Wednesday, March 21, 2018

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  • Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Giveaway - Win Tickets to 2018 County in the City in Toronto

Win Tickets to 2018 County in the City in Toronto
TRY & BUY many of Prince Edward County's most spectacular wines, while they are available in Toronto for one night only! At the 7th annual County in the City, presented by WineAlign, samples of more than 70 different wines will delight the palates of guests and introduce them to some of the most enticing flavours of Prince Edward County - Ontario’s hottest growing wine region.

Receive FREE DELIVERY on orders of 12 bottles or more. $10 delivery for minimum 6 bottle orders.

I have personally attended this event every year and can tell you firsthand that the delicious wines have been getting better every year, and some are downright excellent. As such, I am pleased to have the opportunity to give away two (2) pairs of tickets to this fabulous try & buy wine tasting!

Participating Wineries & Vendors:

Broken Stone Winery, By Chadsey's Cairns Winery, Casa Dea Winery, Closson Chase Winery, Grange of Prince Edward Winery, Hillier Creek Estates, Huff Estates Winery, Karlo Estates, Keint-He Winery and Vineyard, Lacey Estates Winery, Lighthall Vineyards, Norman Hardie Winery & Vineyard, Rosehall Run Winery, Sandbanks Estate Winery, Stanners Vineyard, Trail Estate Winery, Traynor Family Vineyard, Kinsip House of Fine Spirits, and Cured Spice Co.

Event Details:

County in the City presented by WineAlign
Where: Berkeley Church - 315 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario
When: from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tickets are $49 in advance and include all wine samples plus two food items.
($60 at the door - subject to availability)

A portion of all ticket sales from this event goes directly to the Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund.

This is a Beck Taxi sponsored event. Beck Taxis will be on hand to get you home safe. Please drink responsibly.


Here's your chance to WIN a pair of tickets to County in the City presented by WineAlign.
Two (2) winners will be announced! Each winner will receive one (1) pair of tickets.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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  • Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée La Grange Dîmière Sancerre Rouge 2013 (Loire) - Wine Review

Pinot Noir from Loire is a new release that arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on (with plenty still available for purchase as of this post).

This red wine is from Sancerre, a wine appellation in Loire, France, that is normally associated with fine expressions of Sauvignon Blanc. However, 30% of the vines at Jean-Max Roger are planted to Pinot Noir on flint, "terres blanches", and "caillottes" soil types. "La Grange Dîmière" refers to one of the village of Bue's ancient tithe barns. This barn was used by ancestors to make wine, and today it remains the oldest part of the winery.

I've enjoyed many wines from Jean-Max Roger over the years, but this is the first red wine from this winery. I am expecting another quality wine.

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée La Grange Dîmière Sancerre Rouge 2013 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE LA GRANGE DÎMIÈRE SANCERRE ROUGE 2013 - AC, Loire, France (#539858) (XD) - $29.95
100% Pinot Noir aged for 10-15 months, with 20-30% aged in 300 litre oak barrels, while the rest is aged in stainless steel tanks. Black plum, dark cherry and oak spice aromas from the cork. This has a medium+ intensity nose that offers ripe red berry and floral aromas with hints of candied cherry, earth and sandalwood oak spice. The tangy palate is light-bodied with fine tannins that are well-integrated and gains some grip with air. Tart acids are fresh. Sour cherry, floral and earthy flavours linger on the long, juicy finish, with touches of bitterness. Score: 89 pts

Monday, March 19, 2018

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  • Monday, March 19, 2018

Rawson's Retreat Private Release Chardonnay 2013 (Australia) - Wine Review

This wine was purchased at a Liquor World (the liquor store attached to New World IGA Supermarket) in Suva, Fiji, and while there on a recent vacation. At each of the few liquor shops I visited, shelves were stocked with mostly wines from Australia and New Zealand. I recognized quite a few of the wine brands, however, I would be hard pressed to find these specific wines at an LCBO.

Since I wanted to try something new, and with almost no shelf talkers or award stickers, I was pretty much in the dark as to what to get. I opted for this white wine made by Penfolds, a fairly reliable brand owned by Treasury Wine Estates that tends to produce quality wines throughout the range, and because Chardonnay tends to pair well with local Spiny Lobster.

Rawson's Retreat Private Release Chardonnay 2013 (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

RAWSON'S RETREAT PRIVATE RELEASE CHARDONNAY 2013 - South Eastern Australia (XD) - $33 FJD / ~$22 CAD
The medium intensity nose is very ripe with banana, tropical fruit, melon, and citrus fruit aromas. On the medium bodied palate it is a touch sweet with stone fruit and pear aroma replays, plus a salty mineral character and hints of lime. It has fresh acids and sweet vanilla notes with good length on the finish. Score: 87 pts

Saturday, March 17, 2018

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  • Saturday, March 17, 2018

Aniello 006 Riverside Estate Pinot Noir 2016 (Argentina) - Wine Review

wine is new to the LCBO and was recently released into LCBO VINTAGES on . It was featured as part of the main theme on wines from South of the Equator.

