Fontanafredda Langhe Nebbiolo 2017

Nebbiolo is the grape used in Barolos and Barbarescos, and when they are simply referred to by the grape as this one is, you can sometimes get some bargains. This one is dark in color with a nice red berry nose. Straight out of the bottle the alcohol is super noticeable. I chose to decant it and this helped a lot. I think the wine is just a little young. On the medium length finish this wine displays some lovely tannins and acidity that coat the mouth in typical Nebbiolo form. For the price this is a good wine and it can hold it’s own with pretty lively meals. We paired it with a red sauce spaghetti and it went well! I would give it an -88 or so.

From the LCBO web site: Check stock

750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  638312$19.95

Image for Fontanafredda Langhe Nebbiolo 2017 from LCBO

Made from the Nebbiolo grape of Barolo and Barbaresco fame, this wine is grown in limestone-rich hillside vineyards and matured in oak for eight months. It’s solidly structured, balanced and quite elegant, with plenty of tangy red fruit character. A nice choice for cured meats and firm cheeses. (Vintages panel, July 2018)

PRODUCT DETAILS

Release Date:April 13, 2019Bottle Size:750 mL bottleAlcohol/Vol:13.3%Made In:Piedmont, ItalyBy:FontanafreddaSugar Content:5 g/LSweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra DryStyle:Full-bodied & FirmVarietal:Nebbiolo

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Clayhouse Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Dark in color with a mild cherry nose. This wine is of two profiles, with and without food. Without food the wine displays some nice vibrant cherries to match the nose along with some nice mocha notes, and a hint of oak. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice dryness, smooth tannins and nice acidity. With food it’s a lot softer so this is a food friendly wine but it needs to be something on the milder side. I paired it with lasagna and honestly it overwhelmed it. Salmon would seem like the perfect pairing. I would give it an 88 or so. A perfect sipping wine.

From the LCBO web site:
Clayhouse Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 — VINTAGES#: 57869
STYLE – Full-bodied & Smooth $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 2, 2019
Alcohol/Vol 14.5% Made in: California, USA By: Vintage Wine Estates Sugar Content: 4 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style: Full-bodied & Smooth Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon Description: Clayhouse, who specialize in small-lot winemaking, source all of their grapes from the Red Cedar Vineyard. The winery is 90% solar powered and Clayhouse is certified by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. This Cabernet will have the lush, smooth character of Paso Robles and will be approachable and rich. Expect impressively communicated dark berry fruit with oak, chocolate and coffee underpinnings. Perfectly suited for mildly spiced beef ribs or meaty lasagna.

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Swartland Winemaker’s Collection Chenin Blanc 2018

Pale in color with a honey suckle nose. On the mid palate the displays some sharp acidity, some smokey/flinty notes and some minerality. This is an odd/funky chenin. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice mouth grip and citrus notes the grow. I would give it an 87-88. I bought two and will be returning the second. I’m underwhelmed.

From the LCBO web site:
Swartland Winemaker’s Collection Chenin Blanc 2018 VINTAGES#: 631523 $12.95
Image for Swartland Winemaker’s Collection Chenin Blanc 2018 from LCBO
In the dry climate of Swartland, some 50 kilometres north of Cape Town, Chenin Blanc has long been the local white wine specialty. This one is perfumed and pretty with orange blossom, tropical fruit and spice notes wrapped in a creamy mouthfeel. A great value and a lovely choice for carnitas or pork chops. (Vintages panel, April 2018)
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:March 2, 2019
Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle
Alcohol/Vol: 13.6% Made In: Swartland, South Africa By: Swartland Wine Cellars
Sugar Content: 3 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry Style:Full-bodied & Rich

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2015 Ménage à Trois Decadence Cabernet Sauvignon

I was wandering through my local LCBO and they were sampling this wine, I tried it and liked it enough to buy a bottle. I have to turn my reaction off to the silly name to even consider this wine, but I’ve been impressed by their chard … On sale right now for $2 off. Dark in color with an expressive cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with fruit forward cherry notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice smooth tannins and acidity. It’s not as sweet as you might expect from 8g/l. The LCBO call it full bodied and smooth … too my tastes it’s a lot more fruit forward than this would imply. I would give it an -88. This is a general list product.

