Ironstone Merlot 2013

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        

Pietra Pura Mandus Primitivo di Manduria 2008

Not a red to be taken lightly. This wine is easily one of the most complex I’ve had for under twenty dollars. Most notable is this bottle’s firm lingering tannins and nice peppery-blackberry finish.
Alcohol/Vol 13.8% from Puglia, Italy
At a Glance
Taste blackberry, black tea, vanilla
Smell blackberry, anise, earthy
Food italian, game
Sweetness extra dry
Price $15.95
LCBO# 216457
Score

Ironstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

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

Ironstone Old Vine Zinfandel 2012

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

 

J.J. McWilliams Cabernet Merlot 2011

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

Barefoot Shiraz

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

Bear Flag Red Blend

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

Sandbanks Selection Baco Noir 2010

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

Henry of Pelham – Sibling Rivalry Red 2009

A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from the 2007 vintage
The white outshines the red
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste dark berry, oak, plum
Smell blackberry, raspberry, oak
Food burgers, bbq
Sweetness off dry
Price $13.95
LCBO# 126151
Score

Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

This vintages release is a great way to drink some full bodied, fruit forward California Cab at a great price.

I will be picking up a few more bottles on my next trip.

Release Date: March 19, 2011
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste blackberry, blueberry, leather
Smell blackberry, blueberry, cinnamon
Food pasta, pizza
Sweetness dry
Price $15.95
LCBO# 684399
Score

Penascal Tempranillo 2005

This Spanish tempranillo is what I’d imagine you’d find on most people’s table in Spain, it’s good table wine and the price is just right.
Although the wine is not very complex, I do like the firm tannins in play.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste blackberry, oak, tea
Smell blackberry, vanilla, spice
Food lamb, stew, sausages
Sweetness dry
Price $8.95
LCBO# 343434
Score

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
Score

Corte Zovo Sa’ Solin Ripasso Della Valpolicella 2004

This DOC bottle comes all the way from the birthplace of ripasso, Veneto, Italy.  It’s a tannic, medium to full bodied wine that would go very well with heavy beef dishes.
Hats off any winemaker that can achieve such smoothness while having an alcohol content of 14.5%, learn from my experience…drink slowly.  The price jump of 2 dollars from the 2003 vintage was sad to see, in Ontario: c’est la vie.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste rasin, cherry, black licorice
Smell blackberry, cherry, coffee
Food beef dishes, sheppards pie
Sweetness extra dry
Price $17.95
LCBO# 650713
Score