June 5, 2017 Newsletter

Newsletter Highlights include:

Australia FlagMount Langhi Giran winery —Vic paid visits to two more family-owned and managed wineries in Australia, this time with both in Victoria, near Melbourne. One is cool-climate with unique geography, soils and a Langton’s Classification wine. The other’s in the Yarra Valley and will be presented next week as the final chapter in his vinous odyssey. This is a good read, with background and wine reviews—click the link above. 

  • Exceptional-value wine Exceptional Value! – 14 of 78 wines currently in stores meet the strict quality-price guidelines. They’re easily identified in the newsletter via the exceptional-value checkmark above. Which strict quality-price guidelines? Click here.
  • 5-Star wine – a bonanza; 8 wines in this newsletter currently available in stores/wineries rang the 5-star bell and all gained exceptional value status.
  • Vic Picks – Kendall-Jackson ‘Vintner’s Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 earned 4 ½ stars @ $22.95 under California: Red Wine; Sister’s Run ‘Bethlehem Block’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 earned 4 ½ stars @ $18.95 found under Australia: Red Wine; Tommasi ‘Arele Parziale’ Appassimento 2015 earned 4 ½ stars @ $19.95 found under Italy: Red Wine.
  • Happy 150th Birthday, Canada! Oh Canada! – There are 27 Canadian wines reviewed in the newsletter that will be available in stores June 10, giving you plenty of time to stock up for July 1 and the balance of summer. There are 17 in this release and 10 following the main release. They range from $14.95 to $35. and from 3 ½ to 5 stars with 3 earning an exceptional value checkmark Exceptional Value!

Access the LCBO store nearest you with stock of any wine with an LCBO product number by clicking on the number shown in brackets in wine reviews then clicking on ‘Select Stores’ and entering your postal code—the number of bottles available in stores near you is displayed—or by clicking ‘Check all stores’ where you’ll see stock available in all LCBO stores. For Vintages Release wines, stock should be displayed the Friday before a Saturday release, updated every 24 hours, some stores post earlier. LCBO Portfolio wines (wine not in Vintages) should always closely reflect stock in stores, updated every 24 hours. However, it’s always best to phone stores showing stock before going.

Vintages Release: June 10, 2017

Feature: Australia Wines

• The following ‘Jaraman’ Shiraz and its label have quite a story to tell. You may have noticed the three tiny Seahorses on Wakefield wine labels. Shortly after the Taylor family purchased their Clare Valley property they dug a dam uncovering tiny shells of Seahorses. In geological terms that indicates a former salt-water body of water (true Seahorses live only in salt, or brackish water) and this would lead one to believe there’s also limestone base. There was and still is, and it, and the terra rossa topsoil, contribute to the high quality of this and all Wakefield, Clare Valley wines. Jaraman translates to ‘horse’ in a number of Australian Aboriginal languages and dialects.
***** drink or cellar Exceptional Value!
Wakefield Wines ‘Jaraman’ Shiraz 2015

Clare Valley / McLaren Vale $24.95 (377036) 14.5% alcohol

Baking spice, dark cherry/berry fruit, sweet vanilla and sprigs of savory herb aromas leap from this stunning multi-region Shiraz. It’s rich, luscious, balanced and beautiful showcasing a dazzling array of ripe fruit flavour with mulberry, black plum and red cherry to the fore adorned with black pepper, dark bittersweet chocolate and hints of eucalyptus. There’s persistent purity of fruit, good structure, complexity and an incredibly long finish and aftertaste. (Vic Harradine)

***** drink or cellar Exceptional Value!
d’Arenberg ‘The Laughing Magpie’ Shiraz - Viognier 2012

McLaren Vale $29.95 (936971) 14.4% alcohol

This showcases persistent purity of fruit, excellent fruit and tang, balance, exceptional value and oodles of charm. Aromas of dark berry fruit, exotic incense and spice cake introduce a tapestry of palate-bathing flavour with black currant, cassis, and boysenberry compote interwoven with red currant, racy pie cherry and baking spice. This is medium-plus bodied with good mouthfeel and a lengthy balanced finish. (Vic Harradine)

• The following 2014 Sidewood Estate Shiraz showcases sense of place—cool-climate Adelaide Hills, plus purity of fruit, deft balance of ripe fruit and racy tang and a lengthy, delicious, mouth-watering aftertaste.

***** drink or cellar Exceptional Value!
Sidewood Estate Shiraz 2014
Adelaide Hills, South Australia $19.95 (446146) 14.0% alcohol
Aromas of dark cherry and dark berry fruit interweave with spice and mocha on the nose preceding an elegant, medium-full bodied, generously textured stream of red currant, ripe black plum and juicy black cherry interweaving with mixed spice and notions of fennel on the palate persisting through the tangy, lip-smacking finish—all quite delicious at an exceptional price point. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Viognier is from Tahbilk, a 5th generation, family-owned winery that’s an absolute must-visit for any wine-lover living in or visiting Australia, They make fabulous wine, are a member of the uber-exclusive Australia’s First Families of Wine and have wine listed on the vaunted Langton’s Classification Of Australian Fine Wine. You could fly to Australia and purchase this at cellar door for $17.95 a bottle, or walk/cycle to your nearest LCBO store and purchase a bottle for just a dollar more.

***** drink or cellar Exceptional Value!
Tahbilk Viognier 2016
Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria $18.95 (271387) 13.5% alcohol
Honeysuckle and peach aromas interplay with exotic incense preceding a bold, rich and luscious flow of creamy-textured, full-bodied ambrosia. Flavours of spice-laden, citrus-soaked nectarine and apricot envelop the palate replaying on the dry finish and lip-smacking aftertaste. This has good depth, persistent purity of fruit, heavenly texture and is a terrific value. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Mountadam Estate Chardonnay is sourced from the tiny, High Eden Geographical Indication in South Australia at approximately 500 m above sea level. It generally produces low-yielding fruit due to multiple factors—poor soil, cooler temperatures and low rainfall during Australia’s summer and fall.

****1/2 drink or cellar
Mountadam Estate Chardonnay 2015
High Eden, Eden Valley, South Australia $26.95 (333211) 13.5% alcohol
This is full bodied with good mouthfeel and rich, luscious flavours. Aromas of ripe, pit fruit and pear mingle with citrus and oaky notes on the nose. It blankets the palate with a surge of tropical fruit, pineapple and lemon curd before finishing with excellent citrusy tang mingling with wisps of oak. Pour this with roast pork or roast turkey with all the fixings. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink now
Turkey Flat Rosé 2016
Barossa Valley, South Australia $19.95 (68916) 13.0% alcohol
This blend—95% Grenache/3% Cabernet Sauvignon/1% Shiraz/1% Mataro—dishes up an alluring nose with red berry fruit, floral notes and piquant spice all vying for attention. It coats the palate with a creamy-smooth mouthful of tangy passionfruit and cranberry mingling with blood orange and spice along with ripe, red strawberry. It’s medium bodied with peach skin on the aftertaste. (Vic Harradine)

Feature: Happy 150th Birthday, Canada!

