All of my picks are from the LCBO Vintages magazine for the release date of Saturday, April 14. 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. So, get your Vintages Catalogue and let’s start shopping!
Located on page 5 is the 2010 Catena Chardonnay from Mendoza, Argentina. Yes, they can make great Chardonnay in Argentina, this wine has notes of tropical fruits and spice that leads to a creamy finish. Nice use of oak here. Serve with chicken in an Alfredo creme sauce/ Price is $19.95 and I give it 9 points.
“Must Try” White
Check it out on page 29 which is the 2009 L’Uvaggio di Giacomo Vermentino from Lodi, California. Vermentino is a late ripening variety which is native to southern Italy and this is first for California. Look for beautiful aromatics on this wine with nice green fruits and spice on the finish. This is a very dry wine that drinks well on it’s own or with any type of food. Great value at $15.95 and it gets 9 points.
Head to page 34 for my sommelier pick. It is the 2009 Saget La Perriere Marie De Beauregard Vouvray from Loire Valley, France. The grape variety here is Chenin Blanc and of lately has been a good to wine for me. It pairs nicely with fish, seafood, chicken, salads, sushi. It’s a very dry white wine with lots of acidity on the finish. It’s priced at only $17.95 and it gets a solid 9.5 points with me.
Is on page 18 and it is the 2009 Bonterra Zinfandel from California. Look for rich black plum. brambleberry and black peper on the nose, that leads to a smooth finish. Would be delicious with pulled pork or BBQ ribs. This is a drink now wine. I give this wine 8.5 points and the price is $19.95.
I can’t say enough good things about the 2008 vintage in Oregon and this wine is no exception. On page 30 is the 2008 Maysara 3° Pinot Noir from McMinnville, Oregon. Very nice notes of strawberry, cherry and cranberry with soft tannins on the finish. This wine will get better with time but can be drank now with an hour of decanting. Pair with salmon, duck or even a juicy burger! Price is $24.95 and it gets 8.5 points.
Steak Night / Canadian Pick
On page 28 is the 2009 Mission Hill Reserve Shiraz from the Okanagan Valley, BC. The dessert like climate here does well for Shiraz in Okanagan Valley. Look for red and black fruits, cedar, spice and dark chocolate on the nose and finish. Tannins are big and still a bit tight so I would suggest decanting an hour before dinner. Enjoy tonight or cellar for another 4 years. Price is $23.95 and it gets 8.5 points.
Tuesday Night Special
Page 7 is the 2010 Chakana Yaguarete Collection Bonarda from Mendoza, Argentina. Yes, I have another Bonarda pick for you but honestly at $12.95, how can you go wrong? Look for ripe black fruits and baking spices on the nose and finish. This is a medium bodied drink now wine. Would be great with take out pizza as well as hamburgers or sausage on a bun. Outstanding value and it gets 8 points.
Wine and Cheese Pick
Is on page 27 and it is the 1998 Calem Colheita Single Vintage Tawny Port. This is the perfect wine to pair with those strong blue cheeses! Look for figs, raisins, prunes and caramel flavours on this lovely Port. It was aged 13 years in barrel so it is ready to drink now. Amazing value at $25.95 and I give it 9.5 points.
On page 38 is the 2007 Antinori Badia A Passignano Chianti Classico Riserva from Tuscany, Italy. I absolutely love this Chianti from the Antinori family. Look for sour cherry, spice, and smoke on the nose and finsh. Very elegant acid and tannin structure. If you opened this wine tonight, I would decant for about an hour or two but see if you can age for another 5 years. Price is $43.95 and it gets 9.0 points.
Finally, some thoughts on the 2008 Antinori Solaia. Since I did not have the opportunity to taste this wine, I can’t give it a proper score but I can tell you it is a great wine that really needs time to age however, I’m not completely sold on the $249.95 price tag. Personally I’d buy a few bottles of the 2007 Chimney Rock Cab on page 30 as I’m a huge fan of wines from the Stag’s Leap District and the 2007 vintage was absolutely stellar.
Till the next release on April 28…
I thought this was probably the easiest way of reaching out to you. I’m a reporter for Reuters based in New York, who writes about wines and winemakers – and now sommeliers. I’m trying to not just speak to NY sommeliers – or even American ones. So, as I’m a big fan of Natalie MacLean’s, I found you. I’m trying to do a story on how to drink wine like a sommelier. Now, you’ll note that I said drink, not taste. I was wondering if you would care to share any secrets or tips with the average consumer. My deadline is next Friday, May 11 at 3 p.m. EDT(1900 GMT) . My email is above and my direct number is +1 646 223 6218.
I thank you very much for taking the time to read this and hope you will consider offering some tips.