Posts Tagged ‘If I only had $100 I would buy’

Valentine’s wines to fall in love with

Posted by Julie

Thursday, January 31st, 2013
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Flowers and chocolates may be on the list for some Valentines, but I would rather give or share a great bottle of wine any time. The latest release at the LCBO Vintages offers all kinds of fabulous choices from some new varietals through to some sparkling wines. Try a bubbly to set the mood before any dinner or just enjoy a glass on its own. The Peller Cuvée Ice Rosé Sparkling (a beautiful pink colour in the glass) that I recommend in this release is truly outstanding and worth the splurge.

If you wish to continue a “pink” theme for a Valentine’s dinner, keep in mind the Tawse Rosé.  I have written about this rosé wine in the past, and it is one of my favourites, not to mention its origin is in Canada’s ‘Winery of the Year’, so for something different this is a great pick. It would be delicious paired with fish or some seafood appetizers.

If chicken is on your sweetheart menu, the Norman Hardie Chardonnay 2009 (Prince Edward County) at $35.00 will bring lots of ooohs and aww’s.

Finally, if you happen to have a box of fine Belgian chocolates – after all it is Valentine’s Day – some icewine would be the perfect match. The Megalomaniac Cold Hearted Riesling IceWine is not too hard on the pocketbook priced at $29.95. Deliciously sweet but the refreshing squirt of lemon on the finish sure balances it out.

I hope you find something pink or red and delicious for Valentine’s Day. Here are my picks:

Cheers!

Julie

 

Peller Cuvée Ice Rosé Sparkling

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario (Méthode Classique)
$34.95 (Vintages #113035) 12% alcohol

It is no wonder that this was a winner of a Gold Medal at the Wine Access 2011 Canadian Wine Awards. The winemaker included a dose of Cabernet Fanc icewine in this sparkling wine to create a first class act from start to finish. This vivid pink sparkling wine is elegant, bone dry, has a lovely fine mousse (tiny bubbles) loaded with ripe strawberry and soft peach flavours. I can’t say enough how deliciously yum this tastes.

Three Saints Chardonnay 2009

Santa Barbara County, California, U.S.A.
$20.95 (Vintages #297531) 14% alcohol

Chardonnay just never goes out of style and this full-bodied delight is creamy and luscious. It oozes flavours of savoury butterscotch with layers of ripe tropical fruit. It is dry, smooth, velvety in texture with a peachy-apricot, hazelnut finish. It would be divine with a creamy chicken dish or just on its own with a little sharp cheese. This one is on my “must buy” list.

Susana Balbo Signature Malbec 2010

Dominio del Plata, Mendoza, Argentina
$19.95 (Vintages #079798) 14.4% alcohol

While the Malbec grape has its origins in France, it has become increasing known as Argentina’s signature grape varietal. Susana did well to make this beauty at a great price. A dark purple-plum colour that exhibits notions of earthiness, blueberries, blackberries and reminiscent of a baked berry pie. It is fruity but dry with soft tannins and a hint of tobacco. A fabulous table wine with any grilled or braised meats.

Sampietrana 1952 Riserva Brindisi 2008

DOC, Puglia, Italy
$15.95 (Vintages #310086) 13.5% alcohol

The judges must have found this wine as juicy as I did when they gave it the Golf Medal at the 2011 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. A deep ruby red displaying some violet and lavender on the nose and on the palate a big blast of ripe dark cherries.  The key grape is Negroamaro  grown predominantly in Puglia, often known as the heel of the Italian boot.  There’s a little woodsy, chocolate or mocha on the finish which makes it a great sipper. The old rule for food and wine pairing, “if it grows together it goes together” so it would be a great match for pasta bolognese and traditional meat lasagna.

 

Grand Total: $ 91.80 

P.S. There’s enough left over to buy a chocolate truffle or two!

 

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From the founder of Rosemount….

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012
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Robert Oatley is a true pioneer in the Australian wine industry. He helped put Shiraz on the map when he owned Rosemount Estate – considered the most recognized family run winery in Australia.  Ranked #25 by Forbes Magazine as one of Australia’s billionaires, everything that Robert touches turns into gold!  He is now involved in luxury & hospitality & a winery that bears his own name, this great man still finds time for his other passion – sailing.

Robert Oatley Rosé of Sangiovese 2011

New South Wales, Australia
$15.95
VINTAGES 278275, 12.8% Alcohol

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: From Australia’s first plantings of the Italian Sangiovese grapes (used for Chianti wines), this dry wine is delicate with well balanced aromas & tastes of red fruit, herbs (tarragon or mint?), peach & raw sugar (do find this?).

Suggested Food Pairing: Frankly…nothing! Chill & enjoy on its own….then sit outside on the deck & unwind.

 

Little known Aussie facts…

Australia’s first vineyards were planted in 1788 in a small area near the Sydney Harbour Bridge?

There are now 64 designated wine regions in Australia

Australia is the 4th largest exporter of wine in the world

Canada ranks as Australia’s 3rd largest market (behind US & UK).

 

Want to go to Australia?

Come with me on Taste Your Way Around Australia trip that I will be co-hosting in March 2013 organized by Aussie Travel.  It’ll be a 23 day extravaganza of delicious Australian cuisine, winery tours, dinners with chefs, boutique hotels & unique cultural excursions.

Warning: you may not come back!

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

Posted by Susan

Thursday, October 13th, 2011
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If I only had $100, I would buy . . .

LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, October 15, 2011

The classic red wines of Italy’s best-known regions, Piemonte and Toscana, feature in the October 15 LCBO Vintages release. Italian wines can be named for either the grape, the region they’re from, or out of traditional use of a name with a likely fictional history. Piemonte, as its name suggests, is at the foot of the Alps, with a unique climate that includes a hot growing season, a misty autumn and a cold winter often characterized by fog. Nebbiolo, the famous grape used in the creation of Piemonte’s signature wine, Barolo, is named for the fog. Barolo and Barbaresco (also a Nebbiolo wine though generally more approachable) are named for their local villages, but other well-known wines, such as Barbera and Dolcetto, are named for the varietal, often followed by a district name (such as Barbera d’Alba) which indicates the limited area in which the wine is produced.

The release provides an opportunity to try all four of these wines, as well as a value-priced blend of Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo. Among the wines of Tuscany, you’ll find the Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino, all crafted from clones of the great Sangiovese grape, as well as IGT blends that include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

A recent visit to Tuscany offered the opportunity to visit one of the featured wineries, Volpaia. The winery is located within the limits of a Medieval fortified hillside hamlet, ringed by beautiful vineyards and olive groves that melt into the surrounding hunting preserve. When the owner and winemaker, Giovannella Stianti, decided to establish the winery, historic site restrictions required very special arrangements. All the winemaking facilities are tucked under or within the hamlet’s stone structures, and the wine is transported under the medieval cobbled lanes through stainless steel pipes. The average tourist wandering through the site would never know the winery exists except for the charming tasting room on the small town square!

The secondary feature highlights the focus Argentine winemakers have placed on matching varietal to site, selecting high altitude vineyards to bring vibrancy and balance to their concentrated wines, limiting yields and introducing innovative techniques and technologies. It offers a selection of eight unique premium wines from Argentina, including the famous Catena Alta Malbec of Bodega Catena Zapata. Fifteen years of vineyard research, three years of experimentation and careful selection of specific lots within designated vineyards at significant elevation go into the creation of Nicolás Catena and his daughter Laura’s ‘Alta’ wines. Several of these select Argentine wines are designed for cellaring, so consider adding one or two to your collection! Among the Canadian wines, there are two fabulous Pinot Noir, one from Innikillin, the other Le Clos Jordanne vineyard, as well as a silky Riesling from Lailey and a rich Chardonnay from Jackson Triggs’ Sun Rock vineyard in the south Okanagan.

Cheers and Enjoy,

Susan

Lailey Riesling 2010
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$17.95 (Vintages #72736) 10.5% alcohol

Pale gold, the fine aromas of honeyed stone fruit and citrus drift from the glass. Just off-dry, medium bodied and lusciously fruity, this wine tastes fresh and bright, underlying minerality and the backbone of lively acidity ensuring a beautiful balance. Juicy and tasty, a mouthwateringly delicious wine! My choice for pan-fried halibut.

Guenoc Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Lake County, California
$17.95 (Vintages #104240) 14.5% alcohol
From an estate established in 1888 by a famous American actress comes a big powerful value-laden wine that captivates with intense aromas of ripe dark fruit, cocoa, spice and dark toast. Showcasing a boatload of intense dark berries, spice box and toast, this dry, medium-full bodied wine achieves balance with fine acidity and a firm tannic structure. The finish is long and dry, crying out for a robust stew.

Montes ‘Limited Selection’ Cabernet Sauvignon/Carmenère 2010
Colchagua Valley, Chile
$14.95 (Vintages #16071) 14.5% alcohol
This robust blend is a great value displaying intense, complex aromas of cedar, vanilla, toast, chocolate and black fruits. Dry, full bodied, round and rich, perceptible tannins and fine acidity frame concentrated berry fruit, sweet spice and tangy notes of char. There’s good balance through the long dry finish, the ripe fruit flavours lingering. Robust meat dishes are in order.

Volpaia Chianti Classico 2008
DOCG Chianti Classico, Italy
$21.95 (Vintages #953828) 13.5% alcohol
Everything about this wine is subtle, almost delicate, from the aromas—floral, dried herbs and sweet red fruit—through the gently spiced red berry flavours garnished with fine notes of white pepper unfolding on the palate. Fruit, tannins and fine acidity are harmoniously integrated, delivering a lasting graceful finish. Enjoy it now or cellar a bottle or two to savour in a year or two.

Domaine Grand Veneur ‘Les Champauvins’ Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2009
DOC Côtes du Rhône-Villages, France
$18.95 (Vintages #76331) 15.0% alcohol
Here’s a knock-your-socks-off value with the concentration and power of a Châteauneuf at a fraction of the price. A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, this wine delivers a stream of plush rich fruit, vanilla and faintly autumnal notes. Dry yet beautifully silky, medium-full bodied, it displays a wonderful balance of subtle structure, freshness and spiced fresh raspberry and blackberry fruit, the earthy notes recurring. Pleasing, harmonious and finishing long and warm. Pair it with duck cassoulet, or cellar 5-7 years.

Grand Total: $91.75

Options:

An iconic wine from Argentina’s storied producer, Nicolás Catena!

Catena ‘Alta’ Malbec 2008
Mendoza, Argentina
$49.95 (Vintages #982355) 13.5% alcohol

Produced from grapes specially selected from 4 family vineyards, the vibrant aromas of this dense inky wine stream from the glass—dark berries, dried herbs, mint, vanilla, spice, incense and a whiff of cocoa, all intermingling to create the fabulous complex bouquet. Full fruity black berry flavours and a rich velvety texture coat the palate, finely balanced acidity and well-integrated tannins kicking in to assure freshness. The finish is extended, notes of herbs and cocoa persisting. Bring on the prime rib, or cellar 5-7 years.

