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  • Date publishedMonday, November 30, 2020

Tournon Shays Flat Vineyard Shiraz 2013 (Australia) - Wine Review



Tonight's wine review is this excellent Australian Shiraz that came to the LCBO over the weekend as part of the November 28th LCBO VINTAGES Release.

The Chapoutier family have been working the vineyards and winegrowing in the Rhône Valley since 1808. Michel Chapoutier is the seventh generation of the family to work in the wine business. Michel is a legend in the world of wine with a passion for the expression of soils and a pioneering spirit. In 1997, Michel Chapoutier set out to explore the terroirs of the planet's oldest continent - Australia.

Michel wanted to meet like-minded people who had a passionate interest in bringing out the true character of the vines. He eventually found land awaiting its revelation in the state of Victoria and partnered with a couple of families. The area of Victoria is renowned for its distinct soils and and diversity of microclimates. Later, Maison M. Chapoutier purchased a pair of Australian vineyards in the Victorian Pyrenees region - one of these was Shays Flat - and set up Domaine Tournon with the goal of producing world-class wines that speak of the individual terroirs from which they are grown.

The Domaine Tournon portfolio consists of four ranges of wines. At the low end is the Mathilda range from Victorian vineyards - I enjoyed the 2011 Domaine Tournon Mathilda Shiraz a few years ago. There is also the Landsborough Vineyard in Pyrenees, and the Lady's Lane Vineyard in Heathcote. Lastly, there is the Shay's Flat Vineyard, where this Shiraz is from, that . The Shay's Flat Vineyard is located in the cool region of Pyrenees in Western Victoria, nestled in the mountain range with a northeastern aspect on red soils that are a mix of schists, silt, quartz, and clay - ideal for producing high quality red wines, especially Shiraz.

Tournon Shays Flat Vineyard Shiraz 2013 (91+ pts)

Tasting Note:

TOURNON SHAYS FLAT VINEYARD SHIRAZ 2013 - Pyrenees, Victoria, Australia (#311480) (XD) - $23.95
Cork enclosure. This Shiraz was grown on red podzolic soils that overlay iron schists and quartz. Most of this wine was aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. The medium+ intensity nose seems somewhat shy, but offers savoury, earthy, and dark fruited aromas with hints of herbal mint. The medium-full to full-bodied palate has lovely, slightly maturing flavours of dark berry, spice, and herbs surrounding a savoury, earthy, and woody core. Some lovely peppery spice notes arrive with time in the glass. It has balanced acidity and gritty, refined tannins that are pleasantly textured. Savoury and earthy on the finish, with excellent length. More Northern Rhône Syrah than Shiraz in style. Highly recommended buy for Syrah wine lovers. Enjoy over the next 8-10 years. Score: 91+ pts

Other lovely wines from M. Chapoutier can be ordered via their Agent - Dandurand.


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  • Date publishedSaturday, November 28, 2020

Château Hauchat 2018 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

wine review is a nice Merlot from Bordeaux that arrived at the LCBO today as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

It is produced by Vignobles Jean-Bernard Saby & Fils, a family that has been producing wines on the Right Bank of Bordeaux in Saint Emilion for nine generations. Jean Saby started the family dynasty in the 18th century and the family vineyard properties have been passed down each generation ever since. Today, Jean-Bernard Saby has modernized the various family properties, with 62 hectares of vines located in Saint-Émilion and Fronsac. The 9th generation - Jean-Christophe and Jean-Phillippe - are both oenologists and are applying their new skills while still respecting the traditions and know-how of their father and grandfather.

The Château Hauchat property is located on a high plateau within the commune of Saint-Aignan, to the west of neighbouring Pomerol and Saint Émilion. It was re-acquired by the Saby family in 1973, joining Château Rozier and Château Saint André Corbin that make up the family estates. Château Hauchat is situated in one of the finest growing areas of the Fronsac appellation. This site has homogeneity of the soil that is well-drained and consists of clay-limestone, as well as perfect sun exposure. Together, this terroir is ideal for the single grape grown at the property - Merlot.

I have tasted this red wine on a number of occasions now, including the 2016 Château Hauchat twice last year. It has improved every time I tasted it and with a 2018 vintage that is slated to be spectacular, I would expect this wine to be even better. Let's see how the 2018 is tasting tonight...

Château Hauchat 2018 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU HAUCHAT 2018 - AC Fronsac, Bordeaux, France (#123489) (XD) - $17.95
100% Merlot that was aged for 15 months in evenly split new, 1-year-old, and 2-year-old barrels. Medium+ intensity nose offers a mix of ripe dark berry, blackberry, oak, wood spice, and cocoa with hints of plum. It's medium+ bodied on the spicy palate with bright acidity and flavours of currant, cassis, oak spice, earth, and cocoa. Some warmth on the mid-palate, but fairly balanced overall. Well-integrated tannins have a pleasant, slightly chalky grip that linger through to juicy, earthy and cocoa flavoured finish, with very good length. Approachable now, but should improve over the next few years. Score: 88+ pts

Other wines from Vignobles Jean-Bernard Saby & Fils can be ordered via their Agent - Connexion Oenophilia.


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  • Date publishedThursday, November 26, 2020

Domaine Hamelin Beauroy Chablis 1er Cru 2018 (Burgundy) - Wine Review

wine review is this lovely Premier Cru Chablis that arrives in LCBO VINTAGES this weekend. This white wine is featured in the  LCBO VINTAGES Release as a Top Holiday Wine and is indeed just that!

I have had the pleasure of tasting this wine on a couple of occasions in the past, including the 2014 Domaine Hamelin Beauroy Chablis 1er Cru when it came through VINTAGES in 2016. It is crafted by Domaine Hamelin, a producer whose roots begin in 1840 when Gustave Hamelin grew 2 hectares of vines alongside his mixed farm. In 1880, Pierre Hamelin grew 3 hectares of vines alongside his farm, using his mule to help work the vines. At the time, the wine was held in 132 Litre barrels, giving rise to their name "feuillette", or little cask. The wines were sold in these containers and transported by river. In 1911, Georges Hamelin extends to property and grows 4 hectares of vines and working them by horse. In 1948, they began using a mechanical horizontal press and 5 years later started using a high-clearance tractor. Marc Hamelin created his own vineyard and then added the area he inherited from his father, while also building a new vat room.

Today, Thierry and his son Charles Hamelin, the 6th and 7th generations of the family continue winegrowing activities, perpetuating the Chablis wine tradition. The main focus is to keep the "flavour" of the terroir while using a mix of old traditions and modern winemaking techniques.

This Premier Cru Chablis is 100% Chardonnay that was grown on very steep, south-facing slopes, that extend from the bottom of the valley to the top. The vines were planted between 1980 and 1982 and have Kimmeridgien subsoil. It was aged for 12 to 18 months in stainless steel vats prior to bottling. The 2018 vintage in Chablis has been hailed by some as "one for the ages". It has a rare combination of high volume and high quality. It started with greater water reserves in the soil from which the vines drew water during the hot summer months. The presence of fog and dew each morning also added juice to vines. During harvest, the fruit was also picked with grapes in perfect balance.

Domaine Hamelin Beauroy Chablis 1er Cru 2018 (92 pts)

Tasting Note:

DOMAINE HAMELIN BEAUROY CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2018 - AC, Burgundy, France (#391805) (XD) - $39.95
From vines planted in the early 1980's on very steep, south-facing slopes, this unoaked Chardonnay has intense, terroir-driven, minerally aromas mingling with ripe, lemon citrus and touches of oyster shell, white floral, and acacia. It's medium+ bodied on the fresh, ripe palate with stony, lemon citrus flavours with hints of peach. It's nicely textured with fresh, bright acids that are crisp and clean. Some nutty and mealy notes arrive on the mid-palate, adding complexity and interest, lingering through to the long, juicy, textured, stony, oyster shell finish. Highly recommended buy. Score: 92 pts

Other fine wines from Domaine Hamelin can be ordered via their Agent - Connexion Oenophilia.


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  • Date publishedThursday, November 26, 2020

November 28, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Top Holiday Wines

LCBO Wine Picks: November 28, 2020 VINTAGES Release
The November 28, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release is another large release focusing on Top Holiday Wines for the season with lots of great options for gift-giving. It's the only theme of the release and is the 2nd-to-last release of the year. All of these will be on shelves across Ontario by this Saturday.

This mono-thematic Release features 24 wines as part of the theme on Top Holiday Wines - all with a starting price point of $28.95. Eight of these wines are included among my top wine picks and all will provide pleasure. First up is the iconic Bolgheri that is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and a small amount of Petit Verdot. Also from the old world, there is an excellent Gran Selezione Chianti Classico that consists of 92% Sangiovese and 8% Malvasia Nera / Colorino, and a lovely Premier Cru Chablis that is, of course, made with Chardonnay. There's also a lovely Pinot Noir from Central Otago. On the local front, a pair of lovely wines from Niagara's Le Clos Jordanne make the list again - a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. There is also the consistently great Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine that is 100% Chardonnay, and the Hidden Bench red that consists of 47% Merlot, 29% Malbec, and 24% Cabernet Franc.

Domaine Hamelin Beauroy Chablis 1er Cru 2018 (92 pts)Loveblock Pinot Noir 2018 (91 pts)

From my red wine recommendations, the red from Bordeaux is 100% Merlot, while the Syrah from Costières de Nîmes actually includes 10% Grenache. The Roussillon red consists of Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Grenache, while the Hawke's Bay red is a blend of 67% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Malbec, and 5% Cabernet Franc. The Spanish red consists of 55% Monastrell, 30% Garnacha, and 15% Syrah, and lastly, the Brunello is made with 100% Sangiovese.

Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino 2013 (92+ pts)Elephant Hill Merlot / Cabernet / Malbec 2016 (91 pts)


Château Hauchat 2018 (88+ pts)Les Vins Bonhomme El Petit Bonhomme 2018 (88 pts)

Among my white wine picks from the rest of the Release, the only blend is an (organic) wine from British Columbia that is an intriguing blend of three aromatic varietals - 45% Bacchus, 45% Pinot Blanc, and 10% Riesling that is crafted in a slightly sweeter style. The only other wine with any amount of sweetness is a Riesling from Niagara. For single varietal wines, there are a pair of lovely Sauvignon Blanc wines worth a look - a lovely Sancerre, as well as a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. There is also a very nice Chardonnay from Oregon, as well as a locally crafted Chardonnay by Cave Spring in Niagara. There is also an intriguing Alvarinho from Portugal.

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Genèse Sancerre 2018 (91+ pts)Vidal Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (89 pts)

Enjoy my wine recommendation from this Release and stay safe during the holiday season!

Red Wine:

  • LES VINS BONHOMME EL PETIT BONHOMME 2018 - DOP Jumilla, Spain (#16578) (XD) - $16.95  88 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU HAUCHAT 2018 - AC Fronsac, Bordeaux, France (#123489) (XD) - $17.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • MICHEL GASSIER FLEUR DE SYRAH 2018 - AC Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (#678086) (XD) - $17.95
  • GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR LES ASPRES SYRAH / MOURVÈDRE / GRENACHE 2017 - AP Côtes du Roussillon Les Aspres, France (#413245) (XD) - $19.95
  • EL ENEMIGO LOS PARAISOS BONARDA 2016 - Unfiltered, single vineyard, Mendoza, Argentina (#17286) (XD) - $21.95
  • TOURNON SHAYS FLAT VINEYARD SHIRAZ 2013 - Pyrenees, Victoria, Australia (#311480) (XD) - $23.95  91+ pts  wine review

    Tournon Shays Flat Vineyard Shiraz 2013 (91+ pts)
  • ELEPHANT HILL MERLOT / CABERNET / MALBEC 2016 - Hawke's Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#630517) (XD) - $28.95  91 pts  wine review
  • LOVEBLOCK PINOT NOIR 2018 - Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand (#313924) (XD) - $34.95  91 pts  wine review
  • HIDDEN BENCH TERROIR CACHÉ 2017 - Unfiltered, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#505610) (XD) - $44.95
  • LE CLOS JORDANNE LE GRAND CLOS PINOT NOIR 2018 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#184564) (XD) - $44.95
  • CASTELLO FONTERUTOLI GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2016 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#244905) (XD) - $59.95
  • DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2013 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#113357) (XD) - $68.95  92+ pts  wine review
  • GUADO AL TASSO 2017 - DOC Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy (#986380) (XD) - $161.95

White Wine:

  • VONDELING PETIT BLANC CHENIN BLANC 2019 - WO Voor-Paardeberg, South Africa (#16011) (XD) - $14.95
  • SPERLING MARKET WHITE 2018 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#551374) (D) - $17.95
  • CAVE SPRING ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2018 - Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#256552) (XD) - $19.95
  • AVELEDA SOLOS DE GRANITO ALVARINHO 2018 - Vinho Regional Minho, Portugal (#17514) (XD) - $19.95
  • VIDAL ESTATE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#12636) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE GENÈSE SANCERRE 2018 - AC, Loire, France (#189126) (XD) - $33.95  91+ pts  wine review
  • CHARLES BAKER PICONE VINEYARD RIESLING 2017 - VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#241182) (D) - $37.20  FE
  • DOMAINE HAMELIN BEAUROY CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2018 - AC, Burgundy, France (#391805) (XD) - $39.95  92 pts  wine review
  • ROSEROCK CHARDONNAY 2017 - Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#573568) (XD) - $42.95  FE
  • LE CLOS JORDANNE LE GRAND CLOS CHARDONNAY 2018 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#184549) (XD) - $44.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • BELCANTO DI BELLUSSI EXTRA DRY PROSECCO DI VALDOBBIADENE SUPERIORE - DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#53215) (XD) - $19.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM CUVÉE CATHARINE CARTE BLANCHE ESTATE BLANC DE BLANC 2015 - Traditional method, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#315200) (XD) - $49.95

Fortified:

  • GRAHAM'S 10-YEAR-OLD TAWNY PORT - DOP, Portugal (#17506) (S) (200 mL) - $11.95
  • MESSIAS 10-YEAR-OLD TAWNY PORT - DOP, Portugal (#87205) (S) - $29.95


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  • Date publishedTuesday, November 24, 2020

Les Vins Bonhomme El Petit Bonhomme 2018 (Spain) - Wine Review

wine review is this nice, vegan-friendly red wine from the Jumilla DO in southeastern Spain. It is a new arrival at the LCBO as part of the upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Les Vins Bonhomme produces wines from all over Spain with a team of winemakers and small family owners. Their aim is to transport you to every interesting corner of Spain - from the indigenous Monastrell of the sunny Mediterranean, to the southern version of Cabernet Sauvignon that shows its Spanish colours, and traditional Tempranillo from the land of castles in Castilla y León.

This wine is crafted in an approachable style and is a blend of 55% Monastrell from 30-year-old vines, 30% Garnacha, and 15% Syrah from the harsh climate and bush vines of Southwest Spain. In Jumilla, yields are easy to control due to the lack of water, resulting in a direct impact on the quality of the grapes. The purity of fruit is kept intact during vinification as it is not exposed to any oxygen during the pump-over process. Winemaking knowledge has been acquired using the generational knowledge of Bodegas Juan Gil - who have been cultivating vines in this area since the early 1900s.

Les Vins Bonhomme El Petit Bonhomme 2018 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

LES VINS BONHOMME EL PETIT BONHOMME 2018 - DOP Jumilla, Spain (#16578) (XD) - $16.95
Screw cap. Blend of 55% Monastrell from 30-year-old vines, 30% Garnacha, and 15% Syrah that underwent malolactic fermentation in French and American oak barrels followed by further ageing in oak for 6 months. Ripe, lush, black fruit, spice, rosemary, thyme, and herbal aromas with a savoury core. It's medium-full bodied with gritty tannins supporting the black fruit, pepper spice, and savoury earthy flavours with herbal touches. Some chalky grip on the mid-palate with balanced acidity. Good length on the savoury finish. Score: 88 pts

Other wines from Les Vins Bonhomme can be found via their Agent - Profile Wine Group.


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  • Date publishedMonday, November 23, 2020

Ruelas Reserva Red 2019 (Portugal) - Wine Review

wine review is a red wine from Portugal that is a new arrival to the LCBO as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

It is produced by Parras Wines, a wine business that was formed in 2010 by Luís Vieira, but whose roots took hold with the acquisition of Quinta do Gradil in 1999. Parras Wines is based in the wine region of Lisbon and has more than 120 hectares of vines planted across 200 hectares of land. They also have their own bottling facility and produce wines from other parts of the country through partnerships with other local producers.

The Lisbon Geographical Indication (IG) appellation is one of the most important Portuguese wine regions in terms of vineyard area and wine production. It is formed by gentle hills of low relief, and extends north from the capital city of Lisbon, along the Atlantic coast no more than 40 km from the ocean. This multi-faceted region encompasses several denominations of origin, ancient and modern, with distinct characteristics. It has a temperate climate of Atlantic influence, with relatively mild summers that are cooler and wetter in areas closer to the sea, and warmer and drier in the areas protected by Montejunto Mountain.

This particular bottle is crafted by winemaker Carlos Eduardo using Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Nacional, and Syrah. It was fermented in stainless steel vats and then aged in oak for a brief period.

Ruelas Reserva Red 2019 (86 pts)

Tasting Note:

RUELAS RESERVA RED 2019 - Vinho Regional Lisboa, Portugal (#17519) (XD) - $11.95
A blend of 50% Tinta Roriz, 30% Touriga Nacional, and 20% Syrah that was aged for only a brief time in oak. The medium+ intensity aromas are ripe and fruity with dark red cherry and sweet spices with touches of raisin and fig. It's medium+ with more ripe dark cherry, sweet spice and some raisiny flavours to go along with fresh, balanced acidity and supple, slightly chalky tannins. Sweet vanillin oak and savoury notes linger on the finish. Casual, weekday wine that has crowd-appeal. Score: 86 pts

Other wines from this producer can be ordered via their Agent - Capital B Wines.


