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  • Date publishedWednesday, September 30, 2020

Gloria Reserva 2018 (Portugal) - Wine Review



I last enjoyed the 2016 Gloria Reserva back in the summer of 2019, and for wine review I am pleased to bring you the latest vintage of this Portguese red wine that arrived at the LCBO as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release and is still available for purchase throughout Ontario.

The story of Vicente Faria Vinhos, which is currently located in Moreira, just north of Porto, begins seven generations ago, in the 18th century when Vicente's family settled in the Douro Valley to become one of the region's pioneering winemaking families. According to UNESCO, the Douro Valley is the first and oldest demarcated wine region in the world, where wines have been produced for over 2000 years. In this region, the diurnal temperatures are very high, ranging from 50° Celsius during the intense summer, down to -7° Celsius in the winter. The soils are essentially schist, and the vineyards develop very long roots in search of water and nutrients. Both of these conditions are ideal for winegrowing. Vicente Faria uses only sustainable farming practices, without irrigation and fertilization. Let's see how the 2018 is tasting tonight...

Gloria Reserva 2018 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

GLORIA RESERVA 2018 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#146522) (D) - $16.95
This blend of 40% Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), 30% Touriga Franca, and 30% Touriga Nacional was manually harvested and transported in small boxes to the winery before undergoing selection. It was aged in oak barrels for 12 months. The medium-high intensity nose offers very ripe black cherry, dark berry, and wood spice aromas, plus touches of currant and herbs. The medium-bodied palate is ripe fruited, slightly sweet and a touch raisiny with flavours of black cherry, savoury wood spice, and herbs. It has good acidity and rounded tannins. Slightly sweet red berry and earthy notes linger on the finish, with good length. A casual wine that should appeal to many. Score: 87 pts

Other wines from Vicente Faria can be ordered via their Agent - Profile Wine Group.


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  • Date publishedWednesday, September 30, 2020

October 3, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Food Pairings + Washington & Oregon

LCBO Wine Picks: October 3, 2020 VINTAGES Release
The main theme of the upcoming October 3, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release focuses on Favourite Wines Styles & Perfect Food Pairings, while the mini-theme takes a look at wines from the Pacific Northwest regions of Washington and Oregon. All of the wines from this Release should be on shelves across Ontario by this Saturday. You may want to stock up from this Release as the next VINTAGES Release is pushed back to October 31st - likely due to the "Second Wave" of COVID-19.

We begin with the theme on food pairings that lists eighteen wines that fit neatly into 8 styles of wine. Three wines from this theme are included among my top wine picks. From the Aromatic White Wine category there is a lovely, medium sweet Niagara Riesling - sweeter wines pair well with spicier foods. Dry Rosé Wines, like the version from Provence that is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, and a touch of Carignan, are very versatile, can be enjoyed year-round, and paired with a variety of meats and seafood such as pork chops or grilled salmon. The last wine is a $20 Full Bodied Australian Shiraz that will pair nicely with boldly flavoured, heartier fare such as steak and lamb.

Hidden Bench Estate Riesling 2017 (91 pts)

From the mini-feature looking at the nine total wines from Washington and Oregon, the only wine included among my wine recommendations is a fine $25 Pinot Gris from Willamette Valley, Oregon. While not part of the theme, there is also lovely $36 Pinot Gris from the sub-appellation of Dundee Hills that is listed as a Flagship Exclusive and available in limited quantities only. Although none of the five wines from the Washington feature are included among my wine picks, there is a nice red that comes in as a Flagship Exclusive and consists of a kitchen sink blend of 38% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah, 8% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot, 1% Touriga Nacional, 1% Tinta Cao, and 1% Souzao.

From my top red wine recommendations from this Release, we begin with the coveted Super Tuscan that is a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and 9% Cabernet Franc. Also from Italy, the Chianti Classico is made with 100% Sangiovese. From France, the wine from Roussillon is an old vines blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre, while the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is primarily Grenache with a small percentage of Syrah and Mourvèdre. Single varietal red wines include a Mencía from Spain, as well as a trio of wines from Argentina - a Cabernet Franc, a Pinot Noir, and a Malbec.

Lornano Chianti Classico 2015 (89 pts)Tessellae Old Vines Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre 2017 (89 pts)

Among my white wine picks, the only blend is from Niagara's Kew Vineyards that is composed of 68% Marsanne and 32% Viognier. Single varietal wines include Chardonnays from France, Argentina, South Africa, Niagara, and a Chablis from Burgundy. There are also a pair of Sauvignon Blanc wines - one each from Loire and New Zealand, while the dry Riesling is from Australia. Lastly, the rose from New Zealand is predominantly Pinot Noir with some Pinot Gris.

Hidden Bench Estate Chardonnay 2017 (91 pts)

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers and stay safe!

Red Wine:

  • CONDEMINAL PONCHO PAMPA PINOT NOIR 2018 - Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#15095) (XD) - $18.95
  • LORNANO CHIANTI CLASSICO 2015 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#211599) (XD) - $18.95  89 pts  wine review
  • ZUCCARDI Q CABERNET FRANC 2017 - Paraje Altamira and San Pablo, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#15121) (XD) - $19.95
  • TESSELLAE OLD VINES GRENACHE / SYRAH / MOURVÈDRE 2017 - AP Côtes du Roussillon, Midi, France (#343517) (D) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • SIDEWOOD SHIRAZ 2017 - Sustainable, Adelaide Hills, South Australia (#446146) (XD) - $19.95
  • GODELIA MENCIA RED 2015 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#368043) (XD) - $24.95
  • TEHO ZAHA TOKO VINEYARD MALBEC 2016 - Paraje Altamira, Mendoza, Argentina (#441691) (XD) - $24.95
  • BEN GLAETZER BISHOP SHIRAZ 2017 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#627869) (XD) - $39.95
  • HEDGES FAMILY ESTATE RED 2016 - Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Washington, USA (#1594) (XD) - $42.95  FE
  • LE PARVIS CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2017 - AC, Rhône, France (#638551) (XD) - $56.95
  • ORNELLAIA 2017 - DOC Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy (#722470) (XD) - $249.95

