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Past Wine Selections

March 2022

 

LA DONCELLA, 'De Las Vias' Tempranillo, Spain

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

The name "Doncella," which means "Maiden," comes from a young "maiden" who used to walk through the vineyard every afternoon to watch the sun setting on the vines. This organic Tempranillo from Spain has very clean, brilliant fruity aromas of blackberry and redcurrant some dark spice. In the mouth, the flavours are plentiful, ranging from tart and ripe red fruit, savoury herbs, smoke, spice and impressions of licorice on the finish.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Familia Conesa vines are located on the Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park borders, in a natural environment full of life, 1100 meters above sea level. It provides the perfect conditions for international grape varietals: Tempranillo, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viogner, Grenache and Petit Verdot. They all carry the "Pago Guijoso" designation of origin andare packed with taste, aromas, texture and character.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

This red could easily tackle a charcuterie board with Manchego cheese, Serrano ham and Chorizo.

SOMM HINT:

The wine will open with some time to breathe. Open it 20min before you want to enjoy it.

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LEANING POST, 'Cuvée Winona', Ontario

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

This blended wine (Cabernet Franc and Merlot) is one of the best Bordeaux blends we can get from Niagara! An amazingly intense nose of plum, cassis and mulberry is layered over a backdrop of tobacco-leaf, cracked white pepper, lavender, and licorice. On the palate, the intensity continues by adding earth, bacon, and mocha draped over powerful but soft tannins.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Husband and wife duo Ilya and Nadia Senchuk started Leaning Post winery in Niagara over 10 years ago. It began with a dream to take unique, interesting single-vineyard blocks in Niagara and turn them into distinctive, terroir-driven wines. Nadia and Ilya have had to rely on the support of family, friends and financial institutions to make the dream of owning a winery a reality. Leaning Post began as a virtual winery and is proud to now have the quaint tasting room at 1491 Hwy 8 on their home property in Winona, Ontario.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

Great with burgers, cured meat, and hard cheese.

SOMM HINT:

It is immediately satisfying to drink now with a good decant, but it will certainly age well over the next 3-5 years.

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ALPHA BOX & DICE, 'Tarot' Grenache, Australia

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

Traditionally, McLaren Vale's Grenache was heavy and over-oaked, trying to imitate Shiraz. The Death Card embodies their signature style of Grenache – a new era (after Death, new life shoots forth, signalling rebirth, rejuvenation and transformation) for the variety in McLaren Vale as a bright, juicy red wine. Ripe, round and with raspberry, strawberry jam, and ample spicing. Tannins are present but well absorbed into the generous palate, finishing in a gentle raft of sweet spice.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Based in McLaren Vale, South Australia, Alpha Box & Dice are embarking on an Alphabet of Wine. Each ‘letter' embodies an individual winemaking project that celebrates the diverse styles and varieties found in South Australia's famous wine regions, including McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley. Since its beginning in 2008, AB&D has become a champion of South Australia's alternative – particularly Mediterranean – varieties, exhibiting innovation at every step of the process by bending traditional winemaking norms.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

Grenache is one of our all-time favourite food pairing red wines, from roast chicken or turkey (Grenache is a classic Easter dinner wine) to pork or Lamb.

SOMM HINT:

Serve this wine in a larger wine glass -- it'll help you sense + appreciate +enjoy!

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PIERRE & JEANNE GAILLARD, 'Terres de Mandrin' Syrah, France

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

A stellar Syrah from the esteemed Gaillard family of the northern Rhone! This wine expresses the fresh qualities and fleshy fruitiness associated with the Syrah grape variety. Superb, with precision and elegance, a gourmet concentration highlights this Syrah's spicy and smoky notes. Pleasurable on the palate with an acidic finish, full of freshness and red fruit.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Jeanne Gaillard, daughter of winemaker Pierre Gaillard, was forcibly introduced to wine when she was a child. Jeanne had gotten caught for some mischievous act and was made to work in the family vineyard as punishment. Her experience that day triggered a lifelong passion for wine! In 2008, when she was 24 years old, she acquired 5 hectares in IGP Crozes-Hermitage and 8 hectares in IGP Collines Rhodaniennes and has been managing them ever since.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

A robust red that works excellently with grilled or smoked meats! Also, a hearty soup like French Onion Soup.

SOMM HINT:

Syrah is the French term for Shiraz. French Syrah is likely to be less alcoholic, savoury, and tannic than Shiraz.

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RUE NAUJAC, 'Lot 33' Cabernet Sauvignon, U.S.A.

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

California is not the only region in the US that makes fantastic wines from Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine from Colombia Valley, Washington state, is bold and full-bodied, balanced and complex. Showing aromas of black and red fruits, toasted herbs, graphite and leather. A mouthful of ripe dark fruit consisting of blackberry and black currant combined with spice and dark chocolate notes. Fruit-forward finish with an integrated tannin structure.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Born and raised in the New World but influenced by his time in Bordeaux, this Columbia Valley Cab represents Toronto wine professional, Nicholas Pearce's story in a bottle - New World terroir meets old world "savoir faire". Rue Naujac is the street Nicholas lived on while studying/working in France, and Bordeaux is the country's 33rd department, both of which inspired the name and lot #!

FOOD PAIRINGS:

Pair with BBQ meats, rich stews or steak.

SOMM HINT:

For optimal enjoyment serve in larger Bordeaux wine glasses.

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PRINCIPE CORSINI, Chianti Classico ‘Villa Le Corti’, Italy

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

Chianti is a beautiful, exceptionally versatile, and useful bottle to keep in the rack. This wine is a blendof 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino. The classical nose of dark cherry, cranberry, exotic spice and alittle mint. The palate carries on the dark fruit, supported by refreshing acidity and fine tannins. There’s concentration but restraint and an invigorating juicy crunch on the finish.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

The Corsini Family has a great history with winemaking roots that date back to the 14th century, making it one of the oldest Estates in Tuscany. The current custodian of the Corsini legacy, Ducci Corsini, is the 32nd generation. Duccio took over the Estate in 1992. As the years progressed, all activities from farming to winemaking and ageing are firmly oriented to preserving the fruit's integrity through their wines.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

This is a versatile wine perfect for food, Lamb or Pork, tomato sauce for a rich Ragu. Dishes that will appreciate the wine's freshness and cut.

SOMM HINT:

Serve this wine at a cool room temperature to enhance the aromas and balance out the warming nature of the alcohol.

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PAPANTONIS, 'Metron Ariston' Peloponnese, Greece

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

The name of the wine Metron Ariston, meaning 'moderation is best,' implies the avoidance of extremes in the lives of human beings. It expresses the pursuit of the Golden Mean and Harmony in most human activities. This wine is a blend of indigenes grape variety Roditis and some Chardonnay. Aromas of spring; ripe grapefruit, citrus, pear and peach come to the nose. Creamy and full in the mouth, with acacia, fragrant florals, lemon, pear, offset by bright, lifted acidity. This Mediterranean's concentrated yet fresh white makes it exceptionally food-friendly.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Papantonis Winery was established in 1993 in Nemea by siblings Antony and Kallie Papantonis. The vineyards are situated just outside of the village Malandreni. The winery's goal remains to focus only on two Greek varietals (Agiorgitiko and Roditis) and an international one (Chardonnay).

FOOD PAIRINGS:

Salads with nuts and citrus segments, Seafood risottos & whole grilled fish

SOMM HINT:

Metron Ariston is pronounced "m'e-tron `a-ree-ston". The saying 'metronariston' is attributed to Cleo ulus of Rhodes, one of the seven sages of Greece. It has the same meaning as the other maxim, 'meden agan' ('nothing in excess')carved on the entrance of the temple of Apollo in Delphi.

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THE ATOM WINES, "Half-Life" Chardonnay, U.S.A.

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

Chardonnay is so much more than oak and butter! The crew behind The Atom brand has sourced top-notch Chardonnay grapes from specific coastal vineyards in California and turned the lush grapes into an excellent vino with scientific and technical winemaking skills. In honour of the science of winemaking, the team named this bottle "Half-Life." The juice is a balanced coalescence of ripe stone fruit, apple, lemon zest, and toasted coconut that greet the palate and dissolve to rich caramelized sugar, baking spices, and a touch of smoke.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Jason Truly worked for over 20 years in wine - having worked for distributors, wineries and later creating his own brokerage. The addition of The Atom wines to Jason's growing portfolio is a passion-play toward wines, reflecting his experience and expertise in bringing wines sourced from the finest locations and vinted with proven winemaking prowess to the discerning drinker.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

This versatile wine can be enjoyed with poultry dishes, roasted chicken or turkey, shellfish, crab, lobster in a butter sauce, or roasted root vegetables.

SOMM HINT:

Serve well chilled to preserve the freshness.

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LUIS SEABRA, 'Xisto Ilimitado' Branco, Portugal

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

A blend 50% Rabigato, 20% Codega, 15% Gouveio (Godello), 10% Viosinho. Haven't you heard of any of those varietals? Don't worry; neither have many folks in the wine industry! Luis sources from old vines, at the high elevation of 500m in the Cima Corgo sub-region, noted for extreme highs and lows in temperature. These stressed vines produce low yields, and grapes have insanely wild aromatics and brilliant acidity. Minerality drives this white, wet flinty stones mixed with fresh nectarine, white peach, and pear on the nose. Full of fresh picked orchard fruits and more stony minerals on the palate. Xisto Ilimitado Branco is graceful and powerful without ever coming across as heavy.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

After a decade as head winemaker at Douro powerhouse Niepoort, Luis Seabra launched his project a few years ago. He aims to make wines that show where they come from. Wines of terroir, from the vineyards, almost without intervention. Genuine and honest wines!

FOOD PAIRINGS:

Match wines with ingredients from their region like Pan-Seared Cod with lemon butter sauce or baked salt cod.

SOMM HINT:

Serve chilled but don't keep it on ice. Too cold a temperature will mute the flavours. Let this one ride!

