LCBO Vintages Saturday March 19

THE LOW DOWN: One great thing about Vintages is the opportunity to expand our repertoire of white wines ““ to experience “˜something different’ in the first bottle of the evening. Check out the trio below. My Bordeaux pair and Santa Barbara Pinot are red wine-styles not found at regular LCBOs. As is the Beaujolais. Many of my picks have a summer season feeling, so stock up!

Wine style: Fresh white
LEIRA 09 Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain 115816 $16.95
Refreshment plus. Lemon/lime flavours combined with spiciness and richness. Very appealing and complete without any oak influence. From Spain’s land of seafood.

varandaWine style: Fresh/Rich white
VARANDA do CONDE 09 Vinho Verde, Portugal 966663 $13.95
Great blast of lemony freshness. High spirited refresher. Needs hot weather to show its stuff ““ buy a stash for Summer afternoons or evenings. A classic Vinho Verde produced from Alvarinho (Albarino in Spain) and Trajadura grapes

monteroWine style: Rich white
SELLA & MOSCA 09 Vermentino di Gallura, “˜Monteoro’, Sardinia, Italy 203422 $16.95
Semi-rich with an appetizing, savoury character. Shades of Sem/Sauv. Low-keyed in a good way. Different. Really good all evening white. Vermentino is just one of Italy’s many wonderful indigenous white grape varieties.

Wine style: Rustic red
MALIVOIRE 09 Old Vines Foch, VQA Ontario 551036 $19.95
This dark, hard and tart wine is not for everyone. But if you’re up for wine adventure and enjoy the back roads, Mr Foch will take you there. Needs food and should never be poured at a party ““ unless you’re pulling the plug on the event.

beaujVillagesWine style: Rustic red
VILLA PONCIAGO 09 Beaujolais-Villages, France 207449 $15.95
Fruity meets refreshment, meets rustic. While you get the lighthearted feeling of Beaujolais there is also character to grab on to. Interest to keep you drinking. And happy. One sip and you’ll be thinking French bistro. One glass and you’ll be there. Would be one hell of a great Summer red. Lightly chilled of course.
P.S. Produced by Bouchard Pere et Fils using traditional vinification as opposed to the normal carbonic maceration ““ hence the rustic edge and extra shot of character.

FontBordeauxstemilionWine style: Rustic reds
CH. de FONTENILLE 08 Bordeaux, France 199109 $14.95
CH. COTES de SAINT CLAIR 06 Bordeaux, France 199026 $14.95
It’s becoming rare to find traditional style Bordeaux at a reasonable price but here are two. Hurrah! Expect dusty dryness, herbaceous flavours and lots of vigor. Along with lower than normal alcohol levels and an invitation to gulp. Forget the Chateau designation and think gutsy, earthy, French Country wine. Fontenille is the lighter and the Saint Clair more hearty. Naturally both are food, not party, wines. These would be an eye opener for anyone who has never tasted Merlot/Cabernet in a pure form.

pomaresWine style: rustic red
QUINTA NOVA “˜Pomares’ 08 Douro, Portugal 214007 $16.95
Rustic with a capital R. As with many Douro reds there is a resemblance to the dry, rustic character of Bordeaux. Draws you in ““ engaging you and your appetite. Wonderful partner for red meats, a hearty appetite and earthy company. Or just a good friend.

pasquaRipassoWine style: Rich red
PASQUA 08 Valpolicella Ripasso “˜Black Label’, Italy 203968 $18.95
Warm, toasty Amarone-like feelings for less than $20! Rich, earthy,~  late nigh supper wine. Pasqua is one of the great Valpolicella houses but this is the first time we’ve seen their Ripasso.

vinsobresWine style: rich red
PERRIN & FILS 08 Vinsobres “˜Les Cornuds’, Rhone, France 566844 $17.95
Perrin’s “˜Cru’ Rhone reds are among the most reliable wines in the world. Rich but never overbearing or overworked. Expect the peppery, spicy character of Rhone-Villages plus a little extra to engage the imagination with some mystery. Enjoy with almost any food. Could be cellared a year or two.

santabarbaraWine style: rich red
SANTA BARBARA 09 Pinot Noir, California 194332 $19.95
Californian Pinot that’s not too sweet nor pricey. Dry, lively in the Burgundy style. Very refreshing and fun to gulp. If you enjoy vitality in your reds, get this. Yummy, yummy stuff. Lightly chill.

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