A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 704: Catch-Up Tasting

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Sign in Henry of Pelham’s wine shop

A miscellaneous selection of wines tasted over the past two weeks. Continue reading

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680 NEWS wine reviews, August 10–12, 2018

Mont Gravet Colombard 2017
The Colombard grape is one of the varieties they use in the Charentes and Gascony regions to distil into Cognac and Armagnac, but some growers in Gascony use it for table wine. Recently released in Vintages is Mont Gravet Colombard 2017. Pale straw in colour with a lime tint, the wine has a minerally nose of green peaches with a light floral top note. Medium-bodied in weight, it’s got a mouth-freshening flavour of green plums with great length. It costs $13.95 a bottle at Vintages outlets. Chill it and serve it was an aperitif wine or with Caesar salad. That’s Mont Gravet Colombard 2017 from Southwest France.  For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($13.95, Vintages #521930) (89)

San Marzano Tramari Rosé di Primitivo 2017
If you don’t think the LCBO is awash in pink wines, just type in rosé in their website product search box. You’ll get 468 entries, several which are not actually rosés, but it gives you an idea just how popular the category is. So, what to choose? I recently tasted San Marzano Tramari Rosé di Primitivo 2017 from Italy’s Puglia region which was delicious. Made from the Zinfandel grape, this rosé is pale pink in colour with a lightly floral bouquet of raspberries. Medium to full-bodied, it’s richly extracted red cherry flavour is carried on lively acidity. It costs $14.95 at Vintages outlets. It has enough weight and structure to stand up to red meat dishes. That’s San Marzano Tramari Rosé di Primitivo from Italy at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($14.50, Vintages #556258) (88.5)

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680 NEWS wine reviews, August 3–5, 2018

Dachshund Pinot Grigio 2017
I’m not a great fan of Pinot Grigio, but here’s one on the LCBO’s general product list that surprised me: It comes from Germany’s Rheinhessen region: Dachshund Pinot Grigio 2017, produced by the Moselland company. Light straw in colour, with a fresh, minerally nose of white peach and lemon, it’s medium to light-bodied, dry on the palate with a peachy flavour nicely balanced with lively acidity that gives it good length. At $12.10 a bottle it’s great value. Serve it with antipasto or grilled fish. That’s Dachshund Pinot Grigio 2017 from Germany at the LCBO. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler. ($12.10, LCBO #539536) (89)

Millbrook Barking Owl Shiraz 2014
Recently released at Vintages is Millbrook Barking Owl Shiraz 2014 from Western Australia. I didn’t know that there was a strain of owls that barked so I checked it on the Internet – and there is! This Shiraz is opaque purple with a savoury bouquet of blackberries with a note of iodine.  Medium to full-bodied, it’s dry, firmly structured with the flavour of ripe black plums carried on lively acidity. Ideal for barbecued meats and ribs. It costs $20.95 a bottle. That’s Millbrook Barking Owl Shiraz 2014 from Australia at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($20.95, Vintages #561324) (89)

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 703: Fishing Way Up North

 

Monday, July 16th: Deborah drove me into Toronto and dropped me off with my fishing gear at Steve Cohen’s office. We had dinner at a Chinese restaurant in the north end of the city before an early night, as we have to be up for a 7:05 am flight to Calgary.

Tuesday, July 17th: Met Alfred Kwinter at the airport and the three of us prepared to board the flight. Changed planes in Calgary for the flight to Yellowknife, where we will spend the night before the float plane ride two hundred miles north to Petersons Point Lake Lodge. Margaret Peterson met us at Yellowknife airport and dropped us off at the Explorer Hotel (with a side trip to the local liquor store, where we picked up a bottle of Allan Scott Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (New Zealand) and Cono Sur Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenère Syrah 2017, which we demolished in our hotel room with a bag of Miss Vickie’s Original potato chips). Dinner in the hotel’s dining room. The server brought the bottle of Pirramimma Petit Verdot 2014 (McLaren Vale) to the table already poured into a decanter. Continue reading

