Farnese 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 $8.95 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 – 11g/L
Price $8.95
LCBO# 512327
Score

Château Godard Bellevue 2011

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     

Farnese Fantini Negroamaro 2013

Meduim+ body with a dry finish.  Fruit forward and food friendly.  If you like my pick for house red (Farnese Sangiovese) give this one a try too.

Alcohol/Vol 13%
At a Glance
Taste mulberry, plum, spice
Smell dark berry, black cherry, spice
Food pizza
Sweetness dry
Price $8.95
LCBO# 143735
Score   

Apothic Red 2010

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

Mirassou Pinot Noir 2010

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

KWV Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Well there isn’t a huge story behind this bottle but it is a good easy drinking wine for a weekday evening.
Put this bottle in the fridge for 20 minutes before opening
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste cherry, cedar, cigar
Smell cedar, cherry, plum
Food grilled red meats, medium cheeses
Sweetness dry
Price $10.00
LCBO# 22004
Score

Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Cabernet 2006

Overall a fairly well rounded blend, although the two varietals together made me lean towards a merlot; since the shiraz’s pepper notes weren’t announcing themselves loudly.  Medium oak and rich plum were the center of attention in this bottle.
The bottle says this wine has won a few Asian awards…maybe my food pairing was wrong…lemme know!
Tip: balloon glass
At a Glance
Taste dark fruit, oak, plum
Smell plum, dark berry, black cherry
Food grilled lamb chops
Sweetness dry
Price $12.45
LCBO# 106377
Score

Carlo Rossi California Red 2007

Everyone loves choices, with this wine you can choose to buy it in a: bottle, large format bottle, funny jug with a ring handle and even a box. America #$@% YEAH!
This wine conjures up memories of a previous review: Charles Shaw Merlot 2007
Tip: price listed is for the 1.5L bottle, don’t buy what you can’t drink within 2 days.
At a Glance
Taste cherry, plum, vanilla
Smell vanilla, cherry, plum
Food cold cuts
Sweetness off dry
Price $13.45
LCBO# 00070813
Score

Ruffino Il Ducale 2005

Here’s a great example of a Super Tuscan done right. This IGT wine is only IGT because it bent the rules slightly but it was worth it. A very close cousin to chianti, this bottle will pair well with any Italian food or bbq’d red meat. Overall it’s nice and round, medium to full bodied with smooth tannins.
Blend is: 60% sangiovese, 25% merlot and 15% syrah
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste dark cherry, chocolate, cigar box
Smell plum, cherry, warm spice
Food grilled red meat, ravioli
Sweetness dry
Price $19.80
LCBO# 27797
Score

Remo Farina Valpolicella Ripasso 2005

This DOC Italian ripasso was received very well by everyone at the table. The re-passing (ripasso) technique involves a second fermentaion on the leftover grape skins of Amarone giving it a deeper colour, fuller body, aroma and flavour. Also watch for hints of perrer and ginger.
Grapes used: Corvina 65%, Rondinella 20%, Molinara 5%, altri vitigni (others) 10%
Tip: Release Date – Nov 8, 2008
At a Glance
Taste black cherry, anise, light oak
Smell black cherry, plum, tar
Food red meat, cheese, portobello mushrooms
Sweetness dry
Price $16.95
LCBO# 999946
Score

Pillitteri Cabernet Merlot 2006

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

Ascheri Barbera D’Alba Fontanelle 2005

This medium bodied, single-vineyard barbera is a great value and a nice stray from the day-to-day varietals. For those of you trying barbera for the first time, Ascheri is a great doorway to one of the most planted grapes in Italy.
Benchmarks of a good barbera are: medium-low tannins, high acidity with notes of sour cherries, plums and herbs. Barbera is a great wine to pair with food, especially a saucy italian dish (thanks to the wine’s acidity)
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste sour cherry, plum, spice
Smell cherry, vanilla, plum
Food cheese and spinach ravioli in tomato sauce
Sweetness extra dry
Price $17.80
LCBO# 982462
Score

Goats Do Roam Goat-Roti 2005

Alright, I think these guys are taking the whole goat theme a bit too far, considering they already tapped that well with the Goats do Roam bottle. I picked up this bottle because the aforementioned wine wasn’t a bad value, this generation did not follow suit as well as I’d hoped.
For a new world wine, especially from South Africa, I almost expect a lesson on the back label about the varietal (shiraz, viognier), but rather find myself reading a novel about…what else….elder goats.
Tip: chill more than usual for a shiraz.  If you have this bottle, drink it in 2010 (it should be at least a 2.5 by then)
At a Glance
Taste plum, tar, licorice
Smell plum, blueberry, licorice
Food anything bbq
Sweetness extra dry
Price $19.80
LCBO# 943175
Score