Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Picks: Vintages Release -- June 26

Here’s my shopping list for the Vintages Release on June 26.

Biodynamic & Organic

M. CHAPOUTIER LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT 2008; AC Côtes du Roussillon-Villages (France); #168716; Price: $15.00; 13.5% ABV
I love Roussy. Shows what a good Biodynamic wine can be from a dedicated, talented, and idiosyncratic producer. A blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan. An incredible bargain. Have it with lamb on the grill.

LAS LOMAS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007, Maule Valley (Chile); #917922; Price: $12.95; 13.5% ABV
The producer, Viña Lomas de Cauquenes, is a co-operative in Maule Valley, one of the more southerly wine regions in Chile, established in 1939 after an earthquake destroyed many wineries. Only 3 percent of their production is devoted to growing organic grapes, so they need the encouragement. No agrochemicals, fertilizer, or pesticides. Certified by IMO-Switzerland. Ideal for the BBQ, either with the food or just to keep your chef going.

Off the Beaten Track


YALUMBA THE Y SERIES SANGIOVESE ROSÉ 2009, South Australia; #169425; Price: $15.95; 11.5% ABV
Yalumba works with all kinds of lesser-known varietals: Viognier, Tempranillo, and here is Sangiovese, a long way from its home in Tuscany, and a rosé at that! Macerated for 12 hours, then cold fermented. A refreshingly light-bodied rosé; perfect for a hot summer day.

LA BASTIDE BLANCHE ROSÉ 2009, AC Bandol; #71084; Price: $21.95; 13.2% ABV
A blend of Cinsault, Mourvèdre, and Grenache. The winemaker macerates the Cinsault and Grenache for 24 hours while the Mourvèdre is bled off from juice that goes on to become the famous red wine of Bandol. Aged in stainless steel.


URBAN UCO MALBEC/TEMPRANILLO 2008, Uco Valley (Argentina); #166397; Price: $12.95; 14.5% ABV
A 50-50 blend. The winemaker is from Spain, so they come by their love of Tempranillo honestly. Fermented in stainless steel and aged 3 months in (mostly French) oak.

E. GUIGAL 2006, AC Saint-Joseph (Rhone, France); #30031; Price: $29.95; 13.5% ABV
King Guigal of Rhone. Saint-Joseph is a lesser-known appellation from Northern Rhone (western bank). It’s 100% Syrah, aged 16 months in previously used oak barrels. Taste the difference quality makes.

CLOS LA COUTALE 2007, AC Cahors (France); #171579; Price: $13.95; 13.0% ABV
A blend of 80% Cot (the local name for Malbec) and 20% Merlot. Cahors wine has long lived in the shadow of Bordeaux, just to the west. Known for deep, almost black colour, concentrated flavours, and great body. It defines rustic. Definitely a wine to put away for next winter.

MARCHESI DI BAROLO DOCG BARBARESCO 2006, Piedmont (Italy); #155408; Price: $24.95; 12.0% ABV
Barbaresco...the other great red from Piemonte (after its bigger brother, Barolo); it’s also made from the Nebbiolo varietal, but gets less aging and is usually ready to drink earlier, say 5 to 10 years after harvest. It’s not for next winter; it’s for the winter after that, or after that. Patience! For this one, the grapes were hand-harvested, with just 8 days maceration. Aged for one year in both Slovenian oak and French oak, so it’s a bit old style and new style. Aged 18 months in bottle before market release.


DANIEL LENKO UNOAKED CHARDONNAY 2007, VQA Niagara Peninsula; #91173; Price: $20.15; 13.0% ABV
Lots of buzz about the Niagara reds from 2007. But the chardonnays merit attention and this one is unoaked, so it gets my attention. Long, cold fermentation and then aged on its lees (spent yeast).  Happy Canada Day!

AMAYNA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2008, Leyda Valley (Chile); #77693; Price: $17.95; 14.5% ABV
Leyda Valley is 14 km from the coast, west of Santiago. The maritime climate makes for wonderful Sauvignon Blanc. And this is from one of the better producers. Hand picked. Fermented in stainless steel for 10 days and left on the lees for 2 months. Try it with shellfish and grilled trout.

ST. HALLETT SEMILLON 2005, Barossa (Australia); #658005; Price: $19.95; 11.5% ABV
Just when I think there are too many high-alcohol wines, here’s something lighter…and from Oz! One-quarter fermented in stainless-steel, the rest in both French and American oak, allocated among new, one, and three-year old barrels. Wow, talk about hedging your bets. Two-thirds of the wine left on its lees for 10 months. Good to drink now but Semillon can age well…this one up to 2013. Don’t miss this chance at a Semillon.

I go on about the wonderful dry white wines that are coming out of Italy, especially the south (Campania, Sicily) and the northeast (Veneto, Alto-Adige, Friuli). For my twelfth selection, try one of these Italian whites in this release:

  • VESEVO FALANGHINA 2008, DOC Sannio (Campania); #51698; Price: $15.95; 13.0% ABV

  • VILLA ANGELA PECORINO 2008, DOC Offida (Marche); #173252; Price: $13.95; 13.0% ABV

  • PRINCIPESSA GAVIA 2009, DOCG Gavi (Piemonte); #250696; Price: $19.95; 12.0% ABV

  • TERRE DI GIUMARA GRECANICO 2009, IGT Sicilia; #174961; Price: $11.95; 13.5% ABV

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1 comment:

  1. If you can find the Falanghina...most of it stayed in Toronto. Fabulous wine.