Yalumba Organic 2014 Shiraz

Inky dark in color with a nose of black berries. On the mid palate the wine displays blueberries almost to the point of blueberry jam. The wine is on the lighter side of medium in length. There’s almost no pepper, or spice going on. This is definitely a soft subtle, fruit forward shiraz and should be appreciated young. I’d give it an 88 or so. We paired it with a BBQ salmon and it went well. The softness of the wine left lots of room to appreciate the yummy salmon!

From the LCBO web site:
Yalumba Shiraz 2014 — VINTAGES#: 280883
This organic red wine is full-bodied, smooth and delicious with aromas of smoky black plums and blackberries. Deep and rich and satisfying. Great taste for the price. It opens beautifully on the palate with rich flavours of fleshy black fruit. Some pepper and spice and everything nice on the finish. This Australian red wine is loaded with black fruit, dried herbs and smoke. Pair with grass-fed beef. Pair with: gourmet burgers, mutton with mint and coriander, pizza, barbecued beef, pork. Drink: 2014-2020. Score – 92. (Natalie MacLean, nataliemaclean.com, Sept. 2014)

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Sister’s Run Bethlehem Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Dark in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine has some nice black cherry notes backed by some nice firm tannins along with nice acidity and lovely dryness on a medium length finish. The dark berries build nicely in the mouth. The wine is quite edgy at first easing as it breathes. Be sure and try it right out of the bottle. This is a very nice cab. I would give it a good 88-89 which for the price if a bargoon!

From the LCBO web site:
Sister’s Run Bethlehem Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 — VINTAGES#: 360636
Sister’s Run must have been delighted and surprised with the Blue-Gold (double gold) the wine received at the Sydney International Wine Competition ’13. It is elegant, and the wet, cool vintage had a silver lining for Barossa Valley cabernet, giving fragrance and varietal expression at lower alcohol levels than normal; the supple mouthfeel of this wine is one of its best features. Drink by: 2018. Score – 92. (James Halliday, winecompanion.com.au, July 26, 2014)

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Dandelion Vineyards Menagerie of The Barossa Grenache/Shiraz/Mataró 2012

Dark in color with nose of dark berries. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice dark berries, along with some blueberries. On the medium length finish the wine is a smooth well made food friendly wine. I would give it an 88 or so. Quite nice.

From the LCBO web site:
Dandelion Vineyards Menagerie of The Barossa Grenache/Shiraz/Mataró 2012 — VINTAGES#: 399899
Medium garnet-purple in color, the 2012 Menagerie of the Barossa Grenache Shiraz Mataro presents aromas of warm mulberries, kirsch and red currant jelly highlighted by hints of garrigue, dried herbs and pepper. Medium to full-bodied with mouth-filling red berry preserve, pepper and baking spice flavors, it has a medium level of velvety tannins and a lively acid line carrying the fruit to a long finish. Drink it now to 2018+. Score – 90+. (Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW, erobertparker.com, May 2014) $20.95

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Barista Pinotage 2013

Dark in color with a rich nose of dark cherries and some dark chocolate. On the mid palate the wine displays some dark cherries to match the nose along with dark chocolate, some licorice and even some medicinal notes. The wine is creamy in texture and long notes of dark chocolate persist. Theres lots of notes of depth and complexity that I have a hard time describing. It’s quite rich. There’s some nice tannins to the long finish along with some sweetness. I would give it an 88-89. I am not well versed in Pinotage so can’t say whether this is a good one or not. It certain is a unique flavor.

From the LCBO web site:
Barista Pinotage 2013—VINTAGES#: 172585 | 750 mL bottle
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity $14.95
Release Date:February 21, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 13.9% Made in: Western Cape, South Africa By: Vinimark Trading Sugar Content:6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style: Medium-bodied & Fruity Varietal: Pinotage Description This wine is Integrity & Sustainability Certified by the South African Wine and Spirit Board. The rich coffee aromas and flavours are produced by fermenting some of the carefully selected grapes in oak. The resulting wine will offer up red berry fruit, smoke, spice and, of course, coffee. Try this with braised beef, or with a hearty beef stew.

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2012 Simi Cab Sauv

Dark in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely deep red cherry notes to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some firm tannins and peppery notes. There some nice acidity to go along with the finish. It’s a firm cab. Very nice 88-89.

From the LCBO web site:
Simi Cabernet Sauvignon — VINTAGES#: 25221
Grown in the cooler-climate Alexander Valley, this is an excellently structured and balanced Cabernet brimming with juicy cassis and fresh blackcurrant fruit backed by toasty oak. This is big enough for flavourful cuts of meat or aged cheeses and has the poise to cellar for 5+ years. (VINTAGES panel, Oct. 2014) $22.95

Release Date:February 21, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: California, USA By:Constellation Brands Inc. (Us) Sugar Content:6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

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GENESIS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012

Dark color with a mild cab nose, red cherries. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely red cherries to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice firm tannins and some lovely dryness. A lovely wine. I paired it with a steak and it held up well. I would give it a solid 89. Sadly not in the LCBO. :(

From the Winery’s web site:
GENESIS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 $18
TASTING NOTES
Genesis Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley, Washington
For Hogue Genesis, we seek wine grapes from the most distinctive vineyard sites in Eastern Washington. Overall, 2008 was a cooler-than-average year, beginning with an unusually cool spring, which led to late bud break. During summer, the ripening fruit enjoyed even temperatures with no significant heat spikes. September and October were cool and dry. The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon has a silky richness and great depth with blackberry, blueberry, and strawberry flavors, along with a trace of warm vanilla and nutmeg. Pour the Genesis Cabernet with prime rib, pepper and garlic crusted roast beef, or grilled steaks.

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2012 Carnivore Cab Sauv mini review

Inky dark in color with a mild nose of dark berries. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice dark cherries followed by some subtle minty notes. On the mid length finish the wine displays some nice dryness, some tannins and some nice acidity. All in all not a bad wine. I would give it an 88 or so.

From the LCBO web site:
Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon — LCBO#: 392647 $16.95
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: California, USA By: Carnivor Wines Sugar Content:15 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry

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2012 Rodney Strong Estate Pinot Noir

Slightly garnet in color with a nose of red berries. On the mid palate the wine displays some mild rustic notes along with some raspberries backed by some solid tannins and acidity. On the medium length finish the wine displays some firm tannins and some spicy notes. This is definitely a bigger pinot. I would give it an 88 or so.

From the LCBO web site:
Rodney Strong Estate Pinot Noir (V)— VINTAGES#: 954834
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity $24.95

Release Date:December 1, 2014
Alcohol/Vol 13.9% Made in: California, USA By: Rodney Strong Vineyards Sugar Content:5 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style: Medium-bodied & Fruity Description Russian River Valley is among the world’s finest areas outside Burgundy for growing Pinot Noir. This wine is beautifully intense with plum, cherry, beet, smoke and spice flavours. Pair with thick grilled pork chops, rotisserie chicken or grilled tuna steaks with mild salsa.

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Principe Corsini Le Corti Chianti Classico 2012

Dark in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some dried fruit, mild raisins. On the medium length finish the win displays some firm tannins, acidity and some nice dryness. I would give it an 88 or so.

From the LCBO web site:
Principe Corsini Le Corti Chianti Classico 2012 — VINTAGES#: 400861
Very lively and fresh, with blueberry and lemon-rind character. Medium body with a dense palate and fine tannins. Delicious, traditional-style Chianti Classico. Score – 90. (James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, Oct. 20, 2014) $21.95

Release Date:February 21, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 14.0% Made in: Tuscany, Italy By: Pur VodkaSugar Content:8 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra DryVarietal

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2012 3 Rings Shiraz

Dark in color with a nice nose of dark berries. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some deep, firm, dark berries, maybe a hint of blueberries. On the medium length finish the wine displays some firm tannins, some nice peppery notes along with some noticeable alcohol. Careful not to breath to close or you will be choking.At 14.9% I would suggest a bit of breathing before you serve. That or a bit of ageing would help as well. I would give this an 89 or so. A nice Shiraz.

From the LCBO web site:
3 Rings Shiraz 2012 — VINTAGES#: 15495
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
Polished to a sheen, this frames pretty cherry and red plum flavors with a satiny texture and hints of green olive and spice as the finish lingers. Drink now through 2020. Score – 90. (Harvey Steiman, winespectator.com, June 15, 2014) $18.95

Release Date:February 21, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: South Australia, Australia By: Inland Trading Co. Sugar Content:9 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra DryStyle: Full-bodied & Smooth
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Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc 2012

I like my Cheins crisp and dry. This one is pale in color with a lovely nose of minerality. No sugar coming through here. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely citrus notes along with some minerality and some nice crisp minerality. The finish is on the medium in length with some nice tartness sticking around. I really like wines like this. Very food friendly. You can pair it with lots of things and it will hold it’s own without over powering the food. We paired it with a pan fried Seabass and it went well. Yumm. I would give this a solid 89 which for the price is a great deal!