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

Posted by Susan

Thursday, July 21st, 2011
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If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, July 23, 2011

Taste your way through Italy from north to south, red or white, with the July 23 LCBO Vintages feature on Signature Varietels of Italy, some better and others lesser known. Among the whites, you’ll find delectable Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay from the North, a fruity Soave, and less common but equally appealing varietals—Greco di Tufo, Garganega and Arneis, a personal favorite for its body and rich fruit flavours. The red segment of the Italian feature includes well-known varietals from Piemonte, such as Nebbiolo—producing the renowned Barolo—Barbaresco and Barbera, from Tuscany, Sangiovese—the storied wine that creates the unique flavours of Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and Brunello di Montalcino. The lesser-known noble varietal of Campagnia and Basilicata, Aglianico, producing wines with great depth of flavour, is joined by Primitivo from Puglia. All in all, a great selection for those who have a favorite among Italian wines.

Lovers of white wine will enjoy the secondary feature, which focuses on cool-climate Chardonnay. Climatic conditions such as altitude, latitude, cool nights or cooling breezes in areas such as Burgundy, Oregon, Tasmania and Ontario bring to the fore clean crisp fruit flavours and fresh acidity, often complemented with subtle oak aging. Niagara enjoys just the right conditions to produce fine Chardonnay, and the feature includes wines from Coyote’s Run (featured in Savvy Selections), Inniskillin and Le Clos Jordanne.

Finally, you all know me as a great fan of B.C. wines – don’t miss those in this feature—a Syrah from the world’s first aboriginal-owned winery, Nk’Mip, a Merlot from Quail’s Gate, whose wines were offered to William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on their recent visit to Yellowknife, and a tangy rosé from Mission Hill that I’ve squeezed in as the sixth wine in this selection. Interested in more B.C. wines—stay tuned for a small feature in the upcoming August 6 Vintages release.

Cheers,
SusanVinea Gargarnega 2009
IGT Veronese, Italy
$12.95 (Vintages #230656) 13.0% alcohol

You won’t find a better value than this intensely aromatic award-winning wine produced from one of Italy’s lesser-known white varietals. Enjoy the floral, stone and tropical fruit fragrances and flavours. Dry, medium bodied, round and silky on the palate, this versatile wine offers a lasting honeyed fruit finish. Consider purchasing several bottles.

Cantina Tollo ‘Aldiano’ Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2007
DOC Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy
$16.95 (Vintages #51796) 14.0% alcohol
Inky purple, full-bodied and loaded with aromas and flavours of ripe dark fruit, spice box and vanilla, this is a well-crafted approachable wine. Soft tannins and acidity provide sufficient structure to balance the focused fruit, and the finish delights with notes of pepper, licorice and spice-infused chocolate. Enjoy with a meaty tomato-based pasta.

 

Cantina di Venosa Terre di Orazio 2007
DOC Aglianico di Vulture, Italy
$17.95 (Vintages #247494) 13.5% alcohol
Opaque ruby, dense, flavourful and intensely aromatic with notes of dark berries, vanilla and a whiff of fennel—what’s not to like! Dry, full bodied this wine from the noble varietal Aglianico offers attractive notes of herbs, spice and toast drifting over rich flavours of blueberry and blackberry. A peppery note lingers on the fruity finish. A tasty value that calls for grilled meats.

Ridgepoint Cabernet Franc 2009
VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara
$17.95 (Vintages #245639) 12.5% alcohol
This is a great example a varietal that does very well in Niagara. Semi-transparent ruby, this dry, medium-bodied wine offers alluring and complex aromas—berry, sweet spice, vanilla and an earthy herbal note. Savour the ripe red fruit—raspberry and cranberry—garnished with sweet spice and a hint of toast. The texture is quite silky, the underlying structure subtle, providing a deftly balanced wine with a long lasting fruity finish. A great choice for herbed grilled pork or other simple barbequed fare.

Château la Grolet 2009
AOC Côtes de Bourg, France
$17.95 (Vintages #126615) 13.5% alcohol
Dry, medium-bodied, finely balanced and structured, this biodynamic wine is a winner! Principally Merlot blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, it offers rich fruity aromas and nuances of herbs and earth. The fresh flavours of ripe field berries flow across the palate, supported by ripe tannins and a tangy texture. The dry, fruity finish lasts and lasts. Enjoy it with full-flavoured meat dishes or cellar 3-5 years.

 

Mission Hill ‘Five Vineyards’ Rosé 2010
VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
$15.95 (Vintages #229716) 12.5% alcohol
Pale salmon pink, this lively rosé has delightful aromas of red berry fruit and fresh citrus. Dry, light-medium bodied, the cherry/berry and zippy citrus flavours replay with blueberry coming through on the mid palate. Tasty and bright, it offers a lasting fresh fruity finish. Enjoy with a grilled chicken and mushroom salad.

Grand Total: $99.70

 

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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If I only had $100…I would buy at Vintages

Posted by Susan

Thursday, June 9th, 2011
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If I only had $100, I would buy these wines at Vintages . . .
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, June 11, 2011

 

As the primary feature, Amarone, Ripasso and Valpolicella are the stars from Veneto in the June 11 LCBO Vintages release. All three wines are produced from classic Italian indigenous grapes, Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara, in one of Italy’s iconic wine regions, the Veneto.

 

 

In the case of the potent Amarone, the grapes are dried on mats for several months, then pressed and vinified. This process concentrates the sugars and fruit extract creating a rich, mouth-coating wine. Ripasso is produced when the skins and pulp left from the Amarone fermentation are added to Valpolicella wine to induce a second fermentation, creating a wine of greater depth and flavour than the standard Valpolicella.

 

 

Several producers in the north of the region have been producing wines from Bordeaux varietals, Dal Maso’s Montebelvedere being one example. And the region is known for white wines such as sparkling Prosecco, and Soave, made from a blend of Garganega and Trebbiano.

 

 

The secondary feature highlights local Ontario talent, including existing wineries—Vineland Estates, Alvento, Harbour Estates, Peninsula Ridge and Lakeview—as well as a couple of newcomers. Sue-Ann Staff is now creating her own eponymous wines on her family’s historic property, and Cellaria Winery is focusing on producing fresh inspirational wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Riesling and Chardonnay.

 

 

Don’t forget Father’s Day, June 19. The release offers a range of exceptional products for the wine and spirits lover. If your dad is a wine lover, I would recommend the Domaine du Haut des Terres Blanches Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which can be enjoyed now or put aside for a special event.

 

The main release includes some great values, including one of our selections, the Barossa Valley Estate E-Minor Shiraz, from the producers of the legendary E&E Black Pepper and Ebenezer Shiraz. Swirl, sip and savour!

 


Cheers!

Susan

 

 

 

Tedeschi Corasco 2008
IGT Rosso delle Venezie, Italy
$15.95 (Vintages #216440) 14.0% alcohol
This deep ruby blend of briefly dried Corvina with Refosco and Raboso offers intriguing aromas of flowers, red fruit, savoury earthy notes, spice and pepper. Dry, medium bodied, richly textured, consistently fruity and flavourful, the wine is characterized by fine tannins, lively acidity and some elusive earthy notes. Complex and attention-grabbing, this is a great value. Try it with steak fajitas – you may need more than one bottle!

 

 

Dal Maso ‘Montebelvedere’ Cabernet 2007
DOC Colli Berici, Italy
$16.95 (Vintages #224773) 13.5% alcohol
Here’s another nice value, an unusual blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Dry, medium-full bodied and deftly balanced, this varietal wine offers fresh red berry fruit aromas, spice and smoky toast. A fresh seam of acidity carries the bright cherry/berry flavours, sweet spice lingering on the dry yet fruity finish. Very approachable and enjoyable, try it with meat-based pasta.

 

 

Sue-Ann Staff Estate ‘Robert’s Block’ Riesling 2009
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$20.95 (Vintages #231415) 11.0% alcohol
Almost transparent with faint green notes, this is a finely crafted wine with delightful complexity on the nose—floral, stone fruit, sweet citrus aromas and a whiff of mineral and petrol. Dry, light-medium bodied, there’s a clean backbone of acidity, fine minerality and persistence of stone fruit and fresh citrus. Refreshing and consistent through the finish, the tang of lime lingering. A lovely summer sipper.

 

 

Rose Hill ‘Private Reserve’ Cabernet/Merlot 2007
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$18.95 (Vintages #233841) 13.0% alcohol
From a new producer, Cellaria Winery, this is an impressive wine, ruby with lifted aromas of toast, dark berry fruit and spiced vanilla. Dry, medium-full bodied, the wine is velvety in texture, fine ripe tannins and fresh acidity balancing the core of rich dark fruit, sweet spice and hint of chocolate. There’s great fruit persistence and a whiff of smoky toast on the finish. A great value from the storied 2007 vintage, the wine will cellar medium term.

 

 

Barossa Valley Estate ‘E-Minor’ Shiraz 2009
Barossa Valley, South Australia
$17.95 (Vintages #71043) 14.0% alcohol
From an estate renowned for its premium red wines comes the little brother. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy this dry, full-bodied inky purple wine that is fragrant with ripe dark fruit, pepper and toasty vanilla. It offers robust flavours of red and black berries, pepper and notes of espresso. Finely balanced with well-integrated oak and consistent through the lengthy finish, it is an excellent value. Bring on the bar-b!

 

 

Grand Total: $90.75

 

 

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 an 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 a Savvy Sommelier who has sipped, savoured & swirled countless wines before they arrived on the shelves in Vintages has selected these wines. 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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If I only had $100, I would buy these wines at Vintages

Posted by Susan

Thursday, May 26th, 2011
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If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, May 28, 2011

California is the main actor in this week’s LCBO Vintages release, with Alsace playing a supporting role. Half the size of France, California is a significant wine region in its own right, producing the majority of U.S. wines. Topography plays a significant role in the California wine industry, creating a range of unique viticultural areas. The cool sea air and fog of the Pacific moderate vineyards in areas such as Carneros while the Mediterranean climate offers hot dry summers with limited rainfall in the sheltered interior, such as the Central Valley. California is home to wine pioneers such as Robert Mondavi, whose Fumé Blanc was first produced in 1966, award-winning wineries such as Stag’s Leap, and proud family-owned estates such as Duckhorn Vinyeards. From a region known as the home of Zinfandel, California’s reputation has broadened to include not only elegant creamy Chardonnays, rich Merlots and full-bodied iconic Cabernet blends, but refined Pinots and delightful sparkling wines such as the Mumm Napa Rosé in this release.

