Vintage Assessments Home Page

Recent Articles

Sep. 3 - Delicious Long Weekend Drinking ~ All but one under $20!

Aug. 27 - A new way of coding drinkability ~ And getting the best out of that bottle

Aug. 20 - The "New" Vintages Catalogue

Aug. 13 - Bargains Galore ~ Spirited Summer Matchmakers ~ From Boulard Calvados to Grand Marnier

Aug. 6 - Dealing with Disappointments ~ This Bicyclette has a flat tire!

Jul. 30 - LCBO Alternatives? ~ Regulations handcuff importers to LCBO warehouse

Jul. 23 - A French Sparkler & Greek Whites in Today's Vintages Hit Parade ~ In-Store Discoveries Reviews Disappear

Jul. 16 - French Rosé Rocks ~ Too bad you can't find them at the LCBO

Jul. 9 - Today's Vintages Release ~ Small in size but big in buys!

Jul. 2 - The Wines of Canada by John Schreiner ~ Interesting but a little thin

Jun. 25 - Boning Up for Canada Day! ~ ABC - Anything But Chardonnay A Best Buy ~ Trilogy of Grass-Free Sauvignon Blanc

Jun. 18 - Austria's Wines on a roll

Jun. 11 - Where there's Chardonnay there's Hope ~ 2,879 cases at Vintages! ~ Plus 79 New Items in Today's Vintages Release

Jun. 11 - Bottle of the Week
Kim Crawford 2004 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ~ Kick starts the screwcap revolution

Jun. 4 - Bodega Norton 2004 Chardonnay ~ A too-good-to-be-true Argentina gem from the General List ~ LCBO Price Book now a thing of the past!

Jun. 4 - Bottle of the Week
Codorniu Brut Clasico ~ Puts some sparkling Classics to shame

May. 28 - A Trip in a Glass ~ Fine wines to transport you to far-away destinations

May. 28 - Bottle of the Week
Zoom-Zoom-Zoomers! ~ Campari: Seeing Red ~ Setting the World Ablaze

May. 21 - Toasting Queen Victoria ~ With Discounted Reds! ~ Grab these bargains while they last!

May. 21 - Bottle of the Week
Putting a little spice into your Victoria Day Long Weekend

May. 14 - Sprouting Up Like Tulips ~ Excellent 2003 Whites at Vintages

May. 14 - Bottle of the Week
2004 Terra Boa Blanco ~ A Bargain Priced Springtime White from Portugal

May. 7 - Prince Edward County's Field of Dreams ~ Long Dog Winery - No Long Shot!

May. 7 - Bottle of the Week
For Mother's Day! ~ Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Champagne ~ A priceless bubbly for that priceless mother!

Apr. 30 - An increasingly confusing Vintages catalogue ~ Hard to find what you are looking for & plan purchases

Apr. 30 - Bottle of the Week
Rosemount Shiraz on a Roll!

Apr. 23 - The Wine Glass ~ The Key to getting the most out of your wines

Apr. 23 - Bottle of the Week
Making the Rum Transition

Apr. 16 - All we are saying is give pink a chance

Apr. 16 - Bottle of the Week
Talus 2002 Zinfandel ~ A Zinfully Good Anti-Luddite!

Apr. 9 - Don't be screwed by a bad cork ~ Screwcaps are the answer

Apr. 9 - Bottle of the Week
2003 Mouton Cadet Blanc ~ Canada's best selling white Bordeaux

Apr. 2 - From Fizz to Pop ~ Putting some zip into Spring

Apr. 2 - Bottle of the Week
Underberg the Ultimate Digestif! ~ Only a full bottle will do!

Mar. 26 - Canada's #1 Wine Festival 27th ~ Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

Mar. 26 - Bottle of the Week
Smooth & Satisfying ~ A Luxury French Brandy at a Great Price!

Mar. 19 - German Classics for Easter

Mar. 19 - Bottle of the Week
A liqueur that Grows on Trees!

Mar. 12 - Ontario's Vinous Peaks ~ Great quality directly from the wineries!

Mar. 12 - Bottle of the Week
A Special Treat for St. Patrick's Day

Mar. 5 - Today at Vintages ~ Chardonnays starting at $8.95!

Mar. 5 - Bottle of the Week
Cynar - A One-of-a-Kind Aperitif

Feb. 26 - Cuvée Throws a Curve Ball at Ontario's Best

Feb. 19 - A Vintages Jackpot for Shiraz Fans ~ But Slim Pinot Noir Pickings

Feb. 19 - Bottle of the Week
It's Canadian fortified and exudes sweet raspberries: Southbrook Framboise - Summer in a Bottle

Feb. 12 - The Apple of my Heart ~ Calvados to the Rescue

Feb. 12 - Bottle of the Week
It's French, it's spirited and a little bit sexy: Mon dieu, it's Green Chartreuse

Feb. 5 - Uncovering the Best Classics Red

Jan. 29  - Ooh la la! ~ Fine French Values that Won't Break the Bank

Jan. 22  - Frisky Whisky for Robbie Burns Revellers

Jan. 15  - Pinotage Perfection ~ Exploring South Africa's Sole Indigenous Grape

Jan. 8  - Gems from Chile ~ Be selective in today's Vintages Release

Archive of National Post Articles

Sign-up Now!

Become A FBTI Supporter Today By Clicking Here
This not-for-profit website is dedicated to the discerning reader!

German Classics for Easter
© Michael Vaughan 2005

National Post Weekly Wine & Spirits Columnist
Saturday, March 19, 2005


All listings are automatically linked to the LCBO database)
If there is a product that interests you, just click on the name below and you will instantaneously connected with the LCBO database. The product will appear in blue and all you have to do is click on the name again and then the next screen will provide details along with the store search. Just click on store search. The number of bottles in each store is updated nightly. Call the store first to see if stock still remains (each store phone number is listed).

With Easter just a week away, I always buy at least one Spring-pick-me-up white from Germany. There is something about the honeyed, floral flavours that simply hits the spot. From today’s Vintages release of 96 items, that best buy white would have to be Balbach 2003 Riesling Kabinett Nierstein Pettenthal (499822) at $14.95. The three-word descriptor would be: zesty, honeyed, melons. Light straw in colour and very slightly sweet, this lively Rheinhessen Riesling is perfect for that Easter brunch, especially as it has 9.5% alcohol.

While excellent 2003s are being scooped up by fans, don’t forget that some great 2002s are still available. Just released is the surprisingly well-structured Studert-Prüm 2002 Riesling Kabinett Wehlener Sonnenuhr (970129) at $19.95. It has a sweet, hazelnut and lemon meringue nose with fairly sweet, bright, ripe lemon-lime flavours. Despite the low alcohol (8%), the wines from this classic Mittel Mosel vineyard will age for a surprisingly long time due to high acidity and some sweetness. It is amazing to think that twelve Prüm generations have been growing Riesling here since 1581.

While hard-to-pronounce German wine names intimidate some buyers, the plethora of tiny vineyards, classified styles and numerous regions doesn’t make it easy for neophytes. While one can always reach for the Mitchell Beazley classic The Wines of Germany by Stephen Brook, there is nothing like a first-hand exploration of the wines themselves. The next best thing to actually going to Germany is to attend the annual German Wine & Fashion Show (Tuesday, March 22nd) where over 125 wines, including some newly released German reds, will be tasted at Roy Thompson Hall from 6:30 pm for $45. For info call 905-815-1581.

Those wanting to ham it up at Easter, should look for reds with some fruitiness or perhaps a spicy white. A good example of the latter would be a new Italian entry from the Alto Adige St. Michael-Eppan 2003 Gewürztraminer (746446) at $23.95. The honeyed, stylish, spicy lychee, melon-lemon aromas carry over perfectly on the palate.

My top two Vintages red buys will likely be a trifle too flavourful for most Easter noshing. From Italy’s Tuscany region, you can’t beat the absolutely delicious Poliziano 2000 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (988055) at $28.95. This slightly ambering purple red coloured elixir has a wonderful, gently cedary, smoky, lime purée nose. It is intense and woodsy on the palate with lingering, juicy, ripe black cherry flavours. May I suggest that you schedule this one for after the holidays, as it would be divine with a tender, slow roasted rabbit?

For rib roast fans, classic Bordeaux always seems to work. My release pick comes from the Medoc region is the earthy Château La Cardonne 2000 (980417) at $28.95. This blend of 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc has a cedary, stewed lime and baked plum nose. It is solid, very dry, medium-full bodied and extracty with earthy cassis and black cherry flavours.

Looking for something that’s inexpensive with wide appeal and versatility? From South Africa’s Western Cape, there is still plenty of the Rhone-inspired 2003 Goats Do Roam (718940) at $11.95 on the Vintages shelves. Deep intense purple in colour, the nose shows good complexity with spicy, gently smoky, strawberry-plum fruit followed up by lingering, juicy, strawberry-cherry flavours.

For sparkling wine fans, Graham Beck Brut (593483) at $17.95 (also in half bottles at $9.95) should hit the spot. This blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay has dry, gently honeyed, apricot, ripe lemon, red apple flavours with a hint of spicy, smoke. You can taste it and many others next Wednesday evening at the South Africa Wine Tasting at St Lawrence Hall. Tickets are $35 - call 416-698-8112.

Finally for dessert, don’t miss decadently sweet Carlo Pellegrino 2002 Moscato Passito di Pantelleria (585703) $18.95 for 500 mL. With 15% alcohol, it has a honeyed, orange marmalade nose and rich, sweet, honeyed, tangerine marmalade flavours. Made from a Muscat grape called Zibibbo, it is grown on the small, volcanic island of Pantelleria south of Sicily.

2001-2002-2003-2004-2005 Tasting Note Database
Our tasting note database from December 31, 2000 to January 2005, covers every Vintages release product for the past 48 months. There are more than 8,000 notes in the database data. Just enter the name of the product, supplier name or CSPC number. Or you can search by type of wine, country of origin, even wine agent! Nothing could be easier. Also you can get information on the agent by clicking on the agent’s name, as well as current LCBO store inventory by clicking on "Check LCBO Availability", which will automatically tell you the number of bottles at LCBO as of last night.

To use our Tasting Notes Database: click here

** For All Visitors **
Vintages April 2005 Release

To see the complete list of upcoming
186 products click here (sorted by date of release). It includes the number of cases, which wines were presented by the LCBO, our agent ID for every product,
as well as, the
In Store D
iscoveries” for April.
You can also see it sorted by agent
click here  

Copyright Food & Beverage Testing Institute of Canada 2005
Prior written permission is required for any form of reproduction
 (electronic or other wise) and or quotation.
Contact Michael Vaughan at