2016 Yalumba Coonawarra Cab (mini review)

Dark in color with a nice dark berry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some subtle back cherries to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice dryness and complexity. I would give it an 88 or so. Not a bad cab …

From the LCBO web site (Check stock):
Yalumba Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon — LCBO#: 460667
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
Deep and dark with intense, rich berry flavours, this popular pick reflects the unique characteristics of this Australian region in the best possible way. $19.90
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:November 18, 2016
Alcohol/Vol 14.0% Made in: South Australia, Australia By: Negociants International Sugar Content: 2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Smooth

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Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Inky dark in color with a lovely dark cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine spot on matches the nose with lovely dark berries and cassis coming through. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely velvety tannins, nice complexity and lingering dryness. The complexity of the wine is best appreciated without food, but it pairs really well with red meats. We had it at the Keg with of course a steak and it went really well. I would give this wine a solid 89. Yumm.

From the LCBO web site:
Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon — VINTAGES#: 352583
STYLE – Full-bodied & Firm $44.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:April 3, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 13.0% Made in:California, USA By: Beringer Vineyards Sugar Content:6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Firm Varietal:Cabernet Sauvignon Description: In 1868, Jacob Beringer left Germany and settled in California, where he built the now-historic Beringer Winery. A vibrant Cab with ripe cassis, vanilla and smoke aromas. Cellar 3-5 years, or decant and pair with roast beef, grilled quail or Beemster cheese.

From the winery’s web site:
The 2015 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas of ripe black fruit, mocha, dried herbs and licorice. Opulent but structured, this versatile wine has supple blue and black fruit notes accented by dark chocolate, roasted coffee and a silky, lingering finish.

Beringer Vineyards has owned and farmed its Knights Valley vineyards since the mid-1960’s, when the Beringer family recognized that the cobbled alluvial soils were a great place to grow high quality wine grapes. The Knights Valley designation was first used on a Beringer label in 1974. Beringer was instrumental in garnering official recognition for the area in 1983 as a premier wine growing region in the form of its own American Viticulture Area (AVA) designation.

WINEMAKING
To maintain the unique characteristics of the different lots from varying areas of the vineyard, each is monitored carefully through the vinification process. Extended maceration created larger tannins to enhance the lush mouthfeel of the blend and extracted a maximum of color, aromas and flavors. The wines were then aged in French oak barrels (25 percent new) for 16 months and underwent malolactic fermentation for further development of texture and mouthfeel.

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Eradus Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (mini review)

Pale in color with a nice grassy/grape fruit nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some mild grassy notes to match the nose. This is definitely a softer sauv blanc, one could even say more elegant. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice citrus notes along with lovely acidity that grows nicely in the mouth. I would give this an 88 or so. Should be super food friendly, but nothing too powerful from a food point of view or you could easily over power the wine.

from the LCBO web site (check stock):
Eradus Sauvignon Blanc 2016 — VINTAGES#: 225557
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
Excellent pale straw colour. Nose showing a lot of complexity with aromas of cut grass and minerals and hints of tropical fruit. Palate showing a wonderful savoury complexity that pairs well with food. Score – Gold Medal. (Dr. Ken Dobler, Sydney International Wine Competition, 2017) $19.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:December 9, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 13.0% Made in:Marlborough, New Zealand By: Eradus Wines Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

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Argiano Non Confunditur 2014 (mini review)

Dark in color with a smokey/oaky nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely rich black fruits. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely dryness and mild acidity. This is a very good wine, and given the price of $23.95 is a great deal. I would give it an 88-89. Sadly not in the LCBO, but available from Noble Estates.

From the winery’s web site:
‘Non Confunditur’ is a Latin term that means unique, unmistakable. We christened this wine Non Confunditur as a tribute to Argiano’s prestigious and glorious past. Non Confunditur is the product of the unique combination of Tuscan and French grapes. Since 2002, NC has earned its place alongside the finest Tuscan blends.

