTION RED BLEND 2014 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#322602) (D) - $24.95  reviewed here
  • DOMAINE PIERRE USSEGLIO ET FILS CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#381079) (XD) - $47.95
  • GAJA CA’ MARCANDA PROMIS 2014 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#745638) (XD) - $54.95  reviewed here
  • LA LECCIAIA RISERVA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#241307) (XD) - $69.95  FSE

White Wine:

  • FLAT ROCK UNPLUGGED CHARDONNAY 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#68015) (XD) - $16.95
  • GIESEN RIESLING 2014 - New Zealand (#277673) (MS) - $16.95
  • KEN FORRESTER OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC 2016 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#231282) (XD) - $17.95
  • MOMO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#9167) (XD) - $19.95
  • DOMAINES SCHLUMBERGER LES PRINCES ABBÉS PINOT GRIS 2014 - AC Alsace, France (#21253) (D) - $21.95
  • GUADO AL TASSO VERMENTINO 2015 - DOC Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy (#177428) (XD) - $21.95  reviewed here
  • KIM CRAWFORD WILD GRACE SMALL PARCELS CHARDONNAY 2015 - Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#378604) (XD) - $24.95
  • DOG POINT SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#677450) (XD) - $24.95
  • LOUIS MOREAU DOMAINE DE BIÉVILLE CHABLIS 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#106161) (XD) - $27.95
  • GROTH HILLVIEW VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2014 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#225672) (XD) - $57.95
Guado Al Tasso Vermentino 2015 (89 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • MAS DES BRESSADES CUVÉE TRADITION ROSÉ 2016 - AP Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (#950576) (XD) - $15.95


  • DOW’S LBV PORT 2011 - DOP, Portugal (#533364) (S) - $19.95

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  • Date publishedSaturday, March 25, 2017

Giveaway - Win Tickets to 2017 County in the City (Toronto)

Win Tickets to 2017 County in the City Toronto
The 6th Annual “County in the City” presented by WineAlign takes place on at Berkeley Church (Toronto). Sample more than 70 wines from at least 15 wineries from Prince Edward County (PEC) - a wine region located about 2 hours east of Toronto. I have personally attended this event since its inception back in 2012 and the wines have continued to get better and better every year. The region of PEC continues to grow as the vines mature, while the winemakers continue to gain knowledge and experience of working in The County.

Many of the wines showcased at this event are not available at retail wine outlets in the GTA, so you are strongly encouraged to take part in the “Try and Buy” program available on-site.

Participating Wineries & Partners:

Huff Estates Winery, Norman Hardie Winery & Vineyard, Rosehall Run Winery, Sandbanks Estate Winery, Light Hall Vineyards, Grange of Prince Edward County Vineyards & Estate Winery, Kent-He Winery & Vineyard, Casa Dea Estates Winery, Closson Chase Vineyards, Lacey Estates Winery, Waupoos Estates Winery, Stanners Vineyard, Trail Estate Winery, Threedog Winery, Karlo Estates, Kinsip Distillers, Cured Smokehouse, Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association, Visit the County and more!

Event Details:

County in the City presented by WineAlign
Where: Berkeley Church - 315 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario
When: from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Advance tickets: $49 (includes all wine samples and two food samples)
Click here to purchase your ticket today!


Here's your chance to WIN a pair of tickets to County in the City presented by WineAlign:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Date publishedWednesday, March 22, 2017

Chakana Estate Selection Red Blend 2014 (Argentina) - Wine Review

red wine is mostly Malbec and will be available at the LCBO soon as part of the VINTAGES Release on .

This wine is produced by Chakana Wines, a winery founded in 2002 by an Italian family whose winemaking roots go back to the 19th century in Valtelina, Italy. The name "Chakana" evokes the symbol represented by the Incas to the Southern Cross constellation that is only visible on our planet from the Southern Hemisphere. Moreover, the positioning of the Southern Cross in the skies was of great agricultural importance to the Incas.

The winery is located in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, where it owns 150 hectares of vineyards. Since 2012, the winery has begun the process to transition to organic & biodynamic cultivation methods for all of their farms. Winemaking principles at Chakana include minimal intervention during the fermentation processes, using indigenous yeasts, minimizing the use of sulphur dioxide and other additives, and favouring the use of porous materials in aging, such as cement without Epoxy and casks.

