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British Columbia Critics’ Picks June 2015

Our monthly BC Critics’ Picks is the place to find recent recommendations from our intrepid and curious BC critics – wines that cross geographical boundaries, toe traditional style lines and may push limits – without being tied to price or distribution through BCLDB or VQA stores. All are currently available for sale in BC. 

We’re filing these picks this week with one eye on The Nationals, starting shortly. While many in June are anticipating the end of the school year and the start of summer holidays, we’re gearing up for a week of intensive Canadian wine ‘studies’ in Niagara and meeting 1500 or so Canadian wines (plus our cross-Canada colleagues and our international honourary Canuck, Dr. Jamie Goode). Since Anthony is busy prepping the back room, flights, scores and entries, he will not be submitting his top three wines this month for WineAlign West June Critics’ Picks. That said, follow him and our entire WineAlign judging crew on Twitter and Instagram (#NWAC15) for our favourite wines and flight insights in real time, starting next Tuesday, June 23.

Cheers ~ TR

BC Critic Team

Rhys Pender, MW

There are so many great and interesting wines out there it really is amazing what we can find. However, there are also a lot of very uninteresting wines out there that offer zero excitement – we wade through those for you. Fortunately for all of us, it is challenging to pick three monthly critics picks because there are many wines that thrill and energize every month. This isn’t just about expensive, well-known wines but often about those that either do something a little different or are just simply delicious.

Orofino Scout Vineyard Syrah 2014 Juan Gil Monastrell 2012 Elixir Côtes De Provence 2014My first pick is a wine that everyone who wants to understand rosé should taste. It is from Provence, it is bone dry, it is delicious and I probably could drink it endlessly all summer. It is Elixir Côtes De Provence 2014.

The second is a wine that I was lucky enough to enjoy on the same day after the rosé just mentioned. It was evening now, the sun had dropped, I was sitting outside looking at the pink clouded dusk and there was a bit of chill to the air. Jumilla from Spain is often so warming and rich and when it is old vines from a good chalky vineyard it manages to be rich and mineral at the same time. The Juan Gil 2012 has pulled this off nicely.

Another exciting thing about picking these wines is new discoveries, and in particular, bold wineries trying things to make something special. Orofino vineyards in Cawston has produced something very special. They took some of the top quality syrah from Scout Vineyard in Cawston and put it in raw concrete from Osoyoos and let it ferment wild without any interference from oak. Orofino 2014 Wild Ferment Syrah is amazingly fresh, textural and complex and worth seeking out because it is so wonderfully drinkable and “good” different. And they didn’t make very much of it (available directly from the winery).

DJ Kearney

Marchand and Burch Mount Barrow Pinot Noir 2012

Howling Bluff Summa Quies Pinot Noir 2012

Domaine Du Dragon Cuvée Prestige Rosé 2014I’ve been sipping many interesting bottles at tastings in Vancouver (and at home), including lovely, stony classic rosés from Provence. I love the evocative name of Domaine du Dragon Côtes de Provence ‘Cuvée Prestige’ 2014, and the savoury austerity and grip of this almost all-cinsault rosé. Crusty baguette, salty tapenade and a slight chill on the wine is perfect for la nuit blanche.

Then two pinots… the Howling Bluff Summa Quies Pinot Noir 2012 is beautifully in tune now, with emphatic fruit and a gutsy Burgundian flair. It’s a sockeye salmon-worthy wine with bright cherry flavours, subtle tannins and juicy acidity.

Marchand & Burch Mount Barrow Pinot Noir 2012 is a wine I have tasted twice this year and each time been enchanted. Textured, woodsy and vinous, it’s got a stellar pedigree, a killer Art Nouveau label, and duck written all over it.

Treve Ring

Like my colleagues above, I’m seeing this heat wave through rose coloured (wine) glasses. One of my favourite BC rosés from last year thankfully pulled a repeat with their latest vintage. Lock & Worth Cabernet Franc Rosé 2014 has the same palest hue, delicate wild strawberries, minerality and orange pith I recall, though with a touch more padding on the mid palate this year. Welcome maturity, finesse and drinkability.

Weingut Bründlmayer Kamptaler Terrassen Grüner Veltliner 2009 Devil's Corner Pinot Noir 2014 Lock & Worth Cabernet Franc Rosé 2014Always exciting to see a Tasmanian wine on our shelves, and even more so when it’s this delish. Devil’s Corner Tasmania Pinot Noir 2014. With Intoxicating florals, exotic spices, minerality, iron, dried forest and a fresh palate textured with stony grip, this savoury wine is a fantastic new addition to our market.

Some times you’re in the mood for light and quaffable, and sometimes you’re in the mood for serious, contemplative, can’t-look-away wine. Weingut Bründlmayer Kamptaler Terrassen Grüner Veltliner 2009 is definitely the latter. Now with a bit of age (and fortunately a vintage still found on our shelves), this wine shows Brundlmayer’s strength in consistently crafting complex and mineral-driven grüner veltliner, built to age. A complex stunner – especially when poured with herb, fennel and white wine-laced moules frites.


WineAlign in BC

In addition to our monthly Critics’ Picks report, we also publish the popular shortlist 20 Under $20, as well as the BC Wine Report, a look at all things in the BC Wine Industry. Lastly, Anthony Gismondi closes out each month with his Final Blend column – an expert insight into wine culture and trends, honed by more than 25 years experience as an influential and global critic.

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

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Introducing a new Mobile Version of WineAlign

We’re pleased to announce that our new Mobile Version of WineAlign is now available.

LoginBased on the feedback from our recent (and ongoing) member survey we now better understand the need for an improved mobile experience. So we’ve decided to accelerate the release by making this version available today. Yes, it’s still BETA – but we believe it’s quite good and we’ve been enjoying it for the last month.

The website,, has been optimized for the mobile browsing experience and is ideally suited for use while you are shopping for wine at the LCBO, SAQ, or BC Liquors Stores.

The site is bilingual and supports shoppers across Canada.

It’s as easy as 1,2,3 to bookmark this site on your mobile phone and then access it like an app.

Mobile WineAlign1-ListMobile Details

Okay, so how do you access our new mobile site on your phone?  It’s super simple:

Point your phone’s browser to or

Login to site using your WineAlign credentials.

Steps illustrated below (iPhone):

1) Select the Share icon at the bottom of your screen

2) Click on Add to Home Screen

3) WineAlign Icon will show up on your device


Click on image for larger version

Steps for Android: 

Point your phone’s browser to or

Login to site using your WineAlign credentials.

Follow the same steps above and create a bookmark/link/icon on your screen.


Click on image for larger version


Click on image for larger version

Note: If are accessing the regular WineAlign site via your phone you should logout of that first before attempting to bookmark the new site.

FREE apps are coming for Apple and Android!

We are currently working on incorporating this new site into a downloadable application but it’s not quite ready yet. We know you’ve heard this from us before. The fact is that it’s a massive job to write applications from scratch for each of the mobile platforms. We started down that path several years ago and had released an Apple app and had an Android app in beta testing. When Apple upgraded their mobile operating system last year it broke our app and the cost to fix the app was almost more than what it cost to develop it in the first place. At that time we decided to pull the Apple app and find a better approach.

Luckily in the four years since we started down the mobile development path the tools to build mobile apps have advanced light years.  We’re now using those tools and our highest priority project is incorporating our new mobile site into apps for Android and Apple. The new app will include bar-coding support and it will be FREE. Our Shop & Scan app should be ready for major platforms in the next month.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the new Mobile Version of WineAlign. If you have any questions or concerns, please drop us a note at

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Season 5, Table 9 of “So, You Think you Know Wine?”

The Root: 1 Carmenère (a.k.a. It’s Chile in Here)

The oh-so serious sport of wine tasting is receiving a major reality check in Season 5 of WineAlign’s “So, You Think You Know Wine?”. Without any clues, host Seán Cullen takes each table through the swirling, sniffing, and gurgling ritual of wine tasting – asking them to correctly identify the grape, country, region, vintage, and price of the wine.

Table 9 brings together David Lawrason, Bill Zacharkiw, and Zoltan Szabo to up-root the secrets of this red wine. Zoltan leads off with a strong opinion on country, but it’s the value quotient that fools everyone on this little bargain.

Tensions are mounting as the scores have now been released. ONLY the top six will advance to the playoffs. Here’s a look at how the contestants are doing so far, not including today’s episode.

Click here to watch Table 9 or read on to learn more about the contestants and the scoring method.

Score Card:

Score up to Table 8

Table 9

As always, the video series brings together Canada’s top wine experts, but this time a few well-known food personalities have taken on the daunting task of competing against wine critics, sommeliers, and wine educators.

David Lawrason

David is a principal critic and VP of Wine for WineAlign. He is also co-head judge for the National Wine Awards of Canada and the World Wine Awards of Canada. He is wine columnist for Toronto Life and Ottawa magazine, a WSET instructor with Fine Vintage Ltd, and National Wine Advisor to Gold Medal Plates, a chef competition held in ten cities that raises funds for Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes. He also reviews Ontario wines for

David Lawrason

Bill Zacharkiw

Bill is a partner and principal critic at Chacun son vin. His writing career began in 2004 with The Caveman’s Wine Blog, one of the first on the internet. For the last 5 years he has been the weekly wine writer for the Montreal Gazette. His articles are carried across Canada via and other newspapers. Bill can be heard on CHOM FM (Montreal) every Friday morning to talk about Wine that Rocks.

Bill Zacharkiw

Zoltan Szabo

Zoltan has worked in the hospitality industry for two decades and on three continents.  He worked his way up from dishwasher to sommelier to general manager.  Nowadays he’s a consultant, wine judge, educator, and journalist. In 2009, he won the title of Grand Champion in the prestigious Wine Tasting Challenge.

Zoltan Szabo

The Scoring

The scoring on each wine remains similar to past seasons with points for Variety, Country, Region, Appellation, Vintage and Price.

Variety:  3 points
Country, Region, Appellation:  up to 4 points
Vintage:  up to 2 points
Price (within 10% on either side): 1 point

Let the games begin! Pour yourself a glass of wine and watch table 8.

For those of you new to our video series, “So, You Think You Know Wine?”, we have saved all previous episodes under the Videos tab.

Previously on Season 5 of “So, You Think You Know Wine?”:

Table 1 – Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay 2013
Table 2 – Creekside Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Table 3 – Catena Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Table 4 – The Grinder Pinotage 2013
Table 5 – Faustino VII Tempranillo 2012
Table 6 – Gnarly Head Pinot Noir 2012
Table 7 – Laroche Chablis St. Martin 2012
Table 8 – Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2010

We hope that you find this new series entertaining and that you have as much fun watching as we did filming. As usual, please send your comments to and feel free to share this video with your friends and family.

Special thanks to our glassware sponsor, Schott Zwiesel, for their beautiful glasses and carafes used during filming.

Balderson Cheese

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Buy The Case: Treasury Wine Estates

A Report on Consignment Wines in Ontario


Each month we will taste wines submitted by one importing agent. WineAlign core critics will independently, as always, taste, review and rate the wines – good, bad and indifferent, and those reviews will be posted to WineAlign. We will then independently recommend wines to appear in our Buy The Case report. Importers pay for this service. Ads for some wines may appear at the same time, but the decision on which wines to put forward in our report, if any, is entirely up to each critic, as it is with our reviews of in-store wines.

These recommended wines can only be purchased by the case from importers registered in the LCBO’s Consignment Program. They are ‘already landed and stocked’ wines that can be delivered directly to your restaurant, home or office. For an explanation of the program, the process and our 10 Good Reasons to Buy the Case, please click here.

June – Treasury Wine Estates

Treasury Wine Estates is a global wine company with a large portfolio including some of the world’s most recognised wine brands. Names like Penfolds, Stags’ Leap Winery, Etude, Wynns and Wolf Blass are regularly found in the LCBO and VINTAGES, but in addition many others are available through their consignment program. Four WineAlign critics sat down in late May to taste a dozen Treasury submissions. Here are our recommendations, grouped loosely under reasons why we would buy the wine by the case.

Click on the wine name or bottle image to see full reviews by the WineAlign team. Prices shown below are retail and do not include taxes (licensee prices may be less). Treasury has submitted their agency profile with more details below.

Restaurant Pours by the Glass

Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2011, Tuscany, Italy ($22.95)

Etude Pinot Gris 2013 Castello Di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2011Steve Thurlow – A very typical Chianti with mild aromas and a soft midweight fruity palate that will work well with a wide variety of meat and cheese dishes. It is supple and smooth on the palate but there is just the right amount of acidity for freshness and some firm tannin for grip. It finishes dry with good to very good length. Best with food.
Michael Godel – This Tuscan offers the best of both worlds, in two ways. First, this is Sangiovese made by an old wine making family steeped in tradition under the conglomerate ownership of a very large wine company that supports with modern infrastructure. Second, the wine is rich, modern and approachable with accents that reek of old world style. Sometimes wine with a foot each in the past and the present is a very good thing. Ideal for the licensee in need of wines with broad, immediate and accessible appeal.

Cellaring Wine or Gifting Wine

Etude 2013 Pinot Gris, Carneros, California ($39.95)

John Szabo – Etude is one of the classier operations in Carneros, always focused on elegance and refinement. This is a wine to buy a case of, keep a few bottles for yourself, and give the rest away to your close, wine-savvy friends with a nudge and a wink (they wouldn’t likely spend $40 on a bottle of California pinot gris, which means they would miss out on this lovely wine, perfect at the table with anything lightly spiced and aromatic herb-infused). You’ll become their go-to wine source, if you weren’t already.
Michael Godel – If not the first to do so, this Carneros offers a rare comparison in the way it intimates with near pitch-perfect exactitude the kind of Pinot Gris experience that comes from a similarly priced, lieu-dit, ‘premier cru’ Alsatian. Etude’s stylish PG should be considered a case buy without hesitation, to enjoy once a year for the next dozen. Or, convince a wine geek friend or two to split the case with you.

