Monday, November 17, 2014

  • Monday, November 17, 2014

Nov. 22 LCBO Wine Picks: Top Wines for the Holidays



LCBO Wine Picks from November 22, 2014 VINTAGES Release
Wines from the next LCBO VINTAGES release will be on shelves this and essentially continues the theme from the last release - fine wines for the holidays.

This is another massive release, as you will see from my wine picks below. I have split up the red wine picks into three groups - value-based wines, premium wines, and super premium wines for those with really deep pockets.

We'll begin at the high-end of the scale with a Parker-rated 100 point wine - from the great 2010 vintage is the Château Pontet-Canet (65% Cab Sauv, 30% Merlot and 5% Cab Franc/Petit Verdot) and can be decanted and enjoyed now or cellared over the next 30+ years, if you can hold off that long. From Rhône is the Châteauneuf-du-Pape that is 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise and 5% Cinsault, while Napa's Joseph Phelps Insignia is a blend of 82% Cab Sauv, 11% Petit Verdot, and small amounts of Malbec, Merlot and Cab Franc; both of these wines can be enjoyed over the next 15 years. The Masi Amarone is ageable for up to 10 years and is a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara. You might be surprised to know that the Tuscan wine Sassicaia is made without any traces of local varietals - it's made using 85% Cab Sauv and 15% Cab Franc - and should be cellared for at least a few years and enjoyed through the next decade. All of the wines in this price category should be cellared for at least a few years and would make excellent gifts for your special wine lovers in your life.

In the premium red wine category, there are 3 wines from Rhône including a Crozes-Hermitage that is 100% Syrah, and a Grenache-led blend from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It's uncommon to see Syrah in a Portuguese wine, but there is 40% Syrah in the version from Quinta da Romaneira (local grape Touriga Nacional makes up the rest of the blend). Syrah is also uncommon in Spain, but once again 40% of the blend from Finca Constancia is Syrah, while the balance is Petit Verdot. Syrah (a.k.a. Shiraz) is also available in the The Holy Trinity GSM blend, with 56% Grenache, 33% Shiraz and 11% Mourvèdre. The Brunello and Barolo keep to their traditional roots by, respectively, using Sangiovese and Nebbiolo - and you'll want to lay these to rest for a couple of years prior to opening.

Rhône was quite well-represented in this release with 11 wines, all but one from the 2012 vintage. Included among them are two from Michel Gassier's Les Halos de Jupiter label. His Cotes du Rhône is a blend of 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre, while the Costières de Nimes is 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache. Lastly, wait a year for the tannins to settle in the Aydie l'Origine, which is made from 70% Tannat and 30% Cab Franc.

In white wines, the Côtes du Roussillon Blanc is a blend of 80% Grenache Blanc and 20% Marsanne. Of the multiple Chardonnays listed among my wine recommendations below, all are oaked, except for the Billaud-Simon . For sweet wine lovers, I would recommend moving straight to the Fortifieds or the Dessert Wine section. In particular, the Sauternes from Raymond-Lafon is a poor man's Yquem at a fraction of the price; both Sauternes are blends of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Enjoy my wine picks for this week. Cheers!


Red Wine:
  • AYDIE L’ORIGINE 2011 - AC Madiran, Southwest, France (#343566) (XD) - $15.95
  • LES HALOS DE JUPITER COSTIÈRES DE NÎMES 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#309153) (XD) - $16.95
  • SANTA RITA MEDALLA REAL GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#275594) (XD) - $17.95
  • DOMAINE DE L’HERMINETTE GRAND CRAS MORGON 2013 - AC, Beaujolais, France (#390476) (XD) - $19.95
  • LES HALOS DE JUPITER CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#276956) (D) - $19.95

  • FINCA CONSTANCIA ALTOS DE LA FINCA 2011 - Vino de la Tierra de Castilla, Spain (#383984) (XD) - $21.95
  • GRANDS SERRES LES HAUTES VACQUIERES VACQUEYRAS 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#395194) (XD) - $24.95
  • M. CHAPOUTIER PETITE RUCHE CROZES-HERMITAGE 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#264655) (XD) - $24.95
  • QUINTA DA ROMANEIRA TOURIGA NACIONAL/SYRAH 2010 - Vinho Regional Duriense, Portugal (#392316) (D) - $29.95
  • GRANT BURGE THE HOLY TRINITY GRENACHE/SHIRAZ/MOURVÈDRE 2011 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#236257) (D) - $29.95
  • TENUTA LA FUGA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2009 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#212837) (XD) - $44.95
  • DOMAINE DU VIEUX TÉLÉGRAPHE TÉLÉGRAMME CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#292722) (XD) - $49.95
  • BREZZA SARMASSA BAROLO 2009 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#999730) (XD) - $49.95
  • TWO HANDS BELLA’S GARDEN SHIRAZ 2012 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#636407) (D) - $63.95

