Red wines from Corbières, Rasteau, Chianti, Rioja and Niagara

"... a Syrah blend from Corbières, a Cabernet Franc blend from Niagara, a Grenache blend from Rasteau, Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, and Tempranillo from Rioja ..."

available in Ontario from October 14, 2017

Here are seven red wines that show diversity and have some real interest. The first is a value-packed 2011 Chianti Classico from Losi Querciavalle, with evolving fruit and savoury elements. The 2012 Tawse Sketches Of Niagara Cabernet Franc blend still has lots of freshness and life, and I particulary appreciate that the wine shows some real varietal character, despite the warm Niagara vintage.

The two wines from southern France are both Syrah-Grenache blends. The first, the 2014 Château Auris Corbières, is Syrah-dominant, while the second, the 2015 Ortas Tradition Rasteau, is Grenache-dominant.

The final three wines are Tempranillo-based wines from Rioja. The first is a fine, rather traditional wine fromproducer La Rioja Alta, the 2010 Viña Alberdi Reserva. The last two wines are much more modern in tone: a very good-value, organic wine, the 2015 Artesa Organic, and a 2014 Crianza from CVNE’s Viña Real.

9858

LOSI QUERCIAVALLE CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG 2011

Vintages #515478 • $16.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
Despite the wine's 2011 vintage, there is still plenty of sour cherry, red currant and raspberry fruit, with a savoury black olive and damp earth undertone. The indicators of aging are fairly subtle: the beginnings of drying on the red fruit, a hint of volatility, and a note of leather. The resinous woody elements are more obvious on the palate, but there is still a light, fruit-and-savoury core, and the fine tannins have a surprising grip. An excellent value.
Tasted 10-Oct-2017 • NATURAL VINES (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9828

TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA CABERNET/MERLOT 2012, VQA Niagara Peninsula

Vintages #130252 • $21.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88.5/100
An intriguing mix of earthiness, green herbs, ripe plum and black currant fruit on the nose, with an underlying freshness that belies the warm 2012 vintage. The palate is a little more developed, with some drying of the fruit, although the firm acidity and grippy tannins still suggest a youthfulness and freshness that surprises. So much life and structure here — quite a winner!
Tasted 22-Sep-2017 • TAWSE WINERY INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9844

CHÂTEAU AURIS CORBIÈRES AP 2014

Vintages #493882 • $25.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
This deep, dense purple-hued wine is a blend of Syrah, Carignan and Grenache. Concentrated but bright aromas suggest blueberry, blackberry and plum fruit, with hints of violets, orange zest and spice. I find the alcohol a little edgy and warm, but firm acidity and ripe tannins provide balance. The palate also takes on more savoury elements — black olives, pepper and dry earth — providing a welcome depth and harmony. A big, juicy wine with lots of interest.
Tasted 10-Oct-2017 • BLACK SEA WINE (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9849

ORTAS TRADITION RASTEAU AC 2015

Vintages #998716 • $17.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
Ripe, juicy fruit fills the nose — raspberries, blackberries, cherries and plums — with a subtle scorched earth note, and a waft of dried herbs and pepper. Tannins are soft and ripe, but they build with a little alcohol heat on the palate. While the fruit retains its ripe juiciness, there is a light jammy note too, and a menthol lift kicks in towards the finish. A very enjoyable and approachable Rasteau, and a very good value.
Tasted 10-Oct-2017 • NOBLE ESTATES WINES & SPIRITS INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9880

LA RIOJA ALTA VIÑA ALBERDI RESERVA 2010, DOCa Rioja

Vintages #161893 • $24.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
This is a complex, traditionally styled Rioja Reserva from 2010. There is still a core of freshness, exhibiting cherry and red berry fruit, bolstered by bright acidity, with significant notes of resin and cedar from American oak. Tannins are fine and are still slightly edgy, and there is some savoury and leathery evolution that accompanies some drying of the fruit. This is a very competent expression of traditional Rioja that justifies the price.
Tasted 10-Oct-2017 • JOHN HANNA & SONS LIMITED (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9877

ARTESA ORGANIC 2015, DOCa Rioja

Vintages #511576 • $15.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
This organic wine from Rioja is 100% Tempranillo. It is made in a fresh, fruit-forward, modern style, and was aged for six months in new American oak. While the oak is evident on both the nose and palate, with undertones of vanilla and resin, the focus of the wine is its fresh, concentrated cherry, raspberry and blackberry fruit. Bright acidity and very fine tannins shape the palate, and the beginnings of savoury, earthy and cedary elements emerge towards the finish. Very attractive, and a fine value.
Tasted 10-Oct-2017 • NOBLE ESTATES WINES & SPIRITS INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9881

VIÑA REAL CRIANZA 2014, DOCa Rioja

Vintages #657411 • $18.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
This is a rather modern Rioja from the respected CVNE. A simple but pleasant nose suggests cherry and blackberry fruit, nestled in a lightly resinous and spicy frame. Tannins are fine and persistent, acidity is bright, and to this point the fruit on the palate remains juicy and quite fresh, with an additional savoury black olive note underneath. The wine is nicely structured, wood is present but not dominant, and the overall effect is very attractive. A good value.
Tasted 10-Oct-2017 • VON TERRA ENTERPRISES LTD. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



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