Monday, March 19, 2018

First image of this post
  • Monday, March 19, 2018

Rawson's Retreat Private Release Chardonnay 2013 (Australia) - Wine Review

This wine was purchased at a Liquor World (the liquor store attached to New World IGA Supermarket) in Suva, Fiji, and while there on a recent vacation. At each of the few liquor shops I visited, shelves were stocked with mostly wines from Australia and New Zealand. I recognized quite a few of the wine brands, however, I would be hard pressed to find these specific wines at an LCBO.

Since I wanted to try something new, and with almost no shelf talkers or award stickers, I was pretty much in the dark as to what to get. I opted for this white wine made by Penfolds, a fairly reliable brand owned by Treasury Wine Estates that tends to produce quality wines throughout the range, and because Chardonnay tends to pair well with local Spiny Lobster.

Rawson's Retreat Private Release Chardonnay 2013 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

RAWSON'S RETREAT PRIVATE RELEASE CHARDONNAY 2013 - South Eastern Australia (XD) - $33 FJD / ~$22 CAD
The medium intensity nose is very ripe with banana, tropical fruit, melon, and citrus fruit aromas. On the medium bodied palate it is a touch sweet with stone fruit and pear aroma replays, plus a salty mineral character and hints of lime. It has fresh acids and sweet vanilla notes with good length on the finish. Score: 87 pts

Saturday, March 17, 2018

First image of this post
  • Saturday, March 17, 2018

Aniello 006 Riverside Estate Pinot Noir 2016 (Argentina) - Wine Review

wine is new to the LCBO and was recently released into LCBO VINTAGES on . It was featured as part of the main theme on wines from South of the Equator.

Bodegas Aniello is a small winery with Italian roots that was originally built in 1927 and looks to explore the value of the ancient winemaking tradition of Patagonia. The winery is currently on the path of moving from conventional to sustainable agriculture and integrated vineyard management by using natural alternatives for fertilization, pests, disease and weed prevention.

The name '006' derives from the cadastral nomenclature of the estate and is one of the few vineyards in Argentina, located next to an actual flowing river. Indeed, the image on the label depicts all of the elements of the varied alluvial-type soils that characterize the vineyard.

As this is a recent release, this wine is still widely available in the VINTAGES section at LCBO outlets across Ontario.

Aniello 006 Riverside Estate Pinot Noir 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

ANIELLO 006 RIVERSIDE ESTATE PINOT NOIR 2016 - Río Negro Valley, Patagonia, Argentina (#542092) (XD) - $17.95
Fermented in small concrete tanks, with a portion oak-aged for 12 months. Red cherry and raspberry aromas from the cork. This has a cinnamon spice driven nose with dark red cherry, strawberry and raspberry laying underneath, with good intensity. The palate is medium-bodied with cran-cherry-raspberry and forest floor flavours joined by some baking spice and beetroot notes which are lifted by fresh acids. Tannins have a touch of grip and are finely structured. Some mineral notes arrive mid-palate and continue through to the long finish. Drink over the next 3-4 years. Score: 89 pts

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

First image of this post
  • Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Castelo do Mar Albariño 2016 (Spain) - Wine Review

delicious wine will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

This white wine is produced by the Pazo do Mar Group, a family business with over 40 years of experience in producing Galician wines in northwestern Spain, just north of Portugal. The winery, Viega da Princesa, is located in Arbo, Pontevedra, and produces only single estate/property wines using modern equipment and winemaking techniques. It was formed after merging more than 200 small farms that were owned by more than 70 different owners, with the first vines planted in 2002.

The Albariño vines for this wine come entirely from their own 18 hectare estate on granite soils in Tea County. The vines were cultivated on trellises, which helps produce grapes that are airy and sun-kissed, while also less acidic when compared to other vine-training techniques. This wine was hand-harvested and raised completely in stainless steel tanks using indigenous yeasts.

Castelo do Mar Albariño 2016 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

CASTELO DO MAR ALBARIÑO 2016 - DO Rías Baixas, Spain (#488734) (XD) - $17.95
Screw cap. This has a fairly generous nose featuring citrus, green apple, white flower and lemon oil aromas. On the ripe medium-to-full bodied palate, this has appealing lemon oil, citrus, and orchard fruit flavours. Some herbally notes add complexity as it warms in the glass. Fresh, crunchy, and balanced acids offer nice texture. Hints of stony mineral come through on the mid-palate and on the long, juicy finish. Score: 88+ pts

Monday, March 12, 2018

First image of this post
  • Monday, March 12, 2018

VINTAGES Release March 17, 2018: Classic Euro Regions + Merlot + Argentina

LCBO Wine Picks: March 17, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The next LCBO VINTAGES Release on features wines from Europe's classic wine regions as it's main theme. There are two mini-themes - one featuring Merlot, the other featuring Argentina - however, none of the wines from the mini-themes are included among my wine picks. All of these new wines will be on shelves across Ontario this .

