Thursday, June 22, 2017

  • Thursday, June 22, 2017

LCBO VINTAGES Release June 24, 2017: Cosmopolitan Canucks + Sparkling Wine



LCBO Wine Picks from June 24, 2017 VINTAGES Release
The LCBO VINTAGES Release on is titled "Cosmopolitan Canucks" as its main theme and features Canadians making wines in Canada and abroad. The mini-theme is titled "Super Sparklers" and features a selection of budget-friendly sparkling wines.

We'll begin with the main theme that features Canadians making fine wines around the world. Fourteen wines are listed, but only two made my list of wine picks. Ann Sperling and Peter Gamble are considered Canada's winemaking 'power couple' and have roots in British Columbia, Niagara, Nova Scotia, and Versado is their project from Argentina, with the Malbec featured in this Release made with old vines. The other wine included among my wine recommendations is Quadrus Red from Portugal that is a blend of 55% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), and 15% Souzão. This wine is made by renowned Toronto restaurateur brothers Tony and Mario Amaro, and their partner Aris Kaplanis, and their first bottling of Quadrus was the 2010 vintage.

From the "Super Sparkler" mini-thematic, only the Graham Beck Brut Rosé made the cut from the ten wines listed, and it is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.

In red wines from the rest of the Release, from Portugal the São Miguel is a blend of Alicante Bouschet, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional, while the Quinta do Crasto is a field blend of 25-30 grape varieties from old vines averaging 70 years of age. From Roussillon, the Saint-Roch is a re-release and consists of nearly equal parts Grenache, Syrah and Carignan, while the Madiran is made with Tannat. And finally, the Rioja is made with 85% Tempranillo and 15% Graciano, while the Greek wine is 100% Agiorgitiko.

Among my white wine picks, you'll find plenty of Chardonnay (including a Musqué) and Sauvignon Blanc wines. Sweet wine lovers should skip this VINTAGES Release.

There are two nice rosé wines among my top wine picks. The rosé from Hidden Bench is a blend of 95.2% Pinot Noir and 4.8% Viognier, while the Château de la Négly is a blend of 70% Mourvèdre, and equal parts Syrah and Cinsault.

Château de la Négly La Natice 2016 (90 pts)

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • SÃO MIGUEL ESCOLHA DOS ENOLOGOS 2014 - Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal (#445122) (XD) - $15.95
  • SAINT-ROCH VIEILLES VIGNES SYRAH/GRENACHE 2014 - AP Côtes du Roussillon, France (#195107) (XD) - $15.95
  • CAVINO GRANDE RESERVE 2009 - PDO Nemea, Greece (#295618) (XD) - $17.95  reviewed here
  • LAPLACE MADIRAN 2013 - AP, Southwest, France (#103705) (XD) - $17.95
  • QUADRUS RED 2012 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#440305) (D) - $19.95
  • BARÓN DE LEY GRAN RESERVA 2010 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#642496) (XD) - $29.95
  • SOLÉNA GRANDE CUVÉE PINOT NOIR 2014 - Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#486944) (XD) - $34.95
  • QUINTA DO CRASTO OLD VINES RESERVA 2014 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#294116) (XD) - $39.95
  • VERSADO RESERVA ANCIENT MALBEC 2012 - Mendoza, Argentina (#316984) (XD) - $59.95
  • TWO HANDS BELLA’S GARDEN SHIRAZ 2014 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#636407) (XD) - $65.95
  • CHIMNEY ROCK CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California, USA (#731810) (XD) - $101.95

White Wine:

  • CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY MUSQUÉ 2015 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#246579) (D) - $16.95
  • LEYDA GARUMA SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - Leyda Valley, Chile (#099309) (XD) - $17.95
  • KONO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#441394) (XD) - $18.95  reviewed here
  • TIEFENBRUNNER PINOT GRIGIO 2015 - IGT Vigneti delle Dolomiti, Alto Adige, Italy (#474742) (XD) - $19.95
  • VIGNERONS DE BUXY BUISSONNIER MONTAGNY 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#382879) (XD) - $19.95
  • JOSEF CHROMY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Tasmania, Australia (#482216) (XD) - $27.00  FSE
  • STAGS’ LEAP WINERY CHARDONNAY 2015 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#655381) (D) - $34.95
  • DOMAINE SERVIN VAILLONS CHABLIS PREMIER CRU 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#142778) (XD) - $34.95
  • HENRI BOURGEOIS LA CHAPELLE DES AUGUSTINS SANCERRE 2014 - AC, Loire, France (#322628) (XD) - $37.95
  • FLOWERS CHARDONNAY 2015 - Sonoma Coast, California, USA (#215210) (XD) - $70.95  FSE
Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (88 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • HIDDEN BENCH LOCUST LANE ROSÉ 2016 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#068833) (XD) - $21.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE LA NÉGLY LA NATICE 2016 - AP Languedoc, Midi, France (#492199) (XD) - $23.95  reviewed here

