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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 16/11: LCVBO Vintages release -- some 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. Rodney Strong Chardonnay 2008 Sonoma: delicious California
chardonnay with fruit, light wood but heavier cream. A restaurant wine.
13.8% ABV. +226936, $19.95, QPR: 90.
2. Cumulus Wines Rolling Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2009 New South Wales:
12% ABV, screwcap, "Miss Marple" on the label, MVC wine. Consistent,
winning FIVE major Bronze Awards. +678821, $14.95, QPR: Bronze.
3. Eradus Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Awatere Valley Marlborough: excellent
savvy component set, lovely long finish of fruit. +225557, $17.95, QPR:
4. Pierre Sparr Reserve Gewurztraminer 2008 Alsace: 13.5%, MVC for the
grape, intense fruit flavours plus some concentrate on the palate.
+747600, $17.95, QPR: 90.
5. Domaine Cordaillat Reuilly 2009: another lovely savvy, not to be
confused with Burgundy's Rully (chardonnay). Not too grassy, not too
fruity, but still better with food. +202432, $17.95, QPR: 90.
6. Triade Bianco 2009 IGT Campania: made from indigenous grapes, crisp
and lovely flavours of orchard fruit. Food wine only. +214718, $12.95,
QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $20 or so.
1. Palatine Hills Proprietors Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 VQA
Niagara Lakeshore: 12.8% ABV, but expect California-like (not Bordeaux-
like) flavours. Tasty, off-dry fruit, some oak, vibrant and juicy.
+121699, $19.95, QPR: 90.
2. Grove Street Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Sonoma: lovely high potency
dynamite cabby from sunny Cali, lots of forward flavours, 15.4% ABV
(!). Priced to move.  +161190, $15, QPR: 90.
3. V. Bianchi Passion Reserve Malbec 2008 San Rafael Mendoza: plumy,
ripe, over-the-top berries, soft finish, sip. But 14.5% ABV. +191775,
$14.95, QPR: 90.
4. Delheim Shiraz 2007 WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch: every time this
label comes here, it is time to load up. Some years are better than
others, but this one is terrific if you like the "Rhone tones" of
Northern Rhone syrah (NOT like Oz shiraz, despite the name). Excellent.
14.5% ABV. Buy it all! In fact, start buying on Thursday or Friday at
those stores that release early. +959080, $17.95, QPR: 93.
5. Apollonio Valle Cupa 2004 IGT Salento Rosso Puglia: some raisins
from aging, very nicely placed on the palate, unfiltered, one year
wood, one year bottle, 14.5% ABV. Gold Medal. +84046, $17.95, QPR: 90.
6. Quinta da Ponte Pedrinha 2006 Dao: juicy but also 14.5% ABV, longer
finish, sip or food. From 100% jaen grapes (mencia in Spain). +219188,
$15.95, QPR: 89.
7. Vina Mayor Crianza 2006 Ribera del Duero: affordable price for MVC
Ribera, with touches of wood and juicy fruit, longer depth than
expected. +343426, $17.95, QPR: 89.
8. Vinas Elias Mora 2008 Toro: 14.5% ABV, will be better next year but
compelling now. Tempranillo that was aged a half-year in new US oak,
bottled unfiltered. +209650, $18.95, 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. Blackstone Sonoma Reserve Chardonnay 2007, +128926, $22.95.
2. Grgich Hills Fume Blanc 2009 Biodynamic Napa, +346296, $29.95
3. Andre & Edmond Figeat Les Chaumiennes Pouilly-Fume 2009, +196659,
4. Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Napa, +222877, $69.95.
5. Fuse Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Napa, +214817, $32.95.
6. Josef Chromy Pinot Noir 2009 Tasmania, +163022, $27.95.
7. Carrick Pinot Noir 2007 Central Otago, +919837, $34.95.
8. Chateau Chantemerle 2006 Medoc, +198986, $21.95.
9. Chateau Saint-Andre Corbin 2008 St-Georges-St-Emilion, +43810,
10. Fattoria La Ripa Chianti Classico Riserva 2006 Organic, +984401,
11. Allegrini La Grola 2006 IGT Veronese, +476598, $27.95.
12. Ontanon Reserva 2004 Rioja, +725895, $24.95.

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