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CHURTON WINES, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

Grapes are hand-harvested from their organic and biodynamically farmed hillside vineyard above the Waihopai Valley. They are fermented long and slow in a mix of stainless and barrel, with each plot vinified separately and held on lees for nine months before racking and bottling. None of these techniques are common in the region. Fresh and floral wine, with white peach, melon and gooseberry notes, finishes with bright acidity over a creamy texture.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Churton is a small Marlborough winery in the Waihopai Valley, owned and operated by Sam and Mandy Weaver. Named after Sam's farm, Churton was built on family values and respect for the land. The reins have been handed over to the second-generation Ben and Jack, bringing youth and innovation to the Churton vineyard and cellar. The winery uses biodynamic practices in the vineyard operations and is Certified Organic with Biogro.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

You can enjoy this on its own or with a simple salad with goat cheese.

SOMM HINT:

Whenever you decide to drink this wine is the right time.

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VITAS, Pinot Grigio, Friuli, Italy

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

This dry-farmed Friulian Pinot Grigio is different in style from Veneto's counterpart. The wine is deeper in colour. Its bouquet is elegant and intense, with hints of yellow peach and golden apple, some dry-hay intertwined with fresh and mineral notes. It promises a concentrated palate full of fragrant peaches, tangerines, and refreshing acidity on the palate.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

The Vitas Winery has been in the family since 1935 for four generations. It is located in the wine-producing area of DOC Friuli Aquileia, with the influence of the sea and warm sun, creating a perfect microclimate for vine-growing. Much importance is placed on conserving the environment, and they use methods that protect their natural resources and the surrounding environment.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

A perfect casual sipper, or to complement antipasti, fried fish or vegetables and light pasta dishes.

SOMM HINT:

Wait for the first nice day of spring, ditch off work an hour early and crack this open before dinner.

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BONNET-HUTEAU, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie, France

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE:

This organically produced Muscadet is the natural expression of a terroir made of green rocks and amphibolite. The wine is crisp with lemon and grapefruit notes and subtle peach with savoury broken stones, refreshing acidity and a stylish, crisp aftertaste. This pure-fruited wine sings with minerality through the very saline finish.

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Domaine Bonnet-Huteau, nestled in La Chapelle-Heulin, in the heart of Muscadet’s Sèvre et Maine appellation, has been producing Muscadet for over 150 years. Today it is run by the Bonnet brothers, Jean-Jacques and Rémi. This 42-hectare vineyard has been certified organic since 2005 and biodynamic since 2010. They've divided their Melon de Bourgogne into parcels to highlight the nuances and subtlety of their terroirs, and their focus is on producing pure, fresh Muscadet.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

This wine will be the perfect accompaniment to seafood appetizers like oysters, smoked salmon and shrimp cocktails.

SOMM HINT:

This grape has lots of names; Muscadet, or Melon de Bourgogne, or Muscadet de Bourgogne. Whatever it is, you can always expect the wine to be dry and crisp!

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FINCA DECERO, SYRAH, ARGENTINA

Why We Love This Wine:

This 2015 Syrah was produced during a particularly warm spring and early summer which brought forward an incredibly limited but high-quality crop. Higher acidity than usual and slightly lower concentration, resulted in particularly elegant vintage. We love the great balance, bright acidity, fleshy fruit flavours and long, smooth finish.

About The Winery:

Remolinos Vineyard is located in the Mendoza region at an amazing elevation of 3500 feet. A truly one-of-a-kind vineyard where each vine and grape are nurtured by hand. Sustainable and sensitive winemaking without compromise. The unique natural attributes of the Remolinos Vineyard shine through in their single vineyard wines, handcrafted Decero ‘from scratch’.

Food Pairings:

Dark fruit flavors, spices and mineral notes makes this French oak aged Syrah a perfect match for that roasted lamb dinner you’ve been thinking of or that cheesy charcuterie board you’ve been craving.

Somm Hints:

‘Remolinos’ means whirlwinds. Those winds keep the grapes dry and in perfect condition before being handpicked by the vintner.

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UNSWORTH VINEYARDS, PINOT GRIS, VANCOUVER ISLAND,CANADA

Why We Love This Wine:

Dry and bright on the herbal palate. Intense pear and green apple notes; this is an incredibly well-balanced, single vineyard Pinot with aromas that will transport you right back to the winery. Just enough tartness to help cleanse the palate between bites of your favourite snack

About The Winery:

Unsworth Vineyards has approximately 11 acres planted with vines.  Half is Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir planted in 2013. From expanding the operation and restoring the farmhouse, to building a brand around sustainably managed vineyard practices, the Unsworth team have built the small vineyard into a truly exceptional single vineyard wine producer.

Food Pairings:

Seafood. Seafood. Seafood. This BC wine was made for BC seafood.

Somm Hints:

‘Single Vineyard’ is a term used to indicate that the wine in the bottle comes from a single vineyard site.  Which means this particular vineyard, and the grapes grown there, have been isolated from all other vineyards due to its superiority.

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ELEONORE MOREAU, PETIT CHABLIS, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

Lively and fruity, with slight tart notes, this Petit Chablis is drunk young and is very appreciated as an aperitif, with cheese, pastries or oysters. It will awaken your taste buds and open your appetite.

Aged for 12-18 months, an unusually long time for Chablis, this vintage comes through to a  very well-balanced drinking experience.

About The Winery:

The Moreau family has been farming their own 13 hectares of vines organically for over a decade, though long sold their fruit off to exclusive wine merchants. Eléonore has a rare vision in Chablis, focused on producing exceptional wines while remaining an excellent steward of their land. When Eléonore took over the vinification in 2016, she insisted on unusually long aging for all the wines, organic certification, and a rigorous attention to work in the vines and the cellar.

Food Pairings:

Pairs well with Shellfish, Crab and Lobster.

Somm Hints:

The difference between Chablis and Petit Chablis is the quality of the soil and how much sun the vines get. Petit Chablis compared to Chablis is fresher, lighter and less complex for easy drinking.

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A&D WINES, MONOLOGO AVESSO , PORTUGAL

Why We Love This Wine:

Monólogo Avesso P67 is a monovarietal wine produced in Quinta de Santa Teresa. On the nose this wine shows a fruit driven profile, with notes of white flowers, passion fruit, thyme and a citric side to it. On the palate we find it young but delicate with notes of guava and pear, along with a well-adjusted acidity.

About The Winery:

The existing old cellar at Quinta de Santa Teresa tells the story of a big wine farm, but this property is way more unique. All over the property you can find gardens, lakes, tennis fields, a swimming-pool and a wooded which offering plenty of cozy places and beautiful corners. This is a contiguous and enclosed area of 33 ha of vineyards in the Vinho Verde region, sub-region of Baião, just in the border with the Douro region.

Food Pairings:

This Portuguese Vinho Verde White wine is a match made in heaven for snacks and appetizers!

Somm Hints:

One of the oldest wine producing countries of the world, Portugal to this day embodies an incredible diversity in the amount of regions and grape varieties used to produce wines.

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SASYR SANGIOVESE, 2018 SYRAH TOSCANA, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

This is a wine with a feminine soul. Sasyr is an incredible easy and enjoyable to drink wine that is fruity and polished on the palate, well-rounded with no sharp edges. Like all great Women, it has character and personality, making for a complete, well-balanced wine. In relation to more masculine wines that require specific matches to find a sense of equilibrium at the dinner table, Sasyr is a very versatile wine that works well with all manner of dishes but is also very pleasant on its own.

About The Winery:

Rocca delle Macìe was established in 1973, when Italo Zingarelli decided to realize his lifelong dream by acquiring the "Le Macìe" estate – extending across 85 hectares in all, of which only two were under vine – in order to create a winery in the heart of the Chianti Classico zone. The company estate now extends to more than 600 hectares with, in total, more than 200 used as vineyards and 80 as olive groves, subdivided across the company's six estates: Le Macìe, Sant'Alfonso, Fizzano e le Tavolelle in the Chianti Classico zone, in addition to the recently purchased Campomaccione and Casamaria in the Morellino di Scansano zone.

Their quality-oriented approach dictates low yields per hectare, green harvest and leaf removal being performed during the summer months and a manual harvest directed by expert winegrowers. They have an equally meticulous attitude in the cellars, which have been expanded and modernized over the years and now feature state-of-the-art fermentation equipment to ensure precise control of the must, as well as modern maturation vessels to ensure optimum ageing.

Food Pairings:

Close out the winter by pairing this ready to drink Syrah with a Beef, Lamb or Veggie stew. Pro tip…add Turmeric!

Somm Hints:

This vintage has rated better than any other year for this wine. Lucky drinkers!

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INVIVO X, 2019 SAUVIGNON BLANC, NEW ZEALAND

Why We Love This Wine:

This wine is fresh, smooth, and layered on the palate with stylish aromas and flavors of grapefruit peel and tropical fruits. At first, the palate is expansive and leads with a wall of sweet-scented fruits and a soft- but balanced- acid spine. The mid-palate grows to another level, where supple phenolics offer a framework to further lift the fruit. The wine continues to unfold and is very long and persistent. This is a seriously drinkable Sauvignon Blanc!

About The Winery:

The Invivo X, SJP Sauvignon Blanc is a blend of five estates in Marlborough, spanning both the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. Sarah Jessica loved the intensity of style from the Waihopai Valley and has blended that with pure fruit aromatics from the Western Wairau and the power and purity found in the Westhaven Vineyard in the Dashwood.

The Westhaven vineyard is one of the last blocks of Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough to be harvested and so has an extremely long season to develop flavour and power. The 2019 vintage enjoyed an ideal growing season which allowed for gradual ripening, so harvest was timed to harness the maximum warmth and sunshine of summer.

Food Pairings:

This Sauv Blanc is so easy drinking it’s one of the best wines to pair with itself. Just pour and enjoy!

Somm Hints:

Hit up YouTube to watch virtual wine tastings of this bottle with SJP herself!!

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KENDALL-JACKSON AVANT UNOAKED CHARDONNAY, CALIFORNIA,USA

Why We Love This Wine:

This refreshing wine is cold fermented in stainless steel tanks to create a pure expression of this exceptional grape. Showcasing crisp green apple, citrus and tropical fruit notes, the resulting wine is youthful and lively, providing a superb affinity for food.

