Ardal Crianza 2013

Inky dark in color with a mild black berry nose, which is about the only thing mild about this wine. On the mid palate the wine spot on matches the nose with nice black berries, black cherries and the like coming through. On the long finish the wine displays some lovely palate coating dryness, nice tannins and acidity. This is definitely a bigger wine. The complexity and dryness are really noticeable without food, but not too overpowering. We chose this to go with dessert, chocolate brownies of course! And it went amazingly well I would give this an 89+ which for the price is a bargain. Given the tannins this wine will keep well. Don’t hesitiate to buy some for the cellar! The LCBO say full-bodied and firm … I say hell ya! Wimps need not apply!

From the LCBO web site:
Ardal Crianza 2013 Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon — VINTAGES#: 167601
STYLE – Full-bodied & Firm
This modern-style red delivers cherry, currant and licorice flavors, accented by espresso and mineral notes, supported by firm tannins and fresh acidity. Drink now through 2025. Score – 90. (Thomas Matthews, winespectator.com, Aug. 31, 2016) $19.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 17, 2018
Alcohol/Vol14.0% Made in: Ribera del Duero, Spain By: Bodegas Balbas Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Firm

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Raymond Reserve Selection Chardonnay 2015

Golden in color with a rich apple/pear nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with bold apple and pear to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays bold spicy, peppery notes that quickly overwhelm the fruit. The texture is more on the creamy side. There some nice vibrant acidity on the finish, and some big mouth grip. This is definitely a big chard. Be careful what you serve it with, too mild and not a chance your tasting the food. We tried it with scallops and it really overwhelmed them. Unlike some chards, temperature didn’t affect it much at all. This wine might improve with a little bit of aging when the bold fruit might stand a better chance of shining through. I would give it an -88 right now.

From the LCBO web site:
Raymond Reserve Selection Chardonnay 2015 — VINTAGES#: 716928
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
Tropical bouquet of exotic flowers, pineapple and papaya, dance with a toasty cream pastry on the nose. Full-bodied and creamy on the palate this is underlined by a refreshing acidity which bring[s] a ripe citrus note to the profile. Excellent. Highly Recommended. Score – 91. (International Wine & Spirit Competition, 2017) $24.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:March 3, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 14.3% Made in:California, USA By: Raymond Vineyard & Cellar Sugar Content:4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

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Rabl Kittmansberg Grüner Veltliner 2016

I love Grüners. For those that don’t know them, they are lovely crisp dry wines from Austria, although other countries are awakening to the grape including the Finger lakes in New York! This one is slightly golden in color with a nice crisp, dry, mild mineral nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with lovely crisp dry minerality coming through and a hint of lime. This is a super food friendly wine. It would pair well with anything from alfredo to spicy foos. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice dryness along with some nice acidity. The wine has some beautiful mouth grip that builds. I would give ti an 88+

from the LCBO web site Check stock:
Rabl Kittmansberg Grüner Veltliner 2016 – VINTAGES#: 346007
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful $16.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 3, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 12.5% Made in: Kamptal, Austria By: Weingut Rudolph Rabl Sugar Content:4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style: Aromatic & Flavourful Varietal: Grüner Veltliner

Description: The terraced Kittmansberg vineyard is comprised of accumulated loess (wind-blown soil) that provides excellent drainage. These are wines that are typically floral with citrus, apple and melon notes, and an impressive underlying minerality. Enjoy with cioppino.

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2015 Thirty Bench Winemaker’s blend Chardonnay

I previously rated the 2013 Small Lot chardonnay and was impressed. This one is much less expensive. Pale to golden in color with a mild apple/pear nose, spot on varietal. This is one of those chards that’s sensitive to temperature. Serve it too cold and your will miss some of the complexity. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with lovely pear/apple. On the medium length finish the wine displays lovely vanilla and some creamyness. The wine has some nice mouth grip. This is a lovely and food friendly chard, not over baked. I would give it an 88+, which at $19.95 a bottle is not a bad deal. I bought it at the wine store as I was exiting Longos. It doesn’t seem to be on the winery’s web site so I am assuming there is limited left. It should easily keep a year or two so don’t hesitate to buy a few!

