The Pinot is worth every penny!

Thanks to a fine young man selling Toronto Star subscriptions and ensuring me that my home delivered paper would arrive by 6:30 AM (and so far so good) a morning routine, coffee and a read of the paper is now again part of my daily routine.

Of course being a bit of a wino, one of the features I enjoy most is “The Wine Find” authored by wine writer and freelance contributor to the Star, Carolyn Evans Hammond.

The idea behind Cheapo Wines, I admit, came from reading her column on Dec. 29th when the Star published “Five great wines for less than $10.”

It’s obvious to me that many wino’s read the Star and her column. Who doesn’t like great cheap wine?  By the time I made it to the LCBO I was only able to fine one of the five she had recommended but one of the fine staff members had a few of her own choices in mind…so here we go!

Just so you know, I am kind of a Vintages snob. I rarely look at anything under $15.00 and although what you are going to read about are OK wines, they may be great for the price but are certainly not what I would consider ‘great’.

Oggi Botter Primitivo IGT – $9.25
Puglia, Italy 2017

Well Catherine was bang on with this one.  Good wine for under $10.00.

What Catherine says…”From the heady aromas of plums and dates, mint and cinnamon, to the juicy hit plump cherries laced with warm tobacco and earth this medium bodied red wine is a textbook example of Primitivo a steal of a price.Primitivo, grown all over the Puglia in southern Italy, is the same grape variety as Zinfandel – California’s flagship red.

What do I think…it was my first bottle south of $10 in a long time so I was pleasantly surprised.  I get the red cherries, but not so much the tobacco and earth.  Medium bodied with very intense color, nice aroma and even nicer going down.

With a little help from my friendly LCBO worker I was lead to the next 2…
Lab Red Lisboa VR – $9.90
Portugal 2016

What the experts say – From the region near Portugal’s capital of Lisbon, LAB Red shows well, offering generous red and black fruit with fine-textured tannins. Spicy notes on the finish are contributed by four months ageing in oak. A stylish blend of syrah, cabernet and touriga nacional grape varieties.

What do I think?  I am a sucker for anything with a dog on it!  It was OK very young, dry and an unrefined taste to it. It did the trick with some pizza.  Can’t say I would rush out and buy more but an OK cheapo under $10.

Julia Florista White – $8.95
White Blend – Portugal

What the experts say – Fresh and fruity, with aromas of tropical fruit and citrus in the foreground. On the palate, enjoy flavours of passionfruit and citrus, with refreshing minerality on the finish. Serve with grilled fish or seafood.

What do I think – Fresh and fruity for sure, the passion fruit stood out.  Not sure that I would serve with a meal but can see this as a chug-a-lug wine – sitting on a deck on a hot sunny afternoon after a round of golf!
FYI – bought the red as well – save it for next time!

Stepping it up just a little bit!
Srella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Reserva – $17.95
Italy 2015

What the experts say – Cannonau is the Sardinian name for that darling Mediterranean grape, Grenache. This traditional version has complex flavours of plum, wild berries, leather and spice. Enjoy with grilled lamb or beef kebabs, or osso buco.

What do I think – This is a solid red, some bold flare and nice aroma.  Plum and berries I agree with.  Leather??? Seriously??? Never tasted any leather that I really liked.  C’mon man!
Good value.

Back up to the comfort zone!
Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon – $22.95
Paso Robles, California

One of my favorite wine regions in California.

Born of a symbol of independence.  Made by those and for those that carve their own path.

What the experts say – Fruit driven in style, this wine showcases classic varietal flavours of dark cherry, black berry and black currant layered with notes of toasted oak and soft velvety tannins.

What do I think – I like it!  Smooth, full bodied, great to the nose and flavourful!

Saving the Best for Last!

Siduri Pinot Noir 2015 – $44.95
Russioan River Valley, California

From one great region in California to one of my two favorite Pinot regions, Russian River Valley.  Love Pinot’s from here.

What the experts say – Aromas of dark berry and plum. Hints of mushroom. Medium to full body, beautiful balance and texture. Lots of light chocolate and spice. Extremely well done for the vintage.

What do I think – It is a winner!!!  Loved it’s full body flavours and many of them medium bodied in texture. Taking the last sip was tough!