LCBO Vintages release – March 4, 2017 (WVN 257)

This weekend we have a fairly large Vintages release with many pricy bottles surrounding a handful of great values. My selections this weekend have a bit of a different road traveled character…

France, Champagne – AOC Champagne Delouvin-Bagnost Brut NV

Delouvin is a very small (6 hectares of vines) récoltant-manipulant known for expressive fruit in its wines.  This wine is fruity, for sure, with lots of brown apple and lemon with spice and honey on the palate.  Despite the ample fruit, this wine stands out for its racy acid, firm and persistent minerality and its intense brioche character on the nose and palate. There is a distinct earthiness which adds to the complexity but may be strange for those who are familiar only with the predictably sleek and elegant wines from the big houses.  This is true farmer-fizz and is an exceptional value.

Extra dry, sparkling wine – $44.95 per bottle

South Africa, Western Cape – WO Western Cape Graham Beck Méthode Cap Classique Sparkling Pinot Noir/Chardonnay Brut NV

For those value-seekers who want something sparkling that is more predictable than the Delouvin then you cannot go wrong by bringing home a few bottles of this old-reliable.  Nothing will surprise: the nose is bright with citrus and honey along with modest toasty brioche; the mousse is soft and creamy; the palate is crisp with lean acid, green apple, lemon and toast and the finish is medium-long and clean with lingering flinty minerals. Modestly-complex, this will please your guests as an aperitif.

Extra dry sparkling wine – $18.95 per bottle

South Africa, Stellenbosch – The Winery of Good Hope Vinum Africa Chenin Blanc 2015

This is a delightful wine with floral, honey, spice and pear notes on the nose and the palate.  It has a fleshy texture and a concentrated set of flavour elements. This wine fills the mouth and yet is not flabby – bright acid abounds from start to the clean finish. This is a wine for a roasted rack of pork or stuffed chicken breast.

Extra dry, white wine – $15.95 per bottle

Spain, Navarra – DO Navarra Proyecto Garnachas de España La Garnacha Salvaje del Moncayo 2014

This is a juicy, fullish red with modest structure that will please, especially when barbecue season hits its stride.  There is black and red berry fruit, spice, earth notes, enough acid to add juice and firm tannins that sit in the background until they come forward on the finish.  This wine calls for sirloin, leg of lamb or a big cheeseburger on the patio. Run don’t walk for this one.

Dry, red wine – $14.95 per bottle

Spain, Ribera del Duero – DO Ribera del Duero Vizcarra Senda del Oro Roble 2012

Lovers of Tempranillo should line up for Senda del Oro. For a wine from the 2012 vintage this is a surprisingly youthful wine with concentrated cherry fruit, spice and obvious but not-overdone evidence of oak aging.  The structure is sound with juicy acid and lightly grippy tannins. There is enough fruit and structure for this wine to evolve further in your cellar for the next 2 to 3 years but don’t hesitate to try it now.  This is a another wine that wants to be matched with roasted red meat.

Extra dry, red wine – $18.95

à bientôt…

Copyright© W. John Switzer 2003 – 2017.

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