Given that only 3 of the 26 wines featured from Sonoma and Piedmont are included among my wine picks, it goes without saying that I am somewhat disappointed with the wines chosen for this release. However, I fully expect the upcoming Sonoma and Italian wine tasting events to have a much better showing.
The lone wine from Sonoma is the Benzinger (oaked) Chardonnay, the grapes from which were grown using certified sustainable practices. Both of my wine recommendations from Piedmont are not common for the region. The Prunotto is a 60/40 blend consisting of Barbera and Syrah, while the Borgogno is made using 100% Freisa, a grape that can be dated back to the 16th century and was once very prominent and widely planted in Piedmont.
From the rest of the release, there's an interesting Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Bordeaux-blend from Morocco. If you've never tried wine from this country, this is a great place to start! Another Bordeaux-blend is South Africa's Rustenberg John X Merriman, consisting of 55% Cab Sauv, 37% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cab Franc. From actual Bordeaux are a couple of stellar 2010s - both the Château Hanteillan and Château La Tour Carnet feature similar blends consisting of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with small dollops of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. From Spain, the Lealtanza Reserva is 100% Tempranillo, while the red wine from the dessert lands of Patagonia is a blend of 90% Malbec and 10% Merlot. The last of the reds is from Tuscany's Ornellaia, consisting of 52% Merlot, 28% Cab Sauv, 12% Petit Verdot, and 8% Cabernet Franc; this is a big wine that you'll want to decant and serve now or cellar for at least 5 years.
There are plenty of choices for sweet wine lovers as well, with three Gewürztraminers (2 from Alsace and 1 from Ontario) and a pair of German Rieslings.
Enjoy my LCBO wine picks from this Vintages release. May you enjoy great wine and give thanks with your family this .
- DOMAINE DE SAHARI 2012 - AG Guerrouane, Morocco (#092825) (XD) - $16.95
- VIÑA TARAPACÁ GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#018721) (XD) - $17.95 reviewed here
- PRUNOTTO MOMPERTONE 2011 - DOC Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy (#388587) (XD) - $18.95
- NK’MIP CELLARS MERLOT 2011 - VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#626416) (XD) - $18.95
- CHÂTEAU HANTEILLAN 2010 - AC Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#377408) (XD) - $19.95
- KATOGI & STROFILIA AVEROFF XINOMAVRO 2008 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (#249615) (XD) - $19.95
- LEALTANZA RESERVA 2009 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#208223) (XD) - $20.95 reviewed here
- BORGOGNO LANGHE FREISA 2012 - DOC, Piedmont, Italy (#388660) (XD) - $21.95
- RUSTENBERG JOHN X MERRIMAN 2011 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#707323) (XD) - $24.95
- BODEGA NOEMÍA A LISA 2012 - Patagonia, Argentina (#385765) (XD) - $25.95
- PODERE CIONA RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#385070) (XD) - $31.95
- MITOLO SAVITAR SHIRAZ 2009 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#659581) (XD) - $49.95
- CHÂTEAU LA TOUR CARNET 2010 - 4e Cru, AC Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#259986) (XD) - $59.85
- LE SERRE NUOVE DELL’ORNELLAIA 2012 - DOC Bolgheri Rosso, Tuscany, Italy (#606194) (XD) - $59.95 reviewed here
- CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2012 - Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#302059) (D) - $17.95
- ALBERT SCHOECH RÉSERVE GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2012 - AC Alsace, France (#385351) (D) - $17.95
- ANDRÉ BLANCK ET SES FILS ALTENBURG GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2013 - AC Alsace, France (#168906) (MS) - $19.95
- BENZIGER CHARDONNAY 2012 - Sonoma County, California, USA (#034777) (XD) - $19.95
- ARGYROS ASSYRTIKO 2013 - PDO Santorini, Greece (#387365) (XD) - $19.95
- DR. LOOSEN ÜRZIGER WÜRZGARTEN RIESLING KABINETT 2013 - Pradikätswein, Mosel, Germany (#927756) (MD) - $21.95 reviewed here
- VILLA MARIA CELLAR SELECTION SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#974527) (XD) - $21.95 reviewed here
- STUDERT-PRÜM WEHLENER SONNENUHR RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2012 - Pradikätswein, Mosel, Germany (#912659) (M) - $28.95 reviewed here
- LOUIS BOUILLOT PERLE RARE BRUT CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE 2009 - AC, Burgundy, France (#178137) (D) - $19.95
- CYGNUS BRUT NATURE RESERVA CAVA - Méthode Champenoise, DO, Spain (#352856) (XD) - $19.95
The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.