Tag Archives: Chianti

#RememberThem – The Rainbow Daily Slosh

10 Nov

poppy

I want to mention tomorrow’s (November 11th) day of remembrance. Many people take this day to remember special selfless people important in their lives who served their country. My hero is Capt. F.R. Dufton of the Royal Canadian Engineers, 1st Army Survey Corps. Very, very proud of my dad – mentioned in dispatches BTW. #RememberThem The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Take a moment of silence wherever you are. I know I will.

The wine, Bill, the wine. This week’s release features ‘star’ wines. That means (and you might have to turn up your sound because I’m going to whisper), “Expensive wines.” But there are mid-priced and wines that better fit my usual recommendations as well.

Like many an evening, let’s start with bubbly. I often recommend Cremant de Bourgogne as a not quite substitute for Champagne. Last week we had friends over and started with a bottle of the Louis Bouillot Perle d’Or Cremant #51565 $24.95. As we cleaned up the next morning, The Director asked me what we had and said that although she doesn’t usually have more than a single glass of bubbly, she lapierreloved the Perle – as evidenced by the empty bottle. So, I bought a few more to store for the holidays and should have maybe waited until this Saturday to pick up the Bailly LaPierre Réserve Brut Crémant de Bourgogne #991562 $19.95 to get a little variety. This one is more citrusy than the Perle but the bubbles are tight carrying some acidity on the finish – tart but lovely. A great way to start any evening.

bisquerttSince I don’t get the invite to the LCBO tastings pre-release and unlike my blogpals to the south I don’t get samples sent to me by importers (we are nothing if not Victorian on such matters – not complaining – glad to live here at this moment in time – blog for another day), I have to bang on cellar doors, buy a bunch of wine on spec so to speak and hope that some day they will show up on the shelves so that I can talk about them. The 2014 Bisquertt La Joya Gran Reserve Sryah #325407 $17.95 is one of those last wines. I had this some time ago and my notes say, “Compares very favourably with the Montes Alpha Syrah – in style, punch (can’t remember what the hell I meant by that), and softness.” That’s high praise from me as I love Montes Alpha Syrah in most vintages. This Chilean Bisquertt wine is round and smooth. Lots of things to talk about – meaty, dark fruits, and just enough structure – not flabby. Great value and Syrah is a long, hard chase for value! But, then again, I love Côte Rotie, Hermitage, and Saint Joseph. Have I ever told you the Côte Rotie story when I …………..Never mind.

As I scan the release publication, I notice that there are a ton of great value Chilean and Argentinean wines – Susana Balbo Malbec, Perez Cruz Limited Edition Cab Sav, Laura Catena’s La Posta Pizzella Malbec, Kaiken Ultra Malbec. You can’t go wrong with any of those and most likely the in-store consultant will be aware of these and point you in that direction.

badiaBut….drum roll……since they are pimping pricier wines, I have to tell you about the 2010 Antinori Badia a Passignano Gran Selezione Chianti Classico #384552 $44.95. Ramble: I just re-arranged my wine cellar to accommodate a beautiful set of oak shelves graciously provided to me by a friend through his daughter and son-in-law – shout out to J & P. As I rearranged, I discovered that I was overweight in Tuscany, Bordeaux, and Spain. Now, that’s a high class problem to solve. So, why would I want to stock up on this particular wine? I mean, it’s Tuscan. It will contribute to a situation that offends my suspected OCD balance needs. Why? Because my tasting notes say that it’s and I quote here, “Good shit!!!”  I mean:  “sniff – good shit; swish – good shit; swallow and finish – really, really good shit”. Now, that description may not qualify me for WSET Level 4 status but I think you get the picture. This wine is one of my favourite cuvées, year-in, year-out. It might be the best mid-priced wine that I buy on the basis of consistent excellence. In this vintage, everything is ready, in balance, and just so expressive. T – E – double R- F – I – C! You know what this means? I will have to buy even more American, Canadian, and South American wines to balance things out. Damn! But you know what? They are releasing the 2012 Bethel Heights Estate Pinot Noir, the Hidden Bench Terroir Caché Meritage, and the 2013 Foxen Block 43 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir this weekend too. I hate it when that happens.

