LOUIS BOUILLOT PERLE D’AURORE BRUT ROSÉ CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE, AC Châlonnais and Mâconnais, France

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Louis

Cost: $19.95
Grape: 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Gamay
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Châlonnais, Mâconnais
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Louis Bouillot
Alcohol: 12% Alcohol/Vol.

Not complex yet elegant & easy drinking sparkling wine

Description: Light pink in colour with a medium to medium+ intense nose and fine mousse. This wine features light yeast, raspberry, strawberry, cherry and Macintosh apple. Medium body with good acidity and a fairly long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Established winery making sparkling wine since 1877. Nice bottle to impress dinner quest.

Drink now or in the next couple of years on its own or pair it with Risotto with sun dried tomatoes and shaved parmesan.

Tasted: 26 July 2015

Best Buy

Score: 8.5+/10, Value: 9+/10 Total: 18/20

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

LCBO: 48793

SANTA RITA RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2012, DO Rapel Valley, Chile

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Santa Rita

Cost: $13.95 (Sale: $12.45 until Aug 16, 2105)
Grape: Carmenère
Category: Red Wine
Location LCBO General List
Country: Chile
Region: Rapel Valley
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Santa Rita
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Not a powerful Carmenère, just right & a delicious, juicy wine for under $14

Description: Medium dark ruby in colour with an intense nose. This wine features light cedar, plum, cherry, blackberry, blueberry, nectarine, licorice, soy sauce, Allspice, peppers and oregano. Medium body with medium tannins, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Drink now or in the next couple of years on its own or pair it with Peruvian coriander herb crusted rack of lamb.

Tasted: 24 July 2015

Amazing Buy

Score: 9/10, Value: 9.5/10 (sale price: 10/10), Total: 18.5/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4

LCBO: 177774

PRIMARIUS PINOT NOIR 2012, Oregon, United States


Primarius

Cost: $25.95 (Clearance: $20.80)
Grape: Pinot Noir
Category: Red Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Oregon
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Primarius Winery
Alcohol: 12% Alcohol/Vol.

More Gamay-like than Pinot, but still a half decent wine

Description: Light to medium ruby in colour with a medium to medium+ intense nose. This wine features pine, raspberry, cherry, cranberry, tamarind, rose petals, and a light smoky finish. Light to medium body with light tannins, good acidity and a fairly long length.

Negatives: None

Drink now or in the next couple of years on its own or pair it with Herb, Garlic and Bacon Pork Loin.

Tasted: 25 July 2015

Score: 8.5+/10, Value: 8.5/10 (sale price: 8.5+/10), Total: 17+/20

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

LCBO: 402180

CREEKSIDE ESTATE LAURA’S BLEND 2012, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada

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wine_76781_web

Cost: $19.95
Grape Variety: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 3% Syrah, 2% Malbec & 1% Petit Verdot
Category: Red Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Creekside Estates
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A quality Ontario wine for under $20

Description: Dark ruby in colour with an intense nose. A fairly complex wine featuring cedar, black & red currants, black raspberry, cloves, cinnamon, dried herbs, mint, cassis, smoked Montreal meat, black pepper, leather and tomato leaves. Medium body with dry tannins, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: This shows the world that Ontario red wines can be of good quality at a reasonable price.

Drink now or in the next couple of years on its own or pair it with Lamb Chops in Moroccan BBQ Sauce.

Tasted: 18 July 2015

Best Buy

Score: 8.5+/10, Value: 9/10, Total: 17.5+/20

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

LCBO: 117960

MAGNOTTA INTERNATIONAL SERIES ZINFANDEL NV, California, United States


Magnotta Zin

Cost: $10.15
Grape Variety: 75% Zinfandel, 25% other red blends
Category: Red Wine
Location Magnotta Winery
Country: United States
Region: California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Magnotta Winery
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Well, this is impressive for $10!

Description: Medium bright ruby in colour with an intense perfume nose. This wine features violets, fresh carnations, lavender, ripe tamarind, plums, raisins, cloves, red and black raspberries, dark cherry and red currants. Medium+ body with medium tannins, good acidity, a long length and the alcohol is well integrated.

Negatives: None

Interesting note: Don’t think I’ve had a quality Zin for $10 until now, plus only 13.5% alcohol? Double impressive!

Drink now or in the next 3-4 years on its own or pair it with sweet and spicy baby back ribs.

Tasted: 17 July 2015

Amazing Buy

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

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4.5

No. 99 WAYNE GRETZKY ESTATES CHARDONNAY 2013, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada

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Wayne Gretzky

Cost: $13.95
Grape Variety: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location LCBO General List
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Wayne Gretzky
Alcohol: 13.0% Alcohol/Vol.

