PKNT Carmenere 2010

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

35 South Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2009

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

Carmen Merlot 2007

So far in 2009, Chile has not been able to hold a torch to it’s previous growth years which showed excellent wines at even better values. Hopefully this will turn around soon.
After reading the label that the people at Vina Carmen decided best represented this vintage, I was expecting a hit. I was wrong…actually their label mislead me. Specifically when they prepared you for a finish showing “soft tannins and a lingering fruit finish” I didn’t taste either and the finish was far too hot.
Tip: chill more than usual
At a Glance
Taste dark berry, vanilla, oak
Smell black cherry, cola, spice
Food burger
Sweetness dry
Price $10.90
LCBO# 248625

Perez Cruz Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2007

This is the 2007 vintage of the site favourite 2005. Once finding such a great wine you hope that subsequent years will be on par or better, but this vintage reminds us that grapes and wine are living, breathing, unformulated works – the weather changes from year to year, as does the soil and grapes, making the recipe change and so on.
With all the above said, this is still a good wine, just not as great as previous vintages. You can tell it spent a bit too much time in the barrel and didn’t taste as refined as it could be.  Well worth a try if you particularly like french or ontario reds.
Tip: drink a bottle and cellar the other for 1 or 2 years
At a Glance
Taste oak, medium berry, eucalyptus
Smell blackberry, oak, black tea
Food beef, sausages
Sweetness dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 694208

Cono Sur Pinot Noir 2007

I am Pinot hear me roar! That statement should never come to mind when enjoying a Pinot Noir. Pinot’s are subtle, elegant wines that carry light and bright flavors and aromas.
Opening and tasting this bottle at room temperature was a little overwhelming. It was bold, angled and a little obnoxious…trying a little too hard to be a “good Pinot Noir”. However, 15 minutes in the fridge and this wine became a gentle giant. Smooth and relaxed, still a little too vibrant but overall nice flavors for the price point.
Tip: chill 15 – 20 minutes in the fridge before enjoying
At a Glance
Taste wild strawberry, licorice, raspberry
Smell strawberry jam, raspberry jello, menthol
Food grilled fine cuts of beef
Sweetness dry
Price $10.45
LCBO# 341602
Cono Sur Pinot Noir

Botalcura Reserve El Delirio Syrah Malbec 2005

This bottle was picked up on a whim while looking for something cheap and cheerful while cruising through the liquor store on Tuesday evening after work. The blend of Syrah and Malbec was immediately interesting as both these grapes have some very specific characteristics. Syrah of course with it’s bold and mouth filling spice and Malbec with its tannins and forward fruit. A match made in heaven?
The first sniff of the glass told me I was in for a treat. Right away the earthy Malbec was apparent followed by the raspberry and dark cherry of the Syrah. For the price, this is a very pleasing, mouth filling, lip smacking bottle of wine under $15.00!
Tip: Try it on it’s own then with food, it softens so well. Going back to buy a few bottles.
At a Glance
Taste black cherry, raspberry, earth
Smell earth, cherry, plum
Food chicken souvlaki with tzatziki
Sweetness dry
Price $12.95
LCBO# 18630

Vina Carmen Chardonnay 2006

While many Chardonnays can be really overpowered by oak in the form of vanilla and butter this wine is well balanced and crisp. The finish has a great mild acidity that leaves behind a slight citrus note.
This certainly isn’t a fruit salad, but you will notice the apples and pears. A very easy drinking Chardonnay, and for the price a good deal. Very refreshing.
Tip: chill well
At a Glance
Taste green apple, pear, tropical fruit
Smell pear, honeysuckle
Food baked chicken with mushroom sauce
Price $9.90
Carmen Chardonnay

Perez Cruz Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2005

A favorite for sure. We first found this wine a couple of years ago in a Vintages release and it was love at first drop. We have been recommending it and buying it ever since. I got to meet the wine maker back in November. I might have made an “I’m an obsessed scary stalker fan” first impression. More on that another time. Now to the wine…
This is a big bold gutsy wine and it’s proud of it. Deep aromas and flavors of blackberry, chocolate, cherry. Just enough alcohol to warm the mouth and throat without being offensive. Get your butcher to cut you a perfect piece of moo and fire up the BBQ. Perez Cruz is coming to dinner.
At a Glance
Taste currants, chocolate, ripe berry
Smell toasted oak, ripe berry, cherry
Food bbq steak, pasta with meat sauce
Sweetness dry
Price $14.85
LCBO# 694208]
Perez Cruz Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva Bottle

Miguel Torres Santa Digna Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2004

Anyone else notice the small Chilean invasion on the site lately? Here’s why, good quality, no-frills wine at a fair price, and this cabernet proves the point. You don’t have to just take our word for it, the LCBO has labeled this a ‘vintages essential’. I think I’m going to assign myself the mission of tasting all the essential picks from the LCBO, it’s my mission and I choose to accept it…no…don’t stop me, and if I’m not done in a few months, just wait longer 🙂
This red has a lengthy finish so it’s best paired with a hearty meal.
Tip: let this wine open up if the tannins are too much at first
At a Glance
Taste black cherry, leather, tea
Smell plum, earth, oak
Food steak
Sweetness dry
Price $14.95
LCBO# 177451

Viu Manent Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2004

Another outstanding bargain here. This is a rather big cab and pretty dry. What’s nice about it is the very obvious cherry and wild berry flavor. It smells absolutely amazing the minute it hit the glass. One of the few times I have detected blueberries in the smell from a cab. It’s obviously a Cab Sav, but there is something different about it.
Tip: March 1, 2008 Vintages Release – hurry! Room temp.
At a Glance
Taste wild cherry, wild raspberry, licorice
Smell blueberry, chocolate, cassis
Food chicken or veal parm, chicken pot pie
Sweetness off dry
Price $12.75
LCBO# 59196

Concha y Toro Casillero Del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

An excellent example of a Chilean cab that’s pushing new world wines to the forefront!
This deep red, leggy wine paired quite well with BBQ steak and
pizza. Enjoy it’s well balanced flavours of cassis, black cherry and
Tip: pour it in your balloon glass 10 minutes before drinking.
At a Glance
Taste red berry, leather, black cherry
Smell cassis, berry, mocha
Food bbq steak
Sweetness dry
Price $12.85
LCBO# 278416