From the LCBO web site Check stock:
Ménage à Trois Decadence Cabernet Sauvignon LCBO#: 643882
$16.95 WAS $18.95 SAVE $2.00 Limited Time Offer Until April 28, 2019

Indulge in this latest offering from Ménage à Trois. Decadence Cabernet Sauvignon is deep ruby and has lovely aromas and flavours of stewed plum, chocolate, cinnamon and leather. Notes of cherry and mocha lead to a medium-bodied and fruity palate, finishing silky-smooth. Pair with chocolate covered strawberries.

FOOD PAIRINGS
Lamb & Feta Cigars Lamb & Feta Cigars Gyros Burgers with Oven-Roasted Lemon Potatoes Gyros Burgers with Oven-Roasted Lemon Potatoes Lamb Tagine with Apples Lamb Tagine with Apples
PRODUCT DETAILS
Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle
Alcohol/Vol: 13.5%
Made In: California, USA
By: Trinchero Family Estates
Sugar Content: 8 g/L
Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry
Style:Full-bodied & Smooth
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon

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2017 Josh Cellars Chardonnay

I was wandering through the LCBO and needed a cold bottle of chard to go with the cod I had planned for the meal and this one was there. Based on the description I grabbed it. Pale to slightly golden in color with a mild apple/pear nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice apple and pear to match the nose along with some vanilla. It’s slightly creamy in texture. On the medium length finish the wine is nice and dry. This to my tastes is a lighter oaked chard showing more fruit than oaking in profile. I would give it an 88 or so. The milder flavors were perfect for the cod. Quite nice.

from the LCBO web site Check stock:
Josh Cellars Chardonnay LCBO#: 561100 $17.95

Crafted with fruit sourced from California, including Mendocino and Monterey counties. This chardonnay boasts aromas and flavours of vanilla, apple and spice with subtle citrus and oak notes. The mouthfeel is rich and rounded with a long finish. Serve with grilled halibut alongside mashed potatoes and vegetables.
PRODUCT DETAILS
Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle
Alcohol/Vol: 13.5%
Made In: California, USA
By: Wj Deutsch & Sons Ltd
Sugar Content: 5 g/L
Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry
Style:Full-bodied & Rich
Varietal: Chardonnay

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Left Field Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2017

Pale in color with a mild stone fruit nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with nice peach and pear. If your expecting a wimpy pinot gris go elsewhere because on the medium length finish the wine displays some nice crisp dry minerality, and fresh lively acidity. Not as long as some but it does linger nicely in the mouth. This is my kind of Pinot Gris. We paired it with shrimp/scallop fettucine Alfredo and it wen perfectly, held it’s own. I would give it an 88 or so. Definitely a drink now, fresh crisp wine! Not bad at all for the prices.

from the LCBO web site Check stock:
Left Field Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2017
Pinot Gris
750 mL bottle | LCBO#: 277649 $19.50

Ripe apple and the fuller figured pear saunter into view with lovely spice and vanilla trailing behind. They chatter in gentle, sweet tones.
PRODUCT DETAILS
Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle
Alcohol/Vol: 12%
Made In: New Zealand
By: Villa Maria Estate Limited
Varietal: Pinot Gris

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Château de Marsan 2015

I was walking through the LCBO and wanted a hearty red to go with a striploin so I grabbed this one on a whim. Dark in color with a nice red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice plum notes along with some cherry. Reading the back of the bottle it’s 70% merlot and 30% cab. On the medium length finish the wine displays some oak, firm tannins and acidity. It’s a bit young and softened as it had been opened. It’s nice and dry. The back of the bottle says let it breath for an hour and that’s not a bad plan. It’s moderately complex. I would give it an -88. It paired really well with the striploin and held it’s own.

