BERONIA GRAN RESERVA 2006, DOC Rioja, Spain


Beronia

Cost: $34.95
Grape Variety: Predominately Tempranillo with Graciano & Mazuelo
Category: Red wine
Location Bought: LCBO Vintages
Country: Spain
Region: Rioja
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Beronia
Alcohol: 14% Alcohol/Vol.
Description: Dark ruby in colour with a medium+ intense nose.

This is reminiscent of the smell of smoke from wood burning fireplaces while on an evening walk.

Positives: This complex wine features cedar, sandalwood, plum, figs, dark cherry, cinnamon, cloves, mocha, vanilla, coconut, rosemary, sage, blueberry, mulberry and pipe tobacco. Medium body with medium+ tannins, good acidity & a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: Very youthful for a Gran Reserva

Drink now or in the next 10 years on its own or pair it with rack of lamb.

Tasted: 3 April 2014

Top Pick

Score: 9+/10, Value: 9+/10, Total: 19.5/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4.5

LCBO: 940965

THE HERMIT CRAB, VIOGNIER MARSANNE 2012, McLaren Vale, Australia


Hermit Crab

Cost: $19.95
Grape Variety: 68% Viognier, 32% Marsanne
Category: White wine
Location Bought: LCBO Vintages
Country: Australia
Region: McLaren Vale
Format: 750 mL
Producer: D’Arenberg
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Description: Bright gold in colour with a medium+ intense nose.

A full flavoured delicious wine for under $20

Positives: This wine features light oak, jasmine, apricot, peach, lemon, mandarin, thyme and peach pit. Full body with medium+ tannins, good acidity & a long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Note: I tried this wine with two different Riedel glassware: one Viognier and the other Sauvignon Blanc style. The Viognier glass presented a more smooth wine with an unexpected peach pit on the finish. Meanwhile, the Cab Sauv glass was more vibrant and crisp with a less noticeable peach pit finish. Both equally good, just depends on what you’re looking for.

Drink now or in the next 3 years on its own or pair it with tuna tartare in lemongrass marinade.

Tasted: 2 April 2014

Best Buy

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

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

LCBO: 662775

EQUULEUS 2010, VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


Equuleus

Cost: $37.75 (Clearance Price $30)
Grape Variety: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc
Category: Red wine
Location Bought: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: St. David’s Bench, Niagara Peninsula
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Chateau Des Charmes
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Description: Dark ruby in colour with a medium+ intense nose.

One of my favourite from Des Charmes, but even better that it’s at $30

Positives: This complex wine features cedar, blackcurrants, plums, dark cherry, raspberry, red & black peppers, turmeric, Allspice, mocha & leather. Medium+ body with medium tannins, good acidity & a long length.

Negatives: None

Drink now or in the next 7 years on its own or pair it with braised beef shank.

Tasted: 31 March 2014

Score: 9/10, Value: 8.5/10 (Clearance Price: 9/10), Total: 17.5/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4

LCBO: 319525

RUSTENBERG R.M NICHOLSON 2010, Stellenbosh, South Africa


Rustenberg_Rm_Nicholson_2010_web

Cost: $19.95
Grape Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot & Cabernet Franc
Category: Red wine
Location Bought: LCBO Vintages
Country: South Africa
Region: Stellenbosch
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Rustenberg
Alcohol: 14.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Description: Dark ruby in colour with a medium+ intense nose.

A lot going on for a wine under $20

Positives: This complex wine features cedar, blackcurrants, plums, dark cherry, hickory, cocoa, eucalyptus, pepper, cassis, arugula, radicchio and licorice. Full body with medium+ tannins, good acidity & a long length.

Negatives: A touch hot on the finish from the 14.5% alcohol

Interesting Note: Rustenberg was founded in 1682, but South Africa is still labeled as New World. Decant for 30 min to an hour.

Drink now or in the next 7 years on its own or pair it with an aged T-bone steak.

Tasted: 26 March 2014

Best Buy

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

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

LCBO: 278390

ELK COVE VINEYARDS PINOT NOIR 2011, Willamette Valley, Oregon, United States


Elk Cove

Cost: $37.95
Grape Variety: Pinot Noir
Category: Red wine
Location Bought: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Elk Cove Vineyards
Alcohol: 13% Alcohol/Vol.
Description: Medium light ruby to garnet in colour with a medium intense nose.

Smooth and easy to drink, but not your typical Willamette Valley Pinot

Positives: This wine features pine, cherry, strawberry/raspberry mix, light smoky notes and mild forest floor. Medium light body with light tannins, good acidity & a fairly long length.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: There are a lot better Pinots at better prices

Drink now or in the next 3 years on its own or pair it with BBQ salmon.

Tasted: 25 March 2014

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

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

LCBO: 234534

GLEN CARLOU PETIT VERDOT & TANNAT 2009, Paarl, South Africa


Glen Carlou

Cost: $21.95
Grape Variety: Petit Verdot & Tannat
Category: Red wine
Location Bought: LCBO
Country: South Africa
Region: Paarl
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Glen Carlou Vineyards
Alcohol: 14.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Description: Dark ruby in colour with a medium+ intense nose.

Reminds me of Hubba Bubba grape gum

Positives: This wine features cedar, prunes, dark cherry, raspberry, hickory, iodine, cocoa, eucalyptus, pepper and licorice. Full body with medium+ tannins, good acidity & a long length.

Negatives: Lots of heat from the 14.5% alcohol

Interesting Note: If you have a cold, inhale this, as it will clear your nasal passages.

Drink now or in the next 7 years on its own or pair it with dry rubbed beef ribs.

Tasted: 21 March 2014

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

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

LCBO: 363440

LA ROSE D’AIMÉE TAVEL 2012, Ac Tavel, France


Tavel

Cost: $18.95 (Clearance Price: $15.20)
Grape Variety: Grenache & Syrah
Category: Rosé wine
Location Bought: LCBO
Country: France
Region: Tavel, France
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Les Grandes Serres
Alcohol: 14.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Description: Deep salmon in colour with a low intense nose.

The high alcohol overwhelms the flavours of this wine

Positives: This wine features strawberry, rose petals & mint. Medium body with average acidity & a fairly long length.

Negatives: Lots of heat from the 14.5% alcohol

Drink now on its own or pair it with grilled pork chops.

Tasted: 22 March 2014

Score: 8.5/10, Value: 8.5+/10, Total: 17+/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 3.5

LCBO: 684951

BACHELDER PINOT NOIR 2011, Willamette Valley, Oregon, United States


Bachelder

Cost: $34.95
Grape Variety: Pinot Noir
Category: Red wine
Location Bought: LCBO
Country: United States
Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Thomas Bachelder
Alcohol: 13% Alcohol/Vol.
Description: Medium light ruby in colour with a medium intense nose.

A quality Pinot that threads between new & old world

Positives: This wine features pine, cherry, strawberry, beets, pomegranate and forest dew. Medium minus body with light tannins, good acidity & a fairly long length.

Negatives: None

Drink now on or in the next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with Ahi Tuna.

Tasted: 20 March 2014

Score: 9/10, Value: 8.5+/10, Total: 18/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 4

LCBO: 333278

ARROWOOD CHARDONNAY 2010, Sonoma County, California, United States


Arrowood

Cost: $26.95
Grape Variety: Chardonnay
Category: White wine
Location Bought: LCBO
Country: United States
Region: Sonoma County, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Arrowood Winery
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Description: Bright gold in colour with a medium to medium+ intense nose.

I’m liking it, but not loving it

Positives: This wine features medium toasted oak, buttered popcorn, lemon, peaches & cream corn, caramel, pineapple, mango, dill and cloves. Full body with good acidity & a fairly long length.

Negatives: None

Drink now or in the next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with lobster cooked in Chard and butter.

Tasted: 19 March 2014

Score: 8.5+/10, Value: 8.5+/10, Total: 17/20

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

LCBO: 270694

THE DREAMING TREE, CRUSH 2011, North Coast, California, United States


Dreaming Tree

Cost: $17.00 (for sale $15.50 until 30 March 2014)
Grape Variety: Red blend
Category: Red wine
Location Bought: LCBO
Country: United States
Region: North Coast, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: The Dreaming Tree
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Description: Medium light ruby in colour with a medium to medium+ intense nose.

This will appeal to those that like a sweeter style red with lots of flavour & low tannins

Positives: This wine features light oak, cherry, raspberry pie, mesquite and lavender. Medium body with light tannins, good acidity & a fair long length.

Negatives: A touch on the sweet side

Interesting Note: Environmentally friendly winery

Drink now on its own or pair it with stuffed bell peppers.

Tasted: 18 March 2014

Score: 8.5/10, Value: 8.5/10, (sale price: 8.5+/10) Total: 17/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 3.5

LCBO: 310391

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