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  • Date publishedSaturday, October 30, 2021

Juvé y Camps Pinot Noir Brut Rosé Cava (Spain) - Wine Review



sparkling wine review is a lovely Brut Rosé Cava made with Pinot Noir that arrived at the LCBO a couple of weeks ago as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release, just in time for the holidays.

The story of Juvé y Camps begins in 1796 when a curious, meticulous, and forward-thinking winemaker, Joan Juvé Mir, laid the groundwork for the company. Some years later, his son Antoni Juvé Escaiola took over the vineyards and successfully tackled the horrible scourge of phylloxera. In 1921, Joan Juvé Baqués, son of Antoni Juvé Escaiola and husband of Teresa Camps Ferrer, set up the underground facilities in the family home in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia and made the first sparkling wine under the Juvé brand name.

In 1940, The sons of Joan and Teresa - Josep and Joan Juvé Camps - joined the family business in 1940 and helped build a new winery outside of Sant Sadurní d'Anoia. Under the leadership of brothers Josep and Joan Juvé Camps, the underground cellars were expanded and important technical advances were introduced so that they could produce top-quality cava. During the 1970s, they expand their portfolio of top cava, growing the business to global markets by the 1980s. In 1991, construction begins on a new winery at the family estate in Espiells for making cuvees for cava and ageing still wines. Within the last decade, Juvé y Camps began moving towards integrated and organic winemaking, with a focus on obtaining better quality grapes that also express the soils where they are grown.

This Brut Rosé Cava is crafted using Pinot Noir grapes from their Espiells estate vineyard, The Espiells estate is the largest of their estates with over 200 hectares of vineyards in what is recognized as the best winemaking zone in the Alt Penedès, on the slopes of Montserrat - a mountain that emerged from the sea millions of years ago and presides over the country, protecting it from the cold, north winds. To make this Brut Rosé Cava, they used free-run juice from Pinot Noir grapes with a slight maceration to add colour, flavour, and texture. It was aged for an average of 12 months in bottle prior to release. Let's see how this fine sparkling wine is tasting tonight...

Juvé y Camps Pinot Noir Brut Rosé Cava (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

JUVÉ Y CAMPS PINOT NOIR BRUT ROSÉ CAVA - Traditional method, DO, Spain (#385088) (D) - $24.95
The delicate, medium+ intensity nose offers pretty aromas of slightly sweet and honeyed red fruit notes of cherry, strawberry, and raspberry. The palate is essentially dry with 10 g/L residual sugar with fresh acids and creamy, effervescent mousse supporting the toasty, flavourful red fruit replays of cherry, strawberry, and raspberry on the dry, balanced flavour profile. Some white floral and citrus notes join on the mid-palate, adding complexity, and linger through to the long, dry, clean, and crisp finish. Recommended buy! Score: 90 pts

Other lovely wines from Juvé y Camps are available through their Agent - Profile Wine Group.


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  • Date publishedThursday, October 28, 2021

Pirramimma Petit Verdot 2017 (McLaren Vale) - Wine Review

red wine review is a lovely, and perennial favourite, Petit Verdot from Australia. The latest vintage arrived at the LCBO a couple of weeks ago in the LCBO VINTAGES Release, where it was featured as part of the theme on Australian wines.

Pirramimma was founded by Alexander Campbell Johnston (ACJ) in 1892 and has been owned and operated by the Johnston family ever since. The Johnston family arrived in South Australia in 1839 and Alexander, the tenth of thirteen children, purchased 97 hectares of rich farmland southeast of the village of McLaren Vale in 1892. ACJ selected McLaren Vale because of the region's cooling sea breezes from the Gulf of St. Vincent, the Mediterranean climate, rich & diverse soil structures and quality drainage. He named his land Pirramimma, an Aboriginal phrase meaning "the moon and the stars."

Pirramimma has been handed down familial lines, with Geoff Johnston, the third generation of the family, now the custodian. Geoff is known as a "Professor of Soil", spending over 25 years converting Pirramimma's sterile land into a living organism, as well as reducing the winery's ecological footprint through various projects including solar systems, dams, and even a wind turbine. After a trip to Bordeaux, Geoff developed an interest in the Bordeaux grape variety Petit Verdot. He then planted a small area to Petit Verdot as a trial in 1983, which has now expanded to 35 acres of mature vines. Geoff Jonhston pioneered Petit Verdot in Australia, and his Petit Verdot is now considered among the best in the world.

According to Chief Winemaker Geoff Johnston, the 2017 growing season was exceptional - providing outstanding fruit quality, great colour, varietal character, ripe tannins, and length of flavour. The 2017 vintage of this wine was twenty-second release of this Petit Verdot, and the fruit for this vintage was selected from the Siberia, Eric's, OTC, Jones, and Katunga vineyards, all within McLaren Vale, with each block providing its own distinctive profile. Let's see how the latest vintage of this Australian Petit Verdot is tasting tonight...

Pirramimma Petit Verdot 2017 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

PIRRAMIMMA PETIT VERDOT 2017 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#986752) (XD) - $29.95
Aged for 2 years and new and used French and American oak, bottled by screw cap, this 100% Petit Verdot is ripe, black-blue fruited and spicy on the medium-high intensity nose with aromas of black cherry, peppery spice, plum, and bramble, with savoury and earthy undertones. It's full-bodied with very good concentration on the palate with delicious blackberry, cedary oak, boysenberry, and plum flavours supported by fresh, juicy acidity and woolly, finely textured, and slightly chalky tannins. Tangy black cherry, savoury, earthy, and cocoa notes linger on the finish, with excellent length. Another lovely vintage for this recommended buy. Score: 90 pts

Find other lovely wines from Pirramimma through their Agent - Noble Estates Wines & Spirits.


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  • Date publishedThursday, October 28, 2021

October 30, 2021 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: California + Sicily

LCBO Wine Picks: October 30 VINTAGES Release
The main theme of the October 30 LCBO VINTAGES Release is titled "California Classics", while the mini-theme takes a look at Signature wines from Sicily. All of these wines, plus those from the main release should be available on shelves across Ontario by Saturday.

We begin with the main theme on classic California wines. In total, there are thirteen wines featured as part of this theme, and three of these wines are included among my top wine picks. First up is a Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley that actually includes 13% Merlot, plus some Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot, while the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot. The third wine is an always top-notch Chardonnay from Sonoma Mountain in southern Sonoma County. Lastly, although not part of the feature as it is listed as a Flagship Exclusive (FE), there is a lovely California Chardonnay from Napa Valley.

Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay 2019 (92 pts)

Only six wines are featured in the mini-theme on Signature wines from Sicily. However, the wines do provide a nice overview of the prominent varietals grown on the volcanic island of Sicily. Just one wine from this theme is on my recommended list - the latest vintage of a personal favourite that is made with the indigenous Carricante.

From my red wine recommendations, the Tarapacá is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 16% Syrah, while the red from British Columbia is a Merlot-based blend. From France, the Ventoux is an unoaked blend of approx. 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah, with trace amounts of Cinsault and Carignan, all raised in stainless steel and concrete tanks. From Bordeaux, the Fronsac is 100% Merlot, while the Bordeaux Supérieur is 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Malbec. The last blend is a red from Portugal that consists of traditional Portuguese varietals Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Barroca. Beyond the blends, there are a pair of lovely Cabernet Sauvignon wines - one from Argentina, the other from Australia - that would be interesting to taste side-by-side and compare. And lastly, the latest vintage of the excellent Pinot Noir from Chile is not be missed.

San Pedro 1865 Tayú Pinot Noir 2019 (92 pts)Crasto 2019 (89 pts)

Tarapacá Gran Reserva 145th Anniversary Special Edition 2019 (90 pts)Château Hauchat 2018 (90 pts)

Frind Big Red 2018 (89 pts)

Among my white wine picks, the only blend is a fine, locally made white wine crafted with 68% Marsanne and 32% Viognier from Niagara. For minimal-to-unoaked Chardonnay wine lovers, there is an unoaked Chardonnay from South Africa, and a minimally oaked Chardonnay from British Columbia for your pleasure. For sweet wine lovers, you'll want to pick up either (or both!) the Niagara Riesling or the lovely Gewurztraminer from Alsace.

Pierre Sparr Mambourg Gewurztraminer 2018 (91+ pts)Frind Chardonnay 2018 (91 pts)

Enjoy my top wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • EL ESTECO BLEND DE EXTREMOS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2019 - Valle de Cafayate, Salta, Argentina (#19237) (XD) - $16.95
  • CHÂTEAU HAUT CLARIBÈS 2018 - AC Bordeaux Supérieur, France (#21404) (XD) - $17.00
  • CHÂTEAU HAUCHAT 2018 - AC Fronsac, Bordeaux, France (#123489) (XD) - $17.95  90 pts  wine review
  • PESQUIÉ ÉDITION 1912M VENTOUX 2019 - AP, Rhône, France (#636159) (XD) - $17.95
  • CRASTO 2019 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#81588) (XD) - $18.95  89 pts  wine review
  • SAN PEDRO 1865 TAYÚ PINOT NOIR 2019 - Buchahueico, DO Valle del Malleco, Chile (#16628) (XD) - $19.95  92 pts  wine review
  • TARAPACÁ GRAN RESERVA 145TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL EDITION 2019 - DO Valle del Maipo, Chile (#21966) (XD) - $20.95  90 pts  wine review
  • FRIND BIG RED 2018 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#19931) (XD) - $24.95  89 pts  wine review
  • LARRY CHERUBINO PEDESTAL CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2018 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#20885) (XD) - $24.95
  • ROBERT YOUNG ALEXANDER VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017 - Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (#16404) (XD) - $59.95
  • ROCCHE COSTAMAGNA ROCCHE DELL'ANNUNZIATA BAROLO 2016 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#413484) (XD) - $59.95
  • GROTH CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017 - Oakville, Napa Valley, California, USA (#606517) (XD) - $119.95

White Wine:

  • NIETO SENETINER SEMILLON 2019 - Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina (#19399) (XD) - $15.95  90 pts  wine review
  • DE WETSHOF BON VALLON UNWOODED CHARDONNAY 2020 - WO Robertson, South Africa (#403675) (XD) - $19.95
  • MULLINEUX KLOOF STREET CHENIN BLANC 2020 - WO Swartland, South Africa (#21111) (XD) - $19.95
  • KEW MARSANNE/VIOGNIER 2017 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#485334) (XD) - $19.95
  • TAWSE LIMESTONE RIDGE-NORTH ESTATE BOTTLED RIESLING 2018 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#431593) (M) - $21.95
  • TORNATORE ETNA BIANCO 2019 - DOC, Sicily, Italy (#577676) (XD) - $24.95
  • LETH RIED BRUNNTHAL 1ÖWT GRÜNER VELTLINER 2019 - Qualitätswein, Wagram, Niederösterreich, Austria (#12278) (XD) - $25.95
  • PIERRE SPARR MAMBOURG GEWURZTRAMINER 2018 - AC Alsace Grand Cru, France (#915157) (S) - $28.95  91+ pts  wine review
  • FRIND CHARDONNAY 2018 - BC VQA, British Columbia, Canada (#19930) (XD) - $29.95  91 pts  wine review
  • CAKEBREAD CELLARS CHARDONNAY 2019 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#709717) (XD) - $69.95  FE  92 pts  wine review
  • KISTLER SONOMA MOUNTAIN CHARDONNAY 2019 - Sonoma County, California, USA (#183921) (XD) - $114.95

Nieto Senetiner Semillon 2019 (90 pts)

Sparkling Wine:

  • TRIUS BRUT ROSÉ SPARKLING - Traditional method, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#17690) (XD) - $29.95  90 pts  wine review
  • BOLL & CIE EXTRA BRUT BLANC DE BLANCS GRAND CRU CHAMPAGNE 2010 - AC, Champagne, France (#21979) (XD) - $127.95  FE

Trius Brut Rosé Sparkling (90 pts)

Dessert Wine:

  • LAKEVIEW CELLARS VIDAL ICEWINE 2019 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#522672) (S) (200 mL) - $22.95
  • DE BORTOLI NOBLE ONE BOTRYTIS SEMILLON 2017 - New South Wales, Australia (#917252) (S) (375 mL) - $29.95  FE
  • INNISKILLIN SPARKLING VIDAL ICEWINE 2018 - Charmat method, VQA Ontario, Canada (#560367) (S) (375 mL) - $79.95


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  • Date publishedTuesday, October 26, 2021

Wakefield Jaraman Chardonnay 2018 (Australia) - Wine Review

white wine review is a lovely Chardonnay from Australia. It's a new arrival to the LCBO that was featured in the theme on Australian wines in the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

After making wines for many years, the Taylors family founded Wakefield Wines in 1969 in the Clare Valley, South Australia, to make their own wines. With three generations of the family involved in the business today, Wakefield is one of the most respected names and consistently reliable producers in the industry.

