Sophora Sparkling Cuvée

20140330-153757.jpgLCBO#: 353656
Price: $19.95
Made in: Aukland, New Zealand
By: Lion Nathan Wine Group

This Sparkling from New Zealand is blended from Chardonnay (52%) and Pinot Noir (48%) grapes. Colour is a little darker than usual with a nice creamy head. Big aromas of apples with hints of vinegar. Things calm down eventually and very light vanilla comes to caress the apples. The taste is a little sour, but mixed with some sweetness. Body seems a little too thick overall, but a little dryness just comes and saves the syrupy mouthfeel. A stronger all-around Sparkling with nothing offensive, but just lacking a bit of balance. Recommended to those who like lots of fruits (apples, grapes) and less dry.

Rating: 3.7/5

Santa Carolina Petit Verdot Gran Reserva

20140328-194220.jpgLCBO#: 7484
Price: $15.95
Made in: Rapel Valley, Chile
By: Vina Santa Carolina

We are used to Santa Carolina as inexpensive good easy-drinking wines, so was quite surprised to find this one in the Vintages at the LCBO. Beautiful aromas of red grapes with a smooth sweetness to it. Very light hints of leather. The taste is a little milder than the nose. Light tannins creating a bit of dryness with the grapes. A bit of bite in the finish with the alcohol (on the bitter side) but a watery aftertaste as the short end. Notes of cherries and yeast.

Rating: 3.9/5

Naked Grape Fizz Sparkling Rosė

20140323-155742.jpgLCBO#: 234344
Price: $9.45
Made in: Ontario, Canada
By: Naked Grape Wines

This blended rosé gives out strawberry aromas with a little vinegar at first pour, but disappears and lets the mild yeast show. This results in nice hints of candy (like strawberries and cream ones). Again, a little vinegar sourness was tasted at first, but seems gone now. The fruit is not as strong in the flavours, but nicely balanced with some spicy yeast. Eventually, it gets sweeter with a caramel finish. Made to be a really easy drinking sparkling Rosé and not offend. Kind of a kids (teenager) starter to this style.

Rating: 2.8/5

Patron Tequila

20140323-155424.jpgMade in: Mexico
By: Patron Spirits Company

Comparing all 4 samplers of the Patron Tequila (Silver, Reposado, Añejo and Cafe Dark). Starting with the common Silver version. Clear look, aromas of agave, caramel, with hints of citrus and smokiness. Pretty smooth mouthfeel overall with taste of grassy blue agave, alcohol and slightly peppery. Very easy-drinking, mild tequila. Next is the Reposado with a very light clear golden colour. Aromas seem like alcohol is stronger, with the agave and some wood notes. The caramel and smokiness is milder. Feels a little smoother, but overall not as pleasant as the silver one. 6 month in oak barrels and now the Añejo version, at least 12 months with white oak maturing. Light golden with a very slight amber hue. A little sweetness in the taste with grassy notes, caramel and mild vanilla. Smoother mouthfeel than the others, and the taste is better than the Reposado. The agave is well-balanced with the oak. And last is the coffee liqueur blended with their Silver version. Dark brown colour reminding me of soya sauce, and the scent is closer to this than coffee. Chocolate as well. The chocolate is more present in the flavours than the coffee. Syrupy mouthfeel with the tequila coming out in the finish. A nice desert drink. A nice bunch of tequilas, but not sure I would pay the price for a full bottle.

Luccarelli Primitivo Pugla IGP

20140313-201832.jpgLCBO#: 253856
Price: $10.50
Made in: Puglia, Italy
By: Farnese Vini S.R.L.
Varietal: Primitivo

This red Italian wine has two labels on its front label written that it won the “Selections mondiales des vins” in Canada (Silver in 2012, Gold in 2011). The nose has a bit of leather with the dark grapes in the background. The taste is on the sweet-side of the grapes with a little yeast in the finish. Wet mouthfeel with a little tart, but overall seems watered-down. Mild dryness with mild tannins. Hints of prune flavours. A decent wine for the price, but nothing we would buy again (and not sure about the awards).

Rating: 3.1/5

Diva Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon VQA

20140310-202914.jpgLCBO#: 179143
Price: $14.95
Made in: Ontario, Canada
By: Legends Estate Winery
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon
2012

This blended white Ontarian wine has aromas of pears, white grapes (sourness), with notes of alcohol and burnt wood. The sourness does show in the beginning of the taste, but the sweetness does come in to help things. Alcohol is still present here, but nothing too offensive. An overall easy-drinking white wine for get-togethers with friends. Fruity and refreshing for summer.

Rating: 3.3/5