From stunning reds to sweet Sauternes, these offerings will bring new colour into your life (salmon ballet slippers, anyone?) along with aromas of peach, honey and fleshy black plums. Plus, they have great length, good balance … and more than a hint of entertaining fun!
By Natalie MacLean
2010 La Fleur De Boüard, Lalande-De-Pomerol, Bordeaux A.C., France (LCBO #257774, $52.85): This robust Bordeaux red wine for the 2010 vintage of the La Fleur du Boüard is a blend of 80 per cent Merlot, 15 per cent Cabernet Franc and five per cent Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered. Aromas and flavours of black plum, black currant, tar and smoke. Pleasantly bitter with a tannic grip. Decant two hours, and cellar beforehand for several years at least. Pair with rare steak. Pair with wine-braised beef, game, turkey with heavy sauces, wild boar or bison chili. Alcohol: 14.5%. Sweetness: dry. Drink: now–2020. Score: 92/100.
2003 Dom Perignon Metamorphosis Rosé Champagne, Champagne A.C., France (LCBO #393587, $329.95): A lovely pink Champagne made from the most exhaustive of fine practices to achieve that salmon ballet slipper colour. Aromas of fleeting field berries and some dry spice on the finish. Wow! Pair with smoked salmon. Alcohol: 12.5%. Sweetness: extra dry. Drink: now–2022. Score: 95/100.
2012 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California, United States (LCBO #701748, $59.95): A lovely Californian Chardonnay with enticing notes of white peaches, pear, green apple, almond and smoke. Full-bodied and dry. This classic chard is one of California’s best, and the featured wine in the movie Bottle Shock, based on the true story of the Judgment of Paris, when this US winery placed ahead of French wines in a blind tasting. See for yourself the quality in the glass. Try this lovely white wine with roast chicken or turkey tonight. Pair Chardonnays with basil pesto, prawn bisque, stuffed chicken breast, beef bourguignon or cheese. Alcohol: 13.7%. Sweetness: extra dry. Drink: now–2019. Score: 93/100.
2011 Montes Purple Angel Carmenère, Colchagua Valley, Chile (LCBO #62364, $62.95): Purple Angel will make you feel as though you’ve gone to heaven on a cloud of sensory pleasure. The grape Carmenère resurfaced in Chile about 12 years ago after being believed to be extinct after the root louse phylloxera hit Bordeaux, in 1880. In Chile it’s called the “Jurassic Grape” because it returned from so-called extinction. This vintage is a blend of 92 per cent Carmenère and eight per cent petite Verdot, aged 18 months in oak barrels. If you love full-bodied, juicy, fruit-forward wines, this is the apogee,a superb wine. Pair Carmenère with hearty meat dishes, grilled steaks or osso bucco. Alcohol: 14%. Sweetness: extra dry. Drink: now–2020. Score: 95/100.
2010 Château Suduiraut Sauternes, Bordeaux A.C., France (LCBO #256206, $62.85): This is the half-bottle size of this spectacular dessert wine from the Bordeaux region of Sauternes, made from a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The 2010 vintage was a real standout. Aromas of honey, peach and baking spice. Pair with foie gras or fruit-based desserts. Alcohol: 13%. Sweetness: sweet. Drink: now–2025. Score: 95/100.
Natalie MacLean, author of the bestseller Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines, offers a free newsletter and mobile apps on Ontario’s largest wine site at www.nataliemaclean.com.