Thursday, September 15, 2011

Paul Picks from the LCBO New Release of September 17, 2011 - New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and My Splurges!

Hello to all my wine friends,

Looking at this New Release (NR) what grabbed my attention was the strong showing of wines from New Zealand. There are also solid reds in the $20 price range, a red wine found off the beaten path in Portugal at $15.95 Quinta Dos Roques Vinho Tinto 2007 (made mostly with Port grapes), a dessert wine from Spain Torres Flaralis Moscatel Oro at $16.95 and 2 wines around $50-$60 to consider. So let’s get started.

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: When I purchase a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (SB), I would say that 80% are from New Zealand (NZ) the rest from Canada, France or South Africa. Over the last 10-15 years NZ has gained a reputation for reliable SB. What I like about SB, above all, are it's aromatics. Two different styles of SB are made in NZ, one with a more herbaceous style with green pepper, tinned asparagus & green peas, plus fresh cut grass. I don’t dislike this style, enjoyed in moderation I suppose. I prefer a fruitier and more pungent style of SB with flavours of pine nettles, fresh cut grass, passion fruit, kiwi, citrus fruit, peach, melon and even more tropical fruit like pineapple with classic NZ acidity and generally unoaked. Not all NZ SB or excellent, some weaker wines try to cash in on the popularity of the grape. Which means you have to do your homework and find which wineries style you prefer. I have two recommendation from this week NR.
    • The always reliable and great value Mount Riley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 from Marlborough (981670) at $15.95; and
    • Terravin Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Marlborough (247205) at $29.95 a new discovery to me but very well reviewed. What got my attention was the stony-mineral character of this wine, the grape are grown in a valley layered with gravel and seams of clay. A small portion of this SB is fermented in French oak for 4 months to add complexity. If this wine is as good as my all time favourite Springfield Estate “Life from Stone” Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa, I will be a happy man. I will be posting a review of Terravin SB soon.
My Splurges! How do I rationalize spending $50.00 on a bottle of wine? Here goes, when you go to a restaurant, with the mark-up, you can easily spend $50.00 an a average bottle of wine or, you could have dinner at home and enjoy a great bottle of wine. On occasion, I choose dinner at home and a great bottle. That's how I rationalize this. I hope I made a strong case for these 2 wines:
    • Two Hands Bella’s Garden Shiraz 2008 from Australia (636407) at $63.95. From Two Hands very successful Garden Series, this range of wines showcase 6 different growing regions of South Australia. Bella’s Garden is from the Barossa Valley. This is definitely a big and concentrated Aussie Shiraz, the 2008 vintage was ranked #2 on the 2010 Wine Spectator Top 100. In the summer of 2009, while living in Victoria BC, a friend (thank you again Peter) brought back a bottle of Bella’s Garden 2001 from his family cellar in Australia. An absolutely delicious wine, which was rich, smooth and well integrated. I actually have a 2006 vintage in my cellar and intend to wait until 2014. Most review says drink now to 2018 or 2020, I say be patient and you will be rewarded.
    • The biggest feature in this NR is 2008 Bordeaux, but from most accounts the best Bordeaux blend is from New Zealand, Te Mata Coleraine 2007 from Hawkes Bay (640656) at $59.95. A blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc mostly fermented in new French oak barrels for 20 months’ maturation and bottled in January 2009. From WineAlign David Lawrason “Approachable now, best 2013 to 2017.
You can see my review of Two Hands Harry & Edward’s Garden here;
My top three wines of this release;
1-Two Hands Bella’s Garden Shiraz 2008 from Australia (636407) at $63.95
2-Te Mata Coleraine 2007 from New Zealand (640656) at $59.95
3-Terravin Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2009, from New Zealand (247205) at $29.95

My top three wines for value;
1-Mount Riley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 from New Zealand (981670) at $15.95
2-Quinta Dos Roques Vinho Tinto 2007 from Portugal (986075) at $15.95
3-Emiliana Winemaker’s Selection Syrah/Mourvèdre 2007 from Chile at $18.95

These wines did not make my shopping list but are worth considering;
Red Wines;
1-A By Acacia Pinot Noir 2008 from California (118927) at $16.95
2-First Press Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from California (188110) at $19.95
3-Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2007 from California (020313) at $49.95
4-Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2009 from California (070391) at $49.95
5-Red Shot Lane Pinot Noir 2009 from Oregon (242560) at $18.95
6-Finca Flichman Paisaje De Barrancas 2007 from Argentina (017129) at $17.95
7-Penfold Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 from Australia (414987) at $34.95
8-Churton Pinot Noir 2008 from New Zealand (237164) at $36.95
9-Quinta Dos Roques Vinho Tinto 2007 from Portugal (986075) at $15.95
10-Baron De Ley Reserva 2005 from Spain (958868) at $19.95 (previously released on 25 Jun 11)
White Wines;
1-Dog Point Chardonnay 2008 from New Zealand (238568) at $39.95
2-Milton Crazy By Nature Dry Flint Chenin Blanc 2009 from New Zealand (214429) at $18.95
3-Joseph Cattin Gewurztraminer 2009 from France (224626) at $16.95

My team and I will be back for next New Release of October 1, 2011.

Paul YWG

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