RECOMMENDATIONS

In this section of GrapeSelections, I provide frequently updated list of personally reviewed, highly recommended and readily purchasable wines.
-> To see full reviews, click on the arrow/name to expand
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Highlighted wines should not be missed!!!! – these are either exceptional value or unique in the category

 

I hope this section will be of use to you, if it is, please let me know either by liking it, sharing it or posting a comment.
Cheers Dan

 

NEW – Wines from Wineries – though only available at wineries or online, these are lovely or special wines I’d like to share with you.

Jump to top …. LCBO WHITES: . Food friendly | Serious Wines for the Cellar | Gift Whites
LCBO REDS: . Food friendly | Serious Wines for the Cellar | Gift Reds …. LCBO DESSERT WINES

FROM WINERIES: . Daily Whites | Cellar Worthy Whites || Daily Reds | Cellar Worthy Reds | Dessert Wines

 

Updated September 13th, 2015 since June 4th, 2015

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LCBO WHITE WINES

Food Friendly / Easy Drinkers

The 2014 Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc, sourced from vineyards in the Stellenbosch, Paarl, Robertson and Worcester regions, has attractive aromas of lemon and gooseberry on the nose and lime, yellow apple, gooseberry and pineapple on the palate. It is a medium bodied, dry, fruity wine; with crisp acidity, subtle minerality and a medium, refreshing finish. This wine drinks well with food or on its own; drink now – 2016/17 (screw cap enclosure). My impression: NICE, 88-89 pts – recommended for its quality and value. Tasted in Jul/14.
Added Jul02/14 – Score 88-89 pts. South Africa $10.25 LCBO 340380
The 2013 Dreaming Tree Chardonnay has pleasing aromas of Bartlett pear, lees, gooseberry and wood on the nose and green/yellow apple, pear, subtle lees, vanilla and subtle oak on the palate. It is a medium bodied, dry, fruity wine; with good acidity and a medium to long, soapy finish (allow to open for 30+ min). This is a food friendly wine as well as sipping wine; drink now and for the next 3-5 years (composite cork enclosure). My impression: NICE, 88 pts – recommended mainly for its value. Tasted at LTO Chardonnay tasting Apr/15.
Added Apr15/15 – Score 88 pts. California $16.95 LCBO 364265
The 2013 Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay, 50% of which was aged in in neutral French, American and Eastern European oak for 7 months, has rich and creamy aromas of butter, vanilla, lemon and green/yellow apples on the nose as well as the palate. It is a medium bodied, dry, fruity wine; with refreshing acidity and a medium finish. It is a food friendly wine; drink now and for the next 3-5 years (cork enclosure). My impression: NICE, 89 pts – recommended for its quality. Tasted in June and again in September/15.
Added Sep13/15 – Score 89 pts. California $17.95 LCBO 175430

Cellar worthy / serious wines

Rieslings
The 2013 Cave Spring Estate Riesling has attractive aromas of limestone, yellow apple, lemon followed by subtle lees, subtle honey and alcohol on the nose and lime, yellow apple and subtle lees on the palate. It is a light to medium bodied, off-dry, fruity wine; with fresh acidity and a medium finish. It is a fresh, food friendly wine that is sweetness forward; drink now to 2018/19 (cork enclosure). My impression: NICE, 89 pts – recommended for its quality; currently on sale for $2 OFF. Tasted in Jan/15.
Added Jan20/15 – Score 89 pts. Ontario $17.95 Vintages 286377
The 2010 Dr. Hermann Erdener Treppchen Kabinett Riesling has seductive aromas of honey, petrol, slight burnt match and linden on the nose as well as gooseberry and petrol on the finish. It is a medium bodied, medium-sweet, fruity to integrated wine; with acidity that is not able to balance the body and sweetness, and a medium to long, finish. This wine is both, food friendly and a sipper; drink now to 2020 – no further cellaring potential (screw cap enclosure). My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 89 pts – recommended for its value. Tasted in Mar/15.
Added Apr06/15 – Score 89 pts. Germany $17.95 Vintages 402420
The 2012 Thirty Bench Riesling, harvested from old vines, has captivating aromas of wet stone minerality and typical Riesling notes of zest, gooseberry and oilyness (to stop short of using ‘petrol’ as a descriptor). It is a light to medium bodied, off-dry/medium-dry, fruity wine; with refreshing acidity and medium, finish. Enjoy with food or sip on its own; drink now and for the next few years (screw cap enclosure). My impression: NICE, 88-89 pts – recommended for its quality (and value if bought at the winery, since they are sold for $16.10 when 6 are bought). Brought by a friend who attended ‘Graze the Bench’ http://grapeselections.com/graze-the-bench/ (prices may have been only during the event) Tasted in Jun/14.
Added Jun11/14 – Score 88-89 pts. Ontario $18.95 Vintages 24133
Chardonnays
The 2013 Château des Charmes Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, aged in French Allier Oak barrels for 9 months together with regularly stirred lees; has creamy, mouthwatering notes of vanilla, toast, oak, pear, gooseberry and subtle lees on the nose and buttery pear, gooseberry and vanilla on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with good acidity and a medium to long, creamy finish (open for 15+ min). This is a food friendly and sipping wine – drink for the next 5+ years (cork enclosure). My impression: quite NICE, 88-89 pts – recommended for both, its quality and especially value. Tasted in Apr/15.
Added Apr06/15 – Score 89 pts. Ontario $13.95 LCBO 81653
The 2012 Keint-He Voyageur Chardonnay, made with fruit sourced from the Niagara Peninsula that was then aged in new and used French oak barrels for 12 months, has captivating aromas of roasted coffee bean, gooseberry, toast and faint notes of solvents. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with good/checked acidity and a medium to long, smooth finish. It is food friendly and sipping wine, drink now – 2020+ (cork enclosure). My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 89 pts – recommended for both, quality and value. Tasted at ‘County in the City’ event in Apr/14.
Added Jan10/15 – Score 89 pts. Ontario – PEC $16.00 Vintages 389544
The 2012 Malivoire Chardonnay, aged in French Oak for 6 months, has sweet, seductive aromas of honey melon, Golden Delicious apples, limestone, and vanilla on the nose and both yellow and green apple, vanilla and oak on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; BALANCED with fresh, yet round acidity and a medium to long finish. As the oak is subtle and not overpowering the fruit, this wine is food friendly and a great sipper; drink now and for the next 3-5 years (screw cap enclosure). My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 89-90 pts – recommended for its quality. Tasted at LTO Chardonnay tasting Apr/15.
Added Apr15/15 – Score 89-90 pts. Ontario $19.95 Vintages 573147
The 2013 Bonterra Chardonnay, sourced from Mendocino county and composed of 89% Chardonnay, 6-7% Viognier and Muscat and aged for 8 months in both French and American Oaks; has inviting aromas of toast, butter, vanilla, pecan and quince on the nose and gooseberry, pineapple and wood on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with crisp acidity and a long finish. It is a food friendly and sipping wine; drink now and for the next 5-10 years (screw cap enclosure). My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 88-89 pts – recommended for its quality. Tasted at Bonterra tasting at iYellow Wine Cave Apr/15.
Added Apr23/15 – Score 88-89 pts. California $19.95 Vintages 342436

