Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Picks: Vintages Release -- April 30 2011

The primary theme of this week’s release is “Aussie Dynasties” with 21 wines from various family-run wineries. Good variety and some good Picks. 3 make it here.

Southern Italy is the supporting theme. It’s one of my favourite areas, full of indigenous grape varieties that we don’t see elsewhere. 3 more of My Picks come from this region.

At last, we’ve got some organic and Biodynamic wines to snap up from this release: 4 of them (one from Ontario) made the cut. The word “sauvignon” shows up in all 4.

Selections from Chile and Spain round out the list.

Learn more here about My Picks.

Organic & Biodynamic

PAUL DOLAN SAUVIGNON BLANC 2009, Mendocino County (California); #46334; Price: $19.95; 13.5% ABV
100% Sauvignon Blanc from Mendocino County, north of Sonoma along the Pacific coast. Fermented and aged in stainless steel. Certified organic by CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers). Paul Dolan has a Biodynamic wine, but this isn’t it. Try it with sushi. Check out this Wine Spectator video with the winemaker.

CONO SUR SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010, San Antonio Valley (Chile); #213587; Price: $12.95; 13.5% ABV
100% Sauvignon Blanc from San Antonio, way up north in Aconcagua but just 20 km from the coast, so it’s influenced by the cold waters of the Humboldt current, ideal for Sauvignon Blanc. Handpicked. Fermented and aged, for 3 months, in stainless steel. Certified organic by BCS Oeko Garantie GMBH of Germany. They say the bicycle on the label represents the method of transportation used by the workers to get to the vineyards. Great value.

SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE CABERNET FRANC 2008, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake; #237065; Price: $22.95; 13.3% ABV
A blend of Cabernet Franc (85%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (15%). Hand-harvested. Fermented in both stainless steel and oak vats with indigenous yeasts for four weeks. Aged in French and American oak. No fining. Certified Biodynamic. Anybody for some steak tartar?

NATIVA SINGLE VINEYARD GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007, Maipo Valley (Chile); #975359; Price: $19.95; 14.0% ABV
100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cold macerated for 2 weeks, then fermented in stainless steel tanks. Aged in French oak barrels for 14 months. Certified organic by the IMO (Institute for Marketecology). No synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Perfect with a grilled steak.

Off the Beaten Track


YALUMBA VIOGNIER 2009, Eden Valley (Australia); #954644; Price: $24.95; 13.5% ABV
100% Viognier. Fermented with indigenous yeasts: 60% barrel-fermented, 40% fermented in stainless steel. Aged on its lees for 10 months in older French oak barrels. The winemaker recommends “anything lamb” with this wine. Well, the Aussies know lamb and they know wine, so why not?


VIÑA PERALILLO ARENAL CARMENERE 2009, Colchagua Valley (Chile); #211409; Price: $14.95; 14.0% ABV
100% Carmenère. Hand-harvested. Just a touch of oak: 30% of the wine aged in first- and second-use barrels for 6 months. It’s a wine for (slow-cooked) ribs on the BBQ.

D'ARENBERG THE TWENTYEIGHT ROAD MOURVÈDRE 2007, McLaren Vale (Australia); #677617; Price: $29.95; 14.5% ABV
100% Mourvèdre, a warm climate grape that’s easy to find in southern Rhone, Languedoc-Roussillon, and Spain. Typically high in acidity and tannins, it’s a black-fruit, spicy mouthful. Fermented in old French oak vats and barrels. Aged for 10 months in French and American oak barrels on its lees. No fining or filtration, so decanting is a must. Needs aging. I’m thinking of some game…venison on the grill?

HOWARD PARK LESTON CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2008, Margaret River (Australia); #923565; Price: $29.95; 14.0% ABV
100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Western Australia, a region that is overlooked, or simply lumped in with Southern Australia (a little like confusing Okanagan with Niagara). Fermented in stainless steel tanks, then left on its skins for another 20 days. Aged in French oak barrels (35% new; 65% 1-year-old) for 18 months. Minimal fining and filtration. Decant. Leave it in the cellar for at least a year or two.

TERREDORA AGLIANICO 2008, IGT Campania (Italy); #602284; Price: $14.95; 13.0% ABV
100% Aglianico...find out what you’ve been missing, for only $15. Maceration for 7 days. Aged partially in oak and partially in stainless steel tanks. Why not try it with some pizza?

LEONE DE CASTRIS RISERVA 2006, DOC Salice Salentino (Puglia); #597534; Price: $16.95; 13.5% ABV
A blend of Negroamaro (90%) and Malvasia Nera (10%). Handpicked. Maceration for 8 days. Aged 12 months in oak barrels, 3 months in bottle before release. Another wine for a tomato-based sauce.

FIRRIATO ROSSO 2008, DOC Etna (Sicily); #219592; Price: $16.95; 14.0% ABV
A blend of Nerello Mascalese (80%) and Nerello Cappuccio (20%), both of which they usually blended with Nero d’Avola. Handpicked. Fermented for 14 days in stainless steel. Aged 6 months in oak barrels, followed by 2 months in the bottle before release. I’d try it with pasta with a meaty sauce or a lamb stew…so you may want to save it for next winter.

DON JACOBO GRAN RESERVA 1995, DOCa Rioja (Spain); #923748; Price: $27.95; 12.5% ABV
That’s right…1995. The tradition is that this is the way that winemakers release wines in Rioja: the winery holds on to the wine until it’s at its peak. A blend of Tempranillo (85%) and Garnacha (15%). Hold onto it until next winter and try it with a stew or braised meat.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment