LCBO Vintages release – April 1, 2017 (WVN 259)

This week we have a mixed bag of values from five different places…

Ontario, Niagara – VQA Niagara Peninsula Flat Rock Unplugged Chardonnay 2015

Flat Rock has established a name for high-quality value wines with a distinct fruit-forward character across its portfolio. This is a tasty, bright, fresh and finely-balanced crowd-pleaser.  It has apple, lemon and pear flavours, free from any oak influence – just bright fruit.  The acid is crisp and there is just the right amount to give the wine life and make it a good sipper or a match for light fare.  The alcohol is modest and the finish is clean and long.  Brilliant!

Extra dry, white wine – $16.95 per bottle

France, Bordeaux – AOC Bordeaux Château Grand Mouëys 2015

This is a fine example of the delights of a Sauvignon Blanc blend from old Bordeaux with a small proportion of Semillon and Muscadelle added to complete the assemblage.  The wine is medium in weight with assertive citrus and tropical fruit along with some spice on the nose and palate. The acid level is elevated which will make this a fine match for grilled chicken. The finish is crisp and clean.

Extra dry, white wine – $19.95 per bottle

Argentina, Mendoza – Trapiche Perfiles Calcareo Malbec 2015

Trapiche is a huge grower and negociant in Argentina with a diverse portfolio of wines ranging from everyday values to premium single-vineyard cuvées.  This wine is an intense, well-balanced effort with stewed cherry and plum fruit, tangy acid, spice, flinty minerals and a modest amount of oak.  The alcohol is high but does not distort the balance. This is a great wine for grilled red meat.

Extra dry, red wine – $18.95 per bottle

Australia, South Australia – Heartland Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Langhorne Creek is small region in the Fleurieu zone of south Australia, perhaps most notable for its dry growing conditions.  The area has been under threat due to rising levels of salinity through the ongoing periods of drought in the south but the situation seems to be under control, for now.  Cabernet Sauvignon prospers – and is the most planted variety – in Langhorne Creek. This wine is well-made and has fine balance: intense ripe black currant and blackberry fruit, medium weight, herb and spice notes, juicy acid and modest tannins. This is a fine value Cab from a fine value maker.

Extra dry, red wine – $18.95 per bottle

Portugal, Alentejo – DOC Alentejo Paulo Laureano Reserve Tinto 2014

The Alentejo region is in the hot southern reaches of Portugal, south of the Tagus River; this is place where fruit ripens easily. This wine is a full of dark ripe fruit and is a delight. The fruit is accompanied by spice and some light savoury notes, tangy acid, light tannins and some signs of early development. The structure is notable for a value-priced wine and the finish is long with some lingering fine-grained tannins.  Buy a few bottles for the upcoming barbecue season.

Extra dry, red wine – $19.95 per bottle

à bientôt…

Copyright© W. John Switzer 2003 – 2017.

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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