From the LCBO web site:
Château de Marsan 2015
750 mL bottle | VINTAGES#: 446245
$17.95
Image for Château de Marsan 2015 from LCBO
Aromas of blackcurrants and fresh green tea follow through to a medium to full body and firm and chewy tannins that are polished and poised. Needs one or two years to soften. Drink in 2020. Score – 91. (James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, Feb. 2, 2018)

PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 2, 2019
Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle
Alcohol/Vol: 13.5%
Made In: Bordeaux, France
By: Pierre Montagnac Sarl
Sugar Content: 2 g/L
Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry
Style:Full-bodied & Firm

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2015 Josh Cellars Merlot

We were doing a tasting of the Reserve Cab sauv and noticed it tasted more like a merlot than a cab so decided to give this one a whirl. It’s in the general list, and a LOT cheaper. Dark in color with a nice black plum nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with black plums, and maybe some black cherries. There’s an underlying hint of mint/eucalyptus I’m not a fan of but it is mild. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice acidity and tannins, it’s nice and dry/ All in all, mint aside, this is a nice Merlot. I would give it an -88.

From the LCBO web site Check Stock:
Josh Cellars Merlot LCBO#: 638221 $18.95

Joseph Carr Winery makes a tier of wines named after his affable father Josh. Josh Merlot, in turn, is inviting and full of character. With aromas and flavours of blueberry, vanilla, and mocha, a velvety texture, and fine tannins on the finish, this red will complement lamb, meat-based pasta or soft cheeses. Cheers Josh!

FOOD PAIRINGS
Steak Crostini with Grilled Scallion Relish Steak Crostini with Grilled Scallion Relish Beef Sirloin with Argentinean Criolla Sauce Beef Sirloin with Argentinean Criolla Sauce Pipérade-Braised Short Ribs Pipérade-Braised Short Ribs

PRODUCT DETAILS
Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle
Alcohol/Vol: 13.5%
Made In: California, USA
By: Wj Deutsch & Sons Ltd
Sugar Content: 6 g/L
Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry
Style:Full-bodied & Smooth
Varietal: Merlot

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Mazzei Ser Lapo Riserva Chianti Classico 2015

Dark in color with a red berry and woody nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some lovely soft red berry notes to match the nose along with some nice soft mocha notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some elegant velvety tanins that build nicely in the mouth. The dryness and complexity are lovely. Yumm, I would give it an 88+ which fo the price is great. A perfect pairing for red sauce pastas.
From the LCBO web site Check LCBO stock:

Mazzei Ser Lapo Riserva Chianti Classico 2015 VINTAGES#: 288530 $23.95

There’s cedar and tobacco here, but it’s backed up with lovely, fresh wild strawberries, raspberry cheesecake and red currants. Full body, polished tannins and beautifully linear acidity. Finishes long and elegantly. Drink now. Score – 95. (James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, Sept. 11, 2018)

PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:March 2, 2019
Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle
Alcohol/Vol: 13.5%
Made In: Tuscany, Italy
By: Marchesi Mazzei S.R.L.
Sugar Content: 3 g/L
Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry
Style:Medium-bodied & Fruity
Varietal: Sangiovese Blend

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Chloe 2016 Chardonnay

Ok I admit it … I like a good oaked chard. Not over baked … just so! A perfect companion for scallops, a real ratatouille moment. So we planned a decadent meal for the night. Scallops, brussel sprouts and a grainy rice mix, and this chard …. Pale in color with a nice inviting apple/pear nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some lovely apple/pear fruits. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice slightly creamy texture along with some nice vanilla and butterscotch. It’s nice and dry, and just enough oaking to add some nice complexity to the wine. It went really well with the scallops. I would give this wine an 88 … For the price, it’s a good deal, and is one of my go to chards! I last reviewed the 2015 vintage of this wine and enjoyed it, I’m thrilled the new vintage is just as good. I’ve had a number that have come and gone as my go tos. Different wine makers, style changes etc …

From the LCBO web site Check LCBO stock:
Chloe Chardonnay LCBO#: 392597 $18.95

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.
FOOD PAIRINGS
Mediterranean Roasted Potato Salad Mediterranean Roasted Potato Salad Plum-Chicken Sumac Skewers with Herbed-Pine-Nut Couscous Plum-Chicken Sumac Skewers with Herbed-Pine-Nut Couscous Slow-Braised Veal with Oranges Slow-Braised Veal with Oranges

PRODUCT DETAILS
Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle
Alcohol/Vol: 14%
Made In: California, USA
By: Chloe Wines
Sugar Content: 4 g/L
Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry
Style:Full-bodied & Rich
Varietal: Chardonnay

