Ironstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Date December 3, 2014 | Chuck | Cabernet Sauvignon & Red Wine & USA

If you're looking for a cab which is less fruit forward and more leathery/tobacco-like, this is a good choice.  Not overpowering but present with good blackberry character to round things out.
One site (lcbo) reports that there is some merlot blended into this vintage.
Alcohol/Vol: 13.0%
At a Glance
Taste blackberry, leather, tobacco
Smell blackberry, vanilla, leather
Food red meat, bbq
Sweetness dry
Price $18.95
LCBO# 537597
Score

Inniskillin Unoaked Chardonnay 2012

Date November 14, 2014 | Chuck | Canada & Chardonnay & White Wine

This unoaked chardonnay is quite crisp and not at all buttery.  The lemon and citrus are sharp and would go well with a fatty seafood or fish dish. 
One of the better wines we've seen from Inniskillin (not a favourite around here).  I think this wine is weighing in a bit too heavy at 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
 
At a Glance
Taste lemon, mineral, green apple
Smell lemon, grapefruit, mineral
Food fish
Sweetness dry
Price $11.95
LCBO# 66266
Score

 

Farnese Sangiovese IGT 2014

Date October 14, 2014 | 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) for 13.05.
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

Sawmill Creek Riesling

Date August 15, 2014 | Chuck | Canada & Riesling & White Wine

Look at us staying true to our roots after all these years! This large format bottle (1.5L) was a bargain and a crowd pleaser.
Breaking News: this wine also comes as bag-in-a-box! (4L for $36.95 is a mega score...not counting the impending walk of shame)
Editors Note: a 'walk of shame' can be caused by any beverage with a percent sign on the label (not just this wine)
At a Glance
Taste peach, melon, mineral
Smell honeydew, peach, citrus
Food appetizers, fish
Sweetness medium sweet
Price $16.00
LCBO# 263079
Score

Ironstone Old Vine Zinfandel 2012

Date July 20, 2014 | Chuck | Red Wine & USA & Zinfandel

Whenever I see Ironstone in the vintages section I always pick-up a bottle and yet again I was not disappointed. This zin is a full bodied, lush fruit forward drinker with a great mouth-feel.
Released: May 10, 2014
Alcohol/Vol: 14.5%
At a Glance
Taste boysenberry, blackberry, oak
Smell blackberry, cassis, vanilla
Food red meat
Sweetness dry
Price $17.00
LCBO# 951889
Score

 

Reif Estate Riesling 2011

Date June 29, 2014 | Chuck | Canada & Riesling & White Wine

This bottle was discovered by my Mom and is a great find. The wine was very crisp and had plenty of depth from first sip to the end of a long finish. Lime and stone-fruit push through most in this slightly off dry Riesling
Pick up a few bottles if you see it on the shelves (it's a crowd pleaser).
Serve in a chilled wine glass. Alcohol/Vol 12.0%
At a Glance
Taste lime, honeydew, mineral
Smell mineral, peach, lime
Food appetizers
Sweetness off dry - medium sweet
Price $12.95
LCBO# 111799
Score

 

Ruffino Chianti DOCG 2012

Date April 10, 2014 | Chuck | Chianti & Italy & Red Wine

I was pleasantly surprised by this entry level chianti from the large producer Ruffino.
Overall this is a good value chianti for the price and availability. 13.0% Alcohol/Vol.
Tip: balloon glass
At a Glance
Taste raspberry, vanilla, cherry
Smell strawberry, black cherry, sweet oak
Food italian, cheese
Sweetness extra dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 1743
Score

 

PKNT Carmenere 2010

Date February 14, 2014 | Chuck | Carmenere & Chile & Red Wine

Wow there is a stock photo of a chili pepper on the bottle, I better by this for someone I know who likes spicy foods!
Editor's note: that is a horrible idea
Could someone explain to me why the label says "contains eggs"?
At a Glance
Taste spicy, dark fruit, vanilla
Smell blueberry, vanilla, oak
Food tex-mex
Sweetness dry
Price $10.95
LCBO# 191858
Score