Chakana Estate Selection Red Blend 2014 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHAKANA ESTATE SELECTION RED BLEND 2014 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#322602) (D) - $24.95
Blend of 70% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc that was aged in large wooden and concrete vats for 12 months. Dark fruited aromas from the cork - currant, cherry, plum. Medium-high aromatics in the glass lead with florals followed by currant, blackberry, sweet herbs, dark cherry, and hints of wood. The palate is medium-full bodied with structured tannins that are a bit tight at the moment. Bright, juicy acids add freshness. Nice aroma replays on the flavour profile with earthy, mineral and wood notes lingering on the long finish. Age 1-2 years and drink to 2024. Delicious! Score: 89 pts

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  • Date publishedWednesday, March 22, 2017

Boutari Wine Tasting and Dinner at ONE Restaurant

Boutari Wine Tasting & Dinner at ONE Restaurant
In mid-October, I was invited to a very special and exclusive tasting of the fine wines from the Boutari portfolio. These Greek wines were paired with gourmet fare at Mark McEwan's ONE Restaurant in Yorkville, downtown Toronto.

The guest speaker for the evening was Dr. Yannis Voyatzis, CEO & General Manager at Boutari, and one of the leading Oenologists in Greece. He was joined by Christina Boutari, a 5th generation member of the Boutari family who kicked off the evening with an overview and some history about the winery.

The Boutari Company was established in 1879 by Ioannis Boutaris and currently owns many wineries and vineyards throughout Greece (and Europe). The 6 wineries owned by the company in Greece are situated in the country's most important winemaking regions - the AOCs of Naoussa, Goumenissa, Crete, Santorini, Mantinia, and Attica.

Heirloom Carrot Salad paired with MoschofileroChristina Boutari and Dr. Yannis Voyatzis

Dr. Voyatzis took us through all 8 wines over the course of the evening as they were paired with the 4-course meal that was crafted specially for this intimate event. The first course was an Heirloom Carrot Salad with pomegranate yoghurt, avocado, orange, pistachios, raisin chutney and cilantro vinaigrette which was paired with a pair of white wines. Both wines were made with 100% Moschofilero - a rose/grey coloured grape that is larger than Gewürztraminer. Most fascinating was the fact that each wine was made in a completely different style, but each paired quite well with the salad. The Moschofilero is quite versatile in that it can be served as a sipper or with lighter fare such as salads, while the Oropedio is more of a food wine and really accentuated the citrus flavours in the salad. Full tasting notes of these and other wines tasted on this night are provided below.

The second course was specially crafted for me because I don't eat octopus. Instead, I enjoyed a pair of falafels on a bed of risotto and topped with greens and a side of green mint chutney. It was paired with two wines that were quite different from each other - the light, ripe-fruited Agioritiko and the big, full-bodied Skalani that offered more floral notes. In this case, the Agioritiko was the better pairing with the falafel as it wasn't too heavy and offered freshness to balance out the chickpea-based falafel. For me, the Skalani is a wine I would have on its own or pair it with the main course on this night.

Falafel with Agioritiko and Boutari SkalaniLamb Chops with Xinomavro

Lamb chops with sides of tzatziki, herb roasted potatoes, and a Santorini salad that was topped with a lemon garlic vinaigrette. Food-wise, this was my highlight of the night! Lamb with a big, Greek red wine is a match made in heaven. What made this course even more special were the wines we paired the lamb with - the 2010 Grande Reserve Xinomavro which has been a favourite of mine a few years now, the 1879 Legacy 2007 which is an excellent wine, and last but definitely not the least, we had the opportunity to taste a 1992 Grande Reserve Xinomavro. All three wines were fabulous, with the 2010 G.R. Xinomavro and the Legacy pairing better with the lamb as this protein requires tannins for a balanced experienced. Furthermore, the Skalani tasted in the second course also paired really with the lamb. As for the 1992 G.R. Xinomavro, this is a great, mature wine to sip and enjoy on its own as it's not often one gets to taste a wine that's more than 20 years old.

Greek Vinsanto with Baklava and Halva

For dessert, we paired a Vinsanto that had some age on it with traditional Greek desserts baklava and halva made by Serano Bakery. Historical evidence suggests that Vinsanto's place of origin is Santorini, where late-harvested grapes are dried in the sun, otherwise known as the passito style. These fine, rich desserts were very sweet and paired beautifully with a 2008 Vinsanto that was also very sweet, but balanced by good acidity and has many years of enjoyment remaining.