  • CHÂTEAU DE BEAUCASTEL CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#711317) (D) - $89.95
  • STAGS’ LEAP THE LEAP ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#142844) (XD) - $89.95
  • MASI CAMPOLONGO DI TORBE AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2007 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#548677) (D) - $101.95
  • CHÂTEAU MALESCOT ST. EXUPÉRY 2010 - 3e Cru, AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France (#261552) (XD) - $149.85
  • SASSICAIA 2011 - DOC Bolgheri-Sassicaia, Tuscany, Italy (#480533) (XD) - $199.95
  • CHÂTEAU PONTET-CANET 2010 - 5e Cru, AC Pauillac, Bordeaux, France (#259119, #259200, #259184, #259242, #259473, #260588) (XD) - $249.85
  • JOSEPH PHELPS INSIGNIA 2011 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#710400) (XD) - $258.95

White Wine:
  • SAINT-ROCH VIEILLES VIGNES CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON BLANC 2013 - AP, Midi, France (#175232) (XD) - $15.95
  • TRAMIN PINOT GRIGIO 2013 - DOC Südtirol - Alto Adige, Italy (#627059) (XD) - $17.95
  • LAGOON HILL SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Martinborough, North Island, New Zealand (#388389) (XD) - $18.95
  • ANSELMO MENDES CONTACTO ALVARINHO 2013 - DOC Vinho Verde, Portugal (#393058) (XD) - $19.95
  • McWILLIAM’S MOUNT PLEASANT ELIZABETH SEMILLON 2007 - Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia (#724492) (XD) - $19.95
  • PONDVIEW BELLA TERRA CHARDONNAY 2011 - Barrel Fermented, VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#347922) (XD) - $24.95  reviewed here
  • MISSION HILL S.L.C. CHARDONNAY 2011 - VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#144170) - $24.95
  • DR. LOOSEN ERDENDER TREPPCHEN RIESLING KABINETT 2013 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#393181) (M) - $25.95
  • MACROSTIE CHARDONNAY 2012 - Sonoma Coast, California, USA (#244467) (XD) - $29.95  reviewed here
  • BILLAUD-SIMON MONTÉE DE TONNERRE CHABLIS 1 ER CRU 2009 - AC, Burgundy, France (#325241) (XD) - $47.95
  • DOMAINE MICHEL CAILLOT LA BARRE DESSUS-CLOS MARGUERITE MEURSAULT 2010 - AC, Burgundy, France (#020545) (XD) - $59.95
  • PAHLMEYER CHARDONNAY 2012 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#147454) (XD) - $96.95

Sparkling Wine:
  • HENRY OF PELHAM CUVÉE CATHARINE CARTE BLANCHE ESTATE BLANC DE BLANC 2009 - Traditional Method, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#315200) (D) - $44.95

Fortifieds:
  • DOMAINE BOULETIN VIN DOUX NATUREL MUSCAT DE BEAUMES DE VENISE 2012 - AP, Rhône, France (#393033) (MS) (375 mL) - $15.95
  • TORRES FLORALIS MOSCATEL ORO - Spain (#642173) (MS) (500 mL) - $16.95  reviewed here
  • CROFT VINTAGE PORT 2011 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#362343) (MS) - $120.00

Dessert Wine:
  • QUADY ESSENSIA ORANGE MUSCAT 2012 - California, USA (#299552) (S) (375 mL) - $14.95
  • PONDVIEW VIDAL ICEWINE 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#390351) (S) (200 mL) - $18.95
  • PUKLUS PINCÉSZET SZAMORODNI SWEET TOKAJI 2009 - Hungary (#179374) (MS) (500 mL) - $18.95
  • REIF VIDAL ICEWINE 2012 - VQA Niagara River, Ontario, Canada (#544791) (S) (200 mL) - $24.95
  • CHÂTEAU RAYMOND-LAFON 2010 - AC Sauternes, Bordeaux, France (#256362) (S) (375 mL) - $31.85
  • CHÂTEAU SUDUIRAUT 2010 - 1er Cru Classé, AC Sauternes, Bordeaux, France (#256214) (S) - $129.85


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


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