June 27, 2015 Release Part 1: Spotlight on sparkling, rosé and red wines

Sparkling red wine — it’s a bit of an Italian thing, and I’m all for it. We’ll begin with two of these, followed by three rosés from France, and five reds: three Chiantis, a red from the southern Rhône, and a Chilean Cabernet. Part 2 focuses on white wines.

The first is a lightly sparkling (frizzante) red wine made from the red Lambrusco Salamino grape.

1878

2013 MEDICI ERMETE & FIGLI ARTE E CONCERTO LAMBRUSCO, DOC Reggiano Lambrusco

Vintages #208967 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 89/100
Lambrusco sparkling wine can be intriguing. This fine example has rich, almost strident fruit aromas, suggesting black currants, raspberries and blackberries, with floral and herbal notes. Fresh and clean acidity allows the wine to read as dry (with 10 grams of residual sugar). The fruit and floral notes carry through to the palate, where I also find a suggestion of earthiness and black tea flavours on the finish. Take the risk and try this wine! It's a fine value that will work with bistro foods, pizza, and even lighter grilled fare.
Tasted June 12, 2015 • WINE LOVERS AGENCY INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



The second is another frizzante red wine, this time from Piemonte:

1879

2012 TRE SECOLI BRACHETTO D'ACQUI DOCG

Vintages #415273 • $17.95 • 750ml. • 88/100
Brachetto d'Aqui is a light and pleasant red sparkling wine, with low alcohol and lots of residual sugar. This example has pretty and vibrant aromas of apple blossoms, with strawberry, red apple, and citrus fruit. Despite the sweetness, the high acidity and frothy texture keep the wine fresh and bright. Highly drinkable — in fact gulpable — and a fun summer tipple.
Tasted June 12, 2015 • BANQPAY INTERNATIONAL (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



I love rosé, but I have been a little disappointed with many of the examples I’ve tasted this year. But here are three rather good ones in the current release.

1870

2014 CHÂTEAU DE LANCYRE PIC SAINT-LOUP LE ROSÉ, AC Coteaux du Languedoc

Vintages #374900 • $16.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100
Pic Saint-Loup is a mountain about 20 kilometers north of Montpelier in the Languedoc, and the DOC region that bears its name is composed of thirteen villages to the south, east and northeast of the mountain. With elevation on the edge of the Massif Central, the region offers a somewhat cooler environment than much of Languedoc, and the Syrah and Grenache based wines reflect that. This rosé has the required 50% Syrah and 40% Grenache (with optional 10% Cinsault) for DOC designation, and presents pleasant red apple, grapefruit, and strawberry aromas, with just a hint of twigs and forest floor underneath. The wine is dry, with some freshness on the palate, although the fruit seems a little riper than the nose suggests, and there is a little heat towards the finish. A good measure of complexity in a very good value wine.
Tasted June 12, 2015 • TANDEM SELECTIONS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



1872

2014 DOMAINE MABY LA FORCADIÈRE TAVEL ROSÉ AC

Vintages #701318 • $16.95 • 750ml. • 88/100
Tavel, in the southern Rhône, is perhaps the iconic rosé appellation in France, with wines based on Grenache and Cinsault, and contributions from Mourvèdre and Syrah. This wine is light pink, with a slightly lifted fragrant apple blossom and red apple character, supplemented by strawberries and white peaches. The wine is firmly dry, with some freshness on the palate, and very light apple skin tannins that generate a pleasant bitterness on the finish. Another good value.
Tasted June 12, 2015 • STEN O. KJELLBERG (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



1871

2014 LA CADIERENNE CUVÉE GRANDE TRADITION BANDOL ROSÉ AC

Vintages #119453 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 87.5/100
Bandol is on the Mediterranean coast in Provence, to the west if Toulon, where rosé wines are usually blends of Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsault. This rosé is a very good example: very dry, with a pretty nose suggesting strawberries, raspberries and grapefruit, lightly herbal with a slight twiggy and earthy nuance, and some crisp minerality on the finish. This is pleasant, crisp and a good value.
Tasted June 12, 2015 • CONNEXION OENOPHILIA (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



The first three reds are three rather different wines from Tuscany.