White Wine:

  • NOVELLUM CHARDONNAY 2018 - France (#390781) (XD) - $18.95
  • CLOS DE CHACRAS CAVAS DE CRIANZA CHARDONNAY 2018 - Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#15078) (XD) - $19.95
  • KAHURANGI ESTATE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Nelson, South Island, New Zealand (#14567) (XD) - $19.95
  • KEW MARSANNE/VIOGNIER 2017 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#485334) (XD) - $19.95
  • BEST'S GREAT WESTERN RIESLING 2019 - Great Western, Victoria, Australia (#688259) (XD) - $19.95
  • LA DAME DE JACQUES COEUR MENETOU-SALON BLANC 2018 - AC, Loire, France (#525048) (XD) - $21.95
  • SOLÉNA CELLARS PINOT GRIS 2018 - Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#665877) (XD) - $24.95
  • HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE RIESLING 2017 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#183491) (M) - $24.95  91 pts  wine review
  • HERVÉ AZO CHABLIS 2018 - AC, Burgundy, France (#185736) (XD) - $28.95
  • HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2017 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#68817) (XD) - $29.95  91 pts  wine review
  • RADFORD DALE CHARDONNAY 2018 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#227223) (XD) - $31.95  FE
  • EYRIE VINEYARDS DUNDEE HILLS PINOT GRIS 2018 - Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#15574) (XD) - $35.95  FE

Rosé Wine:

  • BLACK COTTAGE ROSÉ 2019 - Sustainable, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#539320) (XD) - $16.95
  • SAINT AIX ROSÉ 2019 - AP Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, France (#451906) (XD) - $25.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • GEOFFROY ROSÉ DE SAIGNÉE BLANC DE ROSE EXTRA BRUT 1ER CRU CHAMPAGNE - AC, France (#16172) (XD) - $134.95

Dessert Wine:

  • PUKLUS PINCÉSZET TOKAJI ASZÚ 5 PUTTONYOS 2013 - Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary (#47209) (S) (500 mL) - $35.95


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  • Date publishedMonday, September 28, 2020

Clairmont Classique Crozes-Hermitage 2018 (Rhône) - Wine Review

If you're a Syrah wine lover like me, wine review is this lovely Crozes-Hermitage from Rhône that landed in LCBO VINTAGES on - with plenty still available for purchase across Ontario.

Clairmont is a northern Rhône mini co-operative that was formed in 1972 by three families with an ambition to work together and share resources. With a team spirit, Clairmont's strength stems from this alliance of skills, shared values, and relationships. Although Clairmont is still a small company today, they are the second largest producer of Crozes-Hermitage. Clairmont is situated in the town of Beaumont-Monteux and is a key stakeholder in Crozes-Hermitage, owning 115 hectares in the heart of the appellation. The younger generation has taken over the responsibilities, working closely and collaboratively with their group of winegrowers.

It is interesting to know that Clairmont is one of the only producers in the world where the winegrowers play an active role in the winemaking process. Each harvest, the winegrowers bring the grapes to the cellar and help plan the different wines that will be produced. Good wines come from good grapes, and plot selection plays an important role in determining which which grapes go into each cuvée - with everyone playing a role in deciding which wines will be conceived. The end goal is to produce wines of high quality that are desired by everyone in the company.

This particular Crozes-Hermitage is a favourite of one of their winemakers - Florent Martinelli. It is a blend of several plots of Syrah grapes planted on two very specific terroirs - ancient alluvial terraces off the Isère and the Rhône rivers comprised of deep pebbly soils, and south/southwest-facing slopes on high terraces featuring smooth, rounded pebbles.

Clairmont Classique Crozes-Hermitage 2018 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

CLAIRMONT CLASSIQUE CROZES-HERMITAGE 2018 - AC, Rhône, France (#537811) (XD) - $24.95
100% Syrah matured solely in vats, the nose is open and very ripe with blackberry, violet, savoury, and crushed rock aromas. It is medium+ bodied on the lively palate with ripe blackberry, wild berry, black pepper spice, and savoury meaty flavours, along with touches of stony mineral. Acids are fresh and lively, while tannins are smooth and finely grained with a pleasant chalky grip developing with each sip. Long, satisfying finish has stony and black pepper notes. Lovely! Score: 90 pts

Other wines from Clairmont can be ordered via their Agent - Eurovintage Wines & Spirits.


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  • Date publishedSaturday, September 26, 2020

Lafazanis Geometria Moschofilero 2018 (Greece) - Wine Review

wine review is this lovely white wine from Greece that arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on . It is widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario, as well as available online for delivery to store or home delivery.

It is produced by Lafazanis Winery, a producer whose roots go back to 1946, when Vassilis Lafazanis started making wine in Piraeus, a port city in Attica, Greece. In 1960, the Lafazanis family built its first family-owned winery in Magoula (Attica), some distance northwest of Piraeus. In 1985, the second generation of the family acquired an education in oenology and had a vision which helped pave the way to create a high-quality, state-of-the-art winemaking facility. In 1993, Spyros Lafazanis decided to move the winery to Nemea, a region he grew to love as a young oenologist, to cultivate the native grapes of Greece and produce superb quality wines.

Today, 80% of the approximately 4 million litres of Lafazanis' wine production is consumed locally. They have more than 10 hectares of their own vines, but also work in co-operation with 300 winegrowers. The vision is to produce high quality wines enthusiastically and environmentally responsibly, evolving to set the bar higher and higher over the time.

If you know me, you already know that I love this grape. Moschofilero (pronounced mow-sko-FEEL-err-oh) is a grape variety native to Greece that has existed in various iterations since ancient times. It's popularity grew in the 1970's and 1980's when producers studied the varietal more closely and crafted elegant, terroir-driven Moschofilero wines. The grape has a rather high degree of difficulty to grow because of its location and cultivation conditions, but the results are lovely when everything lines up. Moschofilero is typically grown in the misty, mountainous vineyards of the Peloponnese region of Mantinia, in central Greece. It is a pink-skinned grape and produces lively and floral white wines such as this expression from Lafazanis.

