Mandi Robertson: Five wines that are really worth checking out | Fyi

There are lots of new and delicious wine choices currently available at the SAQ, so why not start 2023 with an adventurous spirit by trying something new, and perhaps discovering a fun favorite. That’s what I did last week, and it certainly paid off as I have found five new and delicious wines that are really worth checking out!

Domaine Cazes Côtes du Roussillon Marie-Gabrielle 2021

SAQ: 851600, $19.95 — This wine is organic and biodynamic. Biodynamic winemaking is a concept where everything in the universe is interconnected — the moon, planets and stars, but also people in the vineyard. On the label, you’ll see a symbol of a vortex, and this refers to a process that involves the rhythmic stirring of a preparation used in biodynamics. That vortex is created by the stirring and it exposes the water to air AND the forces of the cosmos.

Marie Gabriel is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and it’s the perfect wine to help you warm up on these cold winter days. Full of ripe, red and black cherry fruit with beautiful baking spice that hits you mid-way through the palette. It’s so lovely and comforting with lots of vibrancy. A very pleasant and yummy wine for under twenty bucks.

Cabral Reserva Douro 2020

SAQ: 12757692, $14.95 — Cabral represents some of the best Portuguese wines that’s available at the SAQ – and they’ve got a number of delicious ports too. This, however, is a dry blend of native white Portuguese grapes that are carefully hand harvested and vinified.

This is an ideal wine that is perfect as an aperitif – maybe with smoked salmon blinis, or zucchini fritters because this wine is so bright, crisp and tasty! That lovely acidity and freshness is going to work well with foods like that because its going to cut through that fatty food.

The Cabral Reserva has notes of yellow plum, apples, and citrus with pretty white floral notes and a touch of vanilla which makes it incredibly elegant and crowd pleasing. It’s rare to find such a pleasant, enjoyable, and quaffable wine under $15.

Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classico Riserva 2019

SAQ: 10324543, $24.25 — This is a winery that has very strong ties with wine drinkers of Quebec. Italo Zingarelli was a well-known movie producer in Italy and he founded Rocca delle Macìe in the 1973. His son, Sergio Zingarelli, loves coming to the province and engaging with consumers as he is very passionate and proud of the legacy and the high quality wine they produce.

Rocce delle Macìe is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year and there is no doubt in my mind that you are going to fall in love with gorgeous Chianti Classico Riserva. It’s been aged for two years on French oak, and is a blend of 80 percent Sangiovese, 5 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 5 percent Colorini, which is another native grape to Italy.

This is a wine that I think is perfect for every occasion. You can have this on a Friday night after work, you can have it with so many different dishes and I just love how it can be so elegant and refined while also still kind of having a bit of attitude with those raspy tannins, sour cherry notes , and spice. It’s a very complex, beautiful wine that is round and medium bodied with impeccably timed tannin and acidity. It’s bursting with black and red fruit, lovely perfume and simply put, delicious.

From left, Domaine Cazes Côtes du Roussillon Marie-Gabrielle, Cabral Reserva Douro, Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classico Riserva, Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis Les Vielles Vignes de Sainte Claire, and GD Vajra Dolcetto d’Alba.

Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis Les Vielles Vignes de Sainte Claire 2021

RIGHT: 14406474, $36.75 — Ah…Chablis! And from Jean-Marc Brocard at that. An amazing, thirst quenching, electric, and elegant Chardonnay that’s a prime example of a terroir driven wine. The grapes are grown on old vines that were planted in the vineyard approximately 70 years ago, and the roots have managed to reach down over 25 feet into that famous Kimmeridgian soil Chablis is so famous for. This means the yield of those grapes will be smaller, but so much more complex and elegant compared to more youthful vines. What’s more is that Jean-Marc Brocard was one of the first producers to start practicing organic farming in Chablis.

Notes of lemon, grapefruit and pear with some nuances of white flowers with strikingly delicious saline and steely bits, and excellent freshness and very long finish.

GD Vajra Dolcetto d’Alba 2021

SAQ:13553413, $24.80 — Dolcetto means “little sweet one” in Italian, but these wines are dry, and of course delicious. Dolcetto will provide lots of red berry fruit, soft tannin structure and ready to drink upon release. Although Dolcetto is planted across Italy, Piedmont is where you will find the best examples, especially from GD Vajra.

At GD Vajra, Dolcetto is planted just above the plots of Nebbiolo with the average age of the vines being 30 years old. To preserve all that wonderful fruit and freshness, the wine is aged in stainless steel, not oak.

Having a beautiful deep purple color, the wine is bursting with blackberry fruit, plums, ripe blueberries, sweet baking spices, and earth. The palate is fresh, soft and wonderfully textured with a finish focusing on black and red fruit.

Great wine for Friday night pizza.

Certified sommelier and educator, Mandi Robertson started her wine career in Melbourne, Australia. Now in Montreal, she hosts virtual wine events and is a wine consultant for public and private clients. She’s also the wine contributor for Global News Montreal, and CJAD800. For any questions, inquiries or to find out more, visit or follow her on Instagram and Facebook @mandiwineside


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