Wine of the Week for April 30, 2007

KWV Chardonnay 2006 - $10.60
Style: W1
South Africa

Here's a simple, reliable performer that will work well on any weeknight. The nose leads off with butter and baked lemon, followed by subtle aromas of mackintosh apple and grapefruit. The palate is pleasantly tart, with a crisp acidity, grapefruit and lemon flavours, and a smokey close. Body and length are both quite good. Try with BBQ chicken or quiche. (LCBO 304360)

Wine of the Week for April 23, 2007

Dancing Bull Cabernet Sauvignon 2002- $13.95
Style: R3

A Cal Cab for under 15 bucks? This one shows rich vanilla, chocolate, black currant and blackberries on the nose, with just a hint of marshmallow. Sweet and juicy berries on the attack, silky smooth with blueberry and cherry flavours, mild tannins and a good core of strength. Rather full bodied and nicely balanced with an elegant finish. A gentle mannered wine that is suitable for sweetish dishes such as stews, tomato sauces or lamb. (LCBO 30023)

(The current trend at the LCBO is toward fast-turnover bulk wines, often in 'creative' packaging. There also seems to be a dearth of decent white wines being brought in, and those that do make the grade (MY grade) are often over priced. I had originally picked Matua Riesling to feature, but it's over $16 -- not a bargain at all!)

Wine of the Week for April 16, 2007

Errazuriz Estate Carmenere 2005 - $13.95
Style: R2

Now but a faded memory in its native Bordeaux, Carmenere seems to have found the perfect terroir in Chile. Aromas here show tea, dried fruits, sassafras and spice, with a hint of wood. Very solid on the palate, with firm tannins, cherry, bumbleberry and tea flavour. Very flavourful with Good body and length, this solid performer could benefit from another year or two in the cellar. Pair with hearty roasts or stews. (LCBO 16238)

Worth a Look...

Konzelmann Riesling (Dry) 2006 VQA - $11.45
Style: More W2 than W3
Ontario: Niagara

I usually hold out for more character in Ontario riesling, but this one has charm and appeal that would fall in the vicinity of a vinho verde or muscadet. Aromas are delicate and include lime and beeswax. There's a light spritz on the palate that nicely sets up the lemon-lime flavour, with just a whisper of mango at the close. Should this November-style weather ever go away, I'd recommend this one for a lazy afternoon on the deck. (LCBO 200501)

Wine of the Week for April 9, 2007

Tarapaca Sauvignon Blanc 2006 - $9.20
Style: W2
Maipo Valley, Chile

I'm continually impressed with what comes out of this winery, and their prices, across the board, are pretty easy to take. The nose shows classic sauvignon, with rich pink grapefruit pulp and meadow grass with nuances of lemongrass and rosemarie. Crisp and zesty on the palate, with ripe lemon/grapefruit flavour. Good body and length with a zippy close, it would go well with fish in cream sauce, alfredo, or stuffed mushrooms. (LCBO 414185)

If you're in the neighbourhood of Vineland Estates, I strongly recommend you try their 2004 Reserve Pinot Noir. We uncorked a bottle with Easter dinner and it was an absolute hit, even with the beer drinkers. A bit young -- and pricey ($40) -- but cellaring a few bottles for a couple of years would be well worthwhile.

Wine of the Week for April 2, 2007

Aveleda Vinho Verde 2005 - $8.15
Style: W2

On the down side, the LCBO offers very few Portuguese white wines, although most are pretty good value. On the plus side, this perennial favourite offers more substance and character than previous vintages. Crisp aromas display lemon, lime, melon and traces of spice. A light spritz defines the palate. Soft and creamy, with gobs of citrus, it's rather light and satisfyingly refreshing, with more character than expected. A good wine to warm up the room, or as an accompaniment to hors d'oeuvre or shellfish. (LCBO 5322 Also available in 1.5 Litre - $15.85 / 238683)