Organoleptic characteristics
NC is a wine with a decisive, full-bodied character, smooth tannins and a persistent finish. This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese reveals an exciting potency, with the innate gentleness of Merlot creating a bridge between the evident earthiness of Sangiovese, the aromatic blackcurrant flavour of Cabernet and the warm red berries of Syrah. The result is a generous, rounded red wine, destined for short to medium ageing, with delicious aromas of currants and generous fruit flavours, versatile enough to develop in greater depth during long months in the bottle.

Climatic conditions
The vineyards of Argiano benefit from a favourable microclimate and an enviable position which contribute to the development of the vines. The extended vegetative cycle and ripening period are due to the altitude of the plateau, 300 m above sea level, which determines cool nights in the summer months. The generally moderate rainfall in Montalcino favours better, healthier ripening of the grapes, conveying greater concentration and aromas to the wine. This, together with the hot and constant winds that blow from the Maremma, cooling the bunches of grapes during the hottest summer days, allows slower ripening of the grapes, determining favourable general conditions. Lastly, Argiano is close to Mount Amiata, one of Tuscany’s highest peaks, which protects the entire area from bad weather. The combination of all these factors enables Argiano to make high profile wines and constantly good vintages, year after year.

Vinification
The grape harvest usually begins in the middle of September, when the Syrah and Merlot are picked, and is completed at the beginning of October, with the Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. Each of the four different grape-varieties used in the blend – Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah – is fermented separately in order to preserve their individual characteristics. Before blending, the wine is aged for a short period of time in French oak barriques which have already been used once before, in the traditional large Slavonian oak barrels and in stainless steel tanks, to soften the tannins and harmonise the different flavours of each grape-variet

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2016 Ruffino Chianti

I enjoy Chiantis, they are perfect for things like red sauce based pastas, and I use them both to marinate as well as to serve with the rabbit stew I make. Dark in color with a nice soft red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with nice soft red berries. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice tannins and dryness. For the money this is a lovely wine. I would give it an 88 or so. It’s in the general list so readily available at the LCBO.

From the LCBO web site:
Ruffino Chianti — LCBO#: 1743
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
Purple/red colour; aromas and flavours of red berry and cherry fruit, spicy notes & a touch of pepper; dry, medium body, with balanced tannin on a gently firm finish.
$13.05 WAS $15.05 SAVE $2.00 Limited Time Offer Until December 31, 2017
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:July 14, 2011
Alcohol/Vol 12.5% Made in: Tuscany, Italy By: Ruffino S.R.L. Sugar Content: 5 g/L Sweetness

from the winery’s web site:
ASTING NOTES

Ruffino Chianti DOCG is an approachable, easy-drinking wine that has predominantly fruity and floral aromatics, with hints of spice and hazelnut. On the palate, Chianti DOCG is soft with a medium body and nice balance, displaying pleasantly fruity characteristics.

Chianti DOCG occupies a special place in the heart– and history– of Ruffino. When Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino founded the winery in 1877, the first wine they produced was a Chianti. And it was the reputation of this wine that launched Ruffino’s early success. In fact, before World War I Ruffino was the only Chianti exported from Italy to the United States, making it an ambassador to wine lovers around the world. In keeping with tradition, Chianti DOCG features a distinct Florentine bottle reminiscent of the fiasco, the straw-dressed flask in which Chianti was originally bottled. Today, Ruffino Chianti DOCG serves as a benchmark for quality and consistency. For many wine lovers worldwide, Ruffino Chianti is Chianti.

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2016 G. Marquis Silver line Chard

I last reviewed the 2014 vintage of this wine and was impressed. I was curious to see if they could consistently continue at this quality level. Pale to slightly golden in color with a lovely mild nose of apple and pear. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with lovely apple and pear coming through. This is another chard that is sensitive to temperature, don’t serve it too cold or you will miss it’s complexity. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely butterscotch nose, and some acidity. This is a lightly oaked chard. We paired it with pan seared scallops and cod and it went perfectly. They have done a good job on this one again. I would give it an 88 or so. Very nice.

