LCBO Vintages Saturday August 7

THE LOW DOWN: South and central Italy is the feature and I’m recommending four wines which deliver something different – along with great value. Beaujolais, Chianti, Pinot and a blockbuster Syrah are my red picks. A buy of the year is Graham Beck sparkling Rosé and Mike Weir sparkling is worth checking out. Malivoire Ladybug Rosé is almost a Niagara icon, while Stratus does Rosé in a dinner party style – substantial.

WHITES
wine style: nice & easy white
AGRIVEREE 09 Trebbiano ‘Natum’, Abruzzo, Italy 179267 $11.95
The humble Trebbiano grape puts on a dazzling show! Gentle breeze feeling. Zesty with refreshing mineral and herbal flavours. Could be related to Sauvignon Blanc. Organic. This is about the 11th Italian white I’ve recommended this year.

verdicchiowine style: nice & easy white
MARCHETTI 08 Verdiccchio, Umbria, Italy 104869 $12.95
One sip and you’ll see why I (and other wise ones) consider Verdicchio to be the most pleasant white wine on the planet. Nice, as in well mannered and charming.

WeirSparklingSPARKLING
MIKE WEIR 07 Sparkling Brut, VQA Niagara 187294 $24.95
Really good, Champagne-style Sparkling. For a fancy dinner party. Don’t wait for Mike to win another major!

BeckSparklingGRAHAM BECK Sparkling Rosé Brut, South Africa 175588 $17.95
Yeasty, austere Sparkling wine – an elegant apertif. Pretty pink. The Graham Beck winery has consistently produced one of the world’s great values in Sparkling wine. Toast the founder who passed away just last week.

malivoireROSEROSÉ
wine style: dry rosé
MALIVOIRE 09 ‘Ladybug’ Rosé, VQA Niagara 559088 $15.95
Malivoire started the craze and set the standard for local dry Rosé. Each vintage has been a little different of course, but there’s always lots of freshness and fruitiness. This 09 is really yummy.

WildassROSEwine style: dry, rich Rosé
STRATUS 08 Wildass Rosé, VQA Niagara 71712 $19.95
This is really a light red so don’t freak over the price. Shades of a rustic French country wine – in need of a bistro supper. Have it with BBQ’d chicken.

beaujolaisREDS
wine style: lively red
DOMAINE de la MADONE 09 Beaujolais-Villages, France 981175 $13.95
La Madone is always more rustic and earthy than most Beaujolais. Perfect summer red for BBQ’d white meats or seafood.

querwine style: lively red
CASTELLO di QUERCETO 08 Chianti, Italy 164798 $12.95
Great to see Chianti in its original form and spirit. Light, vibrant, gutsy – inviting chilling and gulping.

cannoneauwine style: rich red
SANTA MARIA La PALMA  08 Cannonau ‘Villassunta’, Sardina, Italy 180299 $11.95
Shades of Côtes du Rhone blended with Tawny Port. Pale coloured with mellow, mature flavours. Definitely different, and hugely yummy. Perfect partner for spicy ribs or any well seasoned foods. A bargain, for sure.

vulturewine style: rich red
TERRE di VULCANO 07 Aglianico del Vulture, Basilicata, Italy 106302 $14.95
Wonderful mix of rich, rustic and vigour. Southern Italy’s answer to Ripasso. Shades of South Africa too with smokey flavours from volcanic soils. Needs hearty foods – now or over the winter.

monteswine style: rich red
MONTES 09 Pinot Noir ‘Limited Selection’, Chile 37937 $14.95
Spicy/sweet, lush, sexy red. A bit over-the-top but this is the perfect wine style for any hot ‘n spicy dish. Or just to spice up your life. A huge crowd-pleaser, and value.
P.S. Montes Sauvignon Blanc (32060 $14.95) is also crafted in the over-the-top style – a big lush. Millions will love it.

stolpmanwine style: rich red
STOLPMAN 07 Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley, California 185264 $32.95
Outside my normal price range, but worth the splurge. A blockbuster with peppery, voluptuous flavours. The Santa Ynez Valley produces some of the best Syrah wines outside of France.

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