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Santa Margherita Chianti Classico 2014

Inky dark in color with a with a mild nose. And the nose is about all that is mild a about this wine. On the mid palate the wine displays some bold black fruits. On the medium length finish the wine displays some firm tannins, firm pepper/spicy notes and some lively acidity. I would give it an 88+. I lovely bigger Chianti Classico!

from the LCBO web site Check stock:
Santa Margherita Chianti Classico 2014 Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot — VINTAGES#: 91694
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity $22.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:March 17, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: Tuscany, Italy By:S. Margherita S.P.A.Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style: Medium-bodied & Fruity Varietal: Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot
Description: The Santa Margherita name is well-known around these parts, largely because of their super-popular, versatile Pinot Grigio, which is the top-selling white wine in the Vintages Essentials collection. You can expect this Chianti Classico to be crafted in a bright, fruity style with underlying earth and spice tones. Try this with a meaty pasta or roast lamb with rosemary and thyme.

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2015 Thalia Red

Dark in color with a mild red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some soft red fruits to match the nose, I’m getting some strawberry like notes. The wine has some sweetness to it. The wine is on the lighter side for finish with some soft tannins and acidity along with some red berry notes lingering. I would give it an 87+. At $131.40 CAD per case of 12 ($10.95 CAD a bottle), from Kolonaki group. This wine is from Crete in Greece!

From the winery’s web site:
Made with Syrah and Kotsifali grapes this wine has with a ruby colour and a fresh nose that opens up to reveal red fruit, spices and earthy aromas. The taste is round, with soft tannins and good acidity, great presence in the mouth and cherry fruit flavour leading to a clean finish. Enjoy it with roasted, grilled or casseroled red meat, pizza, pasta or simply soft yellow cheese by the fireplace. Best served at a temperature of 18˚C and available in 187mL, 750mL bottles & 3L bag in box sizes.

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Château Sénéjac 2015

I last tasted the 2014 vintage of this wine that I bought through the Bordeaux futures program for $22. This time around I bought it through normal vintages and paid $29. Not sure if the difference is merely the futures program or not.

Inky dark in color with a lovely dark berry Nose on the mid palate the wine displays beautiful dark berries to match the nose, and some nice mocha to go along for the ride. On the medium length finish the wine displays lovely velvety tannins, nice acidity and pepper. This is definitely approachable now and is a beautifully dry and complex Bordeaux with not a flavor out of place. Yummm. I would give it a solid 90. Should be quite ageable too. LCBO says full bodied and firm and I would agree!

From the LCBO web site:
Château Sénéjac 2015 — VINTAGES#: 962977uct
STYLE – Full-bodied & Firm
This shows density and structure for a 2015 with ripe tannins and bright fruit character. Full body. Chewy texture. Extremely well done for Médoc. Score – 92-93. (James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, April 29, 2016)
$29.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 17, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 12.5% Made in: Bordeaux, France By: Nath. Johnston & Fils Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra DryS

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2016 Thalia Sauv Blanc Vilana

This wine is a blend of 50% sauv blanc and 50%Vilana. Pale in color with a nice floral nose along with some citrus notes. On the mid palate the wine when cold is a mild subtle sauv blanc that builds nicely in the mouth with nice citrus overtones. As the wine warms up the character of the wine becomes far more pronounced and the vibrant acidity and tartness come through. For the price this is a shockingly good one. But be careful with the temperature you serve it at or you will completely miss it’s complexity. I would give it an -88 or so. The LCBO say light and crisp, it ought to say light and crisp when cold out of the fridge. This wine would be a perfect summer sipper for the patio!

From the LCBO web site:
Thalia Sauvignon Blanc Vilana — LCBO#: 273490
STYLE – Light & Crisp
Clear, pale lemon; aromas of citrus, lemon, lime, green pepper, gooseberry and a touch of mushroom; extra-dry, light body, refreshing acidity and flavours of citrus and savoury dried herbs on the finish. $9.85
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:May 8, 2015
Alcohol/Vol 12.0% Made in: Greece By: Kolonaki Group Inc. Sugar Content: 2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry

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Ernie Els Big Easy 2016

Dark in color with a red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice soft red cherry notes. For a wine that’s 60% Syrah, the Syrah oddly isn’t coming through. On the medium length finish the wine displays some soft tannins and acidity. This is a smooth, easy drinking, fruit forward wine. The LCBO call it Full bodied and smooth? I’d agree with the smooth part. I would give it an 87-88. It’s a fine wine for just sipping at home on the couch.

