Wednesday, February 21, 2018

First image of this post
  • Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Meldville Wines Tasting with Derek Barnett

Meldville Wines

At the end of last , with thanks to André Proulx, I had the opportunity to taste through some of the latest releases from a relatively new virtual winery called Meldville Wines. This is the project of renowned winemaker Derek Barnett, formerly of Lailey Winery and currently the winemaker at Karlo Estates (tasted his lovely Cabernet Franc here), and the focus is on small batch, limited edition, VQA wines.

Meldville Wines with Derek Barnett
The story begins with Derek's childhood home back in Swinford, England, named Meldville. He was always encouraged to be true to his nature growing up, and has adopted the same philosophy in winemaking. Each of his wines are crafted in a time honoured way with little intervention, a key to open the narrative and allow the vines to tell their own story.

Continuing the "story" theme on is the artwork of the label and the naming of the wines. The label features an old book cover, while the key also represents the keys to the back door of his home in Swinford. Some of Meldville's current wines use the term "Second Edition" to denote the fact that this is the second time that this wine was made - I assume this naming convention will continue with future vintages. I tasted a couple of Meldville "First Edition" wines in 2016 and, quite frankly, wasn't really impressed. However, the Second Edition wines are a marked improvement and just lovely!

After tasting through each of the seven wines presented on this day, I can tell you that all of the wines are delicious and come in at very reasonable price points. Full wine reviews of my top five are provided below. Meldville Wines can be ordered online or by visiting Legends Estate Winery in Beamsville, Ontario.

Tasting Notes:

MELDVILLE SAUVIGNON BLANC SECOND EDITION 2016 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $20
Medium-high intensity aromas with pungent gooseberry, hay, and grassy notes, along with some tropical fruit and melon nuances, that meld together to form a very appealing profile. It's medium bodied with crisp, bright acids and ripe fruited aroma replays mildly oak influenced (due to 20% neutral French oak barrel fermentation). The finish length is very good. Score: 89 pts

Meldville Sauvignon Blanc Second Edition 2016 (89 pts)

MELDVILLE CHARDONNAY CANADIAN OAK 2016 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $27
The nose is rich and buttery with stone fruit, golden apple, pear, vanilla and oak aromas of medium-high intensity. On the palate, it's medium-full bodied with pleasing nutty and coconut flavours joining the aroma replays. Acids are bright and fresh, while the finish is long, clean and nutty. Score: 90 pts

Meldville Chardonnay Canadian Oak 2016 (90 pts)Meldville Chardonnay Barrel Select 2015 (90+ pts)

MELDVILLE CHARDONNAY BARREL SELECT 2015 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $29
From two barrels specially selected for this Chardonnay. The medium-high intensity nose is ripe with butterscotch, tropical fruit, pineapple and banana aromas. It's medium bodied and fruit forward on the palate with citrus, strone fruit, and pear flavours with a slight impression of sweetness, but it's essentially dry. It's clean with crisp acids and a long finish. Score: 90+ pts

MELDVILLE CABERNET FRANC SECOND EDITION 2015 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $27
This has a medium+ intensity nose that leads with an herbaceous note, followed by ripe fruited black currant, cassis, and some savoury-woodsy aromas. The palate is medium bodied with nice aroma replays and fresh acidity lifting the palate. Tannins are crunchy, yet refined, and add a nice textural character to the wine. The finish is long with dark currant flavours. It's lean and tight and should well up to 2024. Score: 89 pts

Meldville Cabernet Franc Second Edition 2015 (89 pts)Meldville Syrah Barrel Select 2016 (90+ pts)

MELDVILLE SYRAH BARREL SELECT 2016 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $27
Aged in one French and one Hungarian oak barrel. The medium-high intensity aromatics are sour edged with meaty, gamey, black pepper, dark cherry, savoury and smokey notes. It's medium-full bodied on the palate with nice aroma replays and supported by fresh, bright acids. Medium-firm tannins are chunky, while the finish length is excellent. Should age nicely for 6-10 years. Score: 90+ pts

Friday, February 16, 2018

First image of this post
  • Friday, February 16, 2018

VINTAGES Release February 17, 2018: Rising-Star Regions + Winning Ontario

LCBO Wine Picks: February 17, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The LCBO VINTAGES Release features wines from Rising Star Regions as its main theme, while the mini-theme features award-winning wines from Ontario. All of these new wines will be on shelves this .

