Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Feb 5th Vintages Release is out now!

Beat the February Blues with Some Nice Value Wine Selections from the LCBO

It's a little known fact, but most of the wines that are released on a Saturday are on the shelves by Thursday night. I dropped by the local LCBO this afternoon and sure enough most of my picks for this week were on the shelf and ready to go. So read through the blog and get out early while the pickings are good!

This month the LCBO is featuring the wines of Tuscany, but only one appears on my value list. As Wine Align writer David Lawrason states; “…it is my sense that Tuscany is careening out of control, and I wish I could say that I was thrilled with the quality of all the wines. They are patchy, and when you overlay prices, Tuscany is clearly not a value seekers paradise, as always happens when a wine region gets famous.”

That being said there are certainly some fine wines and some good buys this month.

Great Values less than $25

Domaine Belle Les Pierrelles Crozes Hermitage 2007, Ac
Rhone, France
# 41921; Rating – 91; $22.95

The Rhone wines from this region can be truly amazing, and this is no exception. John Szabo from Wine Align says; “Classic spicy, peppery, leathery, unmistakable northern Rhône-style syrah, with character and class well above the asking price.” It may still improve over the next 2 to 3 years and then hold for another 5 years. Excellent length and a good value buy.

Brancaia Tre 2007, Igt Toscana
Tuscany, Italy
#164715; Rating – 91; $24.95

A wonderful wine from this vintage. This is a blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2017. Very tasty with excellent length.

Value Reds for under $20

Stonehedge Diamond Ridge Reserve Zinfandel 2007, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley
California, USA
#205781; Rating – 89; $17.95

I was just thinking the othjer day that I hadnn’t seen any good Zins in a while. Well here’s one that fits the bill and at a nice price. Try it with grilled steak and Portobello mushrooms.

Ringbolt Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Margaret River, Western Australia
#606624 Rating – 89; $19.95

Last year the LCBO advised that you should buy the best piece of lamb you can afford, roast it up and serve it with this little beauty – though of course they were talking of the 2007. Same advice applies here, though. Excellent length and price. Drink over the next 5 years.

Le Cinciole Chianti Classico 2007, Docg
Tuscany, Italy
#207795; Rating – 88; $19.95

As I have said before, whenever you can get a highly rated Chianti for under $20, grab it. This is no exception. Cook up a batch of Mario Batali’s famous tomato sauce and serve with grilled sweet Italian sausages and your favourite pasta. Good to very good length .

Vigneronnement Votre Fleurie 2009, Ac
Beaujolais, France
#185652; Rating – 88; $14.95

The 2009 Beaujolais is a great vintage and this is a classic. It’s light to mid-weight that would go nicely with simple roast chicken.

Le Secret Des Capitelles Saint Chinian 2009, Ac
Languedoc Roussillon (Midi), France
#156299; Rating – 88; $14.95

A medium-bodied red with nice harmony and length. Très bon with grilled calamari, or roasted chicken in a mushroom sauce. It’s mid-weight and very good length. At this price give it a try.

Value White for under $20

Sileni Cellar Selection Pinot Gris 2009, Hawkes Bay, North Island
New Zealand
#32292; Rating – 88; $15.95

A refreshing Pinot Grigio style at a reasonable price. Crisp and dry this is a nice sipping wine.

Doña Paula Los Cardos Chardonnay 2009, Mendoza
#93898; Rating – 88; $17.95

A well priced Chardonnay with nice butter and spice on the finish. Good length that will pair well with grilled Atlantic Salmon.

Shingle Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Marlborough, South Island
New Zealand
#309591; Rating – 90; $19.95

Classic Sauvignon Blanc from the Kiwi’s. Excellent length and good price for the quality.

Maison Kerlann Chablis 2008, Ac
Burgundy, France
#158964; Rating – 89; $21.95

This wine is slightly over my $20 limit, but good Chablis is hard to find. And this fits the bill. Medium to full-bodied with a very long finish. Pair with seafood dishes and a side of asparagus.