LCBO Vintages release – August 8, 2015 (WVN 220)

This weekend your Vintages shop has a fine selection of wines, the best values from which are predominantly French. I admit to an Old World bias in my profile and it continues to show with each successive update to this broadsheet. From time to time some New World wines make the list and herewith we have two such wines from Australia and Washington State.

Australia, South Australia – Yalumba The Y Series Viognier 2014

For a wine assembled from fruit from many places in South Australia, this is a pretty fine value. It has the aromatics, ripe fruit and slightly dense texture we expect from Viognier, accompanied by a fullish body and enough acid to make this wine a finely-structured wine for the price. This is one to serve with canapes or as a starter with a cold-summer soup.

Extra dry, white wine – $ 16.95 per bottle

USA, Washington – L’Ecole No. 41 Columbia Valley Semillon 2013

The Columbia Valley is a generally hot place – conditions that don’t usually work for Semillon. Somehow this wine works – it has higher alcohol due to the ripe fruit delivered in the heat of the region but there is a dose of Sauvignon Blanc and a bit of oak in the mix that makes for a fine and pleasingly fresh wine. The aromatics are delicate and the palate is complex with pear fruit, lees, tropical fruit elements and honey, all sitting on a fullish body. This wine will be a perfect match for rich pasta dishes.

Extra dry, white wine – $24.95 per bottle

France, Midi – AP Corbières Château de Treviac 2012

I consider Corbiéres to be the class appellation of the Languedoc. The wines from this area are consistently balanced with exceptional fruit expression, offered at equally exceptional (attractive) prices. This wine is a Syrah/Grenache blend and is true to the place with ripe red and black berry fruit aromas and flavours, herbal-garrigue flavours and ripe and round tannins. This is an exceptional wine that will be best this winter with stews and cassoulet.

Extra dry, red wine – $16.95 per bottle

France, Bordeaux – AOC Bordeaux Supérieur Château Plaisance 2009

Bordeaux Supérieur is not an appellation I would naturally seek out. Wines from this level in the Bordeaux spectrum tend to be insipid and green with a sameness from one bottle to the next that is consistently disappointing. This wine is an impressive indicator of the possibilities that may lie ahead for this chronic underperformer appellation: it is ripe, rich and complex and has fresh, still youthful fruit, firm tannins and a long finish. This is a wine for grilled meats.

Extra dry, red wine – $19.95 per bottle

France, Alsace – AOC Alsace Grand Cru Riflé Steinert Pinot Gris 2010

Regrettably we don’t see many Alsace Grands Crus (AGC) in Vintages. These wines are usually priced at levels where they fit more comfortably in the Classics section of the LCBO distribution scheme. In any case when an AGC appears we need to perk up and take notice. Here is a fine case in point: this is a concentrated wine with brilliant ripe tree fruits, honey, flinty minerals, a modest amount of residual sugar (balanced with juicy acid) and a very long finish. This is a wine you can enjoy now but one that I would put in my cellar for the next 7 – 10 years.

Medium, white wine – $24.95 per bottle

à bientôt…
Copyright© W. John Switzer 2003 – 2015.


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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