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  • Date publishedMonday, September 24, 2018

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Release Sept. 29, 2018: Famed Producers + Riesling

LCBO Wine Picks: September 29, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release features wines from four famed producers as its main theme, while the mini-theme looks at the Riesling varietal. All of these wines, plus many others leading up to the holiday season, will be on VINTAGES shelves across Ontario this coming .

We'll begin with the main theme that features ten wines from four famed producers from around the globe. Masi is first on the list and their Mazzano is a very fine Amarone made only in the best years, and in limited quantities, using Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes from a vineyard that is famous for the quality of its produce since the 12th century. The other wines from this theme include a Torrontés and a high-altitude (2,700 m) Malbec, both from Bodega Colomé in Argentina, one of a few family wine estates owned by Donald Hess (from The Hess Collection in Napa).

The mini-theme focuses on the lovely Riesling varietal, a grape that is so versatile that it can be produced in styles ranging from bone dry to lusciously sweet, and can age for many years. It is a small feature with just six wines listed, but two are included among my top wine picks. First up is a medium sweet Ontario Riesling that is returning to VINTAGES with another year under its belt, while the second wine is a dry Riesling from Alsace that should age nicely for a decade.

2027 Falls Vineyard Riesling 2016 (88+ pts)

Among my red wine picks, the Minervois is a blend of Mourvèdre, Syrah and Carignan, while the Rioja is made with 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha. The Australian Shiraz is actually 98% Shiraz and 2% Barbera. Lastly, the wine from Washington State is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, and 3% Malbec. The rest of the red wines are all single varietals.

Momo Pinot Noir 2016 (88+ pts)

From my white wine selections, the Roussillon white from Michel Chapoutier is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, and Macabeu. If you enjoy very sweet table wines, you should check out the Loire wine from Château la Varière that is made with Chenin Blanc.

Both rosés are dry, with the Tavel consisting of 60% Grenache Noir, 30%Cinsault, and the rest other local varietals, while the rosé from Provence is a blend of 50% Grenache Noir, 25% Cinsault, and 25% Syrah.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU DE SÉRAME MINERVOIS 2011 - AC, Midi, France (#493643) (XD) - $16.95
  • WITS END LUNA SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#311258) (XD) - $17.95
  • MOMO PINOT NOIR 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#163972) (XD) - $19.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • MAQUIS GRAN RESERVA CABERNET FRANC 2014 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#576066) (XD) - $19.95
  • TRAPICHE MEDALLA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014 - Mendoza, Argentina (#568865) (XD) - $19.95
  • COLOMÉ LOTE ESPECIAL EL ARENAL MALBEC 2016 - El Arenal, Calchaquí Valley, Argentina (#575290) (XD) - $29.95
  • FEUDO MACCARI SAIA NERO D’AVOLA 2015 - DOC Sicilia, Italy (#128967) (XD) - $32.95
  • BACHELDER LOWREY VINEYARD OLD VINES PINOT NOIR 2015 - VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#361816) (XD) - $44.95  FE
  • LA RIOJA ALTA VIÑA ARDANZA RESERVA 2008 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#315531) (XD) - $47.95
  • CATENA ALTA HISTORIC ROWS MALBEC 2015 - Mendoza, Argentina (#982355) (XD) - $49.95
  • L’ECOLE NO. 41 PERIGEE 2014 - Seven Hills Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley, Washington, USA (#374413) (XD) - $89.00  FE
  • MASI MAZZANO AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2012 - DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#597476) (XD) - $129.95

White Wine:

  • LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON BLANC 2016 - AC, Midi, France (#485656) (XD) - $15.95
  • COLOMÉ TORRONTÉS 2017 - Calchaquí Valley, Argentina (#357913) (XD) - $15.95
  • CITRA FERZO ABRUZZO PECORINO SUPERIORE 2016 - DOP, Abruzzo, Italy (#573683) (XD) - $17.95
  • 2027 FALLS VINEYARD RIESLING 2016 - VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#294041) (M) - $18.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • BORTHWICK VINEYARD PADDY BORTHWICK SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - Wairarapa, North Island, New Zealand (#361220) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU LA VARIÈRE LE SAVETIER COTEAUX DU LAYON 2016 - AC, Loire, France (#559930) (S) - $24.95
  • DOMAINE DE RIAUX POUILLY-FUMÉ 2016 - AC, Loire, France (#200063) (XD) - $27.95
  • CARABELLA DIJON 76 CLONE CHARDONNAY 2015 - Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#180133) (XD) - $27.95
  • DOMAINES SCHLUMBERGER KESSLER RIESLING 2015 - AC Alsace Grand Cru, France (#061176) (XD) - $29.95

Rosé Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU DE BERNE ÉMOTION 2017 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#556183) (XD) - $16.95
  • DOMAINE MABY LA FORCADIÈRE TAVEL ROSÉ 2017 - AC, Rhône, France (#701318) (XD) - $19.95

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  • Date publishedSaturday, September 22, 2018

Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay 2014 (Ontario) - Wine Review (Bottle 3)

Diving into my cellar, tonight's wine review is bottle #3 from a case I ordered in 2016 through VINI - a wine app that no longer seems to be available. This cool-climate Chardonnay was also came to LCBO VINTAGES this summer on July 8th.

The 2014 Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay was drinking exceptionally well when I opened a bottle back in July 2017. Fast forward to this year, I tasted this lovely wine at a trade tasting in the spring and it was showing considerable reductive qualities, albeit still quite pleasing. Let's see how this white wine from Closson Chase Winery - one of my favourite wineries in Prince Edward County, Ontario - is tasting tonight...

Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay 2014 (90+ pts)

Tasting Note:

CLOSSON CHASE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2014 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (#148866) (XD) - $28.95
Pours a medium yellow gold. Subtle, reductive aromatics offer apple and pear notes, with layers of buttered popcorn, smoke, vanilla and hints of caramel coming through with air. It is elegant on the medium-bodied, maturing and complex palate, with cooked apple, smoke, butter, and pear flavours, along with some stony minerality and hints of lemon. Acids are still quite fresh and lift the palate. Very good length on the stony-lemony finish. A maturing wine to be enjoyed over the next year or so. Score: 90+ pts

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  • Date publishedWednesday, September 19, 2018

Momo Pinot Noir 2016 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

red wine review is a nice organic Pinot Noir from New Zealand that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

Momo, meaning 'offspring' in Maori, is the second line of wines from the organic and biodynamic winery Seresin Estate. The estate is located in sun-soaked heart of Marlborough, at the top of New Zealand's South Island. It was founded by cinematographer Michael Seresin in the early 1990s with a desire to create wines in the most natural way possible, and without compromising on quality. The Momo range of wines is fermented naturally with wild yeasts and produced true to variety and reflect the essence of their fruit characters.

The majority (97%) of the fruit for this Pinot came from their Raupo Creek vineyard where the soils are rich and clay-based, while the remaining portion came from the Wairau Valley. The fruit was hand-picked and destemmed, and fermented using wild yeasts. Ageing occurred in French oak barriques for 10 months. This organic and biodynamic wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Momo Pinot Noir 2016 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

MOMO PINOT NOIR 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#163972) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. This organic wine has a medium intensity nose that offers ripe and attractive raspberry and cherry aromas with earthy and spicy undertones. It is light-to-medium bodied with smooth, elegant tannins on the palate with cherry, raspberry, earth, and beetroot flavours. Hints of tea leaf and cola arriving mid-palate add to the complexity, while tannins have a nice chalky texture. Acids are fresh. Very good length on the earthy, forest floor, and somewhat grippy finish. Enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 88+ pts

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  • Date publishedSunday, September 16, 2018

Château Mourgues du Grès Fleur d'Eglantine 2017 (Rhône) - Wine Review

wine review is a lovely rosé that I picked up while visiting the winery in Rhône Valley back in .

