680 NEWS wine reviews, February 16–17, 2019

Le Pupille Morellino di Scansano 2016
Morellino di Scansano is a grape grown in Maremma, the coastal area of Tuscany. It’s actually the local name for Sangiovese and is usually blended with Malvasia Nera and Alicante. There’s a 2016 vintage of Morellino di Scansano currently at Vintages outlets from the producer Fattoria Le Pupille. Dense purple in colour, the wine has a cedary, cherry nose backed by oak spice; it’s medium-bodied, dry, with a well-extracted cherry flavour and chewy tannins on the finish. It costs $17.95 and is a great match for spaghetti bolognaise. That’s Le Pupille Morellino di Scansano 2015 from Tuscany. For Post City Magazine, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($17.95, Vintages #455659) (89)

L & T Falkenstein Grüner Veltliner 2017
I’m a great fan of Austrian Grüner Veltliner as a versatile food wine. New to Vintages is L & T Falkenstein Grüner Veltliner 2017. Bright, light straw in colour, it has that characteristic bouquet of white pepper and peach skin with a thread of minerality. This Grüner Veltliner is medium-bodied, dry with flavours of white peach and lemon. A beautifully balanced wine that cries out for asparagus, sushi or scallops. It costs $15.95 at Vintages outlets. That’s L & T Falkenstein Grüner Veltliner 2017 from Austria at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazine, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($15.95, Vintages #464537) (88.5)

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680 NEWS wine reviews, February 9–10, 2019

Peller Estates Private Reserve Vidal Icewine 2017
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Peller Estates has lowered the price on the 200 mL bottle of their Private Reserve Vidal Icewine 2017. $3 off its regular price and down to $24.30. And this is one of the best Vidal Icewines I’ve tasted from the 2017 vintage. Old gold in colour, it has a nose of mangoes and honey. It’s medium to full-bodied, rich and unctuous on the palate with honeyed tropical fruit flavours well-balanced with fresh, lemony acidity. The 200 mL format is the perfect size for two people in love – or not, as the case may be. That’s Peller Estates Private Reserve Vidal Icewine 2017 from Ontario at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazine, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS.  ($24.30, Vintages #18564)

Rodney Strong Sonoma County Chardonnay 2016
If you’re planning a Valentine’s Day dinner with your special partner, here’s a recommendation for chicken, veal or lobster: Rodney Strong Sonoma County Chardonnay 2016. Bright, yellow straw in colour, this full-bodied Chardonnay has an earthy, barnyard bouquet of apple with a spicy oak note. It’s full-boded, dry, with apple and toasty flavours accentuated by lemony acidity giving the wine a long, succulent finish. It costs $22.95 – a bit more than my usual recommendations, but it’s for Valentine’s Day, so live a little. That’s Rodney Strong Sonoma County Chardonnay 2016 from California, available at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazine, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($22.95, Vintages #226936)

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680 NEWS wine reviews, February 2–3, 2019

Bodegas Navajas Crianza 2015
If you’re looking for a versatile red wine for meat dishes, pick up a bottle of the newly released Bodegas Navajas Crianza 2015. This Tempranillo and Mazuela blend from Spain’s Rioja region is deep ruby in colour with a spicy nose of sandalwood, strawberry and cherry compote with evident oak notes. It’s medium-bodied, dry, with cherry and red plum flavours, balancing acidity and a note of cloves on the finish. It’s got admirable length on the finish. It costs $14.95 at Vintages outlets. That’s Bodegas Navajas Crianza 2015 from Spain. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS.  ($14.95, Vintages #639823) (89)

The Raconteur Syrah 2017
Here’s a flavourful South African red that has a real story to tell. The Raconteur Syrah 2017 is grown in Swartland, a trending wine region 50 kilometres north of Cape Town. Deep ruby in colour, this bargain-priced Syrah, dense purple in colour, offers a savoury-herbal nose of black fruits; it’s full-bodied, dry, juicy and fruity with the flavour of black plums carried on lively acidity. It costs $14.95 at Vintages outlets and is just the job for spicy beef or pork ribs. That’s The Raconteur Syrah 2017 from South Africa. For Post City Magazine, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($14.95, Vintages #631515) (89)

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 715: The Foreign Affair

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The greeter outside The Foreign Affair

Visited The Foreign Affair winery to taste the portfolio with winemaker Barclay Robinson. Continue reading

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680 NEWS wine reviews, January 26–27, 2019

Jardin Inspector Péringuey Chenin Blanc 2016
Chenin Blanc is South Africa’s most widely planted grape, accounting for 18% of that country’s vineyard acreage. Currently at Vintages is a beautifully made example from the Stellenbosch region: Jardin Inspector Péringuey Chenin Blanc 2016 2016. Péringuey, apparently, was the Inspector General of South African vineyards in the late 19th century. The wine memorializing him is deep straw in colour with a slightly reductive nose of pear with a barnyard note. Medium-dry and well-balanced, rich flavours of pear and quince fill the mouth. It costs $17.95 at Vintages outlets. That’s Jardin Inspector Péringuey Chenin Blanc 2016 2016 from South Africa. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($17.95, Vintages #443473)

Anakena Ona Andes Blend 2016
Anakena Ona Andes Blend 2016 from Chile’s Cachapoal Valley is a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère. It’s dense purple in colour with a concentrated cedary, cassis bouquet with cigar box notes; it’s medium-bodied, dry and elegant with the flavour of blackcurrants; a well-balanced, firmly-structured wine with a lingering finish. It costs $19.95 at Vintages outlets. Serve it with lamb. That’s Anakena Ona Andes Blend 2016 from Chile. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($19.95, Vintages #632315) (89)

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