Gifts for spouses or bosses – ‘EH’ just treat yourself

The 2011 Bachelder Niagara Chardonnay, subtly mineral, has appealing aromas of yellow apple, lemon, butter and vanilla. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with crisp acidity and a long finish. This is a food friendly and sipping wine; drink past 2020 (cork enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 91 pts – recommended its quality. Tasted at Barrels & Bonfires (i4C 2014) Jul/14.
Added Oct02/14 – Score 91 pts. Ontario $29.95 Vintages 302083

 

Jump to top …. LCBO WHITES: . Food friendly | Serious Wines for the Cellar | Gift Whites
LCBO REDS: . Food friendly | Serious Wines for the Cellar | Gift Reds …. LCBO DESSERT WINES

FROM WINERIES: . Daily Whites | Cellar Worthy Whites || Daily Reds | Cellar Worthy Reds | Dessert Wines

 

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LCBO RED WINES

Food Friendly / Easy Drinkers

The 2012 Vila Regia Reserva has appealing aromas of blackberry, black cherry and wood. It is a medium to full bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with good acidity, grippy tannins (decant for 15-30 min) and a medium finish. This is a food friendly wine that also can be sipped; drink now through 2018/20 (>4 cm cork enclosure). My impression: quite NICE, 87-88 pts – recommended for its value. Tasted in Sep/14.
Added Sep23/14 – Score 88 pts. Portugal $13.00 LCBO 613950
The 2012 Angel’s Gate Cabernet Merlot, composed of roughly 60% Cabernet Franc, 26% Sauvignon and 14% Merlot and was aged in 225L French Oak barrels for 12 months; has aromas of wood, almond, and cherry on the nose and blackberry and black cherry on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with good acidity, dusty tannins and a medium finish. This is a food friendly wine; drink now and for the next 3-5 years (cork enclosure). My impression: NICE, 88 pts – recommended for its value. Tasted at Taste Ontario 2014 Oct/14.
Added Oct11/14 – Score 88 pts. Ontario $13.95 LCBO 620096
The 2011 Chilensis Lazuli, likely composed (based on 2009 and 2010 vintages) of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Syrah and Carmenére and aged in French and American Oaks for 12-14 months, has seductive aromas of sweet wood and spice – namely pine, thyme and clove, supported by fruitful black cherry on the nose and dusty black cherry, red currant and pomegranate on the palate. It is a medium to full bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with good acidity, dusty tannins (decant for 30 to 60 min – a must!) and a medium to long finish. It is a food friendly and sipping wine; drink now or cellar till 2020 – not much further due to short cork enclosure. My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90 pts – recommended for both its quality and value – currently on bin end clearance discount of $3.20 – STOCK UP! Tasted in Jan/15.
Added Jan20/15 – Score 90+ pts. Chile $14.75 Vintages 348128
The 2010 Montecillo Crianza Rioja, aged in oak for more than one year, has appealing aromas of sour cherry, cedar and wood on the nose and cranberry, pomegranate, sour cherry, wood and light vanilla on the palate. It is a light to medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with refreshing acidity, dusty tannins (decant for 15 min) and a medium to long, clean finish. This is a food friendly wine that can be sipped alone; it has a short aging potential – 2018+ (cork enclosure). My impression: NICE, 87-88 pts – recommended for its value. Tasted in Apr/15.
Added Apr19/15 – Score 87-88 pts. Spain $14.95 LCBO 144493
The 2010 Mayor de Castilla Crianza, Ribera Del Duero, aged in oak for 12 months, has attractive aromas of pine, red currant, blueberry and blackberry on the nose and pomegranate, red currant, blueberry and dates on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine; with crisp acidity, dusty tannins (decant for 15-30 min) and a medium to long finish. It is both, food friendly and a sipping wine; drink for the next 5+ years (cork enclosure). My impression: NICE, 88-89 pts – recommended for its value. Tasted in Jan/15.
Added Apr19/15 – Score 88-89 pts. Spain $14.95 LCBO 318931
The 2012 Hardy’s Butcher’s Gold Shiraz Sangiovese has seductive aromas of black berry and black currant on the nose and red and black currants on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with forward acidity, refined tannins and a medium finish. This is a food friendly and sipping wine, drink now to 2019 (screw cap enclosure). My impression: NICE, 87 pts – recommended on quality basis – acidity and body are in harmony. Tasted at Shiraz Week at iYellow Wine Cave Feb/15.
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Previously tasted:
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The 2012 Hardys Chronicles Butchers Gold Shiraz Sangiovese, in 80%/20% proportions, has appealing aromas of stems, lees, baked raspberry and blackberry and a faint burnt match note. It is a full bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with forward acidity, refined, dusty tannins and a medium finish. Drink with food; drink now – 2018. My impression: NICE, 88 pts. Tasted at Australia Today 2014 Trade show http://grapeselections.com/australian-wine/ in Feb/14.
Added Mar24/15 – Score 87 pts. Australia $14.95 LCBO 219139
