Donnachiara Irpinia Aglianico 2017

Dark in color with a dark berry nose. On the mid palate the wine has some dark berries and black currant, quite jammy and fruity. On the lighter side of medium in length the wine displays some soft tannins and acidity. To me this was WAY too fruit forward for my tastes. I would give it an 87-88. If I had more, I’d return it. I’ve had way better Aglianicos … From the LCBO web site Check Stock:

Aglianico

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  262956$24.95JS94

Image for Donnachiara Irpinia Aglianico 2017 from LCBO

Now here’s a really exciting Aglianico. Full of life, it’s overflowing with sea urchin, oyster shell, hot stones, blackberries and steak tartare. As for the palate, it’s full in body, but very silky and sleek, tiptoeing with the grace of a ballerina through vibrant but concentrated dark fruit. Long and complex. Amazing value! Drink from 2023. Score – 94. (James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, Nov. 7, 2019)

PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:February 8, 2020Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:13%Made In:Campania, ItalyBy:Az. Ag. DonnachiaraSugar Content:4 g/LSweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra DryStyle:Medium-bodied & FruityVarietal:Aglianico

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François Martenot L’Or de la Terre Bourgogne Aligoté 2018

Pale straw in color with a mild mineral and green apple nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some sharp crisp green apple notes along with some nice stone notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays crisp, sharp, vibrant acidity. Acidity is the king in this wine, so pairing it must be done carefully. We paired it with alfredo and the vibrant acidity cut through the creaminess perfectly. I would give the wine an -88 which for the price is a bargain. I would pair this wine anywhere you might put a vibrant sauv blanc. This wine is from Beaune in the Burgundy region of France.

From the LCBO web site: Check stock

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  11912$15.95

Image for François Martenot L'Or de la Terre Bourgogne Aligoté 2018 from LCBO

Aligoté – the other white grape of Burgundy besides Chardonnay – is prized for its food-friendly acidity. This one also brings notions of fresh flowers, peach, pineapple and honey to the party and has a lovely mineral underpinning. It’ll especially shine with seafood. (Vintages panel, April 2019)

PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:February 8, 2020Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:12.2%Made In:Burgundy, FranceBy:Francois MartenotSugar Content:2 g/LSweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra DryStyle:Light & Crisp

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2017 Ephemere Rosé

We were up on a hunt for Snowy owls and visiting the Northern Hawk Owl and stopped by Holland Marsh Winery to hear what’s going on up here … This wine is an interesting color, kind of a faded, browning strawberry … On the nose the wine displays some soft strawberry notes. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice strawberry, cranberry and candied notes. There’s some sweetness at 10g/l but it’s balanced by some vibrant acidity. On the medium length finish the acidity coats the mouth beautifully masking the sugar. I would give this an -88, a very unique rose made from Gamay noir. At $18 a bottle it’s a bargain. Not in the LCBO so you will have to check out the winery for yourself! You will be rewarded. Be sure and check out there cab sauv, shockingly good! One of the things I’ve learned travelling to wineries in Prince Edward County is to ask, is it your fruit? Well I was surprised to learn all but the chard are grown by them! The chard is from Niagara.

Winemaker’s Notes:

Aromas of ripe peaches, cherries and rose petals. This structured rosé has vibrant strawberry and cranberry flavours, with a clean and slightly creamy finish.

Pairing:

Grilled seafood, pasta with rosé sauce or as a patio sipper.

More Details

Sugar10 (g/L)
Alcohol10.5%
Volume750ML
Free ShippingFor purchases that total $180.00 or more (Ontario Only)
2017 Ephemere Rosé
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Chateau De Chaintres Saumur Champagny Les Sables 2016

Quite pale, almost garnet in color with a mild light red fruits nose, raspberry and the like. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with soft red fruits dominating, some cherries and the like. On the light side of medium in length it displays some soft tannins and acidity. I was shocked to learn this was a cab franc, and it is probably one of the softest cab francs I’ve had. Honestly, blind it’s not easy to tell this is a cab franc. If you buy this wine be sure and pair it with something light , pork, or salmon or you don’t have a hope of tasting the wine. I’m hard pressed to give this wine more and an 87-88. It’s not a bad wine by any means, just very mild, if I had more I’d probably return them. Cab franc for the non cab franc lovers 🙂 This is a wine from the Loire region of France. From the LCBO web site: Check stock:

Cabernet Franc

750 mL bottle  |   LCBO#:  482793$22.75

Image for Chateau De Chaintres Saumur Champagny Les Sables 2016 from LCBO

Made from organic Cabernet Franc grapes hand-harvested from vines with an average age of 35 years. A fruit-forward wine showing vibrant red fruit aromas and flavours. A perfect match for a range of uncomplicated dishes.

PRODUCT DETAILS

Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:13%Made In:Loire, FranceBy:Chateau De ChaintresVarietal:Cabernet Franc

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Château Langlais 2009

On the lighter side of dark in color with a mild cherry nose along with some mocha and leather notes. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice dark cherry and mocha to go along with the nose. On the medium length finish the wine displays some fine dusty tannins along with some mocha notes that linger. This is a lovely approachable Right Bank Puisseguni Saint-Emilion region of Bordeaux. I would give this an 89 or so. A lovely wine with some nice complexity and dryness. From the LCBO web site. Check stock

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  463273$39.95

Image for Château Langlais 2009 from LCBO

A great opportunity to try maturing Bordeaux, and one crafted from organically grown grapes. Expect this to be a generous wine with a rich, silky character. It will add an air of refinement to a meal featuring lamb or braised beef.

PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:February 8, 2020Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:13%Made In:Bordeaux, FranceBy:G. Dupuy, prop.Sugar Content:3 g/LSweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra DryStyle:Medium-bodied & Fruity

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Famille Sichel Les Hauts de Bel Air Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Pale to straw in color with a mild citrus note. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some nice mild citrus, lemon, passion fruit and the like. On the lighter side of medium in length the wine displays some softer food friendly acidity where the citrus notes linger slightly. We had New Zealand Villa Maria open at the same time and it was interesting to do a back to back tasting of the two. This wine is definitely a softer, gentler, more elegant sauv blanc so it will depend on what your taste preferences are. After all, you may only be able to take one of these when your shipwrecked on a deserted island, so one much choose wisely. I would give it a -88. This is a wine from the Entre Deux Mers of Bordeaux and is 100% sauv blanc, no semillion and is unoaked. From the LCBO web site: Check stock

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  12098$14.95

Image for Famille Sichel Les Hauts de Bel Air Sauvignon Blanc 2018 from LCBO

Fresh and crisp with lemon, grapefruit, white flowers, a light herbaceous note, and a mineral lift on the finish. This delicious, pretty wine is a fine value. Pair with mussels or herb-roasted pork tenderloin. (Vintages panel, April 2019)

PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:January 25, 2020Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:11.5%Made In:Bordeaux, FranceBy:Maison SichelSugar Content:2 g/LSweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra DryStyle:Aromatic & Flavourful

From the winery’s web site:

A good, modern Bordeaux white made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes sourced from partner growers. Les Hauts de Bel Air White is a modern wine: intensely aromatic, fresh and easy to drink. Bottled early – only 5 months after the harvest – and aged in vat rather than barrel, the wine is very aromatic on the nose and refreshing on the palate. Enjoyment and satisfaction guaranteed.

BACKGROUND Maison Sichel has always held the view that, as a wine producer based in Bordeaux, the level of quality of our AOC Bordeaux wines should be irreproachable and consistently high. To this end, forty years ago, we became the first négociant in the region to invest in a vinification cellar. In creating Cave Bel-Air, we broke out of the mould of the traditional Bordeaux merchant or négociant to become, in New World parlance, a winery, responsible for the quality of its wines at every stage, from grape to bottle. Cave Bel-Air vinifies grapes from some 200 hectares of vines, making red, white and rosé AOC Bordeaux wines. It works in partnership with a limited number of growers, who all adhere to a Charter of Quality that covers all aspects of viticulture, such as how the vines are trained, how often they are treated against pests and disease and which products are used, control of yield levels and, finally, when and how the grapes are harvested.

SURFACE 19 Ha in white AVERAGE AGE OF VINES 30 years GRAPE

VARIETIES Sémillon, Sauvignon TERROIR Clay-limestone soils on the slopes of the Right Bank of the Garonne river and Boulbène in the Entre-DeuxMers region.

WINEMAKING/MATURING A great deal of care was shown to the vines and each bunch of grapes to ensure grapes of good quality: control of yields and of vigour (short pruning, the planting of grass, a synthesis of amendments), checks on maturity and reasonable protection. If the quality of the grapes is good enough they are harvested by machine, otherwise a team of experienced grape pickers pass in front of the machine in order to remove grapes of a lesser quality. Thanks to this selective sorting of grapes, we carry out 100% of the skin maceration before fermentation during 8 to 12 hours of cold under carbon dioxide gas. The grapes are then pressed using a pneumatic press. The juice is maintained at a low temperature (12°C) and protected from oxygen by the use of carbon dioxide. After the juice has settled for 24 hours, the wine is drawn off and put in stainless steel tanks with automatic thermo-regulators. The must is mixed with dried active yeast, specially selected for Sauvignon must. The fermentation temperatures are kept between 13 and 15°C in order to best preserve the aromas of Sauvignon. After fermentation the wine is racked once in order to remove the heavy lees and then it is matured for 3 to 4 months on the fine lees, whilst being stirred once a week. Before it is bottled the wine is fined and treated in the cold in order to avoid precipitation in the bottle.

