Wine of the Week for July 24, 2006

Sogrape Vila Regia Reserve 2001 - $11.95
Style: R1

Light reds can be the prefect summer weight wines, and the quality of this one belies its humble price. The nose shows lively aromas of cedar, tobacco and vanilla with just a touch of barnyard down deep. The palate is rich with juicy berry flavours, with a solid core of acidity and a suggestion of berry sweetness, giving way to soft tannins. Very good body and length. A good candidate for anything off the grill, but I'd hold out for ribs. (LCBO 613950)

Wine of the Week for July 17, 2006

Hungaria Grand Cuvee Brut NV - $10.85
Style: Sparkling

Don't let the price throw you off -- this friendly sparkling wine is an amazing bargain. It's light straw in colour, with a hint of copper, and a mousse that is somewhat coarse. The nose has a nice yeasty note, with aromas of citrus and asparagus and just a touch of vanilla. Quite tasty, with citrus and vanilla notes and nice lees aromas at the tail end. Lightish, and with good length, it would be an ideal casual wine for an impromptu celebration. (LCBO 619288)

Wine of the Week for July 10, 2006

Beringer Merlot Rosé 2005 $ 10.95
Style: Z (Rosé)

This bright candy-apple pink quaffer has a rich strawberry nose accompanied by red licorice and traces of lemon peel and spice. It's rather soft and gentle -- barely off-dry -- showing raspberry and apple in the mouth. The body and length are both good. Somewhat MOR, but a good candidate for a casual BBQ. (LCBO 622183)

Wine of the Week for July 3, 2006

False Bay Shiraz 2004 - $11.95
Style: R2
South Africa

What I find amazing about these huge, jammy reds is that they can be ideal summer wines. This one has an inky black cherry colour. The nose is true shiraz, right down to a suspicion of pinotage at the hind end. Aromas include black raspberry, leather, earth and vanilla. Rich and juicy on the palate, silky smooth with mild tannins, crisp acidity and gobs of dark berry flavours. Quite big and with very good length, it's something of a fruit bomb that gets an attractive lift from what must be some added pinotage. Pour over ice cream? (LCBO 665307)