Jane’s Gems: Napa Valley Gold > 90 Point Wines in the LCBO Vintages October 17

napa red vine leaves fall 620By Jane Staples

Who doesn’t love a Napa Valley Chardonnay? Ideally situated by the Pacific coast, with the right balance of sunshine, ocean breezes and cooling moist fog, Napa Chardonnay is a favourite amongst wine fans.

The flavours range from crisp and refreshing to richer, more buttery styles. Ripe tropical fruit notes and intense aromatics characterize Chards from this premium wine region, rivalling those from Bordeaux and Tuscany.

The upside of the drought that hit California in recent years has been superb vintages from 2012, 2013 and 2014 for both reds and whites.

When vines are stressed by a water shortage, their roots burrow deeper into the soil and work harder, resulting in more concentrated flavours and well-structured wines.

Famous Entrance Sign Vineyards Napa California Resubmit--In response to comments from reviewer have further processed image to reduce noise, sharpen focus and adjust lighting.

The Vintages October 17th Release provides a broad sampling of wine gems from the Golden State. As well as Chardonnay, it features features rich, aromatic Cabernet Sauvignon, another varietal that benefitted from the growing conditions during the draught.

Lush, sensual Merlot is making a comeback and full-bodied Zinfandel, once the dominant red varietal in California, is another powerful and popular choice.

This Vintages collection showcases California’s winemaking expertise, proudly illustrating why their wines are favourites amongst winelovers, both novice and connoisseur.

It also includes some excellent choices for gift wines…it’s not too early to start thinking about the holidays!

Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2013

Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2013
Napa Valley, California, USA

A delicious nose of butterscotch with a hint of lemon. The palate shows lemon, buttered toast, subtle oak. Dry, well-balanced, satiny. Long lemon butterscotch finish.
Alcohol: 14%
Sweetness: XD
750 ml
Drink: 2013-2018
Price: $72.95
Score: 91

Clos Du Val Zinfandel 2013

Clos Du Val Zinfandel 2013
Napa Valley, California, USA

A deep dark purple with good viscosity in the glass. A rich nose shows strawberry and cherry jam, meaty notes and a touch of smoke. Palate gives ripe red berries, vanilla, baking spice, smoke, oak and hint of chocolate. Dry, well-balanced with a long layered finish.
Alcohol: 14%
Sweetness: Dry
750 ml
Drink: 2015-2020+
Price: $31.95
Score: 90

Heitz Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Napa Valley, California, USA

Some wines you never forget after your first taste; this is one of them. A very dark garnet, elegant Cab Sauv with slow viscosity and a great nose of cherry jam, vanilla and toasted oak. Delicious palate gives dark cherry, currant, vanilla, baking spices, smoked meat, forest floor and oak, in an extremely well-structured, harmonious full-bodied mouthfeel. Rich, layered satisfying finish. Add this one to your gift wine list (to give or receive).
Alcohol: 14.5%
Sweetness: XD
750 ml
Drink: 2014-2018
Price: $89.95
Score: 93


Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot 2012
Napa Valley, California, USA

Garnet red with a delicious nose of ripe cassis and blueberry. The palate gives ripe strawberry, cassis and vanilla in a satiny, balanced mouthfeel and delicous vanilla/cassis finish.
Alcohol: 15%
Sweetness: XD
750 ml
Drink: Now
Price: $59.95
Score: 92


Beringer Quantum 2012Beringer Quantum 2012
Napa Valley, California, USA

Quantum yum factor in this full-bodied Cab Sauv blend!  Dark garnet with delicious strawberry jam and cassis nose. A rich, silky palate gives cassis, blueberry, strawberry jam, cloves, vanilla, cinnamon, mint and well-integrated oak. Extra-dry, satiny texture with a well-balanced, long elegant finish.  A great gift wine from Napa’s superb 2012 Vintage.
Sweetness: Dry
750 ml
Drink: 2015-2027
Price: $69.95

Jane Staples 1Jane Staples
Wine Columnist

Jane graduated from Algonquin College’s Sommelier Program with the Gold Medal in Food and Wine Pairing and a score of 94.5% in the final exam.

She completed courses in Winetasting, Grape Varieties, Food and Wine Pairing, Old World Wines, New World Wines, Vinification and Advanced Sommelier Techniques. She also has a BA from the University of Toronto.

Jane is a principal wine columnist for nataliemaclean.com, with this regular column, as well as for her own site, bellovino.ca. Jane is also the regular wine columnist for Ottawa Wedding Magazine and also writes for Alive Magazine.

Jane provides sommelier services and tastings for private functions, and is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Italian.






Jane Staples

Jane is an Accredited Sommelier and Wine Writer, having shared over 2000 wine reviews on nataliemaclean.com, along with numerous articles about wine events. She also contributes to Ottawa Wedding Magazine, 55-Plus Magazine and the Italian Trade Agency newsletter.

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