About The Winery:

For over three decades, Kendall-Jackson has remained relentlessly committed to producing only the finest quality wines from grapes grown in California’s cool, coastal vineyards. Carefully matching climates and soil types for each grape varietal, and then guiding each vineyard lot throughout the entire winemaking process.  This vintage is matched 50% Monterey County, 36% Santa Barbara County, 14% Mendocino County. Monterey County contributes lemony citrus and mineral notes. Santa Barbara County delivers a dash of fresh pineapple flavors. Mendocino County adds juicy green apple flavors.

Food Pairings:

Winner, winner, pair this buttery chard with your chicken dinner!

Somm Hints:

The difference between oaked and unoaked chardonnay is that oaked chardonnay is aged in new oak barrels, while unoaked is not. An unoaked wine will be lighter-bodied, with more fresh fruit flavors. A wine that doesn’t see the inside of a barrel (or barrel alternatives) is considered “unoaked.”

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G.D. VAJRA, 2018 PIEMONTE BARBERA FREISA, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

A new addition to the Vajra lineup, with this inaugural release of Piemonte Barbera Freisa a mere 3,000 bottles. The wine is inspired by a rare, old curio produced by Carlo (Carlin) Vaira, from a vineyard planted with a majority of Barbera and a row of Freisa. In 2018, Vajra brought the blend back to life with fruit from two neighbouring blocks in Bergera, Vergne. The wine combines the charisma of both varieties, with the sophistication of Barbera and the savage allure of Freisa. With not enough wine to fill a cask, it was aged in neutral barrels for eight months, until bottling on 26th August 2019.

About The Winery:

Today, G.D. Vajra is one of the most creative wineries of Barolo. A team of young talents, led by second-generation Giuseppe, Francesca and Isidoro Vajra, is enthusiastically at work crafting some of the most compelling wines of the Langhe. Their vineyards have been nurtured, and soil preserved with minimum tillage for almost 50 years now. With an incredible ratio of manual work per hectare, farming at Vajra is a labor of love. “The land asks for absolute dedication…” – Milena Vajra, matriarch of the G.D Vajra winery.

Food Pairings:

This rustic wine gives clues to its perfect pairing right in its bouquet. The fleshy fruit flavours and hints of grilled meat are waiting for Italian style veal chops.

Somm Hints:

Langhe is the region that encompasses Barolo, Barbaresco, and Roero. The name "Langhe" is the plural form of langa, which means a long hill.

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CARMEL ROAD, 2017 MONTEREY PINOT NOIR, CALIFORNIA, USA

Why We Love This Wine:

You can really taste the full flavour development in this Pinot from the influence of the coastal region where the grapes grow. A long growing season full of long foggy days make this a perfect Pinot with a silky texture and a beautifully long finish.

About The Winery:

Carmel Road produces three varietals: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and a limited production Cabernet Sauvignon. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay thrive in areas where the temperature doesn’t get too hot during the day and falls off rapidly at night. In fact, Monterey’s weather would be too hot for these cool-climate grape varieties were it not for the maritime influence from Monterey Bay.

Food Pairings:

The wonderful hints of baking spice in this Pinot mixed with a really juicy palate makes it pair well with so many foods, but we highly recommend matching this Pinot with pizza. Yeah, you read that right, this is your pizza wine!!

Somm Hints:

The slightest differences in clonal composition and terroir can have a terrific impact on Monterey Pinot Noir, yet the essentials remain. The wines are bright, crisp and silky, with a perfumed fragrance leading to complex flavors ranging from cherry pie filling to rhubarbs, pomegranates and dusty brown spices, all accented by smoky oak.

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TANDEM VIOGNIER VIURA, 2018 INMACULA, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

A full-bodied style of Viognier with creamy notes of peach, hazelnut and lime jelly, packed with flavour. ‘Inmacula’ means without blemish and to make sure that’s true, these grapes were harvested at night to retain freshness. What’s even cooler is, Tandem's winery is built partially underground to create a gravity fed winery with minimal stress for the wines. This wine is so expressive, long and has a subtle minerality on the finish. Great drinking experience!

About The Winery:

Tandem's vineyard philosophy is based around sustainable farming and using minimal intervention, while maintaining the vineyard’s health and viability. The natural conditions of the valley ensure that pesticide treatments can be kept to a minimum and take the form of sulphur and copper, avoiding products made from synthetic chemicals. The vines are dry-farmed and undergo a green harvest, to obtain lower yields and a key factor in achieving a greater concentration in the berries.

Food Pairings:

Pairs well soft, mild cheese or shrimps and spicy food for the more adventurous connoisseurs.

Somm Hints:

Navarra, in northern Spain, is one of the country's 17 first-level administrative regions (comunidades autónomas) and a reasonably prolific – if lesser-known – wine region. Traditionally associated with the production of crisp, fruit-driven rosé, Navarra is beginning to attract attention for its high-quality wine varieties after years of being overshadowed by its southern neighbor, Rioja.

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PALAMA, 2018 ARCANGELO PRIMITIVO SALENTO, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

Huge black-fruit intensity rushes to the nose and gives this wine a sun-drenched, jammy feel that is soft, but not necessarily sweet. In fact, this ripe Primitivo shows balance and a touch of refreshing acidity. Round but fleeting tannins provide easygoing support.

About The Winery:

Palama is a small estate in a sea of gigantic producers - a speck of an island on the salento peninsula and they would have it no other way. With perhaps the lowest yields in the entire appellation, Palama is committed to the highest quality everyday wines that can be produced without the fuss of new oak just ripe fresh powerful fruit. This Primitivo is a delightful creation from a delightful winery, lush yet bright and approachable with notes of dark anise cedar and blackberry confit.

Food Pairings:

Mama Mia! Match this red with meatballs, Marinara, or meat sauce.

Somm Hints:

Arguably more well known by its alter-ego Zinfandel, Primitivo is a huge, ripe Italian grape which is the pride of the Apulia region in the south of Italy. Primitivo is a delightfully brash wine that's very dark and very juicy. Much like Californian Zinfandels they have a very high alcohol content on account of the grapes ripening quickly.

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GABA DO XIL, TINTO, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

Gaba do Xil Tinto 2019 is a juicy red wine with an intense nose dominated by floral notes and red fruits. On the palate it is powerful and elegant. A fruity textured wine with refreshing acidity and balsamic touches. Made with 100% Mencía grapes that expresses all the granitic soil characteristics of D.O. Valdeorras. This is a great example of fruity freshness and minerality, made by one of the best producers in the country.

About The Winery:

Renowned Spanish producer Telmo Rodriguez worked for the biggest companies before starting his own business. In this tiny appellation of the "valley of gold" (Valdeorras), Mencìa is expressed with balance under a profile that is both fruity and spicy. Gaba do Xil offers the drinker an incredible value for handmade Galician wines for everyday drinking, which rival the wines of similar quality in Burgundy and Beaujolais.

Food Pairings:

This Tinto is the perfect companion to a Tapas spread that includes ham and grilled pork.

Somm Hints:

Gaba do Xil is named for the hillsides of the Sil River, which is the lifeblood of the region. They are the estate-grown red and white village wines, an introduction to the limited production single cru wines of Ladeiras do Xil.

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February 2022

ANTICA ENOTRIA PUGLIA BIANCO FIANO/FALANGHINA, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine: 

From Puglia, the "heel" of Italy, comes this 50% Falanghina & 50% Fiano blend. Produced by a family whose organic vineyards and farms yield an enticing array of wines as well as tomatoes, artichokes and olives, you can feel the soul of this estate and their stewardship in the wine. An area of mild winters (which we are all jealous about) and warm, windy summers, Puglia is home to wines of both freshness and density. The wine is light and elegant, with floral notes and subtle pear hints ending with a mineral twist.

About The Winery: 

Raffaele di Tuccio bought this run-down farmhouse dating back to the 1700s in 1985 and over the past 30 years has worked tirelessly with his wife, Antonia, and son, Luigi, to bring the property back to life. In 1993, Raffaele was so inspired by the concept of sustainable, organic viticulture that he immediately converted his 40ha of land to organics. Very sadly, Raffaele passed away in late 2020; the care of the farm and vineyards is now in Antonia and Luigi’s hands.

Food Pairings: 

There's no better pairing with white fish like halibut or cod in olive oil & lemon than this wine!

Somm Hints: 

Falanghina [FA-lan-GHEE-nah] and Fiano [fee-AH-noh] are both native to the south of Italy.

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DOMAINE CHANSON VIRÉ-CLESSÉ, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

Viré Clessé is one of the best white wines made in the heart of the Mâcon region, South of Burgundy. The two villages, Viré and Clessé, form a unique terroir. The soil is chalk and clay mixed with oyster fossils, like Chablis, conveying specific stoney, mineral notes to the wine. South-east-facing slopes give lots of sunshine and add ripe and round texture to the wine.  Overall, well balanced and precise. Tense with a very pure fruit combination. Refreshing finish with mineral tinges.

About The Winery:

Maison Chanson (also known as Domaine Chanson for their Domaine wines) was founded in 1750 and still occupies its original home in Burgundy. They don’t like the term negociant (wines are made from purchased fruit), as they instead behave like a domaine (fruit grown in the winery's own vineyard). They are a Bourgogne negociant doing things the right way. 

Food Pairings: 

A great dry apéritif, also good with light seafood and raw vegetable hors d’oeuvres.

Somm Hints:

Serve nice and cold to preserve the freshness.

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HIDDEN BENCH FUMÉ BLANC, NIAGARA CANADA

Why We Love This Wine: 

Inspired by Bordeaux and California’s oaked Sauvignon Blanc wines, Hidden Bench ferments the wine in oak barrels. This exceptional Fumé Blanc has substantial depth and weight while maintaining balanced proportions. The barrel influence is nicely balanced with subtle flavours of ripe citrus, green apple, grapefruit, and fresh grass. This is a classy, sophisticated, and complex wine.

