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Wednesday, July 3, 2013


1. Chateau des Charmes Rose Cuvee d'Andree 2012 VQA NOTL, $14.95
Vintages +333260: this fresh and vibrant rose continues to please year
over year. Here it is 100% pinot noir, dry "old style", with Ontario
cranberry and red fruit tones, coming in at 12.5% ABV. Stainless steel
of course, and twist top.7 Out of 1000 cases produced, only 300 remain
at the winery.7 It has been made the Ch de Ch house wine for this
summer. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic
2. Chateau des Charmes Cabernet-Merlot Old Vines 2010 VQA NOTL, $19.95
Vintages July 6 +222372: a substantial wine made from plots planted in
1983-1985 and 1992-1996. About a third franc, sauvignon, and merlot,
coming in at 13% ABV after 9 months in French oak. Expect a lot of
mocha and black fruit, and double-decant the bottle before serving.
Wait until winter; the extra time will help soften it. Quality/Price
rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

3. Chateau des Charmes Gamay Noir "Droit" 2010 VQA St. David's Bench,
$14.95, +582353 July Vintages: medium-bodied, suggestive of Beaujolais
cru wines such as Morgon or Moulin a Vent in its capacity for ageing.
Cherry-berry flavours dominate, but there is added spicing and even
some nuances of smoke and earth, although the wine is unoaked. Cork
finish. BBQ, cheese, or something substantial, but some tannic
structure is present to carry through a whole meal. 13% ABV.
Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

4. Chateau des Charmes Chardonnay Musque 2010 VQA NOTL +322016
July Vintages, $16.95: uses exclusively the chardonnay clone 809 (16-
year old vines), an almost in-your-face aromatic honeysuckle beauty
with some "muscat" grapey quality. Unoaked, of course, (Gold Medal at
OWA for Unoaked Chardonnays) and refreshing. 13.5%, useful for social
sipping or with lighter white meats. Twist top. Quality/Price rating is
91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

5. Ravine Vineyard Sand & Gravel Redcoat 2011 VQA Niagara, $17.95 LCBO
+260406: at a recent Ravine tasting, I thought that this bottle was the
best value for the dollar. It is 52% merlot, 46% cabernet franc, and 2%
cabernet sauvignon (for more spine). The (untasted) 2012 is expected
later this summer, with a different blend percentage. This is a savoury
wine with elements from the franc and a combination of red and black
fruits leading to a mellow finish. Twist top, 13.2% ABV. Quality/Price
rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
6. The Dreaming Tree Crush Red Blend 2010 North Coast, $14.95 to June
23/13 (then $16.95), +310391: lively 13.5% ABV, not a twist top, clever
fruity blend of 78% merlot, 13% syrah, 6% zinfandel, balance petite
sirah, malbec and cabernet sauvignon. 14 months in oak gives some smoke
and toast to the jammy raspberry tones. Aperitif wine, patio/deck for
summer. More at Quality/Price rating is 87
points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

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