From the LCBO web site:
G. Marquis The Silver Line Chardonnay 2016 — VINTAGES#: 258681
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
Aromas of buttered toast, applesauce, fresh pineapple and white peach. Quite mouthfilling, with lots of toast and oak, plus grilled fruit tones. This will drink well through 2020 and will pair nicely with grilled pork or chicken. (Vintages panel, August 2017) $17.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date: September 16, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 12.3% Made in: Ontario, Canada By: Magnotta Winery Sugar Content:4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style:Full-bodied & Rich Varietal: Chardonnay

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Clos de los Siete 2013

I’ve had a number of bottles of this wine over a number of years and always been impressed. And it ages VERY well. Inky dark in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine displays lovely rich black berries. On the medium length finish the wine displays lovely smooth tannins along with some nice pepper notes. This is a lovely elegant wine that is well above it’s price point. I would give it an 89+. Yummm …

from the winery’s web site:
Grapes: 56% Malbec – 21% Merlot – 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Syrah, 2% Petit Verdot
Alcohol 14.5 %

From the LCBO web site:
Clos de los Siete 2013 — VINTAGES#: 622571
Clos de los Siete 2013
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
A more refined red from here than in the past showing blackberry, blueberry and hints of walnuts. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a fresh and clean finish. Why wait on this? Delicious wine. Drink now. Score – 92. (James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, May 20, 2016) $22.95

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KIR YIANNI DIAPOROS 2013 (mini review)

I stopped by Group Kolonaki’s booth at the Gourmet Food and wine Expo recently to learn about Greek wines. And this particular wine ended up being one of my favorites of the evening. I have to admit to not knowing a lot about Greek wines, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn. The team at the booth were enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the wine industry in Greece! The grape is an indigenous Greek one called Xinomavro mixed with 13% Syrah. Of course having never heard of this grape I had no preconceptions of what to expect. Dark in color with a dark berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely bold dark berry fruits and maybe some mocha. On the medium length finish the wine displays some silky smooth tannins, lovely dryness and complexity. This is a delicious wine. I would give it an 89-90 or so. I was thoroughly impressed! The wine is not in the LCBO, but available from Group Kolonakis for $50 a bottle in cases of 6.

From Group Kolonaki’s web site:
Description
If a New World Xinomavro ever existed this would be it. Kir Yianni has managed to hold on to what intrigues us about Xinomavro and at the same time craft a wine that is nothing like what we have seen before. Diaporos has a deep red colour, almost blue, very different from the traditional Xinomavro. In the nose, the bouquet consists of ripe black fruit, plums, cigar box, black chocolate, golden tobacco, pepper. In the mouth one gets the well constructed, sculpted tannins rooted in a dense layer of ripe fruit. This is a full bodied wine, rich in ripe tannins with good acidity balanced by the quite high alcohol level. A new version of the Xinomavro grape, expressing the vineyard where it is coming from. Under proper storage conditions this wine can be aged and enjoyed for up to 10-12 years and more.

From the winery’s web site:
Analytical Data
Alcohol: 14.6 %vol pH: 3.35 Volatile acidity: 0.60 g/lt Residual sugar: 3.2 g/lt

Cellaring:
22 months in 225-lit oak casks and 6 months further ageing in bottles
Origin: Block #5 of the Yianakohori vineyard in Naous

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2013 J J Hahn Cab/shiraz

Inky dark in color with nice black berry nose. On the mid palate there’s some nice soft black berries to match the nose, almost blueberries. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice soft tannins, acidity and pepper. This is a softer gentler more food friendly shiraz, likely made so by the cab. I don’t get a lot of cab off it. I would give it an 88 or so. Not in the LCBO but available by the case for $24.50 a bottle.

from the winery’s web site:
A classic Australian wine style championed in Australia in the late 1800s. Today it is the great Australian red, to the point that leading international wine writers and commentators, Tyson Stelzer and Matthew Jukes, have labelled Shiraz Cabernet blends as “The Blend that defines Australia: Mouth filling wine style; soft, fleshy but firm with an explosion of fruit and flavour by blending Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon”.

