LCBO Vintages Saturday March 20

THE LOW DOWN: What a great selection of wines! Everything from white to red to rosé to sparkling. A full bar! Whites cover the spectrum from delicate Riesling to exotic Muscat to rich Chardonnay. And a few styles in between. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience two of Italy’s great everyday reds – Barbera and Valpolicella. And a bargain red from South Africa.
P.S. My dull wine award goes to FRANCIS COPPOLA. The three wines in this release are dreary and over priced. As have been all the previous wines I’ve tasted from this winery.

13bubblySPARKLING
Wine style/fresh white
13 STREET ‘Cuvee 13’ 06 Rosé, VQA Niagara 147504 $24.95
Very dry and tart with just a tease of fruity flavour. Classy aperitif and very Champagneish. Gorgeous salmon/bronze colour.
JTbubblyWine style/rich white
JACKSON-TRIGGS ‘Grand Reserve’ 04 Brut, VQA Niagara 587691 $22.95
Quite rich and golden for sparkling. Big, toasty flavours. Niagara’s answer to Bollinger! Would be a great partner for a seafood appetizer or main dish. Or a fancy lunch. A value for sure.

petitBourgWHITES
Wine style/fresh white
HENRI BOURGEOIS 08 Sauvignon Blanc ‘Petit Bourgeois’, VDP Val du Loire, France 672345 $14.95
Razor sharp and oozing Spring Freshness. Lipsmacking good. A mini Sancerre. The Loire was doing Sauvignon Blanc long before the Kiwis got into the game.

calmusWine style/nice ‘n easy white
CALAMUS ESTATE 07 Riesling, VQA Niagara 158642 $16.95
Off-dry sipper with lovely fruitiness and citrus tang. A nice hit of Summer, and sure to be a fast bottle.

alamosWine style/nice ‘n easy white
CATENA ‘ALAMOS’ 08 Viognier, Mendoza, Argentina 507830 $13.95
Really pretty and out to please. Feels like a Pinot Grigio that’s been to charm school. Or house wine at Club Med!  Lovely, lovely.
muscatWine style/nice ‘n easy white
DOMAINE ALLIMANT-LAUGNER 08 Muscat, Alsace, France 930362 $17.95
Muscat is the most exotic dry white wine on the planet and once in a while we get a very good sample from Alsace. Buy a few bottles, wait for a Summer moment that calls for ‘something different’, and have a Hallelujah moment. Too special to be shared with food.

ubyWine style/nice ‘n easy white
UBY 09 Colombard/Ugni Blanc, Cotes de Gascogne, France 151019 $11.95
Delightful, off-dry anytime sipper produced from the grapes used to produce Cognac. Quite fruity and low in alcohol. Bring on summer parties.
ironstoneWine style/rich white
IRONSTONE 07 RESERVE CHARDONNAY, Sierra Foothills, California 158774 $26.95
Blockbuster Chardonnay with the flavour concentration of whiskey. Earthy and manly for sure. BBQ or late evening sipping.

bressadesnewROSE
Wine style/rich rosé
MAS des BRESSADES 09 Rosé ‘Tradition’, Costieres de Nimes, France 950576 $13.95
My favourite French rosé arrives early this year. As ever it has the perfect combination of refreshment, richness and sexy south of France flavours. Classic food Rosé. And as ever the label is dead boring so get out the decanter, and get an early start on summer.

cesariValREDS
Wine style/lively red
CESARI 08 Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy 159434 $13.95
Cesari Ripasso (Mara) has been a favourite in LCBOs for decades and now it’s time to meet the lighter cousin. Delicious fruitiness, lots of vitality and dangerous drinkability. Will work for pizza, pasta, the chalet, or the party.

goodhopeWine style/lively red
THE WINERY of GOOD HOPE 09 Pinot Noir, South Africa 146415 $14.95
Slightly odd at first till you notice the bright flavours, great refreshment and ‘have fun’ feeling. The Beaujolais spirit with an extra shot or flavour and richness. I’ll be buying lots for Summer – with BBQed whites meats or salmon. And just drinking. Lightly chilled of course.

barberaWine style/rustic red
GIORDANO 07 Barbera d’Asti, Piedmont. Italy 159491 $13.95
Rustic, invigorating red with a down to earth feeling. Love the contrast of tangy bite and bright flavours. Gets the taste buds humming. See why Italians drink millions of bottles daily. With Italian food of course.
grandvillageWine style/rustic red
CHATEAU GRAND VILLAGE 06 Bordeaux, France 565317 $17.00
Today most Bordeaux are crafted in the popular smooth, rich, commercial style but not this guy. Meet the traditional. Very dry with pure flavours and lots of gusto.  Classic bistro red. Bring on the food.
zucarddiWine style/rich red
ZUCCARDI 08 SYRAH ‘Serie A’, Mendoza, Argentina 141317 $16.95
Tastes a lot like Crozes Hermitage from the Rhone Valley. Feels both rich and refreshing. Very dry with earthy, and peppery flavours. Think lamb dishes. Could be cellared for two or three years.
P.S. A lot of the Zuccardi wines (makers of Fuzion) have traditional European styling.

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