The main theme is interesting, featuring Europe's top 11 classic wine regions and lists 18 wines, four of which are included among my top wine picks. The 11 regions listed are Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, Loire Valley, Rhône Valley, Piedmont, Tuscany, Veneto, Mosel, Douro, and Rioja. Among my top wine picks, you'll find an excellent Champagne that is a 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. From the Mosel region in Germany, there is a sweet Riesling that will pair really well with spicy dishes. Lastly, both Rhône wines - from the outstanding 2015 vintage - listed in this feature are among my wine recommendations. The Costières de Nîmes is an organic wine consisting of 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, and 5% Carignan, while the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 70% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and other varietals making up the balance.

Among red wines from the rest of the release, Australia continues to explore Italian varietals, and the results are promising. From Australia, there is a Nero d'Avola, as well as a blend of Sangiovese and Shiraz. From Tuscany, the Gran Selezione Chianti Classico is made with 100% Sangiovese. From South Africa, the Ernie Els (yes, the golfer) wine is a blend of 60% Shiraz, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Grenache, 3% Mourvèdre, 7% Cinsaut, and 5% Viognier. From France, the La Clape red from the Languedoc is a blend of 60% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 20% Carignan, while the 2015 Vacqueyras is a blend of 68% Grenache, 27% Syrah, and 5% Cinsault.

Il Molino di Grace Il Margone Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2011 (92 pts)Henry of Pelham Estate Riesling 2016 (88 pts)

From my white wine picks, the Fumé Blanc is actually a blend of 89% Sauvignon Blanc and 11% Sémillon that was barrel-fermented and aged in French oak. For sweet wine lovers, the Siegerrebe will surely please your palate, as will the Ontario Riesling. The Pinot Gris also offers some sweetness.

Please note that the four Flagship Store Exclusives included among my wine picks will only be available in limited quantities at Flagship stores. Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CORIOLE SANGIOVESE/SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#534610) (XD) - $17.95
  • MONTERRA FLEURIEU PENINSULA NERO D’AVOLA 2016 - Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia (#534743) (XD) - $18.95
  • ARBOLEDA CARMENÈRE 2015 - Aconcagua Valley, Chile (#046284) (XD) - $19.95  88 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU DE NAGES VIEILLES VIGNES COSTIÈRES DE NÎMES 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#040964) (XD) - $19.95
  • ERNIE ELS BIG EASY 2016 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#220038) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU PECH REDON L’ÉPERVIER LA CLAPE 2014 - AC Coteaux du Languedoc, Midi, France (#129965) (XD) - $22.95
  • DOMAINE DROUHIN ROSEROCK PINOT NOIR 2014 - Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#529107) (XD) - $39.95
  • DOMAINE LES ONDINES PASSION VACQUEYRAS 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#536854) (XD) - $39.95  FSE
  • IL MOLINO DI GRACE IL MARGONE GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#435115) (XD) - $42.95  92 pts  wine review
  • FONT DE MICHELLE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2015 - AP, Rhône, France (#400358) (D) - $51.95
  • MICHELE CASTELLANI CINQUE STELLE AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2013 - Collezione Ca’ del Pipa, DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#075127) (D) - $55.95
Arboleda Carmenère 2015 (88 pts)

White Wine:

  • ANSELMANN EDESHEIMER ROSENGARTEN SIEGERREBE SPÄTLESE 2016 - Prädikatswein, Pfalz, Germany (#910554) (S) - $16.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE RIESLING 2016 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#557165) (M) - $17.95  88 pts  wine review
  • CASTELO DO MAR ALBARIÑO 2016 - DO Rías Baixas, Spain (#488734) (XD) - $17.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • A TO Z PINOT GRIS 2016 - Oregon, USA (#258145) (D) - $19.95
  • ATTEMS PINOT GRIGIO 2016 - IGT Venezia Giulia, Venezie, Italy (#707950) (XD) - $19.95
  • TOHU SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#536177) (XD) - $21.95  89 pts  wine review
  • DR. PAULY-BERGWEILER BERNKASTELER BADSTUBE RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2015 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#727370) (S) - $29.95
  • WAKEFIELD ST. ANDREWS CHARDONNAY 2015 - Single Vineyard Release, Clare Valley, South Australia (#237933) (XD) - $34.95  FSE
  • MARCO FELLUGA RUSSIZ SUPERIORE RISERVA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012 - DOC Collio, Friuli, Italy (#541599) (XD) - $48.95  FSE
  • ROBERT MONDAVI TO KALON VINEYARD RESERVE FUMÉ BLANC 2013 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#326165) (XD) - $59.95  FSE
Tohu Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (89 pts)Castelo do Mar Albariño 2016 (88+ pts)

