This newsletter is coming to you as I travel to the beautiful city of Vancouver where I will be attending the Vancouver International Wine Festival. California is the featured “Wine Country” this year at the festival with its 62 wineries, coincidentally so is the main feature in this week New Release (NR). Also in this NR, a very interesting and great value selection from the second feature segment, Central and Southern regions of Italy. Visiting the LCBO during the weekend of the last NR, someone asked me, “If you were allow to buy only one wine, which one would that be? “ I thought that this was a very interesting question, and last week my answer was; Poliziano Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano 2009 and this week the answer would be; San Giorgio Ugolforte Brunello Di Montalcino 2006 from Italy (212431) at $47.95, more expensive than the Poliziano but a real treat. Now let’s get started;
Best from the California Feature; A very timid Vintages release of wine from California, 12 products in all and four over $50.00 which few of us can afford. The funny thing is that the next NR, the main feature story is “California: pioneering producers”. I guess they are spreading the selection over the next few NR. My wish for the next NR, a Shafer Merlot please. For a more in-depth story on CA wines, look for my post from the Vancouver International Wine Festival in the next week or so. OK, now that I have that out the way, here are three California wines which I would like to highlight;
- Chalone Estate Chardonnay 2010 from California (080226) at $29.95 - This is a great wine for fans of carefully restrained and elegant style cool Chardonnay, soil type is the same as Burgundy; limestone and alcohol comes in at 13.5%.
- Bonterra Pinot Noir 2010 from California (317685) at $19.95 – A medium bodied, made with 100% organic Pinot Noir grapes with alcohol coming in at 14.1%. An easy drinking wine like this one with so many food pairing possibilities like; appetizers, pizza, mushroom risotto or BBQ chicken or pork.
- Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 from Napa Valley (932400) at $56.95 – From one of the most eco-conscious producers in California, fertilizing with compost instead of chemicals and dry farming fruits. This wine is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with 93% with Cabernet Franc at 6% and Merlot 1% in a supporting role, maturation taking place in French oak for 19 months and alcohol coming in at a reasonable 13.5%. Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon is always delicious but expensive in this market, in the US price varies from $36 to $42.
My picks for...; I thought that I might give you my picks by these predominant grapes or blend or region;
- My local white pick; Southbrook Vineyards Triomphe Chardonnay 2011 from Ontario (172338) at $21.95 – This wine is 100% Chardonnay grapes, certified organic & biodynamic with maturation in 100% French oak for 9 months and alcohol coming in at 12%.
- My local red pick; Konzelmann Heritage 2010 from Ontario (149179) at $24.95 – This wine is medium-bodied, savoury and fruity red blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and alcohol coming in at 13%.
- My red value pick; Fabiano Negraro Corvina 2010 from Italy (310110) at $14.95 – For fans of Valpolicella, Ripasso and Amarone), this wine is 100% Corvina grapes with maturation taking place in French oak for 12 months and alcohol coming in at 13.8%. Great everyday wine with Italian pasta or pizza.
- My Sangiovese pick; Casale Dello Sparviero Riserva Chianti Classico 2009 from Italy (317313) at $18.95 – For fans of traditional style Sangiovese, best served with food like tomato based pasta dish, pizza and veal. I review this wine a few days ago, follow the link for my review;
- My Splurge pick; Giorgio UgolforSan te Brunello Di Montalcino 2006 from Italy (212431) at $47.95 – From a great producer of elegant style of Brunello, this wine is also made with Sangiovese, actually 100% Sangiovese with maturation first one year in French oak (50% new and 50% one year old), than a further 24 months in Slovanian oak barrels finally a further 12 months in bottle, alcohol comes in at 14.1%.
- My mature red pick; Marqués De Cáceres Gran Reserva 2004 from Spain (676670) at $29.95 – I still remember how stunning their 2001 Gran Reserva was. This wine was actually released at the SAQ in December of 2011 and I reviewed it in April of 2012. At the time, I enjoyed the wine but thought that it would improve with an additional 1-2 years in bottle. I am definitely buying one bottle again to see its progression, follow the link for my review from last April;
My top three wines from this release;
1- San Giorgio Ugolforte Brunello Di Montalcino 2006 from Italy (212431) at $47.95
2- Château La Tour Carnet 2009 from France (220178) at $51.85
3- Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 from California (932400) at $56.95
My top three wines for value;
1- Fabiano Negraro Corvina 2010 from Italy (310110) at $14.95
2- Selvanova Vigna Antica Aglianico 2009 from Italy (313494) at $15.95
3- Te Awa Chardonnay 2010 from New Zealand (301135) at $18.95
My wine picks from this New Release for your considerations;
1- Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 from California (932400) at $56.95
2- Bonterra Pinot Noir 2010 from California (317685) at $19.95
3- Konzelmann Heritage 2010 from Ontario (149179) at $24.95
4- Ridge Lytton Springs 2010 from California (982413) at $48.95
5- Altamira De Los Andes Reserve Malbec 2009 from Argentina (308338) at $28.95
6- Tabali Reserva Especial 2009 from Chile (107540) at $22.95
7- Undurraga Sibaris Reserva Especial Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 from Chile (301200) at $15.95
8- Barossa Valley Estate E Minor Shiraz 2010 from Australia (295907) at $18.95
9- Devil’s Corner Pinot Noir 2011 from Australia (317966) at $20.95
10-Mollydooker The Boxer Shiraz 2010 from Australia (246595) at $29.95
11-Château La Tour Carnet 2009 from France (220178) at $51.85
12-Château du Trignon Le Bossu Gigondas 2007 from France (309328) at $27.95
13-Selvanova Vigna Antica Aglianico 2009 from Italy (313494) at $15.95
14-Terreliade Nirà Nero D’Avola 2010 from Italy (120980) at $17.95
15-Casale Dello Sparviero Riserva Chianti Classico 2009 from Italy (317313) at $18.95
16-San Giorgio Ugolforte Brunello Di Montalcino 2006 from Italy (212431) at $47.95
17-Fabiano Negraro Corvina 2010 from Italy (310110) at $14.95
18-Finca Nueva Reserva 2005 from Spain (268425) at $18.95
19-Marqués De Cáceres Gran Reserva 2004 from Spain (676670) at $29.95
1- Talley Vineyards Bishop’s Peak Chardonnay 2011 from California (318360) at $22.95
2- Chalone Estate Chardonnay 2010 from California (080226) at $29.95
3- Southbrook Vineyards Triomphe Chardonnay 2011 from Ontario (172338) at $21.95
4- Te Awa Chardonnay 2010 from New Zealand (301135) at $18.95
5- Terravin Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2009 from New Zealand (247205) at $29.95
6- Jean Geiller Médaillé Pinot Blanc 2011 from France (315101) at $14.95
7- Pascal Renaud Cuvée Vieilles Vignes Pouilly-Fuissé 2011 from France (303651) at $26.95
That is all for me and my team. We will be back for the New Release where the featured segments are “California: pioneering producers” and “Alpine whites; Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris & Riesling”