Sunday, November 15, 2009

Holiday, Promo 2009: 5 Tasted of 5

A very entertaining Promo arrived with my Saturday G & M. There’s enough inside to satisfy everyone: ideas for placecard holders, napkin ring cookies; recipes for starters, salad rolls, biscotti, roast potatoes and… wait for it…DRINKS! All for the Holiday season with wines and spirits brought to Ontarians by LCBO’s VP of Merchandising and resident chief expert on wines, beers and spirits, Shari Mogk-Edwards (SM) and VP of Vintages, Tom Wilson (TW).

Of the thirteen grape based products I’ve dropped four that were outside my Holiday budget of $20. I also dropped wines rated by local critics at 85 or below as well as some past vintages tasted and given a similar rating. Five remain for tasting.

Each Outlet may have additional products offered as part of this Promo. Very likely they’ll be featured along with gift wrapped or boxed multiples on their many impromptu display ‘islands’. It’s that time of the year. Time to offer bargains and to clear old inventory. I wish you luck separating values from plonk. Ho, Ho, Ho! Cheers, Ww

Wines selected: 
  • Malivoire Red 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 90-2 -- G, Niagara, Ontario, #141523 $14.95
  • Masi Campofiorin ‘Rosso del Veronese’ 2006, 88-1 -- G, Veneto, Italy, #155051 $17.45 (SM)
  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Grand Vin de Bourgogne Petit Chablis 2007, 88-1 -- G, Burgundy, France, #051466 $19.90 (SM)
  • Flor de Crasto 2007, 85 -- G, Douro, Portugal, #089870 $10.95
  • J. Lohr Estates ‘Arroyo Seco’ Chardonnay 2007, 83 -- G, San Jose, California, #258699 $19.05* (SM)  
Wines dropped:

  •  No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Cabernet Merlot 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, G, Niagara, Ontario, #075689 $15.95 (SM) 
  • Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut NV, G, Penedes, Spain, #088591 $13.95  
  • Cave Spring Riesling Dry 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, G, Niagara, Ontario, #233635 $14.25 (SM) 
  • Frescobaldi Chianti Rufina Nipozzano Riserva 2006, G, Chianti, Italy, #107276 $19.75 (SM) 

Outside the Holiday budget: 
  • Muga Reserva Rioja 2005, V, Rioja, Spain, #177345 $24.95 (TW) 
  • Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, V, California, USA, #352583 $39.95 (TW) 
  • Chandon Brut Classic NV, G, California, USA, #094946 $24.90 (SM) 
  • Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Rose NV, G, Champagne, France, #019661 $77.10 (SM) 
(G - General listing, V - Vintages, * - sale priced, r-v - Rating-Value)

BOUCHARD PERE & FILS GRAND VIN DE BOURGOGNE PETIT CHABLIS 2007, Burgundy, France, 12.0% D, #051466 $19.90 (Tasted November 15, 2009) CS

A General listing described anonymously (undated) as “Pale straw colour; green apple, pear, citrus and minerals with touch of almond on the nose; dry, crisp and clean with a hint of clove and a long citrus finish. Serve with hors d'oeuvres; crab stuffed sole; oysters on a half shell; simply prepared shellfish dishes.” My notes: The 2007 vintage was on the shelves - not the 2008 as shown in the Promo. Aerate twenty minutes for a fresher, delicate aroma of stone fruit and citrus. A crisp mix of mild lemon and apple, mineral tinged finishing with light flavours lingering then leaving a slight lemon and chalk. A very clean chardonnay that should cellar for several years but not improve. Would be well accepted with a cold buffet or to have with fresh oysters, crab cakes or mild fish entrees. 88

MASI CAMPOFIORIN ‘ROSSO DEL VERONESE’ 2006, Veneto, Italy, 13.0% D, #155051 $17.45 (Tasted November 21, 2009) CS

A General listing described anonymously (undated) as “Ruby red colour; dry with a complex nose of plums, prunes, leather, cinnamon spice and violets; dry, medium-to full-bodied with generous fruit on the palate; a nice backbone of spice and tannins. Serve with red meat, sharp cheeses, osso bucco, wild mushroom risotto, veal parmigiana.” My notes: A deep black cherry colour and aromas of cherries, raisins and leather. The silky texture shifts into a soft tannin, a polite tang and flavours of fresh cherries possibly with a slight cedar plank edge. On the light side of medium-bodied makes this a thin sipper but with enough to be a match for tomato pizzas or pastas, veal parmigiana for sure as well as a triple cheese and ground meat lasagna. Finishes long, dry with some bramble. Cellaring for several years could possibly add more smoothness but drinking well now.  88

J. LOHR ESTATES ‘ARROYO SECO’ CHARDONNAY 2007, San Jose, California, 13.5% D, #258699 $19.05* (Tasted November 18, 2009) CS

A General listing described anonymously (undated) as “Deep yellow colour; ripe apple, pear, melon & vanilla aromas; dry, medium to full-bodied; creamy texture & peachy, oaky notes on the palate; well-balanced with a long finish. Serve with grilled or roasted poultry dishes, pork with apple sauce or caramelized onions.” My notes:This has a golden hue and faint aromas of pear, apple and a vanilla note, not that distinct. Nicely rounded with a touch of butterscotch on grassy melon and citrus flavours which continue into a long mild lemon finish. OK for C sippers and should carry itself well with seafood dishes: halibut and chips, panfried red snapper, telapia or salmon steak. A drink now and even cellaring for a few years should do well.  83

FLOR DE CRASTO 2007, Douro, Portugal, 12.5% XD, #089870 $10.95 (Tasted November 18, 2009) CS

A General listing described anonymously (undated) as “A rich and medium bodied wine that shows flavours of rich berry fruits with hints of spice and a soft round finish. Serve with beef or hard cheeses.” My notes A light plum nose with a sharp edge, a deep plum shade in the bowl with a firm film and slow tears. The tang with the first sip startles the buds as does the warm buildup of tang in the long finish covering much of the full fruit flavours. Cherry, black berry, peppers, leather, tars combine for a full-bodied bold sipper. Open this up to an hour before a spicy meal of chili con carne, lamb brisket, loaded burgers or Barberian rubbed ribs. Cellaring for several years may tame some roughness although there should be lots left if that’s your taste. 85

MALIVOIRE RED 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Ontario, 13.0% D, #141523 $14.95 (Tasted October 4, 2009) CS

A General listing described by the winery as “An inviting nose of raspberry, cherry, vanilla and cedar emerge from this blend of 45% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Gamay. The palate greets you with flavours of plum, black currant, dark chocolate and a long finish.” My notes: A deep ruby regal in appearance, a nose of subtle black cherry and spice, and a firm film with few slow legs all make this attractive in the glass. The first sip also has subtlety in its flavours along with a smooth texture and bright edge, medium-bodied. The finish starts mellow fading slowly as red cherry and plum mix with fine tannins, cedar and dryness that leaves the mouth refreshed. Have with grilled T-bone or rack of lamb, beef tenderloin or a seared pork chop - a flexible, polite red. Young yet and could cellar for several years increasing in complexity. Gets points for potential.  90

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