Good wines, good values, good prices

February 06, 2010
Source: The Record | Dan Kislenko, Wines and Spirits | Photo: LCBO Bosca wine. …

Luigi BoscaNew products are arriving in the Vintages section at Ontario’s LCBO stores. They’re all really good and only one of these choices will cost you more than $20 a bottle. So let’s get shopping:

Luigi Bosca 2006 Single Vineyard Malbec ($18.95, code 74922). The vineyard here is located in Lujan de Cuyo, one of the emerging areas of Argentina. The wine fills the mouth yet has sophistication and grace about it, with silky red and black cherry flavours, a hint of dried strawberries and finish of spices and cedar.

Concha y Toro 2008 Trio Reserva white ($12.95, code 433938). You know this excellent Chilean producer already. Now we move up their ladder with a marriage of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Grigio from the cool Casablanca valley. I get flavours of yellow melon, apricots and golden pears with a touch of orange peel. Outstanding value for the money.

Angels Gate 2008 Riesling ($13.95, code 160523). A lovely, dry yet fleshy Niagara Riesling, the wine is crisp and fresh, showing peach, green apple and green plum flavours with a bracing lemon peel finish.

Casa Lapostolle 2009 Sauvignon Blanc ($13.95, code 396994). This is a very fine value indeed, an affordable and enjoyable wine from the producer who also makes Clos Apalta, the greatest wine of Chile. It’s fresh and lively, with pure fruit flavours that lean to passion fruit, grapefruit and green figs, with gentle and soothing acidity.

Cousino-Macul 2008 Antiguas Reservas Chardonnay ($14.95, code 730044). A fine Chilean value that is drinking beautifully now but can be laid away for a while as well. The wine is creamy and offers up tropical flavours such as guava, star fruit and pineapple, along with a note of peaches, vanilla and buttered toast.

Coyote’s Run 2007 Black Paw Vineyard Chardonnay ($19.95, code 49775). This small Niagara winery makes a lot of outstanding products. Here, the barrel-fermented Chardonnay explodes with apple, pear and peach flavours, finishing with subtle spicy wood and vanilla tones.

Concha y Toro 2008 Trio Reserva red ($14.95, code 433920). The blend here is based on Merlot with some Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon to round it out. The wine is wonderfully balanced and meshed together, with flavours of cassis, plums, elderberries and background sense of soy sauce, violets and chalky minerals. A remarkable value.

Flagstone 2007 Dragon Tree Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz/Pinotage ($15.95, code 37549). The striking thing about Flagstone is how much fun their wines are. It’s not a wine to analyze; it’s a wine to enjoy. This South African blend is chewy and intense, with bright sweet currant, blueberry and raspberry flavours and a whiff of chocolate cherries.

Sileni 2009 Cellar Selection Pinot Noir ($16.95, code 694901). This one is from the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand, where they are doing some delightful things with Pinot Noir. The wine is very ripe but not overblown, with muted yet supple tannin and lovely ripe flavours of cherries and strawberries.

Menage a Trois 2008 Red ($17.95, code 665158). Merlot, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon are the components of this California blend. It’s very nicely structured and easy to drink, showing off sweet plum and black raspberry flavours with a hint of spice and mocha in the finish.

Trinchero Family 2005 Merlot ($17.95, code 550566). They draw fruit from Monterey, Santa Barbara and Napa for this California treat. There’s a lot of flavour and ripeness here, with lip-smacking cherry, blackberry and dark plum flavours.

Arboleda 2007 Merlot ($18.95, code 45864). Arboleda is a line that is dedicated to sustainable viticulture practices from the people who make the Errazuriz label in Chile. It’s fruit-driven and fills the mouth with blackberry, fig and cracked pepper flavours.

Flat Rock Cellars 2008 Red Twisted ($19.95, code 86918). This Niagara winery consistently makes intriguing and eclectic wines. Here, the complex blend includes some white varieties as well as red, which give the wine bounce on the tongue. Look for cherry, cranberry and raspberry flavours set against a peppery sandalwood background.

Wynn’s Coonawarra Estates 2006 Vintage Release Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.95, code 84996). This wine thoroughly captures the rich red earth of Australia’s Coonawarra region. There’s a mineral/iron tone to the wine, overlaid with a strong floral smell and flavours of black currants, blackberries, dried blueberries and spice.

Wines & Spirits writer Dan Kislenko can be reached at