More August, 2016 Wine Picks

August 20 2016 Wine Picks

There are still a few hot weeks ahead so there are some refreshing recommendations.  There are also a few good value reds.

Rose

I personally don’t go for the light, florally roses.  So I found these 2 intriguing because they promise a bigger mouth feel.

Chateau Bellevue La Foret Rose 2015

#219840 Score 90  $14.95

Tasting notes from Natalie MacLean say ‘An incredible tasting and mouth-watering dry rose, especially for this price point. Aromas of field strawberries and tiny raspberries.”

Famille Perrin Reserve Rose 2015

#719062   $15.95

Vintages panel tasting notes say “this is loaded with aromas of field flowers, potpourri, apricot, raspberry, wild strawberry and garrigue. Plump and juicy with considerable heft, but carried beautifully on a soft, round frame. Closes with a floral and herb-tinged fruit tone.”

Whites

Joseph Cattin Gewurztraminer 2014

#224626  Score 90   $19.95

This wine is from Alsace where they excel at whites like  Reisling, Gewrtuztraminer , Pinot Gris.  Traminer is the grape and gewurz means spicy.  Gewruztraminer is a very specific taste- you either like it or you don’t I think.  I happen to like it a lot! Particularly with Chinese or Asian food which can be hard to pair with.  Tasting notes from Anne Krebiehl (MW, Wine Enthusiast) say “charming overtones of citrus herald the freshness of the 2014 vintage while the palate shows richer fruit, golden Mirabelle plums and baked apricot with occasional swirls of rose blossom.  The dry finish beautifully accentuates the freshness and is rather moreish.”

Elderton # Series Chardonnay 2015

#458760   $15.95

Elderton is a highly respected Australian producer. Wine notes are calling this outstanding  value since it is made from premium Barossa fruit.  They anticipate a plum, fruit-driven Chardonnay with ripe pineapple and peach.

Kim Crawford Pinot Gris 2015

#369850   $19.95

In case you didn’t see my earlier posts…Pinot Gris is my new area of exploration. So I can hardly wait to try this wine described by the Vintages panel as “the purest possible expression of the grape” because  there was minimal skin contact, cold fermentation and no oak.  Tasting notes say it is a delicate, lovely wine with aromas and flavours of jasmine, apple, spice and honey. Fresh, vibrant with superb balance.

Reds

Some good value wines in this release as well.

Chateau La Bastide Optimee Corbieres 2011

#448662    Score 91      $19.95

Jeb Dunnuck of erobertparker.com is calling this wine ‘a rock star Corbieres’.  It is 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache. His tasting notes indicate ‘Deep, rich and layered, with lots of ripeness in its cassis, black raspberry, melted licorice and subtle vanilla ban aromas and flavors, it’s full-bodied with low acidity, outstanding purity and a thick unctuous texture. This is one sexy Corbieres to enjoy over the coming 3-4 years.”

A lot of superlatives going on here and I particularly like the low acidity for drinking now.  This would be one to stock up on if you like dark fruitiness in your wine.

Pascual Toso Reserve Malbec 2013

#183897  Score 90  $19.95

I became familiar with Pascual Toso Malbec when it won a Bronze Medal in the  World Wine Awards of Canada in the Malbec category in 2014.  At $13.95 it became a go-to for everyday drinking.

The World Wine Awards of Canada (“The Worlds”) is open to both imported and domestic wines for sale in Canada, provided the wine sells for less than $50 somewhere in the country.  As a consequence it is an opportunity for all wines sold here to show that they can compete in quality and value with wines from anywhere in the world.  Blind judgings are remarkable opportunities for unknown wines to make their mark. Wines are tasted in price categories based on the lowest selling price in Canada.

The wine in this month’s release is a Reserve and apparently a noticeable step up from the regular fare. Steve Thurlow of winealign.com  says the aging in American oak ‘gives it a sweetish feel to nose and palate and it is quite dry and finely balanced with excellent length. Aromas of floral black cherry with blueberry and mild warm fragrant oak spice.’

Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2014

#942599  $21.95

Zinfandel has a distinct character – medium to full bodied, spicy,  peppery, fruity and fairly unique to California. (Italy produces wine from the same grape but calls it Primitivo and the style is quite different). Ravenswood is one of the top producers of Zinfandel and the Old Vine is a notch up from the regular fare. I would also look for a bit of a raisiny quality thanks to the Old Vine origin.

Note it is a 2014-tasting notes suggest if you drink it now decant and let it aerate for about 3 hours.

Buried Cane Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

#402081  Score 90   $19.95

This is featured as the LCBO’s Wine of the Month.  Washington Cabernet Sauvignons are typically fruity and not overly tannic which equals EASY DRINKING!  Tasting notes from Catherine Fallis MS winereview-planetgrape.com call is ‘Supple and slightly chewy with notes of cherry, blueberry, plum, cassis, dried herbs, aged Sumatran coffee beans and vanilla.”

 

August Release -Cellar Opportunity for Bordeaux Wine Tasting

Bordeaux Cellar

The August 20, 2016 LCBO release has some interesting tasting and cellaring opportunities.

Based on the tasting notes I would cellar these for at least a year and preferably 2-3 years to enhance the tasting experience.  So get 3 friends together, commit $25 each, buy now and make a date  for a very interesting  Labour Day weekend tasting 2019!

