Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Picks: Vintages Release ─ November 10 2012

They've started the Christmas season at Vintages.  Bah, humbug!

I'm one of those old-fashioned types (aka fogies) who believe that Christmas belongs in December.  That's what makes it special.  But like every other retailer with no imagination, Vintages has once again jumped the gun and here we have the first release of a overly-long season.

Of course, expensive products have pride of place in this release.  But if you look carefully, you can find good values. 

There's a minor focus on Piedmont (just 7 wines).  It's the Barbera d'Alba that's the pick of the group.

Only 7 picks met the criteria for My Picks, all red.  Nothing organic but there are a couple of organic wines (both white) that I've included in the Honourable Mentions.

Off the Beaten Track

13TH STREET SANDSTONE OLD VINES GAMAY NOIR 2010, VQA Four Mile Crook (Niagara); #130195; Price $29.95; 13.0% ABV
100% Gamay. Handpicked. Cold soaked and fermented in stainless steel vats. Transferred to French oak barrels, (1/3 new) for Malolactic conversion and aging for “several” months, then blended. The winery recommends matching this with “venison, steak frites, grilled duck breast, or cow and ewe’s milk cheeses”.  Put this one away for a few years. Decant.
VASSE FELIX CABERNET/MERLOT 2010, Margaret River (Australia); #947879; Price $24.95; 14.5% ABV
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (37%), and Malbec (8%). Maceration and fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Aged for 12 months in French Oak (7% new, 93% 1-5 years old), then blended. The attraction here is the source: Margaret River in Western Australia.  Put away in the cellar for a couple of years.
PIERRE AMADIEU LA GRANGELIÈRE 2010, AC Vacqueyras (Southern Rhone); #76398; Price $19.95; 14.5% ABV
A typical southern Rhone blend of Grenache and Syrah. The Syrah is aged 9 months in oak barrels (50% new) and they aged the Grenache in large oak casks. Look for the typical flavours of red berries and pepper.
VIDAL-FLEURY 2009, AC CROZES HERMITAGE (Northern Rhone); #295832; Price $22.95; 13.0% ABV
100% Syrah. Both machine and hand harvested. Maceration for 3 weeks. Fermented with indigenous yeast, followed by Malolactic conversion. Aged on its lees for 3 months in tanks, then 6 months in foudres (large oak barrels). Clarification by settling and filtration. Unfined. Released 4 months after bottling.
GIACOMO BORGOGNO SUPERIORE 2010, DOC BARBERA D'ALBA (Piedmont); #285486; Price $19.95; 13.5% ABV
100% Barbera. 8 days maceration. Aged 12 months in oak barrels, then 2 months in bottle before release. Very versatile with food. Try it with grilled veal chops in a light cream sauce.
QUINTA DOS QUATROS VENTOS COLHEITA 2008, DOC Douro (Portugal); #902742; Price $24.95; 14.0% ABV
A blend of Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and Touriga Nacional. Aged 12 months in new French oak and Russian oak barrels. Excellent with stews and braised meats.
NEKEAS EL CHAPARRAL DE VEGA SINDOA OLD VINES GARNACHA 2010, DO Navarra (Spain); #291997; Price $18.95; 14.0% ABV
100% Garnacha from old vines planted in Spain’s northernmost Garnacha vineyard, rescued from near extinction. They ferment the grapes from each plot separately, with 20 days of maceration, followed by Malolactic conversion and 5 months in barrels, then blending. It’s a lighter style of Grenache. An early candidate for turkey dinner.
TILENUS ENVEJECIDO EN ROBLE 2007, DO Bierzo (Spain); #297143; Price $17.95; 14.5% ABV
100% Mencia…very “in” at the moment. It’s indigenous to Bierzo in northwest Spain, a continental climate (hot summers) but with some cooling from the nearby maritime climate. Fermented in stainless steel tanks. Aged 8 months in French oak (85%) and American oak (15%), then in the bottle for another year before release, following the traditional Spanish practice of keeping the wine at the winery until it’s ready to drink. No filtration or fining, so decanting is a good idea. Look for black fruits and spiciness on the palate.  Meant for aging.  BEST VALUE.
Honourable Mentions
BONTERRA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010, Lake and Mendocino Counties (California); #86249; Price $17.95; 13.1% ABV
Mostly Sauvignon Blanc, with Muscat and Chardonnay. Certified Organic.
YALUMBA ORGANIC VIOGNIER 2011, South Australia; #288217; Price $16.95; 13.5% ABV
100% Viognier. Organic. Excellent with Asian dishes.
KIM CRAWFORD SMALL PARCEL THE MISTRESS RIESLING 2006, South Island (New Zealand); #90134; Price $24.95; 13.0% ABV
Riesling from the cool climate South Island. Tell me more.
PAZO PONDAL LEIRA ALBARIÑO 2011, DO Rías Baixas (Spain); #115816; Price $15.95; 12.5% ABV
Albarino…one of my favourites. It’s a wine from a maritime climate that’s perfect with food from a maritime climate. Yes, it’s just that easy.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment