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LCBO Vintages RELEASE of Aug 30/14: some notes

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====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20

Boekenhoutskloof Porcupine Ridge Syrah/Viognier 2012 WO Swartland, +79442, $16.95: smokey syrah with guts and fruit, twist top, 14% ABV, great price. QPR: 92.

TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Blue Mountain Chardonnay 2012 Okanagan Valley, +350108, $23.95, QPR: 90.
2.Elk Cove Pinot Gris 2013 Willamette Valley, +955906, $24.95, QPR: 90.
3.Schloss Reinhartshausen Hattenheimer Wisselbrunnen Riesling Kabinett 2012 Rheingau, +114801, $20.95, QPR: 91.
4.Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +80234, $16.95: typically Mosel-like, nicely soft but with stuffing for a finish. 9.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
5.Chateau Ste.Michelle Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Columbia Valley, +385740, $15.95: fruity west coast style, zestiness played down, good value, 13% ABV, cork closure. QPR: 89.
6.Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2013 WO Stellenbosch, +981167, $13.95: good alternative to savvy wine, lively fruit, longer finish with mid-palate fruitiness and finishing acid, twist top, 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
7.Joseph Cattin Pinot Gris 2012 Alsace, +196956, $16.95: lovely ripe pear tones and stone fruit, great body, 13% ABV. Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
8.Vieil Armand Medaille Riesling 2010 Alsace, +377754, $15.95: loaded with minerality and orchard fruit, but lacks petrol character. Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
9.Henri Bourgeois Petit Bourgeois Sauvignon Blanc 2013 IGP Vins de Pays du Val de Loire, +672345, $15.95: a light tight savvy, along the lines of Touraine, 12% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.

TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir 2012 Yarra Valley, +178897, $21.95, QPR: 90.
2.Longview Yakka Shiraz 2010 Adelaide Hills South Australia, +378539, $22.95, QPR: 90.
3.Domaine des Amouriers Signature Vacqueyras 2011, +381038, $24.95, QPR: 89.
4.Brancaia Tre 2011 IGT Toscana, +164715, $23.95, QPR: 89.
5.Bodegas San Prudencio Depadre 2009 Rioja, +379917, $22.95, QPR: 90.
6.Chateau des Charmes Estate Bottled Old Vines Pinot Noir 2010 VQA NOTL, +256834, $18.95: delightful aged character from older vines, some forest floor to support the fruit. QPR: 89.
7.Domaine Jean Bousquet Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Tupungato Mendoza, +678813, $14.95: organic grapes, MVC for cabby savvy, black fruit and black mushrooms, value priced, 15% (!) ABV. QPR: 89.
8.Maipe Reserve Malbec 2012 Mendoza, +247320, $14.95: aged a year in French oak, showing dark plums and chocolate, value priced at 14.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
9.Sister's Run Cow's Corner Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2011 Barossa, +346510, $15.95: has BBQ written all over it, stamped on your palate. 14.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
10.Maison Sichel Chateau Argadens 2011 Bordeaux Superieur, +681643, $17.95: reasonably-priced entry level Bordeaux, typical but instantly recognizable as Bordeaux. QPR: 89.
11.San Marzano Falo Negroamaro 2012 IGT Salento Puglia, +380212, $14.95: ripe, firm, fruity, North American soft tannins appeal, 13.5% ABV, good price point. Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
12.Quinto do Quetzal Guadalupe Red 2011 Vinho Regional Alentejano, +336313, $13.95: lots of character, red fruit-driven, bright, longer length through dryness. QPR: 89.
13.Barahonda Barrica Monastrell/Syrah 2011 DO Yecla, +378869, $17.95: in French oak for six months, fruit from 45-year old vines, 15% ABV, very good dark fruit and underbrush. QPR: 89.
14.Bodegas Campina Sabor Real Vinas Centenarias Tempranillo 2007 DO Toro, +244772, $15.95: another nicely aged Spanish wonder, longer length, some wood tones among the raisinated flavours. QPR: 89.

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  1. Dean,
    There are two wines in the release that 'on paper' looked (to me) to be worth trying - yet neither make your picks.
    Your comments please on

    Chilensis Lazuli and

    La Rosa Tinto.

    Thanks.

    6 Replies
    1. re: estufarian

      estufarian, on both wines I had written NYR which means, to me, Not Yet Ready. I remember them as being OK, but will need some time to improve. Voss said 2017 for the latter, and i am sure he is right. I used to write about these kind of wines but got complaints from readers interested in drinking NOW. I told them to do a double decant -- or more -- or leave the bottle open a week. They were stunned...Thanks for writing...

      1. re: Dean Tudor

        Thanks for that.
        You may recall that I am unable to taste tannins, so 'readiness' may be different for me.
        Plus, pairing with some red meat may also be a good match - I guess I'll just have to try them myself (as always!).

        1. re: estufarian

          Unable to taste tannins? That may be a blessing in disguise!

          Curious Dean, as to who you write for as I always appreciate your notes on CH.

          I have had a Syrah from Porcupine ridge before, not sure from that vineyard, but I don't recall it making that big of an impact....curious how this one differs.

          1. re: Sadistick

            It appears that about 15% of Europeans cannot taste tannins but data is sparse - how many people have ever had their 'taste buds' tested (I have!).
            Last time I researched this (about 3 years ago) it was known that there were about 6 different types of 'bitter' (tannins are in that category) that were known. And different people (including me) are not able to distinguish between different concentrations (by taste alone - some can sense them in roof of mouth and/or gums). But indeed, it means I can try youthful wines and taste what's hidden to many people.

            But that 'flaw' meant I couldn't qualify as a wine judge - couldn't pass the 'tannin test'.

            1. re: estufarian

              I took the Jamie Drummond litmus test: perhaps you saw me run screaming out of the range of the camera -- it was so bloody bitter!!!

            2. re: Sadistick

              I'm not sure what rules CH board has for media writers, but you can check out my history via www.deantudor.com, which should be in my profile.

      2. I should add that some stores in Toronto will stock Vintages releases on Friday afternoon, so that there will be shelves full on the Sat AM first thing. I know one store that stocks on Thursday PM...

        1. Don't make the mistake of buying the Porcupine Ridge Syrah, instead of the Syrah/Viognier. It was strongly, stickily tannic and didn't have much flavour once you got past the unpleasant peppery tang.