We'll begin with the main theme that features 10 wine regions that tend to make super wines at stellar prices. Just 11 wines are featured in this section, and the only wine included among my top wine picks is a white wine blend consisting of Sauvignon Blanc & Assyrtiko from Drama, which is located in the northeastern end of Macedonia in northern Greece.

From the mini-theme that features wines that took top honours at the 2017 National Wine Awards of Canada, there are only (!) four wines listed, but three of them are included among my top wine picks from this release. Wines with top honours include a Vidal Icewine, an oaked Chardonnay, and a Gamay Noir. All of these wines are from Niagara and are typically well-made year after year.

Inniskillin Vidal Icewine 2015 (90+ pts)

Among my red wine picks, the Douro dry red wine is a steal at $13 and consists of 30% Tinta Barroca, 25% Touriga Nacional, 25% Touriga Franca, 15 Tinta Roriz and 5% Tinto Cão, grapes typically used to make Port. From Bordeaux, the Recougne is a blend of  90% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Carmenere, while the Sénéjac is a blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with splashes of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. From the Languedoc, the Mosaique is a blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 10% Mourverdre, while the Gigondas is a Grenache-led blend that also contains Syrah. Lastly, the Gattinara is made with Nebbiolo.

Enjoy my top wine recommendations from this Release. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • VALE DO BOMFIM 2015 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#167676) (XD) - $12.95
  • CHÂTEAU RECOUGNE 2014 - AC Bordeaux Supérieur, France (#368167) (XD) - $15.95
  • S. DELAFONT MOSAIQUE 2016 - AP Languedoc, France (#482455) (XD) - $17.95
  • MALIVOIRE GAMAY 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#591313) (D) - $17.95
  • LORNANO CHIANTI CLASSICO 2013 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#211599) (XD) - $17.95  90 pts  wine review
  • HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE BACO NOIR 2016 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#461699) (D) - $24.95
  • ANZIVINO GATTINARA 2010 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#534909) (XD) - $29.95
  • CHÂTEAU SÉNÉJAC 2015 - AC Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#962977) (XD) - $29.95
  • DOMAINE DU GRAPILLON D’OR GIGONDAS 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#981787) (XD) - $32.95
  • SORDO GABUTTI BAROLO 2012 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#530485) (XD) - $68.95
Lornano Chianti Classico 2013 (90 pts)

White Wine:

  • PIATTELLI RESERVE TORRONTÉS 2016 - Cafayate Valley, Salta, Argentina (#536672) (XD) - $14.95
  • SNAPPER ROCK MARLBOROUGH PINOT GRIS 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#536185) (XD) - $16.95
  • THEMA WHITE 2015 - PGI Drama, Greece (#178442) (XD) - $18.95
  • TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA RIESLING 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#089029) (M) - $18.95
  • D’ARENBERG THE MONEY SPIDER ROUSSANNE 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#656710) (XD) - $19.95
  • VILLA MARIA RESERVE WAIRAU VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Wairau Valley, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#536201) (XD) - $24.95
  • REDSTONE CHARDONNAY 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#511428) (XD) - $25.70
  • BERINGER LUMINUS CHARDONNAY 2015 - Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California (#395699) (XD) - $44.95
  • DOMAINE TAUPENOT-MERME SAINT-ROMAIN BLANC 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#522177) (XD) - $53.95
  • PATZ & HALL CHARDONNAY 2015 - Sonoma Coast, California, USA (#200808) (XD) - $64.95  FSE

Sparkling Wine:


Dessert Wine:

  • INNISKILLIN VIDAL ICEWINE 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#388306) (S) (375 mL) - $49.95  90+ pts  wine review