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  • Date publishedSaturday, November 21, 2020

Catena Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (Argentina) - Wine Review

wine review is a lovely, high-altitude Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina that is available year-round in Ontario as it is part of the VINTAGES Essentials collection at the LCBO. The 2017 vintage of this wine is in stores now and currently on promotion at $2 off until .

It produced by the iconic Bodega Catena Zapata, which was founded in 1902 and is known for, among many things, discovering extreme high altitude terroirs in the Andean foothills of Mendoza. With the true belief that great wines begin in the vineyard, the vision at Catena is to produce rich and unforgettable wines that are true to the special place from which they come. It is also the belief that in order to produce world-class wines, they need the right winegrowing and winemaking team. Catena wines are produced by fourth generation Argentine vintner - also biologist, physician and author - Laura Catena, and Chief Winemaker, Alejandro Vigil.

Althought Catena is known for its pioneering role in resurrecting Malbec, this wine is made with Cabernet Sauvignon - in fact, a blend that doesn't include any Malbec. Cabernet Sauvignon is the third most cultivated red grape varietal in Argentina and, together with Malbec it is one of the most researched varietals in the country. The Cabernet grown in Argentina all come from continental climates, but depending on where it's grown produces at least three different styles of wines.

This red wine has traditionally been 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, but more recent vintages have been blends. Through decades of study and exploration within Mendoza's high altitude mountain terroirs, the Catena family has identified special locations for its Estate vineyards. The 2017 edition of this wine consists of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot, using grapes from 4 high mountain Estate vineyards that are all alluvial in origin. The Agrelo vineyard is located at 3,117 feet (950 metres) above sea level and has clay topsoil with rounded rocks underneath. The Villa Bastías vineyard (Uco Valley) is at 3,675 feet (1,120 metres) elevation and has silt loamy soil over limestone. The Altamira vineyard in La Consulta is located at 3,593 feet (1,095 metres) elevation and sits on loamy soils with rounded rocks underneath. The fourth vineyard is El Cepillo, Eugenio Bustos (San Carlos, Uco Valley) and is situated at 3,593 feet (1,090 metres) above sea level on loam-sandy soils with thick calcareous layers, and rounded rocks underneath. The grapes were fermented using wild yeasts and aged for 12 months in barrel. I recall enjoying previous editions of this wine, let's see how the 2017 is tasting tonight...

Catena Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

CATENA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017 - Mendoza, Argentina (#985002) (XD) - $19.95 $17.95 until Nov. 29.
A blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot from high-altitude vines grown between 3,117 and 3,675 feet (950 to 1,120 metres) above sea level. The perfumed, medium-high intensity nose offers lovely currant, cassis, herbal, and olive aromas with well-integrated oak and touches of graphite and cherry compote adding further interest. It's full-bodied on the smooth palate with dark berry, mild oak spice, and herbal flavours supported by balanced acidity and smooth, velvety tannins. Well-balanced throughout with salty mineral notes arriving on the mid-palate, joined by wood spice, savoury earthy, and chocolate notes that linger on the long, smooth and juicy finish. Enjoy over the next 5+ years. Score: 90 pts

There are quite a few lovely Catena wines available at the LCBO, but many others can also be ordered through their Agent - Noble Estates Wine & Spirts.


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  • Date publishedThursday, November 19, 2020

Tenuta del Buonamico Particolare Brut Rosé Sparkling (Tuscany) - Wine Review

wine review is a nice, vegan-friendly Charmat method sparkling rosé wine from Tuscany that is a new arrival to the LCBO as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Located southwest of Montecarlo, in the Province of Lucca, the story of Tenuta del Buonamico begins around the year 1870 with Giulio Magnani, the owner of the farming estate Marchi-Magnani, Giulio is from Montecarlo and his knowledge and passion for winemaking drew him to France learn the grape varieties and techniques used by the French to create highly valued wines. He travelled to Bordeaux, Rhone, and Burgundy and brought back grapes from each of these classic wine regions. Upon his return, he experimented with these grapes by blending them with Trebbiano, eventually finding success. From that time, wineries in Montecarlo began producing high quality wines.

The 100 hectare Buonamico Estate is located in the Cercatoja area, southwest of Montecarlo, with 48 hectares planted to vineyards. The current winery was founded in the early 1960s by renowned restaurateurs from Turin (Italy) to furnish their restaurant with Montecarlo wines.

Today, Tenuta del Buonamico is owned by the Fontana family. They have expanded the vineyards and wine cellar, while preserving the essential characteristics of a traditional winemaking style. Beginning in 2008, world renowned winemaker Alberto Antonini was brought in long-term to help improve the wines. This assistance has helped Buonamico become one of Montecarlo's leading wine producers.

Tenuta del Buonamico Particolare Brut Rosé Sparkling (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

TENUTA DEL BUONAMICO PARTICOLARE BRUT ROSÉ SPARKLING - Charmat method, Tuscany, Italy (#16712) (D) - $20.95
A vegan-friendly blend of Sangiovese and Syrah grown in a hilly area in Montecarlo, within the Province of Lucca, just west of Florence in Tuscany. Modest aromas of red berry, floral, orange citrus and grapefruit rise out of the glass. The palate is chalky textured with tart, lively acidity and bubbles that comes off as essentially dry on the flavour profile with grapefruit, citrus, and red berry flavours with touches of Flintstone vitamins. Mineral notes arrive on the mid-palate and linger through to the citrus, minerally finish, with very good length. Score: 88 pts

A few wines from Tenuta del Buonamico are available in small quantities at the LCBO, while the full portfolio can be ordered via their Agent - Capital B Wines.


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  • Date publishedTuesday, November 17, 2020

Trinity Hill The Gimblett 2016 and Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (New Zealand) - Wine Reviews

Trinity Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (89 pts) and The Gimblett 2016 (91 pts)
wine reviews are a pair of lovely wines from New Zealand's iconic Trinity Hill that arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on . I've been enamoured with this winery and the Hawke's Bay region ever since enjoying the 2014 Trinity Hill The Trinity Red Blend a couple of years ago that I made it a point to visit the Hawke's Bay and Trinity Hill when I visited New Zealand earlier this year - more on this to come.

The idea of Trinity Hill was formed in 1987 when winemaker John Hancock met with Bleeding Heart restaurant owners Robyn and Robert Wilson at their restaurant in London. On a stony site in Hawke's Bay, Trinity Hill became a reality in 1993 because they recognized that this site would give them the ability to produce world-class wines. They also recognized the potential of the Hawkes Bay's Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district and quickly became one of the region's early pioneers by planting grape vines on a barren plot on the former bed of the Ngaruroro River that is now an 18 hectare vineyard.

By 2001, Trinity Hill helped found the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association. It was created based on the terroir of the area of the old Ngaruroro Riverbed, with 34 member wineries and winegrowers making up the association.

Today, Robyn and Robert Wilson are still co-owners of Trinity Hill, while John Hancock moved on in 2018 to focus on his own negociant wine business. Warren Gibson is the Chief Winemaker. He worked with John prior to the creation of Trinity Hill and joined the team to work alongside John in 1997, earning several accolades along the way. Trinity produces wines using traditional Hawke's Bay varietals such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, as well as (my favourite) Syrah, and, of course, Sauvignon Blanc. All Trinity Hill wines are produced with the utmost care and respect for the grapes and with minimum intervention. Making world-class wines for more than 20 years, Trinity Hill truly is one of New Zealand's iconic wineries.

Tasting Notes:

TRINITY HILL SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Sustainable, Hawke's Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#247221) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. The fruit for this Sauvignon Blanc was sourced from Mangaorapa Station’s cool climate and argillite soils, in southern Hawke's Bay. Most of the wine was cool fermentated and spent 3 months in contact with lees, while a smaller portion was fermented and aged in small 228 L barriques. Elegant, restrained aromas of lime, citrus and stone fruits with touches of guava, passion fruit, and leesy characters. The medium bodied palate has a nice texture with more citrusy lime and stone fruit flavours joined by subtle leesy and oak notes that balance the crisp, fresh, and lively acidity. Interesting notes of oyster shell minerality linger on the long, juicy finish. Would be a fine pairing with oysters. Score: 89 pts

Trinity Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (89 pts)Trinity Hill The Gimblett 2016 (91 pts)

TRINITY HILL THE GIMBLETT 2016 - Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#280263) (XD) - $39.95
Screw cap. This blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, and 2% Malbec has lovely, perfumed aromas of ripe red and black fruits, currant, cassis and spices with subtle notes of sweet tobacco, floral, herb and leather. Some olive aromas develop with time in the glass. It's medium-full+ bodied on the palate with firm, structured, and grippy tannins along with juicy acidity that supports the blackberry, cassis, currant, earthy, and cedary oak flavours. Savoury, earthy and woody on the finish, with excellent length. Enjoy to the late 2020s. Score: 91 pts

Other fine wines from Trinity Hill can be ordered through their Agent - Connexion Oenophilia.


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  • Date publishedThursday, November 12, 2020

Château Maucoil Privilège Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2016 (Rhône) - Wine Review

I enjoyed the 2016 Château Maucoil Côtes du Rhône-Villages when it came through VINTAGES in March 2019, and wine review is another fine wine from the same producer. This excellent organic Châteauneuf-du-Pape makes it's first appearance at the LCBO as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Château Maucoil is an historic property located in an area in Châteauneuf-du-Pape that has been occupied since the time of the Romans. The Château Maucoil estate and castle was built in 1624, and winegrowing gained prominence some time thereafter when Joseph de La Pise, Lord of Maucoil and archivist of the House of Orange-Nassau (the Dutch royal family) inherited the property. Château Maucoil has changed hands many times over the years, with each family helping establish the estate's reputation for producing quality wines.

The Arnaud family, with its deep roots and winegrowing experience in Châteauneuf-du-Pape spanning several generations, acquired Château Maucoil in 1995. In 2009, Bénédicte, the youngest daughter of the Arnaud family, along with her husband Charles Bonnet took over the property. In 2013, they merged with the Lavau family and today they run the estate together.

This Châteauneuf-du-Pape was crafted from the Domaine's oldest vines which average 70 years old. Thirteen varieties are planted at the Domaine and six are included in this Châteauneuf-du-Pape - approximately 50% Grenache, smaller amounts of Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault, as well as 5% of white varietals Clairette and Bourboulenc. The grapes are hand-harvested and individually sorted before going to vat. The grapes are fermented together before going into either 228 L or 600 L barrels that are either new or used for one vintage, and then aged for 12 to 18 months. The wine is then aged for several years in bottle prior to release. Let's see how this Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which hails from the classic 2016 Southern Rhône vintage, is tasting tonight...

Château Maucoil Privilège Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2016 (94 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU MAUCOIL PRIVILÈGE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2016 - AC, Rhône, France (#16210) (XD) - $85.95
A blend of approx. 50% Grenache, plus Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault, as well as 5% of white varietals Clairette and Bourboulenc grown on sandy, pebbly soils, with vines averaging 70 years old. The rich, highly aromatic nose is very complex with lovely notes of raspberry, blackberry, stony & smoky mineral, peppery spices, and violets. It's full-bodied and concentrated on the palate with lovely aroma replays plus some garrigue notes adding further complexity. It has juicy acidity and a touch of warmth on the mid-palate, but nicely balanced overall. Firm tannins are grainy and textured. Savoury, stony mineral notes linger on the finish, with excellent length. Approachable now, but will be better in 5 years and enjoy into the mid-2030s. Gorgeous! Score: 94 pts

Other fine wines from Château Maucoil can be ordered via their Agent - Connexion Oenophilia.


