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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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Selections for August 6, 2011

- from the August 6th LCBO Vintages release

Are you a fan of South American wine?  I sure am. The latest LCBO Vintages Release profiles the wines of Chile.  South American wine is quickly surpassing efforts from other new-world countries such as South Africa and Australia in terms of consumer preference and product reliability.  There is also a quest for constant improvement of the wine in Chile and Argentina rather than simply a need to flood the market with mediocre table wine or overblown fruit bombs. 

In this edition of the North of 9 Selections, I have two nice Chilean wines for you to sample; the first is a Syrah and the second, a Viognier.  Otherwise, the Niagara Peninsula has produced another really good unoaked Chardonnay for your tasting pleasure and I’ve included a Chianti Riserva since we haven’t done that in a while.  One of my ‘go-to’ Champagnes is back in stock, and for the price, I recommend that you buy a few to have on hand.  I don’t often recommend white wine for the cellar, but this time, I’ll show you a spectacular Riesling that will provide drinking pleasure well into the next decade.

I hope you enjoy this round of 'Selections'.



2009 Emiliana Adobe, Reserva Syrah – Rapel Valley, Chile
This certified organic Syrah offers a mix of black fruit and smoky aromas followed by a medium bodied palate showing blackberry, smoke, and lots of pepper spice.  It’s not as heavy as an Aussie Shiraz and therefore will pair well with almost any meat dish where spice is prominent.  LCBO #213553 / $12.95 (XD)

2006 Rocca Della Macìe, Chianti Riserva – Chianti, Italy
At 5 years old, this Chianti is now at its peak and is ready to enjoy.  The characteristic Sangiovese black cherry abounds here; a fuller bodied Chianti than most, showing blueberries, cherry and soft notes of spicebox.  The mouth watering acidity will blend nicely with a multitude of different food styles.   LCBO #111641 / $15.95 (XD)


2010 Flat Rock, Unplugged Chardonnay – Niagara, Canada
Yet another really good white from Niagara, and no I’m not biased; Ontario is taking on the world with not only their Icewine, but much of the white wine we have seen over the last few years.  This unoaked chardonnay is crisp and clean offering green apple, peach and a lovely finish.    LCBO #068015 / $15.95 (D)

2010 Anakena, Lilén Single Vineyard Viognier – Requínoa, Chile
Oh how I enjoy Viognier!  Anakena employs a mix of oak and stainless steel during the production of this wine to craft a soft though still crisp wine that shows floral aromas and hints of melon and tropical fruits on the palate – I think you’ll enjoy this.   LCBO #045138 / $13.95 (D)


Cattier, Brut – Champagne, France
So many good Champagne labels exceed what many people consider to be a reasonable purchase price for a bottle of wine. This bubbly is an exception to that rule and easily out-tastes several of the pricier and better known Champagne houses.  Expect characteristic yeast/toast mixed with notes of citrus and a crisp acidity.  Serve this nicely chilled and enjoy with smoked trout on a cracker – fantastic together!  LCBO #919464 / $39.95 (XD)

One for the Cellar

2009 Hoffmann-Simon, Riesling Spätlese – Germany
Spätlese literally means `late harvest` which indicates that the fruit for this Riesling was harvested at a point when the level of sugar within the berries was quite high. The method of production in Germany generally does not allow all the sugar in the grape must to convert into alcohol and therefore many of the wines tend to contain a residual sweetness.  While this wine is ready to drink now, the residual sugars also act as a preservative allowing you to by a case and sample it for many years to come. 
Over time the citrus and tropical fruit component in this wine will begin to fade to express more of a honeyed/apricot characteristic and the potential for a petroleum aroma which is actually a good thing.   Some of the greatest wines in the world are Riesling and for this price, I wouldn’t hesitate!   LCBO #216499 / $19.95 (MD)