Wine Reviews
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Château Saint Nabor Côtes du Rhone White 2015, France

Elegant white blend of 80% Roussanne, 10% Grenache Blanc and 10% Ugni Blanc from Rhone. Seductive floral nose with pronounced aromas and flavours of white stone fruit and juicy pineapple. Smooth mouthfeel. Crisp and refreshing with vibrant acidity and lingering finish. Great as an aperitif and matched with oysters, pan-fried fish and grilled seafood. Score: 88/100. Tasted August 2017. VINTAGES#: 485532, $ 13.95.

Kim Crawford Pinot Gris 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Beautifully aromatic Pinot Gris crafted with fruit grown in Wairau and Awatere vineyards in Marlborough. Delicately perfumed nose with pronounced aromas and flavours of Granny Smith apples, ripe pears and honeydew melons. Fruit-forward, vibrant and fresh with crisp acidity. Extremely versatile and food-friendly. Perfectly matched with grilled shellfish, mild cheeses and antipasti. Score: 90/100. Tasted August 2017. VINTAGES#: 369850, $ 19.95.

Bougrier Vouvray Chenin Blanc 2016, Loire, France

This lovely Chenin Blanc hails from Loire’s Vouvray AOC, one of the best regions in the world for producing the wines from this varietal. Bougrier Chenin Blanc is a true delight and a fantastic value at this price point. Beautiful aromatic and just off-dry with luxurious mouthfeel. Pronounced aromas and flavours of orchard fruits and quince. Well balanced acidity and lingering finish. Perfectly matched with patés, roasted chicken and shellfish, or simply as a delightful aperitif. Score: 91/100. LCBO#: 253229, $ 15.35.

Greenlane Old Vines Riesling 2012, VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula

A NWAC14 Bronze Medal Winner, this lovely Riesling hails from the vineyards nestled in Niagara’s 20 Valley. Fruit-forward and beautifully aromatic, it’s vinified with the fruit from over 20 year old vines. Dry with crisp acidity, bursting with aromas and flavours of ripe apricots, clementines and Granny Smith apples. A real treat as a sipper on a hot summer afternoon. Perfectly paired with soft, pungent cheeses and grilled seafood. Score: 88/100. Tasted July 2017.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Eroica Riesling 2015, Columbia Valley, Washington

This beautifully aromatic Columbia Valley Riesling is a winemaking collaboration between Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Bob Bertheau and Mosel’s legendary winemaker Ernst Loosen. Fresh and lively with crisp acidity. Aromas and flavours of apricots, tangerine and lime with pronounced minerality, leading to a polished, lingering finish. Perfect pairing with grilled shrimp with a splash of lemon juice. Score: 92/100. Tasted June 2017. VINTAGES#: 677161, $ 44.00.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay 2014, Columbia Valley, Washington

An elegant, full-bodied Canoe Ridge Estate Chardonnay, crafted with the fruit grown on high altitude vineyards. Aromas and flavours of crisp green apples, pears and zesty citrus. Fresh and vibrant palate with luxurious, buttery mouthfeel and lingering finish. Food-friendly and versatile. Perfect pairing with slowly roasted lemon-herb chicken. Score: 92/100. Tasted June 2017. VINTAGES#: 232439, $ 49.00.

Vina San Pedro 1865 Vineyard Chardonnay 2015, Chile

This beautifully crafted 100% Chardonnay hails from the Elgui Valley in the north of Chile. With the Pacific Ocean only 25K away, the climate is moderate and perfectly suited for the varietal. Bursting with aromas and flavours of zesty citrus with papaya notes as a great surprise. Creamy, luxurious mouthfeel. Refreshing with crisp acidity due to partial malolactic fermentation and pronounced minerality. Great as an aperitif and perfectly paired with creamy seafood dishes. Score: 93/100. Tasted June 2017. LCBO $ 19.95.

Ruffino Orvieto Classico DOC, Umbria, Italy

A delightful white blend of Italian grapes; Grechetto 40%, Procanico 20% with 40% of other white varietals Verdello and Canaiolo Bianco. The fruit comes from the ancient limestone remnants of volcanic soil along the Orvieto region. Fresh and complex, with aromas and flavours of green apples and ripe pears, subtle floral notes and a touch of minerality. Clean, lingering, almond-hued finish. Great as an aperitif, grilled fish, drizzled with olive oil and a splash of lemon, and soft, mild cheeses. Tasted March 2017. LCBO#: 31062, $ 12.95.

Domaine Bonnard Sancerre 2015, Loire, France

An elegant and richly textured Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre’s rolling limestone hills. Fresh and lively with brazing acidity and layered aromas and flavours of ripe gooseberries, lemon drops, quince and flinty-smoke. Following the “rule” that the regional pairing is always the best pairing, try it with region’s world-famous goat cheese Crottin de Chavignol. Sancerre is also super versatile and would make a worthy match to grilled fish, seafood and soft, pungent cheeses. Tasted March 2017. VINTAGES#: 140525, $ 24.95.

Lurton Fumées Blanches Sauvignon Blanc, France

This light and crisp Sauvignon Blanc comes from the cool region of the Gers, 150km south of Bordeaux. With its cool oceanic climate and clay limestone soils, it makes for an ideal region for Sauvignon production. Green and grassy, it’s bursting with aromas and flavours of pink grapefruit, zesty lime and tropical fruits with a subtle touch of minerality. Great length on a smoke-hued finish. Perfect as a sipping white or paired with summer salads, soft cheeses and appetizers. LCBO#: 472555, $ 13.05.

Closson Chase Chardonnay 2014, Prince Edward County, ON

Another great County Chard crafted by Closson’s new winemaker Keith Tyers. Full bodied and dry with great depth and complexity. Creamy brioche mingles on the tongue with aromas and flavours of ripe stone fruit and lemon zest. Crisp acidity with a graceful touch of that unmistakable County minerality. Closes in a polished, buttery toast-tinged, lingering finish. Perfect companion to a succulent lobster dipped in butter-garlic sauce. Tasted March 2017. VINTAGES#: 148866, 28.95.

Rose Hill Chardonnay VQA, Niagara Peninsula

This crisp and refreshing unoaked Chard was crafted with 100% chardonnay grapes grown on the slopes of Niagara Escarpment, hand-picked and vinified in stainless steel to preserve lightness and freshness. Dry and vibrant palate with pronounced aromas and flavours of orchard fruit and bright lemon drops notes. Perfectly balanced fruit and acidity, closes in a polished, lingering finish. Great as an aperitif or paired with summer salads and creamy cheeses. Tasted March 2017. LCBO#: 146803, $ 11.95.

Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio 2015

From Adige Valley stretching from the mighty Dolomites to Verona and then Venice, comes this lively Pinot Grigio, a benchmark for PG around the world. The first company to vinify white wine from pink Pinot Grigio grapes by removing the skins from the gently pressed wine avoiding the colour transfer. Bone-dry and fresh with crisp acidity and aromas and flavours of sweet apples and stone fruit. Perfect as a sipping white or paired with seafood and grilled fish. Tasted February 2017. LCBO # 106450, $18.95.

Alta Vista Classic Torrontés 2015, Salta, Argentina

Beautifully aromatic Argentinian white, vinified with the grapes grown in Salta’s high altitude vineyards. Aromatic, fresh and intense with aromas and flavours of pink grapefruit and ripe pears with pronounced minerality. Well balanced acidity. Closes in a lingering, polished almond-tinged finish. Great as an aperitif or paired with delicate fish and seafood or creamy cheeses. Serve well chilled. Tasted January 2017. Tania Thomas – www.taniathomas.com.

VINTAGES#: 450478, $ 17.95

Rabl Langenlois Grüner Veltliner 2015

This Austrian Grüner is a beautifully aromatic and flavorful white. Also known as “the green Wine of Veltlin”, an area in the Alps that is now part of Valtellina, Italy. Crisp and fresh, it displays mouth-watering acidity. Extra dry, rich and medium in body with aromas and flavours of limes, ripe stone fruit and pronounced minerality. Closes in a long, almond-tinged finish. Drink now or lay down for another 5 years. Fantastic pairing with fish and seafood in creamy sauces. Tasted February 2017. Tania Thomas – www.taniathomas.com. VINTAGES#: 377457, $ 14.95

La Chablisienne Grande Cuvée Chablis 1er Cru 2014

Fantastic 1er Cru Chablis, a steal at this price point. The fruit is sourced from vineyards stretching along both sides of the River Serein. Extra dry, clean, fresh and lively palate with mouth-watering, crisp acidity and steely minerality. Aromas and flavours of juicy green apples, lime zest and ripe pears. Classic pairing with raw oysters is always a winner. It also makes a great companion to seafood and creamy cheeses. Tasted February 2017. Tania Thomas – www.taniathomas.com. LCBO VINTAGES#: 685222, $ 29.95

 

Featherstone Four Feathers 2015, VQA, Niagara Peninsula

This is a delightful blend of aromatic whites with Riesling as a main star and Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc in supporting roles. Each lends their own to the mix; beautiful floral nose courtesy of Gewürztraminer and Riesling, back bone provided by Chard and crispness and freshness by Sauvignon Blanc. Slightly off-dry its bursting with aromas and flavours of ripe stone fruit, lemon drops, green apples and warm tropical notes. Fantastic as an aperitif and a perfect patio sipper. Tasted June 2016/91 points. LCBO VINTAGES # 341586, $ 14.95.

Huff Estates 2012 South Bay Chardonnay

An elegant Chard from the warmer South Bay vineyards of Ontario’s Prince Edward County, the winner of 2015 National Wine Awards of Canada. Big and bold with excellent fruit concentration, depth and complexity. Aromas and flavours of lemon drops, apples and nectarines with a whiff of that unmistakable County minerality. Rich, luxurious mouthfeel, closes in a long, lingering, vanilla-almond-tinged finish. Drink now through 2020. A given as a pairing with sinfully creamy triple-cream brie. Lip-smacking delicious!! Tasted May 2016/91 points. LCBO# 88955, $ 29.95.

Creekside Estate Marianne Hill Riesling 2014

This exceptional Beamsville Bench Riesling was awarded the prestigious Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Ontario Wines. Beautifully articulated notes of lemon drops on the nose followed by ripe stone fruit and zippy citrus with a touch of minerality on the palate. Perfectly balanced acidity and sweetness. This is an excellent partner to slightly spicy Asian dishes. Tasted May 2016/91 points. VINTAGES#: 443572, $ 19.95.

2011 Masters Wigan Eden Valley Riesling

Another remarkable Riesling from Peter Lehmann’s Wines comes from the shallow rocky soils of Australia’s Eden Valley, one of the great Riesling sites of the world. Petrol on the nose with abundant aromas and flavours of fresh zesty lime, stone fruit, a touch of honey with steely acidity. Rich and complex, it is bottled in the vintage and released 5 years following the vintage. This is an extraordinarily long living wine that will live past your grandchildren. Great companion to shellfish, roast chicken or pan-seared pork medallions. LCBO#303305, $25.00. Tasted May 2016/92 points.

Peter Lehmann Layers White 2014

Peter Lehmann’s lively, fresh and complex white blend of 44% Semillon, 22% Muscat, 19% Gewürztraminer and 15% Pinot Gris grown in close proximity to Adelaide. Semillon provides the spine for the wine, Muscat lends soft floral aromatics, Gewürztraminer brings a touch of spice and Pinot Gris provides for a luscious mouthfeel. Abundant aromas and flavours of ripe peaches and zesty citrus notes. Fantastic on its own as a patio sipper or served with seafood and slightly spicy Asian dishes. Delightful! Tasted May 2016/92 points.

Grgich Hills Fumé Blanc Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Crafted in a consistently sunny 2013 vintage by Grgich Hills Estate Winery, this 100% Sauvignon Blanc was organically farmed and fermented in small French oak barrels followed by six months lees-aging to add body and complexity while preserving its vibrant fruit. Beautifully refreshing with abundant aromas and flavours of ripe tropical fruit and a touch of minerality. Perfect patio-sipper and a great match to grilled shrimps, light salads and soft, creamy cheeses. LCBO # 346296, $39.95. Tasted April 2016/90 points.

Stags’ Leap Winery Viognier 2013

Vinified in natural French oak with the fruit from the cool climate, southern part of Napa Valley comes this elegant Stags’ Leap Viognier. Aromatic and delicate floral nose, ripe stone fruit on the palate with subtle tropical notes and a touch of minerality. Refreshing acidity, rich mouthfeel and great complexity imparted by lees aging. Perfect match to a succulent grilled lobster and slightly spicy dishes. LCBO# 597369, $34.95. Tasted April 2016/92 points.

Rodney Strong Wine Estates Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc 2014 

Crisp, dry and refreshing warmer climate Sauvignon Blanc from Rodney Strong Wine Estates. Vinified with fruit from Alexander and Russian River Valleys in Northern California. Bursting with aromas and flavours of lemon drops and grapefruit with ripe peaches and pineapple. Beautifully balanced fruit and acidity makes for a perfect companion to summer salads, creamy cheeses and grilled seafood. LCBO # 255968, $19.95. Tasted May 2016/91 points.

Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc 2014

A Mondavi classic, this fantastic white is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and a touch of Sémillon. Full bodied, beautifully complex with rich mouthfeel due to barrel-fermentation and lees aging. Perfectly balanced aromas and flavours of zippy citrus and honeydew melon with a touch of minerality and well integrated oak. Closes in a long, lingering crisp finish. Pair with succulent grilled lobster. LCBO# 221887, $22.95. Tasted May 2016/91 points.

Rosewood Süssreserve Riesling 2015

With a long and warm ripening season Niagara’s Riesling thrived in 2015. Just off-dry, bright and fruit-forward, it was crafted with the addition of unfermented juice (süssreserve) to perfectly balance acidity and its natural sweetness. It delivers abundant aromas and flavours of lemon drops, green apples, ripe peaches and honey with a touch of minerality. Perfect for spring and summer patio sipping and a great match with slightly spicy dishes. VINTAGES#: 258806, $ 14.95

Thirty Bench Riesling 2013, VQA, Niagara, Ontario

From gently sloping vineyards of Niagara’s Beamsville Bench comes this sought-after, award winning Riesling. Beautifully aromatic with crisp acidity and pronounced signature minerality of its region’s soil. It delivers bursts of zingy citrus and ripe white peaches with a subtle touch of sweetness and a whiff of petrol. Perfect as an aperitif or served as a companion to dishes enhanced by a splash of lemon juice, from lemon roast chicken, variety of pan fried fish and seafood to veal scaloppini. VINTAGES#24133, $ 18.95

Rutherford Wine Company Morgan Bay Cellars Chardonnay 2012

Napa Valley is well known for top quality Chardonnays and this juicy and fruit-forward crowd-pleaser is a great example. It’s packed with aromas and flavours of ripe pears, grilled pineapple with creamy butter and vanilla notes on the lingering finish. Fresh with vibrant acidity and rich mouthfeel. Perfect companion for luscious lobster in a creamy sauce.

Clos Du Bois Chardonnay 2012

This is a crowd-pleasing Californian! Vinified with 100% chardonnay grapes from sustainable vineyards is the sunny Sonoma County. Dry and full-bodied, it delivers abundant aromas and flavours of ripe orchard fruits, lemon zest and a whiff of white flowers. Rich and creamy mouthfeel, closes in a long, lingering smoke-tinged finish. Great on its own as a patio sipper, pre-dinner aperitif or matched with a lemon & herb roasted chicken.

Gewurztraminer Cuvée Bacchus A.O.C. Alsace 2013

Rich and luxurious Alsatian Gewurztraminer seduces with an intense nose of delicate white flowers and aromas and flavours of ripe pineapple, litchi and liquid honey. Great balance of sweetness and refreshing acidity. A whiff of a nutmeg on a velvety finish. Serve on its own as an aperitif with luscious lobster or after a meal with a slice (or two) of a ripe Roquefort. Delightful!

Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio 2014

Vinified with 100% pinot grigio grapes harvested in the vineyards of Veneto and Friuli in Italy’s northeast. Elegant & complex with crisp acidity and aromas and flavours of ripe apples and lemon zest. Subtle floral notes of Alpine meadows makes it a perfect match with fragrant Alpine chesses of the region. Finish is clean and lingering.

Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc Regional Collection 2014, Marlborough, NZ

Refreshing and light, this premium New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a true crowd-pleaser. Vinified from bunches of small berries with more skin-juice ratio, grown in Marlborough’s Awatere and Wairau vineyards. Bursting with aromas and flavours of citrus and tropical notes of ripe pineapple. Pronounced minerality, closes in a clean, lingering finish. Fantastic paired with albacore tuna and shellfish.

Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

Vinified with the grapes from the combination of warmer and cooler vineyards to achieve ripe tropical flavours while maintaining crisp acidity comes this vibrant Sauvignon Blanc. Dry and medium in body, it delivers aromas and flavours of citrus with abundant ripe tropical flavour and a touch of dry herbs. Closes in a clean, crisp finish. Perfect paired with all seafood, especially simply prepared scallops and mussels.

Marrenon – Classique Luberon Blanc 2011

This fresh and delicate white comes from the foothills of the Luberon Mountains in the sunny South of France. A delicious blend of 40% Grenache Blanc, 40% Vermentino and 20% Ugni Blanc; it delivers abundant aromas and flavours of white peaches, ripe pears and orange blossom. Light, smooth and refreshing it makes for a perfect aperitif. Also excellent served with chèvre and Provençale-style fish dishes.

Pyrene Cuvée Marine 2014

From the southern French region of Côtes de Gascogne, comes this fruity blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Gros Manseng and Colombard. Dry with refreshing acidity, it delivers aromas and flavours of lemon drops, orange blossoms and pronounced minerality. Great companion to grilled seafood or as an aperitif. Serve well chilled.

Marisco The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2013, New Zealand

From the ancient riverbed of the Waihopai Valley, at the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island comes this juicy Sauvignon Blanc. Dry and refreshing with pronounced notes of ripe passionfruit,   burst of lemons and limes, mouth-watering acidity and a graceful touch of minerality. Serve as an apéritif or a companion to grilled fish and seafood dishes.

Manos Negras Torrontes 2011, San Juan, Argentina

This fresh, bone dry Torrontés, the signature white grape of Argentina comes from the high altitude desert of the Tulum Valley in the region of San Juan, known for crafting premium whites. With a touch of Viognier in its blend, this is an expressive and aromatic white displaying abundant floral notes and bright acidity. It is bursting with citrus aromas and flavours of lemon drops and lime with pronounced minerality and a clean finish. Food friendly and versatile, a fine choice with succulent lobster bits dipped in creamy sauce.

The Bend River Riesling 2012, Rhein, Germany

From the steep slopes of mighty Rhine, comes this refreshing and fruity Riesling. Vinified dry, it delivers aromas and flavours of ripe peaches and apricots with pronounced citrus notes of green apples and lime zest, followed by a crisp, lingering finish. Best enjoyed well chilled as an aperitif or with slightly spicy Thai dishes and lemongrass chicken.

Chateau De Pennautier Viognier 2013, Pays d’Oc, France

Since the rein of Louis XIII, five generations of de Pennautier family members have been crafting premium wines in the sunny south of France. Grapes harvested for this full bodied, fragrant white reached their full ripeness while basking under the hot Mediterranean sun. Delicate floral notes of orange and jasmin blossoms mingle with lush tropical fruit and a touch of toast. Rich, round mouth-feel closes in a long elegant finish. Perfect companion to grilled seafood.

 

Norman Hardie County Pinot Gris 2013, PEC

Vinified with 100% County fruit this fantastic white comes with a great concentration of aromas and flavours due to exceptionally small yields, use of natural yeast and further maturation sur lie. Dry and aromatic, it’s bursting with citrus aromas of lime drops and lemon zest on the nose, followed by ripe peaches on the palate. It closes in a long, clean mineral-toned finish. Fantastic with grilled seafood.

Les Jamelles Sauvignon Blanc, Pay’s d’Oc IGP 2014

From the cool climate, limestone soils of Gard in the southern French region of Hérault, comes this great value, aromatic white. Pretty honeysuckle nose is followed by pink grapefruit, green apple, strawberries and passion fruit on the palate, with a subtle whiff of flinty minerality. Well rounded, refreshing and versatile it makes a great aperitif and a worthy companion to summer salads and light seafood dishes. Serve at 8 – 10 C.

Aveleda Vinho Verde DOC 2014

Hailing from Portugal’s most northern parts, this vibrant and intense white is vinified with the regions indigenous grapes; Loureiro, Trajadura and Arinto. It displays abundant aromas and flavours of lemon drops, lime and mouth-puckering green apple. Light in body with crisp acidity and a touch of fizz, a perfect choice for a hot summer day. Best paired with food; simply grilled squid, prawns or fish with a squeeze of lemon juice would make a fantastic companion. Serve well chilled at 6 – 8º C.

 

Lurton Fumées Blanches Sauvignon Blanc 2013

This medium bodied and elegant white is vinified with 100% sauvignon blanc grapes in the cool region of Gers, south of Bordeaux, where morning mists drift like white smoke over the foothills. Pretty jasmine blossom on the nose, mango, passion fruit, grapefruit and lime on the palate with a touch of minerality and smoke on the finish. Fresh and delicate with mouth-watering acidity, it makes a great companion to light summer dishes. Perfect with grilled smoked paprika prawns as an appetizer. Serve well chilled.

Domaine Laroche de la Chevalière, 3 Grappes Blanches 2013

Light bodied and dry, this lively and elegant white blend comes from the sunny south of France. It is vinified with 40% Chardonnay for structure, 40% Languedoc’s delicate native grape Terret which lends lightness, and the freshness of Sauvignon Blanc to round it all up. Well balanced with a pretty floral nose, and ripe white peaches and citrus on the palate. Great patio sipper or served with light summer salads and creamy cheeses. Best served at 10-12 C.

 

Chateau de Pennautier Viognier 2013, Pays D’oc, France

Since the rein of Louis XIII, five generations of de Pennautier family members have been crafting premium wines in the sunny south of France. Grapes harvested for this full bodied, fragrant white reached their full ripeness while basking under the hot Mediterranean sun. Delicate floral notes of orange and jasmine blossoms mingle with lush tropical fruit and a touch of toast. Rich, round mouth-feel closes in a long elegant finish. Perfect companion to grilled seafood.

Oxford Landing Estates Viognier 2011, South Australia

A full, round and complex wine, this musky, aromatic 100% Viognier brings a punch of citrus on the nose with it’s lime zest, mandarin peel and ruby grapefruit aromas. Palate delivers flavours of honeysuckle, quince and sun-soaked peaches with pronounced minerality and a rich feel in the mouth followed by a crisp buttery finish. An amazing compliment to shellfish such as scallops, crab or lobster.

Paul Mas, Pay’s D’oc Viognier 2012

This delicate Viognier comes from Pay’s D’oc in Languedoc region of Southern France. It displays notes of dry fruit, ripe peaches, honey and jasmine blossom. Partially aged in oak, it is well balanced and versatile. Enjoy it as an aperitif or served with reach creamy sauces, blue cheese, fruit deserts or simply prepared lobster in rich buttery sauce. Serve at 10-12 C.

Haut-Censy Muscadet Sevre & Maine Sur Lie 2011

Loire Valley Muscadet, beautifully light and fruity with bright, crisp acidity. Comes from sunny hillsides in the superior “Muscadet de Sèvre et Main” district of Loire, only made and bottled “Sur lie”. Great served as a summer aperitif, palate cleanser between the courses or with seafood in creamy sauces. Drink now or keep 2-3 years.

Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery Birch Canoe Pinot Blanc 2010

Light and elegant, this lively, crisp white delivers vibrant citrus on the nose and abundance of gooseberry, ripe peaches and tropical fruit on the palate. A touch of grapefruit rind wraps it all up in a lingering bitterness on the finish. Serve it as a pre-dinner patio sipper, with oysters or shellfish.

Caliterra Reserva Estate Grown Sauvignon Blanc 2011

This light, crisp and fresh sauvignon blanc delivers abundance of citrus notes and a touch of minerality on the nose. Palate is dry with a bright acidity and aromas of ripe mangos and lime zest, followed by a long clean finish. Aromatic and versatile it would make a great match to a pan seared salmon with a splash of lemon.

Pampas del Sur, Chardonnay/Chenin Blanc, Mendoza, Argentina

Fresh and fruity with lively acidity and delicate aromas of tropical fruit and citrus peal notes, this lovely Argentinean Chard/Chenin blend would make a great patio sipper or a worthy companion to any fish and seafood in a creamy, buttery sauce.

Peller Estates Family Series 2010 Pinot Blanc, Okanagan, BC

This smooth, fruit forward, med bodied BC Pinot Blanc delivers a subtle nose of apple peel, pear and pineapple. The palate is dry with a touch of lemon drops and bright acidity followed by a long, lingering finish.  Great paired with shellfish or spring salads.

See Ya Later Ranch Riesling 2010

Quite expressive with pear, citrus zest and apricot nose. Crisp acidity and fresh palate with a touch of sweetness and a clean, fruity finish. Match this beautifully aromatic and flavorful Riesling with a classic such as pork chops or try something different and pair it with grilled prawns with garlic for a real treat.

Tinhorn Creek Gewurztraminer

Fresh and dry with crisp acidity, rose petal nose and flavours of stone fruit, citrus and green apple. Lovely served as a patio sipper or paired with the Alpine style cheese, such as BC’s Alpine Gold to match its floral notes. Delightful!

Volcanic Hills Single Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2012

Grapes harvested from the southeast slope of a 60 million years old volcano produced this most enjoyable summer patio sipper.  This lovely off-dry white delivers abundance of concentrated tropical fruit, rose petal with ripe pear and melon. Medium bodied with floral and citrus notes, rich on the palate with a clean, crisp, lingering finish. Best served chilled to 9-12 C, it is a great companion to summer fruit salads, light curry dishes or with desserts. Summer in a glass!

Jermann Vinnae Ribolla Gialla IGT

This delicious summer sipper made with Tocai Friuliano and Riesling Renano grapes, comes from the northern Italian region of Friuli. It has a brilliant straw yellow colour, aromas of stone fruit and a touch of minerality.  Full flavoured, dry and fresh with crisp acidity, it makes for a delicious aperitif or a great match to seafood starters.

Tapiz Alta Collection Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Wow!! At this price point this Argentinian Malbec is a real steal. Crafted with 100% Malbec grapes sourced from a high altitude single vineyard at San Pablo Estate in Mendoza’s Uco Valley. Elegant and refined, full bodied and smooth. Intense aromas and flavours of ripe black cherries, blackberries and plums with subtle floral notes. Chewy tannins, starting to soften. Closes in a lingering vanilla finish. Great wine for aging, if only you could wait! A given as a pairing with grilled steak. Score: 93/100. Tasted August 2017. VINTAGES#: 450155, $ 19.95.

Viña Real Crianza 2012, Rioja, Spain

From the heart of Rioja comes this fantastic value red. A crowd-pleasing blend of mainly Tempranillo with a small addition of Grenache and Mazuela. Fruit-forward, full bodied and smooth. Aromas and flavours of ripe black cherries and plums. Solid backbone of firm tannins starting to soften. Closes in a long, lingering, smoky finish. Fantastic as a pairing with duck confit, pork patés or a plate of charcuterie. Drink now through 2022. Score: 91/100. Tasted August 2017. VINTAGES#: 657411, $ 18.95.

Seriously Cool Red, Southbrook Vineyards, Niagara, VQA Ontario

Juicy red blend of 65% Pinot Noir, %25 Gamay, 8% Zweigelt and a touch of Syrah. Crafted by Southbrook’s winemaker, Ann Sperling, dedicated to sustainable winegrowing and winemaking. The blend is bursting with bright red berries and ripe black cherries. Fruit-forward, medium in body and dry with well-balanced acidity and smooth tannins. Closes in a lingering, cedary finish. Food-friendly and crowd-pleasing, perfect for a summer BBQ. Pair with gourmet burgers and sausages. Score: 88/100. Tasted July 2017. LCBO#: 453639, $ 15.95

Chateau Ste. Michelle Ethos Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

The vintage of 2013 in Columbia Valley delivered a long and warm growing season allowing the berries to fully ripen and produced beautifully ripe, well balanced, elegant wines. This exceptional red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with the addition of 10% Merlot. Powerful and intense, it’s bursting with aromas and flavours of ripe dark berries. Firm tannins, starting to soften, impressive fruit density and a long, lingering finish. Try with a juicy, grilled steak and keep sipping after dinner with chunks of dark chocolate. Score: 91/100. Tasted June 2017. VINTAGES#: 499459, $ 74.00.

 

Alpha Box & Dice Kit & Kaboodle 2014, McLaren Vale, South Australia

An unexpected South Australian blend of Italian grapes Montepulciano & Barbera with Cabernet Sauvignon. Crafted in opulent style, medium in body with plenty of weight. Aromas and flavours of ripe red cherries and a whiff of black pepper. Well balanced and complex, this is a great fruit-forward red perfectly approachable and easily quaffable. Big tannins, starting to mellow. Closes in a long, lingering finish with dark chocolate overtones. Enjoy with grilled steak and slow roasts. Score: 91/100. Tasted June 2017. VINTAGES#: 489849, $ 24.95.

Stella Bella Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia 2012

Rich and smooth Margaret River Cab, bursting with aromas and flavours of redcurrant and cassis. Impressive fruit density. Solid backbone of firm tannins starting to soften. Great structure and refinement. Bursting with ripe redcurrants and cassis with cedary overtones. Drink now or lay down for another 10-15 years. Closes in a lingering mocha-hued finish. Fantastic with grilled lamb chops. At this price point, this is a steal!! Stock up!! Score: 93/100. Tasted June 2017. VINTAGES#: 487777, $ 29.95.

Sidewood Shiraz 2014, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

An elegant and complex cool-climate Aussie Shiraz. Crafted with fruit sourced from the high altitude Ashwood Estate vineyards in the Adelaide Hills. Bursting with aromas and flavours of ripe dark plums, berries and black cherries. Plush and smooth with superfine, velvety tannins. Beautifully integrated oak, great structure and refinement. Closes in a lingering vanilla-tinged finish. A given as a great pairing with grilled meats, slow roasts and mature cheeses. Fantastic value! Score: 93/100. Tasted June 2017. VINTAGES#: 446146, $ 19.95

 

 

Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Sonoma, California

This crowd-pleasing Cabernet Sauvignon-based Bordeaux blend hails from the cool-climate, hillside vineyards of Sonoma County. Despite an ongoing drought, 2014 turned out to be a great vintage. Fruit forward with layers of dark fruit on the nose and aromas and flavours of ripe black cherries, blackberries and cassis on the palate. Subtle touch of spice. Fleshy and generous with plenty of weight. Good structure and balance, well integrated oak. Firm tannins starting to mellow. Closes in a long, lingering cedary finish. Perfectly released in time for summer BBQ, as it make a great companion to grilled meats. Score: 90/100. Tasted June 2017. VINTAGES#: 331603, $ 22.95.

