2014 Chapel Hill cab sauv mini review

Dark in color with a nice varietal cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some lovely cherry notes dominating. On the medium length finish the wine displays some tannins and acidity. This is a smooth well made, food friendly cab. I would give it an 88 or so. It will be coming out in Vintages on July 8th.

Here’s the data from the previous vintage from the LCBO web site:
Chapel Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 — VINTAGES#: 965830
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
Open-fermented, basket-pressed, 20 months in French hogsheads (23% new). Strong crimson-purple hue; dyed in the wool McLaren Vale cabernet, with a whirl of blackcurrant, dried herbs, black olive and unashamed cabernet tannins. Will cruise through the next 20 years. Drink By: 2035. Score – 94. (James Halliday, winecompanion.com.au, July 27, 2015) $28.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:November 28, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 14.5% Made in: South Australia, Australia By:Chapel Hill Winery Pt. Ltd.Sugar Content: 2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry

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2014 Chateau Senejac

I recently decided to try something I hadn’t done before, buy a Bordeaux future. This is one of those. You buy them in advance of their release based on barrel tasting. Dark in color with a lovely cab dominating nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some beautiful rich dark berries. On the medium length finish the wine displays some beautiful rich tannins and acidity. This is a smooth well made, not edgy Bordeaux. I paired it with rack of lamb and it went perfectly. And dessert was of course a chocolate chip cookie. Yum. I would give the wine a solid 89. Which for $22 is well worth it. Fortunately I bought 4!!!!

Haut-Médoc – Red Wine
4 x CHÂTEAU SÉNÉJAC 2014 0426668 $22.00 RP 89-91 JR 16 DEC 87
SÉNÉJAC Cellar Starter 426668 (XD) 750mL
TASTING NOTE: The Château Sénéjac 2014 has a fresh, lively bouquet, those energetic blackberry and boysenberry fruit leaping from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied and tones it down a little. But there is commendable energy here, well-judged acidity and plenty of blackberry and raspberry fruit on the finish that linger long in the mouth. This comes recommended. Drink: 2018-2028. Score: 89-91 (RP)

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2014 Kingston Shiraz (mini review)

Inky dark in color with a mild black berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice smooth black berry to match the nose. Not quite blueberry. On the medium length finish the wine has smooth tannins and acidity. There’s next to no pepper on this one, to my tastes this is more of a Syrah in style. It’s super food friendly. I would give it an 88 or so. Sadly not in the LCBO. Another one off the wine list at Lord Nelsons.

From the winery’s website:
2014 SHIRAZ
CLARE VALLEY & MT BENSON
COLOUR: Deep crimson with purple hues
BOUQUET: Wonderful blackberry and pepper spice with a hint of fruitcake and menthol.
PALATE: Superbly full bodied with layers of lush dark berry and plum fruit with subtle pepper and eucalypt nuances. A smooth restrained finish is balanced by the soft tannin structure and lingering spice.
CUISINE: Perfectly paired with barbecued foods, richly flavoured meats and game birds.
CELLARING
Under ideal conditions will develop further flavour complexity to 5
years.
Alcohol – 14.5% Alc/Vol
The warm Clare Valley climate provides lush dark berry fruit characters, whilst the cooler ripening conditions of the Mount Benson fruit provide berry flavours and varietal elegance. The grapes were harvested at optimum night temperatures and Baume with individual vineyard selections kept seperately
throughout. Ferment temperatures started at –20°C then were all owed to peak at 28-29°C and conducted in small static fermenters before being drained and pressed from skins then allowed to finish alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. Maturation was in French and American Oak.

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2014 Humble Pie cab sauv

Dark in color with a nice smooth black cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine is a spot on Cali cab with lots of lovely black cherries coming through. Not super fruity, not too sweet, just right. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice smooth tannins and acidity. A super food friendly wine. I paired it with pan fried veal in a mushroom sauce and it went well. I would give it an 88-89. I had it off the by glass menu at Lord Nelson’s in Burlington. Not in the LCBO sadly.