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Riolite Il Poggio Guerriero Falanghina Beneventano 2017

Pale to golden in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice pear, and golden apple notes, along with a hint of pepper/zest spicy notes. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice zesty citrus notes along with some lively acidity. There’s some slightly creamy notes to the texture. In some ways the wine reminds me of an unoaked chard … I would give it an -88 or so. Quite an interesting unique flavor. From the LCBO web site check stock:

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  10950$15.95LM97

Image for Riolite Il Poggio Guerriero Falanghina Beneventano 2017 from LCBO

(Translated from the Italian) Absolutely the best among the white wines tasted this year: the Falanghina Beneventana 2017. A show of pear, grape and plum, thick pulp, clear fragrance, and wonderful gustative smoothness. Bravo! Score – 97. (Luca Maroni, lucamaroni.com, 2019)

PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:January 11, 2020Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:12.6%Made In:Campania, ItalyBy:Riolite Vin S.R.L.Sugar Content:9 g/LStyle:Light & Crisp

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Basic Intro to the Wines of Bordeaux

I’ve been spending a bit of time trying to sort out the complex region of France collectively known as Bordeaux. This is a lot harder than one would think. Those of you in the know will likely skip this post, but hopefully, some will find it helpful, if I get some things not quite perfect, please bear with me. Understanding the regions, the grapes and the labels will help you to spend your money wisely. Bordeaux’s can be VERY expensive but there are bargains to be had, with knowledge! I’ve collected/gleaned a lot of this from Vins Du Bordeaux web site:

Bordeaux is divided into three areas Left Bank, Right Bank and Entre deux mers. This graphic which I shamelessly pilfered shows the areas:

Wine regions of Bordeaux

From a satellite view it looks like this:

Satellite view of Bordeaux

It’s worth stating the obvious, wines from Bordeaux are pretty much always blends of grapes, ie NOT single varietals.

From Vinepair referring to the reds of Bordeaux: “Left Bank wines are mostly Cabernet Sauvignon fleshed out with Merlot; Right Bank wines are more Merlot balanced by a smaller proportion of Cabernet. The Cabernet-driven Left Bank wines tend to be higher in tannin — again, making them good candidates for aging, which helps to mellow out the tannins and integrate the flavors of the wine. Merlot-driven Right Bank wines are generally smoother, with softer fruit flavors and balancing.”

Merlot in Bordeaux is not the fruit forward, softer wine some have come to loath, but rather, are bigger bolder than that. Not as big as the Cabs from Bordeaux.

So now let’s have a look at these three regions. First off Left Bank which is made up of Medoc and Graves which themselves have separate regions:

Left Bank: Medoc: Médoc, Saint-Estéphe, Pauillac, Saint-Julien, Listrac-Médoc, Moulis, Margaux, and Haut-Médoc Graves: Pessac-Léognan, Graves , Graves Supérieures, Cérons, Barsac, and Sauternes

Right bank is made up of Blaye and Libournais:

Right Bank: Blaye: Blaye, Cötes de Blaye, Blaye – Cotes de Bordeaux, Cötes de Bordeaux, and Cötes de Bourg Libournais: Fronsac, Canon Fronsac, Lalande-de-Pomerol, Pomerol, Lussac Saint-Émilion, Montagne Saint-Émilion, Saint-Georges-Saint-Émilion, Puisseguin Saint-Émilion, Saint-Émilion, Saint-Émilion grand cru, Francs Cötes de Bordeaux, Cötes de Bordeaux, Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux, and Cötes de Bordeaux

Last but not least is Entres Deux mers, which is the region in between the two rivers. Very reasonably priced good quality wines can be had in this region.

Regions of Entres Deux mers: Graves de Vayres, Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux, Entre-Deux-Mers, Bordeaux Haut-Benauge, Entre-Deux-Mers Haut-Benauge, Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux, Cadillac Cötes de Bordeaux, Cotes de Bordeaux Cadillac, Cotes de Bordeaux- Saint-Macaire, Loupiac, and Sainte-Croix-du-Mont

Ok let’s have a look at some sample labels and see what we can glean from them. Spolier alert, it really varies …

LCBO Link: Chateau Bergey 2016

This wine is from Left Bank, Graves, Pessac Leognan region. Sadly no mention of the grapes and we can see it’s handled by TasteVin Selections here in Ontario. So this ought to be more Cab Sauv but who knows.

LCBO Link: 2009 Chateau Langlais

This wine is from the Right bank, Liberais, Puisseguin Saint-Émilion region. In this case they generously (and unusually) gave us the break down of the grapes. As expected on the right bank this is Merlot dominant. Interestingly there’s more cab franc than sauv! And it is represented in Ontario by United Stars. We even get some tasting notes … sweet!