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  • Date publishedThursday, November 12, 2020

November 14, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Fine Holiday Wines

LCBO Wine Picks: November 14, 2020 VINTAGES Release
As we head into the holidays, the main (and only) theme of the November 14, 2020 LCBO VINTAGES Release focuses on fine wines for the holidays. It's a big Release with many quality wines, some of which appeared in VINTAGES previously. All of these wines will be on shelves by this Saturday.

We begin with the theme on fine wines for the holidays that would make excellent gifts for yourself, friends, or family. There are twenty-five wines featured as part of the theme, and a number of these I had previously recommended when they came through VINTAGES earlier this year. Thus, just two of the twenty-five wines are included amony my top wine picks. First up is an excellent Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the classic 2016 vintage that consists of mostly Grenache with Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault, as well as 5% of white varietals Clairette and Bourboulenc. The second wine is a lovely traditional method sparkling wine from Niagara that is a dry, zero-dosage blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay.

Château Maucoil Privilège Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2016 (94 pts)13th Street Premier Cuvée Sparkling 2014 (91 pts)

From the rest of the Release, among my red wine recommendations there is a red from Chile that is made with 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Malbec, 12% Petit Verdot, and 6% Cabernet Franc, while the red from Hawke's Bay consists of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, and 2% Malbec. From Washington, the Red Blend consists of 60% Syrah and 40% Merlot, while the Spanish red is made with 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. Lastly, the Chianti Classico is made with 100% Sangiovese.

Trinity Hill The Gimblett 2016 (91 pts)Laura Hartwig Edición de Familia 2017 (90 pts)

High Heaven Roaming Elk Red Blend 2017 (88 pts)

Among my white wine picks, the only blend is an oak-influenced Greek wine that consists of 60% Malagouzia, 20% Assyrtiko, and 20% Chardonnay. The only wine with a bit of sweetness is the Pinot Gris from New Zealand, while the rest, including the Riesling, are all dry wines. For Sauvignon Blanc fans, there are a pair of lovely 2019s from New Zealand - one from Marlborough (South Island) and the other from Hawke's Bay (North Island) - as well as a Sancerre from Loire.

Whitehaven Greg Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (91 pts)Whitehaven Pinot Gris 2018 (89 pts)

Trinity Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (89 pts)

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release and stay safe during this holiday season!

Red Wine:

  • FALERNIA GRAN RESERVA SYRAH 2016 - Elquí Valley, Chile (#16793) (XD) - $16.95
  • SISTER'S RUN OLD TESTAMENT CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2018 - Coonawarra, South Australia (#478271) (XD) - $17.95
  • BORSAO BEROLA 2016 - DO Campo de Borja, Spain (#371518) (XD) - $18.95
  • HIGH HEAVEN ROAMING ELK RED BLEND 2017 - Columbia Valley, Washington, USA (#15847) (XD) - $19.95  88 pts  wine review
  • IL MOLINO DI GRACE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2015 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#85209) (XD) - $19.95
  • CATENA PARAJE ALTAMIRA MALBEC 2017 - Paraje Altamira, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#492413) (XD) - $23.95
  • INVIVO CENTRAL OTAGO PINOT NOIR 2018 - Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand (#466029) (XD) - $24.95  91 pts  wine review
  • LAURA HARTWIG EDICIÓN DE FAMILIA 2017 - DO Colchagua Valley, Chile (#14147) (XD) - $27.95  90 pts  wine review
  • TRINITY HILL THE GIMBLETT 2016 - Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#280263) (XD) - $39.95  FE  91 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU MAUCOIL PRIVILÈGE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2016 - AC, Rhône, France (#16210) (XD) - $85.95  94 pts  wine review
Invivo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2018 (91 pts)

White Wine:

  • MEGA SPILEO CUVÉE III WHITE 2019 - PGI Achaia, Greece (#14186) (XD) - $17.95
  • TAHBILK VIOGNIER 2019 - Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria, Australia (#271387) (XD) - $18.95  89 pts  wine review
  • WHITEHAVEN PINOT GRIS 2018 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#447516) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • PADDY BORTHWICK RIESLING 2019 - Wairarapa, North Island, New Zealand (#648840) (XD) - $19.95  FE
  • TRINITY HILL SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Sustainable, Hawke's Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#247221) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • CASTELLO DELLA SALA BRAMÌTO CHARDONNAY 2019 - IGT Umbria, Italy (#176792) (XD) - $22.95
  • WHITEHAVEN GREG RESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Awatere single vineyard, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#325944) (XD) - $23.95  91 pts  wine review
  • BERNARD REVERDY & FILS SANCERRE 2018 - AC, Loire, France (#200055) (XD) - $30.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE MALIGNY CHABLIS 2018 - AC, Burgundy, France (#16209) (XD) - $30.95
  • MOSS WOOD SEMILLON 2018 - Wilyabrup, Margaret River, Western Australia (#15047) (XD) - $36.95  FE
Tahbilk Viognier 2019 (89 pts)

Sparkling Wine:

  • TENUTA DEL BUONAMICO PARTICOLARE BRUT ROSÉ SPARKLING - Charmat method, Tuscany, Italy (#16712) (D) - $20.95  88 pts  wine review
  • 13TH STREET PREMIER CUVÉE SPARKLING 2014 - Traditional method, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#142679) (XD) - $39.95  91 pts  wine review
  • BOLLINGER SPECIAL CUVÉE BRUT CHAMPAGNE - AC, France (#384529) (XD) - $91.95
  • LOUIS ROEDERER BRUT NATURE CHAMPAGNE 2012 - AC, France (#440891) (XD) - $124.95  FE
Tenuta del Buonamico Particolare Brut Rosé Sparkling (88 pts)

Dessert Wine:

  • HENRY OF PELHAM RIESLING ICEWINE 2017 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#430561) (S) (375 mL) - $49.95  91+ pts  wine review
Henry of Pelham Riesling Icewine 2017 (91+ pts)


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  • Date publishedTuesday, November 10, 2020

