HENKELL BLANC DE BLANCS DRY/SEC NV, Germany


Cost: $15.95
Grape: White grapes
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Germany
Region:
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Henkell
Alcohol: 11.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A rich, creamy, fruit driven & easy drinking sparkler that will please those that don’t like a yeasty, toasty sparkling/Champagne

Description: Bright yellow gold in colour with a medium to medium+ intense nose and a fine mousse. This wine features golden apples, peach, pear, orange and lime. Medium+ body with average acidity and length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: Pretty bottle

Drink now or in the next couple of years

Tasted: 7 January 2018

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

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

LCBO: 463349

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BONTERRA CHARDONNAY 2016, Mendocino County, California, United States


Cost: $19.95 (Sale price until Feb 25, 2018)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Mendocino County, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Fetzer Vineyards
Alcohol: 13.3% Alcohol/Vol.

Fair priced Chardonnay that I like

Positives: Smooth, rich in flavour, tropical fruit, spicy, well balanced between oak, fruit and acidity, it’s organic and under $20.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or in the next 3-5 years

Best Buy

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: February 12, 2018

LCBO: 342436

HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2016, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $19.95 (Clearance Price: $16.00)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Short Hills Bench, Niagara, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Henry of Pelham
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A fairly priced Chard

Positives: Easy drinking, good citric flavours mixed in with some tropical notes, and the oak is well integrated.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or in the next 3-5 years.

Best Buy at the clearance price

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: February 14, 2018

LCBO: 268342

FLAT ROCK THE RUSTY SHED CHARDONNAY 2017, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $27.15
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: Red Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Region
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Flat Rock Cellars
Alcohol: 13% Alcohol/Vol.

Creamy, balanced, high quality Chard for under $30 and at 13% alcohol

Positives: Wood is nicely integrated in this wine, which features lemon, apple, peach, pineapples, lemon meringue, oak spice and Easter Lilly on the nose.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 5-7 of years.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: December 8, 2018

LCBO 1552 (2017 Vintage not yet in LCBO as of this review)

FLAT ROCK THE RUSTY SHED CHARDONNAY 2016, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $21.55 Clearance price
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Region
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Flat Rock Cellars
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A robust Chard that may need time to smooth out its edges, but still a good quality Chard

Positives: This wine is medium to full body featuring lemon, green apples, dragon fruit, pear, oak spice and limestone.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: I prefer the 2017 vintage as it more balanced, creamy, tropical fruit and at 13% alcohol.

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 5-7 of years.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best buy at clearance price

Tasted: December 13, 2018

LCBO 1552

CLOS DU BOIS SONOMA RESERVE MERLOT 2014, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States


Cost: $24.95
Grape: Merlot
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Clos du Bois
Alcohol: 14.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Competes with higher end Napa Merlots but at half the price. Reminds me of Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon ($103.95 vs $24.95).

Positives: Yummy, smooth, juicy, rich in flavours, black fruits, spices well balanced between oak, fruit and acidity.

Negatives: Corrugated cork decreases ageing potential. High alcohol of 14.5%, but it’s well integrated.

Ageability: Drink now or in the next 3-5 years.

Best Buy and Top Pick

Tasted: February 13, 2018

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

LCBO: 34900

SIMI CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States


Cost: $22.95
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Simi Winery
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

This shouldn’t disappoint people looking for a quality Cab from one of my favourite wine areas in the world, Alexander Valley.

Positives: Lower price than most Cabs from Alexander Valley. Not a heavy wine, but still having a good mix of red and black fruit along with moderate tannins and good acidity.

Negatives: Corrugated cork decreases ageing potential.

Ageability: Drink now or in the next 3-5 years.

Best Buy

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: February 15, 2018

LCBO: 25221

SOLANERA VIÑAS VIEJAS 2015, Spain


Cost: $18.95
Grape: 65% Monastrell, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Garnacha Tintorera
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Spain
Region:
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Viñas Viejas
Alcohol: 14.5% Alcohol/Vol.

And now for something different

Positives: A woodsy style wine with notes of mushroom and unagi complimented by a mix of dark fruits.

Negatives: 14.5% alcohol

Ageability: Drink now or in the next 5-7 years.

Best Buy

My Opinion: On the Fence

Tasted: February 16, 2018

LCBO: 276162

ALVENTO ARIA NEBBIOLO 2012, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $46.15
Grape: Nebbiolo
Category: Red Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Alvento Winery
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A lighter style Nebbiolo, but still high in tannin

Positives: This wine features pomegranate, strawberry, cranberry, oregano, arugula and leather.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: The Nebbiolo vines were planted in 2001 with their last vintage 2012. Unfortunately, the polar vortex that hit this region in 2014, and destroyed the vines. Nebbiolo is a rarity for Canada, and even more rare as these vines are no longer here, so value for the money it’s worth the cost.

Ageability: Drink now but double decant and pair it with beef Braciola or drink on its own over the next 10 of years.

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: December 8, 2018

ALVENTO NEBBIOLO 2008, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $55.15
Grape: Nebbiolo
Category: Red Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Alvento Winery
Alcohol: 12% Alcohol/Vol.

This wine is more austere than the 2007, but truer in style and it is unfiltered

Positives: High in tannin, but very robust and complex. This wine features pomegranate, strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, oregano, tomato leaves and leather.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: The Nebbiolo vines were planted in 2001 with their last vintage 2012. Unfortunately, the polar vortex that hit this region in 2014, and destroyed the vines. Nebbiolo is a rarity for Canada, and even more rare as these vines are no longer here, so value for the money it’s worth the cost.

Ageability: Drink now, but pair it with chicken cacciatore in red wine sauce or drink on its own over the next 10-15 of years.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: December 8, 2018