Bodegas Aniello is a small winery with Italian roots that was originally built in 1927 and looks to explore the value of the ancient winemaking tradition of Patagonia. The winery is currently on the path of moving from conventional to sustainable agriculture and integrated vineyard management by using natural alternatives for fertilization, pests, disease and weed prevention.

The name '006' derives from the cadastral nomenclature of the estate and is one of the few vineyards in Argentina, located next to an actual flowing river. Indeed, the image on the label depicts all of the elements of the varied alluvial-type soils that characterize the vineyard.

As this is a recent release, this wine is still widely available in the VINTAGES section at LCBO outlets across Ontario.

Aniello 006 Riverside Estate Pinot Noir 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

ANIELLO 006 RIVERSIDE ESTATE PINOT NOIR 2016 - Río Negro Valley, Patagonia, Argentina (#542092) (XD) - $17.95
Fermented in small concrete tanks, with a portion oak-aged for 12 months. Red cherry and raspberry aromas from the cork. This has a cinnamon spice driven nose with dark red cherry, strawberry and raspberry laying underneath, with good intensity. The palate is medium-bodied with cran-cherry-raspberry and forest floor flavours joined by some baking spice and beetroot notes which are lifted by fresh acids. Tannins have a touch of grip and are finely structured. Some mineral notes arrive mid-palate and continue through to the long finish. Drink over the next 3-4 years. Score: 89 pts

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

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  • Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Castelo do Mar Albariño 2016 (Spain) - Wine Review

delicious wine will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

This white wine is produced by the Pazo do Mar Group, a family business with over 40 years of experience in producing Galician wines in northwestern Spain, just north of Portugal. The winery, Viega da Princesa, is located in Arbo, Pontevedra, and produces only single estate/property wines using modern equipment and winemaking techniques. It was formed after merging more than 200 small farms that were owned by more than 70 different owners, with the first vines planted in 2002.

The Albariño vines for this wine come entirely from their own 18 hectare estate on granite soils in Tea County. The vines were cultivated on trellises, which helps produce grapes that are airy and sun-kissed, while also less acidic when compared to other vine-training techniques. This wine was hand-harvested and raised completely in stainless steel tanks using indigenous yeasts.

Castelo do Mar Albariño 2016 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

CASTELO DO MAR ALBARIÑO 2016 - DO Rías Baixas, Spain (#488734) (XD) - $17.95
Screw cap. This has a fairly generous nose featuring citrus, green apple, white flower and lemon oil aromas. On the ripe medium-to-full bodied palate, this has appealing lemon oil, citrus, and orchard fruit flavours. Some herbally notes add complexity as it warms in the glass. Fresh, crunchy, and balanced acids offer nice texture. Hints of stony mineral come through on the mid-palate and on the long, juicy finish. Score: 88+ pts

Monday, March 12, 2018

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  • Monday, March 12, 2018

VINTAGES Release March 17, 2018: Classic Euro Regions + Merlot + Argentina

LCBO Wine Picks: March 17, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The next LCBO VINTAGES Release on features wines from Europe's classic wine regions as it's main theme. There are two mini-themes - one featuring Merlot, the other featuring Argentina - however, none of the wines from the mini-themes are included among my wine picks. All of these new wines will be on shelves across Ontario this .

The main theme is interesting, featuring Europe's top 11 classic wine regions and lists 18 wines, four of which are included among my top wine picks. The 11 regions listed are Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, Loire Valley, Rhône Valley, Piedmont, Tuscany, Veneto, Mosel, Douro, and Rioja. Among my top wine picks, you'll find an excellent Champagne that is a 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. From the Mosel region in Germany, there is a sweet Riesling that will pair really well with spicy dishes. Lastly, both Rhône wines - from the outstanding 2015 vintage - listed in this feature are among my wine recommendations. The Costières de Nîmes is an organic wine consisting of 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, and 5% Carignan, while the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 70% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and other varietals making up the balance.

Among red wines from the rest of the release, Australia continues to explore Italian varietals, and the results are promising. From Australia, there is a Nero d'Avola, as well as a blend of Sangiovese and Shiraz. From Tuscany, the Gran Selezione Chianti Classico is made with 100% Sangiovese. From South Africa, the Ernie Els (yes, the golfer) wine is a blend of 60% Shiraz, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Grenache, 3% Mourvèdre, 7% Cinsaut, and 5% Viognier. From France, the La Clape red from the Languedoc is a blend of 60% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 20% Carignan, while the 2015 Vacqueyras is a blend of 68% Grenache, 27% Syrah, and 5% Cinsault.