The California wine industry has attracted investment from major European producers, yet continues to be internationally acclaimed for its local viticultural innovation and winemaking excellence. Economic conditions, including a strong Canadian dollar, have led to an increase in the range of quality California wines available, as well as a drop in prices. There’s been a resurgence of interest in California wines across Canada over the last year—make sure you’re a part of it!

The small secondary feature offers such signature Alsatian varietals such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris from highly reputed producers. These wines always delight with their balance, weight and crisp clean fruit flavour. Sprinkled throughout the release is a sure sign of the impending summer weather—a range of rosés including some very tasty ones from Ontario’s 2010 vintage. Don’t miss this opportunity to sample the impressive range of California wines, to enjoy a food-friendly wine from Alsace, and to stock up on versatile rosés for those patio parties. We’re a few pennies over our $100, so I’ll leave it to you to pick and choose!


Cheers
Susan

Hugel & Fils ‘Tradition’ Pinot Gris 2007
AOC Alsace, France
$22.95 (Vintages #118919) 13.0% alcohol

Displaying weight and depth, this is a beautifully crafted wine with a fine silky texture. Dry, medium bodied, the aromas and luscious flavours are of sun-ripened stone fruit, pear and roasted herbs, an elusive floral note persisting. A fresh seam of citrusy acidity carries the fruit through a lingering finish. Delightful now with light meats or seafood, this wine is designed for long-term cellaring.


Featherstone Estate Rosé 2010
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$14.95 (Vintages #117861) 13.0% alcohol

A pale peachy pink, produced from Cabernet Franc and Gamay, this rosé displays an appealing nose of bright red fruit, mineral and floral notes. Mid-weight, well balanced, it’s dry yet fruity, offering a basketful of fresh berry flavours and a juicy, tangy texture through the refreshing finish. A versatile wine, you’ll enjoy it on its own, with a summer salad or with poached or grilled salmon.

Bonmarito Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Napa Valley, California
$19.95 (Vintages #213918) 14.5% alcohol

Produced from hand-harvested fruit and aged in French and American oak for 19 months, this is a deeply colored, approachable, balanced wine that offers great value. Smoky, toasty notes drift over robust aromas of ripe red and black fruit, summer herbs and cedar. Those delicious ripe fruit flavours replay on the palate, garnished with sweet spiced vanilla and toast. Dry, medium-full bodied, displaying velvety tannins and fine acidity, this wine has a lasting finish and will be a hit with your choice of grilled meats or meat-based pasta.

J. Lohr ‘South Ridge’ Syrah 2009
Paso Robles, California
$18.95 (Vintages #948240) 13.5% alcohol
Inky purple, this dry, full-bodied and fruit-forward wine has intense aromas of dark berries, smoke, toast and licorice. The concentrated dark berry fruit is a star on the palate, with notes of dark toast, spice and pepper, the whole well balanced with smooth tannins and fine acidity. Very appealing and gulpable, this is a good match for grilled meats. Bring on summer!

I Greppi ‘Greppicante’ Bolgheri 2007
DOC Bolgheri, Italy
$23.95 (Vintages #170381) 13.0% alcohol
The enchantment starts in the glass, with a fine ruby hue. Absolutely delectable, this appealing blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc is fragrant with red berry fruit, toast and a rich floral note. Full bodied, it displays brilliant balance of concentrated fresh berry flavours, fresh acidity and ripe tannins. On the clean finish there’s the lingering pleasure of espresso underlying the rich fruit flavours. Enjoy it now, or over the next several years.

Grand Total: $100.75

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

Posted by Susan

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
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If I only had $100, I would buy . . .

LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, April 16, 2011

 

Let the kids keep the chocolate, your Easter treat is from this week’s LCBO Vintages release – dressed up for Easter and heralding the fabulous wines of New Zealand. With a focus on New Zealand’s signature varietals—Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir—there’s a lovely Pinot Gris and some robust reds from Hawkes Bay. Whether it’s a roast ham or a spring risotto on your table, there is a wide range of wines highlighted for Easter, including a white blend from South Africa and a couple of Canadian whites to keep it local. Unsure of how to pair your Easter dinner or Passover brisket? Try a versatile rosé from Niagara’s award-winning Tawse Winery, offering ‘Sketches of Niagara’.

 

The main release is chock full of value-laden wines under twenty dollars, including Apollonio Valle Cupa from Puglia, Hogue’s Reserve Merlot from Washington state, and the Luigi Bosca Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina. It was difficult to narrow down the selection for this feature, so we’ve ended up a few pennies over $100.

 

I’ll be celebrating Easter in Italy, and wish you all a delicious holiday weekend wherever you may be!



 

Cheers!

Susan

 

Carrick Pinot Noir 2007
Central Otago, New Zealand
$34.95 (Vintages #919837) 13.5% alcohol

A fabulous semi-opaque ruby wine, this offers a tapestry of aromas and flavours—floral, mineral, sweet cherry and cinnamon toast on the nose. Dry yet silky, the texture is lovely, the wine approachable yet complex. Medium bodied, fine tannins and vibrant acidity are well matched to tangy red fruit—cherry, raspberry and cranberry—soft spicy notes lingering on the persistent finish. A wine to savour now or cellar medium term.