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2016 Oak Bay Pinot Noir

I last had the 2013 vintage of this wine and loved it. We don’t get a lot of Okanaghan wines and I find them quite distinctive, so when they come in I give them some love … This one is garnet in color with a mild soft red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with some nice strawberries and rustic notes. On the medium length finish the wine has some nice smooth tannins and the rustic notes build beautifully in the mouth, especially without food. It’s nice and dry. The fruit on this vintage is definitely more subdued than in the past but its a lovely soft varietal pinot noir. Be careful what you serve it with, I paired it with lamb chops and it kind of overwhelmed the wine a bit. Salmon, pork or poultry would be a better match. I would give it an -88. Not bad at all.

Oak Bay Pinot Noir 2016 VINTAGES#: 267146 $19.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:March 16, 2019
Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle
Alcohol/Vol: 12.9%
Made In: British Columbia, Canada
By: Gebert Family, St. Hubertus Estate Winery
Sugar Content: 3 g/L
Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry
Style:Medium-bodied & Fruity
Varietal: Pinot Noir
This is a VQA wine

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Le Pupille Morellino di Scansano 2016

Dark in color with a lively red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with a vibrant nose of red berries, typical of a sangiovese. It actually too a bit of digging to find out the actual blend which you will find below … On the medium length finish the wine displays some lovely smooth dry tannins. There some nice complexity in the wine with layers of fruit and oaking present. This is definitely more of a drink now wine. The LCBO say Medium bodied and fruity, I’d agree but certainly not a fruit bomb. We paired it with a hearty red sauce based meat spaghetti and it was tailor made for it. I would give it an 88 plus. Definitely another one of the better Sangioveses I’ve had in a bit. A steal at this price!

From the LCBO web site Check Stock:
Le Pupille Morellino di Scansano 2016 VINTAGES#: 455659 $17.95
Image for Le Pupille Morellino di Scansano 2016 from LCBO
Extremely fresh with fine tannins, cedar and walnut character and dark fruits. Some chocolate. Medium body. Lovely fruit. A very tight and refined Morellino. Drink now. Score – 92. (James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, Oct. 20, 2017)

PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 16, 2019
Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle
Alcohol/Vol: 13.5%
Made In: Tuscany, Italy
By: Fattoria Le Pupille
Sugar Content: 4 g/L
Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry
Style:Medium-bodied & Fruity

From the Winery’s web site:
Denomination: Morellino di Scansano DOCG
Variety: 85% Sangiovese, 10% Alicante, 5% Ciliegiolo
Alcohol: 13.5% Total Acidity: 5,2 g/L

Vineyards Position: La Carla vineyard (Magliano in Toscana), Maiano and Bozzino vineyards (Istia d’Ombrone) San Vittorio, Vignacci Alta, Vecchie Pupille vineyard, altitude 50-250 meters
above sea level.
Soil: clay and iron based soil with a good presence of gravel.
Implantation Date: from the end of the 80s for the older implantations until 2002 for the more recent ones Implantation Density: from 3750 plants/ha to 6250 plants/ha, depending on the age of the vineyard.

Cultivation System: pruned-spur cordon-trained
Grapevine/Hectare Yield: 85 ql
Harvest: end of September for the Sangiovese, first days of
October for the Alicante and first days of September for the Ciliegiolo Fermentation Temperature: 24º in inox steel tanks
Maceration Time: 15 days
Aging: 8 months, 95% in steel and 5% in barrique of second passage
Production: 180,000 bottles
Formats: 0.375 L, 0.75 L, 1.5 L
First Vintage Produced: 1985
Profile: Bright red with ruby reflections. On the nose, the predominant morello cherry evolves into small red berries notes. The elegant body reflects its freshness and persistence.
Tense and silky tannins.Food Pairing: Perfect for first courses, even more elaborate ones and meat based second courses typical of Maremma.

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2018 Sacred Hill Sauv blanc

Extremely pale in color, with a nice grapefruit nose along with some flinty/smokey notes, a little odd. On the mid palate the wine is pure grapefruit in flavor to me, but then I’m not sure gooseberry and nettles taste like (from the LCBO notes). On the medium length finish the lively acidity coats the palate nicely. It’s nice and dry! We had it with roast chicken legs and it went well, not a perfect pairing but still good. The wine is bold but not sharp. Some nice zest to it … This wine is in the general list. I would give it an 88 or so.

From the LCBO web site Check Stock:
Sacred Hill Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc LCBO#: 489112 $18.95

Cool climate winemaking methods capture maximum aroma and exuberant flavour in this New Zealand beauty. Nectarine, gooseberry, and nettle notes flavour the lush palate and the finish has a racy acidity. The grapes come from the Marlborough region of New Zealand, famous for vibrant, intense sauvignon blanc.
FOOD PAIRINGS
Rapini Galette Rapini Galette Hazelnut-Coated Pork Chops with Cream Sauce Hazelnut-Coated Pork Chops with Cream Sauce Spicy Shrimp and Cheesy Grits with Jalapeños and Eggs Spicy Shrimp and Cheesy Grits with Jalapeños and Eggs
PRODUCT DETAILS
Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle
Alcohol/Vol: 12.5%
Made In: Marlborough, New Zealand
By: Sacred Hill Wines Ltd
Sugar Content: 9 g/L
Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry
Style:Aromatic & Flavourful
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc

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Cantina San Paolo Aglianico 2017

This one caught my eye on the last release. I’ve had a few Aglianico’s and been impressed. This one is dark in color with a nice vibrant red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays vibrant red berry fruits to match the nose. Specific fruit was hard to put my finger on, the LCBO write up days sour cherry, maybe … almost strawberry but not quite … On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice lively tannins and acidity. It’s a rustic, earthy wine with lots going on. Nice and dry. The LCBO say full bodied and smooth and I would agree on both! It can hold it’s own with lots of different foods. We paired it with Elk and it went well, not too overpowering, complimented each other. I would give it an 88 or so which for the price is good. Given the tannins this will keep no problem.

From the LCBO web site Check Stock:
Cantina San Paolo Aglianico 2017 VINTAGES#: 473132 $14.95
This is a great example of how Aglianico can be firm and robust as well as lively and crisp. This wine is loaded with characteristic dark fruit, sour cherry and firm tannins, but then there’s that rush of zesty acidity that keeps this all lithe and ageable. It’s intense and grippy, but also approachable and drinkable. What a wine at this price! Enjoy this with grilled sausages. (Vintages panel, June 2018)
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:March 2, 2019 Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle Alcohol/Vol: 13.5% Made In: Campania, Italy By: Claudio Quarta Vignaiolo Srl Sugar Content: 5 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style:Full-bodied & Smooth Varietal: Aglianico

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2017 Nautilus Sauv Blanc

I stopped by Hencdricks for there Thursday buck a shuck special for some oysters and saw this wine on the by the glass lists. Thursdays wines are $3 off, but on Wed they are half price bottles! It’s always interesting (sometimes maddening) to see the markup on wine at restaurants. From the DrinksOntario web site you can find who is the local rep for a wine that might not be currently in the LCBO. Wines not in the LCBO can generally be purchased from the rep by the case. Case sizes can vary.

Pale in color with a nice grapefruit nose. On the mid palate this wine spot on matches the nose with some nice vibrant pink grapefruit. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice racy acidity, to the point of zest. Theres some beautiful minerality that coats the mouth and lingers … I would give this an 88+. A boisterous example of a sauv blanc from Marlborough in New Zealand. Sadly not in the LCBO but it’s $22.95 a bottle in cases of 12 from B&W wines.

From the B&W Web site:
2017 Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc

Price: $22.95 + refundable bottle deposit and handling fee
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Brand: Nautilus
LCBO Product #: 481001
LCBO:
Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
Category: High Volume
Bottles Per Case: 12
Bottle Size: 750ml

Availability
Availability in consignment

Background
A country of great contrasts, New Zealand is blessed with a variety of micro-climates and soil types, as diverse as those of the Rhine and Bordeaux. The growing regions of the North and South Islands enjoy cool growing conditions that encourage grapes to ripen slowly, to produce deliciously, aromatic wines with strength, structure and elegance.

