Monday, July 6, 2015

  • Monday, July 6, 2015

Reichsgraf von Kesselstat Kaseler Nies'chen Riesling Kabinett 2006 (Mosel) - Wine Review

Opened up this beautiful white wine . It was purchased from a VINTAGES release last August. For sweet wine lovers, stay tuned for future vintages as this is a consistently great wine!

REICHSGRAF VON KESSELSTAT KASELER NIES'CHEN RIESLING KABINETT 2006 - Pradikätswein, Mosel, Germany (#940809) (M) - $19.95

Reichsgraf von Kesselstat Kaseler Nies'chen Riesling Kabinett 2006 from Pradikätswein, Mosel, Germany (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

Orange citrus and peach aromas from the cork. Highly aromatic petrol, orange, candied ginger, white peach and a touch of honey. Medium+ bodied and medium sweet with very nice aroma replays. Impresses with bright, vibrant acids at 9 years old and balances the sweetness very well. Excellent length on the finish. Will continue to drink well over the next 5-8 years. Score: 91 pts
  • Monday, July 6, 2015

July 11 VINTAGES Release: Spain + Cool-Climate Chardonnay

LCBO Wine Picks from July 11, 2015 VINTAGES Release
The LCBO VINTAGES Release will be on shelves this coming . The main theme of this release features 18 food-friendly wines from Spain, including quite a few that are new to VINTAGES. The mini-theme coincides with the upcoming Cool-Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4c) in Niagara and highlights 10 "cool" Chardonnays from around the globe.

From the 18 wines in the Spain thematic, 5 wines made my list of wine picks. We'll begin with a pair of Cava (Spanish sparkling wines). The first is a blend of local varietals Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada from Juvé & Camps. The second Cava is from the producer Gramona, aged 5 years in cork and is a blend of 70% Xarel-lo and 30% Macabeo; at 9 years old, this is a mature Cava. Both of these Cavas are off-dry and will show some sweetness - my types of sparkling wines.

Also from the Spain feature is the Cune Reserva that is a blend of 85% Tempranillo, 5% Garnacha (Grenache), 5% Mazuelo (Carignan), and 5% Graciano. A common theme among Spanish wines is that you can buy them pre-aged, as is the Heretat Mont-Rubi - a wine that is now 11 years old and blended with 30% Sumoll, 20% Cariñena (Carignan), 20% Garnacha, 20% Syrah and 10% Merlot. In white wines from Spain, there is an organic Verdejo.

I suppose the Torres Floralis Moscatel is not very food-friendly because it was not included as part of the Spanish feature. Regardless, it's an excellent fortified wine and one that I will likely add to my collection this time around.

The collection of 10 Cool Chardonnays is quite good, with nearly half of these white wines making my wine picks. The four I've chosen are the locally made Chardonnays from Cave Spring and Pearl Morissette, as well as an Oregon Chardonnay and a South African Chardonnay. All have seen some time with oak.

From the rest of the release, the Creekside's Laura's Red is a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 3% Syrah, 2% Malbec, and 1% Petit Verdot, while the Chianti actually contains 3% Canaiolo and 2% Malvasia/Trebbiano (the balance is, of course, Sangiovese). The two Montalcino wines are also 100% Sangiovese. Lastly, the rosé wine pick from this release is dry and consists of 60% Cinsault and 40% Grenache.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR LES ASPRES SYRAH / MOURVÈDRE / GRENACHE 2011 - AP Côtes du Roussillon, France (#413245) (XD) - $18.95
  • CASTELGREVE CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA 2009 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#344416) (XD) - $19.95
  • CREEKSIDE ESTATE LAURA’S RED 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#117960) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • HERETAT MONT-RUBI DURONA TINTO 2004 - Vino de Mesa, Spain (#143255) (D) - $19.95
  • DOMAINE TOURNON MATHILDA SHIRAZ 2012 - Victoria, Australia (#327395) (XD) - $19.95
  • CUNE RESERVA 2010 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#417659) (XD) - $23.95
  • BUENA VISTA PINOT NOIR 2011 - Carneros, California, USA (#304105) (XD) - $24.95  reviewed here
  • UCCELLIERA ROSSO DI MONTALCINO 2012 - DOC, Tuscany, Italy (#414581) (XD) - $31.95
  • LA VELONA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2009 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#181321) (XD) - $39.95
  • DOMAINE D’ARDHUY ALOXE-CORTON LES CHAILLOTS 1 ER CRU 2012 - AC, Burgundy, France (#413112) (XD) - $67.95
Creekside Estate Laura's Red 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)Buena Vista Pinot Noir 2011 - Carneros, California, USA (90 pts)