Eradus Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand
$17.95 (Vintages #225557) 13.5% alcohol

From a classic of  New Zealand, pale yellow-green, expect an array of aromas—tropical fruit, pungent green herbaceous notes, asparagus and citrus. Dry, medium bodied, there’s significant weight on the palate, a replay of the tropical fruit, the herbal notes persisting. Lively acidity balances the sweet fruity and herbal tones and carries the flavours through the refreshing finish.

Featherstone ‘Black Sheep’ Riesling2010
VQA Niagara Peninsula
$16.95 (Vintages #80234) 11.0% alcohol
As part of their sustainable practices, the owners of Featherstone have sheep roam the vineyards, trimming the leaves on the vines prior to veraison, creating the conditions for optimal ripeness, seen in this wine. Lovely aromas of stone fruit, tangerine and lemon curd delight. Sweetly fruity, the flavours are of peach, pear and sweet apple, with an underlying backbone of fresh acidity to balance it all. Displaying the great potential of the vintage, this is a delightfully flavourful and well balanced wine with a lasting and compelling finish. Ontario’s signature varietal delights again!

Cave de Rasteau ‘La Domelière’ Rasteau Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2009
AOC Rasteau Côtes du Rhône-Villages, France
$15.00 (Vintages #222927) 14.5% alcohol
A youthful value-laden wine, this medium-bodied blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre is sweet and spicy with lovely aromas of dark fruit and licorice on the nose. Dry, silky in texture, it’s structured yet fruity, dark berries, herbs and licorice notes riding a wave of fresh acidity braced with perceptible tannins. Nicely balanced, with heft and texture on the palate, it’s a great wine to enjoy now or over the next couple of years with flavourful meat dishes.

 

Falesco Vitiano 2008
IGT Umbria, Italy
$15.95 (Vintages #950204) 13.5% alcohol
This blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese is a well-crafted wine with great impact on the palate. On the nose, sweet ripe fruit and spice with a hint of red licorice. Dry, medium bodied, the tannins are firm, the acidity crisp, and there are lovely layered flavours of toasty oak, berry fruit—raspberry, blackberry, black cherry—and exotic spice. The extended dry finish delights with lingering notes of cocoa. It’s a match for grilled meat. Such a value – will one bottle be enough?
 
Grand Total: $100.80

 

 

Have the urge to splurge?
Palatine Hills ‘Proprietor’s Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
VQA Niagara Lakeshore, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages #121699) 12.8% alcohol
Smooth, dry, medium-full bodied, this is a great exemplar of the heralded 2007 vintage. A deep ruby in tone, the appealing aromas are of dark berries, plum, a slight herbal note and some hints of vanilla and spice.  Ripe tannins and fresh acidity support loads of ripe dark berry fruit, sweet herbs and spice—bay leaves and mint come to mind. Well integrated and robust, this is delicious and wonderfully suave wine. Enjoy it with full-flavoured meat dishes or cellar 3-5 years.

 

 

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

Posted by Susan

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
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If only I had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, April 2, 2011

This week’s LCBO Vintages release includes an extensive feature on Burgundy, the land of terroir, of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, including wines from the 2008 and the heralded 2009 vintages. It is suggested that like many of the previous ‘9’ vintages, 2009 will be a great one. Hail in some areas not only decreased yield, but advanced ripening, and the hot dry weather in August and through harvest assured good quality fruit. The vintage conditions are predicted to produce deeply colored, quite intense red wines with higher alcohol levels. The whites are expected to be fruity with good acidity. 

The second feature is of South African wines, highlighting blends based on southern Rhône and Bordeaux varietals. The main release includes a good selection of wines from Ontario, for instance the Pelee Island ‘Vendange Tardive’ Pinot Gris featured in a recent Savvy Selection, as well as some very tasty wines from Chile, Argentina and Italy. Once again, there is an intense, robust wine from California’s Paul Hobbs, the Crossbarn Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy the selection below as you bask in the warm spring sunshine.Cheers

Cheers!
Susan

Vincent Morin Lacombe Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2009
AOC Bourgogne, France

$16.95 (Vintages #208496) 12.5% alcohol

Red with a tinge of violet, this wine is fragrant with sweet red and black berry fruit, spice and an earthy undertone. Dry, medium bodied, the sweet fruit and spice flavours wrapped in a silky texture entice, while fresh acidity and perceptible tannins ensure balance and consistency through the mid-length finish. An attractive value-laden wine, it wil cellar medium term or would be a good match this weekend with beef tenderloin with a tarragon mushroom sauce or roast pork with herbs and garlic.

Domaine Saint-Saturnin de Vergy Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Blanc 2009
AOC, Hautes Côtes de Nuits, France
$18.95 (Vintages #128686) 13.0% alcohol

Pale gold, this lovely Chardonnay has a subtle nose of ripe orchard fruit, citrus, mineral and lightly toasted nuts. Dry, medium bodied, it offers a silky texture and vibrant acidity matched with delicious citrus, apple and pear. Beautifully balanced, there’s a lingering note of light toast on the fresh fruity finish. Match to chicken roasted with lemon zest and tarragon, or cellar medium term.

Lammershoek Roulette Blanc ‘Reserve’2008
WO Swartland, South Africa

$16.95 (Vintages #225458) 14.5% alcohol
This golden blend of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Viognier displays lifted aromas of tropical and orchard fruit, and sweet toasty notes. Dry, full bodied, it has a smooth creamy texture, fresh acidity and loads of rich ripe fruit—pear, Mac apple and pineapple—with a dash of spice and some lasting toasty notes on the warm yet tangy finish. Mouth filling and satisfying, give it a whirl with herbed roast pork.

