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  • Date publishedSaturday, June 27, 2020

LAN Reserva 2012 (Spain) - Wine Review



wine review is a lovely follow-up to the 2016 LAN Crianza that I enjoyed last month. The 2012 LAN Reserva arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on when it was featured as part of the theme on Spanish wines, and is widely available across Ontario.

Bodegas LAN was founded in 1972 and is widely known for producing quality wines using their innovative hybrid barrels. These unique barrels have French oak bases and American oak staves and are used throughout the range of wines at LAN, including this Reserva which spent 18 months in these oak barrels. The American oak staves add vanilla characters to the wine, while the French oak bases add touches of spice.

This red wine is a blend of mainly Tempranillo and some Mazuelo, with the grapes coming from select vineyards in the Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa subzones that have an average age of more than 25 years. The 2012 vintage was characterized by high temperatures and an absence of rain, leading to small yields overall - uncharacteristically the fifth straight year of having a small vintage. On the bright side, the resultant small berries helped create wines of high concentration and tannins. According to the back label of the bottle, this Reserva reached its peak in 2017 and will continue to be in its peak drinking window until 2024, then slowly start its descent to full maturity in 2032. Let's see how this bottle is tasting tonight...

LAN Reserva 2012 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAN RESERVA 2012 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#42929) (XD) - $24.95
Blend of 92% Tempranillo and 8% Mazuelo that spent 18 months in hybrid barrels, and a further 20 months in bottle prior to release. The medium+ intensity nose leads with oak-driven earthy, savoury, and vanillin woodspice aromas, followed by some red cherry, and dark berry notes. It is medium-full bodied on the spicy palate, offering cherry, vanilla, woody, earthy, and chocolate flavours with touches of dark berry. Fresh acids liven the palate, while the refined, dusty tannins have a touch of grip. Earthy wood spice notes linger on the long finish. Score: 90 pts

Other wines from the Bodegas LAN portfolio can be ordered through Profile Wine Group. They recently launched their brand new website with online ordering.


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  • Date publishedThursday, June 25, 2020

Nativ Rue dell'Inchiostro Aglianico 2017 (Campania) - Wine Review

wine review is a lovely red wine made with Aglianico from Campania. This bottle was so popular when it arrived in VINTAGES in May 2019 that the LCBO decided to bring it back for another round this year. As such, this Aglianico is coming to the LCBO as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

It is produced by Nativ, a winery founded in Campania in 2008 and focused on making typical wines of the region. Each wine from Nativ has a unique character - produced through the use of innovative winemaking techniques, while also respecting tradition. The grapes are grown on their own lands which are known for their particular fertility thanks to the presence of volcanic soils, extending for about 15 hectares between Paternopoli and Taurasi. In particular, the grapes Nativ focuses on are Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo, Falanghina, Aglianico, and Aglianico of Taurasi.

The Aglianico grape was introduced to Campania by the Greeks along the Tyrrhenian coast (the western coast of Italy) sometime around the 6th or 7th century B.C. It is one of Italy's oldest grape verieties. The grapes for this Aglianico come from within the town and commune of Paternopoli, which is in the province of Avellino in Campania. They were grown on hilly soils of predominantly volcanic and clay-limestone, rich in minerals, at an altitude of 500 metres above sea level.

I've enjoyed other wines from Nativ previously, including most recently their 2018 Nativ Greco di Tufo, and am sure this will also be delightful. Let's see how it is tasting tonight...

Nativ Rue dell'Inchiostro Aglianico 2017 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

NATIV RUE DELL'INCHIOSTRO AGLIANICO 2017 - IGT Campania, Italy (#631606) (D) - $19.95
This Aglianico was raised completely in tank, followed by a short time in bottle prior to release. The medium+ intensity aromas are fresh and fruity with inky dark fruit, dark berry, and sweet spice flavours flecked with black pepper and savoury undertones. It is medium-full bodied on the slightly sweet palate with delicious ripe dark berry fruit flavours with some raisin, savoury, and peppery spice notes adding interest. Acids are fresh and lively while tannins are refined and dusty. Fruity with subtle savoury mineral notes linger on the finish, with very good length. Score: 89 pts


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  • Date publishedWednesday, June 24, 2020

June 27, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Summery Food Wines + Italian Whites

LCBO Wine Picks: June 27, 2020 VINTAGES Release
The main theme of the June 27, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release focuses on Summery Food Wines when Dining Out at Home, while the mini-theme takes a look at crisp white wines from Italy. All of the wines from the themes, as well as the rest of the Release will be on shelves by this Saturday.

