LCBO Vintages release – October 3, 2015 (WVN 224)

Thanksgiving approaches and this week’s WVN selections represent a solid cross-section of wines that will be a fine match for your holiday turkey.

A couple of wines may appear pricy but they are fine values – as you would expect.

Ontario, Niagara – VQA Niagara Escarpment Cave Spring Cabernet Franc 2013

Cave Spring is one of my favourite Niagara makers known for its reliable value-priced quality wines. CS wines always display varietal correctness and the winemaking is always in the background – which means the fruit and place shine in the glass. This wine is medium in body with red berry and cranberry fruit, slight herbaceous notes on the nose and palate, bright acid a bit of oak for texture and complexity, sleek tannins and a long finish. This is an elegant wine.

Extra dry, red wine – $19.95 per bottle

France, Burgundy – AOC Chablis Domaine Séguinot-Bordet 2014

The theme of this week’s selection seems to be correctness and precision. This Chablis is exactly what the region is known for: precise wines with taut acid, flinty minerals, expressive fruit and a long, clean finish. There is lemon, green apple, a slight nuttiness and a leesy character on nose and palate. The finish is precise with some lingering flint.

Extra dry, white wine – $22.95 per bottle

Argentina, Mandoza – Altos Las Hormigas Uco Valley Terroir Malbec 2012

This is an interesting wine made by a maker who seeks expression of place in its wines. This includes application of biodynamic principles in the vineyard, long cold maceration and slow fermentation with maturation done in neutral vessels. The result is a concentrated and bright wine which is well-structured and fruit-forward with complex aromas and flavours. The body is mid-weight with black and red berry fruit, herbs, wet loam and juicy acid. The tannins are finely-gained and the finish is precise and clean.

Extra dry, red wine – $22.95 per bottle

Chile, Limari Valley – Tabali Reserva Syrah 2012

This is an amazing value. I have no idea how a wine of this quality and refinement can be priced so well. The wine will not dazzle with its complexity but what it lacks in this department it makes up in its structure and precision. The classic Syrah blackberry, black pepper and savoury notes are present with fine-grained tannins and a long finish. This is an understated wine that will please.

Dry, red wine – $14.95 per bottle

USA, California – Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs Méthode Traditionelle Sparkling Wine NV

This wine is a WVN favourite as it consistently delivers great traditional-method style at an appealing price. It is a blend, dominated by Pinot Noir with a small amount of Chardonnay. It has a slight salmon rosé hue reflecting modest skin contact. There is plenty of brioche on the nose and palate with a lot of red berry fruit, crisp acid, creamy mousse and a long finish. Unfortunately the collapse of the Canadian dollar has contributed to a $5.00 per bottle price increase since we last saw this wine but I still consider it to be a fine wine for the price.

Dry, sparkling wine – $33.95 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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