Buys from Today's Vintages Release
ON THE NAME
Today's Vintages release focuses on red wines. The fact that only two of the 92 items listed are under $15.95 is enough to make many customers see red. Vintages is doing everything it can to force customers into spending more so they can increase their profitability. For a monopoly to achieve this by not making available worthy lower priced wines is bad karma.
Starting with whites, here are my top picks. One of the least expensive whites in the release comes from Alsace. While it is totally dry, because it is loaded with honeyed, spicy, lychee flavours, you would swear that it seems sweetish. It's a style that you either love of hate. Nevertheless, Gisselbrecht 2005 Gewurztraminer Réserve Spéciale (678003) at $15.95 is a head turner and would go well with hot, spicy Thai/Indian dishes. This 2005 is infinitely better than the 2004 released two years ago at $16.95.
With a huge group of me-too California Chardonnay out there, it is refreshing to come across a genuine bargain. To begin with Beringer 2005 Third Century Chardonnay (47696) at $23.95 has real character. Made from Central Coast grapes, the nose shows great complexity with buttered toast and key lime pie notes. It is dry, bright and medium-full bodied on the palate with lovely ripe lemon meringue and key lime pie flavours, plus a fine thread of acidity on the lingering finish. One of the best values tasted; too bad it wasn't presented by Vintages to their own consultants.
If you like Sauvignon Blanc that doesn't scream grass and herbs, here's something from the Loire that will keep your oysters snapping. 2006 Clos des Criots Pouilly-Fumé (57778) at $24.95 offers fine value with its harmonious, ripe melon flavours and tangy yellow grapefruit tinged finish.
As a fan of classic sweet German wines, here's a terrific winter white. From the Mosel and at only $23.95, Studert-Prum 2005 Riesling Spätlese Wehlener Sonnenuhr (912659) is a real mouthful literally and figuratively. One sip and your seduced by its honeyed, ripe, fresh wintermelon flavours that linger on the palate with lovely hints of schisty lime. A perfect crowd-pleaser and delicious by itself.
Moving on to the reds, here are my top four. Because great well-priced Bordeaux is so hideously hard to find, I have two recommendations. The first at $51.95 is a best value release highlight. 2003 Château de Pez (717389) may only be a Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel but this Saint-Estèphe from the most northern Medoc rocks. Marvelous on the nose and palate with complex, harmonious, plummy, ripe cherry and subtle lime flavours with lingering, sandalwood-mocha notes. It's surprising accessible at the moment.
Somewhat richer and earthier is 2003 Château l'Arrosée (46730) at $61.95 with its ripe plum and baked cherry flavours and long, slightly oaky finish. Designated as a St-Émilion Grand Cru Classé, this would be perfect with a rack of lamb.
From a number of exciting Italian entries, the definitive best buy at $29.95 is the delicious 2004 Crognolo (727636) at $29.95. For the money, it doesn't get much better than this IGT Toscana. The lovely, complex, plummy, ripe cherry nose is followed up by ultra-seductive flavours and a lingering finish. Three thumbs up.
One of the least expensive best buys for current drinking is Casa Emma 2004 Chianti Classico (56952) at $20.95. It is harmonious, pleasingly dry and bitter-free with bright, plummy, tangy, gently juicy, ripe cherry flavours. A well-made, wide-appeal red that will go with almost anything.
Readers in search of this month's wine deals can check out current LTOs (limited time offers) by clicking here.
Nouveau 2007 Release
This section details the six Nouveau products released on November 15, 2007. Five of the wines will be available in the General List (marked GL) and one wine will be in the Vintages (marked V).
This is the first time that the LCBO has refused to preview the wines with the wine writers. The result is zero coverage on a release entailing 12,500 cases. This is a great loss to producers, agents and consumers.
Here are the notes directly from my Vintage Assessments newsletter, which was sent to subscribers on November 16th. All the notes are based on a single sampling.
France - Beaujolais
GL 891846 GAMAY
NOUVEAU 2007 $8.95
GL 897934 BEAUJOLAIS
NOUVEAU 2007 $13.25
France - Languedoc
Italy - Alto Adige/Trentino
GL 669275 NOVIO
VINO NOVELLO 2007 $9.95
Italy - Veneto
Coming Up Monday,
This event is a fun competition that challenges amateurs and professionals to identify the grape varietal, country/region of origin and vintage of a diverse range of international wines. It is sponsored by The Renaissance Project and Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute under the watchful eye of the founder/executive producer Phil Sabatino of Via Allegro Ristorante. Participation in the challenge is by appointment only and registration is free of charge. A serious list of outstanding prizes will be awarded to the winning contestants. It all takes place on the 32nd floor of the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto. For more information please contact Jenn at 1- 905-688-5550 x4949 or email email@example.com or visit www.winetastingchallenge.com
- 2007 Tasting Note Database
use our Tasting
Notes Database: click
Copyright Food & Beverage Testing Institute of Canada