Vintage Assessments Home Page

Recent Articles

Jan. 26 - 2005 A Miracle Vintage ~ Tumultuous Week of Highs and Lows

Jan. 19 - Looking for Value? ~ Wines from Argentina to the Rescue

Jan. 12 - Looking Back - Looking Ahead ~ Spanish Wines Looking Up

Jan. 5 - New Year Bargains

Dec. 29 - Having a Sparkling New Year's Eve

Dec. 22 - Sumptuous Sippers ~ For days with Slippers

Dec. 15 - Wine Awards Canada - Charting 339 of Ontario's Best ~ Toasting Ontario's Best Sparklers from Brut to Gently Sweet

Dec. 8 - A Sparkling Vintages Release ~ But buy carefully

Dec. 1 - Holiday Gifting ~ The twin pack is the way to go

Nov. 24 - Eight Buys from Today's Vintages Release

Nov. 17 - Introducing the Signature Selection

Nov. 10 - 2005 Burgundy ~ The wine gurus like it!

Nov. 3 - Magic in Montreal ~ Le Marché an Inspiration for Local Wineries

Oct. 27 - Scary Times at Vintages ~ From Tricks to Treats

Oct. 20 -Best of the West

Oct. 13 -Today at Vintages ~ Bordeaux and Much More

Oct. 6 - Wine Auction Fever ~ Confessions of a Wine Auction Junkie ~ Forget Screaming Eagle and pass the Rum

Sep. 29 - Southern French Accents

Sep. 22 - Perfect for an Autumn day ~ Is that a bottle of spicy wine under your kilt?

Sep. 15 - A Celebration of the Ontario's harvest ~ Faces behind great wines

Sep. 8 - Reel Wines for Real Film Lovers ~ Can't snuggle? Here's what to smuggle! ~ Plus Ontario Recommendations

Sep. 1 - Dust off your Lederhosen ~ Austrian Wines Finally Unleashed in Vintages

Aug. 25 - Summer Twilight Selections ~ Spanish Synergy

Aug. 18 - The Wines of Chile ~ Soaring to the peaks of the Andes

Aug. 11 - Discovering Greece - a wine odyssey ~ Splendid Assyrtiko from Santorini

Aug. 4 - Spain - From the Classics to the Cutting Edge ~ Revving up for Rioja

Jul. 28 - Days of Wine & Roses no more! ~ Under $10 wines a rare breed

Jul. 21 - Que Sera, Syrah ~  Big, Smoky and Beautiful

Jul. 14 - Finding the best wine matches ~ Sizzling Seafood at Scaramouche

Jul. 7 - Sizzling Sauvignon Blanc ~ Vintages Best Buy Whites

Jun. 30 - In search of the Ontario Idol ~ Tracking down the best for Canada Day

Jun. 23 - Vintages Price Hikes ~ Hitting the customer where it hurts

Jun. 16 - Life After Yellow Tail

Jun. 9 - Rosé Rules ~ From serious to casual, unearthing that ambidextrous rosé

Jun. 2 - The ones that didn't get away! ~ Unearthing recent best buys - all under $20

May. 26 - New Zealand’s Natural Gems ~ The best of whites

May. 19 - Alsatian with that Crustacean?

May. 12 - Paradoxical Portugal ~ Old World Grapes with New World Appeal

May. 5 - Toronto's First Private Import Wine Fair ~ Private Imports Picking up Steam Despite LCBO Bullying

Apr. 28 - Toasting Mom with France’s Finest

Apr. 21 - Prime Time for California

Apr. 14 - Victims of Vintages

Apr. 7 - Delicious Ciders that won't break the Easter bank

Archive of National Post Articles

Sign-up Now!

Become an FBTI Supporter today
Get Michael Vaughan's Buying Guide
for September 29th & October 13th Vintages Release

Click Here

Today at Vintages
Bordeaux and Much More

© Michael Vaughan 2007
National Post Weekly Wine & Spirits Columnist
Saturday, October 13, 2007

To see this article as it appears in the National Post click here 

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).

Today's Vintages release features two thematics: Bordeaux (24) and Scotch (15) along with 71 other selections. Starting with the former, the single Bordeaux white on offer gets a thumb's up. From Pessac-Léognan (the prestigious region of Graves) comes André Lurton's excellent 2004 Château de Cruzeau Blanc (966010) at $22.95. Pretty much at its peak of drinkability, the slightly spicy, medium bodied, ripe lemon-melon-pear flavours would go well with seafood, poultry and white meats.

Meanwhile, there are a whopping ten under-$20 best buy whites in this release - the most this year. Perhaps the most interesting comes the venerable Portuguese house of Aveleda: Follies 2006 Alvarinho Vinho Verde (59048) at $15.95. This 100% Alvarinho has an elegant fruit focus without a trace of oak. Very pale straw in colour, the dry, gently juicy, melon and ripe lemon flavours would be a winner with seafood.

From Hungary, 2005 Royal Tokaji Furmint (653220) is a real deal at only $12.95. It has honeyed, slightly spicy, ripe lemon-melon-grapefruit aromas, which carry over perfectly on the palate, which is dry, crisp, and medium-light bodied. Look for tangy yellow grapefruit notes on the lingering unoaked finish.

Of the 24 Bordeaux reds on offer, the best buy is 2004 Château Bellevue (45708) at $21.95. This ready-to-enjoy Fronsac is not to be confused with the much pricier, identically-named, Saint-Émilion grand cru chateau. It is harmonious with gently juicy, plummy, ripe cherry flavours and a lingering finish.

For those with deep pockets, the sublime, black cherry driven, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 3 de Valandraud 2003 (45997) at $56.95 is the winner. It has complex, slightly cedary, plummy, juicy black cherry purée flavours - the best of the release..

My best buy red comes from South Africa's Paarl region: the solid, complex, slightly smoky, Coleraine 2005 Fire Engine Red (663237) at $16.95. This 50-50 blend of Shiraz and Merlot has rather spicy, ripe plum and tangy baked red cherry flavours with an intense, mocha, smoked meat finish.

More mainstream is Arboleda 2005 Merlot (45864) at $15.95. It comes from Chile's Aconcagua Valley and has a mouth filling 14.5 alcohol plus an extremely deep intense purple colour. Solid, intense and extracty, its spicy, plummy, dried cherry and cassis-mocha-cedar flavours linger on the palate. Decant today or age for a few more years.

Not to be missed is one of the best buy Champagnes of the year: the refined Georges Gardet Cuvée Saint Flavy Brut (924654) at $37.95. It has exceedingly fine, very gently toasty, ripe lemon-melon flavours with an excellent mousse, a terrific mid palate and very good length. Invest in a case of six - you won't be sorry.

Another outstanding buy is Chateau des Charmes 2005 Late Harvest Riesling (432930) at $19.95 per half bottle. This seductively sweet VQA from Niagara-on-the-Lake is the perfect with dessert, foie gras or just sipping. The vibrant, intense but balanced, Seville orange marmalade flavours are just what the doctor ordered.

Last but not least, is a classic Italian Amaro bitters, a perfect after-dinner digestif and breathe freshener. Poli Amaro (662726) at $33.95 for 700 ml is attractively packaged (a great gift) with 32% alcohol. Clear light amber in colour, Poli is refreshingly sweet and yet bitter with very spicy, rich, herbal flavours and a lingering finish. A little goes a long way.

To access my tasting notes for the last Vintages release, click here - use the npreader password. Also this Monday, October 15 there will be a Vintages and General List delisting sale. To see the list of 53 Vintages products click here, to see the list of the 153 General List products click here.

2001 - 2007 Tasting Note Database
Our tasting note database from December 31, 2000 to September 2007, covers every Vintages release product for the past 82 months. There are more than 15,000 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 Releases
To see the complete list of upcoming products from the
October 13 release, including In-Store Discovery items,
click here (sorted by date of release).
You can also see it sorted by agent click here

To see the complete list of upcoming products from the
October 27 release, including In-Store Discovery items,
click here (sorted by date of release).
You can also see it sorted by agent click here

To see the complete list of upcoming products from the
November 10 release, including In-Store Discovery items,
click here (sorted by date of release).
You can also see it sorted by agent click here

Copyright Food & Beverage Testing Institute of Canada 2007
Prior written permission is required for any form of reproduction
 (electronic or other wise) and or quotation.
Contact Michael Vaughan at