2013 Luiano Chianti Classico Reserva mini review

Dark in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely rich red berries along with some oak. On the medium length finish the wine is nice and smooth with some nice tannins and acidity. A very nice Chianti Classico indeed. Not in the LCBO, $39.95 a bottle.

From the wine makers web site:
Color: Intense Ruby Red
Nose: Leather, Tobacco, Chamomile
Elegant, Smooth and Velvety
Riserva, a protected environment where marvelous things flourish. Like a ruby’s intense red that smoothly gre- ets the palate. Drink today, yesterday’s rich heritage
Varietals 100% Sangiovese Appellation Chianti Classico DOCG Production zone Mercatale V.P. (FI) ? Tuscany
Alchool 13% Stainless Steel Refining: 2 months, Oak refining: 18 months, Refining in Bottle: 3 months, Ageability 15-20 years.
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Sugar Loaf Sauvignon Blanc 2014 mini review

Pale in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice grassy notes along with some nice citrus. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice acidity along with some nice mouth grip, with the citrus notes lingering. I would give it an 88+. Another nice New Zealand Sauv Blanc.

From the LCBO web site:
Sugar Loaf Sauvignon Blanc 2014 — VINTAGES#: 410001
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
Really embracing the tropical side of Marlborough Savvy, this wine shows ripe guava and passion fruit along with subtle notions of steamed garden veggies. It’s juicy and refreshing from start to finish, with some nice oomph to the texture. (VINTAGES panel, Oct. 2014) $19.95

Release Date:May 2, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 12.5% Made in:Marlborough, New Zealand By:Sugar Loaf Wines Ltd Sugar Content:6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Aromatic & Flavourful

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2008 Clos Le Jordanne Pinot Noir Village Reserve

I’ve had this one in the cellar for a while now. Interestingly enough I had it as a best before 2012 🙂 Ooops. Lovely garnet in color with a nice nose of soft red berries. On the mid palate the wine is still showing well with some nice gentle red fruits, raspberry and the like along with the usual rustic suspects. On the medium length finish there are some fine tannins and acidity. At this point this is a smooth elegant food friendly pinot. We paired it with bbq salmon and it went very well. I would give it an 88-89. I paid $25. A very varietal wine that has held it’s own for a very long time!

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Two Sisters 2012 Merlot mini review

I had the pleasure of attending the iYellow Winetario event where Ontario Wine Award winners showed up with some of their best wines. The event was an awesome showcase of some incredible Ontario wines. This wine was by far one of the most distinctive, it really did stand out.

Two Sisters was planted in 2007 in Niagara on the Lake and their first vintage was 2010. For such a young winery I am shocked how far they have come. This wine is dark in color with a lovely nose dark berries and hint of plum. On the mid palate there’s dark berries to match the nose along with a hint of plum, but where this wine lives is in the finish. This is a big bruiser of a wine, with lots of nice chocolate, firm tannins and some nice acidity. The alcohol is well under control. The wine has some lovely dryness and complexity that builds in the mouth as it coats the palate with the black fruit notes. Given the tannins I would say this wine has some very nice ageing potential. Wow, for such a young winery an excellent wine. And lot bigger than I am use to from Niagara on the lake. Yum. I would give it an 88-89 or so. $48 a bottle at the winery!

The wine was produced with a full berry ferment, and they captured and recycled the carbon dioxide as it came off the wine

From the weinery’s web site:
About the Wine
2012 was another incredible growing season in Niagara, giving us fruit at optimal ripeness. Premium farming and attention to detail in the winery ensure that our 2012 Merlot is the expression of our vineyard site.

Tasting Notes
This Merlot is a beautiful garnet colour, core to rim. Medium-bodied and elegantly structured, if offers mouth-coating, velvety tannins, which are certain to give this wine longevity if you have the willpower to resist drinking it for the next year or two.

The palate is rich and juicy with the flavours of dark red/black fruits and sweet oak up front. On the mid-palate, blackberries take over before a long, textured finish.

Best Enjoyed
This wine is drinking beautifully right now and will continue to evolve and change through 2023. It can benefit from decanting.

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Ryder Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Dark in color with a mild dark berry nose. On the mid palate this is a rich juicy dark berry mid palate to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some firm tannins and acidity. It’s a bit young. I would give it an 88 or so. We paired it with a striploin, and it went well. A friend at work Semion pointed this one out to mr … Thanks!

