WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR JANUARY 18, 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 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.
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
1.St-Nicolas Brut Crackling Cider Quebec, +277442, $17.95: at 8.5% ABV, it is no slouch in the buzz category. Excellent apple mouthfeel, and a great alternative to sparkling grape wine. So why was it released AFTER New Year's? Ok, moving on to Valentine's Day...QPR: 91.
2.Corral Don Jacobo Reserva 2004 Rioja, +313270, $18.95: oaky all the way, well-aged, now 9 years old but showing lots of life, old style Rioja. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 92.
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *OVER* $20
Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz 2012, +433060, $22.95.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $20 or so.
1.Calamus Unoaked Chardonnay 2012 VQA Niagara, +210062, $14.95: ripe, creamy, full luscious, no need for wood. QPR: 89.
2.Christobal 1492 Chardonnay 2012 Mendoza, +144402, $13.95: deftly made wine, emphasizing the brightness of stone fruit at the entry and the vanilla-wood tones at the finish. 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
3.Coopers Creek Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough, +957407, $18.95: well-determined MVC classic kiwi savvy at a spot-on price. 13% ABV. Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
4.Chateau Lamothe-Vincent Heritage 2011 Bordeaux, +362996, $15.95: another affordable Gold Medalist, 13% ABV, with woodsy complexity, all Sauvignon blanc. QPR: 89.
5.Domaine Langlois-Chateau St.Florent 2011 Saumur, +357251, $15.95: delightful Loire wine, all dry chenin blanc, great with first course emphasizing minerals. QPR: 89.
6.Mas des Bressades Cuvee Tradition Blanc 2012 Costieres de Nimes, +701094, $15.95: from grenache blanc, roussanne, marsanne, and viognier. Fresh and lively, off-dry on mid-p[palate, 13.5% ABV. Sip or food. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $20 or so.
1.L.A.Cetto Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Guadalupe Valley Baja California Mexico: it has been awhile since L.A.Cetto had this cab around in Ontario. Great value for the upfront jam ripeness and fruit. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
2.Emiliana Natura Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Rapel Valley, +61069, $14.95: good consistent MVC, round and fruity, value and balanced. 13.5% ABV. Twist top. Organic. QPR: 89.
3.Sister's Run Bethlehem Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Barossa, +360636, $16.95: another Gold Medalist, and another fine cabby for value. 14.5% ABV is a whopper, twist top. QPR: 89.
4.Chateau des Landes Cuvee Tradition 2009 Lussac-Saint-Emilion, +363101, $19.95: shows good aging, 14% ABV, and well-priced quality for a Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
5.Chateau Trillol Grenache/Syrah 2008 Corbieres, +354126, $17.95: an excellent blend, suggested of south Rhone, tons of black fruit and 14% ABV. QPR: 89.
6.Cave Les Coteaux du Rhone Panicaut Plan de Dieu Cotes du Rhone Villages 2012, +354076, $15.95: the Gold Medal wines keep coming (is there a category for these at the LCBO?). Here is off-dry fruit in a distinct Californian sunny style. QPR: 89.
7.Chateau Peyros Tannat/Cabernet 2008 Madiran, +208249, $14.95: the French have done well in blends. This one is 40% Cabernet franc. Both grapes make it taut and tight, so it still needs more time. 13.5% ABV, the quality is there, but it's not yet ready. QPR: 89.
8.Boutari Grand Reserve 2007 Naoussa, +140111, $16.95: this is usually my go-to wine when people want an older wine under $20. Mounds of aged flavor, well-oaked and well-aged. 13.5% ABV.
9.Saladini Pilastri Rosso Piceno 2011 Marche, +964866, $14.95: organic wine, excellent mocha and fruity and full (cherries with a hit of French oak). 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
10.Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva 2009 Puglia, +724328, $14.95: 13% ABV, still a bit tight, lay down for another year or so. Highly rated wine in Italy. QPR: 89.
11.Finca El Encinal Crianza 2010 Ribera del Duero, +355081, $17.95: toasted oak tones on the finish, 14% ABV, strongly-placed fruit for the palate. QPR: 90.
VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $20
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.Herve Azo Vau de Vey Chablis 1er Cru 2011, +240655, $28.95 retail.
2.Resalte de Penafiel Pena Roble Reserva 2004 Ribera del Duero, +355107, $31.95.
3.Chateau Laes Grand Chenes 2009 Medoc, +194019, $33.85.
4.Marchesi di Barolo Barbaresco 2010, +155408, $26.95.
5.Fattoria La Ripa Chianti Classico Riserva 2009, +984401, $26.95.
6.Palazzo Brunello di Montalcino 2006, +660746, $59.95.
7.Recchia Musua di Jago Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2010, +362921, $37.95.
8.Baron de Ley Gran Reserva 2007 Rioja, +642496, $31.95.
9.Ebano Crianza 2008 Ribera del Duero, +355099, $21.95.