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680 NEWS wine reviews, July 27–29, 2018

Château Loumelat Cuvée JJ Lesgourges 2015
Today’s wine recommendation is a red Bordeaux from the Côte de Blaye region at a great price: Château Loumelat Cuvée JJ Lesgourges 2015. It costs $16.95 a bottle at Vintages outlets. Deep ruby in colour, it has a cedary, blackcurrant nose with a floral note. Well-balanced and firmly structured, it’s quite forward and ready for drinking – thanks to the splendidly warm 2015 vintage. Serve it with lamb. That’s Château Loumelat Cuvée JJ Lesgourges 2015 from Bordeaux at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($16.95, Vintages #550293) (89)

Ken Forrester Petit Rosé 2017
It’s not often I’d say “Buy this wine by the case” but Ken Forrester Petit Rosé from South Africa will surprise you for its price and quality. A blend of Grenache with Viognier, it’s pale pink in colour with a bouquet of pomegranate and red flowers; medium-bodied and dry, flavours of raspberry and citrus fruits fill the palate. A beautifully balanced and elegant rosé – and wait for it – it costs $12.95 a bottle at Vintages outlets. Sip it while you wait for the barbecue coals to glow red. That’s Ken Forrester Petit Rosé 2017 from South Africa’s Western Cape. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($12.95, Vintages #553040) (90)

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680 NEWS wine reviews, July 20–22, 2018

Ortas Prestige Rasteau 2013
Ever on the look-out for great BBQ wines, recently I came across a wine from the southern Rhône called Ortas Prestige Rasteau 2013. Traditionally a blend of 50% Grenache Noir, 35% Syrah and 15% Mourvèdre, this well-priced, easy-drinking wine is all about flavour. Dense purple in colour it shows vanilla oak and spicy plum on the nose; medium to full-bodied on the palate, its fruit-driven black plum flavour is well balanced with acidity, firmly structured and finishes on a smoky note. It costs $20.95 at Vintages outlets. Ideal for pepper steak. That’s Ortas Prestige Rasteau 2013 from France. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS ($20.95, Vintages #985929) (89)

Catena Zapata D.V. Catena Historic Vines Red Blend 2015
Catena is one of my favourite Argentinian wineries. Their historic vines were planted in 1902, a field blend of Malbec and Petit Verdot at elevations of 950 metres and 1120 metres. From these venerable vines they produce a wine called Catena Zapata D.V. Catena Historic Vines Red Blend. The 2015 vintage, just released at Vintages outlets, is dense purple in colour, offering a cedary nose of spicy black plum. Medium-bodied and dry, its well-extracted ripe black fruit flavours and rich and full on the palate and beautifully balanced. It costs $19.95 at Vintages and works well with BBQ meats. That’s Catena Zapata D.V. Catena Historic Vines Red Blend 2015 from Argentina. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($19.95, Vintages #555466) (89)

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 702: Versado

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Ann Sperling

Wines tasted this week:

  • Black Hills Carmenère 2016 (Southern Okanagan): deep purple colour; savoury, herbal nose of blackcurrants; medium-bodied, dry, blackcurrant flavour carried on lively acidity. (89)
  • Franciscan Estate Chardonnay 2015 (Napa Valley, $25.95): Bright straw in colour; buttery, toasty nose of apples with oak spice; medium to full-bodied, apple and pear flavours with well-integrated oak. A well-balanced wine. (90)
  • Tinhorn Creek Cabernet Franc Oldfield Reserve 2015 (Okanagan, $31.99): deep ruby colour; blueberry and blackcurrant nose with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, well-structured and firm with ripe blackcurrant and blueberry flavours. (90)

Sunday, July 15th: Ann Sperling and Peter Gamble came to the house to let me taste Ann’s wines from the family vineyard in Kelowna, BC, and the wines they make together from their Versado vineyard in Mendoza. Continue reading

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