French Cross Rosé

Date November 19, 2017 | Chuck | Canada & Rosé

 
 
At a Glance
Taste strawberry, peach, tea
Smell strawberry apricot, tea
Food american
Sweetness medium sweet
Price $11.45
LCBO# 68551
Score        

Ironstone Merlot 2013

Date May 16, 2017 | Chuck | Merlot & Red Wine & USA

Extra dry, slight alcohol notes on the finish, slightly off balance
 
At a Glance
Taste blackberry, light cedar, smoke
Smell blackberry, dark cherry, alcohol
Food american
Sweetness extra dry
Price $17.25
LCBO#  
Score        

Growers Honeycrisp Apple Cider

Date November 1, 2016 | Chuck | Cider

If you like sweet ciders, white zinfandel wine or coolers this is your cider.
Has more ingredients than any cider I've seen.
At a Glance
Taste green apple jolly rancher
Smell green apple jolly rancher
Food sandwiches
Sweetness sweet
Price $2.95
LCBO# 374546
Score        

Ernest Dry Cider

Date October 21, 2016 | Chuck | Cider

It's dry but certainly not extra dry.  Sugar is added so homebrewers would call this a 'Turbo Cider'
Honey is listed as an ingredient but isn't very noticeable as it ferments out very well.
At a Glance
Taste a tart golden delicious
Smell courtland, empire, light lemon
Food light lunch
Sweetness dry
Price $3.25
LCBO# 466292
Score     

Thornbury Cider

Date July 13, 2016 | Chuck | Cider

Drier than Brickworks and Pommies
Leaves a nice tart finish at the back corners of your mouth.
At a Glance
Taste mcintosh, empire, floral
Smell a tart golden delicious
Food salads
Sweetness off dry
Price $3.00
LCBO# 333583
Score     

Brickworks Ciderhouse Queen Street 501

Date July 8, 2016 | Chuck | Cider

A blend of 8 Ontario apples.  Tastes great but I'm not sure I believe the ingredient list of 100% apples.  C'mon...not even a stabilizer for an off-dry cider?  I won't believe it unless they list their process. 
 
At a Glance
Taste green apple, golden apple, light lemon
Smell green apple, golden apple, light lemon
Food salads
Sweetness medium sweet
Price $3.00
LCBO# 413807
Score     

Pommies Cider

Date July 7, 2016 | Chuck | Cider

Made from 100% ontario heritage apples, this cider is smooth and easy to drink
 
At a Glance
Taste golden apples, lemon
Smell golden apples, citrus, lemon
Food salads
Sweetness medium sweet
Price $3.10
LCBO# 453118
Score     

RJ Spagnols - La Batalla RQ 2016

Date April 16, 2016 | Chuck | Homebrew & Wine

 

Inside the box ($140 CDN):
  • bag of grape juice (16 liters - 4.23 gallons)
  • 1 bag of dried grape skins (9 oz)
  • 1.5 oz american heavy toast (7g per finished gallon) 
  • bentonite
  • potassium metabisulfite
  • potassium sorbate (not used)
  • chitosan (~50mL)
  • kieselsol (~10mL)
  • yeast (Lalvin EC-1118 - substituted)
About the Wine: 

Spainish Tempranillo, Grenache & Cabernet Sauvignon

"This ruby-colored blend of Spainish Tempranillo, Grenache & Cabernet Sauvignon reflects the brightly colored red wines enjoyed throughout this cheerful festival. Rich on the nose and palate, it features black currant, raspberry, sweet spices and dried fruit."  From the RJ Spagnols RQ2016 Handout

 

 

Pitch Date: April 16, 2016

  • 6 gallons
  • OG: 1.094
  • Ambient temperature: 67.5 F
Changes made:
  • Fermented in my 8.5 gallon stainless steel brew kettle with a bazooka screen and placed on lid.
  • Added campden to the 7 liters of water added.
  • Added 1 tsp of wine tannin powder
  • Yeast #1: 1 rehydrated packet of Lalvin Bourgovin RC-212
  • Yeast #2: 1/2 non-rehydrated packet of Lalvin BM 4x4
  • Yeast #3: 1/2 non-rehydrated packet of Lalvin EC-1118
48 hours post pitch
  • Wine temperature 2 days post pitch: 78.5 F  (+11.0 F)
  • 1 tsp wyeast beer/wine nutrient for a double dose
  • 1/2 tsp DAP for a full dose
  • Did not detect much (if any) Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) this time around.  I wonder if the extra oxygen is helping the fermentation since the pot lid doesn't seal (unlike a carboy under airlock)
 