Ontario: White Wine

• The following Creekside ‘Reserve’ Viognier repeats its 5-star performance from the 2013 vintage; this will fly off shelves. The 2014 Viognier was aged 9 months in seasoned French oak with only 4 barrels – approx. 100 cases – chosen for this ‘Reserve’ bottling.

***** drink now Exceptional Value! Oh Canada!
Creekside ‘Reserve’ Viognier 2014
VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake $29.95 (264168) 14.0% alcohol
Aromas of lemon-lime and honeyed orchard fruit abound. A medium-full bodied, generously textured, creamy-smooth river of honey-soaked nectarine and apple interplay with grilled pineapple and ripe apricot on the palate; joined by balancing crisp and refreshing lemon curd and racy citrus tang on the finish and aftertaste—just gorgeous. It showcases deft balance persistent, purity of fruit and complexity. Sip as an aperitif or pour with glazed, whole clove-inserted, baked ham. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Rockway Vineyards ‘Small Lot Block 150-183’ Riesling 2014
VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment $19.95 (424176) 10.0% alcohol
This sweet and tang, off-dry Riesling opens with aromas of lemon-lime, mineral notes and wisps of machine oil. It races over the palate with crisp and refreshing lime cordial and lemon pie filling intertwining with ripe pear and yellow peach It finishes with replays on the lengthy, lip-smacking finish. Pour with spicy Asian cuisine. (Vic Harradine)

Ontario: Red Wine

****1/2 drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Creekside Estate ‘Laura’s’ Red 2012
VQA Niagara Peninsula $19.95 (117960) 13.5% alcohol
This complex blend offers an orchestrated chorus of aromas and flavours including ripe black fruit, mineral undertones, subtle notes of mint and licorice, cedar and vanilla. It’s a generous medium-full bodied red with a core of ripe dark fruits balanced by grippy tannins and refreshing acidity. The savory notes of spice, dried herbs and mineral emphasize the complexity, the long dry finish putting a spotlight on the fine balance of texture and rich fruit. It’s very approachable, versatile and a great value. Pair with autumn meals built around roast vegetables and full-flavoured meats. (Susan Desjardins)

**** drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Domaine Queylus ‘Tradition’ Pinot Noir 2013
VQA Niagara Peninsula $29.95 (392738) 13.0% alcohol
Grilled savory herbs, piquant spice and earthy note aromas make way for a delicate tapestry of palate-bathing flavours with red berry fruit, pie cherry and cranberry to the fore interwoven with mixed spice and mocha. It’s beautifully balanced, mid weight with gentle mouthfeel and long, dry finish. Give it a go with roasted button mushrooms filled with sun-dried tomatoes topped with shaved parmigiana reggiano. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink now Oh Canada!
Tawse Gamay 2014

VQA Niagara Peninsula $19.20 (322545) 12.5% alcohol 

Gamay vines held up well during the frigidly cruel winter of 2013-14 while others were wiped out. There’s a notion of violet on the nose intermingling with aromas of ripe red fruit, light spice and cedar. Dry and delightfully well balanced, it offers a wealth of tasty fruit on the palate. This single-vineyard, mid-weight red shows juicy, bright flavours of cherry, currant and red berry lifted by a finely-honed backbone of lively acidity. Delicate notes of spice, pepper and toast linger on the savoury finish—it’s well crafted and good value. (Susan Desjardins)

Ontario: Rosé Wine

• The following 2016 Creekside Cabernet Rosé is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, single-vineyard sourced from the Serluca family vineyard, with fruit crushed and macerated six hours—skins, seeds, pulp, possibly stems of grapes are left together to leach out colour, tannin and flavour before being pressed and fermented.

**** drink now Oh Canada!
Creekside Cabernet Rosé 2016
VQA Niagara Peninsula $14.95 (48819) 13.5% alcohol
The price-quality balance tips in your favour here. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is medium bodied with very good mouthfeel and plenty of flavour. A spice-laden wash of black pepper flecked, crunchy fruit—red currant, red grapefruit—roll over the palate framed by racy tang. With fruit, spice and tang persisting through the mid-length finish, there are notions of tannin providing structure and interest. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink now Oh Canada!
The Foreign Affair Amarosé 2016
VQA Niagara Peninsula $18.95 (388702) 12.7% alcohol
And now for something completely different, this was fashioned by a partial grape-drying method—appassimento. It’s medium bodied with decent texture and flavours of freshly picked strawberry and tangy red currant intertwined with herbs, spice and blood orange. The finish is dry, crisp and clean. Pour with pan-seared salmon – even the colour matches. (Vic Harradine)

• The following ‘Flagship Store Exclusive’, organic/biodynamic, Small Lot Rosé is a 60/40 blend of estate-grown, hand-harvested Cab Sauv/Cab Franc fruit carefully selected from only 3 oak barrels.

****1/2 drink now Oh Canada! 
Southbrook ‘organic/biodynamic – Estate Grown/Small Lot’ Cabernet Rosé 2016
VQA Four Mile Creek $29.95 11.5% alcohol
This is a beautiful copper-pink hued Rosé with delicate aromas of floral notes, red berry fruit and mixed spice. It’s a mouth-filling sensory delight with flavours of tang-laden, spice-infused blood orange and passionfruit mingling with wisps of mineral notes and peach skin bathing the palate persisting through the finish and aftertaste decorated with delightful, refreshing tang. It’s lovely sipped on its own, served as an aperitif, poured with appetizers or a main—try roast chicken, pan-seared fish or seafood. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink now Oh Canada!
Tawse ‘Sketches of Niagara’ Rosé 2016
VQA Niagara Peninsula $17.35 (172643) 12.0% alcohol
Subtle aromas of tart red fruit—cranberry, red currant and pomegranate—segue to a wash of strawberry with a refreshing splash of lemon-lime flavours on the palate. Medium-light bodied and slightly off-dry, a saline mineral note is evident on the mid-plus length finish. Enjoy on its own or with a summer salad dressed with citrus vinaigrette. (Lisa Isabelle)

Okanagan Valley: Rosé Wine

***1/2 drink now Oh Canada!
Quails’ Gate Rosé 2016
VQA Okanagan Valley $19.95 (275842) 13.0% alcohol
A delicate nose of spice and floral notes introduces a light-on-its-feet offering of Gamay Noir along with equal parts Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. A balanced wash of strawberry and spice flavours mingle with ruby red grapefruit on the palate, persisting through the finish and aftertaste. Pour alongside a deli platter—pâté, soft cheese, shaved ham and baguette. (Vic Harradine)

The Main Release

Scotch Whisky

****1/2 drink or cellar
Bunnahabhain ‘12-Year-Old Islay’ Single Malt
Burn Steward $89.95 (250076) 46.3% alcohol
In 2016, Bunnahabhain was named ‘Distillery of the Year’ at the ‘San Francisco World Spirits Competition’. Piquant, peppery spice and hazelnut aromas introduce a nicely balanced, rich wash of toffee interlaced with gentle brushstrokes of marzipan and faint wisps of smoky peat. It rolls over the palate easily with creamy notes and sweet vanilla bean infusing the delicious fade. (Vic Harradine)


**** drink now
Tarlant ‘Brut Rosé’ Champagne Non-Vintage
AOC Champagne $64.95 (664680) 12.0% alcohol
Lifted aromas of leesy/yeasty notes introduce energetic mousse when poured in the glass. Flavours of fresh-baked, strawberry/rhubarb pie interweave with tart, ruby red grapefruit and flinty/mineral notes on the palate. It’s medium bodied with reasonable texture and grapefruit pith and lemon zest on the racy, dry finish and aftertaste. (Vic Harradine)

California: White Wine

**** drink or cellar
Black Stallion Estate Chardonnay 2015
Napa Valley $29.95 (339689) 14.5% alcohol
This Napa Chardonnay is medium-full bodied and fully textured with oaky notes on the lingering finish and aftertaste. It sports aromas of baking spice and oak on the nose before unlashing a spice-laden stream of racy lemon and grapefruit tang on the palate. It finishes with replays overlaid with sweet vanilla, oaky notes and ripe tropical fruit. Pour with supermarket, rotisserie-roast chicken and potato wedges. (Vic Harradine)

California: Red Wine

**** drink or cellar
Cannonball Merlot 2014
Sonoma County $24.95 (342824) 13.8% alcohol
Aromas of ripe, dark berry fruit and espresso roast unfurl from this medium-plus bodied, nicely textured red. Tang-laden pie cherry and red currant meld with sweet, ripe, black cherry on the palate decorated with spice and wisps of tannin. It finishes medium-length with replays of racy tang and red cherry/berry fruit. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar Exceptional Value!
Ironstone Petite Sirah 2014

Lodi $17.95 (361915) 14.5% alcohol

Intensely fragrant aromas of dark berries, smoke and spice fairly burst from the glass. Big and dry, it showcases deeply concentrated flavours of blackberry and blueberry, spice replayed, chocolate and smoky toast. Powerful velvety tannins and clean acidity balance the focused, jammy dark berry fruit persisting through the finish dressed with elusive notes of smoke. Serve with mint-infused lamb. (Susan Desjardins)

****1/2 drink or cellar
Kendall-Jackson ‘Vintner’s Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Sonoma County $22.95 (331603) 13.5% alcohol
Charred toast and black currant aromas precede rich, complex and balanced waves of cassis, bramble berry and dark cherry interlaced with fresh mint, grilled savory herbs and oodles of juicy tang. This showcases persistent purity of fruit with good depth, balance and complexity. It finishes with rich fruit and juicy tang replays. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar
Napa Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Napa Valley $34.95 (432211) 14.5% alcohol
This is well structured, tightly packed and oozing with sweet, ripe fruit. Aromas of cracked black pepper, briary black berry and juicy, black Bing cherry roll out a welcome for a rich, luscious flow of Kirsch liqueur, cassis and bramble berry jam. With replays on the finish also mingling with wisps of tannin, bittersweet chocolate and sweet vanilla, the sweet ripe fruit runs from cork pop to last drop. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar
Ravenswood ‘Old Vine’ Zinfandel 2013
Sonoma County $21.95 (673798) 14.5% alcohol
A perennial favourite, this offers balance, purity of fruit, structure and very good value. Grilled savory herbs, charred toast and black bramble berry aromas abound. It coats the palate with spice-packed flavours of dark berry fruit and boysenberry jam decorated with dark bittersweet chocolate. There’s still-evolving tannin showing up on the finish and aftertaste that’s easily ameliorated with a two-hour aeration/decant. Pour with grilled back ribs mopped with spicy barbecue sauce. (Vic Harradine)

• The following 2013 Rutherford Hill Cab was tasted in a flight of popular Napa Cabs and red blends, this really stood out as having plenty to offer—balance, depth, complexity, purity of fruit, structure and complexity—it flirted with 5 stars.

****1/2 drink or cellar
Rutherford Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Napa Valley $49.95 (959320) 14.5% alcohol
A lovely bouquet of rose petals, bramble berry fruit and cocoa unleash a balanced, lively flow of black plum, dark cherry and red currant robed in juicy acidity, piquant spice and soft tannin underpinning. It’s medium-full bodied with good mouthfeel and a lengthy mouth-watering aftertaste. Aerate/decant two hours before pouring. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar
The Prisoner 2015
Napa Valley $49.95 (104299) 15.2% alcohol
Aromas of spice box and berry fruit precede this high-alcohol bruiser of a fruit bomb dishing up sweet, ripe jammy flavours of black currant, boysenberry and dark plum adorned with kirsch liqueur and hints of ripe tannin. It’s full bodied and fully textured with a lengthy finish aftertaste. It’s a hedonist’s delight from start to finish and pairs well with tandoori chicken and garlic naan. (Vic Harradine)

Argentina: Red Wine

***** drink or cellar Exceptional Value!
Diamandes de Uco ‘Gran Reserva’ 2008 

Mendoza $39.95 (295063) 14.5% alcohol 

Concentrated, rich and delicious, this 85% Malbec - 15% Cab Sauv blend is outstanding. Inky-purple hued, it rips from the glass with aromas of dark toast, black licorice, mocha and mixed, dark, berry fruit. A rich and robust wash of ripe briary berry, juicy black cherry and spice-infused black plum coat the palate infusing the lingering, dry, structured finish. It’s medium-full bodied and balanced with good mouth feel, complexity and appeal. (Vic Harradine) 

