Vintages release focuses on "Fine Wines for Festive Gatherings", while the sub-focus highlights 20 Sparkling Wines for celebrations.
We'll begin with the Sparkling Wine section as three wines from this feature made my list of wine picks below. All three were picked with budget in mind, and range in price from $18 to $21. The vintage Cava from Spain is a blend of Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada, while the vintage Prosecco is a fruity sparkler made using 100% Glera. The non-vintage Brut Vouvray is made from the Chenin Blanc grape. All three sparklers are dry (i.e. not sweet) and will suit perfectly to ring in the New Year.
The primary focus of this release highlights 27 wines that would be suitable for your upcoming festive gathering this year or sometime in the future. Five wines made the list, including the Seresin Sauvignon Blanc, and the off-dry (slightly sweet) Alsace Pinot Gris. The red wines to make the list include a Chilean Carmenère, the Saltram Shiraz, and a 2009 Bordeaux blend from Château Bertinerie that consists of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc. The Sauvignon Blanc should be opened over the next 6-12 months, while the other four wines can be enjoyed over the next 3-4 years.
From the rest of the release, there is one really interesting "bottle" called the Raymond Blending Kit (#363366, $294.95), which includes four bottles of single varietal 2012 Napa Valley red wines along with cylinders, pipettes, and instructions to make your own blend. If you weren't already busy during the holidays, this will surely keep you busy and provide pleasure during the month of December.
Other red wines from this release include the Clos Malverne Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot (80/20 blend), which is a great buy at $13.95. Two Grenache-based wines from the fabulous 2010 Rhône vintage also made my picks - the Gigondas is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah, while the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, and 5% Cinsault. Both of these Rhône reds are ageable for at least the next decade And last but not least, the Penfolds Bin 138 is a blend of 65% Shiraz, 20% Grenache, and 15% Mataro and will drink well until at least 2020.
In white wines, I've chosen a few oaked Chardonnays (Liberty School, Cave Spring, Featherstone), as well as an unoaked Chardonnay (Chablis). Both Rieslings I've picked are dry (not sweet). And if you enjoy wines on the sweeter side, you'll want to check out the Gewürztraminer from Alsace, the Botrytis-affected Semillon, and the 10 year old Tawny Port.
Enjoy the holidays with some of my wine recommendations and we'll see you early in 2014 at the Niagara Icewine Festival.
- CLOS MALVERNE CABERNET SAUVIGNON/MERLOT 2011 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#678433) (XD) - $13.95
- JUAN GIL WHITE LABEL DE CEPAS VIEJAS MONASTRELL 2012 - DO Jumilla, Spain (#013656) (D) - $15.95
- VIÑA CASABLANCA EL BOSQUE CARMENÈRE WINEMAKER'S CHOICE 2010 - Rapel Valley, Chile (#199836) (XD) - $15.95
- CHÂTEAU BERTINERIE CRU RÉSERVE 2009 - AC Côtes de Bordeaux-Blaye, France (#244640) (XD) - $18.95
- DANDELION VINEYARDS LIONHEART OF THE BAROSSA SHIRAZ 2011 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#167189) (XD) - $19.95
- SALTRAM MAMRE BROOK SHIRAZ 2010 - Barossa, South Australia (#032227) (XD) - $26.95
- LA FERME DU MONT CÔTES JUGUNDA GIGONDAS 2010 - AP, Rhône, France (#354118) (XD) - $29.95 reviewed here
- CHURCHILL’S ESTATES TOURIGA NACIONAL 2009 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#351643) (XD) - $30.95
- PENFOLDS BIN 138 SHIRAZ/GRENACHE/MATARO 2011 - Barossa, South Australia (#468637) (XD) - $39.95
- DOMAINE CHANTE CIGALE TRADITION CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2010 - AP, Rhône, France (#194993) (XD) - $41.95
- ALKOOMI RIESLING 2010 - Frankland River, Western Australia (#269290) (XD) - $17.95
- JOSEPH CATTIN GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2011 - AC Alsace, France (#224626) (M) - $17.95
- ANDRÉ BLANCK ET SES FILS CLOS SCHWENDI PINOT GRIS 2012 - AC Alsace, France (#686311) (D) - $18.95
- LIBERTY SCHOOL CHARDONNAY 2011 - Central Coast, California, USA (#960120) (XD) - $18.95 reviewed here
- CAVE SPRING ESTATE CSV CHARDONNAY 2011 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#256552) (XD) - $18.95
- SERESIN SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#735043) (XD) - $21.95
- FEATHERSTONE CANADIAN OAK CHARDONNAY 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#149302) (XD) - $21.95 reviewed here
- JEAN-MARC BROCARD VAU DE VEY CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#159012) (XD) - $27.95
- SPERLING VINEYARDS OLD VINES RIESLING 2011 - VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#361204) (XD) - $34.95
- JUVÉ Y CAMPS CINTA PURPURA RESERVA BRUT CAVA 2009 - DO Cava, Spain (#352864) (XD) - $17.95
- PERLAGE CANAH BRUT PROSECCO SUPERIORE CONEGLIANO VALDOBBIADENE 2012 - DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#358390) (XD) - $19.95
- BRÉDIF BRUT VOUVRAY - AC, Loire, France (#352179) (XD) - $20.95
- DE BORTOLI NOBLE ONE BOTRYTIS SEMILLON 2009 - Riverina, New South Wales, Australia (#917252) (S) (375 mL) - $31.95
- BURMESTER 10 YEARS OLD TAWNY PORT - Btld. 2013, DOC Douro, Portugal (#223958) (S) - $24.95
The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.