Function Wines or Personal House Wines

Chateau St. Jean 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Usa ($19.95)

Colores Del Sol Malbec 2012 Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon 2012John Szabo – This is a smart option when a foolproof, widely appealing wine is required, like those larger functions (with decent budgets) with important but unknown guests that you need to impress. This has the star power of both California and cabernet sauvignon, coupled to name brand recognition amongst those in the know, for a powerful and attractive combination.
Sara d’Amato – A touch pricey for an everyday house wine but one to stock up on for when barbecued steak is on the menu. There is an impressive amount of substance and depth here and without sweetness or the use excessive oak.
Steve Thurlow – This is a pretty cabernet with some nice floral tones to the cassis fruit and oak spice. The midweight palate is soft and juicy and dry with some mild tannin on the finish. Good to very good length. Good value for an appealing Californian cabernet.
Michael Godel – Having first tasted this at dinner with winemaker Margo Van Staaveren, what stood out so profoundly was this simple, ‘entry-level’ California Cabernet Sauvignon’s ability to mimic and transition to Chateau St. Jean’s more expensive and increasingly complex Cabernets. At this price you can pour at will to crowds large and small.

Seasonal Wines

Colores del Sol 2012 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina ($11.95)

John Szabo – A perfectly serviceable, soft and fruity, easy drinking malbec, which fulfills the party or BBQ wine role nicely. At this price you can serve generously, while your guests will think you spent more on this fashionable bottle, as Argentine Malbec continues to garner recognition and sales.
Steve Thurlow – This is a soft somewhat overripe malbec with some high toned aromas on top of the blueberry fruit with peppermint and honey. The palate is soft and fruity with some tannin showing up on the finish. Good to very good length. Try with burgers or grilled sausage.

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2012 Devil's Lair Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2012Six Packs Please

Devil’s Lair Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Margaret River, Australia, $49.95

Sara d’Amato – Dry, full-bodied and most importantly balanced, this fleshy cabernet from Devil’s Lair has preserved an impressive amount of acidity contributing to a solid, age-worthy wine. What is most compelling, however, is the wine’s savory, floral nose with notes of mint, black fruit and purple flower. Available in an easy to swallow 6-pack case.

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2012, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia ($29.95)

Sara d’Amato – Beautifully developed, this cool climate pinot noir from select parcels throughout the Yarra Valley delivers a round, appropriately rich and appealing palate with impressive complexity. Offered in a 6-pack case, it will be easy to find friends who are willing to split.

Editors Note: You can find complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the highlighted wine names or bottle images above. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critics reviews immediately. Non-paid members wait 60 days to see new reviews. Premium membership has its privileges; like first access to great wines!

This report was sponsored by the Treasury Wine Estates. WineAlign critics have independently recommended the above wines based on reviews that are posted on WineAlign as part of this sponsored tasting. Treasury has provided the following agency profile with more details on their consignment program and delivery options.


Consignment at Treasury Wine Estates:

Treasury Wine EstatesWe are passionate about providing our clientele with the very best wines and service in the industry. We provide daytime delivery to your residence or office within the Greater Toronto Area. This service is completely complimentary, regardless of the volume purchased. We strive to ensure that all orders are delivered within five business days.

Our consignment program has been designed to make the procurement of our fine wines simple and bespoke. Wines can also be delivered to an LCBO store of your choice at no additional cost.  This service usually takes two to four weeks however, could take longer based on the geographical location of the clientele’s LCBO of choice. The cases arrive pre-paid and we simply email an invoice or credit card slip in advance. The store will then call to notify you when the requested wine has arrived.

Throughout the process, your personal consignment concierge is only a phone call or email away if there are any questions.

Phone: 905-337-6217  |  Mobile: 416-358-0177  |

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Les choix de Nadia pour juin

Éloge du vin blanc
par Nadia Fournier

Nadia Fournier - New - Cropped

Nadia Fournier

Je vous écris cette semaine depuis la Grèce. Le soleil plombe, la mer est d’un bleu turquoise, l’accueil est chaleureux, les pieuvres sèchent sur les cordes à linge et les vins sont délicieux. Ce n’est pas pour vous embêter que je vous raconte tout ça, mais pour une petite mise en contexte.

Hier soir, avec mes compagnons de voyage, nous nous sommes rendus dans une taberna où nous attendait un couple de vignerons de l’Attique, ainsi que le meilleur agneau que j’aie goûté depuis longtemps. Il y avait bien quelques vins rouges sur la table pour accompagner la bête – du cabernet même –, mais à mon avis, les mariages les plus intéressants se déclinaient en une autre couleur. Mes coups de cœur de la soirée : Savatiano 2011 et Retsina du Domaine Papagiannakos. Deux vins blancs. Et il ne s’agit pas d’exceptions.

Il y a maintenant quelques années que je multiplie les essais d’accords entre les viandes rouges grillées et les vins blancs et je continue d’être surprise par les résultats. Mon meilleur match jusqu’à présent demeure l’Assyrtiko Estate du Domaine Argyros, servi avec des côtelettes d’agneau et du steak de veau grillé. Un pur régal!

Estate Argyros Assyrtiko 2013 Papagiannakos Savatiano 2014En gros, si je prends la peine de vous dire ça c’est que la semaine dernière encore, j’étais dans une succursale de la SAQ et j’ai entendu des amies débattre du choix de vin pour accompagner le repas sur le barbecue. L’une ayant envie de boire du blanc; l’autre arguant que « du blanc avec des steaks, ça n’avait pas d’allure ».

Et pourquoi pas? Soit, on chante toujours les louanges des tanins pour soutenir les protéines d’une viande saignante, mais aucun accord classique ne devrait nous contraindre à boire un vin dont on n’a pas soif.

Bref, si tout comme moi, le retour des journées chaudes vous donne plus envie de vin blanc que de rouge tannique, je vous incite à faire confiance à votre instinct. Les vins blancs sont souvent beaucoup plus solides et beaucoup plus polyvalents qu’on ne le croirait.

Défiez donc les conventions, écoutez votre soif. 

Soif de blanc

Introduits pour la plupart dans la dernière promotion Cellier, une série de bons vins blancs d’été qui feront votre bonheur à table ou à l’apéritif. 

À vue de nez, on pourrait craindre un excès de soufre dans ce vin de Monacesca di Cifola, mais il n’en est rien. Le Verdicchio di Matelica 2012 offre plutôt une expression minérale, qui rappelle la nature volcanique des sols de la région. Un vin blanc de caractère, arrondi par un léger reste de sucre qui atténue son caractère tranchant.

Sur un mode un peu moins minéral et un peu plus nourri que la moyenne de l’appellation Verdicchio Dei Castelli di Jesi Classico 2012, La Staffa Rincrocca de Riccardo Baldi est à la fois sec et friand, bien mûr, mais harmonieux. À servir frais, mais pas froid.

Poursuivons dans la minéralité avec un très bon Riesling 2013, Mosel de Mönchhof. Léger comme une plume (9 % d’alcool) et plein de vitalité, il donne l’impression de croquer dans une pomme verte bien juteuse. 

La Monacesca Verdicchio Di Matelica 2012La Staffa Rincrocca Verdicchio Dei Castelli Di Jesi Classico 2012Mönchhof Mosel Qualitätswein Riesling 2013Schreckbichl Colterenzio Pinot Grigio 2012Au Bon Climat Pinot Gris 2013La Moussière Sancerre 2014

Co-op fondée en 1960 par une trentaine de vignerons italiens, Colterenzio regroupe aujourd’hui plus de 300 producteurs et 300 hectares de vignes, dont elle tire le Pinot Grigio 2013 Südtirol Alto Adige. Un pinot grigio plus substantiel que la moyenne, pas exubérant, mais passe-partout et idéal à l’apéritif. 

