680 NEWS wine reviews, June 1–3, 2018

Château d’Aigueville Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2016
The Côtes du Rhône-Villages appellation offers some of the best values in full-bodied dry red wines. Currently on the LCBO’s general product list is Château d’Aigueville Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2016. This blend of Grenache and Syrah weighs in at a hefty 15% alcohol so expect a board-shouldered wine that’s ideal for your barbecued steaks and ribs. Dense purple-violet in colour, it offers a floral, spicy, blackberry nose with notes of licorice and tobacco; full on the palate, it’s richly extracted black plum flavour has a spicy, cinnamon finish carried on fresh acidity. It costs $16.15 and is worth every penny. That’s Château d’Aigueville Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2016 from France. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($16.15, LCBO #544031) (89)

Pierre Sparr Crémant d’Alsace Brut Réserve
The term “Crémant” on a bottle of French wine means that it’s a sparkling wine made outside the Champagne region but using the champagne method of secondary fermentation in bottle. Alsace, Burgundy, and the Loire all make these crémant wines but they use different grape varieties from those grown in the Champagne region. And they’re less costly than champagne. For example, Pierre Sparr Crémant d’Alsace Brut Réserve costs $19.95 at the LCBO. Pale straw colour with tiny bubbles, this non-vintage bubbly has a minerally, white peach nose with citrus notes; light to medium-bodied it tastes like crab apples with fresh, balancing acidity. That’s Pierre Sparr Crémant d’Alsace Brut Réserve from France. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($19.95, LCBO #388603) (89)

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