Monday, July 14, 2008

Saturday July 19, 2008 - Vintages Release

The LCBO is about a month late with this release: Summertime Wines. As we sit in the middle of July, and sadly, with only two months left of what we lovingly call summer, the LCBO brings us the wines of the season. Starting off the season we have the rather tasty and different Mount Riley 2007 Savee Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc ($25.95 - #0032356) from New Zealand. This wine was only a matter of time; the Zealanders make such good Savvy B. that bubbles were the inevitable next step. This is a real beauty – I tasted it last year at the New Zealand show and was blown away, obviously so were the folks at the LiC-BO.

From Argentina look for the Navarro Correas Coleccion Privada Chardonnay 2006 ($13.95 - #0064477), a good light, easy drinking Chard … so uncomplicated yet so tasty. From Chile, Navas Winemaker’s Selection Chardonnay/Marsanne/Viognier 2006 ($18.95 - #0063909) – three grapes make up this easy, breezy wine full of toasty-vanilla, apricot and pear with a pleasant and rather lengthy finish. Another Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, this time its a still table wine, Momo 2007 Sauvignon Blanc ($19.95 - #0009167) – very typical New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with a touch of apparent sweetness in the mid-palate then the acidity takes over and follows with a dry finish. For $2 less, there’s the Omaka Springs 2007 Sauvignon Blanc ($17.95 - #0063354), lighter flavours and smells than the Momo – a little less intense, but still quite lovely.

Moving into the old world now, France and its summertime selections will start us off. Bernard Defaix Chablis Cote de Lechet 2005 ($31.95 - #0950667), a little on the pricey side, but light and airy apple give way to mineral, fruitiness and pears on the finish. Fournier Les Maulins Bales Sancerre 2006 ($27.95 - #0651091), another chunk of change, but this is where France meets New Zealand – all the flavours of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with all the finesse of France … beautiful and delicious.

No summer is complete without at least one good Riesling, and here it is: Domdechant Werner’sches Riesling Kabinett 2006 ($19.95 - #0722413), light on alcohol – 10% (for drink-all-day-ability), full on peachy-pear taste with great balancing acidity.

As for the Ontario summer sippers check out these:
Cave Spring Cellars 2006 Estate Bottled Sauvignon Blanc - $19.95 - #0071662
Flat Rock Cellars 2007 Riesling - $16.95 - #0043281
Henry of Pelham 2007 Pinot Blanc - $14.95 - #0618827

Now for the rest of the world and their wine offerings. All my white selections were from the “summertime” release feature, so below is mostly red with a smattering of sparkling and rosé (one each). As usual Ontario reviews can be found in full on my website ( by just clicking the hot link.

Ontario …Sparkling ...
Chateau des Charmes Methode Tradition Brut - $22.95 - #0207944

Australia … Red …
D’Arenberg 2006 The Stump Jump Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre ($13.95 - #0606236) – an easy drink-now kinda wine, but 2-3 years in the cellar won’t hurt it either.

Chile … Red …
Montgras 2006 Reserva Carmenere ($12.95 - #0960542) – another great value red; lots of cherry and black fruit, a touch plumy – in fact it could replace your usual Zin when dining on back ribs.

Chile … Rosé …
Valdivieso Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2007 ($10.95 - #0059147) – great value in a summer backyard/patio get-together wine, a little on the sweet side with raspberry and cherry notes – great thirst quencher.

France … Red …
(Burgundy) – Domaine Couvard Beaune Clos de la Maladiere 2005 ($29.95 - #0069872) – this Pinot Noir has earthy, strawberry notes along with black and sour cherry; only Pinot in this release worth its price.

(Midi) – Mont Tauch Corbieres 2006 ($16.95 - #0078717) – black fruit, herbs and red fruit in the mouth, nice tasty package wrapped up in pleasant tannins.

Mexico … Red …
L.A. Cetto 2005 Petite Sirah ($10.95 - #0983742) – cheap and cheerful red, big cherry with some plum notes, great, affordable backyard bbq crowd pleaser.

Spain … Red …
Herencia Remondo la Montesa 2005 ($23.95 - #0674572) – juicy and accessible, nice nose, pleasant red and black fruit taste with cherries being the most dominant.
Torres Gran Sangre de Toro Reserva 2003 ($15.95 - #0315648) – plums, berries, red fruit, with good tannins and some ageabilty.

USA … Red …
(California) - Cellar No. 8 Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 ($17.95 - #0068486) – juicy blackberries, very tasty with a good finish – good value too.
Frias Family Vineyard 2005 Syrah ($43.95 - #0067298) – this one’s big (14.95% alcohol) very ripe fruit and juicy as all get out; jammy yet delicious.

Take a Chance on Me …
From Austria comes this sparkler made from apricots: Mariandl Sparkling Apricot ($9.95 - #0117366) – like biting into a fresh ripe apricot, with a bit of fizz, think of it as a pre-made apricot spritzer. Perfect as aperitif, or on its own on a hot summer day … bring on the patio and share with friends.

Grape Guy Top 3 … what I’ll be lining up for on July 19, 2008
Domdechant Werner’sches Riesling Kabinett 2006 ($19.95 - #0722413) - Germany
Herencia Remondo La Montesa 2005 ($23.95 - #0674572) – Spain
Montgras Reserva Carmenere 2006 ($12.95 - #0960542) – Chile

Happy Shopping.

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