Nettement plus ample et généreusement nourri par le soleil de la Californie, le Pinot gris – Pinot blanc 2013 Santa Barbara de Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat) présente une attaque en bouche franche et nerveuse, mais aussi une texture onctueuse qui se mariera à ravir avec des côtelettes de porc grillées.

Dans un tout autre registre, infiniment plus subtil, complexe et nuancé, La Moussière 2014 est un pur régal. Bien plus que du sauvignon blanc, plutôt une expression pure et racée du terroir de Sancerre. L’effet de la biodynamie? Peut-être bien, affirmait Alphonse Mellot, de passage à Montréal il y a quelques semaines pour présenter une verticale de la cuvée emblématique du domaine. « Ces 15 dernières années en biodynamie nous ont permis de gagner en pureté et en profondeur et de développer ce côté salin qui fait saliver. » De 2014 à 2000, tous les vins dégustés avaient en commun une solide assise en bouche, une certaine intensité contenue et un équilibre exemplaire. Le 2000, étonnamment jeune, n’accusait pas la moindre fatigue. Mon conseil : achetez-en six bouteilles pour la cave. Votre patiente sera récompensée.

Un peu de couleur, quand même

En plus de contribuer au succès de Bellavista à titre d’oenologue, Mattia Vezzola veille sur Costaripa, la propriété qu’avait fondée son grand-père sur les rives du lac de Garde, où il élabore quelques vins effervescents, ainsi que le RosaMara 2014 Valtènesi (19,95 $), un savoureux rosé, composé de groppello, de sangiovese, de marzemino et de barbera.

On retiendra aussi le Rosé 2014 de la gamme Chartier, Créateur d’Harmonies. Fruit d’un assemblage de cinsault et de grenache, coloré, mais parfaitement sec, avec de bons goûts de fruits qu’une amertume élégante rehausse en finale.

Encore plus abordable, le Château La Lieue rosé 2014 (16,90 $) est d’une qualité irréprochable cette année encore. Issu de l’agriculture biologique, léger comme une plume, mais loin d’être faible en saveurs.

Costaripa Rosamara 2014Chartier Créateur D'harmonies Le Rosé 2014Château La Lieue Coteaux Varois En Provence 2014Domaine Ruet La Fontenelle Chiroubles 2013Affinato In Carati Scavino Barbera d'Alba 2012Bela Voda Vin Rouge 2012

Enfin, dans le dernier Cellier, les inconditionnels de vins rouges voudront aussi mettre la main sur le Chiroubles 2013 La Fontenelle du Domaine Ruet. De style plus charnu que la plupart des vins de Chiroubles, mais non moins savoureux et digeste. 

De la maison Paolo Scavino, le Barbera d’Alba 2012, Affinato in Cara (26,05 $) est un excellent vin rouge de facture moderne, ample et riche de goûts de fruits mûrs; pas très corsé, mais plein de vivacité et assez long en bouche.

Envie d’exotisme, il vous faut absolument goûter le Tikves Bela Voda 2012, de Macédoine. Fruit d’un assemblage de plavec et de vranec, un croisement entre deux vieilles variétés dalmatiennes. Bonne mâche tannique, grain assez ferme, enrobé d’une chair fruitée mûre qui plaira à la fois aux amateurs de vins européens et du Nouveau monde.


Présentation dela fonction CELLIER

Nouvel arrivage CELLIERAfin de vous guider encore mieux dans vous achats et faciliter vos emplettes, nous avons ajouté une fonction spéciale au site Chacun son vin pour nos membres Privilège.

Chaque fois que la SAQ met en vente ces nouveaux arrivages, vous n’aurez qu’à visiter notre site et cliquer sur l’onglet «Vin» puis sur «Nouvel arrivage CELLIER», dans le menu déroulant. Aussi simple que cela !

Vous pourrez ainsi lire mes notes de dégustation sur tous les vins du CELLIER, en un seul et même endroit.


Nadia Fournier

Cellier 04 juin et 11 juin

Note de la rédaction: Cet accès exclusif, ainsi que la possibilité de lire dès leur publication tous les commentaires de dégustation publiés sur Chacun son Vin, est offert à nos membres Privilège pour la somme de 40 $ par année. (Les membres inscrits bénéficiant d’un accès gratuit doivent, pour leur part, attendre 60 jours avant de pouvoir accéder à tout notre contenu.)

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

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Buyers’ Guide to VINTAGES June 13 – Part Two

Best Bets for Dad and More of the Pink Stuff
By Sara d’Amato, with notes from David Lawrason and John Szabo MS

Sara d'Amato

Sara d’Amato

Although Father’s Day is the official kick-off of barbecue season, if you’re a true Canadian, you never really stopped. But surely the return of heat requires you to kick it up a notch in the refreshment category. As the rosés continue to roll out, (and they will stop, soon) we can’t get enough of their appealing, food friendly nature and their thirst-quenching properties. Once again, the majority of our picks come from the world’s most reputed pink destination, that of the south of France. The region is now producing roughly 8% of the world’s rosés which have become top priority as global demand rapidly increases. I’ll be returning to this southern destination in the next few weeks and look forward to reporting on ever-changing trends, unique finds and new ways to beat the heat.

Our Father’s Day picks encompass our most exciting finds outside of the Italian subset that was covered by John Szabo in last week’s report. A very international selection, there is sure to be something to be found for just about any personality and gifter’s price range. One of the strongest and highest scoring categories this week are the wines from Spain and Portugal so keep an eye out for great value in this growing section. David Lawrason has just returned from both of these sunny destinations and you will surely hear more from him on this subject shortly.


Whites and Sweet

Quinta Do Alqueve 2013 Tradicional, Tejo, Portugal ($14.95)

Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Laurent Miquel Nord Sud Viognier 2013 Quinta Do Alqueve Tradicional White 2013David Lawrason – I have just returned from Portugal where I was very impressed by the quality improvement of white wines. This beauty from a smallish family estate in Tejo (formerly Ribatejo) 40kms northeast of Lisbon explains why things are getting so interesting. It is made from local varieties – 90% fernao pires, 10% arinto grapes that were grown at low yield and hand sorted before fermentation. It reminds a bit of viognier but more compact, subdued and nuanced somehow. Very classy white at a great price.

Laurent Miquel 2013 Nord Sud Viognier, Vin De Pays d’Oc, France ($14.95)

Sara d’Amato – A great value summer white that will stand up to at least 3/4 of what you put on the barbeque. Love the ripe, fleshy appeal of this viognier which has a refreshing backbone of vibrant acids.

Loveblock 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand ($24.95)

David Lawrason – It’s priced a bit above the norm for Marlborough sauvignon, but the quality is there. Erica and Kim Crawford’s Loveblock property overlooks the Awatere Valley, and uses some Awatere fruit (along with Waihopai fruit) in this wine, which provides a more compact, firm frame than we often see from Marlborough. There are also intriguing fresh herb/green notes on the nose (dill, green pepper) along with lime and green apple. Its balance is the key to my recommendation.