Dalva Colheita Port 1995 (92 pts)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

First image of this post
  • Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Montecillo Rioja Reserva 2011 (Spain) - Wine Review

As the world comes together in a few days to celebrate their top athletes and diversity, PMA Canada is celebrating the diversity of its international portfolio with award-winning wines that have received high accolades on the global stage.

wine is from Bodegas Montecillo is the third and final wine in the series. This red wine has received high scores ranging from 90-92 points from internationally-acclaimed critics and publications. Having tasted and enjoyed the 2011 Montecillo Crianza last year, I am expecting similar (if not higher) quality levels with this wine, but with a more noticeable oak component as Spanish Reserva wines are required to spend at least 1 year in oak.

Montecillo Rioja Reserva 2011 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

MONTECILLO RIOJA RESERVA 2011 - DOCa, Rioja, Spain (#621003) (XD) - $17.90
A blend of 95% Tempranillo, 3% Mazuelo, and 2% Garnacha from the excellent 2011 vintage and raised in French and American oak casks for 24 months. This has a medium intensity nose of sandalwood, savoury, umami and earthy nose with hints of blackberry, dark currant and dried cherry, along some sweet spice notes at the tail end. It is medium-full bodied on the palate with sneaky tannins that are refined and smooth, yet build steadily in the mouth. Acids are mouthwatering. The mature palate doles out licorice, dark currant, wood, and some dried fruit characters in a savoury profile. Some sourness mid-palate. Finishes savoury and woody with hints of very appealing sweet spice and dried cherry flavours. Enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 89 pts

This red wine is a General List product and widely available in-store at the LCBO. It can also be purchased online at

Monday, February 5, 2018

First image of this post
  • Monday, February 5, 2018

Château Timberlay 2014 (Bordeaux) - Wine Review

This wine review is the second in the series celebrating the internationally-acclaimed, award-winning, and high-scoring wines from the PMA Canada portfolio.

As the world comes together in a few days to celebrate diversity and cheer on their top athletes, PMA Canada is celebrating it's diverse portfolio of high quality and high-scoring wines, such as this red wine from Bordeaux that was opened during Superbowl Sunday.

Château Timberlay is produced by Robert Giraud and is Terra Vitis certified, while regularly receiving top scores in its long history, with the most recent vintage receiving scores of 87-88 points. The property's origin dates back to the 14th century, during the 100 Years' War, when Aquitaine was under English domination. More recently, the château was destroyed during the French Revolution, later rebuilt, and was completely renovated after the Second World War.

Château Timberlay 2014 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU TIMBERLAY 2014 - AOC Bordeaux Supérieur, France (#030072) (XD) - $16.95 $14.95
A blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc. Ripe blackberry, plum and earthy aromas from the cork. In the glass, the nose is subtle with ripe red cherry, raspberry, and blackberry with a tinge of prune. On the palate, this has more prune notes followed by dark cherry, cedar oak, and peppery nuances. Dry overall with fresh acids, structured tannins that drying on the mid-palate. Good length on the dry, woody, earthy, and dark berry finish. Pair with big meats like lamb or steak. Score: 87 pts

A General List wine at the LCBO, this red wine is widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario, as well as online at Buy now and save $2 off the regular price until February 25th.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

First image of this post
  • Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Emiliana Coyam 2013 (Chile) - Wine Review

wine is the first in a series from PMA Canada's portfolio that highlights a few top scoring wines from around the globe to help you gear up for the International Sports Stage in February, namely the 2018 Winter Olympics.

As the world comes together this February to celebrate their top athletes, PMA Canada celebrates diversity by offering a selection of award-winning wines from around the globe.

PMA Canada not only prides itself on offering a vast selection of international wines, but also on the fact that the wines presented are of the highest and most renowned quality. So, as different countries battle to come out on top, cheer on your team with a top scoring wine from PMA Canada.

