Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Saturday February 28, 2009 - Vintages Release

This week’s release will take us to the South of France: Midi and Provence, where there are quite a few wines that should be of interest, at good prices … so make sure you have a few dollars for these cellar additions. There is also a minor Sicilian release – some of these wines will make your palate an offer it can’t refuse.

Southern France …
There’s only one Southern France white wine featured in this entire release, good thing it’s worth a taste, Laurent Miquel Nord Sud Viognier 2007 ($17.95 - #0673236) a lovely melon, peach, citrus, pear and apple concoction in the mouth that has a nice mouthfeel and a medium-short finish.

From Midi comes the Abbaye de Sylva Plana la Closeraie 2005 ($19.95 - #0104737) with its nice cherry and blackberry flavours and a good seam of sweet oak. The Camplazens 2006 Syrah ($14.95 – 0104752) has great smoked meat qualities with herbs and spices encrusting the meat, its fairly light bodied in the mouth with a bit of pepper and easy tannins. The Cazes L’Excellence de Triniac 2005 ($16.95 – 0103689) has one of those great sniff-all-day cherry nose, ripe with plum and chocolate, blackberry and cassis and some sweet red licorice with great tannins on the finish. Domaines des Aires Hautes les Combelles 2005 ($13.95 – 0701706) is cheap as chips and yet delivers a wines that boasts yummy fruit, cinnamon and vanilla; this is one you can enjoy now or in a few years to come. Two more from Midi, Le Grand Penchant Rouge 2007 ($17.95 - #0061267) has chocolate, cherry, plum, blackberry and cassis. While the Terrasses de la Mouline Rouge 2007 ($13.95 - #0103648) is spicy with nice black fruit and tannins … an easy pairing with your favourite meat.

From Provence there is one wine of note, Caves Saint-Pierre Preference Cotes-du-Rhone 2007 ($14.95 – 0103622) a nice spice and herb quality, sweet black fruit with touches of licorice and sweet oak.

Sicily …
We start our time in Sicily with this Ajello Majus Grillo/Catarratto 2007 ($16.95 - #0670844), it’s crisp and refreshing with citrus, melon and peach. Or you can go for the Cusumano 2007 Insolia ($14.95 - #0606350) with its great pineapple notes on the palate – I found the nose not as forthcoming, but as we all know it’s what we taste that matters most. My one red selection is also by Ajello, Majus Nero D’Avola 2006 ($16.95 - #0100545), herbs and black fruit on the nose, the palate had good flavours and it’s just a whole lotta fun.

Argentina – Red …
Vina Cobos Felino Malbec 2007 ($19.95 – 0118067) – very nice black cherry, plum, chocolate and lots of fruit.

Australia – Red …
Elderton 2006 Friends Vineyard Series Cabernet Sauvignon ($18.95 - #0595389) – sweet nose, sweet fruit and a good peppery finish.
Elderton 2006 Friends Vineyard Series Shiraz ($18.95 - #0660480) – here’s one to share with – well, just read the label to figure out that one: vanilla, blackberries and a bit of spice … very nice … should makes friends all its own even if you don’t buy it.
Kilikanoon 2006 Covenant Shiraz ($49.95 - #0674747) – inky black colour, sweet blackberries and spice on the finish, which lingers for a good long while.
Mitolo 2007 Jester Cabernet Sauvignon ($22.95 - #0043224) – lovely sweet oak, sweet fruit, white pepper, milk chocolate and tasty; here there’s a big dollop of jamminess upfront.

Canada – Red …
(British Columbia)
Osoyoos-Larose 2005 Le Grand Vin ($44.95 - #0626325) – floral, blackberry, cassis, vanilla, cedar and a whole lot more … needs time to open up fully, say 3-4 years, and when it does it’s going to be gorgeous.

Chile - Red …
Gracia de Chile 2007 Reserva Superiore Pinot Noir ($16.95 - #0090027) – a sour cherry nose that follows on the palate along with ripe tannins and woodsy-earthy notes.

Chile - White …
Casa Lapostolle 2007 Chardonnay ($15.95 - #0396986) – lots of vanilla and white tree fruits (apples, pears, etc.), cellaring for 2-3 years could prove rewarding.
Leyda 2006 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc ($18.95 - #0099309) – there’s lovely grapefruit all over this one, with a fair bit of minerality also. Good acid and a lemon-melon rind finish makes this one very enjoyable.

Italy - Red …
Il Borro Rosso 2005 ($59.95 - #0661769) – this one’s big with spicy black fruit and herbs – needs time to sit to come into it’s own … it’s close but I’d still give it two years before I even thought about drinking it.
Rocco Delle Macie Chianti Reserva 2005 ($15.00 - #0111641) – very red berry with a variety of cherries dominating, succulent in the mouth with plenty of tannin bite – very nice.

Italy – Sparkling …
Villa Sandi Cuvee Prosecco di Valdobbiadene ($18.95 - #0738542) – a light, crisp bubbly with apple and lemon that’s very pleasant with just a bit of yeastiness on the palate.

Italy – White …
Marchetti Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico 2007 ($15.95 - #0104869) – not everyone likes a Verdicchio but this one has everything you should: tropical, melon, and orange all make a refreshing sipper for spring/summer.

New Zealand – Red …
Sileni Cellar Selection 2006 Pinot Noir ($15.00 - #0694901) – good price for a decent Pinot Noir, light cherry and cranberry greet the nose, same on the palate, along with sour cherry and a touch of vanilla.

Portugal – Red …
Quinta do Infantado Red 2006 ($23.95 - #0095158) – this one smells and looks like Port in the glass: cherry, plum, chocolate, cassis with a mixture of red and black fruit throughout. The taste does not disappoint. I’ve tried their Port and loved it, now I can recommend their table wine with the same fervor.

USA … Red …
Bridlewood 2004 Reserve Syrah ($27.95 - #0090084) – funny wine with a very inviting nose full of red fruit; the palate is just so-so, but then on the finish it does a complete 180 and does the hokey-pokey (it turns itself around) with sweet spice, pepper and lovely fruit that lingers a long time on the tongue.
Paul Dolan Vineyards 2006 Zinfandel ($21.95 - #0046342) – a light weight Zin, or at least that’s the impression it gives, nice vanilla, cola and cherry, along with touches of plum. I said light weight, but that’s because the 14.5% is well integrated so as not to be noticeable.
Seghesio 2006 Home Ranch Zinfndel ($46.95 - #0070391) – an absolute beauty with plum, cherry, chocolate, white pepper, red berries and a sweet mid-palate before it turns dry on the finish – a whopping 15.7% alcohol, but good intensity and integration makes the booze a background issue, that is, until it hits you tomorrow morning.

Sherries and Port …
They can’t call it Port anymore, because true Port can only come from Portugal – so this Angove’s 2005 Premium Vintage Fortified Shiraz ($18.95 - #0141697) can only be called a “fortified wine”, but it tastes like really good Port. Spicy, plumy, sweet cherries – for drinking now or lying down in the cellar for, say, 30-years.

Grape Guy Top 3 … what I’ll be lining up for on February 28, 2009:
Chateau de Fontenelles Cuvee Notre Dame 2005 ($16.95 – 0103689) - France
Angove’s 2005 Premium Vintage Fortified Shiraz ($18.95 - #0141697) - Australia
Quinta do Infantado Red 2006 ($23.95 - #0095158)– Portugal

Happy Shopping

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