Max Ferd. Richter 2013 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, Germany ($21.95)

Patricius 5 Puttonyos Tokaji Aszú 2003 Leyda Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Max Ferd. Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 2013John Szabo – I suppose I’ll never tire of recommending (and drinking) the gems from the Mosel, especially from these top vineyards that have been celebrated for about 2000 years. For me, wines like these are the white equivalents of classified Médoc or grand cru red Burgundy, only, double check the price. That’s right, only here are legendary vineyards given away for $22. Best 2015-2028.
Sara d’Amato – What a find! Think your dad doesn’t like riesling? Think again – this racy gem is sure to win him over and the price is too good to be true. This centuries’ old top site produces some of the most dynamic and exhilarating rieslings on earth.

Leyda 2014 Garuma Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Leyda Valley, Chile ($19.95)

John Szabo – A bright, punchy, crunchy Chilean sauvignon from the genuinely cool but sunny Leyda Valley. There’s plenty of vibrancy and a nice mix of citrus and passion fruit flavours with lingering acidic tang.

Patricius 2003 5 Puttonyos Tokaji Aszú, Hungary ($39.95)

John Szabo – This is the best tokaji to come into VINTAGES for as long as I can remember, and in fact one of the best sweet wines as well, even more astonishing considering the price. It’s a furmint-based, botrytis-affected wine from one of the leading producers in the region, which delivers the complexity that can only come with great wine and a dozen years in the cellar – three in barrel and the rest in bottle (a recent release). This is really pretty, fragrant and delicate, infinitely drinkable, rich but far from heavy or cloying. Try it with duck à l’orange or pork belly, and learn what all the fuss over tokaji in the last 500 years is about. Best 2015-2033.


Cara Nord 2013 Conca De Barbera, Catalonia, Spain ($19.95)
David Lawrason – Huge value here – an aromatic explosion, followed by a nervy, mouthwatering palate and excellent length. It’s a blend of grenache, syrah and 20% garrut (mourvèdre) the Rhône varieties also widely used throughout Catalonia, culminating as it were in some of the great wines of Priorat. Conca de Barbera neighbours Priorat to the northwest on the other side of the Montsant mountain range, a flatter terrain with limestone based soils instead of Priorat’s unique slate. Winemaker Tomas Cusine – who also makes Montsant DO red – is fashioning a reputation for dynamic, expressive wines, and this certainly explains his success.

Roux Père & Fils 2010 Vougeot Les Petits Vougeots 1er Cru, Burgundy, France ($74.95)

Sara d’Amato – A wine with wonderful finesse, elegance and class. Attention fans of classical music – although the wine is much too complex to find an adequate food pairing, it would match wonderfully with the restrained but twinkly and complex nature of a Mozart concerto.

Cara Nord 2013 Roux Père & Fils Vougeot Les Petits Vougeots 1er Cru 2010 Burning Kiln M 1 Merlot 2013 Catapereiro Escolha 2012

Burning Kiln 2013 M 1 Merlot, Kiln Dried, Ontario, Canada ($34.95)

Sara d’Amato – Have a dad who likes big, bold and impactful wines? Surprise him with this tobacco kiln-dried merlot made in a rich appasimento style from the emerging Ontario region of South Coast, Norfolk County. I was impressed with the presence and structure of the wine which is surprisingly not showy or overdone. Excellent with just about anything a barbecue can handle.

Catapereiro 2012 Escolha, Vinho Regional Tejo, Portugal ($15.95)

Sara d’Amato – There is such a wealth of extravagant and voluminous Portuguese and Spanish selections in this release that it was hard to find only one to put forth. Due to the excellent price/quality ratio of the Catapereiro, it wins out as the sinful find of the day.

Ninquén 2013 Antu Chilean Mountain Vineyard Syrah, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($17.95)

John Szabo – Ninquén’s Antu, from a rare volcanic mid-valley hillside site in Colchagua offers not just weight and depth, but freshness as well. For the money it’s a substantial wine, and with another 2-3 years in the cellar should evolve into an even more complex and balanced expression. Best 2015-2021.

Montebuena 2012 Cuvée KPF DOCa Rioja, Spain ($14.95)

John Szabo – Just plain tasty and lively little wine from Rioja, with real vibrancy, fresh fruit and integrated herbal spice, offering much more complexity and enjoyment than one usually finds in the price category. Serve lightly chilled and drink it up, with pleasure.

Ninquén Antu Chilean Mountain Vineyard Syrah 2013 Montebuena Cuvée K P F 2012 Two Hands Bella's Garden Shiraz 2012 Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release 2010

Two Hands 2012 Bella’s Garden Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia ($63.95)

David Lawrason – Come to papa for Father’s Day! This is an extraordinarily delicious red – powerful, seamless and oozing fruit. Yet so nicely nuanced, almost silky and balanced at the same time. There are six wines in Two Hand’s “Garden” series. This is sourced from several Barossa sites, open top fermented, aged 18 months in French oak (many Barossa shiraz are in American) and bottled without fining or filtration.

Wynns 2010 John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra, Australia ($99.95)

David Lawrason – This In-Store Discovery will not be in wide distribution but is worth tracking down – a wine I rated outstanding at 95 points. I cannot think of a much more exciting and exacting expression of cabernet sauvignon, let alone Australian cabernet sauvignon. Read my tasting note for all the descriptors, but I will say here that the BLICE quality measurement elements (balance, length, intensity, complexity and expression) line up almost perfectly. Be prepared to cellar it for a while. It really is a bit too firm to fully enjoy now but I am betting it will let go by 2018 and live much longer.


Domaine De Triennes 2014 Rosé IGP Méditerranée, Provence, France ($17.95)

John Szabo – Both of my rosé picks from this release are from Provence – there’s simply nowhere else on earth that does it as consistently, and as tastily, as the South of France. This is a confident rosé, not trying too hard to please. Classically pale, essentially dry, herbal and fruity with a generous helping of complexity.

Carte Noire 2014 Rosé Côtes de Provence, France ($17.95)

John Szabo – Another arch-classic Provençal rosé, discreet, dry, light, and flavourful.

Domaine De Triennes Rosé 2014 Carte Noire Rosé 2014 Château D'aquéria Tavel Rosé 2014 Monte Zovo Bardolino Chiaretto 2014

Château D’Aquéria 2014 Tavel Rosé, Rhône, France ($21.95) (319368)

Sara d’Amato – From the world HQ of rosé, Tavel, comes the inevitable return of Château d’Aquéria on the shelves of VINTAGES. Although the quality wavers from vintage to vintage, this incarnation is in top form and well worth the penny for serious fans of the pink.

Monte Zovo 2014 Bardolino Chiaretto, Veneto, Italy ($13.95)

Sara d’Amato – On a much more playful note, this Bardolino Chiaretto, made in northeastern Italy from similar grapes that make up the wines of Valpolicella, is like a bite of cold watermelon on a hot summer’s day. Albeit dry, it provides an abundance of refreshing and inexpensive pleasure that is simply delightful.

John Szabo will be back next week reporting on our top picks from the June 27th release. Until then, stay refreshed.

Cin, Cin!


