Posts Tagged ‘2011 Vintages release’

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

Posted by Susan

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

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,


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


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.


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

Posted by Susan

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

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

LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, August 6, 2011

There are great values to be had in the feature on Chilean wines in the August 6 LCBO Vintages release. While the country has developed a reputation for such iconic wines as Montes Purple Angel, Chile can be counted on to deliver reliably ripe, fruity full-flavoured accessible wines. The country is quite isolated by natural features, bound on the north and south by a desert and Antarctica, on the east and west by the Andes and the Pacific Ocean. This isolation has proven beneficial, keeping the country’s wine-growing regions largely free of the infamous phylloxera louse which decimated vines around the world in the late 1800s. Since then most vines are grafted onto American rootstock, an expensive practice not required in Chile. As a country with a wide range of altitude, climate and exposure, Chile can successfully cultivate many varietals, including Chardonnay, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc among the whites, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Carmenére, it’s most famous grape, among the reds. Prior to the phylloxera infestation in France, Carmenére was one of the blending varietals of Bordeaux. The vine was brought to Chile in the mid-1800s and for many years was assumed to be Merlot. In the mid 1990s, it was properly identified and has become the signature red varietal of Chile, known for being approachable, intensely purple colored, spicy character and soft velvety body.

This release also includes a small feature on B.C. wines, including a luscious full-bodied Chardonnay from Burrowing Owl, a classic Gewurztraminer from Dirty Laundry Vineyards, a fruity Merlot from Gehringer Brothers, a rich full Pinot Noir from See Ya Later Ranch, and a Bordeaux-style red blend from Laughing Stock. A long narrow valley, the Okanagan offers a range of climate, terroir and exposure, with almost every property overlooking a lake or river. The featured wineries are located in the central and south Okanagan, where the interplay of hot summers, shadows on the mountainside and unique microclimates create the context for outstanding wines. Finally, this release provides the unique opportunity to sample a fabulous off-dry sparkling wine from Nova Scotia’s Benjamin Bridge. The great value in this release means we’ve included 6 wines in the selection!



Anakena ‘Lilén Single Vineyard’ Viognier 2010
Requinoa, Chile
$13.95 (Vintages #45138) 13.5% alcohol

A golden cascade into the glass foreshadows the smooth texture and lovely balance of this dry, medium-full bodied wine. Tangy aromas tantalize the nose—floral, stone and tropical fruit. The fruit replays on the palate, a stream of citrusy acidity refreshing and the characteristic touch of pithiness coming through on the lasting finish. A great value, you’ll enjoy it with barbequed shrimp and grilled vegetables.

Anakena ‘Single Vineyard’ Pinot Noir 2009
Leyda Valley, Chile
$13.95 (Vintages #208439) 13.5% alcohol
This wine displays a lovely balance and weight, depth of aromas and flavours and a fine silky texture. It’a all about rich ripe red fruit, with a garnish of spice and an appealing earthiness. Dry, full flavoured, the fine tannins and acidity make for a very approachable wine. Hints of spice and white pepper add complexity on the lasting finish. An excellent value.

Chilensis ‘Reserva’ Carmenére’ 2010
Maule Valley, Chile
$12.95 (Vintages #657981) 14.0% alcohol
Dry, medium-full bodied, this ruby wine entices with aromas of berry fruit, vanilla, smoky roasted pepper and a herbal note. The rich ripe dark fruit—blueberry and luscious black cherry—harmonizes with ripe tannins and fresh acidity. Peppery notes and a hint of espresso garnish the finish. A very nice value and a good choice for spicy pork ribs.

Emiliana ‘Adobe Reserva’ Syrah 2009
Rapel Valley, Chile
$12.95 (Vintages #213553) 14.0% alcohol
Deep purple, this award-winning organic wine is highly fragrant with aromas of spicy rose, dark berries, licorice and smoke. Dry, medium-full bodied, well structured, the rich ripe black berry flavours caress the palate, subtle peppery smoky notes persisting through the generous finish. Grilled red meat and a few bottles will liven up the party!

Benjamin Bridge Nova 7 2010
Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia
$25.00 (Vintages #256289) 8.5% alcohol

Finally, this delectable Nova Scotia wine has made it to Ontario. A winemakers’ favorite at a spring tasting in Ottawa, you won’t want to miss out. Benjamin Bridge is building a reputation for outstanding sparkling wines, many of which sell out within weeks of release. Nova 7 is a secret blend of several Nova Scotia varietals, the principal one being New York Muscat, created in the style of light, off-dry Italian sparklers. Light on its feet with a delightful fine creamy mousse, it offers lovely floral, peach, lime-splashed mango and mineral notes, harmonized with fresh acidity, creating a tangy yet fruit-filled mid-length finish. Have I said it’s wonderful . . . Sip it for pleasure or enjoy with light summer salads with a fruity vinaigrette.

Gehringer Brothers ‘Dry Rock Vineyard’ Merlot 2009
VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
$18.95 (Vintages #229898) 14.4% alcohol

A deep ruby, this enticing wine offers complexity on the nose and palate. Aromas of red berry, plum, spice, herb and smoke drift from the glass. Dry, medium bodied, there’s depth and concentration of fruit and intriguing notes of earth, char and pepper that persist on the lasting finish. An approachable, accessible wine from the South Okanagan. Enjoy it with grilled rib steak or cellar short term.

Grand Total: $97.75

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!