LCBO link : 2010 Chateau Tour de Sarrail

Vins de bordeaux is a little more tricky and more generic. Searching on the winery I would guess this to be an Entre deux mers wine, but honestly the grapes could come from almost anywhere in Bordeaux. Local rep is VinoLuna and we have the grape varietals, and a tasting note! The back of the bottle actually has more information on it than the LCBO web site?

LCBO link: 2015 Chateau Des Landes

This one is from the Right bank, Libournais, Lussac Saint-Émilion region. This time they allude to it, but the LCBO site is even clearer, this is 100% Merlot. Again the local rep is United stars.

Reviews of these wines will be coming in future posts, so stay tuned!

As an interesting but useless (to you) fact of trivia I went back and categorized the wines I’ve reviewed in the last two years here on CanadianWineGuy and tallied them up, I’ve reviewed and enjoyed 7 Right banks, 3 Entres deux Mers, and 2 Left banks!

Hope you’ve found this little post informative/useful in some way …

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CREW Merlot 2017

Dark in color with a mild dark berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely dark plums along with some chocolate and mocha notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice pepper, and vibrant acidity. There’s some lovely soft tannins and nice dryness and complexity … Out of the bottle there were some wet, earthy notes that faded quickly. The alcohol at 14% is quite noticeable. This is another lovely, delicious year for this wine, and if you have patience I am certain it will improve in as little as a year and keep for at least 5. Crew are doing an awesome job bringing the quality level for lake Erie area forward. I would give it a solid 88 or so, which is a steal for the price. If your expecting a soft fruit forward merlot, nope not this one. This is a serious edgy merlot. Yumm. From the LCBO web site: Check stock

Merlot

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  310532$17.95

Image for CREW Merlot 2017 from LCBO

This Merlot from CREW is always a complex, fruity wine, with dark and red fruit alongside touches of spice and earth. Characteristically smooth and rich, it’s a great option for a red-wine beef stew.Read Less 

PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:February 8, 2020Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:13.7%Made In:Ontario, CanadaBy:Colchester Ridge Estate Winery Inc.Sugar Content:4 g/LSweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra DryStyle:Full-bodied & SmoothVarietal:MerlotThis is a VQA wine

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Domaine Les Pins Cuvée Les Rochettes Bourgueil 2017

Dark in color with a nice dark cherry and chocolate nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely rich dark cherry notes, mocha, along with some firm pepper. On the medium length finish the wine displays some firm tannins, nice firm pepper and acidity. This is a lovely varietal big cab franc. I would give this a 88 or so, which for the price is a good deal! This wine is from the Loire region of France. From the LCBO web site Check stock:

Cabernet Franc

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  478263$17.95WC91

Image for Domaine Les Pins Cuvée Les Rochettes Bourgueil 2017 from LCBO

Sourced from 10 to 35-year-old vines; this 100% cabernet franc has a lovely bright, medium-ruby colour. The nose is shy at first, but when given a chance to open, it shows aromas of dark cherry, strawberry, jalapeño and dusty rock. It flows on the palate with the freshness of juicy red berry flavours with spicy pepper kicking in on the mid palate along with assertive fine-grained tannin and recurrent minerality in the long, delicious, sharp and dry finish. It’s medium bodied with character and excellent structure and is a hit with grilled-rare ribeye steak. Aerate/decant an hour or two. Value. Score – 91. (Louise Boutin, winecurrent.com, April 17, 2019).

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PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:January 25, 2020Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:13%Made In:Loire, FranceBy:Pitault-LandrySugar Content:2 g/LSweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra DryStyle:Medium-bodied & FruityVarietal:Cabernet Franc

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2015 BAROLO VENDEMMI mini review

Ok, I should probably start out with I don’t buy or drink a lot of Barolos, they simply are out of the price range I’m willing to pay. This one is ruby in color with a nice dark cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice dark cherry notes, but not bright young cherries, more light wilted cherries … But this wine lives mostly in the finish where it displays elegant dusty tannins that build in the mouth and coat the palate. On the medium to long finish the wine displays some nice acidity and the tannins live on long in the mouth. This really is a super tasty wine. Nothing else is quite like a Barolo. Yumm, it is $68.75, sadly, not in the LCBO, available from Burgundy Direct by the case. I would give it a solid 89+. From Burgundy direct’s web site:

Note: Made of organically farmed fruit from commune of Barolo; Coste di Rose, Preda and Monrobiolo vineyards. Destemmed, softly crushed, indigenous yeasts, 30 day maceration-fermentation with frequent pump-overs.
 “Barale’s 2015 Barolo Vendemmia is perfumed, open-knit and inviting. Floral overtones and silky, red berry fruit give this mid-weight Barolo much of its sensuality and overall appeal. Spice, crushed berry and wild flowers develop later adding further shades of nuance. This is such a pretty Barolo from an estate that continues to make important strides.” 91 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous. November, 2019.

