Reviews in Category: Canada (Clear Filter)

Hillebrand Trius Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Date January 16, 2009 | Chuck | Cabernet Sauvignon & Canada & Red Wine

Once again my favourite brand doesn't disappoint! The 2007 vintage will surely be a crowd pleaser due to it's well balanced palate and nicely integrated tannins.
This cab has an excellent nose but a bit more depth and structure on the palate and this would be an incredible bottle. Watch for subtle hints of cedar and spice on the finish.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste dried fruit, medium oak, red berry
Smell cassis, smoky oak, blueberry
Food pasta, aged cheddar
Sweetness dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 587956
Score

Strewn Semi-Dry Riesling 2006

Date January 11, 2009 | Chuck | Canada & Riesling & White Wine

This pale straw coloured riesling, served well chilled looked, smelled and tasted great in my new Riedel glassware. The past few cold winters didn't affect the riesling vines as much as others, which may be why it's the hottest white on the market right now.
Overall this is a great buy: crisp, acidic and flavourful. Proof why you should keep buying your whites from Ontario.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste grapefruit, lemon, pineapple
Smell pineapple, tropical fruit, floral
Food pork, chinese
Sweetness off dry
Price $11.95
LCBO# 616599
Score

Hillebrand Trius Cabernet Franc 2004

Date December 20, 2008 | Chuck | Cabernet Franc & Canada & Red Wine

The Trius line is, in my opinion, the most consistent line of products in the general list.  The cab franc being no different, but it is VERY different than your usual dull and overly herbaceous cab francs.
Watch for a hint of clove in the finish.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste blackberries, sweet oak, plum
Smell currant, smoky oak, sweet jam
Food beef, mushroom dishes
Sweetness dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 587964
Score

Pillitteri Cabernet Merlot 2006

Date December 6, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & Red Blend & Red Wine

This red VQA is pretty bold, the meritage has a big aroma that at first all I could smell was matchsticks, but after opening up it moved more towards a tobacco scent.
The blend used to create this vintage was: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot. I wonder why the Franc didn't get top billing over the Merlot? It's presence is greater in the juice and palate.
Tip: decant this for a about 10 minutes
At a Glance
Taste smoky, violet, blackberry
Smell tobacco, leafy, plum
Food pasta with tomato sauce, cheddar
Sweetness dry
Price $12.95
LCBO# 349191
Score

Pillitteri Gewurztraminer Riesling Fusion 2006

Date October 22, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & White Blend & White Wine

An excellent buy that is full of flavour and aroma. In addition to the At a Glance section: the nose also has some spice and flint to it, while the palate is tropical, floral and citrus. How all this character got into this one bottle, I'm not sure but I hope Pillitteri keeps doing what they're doing.
Blend: 51% Gewürztraminer, 49% Riesling
Tip: balloon glass
At a Glance
Taste grapefruit, pineapple, peach
Smell grapefruit, lychee, floral
Food ham, chinese takeout, chicken salad
Sweetness off dry
Price $12.95
LCBO# 349126
Score

Pelee Island Merlot Cabernet 2006

Date October 12, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & Red Blend & Red Wine

This VQA wine has a medium bodied palate with moderate fruit from the merlot, but leans toward the oak barrel with prominent notes of vanilla.  The menthol is a nice addition from the cabernet side of the blend.
If you were wondering, the bird on the label is the American Goldfinch.
Tip: tulip glass, room temperature
At a Glance
Taste oak, vanilla, menthol
Smell vanilla, strawberry, violet
Food burgers, hot dogs
Sweetness dry
Price $9.40
LCBO# 619411
Score

Trumpour's Mill Pinot Gris 2006

Date September 20, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & Pinot Grigio & White Wine

Newly available at the LCBO, The Grange of Price Edward has issued this very Canadian / New World pinot gris. This is a little more than I would usually be caught paying for a grigio but I wanted to be part of this wine's grand entrance.
With a fairly rich and full mouthfeel, this white will go very well with a spicy Asian dish or takeout.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste tart apple, straw, citrus
Smell golden apple, apricot, peach
Food spicy asian
Sweetness off dry
Price $17.00
LCBO# 69336
Score

Eastdell Estates Black Cab 2006

Date September 12, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & Red Blend & Red Wine

Probably the most interesting meritage I've ever tried, this VQA wine from Beamsville is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Baco Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.   People taking notes will notice that the Merlot has been swapped out for the Baco Noir, which is no doubt what gives this wine it's funky edge.
Medium bodied, oak aging and the baco give this wine a really interesting, almost sweet and sour taste that keeps you guessing.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste vanilla, oak, tart blackberry
Smell sweet blackberry, sweet cherry, smoky
Food stir fry
Sweetness dry
Price $12.95
LCBO# 609875
Score

