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, September 30, 2011

Selections for October 1, 2011

- from the October 1st LCBO Vintages release

Aside from the high-end bank-account-draining premium bottles of wine in this weekend’s Vintages release, there are several good deals buried within the catalogue. As usual, I gloss over the ‘popular’ labels in search of something equally impressive or slightly unusual and for a fraction of the price; typically, I aim for bottles that retail for between $12 and $20.

This weekend, I have two examples of Cabernet Sauvignon, one of which is blended with Shiaz  and they’re both really good!  For the whites, one hales from Argentina while the other is from France’s Loire Valley.  With Thanksgiving just around the corner, why not try a bottle of cranberry fruit wine to complement the turkey feast?  And for your cellar: in keeping with our upcoming Virtual Tasting on October 15th – a bottle of Amarone! 

- Tyler


2008 Hahn Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon – California
Mother doesn’t make a cherry pie all that often anymore, but in her day, I’d always sneak a spoonful of the homemade pie filling; and that’s exactly what this wine reminds me of.  Medium to full-bodied showing plum and an amazing whiff of ginger spice followed on the palate by crushed sour cherries.  It finishes quite dry.   
LCBO #057877 / $17.95 (XD)

2009 Hick Inbotham, Cabernet/Shiraz – Australia
Deep garnet colour; medium-full body and a lovely sweetness that gets you right on the tip of the tongue.  New world style with loads of black fruit will make this a real crowd pleaser.
LCBO #159632 / $15.95 (D)


2009 Domaine de Bellevue, Sauvignon Blanc – France
Straight out of the bottle, this displays typical Sauvignon herbal pungency, but with some breathing time, it mellows significantly to reveal a roundness that balances the minerality.  Some lime peel citrus and nice hint of sweetness on the finish.  Don’t over chill and let it breath for a while.    
LCBO #251454 / $14.95 (D)

2010 Cicchitti, Torrontés – Argentina
Pronounced floral aromas and a combination of pear, lime and lingering spice on the finish. A slight bitterness adds an interesting twist to the equation.  Overall a nice example to study in the glass for its marked characteristics.      
LCBO #243204 / $11.95 (D)

Fruit Wine

Stoney Ridge, Cranberry Wine – Ontario
It’s the cranberry theme that has me by the earlobe saying get over the fact that it’s not made with grapes!  Why not try this one on Thanksgiving with the turkey as a complement or even a substitute for the cranberry sauce.  Stunningly bright poppy red colour in the glass; candied fruit aromas and significantly more bitter than sweet to taste.  Just a splash to accent the meal in a small glass is all you need at the dinner table.   
LCBO #392191 / $16.95 (MD)

One for the Cellar

2006 Giacomo Montresor, Cantina Privata del Fondatore Amarone della Valpolicella Italy
Here is a fantastic bottle of Italian liquid gold!  To many wine enthusiasts, Amarone is the epitome of vinticultural greatness – I agree.  The grapes for this style of wine (Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara) are left to air-dry on racks for an extended period.  As the water content of the fruit evaporates, the flavour and sugars begin to concentrate.  After pressing, the resultant wine if allowed to fully ferment is full-bodied, dry and richly flavoured.  Better Amarone is not overly fruit forward but instead, will display a ‘perceived sweetness’ behind a smooth, soft core of earth, ripe plum, and figs.  Yes, it is expensive, but in the world of fine wine, this is a classic example of ‘You get what you pay for’.

Try this now if you like or allow it to continue to develop in the bottle for another 5 years.  LCBO #204826 / $53.95 (XD)