Sara d’Amato

From VINTAGES June 13th, 2015

Sara’s Sommelier Selections
Szabo’s Smart Buys
Lawrason’s Take
All Reviews

Editors Note: You can find complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the highlighted wine names, bottle images or links. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critics reviews immediately. Non-paid members wait 60 days to see new reviews. Premium membership has its privileges; like first access to great wines!

Castello Di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2011

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20 Under $20 in BC : June 2015

Summertime… and the drinkin’ is Easy

It’s the time of year when thinking about drinking is shaped by summer weekends at the beach, boat or campfire and wine decisions are based upon gulpability equally to tastiness and price. What do I mean by gulpable? It’s a word I use to describe wines that are so tasty, well made, well priced and well balanced that it’s hard not to – well – gulp it down. Especially when they seem tailor made to lengthy days of sunlight and cloudless nights lit by starbright.

That said, we’re not all out loading up for a summer of holidays. As Anthony duly points out, we’re warily watching wine prices creep up – or disappear from the listings altogether – while every liquor retailer in BC adjusts to the new reality. Whatever the landscape, we just want to drink well and share our finds with you, and in this column we strive to bring you the best under $20 to meet that aim.

~ TR

BC Critic Team


Anthony Gismondi

We really need to review the under $20 category given all the price machinations taking place in BC. The new wholesale price system has given government retail stores the opportunity to set their own prices and they have been busy mostly raising prices, especially at the high end where in their minds, consumers won’t notice. I mean what’s an extra $20 on a bottle of cru Champagne? At the low end the increases are more calculated but they are there and when you subtract the GST and PST from the shelf price you can’t even see that the wine has gone up in price, until you get to the till. It’s such a slap in the face to regular wine buyers who already pay some of the highest prices in the land. All that said, here’s some picks that justify their price and taste like well, wine, which is why we put this list together every month.

I love the Régis Boucabeille 2013 Les Terrasses. It’s a great site that was abandoned in the 20th century because it was too tough to farm and unprofitable. Today 11 terraces at 200 to 300 metres, facing southeast make some very tasty stony red. Perfect with most summer grilled meats. Fine value.

Nearby in the Rhône the Louis Bernard 2013 Côtes du Rhône Blanc is crazy value. A blend of grenache blanc, bourboulenc and clairette, it is as juicy as it gets for the price.

Regis Boucabeille Les Terrasses 2013 Louis Bernard Côtes Du Rhône Blanc 2014 Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandel 2013 Monte Antico 2010 Almansa Laya 2013

If you are planning a street party pick up the Bota Box 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel (3L for $34.79 which works out to a mere $8.69 per 750mL bottle). Classic brambly, sweet blackberry fruit with soft textures assures it will placate crowds.

If chicken is in your plans grab a bottle of Monte Antico 2010 Toscana. This Tuscan red crafted by winemaker Franco Bernabei and importer Neil Empson is juicy, fresh and ready to drink – perfect when you need a simple red to play second fiddle to the food.

Finally from Spain, Laya 2013 Garnacha Monastrell Vieilles Vignes gets the nod for its soft textures and earthy mix of coffee, red licorice and a dusting of oak. Barbecue anyone? Enjoy the heat.

Rhys Pender MW

It is very, very hot in the Similkameen Valley as I write this column. The temperature reads 36.5C in the vineyard and I am glad to be in the cool of the shade. Summer is definitely beginning with a bang. Luckily there are many delicious wines close at hand to help with the heat.

I’m craving crisp, dry riesling. A good example is the Red Rooster 2013 Riesling. This is an absolute bargain at under $15. Chill it down to icy coldness and enjoy.

Another super value BC wine (it seems so many BC wines are getting cheaper and cheaper) is the See Ya Later 2013 Gewurztraminer. Lately I have been addicted to Thai food and the spicy flavours are perfect with the aromatic gewürz. Oh, and until June 27th it is on special for only $12!

Red Rooster Riesling 2013 See Ya Later Ranch Gewurztraminer 2013 Kanazawa Nomu White 2013 Gabbiano Chianti Classico 2012 Lafon et Chamboissier Racine Minervois 2012

A little richer and really well done is the Kanazawa 2013 Nomu White. This blend of viognier, sémillon and orange muscat is incredibly drinkable and perfect for warm afternoons.

For a couple of red selections it is back to the old world for some savoury goodness that is perfect when the sun goes down and the red meat comes out. For a great value Italian wine, the Gabbiano 2012 Chianti Classico is everything you would expect: dusty, savoury, meaty and leathery.

For something a little rounder and softer, the Racine 2012 from Minervois in France’s Languedoc is nice and savoury and juicy while quite complex for the price.

DJ Kearney

It’s warm and sunny and definitely the season that many of us reach for pink wines. I truly believe that rosé is for year-round drinking, but now is the time that the shelves expand with wider selection, like these two bone dry versions. The Bieler Père & Fils 2014 Coteaux d’Aix en Provence is screw-capped and bargain-priced, and Casa Ferreirinha 2014 Douro Rosé is 100% touriga nacional and full of pleasure and structure.

Bieler Père & Fils Coteaux D’aix En Provence Rosé 2014 Casa Ferreirinha Vinha Grande Rosé 2014Arrowleaf Bacchus 2014Arrowleaf Zweigelt 2014Crasto Vinho Tinto 2013

Two wines from Arrowleaf Cellars are fresh as daisies and beg for a lounger on a summer patio. Bacchus 2014 is a riesling x sylvaner x mueller-thurgau cross and if you love riesling, this fresh patio sipper will delight. The 2014 Zwiegelt’s light, juicy wild berry flavours make it a perfect picnic wine, best served very well chilled and not far from water.

And when the grill is fired up and juicy bacon burgers are sizzling, it’s time to pour a generous goblet of lusty Crasto 2013 Vinho Tinto Douro.  

Treve Ring

When I’m asked for a great wine under $10 in BC, I’m usually at a loss for a solid (honest) answer. Now I’m just going to direct people to stock up on Count Karolyi 2013 Gruner Veltliner. One of my favourite grapes from a somewhat unlikely place equals pure fresh, zippy enjoyment with shellfish or lemon endive salads.

And while you’re feeling adventurous, pick up the Bodega Sierre Norte 2011 Pasion de Bobal. Think tasty 60+ year old bobal from the hot interior of Valencia from high altitude organic grapes would be pricy? Think again (delish with lamb kabobs).

Binderer St. Ursula Count Karolyi Gruner Veltliner 2013 Bodega Sierra Norte Pasion De Bobal 2011 Santa Carolina Reserva Pinot Noir 2013 La Fiole Cotes Du Rhone 2012 Langa Real De Aragon Cava

If exotic bobal scares off your crowd, you can crack the top on Santa Carolina 2013 Reserva Pinot Noir instead. Heady forest floor, light wood smoke and a round, soft palate welcomes pouring alongside cherry smoked pork or portabellas. The La Fiole Côtes du Rhône 2012 is a crowd pleaser as well, as much for the signature curved bottle as for the welcoming, softly spiced cherry, raspberry and peppered fruit.

My mates can attest that I drink more sparkling wine than anything else, and no better way to best summer’s heat than with refreshing bubbles. One of my best buys anytime of the year is Real de Aragon Cava, a stellar, crisp bargain of a Cava (with darling summery packaging as bonus).