This white wine is from the Jaraman range of wines. Australia's iconic wine regions provide great diversity of high quality fruit, and with the Jaraman range, the Taylors family seeks extraordinary parcels of fruit to showcase their distinctive regional characteristics and style. These wines showcase the skill and dedication of Wakefield's winemakers to their philosophy of respecting the fruit.

Although earlier vintages of this wine may have been crafted using fruit from only Clare Valley, more recent vintages have been regional blends. The 2018 vintage is 100% Chardonnay crafted with fruit from Clare Valley (66%) and Margaret River (34%). The growing season in Clare Valley in 2018 was warm and dry, and calm and controlled without any major heatwaves. Overall, the quality was very good with white varieties delivering high aromatics and very pure, distinct varietal characteristics. In Margaret River (Western Australia), the vintage was extraordinarily good with above average rainfall throughout winter and the start of spring that resulted in very good vine health at the start of the growing season. With ideal conditions conditions throughout the growing season and ripening phase, many consider the year in Margaret River to be an exceptional vintage.

The vinification of this wine is rather interesting. The juice was fermented in French oak barrels, 60% new, while the rest was in barrel-fermented in 2nd and 3rd use barrels to give great structure while retaining the vibrant fruit. Half of the parcels were wild fermented, while the other half was fermented using a strain of yeast designed for barrel ferments. After resting on its yeast lees and maturation for 8 months in barrel, the final wine was blended from both regional parcels and bottled with minimal fining and filtration. Let's see how this Australian Chardonnay is tasting tonight...

Wakefield Jaraman Chardonnay 2018 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

WAKEFIELD JARAMAN CHARDONNAY 2018 - Clare Valley/Margaret River, Australia (#18921) (XD) - $24.95
Screw cap. This 100% Chardonnay was barrel-fermented and has a medium-high intensity nose offering lovely oak-infused aromas of buttery, vanillin, and sweet oak spice that sits a top of poached apple, pear, and hints of pineapple and ripe tropical fruit. The weighty, medium-full bodied palate has buttery, lemon curd, ripe apple, sweet oak vanillin, and tropical fruit flavours with a twist of honey. Some spiciness on the mid-palate, along with fresh, juicy acidity. Buttery and flinty with a tinge of caramel lingers on the chalky textured finish, with very good length. Recommended buy. Score: 89 pts

Other lovely wines by Wakefield are available at the LCBO, as well as through their Agent - Profile Wine Group.


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  • Date publishedSunday, October 24, 2021

Michel Lynch Réserve Graves 2019 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

wine review is a delicious white wine from Bordeaux that newly arrived at the LCBO last weekend. It's featured as part of the theme on wine pairings with Fall Comfort Foods in the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Owners of the historic Château Lynch-Bages since 1939, the Cazes family has a long tradition in viticulture and hospitality. A common surname throughout the South of France, Cazes originates from the word "casa", meaning "house". The Cazes family were labourers from the Ariège region of southwest France, and left the mountains for their new home in Médoc in 1875. Starting as a baker in Pauillac, Jean-Charles Cazes took charge of Lynch-Bages in 1939 and rapidly crafted wines of great recognition. In the 1960s, Jean-Charles' youngest of 4 sons, André Cazes, took over the reins of the property, and regenerated and expanded the vineyard to almost 100 hectares by the end of the 1990s. In 1973, the next generation joined the family business when André's son, Jean-Michel, returned to Pauillac with his wife, and followed thereafter by their three daughters. In the late 1980's, Jean-Michel Cazes named his new range of wines in honour of Michel Lynch.

Michel Lynch was a man inextricably linked with the great wines of Bordeaux and the range pays homage to the knight who owned Château Lynch-Bages and was also Mayor of Pauillac during the French Revolution. Michel was born in 1754 and devoted his life to improving the wines on his Lynch-Bages property. He was a shrewd wine producer who is noted for his viticultural advances, in particular for his early trials of de-stemming - separating stalks and pips - prior to fermentation, a process that became widespread in Médoc.

The Michel Lynch range of wines are the result of rigorous selection and the art of blending. The wines are crafted in a modern and efficient wine-blending cellar in Macau, Médoc, and matured with patience until they posses a combination of lovely concentration, charm, and roundness. Let's see how this white wine from Bordeaux is tasting tonight...

Michel Lynch Réserve Graves 2019 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

MICHEL LYNCH RÉSERVE GRAVES 2019 - AC, Bordeaux, France (#20901) (XD) - $22.95
This blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon was partially aged in oak barrels. The medium to medium-high intensity nose is minerally with lemon citrus, ripe apple, and hints of white floral aromas. On the medium-bodied, concentrated and dry palate, it is slightly viscous, creamy, and spicy with lemon citrus, apple, herbs, and subtle woody tones, all surrounded by leesy minerals. It has crisp and juicy acidity, while citrus, apple, and leesy mineral notes linger through to the long, crisp, and balanced finish. Recommended buy. Score: 89 pts

Other lovely wines from the JM Cazes portfolio are available through their Agent - Noble Estates Wines & Spirits.


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  • Date publishedSunday, October 24, 2021

California Sommelier Sessions: Cakebread Cellars + St. Francis + Sequoia Grove

California Sommelier Sessions: Cakebread Cellars + St. Francis + Sequoia Grove
I received this tasting kit recently containing samples of three delightful wines from California. These three wines were featured in the latest California Sommelier Sessions virtual tasting series with representatives from each winery joining the tasting .

Joining us for this virtual tasting were Stephanie Jacobsen of Cakebread Cellars, Kate Madigan of St. Francis, and Molly Hill of Sequoia Grove. All three women have been with their respective companies for many, many years, working their way up to become winemakers. Today, Stephanie, Kate, and Molly are some of California's top winemakers and represent the new generation of female winemakers making an impact in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys of California.

Moderating and leading the discussion during the one hour tasting was sommelier and wine writer Sara d'Amato. The tasting was quite fascinating and very informative as each woman talked about where their wine was grown and how each of the unique terroirs across Napa and Sonoma Valley influences the expression of these grape varietals and the resulting wines.

