Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Quick Picks: Vintages Release ─ August 18 2012

The theme of this week's release is the 2010 vintage of the Southern Rhone.  There's a fair bit to choose from but, being the contrary fellow that I am, I found lots of other interesting selections to offer for your consideration.  Again, this week, it's Quick Picks...because being at the computer during summertime is just too punitive.

For the Rhone release, look for the good values by concentrating on the Cotes-du-Rhone-Villages (a step up from ordinary Cotes-du-Rhone), Vacqueyras, and Vinsorbes.  If you can spend a bit more, look for a Gigondas.  Generally speaking, the Chateauneuf-du-Pape is overpriced, although I do recommend the white CNP just because it's so rare.

Also take a look at the minor theme, wines from the West Coast.  There are a couple of Oregon wines that are worthwhile.


SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE CABERNET FRANC 2010, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake; #275958; Price: $21.95; 13.3% ABV
Cabernet Franc, the overlooked summer wine.

Off the Beaten Track


CHAMISAL UNOAKED STAINLESS CHARDONNAY 2011, Central Coast (California); #289223; Price: $25.95; 13.5% ABV
Unoaked.  Look for the citrus fruit flavours and acidity to come to the fore.

THE EYRIE VINEYARDS PINOT GRIS 2009, Willamette Valley (Oregon); #717421; Price: $21.95; 13.5% ABV
Oregon wineries took some time to learn that Pinot Gris works well in their unique climate.  A lesson that PEC wineries should take to heart (You do Pinot Noir; why not more Pinot Gris?)  Here’s Oregon’s pioneer in that learning process.

THREE PONDS SEMILLON 2011, Hunter Valley (Australia); #285049; Price: $19.95; 11.0% ABV
Delicious Semillon from the place, Hunter Valley, that does it best.

BROTTE BLANC 2010, AC Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Southern Rhone); #74203; Price: $29.95; 13.5% ABV
A rarity at Vintages, white Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  Usually contains Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Bourboulenc, Clairette and Picpoul.  You pay for the brand.


PAPPAS WINE CO. PINOT NOIR 2009, Willamette Valley (Oregon); #285726; Price: $24.95; 13.8% ABV
Another goody from Oregon.

L.A. CETTO PRIVATE RESERVE PETITE SIRAH 2008, Baja California (Mexico); #291062; Price: $19.95; 14.5% ABV
Their entry-level Petite Sirah is a reliable bargain, so the Private Reserve is worth a try.

DOMAINE RUET LA FONTENELLE 2010, AC Chiroubles (Beaujolais); #282095; Price: $16.95; 12.5% ABV
Another Cru Beaujolais; easy drinking for the summer.

LES VIGNOLES TERROIRS ET LIEU-DIEU DE LOIRE 2009, AC Saumur-Champigny (Loire); #662585; Price: $15.95; 13.5% ABV
After giving Vintages a kick in the pants for not having any reds in their recent Loire feature, you can bet that this Cabernet Franc will make the list.

STOCCO REFOSCO DAL PEDUNCOLO ROSSO 2009, DOC Friuli-Grave (FriuliItaly); #289561; Price: $14.95; 13.0% ABV
Known for plum flavours and bitterness on the finish, making it an excellent food wine.  Try it with grilled pork.

MELONI TERREFORRU 2009, DOC Cannonau di Sardegna (Italy); #101378; Price: $16.95; 13.5% ABV
Cannonau is what the Sardinians call Grenache.  Try the Italian variation.


DOMAINE SAINTE MARIE TRADITION ROSÉ 2011, AC Cotes de Provence (France); #283564; Price: $15.95; 12.5% ABV
Looks like the rosé pipeline is drying up!  Get ‘em while you can.

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