Errázuriz ‘Single Vineyard’ Syrah 2008
Don Maximiano Estate, Panhueque, Chile

$19.95 (Vintages #211938) 14.5% alcohol

Deep purple and intensely aromatic, this wine offers dark fruit, spice, vanilla and earthy nuances. Dry, medium-full bodied, fruit forward, it’s rich with dark plum, blackberry and black cherry, lifted by notes of exotic spice and white pepper. Perceptible tannins and fine acidity are well matched to the rich fruit. Attractive notes of cocoa and dark toast persist on the finish. A great choice for barbequed meats, now or over the next 3-5 years.


Rivera ‘Cappellaccio Riserva’ Aglianico 2005
DOC Castel del Monte, Italy

$18.95 (Vintages #984120) 13.5% alcohol
A deep jeweled ruby tone, this well-crafted wine is produced from one of Italy’s lesser known noble varietals, aged 12 months in French oak and a further 12 in bottle. Perfumed with spicy floral and herbal aromas, ripe plum, berry fruit and earthy tones, the wine is robust and well structured.  Dry, medium-full bodied, the succulent berry fruit is matched with fresh acidity and firm tannins that underline the lengthy dry finish. Rare meats are in order, or cellar long term, as there’s lots of life in this wine!

Grand Total: $91.75

 

Worth the splurge: 
Paul Hobbs ‘Crossbarn’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Napa Valley, USA

$34.95 (Vintages #118695) 14.8% alcohol

A wine of substance, you see this in the depth of color and in the complexity of aromas—dark berry, pit fruit, cedar, vanilla. Powerful and structured, there’s warmth and depth on the palate, with layers of flavor and an attractive balance of fruit and acidity. Lovely notes of espresso roast linger on the lengthy finish of this dry, full bodied and intensely flavourful wine. The tannins are yet grippy, so enjoy it with rare grilled meats, or cellar 3-5 years.

  

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!

Share

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

Posted by Susan

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011
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If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, March 19, 2011

The wines of the Iberian peninsula are featured in the March 19 LCBO Vintages release, including wines from Portugal’s Douro, Ribatejo and Alentejo appellations,  the well-known Rioja of Spain, as well as less familiar Spanish regions such as Rías Baixas and Toro. I found that there are some intense flavourful value-laden wines from both countries. Iconic wines of California are also featured, including such legends as Opus One, Dominus, and Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon – wines to contemplate and to cellar. A personal favorite is Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon – I had the opportunity to hear him speak about his philosophy of winemaking, and appreciate his focus on varietal character and terroir.

The main release includes a couple of fine wines from Ontario’s great 2007 vintage, some tasty Shiraz from Australia, a great Cabernet/Carmenère blend from Chile, as well as a very flavourful Perrin & Fils from the Rhône. I couldn’t resist adding an optional wine from B.C., Mission Hill’s Quatrain. An embarrassment of riches, but we’ve stayed within (just) our self-imposed limit of $100. I hope you enjoy my wine recommendations.
 
Cheers,
Susan

 

Cistus Reserva 2007
DOC Douro, Portugal
$18.95 (Vintages #145052) 14.5% alcohol
Aged 15 months in French, American and Hungarian oak, this is an old-vines blend of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional. Enjoy lifted aromas of sun-ripened berries, plums and notes of toffee and licorice. Approachable yet structured, harmonious and flavourful, this is a dry, delectable, medium-bodied wine displaying sweet ripe berry fruit, spice box and vanilla. Delightful notes of sweet cocoa and toast ripple through the fruity finish. To be savoured with hard cheeses or with robust meat dishes.

Leira Albariño 2009
DO Rías Baixas, Spain

$17.95 (Vintages #115816) 13.0% alcohol
A pale golden-green gem, this varietal of the Spanish northwest displays lovely fragrance—floral, citrus, mineral, and nuances of sweet stone fruit. Sweet stone fruit and citrus predominate on entry, the soft silky texture in counterpoint to lively acidity. Dry, medium bodied and tangy, the lasting finish offers a faint refreshing note of pithy citrus rind. Enjoy it with paella.

 

East Dell Sauvignon Blanc ‘Reserve’2009
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$17.95 (Vintages #222174) 12.5% alcohol
Here’s an appealing, fresh, vibrant wine, offering lifted aromas of citrus, tree fruit, tropical notes and a whiff of nettle. Smooth in texture and sweetly fruity on entry, it’s an invigorating mouthful of tangy acidity and clean citrus, gooseberry and tree fruit flavours, wrapping up in a lengthy lively finish. A great choice with smoked fish or a salad garnished with goat cheese.

 

Inniskillin ‘Winemaker’s Series Montague Vineyard’ Pinot Noir 2007
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario

$24.95 (Vintages #997353) 13.0% alcohol
Cherry red, this is an impressive well-crafted wine with impact on the nose and palate, a fine expression of the 2007 vintage. The aromas are alluring and complex—earth, spice and ripe cherry/berry fruit. Dry, medium bodied, and smooth in texture, the tannins are ripe, the acidity lively. The intense fruit replays and persists through the dry finish with notes of sweet spice and toast, the earthiness a subtle presence. Savour a glass on its own, pair it with mushroom risotto, or cellar short term.