Sparkling Wine:

  • GRAHAM BECK BRUT ROSÉ - Méthode Cap Classique, WO Western Cape, South Africa (#175588) (D) - $19.95


Monday, June 19, 2017

  • Monday, June 19, 2017

Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine is the latest Sauvignon Blanc from Kono Wines to arrive at the LCBO.

The grapes for this white wine were all picked using state-of-the-art machine harvesters, then gently pressed to obtain clean juice. The juice is settled very clear, then racked into stainless steel tanks for warming and inoculation with aromatic yeasts. Fermentation is carried out at quite cool temperatures, ranging from 10-13°C, to help preserve freshness.

I tasted the 2014 Kono Sauvignon Blanc in of last year and am curious to see how the 2015 turned out. In 2015, Marlborough enjoyed a very dry summer, resulting in wines of greater concentration than the 2014. However, a spring frost led to much lower yields.

This yummy white wine will be on shelves as part of the upcoming VINTAGES Release on .

Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

KONO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#441394) (XD) - $18.95
Screw cap. Medium-high intensity aromatics offer typical NZ Sauv Blanc notes of guava, kiwi, tropical fruit, with hints of gooseberry, grass and mineral. The palate is medium-bodied with gentle acids that are nicely balanced. There's good flavour concentration on the palate with more guava, kiwi, and grassy notes, plus grapefruit and saline. The finish is juicy and minerally with very good length. Enjoy this summer! Score: 88 pts


Sunday, June 18, 2017

  • Sunday, June 18, 2017

Charme d’Aliénor Crémant de Bordeaux (France) - Wine Review

wine to celebrate is a sparkling wine is new to Ontario and will be available on LCBO shelves as part of the VINTAGES Release on .

This wine is produced by the co-operative Union de Guyenne, also known as UG Bordeaux. In 2007, UG Bordeaux joined the Caves of Sauveterre de Guyenne, Saint-Pey-Génissac and Blasimon. Today, 250 operators combine their savoir-fare to produce wines such as this Crémant de Bordeaux sparkling wine. From vineyard to bottle, quality, traceability, and commitment to environmental protection are priorities.

Charme d’Aliénor Crémant de Bordeaux (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHARME D’ALIÉNOR CRÉMANT DE BORDEAUX - Traditional method, AC, France (#483008) (D) - $16.95
Hand-harvested and unique blend of 90% Semillon and 10% Cabernet Franc. This has a bready, autolytic nose of medium intensity with hints of pastry and white flowers. There's a vague impression of sweetness, but essentially dry on the medium-bodied palate, with crisp, balanced acids. Frothy mousse is gentle and dissipates quickly. Lemon and apple flavours on the palate, with earthy mineral notes lingering on the finish, with good length. Clean and easy drinking for current enjoyment. Score: 87 pts


Saturday, June 10, 2017

  • Saturday, June 10, 2017

Château de la Négly La Natice 2016 (Midi) - Rosé Wine Review

National Rosé Day is celebrated annually on the second Saturday of June, and this year it falls on . wine to celebrate National Rosé Day is this delicious dry rosé from the Languedoc in France.

Château de la Negly is the producer of wine review and is located in the Languedoc, overlooking the Mediterranean, in the massif of La Clape. This privileged geographical location has a unique synergy of elements taking place: stroked by sea spray, buffeted between the Tramontane (wind) and the sea wind, and the land is bathed by the Mediterranean sun which warms up the berries. The terroir in this area is rich in alluvium. The Château has been around since the 18th century and is currently managed by the Paux-Rosset family with the assistance of consultant oenologist, Claude Gros.