The right glassware is key to enjoying this wine

Description: Medium to light bright gold in colour with a medium to medium+ intense nose. Not a complex wine but what it does have is full flavour that features hints of lemon, Golden Delicious apples, pineapple and kiwi. Full body with average acidity and a fairly long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: I tried this wine in warm climate style Chard glass, and all though it had flavour it was flat, lacking acidity. In the cooler style glass the acid was better making this wine very pleasant, and why it’s a Best Buy.

Drink now or in the next couple of years on its own or pair it with grilled calamari with tomato citrus salad.

Tasted: 16 July 2015

Best Buy

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

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

LCBO: 63826

DECOY CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011, Sonoma County, California, United States

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Decoy

Cost: $33.95
Grape Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Red Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Sonoma County
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Duckhorn Wine Company
Alcohol: 13.9% Alcohol/Vol.

Smooth & delicious

Description: Medium+ ruby to garner in colour with an intense nose. This wine features cedar, raspberry, sweet cherry, turmeric, plums, black currants, eucalyptus, Allspice, cola, espresso, tobacco leaves and cigar box. Full body with light tannins, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Drink now or in the next couple of years on its own or pair it with coffee crusted beef tenderloin.

Tasted: 9 July 2015

Score: 9/10, Value: 8.5+/10, Total: 17.5+/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4

LCBO: 186171

WENTE RIVA RANCH CHARDONNAY 2012, Arroyo Seco, Monterey County, California

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Wente

Cost: $21.95
Grape Variety: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Arroyo Seco, Monterey County
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Wente Vineyards
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Every thing I love about a great Chard: Rich, creamy, balanced & full body, all the qualities you find in a wine double the price.

Description: Bright gold in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This wine features toasted buttered oak, Easter Lily, lemon tart, peach, pineapple, mango, toffee, crème brûlée, roasted marshmallows, cream corn and vanilla. Full body with good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Although I quite like Wente’s entry level Chard; Morning Fog that I reviewed previously, for $4 more this wine exceeds expectations.

Thanks to my daughter Sarah as this was an early father’s day present from her.

Drink now or in the next 5 years on its own or pair it with Roasted Quail with brioche and chorizo stuffing.

Tasted: 13 June 2015

Top Pick & Best Buy

Score: 9+/10, Value: 9+/10, Total: 18.5/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4.5

LCBO: 979344

WOLF BLASS GREY LABEL SHIRAZ 2011, McLaren Vale, Australia


Grey Label

Cost: $35 (On sale $30 until 21 June 2015)
Grape Variety: Shiraz
Category: Red Wine
Location LCBO General List
Country: Australia
Region: McLaren Vale
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Wolf Blass
Alcohol: 14.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Consistently a good solid, complex Shiraz, powerful but not jammy

Description: Deep ruby in colour with a medium to medium+ intense nose. This wine features cedar, blackberry, blueberry, plums, black currants, peppercorns, eucalyptus, vanilla, Allspice, cola, espresso, tobacco leaves and cigar box. Full body with medium tannins, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: Some heat from the 14.5% alcohol

Drink now or in the next 10 years on its own or pair it with spicy barbecued leg of lamb with rosemary and mint sauce.

Tasted: 20 June 2015

Score: 9/10, Value: 8.5+/10 (Sale price 9/10), Total: 17.5+/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4

LCBO: 390872

FEUDO DI SANTA CROCE, PRIMITIVO DI MANDURIA 2011, DOP Puglia, Italy


Feudo-Celebration-Primitivo

Cost: $24.00 CI (Cayman Islands)
Grape Variety: Primitivo di Manduria
Category: Red Wine
Location The Tasting Room, Cayman Islands
Country: Italy
Region: Puglia
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Tinazzi
Alcohol: 14.5% Alcohol/Vol.

One of the best Primitivo’s I’ve tasted; rich, balanced & smooth, but not overripe

Description: Deep dark ruby in colour with an intense nose. This wine features light cedar, fresh cut carnations, violets, raisins, plums, blueberries, raspberries and cloves. Full body with soft tannins, good acidity, a long length and the alcohol is well integrated.

Negatives: None

Thanks to Mario from the Tasting Room for suggesting this wine.

Interesting Note:  This is a quality wine showcased in a heavy and beautifully labeled bottle, and could easily pass for a wine double in price.

Drink now or in the next year on its own or pair it with BBQ point cut smoked brisket.

Tasted: 11 June 2015

Top Pick & Best Buy

Score: 9.5/10, Value: 9/10, Total: 18.5/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4.5

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