Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The boys and girls of the monopoly are on a streak - 2 releases in a row!

Hmmm, another really good release. Nice to see the focus on Ontario wines but I’ll skip them to take a more worldly view of things.
This release has some terrific Portuguese wines (especially three from the Douro), a good group of Aussies, a pair of Spaniards, one or two from both Chile and Argentina, a bargain or two from the south of France, another spectacular Italian section (especially Tuscany) and even a few from California, although a couple of them are big dollars compared to the value of what is in the bottle. The Tuscans especially reflect the pull back in the American economy I think. Prior to the 2008 meltdown many of the big guns in this and the previous release would have been snapped up in huge numbers by our friends south of the border. As a result the reduced availabilities would have commanded a pretty penny. Instead there are now more widely available inventories of great quality and values from 2 excellent vintages. Could it be that the far east is focused on buying Bordeaux while ignoring other old world wine producing nations? Maybe, but if so it’s to our benefit.
Enough global financial discussions – we’re here for the vino!

Once again, it was very difficult to pick a Top 10 so flipped a coin to do a Top three by Country or a Top Three by Value. Value won!

$14 (roughly) - $20
Quinto Tedo Vinho Tinto 2007 – a Portuguese red blend that was awarded the Best Blend under £10 by Decanter. I expect a big mouthful that will accompany foods of all types very nicely. May not be to your tastes if you’re expecting a Cab or a Shiraz, but I think this’ll be terrific at $17.95.Hmmm, think Luis Figo meets Crocodile Dundee.
Paringa Shiraz 2008 – Should be a terrific mouthful of fruit.
Beronia Reserva 2006 – The ’05 recently scored a 91 in Wine Spectator and it blew out of the stores in a rush last year. More of the same here!
Ringbolt Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 – From Western OZ so less in your face fruit than South Australia, this just squeaks under the $20 mark and is a terrific wine for the $$’s.
Callabriga 2007 – If you’re a fan of the Sogrape wines, try this one. Their Callabriga from the Dao region was a WS Top 100 wine a couple of years back and this vintage rocks. Tempranillo with a Portuguese twist.
Ben Marco Malbec – One last malbec in case a grilling opportunity pops up!

$20 to $30

Petalos from J. Palacios – Along with one of the most stylish labels in winedom this is a tasty treat. From the Bierzo region of Spain and made from the mencia grape you should expect Syrot Nache or is it Pinacheyrah. Mencia doesn't match a single grape variety, well not to my palate anyway and I really do get tastes of Syrah, hints of Pinot Noir and a dollop of Grenache. Best of all, I think it’s less expensive than last year.

San Fabiano Calcinaia Cab Sauv 2007 – A 92 point Italian Super Tuscan at $22.95. Line forms behind me thank you very much!
Fattoria di Basciano Il Corto – a very nice super Tuscan at $27.95
Giacomo Mori Castelrotto Chianti Reserva 2006 – 90 points from the traditionally stingy Galloni and at $26.95

$30 to $40

It’s not often that my three top picks of the release are in this price bracket but I know 2 of the three are for sure this time around.

Quinta Do Crasto Old Vines Reserva 2007 – The 2005 was number 3 in the WS Top 100. This vintage may not finish as high but it may be a better wine. At least 5 bucks more than the ’05, reflecting the market I suppose, this is my overall pick of the release. $34.95

Viticcio Chianti Classico Reserva 2006 – Reflecting a brilliant vintage in Tuscany, this wine should be terrific as well. $34.95

Over $40

Montepeloso Eneo 2006 will be in rare supply – 149 cases of 6 only in the province – and a 95 from Galloni – best of luck finding it even at $44.95
Banfi Brunello – Always a great wine, needs some time in a cellar
Ferrari Cerano Tresor should be wonderful but way overpriced compared to many of the other options available this time around.

The ISDs?
Last release the In Store Discoveries merited their own little report. This time? Not so much. Maybe the Bishop at $34.95 but I'm taking a pass.