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Monday, January 13, 2014

Jan. 18 LCBO Wine Picks: Spain + British Columbia



Wine Picks from January 18, 2014 Vintages Wine Magazine
The next LCBO Vintages release will be on shelves across Ontario on . After the annual Smart Buys release, which is always the first release of the year, it seems like Spain and British Columbia will be usually featured in the second release of the year. Will signature grapes from the New World be the third release of 2014? We shall see.

Back to this release, the secondary feature is on wines from B.C., but as was the case last year, it is disappointing to see nothing interesting again!

The major feature is on Spanish wines with a particular emphasis on the 3 major wine regions in Spain - Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Priorat. Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache) are the primary red grapes in Rioja and Ribera del Duero that are used to make full-bodied red wines. In Priorat, Garnacha is the primary grape.

Of the 17 Spanish wines featured in the "Hot Hot Hot!" section, four made my list of wine picks. The 2009 Ares Crianza is a young-ish Tempranillo that could be enjoyed now until 2017. You can read my full review of the 2004 Don Jacobo here, which was in Vintages last January and returns a year later. A year younger is the 2005 Hacienda Lopez de Haro Reserva, which is mostly Tempranillo, but also contains 5% Graciano and 5% Garnacha and is approachable now, but can be aged for at least the next decade. The three wines above are all from Rioja, while the Cepa 21 Hito is from Ribera del Duero and is also made using Tempranillo, but goes by the name Tinto Fino in this wine.

From the rest of the release, I've chosen some good wines to encourage you to try some different grapes. Try the Xinomavro from Greece, or a Bonarda or Petit Verdot from Argentina. Chile's Syrah (aka Shiraz) star continues to rise, with the Valle Andino offering superb value at $13.95. Wines from the 2010 Rhône vintage continue to impress, with the Château de Nages showcasing the vintage in this release; it's an old vines GSM-blend consisting of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10 % Mourvèdre.

In white wines, I hope you enjoy Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, because that's all I've got for you in this release. The German Riesling is very sweet, but with good acidity, while the Ontario Riesling is off-dry (i.e. just a little sweet). The two Sauvignon Blancs will both be crisp, dry, and refreshing.

That's it for my Vintages recommendations from this release. If you buy and try any of these, please let me know as I always like to hear from my readers. Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • VALLE ANDINO RESERVA ESPECIAL SYRAH 2008 - Colchagua Valley, Chile (#272682) (XD) - $13.95
  • BOUTARI GRANDE RESERVE 2007 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (#140111) (D) - $16.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE NAGES VIEILLES VIGNES 2010 - AC Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (#040964) (D) - $17.95
  • HACIENDA LOPEZ DE HARO RESERVA 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#357335) (XD) - $17.95
  • ARES CRIANZA 2009 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#305912) (XD) - $17.95
  • CEPA 21 HITO 2010 - DO Ribera del Duero, Spain (#360503) (XD) - $17.95
  • CENTUNO NERO D’AVOLA 2010 - IGT Sicilia, Italy (#357103) (XD) - $17.95
  • DON JACOBO RESERVA 2004 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#313270) (XD) - $18.95  reviewed here
  • PASSIONATE WINES MONTESCO BONARDA 2010 - Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina (#363127) (XD) - $19.95
  • LA LUZ CALLEJÓN DEL CRIMEN GRAN RESERVA PETIT VERDOT 2008 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#360412) (XD) - $23.95

White Wine:
  • MÖNCHHOF ROBERT EYMAEL RIESLING 2011 - Qualitätswein, Mosel, Germany (#349431) (MS) - $16.95
  • SUE-ANN STAFF GRACE’S DRY RIESLING 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#367086) (XD) - $18.95  reviewed here
  • COOPERS CREEK SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#957407) (XD) - $18.95
  • FOUASSIER PERE & FILS POUILLY-FUMÉ 2012 - AC, Loire, France (#357319) (XD) - $19.95


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

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