From the LCBO web site Check stock:
Ernie Els Big Easy 2016 — VINTAGES#: 220038
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
The blend here – 60% Shiraz, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cinsaut, 5% Grenache, 5% Viognier and 3% Mourvèdre – may sound complicated, but hey, it’s Big Easy. The 2016 vintage of this perennial customer favourite tees up tangy raspberry and sour cherry fruit in an approachable style. Sip with burgers or clubhouse sandwiches. (Vintages panel, June 2017) $19.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:March 17, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 14.5% Made in:Western Cape, South Africa By:Ernie Els Wines (Pty) LtdSugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry

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Coopers Hawk 2016 Reserve Cab Franc Merlot mini review

Cooper’s Hawk is located near Lake Erie. I first encountered them at a taste Ontario event and was impressed, the same place I ran into them this time too! Dark in color with a nice nose of dark berries. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with loads of black berries. On the medium length finish the wine displays some smooth tannins, acidity and some nice dryness. A simple easy drinking wine. I would give it an 88 or so! The LCBO refer to it as Medium-bodied & Fruity and I would agree. This by the way is a general list product when you go looking for it.

From the LCBO web site Check LCBO stock:
Cooper’s Hawk Reserve Cabernet/Merlot VQA — LCBO#: 328013
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
This is an intriguingly perfumed, savoury, Italianate style cabernet merlot from Lake Erie that hits lots of dusty red and black fruit, resinous herb and spice notes – inviting, zesty and food friendly. Tannins are light and dusty and the finish is above average. This is drinking well now. Tasted April 2013. Score – 88. (John Szabo, MS, winealign.com, May 1, 2013) $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:October 2, 2014
Alcohol/Vol 13.7% Made in: Ontario, Canada By:Cooper’s Hawk VineyardsSugar Content: 5 g/LSweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style: Medium-bodied & Fruity

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2015 Wayne Gretzky Pinot Noir mini review

Garnet in color with a lovely varietal soft red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely rich, bold red fruites, strawberry and raspberries. I’d hear about this wine, and was anxious to taste it, and it didn’t disappoint. On the medium length finish the wine displays some firm acidity and tannins. The wine might be just a little young right now, but a lovely pinot none the less. I would give it an 88+ !! Not in the LCBO but available from the winery for $29.95 a bottle.

From the winery’s web site:
Medium-bodied, elegant and fruit forward, this Pinot Noir shows wonderful fruit flavours of cherry and red berry, with a touch of spice and oak. The soft tannins leave a slight drying sensation on the finish with flavours of red berry tea, spice and pomegranate.

Serve with Portobello mushroom burgers, mushroom risotto, meaty lasagna, beef tenderloin (and left over beef wraps), or pizzas. Chill wine for 20 minutes before serving to bring out the fruit flavours. Drink now to 2019.

CRITICAL ACCLAIM:
Silver Medal – WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada 2017

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Wine events

I thought I would post a few unique upcoming wine events you might be interested in. First and foremost, if you haven’t already take a moment and subscribe to The Juice a weekly newsletter of wine events in your area. A great resource.

I’ve been to Prince Edward County a couple of time, actually due for a trip back! Once a year there is a gathering of County wines held here in downtown Toronto called County in the City that is a unique chance to try a lot of Prince Edward County wines in a single evening.

My regular readers know that I’ve recently been exploring, and been suitably impressed by, a number of Greek wines. A new event has just been released that is a portfolio tasting of Kolonaki Group’s offerings. This is another unique opportunity to try a number of Greek products in one evening! Register now!

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2012 Redstone limestone vineyard pinot noir

I love pinot noirs. So food friendly. Salmon, veal, poultry … And Niagara does some amazing ones! Varietal and yummy. I last reviewed Redstone’s Cab Franc and was impressed. Redstone are doing some great work! This one is garnet in color with a nice mild red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely strawberries to match the nose along with some nice firm tannins, acidity and rustic notes on the medium length finish. This is another well made yummy pinot noir. I would give it an 88 or so, which for the price is excellent.