The 2012 Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Shiraz has expressive aromas of blackberry, black & red currants, together with subtle eucalyptus and graphite on the nose and blackberry with prune on the palate. It is a medium bodied, dry, fruity wine; with crisp acidity, refined tannins and a medium finish. Drink with food – now to 2019+ (screw cap enclosure). My impression: NICE, 87-88 pts – with this complexity, the wine would score higher if it wasn’t for its notable sugar level, recommended none-the-less – especially when on LCBO’s limited time offer usually once a year. Tasted at Shiraz Week at iYellow Wine Cave Feb/15.
Added Mar24/15 – Score 87-88 pts. Australia $15.95 LCBO 189415
The 2012 Château des Charmes Gamay Noir ‘Droit’ sourced from the St. David’s Bench Vineyard, has elegant aromas of lightly earthy raspberry-cherry-blackberry fruit on both the nose and palate. It is a light to medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with refreshing acidity, soft tannins and a medium, smooth finish. It is a food friendly and sipping wine – the soft tannins allow it to pair well with cured meats (sausages, prosciutto, jamon iberico), drink from now to 2018-20 (cork enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 90-91 pts – recommended for both its quality and value – do not hesitate to get several before they sell out. Tasted September/15.
Added Sep13/15 – Score 90-91 pts. Ontario $16.95 Vintages 346742
The 2011 Pirramimma Stock’s Hill GSM has appealing aromas of red currant and blackberry. It is a medium to full bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with forward, refreshing acidity, refined tannins and a medium finish. Enjoy with food or by itself; drink now – 2018+. My impression: NICE, 88-89 pts – recommended for its value (since it is discounted by the LCBO). Tasted at Australia Today 2014 Trade show in Feb/14.
Added Feb26/14 – Score 88-89 pts. Australia $17.45 LCBO 352252
The 2011 Castello Di Neive Barbaresco, one of the most affordable Italian Nebbiolos out there, has elegant aromas of red currant, dates, wood, clove and fennel on the nose and red currant, cranberry and toasted wood on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine; with forward acidity, drying tannins (decant for 30+ min) and a medium to long finish. This is a food friendly and sipping wine; best 2015/16 – 2020 (evolution potential +1) (cork enclosure). My impression: NICE, 88(+1) pts – recommended for its value. Tasted in Sep/14.
Added Sep23/14 – Score 88(+1) pts. Italy $19.90 LCBO 160143
The 2010 Pan Riserva Montepulciano d’Abruzzo has attractive aromas of wood and cherry on the nose and dried cherry, dried pomegranate, integrated vanilla and wood on the palate. It is a medium bodied, dry, integrated wine; with fresh acidity, grippy tannins (decant for 30+ min) and a medium to long finish. It is food friendly and a sipping wine; drink from now and for the next 5 or so years (cork enclosure). My impression: quite NICE, 89 pts – recommended for its quality and value (bought on bin-end sale). Tasted September/15.
Added Sep13/15 – Score 89 pts. Italy $19.95 Vintages 395004
The 2012 Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir, sourced from Awatere and Wairau Valleys in Marlborough, has intense aromas of pomegranate, toast and vanilla on the nose and pomegranate, red currant, subtle vanilla and oak on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with good acidity, refined tannins and a clean finish that is long and smooth. This is a sipping wine as well as food friendly; drink for the next 3-5 years (screw cap enclosure). My impression: NICE, 89 pts – recommended for its quality and value. Tasted at Tasted during New Zealand in a glass tasting May/14.
Awards:Silver – New Zealand International Wine Show 2013
Added Nov12/14 – Score 89 pts. New Zealand $21.95 LCBO 146548
The 2012 White Haven Pinot Noir, sourced from four vineyards in the Awatere, Wairau and Southern Valley sub-regions of Marlborough and then aged in new and old French oak barrels for 11 months, has attractive mineral notes as well as aromas of raspberry and pine on the nose and pomegranate, oak and subtle vanilla on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with crisp acidity, refined tannins and a medium to long, smooth finish. Though food friendly, sip this wine; drink 2014-2019 (screw cap enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 90 pts – recommended for its quality and value. Tasted at Tasted during New Zealand in a glass tasting May/14.
Awards:Gold Medal – China Wine and Spirits Awards 2014 & Silver Medal – New Zealand International Wine Show 2013
Added Nov12/14 – Score 90 pts. New Zealand $24.00 LCBO 245696
The 2012 Henry’s Drive H Syrah has impressive notes of black currant, blackberry, oak, vanilla and pencil lead on the nose and sour cherry, pomegranate, black cherry and oak on the palate. It is a medium to full bodied, extra-dry/dry, fruity to integrated wine; with fresh acidity, refined tannins and a long and smooth finish. This is a food friendly and sipping wine, drink now to 2020 (screw cap enclosure). My impression: quite NICE, 89+ pts – recommended for its quality (would fare better, too bad it is not extra-dry). Tasted at Shiraz Week at iYellow Wine Cave Feb/15.
Added Mar24/15 – Score 89+ pts. Australia $24.95 Vintages 402693

