Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Picks: Vintages On-Line Exclusives -- April 7

Here’s my shopping list for this week’s Vintages On-Line Exclusives Release. Again this week, the on-line release was posted late.

What am I looking for? Three things.
Organic: wines certified biodynamic or organic
Off the Beaten Track: lesser-known or underappreciated traditional varietals, unusual blends, or underappreciated regions
Value: good wines at less than $30 (a classic from Rioja breaks the barrier this week)

Again, nothing this time.

Off the Beaten Track

WADLEITH CHARDONNAY 2008, DOC Südtirol Alto Adige (Italy); #0163907; 14% ABV; $24
A chardonnay from the Germanic northeast of Italy, near the Austrian border. Partially barrel-aged on its lees for 5 months, shouldn’t be too oaky.

VIÑA ALBERDI RESERVA 2003, DOCa Rioja (Spain); #0161893; 13% ABV; $32
From the record hot summer of 2003. 100% Tempranillo. Made in the classic style… I’m a fan… aged for 2 years in American oak casks, new oak for the first year and an average of 3 years old for the second year.

L'OSTAL CAZES-ESTIBALS MINERVOIS 2007, AC Minervois (France); #0161869; 14% ABV; $25
Very typical of Languedoc: a blend of 35% Grenache (35%), Carignan (35%), and Syrah (30%). Aged 12 months in oak. A very good vintage.

Two more wines, these are from Tuscany. Although these wines may not be too far off the beaten track, we don’t see Rosso di Montalcino often enough in Ontario. Rosso is the “second” wine of Montalcino, after Brunello. A personal favourite, it usually has more character than similarly-priced Chianti.

CIACCI PICCOLOMINI D'ARAGONA ROSSO DI MONTALCINO 2006, DOC Rosso di Montalcino (Italy); #0163220; 14% ABV; $24
100% Sangiovese Grosso. Aged 12 months in Slovenian oak.  2006 is a stunning vintage in Tuscany.

PIERI AGOSTINA ROSSO DI MONTALCINO 2007, DOC Rosso di Montalcino (Italy); #0163121; 14% ABV; $28
100% Sangiovese Grosso. Aged 10 months in oak, half Slovenian, half French.

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