A limerick on the this release’s “sustainable Chilean wines” theme:
Sustainable vino is the theme
Green vino is a hit, so it seems
Too much focus on Chile
Might come across as silly?
The KGBO knows how to scheme?
A friend explained to me how the LCBO (a.k.a., the KGBO) comes up with the theme of their biweekly releases. I will not bore you with the details but after hearing the challenges I did feel some compassion. There are challenges. Yet, the world is competitive and full of challenges. The theme was lame and I doubt that the LCBO experienced a surge in sales of Chilean wine.
Enough complaining. After a month of travel and holiday festivities, the muddle bunker resumed its activity on Sunday. Man, it was great to get back in the grove.
After a “hard day working” we have a few wines for you to consider.
The $14 Tetramythos Roditis 2016 Roditis—VINTAGES#: 261610 is the great buy of this release. The posted tasting notes are accurate. Your first sip of this wine might give you the impression that the wine is too simple. Take a second sip and your opinion will change. Buy this wine for sipping pleasure or buy this wine to pair with light seafood (such as white-flesh fish or calamari). Just a great value. Consider buying by the case as the Tetramythos will be a great summer-time wine. I bought two cases.
The $14 price point makes the Michele Chiarlo Le Orme 16 Months Barbera d’Asti 2015 Barbera—VINTAGES#: 265413 an outstanding wine. The tasting notes are accurate. This is a well made and balanced Barbera. Wines made from the Barbera grape have a lot of acidity and therefore cry out for food. Buy this wine to pair with tomato-based pasta or pizza dishes. In that setting I don’t think that it will disappoint and your bank account will thank you.
The $30 Valdivieso Éclat 2010 Carignan Blend—VINTAGES#: 541128 was a hit with the tasting group. Great nose, fruit, some complexity & decent structure. Well worth the money. The wine is 8 years old and will easily age and improve more. Buy this full bodied wine for its drinking pleasure or to pair with hearty dishes.
The $27 Aldeasoña 2006 Aragonés Blend—VINTAGES#: 378968 was a hit with the tasting team. Yes, thanks again to the Spaniards, you can buy a well-made and well-aged (12 years) wine for less than $30. There is too much oak in the wine for my liking but I found that the oak started to come into balance as the wine was exposed to air. Give this wine a long decant and enjoy the full bodied, dried fruit complexity and length of this wine. Your local store may not have stock but this is a wine that the LCBO will allow you to order online and have it delivered to your store or your home.
Wines to consider
If I was heading to a dinner party and needed to visit the KGBO to buy a white Burgundy then I would consider buying the $43 Jean Claude Boisset Marsannay Blanc 2015 Chardonnay —VINTAGES#: 522227 or the $39 Louis Moreau Vaulignot Chablis 1er Cru 2015 Chardonnay—VINTAGES#: 525386. Between the two the Boisset gets the nod as the wine evolved in the glass while the Chablis started to die. If you don’t have a white Burg emergency then I would avoid these wines. Don’t get me wrong. They are fine wines but they are missing the wow factor that you should experience from a 2015 white Burgundy. Note that the Louis Moreau Vaulignot Chablis sells for $31 at the SAQ. The KGBO is charging us almost 26% more than our friends in La Belle Province. Ouch!
The $24 Domaine du Grande Tinel Côtes du Rhône 2015 Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre—VINTAGES#: 539478 is a powerful, high alcohol, fruit forward wine. It has good length and supporting structure. It’s not a wine style that I seek but it may work for you. Rich food (for example, BBQ) would help tame this wine. Sadly, the wine is overpriced.
Bordeaux lovers should consider trying the $19 Château Bréhat 2012 Bordeaux—VINTAGES#: 348672 . The wine will not win a prize but if you are fond (or curious about) aged Bordeaux, $19 will give you an introduction. It is only 6 years old and the wine is already showing signs of age (leather notes in the nose and taste). A curiosity buy for those who are curious. Otherwise avoid.
Wines to avoid
The $15 Essay Chenin Blanc/Viognier/Roussanne 2017 Chenin Blanc Blend—VINTAGES#: 414144 is a one dimension fruit bomb. The Vintage Tasting Panel thinks this wine is a great value. Please don’t fall for it. We couldn’t get through a single glass.
Outside of having a Barolo emergency, I would avoid the $35 La Pieve Barolo 2013 Nebbiolo—VINTAGES#: 213132. It’s not that the wine is bad. There are better Nebbiolo on the general list for less money (for example, the $24 Castello di Neive Barbaresco DOCG Nebbiolo—LCBO#: 160143).
There is something not quite right with one of the KGBO’s “wines of the month”: the $34 Château Pech-Redon La Centaurée Coteaux-du-languedoc La Clape 2012 Mourvèdre/Syrah/Grenache Noir—VINTAGES#: 530246. I couldn’t figure it so I think it is best to avoid buying this wine.