September Release Recommendations
By Natalie MacLean
Sept 7: Highly Recommended White & Sweet Wines
573147 Malivoire Chardonnay 2000, Niagara $18.95: An organic wine with apples and spice, very nice -- surprising acidity which makes it refreshing and food-friendly.
933424 Mulderbosch Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2001, South Africa $20.95: Could go lawnmower to lawnmower with a New Zealand SB -- good herbal acidity and fruit. The Wine Spectator gave it a 90, but of course, being a completely independent and rather stubborn person, that's not why I like it.
240374 Chateau Roquetaillade La Grange 2000, Bordeaux $12.95: Here is your cheap party wine, and beyond that there's a whole world of obscure, reasonably-priced Bordeaux to discover (and heck, you'll impress the dickens out of your friends with the label alone) Crisp, refreshing and good tree fruit (sauvignon blanc/semillon)
936989 Chassagne-Montrachet 1999, Burgundy $54.90: Ah mon cher, you shouldn't have, but I'm so glad you did petit -- please put the bottle over there and rest yourself... I'll get two glasses. Spicy, complex, orgasmic.
Sept 7: Highly Recommended Red Wines
537175 Lakeview Cellars Pint Noir 2000, Niagara $14.95: dark cherries and earth and loads of wood
571380 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 1999, California $10.65 for the half bottle (375 ml): Here's the thing, I wouldn't recommend this as a full bottle even though it's good -- it's just not a knock out (and that's all we have room for here) -- BUT there are so few solid half-bottles available, and as we've discussed before friend, you need to think ahead to evenings on your own when you don't need the emotional baggage that goes along with opening a bottle on your own.
600122 Gumprs Block Shiraz Hamilton 2000, Australia $19.95: Shiraz of the month award, all-round gorgeous fruit, body and yumminess.
713040 The Custodian Grenache d'Arenberg 1999, Australia $19.70: Stunning, monolithic, mint, black fruit, wonk!
732693 Jeanneret Shiraz 2000, Australia $14.50 half bottle and $25.5 full: I'd recommend both, but get the half bottles per my notes above if you can. This has most bizareely a Bordeaux nose and Aussie fruit on the palate.
726190 Chateau Talbot 1995, Bordeaux $96.70: Lovely if you can wait 3-5+ years it needs to age. It's got all the right stuffing: balance, dark fruit, acid, elegance, finesse -- and a few lead pencil shavings thrown in. (A back-to-school wine -- well, back-to-school for those going to the Ivey League.)
735357 Morgon 2000, Beaujolais $15.80: delightful light sipper, cherry fruit and no headaches in the morning.
728311 Hugh Ryman Syrah 1999, France (Midi) $13.40: medium-bodied wine with loads of plum, you may perceive this as almost sweet though it's a completely dry wine -- try it, everyone says they only drink dry wines, but actually enjoy wines with sweet fruit (It's like buying size 8 pants when really you'd feel more comfortable in size 10.)
971564 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Domaine Mathieu 1999, Rhone $28.95: so typically marvelous: cedar forest, ruby red fruit, great acid makes it terrific with food.
963512 Chianti Classico Villa Vignamaggio 1998, Italy $19.45: lovely typical chianti, good acid and fruit, excellent, of course, with pasta and men named Benito
512368 Tignanello 1998, Italy $77.70: gorgorgeous dark fruit, full-bodied and inviting -- overpriced but not by much
954560 Allende 1998, Rioja $24.90: don't tell me you want to learn about wine and then go and buy only the Australian shirazes from every release... prove it freind, and try something completely different like this -- Old World with lots of horsepower, dark fruit
Sept 21: Highly Recommended White & Sweet Wines
975672 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2001, New Zealand $17.75: great herbal NZ SB without the usual hard-core acid bite, nicely balanced
713248 Chateau de la Jauberite Mirabelle 2000, Southern France $16.80: cool, and so different a white wine -- herbal, fresh acidiy yet with some zinger I can't quite identify (should a wine writer admit this sort of thing?)
Sept 21: Highly Recommended Red Wines
732040 La Crema Pinot Noir 2000, Sonoma $19.95: ripe fruit and a bit jammy but delicious
974105 Clos La Chance Merlot 1999, California $29.95: buy this before they jack the price, it's huge and beautiful yet velvet smooth like a very smart person who's not arrogant. My favourite red in this release -- almost makes me want to buy a mini-van to load up... almost.
942151 Seghesio Zinfandel 2000, California $24.35: brambleberry, great acid for food, good balance, medium-bodied.
583146 Rosemount Estate GSM 1999, Australia $32.75: if you love Aussie shiraz, you should line up early for this one -- it's shiraz plus a few other traditional Rhone grapes, a knock-out yet balanced.
972208 Lento Lamezia Riserva 1996, Italy $15.95: medium-bodied, sour cherry fruit, good acid.
529487 Salice Salentino Francesco Candido 1998, Italy $9.85: here is your primo el cheapo wino for the parties -- it is so darn god for the price, medium-bodied, red fruit.
715417 Amarone I Castei Michele Castellani 1997, Italy $32.90: huge, you can't beat this a "value amarone" -- stock up if you love the big Italian style.
730879 Valpolicella Remo Farina 1999, Italy $12.75: wins the award for THE BEST VALUE -- because it's a superb wine at an unbelievably low price.
My mouth has now been lascerated with acid and chain-whipped by tannin -- the suffering I endure for you! Ah but I'm having so much fun, too. At this point, it's hard not to slip into tasting notes that start to read, "Mmmmmmmmm."