LCBO Vintages Saturday April 3

THE LOW DOWN: Unfortunately, most of the Spanish reds offered in this release are super-rich/smooth ““ catering to the North American palate ““ but I did find some interesting and reasonable priced picks. France keeps giving us reasons to return to the motherland of wine: a white Burgundy, a red Bordeaux and a Côtes du Rhône are the star offerings in this release. Malivoire, Lailey and Southbrook deliver good reasons to buy local.


Wine style: Fresh
CODORNIU Pinot Noir Rosé~  Brut, Spain 665372 $16.95
Fruity, fun, friendly sparkling. Refreshing, but not austere. Sunday brunch.


Wine style: fresh white
VINA VILANO 08 Verdejo, Rueda, Spain 162719 $12.95
The Verdejo grape is Spain’s answer to Sauvignon Blanc. Zesty, herbaceous and perfect for the Summer season. This one is a very good allrounder ““ for food or just for fun.

monopoleWine style: fresh white
CVNE 08 “˜Monopole’, Rioja, Spain 66951~  $13.95
Traditional very dry, tart, low-alcohol white. Good tangy refresher or seafood partner.
P.S. Wouldn’t this be the perfect flagship white for the LCBO “˜monopoly’.

abadWine style: nice ‘n easy white
ABAD DOM BUENO 08 “˜Godello’, Bierzo, Spain 154303 $14.95
Freshness combined with fruity flavours and a lighthearted feeling. Good everyday gulper.

jimjimwine style: nice ‘n easy white

HUGH HAMILTON 08 Unoaked Chardonnay “˜Jim Jim’, Australia 58537 $15.95
It doesn’t get much more crowdpleasing than this semi-rich, delicious gulper. A teasing mix of zest and slight sweetness.

southbrookwine style: rich white
SOUTHBROOK 08 Chardonnay “˜Triomphe’, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake 172338 $21.95
Tart, earthy Chardonnay in the Burgundian style. Feels rich but the alcohol is moderate. A wonderful partner for herb roasted/BBQ white meats. Should be even more characterful in a year or two.

bourgonewine style: rich white
MAISON FRANCOIS MARTENOT 07 Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy, France 159095 $16.95
Speaking of Burgundy, here’s a classic. Chardonnay the old way ““ tons of flavour but not heavy on alcohol. More earthy than fruity. A fab food wine. And an amazing value. Get some.

Wine style: lively red
MALIVOIRE 08 GAMAY, VQA Niagara 591313 $17.95
Juicy, fruity and refreshing. Most local Gamays are earthy but this delivers the fun, gulp me character of Beaujolais. A bit pricy but guaranteed to delight at any Summer event. Lightly chilled of course.

oldvinesfochWine style: rustic red
MALIVOIRE OLD VINES 08 Foch, VQA Ontario 551036 $24.95
Bitter, earthy and challenging. That’s the Foch way. But there’s something exciting about drinking a local red from 34 year old vines. Perhaps with old cheddar, old Lightfoot and late night by the campfire. Expensive but original.

castillonWine style: rustic red
CHATEAU FONGABAN 05 Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux 165720 $17.95
Classic French bistro red. Rustic and a bit challenging. But wonderful with food because it invigorates and stimulates the palate. Red meats.

Wine style: rustic red
BODEGAS y VINEDOS NEO 07 “˜Vivir,Vivir’, Ribera del Duero, Spain 162693 $12.95
Rustic, gutsy and full of vigour. Heartwarming, old-style wine in the fashion of Tuscan or Abruzzi reds. Not anything like the description in the catalog.

laileywine style: rich red
LAILEY VINEYARD 07 Merlot, VQA Niagara River 591396 $25.00
The plummy character of Merlot along with some woodsy flavours. Good dinner partner because of the gutsy, refreshing edge. Lailey winery prices their premium wines lower than most.

artazuriWine style: rich red
VINEDOS ARTAZU 08 Garnacha “˜Artazuri’, Navarra, Spain 80812 $13.95
The strawberry-sweet character of Pinot Noir, along with a tangy bite. Charm meets earthiness. A wonderful drink. Lightly chill and let the evening unfold.

gabaWine style: rich red
GABA do XIL 08 Mencia, Valdeorras, Spain 166199 $15.95
A delicious gulper. Lively, fruity and fun. Shades of Valpolicella. Lighly chill and let the party begin. BBQed burgers would keep the vibe going.

riojaWine style: rich red
BODEGAS LAN 2004 Rioja Reserva, Spain 42929 $19.95
Classic Rioja Reserva ““ sweet/spicy flavours combined with a faded, old-world feeling. Light lots of candles.

latriaWine style: rich red
LATRIA 2006, Montsant, Spain 155424 $18.95
Here’s the bite and vitality often~  lacking in Spanish reds. Charming, Merlot-style wine to partner with beef or lamb dishes.

croisettewine style/rich red
DOMAINE de la CROISETTE 07 Côtes du Rhône, France 155465 $13.95
Almost New World in richness but has the vitality of Cotes du Rhone. A wonderful combination of substance, charm and playfulness. And value. Get lots of this for summer BBQs.

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