Day 7
  • SG: 0.095
  • Racked to a 6 gal carboy a on day 10
 
Day 14 - April 30, 2016
  • Rack to 6 gallon carboy
  • -Degas-
  • Add potassium metabisulfite package
  • -Stir-
  • Add kieselsol
  • -Stir 1 minute-
  • Add chitosan
  • -Stir & Airlock-
 
Bulk Aging Timeline

4 Months - Aug 15, 2016 - Add 1/4 tsp potassium metabisulfite to 5 gallon carboy.

8 Months - Dec 22, 2016 - Add 1/4 tsp potassium metabisulfite & bottled.  Nothing added.  Solid oak and tannins.

 

Final Gravity Reading

0.994 SG

 
1 Year Tasting Notes
April 15, 2017

Coming Soon!

  

 

Gerard Bertrand Grand Terroir Les Aspres 2011

Date January 25, 2016 | Chuck | Bordeaux & France & Red Wine

Drink in 1-2 yrs.  Structured but needs time.  Slight peppercorn on the finish.  Full body and extra dry.
Blend of: Syrah, Carignan, Mourvedre
At a Glance
Taste blueberry, mulberry, vanilla
Smell mulberry, oak, black tea
Food pot roast
Sweetness extra dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 177485
Score     

Sandbanks Shoreline White 2013

Date January 6, 2016 | Chuck | Canada & Chardonnay & Pinot Grigio & White Blend

Not a bad wine overall but could use a little more structure for the price.  Seems flat and uninteresting which could be attributed to the fact that it is a blended wine.
 
At a Glance
Taste lemon, mineral, floral
Smell lemon, lime, peach
Food sipper
Sweetness dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 177485
Score     

Sandbanks Cabernet Franc 2014

Date December 28, 2015 | Chuck | Cabernet Franc & Canada & Red Wine

Light-medium body, very low tannins, medium acidity.  Very reminiscent of pinot noir.  No vegetative notes from the franc.  
 
At a Glance
Taste strawberry, raspberry, light oak vanilla
Smell raspberry, strawberry, light oak vanilla
Food pot roast
Sweetness dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 177485
Score     

Farnese Sangiovese IGT 2014

Date December 14, 2015 | Chuck | Italy & Red Wine & Sangiovese

The house red lives. I've been recommending this wine for 5 years now and will continue to do so. This is the bottle that I always keep stock of because not only is it an amazing wine for $7.95 but it's a crowd pleaser that's very versatile.
This also comes in a large format bottle (1.5L)
Alcohol/Vol: 12.5%
At a Glance
Taste black cherry, tobacco, leather
Smell black cherry, tobacco, oak
Food lasagna
Sweetness dry
Price $7.95
LCBO# 512327
Score

Château Saint-Roch Chimères 2013

Date November 26, 2015 | Chuck | France & Red Blend & Red Wine

This wine will benefit from an hour in the decanter.  I find most french wines do.  This wine scored a 93 but it's a 3.5 on our scale since it JUST snuck in under our $20 limit.  A nice bottle but we can do a bit better for the price.
60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Carignan
At a Glance
Taste black cherry, mulberry, spice
Smell black cherry, plum, medium french oak
Food pot roast
Sweetness dry
Price $19.95
LCBO# 119354
Score     

RJ Spagnols Winery Series Super Tuscan 2015

Date November 21, 2015 | Chuck | Homebrew & Wine

Inside the box ($150 CDN):
  • bag of grape juice (16 litres)
  • 2 crushed grape pack (2 litres total)
  • 3.4 oz medium toast oak chips (16g/gallon) 
  • (RJS says 1 bag is american and the other french)
  • bentonite (30 grams)
  • potassium metabisulfite (4.8 grams)
  • 2x potassium sorbate (not used)
  • pectinase (1.5 grams)
  • chitosan (~50mL)
  • kieselsol (~10mL)
  • yeast (Lalvin EC-1118 - substituted BM 4x4)

 

Next time I'll ferment in a bucket with the skins/oak chips in a muslin bag.  Or posibly use two carboys and combine the results into a single topped up 5 gallon (19L) carboy.