1838

2012 BADIA A COLTIBUONO CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG

Vintages #295964 • $23.95 • 750ml. • 89.5/100
I gravitate towards Chianti like this. For one thing, it actually looks like Sangiovese: rather than the dark and dense "modern" wines that have Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot in them. This is a lighter medium ruby-garnet, with some translucence in the core, and garnet on the rim. It's blended in the traditional manner with about 10 % of other local varieties: Canaiolo, Colorino and Ciliegiolo (with the actual blend unspecified as far as I can find.) For another thing, it delivers an enticing Sangiovese nose: delicate floral notes, with aromas of cherry, blackberry and red currant fruit and a slightly twiggy, dusty and spicy undercurrent, with very little obvious oak spice. Furthermore it has the structure I want: fresh acidity, modest alcohol, elevated tannins that are softening and almost silky, with the lovely and delicate fruit washing the palate, unobscured by aggressive oak and resin. All in all, it's quite delicious, very satisfying and a fine value.
Tasted June 16, 2015 • HALPERN ENTERPRISES (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



1840

2007 IL MOLINO DI GRACE IL MARGONE RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG

Vintages #122895 • $34.95 • 750ml. • 89/100
Here is a Chianti Reserva that is quite evolved and mature. Leather, earth and dried fruit dominate the nose, with some lifted and slightly fresher blackberry and cherry fruit and forest floor underneath. Elevated acidity balances the alcohol and still-present tannins, and the dried fruit, savoury and earthy notes fill the palate and carry through to a long finish. The wine certainly has life and some staying power, but I would drink this very soon — I don't think that the pleasure and interest will increase at this point.
Tasted June 12, 2015 • FRONTIER WINE MERCHANTS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



1841

2011 LUCIGNANO CHIANTI COLLI FIORENTINI DOCG

Vintages #651273 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 87.5/100
Earlier vintages of this wine have been 80% Sangiovese, with the balance including 5% Merlot, as well as local varieties Canaiolo and Colorino. I might have guessed even higher amounts of Merlot, for this is fairly deeply coloured wine, with a rather soft and rich palate, very pleasant and easy to drink. There is copious ripe strawberry, plum, cherry and blackberry fruit, some floral notes and a noticeable mocha element. Very modern.
Tasted June 12, 2015 • NOBLE ESTATES WINES & SPIRITS INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



The final two red wines are from Chile and southern France.

1812

2012 CHILCAS SINGLE VINEYARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON, Colchagua Valley

Vintages #309757 • $17.95 • 750ml. • 88/100
Here is an attractive and well-priced Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile. The nose is expressive, suggesting rich, ripe black currant, blackberry and plum fruit and a hint of forest floor and earth underneath. The wine is dry and balanced, with slightly rustic tannins. The fruit on the palate is ripe and mouth filling, with some oaky resin notes becoming more prominent. This should be well-received with grilled meats and barbecue fun.
Tasted June 16, 2015 • JOHN GIBSON AGENCIES (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



1829

2013 ORTAS TRADITION RASTEAU AC

Vintages #998716 • $17.95 • 750ml. • 88/100
This wine from Rasteau is a Grenache blend with 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre. The wine has a pretty nose full of fresh but ripe darker fruit (plums, blackberries and raspberries), with a some floral notes, a waft of pepper, and burnt earth underneath. It is dry, with enough acidity to keep the palate fresh, and is nicely balanced with moderate tannins. This is a good example of Southern Rhône, and a step above Villages wine at a very good price.
Tasted June 12, 2015 • NOBLE ESTATES WINES & SPIRITS INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



Part 2 continues here.

Santé