From the winery’s web site:
HUMBLE PIE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014 USD$14.99
The 2014 Humble Pie Cabernet hails from four vineyards in the Central Coast growing region. The majority of the grapes come from Hames Valley, which is known for being one of the warmer regions in the Central Coast, and the San Lucas appellation which has the highest diurnal temperature variations of any appellation in California.

WINEMAKING: The shale-and-loam soil, plus the above-average temperature in Hames Valley and San Lucas for the Central Coast, leads to a perfect growing region for this 100% cabernet. Our grapes were picked early in the morning before the rains came in late October. After being picked, the grapes were immediately sent to the winery where the wine was slowly fermented at a cool temperature and aged on French Oak for 10 months.

TASTING NOTES: Initial aromas are black currant, cherry, vanilla, white pepper and strawberry rise from the glass. Humble Pie has a wonderful acidity which carries flavors of black currant, vanilla bean, cedarwood and a hint of cigar.

FOOD PAIRINGS: Humble Pie is a perfect stand-alone wine; it will also pair well with hearty meat dishes and wild game.

APPELLATION: Central Coast, CA. WINEMAKER: Tony Leonardini
ALCOHOL: 13.9%

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2014 Spy Valley Pinot Noir (mini review)

A reminder, when I put mini review it means the review is based on a small tasting likely at an event. This one is garnet in color with a nice soft red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice varietal pinot fruit, raspberry/strawberries. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice tannins and acdidity. A nice pinot. I would give it an 88 or so. Not in the LCBO right now, $24.95 when it comes back under vintages number 734681 or available by the case from Noble Estates. (Southern Valleys)

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2016 Closson Chase Pinot Gris (mini review)

Pale in color with a lovely stone fruit nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice stone fruit, peach and the like to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice acidity and mouth grip. it builds nicely in the mouth and would be VERY food friendly. I would give it an 88+. $22.95 a bottle but only available in case of 12 at the winery? This is made from County Fruit.

from the winery’s web site:
Winemaker’s Notes:
Fruit explosion in a glass! Orchard fruit, peach, pear, golden delicious apple leads to wet stone & citrus in the mouth. Finishes clean and crisp with good fruit and acid.

The Pinot Gris was handpicked and processed the same day. It was cool temperature fermented at 16 ⁰C for 10 days in stainless steel. Cold stabilized to 0 ⁰C after fermentation.

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2015 Sterling Vintner’s Merlot

Dark in color with a nice dark cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice dark cherries to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice firm acidity and tannins. The 13.5% alcohol is quite noticeable. Some breathing would definitely help. I would give it an 88 or so, quite nice albeit a bit edgey. To my tastes this is much more of cab than a Merlot.

From the LCBO web site:
Sterling Vintner’s Merlot — LCBO#: 622837
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
Deep ruby colour; ripe blackberry fruit aromas; medium-full bodied with supple fruit and integrated tannins. Well balanced. Ample fruit throughout $16.15
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:January 1, 2001
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: USA By: Sterling Vineyards Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry

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2012 Peller Signature series sur lie Chardonnay

Slightly golden in color with lovely varietal nose with lots of pear and apple coming through. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with apple and pear dominating the mid palate. This is a lovely bold, expressive, varietal chard. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice smooth vanilla and some slight creamyness. This is a smooth well made, not over baked chard. Yum. I would give it an 89 or so. I paired it with a sea bass and it was perfect! Did I mention yum? In case you want to read up on Sur de lie follow the link.