White Wine:

  • FINCA LAS CARABALLAS VERDEJO 2013 - Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon, Spain (#418699) (XD) - $16.95
  • WILLY GISSELBRECHT TRADITION GEWURZTRAMINER 2012 - AC Alsace, France (#928390) (M) - $17.95
  • CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY 2013 - Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula Ontario, Canada (#256552) (XD) - $18.95
  • ROBERT OATLEY SIGNATURE SERIES CHARDONNAY 2013 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#350900) (XD) - $18.95
  • REINHOLD HAART HAART TO HEART PIESPORT RIESLING 2013 - Qualitätswein, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany (#672683) (M) - $19.95
  • JEAN-PIERRE BAILLY POUILLY-FUMÉ 2013 - AC, Loire, France (#408815) (XD) - $22.95
  • GEROVASSILIOU MALAGOUSIA 2014 - Vieilles Vignes, IGP Epanomi, Greece (#416792) (XD) - $23.95
  • BACHELDER OREGON CHARDONNAY 2012 - Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#273334) (XD) - $29.95
  • PEARL MORISSETTE CUVÉE DIX-NEUVIÈME CHARDONNAY 2012 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#303602) (XD) - $35.20
  • HAMILTON RUSSELL CHARDONNAY 2013 - WO Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, South Africa (#931006) (XD) - $38.95

Rosé Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU DE BERNE TERRES DE BERNE ROSÉ 2013 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#278861) (XD) - $17.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • JUVÉ & CAMPS CINTA PURPURA RESERVA BRUT CAVA 2011 - DO Cava, Catalunya, Spain (#352864) (D) - $18.95
  • GRAMONA III LUSTROS GRAN RESERVA BRUT NATURE CAVA 2006 - DO Cava, Penedès, Spain (#413963) (D) - $49.95


The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.

Friday, July 3, 2015

  • Friday, July 3, 2015

Lunch at Farmers' Table @Southbrook

Southbrook Vineyards
On my latest visit to Niagara last month, I had the pleasure of having lunch at Farmers' Table @Southbrook, a brand new restaurant by Southbrook Vineyards located on their property and attached to the winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Having driven by Southbrook many times, this was actually my very first visit to the winery - a modern building with clean lines, and an open, transparent feeling throughout. On my next visit to Southbrook, which I hope will be sooner rather than later, I think a tour of the facilities will be in order.

As we entered the winery, we turned left and walked through the tasting room and headed to the outdoor patio. Chef Shawn Murphy quickly recognized me as I stepped onto the patio and we had a quick intro while he prepared meals for the other guests. The patio was mostly sheltered from the beaming hot sun on this day. However, the outdoor kitchen where Chef Shawn prepares his meals is not - and he was feeling the heat on this day. Guests have the option of sitting under the roof or on the charming umbrella-covered wooden park benches.

Outdoor patio at Farmers' Table @SouthbrookOutdoor patio at Farmers' Table @Southbrook

Southbrook was Canada's first certified organic and biodynamic winery. This philosophy continues at Farmers' Table, where nearly all the ingredients used to prepare dishes are locally sourced from sustainable practices. Chef Shawn mentioned that just about everything was grown/produced no more than 5 kilometres from the property. Quite an achievement, I must say!

While we waited for our first course, Chef Shawn brought us some grilled organic whole wheat bread topped with Handeck cheese shavings, alongside pickled organic green tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, black pepper and salt. All of it was prepared fresh and tasted very good.

Braised lamb pizzaThe sheep at the back of the property

The second course was the Feature Pizza of the Day - a delicious braised lamb pizza with wild garlic scapes, asparagus, goat cheese, and garlic oil made fresh in their outdoor pizza oven. The dough is made in-house using Red Fife flour and Bioflavia grape skin powder, while the lamb is raised by Southbrook and likely from the same herd I saw out back. I've never had lamb on a pizza before, but had no doubt it would be delicious - and I was right! I would love to see this pizza on their daily menu. Because the pizza had good balance between all the different elements - meat, cheese, vegetables - it is quite versatile for pairing with wine. I enjoyed it with their 2014 Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc Rosé (#279117, $19.95, 88 pts).