This rosé wine will be available at the LCBO as part of the upcoming VINTAGES Release. A full wine review of this wine is posted below.

Share your special rosé experience on social media by using the hashtag #NationalRoséDay. What's in your glass today?

Château de la Négly La Natice 2016 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU DE LA NÉGLY LA NATICE 2016 - AP Languedoc, Midi, France (#492199) (XD) - $23.95
Made using the saignée method and consisting of 70% Mourvèdre, and rest equal parts Syrah and Cinsault. Enclosed using a glass stopper. Clean, medium-high intensity aromatics offer red currant, strawberry, red cherry, orange blossom and banana notes that echo on the palate, plus some watermelon flavours. It's medium-bodied and dry with crisp, refreshing acids. Some herbally notes arrive as it warms up in the glass. Finish length is very good with hints of earthy minerality. Score: 90 pts


Friday, June 9, 2017

  • Friday, June 9, 2017

Niagara Icewine Festival Review 2017 - Day 1 of 2

Butter Chicken and Naan with 2012 Fielding Riesling Icewine
On , I visited Niagara Wine Country to experience the annual Niagara Icewine Festival to taste some fine Icewine paired with culinary creations. This was the first of two straight Saturday's in Niagara - review from activities will be posted soon.

The first stop of the day was at Fielding Estate Winery for a pairing of their 2012 Fielding Riesling Icewine (89 pts) with a savoury Butter Chicken and Naan prepared by The Smokin' Buddha. The butter chicken was flavourful and had a fairly thick gravy that seemed a bit heavy on the oregano. It was also mildly spiced, complementing the sweet flavours from the Icewine. Furthermore, the acids in the Icewine cut into some of the rich, creamy gravy from the Butter Chicken that helped lighten the pairing overall. Very good portion size as well. This was a tasty experience with a lot of different flavours battling for your attention.

On the downside, it was unfortunate that the Fielding Riesling Icewine was not available for purchase, as some folks in my group wanted to take home a bottle or two. Moreover, it was somewhat odd that not even one Icewine was available for purchase in the boutique. I suspect that the wine was nearly sold out and they used whatever remaining stock they had just for the festival, while newer vintages of this Icewine were not ready yet due to the harsh winter of 2013-2014 (remember the "Polar Vortex"?) that led to severe crop damage and limited Icewine production capabilities across the region. On the bright side, I have been advised that a newer Riesling Icewine from Fielding is coming in the near future and should be on shelves soon.

2012 Niagara College Teaching Winery Dean's List Savant Icewine with White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake on a Dark Chocolate Crust

The rest of our Icewine Tour was in Niagara-on-the-Lake, with the next stop being at Niagara College Teaching Winery for a delicious, mouth-watering White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake on a Dark Chocolate Crust that was quite small in stature but packed plenty of flavour, and was paired with their 2012 Dean's List Savant Icewine. This was a very nice pairing xxxxxas the red berry flavours from each item played well together, while the fresh acids in the wine complemented the creaminess in the cheesecake. Overall, this was a sweet, balanced, and harmonious pairing that was well executed.

Our third stop of the afternoon was at The Hare Wine Co., a new winery that just opened it's doors in November. For their first appearance at the Niagara Icewine Festival, they offered a delicious Sticky Toffee Pudding prepared by Ello Gov'na that was paired with their 2014 Frontier Vidal Icewine. Portions (especially the Icewine) were once again small, however, the gooey toffee cake that was smothered in a treacle sauce and topped with Icewine Chantilly was lusciously sweet and delicious, while pairing beautifully together. The toffee cake sauce really brought out the butterscotch notes in the Icewine. Lovely pairing!

The Hare Wine Co.Sticky Toffee Pudding with 2014 The Hare Wine Co. Frontier Vidal Icewine

Hinterbrook Estate Winery was the fourth stop of the day. The pairing here was a Baked Square Crust filled with fresh Pineapple Jam Fruits and topped with Pine Nuts, paired with their 2014 Vidal Icewine. Lots going in the baked square - sweet, savoury, fruity, and nutty - which led to many different flavours brought out of the Icewine, especially enhanced pineapple notes. Once again, a nicely thought out pairing that worked well together.