This particular red wine from Chile's Emiliana - Organic Vineyards is the winery's signature wine. "Coyam" means "Chilean oak" and is named in honour of the trees that surround the vineyard that supplies the grapes for this blend. The label, with its tree ring pattern, stylishly matches the name. Scores for this wine range from 90 to 93 points, including 90+ points from me when I tasted this delicious wine back in . Let's see how this wine is tasting tonight.

Emiliana Coyam 2013 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

EMILIANA COYAM 2013 - Los Robles Estate, Colchagua Valley, Chile (#063891) (XD) - $29.95
This organic and biodynamic wine is made with 48% Syrah, 24% Carmenere, 11% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Mourvedre, 3% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot that was manually harvested and double sorted. Ageing occurred for 13 months in French (85%) and American oak, spread evenly between casks that were new, single use, and twice used. Dark plum with hints of savoury meaty notes from the cork. This has fine, savoury, meaty, forest floor, crushed blackberry, and evergreen aromas along with hints of white pepper and licorice that gain intensity with air. Very complex and fairly intense nose. It's medium-full bodied on the palate and shows finesse with smooth, supple tannins that fold into the wine very nicely. Complex savoury, blackcurrant, pepper and herbal flavours are well-balanced and lifted by bright, juicy acids. Some evergreen on the mid-palate. Finishes long and savoury. An amazing wine to enjoy over the next 4-5 years. Score: 91 pts

Last released into VINTAGES on October 14, 2017, and (surprisingly!) is still widely available throughout Ontario.

Monday, January 29, 2018

First image of this post
  • Monday, January 29, 2018

Konzelmann Chardonnay Reserve 2015 (Niagara) - Wine Review

Opened up this delicious, oaked Chardonnay to wind down what was a very hectic - and somewhat challenging - weekend. This white wine is a companion to the 2016 Konzelmann Merlot Barrel Aged Reserve that I enjoyed a couple of weeks ago.

Like the Merlot, this is a new release from Konzelmann Estate Winery and is available for purchase only at the winery or through their online web store. Use promo code FREESHIP and receive free shipping when you order 12 or more bottles.

Konzelmann Chardonnay Reserve 2015 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

KONZELMANN CHARDONNAY RESERVE 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (D) - $17.95
Screw cap. This has medium+ intensity ripe, buttery apple and pear nose with hints of pineapple. On the creamy, medium-full bodied palate, it is a touch sweetish, but leads with a saline note followed by baked stone fruits, apple, along with hints of vanilla and baking spice. Acids are juicy and well-balanced, while the finish length is very good. A ripe, oaked Chardonnay in the New World style that should have wide appeal. Score: 88 pts

First image of this post
  • Monday, January 29, 2018

VINTAGES Release February 3, 2018: Mediterranean + Fun Facts

LCBO Wine Picks: February 3, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on features wines from the sunny Mediterranean - which in this release includes wines from France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Lebanon - that are suitable for any table and any budget is the main theme. Meanwhile, the mini-theme is titled "Fun Facts about Fine Wine". These new wines will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves this .

We'll begin with the main theme that lists fifteen wines from five countries, and while the list is quite respectable, just three wines are included among my top wine picks. First up is the Assyrtiko white wine from Greece that is always delicious and minerally-driven. The second white wine from this section is made with Inzolia, a grape long associated with the production of Marsala fortified wine, but now seen on its own in dry table wine. Lastly, the Château de Tréviac is a lovely blend of 60% Syrah, and 40% Grenache from 35 year old vines.

Argyros Assyrtiko 2016 (90 pts)Château de Tréviac Corbières 2015 (89 pts)

From the mini-theme of the release, the nine facts are interesting, as well as some of the nine wines listed in this feature, however, just two of these wines are listed among my wine recommendations. The fun fact tied to the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is that the Kiwis figured out how to farm sunshine - New Zealand is a cool-climate wine region and, in terms of wine, is rather difficult to get sunshine down there. The second fun fact is related to Brunello di Montalcino wines that are made with 100% Sangiovese using a specific clonal variation (natural mutation) of the grape found in Chianti, and is now found only in Montalcino.