We begin with the main theme that focuses on wines to enjoy when Dining Out at Home. It's a big theme with nineteen wines featured and five included among my top wine picks. For lighter meals, try the Morgon from Beaujolais that is made with Gamay, or the always-lovely Chenin Blanc from South Africa, or the Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. For casual sipping, try the Brut Trento Traditional Method Sparkling Wine from Italy that is made with Chardonnay, or the organic dry Rosé from Niagara that is predominantly Pinot Noir.

Invivo X by Sarah Jessica Parker Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (89 pts)

If you didn't know by now, there's so much more to the world of Italian white wines beyond Pinot Grigio. Featured in this Release as part of the theme are seven wines from seven different grapes - none named Pinot Grigio, and three of these wines are included among my top wine recommendations. First up is a Vernaccia di San Gimignano - a wine made with the Vernaccia grape from the Tuscan town of San Gimignano. There is also a Falanghina from Campania, while the Gavi di Gavi is made with the Cortese grape from Piedmont.

Fontanafredda Gavi di Gavi 2018 (89 pts)

There are plenty of lovely red wines to choose from the rest of the Release. We begin in Spain, with the Rioja consisting of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Graciano, and 10% Mazuelo, while the Portuguese red is a blend of mostly Grand Noir, followed by Trincadeira and Aragonês in support. From France, the Languedoc wine is a blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 5% Carignan, while the Côtes du Rhône-Villages is an organic wine made with 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah. From Italy, both the Chianti Classico and Brunello wines are made with pure Sangiovese. Other single varietal wines include a lovely Pinot Noir from New Zealand, as well as an Aglianico from Campania that sold out very quickly when it appeared in VINTAGES last Spring.

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 2009 (90+ pts)Whitehaven Pinot Noir 2016 (90 pts)

Nativ Rue dell'Inchiostro Aglianico 2017 (89 pts)

Among my white wine picks, all are single varietal wines. The Muscadet is made with Melon de Bourgogne. There is also a lovely Chardonnay and a dry Riesling. For those that prefer sweeter wines, try the off-dry (Old Vines) Gewurztraminer from Alsace, or the very sweet Riesling Kabinett from Mosel.

Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Chardonnay 2018 (90+ pts)Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2018 (87 pts)

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • LES DARONS 2017 - AP Languedoc, France (#448464) (XD) - $16.95
  • JOSÉ DE SOUSA 2016 - Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal (#494153) (XD) - $17.95
  • ROMAIN DUVERNAY VISAN 2017 - AP Côtes du Rhône-Villages, France (#13321) (XD) - $19.95
  • NATIV RUE DELL'INCHIOSTRO AGLIANICO 2017 - IGT Campania, Italy (#631606) (D) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • G. MARQUIS THE SILVER LINE PINOT NOIR 2018 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#258673) (D) - $19.95
  • DOMAINE NATURALISTE DISCOVERY SYRAH 2017 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#632596) (XD) - $24.95
  • CHÂTEAU DU CHATELARD CUVÉE LES ROCHES MORGON 2017 - AC, Beaujolais, France (#558528) (XD) - $24.95
  • WHITEHAVEN PINOT NOIR 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#532929) (XD) - $26.95  90 pts  wine review
  • RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 2009 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#114454) (XD) - $27.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • ANTINORI BADIA A PASSIGNANO GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2016 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#384552) (XD) - $48.95
  • CERBAIA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2014 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#652446) (XD) - $66.95

White Wine:

  • LA FORTEZZA TABURNO FALANGHINA DEL SANNIO 2018 - DOC, Campania, Italy (#527630) (XD) - $15.95
  • LE FILS DES GRAS MOUTONS MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE 2018 - AC, Loire, France (#363150) (XD) - $16.95  87 pts  wine review
  • POGGIO ALLORO VERNACCIA DI SAN GIMIGNANO 2018 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#14025) (XD) - $17.95
  • KEN FORRESTER OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC 2019 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#231282) (XD) - $17.95
  • HUNAWIHR KUHLMANN-PLATZ VIEILLES VIGNES GEWURZTRAMINER 2018 - AC Alsace, France (#169474) (D) - $19.95
  • VON SCHUBERT MAXIMIN GRÜNHAUS MONOPOL RIESLING 2018 - Qualitätswein, Mosel, Germany (#14797) (XD) - $19.95
  • FONTANAFREDDA GAVI DI GAVI 2018 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#366948) (D) - $21.95  89 pts  wine review
  • INVIVO X, BY SARAH JESSICA PARKER SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#14278) (XD) - $22.95  89 pts  wine review
  • KANZEMER ALTENBERG RIESLING KABINETT 2016 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#15292) (S) - $27.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2018 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#616466) (XD) - $29.95  90+ pts  wine review

