Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

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LCBO Sale Wine of the Week

Postby Belgian » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:35 pm

Maybe save this link:
LCBO Sale Wine of the Week

No guarantees on quality, this just looks interesting as a link to know about promos.
(I want to grab 1 or 2 of the Fongaban Castillon, it's selling briskly.)

Some of the BEST sales are ones seem to have been clear-outs any of us have found in specific (often more rural) stores, these are usually not advertised on lcbo,com. I'm not sure what up with that.

** Edit ** so I've noticed these short-lived 'sales' are typically followed by a bit of a price increase. A way of creating brand enthusiasm for new buyers while a small reward for repeat customers. Just something to note if your usual juice goes a buck or two off, the LC may be up to some additional ways to erode your net worth.
Last edited by Belgian on Tue May 01, 2018 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Crozes-Hermitage '15

Postby Belgian » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:51 pm

Clairmont Classique Crozes-Hermitage 2015 Syrah

Full Syrah signature of deep rich & black fruit (cassis jam, wild blueberry & black plum skin) and leather and gentle warm sandalwood-spice lifted with some good acidity. Oh nice, there's also some licorice, tarriness and herbals against the black fruit. Black Assam tea. Tannins seem to make the finish a bit short and green-dry. Yeah the finish could linger and impress more, yet decent value is here.
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'04 French Malbec

Postby Belgian » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:55 pm

St. Didier Parnac Cahors Prestige 2004

The champ red wine grape of Argentina is Malbec from Cahors, in the Southwest of France. This one is fully matured, I likely got this bottle 10-12 years ago, bought it and forgot It so to speak.

The cork pulls intact with a very wine-blackened tip. Wow! It's still vibrant and dark with no browning or any flaws, showing good acidity and a rounded tannic dryness.

Fruits of cassis and sour plum skin, wild berries, gentle phenolic spice (clove, anise) plus foresty herbs and meaty-sanguine umami and mineral notes. Has depth for its lack of overall sweetness. Year 2012-2016 was the original estimate of peak maturation. Cahors is a good thing to pick up if you see it & you like wines a bit similar to Bordeaux in style.
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'10 Bessan Margaux

Postby Belgian » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:25 pm

Château la Tour de Bessan 2010 Margaux

Another nice dry French red (Bordeaux) with tart cassis fruit, cherry, dark berry, tart unripe strawberry. Some cedar sauna, smoke. Underplays of very gentle phenolic spice and vanilla, licorice, kelpy iodine and mineral. Refined aromas show quality. Finish carries the taut fruit and dry herbals.

A bit tight still. Letting this one stand in the fridge a day may bring out the florals - can't rush a very traditional Bordeaux. Day 2 & even Day 3 notes may follow.

(The next day): So it does upen up by Day 2. Nice (violet petal) florals Margaux is known for, smoother fruit although still not sweet. An elegant drop. Neato.
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Re: C'est Vendredi. Santé!

Postby Belgian » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:31 pm

MatttthewGeorge wrote:
Belgian wrote:Henri Bardouin Pastis

As ^ described, this tipple from Provence is not just a traditional Pastis but has much more varied & complex spice additions. It's really good! A bottle goes a long way (and with 45% ABV it keeps for years.) I like to pour this in small glasses over chunks of ice and a few oz of water, allowing the ice to melt so the flavor is nice when it chills down. Like Ouzo, it changes from clear to a more milky appearance when water is added. It looks cool.

If you dislike good natural black licorice / anise flavors this might really not be your thing. It is a contemplative sipper that probably takes developing a taste for it, but there's nothing like it. It's a French moment for sure. Maybe it will come back to the LC later this Spring?


If it does let us know; this sounds right up my alley!

This is now back in several stores.
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Pinot Noir - Spätburgunder style

Postby Belgian » Thu May 03, 2018 6:28 pm

Eugen Altschuh Pinot Noir 2015

A very reasonably-priced German-made PN. Aroma is pretty and layered. Taste nice black cherry and beetroot & just enough dryness and acidity, a bit of cranberry tart. Definitely not classic Burgundy style, rounder I think (maybe spicier) but Germans call this grape Spätburgunder & adapt their own style to the Rhineland grape-growing regions.

As the earth's climate warms grape-growing regions are affected, and over recent decades the Pinot is achieving enough ripeness to reliably produce a better wine that stands up to expectations of a wine marketed as 'Pinot Noir.' I've had a very old Spätburgunder (premium bottling) that the cork looked like hell but it tasted wonderful. These are good solid wines, and here is an affordable one at Vintages.
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Clairette from Languedoc

Postby Belgian » Thu May 17, 2018 9:45 pm

Paul Mas Vinus 2015 Clairette

This is a Clairette-grape 'varietal' wine (meaning it is 100% that grape variety) and IMO it's a very good white for $15.95. I am digging the interplay of herbs & florals, tart pale fruit and the solid dry-acidic backbone to pull the moderate sweetness into line.

I accidentally bought a second bottle before sampling the first but no problem, we will be enjoying both.

Here's a Viognier from this producer (rarely do producers other than the French make a varietal viognier.) Count me officially interested in Paul Mas.
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2009 Bordeaux Supérieur

Postby Belgian » Fri May 18, 2018 6:48 pm

Château Plaisance Les Palues 2009 - Bordeaux Supérieur

So this is just a nice traditional Merlot-Cabernet blend that is done very well. Good refined aromas include some dark berries and florals. Wood influence is present on aroma and taste. Has a good acidic and full palate for the price. Long flavours of cassis and dark cherry-berry. Solid dryness. Easy to like.
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Rhone Syrah/Grenache

Postby Belgian » Wed May 23, 2018 1:12 am

Boissy & Delaygue Le Coeur des Disciples Vinsobres 2015 Syrah/Grenache

Here is a pretty decent Vinsobres from the Rhone, showing plenty of herbs to complicate the dry and acidic dark berry fruit. Even some cedar smoke, tart cranberry/cassis. Peppery at first, ample dry tannins may need to decant for a while. Definitely a bit shy and lean out of the bottle at uncorking but there's something good here. Day 2 - some more Cherry shows up. Gosh I like Rhone reds.
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Re: Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

Postby MatttthewGeorge » Tue May 29, 2018 11:56 am

Anyone know if Smokehead Scotch will ever return?

I bought a bottle once and shared it with my dad and he always mentions how much he loved it. I thought it was decent, but would love to find him a bottle.
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Re: Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

Postby Beer'n'gin » Tue May 29, 2018 3:27 pm

MatttthewGeorge wrote:Anyone know if Smokehead Scotch will ever return?

I bought a bottle once and shared it with my dad and he always mentions how much he loved it. I thought it was decent, but would love to find him a bottle.


Might I suggest an Ardbeg, Laphroaig or Bruichladdich's Octomore series. Definitely expensive, double or more what Smokehead cost, but the increased ABV will carry flavour better and will allow you to add water for a longer dram and to temper the heat and bring out any further nuance for aroma/taste .
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Re: Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

Postby MatttthewGeorge » Wed May 30, 2018 7:42 am

Beer'n'gin wrote:
MatttthewGeorge wrote:Anyone know if Smokehead Scotch will ever return?

I bought a bottle once and shared it with my dad and he always mentions how much he loved it. I thought it was decent, but would love to find him a bottle.


Might I suggest an Ardbeg, Laphroaig or Bruichladdich's Octomore series. Definitely expensive, double or more what Smokehead cost, but the increased ABV will carry flavour better and will allow you to add water for a longer dram and to temper the heat and bring out any further nuance for aroma/taste .


Yes yes I know, but I’m not buying for me cause I wouldn’t be buying Smokehead again if I was. But fathers being stuck in their ways and all, he likes what he likes, no matter if you tell him there are better things out there!
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Re: Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

Postby Beer'n'gin » Wed May 30, 2018 7:56 am

MatttthewGeorge wrote:
Beer'n'gin wrote:
MatttthewGeorge wrote:Anyone know if Smokehead Scotch will ever return?

I bought a bottle once and shared it with my dad and he always mentions how much he loved it. I thought it was decent, but would love to find him a bottle.


Might I suggest an Ardbeg, Laphroaig or Bruichladdich's Octomore series. Definitely expensive, double or more what Smokehead cost, but the increased ABV will carry flavour better and will allow you to add water for a longer dram and to temper the heat and bring out any further nuance for aroma/taste .

But fathers being stuck in their ways and all, he likes what he likes, no matter if you tell him there are better things out there!


I hear that! Stubbornness is a trait we carry in my family. In that case, haven't heard anything about re-release of Smokehead but planning on making a trip across the border before then? https://www.dutyfree.ca/products/spirit ... ck-edition
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Re: Uncorked-Wine and Spirits Appreciation

Postby MatttthewGeorge » Wed May 30, 2018 5:23 pm

Beer'n'gin wrote:
MatttthewGeorge wrote:
Beer'n'gin wrote:
Might I suggest an Ardbeg, Laphroaig or Bruichladdich's Octomore series. Definitely expensive, double or more what Smokehead cost, but the increased ABV will carry flavour better and will allow you to add water for a longer dram and to temper the heat and bring out any further nuance for aroma/taste .

But fathers being stuck in their ways and all, he likes what he likes, no matter if you tell him there are better things out there!


I hear that! Stubbornness is a trait we carry in my family. In that case, haven't heard anything about re-release of Smokehead but planning on making a trip across the border before then? https://www.dutyfree.ca/products/spirit ... ck-edition


Damn that’s gone up about $50 since when I bought it five years ago. Geez. Thanks for your help though!
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Tannat Blend, Madiran SW France

Postby Belgian » Thu May 31, 2018 10:39 pm

Château Bouscassé 2013 Madiran Tannat/Cabernet Franc /Cabernet Sauvignon

Tannat is a big, powerful black grape variety known for its firm tannins. Madiran wines with 100% Tannat can age for a freaking long time. Madiran's specialty grape is often blended with other types to create wines that (preferably without compromising the integrity) mature a bit sooner and have great balance, in this case the equally tasty Bordeaux varieties Cab Sauv and Cab Franc representing each about a quarter of the blend. The Cab Sauv is burly and complex and the more delicate Cab Franc adds some grace and poise (try a Bourgueil or Ontario Cab Franc some time.)

Overall there is a nice emphaisis on structure with good layers of dark sweet-tart cassis and blackberry and good acidity and dryness. Enjoyable dark floral underplays and toasty oak nuances and licorice. Not far off from a Bordeaux in general style. Quite a nice little beast.
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