Portgual & New Zealand show off their vibrantly stylish wines

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We’re well into Spring with the April 13 LCBO Vintages release, which features wines from New Zealand and Portugal. New Zealand’s southern hemisphere water-bound land mass offers a mid-latitude maritime environment particularly suited to the production of unique, quality wines. Not only is there diversity in the varieties cultivated—from the well-known Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, to Syrah and Viognier—but there is great regional diversity—from the established regions of Marlborough and Hawkes Bay, to the emerging Waitaki Valley.

New Zealand – commitment to sustainable winemaking

The New Zealand wine industry has made a firm commitment to innovative and sustainable viticultural and winemaking practices which they expect will reinforce their reputation for “vibrantly stylish wines”. In 2007, the New Zealand wine industry committed to having 100% of the country’s wine produced under approved independently audited sustainability standards by 2012. The industry shares practices in areas such as water usage, energy consumption, waste management and biodiversity.This Vintages release highlights New Zealand’s best-known wine regions, Marlborough and Hawkes Bay, showcasing classic Sauvignon Blanc, aromatic Pinot Gris, and clean unoaked Chardonnay, as well as elegant Pinot Noir and fruity, well-balanced Merlot.

 Portugal – tradition integrated with state-of-the art viticulture

Portugal is best known for its famous Port wine, but the country also produces tangy, fresh white wines and concentrated flavourful red wines from a broad range of native grape varieties. The country has a long history of winemaking, dating back several millennia. Since joining the European Union the 1980s, Portugal has experienced substantial change and an increasing focus on quality in the wine industry. Now Portugal is integrating traditional with modern methods to produce wines of great character, yet modern in style. While most wine was previously produced by cooperatives, and much still is, many grape growers are now establishing their own wineries (quintas) and creating wines with their own unique style. This LCBO release provides the opportunity to try a classic Alvarinho Vino Verde, as well as several red wines, many of them including Touriga Nacional, such as Monte Vilar Reserva. Touriga Nacional is one of Portugal’s best-known red grapes, used in the production of red varietal wines, red wine blends and Port. There’s great value in these wines, with the majority priced under $20.

The general release offers some tasty Niagara wines such as: Fielding Estate Cabernet Franc and Reif ‘The Magician’ Shiraz/Pinot Noir, Viewpointe Estate Auxerrois and Featherstone Rosé, the latter two included in our selection. If you want to share a taste of a rich savoury Chilean red wine, try the Perez Cruz  Cabernet Sauvignon in the 375ml format. Other full-flavoured red wines include Easton Zinfandel, Oyster Bay Merlot and Quinta de Ventozelo ‘Reserva’ Douro Tinto. There’s also great value in the fruit-forward Montepulciano and Sangiovese blend, deAngelis Rosso Piceno Superiore ($14.95) and the Rhône red blend, Le Cirque Grenache/Carignan/Mourvèdre/Syrah ($15.95). With all the great values on offer, we’re managed to include 6 wines for just under $100!

Cheers and Enjoy!

Susan

 

 

Kim Crawford ‘East Coast’ Unoaked Chardonnay 2012 

Marlborough/Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
$18.95 (Vintages #991950) 13.0% alcohol

Straw hued and delightfully expressive with aromas of white flowers, citrus and ripe stone fruit, this is a clean, fresh white wine. Dry, with a racy backbone of keen acidity, it offers flavours of melon, green apple and tangy citrus, as well as a pithy note that persists on the lengthy, mouth-watering finish. Enjoy with your choice of seafood or lemon roast chicken.

 

 Monte Vilar Reserva 2011

Alentejo, Portugal
$14.95 (Vintages #276105) 14.0% alcohol

An excellent value, this ruby/violet blend of native red grape varieties display remarkable complexity of aromas—vanilla, ripe fresh field berries, dried cherries, mineral and earth. Dry, medium-full bodied, the concentrated dark berry fruit is garnished with a touch of pepper and espresso and framed by fresh acidity and perceptible tannins. The finish is dry, full flavoured and long lasting. Pick up a few bottles and try them over the next several years.

 

Viewpointe Estate Auxerrois 2011

VQA Lake Erie North Shore, Ontario
$14.95 (Vintages #327239) 12.5% alcohol

From a dramatic boutique estate winery on the shore of Lake Erie comes this lovely pale gold wine, tantalizing the nose with delicate aromas of stone and tropical fruit, pear and flowers. Just off-dry, the flavours are quite intense—pineapple, ripe yellow plum, apricot and juicy nectarine. It’s a very tasty wine with a fine balancing seam of acidity and a delicious fruity finish. A good choice to sip on its own or to savour with lightly spiced dishes, previous vintages have sold out quickly from the winery. Don’t miss the boat!

Featherstone Rosé 2012 

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$14.95 (Vintages #117861) 12.0% alcohol
Produced from Gamay and Merlot, the deep rosy salmon color of this tasty rosé wine portends the intensity of aromas and flavours. Bursting with ripe red field berries and cherries, apple skin and mineral notes, it also exhibits hints of spice and pepper. Dry, mid weight, all that juicy flavour is balanced with lively acidity right through the lasting flavourful finish. A versatile, value-driven wine that will delight on its own or paired on a warm spring day with a balsamic beef and strawberry salad.

 

Alfredo Roca‘Reserva de Familia’ Pinot Noir 2010

Mendoza, Argentina
$19.95 (Vintages #301275) 13.0% alcohol
Aged 9 months in oak, displaying a garnet hue, this gem of a wine offers attractive aromas of cherry/berry garnished with notes of vanilla, spice and toast. Dry, silky in texture, it has a lovely core of ripe fruit—raspberry, cherry and blackberry—mingling with notes of spiced oak and earth. Approachable, with fruit deftly balanced by fresh acidity and fine tannins, it delivers a lengthy, dry yet smooth finish.

 

Château la Croix de Queynac 2009

AOC Bordeaux Supérieur
$15.95 (Vintages #138636) 13.0% alcohol

Deep ruby, this award-winning red wine offers depth of flavour and very nice value. The aromas are very ripe berry fruits, spice and cedar, with a sweet note of dried fruits. Dry, medium-full bodied, ripe tannins and a fine measure of acidity balance plush berry fruit, sweet spice and a trace of toasty vanilla that carries through the long-lasting dry finish. Enjoy this attractive blend now or over the next couple of years.

 

 Grand Total: $99.70

 

 

 

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