 

Pitch Date: November 21, 2015

Lalvin BM 4x4

  • 6 gallons
  • OG: 1.111 - measured after stirring in grape pack
  • Added 1 tsp wyeast beer/wine nutrient for a double dose
  • Added 2 tsp powdered wine tannin (made from chestnut tree).
Day 2 (48h post pitch)
  • Light Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) detected
  • Added 1/2 tsp wyeast beer/wine nutrient for a single dose
  • 1/4 tsp DAP for a half dose
Day 3
  • Light Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) detected
  • Added 1/4 tsp wyeast beer/wine nutrient for a quarter dose
  • 1/8 tsp DAP for a quarter dose
Day 4
  • Light Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) detected
  • Added 1/4 tsp wyeast beer/wine nutrient for a quarter dose
  • 1/8 tsp DAP for a quarter dose (was really -just- over 1/8th tsp)

No further Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) present

Day 18
Added pectinase, kieselsol, chitosan into the primary fermenter.  Unorthodox but the final step will be the last before a 6-9 month bulk age.
Day 22

Racked, degassed (45 mins, drill stir), kmeta added.  

Rack 3 gallons to bulk age (carboy topped is around 3.5).  

Rack 1 gallon to a jug with 6g med french cubes and 6g french light(untoasted) cubes.

Commence long term bulk aging. 

Tasting Notes (at 3 week racking):

-Aroma: sour cherry, plum, leather

-Taste: plum, med oak, black cherry

Full body, med to med+ tannins.  Quite promising.

 

Bulk Aging Timeline

6 Months - Add 1/8 tsp potassium metabisulfite to 3 gallon carboy.

12 Months - Add 1/8 tsp potassium metabisulfite & bottled.  Nothing added.

 

Final Gravity Reading

0.993 SG

 

15 Month Tasting Notes
March 1 2017

 

Coming Soon!

Tasting Notes:

-Aroma: ___

-Taste: ___

 

 

Château Godard Bellevue 2011

Date November 18, 2015 | Chuck | Bordeaux & France & Red Wine

Rich and concentrated dark berry flavours with a very dry and oak/spice finish.  I'd suggest holding this bottle for a year or two before opening late 2016 or 2017.
Right bank.  50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc
At a Glance
Taste blackberry, plum, spice
Smell plum, spice, oak
Food cheese
Sweetness extra dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 426049
Score     

Winexpert Lodi Old Vines Zinfandel 2015

Date October 24, 2015 | Chuck | Homebrew & Wine

I'll be reviewing and comparing three different Lalvin yeasts using this kit.  The goal is to compare the taste and aromatic differences between Lalvin BM 4x4 vs RC-212 vs EC-1118.  Fermentation Temperature: 70F

 

Inside the box ($140 CDN):
  • bag of grape juice (16 litres)
  • crushed grape pack (2 litres)
  • oak cubes (french medium - 60 grams)
  • bentonite (15 grams)
  • potassium metabisulfite (4 grams)
  • potassium sorbate (5.5 grams - not used)
  • chitosan (150mL x2)
  • yeast (Lalvin EC-1118)

 

Pitch Date: October 24, 2015

Lalvin BM 4x4

Lalvin RC-212

Lalvin EC-1118

  • 4.5 gallons
  • OG: 1.084 - likely higher from grape pack
  • .75 gallons
  • .75 gallons
Day 2
  • Added 1/2 tsp wyeast beer nutrient.  Full Dose
  • Light Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) detected
  • Added 1/8 tsp wyeast beer nutrient
  • Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) detected
  • Added 1/8 tsp wyeast beer nutrient
  • Light Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) detected
Day 3
  • Added 1 tsp wyeast beer nutrient.  Double Dose
  • Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) detected
 -  -
Day 4
  • Added 1/4 tsp wyeast beer nutrient. (Half Dose)
  • Reduced Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) detected
 -
  •  Most CO2 by far, wine is very fizzy compared to the other 2 yeasts.
Day 8
Move to Secondary & Taste Test

Aroma:

  • blueberry
  • blackberry
  • plum jam

Flavours:

  • dark plum
  • ripe dark berries
  • light sulfur (should off gas)
  • light heat

Notes:

  • #1 pick

 

Aroma:

  • dark cherry
  • blueberry


Flavours:

  • non-descript dark red berry
  • light sulfur (should off gas)

Notes:

  • #2 pick
  • thinner body than BM 4x4
  • would use in a pinot noir or lighter red wine

Aroma:

  • dark cherry
  • mild blackberry


Flavours:

  • mild strawberry
  • red berries

 

 


Notes:

  • #3 pick
  • least aromatic
  • lightest body
Day 14
Degas / Sulphite / Fine
Day 21
  • Bottle an unoaked sample 
  • Rack to 3 gallon carboy
  • add 35g oak cubes
  • add 1/8 tsp k-meta
  •  Bottle an unoaked sample
  •  Bottle an unoaked sample

 

oak the leftover gallon with 10g medium french oak cubes

 

This was racked off the oak after 3 weeks into a fresh 3g carboy for the rest of the bulk age.  (Should have left them in)

 

combine leftover rc-212 with the ec-1118.  
(should be about a gallon) 

 

French Oak Cubes (rate 10g/gallon):

2 grams light
3 grams medium
5 grams heavy
Tasting Notes for the un-oaked bottles 1 month after bottling
This yeast certainly takes over and imposes it's own flabour profile.  Currently overwhelming and I wouldn't use it again.

