Here we have compiled for you a collection of the e-newsletters that we distribute every 4 to 6 weeks to our client list. Please note that prices, vintages and availability of the wines in these newsletters may have changed, but please feel free to contact us if you see something that piques your interest.
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May 4, 2020
Sunshine and temperatures are in the double digits! With balmy forecasts in store, I’m sure many of us are planning to get outside, even if it’s only as far as the back yard. Time to plan for some great warmer-weather wines!
How about something sparkling to celebrate the dusting off of the patio furniture? A racy white to refresh post-gardening? A red worthy of that first grilled steak of the season?
I’ve pulled together a list of some of my spring favourites for inspiraton. I think they’ll become your favourites too!
We deliver across the GTA and to most of southern Ontario regularly. Let us bring our wines to you!
If you’re north of Toronto in Barrie, King City, Collingwood, Thornbury, or the Blue Mountains, we’ll be delivering to you on May 7th. We’ll head to the Muskokas on May 8th. If you reside in these regions, please submit your order by phone, email, or online by end of day Tuesday May 5th to receive your wine this week.
If you’re looking for a wine that you don’t see listed here, please ask me. We have over 200 wines available to order at all times, including go-to wines like Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio, Grayson Chardonnay, and “Decoy” Cabernet Sauvignon.
All of our wines are sold by the unmixed case. Taxes are included in our bottle and case prices, bottle deposits are excluded in prices, and delivery at this time is free.
To order, you can reply to this e-mail, order online, or call me. If the line is busy, please leave a message. I’ll call you back.
Office: 416 961 2294 x29
New cell: 437 227 6950
If you have family or friends who also need wine delivered, we are here working hard. Please feel free to pass around our contact info.
This is not your ‘everyday’, neutral Prosecco destined for Mimosas! This is from Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG, where the most elegant wines are grown. It is fresh, minerally, and cuts through rich foods like a samurai sword. The bubbles are exceedingly fine, and the aromatics convey rich citrus, green herbs and wild strawberry. If you are going to use this wine to make a Mimosa, it will take the Mimosa to another level.
“Enticing daffodils and buttercups here, as well as a flinty, chalky edge. Meanwhile, the mouthfeel manages to be both expansive and taut, the crunchy acidity drives long and a fine seam of bubbles slots in like clockwork. Drink now.”
If you want to really step up your bubbly options, you can’t go wrong with Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs Champagne (100% Chardonnay) with real character. Even better, its price to quality makes it a steal compared to many of big brands out there.
Chiquet is the oldest of the “Grower/Producer” houses who control their own vineyards as well as produce their own wines. This is a ‘terroir’ driven wine, through and through.
“The NV Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ is a brilliant wine, and of the many highlights in this range from Chiquet. Although not labeled a vintage Champagne, this release is 100% 2014, a year that continues to impress as the wines start to enter the market. Bright and finely sculpted to its core, the Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ sizzles with real tension. Lemon peel, mint, green apple, chalk and crushed rocks abound in a striking, laser-focused Champagne that hits all the right notes. Dosage is 8 grams per liter. Disgorged: June, 2018.”
Pierrick Laroche is a relative newcomer in the ‘mature’ Chablis business, and at first taste of his wine, we became instant fans. He tends his vineyards organically and uses horses to till his rows. He does everything right. The wines are clean and transparent; a true reflection of what makes Chablis so unique and special. Ultimately they are delicious, have longevity for the cellar, and are worthy of your attention. Grab some soft cheeses, pull the cork and enjoy your evening.
“Aromas of honeycomb, ripe citrus oil and oatmeal introduce the 2017 Chablis 1er Cru Beauroy, a medium to full-bodied, satiny-textured wine with a fleshy core of sun-kissed fruit, bright acids and a saline, expansive finish. It will need a year or two in bottle to come together, but it shows promise.”
90+ points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Aug 2019
Shafer’s “Red Shoulder Ranch” Chardonnay is named for the hawks that patrol their vineyard in Carneros and keep the rodents at bay. The wine is a classic non-malolactic, barrel aged Napa Chardonnay – zesty and tropical, ripe and vibrant.
The 2018 has yet to be reviewed, as it’s just hit the market, but annually the critics award 92 to 95 points to this wine, and given that 2018 is one of the great vintages in Napa, you can bet that this wine will over-deliver on quality.
For years we have been asking the Shafer Family to put this wine in 6-packs for us…this has happened for this bottling!
“This 25th vintage of our Chardonnay offers abundant, exotic aromas and flavors of citrus blossom, apricot, pineapple, grapefruit zest, and honeydew melon all held together with seamless structure, elegant balance, and energy that comes from pure, clean acidity.”