Chile: Red Wine

**** drink or cellar
Intriga Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Maipo Valley $22.95 (57901) 14.5% alcohol
Red and black mixed field-berry fruit aromas mingle with mocha and red licorice on the nose of this medium-full bodied, nicely textured Chilean Cab. It cuts a wide swath across the palate with ripe red cherry and juicy red raspberry fruit intertwined with mocha and cassis. The dry finish provides replays with loads of ripe fruit and juicy tang for balance. You’ll find more of the same on the aftertaste along with good structure and balance. Pour with grilled-rare, well-seasoned rib eye. (Vic Harradine)

Australia: Red Wine

****1/2 drink now
Sister’s Run ‘Bethlehem Block’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Gomersal, Barossa, South Australia $18.95 (360636) 14.5% alcohol
This is opaque purple-black hued with intensely perfumed aromas of baking spice, cedar and bramble berry fruit. It envelops the palate with über-generous mouthfeel and gorgeous ripe fruit—sweet, ripe mulberry, tangy black raspberry and juicy dark cherry, melding beautifully with spice, fresh mint and savory herbs. The finish lingers, you shouldn’t, this is very good value and won’t hang around long. Drink over the next three years. (Vic Harradine)

New Zealand: White Wine

**** drink now
Forrest ‘The Doctors’ Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Marlborough, South Island $22.95 (317842) 9.5% alcohol
Piquant spice, savory herbs, lemongrass and nettles on the nose, this dishes up a balanced wash of Meyer lemon, Key lime and wisps of passionfruit. Ripe fruit dominates the front palate while the finish and aftertaste are all about dry, crisp and refreshing. It’s medium bodied with good texture and lengthy aftertaste. Pour with blue-cheese crumbled over olive-oiled arugula, (Vic Harradine)

• The following Thornbury 2016 Sauvignon Blanc is from fruit selected from the two largest wine regions in New Zealand, the Awatere and Wairau Valleys in Marlborough.

**** drink now
Thornbury Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Marlborough, South Island $18.95 (734798) 13.0% alcohol
Grassy notes, savory herbs and piquant spice aromas provide segue for a sleek line of racy citrus—lemon, white grapefruit and blood orange—riding through the back palate and finish, tangy and mouth-watering, clean, crisp and refreshing. It’s medium-bodied with generous mouthfeel – spent time on its lees – and pours well with pan-seared or grilled fish. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar
Journey’s End Shiraz 2012
WO Stellenbosch $20.95 (337642) 14.0% alcohol
Charred toast, smoky notes and cedar aromas provide segue to a solid core of palate-coating sweet ripe fruit with red cherry, blueberry and black currant to the fore. Fruit was hand-harvested spending 2 weeks in open top fermenters with regular punch downs then matured 18 months in 300 L French oak barrels. It’s medium-plus bodied with good texture and a balanced finish and aftertaste, (Vic Harradine)

• With grape growing and winemaking history back to the late 1600s, you don’t have to make too big a leap of faith to pick up a bottle or two of the following 2013 Klein Constantia, entry-level, red blend—77% Cabernet Sauvignon/23% Merlot.

**** drink or cellar
Klein Constantia ‘KC’ Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2013
WO Western Cape $17.95 (366245) 14.5% alcohol
This leaps from the glass with fruit-forward aromas of black currant and cherry decorated with mocha and flecks of peppery spice. There’s a delicious line of fruit and tang that persists through the palate—ripe dark briary berry, blueberry and mulberry adorned with sweet vanilla and smoky notes. It’s medium-full weight and nicely textured with a fruit-forward, balanced aftertaste. Pour alongside South African bobotie - Here’s an Epicurious recipe. (Vic Harradine)

France: Red Wine

****1/2 drink or cellar Exceptional Value!
M. Chapoutier ‘Les Vignes de Bila-Haut’ Côtes de Roussillon Villages 2015
AOC Côtes de Roussillon Villages $15.95 (168716) 14.5% alcohol
Earthy notes and mixed field berry aromas open this well-balanced, medium-bodied, generously textured, value-packed beauty. A tangy flow of crunchy red fruit rolls over the palate interlaced with peppery spice, fennel and ripe, sweet, dark fruit—juicy cherry, ripe mulberry, black plum—and notions of soft, ripe tannin. It finishes balanced, tangy delectable. Drinking now—aerate/decant a couple of hours—to +2020, back up the van. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar
Gérard Bertrand ‘Grand Terroir’ Syrah-Grenache 2014
AOP Languedoc Grés de Montpellier $18.95(493635) 13.5% alcohol
Aromas of cherry pie filling and floral notes blossom from the glass while the palate’s treated to a medium-weight, highly flavourful stream of red cherry and cassis while the finish layers on a pithy taste along with wisps of tannin. It’s nicely textured and benefits from a two-hour aeration/decant; ameliorating the tannin bite. Pour with pastitsio. (Vic Harradine)

France: Rosé Wine

****1/2 drink now Exceptional Value!
Château Val Joanis ‘Tradition’ Rosé 2016
AOP Luberon $15.95 (707281) 13.0% alcohol
This Rosé from Luberon, formerly Côtes du Luberon, is certainly one of the stars in a well-curated line-up of Rosé wine; it showcases depth, complexity, purity of fruit and exceptional value. Aromas of rose petals, savory herbs and mixed spice mingle with berry fruit on the nose of the medium-weight, nicely textured gem. A sweet and tang flow of strawberry/rhubarb pie melts into a balanced and lip-smacking finish and aftertaste. (Vic Harradine)

Germany: Rosé Wine

• Don’t fuss if you have trouble pronouncing the name of the following wine, just get some—it’s an exceptional buy.

**** drink now Exceptional Value!
Königschaffhauser Vulkanfelsen Pinot Noir Trocken Rosé 2016
Qualitätswein $13.95 (168237) 13.5% alcohol
This opens with spice, mineral and berry fruit aromas before bathing the palate with sprigs of savory herbs and oodles of red fruit flavour—ruby grapefruit, plum, strawberry and passionfruit—bathing the palate infusing the mouth-watering, dry crisp and clean aftertaste. Refreshing sipped on its own, it also pairs well with grilled gourmet sausage, pan-seared fish, roast chicken or olive-oiled mesclun greens decorated with crumbled chèvre. (Vic Harradine)

Israel: Red Wine

• The following ‘KP’ – Kosher for Passover – high-octane, red blend—65% Sauvignon Cabernet/19% Merlot/9% Syrah/7% Petit Verdot—was sourced from vines in the mountainous region of the Upper Galilee. It’s one of Galil Mountain Winery’s flagship wines.

****1/2 drink or cellar
Galil Mountain ‘Ain Yiron’ KP 2013
Upper Galilee $36.95 (95075) 15.5% alcohol
Aromas dance from the glass and flavours envelop the palate—black plum compote, ripe fig, dark berry fruit jam and black juicy cherry intertwined with sweet vanilla, baking spice, dark chocolate and grilled savory herbs abound. It’s full bodied, fully textured and full on with rich, jammy flavour. It finishes lengthy along with a considerable dollop of perceptible tannin. Best cellared until 2020, it can be ameliorated now with a three-hour aeration/decant and served with grilled rare, well-seasoned beefsteak. (Vic Harradine)

Italy: White Wine

**** drink now
Santa Margherita ‘Impronta Del Fondatore’ Pinot Grigio 2016
DOC Alto Adige $22.95 (231258) 13.5% alcohol
Aromas of tropical fruit and floral notes introduce a sweet, ripe river of honey-drizzled white peach and pear bathing the palate with notions of spice and lemon-lime cordial. It’s light on its feet with a balanced and mid-length finish and aftertaste. Pour alongside lighter-styled appetizers. (Vic Harradine)

Italy: Red Wine

**** drink or cellar
Mezzei ‘Belguardo Serrata’ Toscana 2014
IGT Toscana $19.95 (483768) 13.5% alcohol
Bright and light-ruby hued in the glass, aromas of dried roses and red berry fruit waft easily from this predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon red. It rides over the palate with great èlan—racy red currant, tangy passionfruit, cranberry—melding with ripe mulberry and an underpinning of grainy tannin. It’s medium bodied with medium texture and a lengthy, drying finish. Aerate/decant for three hours before serving or tuck away for a year or so. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink now
Ruffino Ducale ‘Oro Riserva - Gran Selezione’ Chianti Classico 2011

DOCG Chianti Classico $44.95 (353201) 14.5% alcohol

Grilled herbs, floral notes and red cherry on the nose, it bathes the palate with black currant, cassis and pie cherry interweaving with mixed spice, earthy and tarry notes. It’s mid weight with persistent fruit and excellent tang from cork pop to last drop. The dry finish is mouth-watering good and garnished with bittersweet chocolate. Serve with grilled steak or osso buco following a two-hour aeration/decant. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar
Cantine di Ora Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore 2013

DOC Valpolicella Superiore $22.95 (451666) 14.5% alcohol

Fig, black plum compote and hints of raisin aromas precede a river of pie cherry and passion fruit that’s quite racy and tang-laden on entry somewhat balancing out with riper, softer, almost-cooked, dark berry fruit on the back palate and aftertaste. There’s also an underpinning of still-evolving tannin that can be somewhat ameliorated with a two-hour aeration/decant. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Amarone from the Morini family is fashioned like an artisan wine from hand-harvested, low-yielding vines, and priced accordingly. They’ve gained recognition for their own wine after growing grapes and selling to the local cantina sociale for many years.

**** drink now
Latium Morini ‘Campo Leòn’ Amarone Della Valpolicella 2011
DOC Amarone Della Valpolicella $46.95 (334300) 16.5% alcohol
Grilled savory herbs and pencil shaving aromas join raisins, mineral notes and figs on the nose of this full-bodied, fully textured, aged Amarone. It muscles its way over the palate, bold and broad shouldered, with a creamy-smooth, wide swath of flavour showcasing black raspberry, dark plum and juicy, ripe Bing cherry interwoven with nutty notes and bittersweet chocolate. It finishes with a still-evolving bite of tannin—aerate/decant two hours. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar
Tommasi ‘Arele Parziale’ Appassimento 2015
IGT Della Venezie $19.95 (224188) 13.0% alcohol
Aromas of campfire smoke and spice box open this delicious value-laden appassimento—70% Corvina and 10% each of Rondinella, Oseleta, Merlot. A satin-smooth flowing river of spice, black cherry, black currant and dark plum coat the palate infusing the deftly balanced finish and aftertaste. This is medium-plus bodied with good weight and a dry, lingering aftertaste—what’s not to like? (Vic Harradine)

Spain: Red Wine

****1/2 drink or cellar
Marqués de Murrieta ‘Finca Ygay Reserva’ 2012
DOCa Rioja $29.95 (209148) 14.0% alcohol
This red blend of 77% Tempranillo/10% Garnacha/8% Graciano/5% Mazuelo offers purity of fruit, good balance and plenty of charm. Gorgeous aromas of new leather, baking spice and sweet vanilla provide preview to a medium-full bodied, fully textured stream of pie cherry and red currant intertwined with ripe, dark berry fruit and spice. It’s all underpinned by perceptible tannin on the lengthy finish—aerate/decant for two hours. (Vic Harradine)

Upstream in winecurrent

Vintages Release: June 24, 2917

****1/2 drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Southbrook ‘triomphe organic’ Cabernet Franc 2015
VQA Niagara Peninsula $21.95 (275958) 12.5% alcohol
A lifted nose of black currant, pencil shavings and mixed spice set the table for a glorious smorgasbord of ripe, red fruit flavour—red cherry, red plum and cranberry—mingling with piquant spice. It’s medium bodied with good mouthfeel and deftly balanced, spirited finish and aftertaste with added spice, excellent tang and plenty of charm. Pour with chicken parmesan. (Vic Harradine)

Vintages Release: July 8, 2017

• The back label text of the following Southbrook organic Chardonnay pays homage to the two Niagara, family growers providing the fruit for this wine—the Saunders family and Heather Laundry.

****1/2 drink or cellar Oh Canada! 
Southbrook ‘triomphe organic’ Chardonnay 2015
VQA Niagara Peninsula $24.95 (172338) 12.5% alcohol
Sexy aromas of baking spice, exotic incense, apple and pear precede a rich, creamy-smooth wash of lemon pie filling and grilled pineapple robed in nutmeg, vanilla and ginger bathing the palate infusing the long, dry finish along with toasty bits. It’s medium-bodied with a lengthy, balanced, refreshing aftertaste. Pour now to 2020 with roast or rotisserie chicken and roasted potato wedges. (Vic Harradine)

Vintages Release: July, 2017

**** drink now Oh Canada!
Featherstone Rosé 2016
VQA Niagara Peninsula $15.95 (117861) 13.5% alcohol
Fresh fruit aromas of strawberry, red plum and pink grapefruit rise from the glass in this blend of Gamay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Medium bodied, off-dry, with a round, weighty texture, it offers a flavourful palate of watermelon, crab apple and ripe peach finishing medium-long with a pleasant savoury aftertaste. Pair with grilled chicken brochettes. (Lisa Isabelle)

Vintages Release: September, 2017

**** drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Featherstone ‘Canadian Oak’ Chardonnay 2015
VQA Niagara Peninsula $21.95 (149302) 13.0% alcohol
Truly Canadian made, this unique offering was produced with Niagara fruit, fermented with indigenous yeast and aged in Canadian oak barrels before bottling. Medium-gold in colour, aromas of baked apples, citrus zest, butterscotch and vanilla entice the nose. Dry, medium-full bodied with a round, creamy texture and a slight tannic edge, flavours of Golden Delicious apple, pineapple, vanilla and spice persist through the long, flavourful finish. (Lisa Isabelle)

Vintages Release Date: TBD

**** drink now Oh Canada!
Featherstone ‘Cuvée Joy’ Sparkling Rosé Non-Vintage 2015
VQA Twenty Mile Bench $29.95 (450700) 12.5% alcohol
Salmon-pink in colour, this lively sparkling was made in the traditional method with 100% Pinot Noir grapes. Aromas of strawberry, cranberry and grapefruit with a hint of summer flowers lift from the glass. Light bodied and off-dry, it’s juicy and vibrant with sweet, red berry flavours supported by tangy citrus through the mid-length, mouth-watering finish. (Lisa Isabelle)

New in the LCBO Portfolio


• The following 750 mL, Luxardo Aperitivo, low-alcohol—only 11.0%liqueur can be added to white wine, especially Prosecco, or try this LCBO-suggested spritzer.

****1/2 drink now Exceptional Value!
Luxardo Aperitivo Spritz
Product of Italy $17.90 (439455) 11.0% alcohol
Orange cordial, herbs and spice aromas leap from the glass. It coats the palate with a friendly flow of herbs, roots and citrus redolent of gentle Italian bitters. There are predominant orange aromas and sweet-ish orange cordial taste that’s ameliorated nicely with the orange-peel, bitter bite on the aftertaste. There are many recipes online for this exceptional-value liqueur. (Vic Harradine)

White Wine

**** drink now Oh Canada!
Redstone ‘Brickyard’ Riesling 2015
VQA Niagara Peninsula $15.95 (346866) 10.0% alcohol
This is good value. Nicely balanced with sweet fruit and tangy citrus, aromas of orchard fruit are integrated with floral and mineral notes on the nose while flavours of crisp green apple, white peach and lemon are underpinned by a stony minerality. Medium-light bodied and off-dry, refreshing citrus flavours extend through the mid-length finish. Pour with pan-sautéed shrimp with a squeeze of lemon. (Lisa Isabelle)

Rosé Wine

****1/2 drink now Exceptional Value!
Pink Gecko Rosé 2016
AOP Coteaux Varois en Provence, France $14.35 (485946) 12.5% alcohol
This 70% Grenache/20% Syrah and 10% Rolle (aka Vermentino) blend dishes up aromas of strawberry, herbs and spice aromas. It bathes the palate with a lively juicy flow of red berry fruit with wisps of cherry and savory herbs and gentle spice making its way across the palate and long finish with plenty of flavour delivered with elegance and grace; like a ballet dancer. Delightful sipped on its own, it makes a great partner for Caesar salad or with roast chicken or baked ham. Exceptional value here. (Vic Harradine)

New in Ontario Wineries

• Order the following two wines by the case for delivery to home, office or restaurant in Ontario online from Featherstone Estate Winery or pick up a bottle or case at the winery at 3678 Victoria Ave, Vineland, ON.

**** drink now Oh Canada!
Featherstone ‘Phoenix’ Gewürztraminer 2016
VQA Twenty Mile Bench $18.95 13.5% alcohol
This 100% Gewürztraminer opens with intense aromas of tropical fruit interlaced with intriguing notions of rosewater, almond and wood ash. Medium-bodied and off-dry, it’s round and soft in texture with ripe fruit flavours of lychee, melon, peach and pear sprinkled with baking spices while a seam of lively acidity throughout retains freshness. Serve with grilled chicken breasts with a tropical fruit salsa. (Lisa Isabelle)

****1/2 drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Featherstone ‘Select Late Harvest’ Gewürztraminer 2016
VQA Vinemount Ridge $24.95 12.0% alcohol
Produced with grapes picked in December, this sweet wine is concentrated and luscious. Aromas of pineapple and lychee are accented with honey, beeswax and rose petals. Medium yellow in colour, it’s full bodied and mouth-coating offering sweet fruit flavours of peaches in syrup and pear compote balanced with racy citrus—lemon and grapefruit—extending through the long, tasty finish. (Lisa Isabelle)

• Order the following three wines by the case for daily home, office or restaurant delivery directly online from Kacaba Vineyards, by phone at 1 866 522-2228 or 1 905 562-5625, or pick up a bottle or case from the winery at 3550 King Street in Vineland ON.

• By way of explanation for the slight, pink-bronze hue in the following Kacaba ‘Jennifer’s’ Pinot Gris from the 2015 vintage - Pinot Gris is a mutation of Pinot Noir so not unusual for some coloured grapes to be in a bunch.

****1/2 drink now Exceptional Value! Oh Canada!
Kacaba ‘Jennifer’s’ Pinot Gris 2016
VQA Niagara Peninsula $17.95 12.8% alcohol
An alluring nose of flinty/minerality and floral notes open the door for a richly flavoured wash of grilled pineapple, sugared, red grapefruit and ripe watermelon robed in citrusy tang. It’s medium bodied with oodles of texture and a bold, lengthy, lip-smacking aftertaste. Serve chilled on its own or with a deli platter—smelly cheese, pickled onions, spicy black olives, mortadella, salami, ripe, tomato sections with baguette. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Kacaba ‘Meritage’ 2015
VQA Niagara Peninsula $24.95 12.8% alcohol
Aromas of forest floor, floral notes and dark toast waft from this hand-picked red blend—85% Cabernet Franc/8% Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc/7% Merlot. A balanced stream of tangy pie cherry, black plum and mixed spice intertwine with spice and dark coffee on the palate. It finishes with good fruit and tang, balanced on a pin, dry and mouth-watering delicious. Pour with grilled hangar steak tortillas. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Kacaba Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah 2015
VQA Niagara Escarpment $29.95 12.8% alcohol
Earthy notes, cedar and pipe tobacco aromas unleash a medium-plus weight, smooth-as-silk river of tang-laden cranberry and passionfruit flavours cascading across the palate perfectly balanced with ripe black plum and sweet, ripe boysenberry. There’s persistent purity of fruit and a defty balanced finish. Overall, this is a tribute to winemaker John Tummon who once again comes up with a gem of a red wine. Pour with steak, burgers or what you pull from the barbecue at your home. (Vic Harradine)

 Order the following Apple Cider by the case for home, restaurant or office delivery in Ontario online from Southbrook Vineyards or phone toll free: 1 888 581-1581 or pick up a bottle or case from the winery at 581 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON.

 The following Southbrook Cider is certified organic, suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Apple varieties—Nova Mac/Liberty/Nova Spy make up 33% each, with the balance an even split of Goldrush and Priscilla, primarily for tannin—were sourced from Avalon Vineyards in Innisfil, ON. Hand-harvested fruit was pressed at the orchard and brought immediately to the winery without pasteurization or preservatives. It was fermented by ambient yeasts from a biodynamic white wine then bottled and capped with 11 g/L residual sugar (RS) and underwent a 2nd alcoholic fermentation in the bottle. It now registers less than 1 g/l RS—basically bone dry—with good spritz. Col Fundo is an ancient method used for making Prosecco—it signals this wine was not disgorged and remains on the lees in the bottle you purchase sealed with a specially designed crown cap. 

****1/2 drink now Exceptional Value! Oh Canada!

Southbrook ‘Organic – Wild Ferment – Col Fundo’ Apple Cider
Product of Canada $15.95 7.0% alcohol
Charged with a refreshing spritz, aromas of apple with wisps of caramel provide introduction to a crisp, clean stream of unsweetened apple juice bathing the palate with notions of peach skin and soft citrus pith. It’s light on its feet with excellent tang and leaves the palate totally refreshed. Perfect as a sipper or an aperitif—priming the gustatory juices—this also pairs well with washed rind cheese or lemon chicken. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Tawse ‘Limestone Ridge-North Block’ Riesling is available by the case for daily home, office or restaurant delivery online at Tawse Winery or for pick up by the bottle or case at the winery at 3955 Cherry Ave, Vineland ON.

****1/2 drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Tawse ‘Limestone Ridge - North Block’ Riesling 2015
VQA Twenty Mile Bench $24.25 (431593) 10.0% alcohol
Alluring aromas of orchard fruit, lemon zest, Kaffir lime leaf and a hint of petrol open this well-balanced Riesling. Medium bodied, with some sweetness to counterpoint the backbone of lively acidity, flavours of Granny Smith apple, pear and white grapefruit engulf the palate while a hint of honeysuckle lingers on the long, mouth-watering finish. This would pair nicely with spicy, tuna roll sushi. (Lisa Isabelle)

New in Okanagan Valley Wineries

• Order the following four wines to be shipped to your home or office in most provinces, including Ontario, via this link - Culmina Family Estate Winery.

***** drink or cellar Exceptional Value! Oh Canada!
Culmina ‘Decora’ Riesling 2016

VQA Okanagan Valley $23.00 (444836) 13.5% alcohol
This single-vineyard, Margaret’s Bench beauty showcases mouth-watering tang and mineral notes, persistent purity of fruit, balance and charm. It leaps from the glass with lifted aromas of flinty/mineral notes, bracing citrus and ripe yellow plum. A balanced and beautiful, tang-laced surge of Key lime, racy lemon and notions of white peach dazzle the palate persisting through the lengthy, dry, lip-smacking finish and aftertaste framed with white grapefruit. It’s medium weight with good mouthfeel and will only improve with age—twist tops now to 2021—it was tough to spit. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Culmina ‘Unicus’ is from vines constituting the first commercial planting of Grüner Veltliner in BC, this wine impresses each vintage and is certainly worth a flutter.

****1/2 drink now Oh Canada!
Culmina ‘Unicus’ Grüner Veltliner 2016

VQA Okanagan Valley $29.00 14.0% alcohol
Lemongrass, lime, savory herb notes and white pepper aromas on the nose provide segue for a medium-plus bodied, fully textured, palate-bathing river of racy saline/minerality with lime cordial and white grapefruit to the fore. It replays on the aftertaste with length, pithy notes, great élan and gusto. Pour alongside freshly shucked Malpec oysters dotted with hot sauce and a squirt of fresh lemon. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Golden Mile, Saignée was sourced from premium fruit—73% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon.

****1/2 drink now Oh Canada!
Culmina ‘Saignée’ Rosé 2016

VQA Golden Mile, Okanagan Valley $24.00 14.0% alcohol
Alluring aromas of strawberry and floral notes interweave with ripe mandarin orange before unleashing a tapestry of flavours—red currant, tangy red plum and cherry pie filling interwoven with wisps of sugared and grilled ruby red grapefruit with plenty of piquant spice. The finish lingers, balanced and mouth-watering good. Pour with a deli platter—prosciutto, salami, shave ham, spiced olives, stinky cheese and baguette. (Vic Harradine)

• Approximately 50% of the following Culmina ‘Dilemma’ Chardonnay matured 9 months in French oak barrel, with 36% new and 14% 1-year-old with the balance settled in stainless steel.

**** drink or cellar Oh Canada!
Culmina ‘Dilemma’ Chardonnay 2014

VQA Okanagan Valley $34.00 14.0% alcohol
Nutmeg, cinnamon and baked apple aromas introduce a mid-weight, lightly textured, complex stream of baking spice and oaky notes interwoven with tart citrus, minerality and peach skin. The finish lingers with baking spice replays adorned with hints of vanilla and grapefruit pith. Give this a further 2 years in bottle, popping corks early 2020 poured with pan-seared fish under a squeeze of fresh lemon. (Vic Harradine)

New in Private Order Wine

• Order the following wines—plus those in previous newsletters—by the case (some in cases of six) for home, restaurant or office delivery in Ontario from VinoLuna wine agency. Contact via website, VinoLuna, by Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or in the GTA phone 416 587-6691.

***1/2 drink now
Hispanobodegas ‘12 Linaje’ Verdejo 2016
DO Rueda, Spain $14.95 12.5% alcohol
Floral notes, minerality and spice box introduce a medium bodied, medium-textured flow of apricot, lemon curd and white grapefruit. It finishes in a tangy blaze of lemon citrus and grapefruit pith. Pour alongside prawn ceviche or sushi. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink now
Bodegas Félix Lorenzo Cachazo ‘Entreflores’ Verdejo 2016
DO Rueda, Spain $14.95 13.0% alcohol
Sprigs of herbs, fresh mint and floral aromas provide segue for a lively rush of lemon-lime, pineapple and tangy white grapefruit streaking across the palate, persisting through the lip-smacking finish. This is good value, sleek and lean with plenty of nerve and verve making it the perfect accompaniment to freshly shucked oysters under a squeeze of fresh lemon and a dot of hot sauce. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Alba Vega Albariño is from the wine region of Rías Baixas, tucked up in the NW corner of Spain cheek to jowl with the Portuguese wine region of Vinho Verde.

**** drink now
Alba Vega Albariño 2016
DO Rías Baixas, Spain $16.95 13.5% alcohol
This is mid-weight with exceptionally fleshy texture. Aromas of floral notes, minerality and citrus make way for a bracing line of citrus and passionfruit acidity blazing across the palate with laser-like focus. It softens on the back palate with Meyer lemon and key lime pie notes. Pours extremely well with grilled or pan-seared fish or prawns under a squeeze of fresh lemon. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink now
Tenuta Bosco Albano Pinot Grigio 2016
IGT Venezia Giulia, Italy $16.95 12.5% alcohol
Spice, traces of honeysuckle and peach aromas open the door for a creamy-smooth river of fresh and lively, palate-bathing flavours of ripe pear, green apple and tangy grilled pineapple garnished with a squeeze of lemon acidity. This is medium bodied with much in its favour—there’s good mouthfeel, a balance of fruit and acidity and finishes pleasant, flavourful. Pour with lighter-styled appetizers or sip on its own. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink now
Collovray & Terrier ‘Deux Roches – Tradition’ Bourgogne Chardonnay 2015
AOP Bourgogne, France $19.95 13.5% alcohol
Nutmeg, cinnamon, traces of oak and caramel aromas set the table for a smorgasbord of flavour with baked apple and ripe pear adorned with piquant spice and toasty oak on the palate. This is medium-bodied with good mouthfeel and a dry, lengthy finish layering on sweet vanilla, lemony citrus and peach skin. (Vic Harradine)

***1/2 drink now
Collovray & Terrier ‘Deux Roches – Tradition’ Mâcon Villages Chardonnay 2015
AOP Mâcon Villages, France $19.95 13.5% alcohol
Green apple, citrus, spice and floral notes open the floodgates to a spice-packed stream of lemon-lime, Granny Smith apple and grapefruit notes. It’s medium weight and nicely textured sporting a balanced, lengthy finish with a bit of a mineral/citrussy bite on the clean, crisp aftertaste. Pour with mussels steamed in white wine. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink now
Collovray & Terrier ‘Deux Roches’ Saint-Véran Chardonnay 2015
AOP Saint-Véran, France $24.95 13.5% alcohol
Baking spice, toasted oak and hints of vanilla unfurl a delicious wash of honey-drizzled pit fruit, green apple and pear mingling with soft lemon and grilled pineapple on the palate with wisps of pith and peach skin on the long, balanced aftertaste. It’s medium-bodied with good mouthfeel and a crisp and refreshing finish. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink now
Collovray & Terrier ‘Deux Roches’ Saint-Véran Vieilles Vignes Chardonnay 2015
AOP Saint-Véran, France $25.95 13.5% alcohol
This old-vines gem showcases deft balance, purity of fruit, depth and complexity. Lifted aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and oaky notes abound. A lovely, balanced and beautiful, tangy flow of white peach, ripe pear and sweet vanilla bathe the palate decorated with spice and good citrus acidity. This is medium-bodied with good texture and a lengthy, balanced-on-a-pin finish and aftertaste.

**** drink now
Collovray & Terrier ‘Deux Roches’ Pouilly Fuissé Chardonnay 2015
AOP Pouilly Fuissé, France $31.95 13.0% alcohol
Exotic spice and baked apple aromas open this tang-laden, gorgeously textured Chardonnay. It races across the palate with lemon/grapefruit acidity mingling with tart, Granny Smith apple before infusing the finish and aftertaste with mirrored replays. Give it a go with prawn and chorizo paella. (Vic Harradine)

• Order the following wine by the case for home, restaurant or office delivery in Ontario from Nokhrin Wines or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , if in the GTA, phone 416 704-8617.

**** drink now
Pfaffmann Scheurube 2015
Qualitätswein Pfalz, Germany $17.95 11.0% alcohol
Floral, mineral and green apple on the nose, this bathes the palate with a racy, tang-laden wash of white grapefruit, ripe apricot and tangerine orange. It’s medium bodied with good mouthfeel and plenty of nerve and verve persisting through the lemon-laced, lengthy, crisp and refreshing finish and aftertaste. Pour with breaded and pan-seared calamari. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink now
Pfaffmann Herrenberg Riesling Halbtrocken 2015
Qualitätswein Pfalz, Germany $18.95 12.0% alcohol
Floral and honey note aromas open the door for a flood of sweet and tang—ripe peach and mango juxtaposed with tangy acidity—meeting in the mid-palate and a forming a harmonious partnership through the delectable finish. This is very good value, medium weight with generous mouthfeel sporting a glorious off-dry style. Pour with spicy Asian cuisine or charcuterie. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink now
Pfaffmann Bischofskreuz Chardonnay Trocken 2015
Qualitätswein Pfalz, Germany $19.95 12.5% alcohol
Aromas of honey-drizzled apricot and white peach make way for a full-bodied, fully textured river of apple, pear and notions of baking spice bathing the palate interwoven with lemon curd and pineapple persisting through the crisp, clean and mouth-watering finish and aftertaste. This delivers on many counts—good value, balance, lovely texture, purity of fruit, a lengthy clean finish. Pour with roast chicken or crown roast of pork. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink now
Pfaffmann ‘Selection’ Silberberg Chardonnay Trocken 2015
Qualitätswein Pfalz, Germany $19.95 13.5% alcohol
Baking spice, floral notes and orchard fruit aromas abound on the nose of this medium-bodied, heavenly textured, great-value Chardonnay. A delightful mouthful of baked apple, poached pear and apricot mingle with sharp spice and lemony citrus tang on the palate infusing the lingering, balanced and beautiful finish. Pour alongside breaded pork cutlets or veal parmigiana. (Vic Harradine)

New in Consignment Wine

• Order the following wine by the case for home, restaurant or office delivery in Ontario from Nokhrin Wines or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , if in the GTA, phone 416 704-8617.

****1/2 drink now 
Pfaffmann Silberberg Riesling Trocken 2015
Qualitätswein Pfalz, Germany $17.95 12.5% alcohol 
A delicate nose of mineral and jasmine tea introduce a mid-weight, well-textured surge of tangy lemon curd and racy lime streaking across the palate infusing the lip-smacking finish. This showcases purity of fruit and oodles of tangy acidity and lively flavour. There are brushstrokes of blood orange on the delicious aftertaste. Gorgeous sipped chilled on its own or poured with pan-seared fish under a squeeze of fresh lemon. (Vic Harradine)

Cheers, Vic