Cellar worthy / serious wines

The 2011 Tik Tok Pocketwatch Shiraz has elegant aromas of eucalyptus, graphite, pine, black cherry and blackberry on the nose and oak, vanilla, figs and red currant on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; BALANCED with refreshing acidity, refined tannins and a medium to long, silky finish. This is a sipping wine, drink now to 2018+ (screw cap enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 90-91 pts – recommended for both, its quality and value. Tasted at Shiraz Week at iYellow Wine Cave Feb/15.
Added Mar24/15 – Score 90-91 pts. Australia $15.95 LCBO 187187
The 2010 Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva, composed of 100% Cannonau that was aged 2 years in large Slavonian Oak barrels; has appealing aromas of old wood, dark chocolate, dried cherry and spice on the nose and dried cherry + pomegranate and wood on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated to aged wine; with good acidity, refined tannins (decant for 30+ min) and a medium to long finish. Enjoy it by itself or with food; drink now and for another 5+ years (cork enclosure). My impression: quite NICE, 89 pts – recommended for its quality and value. Tasted in Mar/15.
Added Apr06/15 – Score 89 pts. Italy $17.95 Vintages 425488
The 2011 Santa Rita Medalla Real Carmenere Gran Reserva, composed of 93% Carmenere and 7% Syrah that was sourced from Colchagua Vallue and aged in French Oak for 10 months, has seductive aromas of eucalyptus, stems, blackberry and black cherry on the nose and pomegranate and red currant on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine; with refreshing acidity, refined tannins (decant for 15 min) and a long finish. This is a food friendly and sipping wine; drink now till 2020++ (cork enclosure). My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 91 pts – recommended for both its quality and value. Tasted in Dec/14.
Added Dec09/14 – Score 90-91 pts. Chile $17.90 LCBO 392720
The 2011 Château Los Boldos Vieilles Vignes Syrah, aged in new French and American Oaks for 12 months, has appealing aromas of light lees, eucalyptus, blackberry, black cherry and smoke on the nose and prune, earthiness and light wood on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with forward acidity, subtle to refined tannins (decant for 15 min) and a medium to long finish. It is a food friendly and sipping wine; drink now till 2020+, evolution potential +1 (cork enclosure). My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90 (+1 Ep) pts – recommended for both its quality and value especially when it was for a week on sale for $15.95. Tasted in Jan/15.
Added Jan20/15 – Score 90 (Ep+1) pts. France $18.95 Vintages 371187
The 2013 Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz 2nd vintage is an unusual wine in that it is first aged in French and American oak for 15 months, after which it was further aged for 3-6 months in old Scotch whiskey barrels in order to achieve additional refinement. When tasted, this wine was accompanied with a sample of the same wine only differing in that it was NOT aged in the Scotch whiskey barrels and the differences are contrasted here.
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The 2013 Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz has seductive aromas of anise, toast, restrained wood, subtle whiskey notes and eucalyptus accompanying black cherry on the nose and subtle wood, cranberry and sour cherry on the palate. It is a medium to full bodied, dry, fruity to integrated wine; BALANCED with grippy tannins (decant for 15-30 min), good acidity and a medium to long finish. It is a food friendly and sipping wine; drink now and for the next 5+ years (screw cap enclosure). My impression: quite NICE, 89-90 pts – recommended for its quality and value.
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The 2013 Jacob’s Creek (singly) Barrel(ed) Shiraz has fullish notes of black cherry, blueberry, toast, clay character and some green notes on the nose and sour cherry and plum on the palate. It is a medium to full bodied, dry, FRUITY wine; with TIGHT tannins (decant for 60-120 min), good acidity and a MEDIUM finish. Drink it with food; drink 2017-2020+ (screw cap enclosure). My impression: not quite ready, 85 pts – notably seemingly-younger wine.
Tasted July/15.
Added Oct06/15 – Score 89-90 pts. Australia $19.95 LCBO 419986
