Saturday, July 22, 2017

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  • Saturday, July 22, 2017

Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay 2014 (Ontario) - Wine Review (Bottle 2)



I decided to open up this wine  in recognition of the International Cool-Climate Chardonnay Celebration that is taking place this weekend in Niagara.

I've tasted this white wine quite a few times since last year and it's always been delicious! This is the second bottle from my personal collection, from a case that was ordered through the Vini wine app. My last published review of the 2014 Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay was posted last year on , to ring in the .

This delicious wine can be found at the LCBO, with good inventory levels throughout Ontario, as it was released earlier this month as part of the VINTAGES Release.

Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay 2014 (92 pts)

Tasting Note:

CLOSSON CHASE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2014 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (#148866) (XD) - $28.95
Some tropical fruit, citrus and grapefruit aromas from the cork. Aromas are open and fragrant in the glass, offering smoky buttered popcorn and golden apple with very good intensity. It is medium+ bodied, lean more fruit-forward on the palate with golden apple and lemon peel flavours leading the way, with nicely integrated oak and a hint of minerality. Acids are clean and nicely balanced. Excellent finish length with some mineral notes. A lean, elegant, and classy wine to enjoy over the next 2-3 years with rich seafood dishes. So good! Highly recommended. Score: 92 pts


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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  • Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Porca de Murça Reserva Tinto 2010 (Portugal) - Wine Review

wine was purchased almost 4 years ago to the day from the LCBO VINTAGES Release, where this red wine was featured as part of a selection of wines for the BBQ.

Obviously, this vintage no longer available at the LCBO. Moreover, the current vintage is also not available. If you have this wine in your cellar, you should open it within the next couple of years. A full wine review is provided below.

Porca de Murça Reserva Tinto 2010 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

PORCA DE MURÇA RESERVA TINTO 2010 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#684753) (XD) - $17.95
Black plum and prune aromas from the cork. This blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) has a medium intensity nose seems a bit closed, but offers mature dried blackberry, blueberry and a distinct earthy-mineral component. The palate is medium-full bodied with tannins that are resolving quite nicely but still have some grip. Dried fruit flavours of cherry, blackberry, blueberry, and fig, followed by dark plum and some sweet oak spice notes on the flavour profile. Acids are still well-balanced and the finish length is very good with raisiny notes emerging. Maturing well, this should be enjoyed over the next 1-2 years. Score: 89 pts


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  • Wednesday, July 19, 2017

LCBO VINTAGES Release July 22, 2017: Old + New Favourites

LCBO Wine Picks from July 22, 2017 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on will be on shelves this coming . It's a mono-thematic release and is titled "Old Favourites + New Favourites".

The first part of this thematic are "Old Favourites", which is in reference to classically styled wines that are well-established from wine regions around the world. It lists 11 different styles and has 2 examples of each wine, for a total of 22 wines, of which 5 are included among my wine picks. The wines I've chosen include a Riesling from Ontario, the Xavier Côtes du Rhône red (from Southern Rhône) that's a blend of 65% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre, and 10% Syrah. There is also a nice Chianti that is a blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino/Canaiolo. From New Zealand, there is a Sauvignon Blanc, while the final pick is the Ontañon Gran Reserva that is a blend of 95% Tempranillo and 5% Graciano.

Giacomo Mori Chianti 2014 (90 pts)

From the second feature titled "New Favourites", this section lists 10 wines made from lesser-known grapes and styles. Just one of the "New Favourites made my list of wine picks, and it's the Vincens Prestige that is a blend of 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot.

In red wines from the rest of the release, the 2010 Bordeaux is a Merlot-based blend that is ageing quite well from an excellent vintage, while the Minervois is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault. The Jean-Luc Colombo Côtes du Rhône is a blend of nearly equal parts Grenache and Syrah, while the wine from Burgundy is a Pinot Noir, and the Barbaresco is made with Nebbiolo.

Claude Gros La Condamine Paulignan Minervois 2013 (88 pts)

In white wines, the Vinho Verde is a blend of 70% Trajadura and 30% Alvarinho, while the Bila-Haut Blanc is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeu. The Burgundy whites are all Chardonnay. For sweet wine lovers, the aforementioned Riesling from Ontario is your best bet.

Among my rosé wine picks, the Saint Aix is a classical Provence blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, with a touch of Carignan, while the Tavel Rosé is from vines averaging 46 years old and consists of 62% Grenache Noir, 17% Cinsault, 7% Grenache Blanc, and the balance other varietals. Both rosés are dry.