Kittling Ridge White Zinfanel Vidal

Date August 18, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & White Wine & White Zinfandel

Although I don't keep white zin on hand, this white does make a pretty good summer sipper.  Yes, I was surprised...the varietal I usually call 'sugar wine' was sweet but not tooth-decay sweet or  syrupy.
I would choose this bottle over the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi.  It's much more flavourful and expressive.
Tip: chill well
At a Glance
Taste strawberry, kiwi, melon
Smell strawberry, watermelon, bananna
Food apertif, fresh fruit
Sweetness medium sweet
Price $9.25
LCBO# 534693
Score

Malivoire Gamay 2006

Date July 26, 2008 | Sean | Canada & Gamay Noir & Red Wine

We had the fortune of previewing this wine months ago at an event in Toronto.  Since then I have been waiting "patiently" for this wine to make it's general release.  While I love a good Pinot, a great Gamay is irresistible.  Very close to $20.00 but very worth it for that summer dinner or BBQ with good friends.
To describe this wine in a word I would choose "elegant".  While it does incorporate some of the earthy qualities of a Pinot, it's a very refined and balanced bottle.  Ontario climate certainly has a lot to do with this all star.
Tip: 10 minutes in the fridge before severing - slight chill
At a Glance
Taste wild berries, earth, passion fruit tea
Smell raspberry coulis, black tea, wild blueberry
Food veal roast with roasted vegetable salad
Sweetness dry
Price $17.00
LCBO# 591313
Score
Malivoire Gamay

Hillebrand Trius Riesling Dry 2006

Date May 23, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & Riesling & White Wine

This gently pressed, cool fermented (14°C) juice was aged in stainless steel tanks to produce a very crisp, citrus and minerally riesling.
This vintage finishes crisp, tart and steely. At the time of writing, the 2007 vintage is available. It will be interesting to see how a warmer growing season will affect the end result.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste green apple, citrus (lime), mineral
Smell mineral, lemon, floral
Food light fish dishes
Sweetness dry
Price $13.95
LCBO# 303792
Score

Hillebrand Trius Red 2004

Date May 17, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & Red Blend & Red Wine

The wine makers at Hillebrand have combined Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc to create a blend known around the world as a Bordeaux style blend.
The Red has definite oak notes and firm tannins (specifically oak tannins). Although not a fruity wine, the herbaceous notes of the Cabernet Franc still shine through.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste red berry, spice, oak
Smell black currant, oak, herbaceous
Food bbq steak, grilled red meat
Sweetness extra dry
Price $19.95
LCBO# 303800
Score

Peller Estates Heritage Series Baco Noir 2006

Date May 12, 2008 | Chuck | Baco Noir & Canada & Red Wine

Here's a sub ten dollar VQA that I was going to mark as being off-dry but then changed it to medium-sweet just because the sugars and tartness kept lingering on in the finish.
If you're a fan of Niagara's baco and have found one you like, buy a few bottles because in my tastings I have yet to find two vintages that even remotely resemble each other. Nevertheless, it keeps you on your toes!
Tip: if you want to drive the 'wine guy or girl' at the party nuts, have them blind taste a baco noir :)
At a Glance
Taste currant, sweet raisin anise
Smell cherry, sweet oak, plum
Food grilled vegetables
Sweetness medium sweet
Price $9.95
LCBO# 582841
Score

Stonechurch Riesling VQA 2006

Date May 2, 2008 | Sean | Canada & Riesling & White Wine

Having been at one time a major Ontario wine collector I hate to admit that Ontario Rieslings have been struggling the last few years. During the Toronto Wine & Cheese Show we got to sample this pleasant and refreshing Riesling which was a bit of a surprise.
The first thing I asked the wine maker representative before tasting the wine was "What with the bottle?". She didn't look put off for one moment, she even seemed to anticipate the question. The bottle has a squared off shoulder instead of the usual sleek shape. My immediately fear was someone was pushing crappy wine in a fancy bottle hoping your eyes are doing the buying and not your other senses. That IS NOT the case at all! Thank you for reminding me that Ontario DOES make good Riesling!
Tip: Don't let the sugar code fool you, it is well balanced.
At a Glance
Taste orange blossom, citrus, melon
Smell green apple, honey, peach
Food couscous salad
Sweetness off dry
Price $12.85
LCBO# 65714
Score
Stonechurch Vineyards

Hillebrand Trius Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Date April 17, 2008 | Chuck | Cabernet Sauvignon & Canada & Red Wine

The Trius cabernet sauvignon is a delicious medium-full bodied, slightly off-dry red that is a great value. Many times we think to ourselves when trying a slightly less expensive wine: "for a couple extra dollars I could have gotten something much better". This is one of those better wines for an extra tooney.
Winemaker's Notes: "Traditional skin contact, subtle French oak integration and full malolactic fermentation produced a wine with a fruit-forward style."

