Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The November 27 Vintages Release - Huuuuuge!

Nov.27 Vintages Release, Wallet killing Cali Cabs, Big buck Brunellos, Savings Shocking Shirazes, Overpriced Ontarians, but some terrific, if not quite bargain wines that are worth hunting down! But a word of warning, don’t stand in front of the doors at opening . The Crau will get you! OK so it’s the “Crow” not the Craw, but close enough ….


So what am I buying from this cornucopia of vinous delights?
Some Leasingham Bin 61, Clos de los Siete, the Vacqueyras, Marquis Phillips, Jalon Altos Las Pizarras, an Ebeneezer (What would Christmas be without one?), a Rieninger , and if I can find it, one bottle of the Vieux Telegraphe, aughhhh, somebody save me from myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

$15 - $25

2007 Domaine Galevan Paroles de Femme Cotes du Rhone - $15.00 – Lots of fruit, terrific vintage, well priced. Second or third pass for this wine in vintages in the last 18 months or so.
2008 Peter Lehman Layers $17.95 – If you like Lehmann’s ‘Clancy’s Barossa’ try this. It’ll be similar, with Tempranillo added as well. Lots of fruit here for sure.
2006 The Garden Path Shiraz / Cabernet Sauvignon - $17.95 – Langhorne Creek Aussie Blend. I expect a fruit bomb.
2007 Quinta do Coa Tinto - $19.95 – Should be a very good Portuguese red, not for all tastes but very nice.
2008 Marquis Philips McLaren Vale Shiraz - $19.95 - For those of you who like The Formula, try this. Same wine style, just from a different vintner.
2007 The Show Cabernet $19.95 – A burger wine from California
2007 Shottesbrooke McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon - $19.95
2005 Jalon Altos Las Pizarras – For Grenache fans, this one should be super and really well priced. $18.95
Bodega Y Vinedos Fernandez Rivera Dehasa de la Granja 2004 $21.95 – Tempranillo, great with food and also well priced.
2008 Clos de los Siete - $21.95 - Annually a favourite – An Argentinian Bordeaux blend that exhibits all the pluses of the terroir as defined by Michel Rolland but so far this has held its own pricewise.
2005 Leasingham Bin 61 Shiraz - $24.95 - A Clare Valley Shiraz, so a slightly cooler climate Shiraz and annually very good. If you like the Lodge Hill, then I suggest you try this one. The 2005 already has a bit of age so is drinking really nicely right now. I had one on the weekend. My notes: Decant it, super wine, meat, bacon, red fruit, olive tapenade, black fruit, nori , espresso. Good to the last drop. Yes I will buy more.
2007 Domaine La Fourmonne Vacqueyras - $24.95 - A Southern Rhone Blend that is a step up from the Cotes Du Rhone Villages but not quite there with the Chateauneuf du Papes, if you read me often you know I have a soft spot for this little zone. The ’07 Vintage was wonderful and this one should be nicely in its drinking window now and for the next few years.

$25 - $40

2007 Elderton Cabernet Sauvignon $29.95 – Nobody buy this one. Doug wants it to sit untouched so he can pick it up on sale in 6 months or so.
2007 Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo IGT Toscana - $31.95 – Great Producer, vintage and wine.
2001 Beronia Gran Reserva Rioja - $31.95 – Some age on your wine, sir? Try this! The Beronia Reservas are always so good – this one has more age and is their next level up – the Gran Reserva
2007 Kendall Jackson Reserve Cabernet - $35.95 – Had an ’06 Jack London on the weekend. I wasn’t knocked out by it. I expect similar flavours and profiles here.
2007 Burrowing Owl Merlot or Le Vieux Pin both from the Okanagan both around $39.95 – I like them but hard to justify the price when there is so much great wine around for less.
Stratus and Tawse – Expensive wines, if I must buy Canadian, I’d buy the 2006 Osoyoos Larose from a while back before either one but that said, a blind tasting head up could really be fun!
2004 Barossa Valley Estate Ebenezer Shiraz - $39.95 – Big! No, BIG !!!!