About The Winery:

Hidden Bench has been certified organic since 2013, and they've undertaken many sustainable winemaking initiatives as well.  Hidden Bench's focus is the translation of our unique terroir into small-batch artisanal wines using traditional, non - interventionist methods coupled with cutting-edge technology.

Food Pairings:

Baked fish or veggies, especially asparagus, with Beurre Blanc (classic French white wine butter sauce).

Somm Hints: 

Observe what happens to this wine as it warms up in your glass. As the temperature of the wine increases, the warmer notes of tropical fruit begin to show.

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CHÂTEAU DE MONTFAUCON COMTESSE MADELEINE, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

The Lirac appellation is located just across the Rhône river from the prestige vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This is a blend of Marsanne, Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Picpoul. The wine is medium to full-bodied with a creamy and lush texture coming from 8 months of barrel aging. There are flavours of honeyed tangerine, melon and lime. This is an excellent example of how deliciously white Rhône wines can be!

About The Winery:

The history of Château de Montfaucon dates back to the 11th century, when the castle’s first tower was built. The castle’s role in history was strategic; the Rhône River was the border between the French Kingdom and the Holy Roman German Empire. Montfaucon was one of a line of castles and fortresses along the Rhône River constructed to guard the border and later to tax ships carrying goods up and down the River. Rodolphe de Pins took over Montfaucon estate in 1995, following his agriculture studies in France and California (UC Davis). He rebuilds the winery and makes his first vintage in Montfaucon in 1995.

Food Pairings:

Think of Mediterranean flavours like Bouillabaisse. Yes, it’s a white wine you can pair with tomato sauce! 

Somm Hints:

Try this wine in a glass that is larger than your standard ‘white wine’ glass. I think you will be impressed with the ‘volume’ of this wine.

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PAZO SEÑORANS ALBARIÑO, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

Pazo Señorans’ Albarino is a masterclass in the varietal’s potential. Intensely aromatic, round, and consistently well-balanced. The wine ferments in cool stainless steel tanks, then aged on fine lees for five months. The result is a textural wine with waves of bright citrus, stone fruit, and white flowers on the nose and palate. Zesty but satisfying at once, this is the Albariño to use for converting any friends who’ve yet to try this Spanish white.

About The Winery:

It’s hard to believe Pazo de Señorans has only been making wine for a mere 28 years and given that they are now considered one of the finest producers in Spain. Ana Quintela, the winemaker, is meticulous in her approach, which could not be more pared-back or straightforward. There are no secrets to success; it is all about the quality of the fruit.

Food Pairings:

Shellfish. Oysters, clams, scallops, shrimp. Raw, steamed, baked or grilled. Your choice!

Somm Hints:

Albarino can be a young, drink-now wine or a creamy lees-matured wonder with considerable aging potential.

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FALCHINI VIGNA A SOLATIO RISERVA, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

If you’re going to use one winery as your source of Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Falchini is the one. This wine has great elegance and structure, with light aromas of green apple and jasmine flowers. Fresh, balanced, fruity, and graceful on the palate. 

About The Winery:

When Riccardo Falchini bought Casale-Falchini in 1964, he was simply following his family’s footsteps – his predecessors had made wine for Cosimo de’ Medici. The estate is located just outside the walled city of San Gimignano in Tuscany and is blessed with superior terroir. Today, Falchini remains a leading producer of the region’s best-known wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, which comprises 60% of the estate’s production. After Riccardo died in 2010, his sons Michael and Christopher, along with consulting enologist Giacomo Tachis (the winemaker behind Tignanello, Sassicaia, Ornellaia and Solaia), continued to enhance the Falchini reputation for fine wines.

Food Pairings:

It is a great wine to enjoy with whole roasted sea bream or sea bass with lemon and herbs, but it is also an excellent choice as an aperitif.

Somm Hints:

Serve well chilled to preserve the freshness.

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TABOADELLA VILLAE, PORTUGAL

Why We Love This Wine:

The 2019 Taboadella Villae Dão Red is a unique blend of four indigenous Portuguese grape varieties. It forms a set that they can call “perfect wedding” with four great characters! Tinta Roriz gives structure and muscle, Jaen shows his natural claw, Alfrocheiro brings minerality, and Tinta Pinheira demonstrates the aromas of forest and woodland. On the palate, this wine expresses pulpy/juicy blackberry notes with subtle hints of eucalyptus. Luscious and downright hedonistic, yet bright and energetic.

About The Winery:

The Amorim family have been involved in wine since 1870 when they first negotiated sales of cork to the Caves de Vinho do Porto in Vila Nova de Gaia. Since 1999, Luisa Amorim, the fourth generation of the family, is now creating wines of extraordinary quality with a sense of place.

Food Pairings:

Red meat from weekday burger to Sunday roast.

Somm Hints:

For optimal enjoyment, serve in larger Bordeaux wine glasses.

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CANTINE BARBERA ‘LU CÒRI’ NERO D'AVOLA, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

What could be more appropriate than a wine with a heart on the label for the month of love? This is a fascinating organic Nero d’Avola with a spicy and lively saline character. This wine truly represents the intriguing Sicilian terroir. The wine shows scents of mulberries and raspberries with a touch of light spices. The palate is fragrant and full, with soft velvety tannins that shape a vibrant, Mediterranean personality. A wine to love!

About The Winery:

Cantina Barbera is located in Menfi, on the west coast of Sicily. A third-generation farmer, Marilena Barbera, farms the grapes following an organic and biodynamic practice. To understand the wines of Cantine Barbera, you need to see the ocean. The vineyards are about one mile from the Mediterranean Sea: Vines that live this close to the sea in south-western Sicily turn the sea brine into vibrant tasty salinity. 

Food Pairings:

Match this fresh red with rich meats, any kind of pasta with tomato-based sauces and pizzas!

Somm Hint:

Open this wine with your loved ones, friends or family members. Don’t try to take this sweet bottle down on your own, no matter how charming it is on the first sip.

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AZUL Y GARANZA GARCIANO, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

An unusual blend of Garnacha and Graciano — hence the name Garciano! Soft fruity flavours from the Garnacha, combined with spicy flavours, acidity and deep colour from the Graciano, make this one a winner. Fine tannin brings the wine together with a taut structure. All of the wines from Azul y Garanza are made organically, with minimal intervention. One for fans of natural wines, made by hand!

About The Winery:

The Azul y Garanza vineyards began at the Natural Park of the desert of the Bardenas Reales and the Pre-Pyrenees. Founders Dani Sánchez, María Barrena and Fernando Barrena work with “landscapes” – not merely vineyards - with each of their plots enjoying as much biological diversity as this harsh climate will allowNavarra Just. The surrounding plants, shrubs, trees, and animal/insect life play as much in the grapes’ success as the vines themselves. 

Food Pairings:

Think Spanish like Chorizo and lentil soup, Spanish stuffed bell peppers.

Somm Hints:

Navarra, just to the north of Rioja, was one of the first to modernize the winemaking region. A region to keep your eye on!

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FRANKLAND ESTATE ROCKY GULLY SHIRAZ, AUSTRALIA

Why We Love This Wine:

Frankland River is one of the coolest wine-growing regions in Western Australia. This is not your typical Australian Shiraz. Supple and elegant, an expression of cooler climate Shiraz. It starts with bright red fruits, plum, black pepper with subtle oak on the nose—a mid-weight palate with juicy fruit with spice. A small addition of Viognier gives aromatic lift and texture to the finish.

About The Winery:

Buried deep in the heart of Western Australia's most isolated wine region, Frankland Estate is as much a part of its natural landscape as it is a winery. They have invested a lot of time and energy into minimizing their impact on the region’s ecological balance, nurturing the micro-biology of the soils and supporting causes to improve the health and future prosperity of the local fauna and flora. It is their commitment to sustainable farming that informs their winemaking practices.

Food Pairings:

Grilled meats and winter stews. Beef bourguignon would be excellent to have on the weekend. 

Somm Hints:

Decant this youthful wine to let it open up and express its full potential.

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TENUTE LE COLONNE BOLGHERI, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

The Bolgheri DOC, Tenuta Le Colonne is a balanced and harmonious red wine made of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Yes, Cabernet Franc dominated! Tenuta Le Colonne’s proximity to the sea further exalts the magnificent qualities of this blend, resulting in an intense, full-bodied wine with notes of ripe black fruits and delicate notes of vanilla. Long and persistent finish. It’s surprisingly elegant and fresh, a perfect example of Bolgheri’s refined wines.

About The Winery:

Alejandro Bulgheroni is an Argentine entrepreneur with a passion for wine. Over the years, he has invested significantly in Tuscany, first in Chianti Classico and later in Montalcino.

In 2016, purchased the historic property “Tenute Le Colonne” located in the southern portion of Bolgheri’s appellation. Since 2019, the estates’ entire production is certified organic.

Food Pairings:

You will need something big and bold. Roast meats, Pasta with meat sauce, Tagliatelle ai Funghi or hard-aged cheese.

Somm Hints:

Decant this wine for at least an hour, if possible, serve in a large wine glass to showcase everything this complex wine has to offer.

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ANTHONIJ RUPERT PROTEA MERLOT, SOUTH AFRICA

Why We Love This Wine:

Merlot has been forgotten for years. South Africa offers a style that often marries the perfect balance between the old world and new, delivering spicy, balanced and generous red wines. This Merlot from Anthonij Rupert is an unbelievable value. Vibrant black cherry and plum aromas with a hint of tomato leaf and dark chocolate. The wine has instant appeal with a soft, textured but supportive structure and frame. Lovely, generous ripe-fruited finish!

About The Winery:

Anthonij Rupert is one of South Africa’s top producers of premium wines grown across four properties in Franschhoek, Elandskloof, Kasteelberg and Darling. They produce complex, warm climate wines with ripe, palate-pleasing flavours. The Protea line, bearing the name of South Africa’s national flower, features accessible wines with a strong sense of terroir. 

Food Pairings:

Perfect match for everything from casual fares like burgers or pizzas right through to finer cuts of beef, lamb or game.

