LCBO Vintages release – June 25, 2016 (WVN 240)

We have some exceptional wines in this weekend’s Vintages release, not one of them sourced from bulk suppliers.

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

Here we have another winner from Cave Spring – in this case a classic Gewürztraminer  with a correct aromatic and flavor profile. This is a wonderful wine with modest weight, bright lichee and tropical fruit aromatics and flavour, crisp acid, spice and some flinty minerals on the finish. The texture shows modest viscosity and elegance and the finish is long and clean. This is a perfect summer wine at a great price.

Dry, white wine – $17.95 per bottle

Ontario, Niagara – VQA Beamsville Bench Hidden Bench Estate Riesling 2014

As I write this note I have lingering memories of a glass of this wine, vintage 2007, from a bottle I finished last night.  I left open the same bottle the previous night – an error, but a fine test of the resiliency of a nine year-old HB Estate Riesling.  It had a pale golden hue in the glass and on the palate was still taut, bright, concentrated and rich with ripe lime, brown apple and aromas of kerosene – the markers of middle-aged Riesling. It was a delight and showed no loss of structure or appeal despite my careless treatment of this old friend.  The 2014 edition has slightly more residual sugar than the 2007 but it is still a well-balanced, intense wine with plenty of citrus and apple fruit, crisp acid, spice and firm minerals – all of which tell me this wine, too, will last for years.  Buy a few bottles and put them down.  Treat them with care and the wait will be worth it. Classic!

Dry, white wine – $23.95 per bottle

France, Languedoc – IGP Pays d’Oc Domaine les Yeuses Les Épices Syrah 2013

This wine is a previous TWR recommendation and it returns for the same reason: this is an exceptional and correct Syrah, offered at an amazing price. The price has increased from $15.00 in 2014 but this is a modest increase considering the value of the Canadian dollar today. The character is northern-Rhône with violets, spice, smoked meat notes, blackberry, black pepper, juicy acid, finely-grained tannins and a long, clean finish. Serve with grilled meats.

Extra dry, red wine – $15.95 per bottle

France, Southwest – AOC Gaillac Domaine des Terrisses Grande Tradition 2012

Gaillac is a small appellation located in southwest France, north of the city of Toulouse.  We see very little wine from this place which is a pity as the reds are both appealing and age-worthy…  and they are modestly-priced.  One reason we don’t encounter these wines is they are made with obscure, hard-to-sell  grape varieties – think Duras and Braucol –  which are usually blended with Syrah, as is the case here.  This wine has a rustic character which calls for hearty fare such as Toulouse sausage, boar or cassoulet. The colour is a deep ruby, the nose is ripe with herbs, cherry and wild berry fruit, the palate is spicy with red and black berries, garrigue, savoury notes, bright acid and firm tannins. This is another wine for the summer patio but a few extra bottles for the cellar would be a good idea.

Extra dry, red wine – $17.95 per bottle

South Africa, Stellenbosch – WO Stellenbosch Jardin Inspector Péringuey Chenin Blanc 2014

Jardin is the brand name for wines made by the Jordan family of Stellenbosch;  they are unable to use Jordan on their labels in North America due to a copyright owned by the Jordan Vineyard and Winery of Sonoma County. The Stellenbosch Jordans have developed a well-earned reputation for finely crafted wines of purity and balance that fetch reasonable prices across the full range. This wine is named for the vineyards regulator who led the crusade to fight phylloxera in the Cape region in the late 19th century. This Chenin Blanc is a fitting homage: it is a well-balanced, intense, bone-dry wine with pear aromas and flavour, lemon, spice, toasty notes, minerals, bright acid and a very long finish.  This wine is a beauty and I recommend you fill your trunk – Run, don’t walk for this one.

Extra dry, white wine – $15.95 per bottle

à bientôt…

Copyright © W. John Switzer 2003 – 2016



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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