Vintages releases are theme-based. Every release has a theme that varies from Bordeaux to Burgundy to Tuscany to Australia, to California, British Columbia and Ontario. Spain and Portugal are occasionally featured.
Special days are celebrated such as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and even Robert Burn’s death.
The March 18 release is about California, especially Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and Paso Robles. Washington State and Oregon wines represent a small portion, but good value.
As always, Spain’ Rioja and a few other regions are well represented. Only one rose is offered, but surely, following releases include many more, as “serious” rose wines are now in demand.
Here are my recommendations.
Il Merlot di Nonino Monovitigno Grappa, Nonino, Italy
An outstandingly smooth merlot distillate that stands out from all other single-varietal grappas with its aromas and refinement.
700 ml., $ 62.95
Bonneuil Cognac Limited Edition, 2006, Domaine Hine, Cognac, France
Hine is an old, well-established English-rooted cognac producer. This pale, pure Grand Champagne cognac offers fruity aromas and a honeyed mouth feel. At 42.8 per cent ABV, it is still smooth, elegant and refined.
700 ml., $ 159.95
Islay 12 Year-Old- Malt, Bunnahabhain, Burn Stewart, Scotland
Spiced Pear Liqueur, St George Distillery, California
Vidal icewine, 2015, Pondview Winery, Niagara peninsula, Ontario
Luscious and vibrant aromas of honeydew melon, apricots and apples, this vidal offers an impressive and long finish,
200 ml., $ 19.95
Tokaji Semi sweet Yellow Muscat, Puklus Pinceszet, Tokaj Hegyalya, Hungary
Cuvee Fleuron Premiere cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, 2009, Pierre Gimonnet, Champagne, France
A round, voluptuous champagne that explodes in your mouth with intense flavors of white flowers.
An outstanding effort from a small, quality oriented producer.
Special Cuvee Brut, Bollinger, Champagne, France
Wismer Vineyard Fox Croft Block Chardonnay, 2014, 2027 Cellars, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Deep yellow brilliant colour. Expect apple/pear smoke, and mild spice aromas. Excellent mouth feel with an elegant, long and refined finish,
Cuvee GeneseSancerre, 2015, Jean-Marc Roger, Loire Valley, France
This old, well-established (17th century) Sancerre family winery is well known for its exquisite wines. Look for orchard fruit aromas, cut grass, and mineral notes. Mid-weight with smooth and elegant mouth feel.
Le G de Chateau Guiraud, 2015, Bordeaux, France
Pinto Gris, 2015, Stepp, Palatinate, Germany
McCrea Vineyard Chardonnay, 2014, Kistler, Sonoma Mountain, California
Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc, 2015, Rustenberg, South Africa.
Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico, 2009, Santa Sofia, Veneto, Italy
Dark brilliant red. Aromas of barbequed eats, and ripe fruits waft out of the glass. A superbly crafted, full-bodied, balanced wine with a long and satisfying finish. Pair with old hard cheeses, roast or grilled dry-aged beef or game stews.
Brunello di Montalcino, 2011, Fanti, Tuscany, Italy
Brilliant red colour. Look for plum, dried fruit, mushroom aromas with hints of chocolate. A full-bodied wine with velvety tannins and fine balance of all components.
Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012, Silver Oak, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California,
Although the winery is located in the Napa Valley, and makes a cabernet sauvignon from local fruit, the fruit of this wine originates from the nearby Alexander Valley in Sonoma County.
Dark brilliant red. Anticipate pronounced ripe berry aromas, Full-bodied, layered and finely structured. Aged in American oak barrels, it exudes vanilla flavors. Cellar for three to four years.
Pair confidently with medium-rater steaks, or roast rib of beef, or aged cheeses e.g Parmegiano reggiano, Swiss Emmenthal or Gruyere, Old Cheddar from Ontario or England.
Cabernet Sauviniong, 2012, hess Colelction, Mout Veeder, napa valley, Calfironia
Drak red, verging to black. A blend of 80 per cent cabernet sauvingin, and 20 per cent malbec.
The wine opens up with itense bluebbery and blackberry aroas,a nd follwos up with an itnense full-body, sturcturte,a dn alyered falvorus. Well balanced, with a logn finish. Celalr for three to eight eyars.
Conundrum Red 25th Anniversary Eiditon, Charles Wagner, Caldironia
Aconcagua Alta Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, Errazuris, Chile
Adro da Se Reserva, 2012, Udaca, Dao, Portugal
Reserva Rioja, 2011, Baron de Ley, Rioja, Spain
Tower Road Petie Syrah, 2013, Paso Robles, California