Nautilus Estate relies mainly on grapes from its own vineyards in Marlborough but also selects grapes from other quality vineyard sites. The selection process is very rigorous and only those grapes that will produce wines of exceptional varietal and regional character are chosen. The wines of the Nautilus Estate range are carefully crafted; modern technology and traditional techniques have been deftly combined; French oak is used extensively during fermentation and maturation to complement and enhance the fruit. The resultant wines are stylish and individual. Each is an appreciation of the unique quality of the variety in its South Pacific setting

Tasting Notes
The wine is dry and medium-weight. Less assertive on the nose than some, this wine builds through the palate with great fruit complexity and concentration, culminating in a delicious, lingering finish.

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2017 Cave Spring Pinot Noir

Garnet in color with a nice soft red berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some vibrant red berry fruit, strawberries and the like along with some firm rustic notes. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice acidity and tannins along with some noticeable peppery notes. It’s nice and dry. It’s got some nice mouth grip with the rustic notes lingering … This is pretty good pinot noir especially for the price. I would give it an 88+ or so.

From the LCBO web site check LCBO stock:
Cave Spring Pinot Noir VQA LCBO#: 417642
$17.95 WAS $19.95 SAVE $2.00 Limited Time Offer Until March 30, 2019
Image for Cave Spring Pinot Noir VQA from LCBO
Light ruby colour; red berries, earth and spice aromas; very dry, light to medium bodied palate with fresh cherry flavours.
FOOD PAIRINGS
Pork, Veal and Ricotta Meatballs with Roasted Garlic Marinara Pork, Veal and Ricotta Meatballs with Roasted Garlic Marinara Pastrami Salmon Pastrami Salmon Pork Chops in Exotic Mushroom Sauce Pork Chops in Exotic Mushroom Sauce
PRODUCT DETAILS
Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle
Alcohol/Vol: 12%
Made In: Ontario, Canada
By: Cave Spring Cellars Ltd
Sugar Content: 2 g/L
Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry
Style:Light-bodied & Fruity
Varietal: Pinot Noir

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2017 Santo Santorini Assyrtiko

Pale in color with a minerally nose. On the mid palate this wine is dominated by some firm minerality and vibrant acidity. There’s a hint of smokiness to the wine, and some notes I had trouble placing. On the medium length finish the acidity lingers nicely in the mouth. Be careful what you pair this with, it’s quite lively. The LCBO say Light & Crisp? Shrug … I would give it an -88. This is a general list wine.

From the LCBO web site Check stock:
Santo Santorini Assyrtiko LCBO#: 459032 $23.30
Pale lemon colour; the bouquet is filled with aromas of ripe pear, apple, lemon and floral notes; this light-bodied refreshing white is dry with racy acidity and shows more flavours of citrus, melon and mineral on the palate with a hint of smoke from the volcanic soils the grapes are grown on.
FOOD PAIRINGS
Caramelized Vichyssoise with Gremolata Toasts Caramelized Vichyssoise with Gremolata Toasts Boned Stuffed Turkey Boned Stuffed Turkey Anise-Scented Sausages with Caramelized Pear & Onion Anise-Scented Sausages with Caramelized Pear & Onion
PRODUCT DETAILS
Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle
Alcohol/Vol: 13.5%
Made In: Santorini, Greece
By: Evangelos Tsantalis S.A.
Sugar Content: 4 g/L
Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry
Style:Light & Crisp
Varietal: Assyrtiko

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Finca del Marquesado Crianza 2015

Dark in color with a bold black berry nose that leaps out at you. On the mid palate the wine has some bold dark berries that are immediately overwhelmed by firm, green notes, big tannins and acidity. There’s lot of mocha/coffee going on. On the medium length finish the wine displays some firm acidity along with some noticeable alcohol. I would have said this is way too young but being a 2015 it’s still youthful. Some decanting/aging/aerating would soften it. I think this could become a nice wine but for now it’s a little green to my tastes. Right now I would give it an 87-88. It’s not awful, and it definitely softened in the glass, a statement that age will help. We paired it with striploin and it more than held it’s own. Be sure and drink with something flavorful or your not tasting anything but the wine. The LCBO description said “rafted in an easy-drinking style”, umm I think we were drinking VERY different wines.