WineAlign in BC

In addition to our popular 20 Under $20 shopping guide, we publish the monthly Critics’ Picks report and include the wines across any price point and channel that excite us each month, as well as the BC Wine Report, a look at all things in the BC Wine Industry. Lastly, Anthony Gismondi closes out each month with his Final Blend column – an expert insight into wine culture and trends, honed by more than 25 years experience as an influential and global critic.

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

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What’s New at the LCBO – June 2015

Between our VINTAGES Buyers’ Guide and Steve Thurlow’s top picks from the LCBO Wines, we have the whole store covered each and every month.

Niagara, Macedonia and More
by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

The wines on the shelves at the LCBO are constantly changing and I am tasting the new ones all the time. Many favourites are always there but the range and variety is gradually being updated. I have selected 11 new wines that have refreshed the system out of the 50 or so that I have tried since I last reported. Most are on the shelf already with the rest arriving over the next few weeks.

Among the many new wines added are some well priced selections from Ontario and Greece. I have selected two inexpensive VQA wines and three finely priced Greek wines for you to consider. The Greek selection at the LCBO has seen some excellent new additions over the last few months. If you’re curious to discover more about wines from Greece, you may want to read John Szabo’s recent article on Reasons to Drink Greek.

For now I suggest you read on, pick a few of these that appeal and then check the inventory at your local LCBO which should be set up as your Favourite Store. You can find my complete review by clicking on any of the wine names or bottle images highlighted below. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to reviews of great value wines!


Fielding Estate Winery Fireside Red Cabernet

Kir Yianni Paranga 2012

Tsantali RapsaniTsantali Rapsani 2011 2011, Macedonia, Greece ($12.80) – Made from vineyards on the slopes of Mount Olympus from three indigenous grapes, it is a midweight well structured red with the fruit supported by firm tannin and vibrant acidity with a long very dry finish. Needs some protein, try with creamy cheese or juicy roast meats.

Kir Yianni Paranga 2012, Macedonia, Greece ($14.30) – This is a modern styled red blend with little evidence of its Greek origin. It is fullbodied and quite vibrant with very good length. Try with lamb cutlets.

Fielding Estate Fireside Red Cabernet 2012, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario ($14.95) – An appealing blend of cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon that’s built for a few years of maturation in the cellar. Decant for an hour and enjoy with a steak.


Lindemans Bin 85 Pinot Grigio 2014, South Eastern Australia ($10.95 also 1500ml $19.70) – This wine has been around for a few years, I know, but the 1.5L version is new, so it’s even better value for a well-balanced fruity sweetish white. Try well chilled with cheesy pasta dishes.

Mauro Chardonnnay 2014, Puglia, Italy ($11.50) – A fresh lively chardonnay with good focus and palate length and a nice floral tone to the pear and melon fruit. Try with cheesy pasta sauces.

Domaine Glinavos Primus Zitsa 2013, Zitsa, Greece ($12.60) – Made from the indigenous grape, debina, this is a food friendly easy drinking white. It’s lightly floral and herbal with a zesty fresh palate. Try with seafood pastry nibbles.

Lindemans Bin 85 Pinot Grigio 2014 Mauro Chardonnnay 2014 Domaine Glinavos Primus Zitsa 2013 Norton Barrel Select Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Norton Barrel Select Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Mendoza, Argentina ($12.95) – A barrel matured sauvignon with nicely integrated oak and a rich creamy palate. Try with creamy pasta sauces.

Lagaria Chardonnay 2013, Trentino, Italy ($13.55) – A pure, fresh, apparently unoaked chardonnay with aromas of white peach with lemon sherbet, white flowers and clover honey. Try with roast chicken.

Cheval Quancard Réserve Blanc 2013, Bordeaux, France ($13.90) – A typical Bordeaux white with oak aromas nicely woven into the lemon, apple pear fruit. It’s vibrant and juicy with a solid structure from oak and brisk acidity. Very good length.  Try with roast veal or pork.

Lagaria Chardonnay 2013 Cheval Quancard Réserve Blanc 2013 Rockway Vineyards Block Blend Riesling 2013 Balthasar Ress Hattenheimer Schützenhaus Riesling Kabinett 2013

Rockway Vineyards Block Blend Riesling 2013, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario ($13.95) – A delicious well priced Ontario riesling, minerally soft with just enough sweetness for balance. Try with oysters or creamy goats cheese.

Balthasar Ress Hattenheimer Schützenhaus Riesling Kabinett 2013 Rheingau, Germany ($17.95) – This classic Rheingau riesling is a soft, off-dry, very fresh riesling with just enough sweetness to counteract the acidity with a generous palate and a long, dry and crisp finish. Try with lemon chicken stir fry.


We would love to get your feedback on this report. Meanwhile check our my list of Top 50 wine values by dipping into the Top 50 LCBO and VINTAGES Essentials wines. There will surely be something inexpensive that suits your taste. In two week’s time I will be back with a look at the updated list in our WineAlign’s Top 20 Under $20 report.


Steve Thurlow

Top 20 Under $20
Top 50 Value Wines

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!

Tavernello Collezione Friuli Grave Sauvignon 2013

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Season 5, Table 8 of “So, You Think you Know Wine?”

Classifying Chianti (a.k.a. Amber Rim)

Will “So, You Think You Know Wine?” contestants Brad Long, Will Predhomme, and David Lawrason be able to classify the Chianti at Table 8?

This season has certainly seen its ups and downs. Tensions are mounting as the scores have now been released. Who will make it to the final rounds? Here’s a look at how the contestants are doing so far.

Score Card:


Click here to watch Table 8 or read on to learn more about the contestants and the scoring method.

Table 8

As always, the video series brings together Canada’s top wine experts, but this time a few well-known food personalities have taken on the daunting task of competing against wine critics, sommeliers, and wine educators.

Brad Long

Brad is a well-known Toronto chef who has appeared on the Food Network’s show Restaurant Makeover. For 10 years he was head chef at the Air Canada Centre and he is now owner of Cafe Belong and Belong Catering.


Will Predhomme

Will Predhomme is a prominent Canadian Professional Sommelier, beverage business development specialist, and industry liaison. Will’s experience reflects a career based in the beverage alcohol, hospitality, education, government and private sectors. For several years, he was the Senior Sommelier at Canoe Restaurant. Now he teaches WSET courses, is o-producer of Ontario and Oregon-made wines, host of The Globe & Mail Wine Basics videos, and is Managing Director of Predhomme Market Insights. He is an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and in 2010 he won the title of Best Ontario Sommelier.


David Lawrason

David is a principal critic and VP of Wine for WineAlign. He is also co-head judge for the National Wine Awards of Canada and the World Wine Awards of Canada. He is wine columnist for Toronto Life and Ottawa magazine, a WSET instructor with Fine Vintage Ltd, and National Wine Advisor to Gold Medal Plates, a chef competition held in ten cities that raises funds for Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes. He also reviews Ontario wines for



The Scoring

The scoring on each wine remains similar to past seasons with points for Variety, Country, Region, Appellation, Vintage and Price.

Variety:  3 points
Country, Region, Appellation:  up to 4 points
Vintage:  up to 2 points
Price (within 10% on either side): 1 point

Let the games begin! Pour yourself a glass of wine and watch table 8.