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2015 Ringbolt cab (mini review)

Dark in color with a nice dark cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with nice dark cherries coming through along with a hint of herbacious/green notes. The wine might be a bit young. On the medium length finish the wine displays smooth tannins and acidity. Not a bad wine at all. I would give it an 88 or so:

From the LCBO web site:
Ringbolt Cabernet Sauvignon — VINTAGES#: 606624
STYLE – Full-bodied & Firm $21.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:April 3, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 14.0% Made in: Western Australia, Australia By:Negociants International Sugar Content: 2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style:Full-bodied & Firm Varietal:Cabernet Sauvignon DescriptionThe Ringbolt was a ship that sank during the 1800s off the rugged Australian coast near Margaret River, now a premium wine region. This elegant Cabernet goes down beautifully! Serve with oven-roasted top sirloin, grilled sausages or hearty lamb stew.

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Wine laws in Canada

I find it irritating that our government is out negotiating free trade agreements with other countries but wine still today does not flow freely between our provinces. Work is in progress to fix this, and right now the laws are a confusing patchwork leaving the consumer to negotiate the mine fields on their own. Fortunately, some wineries are blazing new trails. The reality is, we in Ontario do not get a whole lot of Okanagan wines brought into the LCBO. I recently attended a tasting of Culmina wines and was impressed enough to want to buy some. So I checked and sure enough they sell them direct to the consumer. Shipping was $25 for 6 bottles which seemed reasonable enough. The shipper they chose to use was temperature controlled, ATS Healthcare. My order arrived pretty quickly. Being a unique product, something you can not always get in Ontario, I figure it will make a great Christmas gift for the oenophiles in my family (hopefully they aren’t reading this 🙂 ).

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2012 Cornerstone Cab Franc (mini review)

I’ve run into this wine at the Food and Wine show over the last couple years and been impressed. Dark in color with mild nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely intensified cab franc notes, dark berries, and a hint of dried fruits. This wine is made in the Apassimento style (think Amarone) where 100% of the grapes have been air dried, before being crushed intensifying the fruit. The wine displays some nice smooth tannins, acidity and some peppery notes. I would give it an 88 or so. Not in the LCBO but available at the winery for $29 a bottle. An interesting wine for sure.

From the winery’s web site for the 2013 vintage:

YEAR :2013
SUGAR :3.1 g/L
From the very start, this fabulous wine is sure to delight and arouse the senses. The intense aroma of rich, ripe strawberries provides just a glimpse of the exceptionally rich flavours yet to come.

Product Description
This Appassimento-style Cabernet Franc captures a deep ruby colour. Its aroma is of violets, plum, mocha, and hints of jalapeno peppers. It is a medium bodied wine that highlights bright fruit and ripe cherry followed with soft tannins. Pair with grilled burger, roast duck, or simply try it with goat cheese.

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Arboleda 2016 Pinot noir (mini review)

I last tasted the 2014 Cab from Arboleda and was impressed. This wine is garnet in color with a nice approachable soft red berry nose. On the mid palate this is a lovely soft pinot with soft red berries, strawberries and the like coming through nicely. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice smooth tannins and acidity. This is a well made softer pinot that would be perfect for dishes like salmon, or poultry. I would give it an 88 or so. Sadly not in the LCBO, $19.95 a bottle. This was one of the first wines I tasted at the recent Chilean wine fest in Toronto, and was one of the best pinots of the night!