Somm Hints:

Serve this wine in a larger wine glass -- it’ll help you sense + appreciate +enjoy!

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FEUDO MACCARI OLLI GRILLO, ITALY

Why We Love This Wine:

First of all, it’s Italian! What is not to love! There are so many flavours jumping out of the glass – oyster shells, grapefruit, almond and peach. This wine is salty, mineral, waxy, and herbaceous. It is complex while still being simply enjoyable. It evolves in the glass, while continuing to be refreshing after two or even three glasses…

About The Winery:

Feudo Maccari was established in 2000 and is owned by Antonio Moretti who is the man behind the legendary estates of Tenuta Sette Ponti and Poggio al Lupo in Tuscany. These credentials are truly apparent in the quality of all of their wines.

This wine is made from 100% Grillo which is a natural cross between 2 other varieties grown in Sicily, Catarratto and Moscato. It is an indigenous variety that is naturally suitable to the warm, dry climate of the region. The vines are bush trained on the southerly hillsides near the town of Noto. The vineyards are less than 2km from the ocean – the proximity to the sea, as well as the Mediterranean winds help to moderate the heat and give freshness to the wines.

Food Pairings:

Sicily is surrounded by the water! Sommeliers love the saying, ‘what grows together, goes together’… it’s so true!! In this case, pair with seafood! Grilled white fish with charred vegetables sounds like the perfect meal for this wine. Sushi or Thai green curry are also great choices if you’re ordering take-out!

 

Somm Hints:

Always look for the lesser-known regions or varieties. Your money will go twice as far in the search for quality.

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BODEGAS IZADI BLANCO, SPAIN

Why We Love This Wine:

Rioja is Spain’s most well-known wine region but people don’t usually think of white wine when they think of Rioja! While an oxidative style was common for Rioja Blanco back in the day, trends have dramatically changed over the last 5-10 years to make wines that are more balanced and much fresher in style. This is a blend of many varieties, including Viura, Malvasia, Garnacha Blanca, Maturana Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco, and Turruntes. While Izadi has only been around for 30 years, the fruit comes from some of the oldest recovered vineyards in Rioja. The wines have character and soul, just like the region.

On the palate, this wine has notes of yellow apple, lemon juice, mint, hazelnut skin, cedar and toast.

About The Winery:

Izadi was founded 30 years ago but Gonzalo Anton’s family has been growing grapes in the village of Villabeuna de Alava in Rioja Alavesa for many generations. Most of the vines are 50-60 years old and bush-trained on chalky clay limestone, which helps to bring a mineral edge to the wines. Old vines tend to lose productivity with age, which helps to increase the concentration of the fruit, giving more concentrated wines.

Food Pairings:

Most of these varieties have a lovely natural weight to them without being overly acidic or perfumed, which makes it a very versatile wine for many types of cuisine. Iberico jamon and manchego cheese are the classic way to start any meal in Spain, so pairing this wine with your charcuterie board and tapas is a guaranteed success. As a main course pairing, this wine will live up to roasted chicken, or pork loin.

Somm Hints:

Take it out of the fridge 20 minutes before serving. This wine will lose its lovely floral and fruit undertones if served too cold.

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PIRRAMIMMA KATUNGA CABERNET SAUVIGNON, AUSTRALIA 

Why We Love This Wine:

We love this wine because it comes from McLaren Vale, which is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in Australia. People often consider Australia to be a young and new wine growing region, but in fact, they have some of the oldest continuously productive vines in the entire world – these vines date back to 1843 and are still producing fruit! So wild!

McLaren Vale has a great diversity of micro-climates and soil types, which brings complexity to many different wine styles. Their proximity to the ocean is a key factor in this hot region to ensure acidity retention and freshness in the grapes.

There are so many flavours in the glass – blackberry, blackcurrant and bramble fruit galore! Herbal, peppery and capsicum notes with eucalyptus, black tea leaf, Kalamata olives, and licorice. There is something savoury and meaty with this wine that balances all the juicy ripe fruit notes. 

About The Winery:

Pirramimma has been around since 1892 and continues to be run by the same family today. They are one of McLaren Vale’s oldest remaining family owned winery, possessing intimate knowledge and connection to the vineyards and the region. Winemaker Jeff Johnston just celebrated 50 vintages at Pirramimma – impressive! The grapes are all estate-grown, which means that all the fruit comes from their own property, just next to the winery itself.

This Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Orchard Block and their 30-year-old ‘Pig and Pony’ vineyard. After fermentation, the wine matures in French barrels for 2 years before bottling.

Food Pairings:

This wine needs some meat. Steak or lamb with potatoes! A bit of char, smoke, and salt are able to live up to this wine.

Somm Hints:

Long live the screw cap! Screw cap closures may have once upon a time been associated with cheap wines but this is not the case in Australia. 99% of closures are under screw cap for an easy crack and pour! These closures ensure freshness in even the most age-worthy wines.

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TILIA BONARDA, ARGENTINA

Why We Love This Wine:

Bonarda is Argentina’s second most planted black grape variety, but continues to live in the shadow of Tempranillo on the export market, and is therefore mostly consumed domestically. This is why it’s always a treat when we see it on the shelves in Canada and have a chance to taste it!

The Tilia brand seeks to create action around social sustainability in Argentina. The playful label depicts the ethos of biodiversity through sketches of bees, mountains, ocean, and all things Mother Nature. They are hoping to inspire a movement among winemakers and producers all over the world that not only creates a connection with the natural environment but the local community as well. Amen! We can totally get behind this.

The colour is deep in the glass but the flavour is lighter and brighter than you might expect. The glass is singing with notes of red cherry, strawberry, plum, violets, basil, and blueberry. Earthy, peppery, and gamey with fresh acidity.

About The Winery:

Tilia was established in 2006 in Junin, Mendoza. All the grapes are sustainably farmed and sourced from the Uco Valley, the Eastern and Central regions of Mendoza. They are the first winery in Argentina to carry the ‘Bodegas de Argentina Certified Sustainable’ seal on the label. They support the local communities with an array of programs to ensure that ‘we all thrive as one’. You can hear birds chirping in the background when you check out their website. Love it!

Food Pairing:

Asado! This is the local name for the long Argentinean tradition of the BBQ! This wine is the perfect pairing for grilled skewers, good company, and sunshine.

Somm Hints:

Serve with a slight chill. This will help to bring out the fresh acidity that pairs so nicely with all the fruit concentration.

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CHÂTEAU PESQUIE VENTOUX TERRASSES, FRANCE

Why We Love This Wine:

It’s playful but serious. Fruity and earthy, with silky tannins and fresh acidity. Notes of raspberry, strawberry, blackpepper, rose petals and cracked pepper.

We love that this is an organic wine! They have been certified organic since 2007 and continue to push the sustainability envelope by also implementing biodynamic practices in the vineyard – this means that they spray the vines with compost tea, bury cow horns under the earth to naturally fertilize the soil, and make decisions based on the lunar calendar – far out!

About The Winery:

Ventoux is a famous appellation in the Southern Rhône, just below the picturesque Mont Ventoux. The mountain provides an important cooling influence in the region due to the high altitude and cool air coming down it, which adds freshness to the wines.

Château Pesquié is a third-generation family affair. This wine is a blend of Grenache and Syrah, planted on limestone-rich soils. The wine spends several months in concrete vats before aging for 6 months in neutral French barrels.

Food Pairings:

This is fantastic on its own by the fireplace. If you are looking to pair with food, go for a mushroom risotto. This is a wine that could also live up to a pork loin or lean meats.

Somm Hints:

Look for the green leaf on the back of the label to ensure that the winery is following sustainable practices in the vineyard. Supporting sustainability will help to ensure that we have fresh and delicious wines to drink in the future!

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MICHAEL DAVID WINERY SIXTH SENSE SYRAH, CALIFORNIA USA

Why We Love This Wine:

The wines are just as playful as the labels. With brands like Freakshow, Earthquake, Inkblot and Sixth Sense, you can imagine that they are a pretty fun Motley Crew at Michael David Winery. While they take their farming practices and winemaking techniques seriously, they understand that wines are meant to be unpretentious and enjoyable. The grapes for this Syrah were planted in 1982 and is one of the earliest plantings of Syrah in California. This wine expresses everything we love about Syrah with notes of violets, black cherry, plum, espresso beans, licorice and blackberries. The savoury and smoky character balances the ripe fruit notes and naturally sweetness of the wine. Bold and beautiful!

About The Winery:

The founders, Michael and David Phillips are 5th generation grape growers. Their family has been farming the soils in Lodi since the 1860s and cultivating wine grapes since the early 20th century – they go way back.

Lodi sits at the northern end of the Central Valley in California. There is a flat land in the area with breaks between the North and South Coast Ranges, which means that breezes off the San Francisco Bay can travel far inland. This means added freshness is a region that is commonly associated with high alcohol and lots of fruit concentration.

Food Pairings:

This wine is calling for lamb chops! Serve with some grilled eggplant and don’t be afraid of the pepper shaker!

Somm Hints:

Often times, Syrah makes a wine that needs to lay down in your cellar for a decade, but this is a wine that is ready to drink. Give it a decant before bringing it out to the dinner table. There isn’t any sediment, but a little aeration will help to open up all the aromas and soften out the tannins. If you don’t have a decanter, toss it in a juice jug or coffee Bodum. Don’t be afraid to shake it up a bit when pouring!

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THE WINERY OF GOOD HOPE UNOAKED CHARDONNAY, SOUTH AFRICA

Why We Love This WINE:

The Winery of Good Hope Unoaked Chardonnay is brimming with optimism & bright ripe fruit.  Notes of fresh citrus & ripe pineapple sing from the glass.  As the name suggests, the wine has not seen any oak barrels – choosing instead to age the Chardonnay in steel to preserve the freshness and fruitiness of the wine. 

About The Winery:

Based in Stellenbosch, the Winery of Good Hope is fully accredited for environmental, ethical, and social-upliftment practices. 

Food Pairings:

Lemon Garlic Prawn Linguini. 

