680 NEWS wine reviews, March 16–17, 2019

Kutjevo Graševina 2017
We don’t often see wines from Croatia at the LCBO but here’s a very tasty white at a good price: Kutjevo Graševina 2017. Graševina is the Croatian name for the Welschriesling grape. Medium straw in colour, it offers a lightly floral, grapefruit nose with a touch of spice. It’s medium-bodied. dry, with minerally, ripe apple and grapefruit flavours and an enticing note of bitterness on the finish. It costs $15.95 at Vintages outlets and makes an ideal aperitif wine. That’s Kutjevo Graševina 2017 from Croatia. For Post City Magazine, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS ($15.95, Vintages #519074) (89)

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 716: A whole lot of tasting going on

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On Tuesday, February 19th, I was awarded the Cambridge Food & Wine Society’s “Man of the Year” medal at a ceremony held at the National Club in Toronto. (Very pleased with the honour.)

Here are some of the wines I’ve tasted recently, beginning with Summerhill Pyramid Winery in the Okanagan. Continue reading

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680 NEWS wine reviews, March 9–10, 2019

Kew Marsanne 2016
Marsanne is a grape I usually associate with the Rhone Valley but here’s a great version of this wine from Ontario. Winemaker Philip Dowell at Kew Vineyards has followed up his award-winning 2015 vintage of Marsanne with an equally worthy 2016. Yellow straw in colour, it’s lightly minerally, floral, white peach nose has some oak spice backing; it’s medium-bodied, dry, elegant, beautifully balanced with a fresh, white peach flavour and lemony acidity. Works well with grilled fish. It costs $19.95 That’s Kew Vineyards Marsanne 2016 from Ontario. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS.   ($19.95, Vintages #485334) (90)

Vilarnau Brut Reserva Cava
If you’re looking for an inexpensive sparkling wine of quality, here’s my pick of the new releases: Vilarnau Brut Reserva Cava from Spain. This tasty blend of 50% Macabeo, 35% Parellada and 15% Xarello is light straw in colour with a lightly floral, apple and citrus nose; it’s medium-bodied, dry and well-balanced with apple puree and lemon flavours. It costs $15.95 at Vintages outlets, That’s Vilarnau Brut Reserva Cava from Penedes in Spain. For Post City Magazine, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($15.95, Vintages #515254) (88.5)

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680 NEWS wine reviews, March 2–3, 2019

Kaiken Ultra Las Rocas Malbec 2016
Argentinian Malbec rules the roost at Vintages it seems. The latest offering that’s well worth your attention is Kaiken Ultra Rocas Malbec 2016 from Mendoza. Dense purple in colour, it has a cedary, blackberry nose lifted with oak spice; medium to full-bodied, its dry, earthy, black fruit flavours are carried on lively acidity to a firm tannic finish. It costs $19.95 at Vintages outlets and is perfect for pepper steak or spicy winter stews. That’s Kaiken Ultra Rocas Malbec 2016 from Argentina. For Post City Magazine, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($19.95, Vintages #50849) (89)

Château des Tours Brouilly 2016
Brouilly is one of the ten crus – or named villages – in the northern Beaujolais region. Currently at Vintages is Château des Tours Brouilly 2016 that has all the charm you expect for this ready-to-drink wine. Deep purple in colour, it offers a lightly floral nose of ripe plums; it’s medium-bodied, dry and juicy, with cherry and red plum flavours with balancing acidity. You can drink it at room temperature with light meat dishes or chill it to bring out the freshness and serve it with tuna. It costs $21.95 at Vintages outlets. That’s Château des Tours Brouilly 2016 from France’s Beaujolais region. For Post City Magazine, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($21.95, Vintages #637835)  (89)

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680 NEWS wine reviews, February 23–24, 2019

Oyster Bay Pinot Noir 2017
New Zealand’s Oyster Bay in Marlborough has been Ontarians’ go-to winery for well-priced, tasty Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Currently at Vintages is the 2017 vintage of Oyster Bay Pinot Noir. Medium ruby colour with a lightly cedary, spicy, plum nose, it’s medium-bodied, dry with flavours of ripe cherry and plum – a nicely balanced, easy drinking wine. It costs $20.95 and works well with duck, lamb or veal. That’s Oyster Bay Pinot Noir 2017 from New Zealand. For Post City Magazine, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($20.95, Vintages #590414) (89)

Camille Cayran La Réserve Plan de Dieu 2017
When I want a robust red wine for spicy meat dishes I look to the Rhône Valley and the affordable products of the Côtes du Rhône-Villages appellation. A good choice would be the co-operative Cave de Cairanne’s Camille Cayran La Réserve Plan de Dieu 2017. Deep purple in colour, it offers a lightly spicy black plum bouquet. It’s medium to full-bodied, dry, with floral, plum and blackberry flavours; a firmly structured wine with satisfying length. It costs $17.95 at Vintages outlets. That’s Camille Cayran La Réserve Plan de Dieu 2017. For Post City Magazine, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($17.95, Vintages #644286) (89)

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