Enjoy my LCBO wine recommendations from this Release. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU HAUT ROZIER CUVÉE SAINT VINCENT 2010 - AC Côtes de Bordeaux, France (#496422) (XD) - $16.95
  • CLAUDE GROS LA CONDAMINE PAULIGNAN MINERVOIS 2013 - AC, Midi, France (#493528) (XD) - $17.95  reviewed here
  • XAVIER CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#297317) (XD) - $17.95
  • CHÂTEAU VINCENS PRESTIGE 2014 - AC Cahors, Southwest, France (#272427) (XD) - $18.95
  • LA TREMENDA MONASTRELL 2012 - DO Alicante, Spain (#490011) (XD) - $19.95
  • GIACOMO MORI CHIANTI 2014 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#068858) (XD) - $21.95  reviewed here
  • JEAN-LUC COLOMBO LES FOROTS CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#494641) (XD) - $21.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE BACO NOIR 2014 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#461699) (D) - $24.95
  • THEULOT JUILLOT VIEILLES VIGNES MERCUREY 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#487462) (XD) - $31.95
  • ONTAÑÓN GRAN RESERVA 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#939736) (XD) - $38.95
  • PRODUTTORI DEL BARBARESCO BARBARESCO 2012 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#708826) (XD) - $46.95

White Wine:

  • ANSELMO MENDES PASSAROS VINHO VERDE 2015 - DOC, Portugal (#190546) (XD) - $13.95
  • LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON BLANC 2015 - AC, Midi, France (#485656) (XD) - $15.95
  • DOMAINE DES TOURTERELLES MÂCON VILLAGES 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#489799) (XD) - $16.95
  • CAVE SPRING ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2015 - Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#256552) (XD) - $18.95
  • TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA RIESLING 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#089029) (M) - $18.95
  • BERNARD FOUQUET LE PETIT CLOS DRY VOUVRAY 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#489468) (XD) - $21.95
  • VAVASOUR SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - Awatere Valley, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#713958) (XD) - $23.95
  • PAUMANOK DRY RIESLING 2015 - North Fork of Long Island, New York (#508770) (D) - $24.95
  • EARL SYLVAIN MOSNIER BEAUROY CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#488817) (XD) - $34.95
  • PEARL MORISSETTE CUVÉE DIX-NEUVIÈME CHARDONNAY 2014 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#303602) (XD) - $38.20  FSE

Rosé Wine:

  • DOMAINE MABY LA FORCADIÈRE TAVEL ROSÉ 2016 - AC, Rhône, France (#701318) (XD) - $18.95
  • SAINT AIX ROSÉ 2016 - AP Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, France (#451906) (XD) - $22.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • CHARLES HEIDSIECK BRUT RÉSERVE CHAMPAGNE - Disgorged 2016, AC, France (#036962) (XD) - $69.95


Sunday, July 16, 2017

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  • Sunday, July 16, 2017

Claude Gros La Condamine Paulignan Minervois 2013 (Midi) - Wine Review

wine review is a new wine that will be released into LCBO VINTAGES on .

This red wine is produced by Select Vins, which is a collaboration between Château de la Négly owner, Jean Paux-Rosset, and his consulting winemaker, Claude Gros. Together, they have assembled some of the best grape growers from across the appellations of the Languedoc, including this wine from Minervois, which is located in the western part of the AOC.

Claude Gros La Condamine Paulignan Minervois 2013 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

CLAUDE GROS LA CONDAMINE PAULIGNAN MINERVOIS 2013 - AC, Midi, France (#493528) (XD) - $17.95
Raised completely in concrete tanks, this is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault. Dark fruit and sweet spice aromas from the cork. In the glass, it has dark fruits, rosemary herb, and olive notes joined by an earthy component and green leafy aromas of modest intensity. The palate is medium-full bodied with bright, spicy acids. Dusty tannins are a touch drying and add nice texture. Flavour profile is ripe with dark fruits, currant, black pepper, and earthy with a resinous character, Finish length is very good. Enjoy over the next 5-6 years. Score: 88 pts


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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  • Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Giacomo Mori Chianti 2014 (Tuscany) - Wine Review

wine is this delicious red wine that will be available at the LCBO as part of the upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Like the 2012 Giacomo Mori Chianti that I enjoyed two years ago, this is a blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino/Canaiolo that is vinified in 40-60 hectolitre stainless steel tanks, then aged for 10-12 months in 20 hectolitre Slavonian and Allier oak barrels, tonneaux of 5 hectolitres, and barriques on the third refill.

