“If I only had $100, I would buy at Vintages”


“If I only had $100, I would buy…’
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, November 27, 2010

This week’s LCBO Vintages release once again offers a broad choice of wine, with another feature on sparklers and other wines recommended for holiday festivities. From Champagne through Cremant, to Cava and Prosecco, there is something for everyone’s taste. And there’s a nice little feature on Ontario icewine as well! Given the $100 budget, I’ve selected 5 wines that I believe offer excellent value and that you’ll enjoy sharing with friends. I would also highlight a few Canadian wines that are given prominent press in this release, all of which I’ve tasted and would recommend:  Peller Estates ‘Ice Cuvee’ Rose, 13th Street ‘Premier Cuvee’ Brut, Sumac Ridge ‘Stellar’s Jay’ Brut 2006, Inniskillin ‘Reserve Series’ Meritage 2007, Nk’Mip Cellars Merlot 2007, Coyote’s Run Riesling Icewine 2008, and Ice House ‘Northern Ice’ Vidal Icewine 2006. May the holidays be happy and safe, while you enjoy the wines presented below with the various delicacies of the season.



McManis Family Vineyards Viognier 2009
California, USA
$19.95 (Vintages #658112) 13.5% alcohol
For lovers of Viognier, this is a must-have wine . . . Bright, golden, the aromas delight – floral notes, tropical and ripe stone fruit and a whiff of perfurmed musk. Medium bodied and try, it has a silky texture and succulent flavours of apricot, nectarine and lemon-lime, lovingly balanced with lively acidity and underlying minerality. There’s a bright note of citrus peel on the finish. A treat – go for it!

Creekside Estate ‘Laura’ Red 2007
VQA Niagara, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages #117960) 12.7% alcohol
This is another award winner from the famed 2007 vintage, a Bordeaux-style blend aged 21 months in French and American oak. For the first time, it includes all five varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to the fore, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Dry, medium full-bodied, the wine is deep and inky with loads of aromas and flavours of dark berries and plums, with some attractive cedar, sweet spice and herbal notes. Ripe tannins and fine acidity create the framework for lovely balance. The finish is dry and persistent. A good choice for hearty winter meals, it will also cellar in the short term.


Luigi Bosca ‘Reserva’ Syrah 2007
Maipu, Argentina
$17.95 (Vintages #143412) 14.1% alcohol
Produced from the fruit of low-yielding vines and aged in French oak for a year, this ruby red wine is fragrant with aromas of sweet dark fruit, licorice and smoke. Beautifully composed, dry, medium-full bodied, loads of dark berry, pit fruit and spicy, peppery flavours are deftly balanced with supple tannins and fresh acidity. The depth of fruit flavour is evident on the lengthy finish, which also offers a bright peppery tang. Drinking well now, it’s a candidate for mid-term cellaring.


Chateau de Gourgazaud Reserve 2006
AOC MInervois la Liviniere, France
$17.95 (Vintages #986083) 13.5% alcohol
A deep opaque red hue, this wine has an enticingly complex nose – cherry, plum, spice, cocoa and licorice. Dry, medium-full bodied, it’s a balanced mouthful of richly textured brooding dark fruit and spice, with supple tannins and fine acidity. The finish is pleasingly warm and fruity, with some lingering notes of dark chocolate. Great value – pick up a few bottles!


Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico 2007
DOCG Chianti Classico, Italy
$21.95 (Vintages #295964) 14.0% alcohol
This historic family-owned estate pays great attention to organic methods in the creation of its wine. The wine, semi-transparent with a hint of brick, has rich ripe aromas of red berry fruit, fragrant cedar and spice. Dry, medium bodied, it has outstanding balance – ripe supple tannins, fresh acidity and bright fruit complemented with hints of spice, pepper and licorice. Fine, consistent, with a smooth, fresh texture, it leaves a lasting imprint on the palate, but a light touch on the planet!


Grand Total: $97.75


An optional sparkling wine worth the splurge on:


Segura Viudas ‘Brut Reserva Heredad’ Cava
$29.95 (Vintages #558825) 12.0% alcohol
Golden with some green notes, displaying lovely depth and balance, this limited production wine is a blend of the first pressing of estate-grown Macabeo and Parellada. Intense aromas of pear, citrus and toasted butter pastry entice. Dry, bright and fresh, it has a fine creamy mousse and a lively crisp texture. Rich flavours of Bosc pear and lemon-lime wash across the palate and linger on the clean and persistent finish. A sparkling wine of presence and weight in an elegant hand-blown bottle with a pewter crest and base, it would present well as a gift or served at any holiday gathering. 

More about my blog post: 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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