Wine of the Week for August 28, 2006

Kressman "Solo" Viognier 2005 - $11.15
Style: W3

Although the label says Viognier, this comes across more like a good gewurztraminer. The nose is rich with dried mango, sweet grass, mandarin orange and a touch of floral. Quite rich and smooth on the palate, with a crisp acidity, orange zest flavour and a whiff of musk on the back palate. Good body and length. A delightful wine that would go well with BBQ chicken, risotto or Sichuan. (LCBO 619304)

Wine of the Week for August 21, 2006

Errazuriz Chardonnay Valley de Casablanca 2005 - $11.65
Style: W1

The colour here is a medium lemon-straw. On the nose look for ripe lemon, apple and quince with nuances of butter and toast. This is a very modern -- almost racy -- style, with a poignant spritz from sur lie ageing. The palate shows nice lemon and apple flavours with a crisp acidity and a bit of buttered toast on the somewhat tart finish. With good body and length, this is a good mid-week wine that is soft-spoken and elegant, although you might find the acidity a bit forward. Try with fish with lemon sauce or cream sauce, BBQ chicken or tempura. (LCBO 318741)

Wine of the Week for August 14, 2006

Stormy Bay Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 - $11.55
Style: R2/R3
South Africa: Western Cape

Deep black cherry colour with traces of purple. Rich and fruity on the nose, with plum, cherry, ripe berries plus traces of dark chocolate and mint. Full and rich on the palate, reminiscent of malbec, with dense dark fruit flavours, firm acidity and friendly tannins. Quite big, with very good length and a shot of green pepper on the back palate. Quite a mouth filler that might become more interesting with a bit more age, but is yummy right now. Try with a gooey rack of BBQ ribs. (LCBO 665299)

Wine of the Week for August 7, 2006

Chateau Bel Air 2004 - $10.95
Style: R3
France: Bordeaux

The robe here is a rich ruby garnet. Look for classic Bordeaux aromas, albeit of the 'price adjusted' variety, including dark berries, dried fruits and cedar with a modest gamey note. The palate is subdued but serviceable, with young tannins, medium body and length. This is a good mid-week wine and may improve over 6 months to a year in the cellar, or throw a steak or ribs on the BBQ and settle in with a good book. (LCBO 665430)

If you happen to be within an easy commute of a Colio store (there are 14 in Ontario), there is a bargain to be had in their current offerings.

Colio Riesling VQA 2005 - $9.99
Style: W3, Off-dry
Ontario: Erie North Shore

Light steely straw colour. The nose here is complex, showing perfume, floral, citrus, green apple and traces of petrol. Soft, round and creamy on the palate, with mainly citrus flavours and a pleasantly tart acidity on the close. With good body and length, this bodes well for Erie North Shore rieslings. May have the potential to age well.

Wine of the Week for July 31, 2006

Soluna Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie IGT (1-litre Tetrapak) 2005 - $12.95
tyle: W3

I’m not a fan of wine in tetrapaks – most of what I’ve sampled has been little better than jug wine -- but here’s one that's actually worth looking at! With a light straw colour, it shows a good citrusy nose with nuances of melon and vanilla and just a touch of herbaceousness. The palate is quite tasty, with flavours of baked lemon and apple and a crisp acidity -- but some noticeable SO2. Would go well with BBQ chicken, fish kabobs or mushroom risotto, and if you happen to drop it on the concrete patio, no need to worry. (LCBO 614412)