Posted by SusanFriday, January 21st, 2011
If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, January 22, 2011
The January 22 LCBO Vintages release includes features on Chile and Southwestern France, regions which deliver great quality and value, whether you prefer the signature grape of Chile, Carmenère, or want to try a more unusual varietal from Madiran, such as Tannat. In the general release, there are some attractive Canadian wines, including lovely Rieslings from Niagara. As you know, I’m a great fan of B.C. wines, so I’ve included as an option a fabulous award-winning Merlot from Mission Hill. There are lots of wines to be had under $20, so enjoy browsing through the treasure trove, and consider the wines highlighted below as some of the gems of the collection.
Cheers & Enjoy!
Chilensis Réserva Carmenère 2008
Maule Valley, Chile
$12.95 (Vintages #657981) 14.0% alcohol
Holy jumpin’, this has to be one of the best values of the feature – the signature grape of Chile delivered in style, with depth of color, aromas and flavour. On the nose and palate, expect some complexity—black cherry, cocoa, roasted red pepper and underlying minerality. The tannins are ripe, the texture if round and the fruit flavours substantial. Fine acidity rounds out a beautifully balanced package. Be waiting at the door on Saturday . . .
Emiliana ‘Natura’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Central Valley, Chile
$15.95 (Vintages #61069)) 14.0% alcohol
There’s some attractive complexity to this well-crafted organic offering—hints of mint, cedar and earth running through the robust berry aromas. Focused fruit flavours stream across the palate, garnished with notes of vanilla, herbs and pepper. Mid-weight, dry with firm tannins and fresh acidity, the wine is nicely balanced and delivers a lengthy fruity finish.
Konzelmann ‘Barrel Aged’ Chardonnay 2007
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$14.20 (Vintages #364869) 13.0% alcohol
Golden, this wine is a treat for the palate and the wallet! Expect and enjoy aromas of crème caramel, toast and apple pie. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied, rich, buttery and a harmonious balance of lively acidity, ripe tree fruit and well-integrated toasty oak. The smooth round silky texture brings the glass back to your lips. Don’t miss this great value!
Terres Blanches ‘Sec’ Muscat 2008
Vin de Pays d’Oc, France
$13.95 (Vintages #653188) 12.5% alcohol
Pale gold, this wine appeals with aromas of honeyed stone fruit and sweet ripe pears. On the palate, enjoy the basket of fruit flavours—melon, peach, pear—garnished with a dash of spice. Appropriate acidity is a counterpoint to the lush texture, creating a nicely balanced dry wine that’s a delight on the finish. Just enjoy!
Château de Nages Réserve 2009
AOC Costières de Nîmes, France
$14.95 (Vintages #427617) 14.5% alcohol
Composed of Grenache and Syrah, this is another reliably good wine at a great price from the Gassier family. Deep ruby with a violet note, it has a very ripe fruit nose, with some nuances of spice and dried fruits. Dry, medium bodied, the red berry flavours are concentrated, and the notes of spice and dried fruit replay. Nicely balanced, it displays tantalizing notes of cocoa, toast and spice on the finish. A few bottles will not go amiss, but might disappear quickly, so load up your shopping cart!
Sportoletti ‘Assisi’ Rosso 2008
DOC Assisi, Italy
$16.95 (Vintages #926857) 14.5% alcohol
Composed of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet, this is a pale ruby gem that has enticing aromas of rich ripe fruit, along with the sweetness of spicy oak and the earthiness of tobacco. Dry, medium bodied, supple in texture, the soft tannins and acidity are a perfect match to the juicy berry fruit. The lovely notes of spice and earth recur on the harmonious finish. Give it a whirl, as we don’t see wines from Umbria often.
Grand Total: $88.95 - only!
Worth the splurge - an optional wine to include:
Mission Hill ‘S.L.C.’ Merlot 2005
VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
$34.95 (Vintages #68353)) 14.0% alcohol
Crafted from hand-harvested grapes, the wine spent 12 months in French oak and displays an opaque mahogany robe. Lifted aromas of dark fruit, plum, dried berries and toast entice. Dry and full bodied, the impact on the palate is powerful and intense—dried cherries, blueberry, black berries and spice to the fore—balanced with ripe tannins and fine acidity. Beautifully integrated, the wine has a rich persistent aftertaste. You’ll want to enjoy it right now!
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 wintery 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!