For those of you new to our video series, “So, You Think You Know Wine?”, we have saved all previous episodes under the Videos tab.

Previously on Season 5 of “So, You Think You Know Wine?”:

Table 1 – Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay 2013
Table 2 – Creekside Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Table 3 – Catena Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Table 4 – The Grinder Pinotage 2013
Table 5 – Faustino VII Tempranillo 2012
Table 6 – Gnarly Head Pinot Noir 2012
Table 7 – Laroche Chablis St. Martin 2012

We hope that you find this new series entertaining and that you have as much fun watching as we did filming. As usual, please send your comments to and feel free to share this video with your friends and family.

Special thanks to our glassware sponsor, Schott Zwiesel, for their beautiful glasses and carafes used during filming.

Balderson Cheese

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Les bons achats de Marc – juin

On brasse la cage !
par Marc Chapleau

Marc Chapleau

Marc Chapleau

Ça ne rate jamais : toutes les fois où je sors le sauternes pour accompagner le homard, les yeux roulent dans les orbites quand ce ne sont pas une ou deux mâchoires qui décrochent.

Mais qu’est-ce que c’est que cette idée, de servir du vin sucré sur un fruit de mer !

C’t’idée, c’est un pied de nez à toutes ces occasions où on aurait aimé siffler une bonne quille de liquoreux mais qu’on s’en est privé – parce que plus soif, plus le temps, trop de rouge avant, le volant à prendre après, et par ici les excuses et autres subterfuges.

Répétons-le :  l’accord entre le salé-iodé du homard et le sucré du sauternes fonctionne tout plein, les deux univers se complètent à merveille. (En l’occurrence, tant le homard que le vin demeurent aussi bons même après avoir pris une bouchée ou une gorgée de l’un ou de l’autre ; bref, l’union des deux en bouche ne crée pas de faux goût, et c’est au fond tout ce que l’on demande d’un bon accord.)

Je viens bien sûr d’en faire l’expérience, et tout le monde à table a été conquis, après avoir été ahuri.

Le bouquet, c’est que rarement le grand vin liquoreux du Bordelais semble-t-il aussi délicat et rafraîchissant qu’au côté de notre crustacé national. Pas de lourdeur, pas trop de sucre non plus, le tout passe comme une lettre à la poste.

...du vin sucré sur un fruit de mer !

Par contre, c’est vrai, on boit moins, les saveurs demeurant riches et généreuses de part et d’autre. Si bien qu’à six, on n’a éclusé que l’équivalent de deux 750 ml de sauternes. (Après avoir bu avant, je le dis en passant, par souci de transparence, un rosé et un superlatif sancerre, la Cuvée Edmond 2006 d’Alphonse Mellot.)

Je pourrais noircir encore l’écran avec d’autres arguments militant en faveur de cet accord à la fois inusité et on ne peut plus de saison. Mais comme je sais que vous avez la tête dure (excusez !), je vous laisse tirer ça au clair par vous-même.

Pour ma part, en tant que converti de longue date, je pense déjà à la prochaine fois où le rouge, encore une fois, n’aura pas droit de cité à table, cédant de nouveau le plancher à du blanc noblement pourri.

Et ce sera avec de la viande : du poulet rôti, on ne peut plus simplement. Pour l’avoir expérimenté là-bas, dans le Sauternais, ça marche big time ça aussi.

À boire, aubergiste !

J’ai beau insisté, et le couple homard-sauternes a beau faire partie de mes marottes, je conçois tout à fait qu’on veuille manger du homard mais franchement ! qu’il se calme l’animal, on veut boire autre chose avec…

Ça tombe bien : nous avions fait un match comparatif précisément sur l’accord avec le homard, dans l’ancien Cellier, avec Véronique Rivest (qu’on ne présente plus), Luc Rolland (expert-produit à la SAQ) et Raymond Chalifoux (professeur de sommellerie aujourd’hui réfugié quelque part en Beauce).

Résultat des courses : première place ex aequo pour un pinot gris alsacien (assez sucré), un sauternes et un mousseux italien – un franciacorta, pratiquement sec celui-là. 

Pas très loin derrière, et de très bons choix eux aussi, un meursault-genevrières bien boisé et un champagne rosé. Également recommandables, toujours selon notre test, un riesling autrichien, un gewurztraminer alsacien, un chablis premier cru et, dans une moindre mesure toutefois, un pessac-léognan blanc, au boisé qui faisait de l’ombre au goût du homard. 

Voici justement, parmi les bouteilles que j’ai goûtées récemment, des suggestions qui vont dans l’une ou l’autre de ces directions et qu’on retrouve présentement sur les tablettes de la SAQ :

Château Du Haut Pick 2010 Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils Meursault 2013 Pfaffenheim Black Tie Pinot Gris Riesling 2013

Château du Haut-Pick 2010 – Un sauternes de très bonne facture et vendu à prix raisonnable, comme le sont encore si souvent les liquoreux du Bordelais. Caractère bien botrytisé, cire d’abeille, fraîcheur, simplicité, pas trop sucré.

Meursault Bouchard Père 2013 – Un meursault vanillé, au boisé marqué, mais avec aussi une acidité relevée, qui rééquilibre le tout. De l’élégance par ailleurs, et une persistance notable.

Pfaffenheim Black Tie Pinot Gris-Riesling 2013 – Un nom affreux mais un très bon alsace blanc, à la fois sucré et vif, de très bonne tenue.

Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2014 Donnafugata Anthìlia Bianco 2014 Château De Maligny Chablis Premier Cru Montée De Tonnerre 2013 Raventós I Blanc l'Hereu Reserva Brut Cava 2012

Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2014 – Coudonc ! Ils se sont donné le mot ou quoi, pour sortir des noms rigolos ? Très pamplemousse celui-ci, tout de même typé riesling cela dit, léger côté sapinage, de la fraîcheur, il y a 17 g de sucre et c’est néanmoins tendu, acidulé. De l’État de Washington, et seulement 12 % d’alcool.

Donnafugata Anthilia Bianco 2014 – Caractère parfumé au nez pour cet assemblage sicilien de catarrato et d’ansonica. En bouche, les saveurs sont à la fois précises et nerveuses.

Château de Maligny Chablis 1er cru Montée de Tonnerre 2013 – Les Durup ont fait fort en 2013, avec cet excellent Montée de Tonnerre ! Fumé, minéral, vif, concentré, bourré de tonus et qui laisse la bouche fraîche.

Raventos I Blanc l’Hereu Reserva Brut Cava 2012 – Le mousseux qui devrait faire aussi bien que le franciacorta du match Cellier : au nez, des notes légèrement rancio, noisettées, effluves de tabac blond, également ; en bouche, l’effervescence est bien dosée, le caractère rancio ressort, le vin est pratiquement sec (5,9 g de résiduel).

Bon appétit !


Note de la rédaction: vous pouvez lire les commentaires de dégustation complets en cliquant sur les noms de vins, les photos de bouteilles ou les liens mis en surbrillance. Les abonnés payants à Chacun son Vin ont accès à toutes les critiques dès leur mise en ligne. Les utilisateurs inscrits doivent attendre 60 jours après leur parution pour les lire. L’adhésion a ses privilèges ; parmi ceux-ci, un accès direct à de bons vins !

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

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