Thank you to Kolonaki Group, Dr. Yiannis Voyatzis, Christina Boutari, and the staff at ONE Restaurant for your gracious hospitality. It was a very enjoyable and memorable evening!

Wine reviews of each wine tasted on this night are provided below. Unless otherwise noted, all of these wines can be found at the Destination Greece Specialty LCBO store at 200 Danforth Avenue. Moreover, some of these wines can also be found at other regular LCBO outlets - click on the wine's six-digit product code for more info. You can also contact the Agent to Kolonaki Group for more information or shop the Boutari collection online at

Tasting Notes:

BOUTARI MOSCHOFILERO 2015 - PDO Mantinia, Greece (#172387) (D) - $13.10
Medium+ intensity aromatics offers fresh lemon, herbs, tropical fruits and floral aromas. The palate is medium-bodied and fleshy with crisp, juicy acids. Herbally and lemon pith flavours. The finish length is very good. Really appreciated this being served at the right temperature. Good for the patio or with salads. Score: 88 pts

Boutari Moschofilero 2015 (88 pts)Boutari Oropedio 2014 (88+ pts)

BOUTARI OROPEDIO 2014 - PDO Mantinia, Greece (XD) - $17.95
100% Moschofilero from oropedio (meaning "high plateau"), at 650 metres, altitude, and partially barrel-fermented, this has a medium-intensity nose featuring herbally, fennel, and mild oak nuances. It's also has some pine aromas, reminding me of a Retsina. The medium-bodied palate is dry and nicely textured, with softened acids due to oak, and pithy flavours. Medium-long finish. The 2016 vintage of this wine arrives on our shores this April. Score: 88+ pts

BOUTARI AGIORGITIKO 2015 - PDO Nemea, Greece (#172148) (XD) - $13.10
Aromas of medium+ intensity and offering ripe red fruits, earthy, cherry, red licorice, plum and some clove - quite complex. The palate is light-to-medium bodied with cherry, cough medicine, subtle oak spice, clove and cinnamon flavours. Lightly tannic with fresh, juicy acids. Medium finish length. Score: 88 pts

Boutari Agiorgitiko 2015 (88 pts)Boutari Skalani 2011 (91 pts)

BOUTARI SKALANI 2011 - PGI Heraklion, Greece (XD) - $29.95
A 50/50 blend of Kotsifali & Syrah, this has medium-high intensity aromas that are meaty and perfumed with purple fruits and sweet oak. It's full-bodied and juicy with blackberry, violet, floral, black plum and sweet oak flavours. It has refined tannins, very good acidity and excellent length on the finish. Drinakable now, but can age another 10 years. This is really fine! Score: 91 pts

BOUTARI GRANDE RESERVE XINOMAVRO 2010 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (#140111) (D) - $18.95
Tasted a few times now, and on this occasion I get lovely medium-high intensity aromas of cherry, clove, sweet floral and oak spice, and hints of olive and black pepper. Olive notes become more prominent with air. Medium-full bodied with still bright acids, nice black cherry, floral, some savoury notes, and hints of dried floral & fruit. Very good finish length. Approachable now, but can age another 3-5 years. Maturing well. Score: 90+ pts

Boutari Grande Reserve Xinomavro 2010 (90+ pts)Boutari 1879 Legacy 2007 (92 pts)

BOUTARI 1879 LEGACY 2007 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (#675081) (XD) - $49.60
First tasted in May, and delighted to be tasting again. This single vineyard Xinomavro has medium-high aromatics of great complexity - floral, cherry, clove, black berry, black pepper, black olive and oak and should open up further with decanting. The palate is full-bodied and complex led by an appealing floral note. There's good concentration of fruit balanced by mouth-watering acids. Finish length is excellent. A big wine that is drinking well now, but will age for decades. Score: 92 pts

The treat of the night. This offers a medium-high intensity nose, very mature in profile with rose, cherry, dried fruit, umami, and just a touch of raisin/prune aromas. It's medium+ bodied with nice cherry-driven aroma replays. Still has very good acidity. Tannins are resolved, very smooth, velvety mouthfeel. Long finishing. Drink soon. Availability of this wonderful wine in Ontario is TBD. Score: 92 pts

Boutari Grande Reserve Xinomavro 1992 (92 pts)Boutari Vinsanto 2008 (92 pts)