From the LCBO web site:
Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc 2012 — VINTAGES#: 675421
2012, tasted as ‘Chenin Blanc’ tank sample last year, now complex, concentrated with deep yellow peach, lees features. Mouthfilling & rich, balanced by tangy acidity. Step up on 2011. Score – 4 Stars (out of 5 (Excellent)). (Angela Lloyd, Platter’s South African Wine Guide, 2014) $14.95

Release Date:January 10, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: Western Cape, South Africa By: Mulderbosch Sugar Content:6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry
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Burnt Ship Bay 2013 Cab/Merlot

Dark in color with a mild nose of dark berries and dark cherries. On the mid palate the wine displays some black berries and black cherries to match the nose. The wine reminds me more of a cab franc. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice firm tannins, some acidity and some dryness. The firm fruit lingers nicely in the mouth. I would give it an 88 or so. For $14.95 it’s a good deal. Available in the Feb 15 Vintage release LCBO number 404939

From the winery’s web site:
TASTING NOTES:
This classic Cabernet Merlot blend is loaded with ripe raspberry and cherry characteristics.
A delicious fruit forward, nicely balanced wine with soft and well integrated black cherry, cassis and hints of licorice.
Pair this wine with your favourite grilled and roasted meats: beef, lamb, venison and game are all great matches with this easy going red wine. Big enough mouth feel to match a rare steak and gentle enough on the tannins to handle grilled vegetables.

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2013 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay

I last reviewed the 2012 vintage of this wine and enjoyed it. The wine is pale to golden in color with a lovely varietal chard nose with some mild pear notes coming through. On the mid palate this wine is a beautiful example of a California style chard. Lots of rich butter, cream, butterscotch and vanilla coming through. On the medium length finish the wine shows some nice acidity to balance out the experience. I would give this a 90. Yumm, and for the price! We paired it with pan seared scallops and it was a little piece of heaven in my mouth! If you don’t like oaked chards stay away from this one, you will hate it.

Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay (V) — VINTAGES#: 369686 STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich $19.95

Release Date:December 1, 2014 Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: California, USA By: Jackson Wine Estates International Sugar Content: 9 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: D – Dry

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2012 Coda di Volpe DOC

We stopped by Terroni and this one was on their wine list. If you’ve not been to Terroni’s before, and like Italian, give it a try. They have a great wine list and even sell their own olive oil! This wine is pale in color with a nice crisp nose with lots of lemon/lime coming through. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with crisp lemon/lime citrus notes coming through. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely minerality along with some crisp acidity. This is a well made, food friendly wine. Sadly not in the LCBO. I would give it an 88-89. Yumm.

From Terroni’s wine list:
2012 Coda di Volpe DOC, Fattoria La Rivolta, Campania
Beautifully ripe and expressive with floral yellow stone
fruits, mint and minerals. There is a generosity and
textured feel to the fruit that’s especially appealing.

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2012 Peninsula Ridge AJ Lepp Vineyards Merlot mini review

Dark in color with a nice plummy nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lighter fruit forward plum to match the nose backed by some mild tannins. Not a bad Merlot. I would give it an 88 or so.

From the LCBO web site:
Peninsula Ridge A.J. Lepp Vineyards Reserve Merlot — LCBO#: 299222
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
An impressive depth on the nose with black fruits, leather, licorice, Black Forest cake and hickory shining through. Lovely velvety consistency with round tannins and juicy fruit. More black licorice on the bright and juicy finish. (VINTAGES panel, July 2013) $18.95
Alcohol/Vol 13.4% Made in: Ontario, Canada By: Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery Sugar Content: 12 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style: Full-bodied & Smooth

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Burnt Ship Bay 2013 Pinot Grigio

Slightly golden in color with a mild nose of peaches. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely peach notes to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice minerality and a hint of acidity. This is a lovely smooth food friendly wine. I would give it an 88-89. We paired it with BBQ’d lobster in butter and it went well. For the bargain basement price of $14.95 it will be featured in the Feb 15th Vintage release. I believe this is the first vintage release for Burnt Ship Bay Winery! They are in Niagara on the lake. LCBO number 404939 (not out yet).

