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Category Archives: Red Wines

@ClosdesFous (Grillos Cantores) Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (Chile) 14%

I tasted the Clos de Fous, Cabernet Sauvignon the other day during a girl’s night. My friend explained to me that the bottle had been gifted to her. Jumping on the occasion to try this wine, I read the tasting notes behind the bottle.

I was surprised to read that this type of wine hadn’t been aged in a wood based barrel. Which brought about the question, but how does one age wine if it’s not in a barrel.

No mystery goes unsolved with Google; we quickly sought out an answer. We weren’t disappointed.
Aging wine in cement tanks has been a process that goes back as far as Ancient Rome. A lot of modern wine makers have stopped making their wines in barrels, opting for these cement vats.

This vineyard ages their wine in cement containers. This technique obliterates any oaky flavours – which to tell you the truth completely blew my mind. How can a wine not have any woody taste/tones? (You can ask my friend, this was a topic that I had trouble distancing myself from – even after we discovered the aging process and vineyards opt for it.)

In essence this technique is very organic. Some say it allows the wine a more pure and porous aging process, allowing it to have a more mineral base.
On that note…

Clos des Fous (Grillos Cantores) Cabernet Sauvignon  2011 (Chile) 14% SAQ $20.25

Clos des Fous (Grillos Cantores) Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (Chile) 14%
SAQ $20.25

The Clos de fous, Cabernet Sauvignon has a very lovely colour, an almost purple-y ruby.
Right off the bat your nose will know there’s something completely different. I’m not going to lie, I could distinctly decipher the scent of an old cellar or crawl space; a basement; or even an old house came to mind. I really had to push through beyond that smell. (This is the first time I had tried a wine that had been aged this way. I’m sure the more I try, the less overwhelming the smell will be.)

If you get past the strong first smell, your taste buds will not be disappointed. It’s odd not tasting the smoky and woody scents you’re used to with reds. I think the grape is nearly at its purest. There’s something there that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to taste normally. It’s almost as if you can taste the earth, the vine and the climate the grape was grown in. It was odd to say.

It’s a distinctive colour, smell and taste. If you’re willing to try something new, I definitely
recommend this bottle.



@CupcakeVineyards ’ Cabernet Sauvignon (2010) $14.95 LCBO

*** A Saturday Night Wine Girl’s FAVORITE ***

As a wine aficionado I enjoy visiting the LCBO. The LCBO is the equivalent of my candy store. As a resident of the Province of Quebec, beer is extremely inexpensive; however wine on the other hand is pretty pricey.

When I walk into my local alcohol commission, due to budget restraints, I can’t really go wild when it comes to tasting wines on the pricier end of the tag.

This is why I go wild at the LCBO – what with Ontario Discovery Series and the opportunity to finally taste different (quality) wines that are adequately priced.

The first bottle I picked up was a Cabernet Sauvignon by Cupcake – a winery based out of California. Californian wines are quite expensive in Quebec. I really don’t have to opportunity to truly appreciate them, because I’ll opt for something from Europe in the same price range before I buy anything from the States.

Cupcake Vineyards' Cabernet Sauvignon - Simply a delight!

Cupcake Vineyards’ Cabernet Sauvignon – Simply a delight!

Cupcake didn’t let me down. Its bottle design in the first thing that caught my eye – its decorative blue tag was a fun detail. The bottle wasn’t the only interesting point to this well bodied red – as soon as I poured the wine into my glass I knew I was in for a treat. It had such a pleasant red colour – a bright ruby red. It released its secrets almost immediately, its subtle scent of berries – I just couldn’t resist and took my first taste. It was such a smooth, unaggressive red – the first taste revealed cherry and blackberries. I find some Cabernets pretty oaky, but not Cupcake – the oak was there, but not overwhelming. Its flavours and smells blended so well together.

I was so sad to have only purchased one bottle of what is now one of my favorite Cabernet Sauvignons. This wine truly needs to be savoured. There are so many different aspects to be discovered with each sip. I highly recommend Cupcake’s Cab to everyone.

Just writing this has made me want to go out splurge on a bottle tonight!!


Les Jamelles Pinot Noir (SAQ $14.35)

I was introduced to Les Jamelles’ Pinot Noir a few years back by one of my good friends. During a night out for supper at a local bring-your-own-wine (BYOW) joint we stopped by the local alcohol commission to pick up some wine. I’m pretty much up for anything (except Chardonnay) so I let her pick. She mentioned she had a lot of trouble finding this particular wine. After talking to a store associate we managed to get our hands on two bottles – to my friend’s great delight.

I have to say the wine paired very well with our meal at the Italian restaurant we had chosen.

Les Jamelles, as I discovered writing this review, has been bottling wines from the South of France (Languedoc-Roussillon) since 1991. I’ve sampled their Sauvignon Blanc regularly and enjoy it a lot. I find their collection brings together quality French wines at an affordable price. It’s no different with their Pinot Noir.

Les Jamelles' Charming Pinot Noir

Les Jamelles’ Charming Pinot Noir

There’s nothing more seductive to me than a sexy tinted red wine. It’s the perfect ruby colour, a balance between a deep, dark red – bordering a bright red. I really don’t enjoy reds that reds bordering transparent. Having this delightfully coloured liquid swish around it my glass makes me want to taste it immediately, but I don’t. I let the aromas make their way to my nose, slowly discovering what this wine has in store for me. It has a subtle fruity aroma mixed alongside a slightly floral scent. I can finally take a sip of this ruby gem. There is no mistaking this wine is charming. A mix of berries and oak gives this wine the total package. I don’t like my wines aggressive, but there seems to be a balance with Les Jamelles Pinot Noir, it packs a punch but doesn’t knock you out.

