The LCBO Vintages release for June 21st will be showcasing a pair of wines from Noble Estates from one of my favourite regions, the Southern Rhone. Why is the Southern Rhone one of my “go to” regions? Well, it’s hard to give one answer because the Southern Rhone is such a fantastic region on so many different levels. Price and quality are the top reasons why I enjoy these wines so much. Top quality wines from the Southern Rhone excel due to the consistent growing season’s that the region experiences. Plus, you do not need to spend a lot of money to find a great Grenache based wine. As there are many excellent options under $25. Not to mention that the wines are great any time of the year as they pair beautifully with a wide array of foods! For lovers of white wines, this release also includes a fantastic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in this release that screams summer time.

Rasteau La Domelière 2011For those who are searching for the perfect red wine this summer, I would strongly suggest the 2012 Rasteau La Domeliere #222927 ($17) that is featured in the latest Food & Drink magazine that you can find your local LCBO store. Wines from Rasteau used to be labeled Cotes du Rhone, but in 2010 the region was awarded AOC status and is now labeled under “Rasteau”. Red wines from Rasteau are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. These wines can rival the likes of neighboring Gigondas and Vacqueyras, but at a fraction of the price. This is a perfect barbeque wine for the summer!

VDN Rasteau Rouge SignatureIf you are looking for a sweet wine to enjoy after dinner I would recommend trying the 2009 Rasteau Vin Doux Naturel Signature Red #371740 ($24.95). Fortified wines from the Southern Rhone are not well known, but the region is producing high quality fortified wines made from 100% Grenache. This wine is only made in exceptional years and is fortified with marc brandy. This wine would pair perfectly with strong cheeses and chocolate desserts. It could also benefit from cellaring for 10+ years.

Coopers Creek SBThe rising temperatures during the summer can cause one to crave crisp white wines. The 2013 Coopers Creek Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc #957407 ($18.95) definitely fits the bill. The 2013 vintage conditions for growers in Marlborough were near perfect for the Sauvignon Blanc grape, thus allowing them to produce high quality wines. This text book Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand would be perfect way to enjoy a day on the dock, or paired with seafood dishes.

Matt Fowler

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