Posts Tagged ‘Mourvedre’

Ole! Sommelier picks of Spanish wines at Vintages

Posted by Susan

Friday, January 18th, 2013
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Our Sommelier Susan Desjardins started her year off right – tasting an array of Spanish wines and was treated with some wines from BC too.  In this weekend’s LCBO Vintages release (January 19) features on the wines of Spain – a country that as Susan tells you in this blog – has a long history of winemaking, varied terroir, and winemakers who work with traditional native grapes while also creating powerful blends using international varieties.

History of Spanish wine making 101 . . .

Archeologists have found evidence of wine cultivation dating back to the 3rd and 4th millennia BC. And the tradition carried on through the Roman empire, with evidence of winemaking in this period to be found throughout the country. Much of Spain is barren plateau, where strong winds, scorching sun and limitations on irrigation led to the cultivation of bush vines. These can be seen, for instance, in Jumilla and Yecla, where one finds many vineyards displaying old, gnarled Monastrell vines. These conditions have led to widely spaced planting, making Spain the country with the largest amount of land under vine, although it traditionally falls behind France and Italy in volume of production.  However, since irrigation was officially permitted in the mid 1990s, vineyard owners and winemakers have also planted international grapes varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot using more common wire trellising and spacing systems. There’s great value to be had from Spanish wines, and a delightful range to choose from: finely crafted ‘methode traditionelle’ sparkling Cava, crisp tangy whites made from Albariño, full-bodied Tempranillo or flavourful native Mencía, tasty Garnacha blends, and the famed Sherry from Jerez.

All of these are on offer in the release, along with a small but focused selection of BC wines (I have visited all of these wineries and unreservedly recommend their wines, if your budget allows). Then, there is the main release . . . an opportunity to compare Henry of Pelham’s Riesling with that of Alsace’s Joseph Cattin, to sample Opawa’s well-priced New Zealand Pinot Noir, to enjoy the luxurious Cline Cellars Cashmere, or to select Les Hauts de Castellas Vacqueyras for the cellar. So many wines, so little time, but we hope you have the opportunity to appreciate the selection of 5 wines below.

Cheers and Enjoy!

Susan

 

Alvarez de Toledo Godello 2010

DO Bierzo, Spain
$13.95 (Vintages #308049) 12.4% alcohol

From an estate established in the XVth century, this straw-hued white wine offers richness and complexity of aromas and flavours. On the nose, a touch of slate, apple, ripe citrus and floral notes. Dry, mid-weight, it beguiles with a round, ripe texture, lightly spiced peach, citrus and mineral nuances riding a wave of fresh acidity through a flavourful, fruity finish. Enjoy now and add a few bottles for the short-term cellaring.

 

Gray Monk Gewürztraminer 2011

VQA Okanagan Valley, B.C.
$19.95 (Vintages #321588) 12.6% alcohol

Brilliant pale gold, this wine is fragrant with floral notes, lychee, stone fruit, citrus and spice. Off dry, lusciously fruity, the tropical aromas replay on the palate, the spice extending through the fruit-filled, delicately pithy finish. This pioneering Okanagan winery once again delivers a sumptuous wine to pair with lightly spiced dishes.

 

Borsao ‘Tres Picos’ Garnacha 2010

DO Campo de Borja, Spain
$19.95 (Vintages #273748) 14.5% alcohol

Produced from low yielding old vines, the inky dense color of the wine portends the weight and substance in the glass. First the sweet aromas—vanilla, cedar, leather, spice and berries ripe to bursting. Dry, velvety and full bodied, this wine delivers a mouthful of juicy ripe fruit garnished with exotic spice, dried herbs and subtle oak. Soft ripe tannins underpin the fruit, the richness of the flavours persisting through the lengthy finish. A great value to enjoy now or cellar medium term.

 

 

 

Jackson-Triggs ‘Niagara Estate Grand Reserve’ Shiraz 2010

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages #317941) 13.5% alcohol

Inky ruby, this is a substantial wine with alluring aromas of mint, pepper dancing over rich ripe red and black fruit. Dry, full bodied, the menthol comes through on the palate mingling with succulent spiced black fruit, a hint of coffee bean and a dazzling peppery note. Fermented in French and American oak for 12 months, the firm structure complements the ripe fruit, while the peppery garnish persists on the finish. A fine value to serve with rare roast beef, or cellar medium term. 

Château de Puisseguin Curat 2010

AOC Puisseguin St-Émilion, France
$19.95 (Vintages #307140) 14.5% alcohol

From a celebrated vintage, this is another award-winning wine that offers great value. Aromas include ripe black cherry, plum, spice and a whiff of smoke. Dry, medium-full bodied, the texture is very smooth, the red fruit ripe, the notes of spice and pepper building across the palate. Fine tannins and acidity along with subtly-integrated oak balance the rich fruit flavours, while the warm, spicy finish makes this a great wine to serve on a cold winter day. Or cellar medium term.