zisolaI had the benefit of tasting through a bunch of wines from Sicily last month. They reminded me of two things: 1) I really want to go to Sicily; 2) Both white and red wines from Sicily are very rewarding. This week, there’s the 2013 Mazzei Zisola #303925 $18.95. This is a biggish, powerful wine. Loads of fruit – figs, raisins too. I think that you might want to let it sit open for a few hours or just give it to me and I’ll put it in my new rack (remember the new rack?) and I’ll keep it for you.

henryWe go through a lot of Chardonnay at our house. Chardonnay may not be the ‘style’ anymore, people might sneer and look askance but, what the hell, we like it – a lot – Burgundy, Central Coast, Lodi, PEC, Niagara………..One of the local Chardonnays we like is the Henry of Pelham Estate Chardonnay #268342 $19.95. This week it’s the 2014. This is a classic Chardonnay in that it has everything but not too much of anything – a streak of acidity, tree fruit and some creaminess and citrus on the finish. Powerful. Like it a lot.

That’s all this week. Just a reminder for those that I might see over the holidays. You are surely wondering what to bring to the house when you visit or perhaps a presssie for Yours Truly. I really like the Badia a Passignano. What I mean by that is I really, really like it. It seems a pretty appropriate gift to me. And that gift may encourage me to open something ‘better’ when you visit – just sayin’.

Cheers

Bill

A New Year and New Red Daily Slosh(es)

6 Jan

I wanted to start the year with one of my favourite songs. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a video of Joni Mitchell singing it but Diana Krall is no slouch, if you knowwhatImean.

Happy New Year to everyone! With resolutions in hand or, if you’re like me, already discarded, it’s time to stock up. There’s a movement that happens each Jan. 1 called “Alcohol-Free January” or some such thing. Really? I admit that maybe cutting back or abstaining for a while never hurt anyone. But, if you have to give it a name and a month, you might need to consider the next 11 steps. And that analysis means? Bill is continuing to sip during this bloody cold month. What kind of wine blog would this be if I didn’t?

This LCBO release is called “The Smart Buy Issue” providing some value picks.

vinarealWe are heading to Spain with friends in September for a wander. Maybe by design or just luck, I’ve been drinking a lot of Spanish wines over the past year. Love them. So, it’s neat to see some come around again so that I can talk about them. Now, hands up. How many of you picked up the 2008 Ondarre that I recommended late last year? It was an especially tasty wine. And, I’m not using that wine snob description to impress. If you’ve had some, you’re already impressed enough. There is disproportionate value in the many DO’s of España. The Rioja,  2010 Viña Real Plata Crianza #657411 $18.95 is a perfect example. Its fresh red fruit comes through on the nose and in the mouth. Enough of a backbone to stand up to some food – seafood tapas – quite smooth. Where the Ondarre had a background of woodiness, this seems absent of oak effects – steeliness Great sipper.

laplaceHave I ever told you about my friend Andrew? I think that I have here. And, without giving things away, he loves wines from the Midi and Southwest of France. “Been there, done that, luv it”, he’d say. So, when there’s a repeat from Madiran, I have to give him a heads up. The 2011 Laplace Madiran #103705 $16.95 is a sturdy red that should go below for a few years. It’s made from the Tannat grape which if you give it an intuitive thought….go ahead, I’ll wait……yup, it carries a lot of tannin. You might call them rough wines but we call them ‘gutsy’ which is more endearing and accurate. This one is deep, dark and rich. Still lots of tannins peaking through and hitting you on the finish. But on second thought, I like it now but with some decant.