Viňa San Pedro 1865 Vineyard Limited Edition Syrah 2012

 

Wow, this is a truly exceptional wine. Beautifully intense and complex, crafted with great finesse. Fleshy and generous, with great structure. Aromas and flavours of ripe blackberries and plums with pronounced notes of black olives, rosemary and thyme. A hint of minerality. Smooth, ripe tannins. Closes with a long, elegant cedar-tinged finish. This is an excellent partner for a tray of charcuterie and mature cheeses. Drink now or if able to wait, this will reward for another 5+ years in the cellar. Score: 94/100. Tasted June 2017. LCBO $ 34.99.

Viňa San Pedro 1865 Single Vineyard Carmenére 2015, Chile

The fruit for this 100% Carmenére comes from the vineyards located in the foothills of Andes in Chilean Maule Valley. Pronounced notes of paprika and white pepper. Great structure with tons of red cherries on the palate and plenty of weight. Superfine, smooth, velvety tannins with lingering finish. Easy drinking, food-friendly and approachable. A given as a pairing with roasted chicken, grilled meats and wild mushroom risotto. The winemaker shared his perfect pairing suggestion with us: Chilean Empanada’s with meat and onion. Yumm!! Tasted June 2017. LCBO $ 19.95.

San Pedro 1865 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Chile

The Vintage of 2014 in Maipo produced fruit of superb quality, although much smaller in quantity. That provided for a greater concentration of flavours and added complexity. This Maipo Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a “pretty boy of 1865” as the winemaker jokingly put it. With soft, velvety tannins, it offers the best expression of Chilean New World style. Intense aromas and flavours of ripe red cherries, raspberries and plums. A hint of smoke on a long, lingering finish. Perfect pairing with roasted and grilled meats. Score: 93/100. Tasted June 2017. LCBO $ 19.95.

Flagstone Music Room Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Western Cape, South Africa

Wow, this is a fantastic crowd-pleasing red. Crafted with 100% Cab Sauvignon grapes grown on the high-altitude slopes of South Africa’s Western Cape. Big dark fruit; ripe black cherries and cassis with a subtle whiff of mint and thyme. Complex, with plenty of weight and impressive fruit density. Smooth, silky tannins and beautifully integrated oak. Great length. Closes in a pleasing dark chocolate and vanilla finish. A given as a pairing with robust, rich dishes. Score: 92/100. Tasted April 2017. VINTAGES#: 205245, $ 25.95.

Belle Glos Pinot Noir Las Alturas Vineyard 2014

Full-bodied, fruit forward Pinot Noir from the vineyards planted on one of the highest sites in California’s Monterey County. Cooled by the fresh coastal air and warmed by consistent sunshine, it makes for perfect pinot growing conditions. Rich, dark and concentrated, it’s bursting with black cherry and ripe plum flavours with a touch of earth and spice. Tannins are soft, ripe and well integrated. Closes in a lingering, cocoa-hued finish. Pair with wild mushroom risotto and meat roasts. Tasted April 2017. VINTAGES #: 212076, $ 59.95

Torres Coronas Tempranillo, Catalunya, Spain

This fantastic red was first crafted by Juan Torres Casals more than a 100 years ago. Medium in body and smooth, it’s bursting with aromas and flavours of ripe berries and black plums. Fleshy and generous with fine, velvety tannins and well integrated oak. Hints of vanilla add complexity on the long, lingering finish. Fantastic with grilled meats, mature cheeses and even dark chocolate. Tasted March 2017. LCBO#: 29728, $ 13.95.

Santa Margherita Chianti Classico 2013

Chianti’s are usually blends of Sangiovese grapes with the small addition of Merlot and/or Cabernet Sauvignon for extra support and color. This one is a special treat as it is vinified with 100% Sangiovese grapes. Intense ruby in colour with pretty vanilla nose, it’s bursting with aromas and flavours of wild berries and that recognizable Sangiovese spiciness. Greatly balanced fruit and acidity with well integrated oak. A great match to game roasts and mature cheeses. Drink now or hold for up to six years. Tasted February 2017. LCBO# 91694, $19.95.

Lamole di Lamole Riserva Chianti Classico 2012

This is the most beautiful expression of Chianti Classico. A complex and refined red with bright acidity and vivid aromas and flavours of black cherries and wild berries with a touch of minerality. Dry and medium in body with well integrated, velvety tannins. Smooth mouthfeel, depth and finesse. Closes in a lingering, dark chocolate – tinged finish. Perfectly matched with barbecued meats or juicy roasts. Tasted February 2017. VINTAGES #: 280651, $28.95

 

The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvèdre Viognier 2015, South Africa

Full bodied, rich, mouth-watering red blend of 67% Syrah, 31% Mourvèdre and a touch of Viognier. Vinified with the grapes from South Africa’s Swartland vineyards, located in the Cape Floral Kingdom, a world heritage site. Plush, smooth and concentrated with well integrated velvety tannins. Tons of dark fruit, plenty of weight with aromas and flavours of ripe plums with subtle floral notes. Long, lingering, smoky finish. Perfectly matched with roasts, ribs and mature cheeses. Tasted January 2017. Tania Thomas – www.taniathomas.com. LCBO#: 292557, $ 13.95

 

Babich Black Label Pinot Noir 2014, New Zealand

Fantastic value Pinot Noir from a 100% estate grown fruit in New Zealand’s Waihopai and Wairau Valleys. Dry, fresh and lively palate with aromas and flavours of ripe cherries and raspberries. Elegant and smooth with velvety tannins, great fruit concentration and well balanced acidity, leading to a lingering, dark-cocoa-tinged finish. A given as a pairing with slow cooking lamb stew or wild mushroom risotto. Tasted February 2017. Tania Thomas – www.taniathomas.com.

Primus Carmenère 2013, Chile

Another incredible value Chilean red, vinified with fruit from Colchagua Valley. Full-bodied and dry, it’s bursting with aromas and flavours of ripe dark berries. Intense, fleshy and generous with smooth tannins, tons of dark fruit, plenty of weight and beautifully integrated oak. Great length. Fantastic with grilled meats. Tasted February 2017. Tania Thomas – www.taniathomas.com.

Trapiche Gran Medalla Malbec 2013

This stunning Argentinian Malbec at an incredible value hails from Mendoza’s Uco Valley.  Beautifully articulated notes of ripe black cherries and plums with layers of dark fruit and mocha. Vinified in opulent style, it displays great structure and impressive fruit density. Fresh and vibrant palate with fine, silky tannins and well-balanced acidity. Closes in a lovely, long, elegant finish. Fantastic companion for grilled meats and charcuterie. Tasted February 2017. Tania Thomas – www.taniathomas.com. VINTAGES#: 467977, $ 25.95.

Trius Red 2013, VQA, Niagara Peninsula

This iconic Niagara red blend comes in a cool commemorative bottle in a celebration of its 25th vintage. Vinified with 55% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes following 12 months of oak barrel aging. Full in body with grippy tannins. Lovely depth of aromas and flavours with layers of ripe dark fruit, mocha and smoke, leading to a long, lingering cedar-toned finish. A given as a pairing with summer BBQ, from grilled steaks to juicy lamb and pork chops. Drink now through 2024. Tasted June 2016/91 points. LCBO VINTAGES # 303800, $ 22.95.

 

Peter Lehmann Wines Stonewell Shiraz 2010

Wow, this is Barossa at its very best! Stonewell Shiraz is the best wine of each vintage vinified with fruit from the Stonewell vineyards, one of the best Shiraz sites in the world. Fleshy, powerful and masculine with great complexity, tons of ripe black fruit and plenty of weight, leading to a chewy, cedar-toned finish. It makes a great companion with rare meats and mature cheeses. LCBO# 724625, $80.00.

Peter Lehmann’s Mentor Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Crafted in Peter Lehmann’s honor, this is a fantastic Barossa Cab. Big and bold, brimming with aromas and flavours of dark cherries, cassis and dark mint chocolate. Great structure and refinement with impressive fruit density due to partial barrel fermentation followed by 15 months maturation in French oak. Solid backbone of firm tannins just starting to soften. Closes in a long, lingering smoke–tinged finish. A given as a pairing with grilled meats, slow roasts and charcuterie.  LCBO#724336, $40.00. Tasted May 2016/92 points.

Flor de Crasto 2013, Douro DOC, Portugal

A lip-smacking blend of Portugeese star grapes Tinta Roriz, Touriga Francesa and Touriga Nacional from Douro Valley. Medium bodied, fruity and dry with fresh acidity. Abundant aromas and flavours of ripe berries with a touch of spice and subtle mineral notes. Well integrated velvety tannins, closes in a smooth, lingering cocoa-tinged finish. Great pairing with charcuterie and mature chesses. SAQ: 10838579, $ 14.90

Cave Spring Cellars La Penna 2011, Niagara, Ontario

From steep limestone cliffs at the Cave Spring Niagara Vineyard comes this full-bodied, intense 100% Cabernet Franc. Vinified in a traditional Veronese appassimento method were portion of the grapes were air-dried for several weeks to naturally concentrate the flavours within and once pressed their juices enrich the final blend. It displays great complexity and refinement with a ton of dark fruit, cassis, ripe black cherries and plums with smoky overtones. Smooth tannins, plenty of weight and well balanced acidity, closes in a lingering cedar-box-tinged finish. Fantastic with roasts and grilled steak. Tasted April 2016/92 points.

Cline Cellars Big Break Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 

This juicy, fruit-forward Lodi Zin is full in body with smooth and velvety mouthfeel. Crafted at Cline Cellars, the largest solar-powered California winery. Fleshy, generous and intense, it’s bursting with ripe black cherries and raspberries a touch of spice and a long, lingering vanilla & chocolate-hued finish. It will further develop over the next few years. Fantastic with grilled meats, a perfect crowd-pleasing BBQ wine. LCBO# 985176, $37.95. Tasted April 2016/90 points.