Strawberry salad
To waken up the palate before the main course, we were served up a very interesting salad made with... strawberries! These local strawberries were served with 12-month aged Handeck cow's milk cheese and fresh baby Arugula in a Petit Verdot Vinaigrette and topped with sea salt. What was really interesting was that the Arugula was grown in the raised garden bed located right beside our table. Awesome! Overall, it was quite the sensory explosion on the palate with sweet, salty and sour all making a delightful appearance, and the creamy cheese holding it all together.

Prior to arriving at Southbrook on this fine day, we had already visited Reif Winery and Pillitteri Estates Winery for a cheese platter, pizza, and grilled cheese and, unsurprisingly, our stomachs we were now starting to get full. However, there was at least one more course to go.

Roasted free-range chicken

Chef Shawn had roasted a whole free-range chicken on the outdoor the grill and seasoned it with black pepper and salt. It was then topped with a raisin salad dressing and the aforementioned fresh Arugula. The meat was tender and delicious - a very nice creation indeed. It also paired quite nicely with their 2013 Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay (#172338, $22.95, 89 pts). Since we were already quite full, we didn't get to eat too much of the chicken and ended up taking it home and ate it for lunch on Monday. It made for a very nice lunch to be sure!

We also had to take a pass on a delicious looking dessert - it appeared to be a strawberry rhubarb parfait - that nearly everyone else was enjoying.

I came to this dining experience with little expectations and left wishing that more restaurants do it the way Southbrook does. It was very enlightening speaking to Shawn and learning about the many practices that he and Southbrook have employed. It's not often one finds a restaurant where the produce is only a few hours old. Shawn also shared some of his other wonderful ideas that I hope come to fruition in the coming weeks and months.

Fresh herbs grown right beside our tableChef Shawn Murphy in his kitchen

Shawn Murphy’s passion for local food dates back to his childhood, having spent time growing up on his grandparents farm and eating the vegetables harvested from their garden. Shawn is a graduate from Niagara College’s Culinary Management Program, and is no stranger to the wine community after spending time in the kitchens at Hillebrand Winery and working as a sous-chef at Ravine Vineyards.

This was a very refreshing experience at Farmers' Table @Southbrook and one that I would encourage everyone to experience for yourself. Farmers' Table @Southbrook is open from June 4 to Thanksgiving weekend (October 12), Thursday through to Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Follow @SouthbrookWine for more details, updates and daily specials.

Monday, June 29, 2015

  • Monday, June 29, 2015

Inniskillin Winemaker's Series Montague Vineyard Chardonnay 2010 (Niagara) - Wine Review

Tonight's white wine was purchased from a VINTAGES release back in August 2012. I didn't intend to cellar it as long as I have, as it is nearing the end of its drinking window. However, I was saving it for a dish such as tonight's lobster with garlic butter dip.

The 2012 vintage of this oaked Chardonnay is available in VINTAGES right now and currently retails for $24.95.

INNISKILLIN WINEMAKER'S SERIES MONTAGUE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2010 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#586347) (XD) - $18.95

Inniskillin Winemaker's Series Montague Vineyard Chardonnay 2010 - VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

Ripe orchard fruit and spiced vanilla aromas from the cork. Medium intensity aromatics consisting of apple, butter, and vanilla in the glass. The palate is medium+ bodied with spiced apple, vanilla, and buttery notes, and a touch of sweetness. Oak is nicely integrated. Vibrant, balanced acids keep everything in check. Lengthy finish is a touch warm. Drink now. Thoroughly enjoyed with lobster and Parmesan crusted shrimp tonight. Score: 88+ pts

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

  • Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 27 VINTAGES Release: Fan Favourites + Pan-Am + Canada Day

LCBO Wine Picks from June 27, 2015 VINTAGES Release
The next LCBO VINTAGES release will be on shelves this and has 3 features. The first theme is titled "Back by Popular Demand", while the second and third mini-themes are small and feature wines from the Americas in an ode to the upcoming Pan-Am Games in Toronto, and wines for Canada Day festivities.

