CLOS DU BOIS MARLSTONE 2010, Alexander Valley, California, United States


Marlstone

Cost: $49.95
Grape Variety: 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 7% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot
Category: Red wine
Location Bought: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Alexander Valley, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Clos Du Bois
Alcohol: 14.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A solid well balanced California Bordeaux style wine

Description: Deep ruby in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This complex wine features cedar, blackberry, dark cherry, eucalyptus, blackcurrant, licorice, anise, cassis, plums, cocoa, dates, leather, arugula and tobacco leaf. Full body with medium+ tannins, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: A little heat from the 14.5% alcohol.

Interesting Point: I confess I bought the wine because I liked the sophisticated label. Looked expensive and at $24.95, I figured why not. Yes, the store had confused the lesser Clos Du Bois Sonoma Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon that was priced at $24.95 with the Marlstone. Their loss my gain. Decanting for 30 min will smooth the wine out.

Drink now or in the next 10 years on its own or and pair it with Bison.

Tasted: 22 July 2014

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

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4

LCBO: 955104

CHATEAU POUYANNE GRAVES TRADITION 2009, AC Graves, France


Chateau Pouyanne

Cost: $19.95
Grape Variety: Bordeaux Blend
Category: Red wine
Location Bought: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Graves
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Chateau Pouyanne
Alcohol: 13% Alcohol/Vol.

A simple Bordeaux wine that reminds me of a Nouveau Beaujolai

Description: Medium ruby in colour with a medium intense nose. This wine features bubble gum and bandaid on the nose sweet cherry and blackberry. Medium body with average acidity and length.

Negatives: A little volatile and watery

Drink now on its own or and pair it with steak and cheese sandwich.

Tasted: 29 July 2014

Score: 8/10, Value: 8/10 Total: 16/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 3

LCBO: 349332

MAGNOTTA LIMITED EDITION SHIRAZ 2010, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


Magnotta Shiraz

Cost: $18.15
Grape Variety: Syrah
Category: Red wine
Location Bought: Magnotta
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Magnotta Winery
Alcohol: 13.7% Alcohol/Vol.

A solid well balanced Canadian Rhône style wine

Description: Deep bright ruby in colour with an intense nose. This wine features cedar, violets, black & white peppers, plums, loganberry, arugula, ash and sage. Full body with soft tannins, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: Naming the wine Shiraz instead of Syrah

Drink now or in the next 3 years on its own or and pair it with peppercorn steak.

Tasted: 26 July 2014

Best Buy

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

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

E. GUIGAL CÔTES DU RHÔNE ROSÉ 2013, AC Côtes Du Rhône, France


Guigal

Cost: $16.95
Grape Variety: Grenache, Cinsaut, Syrah & Mourvèdre
Category: Rosé wine
Location Bought: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Côtes Du Rhône
Format: 750 mL
Producer: E. Guigal
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Giving my standard warning: “DANGER WILL ROBINSON” This is so smooth you can drink 2 bottles easily. Perfect summer party wine.

Description: Beautiful bright salmon in colour with a medium to low intense nose. This wine features watermelon, MacIntosh apple, wild strawberry and cherry. Medium body with good acidity and a fairly long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: E. Guigal is one of my favourite French winemakers/producers. Usually a safe bet to get their wines from entry level to high end.

Drink now or in the next year on its own or and pair it with Caprese salad.

Tasted: 27 July 2014

Best Buy & Top Pick

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

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

LCBO: 225003

C.H. BERRES ÜRZIGER WÜRZGARTEN RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2011, Prädkatswein Mosel, Germany


C.H._Berres__rziger_W_rzgarten_Riesling_Sp_tlese_2010_web

Cost: $27.95
Grape Variety: Riesling
Category: White wine
Location Bought: LCBO Vintages
Country: Germany
Region: Mosel
Format: 750 mL
Producer: C.H. Berres
Alcohol: 9.5% Alcohol/Vol.

How could you not love Rieslings when there are gems like this out there and this wine will only get better with age

Description: Although this is medium-dry wine (Spätlese) there a nice balance between sweet and dry. The wine shows bright yellow gold in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This wine features Ylang Ylang, petrol, peach, apple pie, honey, orange, ginger, pink grapefruit and limestone. Full body with good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: C.H Berres consistently makes great Rieslings

Drink now or in the next 20 years on its own or and pair it with jerk chicken.