Château Mourgues du Grès is a family-owned, certified organic winery located in Beaucaire, on the slopes of Costières de Nîmes and nestled between vineyards, orchards, and heath. Their terroir is quite rich and made up of the rounded stones (grès) and lies on argilo-calcerous marl, which help the vines draw moisture from greater depths. The stony alluvium was transported from the Alps by the glacier of the Rhône in the quaternary era (nearly 2 million years ago) and imparts miinerality, balance and freshness to the wines. The area is also nurtured by the influences of the Rhône river and the Mediterranean Sea.

The winery is committed to preserving the environment by being mindful of nature and respect for their terroir. The vineyards are maintained and kept fertile by sheep grazing and cover crops to prevent erosion and promote biodiversity. Since 2015, wines have been vinified without the use of sulphur, except for a small amount during bottling to ensure stability of the wine.

Vigneron François Collard returned to the family estate in 1990 and produced his first bottling in 1993. He strives to reveal the purity of fruit, freshness, aromas, and balance between the richness and minerality of every wine he produces, including this delightful rosé.

For availability in Ontario, please contact Brand New Day Wines & Spirits.

Château Mourgues du Grès Fleur d'Eglantine 2017 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU MOURGUES DU GRÈS FLEUR D'EGLANTINE 2017 - AP Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (XD) - €7.5
Mostly Grenache and Mourvèdre, with a dash of Syrah. Vague notions of spring flower and grapefruit from the cork. In the glass, this has delicate aromas of grapefruit and rhubarb with a fine mineral underpinning, and hints of strawberry. It's medium-full bodied on the clean, fresh palate with nicely dry grapefruit and rhubarb flavours. Fresh acids are nicely balanced. A fine salty mineral note and some spiciness arrives mid-palate and continues through to the long, juicy finish. Best with a light chill. Score: 88+ pts

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  • Date publishedThursday, September 13, 2018

Lakeview Cellars Viognier 2016 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine review is a locally made white wine made with Viognier, a varietal not commonly grown here in Ontario.

It is produced by Lakeview Wine Co., a division of Diamond Estates Wine & Spirits Ltd., a large winery based in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake. This particular wine was sourced from high quality Niagara vineyards and gently pressed in pneumatic bladder style presses. It was then cool fermented in stainless steel for 14 days at 16ºC, followed by ageing in stainless steel tanks and cold stabilized and bottled to preserve natural and typical fruit characters.

I picked up this delicious white wine while visiting the winery in the spring, and you can too as it is only available at the winery or through their online web store.

Lakeview Cellars Viognier 2016 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAKEVIEW CELLARS VIOGNIER 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $18.95
Screw cap. This has a tart and floral nose with orange blossom, lime citrus, and a whiff of anise and herbally aromas. On the mid-weighted palate, it has vibrant, crunchy acids supporting the citrus, floral, and herbal flavours. There's a touch of candied lime giving off an impression of sweetness. Good length on the finish. Score: 87 pts

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  • Date publishedThursday, September 13, 2018

Pure Chablis Escape Room Experience - May 2018

Pure Chablis Wine Lineup

Earlier this , I was invited to a very interesting Escape Room Experience that was all about Chablis. The event was held on a fine spring day at Brassaii Restaurant and Lounge in the King West neighbourhood in downtown Toronto, and our team consisted of approximately a dozen members from the local wine community.

After a brief introduction and going over the rules of the game, we were led inside the wine-themed Escape Room. Inside sat a large table with various wine paraphernalia, books, jigsaw puzzles, and other items resting upon it. There were also clues on the walls and around the rest of room to help us in our quest. The end goal was to unlock the combination lock on the bottle of Chablis and reveal the message inside to escape the room. The clock started and we had about 1 hour to solve the puzzle. Solving one clue took us to the next stage of the game, and the previous clue often helped in solving the next puzzle. We did ask for assistance on a couple of occasions - which we were allowed to do as per the rules. A combination of wine knowledge and excellent team work prevailed, as we were able to solve the puzzle with about 15 minutes to spare.

