680 NEWS wine reviews, November 16–18, 2018

Tedeschi Capitel Nicalò Valpolicella Superiore 2016
Valpolicella is Italy’s Beaujolais, but some notable Veneto producers such is Tedeschi can coax deeper, darker flavours from the tradition grape blend of Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella. Tedeschi Capitel Nicalò Valpolicella Superiore 2016 is dense purple in colour with a cedary, spicy, blackberry nose with vanilla oak notes; it’s medium-bodied, dry with a juicy, black cherry flavour carried on lively acidity. It costs $17.95 at Vintages and goes well with tomato-based pasta dishes or lamb shanks. That’s Tedeschi Capitel Nicalò Valpolicella Superiore 2016 from Italy at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. (Vintages #984997, $17.95)

Beronia Tempranillo Rioja 2016
The 2016 vintage of Beronia Tempranillo Rioja is not only the best value Rioja on the LCBO’s general list but one of the best value reds on their shelves! Regularly priced at $13.95, it’s got a $2 limited time offer until Sunday, December 2nd. Deep purple in colour, it has an attractive nose of sandalwood, strawberry and ripe plum with a slightly earthy note; it’s medium-bodied and dry with red berry and red plum flavours and well-integrated oak. A harmonious wine with lively acidity and ripe tannins. Match it with veal chop or lamb. That’s Beronia Tempranillo Rioja 2016 from Spain. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($11.95 till Dec. 2, LCBO #243055) (89)

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680 NEWS wine reviews, November 9–11, 2018

Bodega Piedra Negra Gran Lurton Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Argentina is not all Malbec even though they virtually monopolize LCBO shelves. Bodega Piedra Negra Gran Lurton Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, currently at Vintages, does have 15% Malbec in the blend, however. You might think $24.95 expensive for an Argentinian wine – of course you do – but this one is well worth picking up. Dense purple in colour, it has a lovely cedary, tobacco and plum bouquet. Medium to full-bodied, it’s dry and fruity, well-structured and firm with ripe black fruit flavours and balancing acidity. A wine for lamb if ever there was one. That’s Bodega Piedra Negra Gran Lurton Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 from Argentina at Vintages outlets.. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($24.95, Vintages #980334)

Pelee Island Winery Merlot 2017
Last week I mentioned the limited time offers (LTO) concept at the LCBO – wines that are reduced in price for a short time. One such wine is Pelee Island Winery Merlot 2017. Until Sunday, November 11th, it costs $9.95 a bottle, down a dollar from its usual price. Ruby coloured with a violet rim, this tasty red offers a cedary nose of blackcurrants with oak spice. It’s medium-bodied, dry, with vibrant red and blackcurrant flavours and lively acidity. Fresh on the palate with a touch of spice on the finish, it’s great value. That’s Pelee Island Winery Merlot 2017 from Ontario on the LCBO’s general list. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($9.95 until November 11, LCBO #470823)

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 710: Champagne & Burgundy Tour

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Just the job after an overnight flight

Saturday, October 20th: Our group arrived at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport at 10:00am after the overnight flight from Toronto. Only casualty: Cathy Martin’s luggage went AWOL.

We were met by Leslie, the wonderful lady who drove us around the Loire Valley in May. She took us to our hotel, the Relais & Chateaux Hostellerie La Briqueterie, where we will stay for the next three nights. The hotel is a former brickworks factory that has been transformed into a luxurious country retreat, located in the vineyards just outside the town of Épernay.

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La Briqueterie

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680 NEWS wine reviews, November 2–4, 2018

Pelee Island Winery Chardonnay 2016
To save my wine budget I surf the LCBO website for limited time offers, which can save me a buck or two. Until November 11th, Pelee Island Winery Chardonnay 2016 is on sale for $11.45 on the LCBO’s general list, down a dollar. Light straw in colour, this bargain-priced Ontario wine has a nose of apple, lemon and undergrowth; it’s medium-bodied, dry, with apple and peach flavours and a floral note on the end taste. It’s got good length on the palate. Match it with grilled fish or chicken. That’s Pelee Island Winery Chardonnay 2016 from Ontario. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($11.45 until November 11, LCBO #136044) (88.5)

Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay 2016 Vintage
Here’s another limited time offer at the LCBO that’s worth your attention:
Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay 2016 vintage from South Africa’s Coastal Region. Until Sunday November 11th, this complex white will cost you $13.95, $2 off its usual price. Pale straw in colour, it has a lightly minerally nose of citrus and apple with just a hint of oak; it’s medium-bodied, dry and beautifully balanced with a peachy-melon flavour and mouth-freshening acidity. Match it with grilled chicken or a ripe Camembert. That’s Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay 2016 vintage from South Africa on the LCBO’s general list. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($13.95 until November 11, LCBO #367698) (90)

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680 NEWS wine reviews, October 26–28, 2018

Rocca delle Macie Sasyr Sangiovese Syrah 2014
Chianti winemakers will sometimes break out of their traditional Sangiovese model and blend in an international variety like Syrah. Which is exactly what Rocca delle Macie did for their Sasyr Sangiovese Syrah 2014. Dense purple-ruby in colour, the wine offers a cedary, spicy, plum nose; it’s light to medium-bodied, dry, firmly structured with black cherry and earthy-herbal notes carried on lively acidity. It costs $15.95 at Vintages outlets. Serve it with tomato-based pasta dishes. That’s Rocca delle Macie Sasyr Sangiovese Syrah 2014 from Tuscany. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($15.95, Vintages #68510) (88.5)

Ondarre Reserva 2014
Today’s recommendation is a mature Spanish Rioja at a great price: Ondarre Reserva 2014. This blend of Tempranillo, Mazuelo and Graciano is deep purple in colour with a bouquet of spicy sandalwood, plum and strawberry. It’s medium-bodied, oak-driven with a firmly structured red plum flavour. It costs $17.95 at Vintages and will match any red meat dish you care to throw at it. That’s Ondarre Reserva from Spain at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($17.95, Vintages #723452) (89)

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