LCBO Vintages Saturday April 30

THE LOW DOWN: A very good release.

Must be the first time I’ve recommended four Aussie wines ““ white, red and a to-die-for sweet. You’ll find four locals too, big ticket wines for a big night. And Italy is also represented with a foursome. Bargain of the release is a Spanish wine that could become your summer house red. Speaking of summer, my German pick is the ultimate sunny afternoon sipper.


wine style: dry sparkling
TENUTA S. ANNA 09 Prosecco Brut, Veneto, Italy 216432 $16.95
Easy drinking bubbly in a stylish package. Perfect for parties. Wins the prize for best looking bubbly at this price.

wine style: nice & easy white
DOMDECHANT WERNER’SCHES 08 Riesling, Hochheimer Holle, Rheingau, Germany
722413 $18.95
So delicate it almost floats. Suggestions of sweetness but the main show is lovely citrus flavours. Summer breezes never tasted better. Magical. Only 8% alcohol. From a family estate that’s been doing its thing since 1780.

naiawine style: fresh white
NAIA 09 Verdejo, Rueda, Spain 211045 $18.95
Fans of live wire whites will love this Verdejo. Shades of Sauvignon, but not. So exuberant, so refreshing and so good with seafood. Especially in the alfresco season….if it comes!

consurwine style: fresh white
CONO SUR 10 Sauvignon Blanc, Chile (organic) 213587 $12.95
Sauvignon zing with a hit of tropical fruit flavours. Love how it confuses the senses with tartness and prettiness. Organic too. Another great buy from Cono Sur.

tahblikwine style: rich white
TAHBILK 09 Marsanne, Australia 117945 $16.95
This is not for fans of pretty. Think rock concert ““ loud, brash and a bit sweaty. Think down and dirty. Think BBQ’d seafood on a hot, sultry night. This is a wine style that the Aussies do really well.

wakefield2wine style: rich white
WAKEFIELD 09 Chardonnay, Clare Valley, Australia 711556 $15.95
Bold, earthy, tangy dry. Manly Aussie Chard ““ the original BBQ white. Another Aussie classic.

wine style: fresh red
TAWSE 09 Pinot Noir ‘Growers Blend’, VQA Niagara 130989 $31.95
This Pinot suggest the idyllic café life. Red wine as a refresher, a gulper and a social drink. Bring on the food later, and keep the wine flowing. Really captures the lighthearted feeling of Pinot. And the temptation to pay Pinot prices.

DB2wine style: rustic red
DE BORTOLI 08 Pinot Noir Reserve ‘DB’, Australia 221994 $15.95
Good Pinot at a bargain price. Spicy, exotic flavours combined with an earthy feeling. Sex in the hay barn. The Pinot experience.

dualewine style: rustic red
FONTANAFREDDA 07 Barbera/Nebbiolo ‘Duale’, Langhe, Piedmont, Italy 616284 $14.95
Great stuff for fans of gusto. And the Italian lively spirit. Earthy, puckery and perfect for a hearty pasta…or greasy burger.

etnaRossowine style: rustic red
FIRRIATO 08 Etna Rosso, Sicily 219592 $16.95
Blind tasted I would have said Chianti meets Burgundy. Medium-bodied red with vitality and charm. And a drink-lots feeling. So get more than one bottle.

terradorawine style: rustic red
TERREDORA 08 Aglianico, Campania, Italy 602284 $14.95
Earthiness with Italian vigour and vitality. Southern Italy warmth with a refreshing edge. Pucker-up wine that feels good. Aglianico is often a brute but not this time.

masDoniswine style: rustic red
CELLER de CAPCANES 09 ‘Mas Donis’ 09, Montsant, Spain 208231 $12.95
Spain does Valpolicella. Beautiful everyday red with a little Latin charm. This could lead to a LOT of drinking. This must be the 3rd or 4th wine I’ve recommended from this winery tucked away in the hills of Northern Spain.

stratuswine style: rich red
STRATUS 07 Red, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake 131037 $44.20
Super serious, solid local red. Bordeaux is the model but there’s also a Rhone feeling. A ‘something else’. This is a great local experience that will continue to evolve over the next few years.

osoyoosLarosewine style: rich red
OSOYOOS LAROSE 06 Le Grand Vin, VQA Okanagan Valley, BC 626325 $45
BC’s edition of the Bordeaux blend ““ big and bold. You get warm climate ripeness (Osoyoos is desert hot) along with Old World firmness ““ thanks to the hand of French winemaker Pascal Madevon. Best with a traditional roast. Could also be cellared for a few years.

southbrookwine style: rich red
SOUTHBROOK 08 Cabernet Franc ‘Triomphe’, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake
237065 $22.95
Starts out a little funky but evolves into one of those earthy and interesting characters that you want at the supper table. Cab Franc at its best. Makes a refreshing change from the sea of nice, smooth reds. If Southbrook’s organic and biodynamic practices are contributing to the character of this wine, then I’m a fan.

DE BORTOLI 07 Botrytis Semillon ‘Noble One’, Australia 917252 375ml/$29.95
Super-concentrated, luscious and lovely. But not at all candied or cloying. A natural beauty. Australia does Sauternes at a fraction of the price.

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