J. Lohr South Ridge Syrah 2013 

From California’s cooler area of the Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County comes this juicy blend of 90% Syrah, 6% Grenache, 4% Mourvèdre. Bursting with big, ripe dark fruit, black tea and exotic spice with beautifully integrated oak. Complex, rich and juicy, closes in a smoke-tinged, lingering finish. Would benefit from laying down for 3-5 years. Perfectly matched with roasts, charcuterie and mature cheeses. LCBO# 948240, $19.95. Tasted April 2016/92 points.

13th Street Winery Gamay Noir 2014, Niagara, Ontario

Vinified with hand-harvested 100 % gamay grapes grown in Niagara’s Sandstone and Whitty Vineyards. It’s bursting with aromas and flavours of ripe raspberries and strawberries with a touch of spice. Fresh and lively with well-balanced acidity and smooth tannins. Closes in a lingering, polished finish. A great match to a gourmet sausage pizza. Serve slightly chilled.

Henry of Pelham Winery Speck Family Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2012

Crafted with a hand-picked blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes grown in the Niagara’s Short Hills Bench vineyards. Deep and rich with layers of big, dark fruit; ripe black cherries and blackberries on the palate, cedary overtones and a long, lingering vanilla and smoke-tinged finish. Beautifully integrated oak and firm tannins with great structure and refinement, this wine will improve with up to a decade of cellaring. A fine choice for a slowly roasted leg of lamb. VINTAGES # 616433, $ 50.00

Peller Estates Private Reserve Gamay Noir 2013, VQA, Niagara, Ontario

A hidden gem from Peller Estates and the winner of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Ontario Wines, this well-crafted, elegant Gamay Noir is bursting with aromas and flavours of ripe black cherries and blackberries, a touch of black pepper and soft, well integrated tannins. Medium in body, dry and fruit-forward, closes in a long, lingering earthy-toned finish. Perfect for food matching from soft cheeses to pasta dishes and gourmet pizzas. Delicious! VINTAGES#: 444745, $ 19.95

Fontella Chianty DOCG 2014, Tuscany, Italy

A juicy fruit forward blend of mainly Sangiovese with a touch of Canaiolo, it’s bursting with aromas and flavours of ripe red cherries and raspberries with subtle floral notes and a touch of spice. Dry and medium in body, this is a sure crowd-pleaser at a fantastic price point. Great tannic structure, balanced acidity and smooth finish. Extremely food friendly, it makes a perfect match for a plate of traditional spaghetti alla Bolognese.

Monasterio De Las Vinas Crianza Carinena, 2008, Aragon, Spain

From the Ebro Valley vineyards surrounding Cariñena village, the largest and oldest of the Aragonese DOs, comes this fruity blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo, Carinena and Cabernet Sauvignon. Dry and medium-bodied with abundant aromas and flavours of plums, black cherries and dark berries and a touch of wood smoke and spice. Fresh on the palate with well-balanced acidity, smooth tannins and lingering finish. Perfect companion to variety of tapas, charcuterie and cheeses.

Domaine La Gardie Cabernet Sauvignon Pays d’Oc, Hérault 2013

Juicy crowd-pleaser, crafted with a 100% cabernet sauvignon grapes ripened to perfection in the sunny Languedoc region of France. Full-bodied and intense, reveals aromas and flavours of black fruit, ripe black cherries and cassis with herbaceous notes of rosemary and lavender. Mellowed tannins and a long, lingering, smoky finish. Serve with grilled meats and firm cheeses. Drink now through 2016.

Boussac Languedoc 2013

Juicy blend of Carignan, Syrah and Grenache from the sunny Languedoc. Fresh and lively with intense aromas and flavours of red berries, black olives and rosemary with a hint of smoke and leather. Supple and velvety tannins, well integrated oak. Finish is long and polished. Try with roasted meats, charcuterie and mature cheeses.

Folie à Deux Ménage à Trois Midnight 2013, California

Deep, dark and mysterious Californian. An intense blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot. Plush, elegant and concentrated, it’s bursting with aromas and flavours of ripe blackberries and plums with hints of coffee and chocolate. Velvety tannins, luxurious mouthfeel, closes in a very long smoke-tinged finish. Fantastic match to a juicy grilled steak.

Patriarche Pinot Noir Pays d’Oc Prestige 2013

From the sun-drenched vineyards of Pays d’Oc in the deep south of France and crafted by a wine house founded in 1780, comes this light and fruit-forward Pinot Noir. Fresh and vibrant palate with aromas and flavours of ripe strawberries and cherries with a hint of vanilla and soft, velvety tannins. Closes in a medium long vanilla-toned finish. Perfect for chicken roast, duck confit and semi-soft cheeses.

Benjamin Brunel Rasteau, 2013

From the high altitude, terraced vineyards at approximately 250 meters above the sea level in Rhone’s Vaucluse region, comes this juicy, fruit forward blend of Syrah, Cinsault and Grenache. Full bodied, rich and smooth with aromas and flavours of cassis, black cherries and raspberries with a whiff of rosemary and black olives. Fresh and vibrant on the palate with silky tannins. Most enjoyable as a sipping red or paired with sautéed duck breast, roast chicken or game.

Stratus Cabernet Franc 2010, VQA Niagara Peninsula

An elegant Niagara Cab’ Franc from one of Ontario’s best vintages. Crafted with great finesse and refinement by a French-born winemaker J-L Groux. Full-bodied, well balanced with fresh acidity, it reveals layers of ripe black cherry, raspberry and cassis. Pronounced notes of baking spice with cedary overtones and a touch of minerality. Closes in a long, lingering, polished finish. Solid backbone of firm tannins with great aging ability. Perfect for a slow-roasting leg of lamb this Holiday Season.

Ravenswood Dickerson Zinfandel 2012 

A classic Napa Valley Zinfandel, vinified with the fruit sourced from the small, low-yielding Dickerson vineyard in the warm St. Helena climate, protected by the Mayacamas Mountains. Expertly crafted with 100% Zinfandel grapes, it’s bursting with ripe red cherries and raspberries. Well integrated tannins after 19 months of maturation in French oak barrels, finishes in a long lingering, cedar-box tinged finish. Great ageing potential between 7-10 years.

Ravenswood Besieged 2014

A juicy blend of Petite Sirah, Carignane, Zinfandel, Syrah and Barbera vinified with premium Sonoma County old vine grapes, ranging from 40-100 years old. Full-bodied and intense, it comes with the abundance of ripe black fruit, a hint of spice, well integrated tannins and smooth, velvety mouthfeel. Great companion to roasted meats and mature cheeses.

Lander Jenkins Cabernet Sauvignon Family Estate 2013

Complex and intense Cab vinified with the fruit from selected vineyards in California’s premium appellations. Abundant aromas and flavours of ripe black cherries, plums and blueberries with subtle hints of vanilla and coco. Fleshy and generous with plenty of fruit with a solid and firm tannic backbone. Great aging potential. Rich mouthfeel, closes in a polished lingering finish. A fine choice for a rib roast.

 

Rutherford Ranch Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Full-bodied with firm tannic structure, this is a big Californian Cab with great ageing potential. Deep, intense and concentrated, it’s bursting with aromas and flavours of ripe black cherries and blackberries. Matured in French oak for two years, it displays great depth and finesse with plenty of weight. It closes in a very long tobacco-toned finish. Perfectly matched with grilled or roasted lamb.

Silver Buckle Ranchero Red 2012, Napa, California

Chosen as a signature wine of the Calgary Stampede, this is a juicy and fruit-forward blend of Syrah, Merlot and Malbec from California Central Coast. Abundant aromas and flavours of blackberries, ripe black cherries and cassis. Smooth and velvety mouthfeel with mellow tannins and a whiff of sweet vanilla and coco on a lingering smoke-tinged finish. Perfect as a patio sipper and extremely food-friendly. It would enhance any meat dish and mature cheeses.

14 Hands Hot To Trot Red Blend 2012

Plush, smooth and concentrated, this is a lovely blend of Merlot and Syrah from Washington’s Colombia Valley. It delivers abundant aromas and flavours of ripe dark fruit; cherries, plums and cassis with a whiff of black tea. Well integrated smooth tannins and plenty of weight, closes in a long, lingering cedar-toned finish. Great served with grilled meats and mature firm cheeses.

Jackson-Triggs Reserve Meritage VQA 2013

Juicy and elegant blend of Bordeaux grapes; Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc from Ontario’s Niagara. Full bodied, dry and fruit forward it’s bursting with aromas and flavours of ripe red berries and plums and a touch of mocha. Aged for six months in French and American oak, it’s well balanced with smooth tannins and long, lingering smoky finish. A perfect companion to slow cooked roasts, grilled meats and mature cheeses.

Angels Gate Mountainview Merlot 2012

From Niagara’s Beamsville bench comes this juicy Merlot. Med to full-bodied, fruit forward with lovely depth of aromas and flavours of ripe black cherries and plums with velvety mouthfeel. Plush and smooth, well integrated soft tannins, closes in a lingering cedar-toned finish. Food friendly and versatile, a given as a pairing with roasted meats and medium aged Cheddar, Gouda and Swiss.

Ruffino Ducale Riserva Chianti Classico 2011

This is an elegant and complex blend of 80% Sangiovese with 20% Merlot % Cab Sauvignon hailing from the Chianti Classico region in the heart of Tuscany. Plush and smooth with well-balanced acidity and velvety tannins. Abundance of ripe black cherries and a whiff of cigar box. Closes in a lingering, smoke-tinged finish.

Perrin Cotes du Rhône Réserve 2012, France

From the five generations of Perrin Family winemakers in the south of Rhone Valley comes this elegant blend of grenache. Medium in body and dry, delivers a ton of ripe black cherries and cassis with a subtle whiff of black pepper. Well balanced and complex, closes in a long spicy finish. Great match with a board of charcuterie and mature cheeses.

Hoya de Cadenas Tempranillo Reserva 2011, Spain

Deep and intense 100% tempranillo hailing from the high altitude vineyards on the slopes of the Sierra de la Bicuerca, just west of Valencia. Impressive fruit density with layers of ripe dark fruit; black cherry, blackberry and plum. Smooth, well integrated tannins on the palate. Closes in a long, lingering, vanilla-toned finish. Perfect paired with paella, heartier fall stews and mature cheeses.

