by Zoltan Szabo
2009 Semillon, Rosewood Estate, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula $18.00 (winery direct)
Bouquet of pear, pineapple, orange zest, white blossoms and underlying nuances of sand-dust-wool-mineral mixture. Light to medium bodied and just off dry, juicy and refreshing, with a long, clean and tart, lime-limestone-tainted finish. Highly food-versatile. Try with herbed goat’s cheese and beet-fennel-orange salad with drizzle of balsamic, or with lightly curried white fish.
(The 2008 vintage of this lovely wine is still available from LCBO Vintages in limited quantities, so you should grab some in immediate fashion # 177758).
2008 Chardonnay, Lailey, Niagara Peninsula $19.95 # 0193482 Oct. 2nd LCBO Vintages release
Light golden in colour. Bouquet of tropical and stone fruits, vanilla oak and distinct minerality. Medium bodied and its creamy texture well lifted by excellent acidity. The finish is long and persuasive, spiked by flavours of orange toffee, wood smoke and white licorice. Derek Barnett delivers another wonderful Chardonnay by this. To be paired with roast chicken or turkey and / or Upper Canada Cheese Company’s Niagara Gold oka – style semi soft washed rind cheese.
2007 Xinomavro ‘Ramnista’, Kir-Yianni, Naoussa, Greece $17.95 # 0178020 Oct. 16th LCBO Vintages release
Deep ruby. Rich notes of blueberry, black cherry, plum, dark chocolate, oak tar and sweet earth on its bouquet. Full and with a great, opulent texture, well kept together by a smooth-supple tannic muscle. Minute-long finish. This red shows the serious capacity of the Xinomavro grape to produce excellent, structured and age-worthy reds. Needs decanting and herb-roasted leg of lamb.
2008 Mencia ‘Cuatro Pasos’, Bodegas Martin Codax, Bierzo, Spain $16.95 # 0039313 Oct. 16th LCBO Vintages release
Deep, dense, purple. Wild berries, fresh bush herbs, purple flowers and menthol notes on the nose here. Medium weight and lush, with lots of fruit extract, juicy and fresh in the same time, silky-sweet-delicious tannins coming on its finish. A wonderful red wine, super-great value too. Best with appropriately herbed and spiced steak tartare, just like Didier Leroy’s.
Read more of sommelier Zoltan Szabo at zoltanszabo.org.