Pure Chablis Escape Room ExperiencePure Chablis Escape Room Experience

Pure Chablis Escape Room Experience

At the conclusion of the game, we "Escaped" to the main dining hall and got to the business of tasting some very fine Chablis, beginning with the 2015 Bouchard Pere & Fils Petit Chablis ($24.95, #051466, 88 pts) as an apertif. We sat down at the long dining table and were led through the tasting by Christian Moreau from Domaine Christian Moreau Père & Fils, one of oldest and most respected names in Chablis.

Christian actually lived in Canada for 11 years, before returning to Chablis with his Canadian wife and their three sons in 1972. Under the guiding hand of his father Guy, Christian began to learn and master the art of winemaking, and we got to taste an excellent Grand Cru Chablis that bore his name.

After we tasted all the wines, we were offered a lovely spread of appetizers that paired very nicely with Chablis. My favourite was the jumbo garlic shrimp - so yummy that I can't recall how many I had and almost felt like I could skip dinner at home.

In all, we tasted seven wines, and wine reviews of my four favourites are provided below. Thank you to everyone involved with putting on such a fun event with some lovely wines! Santé!

Pure Chablis Wine Tasting

Pure Chablis Wine Tasting

Pure Chablis Wine Tasting

Tasting Notes:

LA CHABLISIENNE CHABLIS LES VÉNÉRABLES 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#215525) (XD) - $26.95
Pleasant medium-high intensity nose leads with limestone mineral aromas followed by clean lemon/lime, citrus zest, and herbally notes. It's medium-to-full bodied on the palate with brightly lit acids and very nice aroma replays. There is some creaminess mid-palate, but is balanced with clean acids. Nicely balanced overall with a long, elegant finish. Classy and refined. Agent: Vinexx. Score: 90 pts

La Chablisienne Chablis Les Vénérables 2014 (90 pts)Domaine de la Motte Chablis 1er Cru Beauroy 2015 (91 pts)

DOMAINE DE LA MOTTE CHABLIS 1ER CRU BEAUROY 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#524306) (XD) - $42.95
Highly aromatic and richly concentrated aromas of lemon, lime, herbs, and stony mineral. Acids are lively on the full-bodied palate with very nice aroma replays. Mineral character comes for the fore on the mid-palate and lingers on the long finish, with excellent length. Will be even better in 2-3 years. Agent: The World Winery. Score: 91 pts

DOMAINE PINSON CHABLIS 1ER CRU MONT DE MILIEU 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#700914) (XD) - $52.95
This is a rich and highly aromatic wine with elegant, refined and rope aromas of lemony, stony mineral, lemon oil and citrus. It is full-bodied with bright acids. The palate is a touch on the nutty side, with delicate use of oak. Terrific complexity with flavours of lemon oil and hazelnut that continue through to the very long finish. Should drink well for nearly a decade. Agent: Connexion Oenophilia. Score: 93 pts

Domaine Pinson Chablis 1er Cru Mont de Milieu 2015 (93 pts)Domaine Christian Moreau Pere & Fils Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2015 (92 pts)

Highly aromatic on the nose with all kinds of nutty, hazelnut aromas with lemon oil and herbs adding complexity. It's full-bodied on the palate with lovely aroma replays lifted with bright and lively acids. Subtle use of oak is well-balanced. The nutty mid-palate continues through to the long finish with some herbally hints. Agent: Rogers & Company. Score: 92 pts

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  • Date publishedTuesday, September 11, 2018

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Sept. 15, 2018: Bringing Local Home

LCBO Wine Picks: September 15, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming September 15, 2018 LCBO VINTAGES Release focuses on the local scene here in Ontario and is the only theme of the release. All of these wines, plus many more, will be available on LCBO VINTAGES shelves across Ontario this coming Saturday.

