I didn’t think I would have time to write my thoughts about the September 3 KGBO (a.k.a., the LCBO) release. However, with the clothes drier spinning and wet clothes preventing me from packing, I find myself with a few spare minutes.
First, the airing of the grievances…
As I read through the Vintage catalogue two white wines interested me. The first was the Maria Papoila Vinho Verde ( http://www.vintages.com/lcbo-ear/vintages/product/searchResults.do?ITEM_NAME=MARIA+PAPOILA+VINHO+VERDE+2014&ITEM_NUMBER=&language=EN&style=Vintages ) and the second was the Domaine du Vieux Chai (http://www.vintages.com/lcbo-ear/vintages/product/searchResults.do?ITEM_NAME=DOMAINE+DU+VIEUX+CHAI+SUR+LIE+MUSCAD&ITEM_NUMBER=&language=EN&style=Vintages ).
Most Vinho Verdes (literally translates to “green wine”) contain a little spritz. They are clean, simple, have nice acidity, contain low alcohol and are cheap. For example, the Aveleda Vinho Verde (http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/aveleda-vinho-verde/5322#.V9WiNU32bIU ) will cost you $10 and served cold is a good wine for the balcony or the deck. Sometimess the Portuguese producers use select grapes and produce a still wine that has some complexity and can be interesting. Thus, my initial excitement for the Maria Papoila. Tasting it resulted in my first grievance. This wine is pretty simple and pretty boring. Pleasant enough but boring.
A grape called Melon De Bourgogne is used to make Muscadet de Sevre & Maine wine. These wines can be good, not great, but quite good for the money. Again, I find this example to be a disappointment. Again, pleasant enough but boring.
My final grievance is the price that the KGBO wants for the Cune Gran Reserva (http://www.vintages.com/lcbo-ear/vintages/product/searchResults.do?ITEM_NAME=cune+gran+reserva&ITEM_NUMBER=&language=EN&style=Vintages ). They are charging $40 for a wine that retails in Quebec for $29. This is a great wine from a good producer but I just could not lower my principles and pay $11 more than what is being charged by a neighboring monopoly. That is 38% difference if you don’t wish to do the math. If wine was a staple (and I argue it is) our Prime Minister would replace his present top priority of photobombing with establishing a national inquiry into wine pricing.
Okay, some good news now. The inclusion of a wine from Spain’s Descendientes De J. Palacios made me happy (http://www.vintages.com/lcbo-ear/vintages/product/details.do?language=EN&itemNumber=446484 ). I love wine from most of the producers in the Bierzo area of Spain. The wine is made from the Mencia grape, which I believe is unique to that area. This Vintage’s offering is the producer’s entry level wine and it packs a lot into is $25 price tag. If you don’t plan to age this wine five or more years please postpone your enjoyment by decanting the wine for at least a half hour. The fruit forwardness of the wine will come into balance and the other aspects of the wine will shine through.
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I will be traveling extensively until early October and you will not hear from me until then.
All the best,