All three wines were delicious, with the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon notably outstanding! Each wine is available through their Agent - Charton Hobbs, with the Chardonnay also coming to LCBO VINTAGES next weekend.

Tasting Notes:

CAKEBREAD CELLARS CHARDONNAY 2019 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#709717) (XD) - $69.95
Cakebread's first wine back in 1973 and fine-tuning ever since. This 100% Chardonnay from the Carneros appellation was barrel fermented and aged on yeast lees for 8 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. The fragrant nose has pretty aromas of lemon meringue and sweet vanillin oak spice, with a hint of bubblegum. The medium-full bodied palate is creamy with lovely ripe apple, pear, lemon citrus, and spicy flavours nuanced with butter and sweet oak vanillin, all in a very nicely balanced and elegant profile. It has fresh, balanced acidity, along with a taut texture on the mid-to-back palate. Leesy mineral notes linger on the long and clean aftertaste. Score: 92 pts

Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay 2019 (92 pts)

ST. FRANCIS OLD VINE ZINFANDEL 2018 - Sonoma County, California, USA (#539155) (XD) - $29.95
A blend of 87% Zinfandel and 13% Petite Sirah from vines 50 to more than 100 years old that was aged for 16 months in French oak (25% new) in mostly medium-toast levels. The medium-high intensity nose offers sweet, ripe red and black fruits and sweet baking spices. The full-bodied palate is slightly warming (15.2% abv) with woody notes surrounding a core of dark fruit, blackberry, dark cherry, oak spice flavours with a hint of cinnamon. Acids are fresh and bright, while the firm tannins seem a bit tight and grippy at the moment. Dry overall with very good length on the finish. Score: 89 pts

St. Francis Old Vine Zinfandel 2018 (89 pts)Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (93 pts)

SEQUOIA GROVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2018 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#60020) (XD) - $69.95
Known for their Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 1% Syrah, 1% Malbec, and 1% Petit Verdot. The highly aromatic nose delivers very attractive aromas of sweet, ripe black cherry, red berry, blackberry, currant, and cassis liqueur accented with gentle oak spices. The full-bodied, structured palate is rich and ripe with lovely aroma replays of black cherry, blackberry, currant, cassis, and woody notes supported by fresh and juicy acidity. Youthful tannins are chalky, yet approachable. Woody, earthy, and cocoa notes linger on the finish, with excellent length. Highly pleasurable now, this should continue to evolve nicely until at least the end of the decade. Score: 93 pts


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  • Date publishedThursday, October 21, 2021

El Esteco 1946 Old Vines Malbec 2019 (Argentina) - Wine Review

red wine review is a lovely, organic, old vines Malbec from the Calchaquí Valley in northwestern Argentina. New to the LCBO, this red wine arrived on shelves across Ontario last weekend as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Founded in 1892, El Esteco is one of the first institutions in Argentina to master the art of viticulture and winemaking. They are located in the Calchaquí Valleys in northwestern Argentina, a natural landscape carved by the sun, mountains, and vineyards. With nearly 1,000 acres of vineyards at an ideal altitude of more than 1,700 metres (5,500 feet) above sea level, abundant sunshine and perfect temperature range, the environment is perfect for the creation of high-end wines.

Within the Valleys, El Esteco has a presence in famous Cafayate, as well as the little-known and unique sub-region of Chañar Punco. Cafayate is the heart of Calchaquí Valleys, a region that was seemingly unsuitable for grape-growing, but is an isolated stretch of desert with unique features that make it ideal to grow the highest vineyards in the world. In addition to plenty of sunshine and a high diurnal temperature range between night and day, it is the desert climate with its poor soils that makes this small region unique. The resulting wines are distinctive and elegant with great concentration of colour, deep aromas, and well-defined flavours.

This red wine comes from El Esteco's Old Vines range of wines that pay homage to the life and history of some of their 50+ year-old vineyards which live in perfect harmony with the terroir of Cafayate, in the province of Salta, with minimum human intervention and yield exceptional wines. The Malbec grapes for this wine are from the Las Mercedes estate, home to 370 pergola-trained Malbec vines whose origins can be traced back to more than 65 years ago. Once the grapes reach optimum ripeness levels in the vineyards, the grapes are manually harvested in the early hours of the morning and brought to the vineyard and sorted, then placed into ovoid 3,000 L vats for fermentation. Upon completion of fermentation, the wine is unfiltered and aged in bottle for 6 to 8 months prior to release. Let's see how this Old Vines Malbec is tasting tonight...

El Esteco 1946 Old Vines Malbec 2019 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

EL ESTECO 1946 OLD VINES MALBEC 2019 - Valles Calchaquíes, Argentina (#19391) (XD) - $24.95
Raised entirely in concrete eggs, this lovely Malbec has a medium-high intensity nose that offers distinctive earthy, savoury, spicy, and stony mineral aromas accented by dark berry, blackberry, and dried spice notes. The medium-full bodied, chewy palate is tangy and slightly plummy with dark berry, blackberry, stony mineral, dried spice, and white pepper flavours which are supported by juicy acidity and ripe, fine-grained, and slightly chalky tannins. Fine mineral and savoury notes with a hint of plum linger on the finish, with very good length. Recommended buy! Score: 90 pts

Other lovely wines from El Esteco are available through their Agent - Dandurand.


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  • Date publishedTuesday, October 19, 2021

Torbreck Cuvée Juveniles 2019 (Barossa) - Wine Review

After enjoying the lovely 2017 Torbreck Old Vines Grenache / Shiraz / Mourvèdre a couple of months ago, wine review is another lovely wine made with the same varietals from the same producer. It arrived at the LCBO over the weekend as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release and is featured as part of the theme in that Release on wines from Australia.

Founded in 1994 by David Powell, Torbreck Vintners was named after a forest in Scotland where David worked as a lumberjack. He was inspired to create is own label after working at a number of Barossa wineries. With the share-farm vineyard concept, David was able to obtain fruit from Barossa'a best vineyards to craft highly-acclaimed wines using the classic Rhône varieties Shiraz (Syrah), Grenache and Mataró (Mourvèdre). Today, Torbreck Vintners is owned by Proprietor Peter Kight and they work with multi-generational winegrowers who have great knowledge of the terroir and work their vineyards with minimal intervention.

