All of my picks are from the LCBO Vintages magazine for the release date of Saturday, March 2. If you have a magazine already, feel free to make notes, just like I do.
White Wine Picks
Swiss Chalet or Rotisserie Chicken Night Wine
On page 33 is the 2009 Gray Monk Riesling from the Okanagan Valley, BC. Look for white peach, mineral and petrol on the nose and finish. Slightly off dry with a very well balanced finish. I give the wine 9 points and the price is $18.95.
Also on page 33 is the 2009 Organized Crime Gewurztraminer from the Niagara Peninsula. A beautiful nose showing notes of lychee, orange blossoms, honeysuckle and rose petals that leads to a spicy, savoury finish. This would be a great wine with Thai food. Amazing – 9 points. Price is $22.20.
Located on page 34 is the 2007 Marimar Estate La Masia Don Miguel Vineyard Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma, CA. Hard to find a Russian River Chardonnay under $20 that is absolutely spectacular. The nose and palate show hints of apple, smoke, vanilla and vibrant minerality. Oak is very well integrated without being over the top. Pair with seafood or poultry dishes. Price is $19.95 and I give it a solid 9 points.
Great Value Whites
First up on page 39 is the 2010 Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. A very herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc on the nose that delivers a lime citrus finish that is bone dry matched with great acidity. This wine would be great with light seafood dishes or a goat cheese and spinach salad. Price is $17.95 and I give it 9 points.
Next on page 38 is the 2011 Yalumba Y Series Viognier from South Australia. Look for notes of floral and stone fruits on the nose such as peach or apricot that finishes with a smooth, silky finish. Match with black cod (sablefish) or pineapple chicken. Well priced at $15.95 and I give it 9 points. These are drink now whites that do not require any additional aging.
Red Wine Picks
On page 33 is the 2010 Featherstone Red Tail Merlot from the Niagara Peninsula. Look for plum, cherry and spice on the nose leading to a dark chocolate and mocha on the finish. Very elegant tannins on this wine make for a very balanced finish. Match with BBQ Baby Back ribs or grilled meats. Drink now or age another 5 years to see where this wine might go. Great price point from such a great vintage, only $19.95 and it gets 8.5 points.
Head to page 36 for the 2008 Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon from California. This wine is loaded with black currents, dark plums and vanilla on the nose. Finish is well balanced with nice integrated tannins and oak treatment. This is a drink now wine. I give it 8.5 points and the price is 24.95. Great with any grilled red meats.
Tuesday Night Special
Page 37 is the 2010 Don Cristobal 1492 Bonarda from Mendoza, Argentina. What is Bonarda you ask? It is a widely planted grape in Argentina and was the most planted varietal until Malbec came along and stole the show. It is lighter than Malbec but equally as delicious. Look for blueberry, ripe strawberry and mocha on the nose with well balanced tannins and acid on the finish. A drink now wine. Would pair great with Burritos or Fajitas. Outstanding value at $12.95 and it gets 9 points.
Look on page 38 for the 2010 Wits End The Procastinator from McLaren Vale, Australia. This is a fantastic Meritage blend of 63% Cabernet Franc, 23% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon. Very elegant wine that has well balanced dark fruits with solid tannic structure. Perfect with steak or venison. Could age nicely in cellar for another 5 – 7 years. Only $19.95 and it gets 9 points.
Steak Night Wine
On page 24 is the 2008 Concha y Toro Terrunyo Block 27 Carmenere from Chile. This is a yummy Carmenere that has notes of black plums, coffee and cocoa on the nose and finish. Can be drank now with an hour of decanting or can age for a few more years in bottle. A solid wine for $29.95 and it gets 9 points.
Located on page 15 is the 2008 Cuvee Constance from the Roussillon, France. This Grenache/Carignan blend has notes of black fruit and cocoa that leads to a dry, earthy finish. This is a needs food wine and would be great with lamb or venison. Decant tonight or cellar for a few more years. Price is $18.95 and I give it 9 points.
Sunday Night Spaghetti and Meatballs
Head to page 42 for the 2007 Angelini San Leonino Chianti Classico Riserva from Tuscany, Italy. A yummy Chianti that shows sour cherry, cured meats and cheeses on the nose that leads to a well balanced finish. Great acidity lives here! Drink now or age another 1 – 3 years. Price is $25.95 and it gets 9 points.
Wine and Cheese Pick
Your port alternative is on page 43, the 2004 Sartori Corte Bra Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico. Look for figs, dates and raisins on the nose that leads to a big, powerful finish. Great on its own after a big meal or pair with hard or blue cheeses. This is a drink now Amarone or cellar for a few more years. This wine gets 9 points and the price is $49.95.
On page 42 is the 2008 Antinori Guado Al Tasso from Tuscany, Italy. This wine shows black fruits, tobacco leaf and coffee on the nose to a long, well balanced finish. Can age for another 15 – 20 years. Don’t open now if you can! Price is $89.95 and it is a solid 9.5 points.
On page 43 is the 2007 Marchesi De’ Frescobaldi Vigneto Montesodi Chianti Rufina Reseva from Tuscany, Italy. This wine had the wow factor for me with ripe cherry, dark chocolate and smoked meat on the nose. The finish was very well balanced. To be aged for another 10 – 15 years. Great price point at $49.95 and it also gets 9.5 points.
Just one this week and it’s on page 35, the 2009 Caymus Special Selection from Napa Valley, California. This wine is HOT, HOT, HOT! Line up early for this wine because guaranteed it will be sold out early. If you manage to get a bottle, you will find loads of juicy ripe blackberries, black currents and vanilla on the nose and finish. Caymus makes their wine to drink now so indulge yourself this weekend or it can age in a cellar for another 5 years. Price has come down in recent years and it sells for $119.95 and I give it 8.5 points.
Until the next LCBO Vintages release on March 17, enjoy good wine, good food and good health!