Wines of the Week for May 17, 2018

Trius Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay 2016, Niagara
($19.95, Vintages #251470)
Winemaker Craig Macdonald makes rich and compelling Chardonnays. His Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay 2016 is a wine that’s drinking well now but will age beautifully with a year or two in bottle. Bright straw in colour, it shows a toasty apple and citrus nose. Medium-bodied and dry spicy flavours of apple and green pineapple fill the mouth, buttressed by well-integrated oak.
Food Match: chicken; ripe Camembert. (89)

Turkey Flat Butchers Block Shiraz/Grenache/ Mourvèdre 2015, Barossa Valley
($19.95, Vintages #90241)
If big, bold red wines are your bag, this is your wine. Deep purple in colour, it has a rich nose of blackberries and cedar with a note of iodine. Medium to full-bodied, you get concentrated flavours of sweet blackberry and plum with a chocolate note. An ideal BBQ wine, especially for pepper steak. (89)

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680 NEWS wine reviews, May 11–13, 2018

Colio Lily Sparkling Rosé
What better way to celebrate your mother on Mother’s Day than a toast with a dry, sparkling rosé. Especially one that comes from Ontario vineyards. Colio’s Lily Sparkling Rosé is a delicate pale pink in colour with active bubbles. On the nose you experience aromas of mineral-tinged wild strawberries. Light-bodied and crisp on the palate, it offers flavours of cranberry and raspberry. It costs $16.95 on the LCBO’s general list. Chill for half and hour in the fridge before serving. That’s Colio Lily Sparkling Rosé from Ontario. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($16.95, LCBO #536565) (89)

Ogier Heritages Côtes du Rhône Grenache/Syrah 2016
With the BBQ season well underway here’s an inexpensive red that can match all your red meat dishes. Ogier Heritages Côtes du Rhône Grenache/Syrah 2016 has all the weight and flavour to standup to steak or spicy ribs. Deep purple-ruby in colour, it offers a floral, spicy, blackberry nose with a licorice not. Medium to full-bodied, richly extracted flavours of black plum carried on lively acidity fill the palate ending on a spicy cinnamon note. It costs $15.25 on the LCBO’s general list. That’s Ogier Heritages Côtes du Rhône Grenache/Syrah 2016 from France. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler. 680 NEWS. ($15.25, LCBO #535849) (89)

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 696: Sous Vide Dinner

On Sunday (April 22nd) Deborah and I had dinner with our friends Brian and Mary. Brian prepared the whole meal sous vide, apart from the smoked Artic char, which he smoked himself. A bottle of champagne to start, a Sancerre and two 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon blends served blind: they turned out to be Lakeview Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 1989 and Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste 1989. (I preferred the Ontario wine. Well done, Eddy Gurniskas!) Continue reading

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Wines of the Week for April 26, 2018

Three wines to be released at Vintages on Saturday April 28th:

Flat Rock Cellars Chardonnay 2016 (Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment)
$19.95 (Vintages #286278)
Bright, pale straw colour; apple and citrus nose with a suggestion of oak and a light floral note; medium-bodied, dry, apple and lemon flavours; well-balanced with a long finish. (89)
Food match: salmon; roast chicken

Quarisa Treasures Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (South Australia)
$17.95 (Vintages #552158)
Dense purple-black in colour; spicy, blackberry nose with a floral top note; medium-bodied, dry, fruity but firm with a clovey, tannic finish. (89)
Food match: lamb chops; roast veal

Piedra Negra Reserva Malbec 2015 (Uco Valley, Argentina)
$19.95 (Vintages #483909)
Dense purple-black in colour; cedary, black plum and cherry bouquet with a note of smoke medium t full-bodied, dry, earthy, black fruit flavours with a firm tannic finish. Hold 2–3 years. (89)
Food match: pepper steak; beef stew

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 695: Ravine Vineyard

The highlight of the week was a visit to Ravine Vineyard on Saturday with Deborah, my son Guy, his wife Sasha, their baby daughter Isla and two of their friends. Winemaker Marty Werner toured us around the winery and led us through a tasting: Continue reading

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Wines of the Week for April 19, 2018

Zenato San Benedetto Lugana 2016 (Veneto)
($18.95, Vintages #707158)
Bright, medium straw in colour. Minerally, green melon bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, ripe melon and lemon flavours. Well-balanced. This 100% Trebbiano di Lugana is actually related to the Verdicchio family! (89)
Food match: grilled fish; Ceasar salad

Cremaschi Furlotti Single Vineyard Carmenère 2015 (Maule Valley, Chile)
$22.95 (Vintages #549741)
Dense purple in colour with a cedary, red pepper and blackcurrant nose; medium-bodied, dry, well-balanced blackcurrant flavour with nicely integrated oak and a firm tannic finish. (89)
Food match: roast beef; steak

Villa Ponciago La Réserve Fleure 2015 (Beaujolais)
($19.95, Vintages #299917)
A very flavourful Beaujolais! Dense purple in colour with a spicy, cedary, blackcurrant and plum bouquet; medium-bodied, fruity and dry, cherry and red plum flavours. (89)
Food match: charcuterie; ham

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 694: County in the City

These are the wines I tasted this week (not counting the 56 sampled at the Vintages release tasting on Friday and 20 at the Prince Edward County tasting in Toronto on Thursday).

  • William Hill Chardonnay 2016 (California North Coast – $19.95): straw colour; minerally, oaky, apple nose; medium-bodied, sweetish, tropical fruit and pear flavours with good acidity and a creamy mouth feel. (88)
  • Château des Charmes Pinot Noir 2016 (Niagara – $16.95): deep ruby in colour; high-toned, spicy, earthy, beetroot and sour cherry flavours; medium-bodied, dry and savoury, red plum and cherry flavours. (88)

Thursday at Prince Edward County tasting (Berkley Church, Queen Street East, Toronto): Best wines tasted: Continue reading

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