New in LCBO

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Canoe Ridge ‘The Expedition’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Horse Heaven Hills, Washington State $25.95 (394726) 14.1% alcohol
Involved aromas of earthy notes, espresso roast and dark berry fruit herald a balanced and beautiful wash of ripe, dark cherry and cassis interlaced with notions of mint and kirsch liqueur. It’s medium-full bodied and nicely balanced with a long fruit-forward finish and aftertaste. Grilled or roasted red meat pairs well. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink now Oh Canada!
Colio ‘Lily’ Methode Cuvée Close Sparkling Wine
VQA Ontario $16.95 (418657) 12.0% alcohol
Here’s a frothy aromatic confection, produced from the Riesling grape, tickling the nose with scents of green apple and hints of stone fruit, citrus and a touch of bread dough. Off-dry, fruity and refreshing, it’s light on its feet, the persistent mousse dancing across the palate and through the finish carrying a stream of flavours—apricot and ripe pear, tangy lemon-lime and mineral notes. You’ll enjoy sipping this well chilled with light appetizers at holiday gatherings. (Susan Desjardins)

***1/2 drink now Oh Canada!
Colio ‘Hat Trick NHL Alumni’ Cabernet Merlot 2014
VQA Ontario $14.95 (424663) 13.5% alcohol
Calling all hockey fans—opening a bottle of this blend of the Cabernets and Merlot with your house league partners will contribute to the NHL Alumni Association and the initiatives it supports. There’s ripe berry fruit, spice and vanilla on the nose, while the palate offers flavours of roasted peppers and dried herbs, red cherry, blackberry and sweet spice. Easy-going, smooth and savoury, this wine finishes with notes of smoky, toasty oak. It’s a winner with pizza, chili or burgers. (Susan Desjardins)

• The following Wolf Blass wine is $3.00 off the price shown now to January 3, 2016.

**** drink or cellar 
Wolf Blass ‘Gold Label’ Chardonnay 2014
Adelaide Hills, South Australia $24.90 (399543) 12.5% alcohol 
Smoky toast, ripe apple, nutty notes and pear precede a racy, tangy stream of Granny Smith apple, lemongrass and baking spice. This stylish Chardonnay is medium weight with generous mouth feel and lingering, lip-smacking aftertaste. Pour alongside a festive bird or cassoulet. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar 
Running with Bulls Tempranillo 2013
Wrattonbully, South Australia $17.85 (400267) 14.0% alcohol 
Spice box and roasted herbs mingle with mixed field berry fruit on the nose of this charming red. A spice-laden stream of red currant and pie cherry meet up with ripe mulberry and dark black cherry on the palate replaying on the lingering finish, balanced and beautiful. It’s medium-bodied and fully textured with an abundance of charm and delectable flavour. Pour with prawn and chorizo paella or chicken and sausage jambalaya. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar 
Château Langlade 2012
AOC Montagne Saint-Émilion, France $19.45 (420505) 13.5% alcohol
Smoky toast and earthy aromas billow from the nose of this complex, ritzy red blend—80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. A well-balanced gusher of red and dark berry fruit, dark coffee and hints of vanilla bean coat the palate. It’s mid-full bodied with supple texture and lengthy aftertaste. Pour with stuffed crown roast of pork. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Chapoutier wine is $5.00 off the price shown now to January 3, 2016.

**** drink or cellar 
M. Chapoutier ‘Les Grands Merisiers’ Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012
AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France $34.95 (421073) 14.0% alcohol
Alluring aromas of dark toast, floral notes and exotic spice set the table for a smorgasbord of flavour with red and black currant and ripe black cherry interwoven with baking spice and mocha. It’s medium weight and deftly balanced with persistent purity of fruit, good structure and creamy texture throughout. The finish lingers, lip-smacking good. (Vic Harradine)