Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Picks: Vintages Release ─ October 27 2012

In this week’s release at Vintages, the primary theme focuses on the world’s best-known wine region (Bordeaux).  Not much there that’s worthwhile for My Picks, where I recommend wines from regions that are lesser known or underappreciated.  Not to say you shouldn’t buy some Bordeaux red.  2009 was an excellent vintage, so have at it.  (Chateau Lestruelle and Chateau La Gravette Lacombe look like good value.)

Still, there’s a Bordeaux white worth a look.  (As much as Bordeaux red is over-exposed, Bordeaux white is overlooked just as much.)  There are 7 other wines worth your consideration, including a Chablis that saw no oak and a rarity (Riojan Graciano) that you shouldn’t miss.   


BONTERRA ZINFANDEL 2010, Mendocino County (California); #530139; Price: $17.00; 14.5% ABV
Zinfandel with “a little Petite Sirah”.  Here’s a Zinfandel with a lot going for it.  Made from certified organic grapes…just 14.5% alcohol (low for a Zin)…and a good price.  Great with Indian food that has a kick of spice.  Drink soon.

Off the Beaten Track


CHÂTEAU DE CRUZEAU BLANC 2009, AC Pessac-Léognan (Bordeaux); #966010; Price: $27.95; 13.0% ABV
100% Sauvignon Blanc.  Hand harvested.  Fermented in oak barrels.  No Malolactic fermentation.  Aged for 10 months in oak barrels (35% new) on its lees (spent yeast) with bâtonnage (stirring of the lees).  Fined by tartaric precipitation.  Try it with scallops or scampi.

SIMONNET-FEBVRE 2010, AC Chablis (Burgundy); #41780; Price: $19.95; 12.7% ABV
100% Chardonnay.  This is Chablis at its best.  Fermented in stainless steel.  Aged on its lees for 6 months in stainless steel, which allows the grape to shine through with its citrus and tree fruit aromas and flavours, and that wonderful flinty minerality.  Good price too.  Get some raw oysters!


MALIVOIRE ALBERT'S HONOUR OLD VINES FOCH 2010, VQA Ontario; #551036; Price: $24.95; 12.0% ABV
100% Maréchal Foch, a French hybrid created in the early 20th century by crossing a European Vinifera vine with an American vine as a response to the phylloxera attack.  Now illegal in France.  Known for its resistance to disease and winter weather.  Hand harvested.  Fermented on its skins for 12 days. Aged in American oak barrels for 8 months.  Often described as rustic.  Ideal with stews.

LOUIS JADOT CHÂTEAU DES JACQUES 2009, AC Morgon (Beaujolais); #653584; Price: $23.95; 13.5% ABV
100% Gamay.  Hand harvested.  Fermented using natural yeasts in oak vats for 12 days, followed by Malolactic fermentation.  Aged in oak barrels.  Ready to drink now but Morgon is the most age-worthy (up to 10 years) of all the Beaujolais Crus.  Hold on to it for a few of years and try it with braised game.

ALPHA DOMUS THE BARNSTORMER SYRAH 2010, North Island (New Zealand); #303396; Price: $22.95; 13.5% ABV
100% Syrah.  Hand and machine harvested.  Fermented with cultured yeast with maceration of 14 days.  Aged in French oak for 10 months. From a family-owned winery.  Try it with lamb, of course.  Drink soon.

MEANDRO DO VALE MEÃO 2009, DOC Douro (Portugal); #244731; Price: $22.95; 14.0% ABV
A blend of Touriga Nacional (35%), Touriga Franca (30%), Tinta Roriz aka Tempranillo (35%), Tinta Barroca (5%) and the little-known Sousão (5%).  Crushed by foot in Lagares -- granite tanks -- how’s that for tradition?  They ferment each grape separately, then blend. Aged in French oak barrels (second and third use).  A family-run winery.  Made for a winter’s dinner with lamb or beef stew but first needs another year of aging.

GRA2 GARCIANO 2010, DOCa Rioja (Spain); #190819; Price: $16.95; 13.5% ABV
100% Garciano, a high quality grape variety that was nearly extinct because of low yields but now making a slow comeback.  Maceration on the skins for 5 days before fermentation and 10 days after fermentation.  Aged in stainless steel tanks.   Known for its berry aromas and flavours, spicy character, and high acidity.  Should be great with roast chicken.  BEST VALUE.   

Honourable Mentions

LES PENSÉES DE PALLUS 2009, AC Chinon (Loire); #123893; Price: $21.95; 13.0% ABV
100% Cabernet Franc from Chinon.  Very food-friendly.

BODEGAS PABLO MENGUANTE VIDADILLO 2007, DO Carinena (Spain); #293407; Price: $17.95; 14.0% ABV
Vidadillo (aka Crespiello):  a very obscure grape coming back from near extinction.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment