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  • Monday, January 27, 2014

Feb. 1 LCBO Wine Picks: Australia + Valentine's

LCBO Wine Picks from February 1, 2014 Vintages Magazine
The next Vintages release will be on LCBO shelves across Ontario on . This edition focuses on food-friendly wines from Australia. The small secondary features are on new noteworthy wines & wineries, and wines for .

We'll begin with the Australian section, which highlights 15 wines for pairing with beef burgers, rack of lamb, duck, roasted chicken and blue crabs. Personally, I am not so rigid with food pairings because if I was, I wouldn't be able to drink wines of certain styles as much as I would like to. However, one important facet of food and wine pairings is the amount of tannins in the wine.

The bigger Australian Shirazes such as the Jip Jip Rocks and the two wines from Dandelion will pair exquisitely with meatier dishes like beef and lamb because of the greater amount of tannins. Year after after, the Jip Jip Rocks Shiraz has shown to be very good quality, and is now probably my "house" Shiraz. The two Shirazes from Dandelion Vineyards are both from the 2011 vintage, but from different areas within South Australia. The Lionheart is from the Barossa Valley and is unfined and unfiltered; it comes in half bottle size. Meanwhile, the Lioness is from McLaren Vale. Both are extra dry. Get both and taste the difference!

There are lesser tannins in the Chapel Hill Grenache and the Schild Old Bush Vine GMS (approx. 45% Grenache, 28% Mourvedre and 27% Shiraz), making them ideal for lighter meats such as poultry. You can also pair Chardonnays with poultry, such as the oaked version from Mountadam Vineyards. Of course, there are no tannins in white wine, but the full-bodied and flavourful Chardonnay grape lends itself well to poultry dishes.

Most interesting of all the Australian wines in this release is a cellar aged Semillon from McWilliam's that is suitable for pairing with shellfish or vegetarian dishes. The magazine suggests serving this white wine with blue crabs in black peppercorns - the recipe looks delicious!

From the secondary feature highlighting new wineries and new wines, two wines made my list of wine picks. First is a light-to-medium bodied Mencía from Spain. The second wine is the Kew Vineyards Soldier's Grant. It's an intriguing Ontario Bordeaux-blend red (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc) for under $20 from a winery that only opened it's doors last fall.

For Valentine's Day, there are six wines featured in the magazine. From this portion of the release, the Henry of Pelham Cabernet (Franc) Icewine and Flat Rock's Nadja's Riesling made my list.

From the rest of the release, the Cave de Roquebrun returns with the 2011 vintage and is a blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 20% Mourvèdre. I still have the 2010 version of this red wine in my cellar, so it would be interesting to compare the two in a vertical tasting. Also from France is the Château Tour Calon from the fabulous 2009 Bordeaux vintage and is a blend of 88% Merlot, 7% Cab Sauv, 5% Cab Franc. And finally, Glen Carlou provides us with an almost unheard of blend consisting of Petit Verdot and Tannat, which looks like it may have been specially crafted for the LCBO.

Enjoy my wine recommendations for this week! Cheers!

Red Wine:
  • JIP JIP ROCKS SHIRAZ 2011 - Padthaway, South Australia (#673897) (XD) - $16.95
  • KEW VINEYARDS SOLDIER’S GRANT 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#367318) (XD) - $18.95
  • TILENUS ENVEJECIDO EN ROBLE MENCÍA 2010 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#297143) (XD) - $18.95
  • SCHILD ESTATE OLD BUSH VINE GMS GRENACHE/MOURVÈDRE/SHIRAZ 2011 - Barossa, South Australia (#108183) (XD) - $19.95
  • THYMIOPOULOS VINEYARDS YN KAI OUPAVÓS XINOMAVRO 2010 - Unfiltered, AP Naoussa, Greece (#360750) (XD) - $19.95
  • DANDELION LIONESS OF MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2011 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#357475) (XD) - $19.95
  • DANDELION VINEYARDS LIONHEART OF THE BAROSSA SHIRAZ 2011 - Unfined and Unfiltered, Barossa Valley, South Australia (#358127) (XD) (375 mL) - $10.95
  • CHÂTEAU TOUR CALON 2009 - AC Montagne Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (#362012) (XD) - $20.95
  • GLEN CARLOU PETIT VERDOT/TANNAT 2009 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#363440) (XD) - $21.95
  • CHAPEL HILL BUSH VINE GRENACHE 2011 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#262105) (XD) - $26.95
  • VILLA GIRARDI AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2009 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#159913) (D) - $41.95

  • FEATHERSTONE BLACK SHEEP RIESLING 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#080234) (M) - $16.95
  • FLAT ROCK NADJA’S VINEYARD RIESLING 2012 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#578625) (D) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • JEAN-MARC BROCARD DOMAINE SAINTE CLAIRE CHABLIS 2011 - Single Vineyard, AC, Burgundy, France (#356634) (XD) - $19.95
  • MCWILLIAM’S MOUNT PLEASANT ELIZABETH SEMILLON 2006 - Cellar aged, Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia (#724492) (XD) - $19.95
  • MOUNTADAM ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2009 - High Eden, Eden Valley, South Australia (#333211) (XD) - $24.95

Dessert Wine:
  • HENRY OF PELHAM CABERNET ICEWINE 2012 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#672402) (S) (200 mL) - $39.95
  • BULAS VINTAGE PORT 2009 - Unfiltered, DO Douro, Portugal (#363119) (S) - $49.95

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


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