Baked Square Crust filled with fresh Pineapple Jam Fruits and topped with Pine Nuts, paired with 2014 Nomad Vidal IcewineLobster Bisque paired with 2010 Konzelmann Estate Vidal Icewine

The final stop of the day was at Konzelmann Estate Winery, Niagara's only lakefront winery, for a Lobster Bisque with a hint of spice prepared by Tide & Vine and paired with their 2010 Vidal Icewine. I recall having this combo in the past at Konzelmann and enjoyed it very much, fully expecting that I would enjoy it this time around as well! The bisque was rich and creamy with small chunks of lobster and had a hint spice that paired beautifully with the Vidal Icewine. There was just enough acids in the Icewine that helped balance the creamy bisque, while the subtle spicy notes were subdued because of the sweet flavours in the wine. Following the food & Icewine pairing, we took a private tour of the winery which included a visit to the vineyard, a tour of the facilities, and finished up in an underground tasting room where we had the opportunity to taste some of their very fine Reserve wines.

Konzelmann Estate Winery VineyardsKonzelmann Estate Winery Production Facility

Konzelmann Estate Winery Stainless Steel TanksKonzelmann Estate Winery Bottling Equipment

All-in-all, this was a very successful visit to Niagara Wine Country, with delicious food & Icewine pairings, as well as tasting many other delicious, local wines. Many of the wines I tasted are only available for purchase at the winery (or from the winery's website), and wine reviews of some of my favourites are provided below.

My trip to Niagara during the Icewine Festival did not end on this day, as I visited region the following weekend for more food & wine experiences. A review from the 2nd day of tasting will be posted in the coming days.

Tasting Notes:

FIELDING ESTATE BOTTLED RIESLING 2015 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#251439) (M) - $19.95
Medium+ aromas of lime, citrus and mineral, with tart/sour aroma replays on the palate. Off-dry in style, but with bright acids that cut into the sweetness. Nice chalky mineral texture that lingers on the long finish. Score: 89 pts

Fielding Estate Bottled Riesling 2015 (89 pts)

FIELDING SYRAH 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $39.95
Aromas are of medium-high intensity, but seem somewhat closed at the moment, and offer black pepper, dark fruits and integrated oak notes. It's full bodied with fleshy tannins, balanced acids. Some elegance and suave. Long bitter finish with some dark chocolate flavours. Will age gracefully for 5-8 years. Score: 89 pts

Fielding Syrah 2012 (89 pts)Fielding Chosen Few 2012 (90 pts)

FIELDING CHOSEN FEW 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $59.95
Made only in the best years with wines from a chosen few barrels, the 2012 is a blend of 38% Cabernet Franc, 37% Syrah, and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. Pleasant, appealing aromas that are meaty and savoury combined with dark fruits of great intensity. The palate is full-bodied with well-knit flavours of black currant, dark fruit, and toasty oak. It has very good acidity and firm tannins. Finish length is excellent. Drinkable now, but should be better few years. Score: 90 pts

NIAGARA COLLEGE TEACHING WINERY BALANCE BARREL FERMENTED CHARDONNAY 2012 - VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $18.95
Medium+ intensity aromas that are heavily oak-influenced with pineapple, woody, apple and baking spice notes. It's medium-full bodied with more apple and oak spiced flavours on the palate. It has balanced acidity and very good finish length. Score: 88 pts

Niagara College Teaching Winery Balance Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2012 (88 pts)

NIAGARA COLLEGE TEACHING WINERY DEAN'S LIST PRODIGY ICEWINE 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (S) (200 mL) - $33.00
This blend of white grape varietals (Vidal, Riesling and Chardonnay) has fresh, appealing aromas of apricots, pineapple, honey and lemon citrus of high intensity. The palate is medium+ bodied and offers very sweet aroma replays on the palate, balanced by fresh acids, and finishing long. Score: 90 pts

Niagara College Teaching Winery Dean's List Prodigy Icewine 2012 (90 pts)Niagara College Teaching Winery Dean's List Savant Icewine 2012 (89 pts)

