680 NEWS wine reviews, April 20–21, 2019

Clos Malverne Le Café Pinotage 2015
Pinotage, South Africa’s signature grape, is a crossing of Burgundy’s Pinot Noir and the Rhône’s Cinsault, first produced in 1925 and originally called Hermitage. An interesting example of the wine made from this grape is Clos Malverne Le Café Pinotage 2015 from the Stellenbosch region. Dense ruby in colour, it has a cedary, smoky-tarry nose; it’s medium-bodied, dry, with chocolate, coffee-bean and plum flavours carried on fresh acidity. It costs $16.95 at Vintages outlets. That’s Clos Malverne Le Café Pinotage 2015 from South Africa. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($16.95, Vintages #666776)

Flat Rock Riesling 2016
There’s an ongoing debate among fans of Ontario wines as to whether Riesling or Chardonnay is this region’s strongest suit. To mix metaphors, I have no horse in that race – I like them both… for different Rieslings, if you’ll pardon the pun. Today’s recommendation is a Riesling from Flat Rock Cellars, vintage 2016. Bright, pale straw in colour, it shows a lightly floral nose of apple and honey with that characteristic note of petrol. Light to medium-bodied, it’s off-dry with a delightful honeyed grapefruit flavour. It costs $17.95 a bottle at Vintages outlets and works well as a pre-dinner wine or with pork dishes. That’s Flat Rock Cellars Riesling 2016 from Ontario. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($17.95, Vintages #43281)

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 717: A Taste for BC

Tastings of BC’s CedarCreek and Sperling Vineyards – among other wines.

Fattoria di Piazzano Colorino 2015 (Tuscany – $35.95): Opaque purple colour; cedary, spicy, earthy, black cherry bouquet with a light floral note; medium-bodied, dry, floral, cherry flavour with a firm tannic structure, beautifully balanced and richly extracted, ending on a savoury note of sweet herbs. (Hold 3–4 years) (91)

Giacomo Mori Chianti 2015 (Tuscany – $22.95): Bright ruby colour; lightly cedary nose of cherries; medium-bodied, dry, well-balanced, spicy cherry flavour, richly extracted with a lingering savoury finish. (89)

Château Maucoil Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2016 ($19.95): Deep purple in colour; cedary, herbal nose of blackberries, white pepper and vanilla oak; medium to full-bodied, dry and savoury blackberry and plum flavours carried on lively acidity. (90) Continue reading

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680 NEWS wine reviews, April 13–14, 2019

Toro Bravo Tempranillo/Merlot 2017
One of the best buys currently on the LCBO’s general product shelves is Toro Bravo Tempranillo Merlot 2017 from Valencia in Spain. Deep ruby in colour, its spicy bouquet of ripe black fruits fairly leaps out of the glass. Medium- to full-bodied and dry, this unusual blend offers red plum and mocha chocolate flavours with a bright acidic finish. I wouldn’t give it 96 points, as quoted in the LCBO catalogue, but it’s certainly a tasty wine for the price – which is an affordable $7.95 a bottle. Serve it with a hearty beef casserole. That’s Toro Bravo Tempranillo/Merlot 2017 from Spain. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($7.95, LCBO #635755)

Santa Julia Organic Torrontes 2018
Torrontes charms you with its bouquet. This Argentinian grape has the aromas of honeysuckle and cardamom. You’d expect the wine to be sweet but it’s dry and medium-bodied with flavours of white peach, tangerine, lime and oriental spices. If you enjoy perfumed wines, you’ll love Santa Julia Organic Torrontes 2018, just released at Vintages outlets. It costs $13.95 a bottle and makes a great aperitif wine, or serve it with lightly curried dishes. That’s Santa Julia Organic Torrontes 2018 from Argentina. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($13.95, Vintages #232694)

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680 NEWS wine reviews, April 6–7, 2019

Drappier Brut Nature (Zero Dosage) Pinot Noir Champagne
When the family gathers over the Easter holiday treat them to a glass of an exceptionally fine champagne just released at Vintages – Drappier Brut Nature Pinot Noir Champagne. Bright straw in colour, this exceptional bubbly offers a nose of fresh baked bread with apple and lemon notes; light to medium-bodied, and firmly structured, flavours of red apple with lemony acidity fill the mouth and linger forever. It costs $59.95 at Vintages outlets. Go on, spoil yourself. That’s Drappier Brut Nature Pinot Noir Champagne from France. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($59.95, Vintages #179275)

Lakeview Cellars Cabernet Franc Icewine 2017
While the kids are tucking into the ears of their chocolate Easter bunnies, you should relax with a glass of Lakeview Cellars Cabernet Franc Icewine 2017 from Niagara. Pale ruby in colour, this tasty dessert wine has a spicy, minerally, strawberry puree bouquet with a honeyed note; it’s medium-bodied and sweet with a honeyed strawberry flavour that’s nicely balanced with fresh acidity. It costs $29.95 for a 200 mL bottle at Vintages outlets. That’s Lakeview Cellars Cabernet Franc Icewine 2017 from Ontario. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($29.95, 200 mL, Vintages #53397)

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680 NEWS wine reviews, March 23–24, 2019

EastDell Pinot Noir 2017
I came across a well-priced Pinot Noir from Niagara last week that is today’s recommendation: EastDell Pinot Noir 2017. Ruby colour with a faint tawny hue, the wine has a gently earthy, strawberry nose; it’s medium-bodied, dry, savoury, raspberry and red plum flavours; well-balanced and varietally correct with a fresh acidic finish. It costs $15.95 at Vintages outlets and works well with roast chicken or poached salmon. That’s EastDell Pinot Noir 2017 from Ontario, For Post City Magazine, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($15.95, Vintages #613059) (89)

Lakeview Cellars Viognier 2017
This weekend is Cuvee, Niagara’s annual celebration of VQA wines. To salute the occasion I’m recommending a wine from the region – Lakeview Cellars Viognier 2017. Bright, pale straw in colour, this delicious wine has a lightly minerally nose of peaches; it’s medium-bodied, dry, with flavours of white peach, honey and citrus. Fresh and lively on the palate, it’s a beautifully balanced wine. It costs $18.95 at Vintages outlets and would work well with roast chicken or pork. That’s Lakeview Cellars Viognier 2017 from Ontario. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($18.95, Vintages #646307)

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