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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