LCBO Vintages release – April 15, 2017 (WVN 260)

This is Easter weekend. In the long distant past it was the practice – when a Vintages release fell on this weekend – to delay the release to the following weekend so front line staff could deal with the otherwise peak traffic that arrived the day before Easter festivities.

That was then and this now; the Vintages juggernaut has such momentum that the machine can not stop for anything and releases are delivered without fail on the fortnightly cycle until the break that does eventually happen for three weeks in mid-December.

If you haven’t done your shopping for Sunday lunch or dinner you will find some fine wine which will do very well with turkey or ham and one red that could be a stretch-match for lamb – that is, if you don’t have a fine Cabernet Sauvignon on standby. Be patient – the lines will be long.

Happy Easter!

France, Midi – AOP Corbières Château de Tréviac 2014

I consider wines from de Tréviac to be the most consistent values from the very large and widely varied Corbières zone. Wines from this small producer are grown from fruit cultivated at reasonably high altitude and have structure, juicy acid and fruit-forward and herbal aromatics and flavour. This is not a wine to keep, nor is it a wine typical of the big and ripe red wines from the Midi.  Enjoy it now for its brightness, black and red berry fruit and its delightful medium weight.  There are some earth notes, along with spice and garrigue and light flaky tannins.

Extra dry, red wine – $16.95 per bottle

Australia, Victoria – Chapoutier Tournon Mathilda 2014

Chapoutier has established a solid beach head in Victoria after many years making a name for its wines in the northern Rhône. This wine is a Rhône-style blend of Viognier and Marsanne and Chapoutier delivers a fresh, light, aromatic delight for spring and summer dining/sipping on the deck or dock. The texture is fleshy and the nose and palate have oodles of citrus, tropical and peach along with firm minerality on the mid-palate.  The finish is long and clean.

Extra dry, white wine – $17.95 per bottle

Australia, Victoria – Fowles Wild Bouquet Chardonnay 2014

This is a lightly-oaked Chardonnay from the cool-zone that is the high-elevation Strathbogie Ranges, located some one hour north of Melbourne. The aromas on opening are slightly reductive (that is, the opposite of slightly oxidized) – wait a few minutes after your first pour and the smell will blow off. You be left with a delightfully fresh and crisp Chardonnay that is complex and refined in the glass. It shows citrus, peach, light spice and herbs on nose and palate.  The finish is long and clean.

Extra dry, white wine – $19.95 per bottle

Italy, Campania – IGP Campania Porconero Fiano 2015

Fiano is a delicate grape known for some of the best whites from the south of Italy.  It is a difficult grape to grow profitably as it yields limited fruit and juice but those makers who persist, or who have other varieties to fall back on, make some of the best-value concentrated whites you will find anywhere.  This wine is an amazing value and you should run, don’t walk to stock up on a few bottles for enjoyment over the next three years, or so.  It has pear, peach, tropical notes, flinty minerals, crisp acid, light alcohol and a long finish. The structure will support further development and enhanced complexity. Great!

Extra dry, white wine – $16.95 per bottle

Spain, Montsant – DO Montsant Jaspi Negri 2013

This is Grenache-dominated blend from the northeast part of Spain, in the broader zone dominated by Priorat and Catalonia.  Here we have a light-bodied, fruit-forward, well-structured value that amazes for its complexity and character. There is plenty of red berry fruit, herbs, floral notes and a soft, smooth texture that is easy to appreciate even for those who shy away from Spanish reds. This may be a first time ever but this is the second run, don’t walk wine of this release.

Extra dry, red wine – $17.95 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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