As we get closer to Christmas, it seems the wines at Vintages get pricier… if you’re not fully invested in the stock market, perhaps you believe you can’t afford to drink at this time of year. Fear not, fellow oenophiles, I am here to save the day… every second week between now and our march towards the big day, I’ll point out a few value-priced wines that’ll help make your holiday a joyous one – or at least one you’ll be able to get through with a good glass of wine in your hand.
We’ll start with something interesting and white… Domaine Lafage Cuvée Centenaire 2011 ($17.95 – #343491). This one’s for the white wine lover who doesn’t think Chardonnay will cut it this time; from France, this rare grape blend of Grenache Blanc and Grenache Gris with a little Rousanne thrown in for good measure, makes for a stunning little sipper full of floral and grapefruit cocktail notes: soft, supple and easy sipping. The acidity and citrus on the finish are a welcome addition. (*** ½+)
Moving onto the reds. we’ll kick off with something from Ontario… Featherstone Cabernet Franc 2011 ($16.95 – #064618). I can think of only a couple of other Ontario Franc that deliver consistent quality at such a value price. The Featherstone is always up there. Its delicacy shows the more feminine side of Franc, but there’s still plenty to get excited about here. Think raspberry, strawberry and cherry all done up in a smoker, plus there’s a nice juicy finish. (****)
Tessellae Carignan Old Vines Côtes Du Roussillon 2011 ($18.95 – #343517) – another French gem… this one is loaded with dark raspberry and cherry along with hints of violet and plum. Old vines wines are some of the most interesting you’ll ever taste and this is no exception. (****)
2011 Monteabellon Roble 5 Meses en Barrica ($19.95 – #338871): Spain is offering up some wicked values these days, and while this one is priced at $20, it drinks like a wine double the price: vanilla oak rides a wave of black fruit à la blackberry, black raspberry and black cherry fruit. Cocoa appears on the finish along with a nice backbone of tannins and spice. (****+)
This week’s videos are all about Pinot Noir… and yes I did say videos, with an ‘s’ … as we celebrate Pinot Week in honor of Thanksgiving and the Pinot Affair going on down in Niagara. Once it’s all over, I’ll post all five on the Ottawa Life website – so keep your eyes open for that.