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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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 705: Château Le Puy

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Harold Langlais

I had lunch recently with Harold Langlais of Château Le Puy, the only Bordeaux property I know that has Carménère in its vineyard (1 hectare). They also have 3 hectares of Semillon and some Ugni Blanc planted. Le Puy, in the Côtes de Francs, is one of the oldest wineries in Bordeaux, dating back to 1610. Fourteen generations of the Amoreau family have grown wine here. They were also the first St. Emilion château to practice organic winemaking. Continue reading

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680 NEWS wine reviews, August 24–26, 2018

Garzon Reserva Tannat 2015
If a country could have a national grape then Uruguay could lay claim to Tannat. You might be familiar with Tannat as producing the famous “black wines of Cahors” in South West France. Uruguayan winemakers have made it their own in a lighter, less tannic style. In Vintages outlets, you’ll find Garzon Reserva Tannat 2015 – which is absolutely delicious: dense purple in colour, it has an earthy, black plum bouquet lifted with oak spice; medium to full-bodied, its dry, ripe plum flavour is seasoned with a peppery note; it’s firmly structured with evident tannins but well-integrated oak. The wine has a rich mouth-feel and an engaging floral flourish on the end taste. It costs $19.95 at Vintages and is well worth the price. That’s Garzon Reserva Tannat 2015 from Uruguay. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($19.95, Vintages #558916) (90)

Paco & Lola Albariño 2017
Looking for a change from your usual Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc? Try Albariño from Spain’s Rio Baixas. It’s a small region that borders on northern Portugal. At Vintages outlets, look for Paco & Lola Albariño 2017. Very pale straw in colour, it has a spicy, minerally nose of lemon. Light to medium-bodied, flavours of apple and green melon fill the mouth – a beautifully balanced wine with a great mouth-feel.  It costs $19.95 a bottle. Try it with fish dishes or as an aperitif before dinner. That’s Paco & Lola Albariño 2017 from Spain at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS.  ($19.95, Vintages #350041) (90)

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