Rosé Wine:

  • HUGH HAMILTON THE FLOOZIE SANGIOVESE ROSÉ 2019 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#558106) (XD) - $18.95
  • HIDDEN BENCH LOCUST LANE ROSÉ 2019 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#68833) (XD) - $24.95
  • LA CADIÉRENNE CUVÉE GRANDE TRADITION BANDOL ROSÉ 2019 - AC, Provence, France (#119453) (XD) - $24.95  91 pts  wine review
La Cadiérenne Cuvée Grande Tradition Bandol Rosé 2019 (91 pts)

Sparkling Wine:

  • ROTARI PLATINUM LABEL BRUT TRENTO 2014 - Traditional method, DOC, Trentino, Italy (#15679) (D) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES BLANC DE BLANCS SPARKLING 2015 - Traditional method, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#423111) (D) - $34.95  90 pts  wine review
  • DRAPPIER BRUT NATURE PINOT NOIR CHAMPAGNE - AC, France (#179275) (XD) - $62.95
  • DOM PÉRIGNON BRUT ROSÉ VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE 2006 - AC, Champagne, France (#91777) (XD) - $347.95  FE
Château des Charmes Blanc de Blancs Sparkling 2015 (90 pts)


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  • Date publishedSunday, June 21, 2020

Palatine Hills Vidal Icewine 2012 (Niagara) - Wine Review

To cap off Ontario Wine Week, I opened this lovely Icewine . I purchased this Icewine from the winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake when I visited the region back in during the annual Niagara Grape & Wine Festival. At the time, this 200 mL bottle was on promotion for $20.

It also showed up at the LCBO last year at the same price as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release. Although it is long gone from LCBO shelves, it is still available for purchase at the winery.

Palatine Hills Vidal Icewine 2012 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

PALATINE HILLS VIDAL ICEWINE 2012 - VQA Niagara Lakeshore, Ontario, Canada (#614842) (S) (200 mL) - $24.95
Gorgeous, fragrant nose of apricot, honey, and orange with touches of citrus, burnt orange, marmalade. It is medium-full bodied with lovely apricot, honey, and burnt orange flavours on the palate, albeit fading slightly. Has very good acidity. Notes of orange and honey linger on the finish, with very good length. Enjoy over the next 1-2 years. Score: 89 pts


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  • Date publishedThursday, June 18, 2020

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 2009 (Spain) - Wine Review

Following up on the delicious 2013 Rioja Bordón Reserva, wine review is another lovely red wine from Bodegas Franco-Españolas that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

Bodegas Franco-Españolas was founded in 1890 in the aftermath of the French wine industry's most devastating incidents - the phylloxera plague - when Bordeaux winemakers affected by the plague departed for Spain in search of the country's best soil and climate to continue their winemaking traditions. The name comes from the fact that it was founded by Frenchman Frederick Anglade Saurat and Spanish partners to become Bodegas Franco-Españolas. By 1922, the winery became entirely Spanish-owned.

The grapes for this Gran Reserva come from vineyards in the 3 sub-areas in Rioja - Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental - each having different soil types, and located on northward-facing slopes in the foothills of the Sierra de la Demanda. After careful selection of the fruit, the bunches are de-stemmed and lightly pressed prior to alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged in new and second-year medium-roasted white American (Ohio) oak barrels for 30 months, with decanting every 6 months to facilitate the natural filtering process. It then stays in the bottle for 36 months for refinement. Bodegas Franco-Españolas is proud to age all of their wines longer than legally required by Rioja wine law.

This Gran Reserva takes me back to a wine tasting I had the honour of attending back in October 2015, where I had the opportunity to taste many back vintage Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva wines - the oldest being a 1982 Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva. Today, the wines of Rioja Bordón are represented in Ontario by Churchill Cellars.