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Ridgepoint 2016 Merlot Cabernet Ripasso

Ripasso is a style of wine from Italy pioneered by Masi that repasses, or passes over the skins of a another wine that in turn imparts flavor and complexity. This particular wine has recaptured this spirit here in Niagara. Dark in color with a mild dark berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice dried fruits and rich dark berry notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays lovely bold tannins, mocha and the dried fruit notes linger in the mouth, particularly without food. This is a food friendly wine and is spot on to what one would expect from a Ripasso. A good rich, complex wine, for a reasonable price! I would give it a -88. Available at the winery for $20 a bottle.

From the winery’s web site:

VQA Twenty Mile Bench

This medium bodied Ripasso style red wine was made using the Italian tradition of aging wine on the pressed grape skins from Appassimento wines. The fermented Merlot was added to barrels containing the lees and skins leftover from the pressed off partially dried grapes used in our Appassimento wines. This process adds colour, texture, and enhanced flavour in this blend. The result is a wine that displays jammy dark berry fruit aromas and flavours supported by notes of vanilla and spice.

Serve at room temperature (16 to 18 C). Enjoy with grilled red meat, or charcuterie and hard cheeses.

2016 Merlot Cabernet Ripasso Image
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Cave Springs 2017 Dolomite Pinot Noir

Garnet in color with a nice strawberry/raspberry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays strawberry/raspberry to match the nose along with some nice rustic notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice tannins and peppery notes. This is a spot on, lovely, varietal pinot noir. I would give it an 88 … Very nice. Available at the winery for $24.95 a bottle.

From the winery’s web site:

VQA Niagara Escarpment

 About This Wine:This wine is named after a layer of dolomitic limestone forming the crest of the Niagara Escarpment. Through the forces of erosion, this ancient rock has come to enrich the soils of the Escarpment benchlands below. Grown in selected vineyards along these gentle slopes, this Pinot Noir bears the mark of its origins. The calcareous clays of these sites contribute to the delicate aromatics and silky texture that are this wine’s hallmark.  Origin:92% Beamsville Bench, 8% Creek Shores  Soil:Beamsville Bench Stony clay till composed of limestone mixed with sandstone and shale Creek Shores Lacustrine clay-loam till composed of red shale and sandstone mixed with limestone  Composition:100% Pinot Noir  Harvest Data:Harvest Date- Sept. 21 – Oct. 3
Sugar- 20.7 ºBrix
Titratable Acidity- 9.9 g/L
pH- 3.36
Yield- 3.2 mt/ac (59 hl/ha)  Vinification:7-day maceration followed by 7-day fermentation using selected yeast strains; barrel ageing for 10 months in older French oak barriques and puncheons, the majority being 2nd through 4th fill  Bottling Data:Bottling Date- October 2018
Alc./Vol. 12.5%
Residual Sugar- 3 g/L
Titratable Acidity- 5.8g/L
pH- 3.65
Production- 580 cs. (9L)  Tasting Notes:The nose is highly perfumed with lifted red berry and raspberry fruit alongside nuances of tilled earth and cedar. The palate is medium bodied with a sweet, supple feel up front, followed in the middle by an elegant harmony of dark cherry fruit and nicely rounded textures. Firm, well-integrated tannins build here, carrying saturated blackberry fruit and persistent notes of black top and smoke on the finish.   Taste Profile:Dry (D)  Serving Suggestions:Coq au vin, roasted pork loin, braised pork belly with choucroute, braised rabbit, seared duck breast, ossobuco, mushroom risotto  Ageability:Best consumed 2019 through 2022; will hold through at least 2024  Ontario Retail Price:$24.95   Availability:Winery Only

2017 Pinot Noir Dolomite | Cave Spring Cellars
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Velenosi Rosé 2018

Strawberry in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate there’s some interesting edgy strawberry and cranberry notes along with some firm acidity. There’s some nice red wine notes. It’s quite a nice, complex rose, different from others. It can hold it’s own reasonable well. I’d give it an -88 which for the price is not a bad deal at all!

From the LCBO web site:

Rosé

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  668772$14.95VIN88

Image for Velenosi Rosé 2018 from LCBO

Pale red-pink. Sweet aromas and flavors of herbs, bubble gum, red cherry and red apple. Also enters slightly sweet, but finishes rather bitter with hints of dried cranberry and flowers. Drink date: 2019-2020. Score – 88. (Ian D’Agata, vinous.com, May 2019)Read Less 

PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:September 28, 2019Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:12.5%Made In:Marche, ItalyBy:Az. Vitivinicola Velenosi ErcoleSugar Content:7 g/LSweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra DryStyle:Easygoing & FruityVarietal:Rosé

From the winery’s web site:

PRODUCTION AREA:   Company owned vineyards located in Castel di Lama

VARIETY:   Montepulciano 100%

ALTITUDE:   200-300 m  a.s.l.

