Private Order

• Order the following wines—plus those in many 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 
Bodegas Martínez Lacuesta ‘Reserva’ Rioja 2007
DOCa Rioja, Spain $28.95 13.5% alcohol
This near decade-old red blend—Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo—has matured gracefully, now showcasing a bouquet of exotic spice, leather, berry fruit and mocha. It bathes the palate, mid weight and smooth as silk with a gentle, balanced stream of lively fresh red cherry interlaced with spice, cassis and hints of bramble berry pie. The finish lingers replaying delicious flavours. Here’s a unique opportunity to taste an aged Rioja—still with life and freshness—at a very attractive price. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar 
Domaine de Vervine Vacqueyras 2014
AOP Vacqueyras, France $27.20 13.5% alcohol
This red blend is primarily Grenache with Syrah and a spoonful of Mourvèdre sourced from vines averaging 55 years of age. Aromas of fresh red berries, piquant spice and black plum provide segue for a juicy, fresh stream of tangy pie cherry, racy red currant and notions of red licorice and ripe strawberry. It’s medium weight and nicely textured with still-evolving tannin showing on the palate and mid-length aftertaste. This really soars with pasta in tomato sauce. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Bodegas Vegamar ‘Vinos de Autor - Crianza’ 2013
DO Valencia, Spain $21.90 13.5% alcohol
This Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot red blend has pure fruit flavours complexity and depth. It offers alluring aromas of incense, floral notes, cedar and red cherry. Waves of creamy-smooth, fruit-laden ripe mulberry and sweet black Bing cherry flow over the palate, deftly blanced and interwoven with sweet vanilla, spice and excellent tangy acidity. It finishes lengthy and luscious with replays and offers terrific value. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Bodegas Vegamar ‘Vinos de Autor - Reserva’ 2012
DO Valencia, Spain $27.35 13.5% alcohol
This is an elegant red blend—Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot—that’s intensely scented and creamy smooth delivering persistent purity of fruit and a lingering, luscious aftertaste. Rose petals, exotic incense and sprigs of herbs and spice open this medium-full bodied gem. It bathes the palate with a balanced and beautiful surge of ripe red cherry, bramble berry pie and piquant spice bathing the palate persisting through the long lip-smacking finish. Quite special, especially at this more than reasonable price. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar Exceptional Value! 
Dezzani ‘La Luna e Le Stelle’ Barbera d’Asti Superiore 2013

DOCG Barbera d’Asti, Italy $16.05 13.5% alcohol 
The low-yielding hand-harvested, 100% Barbera fruit underwent lengthy maceration before spending 12-14 months in barriques and bottle prior to release. Charred toast, espresso roast and dusty cocoa aromas set up a lively gusher of red and black cherry and tangy cranberry robed in excellent acidity. It’s bolstered by soft, ripe tannin adding structure and interest. This is nicely textured with good weight and focus along with a lengthy dry finish layering on a delightful Amarone-like bite on the aftertaste. Pour with pasta puttanesca or grilled rack of lamb. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar 
Bodegas y viñedos Familia Conesa ‘Finca La Sabina’ Merlot Crianza 2011
D.O Pago Guijoso, Spain $23.85 13.0% alcohol 
The hand-harvested fruit for this red blend—85% Merlot/15% Syrah—was sourced at 1100 m and aged 12 months in French oak. Fresh lively aromas of red cherry and currant mingle with spice on the nose of this medium-bodied, creamy-smooth red. It bathes the palate with waves of red and dark berry fruit and savoury herbs garnished with licorice and tangy cranberry while the dry finish lingers, balanced and mouth-watering. (Vic Harradine)