From the LCBO web site:
Ryder Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 — VINTAGES#: 450528

STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
Impressive depth and character on the nose, with plenty of dark fruit and oak tones. Fresh and dry, with a ripe, sweet impression from the fruit and excellent texture and balance. A great value for California Cabernet. Enjoy with gourmet burgers or your favourite cut of steak. (VINTAGES panel, Oct. 2015) $19.95

Release Date: April 30, 2016
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: California, USA By: Scheid Vineyards California Inc Sugar Content: 2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style: Full-bodied & Smooth Description Gold Medal winner at the 2015 Riverside International Wine Competition.
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Le Grand Noir 2014 Chardonnay

I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening of the Wine Academy, Toronto’s latest offering for storing your wine and is also a social club. The facility has an onsite kitchen and entertaining space as well!

This wine was one of the ones served. Pale in color with a nice nose of apple/pear. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice apple/pear to go along with the nose along with some nice mild vanilla notes along with some nice acidity and dryness. It’s a softer gentler chard and would be very food friendly. If you like your chards with lots of oak, or creamyness, then this isn’t the wine for you. I would give it an 88 or so. I have to say I didn’t notice anything on the nose from the Viognier. Not in the LCBO, looks like around $17 CDN. I couldn’t find the current rep.

From the winery’s web site:
GRAPE VARIETY 85% CHARDONNAY, 15% VIOGNIER, APPELLATION IGP PAYS D’OC, REGION MINERVOIS, LANGUEDOC ROUSSILLON
OAK MATURATION 30% WAS MATURED IN FRENCH AND AMERICAN BARRELS. THE REMAINDER, INCLUDING THE VIOGNIER, WAS UNOAKED.
CELLARING POTENTIAL 3 YEARS
ALCOHOL 13% ACIDITY 3.7G/L PH 3.5 RESIDUAL SUGAR 3G/L,
CLIMATE MEDITERRANEAN, ALTITUDE 150M, EXPOSITION & SOIL CLAY AND LIMESTONE TERRACES, VINE AGE 15 YEARS DENSITY 4 000 VINES/HA YIELD LOW-60HL/HA
HARVEST MECHANICAL HARVESTING AT NIGHT TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS

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Elephant Hill Pinot Noir 2014 Mini review

Another one from the New Zealand wine festival. I’ve had this one before and enjoyed it. Garnet in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate this wine displays some nice varietal soft red berries and rustic notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some soft tannins and acidity. If you like your Pinots then this is a softer, gentler, varietal one, very food friendly!

From the LCBO web site (for a different year)
Elephant Hill Pinot Noir 2013 — VINTAGES#: 309583
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
The aromas here are quite inviting, suggesting ripe, dark fruit and rich vanilla. Bright acidity lifts things an octave or two on the palate, with lovely red fruit flavours taking the lead. There’s very nice balance to the wine, and good purity. Nicely done. (VINTAGES panel, Oct. 2014) $24.95

Release Date:May 2, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in:Central Otago, New Zealand By:Elephant Hill Estate & Winery Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Medium-bodied & Fruity

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2013 Matua Pinot Noir mini review

Garnet in color with a nice varietal nose of soft red berries and rustic notes. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with soft red berries, strawberries and some nice rustic notes. This is definitely a softer more fruit forward Pinot. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice tannins and acidity. It would be very food friendly. I would give it an 88 or so, in the general list in the LCBO.

From the LCBO web site:
Matua Marlborough Pinot Noir — LCBO#: 358952
STYLE – Light-bodied & Fruity
Pale ruby in colour; distinct aromas of strawberry, cherries and plum; the palate is light and extra-dry with soft flavours of strawberry and cherry, earth and a hint of spice. $17.95

Alcohol/Vol 13.0% Made in: New Zealand By: Matua Valley Wines Ltd Sugar Content:8 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style:Light-bodied & Fruity Varietal: Pinot Noir

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Colio estates Bricklayers Cache Small Lot Syrah mini review

Inky dark in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some mild dark fruits, but where this wine lives is in the finish where it displays some strong coffee notes. There some nice dryness and complexity from the firm tannins and acidity. I would give this wine an 88 or so. Not available at the LCBO but $29.95 from the winery. The wine is made from 100% Syrah and 100% Lake Erie fruit. It saw 20 months in older French and American Oak. They only made 330 cases of this wine.

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2014 Tres Pilaves Verdejo (mini review)

Verdejo is the white grape in the Rueda region of Spain. I recently attended an event hosted by the Spanish Wine Society in Toronto focused on this varietal. This was one of the stars of the night. Pale in color with mild nose. On the mid palate the wine is crisp and dry. There are some nice green flavors, and herbaceous notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice green tartness and acidity. A very food friendly wine. I would give it an 88 or so. Sadly, not yet in the LCBO.

