Vintages December 12 Release Part 1: focus on red wines

The December 12, 2015 release is one of the largest releases of the year, with a wide array of quite excellent wines. I have chosen to highlight over 30 of the wines: reds in Part 1, sparkling wines in Part 2, and white wines in Part 3. Overall the release is oriented towards more premium wines, but I have found some real value (and lower prices) as well.

My red wine list has a distinctly Italian bent. It begins with an excellent Barbaresco, followed by five Chiantis. I move out of Italy with three Pinot Noirs from Burgundy, the Ahr and New Zealand, a good basic Bordeaux and a value-laden Garnacha blend from Cariñena.

One of my favourite wines of this release is the Punset Barbaresco:

3679

PUNSET BARBARESCO DOCG 2010

Vintages #302786 • $55.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 92/100
Here is a lovely Barbaresco that hits all the markers. It shows medium ruby-garnet, with a wide garnet rim. Dried flowers, potpourri, tobacco leaf, and baking spice aromas frame both ripe and dried cherry, blackberry and plum fruit. The full-bodied palate is driven by high, drying tannins and balancing crisp acidity, while the lovely drying fruit comingles with dry earth, leather and a metallic note on the long finish. Big and bold, yet with lots of finesse — it needs time for the tannins to integrate further, but will still give lots of pleasure now if decanted. I'd love to try this in five years, assuming that I could keep myself from drinking it in the interim.
Tasted Nov 27, 2015 • • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



The five Chiantis are presented in order of my scores, from highest to lowest, which in this case perfectly coincide with their relative prices, taking into account the size of the half-bottle included in the list.

3691

RUFFINO DUCALE ORO RISERVA GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG 2010

Vintages #353201 • $46.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 91/100
The Ducale Oro has only been made in the best vintages, normally undergoing lengthy aging, and so the wine now dovetails nicely into the new Gran Selezione category. The nose exhibits dense, ripe cherry and plum fruit, violets, savoury herbs, and a suggestion of toast and resin along with vanilla. Firm acidity and elevated dusty tannins build on balanced alcohol, and the complex, ripe fruit, savoury herbs and toasty vanilla spices expand and linger on a pleasant, long finish. This is a modern expression of Chianti that deserves at least another few years of bottle age. Decant for early drinking.
Tasted Nov 27, 2015 • • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



3687

FONTODI CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG 2012

Vintages #933317 • $36.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100
This is a Chianti Classico that takes itself rather seriously. It still pours as a youthful ruby-red, but is a little deeper in colour than some, suggesting more extraction. The nose is complex and compelling: ripe cherry, raspberry and blackberry fruit aromas layer over a note of rich, damp potting soil, with a grace note of violets and dry herbs. Tannins are still grainy and mouth coating, there is some volatility and just a little heat, but the elevated acidity provides a good balance, and the fruit, while ripe and slightly extracted, retains some vibrancy. A very good wine.
Tasted Nov 27, 2015 • • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



3690

MAZZEI SER LAPO RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG 2011

Vintages #288530 • $23.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100
This is a modern Chianti Riserva with 10% Merlot supplementing the Sangiovese. It is just starting to show some garnet on the rim of the ruby-red core. On the nose you will find vibrant aromas of cherry and raspberry fruit, with a floral lift, a suggestion of vanilla and toast, and a nuance of dry earth. Elevated acidity, balanced alcohol and softening tannins frame the lovely fruit and spice. There is enough extraction to move this away from pure elegance, but it stays very much on the side of drinkability. All in all, quite lovely.
Tasted Nov 27, 2015 • • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



3686

CASTELLO DI FONTERUTOLI CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG 2013

Vintages #599779 • $13.95 • 375ml. • WD Score 89/100
Here's a treat — a crisp, fresh Chianti Classico in a half bottle, that has all that I'm looking for in a Chianti Classico. It is medium ruby-red, suggesting just what you find on the nose: fresh, bright cherry, raspberry fruit, lightly floral with just a hint of savoury herbs and the merest suggestion of oak spice. The wine is crisp with balanced alcohol and firm but rather fine tannins. The savoury notes and the combination of pleasant tart and ripe fruit flavours are supplemented with a hint of vanilla. Lots of verve, and a very good value.
Tasted Nov 27, 2015 • • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



