680 NEWS wine reviews, March 30–April 1, 2018

Monterra Fleurieu Peninsula Nero d’Avola 2016
I never expected to find Sicily’s premier red grape growing in South Africa, but there you go. Monterra Nero d’Avola 2016 comes from South Africa’s Fleurieu Peninsula. Deep purple-ruby in colour, it has a spicy nose of black plums and new leather with a lavender note. Medium-bodied and dry, it’s fleshy but elegant and well-balanced with a caressing mouth-feel. It costs $18.95 at Vintages outlets and is a real find. Match it with red meat dishes. That’s Monterra Fleurieu Peninsula Nero d’Avola 2016 from South Africa. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($18.95, Vintages #534743) (91)

Bouchon Block Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Here’s a worthy Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile for your dinner table: J. Bouchon Block Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. Just released at Vintages outlets for $19.95, this flavourful wine is dense purple in colour with a cedary, spicy nose of plum and blackcurrant with vanilla oak top notes. Medium-bodied and dry, blackcurrant flavours fill the mouth and linger for a long time. Just the wine for roast lamb. That’s J. Bouchon Block Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 from Chile’s Maule Valley. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($19.95, Vintages #546481) (89)

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Wines of the Week for March 29, 2018

Three wines to be released in Vintages outlets on Saturday, March 31st.

Secreto de Viu Manent Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Casablanca Valley, Chile)
$14.95 (Vintages #540823)
Very pale in colour with a nose of green peppers and elderberries; light to medium-bodied, crisply dry, elegant, green plum, lemon and gooseberry flavours. (89)
Food match: seafood; goat’s cheese.

Falesco Poggio dei Gelsi 2016 (Lazio)
($16.95, Vintages #541490)
Remember the old Est! Est!! Est!!! ? Well, here it is updated with its own DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta). Light straw in colour; minerally, apple nose with a light floral note; light to medium-bodied, nicely balanced lemon and green apple flavours. Good length. (89)
Food match: grilled sardines; oysters

Il Feuduccio Fonte Venna Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2014 (Abruzzo, Italy)
$16.95 (Vintages #541474)
Dense purple-ruby in colour; cedary, spicy, black plum nose; medium-bodied, dry, fruity, well-balanced with a red plum flavour lifted with oak spice. (89)
Food match: pizza; hamburgers

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 691: Cuvée 2018

Regular readers of my diary will have noticed a hiatus in my week-by-week filing. Since moving to St. Catharines – away from the Big Smoke Toronto – my routine has become somewhat repetitive and lacking of interest to anyone but myself. So, I have decided to write only when I have something interesting to communicate.

Friday, March 23rd: This evening is Cuvée, the 30th annual celebration of Ontario wine. I presented my award (for the individual or institution that has most enhanced the reputation of the Ontario Wine industry) to Sue Ann Staff – along with the traditional engraved decanter. Donald Ziraldo present the Cuvée Winemaker of the Year Award to Angelo Pavan of Cave Spring. 800 people attended the event, which was the best yet in terms of the wine and food offered. Discovered Fogolar Cabernet Franc 2015, a virtual winery product made by Marc Pistor at Di Profio – an impressive debut. Continue reading

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680 NEWS wine reviews, March 23–25, 2018

Aniello 006 Riverside Estate Pinot Noir 2016
Pinot Noir has been called “the heartbreak grape.” And with good reason.  It’s like the little girl with the curl because when it’s good, it’s very, very good, but when it’s bad it’s horrid. Well, here’s a very, very good version from Argentina at a very good price: Aniello 006 Riverside Estate Pinot Noir 2016. Cherry red in colour, it has a spicy, earthy nose of rose petals and raspberry candy. Medium-bodied and dry, the flavours of sweet raspberry and pomegranate fill the mouth. A beautifully balanced wine with a lovely mouth-feel. It costs $17.95 at Vintages outlets. Serve it with chicken or veal. That’s Aniello 006 Riverside Estate Pinot Noir 2016 from Argentina. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($17.95, Vintages #542092) (89)

