Wines of the Week for May 16, 2019


Cálem Curva Tinto 2016 (Douro, Portugal)
Many of the Douro’s port houses are making table wines from the same grapes they use to produce Port. This is an example from Cálem. An equal blend of four of the primary port grapes – Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca – the wine is dense purple in colour with a cedary, plum nose; it’s medium-bodied, dry, with a flavour of mulberries tinged with oak spice, ending on a firm note of tannin and freshened with lively acidity. It would make a great partner for barbecued ribs, steak or hamburgers. Attractive label too. ($15.95, Vintages #631499)

Rustenberg Petit Verdot Rose 2018 (Stellenbosch, South Africa)
Bright light pink in colour, it shows an attractive, spicy, gently honeyed, fresh strawberry-winter melon nose with a light honeyed note. It’s dry, light to medium-bodied with a fresh, tangy flavour of ripe strawberries and a lingering, bright finish. This versatile, well-balanced crowd-pleaser offers great value. Pour it while the barbecue heats up – or with a platter of charcuterie. ($13.95 Vintages #451773)

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Wines of the Week for May 9, 2019


Gérard Bertrand La Clape Syrah Carignan Mourvèdre 2016 (Languedoc, $19.95, Vintages #370262): Dense purple colour; cedary, spicy, herbal , blackberry nose with notes of pepper; medium to full-bodied, dry and savoury, firmly structured with black olive and black plum flavours, finishing on seductive ripe tannins. (90)

Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay 2017 (Sonoma, $19.95, Vintages #369686): Golden straw in colour; spicy, toasty, peach and mango nose; medium to full-bodied; ripe orchard fruit flavours with a note of pineapple; a touch of butterscotch sweetness in mid-palate. (90)

Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2017 (Sonoma, $24.95, #657940): Deep ruby colour; spicy, smoky, black raspberry nose with an oaky note; full-bodied, dry, ripe strawberry and plum flavours with vanilla oak spice; juicy and ripe. (90)

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Andrea Kaiser releases wine in memory of father on International Sauvignon Blanc Day

Andrea Kaiser is the daughter of Karl J. Kaiser, winemaker and co-founder of Inniskillin Wines, considered by many to be the pioneer of modern Canadian winemaking. His pursuit in creating exceptional wine has inspired his daughter to create Drea’s Wine Co., which produces small-batch wines from Niagara. Her first wine project is the release of Drea’s Sauvignon Blanc as a tribute to her father who, along with her family, affectionately call her “Drea.” It is fittingly being released on May 3rd for International Sauvignon Blanc Day at Reif Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, where Andrea works and resides. The wine is also available on-line at and retails for $26.50.

This varietal was selected for her first release, as each vintage he would make a special “batch” of Sauvignon Blanc in his home cellar. He was always so determined to make it to his wife and daughter’s liking and was always nervous when they sampled it for the first time. Just before tasting each vintage he would remind them that the wine was still young and that over time it would become more integrated and balanced. He would wait patiently as he knew his daughter was always ready to tease him. Andrea would immediately declare “…but Papa, I told you before we don’t like any residual sugar – remember, we like our wines fermented bone dry.”

He would shake his head with a small smile and say “…but Drea, it needs some sugar for body on the mid-palate and to balance the acidity.” And then each year she would sigh and say “Well, okay, Papa, if you say so, but remember your promise not to age it in oak again, you know Mama and I don’t like any oak in our wines.” He would then grin and with a little chuckle say “I know, I know… that was only one year that I made it with oak.”

It was an annual ritual that unfortunately came to end in 2017 when Karl was making his last vintage of wine at home, so it seemed a fitting tribute to launch a Sauvignon Blanc in his memory. The aromas and flavours are bright and fresh with classic gooseberry notes and no oak ageing, of course, and with only a very, very small touch of residual sugar.

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680 NEWS wine reviews, May 4–5, 2019

Anselmi San Vincenzo 2017
For my palate, Roberto Anselmi makes some of the very best wines in Veneto’s Soave region – but you won’t find the name Soave on the label, because Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc have been blended into the traditional Garganega grapes. His wine is simply called Anselmi San Vincenzo. The 2017 has a bright, pale straw colour. The nose is a spicy symphony of honeyed lychee, honeydew melon, peach and apple. It’s dry, light to medium-bodied, smooth, very spicy, with intense ripe, peachy, melon-apple purée flavours that linger to a mineral-tinged finish. The best news is that the price at Vintages has been reduced by $2 to $15.95 until May 26th. Try with ham or poultry. That’s Anselmi San Vincenzo 2017 from Veneto. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($15.95 until May 26, Vintages #948158)

Noble Vines 242 Sauvignon Blanc 2017
If you’re preparing dinner for your mother next weekend – and she’s a fan of California wines and Sauvignon Blanc in particular – pick up a bottle of Noble Vines 242 Sauvignon Blanc 2017 from Vintages. Bright, pale straw in colour, minerally, citrus aromas rise from the glass with herbaceous notes. The wine is medium-bodied, dry, with the flavour of green plums carried on zesty acidity to a firm finish. It costs $18.95 a bottle at Vintages outlets. Try it with asparagus or a goat’s cheese salad. That’s Noble Vines 242 Sauvignon Blanc 2017 from Monterey County, California. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 News. ($18.95, Vintages #639591)

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Wines of the Week for May 2, 2019


Loosen Bros Riesling Dr. L 2016 (Mosel, $14.95, Vintages #599274): Pale straw in colour; minerally, honeyed grapefruit bouquet; light-bodied with a faint spritz; honeyed grapefruit flavour ending on an note of apple. Good value. (88.5)

Flat Rock Cellars Riesling 2016 (Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara, $17.95, Vintages #43281): Pale straw colour; minerally, grapefruit nose with a suggestion of petrol; just off-dry with a honeyed grapefruit flavour. Nicely balanced. (89)

Troupis Winery Fteri Moschofilero 2017 (Greece, $16.95, Vintages #647388): Very pale, almost water white; spicy, Muscat-like honeysuckle and peach bouquet; light-bodied, aromatic, white peach flavour. Very elegant. (90)

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