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2009 Poplar Grove Merlot

Dark in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some mild plum notes backed almost immediately by some firm tannins and acidity. The wine is medium in length. I would give it an 88 or so. I think it’s a getting a little old. Some of the fruit has faded, and is overwhelmed. It’s $34.95 a bottle.

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2015 Giesen Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

Pale in color with a mild grassy nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice grassy notes along with some nice citrus. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice lively acidity that builds nicely in the mouth. It’s a milder smooth sauv blanc. I would give it an 88 or so. Another one from the general list.

From the LCBO web site:
Giesen Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough — LCBO#: 308270
STYLE – Light & Crisp Pale lemon colour; intense grassy and gooseberry aromas with hints of citrus and herbs; herbal and melon flavours with a citrus finish. $14.95
Alcohol/Vol 12.5% Made in: New Zealand By: Giesen Wine Estate Canterbury Ltd. Sugar Content:3 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

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2015 El Diablo Sauv Blanc

Pale in color with a mild grassy nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some nice grassy and citrus flavors coming through. On the medium length finish the citrus lives on nicely in the mouth along with some nice lively acidity and some pink grapefruit. I would give it an 88 or so, which for the price is a bargain. The LCBO keeps getting rid of the good, and inexpensive Chilean sauv blancs. Grab this one while you can. But remember they are made to be drunk young and cold!

From the lcbo web site:
Casillero del Diablo Reserva Sauvignon Blanc — LCBO#: 578641
Style – Light & Crisp  ›
Pale straw colour; pronounced aromas and flavours of melon, green pepper, white pepper and grapefruit; light, crisp and juicy. $11.95
Alcohol/Vol 13.0% Made in: Chile By: Concha Toro S.A. Sugar Content: 4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry
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Heitlinger Baden 2013 Pinot Noir

Last year I attended the German consulate’s wine event and was thrilled to discover some German Pinot Noirs. Locally they are referred to as Spatburgunder. This is one of those, but from this years event. Garnet in color with a lovely varietal rustic nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice rustic notes to match the nose along with some soft red berries. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice acidity and dryness. A very nice pinot indeed and it would be very food friendly. Sadly not in the LCBO yet, $21 a bottle.

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Winzervereinigung Freyburg 2015 Sauv Blanc mini review

This is a wine from a recent German wine event I attended. The lone Sauv Blanc at the event. Pale in color with a mild nose with some nice grassy and citrus notes. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with grassyness and citrus coming through nicely. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice lively acidity with the lemon notes living on and building in the mouth. This is a softer gentler, well made sauv blanc. It would be very food friendly. I would give it an 88 or so. Sadly not in the LCBO but lists for $5 Euros in Germany.

From the winery’s web site:
Sauvignon Blanc

Savignon Blanc was first proved by documentary evidence in 1970. This type of grape comes from the southwest of France. Savignon Blanc belongs to the high-quality wines. It is a cross-breeding from a Traminer x Chenin Blanc, an old white type of grapes from the 9th century. Our Sauvignon Blanc wines have a strong flavour of herbs, grass, gooseberries and green fruit. As a high-quality wine it goes well with fish, seafood and pasta.

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2015 Wolf Blass Yellow Label Chard

Pale to golden in color with a mild nose of pear/apple. On the mid palate the wine displays pear/apple, some lovely fruit along with a hint of vanilla. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice tart acidity, it’s nice and dry. The trend is definitely moving away from heavily oaked chards and this one fits into that category. The winemakers notes say “Partially matured with French oak to produce a balanced, integrated wine”. I don’t think it spent much if any time on the lees. This wine is a bit of a conundrum. If you like unoaked chards (I don’t) it’s not a bad wine, and the mild oaking is hardly noticeable, but then again, if the unoaked fans were who Wolf Blass were targeting why bother with oak. For oaked chard fans (like me) the wine misses the mark. I would give it an 87-88 only because it’s not really my style of chard.

From the LCBO web site:
Wolf Blass Yellow Label Chardonnay — LCBO#: 226860
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich Bright yellow gold; tropical fruit and citrus with toasty, buttery oak aromas; full-bodied with intense flavours; smooth, warm spice and a long finish.
WAS $14.95 $12.95 SAVE $2.00 Until May 22nd

Alcohol/Vol 13.0% Made in: Australia By: Mildara Blass Limited Sugar Content:3 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Rich
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2012 Vineland Estates Cab Franc Reserve

Dark in color with lovely red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely red cherry notes to match the nose along with some prominent oak. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice spicy pepper along with some nice firm acidity and tannins. This is a very nice, very approachable cab franc. Niagara Cab Franc done right! Yumm. I would give it an 89-90. Very nice.

