The weekend is nearly upon us and there is a brand new vintages release on Saturday, February 17th to help kick off some fun. Psst...some LCBO stores place them out early so I managed to pick up my favorites already and you should too.
Let's jump right in, shall we?
1. 2013 Lornano, Chianti Classico, Italy $17.95
This Italian red wine made from 100% Sangiovese grapes, aged 12 months in oak, is the perfect accompaniment to a charcuterie board, aged firm cheeses and, of course, a nice pasta or pizza. For the price, this wine promises to be pretty darn good with a balance between red fruit and earthy wood characters. I would pour this guilt-free, anytime I just about pleased, served at 16C. #PizzaWine
2. 2013 Brancaia, Chianti Classico Riserva at $36.95
This Italian red wine made from 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot grapes, aged 16 months in oak, will surely be a special treat. I would save this particular wine for a nice homemade meat lasagna, pasta bolognese or even a Sunday style pot roast. This wine will offer brighter cherry fruit (merlot) than the Lornano previous, and much more rustic earthy, leather, fig notes overall, served at 18C. If you want to really taste the difference between good wine quality and impressive, taste these two back to back and you'll see what money really can buy. Don't forget to decant this at least 30 minutes (1 hour recommended), it both needs it and deserves it!
3. 2013 Redstone, Chardonnay, Niagara Peninsula at $25.70
Redstone Winery is the latest venture by Moray Tawse (Tawse Winery) and his award-winning winemaking team, named for its red clay soil and large stones. This Chardonnay promises to be balanced between its fruit (green apple & pear), oak (toast) and minerals (smoke, crushed rock). This wine saw 12 months in neutral French oak (means the barrel has been used for several vintages already, imparting little wood flavour) barrel fermented (not like the usual stainless steel ferment first, then oak aged) and selected from parcels of land throughout Niagara. The thing that makes this special is that they used indigenous yeasts as opposed to commercial yeasts, to ferment the wine. The primary difference is that while with commercial yeasts you can pick specific strains to bring out specific flavors you want, it can sometimes taste a bit too fake like candied apple or candied fruit. Using indigenous yeasts does bring a greater challenge, but in my opinion, brings out the soil, the minerals, and the grapes with a more natural and harmonious flavor. Pair with shellfish or seafood in a simple white wine sauce or bump it up to chicken pot pie or pork chops while served at 11C. This wine will sell out fast as this is a very limited release!
4.2015 Chateau Senejac, Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux at $29.95
The 2015 Vintage in Bordeaux was excellent and this red blended wine from Bordeaux should deliver! The blend is 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. You should know that the Cabernet Sauvignon will give you the black fruit (blackberries, black cherries, plums etc) and the Merlot will give you the red fruit (raspberries, red cherry etc) the 8% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot are added not so much for flavor, but for structure. Since 2015 was such a warm year, the grapes ripened quicker than normal which means their acid levels were slightly lower. To counter this perhaps adding some early picked (more acidic) Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot would have certainly helped level that out. Now, I'd have to speak with the winemaker to confirm my above statement but as long as you understand some grapes are added in not always for flavor, but for structure. Decant 1 hour and serve at 18C with a filet mignon and fingerling potatoes...or simply poured in two glasses by the fire.
Happy Sipping #TGIF