Stocking up on great wines for Labour Day

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Approaching fall, the LCBO recognizes we’ll be drinking more red wine, this upcoming Vintages release on September 5th reflects this seasonal trend. Over the years, I have noticed that generally, red wine can have a higher price point….and this release supports that trend. However, savvy shoppers can compensate for this by getting out of their comfort zone and trusting their palate to explore lesser-known wine regions and grape varieties. Below are my six picks that will total under $100.00 when you are at the LCBO checkout this weekend.

LCBO Vintages magazine Sept 5In LCBO Vintages, you’ll also find lesser-known hidden gems – Nardo, Bierzo and Jumilla wine regions along with Negroamaro grape variety, Mencia grape variety and Melon de Bourgogne grape varieties in my shopping list.

With these top picks, it is a prime opportunity to taste red wines with a bit of age – there’s one that is seven years old and another that is nine years old. Wine develops in bottle and I found that these are good examples of two that have aged gracefully.

For those interested in knowing only the wine, the price and how it smells, feels and tastes, it’ll be a lightening quick read. If you’re interested in knowing a bit more about the wine, winery, the grapes involved and enhanced enjoyment, it’ll still be a short read, but should enhance your understanding, hopefully enjoyment, of each wine. If you read and consider each one, purchase a couple or more and enjoy them… mission accomplished!

Cheers!
Vic Haradine
our special guest blogger & long-time Savvy friend from WineCurrent.com

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
Saturday September 5, 2015

 

Cave Spring Estate Bottled Chardonnay MusqueCave Spring ‘Estate Bottled’ Chardonnay Musqué 2013

VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula
$15.95 (246579) 13.5% alcohol

The Skinny – there are room-filling aromas of orange blossom, fresh-grape nuances and musk-like perfume. Viscous, slightly off-dry flavours of white nectarine and tropical fruit, Meyer lemon and peach skin abound. It has good weight and texture, a long finish and just enough acidity to keep it crisp and refreshing.

More – this white wine is made from a clone of Chardonnay known for its heady, perfume-like aromas. It’s another triumph for Cave Spring Cellars and co-founder/winemaker extraordinaire, Angelo Pavan. Sip on its own or pair with grilled or pan-seared seafood.

 

Domaine La Haute Févrie Sur Lie Muscadet Sèvre & MaineDomaine La Haut Févrie Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 2015

AOC Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, France
$13.95 (390625) 12.0% alcohol

The Skinny – hints of smoke and leesy notes mingle with ripe tropical fruit on the nose. There’s a nicely textured stream of caramel-tinted baked apple, sharp spice and lemony tang. It’s medium bodied with a lengthy mouth-watering aftertaste. Pour alongside steamed mussels or pan-seared freshwater fish.

More – This white wine is made from 100% Melon de Bourgogne grapes from 35-year-old vines, hand harvested and left seven months on lees a.k.a. spent yeast cells that fall to the bottom of tanks, eventually removed, but adding texture to the finished wine. Sèvre et Maine refers to the two rivers that make their way through this appellation.

 

Schola Sarmenti Roccamora Nardo' Negroamaro 2006Schola Sarmenti ‘Roccamora Nardo’ Negroamaro 2006

DOC Nardo, Puglia Italy
$16.95 (379768) 13.5% alcohol

The Skinny – Aromas of sandalwood and black plum interlace with baking spice and gamy notes on the involved nose. It rolls over the palate in a delectable spice-laden wash of dried-berry fruit, black cherry and hints of black currant concentrate. It showcases good structure, balance and a lingering dry finish. Pours well with barbecued meats.

More Nardo wine region is centered around the town of Nardo, Italy where the climate is hot and dry. Negroamaro is indigenous to the area, the heel of Italy’s boot. Salice Salentino wine region is considered where the best Negroamaro wines are made and it neighbours Nardo. Due to the heat, grapes ripen easily, winemakers must be diligent in harvesting before grapes are over-ripe or the wine becomes alcoholic, unbalanced.

 

Abad Dom Bueno Mencía 2008Abad Dom Bueno Mencía 2008

DO Bierzo, Spain
$16.95 (291989) 13.5% alcohol

The Skinny – alluring aromas of espresso roast, herbs, spice and dark berry fruit abound on this aged gem. Dense and delicious on the palate, sweet, ripe mulberry and juicy black cherry interweave with black licorice and pipe tobacco. This is full bodied and fully textured red wine with a long aftertaste replaying palate flavours with sweet vanilla and tannins.

More – you’ll enhance your experience by aerating this. Carefully pour the wine into another empty, clean wine bottle using a funnel. Then pour it back into the original bottle, again, carefully with the funnel. If you have a wine decanter, wide-bottomed is best, pour wine and let sit an hour or two before serving. Mencia is indigenous to NW Spain, said to be similar to Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s only recently been promoted and becoming very popular!

 

Alceño Premium 50 Barricas Syrah 2012Bodega Alceño ‘Premium 50 Barricas’ Syrah 2012

DO Jumilla, Spain $13.95 (398933) 14.5% alcohol

The Skinny – Dark and alluring in the glass and on the nose, aromas of dark berry fruit, earthiness and spice box set the table for a smorgasbord of rich luscious flavour—black berry, cassis and red currant interweaving with vanilla and dark coffee. It’s mid-plus weight with good mouth feel and a long, fruity and well-balanced aftertaste.

More – The Jumilla region escaped the nasty phylloxera bug until the late 1980s when the area was attacked and vines devastated. They ripped out vines and replanted, much of it with the indigenous Monastrell along with international varieties. There’s 15% Monastrell in this wine. With the rebirth of this wine region, it’s a go-to spot for value-laden, good-quality reds. BTW – Barricas means barrels.

 

Tessellae Côtes du Roussillon Old Vines Grenache Syrah Mourvèdre 2013Tesselai ‘Old Vines’ Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre 2013

AOP Côtes du Roussillon, France
$17.00 (343517) 14.5% alcohol

The Skinny – This Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre red blend leaps from the glass with lifted aromas of black currant, piquant spice and black licorice. It’s mid weight with good texture, balance and charm. Palate-bathing flavours abound with juicy black cherry, bramble berry and earthy/gamy notes to the fore. I STRONGLY recommend to pick up a case of this wine…and start the car!

More –It’s difficult to find inexpensive wine from some regions of France e.g. Bordeaux, Champagne, Burgundy, Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, southern France is a wonderful lake to cast bait. You’ll find less-expensive wine, some showcasing good value, in Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence and a few regions in the southern Rhone.

 

GRAND TOTAL: $94.75

 

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