From the LCBO web site Check LCBO stock:
Redstone Limestone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 — VINTAGES#: 546473
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
This elegant, sustainably farmed Pinot Noir shows pretty floral notes, raspberry, red cherry, strawberry and smoke, with good depth of flavour and brilliant, food-friendly acidity. Pour with prime rib and root vegetables. (Vintages panel, Aug. 2017) $22.00
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:March 17, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 12.5% Made in:Ontario, Canada By: Redstone Winery Inc. Sugar Content:6 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style: Medium-bodied & Fruity Varietal:Pinot Noir Description: Redstone was named Winery of the Year at the 2017 National Wine Awards of Canada.

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Rustenberg Buzzard Kloof Syrah 2014

As we all know, Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape with different names. The difference being the style the wine is made in. This one is inky dark in color with a mild black berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely vibrant black berries to match the nose, maybe even blueberry. On the medium length finish the wine packs a punch with BIG pepper notes, firm acidity and firm tannins. This is a BIG wine. The dark berries live on nicely in the mouth. This wine is absolutely not for wimps 🙂 It’s quite a complex bruiser of a wine. You could close your eyes and believe this to be a well made Aussie shiraz and I mean that as a compliment. I would give it an 89 or so. The LCBO say full bodied and firm … I would say hell ya! Yum. Be sure and pair it with something with some bite or not a chance your tasting ANYTHING but the wine.

From the LCBO web site:
Rustenberg Buzzard Kloof Syrah 2014 — VINTAGES#: 414151
STYLE – Full-bodied & Firm
The name ‘Buzzard Kloof’ comes from the buzzards that can be seen circling above the kloof (ravine) within which the vineyard resides. The wine offers up boysenberry, blueberry, sweet spices and black pepper notes wrapped in chewy tannins. Drink now through 2022 with beef or mushroom burgers. (Vintages panel, Jan. 2018) $24.95

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Mathieu Paquet Pinot Noir 2016

When I first read the back of the wine I saw an AOP designation and thought, ok WTF is that? Well it seems I’m a little behind in my French wine legislation reading 🙂 Turns out Appellation d’Origine Protégée or AoP is the new top of the quality designations. A great article from the International Wine Guid explained the new laws.

This wine is garnet in color with a nice soft red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some soft red berries, think raspberries and the like along with some unusual flavors. This LCBO describe what they call new leather, and that may be it. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice dryness, acidity and tannins. I can’t say I loved this wine, and frankly if I had more I’d return them. I would give it an 87-88, not really to my tastes.

From the LCBO web site Check stock:
Mathieu Paquet Pinot Noir 2016 — VINTAGES#: 527937
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
Bright and pretty, with notes of raspberry and strawberry, intriguing tones of new leather and a refreshing acidity. It’s soft, easy-drinking and great value. Enjoy this tonight with roast beef or mild cheeses or cellar for 3+ years. (Vintages panel, May 2017) $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 17, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 12.4% Made in:Burgundy, France By: Mathieu Paquet Montagnac Bourgogne Sugar Content: 4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry

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Hãhã Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Pale in color with a citrus nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some softer citrus notes. On the medium length finsih the wine displays some nice acidity and dryness. Not a bad sauv blanc, but I prefer them a little more boisterous. This one would be more “elegant” in style. I would give it an -88

From the LCBO web site Check stock:
Hãhã Sauvignon Blanc 2016 — VINTAGES#: 388363
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
Youthful, bright and elegantly fragrant, the bouquet shows feijoa, white stone fruit, lime zest and passionfruit aromas, leading to a concentrated and focused palate that is lively and vibrant. The wine offers excellent fruit purity and intensity, wonderfully framed by juicy acidity. A delightful sauvignon offering plenty of delectable flavours. At its best: now to 2019. Score – 93. (Sam Kim, wineorbit.co.nz, Nov. 2016) $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 17, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 13.0% Made in: Marlborough, New Zealand By: Haha Wine Company Ltd Sugar Content: 2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

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Sister’s Run Old Testament Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Dark in color with a nice red cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some juicy red cherries coming through. On the medium length finsih the wine displays some nice dryness and smooth tannins. A super food friendly cab, that definitely leans more towards fruit forward. I would give it an 88 or so, which for the price is not bad. The LCBO call it full bodied and smooth and I would have to agree!

