La Puerta Syrah

imageLCBO#: N/A
Price: N/A
Made in: Andes Famatina Valley, Argentina
By: Valley de la Puerta S.A.
Year: 2009

Been cellaring this one for a while (or maybe we just forgot it). Looks like we can no longer get this one at the LCBO, but the bottle is easily recognizable from the past. Anyways, aromas of dark berries, especially cherries with notes of alcohol. Hints of wood seem to come out a little. Lots of berries in the taste with some plums, light sourness from the cherries, some mild tannins creating some tartiness. Even some smokiness. Not one I would cellar again, but still pretty good overall.

Rating: 3.2/5

Luis Felipe Edwards Reserva Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon

imageLCBO#: 308189
Price: $13.90
Made in: Colchagua Valley, Chile
By: Vina Luis Felipe Edwards Ltda.
Year: 2013

Quite a classy looking label from a Chile winemaker. Aromas of berries from the Shiraz at first, then twirl the glass and out comes the Cabernet Sauvignon notes with leather and tobacco. The taste is a little milder, kind of watered-down, but still decent with more of the shiraz characteristics (plums, cherries). What helps is the vanilla from the oak ageing. Good enough tannins in the finish with a dryness that seems to get sharper as we progress. A good red wine, but just lacking a little something. A little more Sauvignon punch.

Rating: 3.4/5

Wolf Blass Red Label Shiraz Cabernet

20131114-195148.jpgLCBO#: 311795
Price: $14.95
Made in: Nuriootpa, Australia
By: Wolf Blass Wines
Varietal: Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon

It’s been a while since our last Australian red wine, and we are fans of their oaky-vanilla wines. This one is a first for not being too vanilla-ish. It actually was not really good with food, as it was too thin. Alone, it becomes better with mild Sauvignon notes of tobacco and leather. The body is medium-light, with a little tannins. Taste of red berries with hints of wood and tobacco in the finish. The very light red fruits lingers a bit. Like the label says, “soft and smooth red wine blends” and drinkable for those who like it mild.

Rating: 3.1/5

La Vieille Ferme Rouge Récolte 2009

20131110-204736.jpgLCBO#: 263640
Price: $11.90
Made in: Orange, France
By: La Vieille Ferme
Varietal: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault

This French red wine is kind of dull at first. After breathing a while, it does release some characters. Mild fruit nose with prunes, dates and then some very light tobacco. Wet mouthfeel but with a little dryness in the finish. The same dark fruits in the nose are present in the taste with light cherries and blackberries. The yeast comes out in the aftertaste with the dryness continuing. This is an easy drinking red wine which does not offend, as it does not have any punchiness to it.

Rating: 3.1/5

Curious Beasts Blood Red (Rouge Sang)

20131027-180943.jpgSAQ code: 12109986
Price: $18.95
Made in: California, USA
By: Truett Hurst
Varietal: Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel

Got this red wine at the SAQ as the wrapper around the bottle caught our eye. Had a pirate kind of feel, tied up around the neck of the bottle with an elastic. Smells like nothing at first, as really too mild. After breathing half-an-hour, it does release cherries, black berries and some mild leather. The mouthfeel is a little too tarty with the yeast. The nose started milder than the taste, but eventually beats it. Still, nothing really good, but a nice packaging. Inked blood along the cork. That’s nice.

Rating: 2.2/5

Passion of Portugal Reserva Red

20131013-185407.jpgLCBO#: 146449
Price: $8.25
Made in: Alentejo, Portugal
By: Casa Santos Lima
Varietal: Syrah, Tinta Roriz and Barroca

This inexpensive Portuguese blended red wine has Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca and Syrah grapes. There is a tag on the front label that says Or (Gold) Coupe des Nations Québec 2013 award. It has very nice aromas with mild leather, tobacco and dark fruits. The taste is good as well, but very mild at first. With time though, it becomes quite good. Light tannins, light dryness and plum notes. All of this make this one a superb red wine for under $10.

Rating: 3.8/5

KWV Roodeberg

roodLCBO#: 7187
Price: $12.45
Made in: South Africa
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah

Beautiful aroma of mixed berries with hints of leather. Medium-bodied with hints of tannins. Again, great berry notes in the taste with a light touch of caramel and slight nuts (almonds) in the aftertaste. As always, we really enjoy the wines of KWV. They are great inexpensive wines that are above average.

Rating: 3.6/5

McGuigan Black Label Shiraz

20130905-201618.jpgLCBO#: 325787
Price: $10.95
Made in: Australia
By: McGuigan Wines
Varietal: Shiraz/Syrah

Written International Winemaker of the year and Australian Producer of the year for the IWSC in 2009 and 2011. Big berry aromas with mild vanilla, cherries and very light leather. Some nice bitter sharp taste with a bit of sourness to balance things. Flavours of cherries, plums with hints of molasses. Very nice sweet berry taste to blend everything. Quite a nice inexpensive Shiraz that goes down beautifully.

Rating: 3.8/5

Thelema Mountain Red 2010


LCBO#: 222570
Price: $11.95
Made in: South Africa
By: Thelema Moutain Vineyards

This blended South African wine has 29% Shiraz, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Grenache, 11% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. It’s also aged in oak barrels for 18 months. A very well-blended nose of cherries, leather, smoked meats, alcohol and red grapes. Mild dry mouthfeel with nice tannins in the finish. Same flavours found in the aromas, but a little milder. Quite a nice blended red wine with lots to offer, and worth the price for a table wine that is ready to drink.

Rating: 4.1/5

Creekside Estate Shiraz 2009

20121226-182512.jpgLCBO#: 66654
Price: $15.95
Made in: Ontario, Canada
By: Creekside Estate Winery
Varietal: Shiraz

After seeing that this wine won first place in the SOSA (Southern Ontario Sommelier Association), we decided to grab a couple of bottles for Christmas. unfortunately, it was the 2009… and the one that won, was the 2010. Not sure if this one turned bad, but both bottle has a sour mouthfeel. Surprisingly, the aromas were actually quite nice, out of the bottle. Dark red grapes, hints of leather, old wood. Mild tannins are present, and the mouth is above-average dry. Can’t wait to find the 2010 winner, and hope this one is not sour.

Raiting: 3.1/5