Sparkling Wine:


Friday, March 9, 2018

First image of this post
  • Friday, March 9, 2018

Tohu Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

Hot on the heels of enjoying a wonderful NZ Sauvignon Blanc earlier this week, wine is another delightful Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

Producing fine wines in New Zealand's premier grape growing regions since 1998, Tohu (pronounced Tor-who) means "sign" or "signature" and is the world's first Maori owned wine company. The Maori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

The grapes for this single vineyard bottling of Sauvignon Blanc was grown on their own vineyards in the upper reaches of the Awatere Valley at approximately 200 metres above sea level and machine harvested. In stainless steel tanks, this was fermented and left to settle on the less, following by maturation. Each batch was meticulously classified during the entire process, then finally blended together to capture the unique characteristics of the vineyard and the season. In 2016, Marlborough produced larger than average berries, which should emphasize more passionfruit flavours over herbally flavours.

This new wine will be available on shelves as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release on .

Tohu Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

TOHU SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#536177) (XD) - $21.95
Screw cap. The pungent, aromatic nose offers passionfruit, grapefruit, gooseberry, and guava with hints of minerality. It's very ripe with sweet and sour flavours on the palate with appealing aroma replays. Racy acids provide freshness. Juicy mid-palate. Fine length on the crisp, mouth-watering finish. Inclined to let this sit for another 6 to 12 months to let the acids settle down and enjoy to 2020. Score: 89 pts

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

First image of this post
  • Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine is featured on the cover of the latest LCBO VINTAGES Release on .

When I tasted the 2014 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc and 2015 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, both wines were excellent in my books, so I am expecting another high quality wine this vintage. Yields were up in New Zealand after the small 2015 vintage. However, the biggest difference in 2016 in Marlborough, where this white wine is from, is the larger than average berry size which should result in wines with an emphasis on thiols (i.e. passionfruit flavours) over methoxypyrazines (i.e. herbal flavours).

Greywacke was formed by Kevin Judd to fulfil a long-held dream and is named after the rounded greywacke river stones that were found at his first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura. The grapes for this wine were sourced from various prime vineyard sites in Marlborough’s Southern Valleys, the central Wairau Plains (specifically in Woodbourne, Renwick and Rapaura), and a spectacular river terrace site in the upper Awatere Valley. All individual vineyard batches were left on lees and kept separate until the blend was finally assembled.

Since this wine was just placed on LCBO VINTAGES shelves last weekend, there are still quite a few bottles available for you to buy now and enjoy over the Summer.

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

GREYWACKE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#164228) (XD) - $24.95
Screw cap. The expressive nose opens with flinty mineral followed by guava, kiwi, tropical fruit, gooseberry and hints of lemon drops at the tail end. On the plump medium-bodied palate, this offers crisp, bright, and crunchy acids with ripe guava, white grapefruit, melon and tropical fruit flavours. Finishes long with fine minerality. A substantial Sauv Blanc that will be succulent with oysters. Score: 91 pts

Thursday, March 1, 2018

First image of this post
  • Thursday, March 1, 2018

VINTAGES Release March 3, 2018: South of the Equator + Mountain Wines

LCBO Wine Picks: March 3, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on features wines from south of the Equator as the main theme, while the mini-theme focuses on mountain wines. These delightful wines will arrive on VINTAGES shelves across Ontario this .

We'll begin with the wines from the Southern Hemisphere's top wine regions - Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa. A nice, large collection of 24 wines is featured here, with 9 included among my top wine picks. From Argentina, there is a Torrontés that was barrel fermented in second use oak, and an elegant Pinot Noir from the southern end of the country and, of course, a Malbec. The wine of the month is a Pinot Noir from Chile. Also from Chile is the organic and biodynamic Emiliana Coyam which consists of 48% Syrah, 24% Carménère, 11% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Mourvèdre, 3% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot.

