Posts Tagged ‘de Toren Z 2008’

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

Posted by Susan

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, September 3, 2011

If you enjoy the complexity, depth and texture of big red blends, the September 3 LCBO Vintages release delivers! The release leads with classic Bordeaux blends, such as Château le Monteil d’Arsac. There’s Inniskillin Okanagan’s Merlot-dominated Meritage, de Toren Z, a rich South African Bordeaux-style blend that also leads with Merlot, classic Rhône blends such as the Lavau Gigondas (Mourvèdre, Grenache and Syrah) and the Domaine Chante Cigale Tradition Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a blend which can include as many as 13 varietals, although this one is principally Grenache, married with regional classics such as Syrah, Mouvèdre and Cinsault.

Other blends include Yalumba’s Iconic Cabernet Sauvginon/Shiraz, combining the plush texture and spice of the former varietal, with the structure and aging potential of the latter, and classics such as Brigaldara’s Amarone. A Spanish winemaker, discussing her wines, once said that she felt that blending was the best way to create wines—in this manner, she could bring out the unique attributes of each varietal and vintage, blend the wines to optimize particular characteristics and offer unique intriguing creations with significant complexity.

For those interested in the building blocks of a classic blend, there’s a fabulous education in the component tasting and presentation by Pascal Madevon, winemaker and vineyard manager at Osoyoos Larose. At a seminar a couple of years ago for instance, he described the 2008 Grand Vin, leading with Merlot, providing big structure and volume, Cabernet Franc, whose chocolaty notes and strong tannins envelope and provide more power, Malbec contributing a big nose and acidity, Petit Verdot the source of more tannic structure and aromas, and Cabernet Sauvignon adding complexity and additional ageability to the blend.

In addition to classic red blends, we are seeing more appealingly aromatic blended whites from Ontario and British Columbia, for instance, 13th Street’s White Palette, included in an earlier release, and Road 13’s Honest John’s White in the current release. It includes Riesling, Kerner, Gewürztraminer, Schoenerger, Muller Thurgau and Pinot Gris, delivering lifted and complex aromatics on a backbone of zesty acidity. Try some of these blends, and take the opportunity to compare say an Australian Cab Sauv/Shiraz blend with a varietal Australian Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvginon.

The second feature marks the 150th anniversary of Italian unification with a selection of wines from some of Italy’s best-known appellations and varietals—Piemonte’s Dolcetto, Barbera and Barbaresco, Sangiovese-based Chianti Classico and Morellino di Scansanco from Toscana, a tasty Amrarone from Valpolicella, and Negroamara and Primitivo from Puglia in the south. There’s something here for every palate and pocketbook. This selection includes an irresistible dessert wine, Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise. Share it with friends over the long weekend!

de Toren Z 2008
WO Stellenbosch, South Africa
$32.95 (Vintages #178194) 14.5% alcohol

Well-crafted and finely balanced, the aromas of this classic Right Bank Bordeaux-style blend draw you right in—dark berry and plum, roasted peppers and sun-kissed herbs. Dry, medium-full bodied, robust yet supple, the components all knit together—well-integrated tannins, lovely fresh acidity and ripe fruit nuanced with mint and herbs. The finish is long, warm, fruity and slightly peppery. Full flavoured and just plain delicious.

Luis Felipe Edwards ‘Reserva’ Merlot 2009
Colchagua Valley, Chile
$14.95 (Vintages #250340) 14.0% alcohol
Enjoy the tantalizing array of aromas—floral, herbal, spice, raspberry and black cherry—in this big, deep inky wine. Dry, medium-full bodied, displaying lively texture and great underlying structure, the flavourful fruit is complemented with a replay of spice and herbs, some notes of toast garnishing the lengthy warm dry finish.

Inniskillin ‘Winemaker’s Series Barrel-Aged’ Pinot Gris 2009
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages #177766) 14.0% alcohol
Offering an elegant twist on the varietal, this dry award-winning medium-bodied wine is subtle, spiced and fruity on the nose. Lush yet lively in texture, it brings to mind preserved peaches, honeyed roast pear and lemon chiffon pie. There’s a nice lift from spice and pepper on the fresh lasting fruity finish. Delish!

Domaine des Bernardins Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise 2009
AOC Beaumes-de-Venise, France
$16.95 (Vintages #129999) 15.0% alcohol (375 ml)
It’s a dream, seducing you with notes of dried apricot, peach nectar, honeysuckle, honey and fruit of the vine. The texture is luscious and silky, the sumptuous preserved stone fruit and dried mango is poised on a backbone of generous acidity, and a hint of warmth glides through the delectable finish. A lovely closer, sip it on its own or with an orange crème brulée, or cellar long term.

Grand Total: $84.80

Worth the splurge:
Here’s a tasty modestly priced Amarone for your enjoyment!
Corte Majoli Amarone della Valpolicella 2007
DOCG Valpolicella, Italy
$33.95 (Vintages #81943) 15.5% alcohol

Head straight to the display for this classic value-laden Amarone. Savour the warm aromas of ripe fruit, dried berries, chocolate-coated caramel and cedar. Dry, medium bodied, the texture is like satin across the palate, the balance exquisite, and the layers of flavours fascinating—from ripe red fruit, through bittersweet chocolate, a toffee-like note and exotic spice. The finish is warm, fruity and so tasty, you just want more. Savour it with an aged Pecorino.

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!