Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April 30th Vintages - Lots of options, I suppose.

This final release of April means 4 months have gone in another year. Holy smokes, time flies when you’re drinking wine. This week’s Vintages release is a cornucopia of diverse wines and styles. Three different options this week - The Pacific Northwest, Australian Whites, and lastly Roses from around the world. It’s a release that has a lot of promise. Most of it unfulfilled. Ah well.
LOIRE -   CHÂTEAU DE LA BRETESCHE MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE SUR Lie  799 cases of 12  $13.95 – Melon de Burgogne grape  doing a great impression of an unoaked, full fruit, bargain priced chard.
BURGUNDY -   VINCENT MOTHE CHABLIS 2014    249 cases of 12 $26.95  
WASHINGTON St - HOGUE Genesis Meritage – Good, solid wine for the upcoming BBQ season. Black fruits with oak in support. If you like the CC H3 red blend, this’ll be right for you too.
ARGENTINA - LAMADRID SINGLE VINEYARD RESERVA MALBEC 2012   2998 cases of 12  $17.00  A good wine, not up to Suckling’s score but probably 90. Great for the BBQ with marinated steak, burgers or rare lamb chops.
AUSTRALIA -   WAKEFIELD JARAMAN CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013   380 cases of 12 $24.95 – Wakefield is renowned for the QPR of their wines. This one goes a little upscale but should be very nice.
Australia – SIDEWOOD SHIRAZ 2013 -$19.95 – Festooned with plenty of gold and scored like crazy by Halliday, this is a new Shiraz for me but I’ll be trying it. The ‘drink by 2043’ is pretty difficult to believe. I expect to be long gone by then but so will Halliday, so how is anyone going to call him on it?
AUSTRALIA -   MITOLO JESTER CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013   493 cases of 12 $22.95 – Good stuff this.  
RHÔNE -LE GRAVILLAS PLAN DE DIEU CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES 2014   598 cases of 12 $17.95 – As good as the Domaine le Grand Retour from recent releases? This one is a year younger and 3 bucks more. I’d buy the latter if it’s still available.
TUSCANY - TENUTA DI CAPRAIA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2013   649 cases of 12 $21.95 – Nice, fruit driven Chianti Classico – not a great year though. Did I say it was cold and wet that May?
SPAIN - DOMINIO DEL VIENTO CRIANZA 2011   712 cases of 12  $16.95  - Might be the better of the two Spanish selections this week.
SPAIN -  MARQUÉS DE CARRION PATA NEGRA RESERVA 2010   2991 cases of 12 $17.00 – Price is right but only if this comes in like the Muriel 2008 Reserva of last year. If so, it might be a box worthy purchase. However, two bottles of this were thin, insipid, uninspired, oaky messes when bought and tried at two different times by my brother and sister in law in B.C. The wine was released there recently (for substantially more $, I might add) so I was looking forward to their opinions. Their palates are finely tuned to the old world so for them to be so unimpressed, it had to be less than mediocre. Here’s the lot number from their second bottle – my public service announcement now comes to a close with two words – buyer beware.

ROSE TABLE WINE – Sitting on the deck

 MIDI - L'OSTAL CAZES ROSÉ 2015   447 cases of 12 $14.95  
PROVENCE - GASSIER SABLES D'AZUR ROSÉ 2015   1199 cases of 12$15.95  

SPAIN - VIÑA REAL ROSADO 2015   794 cases of  6 $15.95; MUGA from the previous Catalogue -$13.95
ARGENTINA -TRAPICHE TERROIR SERIES FINCA AMBROSIA SINGLE VINEYARD – An ISD so 49 cases of 6 at $39.95 – I love these single vineyard productions from Trapiche. Impenetrably dark, unctuous fruit and a bottle made for wrist curls or for bar fights.
NORMAN HARDIE UNFILTERED CHARDONNAY 2014   131 cases of 12 $39.00 – Perhaps not quite so puckering as his PEC Chard, but very good nonetheless.  

Tuscany-RENDOLA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2004   300 cases of 12  $39.95 – Want to know what your 2010’s will be like in 12 years? Try one of these. 2004 was almost as good a vintage as 2010 so fear not. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

April 16th Vintages release - Not too much to get excited about.

