The main features of this New Release (NR) are; the wines from New Zealand and Portugal, this comes at a good time since I am almost all out of wines from these two countries, and; the Local Talent section, four wines from Prince Edward County, a cooler climate appellation here in Ontario specializing in early ripening grapes like Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. This is the fourth NR in a row, with something for fans of California wines. There are many CA wines set for release this week, 14 wines in total, more product than the featured country of New Zealand. I found this NR to have many affordable little gems and few expensive temptations.
Now my favourite question; If I were allowed to buy only one wine from this NR, which one would that be? My answer would be; Quinta De Ventozelo Reserva 2009 from Portugal (021329) at $21.95. If you haven’t yet tried any Portuguese red from the Douro Valley, this one would be a great introduction. 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;
Starting with white wines;
- For fans of Italian Pinot Grigio, here is a new product for Vintages from the Alto Adige region; Kellerei Kaltern Caldaro Pinot Grigio 2011 from Italy (317867) at $16.95.
- My number one white wine for the value of this NR, Dr. Herman Ürziger Wûrzgarten Riesling Spätlese 2007 from Germany (313528) at $16.95, with a sweetness level of medium, should be paired with spicy Indian or Thai food.
- Apart from the Dog Point from New Zealand, here are two more Chardonnays worth considering; Rustenberg Chardonnay 2011 from South Africa (598631) at $22.95 and Bachelder Bourgogne Chardonnay 2010 from France (272005) at $29.95.
Now for the red wines;
- My number 1 pick for best value of this NR and also a new product at Vintages, De Angelis Rosso Piceno Superiore 2009 from Italy (324756) at $14.95. An easy drinking wine with many food pairing possibilities, like white and red meat, pizza, pasta and cheese platter.
- For the many fans of Spanish wines, Marqués De Cáceres Tinto Reserva 2005 from Spain (702761) $24.95 ready to go after a one hour decant.
- I just tasted this beautiful Bordeaux blend from California at the California Wine Fair last week (a blog post is coming soon about this fair), Beaulieu Vineyard BV Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 from Napa Valley (987420) at $25.95. An elegant, well balanced blend, closer to a Bordeaux in style than California.
- An finally, with Malbec World Day coming up on April 16, here is a very good valued Malbec, Bodega Séptima Séptimo Día Malbec 2011 from Argentina (219295) at $15.95. Pairing suggestion, most anything prepared on the BBQ or pizza. Well let’s get started;
Best of the New Zealand Featured; It is incredible how in a short period (20 years), New Zealand (NZ) has been able to carve for itself in very nice niche, starting with two wines; Sauvignon Blanc (SB) and Pinot Noir. When I look to purchase a SB, the first place I look is the NZ section. Now unfortunately, in this NR, there are 13 wines being released, from only 4 producers. I wish that there would have been wines from smaller “boutique” wineries, where the attention to detail and quality often outperforms what is being released from the much bigger players. A good example of this is Kim Crawford. I used to like most of their wines, back in the late 90’s, now they simply lack personality. Their production of SB wine in 1996 was 4000 cases, in the last year alone 425 000 cases of their SB was sold in the US and one million cases of their wines worldwide were sold in the past year, with 60% going to the US. Since Kim Crawford has been purchased by Vincor and then latter by Constellation Brand, the quality is just not the same. People need to start venturing past Kim Crawford and Oyster Bay for example and try wines from smaller producers. You might be pleasantly surprised as to what you will find. Personally I like to support smaller wineries, its important if you don’t want your wines to taste all the same. I must admit, this is how I shop. I much prefer buying produce and meat product from local farmers as much as I can, again it’s all about quality. Here are my top three picks from New Zealand;
- Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2012 from Marlborough, South Island (677450) at $22.95 – This would be a great example of the style of Sauvignon Blanc which I enjoy. Made with 100% Sauvignon Blanc with maturation in stainless steel tanks (no oak) and alcohol coming in at 13.5%. Food matching suggestions; summer salads, pork, chicken, seafood, especially scallops and oysters.
- Dog Point Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 from Marlborough, South Island (238568) at $39.95 – For fans of the bigger style of SB, this wine matured in older French oak barrels for 8 months with alcohol slightly higher than the previous Dog Point SB at 14%. Food matching suggestions; fish, roast chicken, lobster and pasta in a creamy sauce.
- Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2010 from Marlborough, South Island (598813) at $37.95 – From a very good producer, this Pinot Noir should provide enjoyment to those who decide to pick up one of these. This PN is a blend of six different clones, all fruit was de-stemmed, fermentation was started with natural yeast, maturation for each clone was done separately in French oak barrels (approximately 40% new) for 12 months and alcohol comes in at 13%.