Cuvée Juveniles was created as a "Côtes du Rhône" inspired bistro wine from the classic Barossa varieties Grenache, Mataro, and Shiraz from mostly old, unirrigated vineyards. These varieties are the cornerstone of the Barossa Valley, and when combined together are often referred to as GSM blends. This particular red wine is a blend of old vines 72% Grenache, 23% Mataro, and 5% Shiraz from multiple vineyards ranging from 40 to 150 year old vines. It was fermented and aged completely in stainless steel tanks, including a completely natural malolactic fermentation, prior to bottling.

The 2019 growing season was defined by a continuously warm to hot summer with no effective rainfall, wind and hail at flowering, and followed with three major frosts - resulting in an earlier and much smaller harvest than average. These tough conditions produced smaller clusters of intensely dark berries with thick, fleshy skins which contrasted against brown, mature stalks. Although 2019 was another year of reduced yields, it did produce wines of very high quality with impressive concentration of colour, tannins, and aromas. Let's see how this 2019 GSM from Barossa is tasting tonight...

Torbreck Cuvée Juveniles 2019 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

TORBRECK CUVÉE JUVENILES 2019 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#723940) (XD) - $29.95
Screw cap. This unoaked blend of old vines 72% Grenache, 23% Mataro, and 5% Shiraz has fresh, open, intense, and complex aromas of lovely red berry, notes of raspberry, strawberry, cherry, and pomegranate joined by spices, white pepper, and subtle meaty notes. The medium to medium-full bodied palate is fruit-forward with lovely red berry, raspberry, cherry, and pomegranate replays on the flavour profile with spices and meaty notes adding a pleasant savoury component. Exceptionally well-balanced with fresh acidity, smooth, supple, and dusty-textured tannins. Savoury, earthy, even some mineral lingers on the long, clean finish. Highly recommended buy! Score: 91 pts

Other lovely wines from Torbreck are available at the LCBO, as well as through their Agent - Noble Estates Wines & Spirits.


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  • Date publishedSunday, October 17, 2021

Lealtanza Gran Reserva 2011 (Rioja) - Wine Review

After enjoying the lovely 2015 Lealtanza Reserva back in April, we go up a notch with this Gran Reserva from the same producer that arrived at the LCBO earlier this month as part of the October 2nd LCBO VINTAGES Release.

This Rioja Gran Reserva is made by Bodegas Altanza, a producer whose story begins in 1998 and is a synonym of quality and dedicated exclusively to top Reserva wines. Altanaza's goal since the beginning has been to offer the best quality wines that combine tradition with modernity, at a sensible price.

Bodegas Altanza is located in Fuenmayor, Rioja Alta, and the estate spans 300 hectares, with 200 hectares of land planted with vineyards. They craft all of their red wines with 100% Tempranillo and fermented using natural yeasts. Being a modern winery, they have stainless steel tanks of several sizes, all of which are equipped with temperature-controlled jackets and surveyed by a control panel - this allows for customization of each wine during fermentation and tank ageing process. Bodegas Altanza also has their own lab and wine-storage facilities. The wines are aged primarily in French oak barrels, as well as a few large 22,000 L vats.

I recall enjoying the 2010 Gran Reserva back in November 2019, let's see how this latest vintage is tasting tonight...

Lealtanza Gran Reserva 2011 (90+ pts)

Tasting Note:

LEALTANZA GRAN RESERVA 2011 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#453548) (XD) - $32.95
100% Tempranillo that was aged for 24 months in equal parts French and American oak barrels, followed by another three months in 22,000 L French oak vats. The medium-high intensity nose offers lovely aromas of sandalwood, coconut, wood spice, and sweet red cherry with subtle wet earth notes. The spicy, medium+ bodied palate has flavours of sweet spice, red cherry, cinnamon, clove, along with some raspberry and strawberry nuances. Some maturing dried cherry and floral notes appear with time in the glass. Slightly tangy on the mid-palate with juicy, well-balanced acidity and fine, dusty textured tannins that have a subtle chalky grip. Savoury, wet earth and cocoa notes linger on the aftertaste, with very good length. A recommended buy, best enjoyed over the next 3-5 years. Score: 90+ pts

Other lovely wines from Bodegas Altanza are available at the LCBO, as well as through their Agent - Profile Wine Group.


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  • Date publishedFriday, October 15, 2021

Donatien Bahuaud Les Grands Mortiers Vouvray 2019 (Loire) - Wine Review

white wine review is a delicious off-dry Vouvray from Loire that returned to LCBO VINTAGES a couple of weeks ago as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release, with plenty of bottles still available for purchase across Ontario.

Donatien Bahuaud was born in the region of Nantes and came from a family of clog makers, coopers and vine-growers. As a young boy, he wandered through the local vineyards and enjoyed watching barrel-laden boats travel up the Loire River, and eventually decided to become a winemaker. In 1929, he founded Maison Donatien Bahuaud and travelled throughout the vineyard with his wines in oak vats loaded on a cart. With careful cultivation of the vineyard and observation of the region's terroirs, Donatien was able to craft exceptional wines with subtle and refined flavours. He contributed to the recognition of Muscadet up until the creation of the AOC in 1936 and was recognized as a master in the art of wine maturing by his peers.

According to the values of Donatien Bahuaud - winemaking on its own is not enough to create unique wines. The aromas of each wine evolve naturally over time thanks to the mastering of the three types of ageing in vat, oak, and bottle. The maturing of a wine is a crucial and natural procedure that allows the wine's aromas to evolve and complete its tasting structure. Donatien Bahuaud's journey leaves behind a remarkable legacy to the brand, marked by values of excellence and quality.

This white wine is from their "Expression de Loire" range of wines - a collection of Appellation specific wines that reflect the richness and diversity of terroirs of the Loire Valley. The wines in this range are crafted to be expressive and highly typical of the appellation, while also expressing the winemaker's talent.

The grapes for this Vouvray were carefully selected and harvested from vineyards planted on limestone and chalky soils - a combination of exceptional terroir and temperate climate from the Loire which helps produce diverse styles of Chenin Blanc ranging from dry to sweet, and also sparkling wines. This Vouvray is crafted to be medium-dry in sweetness (i.e. subtly sweet) with some mineral notes. Let's see how this Vouvray from Loire is tasting tonight...

