FRANCIS COPPOLA DIAMOND COLLECTION CHARDONNAY 2013, Monterey County, California, United States


Coppola

Cost: $19.95
Grape Variety: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Monterey County, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Francis Coppola
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Maybe at $10 it might be worth it

Description: Bright gold in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This wine features medium toasted oak, lemon tart, grapefruit, green apples and pear. Medium body with good acidity and a fairly long length.

Negatives: Too sour

Drink now or in the next 2 years on its own or pair it with fish tacos with blood orange sauce.

Tasted: 15 Jan 2015

Score: 7.5+/10, Value: 6+/10 Total: 14/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 2.5

LCBO: 708305

HENRY OF PELHAM BACO NOIR RESERVE 2010, VQA Ontario, Canada


Baco

Cost: $24.95
Grape Variety: Baco Noir
Category: Red Wine
Location Bought: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Henry of Pelham
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Description: Medium+ ruby in colour with a medium+ intense nose.

Consistently, Canada’s best Baco Noir is Henry of Pelham’s reserve

Positives: Deep ruby in colour with medium+ intensity on the nose. This complex wine features cedar, smoky embers, peppercorns, Gaeta olives, bacon, prunes, dark cherry, strawberry, raspberry, black currants, blueberry, chocolate, Portobello mushrooms & leather. Full body with medium tannins, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: I recommend using a Pinot glass and lightly chill it.

Drink now or over the next 5 years on its own or pair it with Elk steak with mushrooms and roasted peppers.

Tasted: 13 Jan 2015

Best Buy

Score: 9/10, Value: 9/10 Total: 19/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4+

LCBO: 461699

DOMAINE LES VIEUX MURS POUILLY-FUISSÉ 2012, Ac Pouilly-Fuissé, Burgundy, France


Fuisse

Cost: $26.95
Grape Variety: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Pouilly-Fuissé, Burgundy
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Les Vieux Murs
Alcohol: 13.4% Alcohol/Vol.

Smooth, easy drinking balanced act between fruit & oak

Description: Light bright gold in colour with a medium to medium+ intense nose. This wine features light toasted oak, lemon, pink grapefruit, granny & golden apples, pineapple, honeydew melon and limestone. Medium body with good acidity and a fairly long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: Works well with both style of Chard glasses, Chablis and Montrachet, but I would give the nod to Monty

Drink now or in the next 2 years on its own or pair it with Chicken Waldorf Salad.

Tasted: 12 Jan 2015

Score: 8.5+/10, Value: 8.5+/10 Total: 17.5/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 3.5+

LCBO: 241117

RAVINE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2012, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


No Unauthorized Reproduction @Jason Dziver

Cost: $24.00
Grape Variety: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula, Canada
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Ravine Vineyard
Alcohol: 13% Alcohol/Vol.

Beyond the nose, this is a very nice, smooth Chard

Description: Light bright gold in colour with medium+ intense nose. This wine features light toasted oak, lemon, green and yellow apples, papaya, pear, and light oak spice. Medium+ body with good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: Acetic notes on the nose

Interesting Note: Works with both New and Old World style Chard glasses, but I give the edge to the New World, which gives it more creaminess.

Drink now or in the next 5 years on its own.  Pairs amazingly well with with green papaya chicken curry cooked over a wood stove.

Tasted: 6 Jan 2015

Score: 8.5+/10, Value: 8.5+/10 Total: 17+/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 3.5+

RED ROOSTER PINOT NOIR 2012, VQA Naramata, British Columbia, Canada


No Unauthorized Reproduction @Jason Dziver

Cost: $19.95 (Clearance price: $11.75)
Grape Variety: Pinot Noir
Category: Red Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Naramata, British Columbia
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Ravine Vineyard
Alcohol: 13.4% Alcohol/Vol.

Nice smooth, smoky, earthy, full flavoured Pinot for under $20

Description: Medium light garnet with some ruby in colour with a medium to medium+ intense nose. This wine features smoked cedar, black cherry, raspberry, cranberry compote, cinnamon, cloves and autumn leaves. Medium+ body with low tannins, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: It’s a steal if you can get it for the clearance price

Drink now or in the next 5 years on its own or pair it with cedar plank salmon

Tasted: 7 Jan 2015

Best Buy

Score: 9/10, Value: 9+/10 (Clearance price: 10/10) Total: 18+/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4

LCBO: 628347

BOTTEGA ROSÉ GOLD BRUT SPUMANTE NV, Veneto, Italy


Bottega

Cost: $26.95
Grape Variety: Pinot Noir
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: Italy
Region: Veneto
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Bottega Spa
Alcohol: 11.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A little pricey for a Spumante but is it ever delightful

Description: Pink salmon colour with a medium intense nose and a fine mousse. This off-dry sparkling wine features strawberry, pink grapefruit, peach and pear. Medium body with good acidity and a fairly long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: Cool bottle. This wine usually comes out before Christmas.

Drink now or in the next 2 years on its own or pair it with asparagus salad topped with poached eggs.

