breaking up is hardie to do (23 june 2018 vintages release)

There once was a fellow named Norm
The Canadian wine scene he did storm
His lips were too quick
His hands, way too slick
Now his actions leave many forlorn

I have to thank Cal, a fellow Vintage Conservatory member, for coming up with this post’s title.

I’m late with this post on last Saturday’s release but hopefully in time to assit you in deciding on a wine or two to buy to help you celebrate the birth of the People’s Republic of Canada.

Many of the wines in this release disappointed the tasting group. In particular, the white wines we sampled were underwhelming. If you need to acquire decent white wines, I suggest that you refer to previous blog posts. Prior Vintages releases had much better wines and many are still avaiable.

Outstanding wines

Fans of Fino Sherry will find a solid wine and good value in the $17 Sánchez Romate Fino Perdido Sherry—VINTAGES#: 542746. This wine, made in a full-bodied style, will please a Sherry lover. It comes in a 750ML bottle at a great price. The citizens of the People’s Republic of Ontario pay the same price as the folks in the U.K. and, for reasons unknown, about $10CAD less than the people in Spain.

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Another good example of the quality of the 2013 vintage in Tuscany is the $30 Palazzo Vecchio Maestro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2013 Sangiovese—VINTAGES#: 348532.  They did a good job on the posted tasting notes. The Sangiovese wines of Montepulciano do not get the respect they deserve and therefore represent good value to the consumer. This wine retails in Europe for the equivalent of $25CAD so the price here is not too bad.

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If you want to try a wine that reflects the Sicilian volcanic soil where the grapes are grown then give the $23 Tornatore Nerello Mascalese/Nerello Cappuccio 2015
Nerello Mascalese—VINTAGES#: 487090 a try. The tasting notes are accurate and this wine has complexity to boot. A lot going on for $23.

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Wines to consider

The $28 Château Salettes Bandol Rosé 2017—VINTAGES#: 557892 is a lovely wine. This wine has complexity and the wine’s elements are nicely in balance. Yes, it will cost you $28 and you refuse to pay more than $15 for a Rosé. Okay, fair enough, but if you are consider splurging then give this one a try. Knowing that you are not paying any more than the people in France might make you feel better about your decision.

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Wines to avoid

I confess to not being a fan of Chilean wine. Yes, the wine often sells at an attractive price point but the winemaking style typically results in wines that are dense and concentrated and, because of that, generally I am not a fan.

The wines from Chile were this release’s theme and we tasted two examples.

I mistakenly hoped that the altitude and the volcanic soil would add interesting dimensions to the $18 Antu Syrah 2016—VINTAGES#: 675371.  Instead, the wine in the glass proved to be a typical intense Chilean Syrah. If you like this style of wine, I’d suggest pairing the Antu with an equally intense dish. I doubt that the tasting notes suggestion of BBQ would suffice in flavor intensity. A stinky cheese, such as gorgonzola, might do the trick.

Similarly, the $28 Montes Outer Limits Zapallar Coast Pinot Noir 2015—VINTAGES#: 568600. An intense and fruity Pinot Noir and a style that I just don’t find appealing.

I hoped that the $18 Hope Estate Sémillon 2016—VINTAGES#: 551549 would be a screaming buy. The basis of that hope was the words that described the wine as being classic Hunter Valley Sémillon, that the wine has good acidity, low (11.5%) alcohol, and a price that is the same as that charged in Australia. Sadly, we found something odd in the flavor of this wine that was not enjoyable.

I may have finally accepted that wine critic Jeb Dunnuck and I are not compatible. Jeb likes the $26 Gassier Château de Nages JT Costières de Nîmes 2014 Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre—VINTAGES#: 736876. I found his comment that compares this wine to the style used in Northern Rhone to be nonsense. We tasted this wine blind and our group thought it must be a Chilean Syrah as it is another intense-dark-and dried-fruit-forward wine.

The fruit-forward theme of our tasting day continued with the $19 Terrissimo Beaumes de Venise 2014 Grenache Blend—VINTAGES#: 537886. This wine has an abundance of red fruit flavor. The fruit is out of balance with the rest of the wine. The wine is drinkable but, for me, not overly enjoyable.

The $18 Montemisio Offida Pecorino 2016—VINTAGES#: 542811 is an odd wine. The wine lacks acidity and finishes with bitterness. I normally like some bitterness on white wine but this one crossed the line.

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The Wine Muddler

The Wine Muddler blog is a reflection, criticism, and research of The LCBO Vintages Release. It is composed by Rick Wood from Toronto Ontario. The Wine Muddler is the satirical musings of a man muddling through life in search of good wine

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