2014 Fielding Sauv Blanc

I love my sauv blancs, food friendly and versatile. This one is pale in color with a nice albeit mild nose with some nice citrus notes. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice citrus notes and some nice pink grapefuit. This is a more subtle sauv blanc but the flavors build nicely in the mouth and linger on the medium length finish. Theres some nice acidity too. I would give it an 88 or so … $18.95 at the winery.

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Henry of Pelham Family Tree Red 2014

I’ve had this one in past years and enjoyed it so I grabbed one and was rewarded. Dark in color with an interesting nose with the blend of varietals all coming through, super hard to pin point. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice rich fruit, some dark berries, some cab and maybe even a little shiraz. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice dry notes, tannins and acidity. The complexity of the wine is really quite notable. This is a very nice wine. Like listening to a symphony you can focus and pick out the individual instruments or enjoy the melody they make together! I would give it an 88+. I paired it with a smoked trout and it went beautifully. Red fish red wine. I have to believe this has a good 5 years of cellaring potential too.

From the LCBO web site:
Henry of Pelham Family Tree Red 2014 — VINTAGES#: 247882
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
This blend of syrah (33%), merlot (29%), cabernet franc (19%), cabernet sauvignon (14%), and baco noir (5%) was barrel-aged for 17 months in French (65%) and American (35%) oak. The syrah stakes its claim on the flavours at the outset, but the other varietal components make their mark as the palate evolves. This complexity is underwritten by a very good acidity that’s clean and fresh and adds some attractive juiciness to the texture. The texture itself verges on generous, while the moderate tannins tighten it up slightly. The overall effect is attractive, serious, and very drinkable. Drink now through to 2020 to enjoy its freshness. Score – 4 1/2 Stars (out of 5). (Rod Phillips, rodphillipsonwine.com, Jan. 8, 2017)
$18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:April 15, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: Ontario, Canada By: Henry Of Pelham Family Est. Winery Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Medium-bodied & Fruity Varietal:Shiraz Blend This is a VQA wine

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Terroir La Baume Saint-Paul Fitou 2014

Dark in color with a nose of black berries and some oaky notes. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice black berries to match the nose along with some velvety smooth tannins and some acidity. I would give it an 88-. Not a bad wine, but not fantastic either. I only bought the one and won’t be rushing back to get more.

From the LCBO web site:
Terroir La Baume Saint-Paul Fitou 2014 — VINTAGES#: 480970
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
Deep and youthful, note of oak. Flavoursome and complex, the wines’ defining note is the fragrance and freshness on the finish. Score – Silver Medal. (International Wine Challenge, 2016)
$23.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:April 15, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: Midi, France By: Les Grands Chais De France Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style: Full-bodied & Smooth Varietal: Red Blend
Description This wine is a blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah that will pair nicely with peppercorn-crusted sirloin burgers or steaks.

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Clos du Bois 2015 Chard

Slightly golden in color with a nice apple/pear nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice softer varietal apple/pear to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some mild oak/vanilla notes. This is a more gently oaked chard and quite food friendly. I would give it an 88 or so. The LCBO have it defined as full bodied and rich, this seems a little generous.

From the LCBO web site:
Clos Du Bois Chardonnay — LCBO#: 400549
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
Pale straw colour; lifted aromas of golden apple, citrus, butter and toast; dry, medium to full-bodied, creamy in texture with rich flavours of ripe apple, pear, butter, vanilla and toasty oak, followed by a medium length finish.
$15.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:June 7, 2016
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: California, USA By: Constellation Brands Inc. (Us)Sugar Content: 6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style: Full-bodied & Rich

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2013 Kew Soldiers Grant

When I go down to Niagara, I have my favs (like Kacaba, Fielding, and lately Two Sisters) but I try and add in one wild card. In this case not only a winery I have not visited before, but a winery I’ve never had a wine from. This wine is 85% cab sauv and 15% cab franc. The somewhat unique thing here is that the cab franc was appassimento’d. If you have ever had an Amarone from Italy that wine is Appasimento. They basically dry the grape before crushing it. Not to the point of making raisins out of it, but close. Kew has pioneered a mobile appasimento rack. Inky dark in color with a nice black berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely bold rich black berries to match the nose backed almost immediately by some nice dry notes and mocha. There’s some dried fruit notes too. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely acidity and tannins. This is a surprisingly complex wine for the price. The fact they can do a complex process and resulting wine for such a reasonable price is impressive. The LCBO describe it as medium bodied and fruity. Wouldn’t be my choice, I think it’s full bodied and firm!

From the winery’s web site:
WINEMAKER’S NOTES
Our 2013 Soldier’s Grant is a medium bodied, Cabernet blend, consisting of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc. For this particular vintage, and in its entirety, the Cabernet Franc is dried out in the Appassimento style, crushed and then back-blended into the Cabernet Sauvignon. Maturing in oak for eighteen months, this blend is a wine that is strong in character and a fitting way for us to pay homage to the Kew family.

After the War of 1812, the Canadian government awarded Richard Kew the plot of land on which the vineyard sits today. His brother William maintained ownership of the land and ran a successful carriage making business out of the very house in which our retail space is located.

VARIETAL COMPOSITION:
85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc BARREL FERMENTATION: 18 months, French Oak
ALCOHOL: 13.7%, Residual Sugars: 5.2 g/L
RELEASE DATE: July 16, 2016

From the LCBO web site:
Kew Soldier’s Grant 2013 — VINTAGES#: 367318
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:December 10, 2016
Alcohol/Vol 13.5%Made in: Ontario, Canada By: Kew Vineyard Est. Ltd Sugar Content:5 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry Style:Medium-bodied & Fruity Varietal:Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc
Description This unique wine takes 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and blends it with 15% Cabernet Franc that has been dried in the appassimento style. Expect an elegant yet richly flavoured and textured wine with blackcurrant, red pepper jelly and spice notes.

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2014 Cannonball cab sauv

I’ve had this wine over a number of vintages and sadly it has been inconsistent. Inky dark in color with a nice fruity red cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with lovely red cherry notes. At first there was a hint of herbaceous notes but this passed super quickly. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice acidity and mild tannins. Not a bad cab at all. I would give it an 88 or so. It has some nice mouth grip best experienced without food.

From the LCBO web site:
Cannonball Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 — VINTAGES#: 291666
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:March 18, 2017
750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol13.8%Made in:California, USABy:Cannonball Wine And Spirits, Llc.Sugar Content:2 g/LSweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra DryStyle:Full-bodied & SmoothVarietal:Cabernet Sauvignon BlendDescriptionThis is a wine that always makes a splash! Okay, we know you’ve heard that one before – but it’s true. Typically concentrated and round with dark fruit, cassis, smoke, spice and touches of chocolate, this balanced and well-made, value-priced Cali-Cab will be a massive hit alongside spicy ribs or grilled steak. This is truly a fun wine. $24.95

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Flor de Vetus Verdejo 2015

I like my whites dry and crisp. This one is pale in color with a mild slightly minerally, citrus nose. On the mid palate the wine displays lovely crisp dry notes to match the nose with minerality and some citrus notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice mild acidity and slight grapefruit notes. This is a lovely dry, food friendly wine. At 2g/l it’s about as dry as it gets, but still not overwhelming. I enjoyed it and would give it an 88 or so. Anywhere you would pair a sauv blanc this would also go well.

From the LCBO web site:
Flor de Vetus Verdejo 2015 — VINTAGES#: 320259
STYLE – Light & Crisp
For those who already like sauvignon blanc but want to explore beyond its limits, this verdejo from Rueda is very much worth a look. It has a lifted, fragrant and unusual nose of lemongrass, mustard flower, vague pineapple and fresh herbs. It’s mid-weight, quite delicate with medium acidity and some wamth. Yet intensely flavoured and focused, with excellent length. A real bargain that should tempt the reticent. Score – 89. (David Lawrason, winealign.com, Sept. 15, 2016)
$14.95WAS $15.95 SAVE $1.00 Limited Time Offer Until April 23, 2017
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:December 10, 2016 Alcohol/Vol 12.5% Made in: Rueda, Spain By:Bodegas Vetus Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Light & Crisp

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2015 Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay Sonoma Coast

I’ve had this wine over the years. This one is mild on the nose with some apple/pear coming through. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice apple and pear to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some mild vanilla notes. This is a subtly oaked chard. Pretty close to an unoaked. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice dryness and some acidity. I would give it an -88. Not a great chard to my tastes. If I had others I would return them, I’m quite disappointed.