Lafazanis Geometria Moschofilero 2018 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAFAZANIS GEOMETRIA MOSCHOFILERO 2018 - PGI Peloponnese, Greece (#15753) (XD) - $17.95
The inviting nose is fresh and aromatic with floral and peach aromas plus touches of tropical fruit, candied ginger, spice, and citrus. It is medium+ bodied on the slightly oily palate with very good fruit concentration alongside crisp, lively acidity. It's dry with flavours of yellow stone fruit, spice, and lily florals. Nicely textured on the mid-palate with floral, spice, peach, and saline mineral notes lingering on the long, slightly drying finish. Recommended buy. Score: 90 pts

Other wines from the Lafazanis portfolio can be ordered via their Agent - Eurovintage Wines & Spirits.


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  • Date publishedWednesday, September 23, 2020

Lungarotti San Giorgio 2016 (Umbria) - Wine Review

red wine review is this lovely "Super Umbrian" that arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on as a Flagship Exclusive. Wines featured as Flagship Exclusives are available in limited quantities at select LCBO outlets across Ontario - click the 5-digit product code below to find a location with bottles available closest to you.

Cantine Giorgio Lungarotti was founded in the 1960's in Torgiano, the heart and birthplace of Umbrian wine. Lungarotti became a major driving force for new opportunities in the region - with wine as the centrepiece. Today, the 250 hectares of vineyards are run by sisters Chiara Lungarotti & Teresa Severini who have implemented innovative cultivation techniques based on sustainability and respect for the environment.

This red wine bears the signature of founder Giorgio Lungarotti, whose continuous desire to experiment led him to try Cabernet Sauvignon in Umbria. He introduced Cabernet Sauvignon in Umbria in the late 1950's to early 1960's, and it was still an uncommon varietal in the mid-1970's.

The Lungarotti San Giorgio was first created in 1977 and is a blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese, becoming one of the first great wines to blend these two varietals and known as Super Umbrian. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for this wine come from a vineyard with a medium mix of pebbles and mostly limestone on a tufa subsoil, while the Sangiovese is from the Monticchio Vineyard that has clay layers alternating with sandy fringes in the lower part of the hillside. It was aged in barriques for 12 months, followed by at least 1 year in bottle.

The current bottling of the San Giorgio label depicts Saint George and the Dragon, from the famous painting by Raffaello displayed in the Gallerie degli Uffizi (a museum I visited many years ago), paying homage to the traditional feast of Saint George when propitiatory bonfires are still lit in the Torgiano vineyards with cuttings from the winter vine pruning.

Lungarotti San Giorgio 2016 (90+ pts)

Tasting Note:

LUNGAROTTI SAN GIORGIO 2016 - IGT Umbria Rosso, Italy (#62877) (XD) - $51.95
A 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese, this Super Umbrian has a medium-high intensity nose that needs some coaxing, but reveals pretty and complex aromas of red cherry, baking spice, clove, and savoury earthy notes with touches of dried spice and floral. The full-bodied, structured palate has cherry, clove, oak spice, earthy, and mocha chocolate flavours with touches of dried floral and berry tones. Tannins are fine-grained, textured, and quite drying, while acids are very good. Savoury and earthy on the long, juicy finish. You could open this now, but this will be great in 2-3 years and drink well until at least the end of the decade. Score: 90+ pts

A few bottles from Lungarotti are available through LCBO, while others can be purchased via their Agent - Profile Wine Group.


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  • Date publishedSaturday, September 19, 2020

Finca SOPHENIA Altosur Malbec 2018 (Argentina) - Wine Review

wine review is the first of what will be a series on Malbec from Argentina. This Malbec arrived at the LCBO as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release and, surprisingly, there are many bottles still available across Ontario.

It is produced by Finca SOPHENIA, a winery recognized as one of the highest quality wine producers in Argentina. Finca SOPHENIA was established in 1997 by founder and conductor, Roberto Luka, after choosing a site in Gualtallary, Tupungato, Mendoza, one of the most prestigious wine regions in Argentina to produce high quality wines. The name "SOPHENIA" is combination of names - Sophia, his partner's daughter, and Eugenia, his own daughter.

The young and dynamic winemaking team at SOPHENIA is led by Julia Halupzcok. After working for a number of years at Alta Vista, O. Fournier, and in California, she joined SOPHENIA in 2016 and immediately found great success. Julia's wines show elegance with a modern style, reflecting the essence of this unique terroir. As Julia said in a Decanter Magazine interview "Oenology is like make-up: If there's too much it can be a disaster, but a little can enhance beauty".

This particular Malbec is a vegan-friendly example from the high-altitude region of Gualtallary, within Tupungato, at the northern part of the Uco Valley. The vineyards from Gualtallary are planted at the foot of the Andes, up to 1,600 metres (5,249 feet) above sea level, and the long, narrow region is noted for producing grapes with freshness and balance. Gualtallary also noted for its poor stony and alluvial soils interlaced with sand and limestone. This diverse combination leads to free-draining soils, thus stressing the vines to search ever deeper for water while also picking up minerality along the way. Gualtallary is in the process of becoming an official Geographical Indication (GI) due to its diverse climates and soils and is one of the most exciting wine regions in South America.

