PICO and VINE PINOT NOIR 2013, Russian River Valley, California, United States


Pico & Vine

Cost: $26.95
Grape: Pinot Noir
Category: Red Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
Alcohol: 13.8% Alcohol/Vol.

Smooth, juicy, not overpowering, well-balanced & delicious

Description: Light ruby to garnet in colour with a medium intense nose. This wine features pine, cherry, cranberry, plum, pumpkin spice, damp moss and light wood smoke. Medium body with light tannins, good acidity, a very long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: Use the balloon style glassware and lightly chill.

Drink now or in the next 5-7 years on its own or pair it with Smoked Venison Roast.

Tasted: 12 February 2016

Top Pick

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

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

LCBO: 438549

RODNEY STRONG CHARDONNAY 2013, Sonoma County, California, United States


Rodney Chard

Cost: $19.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Sonoma County
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A good crisp, slightly oaked California Chard

Description: Light gold in colour with a medium intense nose. This wine features light toasted oak, lemon, green apple, pink grapefruit, pineapple, pear and oak spice. Medium+ body with good acidity and a fairly long length.

Negatives: None

Drink now or in the next 3 years on its own or pair it with Peruvian Style Roast Chicken (marinated in olive oil, lime juice, garlic and spices and oven roasted until tender and the skin is crispy).

Tasted: 11 February 2016

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

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

LCBO: 226936

MAGNOTTA INTERNATIONAL SERIES PINOTAGE 2011, SOUTH AFRICA


Pinotage

Cost: $9.70(Sale until 29 Feb 2016: $8.10)
Grape: Pinotage
Category: Red Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: South Africa
Region:
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Magnotta Vineyards
Alcohol: 12.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Impressive wine, reminds me of on open fire on the beach

Description: Deep ruby to garnet in colour with an intense nose. This wine features heavy smoked notes, blackberry, blackcurrant, dark cherry, cloves, nutmeg, peppercorn, white & red peppers, coffee, cigar box and tobacco leaves. Medium+ body with low tannins tannins, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: Use same glass ware as Pinot Noir

Drink now or in the next couple of years on its own or pair it with Spicy Smoked Chorizo Sausage Casserole.

Tasted: 10 February 2016

Best Buy

Score: 8.5+/10, Value: 9+/10 (Sale price: 10/10) Total: 18/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4

RODNEY STRONG ALEXANDER VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States


Rodney Stong

Cost: $27.95 (Sale until 28 Feb 2016: $23.95)
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Red Wine
Location LCBO General List
Country: United States
Region: Alexander Valley, Sonoma County
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
Alcohol: 14.5% Alcohol/Vol.

The nose is like a $150 Napa Cab, the taste is more like $50 Napa Cab, but the price is only $27.95 Sonoma

Description: Deep ruby in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This complex wine features cedar, dark cherry, plum, raspberry, black currants, boysenberry, black olives, cinnamon, cloves, figs, smoked cherry pipe tobacco, chocolate covered raisins, turmeric, pencil shavings, leather and purple lilac on the nose. Full body with medium to medium+ tannins, good acidity, a long length and the alcohol is well integrated.

Negatives: None

Drink now or in the next 10 years on its own or pair it with Pistachio and Coriander Crusted Rack of Lamb with lamb jus and port wine emulsion.

Tasted: 2 February 2016

Top Pick & Best Buy at sale price

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

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

LCBO: 350454

ERNIE ELS BIG EASY 2013, W.O Western Cape, South Africa


Big Easy

Cost: $19.95
Grape: 61% Shiraz, 20% Cab Sauvignon, 7% Grenache, 4% Mouvèdre, 4% Viognier, 4% Cinsault
Category: Red Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: South Africa
Region: Western Cape
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Ernie Els Wines
Alcohol: 14.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Big Easy is a big entry wine for Ernie Els wines

Description: Medium ruby in colour with an intense nose. This wine features mild oak, sour cherry, raspberry, mulberry, cranberry, eucalyptus, white pepper, smoky bacon and Thai basil. Full body with dusty tannins, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: Some heat from the 14.5% alcohol

Drink now or in the next 5 years on its own or pair it with Paprika Roasted Leg of Lamb.

