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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 17, 2010: LCBO Vintages Release Tasting Notes

By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing
Creator of Canada's award-winning wine satire site at My
"Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net Compendium" is a guide to
thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers
and spirits, at since 1995. My 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 available for re-
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $20 or so.
1. Rutherford Ranch Chardonnay 2008 Napa: restaurant wine, but still
complex, consistent, good value. +136382, $18.95, QPR: 89.
2. Santa Julia Organica Chardonnay 2009 Mendoza: organic wine but
fantastic price for delivering quality MVC chardonnay tones. +141408,
$12.95, QPR: 91.
3. Caliterra Tributo Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2008 Casablanca: strong
aromas of coconut and vanilla from the US oak, but very approachable,
lovely wine. +144709, $14.95, QPR: 90.
4. Penmara Reserve Chardonnay 2008 Orange New South Wales: good dense
flavours, complex arrangement of fruit and oak. +912790, $17.95, QPR:
5. Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Marlborough: juicy apples (spy?) or
malic acid plus the herby quality of a sauvignon blanc. Long finish.
+686675, $14.95, QOR: 89.
6. Martin Steimer Gewurztraminer 2008 Alsace: affordable MVC for the
grape, will not disappoint. +709790, $16.95, QPR: 89.
7. Max. Ferd. Richter Riesling Kabinett 2007 Mosel: intense riesling
character, very Germanic, MVC is good for the price. +160556, $15.95,
QPR: 90.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $20 or so.
1. Sterling Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Mendocino: cool climate
style, useful organic wine, twist top. +161240, $16.95, QPR: 89.
2. Terranoble Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Colchagua: good
aging, complex and better with food. +46268, $16.95, QPR: 89.
3. Tatu Primitivo del Tarantino 2006 Puglia: thicker, juicier, and
cheaper than zinfandel at this price, 14% ABV. +160390, $14.95, QPR:
4. Farina Le Pezze Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2006: great
concentration and depth, length, and needs food. +134684, $14.95, QPR:
5. Maculan Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Veneto: Heavier than other years,
13.5% ABV, good dose of blueberries. +987701, $14.95, QPR: 90.
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. Franciscan Chardonnay 2007 Napa, +496125, $24.95 retail.
2. Josef Chromy Pinot Gris 2008 Tasmania, +162974, $22.95.
3. Hahn Estates Meritage 2007 Central Coast California, +161265,
4. Josef Chromy Pinot Noir 2008 Tasmania, +163022, $26.95.
5. Saltram Mamre Brook Shiraz Barossa, +32227, $23.95.
6. Fontodi Chianti Classico 2007, +933317, $27.95.
7. Masi Serego Alighieri Vaio Armaron Amarone Della Valpolicella
Classico 2004, +462812, $69.95.
Dean Tudor, Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus
Treasurer, Wine Writers' Circle of Canada
Look it up and you'll remember it; screw it up and you'll never forget it.
Creator of Canada's award-winning wine satire site at

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