by Bernard Stramwasser for Le Sommelier, a ‘Certified Good Food Fighter’

Last Saturday, we brought in two wines to the LCBO’s Vintages program from the Barossa Valley in South Australia, a region that boasts some of the oldest Shiraz and Grenache vines in the world. We hope you get a chance to try them while supplies last (click on the inventory numbers to find stores with each wine in stock). Here are our tasting notes:

2006 Loan Vineyards Semillon Barossa Valley Australia (LCBO Vintages #108092) $15.95

Tasting Note: A fine, traditional, somewhat fuller-flavoured style of Semillon that Australia does quite well. Features aromas of peach, lanolin and binned apple. Dry, with very good aroma replays on the palate. Medium bodied wine with a solid finish. A good match for a variety of fish dishes, or  salads topped with grilled chicken. (VINTAGES panel, Sept. 2009)

Score – 88. (Jay Miller,, “White values $20 and under.” Feb. 2009)

2008 Boxhead Shiraz Barossa Valley Australia (LCBO Vintages #166967) $16.95

Tasting Note: Boxhead’s label is guaranteed to catch your eye. Fortunately, the wine inside is as compelling as the packaging. This is a solid, lush, ripe and full-bodied Shiraz with aromas of ripe raspberry, blackberry, plum and peppery spice for balance. This playful wine is the perfect choice for a backyard barbecue featuring plenty of meat.

Both these vineyards are commited to sustainable practices. Find out more about them at, for the Boxhead, and, for Loan Wines.