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 2009 (90+ pts)

Tasting Note:

RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 2009 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#114454) (XD) - $27.95
A blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Graciano, and 10% Mazuelo that was aged in white American (Ohio) oak barrels for 30 months. Medium-high intensity aromas offer cherry, wood spice, tobacco, chocolate, and leather with touches of barnyard. It's full-bodied on the palate with pleasing savoury aroma replays joined by some clove flavours. Acids are well-balanced, while textured tannins have integrated into the wine quite nicely. The long finish is savoury with earthy, wood spice and barnyard notes. A nicely maturing Rioja that has the structure to enjoy over the next 5+ years. Score: 90+ pts


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  • Date publishedThursday, June 11, 2020

Domaine La Décelle Réserve Valréas 2017 (Rhône) - Wine Review

lovely red wine from Rhône is featured as the "$17 Solution" in the LCBO VINTAGES Release. It is a new arrival at the LCBO and will be on shelves across Ontario by this .

It is produced by Maison LAVAU, a negociant winemaker whose wines I've enjoyed many times over the years. The story of the Lavau family begins with its passion for wine and love of terroir in 19th Saint-Émilion and continued into Tunisia where René Lavau and his son transformed a small estate of vines and orange trees into the country's largest wine producer. In the 1960s, Jean-Guy Lavau (René’s grandson) and his wife Anne-Marie returned to France and took charge of a small winemaking cellar in Sablet, in the heart of the Rhône Valley, eventually becoming Maison LAVAU in 1965. Frédéric and Benoît Lavau joined the team 30+ years later at their family winery and LAVAU has since become one of the most renowned and respected names in Rhône Valley winemaking.

This particular red wine comes from Domaine de la Decelle, an 82 hectare site that Frédéric and Benoît Lavau acquired in 2010 after they were convinced of its great potential. The Domaine is located in the heart of the Enclave des Papes, in the village of Valréas. The Enclave des Papes is a small part of the Vaucluse situated in Drôme provençale. The history of the Enclave is closely linked to that of the Popes of Avignon and began over 700 years ago when the lone estate in the area was purchased by Pope John XXII in the year 1317. Legend has it that Pope John XXII, returning from Lyon after his election and feeling very weary, took a glass of Valréas wine and was restored to full health. He then annexed the land that had produced this miraculous wine, so he would have permanent access. This became the Papal Enclave, and Valréas remained the capital until the French Revolution of the late 18th century. The vineyards were awarded Côtes du Rhône-Villages Valréas status in 1967.

The site where the Grenache and Syrah grapes for this wine are grown sit at a latitude and altitude that give it unique climatic conditions which are perfect for creating structured, complex, and fresh wines. The grapes are grown on south- and west-facing slopes as high as 320 metres above sea level, thus benefiting from a cooler climate. This also allows for wide diurnal temperature variation between day and night, which in turn helps the grapes ripen slowly and develop tannins.

Domaine La Décelle Réserve Valréas 2017 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

DOMAINE LA DÉCELLE RÉSERVE VALRÉAS 2017 - AC Côtes du Rhône-Villages, France (#14391) (XD) - $17.00
This 50/50 blend of Grenache and Syrah was grown on clay-limestone soils and aged for 6 months in used French oak barrels. Lovely, complex, southern Rhône nose of blackberry, plum, and peppery spice mingling with garrigue, lavender, purple fruit, and some meaty notes. Smoky mineral notes develop with time in the glass. It's medium-full bodied on the palate with ripe, elegant tannins that have a touch of grip. Acids are fresh and juicy, while the flavours are more red fruited and a touch candied on the flavour profile with raspberry, spice, and meaty flavours which linger through to the long, meaty and smoky mineral finish. Recommended buy to enjoy over the next 5-6 years. Score: 90 pts


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  • Date publishedWednesday, June 10, 2020

June 13, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Spain + California

LCBO Wine Picks: June 13, 2020 VINTAGES Release
The first theme of the upcoming June 13, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release focuses on wines from Spain, while the second theme looks at wines from California. As the weather warms, the slew of rosé wines also start appearing in VINTAGES shelves, as you'll find in this Release. All of the wines from this Release will be on shelves across Ontario by this Saturday.

We'll begin with the main theme that looks at wines from Spain, of which there are nine wines featured and four are included among my top wine picks. Up first is a lovely Rioja red wine that is a blend of 92% Tempranillo and 8% Mazuelo that was aged for 18 months in hybrid barrels made of French and American oak. Also from Rioja is a barrel-fermented white wine made with Viura. Outside of Rioja, there is a nice Albariño from Rías Baixas in northwestern Spain. Lastly, there is a nice Cava sparkling wine that is made with 67% Macabeo and 33% Parellada.