Donatien Bahuaud Les Grands Mortiers Vouvray 2019 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

DONATIEN BAHUAUD LES GRANDS MORTIERS VOUVRAY 2019 - AP, Loire, France (#140889) (M) - $21.95
100% Chenin Blanc, the delicate nose has honeyed aromas of elderflower and pear with a hint of minerality. The crunchy, off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) palate has good weight and a spicy flavour profile with pear, apple, and honey notes with some citrus and minerals on the back palate. Acids are pleasantly fresh and bright, while leesy mineral notes linger on the dry finish, with very good length. Recommended buy. Score: 88+ pts

Other delicious wines from Donatien Bahuaud can be ordered through their Agent - Profile Wine Group.


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  • Date publishedThursday, October 14, 2021

October 16, 2021 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Australia

LCBO Wine Picks: October 16, 2021 VINTAGES Release
The October 16 LCBO VINTAGES Release is a big one leading up to the holidays with wines from Australia as the main theme, while the mini-theme features wines for pairing with comfort food. All of these wines, plus those from the main release should be on shelves across Ontario by Saturday.

We begin with the main theme which sizes up wines from Australia. With thirteen wines included as part of this theme and seven among my top wine picks, this is a very good showing of Australian wines. Although there are straight Shiraz wines among my picks, there is a lovely blend of Shiraz and Barbera, while the wine from Barossa Valley consists of 72% Grenache, 23% Mataro (Mourvèdre), and 5% Shiraz. Single varietal red wines include a Petit Verdot from McLaren Vale, and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Clare Valley. Among my three white wine picks from Australia, there is a Semillon, a Chardonnay, and a dry Riesling from Eden Valley.

Torbreck Cuvée Juveniles 2019 (91 pts)Pirramimma Petit Verdot 2017 (90 pts)

Wakefield Jaraman Chardonnay 2018 (89 pts)

The mini-theme looks at wine pairings with fall comfort foods, and of the dozen wines featured, two are included among my wine recommendations and both are white wines. First up is a traditional blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon from Graves in Bordeaux, while the second wine is a sweet Riesling from Mosel in Germany. According to the magazine, both of these wines would pair well with Cassoulet.

Michel Lynch Réserve Graves 2019 (89 pts)

From my red wine picks, there is a stellar list of wines with Italy leading the way. At the top of the list is the iconic Sassicaia that is once again a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc, while the Oreno Super Tuscan consists of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot. Staying in Tuscany, the Gran Selezione Chianti Classico is a blend of 80% Sangiovese 80% and the rest native varietals Abrusco, Pugnitello, Malvasia Nera, Ciliegiolo, and Mazzese, while the Riserva Chianti Classico consists of 95% Sangiovese, 3% Canaiolo, and 2% Colorino. The last two wines from Italy are a Brunello di Montalcino which is made with Sangiovese, and a Barolo that is made with Nebbiolo. From Rhône, the Costières-de-Nîmes is composed of 60% Syrah, 40% Grenache, while the Gigondas flips these two varietals and is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah. Lastly, there are a pair of delightful Malbec wines from Argentina.

Réva Ravera Barolo 2015 (93+ pts)

El Esteco 1946 Old Vines Malbec 2019 (90 pts)Kaiken Ultra Malbec 2018 (89 pts)

Among my white wine picks from the rest of the Release, the only blend is a Rhône-inspired wine from British Columbia that consists of 51% Roussanne, 36% Viognier, and 13% Marsanne. Notable single varietal wines include an Avesso from Portugal, a Falanghina from Basilicata, and a Grüner Veltliner from Austria. Last, but not least, the Chablis is made with 100% Chardonnay.

Rabl Löss Grüner Veltliner 2019 (88+ pts)

For celebratory occasions, the Bollinger Champagne is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, and 15% Pinot Meunier, while the Billecart-Salmon Vintage Champagne consists of 40% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, and 27% Pinot Meunier. At the lower end of the price scale, the Crémant de Bourgogne consists of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU FONT BARRIÈLE LES VIGNES D'HÉLOÏSE 2019 - AP Costières-de-Nîmes, Rhône, France (#21545) (XD) - $17.95
  • KILIKANOON KILLERMAN'S RUN CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#675223) (XD) - $19.95
  • JULIEN SCHAAL WALKER BAY SYRAH 2020 - WO Walker Bay, South Africa (#21110) (XD) - $19.95
  • KAIKEN ULTRA MALBEC 2018 - Vegan, Mendoza, Argentina (#50849) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • LONGVIEW VISTA SHIRAZ/BARBERA 2019 - Adelaide Hills, South Australia (#21065) (XD) - $19.95

  • EL ESTECO 1946 OLD VINES MALBEC 2019 - Valles Calchaquíes, Argentina (#19391) (XD) - $24.95  90 pts  wine review
  • FAMILLE PERRIN LA GILLE GIGONDAS 2019 - AC, Rhône, France (#906073) (XD) - $29.95
  • PIRRAMIMMA PETIT VERDOT 2017 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#986752) (XD) - $29.95  90 pts  wine review
  • TORBRECK CUVÉE JUVENILES 2019 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#723940) (XD) - $29.95  91 pts  wine review
  • DIEVOLE NOVECENTO RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2016 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#213926) (XD) - $33.95
 
  • SAN FELICE IL GRIGIO GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2016 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#403477) (XD) - $48.95
  • COL D'ORCIA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2016 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#306852) (XD) - $54.95
  • ORENO 2018 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#735597) (XD) - $89.95
  • RÉVA RAVERA BAROLO 2015 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#21848) (XD) - $99.95  VOE  93+ pts  wine review
  • SASSICAIA 2018 - DOC Bolgheri-Sassicaia, Tuscany, Italy (#480533) (XD) - $249.95

White Wine:

  • RABL LÖSS GRÜNER VELTLINER 2019 - Langenlois, DAC Kamptal, Austria (#295709) (XD) - $15.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • FLAT ROCK UNPLUGGED UNOAKED CHARDONNAY 2020 - Sustainable, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#68015) (XD) - $17.95
  • COVELA EDIÇÃO NACIONAL AVESSO 2019 - DOC Vinho Verde, Portugal (#524868) (XD) - $18.95
  • PATERNOSTER VULCANICO FALANGHINA 2019 - IGT Basilicata, Italy (#19691) (XD) - $18.95
  • SONS OF EDEN FREYA RIESLING 2019 - Eden Valley, South Australia (#12652) (XD) - $19.95
  • PAULETT WINES WATERVALE SEMILLON 2019 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#19907) (XD) - $22.95
  • MICHEL LYNCH RÉSERVE GRAVES 2019 - AC, Bordeaux, France (#20901) (XD) - $22.95  89 pts  wine review
  • WAKEFIELD JARAMAN CHARDONNAY 2018 - Clare Valley/Margaret River, Australia (#18921) (XD) - $24.95  89 pts  wine review
  • BISCHÖFLICHE WEINGÜTER TRIER SCHARZHOFBERGER RIESLING KABINETT 2019 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#670752) (S) - $29.95
  • LE VIEUX PIN AVA 2018 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#19917) (XD) - $43.95  FE
  • CHANSON PÈRE & FILS MONTMAINS CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2018 - AC, Burgundy, France (#485318) (XD) - $45.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • LABOURÉ-GONTARD BRUT CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE - Traditional method, AP, Burgundy, France (#401018) (D) - $21.95
  • JUVÉ Y CAMPS PINOT NOIR BRUT ROSÉ CAVA - Traditional method, DO, Spain (#385088) (D) - $24.95  90 pts  wine review
  • BOLLINGER SPECIAL CUVÉE BRUT CHAMPAGNE - AC, France (#384529) (D) - $91.95
  • BILLECART-SALMON EXTRA BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2009 - AC, Champagne, France (#21546) (XD) - $126.95  FE

Juvé y Camps Pinot Noir Brut Rosé Cava (90 pts)

Dessert Wine:

  • DISZNÓKÓ LATE HARVEST TOKAJI FURMINT 2017 - Tokaji, Hungary (#20680) (S) (500 mL) - $26.95


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  • Date publishedWednesday, October 13, 2021

Axel Pauly Generations Mosel Riesling 2019 (Germany) - Wine Review

wine review is a lovely, vegan-friendly, off-dry Riesling from Mosel that arrived at the LCBO as a VINTAGES Online Exclusive in the LCBO VINTAGES Release and can be purchased online only at LCBO.com.

Axel Pauly is the third generation of the family to work the vines on the very steep slopes of Mosel. Passed along from his grandfather to his father, Axel started managing the cellar in 2004, and then took over the entire family estate in 2009. In 2011, the family suffered a stroke of fate and the winery burned to the ground. When the estate was rebuilt over the next several years, a wine cellar was added, and in 2014 it was voted one of the 50 most beautiful by the German Wine Institute.

Today, Axel Pauly is considered to be one of the rising stars of the Mosel and is an active member of the next Next Generation of young German winemakers. Practicing artisanal viticulture and winemaking, Axel cultivates his wines on approximately 9 hectares of vines, most of which are planted to Riesling. The vineyards all face south or southwest and consist exclusively of different layers of slate rock. The wines of Axel Pauly are characterized by clarity, a crystalline characteristic, length and great
minerality.

Although 2019 was a demanding vintage for winegrowers in the Mosel with frost in spring, drought, heat and sunburn in summer, and rain in autumn, along with reduced yields, winegrowers were generally very satisfied with the quality of the grapes and the resulting wines. This grapes for this 2019 Riesling were grown on blue and grey slate soils in a cool climate, hand-picked, macerated for 10 hours, and underwent spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel tanks using natural yeast. The wine was matured on fine lees for 4-5 months and spent some time in bottle prior to release.

Interesting fact about the label - if you turn the bottle the left and on its side, you will see the profiles of the three winemaking generations of the Pauly family. Also combined in this image is an overhead view of the Mosel River.

Let's see how this fine off-dry Riesling is tasting tonight...

Axel Pauly Generations Mosel Riesling 2019 (90+ pts)

Tasting Note:

AXEL PAULY GENERATIONS MOSEL RIESLING 2019 - Vegan, Qualitätswein, Germany (#21033) (M) - $22.95
Screw cap. 100% Riesling grown on blue and grey slate soils, the medium-high intensity nose offers lovely aromas of apricot, peach, citrus, and melon with a subtle slatey mineral character and a whiff of petrol. It has fine, crisp, lively acidity that balances the sweet, ripe fruit with delicious off-dry flavours of apricot, peach, honeyed citrus, and slatey minerals with very good fruit concentration. Subtly spicy, zesty, and chalky textured on the mid-palate. Finishes dry with slatey minerals and a pleasantly chalky texture on the long, clean, and juicy finish. Score: 90+ pts

There is another fine Riesling by Axel Pauly available at the LCBO, while others can be ordered through their Agent - DBINO David Beauroy Selections.


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  • Date publishedMonday, October 11, 2021

Trapiche Terroir Series Finca Coletto Malbec 2017 (Argentina) - Wine Review

wine review is an excellent Malbec that was originally supposed to arrive at the LCBO during the summer, but it's release got pushed back to last week's VINTAGES Classics Collection Release on - and it was certainly worth the wait!

Since its founding in 1883, Bodega Trapiche has received international recognition for its relentless quest for innovation. Their understanding of the land is their most valuable asset, and combined with state-of-the-art technology allows Trapiche to venture into otherwise unchartered territory. Trapiche is contantly challenging what is known and pioneered the use of French varieties, French oak barrels, and crafting micro-terroir wines. In order to do their part for the environment,

Trapiche also practices biodynamic winemaking to preserve the natural properties of the crops by eliminating the use of chemicals, herbicides and fungicides, and calculating the moon cycles for harvest. Additionally, they also look to sustain ecosystem balance, biological diversity, and recover bacterial activity in the soil. They believe that to keep on producing, innovating and educating about their wines, they must respect what nature provides.

This red wine is from Trapiche's Terroir Series range - a group of single vineyard wines which aim to convey the extraordinary potential of Mendoza's terroir and its imprint on the Argentina's flagship varietal - Malbec. This particular Malbec is from Finca Coletto - a 58+ year-old vineyard in El Peral, within Tupungato, Uco Valley, that has consistently shown outstanding quality over the years and is one Uco Valley's best expressions of Malbec. The grapes were grown at an altitude of 1,127 metres (3,700 feet) above sea level on alluvial, sandy soils that sit over a layer of rock. The grapes were manually harvested, de-stemmed, then fermented using wild yeasts in a combination of concrete tanks, eggs, and square tanks. For 18 months, 75% of the wine was aged in new French 300 L oak barrels, while the rest was aged 6.000 L oak foudre, followed by further ageing for 12 months in bottle prior to release. Let's see how this Malbec is tasting tonight...

