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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Wine Reviews - August 16th Birthday Party



Here are wine reviews of some of the wines we enjoyed yesterday at my 1-year-old daughter's 1st birthday party. The big winners among guests were definitely the Minervois and the Crianza as I received lots of positive comments about both of those red wines.

Tasting Notes:
KÖNIGSCHAFFHAUSER VULKANFELSEN PINOT NOIR ROSÉ TROCKEN 2013 - Qualitätswein, Baden, Germany (#168237) (D) - $13.95
From the Vintages release and quite a few remain in stock depending on which LCBO is nearest to you. Fresh aromas of medium+ intensity with a nose of strawberry, rose, cherry and grapefruit. It's light-to-medium bodied and off-dry on the palate with more grapefruit, cherry and hints of honey flavours. Very fresh mouthfeel with zippy, refreshing acids. Good length on the finish. Score: 88 pts
Wine Review of 2013 Königschaffhauser Vulkanfelsen Pinot Noir Rosé Trocken from Baden, Germany

ERRÁZURIZ MAX RESERVA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Aconcagua Costa, Chile (#273342) (XD) - $15.95
First tasted at the Errázuriz winemaker tasting . Highly aromatic gooseberry, cat pee, and herbal aromas from the glass. Light-to-medium bodied on the palate along with a slightly creamy texture. Balanced aroma replays, plus green pepper, lime peel notes on the palate. Has lively acidity and a lengthy finish. Classic Sauvignon Blanc. LCBO General List and on sale at select LCBO outlets. Score: 89 pts

Wine Review of 2013 Errázuriz Max Reserva Sauvignon Blanc from Aconcagua Valley, Chile

VINELAND ESTATES SEMI-DRY RIESLING 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#232033) (D) - $13.95
LCBO General List product. Medium-high aromas that show lemon, pear, tropical fruit and hint of petrol. Slight spritz on the off-dry palate with lively acids, lemon, mineral, and touch of honeyed fruit flavours. Finish is lengthy, with sweetness tapering off to a dry finish. Even though designated as "semi-dry", was not as sweet as I expected. Score: 88+ pts

Wine Review of 2012 Vineland Estates Semi-Dry Riesling from VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada

CHÂTEAU DE GOURGAZAUD CUVÉE MATHILDE MINERVOIS 2011 - AC, Midi, France (#958629) (XD) - $14.95
From Vintages release. Blend of Syrah and Mourvèdre. Medium+ aroma intensity with blackberry, blackcherry and hints of violet. On the palate, it's medium-full bodied with round tannins that are nicely integrated. Pleasing aroma replays, along with black pepper and red cherry notes. Acids are well-balanced. Finish is long and smooth. Score: 88 pts

Wine Review of 2011 Château de Gourgazaud Cuvée Mathilde Minervois from AC, Midi, France

ABAD DOM BUENO CRIANZA 2006 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#244699) (XD) - $14.95
From the Vintages release and virtually sold out. Made using the Mencía grape and highly fragrant with sinewy black fruits, violets, smoky oak and hint of barnyard from the glass. On the palate, it's full-bodied with very nice aroma replays, earthy and elegant oak spice. Big, smooth tannins are still full and integrating nicely. Very good acids and length. Ageing gracefully at 8 years old, will reward further 4-5 years in cellar. Expect some sediment. Reminds me of a Brunello. Amazing value. Score: 90 pts
Wine Review of 2006 Abad Dom Bueno Crianza from DO Bierzo, Spain



Monday, August 11, 2014

Aug. 16 LCBO Wine Picks: Southern Belles + Malbec

Wine Picks from August 16, 2014 LCBO Vintages Magazine
The next Vintages release will be in LCBO outlets across Ontario on . The major theme of this release highlights wines from the South of France, a region frequently referred to as Midi or Languedoc, while the second theme focuses on Argentina's signature grape - Malbec.

I was surprised to see only 12 wines listed in the South of France feature as it's rather small compared to recent main Vintages themes. However, nearly half made my list of wine picks, and the lone white is a Viognier. Among the reds, 2 wines from Minervois appellation made the cut. From Gourgazaud is a blend of Syrah and Mourvèdre, while the version from Hecht & Bannier is mostly Syrah, some Grenache, and drops of Carignan. Also from Hecht & Bannier is their Saint-Chinian, which is mainly Syrah, with Grenache and Mourvèdre blended in support, all of which hails from the Saint-Chinian AOC. And lastly, from Gérard Bertrand is a blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache and comes from the Pic Saint-Loup appellation.

The feature on Argentina's Malbec was a bit disappointing as there were some good wines, but represented poor value. Just one of the six wines made my list of recommendations below. The Malbec from Finca Decero hails from a single vineyard located 1,050 metres above sea level in Agrelo.

From the rest of the release, the Basa Blanco is a crisp, dry white wine that is a blend consisting of 85% Verdejo, 12% Viura, and 3% Sauvignon Blanc. Sweet wine lovers will want to consider any of the 4 Rieslings I've recommended below - there are two each from Ontario and Germany. The Tavel Rosé is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvèdre. In red wines, the Crianza is mostly Tempranillo, with Garnacha tinta (Grenache) and Graciano also blended in. And finally, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is 70% Grenache, with Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault and other grape varieties making up the final 30% of the blend.

