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

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With the holiday season approaching, you may want to select wines for entertaining at home or for offering a host that you know are consistently available. The Vintages Essentials program is a great choice! A defined group of products, always available at select LCBO retail outlets, Essentials is a collection of hand-selected, finely crafted wines from around the world whose proven popularity makes them a reliable choice for any event.

The  LCBO Vintages releases provide a great opportunity to discover new wines and spirits, but once they’re sold out, the release wine are no longer available. The program was created to satiate the increasing consumer desire for interesting boutique wines, as opposed to the large-scale production wines that could supply every store year round. So when a wine sells out, it’s the end of that vintage – or year of production – and to get more from these small-scale wineries you just have to wait until next year.

The wines in the program are regularly reviewed, and choice wines are added periodically. Recent additions include the south Okanagan’s Osoyoos Larose (626325, $45.00), a Bordeaux-style blend known for its depth and ageability, Frescobaldi CastelGiocondo’s spicy Brunello di Montalcino (650432, $49.95) and Cakebread Cellars’ opulent Cabernet Sauvignon (710426, $99.95).

The collection includes a number of  icewines, iconic Champagnes, and a wide selection of white and red wines for all occasions, including Canadian wines such as Henry of Pelham Sauvignon Blanc (430546, $14.95), Trius Red (303800, $21.95) and Mission Hill ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon (553321, $22.95). The medley below is designed to offer a range of wines that will please every palate, readily accessible for hosting or gifting as you attend various events through the holiday season.

Cheers and Enjoy,

Susan

Willm ‘Réserve’ Riesling 2009
Alsace, France
$15.95 (Vintages #11452) 12.5% alcohol
Dry, zesty and juicy, this medium-bodied hand-harvested Riesling offers a bouquet of aromas with floral, stone fruit and citrus predominant. On the palate, it’s a pure citrus play—grapefruit and lemon/lime to the fore with flinty notes. They replay on the lingering tangy aftertaste making a great match with light appetizers or creamy seafood linguini.

Anselmi San Vincenzo 2010
Veneto, Italy
$16.95 (Vintages #948158) 12.7% alcohol
Here’s a bright golden blend of Garganega, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc that offers light floral and tree fruit aromas. Medium bodied with a refreshing acidity, it has appealing sweet fruit flavours—pears and peaches come to mind. It’s well integrated and balanced with a crisp and lingering finish. This is a versatile wine that pairs well with a range of light meat or pasta dishes.

 

Pérez Cruz ‘Réserva’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Maipo Valley, Chile
$14.95 (Vintages #694208) 14.5% alcohol
Offering exceptional value, this dry, medium-full bodied hand-harvested wine features complex aromas—cherry berry fruit, toasty oak, sweet spice and a whiff of herbs. The texture is smooth, the tannins ripe, the taste experience flavourful and well-balanced. Attractive notes of dark chocolate and spice garnish the long polished finish. A great choice for rich meat dishes.

 

Mitolo ‘Jester’ Shiraz 2009
McLaren Vale, Australia
$21.95 (Vintages #659607) 15.0% alcohol
If you enjoyed the Mitolo ‘Jester’ Cabernet Sauvignon featured in a recent Vintages release, you will also enjoy this vibrant Shiraz. From vineyards that benefit from a maritime climate and long even ripening period, this ample wine is partially barrel fermented, then aged in French oak for nine months. Deep, dark and loaded with blackberry and boysenberry jam flavours, this dry, full-bodied wine offers great depth of fruit, notes of licorice, spice and toast, and a fine supporting frame. Approachable and generous, enjoy it now with grilled meats and roasted veggies, or cellar medium term.

 

Tommasi Ripasso Valpolicella ‘Classico Superiore’ 2009
Valpolicella, Italy
$19.95 (Vintages #910430) 13.0% alcohol
Expect depth and intensity from this classic wine of the region, which undergoes a second fermentation with the still-warm skins of the partially dried grapes pressed for Amarone. The aromas and flavours display added complexity, the core of black cherry and berry augmented with notes of sweet dried fruit. Spice, pepper and hints of cedar join the chorus. A rich, smooth, dry full-flavoured wine, it will pair well with robust meat dishes, but is very enjoyable with a fine Pecorino, dried fruits and roasted nuts.

Grand Total: $89.75

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For an outstanding bubbly, elegantly packaged, try this unique Cava from the November 26 release.


Segura Viudas ‘Brut Réserva Heredad’ Cava
DO Penedès, Spain
$29.95 (Vintages #558825) 12.0% alcohol

Golden, with some green notes, this limited-production Cava, a blend of the first pressing of estate-grown Macabeo and Parellada, displays depth and lovely balance. Intense aromas of pear, citrus and toasted butter pastry entice. Dry, bright and fresh, it has a refined creamy mousse and a lively, crisp texture. Rich flavours of Bosc pear and lemon-lime wash across the palate and linger on the clean, persistent finish. A sparkling wine of presence and weight in an elegant hand-blown bottle with a pewter crest and base, it presents well as a gift or served at any holiday gathering.

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