Update: I left the wine sitting for two days with the cork on and the difference in the wine was pronounced. Much smoother, and the vibrant fruit came through. I would definitely recommend decanting or aging. Your patience will be rewarded.

from the LCBO web site Check stock:
Finca del Marquesado Crianza 2015 VINTAGES#: 638759 $17.95
Image for Finca del Marquesado Crianza 2015
This wine is simply lovely, from the beautiful aromatics through to the long, lifted finish. It’s crafted in an easy-drinking style that favours bold fruit but has so much more: leather, earth, mineral, et al. Structured, with integrated acidity that provides an elegance to the mouthfeel. Really fine. Try this with grilled chicken or a rice-and- smoked-sausage casserole. (Vintages panel, July 2018)
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:March 2, 2019
Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle
Alcohol/Vol: 14%
Made In: Rioja, Spain
By: Bodegas Valdemar
Sugar Content: 4 g/L
Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry
Style:Full-bodied & Smooth
Varietal: Tempranillo

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2017 Underwood Pinot Noir

We stopped by Joey’s Eatons center for their half price bottles special on Thursdays and tried this one. The wine is regularly $65 so for $32.50 not a bad deal. Lovely garnet color with a vibrant, inviting strawberry nose ummmmm. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice strawberries and red fruits to match the nose. There’s some nice rustic and earthy notes along for the ride. On the medium length finish the wine displays lovely smooth tannins and nice acidity. A very nice, typical pinot which displays Oregon’s earth terroir! I would give it an 88+. It’s not in the LCBO, but if you like it enough you can get it for $24.95 a bottle, by the case of 12, from Rogers and Company. Not a bad markup at all.

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2012 Alvento Aria Nebbiolo (mini review)

Way back in 2014 I tasted the 2007 Aria and was impressed. Nebbiolo as you may know is the grape in the sought after Italian Barolos and Barbarescos. The story becomes a bit of a winding road after that. Closed since 2012 the winery/vineyard has gone through some wild swings in ownership and direction to where I found them, reopened and at Taste Ontario with new owners. Sadly the Nebbiolo vines were decimated in one of our harsh winters, but this wine was saved in the barrel and later bottled as a wonderful piece of Niagara history. I do believe this leaves Ridgepoint as the remaining grower of Nebbiolo in Niagara. Interestingly, Alvento has some of the 2007 still in the bottle available for the collector …

This wine is dark in color with some nice classic Nebbiolo flavors, lots of dark berries, smooth silky long tanins, and some nice acidity. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice palate coating tannins along with some tartness. There’s some nice rustic notes and wood present as well. This wine is ready to drink now as long as you like a bit of a bite to your wine. I would give it an 88+. Available for $45 a bottle at the Winery. They’ve also got a bed and breakfast on site!

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Domaine du Pré Baron Sauvignon Touraine 2017

Pale in color with a distinct grassy nose. On the mid palate this is bold zesty wine with lots of grassy notes to match the nose along with some citrus. The description on the back of the bottle says grapefruit, I’m not sure I’d go that far but this is big wine. On the medium length finish the wine displays some vibrant acidity. It has some good mouth grip and it builds nicely coating the palate. We served it with some pan fried pickerel which is a mild fish and honestly this wine kinda overwhelmed it so be careful. The LCBO describe it as Aromatic & Flavorful … ummm ya! I’d give it an 88 or so.

From the LCBO web site: Check LCBO stock
Domaine du Pré Baron Sauvignon Touraine 2017 VINTAGES#: 107128 $18.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:March 2, 2019
Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle
Alcohol/Vol: 12.5%
Made In: Loire, France
By: Jean-Luc Mardon, vigneron
Sugar Content: 4 g/L
Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry
Style:Aromatic & Flavourful
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc

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Château Blaignan 2014

Dark in color with a nice mild black berry nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice rich black berries along with some nice mocha and chocolate. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice smooth tannins, acidity, dryness and complexity. This is a lovely approachable drink now style as long as you like bigger wines. I would give it an 88+ it ought to keep a while too.