We'll begin with the biggest of the three themes - popular wines that have returned to VINTAGES. However, of the 16 wines featured, only 2 are included among my wine picks. The first wine is the Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc - a crisp, dry white wine that has been consistently good in recent years and worthy of returning to shelves. The second wine is a Tavel Rosé that is dry and composed of 60% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 5% Mourvèdre, 5% Syrah and 10% other grapes rounding out the blend.

From the two mini-themes, there is only one wine from each theme that made my list of wine picks - a Carmenère from Chile, and an aromatic and sweet Chardonnay Musqué from Ontario's Malivoire Wine Company.

The rest of the release has a few nice "New to VINTAGES" selections. Included among them is an Aglianico from Basilicata and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina. A couple of wines that are not new to VINTAGES but are included in my wine picks below are the Borsao Berola from Spain that is 70% Garnacha (Grenache), 20% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, while the wine from Carpineta Fontalpino is nearly equal parts Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon.

In white wines, the Château Saint-Genès is a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Besides the Tavel Rosé mentioned above, there is also a rosé from Gerard Bertrand that is off-dry and made using a grape that mutated from Grenache into what is known as Grenache Gris. Other dry rosés to consider in this release are both. From Château de Lancyre is a blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 10% Cinsault, and the Bandol Rosé which is a blend of 40% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache and 30% Cinsault.

Both sparkling wines recommended below are on the sweeter side of the spectrum - the Lambrusco is off-dry in style, while Brachetto is very sweet.

Enjoy my wine picks for this week! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • TENUTA DEL PORTALE STARSA 2012 - IGT Basilicata, Italy (#416164) (XD) - $15.95
  • BORSAO BEROLA 2011 - DO Campo de Borja, Spain (#371518) (XD) - $17.00
  • FINCA SOPHENIA RESERVE MALBEC 2013 - Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina (#066837) (D) - $17.95
  • MICHEL GASSIER LES PILIERS SYRAH 2012 - AC Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (#678086) (XD) - $18.95
  • SUR DE LOS ANDES GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Mendoza, Argentina (#404186) (XD) - $18.95
  • MONTES ALPHA CARMENÈRE 2012 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#143230) (D) - $19.95
  • SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE CABERNET FRANC 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#275958) (XD) - $21.95  reviewed here
  • FATTORIA CARPINETA FONTALPINO DO UT DES 2011 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#048827) (XD) - $37.95
  • TWO HANDS LILY’S GARDEN SHIRAZ 2012 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#683086) (XD) - $54.95  FSE
Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc 2013 from VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)

White Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU SAINT-GENÈS 2013 - AC, Bordeaux, France (#418889) (XD) - $15.95
  • FLOR DE VETUS VERDEJO 2013 - Old vines from Segovia, DO Rueda, Spain (#320259) (XD) - $15.95
  • ANSELMANN EDESHEIMER ROSENGARTEN SIEGERREBE SPÄTLESE 2012 - Prädikatswein, Pfalz, Germany (#910554) (S) - $15.95  reviewed here
  • KEN FORRESTER OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC 2014 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#231282) (XD) - $17.95
  • BESTHEIM CLASSIC GEWURZTRAMINER 2013 - AC Alsace, France (#656801) (XD) - $18.95
  • MALIVOIRE MUSQUÉ SPRITZ 2014 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#189670) (S) - $19.95
  • VILLA MARIA CELLAR SELECTION SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#974527) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • DOG POINT SECTION 94 SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#325977) (D) - $44.95  FSE
Anselmann Edesheimer Rosengarten Siegerrebe Spätlese 2012 from Prädikatswein, Pfalz, Germany (91 pts)Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2014 from Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (89 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • GÉRARD BERTRAND GRIS BLANC ROSÉ 2014 - IGP Pays d’Oc, Roussillon, France (#409870) (D) - $16.95
  • DOMAINE MABY LA FORCADIÈRE TAVEL ROSÉ 2014 - AC, Rhône, France (#701318) (XD) - $16.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE LANCYRE PIC SAINT-LOUP LE ROSÉ 2014 - AC Coteaux du Languedoc, Midi, France (#374900) (XD) - $16.95
  • LA CADIERENNE CUVÉE GRANDE TRADITION BANDOL ROSÉ 2014 - AC, Provence, France (#119453) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here

Sparkling Wine:

  • TRE SECOLI BRACHETTO D’ACQUI 2012 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#415273) (S) - $17.95
  • MEDICI ERMETE & FIGLI ARTE E CONCERTO LAMBRUSCO 2013 - DOC Reggiano Lambrusco, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (#208967) (D) - $19.95

The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

  • Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Avondale Wine Tasting (South Africa)

Avondale Terra Est Vita
, I had the pleasure of tasting the wines of Avondale with proprietor Johnathan Grieve.