From the winery’s web site:
Origin Appellation: Aconcagua Costa Vineyard: Chilhué Locality: Quillota
Climate: Cool maritime climate, highly influenced by the cold Pacific Ocean, which brings icy masses of water from the South Pole induced by the Humboldt Current. This results in cooling breezes that refresh the vines in the vineyard and promote morning fog.
Soil: The soils are formed over igneous intrusive and extrusive (volcanic) rocks in different stages of metamorphism, with a prevalence of metamorphic rocks such as schist and slate.
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir

Alcohol: 13.5% pH: 3.3 Total Acidity: 6.15 g/L Tartaric Acid Residual Sugar: 2.0 g/L
Vinification: The grapes were fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel tanks over 14 to 25 days at temperatures that fluctuated between 25° and 28°C.
Ageing: Barrel Ageing: Aged for 11 months in French oak barrels, 10% of which were new.
Ageing Potential: 6 to 8 years

Winemaker’s Comments
Bright and clean cherry red in colour, with captivating purity and freshness on the nose and aromas of sour cherries, rosehips and subtle earthy notes. The palate impresses with mellow bloody and saline nuances, typical from this terroir. It has delicate structure, great balance and fine tannins, and finishes with a fresh and savoury mouth feel.

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Culmina 2016 Decora (Riesling)

Another one from the Culmina wine tasting. Pale in color with a nice crisp nose. On the mid palate when first served the wine displays some very nice crisp dry notes, lots of minerality and some citrus notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some vibrant acidity that builds beautifully in the mouth. This would be a super food friendly wine. As the wine warmed up it evolved in the glass and the typical riseling flavors came through with some nice honeysuckle and maybe even some stone fruits. The complexity of this wine was excellent. I would give it an 88-89. Probably one of the best Rieslings I have had in a very long time. Not in the LCBO but available by the case from Woodman wine and Spirits or directly from the winery.

From the winery’s web site:
Harvested from the 6th crop of Riesling on Margaret’s Bench, and Latin for pretty or fine, Decora is an intensely aromatic Riesling that whets the palate with mouth-watering acidity. Showing delicate spice, floral, and stone fruit aromas, Decora displays pronounced flavours of citrus, mineral, and stone fruit, creating a wine of outstanding vivacity, delicacy, elegance, and style. $23
BRIX AT HARVEST 250
TITRATABLE ACIDITY 8.97 g/L
VINTAGE CONDITIONS RESIDUAL SUGAR 4.18 pH 325
ALCOHOL 13.5%
FERMENTATION 100% Stainless Steel
BOTTLING DATE March 7, 2017
AGEING POTENTIAL 2017-2022

Detailed information on the wine from the winery.

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Ventisquero Grey Glacier Single Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (mini review)

This was one of the best wines of the Chilean wine event in Toronto (IMHO) and was truly a stand out. And to top it off it is reasonably priced and there is some still in the LCBO. I have grabbed a few. Dark in color with a nice black berry nose. On the mid palate the wine impresses with some lovely, bold black cherries to match the nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some smooth velvety tannins, lovely dryness and complexity. The depth of this wine is shockingly good when one factors in the price. I would give this wine a 88-89. Yumm. Run out and grab some while you can … Why are you still here … GO!!!

From the LCBO web site:
Ventisquero Grey Glacier Single Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 — VINTAGES#: 485474
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
A fresh and minerally style, with focused red plum and dried cherry flavors that offer crisp acidity. Notes of green herbs and Asian spice show on the tannic finish. Drink now through 2019. Score – 89. (Kim Marcus, winespectator.com, 2017) $19.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:May 13, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 14.4% Made in: Maipo Valley, Chile By: Vina Ventisquero Ltd Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Smooth

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2015 San Fabbiano Chianti Classico (mini review)

Dark in color with a nice red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays nice smooth rich red berries to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely smooth tannins and complexity. A typical and well made Chianti Classico. I would give it an 88 or so. Not currently in the LCBO, $24 a bottle by the case.

