Vin Greco is well known locally for his wine expertise.
His interest in wine has been life-long.
Or, as we say in English, ‘This and That’ – but as the emphasis this month at the LCBO is on the wines of France, we will give a brief nod to that theme by highlighting a few of the many options that are being presented to us.
A new general listing to the LCBO is Mas des Montagnes Cotes du Rousillon Villages, $12.95, from ‘Vignobles Lorgeril’ and bearing the crest of ‘Les Comtes de Lorgeril’.
While the price is far from ‘regal’, this red wine is sound, with a good roundness in the mouth, good balance, and over-all satisfying flavours: it is well worth drinking, whether on its own or with moderately flavoured dishes – even chicken or rabbit.
I made a point of trying two inexpensive Pinot Noirs, Hob Nob, currently $1 off at $11.95, and the J.P Chenet Limited Reserve Pinot Noir, $12.95, and while the latter is certainly a decent wine, my preference is the Hob Nob, with its persistent flavours of sweet spice and sandalwood – all in all a very attractive wine.
In Vintages, the Paul Zinck Portrait Gewurztraminer 2011. $19.95, from Alsace should be a great match for Asian Cuisine ( the producer recommends swordfish with mango and oregano, along with lobster spring rolls featuring ginger and orange peel) as it balances the sweet and sour of mango and lychee, along with some pear notes.
The Wine Spectator gives the 2010 vintage in Bordeaux a mind-blowing 98 rating, and the Washington Post scores Chateau Michel de Vert 2010, $19.95 as excellent, with “the plummy, plush texture of merlot along with the woodsy spice of cabernet franc.”
Bordeaux, at one time the world’s pre-eminent wine region, in recent decades has experienced lots of competition at the ‘value-end” of the spectrum from other good wine producers around the world; however, in the past few years, we are seeing more and more moderately priced but stellar Bordeaux reds: don’t hesitate to try them.
I am partial to reds from the south of France, and there are a couple of good ones worth trying, one of which is Syrousse 2011, $16.95, available at both the Great Northern and Station Mall stores.
This wine earned a 90 from Robert Parker Jr. and the emphasis is on gobs of dark fruit and anise flavour, mouth-filling texture, and good length.
Also from ‘down south’ is Domaine Lambrusques Esprit Sauvage 2011, $17.95, which, it is suggested, will have lots of warmth along with dark cherry/berry flavours, and spice.
If white wine is your preference, this would be a good time to try some of Ontario’s great selection of Rieslings.
Flat Rock Cellars has two on offer at the Great Northern Store, the 2012 Riesling, $16.95, and the Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling 2012, $19.95.
Winecurrent.com praised the former mightily for its ample weight and texture and lemon tartness and sweetness, while the Globe and Mail extolled the Nadja’s Vineyard offering for its wonderful citrus and peach/apple flavours and for being “silky, long, and delectable”.
You might have to order in the Tawse Sketches of Niagara Riesling 2012, $17.95, from the February 15 release – or try to find it somewhere in the province, but this is a Riesling which is exemplary for its pure and rich fruit flavour, with the winery’s emphasis on organic and biodynamic production.
For a truly intriguing Riesling, seek out The Foreign Affair Ex-Pat Riesling 2009, $16.95, which incorporates for 20% of its make-up grapes dried in the appassimento method, which is the hallmark for great wines from the Veneto, to heighten both the flavours and textures – with appassimento, the wine-making process is prolonged, and so this wine is already almost 5 years old..
For these last two wines, try to place a personal order before Tuesday the 25th to increase your chances of securing some.
Finally, two reds from Argentina coming out March 1 should be tempting.
The Dante Robina Bonarda 2011, $14.95 showcases a grape which we will encounter more and more frequently in the next few years: Bonarda at one time was more or less a ‘workhorse’ grape used predominantly in blending, and rarely acknowledged.
Now, it is getting attention for yummy flavours and very pleasing textures and over-all versatility – this example is geared for enjoyment, and will be just plain satisfying.
The other Argentinian, Finca Sophenia Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, $17, carries a Parker 92 for its complexity, integration, and “fruit-driven finish” – and it has the potential to age for another 8 years – and so, at this price, buy it!
The Stokely Creek Wine Tasting and Dinner is set for March 8, and starting at 5:30 we will sample 6 wines with appetizers, with wines that cover regions from around the world.
Dinner, featuring Filet Mignon will follow, and the event, including gratuities, is just $48 plus HST; if you are interested in the wine-tasting alone, it is $20 per person.
For the dinner, you may purchase wine from Stokely, or bring your own, for which there is an extremely reasonable $5 corkage fee per bottle.
Stokely Creek, situated at Goulais River, is one of the best cross-country ski destinations in North America, and in the last few years has been developing snow-shoe trails as well.
Under the ownership of the Byker family, the lodge has been expanded, and the trails are in excellent shape, and so this is a great opportunity for you to check things out.
To reserve, call Stokely Creek at 705-649-3421, and give yourself a treat.