The major theme of this release is titled "Tuscan Renaissance" and goes through some of the projects that were undertaken over the last 50+ years to modernize and improve the wines from Tuscany. However, of the 14 wines featured, just two made my list of wine picks - and both were quite traditional in nature with a Chianti Classico and a Brunello di Montalcino. Both of these wines are made using Italy's most popular grape - Sangiovese.
This release also has 3 mini-features - wines from British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, modern wines from Israel, and some Whiskies to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Of the 6 wines from B.C., the medium sweet Pinot Gris from Gray Monk is recommended. For an interesting side-by-side comparison, there are drier (i.e. less sweet) versions of Pinot Gris from Oregon and Ontario also available.
From the rest of the release, there are plenty of good value red wines coming from Chile and Argentina. Included among them is an organic Syrah/Mourvèdre blend (85/15) from Emiliana. Also recommended are both "Wines of the Month" - the Kaiken Malbec and Château Saint-Roch Chimères (Grenache / Carignan / Syrah blend) - a rarity for me.
In white wine, the Château de Cruzeau is 100% Sauvignon Blanc. For sweet wine lovers, the Tawse Riesling and the aforementioned Gray Monk Pinot Gris are worth your attention. Less sweet are the Malivoire Pinot Gris and the German Riesling.
That's all for this release. Enjoy my wine recommendations. Cheers!
- EMILIANA NOVAS GRAN RESERVA SYRAH/MOURVÈDRE 2012 - Cachapoal Valley, Chile (#399360) (XD) - $15.95
- ZUCCARDI SERIE A BONARDA 2012 - Santa Rosa, Mendoza, Argentina (#355560) (D) - $16.95
- VIÑA TARAPACÁ GRAN RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2012 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#057513) (XD) - $17.95 reviewed here
- SANTA CAROLINA SPECIALTIES DRY FARMING CARIGNAN 2010 - Cauquenes Valley, Chile (#213520) (XD) - $17.95
- CHÂTEAU SAINT-ROCH CHIMÈRES 2012 - AP Côtes du Roussillon Villages, Midi, France (#119354) (D) - $18.95
- KAIKEN ULTRA MALBEC 2012 - Mendoza, Argentina (#050849) (XD) - $19.95
- ROCCA DI CASTAGNOLI POGGIO A’FRATI RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#023358) (XD) - $29.95
- PENFOLDS BIN 28 KALIMNA SHIRAZ 2011 - South Australia (#422782) (XD) - $34.95
- JOHN’S BLEND INDIVIDUAL SELECTION NO. 36 CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2009 - Langhorne Creek, South Australia (#927640) (XD) - $39.95
- TERRE NERE BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2009 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#208462) (XD) - $42.95
- CUVELIER LOS ANDES GRAND MALBEC 2009 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#368514) (D) - $61.95
- TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA RIESLING 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#089029) (M) - $17.95
- GRAY MONK PINOT GRIS 2013 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#118638) (M) - $19.95
- DUCK POND CELLARS PINOT GRIS 2013 - Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#333286) (XD) - $19.95
- MALIVOIRE PINOT GRIS 2013 - VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#591305) (D) - $19.95
- VILLA MARIA CELLAR SELECTION SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#974527) (XD) - $19.95
- DR. BÜRKLIN-WOLF RUPPERTSBERGER RIESLING 2012 - Qualitätswein, Pfalz, Germany (#394148) (D) - $22.95
- CHÂTEAU DE CRUZEAU BLANC 2009 - AC Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, France (#966010) (XD) - $31.95
- BACHELDER WISMER VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2011 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#345819) (D) - $44.95 Flagship Store Exclusive reviewed here
- EL MAESTRO SIERRA 15-YEAR-OLD OLOROSO SHERRY - DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, Spain (#330571) (D) (375 mL) - $13.95
The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.