Mill Street Barley Wine 2013

Date December 12, 2013 | Chuck | Barley & Canada & White Wine

Well is this beer or wine or something else altogether? My Answer: something else.  My final thought: Glad I tried it but not worth the price of admission for the non-adventurous.
It's made from barley and not grapes so really it's more beer than wine.  It's very lightly carbonated and has few traces of hops besides early bittering hops (guessing noble hops).  However this beer weighs in at 11.5% so you better sip it like a wine...or else you're gonna lose the night.
Tip: Be a gentleman (gentlewoman?) and serve it in a chilled wine glass.  You'll get about two 8oz pours.
At a Glance
Taste tobacco, earth, oak
Smell leather, caramel, sweet orange
Food aperitif or digestif
Sweetness medium sweet
Price $13.95
LCBO# 70359
Score

Farnese Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2012

Date November 8, 2013 | Chuck | Italy & Montepulciano & Red Wine

A swing and a miss by the winery of my house wine. With no depth in the nose or on the palate, this wine is very mundane.
It's one of the cheapest reds in the LCBO, so there is that. 12.5%
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste red berry,vanilla,plum
Smell pomegranate,vanilla,oak
Food italian, pizza
Sweetness off dry
Price $7.95
LCBO# 621912
Score

J.J. McWilliams Cabernet Merlot 2011

Date July 12, 2013 | Chuck | Australia & Red Blend & Red Wine

Pickup a few bottles of this well rounded value red wine.  It was easy drinking and turned out to be a crowd pleaser.
Alcohol Content: 13%
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste pomegranate, oak. blueberry
Smell blackberry, cherry, spice
Food pizza
Sweetness dry
Price $10.45
LCBO# 621599
Score

McWilliams Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Date May 16, 2013 | Chuck | Australia & Cabernet Sauvignon & Red Wine

Overall a decent weekday wine.  Not a lot of structure or depth but worth picking up a bottle if you're looking for a different general list cabernet sauvignon priced around 15 bucks.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste strawberry, raspberry, spice
Smell blueberry, oak, dark cherry
Food sandwiches
Sweetness dry
Price $15.00
LCBO# 214577
Score

Barefoot Merlot

Date April 11, 2013 | Chuck | Merlot & Red Wine & USA

I've had better bottles from Barefoot.  This one is a pretty simple medium bodied off dry weekday merlot.  Give their Shiraz a go.
Alcohol Content: 13.5%
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste cherry, vanilla, chocolate
Smell dark berry, cherry, raspberry
Food bbq lunch
Sweetness off dry
Price $9.95
LCBO# 53991
Score

Red Rock Malbec Reserve 2010

Date December 16, 2012 | Chuck | Malbec & Red Wine & USA

While typically not a fan of malbecs, this one is quite good. I liked the fruit forward characteristics of it - which aren't seen in malbecs from places like South America, making this bottle...very...Californian.
I disagree with the LCBO's sweetness descriptor of Extra Dry. Dry it is, Extra it is not.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste mulberry, oak, cherry
Smell mulberry, currant, oak
Food beef, asiago
Sweetness dry
Price $16.95
LCBO# 284315
Score

Barefoot Shiraz

Date December 8, 2012 | Chuck | Red Wine & Shiraz & USA

Barefoot could very well be leading the way on value wines nowadays (Yellow Tail fans...take note)
Having a value shiraz on hand that's also a crowd pleaser is always handy. Pickup a few bottles since they are currently under $10 in Ontario.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste dark berry jam, spice, vanilla oak
Smell blackberry, jammy, spice
Food french onion soup
Sweetness off dry
Price $9.95
LCBO# 54015
Score

Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2010

Date October 6, 2012 | Chuck | Red Wine & USA & Zinfandel

This wine has a great profile however while drinking it I found it lacks mouthfeel and depth. Both key aspects this California Zinfandel lover craves.
I will say Dancing Bull is a good value if you are just getting into zins. (Expect to pay an extra 5 to 6 dollars to get the depth).
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste spice, raspberry, oak
Smell blueberry, cherry, oak
Food anything grilled, asiago
Sweetness dry
Price $12.95
LCBO# 669499
Score

 

Poderi Angelini Primitivo Di Manduria 2008

Date September 20, 2012 | Chuck | Italy & Primitivo & Red Wine

Easily the best Primitivo we've reviewed on this site. Extra dry, firm tannins and plenty of depth makes this a great match for fans of Italian reds and Italian food.
Special thanks to Nurse Nancy for the bottle! It was enjoyed with family and Sunday lunch.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste ripe strawberry, oak, light vanilla
Smell mulberry, dark cherry, light oak
Food italian
Sweetness extra dry
Price $17.95
LCBO# 268136
Score

Fontana Di Papa Castelli Romani 2010

Date September 14, 2012 | Chuck | Italy & Red Blend & Red Wine

Well, this wine isn't giving me much to work with, but that's because it's your very basic Italian D.O.C. table wine. One of the least expensive reds I've seen at the LCBO, not because all their wines are great, it's because the prices are beyond terrible in Ontario and not much better country wide.
Made From: Cesanese, Sangiovese, Merlot, Montepulciano (unsure of the percentages). 12.0% Alcohol/Vol
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste medium berry, dried fruit, vanilla
Smell cherry, light fruit
Food grilled meat, mild cheddar
Sweetness extra dry
Price $7.45
LCBO# 219634
Score

Bear Flag Red Blend

Date September 3, 2012 | Chuck | Red Blend & Red Wine & USA

As stated on the label it's a very smooth and fruit forward red blend with soft tannins.  A blend comprised of: Tempranillo, Touriga, Zinfandel, and Alicante.
Liked it more after decanting.  The artwork is interesting but personally I don't like having to hunt for information on the bottle.  Even once found it was hard to read against the background.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste dried cherries, blackberry, vanilla
Smell dried cherries, blackberry, vanilla
Food bbq
Sweetness off dry
Price $12.95
LCBO# 226514
Score

Apothic Red 2010

Date August 18, 2012 | Chuck | Red Blend & Red Wine & USA

The label says "Winemaker's Blend" and they weren't joking! This wine is made using Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Overall I believe the amount of blending in this bottle muted much of the contributor's individuality. In a blind tasting I would guess it's just a Syrah/Merlot blend.
Tip: tasted better the next day, so try decanting after opening
At a Glance
Taste vanilla, dark fruit, mocha
Smell plum, vanilla
Food cheddar cheese
Sweetness off dry
Price $15.95
LCBO# 234369
Score

Barefoot Moscato

Date August 8, 2012 | Chuck | Moscato & USA & White Wine

Thankfully this wine is only 8.5% because after my first sip on this hot summer day I accidentally downed the 10oz glass. Of course I poured myself another so I could help our readers with their weekend wine shopping. In a nutshell: buy a few bottles, open them when it's hot out and enjoy a sweet wine for a change!
2010 gold medal at the ultimate wine challenge - usa
Tip: think of this as a baby ice wine, but a fraction of the price and 2x the volume
At a Glance
Taste honeydew, tangerine, citrus
Smell lemon, pineapple, floral
Food flan, dessert, fruit
Sweetness extra sweet
Price $9.95
LCBO# 234351
Score

35 South Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2009

Date July 15, 2012 | Chuck | Cabernet Sauvignon & Chile & Red Wine

A big, fruit forward, juicy cabernet sauvignon from Chile isn't something I've had in years.  They had a good run in 2007-2008 but it's been an uphill battle ever since.  Was pleasantly surprised with this bottle.
A strong red weighing in at 14.0 %
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste rasin, cassis, oak
Smell rasin, dark berry, oak
Food cheese, red meat
Sweetness dry
Price $12.95
LCBO# 170019
Score