From the LCBO’s web site for a different year:
Peller Estates Signature Series Chardonnay Sur Lie 2013 — VINTAGES#: 383075
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
2012 was a massive year with much weight given to many Chardonnays – but here we have the more (for lack of a better term) delicate 2013 Sur Lie Chard – here the wine sees 30% new oak and 12 months on its ‘lies’ (pronounced ‘lees’ – aka: dead yeast cells) … the result is aromas of vanilla, butter, candied apple, grilled peach and green apple skins … palate is fresh, lively and fruit driven with the subtlety of apple, butterscotch and a nice spice on the finish. Score – 4 Stars (out of 5). (Michael Pinkus, ontariowinereview.com, April 19, 2016) $31.95

From the winery’s web site for a different year:
SIGNATURE SERIES CHARDONNAY SUR LIE 2014 $31.95 / BOTTLE
Our Signature Series Chardonnay ‘Sur Lie’ is harvested from selected premium vineyard sites within the Niagara Peninsula. The grapes are gently pressed to release the purest of juice, then barrel fermented and aged sur lie for 12 months in 100% French oak barrels (30% new oak).

This full-bodied Chardonnay has a slightly rich mouthfeel and just enough acidity to refresh. Flavours of tropical fruit and delicate notes of spice and toasty develop on the palate. The smooth finish lingers with spicy oak and grilled lemon. Enjoy this wine now through 2017.

Serve lightly chilled at 14 to 15°C. If served too cold the beautiful bouquet and flavours will be muted. A perfect rich, luscious sipping wine or pair with mushroom risotto; creamy mushroom soup; baked butternut squash; grilled pork chops with Dijon and tarragon; delicate cream sauces on pasta tossed with smoked salmon or scallops; grilled firm fillets of fish on cedar plank; roasted game hen with pine nut stuffing; turkey pot pies.

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Seven Falls Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Inky dark in color with a lovely nose of dark cherries. On the mid palate the wine displays bold rich dark cherries to match the nose. On the medium length finish this wine displays a lovely smooth acidity and tannins. And if that was the end of the review the wine would get strong accolades. But then it hit, an almost immediate and the worst allergic reaction I have ever encountered. A massive asthmatic reaction impacting my breathing. The wine on the back says contains sulphites which is known to cause such reactions but the levels present must be beyond anything I have ever encountered. If your sensitive to sulphites, avoid this wine like the plague.

From the LCBO web site:
Seven Falls Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 — VINTAGES#: 360222
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
Aromas of vanilla, herb, cocoa and barrel spice lead the nose of this attractive Cab. The well-balanced palate offers coffee and dark fruit flavors that transition seamlessly into a lingering finish. Score – 90. (Sean P. Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast, Sept. 1, 2016) $19.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:April 29, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 14.5% Made in: Washington, USA By: Chat Ste Michelle Sugar Content:5 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style: Full-bodied & Smooth

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Lawson’s Dry Hills Pinot Gris 2016 (mini review)

Pale in color with a lovely varietal nose of stone fruits, think peach and the like. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some nice peach coming through! On the medium finish the wine displays some nice crisp acidity and some nice mouth grip as the wine builds in the mouth. This is a spot on Pinot Gris, just the way I like them. Should be super food friendly too. This is another one from the New Zealand wine fair. I would give it an 88+

From the winery’s web site:
LAWSON’S DRY HILLS PINOT GRIS 2016
Region: Marlborough New Zealand
Winemaker: Marcus Wright/Rebecca Wiffen.
Alcohol: 13.5% pH: 3.55 RS: 6.8g/L TA: 5.4g/L Brix: 22 – 22.4

The majority of the fruit for this wine is from our own Waihopai Valley vineyard. It was cropped at low levels to achieve concentrated flavours and a rich, weighty texture. 10% of the juice was fermented with wild yeast in aged French oak. Aromas include freshly sliced nashi pear, lemon curd and almond meal whilst the palate which is just off-dry, add ripe, juicy stonefruit characters.

Cellaring: Enjoy whilst young or cellar for two to four years.

Food Match: Perfect with rich cheeses, roast pork with a pear sauce, creamy pastas, poultry and seafoods.

