Posts Tagged ‘Lailey Riesling 2010’

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

Posted by Susan

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

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,


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


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.