The Giacomo Mori estate is located in San Casciano del Bagni, near Siena, and is planted to 8 hectares of vineyards that were replanted in 1995, followed by a major renovation that began in 1996 and was completed in the year 2000. The consultant winemaker is Emiliano Falsini.

Giacomo Mori Chianti 2014 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

GIACOMO MORI CHIANTI 2014 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#068858) (XD) - $21.95
Blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino/Canaiolo. Fresh red berry and plum and aromas from the cork. This has a savoury, rustic, earthy, forest floor nose followed by red cherry, raspberry, sweet oak spice and leather aromas of medium intensity and quite complex. The palate is medium-bodied and dry with red currant, sour cherry, and raspberry flavours along with woodsy elements. Bright acids are fresh, while the refined tannins are smooth and well-integrated, if a touch drying. It has a long, savoury finish. Will improve in 1-2 years and drink well to 2023. Score: 90 pts


Sunday, July 9, 2017

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  • Sunday, July 9, 2017

Montecillo Crianza 2011 (Rioja) and Lamberti Santepietre Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2015 (Veneto) - Wine Reviews

Wines for Summer Drinking
As we begin enjoying the hot summer weather, here are a couple of affordable wines that should quench your thirst. The first is a Pinot Grigio and is usually a crowd favourite, while the Crianza is a savoury red wine made with Tempranillo that will be suitable for your backyard BBQ party. Both of these wines are widely available at the LCBO.

If you're heading outdoors, you can pack your wines (and food items) in a cooler bag so they stay nice and cool. You'll also want to remember to pack plastic wine glasses because you don't want to risk breaking your expensive stemware. And lastly, you'll want to pick up a set of DrinkGuards - these are non-slip silicone drink covers that keep bugs and debris out of your glass, which also doubles as a drink marker and even a coaster!

Tasting Notes:

LAMBERTI SANTEPIETRE PINOT GRIGIO DELLE VENEZIE 2015 - IGT, Veneto, Italy (#560524) (XD) - $12.10
Screw cap. Clean, fresh lemon and citrus aromas of medium+ intensity with a hint of white flowers from the glass. Some earthy/musky notes arrive as it warms up. The palate is fleshy, medium-bodied and dry with lemony white floral, and herbally flavours. It has balanced acidity, with good finish length that has touches of minerality. Easy going wine to enjoy on the patio. Score: 87 pts

Lamberti Santepietre Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2015 (87 pts)

MONTECILLO CRIANZA 2011 - DOC, Rioja, Spain (#144493) (XD) - $14.95
Sweet oak spice and black plum aromas from the cork. Medium+ intensity nose from glass, showing sandalwood, oak spice, cherry, raspberry, earth, forest floor, and barnyard aromas all mingling nicely. The palate is medium+ bodied with good fruit concentration, tannins a touch drying, and more savoury earthy, dark cherry, forest floor, barnyard, and oak flavours. It has juicy acids, some heat on the mid-palate, while the finish length is very good with more savoury earthy, forest floor and barnyard notes. A savoury wine ideal for the BBQ. Drink over the next 2 years. Score: 88 pts

Montecillo Crianza 2011 (88 pts)


Friday, July 7, 2017

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  • Friday, July 7, 2017

Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2013 (Rhône) - Wine Review

delicious wine was released through LCBO VINTAGES on and, surprisingly, quite a few bottles are still available at the LCBO.

The story of Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils begins when Francis Usseglio leaves Italy in 1931 to become a vineyard worker in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. In 1948, Francis is offered to opportunity to exploit 8 hectares of vines and opens his own winery and names it after his son, Pierre. Today, the estate consists of 24 hectares and continues to be family-owned and operated by Pierre's two sons - Jean-Pierre and Thierry Usséglio.

Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2013 (92 pts)

Tasting Note:

DOMAINE PIERRE USSEGLIO ET FILS CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#381079) (XD) - $47.95
A blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, and 5% Cinsault aged in older wood. Woodsy aromas followed closely by dark fruit, black plum and blackberry from the cork. A classy, elegant nose of sweet spice, incense, black raspberry, flowers, and garrigue, with very good intensity as it breathes in the glass. The juicy palate is very impressive with finely knit tannins on a medium-bodied frame and bright, juicy acids. Alcohol is high at 15% and shows up on the mid-palate, but is well-supported by the fruit. More garrigue, floral, raspberry, blackberry flavours on the palate, along with well-integrated cedar oak. Finish length is excellent with a mineral and iron character. A superb wine to enjoy over the next 5-6 years. Score: 92 pts


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