Friday, January 21, 2011

16 Wonderful Wines @ Vintages for Under $20

The Strong Canadian dollar is a real boon for Ontario wine drinkers. This week’s Vintages release is an excellent example of this, as I have selected 16 wines for under $20 …well really 14 and the two others are only $2 over, but still great value. Pick 3 or 4 wines from this selection that appeal to your tastes and give them a try. Enjoy this great winter weather and have a nice weekend.

Red Wines

Château St. Cosme Les Deux Albions Côtes Du Rhône 2008, Ac
Rhone, France
#194985; Rating – 90; $19.95

A wonderful medium to full bodied Rhone red, with very good length and depth. Spicy pepper and blackberry undertones that will pear well with a salt crusted prime rib of beef.

Trentadue Old Patch Red 2006, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County
California, USA
#686709; Rating – 89; $15.95

A Zinfandel based blend that is medium bodied with a long finish. Great value for this price. Will go well with grilled ribs or pulled pork sandwiches. Drink through 2015.

Escudo Rojo 2008, Maipo Valley
#590331; Rating – 89; $16.95

Owned by the Rothschilds of Bordeaux. A well proportioned and balanced red that will go nicely with a hard cheese or roast lamb. Very good length and will drink from now to 2015.

Nottola Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano 2006, Docg
Tuscany, Italy
#184960; Rating – 89; $18.95

This value-priced wine has great structure and is tantalizingly fruity on the palate, offering up plum, smoke, floral and herbal tones. The finish is medium-long and deliciously spicy. Enjoy with slow-roasted beef in a red wine sauce.

Errázuriz Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Aconcagua Valley
#203364; Rating – 89; $19.95

The warm dry climate from the Aconcagua Valley is ideal for this varietal. A rich wine packed with red fruit, black currant, blackberry and a hint of cedar. Nice balance and length. Serve with a hearty beef stew. This is a nice choice for the cellar. Better to let it age for 2 more years and drink from 2013 to 2020.

Cooper Hill Pinot Noir 2008, Willamette Valley, Made With Organic Grapes
Oregon, USA
#199802; Rating 89; $ 21.95

My second wine that is marginally more than $20, but it is great value as it is very difficult to get a fine Oregon Pinot for this price. Light and airy with cherry and raspberry flavours. An old style wine with excellent finish that will drink nicely for the nest 2 or 3 years. This will be a big hit with Pinot fans.

Cardeal Reserva Touriga Nacional 2007, Doc Dão
#191346; Rating – 88; $13.95

This Silver Medal winner at the 2010 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is a fantastic value. A dry medium bodied palate with great balance and good lenth. Will pair well with roast pork. Drink now through 2014.

Château Peyros Madiran 2005, Ac
Southwest, France
#208249; Rating – 88; $14.95

Will appeal to fans of mature Bordeaux at half the price. Well structured, evolved and complex for the price.

Château De Nages Réserve 2009, Ac Costières De Nîmes
Rhone, France
#427617; Rating – 88; $14.95

This a young, pretty red with sour plum, blackberry, pepper and evergreen aromas. It’s light to mid-weight, supple, sweetish and licoricy with soft, refined tannin. Ready to enjoy now through 2015.

Château St. Roch Vieilles Vignes Côtes De Roussillon Villages 2009, Ac
Languedoc Roussillon (Midi), France
#195107; Rating – 88; $14.95

Another nice young red for under $15. Superb value. Drink now through 2015 and try pairing with Tandoori chicken.

Joséphine Dubois Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2009, Ac
Burgundy, France
#208025; Rating – 87; $15.95

A flavourful, fresh and fruity Pinot from the 2009 vintage. This is a very good bellwether for the fine quality to come with the 2009 red Burgundies. Try with veal tenderloin or filet mignon.

Vinos Sin Ley Gra 2 2008, Doca Rioja
#190819; Rating – 88; $16.95

This is a Rioja wine, but not a blend, made with 100% graciano grapes. A deep ruby red colour with dark cherry and mint undertones. Decent length and a good value rating.

White Wines

Cédrick Bardin Pouilly Fumé 2009, Ac
Loire, France
# 202416; Rating – 91; $21.95

While this really doesn’t qualify as a pick this week, I couldn’t leave it off my list. French wines like this typically sell for $25 to $30, so enjoy while the $Cdn dollar is strong. Wonderful layers of citrus that will pair well will with light fish cooked with butter and lemon.

Creekside Estate Butler's Grant Riesling 2008, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula
Ontario, Canada
#220293; Rating – 90; $15.95

A German style spatlese Riesling. Excellent length that you can drink over the next few years. Compare with the Kruger Rumpf Riesling Spätlese 2006 below.

Henry Of Pelham Reserve Off Dry Riesling 2008, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula
Ontario, Canada
#557165; Rating – 89; $15.95

A wonderful Off-Dry Riesling from Niagara’s Bench region. Well balanced with peach, apricot, honey and citrus. Very good to excellent length. Drink now to 2015

Kruger Rumpf Riesling Spätlese 2006, Rhine Nahe Qmp, Münsterer Dautenpflänzer
Rheingau, Germany
#189662; Rating – 89; $16.95

A light bodied floral palate with hints of pear and white melon. Very good length. Drink now or over the next 15 years. Try a bottle of this and compare with the Henry of Pelham wine above. See how terroire can influence the wine`s outcome.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ring in the New Year with 6 great Value buys at LCBO Vintages

A 6-Pick for the January 8th Release

The credit card bills are now arriving and you probably don't have a lot of money to spend on wine, but these New Year releases are some some of the best buys of the year. I've selected six wines for the January 8th release. Enjoy and all the best in 2011.

Majella The Musician Cabernet/Shiraz 2008, Coonawarra, South Australia
142018; Rating – 93; $19.95

When you see a wine with such a high rating for under $20, it’s a must buy. Buy and bottle or two and enjoy with a hearty winter stew.

Domaine André Cologne & Fils Beaujolais Villages 2009, Ac; Beaujolais, France
187591; Rating – 88; $13.95

Beaujolais is making a comeback and the 2009 vintage may be the best in the last 20 years. Will pair nicely with grilled salmon or roast pork

Domaine Perrin Nature Côtes Du Rhône 2009, Ac; Rhone, France
10363; Rating – 87; $9.45

This is an easy drinking mid-weight red that you can’t beat for $9.95. Buy a case.

Moindrot Sancerre 2009, Ac; Loire, France
196717; Rating 89; $19.95

Good Sancerre for under $20 are hard to find, so when you see them grab a few and put them away. Pair it with pan fried scallops or simply seasoned freshwater fish

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Marlborough, South Island New Zealand
160085; Rating – 89; $9.95

This is one of my favourite wine and now available in the 375ml half bottle, which is great for those evenings when you can’t finish a whole bottle.

Dominio Del Plata Crios De Susana Balbo Torrontés 2009, Cafayate, Calchaquies Valley Argentina
1834; Rating – 89; $11.95

A wonderful new world wine from Argentina. At this price pick up a few and save them for summer drinking.