Nobilo Icon Pinot Noir 2014, Marlborough, NZ

Vinified with the fruit grown on the estate’s finest higher altitude sites in Marlborough, this elegant 100% pinot noir is Nobilo’s flagship label. Fruit forward with abundant aromas and flavours of ripe red cherries and raspberries, with a touch of spice. Well integrated, velvety tannins on the palate followed by a long, lingering smoky finish. Perfectly matched with succulent grilled lamb.

Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir Marlborough

Delicious Marlborough Pinot Noir at the excellent price point. Dry, medium-bodied and fruit forward, it’s bursting with aromas and flavours of ripe cherries and red berries. Soft, velvety tannins with well integrated acidity. Finishes in a smooth, cinnamon-tinged finish. Fantastic with cedar planked salmon.

La Casona de Castaño Old Vines G-S-M 2013, DO Yecla, Spain

Produced by Castano family, one of the most respected wine producers is south-eastern Spain, this fantastic value red is a perfect summer BBQ wine. Rich and intense blend of Garnacha, Syrah and Monastrell, it delivers aromas and flavours of ripe cherries, plums and berries with a touch of chocolate. Fresh and juicy palate with tons of dark fruit, plenty of weight and soft tannins.

Bodegas Juan Gil Monastrell Old Vines 2014

This rich and robust Monastrell is made with the fruit from the 40 years old vines grown on the high altitude in the northeast corner of Jumilla region in Spain. Dry, full-bodied and complex, it delivers abundant aromas and flavours of ripe red cherries and plums with a touch of spice and wood smoke. Great balance with smooth tannins and super-long, smoke-hued finish. Fantastic with roasts, stews, grilled sausages and mature cheeses.

 

Louis Latour Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2012, Burgundy, France

Perfect example of a classic red burgundy at a reasonable price point. Bursting with aromas and flavours of ripe red berries, blackcurrants and blueberries with a whiff of coffee. Elegant and complex with soft, velvety tannins, closes in a lingering, earthy-toned finish. A given as a pairing with crispy duck confit accompanied by roasted potatoes and garlic. Voilà!

Roodeberg Red 2011, Paarl Valley, South Africa

This fantastic value blend of red Bordeaux grapes (the actual composition remains “the winemaker’s secret”), comes from the heart of Paarl Valley in South Africa’s Western Cape region. Bursting with aromas and flavours of raspberries, ripe black cherries and plums with a touch of spice and cedar box on a long, lingering finish. It makes a perfect companion to roasts, grilled meats and a perfect ending to a meal with a chocolate truffle (or two).

Diabolica Red 2012, Okanagan Valley, BC

The grapes for this delicious red blend come from the desert vineyards around Oliver and Osoyoos in British Columbia’s most southern region. This is a big and bold red blend of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Shiraz with the small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. It is bursting with juicy ripe black cherries and plums with a touch of smoke and spice, followed by a long, smooth finish. Fantastic with olive and lemon tapenade, grilled steak or herb-crusted rack of lamb.

Trivento Golden Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Mendoza, Argentina

Mendoza’s Trivento (Three Winds) winery is named after the three seasonal winds racing down from the Andes; the icy Polar in the winter, warm Zonda in the spring and the cooling Sudestada in the summer. The wine produced is opulent, rich and complex with generous ripe red fruit and superfine, silky tannins. Closes in a polished, dark mint chocolaty finish. Enjoy with grilled meats, flavorful cheeses and dark chocolate.

Pinot Noir “JCR” Rosehall Vineyard 2012, Prince Edward County

Vinified with 100% county grown Pinot Noir that beautifully showcase that unique sense of place and character of the County wines. Medium-bodied, dry and fruit forward, it’s bursting with aromas and flavours of red fruit; sour cherries and cranberries with a touch of earthiness. It closes in a long, lingering, smoke-tinged finish. Try it this year with the Thanksgiving turkey and a home-made tangy cranberry sauce.

Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon

At the end of the 19th century Don Melchor de Concha y Toro successfully discouraged theft of his wines by spreading a rumor that his deep, dark cellars were haunted by the devil and the legend stuck to this day.

This delicious Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Concha y Toro vineyards planted on the riverbanks of Maipo River in Chilean Central Valley. Full-bodied, dry and fruit-forward, it delivers layers of aromas and flavours of cassis, ripe black cherries and plums with a whiff of mocha. The texture is plush and velvety with smooth tannins. Closes in a long, lingering, vanilla-toned finish. Perfect match with dark chocolate desserts.

Folonari Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso DOC 2012

Vinified with the hand-picked corvina, rondinella and molinara grapes grown on the foothills of the Valpolicella Classico zone, just north of the city of Verona, in an ancient Veronese tradition of “ripasso”, by adding the unpressed skins of Amarone to impart extra flavour, alcohol and tannin. Dry and full-bodied, this is a rich red with an intense aromas and flavours of ripe black cherries, blackberries and raisins with a touch of vanilla on a long, lingering peppery finish. Well balanced and complex with smooth tannins. Perfect match for slow cooking roasts and mature cheeses.

Castillo de Almansa Reserva DO, 2011

From the hot and dry, high altitude vineyards of southeastern Spain in Castilla la Mancha region comes this great value red blend of tempranillo, monastrell and garnacha tintorera. Dry and medium-bodied, it’s bursting with aromas and flavours of ripe black cherries, blackcurrants and plums, followed by a lingering cedar finish. Aged for 12 months in oak before further aging in Bodegas cellars, this is a mature wine ready to drink or lay down for a few more years. Well balanced with slightly chewy tannins, it would benefit from short decanting prior to serving. Fantastic with grilled lamb and mature cheeses.

Malivoire Gamay 2013, Niagara Peninsula, VQA

As the classic red varietal of Beaujolais, gamay has certainly found its second home in Ontario’s sun-soaked Niagara Peninsula, nestled between the two Great Lakes. Malivoire crafted another great expression of the grape with this juicy and bright medium-bodied beauty. Fresh and fruity on the palate, it’s bursting with aromas and flavours of wild strawberries, ripe cherries, plums and raspberries, with a touch of spice, leading to a long, vanilla-toned finish. Gamay makes for a perfect summer red. Pair with grilled salmon and enjoy slightly chilled on a shady patio.

Château de Valcombe Syrah Grenache 2011, Rhône, France

Château de Valcombe, one of the oldest family owned wine estates in the southern Rhône, has a 300 years long tradition of winemaking and vine growing on their famous galets covered soil. Galets (round rocks/pebbles) retain the heat soaked up during the day and release it at night, ripening the grapes faster while powerful mistral wind carries away the moisture from the air. This is a juicy, fruit forward blend of 50% Syrah and Grenache, abundant with aromas and flavours of cherries, raspberries and cassis with a hint of rosemary. Perfectly paired with ratatouille, roasted duck or a tapenade stuffed rabbit.

Château la Mothe du Barry 2012, AOC Bordeaux Superior, France

Crafted by the ninth generation of winemakers in Gironde valley from 35 years old Merlot vines, this is an elegant and fruit forward Bordeaux. Medium bodied and dry, it displays lovely ruby red hues in the glass. Well-structured palate, it delivers aromas and flavours of currants, plums and chocolate with soft, velvety tannins. Closes with a lingering, polished finish. Drink through 2017. Enjoy with juicy pork roast with tangy red currant sauce to highlight the fruit, accompanied by cheesy gratin. Reviewed April 22, 2015.

 

Bonpas Grande Reserve des Challiéres 2013, AOC Cotés du Ventoux, Rhône, France

Vinified with the grapes harvested from a couple of century’s old vineyards in the sunny south of Rhône, this intensely purple blend of Granache and Syrah is a real treat. Seductive nose of ripe plums, blackberries and black currants mingles with sweet spice and a touch of tobacco. Soft tannins and great length on the dark chocolate-dusted finish. Drink through 2017. Best served at 16 C. Get adventurous and pair with rabbit stuffed with tapenade and soft and runny St. Marcellin. Delectable!!

Château des Tourelles, Cuvée Classique 2013, Costières de Nimes

This dark beauty comes from the sunny south in the Costières de Nimes region of Rhône. A seductive blend of Syrah, Marselan, Mourvèdre and Carignan; it is bursting with aromas and flavours of dark fruit and spice. Plush and smooth with soft, silky tannins and a hint of tobacco and smoke on a long, lingering finish. Fantastic with grilled meats and hard chesses. Best served at 15 – 18 C. Drink through 2018. Reviewed April 28, 2015.

Meia Encosta 2013, DOC Dão, Portugal

This great value and agreeable red is vinified with Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Alfrocheiro Preto grapes, in the northern part of Portugal. Rustic, deep and robust, it delivers abundant aromas and flavours of ripe, red cherries and plums with a touch of cinnamon and subtle mineral notes. Well balanced with mellow tannins and lingering finish. For best results decant 30 min prior to serving. Would make perfect companion to roasted meats, hearty pâté, and mature cheeses.

 

Cuvée Benkovac 2010, Dalmatia, Croatia

This smooth and velvety red is my favorite Dalmatian offering available in Canada. Medium bodied and extra dry, this is a delicious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, vinified with grapes harvested from the stony, wind-swept vineyards at about 300 m above the Adriatic. The strong Cab backbone, elegance and finesse of Merlot and spiciness of Syrah make for a well balanced and complex red. It’s bursting with aromas and flavours of ripe black fruit with hints of sage, thyme and rosemary, followed by a long, lingering vanilla and cedar-tinged finish. Best served with grilled meats and mature cheeses.

Los Molinos Tempranillo 2013, DOC Valdepeñas, Spain

This is a great every day drinking red. Pretty ruby red in color, dry with medium body, it is light, fruit forward with enough acidity and soft tannins. Vinified with a 100% Tempranillo grapes from the very hot, dry and arid central region of La Mancha in Spain. Barrel aged and unoaked, it delivers fresh aromas and flavours of red cherries and strawberries, followed by a long finish. Ready to drink now, best served between 14-16 C. Enjoy with pizza and pasta dishes. Excellent with Manchego, La Mancha’s own cheese made with sheep’s milk.

