Barrel Heist Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Price: $6.99
Made in: Lodi, California
By: Barrel Heist Wines
ABV: 14.8%
Year: 2017

Found at Trader Joe’s in Burlington. Aged 4 months in Bourbon barrels, this Cabernet Sauvignon has a beautiful nose of dark fruits with plums, dried prunes, hints of cherries, vanilla, smokey wood and leather. Lots of tannins in the mouthfeel with some nice dryness. The taste shows a little caramel notes and the finish is very short. Some yeast lingers on the tongue. Some bitterness does appear with time, which helps a little. Other than that, smells nicely, but expecting much more from this aging.

Rating: 3.4/5

Apothic Brew wine

LCBO#: 618785
Price: $18.95
Made in: California, USA
By: E. & J. Gallo Winery

A new Apothic wine: Red infused with cold brew coffee. Having this in Florida on trip there. The smell works very well with the red grapes, tobacco and leather, all-blended with the coffee notes. The thing with Apothic is most of the time, it is too syrupy. How will this one be? Well, too syrupy unfortunately. Average dryness helping, but maple syrup and caramel lingers way too much. Even the aromas get too sweet. Too bad the coffee disappears there, and is hard to find in the taste. Lightly lingers after the syrup finish.

Rating: 3.3/5

Blackstone Pinot Noir 2013

imageTotal Wine#: 94850750-1
LCBO#: 358937
Price: $9.95 ($7.29 US)
Made in: California, USA
By: Constellation Brands Inc.

Purchased at Albertson on our trip to Vegas. Sweet aromas of cherries among the red grapes. Notes of alcohol with hints of leather. Cherry flavours as well with some caramel. A nice dry mouthfeel, but not too crazy. Quite a nice Pinot Noir for the price in the States. Noticed it was not that much more in Canada when we returned, at the LCBO.

Rating: 3.7/5

Cupcake Black Forest

LCBO#: 470088
Price: $14.95
Made in: Livermore, California, US
By: Cupcake Vineyards
Year: 2014

This blended red wine from California starts off with a nice rich aroma of cherries, blackberries among other darker fruits. The label has some class, but a little too busy, and too many different fonts. We keep on going down from there, but not so low. Some good sweetness from the fruits, but the finish is quick and not like written on back label – “long and complex”. Decent dryness but wish the finish was more. Too bad, as was looking good at first.

Rating: 3.4/5

Apothic Inferno

LCBO#: 485623
Price: $17.95
Made in: California, US
By: E. & J. Gallo Winery

The latest twist in the Apothic wines is being aged in whiskey barrels for 60 days. The aromas are quite sweet because of this. Full red grapes, some leather, syrups and a little burnt wood. The taste is pretty watery with grapes and cherries. The middle is quite mild, with some light maple notes in the finish. Some dryness, bitterness gets stronger in the mouthfeel helping a bit. Still, not as good as the Apothic Dark. Looks like this one was quite limited, as cannot find on LCBO site a few months after reviewing.

Rating: 3.3/5

Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay

LCBO#: 379180
Price: $16.95
Made in: California, USA
By: Robert Mondavi Winery

Chardonnay is not our forte. Started 20 years ago with this grape, but for whites, went to Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. This one from the Private Selection comes out good. The vines gives out a sweet fruity nose with alcohol and hints of dry citrus. The taste is also fruity and sweet, but not syrupy. Grapes, apples with mild vanilla and caramel. Light dry finish. Quite a good Chardonnay if this is your style. Even better with food.

Rating: 3.9/5

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