Vintages release will be on shelves across Ontario this . The major theme of this release is on top wines from California, with an emphasis on Cabs, Zins and Chards. There are two minor themes - one which focuses on white wines from Loire and Alsace, while the second focuses on mostly disappointing Greek wines.
Just one of the 18 wines from the California feature made my list of wine picks. This is due to the fact that even though California continues to produce good wine, many of them arrive on our shores with prices beyond the reach of most folks, while failing to deliver on the quality that one would expect in that price range. Also, at the lower-end of the scale, many California wines - especially the reds - tend have a sweet, sugary character that I personally do not enjoy. Thus, my lone wine pick from California is from Cameron Hughes. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a single block of vines from the Rutherford district and can be enjoyed between now and 2022.
Far more interesting are the white wines from Loire and Alsace. Five of the seven wines made my list of wine recommendations, including all three from Alsace. One interesting thing to note about labels is that Loire wines use regional labelling, while Alsace puts the name of the grape on the label. Thus, in order to know what's inside the bottle of wine from Loire, you will have to know the region. The dry wines from Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre are both made using Sauvignon Blanc. Alsace wines tend to be between off-dry and medium in sweetness. The Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris wines from Alsace listed below all fit within this range and will be enjoyed by anyone who prefers sweeter wines.
From the rest of the release, the Whispering Angel Rosé is a dry (i.e. not sweet) blend consisting of Grenache, Rolle (Vermentino), Cinsault, Syrah and Tibouren. In whites, there is an interesting white wine from Lebanon that is a blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon and 20% Chardonnay. Also, if you missed the 2004 Loan Semillon that came to Vintages last year, check out the 2005 version - it's just as delicious!
In red wines, the Perrin from Rhône is a fruit-forward blend of 80% tank-aged Grenache and 20% barrel-aged Syrah. The Falcoaria comes from vines that are more than 80 years old and is blend of Castelão, Trincadeira, Cabernet Sauvignon, Touriga Nacional and Alicante Bouschet. From Italy, the Piccini is a blend of 60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet, and 20% Merlot.
That's all for this week. Enjoy my wine recommendations. Cheers!
- CLOS TROTELIGOTTE K-OR MALBEC 2011 - AC Cahors, Southwest, France (#299982) (XD) - $16.95
- PERRIN PEYRE BLANCHE CAIRANNE CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#650960) (XD) - $17.95
- PICCINI SASSO AL POGGIO 2008 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#134809) (D) - $19.95
- DANDELION VINEYARDS LIONHEART OF THE BAROSSA SHIRAZ 2012 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#167189) (D) - $19.95
- FALCOARIA CLÁSSICO 2011 - DOC do Tejo, Portugal (#379214) (XD) - $19.95
- LONGVIEW DEVIL’S ELBOW CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Adelaide Hills, South Australia (#660050) (XD) - $22.95
- MATETIC CORRALILLO SYRAH 2011 - San Antonio Valley, Chile (#146407) (XD) - $23.95
- LE CLOS JORDANNE VILLAGE RESERVE PINOT NOIR 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#033894) (D) - $30.00
- CAMERON HUGHES LOT 345 CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Rutherford, Napa Valley, California, USA (#372383) (XD) - $31.95
- FEUDI SAN PIO NERO DI LUPO AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA 2010 - DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#375527) (XD) - $36.95
- CHÂTEAU KSARA BLANC DE BLANCS 2012 - Békaa Valley, Lebanon (#744805) (XD) - $16.95
- LOAN WINES SPECIAL RESERVE SEMILLON 2005 - Unoaked, Barossa Valley, South Australia (#301127) (XD) - $16.95
- PIERRE SPARR GRANIT RIESLING 2010 - AC Alsace, France (#378356) (M) - $16.95
- BARON DE HOEN RÉSERVE GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2012 - AC Alsace, France (#377721) (D) - $17.95
- KUHLMANN PLATZ PINOT GRIS 2012 - AC Alsace, France (#224204) (D) - $17.95
- SPINYBACK SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Nelson, South Island, New Zealand (#694737) (XD) - $19.95
- HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE RIESLING 2013 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#183491) (D) - $23.95
- FOURNIER PÈRE & FILS LES DEUX CAILLOUX POUILLY-FUMÉ 2012 - AC, Loire, France (#379750) (XD) - $26.95
- JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE C.M. SANCERRE BLANC 2012 - AC, Loire, France (#196667) (XD) - $27.95
- HUFF ESTATES SOUTH BAY CHARDONNAY 2010 - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (#088955) (XD) - $29.95 reviewed here
- CAVES D’ESCLANS WHISPERING ANGEL ROSÉ 2013 - AC Côtes de Provence, France (#325076) (XD) - $23.95
- PREVEDELLO ASOLO SUPERIORE EXTRA DRY PROSECCO 2013 - DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#262881) (D) - $17.95
The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.