LCBO Vintages release – June 11, 2016 (WVN 239)

Every two weeks, rain or shine, we have another release from the LCBO Vintages team.  The folks at Vintages do a good job as buyers, matching wines to the season, and this week’s release (and my selections, more specifically) is a great demonstration of how well they do in this regard.

All the wines below are ready for drinking this warm weekend although the Laura’s Red will need some time in decanter or glass to show its best… enjoy!

Ontario, Niagara – VQA Beamsville Bench Cave Spring Vineyard Estate Bottled Chardonnay 2013

Once again we have a refined, poised, fruit-forward wine from Cave Spring, for my money the current quality-for-the-price-leader in Niagara. This wine displays the cool-climate Chardonnay character of tree fruits (apple and pear) and citrus on the nose and palate with a light smoky-oaky background for complexity.  The palate has a crisp, lean texture with a minerality that persists through the longish finish.  Serve as an aperitif or with white-fleshed fishes.

Extra dry, white wine – $18.95 per bottle

Ontario, Niagara – VQA Niagara Peninsula Creekside Estate Laura’s Red 2012

For me this is a surprising delight from Niagara: it is a ripe, balanced Bordeaux blend that has structure, balance and depth of flavor that punches above its price.  The fruit is bright and full of red and black cherry, currant and berry.  The acid is bright, the tannins are firm and still-unresolved (decant or put in your cellar for two years) and the texture is ripe and juicy. This will be a good match for grilled burgers or ribs.

Extra dry, red wine – $19.95 per bottle

Australia, Western Australia – Byron &Harold Rose & Thorns Great Southern Shiraz 2013

The Great Southern zone of western Australia is cool with its climate dominated by the effects of cool ocean currents fed by Antarctic water. This wine displays the character of a cool-zone Shiraz which means it is lean and crisp without the ripe, sweet character that is the marker of many warm-zone wines from South Australia.  The winemaking is carefully done to avoid over-extraction which makes for a northern Rhône-style result.  There is plenty of black berry fruit, savoury notes and black pepper. Very well made, this wine will be a summertime pleaser.

Extra dry, red wine – $19.95 per bottle

France, Loire – AOC Vouvray Cave de Vouvray De Chanceny Excellence Brut 2013

Vouvray is a complicated appellation which originates in the Touraine section of the Loire Valley.  It is complicated in the sense that the wines can be made in a dry, off-dry, sweet or sparkling style, all with the Chenin Blanc grape.  This wine is an aromatic, dry, lean sparkler with concentrated fruit-forward character with notable green apple, grapefruit and lemon. The acid is brilliant, a defining characteristic of Vouvray wines, regardless of style.  Very fine value, fresh and bright.

Dry, sparkling wine – $19.95 per bottle

France, Languedoc – AOP Corbières Château Grand Moulin Vieilles Vignes 2012

To my palate Corbières is the most consistent appellation in the Midi region. It produces wines of character and balance and does so at always-reliable prices. This wine is a complex blend of Syrah (40%) along with Carignan, Grenache and a healthy dose of Mourvèdre. It is intense on both nose and palate with red and black fruit, spice, garrigue, savoury notes and some smoke. The body is full, the acid is crisp and the balance and structure are pretty amazing for the price. Run, don’t walk for this gem

Extra dry, red wine – $15.95 per bottle

à bientôt…

Copyright© W. John Switzer 2003 – 2016.

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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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