WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR MAY 24, 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.
**** HALF-BOTTLE ALERT !! – Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough, +160085, $9.95 375 mL: an herbal savvy, just perfect for two glasses (two people) as a starter course wine, and well-priced. QPR: 90.
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
Domaine Les Yeuses Les Epices Syrah 2011 Pays d'Oc, +177584, $14.95: it's back, but
another vintage, just as good as ever – even better. Value priced, great syrah hit of pepper, smoked meat, black fruit, garrigue, blackberries. Perfect accompaniment to horse meat. I've said virtually the same things about the last four times this has turned up in Vintages (the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and now 2011). 13.5% ABV. Up a dollar, but then so is everything else in life. QPR: 93.
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *OVER* $20
E.Guigal Chateau d'Ampuis Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2007, +727503, $59.95.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $20 or so.
1.Mission Hill Family Reserve Pinot Gris 2012 VQA Okanagan, +537076, $17.95: lively, lots of flavour for a pinot gris but very good MVC for that Alsatian-styled consistency. Cork finish, 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
2.Calamus Riesling 2012 VQA Vinemount Ridge, +158642, $16.95: immediate riesling hit on the nose, serve cool, so Mosel-like. Twist top, 11% ABV. QPR: 89.
3.Vineland Estates Chardonnay Musque 2011 VQA Niagara Escarpment, +996793, $17.95: flavourful, slightly grapey muskiness from the clonal character, floral for summer!! Cork finish. QPR: 89.
4.Yamhill Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris 2011 Willamette Valley Oregon, +366294, $17.95: a refreshing change, depth and flavour, twist top, quality wine with cooler climate orchard fruit and lemon drops. QPR: 89.
5.Beauvignac Picpoul de Pinet 2013 Coteaux du Languedoc, +350124, $13.95: fresh from last year's vintage, much like an upscale soave but less expensive, more expansive. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $20 or so.
1.Henry of Pelham Family Tree Red 2012 VQA Niagara, +247882, $18.95: quite a lot of character for a blend of Bordeaux varieties and shiraz, lots of flavour, great BBQ wine. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89
2.La Casa del Rey Alta Vista Premium Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Mendoza, +129957, $15.95: quality in spades here, juicy, 14.5% ABV, North American appeal, but taut enough for food. QPR: 89.
3.Fabre Montmayou Reserva Malbec 2012 Mendoza, +261867, $15.95: another plummy, delicious fruit tones to go with food. 14.9% ABV. QPR: 89.
4.Luis Felipe Edwards Claro Magnolio Reserve Malbec 2011 Colchagua, +365932, $13.95: the Chileans are taking a crack at Malbec, this one has typical plummy value, 14% ABV, cork finish. QPR: 89.
5.Audacia Shiraz 2011 WO Stellenbosch, +366211, $13.95: a pretty good syrah in Euro mode, not in the shiraz style despite the label. Off-dry on palate, 14% ABV. QPR: 89.
6.Chateau Saint Esteve D'Uchaux Massif d'Uchaux Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010, +370189, $18.95: impressive southern Rhone, with a lot of syrah and aging behind it. Dark fruit, long length. QPR: 89.
7.Domaine Martin Plan de Dieu Cotes du Rhone Villages 2011, +370197, $19.95: very intense syrah component, 15% ABV. The best of the CdR Villages out today. Unfiltered smoke, with tar and all those other bad things like some brett. More savoury than fruity. QPR: 91.
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.Mike Weir Limited Edition Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2012, +367813, $24.95 retail.
2.Jean Pabiot & Fils Domaine des Fines Caillottes Pouilly-Fume 2012, +695908, $26.95.
3.Roger & Didier Raimbault Sancerre 2012, +82255, $27.95.
4.Albert Morot Beaune Les Teurons 1er Cru 2011, +902833, $59.95.
5.Lazzeretti Brunello di Montalcino 2007, +318352, $42.95.
6.F. Olazabal Meandro Do Vale Meao 2011 Douro, +244731, $24.95.
7.Cosme Palacio Reserva 2007 Rioja, +14662, $23.95.
8.Heredad de Baroja Gran Reserva 2004 Rioja, +276113, $24.95.
9.Jean Olivier Chateau d'Aqueria Tavel 2013, +319368, $21.95.