The Glenlivet Master Distiller’s Reserve

20140131-162804.jpgThe Glenlivet owned by Pernod Ricard
Location: Speyside
ABV: 40%
Purchased at the Duty Free (1 Litre bottle)

I started liking scotch when I bought my first bottle of Glenlivet. After many years, I bought their 18 year old version. Glenlivet seems like a great entry to scotches. Then comes this “Master Distiller’s Reserve”, that someone brought for our sky vacation. Wow, this is quite nice. A beautiful nose of maple syrup over the smooth grain. Does burn as it goes down, but a nice warmth overall. The grain is present in the taste with little smoke. Quite a nice one and hope to find a bottle for myself.

Rating: 3.8/5

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Alvar Cabernet Sauvignon VQA

20140130-213931.jpgLCBO#: 214957
Price: $14.95
Made in: Ontario, Canada
By: Pelee Island Winery
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
2011

Not sure why, but was not expecting much from this one. The label is quite nice though. Does not look like a Pelee Island wine. It does smell decent, but after lots of breathing. Soft leather and tobacco notes. The taste is really the problem. Starts off pretty sweet, but then gets quite acidic with some vinegar taking over. Hard to taste the berries. A little to wet as well, lacking tannins. Gets better with lots of time, but nothing to save this one.

Rating: 2.3/5

Crémant d’Alsace Brut Cattin

20140119-152915.jpgLCBO#: 281329
Price: $16.95
Made in: Alsace, France
By: Joseph Cattin

Nice classy label with a big white dot, written gold medal Paris 2012. In small writing, says something about the agricultural ministry, so has nothing to do with wines. Starts with aromas of yeast, sourness and grape sweetness. The sourness gets stronger with time, resulting in a vinegar note (apple-cider vinegar). The taste is quite mild. Eventually, hints of regular hand-picked apples come out, but the sourness is a little stronger over it. Does get a little better as it breathes, but a gold medal ? As a sparkling ?? I don’t think so.

Rating: 2.7/5

Jackson-Triggs Méthode Cuve Close 2012

20140102-142015.jpgLCBO#: 217679
Price: $14.95
Made in: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
By: Jackson-Triggs Estates Wines
Varietal: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling

Jackson-Triggs’ Sparklings are ones we like to go back to every know and then. They are just very well-balanced, well-priced and greatly controlled to be the same every time. Let just say, they are our favourites. This one is mildly dry with a nice light sweetness. Mild apples in the nose with some dryness from the grapes. Pretty much the same for the taste. Some sourness does develop with time. What we really like about Jackson-Triggs Sparklings is that the yeast is always perfect. Highly, highly recommended.

Rating: 4.5/5

Astica Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013

20140101-233155.jpgLCBO#: 359083
Price: $7.95
Made in: Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
By: Bodegas Trapiche
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon

This blend from Argentina does not smell a lot, but traces of smoked wood, maybe tobacco and leather. Weird for a white wine (Cab Sauvignon anyone ??). Nothing offensive really though. The taste is a little more present with the white grapes, the fruitiness, mild dryness in the finish with light sourness lingering in the aftertaste. Again, nothing wrong here and pretty good for the price. One of those wine we could buy lots for the summer when people come over and you want to serve it on the patio… nice and cool.

Rating:3.2/5

Fuzion Chenin-Chardonnay 2013

20140101-232802.jpgLCBO#: 119800
Price: $7.95
Made in: Mendoza, Argentina
By: Fuzion Wines
Varietal: Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay

Fuzion wines are always inexpensive, but always a sure bet. Pours a light golden colour with a fresh pear nose and some light green apples, sugars and alcohol. Pretty close to the same for the flavours. Notes of peach and honeydew as well. The Chardonnay is not too dry, but very well-blended with the Chenin Blanc. Gets a bit too sweet after a while, but still a good summer drinker. Just have it real cold.

Rating: 3.3/5

De Loach Cabernet Sauvignon

20140101-191759.jpgTotal Wine #: 10620750
Price: $10.99 (US)
Made in: California
By: De Loach Vineyards
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon

This Californian Cabernet Sauvignon is sweet in the nose, with notes of alcohol and vanilla adding to the sweetness. The mouthfeel is pretty wet with light tannins. Hints of cherries and very faint tobacco. Goes down well with supper, but lacking the strong characters for this style.

Rating: 3.7/5