SOIL:   Loam soil , tending towards clay.

TRAINING SYSTEM:   Guyot

DENSITY:   5,000 plants per hectare

YIELD PER HECTARE:   about 80 quintals

HARVEST:   Specifically selected grapes for rosé vinification are picked during the first 10 days of September.

VINIFICATION:   Once in the cellar, the grapes are destemmed and conveyed to the press. In order not to lose the main scents, the entire environment is covered with dry ice.  At this point a brief cold maceration is carried out for about 6 hours so as to extract the peak of the scents.  The fermentation is at a temperature of about 14°/15° C.  Upon completion of the fermentation, the wine is kept for some months on thin dregs to enhance its structure.

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Voyager 2017 GIRT BY SEA CABERNET MERLOT

Dark in color with a vibrant dark cherry nose that comes up and tells you straight off … this is going to be good. On the mid palate the wine spot on matches the nose with dark cherries, some mocha and chocolate. Yummm … On the softer side of medium in length the wine displays some soft elegant tannins and acidity that are beyond the wine’s price. $25 a bottle by the case from Rogers and Company (not in the LCBO). This was one of my favorite wines of a recent Taste Australia event …

From the Winery’s web site: 62% Cabernet, 35% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot

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Skouras Moscofilero 2018

This is a grape I don’t know at all Moscofilero but I was walking through the LCBO and they had this one on clearance, a few bucks off. at 6g/l I thought … sure let’s give it a go! Pale/straw in color with a floral nose with some honey suckle coming through. Not sure what it is about honey suckle but it’s something my nose picks up on right away. On the mid palate the wine is spot on the nose with some nice honey suckle notes along with some golden delicious apples. On the lighter side of medium in length the wine leaves behind some nice milder acidity and some citrus notes, crisp and dry. I could easily close my eyes and imagine this be in Alsace Riesling, similar to my tastes. I would give it an -88 …

From the LCBO web site: Check stock

Moschofilero

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  442178$17.95RP90

Image for Skouras Moscofilero 2018 from LCBO

The 2018 Moscofilero (as Skouras spells it) comes in with four grams of residual sugar, 6.6 grams of total acidity and 12% alcohol. George Skouras called this a rainy vintage (which he sought to combat in various ways described in the producer note this issue), but this is a pretty good result. In fact, you might want to buy a lot to drink over the next couple of years. They say fine wineries show their stuff in tough years. I guess Skouras is pretty good. The wine is sweeter (that’s a relative term) and rounder than the Salto this issue, which is mostly normal. It is a little less distinguished in some respects-power and persistence-but utterly delicious and far fruitier. Despite the sweet (again, a relative term) young fruit up front, it acquires more distinction as it airs and warms, showing stonewashed hints as well. It was more interesting the next day. The aromatics are always great. This is probably a more crowd-pleasing style than the 2017 Salto this issue, but it is hardly simple. In its youth, this is pretty irresistible. Drink it on the younger side for best results, but this screwcapped Moschofilero can hold a bit, if you must. Drink Date: 2019-2023. Score – 90. (Mark Squires, robertparker.com, April 30, 2019)Read Less 

PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:September 14, 2019Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:12%Made In:Peloponnese, GreeceBy:Domaine Skouras S.A.Sugar Content:6 g/LSweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra DryStyle:Light & CrispVarietal:Moschofilero

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Brella Pinot Noir 2014

Dark garnet in color with a mild red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice rustic notes, and somewhere between a raspberry and a strawberry in flavor … On the lighter side of medium in length the wine displays some soft, smooth tannins and nice acidity, nice and dry! This is a well made, inexpensive Pinot noir, for the price it’s another bargain. I wouldn’t think this will keep all that long, I’d consider it more of a drink now kind a wine. I’d give it an -88 or so.

