LCBO Vintages release – September 3, 2016 (WVN 245)

This weekend’s value selections feature some diverse, interesting wines that are all well-priced.  There are a couple of keepers that will evolve nicely with some time in cellar.

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

This is a very fine, correct Gewurz with all the aromatic, flavor and texture characteristics one seeks from this variety.  It is complex and well-structured with an off-dry residual sugar profile which is balanced with crisp and lean acid.  Classic Gewurz lychee fruit is accompanied by peach, ginger and mango aromas and flavours. The body is medium weight and the texture has a fleshy viscosity.  The finish is long and spicy.  Exceptional wine!

Dry, white wine – $17.95 per bottle

Ontario, Niagara – VQA St. David’s Bench Château des Charmes St. David’s Bench Vineyard Gamay Noir Droit 2014

Assertive, complex and well-structured this wine demonstrates what can be done in Ontario with a grape that doesn’t get much recognition. This wine is made with a regional clone identified by Paul Bosc, founder of Château des Charmes and it has become a signature grape of the domain.  You will find black cherry, gamey notes, spice and herbs on the nose and palate of this wine. It is medium weight and has bright acid and finely-grained tannins.  Elegant and fresh, this wine is a delight.

Extra dry, red wine – $17.95 per bottle

Germany, Pfalz – Prädikatswein Anselmann Edesheimer Rosengarten Siegerrebe Spätlese 2014

This will be a perfect wine for a cheese course or as a match for lightly seared fois gras. It is intense, ripe, unctuous and sweet with taut acid.  It has aromatic orange marmalade on the nose, marmalade, spice, honey and lychee on the palate and a very long, orange marmalade finish.  This is a wine to enjoy now or cellar for the next several years.  Run don’t walk for this beauty. Buy several bottles.

Sweet, white wine – $16.95 per bottle

South Africa, Stellenbosch – WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch Rustenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Youthful, with a need for bottle time, this is a finely-made Cabernet Sauvignon with plenty of character and substance. It is full-bodied with intense aromas and flavours of black currant, spice, smoke and herbs. The tannins are assertive and youthful and need time to soften.  The concentrated fruit and elevated acid assure plenty of structure for ageing over the next 3 to 5 years.  Well done!

Extra dry, red wine – $19.95 per bottle

Spain, Rueda – DO Rueda Bodega Hermanos de Villar Oro de Castilla Verdejo 2015

This is an aromatic wine of simple character but with refreshing bright and fresh fruit: citrus and tropical, both. It has a bit of spice to lend some complexity but it is fruit forward with grapefruit, papaya and pineapple flavours dominating. Clean and bright, the finish is long.

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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