Trapiche Terroir Series Finca Coletto Malbec 2017 (92 pts)

Tasting Note:

TRAPICHE TERROIR SERIES FINCA COLETTO MALBEC 2017 - El Peral, Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#482968) (XD) - $45.00
The medium-high intensity nose is deep and dark fruited, slightly reductive and bretty, but laying underneath are complex aromas of spice, black and red fruit, currant, forest floor, earthy, and stony mineral notes. On the impressively structured, medium-full bodied palate it has lovely dark fruited blackberry, blueberry, stony mineral, and dried spice notes with hints of black plum. Succulent acids are fresh and juicy, while the suave, structured tannins have a slightly chalky grip. Some warmth on the mid-palate, but still well-balanced. Excellent length on the stony mineral, slightly tart berry finish. Enjoyable now, but still a few years away from prime drinking. Highly recommended buy! Score: 92 pts

Other lovely wines by Trapiche are available at the LCBO, as well as through their Agent - Dandurand.


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  • Date publishedSunday, October 10, 2021

Vini Ventures - A New Experience in Virtual Wine Tastings

Vini Ventures - A New Experience in Virtual Wine Tastings
In response to growing demand for private and corporate sustainable wine tastings, Toronto-based entrepreneur Michelle Paris, DipWSET, launched Vini Ventures - Canada's first virtual wine tasting company that focuses on environmental and sustainable practices. I received this sample box of six wines to experience Vini Ventures firsthand.

Launched to great acclaim over the summer, Vini Ventures creates one hundred per cent bespoke, high quality wine tasting kits delivered directly and safely to the customer's door. With an ongoing commitment to a plastic-free planet, Vini Ventures' wine kits are produced using recyclable and reusable glass bottles, packaging made with minimum 75 per cent recycled paper, and recyclable packing materials.

Vini Ventures' uses a vacuum bottle filler system to ensure the wines are fresh and stable. Given that the wines have had minimal exposure to oxygen, all bottles are topped with ArT Wine Preserver to remove oxygen and replaced with Argon - the industry standard for food and wine preservation. Furthermore, by using only glass bottles, the wine is fully protected from oxygen ingress.

The wine kits are fully customizable from three to six bottles per box, and bottle sizes start at two ounces - which are ideal for wine classes, study and tasting groups. There's also a handy QR code in each box so recipients can access tasting notes for each wine that is selected either by the client or Vini Ventures. The company also provides expertise on planning and executing wine tasting events that are fully- or self-guided, large or small, and their clients have ranged from wine associations and producers, to corporate, consumer and private companies. Labels on the bottles can also be customized to suit your brand and needs.

To perfect the art of food and wine pairing, Vini Ventures has partnered with Toronto's La Palette, Cheese Boutique, and other local providers to further personalize each tasting kit. There is a range of quality charcuterie, cheeses, and snacks at different price points which can be customized for each unique Vini Ventures delivery.

All of the wines in my sample box that I tasted were fresh and tasted great - my full tasting notes are provided below. In case you are interested in any of these wines, you might be able to find them at the LCBO.

Contact Vini Ventures to get started on your wine adventure!

Tasting Notes:

LITORALE VAL DELLE ROSE VERMENTINO 2019 - DOC Maremma Toscana, Italy (XD)
Fresh, intense aromas of lemon citrus, herbs, and ripe pear, accented by hints of lemon pith, leesy and saline mineral. The medium-full to full-bodied palate is creamy textured and ripe with lovely pear, apple, lemon citrus flavours, along with herbal touches. Refreshing acids lift the palate, along with saline notes on the mid-palate. Slightly spicy on the tail end with saline, leesy mineral, and zesty notes lingering on the long finish. Score: 90 pts

Litorale Val Delle Rose Vermentino 2019 (90 pts)Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc 2018 (90 pts)

ROBERT MONDAVI FUMÉ BLANC 2018 - Napa Valley, California, USA (XD)
The highly aromatic nose offers intense tropical fruit aromas of guava, kiwi, and passion fruit that mingle with subtle smoky and oak influence. It’s full bodied with lovely interplays between the oak vanillin and tropical fruit flavours on the crunchy palate, joined by grapefruit and lemon citrus notes that add complexity. Acids are fresh and nicely balanced. Crisp and long on the lip-smacking finish. Score: 90 pts

XAVIER VIGNON CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2019 - AC, France (XD)
This has a medium+ intensity nose that is ripe and fruit forward with plummy, dark red cherry, blueberry, candied licorice and sweet spice aromas. The medium+ bodied palate is also ripe with black-red-blue berry, dark plum, and spice flavours, with savoury, stony mineral undertones. Acids are well-balanced, while the tannins are smooth, supple, and refined. Savoury and stony on the finish, with very good length. Score: 88+ pts

Xavier Vignon Côte du Rhône 2019 (88+ pts)Baron de Ley Reserva 2015 (89 pts)

BARON DE LEY RESERVA 2015 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (XD)
Made with Tempranillo, the medium-high intensity nose delivers sandalwood, sweet oak vanillin, red cherry, and coconut aromas, all of which come through on the flavour profile of the medium-full bodied palate, joined by some maturing dried cherry and floral notes. It has very good, juicy acidity, while the well-integrated tannins have a slight grip. Very good length on the finish with savoury, earthy, wood, and red cherry notes with a touch of graphite. Score: 89 pts

ZONTE'S FOOTSTEP BARON VON NEMESIS SHIRAZ 2018 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (XD)
The medium-high intensity nose is ripe and fruit with slightly jammy aromas of blackberry, mint, herbs, and cedar wood with some underlying meaty notes. It’s medium-full bodied with smooth, ripe, and sweet tannins on the dry palate with pleasing aroma replays of ripe dark fruit, blackberry, herbal mint, and wood spice. Acids are fresh and nicely balanced, while the finish length is very good. Score: 89 pts

Zonte's Footstep Baron Von Nemesis Shiraz 2018 (89 pts)Luigi Bosca Malbec 2019 (89 pts)

LUIGI BOSCA MALBEC 2019 - Mendoza, Argentina (XD)
The medium+ intensity nose has aromas of dark fruit, blackberry, black cherry, and smoke, with touches of olive, herb and wood spice adding interest. The ripe, full-bodied palate has delightful aroma replays of blackberry and black cherry with touches of violet, boysenberry, smoke, and bramble with a savoury and spicy underpinning and fresh acidity. The elegant, well-structured tannins provide a nice mouthfeel. Smoky mineral notes linger on the long-lasting finish. Score: 89 pts


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