The 2012 Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon, made up of 97% Sauvignon, 3% Syrah and less than 1% Carmenere and aged in oak for undisclosed time; has desirable aromas of toast, graphite, strawberry and black cherry on the nose and black cherry, plum, dark chocolate and stone like texture on the palate. It is a medium to full bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; BALANCED with good acidity, dusty/grippy tannins and a medium to long finish. This wine is a sipper; very enjoyable now though cellaring for few years will enhance it even further (+1-2 evolution points), drink now to 2025 (cork enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 90-91 (+1-2 Ep) pts – recommended for its quality and value – stock up half to a full case into the cellar. Tasted at Bonterra tasting at iYellow Wine Cave Apr/15.
Added Apr23/15 – Score 90-91 (+1-2Ep) pts. California $19.95 Vintages 342428
The 2010 Beronia Reserva, comprised of Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo of unknown proportions and aged in French and American Oaks for 18 months, has desirable aromas of barnyard, coconut and dark cherry on the nose and coconut, vanilla, oak, cranberry and red currant. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with excellent acidity, refined tannins (decant for 30+ min) and a long finish. This is a food friendly wine, but enjoy on its own; drink now till 2020 (long cork enclosure). My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90-91 pts – recommended for its quality and value. Tasted in Dec/14.
Added Dec09/14 – Score 90-91 pts. Spain $19.95 Vintages 50203
The 2011 Aure Wines Umoja Cabernet Franc, aged in French Oak for one year, has attractive aromas of eucalyptus, pine, black cherry and vanilla on the nose and black cherry, cherry and vanilla on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with refreshing acidity, refined tannins and a medium to long finish. This is a food friendly and sipping wine; drink till 2018 (cork enclosure). My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 88-89 pts – recommended for its quality. Tasted at Taste Ontario 2014 Oct/14.
Added Oct11/14 – Score 88-89 pts. Ontario $19.95 Vintages 367557
The 2010 Small Gully The Formula Robert’s Shiraz has intense aromas of black currants, wood and dark chocolate on the nose and blackberry and black currant on the palate. It is a full bodied, extra-dry/dry, integrated wine; with crisp acidity, refined tannins and a long finish. This is both food friendly and a sipping wine; drink now to and for the next 5+ years (screw cap enclosure). My impression: NICE, 89-90 pts – recommended for its quality and value. Tasted at Shiraz Week at iYellow Wine Cave Feb/15.
Added Mar24/15 – Score 89-90 pts. Australia $19.95 Vintages 142935
The 2009 Viña Mayor Reserva, from Ribera del Duero aged in French and American Oak barrels for 18 months, has intensely rich aromas of coconut, vanilla, toasted oak and black cherry on the nose and black cherry, blackberry, vanilla oak and spice on the palate – nose more reminiscent of wines from Rioja than Ribera del Duero. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with good acidity, refined tannins (decant for 15 min) and an extra-long, silky finish. It is food friendly in only few instances as it will overpower most foods, therefore sip it by itself; drink from now to 2025 (cork enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 91 pts – recommended for its quality and value especially that it is on sale, so STOCK UP. Tasted September/15.
Added Sep13/15 – Score 91 pts. Spain
WAS $24.95 NOW $20.75
Vintages 209155
The 2012 Igneus Barranc dels Closos, composed of 60% Garnatxa Negra (Grenache) and 40% Carinyena (Carignan) and aged in oak for 3 months; has enticing bouquet of toast, wood, milky cherry and milky raspberry on the nose and sour cherry, red currant and dominating wood on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry/dry, fruity to integrated wine; with refreshing acidity, dusty tannins (decant for 60+ min) and a medium to long, silky, finish. This wine is food friendly or a standalone a sipper; good now, best 2018++ to 2025+ evolution potential +2Ep (long cork enclosure). My impression: quite NICE now (expected BEAUTIFUL later), 90+2Ep pts – recommended for its quality and value. Tasted in Mar/15.
Added Apr06/15 – Score 90 (+2Ep) pts. Spain $22.95 Vintages 166660
The 2008 Carione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG from the general section of LCBO, has seductive notes of barnyard, lees, pomegranate, red currant, subtle cedar and oak on the nose and pomegranate and cranberry on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with tangy/tart acidity, grippy tannins (decant for 1-2 hours) and a medium to long finish. This is a food friendly wine; drink now – 2019++ (cork enclosure). My impression: quite NICE, 88 pts – recommended for its value as it is a great entry level wine into the realm of fine Brunellos (only if you can decant it). Tasted in Sep/14.
Added Sep09/14 – Score 88 pts. Italy $30.00 LCBO 266668

