Posted by SusanWednesday, April 20th, 2011
If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, April 16, 2011
Let the kids keep the chocolate, your Easter treat is from this week’s LCBO Vintages release - dressed up for Easter and heralding the fabulous wines of New Zealand. With a focus on New Zealand’s signature varietals—Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir—there’s a lovely Pinot Gris and some robust reds from Hawkes Bay. Whether it’s a roast ham or a spring risotto on your table, there is a wide range of wines highlighted for Easter, including a white blend from South Africa and a couple of Canadian whites to keep it local. Unsure of how to pair your Easter dinner or Passover brisket? Try a versatile rosé from Niagara’s award-winning Tawse Winery, offering ‘Sketches of Niagara’.
The main release is chock full of value-laden wines under twenty dollars, including Apollonio Valle Cupa from Puglia, Hogue’s Reserve Merlot from Washington state, and the Luigi Bosca Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina. It was difficult to narrow down the selection for this feature, so we’ve ended up a few pennies over $100.
I’ll be celebrating Easter in Italy, and wish you all a delicious holiday weekend wherever you may be!
Carrick Pinot Noir 2007
Central Otago, New Zealand
$34.95 (Vintages #919837) 13.5% alcohol
A fabulous semi-opaque ruby wine, this offers a tapestry of aromas and flavours—floral, mineral, sweet cherry and cinnamon toast on the nose. Dry yet silky, the texture is lovely, the wine approachable yet complex. Medium bodied, fine tannins and vibrant acidity are well matched to tangy red fruit—cherry, raspberry and cranberry—soft spicy notes lingering on the persistent finish. A wine to savour now or cellar medium term.
Eradus Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand
$17.95 (Vintages #225557) 13.5% alcohol
From a classic of New Zealand, pale yellow-green, expect an array of aromas—tropical fruit, pungent green herbaceous notes, asparagus and citrus. Dry, medium bodied, there’s significant weight on the palate, a replay of the tropical fruit, the herbal notes persisting. Lively acidity balances the sweet fruity and herbal tones and carries the flavours through the refreshing finish.
Featherstone ‘Black Sheep’ Riesling2010
VQA Niagara Peninsula
$16.95 (Vintages #80234) 11.0% alcohol
As part of their sustainable practices, the owners of Featherstone have sheep roam the vineyards, trimming the leaves on the vines prior to veraison, creating the conditions for optimal ripeness, seen in this wine. Lovely aromas of stone fruit, tangerine and lemon curd delight. Sweetly fruity, the flavours are of peach, pear and sweet apple, with an underlying backbone of fresh acidity to balance it all. Displaying the great potential of the vintage, this is a delightfully flavourful and well balanced wine with a lasting and compelling finish. Ontario’s signature varietal delights again!
Cave de Rasteau ‘La Domelière’ Rasteau Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2009
AOC Rasteau Côtes du Rhône-Villages, France
$15.00 (Vintages #222927) 14.5% alcohol
A youthful value-laden wine, this medium-bodied blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre is sweet and spicy with lovely aromas of dark fruit and licorice on the nose. Dry, silky in texture, it’s structured yet fruity, dark berries, herbs and licorice notes riding a wave of fresh acidity braced with perceptible tannins. Nicely balanced, with heft and texture on the palate, it’s a great wine to enjoy now or over the next couple of years with flavourful meat dishes.
Falesco Vitiano 2008
IGT Umbria, Italy
$15.95 (Vintages #950204) 13.5% alcohol
This blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese is a well-crafted wine with great impact on the palate. On the nose, sweet ripe fruit and spice with a hint of red licorice. Dry, medium bodied, the tannins are firm, the acidity crisp, and there are lovely layered flavours of toasty oak, berry fruit—raspberry, blackberry, black cherry—and exotic spice. The extended dry finish delights with lingering notes of cocoa. It’s a match for grilled meat. Such a value - will one bottle be enough?
Grand Total: $100.80
Have the urge to splurge?
Palatine Hills ‘Proprietor’s Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
VQA Niagara Lakeshore, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages #121699) 12.8% alcohol
Smooth, dry, medium-full bodied, this is a great exemplar of the heralded 2007 vintage. A deep ruby in tone, the appealing aromas are of dark berries, plum, a slight herbal note and some hints of vanilla and spice. Ripe tannins and fresh acidity support loads of ripe dark berry fruit, sweet herbs and spice—bay leaves and mint come to mind. Well integrated and robust, this is delicious and wonderfully suave wine. Enjoy it with full-flavoured meat dishes or cellar 3-5 years.
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? Something to store for a autumn afternoon?
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!