Oak Heights 2007 Chardonnay $14.95
I've never heard of this winery before so I was curious. I was pleasantly surprised! The picture here is of the 2006 vintage. I tried the 2007. This is a small boutique winery called Oak Heights Estate Winery located in Northumberland County in Ontario (approx. 1 hour East of Toronto). This wine had subtle oak flavour and the fruit is actually sourced from the Niagara region. Interestingly enough, this winery uses Canadian oak only for their oak-aged wines. For the money, this is a nice wine.
Malivoire 2007 Gamay $17.95
I always enjoy the Gamay from Malivoire. The winemaker's name is Shiraz (yes, that's his real name). He's a nice guy (with good taste in music, well, likes my kind of music) and his wines are delicious. This Gamay won't disappoint. Serve it slightly chilled for maximum enjoyment. If I'm ever out on the town and see this wine on the menu, I order it.
Hidden Bench 2007 Chardonnay $35.20
A bit on the pricer side of the scale, this Chardonnay packs a big oak y punch. If you like your Chardonnays in a more California style, with big oak flavour, then you'll enjoy this wine.
Mas Estela Quindals 2005 $19.95
Sorry for the small picture! This is one of the "Wines of the Month" at the LCBO. It comes from the Empordà region of Spain. This wine is a blend of 90% Grenache (Garnacha in Spanish), 5% Syrah and 5% Carignan (Carinena in Spanish). Aged in French oak for a year, this wine has good fruit and body with spicy flavours. It says in the tasting notes that the wine will still open up for another 2-3 years and drink well into 2020! Now that $20 will go a long way.
I try not to get hung up on scores because what may be one person's 90, may be another person's 80. I find myself sometimes saying "Wow, 90+...should be great", only to be disapointed because my palate is different than the person who scored the wine. We can all agree upon which wines have fault or which wines may have more fruit or even perhaps complexity but when it comes to something you like or don't like - each person is different. Things would get pretty boring if we all loved and disliked the same wines. Before getting caught up in the hype, try one bottle and see if you like it. If you have the chance to try before you buy (for example, Summerhill LCBO Tasting Tour), even better. That's my little rant for the evening. Time for Seinfeld.