 

What all means is that the wine is well balanced. You won't find it too oaky, too tannic or too dry.
Tip: the elegant bottle design makes it a great hostess gift
At a Glance
Taste dried fruit, dark red fruit, spice
Smell blackberry, oak
Food roast beef, aged cheddar
Sweetness off dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 587956
Score

Hillebrand Trius Unoaked Chardonnay 2006

Date April 10, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & Chardonnay & White Wine

Having been aged in stainless steel tanks rather than oak barrels gives this chard a crisp, clean, citrus edge that you won't find in the oaked version
So what's the hype about 'un-oaked' chardonnay? Well the difference is only in where the wine aged, but the result is leaps and bounds, especially in North America. Chardonnay (especially in North America) has a bad reputation for being over oaked, producing a strong vanilla flavour and a heavy mouth-feel. This style is obviously to many people's likings but to others it's just overkill. Choosing stainless steel vats over oak barrels for chardonnay could trick you into thinking your enjoying a crisp Riesling if your not careful :)
Tip: balloon glass
At a Glance
Taste citrus, apricot
Smell apple, melon
Food tilapia
Sweetness off dry
Price $13.95
LCBO#
Score

Hernder Estates Fumé Blanc 2006

Date April 9, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & Sauvignon Blanc & White Wine

Little did I know that fumé Blanc is an accepted synonym for Sauvignon Blanc. This vintage could have fooled me because it tastes and smells nothing like a typical blanc, which may be good or bad depending on where your tastes lie.
For those who don't (or can't) drink red and need a toasty, smoky white to pair with a big dish, you could give this a try.
Tip: try this if you are a big fan of oaky whites
At a Glance
Taste melon, chalk
Smell smoky, lemon
Food grilled shrimp
Sweetness off dry
Price $13.95
LCBO#
Score

Château des Charmes Gamay Noir 2006

Date March 25, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & Gamay Noir & Red Wine

I'm betting the extra 5 dollars to get out of Chateau des Charmes' entry level gamay would have paid off.
Gamay is a light red to begin with, but I would have liked to taste some more prominent flavors in this vintage.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste cherry, raspberry
Smell raspberry, cherry, berries
Food grilled chicken
Sweetness dry
Price $12.45
LCBO# 57349
Score

Henry of Pelham Baco Noir 2005

Date March 19, 2008 | Chuck | Baco Noir & Canada & Red Wine

Baco Noir is something every wine explorer should try. This intensely dark purple red isn't comparable to anything else, especially when it's characteristics did not line up at all with the last baco noir I reviewed from Pelee Island, therefore, if you find a winery who makes baco to your tastes, buy a few bottles.
This particular baco is medium bodied, acidic, lightly oaked and off-dry.
Tip: tulip glass after 2 years of bottle aging
At a Glance
Taste sour cherry, plum
Smell plum, smokey, sweet
Food cheddar cheese
Sweetness off dry
Price $13.65
LCBO# 270926
Score

Peller Estates Heritage Series Cabernet Franc 2005

Date March 13, 2008 | Chuck | Cabernet Franc & Canada & Red Wine

The noble cab franc is not always a great match for the beginning connoisseur’s palate. This wine like many others has it extremes and unfortunately this wasn’t on the end on the extreme one thrives to be on.
Most aromas and flavours weren’t very pronounced (possibly due to over blending and importing juice). All in all, it’s a fairly inexpensive dry red, however I do like my francs a little more fruit forward.
At a Glance
Taste smokey red and blackberry
Smell currant, spice
Food roast beef
Sweetness dry
Price $11.50
LCBO#  
Score

Chateau des Charmes Aligoté 2006

Date March 3, 2008 | Chuck | Aligoté & Canada & White Wine

This estate bottled aligoté is a French inspired, dry white wine with a medium body. It has a crisp fresh apple and floral taste with a similar bouquet. Very nice when served as an apertif due to it's acidity and crispiness.
Tip: serve fridge chilled, also good on it's own
At a Glance
Taste green apple, floral, citrus
Smell citrus, green apple
Food fish with lemon
Sweetness dry
Price $13.45
LCBO# 284950
Score

Hillebrand Collectors' Choice Cabernet Merlot 2004

Date March 2, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & Red Blend & Red Wine

With this meritage of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes, Hillebrand has created an easy going, medium bodied and very very smooth red blend. Coming from some of Niagara's warmest vineyards and aged in oak barrels for a year, this vintage is very compatible with a wide array of food.
 