BOUTARI VINSANTO 2008 - PDO Santorini, Greece (S) (500 mL) - $32
Made with sun-dried grapes consisting of 90% Assyrtiko and the rest mainly Aidani. This has an inviting nose of burnt caramel, sugar, and dried apricots of medium-high intensity. The palate is medium-full bodied with a grainy texture due to the wine being unfiltered. Very sweet flavours of dried apricot, honey, citrus, all-spice, Christmas cake are balanced by very good acidity. Long finish. Currently not available in Ontario. Score: 92 pts

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  • Date publishedSaturday, March 18, 2017

Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2015 (California) - Wine Review

wine is a VINTAGES Essential and is always available in the VINTAGES section at the LCBO. This year, this wine celebrates its milestone 25th year as America's number one selling Chardonnay and is also the fastest growing Chardonnay at the LCBO at present.

This white wine is produced by Kendall-Jackson, a winery that has been committed to producing fine wines from grapes grown in California's cool, coastal vineyards for over three decades. The beginnings of this wine were formed in 1974 when Jess Jackson purchased an 80-acre pear and walnut orchard in Lake County, just north of Napa Valley, and replanted it with Chardonnay grapevines. In 1982, Jess and the family set out to make a premium, yet affordable, California wine, and the first ever case of the Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay was sold a year later in New York City. That same year, a Platinum Award win and some praise from First Lady Nancy Reagan added to the notoriety of this wine, eventually becoming the number one selling Chardonnay in America in 1992.

Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2015 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

KENDALL-JACKSON VINTNER'S RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2015 - California, USA (#369686) (D) - $19.95
Whole cluster pressed, 95% barrel-fermented and aged sur lie with monthly batonnage (lees stirring) for 7 months in (53%) American and (44%) French oak. Eco-friendly, recyclable plastic cork has light stone fruit and pineapple aromas. Medium+ aromatics offer generous tropical fruit, pineapple, poached apple, sweet vanilla, and buttery tones. The palate is full-ish, soft and rounded with more ripe tropical fruit flavours surrounded by sweet vanilla oak. Acids are light and fresh, with good length on the slightly sweet finish. Easy-drinking with crowd-friendly appeal. Score: 87 pts

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  • Date publishedTuesday, March 14, 2017

Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2015 (Loire) - Wine Review

wine is a nice little sipper ideal for oysters or as an apertif. This white wine will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves this weekend as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

It is produced by Domaine la Haute Févrie, a winery located southeast of Nantes, in the heart of the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine DO, in the western end of the Loire Valley. The estate's 30 hectares of vines grow on the hills overlooking the river Sèvre, between the communes of Saint-Fiacre and Monnières. Terroir consists of several plots of vineyards, each with a different aspect and soil: siliceous clay or gravelly shallow, and all on metamorphic rock (gneiss, orthogneiss, and amphibolites), resulting in a range of highly individualized blocks.

The family that produced this wine has four generations of winemaking experience, and currently manages their vineyard using environmentally-friendly principles, subscribing to the Terra Vitis method of sustainable wine growing by, among other things, not using any chemical fertilizers.

Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2015 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

LE FILS DES GRAS MOUTONS MUSCADET SÈVRE-ET-MAINE SUR LIE 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#363150) (XD) - $14.95
Nice lemon citrus and fennel aromas from the cork. Made with 100% Melon de Bourgogne that was hand-picked from 40-70 year-old vines, this has pleasing orange citrus, floral and fennel with whiffs of beeswax and mineral of medium-high intensity from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a light refreshing spritz, dry and flavourful with notes of lemon/lime citrus, and floral. Texture is slightly viscous and minerally. Crisp acids. Finishes with good length and a stony mineral flavour. Score: 87 pts

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  • Date publishedTuesday, March 14, 2017

VINTAGES Release March 18: California Stars

LCBO Wine Picks from March 18, 2017 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES on will be on shelves this coming and is a mono-thematic release titled "California Stars" featuring the first-class wines from 16 top producers in California.

From the "California Stars" thematic, 17 wines were featured and 4 are included among my top wine picks. Single-varietal wines include a Sonoma Mountain single vineyard Chardonnay and the Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon. Meanwhile, the dry Zinfandel consists of 85% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah, 3% Carignan, and 3% Syrah, and the Merlot usually contains small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc to round out the blend.

