Our story so far: At KGBO (a.k.a., the LCBO) headquarters a small group has gathered to plan the August 5 Vintages release. It is a typical day at KGBO HQ. The smell of totalitarianism is in the air. Dark and dank storm clouds orbit the windowless building even as the sun brightly shines on the rest of the People’s Republic of Ontario.
KGBO Person 1: Okay, before we start the meeting let me remind everyone of our guiding principle…”we are the KGBO and we will tell you what you are allowed to buy today”.
KGBO Person 2: And, with the timing of the August 5 release this is a great time to apply our principle.
KGBO Person 1: How so?
KGBO Person 2: Well, August 5 falls on the important August long weekend in the Republic. People will be going to the cottage. They will need wine to sip on their docks. People will be having BBQs and parties. More wine needs. N’est-ce pas?
KGBO Person 1: So we develop a plan to get great wines for people to buy!
KGBO Person 2: Christ Almighty, NO! This is a golden opportunity.
KGBO Person 1: For what?
KGBO Person 2: To get rid of our crap. Those poor sods are our forced and captive customers. On that weekend, they will be desperate for vino. They will not care if the wine is good or bad. They’ll line up and buy whatever we put out. They havvvve to get through the long weekend. They have no choice but to buy our crap.
KGBO Person 1: And, we will maximize our profits for the Republic. General Secretary Wynn will be pleased.
KGBO Person 2: Indeed we will please our Sith Lord and the dark side will continue our dominance.
You may have noticed that I didn’t post comments on the August 5th Vintages release. After several passes through the catalogue, the wines failed to inspire or interest me. I had self-doubt about this conclusion but when I checked with other people, they expressed the same view. That weekend, I visited several KGBO stores, noted the steady flow of human traffic but on each visit I left the store empty handed. There was nothing to write about.
Thankfully, with the August 19 Vintages release, the side of light came through. The Force changed things for the good as there are several great buys in this release. Oh, and to further combat the dark side, my friend Yoda volunteered to write the reviews.
d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier/Marsanne 2016 (VINTAGES#: 662775) $18. Tropical fruit this wine has. Full of flavor, bright and fresh it is. A home run this wine is. Delicious.
Château de Sérame Minervois 2010 (VINTAGES#: 480889) $17. A well balanced 7 year old wine this is. Black and dried fruit and chocolate I taste. Supported with nice acidity and tannins the flavors are. The truck you should backup.
Graham Beck Brut Rosé 2011 (VINTAGES#: 4085) $22. On the nose, strawberry toast I smell. Balance, the wine’s acidity nicely provides. Lovely, the citrus fruit flavors is. A great value sparkling wine this is.
Tenuta Roveglia Vigne di Catullo Lugana Riserva 2013 (VINTAGES#: 437004) $25. Decant this wine you must. Across as confused, straight out of the bottle this wine comes. Herh Herh! With some air time together it comes. A complex, interesting and enjoyable wine.
Alejandro Fernández Dehesa La Granja 2008 Tempranillo (VINTAGES#: 192476) $21. A nine year old wine this is. The spicing from the 2 years in oak, the red and black fruit, the alcohol and tannins coming together they are. Age further this wine will. For $15USD in the Excited States this wine sells (meaning that it could sell for $30 in the People’s Republic of Ontario). Great value this wine is.
Wines to consider
Les Neiges de l’Agly Vermentino/Viogner 2013 (VINTAGES#: 512566) $20. Pleasant flavors in this wine find you will . To me, a curiosity the blend is. The nose your interest will peak. Elements of apple and pear fruit and some floral attributes the wine contains. A novelty and a good conversation wine it is.
Domaine de Vervine Vacqueyras 2014 (VINTAGES#: 494856) $25. A red fruit forward wine this is. Vegetal notes and lavender I sense. Time in the bottle it needs? Not sure if it is worth it I am.
Paul Jaboulet Aîné Pierre Aiguille Gigondas 2015 (VINTAGES#: 989665) $35. Complex, balanced and elegant this wine is. Quickly in the glass it dies. Ability to age I doubt. Decanting avoid I would. Drink up I would.
Terre Stregate Svelato Falanghina Del Sannio 2015 (VINTAGES#: 486076) $18. A hard wine to describe this is. A wine, your senses stimulate it will. One glass I like. Tire of this wine after that you will.
Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir La Clape Syrah/Carignan/Mourvèdre 2014 (VINTAGES#: 370262) $19. To its billing a wine that lives up. Nothing special but good value. Tame the wine, red meat dishes would. Unpleasant trace taste of saccharin on the finish there is. An okay wine this is.
Le Secret des Capitelles Saint-Chinian 2014 (VINTAGES#: 156299) $16 My comments, the same as the Gérard Bertrand are. Flavors of figs and cherries there are. An okay wine this is.
Hugh Hamilton The Villain Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (VINTAGES#: 489880) $27. Big and bold Aussie Cab this wine is. As it should be, everything is. Not a wine that I appreciate. For fans of aussie cabs, a good buy. The dark side in you I sense!
Domaine des Tourterelles Viré Clessé 2015 (VINTAGES#: 489781) $23. A good introduction to Bourgogne this wine is. Exotic fruit, floral notes, good length. A little high alcohol is. Price, a little high I wonder?
Scaia Rosato 2016 (VINTAGES#: 490987) $18. Nice acidity and some tannins this Rose has. Nice fruit and the off putting candy flavor found on many roses is there not (although there is a slight residual taste of saccharin). Hmmmm. If in need of a Rose a decent buy it is.
Wines to avoid
Château Canet Vieilles Vignes Minervois 2015 (VINTAGES#: 494138) $17. Technically correct this wine is. Personality it lacks. Meh I say. Better choices the catalogue contains.
Elgin Vintners Pinot Noir 2013 (VINTAGES#: 512442) $20. A berry fruit bomb with a pepper finish this wine is. My cup of tea it is not.
Ferrari Trento Brut Sparkling Wine (VINTAGES#: 352153) $25. Getting past the acidity I cannot. Food this wine may help. Why bother still I wonder? Other choices there are.
The Originals Chardonnay 2015 (VINTAGES#: 514810) $20. Smoke on the nose I smell. Heavy wood treatment I taste. Old board I think I drank. Unpleasant bitter finish there is. Avoid.
Kuhlmann-Platz Pinot Gris 2015 (VINTAGES#: 224204) $19. Out of balance this wine is. Too sweet it is (acidity is insufficient to balance the residual sugar). The tasting notes the dark side did write. A “delightful sipper” it is not.
Alain Geoffroy Beauroy Chablis 1er Cru 2015 (VINTAGES#: 733501) $32. Unfortunately, disappoint this wine does. Classic Chablis flavors there are. Finish, a long time it lasts. A noticeable dip in the mid-palate that creates disappointment, there is. Worth the money it is not.