Posted by SusanThursday, March 1st, 2012
French wine fans will enjoy the March 3rd LCBO Vintages segment featuring signature varieties of France, many of which have now proliferated around the globe. Among the whites are classic crisp intensely aromatic varietals from Alsace (Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer), Chardonnay in two unique styles from Burgundy (Chablis and Meursault), and a vibrant penetrating Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire (Sancerre). The selection of French red wines in the feature provides the opportunity to taste well-known single-varietal wines, such as Morgon (Gamay), Volnay (Pinot Noir), Crozes-Hermitage (Syrah) and Cahors (Malbec). For a sampling of the unique blends found in some of France’s best-known appellations, try a Cabernet or Merlot-dominated Bordeaux, a Grenache-based Vacqueyras or Châteauneuf-du-Pape, or a Grenache-Carignan blend from the South. The selection emphasizes the wide range of terroir and wine styles to be found in this long-established Old World region.
There’s also a fabulous selection of Chilean Carmenère red wines in this release with a French connection! Did you know that Carmenère grape was part of the Bordeaux red wine blend prior to the vineyard devastation caused by infamous plant louse phylloxera? The grape was brought to Chile in the mid-1800s and misidentified as the Merlot grape until the mid-1990s. It’s a late-ripening varietal that prefers richer clay soils. When fully ripened, it displays an intense purple-red hue, a full velvety texture, aromas of berry fruit, spice and chocolate. The wines in this selection range from the iconic Montes Purple Angel, to Natura’s organic Carmenère. Enjoy these substantial and flavourful wines.
There are several good values at or under $15, including Cattail Creek ‘Estate’ Sauvignon Blanc, Don Cristobal 1492 Bonarda, Umani Ronchi ‘San Lorenzo’ Rosso Conero, Casa Silva Carmenère, Château de Parenchères and Palacios Remondo La Vendimia.
Cheers and Enjoy,
If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, March 3, 2012
Marimar Estate ‘La Masía Don Miguel Vineyard’ Chardonnay 2007
Russian River Valley, California
$19.95 (Vintages #270090) 14.2% alcohol
Produced from organic grapes grown in a vineyard named after Miguel Torres, this Chardonnay has loads of personality. Dry, medium-full bodied white wine, it’s fragrant with ripe apple, pear and pineapple mingling with nutty, spicy aromas. Round, silky yet juicy and fresh, it delivers the zing of citrus, hints of caramel apple and roasted pear and a long mouthwatering finish. Enjoy now with chicken casserole or cellar 3-5 years.
Yalumba ‘The Y Series’ Viognier 2011
$15.95 (Vintages #624502) 13.5% alcohol
Featuring perfumed floral and fruit aromas, this dry, mid-full bodied white wine is reliably good. It delivers nicely matched acidity and depth of fruit flavours—stone fruit and sweet citrus to the fore—finishing with an appealing slightly bitter hint of zest adding tang to the fruit.
Perrin & Fils ‘Les Christins’ Vacqueyras 2009
AOC Vacqueyras, France
$23.95 (Vintages #973453) 14.5% alcohol
This appealing red wine blend of Grenache (dominantly) and Syrah displays great integration and balance while delivering a complex array of aromas—sweet fruit, spiced vanilla, floral notes and sweet dried herbs. Dry, medium-full bodied red wine, the sweetness of licorice mingles with the rich fruit flavours across the palate, subtle nuances of spice and toast persisting on the smooth supple finish. Enjoy it now or cellar medium term.
Misiones de Rengo ‘Gran Reserva Cuvée’ Carmenère 2010
$19.95 (Vintages #264937) 14.0% alcohol
Intriguing notes of dried herbs, flowers, red berries, cherries and exotic spice drift from the glass of this dry, medium-full bodied red wine. The framing is subtle, the texture fresh, well-integrated oak exists in fine balance with delicious red fruit and attractive notes of spiced dark chocolate. Quite refined, offering persistent fruit and notes of spice and toast on the lasting finish, this is a very good value that will cellar medium term.
Umani Ronchi ‘San Lorenzo’ Rosso Conero 2008 DOCRosso Conero, Italy
$14.95 (Vintages #981191) 13.5% alcohol
Deep ruby violet, this is a very nice valued red wine produced from the Montepulciano grape, part of the wine aged in barrique and large cask. Aromas of sweet ripe fruit, black licorice, herbs and earth lift from the glass. Dry, medium bodied, the dark berry fruit is framed by sleek tannins and lively acidity, earthy notes and hints of char adding layers of flavour that persist through the mouthwatering dry finish. Enjoy now or cellar short term.