Thursday, May 21, 2015

May 30 - The Southern Rhone and Pinot Noir - and birds, lots of birds.....

The May 30, 2015 release has a real ‘for the birds’ quality to it, what with the migrations, ravens, ducks, chooks and roosters adorning so many of the bottles. Add in at least one angel and one can be forgiven for thinking that perhaps the release was the result of a wing and a prayer?
Regardless, the main feature is one of my favourite wine regions, the Southern Rhone. That feature is balanced by a New World Pinot Noir feature.  Pinot fans are on their own for that one.
Lailey UnOaked Chardonnay -$14.95 – A tasty, crisp sipper for those hot summer days. Great with an avocado and shrimp or lobster salad methinks.
MULDERBOSCH CABERNET SAUVIGNON ROSÉ 2014   503 cases of 12 $12.95 – A favourite rose each year. Cab Sauv, strong strawberry mid-palate and rhubarb on the finish. Also great with the above salad.
PENINSULA RIDGE BEAL VINEYARD CABERNET ROSÉ 2014   299 cases of 12  $11.95  - Price is right. Tried this at Peninsula Ridge last weekend – quite nice served very chilled with charcuterie and cheeses.
GASSIER SABLES D'AZUR ROSÉ 2014   900 cases of 12 $15.95  - An OK dry alternative.
Want to spend a bit more on a ROSÉ? Spring for one of these two ROSÉS.
FAMILLE PERRIN TAVEL 2014   372 cases of 12 $19.95 or Castello di Ama RosaTo 2014. – I’m a big fan of both producers so my BIAs mIGHT is probably clouding my judgement.
REDS from the Release
PERRIN LES CHRISTINS VACQUEYRAS 2012   698 cases of 12 $23.95  -  The Village of Vacqueyras is among the better of the named villages in the Southern Rhone. The producer is consistently excellent – a better than safe bet.
ORTAS PRESTIGE RASTEAU 2010   498 cases of 12  $19.95 – This should be in a good place right now. The 2010 vintage was excellent across the Southern Rhone – consume away! 
DOMAINE DUSEIGNEUR ANTARÈS LIRAC 2011   335 cases of 12 $18.95  - A toss up with the Rasteau above. If this is anywhere as good as say Clos Du Sixte, it’s a bargain.
PIERRE AMADIEU ROMANE-MACHOTTE GIGONDAS 2012   249 cases of 12  $27.95  - another producer that always delivers.
DOMAINE LES APHILLANTHES PLAN DE DIEU CUVÉE DES GALETS 2011  299 cases of 12 $23.95  - Among the more expensive Plan de Dieu offerings ever at the LCBO. Why? Who knows? Last time this wine was for sale it was $14.75 according to the LCBO website, and that was for the 2010, a better Vintage. Watch to see if this goes on sale soon. If it does go on sale a more skeptical man than I might think that the LCBO is guilty of inflating the price so they can show a big, albeit artificial, sale discount.  From the federal competition bureau website:
The misleading advertising and labelling provisions enforced by the Competition Bureau prohibit making any deceptive representations for the purpose of promoting a product or a business interest, and encourage the provision of sufficient information to allow consumers to make informed choices.
The false or misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices provisions of the Competition Act contain a general prohibition against materially false or misleading representations. They also prohibit making performance representations which are not based on adequate and proper tests, misleading warranties and guarantees, false or misleading ordinary selling price representations, etc, etc., etc.
And, if that does happen, please remember this is a branch of our government breaching the law and doing this (to us)! Where is the ombudsman and where is the Competition bureau of the federal government? But perhaps that skeptical person is jumping to conclusions…..back to the release.
DIAMANDES DE UCO MALBEC 2011   279 cases of 12 $27.95  - The Uco Valley is among the best locales in Argentina for Malbec. A bit of a bad pun on the name
THE BLACK CHOOK SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER 2013   990 cases of 12 $17.95 - Like your wines to wear more medals than Imelda Marcos had shoes? Here’s the one to pick.
SERAFINO SHIRAZ 2012   279 cases of 12 $28.95  - A new one to me, Halliday’s score is always bloated but even three or four points too high will still give you a 91 or 92 pointer.
South Africa
Boschendal 1685 S & M 2013 - $19.95 -  You’re bound to enjoy this spanking good wine. Aromas of leather make it hard to beat. The flavor profile exhibits a pinch of spiciness but can’t be tied down.  Its concentrated berries will whip your tastebuds into a frenzy and tickle your fancy until you finally succumb to its long, fulfilling finish. (OK, OK, so it’s Shiraz & Mourvedre and not the other S&M but it was still fun writing the review).
PAOLO CONTERNO BRICCO BARBERA D'ALBA 2013   280 cases of 12  $18.95  
CECCHI VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO 2011   671 cases of 6  $21.95  - In a newer, more fruit driven style.
CASTELLO DI GABBIANO RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2011   391 cases of 12 $22.95  - Easy on the score there James. Might not be quite that good but given a bit of time, you’ll enjoy with pasta or steaks.
SAN MICHELE A TORRI CHIANTI COLLI FIORENTINI 2013   449 cases of 12 $16.95  - Been to Florence lately and want to rekindle some memories of it? Here you go.
BARONE RICASOLI ROCCA GUICCIARDA RISERVA CHIANTI  2011 700 cases of 12 $24.95  - Always very solid and even better with food.
TEDESCHI CAPITEL NICALÒ APPASSIMENTO VALPOLICELLA   1000 cases of 12 $17.95 To my palate this is among the better valued Valpolicellas. Made after the grapes have undergone drying for a period of time (hence appassimento) so this is a rich fruit filled wine. It has gone up slightly in price if memory serves me correctly.
RAVENSWOOD BESIEGED 2013   299 cases of 12 $24.95 –Looking for a wine to hold until Hallowe’en? Maybe you’re hosting a showing of Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’?  Here’s a scary looking label from Ravenswood. A big, kitchen sink blend of a wine featuring Petit Syrah, Carignane, Zin, Syrah, Barbera, Alicante Bouschet, and Mourvedre. Lots to consider and probably great with something from the BBQ grill.
RUTHERFORD RANCH CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013  900 cases of 12  $24.95 –Solid, can’t go wrong with this if you’re bringing it to a BBQ party except it is too expensive. Save 5 bucks and buy the Seven Falls instead.
SEVEN FALLS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011   892 cases of 12  $19.95 -   Solid and lots of it. Try one, if you like it, get more.
INGLENOOK 1882 CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012   167 cases of 12  $66.95  
Bacio Divino PAZZO CALL ME CRAZY  111 cases of 12 $44.95  
FOSSACOLLE BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2009   239 cases of 6 $48.95 
BADIA A COLTIBUONO RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2009   148 cases of 6   $38.95  
PIETRANERA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2010   347 cases of 12 $39.95 – A 2010   Brunello and under $40 so might be worth a shot. Suckling says it lasts for minutes on the palate. James, you have to learn to swallow!
MARCHESI TORRIGIANI GUIDACCIO 2008   99 cases of 6  $48.95  - The review for this wine reads like it might just be a bargain - if an almost $50 wine can be classified as a bargain!  
Poggio Bonelli Poggiassai 2010 – $32.95 - An ISD, so there’ll be very few cases, this Sangiovese/ Cabernet blend should be very good after a few years in the dark.