Il Molino di Grace Il Margone Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2011 (92 pts)Henry of Pelham Estate Riesling 2016 (88 pts)

From my white wine picks, the Fumé Blanc is actually a blend of 89% Sauvignon Blanc and 11% Sémillon that was barrel-fermented and aged in French oak. For sweet wine lovers, the Siegerrebe will surely please your palate, as will the Ontario Riesling. The Pinot Gris also offers some sweetness.

Please note that the four Flagship Store Exclusives included among my wine picks will only be available in limited quantities at Flagship stores. Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CORIOLE SANGIOVESE/SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#534610) (XD) - $17.95
  • MONTERRA FLEURIEU PENINSULA NERO D’AVOLA 2016 - Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia (#534743) (XD) - $18.95
  • ARBOLEDA CARMENÈRE 2015 - Aconcagua Valley, Chile (#046284) (XD) - $19.95  88 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU DE NAGES VIEILLES VIGNES COSTIÈRES DE NÎMES 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#040964) (XD) - $19.95
  • ERNIE ELS BIG EASY 2016 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#220038) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU PECH REDON L’ÉPERVIER LA CLAPE 2014 - AC Coteaux du Languedoc, Midi, France (#129965) (XD) - $22.95
  • DOMAINE DROUHIN ROSEROCK PINOT NOIR 2014 - Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#529107) (XD) - $39.95
  • DOMAINE LES ONDINES PASSION VACQUEYRAS 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#536854) (XD) - $39.95  FSE
  • IL MOLINO DI GRACE IL MARGONE GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#435115) (XD) - $42.95  92 pts  wine review
  • FONT DE MICHELLE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2015 - AP, Rhône, France (#400358) (D) - $51.95
  • MICHELE CASTELLANI CINQUE STELLE AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2013 - Collezione Ca’ del Pipa, DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#075127) (D) - $55.95
Arboleda Carmenère 2015 (88 pts)

White Wine:

  • ANSELMANN EDESHEIMER ROSENGARTEN SIEGERREBE SPÄTLESE 2016 - Prädikatswein, Pfalz, Germany (#910554) (S) - $16.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE RIESLING 2016 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#557165) (M) - $17.95  88 pts  wine review
  • CASTELO DO MAR ALBARIÑO 2016 - DO Rías Baixas, Spain (#488734) (XD) - $17.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • A TO Z PINOT GRIS 2016 - Oregon, USA (#258145) (D) - $19.95
  • ATTEMS PINOT GRIGIO 2016 - IGT Venezia Giulia, Venezie, Italy (#707950) (XD) - $19.95
  • TOHU SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#536177) (XD) - $21.95  89 pts  wine review
  • DR. PAULY-BERGWEILER BERNKASTELER BADSTUBE RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2015 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#727370) (S) - $29.95
  • WAKEFIELD ST. ANDREWS CHARDONNAY 2015 - Single Vineyard Release, Clare Valley, South Australia (#237933) (XD) - $34.95  FSE
  • MARCO FELLUGA RUSSIZ SUPERIORE RISERVA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012 - DOC Collio, Friuli, Italy (#541599) (XD) - $48.95  FSE
  • ROBERT MONDAVI TO KALON VINEYARD RESERVE FUMÉ BLANC 2013 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#326165) (XD) - $59.95  FSE
Tohu Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (89 pts)Castelo do Mar Albariño 2016 (88+ pts)

Sparkling Wine:


Friday, March 9, 2018

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  • Friday, March 9, 2018

Tohu Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

Hot on the heels of enjoying a wonderful NZ Sauvignon Blanc earlier this week, wine is another delightful Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

Producing fine wines in New Zealand's premier grape growing regions since 1998, Tohu (pronounced Tor-who) means "sign" or "signature" and is the world's first Maori owned wine company. The Maori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

The grapes for this single vineyard bottling of Sauvignon Blanc was grown on their own vineyards in the upper reaches of the Awatere Valley at approximately 200 metres above sea level and machine harvested. In stainless steel tanks, this was fermented and left to settle on the less, following by maturation. Each batch was meticulously classified during the entire process, then finally blended together to capture the unique characteristics of the vineyard and the season. In 2016, Marlborough produced larger than average berries, which should emphasize more passionfruit flavours over herbally flavours.

This new wine will be available on shelves as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release on .

Tohu Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

TOHU SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#536177) (XD) - $21.95
Screw cap. The pungent, aromatic nose offers passionfruit, grapefruit, gooseberry, and guava with hints of minerality. It's very ripe with sweet and sour flavours on the palate with appealing aroma replays. Racy acids provide freshness. Juicy mid-palate. Fine length on the crisp, mouth-watering finish. Inclined to let this sit for another 6 to 12 months to let the acids settle down and enjoy to 2020. Score: 89 pts

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