Tasted: 8 Jan 2015

Score: 8.5+/10, Value: 8.5/10 Total: 18/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 3.5+

LCBO: 187914

MULDERBOSCH FAITHFUL HOUND 2011, Stellenbosch, South Africa


Faithful

Cost: $19.95
Grape Variety: 45% Cabernet Franc, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 4% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot
Category: Red Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: South Africa
Region: Stellenbosch
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Mulberbosch
Alcohol: 14% Alcohol/Vol.

The story is sad, but the taste is good

Description: Dark ruby to purple in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This wine features cedar, blackcurrants, plums, anise, tobacco leaves, spinach, arugula, espresso, fig, cocoa, bell pepper and leather. Full body with medium+ tannings, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: “THE STORY OF THE FAITHFUL HOUND: Soon after Dr. Larry Jacobs and winemaker Mike Dobrovic founded Mulderbosch in 1989, they discovered an abandoned dog living on the farm. Because of the creature’s scraggly, unkempt appearance, they called him “Boes,” which means “bushy” in Afrikaans.

Boes spent most of his time perched beneath a large oak tree, gazing off into the distance. Often he would wander about the farm during the day, observing the vineyard activity. But he dutifully returned to his lookout point each evening, where he patiently awaited his beloved master’s return. Night after night, through all kinds of weather, he never failed to keep his vigil. So it was that he earned himself the nickname “Faithful Hound.”

Eventually it was revealed that his owner, a farmhand on the property before the Mulderbosch days, had been killed in a car accident. After three years of devotedly watching and waiting for his best friend, the Faithful Hound passed away beneath the old oak tree, just beside the cottage where he and his master had lived.

Shortly thereafter, Mike Dobrovic decided to create a Bordeaux blend as a tribute to Boes; the maiden 1994 vintage of Mulderbosch Faithful Hound was released in 1995. The dog is buried beneath the oak tree, near the very spot where he dutifully kept his vigil. And many vintages later, his namesake wine continues to celebrate his undying loyalty, unwavering dedication, and inspiring determination.

Faithful Hound’s final resting place – the oak tree where he kept his three year vigil, next to the cottage where his master lived. “ (www.capeclassics.com)

Drink now or in the next 7 years on its own or pair it with rib eye steak

Tasted: 5 Jan 2015

Best Buy

Score: 9/10, Value: 9/10 Total: 18/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4

LCBO: 922443

RODNEY STRONG RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR 2012, Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United States


Rodney

Cost: $24.95
Grape Variety: Pinot Noir
Category: Red Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Russian River, Sonoma County, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
Alcohol: 14.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A touch sweet, creamy and heavy Pinot

Description: Medium light garnet to ruby in colour with a medium to medium+ intense nose. This wine features cedar, cherry pie, plum, rhubarb, dates and vanilla. Full body with low tannings, medium acidity and a fairly long length.

Negatives: Too sweet for me

Interesting Note: It seems like every second year Rodney Strong puts out a subpar Pinot, this vintage is it.

Drink now or in the next 2 years on its own or pair it with duck paté

Tasted: 4 Jan 2015

Score: 8.5/10, Value: 8.5/10 Total: 17/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 3.5

LCBO: 954834

SONOMA-CUTRER RUSSIAN RIVER RANCHES CHARDONNAY 2013, Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United States


Sonoma

Cost: $26.95 (Sale price until Jan 4, 2015: $21.95)
Grape Variety: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Russian River, Sonoma County, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards
Alcohol: 14.2% Alcohol/Vol.

An elegant cool climate Chard that should please those that don’t like woody Chards

Description: Bright light gold in colour with a medium to medium+ intense nose. This wine features medium light oak, lemon, pink grapefruit, nutmeg, Fuji apple, nectarine, oak spice and wet stone. Medium body with good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: I found the 2013 vintage nicer than the previous vintage, reviewed here April 2014. The winery sells the wine for $28 US, so good buy, especially at the sale price for LCBO

Drink now or in the next 5 years on its own or pair it with pan-roasted stilton chicken with apple ginger sauce.

Tasted: 27 Dec 2014

Best Buy at sale price

Score: 9/10, Value: 9/10 Total: 18/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4

LCBO: 608653

TOLLGATE MERLOT 2010, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


Tollgate

Cost: $20.25
Grape Variety: Merlot
Category: Red Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Stratus
Alcohol: 14.9% Alcohol/Vol.

A moderate Merlot with low fruit and high alcohol

Description: Deep ruby in colour with a medium intense nose. This wine features oak, plums, dry figs, dried blueberries, Christmas cake, rosemary, sage, cinnamon and leather. Medium+ body and medium tannins with good acidity and a fairly long length.

Negatives: High heat from the 14.9% alcohol

Drink now or in the next 2 years on its own or pair it with BBQ lamb chops

Tasted: 20 Dec 2014

Score: 8.5+/10, Value: 8.5/10 Total: 17+/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 3.5+

LCBO: 344101

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