By Brian Brian Preston, The Travelling Sommelier
I am an exuberant supporter of the wines that Magnotta has consistently put out over the years and, like Michael Pinkus of www.OntarioWineReview.com says, any Ontario winery that can fight and beat the LCBO is a winner in my books. All one has to do is try their products and be amazed at the quality and price value because they do not sell through the LCBO, which increases wine costs by over 50%!
After over 20 years living in Ottawa, with many of those years as a member of the Guild, I have lived in Portland on Big Rideau Lake now for the past 6 years. In terms of access to wine and tasting events, there are advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is often being able to access popular wines in local LCBO stores that have already sold out in Ottawa. Another advantage is that I am closer to Prince Edward County and Niagara and can attend events in these areas, but a disadvantage is that attending Ottawa wine and Guild events takes some time and travel.
But for my Ottawa friends and colleagues, I just wanted to let you know that to my surprise and delight I came across a newly opened Magnotta wine store (613-541-1118) in Kingston, located off HWY 401 exit at Division Street, take a right to 101 Dalton Road, in the new outlet stores mall. There, John or Jane have a full range of products and they gladly put me through a complete tasting of many of their wines. While I did not get a chance to try them all, I can suggest the 2009 Toro Nero Cabernet Sauvignon, which is one of their Limited Edition wines: varietals carefully chosen from their vineyards; barrel aged for 12 to 18 months in French and American oak, then bottle aged for an additional six months. Regular price
is $18.95, but as a case is selling now for $168 (only $14 per bottle)! It is a big Italian-styled red which, for the price, is excellent. And then they have their Gran Reserva line of wines—their finest flagship wines ranging from $26 to $29 with only the 2008 Enotorium VQA at $45, consisting of the classic Bordeaux varietal blend.
It is a 45 minute drive from Portland and only a couple of hours from Ottawa. They also ship so check them out at www.magnotta.com.