Botanica has grown to be one of my favourite South African producers since arriving at Bishop’s Cellar and this latest entry does not disappoint. Crafted with an old world sensibility and elegance, this is a must for any Chenin lover, Loire or otherwise.
Bright green apple and stone fruit are at the forefront, but subtleties emerge of almond, stony minerality, and hints of baking spice. This wine has seen moderate time in oak on its lees, giving a beautiful rich and creamy texture.
Pairs well with trips to the botanical gardens, painting landscapes, oysters with the girls (Champagne who??), Florence + The Machine playing from another room, and the first day of vacation.Read more about Cody
Wine Category Manager
La Baronne is owned and operated by Dr Jean Ligneres and his wife, Anne. This plot of land has been looked after by the same family since the late 19th century. Located at the foot of the D’Alaric Montagne in Corbieres, these vines see no shortage of sun throughout the growing season.
This wine is 100% Grenache and is produced by adhering to biodynamic principles. The grapes are hand harvested and sorted in the vineyards and then again in the cellar before the grapes are destemmed, are fermented using natural yeasts and the wine is bottled without the addition of sulfur.
Bright and fresh, this wine is meant to be enjoyed slightly chilled. I highly suggest a short time in a decanter to further enhance the freshness.Read more about Jason
Wine Category Manager
Spanish producer Miguel Torres arrived in Chile in the late 70’s and established itself as one of the top and well respected producers of high quality wines. They have done so while maintaining the environment and their community in the Curico Valley.
This Carmenere is everything you want and expect. Bold, smokey, earthy, spicy, with luscious dark fruit. Soft tannins and a palate coating texture. This wine is ideal for cooler fall evenings watching Playoff Baseball or with a hearty tomato based pasta. Also, I have always loved the combination of Carmenere and Dragon’s Breath Blue Cheese.Read more about Jason
Sommelier and Retail Manager
Domaine de la Madone is a new producer for Bishop’s Cellar. The quality and value of both the wines we carry is exceptional. As with all my favourite wineries the energy is directed to the vineyard to produce the best quality of fruit possible.
This Beaujolais is fresh, with notes of blackberries, morello cherries, and cardamom spice. The palate is light in body but big in flavour with all the notes of the palate carrying through. The wine finishes with bright fresh acidity and fine tannins.
I have enjoyed this throughout the summer, slightly chilled paired with chicken dishes, veggies or on its own. It is now one of my favorite go to wines for any night of the week!Read more about Kathryn
After saving up enough money while managing the vineyards at Château de Flaugergues for five years, Jean-Marie Rimbert was able to make his first purchase of ancient Carignan vine. Today, Jean-Marie has 20 Hectares spread throughout St. Chinian AOC, in Languedoc-Roussillon, Producing a diverse selection of wines – many of which are organic and biodynamic.
Rimbert’s “L’Agathe” is a delicate white wine, packing aromas of pear, citrus, green pepper and baking spices. A dry wine, with moderate acidity – it sure delivers a refreshing sip.
Try this one with a crispy garden salad or herb pesto pasta. Yum.Read more about Keegan
Refreshment Category Manager
This incredibly crisp white wine from the Basque country in Northern Spain is the perfect companion to all shellfish, pintxos, and charcuterie!
Pronounced cha-ko-lee, this is an indigenous wine to the cool coastal region. Crisp acidity, saline minerality, and lower abv makes Txakoli great for warm weather patio drinking.Read more about Lucas
This has been a favourite Pinot Noir of mine for quite some time, as it consistently delivers on both quality and value.
In the glass, clear, very reflective and bright. Aromas of ‘almost-in-the-oven’ Cherry Pie that include dominant red fruit and bread/pastry dough. Notes of leather, newer oak, and a pleasant amount of smokiness. The palate delivers what the nose has promised; generous bright red fruit and wonderful baking spice aromas to round everything out. Fine, integrated tannins make this suitable on its own or ready to pair with anything from a cheese plate to a traditional turkey dinner!Read more about Martha
Founded in 2011 with a focus solely on varietals indigenous to the Loire Valley, Lieu Dit Winery’s 100% Cabernet Franc could almost be mistaken as an French export. All of the fruit comes from the Santa Ynez Valley – the same location where the wine film Sideways is based/shot. Floral and herbaceous with cherries, raspberries, and a hint of tobacco; If you close yours eyes, you’d think you were floating down the Loire River!
After countless bottles over the years, founders Eric Railsback and Justin Willett aimed to create something that reflected the wine from France that they loved and it certainly shows. Serve this slightly chilled with charcuterie, or try it with a delicate chicken or pork dish with a heaping side of grilled veg!Read more about Ryan
“When the winegrower is the author…”
If you’ve read any of my recommendations before you might know that I appreciate when a non-English speaking winemaker has the confidence to not rely on appealing to an English-speaking audience. My pet theory is that the fewer English words on the bottle the better the wine must be! Bodegas Aessir challenges this assertion while at the same time exemplifying this disregard spectacularly! Look at that label – no frills spent on the marketing department there! But there is some no fuss use of English stating directly what the deal is with what is to be found inside the bottle. This is a natural wine and, as they say on their website, that means, “the winegrower is the author.”