Preferred the rc-212 & ec-1118 blend



Bulk Aging Timeline

4 Months - Feb 24, 2016 - Add 1/8 tsp kmeta to 3 gallon carboy.

7 Months - May 24, 2016 - Add 1/8 tsp kmeta to 3 gallon carboy.

8 Months - June 24, 2016 - Bottled and added 1/8 tsp kmeta. (needed the carboy, should have really bottled at last addition)

12 Months - Oct 24, 2016 - Drink.


Tasting Notes from the BM4x4:

-Aroma: berry, oak

-Taste: berry, cherry, concentrate juice

Personal Rating: 2/5

Château de Lisennes Cuvée Tradition 2010

Date October 21, 2015 | Chuck | Bordeaux & France & Red Wine

Decant the bottle or pour a glass and let it breathe for 30 minutes. Meduim+ body with an extra dry finish. Refined tannins and oak. Quite good and very French!
Right bank.  Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc
At a Glance
Taste red berry, french oak, raspberry
Smell bright cherry, pomegranate, french oak
Food hard cheese
Sweetness extra dry
Price $16.95
LCBO# 426171
Score     

Beronia Tempranillo Rioja 2012

Date October 14, 2015 | Chuck | Red Wine & Spain & Tempranillo

I can say with confidence that Spain is going to be 2016's go-to for value wines.  It's not perfect in terms of acidity and finesse but this bottle has some structure and oak to it and is a great value for $13.  Try a spanish red already!

Alcohol/Vol 14%
At a Glance
Taste blackberry, cherry, oak
Smell dark berry fruit, cedar, spice
Food stew, game
Sweetness extra dry
Price $12.95
LCBO# 243055
Score   

 

Ciao Sangiovese

Date October 7, 2015 | Chuck | Italy & Red Wine & Sangiovese

Medium-light body with a red fruit and red berry profile.  Very low oak, high acid, low tannin.

Alcohol/Vol 13% in a 1000 mL carton
At a Glance
Taste young cherry, raspberry, light oak
Smell strawberry, cherry
Food cheese
Sweetness dry
Price $12.05
LCBO# 29090
Score   

 

Hermanos Lurton Tempranillo 2012

Date September 21, 2015 | Chuck | Red Wine & Spain & Tempranillo

It's big, spanish, has gripping tannins and notes of medium-heavy toasted oak.  My new benchmark Tempranillo.  Alcohol/Vol 15%.  100% Tempranillo.
Update: Discontinued and reduced in price from $16.95 -> $13.95 -> $7.60 (so basically a sane non-Canadian price)
At a Glance
Taste blackberry, earth, toasted oak
Smell mulberry, blueberry, grape skins
Food stew, game
Sweetness extra dry
Price $13.95
LCBO# 372342
Score

 

Update: 6 Months Later (2016-03):

Taste: cassis, black tea, plum

Smell: mulberry, blackberry, blueberry, cedar, tobacco

 

 

 

Copper Moon Riesling

Date September 10, 2015 | Chuck | Canada & Riesling & White Wine

I gave one of the less expensive rieslings a shot today and can say you really need to spend a few more bucks to get a proper bottle of this varietal (in Ontario anyways).  I found this wine to be slightly unbalanced and overly tart with a finish that doesn't make you reach for the glass.  Would be ok ice cold on a hot day.
Alcohol/Vol 11.5%
At a Glance
Taste honeydew, pear, floral
Smell peach, citrus, floral
Food appetizers
Sweetness off dry
Price $9.95
LCBO# 224295
Score

 

LeRoisier Reserve Merlot

Date September 3, 2015 | Chuck | Canada & France & Merlot & Red Wine

This non-vintage, multi-country merlot isn't anything to write home about, although guests did enjoy it.  It's not something I would purchase again but I would drink it over a mass-produced light lager.
Alcohol/Vol 13%
At a Glance
Taste cherry, vanilla, plum
Smell plum, vanilla, berry
Food american
Sweetness dry
Price $13.95
LCBO# n/a
Score   

 

Winexpert World Vineyard Washington Riesling 2015

Date August 13, 2015 | Chuck | Homebrew & Wine

Since my first kit of RJ Spagnols Aglianico 2015 tastes very good at 2 months (should be excellent with age), I figure it's time to start on a white wine.  I've chosen an off-dry Riesling with juice coming from Washington, USA.  Of course I'll be tweaking the kit.  It's what I do (or can't not do)