Castelo do Mar Albariño 2016
Fed up with Chardonnay? Bored with Sauvignon Blanc? Try this Albariño from north-western Spain. Currently at Vintages is Castelo do Mar Albariño 2016, a deliciously crisp, dry white wine that sells for $17.95 a bottle. Bright straw in colour, minerally, lemony notes rise from the glass at first sniff. It’s medium-bodied, dry with a floral, peachy flavour and a lively citrus finish. A versatile wine for fish and seafood. That’s Castelo do Mar Albariño 2016 from Spain. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($17.95, Vintages #488734) (89)

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Wines of the Week for March 22, 2018

Rabl Kittmansberg Grüner Veltiner 2016, Kamptal
($16.95, Vintages #346007)
Austria’s signature grape Grüner Veltiner produces a wonderfully versatile white wine. In its dry form, it has a nose of green peach and lemon with a note of white pepper and a thread of minerality. Straw-coloured with a hint of lime, this medium-bodied, dry wine finishes on a note of green apples. (90)
Food match: fish dishes; soft cheeses

Snapper Rock Marlborough Pinot Gris 2016, Marlborough
($16.95, Vintages #536185)
When it comes to white wines New Zealand is not only Sauvignon Blanc. This Pinot Gris is light straw in colour, offering a peach pit nose with lemon and mineral notes. Medium-bodied and dry, imagine a dish of sliced peaches and apples – that’s the flavour you experience. (89)
Food match: roast chicken; seafood pasta

Dandelion Vineyards Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz 2016, Barossa Valley
($21.95, Vintages #167189)
Dense purple in colour, this hefty red exudes a spicy, smoky, savoury bouquet of blackberries and black cherries. It’s full-bodied, fruit-driven and chewy. (89)
Food match: pepper steak or rich casseroles.

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 690: Grandes Pagos de España

Sunday, March 4th: Arrived in Madrid having avoided having an Air Canada dinner by eating at Susur Lee’s restaurant in the airport. Although I had a middle seat sandwiched among three women, luckily we were in the bulkhead which meant more leg room. Thanks to a sleeping pill, I slept for four hours.

A taxi at Madrid airport took me to the Lagasca Hotel. Slept for a couple of hours then went for a walk. In the main square I took a photo of folded umbrellas that looked like nuns in conversation.

Found a great little wine bar called Ricon de Goya but it was closed. So settled for O’Caldina, where everything is monographed with their logo, including the tablecloths, plates, napkins and even the salt shakers.

Continue reading

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680 NEWS wine reviews – March 16–18, 2018

Bastide Milaflors Syrah Vieilles Vignes Grenache 2015
If you want to impress the wine lover in your life, pick up a bottle of Bastide Miraflors Syrah Vieilles Vignes Grenache 2015 from France’s Midi region. It’s available at Vintages for $19.95 a bottle. Dense purple in colour, its nose is a cornucopia of blackcurrant, plum and cherry aromas. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the palate with cedary, black fruit flavours with notes of smoked meat and dark chocolate. This wine cries out for pepper steak. That’s Bastide Milaflors Syrah Vieilles Vignes Grenache 2015 from France at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($19.95, Vintages #320499) (89)

Boutari Moschofilero 2016
I’m a great fan of Greek white wines, especially the aromatic Moschofilero grape. Currently on the LCBO’s general list is Boutari Moschofilero 2016. Light straw in colour, this fragrant wine has a bouquet of orange blossom and musk melon. Medium-light in body, it presents a dry flavour of green melon with tangy, lemony acidity which gives the wine a long, lingering finish. It costs $12.95 a bottle and makes a great aperitif wine before dinner. Or serve it with trout or sea bass. That’s Boutari Moschofilero 2016 from Greece on the LCBO’s general list. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($12.95, LCBO #172387) (89)

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