Finca SOPHENIA Altosur Malbec 2018 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

FINCA SOPHENIA ALTOSUR MALBEC 2018 - Vegan, Gualtallary, Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#13113) (XD) - $17.00
Estate grown at 1,200 metres (3,936 feet) above sea level on rocky soils of loose structure, this vegan-friendly Malbec is minimally oaked with 3 to 4 months in French and American oak barrels. The medium+ intensity nose has aromas of spicy mulberry and blackberry with stony mineral undertones, developing some nice smoky mineral aromas with air. It is medium-full bodied on the palate with nicely balanced flavours of blackberry, mulberry, and peppery spice, if a touch sour. Oak is firmly in the background. It has fresh acidity and dusty, textured tannins. Mineral notes come to the fore on the mid-palate, lingering through to the slightly chalky finish, with very good length. Nicely done. Recommended buy. Score: 88+ pts

Other wines from Finca Sophenia are available via their Agent - Sylvestre Wines & Spirits.


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  • Date publishedThursday, September 17, 2020

Wakefield Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (Australia) - Wine Review (Bottle 2)

red wine review is this lovely Australian Cabernet Sauvignon that returned to LCBO VINTAGES on .

Bill Taylor and his family have been crafting fine wines in Clare Valley for three generations, beginning in 1969. They carefull selected this site for its red-brown loam over limestone soils, also known as terra rossa, and the cool climate which they immediately recognized would grow excellent Cabernet Sauvignon. The three seahorse logo - one for each generations of the family - comes from the fossilized remains of seahorses they discovered on their land during excavations for the vineyard's dam. In the Southern Hemisphere, the family makes their wines under the Taylors label, but they sell their wines in the Northern Hemisphere, including here in Ontario, as Wakefield Wines.

The Jaraman collection of wines includes a Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and this Cabernet Sauvignon, With the Jaraman range, the Taylor family searches for parcels of extraordinary fruit to craft wines that showcase their distinctive regional characteristics and style. The fruit for these wines are sourced from Australia's celebrated wine regions that are renowned for the particular variety. At the winery, the winemakers ensure that distinct regional characteristics are preserved and enhanced through any winemaking techniques, all the while having respect for the fruit.

I last enjoyed this same 2016 Wakefield Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon when it came to LCBO VINTAGES in August of 2019 and recall that the tannins were a bit tight at the time. Let's see how this bottle is tasting now, a full 12 months after last year's tasting.

Wakefield Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

WAKEFIELD JARAMAN CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2016 - Coonawarra & Clare Valley, South Australia (#142398) (D) - $24.95
100% Cabernet Sauvignon composed of 73% Coonawarra and 27% Clare Valley fruit. Screw cap. The medium-high intensity nose offers menthol, currant, and cassis with hints of leafy, dried herb aromas. It's full-bodied with minty cassis, ripe blackberry, and currant flavours accented with oak spice and just a touch of jamminess. It's well-balanced with fresh acidity while tannins have softened since last year, having a touch of chalky grip. Savoury chocolatey oak with currant and herbal notes linger on the long finish. Score: 89 pts

There are quite a few Wakefield Wines available at the LCBO, but can also be ordered via their Agent - Profile Wine Group.


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  • Date publishedWednesday, September 16, 2020

September 19, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Ontario

LCBO Wine Picks: September 19, 2020 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming September 19, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release is the annual mid-to-late September Release that features wines from Ontario, coinciding with harvest that occurs this time of year. Ontario is the only theme of the Release, and along with the other wines featured in this Release, these wines will all be on shelves across the province by this Saturday.

We begin with the seventeen wines featured as part of the Ontario theme, of which five are included among my top wine picks. Firstly, it was nice to see wines from each of the three major wine regions represented - Niagara, Prince Edward County, and Lake Erie North Shore, as well as the emerging wine regions of Mono (just north of Toronto) and the Ottawa Valley. From Niagara-on-the-Lake, there is a fine Vidal Icewine that always delivers pleasure year after year. From a winery located in Mono, but currently sourcing much of their grapes from Niagara because their own estate vines are still too young, there is a nice, medium-sweet Riesling. Also from Niagara is a Baco Noir from a winery that specializes in the grape. From Prince Edward Country there is a lovely Pinot Noir. And lastly, if you've always wanted to try Mead, a wine made with honey, try the barrel aged honey wine that was produced in Niagara.

From my red wine recommendations, the 2010 Rioja is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha. The rest are all single varietal wines - the Barolo is made with Nebbiolo, while the organic Brunello is made with pure Sangiovese. Other wines among my picks are wines made with well-known varietals that have strong roots within their respective country/region - Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz from Australia, Malbec from Argentina, Carmenère from Chile, and Pinot Noir from Oregon.

Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2015 (92 pts)Wakefield Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (88 pts)

Among my white wine picks from the rest of the Release, all are single varietal wines. Beyond the three Chardonnay wines from the New World, there is also a Chenin Blanc from South Africa, a dry Riesling from Alsace, and a Malagousia from Greece. There is also a fine Torrontés from Argentina, as well as a Grüner Veltliner from Austria. For those that prefer wines with a little bit of sweetness, try the Vouvray from Loire that is made with Chenin Blanc.

Santa Ana La Mascota Chardonnay 2018 (89 pts)Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2019 (88 pts)

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers to sipping local!

Red Wine:

  • WAKEFIELD ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#744235) (XD) - $19.95  88 pts  wine review
  • TERRAZAS DE LOS ANDES RESERVA MALBEC 2018 - Mendoza, Argentina (#29280) (XD) - $19.95
  • MONTERRA SHIRAZ 2018 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#477059) (XD) - $19.95
  • SAN PEDRO 1865 SELECTED VINEYARDS CARMENÈRE 2018 - DO Maule Valley, Chile (#249201) (XD) - $19.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE BACO NOIR 2018 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#461699) (D) - $24.95
  • CLOSSON CHASE CLOSSON CHASE VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2017 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (#145888) (XD) - $34.95
  • SOKOL BLOSSER PINOT NOIR 2016 - Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#748434) (XD) - $39.95
  • COL D'ORCIA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2015 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#306852) (XD) - $55.95  92 pts  wine review
  • ROCCHE COSTAMAGNA ROCCHE DELL'ANNUNZIATA BAROLO 2015 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#413484) (XD) - $59.95
  • LA RIOJA ALTA VIÑA ARDANZA RESERVA 2010 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#315531) (XD) - $59.95

