LCBO Vintages release – June 21, 2014

This weekend’s release features wines made with a number of different noble grapes and for each variety an Old World and a New World wine is featured. Cute.

Ontario, Niagara/PEC – VQA Ontario Norman Hardie Riesling 2012

As you might gather from the description above this wine is made from a blend of Niagara and Prince Edward County fruit. Hardie is best known for his Old World style Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. I personally think his best results are achieved with aromatic white varieties as displayed by this Riesling. This is an off-dry Riesling with bright, taut acid which balances well with the residual sugar to deliver a very appealing texture. It has lime, green apple and honey aromas and flavours with a stony mid-palate. It is assertive and precise from start to finish. Very well done!

Dry, white wine – $21.00 per bottle (Grape Expectations feature wine)

South Africa, Stellenbosch – Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2012

Chenin Blanc is one of the grape varieties in this weekend’s feature and this is one of the best incarnations of the variety outside the Loire Valley of France. This is an incredible value wine showing all the character of the variety at a very attractive price. It has honey, lemon, flinty minerals, some vanilla, lanolin and nutty notes and a long, crisp finish. This wine can be enjoyed now but I recommend you buy a few bottles and lay them in your cellar for the next 3 to 5 years.

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

Chile, Limari Valley – Tamaya Gran Reserva Syrah 2011

This wine comes from a northerly, cool-climate zone which enjoys cool nights, morning fog and dry, desert-like growing conditions. Syrah has emerged as one of the grapes that prospers in this part of Chile and the wines that do reach Ontario show consistent restraint and fresh fruit on a soundly-structured bed of acid and tannins. This wine shows the savoury notes of cool zone Syrah accompanied by black pepper, blackberry and wet loam. It has all the elements to evolve in your cellar over the next 4-5 years.

Extra dry, red wine – $21.95 per bottle

France, Southern Rhône – AOC Côtes du Rhône Villages Le Ferme du Mont Le Ponnant 2011

This wine has the light, bright, fresh fruit-forward character of the most appealing wines from this part of France. There is plenty of red berry/cherry fruit, herbes de Provence, garrigue and spice on the nose and palate. This is a beauty and it will sell quickly.

Extra dry, red wine – $19.95 per bottle

France, Bordeaux – AOC Médoc Château Canteloup 2010

Call this the perfect barbecue wine to match with burgers, grilled chicken or a bone-in steak. This is a bright, ripe and oaky wine that would be a bit too fulsome for my palate were it not for the price and the fit with outdoor seasonal fare. It has oodles of blackcurrant, pencil shaving and chocolate with firm tannins that call for some chewy protein. All-in-all this is a surprisingly complex and structured wine for the price.

Extra dry, red wine – $16.95 per bottle

This week I have another runner-up to commend. This time it’s a Barolo, Paolo Caterno Riva del Bric 2009, offered at an attractive $42.95 per bottle. This is a Barolo made in the traditional style and is now hitting its stride. It has bright fruit, firm tannins and an overall structure that punches well above its price.

à bientôt…
Copyright© W. John Switzer 2003 – 2014.


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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