By Le Sommelier, another Certified “Good Food Fighter

In this Saturday’s release, LCBO VINTAGES is featuring a real treat!

Parker’s Wine Advocate rates both of these wines 90 points, and both are under $17!

The Zingari is a ripe and juicy red blend from the Maremma, where the summer is long and warm, with cool nights.  Equal parts Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah and Alicante (not Petit Verdot), this puppy’s a mouthful!

The white is from a winery I discovered five years ago, during a trip to Le Marche, a region on the Adriatic coast best known for their white wine, Verdicchio. Ciu Ciu is a small winery, owned by two brothers who farm their land organically, without the use of systemic fungicides, pesticides or herbicides.  This 100% Pecorino (a grape varietal indigenous to Le Marche) is fresh, zesty, and generous in the mouth!

Both of these wines are a STEAL!

2008 Petra

Zingari IGT Toscana

The estate vineyards are located at the foot of the hills, some in the Suvereto and some in Riotorto area of Tuscany. The soil is predominantly clay and sand, which gives vibrant and aromatic wine. The grapes are picked by hand from late August, through to October, and are left to macerate for only 7 to 10 days to preserve this luscious fruit.
Fermentation and refinement take place in steel-and-concrete vats and large barrels.


“The 2008 Zingari is a blend of equal parts Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot aged entirely in stainless steel. It is an absolutely fabulous entry-level red from Maremma. Smoke, underbrush, liquorice and truffles add complexity to the generous, dark fruit. Medium in body yet wonderfully intense, the Zingari impresses for its sheer richness and density. There is enough freshness for the Zingari to drink well for a number of years. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2014.” (Antonio Galloni,, Aug. 2010)

2009 Ciu Ciu

La Merlettaie Pecorino Offida


“Here’s a Mediterranean-style wine with loads of character and depth for the money. The flavours span a broad range from sweet and resinous herbs, to lemon and lemon blossom, violets, wildflowers freshly cut hay, and on and on. The palate is generous and mouth filling, with excellent length and intensity. Match-made for serious fish or white meat (porchetta, rabbit fricassee) generously herb-flavoured and drizzled with olive oil and lemon. Tasted July 2011. Value Rating: ***” (John Szabo, Master Sommelier, Wine Align)

Score: 90
“Succulent ripe peaches, apricots, flowers and lightly honeyed tones are wrapped together in a soft, caressing frame in the 2009 Pecorino Le Merlettaie. Despite the plush style, this offers gorgeous overall balance not to mention tons of style. The expressive, perfumed fruit leaves a lasting impression on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2013.” (Antonio Galloni,, Aug. 2010)