Gifts for spouses or bosses – ‘EH’ just treat yourself

The 2011 Jackson-Triggs Delaine Vineyard Syrah intense aromas of light apricot, forest berries, figs, lightly toasted old wood, cigar box and sweet vanilla. It is light to medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine; with good acidity, refined, dusty tannins and a long and silky finish. This is a food friendly wine, but enjoy it by itself; it will benefit from further aging – drink 2015-2020. My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90-91 pts – recommended for its quality. Tasted at Tasted Mar/14 at Cuvée en Route in Mar/14.
Added Mar19/14 – Score 91 pts. $32.95 Vintages 86553
The 2011 Jackson-Triggs Delaine Vineyard Syrah intense aromas of light apricot, forest berries, figs, lightly toasted old wood, cigar box and sweet vanilla. It is light to medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine; with good acidity, refined, dusty tannins and a long and silky finish. This is a food friendly wine, but enjoy it by itself; it will benefit from further aging – drink 2015-2020. My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90-91 pts – recommended for its quality. Tasted at Tasted Mar/14 at Cuvée en Route in Mar/14.
Added Jan10/15 – Score 91 pts. $32.95 Vintages 86553
The 2011 Wolf Blass Grey Label Shiraz, sourced from McLaren Vale and aged in a combination of French and American Oaks, has seductive aromas of succulent black currant, cigar box, oak and vanillin on the nose and blackberry, black currant and vanilla on the palate. It is medium to full bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with good acidity, refined tannins and a long and smooth finish. This is a sipping wine – enjoy by itself; drink now to 2020-25 will get better in the next 5 or so years (screw cap enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 92 pts – not recommended value-wise, but recommended for its quality (for this price, it better be good). Tasted at Shiraz Week at iYellow Wine Cave Feb/15.
Added Mar24/15 – Score 92 pts. Australia $34.95 LCBO 390872
The 2011 Rosehall Run JCR Pinot Noir, aged in French oak hogsheads for 16 months, has pleasing aromas of spice, wood, vanilla and raspberry. It is a light to medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with crisp acidity, subtle to refined tannins and a medium to long finish. It is a food friendly and sipping wine; drink now 2020 (screw cap enclosure). My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90 pts – recommended for its quality. Tasted at ‘County in the City’ event in Apr/14.
Added Apr30/14 – Score 90 pts. Ontario $39.00 Vintages 326504
The 2009 La Velona Brunello di Montalcino, aged in oak barrels for 36 months, has captivating bouquet of thyme, subtle barnyard, wood, figs and dried cherries on the nose and pomegranate, dried cherry and black olives on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with excellent acidity, refined tannins (decant for 15 min) and a long to extra-long finish. Though food friendly, enjoy this beauty by itself; drink from now to 2025 (cork enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL to DIVINE, 94 pts – recommended for its quality and value. Tasted July/15.
Added Sep13/15 – Score 94 pts. Italy $39.95 Vintages 181321
The 2010 Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Merlot, aged for 16 months in French, Russian, Hungarian and American oaks; has attractive aromas of pine, clove, leather and blackberry on the nose while the palate gets immersed with red currant, blackberry and black currant fruits interwoven with nicely integrated oak. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; BALANCED with lively acidity, refined tannins and a long and smooth finish. Enjoy this wine on its own; drink now till 2022+ (cork enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 92 pts – recommended for its quality. NOTE, the vintage at LCBO is indeed 2010, not the listed 2011. Tasted at Nov/14.
Added Dec01/14 – Score 92 pts. British Columbia $40.95 Vintages 585737
The 2010 Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Athene is composed of 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon that were co-fermented (an uncommon practice for fine wines) and then aged in French and American oaks (60/40% – 40% new) for 18 months before bottling. The wine has succulent bouquet composed of black currant, blackberry, blueberry, cedar, leather and toasted vanilla on the nose and figs, black currant, leather, vanilla and oak on the palate. It is a full bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; BALANCED with fresh acidity, dusty/refined tannins and a long and silky finish. This is a sipper that should be enjoyed uninterrupted; drink now till 2020++ (cork enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL to DIVINE, 92-93 pts – recommended for its quality. Tasted at Nov/14.
Added Dec01/14 – Score 92-93 pts. British Columbia $44.95 Vintages 371336
The 2012 Font de Michelle Châteauneuf-du-Pape has intense aromas of milky blackberry, black cherry, figs, prune and milky chocolate on the nose and milky blackberry, oak, coconut and vanilla on the palate. It is a medium to full bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine; with forward acidity, grippy tannins (decant for 30-60 min) and a long, smooth finish. Though food friendly, sip this wine by-itself; drink now to 2025+ (long cork enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 91 pts – recommended for its quality. Tasted in Apr/15.
Added Apr19/15 – Score 91 pts. France $47.95 Vintages 400358

 

Jump to top …. LCBO WHITES: . Food friendly | Serious Wines for the Cellar | Gift Whites
LCBO REDS: . Food friendly | Serious Wines for the Cellar | Gift Reds …. LCBO DESSERT WINES

FROM WINERIES: . Daily Whites | Cellar Worthy Whites || Daily Reds | Cellar Worthy Reds | Dessert Wines

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LCBO DESSERTS

The ROSÈS, SPARKLERS, SWEETS, FORTIFIEDS and BRANDYS

The 2013 Val D’oca Prosecco Brut Superiore has attractive notes of melon, lemon, yellow apple and pear. It is a medium bodied, dry, fruity wine; with fine effervescence, good acidity and a cleansing finish of medium length. This refreshing wine should be enjoyed at toasts or can complement cheese platters; drink now to 2018 (screw cap enclosure). My impression: NICE, 88-89 pts – recommended for its quality and value. Tasted in Apr/14.
Added Apr29/14 – Score 88-89 pts. Italy $16.30 LCBO 340570
The 2014 Château des Charmes Vidal Icewine has sweet aromas of pear, apricot and honey on the nose and lemon, pear and honey on the palate. It is a full bodied, sweet, fruity wine; with good acidity and a medium to long finish. It is a food friendly and sipping wine, drink now and for the next 5+ years (cork enclosure). My impression: quite NICE, 89 pts – recommended for its quality. Tasted September/15.
Added Sep13/15 – Score 89 pts. Ontario $25.95 Vintages 565861
The 2013 Château des Charmes Estate Bottled Vidal Icewine has perfumed aromas of honey, honey dew melon, cantaloupe and hawthorn on both the nose and palate. It is a full bodied, sweet, fruity wine; with good acidity and a medium, honey finish. This is a food friendly (enjoy alongside cheese) and sipping wine; drink now and for the next 7+ years (>4.5 cm cork enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 89 pts – recommended for its quality. Tasted July/14.
Added Jul28/14 – Score 89 pts. Ontario $25.95 Vintages 565861
The Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny Port has intense aromas of stewed prune, plum and roasted walnuts. It is a full bodied, sweet, integrated to aged port; with good acidity, and a medium to long finish. Drink as an aperitif; drink now – 2020. My impression: BEAUTIFUL to DIVINE, 92 pts – recommended for its quality and value. Tasted in September 2013 at iYellow’s Taylor Fladgate Port Party.
Added Dec01/13 – Score 92 pts. Portugal $34.95 Essentials 121749