- Deu La Deu Alvarinho Vinho Verde 2011 from the DOC of Monção e Melgaço (040642) at $19.95 – Vinho Verde is not a grape varietal, the name means “green wine” but should be translated as “young wine”. Vinho Verde makes for great summer sipper or patio wine, the white wine Vinho Verde are usually inexpensive, light, fresh, crisp and slightly spritzy. This wine is made with Alvarinho grapes and alcohol comes in at 13%.
- Delaforce Touriga Nacional 2009 from the DOC of Douro (324517) at $18.95 – Most Portuguese wines are a blend of different native grapes but this wine is made exclusively using Portugal's most famous red grape, Touriga Nacional. Maturation in French oak for 12 months and alcohol coming in at 14%. Food matching suggestions; duck, beef or strong flavoured dish like Moroccan tagine.
- Quinta De Ventozelo Reserva 2009 from Portugal (021329) at $21.95 – This wine is a blend of the usual Port grapes of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca, maturation 12 months in oak and alcohol comes in at 14.5%. Food matching suggestions; beef, veal or lamb.
My top three wines from this release;
1- Domaine Durieu Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010 from France (320168) at $35.95
2- Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2010 from New Zealand (598813) at $37.95
3- Bachelder Bourgogne Chardonnay 2010 from France (272005) at $29.95
My top three wines for value;
1- De Angelis Rosso Piceno Superiore 2009 from Italy (324756) at $14.95
2- Bodega Séptima Séptimo Día Malbec 2011 from Argentina (219295) at $15.95
3- Dr. Herman Ürziger Wûrzgarten Riesling Spätlese 2007 from Germany (313528) at $16.95
My wine picks from this New Release for your considerations;
1- Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2010 from New Zealand (598813) at $37.95
2- Delaforce Touriga Nacional 2009 from Portugal (324517) at $18.95
3- Quinta De Ventozelo Reserva 2009 from Portugal (021329) at $21.95
4- Adriano Ramos Pinto Duas Quintas 2010 from Portugal (359893) at $16.95
5- Château Des Charmes Equuleus 2010 from Ontario (319525) at $40.00
6- Paul Hardie County Unfiltered Pinot Noir 2011 from Ontario (125310) at $35.00
7- Beaulieu Vineyard BV Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 from California (987420) at $25.95
8- Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 from California (256768) at $29.95
9- Easton Zinfandel 2010 from California (328377) at $22.95
10-Marry Edwards Pinot Noir 2009 from California (656850) at $54.95
11-Shannon Ridge Ranch Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 from California (315663) at $19.95
12-Stonestreet Fifth Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from California (201749) at $36.95
13-Bodega Séptima Séptimo Día Malbec 2011 from Argentina (219295) at $15.95
14-Henry’s Drive Dead Letter Office Shiraz 2008 from Australia (243659) at $23.95
15-Château du Seuil 2009 from France (326785) at $24.95
16-Domaine des Marrans Fleurie 2011 from France (324897) at $19.95
17-Domaine Parent Pinot Noir Bourgogne 2011 from France (597971) at $21.95
18-Domaine Durieu Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010 from France (320168) at $35.95
19-De Angelis Rosso Piceno Superiore 2009 from Italy (324756) at $14.95
20-Cusumano Noà 2008 from Italy (109512) at $18.95
21-Castello Di Monterinaldi Chianti Classico Riserva 2007 from Italy (317370) at $23.95
22-Borin Vigna Costa Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 from Italy (317610) at $17.95
23-Marqués De Cáceres Tinto Reserva 2005 from Spain (702761) $24.95
1- Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2012 from New Zealand (677450) at $22.95
2- Dog Point Vineyard Section 94 Sauvignon Blanc 2010 from New Zealand (325977) at $39.95
3- Dog Point Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 from New Zealand (238568) at $39.95
4- Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2012 from New Zealand (304469) at $29.95
5- Deu La Deu Alvarinho Vinho Verde 2011 from Portugal (040642) at $19.95
6- Rustenberg Chardonnay 2011 from South Africa (598631) at $22.95
7- Bachelder Bourgogne Chardonnay 2010 from France (272005) at $29.95
8- Dr. Herman Ürziger Wûrzgarten Riesling Spätlese 2007 from Germany (313528) at $16.95
9- Kellerei Kaltern Caldaro Pinot Grigio 2011 from Italy (317867) at $16.95