WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR MAY 10, 2014
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creator of Canada's award-winning wine satire site at http://fauxvoixvincuisine.blogspot.com. My Internet compendium
"Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net" is a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, at www.deantudor.com since 1994. My LCBO tastings are based on MVC (Modal Varietal Character); ratings are QPR (Quality-to-Price Ratio). Prices are LCBO retail. Only my top rated wines are here. NOTE: The LCBO does NOT put out all of the wines of the release for wine writers or product consultants. Corked wines are not normally available for a re-tasting.
====>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
Hinterbrook Barrel Fermented Reserve Chardonnay 2011 VAQ Niagara Lakeshore, +292375, $19.95: a good quality scoop if you can find it at the stores. Twist top, 13.8%, good mix of oaking (20% new French oak). Fruity, baked goods, caramel finish. QPR: 91.
====>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *OVER* $20
Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough, +677450, $23.95.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $20 or so.
1.Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling 2012 VQA Niagara, +80234, $16.95: intense Mosel-like Riesling MVC flavours, 10.5% ABV, twist top. Very long finish. More off-dry than medium. Sip or with food. QPR: 89.
2.Hermanos de Domingo Molia Torrontes 2012 Cafayate Salta, +303685, $16.95: the summer wine of Toronto? Perhaps, with the similar name. Typically light and fruity, with sustain on the finish of 13.9% ABV. QPR: 89.
3.San Esteban In Situ Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Aconcagua Valley, +369470, $15.95: refreshingly tart for summer with fruit (melon) and acid (citrus) in balance. Twist top, 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
4.Maycas del Limari Reserva Especial Chardonnay 2010 Limari, +162040, $19.95: with a cork finish and 14% ABV, this substantial chard shows good wood tones from aging in French oak, and a long length. QPR: 89.
5.Marisco The Ned Pinot Gris 2013 Marlborough, +267138, $16.95: very tasty, slight grey-rose colour, depth in the style of "gris", 13% ABV. Emphasizes florals and spices, good sipper, long length with food. QPR: 89.
6.Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay 2012 WO Western Cape, +328559, $15.95: this brand has been at Vintages since the 2005 vintage (but not every vintage), and its price has remained stable. It is a personal fave of mine, showing good oaking. But as the vintages go by, there is less oak than before. This one has more citric fruit finish than earlier editions. QPR: 89.
7.Paul Mas Nicole Vineyard Viognier 2012 IGP Pays d'Oc, +370098, $17.95: brilliant old world style, nicely aged, 13.5%, good value for orchard fruit. QPR: 89.
8.Konigschaffhausen Vulkanfelsen Trocken Pinot Gris 2012 Baden, +597500, $15.95: yet another substantial "gris", more off-dry, and good value from Germany. 13% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $20 or so.
1.Ridgepoint Wines Cabernet/Merlot 2011 VQA Twenty Mile Bench Niagara, +101519, $14.95: compelling, great oaking presence (over 18 months), 13% ABV, twist top. Smokey BBQ tones. You know what that means...QPR: 89.
2.Aconacagua Roble Oak Malbec 2007 Mendoza, +369603, $15.95: good value red, with over-the-top fruit and the usually well-developed toast and animal tones. 13.4% ABV. QPR: 89.
3.Chateau Ferran Classique 2012 Fronton, +370114, $16.95: good blend of local varieties with cab franc, dark tones, good tastes, 14% ABV. Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
4.Lirica Primitivo di Manduria 2007 Puglia, +326710, $18.95: this month's underpriced zinfandel. 14%. QPR: 89.
5.Bod Franco Espanolas Rioja Bordon Reserva 2008, +194753, $19.95: excellent Rioja MVC, in US oak for two years, tempranillo tempered with garnacha and mazuelo in a classic blend. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
6.Valdemar Inspiraco Seleccion 2010 Rioja, +166512, $17: scooped up by the LCBO in a timely fashion, 14% ABV, 90% tempranillo and 10% graciano. Better with food. QPR: 89.
VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $20
Restaurants should consider offering these FINE VALUE wines at a $10 markup over retail; the wines are READY to enjoy right NOW. Consumers should buy these wines to bring to restaurants with corkage programs.
1.Flat Rock The Rusty Shed Chardonnay 2011 VQA Twenty Mile Bench Niagara, +1552, $24.95 retail.
2.Remo Farina Le Pezze Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011, +171587, $37.95.
3.Jean-Max Roger Cuvee G.C. Sancerre 2013, +189126, $28.95.
4.Max Ferd. Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 2007 Prad. Mosel, +998120, $20.95.
5.Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Meritage 2011 VQA Niagara, +594002, $24.95.
6.Tabali Reserva Especial 2009 Limari Valley, +107540, $22.95.
7.Saltram Mamre Brook Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Barossa, +48579, $26.95.
8.Torbreck The Steading 2009 Barossa, +97220, $53.95.
9.Gerard Bertrand Grand Teroir La Clape Sytah/Carignan/Mourvedre 2009, +370262, $20.95.
10.Domaine du Clos Gautier Cuvee Emile 2008 Cotes de Provence, +374330, $24.95.
11.Delas Freres Les Launes Crozes-Hermitage 2011, +701359, $22.95.
12.Banfi Regali La Lus Albarossa 2009 Piedmont, +291575, $24.95.
13.Opus One 2006 Napa, 1500 mL, +14324, $1075.00. There's a great temptation to list this one here; I encourage restaurateurs to buy some and mark it up $24 or so. You can also get some profit from the HST rebate.