From the LCBO web site for a different year:
Lawson’s Dry Hills Pinot Gris 2014 — VINTAGES#: 415158 | 750 mL bottle
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
Pinot Gris is grown nearly everywhere in New Zealand, with more aromatic versions emerging from the cooler South Island. Despite regional variation, the vast majority of NZ PG is closer in style to Alsace, with great focus on texture and complexity. This example from Marlborough is complex, rich and ripe with lots of tropical fruit, honey, good weight, length and texture. (VINTAGES panel, Oct. 2014) $14.25

PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:November 14, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 14.0% Made in: Marlborough, New Zealand By: Lawsons Dry Hills Sugar Content:10 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry

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Maison Chanzy Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2015

Garnet in color with a nice rustic nose with soft red berries coming through. On the mid palate the wine displays some rich light red berries, strawberries and raspberries. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely smooth tannins and acidity. There’s some lovely mouth grip to this wine, it builds nicely. There’s some noticeable alcohol especially out of the bottle. This is a really good varietal pinot fr the money. Interestingly it is even labelled as a pinot noir, something the french don’t often do. I would give it an 89. Yumm.

Maison Chanzy Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2015 — VINTAGES#: 408153
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
Burgundy is a region with a reputation for expensive wines more suited to collectors and connoisseurs than for your everyday wine lover – and though many of the world’s most expensive and sought-after wines are certainly made here, the region is home to great value too. This ripe and structured example is a case in point. Earthy, with ripe red and black cherry, excellent freshness and spice, it is a supple, juicy, complex and inviting wine. (VINTAGES panel, Sept. 2016)
$22.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:April 29, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 12.0% Made in: Burgundy, France By: Maison Chanzy Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style:Medium-bodied & Fruity

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Sacred Hill 2016 Orange Label Sauv Blanc (mini review)

Pale in color with a nice citrus nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some subtle elegant varietal sauv blanc notes, think citrus and some grass. This is a more refined wine. If you like your sauv blancs edgy, this isn’t the wine for you. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice lively acidity and the citrus notes linger nicely in the mouth. I would give this an 88 or so. I am told this is coming to the general list under LCB number 489112 at $18.95 a bottle.

From the winery‘s web site:
VINTAGE SUMMARY: Spring was typical in Marlborough, with the vineyard team spending many a long nights fighting off Jack Frost. This flowed into a warm dry summer, thus laying the foundation for a quality harvest. Harvesting fruit on flavour, with a careful eye on maturity data, certainly paid dividends with harvest continuing until the end of April. Attentive viticulture and winemaking has provided us with many exceptionally good parcels of Sauvignon Blanc and the winemaker’s task of blending was a pleasure. Expect some full-flavoured, well-balanced and textured wines in 2016.

WINEMAKER’S NOTE: An aromatically intense wine showing aromas of white flesh nectarine, tropical fruit salad, gooseberry and lemon zest. Other aromas noted include quince, nettle, dried oregano and cut straw. The palate has a fleshy entry and seamless flow finishing with a lively crisp acidity – lingering citrus flavours and cut straw.

VINIFICATION: Grapes harvested in the cool of the night were gently pressed and the juice clarified quickly to retain the maximum aroma expression. Selected strains of yeast were added to fully capture the aromatic intensity of this vibrant Sauvignon Blanc. Ferment was undertaken at cool temperatures over several weeks before blending, light fining and filtration.

Variety: Sauvignon Blanc
Food Matches: Fish, shellfish or as an aperitif
Cellaring: 1 – 2 years
RS: 3.0 g/L Alcohol: 12.5% pH: 3.13 TA: 7.2 g/L

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Desert Wind Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Inky dark in color with an odd nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some strong black berries coming through. There’s some slight sweetness to the wine. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice velvety tannins and smooth acidity and firm dryness. The wine has a very odd flavor, not a typical cab. I found myself scratching things about it. Honestly, if I had more I would return them. I would give it an 87 or so … Yuk