Alpamanta means “Love for the Earth” and this belief is at the core of how winery founder Andrej Razumovsky tends to his vineyards and makes his wines.
The wines are absolutely pristine – biodynamic farming produces supremely healthy fruit and leads to spontaneous native-yeast fermentations.
“Natal” uses no oak barrels, so you are left with an unadulterated, healthy Malbec from Luján de Cuyo. Plum and cherry flavours with bright acidity and firm tannins makes this little gem very drinkable.
“Super fresh and perfectly presented plums and blackberries, framed in modern, spicy oak and laid out on smoothly rendered tannins.”
One of the leading estates in the southern Rhône makes this delicious Côtes du Rhône crafted with drinkability in mind. This dry, red-and-black little charmer comes at you with lots of fruit and grippy tannin. I like to drink it from a stemless glass with a slight chill on it. Don’t overthink it, just enjoy.
“Made from young vines in Cairanne, the 2018 Cotes du Rhone Laurent B features oodles of juicy, maraschino cherry-like fruit. Medium to full-bodied, supple, creamy and lush, it should be ready to drink on release and consumed over the next 3-4 years.”
(88–90) points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, October 2019
Don’t let the screwtop and price fool you, this is the ‘real deal’.
Sourced heavily from Coombsville and Rutherford, and blended with fruit from Diamond Mountain and Stags Leap District, this wine reflects the best of what Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon offers – intense aromatics, lush fruit flavours and ample mouthfeel. The wine rested for 16 months in French oak barriques. Drink it now, and over the next 10 years.
Rich and dense red with ripe berries and currants, as well as spices and hints of vanilla. Medium- to full-bodied with soft and round tannins. Juicy fruit. Outstanding. Serious at this price. Drink or hold.”
I had the pleasure of visiting Truchard this winter and the 2017 Pinot Noir was the wine we took with us for our vineyard walk. One sip and I knew we have to get an order of this moving!
Truchard’s 220 acre vineyard is one of the most sought-after fruit sources in Napa Valley. The proximity to San Pablo Bay and the cooling effect that it has produces very intense, surprisingly full bodied wines, regardless of varietal. If you’ve had their Chardonnay or Cabernet from us, you’re aware of the concentration and complexity. The Pinot is no different – vibrant, juicy, refreshing and impressive.
I’d suggest this as an all-around, “drink anytime” kind of wine that would be as appropriate with roasted chicken as it would with grilled striploins or Asian-glazed salmon.
Alain Graillot’s Crozes-Hermitage is one of our favourite wines, a bit of a “cult wine” if you will. The wines exceed almost everything coming from Crozes-Hermitage. The winery has always sourced Burgundy Domaines for older barriques, which soften the Syrah and impart no discernable oak quality. The wine is balanced, fine, and complex. It ages really well, but is always a pleasure to drink at anytime along that curve.
“The 2017 Crozes-Hermitage is a classic Crozes that shines for its complexity as well as texture. Complex notes of ripe black fruits, olives, spring flowers, and pepper all emerge from the glass, and it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, bright acidity, and building tannins, all of which give the wine a firm, age-worthy feel. It’s got plenty of fruit and will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and keep for over a decade. Lovers of impeccably made, old school Northern Rhône Syrah can’t go wrong with a case of this.”
93 points, Jeb Dunnuck, Dec 2019
Ask me about Graillot “La Guiraude” 2016, or the Graillot St. Joseph Rouge 2017, which I have in very small volumes and for a limited time only.
Here’s a statement, “Amarone is not for only drinking in winter!”
Because of the intensity of the wines, we in the industry see Amarone as a “cool weather” wine. But why? Brigaldara’s is fresh, dry, and full bodied without being too heavy. I recommend it often to clients who only drink Napa Cabernet. It doesn’t taste anything like Napa Cab, but the mouthfeel, length, and fine tannins can be appreciated by anyone! Grill a veal chop, pour this wine, then sit back and enjoy the revelation.
“Located just outside the town of San Floriano, the Villa Brigaldara and surrounding estate dates back to the 15th century, but it was not until 1929 that it was acquired by the current owners, the Cesari family. Today, their holdings cover 50ha in three different areas of Valpolicella. Four bottlings of Amarone are produced from these, with the Classico being exclusively from the vineyards surrounding the villa. The grapes are left to dry for 120 days, with the wine then spending one year in barrique and two years in large-volume 25hl Slavonian oak barrels. It’s a blend of 45% Corvinone, 45% Corvina and 10% Rondinella. Michael Garner: Ethereal red fruit aromas joined by shades of tobacco and spice, followed by an intense palate of bright fresh fruit underscored by notes of seasoned oak and charred spice. Heady and distinctive. Andrew Jefford: Refined and elegant aromas: subtle and enticing, with great harmony. It’s light and graceful on the palate, in a very classical style akin to ultra-traditional Barolo, aged to a state of great harmony and finesse. Monty Waldin: Seems nicely unforced and easy to enjoy, with a wonderfully transparent fruit and oak profile. We have here a gratifying antidote to the caricature that contemporary Amarone can be – namely big blockbusters, too bold and boisterous. Drinking window 2019 – 2026.”