From the winery’s web site:
San Fabiano Calcinaia Chianti Classico Docg ORG
It comes from the Sangiovese vineyards of San Fabiano (250 m). It ages in barrels of 2nd and 3rd passage for a period of 12 months and then it stays in the bottle at least three months. It is the synthesis of Chianti tradition: land and vines, combined with modern winemaking and more time to care quality. Suitable for ready consumption, however, it improves after a medium period of ageing.
Technical sheet
Grape: Sangiovese (90%), additional varieties (10%)
Vineyard Location: San Fabiano 250 m. asl, exposure South-West
Harvest Dates: From the second half of September
Maturation: 12 Months in barriques of 2nd and 3rd passage.

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Vegan and Vegetarian wines

You may have noticed wines now being advertised as vegan or vegetarian and wondered what that meant … In making wines there are sometimes large particulate matter left over. This can be from any number of sources including stems, seeds, bits of skin, lees etc. This can lead to a wine that appears cloudy (in a white) and can leave bits in the bottom of the bottle that can end up in the glass if you don’t decant. Some winemakers embrace this as a normal part of the process and choose to do nothing. In which case you sometimes see it mentioned as unfined, unfiltered.

There are a number of things that winemakers can do to remove this particulate matter if they so choose. They break down into two categories, (mechanical) filtering and using what’s called a fining agent. Filtering can be indiscriminate and remove more than a wine maker wants, resulting in altering the wine’s flavor and require cleaning. Fining uses a number of different types of agents, and is a place where a wine that is not vegan or vegetarian can come from. There maybe other ways a wine becomes not vegan/vegetarian but I am not aware of them. There’s a complete article on fining on wikipedia you can read if you like. But to give some examples of fining agents I will quote the relevant part of this article:

“Organic compounds used as fining agents are generally animal based, a possible cause of concern to vegans. The most common organic compounds used include egg whites, casein derived from milk, gelatin and isinglass obtained from the bladders of fish. Pulverized minerals and solid materials can also be used, with bentonite clay being one of the most common, thanks to its effectiveness in absorbing proteins and some bacteria. Activated carbon from charcoal is used to remove some phenols that contribute to browning as well as some particles that produce “off-odors” in the wine. In a process known as blue fining, potassium ferrocyanide is sometimes used to remove any copper and iron particles that have entered the wine from bentonite, metal winery and vineyard equipment, or vineyard sprays such as Bordeaux mixture. Because potassium ferrocyanide may form hydrogen cyanide its use is highly regulated and, in many wine producing countries, illegal.[7] Silica and kaolin are also sometimes used.[4]
Some countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, have wine labeling laws that require the use of fining agents that may be an allergenic substance to appear on the wine label.”

I reached out to Kacaba to get their take on the subject and got the following:
“There is no process to get a winery certified vegan or vegetarian right now. Here at Kacaba we do not use any animal based fining agents, we use bentonite that you mentioned in your article as a vegan and vegetarian friendly fining agent.”

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Culmina 2014 Cab sauv

I had the pleasure of being invited to a luncheon wine tasting with Sara Triggs from Culmina (which means peak in Latin) hosted by Woodman wine and Spirits at Kost. I had no idea the treat I was in for … The Triggs family have a long history in the wine industry having started Vincor. The story of Culmina is an interesting one with lots of careful research done to choose the site, and the specific varietal to plant in each of the 44 micro plots on 56 acres in Okanagan BC, a story best told by a Triggs!

This wine was one of my favs of the tasting. Inky dark in color with a bold expressive dark cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with dark cherries and some mocha backed up by big bold tannins and lively acidity. This is a BIG wine. And this is after they double decanted the wine 3 hours before the tasting. This is the kind of wine Okanagan does amazingly well. If you like your wines soft and elegant … look somewhere else! I would give this a solid 90. Not in the LCBO but available by the case from Woodman wine and Spirits or direct from the winery.

