LCBO Vintages October 10, 2009

THE LOW DOWN: Love the catalogue with the Italian feature – timely, as so many Italian reds have a woodsy, fall-day feeling. Check out the Capraia Chianti. But whites are best in this release, with outstanding local Riesling, Soave and Chardonnay from Burgundy. For Thanksgiving, I highly recommend going local – Henry of Pelham 07 Gamay and Malivoire Rosé (recommended in the spring).

tedeschiWHITES
Tedeschi 08 Soave ‘Capitel Tenda’, Vento, Italy 730903 $15.95
wine style: fresh white
Soave is usually simple but this one feels elegant and expensive. Upscale house wine with delicate flavours and a crisp, starched-shirt feeling. Italian whites keep impressing.

30Taste a World Class Local
One of the wines that Niagara can stand tall with is Dry Riesling. And here is a taste test that I’d love you to take. Go to a major LCBO this Saturday and buy Thirty Bench 08 Riesling which you’ll find in the Vintages section. Chill and have for aperitif, and maybe with oysters, sushi or your favourite seafood appetizers.
The unique statement in good local Dry Riesling is a jolt and a purity that’s similar to Champagne. The violins tuning-up before the concert, your morning ski run on fresh snow, or driving home in your new car. It’s a rush. It’s about ‘the thrill’.
Dry Riesling is the Black Dress of the wine world. So simple, so good at giving nothing away, and such a good entry. Make Thirty Bench your ‘entry wine’ this Saturday.

P.S. Act two would be to get in the car on Sunday and drive to the winery for their single vineyard Dry Rieslings ($30) which you will hide in the basement for a year or two because they’re not ready yet. Thirty Bench have some of the oldest plantings of Riesling in Niagara. See my Niagara Tour for more info on this brilliant winery.

Thirty Bench 08 Riesling, VQA Beamsville Bench 24133 (Vintages)  $18.70

yalumbaYalumba ‘Y Series’ 08 Riesling, Australia 625129 $15.95
wine style: fresh white
Lots of citrussy zest and with a shade more flavour than in our locals. Fun to drink anytime. Aussie Riesling is one of the most overlooked wines in the world.

maconPaul & Mallory Talmard 07 Macon-Uchizy, Burgundy, France 733956 $16.95
wine style: rich white
Great value in semi-rich Chardonnay. Tons of flavour but drier and more food friendly than hot climate editions of this grape.
P. S. Grant Burge 07 Chardonnay ‘Summers’, Australia (57315 $19.95) is named after the winery’s accountant – honouring his 30 years of service. Nice, eh! And how’s the wine? A bit tight and reserved, of course.

bardolinoREDS
Monte del Frà 08 Bardolino, Veneto, Italy
134544 $13.95
wine style: lively red
Here’s a light, seriously tart red that’s strictly for the fan. Tons of pucker and an honest quality rarely found in today’s wine world. Needs a bowl of pasta – but have a glass while the water is boiling.

HOPgamayHenry of Pelham 07 Gamay, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara 291112 $14.95
wine style: lively red
Pelham hits a mid-point between Beaujolais and Barbera. Fun and gutsy. Great stuff for early in the evening. Lightly chill.

Tenuta di Capraia 06 Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy 135277 $19.95
wine style: rustic redcapraiaChianti
Classic Chianti. Tart, gutsy, earthy and challenging. Invigorating stuff for fall and winter dinners.

bishopBishop by Ben Glaetzer 07 Shiraz, Barossa Valley. Australia 627869 $29.95
wine style: rich red

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