Somm Hints:

A wine glass with a big bowl will give this wine a chance to open up & sing!

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HUMO BLANCO SAUVIGNON BLANC (EDICIÓN LIMITADA), CHILE

Why We Love This Wine:

The aromas of this Sauvignon Blanc jump out of the glass at you! Guava, yellow grapefruit and fresh green herbs. 

About The Winery:

Hailing from Bordeaux, François Lurton sought out his ideal vineyard site in Chile.  He found it near the town of Lolol in the Colchagua Valley, just 2 hours from Santiago.  Hacienda Araucano is certified Biodynamic. 

Food Pairings:

This wine is not shy & will stand up to some bright & strong flavours.  It will pair beautiful with fresh cilantro. Fish tacos with cilantro & pico de gallo. 

Somm Hints:

This is a wine that is made to be enjoyed upon release.  No need to cellar the bottle – it should be enjoyed while fresh & bright!

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GUSTAVE LORENTZ PINOT BLANC ALSACE EVIDENCE, FRANCE

Why We Love This:

Pinot Blanc is a variety that does not receive enough attention!  The Alsatian expression of Pinot Blanc is delicate and floral.  The Lorentz ‘Evidence’ shows off notes of fresh pear, lemon blossom and acacia. 

About The Winery:

Established in 1836, Domaine Gustave Lorentz is a family run winery under the direction of the 7th generation.  Set in the idyllic village of Bergheim, Alsace, the domaine is committed to producing quality wines with a focus on organic viticulture. 

Food Pairings:

A secret weapon to pair alongside a notoriously difficult ingredient – eggs!  This wine will be a perfect pairing alongside a simple omelette or a vegetable frittata. 

Somm Hints:

Pinot Blanc from Alsace does have the ability to age a few years in the bottle.  A good quality Pinot Blanc can be enjoyed upon release but will also benefit from 4-6 years ageing in bottle. 

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MCMANIS VIOGNIER, CALIFORNIA, USA

Why We Love This:

This is a full bodied white wine with a profile of fresh fruit and flowers.  Ripe peach & apricot are the stars of the show along with

About The Winery:

The McManis Family have been farming the land for 5 generations.  They established the family winery in 1990. 

Food Pairings:

Butter Chicken – the weight of the wine will match the creamy sauce, while the ginger and spice will be complemented by the flavours in the wine. 

Somm Hints:

Viognier is a variety that packs in flavour in a full-bodied wine without the influence of oak barrels.  The weight and flavours come from the grape itself.  While some Viogniers will be aged in oak, the McManis release is a great example of what the grape can express on its own. 

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January 2022

Elvio Cogno Dolcetto d’Alba ‘Mandorlo’, Piedmont Italy

Why we love this wine:

Native to Piedmont, the Dolcetto grape used to be much more prominent than it has been in recent history.  Although the name translates to “little sweet one”, the wines, while often juicy, bright and fruit driven, are predominantly dry.  It is a difficult grape to work with in the vineyard, which may be why it fell out of favour, but it can produce alluring wines that are exuberant, full, floral, fresh and perfumed.  As a result, fortunately, Dolcetto seems to be making a comeback. This charming wine is such a great example of Dolcetto’s bright personality showing grapey aromas and flavours, wildberries, bright juicy acidity and a mouth-watering, palate cleansing finish. 

About the Winery:

The Cogno family has been making wine for generations in the Piedmont region. In 1990, Elvio Cogno left a long partnership with one of the area’s long-established wineries and bought a historic 18th-century farmhouse, surrounded by steep sloped vineyards, on the top of Bricco Ravera, near the town of Novello.  Elvio passed the torch to his daughter, Nadia, and her husband, Valter Fissore, who had worked beside Elvio for 25 years. Today, co-owner and winemaker Valter oversees the production of all Elvio Cogno estate wines.  Valter and Nadia grow indigenous grape varieties with organic vineyard practices. Cogno is largely responsible for the resurgence of the Novello area and the winery consistently is among the region’s top producers.

Food Pairings:

Great with salumi, soft cheese and bbq pork ribs.

Somm Hint:

Serve slightly chilled to enhance the wine’s freshness.

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Redstone Gamay Noir, Niagara Peninsula Ontario

Why we love this wine:

Bright and juicy with aromas of tart cherries, violets, cedar and baking spices with bright acidity, soft tannins and flavours of cherries, raspberries and black currant. Delightfully easy to drink, but still possesses loads of character. Gamay (the grape of Beaujolais) is one of the most underrated grape varieties growing in Canada. We all need to drink more Gamay for it’s freshness, flavour, drinkability and food versatility.

About the Winery:

In his quest to explore terroir, Moray Tawse first established his namesake winery in Vineland, ON. Then it was Marchand-Tawse and Domaine Tawse in Burgundy. And now Redstone Winery, in Beamsville, ON. Moray purchased the Lincoln Lakeshore property, formerly Thomas and Vaughan Estate Winery, in 2009, citing that it was an opportunity to explore a different terroir that he simply couldn’t pass up. Inspired by the red dust which covered everything, including his boots, the first time he strolled the vineyard, he named the new winery Redstone, for its intensely red clay soil and large stones. The 38-acre estate vineyard is farmed organically.

Food Pairings:

Great with turkey and chicken, burgers, duck or pork chops.

Somm Hint:

Chill in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes before serving to really bring out the brightness in this wine.

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Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc ‘Grand Selection’, Chile

Why we love this wine:

This zippy white wine has a fresh and expressive nose with notes of melon and citrus, and a fresh and lively palate. Sauvignon Blanc does quite well in Chile when planted in cooler sites to maintain the grape’s natural freshness. A small amount of Semillon is blended into the wine to add a little texture and weight.

About the Winery:

Lapostolle Wines was founded by Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle and her husband Cyril de Bournet in 1994. Alexandra is a member of the renowned family that has been dedicated for several generations to the production of high-quality spirits and wines. After visiting Chile, Alexandra and Cyril not only fell in love with the Colchagua Valley, they also detected the enormous potential of the country to produce premium wines due to its exceptional geographical characteristics. In the creation of Lapostolle Wines, the family has maintained the commitment with the quality that has always characterized them…to create world class wines using the French experience and, in this case, the magnificent terroirs of Chile. Lapostolle Wines has been a pioneer in the wine industry in Chile through the production of premium wines with a focus on terroir and a strong emphasis on sustainability.

Food Pairings:

Great with all types of seafood, sushi and as an aperitif.

Somm Hint:

Serve chilled with a nice patio on a hot summer’s day (if drinking in the middle of our Canadian winter, enjoy while dreaming of being on a patio on a hot summer’s day)

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Boschendal Shiraz, Cape Coast South Africa

Why we love this wine:

The grapes for this wine are from selected vineyard sites in the mountainous region of the Cape coast. The high elevation vineyards produce smaller quantities of grapes per vine, but great quality. The wine is generous, deep, ripe black fruit with pepper spice, richness and juiciness with a round, integrated fruit core and silky ripe tannins. Shows elegant freshness and length with lingering fruit on the finish.

About the Winery:

Boschendal (Dutch for bush and dale) is one of the oldest wine estates in South Africa and is located between Franschhoek and Stellenbosch in South Africa’s Western Cape. This wine farm is nestled in one of the most picturesque valleys in the Cape Winelands. With a winemaking tradition spanning over 330 years, Boschendal Wine Estate take the utmost care to find specific terroir driven sites best suited to grow their wines and prioritize sustainability across their farming and cellar practices in order to retain the country’s biodiversity.

Food Pairings:

Anything off the barbecue, particularly lamb and pork.

Somm Hint:

The wine is very approachable right out of the bottle, but it will continue to open up and develop in your glass.

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Nine North Hullabaloo Zinfandel, California USA

Why we love this wine:

Taking advantage of some strong grower relations, Nine North was able to source some wonderful old vine Zinfandel from several Lodi vineyards. Don’t ask them from where, as they have been sworn to secrecy; just know the same grapes go into wines that retail for three to four times the price.  They chose the classic 19th century strongman icon for their label as they thought it was fitting of the period between 1850 and 1900 (around the same time Zinfandel was planted and began to flourish in California). The strongman was not only an exhibitor of feats of strength but his main purpose was also to showcase his great size, boldness and symmetry—kind of describes old vine Zinfandel. The wine shows bright fruit and freshness, is elegant juicy, rich, intense and bold.

About the Winery:

Nine North Wine Company is a unique portfolio of small production handcrafted wines from Napa Valley, North Coast, Central Coast, California and Washington State appellations. Nine North specializes in offering exceptional quality and value. In 2009, Chris Nickolopoulos and Elijah Pfister were approached by a high-end winemaker friend who had some extra Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: could they do anything with it? Samples were sent and both were greatly impressed with the quality. Moreover, given the recession at the time, it was available for pennies on the dollar. They took it all. Desiring a fruitier character in the finished wine, they also purchased several lots of Merlot and spent two weeks experimenting with blends until they hit the sweet spot. They branded the wine Ministry of the Vinterior (MOV) and the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon was their first négociant wine. While the gents were blending Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir for their MOV line, word quickly spread among winemaking estates that there was a discreet home to be found for the glut of wine that was in the market, and hundreds of samples came their way. Concurrently, retailers seeking proprietary blends learned of their efforts and they began to fulfill requests for them. It was an excellent business model in that stellar juice was obtained for a fraction of the cost and the consumer received appellation-specific wines that over-delivered at the price point.

Food Pairings:

A great burger, steak or ribs are perfect partners.

Somm Hint:

Serve this wine at cellar temperature (16 C) to maintain its bright freshness. If served too warm, the alcohol will tend to dominate.

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Antoniolo Erbaluce di Caluso, Piedmont Italy

Why we love this wine:

In a region that is best known for the Nebbiolo grape of the great red wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, comes this intriguing and delicious white wine from the hyper local Erbaluce grape. This wine features bright and light green nuances and a brilliant mouth-watering character, floral aromas, and a lovely savouriness with almond-flavoured notes on the finish. Erbaluce has the ability to age and will develop more complexity, structure and minerality with even 3 or 4 years of aging in the bottle.

