Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Picks: Vintages Release -- August 7, 2010

Here’s my shopping list for the Vintages Release on August 7.  

Lots of interesting stuff this week.  The main theme is Central and Southern Italy, one of my favourite regions simply because it's a treasure trove of lesser-known varietals.  Quite a few (7) organic wines as well, although not all are worthy of your consideration.  Two Canadian Pinot Gris (Pinot Grises? Pinots Gris?)  Even the rarest of the rare here in Ontario:  2 wines from BC!


SOUTHBROOK FRESH WHITE 2009, VQA Ontario; #185462; Price: $16.95; 9.7% ABV
100% Vidal, here’s a very light crisp white that’s made for quenching your thirst on the patio on a hot day.  Certified Biodynamic.  Fermented in stainless steel.  Lightweight bottle (400 g) so the winemaker has all her bases covered.

EMILIANA NOVAS LIMITED SELECTION CHARDONNAY 2008, Casablanca Valley (Chile); #4515; Price: $14.95; 14.0% ABV
100% Chardonnay from Chile’s leading organic producer.  Aged 5 months, 70% in French oak and 30% in stainless steel.  Definitely worth trying.

LOAN SEMILLON 2006, Barossa Valley (Australia); #108092; Price: $16.95; 13.5% ABV
The winemakers say that, “Sustainability is fundamental to our philosophy”.  It shows up in hand-managed vineyards, certified organic growing and production, dry farming, and a belief in terroir.  Aged 10 months in old French oak, then bottle-aged for another year before release.  Aussie Semillon typically shows more fruit and floral aromas.  Take out a Loan!

Off the Beaten Track


GRAY MONK PINOT GRIS 2008, VQA Okanagan Valley (British Columbia); #118638; Price: $19.95; 13.6% ABV
Move up from Pinot Grigio!  100% Pinot Gris, fermented in stainless steel.  Gray Monk was the first BC winery I visited, on a trip there way back in the late 80s.  Even then, they were famous for their Pinot Gris.  Find out why.

PALA CRABILIS I FIORI 2009, DOC VERMENTINO DI SARDEGNA (Italy); #52068; Price: $13.95; 13.0% ABV
100% Vermentino, a Spanish varietal found around the Mediterranean coast; I even came across it in Languedoc.  Fermented in stainless steel.  Crabilis means “ancient goat shelter” in the Sardinian dialect.  Not the most marketable name in the English-speaking world, so perhaps that’s why this is the last vintage to carry the name.  Not surprisingly, it’s perfect with all kinds of seafood.

Next up is the one rosé chosen from this week's list, but I previously recommended MALIVOIRE LADYBUG ROSÉ 2009 back in May and it's re-released this week.

CHÂTEAU ROUTAS ROUVIÈRE ROSÉ 2009, AC Coteaux Varois en Provence (France); #739128; Price: $14.95; 12.7% ABV
A blend of Cinsault (55%), Syrah (23%), Grenache (14%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (8%).  Hand-harvested, they fermented the Syrah and half of the Cabernet Sauvignon in old barrels (>3 years old) with the remaining Grenache and Cinsault fermented in stainless steel tanks.  The two different lots are aged separately for five months and then blended for bottling.  Owned by a Scot, och, but the winemaker’s from Chablis and trained at one of Provence’s premier makers of rosé (Domaine Ott).  And 2009 was a fabulous year in Provence.


INNISKILLIN OKANAGAN RESERVE PINOT NOIR 2008, VQA Okanagan Valley (British Columbia); #183541; Price: $18.95; 14.0% ABV
The other Inniskillin.  The Okanagan is at the northern tip of the Sonoran desert, it’s dry, dry, dry and cool.  They age this Pinot Noir for 4 months in French oak.  Hmmm…maybe with cedar-plank Pacific salmon?

RAVENSWOOD VINTNERS BLEND PETITE SIRAH 2007, California; #161554; Price: $17.95; 13.5% ABV
Repeat after me:  Petite Sirah is neither Syrah, nor petite.  Often used in blending to add some oomph to other varietals.  A shame, though, because it’s a nicely tannic wine that matches up beautifully with a grilled steak.  Or, when it’s just slightly chilled, it’s great with spicy foods, especially at this relatively low alcohol level (compared to Ravenswood’s more famous varietal, Zinfandel).  With the Petite Sirah (84%), they toss in Syrah (13%) and something amusingly known as “Mixed Blacks” (3%), an old Sonoma County term for an undefined blend of black-skinned varietals.  Fermented for 15 days, then aged in new and used French oak for 18 months.  But definitely a wine to drink with food.

STOLPMAN ESTATE SYRAH 2007, Santa Ynez Valley (California); #185264; Price: $32.95; 14.5% ABV
An intentional homage to Cote Rotie, with a blend of Syrah (95%) and Viognier (5%).  They use no herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides in the vineyard.  It’s not Pinot, but Miles would approve.

100% Aglianico (brought to Italy by the Ancient Greeks) from another new winery in Basilicata.  Aged in stainless steel for 12 months.  A real bargain.  Made to drink now, try it with pasta ragu.  Certified by the Ethical and Environmental Certification Institute for its practices in "environmental protection, workers’ dignity, and collective rights".

GIUSTI PIERGIOVANNI 2008, DOC LACRIMA DI MORRO D'ALBA, Marche (Italy); #180273; Price: $17.95; 13.0% ABV
100% Lacrima di Morro d’Alba!  I love it when I come across a varietal that I’ve never heard of before.  Italian, of course, and grown only in this region.  Fermented in stainless steel, then aged 4 months in oak and 3 more months in bottle.

CHÂTEAU KSARA RÉSERVE DU COUVENT 2007, Bekaa Valley (Lebanon); #443721; Price: $13.95; 13.0% ABV
A winery founded by the Jesuits, now modernized (the winery, not the Jesuits).  This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Cabernet Franc.  When did you last have a wine from Lebanon?  Worth a try!

Subscribing to this blog through RSS or email is easy! Just click on the subscribe link to the left ←

No comments:

Post a Comment