From the LCBO web site:
Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay Sonoma Coast —LCBO#: 269738
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
Bright straw yellow colour, vanilla, apple, pear and toasty oak aromas; full bodied with ripe apple and fruit flavours and buttery notes; well balanced with a touch of oak spice to finish. $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:July 17, 2012
Alcohol/Vol 13.6% Made in: California, USA By: Chateau St. Jean Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Rich

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2013 Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classico

Dark in color with a mild lovely red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice mild red fruits, cherries and the like along with some nice dried fruit notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice acidity firm tannins and dryness that builds nicely in the mouth. This is a varietal well made Chianti classico. I would give it a solid 88. It will pair well with any red sauce or red meat. Yumm.

From the LCBO web site:
Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classico — VINTAGES#: 741769
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:April 1, 2016
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in:Tuscany, Italy By:Rocca Delle Macie S.P.A.Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Medium-bodied & Fruity
Description Young by Italian standards, this winery was founded in 1973 – so it’s no wonder their take on Chianti Classico is modern. Food-friendly with cherry notes and hints of grilled herbs. It sings with fine fare like meat lasagna, antipasti or veal scaloppini.

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2013 Murphy Goode Cab sauv

Some wineries struggle with consistency year over year while others like Murphy Goode quietly go about their business making consistently Goode wines, pun intended 🙂 I last reviewed the 2012 Vintage of this wine and enjoyed it. It’s a by the glass wine at Earls. Dark in color with nice nice cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with a lovely fruit forward dark cherries. This is not a fruit bomb but it’s definitely to my mind a drink now style of wine. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice smooth tnnins nice dryness and some acidity. It’s a well made food friendly cab sauv that will go with lots of different foods. I paired it with lamb and it went well. I would give it an 88+. The LCBO say full bodied and smooth and I’d whole heartedly agree!

From the LCBO web site:
Murphy-Goode Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 — VINTAGES#: 427542
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
The year 2013 was brilliant for red varieties in California, as exhibited by this solid blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. Deep and structured with impressive ripe black fruit that infuses an almost-sweet taste profile, this is long, fresh and balanced. A great value wine from a much-loved producer and a great vintage. (VINTAGES panel, May 2016) $19.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 4, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: California, USA By:Jackson Wine Estates International Sugar Content:8 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: D – Dry Style:Full-bodied & Smooth

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Carobbio 2013 Chianti Classico (mini review)

Dark in color with a nice red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice red berries to match the nose along with some slight dried berry notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice smooth tannins and acidity. This is a smooth elegant Chianti Classico. Perfect for pairing with red sauces and the like. I would give it an 88+. Not in the LCBO but available in cases of 6 for $34 a bottle from Apparition Wines.

From the winery’s web site:
CHIANTI CLASSICO
DENOMINAZIONE DI ORIGINE CONTROLLATA E GARANTITA
A wine of great elegance and finesse, the Chianti Classico Carobbio was born from the union of two great varieties: Sangiovese and Merlot. Its colour is deep red ruby and enhanced by a complex aroma of red fruits and a final pleasant hint of liquorice. Full-bodied and rich on the palate, the Chianti Classico has an intense structure that maintains its balanced taste and a velvety texture, without losing any of its pleasant drinkability. CHIANTI CLASSICO: Controlled and guaranteed designation of origin.
Year: 2013
Grape varieties: Sangiovese 95% Merlot 5%
Harvest: by hand, I-II week of October
Aging: large barrels, 12-14 months
Alcohol content: 13% vol.