About the Winery:

Antoniolo is considered by many to be one of the most important reference-point estates in Alto Piemonte (northern Piedmont). It is run by brother and sister team Alberto and Lorella Antoniolo but was established in 1948 by their grandfather Mario. In the 1950s and 60s, when many Italians were fleeing the countryside for work in Piedmont’s factories, Antoniolo was snapping up the area’s best vineyards. In 1974, Rosanna Antoniolo, Mario’s daughter and Alberto and Lorella’s mother, accepted the suggestion of Italy’s most famous wine journalist, Luigi Veronelli, and bottled single vineyard wines – something few producers were doing at the time. Today the estate has 14 hectares under vine, and brother and sister follow the strict guidelines of their pioneering mother. Fermentations are done slowly in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts. The winey produces only 4600 cases of wine annually on average.

Food Pairings:

A very versatile food wine having the ability to pair with everything from vegetable frittatas, herb risotto, fried fish and soft cheeses.

Somm Hint:

Serve slightly chilled because if too cold, the aromas and flavours will be muted.

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Château Haut-Grelot Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux, France

Why we love this wine:

Do you like Sauvignon Blanc? Then guess what, you will love this wine! Sauvignon blanc was born in Bordeaux and is a primary ingredient of the White Bordeaux blend. The Château Haut-Grelot Blanc is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc with 10% Semillon. The wine is floral, crisp and elegant, with subtle hints of grapefruit and lemon pith. The round palate and a lingering finish let you savour every drop.

About the Winery:

Château Haut-Grelot was established in 1920 in the village of Les Grelots by the Bonneau family. Today, the domaine comprises 58 hectares of vineyards and is run by Céline and Julien, who have been awarded the title of "Best Young Talent" in Bordeaux.

Food Pairings:

A gorgeous aperitif to drink on its own on the weekends. You can also enjoy with light pasta dishes and baked white fish with potato and asparagus.

Somm Hint:

This is a genuinely delicious white! Serve nice and cold to preserve the freshness.

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Tenute Orestiadi 'Zibibbo' Sicilia, Italy

Why we love this wine:

The Zibibbo, also knowns as Muscat of Alexandria, is a white grape variety member of the Muscat family. In Italy grown mainly in Sicily and its islands. Bad news for those who think of Zibibbo by associating it with sweet wine. Zibibbo is much more than that! The "dry" version is presented in the glass with floral and fruity aromas of citrus fruit, peach, and yellow melon. On the palate, it’s fresh and elegant, sapid and harmonious.

About the Winery:

Tenute Orestiadi is the name of a very young and dynamic Sicilian winery, born a few years ago from the efforts of many vinegrowers in the area of Gibellina and the Orestiadi Foundation. The production philosophy of Tenute Orestiadi is aimed at the production of modern Sicilian wines closely linked to the territory and to the Sicilian oenological tradition.

Food Pairings:

Great seafood wine from sushi to pasta with Mediterranean sardine (or anchovy) with lemon and capers.

Somm Hint:

Look for “Passito di Pantelleria” for the distinct style of sweet white wine made from Zibibbo.

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Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris, Alsace, France

Why we love this wine:

An exceptional Pinot Gris from a celebrated Alsatian winery! Grapes come from a variety of Zind-Humbrecht's estate vineyards surrounding the winery located in the village of Turkheim. Ideal full sun exposure ensures that these wines are ripe, opulent and fruit-driven. Fermented to near dryness, this Pinot Gris exhibits intoxicating aromas of honey apples, citrus blossoms, and nectarines. The palate is powerful and dense with a sapid fresh acidity.

About the Winery:

Domaine Zind-Humbrecht is managed by Master of Wine, Olivier Humbrecht. The Humbrechts have been growing grapes in this part of Alsace since 1620. Today Olivier farms 40 hectares of vineyards, which are spread across 5 villages. During his tenure, Olivier has brought the winery to the next level by renovating the cellar and converting the vineyards to biodynamic farming.

Food Pairings:

A perfect wine for french inspired weekend brunch like quiche lorraine and ham and Gruyere cheese crepe.

Somm Hint:

A perfect wine for french inspired weekend brunch like quiche lorraine and ham and Gruyere cheese crepe.

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Keint-he 'Vacay' Chardonnay, Niagara, Ontario

Why we love this wine:

Missing the sunshine? We’ve got you covered. This vacation in a bottle shows aromas of ripe TROPICAL fruits, including honeydew and pineapple. The mouth exhibits a dense texture, with flavours of pineapple and lychee. Low acids complemented with a baking spice finish make this wine an approachable crowd pleaser.

About the Winery:

Keint-he is a boutique winery focusing on varietals that are typically grown in Burgundy. Centrally located in Prince Edward County’s wine region, Keint-he produces domestic wines exhibit European minerality and acidity. The result is award-winning, terroir-based wines that reflect the standard for quality and the region’s character in which they were produced from either the County or Niagara.

Food Pairings:

A good match for most summery foods flavoured with tropical fruit. Grilled pork loin, scallops, and Thai Red Curry.

Somm Hint:

This Chardonnay is ‘no fuss, no muss’ in that you can enjoy any day and time, just like when you are on vacation.

 

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Quinta do Vallado 'Prima' Moscatel, Douro, Portugal

Why we love this wine:

 This unique white differs from other typical Moscatel wines due to its dryness. The grapes come from three different vineyards – one parcel with more than 50 years old vines. The juice goes through a slow fermentation process with skin contact. The result is a fruity wine with ripe citrus and tropical fruits notes as lychees and mango. The wine is dry, rich with intense fruit fragrances.

About the Winery:

Quinta do Vallado, established in 1716, is one of Douro Valley’s oldest and most famous estates. It is located on the banks of the Corgo River, a tributary of the Douro River, right next to its mouth and close to the town of Peso da Régua. It belonged to the legendary Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira and remains in the hands of her descendants.

Food Pairings:

Excellent with any Asian cuisine, Japanese, Chinese, Thai and even with spicy Korean food.

Somm Hint:

Recommended best served well chilled.

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Chiesa Carlo Roero Arneis, Piedmont, Italy

Why we love this wine:

When we think of wine from Italy’s Piedmont region, we usually think Nebbiolo, but there is a white wine that should be on everyone’s radar, and that is Arneis. This 100% Arneis wine is hand-harvested from high-density plantings, fermented low and slow to preserve its fresh acidity. On the nose, there are notes of white flowers and dried herbs. It is dry, crisp and refreshing on the palate, offering green pear, apple, white peach and honey notes with a citrusy, mineral core and hints of almond.

About the Winery:

Chiesa Carlo is little known but has a long history, and they make fantastic wines. Founded in the mid-1700s in the sun-drenched hills of the Roero, Chiesa Carlo is a prestigious family business that spans over five generations. They’ve always practiced organic farming throughout this long time – no chemicals have ever been used. All vineyard work, including the harvest, is done by hand. Their wines stand out for their lack of intervention and manipulation, which shows in the production of their celebrated Roero wines like the Roero Arneis D.O.C.G.

Food Pairings:

Food pairing is a treat with Arneis, ranging from simple antipasto (marinated olives, seafood) to mussels and grilled sea bass.

Somm Hint:

Take out of the fridge 20 minutes before serving. Leave off ice.

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Tempore 'Generacion 73' Garnacha, Aragón, Spain

Why we love this wine:

Garnacha, or Grenache in French, in its purest form! On the organically certified vineyards at an altitude of 550 m above sea level, pure Garnacha is grown for the Generación 73. There are rich high-intensity aromas of blackberries, vanilla and sweet caramel and floral notes such as violet. This full-bodied wine has dense ripe berry fruit balanced with integrated tannin and a light taste of the toasted oak.

About the Winery:

The Yago Aznar family belongs to this region of Lécera in Aragón, attuned to the extreme climate and challenging landscape with a shared passion for wine-making spanning four generations of viticulturists. Today the 70 hectare estate is run by siblings Paula and Víctor Yago Aznar and their organically certified operation is predicated on the principle of 'Tempore' or time, or more precisely 'seedtime', leaving the vines to express themselves free of intervention and with the utmost respect for the land.

Food Pairings:

Don’t overthink this one. Steak and Potatoes, grilled lamb, roasted portobello mushrooms, and aged hard cheeses.

Somm Hint:

Pour into your largest glass. This is a smooth operator!

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Folly of the Beast Central Coast Pinot Noir, California

Why we love this wine:

Folly of the Beast is the result of a winemaker’s quest to make good and approachable Pinot Noir. The 2019 Folly of the Beast Pinot Noir begins with a pleasing, classic Pinot aroma of cranberry, black cherry, spice and a little wet earth. This medium-bodied wine has a fruity ripe berry beginning giving way to the hints of the toasted oak. Sweet spice notes lead into the very long, dry finish.

About the Winery:

Folly of the Beast wine is made by Winc. Winc’s story began in 2012 under another name: Club W. Club W was the world’s first personalized wine club. It made the process of discovering and buying wine easier than ever; eventually, this club expanded to other facets of the wine experience. Winc Wine Company opts for small-lot winemaking techniques and philosophies, favouring quality over quantity. It strives to showcase the best that every region, varietal and style has to offer, at the best value possible.

Food Pairings:

Ideal with roasted poultry or a mushroom risotto with parmesan cheese.

Somm Hint:

If you have the proper stemware, bring out the burgundy glasses to accentuate the wine’s aromas

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Renner Rennersistas Zweigelt, Brugenland, Austria

Why we love this wine:

A Wine that is stepping up the game for Austria's most planted red variety. Too often, Zweigelt can produce distinctly average red wines, but here it shows its true colours. Intense aromas of ripe black fruits, minerals, licorice, and the slightest hint of bergamot. The palate is mineral, complex and juicy. There’s loads of concentration, but also loads of acidity – it’s lively and harmonious, but with real depth, brings this red to the next level!.