Wakefield Merlot 2018 (Australia) - Wine Review

wine review is a nice Merlot from the always dependable Wakefield Wines. This red wine is a regular visitor to VINTAGES for many years now and, in fact, looking through my database, I actually purchased a 2004 vintage of this wine in 2006 and opened it that same year. The latest vintage of this Merlot arrived at LCBO outlets across Ontario recently as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

The Taylor family established their wine business in 1969 and decided to create a proper 'old world' style Estate like the great producers of Bordeaux, but in the 'new world' location of the Clare Valley in South Australia. In the language of wine, an Estate means that the vineyards and winery are in the same location, thus allowing the producer to have ultimate control over the vineyards and winery. Today, the Taylor family continues to craft and bottle wines at the Estate. However, not all of the fruit comes from their own property these days mainly because their wines are so popular that they need to source fruit from elsewhere, but they sometimes also seek out fruit from other areas because the fruit is of higher quality. This commitment to crafting quality wines from quality fruit has helped the Taylor's develop an enviable reputation and garnered much success over the years.

The first wines they crafted were the Estate range Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, while the Merlot followed sometime thereafter. Like the trio of Wakefield Estate Wines I enjoyed back in August, this Merlot also has the innovative Optimum Drinking Temperature sensor on the back label. The fruit for this Merlot comes from the Taylor family estate and was de-stemmed and underwent a quick, yet gentle, warm fermentation using a yeast that enhances fruit expression. It was then pressed and went through malolactic fermentation. Finally, it was matured in mostly second use and older American & French oak barrels, then blended and bottled with minimal filtration.

Wakefield Merlot 2018 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

WAKEFIELD MERLOT 2018 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#683201) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. The fragrant nose on this Merlot offers spicy ripe currant and green herbal aromas with savoury, earthy, and vanilla undertones. It's medium-bodied on the ripe, slightly candied and jammy palate with blackberry, minty cassis, vanilla, and sweet spice flavours with touches of plum. Acids are fresh while soft, supple tannins have some texture. Savoury wood spice and chocolate notes linger on the finish, with good length. Crafted in a casual, crowd-pleasing style. Score: 87 pts

Many other Wakefield Wines can be found at the LCBO, as well as through their Agent - Profile Wine Group.


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  • Date publishedSunday, November 8, 2020

13th Street Premier Cuvée Sparkling 2014 (Niagara) - Wine Review

wine review is this lovely sparkling wine from Niagara that arrives in LCBO VINTAGES on . It is featured in this Release as part of the theme called "Holiday Cheer" and would make fine gift for the holidays.

13th Street Winery has become somewhat of a powerhouse in the world of Niagara sparkling wine, with a full lineup of high-quality, traditional method sparkling wines crafted from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. To push the envelope of innovation, they also have a vintage sparkling wine made with Gamay - a varietal that 13th Street has much success with.

This particular vintage sparkling wine is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the 2014 vintage, with both varieties primarily sourced from their estate vineyards in the Creek Shores sub-appellation, along with some fruit coming from some of their favourite growers in both Creek Shores and Niagara-on-the-Lake. After harvest, both varieties went into the press with the free run juice being kept separate from the press wine. Each varietal went through primary fermentation separately, and then blended and bottled for secondary fermentation. The wine was aged on lees for a minimum of 48 months - during this period the bubbles become smaller and more compact, along with the development of slight autolytic, toast and bread characters. After disgorging, Winemaker Jean-Pierre Colas decided that the wine was in perfect balance and opted to not add any sugar to the dosage, resulting in a classically dry sparkling wine in the zero-dosage style.

Along with enjoying other fine sparkling wines from 13th Street Winery, I've had the pleasure of tasting the past two vintages of this lovely bubbly. It has been on my recommended list each of the last two times that it appeared in VINTAGES. Let's see how the 2014 is tasting tonight...

13th Street Premier Cuvée Sparkling 2014 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

13TH STREET PREMIER CUVÉE SPARKLING 2014 - Traditional method, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#142679) (XD) - $39.95
A blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay that was aged on the lees for a minimum of 48 months and has zero-dosage. Maturing, toasty brioche, autolytic, yeast, and baked apple aromatics with touches of lemon citrus and honey adding complexity. It's medium+ bodied on the crisp, dry palate with fine mousse and lively acidity. The dry flavour profile offers toasty, brioche, leesy, lemon citrus, and mineral characters. The mineral notes linger on the finish, with excellent length. Enjoy over the next 3-5 years. Score: 91 pts


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  • Date publishedFriday, November 6, 2020

Laura Hartwig Edición de Familia 2017 (Chile) - Wine Review

wine review is a lovely Chilean red blend that first came to VINTAGES as a Flagship Store Exclusive back in May (and sold out quickly), but now returns to LCBO VINTAGES on in quantities such that it will be widely available across Ontario.

It is produced by Laura Hartwig Premium Wines, and the story begins in 1966 when Laura Bisquertt inherited the "Santa Laura" farm from her father, Osvaldo. He purchased the property in 1928 and cultivated annual crops and had cattle. The next 5 years after inheriting the farm, Laura and her husband, Alejandro Hartwig, purchased neighbouring lots and ran the estate. In 1971, Alejandro decided to look for work abroad and landed in Montreal, Canada. While living in Canada with his family for 10 years, he developed a passion for wine and decided with Laura to return to Colchagua Valley, with its excellent climate for winegrowing, to establish a winery as their "Retirement Project".

In 1978, Laura and Alejandro started planting the estate with Bordeaux varietals and sold the fruit to other wineries. In 1994, they built the estate in Santa Cruz, in the heart of the Colchagua Valley, and created their first Laura Hartwig wine a year later - a Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva. Today, it is children of Laura and Alejandro who are in charge of the estate and aim to produce wines with the same principles that their parents instilled in them. With a temperate climate, loam clay soils, and a long-standing team, Laura Hartwig has developed low-impact and sustainable vineyard management practices.

