In this Saturday’s VINTAGES release, Le Sommelier has two great wines for you to enjoy, with family and friends over Easter, and beyond.

Donatella Colombini at Home

Treat yourself to another beautiful Brunello from the Lady of Brunello herself, Donatella Cinellli Colombini.

Please read the article that came out last week in The Guardian about Donatella Cinelli Colombini, describing Donatella’s first all-woman vineyard in Italy. For those of you who weren’t able to attend the Benvenuto Brunello tasting that VINTAGES put on on March 8 (also International Women’s Day), you missed an amazing evening. We poured two Colombini Brunellos, the 2010 (ordered specially for the event) and the 2008 Brunello that will be released through VINTAGES on Saturday. Although initially thought not to be a very strong vintage by most, I think the Brunellos from 2008 have really started to come into their own. Consumers who tasted it agreed with me, and loved the aromas and flavours from this now eight year old wine. Master Sommelier John Szabo on the other hand, loved this wine from the moment he first tasted it at its release at the Benvenuto Brunello tasting in 2013 (see his review below).

The second wine that is part of this release is a great value, elegant Chardonnay from California’s cool North Coast. Silver Palm is a premium winery produced by one of California’s most important wineries, Jackson Family Wines. The grapes for this wine come exclusively from California’s North Coast (76% Mendocino County, 18% Sonoma, 6% Napa). The region is profoundly influenced by cool coastal air and fog from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in temperate vineyard microclimates ideal for the cultivation of crisp and soft Chardonnay. This wine was fermented primarily in stainless steel, with just a touch of neutral French and American oak to give it roundness and complexity. At $19.95, this wine should not be missed. Enjoy!!

Bernard Stramwasser
Le Sommelier

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Notes and reviews…

Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello 2008 Bottle Shot
This “Classic” Brunello matures for at least two years in large oak casks and medium sized barrels, then ages in bottle for approximately three years prior to release.

“Fine, elegant, high-toned and floral, with a real sense of clay stone-minerality alongside bright red fruit, perfectly ripe and fresh. The palate is medium-full-bodied, with substantial volume and intensity, concentration without excess and a fine, long finish. Refined and classy.” Score: 93 (John Szabo, MS,, July 7, 2013)

“A vintage perceived as tough, difficult, demanding and volatile is just now entering the zone of changing perceptions. It has taken all this time to realize its abilities. Longevity for one. Beauty behind the mask, the other. Concentration is not so much ripeness and richness but of deeper meaning than that. Nothing here sits on the surface. Peel away a layer of orange, spice bark and bulb husk to taste from the inner fruit. From the core. “There is fire, there is life, there is passion, fever and fury.” That is Brunello. The tannins persist with near nastiness but there is so much to look forward too. Wait two more years. Drink 2018-2028. Tasted March 2016.” Score: 93 (Michael Godel,, Mar 6, 2016)

Varietal: 100% Sangiovese
Region: Tuscany, Italy
Price: $44.95 (per bottle)
LCBO#: 113357 (click to find a participating store)

Silver Palm Chardonay North Coast 2014
Silver Palm Chardonnay
Tasting Note:
“Buttery and tropical, with toast, vanilla, baked apple and spice filling out the aromas. The palate is lively and flavourful with a whack of replays. This is a wine that is sure to be a hit, especially when served with seafood or fish – try a crab-stuffed-flounder recipe and hit all the marks. (VINTAGES panel, June 2015) “


“The grapes are drawn from California’s North Coast AVA, which includes Mendocino (76 per cent), Sonoma (18) and Napa (6) counties. The amalgamation works well within context of such a buttery, gold dust woman expression. This is Chardonnay of ripe fruit, generous oak and mild acidity. There is not much it wouldn’t do or many who wouldn’t give it their full attention. It breaks no new ice and won’t shatter your illusions of love. Like 1970’s soft rock that lingers for decades. Drink 2016-2017. Tasted January 2016.” Score: 87 (Michael Godel,, Jan 21, 2016)

Varietal: Chardonay
Region:  North Coast, California
Price: $19.95 (per bottle)
LCBO#: 441063 (click to find a participating store)

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