White Wine:

  • SIMONSIG CHENIN BLANC 2019 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#610907) (XD) - $13.95  88 pts  wine review
  • PIERRE SPERRY COEUR DE GRANIT RIESLING 2018 - AC Alsace, France (#15523) (XD) - $16.95
  • SANTA ANA LA MASCOTA CHARDONNAY 2018 - Cruz de Piedra, Maipú, Mendoza, Argentina (#126870) (XD) - $16.95  89 pts  wine review
  • ADAMO LEPP DAVID'S VINEYARD RIESLING 2017 - VQA Niagara Lakeshore, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#17203) (M) - $19.95
  • SUTHERLAND CHARDONNAY 2018 - WO Elgin, South Africa (#146423) (XD) - $19.95
  • BERNARD FOUQUET DOMAINE DES AUBUISIERES CUVÉE SILEX VOUVRAY 2018 - AC, Loire, France (#15615) (D) - $20.95
  • PLANO MALAGOUSIA 2018 - PGI Macedonia, Greece (#15444) (XD) - $21.95
  • WINZER KREMS RIED KREMSER WACHTBERG RESERVE GRÜNER VELTLINER 2018 - DAC Kremstal, Austria (#15704) (XD) - $24.95
  • EL ESTECO 1945 OLD VINES TORRONTÉS 2019 - Calchaquí Valley, Argentina (#10695) (XD) - $24.95  FE
  • STONESTREET CHARDONNAY 2016 - Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (#991380) (XD) - $49.95  FE

Sparkling Wine:

  • CYGNUS ORGANIC BRUT NATURE CAVA - Vegan, Traditional Method, DO Penedès, Spain (#352856) (XD) - $17.95

Dessert Wine:

  • REIF ESTATE VIDAL ICEWINE 2017 - VQA Niagara River, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#544791) (S) (200 mL) - $24.95

Specialty Wine:

  • ROSEWOOD MEAD ROYALE HONEY WINE 2018 - Barrel aged, Canada (#437319) (S) (500 mL) - $19.95


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  • Date publishedSunday, September 13, 2020

Patrick Lesec Galets Blonds Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2017 (Rhône) - Wine Review

red wine review is this excellent Châteauneuf-du-Pape that arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on - and there are plenty of bottles available across Ontario so you can easily add this to your cellar.

It is produced by Patrick Lesec Selections, a highly esteemed negociant making delicious wines in the Southern Rhône Valley. Being a negociant, Patrick does not own any vineyards - his specialty is sourcing the best fruit from various winegrowers and blending the fruit to craft his special cuvées in a consistent style year after year. His top cuvées, like this Galets Blonds, are single-vineyard, estate-bottled wines. Patrick uses non-interventionist winemaking principles, carefully choosing the components to make the final cuvée. He prefers stainless steel elevage, with oak playing a minor role to add texture and complexity. The wine are unfined and unfiltered, and bottled by hand when possible.

When I enjoyed the 2012 Patrick Lesec Galets Blonds Châteauneuf-du-Pape five years go, it ended up being one of my favourite wines of the year. The 2017 vintage was very dry in Southern Rhône, resulting in lower yields. In Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the vintage lent itself to old vines with deep roots, such as those found in this predominantly old vines Grenache blend. Some of the best 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines are the special cuvées such as this bottling. Let's see how it is tasting tonight...

Patrick Lesec Galets Blonds Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2017 (93 pts)

Tasting Note:

PATRICK LESEC GALETS BLONDS CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2017 - AC, Rhône, France (#78089) (XD) - $60.95
A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre from old, low-yielding vines that were grown on sparse, boulder-covered soils. Rich, medium-high intensity aromas deliver ripe blackberry, raspberry, and smoky crushed rocks with touches of pepper spice. It's medium-full to full-bodied on the palate with lovely aroma replays joined by some dried herb and gentle oak spice flavours. Good fruit concentration holds up well to the slightly warming alcohol, lifted by mouthwatering acidity. Fine-grained, slightly chalky tannins are nicely textured. Stony mineral, wood spice, and blackberry notes linger on the long finish, with excellent length. Exceptional! Score: 93 pts

Other fine wines from Patrick Lesec can be ordered via their Agent - Connexion Oenophilia.


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  • Date publishedFriday, September 11, 2020

Rocca delle Macìe Famiglia Zingarelli Riserva Chianti Classico 2017 (Tuscany) - Wine Review

Tonight's wine review is the latest vintage of this nice Chianti Classico that arrived as a "Smart Buy" at the LCBO over the long weekend as part of the September 5 LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Rocca delle Macìe was established in 1973 by Italian film producer Italo Zingarelli to fulfill a lifelong dream to have his own winery. He acquired the 85 hectare "Le Macìe" estate, of which only 2 hectares were planted to vine, and quickly grew the estate into one of the most popular names in Italian winemaking. This was achieved by creating wines that not only respect the terroir, but also having a consistent commitment to improving wine quality through innovation.

The Chianti Classico Riserva Famiglia Zingarelli is the flagship wine of the zone and represents the greatest expression of the zone's particular features, proudly bearing the Zingarelli family name in order to highlight the strong link that the family has to the area of Chianti Classico. It is made using the best grapes from the four estates of Rocca delle Macìe in the area of Castellina in Chianti, resulting in a blend of four terroirs. Following careful selection, the grapes (90% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Merlot) are vinified according to traditional Chianti Classico methods, then aged in French oak barrels for two years, followed by further refinement in bottle for a minimum of three months.

This red wine is a regular visitor to VINTAGES, and I have tasted previous vintages of this wine on numerous occasions over the years. I last enjoyed the 2015 Rocca delle Macìe Famiglia Zingarelli Riserva Chianti Classico at home nearly two years ago and am pleased to have the opportunity to try the 2017 tonight.

Rocca delle Macìe Famiglia Zingarelli Riserva Chianti Classico 2017 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

ROCCA DELLE MACÌE FAMIGLIA ZINGARELLI RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2017 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#930966) (XD) - $24.95
Blend of 90% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Merlot. The medium+ intensity nose offers bright sour red cherries surrounded by wood spice, earthy, and savoury aromas. It's medium+ bodied on the palate with pleasing blackberry notes joining the woody, savoury aroma replays. It has juicy, balanced acidity, and fine, textured tannins with a pleasing touch of grip. The savoury, wood spice tones continue through to the finish, with very good length. Enjoy over the next 4-5 years. Score: 89 pts

There are quite a few wines from Rocca delle Macìe available at the LCBO, but other wines from this producer can also be ordered via their agent's brand new website - Profile Wine Group.


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  • Date publishedWednesday, September 9, 2020

Santa Ana La Mascota Chardonnay 2018 (Argentina) - Wine Review

For wine review, we continue the recent looks (here and here) at the Wines of Argentina. This delicious white wine is a Chardonnay from Argentina that will be coming to the LCBO as part of the upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release.

It is produced by Mascota Vineyards, a dream that was realized by a legend in Argentine winemaking - Rodolfo "Opi" Sadler. As a young boy, he observed his grandfather and father engage in winemaking activities and wished to proudly create his own wines some day. He studied Oenology at the prestigious Don Bosco University in Mendoza and gained his experience working harvests in California, Chile, and France.

In the early 1980's, he joined Argentine winery Santa Ana in Cuyo and worked there for more than 25 years, eventually becoming the Chief Winemaker. He has been crafting wines for nearly 30 years now and firmly believes that when you put passion and enthusiasm into what you do, your dream will know no boundaries and earn you international recognition. In 2013, Opi took on a new challenge to become the Chief Winemaker at Mascota Vineyards and only a year later earned "Best Argentine Wine Producer of the Year" by International Wine and Spirits.

Finca La Mascota is located in the district of Cruz de Piedra, in the heart of Maipú within Mendoza's Primera Zone. This district is known as a premium winemaking area in Mendoza and gave rise to the prestigious brands that have been historically known as the best proponents of Argentina's wine industry. The vineyards of La Mascota are situated at the foot of the Andes Mountains, about 1,000 metres away from the Mendoza River. The vines in this area receive fresh breezes that descend from the mountain and cross the river, resulting in a wide range of temperatures. The vineyards are located 850 metres above sea level on sandy-clay loam soils that sit on a layer of rock. Like much of Argentina, La Mascota is planted with almost exclusively red wine varietals. However, Chardonnay is their most widely planted white varietal - from which they are able to produce three wines, including this fine Chardonnay.

Santa Ana La Mascota Chardonnay 2018 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

SANTA ANA LA MASCOTA CHARDONNAY 2018 - Cruz de Piedra, Maipú, Mendoza, Argentina (#126870) (XD) - $16.95
This estate grown Chardonnay is planted on deep and stony soils. It was hand-harvested with 30% of the wine undergoing malolactic fermentation sur lies, and the entire wine aged in French and American oak barrels for 9 months. The medium+ intensity nose offers ripe apple and peach aromas nuanced with touches of nutty, mealy, buttery, oak spice, earthy mineral, and tropical fruit that adds a lot of interest and complexity. The medium+ bodied, textured palate has honeysuckle, ripe apple, and mealy flavours with gentle oak spice notes. It's well-balanced with fresh, vibrant acids. Mealy, nutty, saline mineral, and earthy notes linger on finish, with very good length. Just lovely! Recommended buy. Score: 89 pts

Other lovely wines from the Mascota portfolio can be found at the LCBO, as well as via their Agent - Univins and Spirits.


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  • Date publishedMonday, September 7, 2020

Château d'Arsac 2015 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

wine review is this lovely red wine from Margaux that came to the LCBO during the long weekend as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Château d'Arsac is regarded as one of the oldest wine estates of the Médoc region, on the left bank, with over 1,000 years of history. The property has changed hands many times over the years, but it wasn't until the 18th century that Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vines were planted on the exceptional gravel and sandy soils at the estate. Unfortunately, these vines had to be uprooted at the turn of the 20th century due to phylloxera, and eventually the property was abandoned and unbelievably became a chicken coop!

In 1986, winemaker and visionary Philippe Raoux acquired Château d'Arsac and after 10 years of renovations and legal procedures began producing wine, with about half of the vineyard classified as AOC Margaux appellation, while the rest are under AOC Haut-Médoc. Philippe Raoux represents the 4th generation of a particularly dynamic family of wine growers and traders whose roots began in Algeria. In 1962, the Raoux family repatriated to France. It is interesting to note that the trading house founded by Philippe's grandfather was the first company selling wine by correspondence in Bordeaux.

Today, Château d'Arsac is a completely modernized winery after undergoing extensive renovations. Combining stainless steel, wood, glass and with the winery painted in electric blue, Château d'Arsac stands out visibly and is now regarded as one of the most original châteaux of the Médoc. Philippe also reconstructed 112 hectares of vineyards to revive the quality of the wine. The soils on the property are comprised of small gravel and sand which are mixed over a thin layer of clay and planted to just three varietals - Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Château d'Arsac 2015 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU D'ARSAC 2015 - AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#14443) (XD) - $49.95
A blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot planted on sandy gravel soils. The medium-high intensity nose has lovely dried cherry, red currant, cassis, savoury, and earthy characters with touches of dried rose floral and new wood. It is full-bodied on the palate with nice cherry, cassis, red berry, earthy, and wood spice flavours supported by juicy acidity and ripe, textured tannins that have a touch of grip. Long, savoury-earthy finish with touches of dried rose florals. Very approachable now and will continue to drink well over the next 7-8 years. Score: 91 pts

Other wines from the Château d'Arsac portfolio can be ordered through their Agent - Connexion Oenophilia.


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  • Date publishedSaturday, September 5, 2020

High Heaven Majestic Pines Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (Washington) - Wine Review

wine review is this vegan-friendly red wine from Washington State that newly arrived at the LCBO today as part of the in LCBO VINTAGES Release. Although the magazine mentions that it may be a late arrival on Release day, the wine is actually readily available across Ontario now.

It is produced by High Heaven Vintners, a joint project between the Taub and Zirkle family's that was launched at the beginning of this year. High Heaven Vintners is based in Columbia Valley, the largest AVA in the state of Washington. With more than a century of winemaking and farming experience, the Zirkle family believes in a vineyard first philosophy that prioritizes work in the vineyards to make great wines. All of the grapes used in making their wines come from their five estate grown, family-owned vineyards. The vineyards are located in the "Rain Shadow" formed by the Cascade Mountains, a unique cloud and rain barrier protecting the vines from harsh elements, and helping create a warm, sunny and dry climate that is ideal for grape growing.

There are five wines in the High Heaven Vintners range - others can be found via their Agent Dionysus Wines & Spirits Ltd. - and each label was created by three Seattle-based tattoo artists to capture the Columbia Valley and the essence of each wine.

High Heaven Majestic Pines Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

HIGH HEAVEN MAJESTIC PINES CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2018 - Vegan, Columbia Valley, Washington, USA (#15671) (XD) - $19.95
This blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot has sweet oak spice and vanillin aromas that are surrounded by ripe red and black fruits, currant, cassis, and plum notes. It's full-bodied on the palate with cocoa, and ripe berry, currant and cassis flavours. Acids are nicely balanced while well-managed tannins are smooth and refined. Sweet oak and cocoa with hints of dates and plums on the slightly drying finish, with good length. Crafted in a widely-appealing style. Score: 87 pts


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  • Date publishedThursday, September 3, 2020

Domaine La Rougeante 2016 (Languedoc) - Wine Review

red wine review is this lovely Corbières - a new wine that arrives at the LCBO as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release. Even though the wine is marked as a potentially late arrival, it is actually quite widely available across Ontario now.

It is produced by Select Vins, a collaboration between Château de la Négly owner, Jean Paux-Rosset, and his consulting winemaker, Claude Gros. Together, they have assembled some of the best grape growers from across the many appellations of the Languedoc, including Corbières, where this lovely red wine is from.

Corbières is Languedoc-Roussillon's largest AOC, accounting for nearly half of the region's wine production. Red wine dominates in Corbières, consisting of approximately 95% of all wines produced within the AOC. Due to the AOC's rather large size, Corbières has many different soil types and microclimates. Carignan is the mostly widely planted varietal in Corbières, however, none is curiously found in this red that consists of Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Syrah.

Domaine La Rougeante 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

DOMAINE LA ROUGEANTE 2016 - AC Corbières, Languedoc, France (#15298) (XD) - $19.95
This Corbières is a blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Syrah that was grown on alluvial and clay-limestone soils, and raised completely in tank. Enticing aromas of dark berry, blackberry, and black plum sprinkled with crushed stones and touches of garrigue and dried herb. The medium-full bodied palate is ripe with good fruit concentration and nicely balanced fruity-savoury-herbal flavours of dark berry, pepper spice, dried herb, and earthy notes. Refined, lightly structured tannins have a nice dusty textured character, while juicy acids are well-balanced. Some warmth on the mid-palate. Savoury, earthy mineral notes linger on the finish, with very good length. Recommended buy to enjoy over the next 4-5 years. Score: 89 pts

Other fine wines from Select Vins can be found via their Agent - Connexion Oenophilia.


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  • Date publishedThursday, September 3, 2020

September 5, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Smart Buys

LCBO Wine Picks: September 5, 2020 VINTAGES Release
Typically, the annual "Smart Buys" release is the first Release of the year, but in this weird and wacky calendar year, we have our second Smart Buys Release of 2020 as the main theme of the September 5, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release. Meanwhile, the mini-theme introduces us to a few Product Consultants and some of their insights. All of the wines from this Release should be on shelves by this Saturday, if not earlier.

We begin with the main theme featuring "Smart Buys", which features seventeen wines that are all under $25. The theme is broken up into three sections - "Low Price", "High Performance" a.k.a. high scoring, and "Popular" categories. Three of the seventeen are included among my top wine picks, and somewhat not surprisingly, all three come under the "High Performance" category. First up is the consistently delicious Riserva Chianti Classico that is a blend of 90% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Colorino. There is also a Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina, as well as a medium-dry (i.e. somewhat sweet) Riesling from New Zealand.

Rocca delle Macìe Famiglia Zingarelli Riserva Chianti Classico 2017 (89 pts)Kahurangi Mount Arthur Reserve Riesling 2017 (89 pts)

From the mini-theme that introduces Product Consultants, there are eight wines featured and two are included among my wine recommendations. First up is the consistently high-quality, off-dry Riesling from Niagara, while the second wine is from the southern Rhône Cru of Vinsobres that is made using a 50/50 blend of Grenache and Syrah.

Among my top red wines from this Release, it's the French wines that are blends. From Languedoc is an unoaked red made with Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Syrah, while the Châteauneuf-du-Pape consists of 75% Grenache and 25% Syrah. There are two fine Bordeaux reds worth your attention - at the low-end of the price range is a Fronsac that is 100% Merlot, while at the high-end is a Margaux that consists of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. The Wine of the Month is an Australian Shiraz and is also a recommended buy.

Château d'Arsac 2015 (91 pts)Château Mayne-Vieil 2016

Domaine La Rougeante 2016 (89 pts)Tyrrell's Hunter Valley Shiraz 2017 (90+ pts)

From my white wine picks, there are quite a few nice Chardonnays - a pair from Burgundy, one from California, and one from Niagara. The Loire white is a Sauvignon Blanc, while the Rhône white is a blend of 50% Viognier and 50% Marsanne from vines that are more than 50 years old.

Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2017 (91 pts)

Among my rosé wine picks, all are dry roses. The roses from both Rhône and Provence are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, while the rose from Australia is a blend of Pinot Noir and Merlot.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CAMELEON ORGANIC CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2018 - Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#15079) (XD) - $15.95
  • DOMAINE AUTRAND VINSOBRES 2018 - AC, Rhône, France (#15451) (XD) - $17.95
  • DOMAINE LA ROUGEANTE 2016 - AC Corbières, Languedoc, France (#15298) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • DOMAINE LAFAGE CUVÉE NICOLAS VIEILLES VIGNES GRENACHE NOIR 2018 - IGP Côtes Catalanes, Roussillon, France (#354191) (D) - $19.95
  • SAN PEDRO 1865 SELECTED VINEYARDS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2018 - DO Maipo Valley, Chile (#37911) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU MAYNE-VIEIL 2016 - AC Fronsac, Bordeaux, France (#14469) (XD) - $19.95  review coming soon...
  • ROCCA DELLE MACÌE FAMIGLIA ZINGARELLI RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2017 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#930966) (XD) - $24.95  89 pts  wine review
  • TYRRELL'S HUNTER VALLEY SHIRAZ 2017 - Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia (#13990) (XD) - $24.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • VASSE FELIX FILIUS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2018 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#559872) (XD) - $24.95
  • CHÂTEAU D'ARSAC 2015 - AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#14443) (XD) - $49.95  91 pts  wine review
  • DOMAINE DE SAINT PAUL CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#15185) (XD) - $55.95

White Wine:

  • DÉCELLE CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES BLANC 2018 - AC, Rhône, France (#14037) (XD) - $15.95
  • LAFAZANIS GEOMETRIA MOSCHOFILERO 2018 - PGI Peloponnese, Greece (#15753) (XD) - $17.95  90 pts  wine review
  • CAVE DE LUGNY GRANDE RÉSERVE CHARDONNAY 2018 - AC Mâcon, Burgundy, France (#14743) (XD) - $19.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE RIESLING 2019 - Certified sustainable, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#557165) (D) - $19.95
  • KAHURANGI MOUNT ARTHUR RESERVE RIESLING 2017 - Nelson, South Island, New Zealand (#14559) (M) - $23.95  89 pts  wine review
  • JEAN-MARC BROCARD SAINTE CLAIRE CHABLIS 2018 - AC, Burgundy, France (#356634) (XD) - $28.95
  • SAGET LA PERRIÈRE L'ORIGINE BLANC FUMÉ DE POUILLY 2018 - AC Pouilly-Fumé, Loire, France (#15672) (XD) - $29.95
  • CAMBRIA KATHERINE'S VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2017 - Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara, California, USA (#980490) (XD) - $29.95  91 pts  wine review
  • BACHELDER WISMER WINGFIELD OUEST VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2017 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#520403) (XD) - $47.95  FE
Lafazanis Geometria Moschofilero 2018 (90 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • MAS DES BRESSADES CUVÉE TRADITION ROSÉ 2019 - AP Costières-de-Nîmes, Rhône, France (#950576) (XD) - $18.95
  • BLUE PYRENEES ESTATE BONE DRY ROSÉ 2019 - Victoria, Australia (#15272) (XD) - $18.95
  • ASHLEY MARY LIMITED EDITION M DE MINUTY ROSÉ 2019 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#575316) (XD) - $26.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • AYALA CUVÉE PERLE D'AYALA BRUT NATURE CHAMPAGNE 2006 - AC, Champagne, France (#288340) (D) - $168.95  FE

Fortified:

  • POÇAS COLHEITA PORT 2003 - DOP Douro, Portugal (#216424) (S) - $45.95


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  • Date publishedTuesday, September 1, 2020

Leyda Garuma Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (Chile) - Wine Review

white wine review is this lovely single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from Chile that arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on - with plenty still available across the province.

Viña Leyda is part of the VSPT Wine Group, a group of six Chilean and two Argentinean wineries. However, Viña Leyda does stand out on its own as a pioneer, planting vineyards in the Leyda Valley in 1998 well before it became a Designation of Origin in Chile. Leyda (the winery) is located on the western side of the Chilean Coastal Range of mountains, only 4 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean. The coastal climate provided ideal conditions for winegrowing, however, they needed to innovate by building an aqueduct to bring water from the Maipo River to the valley. In 2001, they were able to prove that wines of the Leyda Valley were distinct and helped create the D.O. Leyda Valley appellation. Today, Viña Leyda is Chile's most awarded coastal winery.

Leyda is internationally renowned for producing some of Chile's finest cool-climate Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, including this delicious Garuma Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. This white wine is named after the Garuma, a small seagull that can be found along the Chilean coastline and sandy beaches all year-round. The grapes for this Sauvignon Blanc come from the producer's El Maitén vineyard in the coastal valley of Leyda, just 12 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean, and grown on a west-facing slope with plenty of cooling breezes from the ocean that allow the grapes to slowly and steadily ripen, while also adding a unique saline character to the wines. The soils here are granitic with calcareous encrustations. It is produced with 100% Davis 1 clone Sauvignon Blanc, a variant known for producing creamy and structured wines. All of the grapes were hand-harvested early in the morning and spent 4 months on the lees during vinification.

Leyda Garuma Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

LEYDA GARUMA SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - DO Leyda Valley, Chile (#99309) (XD) - $16.95
Screw cap. Lovely, elegant, and highly aromatic nose of ripe passion fruit, guava, and lime citrus surrounded by earthy minerality and saline notes. The creamy, medium+ bodied is palate is nicely textured with lemon-lime citrus, passion fruit, saline mineral, and green pepper flavours. Lively acids are finely balanced by the concentrated fruit. Hints of jalapeño join the lemon-lime citrus, passion fruit, and saline notes on the juicy, well-balanced finish, with very good length. Enjoy this distinctive, cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc well-chilled over the next 3-4 years. Recommended buy. Score: 90 pts

Other fine wines from the award-winning Leyda portfolio are available at the LCBO, but can also be ordered via Dandurand.


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