Tasted: 27 January 2016

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: 220038

GRAN FEUDO RESERVA 2009, DO Navarra, Spain


Gran Feudo

Cost: $16.95 (Sale until 31 Jan 2016: $14.95)
Grape: Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
Category: Red Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: Spain
Region: Navarra
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Bodegas Gran Feudo of Chivite
Alcohol: 13% Alcohol/Vol.

A nicely aged reserva at a good price

Description: Medium ruby in colour with a medium to medium+ intense nose. This wine features sandalwood, plum, cherry, blackberry, thyme, pumpkin spice, espresso, tobacco leaves and leather. Medium body with dusty tannins, good acidity and a fairly long length.

Negatives: Slightly watery

Interesting Note: Like the fact that it’s only 13% alcohol. This wine presents better in the Tempranillo style glassware vs the larger Cab glassware

Drink now or in the next 3 years on its own or pair it with Spicy Chorizo Paella.

Tasted: 28 January 2016

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: 479014

WENTE RIVA RANCH CHARDONNAY 2013, Arroyo Seco, Monterey County, California, United States


 

2014_Riva_Ranch_Chardonnay_DOBS_300dpi (1)

Cost: $24.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Arroyo Seco, Monterey, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Wente Vineyards
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Substance, elegance, style & balanced. Oh yes, delicious!

Description: Bright gold in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This wine features medium to light buttered toasted oak, lemon meringue, peach, mango, pineapple, Spy apple, oak spice, cloves, ginger, dill, butterscotch and Easter Lily on the nose. Full body with good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: none

Interesting Note: Wente wines are becoming my go to wines.

Drink now or in the next 3 years on its own or pair it with Duet of Pork Belly Porchetta and Seared Scallop, served with Apple, Pear and Celery Salad.

Tasted: 23 January 2016

Best Buy

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

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

LCBO: 979344

GEN5 CHARDONNAY 2013, Lodi, California


Gen5

Cost: $17.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Lodi, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Lange Family Winery
Alcohol: 13.4% Alcohol/Vol.

Nice Californian Chard that’s not overtly oaked or sweet, but balanced

Description: Bright gold in colour with an intense nose. This wine features light toasted oak, lemon, green & yellow apples, peach, nectarine, and dragon fruit. Medium+ body with good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: none

Interesting Note: Gen5 was founded in 2007 by the fifth generation of the Lange family, who began their Lodi agricultural adventures in 1870, when their great-great-grandparents emigrated from Germany and began farming watermelons.

Drink now or in the next 2-3 years on its own or pair it with Tuna and Wahoo Tartare with Avocado and Sesame dressing.

Tasted: 21 January 2016

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

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

LCBO: 441121

SANTA RITA MEDALLA REAL GRAND RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011, Maipo Valley, Chile


Santa Rita

Cost: $17.95
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Red Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: Chile
Region: Miapo Valley
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Santa Rita
Alcohol: 14% Alcohol/Vol.

A nice Cab for a great price

Description: Dark ruby in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This wine features cedar, blackcurrant, dark cherry, blackberry, tamarind, mint, tobacco, cassis, star anise, turmeric, cocoa and leather. Full body with green tannins, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: none

Drink now or in the next 10 years on its own or pair it with Braised Jerk Oxtail, served on Butterbean Puree with Tomato Pepper Jam.

Tasted: 22 January 2016

Best Buy

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

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

LCBO: 275594

SANTA CAROLINA RESERVA DE FAMILIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013, DO Maipo Valley, Chile


Santa Carolina

Cost: $18.95
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Red Wine
Location LCBO Vintages
Country: Chile
Region: Maipo Valley
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Santa Carolina
Alcohol: 13.8% Alcohol/Vol.

Interesting & smooth

Description: Opaque ruby in colour with an intense nose. Primary features are cedar, blackcurrant & eucalyptus followed by blackberry, cassis, granite, cocoa, turmeric, leather and fresh cut carnations on the nose. Full body with medium to medium+ tannins, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: none

Drink now or in the next 5 years on its own or pair it with Dry Aged Rib Eye with Red Wine Demi Glaze.

Tasted: 19 January 2016

Best Buy

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

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

LCBO: 408658

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