LAN Reserva 2012 (90+ pts)Segura Viudas Heredad Reserva Brut Cava (90 pts)

From the theme on California wines, there are ten wines featured, but just one is included among my top wine recommendations. Fortunately, it is a sub-$20 Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County that will probably fly off the shelves.

Among my red wine recommendations, we begin in Portugal with a traditional red blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Barroca. Meanwhile, the Côtes du Rhône-Villages is a 50/50 blend of Grenache and Syrah. From Tuscany, the Chianti Classico is made with 100% Sangiovese. Novel grapes that we don't see much of in Ontario include Xinomavro from Greece, Areni from Armenia, and Grignolino from Piedmont.

Crasto 2018 (89 pts)Lornano Le Bandite Riserva Chianti Classico 2015 (90 pts)

Domaine La Décelle Réserve Valréas 2017 (90 pts)

All of my white wine picks from the rest of the Release are single varietal wines. Among them are a pair of Sauvignon Blanc wines from New Zealand, and a Hunter Valley Semillon from Australia. There are also a pair of barrel-fermented whites, including a Chenin Blanc from South Africa, and a Torrontés from Argentina. For sweet wine lovers, look for the off-dry Riesling from Niagara, or take the sweetness up a notch with a Gewurztraminer from Alsace.

Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2017 (90 pts)Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Riesling 2018 (90 pts)

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (89 pts)

Among my dry rosé wine picks, the rosé from Provence is a blend of 53% Cinsault, 15% Syrah, 14% Grenache, 9% Mourvèdre, 7% Ugni Blanc, and 2% Rolle, while the Tavel consists of 45% Grenache Noir, plus Clairette, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Syrah, and other varietals completing the blend.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • DOMAINE LA DÉCELLE RÉSERVE VALRÉAS 2017 - AC Côtes du Rhône-Villages, France (#14391) (XD) - $17.00  90 pts  wine review
  • CRASTO 2018 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#81588) (XD) - $18.95  89 pts  wine review
  • ZUCCARDI Q MALBEC 2018 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#723478) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • ACCORNERO BRICCO DEL BOSCO GRIGNOLINO DEL MONFERRATO CASALESE 2018 - DOC, Piedmont, Italy (#426635) (XD) - $19.95
  • KIR YIANNI CUVÉE VILLAGES XINOMAVRO 2017 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (#14151) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHATEAU ST. JEAN CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2018 - Sonoma County, California, USA (#38034) (D) - $19.95
  • VOSKENI ARENI DRY RED 2016 - Vayots Dzor, Armenia (#14674) (XD) - $23.95
  • LORNANO LE BANDITE RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2015 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#230672) (XD) - $24.95  90 pts  wine review
  • LAN RESERVA 2012 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#42929) (XD) - $24.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • LE RICHE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2016 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#13355) (XD) - $26.95

White Wine:

  • VIÑA REAL FERMENTADO EN BARRICA BLANCO 2018 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#14056) (XD) - $17.95
  • LAWSON'S DRY HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#214460) (XD) - $17.95
  • PAZO DE VILLAREI 2018 - DO Rías Baixas, Spain (#14054) (XD) - $18.95
  • PIERRE SPARR GRANDE RÉSERVE GEWURZTRAMINER 2018 - AC Alsace, France (#747600) (M) - $18.95
  • SUSANA BALBO SIGNATURE BARREL FERMENTED TORRONTÉS 2018 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#384339) (XD) - $21.95
  • VILLA MARIA CELLAR SELECTION SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#974527) (XD) - $21.95  89 pts  wine review
  • HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE RIESLING 2018 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#643361) (D) - $27.95  90 pts  wine review
  • BELLINGHAM THE BERNARD SERIES OLD VINE CHENIN BLANC 2017 - WO Coastal Region, South Africa (#12724) (XD) - $29.95  FE  90 pts  wine review
  • TYRRELL'S BELFORD SEMILLON 2017 - Single vineyard, Hunter Valley, South Australia (#14322) (XD) - $46.95  FE

Rosé Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU LA TOUR DE L'ÉVÊQUE ROSÉ 2019 - AC Côtes de Provence, France (#319392) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU D'AQUÉRIA TAVEL 2019 - AC, Rhône, France (#319368) (XD) - $24.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • SEGURA VIUDAS HEREDAD RESERVA BRUT CAVA - Traditional method, DO, Spain (#558825) (D) - $32.95  90 pts  wine review


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  • Date publishedFriday, June 5, 2020

Château Le Grand Moulin Collection Grande Réserve 2016 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

red wine review is a delicious red wine from Bordeaux. It is a new arrival at the LCBO as part of the VINTAGES Release and is also featured in the LCBO's Food & Drink magazine.

