The last Vintages release of 2015 contains well over 160 wines selected specially for the Festive Season celebrations in mind. There are many cabernet sauvignon wines from the Napa Valley and most are excellent but they need to be cellared for at least five years, and preferably 10 – 15 years to reach their potential.
It is very unfortunate that most consumers fail to appreciate the beneficial effects of cellaring, Wine cellaring should occur at 11 C (53 F), in a dark, vibration-free, humid (60 – 70 per cent humidity) place with a constant temperature.
Wine makers know that consumers buy, their carefully and lovingly made wines, before they are ready to enjoy and try to create wines that can be enjoyed early (two to three years old) by either leaving residual sugar or picking grapes extra ripe or fermenting to achieve high alcohol levels if the grapes contain sufficient sugar. My anecdotal research indicates that in every wine drinking country the situation is the same. People buy a bottle of wine, which at times may be very expensive, rush home, and expect it to be delightful. Unfortunately, this is not the case!
Cellar worthy wines need to be cellared, pending on their tannin level, and extract. It used to be that older generations would buy wines and cellar, hoping to enjoy their bottles when they were ready, and if they were not, the next generation lucked out!
Some of the wines I recommend are relatively inexpensive. Do not associate low price with quality. Today, lesser-known regions produce fine wines, and price them below their potential to capture market share. Buy whatever you need now, at least in Ontario since December happens to be an extremely busy time for L C B O stores.
Here are my recommendations.
Glenfarclas 25-Year-Old Highland Single Malt, J and G Grant, Speyside, Scotland
Aromas of sherry, leather, and unsalted nuts dominate. The whisky was at least partially aged in second fill sherry casks. On the palate you can discern smoke, sherry, vanilla and chocolate flavours. An outstanding, smooth, and rich whisky to enjoy after a fine meal.
700 ml.. $ 236.95
Bas Armagnac XO, Chateau de Laubade, France
700 ml., $ 99.95
Elegant XO Cognac, Camus, France
$ $ 199.95
Cep D’Or XO Selection Tres Vieille Grand Champagne Premier Cru Cognac, Jean Fillioux, France
700 ml., $ 122.95
Grappa di Sassicaia, 2009, Poli, Veneto, Italy
500 ml., $ 148.95
Ue Monovitigno Fragolino, Nonino, Friuli, Italy
Vintage 2011 Port, Bara de Vilar, Douro valley, Portugal
An intense wine offering (ripe blueberry, plum aromas. rich and well balanced with an outstanding amount of extract. enjoy on its own, or with hard and savoury cheeses.
Grand Vintage Brut Rose Champagne, 2006, Moet et Chandon, Champagne, France
A rose that smells of rose petals, and sweet cherries, intense and deeply flavoured with vigorous mousse. Well structured with a minimal amount of residual sugar. This champagne can be enjoyed now, but will improve for five to eight years of cellaring.
Grand Vintage Brut Champagne, 2006, Moet et Chandon, Champagne, France
Pepik Sekt, Josef Chromy, Tasmania, Australia
Reserve Brut Cremant de Bourgogne, Bailly Lapierre, Burgundy, France
Vidal Icewine, 2014, Chateau des Charmes, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada
200ml., $ 25.95
Vidal Sparkling Wine, 2014, Inniskillin, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada
375 ml., $ 79.95
Rare Vintage Chardonnay, 2013, Coyote`s Run, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
The winemaker, Jeff Aubry, told me that he makes `Rare Vintage Wines only in the best years and selects the best from all the barrels. An absolutely delicious chardonnay aged in Hungarian oak. Well balanced, fruity, and with a long aftertaste.
Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, 2013, Shafer, Napa Valley, California
Brilliant golden colour. Aromas of tangerines, pear, peach and other citrus dominate the nose. Medium bodied, intense, well balanced, acid-driven, and deeply flavours.
Cuvee G C Sancerre, 2014, Jean-Max Roger, Loire Valley, France
A single vineyard Sancerre made by a three centuries old wine family. Offers orchard fruit, citrus and cut grass aromas. Well-balanced, medium weight wine that `cries for goat cheese.
Les Noisetiers Chardonnay, 2013, Kistler, Sonoma Coast, California
Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, 2014, Casas del Bosque, Casablanca Valley, Chile
Gran Reserva Chardonnay, 2013, Santa Carolina, Casablanca valley, Chile
Chardonnay, 2012, Cloudy Bay, Marlborough, New Zealand
Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay, 2013, Trinity Hill, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Gorges Muscadet de Sevre et Maine, 2009, J. Huchet et J. Mourat, Loire Valley, France
Castello della Sala Chardonnay, 2013, Antinori, Umbria, Italy
Insignia, 2012, J.Phelps, Napa valley, California
This proprietary red was assembled using 75 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 10 petit verdot, 10 merlot, 3 malbec, and 2 cabernet franc, all aged in French oak for two years.
Opaque purple in colour, leads to cassis liqueur aromas, smoke, and spices. Rich, well; structured and full-bodied, well worth aging for at least a decade, and possibly longer. A generous wine with a long and memorable finish.
Aurelio’s Selection Napa Angel cabernet Sauvignon, 2009, Montes, Napa Nalley, California
Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010, Silver Oak, Napa Valley, California
Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012, Plumpjack Estates, Oakville, Napa Valley, California
Callejon Del Crimen Gran Reserva Malbec, 2008, Finca La Luz, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
Canto De Apalta, 2012, Lapostolle, Rapel Valley, Chile
E and E Black Pepper Shiraz, 2008, Barossa Valley Estates, South Australia
Geyserville, 2013, Ridge, California