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, February 4, 2011

Selections for February 5, 2011

From the February 5th 2011 LCBO Vintages Release

With the focus on Tuscany in this weekend’s release, if your preference is for a traditional grape varietal such as Sangiovese or even the more international flare of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, there are many intriguing wines to choose from.  But of course, in our quest for discovery, North of 9 Selections has turned up a few ‘other’ interesting tasting opportunities.  Let me show you a few...

btw:  if you do not already receive the Vintage release catalogue in the mail, you can sign up to do so via the LCBO website – it’s free.


2008 Pirramimma, Shiraz 
You’ll have to move quickly if you want to get your hands on a bottle of this full-bodied Aussie gem.  Port-like qualities here:  thick, rich, and concentrated.  Black fruit on the nose and lots of cocoa as it flows across the palate.  At $24, this is underpriced. Decant 1-2 hours before serving. LCBO #987784/ $23.95 (D)

2007 Columbia Crest, H3 Merlot
Plenty of spice and black fruit on the nose.  Medium bodied with initially an earthy taste which is followed quickly by more of the dark fruit.  Quite dry on the finish.  A very nice Washington State Merlot.  LCBO #209874 / $19.95 (XD)


2009 Kleine Zalze, Chardonnay
This was really nice.  Initially, some peach and apple on the nose followed by a touch of vanilla and almond indicating time spent in oak, but on the palate, the flavours integrate nicely.  Lovely; perfectly balanced Chardonnay from South Africa.   LCBO #096495 / $15.95 (D)

2009 Ferraton Père & Fils, Samorëns Blanc
From the Rhône valley in France, this style is not normally available at the LCBO. Samorëns Blanc is a blend of 60% Grenache Blanc, 40% Clairette.  With several bottles open on the table as I tasted, the floral aromas from this particular bottle overpowered the others:  Flowers and tropical fruit notes followed by a medium body and the taste of apples and pineapple wrapped up by a crisp acidity. Try this one purely out of curiosity.  LCBO #073916 / $13.95 (D)


Pierre Sparr, Rosè Brut, Crémant d’Alsace
Champagne is from Champagne; bubbles from elsewhere, no matter how good, cannot be called Champagne – it’s the law.  This Alsatian crémant however, is made with the same care and technique though for a fraction of the price.  The term brut implies dry and the fine bubbles are an indication of care taken during production whereas oxygen infused rapidly by carbonation would produce larger bubbles similar to a soft-drink.  The aroma of strawberries hits you immediately followed by cherries and a toasty roundness in the mouth.  Nice, but don’t over chill this one; try it at 10ºC.  LCBO #039016 / $18.95 (D)

One for the Cellar:

2007 Ciacci Piccolomini, D’Aragona, Ateo
The Vintages release indicates DOC status for this wine but it is actually IGT which implies a deviation from traditional approved winemaking practices.  This wine varies from what might be viewed as ‘religious’ in terms of wine production in Sant Antino, Italy.  For this, Ciacci has named this wine Ateo which translates as ‘atheist’.  This is the first year that Sangiovese has not been included in the blend leaving only Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to create an international style that will appeal to many ‘big red’ enthusiasts.  Expect a full-bodied wine dominated by dark fruit and spice.  This will be lovely with a few years in the cellar; right now though, the tannic structure of the Cab. Sav. dominates.  A great investment in taste at this price.  Best after 2013  LCBO #211623 / $24.95 (D)