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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Some interesting new wines tasted this month

From Stoney Ridge,
1. Stoney Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2010 VQA Niagara, coming to Vintages
(2009 on current shelves), $17.95: topping out at 13.4$ ABV, with the
twist top, this aromatic, fruity-zesty wine exhibits typical citrus
tones, long finish, and refreshing body.
2. Stoney Ridge Warren Classic Chardonnay 2010 VQA Twenty Mile Bench,
$18.95 at winery: the last vintage with the Jim Warren name (but made
by current winemaker Gord Robert). A Double Gold at the 2012 All
Canadian Wine Championships. Twist top, 13.8% ABV. One of my fave
chardonnays in the whole world, with plenty of smokey-oaky toasty tones
mellowed by underlying fruit.
3. Stoney Ridge Excellence Merlot 2010 VQA Four Mile Creek, $34.95 at
winery: another medal winner at the All Canadians 2012, but needing
plenty of time to mature. Fruit developing well, as is the velvet
texture. 13.4$ ABV. Bottle #3219 sampled, out of 3252 bottles produced.
From Kolonaki Group,
4. Domaine Sigalas Asirtiko-Athiri 2010 Santorini, Vintages +276535,
$16.95: a heavier-than-expected wine (14.2% ABV) dominated by citric
tones. 75% Asirtiko, with minerality showing at this point. Good for
summer, affordable, and something different to show off. Capable of
5. Mediterra Winery Thalia White 2011 Crete, LCBO +273490, $9.95: a
blend of half sauvignon blanc and half vilana, an indigenous variety.
Slightly herby and citric tones are tempered by tropicality from the
hot climate. An interesting wine for under $10, 12.5% ABV, refreshing
for first course or party sipping.
From Diamond Estates,
6. Lakeview Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2011 VQA Lincoln Lakeshore
Roller Vineyards, +226027 Vintages August 18, $16.95: terrific ripe
flavours of typical cool climate savvy. Gooseberries and citrus tones
dominate, and cold use another six months in bottle. Cork finish. 12%
7. Lakeview Cellars Riesling Reserve 2011 VQA Lincoln Lakeshore Roller
Vineyards, +294074 Vintages September 15, $16.95: medium-bodied, just
perfect for the upcoming Thanksgiving after the release. Typical
orchard fruit notes with an underlying unctuous presence. Cork finish.
12.5% ABV.
8. Lakeview Cellars Cabernet Merlot Reserve VQA Niagara Peninsula,
+285791 Vintages, $18.95: the promo copy for this wine says "dark
cherry" and "cedar", "soft leather" and "spice". The label added "dark
roast coffee" and "sweet oak". Not sure what it wants to be: New World
or Old World. It is 42% merlot, 29% cabernet sauvignon, and 26%
cabernet franc. And with only 12.5% ABV, I'd guess the aim is for Old
World but displays a bit of richness, particularly with cassis notes.
Try first with cheeses and let me know…
From The Little Grape That Could (non-profit):
9. The Little Grape That Could Torrontes NV Argentina, +274738, $11.95
LCBO: a non-profit venture where all profits go to charity (go to for details, entering a code on the
label for a donation to a charity of your choice). The wine is
approachable in the Torrontes MVC peachy-floral vein, working well as
an off-dry sipper for patio or party. Refreshing citric entry and
finish, emphasizing the mid-palate. Screw cap, 12.5% ABV. "Torrontes"
is most certainly "Toronto's" wine.
10. The Little Grape That Could Cabernet Sauvignon NV Argentina,
+277020, $11.95 LCBO: the red wine twin to the Torrontes, also
approachable as a sipper for patio or party. Indeed, it is more like a
merlot with a softness and velvet finish. Expect cassis, plums, some
baked wood tones. Screw cap, 13% ABV.

From the Passport to Vinho Verde Program (August 2012) for restaurants
in the GTA:
11. Borges & Irmao Gatao Vinho Verde 2011, +204503 LCBO, $9.95: Very
fresh. Some spritz. An interesting sipper or first course wine, very
feminine at 9% ABV, vinous intensity. Twist top (rare in Portugal, home
of the cork). Serve very cool.
12. Alianca Vinho Verde 2011, +75663 LCBO, $8.95 plus 4 bonus reward
miles in August: Again, very fresh, some spritz, less than 10 months
old, under traditional cork closure. At 10.5% ABV, good value for a
sipper or first course wine. Crisp, fresh and light. Four grape
varieties used, including Loureiro. Chill well.
13. Sogrape Gazela Vinho Verde NV (but probably 2011), +141432, $8.95
LCBO: another fresh (with spritz) young white, off-dry floral
intensity, lighter at 9% ABV. Crisp, fresh and light. Four grape
varieties used, including Loureiro. Chill well for sipping. Twist top.
14. Aveleda Vinho Verde 2011, +5322 LCBO, $8.95 plus 5 Bonus reward
miles in August (+38683 LCBO, 1500mL, $15.95 plus 10 Bonus reward miles
in August): 40% Loureiro grapes, balance trajadura and arinto – a field
blend from purchased grapes. Twist top, 10% ABV. 3.5 million bottles
sold around the world from the largest producer of Vinho verde. Spritz
from added CO2. Lemony finish, fresh fruit, off-dry complexity. Serve
15. Quinta da Aveleda Vinho Verde 2011, +89995 LCBO, $9.95: made from
their own "sustainable" estates (180 Ha), with natural CO2 and a cork
finish. Higher alcohol at 11.5% ABV. More body, more lemons, more
stoniness/minerality. Definitely a food wine for first courses rather
than a party/patio sipper. From Loureiro grapes, with 20% Alvarinho for
added tropicality. Serve chilled.

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