and last but not least, the witty and irreverent
Gundlach Bundschu Merlot 2011 $44.00 - Watch their old, previously mentioned on this site,  video to get an idea.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May 16 Vintages release- Australia backed up by some global alternatives

May 16 and we’re looking at Australian First Families of wine supported by Mouth Watering Whites. The latter are the LCBO’s descriptors, not mine.   There are some good options across all the price points and wine styles and, choice wise, we are not limited to the Australian contingent. White wise, I think a few of the roses provide as good or better QPR especially as we get into the warmer weather.
LAPOSTOLLE CUVÉE ALEXANDRE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012   168 cases of 12 $24.95 – Among  the best options in the release although well over the $20 mark. To me this is among the more attractive Cab options from Chile each and every year. But do give it some time.   Too bad the Cover Drive is not a 2012 as well. It would be nice to try the same Vintage head to head.
Three from AUSTRALIA
YALUMBA THE STRAPPER GSM 2012   1499 cases of 12 $19.95 – A Grenache Syrah and Mourvedre blend hence the GSM. Yalumba is a very good producer of intermediate priced wines.
JIM BARRY THE LODGE HILL SHIRAZ 2012   599 cases of 12 $26.95  - Cooler climate, but not cool. Does that make sense? From the Clare valley – has supplanted Bin 61 as my preferred Shiraz from that area.
Two from France
CHÂTEAU DE GOURGAZAUD CUVÉE MATHILDE MINERVOIS 2013   498 cases of 12  $14.95 A good buy.  Think of it as a Minervois version of Plan de Dieu  –  but it will need a bit of time to mature the fruit.
 CLOS TROTELIGOTTE K-OR MALBEC 2012   100 cases of 12 $17.95 – A French Malbec from Cahors (K-or, get it?  Witty wineguys from France, who’d have thought it!?). Give it some time to settle in. It’ll need it.
ASCHERI SAN GIACOMO NEBBIOLO D'ALBA 2012   166 cases of 12  $24.95 –A Barolo from another mother, perhaps?
COPPI PEUCETICO PRIMITIVO 2008   996 cases of 12 $13.95 – Anything from Pizza to burgers to grilled steak, here’s a nice wine to have. From Puglia. With some age. And relatively inexpensive.
ONDARRE RESERVA 2009   601 cases of 12  $18.95 – Craving a Spanish alternative? Solid choice here.
 DELAS SAINT-ESPRIT CÔTES-DU-RHÔNE ROSÉ 2014   699 cases of 12 $14.95  
FAUSTINO I GRAN RESERVA 2001   1487 cases of 12 $36.95 –Somehow the LCBO has managed to get its hands on 1487 more cases of Decanter’s Number 1 wine from 2013 for a rererelease. They’ve chosen to run the 100 point review again rather than highlight that it was Decanter’s wine of the year but is it a 100 point wine? Not to my palate but it was and is very good. Will this batch be as good as previous ones? We’ll soon find out but for sure it’s 14 years old and was still showing plenty of fruity youth.
BURROWING OWL MERITAGE 2011   55 cases of 12  $59.95 – You must be kidding. 60 bucks, really?
 Viticcio Beatrice Gran Selezione Chianti Classico   2010 $47.95  - A  Brunello priced wine  in Black Rooster’s clothing from the Chianti Classico folks. Very limited release here – 99 cases of 6.
DOMAINE LA FOURMONE LE FAUQUET GIGONDAS 2012   122 cases of 12 $34.95 – Another Gigondas that is creeping into Chateauneuf’s price range.
E. GUIGAL CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2009   238 cases of 12  $58.95  - A bit of age on it and a good producer but nothing exceptional for a wine this expensive. The ’07 was coming into its own about a year ago.
 DOMAINE L'OSTAL CAZES GRAND VIN 2011   110 cases of 12  $31.95 – A new one for me, consider this among the more expensive LCBO options from the Midi.
HENSCHKE HENRY'S SEVEN 2013   78 cases of 6  $42.95