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ON THE NAME
Today's "Southern Accents" Vintages release focuses on the wines from Provence (1), Midi (4) and the Rhône (17). Given the abundance of great values coming from this region, I was distraught that I didn't find any fantastic buys. Sadly, the Vintages buying team has excluded many best buys by insisting on higher entry prices.
Speaking of this region, I met with Gérard Bertrand who was launching "La Cuvée des Nombres" a series of varietally-labeled wines from the southern Languedoc, each with a different number. Bertrand also happens to be the owner of Château l'Hospitalet 2005 La Réserve Rouge (682492), which was released on April 28, 2007 at $18.95. At the time, this tasty red was my release highlight. Upon checking, I was surprised to see that small quantities were still remaining in over 50 LCBO stores.
In case you missed it, this vibrant blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 30% Mourvèdre has cassis, ripe plum and juicy cherry flavours. After retasting the Vintages release last Tuesday, I came home and opened a bottle. It is still a number one buy and would be perfect with a rack of lamb
Only two new reds in today's French release are under $17.95. Domaine de la Sauveuse 2004 Carolle Côte de Provence (43174), which is organic (only 6 mg/l free sulphur) is recommended at $16.95. This well-structured blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre with some Cabernet Sauvignon has a very deep intense purple colour with stewed ripe plum and baked red cherry flavours. Try with roast beef.
Domaine Grosset 2004 Cairanne Côtes du Rhône-Villages (33852) at $17.95 is another fine buy. This blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 25% Mourvèdre comes from comes from Cairanne, one of the four original villages entitled to use this appellation. It has ripe plum and gently juicy black cherry flavours with a lingering vanilla stick finish. Ready to enjoy today, it would be perfect for your Thanksgiving turkey.
If duck is on your menu, I suggest you try the slightly smoky Clos Bagatelle 2003 Veillée d'Automne (41863) at $20.95. This Saint-Chinian consists of the same three grapes as Grosset above, but in different proportions. Coming from a hotter vintage, it has lots of ripeness and some complexity with tangy, plummy, black cherry purée flavours.
Best red of the group (the only one with three star status) is Hermitage 2004 Seigneur des Coteaux (33860) from the Rhone at $59.95. This "unfiltered wine" has a deep purple red colour and great mouthfeel. It has great complexity with solid, slightly earthy, spicy, warm plum and harmonious ripe cherry flavours.
Two best buy whites come from other regions. The first is a charmer from Italy's Fruili region. di Lenardo 2006 Pinot Grigio dal Vigneto Vigne Dai Vieris (710012) at $14.95 has attractive, floral, fresh pear aromas and harmonious, fruity flavours.
If you are looking for something with some sweetness, Puklus 2006 Tokaji Yellow Muscat (46508) at $13.95 is worth considering. This flavoursome Hungarian white would be great with spicy cuisine. It is medium-light bodied with bright, yellow plum and gentle lychee-Muscat flavours.
Hidden away is an in-store discovery is Cono Sur 2006 Vision Gewurztraminer (912949) at $13.95. This pretty, very spicy effort from Chile's Casablanca Valley has intense, honeyed, lychee flavours and a refreshing finish. You can taste it at the upcoming annual Chilean Wine Fair on Wednesday, October 3 at The Distillery Historic District (for information click here).
Finally, the best buy red of the release is Tedeschi
2004 Capitel dei Nicalo Valpolicella Classico Superiore
(984997) at $16.95. Complex and gently earthy, the spicy, well structured,
ripe plum and cherry flavours show lovely persistence on the palate.
- 2007 Tasting Note Database
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Copyright Food & Beverage Testing Institute of Canada