Posted by SusanThursday, December 8th, 2011
On December 10, the grand finale of 2011 LCBO Vintages releases arrives with an extensive lineup of dazzling sparkling wines and fabulous still and dessert wine selections to savour over the holiday season. Consider a lovely salmon pink Champagne, such as Moutard Père & Fils Brut Rosé de Cuvaison, a classic California sparkler, such as the Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut, the vibrant, creamy Pierre Sparr Brut Réserve Crémant d’Alsace, or one of my Niagara favorites, 13th Street Cuvée 13 Sparkling Brut Rosé. It was served to the Queen during the grand re-opening of the Museum of Nature!
For sumptuous main courses, there are some outstanding values under $20 among the reds: consider Viña Cobos Felino Malbec, Montes Alpha Carmenère, Ingoldby Shiraz, Les Hauts de Castellas Vacqueyras and Terre Nere Rosso di Montalcino. Looking for a white with panache, try Malivoire’s Musque Spritz, Gray Monk’s Gewürztraminer, Astrolabe`s Sauvignon Blanc or Anne Boecklin Pinot Gris Réserve.
Then there’s dessert, and what a selection! Poli Amaro, an Italian bitters, is a classic herb-infused digestif, or for a special sweet treat, try Warre`s Colheita Tawny. On the lighter side, both the Quady Essencia Orange Muscat and the Robert Mondavi Moscato d`Oro are delightful. For that special someone, the release features a number of iconic cellarable wines, such as Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin 2007 (magnum), Mission Hill Oculus 2007, Beringer Napa Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, San Guido le Difese 2009 (from the makers of Sassicaia).
The wines in our $100 selection will get you started, but you may want to treat yourself in order to take full advantage of this release. Arrivederci til 2012!
Cheers and Happy Holidays,
Robert Mondavi Moscato d’Oro 2009 Napa Valley, California $20.95 (Vintages #687392) 8.0% alcohol 375 ml
Enjoyable from start to finish, the aromas include floral notes, stone fruit and key lime pie. The wine displays a lovely balance of sweet and tang, the stone fruit and lime replaying. A fine soft fizz in combination with the subtle flavours and texture make this a very appealing and refreshing end to a holiday meal.
13th Street ‘Cuvée 13’ Sparkling Brut Rosé VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario $24.95 (Vintages #147504) 12.5% alcohol
A brilliant salmon pink, this fine sparkler is a classic blend made in accordance with the méthode traditionelle of Champagne. It spent almost 3 years on the lees and displays this on the nose, which includes subtle toast, floral, and berry notes. Light-medium bodied, it has a fine, creamy mousse and refreshing acidity. Soft hints of toast and nuts carry through on the impressively long finish. A great wine for appetizers or lighter fare.
Viña Cobos ‘Felino’ Malbec 2009 Mendoza, Argentina $19.95 (Vintages #188067) 15.0% alcohol
Paul Hobbs’ wines consistently offer value, quality and a fine taste experience. This deep violet Malbec is no exception. There’s attractive complexity on the nose and palate—red and black berries, subtle floral notes, spice, herbs and an elusive mineral quality. Dry, medium bodied, fresh in the mouth, it’s well structured, the bright raspberry and blackberry fruit wrapped in fine tannins, the finish offering warm peppery nuances. Don’t hesitate to pick up a few bottles.
Château Rochecolombe Côtes du Rhône 2009 AOC Côtes du Rhone, France $14.95 (Vintages #255034) 13.5% alcohol
Deep violet, this award-winning blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre is laden with ripe berry fruit, dried fruit notes and sweet spice. Dry, medium-full bodied, it bursts on the palate with spiced berries, notes of vanilla and toast. Well-integrated tannins and lively acidity assure an appealing taste experience that finishes with a spicy flourish. Pick up a few bottles to enjoy over the holiday season.
Terre Nere Rosso di Montalcino 2007 DOC Montalcino, Italy $17.95 (Vintages #249524) 13.5% alcohol
Semi-transparent ruby, this versatile Sangiovese delivers value and balance. Enjoy the intricate play of aromas—smoke, red fruit, spice, dried herbs and notes of toast. Dry, medium bodied, the wine’s rich, sweetly spiced fruit is balanced by a dash of white pepper, a fresh texture and ripe tannins. The lively fruit finish freshens the palate and brings you back for the next sip. Choose this wine to match a roasted root vegetable ragout, or a hearty meat stew.
Grand Total: $98.75
Here are a couple of outstanding, eminently cellarable wines at the higher end!
Beringer ‘Napa Valley Vineyards’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Napa Valley, California $39.95 (Vintages #91058) 13.9% alcohol
An imposing, powerful wine, this Cab appeals with intense full aromas of dark fruit, sweet spice, toast and subtle autumnal notes. Dry, full bodied, rich ripe dark fruit, sweet spice, vanilla and toast suffuse the palate. Well-integrated tannins and fine fresh acidity frame the concentrated flavours of red and black berry. Subtle toasty notes underlie the lengthy well-balanced finish. Serve with rare prime rib, or cellar long term.
Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo 2008 IGT Toscana, Italy $33.95 (Vintages #727636) 14.0% alcohol
The intriguing nose seduces—floral notes, mineral, nuances of spice and vanilla intermingle with ripe cherry and berry fruit. On the palate, this dry, mid-weight Sangiovese-dominated wine exhibits lovely balance—fine acidity, well-integrated tannins and fresh cherry/berry fruit—the long finish offering a hint of toast. A fine wine to share with friends over the holiday season, or to cellar medium term.