From the LCBO web site Check stock:
Sister’s Run Old Testament Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 — VINTAGES#: 478271
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
$16.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 3, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 14.5% Made in:South Australia, Australia By: Heirloom Vineyards Wine Company Pty Sugar Content: 2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry Style: Full-bodied & Smooth Varietal:Cabernet Sauvignon
Description: Cabernet Sauvignon is the king of wines, and the famous terra rossa soils of Coonawarra are where you’ll find the grape’s throne room in Australia. It’s here that vines, grown in iron-oxide-rich soils atop a limestone base, produce Australia’s most renowned Cabernets. This single-vineyard example will be a textured, layered, complex wine with rich dark fruit accented by chocolate and spice notes. Ideal for a wide range of barbecue fare.

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Château Recougne 2014

Dark in color with a mild red berry nose along with some oak. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice smooth red berries, plum and cherries along with some noticeable oak. The cab franc in spite of being so small in the blend is noticeable. On the medium length finish the wine displays some bright acidity along with some mild tannins, and some nice dryness. The wine is a little young and could use about a year to soften a bit. I would give it an 88 or so. For the price, not a bad deal! The LCBO say medium bodied and fruity and I’d agree.

From the LCBO web site:
Château Recougne 2014 — VINTAGES#: 368167
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
The Château Recougne 2014 is a blend of 90% Merlot, 2% Carmenere and 8% Cabernet Franc. It has a lovely, well-defined and vibrant nose, classic in style just like the old school label. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh red berry fruit, a keen line of acidity, plenty of vibrant cherries coming towards the graphite tinged finish. If you want a well crafted old fashioned Bordeaux wine, look no further! This is a great success for the estate under the guiding hand of Dr. Alain Raynaud. Drink Date: 2017-2024. Score – 89-91. (Neal Martin, robertparker.com, April 29, 2015 ) $15.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 17, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 14.0% Made in: Bordeaux, France By: Vignobles Xavier Milhade Sugar Content: 3 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style: Medium-bodied & Fruity

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Thema White 2015

Those of my regular readers know I love sauv blancs … and have been exploring wines of Greece. Thus we have this wine. Pale in color with a citrus as well as a hint of honey suckle on the nose. On the mid palate the wine offers some nice crisp citrus notes, some floral notes and some honey suckle to match the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice lively acidity and dryness. It has some lovely mouth grip and complexity. This is a very nice wine. A unique flavor. I’m not even sure I did it justice. It’s a very food friendly wine. I would give it an 88 or so. Drink young, the wine not you :)-

From the LCBO web site:
Thema White 2015 — VINTAGES#: 178442
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
This blend starts with panache, offering aromas of vanilla cream, lemon, banana and crushed herbs. On the palate, it balances brisk acidity with alluring citrus and melon fruit flavors. The wine has a spicy spin that gives it extra spunk.Ranked #90 on the 2016 Wine Enthusiast Top 100. Score – 92. (Susan Kostrzewa, Wine Enthusiast, Aug. 1, 2016) $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 17, 2018
Alcohol/Vol13.1% Made in: Drama, Greece By: Ktima Pavlidis Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

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Barossa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 mini review

Inky dark in color with a lovely varietal red cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with lovely rich bold red cherries coming through. This is definitely more of a fruit forward cab. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice dryness, smooth tannins and acidity. The LCBO refer to it as full bodied and smooth and I think that’s pretty accurate. They also mention min in the tasting notes, I don’t get that. I would give it an 88+. A few still left around the province.

from the LCBO web site:
Barossa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 — VINTAGES#: 493551
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth
Barossa Valley Estate is committed to producing only three wines – Shiraz, GSM and this Cabernet Sauvignon – all reds and all reflective of what they believe to be the very best that the Barossa Valley region has to offer. The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon offers eucalyptus and mint with roasted red pepper, cassis and black fruit with bramble and savoury undertones. Ripe, round, long and youthful. (Vintages panel, Oct. 2016) $18.75
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:August 5, 2017
Alcohol/Vol 14.3% Made in: South Australia, Australia By: Delegat Limited Sugar Content: 3 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Smooth

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Château d’Argadens Blanc 2016

Pale in color with a nice citrus note. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice crisp citrus notes to match the nose along with some floral hints. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice crisp food friendly acidity. White Bordeaux = Sauv Blanc often blended with Semillon and this one is pretty much what you’d expect. It’s a softer, more refined, less boisterous sauv blanc. I’d give it an 88 or so. There are more expressive sauv blancs from Ne Zealand for similar to lower prices but it depends on what your looking for.