NIAGARA COLLEGE TEACHING WINERY DEAN'S LIST SAVANT ICEWINE 2012 - VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (200 mL) - $39.00
A blend of 5 red grape varietals, aromas are of medium-high intensity with notes of strawberry, burnt sugar and caramel that also appear on the palate along with flavours of honey and hints of coffee. It's very sweet, a touch syrupy, but has nicely balanced acids. Finish length is very good. Score: 89 pts

THE HARE JACK RABBIT RED 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (D) - $15.50
Selected as the official red wine of Ontario's Legislative Assembly for 2017, this has medium-intensity aromas of red & black fruits, subtle oak, and plummy notes. It's medium-bodied with sweet, rounded tannins and ripe fruited flavours. Balanced acids and medium-long finishing. There's some tannic structure for short term ageing, but I would drink this now. Blend of 60% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Score: 87 pts

The Hare Jack Rabbit Red 2013 (87 pts)The Hare Frontier Riesling Icewine 2013 (89 pts)

THE HARE FRONTIER RIESLING ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $65.00
The fragrant nose offers sweet peach, apricot, and lemon aromas and flavours. It's medium-full bodied and balanced by nicely textured acids. Slightly tart mid-palate while having a medium-long finish. Score: 89 pts

THE HARE FRONTIER VIDAL ICEWINE 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $65.00
Oak-aged for 1 year in French oak, this offers medium-high aromas of honey, apricot, peach, butterscotch and steely mineral notes with pleasingly sweet aroma replays on the palate. Some oak-spiced notes appear mid-palate. Acids are well-balanced and finish length is very good. Score: 89 pts

NOMAD CABERNET FRANC RESERVE 2012 - VQA Niagara Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $69.95
Medium-high and well-balanced aromas give off a clean, elegant bouquet that's focuses on black fruits, herbs and sweet oak. It's medium-bodied on the palate with the same aromas on the flavour profile. Bitter tannins are well-integrated. It has bright acids and a milk chocolate finish. Score: 90 pts

Nomad Cabernet France Reserve 2012 (90 pts)

NOMAD VIDAL ICEWINE 2014 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $49.95
Appealing aromas of medium-high intensity, featuring pineapple, honey and orange citrus notes that continue on the very sweet palate. Perhaps a touch cloying with delicately balanced acids. Very good finish length. Score: 90 pts

Nomad Vidal Icewine 2014 (90 pts)Nomad Cabernet Franc Icewine 2014 (90+ pts)

NOMAD CABERNET FRANC ICEWINE 2014 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $69.95
The highly aromatic nose offers cherry, strawberry jam, rhubarb and more sweet red fruits. The palate is medium-full bodied with well-balanced acidity and very appealing aroma replays and hints of orange peel. Finish length is excellent. Score: 90+ pts

KONZELMANN ESTATE VIDAL ICEWINE 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (S) (375 mL) - $65.00
I recall tasting this back in 2014 and it was very delicious then. Today, it is still highly aromatic with pineapple, and mature aromas of caramel and brown sugar. It's very sweet and thick with low acids making this just a touch cloying. Delicious flavours of burnt sugar and caramel on the palate. Finishes long. Drink over next year or two. Score: 90 pts

Konzelmann Estate Vidal Icewine 2010 (90 pts)Konzelmann Chardonnay Family Reserve 2012 (90 pts)

KONZELMANN CHARDONNAY FAMILY RESERVE 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $49.95
Medium-high aromatics offer pear, nutty, binned apple, and hints of bubblegum. Medium-bodied on the palate with pleasing and elegant aroma replays along with baking spice and hints of lime flavours. the finish length is very good with some mineral notes. Score: 90 pts

KONZELMANN CABERNET MERLOT RESERVE 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $39.95
A blend of 43% Cabernet Franc, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, this has an highly aromatic nose that's elegant with red and black fruits, well-integrated oak and a touch bretty. It's full-bodied on the smooth palate with suave, elegant and structured tannins. Very nice aroma replays with integrated oak flavours come through on the palate. It's well-balanced with very good acidity. Warming, long finish that's held together quite well. Drink now or better to wait and enjoy over the next 5-10 years. Score: 91+ pts

Konzelmann Cabernet Merlot Reserve 2012 (91+ pts)Konzelmann Cabernet Merlot Family Reserve 2012 (92 pts)