From the winery’s web site:
Reserve Cabernet Franc 2012
Varieties: Cabernet Franc (89%), Merlot (10%), Cabernet Sauvignon (1%) Region: Niagara Escarpment Country: Canada Vintage: 2012 Alcohol: 13.5% Acidity: 6.75
It is the perfect sensory storm. This wine comes at you full on and envelopes you in a wave of flavours that leaves you drenched in luxury. The fine, firm structure of resolved tannins amply supports the lively dark berry notes while underpinning the broader tones of leather, coffee and bittersweet chocolate. The intriguing complexities of this wine are artistically interlace to give a wine of, shall we say it – epic depth, power and longevity. Winemaker: Brian Schmidt Retail: $50.00

2012CabernetFrancReserve

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2015 Matua Hawke’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc mini review

I recently attended the New Zealand Wine event at the ROM. This one was one of the wines there. In chatting with a number of wine makers they are experimenting with processes such as leaving the wine on the lees as well as malolactic fermentation as a way of taking the sharp edge off of sauv blanc. A shame I enjoy that edgeness. Matches my personality 🙂 Why shouldn’t a wine be as acerbic as it’s imbiber 🙂

Pale in color with a nice grassy nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some nice grassy notes along with some nice citrus. On the medium length finish the wine’s acidity comes through nicely. It’s definitely a smoother milder sauv blanc but it does build in the mouth. I would give it an 88 or so …

From the LCBO web site:
Matua Hawke’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc — LCBO#: 619452
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
pale straw colour; aromas and flavours of melon, gooseberry and pineapple, with citrus notes; dry, medium bodied, fresh, crisp and refreshing with lemon lime acidity; long and clean on the finish $16.95
Alcohol/Vol 13.0% Made in: New Zealand By: Matua Valley Wines Ltd Sugar Content:7 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Aromatic & Flavourful
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Bogle Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 mini review

Dark in color with a nice cherry nose. On the mid palate the cherries come through to match the nose. This is a juicy cab for sure. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice tannins, dryness and complexity. I would give it an 88+ which for the price is quite good. The wine is a bit young and needs a bit of time to mature. Unlike me 🙂

From the LCBO web site:
Bogle Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 — VINTAGES#: 904565
STYLE – Full-bodied & Firm
Aromas of blackberry, cassis and oak on the nose. The palate shows great purity of fruit, structure, length and drive. Grippy and youthful, this is a delightful, value-priced California Cabernet. (VINTAGES panel, Oct. 2015) $23.95
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in:California, USA By: Bogle Winery Sugar Content:6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style:Full-bodied & Firm
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2006 Cave Springs Estate Riesling

Ok let’s do a little quizzing. Do you think reds or whites are the most age able wine? Hands up? Well to all you folks who said red ehhhh wrong. In fact Rieslings are some of the most age able wines. So I decided to do a little experiment. I bought this wine in 2008 and it’s been sitting in my wine fridge ever since. Now this is partly because I’ve gone off Rieslings. But none the less I decided to crack this one and see how it faired. Amusingly the label fell off some years ago so the wine outlasted the label 🙂 Golden in color with slightly sweet nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice rich apricots. The wine actually reminds me flavour wise of an ice wine. The wine is slightly thicker in texture. Not syrupy but noticeably thicker. On the medium length finish the apricot lingers quite nicely. This is a nice smooth almost dessert wine. There is a hint of petrol notes not uncommon in well aged Riselings. I originally paid $18 at the winery. I would give it an 88 or so. A nice experience all told!

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2008 Kacaba Cab/Syrah

When I originally bought this one I didn’t expect it to last longer than 2015 but find myself with two left. Dark in color with a lovely dark cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely dark cherries to match the nose. On the medium length finish there’s some nice coffee notes and dry velvety tannins. The wine is quite complex and there’s still lots of fruit left! I would give it an 88-89. A very nice wine and still has some legs. I paid $18.95 a bottle and it’s a bargain at this price.