 

Jump to top …. LCBO WHITES: . Food friendly | Serious Wines for the Cellar | Gift Whites
LCBO REDS: . Food friendly | Serious Wines for the Cellar | Gift Reds …. LCBO DESSERT WINES

FROM WINERIES: . Daily Whites | Cellar Worthy Whites || Daily Reds | Cellar Worthy Reds | Dessert Wines

 

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WINERIES – WHITE WINES

Daily Whites

 

Cellar Worthy Whites

 

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WINERIES – RED WINES

Daily Reds

 

Cellar Worthy Reds

The 2012 Pelee Island Winery Vinedresser, made by Martin Janz with 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot that was aged in French and Hungarian Oak for 16 months, has desirable aromas of forest floor, wood, pine, cherry and pomegranate on the nose and wood, cranberry and pomegranate on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with refreshing acidity, grippy tannins and a medium to long finish. Though the body and acidity are balanced, the tannins are still quite tight; drink from 2017 to 2022 (Evolution potential of +1) (cork enclosure). My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90 (Ep+1) pts – recommended for its quality and value. Tasted at Cuvée 2015 Feb/15.
Added Mar16/15 – Score 90 (Ep+1) pts. Ontario $19.95 Pelee Island Winery
The 2012 Malivoire Albert’s Honour Old Vines Foch, aged in American Oak barrels for 10 months, has concentrated aromas of blackberry, forest berries and soft juniper on the nose and plum and subtle vanilla + coconut on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry/dry, fruity wine; with forward acidity, subtle tannins (decant for 30 min) and a medium finish. It is a food friendly and sipping wine; enjoy now to 2018+ (composite cork enclosure). My impression: NICE, 88-89 pts – recommended for its quality. Tasted in Jan/00.
Added Apr19/15 – Score 88-89 pts. Ontario $24.95 Malivoire Wine Company
The 2012 Colaneri Estate Winery Insieme was crafted by Andrzej Lipinski and is composed of 31% each – Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, and 14% each – Merlot and Syrah that were processed in accordance with Appassimento style prior to fermentation and subsequently aged in French Oak for 20 months. This wine has a captivating nose of cigar box, cedar, red currant and bilberry on the nose and cranberry, red currant, vanilla, and oak on the palate. It is a medium to full bodied, extra-dry/dry, fruity to integrated wine; with fresh acidity, still tight tannins and a long finish. Though food friendly, sip this wine by itself; best 2016/17 – 2022 – with the tannins settling a bit, the wine has evolution potential of +1 or 2 pts (cork enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 90 (Ep+1) pts – recommended for its quality. Tasted at Cuvée 2015 Feb/15.
Added Mar16/15 – Score 90 (Ep+1) pts. Ontario $34.95 Colaneri Estate Winery
The 2010 Megalomaniac Grounded Reserve Merlot, made by Sue-Ann Staff with 100% Merlot that was aged in new cigar-shaped barrels for 2 years; has intense aromas of pine, wood, and cherry on the nose and wood, dates, cranberry and red currant on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine; BALANCED with refreshing acidity, refined tannins and a long finish. Though food friendly, one may as well simply enjoy it on its own; drink now to 2020+ (cork enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 91 pts – recommended for its quality. Tasted at Cuvée 2015 Feb/15.
Added Mar16/15 – Score 91 pts. Ontario $44.95
Megalomaniac/John Howard Cellars of Distinction
The 2010 Two Sisters Vineyards Cabernet Franc was harvested from 3 year old vines that were cropped notably to decrease yields and then aged in French Oak for 18 months after fermentation – crafted by winemaker Adam Pearce. The wine has expressive aromas of toast, thyme, cedar, eucalyptus, stems, pepper and black cherry on the nose and cedar, wood, raspberry, pomegranate and red currant on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; BALANCED with crisp acidity, refined tannins and a medium to long finish. Enjoy on its own, but if you must, it will pair well with food; drink now to 2020+ (cork enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 92 pts – recommended for its quality. Tasted at Cuvée 2015 Feb/15.
Added Mar16/15 – Score 92 pts. Ontario $48.00 Two Sisters Vineyards
The 2012 The Foreign Affair Winery Petit Verdot crafted by Barclay Robinson such that 14.5% of the grapes were dried in the appassimento style and the wine was then aged in French, Hungarian, and American oak barrels for 18 months. The wine has a tempting bouquet of oak, vanilla, coconut, blackberry and black cherry on the nose and vanilla, oak, figs, blackberry and black cherry on the palate. It is a medium to full bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine; BALANCED with crisp acidity, refined tannins and a long and inky finish. Despite its food friendly acidity, this wine is a sipper; approachable now, but best from 2017 to 2020+ (cork enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 91-92 pts – recommended for its quality. Tasted at Cuvée 2015 Feb/15.
Added Mar16/15 – Score 91-92 pts. Ontario $49.95 The Foreign Affair Winery
The 2012 Rennie Estate Winery G Assemblage, crafted by Malivoire’s Shiraz Mottiar from the Bordeaux varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot that were dried in accordance to the Appassimento style before fermentation after which it was then barrel aged for 18 months prior to bottling. This young wine has a succulent bouquet composed of oak, vanillin, pencil lead, black cherry and blackberry on the nose and vanilla, black cherry and blackberry on the palate. It is a dense/full bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine, BALANCED with good acidity, grippy tannins and a long and smooth finish. Enjoy this wine with a like-minded companion on-its-own, as it would be a waste to detract from it with food; though excellent now, this wine has a cellaring potential due to its full body and abundant tannins leading to a slow and gradual acquirement of tertiary aromas (evolution potential +2) – best 2017/18 to 2025+ (cork enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL to DIVINE, 93+ (Ep+2) pts – recommended for its quality and value – this beauty can compete with similarly priced Italian Amarones, despite being made with completely different varietals that make its tannic structure easily distinguishable. Tasted at Cuvée 2015 Feb/15.
Added Mar16/15 – Score 92-93 (Ep+2) pts. Ontario $55.00 Rennie Estate Winery