Among red wines from the rest of the release, there is a pleasant Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Lebanon, while the mature Minervois is a blend of 50% Mourvèdre, 38% Grenache Noir, and 12% Carignan. From Spain, the Cara Nord is a blend of 42% Grenache, 38% Syrah and the little-known (20%) Garrut. From Rhône, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 43% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 22% Mourvèdre and the rest other varietals, while the Amarone is a blend of 70% Corvina/Corvinone and 30% Rondinella.

In white wines, the Soave is a blend of 85% Garganega and 15% Trebbiano, while the Côtes du Rhône is primarily Viognier (65%), but also contains 15% Roussanne, 8% Marsanne, 8% Clairette, 2% Bourboulenc, 2% Grenache Blanc. If you enjoy Sauvignon Blanc, there are very good options to try side-by-side from South Africa, Loire, and a barrel-fermented and oak-aged version from New Zealand. Furthermore, the Bordeaux white is a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon.

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Genèse Sancerre 2015 (91 pts)Spy Valley Envoy Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (91 pts)

There are two lovely Champagnes in this release, with the Gimonnet made with 100% Chardonnay, while the Bollinger is 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, and 15% Pinot Meunier.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CHATEAU KSARA CLOS ST. ALPHONSE SYRAH/CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Bekaa Valley, Lebanon (#465955) (XD) - $13.95
  • CHATEAU DE SÉRAME MINERVOIS 2010 - AC, South of France (#480889) (XD) - $16.95
  • ANIELLO 006 MERLOT 2014 - Patagonia, Argentina (#480731) (XD) - $17.95  reviewed here
  • CARA NORD RED 2014 - DO Conca De Barberà, Spain (#418186) (XD) - $18.95
  • STELLENRUST PEPPERGRINDER’S SHIRAZ 2012 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#455899) (XD) - $19.95
  • SEGHESIO SONOMA ZINFANDEL 2015 - Sonoma County, California, USA (#942151) (XD) - $29.95
  • STAGS’ LEAP WINERY MERLOT 2013 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#655399) (D) - $39.95
  • CHÂTEAU LA NERTHE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#735407) (XD) - $52.95
  • SANTA SOFIA AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2009 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#713669) (D) - $54.95  FSE
  • TWO HANDS SAMANTHA’S GARDEN SHIRAZ 2014 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#067355) (D) - $73.95  FSE
  • HEITZ CELLAR CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#642124) (XD) - $94.95
Aniello 006 Merlot 2014 (89 pts)

White Wine:

  • RUSTENBERG STELLENBOSCH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#456020) (XD) - $14.95
  • PUKLUS PINCÉSZET TOKAJI SEMI-SWEET YELLOW MUSCAT 2015 - Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary (#046508) (M) - $16.95
  • PIEROPAN SOAVE CLASSICO 2015 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#946848) (XD) - $18.95
  • DASHWOOD CHARDONNAY 2015 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#312942) (XD) - $19.95
  • E. GUIGAL CÔTES DU RHÔNE BLANC 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#290296) (XD) - $19.95
  • 2027 WISMER VINEYARD FOX CROFT BLOCK CHARDONNAY 2014 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#421362) (XD) - $22.95  reviewed here
  • LE G DE CHÂTEAU GUIRAUD 2015 - AC, Bordeaux, France (#488585) (XD) - $26.95  FSE
  • JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE GENÈSE SANCERRE 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#189126) (XD) - $27.95  reviewed here
  • SPY VALLEY ENVOY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014 - Johnson Vineyard, Waihopai Valley, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#429308) (XD) - $29.95  reviewed here
  • KISTLER MCCREA VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2014 - Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma County, California, USA (#353706) (XD) - $129.95
2027 Wismer Vineyard Fox Croft Block Chardonnay 2014 (90 pts)

Sparkling Wine:

  • BOLLINGER SPECIAL CUVÉE BRUT CHAMPAGNE - AC, France (#384529) (XD) - $78.95

Dessert Wine:

  • CAVE SPRING INDIAN SUMMER SELECT LATE HARVEST RIESLING 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#415901) (S) (375 mL) - $24.95

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  • Date publishedSunday, March 12, 2017

Aniello 006 Merlot 2014 (Argentina) - Wine Review

wine is a new arrival to the LCBO and will be on shelves as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Even though this wine is new to VINTAGES, Bodega Aniello is a winery that was originally built in 1927. This small estate winery began with 1 hectare of old vineyards planted in 1932, and growing to 4 hectares in 1947. Today, the winery continues to explore the value of the ancient winemaking tradition of Patagonia, while keeping a connection with one of the owner's Italian roots.

