Wine of the Week for January 29, 2007

Calatrasi Terrale Nero d'Avola IGT 2004 - $9.45
Style: R2

This just goes to prove one of my frugal mottoes: Look for less well know grapes, in this case the signature grape of Sicily. The deep ruby colour shows a touch of garnet. On the nose you can find rich spiced crabapple followed by dried cherries and a hint of red licorice. Light, almost candy-like on the palate, with fine tannins, topped by raspberry. Very good body and length. Almost a steal at this price. Try with ragu, grilled steak or hard cheeses. (LCBO 621177)

Wine of the Week for January 22, 2007

Geo. Duboeuf Chardonnay V. de Pay D'Oc 2004 - $9.80
Style: W1

The aromas here include tropical fruits, spice, baked apple, and hints of citrus and caramel. Round and gentle with lemon/grapefruit flavour and a crisp close. Very good body and length. A delightful bargain that would go nicely with with ocean fish or schnitzel. And it comes in an attractive silk-screened bottle! (LCBO 20552)

Wine of the Week for January 15, 2007

Ampelou Gis Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 - $14.20
Style: R2

We have here a mini tour of Europe, with Spanish Tempranillo, French Cabernet and Greek soil going into the mix! The robe is rich garnet, with a rather gamey nose, plus dried cherry, smoke, old leather, and a suggestion of newly sawn mahogany. Round, smooth, and mellow with mature tannins and mainly cherry flavour. With good body and length, this is quite a stunning effort. In fact, my notes say "Fab". Try with moussaka, roast leg of lamb, or perhaps goulash. (LCBO 619593)

Wine of the Week for January 8, 2007

Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc 2006 - $10.95
Style: W2
South Africa

The competition to create great sauvignon seems to be heating up, with quality increasing as prices come down. This is a fantastic example for the money, with classic passionfruit, grass, gooseberry, and canned asparagus aromas. The palate is crisp and loaded with citrus/grapefruit flavour, with very good body and length, and a tangy close. Worth at least $5 more, it would be ideal to put with herby poultry, anything with rosemary, or very flavourful fish. (LCBO 382713)

Wine of the Week for January 1, 2007

Legends Estate Merlot VQA 2004 - $12.95
Style: R3
Canada: Niagara

The nose on this one is a bit on the vegetal side, with oodles of green pepper, raisin and a touch of dill. The palate shows bumbleberry with a bit of cedar alongside firm tannins and a solid acid core, good body and length. Not your mainstream Merlot -- but quite enjoyable. Would be a good match for full flavoured cheese such as asiago, antipasto, or something with tomato sauce. (LCBO 27847)