Posted by SusanFriday, January 7th, 2011
“If I only had $100, I would buy…’
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, January 8, 2011
“Smart Buys” is the principal feature of the January 8 LCBO Vintages release, whether you’re interested in whites or reds, new or old world wines. In addition, there are some very nice values to be had in the product listing, including some straightforward inexpensive and tasty reds—great for the budget after the holiday season. I’ve focused on wines in the $15 range, a great price point for well-made quality wines, and offer wines from an array of regions. I hope you’ll enjoy those highlighted below.
13th Street White Palette 2009
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$14.95 (Vintages #207340) 12.5% alcohol
High-toned aromatics ranging from tropical and spicy stone fruit through to fresh citrus characterize this interesting blend composed from 7 grape varietals. The grapes were hand-harvested and each varietal was fermented in stainless before selective blending. On the palate, the fruit flavours replay—musk melon, peach, pink grapefruit and lemon-lime. There’s nice balance from fresh acidity and the signature spice of Gewurztraminer lingers on the finish. A vibrant and well-priced sipper, this vintage is already sold out at the winery.
Montes ‘Limited Selection’ Cabernet Sauvignon/Carmenère 2008
Apalta Vineyard, Colchagua Valley, Chile
$14.95 (Vintages #16071) 14.0% alcohol
This deep ruby blend (principally Cabernet Sauvignon) has very enticing vanilla, almost caramel aromas layered over sweetly spiced berry fruit. Medium-full bodied, it’s dry with a firm structure and a freshness on the palate that’s a great foil for the ripe fruit. There’s a tantalizing and elusive herbal note on the lingering finish. Enjoy now or cellar short term.
Bodegas Palacios ‘Glorioso’ Crianza 2006
DOC Rioja, Spain
$15.95 (Vintages #340844) 13.0% alcohol
An outstanding value from a highly reputed producer in a historic region . . . what more could you want! Semi-opaque and displaying a bit of age, this lovely wine displays aromas of well-ripened spicy red fruit and hints of vanilla and cocoa. Dry, medium bodied, with fine ripe tannins and fresh acidity, it’s beautifully balanced. The ripe fruit and some toasty notes carry through on the lengthy finish. Glorious indeed, it’s drinking well now and has enough structure for short-term cellaring.
St. Hallett Shiraz/Grenache 2009
$14.95 (Vintages #24117) 13.5% alcohol
Deep ruby in colour, the appealing aromas of this wine evoke raspberry pie and vanilla ice cream. On the palate, it ripe, round and velvety, with juicy fruity flavours of raspberry and blueberry. Dry, lively and refreshing, it’s medium bodied with outstanding balance and a tasty fruity finish. An excellent value, drinkable on its own or with braised chicken thighs in a red wine sauce.
Château de Nages Réserve Blanc 2009
Costières de Nîmes, France
$14.95 (Vintages #427609) 13.5% alcohol
A blend of the classics of the southern Rhône, Grenache and Roussanne, this dry, medium bodied wine has a plush texture and lovely subtle aromas and flavours of stone fruit, pear and citrus. There’s a nice backbone of fresh acidity and some mineral undertones that carry the wonderful fruit flavours through the lengthy finish. A great choice for sole or seafood.
Château de Gourgazaud Cuvée Mathilde 2008
AOC Minervois, France
$14.95 (Vintages #958629) 13.5% alcohol
This is another consistently reliable value from southern France, a blend of Syrah and Mouvédre that has great depth and concentration. Expect aromas of dark berries, kitchen spice and a whiff of Mediterranean herbs. On the palate, it’s dry, medium bodied, loaded with rich ripe fruit, spice, pepper and a hint of cocoa. Nicely balanced with ripe tannins and fresh acidity, it offers a lengthy deeply flavourful fruit-filled finish. A good match for your choice of herbed roasted meats.
Grand Total: $90.70
More about my blog post: If I only had $100, I would buy…
There is a myriad of wines out there, so it’s often a challenge deciding what to select when the LCBO Vintages catalogue comes out every two weeks or so. Like a kid in a candy shop, your attention darts from one treat to another, but what to choose . . . Something to serve to your guests this weekend? Something to put away for a special occasion?
I recognize that each person’s tastes and preferences are unique. “If I had $100 . . .”, will be posted just prior to LCBO Vintages releases and will highlight unique wines I have tasted that provide good value; the selection will total no more than $100.
Occasionally, I may include an optional wine – you can substitute or add it for a little more or a little less! Print this off as your shopping list knowing that these wines have been selected by a Savvy Sommelier who has sipped, savoured & swirled countless wines before they arrived on the shelves in Vintages. Hopefully you too will find a new favorite wine. And when you do, quickly save your pennies to buy a bottle or two more. Warning that once a wine is gone from a particular Vintages release, that vintage, and sometimes that wine, is gone for good!