CastellodiMeleto_ChiantiClassicoDOCG_bottleThumb2010 is a great year for Chiantio Classico. I’ve had a bunch and almost every one has brought bright red cherries, some earthiness and if I’m lucky a little leather, violets, and grit. This week, there’s the 2010 Castello di Meleto Chianti Classico #332114 $18.95 to join that longish list. Balanced, medium-bodied and fresh – that cherriness on the nose and in the mouth – a little shy in that it isn’t a big wine. Don’t wait on this – pop and pour with friends (imaginary or real). A nice easy drinking Italian red to sip from a tumbler with bread, olive oil, and tomato something or other

And while we’re strolling around the middle of Italy, let’s look to Umbria. Yes, that’s Ahhhhmbria. Lovely sounding word. A great place for values and home to the pretty hilltop town of Orvieto – just heard some montefalcoOrvieto stories last week. There’s a grape there that we don’t see that often here but keep an eye out – Sagrantino. What a great name for a grape ………..or a Joe Pesci role. Anyway, this red grape carries a thick skin (go ahead and tease it. Water off a duck’s back) and has a load of flavour. This grape needs some time in bottle and we’re in luck because the 2008 Villa Mora Montefalco Rosso Riserva #357079 $16.95 is, obviously a 2008. This is big, dark and full-bodied with a personality of herbs – anise in the mouth. Just think of this bottle sitting in a cave in Montefalco seemingly waiting for your corkscrew (please tell me it isn’t battery powered), glasses, and friends. This is the beauty of wine from a region with a zillion years of history. A heads up – another from this stable – 2008 Villa Mora Montefalco Sagrantino #342394 $21.95 which is a beaut is in short supply at the mother ship. A step up in balance, intensity and purpose from the Rosso Riserva.

If you’ve tried these wines, let me know what you think. My email is in the right banner or leave a comment below.

Bill

 

Strawberry Samba Duels Chianti – The Red Daily Slosh

3 Jun

My favourite Neil song in an abbreviated cut. Shout out to all my Neil Young fanatical friends, in particular, AL and DJ.

dievoleBefore we wade into the new release, I want to mention a wine that I had the other night that led to running back to the store for more – 2010 Dievole La Vendemmia Chianti Classico #283101 $19.95. This vintage has shown a bunch of winners in Chianti Classico, but I think that this might be the one that I’ll remember the most so far. Let’s ignore the notes with all the scents/tastes and get to the experience – have you ever been somewhere, a different culture and country and having just sipped a smidgeon of their local wine, thought to yourself, “This is really fill in the blank.” Well, not fill in the blank but wherever you are. This wine made me think of Italy on the first swallow. And, not so much country-side Italy but more sophisticated Italy, smooth Italy. That doesn’t sound just right as all Italy is sophisticated in its own way. But, I hope you get it anyway. I’m not sure you need food with this but it’s ripe and ready for some less heavy fare – perfect evening-patio red or wait-out-the-rain cottage red. Case purchase? Still lots out there.

Ramble Divertimento: Let’s talk about wine served at large functions, shall we? We were at an event this past Saturday evening and decided to purchase a bottle of red for our table. Perusing the wine list (they used the term ‘list’ shamefully as there were only three choices), they had really bad ($39), really bad and more expensive ($42), and really bad yet more expensive again ($44). Because I always know the second least expensive bottle of every wine list, we choose number 2. It has massive label recognition.  Well, how was it? As we say in Canada – “Brutal.” No, really brutal, eh. I subsequently checked out my local to find this wine resident in mass quantities. I asked a consultant how it sold and she told me that it was one of the biggest sellers in the store as far as red went. Loudhailer in hand – “People, you don’t have to drink this shit!” I have to ask myself why is it that people drink stuff like this:

  • Different strokes for different folks – not everyone gags on bad wine – some love it. Exhibit 1 – Girl’s Night Out “Strawberry Samba”. I’m not making this up. There is a wine called that. They even have a Darkberry Duet!
  • People haven’t tried other wines and think that all wine is this bad. Exhibit 1 – “Bill, I drink beer ‘cause wine doesn’t work for me.” Dude, this wine doesn’t work for anyone except those covered in bullet one. You didn’t like beer the first time out either unless you grew up where I did as most of us 13 year olds loved beer right out of the gate.