Over $40

2007 D’Arenberg The Dead Arm – Another big boy from OZ , annually a very good wine and I think it has actually come down in price, if only by a few bucks. This used to be a bit of a cult wine here due to rarity but not so much anymore - palate backlash and more availability have conspired against it.
2007 CABERNET SAUVIGNON CHARLES REININGER – look for it. And while you’re doing that, perhaps The Vintages proofreaders can look at a map, there is no such place as the Walla Walley Valley. Or maybe someone has a sense of humour over there? At any rate, if this bottle said Napa on the label instead of Walla Walla it would be at least twice the price. Compared to most of the Napa cabs in this release it seems a screaming buy at $42.95!

2004 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino - $43.95
2005 Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino - $49.95
2005 Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino - $53.95

2007 Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe La Crau Chateauneuf-du-Pape - $76.95 - #3 in the WS Top 100 last year. Strap on the brass knuckles and start calling in favours already! It’s amazing that 3 vintages ago (the ’04), our LCBO friends had to mark this down to clear it out! Damn those wine reviewers.

The nosebleed section

2005 Black Label Wolf Blass $99.95 – Why wasn’t I born wealthy instead of good looking? A heads up blind tasting among this one, an Elderton Command and an E and E Black Pepper Shiraz would be such fun.

2005 Silver Oak Napa Cabernet Sauvignon - $119.95
2006 Chateau Montelena Estate Napa Cabernet Sauvignon - $135.95
2007 Caymus Special Selection Napa Cabernet Sauvignon - $139.95
2006 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon - $114.95

Friday, November 12, 2010

November 13th Release - Blockbusters and wallet busters too!

A terrific holiday release but don't blow your wad this week, there are more to come in the next release too. That said, the pickings are slim under $15, pretty good between $15 AND $30 AND THERE ARE SOME SUPERB WINES OVER THE THIRTY DOLLAR MARK.

Under $15

These are all ok but with the exception of the TERRA D’ALIGI TATONE MONTEPULCIANO D’ABRUZZO, you are better going up to the $19.95 price point.

MULDERBOSCH CHENIN BLANC 2009 - $14.95 – Terrific producer and this is , or was South Africa’s signature white

CAFÉ CULTURE PINOTAGE 2009 - $14.95 – Toasted barrels give this a real coffee nose and flavor.

LAS ROCAS GARNACHA 2008- $14.95 – A Bargain Spanish Grenache.

RAIMAT ABADIA CRIANZA 2007- $14.95 – Well priced, nice with food so a cheap alternative for Christmas wine and cheesing.

TERRA D’ALIGI TATONE MONTEPULCIANO D’ABRUZZO 2006 - $15.95 – Probably the best buy under $15. – Case lots might be in order!

$15 TO $20

DOG POINT VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2009 - $19.95 – One of My Top 3 Sauvingnon Blancs from NZ.

FIRST PRESS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007 – A Napa cab under $20 might be worth a try but this is from Delicato and I am generally unimpressed with their wines - $19.95

PASCUAL TOSO RESERVE MALBEC 2008 $19.95 – Terrific Argentinian producer.

MONTES ALPHA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2008 - $19.95 – Given the price point, I’d take this one over the Napa First Press in a heartbeat.

SANTA RITA MEDALLA REAL GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007 -$19.95 – Same as above. This wine is traditionally a 90 pointer and the vintage was a pretty good one – perhaps more Old World than the Montes Alpha in style.

ROLF BINDER HALES SHIRAZ 2007 - $19.95 – Nice Big Barossa Shiraz.

ROBERT OATLEY VINEYARDS MUDGEE CABERNET SAUVIGNON/MERLOT 2007 - $19.95 – Fruit, you want fruit? I got your stinking fruit and I got it right here!

QUINTA DE VENTOZELO TOURIGA NACIONAL 2007 - $18.95 – A Portuguese star in the release will fly under most radars.

CHÂTEAU SIGNAC CUVÉE COMBE D’ENFER CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES CHUSCLAN 2007 $18.95 – This has to be among the final 2007 CdR-V’s but should still be a good one. Might be more tannic than earlier ’07 releases.

$20 to $30

JUAN GIL SILVER LABEL 2007 - $21.95 – Another Spaniard

HECHT & BANNIER SAINT-CHINIAN 2007 - $22.95 – Another David Schildnecht beauty of a review. He must be a riot at a party. This should be a terrific wine but I won’t even try to describe it the way he can.