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste strawberry, cherry, very mild oak
Smell strawberry, roasted red bell pepper, cherry
Food italian
Price $16.45
LCBO#  
Score

Hillebrand Trius White 2006

Date February 27, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & White Blend & White Wine

My table full of guests found this well rounded white to be amazing. Even more amazing is that the 2006 is the first release of this wine and received critical acclaim. Trius White is a careful blend of Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Riesling and unoaked Chardonnay, which offers bold fruit flavours that settle into a dry, clean, refreshing finish.
Trius proves to be a very dependable product line from Hillebrand. More reviews to follow. Many more... :)
Tip: lightly chilled in a tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste fruity, apricot, floral blossoms
Smell grapefruit, orange peel, floral
Food seafood, pasta with cream sauce
Sweetness off dry
Price $18.80
LCBO# 54957
Score

Sawmill Creek Sauvignon Blanc

Date February 27, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & Sauvignon Blanc & White Wine

Here's a nice medium-bodied white wine with a sticker price you can't beat. It exhibits a dry crisp citrus flavour with hints of green apple and oak. I did notice that this wine is non-vintage, meaning that the juice is a blend of wine from more than one year. Should I care? well, for this class of white wine, nah.
This wine was also my first go at a Tetra-Pak® and I have to say, if I'm traveling with wine it can't be beat, however I would never bring it to the table. And for me, yes, it does lose the romance factor of uncorking a bottle.
Tip: serve well chilled
At a Glance
Taste citrus, green apple, light oak
Smell citrus, light oak
Food shrimp
Sweetness dry
Price $9.95
LCBO#
Score

Inniskillin Late Harvest Riesling 2006

Date February 23, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & Riesling & White Wine

Is this late harvest Riesling Fashionably Late? Lets see, late harvest usually means it’s going to be a bit sweeter so it gets a check mark there. It has a classic honey finish that we like (check mark there) and it has a nice bright straw colour with hints of floral and fruity notes on the finish. So yes, wine too, can be Fashionably Late.
Tip: chill a bottle of this for white drinkers who prefer a sweeter wine
At a Glance
Taste apple, pear, honey
Smell apple, ripe juicy citrus
Food midly spiced courses, fruit flan
Sweetness sweet
Price $12.25
LCBO# 219543
Score

Pelee Island Baco Noir 2006

Date February 22, 2008 | Chuck | Baco Noir & Canada & Red Wine

Picture yourself at a gathering huddled around the bar, uncorking a bottle and someone feels the need to review a wine aloud and says “I can taste earth and smell forest”. You think to yourself, what the heck..I’m just having some wine here! This bold baco noir will make you a believer and will make you say “oh yea, I can really taste and smell what that guy is talking about”. It’s medium body with a nice finish make this wine a good one to have on hand.
Tip: try this baco noir over merlot on your next pizza night
At a Glance
Taste raspberry, blackcurrant
Smell earthy, wet forest
Food pizza
Price $10.95
Sweetness dry
LCBO# 485128
Score

Jackson-Triggs Proprietors’ Selection Pinot Noir

Date February 22, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & Pinot Noir & Red Wine

Crafting a good pinot noir is not an easy task, it’s even more difficult to pull off for under 13 dollars. If you are an old hand at pinot noir, you know they have their ups and downs, if you are new to pinot noir, don’t let this one shy you away from trying other vintages.
Tip: let this pinot open up in the glass for 5 minutes before serving and enjoy it with food.
At a Glance
Taste raisin, black tea, black cherry
Smell cherry, jam, strawberry
Food soft cheeses, chicken
Sweetness off dry
Price $12.50
LCBO# 549105
Score

Naked Grape Chardonnay

Date February 21, 2008 | Chuck | Canada & Chardonnay & White Wine

Why on earth would you call your wine Naked Grape? well, it's not just marketing hype, it's also because this winery chooses to go against the grain [haha, insert golf clap here] and not use oak barrels to age their wine. This gives a wine a lighter, crisper and a more fruit-forward stance without the possibility of drowning it in oak or vanilla flavours.
In general we can say this is a fun outdoor summer sipping wine with it's tart tropical fruit finish.
Tip: Enjoy this wine straight from the fridge as it will lose it's crispiness as it warms up.
At a Glance
Taste pear, green apple, citrus
Smell pineapple, citrus
Food shellfish
Sweetness off dry
Price $10.25
LCBO# 665232
Score
naked_grape_chard.jpg


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