In all, there are 21 wines featured in the "Bring Local Home" theme that looks at the people, places, and passion from wineries across Ontario. Just one wine made my list of wine picks - a nice Chardonnay from Flat Rock Cellars where a portion of sales from this bottle are donated to the Ontario Association of Food Banks. There are also a couple of other lovely Ontario wines that I did not include below because they are re-releases, but the 2016 Hidden Bench Estate Riesling ($24.95, #183491, 90+ pts ) and 2016 Vineland Estates Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling ($19.95, #038117, 89+ pts) are off-dry to medium-dry (quite sweet) and would be worthy additions to your cellar.

Among my top red wine picks, the Madiran is a blend of about half Tannat, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc completing the blend, while the Corbieres is 40% Carignan, 30% Grenache and 30% Syrah that was aged in tanks. Also from France, the 2010 Bordeaux (from an excellent vintage) is made with approximately 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. From Argentina, the 1350 is nearly equal parts Cabernet Franc and Malbec, and a small amount of Casavecchia, all of which come from 1,350 metres above sea level. From Italy, the Brunello is made with 100% Sangiovese Grosso, while the Sicilian red comes from the volcanic soils of Mount Etna and consists of 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio. From Spain, the Rioja is 85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, and 5% Graciano, while the Priorat is a blend of 50% Garnatxa (Grenache), 10% Carinyena (Carignan), and 40% Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah. Lastly, there are a pair of Spanish reds made with the relatively unknown Mencía varietal - try both and compare.

From my top white wine picks, the only blend is from South Africa, and it is Chenin Blanc driven with balance made up of Roussanne, Viognier, and Semillon. Single varietal wines that you may have not heard of includes a Melon de Bourgogne from Loire, an Aligoté from Burgundy, and a Falanghina from Campania.

Among the rosé wines, the Rioja is a blend of 96% Tempranillo and 4% Garnacha Tinta, while the Rhône rosé is a blend of Syrah and Grenache. Lastly, the rosé from Provence is a blend of 55% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 10% Syrah, and 10% Carignan.

Marqués de Caceres Rosado 2017 (87 pts)

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • PAGO DE VALDONEJE MENCÍA 2016 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#268805) (XD) - $15.95
  • BRUMONT TOUR BOUSCASSÉ 2012 - AC Madiran, Southwest, France (#414615) (XD) - $17.95
  • CHÂTEAU OLLIEUX ROMANIS CUVÉE CLASSIQUE CORBIERES 2016 - AP, Languedoc, France (#568444) (XD) - $18.95
  • VIÑADEMOYA CENTENARIA MENCÍA 2016 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#574608) (XD) - $18.95
  • CHÂTEAU MOULIN DE CLOTTE 2010 - AC Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux, France (#550426) (XD) - $19.95
  • DOÑA PAULA 1350 RED TERROIR BLEND 2015 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#568956) (XD) - $22.95
  • MARQUÉS DE CÁCERES RESERVA 2012 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#702761) (XD) - $24.95
  • SENTIERI SICILIANI ETNA ROSSO 2016 - DOC, Sicily, Italy (#582874) (XD) - $27.95  FE
  • CELLER DE L’ENCASTELL MARGE 2014 - DOQ Priorat, Spain (#462077) (XD) - $29.95
  • BERTANI VAL DI SUGA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#713719) (XD) - $48.95

White Wine:

