LCBO Vintages release – February 15, 2104

This weekend the main feature is France, part of the February month-long Joie de Vin celebration at LCBO stores across the province. There is a selection of some 20 wines chosen from the wine-producing regions of France and all price points are represented.  Two wines from the feature made my list.

Ontario, Niagara – VQA Niagara Peninsula Malivoire Gamay 2012

Gamay is one of the specialties at Malivoire and over the years they have consistently demonstrated of the potential of this grape in Ontario.  In fact, I don’t know why there isn’t more Gamay grown and vinified here.  In any case this wine is a winner.  It is vinified using traditional fermentation so it has more structure and balance than you would find in a Beaujolais made by carbonic maceration. It is rich in texture with berry and plum fruit, modest tannins and a mid-weight body. This is a superb wine and is one to stock up on for summer dining pleasure.

Dry, red wine – $17.95 per bottle

France, Burgundy – AOC Mâcon-Villages Joseph Drouhin 2012

Here we have a bright, value-priced commune wine from Burgundy. This is an approachable Chardonnay with no oak treatment which expresses bright tree fruits, a bit of spice, some lemon, crisp texture and a precise mid-length finish.  It is very good and is another wine to consider for spring and summer enjoyment.

Extra dry, white wine – $17.95 per bottle (France feature wine)

France, Champagne – AOC Champagne Sourdet-Diot Cuvèe de Rèserve Brut NV

Sourdet-Diot is a grower in the Val de La Marne zone of the Champagne district.  This wine is predominantly made with the Pinot Meunier grape along with a small portion of Chardonnay.  It is an elegant wine with a just-off-dry character (residual sugar weighs in at 12 g/L). The nose is intense and has brioche, brown apple, spice and vanilla aromas in abundance.  The palate is taut and precise with creamy sea-foam mousse, lean acid and a fullish body. The finish is long. This is a very good value Champagne.

Dry, sparkling wine – $49.95 per bottle (France feature wine)

Australia, South Australia – Kilikanoon Killerman’s Run Riesling 2012

This Riesling is made from fruit grown in the Clare Valley zone of South Australia.  This is a warm zone which enjoys cool nights and thus Clare Valley has built the reputation as the home of the best Australian Rieslings.  This wine is bone dry, intense and concentrated with lime and green apple fruit on the nose and palate, flinty minerals, brilliant acid and a long finish. This wine can be enjoyed now but it will develop in the cellar for the next 5 to 7 years.

Extra dry, white wine – $17.95 per bottle

Spain, Cariñena – DO Cariñena Monasterio de Las Viñas Gran Reserva 2005

A blend of mainly Garnacha and Tempranillo this is a mature wine which punches above its price.  It is complex and harmonious and, despite its age, will further evolve over the next several years.  It is intense with aromas and flavours of cherry, blackberry, vanilla and spice. The body is hefty and there is a rustic texture with firm, lean tannins.  The finish is long.  Serve with a roasted leg of lamb.

Extra dry, red wine – $16.95 per bottle

à bientôt…

Copyright© W. John Switzer 2003 – 2014.

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Author: John Switzer

I am wine writer, educator and tour guide. From 2005 to June 2014 I published a bi-weekly newsletter, the Winesights Vintages Newsletter (WVN). This Newsletter was closed in July 2014 when the Government of Canada put in place the onerous administrative requirements of Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation. The legacy of WVN continues on this blog spot where I post wine-related articles as well as reviews of a small selection of best-value wines from each bi-weekly LCBO Vintages release. I hold the WSET Diploma, I am a WSET Certified Educator, I teach in the WSET program at the Independent Wine Education Guild in Toronto where I am the past Director of the WSET Diploma program. Since 2010 I have been a judge at Decanter World Wine Awards on the Rhône panel and I am a member of the Society of Wine Educators.

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