 

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WINERIES – DESERTS

The ROSÈS, SPARKLERS, ICEWINES, FORTIFIEDS and BRANDYS

 

Jump to top …. LCBO WHITES: . Food friendly | Serious Wines for the Cellar | Gift Whites
LCBO REDS: . Food friendly | Serious Wines for the Cellar | Gift Reds …. LCBO DESSERT WINES

FROM WINERIES: . Daily Whites | Cellar Worthy Whites || Daily Reds | Cellar Worthy Reds | Dessert Wines

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Previously recommended wines that are no longer available at the LCBO can be found
here

 

 

17 thoughts on “RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Hi Dan,

    Just want to say I check out your site every month. I’m partial to heavier Italian wines and you’ve had some good recommendations. I really enjoyed the 2007 Banfi Brunello, though, it’s far above my typical price point ($20, +/-$5). Anyway, just want to say I like the site and the ratings framework you use. Keep up the good work.

    • Hi Steve
      I really appreciate any feedback positive or negative, because it helps me improve the site or gain reassurance that I am on the right track – so thank you for your comment and support.

      In about a week, I will have quite few Italian Brunellos and Ontarian added to this page, as I’ve just attended two great events.
      cheers
      Dan

  2. Hi Dan
    Not sure if all LCBO with stock have but some have the 2010 Chateau Des Charmes Equuleus marked down 30% to $28.
    I haven’t yet checked out your entire site yet but have come across many of your reviews and recommendations from Winealign.
    Matt

    • Hi Matt
      Thanks for the update, I checked the LCBO and the price is still $40, could you please let me know which LCBO has the discount? That is strange.
      Dan

  3. Hi Dan,

    Great call on the Château Des Charmes Chardonnay Musqué 2010. I bought a couple bottles after I saw your endorsement and found it to be a lovely, medium bodied, and accessible Chardonnay without all the heavy oak, at a really good price point, that paired well with my dinner of chicken thighs and greens. It definitely drinks above its price. Thanks for the great call. Happy summer, er…what’s left of it.

    Thx, Perry

    • Hi Perry
      Thank you for your comment, I am glad that you enjoyed one of my recommendations. Personally, I enjoy more oak influenced Chardonnays, but occasionally I will favourite fragrant, unoaked one. This one I particularly enjoyed, though I had it without food. Your pairing seems like a great match, I can also envision this excelling with bit of a salt – say salty nachos, sour cream and guacamole.
      Salute.
      Dan

  4. Just had the Ghost Pines 2010 Chardonnay – Lovely wine. Paired very nicely with my dinner. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Hi Konstantine Men, thank you for your comment. As my layout is organized, I have wines organized alphabetically in the wineries section; if sold at LCBO, then in a sub-category and then sorted based on price. Technically, the top of the list includes wines (now just one) that can be purchased on consignment, but since wines from Chateau Des Charmes can be bought within the winery, my recommended wines will only be in the Winery or LCBO sections. :-). Once I have more wines in the Winery section, I will move them to a different page. Cheers. Dan

  5. Suggestion..

    I was wondering.. If for those people, like me who don’t drink wine often or know much about it.. If you could add a top ten page? for quick options??

    Top TENs for:
    – Light and Fruity
    – With a Steak & Potatoe Dinner
    – $14 or Less / and other price brackets?
    etc.
    Just a quick area where you make quick & easy suggestions of your favorites for quick, occasional wine buyers, to make a safe choice at the LCBO

    • Hi Bonnie T
      Thank you for your suggestions. I have done some changes – table format that is more easy to glance over and I will do some more changes soon. Keep on visiting
      Sincerely Dan

      • Hi Dan!
        The new format is AWESOME!
        Makes it very easy to choose great wines to suit every occasion! Takes all the guesswork out and helps a person feel confident in making the right choice – -at the right price!
        Great work!!
        🙂 Bonnie

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