Vintages Release: Saturday, August 1, 2009
THE LOW DOWN: Outstanding Cava, a pair of blockbuster Chards, a pretty Pinot Blanc and a hedonistic Roussanne from Australia are my picks of the whites. But it’s the reds that steal the show in this release. Five wines that I’d be very happy with on my dessert island. Lively Beaujolais, gutsy Chianti, rustic Bordeaux, earthy Nebbiolo and a super-rich Shiraz from Robertson in South Africa. All very different experiences, individual personalities and all priced under twenty bucks. Go get’em!
Oh – a Spanish dry Rosé and perhaps the most delicious sparkling Rosé on the planet complete my recommendations.
PERE VENTURA Brut Cava, Spain 122382 $17.95
Cava with the quality of Champagne. Solid, mature feeling. The yeasty, earthy flavours would partner well with seafood appetizers. At last a really GOOD Cava at Vintages.
PELLER ESTATES Ice Cuvée Rosé, VQA Niagara 113035 $35.20
Could well be the most seductive sparkling on the planet. Starts out refreshing with a hit of strawberry flavour – finishes a little rich and sweet. Equally good before or after. Was a big hit at my Men in Pink lunch. And every time else I’ve poured it.
D’ARENBERG 07 Roussanne ‘The Money Spider’, McLaren Vale, Australia 656710 $19.95
A hedonist’s white. Super-rich with delicious honey and tropical fruit flavours and lemony zest. Images of the South Sea Islands. Take a late evening ‘trip’ on your patio.
ANGELS GATE 06 ‘Old Vines’ Chardonnay, VQA Beamsville Bench 116350 $23.95
Bold Chardonnay in the earthy Burgundian style. Shades of good scotch. Check it out with a jerk chicken dish, or for late night porch drinking.
BARON DE LEY 08 Rosado, Rioja, Spain 117283 $13.95
Big flavoured, richish Rosé with a lazy, summer evening-on-the-patio feeling. With food flowing you’ll be seduced.
FYI: Beware! Queen of Syrah 08 Rhone (117325 $12.95) gets my ‘worst Rosé of the year’ award.
JACQUES CHARLET 07 Chiroubles ‘Les 3 Puits’, Cru Beaujolais, France 127407 $16.95
Lively, vigorous and loaded with bright fruit flavours. Classic Cru Beaujolais. Also very similar to Pinot – but less expensive. A great summer red for BBQ salmon, chicken or pork.
POGGIO AL PINO 07 Chianti Moltalbano, Italy 57638 $14.95
Traditional, gutsy, fruity Chianti. Delightfully simple and gulpable. Low-alcohol red to lightly chill and have at any summer event.
CH. DE PAILLET-QUANCARD 05, Premiers Cotes de Bordeaux, France 125526 $16.95
Gutsy and rustic with bright flavours. Classic Bistro. Love the vitality and realness – the sense of place – and the challenging nature of Bordeaux. Takes Merlot and Cabernet back to their roots – gutsy wine for the appetite – as apposed to showcase stuff to impress people in monster homes. You must get some of this.
CANTINA PARROCO 07 Nebbiolo, Langhe, Piedmont, Italy 117192 $18.95
Nebbiolo is a lot like red Burgundy – pale-coloured, tart, refreshing and good at getting the taste buds going. Initially simple, but it will engage you with its earthy realness. Trust me. BBQ’d white meats. One of the buys of the year.
ROBERTSON WINERY 06 Shiraz ‘Wolfkloof’, South Africa 626341 $17.95
Blockbuster red at a bargain price. Super-rich in concentration but it manages to feel a bit French. Buy for winter 2010/11 and you’ll be thanking me big time.