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Monday, May 30, 2016


1.Maison Saint Aix AIX Rose 2015 Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, +451906, $21.95 Vintages: Made from the promising grapes of grenache, cinsault, syrah and counoise. Expect fresh orchard fruit tones with a soft finish, best as a sipper or with salads and simple pan- fried or grilled fish. Great colour. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2.Chateau des Charmes Gamay Noir 2014 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, $13.95, +57349 LCBO: medium-bodied, suggestive of Beaujolais (same grape variety). Easy drinking of (sour) cherry-berry flavours with occasional nuances of spices. No oaking. Best for patios, parties, BBQ. Ready now, but with some tannic structure to carry through a whole meal. 12.7% ABV, cork closure. A very popular wine (about 2500 cases made). Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
3.Chateau des Charmes Pinot Noir Old Vines 2011 VQA NOTL, +256834, $18.95: A re-order from Vintages (112 cases)– quite a powerful wine (the 2007 was a Cuvee winner), lots of forest floor (mushrooms, earth) to complement the red fruit. Could still use some time. 13% ABV. Considering its age, extremely good value. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
4.La Crema Chardonnay Monterey 2014, +158683 Vintages, $26.95: this is a Vintages re-order of the Monterey appellation Chardonnay from La Crema, but for the later 2014 harvest. Last June the release in Ontario was at the same price, when the CAD was better. So it becomes more of a bargain now. It is pretty much a cool climate chardonnay and fills a niche in the California Chardonnay landscape. It's angularity stresses brightness in the orchard fruit, with a nice lemony finish. Most of it was aged for 5 months in primarily French oak (15% new), the balance in stainless; the 13.5% ABV is down a bit from the 2013. Nuances of light oaking show with a reduced vanilla feel but still with a full body. Good price. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
5.Henry of Pelham Old Vines Baco Noir 2014 VQA Ontario, +459966, $19.95 LCBO General List: low yielding grapes come from 1984 and later plantings in Short Hills Bench area. As with their previous baco noirs, HOP has maintained both the rich jammy black currant spicy character and the low price – under $20. Both new and older (one/two year old) US barrels are used for 14 months aging. It is still needs another year or so for proper aging, but with decanting it can be enjoyed now. 13.5% ABV. One of the top bacos at the LCBO. Works best with pronounced meats such as pork, lamb, farmed or wild game – all either braised or grilled. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
6.Puklus Pinceszet Tokaji Dry Furmint 2014 Hungary, +445718 Vintages, $16.95: a solid Hungarian wine, the basis for Tokaij, but here done up in a dry style. The apricot tones still shine through, although muted without the sugar. A good wine for summer quaffing, very pleasant and thoroughly enjoyable. Try with a fish salad. 12% ABV, cork finish. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.


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