It’s definitely a wine that should be savoured to be properly enjoyed. Take your time to get acquainted with what I’m certain will surely become one of your new favourite reds.


@FuzionWines Zuccardi Mendoza (Argentina) 2012 Fuzion Shiraz/Malbec $9.70 (SAQ)

Fuzion is my friends’ M & PL’s AMAZING discovery. A few years back we were over at their place having supper. After having read a review about Fuzion through one of the city’s newspapers – an affordable quality wine (a myth, could it possible) – they picked a few bottles for our little get together. I can’t remember what we ate, but I do know the evening was a lively one and that’s when Fuzion became my staple red wine.

Fuzion proves yet again that pricing and wine quality are all relative.



For skeptics, you know your pretentions are going to knocked right out of you once you pour that first glass. It’s very seductive purple/red colour will entice you to take that first sip.

Your swirl will release a impressive aroma. Once you take that first sip, I know you will become a fan too. Its blend of Shiraz and Malbec grapes give this wine an unconventional edge. I enjoy pairing it with pretty much anything or on its own. If you have the time to spare, I do suggest you decant first for 30 minutes, it will give it a smoother finish.

Try it, I know you won’t regret it.


@yellowtail_aust (Eastern Autralia) 2012 Shiraz $13.70 (SAQ)

I was introduced to Yellow Tail’s Shiraz through my stepdaughter. A diehard lover of reds, this is her favorite and her staple.

I remember we travelled to Las Vegas a few years back. After a shopping trip to the Outlets we decided to visit Old Las Vegas. Walking through the laneway I was dying for a bottle of water. We popped into a combination souvenir/convenience store and what did we notice but a bevvy of wine’s lined-up,  all sitting pretty. Since we both really enjoy wine – a lot – this was a sight for sore eyes. Where it gets better, is the pricing – the bottles were nearly $5 less that at home in Montreal. For my stepdaughter who is Yellow Tail’s number one fan – once the realization hit that her favorite wine was less expensive, bottles started piling up in her arms and a great big smile appeared on her face. I remember when we got back to the room she called her, then, boyfriend immediately tell him about her amazing find. Thanks Las Vegas!!

It’s a wine that’s pricier than my usual choices, but well worth. It’s a wine that has a lot to offer all in a tight, neat, little package.  

Yellow Tail’s Shiraz

Yellow Tail’s Shiraz has a very attractive colour once poured into your glass.  A lovely shade that’s not too dark and thats shines a ruby red.

Swirling the wine immediately releases a lovely scent. However, I believe the real magic happens once you take that first sip –  the delicate vanilla adds a subtle je-ne-sais-quoi to the overall berry taste. I’ve also found that decanting the bottle at least 30 minutes prior really releases all the aromas the Shiraz has to offer. I prefer pairing it with red meat or even pasta, this wine will complement your meal.

Looking to change-up your staple red wine, the Yellow Tail Shiraz is most definitely a likely contender for your wine collection.


@ApothicWine Apothic Red California (blend) 2011 $16.50 (SAQ)

I was trying to find a great wine to celebrate my daughter-in-law’s 22 birthday. A great lover of reds, I set out on a mission to find a new wine that was above what we were used to drinking. After getting feedback from my colleagues at work and positive feedback from my Facebook friends, I opted to buy a bottle of Apothic Red.  

Apothic Red

 It’s imposing, yet moder bottle demands attention. I found it right away walking the aisle at the local alcohol commission.  Getting aquainted with my new friends, I perused it’s tag  and decided to purchase it. 

It’s colour is to-die-for. I have never seen a red wine with such a rich purple/red colour (and I’ve tasted A LOT of wines). It literrally took my breath away. Once I swirled it around the glass it was magical. The tag doesn’t lie when they say it’s an ‘intense’ wine. I was dying to take a sip… and that’s where it all went wrong. It’s a fruity red wine. I. don’t. like. fruity. red. wines. It was overbearing. I was so dissapointed.

NOW – that’s my personal taste. It was, however, a very complexe red wine, with many facets. It’s rich fruity aroma was delightful to my nose. As its name brings to mind Apothic, Apothecary – mixing the right balance.  I don’t believe my pairing with Tortellini did it any justice either. 

All that to say, I would try it again on its own…

My husband, stepson and daughter-in-law all loved it though. 


** UPDATE **

A second chance

A recent update my friends… When I had explained my experience with Apothic Red to my friends, family and colleagues – their jaws dropped and demanded that I taste it again. My circle is pretty accurate when it comes to rating wine. I pride myself on my wine savvy peeps.

I had a chance to taste Apothic Red once again. This time whilst on vacation in Cuba back in February with my family. Cuba’s great, but sometimes you need to pick up some bottles of wine at the Duty Free before taking off to paradise.

My stepdaughter is a die-hard fan of Apothic Red – a true fan. She insisted I try it again at one of our suppers at an à la carte restaurant – a French themed restaurant. I have to say that I was surprised. With a virgin palette Apothic came through. Everyone knows I love a deep, dark, ruby red wine and Apothic is that. I was able to swish the wine around and enjoy its gorgeous colour and savour the fruity aromas that were released. That first sip was surprising (once again) for a red wine. I just don’t associate sweetness to a red. However, on its own it was a quite pleasant experience. Once, I told my brain to shut up and just taste… it was an enjoyable time for my taste buds.

It was a still a little sweet for my preference, but overall a better experience that the first time around.

I can see how Apothic Red caters to a wide range of ages and palettes. It’s a well rounded wine that has something to offer to pretty much everyone. Way-to-go Apothic Red for your versatile red wine.