WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR MARCH 7, 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.
FIND OF THE MONTH!!
Le Pere Jules Pommeau de Normandie AOC, +402131, $39.95 for 700mL: Formerly known as Pommeau Ste. Anne, this AOC has apple cider syrup blended with Calvados. Le Pere Jules is aged in oak barrels for more than 5 years. There is a strong "cider apple" aroma that follows through on the palate, a sort of intensified cider taste. The finish is smooth, suggesting that the one-year old Calvados has been aged smoothly. Aperitif or with dessert or post-dinner. QPR: 93.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Tinhorn Creek Gewurztraminer 2013 BC VQA Okanagan, +904185: this hits all the right gewurz buttons, especially for those seeking an older style Alsatian style (dryish, bitterish finish). Very good expression from before global warming. 13.3% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
2.M.Chapoutier Tournon Mathilda 2013 Victoria, +401398, $19.95: very aromatic, almost all viognier, twist top, but a very dry finish makes it better with food than as social wine. QPR: 89.
3. 3 Stones Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, +207159, $16.95: zesty tasty kiwi savvy. Twist top but only 12.5% ABV, making it less dry and more social wine too. QPR: 89.
4.Cave des Grands Crus Blancs Macon-Vinzelles 2013, +405795, $17.95: the latest in a continuing LCBO stream of good value burgundy Chardonnays, in the Chablis mould, 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
5.Tokaji Yellow Muscat 2013 Puklus Cellars Hungary, $15.95, +46508: Yellow Muscat is related to Muscat Blanc. Made from older vines, done up in Late Harvest style, with that peachy complexity, medium-bodied, but with lemons and pineapple acidity on the longer finish. Floral aromatics. 13.5% ABV. Serve with later courses (fruity mains, salads, cheeses, off-dry desserts). QPR: 89
6.Featherstone Four Feathers 2012 VQA Niagara, +341586, $14.95: off-dry blend of savvy, riesling, gewurz, and chardonnay, very good social wine coming in at 11% ABV and twist top. Still fresh. QPR: 88.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Jules Taylor Pinot Noir 2013 Marlborough, +329805, $24.95. QPR: 91.
2.Chateau Tour Salvet 2009 Haut-Medoc, +403766, $23.95. QPR: 90.
3.Castelli dei Grevepesa Panzano Chianti Classico 2008, +972695, $23.95. QPR: 90.
4.Churchill's Estates Vinho Tinto 2011 Douro, +166561, $21.95. QPR: 90.
5.Emiliana Novas Gran Reserva Syrah/Mourvedre 2012 Colchagua Valley, +399360, $15.95: good value in an organic wine. Lots of black fruit, 14.5% ABV. Cork closure. Nicely aged food wine. QPR: 89.
6.Zonte's Footstep Lake Doctor Shiraz Viognier 2012, +72975, $17: done up in traditional North Rhone style with added viognier. Twist top, 14.5% ABV, dense and somewhat clunky at this stage. Try again in six months. QPR: 89.
7.Notte Rossa Primitivo di Manduria 2012, +395095, $17.95: delicious off-dry zin knockoff with complexity of black fruit, 14% ABV. Winner of two Gold Medals. QPR: 89.
8.Castellani Chianti Riserva 2010, +970707, $14.95: now over four years old but rustic and vibrant in life with typical MVC of sangiovese from approved Chianti regions. Deftly done and affordable. 12.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
9.Tenuta di Trecciano Chianti Colli Senesi 2013, +86314, $15.95: packed with sangiovese flavours but needs more time if you are willing to wait. 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
10.Olivares Altos de la Hoya Monastrell 2012 Jumilla, +163154, $13.95: full-bore toastiness, dark fruit, six months in French oak, mocha tones. QPR: 89.
VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $25 RETAIL
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.Bachelder Wismer Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 VQA Twenty Mile Bench Niagara, +345819, $44.95 retail.
2.Chateau de Cruzeau Blanc 2009 Pessac-Leognan, +966010, $31.95.
3.Ropiteau Meursault 2013, +405159, $59.95.
4.Burrowing Owl Athene 2011 BC VQA Okanagan, +371336, $44.95.
5.Nk'Mip Qwam Qwmt Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 BC VQA Okanagan, +303719, $27.95
6.Il Grigio da San Felice Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2010, +403477, $46.95.
7.Frescobaldi Nipozzano Vecchie Viti Riserva Chianti Rufina 2011, +395186, $29.95.
8.Beronia Gran Reserva 2007 Rioja, +940965, $39.95.
9.Finca La Emperatriz Reserva 2008 Rioja, +359927, $32.95.