This red wine is produced by the co-operative winery Vignobles Gabriel & Co., a company founded in 1904 when Gabriel Bruneteau founded Domaine du Grand Moulin at Saint Aubin de Blaye, about 50 km north of Bordeaux in the heart of the Blaye vineyards. In 1921, with a passionate interest in wine and people, Gabriel created the forerunner to the Vignobles Gabriel & Co. enterprise.

After Gabriel's passing, the vineyard dwindled and changed over the years, but finally recovered four generations later when Jean-François Reaud, the great grandson of Gabriel Bruneteau, inherited the estate in 1985. There were only 7 hectares of vines at the time, but he reorganized, modernized, and expanded the winery to cover 25 hectares by the end of the 1990's, eventually becoming Château Le Grand Moulin. Further development increased the size of the estate to the 81 hectares it is today, and to further meet consumer demand, Jean-François formed partnerships with several neighbouring producers and winegrowers on the Right Bank to collectively promote their wines. Being sensitive to the environment, Jean-François also owns Château Les Aubiers which has 25 hectares of organically-farmed vines.

With lots of bottles available throughout Ontario, it will be very easy for you to get your hands on this wallet-friendly Bordeaux.

Château Le Grand Moulin Collection Grande Réserve 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU LE GRAND MOULIN COLLECTION GRANDE RÉSERVE 2016 - AC Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux, France (#11326) (XD) - $17.00
An estate grown blend of mostly Merlot, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec in support, and aged in cement vats. Generous, nicely ripe, and fruit forward aromas of dark currant, blackberry, cassis, mint, and spice with touches of earthiness lift out of the glass. The medium+ bodied palate has nice balanced aroma replays supported by refined, textured, and gritty tannins, and balanced acidity. The finish is a touch drying, with savoury and earthy flavours, and very good length. Enjoy now or cellar for a couple of years and drink into the later part of this decade. This is very good Bordeaux! Score: 89 pts


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  • Date publishedTuesday, June 2, 2020

Michel Gassier Château de Nages JT White 2015 (Rhône) - Wine Review

wine review is a lovely organic white wine from Rhône that most recently came to LCBO VINTAGES on and is still readily available across Ontario.

It is produced by Château de Nages, a winery in Costières de Nîmes, within the southern Rhône Valley that I had the pleasure of visiting in May 2018. In fact, I recall tasting this delicious wine when I visited the winery.

For the Gassier family, the story of Château de Nages begins when Joseph Torrès, Michel Gassier's great grandfather, purchased the southern Rhone estate during World War II. Upon Joseph's passing, his son-in-law, Alfred Gassier inherits the property while remaining in Algeria with his wife. However, his four children reconstruct their lives in France with his eldest son, Jean Gassier, arriving first and restoring the badly neglected farm. Alfred's second son, Roger Gassier, arrives soon thereafter and revives Château de Nages, eventually passing along the magnificent vineyard and exceptional winery to his son, the highly-acclaimed winemaker Michel Gassier.

The JT White is dedicated to visionary founder Joseph Torrès and uses Roussanne and Viognier grapes that come from their very best parcels in the extreme north of the appellation where the terroir consists of grès (rolled pebbles) from the Rhône River over red clay soils rich in iron. There is also some Grenache Blanc in the blend, and all of the grapes were grown according to certified organic farming techniques, with a particular attention to soil health. The fruit was manually harvested and underwent natural yeast fermentation in French oak barrels, followed by some lees ageing prior to blending and bottling.

Having tasted this particular vintage on at least three separate occasions over the last few years, I am curious to see where this barrel-fermented white wine is in its evolution. Let's see how it is tasting tonight...

Michel Gassier Château de Nages JT White 2015 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

MICHEL GASSIER CHÂTEAU DE NAGES JT WHITE 2015 - AC Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (#485854) (XD) - $26.95
This barrel-fermented blend of 64% Roussanne, 20% Viognier, and 16% Grenache Blanc pours a medium yellow gold and has medium+ intensity aromatics featuring rich and complex notes of lemony, waxy, paraffin, butter, and pear with touches of saline. It's full-bodied on the rich palate with buttery, pear, lemon, herb, slightly smoky wood, and leesy flavours followed by touches of saline. It's nicely textured with very good acidity, but also shows some heat on the mid-palate. Long, smoky finish with touches of saline, lemon, and pear. Enjoy now, nicely chilled. Score: 90 pts


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