The LCBO Vintages release for this weekend offers a fabulous assortment of reasonably priced wine to ward off winter chills. If you want some HOT new wines – go to Spain, or easier still, taste some of these trendy Spanish releases from Ribero del Duero, Catalonia & Rioja. And we are treated with some British Columbia wines too.
I can hardly believe (is it almost the end of January already?) that this release is offering celebratory single malts for Scottish poet, Robbie Burns (born January 25, 1759) whose contribution to Scottish culture is best known for his work of “Auld Lang Syne”. Many pubs celebrate Burn’s night by offering traditional hagis. This release offers Bunnahabhain 18 Year old Islay Single Malt (Vintages $247049 at $149.95) or Edradour The Distillery Edition 10 years old Highland Single Malt (Vintages# 904995 at $83.95). I have not ventured into the world of scotch yet, so these fine whiskies will not be in my basket but if you like your wee drams – enjoy!
Now, if I was tempted to really splurge, I would pick up “The King’s Ginger Liqueur” (Vintages #269407 $44.95). For anyone who loves candied ginger and vibrant lemon flavours, you will be over the moon with a glass of this decadent treat. Besides if you happen to catch a cold, it’s always good to have something remedial on hand – I am certain that this would do the trick!
Wishing you delicious tastings in 2014,
If I only had $100 I would buy at LCBO Vintages…
VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
$26.95 (Vintages #353144) 13.9% alcohol
You have to love the play on words “not so knotty” which means while fermenting, the grapes did not soak in oak barrels for months or taste of trees. That said, there was some partial barrel fermentation but its final destination was in stainless steel. It’s a beauty Chard, with all kinds of apple and stone aromas and flavours, a little spice and a fresh lengthy smooth finish in this white wine. While I don’t usually spend this much on Chardonnay this one really caught my attention; it’s so silky ! This gem would be perfect with a crown roast of pork.
DOC Rioja, Spain
$14.95 (Vintages#190801) 12% alcohol
This is so different. For many of us, Rioja (located in northeastern Spain) means red wine, so it was a surprise to also discover this white wine from Rioja. Made from the Macabeo grape also known as the Viura grape, it is often blended with other grapes perhaps because it has characteristically mild fruit flavours. This wine is bone dry and crisp with subtle lemon lime aromas and seam of acidity. It has a little wet stone but with such a clean taste and oh so fresh. I would normally associate this as a hot summertime wine, but since it’s been brought to Vintages for January, I could not pass it by. It would be delicious with a meal of fish – we still eat fish in the wintertime, right?
Barossa Valley, South Australia
$16.95 (Vintages #360636) 14.5% alcohol
This hearty red wine just calls out for a fireplace, some artisan bread and hearty stew. Having said that it’s medium to full bodied, beautifully coloured dark crimson, with some spicy, woodsy aromas and an abundance of dark fruit flavours. The tannins are soft but expressive and the raspberry and smoke flavours offer huge sips of satisfying richness.
AC Costieres de Nimes, France
$17.95 (Vintages #040964 14% alcohol
This is not just another pretty label! You can’t go wrong with a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre? A beautiful dark rich purple colour with flavours and aromas of cassis, blackberries and currants, some forest floor that just made me heady after one sip. This red wine shows complexity and strength, it’s beautifully balanced, full-bodied and at that price point, I thought at first I must be mistaken. I’ve put 2 bottles down on my shopping list to have on hand for those wintery nights that call for a prime rib.
Paso Robles, California, U.S.A.
$19.95 (Vintages #948240) 13.5% alcohol
For those of you who read my blogs, you know I always try to seek out new and unusual wines to write about. When I tasted this, it just reminded me how well made and delicious a Syrah can taste. J. Lohr wines never disappoint and we always have a bottle of their regular list Cabernet Sauvignon red wine in our cupboard. It also makes a nice hostess gift for an unexpected invite. This dark cherry Syrah is elegant and delicious, lots of ripe fruit forward berries, wrapped in a little spice and pencil box,with a long velvety finish. Soft tannins prevail and with some slow braised lamb shanks it would make a fabulous, casual but classy dinner.
Grand Total: $ 96.75