Enjoy my Vintages wine recommendations for this week. Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • CHÂTEAU DE GOURGAZAUD CUVÉE MATHILDE MINERVOIS 2011 - AC, Midi, France (#958629) (XD) - $14.95
  • LÓPEZ DE HARO CRIANZA 2008 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#377481) (XD) - $15.95
  • CASA SILVA LOS LINGUES GRAN RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2012 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#059477) (XD) - $15.95
  • GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR PIC SAINT LOUP 2011 - AP Coteaux du Languedoc, Midi, France (#376491) (XD) - $19.95
  • HECHT & BANNIER MINERVOIS 2011 - AC, Midi, France (#017764) (XD) - $20.95
  • DECERO REMOLINOS VINEYARD MALBEC 2011 - Agrelo, Central Region, Mendoza, Argentina (#247304) (XD) - $22.95
  • HECHT & BANNIER SAINT-CHINIAN 2011 - AC, Midi, France (#184184) (XD) - $25.95  reviewed here
  • VILLA ANNABERTA AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA 2010 - DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#338921) (D) - $39.95
  • DOMAINE MONPERTUIS CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2010 - AC, Rhone, France (#358663) (XD) - $42.95
  • RAYMOND DISTRICT COLLECTION CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2009 - St. Helena, Napa Valley, California, USA (#054734) (XD) - $74.95

White Wine:
  • GUILLAUME AURÈLE VIOGNIER 2013 - IGP Pays d’Oc, Midi, France (#380741) (XD) - $13.95
  • POIRON DABIN VIEILLES VIGNES MUSCADET SÈVRE & MAINE SUR LIE 2012 - AC, Loire, France (#380006) (XD) - $14.95
  • BASA BLANCO 2013 - DO Rueda, Spain (#381558) (XD) - $17.95
  • REDSTONE LIMESTONE VINEYARD SOUTH RIESLING 2012 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#381251) (M) - $18.95
  • VINELAND ESTATES ELEVATION ST. URBAN VINEYARD RIESLING 2012 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#038117) (M) - $19.95
  • REICHSGRAF VON KESSELSTATT KASELER NIES'CHEN RIESLING KABINETT 2006 - Pradikätswein, Mosel, Germany (#940809) (MD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • DR. HERMANN ERDENER TREPPCHEN RIESLING AUSLESE 2005 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#376368) (M) - $23.95
  • NORMAN HARDIE NIAGARA UNFILTERED CHARDONNAY 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#184432) (XD) - $39.20
  • DOMAINE BILLAUD-SIMON LES VAILLONS CHABLIS 1 ER CRU 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#330175) (XD) - $39.95

Rosé Wine:
  • DOMAINE LA ROCALIÈRE TAVEL ROSÉ 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#375618) (XD) - $19.95

Fortifieds:
  • VALDESPINO INOCENTE SINGLE VINEYARD FINO DRY SHERRY - DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, Spain (#378919) (XD) - $22.95



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

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Emiliana Novas Gran Reserva Petit Verdot 2011 (Chile) - Wine Review

Tonight's organic red wine is a lovely Petit Verdot that I heard was specially crafted for the LCBO and was purchased from the September 14, 2013 Vintages release. As it's completely sold out, I wouldn't be surprised to see it show up in Vintages again later this year. If you have this bottle, you may want to open it soon.

EMILIANA NOVAS GRAN RESERVA PETIT VERDOT 2011 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#325662) (XD) - $15.95
Wine label of 2011 Emiliana Novas Gran Reserva Petit Verdot from Colchagua Valley, ChileWine review of 2011 Emiliana Novas Gran Reserva Petit Verdot from Colchagua Valley, Chile
Tasting Note:
Blackcurrant, cola and oak aromas from the cork. Medium+ intensity aromas from the glass that show blackberry, black cherry, cola and new oak notes. Full-bodied and very dense on the palate. Flavour profile consists of blackberry, earth, vanillan oak, and ash. Mouth-watering acids. Tannins with firm, drying, and nicely integrated. Long, smooth finish that is definitely bitter. Fruit is starting to fade - drink over the next year. Enjoyed with homemade chicken curry. Score: 89 pts

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ice House Slushies Cabernet Sauvignon (Ontario) - Wine Review

Tonight's wine is this delicious dessert wine made by The Ice House Winery, located in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

I picked up this bottle last January during the Icewine Festival. It's worth noting even though it is a sweet, dessert wine, it is not VQA, nor is it labelled as Icewine. Regardless, those who prefer sweet wines will enjoy this one.

ICE HOUSE SLUSHIES CABERNET SAUVIGNON - Ontario, Canada (#) (S) (375 mL) - $45

Wine Label of Ice House Slushies Cabernet SauvignonWine Review of Ice House Slushies Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting Note:
Citrus, orange marmalade and date aromas from the cork. Medium-high aromatics from the glass featuring orange peel, dried cherry, and poached currants. It's medium-bodied and sweet on the palate with cherry, orange, tea flavours and some bitter currants on the medium-long finish. Acids are crisp and balance the sweetness well. Requires only a light chill. Score: 88 pts