 

Inside the box ($75 CDN):
  • bag of grape juice (10 litres)
  • f-pack (juice concentrate to sweeten - 1 litre)
  • bentonite (10 grams)
  • potassium metabisulfite (4 grams)
  • potassium sorbate (5.5 grams)
  • isinglass (45 mL / 1.5 oz)
  • yeast (Lalvin EC-1118)
  • instructions

 

This will be a split batch to try two different yeasts.  One fermenter will receive Lalvin ICV D-47 and the other Lalvin QA23.  Each will receive a 1/2 tsp dose of Wyeast yeast nutrient blend on day 1 and a 1/2 tsp dose on day 3.  I will try and ferment these around 65F.  Since there is an F-Pack (this wine is off-dry) I cannot skip the potassium sorbate addition as I do with wine that is fermented dry.

 

Pitch Date: August 15, 2015

Lalvin ICV D-47

Lalvin QA23

  • OG: 1.097
  • Activity at 15 hours (zero foam / krausen)
  • Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) detected on day 4.  Added 1/2 tsp nutrient and swirled carboy well.  Gone in 1.5 days after that.
  • Some foam on day 6

 

  • OG: 1.097
  • Activity at 8 hours (zero foam / krausen)
  • Added 1/4 tsp nutrient as routine.
Day 11
  • Gravity: 1.08 (medium sweet - wouldn't be upset if it hovered around here)
  • Colour: medium gold hay.  cloudy like milk.
  • Aroma: honey, honeydew, light mineral
  • Taste: very much like aroma with some pear.  slight syrup but not bad at all
  • Gravity: 0.992 (extra dry - will sorbate and f-pack)
  • Colour: pale straw, slight greenish tinge.  half as cloudy as D-47.
  • Aroma: light grapefruit, light mineral
  • Taste: tart, lemon, orange zest, thinner than D-47

 

Week 2
  • Gravity: 1.03 (off dry - preferred over 1.08)
  • Will measure again when stabilizing since it's already extra dry.
Week 3
  • Final Gravity: 1.00 (off dry)
  • Degassed
  • Topped up with purchased off dry riesling
  • Added 2 grams of K-Meta
  • Already preferred over the purchased top off wine
  • Added 1/2 isinglass package
  • Final Gravity: 0.992 (extra dry, before f-pack - after approx 1.005)
  • Degassed
  • Topped up with medium sweet riesling
  • Added 2 grams of K-Meta
  • Added 2.75 grams K-Sorbate
  • Added 1/2 of the f-pack
  • Added 1/2 isinglass package
Bottled on Week 7
(includes a 9 day cold stabilization - some crystals dropped out)
 Tasting Notes
( 3 months old - 1 month of that spent bottled)
  • --coming soon--

The aroma on this version is much better than the flavours.  While it has a medium body the finish was a touch warm even though ferm temps stayed below 70.  Try for 65F or less next time.  I perfer the wine D47 made. 

Aroma: pineapple, lemon, white peach

Taste: mild peach, mild orange

Food: pork cutlets, shrimp

Sweetness: dry to off-dry

What I'd pay per bottle: $8

 

Oak Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

Date August 7, 2015 | Chuck | Cabernet Sauvignon & Canada & Red Wine & USA

Smooth and easy drinking.  Has some structure, slightly more than it price range peers.  Found at the wine rack store. 
Juice from California and Canada.  Alcohol/Vol 13%
At a Glance
Taste blackberry, spice, cherry
Smell blueberry, blackberry, spice
Food american
Sweetness off dry
Price $12.00
LCBO# n/a
Score

 

Trius Rosé 2012

Date July 20, 2015 | Chuck | Canada & Rosé & White Wine

This is a dry rose.  Not a cavity generating white zinfandel.
Made using juice from: Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  Alcohol/Vol 12.1%
At a Glance
Taste raspberry, strawberry, cherry
Smell strawberry, raspberry, citrus
Food salads, vegetables
Sweetness dry
Price $15.95
LCBO# 341743
Score

 

Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti 2011

Date June 30, 2015 | Chuck | Chianti & Italy & Red Wine

This bottle is marked DOCG and is a well rounded Italian Chianti.  It goes well with any Italian food (especially with red sauce).  Drinks best on the first day, do-able on the second.
Alcohol/Vol 12.5%
At a Glance
Taste dried fruit, oak, black cherry
Smell black cherry, tobacco, leather
Food lasagna
Sweetness dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 545319
Score

 


[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] > » 
38 Articles per page