Friday, November 26, 2010

Look for the Port - Vintages Nov. 27th Release

As we get closer to Christmas, LCBO/Vintages releases the best of the best. This release features several wines in the $150+ category that are out of reach for most of us, but it's still nice to dream ...or better yet, if you are a hard person to buy presents for, this would be a good addition to the Santa list. Many people ask, are these high priced wines really that good? The answer is yes and no. In most cases they truly are amazing, but because these elite wines are produced in limited quantities, the laws of supply and demand drive up the price. In addition, they will also require proper cellaring for 5 or 10 years before they truly hit their stride. So yes they are amazing, but not always good value. For us "common folk" I have selected a dozen or so wines for under $20 that offer very good value. Finally, if I had to choose only 3 or 4 bottles to buy this week I would definitely get the Port first, then the Ghost Pines Cabernet blend; the Maculan Pinot Grigio and the Chablis.

Red Wines for the Cellar

Del Jalón Altos Las Pizarras 2005, Do Catalunya
194746; Rating – 91; $18.95

A wonderful “value” wine that needs a year or two to be its best.

Quinta Do Côa Tinto 2007, Doc Douro
182295; Rating – 90; $19.95

Another great value that would benefit from two years of cellaring. The wait will be worth it.

Shottesbrooke Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Mclaren Vale, South Australia
198275; Rating – 89; $19.95

Full bodied and good value, but should sit for 2 or 3 years.

Red Wine – under $20

Domaine La Bouscade Old Vine Carignan 2007, Ac
Languedoc Roussillon (Midi), France
78758; Rating -89; $16.95

A great value from the south of France that will put many Bordeaux wines to shame.

Perry Creek El Dorado Syrah 2007
California, USA

Lush and smooth with excellent length. Drinkable now to 2015. Vintages suggests that this would go well with zesty ribs.

Trivento Golden Reserve Syrah 2007, Mendoza
178129; Rating – 89; $19.95

Big and floral with very good length.

Ghost Pines Winemaker's Blend Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Napa County/Sonoma County
California, USA
135376; Rating – 88; $19.95

This is a must buy! Here is how Vintages describes it “Their technique of blending the best grapes from select sites across Sonoma and Napa has resulted in simply delicious wines that deliver exceptional value. Ghost Pines offers you the enchanting character of Sonoma with the power and precision of Napa, all wrapped up in the one package. With a steak, or with a meaty pasta, this spirited Cabernet is sure to scare up delighted reactions from your guests.”

Domaine Galévan Paroles De Femme Côtes Du Rhône 2007, Ac
Rhone, France
125930; Rating -87; $15.00

Great value from Cotes du Rhone. Mid-weight and a nice everyday quaffing wine.

White Wines

Maculan Pinot Grigio 2009, Doc Breganze
Veneto, Italy
734921; Rating – 88; $13.95

Pinot Grigio is a wonderful summer wine and at this price buy a case and save it for the patio next year or spoil yourself at a house party during the holidays.

Domaine Hervé Azo Chablis 2008, Ac
Burgundy, France
185736; Rating – 88; $18.95

Chablis is Burgundy’s unoaked chardonnay. This particular wine is dry and medium bodied with medium-long finish. Should be nice with Roast Chicken.

Delheim Sur Lie Chardonnay 2009, Wo Simonsberg Stellenbosch
South Africa
956219; Rating – 90; $18.95

A new world style chardonnay with excellent length. Good value!

Santa Rita Medalla Real Chardonnay 2008, Limarí Valley, Gran Reserva
303628; Rating – 89; $17.95

Another good value New World chardonnay. Buy a bottle of this and the Delheim and compare the two.


Quinta Do Noval Tawny Port, Doc Douro
141119; Rating – 90; $16.95

Dig out the dark chocolate and try this wonderful Tawny right away. I’m asking Santa for a bottle of this!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My lucky 13 Picks (plus 1) for the Nov. 13 Vintages Release

Today's release features some big Tuscan wines at typically big $$$, however I did find one for a reasonable price that you should try. I would also try the De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon 2007 at $29.95 it is a steal. Finally, if you were only to buy one wine this week get the Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru 1999, Ac Actually hop in your car right now and get it before it is gone. This is a $50+ bottle of wine normally, so at $26.95 it is a steal. Enjoy and happy shopping.

Must Try’s

De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon 2007
917252; Rating 95plus; $29.95

If you have never tried desert wine, this is a great one to start with. This will go well with most decadent deserts or try it with seared fois gras with caramelized apples.

Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru 1999, Ac
Burgundy, France
641308; Rating 90; $26.95

Hard to believe, but an 11 year old wine for less than half of what it would normally sell for. Stop reading now, get in your car and grab as much as you can before it is gone.

Château De Beaucastel Châteauneuf Du Pape 2008, Ac
Rhone, France
968750; Rating 93; $46.95

Another great selection, this time from France’s Rhone region. Try one bottle for a nice occasion, or if you’re getting a nice Christmas bonus buy a case.

Red Wines

Hecht & Bannier Saint Chinian 2007, Ac
Languedoc Roussillon (Midi), France
184184; Rating 91; $22.95

A complex southern France wine with depth and density. Extremely good value that’s drinkable now or will cellar for another 6 to 8 years

Quinta De Ventozelo Touriga Nacional 2007, Doc Douro
657452; Rating 90; $18.95

John Szabo from Wine Align gives this three stars for value. Full bodied with a very long finish.

Ruffino Modus 2006, Igt Toscana
Tuscany, Italy
912956; Rating 90; $28.95

There are some big Tuscan wines in this release and none are better value than this. A nice blend of Sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Excellent length and drinkable now.

Raimat Abadia Crianza 2007, Do Costers Del Segre
935460; Rating 89; $14.95

The Vintages writers describe this as rich and quaffable. I need not say more. At this price, pick up more than one, or even a case to drink over the next year.

Rignana Chianti Classico 2007, Docg
Tuscany, Italy
187971; Rating 89; $18.95

I’ve been looking for a good Chianti Classico that’s reasonably priced and this certainly fits the bill. Full of flavour, a little edgy with excellent length. Open a bottle and get out your favourite Italian cook book. Drink 2011 to 2014

Château Signac Combe D'enfer Cuvée Côtes Du Rhône Villages Chusclan 2007, Ac
Rhone, France
184226; Rating 89; $18.95

A nice medium bodies Rhone wine. Very good length, but tannins are a little green so let it sit for a year or two. Best 2012 to 2014.

White Wines

Tabali Reserva Especial Chardonnay 2008, Limarí Valley
663005; Rating 90; $18.95

Done in a Burgundy style due to limestone content in the soil that is rare in Chile. Very good length with wide appeal for group situations.

Château Des Charmes Chardonnay Musqué 2008, VQA Niagara On The Lake
Ontario, Canada
640516; Rating 90; $16.95

Chardonnay Musqué is a cousin of chardonnay. This is a nice vibrant wine with great finish.I’m sure you will like this one.

Jackson Triggs Proprietors' Grand Reserve White Meritage 2008, VQA Niagara Peninsula
Ontario, Canada
109371; Rating 89; $18.95

A very nice Canadian wine made in the Bordeaux style.

Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2009, Casablanca Valley
602649; Rating 87; $13.95

A nice quaffing wine. Keep it on hand for the white wine drinkers at holiday parties.

Desert Wine

Reif Estate Vidal Icewine 2007, VQA Niagara River, With Gift Tube
Ontario, Canada
582247; Rating 89; $7.95

It’s pretty rate to find good ice wine at this price. Pick some up for the holidays!