How I make my selections...

Rarely will I publish a review of a wine that I did not enjoy; my taste is purely individual, as is your own. If I write about a particular wine, I do so because I also want you to try it.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Selections for January 22, 2011

From the January 22 LCBO Vintages Release

The LCBO has chosen to profiles the wines of Chile and Southwest France in this weekend’s Vintages Release and while there are indeed some very good wines to choose from, those who read the catalogue in greater depth will discover some truly incredible wines from elsewhere for an absolute steal! Let me introduce you to a few:


2007 Messias, Grande Escolha
For most of us, Portugal represents Vintage and Tawny Port, the thick, rich and greatest example of fortified wine. But are you aware that the Portuguese also make really good dry red wine? This one is from Douro and is made with the same grapes used in the production of port except it’s not fortified with brandy spirits. Aromas of highly concentrated dark fruit with a hint of dark chocolate precede smooth blackberries accented by black pepper and spice. Try it with prime rib. LCBO #064691 / $17.95 (XD)

2009 Rolling Shiraz
My wife asked me to pick this bottle out for the tasting; she liked the label. I’m fairly open-minded about these things so without too much fuss, we ‘unscrewed the cap’. Rich red fruit greets you right off the top combined with some earthiness. The two actually balance each other out nicely. On the palate, sweetness and lots of it coats your tongue with ripe juicy fruit and a hint of spice. It is by no means a full-bodied Shiraz; the style is much lighter and very easy to drink. A bargain at this price. LCBO #203133 / $14.95 (D)


2009 St. Donatus Irsai Oliver, Balatonlellei
Irsai Oliver is a type of white grape native to central Europe and in this example, Hungary. The awkwardness of the name has not added to the appeal of this very fragrant wine though that should not deter your interest in trying something new. On the nose: Aroma is not the correct word; perfume is more accurate and you must try it to believe how pronounced the fragrance actually is. Crushed rose petal bath soap, if you can imagine it – very interesting. On the palate: fresh acidity highlighted with touch of lime on the finish. Can I say that it even tastes like flowers? Delicate but very pronounced and recommended. LCBO #012070 / $12.95 (D)

2009 Terres Blanches, Muscat Sec
From the south of France, this wine greets you with aromas of lemon and orange. There is also a floral note which is very typical of the Muscat grape. Sec implies a dry wine but this one is not overly-so. Serve this alongside lemon chicken to someone who will only drink Chardonnay and watch their expression. A perfectly balanced wine. LCBO #200048 / $13.95 (D)


2004 Croft LBV Porto
Late Bottle Vintage (LBV) is port which is ready to drink much earlier than the traditional vintage port style. LBV has been filtered and/or fined and therefore will not benefit from additional bottle age.  At 6 years old, this one is quite rich and smooth offering up chewy dark fruit with a touch of pepper and some heat at the end.  The open air did seem to take the spicy edge off within an hour or so. LCBO #087601 / $17.95 (S)

One for the Cellar:

2008 Domaine Bernard Defaix, Côte de Lechet, Chablis, 1er Cru
Chablis is a satellite of the French appellation of Burgundy. The Chardonnay here has a pronounced minerality and freshness when compared to its buttery counterparts in the Côte de Beaune. This premier cru will benefit from 2 to 5 years in the cellar over which it will develop a fullness on the palate to balance out the crisp acidity right now. Aged Chablis is always worth the wait. LCBO #950667 / $31.95 (XD)