Monday, January 16, 2017

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  • Monday, January 16, 2017

VINTAGES Release January 21: Argentina + Portugal



LCBO Wine Picks from January 21, 2017 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming VINTAGES Release on brings with it the return of duo-thematic releases. However, the wines in the second theme (Portugal) aren't very interesting, so we'll stick with the main theme that is Argentina. As per the usual, wines will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves on - or a few days earlier depending on the store.

Wines from 6 top producers in Argentina is the main theme and each producer got 2 wines listed, for a total of 12 wines. It's a solid selection, with 7 of the 12 wines included among my top wine picks. In white wines, there is a nice Chardonnay from Mendoza, while the excellent Torrontés is from the northern Argentina wine region of Salta. At the top-end in red wines is a Cabernet Sauvignon from the iconic Catena Zapata wine family. Lastly, there are four Malbec wines ranging in price from $19 to $30, and from vintages 2013 to a fairly young 2015. Argentina is synonymous with Malbec, and the grapes for the wines I've chosen are grown in various parts of the country, from Salta in the north, to Mendoza in central Argentina, and Patagonia to the south. Buy all of them and taste the differences side-by-side!

Lavau Vacqueyras 2014 (90 pts)

From the rest of the release, in red wines from Rhône, the Vacqueyras is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre, while the Saint-Joseph is an old vines Syrah. Also from Rhône, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, 3% Cinsault and 2% Counoise. The Gamay Noir "Droit" is made from a clone of Gamay that presented itself at the vineyards of Château des Charmes - it's a much bigger and more complex wine than your typical Gamay and definitely worth checking out. Lastly, the 2010 Rioja comes from an excellent vintage and is blend with 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo (Carignan).

In white wines, the Gavi is made with Cortese, while the Sancerre is a Sauvignon Blanc. For sweet wine lovers, the Gewürztraminer is your best bet. The rest of the wines are all oaked Chardonnay.

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée C.M. Sancerre Blanc 2014 (90+ pts)The Tragically Hip Ahead By A Century Chardonnay 2014 (88 pts)

There are a pair of aged Champagnes worth your attention. The 1997 Champagne is a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for consumption now, while the 2006 Pol Roger is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay that can be aged further.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release! Salud!

Red Wine:

  • ESPELT VITICULTORS OLD VINES GARNACHA 2015 - DO Empordà, Spain (#422469) (D) - $15.95
  • CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES ST. DAVID’S BENCH VINEYARD GAMAY NOIR DROIT 2015 - VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#346742) (XD) - $17.95
  • FABRE MONTMAYOU BARREL SELECTION MALBEC 2014 - Patagonia, Argentina (#477364) (XD) - $18.95
  • VIÑA COBOS FELINO MALBEC 2015 - Mendoza, Argentina (#118067) (XD) - $19.95
  • ZUCCARDI Q MALBEC 2013 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#723478) (D) - $19.95
  • RUSTENBERG MERLOT 2014 - WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, South Africa (#404194) (D) - $19.95
  • LAVAU VACQUEYRAS 2014 - AC, Rhône, France (#104927) (D) - $25.95  reviewed here
  • PLANETA NOTO NERO D’AVOLA 2012 - DOC, Sicily, Italy (#477190) (XD) - $26.95
  • COLOMÉ ESTATE MALBEC 2013 - Calchaquí Valley, Salta, Argentina (#477315) (XD) - $29.95
  • J. L. CHAVE SÉLECTION OFFERUS SAINT-JOSEPH 2013 - AC, Rhône, France (#359109) (XD) - $36.95  FSE
  • CVNE IMPERIAL RESERVA 2010 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#424390) (D) - $38.95
  • DOMAINE DURIEU CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2014 - AC, Rhône, France (#320168) (XD) - $41.95
  • CATENA ALTA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Mendoza, Argentina (#959965) (XD) - $47.95

White Wine:

  • COLOMÉ TORRONTÉS 2015 - Calchaquí Valley, Salta, Argentina (#357913) (XD) - $15.95
  • MICHELE CHIARLO LE MARNE GAVI 2015 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#228528) (XD) - $16.95  reviewed here
  • VINELAND ESTATES GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#434779) (M) - $17.95
  • THE TRAGICALLY HIP AHEAD BY A CENTURY CHARDONNAY 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#483875) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • VIÑA COBOS FELINO CHARDONNAY 2015 - Mendoza, Argentina (#119099) (XD) - $19.95
  • JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE C.M. SANCERRE BLANC 2014 - AC, Loire, France (#196667) (XD) - $27.95  reviewed here
  • MARCHAND-TAWSE BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#414557) (XD) - $28.95
  • STERLING VINEYARDS OAK KNOLL CHARDONNAY 2014 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#478891) (XD) - $29.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • SENSATION CHAMPAGNE 1997 - Disgorged in 2012, AC, France (#403006) (XD) - $75.95  FSE
  • POL ROGER VINTAGE BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2006 - AC, France (#411793) (D) - $95.95


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