Posted by SusanFriday, October 15th, 2010
“If I only had $100, I would buy…’
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, October 16, 2010
The October 16 LCBO Vintages release features Bordeaux wines—reds from the Left and Right Banks, whites from Graves and Pessac-Léognan, as well as a couple of dessert wines. I found some great values here. You’ll also enjoy the French sparkling wines on offer, Cremants from Alsace, the Loire, Burgundy, Bordeaux, as well as Blanquette de Limoux. It’s always a challenge to choose the wines for this selection, but I hope you’ll enjoy my "If I only had $100, I would buy..." picks.
Château d’Argadens Bordeaux Supérieur 2006
AOC Bordeaux, France
$16.95 (Vintages #681643) 13.0% alcohol
Predominantly Merlot (65%), this balanced gold-medal winner is a great value. The aromas are alluring—spicy, richly fruity, with nuances of cedar, vanilla and licorice. Firmly structured and dry, the wine has chewy tannins, fresh acidity and subtle herbal notes complementing the fine fruit. There are hints of dark chocolate and toast on the lengthy, dry, flavourful finish. It entices you to take another sip and at this price, you should!
Pierre Sparr ‘Brut Réserve’ Cremant d’Alsace nv (NV is winespeak for non-vintage)
AOC Alsace, France
$18.95 (Vintages #173401) 12.0% alcohol
Light on it’s feet yet creamy and generous, this fresh citrusy wine has fine aromas and flavours of toasted brioche, stone fruit and lemon-chiffon pie. It’s vibrant, lively and refreshing with a fine mousse and palate-cleansing mid-length finish. Lovely to sip on its own and a great match for a veal or pork dish.
Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve 2008
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$25.00 (Vintages #33894) 12.5% alcohol
Le Clos Jordanne creates consistently good cool-clmate Pinot Noir, and this is no exception. From the fruit of 4 vineyards, separately fermented, this assemblage displays warm aromas of subtly-spiced cherry/berry fruit—raspberry/blueberry pie fresh from the oven comes to mind—along with nuances of mineral and cedar. Medium bodied, its dry and vibrant, with a tangy texture and bright red berry flavours—raspberry and cranberry. Great consistency and a spice-infused lively fruity finish. Try it with osso bucco, or cellar for 2-3 years
Terredora Falanghina 2008
IGT Campania, Italy
$15.95 (Vintages #642074) 13.0% alcohol
Fragrant aromas of orchard and tropical fruit marry with floral notes and a certain pungency. Spritzy, the wine is fresh and bright with a core of stone fruit and citrus. Dry, medium bodied and balanced with zesty acidity, it has a lasting and refreshing lemon-lime finish. Serve it with hors d’oeuvres or soft cheeses.
Cuatro Pasos Mencia 2008
DO Bierzo, Spain
$16.95 (Vintages #39313) 13.5% alcohol
From an indigenous varietal of northwestern Spain, this wine is produced from the fruit of decades-old vines and lightly aged in French and American oak. Deep purple, its intensely aromatic—raspberry pie to the fore, licorice, spice and a mineral note. Medium bodied, the texture is soft with quite an intense concentrated core of ripe red and black berry fruit, nicely balanced by fine tannins and fresh acidity. Great value – you won’t be disappointed!
Grand Total: $93.80
A special treat worth the splurge:
Le Dauphin de Guiraud 2003
AOC Sauterns, France
$24.95 (Vintages #190496) 13.5% alcohol
Golden amber, this fabulous dessert wine has great depth and presence. Aromas of marmalade, orange rind, honeyed caramel and vanilla beckon. On the palate, a satiny texture, warmth and acidity wrap around flavours of spun brown sugar, candied citrus and five-fruit marmalade. The extended finish replays these exotic flavours. Totally compelling – you just want more . . . Imagine the most decadent matches – Roquefort, foie gras, crème brulée—and secure an extra bottle for long-term cellaring. An outstanding value!
More about my 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!