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, November 13, 2010

The principal feature of November 13 LCBO Vintages release is a wide range of fine wines for the holiday season, whether to serve with you favorite seasonal fare, or to wrap up & give as a special gift. There’s also a mini feature on select wines of Tuscany as well as some interesting Bordeaux-style blends from Niagara. From this array, there are many wines that could be cellared. 

 

Given the size of the release, the principal selection includes a sparkling and a dessert wine, as well as some versatile appetizing reds—there are some other fabulous Sangioveses (Ricasoli and Castelgiocondo, for instance), but we only have $100 to spend!

 

If you are in the mood to splurge, the ‘Optional Wines’ include a Burgundy – a perfect match with turkey and a couple of fine reds which you may want to put on your Santa wish list, or enjoy with friends during the holidays. As always, it’s a challenge to choose the wines for this selection, but I hope you’ll enjoy those highlighted below.

Cheers!

-Susan

 

Cave de Lugny Crémant de Bourgogne 2007 (sparkling)
AOC Burgundy, France
$17.95 (Vintages #184764) 12.0% alcohol
Bright and golden, there’s a great rush of frothy fizz in the glass, with some enticing aromas of toast and tangy citrus. Dry and equally frothy on the palate, this is a crisp sparkler with mouthwatering flavours of lemon-lime, green tea and toast. Tasty and refreshing, it’s a great wine to offer your guests to whet their appetite for the holiday turkey. A well priced bubbly with a moderate level of alcohol!

 

Henry of Pelham ‘Reserve’ Cabernet/Merlot 2007
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$24.95 (Vintages #395855) 13.5% alcohol
If you can’t get enough of the 2007 vintage, here’s a wine that can be enjoyed now or cellared for 3-5 years. This appealing blend has complex and captivating aromas—roasted herbs, tobacco leaf and hints of vanilla mingle with red and black berry fruit. Dry, medium-full bodied, with a firm structure, grippy tannins and tangy acidity, the berry flavours replay on the palate and carry through on the finish, garnished with notes of cocoa and toast. Consider alternate holiday fare – match to beef tenderloin with a tarragon mushroom sauce.

Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru 1999
AOC Beaune, France
$26.95 (Vintages #641308) 13.5% alcohol
This is an absolute steal! Run, don’t walk to your local LCBO Vintages this Saturday. Brick notes herald the age of this delicately fragrant dame. Notes of earth, red  berries and a hint of truffle replay on the graceful palate. Soft tannins and fine acidity match perfectly the attractive berry fruit and autumnal notes that carry through on the lingering finish. Wow your friends with a glass before the meal, and then enjoy it with the holiday turkey, or duck with a cherry glaze.

Doga delle Clavule Morellino di Scansano 2008
DOCG Morellino di Scansano, Italy
$16.95 (Vintages #184986) 13.0% alcohol
Produced from a clone of Sangiovese, this deep ruby wine has rich ripe aromas of spicy red and black berries with a hint of red licorice. Dry, medium bodied, with a velvety texture and ripe tannins, it has a fresh stream of acidity and lovely nuances of toast and herbs. Berry rich on the finish, notes of dark toast linger. Soft and fruity enough to enjoy on its own, or serve it with herbed roast pork loin.  

Quady ‘Essencia’ Orange Muscat 2007
California
$13.95 (Vintages #299552) 15.0% alcohol
Who could resist ending a holiday meal with this lovely dessert wine? Peachy gold, and a treat for the senses, it has consistent appealing aromas and flavours of honeyed apricots, candied orange rind and sweet clementines. The luscious flavours and texture are balanced with lively acidity, leading to a warm, sweet yet fresh finish. Delightful, and a great value. Serve it with orange and lemon tart.

Grand Total: $100.75 (you’ll forgive me for being ‘just’ over won’t you?)

 

Optional wines definitely worth the splurge:

Château Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Napa Valley, California
$51.95 (Vintages #718452) 14.1% alcohol
The reputation of this iconic winery, and of California wines, was set when its 1973 Chardonnay was selected as the top-rated wine at the now famous 1976 ‘Judgement of Paris.’ This is a serious wine for classic Cabernet lovers.  Aromas of cigar box, spicy vanilla, cassis and a hint of licorice waft from the glass. Dry, structured and bursting with spicy dark berry flavour, the wine has fine acidity and ripe tannins which will support further cellaring. Lovely, balanced, with a lingering trace of dark chocolate on the persistent finish, serve it with prime rib.

Bodegas Callia ‘Winemaker’s Reserve’ Grand Callia 2006
San Juan, Argentina

$34.95 (Vintages #175661) 14.0% alcohol
Crafted from a blend of Shiraz, Malbec, Merlot and Tannat, this is a compelling wine of depth and intensity. Pure aromas of tangy black fruit are garnished with notes of vanilla and licorice. Dry, full bodied and structured, fine acidity and firm tannins underpin dark berry flavours. Hints of toast and cocoa persist on the dry and flavourful finish. Savour now with robust meat dishes or over the next 7-10 years.  

Château de Mirande Mâcon-Villages 2009
AOC Mâcon-Villages, France
$17.95 (Vintages #183749) 13.0% alcohol
This is just a lovely Burgundy that would be a fine match with turkey dinner. It pours in a generous dense stream, glowing golden in the glass. Fragrant aromas of yellow plum, pear, vanilla and light toast waft from the glass. On the palate, it’s dry yet luscious and round with flavours of stone fruit, toast and vanilla riding on a fresh backbone of citrusy acidity. Flavourful and persistent on the finish. A fine 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!

 

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