Robert Craig is a relative newcomer to our portfolio, and when we first started having discussions with the winery, I thought “do we really need another Napa Cab?”…after tasting the wines, the answer was definitely “yes’ and there has been no looking back.
“Affinity” is an impressive wine. A very dry, full bodied and finely tannic style of Cabernet, if you like wines with power and dark complexity, then Affinity is probably the wine for you. Though Robert Craig is located on Howell Mountain, “Affinity” is an estate-grown single vineyard bottling from the La Londe property, in the Mount George foothills just south of Stags Leap District.
The 30-year-old vines, planted in remarkably sparse and rocky volcanic soil on the benchland, are naturally low-yielding. They bear only 2.8 tonnes of intense fruit per acre.
“This subtly tarry blend of 80 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, offers a nicely resolved array of blackcurrant aromas and flavours with fine and fresh tannins. Drink or hold.”
93 points, James Suckling, Nov 2018
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Affinity is a gorgeous entry-level offering. Ripe and plummy, with striking up-front fruit, the 2016 has a lot to offer, including tons of immediacy and sheer appeal. Super-ripe red cherry, raspberry jam, vanilla and sweet spice add to the wine’s racy, inviting personality. The Affinity is now mostly (85%) estate grown fruit from a site in Coombsville.”
A top tier Napa Cab that can be enjoyed today or for years to come.
The last of a string of drought years, 2015 in Napa Valley produced high-quality wines, although production across the valley was down from the bountiful 2012, 2013 and 2014 years. But a small crop load leads to more concentration in the fruit, and the 2015s are ample, fruity, rich and long. It’s an undeniable vintage for immediate drinking of really great Napa Valley wine.
“Very deep garnet-purple in colour, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (containing splashes of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc) opens with expressive crushed plums, mulberries and cassis with touches of dark chocolate, baking spice and black soil. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with approachable, spicy black fruit, framed by grainy tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing long with a pleasant herbal lift. 5,899 cases were made.”
92 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Dec 2017
“The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is gorgeous. Black cherry, plum, chocolate, and leather are all front and centre in this lush, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink it over the next decade.”
Only a few cases remain of one of our most iconic wines.
Murrieta’s “Gran Reserva Especial” 2009 is simply amazing. It is made only in great years, from a single vineyard planted in 1950. Twenty-six months in oak and three years in bottle before its release gets you to the starting point, which will last for decades. Red fruits, incense and spices leap from the glass. On the palate, a satiny mouthfeel delivers more red fruit, more spice and coconut-vanilla. The finish is long and creamy, and will continue to get longer with age. This is a opinion-altering wine, and I could not recommend it more.
“Following on from the 2005 and 2007 releases, this is another stylish, complex, world-class red from Vicente Cebrián and María Vargas, with 19% Mazuelo providing the backbone of this ageworthy wine. The heat of the vintage has put plenty of flesh on the bones, complementing the savoury, spicy elegance. The tannins and acidity add balance and refinement. What a wine! 2025-40”
97 points, Tim Atkin’s Rioja Report, Feb 2018
Marqués de Murrieta didn’t produce their top red in 2008, so I tasted the 2009 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial. In 2009, the final blend was Tempranillo with 19% Mazuelo (or Cariñena), one of the highest percentages of Mazuelo ever. The grapes are now sourced from the La Plana vineyard within the Ygay estate, one of the higher-altitude plots at 485 meters. The grapes fermented and aged separately, the Tempranillo in American oak barrels and the Mazuelo in French barriques for 26 months, given its power. It has that seriousness, character and somehow rusticity of the Mazuelo, austere, harmonious and still young. It has good depth and concentration, still young and lively with fine tannins and a backbone of freshness that lifts it up. It will develop for a very long time in bottle. This is a great classical Rioja for the long haul. 109,000 bottles and some larger formats were produced. It was bottled in October 2014. The prices are increasing but so is the quality. The following vintages will be 2010, 2011 and possibly 2012. I cannot wait to taste them.”
96 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Feb 2018