Hello to all my wine friends,
At first look this New Release (NR) should be called “Spend your tax refund here”, especially when you consider the main selection of California wines (more on that later). The second feature from this NR is “Classic Euro Whites”, only two wines out of six made the cut for my recommended buys. Included in this release, the 2009 Bordeaux wines that are starting to arrive in our stores, are very well represented in this NR, five of those wines made my recommended list. An interesting mature Shiraz from South Africa will be released, Vergenoegd Estate Shiraz 2003 from South Africa (954537) at $22.95, the review quoted in the vintages catalogue reads “More masculine with leathery, smoky notes", scored 41/2 stars, the date reviewed was 2008. This is where we need to pay attention, we are talking about a ten years old wine, the review date was from 5 years ago, not helpful if not completely useless. I am sure they used this review to highlight the 41/2 stars. This Shiraz has received mix reviews, I would file this wine under “interesting purchase”, if you do decide to purchase this Shiraz don’t wait too long, it should be opened over the next year. Now my favourite question, if you were allowed to buy only one wine from this NR, which one would that be? My answer would be; Château De La Dauphine 2009 from France (193144) at $29.85. Now apart from the wines featured in the following two highlighted segments, here are a few wines I would like to bring to your attention.
First the white wines;
Looking for an interesting off the beaten track white wine to serve with white fish? Here is a suggestion, Loimer Grûner Veltliner 2011 from Austria (142240) at $19.95.
If you didn’t receive a tax refund and had to pay! Here is an interesting and versatile wine which over delivered for $13.95, Cantine Riondo Vinea Garganega 2011 from Italy (230656).
Now with the red wines;
- Here is my pick for best value wine in this NR, from the very good 2010 Rhône vintage, Pierre Henri Morel Signargues Côtes Du Rhône-Villages 2010 from France (277038) at $15.95.
- For fans of Spanish Grenache, here is a very good value wine and ready to go, Menguante Selección Garnacha 2007 from Spain (313833) at $16.95.
- My top pick from this release, Antinori Guado Al Tasso 2008 from Italy (986380) at $99.95. I had the opportunity to taste this wine in Vancouver last week, the 2008 vintage is just as delicious as the 2007 vintage and worth the $100.00 price tag.
California Icon and Innovators – As a follow up to last week NR, Vintages is keeping the focus on California, but this time it is taking it up a notch, in a big way; 18 wines with an average price of...a little over .$71.00. I can only assume that the fine employees of the LCBO were thinking that their customers would be receiving tax refunds and needed ideas as to where they should spend it. There is a lot of big names wineries featured in this section; Chateau Montelena, Ravenswood, Duckhorn Vineyards, Dunn Vineyards, Inglenook and Shafer Vineyards to name a few. I am not going to spend too much time on this feature selection has most of us can’t afford these wines, we can only dream of them. It’s funny, in my last newsletter I was hoping for Shafer Merlot which makes for a nice splurge at around $50.00 but instead Vintages is releasing Shafer One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 at $84.95 and Shafer Relentless 2009 at $82.95. OK enough already, here are three wines which for their price represent value;
· Decoy Chardonnay 2011 from Sonoma (311555) at $24.95 – Made by Duckhorn (love this vineyard), this wine is 100% Chardonnay, a cooler climate wine, multi vineyards blended with maturation in a combination of 30% oak barrels and 70% stainless steel with alcohol coming in at 13.8%. Would be lovely paired with roast chicken or pork.
· Inglenook Edizione Pennino Zinfandel 2009 from California (136374) at $54.95 – When I look in my cellar I have no Zinfandel, I love a nice Zin with BBQsteak so this is my splurge for this NR. The alcohol content is listed has 14.1% which is reasonable for a Zin from California.
· Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 from California (718452) at $58.95 – I had the opportunity to enjoy this Cabernet Sauvignon in Montréal last October. This wine is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc (the information in the NR booklet is incorrect, the blend info is for the 2010 vintage) and alcohol comes in at a reasonable 13.8%. Unfortunately the price in Ontario is $6.45 more than at the SAQ in Québec. Follow the link to see my review;
My picks for...; I thought that I might give you my picks by these predominant grapes or blend or region;
· My local white pick; Creekside Laura’s White 2010 from Niagara Peninsula in Ontario (121764) at $18.95 – An interesting blend of all these grapes; Chardonnay, Chardonnay Musque, Pinot Gris, Muscat, Gewurztraminer, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc, alcohol comes in at 13%. Suggestive pairing, roast chicken or seafood.