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2014 Cathedral cellars Cab sauv

I was over at Prohibition the other day and they had this wine on for $5 a glass as part of their hooch hour. So WTF … why not. Dark in color with a nice fruity cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some fruit forward dark cherry notes to match the nose along with some mocha. On the medium length finish the wine displays some smooth tannins and nice dryness. This is a surprisingly not bad wine. I would give it an 88 or so. Quite food friendly. I paired it with lamb at Prohibition and it went well! Full bodied and firm is how the LCBO describe it, for me that would be embellishing a bit.

From the LCBO web site:
Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon — VINTAGES#: 328567
STYLE – Full-bodied & Firm $15.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:April 1, 2016
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: Western Cape, South Africa By: KWV Sugar Content:6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Firm
Description: Offering super value, this Cabernet comes from South Africa’s cool Cape. It displays blackcurrant, dark cherry, spice and savoury herbs supported by bright acidity. Pair with gourmet burgers or steak-and-kidney pie.

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Peacock Sky 2010 Cab Sauv (mini review)

Dark in color with a nice black berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays deep rich black berries to match the nose along with some mocha. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely smooth tannins and dryness. This is a beautiful rich cab sauv. I would consider this one of the best New Zealand red wines I’ve tasted in a bit. I would give it a solid 90. Not in the LCBO but available in a case of 12 for $45 a bottle from Apparition Wines.

From the winery’s web site (for a different year)
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon STOCK UPDATE 20-4-2016: Only about 100 bottles remaining.

Chocolate notes mingle with cherries, brambles and ripe plums, supported by well developed oak. Delicate texture with a round, full initial mouthfeel, and a rich satisfying finish. Made from 100% estate grown fruit.

Our final blend: Cabernet Sauvignon (90%) Merlot (10%)
Alcohol by volume: 13.3%

Detailed Tasting Notes
A refined, elegant wine from a cooler growing season. Chocolate notes mingle with cherries, brambles and ripe plums, enveloped with well balanced oak. Delicate texture with a round, full initial mouthfeel, and a pleasant, long finish.

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Loire region tasting

I recently got invited to a Loire based tasting and lunch at Cafe Nicole in the Novotel. There were a number of interesting wines and great food at the event. But what I found particularly interesting was that the winemaker for Ackerman/Remy Pannier Pierre Charon is doing some interesting things one would not expect from the French. He is intentionally stepping outside the rigidity of the Appellation system and innovating. This includes Blanc du Noir, a white wine made from a Cab Franc (usually a red wine).

Bubblies made outside the Champagne region of France can not legally be called Champagne. In the Loire region (as well as others) they are called Cremant and are made from Chennin blanc, chardonnay and cab franc, local grapes to the Loire Valley appellation. Two of the Cremants were lovely. The first an Ackerman Cremant du Loire priced around $18 was crisp, dry and very food friendly with some nice acidity on the finish. The second Cuvee Ambrose was also nice and crisp and dry but had a higher amount of chardonnay, saw some oak and was longer on the lees so for me was much more reminiscent of a Champagne style bubbly. They expect this one to come in around $22.95. Sadly at this time neither are available in Ontario (not even by the case). Like champagne the Cremants are non-vintage meaning they blend grapes from different years to make a consistent product.

They also brought an oak aged (aged for a year) Chennin blanc they called Samur blanc 2015. With an expected price of $19.95 that had some almost chard like flavors. Some apple/pear notes along with some vanilla. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely food friendly acidity. It was nice and dry and would pair perfectly with scallops. I would give it an 88 or so. Sadly, again, at this time it is not available in Ontario (not even by the case). This was my favorite white of the event.

There was a nice Cab Franc 2014 Secret des Vignes Chino 2014. A lovely red berry varietal cab franc nose, smooth mid palate to match along with some nice tannins, acidity and dryness. There was a hint of peppery/spicy notes on the medium length finish. I would give the wine an 88+. A very approachable cab franc that would be food friendly and pair well with red meats. Sadly, again, at this time it is not available in Ontario (not even by the case). This was my favorite white of the event.

I can only hope that in the near future Eurovintage are able to bring some of these lovely wines into Ontario!