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Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay 2012 mini review

Pale to golden in color with a lovely varietal nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely apple and pear along with some nice vanilla and butterscotch. The wine is medium in length on the finish. I would give it an 88+. This has been consistently good for a while now. The description of Full bodied and rich is accurate. Very nice.

from the LCBO web site:
Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay 2012 — VINTAGES#: 441071
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
The amazing 2012 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast possesses lots of tropical fruit, honeysuckle, pineapple and tangerine notes. Half went through malolactic and the other half was blocked. With lots of minerality as well as a Chablis-like character, it is a major sleeper of the vintage. This beauty should drink well for 1-2 years. Score – 90. (Robert Parker Jr., erobertparker.com, Dec. 2013) $29.15
Release Date:February 6, 2016
Alcohol/Vol 14.2% Made in: California, USA By:Treasury Wine Estates Sugar Content:6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Rich
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Markham 2013 Merlot mini review

Dark in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely varietal plum. The fruit on this one is lovely. On the medium length finish the plum lives on. I would give it an 88+. Sadly not in the LCBO but $32.95 a bottle.

From the winery’s web site:
Markham Vineyards Merlot 2013 – 750ml
91 Points from Wine Spectator & Double Gold Medal Winner 2016 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition!

According to Wine Spectator’s Tim Fish, “This is what Merlot is all about in California.” While we pride ourselves on creating Merlot with a sensual, decidedly feminine side, our 2013 is more than built to age. Rich in boysenberry fruit and resplendent with briary tones throughout, this vintage will please those looking for something in which to sink their teeth. Ripe, boysenberry flavors are lush and layered seamlessly with vanilla, cola and cocoa powder. 750ml.

WINEMAKER’S NOTES
While we pride ourselves on creating Merlot with a sensual, decidedly feminine side, our 2013 is more than built to age. Rich in boysenberry fruit and resplendent with briary tones throughout, this vintage will please those looking for something in which to sink their teeth. Ripe, boysenberry flavors are lush and layered seamlessly with vanilla, cola and cocoa powder. The juicy texture compliments the chewy tannin finish in this young wine. We’re finding once we pour a glass, we’re not sharing so we have more for ourselves. Hopefully a civilized soul would consider sharing with friends and a
great meal, even if it’s something beautifully simple like burgers.
VINEYARD NOTES
A true Napa Valley blend of vineyards! Our Estate vineyards provide the backbone for the blend, totaling 50% of this bottling. Merlot from Oak Knoll gives sour cherry character while the Yountville components provide the classic Bing cherry aromas and flavors for which our Merlot is known. The
jammy notes come from blending in warmer up-valley fruit from Calistoga vineyards. Much care is taken to maximize the filtered light and allow the Merlot to hang freely within the canopy during harvest. This allows the fruit to mature and color evenly, leaving any vegetal hints behind. The wines are
sent to barrels as individual lots to mature, allowing for greater understanding of the direct impact of our viticultural and fermentation practices each vintage.
HARVEST NOTES
The 2013 growing season was perfect! Below average rainfall, early spring bud break, even fruit set and a hot summer. All of us in Napa Valley fast-tracked our summer bottlings to make room for an early harvest. However the month of August cooled enough to allow multiple vineyard visits confirming
that our white varietals had above average yields. This in turn was slowing down their arrival to the winery, meanwhile the small berry size on our red grapes had them rushing ahead of
schedule. We started crushing Merlot practically from day one. Fast & furious was the ultimate pace of the vintage from beginning to end!

FERMENTATION & AGING
11 Days Skin Contact
100% Stainless Steel Fermentation
12 Months Barrel Aged 27% New Oak

VARIETAL COMPOSITION
83% Merlot
13% Cabernet Sauvignon
2% Syrah
1% Petite Sirah
1% Cabernet Franc

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2015 Stoneleigh Sauv Blanc

Another one from the general list. Pale in color with a nice crisp nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely green grassy notes along with some nice crisp minerality. On the medium length finish the lively acidity and lemon zest lives on nicely. I would give it an 88-89. Beautiful wine for the price and a very good year.

From the LCBO web site:
Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc — LCBO#: 293043
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
Pale straw colour; gooseberry, herbs and a hint of tropical fruit on the nose; dry and medium-bodied with a crisp finish. $17.95

Release Date:May 16, 1998
Alcohol/Vol 13.0% Made in: New Zealand By:Pernod Ricard Pacific Pty Ltd Sugar Content:5 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Aromatic & Flavourful

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2015 Lössterrassen Grüner Veltliner mini review

This is another one from the Austrian event. Pale in color with a nice crisp nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely crisp dry notes, nice minerality and some grassy notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice tart notes along with some nice lively acidity. A lovely food friendly Grüner. I would give it an 88+ For $15.95 a bottle it is a great deal. Sadly not in the LCBO.

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