Of the eight wines from Portugal, just one made my list of wine picks. The red wine from Quinta de Pancas is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and hails from the DOC Lisboa, a region that until 2009 was formerly known as Estremadura. This is a wine you'll want to cellar for at least a couple of years. A brief mention in this section points you to the back of the magazine, where a stellar selection of Vintage Ports from the outstanding 2011 vintage can be found. These Port wines will easily last 30 years, and are available in limited quantities throughout the province. If you had a child born in 2011, get one and open it to celebrate their 30th birthday!
From the "Breaking Ground" section, there are four wines that caught my attention. First up is the Catena Alta Malbec by Nicolas Catena - a man who pioneered winemaking in high-altitude vineyards, as well as helped develop the premium wine scene in Argentina. Next is John Shafer of Shafer Vineyards who helped pioneer the big, burly California Cabs from challenging hillside vines. However, it's his Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay (barrel-fermented using wild yeasts, and partially aged in French oak) that I am recommending. In South Africa, Tim Hamilton Russell pioneered the idea that South Africa could produce quality wines from cool-climate varietals - and he was right! His Pinot Noir in this release is from Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, a wine region that is considered to be cool-climate. Lastly, "Breaking Ground" in the case of Rockway Vineyards in Niagara literally meant that - with a wine museum, gourmet dining and a golf course adjacent to the winery boosting local wine tourism in the region. Their 2011 Small Lot Meritage (38% Cab Sauv, 38% Cab Franc, and 24% Merlot) is featured in this weekend's Vintages release.
From the rest of the release, the Domaine Lafage is an 80/20 Grenache/Syrah blend, while the Domaine des Andrines also contains Syrah & Grenache. Also from Rhône is the Domaine Brusset, consisting of 65% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, and 5% Cinsault. From Spain, the Vizcarra (100% Tempranillo) returns one year later with another year of development under its belt. The last of the reds is an SGM from John Duval that blends 48% Shiraz, 31% Grenache, 21% Mourvèdre.
In white wines, the off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) Vouvray from Clos le Vigneau and is 100% Chenin Blanc. Sweet wine lovers can once again look to Riesling to satisfy their sweet tooth, but should also check out the Port wines for maximum enjoyment.
Enjoy my wine recommendations for this week. Cheers!
- DOMAINE LAFAGE VIGNES MAGIQUES GRENACHE/SYRAH 2011 - Lieu-dit La Pantaline, AP, Midi, France (#383752) (XD) - $17.95
- DOMAINE DES ANDRINES CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#380592) (XD) - $17.95
- QUINTA DE PANCAS SELECÇÃO DO ENÓLOGO 2010 - DOC Lisboa, Portugal (#380931) (XD) - $18.95
- ROCKWAY ESTATE SMALL LOT MERITAGE 2011 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#388264) (XD) - $19.95
- VENTISQUERO GREY SINGLE BLOCK CARMENÈRE 2011 - Trinidad Vineyard, Maipo Valley, Chile (#325415) (XD) - $19.95 reviewed here
- DOMAINE BRUSSET TRADITION LE GRAND MONTMIRAIL GIGONDAS 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#960104) (XD) - $29.95
- BODEGAS VIZCARRA JC VIZCARRA 2010 - DO Ribera del Duero, Spain (#214650) (XD) - $30.95
- HAMILTON RUSSELL PINOT NOIR 2012 - WO Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Walker Bay, South Africa (#999516) (D) - $44.95
- CATENA ALTA MALBEC 2011 - Mendoza, Argentina (#982355) (XD) - $49.95
- JOHN DUVAL PLEXUS SHIRAZ/GRENACHE/MOURVÈDRE 2009 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#073049) (XD) - $49.95
- HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE RIESLING 2012 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#557165) (M) - $17.95
- BABICH BLACK LABEL SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#009142) (XD) - $17.95
- LAWSON’S DRY HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#214460) (XD) - $18.95
- DEU LA DEU ALVARINHO VINHO VERDE 2013 - Monção e Melgaço, DOC, Portugal (#040642) (XD) - $19.95
- CLOS LE VIGNEAU VOUVRAY 2012 - AC, Loire, France (#318840) (D) - $19.95
- SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#117556) (XD) - $21.95 reviewed here
- QUAILS’ GATE CHARDONNAY 2012 - VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#377770) (XD) - $21.95
- TEGERNSEERHOF SMARAGD BERGDISTEL GRÜNER VELTLINER 2012 - Wachau, Austria (#377606) (XD) - $24.95
- WEGELER RÜDESHEIMER BERG SCHLOSSBERG RIESLING KABINETT 2012 - Rheingau, Germany (#378083) (M) - $25.95 reviewed here
- JEAN-MARC BROCARD VAU DE VAY CHABLIS 1 ER CRU 2012 - AC, Burgundy, France (#159012) (XD) - $29.95
- SHAFER RED SHOULDER RANCH CHARDONNAY 2012 - Carneros, Napa Valley, California, USA (#045583) (XD) - $67.95
- PILLITTERI CABERNET SAUVIGNON ICEWINE 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#589093) (S) (200 mL) - $34.95 reviewed here
- COCKBURN’S VINTAGE PORT 2011 - DOC Duoro, Portugal (#362251) (MS) - $80.00
- QUINTA DO NOVAL VINTAGE PORT 2011 - DOC Duoro, Portugal (#362525) (MS) - $90.00
- TAYLOR FLADGATE VINTAGE PORT 2011 - DOC Duoro, Portugal (#362293) (MS) - $130.00 also available in 375mL and 1500mL
The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.