KONZELMANN CABERNET MERLOT FAMILY RESERVE 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (XD) - $49.95
Similarly blended as the Reserve, this has elegant black currant, cassis, vanilla and oak aromas of medium-high intensity and seems a bit shy right now. The palate is full-bodied with structured tannins that are a bit tight. Very nice aroma replays along with some black cherry and floral hints, balanced by juicy acids. Excellent finish length. A powerful, finesse wine that should be cellared for at least few years and drink to 2020. Score 92 pts


Monday, June 5, 2017

  • Monday, June 5, 2017

June 10, 2017 VINTAGES Release: Australia + France + Father's Day + Canada 150

LCBO Wine Picks from June 10, 2017 VINTAGES Magazine
The VINTAGES Release will be on shelves at LCBO outlets across Ontario this coming and has four themes featured. In this Release, the main themes are warm-weather wines from Australia, French wines under $20, Father's Day gifts, and many Canadian wines to celebrate Canada 150. There could also easily be a fifth theme with all of the fine Rosé wines listed.

We'll begin with main theme which lists twelve wines for summer fare from Australia. Just two of the twelve wines made my list of wine picks, and includes a nice Aussie Shiraz from Margaret River in Western Australia. The other wine from Australia is a Viognier from Tahbilk - a family-owned winery since 1860 that was named 2016 Winery of the Year by James Halliday.

As part of the Australian thematic, there's a neat side note about wine serving temperatures. As a general rule, you should chill your white wines for 2 hours in the fridge (or 20 minutes in an ice bucket), rose wines for 1.5 hours in the fridge (or 15 minutes in an ice bucket), and red wines for 1 hour in the fridge (or 10 minutes in an ice bucket).

Tahbilk Viognier 2016 (89 pts)

The second theme of the release is titled "French Lessons" and lists seven wines from France, all under $20, two of which are included among my top wine recommendations. From Beaujolais, there is a Gamay from Vieilles Vignes (i.e. Old Vines) that are more than 40 years old. The second wine from this mini-theme is a mature Malbec from Cahors, the native home of the Malbec grape.

From the Father's Day thematic which listed five wines plus a Cognac, and being a Father myself, I would love to have either the Châteauneuf-du-Pape (which is a blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Mourvèdre) or the Amarone that is a blend of 70% Corvina/Corvinone, 20% Rondinella, and 10% Croatina/Oseleta.

For Canada 150 celebrations, there are sixteen wines listed and many good choices among them. Viognier is not grown much in Ontario, but there's a good one from Creekside, a producer that's been making quality Viognier for quite a few years now. A pair of dry rosés are also worth your attention, one is made by Creekside using Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Malivoire Rosé is made with Pinot Noir.

This leads us into the fine selection of rosé wines that are being released, most of which are from France. The rosé wine from Rhône is a blend of Syrah and Grenache, while the La Riviera is a blend of Grenache and Cinsault, and the Leoube Rosé consists of Grenache, Cinsault with touches of Syrah and Mourvèdre.

In red wines from the rest of the release, from Midi, the M. Chapoutier is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Carignan, while the Bugadelles is a blend of Syrah and Grenache. From Spain, the Crianza is 100% Tempranillo, while the Rioja is actually a blend of 77% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, 8% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo. From Chile, the Intriga Cabernet Sauvignon contains 8% Cabernet Franc, and last but not least, the Barbaresco from Piedmont is made with Nebbiolo.

Intriga Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (90+ pts)

Among my white wine picks, the white Bordeaux is mostly Sauvignon Blanc, with Semillon added to complete the blend. For sweet wine lovers, the mature Riesling Kabinett should be on your list, as well as the Tokaji from Hungary.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • M. CHAPOUTIER LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON VILLAGES 2015 - AC, Midi, France (#168716) (XD) - $15.95
  • LIONEL OSMIN & CIE CAHORS MALBEC 2012 - AC Cahors, Southwest, France (#247544) (XD) - $16.95
  • OVIDIO GARCÍA ESENCIA CRIANZA 2009 - DO Cigales, Spain (#489757) (XD) - $18.95
  • STÉPHANE AVIRON VIEILLES VIGNES MOULIN-À-VENT 2013 - AC, Beaujolais, France (#368134) (XD) - $19.95
  • FRANKLIN TATE ESTATES SHIRAZ 2015 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#489948) (XD) - $19.95
  • INTRIGA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#057901) (XD) - $22.95  reviewed here
  • DOMAINE LES BUGADELLES 2014 - IGP Pays d’Oc, Midi, France (#493536) (XD) - $25.95  FSE
  • MARQUÉS DE MURRIETA FINCA YGAY RESERVA 2012 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#209148) (D) - $29.95
  • PASQUALE PELISSERO BRICCO SAN GIULIANO BARBARESCO 2012 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#214551) (XD) - $38.95
  • CHÂTEAU FORTIA CUVÉE DU BARON CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#959999) (D) - $44.95
  • LATIUM MORINI CAMPO LEÒN AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA 2011 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#334300) (D) - $46.95