  • PIERRE-LUC BOUCHAUD SUR LIE MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE 2016 - Sur lie, AC, Loire, France (#082461) (XD) - $15.95
  • FLAT ROCK GOOD KHARMA CHARDONNAY 2016 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#356873) (XD) - $16.95
  • AVONDALE JONTY’S DUCKS PEKIN WHITE 2016 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#439554) (XD) - $16.95
  • PIERRE SPARR RÉSERVE PINOT GRIS 2016 - AC Alsace, France (#983395) (D) - $18.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • CLOTILDE DAVENNE BOURGOGNE ALIGOTÉ 2016 - AP, Burgundy, France (#570432) (XD) - $19.95
  • MASTROBERARDINO FALANGHINA DEL SANNIO 2016 - DOC, Campania, Italy (#562173) (XD) - $22.95
  • ARTHUR METZ STEINKLOTZ PINOT GRIS 2013 - AP Alsace Grand Cru, France (#557819) (M) - $24.95  FE
  • DOG POINT VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2014 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#238568) (XD) - $43.95  FE
  • GRGICH HILLS FUMÉ BLANC DRY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - Estate grown, Napa Valley, California, USA (#346296) (XD) - $47.95  FE  91 pts  wine review
Grgich Hills Fumé Blanc Dry Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (91 pts)Pierre Sparr Réserve Pinot Gris 2016 (88+ pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • MARQUÉS DE CÁCERES ROSADO 2017 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#622142) (XD) - $14.95  87 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU VAL JOANIS TRADITION ROSÉ 2017 - AP Luberon, Rhône, France (#707281) (XD) - $15.95
  • HENRI GAILLARD ROSÉ 2017 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#450825) (XD) - $16.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • GÉRARD BERTRAND CUVÉE THOMAS JEFFERSON BRUT CRÉMANT DE LIMOUX 2016 - Traditional method, AC, Languedoc, France (#438838) (D) - $19.95

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  • Date publishedFriday, September 7, 2018

Marqués de Caceres Rosado 2017 (Spain) - Wine Review

wine review is a nice rosado (a.k.a. rosé) from Spain that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

The story of Marqués de Cáceres begins its roots in 1920, when Enrique Forner's grandfather and father founded Vinícola Forner - a small family business devoted to producing wine. Enrique worked in the wine trade as a boy and, after being exiled to France during the Civil War, he founded a similar business in France in 1952. Eventually, he returned to Spain and founded Marqués de Cáceres in 1970. He has been part of an enterprising family that has been devoted to the wine trade now for five generations, including his daughter, Cristina Forner, who manages the winery today.

In the 1990s, the trend for innovation continued as young oenologists and wine producers looked to Bordeaux for inspiration. Michel Rolland, the most influential enologist in Bordeaux at the time, was brought on as an adviser. Marqués de Cáceres and Michel were united in their obsession to produce quality wines.

Today, Marqués de Cáceres has the leading Rioja in Spain and exports their wines to more than 120 countries around the globe, including delicious wines such as this Rosado in Ontario, Canada.

Marqués de Caceres Rosado 2017 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

MARQUÉS DE CACERES ROSADO 2017 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#622142) (XD) - $14.95
Blend of 96% Tempranillo and 4% Garnacha Tinta from 15-20-year old vines grown on mainly clay and limestone. Screw cap. This has a medium+ intensity nose with herbally and red currant aromas surrounded by a core of red cherry, strawberry, and watermelon notes. The crunchy palate is a touch honeyed, yet dry, and offers more cherry, strawberry, and watermelon flavours on a medium+ bodied frame. It has food-friendly acids, while the finish length is very good. Score: 87 pts

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  • Date publishedTuesday, September 4, 2018

Carpineta Fontalpino Riserva Chianti Classico 2012 (Tuscany) - Wine Review

A recent arrival to the LCBO, red wine review was released into LCBO VINTAGES on .

This organic wine is produced by Fattoria Carpineta Fontalpino, an organic winery in Tuscany that traces its past back to the 1800's. It is located in the heart of Tuscany, very close to Siena and in the historical commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga, at the bottom of the hill of Montaperti where the famous battle between Siena and Florence took place on . The name of the winery comes from a historical place, where you would find Carpineta (an area that has trees with silver backed leaves) and Fontalpino (the fount with the pine trees of Montaperti).

Italo Cresti founded the winery in 1967, and today it is run by his children, the brother-and-sister team of Gioia and Filippo Cresti. Gioia is a French-trained oenologist and responsible for all of the production phases, from winegrowing to ageing, while Filippo runs the operational and marketing development side of of the business.