This natural beauty is a great example of the pleasure of wines where the grapes are allowed to come to the fore. This is a spritely rather than ponderous Syrah. Bright, clean juiciness shines through well-balanced, it lingers for just a while on the tongue.Read more about Sandy
This Loire Valley Vouvray is made from organic low-yielding Chenin Blanc grapes grown on flinty limestone soil. More off-dry than dry, this luxurious, focused and tender wine has a refreshing balance and notes of Golden Delicious apples, pears and honey with an undercurrent of minerality throughout.
A great wine to transition us into autumn, perfect for Pixar’s Ratatouille-esque food pairing revelations: Szechuan, spicy greens, pork loin, mussels, and on and on! You could even tuck this away for Thanksgiving – it deserves a feast. (Or a movie night, say with a little film about a little rat who dreams of being a chef?)Read more about Erica
Lightfoot Ancienne Chardonnay
You don’t have to travel far to find one of the most beautiful Chardonnay’s you’ll ever taste! Cool air and an abundance of Fundy saltwater breezes add to the complexity of this lively Chardonnay. Aged for 18 months on french oak, look for subtle notes of vanilla, lemon sorbet and peach blossom. This wine is fresh, balanced, with a creamy mouthfeel as a result of wild fermentation. Try it with lobster to top off a true Nova Scotian feast! (Fun fact: look at the hawk on the label, holding a traditional Acadian farming tool and a Nova Scotia mayflower to honour their roots).Read more about Payton
Established in 1999 after over two decades of consulting and becoming the “Queen of the Torrontes grape”, Susana Balbo settled in Lujan de Cuya, Mendoza to put her expertise to practice. The venture was incredibly fruitful, as she was awarded numerous titles, including being listed as one of the “10 most influential women in the wine world” by Drink Business Magazine in 2018.
This Crios Torrontes is the perfect expression of the grape and how Susana has harnessed its qualities and expression throughout many years of working with it. It is bright, fresh, medium bodied and very aromatic. With strong white flower, orange blossom and lychee on the nose, the palette holds up with apricot, lively acidity and a strong mineral finish. What doesn’t this wine pair with? Other than overpowering umami flavours, this wine would be in perfect company with almost any summer dish. Green salads and Asian dishes have been my favourite pairings but strong cheeses, even goat cheese and smoked seafood would bring out excellent qualities in this wine as well. Enjoy!Read more about Tess
The Bobal Blanc de Noirs from Bodegas Aessir is truly something special. “Wait….What’s Bobal? What’s a Blanc de Noirs?” I hear you asking.
A Blanc de Noirs is a white wine made from red grapes, in this case, the Bobal variety. The winemaker limits the amount of contact the juice and red skins will have in order to preserve a white colour and brighter flavours. Sounds strange, right? It is, but this rather uncommon practice yields some delicious results.
The wine tastes like a summery fruit salad – cantaloupe, honeydew, table grapes, pineapple and just about any other fresh fruit you can think of. The flavours intermingle in such a charming and delicious way that will please wine-geeks and weekend warriors alike. There is energy and personality for days in this surprising, dark horse of a summer sipper.Read more about Stefan
Brewed in Aying Germany, the Ayinger brewery has been around for over 130 years. Now led by Franz Inselkhammer III, the third generation brewer carries the same standards for quality authentic Bavarian traditions as when their doors first opened.
Considered a lighter style, but still with plenty going on, it’s often called “German Champagne”. With it’s rich white head; beautiful pale and hazy body; lots of banana and spicy clove notes on the nose and palate. This might be the perfect example of a German Hefeweizen.
While writing this, I was eating a delicious soft pretzel. There may have been slightly too much garlic on my own pretzel, but I can think of no better pairing to enjoy the taste of Bavaria in your own home.Read more about Matt
Did you read Matt’s staff pick last month? Well, he was right. This is STILL the wine to drink and something people need to try.
I was hesitant about buying a bottle so I had a glass at Obladee and was so blown away I ended up buying two bottles.
This is a blend of Bonarda and Barbera which makes a great smooth, and rich bottle of wine. Acidity is balanced with a fruit forward wonderful Cherry Cola or Dr Pepper flavour, and soft tannin. Super interesting, super fun, and super easy to pick up multiple bottles!Read more about Jesse
Carmen Carmenere hails from the Apalta Valley, one of Chile’s finest terroirs. Once mistaken for Merlot this little grape originated in Southwest Bordeaux but finds its best expression in Chile.
The Carmenere grape has an intense, dark purple colour in the glass. The nose has lots of ripe berries (blackberry, cherry and plum) with a touch of tobacco and pepper. The palate has lots of smooth velvety tannins, lower acidity and a wonderful finish after aging 14 months in French oak.
Try this lesser known, medium bodied wine with any grilled meats or savoury pastas dishes!Read more about Leslie