About the Winery:

Started by sisters, Susanne and Stefanie Renner, Rennersistas have been certified organic since 2012. They have been attracting international attention and recognition within the natural wine community for their stunning natural wines. Currently, they farm 13 hectares of land with a lot of care.

Food Pairings:

Zweigelt is one of those rare reds that pair well with fish, particularly shellfish. Try pairing it with fish cooked in wine or tomato-based sauce to really bring out the flavors! Poultry and Zweigelt also go very well together.

Somm Hint:

The first sip packs a bit of a punch, so definitely give it a minute and then try your second and third sips to get settled.

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Ca' del Monte Ripasso Classico Superiore, Italy

Why we love this wine:

This complex Ripasso shows a pure red and black-cherry bouquet with notes of herbs and violet. Even though there is a great depth of flavour and concentration, the wine is silky and surprisingly elegant and finishes with plump fruit and well-integrated spicy/oak flavours.

About the Winery:

Ca del Monte is situated on the hillsides overlooking the village of Negrar, in the heart of Valpolicella. The original building of the estate is a 17th-century mansion built on an ancient monastery. Producing wines here for six generations, the two brothers Umberto and Giuseppe Zaconte oversee all production steps of their Amarones and Valpolicella wines. All of the farming is done traditionally and non-certified organic.

Food Pairings:

Pair this rich wine with game meats, roast chicken, wood oven pizza and pasta with full flavoured sauces. ​It is also amazing when served with aged cheeses.

Somm Hint:

Ripasso was created to impart more complexity to Valpolicella by using the leftover dried grapes skins of Amarone to infuse the wine with more complexity. Thus, Ripasso, meaning “re-pass,” or “go over again,” a process that proved so successful it was given its own DOC in 2007.

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Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy

Why we love this wine:

Classic Chianti in every way! Calcinaia's Chianti Classico is very aromatic and savoury, with bright red fruit and hints of roses, violets and dried herbs. It is supple and dry on the palate, with round fruit flavours, refreshing acidity, and well-integrated tannins. The balance is excellent with a long finish.

About the Winery:

Villa Calcinaia is situated in the centre of Chianti Classico near the town of Greve-in-Chianti. This historic estate has been home to the Counts Capponi since 1524 and is maintained by Sebastiano Capponi and his brother Niccolo. In 1992, Count Sebastiano Capponi became the first in the history of the family to manage the winery personally, giving a new life to the vineyards and the cellar.

Food Pairings:

It pairs terrifically with rich pieces of meat: from cured meat boards to the regional classic bistecca alla Fiorentina (T-bone steak).

Somm Hint:

Definitely decant as you might find some sediment (which is harmless) in the bottle.

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Stephane Aviron Chénas, Beaujolais, France

Why we love this wine:

If you love elegant Pinot Noir, you will love this! Made from pre-phylloxera vines averaging 100+ years old, this lovely Gamay is from the village of Chenas. The old vines, poor soils and biodynamic farming combine for incredibly low yields and highly concentrated grapes. Deep, ripe aromas of black cherry with a hint of black pepper and laurel. Very good weight; fleshy and round, very soft and harmonious.

About the Winery:

Stéphane Aviron can be considered a pioneer in his approach to winemaking in Beaujolais, however, he would just tell you that he’s simply returning to the traditional practices that have always made fantastic Gamay wines. Sustainable viticulture, extremely old vines and classic Burgundian techniques. Authenticity and a distinctly Beaujolais style of winemaking are what sets Stéphane apart from the rest.

Food Pairings:

Subtly flavored, simply seasoned poultry and pork dishes

Somm Hint:

“Vieilles Vignes” indicates old vines, which produce less fruit, so the wines are more concentrated and flavourful!

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D.V. Catena 'Tinto Historico' Mendoza, Argentina

Why we love this wine:

DV Catena Historic Red Blend is made in honour of Don Domingo Catena and his legendary abilities as a Master of the Assemblage. This big and bold red blend is composed of elegant Malbec from the high altitude Uco Valley, Bonarda, which adds red fruit character, and spicy Petit Verdot, which adds complexity and structure. Luscious cassis, black plums and ripe cherries define the nose. The palate is well structured with intense dark fruit flavours and a spicy finish with hints of black pepper and coffee.

About the Winery:

The Catenas are easily Argentina’s most respected winemaking family. Today the estate is in the hands of the fourth generation, represented by Laura Catena. Over the past 20 years, Laura and her father Nicolás Catena Zapata have worked tirelessly to discover, identify, and develop key microclimates in Mendoza, Argentina’s high-altitude wine country.

Food Pairings:

We’re dreaming of roasted prime rib or lamb chops on a cold snowy night.

Somm Hint:

This wine can be decanted if you’d like or enjoyed immediately. Serve this wine in a larger & taller wine glass.

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Bodegas La Senda 'Vinedemiatrix' Bierzo, Spain

Why we love this wine:

D.O. Bierzo, located in the northwest province of León, is known for its Mencía-based wines with plenty of fruit and spice characters and an essential stop for travellers who walk the Camino de Santiago. The grapes are sourced from 7 old-vine parcels in which red and white grapes are inter-planted, so Diego co-ferments the different native grape varieties, as was done in the past. In this case, the blend is 80% Mencía, 10% Palomino and 10% Doña Blanca. This is a refreshing, engaging, powerful, crystalline wine with amazing red fruit intensity and woven earth, smoke, and spice flavours.

About the Winery:

Diego Losada is a Bierzo native who, after working at a couple bigger wineries, struck out on his own with his project La Senda (meaning “the path” or “the way”) in 2013. He looks for bush vine vineyards that are not easily accessible by road and planted on hard and stony soils since they are less likely to be exposed to chemical treatments. He works organically and produces some of the most revolutionary Bierzo wines that we have encountered.

Food Pairings:

Bierzo works very well with bbq, especially lean meats such as Sirloin steak or flank steak. Due to its spiced character, the pairing becomes even better if you use herbaceous sauces like a Chimichurri.

Somm Hint:

Mencía (“Men-thee-ah”) is only grows in Spain and Portugal on the Iberian peninsula. If you love Pinot Noir then Mencía is something worth investigating!

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Wild Goose Riesling, Okanagan Valley, BC

Why we love this wine:

Wild Goose has an excellent reputation for its aromatic white. This fruit-forward Riesling comes from Estate grown grapes, including the 32-year-old Wild Goose Vineyards and the 10-year-old Secrest Vineyards. Subtlely floral and honeyed with ripe stone fruit, apricot and peach aromas. The palate is surprisingly dry, delicate yet flavourful, with very good length.

About the Winery:

Early in 1983, Adolf Kruger purchased land east of Okanagan Falls. He immediately secured a contract to sell the grapes to Mission Hill Winery. After 7 years, he opened Wild Goose Winery as the seventeenth winery in BC. Over time, it has established itself as one of the premium small producers of VQA wines.

Food Pairings:

Amazing with Asian cuisine (especially seafood), pork tenderloin, grilled radicchio, avocado and mango salads.

Somm Hint:

Recommended best served well chilled.

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Lake Sonoma Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, California

Why we love this wine:

Full, plush, round yet bright chardonnay from Russian River Valley. The cooler Russian River Valley has imparted some fresh acidity with ripe flavours of peach and apricot and some orange blossom notes. It is medium-full bodied, almost creamy in texture with quality oak spice—well-balanced, beautiful chardonnay with very good length.

About the Winery:

Stewart Family Estates is one of the rare Canadian wine companies to have ventured abroad, in this case to Sonoma. Lake Sonoma Winery produces wines exclusively from esteemed vineyards of Sonoma County, a wine-growing region home to some of the most diverse terroirs and micro-climates in the world. With Sonoma directly on their estate name, they take great pride in their region and the quality of grapes planted, grown and bottled to be poured into your glass.

Food Pairings:

A lovely pairing for a rich winter meal… roasted meats and seafood with rich sauces and your favourite vegetable dishes. The wine has enough body and fresh acidity to work with rich meal.

Somm Hint:

This Chardonnay is ‘no fuss, no muss’ in that you can enjoy any day and time.

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Dona Matilde Douro Branco, Portugal

Why we love this wine:

Portugal has always been at the forefront of producing wines that are high quality with a long history of winemaking. The white Dona Matilde wine is produced from the grape varieties Arinto, Viosinho, Gouveio and Rabigato. It is a wine with an intense citrus aroma, with tropical notes of passion fruit, mango and hints of anise. The palate is fresh, clean, ripe and creamy. This is a wine with fine purity of fruit that you would enjoy whatever your mood is.

About the Winery:

Dona Matilde is a family-owned estate located on the banks of the River Douro. Dona Matilde, formerly known as Enxodreiro, is among the oldest and most famous properties in the Douro. In the 18th century, the estate was already part of the vinhas de feitoria– the small set of properties within the first wine demarcation of origin in the world by the Marquis of Pombal. Even today, the vineyards have the highest rating in the region, used in the Port wine sector.

Food Pairings:

An excellent wine to start sipping while you are cooking! Any light dishes, a salad with your favourite vinaigrette dressing and/or perhaps some seafood - grilled, raw, or steamed!

Somm Hint:

Recommended best served well chilled.

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La Comarcal Delmoro Blanco, Valencia, Spain

Why we love this wine:

Delmoro Blanco comes from vineyards near the village of Venta del Moro, just west of Valencia, a blend of young and old vines from the indigenous Merseguera and old-vine Chardonnay. The nose is full of citrus, orange peel with hints of green olives. The palate is crisp, refreshing easy-drinking to savour!

About the Winery:

La Comarcal is a boutique wine project created by rising-winemaker, Javi Revert and Victor Marqués. Meaning “the District”, the project was founded in 2017 in the mountainous village of Venta del Moro. The aspirations of Javi and Victor were to create youthful wines made from organically grown native Valencian grape varieties harvested from high elevation sites.

Food Pairings:

An easy drinking white wine that lends itself well to shellfish. Drink this white blend with a linguini vongole or garlic butter shrimp pasta.

Somm Hint:

Do not serve too cold. Remove from the fridge 10min before opening. It will help to release the flavours and aromas.

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