From the LCBO web site:
Desert Wind Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 — VINTAGES#: 486985
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
Considered Zone 3, which is the hottest in the region, the vineyard block where this wine was grown features rocky soils and a gentle, south-facing slope. This complex Cabernet serves up rich, ripe dark cherry, cassis and chocolate. Pair with barbecued meats or black-bean burgers. (VINTAGES panel, July 2016)
$24.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:April 29, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 14.2% Made in: Washington, USA By: Duck Pond Cellars Sugar Content: 8 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Smooth

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Lawson’s Dry Hills 2015 Pinot Noir (mini review)

Garnet in color with a lovely varietal pinot nose, soft red fruits coming through. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some lovely red fruit, strawberry and raspberries. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice acidity and rustic notes. It has a lovely mouth grip to it. A very nice spot on pinot. I would give it an 88+. One of my favs from the recent New Zealand wine fair held at the ROM 5/10/2017. It’s not in the LCBO right now but will be from what I understand. For now it’s $19.95 a bottle available by the case from Wine Guru.

From the winery’s web site:
LAWSON’S DRY HILLS PINOT NOIR 2015

Region: Marlborough
Winemaker: Marcus Wright/Rebecca Wiffen
Alcohol: 13.5% pH: 3.6 RS: nil
TA: 6.0g/L Brix: 24.1

Our Pinot Noir 2015 was produced from carefully nurtured vines on our Chaytors Road vineyard, where the combination of clone, climate and soil produce something special. Small batch fermentation, hand plunging and aging in French oak barriques has helped to produce an expressive wine with strong berry fruit notes, lovely texture, great concentration and gentle tannins

Cellaring: Two to three years
Food Match: Enjoy in moderation with lighter red meat dishes

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Remy Pannier Sauvigon Blanc Igp Val De Loire 2015

Pale in color with a mild citrus nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some crisp citrus notes to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some crisp acidity and the citrus notes have some nice mouth feel. For a $12.95 a bottle this is not a bad wine at all. This is a Vin du pay not an AOC wine. There’a another one that is an AOC. I would give it an 88 or so. Not as vibrant as some on the mid palate but lots of complexity in the finish.

Remy Pannier Sauvigon Blanc Igp Val De Loire — LCBO#: 471318
STYLE – Light & Crisp $12.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Alcohol/Vol 11.5% Made in:Loire, France By: Remy-Pannier S.A.Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Light & Crisp Varietal

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2016 Riverlore Sauv Blanc

I last wrote up the 2015 vintage of this wine and enjoyed it. This has largely become one of my go to Sauv blancs. Inexpensive and tasty. It’s in the general list and of the ones I’ve tried it has been the best so far. I like Sauv blancs more edgey and sharp. This one is pale in color with a pink grapefruit nose that just jumps out at you. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with sharp, edgey pink grape fruit dominating the palate. If you like your wine smooth and refined, you will positively hate this wine, I on the other hand like it. The 2016 is even more boisterous than the 2015. I paired it with fettucine carbonara and it did a stellar job of powering it’s way through the fatty, rich saltiness. Yumm. A match made in heaven. I would give it an 88+. The LCBO describe it as aromatic and flavorful and I would whole heartedly agree! By the way if your looking for a good carbonara recipe check out this one on Delish.com. The secret in this recipe is finding the fonatana cheese and I substituted panchetta for bacon. I had a bit of hard time finding a panchetta I like. I started with a Maestro and it was as hard as a rock and too salty. In the end I eventually found a Casa Italia and it was perfect!

From the LCBO web site:
Riverlore Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough — LCBO#: 417600
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
Pale yellow green colour; aromas of ripe pear, gooseberry and fresh cut grass with notes of tropical fruit and lime; dry, medium bodied, richly textured, with balanced fresh acidity, flavours of gooseberry, ripe apple, fresh herb and tropical fruit, with notes of passion fruit and asparagus.
$13.95WAS $15.95 SAVE $2.00 Limited Time Offer Until May 21, 2017
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:August 4, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 13.0% Made in: Marlborough, New Zealand By: Wairau River Wines Ltd.Sugar Content: 5 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

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2015 Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay

Pale in color with a mild apple/pear nose. On the mid palate the wine displays varietal apple and pear notes to match the nose. On the medium length finish there’s some mild vanilla notes along with some nice acidity. This is a gently oaked wine. I would give it an 88 or so. It’s a nice chard for sure, and for the price not a bad deal. I’m not sure it’s about to displace the Sterling Vintners chard as one of my everyday gotos but variety is always a good thing.

