To most wine lovers, the French wine region of Bordeaux is a vinous Mecca—and one with ancient tradition: wine has been made there for thousands of years. As far back as AD 379, the writer Ausonius penned (or quilled) some poems about the excellence of the wines.
Some of the greatest names in the wine world have their home there: Château Mouton-Rothschild, Château Pétrus, Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Margaux and Château Latour, among others.
Yet these top names comprise less than 5% of the region’s production—which means you don’t have to fork over $100 to get a good bottle. In fact, there are more than 5,000 châteaux, encompassing some 300,000 acres of vineyards, which produce about 700 million bottles a year.
This is the largest fine winemaking region in the world, about the same size as the entire wine region of Chile. Recently, Bordeaux production has exceeded 550 million litres a year, about half of the total output of Australia.
The LCBO Vintages Release April 26 is all about Bordeaux, especially bottles under $30, as well as several under $20 that I found worth recommending. You’ll also find my Insider’s Guide to Bordeaux to help plant your purchases in the broader landscape as well as to help plan a trip to France’s most famous wine region.
This is just a sampling of my wine ratings, the most quoted Canadian source of reviews in the Vintages Magazine. You can access the 80 wines that I reviewed for April 26 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches and the stock for each bottle in their closest LCBO stores.
You can also see my wine reviews for April 12. You can also add my wine picks to their custom shopping list with one click and access that list on their smartphone. This is one of the benefits of becoming a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the release based on the LCBO doing so. Here’s a sneak peak at my May 10th wine reviews.
Alta Vista Atemporal Assemblage 2011, Mendoza, Argentina. This rich red wine offers pleasant notes of black fruit, dark chocolate and smoke. Atemporal translates to timeless in Spanish – time will fly when you’re enjoying this wine. This is a blend of several red grapes. Try it with meat lovers pizza or gourmet hamburgers tonight. No time like the present.
Momo Seresin Estate Pinot Noir 2011, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand. Big and juicy, with pleasingly tart and vibrant cherry aromas and flavours in this kiwi pinot noir. Mouth-watering acidity is fantastic for a range of dishes, from planked salmon to roast chicken. Smooth and medium to full-bodied. Very tasty. Made by the film director of many famous movies, including several of the Harry Potter series. This red wine is bio-gro certified and the grapes came from three vineyard sites. The wine was fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged 11 months in old French barrels.
Rocca Delle Macìe Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano 2008, DOCG, Tuscany, Italy. Very pleasant and full-bodied with generous dark fleshy fruit, dark spices and smoke. Superb craftsmanship in this DOCG wine. It finishes with smoke and dried herbs. Try it with prime rib tonight.
Poderi Elia Moscato D’asti 2012, Piedmont DOCG, Italy. A delightful sipper that’s low in alcohol but high on taste. I adore this wine and style almost no matter who makes it. Slightly fizzy and orange blossom slightly sweet, it is a wonder. Try it! Peach and apricot on the finish gives an extra bounce to this wine as an aperitif or after-dinner sipper.
Ascheri Vigna Dei Pola Barolo 2010, DOCG, Italy. Some cellar time and decanting will help this full-bodied D.O.C.G. red wine. Black as night with tarry, dark fruit, smoke aromas. The grapes for this wine come from two of Ascheri’s best vineyards: Pisapola and Verduno. Some leather and violets on the finish.