Cave Saint Desirat Syrah 2009

Cave Saint Desirat Syrah 2009

This is a wonderful north Rhone Syrah, made with a 100% hand harvested grapes grown on granite terraced slopes of Saint Joseph.  Beautifully crafted, this elegant wine bursts with ripe blackberry flavours supported by medium tannins and well balanced acidity.  Finish is long, smooth and refined.  Enjoy with roasts and hard cheeses. This is a great crowd-pleaser and a fantastic value red!! Stock up while still available …

Saint-Saturnin Le Clocher 2010

Saint-Saturnin Le Clocher 2010

From the most famous vineyards of the Mediterranean coast, the appellation of Coteaux the Languedoc in Southern France comes this full bodied blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. Smooth, lush and complex, it exhibits generous dark fruit, ripe berries and spice with hints of mocha and a long lingering finish. Sunny south in the bottle, delightful!! Enjoy it with a hearty sausage stew or cassoulet.

Peller Estates Family Series Merlot 2010

This medium bodied Okanagan beauty comes with a smoky, spicy nose, followed by aromatic berry, black cherry and currant aromas on the palate, with black tea and tobacco undertones. Well integrated soft tannins and enough acidity makes it a great companion to variety of grilled meats or try my favourite; spicy sausage and mushroom penne. Yummy!!

La Chamiza Polo Amateur Malbec 2011

Ruby-red with violet hues and lovely raspberry vanilla nose, this Malbec brings flavours of ripe berries, fresh herbs and smoke on the palate. Well balanced acidity, dry and fruity medium body and a long, lingering berry finish. Ideal for summer BBQ’s with ribs, steaks and sausages. Drink this excellent value red over next three years.

Arc du Rhône, Côtes Du Rhône Villages 2011

Delicious blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan, full flavoured, big and fruit forward nose followed by a burst of red fruit, flowers, delicate spice and vanilla on the palate. Beautifully balanced with firm tannins and a touch of wood, it would make a great companion to an assortment of French cheeses or my personal favourite; match it with a duck confit and pour yourself another glass.

Antaño Crianza 2009, DOC RIOJA

Lovely dry, ruby coloured Rioja, a blend of Mazuelo, Graciano, Garnacha and Tempranillo. It delivers a fragrant nose of strawberries and cherries. Smooth, elegant and complex on the palate with soft tannins and berry, spice and vanilla flavours and long lingering smoky finish. Enjoy with grilled beef or serve with a platter of charcuterie.

Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate Reserve Merlot 2011

This complex full bodied, and smooth Okanagan Merlot seduces with its toasted coconut & vanilla cream nose. The palate is well structured with a great depth of ripe black cherry & plum notes, supported by fine tannins. Could cellar for a few years or enjoy tonight with gourmet hamburgers.

Mission Hill Family Estate 2011 Reserve Pinot Noir, Okanagan, BC

Well balanced, elegant and velvety, this rich Okanagan Pinot Noir delivers black cherry and a subtle whiff of forest floor on the nose, followed by a racy palate with soft tannins and a wild berry flavours. It is nicely balanced with a touch of oak and a long finish. Works well with a range of foods; a pulled-pork sandwich, roasted chicken or a grilled sockeye salmon.

Arc du Rhône, Cotes du Rhône Villages

This is a delightful blend of increasingly fashionable grape variety, Grenache Noir and Syrah with a touch of Carignan Noir for added structure and colour.  Medium bodied, expressive and fruit driven, delivers an abundance of ripe cherries and plums, accented with leather, tobacco and black pepper notes on the lengthy finish.  Try this luscious red with some classic southern Rhône delights like a meat roast stuffed with tapenade, or if you can get your hands on, a soft and runny St. Marcellin cheese of the region.

Quails Gate Stewarts Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2011

Stewart’s Family pinot passion is undeniable.  The winery grows eight clones of pinot noir in its estate vineyards and is Canada’s largest producer of premium Pinot Noir.  Rich and complex, it reminds of a classic red Burgundy. Elegant and fruit forward with intense ripe red fruit on the palate and a touch of spice & truffle, it is my absolute favourite.  Pair it with a wild mushroom risotto for a extra special treat.

Red Rooster Reserve Merlot 2009

Medium to full bodied, this Okanagan gem is blended with 5% of each Cab Sauvignon, Syrah and Malbec. With its complex nose of vanilla, smoke, cedar and forest floor it delivers flavours of earthy mushrooms, ripe black cherries and tobacco, followed by a long lingering finish.  It is rich, deep and smooth, great with steak and lamb. Ideal for drinking over the next 3-4 years.

Marcarini Barolo “Brunate” DOCG

This stunning Barolo hails from the hills on Piedmont; it is made with 100% Nebbiolo grape. It delivers intense aromas of forest fruit, sage leaves, licorice and sweet spice with a hint of vanilla and tobacco on a long, persistent velvety finish. Originally part of the Savoy Kingdom, piemontese cuisine is rich and earthy. Elevate your sipping experience to another level and pair this lovely red with a rich game dish or a wild mushroom risotto with truffles.

Speri “Sant’Urbano” Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC 2008

This is an extraordinary wine with great complexity and elegance. Made in theVenetoregion ofItalywith CorvinaVeronese, Rondinella and Corvinone grapes. Carefully selected best bunches from the prestigious Monte Sain’Urbano vineyards are dried for four months losing about 40% of initial weight. This created a wine with great structure, deep red color and intense bouquet with spicy aromatic and jammy notes of ripe black cherry, tobacco, smoke and leather.  It has a rich palate and an impressive, soft and velvety finish.  This is a truly special wine; curl by the fire, take a long sip and let all your worries melt away…

Château La Gravette, Minervois 2010

From sunny slopes of Carcassonne in the deep south of France comes this fine blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. Vinified with minimum intervention, it delivers ripe, red berry nose and Mediterranean scents of thyme, lavender and rosemary. Refined with smooth tannins, it makes a great match to roasted chicken   dishes or if feeling inspired; try with a local dish, Cassoulet.

Evohe Garnacha Vinas Viejas 2011

This rich, full bodied 100% Garnacha at its best is vinified with fruits grown in the region of Aragon.  Ripened under the hot Spanish sun and moderated by the winds from the Mediterranean Sea, its  bursting with red fruit flavours of raspberry and aromas of violets and lavender rounded by soft tannins and a long,  lingering finish. To warm up a cold winter night, enjoy it with tapas while chatting, eating and sharing with friends.  Make sure there is another bottle ready to go!

Caves d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé 2016, Provence, France

Most delicate of Provençal rosés, a divine blend of Grenache, Rolle and Cinsault. White flowers perfumed nose with layers of ripe white peaches, wild strawberries, lemon zest and watermelon on the palate. Fruit-forward, crisp, dry and fresh with subtle minerality. Creamy, luxurious mouthfeel. Fantastic as an aperitif and a patio sipper. Serve chilled at 7-8C. Perfectly paired with summer salads and grilled seafood. Score: 92/100. Tasted August 2017. VINTAGES#: 325076, $ 26.95.

 

Turkey Flat Rosé 2016, Barossa Valley, South Australia

An unexpected blend of predominantly Grenache with small additions of Shiraz, Cab Sauv and Mataro, creates this crisp and refreshing rose from Barossa. Bright and vibrant palate with aromas and flavours of fragrant ripe peaches and tangerines with a touch of spice. Just off dry, medium bodied with rich, luxurious mouthfeel. Perfectly paired with slightly spicy Thai or Indian dishes. For best results, serve chilled. Score: 93/100. Tasted June 2017. VINTAGES#: 68916, $ 19.95.

Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Rosé 2015

This crowd-pleasing rosé is vinified with the fruit grown along the Mediterranean coast that stretches from Spanish border all the way up to the city of Nîmes, an area blessed with the warm, windy climate. A great blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah, it’s bursting with aromas and flavours of summer berries with subtle floral notes. Dry, fresh and lively with well-balanced acidity. A great companion to shellfish, colorful summer salads and light desserts. Tasted February 2017. VINTAGES#: 373985, $ 18.95.

 

Malivoire Ladybug Rosé

Delightful Ontario rosé blend, vinified with 50% cab franc, 25% gamay 20% pinot noir and a touch of cab sauvignon grown on the rugged Niagara Escarpment and vinified with minimal environmental impact. Bursting with sweet forest strawberries, red cherries and raspberries. Dry, fresh and fruity it makes a great companion to an appetizer tray filled with smoked meats and cheeses, with seafood or on its own as a perfect patio sipper. VINTAGES#: 559088, $ 15.95. Tasted May 2016/91 points.

Francis Ford Coppola Sofia Rosé 2015

A perfect warm-weather patio sipper, this lively and refreshing rosé is crafted with a blend of Monterey County Syrah and Grenache. Just off-dry with a beautiful strawberry nose and abundant aromas and flavours of ripe red berries with a subtle touch of juicy citrus. Bring on some chèvre and enjoy this elegant Californian rosé on a warm afternoon while catching up with your girlfriends. LCBO # 284943, $ 19.95. Tasted April 2016/90 points.

La Vieille Ferme Rosé 2013, AOC Luberon, Rhône

The grapes used for this crowd-pleasing rosé come from the northern Rhône’s cooler climate vineyards at the altitude of 300 meters, on the slopes of the renowned Mont Ventoux. This is an intense and well balanced blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. Lovely pink in color with rose petals on the nose and an intense burst of cherries and strawberries on the palate, followed by a fresh finish. Served at 10-12 C, it’s great as an apéritif or a perfect companion for a light summer lunch.

Quails’ Gate Rosé, Okanagan Valley, BC

The grapes for this delicious blend of 60% Gamay Noir, 30% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Gris come from the south facing slopes above Lake Okanagan and directly under the extinct Mount Boucherie volcano. This is a fruit forward and elegant dry rosé, fresh and vibrant, brimming with aromas and flavours of strawberries and raspberries with underlying floral notes. Enjoyable as a sipping rosé, food-friendly and wonderfully versatile. Try with terrines, pâtés and cured meats.

Huff Estates South Bay Vineyard Rosé 2014

Crafted with a 100% county-grown Cabernet Franc from the South Bay vineyards. Beautifully articulated and intense aromas and flavours of ripe wild strawberries and raspberries, with subtle floral notes and pronounced minerality. Closes in a clean, tangy finish. Pair with summer salads, soft cheeses, grilled seafood and planked salmon.