From the Winery’s web site:

TASTING NOTES:

“This Pinot Grigio is an absolute joy to drink! The pretty bouquet of, peach, honey, banana and flowers give way to fresh apple, mineral and spice on the refreshing palate. Put a good chill to it and enjoy this summer/autumn on the patio or with grilled fish drizzled topped with lemon.”
– Evan Saviolidis Wine Journalist/Judge, Quench Magazine

GOLD Medal: All Canadian Wine Championships 2014Best Ontario Pinot Grigio

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2013 Masi Bonacosta Valpolicella

Dark in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some dried red fruit notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice dryness and tannins. I would give it an 88 or so …

From the LCBO web site:
Masi Bonacosta Valpolicella Classico Doc — LCBO#: 285585
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
Clear ruby red colour: cherry, cloves leather & cedar on the nose; ripe cherry flavour balanced by tart acidity; slightly spicy, long finish $15.00 Alcohol/Vol 12.0% Made in: Veneto, Italy By: Masi Agricola S.P.A. Sugar Content:7 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: D – Dry Style: Medium-bodied & Fruity

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2013 White Cliff Sauvignon Blanc mini review

Pale in color with a lovely citrus nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some lovely citrus and pink grape fruit notes back by some lively acidity. I would give it an 88-89. A very nice Sauv Blanc. It should be super food friendly to. A good deal for the price!

From the LCBO web site:
White Cliff Sauvignon Blanc — LCBO#: 610972
STYLE – Light & Crisp
clear bright yellow; light floral with gooseberry, grass and citrus aromas; extra dry, medium body; mouth filling fruit flavour and crisp finish $14.95
Alcohol/Vol 12.5% Made in: New Zealand By: Sacred Hill Wines Ltd Sugar Content:5 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra DryStyle: Light & Crisp

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2011Hidden Bench Estate Pinot Noir

Garnet in color with a lovely varietal nose of rustic notes and soft red berries. On the mid palate the wine displays strong rustic notes that linger in the top of the mouth. On the medium length finish the wine has some firm acidity and a bit of spiciness. This wine has eased nicely, when we originally bought it at the winery it was no where near as nice. The wine leaves a chaulky dryness in the mouth that is best appreciated without food. I would not go so far as to say palate singing, but close. I would give it an 89-90.

From the LCBO web site:
Hidden Bench Estate Pinot Noir (V) — VINTAGES#: 274753
Style – Medium-bodied & Fruity  › $29.95
Release Date: December 31, 2014 Alcohol/Vol 13.6% Made in: Ontario, Canada By: Hidden Bench Vineyards and Winery Sugar Content:5 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style: Medium-bodied & Fruity

Description: The Hidden Bench commitment to quality (and to their customers) has seen them set a very high bar for themselves and their wines, and any wine that does not meet their expectations will not be released. Their estate Pinot comes from select parcels from their three estate vineyards. Look for red cherry, herbs and mineral notes expressed in an elegant and refined package. Try this with bacon-stuffed mushrooms.

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2012 Pondview Bella Terra Cab Franc

I last blogged about the Bella Terra Chard and was thoroughly impressed. I had met the rep for Pondview at an LCBO in store tasting and he insisted that since I enjoyed the Chard I had to try the Cab Franc. Who am I to argue. I love Cab Francs and love Niagara ones. Dark in color with a mild nose of dark berries and a hint of licorice. On the mid palate the wine exudes some lovely rich dark cherries to match the nose along with a hint of mocha. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice firm tannins, some nice acidity and some dryness that builds in the mouth. Most noticeable without food. This is a well made, smooth, even elegant cab franc. Pondview are in the Niagara on the lake area. I would give this wine a solid 90. Yumm. Some cab francs are too big to be paired with softer meals. This one is elegant enough to be paired paired with softer meals. I paired it with cornish hen and it went very well. Complimented the meal nicely. Sadly not in the LCBO so you will have to take a trip out to the winery. Pitty :)

From the winery’s web site:
$35.15/Single

A long warm growing season has given us some fantastically ripe fruit providing full bodied wines full of voluptuous flavours. This is a wine that would like to aged longer than the car ride home. 8 – 10 years (if you stand it).
Intense aromas of black licorice, currants and olives on the nose with hints of roasted red peppers and Herb de Provence. Dark Chocolate, melted over spiced red raspberries, berries and plums saturate the palate, lending itself to a long finish, encased in firm tannins.
This is another of our unfiltered Bella Terra reds

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Clos du Bois Merlot 2012

Dark in color with a mild nose of plum and black berries. On the mid palate the wine displays black cherries to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice tannins and some acidity. This is not a great Merlot but none the less a nice wine. More reminiscent of a cab to my tastes. I would give it an 88 or so.

From the LCBO web site:
Clos du Bois Merlot 2012 VINTAGES#: 124883

Smoky, chocolaty Merlot overflowing with dark cherry and fig, along with a festive suggestion of Christmas cake. It’s generous on the palate with a velvety mouthfeel, and a sprinkling of cocoa on the finish. (VINTAGES panel, Nov. 2014) $16.95
Release Date:January 10, 2015 Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: California, USA By: Constellation Brands Inc. (Us) Sugar Content: 6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

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2011 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon

Dark in color with a mild nose of dark berries. On the mid pallet the wine first whops you in the face with the high alcohol content. This wine is way too young. Plan on decanting or aging. On the mid palate the wine is oozing with dark cherries. This is a big wine for sure. On the medium length finish the wine has some lovely fine tannins along, some nice dryness and some mocha notes. Wow … a big cab for sure. I would give this a solid 90 for it’s complexity. We paired it with a filet mignon and it held it’s own to say the least. Did I mention wow. This has a ton of aging potential too ..

Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon (V) — VINTAGES#: 232371
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth $29.95
Release Date:December 1, 2014
750 mL giftAlcohol/Vol14.2%Made in:California, USABy:E. & J. Gallo WinerySugar Content:7 g/LSweetness Descriptor:D – DryStyle:Full-bodied & SmoothVarietal:Cabernet Sauvignon
Release Date:December 1, 2014 Alcohol/Vol 14.2% Made in: California, USA By: E. & J. Gallo Winery Sugar Content:7 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – DryStyle:Full-bodied & Smooth

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Wakefield Chardonnay 2013

Pale in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate this wine is a smack on varietal California style chard. Lots of nice apple and caramel notes backed by some lovely acidity on a medium length finish. The oak is well done and not over done IMHO. I would give this wine a solid 89. A great deal for the price!

From the LCBO web site:
Wakefield Chardonnay 2013 — VINTAGES#: 711556
Rich, ripe aromas of baked apple, buttercream, toast, and pineapple. It’s flavour-packed on the palate with some weight, lovely texture, and tons of bright, ripe fruit. There’s some tangy citrus zest on the finish, and some toasty replays. A nicely balanced oaked Chardonnay at a friendly price. Pair with scallops pan-seared in butter, or butternut squash ravioli. (VINTAGES panel, Oct. 2014) $14.95
Release Date:January 10, 2015 Alcohol/Vol 14.0% Made in: South Australia, Australia By: Wakefield Wines Pty Ltd. Sugar Content: 4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Gold Medal winner at Sélections Mondiales des Vins Canada 2014.

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Rabl Kittmansberg Grüner Veltliner 2013

I love Grüners. They are not well known. They come from Austria. I was thrilled when we were in the Finger Lakes that they are starting to try to grow them. I’ve often wondered why Niagara don’t grow them. This one is pale in color with a lovely crisp nose of citrus and minerality. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely crisp soft citrus and pear notes to match the nose along with some lovely minerality. On the medium length finish the wine lingers nicely with some mild acidity. This is a super food friendly wine. We paired it with lobster fettucine alfredo and it went very well. If you like milder Sauv Blancs you’d like this one IMHO. I would give it an 88-89 which for the price is a good deal. Grüners are often priced well, likely because they are not well known. Spread the word!

From the LCBO web site:
Rabl Kittmansberg Grüner Veltliner 2013 — VINTAGES#: 346007
This wine is floral, with aromas of pear, apple, apricot and a touch of banana. Ripe fresh fruit with good balance and crisp acidity. Elegant and flavourful with a lingering finish. (VINTAGES panel, March 2014) $14.95.
Release Date:January 10, 2015 Alcohol/Vol 12.5% Made in: Kamptal, Austria By: Weingut Rudolph Rabl Sugar Content: 2 g/LSweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry

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2012 Cave Springs Sauv Blanc

Pale in color with a mild citrus nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some lovely citrus notes to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine leaves a hint of the citrus notes to linger in the mouth. This is a smooth, gentle, well made, food friendly Sauv blanc. Don’t pair it with anything too hearty or you will not be tasting the wine at all. I would give it an 88 or so.

From the LCBO web site:
Cave Spring Sauvignon Blanc VQA — LCBO#: 529933
STYLE – Light & Crisp
Pale straw; quite fragrant, with a floral, grapefruit, gooseberry and grassy/herbal nose with a hint of peach; dry, delicate, crisp with good fruit and moderate length. $15.95

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