Grand Total: $93.75

 

Worth the splurge:

Mission Hill ‘Family Estate’ Quatrain 2008

VQA Okanagan Valley, BC
$44.95 (Vintages #218636) 13.5% alcohol

This blend of Merlot, Syrah and the Cabernets is composed from some of the estate’s best south-Okanagan fruit, fermented separately, aged in French oak. Highly aromatic and intense, the nose offers boysenberry, black cherry, spiced floral notes, and sweet cedar. Built on a firm frame, this dry, full-bodied blend delivers depth and complexity, flavours of cassis, black plum, spice and herbs with notes of toast carrying through the long finish. Serve with robust meat dishes; drink now to 2019.

 

 

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Bordeaux invasion at the LCBO

Posted by Julie

Thursday, October 25th, 2012
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There’s nothing like a new Vintages release to chase away the post-Thanksgiving blues. The left-overs are gone as are the rellies and friends that made it all so special. But the thoughts of new Bordeaux coming to town just perks me right up and makes me long for a huge wine cellar.

With approximately 7,000 châteaux and 21 appellations it is not surprising that the Bordeaux region of France is the world’s major wine industry capital. Appellations in France are similar to our wine regions in Canada. For those of you who have not been to France, the Bordeaux region is located in the southwest part of France on the Atlantic coast.

Bordeaux produces quality and quantity red and white wines. The red wines are mostly blends from grapes such as: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and even Carménère. White Bordeaux is made from Sauvignon blanc, Semillon and/or Muscadelle grapes. It’s hard to go astray in your choices with these crème de la crème grapes and your choices will be more price dependent than anything else-as the quality is always there.

This release made me think of some of my favorites that I had not picked up for a while so it was a wonderful reminder of how well some red Bordeaux pair with beef and lamb and the white’s with shellfish.

Well this is not the first time that reading about these new releases made me want to jump on a plane, but since it will not be for this year, I’ll have to be content with picking up some new bottles to stash away for when it gets really cold.  I hope you will join me.

Santé, Julie

 

Chateau Toumilon Blanc 2009 France
$16.95 (Vintages #314864) 12.5% alcohol
This is such a light easy sipper, pale straw yellow, mild citrusy aromas with light – medium soft textures in the mouth. I got some delicate flavors of pears in this bone dry white wine and it is just slightly acidic with some minerality on the finish.  If anyone is looking for a new “house” wine, I’d suggest you pick up a bottle of this. It slips down pretty easy and does not have a lengthy finish but it sure sends you back for more.  It also won a Silver Medal (Best in Class) at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, 2011. I was not the only one that liked this wine!

Three Saints Chardonnay 2009
Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara,U.S.A.
$20.95 (Vintages #297531) 14%
The “Three Saints” signify the three valleys were the Dierberg family grow their grapes. These Chardonnay grapes are grown in the coastal Santa Maria vineyard; the other vineyards are the Santa Rita Hills and the Santa Ynez Valley where Pinot Noir and Syrah are grown. The wine has inviting aromas of ripe melon, yellow apples and a little citrus that carry through leaving a little honey and roasted nuts on the aftertaste. A medium bodied white wine that is crisp and refreshing with rich tropical fruit flavors. Lovely on it’s own or with some turkey pot pie with flakey pastry, it would be scrumptious.

Angel’s Gate Mountainview Merlot 2010
VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula
$18.95 (Vintages #299172) 12.5% alcohol
Angel’s Gate Winery is on property that was once owned by the Congregation of Missionary Sisters and in 1995 the land was converted into a vineyard. I have found all of the Angel’s Gate selections to be pretty heavenly. The winery itself has historic, distinct gables and a tower reminiscent of a church. Think dark cherries in colour with tastes of violets, strawberries a little chocolate cake and a pinch of earth. Smooth and supple, rich in texture and tannins and all you need is some Prime Rib for a first class dinner.

 

Rolf Binder Heinrich Shiraz/Mataro/Grenache 2008
Barossa Valley, South Australia
$24.95 (Vintages# 90258) 14% alcohol

For those of you not familiar with the Mataro grape, it is also known as Mourvèdre and originated in Spain. A lovely dark rich violet color with aromas of sweet dark ripe berries, blueberries and plums that follow through with a fairly hefty mouth feel. It has lots of juicy sweet spice and peppery flavors that come through on the aftertaste. This red wine is smooth and complex and would pair it with any red meat but it’s a yummy sipper on its own.

Château Lalande Mausse 2009
AC Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
$16.95 (Vintages #303859) 14% alcohol
The Bordeaux in this release are in a class of their own and for the price this shows beautifully. Lovely dark cherry color, aromas of red berry fruits and a little tobacco. The flavors of this red wine follow through on the palette, medium bodied with decent acidity and a tad earthy.  Sheer class.

Grand Total: $98.75

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