Carpineta Fontalpino Riserva Chianti Classico 2012 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

Organic wine made with 100% Sangiovese. Forest floor, dried cherry, and subtle oak spice aromas from the cork. Nicely maturing, savoury aroma profile with wet forest floor, sweet oak spice, dried cherry, and dried florals, of medium+ intensity. On the medium-full bodied palate, gritty tannins are still quite grippy, while flavours are savoury with currant, earth, cherry, clove and oak spice notes. Succulent acids are vibrant and juicy. The finish is long and savoury with more earthy, forest floor flavours. Enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 89 pts

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  • Date publishedSunday, September 2, 2018

Wine Reviews from August 5, 2018 Birthday Party

Wine Line-up for Aug. 5 Birthday Party

Last month, we held a birthday party for my toddler daughter and a few of her close friends. And for the adults - there was wine!

The dry rosé was easily the most popular wine at the party, while the Riesling and Shiraz were a close second. All three wines are fairly recent releases to VINTAGES, so you should be able to pick up a bottle at your local LCBO. Full wine reviews are provided below.

Tasting Notes:

GÉRARD BERTRAND CÔTE DES ROSES ROSÉ 2017 - AP Languedoc, Midi, France (#373985) (XD) - $18.95
Glass enclosure. The medium+ intensity nose has appealing aromas of grapefruit, citrus, spring meadow and herbally notes. On the medium+ bodied palate, it has clean and crisp acids with nice texture. Herbally and grapefruit flavours on the dry flavour profile. Touch honeyed, with some bitterness on the long finish. Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah. Enjoy over the next 18 months. Part of the VINTAGES Essentials collection and released as part of the May 12 LCBO VINTAGES Release. Score: 89 pts

Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Rosé 2017 (89 pts)

REDSTONE LIMESTONE VINEYARD SOUTH RIESLING 2016 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#381251) (M) - $19.95
Screw cap. Lovely limestone mineral and petrol aromas mingle with white peach and citrus. It's medium-sweet with nicely balanced acids and flavours with white peach, orange zest, citrus, and green apple flavours with hints of mineral. Tart fruited, lip-smacking finish, with very good length. July 21 LCBO VINTAGES Release. Score: 89 pts

Redstone Limestone Vineyard South Riesling 2016 (89 pts)

DANDELION LIONESS OF MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#357475) (XD) - $21.95
Full wine review here.

Dandelion Lioness of McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016 (88+ pts)

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  • Date publishedSaturday, September 1, 2018

McMichael Collection Group of Seven Cabernet Merlot 2015 (Niagara) - Wine Review

is celebrated every , so I'm a couple of days late in celebrating with wine review of a locally-made Cabernet-Merlot blend from Niagara that honours our Canadian Artists.

Produced by Niagara's Lakeview Wine Co. (a division of Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Ltd.), the McMichael Collection of wines were created in celebration of McMichael Art Collection's 50th anniversary.

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is located in Kleinburg, just north of Toronto and is renowned for its collection of stunning Canadian art, including works by the Group of Seven. This line of Niagara wines were created to pay tribute to the artists that were part of this group. A portion of the proceeds from each bottle helps support the preservation of the art collection.

This red wine is available for purchase at the winery and at your local LCBO. Additionally, it is currently on promotion at the LCBO until , where you will receive 7 bonus Air Miles with every bottle purchased.

McMichael Collection Group of Seven Cabernet Merlot 2015 (86 pts)

Tasting Note:

MCMICHAEL COLLECTION GROUP OF SEVEN CABERNET MERLOT 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#456590) (XD) - $14.95
A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, and 20% Merlot that was aged in French and American oak barrels for 10 months. Screw cap. It's light on the aromatics, featuring hints of red berry, earth, oak vanillan, and herbs. It's medium-bodied and more savoury on the palate, with hints of black cherry, herbs, and oak flavours. Dusty tannins are well-integrated, with some grip mid-palate. Balanced acids keep everything nice and fresh. Good length on the finish. Simple, easy drinking. Score: 86 pts

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