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Allegrini and three options to fulfill any expectations!

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By Marina La Forgia
The Allegrini wines are the kind of ones that you can never get disappointed. In every price range they offer the best quality-price ratio and they are pure expression of the best new Italian style. The venetian winery is acclaimed by their excellent Amarone della Valpolicella wines, but they have a wide variety of other products and labels that here in Quebec are gaining more and more adepts. The example? These 3 wines that I absolutely recommend:
Allegrini – Di Fumane 2015 Vino Rosso IGT – Italy SAQ Price: $15,50 A simple and delicious blend made with indigenous grapes Corvina, Corvinone and international Merlot, which is plenty of aromas. In the nose we can feel the red fruit marmalade, some floral notes like roses and violets, some vanilla and even nuts. In the mouth, its medium bodied but enough strong to marry perfectly with some Italian dishes, like pasta or pizza. This is a wine you can bring to any informal friend’s or family’s supper without any hesitation. Ev…

As a good overpowering bull, these wines do not go unnoticed ...

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Nomen Omen 2016 Red Bull Ring - Podere Castorani  Terre di Chieti IGT - Italy Chardonnay - Pinot Grigio SAQ Price: $ 21.55
I imagine being a car driver is a vertiginous profession. Some wines, when we drink them, also want to give us that feeling of absolute intensity. Maybe this wine carries the mark of Jarno Trulli, Italian pilot, and the owner producer of this wine that stands out for its careful marketing and its fruit and flavor explosion. Bi-varietal composed by two very expressive grapes, the Chardonnay predominates mainly with its notes of peach, pear, melon and jasmine. In the mouth, it has a little crunchy texture, it is intense and sweet with a very lasting final. The Nomen Omen is a white wine with strength, perhaps not very subtle or elegant, but as a good overpowering bull does not go unnoticed, neither to see, nor to drink ... (MLF).
Nomen Omen 2014 Red Bull Ring - Podere Castorani Terre di Chieti IGT - Italy Merlot - Sangiovese SAQ price: $ 19.55 (special discount this week on the…

Quinta das Setencostas: the identity of today's Portuguese wine

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Quinta das Setencostas 2013 Alenquer DOC - Portugal Casa Santos Lima SAQ Price: $ 13.85
Coming from Alenquer, a wine region of Lisbon that perhaps we know a little bit, which has a pleasant oceanic influence, this is a red and attractive Portuguese wine. It was a good choice to buy a bottle of this Quinta das Setencostas, which was timidly peering out at the SAQ gondolas, a delicious wine made from a blend of purely native grapes such as Castelao, Camarote, Tinta Miuda and Preto Martinho, also known as Tinta Negra Mole. In aromas, it has endless notes of ripe black fruits mixed with cinnamon, green pepper, smoke and caramel. That symbolic sweetness that we can appreciate in the nose also appears in the mouth, with a kind, enveloping, unctuous and succulent attack. A wine that has a very intense structure and fruit, a very pleasant palate and a persistent and balanced finish.
This is another of those Portuguese wines that represent in general terms the identity of the Portuguese wine of toda…

Fontana and a different white…

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Dominio de Fontana Blanco 2015 Finca Wine - Bodegas Fontana DO Uclés - Castilla La Mancha - Spain Sauvignon Blanc 80% - Verdejo 20% Price: $ 14.50 (IP)
My two favorite grape varieties are together in this Spanish white wine very original, refreshing, young and super friendly. In the nose, it offers all fresh citrus, lime and herbs notes very characteristic of the Sauvignon Blanc. Once in the mouth, it is more unctuous and enveloping, since it has matured a few months on the lees. This white has an interesting body that will captivate all palates. I like this winery from Castilla La Mancha because it produces wines with a modern character but that respect very well the Spanish identity. Such is the case of this delicious wine that has the innovation of an international grape like Sauvignon Blanc but well blended to the delicious and unique Verdejo. The ideal white wine for sunny and hot evenings outside in the terrace, sharing with friends some funny moments. I could say that I recommend this …

Wines that are very close

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By Andrea La Forgia - Special Contributor in Buenos Aires Sommelier de Cava
Last week, at another interesting meeting organized by Asociacion Argentina de Sommeliers and thanks to Maru Barbero from Clusters, we gathered together again at Lo de Joaquin Alberdi, which was celebrating its eleven years as a wine store in Palermo. In this occasion, Trivento winery, having in mind thewriter Julio Cortazar, introduced the top of the line wines called "Lejanamente Juntos", which means"Far away Together". Victoria Prandina, one of the winemakers of the team, who is in charge of the limited edition wines and exquisite products, guided us in the tasting. These wines were an original blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc 2016 and a wonderful classic blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon 2013. In this white blend made of 85% Semillon coming from an old vine and 15% of Sauvignon Blanc, we found a very expressive nose that reminded us of honey, lemon and ginger. Once in the mouth, we…

La Croix d'Aline: that gentle exuberance ...

