All of my picks are from the LCBO Vintages magazine for the release date of Saturday, March 31. If you have a magazine already, feel free to make notes, just like I do.
Unfortunately this month I did not have the opportunity to taste all the wines I’m going to recommend to you today, however, some of the wines I have tasted in the restaurants where I work and with others I have had previous vintages and can give you my Sommelier guarantee that this vintage will be equally as delicious.
Located on page 31 is the 2009 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Karia from Napa Valley. Look for citrus, apple and honey on the nose and finish. Oak is well integrated and not to heavy. Great with Easter Sunday dinner. Price is $37.95 and I give it 8.5 points.
Easter Brunch Pick
Check it out on page 23 which is the 2011 Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling from Niagara. You won’t be considered the “black sheep” of the family when you show up with this mouthwatering, juicy, off-dry Riesling that shows notes of pear and apple. Beautiful minerality on the finish. Great value at $16.95 and it gets 9 points.
Cheap and Cheerful
If you love Pinot Grigio then you must try the 2010 Velenosi Villa Angela Pecorino from the La Marche region in Italy. This lovely Pecorino shows notes of stone fruits and spice that leads to a dry finish. Enjoy with shellfish or great on its own. Price is $13.95 and I give it 8.5 points.
With the weather warming up why not have a Rose this Easter. If you do, pick the 2011 Tawse Sketches of Niagara Rose. Look for strawberry and cranberry on the nose and finish. A great match ham or turkey. Price is $15.95 and it gets 8.5 points.
Head to page 18 (and to your local store VERY early) for the 2009 Two Hands Bella’s Garden Shiraz from the Barossa Valley, S. Australia. The Two Hands wines always do well here in Ontario and this one is no exception. Look for black plum, pepper and baking spices with smooth tannins. Drink now or age for another 3 – 4 years. I give it 9 points and the price is 64.95. Great with a nice juicy steak or just on its own.
Pinot Pick/Crowd Pleaser
Is on page 13 and it is the 2009 A to Z Pinot Noir, from Oregon. I’ve been serving this wine for guests for many years and it always gets a two thumbs up. It is a lighter bodied Pinot that has nice red fruits such as strawberry and tart cherries with a nice earthy finish. Enjoy on its own or with Black Grouper. Can age another 3 years max. I give this wine 8.5 points and the price is $23.95.
On page 34 is the 2010 Achaval Ferrer Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. Look for red and black fruits, violets, spice and dark chocolate on the nose and finish. Tannins were nicely integrated on the long, lingering finish. Enjoy tonight or cellar for another 5 – 8 years. Price is $23.95 and it gets 8.5 points.
Tuesday Night Special
Page 44 is the 2010 Velenosi Querci’Antica Lacrima di Morro D’Alba from the Le Marche region in Italy. Located just east of Tuscany this wine is made from Lacrima grapes from the commune of Morro D’Alba. Look for blueberry, spice and floral notes on the nose with soft tannins and well balanced acidity on the finish. A drink now wine. Would pair great with pasta in a meat sauce or pan fried turbot. Outstanding value at $13.95 and it gets 8 points.
Great value Bordeaux Pick
Is on page 40, the 2004 Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion from the Pessac-Leognan region in Bordeaux. It’s great to find a drink now Bordeaux and this wine is very well made. Look for red currents, dark chocolate, baking spices and tobacco leaf. Big tannins on the finish that need a nice marbeled piece of red meat. Remember to decant for a good 30 min or age another 5 years. Price is $48.95 and it gets 9 points.
On page 45 is the 2007 Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva from Tuscany. This wine can age so don’t be afraid to lay this wine down for another 5 – 10 years if you can. When it’s ready it will have notes of beautiful dried cherries, casis and cedar. This wine truly is your classic Chianti! Price is $29.95 and it gets 9.5 points.
Head to page 47 for something Sexy which is the 2010 Fita Preta Sexy Tinto from Portugal. An easy drinking red from Portugal that delivers up red fruits and hint of spice. Look for soft tannins and vibrant acidity on the finish. Great food wine. Price is only $17.95 and it gets 8.5 points.
Wine and Cheese Pick
Another great Amarone pick for you and it is also at a great price point is on page 46. The wine is the 2006 Antolini Moropio Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico from Veneto, Italy. I have been a big fan of Antolini wines for years and this Amarone would be great with dinner or with cheese. Full bodied with dried fruit and spice. The price is only $34.95 and I give it 8.5 points.
Happy Easter and Till the next release on April 13…