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Gray Monk Pinot Noir 2014

Garnet in color with a mild soft red berry nose. On the mid palate this is a varietal spot on Pinot Noir. Lovely soft red berries to match the nose, strawberries and the like along with some nice rustic notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely dryness and nice tannins. The wine has some nice mouth grip with the rustic notes lingering nicely. This is quite a complex wine, for the price it’s a great deal. A perfect pinot. I would give it an 88-89. Yumm.

From the LCBO web site:
Gray Monk Pinot Noir 2014 — VINTAGES#: 251835
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:March 4, 2017
750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol12.1%Made in:British Columbia, CanadaBy:Gray Monk Cellars Ltd.Sugar Content:2 g/LSweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra DryStyle:Medium-bodied & FruityVarietal:Pinot NoirDescriptionGray Monk began operations in 1972 and it’s one of Canada’s most well-known producers, let alone BC. You can expect this 2014 Pinot Noir to be earthy and floral with a lovely texture. Look for notes of sandalwood, cherry, smoke and peppery spice. Enjoy with grilled salmon or herb-dressed grilled pork.This is a VQA wine. $19.95

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Marangona 2015 Lugana Turbiana (mini review)

The Italian wine scene can be overwhelming to some. There are so many unique varietals that are unique not just to Italy but to specific regions of Italy. You could spend a lifetime learning them all. But not a bad way to spend some time don’t you think? This particular wine is made from a Turbiana grape in the Lugana region. Pale in color with a nice crisp nose with lots of minerality coming through. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely crisp minerality to match the nose along with some citrus notes. On the medium to long length finish the wine displays some lovely tart notes that build in the mouth. The wine has some very nice mouth grip with the acidity lingering nicely in the mouth. This is definitely on the bigger side. It’s a food friendly wine that could easily hold it’s own against some spicy foods and the like. I really enjoyed it. I would give it an 88+ Not in the LCBO but available in cases of 6 for $28 a bottle from Apparition Wines. Yumm.

From the winery’s web site:
MARANGONA LUGANA
100% ‘Turbiana,’ or Trebbiano di Lugana, grown using a ‘double arc’ cordon in calcareous, mineral-rich clay soil. The grapes are picked by hand into small boxes, pressed as whole clusters, and fermented at low temperature. Once fermentation is complete the wine is aged on its fine lees for about 4 months, then bottled early in the following year. No oak or malolactic fermentation. The vines are around 20 years old.

Pale straw color; aroma of almonds, herbs, citrus and a touch of apricot; flavors completely consistent, with excellent acidity, fresh and long. I love this as an aperitif, or as a broadly useful table wine (roast chicken, fish…).

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2015 Root 1 Sauv blanc

Every now and then I grab a wine from the general list on flyer. No research … This is one of those. It caught my eye. Chile is one of the rare regions not affected by phyloxera a pest that loves eating grape roots. The result is that Chile, and this wine, have vineyards still growing on their original, sometimes very old vines/root stock. That is this wines claim to fame. Pale in color with an odd nose, some almost solvent notes. On the mid palate the wine displays some mild citrus notes and some odd solvent like notes. It’s not horrible, but not awesome either. I have no idea how to describe the flavor or where it might be coming from or if this might be a bad bottle of some kind. On the medium length finish the wine has some nice acidity and the solvent notes are mildly noticeable. A day later did not help it. I would give this an 87-88. In spite of the super low price this is not a great wine and there are much better Sauv blancs out there.

From the LCBO web site:
Root 1 Sauvignon Blanc — LCBO#: 445882
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
Pale straw colour; the nose opens with a bright citrus bouquet, lime, grapefruit and fresh cut grass; the palate is extra-dry, light to medium-bodied with more crisp, fresh flavours of citrus, mineral and fresh herb notes; the finish is short and elegant. $12.95

Release Date:October 5, 2016
Alcohol/Vol 12.5% Made in: Casablanca Valley, Chile By: Vina Ventisquero Ltda. Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Aromatic & Flavourful

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2014 Cupcake Black Forest Decadent Red

Dark in color with a black berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some rich black berries to match the nose, black cherries and the like along with some mocha. Straight out of the bottle the alcohol was quite noticeable but that died down a little. On the medium length finish the wine displays some firm tannins, sharp dryness and acidity along with some peppery notes. This is a surprisingly complex wine for the price, indicative of it being a heavily blended wine. It actually reminds me a lot of an aussie shiraz. I would give it an 88 or so.

