OYSTER BAY BRUT SPARKLING CUVÉE CHARMAT METHOD NV, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand


oyster-bay

Cost: $17.75
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: New Zealand
Region: Hawke’s Bay
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Oyster Bay
Alcohol: 12 % Alcohol/Vol.

Easy drinking delicious sparkler

Description: Bright straw in colour with a medium+ intense nose and fine mousse. This wine features tangerine, pineapple, kiwi, cucumber, honey, limestone and white flowers on the nose. Medium body with good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: My wife’s new favourite sparkling wine

Drink now or in the next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with bacon wrapped seared scallops

Tasted: 24 February 2017

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

Best Buy

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4

LCBO: 163634

FREIXENT BLANC DE BLANC CAVA BRUT TRADITIONAL METHOD NV, Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, Spain


freixenet-blanc-de-blancs-brut-cava-catalonia-spain-10713841

Cost: $16.99 (CI)
Grape: White grapes
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: Jacques Scott, Cayman Islands
Country: Spain
Region: Sant Sadurni d’Anoia
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Freixenet
Alcohol: 12% Alcohol/Vol.

Easy drinking, delicious, creamy yet refreshing & inexpensive

Description: Light straw in colour with a medium+ intense and fine mousse nose. This complex wine features light toast, biscuit, pineapple, Bosc pear, white chocolate, lemon tart, apple pie and orange blossom the nose. Medium body with good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: Freixenet web site doesn’t list this wine.

Drink now or in the next 4-6 years on its own or pair it with pineapple dipped in white chocolate fondue.

Tasted: 2 January 2017

Best Buy & Top Pick

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

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

RED HILL ESTATE COOL CLIMATE PINOT NOIR 2014, Victoria, Australia


red-hill

Cost: $23.95
Grape: Pinot Noir
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Australia
Region: Victoria
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Red Hill Estate
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A pleasant drinking, old-world style Pinot

Description: Light ruby in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This wine features pine, pomegranate, maraschino cherry, cranberry, Shitake mushroom and peat moss on the nose. Medium body and tannin with good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: Some acetone on the finish

Interesting Note: Chill to 15 C and use the balloon style glassware.

Drink now or in the next 3 years on its own or pair it with roasted red pepper beef stew.

Tasted: 25 January 2017

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

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

LCBO: 58073

LES VIGNERONS DU CASTELAS VIEILLES VIGNES SIGNARGUES 2013, Ac Côtes du Rhône, France


signargues

Cost: $17.95 (Clearance price: $14.40)
Grape: 40% Grenache, %40 Syrah, 20% Carignan
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Côtes du Rhône
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Les Vignerons du Castelas
Alcohol: 14% Alcohol/Vol.

Easy drinking with lots of dark fruit & acidity to balance it all out

Description: Medium to dark ruby in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This wine features cedar, blackberry, blackcurrant, plum, Kirsch cherry, cracked pepper and arugula. Medium+ body with dusty tannin, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: Although this wine was aged sur lie in oak barrels for 14 months and had malolactic fermentation, the wine tastes better in smaller Chablis style glass than the larger Montrachet larger glassware.

Drink now or in the next 3 years on its own or pair it with Spicy Shepherd’s Pie with Chorizo.

Tasted: 23 January 2017

Best Buy

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

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

LCBO: 34116

POUILLY-FUISSÉ “SOLUTRÉ” 2013, Ac Pouilly-Fuissé, France


pouilly

Cost: $33.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Pouilly-Fuissé
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Jean-Pierre & Michael Auvigue
Alcohol: 13% Alcohol/Vol.

Classic Fuissé that strikes a good balance between fruit & oak

Description: Gold in colour with a medium intense nose. This complex wine features mild toast butter, lemon, green apple, pear, white peach, clementine, honeydew melon, hazel nut, chalk, flint and smoked peat moss on the nose. Medium+ body with good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: In order to bring out the essence of this wine, don’t over chill.

Drink now or in the next 5 years on its own or pair it with Trout with Brown Butter and Almonds.

Tasted: 16 December 2016

Top Pick

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

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4

LCBO: 278960

RODNEY STRONG RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR 2014, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States


rodney-strong-pinot

Cost: $25.95 (Sale price: $22.95 until 1 Jan 2017)
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 Winery
Alcohol: 14.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Smooth, new world style Pinot

Description: Light ruby to garnet in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This wine features cedar, dark cherry, plum, raspberry, beets, sweet cranberries, mushrooms and smoked peat moss on the nose. Medium+ body with good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: Some heat from the 14.5% alcohol.

Interesting Note: Use the balloon style glassware and chill it to 15C

Drink now or in the next 5 years on its own or pair it with Creamy Beet Risotto with Pecorino.

Tasted: 17 December 2016

Best Buy at the sale price

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

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

LCBO: 954834

BELLE GLOS LAS ALTURAS VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2014, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, California, United States


cq5dam-web-1280-1280

Cost: $59.95
Grape: Pinot Noir
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Wagner Family of Wines
Alcohol: 14.8% Alcohol/Vol.

Not for the faint of heart Pinot lovers as this wine leans towards Port

Description: Opaque ruby in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This wine features pine, blueberry pie, bramble fruit, dark cherry, plum, figs, cinnamon and cloves on the nose. Full body with mild tannin, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: Some heat from the 14.8% alcohol.

Interesting Note: Use the balloon style glassware and chill it to 15C

Drink now or in the next 10 years on its own or pair it with Grilled Rack of Lamb.

Tasted: 25 December 2016

Score: 9/10, Value: 8/10 Total: 17/20

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

LCBO: 212076

WYNN COONAWARRA ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2015, Coonawarra, Australia


wynn

Cost: $17.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Australia
Region: Coonawarra
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Wynn
Alcohol: 13% Alcohol/Vol.

Impressive Pouilly-Fuissé style from down under at a good price

Description: Light gold in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This wine features light oak, lemon, green apple, honeydew melon, white peach and flint both on the taste and the nose. Medium body with good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: Might want to decanter as the wine expresses itself when it opens up.

Drink now or in the next 3 years on its own or pair it with Chicken Fricassee.

Tasted: 28 December 2016

Best Buy

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

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4

LCBO: 468728

FLAT ROCK PINK TWISTED ROSÉ 2015, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


twisted-pink

Cost: $16.95
Grape: Gamay, Cabernet France & touch of Riesling
Category: Rosé Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Flat Rock Cellars
Alcohol: 12% Alcohol/Vol.

Canada’s Tavel

Description: Pomegranate in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This wine features cherry, strawberry, cranberry, pink grapefruit, basil and lilacs on the nose. Medium body with good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: Use the balloon style glassware and chill it to 15C

Drink now or in the next 2 years on its own or pair it with Grilled Pork Chops Stuffed with Arugula, Pear & Brie

Tasted: 20 December 2016

Best Buy

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

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4

LCBO: 39974

MYSTERIOUS DIGGINS PINOT NOIR 2012, Central Otago, New Zealand


 

1195216x

Cost: $23.99 (CI)
Grape: Pinot Noir
Category: Red Wine
Location: Blackbeard’s, Cayman Islands
Country: New Zealand
Region: Central Otago
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Terra Sancta Winery
Alcohol: 14% Alcohol/Vol.

The nose shows sweetness, yet the taste is balanced

Description: Light garnet in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This wine features pine, dark cherry, plum, cloves, blueberry, smoke amber & violets on the taste and the nose. Medium body with mild tannin, good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: Use the balloon style glassware and chill to 15C.

Drink now or in the next 4-6 years on its own or pair it with Grilled Pork Chops with Garlic and Sage.

Tasted: 1 January 2017

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

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