How I make my selections...

Rarely will I publish a review of a wine that I did not enjoy; my taste is purely individual, as is your own. If I write about a particular wine, I do so because I also want you to try it.

The new website is now available!

The new website is now available!
Click the image to link to

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Selections for July 23rd, 2011

Wine selected from the July 23, 2011 LCBO Vintage Release 

This weekend’s LCBO Vintages release highlights the signature grapes of Italy.  If you have yet to discover the many wines of Italy, I would encourage you to pick-up a few bottles over the next couple of weeks.  There are some very good tasting opportunities in this release.    

In this edition of the North of 9 Selections, I’ve found another big Aussie Shiraz to pair with spice rubbed meat on the BBQ.  Additionally, I have a once Italian variety now grown in Argentina for you to sample.  The white wines this weekend showcase a superb Niagara Sauvignon Blanc and an unusual variety from Austria.  No sparkler this time but a Rosé from Germany instead.  And for your cellar, I’d better do a big Italian red… let’s try a Barbaresco shall we...   



2006 Small Gully, The Formula, Robert’s ShirazAustralia
Just call it ‘The Formula’.  At 15.9% alcohol, this is another big bold Aussie Shiraz and one that is nicely in sync.  The nose is incredibly fragrant showing intense black fruit, spice box, and notes of chocolate; mouth-coating flavours smoothly slide across the palate to leave a tingling sensation of cracked pepper heat on the finish.  I’m thinking BBQ wine here.  LCBO #142935 / $18.95 (XD)

2008 Lamadrid, Single Vineyard Reserva Bonarda – Agrelo, Argentina
Bonarda is a grape variety that hails from Italy where it is known as Corbeau.  This Argentinean example is medium to full bodied with hints of vanilla and smoke on the nose followed by rich red fruit. The slightly tannic structure quickly mellows with the open air to become a smooth mix of raspberry and wood smoke with a nice lingering finish.  Decant 1-2 hours before serving. LCBO #232652 / $16.95 (XD)


2010 Featherstone, Sauvignon Blanc – Niagara, Canada
An Ontario bull’s eye here.  This Sauvignon offers a pungent but sweet nose of pears and mild herbs showing little of the often offensive qualities that this grape is so often accused of.  Soft across the palate with hints of lemon grass and pears.  Fantastic stuff! LCBO #089011 / $19.95 (D)

2009 Loimer, Grüner Veltliner – Austria
I’d be lying if I said there was anything that jumped out of the glass at me here in terms of aroma but to taste this Grüner Veltliner really is quite a treat. The lemon and grapefruit notes could easily cause one to mistake this for a dry Riesling; that is until the rather pronounced spice starts to come to the forefront. The combination of crisp minerality and a fantastic black pepper finish really steals the show though – I think you’ll enjoy this.   LCBO #142240 / $18.95 (D)


2010 Heitlinger, Sunset Twilight, Rosé – Germany
The name’s a bit tacky in my opinion but this German blush will please the masses with its obvious effervescence and fun yet simple style with loads of red fruit flavour.  Chill this one really well and sip it by the pool as the kids scream ‘cannonball!’.  LCBO #225037 / $13.95 (D)

One for the Cellar

2007 Marchesi di Barolo, Barbaresco – Piedmont, Italy
Barbaresco is an Italian red wine which is often compared to the great Barolo. Both wines are made using famous Nebbiolo grape.  The difference being that where Barbaresco is produced, the grapes tend to ripen sooner and thus craft a softer more approachable wine.  If you are fond of the Barolo style, it always pays to have a few bottles of Barbaresco in the cellar for short term aging as you wait for your bigger Barolos to come of age. With a few years in the cellar, the '07 Marchesi will show a full body with a mix of earthy tones and red fruit such as raspberry and cherry. 
LCBO #155408 / $24.95 (XD)