From the LCBO web site: Check Stock

Pinot Noir

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  514786$16.95WAL90

Image for Brella Pinot Noir 2014 from LCBO

This elegant pinot noir has come into its own with softened tannins and a harmony of complex flavours. Notes of pepper, cedar, black cherry, bramble and tilled earth. Over time it has become notably less austere and, in fact, blossomed on the palate. Generous and richly textured with considerable length. Drink now or hold for another 2-3 years. Score – 90. (Sara d’Amato, winealign.com, Nov. 1, 2019)Read More 

PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:January 11, 2020Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:13.9%Made In:Oregon, USABy:Nw Wine Company, LlcSugar Content:2 g/LSweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra DryStyle:Medium-bodied & FruityVarietal:Pinot Noir

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Stemmari Nero d’Avola 2017

I’ve been on a bit of binge on Italian wines and one of the ones catching my attention lately is Nero D’Avola … This one is dark in color with a mild cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely vibrant black cherry notes along with some mocha. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice firm tannins and vibrant acidity, nice and dry. The cherries live on nicely in the mouth. I would give it an 88+ which for the price is a fabulous deal. While this definitely would be awesome with red sauce, we paired it with a striplon and it held itself well. Yummy.

from the LCBO web site: check stock

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  12165$14.95

Image for Stemmari Nero d'Avola 2017 from LCBO

This Nero d’Avola comfortably calls back to the Old World with nose of stewed stone fruit, graphite, and worn leather. Remarkably balanced flavors of dark berries, stewed cherries, and soft anise spice carry over a juicy acidity that seduces the palate. Memorably drinkable. Excellent, Highly Recommended. Score – 91. (Ultimate Wine Challenge, 2019) .

PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:January 11, 2020Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:13.4%Made In:Sicily, ItalyBy:Nosio SpaSugar Content:9 g/LSweetness Descriptor:D – DryStyle:Medium-bodied & Fruity

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Rcabernet Sauvignon 2017

Dark in color with a nice black cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some black cherries, blackberries and cassis. On the medium length finish the wine has some strong acidity, mild peppery notes and mild tannins. This is not a bad cab, but sadly, not a great one either. I would give it an 87-88. I bought two, will likely take one back.

From the LCBO web site: Check stock

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  13181$19.95

Image for Rcabernet Sauvignon 2017 from LCBO

This is a balanced, plush, bold Cabernet that hits all the marks. There’s a complex array of aromas and flavours to indulge in, including blueberry, blackcurrant, bramble, baking spice, mocha and graphite. Displaying great tension and backbone, this has the oomph for big dishes such as lamb shanks or venison. (Vintages panel, July 2019)Read More 

PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:January 11, 2020Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:13.5%Made In:California, USABy:V VinesSweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra DryStyle:Full-bodied & Firm

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San Fabiano Calcinaia Chianti Classico 2016

Every now and then a wine come along that makes you go … yummm. Ok, I probably should have led with spolier alert 🙂 Dark in color with a nice mild cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice vibrant cherries to match the nose, along with some nice tobacco and leather notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely, complex, dusty tannins that are best appreciated without food. It’s super dry and coats the mouth beautifully. Acidity is well balanced as is alcohol. We paired it with a red sauce based pasta and it went perfectly. This really is an amazing, well made Chianti Classico for a bargain of a price. This wine will easily keep a good 5 years I would say. I would give this an 88+. Why this hasn’t flown off the shelf is beyond me, it was release in Nov 2019.

From the LCBO web site: Check stock

Sangiovese

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  23408$21.95JS94

Image for San Fabiano Calcinaia Chianti Classico 2016 from LCBO

***LATE ARRIVAL. PRODUCT NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE.***A very intense nose of soaked fruit with blackberry compote, licorice, tea leaves, tobacco and ash. Full-bodied, very structured and serious, which is not something you can often say about a normal Chianti Classico. Chewy, but the acidity more than balances everything out. Drink in 2020. Score – 94. (James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, Sept. 11, 2018)Read More 

PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:November 9, 2019Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:13%Made In:Tuscany, ItalyBy:San Fabiano CalcinaiaSugar Content:2 g/LSweetness Descriptor:D – DryStyle:Full-bodied & SmoothVarietal:Sangiovese

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2018 Tawse Growers Blend Rose

Salmon in color with a mild strawberry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice sharp strawberry notes along with some firm acidity and some mild tannins. This is more of a fruity rose on the mid palate but more of vibrant acidity on the finish. An interesting contrast. I’d give it an 88 or so. Not in the LCBO but available for $20.15 at the winery.

From the winery’s web site:

Retail$20.15 Case$241.80VARIETIESPinot Noir GamayVINTAGE2018 COUNTRYCanada REGIONVQA Niagara PeninsulaAlcohol12% Bottle size750 mL DRINKING WINDOW2019 – 2020Winemaking Notes

The 2018 Grower’s Blend Rosé is a Pinot Noir- based blend with Cabernet Franc, Gamay Noir and Pinot Gris. To impart structure and colour, it was made using a process called “saignée” though which we combine the free-run juice of select single-vineyard red grapes before they are pressed. The result is a beautiful pale pink and aromatic Rose that is bursting with aromas of cherry blossom, ripe strawberry and watermelon alongside an almost confectionary-like sweetness. The palate is ripe with sweet strawberries and pineapple with a well-rounded mouth-feel. This is a very quaffable wine indeed.Growing Conditions

Sourced from select Niagara Peninsula vineyards. Viticultural practices included vertical shoot positioning, shoot thinning, cluster thinning, hand leaf removal and hand harvest.Food Pairing

Rose is always the easiest and most versatile wine to pair with. This wine is the perfect match for fried calamari, crab cakes, jerk chicken or a beet and goat cheese salad.