Avondale is located on a 160-hectare, picturesque farm in the Paarl valley in the southwestern part of South Africa, only 35 minutes from Cape Town, and has been cultivated for more than 300 years. Early records also indicate that this piece of land was one first in Paarl valley to be allocated specifically for the production of grapes.

Johnathan Grieve
Although the farm was established as early as 1693, current owners John and Ginny Grieve (Johnathan's parents) only began producing wine on the site in 1999, two years after purchasing the land. Today, it continues to be family-owned and operated with Johnathan taking up the challenge to transform the land into a balanced vineyard ecosystem using organic and biodynamic viticultural practices that he developed, along with modern science, and now terms BioLOGIC.

One of the ways Avondale promotes a balanced ecosystem is through the use of natural predators. Beginning more than 15 years ago, Avondale began unleashing White Pekin Ducks to feast on snails that were proliferating throughout the vineyards and eating the vines. Johnathan showed us a fascinating video of the ducks in action that you can view here:

Other natural predators include predatory wasps (to combat mealy bugs), Spotted Eagle Owls, Rock Kestrels, Yellow-billed and Black-shouldered Kites.

Continuing on the theme of "natural" is the waste water system that mimics the way Nature cleans water. The system is comprised of three dams interlinked by spiralling channels of cleansing reeds that replicates the natural river system. This closed-nutrient cycle yields quality water that is then used for their irrigation needs.

Avondale Wine
Avondale has 13 different soil types on their land, and vines are planted within pockets of soil types. Furthermore, when Avondale built their cellar, it was designed such that each block of fruit from these different soil types could be vinified independently of each other, allowing for terroir expression. The soil is often re-balanced using the soil balancing system pioneered by Dr. William Albrecht, followed by re-mineralization of the soil. To further help balance the soil and ecosystem, legumes and other cover crops are used to create a vibrant and diverse plant community.

All of the wines at Avondale go through natural fermentation - a process which is much slower than commercial fermentation. Some wines are also warm-fermented at this estate, producing wines that can be aged for longer periods when compared with wines that are cool-fermented.

One thing Johnathan talked about that really intrigued me was the Luna Tasting Calendar. This calendar is based on the Biodynamic Planting Calendar that was developed in the 1950's by Maria Thun and centres around the 12 Zodiac constellations and the lunar cycle. Within the calendar there are four cycles: Fruit, Root, Flower and Leaf. The Luna Tasting Calendar conjectures that any given wine will taste different based on the current cycle. The Flower cycle is regarded as the best day for tasting wine. I personally have not tried tasting wine based on this, but it's on my list of things to do this year.

The dowsing experiment using rods that Johnathan performed on one of the attendees was also very interesting. I have a pair of dowsing rods that I haven't used in quite a few years, so it was refreshing to see somebody else perform dowsing, and do it well!

Avondale Wines Lineup

Overall, I was quite pleased with the tasting. It was an eye-opener in terms of the many organic and biodynamic practices that are followed. The labels are also very pretty - with a unique story behind each of them. However, it's what's inside the bottle that counts - and the wines are delicious.

Thank you Rare Earth Wines for the invitation and the opportunity to taste these fabulous wines that also happen to be organic & biodynamic. Since most of these wines are not (yet) available at the LCBO, you can order these wines directly with Rare Earth Wines.

