Smoky Bay 

found at IGA and Metro stores
Price: $11.89 (1L)
Made in: Australia
By: Smoky Bay

This Australian red wine has a sweet nose from the cherries, plums, with hints of leather, and some alcohol dryness. The taste is sweet as well with all the dark fruits, but watered-down. Decent light dryness in the mouthfeel. Slightly tarty in the finish. For a real cheap wine, that seems to be a blend, it is not too bad. Not a great one though.

Rating: 2.9/5

Château Belgrave Haut-Médoc Grand Cru Classé 2012

SAQ#: 12940294
Price: $53.50
Made in: Gironde, France
By: Château Belgrave
Year: 2012

Not sure how we got this, as we do not do wines this expensive. We do reviews of wines easier on the wallet, for “monsieur, madame tout le monde”. Nonetheless, nice classy-looking label and cork. Sweet aromas of dark fruits, mostly plums. Hints of pipe tobacco and light spices. The mouthfeel is kind of weak with very mild tannins. The taste is pretty mild as well with some watery cherry juices and earth notes. Not sure if the purchaser got a good deal or what, as this does not seem a wine of this price. Much better out there for a fraction of the price.

Rating: 3.2/5

Trapiche Pure Malbec 

LCBO#: 370924
Price: $15.95
Made in: Argentina
By: Penaflor/Trapiche
Year: 2016

A 100% Malbec Argentinian wine that seems pretty light at first, but shows balls after breathing. Sour cherry aromas with the grapes and hints of leather. The mouthfeel is pretty thin, but a nice soft dryness in the finish helps. Light vanilla, caramel does come out in the nose, which makes the smell quite beautiful with time. The weak spot is the taste, not in a bad way, but just mild. Great with food.

Rating: 3.4/5

Beringer Founders’ Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

LCBO#: 534263
Price: $18.05
Made in: California, USA
By: Beringer Vineyards
Year: 2015

A Californian Cabernet Sauvignon with sweet aromas of blackberries, plum, sugars and hints of vanilla. The flavours are on the sweet side as well, but not syrupy. More on the wet side with not much of a finish. With food though, the dryness comes out. Even some tannins. Nice cherries as well. Not bad for those who prefer the sweeter red wines that are easy to drink. Missing some punchiness for a Cabernet Sauvignon. And the tobacco and leather.

Rating: 3.2/5

Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Châteauneuf-du-Pape

LCBO#: 957266
Price: $67.75
Made in: Rhône, France
By: Vignobles Jerome Quiot
Year: 2007

This French wine came in a nice wooden box with some safety packaging hay inside. Pours a purple red colour and the aromas are a beautiful bouquet of fruits (plums, cherries, and other berries). Also notes of leather, caramel and tobacco. The taste has some nice sharp bite of bitterness with all of the fruits and the smokey leaf. Decent tannins and dryness in the finish. Some yeasty tart lingers leaving a mild nutty flavour. Quite a nice red wine that has loads of fruity notes and tobacco.

Rating: 4.3/5

Les Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Réserve 2014

imageLCBO#: 385385
Price: $12.95
Made in: Rhône, France
By: Cellier Des Dauphins

On this National Wine Day, must not forget to do a wine review (as beer reviews is my main gig usually). I also don’t usually do much French wines (as just not my thing). Deep red with purple highlights. Aromas of berries, cherries and light alcohol. Seems a little bland overall and same in the taste. Decent fruit at start, and some tannins do come in the middle, but there is not much finish. Maybe a little watered down. Mild nutty yeast lingers. Not much here. The dryness might be the best thing. Oh, and the label.

Rating: 2.3/5

Uprising

imageLCBO#: 428581
Price: $9.25
Made in: South Australia, Australia
By: Nugan Estate Pty.

Beautiful dark skull artsy label that caught our eye but then… nothing. Weak Cabernet Sauvignon overall. Alright, so after breathing an hour, I get some mild Cab aromas with leather, tobacco and the red grapes. The taste does not have much of this though. Earthy, but watery. Not well-balanced red grapes with some tart eventually. Maybe some tannins. Some sweetness, some bitterness (dryness). OK, so it gets a little better with time, and the price represents well the quality. Much better for a buck more.

Rating: 2.3/5