Tasted: 24 July 2014

Top Pick

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

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

LCBO: 301952

 

HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2012, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


Henry of Pelham Chard

Cost: $19.95
Grape Variety: Chardonnay
Category: White wine
Location Bought: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Wente Vineyards
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A symbiotic quartet is created from the harmonious combination of oak, fruit, acidity and creaminess.

Description: Bright gold in colour with a medium to medium+ intense nose. This creamy wine features light oak, lemon, Bosc pear, apple, honeydew melon, honeysuckle, ginger and nutmeg. Medium+ body with good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Use the cooler climate Chard glass.

Drink now or in the next 5 years on its own or and pair it with steamed snow crab.

Tasted: 16 July 2014

Best Buy

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

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4

LCBO: 26842

WENTE SOUTHERN HILLS CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2011 LIVERMORE VALLEY, SAN FRANCISCO BAY, UNITED STATES


Wente

Cost: $16.95
Grape Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Red wine
Location Bought: LCBO General List
Country: United States Region: Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Wente Vineyards
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

One of the best wines under $20 to take to a party because it’s smooth, delicious and the alcohol is under 14%, so more to drink

Description: Medium ruby in colour with a medium to medium+ intense nose. This wine features light cedar, black cherry, blackberry, plums, cassis, vanilla, figs, milk chocolate, turmeric, cinnamon and a touch of pencil shavings. Medium body with smooth tannins, good acidity and a long length

Negatives: None

Drink now or in the next 2 years on its own or and pair it with ribeye steak.

Tasted: 14 July 2014

Best Buy

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

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4

LCBO: 301507

MAGNOTTA BLANC DE NOIRS NV, Méthode Classique, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


Magnotta

Cost: $21.15
Grape Variety: Pinot Noir with a dosage of Cabernet Franc Icewine
Category: Sparkling wine
Location Bought: Magnotta
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Magnotta Wines
Alcohol: 13.6% Alcohol/Vol.
Description: Salmon in colour with a medium intense nose and fine mousse.

A simple sparkling with nice flavours & easy to drink

Positives: This wine features MacIntosh apples, strawberry, raspberry, cantaloupe and a hint of honey. Full body with good acidity and a fairly long length

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: 1. It was better in a wider base Champagne/Sparkling glass than the slimmer style. 2. Made with a touch of icewine.

Drink now or in the next 10 years on its own or and pair it with bacon wrapped seared scallops served on a bed of cantaloupe with caramelized shallots.

Tasted: 13 July 2014, Congrats to Germany on their World Cup Win!

Best Buy

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

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

FREI BROTHERS RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States


Frei

Cost: $23.95
Grape Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Red wine
Location Bought: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Alexander Valley, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Frei Brothers
Alcohol: 14.2% Alcohol/Vol.
Description: Medium+ ruby to garnet in colour with a medium+ intense nose.

This smooth & velvety wine shows multiple layers of flavours that are usually found in California Cabs priced over $40

Positives: This complex wine features cedar, black currants, mulberry, anise, cassis, blackberry, dark cherry, turmeric, pencil shavings, cinnamon, cloves, arugula, oregano & leather. Full body with medium+ tannins, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: There’s some heat from the 14.2% alcohol

Drink now or in the next 5 years on its own or and pair it with grilled rib-eye steak.

Tasted: 5 July 2014

Best Buy & Top Pick

Score: 9.5/10, Value: 9.5/10, Total: 19/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4.5

LCBO: 38075

SIMI RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2011, Russian River Valley, California, United States


Simi

Cost: $31.95 (Clearance price: 25.60)
Grape Variety: Chardonnay
Category: White wine
Location Bought: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Russian River Valley, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Simi
Alcohol: 14.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Description: Bright gold in colour with a medium intense nose.

A woody Chard devoid of fruit that will only appeal to a discerning few

This wine features medium+ toasted oak, lemon candy, burnt sugar, caramel, cloves, ginger and dill. Full body with good acidity and a long length

Negatives: A little heat from the 14.5% alcohol & too much sourness on the finish

Drink now or in the next 4 years on its own or and pair it with Peruvian Pulpo al Olivo.

Tasted: 7 July 2014

Score: 8.5/10, Value: 7.5/10 (Clearance price 8+/10), Total: 16/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 3.5

LCBO: 200881

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