The first March release contains 100 wines including small features of California and Ontario wines.
Little bargains among some very expensive ones but high-end wines are worth your attention.
There are a few sparkling wines, along with a few fortified wines that I felt were not up to standard offerings.
I should point out that originally, Vintages was called rare Wines and Spirits, and offered only rare products produced in very small quantities. Now this category has been transferred to Vintages Classics Collections that releases very fine and exclusive products four times yearly.
Vintages releases wines, spirits, and liqueurs every 14 days, and Vintages Essentials selections are available throughout the year. Regular release products are generally released once a year.
My recommendations of this release are:
Mile Road Vineyard Viognier, 2011, Eberle, Paso Robles, California
Typical peach and apricot aromas dominate the nose. It is a high-alcohol, smooth, rich and elegant wine that can be enjoyed with or without food.
313478, $ 29.95
Chardonnay, 2010, Chalone, California
Always a reliable label. This chardonnay offers apple, cantaloupe melon aromas, has a creamy mouth feel, is well balanced, with a long finish.
080266, $ 29.95
Triomphe Chardonnay, 2011, Southbrook Vineyards, Niagara peninsula, Ontario
B. Redelmeier, the owner, gets involved in blending discussion with A. Sperling, the winemaker. This organic and biodynamic Ontario chardonnay is elegant, and refined with an exquisite balance, and exudes melon and apple aromas. 90/100
172338, $ 21.95
Piesporter Goldtropfchen, Riesling Spatlese, 1999, Mosel, Germany
Mosel Rieslings are light, elegant, aromatic, and in good vintages, cellar worthy. This wine from a large vineyard, of which the winery owns a plot, smells of citrus fruits, is off dry tending to sweet, light with a pleasant mentality. Delicious to enjoy now. An excellent value.
313502, $ 19.95
Lytton Spring, 2010, Ridge, California
Ridge winery’s owners trust their long time winemaker implicitly and he always turns out extremely well balanced, powerful ad flavourful wines.
This edition, a blend of 67 per cent zinfandel, 23 petite syrah, 7 carignane, and 3 mataro, is seamless, masterfully balanced, cellar worthy for three to six years.
982413, $ 48.95
Reserva Especial, Tabali, 2009, Chile
Dark purple with aromas of black, and blueberries on the nose. Full bodied, deeply flavoured, powerful with a long aftertaste.
107540, $ 22.95
Rosso Ca Del Merlo, 2003, Giuseppe Quintarelli, Veneto, Italy
A glorious wine with unmistakable fruity and spicy aromas and fully body. Pair it with osso buco or Parmigiano reggiano.
958595, $ 79.95
Monastrell, Tarina, Alicante, Spain
Bright ruby in colour, exuding aromas of cherries and raspberries. Tannins are soft, the mouth feel is exquisite, the price exceptional.
310151, $ 12.95