I can’t do much about the first bullet but I can try and encourage people to try different wines until they find their fav – and, if the fav remains an over-priced (even at $10) plonk – I can at least say that we’ve both tried. Wait, did I say $10 – so why were we paying $42? And, yes, of course we finished the bottle. I’ve already admitted that I have a slight problem. And, if memory serves me I didn’t do it all by myself.

Deep breath……..This week’s release (June 4th) concerns Aussie wines. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any of them in the vintage offered. But, I’ll mention one below that I’ve always loved in earlier vintages in case you’re looking for Aussie love.

leonMy comment above about the Italian wine ‘not’ bringing the country-side with it.? Well, the 2010 Salice Salentino Leone de Castris #597534 $19.95 brings the country-side from Puglia right to your dinner table. This smells, tastes, and warms you like Puglia. Lots of shrubby stuff, great acidity, spice and enough backbone to stand up to something tomatoey, meaty – sausage pizza? Gutsy yet seductive – like Lucy Liu. I love this stuff. Love Lucy as well, I must say. I had this wine overlooking a garden in Otranto. Sounds more romantic than it truly was – some road noise and smoke in the air from burn offs in the olive groves. But, I think that’s kind of what I’m saying about the wine – it’s genuine and representative – not presenting like a zillion other wines and not apologizing for it’s little imperfections.

laurasI haven’t been to Creekside Estate Winery near Jordan in a few years. It used to be one of my favourites – not sure why I’ve missed hitting it on my way around Niagara. Maybe it just shows how many great wineries are churning out stuff. I always appreciated the laid back vibe there. Anyway, this week, their 2010 Creekside Laura’s Red #117960 $19.95 hits the shelves of the mother ship. This is a solid mid-weight red blend. It tells me that there’s syrah/shiraz there somewhere due to a stripe of spice – particularly on the finish. Creekside is one of the few wineries in Ontario that attempts and succeeds with shiraz. This has cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec along with the shiraz. Fresh and juicy. Great stuff – a consistent performer that can do that performing as a stand around wine or with burgers and dogs.

BorsaoTresPicos_2Here we go with a threepeat recommendation – 2011 Garnacha Tres Picos #273748 $19.95. If you bought it before, you’ll want to get more. Here is my most recent post highlighting this wine. Great wine.

 

 

brecaAnd, since we are in to comparing wines here – I’m going to pick up the 2010 Garnarcha Vieilles Vignes Breca #329086 $19.95. This wine looks to be less fruit and more land. Sparser yet more powerful. Should be interesting.

 

 

 

 

Shiraz 2012 004And I did promise a sure-fire Aussie. If you’re looking to step out with some fatty meat (and, I’m not meaning your husband here, girls) on the barby, pick up a bottle of 2010 Haselgrove First Cut Shiraz #367425 $18.95. This wine is usually a full-bodied, wood nuanced shiraz. Smooth but still present tannins and a bit of a juicy end. Reviews of this are very positive.

Label Images:

Dievole, Leone de Castris – http://www.vintages.com

Breca – http://www.winesearcher.com

Haselgrove, Laura’s Red – http://www.haselgrove.com.au and http://www.creeksidewine.com respectively

 

Portugal Redux and the Red Daily Slosh

21 Apr

Spring weather shout out to the David Wilcox fans out there. You know who you are.

Disregard my earlier proclamations stating that Spring was here because today marks the real date. I mean, Spring Is Here, Baby! It’s glorious outside, windows open, birds chirping and my keyboard singing. If you’re looking for spring recos, check out my post on that very topic.

passerelaA post or two back, I reviewed a Portuguese red and stated that I was going on a hunt for good Portuguese wines. I opened another a week back – 2009 Casa de Passarela Reserva #365557 $18.95. This is from the Dao region which is a ways south of the Duoro river – sheltered and warm, it makes Mediterrenean style reds. This blend is predominantly touriga nacional, the most commonly used grape for port. I found it a bit closed and tight at first needing loads of air. I didn’t really let that stop me. And, once it got going, it provided some strong wood influences and purple fruit. Opaque, quite sophisticated, lots of energy, and I’d highly recommend if you lean toward Tuscan-style wines.

These recommendations are for the April 26th release.

threeriversThis winter I got away a couple times to visit our neighbours to the south, as we like to call them. It was decidedly warmer, cheaper, and, when you feel like you’re on vacation (and, don’t suggest that I’m on permanent vacation again) more fun. I had maybe a bottle of wine or two. One was a great Washington red – 2011 Three Rivers River’s Red #287433 $19.95. I did not pay $19.95 – or even an exchange adjusted $19.95 – way south of that. But, I digress. This is a merlot dominated substantive wine – not with fruit but its structure – solid tannins through to the finish, a bit dry at the start, a nice vein of acidity, and the fruit I get isn’t the normal merlot reddish fruits but dark and dirty ones – maybe the syrah and cab franc in the blend. The write up suggests steak and that seems bang on. This isn’t a standing around wine. I know because I stood around when I had it. Confession: sat around. Have with food. If you’re partial to California cabs, take a peek at this. I think it will please you and remember: eat responsibly.

momopnI have been disproportionately enjoying New Zealand pinot noir lately. Our Easter dinner this past weekend featured The Ned and Te Mania – both nice examples of entry level Kiwi Pinot . Which coincidentally is the sound I hear out my window right now. The northern shrike in spring – Ki….WI…Peeeee..no. This week, there’s the pinot half of the Momo label – 2011 Momo Pinot Noir #163972 $19.95. This is an organic product. Great pinot acidity, minimal oak effects except for the tea notes that I love, and medium bodied. This is indeed a standing around wine – gravitating to leaning around – on to sitting around. It was great with a simple shrimp pasta (butter, EVOO, and garlic) but you can just twist and pour and enjoy by itself. If you haven’t had New Zealand pinot lately, pick this up. If, like me you have, pick it up anyway. Momo’s sauvignon blanc is outstanding value as well.

villacafaggioI have had a few of the 2010 Chianti Classicos and, there wasn’t one that I didn’t like. Not sure if the consensus is that it’s a good vintage, great vintage or meh. But, I think that if you pay attention and Tuscany didn’t suffer from a flood or drought, you can find great Chianti Classico in most vintages. This just in – I did a little extra research and it was a ‘great’ vintage according to the pros. This beaut of a Chianti is one that I look for every year and keep a few in my basement that seem to age very well (still have a ’98) – maybe 10 to 15 years. The 2010 Villa Cafaggio Chianti Classico #176776 $19.95 is a solid value as always – strong bones of acidity, easy tannins, and musty Tuscan scents and flavours. A friend that loves Italian reds would love this – so, MR, pick up a couple – one now and the other a few years hence. I love this! Pork roast. Actually, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you’ll know that my food recommendations are a crap shoot. I presently believe that the ‘science’ of pairing is a bit overblown. But, I am open to arguments to the contrary. I find that if you love the wine and you love the food, you’ll probably like the match.

faustinoReaders’ feedback suggests that they are most interested in everyday priced wines. I have a splurge category but haven’t written much on splurges to focus on more affordable quaffs. I listen to my readers (all 7 of them). But, I just couldn’t ignore a stunningly elegant wine like the 2001 Faustino I Grand Reserva #976662 $32.95. A Rioja Gran Reserva must age at least 5 years, 2 of which has to be in oak barrels. Had this a year ago and it still carries lots of pep – not flabby or easy – still demanding your attention. I can’t really see how this couldn’t age gracefully (like Sophia Loren?) another five or so years. Wait that doesn’t sound right. Of course, we want Sophia to age for more than 5 years. Back to the wine – powerful and smoky, nervy, lipsmacking good. And, lots of fruit especially after the swallow –  long finish. If you’re a fan of shelf talkers, this one will probably have a 97 on the tag. And, oh yeah, it was Decanter Magazine’s Top Wine of 2013 (out of 3,200 wines tasted)! Sometimes, you spend a little extra and ask, “Why did I bother?” this will not invoke that sentiment, rather “Why didn’t I splurge for more than one?”

TTFN

Try It You’ll Like It – Red Daily Slosh

9 Apr

eastonlabelThe zinfandel tasting that I went to this time last year had a remarkable Easton Estate Zinfandel from 2006, I believe. It was full of interest and, despite the fact that we had already sipped, swished, and spit or swallowed too many zinfandels (when I say “too many”, that’s a lot of zinfandel), this one captured our attention. I’ve subsequently had their 2000 Estate Bottled Zinfandel which is widely available and overflowing with coffee, chocolate and alcohol. This week, the 2010 Easton Zinfandel #328377 $22.95, their entry level zinfandel, arrives. It isn’t nearly the fun that their estate bottlings are but bears some of the same house style characteristics. Spicy, structured and mouth-watering. It could even take a few years in the basement or closet. As summer (AKA grilling season) approaches, you need to stock up with zinfandels anyway, so this is a start.

KimCrawPNKim Crawford wines are featured this week at the mothership. We’ve all had them. Probably the sauvignon blanc, in particular – pretty dependable, depending on vintage. The 2012 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir #626390 $19.95 is one of those. Dependable Kim Crawford wines, that is. I’ve served this (an earlier vintage) at a New Zealand wine tasting and people weren’t prepared for the tang that this wine can hold. It’s a good tang. It’s a pinot noir tang. And, if that’s your……tang, you should pick this up. Loads of red fruits and a little smokiness too. It’s pretty fresh and could use some time in bottle or swishing violently in your glass. Leaving it for a year or two would soften the wine for sure.

There was a great discussion on a blog that I follow www.savorencyclopedia.wordpress.com about New World versus Old World wines. Sometimes readers take my advice (which never ceases to amaze me) and try Old World wines when they’ve been swilling New World Aussie shiraz, California cabs, and Fuzion since they were babies. These readers sometimes tell me that they can’t see what the big deal is with, say, Italian wines because they are too ‘sour’. It makes ‘em pucker. Well, embrace the pucker! Let it dissipate (“thaw, melt and resolve itself in to a dew” – apologies to Bill Shakespeare) and taste villa cafaggiothe fruit that these wonderful reds offer – Bonus Track – you get all the musty, floral/herabally, earthy, cedary stuff too. Wait, there’s more. You get the feeling that you’re actually there – in Italy – sitting outside overlooking a piazza, Monica Bellucci pushing a flower cart, an older woman in black with a sack of fresh baked baguettes on her shoulders (they smell fantastic – the baguettes that is), two older men playing chess at a café table, did I mention Monica Bellucci? All this as lead up to a Try-It-You’ll-Like-It red from the Old World – 2009 Villa Cafaggio Chianti Classico #176776 $19.95. This wine is medium bodied with some good smack but not too much. It has loads of personality in the way of sangiovese red fruit (cherry?) and some essence of the spice that I like in the Chiantis I love the most. Go ahead, try it, you’ll like it.

marransI feel that Beaujolais is a bit under appreciated. How many times do you hear anyone say, “Back up the Beaujolais truck and unload a case or two.” Never. Is it the memories of Beaujolais Nouveau past? Is the name too silly sounding; reminding you of a French Foreign Legion flick? (Note: Shout out to anyone who gets that last line) Is it because it isn’t pursued and analyzed to death by the wine cognoscenti? What’s not to like with a food friendly wine that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? This week 2011 Domaine des Marrans Fleurie #324897 $19.95 hits the shelves. Fleurie is usually the freshest of Beaujolais for me – maybe a bit lighter but still packin’. This one should be chilled a bit – maybe 15 minutes in the fridge to release all the good stuff. Serve with a whole lot of sunshine, a patio, and friends.

There’s a promotion of Portuguese wines this weekend. So, I have to mention something Portuguese. There are a bunch to try and fortunately (for me) I had tasted one and this is it. The 2009 Quinto do Portal Frontaria #324533 $13.95 is a fairly complex wine for the price point. This definitely has the Old World feel to it for me but rounder (not sure if we all mean the same thing when we say round – save that discussion for another time – I guess I mean that it doesn’t start with tannin or acid – so, not sharp in my mouth), a little oak, and some backbone despite the lack of attacking tannins. I like it a lot.

cusumanoOne last Old World red – 2008 Cusumano Noà #109512 $18.95. This red comes from Sicily. Little known fact – Sicily is Italy’s largest wine region and in most years produces the most wine of any region in Italy (courtesy of Karen MacNeil’s The Wine Bible if you don’t already you really should own this book). This wine is a blend that includes Nero d’Avola, a grape that I mostly associate with Sicily – maybe because most red Sicilian wines that we get here include this grape. When I’ve recommended a wine from this grape in the past, those that take me up on it (fools that they are) are enthusiastic in their praise for the wine – and send me expensive gifts by way of appreciation. Take me up on this one too. It’s not shy and brings lots of spice and earthiness. So, comparing to the Chianti above, it’s got more of a New World presence with an Old World pedigree. I am getting a bunch of this for BBQ’s at the lake. Who’s betting that they don’t last until summer?

Rockin’ Niagara for the Red Daily Slosh

14 Mar

RockwayI seem to be plugging Ontario this week. Maybe Tony Aspler’s lecture plus all the Ontario wine tweeters that I follow are rubbing off on me. But, don’t stop me now. This week there’s a wine that I haven’t tried but will pick up based on reviews, recommendations – 2010 Rockway Vineyards Small Lot Reserve Red Assemblage (#321893 $16.95). As I’ve probably stated way too much, “Yes, way too much,” Bordeaux varietals in Ontario seem to do better IMHO when blended. I hear it’s the weather. Well, this wine has three of those varietals – Cab Franc, Cab Sav, and Merlot – a blend as ordered. Heard good things about this wine – that it’s full-bodied, rich and cellar potential too, if you wanted to see how it develops. And, you can’t go wrong on the price either. Perfect for a party wine. Spread the word – Rockway Rocks!

For those that liked the Chianti I recommended last time, pick up the 2008 Vicchiomaggio Agostino Petri Chianti Classico Riserva (#993360 $19.95). This is more refined than last week’s Chianti. No hint that it might benefit from a basket or a candle when done. Drink this puppy now, although there’s a recommendation that it will keep for a few years. Drink now – drink often. What to have with it? Come on….pizza!

ElHalcon_FRONTDropped off a bottle of Rioja Gran Reserva at friends as part of a big “Thank You”. They loved it and surprisingly they said Rioja was their favourite red. I explained that the grape widely used in Rioja reds, tempranillo, is used in other regions in Spain and in Portugal (under different names). They didn’t say, “Who cares.” But I felt it. This week, they should grab a bottle or six of the 2009 El Halcón Old Vine Tempranillo   (#313783 $17.95). This wine comes from the Ribera del Duero region from older vines. I know this as it says it on the label. This will not carry the effects of aging in wood that the gran reserva brought – so fresher. I know that Rioja freaks will appreciate it.

%d bloggers like this: