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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

Mar. 31 - Racy Rieslings ~ Perfect Springtime Sippers

Mar. 24 - Quest for the Best of Portable Potables ~ The Battle of the Boxes

Mar. 17 - For the love of the Irish ~ A Greek wine for St. Patrick's Day

Mar. 10 - VDN to the rescue ~ Sublime sweet bargains from southwestern France

Mar. 3 - Canada's greatest pinot noir? ~ If you can’t find the best, try LCJ’s less expensive bargains

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Southern French Accents
© Michael Vaughan 2007
National Post Weekly Wine & Spirits Columnist
Saturday, September 29, 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 "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.

2001 - 2007 Tasting Note Database
Our tasting note database from December 31, 2000 to August 2007, covers every Vintages release product for the past 81 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

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Copyright Food & Beverage Testing Institute of Canada 2007
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