April 16th and the LCBO Vintages team brings us a feature called European Vocation. This terrible play on European Vacation had us looking forward to Shari Mokg Edwards starring as Clark Griswald in one of those expensive, tax payer sponsored, LCBO web videos. Sadly twas not to be. I guess she lacks the comic chops, but that’s not to say the LCBO doesn’t make us laugh with this release.
AUSTRALIA - DANDELION VINEYARDS LIONHEART OF THE BAROSSA SHIRAZ  1150 cases of 12  $21.95 – Creeping up in price but a perennial favourite here in Ontario. Big, bold, Barossa.  
BRITISH COLUMBIA -  CULMINA R&D RED BLEND 2014   166 cases of 12  $25.95  - From Don Triggs’ latest wine adventure, this is worth trying if only to see how he’s doing. The winemaker was formerly the maker at Osoyoos Larose I think.
RHÔNE - DOMAINE LE GRAND RETOUR PLAN DE DIEU CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES -   997 cases of 12  $14.95 – Annually a favourite chez moi and at the monopoly. Always nice to get a wine produced almost next door to Chateauneuf and at 1/3rd the price. Good value.  
RHÔNE - SANTA DUC ROAIX LES CROTTES 2010 391 cases of 12  $19.95 – Another of the ‘under the radar’ named Villages (not quite a cru) and from a great vintage. This should be right in its drinking window now and over the next year or two. I read somewhere that this was ‘too hard to sell as ROAIX’ so the fruit is now included in the Santa Duc Quatre Terres CdR-V. A little expensive but worth a shot.
FRANCE, SOUTHWEST - CLOS TROTELIGOTTE K-OR MALBEC 2014   299 cases of 12  $18.95 – Great producer, clever name playing on the Cahors region. Give it a few years then it’d be fun to try blind with a Malbec from Argentina to see the differences in style.
PUGLIA - TORMARESCA TORCICODA PRIMITIVO 2013   274 cases of 12  $20.95 – BBQ time, so why not an Italian Zin from  ANTINORI?
TUSCANY  - SAN FELICE IL GRIGIO CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA 2011   298 cases of 12  $27.95 – Solid producer and  year, but not cheap. One might be worth a try.
 TUSCANY  - GUADO AL TASSO IL BRUCIATO 2013   288 cases of 12  $25.95  - A blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot and Syrah  also from Antinori.
SOUTH AFRICA -  RUSTENBERG CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013   299 cases of 12  $19.95  - Silver medals at 4 different major wine shows as well as scores of 89 and 90 points from critics not named Suckling give this wine credibility. While new world in place, this is a slightly more Bordeaux style of cab sauv.
SPAIN - CVNE RESERVA 2011   694 cases of  6  $24.95  - Excellent producer, ageable but also drinkable now.
SPAIN -VIÑA REAL CRIANZA 2012   996 cases of 6  $18.95  - Ditto. How’s that for a detailed review?
CALIFORNIA - MICHAEL DAVID FREAKSHOW CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013   658 cases of 12  $26.95 – What a great label! Described as reminiscent of the Sgt Pepper Album cover (you kids can ask your parents), this is a big wine from the Phillips brothers in Lodi California.  
Tuscany -AVIGNONESI VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO 2012   166 cases of 12  $39.95 – Visiting the wineries around Montepulciano and gauging the locals’ impressions of the newish owners of Avignonesi was quite interesting last fall. The opinion seemed to be that they were outsiders and were not interested in the traditional ways nor integrating themselves. The locals all had another winery that they recommended we visit instead of going there. Avignonesi wines do score well though it appears they have decided to move into Brunello territory, price wise.
BURGUNDY -CHÂTEAU-FUISSÉ TÊTE DE CRU POUILLY-FUISSÉ 2012 ISD  34 cases of 12  $41.95 – Tasty chardonnay but $$’s.  
Tuscany - LA LECCIAIA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2010   147 cases of 6  $57.95 – Too many $$’s for me.   
Tuscany -IL GRIGIO DA SAN FELICE GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO   333 cases of 6  $46.95  - You know this was Wine Enthusiast's #1 wine last year, right? Just sayin'.

OZ - BAROSSA VALLEY ESTATE EBENEZER CABERNET SAUVIGNON   221 cases of 6   $39.95 – Ebenezer syrah is (doing my best Jimmy Fallon doing his best Donald Trump) “HUUUGE!” I see no reason for the cab to be anything less.