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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Jan. 4 LCBO Wine Picks: Smart Buys



Wine Picks from January 4, 2014 LCBO Vintages Magazine
This is the first LCBO Vintages release of 2014 and, as always, is the annual "Smart Buys" release. New wines will be on shelves across Ontario on . There are 27 wines featured in the "Smart Buys" section and 8 made my list.

For some (strange?) reason, it's extremely rare that a "Wine of the Month" makes my list of wine picks, but this time it did. Perhaps this bodes well for subsequent Wines of the Month in 2014! The Cusumano Noà is one of this release's Wines of the Month and is also part of the Smart Buys feature. It's a blend of 40% Nero d’Avola, 30% Merlot, and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and definitely a worthy buy.

The 2011 Vacqueyras is featured as a Smart Buy and arrives in Vintages just 2 months after the 2010 was featured. It is a blend of Grenache and Syrah and, interestingly, priced $2 higher than the 2010.

Also from the Smart Buys section is the Valle Las Acequias Oak Malbec and the First Press (oaked) Chardonnay, while the Australian Domaine Tournon Mathilda Shiraz made by the famous Marc Chapoutier saw no oak whatsoever. Both the New Zealand white wines - Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc - did not touch any oak, which is typical for each varietal. And finally, the crowd-pleasing Flat Rock Riesling is off-dry (medium in sweetness) and comes from a local Niagara winery that focuses on environmental sustainability.

From the rest of the release, I am happy to see the 2011 Bula finally arrive in Vintages this coming weekend. I had the opportunity to taste this full-bodied red wine at the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo in November and it ended up being one of my favourite wines of the night. It's a blend of 40% Carinena, 40% Garnacha (Grenache), and 20% Syrah. I enjoyed it very much and hope you will enjoy it too!

And last but not least, there are a couple of premium Bordeaux reds that are worth your consideration. The Château Caronne Ste. Gemme is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot, while the Château Grand Village is 75% Merlot and 25% Cab Franc. Both of these wines hail from great, but very different vintages.

Enjoy my wine recommendations for this week! Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • BULA 2011 - DO Montsant, Spain (#292094) (XD) - $16.95  reviewed here
  • VALLE LAS ACEQUIAS OAK MALBEC 2007 - Estate Don Angelino, Medrano, Mendoza, Argentina (#138412) (XD) - $16.95
  • 13TH STREET MERLOT 2012 - VQA Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#270504) (XD) - $17.95
  • CUSUMANO NOÀ 2010 - IGT Sicilia, Italy (#109512) (XD) - $19.95
  • DOMAINE TOURNON MATHILDA SHIRAZ 2011 - Victoria, Australia (#327395) (XD) - $19.95
  • PIERRE AMADIEU LA GRANGELIÈRE VACQUEYRAS 2011 - AC, Rhone, France (#076398) (XD) - $21.95
  • CHÂTEAU GRAND VILLAGE 2010 - AC Bordeaux Supérieur, France (#254805) (XD) - $22.85
  • CHÂTEAU CARONNE STE. GEMME 2009 - AC Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#191460) (XD) - $25.85

White Wine:
  • VILLA MARIA PRIVATE BIN EAST COAST GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2012 - New Zealand (#357509) (M) - $14.95
  • FLAT ROCK RIESLING 2012 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#043281) (M) - $16.95
  • MOUNT RILEY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#981670) (XD) - $17.95
  • FIRST PRESS CHARDONNAY 2011 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#199810) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHATEAU MONTELENA CHARDONNAY 2011 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#701748) (XD) - $59.95


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

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