From the LCBO web site:
Cupcake Black Forest Decadent Red— LCBO#: 470088
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
Deep ruby red colour; aromas of sweet black fruit, chocolate cake and vanilla with notes of dark fruit, cherry and spice; dryish, medium to full-bodied, soft, rounded, moderately structured palate, supporting flavours of dark fruit, cherry, blueberry, spice, vanilla and dark chocolate, notes of cinnamon and sweet fruit. $14.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 7, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in:California, USA By: Cupcake Vineyards Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Smooth

From the winery’s web site:
A dark, decadent red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Petite Verdot and Petite Sirah. The barrel aged Cabernet Sauvignon provides the powerful but elegant backbone and structure while the Merlot adds the dark berry nose and luscious mouthfeel. The Zinfandel adds a particular spiciness that you can only grow in California. PetiteVerdot, a winemaker’s best friend, always makes a blend taste better and adds a pretty floral aroma and purple hue while the Petite Sirah seals thedeal with its inky color and round tannins.

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2015 Lacey Pinot Noir (mini review)

When tasting wines from Prince Edward county one has to be careful. There are a number of the wines that are made from Niagara grapes. Now while I have no objection to this practice I prefer when the winery is up front about it and I can make a choice. This particular Pinot is PEC fruit! Garnet in color with a nice light red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some nice soft raspberry/strawberry notes along with some nice varietal rustic notes. It’s smooth on the finish. I would give it an 88 or so. A nice pinot and a great example of what PEC can deliver! Not in the LCBO so you will have to take a trip out to the county $22 a bottle or grab it from Apparition wines.

In case you’re not aware. there’s a wine event coming up that will feature wines from Prince Edward County called County in the City. I’ve gone since they started this event. And it’s a great opportunity to sample some of the county’s wine and meet some of the wine makers.

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2016 Azul Sauv Blanc (mini review)

I had the pleasure of being invited to the first portfolio tasting of Apparition Wines held at the yet to be open Birch Bistro. Laurie Hillesheim has created a beautiful space on Mount Pleasant. She chose some lovely meats that paired perfectly with the wines. I am looking forward to the opening of this new French style restaurant! Be sure and checkout this 1901 Heinzman bar piano. One of the keys is actually signed by Heinzman!

When one thinks of great white wines out of Argentina, a Sauv blanc does not jump to the forefront. This one is capable of changing that. I have no idea why there aren’t more sauv blancs in Argentina. This one is pale in color with a lovely citrus nose. On the mid palate the wine displays lovely crisp citrus notes along with some nice grassyness. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely citrus notes that build in the mouth. It has some nice mouth grip. This is a lovely boisterous sauv blanc. Just how I like them. I would give this an 88+. It’s not in the LCBO, so you will have to buy it by the case from Apparition Wines in a case of 12 for $24 a bottle. Yumm … This is one of a number of outstanding wines I tasted from Apparition’s portfolio, I was thoroughly impressed. More reviews to come …

From the winery’s web site:
AZUL
SAUVIGNON BLANC
This beautiful Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of citrus, pink grapefruit, lime, with a whiff of green grass. On the palate, an explosion of intense citrus flavour swith along, crisp finish. Ideal to accompany salads, shellfish and other light seafood dishes. Serve well-chilled.

Vineyards Location: Agua Amarga Tupungato/ Tunuyán
Altitude: 1200
Plantation year: 2003/2005
Irrigation system: drip

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Stadt Krems Grüner Veltliner 2015

Pale in color with a nice crisp nose. On the mid palate the wine displays lovely crisp dry notes to match the nose. On the finish the wine displays some mild pink grapefruit note and some nice acidity. The complexity of the wine is better explored without food. This is a super food friendly wine that could go almost anywhere a sauv blanc would go. A very nice wine. A bit on the milder side. I would give it an 88 or so. I enjoy Grüner Veltliner if for no other reason than variety! Full bodied and rich (is how the LCBO describe it). Huh?