Among my red wine picks from the rest of the release, Syrah/Shiraz plays a large part with three single varietal wines, plus the Gigondas that is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre. The 2008 Bordeaux red is fully mature and made with 74% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Barbaresco is made with 100% Nebbiolo.

In white wines, there are a pair of interesting white blends. The Pekin White from South Africa is mostly Chenin Blanc with small amounts Roussanne, Muscat de Frontignan, Viognier and Sémillon, while the Loire white is a blend of Melon de Bourgogne, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Folle. For sweet wine lovers, the German Riesling or the Pinot Gris from Alsace are your best bets.

It's always nice to rosé arrive during the winter months, and in this release we have a dry rosé wine from Chile that consists of 56% Cinsault, 25% Syrah, 12% Grenache and 7% Mourvèdre.

Enjoy my top wine picks from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • LUA CHEIA OLD VINES RED 2015 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#266882) (XD) - $13.95
  • CHAKANA NUNA ESTATE MALBEC 2016 - Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina (#018671) (XD) - $16.95  89 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU DE TRÉVIAC CORBIÈRES 2015 - AP, Midi, France (#670505) (XD) - $16.95  89 pts  wine review
  • MOUNT RILEY SYRAH 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#535856) (XD) - $18.95
  • BOSCHENDAL 1685 SHIRAZ 2015 - WO Coastal Region, South Africa (#542787) (XD) - $19.95
  • WYNNS COONAWARRA ESTATE SHIRAZ 2015 - Coonawarra, South Australia (#433060) (XD) - $22.95
  • BERSANO MANTICO BARBARESCO 2012 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#452805) (XD) - $39.95
  • CHÂTEAU LA VIEILLE CURE 2008 - AC Fronsac, Bordeaux, France (#484253) (XD) - $41.95
  • E. GUIGAL GIGONDAS 2014 - AC, Rhône, France (#331900) (XD) - $42.95
  • LAZZERETTI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2012 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#318352) (D) - $53.95
Chakana Nuna Estate Malbec 2016 (89 pts)

White Wine:

  • AVONDALE JONTY’S DUCKS PEKIN WHITE 2015 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#439554) (XD) - $15.95
  • DOMAINE DE LA FRUITIÈRE VIGNES BLANCHES 2015 - IGP Val de Loire, France (#527184) (XD) - $16.95
  • RABL KITTMANSBERG GRÜNER VELTLINER 2016 - DAC Kamptal, Austria (#346007) (XD) - $16.95
  • FRAMINGHAM SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#606848) (XD) - $19.95
  • PEWSEY VALE SINGLE VINEYARD ESTATE RIESLING 2016 - Eden Valley, South Australia (#686600) (XD) - $19.95
  • DARTING DÜERKHEIMER HOCHBENN RIESLING KABINETT 2015 - Prädikatswein, Pfalz, Germany (#523944) (S) - $21.95
  • INZOLIA DEI FORNELLI 2016 - DOC Sicilia, Italy (#539932) (XD) - $22.95
  • ARGYROS ASSYRTIKO 2016 - PDO Santorini, Greece (#387365) (XD) - $27.95  90 pts  wine review
  • DOMAINES SCHLUMBERGER KESSLER PINOT GRIS 2012 - AC Alsace Grand Cru, France (#249623) (D) - $29.95
  • DOMAINE LAROCHE LES FOURCHAUMES 1ER CRU CHABLIS 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#530162) (XD) - $44.95  FSE

Rosé Wine:

  • LAPOSTOLLE LE ROSÉ 2016 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#524967) (XD) - $17.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • STARS BRUT NATURE RESERVA CAVA 2015 - Traditional method, DO, Spain (#515221) (XD) - $16.95
  • PATRICK CHAN SPARKLING BLANC DE BLANCS 2011 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#546291) (D) - $29.95


  • VALE MEÃO VINTAGE PORT 2014 - DOP, Portugal (#545046) (S) - $65.95

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