WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR JANUARY 10, 2015
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
Joseph Cattin Gewurztraminer 2012 Alsace, +224626, $17.95: excellent typicity for Alsatian gewurz, touch of finishing bitterness but enough acid for food. 13.5% ABV. Gold Medal winner. QPR: 91.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Keint-He Winery Voyageur Chardonnay 2012 VQA Niagara, +389544, $16: a good solid Ontario MVC chardonnay with some lemons, some botrytis and some finishing acid. 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
2.Crios de Susana Balbo Chardonnay 2013 Mendoza, +243196, $13.95: tropical fruit and vanilla, mid-length finish. 14% ABV. Twist top. QPR: 88.
3.Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc 2012 WO Western Cape, +675421, $14.95: very compelling slightly off-dry flavours without physically being off-dry, lower acid than most. 13.5% ABV. Twist top. QPR: 89.
4.Mallory & Benamin Talmard Macon-Uchizy 2013, +733956, $16.95: very useful value for a lovely mid-palate of sweet fruit, with enough stuffing for food. 13% ABV. Cork closure. QPR: 90.
5.Domaine Bois-Malinge Muscadet Sevre et Maine 2013, +224246, $13.95: crisp, refreshing, light enough at 12% ABV. For sip or first course. Twist top. QPR: 89.
6.Edesheimer Rosengarten Riesling Auslese 2012 Pfalz, +391052, $19.95: full of lifted aromas and peaches/apricots, much quality in a medium-sweet wine. But do cellar for awhile. 10% ABV. QPR: 89.
7.See Ya Later Ranch Chardonnay 2012 VQA Okanagan, +126912, $19.95: a lumbering giant in more ways than one. Wood and fruit just in balance, one for the woodies. QPR: 89.
8.Zuccardi Serie A Torrontes 2013 Salta, +389262, $15.95: memories of summer, exotic tropical perfumes, 14% ABV. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Driftwood The Collection Cabernet Merlot 2012 Margaret River, +399857, $19.95: very juicy and oaky, 14.4% ABV, good blend. QP: 88.
2.Man Vintners Shiraz 2013 WO Coast Region South Africa, +71332, $13.95: affordable soft chocolate tones. 14% ABV, twist top. QPR: 88.
3.Chateau Beausejour Hostens 2010 Haut-Medoc, +388298, $22.95. QPR: 90.
4.San Silvestro Cantine Brumo Nebbiolo d'Alba, +101444, $15.95: an excellent nebbiolo from Piedmont, full-bodied, affordable price, 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
5.Castello di Bibbione Riserva Chianti Classico 2009, +390377, $22.95. QPR: 90.
6.Villa Mora Montefalco Rosso Riserva 2008, +357079, $16.95: aged quality shines, mature berries and black fruit, maybe some leather. 14.5% ABV. Great price. QPR: 89.
7.Monasterio de las Vinas Reserva 2006 Carinena, +166579, $14.95: once away from Rioja, the prices tumble. This eight year old wine, barreled for a year, is a good garnacha/tempranillo mix of chunky fruit and vanilla with a light aging. Remarkable. 13% ABV. The Gran Reserva 2005 came out before Christmas, and at $16.95 is comparable value. QPR: 89.
8.Columbia Crest H3 Horse Heaven Hills Merlot 2012 Washington State, +209874, $19.95: underpriced dee-lishus intensity, soft fruit, 14.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
9.La Posta Estela Armando Vineyard Bonarda 2013 Mendoza, +261586, $14.95: good food friendly wine, ever useful as an aperitif, 13.5% ABV, twist top. Best wine label ever! QPR: 89.
10.Rupert & Rothschild Classique 2011 WO Western Cape, +717991, $22.95. QPR: 90.
11.Vina Real Plata Crianza 2010 Rioja, +657411, $18.95: from an old style winery which coddles with care, about 90% tempranillo. 14 months in French and US oak. QP: 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.Rodney Strong Reserve Chardonnay 2012 Russian River Valley Sonoma, +210039, $44.95 retail.
2.Domaine du Prieure Vieilles Vignes Savigny-Les-Beaune 2011, +392001, $29.95.
3.Saint-Saturnin de Vergy Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes de Beaune 2012, +390542, $24.95.
4.Abbona di Abbona La Pieve Barolo 2010, +213132, $31.95.
5.Tony Sasa Martina Brunello di Montalcino 2008, +382762, $37.95.