WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR NOVEMBER 22, 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.
NOTE: It is getting more difficult to endorse wines under $20 for the simple reason that the LCBO does not release many of them into the Vintages program, ones that can be deemed to be worthy of your consideration. So I will now just ADD some "under $25" suggestions, along with point values.
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
WHITE -McWilliam's Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2007 Hunter Valley NSW, +724492, $19.95: a bargain at this price level, 11% ABV, aged nicely for 7.5 years, twist top, gold medalist. It is that Hunter Valley Semillon with bone dryness. Snap it up, the company's Lovedale 2007 was in Classics at $59 a bottle.
RED -Darling Cellars Kroon Premium Shiraz 2008 WO Darling South Africa, +704486, $16.95: lots of Rhone syrah flavours, not shiraz at all, with an emphasis on brett components of leather and game. Dense with a finish for food here. 7 years old, 14.5% ABV. Cork closure. QPR: 91.
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *OVER* $20
Brezza Sarmassa Barolo 2009, +999730, $49.95.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Pondview Bella Terra Chardonnay 2011 Barrel Fermented VQA Four Mile Creek Niagara, +347922, $24.95. QPR: 90.
2.Casa del Bosque Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Casablanca Valley, +974717, $13.95: there are a bunch of Chilean savvies at this pricepoint. Here, though, there is good passion in the grip. Twist top. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
3.Lagoon Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Martinborough NZ, +388389, $18.95: a kiwi savvy worthy of consideration, concentrated in California style, 13.5% ABV. Twist top. QPR: 88.
4.Gerald Talmard Cuvee Joseph Talmard Macon Chardonnay 2012, +392712, $16.95: pretty basic MVC chardonnay at a great price. Cork closure, some evidence of aging. 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
5.Saint-Roch Vieille Vignes Cotes du Roussillon Blanc 2013, +175232, $15.95: another concentrated floral and pretty wine, good balance on palate, 13% ABV, twist top, modest character but longer length. Hand picked and low yield. QPR: 88.
6.Frescobaldi Castello di Pomino Bianco 2013 Tuscany, +65086, $19.95: makes its annual appearance as a blend of chardonnay and pinot bianco. Orchard fruit all the way, and offered with zest. QPR: 89.
7.Paco & Lola Albarino 2013 DO Rias Baixas, +350041, $18.95: light but fragrant, unoaked floral character, refreshing acidity on finish for food. 12.5%ABV. Twist top. QPR: 88.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Chateau Rahoul 2010 Graves, +226043, $31.95. QPR: 90.
2.Nostre Pais Costieres de Nimes 2012, +295410, $21.95. QPR: 90.
3.M.Chapoutier Petite Ruche Crozes-Hermitage 2012, +264655, $24.95. QPR: 90.
4.Cusumano Noa 2011 IGT Sicilia, +109512, $22.95, QPR: 90.
5.Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico Riserva 2010, +930966, $21.95. QPR: 90.
6.Villa Mora Montefalco Sagrantino 2008, +342394, $21.95. QPR: 90.
7.Tilenus Crianza Mencia 2006 Bierzo, +383992, $23.95.
8.Seven Falls Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Wahluke Slope Washington State, +360222, $19.95: juicy enough to be Cali style, lots of black fruit, 14% ABV, with a tart enough finish for food. Cork closure. QPR: 89.
9.Bodega Volcanes de Chile Tectonia Red 2011 Central Valley, +389668, $17.95: very succulent, mocha vanilla tones, made from grenache (45%), petite sirah (38%) and mourvedre (17%). 14.5% ABV power. QPR: 89.
10.Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Maipo, +275594, $17.95: very much in the bordeaux-style of lean flesh with leaves, cedar, black fruit showing. 14% ABV. QPR: 89.
11.Chateau de Segure Fitou 2012 Eleve en Futs de Chene, +370254, $16.95: very decent little blended number, full bore heavy duty red, 14% ABV done up in oak with lashings of fruits. QPR: 89.
12.Domaine de la Croisette Cotes du Rhone 2011, +155465, $15.95: a blend of grenache, syrah and carignan, reflecting a papery grenache Rhone taste. Good price value. Twist top, 13.5% ABV. Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
13.Santa Duc Les Vieilles Vignes Cotes du Rhone 2009, +101543, $14.95: good value for a vieilles vignes wine from the Rhone, now 5 years old in the bottle. 14% ABV. QPR: 89.
14.Tenuta Stefano Farina Le Brume Langhe 2009, +360073, $16.95: priced okay for tasty nebbiolo, reflecting some sour cherries and age-worthy tar components. Food wine despite 14.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
15.Tenuta Sant'Antonio Monti Garbi Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2011, +29850, $17.95:
apparently this is the LCBO Ripasso of the Month (I say). QPR: 89.
16.Barahonda Sin Madera Monastrell 2011 Yecla, +366823, $15.95: ripe and fruity, no oaking, dense and intense, long finish. Whopping 15% ABV. QPR: 89.
17.Finca el Encinal Crianza 2010 Ribera del Duero, +355081, $17.95: voluptuous fruit, oak, and 14% ABV. Complex black fruit tones. QPR: 89.
VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $25
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.Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve Chardonnay 2011 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +33936, $30 retail.
2.Tawse Lenko Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 VQA Beamsville Bench Niagara, +344796, $44.95.
3.Pahlmeyer Chardonnay 2012 Napa, +147454, $96.95.
4.Domaine de Fussiacus Vieilles Vignes Pouilly-Fuisse 2012, +276444, $27.95.
5.Versado Reserva Old Vine Malbec 2010 Lujan de Cuyo Mendoza, +316984, $60.95.
6.Chateau Fombrauge 2010 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, +258020, $45.85.
7.La Vite Lucente 2012 IGT Toscana, +747030, $34.95
8.Marques de Murrieta Finca Ygay Reserva 2008 Rioja, +209148, $27.95.