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Cellared in Canada Debate on CBC’s The Current

Interesting discussion on CBC’s The Current this morning. Show brought together acclaimed British wine critic Jancis Robinson for the international perspective; John Peller who is the President and CEO of Peller Estates and one of the largest Cellared In Canada producers; and Seaton McLean, proprietor of Closson Chase who represents the small wine producers of Ontario.

A couple of highlights were that this practice is very common world wide. There is nothing wrong with it. The issue is that labeling and store categorization of the wines make it very difficult for consumers to distinguish between Ontario wines and wines containing significant foreign content.

Highlights included the interviewer, Jan Wong, describing the fine print on the back of the bottle with gold print on white background, barely discernable. Another highlight was Seaton McLean, in response to a question as to whether he thought the cellared in Canada practice was sneaky answered, after a thoughtful delay, “Useful.”

Interviews with consumers and the closing music made it quite clear that the Cellared In Canada practise, at least from the CBC’s perspective, is intentionally deceptive to consumers.

The discussion runs about 15 minutes and is available at the CBC’s The Current website.

Filed under: News,

Big Guns Arrive but the Party Is Over

“The Vintages Sept 26 release starts to trot out the iconic triple-digit wines for the Holiday silly season, particularly from Bordeaux and Napa Valley. I suspect they will move slowly. At a recent lunch with a highly placed Vintages employee, our table learned that Vintages has done very well, better than forecasted during the 2009 recession, with high-priced wines the only area to go flat. I love great wine as much as the next person, and understand it. But it’s really difficult to be sympathetic to the unfolding plight. By that I mean wines whose price soars beyond intrinsic value, as measured by quality. If flush enough with cash, I would actually pay $200 for a 98- to 100-point wine, or $100 for a 95 pointer, or $75 for a 93 pointer. This is a personal measure to be sure, and each has his own, but none of the offerings in this release hit these numbers; the closest being the gorgeous Ornellaia, which, at 94 points, sells for $174. I would love to buy it but I won’t, although I might consider seven bottles of Ornellaia’s peppy 90-point cousin, called Le Volte, for the same outlay. It’s easy to both hype very expensive wines and to harp on them. I just have a gut feeling that for the icons of the world the party is over, at least for the current generation. People are smarter now, and less wealthy, and there is just too much excellent wine being made for much less money. David’s Half Dozen selections in each release do often list very high quality, expensive wines, but this time all are spiffy buys are under $20″

- David Lawrason, VP of Wine at WineAlign

Click here to see ranked lists and reviews of close to 100 wines in this release.

David’s Half Dozen

Whites

Stocco Friulano Doc Friuli Grave 2008
Stocco Friulano Doc Friuli Grave
2008,
Friuli, Italy $14.95  89pts

Ironstone Vineyards Obsession Symphony California 2007
Ironstone Vineyards Obsession Symphony 2007, California  $14.95  89pts

Reds

Mas Des Bressades Cuvée Excellence	Ac Costières De Nîmes	2007
Mas Des Bressades Cuvée Excellence 2007, Ac Costières De Nîmes, Rhone, France
$18.95  90pts

Grant Burge Miamba Shiraz Barossa, South Australia 2007
Grant Burge Miamba Shiraz 2007, Barossa, South Australia
$19.95  91pts

Terra Andina Reserva Carmenère	Rapel Valley 2007
Terra Andina Reserva Carmenère 2007, Rapel Valley, Chile  $12.95  89pts

Luigi Bosca Reserva Malbec 2006 Luján De Cuyo, Mendoza
Luigi Bosca Reserva Malbec 2006, Luján De Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina  $16.95  88pts

Filed under: Featured Articles, News, Wine, , , , , , , , ,

Discover top picks and top values from the Vintages September 12th release – featuring Ontario and Portugal

“The September 12th release features the most ambitious and highest quality selection of Ontario wines ever undertaken by Vintages.  It is focused on 2007 vintage, the year that appears to have finally blessed sun worshipping winemakers’ and consumers’ with a hot and more importantly – dry – growing season.  The cover of the LCBO’s Vintages magazine enthuses that it is “Ontario’s Shining Moment: Our Sensational 2007 Vintage”.  The vintage certainly has more ripe, rich wines than normal, but quality – especially balance – remains patchy based on winemaking philosophy and expertise. And there is nothing like tasting all these wines shoulder to shoulder with their global peers in Vintages tasting lab to put it all in perspective. There are several very good Ontario wines but only one has hit 90 points in my opinion, and none make my list of the six best value and most interesting buys in the release. The rest of the release has a few bargain highlights – especially from Portugal – which is the subject of a minor spotlight.  Elsewhere there is not a lot to really get excited about either – a global smattering of mid-priced wines scoring in the mid-range from all over the world. Ontario is not alone. The more interesting subtext is that Vintages is focusing its purchasing on the $15 to $25 range, which of course is where the majority of wine enthusiasts generally shop. The result is a majority of wines scoring in the 85 to 89 range (very good). Our job is to expose the exceptions – both to the 90 pointer great buys, and the troubled underperformers. Please note that due to summer travel plans I was only able to attend one tasting for this release and have only been able to cover about 75% of the wines offered.”  -  David Lawrason, VP of Wine at WineAlign

Click here to see ranked lists and reviews of close to 100 wines in this release.

David’s Half Dozen

Domaine Raphael Sallet Mâcon Uchizy 2007, Burgundy, $17.95, 90pts

Domaine Raphael Sallet Mâcon Uchizy 2007, Burgundy, $17.95, 90pts

Quinta De Ventozelo Touriga Nacional 2005, Doc Douro, Portugal, $19.95, 91pts

Quinta De Ventozelo Touriga Nacional 2005, Doc Douro, Portugal, $19.95, 91pts

Château La Fleur De Boüard 2005, Ac Lalande De Pomerol, Bordeaux, $60.00, 93pts

Château La Fleur De Boüard 2005, Ac Lalande De Pomerol, Bordeaux, $60.00, 93pts

Paul Dolan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, California, $21.95, 90pts

Paul Dolan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, California, $21.95, 90pts

Finca Flichman Gestos Malbec 2007, Mendoza, Argentina, $15.95, 90pts

Finca Flichman Gestos Malbec 2007, Mendoza, Argentina, $15.95, 90pts

Herdade Paço Do Conde 2006, Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal, $14.95, 89pts

Herdade Paço Do Conde 2006, Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal, $14.95, 89pts

Filed under: News, , , , ,

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WineAlign Reviews

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2008