By Le Sommelier a “Certified Good Food Fighter

In this Saturday’s VINTAGES release, we have two wines from the Iberian peninsula that are sure to wow you!
The Peique Joven is made from old vine Mencia grapes, grown in Spain’s Northwestern region of Bierzo.  A steal at only $13.95 (89 points Wine Advocate)!  If you travel about four hours due west, you will arrive at where the grapes for Quinta Nova’s Pomares were grown – the Douro Valley in Portugal.  Known historically for their sweet wines, the region has been making dry wines for some time now with great success.  The Pomares is full flavoured, with lots of character which Jamie Goode awarded 90 points, for $16.95! We’re talking tremendous value here people!! They are both great finds, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.


Bernard Stramwasser

Le Sommelier

Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo

Pomares 2008


“Lovely focused dark fruits nose of cherries, berries and plums. The palate is bright, fresh and precise with lovely presence and some nice grippy structure. Good acidity, with a hint of meatiness on the finish.”

Score: 90

(Jamie Goode,, March 2010)

“Open, fruity, fragrant floral and spicy, this has a nice, traditional appeal, without excess of ripeness, oakiness or herbal character. The palate is likewise juicy and fresh, elegant and refreshingly lean, making this a fine, food-friendly wine. Nicely balanced and very drinkable all around. Tasted February 2011. Value Rating: **1/2”

Score: 88
(John Szabo, MS,

“Cinnamon and spiced potpourri invite on the nose along with pepper and musk. Palate is firm and better structured than most in this release. Plummy texture with notes of stone and lead as well as juicy blackberry. Finish is above average in length and unfolds to unveil further complexity.”

Score: 88
(Sara d’Amato,

Varietals: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz
Region: DOC Douro, Portugal
Price: $16.95 (per bottle)
LCBO #214007

Click here to locate this wine at your local LCBO.

Bodegas Peique

Tinto Mencia 2009


“The 2009 Tinto… was aged in stainless steel sur lie for 2 months. It is a saturated purple color with an expressive perfume of mineral, spicy black fruits, and violets. On the palate it has excellent volume, succulent flavors, lively acidity, and a lengthy finish for its humble price. It is an outstanding value and a great introduction to the Mencia grape.”

Score: 89

(Jay Miller,, April 2010)

“Nice price for a nice, juicy, fruity, fresh and lively wine, made from 50 year-old mencía vines in northwestern Spain. Wood is very discreet (just two months in oak), though the reductive side gives this a toasty, coffee ground quality typical of the grape, alongside fresh blackberry and plum. Zesty acid. A great grilled sausages, lamb chops or flank steak style of wine Tasted February 2011. Value Rating: ***”

Score: 88
(John Szabo, MS,

“This deep purple youngster has a very generous nose of plums, blackberry and violets with a note of red licorice. It is quite smooth, and full bodied with a fleshy texture and fairly soft tannin. Very good length with a distinct licorice note coming to the finish. Great value. Tasted March 2011.”

Score: 88
(David Lawrason,

The vines for this wine are 50 years old.

Varietal: Mencia
Region: Bierzo, Spain
Price: $13.95 (per bottle)
LCBO #219204

Click here to locate this wine at your local LCBO.