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La Croix d'Aline 2015 Les Domaines Auriol Saint Chinian AOC - Languedoc-Roussillon - France Syrah (60%) - Grenache (40%) SAQ Price: $ 16.75
The wines are no longer divided among those coming from the old or the new world. Now the wines have their own identity, chosen by their winemakers, beyond their country of origin. And that's why today all types of wines and styles can be found in all the wine regions of our beloved planet. Here you have a French wine that perhaps in my opinion is out of the stereotype, which responds to a very modern style, easy to adopt and that is why I invite you to discover. The Croix d'Aline, by Domaines Auriol, is a wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon region, Saint Chinian appellation. A red wine, round and balanced, from head to toe. Its seductive violaceous color, product of being a blend of two colorful grapes like the Syrah and Grenache, invites us, suggests us to taste it without much preamble. On the nose, floral, spicy and smoky notes stand out,…

When rosé is more than a color ...

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Gabriel Meffre Saint Ferreol 2016 Tavel DOP - France SAQ Price: $ 21.95
I have been seduced by this different wine coming from Tavel, the interesting French appellation that produces only rosé wines. Even just starting from its color, we realize that this Saint Ferreol by Gabriel Meffre will offer us something more, which stands out above the other rosé wines we are used to see in the SAQ gondolas. Its reddish tones, probably because it is a blend of grapes like Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, give it an intense, striking and inviting look. On the nose, I like the aromas of red fruit, watermelon, peaches, cherries, but I rather prefer its spicy and refreshing character, with nice notes of menthol. In the mouth, it is still a powerful wine, but also delicate. In attack is fruity and refreshing, but at the end is thick and unctuous. It is a rosé wine with structure. And this is why it has fascinated me. Without being a red wine, it is a wine with body, and so a versatile wine. Undoubtedly, it is…

Eighteen years later...

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By Andrea La Forgia - Special Contributor in Buenos Aires Sommelier de Cava
While I was studying sommelierie I discovered that some wines could maintain the characteristics, evolve and even get better though time.  Not allhave this possibility, but they do those which have been thought since the beginning, made with dedication and with careful aging.  I thought that human beings are very much alike. And I thought about my children.  So I decided to buy a wine for each, that can be stored and age well, made with grapes harvested in the year of their births.  So, while my little boys were growing, these wines were stored patiently.  The idea was that when they are eighteen years old, we could drink the bottle all together.  It was very exciting when we had this first experience two years ago with my oldest son and a few days ago with the youngest.  The wines I am talking about are Lagarde Henry Gran Guarda Ner. 11997, bottle number 2237, andLagarde Henry Gran Guarda Ner. 1 , 1999, bottle num…

In celebration of the Albariño grape, the sixth International Albariño Days are happening now!

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TAPAS announces the sixth International Albariño Days, August 2-7, 2017: A celebration of the Albariño grape. We are encouraging everyone to open a bottle of Albariño, enjoy the fun, and share their experiences online with the hashtag #AlbarinoFiesta. In past years we celebrated only one day, but for 2017 we are celebrating for a whole week - to coincide with the Fiesta del Albariño held in the small coastal town of Cambados, Spain during the first week of August. Albariño is traditionally grown in Rias Baixas, a wine region in Galicia in northwestern Spain, and produces crisp, acidic white wines ideal for summer evenings and seafood pairings. It is also grown in Portugal, where it is known as Alvarinho.  Now it is being grown in North America, so we’re celebrating with International Albariño Day. (For six fun facts on Albariño, watch this two-minute video from Karen MacNeil, author of the Wine Bible. We encourage you to go to KarenMacNeil.com and sign up for WineSpeed, Karen's Fr…

