680 NEWS wine reviews, December 14–16, 2018

Château des Charmes Brut
For that pre-Christmas dinner toast, try a bottle of Château des Charmes Brut sparkling wine from Ontario. Until January 6th it’s priced at $22.95 in Vintages – a limited-time offer of $3 off its usual price. Bright, pale straw in colour, this bubbly has an active mousse of tiny bubbles. Its toasty nose of apple with a honeyed note signals a medium-bodied sparkler with a touch of honeyed sweetness in mid palate kept in check by fresh acidity that gives commendable length on the palate. And keep a bottle of it on hand for your New Year’s Eve celebrations. That’s Château des Charmes Brut from Ontario at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazine, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($22.95 until Jan. 6. Vintages #224766) (89)

Saint-Roch Vieilles Vignes Côtes du Roussillon 2017
Let’s talk turkey. It’s time to start thinking about what wine to serve with the bird that keeps on giving. My choice would be a dry white wine like Saint-Roch Vieilles Vignes Côtes du Roussillon 2017 from southern France. Pale straw in colour, it has a minerally nose of white flowers and lemon zest; it’s medium-bodied, dry, with pear and apple flavours ending on a floral note and a firm finish. This blend of Grenache Blanc and Roussanne has enough flavour to stand up to spicy stuffing. It costs $16.95 at Vintages outlets. That’s Saint-Roch Vieilles Vignes Côtes du Roussillon 2017 from France. For Post City Magazine, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($16.95, Vintages #175232)

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680 NEWS wine reviews, December 7–9, 2018

Alamos Selección Malbec 2015
Argentina’s excellent Alamos wines are now distributed by E & J Gallo. Recently released at Vintages is their Alamos Selección Malbec 2015. Dense purple in colour, it has a cedary, earthy, spicy, plum bouquet with evident vanilla oak notes; it’s medium-bodied, fruity but firm, with ripe plum flavours carried on fresh acidity. Priced at $16.95, it’s a steak wine if ever there was one. That’s Alamos Selección Malbec 2015 at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($16.95, Vintages #322800) (89)

Dr. L Riesling 2017
One of the best buys in German wines in terms of quality for price is the Loosen Brothers Dr. L Riesling 2017 from the Mosel. For $14.95 at Vintages, you get a wine that’s bright, pale straw in colour with a minerally, honeyed citrus nose; it’s light-bodied, off-dry and fairly dances on the palate with honeyed apple and citrus flavours. It’s the kind of wine you’d want to sip before dinner or try it with Asian food or lightly curried dishes. That’s Loosen Brother Dr. L Riesling 2017 at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($14.95, Vintages #599274) (89)

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 712: Queenston Mile & Creekside tasting

the end of a large barrel with the branding 'Queenston Mile Vinyeard'

Monday, November 26th: Invited by winemaker Rob Power for a portfolio tasting at Queenston Mile Vineyard along with wines from Creekside. Continue reading

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680 NEWS wine reviews, November 30–December 2, 2018

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz 2016
Barossa Valley is not the only region that produces great Shiraz in Australia. Coonawarra, perhaps better known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, also makes some very tasty Shiraz. Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz 2016 is dense purple in colour with a savoury-herbal blackberry nose lifted with vanilla oak note. It’s medium to full-bodied and dry with savoury, blackberry flavours and herbal notes that fill the palate, finishing on a minty note. It costs $23.95 a bottle at Vintages and is well worth the price. Serve it with red meat dishes. That’s Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz 2016 from Australia. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($23.95, Vintages #433060) (90)

Domaine des Nugues Beaujolais-Villages Rosé 2017
Here’s a first to the LCBO – a rosé from the Beaujolais-Villages appellation at Vintages. Domaine des Nugues Beaujolais-Villages Rosé 2017 is pale salmon in colour with cherry and plum aromas topped with a floral note; it’s medium-light bodied, dry with ripe cherry flavours and a fresh, crisp finish. It costs $17.95 at Vintages outlets. A versatile and tasty wine that works well with poultry and seafood. That’s Domaine des Nugues Beaujolais-Villages Rosé 2017. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($17.95, Vintages #556126) (89)

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680 NEWS wine reviews, November 23–25, 2018

Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2017
Vintages recently released a South African white wine that’s worth your attention: Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2017 is pale straw in colour with a bouquet of apple and quince. It’s medium-bodied, dry, unctuous with pear and honey flavours and a touch of bitterness on the finish. It costs $17.95 a bottle and works well with chicken or grilled fish. That’s Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2017 from South Africa. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($17.95, Vintages #231282)  (89)

Xavier Vignon Côtes du Rhône 2015
Xavier Vignon is one of the most prominent oenologists in the southern Rhône Valley. His 100% Côtes du Rhône 2015, some a super ripe vintage is deep purple in colour with a spicy, blackberry and herb-tinged nose. It’s full-bodied and dry, richly extracted with sweet blackberry and black cherry flavours, balanced with acidity and held together structurally with ripe tannins.  It costs $17.95 at Vintages outlets and is the perfect wine for winter casseroles.  That’s Xavier Vignon Côtes du Rhône 2015 from France. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($17.95, Vintages #437079). (89)

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