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, May 13, 2011

Selections for May 14th

From the May 14th, 2011 LCBO Vintage Release

We’ve had great vino-sipping weather all week North of 9. In fact, it has been a very exciting week all around in the wine world as we gear-up to taste an assortment of Fortified Wines this Sunday (stay tuned for the write-up on that event).  

I’ve had fun tasting the wines for this weekends North of 9 ‘Selections‘.  The LCBO is focused on the great wines of France’s Southern Rhône region this time around which just happens to be one of my favourites.  I found an unbelievable deal from the Côtes du Rhône for you and for the price, I’d stock-up on this one.  The second red is an Australian Shiraz that has a few flashy reviews behind it.  The white wines this week include a bafflingly complex Muscadet from Loire and a challenging blend from Niagara.  ‘Tis the season for Rosé and I’ve got a good one for you from Zenato, the famed Amarone producer.  Last but never least, another bottle for your cellar, and this time it’s a real sweetie…



2009 Domaine Le Grand Retour, Plan de Dieu
You'll never believe this one is an entry level Rhône wine! The nose explodes with black fruit and rich herbs.  As it rolls across your palate expect plums, cassis, and an oaky softness followed by an unbelievable spicy Grenache finish. At $13.95, this is a fantastic value.  LCBO #224592 (D) $13.95

2008 Dandelion Vineyards
Muted nose when compared to so many other Aussies of the same variety. Rich fruit on the palate adds nicely to the chocolate and leather core. A good spicy finish tops it off. Ready to drink. LCBO #167189 (XD) $18.95


2009 Harmonie Cuvée, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine
This one is wound-up pretty tight with lots going on in the glass. A toasty nose with hints of lemon and grapefruit. On the palate, puckeringly (is that a word?) tart straight out of the bottle though it does mellow after a few minutes in the glass to show a good balance of citrus vs. acidity. The icing on the cake is the spicy finish that kicks in after a few minutes - very cool!  LCBO #164624 (XD) $12.95

2009 Fielding Estate Winery, White Conception
Now this one is fun... Fielding wants you to guess what grapes they've used in the blend and then visit their website for the answer. I suggest you play along since not only is it a great exercise, but this is also a lovely wine to taste: Aromas of lychee fruit, pear and just a touch of peach greet you followed by fairly clean acidity and notes of lemon, grapefruit and a hint of vanilla. I really want to tell you what's in the blend but I won't spoil the adventure.  LCBO #203737 (D) $18.95


2010 Zenato, Bardolino Chiaretto
I enjoyed this. In fact, I'd say it's the best Rosé in the Vintages line-up this weekend. Hints of Strawberries and cranberries with a tangy crisp acidity but there is a creaminess as well. It sips okay on its own but will pair nicely with a picnic lunch.  LCBO #045203 (D) $11.95

One for the Cellar

2007 Weinlaubenhof Kracher Cuvée, Beerenauslese
I’m sure that in Germany that’s a no-brainer to pronounce! However, we’ll just focus on what’s in the bottle and not on the label. Beerenauslese aka. BA is the product of a vigorous selection process: When conditions are just right, the berries used to make BA are affected by a mould that causes them to shrivel. This is known as Botrytis Cinerea or Noble Rot and the product is a highly concentrated nectar which when fermented creates one of the most sought after styles of dessert wine. The price-point on this one is an unheard of bargain. Within a bottle of Beerenauslese is a considerable amount of residual sugar which acts as a preservative allowing you to cellar this one for many years to come. It's aggressively sweet right now and needs a few years to find itself. Can I suggest that you try one now and put the rest away.  LCBO #209668 (S) 375ml $21.95