If I only had $100, I would buy these wines at Vintages

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If I only had $100, I would buy . . .

LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, September 17, 2011

Highlighting the 2008 vintage in Bordeaux, the September 17 LCBO Vintages release also includes an opportunity to compare cool-climate Pinot Noir originating from Oregon and Burgundy as well as a special selection of four New Zealand wines. The 2008 vintage in Bordeaux was full of ups and downs, including erratic bud break in the early spring and a killing frost in April that severely reduced yields. The early summer was wet and damp, impacting flowering. Although the sun shone in July, August and early September were cool requiring green harvesting which further reduced yields. Fortunately, the warm dry weather returned in September and carried through October, creating favorable harvest conditions for those properties willing to let their fruit hang. In general, it seems the fruit was in good condition, but there was much less of it. Bordeaux watchers indicate there is significant variability from one appellation to another, so this LCBO Vintages feature creates the opportunity to compare a wide range of wines from both left and right bank producers. Look for fragrance, freshness and fruitiness.(1) Select a wine from each major region, for instance Château Pontet-Caillou and Château des Moines, and give them a try! And keep in mind that the October 1 release features wines chosen for those beginning a private cellar – with the September 17 selection of Bordeaux wines, you can get a head start right now! The Pinot Noir face off features samples from the 2008 and 2009 vintages in Burgundy and Oregon’s Williamette Valley which, like Burgundy, has a number of sub-regions (known as AVAs) that produce distinct types of wines. This is another opportunity to compare and contrast wines whose character will vary, in this case based on geography, terroir, clonal selection, growing philosophy and winemaking methods. Parent’s Bourgogne Pinot Noir and Red Shot Lane Pinot Noir offer a good starting point. Finally, if you are an aficionado of premiium New Zealand wines, you can choose from a Sauvignon Blanc, a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir and a Bordeaux-style blend, all rated 90+.

Cheers

Susan

Château le Grand Moulin Cuvée Collection 2008
AOC Bordeaux, France
$15.95 (Vintages #245357) 13.0% alcohol

This award-winning wine gets points for value and approachability. There’s a nuance of vanilla drifting over lovely rich spiced fruit. Dry, mid-weight, it’s subtly structured, silky on the palate and loaded with ripe red cherry/berry flavours, notes of fines herbes and spiced toast garnishing the mid-length finish. Savour it now or put some bottles aside to enjoy in the next couple of years.

Château des Moines 2008
AOC Lalande-de-Pomerol, France
$22.95 (Vintages #206789) 12.5% alcohol
Semi-opaque, ruby hued, this Merlot-based Bordeaux delivers aromas of smoky toast, spicy roses, cedar and field berries. There’s a firm underlying structure, a velvety caressing texture, and an attractive balance of fresh acidity and concentrated flavours of plum, dark berries, spice and roasted peppers. Persistent and dry on the finish, it’s a good candidate for mid-term cellaring.

Domaine Parent ‘Bourgogne’ Pinot Noir 2009
AOC Bourgogne
$19.95 (Vintages #597971) 13.8% alcohol
This is a very nice value, delivering a subtle floral fragrance, earthiness and aromas of spiced red berries. Dry, medium bodied and supple, there’s a well-crafted balance of tangy red fruit, soft tannins and lively acidity. A lovely flavourful well-structured wine. Enjoy it now with roast duck breast, or cellar medium term.

Gehringer Brothers ‘Private Reserve’ Pinot Gris 2009
VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
$17.95 (Vintages #347203) 13.2% alcohol
Dressed in the pink straw tint of an autumn grass, this is a mouthwateringly delicious wine with tantalizing aromas of stone fruit, honey melon, musky floral and subtle citrus notes. Dry, medium bodied and fresh, the fine flavourful orchard fruit rides on a backbone of lively acidity, finishing with a tangy little kick. A versatile wine that’s a great value.

Emiliana ‘Winemaker’s Selection’ Syrah/Mouvèdre 2007
Colchagua Valley, Chile
$18.95 (Vintages #243394) 14.5% alcohol
Biodynamic vineyard and winemaking practices were used to produce this dense tantalizing wine. Complexity on the nose—earthy autumnal notes, sweet herbs, a hint of tapenade and rich dark fruit—is evident on the palate. Dry, medium-full bodied, fresh acidity and firm structure frame dark berries and cherries overlaid with enticing nuances of toast, herbs and spice. A wine that lingers and invites another sip, and another. Enjoy it with grilled beef marinated in balsamic and herbs.

Grand Total: $96.75

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!

(1)Source: thewinedoctor.com

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