from LCBO web site Check LCBO stock
Château Blaignan 2014
Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc VINTAGES#: 633032 $23.95
Image for Château Blaignan 2014 from LCBO
Very attractive fresh cassis nose, then a nice balance between ripeness and moderately dry tannins makes this a classic Medoc on a subtle scale. Drink in 2018. Score – 90. (James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, Feb. 13, 2017)
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 16, 2019
Alcohol/Vol: 12.5% Made In: Bordeaux, France By: Cordier Sugar Content: 3 g/L
Sweetness Descriptor:XD – Extra Dry
Style:Full-bodied & Smooth
Varietal: Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc

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Cecchi Storia di Famiglia Chianti Classico 2015

Dark in color with a mild nose. On the mid palate the wine displays some nice edgy red berries backed almost immediately by some nice dryness, tannins and acidity. If there’s anywhere this wine is a little light on it’s the mid palate. We paired it with rabbit stew and it went fine, holding it’s own. A good Chianti Classico, but not awesome. I would give it an 87-88.

From the LCBO web site:
Cecchi Storia di Famiglia Chianti Classico 2015 — VINTAGES#: 540922
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
A mix of iron, cherry, almond, leather and sanguine flavors makes this a textbook Sangiovese. Though dense, this is balanced and lingers on the finish. Best from 2020 through 2027. Smart Buys. Score – 92. (Bruce Sanderson, winespectator.com, Oct. 15, 2018) $17.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:January 5, 2019
Alcohol/Vol 13.5% Made in:Tuscany, Italy By: Casa Vinicola Luigi Cecchi + Figli Sugar Content:3 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Medium-bodied & Fruity

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Liboreau Charentes Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Pale in color with nice mild citrus/mineral nose. On the mid palate the wine matches the nose with nice citrus notes, no where near lemon zest along with some nice minerality. On the medium length finish the wine displays some nice well balanced acidity and dryness. The citrus notes and minerality build nicely in the mouth. This is a smoother, more elegant sauv blanc. Food friendly but don’t pair it with anything too boisterous … We paired it with par fried Chicken Schnitzel and it went well leaving lots of room for the food and the wine to play nice together. I would give it an -88 which for the price is a great deal. I bought a number of them, but be aware I would consider this (and most sauv blancs) drink now style of wine. Yumm!

From the LCBO web site Check LCBO stock:
Liboreau Charentes Sauvignon Blanc 2017 — VINTAGES#: 632364
STYLE – Aromatic & Flavourful
Cave du Liboreau has been making wine for 50 years in the South of France. This is a ripe, intensely flavourful Savvy showing juicy guava, passion fruit, green veggies and citrus wrapped in a ribbon of bright acidity. Pair with roast chicken or seared scallops. (Vintages panel, Feb. 2018) $13.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Release Date:February 16, 2019
Alcohol/Vol 11.8% Made in: South of France, France By: Vinisource Sugar Content: 2 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry Style:Aromatic & Flavourful

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2015 Masi Bonacosta Valpolicella Classico DOC

Dark in color with a mild cherry nose. On the mid palate the wine is quite fruit forward with cherries and some raspberries coming through. It actually took me a few sips to place the raspberries. On the medium length finish the wine displays some smooth tannins and acidity. There’s some sweetness to the wine but not a lot. The LCBO describe it as Medium bodied and fruity, I agree with the fruity part. We paired it with a rack of lamb (which actually was in the LCBOs listing as a suggested pairing) and honestly it really didn’t hold it’s own, wasn’t a match made in heaven. I would give it an 87-88. Better served with lighter meals where the fruityness would compliment

From the LCBO web site (http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/sku/285585.html#.XFhm5lU3laQ:
Masi Bonacosta Valpolicella Classico DOC — LCBO#: 285585
STYLE – Medium-bodied & Fruity
A description of Valpolicella attributed to Ernest Hemingway calls it ‘a light dry red wine, as friendly as the home of a favorite brother.’ Friendly notes of cherry, cedar and violets pull you in; flavours of ripe cherry, raspberry and spice embrace you and end in a silky finish. Serve with risotto, lamb or venison. $16.95
PRODUCT DETAILS
Alcohol/Vol 12.0% Made in: Veneto, Italy By: Masi Agricola S.P.A.Sugar Content: 7 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D – Dry Style: Medium-bodied & Fruity Varietal:Valpolicella

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