Friday, November 11, 2011

4 Great Italian Reds – Vintages Release - November 12, 2011

Interactive Holiday Parties at The Chef Upstairs with Wine Pairing
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Vintages release for November 12, 2011

Another wonderful pre-holiday release. Try the Chenin Blanc from South Africa for sipping and stock up on the Italian reds for winter dinners and don’t forget to pick up the two sparkling wines listed below. They will be gone by New Years eve!
Red wines under $20
Ferraton Père & Fils La Matinière Crozes Hermitage 2009, Ac; Rhone, France
LCBO #127712; Rating – 90; $20.95
While this is $1 over the limit, it will be a wonderful wine in another year or two, so a grab a few, put them in the cellar and enjoy after 2012.

Delas Frères Saint Esprit Côtes Du Rhône 2009, Ac; Rhone, France
LCBO #729962; Rating – 89; $14.95
This wine has great depth for the price, but the tannin requires a year or two to soften. Very good length. Drink 2013 to 2016

Santa Carolina Reserva De Familia Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Maipo Valley, Chile
LCBO #684597; Rating – 89; $17.95
This is an ideal cab for cellaring. It will only get better with time. It’s full bodied, dense and balanced. Not a sipper, but will pair well with rack of lamb with a peppercorn sauce. Recipe to follow.

Villa Girardi Bure Alto Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2009, Doc Veneto, Italy
LCBO #161844; Rating -89; $17.95
This is classic Ripasso with a nose of leather, dried herbs, sun dried tomato and earth. Very drinkable. Pair with strong tomato based Italian fare.

Rocca Delle Macìe Chianti Classico Riserva 2006, Docg; Tuscany, Italy
LCBO #930966; Rating 89; $21.95
A very popular style from a very good 2006 vintage. Ready to drink now and over the next year. Pair with your favourite pasta and tomato sauce.

Manimurci Lacrima Christi Vesuvio Rosso 2009, Doc; Campania, Italy
LCBO #230557; Rating – 88; $14.95
John Szabo describes the smoky, savoury, earthy tones of this old world style wine. This is a classic wine to serve with hearty winter fare from Italy. Grilled meats with strong tomato flavouring will work well.

Sampietrana Vigna Delle Monache Riserva Salice Salentino 2006, Doc; Puglia, Italy
LCBO #247908; Rating – 88; $15.95
A full bodied blend that is quite tasty with very good length. Worth a try at this price. Pair with hearty Italian comfort food.

Château La Cheze 2005, Ac Premières Côtes De Bordeaux; Bordeaux, France
LCBO #244038; Rating – 88; $18.95
From the marvellous 2005 vintage this wine is mature and ready to drink now. It’s a good buy for mature style Bordeaux. Decant and wait an hour before drinking.

White Wines under $20
Lillet Blanc, Bordeaux, France
LCBO #322297; Rating – 92; $14.95
A wonderful fortified aperatif that is mellow and elegant with notes of orange. Mix with Gin to make a Vesper Martini.

The Winery Of Good Hope Vinum Chenin Blanc 2009, Western Cape, South Africa
LCBO #739995; Rating 89; $14.95
A well layered and flavourful example of South African Chenin Blanc. A nice citrus nose with excellent length. A very good buy at this price. Will pair well with lemon chicken or a light fish with lemon.

Sparkling and Fortified Wines
Domaine De Vaugondy Brut Vouvray, Ac, Methode Traditionnelle; Loire, France
LCBO #154567; Rating – 89; $17.95
Now is the time to stock up on your sparkling/champagne style wines for New Years. This is made from chenin blanc grapes, is very dry, with good focus and excellent length. A very good buy at this price.

Prevedello Asolo Superiore Extra Dry Prosecco 2010, Docg; Veneto, Italy
LCBO #262881; Rating – 88; $16.95
This is a wonderful light weight prosecco with aroma of cut apples and vanilla. Some people I know love this on the golf course, which tells you that it works anywhere. A great buy at the price. Save some for those upcoming holiday parties and start off the evening by pairing it with grilled shrimp.

Osborne Pedro Ximenez 1827 Sweet Sherry, Do Jerez; Jerez, Spain
LCBO #47944; Rating – 91; $17.95
This is one thick sweet wine and a great buy at this price. Drink it instead of dessert, over ice cream or with your Christmas fruit cake.

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