Bordeaux wines are highly regarded, futures are traded on them, the Houses of Bordeaux are legendary. The price of some of the more favoured Bordeaux regions quickly become legendary as well.  Just for fun I looked up St. Emilion product in the LCBO product finder – 1 bottle was $20 and the other was $1,175.  ‘Nuff said.

Bordeaux has 60 appellations recognized as AOC  (Appellation d’Origine Controlle), which stipulate among other things – allowable varietals, sugar levels, alcohol levels and  vinification practices all aimed at allowing the consumer to be able to expect consistency in the style and character of the wine of that appellation.

Discussion of appellations is often broken into Left Bank and Right Bank.

Well known appellations of the Left Bank are Saint Estephe, Pauillac, Saint Julien,  Margaux and Haut Medoc.  Right Bank highly sought after appellations are Saint Emilion and Pomerol.

The appellations of Sauternes and Barsac are reknown for their production of sweet white Bordeaux wines while Pessac Leognan and Entre Deux Mers are known for their dry white Bordeaux wines.

There are 3 Bordeaux wines in the August 20, 2016 LCBO release that would make an interesting tasting. All 3 are approachable now but will also cellar.

The first 2 wines are good representations of bordeaux wines at reasonable price. The third from Margaux is a rare opportunity to experience one of the more sought after Bordeaux appellations at a reasonable entry price.

Chateau Hauchat 2013 

#123489  price $16.95

This wine is from the Fronsac region of Bordeaux which is recognized as a potential source of very good value Bordeaux.  Vintage tasting notes describe ‘aromas of spice box, sandalwood, plum, cherry and warm, earth.’  On the palate it is fruity with dry tannins.

Chateau Lamothe-Vincent Intense 2014

#458588  Price $19.95

This wine won a Gold Medal at the 2015 Paris Concours General Agricole. Be warned- the name says intense and the food pairing suggestion is lamb so I would expect it to be intense.  This is from the Right Bank. Vintage tasting notes describe ” Mocha, dark cherry and cedar with some spice box on the nose. The fruit has a sweet, ripe edge and makes for a lovely bright feel. Well-balanced and long with chalky tannins.”

L’Expression de Margaux 2010

#431734  Price $33.95

Beppi Crosariol of The Globe and Mail scored this as a 92 and describes “Full-bodied and brimming with intense currant-like fruit along with sweet tannins, spicy oak and classic Margaux-style pencil shavings, this is a cellar, bargain, approachable now but worth cellaring for up to a decade.”

Lots of Good Value in August LCBO Release

August 2016 Wine Picks

Why spend $20-$30 on a bottle of wine you don’t know anything about when there are wines scoring 90+ for less than $20?

I was trying to narrow my selections in the August 6th, 2016 release down to a reasonable level but  it wasn’t to be!  There are a lot of fantastic value wines in this release.  I will summarize a few groups below that I found interesting. I wish they could all be on my shopping list but I will have to try to continue to zero in on my final purchases.

Sparkling Wines

Cathedral Cellar Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine 2010

LCBO # 462762  $16.92

I know Cathedral Cellar mostly for their red wines but I find them to be pretty reliable producer for my tastes. This one caught my eye because it is 100% Chardonnay and fermented in the bottle.  Tasting notes suggest a mixture of yeast and apple, pear.

Laboure-Gontard Brut Cremant de Bourgogne

LCBO 401018  $20.95

I think this is a close to real champagne as you can get without the price tag of real champagne.  The grapes are grown just south of the region of Champagne, the blend and method are the same as traditional champagne. All this for $20.95!! Tasting notes say it is ‘rich, fruity..satin, smooth mouth feel…divine aftertaste’… I’m in!

Exceptional Value Wines- Red

Kilikanoon Killerman’s Run Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2013

LCBO #412189    Score 95    $19.95

Tasing notes from Campbell Mattinson, winecompanion.com.au sum it up as a ‘Beautiful wine at a beautiful price.  Balanced, bright-fruited, spice-laden’.  At this price I would buy a few and try them now and over the next 5 years.

Piattelli Reserve Malbec 2013

#452029  Score 90  $14.95

Kim Marcus of winespectator.com describes this as ‘lively acidity behind dried berry, cherry pomegranate..medium grained tannins, seductive spicy notes on the finish’ .

Fattoria Le Pupille Morellino di Scansano 2013

LCBO# 455659  Score 91  $16.95

Sounds like a Tuscan gem.  According to Ian D’Agata, vinous.com there are cherry, berry notes on the ‘knockout’ nose. Cherry/Berry balances with tarry and earthy notes. Finishes smooth, long and clean.’

Exceptional Value Wines- Whites

Framingham Sauvignon Blanc

LCBO #606848  Score 95  $18.95

‘Rich texture..good concentration..bone dry.. currant bud, stone fruit and subtle stony mineral flavour … balanced with power and length (excerpt from Bob Campbell.nz)  What more can you ask of a Sauvignon Blanc?

Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling 2015

LCBO # 080234  $16.95

Tasting notes here  talk of a blend of floral, mineral and citrus,  sweet and tang..purity of fruit, balance, monumental long and refreshing finish.  (Vic Harradine, winecurrent.com)  This would be interesting to try now and lay another down for a few years.

 

Cellar Suggestion

Confidencial Reserva 2012

LCBO #452789  Score 92   $14.95

Portugal always provides good value. This one is described as ‘oozing with blackberry fruitiness as well as a balanced layer of dry tannins.  The wine is fruity and rich while keeping it’s elegance.’  Drink from 2017

(Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast)