LCBO Vintages March 14, 2009

VINTAGES March 14, 2009
THE LOW DOWN: Not a lot to recommend. But you can’t go wrong buying Colio Sauvignon Blanc and Cotes du Rhône for summer drinking. And crowd pleasing doesn’t get much better than with Bianchi Malbec.

Rant! The two wines from Reif have unpleasant musty, dusty flavours. A quality I’ve found in many of their wines. Can’t say for sure, but I think it’s a cellar problem.

WHITES Vintages March 14
COLIO 06 CEV Sauvignon Blanc, VQA Lake Erie North Shore, On
500462 $15.95
Style: FRESH WHITE
Context/Mood: Early evening, aperitif, or any summer day.
Comments: Good local expression of Sauvignon – mild on flavour but big on refreshment. Lip-smacking tarness suggest summer situations, and moderate alcohol allows for generous gulping.

DANIEL LENKO 06 Unoaked Chardonnay, VQA, Niagara 91173 $19.95
Style: FRESH/RICH WHITE
Context/Mood: Looking for something different.
Comments: I love this because it’s an odd ball. Expect some of the tart, green, mineral character of Chablis along with a distinct Ontario wildness. More challenging than yummy. Very old world and a very good contrasting partner for the sweetness in seafood or savoury white meat dishes.

HILLEBRAND 07 Trius White, VQA, Niagara 54957 $18.95
Style: NICE/EASY WHITE
Context/Mood: The mood for something new in refreshing whites.
Comments: An exciting mix of tart refreshment and pretty flavours. The ying yang thing. Riesling zest meets Chardonnay flesh, meets Traminer’s exotic flavours. Rock on. A wine with great fan and food appeal.

REDS Vintages March 14
CASTEL OUALOU 07 Côtes du Rhône, France 104893 $13.95
Style: LIVELY
Context/Mood: Red but not rich. Something upbeat and refreshing.
Comments: Lively, juicy red for everyday gulping. Refreshing and fun. Red wine for white meats and early evening drinking. Get a case.

BECKETT’S FLAT 07 Cabernet/Shiraz ‘Five Stones’, Margaret River, Western Australia 58693 $19.95 (Kosher)
Style: RUSTIC RED
Context/Mood: A red that’s solid but not serious nor weighty.
Comments: Cool climate Aussie red with the vitality and brightness of a Niagara Cab Franc. Food wine that can cover a lot of bases.

FAMIGLIA BIANCHI 06 Malbec Mendoza, Argentina 677559 $16.95
Style: RICH RED
Context/Mood: Seduction.
Comments: Here’s my crowd pleaser pick, and it could be one of the best of the year. Rich, with yummy, plummy flavours and lushness. But it’s also lively and upbeat. This doll can dance! Bianchi is one of my favourite new world wineries.

IRISH WHISKEY! Vintages March 14
A good thing happened to Irish whiskey two decades ago with the opening of Cooley distillery. Nearly all the business had fallen into the hands of conglomerates who were crafting for the mass market, but Cooley restored individuality to Irish Whiskey, and combined it with very clever marketing. Their whiskeys have place names that are steeped in Irish lore – the drinker feels a connection to a place and history.

Cooley’s ‘The Tyrconnell’ Single Malt has a lovely honey malt nose and a wholesome ‘juice of the barley’ taste and feeling. Flavourful and friendly in the style of Viognier wine. Tyrconnell was the last Gaelic sovereignty in Ireland ending around 1600. The name was later given to a racehorse – hence the label.

Cooley’s ‘Connemara’ Peated Single Malt has salty, seaweed flavours that create a sense of the ocean, along with smoky, sexy smells of peat. Shades of a peaty Scotch. Late night, contemplative whiskey. Connemara is a windswept outpost on the west coast of Ireland much celebrated for all things Gaelic, and rock star mansions.

COOLEY’S ‘The Tyrconnell’ Single Malt, Ireland 402396 $52.95 (Vintages)
COOLEY’S ‘Connemara’ Peated Single Malt, Ireland 27946 $63.95 (Vintages)

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