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, July 9, 2011

You’ll want to celebrate the 90+ wines in the July 9 LCBO Vintages release with one of the fine sparklers also featured. I’ve included one of my favorites, a Crémant de Bourgogne rosé, but there’s a wide range to choose from including Grand Cru Champagne, German Sekt, Spanish Cava, Italian Prosecco and Moscato d’Asti, as well as sparklers from Ontario, California and South Africa.

The classifier ‘classic or traditional method’ implies that the wine goes through a second fermentation in bottle, like Champagne, a process used for more complex wines that tends to produce a fine mousse and delightful aromas of brioche and baked bread. Cava, for instance, and the Mike Weir Sparkling Brut, are produced in this way. The Charmat Method, which sees the wine bottled after undergoing a second fermentation in tank, produces a lively refreshing sparkling wine—a good example being Prosecco. Often these wines are less expensive than those produced using the traditional approach. Try one produced using each method, for instance a Crémant and a Prosecco, and see what you think!

The principal feature focuses on critic-reviewed wines that scored 90 or more points. Individuals follow the recommendations of wine reviewers for different reasons—their reputation, the type of wines they review, the accessibility of their reviews, etc. In the end, you may choose to follow a particular reviewer because their tastes and preferences in wines coincide with yours or because you are looking for reliable wine recommendations when you want to try something new.

For you, the ‘Savvy’ follower of “If I had $100”, I have highlighted below a couple of 90+ wines I would buy, but there are many others to choose from: an unusual fresh, aromatic Verdeca, a fine New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, a beautiful Oregon Pinot Noir, an expressive concentrated Australian Grenache, among others. Take you pick of these wines, then start your tasting al fresco with the Crémant de Bourgogne rosé!


Cheers,

Susan

Louis Bouillot ‘Perle d’Aurore’ Brut Rosé Crémant de Bourgogne nv
Burgundy, France
$18.95 (Vintages #48793) 12.0% alcohol

Pale salmon, this is an absolutely delightful medium-bodied sparkler that’s fruity yet dry. From the subtle aromas of summer berries, spice and brioche through the delicate creamy mousse that refreshes the palate, it offers light red berry flavours and a lasting fresh finish. A great value, enjoy it with nothing to do, or with a smoked salmon appetizer.

Rocca di Castagnoli Chianti Classico 2007
Chianti Classico, Italy
$19.95 (Vintages #222810) 14.0% alcohol

The ruby tone of this wine is echoed in the enticing aromas and flavours of ripe red berries and cherries. Dry, medium bodied, fresh yet rounded, the fruit predominates, subtle exotic spices perfuming the wine. In fine balance, the wine has a lasting slightly warm finish graced with delicate notes of spice and toast. Enjoy it now or cellar medium term.

Ramos Pinto ‘Duas Quintas’ Reserva 2007
Douro, Portugal
$21.95 (Vintages #951301) 15.0% alcohol

Inky purple, this blend of classic port grapes—Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Barroca—is rich and fruity, offering nuances of spice and vanilla. Dry, full bodied and satin smooth, it displays a defined structure of firm tannins and refined acidity. The tasting experience is delicious—ripe fruit, peppery warmth, spicy toast and a bite of espresso. Very tasty, with a lasting dry finish, it will cellar long term.

Château Hourbanon 2003
AOC Médoc, France
$21.95 (Vintages #125922) 13.0% alcohol
This is an impressive value-laden wine from a hot vintage. Garnet in the glass, it proffers complex aromas—dark berries, dried cherries, herbal notes and a whiff of cedar. Dry, medium bodied with a firm structure and fresh acidity, the intriguing replay of flavours on the palate captivates. The long refined finish calls for more, so consider a few bottles.

Baglio di Pianetto ‘Shymer’ Syrah/Merlot 2008
IGT Sicily, Italy
$15.95 (Vintages #219501) 14.5% alcohol
Deep ruby, this wine is heady with dark fruit, vanilla, savoury herbal and perfumed floral notes. Dry, full bodied and intensely flavourful, it’s rich with black fruits—cherries, berries, plums—peppery and slightly smoky. All that rich fruit is framed by perceptible tannins, the warm peppery note persisting on the fruity finish. A good value!

Grand Total: $98.75

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!

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