Planalto: an excellent white wine from Douro Valley

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Planalto Reserva 2015 Casa Ferreirinha - Sogrape DO Douro - Portugal SAQ Price: 11.55 $ Planalto is one of those white wines that we should always have available in our refrigerators. From the wonderful wine region of Douro, where the reds are mostly the "vedettes", I would like to present you this delicious and particular white wine. It reminds me of the freshness of an Albariño, the elegance of a Viognier, the aromatic character of a Chardonnay. But no. This is a blend of native Portuguese grapes such as Viosinho, Codega, Gouveio and Malvasia Fina. Native grapes that are not very well known to my palate, but which have captivated me and that are inciting me to go discover much more about the particularities of the varieties of this such beautiful country, Portugal. On the nose, it overflows its bouquet with notes of tropical fruits such as banana, pineapple and melon. In the mouth it is unctuous, abundant, generous and with lots of fruit. With a balanced, round and persistent fi…

Zuccardi Q Cabernet Sauvignon: the elegant expression of the Uco Valley

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Zuccardi Q Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Bodega Familia Zuccardi Uco Valley - Mendoza SAQ Price: $ 22.95
Zuccardi Family wines are well known among local consumers. And I personally like this winery for its versatile and innovative wines which are a trademark in Argentina and worldwide. The Q line, a series of exceptional varietals made from grapes from its high vineyards in the Uco Valley, are a different expression of the fruit and flavor explosion we are accustomed to when it comes to wines from the New World. I have had the opportunity to taste this elegant and structured Cabernet Sauvignon with a very subtle fruit both in the nose and in the mouth. It stands out fundamentally for its slightly tannic character, its unctuous palate, its floral notes ... A wine that I suggest to decant or oxygenate for a few minutes to round up its alcohol and thus to offer its maximum potential. Ideal companion for a tasty grilled steak or very juicy "empanadas", this wine is able to neutralize the…

Yacochuya: the world of High Vineyards

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By Andrea La Forgia - Special Contributor in Buenos Aires Sommelier de Cava
This week, we could meet Arnaldo and Marcos Etchart, who introduced us their wines from Valles Calchaquies. This tasting took place at a historical bar of Buenos Aires, Los Galgos, established 1930. Marcos told us that after the prestigious winery founded by his father, a new winery started business, named Yacochuya, and it was the first one that hired a French winemaker, Michel Rolland, as a consultant in 1988. They have old vines, which is one of the items needed for high quality wines. The first wine was San Pedro de Yacochuya Torrontes 2016, classic style, made with golden and ripe grapes, super expressive in the nose, fruity, floral and with balanced acidity. The second wine was Coquena Corte 2015, a blend made of the classical varietals of Salta which are Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat. Structured and powerful , from younger vineyards.  The third wine was San Pedro de Yacochuya2014. Another harvest that …

Two chenin blanc impossible to beat in a price-quality ratio battle!

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From the same wine group, DGB, one of the most prestigious in South Africa, I recommend these two entry level white wines, two chenin blanc of similar characteristics, but equally distinctive, that offer us all the elegance and freshness of this special grape. The chenin blanc is a very versatile variety, of great personality that can give us very fresh young wines or some more evolved, complex and elegant ones. Having also had the opportunity to taste them in the company of JC Bekker, the group chief winemaker is also a delight and a pleasure that I treasure in my baggage of professional experiences.
Douglas Green Chenin Blanc 2016 Coastal Region - South Africa SAQ Price: $ 9.55 Harvest after harvest for more than 70 years is one of the emblematic wines of the winery, and in particular to me, it is a wine that I love! For its price I can not ask for more. With aromas of exotic fruits, some orange, ripe peaches and honey, in the mouth always seduces me with its unctuous body, its balance o…

Just Sparklings

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By Andrea La Forgia - Special Contributor in Buenos Aires
Sommelier de Cava

Cruzat is a winery which is dedicated exclusively to the production of sparkling wines only by champenoise or classic method. In this event, that took place at Ser y Tiempo, a small and warm wine bar and resto in Palermo, Buenos Aires city, we could taste 12 different sparkling wines of the three commercial segments. In this case we found Premier, which stays for a year on lees, that is to say, in contact with the yeast after finishing its second fermentation. Also Premier especial which has limited number of bottles produced and Cuvée which stays for two years on lees. These wines with bubbles come from different areas in Mendoza as well, making the characteristics of the terroir express clearly. The most interesting moment was when we could taste four base wines, that means, wines obtained after the first fermentation and before going under the second one, imagining the final result. And of course, we confirmed s…

