CHAMPAGNE BOLLINGER SPECIAL CUVÉE BRUT, NV, Champagne, France


Cost: $84.95 (Clearance Price: $68.00)
Grape: 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, 15% Meunier
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Champagne
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Bollinger
Alcohol: 12% Alcohol/Vol.

Bone dry but full of character & quality

Positives: Bright gold in colour with a fine mousse and a long finish. Wine features brioche, yeastiness, green & golden apple, Anjou pear, lemon, white peaches, walnuts, nutmeg and cloves.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Maturation cellar aged for more than twice the time required by the appellation, which in total 36 months.

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 10-15 years on its own or pair it with raw oysters.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: March 17, 2019

LCBO: 384529

KACABA MERLOT 2013, VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $34.95
Grape: Merlot
Category: Red Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Escarpment, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Kacaba Vineyards & Winery
Alcohol: 13.4% Alcohol/Vol.

A solid quality & nicely aged Canadian Merlot

Positives: This medium to full body wine features dark cherry, raspberry, elderberry, anise, cassis, cinnamon, mocha, tomato leaves and violets on the nose.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 7-10 years on its own or pair it with slow roasted brisket.

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: March 16, 2019

THE TEACHING WINERY LES MARMITONS: GASTRONOMY FUMÉ BLANC 2017, VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada


 

Cost: $23.15
Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Category: White Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Region, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Niagara College Wine
Alcohol: 13% Alcohol/Vol.

This is a quality Fumé Blanc from Nièvre from the Loire Valley in France, but wait it’s not, it’s from the teaching winery at Niagara College. Well done!

Positives: Light yellow with a green tinge in colour. This wine features fresh cut grass, lemon/lime, pink grapefruit, guava, dragon fruit, flint, cloves and light smoke on the nose.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 5-7 years on its own or pair it with red snapper ceviche.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy and Top Pick

Tasted: March 11, 2019

JACQUES BRUÉRE BON COURAGE ROSÉ SPARKLING WINE, 2011, Bottled Fermented Brut, Roberston, South Africa


Cost: $24.95
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: South Africa
Region: Roberston
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Bon Courage Estate
Alcohol: 11.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A Blanc de Noir sparkling wine that’s is elegant, delicious with flavours nicely integrating with it each other and having good acidity

Positives: Cooper in colour with fine mousse. Wine features light toast, brioche, strawberry, cherry, pink grapefruit and limestone.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: 1) I bought the wine because I liked the bottle & label; very elegant 2) On the label it list grapes Pinot Noir & Chardonnay, however on the wineries web site, and on the LCBO site, only grape used is Pinot Noir.

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with seafood based canapés.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy and Top Pick

Tasted: March 10, 2019

LCBO: 630855

NOMAD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $23.95 (Clearance price: $19.20)
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Hinterbrook Estate Winery
Alcohol: 12.8% Alcohol/Vol.

Canadian Cab that is full body, rich, smooth, easy drinking & all under 13% alcohol

Positives: Wine features dark cherry, blackberry, blackcurrants, mulberry, tamarind, mocha, vanilla and light smoked amber on the nose.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: I bought this wine because I liked the drawing of the Great White Owl on its label. Glad the wine was good too.

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with red wine pot roast.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy and Top Pick

Tasted: March 9, 2019

LCBO: 581132

MARYNISSEN ESTATES PLATINUM CHARDONNAY 2014, VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $29.95 (Get 3 for $65.00)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Four Mile Creek, Niagara Region, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Marynissen Winery
Alcohol: 13.6% Alcohol/Vol.

Smooth but with a zip and complexity brings this Ontario Chard to a next level

Positives: The oak is noticeable, but in this case that’s a good thing. This full body Chard that features lemon drops, apples (green, golden & Spy), mango, pineapple, meringue, dill, coconut, oak spice and Easter Lilly on the nose.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: I liked the long neck bottle and impressed with the high quality long cork made for aging.

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 7-10 years on its own or pair it with steamed lobster and drawn butter.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Best Buy at the buy discount price of 3 bottle = $21.62

Tasted: March 8, 2019

MARYNISSEN ESTATES CHARDONAY 2015, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $15.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Marynissen Winery
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Smooth, silky, smoky along with tropical fruits makes this oaked Chard a beautiful thing

Positives: The oak is nicely balanced in this full body Chard that features lemon, apples (green, golden & Spy), mango, pineapple, meringue, coconut, oak spice and smoked oak with white flowers on the nose.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with scallops in pasta.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: March 2, 2019

VIÑA REAL CRIANZA 2014, DOC Rioja, Spain


Cost: $18.95
Grape: 90% Tempranillo, 10% Mazuela, Graciano & Garnacha
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Spain
Region: Rioja
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Bodegas C.V.N.E
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Very easy drinking wine with substance & complexity

Positives: The oak is well integrated in this wine, which features cherry, raspberry, blackberry, red currants, dry herbs, cloves, cinnamon and a pretty nose.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 3-5 of years on its own or pair with rack of lamb.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy & Top Pick

Tasted: December 30, 2018

LCBO: 657411

MAGNOTTA FLEUR D’OR NV, VQA Ontario, Canada


Cost: $25.15
Grape: Riesling, Vidal
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Magnotta Winery
Alcohol: 12.5% Alcohol/Vol.

An off-dry sparkling that is well balanced, has substance & easy to drink

Positives: Yellow gold in colour with fine mousse, which features lemon zest, yellow apples, pineapple, peach and pear.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: 1) I do like the gold bottle with the elongated neck, 2) The new Venture Series sparkling in the LCBOs is now $1 more, so I recommend you can go to the Magnotta stores.

Ageability: Drink now or over the next couple years on its own or pair it with strawberries

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: February 24, 2019

STREWN TERROIR CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $44.00
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Red Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Strewn Vineyards
Alcohol: 13.9% Alcohol/Vol.

Ontario does make exceptional red wines and this one is expressive, complex, powerful & delicious

Positives: Firm tannins follow dark cherry, blackberries, blackcurrants, turn tamarind, cassis, star anise, mocha, vanilla, dried herbs, eucalyptus, cinnamon, cloves, leather, turmeric, pencil shavings and tobacco leaves.

Negatives: None

Thanks to the winery’s resident sommelier; Juan Nunez-Sanchez, for selecting this wine for my beef tenderloin steak dinner.

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 7-10 years on its own or pair it with medium rare beef tenderloin steak.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: February 22, 2019