LCBO Vintages release – August 20, 2016 WVN 244)

This weekend all our best-value selections will serve well at late summer lunches or dinners.  The following five wines each has wonderful character and elevated acidity.  In other words, this is a collection of fine, food-friendly wines.

Ontario, Niagara – VQA Niagara Peninsula Tawse Sketches of Niagara Riesling 2014

Readers may tire of my raves over this Vintages regular but it is a value superstar, especially for lovers of intense, aromatic whites. This is an off-dry Riesling but presents a lean and crisp character on the palate due to its high-strung acidity. It shows lime, green apple and grapefruit on the nose and palate and has a long and clean finish.  This is run-don’t walk winner.

Off-dry, white wine – $18.20 per bottle

Germany, Rheingau – QbA Rheingau Scloss Schönborn Riesling 2011

Here we have an Old World equivalent of the Tawse Sketches Riesling: classic Riesling nose and palate, a fine sugar/acid balance and a great price.  This wine records something around 40 g/L of residual sugar but the sweetness doesn’t show when pitted against intense juicy acid.  Classic signs of ageing Riesling abound: petrol aromas, brown apple and honey – along with lime, peach, firm minerals and a long, clean finish.  Serve with grilled pork chops.

Medium, white wine – $16.95 per bottle

France, Southern Rhône – AOC Côtes du Rhône Delas Saint-Esprit Rosé 2015

This is a simple, refreshing Rosé with bright ripe berry, spice and herbs on the nose and palate.  It is mid-weight with bright, crisp acid and a medium-long, clean finish.  Delightful wine, well-priced. Buy a few bottles and serve with barbecued shrimps and scallops.  Keep a few of those bottles for poached salmon over the winter – you can’t beat this price. Uncomplicated is OK when it is fresh and bright.

Extra dry, rosé wine – $16.95 per bottle

Italy, Sardinia – DOC Vermentino di Sardegna Contini Pariglia 2014

Assertive and beautifully-textured, this Vermentino will be a hit. Many of your guests will be unfamiliar with the variety which will add to the effect: “Where did you find this?  It’s amazing!”  Vermentino is bone-dry, assertive, and often lean with citrus flavor and flinty minerality.  This wine follows the type with an added waxy texture that adds interest without creating an over-weight mouth feel.  It has bright acid and some elements of tropical fruit on the nose and the palate to complement the concentrated lime-lemon citrus notes. This is another match for shellfish, grilled, or in a summer salad perhaps.

Extra dry, white wine – $18.95 per bottle

Spain, Rioja – DOCa Rioja Izadi Reserva 2011

While this wine is a Reserva  it has not been oak-aged to the point of tired brown-ness.  In fact the oak regime lends some fine complexity to a fruit palate that is still fresh and bright. The body is fullish, the cherry fruit is juicy, the acid is bright, the tannins are soft and well-integrated and the finish is long. This is a very well-balanced wine that will not win any competitions for complexity but will please you and your guests.

Extra dry, red wine – $19.95 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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