Wine Picks LCBO Release April 29, 2017

Northwestern US and Rosés are the stand outs of this this release.  Bring on the patio weather and uncork a rosé!  Chardonnay and  Rosé cellar suggestions this release are a change up from the typical reds varietals.

There are a number of rosés in this release that look interesting and will be great to have around when the weather warms up for patio luncheons.  I am partial to the drier, fruity-but-not-floral flavour profile in a rosé so I have chosen a few that I think would fit that bill.


Vieni Momenti Extra Dry Sparkling Rosé (Ontario,Canada)

486357  $16.95

This bubbly is made in the Charmat method, same as Prosecco.  This one is extra dry which I know I like based of the Torresella Prosecco (Italy) #400440 @ $14.95 from the April 1 release.  The description of strawberry, cherry and baked bread with a touch of dried cranberry on the finish suggest a nice lunch wine to me.


Featherstone Rosé 2015 (Ontario, Canada)

117861  $15.95

Susan Desjardins of winecurrent.com describes this as having aromas focused on wild red berry fruit with earthier notes and roasted red pepper; fruity on the palate; clean texture, tasting of juicy red cherries and strawberry-rhubarb jam with savoury earthy notes to add character.

Carte Noire Rosé 2016 (Provence, France)

319384    $18.95

Vintage notes highlight this blend of Grenache and Cinsault as a long time customer favourite with zippy personality, ripe red berry, raspberry and Provencal garrigue tones.

Vina Esmeralda  Rosé 2016 (Spain)

490920  13.95

This is probably the most floral of all the recommendations.  Vina Esmeralda wines are always reliably approachable.  This one is from Garnacha and has notes of rose petals, red fruit and potpourri; made in  a ripe style with a touch of sweetness.  Pair with mild spices, sushi, salmon. (Asian?)


Hogue Estate Riesling 2014 (Washington, USA)

363291   $15.95

This is highlighted as a value selection with subtle depth and enhanced floral compexity (Aromatic and Flavourful) Lemon, apple, honey and a hint of mineral oil.

Elk Cove Pinot Gris 2015 (Oregon, USA)

955906  Score 91  $24.95

This will probably not be as taut and minerally as the Alsation Pinot Gris profile that I have come to know and love (!) but Paul Gregutt of Wine Enthusiast and Sara D’Amato of Wine Align are both highlighting this as a standout.  Paul Gregutt describes big, juicy flavours of luscious apple and pear backed with punchy citrus; ample acidity, lemon, grapefruit and a wash of minerality on the finish.

Momo Pinot Gris 2015 (Marlborough, New Zealand)

163535  $19.95

This one Vintage describes as bigger and bolder, more flavourful style of Pinot Gris – my kind of Pinot Gris! Fruit is hand-picked from 2 of the winery’s organic and biodynamic vineyards. Biodynamic  viticulture is intriguing- it is organic practices on steriods and involves planting and harvesting  according to phases of the moon among other fertilization and growing practices.  I have experienced tastings where the biodynamic wines won out consistently over other highly rated wines.  Scientific analysis cannot point to any specific differences in final  grape attrbutes but I firmly believe your palate picks up on something very subtle in biodynamic wines.  Do you know any farmers who will comment when eating bacon that the pig was butchering in the waxing or waning of the moon? (My Dad – it’s true!)  Now you get a feel for biodynamics….

So… biodynamic with peach, ripe apple aromas and flavours .. I’m in!

Domaine de la Denante Les Maillettes Saint-Veran 2014 (Burgundy, France) 

491738  Score 95  $26.95

According to Decanter World Wine Awards tasting notes this (chardonnay)  is a stunning wine with serious energy and persistent length; lovely expressive and concentrated fruit aromas with underpinned minerality and subtle oak; melon, stone fruits and a dash of nuttiness and honey.


Leonardo Rosso 2014  (Tuscany, Italy)

483818  Score 95  $14.95

Another Decanter World Wine Awards winner..85% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot ‘ fantastically perfumed with fresh red fruit, black cherries and rich plum jam, with wafts of petals, musk and spice rising from the glass; beguiling sweetness on the juicy palate, tamed by clever fruit selection and oaking. Rich and round on the finish.

Vidal Fleury Cotes du Rhone 2013 (Rhone, France)

263897  Score 95  $15.95

Another Decanter World Wine Awards winner…65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre; enjoy a deep nose with white pepper, graphite notes and bright red fruits; powerful palate with black cherry and dark, muscular berry fruit, crisp acid and grippy slightly salted tannins. Finish long with berries and spice.

Native Community Blend Red 2012 (Chile)

485540  Score 93   $16.95

James Suckling of jamessuckling.com describes this ‘dark and rich organic wine with blackberry, spice, licorice and granite; full body, dark fruit, very intense. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, carmenere, grenache, carignan, mourvedre, tempranillo and petit verdot.’

Underwood Pinot Noir 2015 (Oregon, USA)

421198   $22.95

Frank Wilden of theaustralian.com.au says ‘the generosity of the Oregon 15 vintage has really smiled on this wine, with a fresh lifted raspberry and strawberry bouquet… Elegant palate with a melange of crushed chilled red berries with some darker cherry notes. The flavour is persistent and fragrant in the aftertaste, with lovely tannins to close. This might well be the quaffing pinot of the year. Smashes just about any Bourgogne rouge I’ve had as well as most new-world pinot’.

Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2015 (California, USA)

719211  $23.95

This was a Gold Medal winner at the 2017 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.  Vintage notes say to expect a big, blockbuster Zin overflowing with spicy berry fruit. Pair with chipotle-rubbed steaks or pull pork.


Cellar Suggestions

Atamisque Serbal Malbec Rosé 2016

493031 $16.95

This could be a real treat.  Made from high altitude Malbec I would expect this to be a bit weightier than many rosés.  Vintage notes describe vibrant notes of strawberry and raspberry with the acidity and lift that come from high altitude  viticulture.  It can be enjoyed now or cellared 2-3 years.  Based on the ‘acidity and lift’ comment I would cellar this for a bit.

Jean-Max Roger La Grange Dimiere Sancerre Rosé 2016

490813 $25.95

Fans of this reknown producer will be interested in this.  Vintage notes advise this wine is made from Pinot Noir vines 10-40 years old. Well balanced and vibrant; intense floral tones with suggestion of wild strawberry and citrus and Sancerre’s distinct minerality. Drink now or cellar up to 3 years.  This one has enough weight to stand up to charcuterie as well as the usual salmon, ham recommendations.

Chateau Rives-Blanques Odyssée Chardonnay 2015

486225  Score 90          $23.95

Lauren Buzzeo of Wine Enthusiast calls this a world-class wine at a fraction of the cost of other excellent French examples, with soft wood accents to the ripe yellow apple, pear and spiced orange tones. Zippy acidity and a mineral streak that lend freshness to a medium-weight palate. She is suggesting you can drink it now but it will evolve through 2022.

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