Sandbanks Selection Baco Noir 2010

Date June 8, 2012 | Chuck | Baco Noir & Canada & Red Wine

Deep, rich, flavourful and fruit forward. VQA from Prince Edward County.
LCBO number below reflects the 2009 vintage, review is for 2010
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste blackberry, leather, vanilla
Smell blackberry, chocolate, vanilla
Food pizza, bbq
Sweetness dry
Price $19.95
LCBO# 211318
Score

Astica Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2011

Date May 8, 2012 | Chuck | Argentina & White Blend & White Wine

Light straw, greenish color. Clean on the nose with a touch of mixed citrus fruit. Crispy, fruity and refreshing in the mouth. The acidity of the Sauvignon is balanced by the fullness and length of the Semillón.
A great value wine that was well received
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste lemon, mineral, floral
Smell citrus, floral, tropical fruit
Food apertif, fish
Sweetness off dry
Price $7.95
LCBO# 359083
Score

Pillitteri Gewurztraminer Riesling Fusion 2010

Date March 25, 2012 | Chuck | Canada & Gewürztraminer & Riesling & White Wine

An excellent buy that is full of flavour and aroma. Goes well with the listed foods or simply as an aperitif
Blend: 51% Gewurztraminer 49% Riesling
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste peach, cantelope, floral
Smell peach, cantelope, pineapple
Food seafood, chinese
Sweetness medium sweet
Price $12.95
LCBO# 349126
Score

Torre Varano Taburno Falanghina 2009

Date February 11, 2012 | Chuck | Falanghina & Italy & White Wine

Native to the Campania region of Southern Italy, the Falanghina grape makes full-bodied and well-structured wines.
Release Date: Aug 6, 2011
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste apple, melon, floral
Smell pear, apple, mineral
Food calamari
Sweetness extra dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 106351
Score

Mirassou Pinot Noir 2010

Date January 9, 2012 | Chuck | Pinot Noir & Red Wine & USA

A soft, fruit forward, easy drinking (very) California pinot noir
Pickup a few bottles, it makes a great house pinot
Tip: balloon glass
At a Glance
Taste strawberry, vanilla, raspberry
Smell cherry, plum, vanilla
Food salmon, risotto
Sweetness off dry
Price $12.95
LCBO# 185249
Score

The Beach House Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2010

Date November 5, 2011 | Chuck | South Africa & White Blend & White Wine

Most people aren't fans of either Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon, this wine won't change their minds.
Made from 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon in South Africa (Cape Coastal Region)
Tip: chill well
At a Glance
Taste gooseberry, lemongrass, bitter citrus
Smell green apple, gooseberry, lemongrass
Food sushi, crab, shrimp
Sweetness off dry
Price $9.95
LCBO# 122390
Score

Hardys Bankside Shiraz 2009

Date October 11, 2011 | Chuck | Australia & Red Wine & Shiraz

A great Aussie shiraz for the price, I can recommend buying a couple for the rack.
Works as a nice benchmark shiraz for beginners and intermediate wine lovers.
Tip: Stock up on a few
At a Glance
Taste dark currant, medium berry, warm spice
Smell raspberry, leather, dark chocolate
Food red meat, bbq, ribs
Sweetness dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 436022
Score

Huff Estates Rosé 2007

Date September 10, 2011 | Chuck | Canada & Rosé & White Wine

It's true, not all pink wines are sweet and syrup like.  Here's a dry to off dry rose that has a serious side to it.
Seems to only be available via the winery
Tip: Serve well chilled
At a Glance
Taste cranberry, grapefruit, grass
Smell grapefruit, herbaceous, lychee
Food appetizers, salmon
Sweetness off dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 0
Score


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