Bottega in Toronto

by Sheila Swerling Puritt

bottega_sandro_bottles

Sandro Bottega (photo: Roy Maeder)

Recently Italy’s answer to the Energizer bunny, distiller and vintner Sandro Bottega, paid a visit to Toronto and Vancouver. In his usual enthusiastic style, he discussed his new products coming into the Canadian market, how they are made, the soil the grapes are grown in and ideas on his organic principals. And, of course, he served us wine and food. Continue reading

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680 NEWS wine reviews, September 21–23, 2018

Gérard Bertrand Minervois 2015
Gerard Bertrand is one of the best-known producers of wine in the South of France. You’ll find many of his wines in Vintages because the LCBO likes his pricing. Virtually all of them are under $20. Betrand, who used to play rugby for France, concentrates on local varieties in Languedoc and Provence. I’m particularly fond of his Minervois 2015. A blend of Syrah and Carignan, it’s dense purple-ruby in colour; the bouquet is black raspberry with a light oak influence. Medium to full-bodied, it’s dry, firmly structured. It costs $16.95 at Vintages outlets. A good bet for a BBQ night. That’s Gerard Bertrand Minervois 2015 from France. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. (Vintages #952804, $16.95) (89)

Château des Charmes Brut
Ontario is making some top-flight sparkling wines now. Recently tasted and enjoyed was Château des Charmes Brut Sparkling. A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it’s made in the tradtional fermentation in bottle. Pale straw in colour with an active mousse of tiny bubbles. A toasty nose of apple with a honeyed note; medium-bodied, a touch of honeyed sweetness in mid palate kept in check by fresh acidity that gives commendable length on the palate. ($25.95, Vintages #224766) (89)

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 707: Okanagan Valley Wines

Black Hills Estate Winery Ipso Facto 2016

Wines I tasted this past week: Continue reading

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680 NEWS wine reviews, September 14–16, 2018

Louis Eschenauer Brut Crémant de Bordeaux
I was looking for an inexpensive sparkling at Vintages the other day and I came across a real stunner at $16.95. It’s Louis Eschenauer Brut Crémant de Bordeaux. A blend of Semillon and Cabernet Franc, it’s remarkably champagne-like in taste and texture. Pale straw in colour, it offers a toasty, faintly honeyed nose of dried apple peel. Medium-bodied and dry, it’s really elegant for the price. If you have a daughter to marry off, grab Louis Eschenauer Brut Crémant de Bordeaux for the toast to the bride. You’ll save yourself a bundle. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. (Vintages #543108, $16.95)

Castillo de Almansa Reserva 2014
Until this Sunday there’s a limited time offer on a Spanish wine at the LCBO that’s a great deal. It’s Castillo de Almansa Reserva 2014. A blend of Monastrell, Garnacha Tintorera and Tempranillo, it’s deep purple-ruby in colour. The bouquet is a mix of licorice and blackberry with a note of dried rose petals; medium-bodied, dry, with fresh acidity, it offers juicy flavours of plum and cherry. The price until Sunday is $10.95. Serve it with red meat dishes. That’s Castillo de Almansa Reserva 2014 at the LCBO. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. (Vintages #270363)

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680 NEWS wine reviews, September 7–9, 2018

Albanta Albariño 2016
Happily, we’re getting to see more Albariño on the LCBO shelves. This grape, grown in Spain’s Galicia region that borders on northern Portugal, produces a minerally, fresh white wine with a nose of peach skin and white blossoms. Albanta Albariño 2016, newly released at Vintages outlets, is a beautifully balanced wine with apple and lemon flavours and mouth-watering acidity. Match it with shell-fish or salmon. It costs $18.95 a bottle. That’s Albanta Albariño 2016 from Spain. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($18.95, Vintages #544254). (89)

Bellingham Homestead Series The Old Orchards Chenin Blanc 2016
You won’t find any better value in a white wine at Vintages than Bellingham Homestead Series The Old Orchard Chenin Blanc 2016 from South Africa’s Paarl region. For $15.95 you get a wine that’s bright straw in colour with a bouquet apple and lemon with a light forest floor note from the oak fermentation. Medium-bodied and dry, flavours of apple, pear and melon fill the palate ending on a lemony note with a suggestion of oak spice. A very complex wine for the price. Try it with grilled fish or Caesar salad. That’s Bellingham Homestead Series The Old Orchard Chenin Blanc 2016 from South Africa region at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. (Vintages #484055) (89)

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 706: Memorable Wines This Week

Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro 2014

Tastings this past week:

Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico 2014 (Tuscany – $47.95): Deep ruby colour; cedary, black cherry nose wit a sweet tobacco note; medium-bodied, dry, savoury, dark chocolate and black fruit flavours; beautifully balanced with a lovely mouth-feel (92). Continue reading

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680 NEWS wine reviews, August 31–September 2, 2018

De Bortoli G.S. Pinot Noir 2017
I’m a great fan of Pinot Noir from Australia’s Yarra Valley in the state of Victoria. An excellent example is De Bortoli G.S. Pinot Noir 2017 at Vintages outlets. Deep purple in colour, it has an intriguing bouquet of cherries, tomato leaf and rust. Medium-bodied and dry, expect a rich flavour of sun-warmed cherries with well-integrated oak carried on lively acidity. It costs $19.95 a bottle and is the perfect wine for duck breast or white meat dishes. That’s De Bortoli G. S. Pinot Noir 2017 from Australia at Vintages. For Post City Magazine, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS ($19.95, Vintages #15511). (88.5)

Rustenberg Chardonnay 2016
South Africa continues to offer great value for your wine dollar. Currently at Vintages is Rustenberg Chardonnay 2016 from the Stellenbosch region. Palest straw in colour with a hint of lime, it shows a nose of apple and lemon with oak spice and that Burgundian barnyard note. Medium-bodied with the flavour of ripe yellow apple and grilled nuts enhanced with toasty oak. It costs $19.95 at Vintages outlets. Match it with roast chicken or grilled tuna. That’s Rustenberg Chardonnay 2016 from South Africa. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($19.95, Vintages #598631) (91)

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