Winemakers around the globe seek out challenging conditions to grow grapes and produce better wines. Some of these examples include venturing into freezing temperatures, intense heat, mountains and deserts. In this release, 13 wines are listed and 4 are included among my top wine picks. Some regions (such as Chablis in northern Burgundy and Ontario) have cool-climates and generally shorter growing seasons. White wine grapes are more suitable for this type of climate and can deliver high quality grapes year-after-after. The Chablis is made from 100% Chardonnay and receives very little oak treatment. Grapes for Icewine can only be picked (often by hand) when temperatures are -8°C or below, and produce only 15% of the juice it would for a regular table wine. In this release, the Vidal Icewine from Reif is offered. The Riesling grapes for the Piesporter Riesling Kabinett are literally living on the edge as they come from the steep, red-slate slopes on the north bank of the Mosel river in Germany. Lastly, the wine from Lebanon is approximately equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan, and comes from the very warm Bekaa Valley.
From the wines of British Columbia mini-thematic, only 1 of the 6 wines is included among my wine picks. It's a quality Gewürztraminer with a fun name - something I'm seeing more and more of coming out of B.C.
Among red wines from the rest of the release, the Lafage wine us an oak-free blend composed of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache, while the Greek wine is a 50/50 blend of Xinomavro and Merlot. The red wine from Portugal is a blend of 6 local and international varietals, while the Rioja is made with Tempranillo. Lastly, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is mostly Grenache (90%) and the rest other varietals.
In white wines, the Sancerre is a Sauvignon Blanc. For sweet wine lovers, look for the Fergie Jenkins Riesling as we approach the start of the Major League Baseball season.
The Champagne is a limited production wine made only in exceptional years and is a blend of 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay that comes in a half size bottle which is certainly more wallet-friendly. This sparkling wine is released as a Flagship Store Exclusive.
Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release. Cheers!
- LA GARNACHA SALVAJE DEL MONCAYO 2014 - DO Navarra, Spain (#480020) (D) - $14.95
- LAFAGE CÔTÉ SUD 2014 - IGP Côtes Catalanes, Roussillon, France (#395236) (XD) - $15.95
- GENESIS XINOMAVRO-MERLOT 2014 - PGI Macedonia, Greece (#465914) (XD) - $16.95
- FALCOARIA CLÁSSICO 2012 - DOC Tejo, Portugal (#379214) (D) - $19.95
- SALENTEIN RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#353177) (XD) - $19.95
- IL MOLINO DI GRACE RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2009 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#382945) (XD) - $24.95 reviewed here
- BARÓN DE LEY GRAN RESERVA 2010 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#642496) (XD) - $29.95
- ROCCHE COSTAMAGNA ROCCHE DELL’ANNUNZIATA BAROLO 2012 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#413484) (D) - $51.95
- RAYMOND USSEGLIO CUVÉE IMPÉRIALE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2013 - Unfiltered, AC, Rhône, France (#022319) (D) - $57.95
- FULIGNI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#245225) (XD) - $61.95
- CHATEAU MUSAR RED 2009 - Bekaa Valley, Lebanon (#109413) (XD) - $61.95
- FERGIE JENKINS LIMITED EDITION RIESLING 2014 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#485326) (M) - $15.95
- VINUM AFRICA CHENIN BLANC 2015 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#739995) (XD) - $15.95
- ANTON BAUER GMÖRK GRÜNER VELTLINER 2014 - Wagram/Osterreich, Austria (#467290) (XD) - $18.95
- DIRTY LAUNDRY WOO WOO VINES GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2015 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#246140) (D) - $18.95 reviewed here
- REINHOLD HAART PIESPORTER RIESLING KABINETT 2014 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#727461) (MS) - $19.95
- MONTES ALPHA CHARDONNAY 2014 - Casablanca Valley, Chile (#390203) (XD) - $19.95 reviewed here
- LOIMER LANGENLOIS GRÜNER VELTLINER 2015 - DAC Kamptal, Austria (#142240) (XD) - $21.95 reviewed here
- WILLIAM FÈVRE CHAMPS ROYAUX CHABLIS 2015 - AC, Burgundy, France (#461640) (XD) - $23.95
- DOMAINE BONNARD SANCERRE 2015 - AC, Loire, France (#140525) (XD) - $24.95
- PAUL BARA MILLESIME BRUT GRAND CRU CHAMPAGNE 2006 - Bouzy, AC, France (#487298) (XD) (375 mL) - $36.95 FSE
- KOPKE 10-YEAR-OLD TAWNY PORT - DOP, Portugal (#473066) (S) - $31.95
- REIF VIDAL ICEWINE 2014 - VQA Niagara River, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#544791) (S) (200 mL) - $24.95