From the LCBO web site:
Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay — LCBO#: 367698
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
Pale lemon; intense aromas of ripe stone fruit, apple, peach, citrus and spice; the palate is extra-dry and full body; well-balanced flavours with a creamy, buttery mouth feel and refreshing acidity with a long finish. $14.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:October 27, 2014
Alcohol/Vol 14.0% Made in: Wellington, South Africa By:Dgb (Pty) Ltd. Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Rich

from the winery’s web site:
VINIFICATION
All the Chardonnay grapes were whole-bunch pressed and the juice cold settled for two days. Thereafter the clear juice
was racked and some of the pure fluffy solids were added to result in an unclear high-quality juice. Natural fermentation
started in stainless steel tanks. After about 2°B was fermented naturally, selected yeast strains were added, and some of the
juice was then transferred into French oak barrels for the remainder of the fermentation. Still on its primary lees, the
wine matured for a further 10 months in barrel: 12% in firstfill and the balance in second-, third- and fourth-fill barrels.
During this time, the barrels underwent monthly bâtonnage (stirring of the lees) to enhance the mouthfeel of the wine.
The final blend consisted of 70% oak-fermented and matured and 30% stainless steel fermented Chardonnay. The latter
component was also left on the primary lees for the full 10-month period.

TASTING NOTES
On the nose: This bold statement wine, which is big onaromas and flavours, has a lemony, cinnamon and nutmeg
nose.

VINEYARDS
Chardonnay for this wine was selected from three areas:
Stellenbosch, Elgin Valley and Boschendal farm, from vineyards planted on well-drained soils. The variety of clones
within the selected vineyards gave complexity and character to the wine. Vines were spur pruned at the end of July, with
excess shoots removed shortly after budding in September. This was followed up in November, leaving only two to three
of the best-developed shoots per spur.

To ensure optimum ripeness, all grapes were hand-picked on taste and came in at an average sugar content of 22.5–24°B.
Harvest took place during mid to end February 2015, after a drier than normal winter. This was a challenging vintage,
where winemakers and viticulturist had to change strategies in the vineyard and cellar to adapt to the vintage to ensure
good quality wine.

AGEING POTENTIAL
Enjoy now but will age with much complexity for the next five to eight years

Palate: Zesty citrus and ripe tropical fruit flavours. Well balanced with a soft, buttery character from barrel fermentation and maturation add to the complexity and roundness of the wine.

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Gray Monk Cabernet/Merlot 2013

Dark in color with a nose of dark berries. On the mid palate the wine displays some mild black berries to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some firm tannins and some nice dryness. The fruit on this wine is quite subdued and it lives primarily in the finish. It’s not a great wine, but not an aweful wine. I would give it an 87-88. A little disappointing. The Pinot Noir I last tasted from this winery was much better. If I had others I would return them.

From the LCBO web site:
Gray Monk Cabernet/Merlot 2013 — VINTAGES#: 464123
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
Founded in 1972, Gray Monk is one of the pioneering estates of BC winemaking. Among other accomplishments, they are credited with planting the very first Pinot Gris vines in Canada. Their 2013 Cabernet/Merlot is floral and ripe, with an impressive depth of black fruit with cedar, herbs and chocolate tones in support. It will be excellent with lamb kebabs or burgers. (VINTAGES panel, Feb. 2016) $20.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:August 20, 2016
Alcohol/Vol 13.4% Made in: British Columbia, Canada By: Gray Monk Cellars Ltd.Sugar Content: 6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Smooth

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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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