All of my picks are from the LCBO Vintages magazine for the release date of Saturday, March 17. If you have a magazine already, feel free to make notes, just like I do.
Let’s head to page 31 to have a look at the Graham Beck Brut Sparkling Wine from South Africa. This delightful wine is copper gold in colour with notes of bread dough and passion fruit on the nose. Creamy and fruity on the palate that leads to a dry finish. A blend of Pinot Noir (54%) and Chardonnay (46%) Great length. Price is $18.95 and I give it 9 points.
Located on page 41 is the 2009 Domaine Chanson Savigny-Les-Beaune Hauts Maconnets 1er Cru from Burgundy, France. Look for flint, smoke, matchstick and apple on the nose. The oak is well integrated into the long, creamy finish. Would be delicious with chicken, pork or fish. Very impressive. Price is $32.95 and I give it 9 points.
Check it out on page 44, the 2010 Elio Filippino Arneis from Piedmont, Italy. This 100% Arneis wine is quite dry with notes of white grapefruit, pear and apple and a hint of jasmine. Enjoy with seafood, shellfish or on it’s own while making dinner. Great value at $15.95 and it gets 9 points.
If you love Riesling then you must try the 2010 Burgerspital Trocken Silvaner from Franken, Germany on page 44. A dry wine that shows beautiful notes of green apple, floral and fresh minerality on the nose and palate. Finish was quite elegant and lingering. Enjoy with pan-seared tuna on a bed of arugula. Price is $16.95 and I give it 8.5 points.
Crowd Pleaser / Usual Suspects
Head to page 36 (and to your local store VERY early) for the 2009 Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon from Horse Heaven Hills, Washington. Wines from Washington state are really coming into their own and are still great value. This is well made, drink now wine has notes of black current, vanilla, dark chocolate on the nose and finish. I give it 9 points and the price is 19.95. Great with any grilled red meats or just on its own.
Is on page 36 and it is the 2008 Amity Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir, from Willamette Valley, Oregon. I visited this winery in the summer of 2009 and had the opportunity to taste this wine in barrel with head winemaker, Darcy Pendergrass and was blown away with ripe red berry fruits and subtle earthiness on the nose and finish. 2008 was a great vintage for Oregon Pinot Noir’s and this one is no exception. Has the power to age for another 5+ years or let breath for an hour and enjoy with cedar-plank salmon. I give this wine 9.5 points and the price is $44.95.
On page 39 is the 2009 St. Hallet Blackwell Shiraz from the Barossa Valley, Australia. Look for black fruits, pepper, mocha and dark chocolate on the nose and finish. Finish was very well balanced and the tannins were nicely integrated. Enjoy tonight or cellar for a few more years. Price is $29.95 and it gets 8.5 points.
Old World Pick
On page 45 is the 2007 Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva from Tuscany, Italy. Made mostly with Sangiovese grapes there is a drop of Cabernet Sauvignon in this wine which adds a whole new complexity to this wine. Loved the lingering finish of ripe cherry and spice. Can be drank now with an hour (or two) of decanting or can age 5 – 7 more years in bottle. A great steak night wine that sells for a reasonable $29.95 and it gets 9 points.
The “WOW” Factor
Look on page 13 for the 2001 Baron De Ley Gran Reserva from Rioja, Spain. This wine is predominately Tempranillo and was aged in both American and French Oak for 30 months. Very elegant wine that shows notes of smoked meat and bacon with dark fruits that leads you to a long, lingering finish. Perfect with steak or venison. Could age nicely in cellar for another 5 – 7 years. Only $29.95 and it gets 9.5 points.
Tuesday Night Special
Page 17 is the 2009 Olivares Altos De La Hoya Monastrell from Jumilla, Spain. Made from 90% Monastrell old vines and hint of Garnacha (Grenache). Look for blueberry, brambleberry on the nose with soft tannins and well balanced acidity on the finish. A drink now wine. Would pair great with tacos to spanish tapas. Outstanding value at $13.95 and it gets 8 points.
On page 43 is the 2009 Chateau Beaucastel Chateauneuf Du Pape from Southern Rhone, France. This wine has great structure and complexity, look for dark fruits, smoke, and spice on the nose and finish. Due to the warm vintage of 2009, this wine is drinkable now with decanting or see if you can wait another 15 – 20 years and see this wine evolve. Price is $89.95 and it is a solid 9.5 points.
Everyone should taste a Sauternes in their lifetime, and on page 41 is the 2005 Le Dauphin De Guiraud (2nd wine of Ch. Guiraud). This amazing sauternes has notes of toffee, honey, peach and a hint of caramel on the nose. Mouthwatering acidity on the finish has you coming back for more. Great with Foie Gras or with a cheese course. Sweet price point at $24.95 and I give it 9.5 points.
Till the next release on March 30…