3689

LORNANO CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG 2011

Vintages #211599 • $17.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
This is a very nice value for an entry-level Chianti Classico. The ripe to slightly over-ripe red cherry, plum and blackberry fruit aromas have a lightly volatile edge, with a dry earth undertone. Tannins are softening but still have a dusty texture, and the acidity is firm enough to enliven the ripe and drying fruit on the palate. Drink over the short term.
Tasted Nov 27, 2015 • • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



The three Pinot Noirs include a very good Burgundy from Marsannay and a value-priced Marlborough Pinot Noir. But my first selection is an elegant Pinot Noir from the Ahr, the northernmost of the Rhine wine regions.

3677

MEYER-NÄKEL SPÄTBURGUNDER 2013, Deutscher Qualitätswein

Vintages #427898 • $32.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100
This is a very interesting Pinot Noir from the Ahr, north of the Mosel, that illustrates how satisfying German Pinot Noir has become. It has an authentic old world "Pinot" nose, with both tart and ripe cherry and raspberry fruit, damp earth and lightly peppery and herbal notes. Dry, with crisp acidity and fine-grained tannins, the wine is nicely structured and carries through to a lengthy finish. Serious but approachable.
Tasted Nov 27, 2015 • • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



3668

DOMAINE GAGEY CLOS DU ROY MARSANNAY AC 2013

Vintages #124826 • $44.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100
This youthful Marsannay is just starting to show some garnet on the rim. The nose exhibits pleasant cherry, raspberry and plum aromas with a savoury-earthy underpinning. The wine is dry, with elevated acidity and fine but mouth-coating tannins. Add dry herbs, black pepper and dry twigs to the lovely fruit and earth flavours on the palate. A very good Marsannay.
Tasted Nov 27, 2015 • • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



3700

MOMO PINOT NOIR 2013, Marlborough, South Island

Vintages #163972 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
This is an entry-level Marlborough Pinot Noir from the well-regarded Seresin Estate. The wine has a lighter ruby-red core, turning to garnet on the rim. Pretty and slightly tart cherry and berry fruit aromas are complemented by a light dusting of dry herbs and earth. Crisp acidity, fine tannins, and balanced alcohol carry the fruit to a pleasant finish. A very nice wine, maximum content for the price.
Tasted Nov 27, 2015 • • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



The final two wines, a 2009 Bordeaux and a 2005 Garnacha blend, are very fine values.

3665

CHÂTEAU PIERRE DE MONTIGNAC 2009, AP Médoc

Vintages #437954 • $23.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100
This is a deeply coloured Médoc wine — a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Blackberry, black currant and plum fruit aromas are surrounded by notes of earth, tobacco leaf and savoury herbs. The wine is dry, with elevated alcohol and tannins. Leathery-earthy flavours are now beginning to shape the palate as the wine is evolving away from its youth. This is a very well-priced example of old-school Bordeaux. I'd drink it soon, though I think it will hold nicely for at least three to five years.
Tasted Nov 27, 2015 • • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



3709

MONASTERIO DE LAS VIÑAS GRAN RESERVA 2005, DOP Cariñena

Vintages #82024 • $16.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
This blend of 60% Garnacha, 30% Tempranillo and 10% Carinena is quite an amazing value. Despite its age, the wine still shows ruby-red on the rim of its deep ruby core. Intense aromas of ripe and drying raspberry, blackberry, blueberry and plum fruit mingle with an earthy base and just a hint of tomato vine. Elevated acidity and tannins, with moderate alcohol define the palate, and the surprisingly complex and quite lovely fruit take on more savoury-herbal undertones and a lightly tarry note on the finish. Very good.
Tasted Nov 27, 2015 • • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



Santé

Share post