Terroir consists of alluvial soils that are very heterogeneous, moderately deep, with stone-dominated areas, and others with sandy/loamy soil types. The winery is moving towards sustainable agriculture along with integrated vineyard management to reduce their carbon footprint and use natural alternatives for fertilization, pests, disease and weed control and prevention.

Aniello 006 Merlot 2014 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

ANIELLO 006 MERLOT 2014 - Patagonia, Argentina (#480731) (XD) - $17.95
Only 30% oak-aged for 12 months. Plum, red fruit and cherry aromas from the cork. Medium-high aromatics are quite complex, offering red & black fruits, raspberry, blackberry, dark currant, black plum, some green herbal, mint, and cocoa nuances. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. Chocolate, oak-spiced, dark currant, and herbally flavours on the palate. Some savoury and black tea aromas and flavours emerge with air. Acids are bright and fresh. Dry overall with a nice cocoa-dusted finish. Enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 89 pts

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  • Date publishedWednesday, March 8, 2017

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Genèse Sancerre 2015 (Loire) - Wine Review

I opened up this delicious white wine ahead of it's release into LCBO VINTAGES on .

Recent vintages of this wine have been excellent, including the 2014 vintage that I tasted in November 2015 and showed up in VINTAGES on that same year. For the 2015 vintage, this wine has undergone a name change - from Cuvée G.C. to Cuvée Genèse - to reflect a change in the wine.

It is still 100% Sauvignon Blanc, but comes from "caillottes" plots located in the commune of Bué which are the ancestral lands where this estate was found. The wines produced from these plots have shaped the palate of several generations of the Roger family. These lands represent the origin of their history - the Genesis (or Genèse in French).

Jean-Max Roger took over the 4 hectares of vines left to him by his parents in the 1970s and proceeded to expand the estate to its current size of 26 hectares. The Roger family descends from a long line of winegrowers from the village of Bué, with the name being mentioned in texts as early as the 17th century.

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Genèse Sancerre 2015 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE GENÈSE SANCERRE 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#189126) (XD) - $27.95
Faint aromas of lime citrus and white flower from the cork. Seems a bit shy at the moment, but offers ripe yellow plum, white floral, citrus aromas with hints of herbally and stone fruit notes that are quite appealing. It is medium-full bodied with lively acids that cut through the slightly fleshy palate. It's rich with very nice aroma replays plus some grassy flavours with good intensity. There's also a nice mineral edge arriving mid-palate and continues through to the long finish. Lovely wine that should be served with only light chill. Score: 91 pts

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  • Date publishedFriday, March 3, 2017

Closson Chase Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 (Ontario) - Wine Review

wine is currently only available at the winery, but is slated to arrive in LCBO VINTAGES on .

Closson Chase was founded in 1998 and since the beginning has been a quality-driven winery that helped spearhead the birth of the Prince Edward County wine industry. In 2002, the century-old dairy barn where the winery is located was renovated to house the current tasting bar and processing area.

The winery uses traditional European techniques to produce their world-class wines in a sustainable and innovative fashion. In 2007, the winery began using its state-of-the-art gravity-fed processing facility and barrel cellars. Fine wines are crafted to reflect the vintage, while capturing the distinct qualities of the soil and climatic variations of the year.

I've tasted quite a few of their wines over the years and they definitely have a quality portfolio that delivers year-after-year. One of these days, I will have to make a trip out to The County (it's just over 2 hours east of Toronto) to visit Closson Chase and other fabulous wineries. In the meantime, you can order this wine online from their website.

Closson Chase Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

CLOSSON CHASE VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2014 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (#145888) (XD) - $29.95
Only 690 cases produced and fermenting/ageing occurred in French oak, 10% new. Mushroomy funk aromas from the cork. Highly aromatic on the nose with sour cherry, raspberry, wet earth, mushroom, beetroot, and gentle smoky oak spice. It's light-bodied with nice aromatic complexity showing up on the palate, plus some cranberry notes, framed by refreshing acids. Tannins are light and refined. Long, juicy finish. Gains some structure with air along with some appealing tea leaf notes. Very nice! Enjoy over the next couple of years. Score: 90 pts

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