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  • Monday, July 29, 2013

Aug. 3 Wine Picks: Refreshing French Whites + Syrah & Shiraz

LCBO Wine Picks - August 8, 2013 Vintages Magazine
The next batch of wines will arrive on LCBO Vintages shelves on . The primary focus in this edition is on refreshing white wines from France. It is a very good selection of wines from various regions throughout France, from a diverse selection of grapes, and ranging in styles from extra dry to medium-sweet.

Of the 11 still wines and 2 sparkling wines featured, I can fully recommend 7 worthy buys from this Vintages release. At the top of my list is the Chevallier Chablis (unoaked Chardonnay) for under $20. If you like extra dry wines (i.e. not sweet), also check out the Picpoul de Pinet. Going up the sweetness level a notch is a Vouvray (Chenin Blanc) from Loire, and a Riesling from Alsace. Not many do a better Gewürztraminer than the Alsace region, and the medium-sweet version from André Blanck is a classic for the varietal. And finally, if you're like me and prefer off-dry styles (i.e. a little sweet) of Sparkling Wine, then take a look at the Montcontour Vouvray that's made in the traditional method, using Chenin Blanc.

The secondary focus of this release uses 7 wines to compare Syrah and Shiraz. In case you didn't know, "Syrah" and "Shiraz" are the same grape. In its ancestral home in France's Rhône Valley, it is known as Syrah. Elsewhere around the globe it is known as either Syrah or Shiraz, based on the style of wine produced. Wines labelled as Syrah tend to be spicier and elegant, while Shiraz tend to be fruitier and full-bodied. I enjoy both styles. I did't find anything too interesting among these 7 wines, but did find a lovely Australian Shiraz elsewhere in the magazine for those with deeper pockets.

From the rest of the release, the following wines all have a Syrah-component as part of its blend, which adds body, tannic structure and blueberry/red berry flavours. See if you can detect its presence! The Poggio al Tesoro is mostly Syrah, with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon added. The Cuvée Hector & Juliette is a blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Grenache. The Vacqueyras is also a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan. And finally, the Xavier is a Grenache-Mourvèdre-Syrah blend with most of the vines over 75 years old.

In other reds, we also have the Noblaie Chinon that is made using 100% Cabernet Franc from 30-year-old vines, while the LAN Reserva is a blend of 80% Tempranillo, 10% Mazuelo (Carignan), and 10% Garnacha (Grenache).

If you like fresh and extra dry rosé wines, we have the Coeur Clementine that's made with 30% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 30% Tibouren, and 10% Syrah, while the Bandol Rosé is a blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsault.

Enjoy my wine picks for this week! Cheers!

Red Wine:
  • DOMAINE DE LA NOBLAIE CHINON 2010 - AC, Loire, France (#325639) (XD) - $15.95
  • FEATHERSTONE CABERNET FRANC 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#064618) (XD) - $16.95  reviewed here
  • BERNARD ALIAS CUVÉE HECTOR & JULIETTE CORBIÈRES 2010 - AC, Midi, France (#340984) (XD) - $17.95
  • BODEGAS LAN RESERVA 2007 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#042929) (XD) - $21.95
  • POGGIO AL TESORO MEDITERRA 2010 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#333567) (XD) - $23.95
  • TAWSE LAUNDRY VINEYARD CABERNET FRANC 2010 - VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#130997) (XD) - $31.95  reviewed here
  • ST. HALLETT BLACKWELL SHIRAZ 2009 - Barossa, South Australia (#535104) (XD) - $34.95
  • XAVIER CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2010 - AP, Rhône, France (#244814) (XD) - $39.95

White Wine:
  • DOMAINE DES LAURIERS PRESTIGE PICPOUL DE PINET 2011 - AP Languedoc, France (#336222) (XD) - $13.95
  • PEDRO ESCUDERO FUENTE ELVIRA VERDEJO 2011 - DO Rueda, Spain (#218313) (XD) - $15.95
  • ANDRÉ BLANCK ALTENBURG GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2012 - AC Alsace, France (#168906) (MS) - $18.95
  • DOMAINE CHEVALLIER CHABLIS 2010 - AC, Burgundy, France (#112227) (XD) - $19.95
  • MARC BRÉDIF VOUVRAY 2011 - AC, Loire, France (#685362) (D) - $19.95
  • RITUAL SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011 - Casablanca Valley, Chile (#328401) (XD) - $19.95
  • ROLLY GASSMANN RIESLING 2009 - AC Alsace, France (#328898) (D) - $20.95
  • GLORIA FERRER ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2009 - Carneros, California, USA (#083345) (XD) - $22.95
  • ALAIN GEOFFROY BEAUROY 1er CRU CHABLIS 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#733501) (XD) - $27.95
  • PAUL HOBBS CHARDONNAY 2010 - Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (#329615) (D) - $49.95

Rosé Wine:
  • COEUR CLEMENTINE CÔTES DE PROVENCE ROSÉ 2012 - AC, Provence, France (#326603) (XD) - $14.95
  • LA CADIERENNE CUVÉE GRANDE TRADITION BANDOL ROSÉ 2012 - AC, Provence, France (#119453) (XD) - $18.95

Sparkling Wine:
  • CHÂTEAU MONCONTOUR TÊTE DE CUVÉE BRUT VOUVRAY - AC, Loire, France (#207936) (D) - $16.95

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


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