Food & WineIf I had $100…I would buy these wines at Vintages…

If I had $100…I would buy these wines at Vintages…

If I had $100…I would buy these wines at Vintages…

If you’re a lover of Ontario wines, as many of our Savvy Selections subscribers are, you’ll be delighted with the September 13 LCBO Vintages releases, which showcases the diversity of terroir and wines across the province.

Vintages magazine Sept 13 2014

State of the Art in Ontario

This billion-dollar industry has come into its own over the last 30 years, and we’ve been contributing to it! Most Ontario wine is consumed in Canada, and the shift in consumer tastes away from spirits to dry table wine can only accelerate the growth of the industry.

Old Vines, Part of Our Heritage

The province’s wine industry is located at approximately the same latitude as Burgundy, so we can ripen most Vitis vinifera grapes – Paul Bosc Sr. was one of the first to demonstrate this at Château des Charmes, where the first vines were planted in 1978 – and produce a range of wine styles, from crisp sparkling wines, such as The Grange of Prince Edward County Sparkling Riesling and Peller Estates Ice Cuvée Rosé, through off-dry and dry white or red wines to the iconic ice wine that reintroduced the Canadian wine industry to the world, represented in this release by Château des Charmes’  beautifully crafted ‘Estate Bottled’ Vidal Icewine.

Nature & Nurture

There’s a particular focus in this Ontario feature on the Cabernet Franc grape, which ripens particularly well in Niagara.  Used in Bordeaux blends, and produced as a single varietal wine in the Chinon and Bourgeuil appellations in France, Cabernet Franc has come into its own in Canada’s wine regions. The Ontario feature includes great examples from such producers as Peller Estates,SouthbrookTawse and Thirty Bench (its Red is built around Cabernet the Cabernet grapes).

Taste the Place

I have visited Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore several times, and usually make at least one annual pilgrimage to Niagara. It never ceases to amaze me how many new wineries are sprouting from the soil, how successful the well-established ones are, and how many wine lovers are stopping in to taste the wines, meet the winemakers, and take home a selection of wines. If your schedule doesn't allow you to visit one of the regions in person, take advantage of this Vintages release to put together your own tasting party of Ontario wines!

Taste 2011For a real-life taste, come to TASTE 2014.  Come & meet some of the region’s finest chefs, winemakers, beer, spirits and cider masters. Sample the best gourmet food from top local restaurants and artisan food producers. Buy fresh produce and VQA wines in our farmer’s market. Come to Prince Edward County and see why TASTE Community Grown is Eastern Ontario’s most anticipated culinary event of 2014.

Tuscany’s Third Pillar – again

There’s always a secondary feature in the Vintages release, and this one will appeal to lovers of Sangiovese, specifically the Prugnolo gentile clone that is used in the production of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.  This wine is designed for aging and is known for its firm structure, dark fruit and earthy character. Five producers are represented in the release – take your pick!

And, of course, there are some great values to be had in the general release, a couple of which are included in the selection below.

Sources:  The Ontario Wine Industry: Provincial Policy at a Crossroads, Pelling & Hira

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…

September 13, 2014 


Flat Rock RieslingFlat Rock Cellars Riesling 2013

VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario
$16.95 (Vintages 43281) 11.0% alcohol

Fabulous aromas of peach, nectarine, pear, lime and some mineral notes lift from the class of this off-dry white wine. It’s a masterpiece of balance, showcasing a beautifully crisp texture juxtaposed to round, well-ripened fruit flavours and that subtle mineral character. It’s juicy and flavourful to the last drop! Sip well chilled paired with soft cheeses on a warm autumn afternoon.

Talmard Macon UchizyMallory & Benjamin Talmard Mâcon-Uzichy 2012

AOC Mâcon-Uzichy, France?$16.95 (Vintages 733956) 13.0% alcohol

This classic white wine of southern Burgundy combines stone and orchard fruit aromas with the scent of sweet woodruff and smoke. Dry, medium bodied, it’s ripe round texture is perfectly matched to a fine seam of acidity. Flavours of apple and lemon-lime dance on the palate, garnished with a touch of toasted nut. Well balanced and absolutely lovely, it’s a match for lemon roast chicken or your choice of seafood. 

13th Street Cabernet Merlot13th Street Cabernet/Merlot 2012

VQA Creek Shores, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages 56598) 13.5% alcohol

Dense and inky, this red wine blend offers lovely aromas of ripe dark fruit, earthy notes and hints of lavender and dried herbs. Dry, medium-full bodied, it’s polished tannins and tangy texture harmonize with dark berry and plum. There’s depth and intensity here, spice and smoky toast complementing the fruit on the extended finish. Enjoy with grilled red meats.

Chakana Cabernet SauvignonCkakana ‘Yaguaraté Collection’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 

Mendoza, Argentina
$13.95 (Vintages #663161) 14.5% alcohol

Ripe aromas of black currant, spice, toast and licorice lift from the glass of this appealing, full-bodied varietal wine. It offers a warm welcome, round mouth feel, soft tannins and generous ripe fruit accented by spice and tasty notes of coffee bean. This red wine is a crowd-pleaser with a pleasantly dry finish, it’s a great value and made for barbequed meats.


Dominio Cepas Viejas MenciaDominio de Tares ‘Cepas Viejas’ Mencia 2009

DO Bierzo, Spain
$29.95 (Vintages #379891) 14.5% alcohol

Subtle aromas—cherry, berry, leather, meaty notes, spice and vanilla—tantalize the nose and offer a well-rehearsed intro to the velvety, round texture of this captivating old-vines wine. It’s produced from Mencia, a grape native to Spain’s northwest and shown, through DNA testing, to be related to a grape native to Portugal.

Dry, combining finesse and power, it showcases great intensity and depth of fruit, a well-defined, refined structure, and the complexity of French and American barrel aging. The dry finish offers warmth and great length. Just fabulous, treat yourself to a bottle and you’ll enjoy tasting this wine before a dinner built around rare grilled meats. 



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