Tasting Notes:

AVONDALE ARMILLA BLANC DE BLANC 2009 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#) (XD) - $28
100% Chardonnay. Medium-high aromatics with toast, bread, poached pear and citrus notes. The palate has vibrant mousse and show hints of sweetness that are cut very quickly by the vibrant acids. Medium-long finish. Score: 88 pts

Avondale Armilla Blanc de Blanc 2009 - WO Paarl, South Africa (88 pts)Avondale Jonty's Ducks Pekin White 2013 - WO Paarl, South Africa (87 pts)

AVONDALE JONTY'S DUCKS PEKIN WHITE 2013 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#) (XD) - $14.95
Primarily Chenin Blanc (85%) with Roussanne, Muscat de Frontignan, Viognier and Semillon rounding out the blend. Aromas of medium-to-high intensity consisting of sweet ripe peach, citrus and lemon notes. On the palate, it's medium-bodied and fleshy with flavours of lemon/lime, citrus, tangy peach and hints of honey. Some chalky minerality mid-palate. Balanced acids and medium-length finish. Score: 87 pts

AVONDALE ANIMA 2013 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#) (D) - $22.95
100% Chenin Blanc. Elegant, medium+ intensity aromas of honeyed fruit, white peach and tropical fruit. Palate is medium-bodied with very nice aroma replays showing nice complexity. It's off-dry with good tension between fruit and vibrant, yet balanced, acidity. Long finishing. Score: 89 pts

Avondale Anima Chenin Blanc 2013 - WO Paarl, South Africa (89 pts)Avondale Cyclus 2012 - WO Paarl, South Africa (90+ pts)

AVONDALE CYCLUS 2012 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#295220) (XD) - $26.95
White wine blend consisting of equal parts Viognier, Chardonnay, Roussanne & Chenin Blanc, and a small amount of Semillon. Medium-high aromatics that are elegant with notions of apples, orchard fruit, floral and fennel. The palate is medium-bodied, dry, and slightly oily with a chalky mineral texture and fresh, vibrant acids. Layered flavours of herb, lemon and floral continue through to the very long finish. Score: 90+ pts

AVONDALE JONTY'S DUCKS PEKIN RED 2011 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#383547) (XD) - $14.95
Blend of 37% Shiraz, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec. Medium+ aromatic intensity with complex herbal, wild dark/red berry fruit, currant, cassis and elegant oak aromas. On the palate, it is medium-bodied with ripe, supple tannins and flavours of red/black fruits, black cherry, black currant, vanilla and chocolate. Good, balanced acids and a medium-long finish. Currently in VINTAGES. Score: 88+ pts

Avondale Jonty's Ducks Pekin Red 2011 - WO Paarl, South Africa (88+ pts)Avondale Samsara Syrah 2009 - WO Paarl, South Africa (90 pts)

AVONDALE SAMSARA 2009 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#295550) (XD) - $32.95
100% Syrah. Medium+ intensity aromas of red cherry, berry, white pepper, dark plum, and soft vanillan oak. Flavours of spiced oak, plum, white pepper and currants on the medium+ bodied palate. It has brilliant acidity and firm, chalky tannins. Hints of chocolate on the spiced finish. Will age gracefully for 5-8 years. Score: 90 pts

AVONDALE LA LUNA 2009 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#) (XD) - $34.95
A Bordeaux-blend consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec, this red wine has medium+ intensity aromas with suggestions of elegant plum, red & dark fruits, floral, cedar oak and some purple fruits. It's full-bodied with refined tannins and very nice aroma replays. It also has very good acids and a long, smooth finish. Score: 91 pts

Avondale La Luna 2009 - WO Paarl, South Africa (91 pts)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

  • Saturday, June 13, 2015

Domaine Chevallier Chablis 2010 (France) - Wine Review

Tonight's white wine was purchased nearly 2 years ago from the August 3, 2013 LCBO VINTAGES release. At 5 years old, let's see if this unoaked Chardonnay is still any good...

DOMAINE CHEVALLIER CHABLIS 2010 - AC, Burgundy, France (#112227) (XD) - $19.95

Domaine Chevallier Chablis 2010 from AC, Burgundy, France (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

White grapefruit, lemon and mineral aromas from the cork. Honeyed fruit, baked apple, with whiffs of mineral and nutty aromas of medium intensity from the glass. On the palate, it's medium-to-full bodied and dry with pleasing aroma replays. Very bright acids linger through to the long, minerally finish. Good balance overall. Will be enjoyed with pan-fried Haddock. Recommended. Score: 89 pts

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