BARONE RICASOLI ROCCA GUICCIARDA CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA 2006 - $24.95 – Last Vintage of this was superb. Market wise, this bad boy sits between the LCBO general list product and the Barone Ricasoli that scored Number 5 on the WS top 100 last year. It’s closer to the latter than the former so I’ll be buying some of these for sure.

THORN-CLARKE SHOTFIRE SHIRAZ 2008 - $23.95 – Great producer but too much for the product. And the review is inflated point wise.

WALLACE BY BEN GLAETZER SHIRAZ/GRENACHE 2008 - $25.95 – At 2 dollars more, I expect a better wine than the Thorn Clarke.

BODEGAS ALEJANDRO FERNANDEZ TINTO PESQUERA CRIANZA 2007 - $27.95 – There’s another Spaniard. I’m liking them more – my palate is changing

E. GUIGAL GIGONDAS 2006 - $27.95 – Love this little zone in the southern Rhone, generally more tannic than the Vacqueyras that I also really like – barnyard funk, black fruit, spice, on its own or with something roasted. Guigal is a very good producer.

RUFFINO MODUS 2006 - $28.95 – A super Tuscan at a great price from the brilliant 2006 vintage. WS gave it 91 points and it’ll probably be in their Top 100 (just a guess).

TRAVAGLINI GATTINARA 2004 - $29.95 – Cellar this one for a few years, always good, think Barolo for 15 bucks less.

Over $30

BODEGAS CALLIA WINEMAKER’S RESERVE GRAND CALLIA 2006 – 34.95 – 95 points…. And not Halliday points, these are real 95 pointers.
MONTES PURPLE ANGEL 2007 – rare $49.95 – Not commonly seen in these parts and a spectacular expression of carmenere. This'll go fast methinks!

THELEMA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007 - $38.95 – A big South African Cab

BAROSSA VALLEY ESTATE EBENEZER CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2004 - $39.95 – The Cab is good but the Shiraz in the next release is better.

OLIVER’S TARANGA VINEYARDS SHIRAZ 2006 - $39.95 – Big wine, big price.

DOMAINE LA ROQUÈTE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2007 - $44.95 – The 2005 was amazing when younger – smokey, peppery black fruits on the nose and palate. As it ages, the smoke eases off, my first notes on it had mesquite all over, but it is a rich, deep, long wine. The’07 should be even better.

TORBRECK THE STEADING 2006 $49.95 – I really like Torbreck’s wines but I’ll recommend you take a pass on this, find some Holy Trilogy or Rosemount GSM instead and save 15 bucks or so. If you really want a treat, spring for the DOMAINE LA ROQUÈTE 2007.

Frescobaldi BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2005 - $49.95 – perennially a favourite Brunello – mavbe one for the vertical.
Over $50



LUCE DELLA VITE LUCE 2007 - $99.95
ANTINORI SOLAIA 2007 - $249.95
PRUNOTTO BAROLO 2006 - $51.95

STOLPMAN VINEYARDS HILLTOPS SYRAH 2007 $64.95 – Hold off on this one and buy the $35 Stolpman already in stores – This might be a point or two better but with the thirty bucks you save you can get any number of terrific wines.

DUCKHORN MERLOT 2007 - $54.95



DOMINUS 2005 - $121.95

GEOFF MERRILL RESERVE SHIRAZ 2004 - $54.95 – A Jimmie Walker Trophy winner for Dy – No – Mite in a glass….no actually it’s the Jimmie Watson trophy winner - awarded annually to the best one year old red wine in the Royal Melbourne Wine show. Quite an honour in Oz but no guarantee the wine will age. The Geoff Merrill is an ISD so you probably won’t even see it. These products follow what I like to call the LCBO’s rule of 5’s. If you’re 5 minutes late arriving at one of 5 stores that get one of the 5 cases then there are 5 people ahead of you buying just this wine – and it is gone.

SHINGLEBACK D-BLOCK RESERVE SHIRAZ 2005 - $54.95 – The D Block Cabernet from the same vintage also won the Jimmie Watson Trophy. That bodes well for this wine but at the cost of big bucks.