From the LCBO web site:
Stadt Krems Grüner Veltliner 2015 — VINTAGES#: 295626
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
A rather closed nose wants to give little away, but the palate is zingy with yeast, grapefruit peel and fresh, greenish leafiness, all held with focus and poise. Very refreshing. Best Buy. Score – 90. (Anne Krebiehl, MW, Wine Enthusiast, July 2016) $16.95

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2013 Kacaba Merlot

Inky dark in color with a nice black berry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some lovely rich black berries. The wine is getting a little long in the tooth but the fruit is still there. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice smooth tannins and acidity. This wine has kept well and is still holding it’s own, but honestly I am not sure for how much longer. I would give it an 88-89. We paired it with a filet mignon and it went perfectly. As did the chocolate chip cookie for dessert! Me cookie monster 🙂 To my tastes this is more of a cab than a merlot, but let’s not be pedantic.

Kacaba are doing some great work and continue to! This one was $29.95 at the winery. I bought it in Jan 2016. Not in the LCBO.

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2014 Montes Alpha cab sauv

I previously tasted the 2013 of this wine and enjoyed it at the Chilean wine show so I bought this one. Dark in color with an odd, almost woody nose. On the mid palate there are some noticeable mint notes, something I am not fond of, along with some dark red cherries. The mint notes died down as it breathed, but were still there. On the medium length finish there’s some nice dryness, tannins and complexity. I would give it an -88. Not bad, but not great either. If I had more I would return them 🙁 Not sure if they are simply having consistency issues or what …

From the LCBO web site:
Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon — VINTAGES#: 322586
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth $19.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:April 1, 2016
Alcohol/Vol 14.0% Made in: Colchagua Valley, Chile By: Montes S.A.Sugar Content: 9 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Smooth Varietal:Cabernet/Merlot Description: What do you get when you combine one of Chile’s most renowned producers with the world’s most famous grape? Near perfection, that’s what. Concentrated, complex and generously fruity and fresh. Enjoy this with grilled meats and people you wish to impress.

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Lander-Jenkins Chardonnay 2014

Pale in color with a nice albeit mild nose of apple and pear. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with apple and pear, lovely fruit! On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely soft vanilla notes along with some oak. This is a gently oaked chard, subtle and elegant. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially given the the price. I would give it an 89 Yumm.

From the LCBO web site:
Lander-Jenkins Chardonnay 2014 — VINTAGES#: 162651
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
Lander-Jenkins uses owl boxes to control pesky rodents in the vineyard. These boxes attract owls and other birds of prey to take up residence on the property and to provide 24/7 protection for the grapes and vines. Their 2014 Chardonnay is Californian through and through, offering ripe tropical fruit with mineral, toast, vanilla, butter and butterscotch tones. A creamy, smoky glass of awesomeness. (VINTAGES panel, June 2016) $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 18, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in:California, USA By:Round Hill Cellars Sugar Content:13 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style:Full-bodied & Rich

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2014 Wakefield Shiraz (mini review)

Dark in color with a nice nose of black berries. On the mid palate this is a classic aussie shiraz displaying some nice black berries to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice smooth tannins and acidity. It’s a bit high in alcohol so it may need a bit of breathing depending on your tastes. A classic shiraz. It’s an essential so readily available. I would give it an 88 or so.

From the LCBO web site:
Wakefield Shiraz — VINTAGES#: 943787
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:April 1, 2016
Alcohol/Vol 14.5%Made in: South Australia, Australia By: Wakefield Wines Pty Ltd. Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style:Full-bodied & Smooth Varietal:Shiraz/Syrah Description: Wakefield is the name used in North America by Australia’s eminent Taylor family. Their Clare Valley Shiraz will offer great depth and richness with ripe blackberry, blueberry, black pepper and chocolate. Pair with lamb.

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