Arboleda Chardonnay: typical at its best

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Arboleda Chardonnay 2016 Viña Seña DO Aconcagua Costa - Chile SAQ Price: $ 20.95 To the already diversified offer of very good Chilean wines that I have been tasting recently I would like to add the Chardonnay Arboleda of the Aconcagua Coast region. Delicate and unctuous, it has seduced me by its pleasant aromas of peach, pear and cinnamon. The fruity and caramelised character is also perceived in the mouth with a generous and enveloping body. The oak maturation brings some smoky notes that perfectly blend with the fruity ones, making it a very elegant wine and perhaps different from other young chardonnays of the new world, which can be fresher or lighter. In this case, Arboleda Chardonnay 2016 is a wine to enjoy and uncork now, without any doubt, but that can also be left to rest for about 2-3 years and thus it will reach, in my personal opinion, its maximum potential. Available as a specialty product in the SAQ shelves, this white wine with mediterranean profile and typical at its best…

Uncorking Melipal wines

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By Andrea La Forgia – Special Contributor in Buenos Aires Sommelier de Cava
Some days ago, I could participate in a tasting in a well-known wine shop, Lo de Joaquin Alberdi, in Buenos Aires. The wines, all red, called Melipal, which means Cruz Del Sur, like the stars, are very good examples of carefully and well-made wines. And they also show the place where they come from, in this case, Agrelo, Mendoza, Argentina. In the first place, we tasted Supernova I, 2015, Malbec and Cabernet Franc fermented together, 10 per cent aged in barrels, fruity and balanced and with limited number of bottles produced. Then the Blend, 2014, a complex blend of Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Fermented and aged in barrels separately and with a good potential of storage. Later, we could have the honor of doing a comparative tasting, from 2012, 2013, and 2014 of Las Nazarenas, a vineyard from 1923. These wines have the characteristic of being made at a low temperature contact with skins, soft press and b…

Finca Agostino: adding value to the good Argentine wine offer in Quebec!

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It is always a pleasure to see that the offer of Argentine wines continues to grow in these lands. And even more so when they are wines that go beyond the already standard and emblematic pure Malbec. It is not at all my wish that this variety cease to be a registered quality mark for my beloved country. I only consider opportune to invite consumers to discover and to be seduced by different Argentine wines, some good blends or made from other grape varieties. In a wide proposal you will find hidden and infinite treasures. Since a few weeks, they are available on the SAQ shelves and I was curiously seduced by tasting these two wines from Finca Agostino, a winery whose history interconnects Argentina and Canada. Its owners are four brothers from Italian origin who lived their childhood in Mendoza and then emigrated in the 60s to Montreal. They promised to return and honor their grandfather and their lands, and thus was born this winery located in the beautiful andean lands of Maipú. Let …

MontGras and its new, fresh and affordable Fumé blanc!

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DeGras Reserva Fumé Blanc 2016
Viña Montgras
DO Colchagua Valley - Chile
Sauvignon Blanc 100%
SAQ Price: $ 10.20

For those addicted to the expressiveness that this variety offers us in Chilean lands, I would like to introduce you to this new arrival: the Viña MontGras Fumé Blanc with an excellent price-quality ratio.
Already used to the versatility of its reds, this winery in the Colchagua Valley, which has practiced reasonable agriculture since 1993, is now trying to seduce local consumers with a new proposal: a fresh, aromatic and affordable white wine.
With subtle nose notes of citrus fruits, fresh herbs and green tea, it is a light and seductive wine. In the mouth, it gives us some mineral notes, but they are without doubt its citrus characteristics that provide that notorious but very pleasant acidity that leaves us a refreshing and enveloping finish.
Ideal to accompany summer salads, shrimp cocktails or grilled white fish, DeGras Fumé Blanc is a zestful and fresh wine easy to drink …

Corte Giara Valpolicella, the freshness of a simple and authentic wine

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Allegrini Valpolicella 2015
Corte Giara
Valpolicella DOC - Italy
SAQ Price: $ 15.60
Let's travel to beautiful Italy, even if only through the tasting of one of their wines. Today we land in Valpolicella, one of the best-known Italian wine regions in the world. The Allegrini Valpolicella is a soft and balanced red made from two native varieties: corvina and rondinella. The nose shows subtle notes of red fruits, flowers and spices. In the mouth it is an elegant wine, delicate, with a marked but pleasant acidity and a persistent and gentle fruity finish. A well achieved Valpolicella, approachable and delicious, to enjoy either as an aperitif or as a companion of homemade Italian Cucina dishes.

