LCBO Vintages Saturday Feb 20

THE LOW DOWN: My favourite wines from the previous two releases were Côtes du Rhône, and now this release features that region (the southern Rhône). Yippee!! My five picks this week are out-and-out charmers. So warm and cuddly you may not want the winter to end.

I’m also recommending a pair of New World rich reds that are crafted with the northern Rhône Grape, the Syrah. From the Kosher feature there’s a lovely, mid-range, South African Chardonnay, and a superb Cava from Spain.

wine style: fresh, sparkling white
ELVI WINES Cava “˜Adar’, Spain 156737 $17.95
Classic Champagne-style sparkling at a bargain price. Yeasty and super refreshing. A super wine to kick-off any event. Kosher.

fianowine style: fresh white
MASSERIA ALTEMURA 08 Fiano, Puglia, Italy 159475 $13.95
Lovely mineral freshness, pure, delicate flavours and gulpability. The Fiano grape is an Italian original. Ideal summer house wine.

planatowine style: fresh white
PLANALTO 08 Douro, Portugal

586420 $13.95
Here’s a crisp refresher to bring out on a summer’s evening. Shades of Sauvignon Blanc, but different.

vinelandwine style: nice “˜n easy white
VINELAND ESTATES 07 Riesling “˜St. Urban’, VQA Twenty Mile Bench 38117 $20.00
Dry Riesling that feels a touch sweet because the flavours are honeyed and delicious. Spring-like purity and a carefree feeling. Low alcohol. An afternoon, or anytime sipper.

backsbergwine style: fresh/nice n’easy white
BACKSBERG 09 Chardonnay, Paarl, South Africa 156661 $16.95
This non-oaked Chardonnay delivers freshness, fruitiness and friendliness. Feels classy too. Just a lovely glass of wine. Kosher.

cristobalwine style: rich white
CHRISTOBAL 09 Chardonnay “˜1492′ Mendoza, Argentina 144402 $11.95
A real crowdpleaser. Fruity, spicy and slightly sweet ““ yummy. Partygoers delight.

marganwine style: rich white
MARGAN 08 Chardonnay, Hunter Valley, Australia 141986 $15.95
Aussie Chard with a down to earth feeling. Refreshing too. A good drink and, a good food partner. Very bistro.

pellerwine style: rich white
PELLER ESTATES 07 Chardonnay “˜Private Reserve’, VQA Okanagan Valley 618298 $17.95
Super, super rich Chard for a lot less than twenty dollars. Huge concentrated, vanilla sweet flavours ““ the Jack Daniels of white wine. A sipper.

wine style: rustic red
ASCHERI 08 Barbera d’Alba “˜Fontanelle’, Piedmont, Italy
982462 $17.95
The vigour and vitality of Italy. Gutsy, up-and-at-them wine. To start your evening and to partner with traditional tomato sauced foods.

rhonewine style: rich red
DOMAINE de DIEUMERCY 07 Côtes du Rhône, France 155507 $12.95
Warm feelings combined with spicy, peppery, earthy flavours. Very nourishing. A lot of wine character for the price. Any food, anytime.

roaxwine style: rich red
LES VIGNERONS de ROAIX 07 Côtes du Rhône Villages, France 156000 $13.95
Rich, lush and concentrated. A best friend on Winter nights. Luxury at an everyday price.

cardinaleswine style: rich red
TERRES d’AVIGNON 07 Côtes du Rhône “˜Les Cardinalices’, France 155473 $14.95
All the lovely Rhone features with a lively, gutsy feeling. Dangerously gulpable.~  Get two bottles, cook dinner and live the bistro life.

stpierrewine style: rich red
DOMAINE SAINT-PIERRE 06 Vacqueyras, Côtes du Rhône Villages, France 130013 $25.95
A whopper of richness, spicy flavours and charm. Deep, dark and mysterious. Be prepared to be seduced. A Middle Eastern style lamb dish would be heavenly. Or just hit the couch.

giogondaswine style: rich red
CAVE de RASTEAU 07 Gigondas “˜Ortas’, Côtes du Rhône Villages, France 155440 $23.95
Here’s another couch red. Smooth, super rich and yummy. Fireside in a glass.

conosurwine style: rich red
CONO SUR 07 Syrah “˜Vision’, Chile
24661 $15.95
Rich meets rustic. Chile meets France. Big wine with an earthy tang. Rich wine that’s good with food. Cono Sur scores again.

lombordwine style: rich red
LOMOND ESTATE 08 Syrah, Cape Agulhas, South Africa 146464 $19.95
Another New World red with a French feeling. There’s vitality to partner the dark, earthy flavours. Could be aged a year or two.

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