Emiliana Coyam 2013 (91 pts)Aniello 006 Riverside Estate Pinot Noir 2016 (89 pts)

Both wines from New Zealand use typical varietals for the region and are outstanding - a ripe Sauvignon Blanc and a Central Otago Pinot Noir. From Australia, there is a nice wild ferment Chardonnay. And lastly, from South Africa there is a Pinotage that is not your typical coffee/mocha inflected wine - worth a try at $18.

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (91 pts)

From the mini-feature focusing on wines grown on mountain vineyard sites with steep slopes, just one of the six wines are included among my top wine recommendations. The lone wine is a Pinot Grigio from the Südtirol – Alto Adige wine region in northern Italy, whose grapes were grown at approximately 600 metres above sea level.

Among my top red wine picks, the Bastide Miraflors is a returnee to VINTAGES and consists of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache, while the Sancerre Rouge is new to VINTAGES and is actually made with Pinot Noir. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of mostly Grenache, with Syrah and Mourvèdre completing the blend, while the big Masi Amarone is made with the traditional grapes Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara.

In white wines, the Portuguese blend is a dry white wine containing a bunch of indigenous grapes I've mostly never heard of - 40% Viosinho, 30% Arinto/Pedernã, 10% Códega, 10% Gouveio (Verdelho), and 10% Rabigato. The Bordeaux white is a blend of 50% Semillon, 40% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Muscadelle.

Lastly, the dry sparkling wine from South Africa is a blend of 57% Pinot Noir and 43% Chardonnay.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • FABRE MONTMAYOU RESERVA MALBEC 2015 - Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina (#261867) (XD) - $17.00
  • NEIL ELLIS STELLENBOSCH PINOTAGE 2015 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#542167) (XD) - $17.95
  • ANIELLO 006 RIVERSIDE ESTATE PINOT NOIR 2016 - Río Negro Valley, Patagonia, Argentina (#542092) (XD) - $17.95  89 pts  wine review
  • MONTES ALPHA PINOT NOIR 2015 - Aconcagua Coast, Chile (#143214) (XD) - $19.95
  • BASTIDE MIRAFLORS SYRAH/VIEILLES VIGNES GRENACHE 2015 - AP Côtes du Roussillon, France (#320499) (XD) - $19.95
  • INVIVO CENTRAL OTAGO PINOT NOIR 2016 - Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand (#466029) (XD) - $24.95
  • JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE LA GRANGE DÎMIÈRE SANCERRE ROUGE 2013 - AC, Loire, France (#539858) (XD) - $29.95
  • EMILIANA COYAM 2013 - Los Robles Estate, Colchagua Valley, Chile (#063891) (XD) - $29.95  91 pts  wine review
  • DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#113357) (XD) - $64.95

White Wine:

  • CASA FERREIRINHA VINHA GRANDE BRANCO 2015 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#523555) (XD) - $16.95
  • KELLEREI ST. MAGDALENA PINOT GRIGIO 2016 - DOC Südtirol – Alto Adige, Italy (#249466) (XD) - $17.95
  • CHÂTEAU LA ROSE SARRON 2015 - AC Graves, Bordeaux, France (#540807) (XD) - $17.95
  • SUSANA BALBO SIGNATURE BARREL FERMENTED TORRONTÉS 2016 - Finca la Delfina, Altamira, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#384339) (XD) - $19.95
  • PACO & LOLA ALBARIÑO 2016 - DO Rías Baixas, Spain (#350041) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • HILL-SMITH ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2015 - Wild ferment, Eden Valley, South Australia (#361584) (XD) - $21.95
  • GREYWACKE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#164228) (XD) - $24.95  91 pts  wine review
  • HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2016 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#068817) (XD) - $29.95
  • DOMAINE SYLVAIN LANGOUREAU SAINT-AUBIN 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#538454) (XD) - $41.95
  • DOMAINE PINSON FRÈRES MONT DE MILIEU CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#700914) (XD) - $52.95  FSE
Paco & Lola Albariño 2016 (89 pts)

Sparkling Wine:

  • GRAHAM BECK BRUT ZERO 2011 - Traditional method, WO Western Cape, South Africa (#435453) (XD) - $23.95

Blog Archive

Posts by Tag

Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget




Food & Drink
Top Blogs
BOTW Blogs - Vintages Wine Picks and Reviews
My Zimbio
blog search
Blogarama - Drinks & Beverages Blogs
Top Wine Sites
Wine blog
RSSChomp Blog Directory