Listel Gris, Sable de Camargue Rosé, 2014

From sandy soils in the sunny Camargue region of Mediterranean France, the land of pink flamingos and wild horses, comes this lovely and elegant rosé. Light and refreshing, this is a delicious blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Carignan grapes. It’s bursting with aromas and flavours of strawberries, melon, white peaches, and pink grapefruit. Fantastic match to grilled lobster and sunny & light Mediterranean dishes. Serve at 8 C.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé 2014

This lively and refreshing rosé was vinified with 100% pinot noir grapes, hand-picked in the world’s most southern wine growing region, Chilean Bio Bio Valley. It’s extra dry with intense nose of sour cherries, strawberries and raspberries. Well balanced acidity and crisp finish. It makes a great value summer sipper, lovely as an aperitif or to end a meal with a strawberry & raspberry based light summer dessert. Serve chilled.

Marrenon Luberon Classique Rosé, Rhône, France 2011

Beautifully balanced with a lovely salmon hue, fresh and floral with a touch of minerality and spice. Wild raspberries on the palate mingle with a delicate watermelon aromas. Sip away this beautifully balanced, food friendly and versatile rosé as an apéritif on it’s own, pair with grilled calamari, crab salad or my personal favourite; stay thru to the region and pair it with salad Niçoise.

Veuve Ambal Cremant De Bourgogne Grande Cuvee Brut, France

Crafted by Maison Veuve Ambal, the winery that has been growing grapes on the finest Burgundian terroir since 1898. This lovely sparkler is vinified in the Traditional Method from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a touch of Aligoté and Gamay. Delicate floral notes on the nose, followed by bursts of ripe pears and peaches on the palate. Crisp, vibrant and refreshing with fine, persistent mousse. Closes in a lingering buttery brioche finish. Perfect aperitif and matched with soft cheeses, shellfish and creamy sauces. Score: 91/100. Tasted July 2017. LCBO#: 429688, $ 18.45.

Jansz Premium Cuvée NV, Tasmania, Australia

Expertly crafted in Tasmania, Australia’s home of great sparkling wines, this pleasing Cuvée is vinified with the fruit grown on selected, cool climate vineyards across the island. Seductive aromas and flavours of honeysuckle, lemon and wild strawberries with a whiff of toasted hazelnuts. Perfectly balanced with bright acidity, creamy, luxurious mouthfeel and fine, persistent mousse. Clean, polished, lingering brioche-tinged finish. Perfect for special occasion sipping paired with succulent oysters. Score: 91/100. Tasted June 2017. VINTAGES#: 566828, $ 22.75.

Franciacorta Ca’ Del Bosco Cuvée Prestige Brut

Delightful Franciacorta non-vintage sparkler vinified in the traditional method with 75% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Bianco and 15% Pinot Nero grapes. The essence of Franciacorta crafted the Ca’ Del Bosco way minimizes the contact with oxygen every step of the way. From washing and drying the grapes prior to fermentation, using gravity to move the must rather than pumping over, to oxygen-less disgorgement and bottling. This results in minimal levels of Sulphur Dioxide used and purer and longer living wine. Beautiful brioche nose from 25 months sur lies maturation, golden straw color, aromas and flavours of stewed apples and peaches with perfectly balanced acidity. Fine, persistent mousse and lingering, clean finish. Fantastic as an aperitif and a great companion to creamy cheeses. Tasted February 2017. VINTAGES # 105353, $ 41.95.

 

Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne

From The House of Louis Roederer, the makers of Cristal comes this amazing Champagne. A signature blend of 40% Pinot noir, 40% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Meunier crafts this beautifully complex and rich sparkler. Structured palate, elegance, great purity and finesses. Aromas and flavours of brioche and ripe orchard fruit. Persistent mousse and great length. Tasted February 2017. VINTAGES#: 268771, $ 71.95.

 

Tawse Winery Spark Limestone Ridge Estate Vineyard Riesling 2014

From Limestone Ridge, Tawse’s newest estate vineyard comes this pretty aromatic sparkler. Crafted with hand-harvested Riesling grapes in the Méthode Traditionnelle, it displays great complexity imparted by bottle-fermentation. Bright with crisp acidity, it’s bursting with aromas and flavours of green apples, lime and lemon drops with a touch of minerality. Soft and persistent mousse with clean and lasting lemon-hued finish. Perfect on its own. Beautifully pairs with crab cakes and grilled seafood. Tasted June 2016/91 points. LCBO# 370361, $19.95.

Oyster Bay Brut Sparkling Cuvée, New Zealand

Vinified from 100% Chardonnay grapes with the use of Charmat method and natural yeast to preserve the character of the varietal. Refreshing with vibrant acidity and aromas and flavours of grapefruit, green apples and freshly baked bread. Creamy mouthfeel with fine bubbles and a long, lingering finish. Fantastic value. Great match to slightly spicy dishes.

Cuvée Catharine 2008 Estate Blanc de Blanc ‘Carte Blanche’

Rich and complex Niagara vintage sparkler, vinified with hand-picked 100% estate grown Chardonnay from the Short Hills Bench vineyard, crafted with great finesse and elegance. Abundant aromas and flavours of lemon drops and buttery apple pie, subtle floral notes and pronounced minerality. Fine, persistent bubbles, and a lingering creamy finish. Great served with smoked salmon crostini, sprinkled with capers and finished with a splash of lemon juice.

Pierre Sparr Cremant d’ Alsace Brut Reserve

Fantastic value Alsatian sparkler vinified in the Traditional Method with 100% Pinot Blanc grapes. Rich and dry with crisp acidity and concentrated aromas and flavours of green apple, lemon zest and buttery brioche with a subtle touch of minerality. Fine, persistent bubbles and a clean finish. Extremely versatile and food-friendly, serve as an aperitif and throughout the meal.

Featherstone Joy Premium Cuvée Sparkling 2010

From the vineyards planted on the rolling hills along the Niagara Escarpment comes this juicy sparkler. Vinified in the Méthode Traditionnelle from Chardonnay grapes only, and named after the winemaker’s mother, Joyce. As one of the best Canadian sparklers, it was nationally recognized as the Best Sparkling Wine of the Year at the 2015 All Canadian Wine Championships.
Instead of the traditional mushroom-style cork, it’s closed by the bottle cap for easy access, no sabering required 🙂 Well balanced and complex with crisp acidity. Aromas and flavours of lemon drops, ripe apples and buttery brioche mingle on the tongue in a cloud of fine, persistent bubbles. For a touch of heaven, pair with triple cream Brie or Camembert.

Ruffino Prosecco DOC

Crisp and fruity Prosecco vinified by a Charmat Method in the northeast of Italy. It’s bursting with aromas and flavours of green apples and lemon drops with a subtle touch of floral notes. Refreshing with fine bubbles and a lingering finish. Perfect as an aperitif or as a companion to summer salads and seafood. Serve well chilled.

Ferrari Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore 2002

The most awarded Italian Sparkling Wine crafted with chardonnay grapes exclusively, comes with effortless elegance, unbeatable complexity and unique aging ability. Bursting with tropical aromas and flavours of ripe pineapple, creamy honey, a whiff of white floral notes and great minerality. Lingering white chocolate notes and an incredible complexity due to a ten-year maturation period on its lees. Enjoy this fabulous and luxurious sparkling wine on its own to get the full benefit of its undeniable greatness.

Ferrari Rosé

A lovely sparkling rosé, typical of Ferrari style. Vinified in a Classic Method with 60% pinot nero and 40 % chardonnay grapes hand-harvested in the high altitude Trentino mountain vineyards. Dry, fresh and elegant it brings aromas and flavours of strawberries with subtle floral notes. Lees aging provided for an attractive bread-crust notes and added layers of complexity. Persistent bubbles and a long, lingering finish. A perfect match to a sinfully creamy oven-baked Brie with warm berry topping.

Ferrari Perlé 2007

Vinified with a 100% chardonnay grapes hand-harvested from Lunelli family’s own high altitude alpine vineyards, this fantastic, dry and crisp sparkler displays perfect harmony of freshness and elegance. In addition to typical fruity notes of apples and white peaches, it brings warming aromas and flavours of brioche and almond pastry due to its prolonged lees contact. Fine and persistent bubbles, perfect companion to pasta al carbonara.

Canella Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG

Made with 100% Prosecco grapes in the northern Italian region of Veneto, this fruity sparkler with persistent, lively bubbles is sure to please.  It delivers lively aromas of peach, apple, pear and citrus. Nicely balanced palate with crisp acidity and a hint of sweetness. Best served as a delicious and refreshing aperitif or accompanied by a bite (or two) of caviar for a special occasion.

BellaVista Franciacorta Cuvée Brut

This lively sparkler comes from Franciacorta, one of the Italy’s newest areas for production of top-quality wines in northern region of Lombardy.  It is made in a Traditional Method with approx 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Nero/Pinot Bianco grapes. This is a very nicely balanced, elegant wine with a persistent fine mousse. It delivers bouquet of white flowers, ripe pears,  vanilla and brioche followed by a long, tangy finish. Definite reason to celebrate !!

Franciacorta Ca’ Del Bosco Cuvée Prestige Brut

Delightful Franciacorta non-vintage sparkler vinified in the traditional method with 75% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Bianco and 15% Pinot Nero grapes. The essence of Franciacorta crafted the Ca’ Del Bosco way minimizes the contact with oxygen every step of the way. From washing and drying the grapes prior to fermentation, using gravity to move the must rather than pumping over, to oxygen-less disgorgement and bottling. This results in minimal levels of Sulphur Dioxide used and purer and longer living wine. Beautiful brioche nose from 25 months sur lies maturation, golden straw color, aromas and flavours of stewed apples and peaches with perfectly balanced acidity. Fine, persistent mousse and lingering, clean finish. Fantastic as an aperitif and a great companion to creamy cheeses. Tasted February 2017. VINTAGES # 105353, $ 41.95.

Cálem Special Reserve Tawny Port

This velvety Tawny comes from the famous Port House of Cálem situated across the river from the picturesque city of Oporto in Portugal. The House has been producing Port vines of superior quality since 1859.  Their Special Reserve Tawny is bursting with aromas of dried figs and plums with a hint of spice and oak. It is nicely balanced with a smooth, velvety mouthful and a long, lingering nutty finish. My favourite guilty pleasure with the jar of Stilton….