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Hahn Monterey Chardonnay 2017

Pale in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine starts off with some apple and pear coming through that are quickly overwhelmed by strong peppery notes and firm acidity. Not to the point of bitter, but close. The wine has some slight creamyness to it, and it’s nice and dry. For me, the fruit is being way overshadowed, I think this would improve in a year or two or with aerating, but for now it’s not to my tastes. Lots of chards are way more up my alley … I’d give it an 87-88. If I had more I’d return them 🙁

from the LCBO web site: Check stock:

Chardonnay

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  234393$21.95

Image for Hahn Monterey Chardonnay 2017 from LCBO

This winery is still owned and run by the Hahn family, who founded it in 1980. Their 2017 Chardonnay spent five months in oak and offers suggestions of buttered scone, apple and just-ripe banana. There’s a nice balance of fruit with oak and vibrancy with roundness, and the finish is tangy and gently toasty. Savour this through 2023 with barbecued scallops or lobster linguine. (Vintages panel, May 2019)

PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:July 6, 2019Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:14.5%Made In:California, USABy:Hahn Family WinesSugar Content:7 g/LSweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra DryStyle:Full-bodied & RichVarietal:Chardonnay

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Firriato Santagostino Baglio Sorìa Nero d’Avola/Syrah 2013

Inky dark in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some bold rich dark plums along with some noticeable oaky notes, and some mocha/coffee. On the medium length finish the wine displays some black peppery notes from the syrah, nice and dry along with some firm tannins and acidity. This wine has some nice complexity displaying flavors on a number of levels. I would give this an 88-89. We paired it with a striploin and yum, it went well, holding it’s own without overwhelming the food. For the price this is a good deal.

From the LCBO web site: Check stock:

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  291369$19.95JS91

Image for Firriato Santagostino Baglio Sorìa Nero d'Avola/Syrah 2013 from LCBO

Authentic wine from southern Italy, showing aromas of cherries, red plums and orange peel. Medium to full body, velvety tannins and a beautiful and shining finish. A blend of nero d’avola and syrah. Delicious now. Score – 91. (James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, Oct. 22, 2018)Read More 

PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:November 9, 2019Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:14.5%Made In:Sicily, ItalyBy:FirriatoSugar Content:4 g/LSweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra DryStyle:Full-bodied & Smooth

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2018 Domaine Queylus Rose

I finally stopped by the Domaine Queylus winery and did some tastings. They, sadly, were all out of the to die for, 2013 Merlot. This particular wine is 100% Pinot noir and is made using a process called Saignee that I’d never heard of. The wine is quite pale salmon in color with a mild minerally nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some interesting, unique flavors with lots of crisp dry minerality and some red wine like notes coming through. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice vibrant acidity. This is quite a tasty, dry, unique rose. I would give it an 88 or so. Yumm. At $23.95 a bottle, only at the winery, it’s quite a bargain! Oh, and the winery is pronounced Kaylus (similar to the Klingon Messianic figure).

From the winery’s web site:

A delightful pale salmon colour, this Pinot Noir Rosé has a lovely nose of peaches and pears, with overtones of cranberries and red apples and faint scents of wildflower honey. Over summer 2018, we expect this bone-dry Rosé to round out and show more light-raspberry flavours on the rich mid-palate and zesty citrus finish.

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Domäne Wachau Terrassen Federspiel Riesling 2018

Pale in color with a nice crisp, dry nose with some honey suckle coming through. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some nice varietal honey suckle notes with some nice dryness and minerality. On the medium length finish the wine displays some lively acidity and some citrus notes. This is not as complex or long as some Alsatian wines, but quite good none the less. I would give it an -88, super food friendly!

From the LCBO web site: Check stock

Riesling

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  491902$19.95WE89

Image for Domäne Wachau Terrassen Federspiel Riesling 2018 from LCBO

Subtle notes of mandarin and pear play gently alongside lemon on the aromatic nose. The palate is juicy and mild and the warm vintage expresses itself in citrus pith rather than zest. The finish is dry and fresh. Score – 89. (Anne Krebiehl, MW, Wine Enthusiast, July 1, 2019)Read Less 

PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:December 7, 2019Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:12.5%Made In:Wachau, AustriaBy:Domane Wachau EgenSugar Content:5 g/LStyle:Aromatic & FlavourfulVarietal:Riesling

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