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  • Monday, March 25, 2013

Mar. 30 LCBO Wine Picks: Southern France + Easter

The next LCBO Vintages release will be in stores on . Major focus in this release is on wines from Southern France (Languedoc-Roussillon), while the secondary feature is local Ontario wines for Easter. The onslaught of California wines continues with 16 wines listed - that's two more than the number of wines from Languedoc-Rousillon. There are lots of great bargains in this release, and something for just about every palate!

We'll begin in Southern France with the Domaine Les Yeuses Les Épices Syrah. This is an IGP wine - meaning that it must be exclusively produced in the Languedoc-Roussillon region and meet certain strict production quality criteria to achieve this label. The following two wines are from different appellations, but share similar soils that consist primarily of rocks known as schist. From the Faugères appellation we have the Calmel + J Joseph, which is blended using 50% Syrah, 30% nearly 50-year-old vines Carignan, and 20% Grenache. The best value of the bunch is the wine from Cave de Roquebrun. This red wine is from the very distinct Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun appellation and blended with Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre.

From the feature on local Easter wines, the Bachelder Chardonnay, the Featherstone Cab Franc, and the Fielding Vidal Icewine are all worthy buys suitable for Easter (or other special occasions). From the rest of the release, the Beronia consists of 92% Tempranillo, 4% Mazuelo, and 4% Graciano, while the L'Aventure Optimus from California is made with 55% Syrah, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 18% Petit Verdot. From the outstanding 2009 Bordeaux vintage, we have the Château Deyrem Valentin that is made using 50% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenere, and the Château Grand Mayne is about 75% Merlot, with Cab Sauv and Cab Franc making up the rest.

Riesling is one of the most versatile varietals around - it can be made anywhere from bone-dry to sweet - and done well. In this release, we have the extra dry Vieil Armand Riesling from Alsace, a Grand Cru no less! We also have the dry (i.e. off-dry / slightly sweet) Château des Charmes Old Vines Riesling from vines planted in 1978. Going up a couple of notches in sweetness, we have 2 more local Rieslings - The Foreign Affair Riesling that's made using the uncommon-for-Ontario appassimento technique (i.e. to rasinate or dry the grapes), and Rosewood's Natalie's Süssreserve Riesling. The above 3 Riesling's are all featured in the Local Talent section of this release. Also found in this release is a very uncommon blending of Shiraz and Riesling from Dandelion Vineyards in Australia. This combo (97% Shiraz, 3% Riesling) is quite alluring and I am sure I will be adding this to my cellar.

Enjoy my picks for this week. There is lots of good wine to choose from - let me know what you bought! Cheers!

Red Wine:
  • DOMAINE LES YEUSES LES ÉPICES SYRAH 2010 - IGP Pays d’Oc, Midi, France (#177584) (XD) - $13.95
  • CALMEL + J JOSEPH FAUGÈRES 2009 - AC, Midi, France (#310193) (XD) - $16.95
  • FEATHERSTONE CABERNET FRANC 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#064618) (XD) - $16.95  reviewed here
  • HERMANOS PECIÑA SEÑORÍO DE P. PECIÑA CRIANZA 2007 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#313726) (XD) - $19.95
  • DANDELION VINEYARDS LION’S TOOTH OF MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ/RIESLING 2010 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#311233) (D) - $19.95
  • VERSADO MALBEC 2010 - Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina (#317008) (XD) - $24.95
  • BERONIA GRAN RESERVA 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#940965) (XD) - $32.95
  • CHÂTEAU DEYREM VALENTIN 2009 - AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#307223) (XD) - $39.95
  • L’AVENTURE OPTIMUS 2010 - Paso Robles, California, USA (#683409) (D) - $58.95
  • CHÂTEAU GRAND MAYNE 2009 - AC Saint-Émilion, Grand Cru Classé, Bordeaux, France (#197848) (XD) - $67.85

White Wine:
  • ROSEWOOD NATALIE’S SÜSSRESERVE RIESLING 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#258806) (M) - $14.95  reviewed here
  • CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES OLD VINES RIESLING 2010 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#277228) (D) - $16.95  reviewed here
  • BOLLINI PINOT GRIGIO 2011 - DOC, Trentino, Italy (#951319) (XD) - $16.95
  • LIBERTY SCHOOL CHARDONNAY 2011 - Central Coast, California, USA (#960120) (D) - $18.95  reviewed here
  • I CAMPI CAMPO VULCANO SOAVE CLASSICO 2010 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#269969) (XD) - $18.95
  • CHAVET & FILS LA DAME DE JACQUES CŒUR MENETOU-SALON BLANC 2011 - AC, Loire, France (#525048) (XD) - $19.95
  • VIEIL ARMAND GRAND CRU OLLWILLER RIESLING 2009 - AC Alsace Grand Cru, France (#315135) (XD) - $20.95
  • CALERA CHARDONNAY 2011 - Central Coast, California, USA (#713313) (D) - $24.95
  • THE FOREIGN AFFAIR RIESLING 2009 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#127290) (M) - $24.95
  • BACHELDER SAUNDERS VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2010 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#324103) (XD) - $44.95

Dessert Wine:
  • FIELDING ESTATE VIDAL ICEWINE 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#086850) (S) (200 mL) - $22.95
  • MASSANDRA WHITE MUSCAT 2009 - South Coast, Ukraine (#259697) (MS) - $15.95

Sparkling Wine:
  • ARGYLE BRUT SPARKLING WINE 2008 - Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#258160) (D) - $29.95

The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.


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