If I only had $100, I would buy…

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“If I only had $100, I would buy…’
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, October 2, 2010

 

This month LCBO Vintages release features some outstanding reds from Australia, as well as some powerful Italian wines, including Aglianico, Amarone, Barolo, Brunello and others. It’s always a challenge to choose the wines for this selection with only $100 to spend, but I hope you’ll enjoy my picks…

Reif Estate Gewurztraminer 2008
VQA Niagara River
$14.95 (Vintages #127985) 13.0% alcohol
This is another varietal that does very well in Niagara. Beautiful aromatics of spicy tropical fruits and citrus set the pace for this just off-dry mid-weight wine. Racy acidity underlies the tasty spiced pear and ripe apple flavours, punctuated on the finish with a classic bitter note. At this very reasonable price, you can’t go wrong!

 

Falchini Vigna a Solatio Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2009
DOCG San Gimignano, Italy
$15.95 (Vintages #994012) 12.0% alcohol
This is THE white grape of Tuscany and this is a fine example of the wine. Golden, it has complex aromas of pear, honey, green apple, herbs and spice. Dry and medium bodied, juicy succulent fruit is balanced with crisp acidity. The finish is very refreshing, with persistent notes of citrus and green apple. Step out of your comfort zone and give it a try with antipasto. (Susan Desjardins)

 

D’Angelo Aglianico del Vulture 2006
DOC Basilicata, Italy
$18.95 (Vintages #971689) 13.0% alcohol
Aglianico is one of Italy’s lesser known noble varietals, producing some very potent wines. This one has intense and complex aromas—animal, leather, herbs, plums, spicy dried fruits. It’s dry, medium-full bodied and structured, displaying firm tannins and fine acidity. The flavours are deep and powerful, replaying the range of fruit, herbs and spice, and lingering on the persistent dry finish. A few years in the cellar will soften the tannins, but it’s a great value!

Travaglini Nebbiolo 2007
DOC Coste delle Sesia, Italy
$17.95 (Vintages #30353) 13.0% alcohol
Produced from Piedmonte’s signature grape, this is a dry, medium-bodied wine, nicely balanced with silky tannins and appropriate acidity. It’s all about ripe red fruits, with some tantalizing notes of leather, vanilla and spicy toast. The attractive and lasting finish has hints of dried fruits and white pepper. Not ready for a Barolo yet ? Give this ready-to-drink wine a try.

Katnook ‘Founder’s Block’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Coonawarra, Australia
$17.95 (Vintages #660332) 13.5% alcohol
From one of Australia’s cooler regions, this inky estate-bottled wine displays entices with aromas of spicy dark fruit, along with mint and an elusive whiff reminiscent of herbed roasted root vegetables. Nicely balanced and structured, the wine has supple tannins and a tangy texture. It offers complexity on the palate—dark spiced fruit, cassis, and notes of espresso roast and caramelized roasted red peppers. Decant for 2-3 hours to enjoy with rare prime rib or cellar for 5-7 years.

Grand Total: $85.75

 

Looking to splurge?  Here is a wine that is definitely worth buying: 

Domaine de la Côte de l’Ange Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2007
AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
$37.95 (Vintages #74856) 14.5% alcohol
Looking for a wine to put away for a special occasion, or for a special gift? This blend of old-vines Grenache (principally), Sryah and Mourvèdre, is a full-bodied intensely flavourful wine with rich aromas and great depth of flavour. On the nose, dark berries, earth and anise, while the palate is awash in berry fruit, toast, pepper and vanilla. It has a lovely silky texture, with some warmth on the longlasting finish. A great investment at this price and designed for long-term cellaring.

 

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!

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