GOD MADE CABERNET SAUVIGNON, WHEREAS THE DEVIL MADE PINOT NOIR.
This 100-brand release features wine producing regions that have now improved their quality and consistency, plus Ontario wines that won meaningful wards (some organizations in eastern European countries award prizes to each entry, regardless of merit). Most wines offered are reasonably priced, (compared to other wines on L C B O’s general list, and Vintages Essentials).
Some of the Israeli wines on offer tasted much better than those in recent memory. Several European- and American-educated winemakers are now applying modern wine making technology and improved equipment successfully.
My recommendations are:
The Arran Malt 14-year-Old Single Malt, The Arran Isle Distillery, Scotland
Weighing in with 46.1 per cent ABV, this superb, smooth whisky deserves to be enjoyed after an extended meal, neat from a snifter with a splash of water to release its bouquet.
700 ml., $ 89.95
Coeur De Lion Selection Calvados, Christian Drouin, Normandy, France
This delicious apple brandy from northwestern France smells of freshly cut apples, then changes to caramel scents. Smooth and refreshing, you can blend it with tonic water and enjoy it as an aperitif, after a fine meal
Or cook with it. Pork dishes are especially suitable fro calvados enhancement.
700ml., $ 44.95
Colheita 1995 Port, Dalva, Douro Valley, Portugal
Composed of 50 per cent touriga nacional, 10 touriga franca, 10 tinta cao, and a few others, this luscious port emanates fruit cake, walnut, and spice aromas. An excellent colheita to enjoy with aged cheeses, or on its to contemplate the beautiful and tranquil Douro Valley where the grapes grew.
Perle d’Ivoire Brut Blanc de Blancs Cremant de Bourgogne, Louis Bouillot, Burgundy, France
A fine sparkling wine that tastes as good as an entry-level champagne at a fraction of the latter.
Look for green apple aromas. In the mouth, this vivacious wine offers balance and depth. Long and satisfying finish.
Vidal Icewine, 2015, Inniskillin, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Pear aromas surge from the glass of this well-balanced and intense wine at 9.5 per cent ABV. Lingering aftertaste.
375 ml., $ 49.95
Cabernet Franc Icewine, 2013, Lakeview Cellars, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Although most wineries use vidal or riesling for their icewines, Lakeview Cellars decided to use cabernet franc. An excellent choice!
Expect Montmorency cherry, strawberry and blueberry aromas. In the mouth the wine offers and abundance of berry flavours. The balance is exemplary, and the finish extraordinary.
200 ml., $ 29.95
Luminous Chardonnay, 2015, Beringer, Napa Valley, Ca.
A typical Napa Valley high-alcohol, and oaky chardonnay with honey notes, and voluptuous moth feel. Smooth, and exuding lemon zest, and orange peel flavours.
Chardonnay, 2015, Long Meadow Ranch, Anderson Valley, Mendocino, Ca.
Stone Dwellers Chardonnay, 2016, Fowles Wines, Stratbogie Ranges, Victoria, Australia
Heimberger Vieille Vignes Riesling, 2015, Cave de Beblenheim, Alsace, France
Dry Mineral Rielsing, 2016, Dr.Heidemann’s – Bergweiler, Mosel, Germany
Estate Grown Syrah, 2014, Painted Rock Winery, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
If you like perfectly ripe cherries, this wine is for you. The palate is floral, with hints of black pepper and liquorice supported by fine-grained tannins. This high-octane wine weighing in with 15.1 per cent ABV is highly extracted which balances the alcohol. Cellar for three to four years.
The Prisoner, 2016, The Prisoner Wine Company, Napa Valley, California
A blend of zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, petite sirah, syrah, and charbono, this striking blend is always successful with deeply favoured foods.
Always, consistent, and highly enjoyable with old cheeses and game roasts.
Gran Reserva Pinot Noir, 2016, Echeverria, Casablanca Valley, Chile
Chile is not famous for its pinot noir wines, but this bottling is an exception. It exudes berry aromas. It the mouth, the texture is medium bodied but firm with ripe tannins. Logan and satisfying finish.
An absolute bargain
Barolo, 2012, Sordo Gabutti, Piedmont, Italy
Well balanced. Cherry and strawberry aromas waft out of the glass. In the mouth tobacco flavours appear. A fine nebbiolo wine with a long aftertaste. Cellar fro four to five years.
John’s Blend Margarete’s Shiraz, 2013, J. Glaetzer, South Australia
Gigondas, 2015, Domaine Du Grapillon d’Or, Rhone Valley, France
Amethystos Red, 2014, Costa Lazaridi, Drama Valley, Greece
Chianti Classic, 2013, Lornano, Tuscany, Italy