From the LCBO web site:
Château d’Argadens Blanc 2016 — VINTAGES#: 159111
STYLE – Light & Crisp $17.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:January 6, 2018
Alcohol/Vol12.0% Made in: Bordeaux, France By: Famille Sichel Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Light & Crisp Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon Description The Sichel family, who also own Château d’Angludet, acquired Château d’Argadens in 2002 and since then have produced excellent wines at this estate. This 2016 Blanc blends 65% Sauvignon Blanc with 35% Semillon, lending grassy overtones to the gooseberry and pear fruit. Enjoy, lightly chilled, as an aperitif or with bouillabaisse.

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Ardal Crianza 2013

I’ve had this one before and been impressed, so when I saw it on the recent release I grabbed it. Inky dark in color with a mild nose. About the only thing about this wine that is mild. On the medium length finish the wine displays some big, bold, black berry fruit, and some mocha. On the longer finish the wine displays some lively acidity, firm tannins and lovely dryness. The complexity of this wine rises well above it’s price. The LCBO describe this as full bodied and firm and I’d definitely agree. I would give it an 88+. Be sure and pair it with something BIG or your won’t be tasting anything but the wine!! Given the tannins in this wine I would say it would have no problem holding it’s own for a couple years at least!

From the LCBO web site:
Ardal Crianza 2013 — VINTAGES#: 167601
STYLE – Full-bodied & Firm
This modern-style red delivers cherry, currant and licorice flavors, accented by espresso and mineral notes, supported by firm tannins and fresh acidity. Drink now through 2025. Score – 90. (Thomas Matthews, winespectator.com, Aug. 31, 2016) $19.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 17, 2018
Alcohol/Vol 14.0% Made in: Ribera del Duero, Spain By: Bodegas Balbas Sugar Content:2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Firm Varietal:Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon Description This wine is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.

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2017 Stoneleigh Sauv blanc

Stoneleigh Sauv Blanc has been a stable performer for quite a while. This is my first of the 2017 vintage. Pale in color with a pink grapefruit nose. This was super obvious right off the bat. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some nice pink grapefruit notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some vibrant acidity, this is a fairly food friendly wine. Whether you love it or hate it will depend on if you like grapefruit. I’d give it an -88.

From the LCBO web site:
Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc — LCBO#: 293043
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
Looking for something to please everyone? This famed New Zealand white has classic Sauvignon Blanc flavours of gooseberry, herbs and tropical fruit. It’s excellent with our scallops and chorizo bites. $17.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:November 18, 2016
Alcohol/Vol 13.0% Made in: New Zealand By:Pernod Ricard Pacific Pty Ltd Sugar Content:5 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

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2015 Chloe Chardonnay

This is a general list wine. Pale in color with nice varietal nose with apple and pear coming through. On the mid palate the wine displays spot on varietal notes with apple and pear being dominant. The fruit it quite expressive. On the medium length finish the wine displays lovely dryness along with some vanilla notes, some mild spicy notes along with some nice creamyness. This is a lovely chard that transcends it’s humble price. I would give it an 88+. Very nice. Not over oaked, but not under either. Yum. The LCBO say full bodied and rich and I would whole heartedly agree!!

From the LCBO web site:
Chloe Chardonnay — LCBO#: 392597
STYLE – Full-bodied & Rich
Medium lemon in colour; delicate aromas of apple and melon; the palate is dry and full body with flavours of apple, pear, toast, spice and vanilla with a toasty creamy texture. $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:October 15, 2014
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in: California, USA By:Chloe Wines Sugar Content:4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

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Curtefranca Rosso Vigna Santella del Grom 2013

Another one from the Riccardo Ricci Curbastro tasting. This one is 30% Cab Franc, 12% Carménère 20% Cab sauv, 28% Merlot and 10% Barbera. I have to admit I had not heard of Carménère growing in Italy. And I had more widely associated it with Chile. In the Wikipedia article I learned it is a member of the Cabernet family of grapes, and it is considered part of the original six red grapes of Bordeaux, in spite of rarely being found in France today. Huh … who knew. Inky dark in color with a nice dark berry nose along with some oaky notes. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with nice black berry notes. On the medium length finish the wine has some nice dryness, complexity and tannins. This is a very approachable wine even now. I quite enjoyed it. I would give it an 88 or so. No in the LCBO but available from WineMoves for $26.95 a bottle in cases of 6.

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