Monday, May 6, 2013

Oz options and rosé selections from the May 11th Vintages release

May 11th highlights Australia and in preparation for lazy summer afternoons and evenings on the deck, rosé wines. Not a lot to choose at first glance.  Like many of my recent biweekly selections, this one has few certain red picks but unlike the recent ones it has 5 pinkies that could make the grade.  On the VRSS, this release merits a 62 with some possible upside among the red possibilities.
The Reds
Grant Burge Holy Trinity 2010 – 499 cases - $29.95 – The price is where it should be on this fine Aussie modeled on Chateauneuf du Pape.  This one and the Rosemount GSM used to battle for my upper price point Australian GSM dollars. When Rosemount went to their square bottomed, easy shipping  bottle, the Trinity became my go to choice. I always thought filling that Rosemount bottle with their GSM was like sticking a K car body on a Dodge Viper, but I digress. The Holy Trinity is a big wine, lots of tannins and ageworthy if you have the patience for it. It seems to flip flop from $29.95 through 33.95. This is well priced for the LCBO and will deliver years of pleasure.
Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot 2008 -799 cases  $15.95 – Always superior quality at a great (for Ontario) price. Might be worth buying lots to be a house wine. Available in the US for $7.09. Just saying since the LCBO saw fit to mention the bargain we’re getting on the Balbas from Spain.
Other RED Possibilities
Terlato and Chapoutier Shiraz Viognier 2011 - $24.95 - Rhoney-er profile than most other Aussie shiraz. Won't be a fruit bomb but will be fruity.
Robert Oatley Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 - $17.95 - A bargain for the price, expect something like The Ringbolt for 2 dollars less.
Catena Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 –500 cases - $19.95- Superior producer, this year’s cab should be very good with anything from the grill. A taste off between last release’s Susan Balbo and this might be interesting.
Chateau Puech Haut Prestige St. Drezery 2010 – 249 cases - $26.95 – Not cheap for a Languedoc but this one should provide Gigondas or Chateauneuf style at a reasonable rate.
Balbas Reserva 2001 20.95 – 1599 cases of 12 – Hmmm, where to go with this one?  A 5 and a half year old review that rated 93 points of a now twelve year old wine. There is a lot that could go wrong here. One hopes the wine is coming from the producer’s cellar and not some hot warehouse somewhere. Also, the LCBO pointing out to us how they are selling this for nearly half the US price is hilarious.  In the interest of providing their customers with full and accurate disclosure,  why don’t they do the same when they’re selling for nearly twice the US price? Why? Because the Vintages catalogue would weigh twice as much with all the extra ink it would require and it would become even more embarrassing!
Bodegas Langa PI 3.1415 Concejon 2008 at $17.95. 269 cases.If your choice must be Spanish, you might want to try this one.  I’ll refrain from making any wine pairings that involve watching Ang Lee films while listening to Don Mclean while talking about Johnny McKenzie and eating anything to do with steak and kidney.
The Rosés
Mulderbosch  Cab Sauv Rosé  2012– 503 cases - 12.95 – Among my favourite rosé wines annually. Watch for those strawberry rhubarb notes! Fabulous on a sunny, warm deck with a platter of antipasto.
Muga Rosé  2012 -1499 cases - $12.95 – An excellent Spanish rosé, lots of it coming.
Zenato Bardolino Chiaretto Rosé 2012 $12.95 – 549 cases - One from Venice,  worth trying if for no other reason than the colour evokes memories of  Ed “Big Daddy” Roth!  
Mas des Brassades Cuvee Tradition Rosé 2012 -1599 cases - $14.95 – A dry rosé option from the southern Rhone.
Alliment Laugner Cremant D’Alsace Brut Rosé 269 cases - $19.95 - A nice pink fizzy for light summer snacks
The Big Bucks
Burge Family G3 2010 - $45. – Priced like a mid range Chateauneuf, this is from the Burge Family, related to, but not to be confused with Grant Burge. There are only 4 cases of 12 coming to the province so this’ll be a rare find indeed.
Pian delle Vigne Brunello de Montalcino 2007 - $59.95 – A beauty!
Castelgiocondo Brunello de Montalcino 2007 - $26.95 – Baby bottles of Brunello. Ready to drink now.
Lazzeretti Brunello de Montalcino 2006 - $37.95  A well scored brunello from a special vintage!
Manzone Barolo Gramolere 2007 – 29 cases - $51.95 – Just over my own self imposed limit, this wine is an outstanding example of this sophisticate’s delight.