White Wine:

  • BELLINGHAM HOMESTEAD SERIES THE OLD ORCHARDS CHENIN BLANC 2015 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#484055) (XD) - $15.95
  • CHÂTEAU ROQUEFORT BLANC 2016 - AC Bordeaux, France (#313346) (XD) - $16.95
  • TAHBILK VIOGNIER 2016 - Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria, Australia (#271387) (XD) - $18.95  reviewed here
  • MARKUS HUBER TERRASSEN GRÜNER VELTLINER 2015 - DAC Traisental, Austria (#484956) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • HEDGES H.I.P DIONYSUS VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2013 - Columbia Valley, Washington, USA (#488528) (XD) - $19.95
  • SCHLOSS SCHÖNBORN HATTENHEIM NUSBRUNNEN RIESLING KABINETT 2008 - Hattenheim, Rheingau, Germany (#496497) (MS) - $19.95
  • DOMAINE RAOUL GAUTHERIN CHABLIS 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#488809) (XD) - $24.95
  • CREEKSIDE RESERVE VIOGNIER 2014 - Queenston Road Vineyard, VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#264168) (D) - $29.95
Markus Huber Terrassen Grüner Veltliner 2015 (89 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • CREEKSIDE CABERNET ROSÉ 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#048819) (XD) - $14.95
  • CHÂTEAU VAL JOANIS TRADITION ROSÉ 2016 - AP Luberon, Rhône, France (#707281) (XD) - $15.95
  • LA RIVIERA CÔTES DE PROVENCE ROSÉ 2016 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#494120) (XD) - $18.95
  • MALIVOIRE VIVANT ROSÉ 2016 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#498535) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU LÉOUBE ROSÉ DE LÉOUBE 2016 - AC Côtes de Provence, France (#491100) (XD) - $25.95

Dessert Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU DERESZLA 5 PUTTONYOS TOKAJI ASZÚ 2009 - Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary (#012203) (S) (500 mL) - $45.95


Friday, June 2, 2017

  • Friday, June 2, 2017

Penon Pinot Bianco 2014 (Italy) - Wine Review

white wine review is a new wine that arrived at the LCBO as part of the VINTAGES Release and is still widely available throughout the province.

It is produced by Cantina Nals Margreid, a cooperative winery in Italy's northernmost winegrowing area, where 138 winegrowers from across South Tyrol bring their grapes to the Nals Margreid Winery. Developed over millennia, viticulture is deeply rooted in South Tyrol, and the winery has been keeping up South Tyrolean wine culture traditions since 1932.

This Pinot Bianco (aka Pinot Blanc) is a single vineyard wine from the Penon vineyard, located on the slopes of Margreid in South Tyrol, with its pure limestone gravel soils, at an elevation between 2,300 and 2,800 feet above sea level. At this elevation, it is particularly warm and favours late maturation, with grapes turning out small and intense.

Penon Pinot Bianco 2014 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

PENON PINOT BIANCO 2014 - DOC Alto Adige, Italy (#478065) (XD) - $24.95
Aged for 6 months in steel tanks and big oak barrels. Honeyed melon aromas from the cork. Floral honeysuckle, lemony, and hints of beeswax aromas with mineral underpinnings of medium-high intensity in the glass. The palate is medium-full bodied with a slightly oily texture, and vibrant, refreshing acids. There's a vague impression of sweetness, but it's essentially dry on the flavour profile with notes of lemon, honeysuckle, beeswax, saline, and mineral. It finishes long and minerally. A fine match for salads or all manners seafood. Drink now. Score: 89 pts


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