Michael Vaughan 2005
la la” Tour de France Vintages release features 80 French
wines and spirits – more than ever before! It is the first time that a
single release has been devoted to only one country. It is so big that
some LCBO stores will not be able to accommodate all the items due to
limited shelf space.
In order to
help plan ahead, I am unveiling some of my top choices today enabling
buyers find out where they are available via the LCBO Infoline at 416-365-5900. Out
of town readers have time to get their advance orders into local stores
before the cut-off of 11 am next Tuesday, February 1. The full list of all
French items all directly linked to the LCBO database is posted on
my website for National Post readers click
Note that many stores do not post inventory until the day of release
meaning that you will have to call the Infoline in any case. All wines
recommended below are automatically linked.
launch was designed to raise consciousness of the diversity of fine French
wines available. While many are very good, discerning palates will still
have to exercise caution when trying to buy the best. Fortunately there
are many fine values out there that won’t break the bank.
from Bordeaux, there is a terrific blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc with 10%
Semillon at only $16.95.
(597708) comes from Andre Lurton’s small estate in the premium Pessac-Léognan
subregion of Graves. The rather toasty,
rhubarb-apricot nose is followed up by rounded, buttery, apricot jam
flavours. The fruit comes from the portion fermented in stainless steel,
while the toasty notes from the barrel-fermented portion. While too rich
for fish, it does wonders with white meats, pasta and poultry.
the Loire is a truly excellent 100% Sauvignon Blanc that isn’t overly
herbaceous and would pair prefectly with seafood. Although a bit more
at $24.95, Fournier
Père et Fils 2002 Sancerre Les Maulins Bâles
(651091) is definitely
worthy of a detour. The attractive nose drips with honeyed, ripe melon.
Dry and well structured on the palate, the ripe wintermelon flavours come
shining through. A perfect match for seafood.
the most exciting white is the Albert
Mann 2002Riesling Cuvée Albert (987073)
at $26.95, which has a lovely, expressive, fruity,
melon-grapefruit-rhubarb nose. It is well structured, dry and fruity on
the palate with lots of refreshing, juicy fruit flavours. Only 50 cases
are available meaning you will have to move quickly.
on to the reds, of the numerous Bordeaux presented many are worthy of
drinking and are not overpriced. Perhaps all the recent anti-Bordeaux
hysteria might best be taken with a grain of salt. One of the best buys is
(944983) at $17.95.
This second Andre Lurton selection is
a blend of
50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot aged for 12 months in oak (about 30%
new). Deep intense red colour, the nose shows good complexity with
slightly spicy, plumy, red licorice notes. Dry, medium bodied and quite
tangy, the plumy, licorice-tinged, red pepper flavours would be perfect
with roast beef.
on to Burgundy, I discovered two surprisingly tasty, well priced, Pinot
Noirs that are bound to please. I played a bit of ping pong, going back
and forth between these two Joseph Drouhin 2002 reds both from the Cote de
Beaune - one from Ladoix ($26.95) in the north, the
($27.95) in the south. The
slightly lighter Joseph
Drouhin 2002 Ladoix
(966200) came out on top with its drink-now, very crisp, plummy, red
cherry and tangy pomegranate flavours that
danced on the tongue.
the Midi’s Minervois region, 2002
Château de Sérame
(651125) is another best buy at $18.95. This blend of 60%
Syrah, 28% Grenache and 12% Carignan has an extremely deep intense purple
colour and an intense, rather cedary nose with some red currant notes.
Solid, dry and well structured, its plumy, ripe black cherry flavours show
for southwestern France, 2001
Château Bouissel (693986) is stunning
value at only $12.95. This well structured, slightly moky Côtes du
Frontonnais is an unfiltered blend of 50% Négrette along with Cabernet
Franc, Cot and Syrah. The complex, rich, plummy, dried black cherry
flavours show wonderful structure and length – sublime to drink now with
a hearty lamb stew.
Sale Starts Today
list of 160 items in today’s Vintages sale is posted on our website: click
see. Note that this list is fully linked to the
LCBO database – just click on the name to get the store inventory as of
last night! For FBTI
Supporters, the summary list also
has all scores: click
2005 Newsletter for National Post readers
we are posting the January 2005 Vintage Assessments newsletter for
National Post readers: click
Become a FBTI Supporter today and receive the complete February 2005 issue
reviewing all 203 release items. To sign up click
Saturday, February 5, Julien de Rothschild will be hosting a four-course
dinner featuring the wines of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, including the
Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1990 and Chateau Clerc Milon 1993 in the Regency
Ballroom of the Granite Club, 2350 Bayview Avenue, starting at 6:00 pm.
The event will include a live auction of several Rothschild wines. All
proceeds of this event will be donated to the Tsunami Relief Fund of the
Canadian Red Cross. Tickets are $250 per person. Contact Kerri Henman of
Philippe Dandurand Wines at 416-368-3344 ext 299 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
Tasting Note Database
use our winefind.ca Tasting
Notes Database: click
Copyright Food & Beverage Testing Institute of Canada