Monday, July 14, 2014

July 21st release - An OK midsummer release - but who screwed up the search feature on the website?

The LCBO and Vintages websites have suffered a real setback lately. Someone has messed with the search feature, finally fixed the messed up search function which used to work reasonably well once you discovered its foibles, so now it doesn't works worth a darn. More on that when I have some time do really vent!

Mid July has arrived along with a release that presents lots of variety in wine styles,  geographic locales,  new world vs.  old world options, and interesting choices among the reds,  whites and roses. While there are no truly compelling wines like last release’s Hamilton Russell or Villa Cafaggio, there are still lots of choices from which to choose.  More good news is that even among the big buck options, few will break the bank. Any that would  break my bank are ignored.
BBQ wines and I4C (International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration) are the features in this release and both features have representatives in the vintages recommendations.
Below are my choices from the release. I’m thinking the Gabianno and a few  Chardonnays may take precedence this time around.
13th Street June’s Vineyard, unoaked chardonnay2012 – $21.95 - From vines planted in 1999, another very nice example of the excellent combination of pure Niagara fruit, acidity and limestone soil.
Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay – 2013- $18.95 – From half a world away comes another unoaked sample at a reasonable price.
Don Jacobo Rose 2013 - $14.95 – Blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha. Should be great on the deck with all sorts of tapas.
Delas Saint Esprit Cotes du Rhone Rose 2013 -$14.95 – Delicate, fruity, very tasty accompaniment to a  grilled chicken breast with a pesto mayonnaise on focaccia or maybe a Cucci octopus appetizer.
Castello Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva -2009 - $22.95 – Well priced and from a quality producer and vintage. To acquire a CCR of this quality in future vintages you may have to move up to the price level of the new CCR Gran Selezione.  Keep that in mind.
Renzo Massi Chianti Riserva 2009 - $15.95 – Terrific price for a riserva.
Alain Jaume Grand Garrigue  Vacqueyras 2012 - $24.95 – Among the first of the 2012 Vacqueyras  to be released and the Grand Garrigue from Jaume is always very good.
Cave de Tain Crozes Hermitage 2011 - $21.95
Perrin L’Andeol Rasteau – 2011- $19.95 – Another of the named villages from Perrin.
Chateau St. Roch Chimeres 2011 - $18.95 – From the Languedoc, one of the wines of the month. (That is the LCBO’s wine of the month, not mine.)
San Pedro 1865 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 - $19.95 – Solid wine and OK priced. This single vineyard Chilean Cab hails from the Maipo valley, one of my favourite wine regions in Chile.  QPR wise it’s a good value, probably the best among the three cabs listed here. You may find it a bit more coarse with a touch of greenness and loam not found in the following pair.
Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 - $29.95- If you missed it, here’s another version of last release’s EDGE. Look for Cassis, cedar and spice.
Two Hands Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 - $25.95 – Two Hands is a terrific producer. The name of the wine? Not so much. Add a little hint of mint to the Cassis, cedar and spice.
Dei Vino Nobile de Montepulciano 2010- $27.95 -  Short term cellar worthy from a great location. Everyone should visit Montepulciano once in their life – or maybe twice.
CVNE - Vina Real Plata Crianza 2009 - $18.95 – Among the better buys in the release in my opinion. The producer is first rate.
Convento San Francisco 2005 - $21.95- A very good review  but check the date. This wine has lots of age on it so I expect what you find in the bottle (and your glass) will differ from the review somewhat.
Montebuena Rioja $14.95
Tamara Roble Tempranillo 2011 - $16.95
Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve Chardonnay 2011 - $30.00 – Always very good and certainly among the better eastern Canadian wines period. Oaked? Yes but not overdone. If it was $29.95 it would not be in the big bucks zone - 5 cents makes a difference!.
Miramar Unoaked Chardonnay – 2012- $31.95 – You can describe this wine two ways –‘Stylistically  very UnCalifornian’  or ‘This is an eighty year old man in a bottle - no wood’. Hmmm, maybe I should copyright  that name for the I4C.
Souverain Winemaker’s Reserve 2008 - $41.95 – A big buck wine from the Alexander Valley, this one has some age on it already so it should be drinking very nicely.

Domaine Barville Chateauneuf du Pape 2010 - $44.95– A rerelease from a wonderful vintage in the Southern Rhone.