This Edición de Familia (Family Edition) red wine blend was born out of the Winemaker's need to create a classic red blend with the oldest vines planted in the estate, and also reflect the potential of these varieties with quality fruit every vintage. The 2017 vintage of this wine is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc. In the Edición de Familia, Winemaker Renato Czischke has the space and complete freedom express his passion, conviction, and ideas to make a wine with a unique and personal style while paying tribute to the Hartwig family.

Laura Hartwig Edición de Familia 2017 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

LAURA HARTWIG EDICIÓN DE FAMILIA 2017 - DO Colchagua Valley, Chile (#14147) (XD) - $27.95
A blend of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Malbec, 12% Petit Verdot, and 6% Cabernet Franc that was aged in (50%) new and second use French oak barrels for 20 months. It has an elegant, rich, and fragrant nose of bay leaf, forest green herbs, cassis, blackcurrant, earth, and cedary oak aromas. It's medium+ bodied on the palate with firm, grippy, and textured tannins along with fresh, lively acidity. Some greenness on the flavour profile is balanced with pleasing savoury, earthy, oak, and blackcurrant notes with a touch of coffee. Long, bright finish is savoury and earthy with oak spice notes. Enjoyable now with big, red meats, but I would age this for 3-4 years for prime enjoyment. Score: 90 pts

Other lovely wines from Laura Hartwig are available via their Agent - Profile Wine Group.


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  • Date publishedWednesday, November 4, 2020

High Heaven Roaming Elk Red Blend 2017 (Washington) - Wine Review

wine review is a nice, vegan-friendly, Syrah and Merlot blend from Washington State. It is a new wine that arrives in Ontario for the first time as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

This red wine blend is made by High Heaven Vintners, the same producer that crafted the 2018 High Heaven Majestic Pines Cabernet Sauvignon that I reviewed back in September. High Heaven Vintners is a new joint project between the Taub and Zirkle family. With more than a century of winemaking and farming experience, both families believe in growing great grapes to make amazing wines. High Heaven Vintners is located in the eastern part of Washington State and is inspired by the natural mountainous backdrop that surrounds their vines. The area is protected by the "Rain Shadow" that is formed by the Cascade Mountains to the west, creating a warm, sunny, and dry climate that is ideal for grape growing.

All High Heaven Vintners wines - the range consists of five wines - are estate grown & bottled. The aforementioned Cabernet Sauvignon is still available for purchase at the LCBO, while other wines can be ordered via their Agent - Dionysus Wines & Spirits Ltd.

High Heaven Roaming Elk Red Blend 2017 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

HIGH HEAVEN ROAMING ELK RED BLEND 2017 - Columbia Valley, Washington, USA (#15847) (XD) - $19.95
An estate grown blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Merlot, with most of the Syrah and Merlot coming from the McNary Vineyard (Horse Heaven Hills AVA). Additional Syrah from the Zillah Ranch (Rattlesnake Hills AVA) was added to the blend. The medium to medium+ intensity nose has resinous oak spice, dark berry, blackberry, and raspberry aromas with touches of purple fruit and smoke. On the dry, full-bodied palate, it has supple, rounded tannins and juicy acidity supporting the sweet vanillin oak spice, blackberry, cocoa flavours. Finishes long with a smoky, vanillin oak aftertaste. Vegan-friendly. Score: 88 pts


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  • Date publishedMonday, November 2, 2020

Alamos Selección Malbec 2016 (Argentina) - Wine Review

To continue my series on Malbec wines from Argentina, wine review is a lovely Malbec that has come through VINTAGES a few times over the past 15 months, and most recently appeared at the LCBO as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release - with bottles readily available across Ontario.

This Malbec is produced by Alamos - a label whose roots are based on the founding wine family of Argentina - the Catena family. With more than 100 years of passion and research in winemaking, Alamos strives to put the very best of Argentina into every bottle. The wines of Alamos showcase Argentina’s high-altitude winegrowing to create authentic wines from Argentina's signature grapes grown in Mendoza and Salta. Alamos wines are grown in the shadow of the Andes Mountains at elevations of 3,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level, where intense sunlight, cool evening temperatures, and mineral-rich irrigation from mountain snowmelt translates into rich, layered aromas and flavours of Argentina’s hallmark varieties.

The Winemaker at Alamos is Lucía Vaieretti. She grew up in Mendoza and her family has tended vines for more than 40 years. Lucía also worked the vineyards by picking grapes and pruning vines with her family when she was young. After completing high school, Lucia attended South America's oldest and most prestigious school of viticulture and oenology - Don Bosco in Mendoza. While still studying at Don Bosco, she began working for the Catena Family wineries in Mendoza and joined the company full-time after graduating in 2006. In 2010, Lucía began making wine at Alamos before taking over as head of winemaking in 2016.

The grapes for this Malbec come from La Consulta, within the Uco Valley in Mendoza, from an area that is tucked under the massive shoulders of the Andes Mountains in west-central Argentina. The grapes were grown at high-altitude between 3,000 to 5,000 feet. These high-altitude desert vineyards are irrigated by mineral-rich snowmelt from glaciers and snowfields. At this altitude, the air is clear and there is more sunlight. At night, the cold air sweeps down from the mountains to give the grapes the structure and complexity to balance perfectly with the intense flavours that make Malbec from Mendoza so unique.

Alamos Selección Malbec 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

ALAMOS SELECCIÓN MALBEC 2016 - La Consulta, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#322800) (XD) - $17.95
100% Malbec hand selected from special blocks within their favourite vineyards at high-altitude between 3,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level. The medium+ intensity nose delivers ripe blackberry, earthy, and chocolate aromas with a touch of herb. It is medium-full with good fruit concentration and flavours of blackberry, smoky mineral, and savoury notes on the spicy palate accented by herbal and subtle oak influence. It has lively acidity and supple tannins that are well-integrated, along with some purple fruit notes on the mid-palate. The long finish has more blackberry and smoky mineral notes with a touch of white pepper spice. Great buy! Score: 89 pts

Other delicious wines from Alamos can be found at the LCBO, as well as through their Agent - E & J Gallo Winery Canada.


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