From the winery’s web site:
A classic expression of Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas of ripe blackberry, fresh sage, and cloves accented by a floral lift. The refined palate is mineral driven with a supple texture, bright currant flavours,and well-balanced toasted oak. The finish is long, charming, and persistent. $39

BRIX AT HARVEST 25
TITRATABLE ACIDITY 6.3 g/L pH 402
VINTAGE CONDITIONS RESIDUAL SUGAR 0.28 g/l.
ALCOHOL 14.000
ML FERMENTATION 100% malolactic
BARREL REGIME
100% French Oak 25% new 75% 1 yr old
MATURATION 16 months in barrel
BOTTLING DATE 2016
AGING POTENTIAL 2016-2024

Detailed wine information from the winery.

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2016 Jackson Triggs cellar selection sauv blanc

Pale in color with a nice citrus nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with nice citrus notes, and some mild zest. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice food friendly acidity. This is a milder more subtle but still varietal sauv blanc. I would give it an 88 or so. Approx $13.95 a bottle not in the LCBO, however conveniently sold at the Wine Rack which just happens to be located on my way out of Metro!!

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2015 Coffin Ridge Back from the dead red

Inky dark in color with a nice black berry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with nice dark berries along with some nice oaky notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some some nice smooth tannins and acidity along with some light mocha, rustic notes and some nice dryness. I would give it a solid 88.

From the LCBO web site:
Coffin Ridge Back From the Dead Red 2015 — VINTAGES#: 260463
STYLE – Light-bodied & Fruity
$19.00
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:September 30, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 11.2% Made in: Ontario, Canada By: Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery Sugar Content: 4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Light-bodied & Fruity Varietal: Red Blend
Description: Coffin Ridge, Grey County’s first commercial vineyard, began in 2001 and has gradually expanded from five to 25 acres. This wine is 40% Maréchal Foch, 25% Baco Noir, and the rest Merlot and Cabernet. The Foch brings brambly character, while the Baco adds savoury spices to the overall picture of tangy red and dark berry fruit. Lightly chill and pair with bison burgers or grilled wild mushrooms.This is a VQA wine.

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2016 Ciu Ciu Bacchus (mini review)

Dark in color, on the mid palate the wine displays some nice dark fruits backed almost immediately by big firm tannins and strong acidity. This is a big wine, with nice complexity that transcend the low price. Shockingly so. Definitely a bruiser to the palate. Be sure and pair this with something hearty or you won’t be tasting your food. I would give it an 88 or so. Which for the price is a good deal. I think the wine might be a bit young, if you prefer your wines a little less bold, check back on it in about a year. But given the firm tannins I bet it has a decent shelf life. Sadly not in the LCBO but available for $15.95 a bottle, by the case from Le Sommelier. Surprisingly as you will so below it is an unoaked wine.

From the winery’s web site:
BACCHUS Rosso Piceno D.O.P.
This ruby red wine, with purple shades tending to orange is a product of Montepulciano and Sangiovese vines that are carefully grown on the Marches hills. The wine is harmoniously delicate and tannic. It is dry, full bodied and tastes faintly tannic. It expresses its finest characteristics between the first and the second year of its life, although further maturation gives it a greater equilibrium and smoothness.

GEOGRAPHIC PRODUCTION AREA: The towns of Offida and Acquaviva Picena, in Ascoli Piceno province
SOIL medium mixture, quite clayey
HEIGHT 300 metres above sea level
GROWING SYSTEM spur pruned cordon
HARVEST TIME: first ten days of October
GRAPES’ VARIETIES: Montepulciano and Sangiovese
WINE PRODUCTION traditional red fermentation, with daily “punching down” for approx 10 days
AGEING: 6 months in stainless steel vat
REFINING: 3 months in bottles
ORGANOLEPTIC CHARACTERISTICS
Colour purple and bordeaux shades
Scent ethereal
Flavour harmonic, rich of taste, slightly tannic
Alcohol content 13,5%

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2016 Sacred hill sauv Blanc

My regular reader know I am a fan of Sauv blanc. Super versatile and food friendly. This one is pale in color with a mild grassy nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with lovely smooth grassy notes and elegant acidity. On the medium length finish the wine displays some mild pink grapefruit notes. This is definitely a softer gentler sauv blanc. I paired it with a pan friend chicken shnitzel and it went perfectly. I really enjoyed it. I would give it an 88+.

From the LCBO web site:
Sacred Hill Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc — LCBO#: 489112
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Alcohol/Vol 12.5% Made in: Marlborough, New Zealand By: Sacred Hill Wines Ltd Sugar Content: 4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

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2016 Cesari Bosan Ripasso (mini review)

For those not familiar with Ripasso’s they are a process used mostly in Italy where they take the grapes and re-pass them over the skins of another, typically more expensive wine. In this process the wine picks up a lot more complexity and depth than one would be able to get, all the while at a lower price point. This one is dark in color. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely dark berries and some mocha. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice firm tannins and acidity. I would give it an 88+. Not in the LCBO but available for $34.95 from Profile Wine group

from the winery’s web site:
RIPASSO BOSAN – VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO DOC SUPERIORE
This Valpolicella superiore, created from a blend composed of 80% Corvina Veronese and 20% Rondinella grapes using the ripasso technique, which is born of experience in creating the famous Amarone Bosan. In the month of March it undergoes a second fermentation, around 15 days, on the lees of Amarone Bosan. The resulting wine has a powerful, soft and velvety body with a predominant cherry bouquet, along with pleasant hints of cocoa, tobacco and vanilla. An excellent accompaniment to game, grilled meats and casseroles as well as very mature cheeses.

Tasting description
Brilliant with intense purple colour, the bouquet expresses its complexity by notes of red fruits and spicy cherries. Full bodied and harmonic, slight acidity could be enjoyed in the aftertaste, smoothed out velvetly by hints of cocoa and toasted coffee.

Alcohol: 14.00%
Total acidity: 5.80 g/l.
Clean acidity: 0.60 g/l.
Reducing sugar: 7.5 g/l
Net dry extract: 30.1 g/l.

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2016 Sandbanks Pinot Grigio

I haven’t been back to Prince Edward County (PEC) in a while, but every year DrinkInc holds a County in the City event where you get to try a host of wines from PEC. It’s always a nice treat. This wine is from PEC, in case you thought the earlier comments were miscellaneous ramblings :). This wine is golden in color with a nice nose of peach. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some nice stone fruits, think peach and the link. It’s slightly sweet but not too much. On the lighter finish the wine’s sugar does not linger at all. This is definitely a fruit forward pinot grigio. Perfect as a summer sipper or a great wine for people just starting to explore wine. I would give it an 87-88, not bad at all.

From the LCBO web site:
Sandbanks Pinot Grigio VQA — LCBO#: 372219
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
Pale lemon; refreshing aromas of citrus, lemon, lime, white peach and pear; dry, light to medium body with more citrus flavours on the palate and a crisp clean finish. $15.95
Release Date:March 31, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 12.5% Made in: Ontario, Canada By: Sandbanks Estate Winery Sugar Content:12 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry

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2015 Kacaba Cab/syrah

My regular readers know I am a fan of Kacaba winery. Their people are enthusiastic, friendly, knowledgeable and welcoming. No trip to Niagara is complete for me without stopping by Kacaba. They are quietly doing their thing advancing the wine industry in Niagara! This wine is inky dark in color with a nice black cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with rich vibrant black cherries along with a bit of mocha. On the long finish the wine displays strong peppery notes, firm tannins and lively acidity. This is a bigger wine right now, for some it might be too young. If you prefer more finesse give it a couple years. Shelf life should be excellent for this wine, easily 5 years or more. Be sure and pair it with something hearty, I paired it with a striploin and it went perfectly. I would give it a solid 89, $29.95 at the winery if there are any left!

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