The February 18th LCBO Vintages release showcases the depth and breadth of the LCBO's global reach and the wide-ranging tastes of you, its customers. Your favorites are featured (Customer Faves), wines from around the world, of various styles at differing price points. This edition of If I had $100 focuses on customer choices, including a Crèmant de Bourgogne (you're probably out of bubbly after Valentine's Day!), a clean dry New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, three great reds from France, Italy and Spain, and a powerful Australian Shiraz as an optional wine if you have extra $$ to splurge. There are, of course, many other wines to choose from in this feature, from great-value wines to tried and true crowd pleasers, through cellarable iconic wines—don't hesitate to do a little shopping on your own!
This release also offers a unique opportunity to sample three Chardonnays crafted by Thomas Bachelder, former celebrated winemaker at Le Clos Jordanne turned 'wine gypsy'. His goal is to let the cool-climate terroir of Niagara, Oregon and Burgundy speak through these beautifully balanced wines.
And for those fans of 13th Street Winery Riesling, there is a duo in the Terroir feature that offers a great opportunity to contrast and compare.
In the main release is an excellent Mike Weir Wines Riesling (unbelievably only $14.95) which you may also enjoy. There's a good selection of Kosher wines in this release, of which I would recommend the Castell d'Olerdola Brut Cava, the Recanati Shiraz, and the Côtes du Rhône blend from Vignobles David.
For good value under $15, try the Perrin & Fils Réserve Côtes du Rhône Blanc and the Hacienda Araucano 'Reserva' Syrah. Looking for a fabulous wine from an iconic producer. Choose the customer favorite, Duckhorn Merlot.
Cheers & Enjoy,
If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, February 18, 2012
Louis Bouillot ‘Perle d’Ivoire’ Brut Blanc de Blancs n/v
AOC Crémant de Bourgogne, France
$18.95 (Vintages #48801) 12.0% alcohol
Dry, light in body, offering a fine creamy mousse, this lovely Crémant balances refreshing vibrant acidity, clean minerality and subtle notes of citrus, green apple and brioche. Long and bright on the finish, it is an excellent value and can be enjoyed on its own or with light appetizers.
Mount Riley Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Marlboroug, New Zealand
$15.95 (Vintages #981670) 13.0% alcohol
Almost transparent, this wine offers a harmonious profile and the attractive pungency of lime, grapefruit, gooseberry and fresh herbs—oregano comes to mind. Dry, medium bodied, it’s juicy and crisp, with a tangy, refreshing slightly pithy finish. Try it with a crustless goat cheese and vegetable quiche.
Château Saint-Roch Chimères 2009
AOC Côtes du Rousillon-Villages
$18.95 (Vintages #119354) 14.5% alcohol
This blend of Grenache and Syrah with a dash of Carignan delivers on all counts. The aromas are enticing and complex—sweet fruit underlies herbal/lavender notes, a mineral character, hints of spiced chocolate. Dry, medium-full bodied, there’s depth and breadth to the fruit—blackberry, plum and tangy raspberry—a refreshing texture, ripe tannins and a nuance of spiced vanilla. The finish is warm, lasting and loaded with ripe fruit. A great value, enjoy it now with herbed lamb chops or cellar medium term.
Masi Brolo di Campofiorin 2007
IGT Rosso del Veronese Appaxximento, Italy
$24.95 (Vintages #976092) 14.0% alcohol
Dense, robust, inky and concentrated, this is another beautifully crafted winner, commanding attention with intense aromas of dark fruit, smoke, earth and dried fruits. Offering great substance, structure and weight, it’s dry, velvety and intensely flavourful, with a punch of spice and pepper lifting the concentrated dark fruit. Enjoy the slightly warm, spicy, well-balanced finish. Serve with a strongly flavoured meat dish, or cellar medium term.
Bodegas Lan Crianza 2007
DOCa Rioja, Spain
$15.95 (Vintages #166538) 13.5% alcohol
This classic ruby-toned Tempranillo entices with layered aromas of red fruit, spice, vanilla and hints of flowers and leather. Dry, medium-full bodied, well-framed red fruit is matched with lively acidity, spicy notes tingling on the palate, a peppery note adding a tang to the full fruity finish. Enjoy with a cheesy tourtière.
Grand Total: $94.75
Worth the splurge
A big bold Australian Shiraz that's always a winner!
McLaren Vale, Australia
$26.95 (987784) 15.5% alcohol
Inky and intense from start to finish, this is a big, robust, flavourful wine with great depth of flavour and well-defined structure. Intense aromas of sweet dark fruit, dried fruit, licorice allsorts, spice and vanilla captivate. The fruit jumps to the fore on the palate and carries right through the extended finish, subtle acidity and ripe tannins bringing balance, spice and pepper tantalizing. This calls for a big juicy steak with a balsamic herb dressing. Cellar medium term.