Arboleda and its Carmenere of the highest quality to fall in love with the variety

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Arboleda Carmenere 2015
Arboleda Wines
Aconcagua Valley - Chile
SAQ Price: $ 21.95
A new specialty product has arrived at the SAQ shelves. Let's welcome this Carmenere Arboleda 2015, of the wonderful and unique Aconcagua Valley, that perfectly fit our avid palates of good wines! Pure chilean essence, it is a 100% of this red variety that, in my humble opinion, is one of the most mysterious, different, interesting and almost exclusive one from the Andes terroir. In the nose is a soft and elegant wine, with pleasant notes of red and black fruits, such as raspberry, gooseberry or blackberries. All this fruity profile is complemented by balsamic and spicy aromas. A wine with an exquisite, subtle and delicate bouquet! Once in the mouth, it reminds me that it is a wine with a certain structure and body, given by its passage through french oak barrels for 12 months. Some notes of cinnamon, pepper and licorice make it slightly refreshing, and in the end it expresses with fineness its fruity …

Macho Man: intense and elegant Monastrell, 100% seduction!

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Macho Man Monastrell 2014 The Wine Gurus - Bodegas Casa Rojo DOP Jumilla SAQ Price: $ 21.65 Ole, Ole, here we are, in front of a wine impossible to forget. Already with his name and his label I found it attractive, but the best, I assure you, is tasting it. It is absolutely delicious. The Monastrell (also known as Mourvedre) is the grape variety that in my opinion will become soon the vedette of the great Spanish wines. And Jumilla is one of the Iberian wine regions of which more is being said at the international level.This wine is a reference of the new Spanish wine’s trends ... take it into consideration!Macho Man is a powerful wine. With intense aromas of marmalade and red fruits, some cinnamon, pepper and fresh wood, it is a wine of mineral and Mediterranean character with a great expression of its terroir. In the mouth, it is generous, unctuous, with a balsamic body and and we still feel the flavory notes of fruit in jam and some other woody notes given by its 4 months in barrel. Th…

Montgras Quatro, Cabernet and much more of pure Chilean essence

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Montgras Quatro Cabernet Sauvignon - Carmenere - Syrah - Malbec DO Colchagua Valley - Chile SAQ Price: $ 17.15
Much has been said about the particularities of the Chilean terroir and its influence on some varieties. In my opinion, Cabernet Sauvignon coming from these South American lands has a particularity that I can not find in other wine regions of the world. Its menthol aromas make a different and pleasant cabernet. And when added with other varieties such as Syrah, Carmenere and Malbec in order to make it rounder and stronger, the result can be spectacular. Such is the case of this Montgras Quatro, a red wine of great structure and personality. The wines of Viña Montgras use to please the Quebec consumer because of its excellent price-quality ratio. Made from the four emblematic varieties of Chilean reds, which were assembled after standing independently in oak barrels for 9 months, we have a wine overflowing with ripe fruit, rounded tannins, generous, enveloping and with a velvety bod…

Soprasasso: Classic Chardonnay, Italian style

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Soprasasso Chardonnay 2015 MGM Mondo del Vino IGT delle Venezie - Italy SAQ Price: $ 14.55 This Italian Chardonnay is a jewel to discover. With all the typical notes of this elegant variety, it overflows with fruity aromas and hints of white flowers, honey and toast. In the mouth, it has a very pleasant unctuosity, since part of the wine has passed through oak barrels. Time enough to give to the wine the necessary body to be very enveloping, with notes of ripe fruit, peach, pear and vanilla. A very good wine, balanced, easy to drink and with a velvety finish that will make you want for more. Coming from the beautiful region of Venice, it is an interesting wine to know about the Chardonnay, classic French variety of international character, and to see how it behaves in the rest of the world. In this case, in the beautiful Italy!

A new line of Bulgarian wines to enjoy all year long!

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By Marina La Forgia It has come to my hands and to my curious sommelier palate this new line of wines from Villa Yustina, Bulgaria, represented here in Quebec by P & V Wines. Available for the moment in private imports, and $ 22 per bottle, I invite you to discover the whole range, made with the most representative international varieties planted in the Thracian Valley, wine region of the south of the country, with optimal mediterranean climate and which begins to be more and more recognize in the world. It is no a small matter that Wine Enthusiast magazine has recently cataloged this region as one of the best wine destinations in the world.

4 Seasons Spring Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon I dare say that it is a wine in the image and likeness of what should be this season: the proliferation of aromas and colors and the arrival of the warmer days! A wine of delicate notes of tropical fruits, melon and apple. In the mouth it is refreshing, dry and with a mineral character that makes i…