Friday, July 22, 2011

LCBO / Vintages - July 23, 2011 New Wines Release

Ontario has been experiencing an unprecedented heat wave for the past three weeks and it is hard to stay comfortable without a refreshing drink to keep you cool. My favourite summer drink is Sangria. A few weeks ago we visited Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, in Essex County and they were gracious enough to share this wonderful Red Wine Sangria Recipe with us. We tried it out two weeks ago and our ten brunch guests declared it an unanimous winner!
P.S. The secret is to marinate the fruit for about 48 hours prior to serving …try it and enjoy!

The LCBO/Vintages has some great wines to be released again this weekend and I’ve highlighted my selections below:

Red Wines

Delas Frères Les Reinages Gigondas 2007, Ac; Rhone, France
LCBO #222604;  Rating – 92;  $29.95
The LCBO states; “The stunning 2007 Gigondas Les Reinages may be the finest wine Delas has yet made from this appellation.” It is a medium-full bodied delicious wine, that is dense, very well balanced and has excellent length. While this is more than my typical $20 limit, I believe that this is an incredible value that surpasses many wines for more than double the price. Drink it over the next 10 to 12 years.

Château Puech Haut Prestige 2009, Ac Coteaux Du Languedoc; Languedoc Roussillon (Midi), France
LCBO #237289; Rating – 92;  $26.95
This is a beautifully complex blend that is 55% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 10% Carignan. It is well balanced and has an excellent finish that will last on your palate for over 30 seconds. Another wine priced over $20, but well worth the price.

Chàteau De Nages Jt Costiéres De Nîmes 2007, Ac; Rhone, France
LCBO #736876;  Rating – 91;  $20.95
Another ‘huge’ Rhone wine on this release.  It’s medium-full bodied, dense, full of flavour and has an excellent finish. Try this with a roasted leg of lamb on the BBQ.

Thatched Hut Pinot Noir 2010, Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand
LCBO #242933;  Rating – 90;  $17.95
Very good pricing for a wine of this quality. It’s medium weight and elegant with good to excellent length.

Tabali Reserva Especial Syrah 2008, Limari Valley, Chile
LCBO #213538;  Rating – 90;  $19.95
From Wine Align’s David Lawrason; “The cooler, limestone-based Limari Valley is causing a stir with quite elegant chardonnays and syrahs. This has a riveting, complex, lifted nose of blackberry, smoked meat, dark chocolate and background evergreen. It's smooth and poised with a polished texture, still youthful, greenish tannin and a warm, rich finish. Certainly fine enough to drink now with venison, but it will run through most of the decade. Excellent length.”

Cantina Di Venosa Terre Di Orazio Aglianico Del Vulture 2007, Docg; Calabria, Italy
LCBO #247494;  Rating – 89;  $17.95
This is a lovely medium bodied Italian wine from the slopes of Mt. Vulture. It has very good length and is good value for the money.

La Castellina Chianti Classico 2007, Docg; Tuscany, Italy
LCBO #223313;  Rating – 89;  $18.95
An easy drinking mid-weight Chianti at a good price. Well balanced with good length. Drink now to 2013.

Éric Texier Vaison La Romaine Côtes De Rhône Villages 2007, Ac; Rhone, France
LCBO #226845;  Rating – 88;  $13.95
A wonderful well priced summer wine that will go well with a good burger or steak.

White Wines

Artesa Chardonnay 2009, Carneros; California, USA
LCBO #657585;  Rating – 90;  $19.95
A very rich chardonnay from the cooler Carneros area. A medium-full bodied wine with very good length. Pair with grilled salmon.

Clos Du Porteau Le Courlis Sauvignon Touraine 2009, Ac; Loire, France
LCBO #246041;  Rating – 89;  $14.95
A very nice vintage has produced a fun and lively wine with very good finish. A very good value, this is a wine that you could sip all afternoon. Chill well.

Trius White 2010, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada
LCBO #54957;  Rating – 89;  $19.95
A nice example of Niagara blends that is well balanced with excellent depth and length. Pair with Asian food.

