Monday, June 20, 2016

June 25th - Southern France this time around

It’s the June 25th release and the LCBO has taken a full 12 pages to sell a mere 14 wines in their Southern France feature. I will acknowledge that they are covering 3 or 4 regions but if the LCBO’s retail plan was to provide Ontario consumers with more choice, someone should tell them that given the choice of more well priced, quality wine or pretty pictures on pages, we consumers will opt for the former every time.
Also featured are Canuck wines for Canada Day and some Ontario Rosés.

Gerard Bertrand Gris Blanc 2015 – Available in 750ml and 1.5 litre bottles, here’s a white wine with a hint of a blush. Will satisfy both rosé fans and Pinot Gris and even perhaps Grigio fans.  Worth trying with shrimp and avocado salad.
Pierre Amadieu Le Grangeliere Vacqueyras 2014 - $22.95 – Among my favourite crus in the Southern Rhone, the wines of Vacqueyras are fruit forward and approachable but with enough tannic back bone to support some mid term ageing.
Borgo Scopeto Chianti Classico 2013 - $19.95 – Annually among my favourite non reservas from the Classico zone of Chianti and usually at an attractive price. A superior option to enjoy with pizza or pasta and a tomato/ meat sauce. Not a great vintage but I think this one’ll rise above it.
Domaine Les Yeuses ‘Les Epices’ Syrah 2013 -$15.95 – Good price and a very tasty option that usually over delivers.
Vega Moragona La Duna Single Vineyard Tempranillo 2011-$17.95 – Site specific so look for terroir differences to your usual Tempranillo blends. 20% new oak so the oak should be less pronounced than in some Riojas (for instance). Smooth, ready to go right now, but not built for long term aging.
Chateau St. Roch Chimeres 2014 - $19.95 – Mostly Grenache from a slightly tougher Grenache vintage, but worthy of a try.
Domaine des Terrisses Grande Tradition Gaillac 2012 - $17.95 – Selected only because this is a blend of unusual grapes, Duras, Braucol (aka Fer in France), and a soupcon of Syrah. If nothing else this’ll be a conversation starter among your wine geek friends.

Manus Dei du Chateau  Sixteen 2013 - $38.95 – From a ‘better than most’ recent vintage, this might be worth springing for if you’re looking for a bigger wine that you can rest for a short time.

Ridolfi Brunello di Montalcino -2010 - $48.95 – Wonderful vintage but a new producer for me. Ahhh, so many producers, so little time! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

June 11th release, Bubblies, Zins and Dad's day

June 11 means it’s time for the annual Father's day release. Like a profligate, prodigal son, the LCBO spends like mad but delivers disappointment for dad. A feature that provides a few OK bubblies is backed by a page wasting Zinfandel feature and one for Dad that manages to fit more (mostly mundane) bottles into fewer pages taken by the Zins.  Some good news this week is that my regular selections are all under $20 and even the big buck ones stay under $50.  
  • South Africa – Mulderbosch – Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé – 2015 - $12.95 – Always an amazing combination of quality and price, this is among my favourite rosés every year.
  • Rustenberg Petit Verdot Rosé 2015 – $13.95- Slightly more expensive than the Mulderbosch and an interesting new wine for me to try.  Might be the first Petit Verdot Rosé ever for me.
  • Conde Valdemar Rosé 2015 - $13.95 – Mostly Grenache, this will be a delight with grilled shrimp or other seafood.
  • Cattin Brut Rosé Cremant D’Alsace - $18.95 – a light rose colour adds an extra dimension to this sparkler’s strawberry notes.
  • De Chancey Excellence Brut Vouvray 2013 -$19.95 – Made with Chenin Blanc, if you’re a fan, dive in to its citrus goodness.
  • Rotari Brut Rosé $17.95 – Well priced for this one. Look for creamy pastry notes and sweet red fruit hints.
  • Chateau Grande Moulin Vielle Vignes 2012- $15.95 – Made from vines over 100 years old, three stars from Guide Hachette and this price make this among the best options in the release.
  • Domaine les Verrieres Les Sept Fontaines 2009 - $18.95 – Slightly more expensive and more aged, this is another good option. Should be right in its drinking window over the next year.
  • Zonte’s Footsteps Baron von Nemesis Shiraz 2013 - $17.95 – Among the goofier wine names but the bottle contents will surprise. Better than many at $7 more.
  • Balbas Reserva 2005 – Be careful here. The wine is from 2005 and the review is 6 years old. Buyer beware!
  • Lopez de Haro Crianza 2010 - $15.95 – Six years old and ready to drink right now.
  • Poggio Stella Vino Nobile de Montepulciano – 2011 - $24.95 – Ready to go with some air, serve with a thick, rare T bone.

Big Bucks cuz Dad’s worth it!
  • Beringer Napa Valley 2013 $49.95 – Great vintage, fine producer, big $$’s.
  •  Tenuta La Fuga – Brunello di Montalcino - 2010 - $42.95 – Well scored by the very credible Bruce Sanderson, from a brilliant vintage. Let Dad snooze on the sofa while this one sleeps in the cellar.