LCBO Vintages Saturday September 18

THE LOW DOWN: It’s Ontario month and I wish I could recommend more locals, but I think that wineries would rather sell their good stuff to their own customers than commit to (and wait for payment) from the the LCBO. I didn’t care for the jammy, chunky, overblown Douro wines either. Buy the Port instead. But as ever, there’s a sprinkling of treasures – at bargain prices.

wine style: nice & easy white
TBILVINO TSINANDALI 08, Georgia 26658 $12.95
From the original home of wine and civilization! Soft, easy-drinking, non-oaked Chardonnay style. Worth a detour.

gaviwine style: fresh white
FONTANAFREDDA 09 Gavi, Piedmont, Italy 75440 $15.95
Gavi is Italy’s answer to Chablis. A low-flavoured white with mineral freshness and a classy feeling. The tease of fruit in this one reminds me of Dry Riesling. Lovely aperitif.

firstsightingwine style: fresh white
STRANDVELD VINEYARDS 09 Sauvignon Blanc ‘First Sighting’, Cape Agulhas, South Africa 18705 $14.95
Sauvignon with amazing purity and stone cold mineral freshness. Think about sea breezes. If you’re into the terroir thing this wine is the expression of a rocky outpost at the real foot of the African continent…where stubborn Dutch farmers dare to grow vines in windblown fields.

JACKSON-TRIGGS Method Classique Brut 05 ‘Proprietor’s Grand Reserve’, VQA Niagara 587691 $19.95
Bargain-priced Bollinger! Bottle age has created toasty richness and charm. Feels luxurious – very Old World. Sip before and with, a nice dinner. Or for parties and celebrations. At this price you can afford to be generous. Very impressive.


normanPINOTwine style: lively red
NORMAN HARDIE 08 County Pinot Noir Unfiltered, VQA Prince Edward County 125310 $35.20
This is about adventure. Experience the wine that closely resembles the Pinots of Burgundy. Light (11% alcohol), tart, and an earthy feeling of soils. Barnyard for sure. Roast a bird and celebrate Canada’s new wine region.

laileywine style: rustic red
LAILEY 08 Pinot Noir, VQA Niagara 591404 $25.00
It doesn’t get more rustic than this. And you’ll not find a better Burgundian-style Pinot for the price. Raunchy in a good way. But don’t keep it – drink it now. I always enjoy the earthiness in Lailey’s wine.

dolcettowine style: rustic red
PIETRO RINALDI 08 Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont, Italy 182261 $16.95
A great hit of Italy. Gutsy red wine with the feeling of old soils – and meals in rustic restaurants. The soulful life. Aussie Shiraz fans will hate the tangy dry edge in this wine.

florewine style: rustic red
JEAN-LUC BALDES 07 ‘Flore’, Cahors, France 176735 $13.95
Experience the original Malbec from the Cahors region in France. A gutsy, invigorating wine in the bistro style. Dry, low alcohol and sure to lead to a second bottle.

gervaiswine style: rich red
LA RESERVE DU CROUZAU 07 ‘St. Gervais’ Cotes du Rhone, France 142943 $13.95
A super-rich Rhone with enough warmth to get you through the coldest winter nights. Spicy flavours give energy to the lush, seductive feeling. A lot of action for the price.

FERREIRA 2000 LBV Port, Portugal 675751 $18.95
Plan for winter with this very concentrated, characterful Port. There’s a refreshing edge that could easily lead to over consumption. Always a danger with Port.

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