Friday, July 8, 2011

LCBO / Vintages - July 9, 2011 New Wines Release

The LCBO / Vintages release for July 9, 2011 includes some nice red wines that feature both quality and value. There is also a nice 10 year old Tawny Port for $21.95 and several nice summer whites.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting 5 lovely wineries in Essex County (near Windsor along the Lake Erie shore).  I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of their Chardonnay wines, Rieslings and Cabernet Blends. We also toured a local B&B which is located in close proximity to all of these wineries. La Roos Maison B&B is a beautiful lakeside home that is wonderfully appointed and well priced. What a great place for a quick getaway  The five rooms are priced from $99 to $179 per night or get 5 couples together and book the entire place.

My most memorable imbibing occurred at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery. Their Sangria was outstanding and given the 32C weather that day I could have consumed a keg of this, it was so good. I will try to duplicate it this weekend and will post the recipe in my next Blog.

Red Wines

Pléyades Reserva 2005, Do Cariñena; Spain
LCBO #214163;  Rating – 91;  $12.95
A tasty Spanish blend for a great price. You can’t go wrong at this price. Will pair nicely with grilled red meats.

Alexander Valley Redemption Zinfandel 2007, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County California, USA
LCBO #224147; Rating – 91;  $21.95
Good Zinfandel is often hard to find these days, so this a good one to put away for a rainy day. A nice fruity medium-full bodied wine with great depth and excellent length. Try with aged cheddar.

Dominique Piron Les Pierres Morgon 2009, Ac; Beaujolais, France
LCBO #231969;  Rating – 91;  $22.95
This was a great vintage and this is a wonderful example. Supple, fine and rich. You will want to quaff this it is so good. Pair with roast chicken or pork.

Vecchia Cantina Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano 2007, Docg, Tuscany, Italy
LCBO #212571;  Rating – 90;  $18.95
Good value for an authentic Tuscan wine. It’s mid-weight with great flavours and very good to excellent length. Try with rosemary crusted leg of lamb.

Lomond Syrah 2008, Wo Cape Agulhas; South Africa
LCBO #146464;  Rating – 90;  $19.95
A northern Rhone style Syrah  that is medium-full bodied and a good value at this price.

Baglio Di Pianetto Shymer 2008, Igt Sicilia; Sicily, Italy
LCBO #219501;  Rating – 88;  $15.95
A blend of merlot and syrah with structure that you’d normally find at twice the price. Very good length.

Eral Bravo Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Mendoza, Argentina
LCBO #58081;  Rating – 88;  $17.95
A medium-full bodied and dense cabernet that is very tannic and dry. Try now, but could be better in two years.

Aubert Visan Côtes Du Rhône Villages 2009, Ac; Rhone, France
LCBO #224915;  Rating – 87;  $12.95
A very good Rhone wine at a very good price. Try with your favourite charcouterie.

White Wines

Château Gaudrelle Sec Tendre Vouvray 2009, Ac; Loire, France
LCBO #228924;  Rating – 90;  $18.95
A classic Chenin nose with honeyed pear character. It’s medium weight, slightly off dry with excellent focus.

Richmond Plains Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Nelson, South Island; New Zealand
LCBO #214437;  Rating – 89;  $16.95
A good example of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, with a nose of citrus fruit and green herbs.  Good length and value.

Ferraton Père & Fils La Matinière Crozes Hermitage Blanc 2009, Ac; Rhone, France
LCBO #127720;  Rating – 89;  $19.95
A fresh style, with lime, tarragon, green plum and green apple notes, backed by a finish that turns creamy at the very end. Drink now.

Andrian Pinot Grigio 2009, Doc Alto Adige; Alto Adige/Trentino, Italy
LCBO #234914;  Rating – 88;  $16.95
Pinot Grigio is a great patio wine that is ideal for sipping or for light seafood salads.


Burmester 10 Year Old Tawny Port, Doc Douro; Portugal
LCBO #223958;  Rating – 91;  $24.95
A wonderful Tawny Port at a reasonable price. Buy now as these are always hard to find at Christmas time.