 

The Watcher 2008
Barossa Valley, Australia

$19.95 (Vintages #219196) 14.5% alcohol
This is a dense inky Shiraz, dry yet fruity, loaded with spice and dark berry fruit– blueberry and blackberry. Mid-weight, soft in texture and generous, the flavours are reminiscent of favorite jams—blackberry, cassis and raspberry—yet it displays good balance. There’s a dollop of pepper and toast layered on the rich fruity finish. 

Grand Total: $99.75

 

 

Wine worth the splurge:

Mission Hill Quatrain 2006
VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
$44.95 (Vintages #218636) 13.0% alcohol

Named due to its blend of four varietals—Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon—this is a dry powerful full bodied wine, the grapes hand picked and sorted, then fermented and aged in French oak. Almost black, it’s so dense, there’s great depth and complexity of aroma and flavour—cassis, blackberry, plum, sweet spice. It all comes together with subtlety and finesse, well integrated tannins, subtle acidity balancing the intense fruit, a smooth and velvety texture. Enjoy the persistent aftertaste, savoury notes of dark toast and chocolate complementing the deeply flavourful fruit. Beautiful now and a candidate for medium-term cellaring.

 

 

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?

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!

 

Share

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

Posted by Susan

Friday, January 21st, 2011
Share

If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, January 22, 2011

The January 22 LCBO Vintages release includes features on Chile and Southwestern France, regions which deliver great quality and value, whether you prefer the signature grape of Chile, Carmenère, or want to try a more unusual varietal from Madiran, such as Tannat. In the general release, there are some attractive Canadian wines, including lovely Rieslings from Niagara. As you know, I’m a great fan of B.C. wines, so I’ve included as an option a fabulous award-winning Merlot from Mission Hill. There are lots of wines to be had under $20, so enjoy browsing through the treasure trove, and consider the wines highlighted below as some of the gems of the collection.

Cheers & Enjoy!
Susan

Chilensis Réserva Carmenère 2008
Maule Valley, Chile
$12.95 (Vintages #657981) 14.0% alcohol

Holy jumpin’, this has to be one of the best values of the feature – the signature grape of Chile delivered in style, with depth of color, aromas and flavour. On the nose and palate, expect some complexity—black cherry, cocoa, roasted red pepper and underlying minerality. The tannins are ripe, the texture if round and the fruit flavours substantial. Fine acidity rounds out a beautifully balanced package. Be waiting at the door on Saturday . . .

 

Emiliana ‘Natura’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Central Valley, Chile

$15.95 (Vintages #61069)) 14.0% alcohol

There’s some attractive complexity to this well-crafted organic offering—hints of mint, cedar and earth running through the robust berry aromas. Focused fruit flavours stream across the palate, garnished with notes of vanilla, herbs and pepper. Mid-weight, dry with firm tannins and fresh acidity, the wine is nicely balanced and delivers a lengthy fruity finish.

Konzelmann ‘Barrel Aged’ Chardonnay 2007
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario

$14.20 (Vintages #364869) 13.0% alcohol
Golden, this wine is a treat for the palate and the wallet! Expect and enjoy aromas of crème caramel, toast and apple pie. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied, rich, buttery and a harmonious balance of lively acidity, ripe tree fruit and well-integrated toasty oak. The smooth round silky texture brings the glass back to your lips. Don’t miss this great value!

Terres Blanches ‘Sec’ Muscat 2008
Vin de Pays d’Oc, France

$13.95 (Vintages #653188) 12.5% alcohol

Pale gold, this wine appeals with aromas of honeyed stone fruit and sweet ripe pears. On the palate, enjoy the basket of fruit flavours—melon, peach, pear—garnished with a dash of spice. Appropriate acidity is a counterpoint to the lush texture, creating a nicely balanced dry wine that’s a delight on the finish. Just enjoy!
 
Château de Nages Réserve 2009
AOC Costières de Nîmes, France

$14.95 (Vintages #427617) 14.5% alcohol
Composed of Grenache and Syrah, this is another reliably good wine at a great price from the Gassier family. Deep ruby with a violet note, it has a very ripe fruit nose, with some nuances of spice and dried fruits. Dry, medium bodied, the red berry flavours are concentrated, and the notes of spice and dried fruit replay. Nicely balanced, it displays tantalizing notes of cocoa, toast and spice on the finish. A few bottles will not go amiss, but might disappear quickly, so load up your shopping cart!

Sportoletti ‘Assisi’ Rosso 2008
DOC Assisi, Italy

$16.95 (Vintages #926857) 14.5% alcohol
Composed of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet, this is a pale ruby gem that has enticing aromas of rich ripe fruit, along with the sweetness of spicy oak and the earthiness of tobacco. Dry, medium bodied, supple in texture, the soft tannins and acidity are a perfect match to the juicy berry fruit. The lovely notes of spice and earth recur on the harmonious finish. Give it a whirl, as we don’t see wines from Umbria often.

Grand Total: $88.95 – only!

Worth the splurge – an optional wine to include:

Mission Hill ‘S.L.C.’ Merlot 2005
VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
$34.95 (Vintages #68353)) 14.0% alcohol

Crafted from hand-harvested grapes, the wine spent 12 months in French oak and displays an opaque mahogany robe. Lifted aromas of dark fruit, plum, dried berries and toast entice. Dry and full bodied, the impact on the palate is powerful and intense—dried cherries, blueberry, black berries and spice to the fore—balanced with ripe tannins and fine acidity. Beautifully integrated, the wine has a rich persistent aftertaste. You’ll want to enjoy it right now!

 

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 wintery 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!

Share