· My Riesling pick; Balthasar Ress Hattenheimer Schützenhaus Riesling Kabinett 2011 from Germany (735241) at $17.95 – This is a great value Riesling Kabinett which would be lovely paired with Easter Ham or as an aperitif, sugar content is medium and alcohol comes in at 10%.
· My Bordeaux red pick; Château De La Dauphine 2009 from Fronsac, France (193144) at $29.85 – From the very good 2009 Bordeaux vintage, this wine is mostly Merlot (around 80%) with the remaining Cabernet Franc, alcohol comes in at 13%. To enjoy now or over the next five years with salty protein.
· My Tuscany pick; Tenuta Di Ghizzano Veneroso 2009 from Italy (103218) at $29.95 – This wine is a blend of 70% Sangiovese and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon with 16 months maturation in French oak (third and fourth use, oak casks) and alcohol coming in at 13.5%. This is a complex and structured blend which would benefit from 2-3 years of additional cellar time or decant before serving.
· My mature red pick; Ontañón Reserva 2004 from Spain (725895) at $24.95 – Another great value from Spain, this wine is a blend of 95% Tempranillo and 5% Graciano with maturation in 60% American oak and 40% in French oak (a combination of used and new oak for both) for 12 months plus a further 24 months in bottle before release, alcohol comes in at 13.5%.
My top three wines from this release;
1- Antinori Guado Al Tasso 2008 from Italy (986380) at $99.95 – Cellar Candidate
2- Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 from California (296707) at $99.95
3- Château Haut-Bages Libéral 2009 from France (197640) at $64.85 – Cellar Candidate
My top three wines for value;
1- Pierre Henri Morel Signargues Côtes Du Rhône-Villages 2010 from France (277038) at $15.95
2- Cantine Riondo Vinea Garganega 2011 from Italy (230656) at $13.95
3- Menguante Selección Garnacha 2007 from Spain (313833) at $16.95
My wine picks from this New Release for your considerations;
1- Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 from California (718452) at $58.95
2- Calera Ryan Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 from California (058966) at $49.95
3- Duckhorn Merlot 2010 from California (992529) at $56.95
4- Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 from California (296707) at $99.95
5- Inglenook Edizione Pennino Zinfandel 2009 from California (136374) at $54.95
6- Anvers Brabo Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2010 from Australia (311654) at $19.95
7- Château Belgrave 2019 from France (193995) at $43.85
8- Château Haut-Bages Libéral 2009 from France (197640) at $64.85
9- Château De La Dauphine 2009 from France (193144) at $29.85
10- Château Rolland-Maillet 2008 from France (035881) at $39.95
11- E. Guigal Saint-Joseph 2009 from France (030031) at $31.95
12- Pierre Henri Morel Signargues Côtes Du Rhône-Villages 2010 from France (277038) at $15.95
13- Paolo Conterno Riva Del Bric Barolo 2008 from Italy (172783) at $36.95
14- Antinori Guado Al Tasso 2008 from Italy (986380) at $99.95
15- Cellole Chianti Classico Riserva 2007 from Italy (056945) at $26.95
16- Tenuta Di Ghizzano Veneroso 2009 from Italy (103218) at $29.95
17- Menguante Selección Garnacha 2007 from Spain (313833) at $16.95
18- Ontañón Reserva 2004 from Spain (725895) at $24.95
1- Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2010 from California (701748) at $57.95
2- Decoy Chardonnay 2011 from California (311555) at $24.95
3- Creekside Laura’s White 2010 from Ontario (121764) at $18.95
4- Loimer Grûner Veltliner 2011 from Austria (142240) at $19.95
5- Anne Boecklin Lieu-Dit-Altenbourg Old Vines Pinot Gris 2010 from France (315085) at $19.95
6- Balthasar Ress Hattenheimer Schützenhaus Riesling Kabinett 2011 from Germany (735241) at $17.95
7- Cantine Riondo Vinea Garganega 2011 from Italy (230656) at $13.95
8- Muga Barrel Fermented White 2011 from Spain (958736) at $15.95
Fortified Wines and Liqueur;
1- Dalva Colheita Port 1997 from Portugal (169045) at $27.95
2- Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage Port 2007 from Portugal (087551) at $23.95
3- Williams & Humbert Walnut Brown Rare Old Brown Oloroso from Spain (437467) at $13.95
4- Sortilège Prestige from Canada (317206) at $49.95
That is all for me and my team. We will be back for the New Release of March 30, 2013 (yes there are three NR this month) where the featured segments are “Ontario wines for Easter feasting” and “Signatures of Southern France”