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France

****1/2 drink now
Gosset ‘Grand Réserve’ Brut Non-Vintage Champagne
AOC Champagne $65.00 750 ml (669143) / $21.45 200 ml
This is a blend of only ‘declared’ Vintage years and in this wine that’s1998, 1999 and 2000. The blend of grapes is 46% Chardonnay, 44% Pinot Noir with the balance Pinot Meunier. It’s a rich golden yellow and displays some of the wonderful aromatic characteristics of an aged Champagne—nutty, yeasty and toasty, along with notes of white flowers. Look for a huge mousse, an excellent flavourful attack on the palate plus deft balance and no small amount of finesse. The rich and complex flavours include lemon, yellow plum and a lovely dollop of honey. The finish is lengthy and adds on a layer of ripe nectarine. This pairs beautifully with roast turkey or chicken Kiev. The 200 ml is available now and the 750 ml in November. Best to pre-order now as the allotment is not large. Order via Halpern Wine at 1-416-593-2662. (VH)

****1/2 drink now
Laurent-Perrier ‘Brut L-P’ Non-Vintage Champagne
AOC Champagne $57.95 (340679)
The blend is 45% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 15% Pinot Meunier grapes that have been sourced in vineyards with an average rating of 94/100 in the Champagne scale of quality vineyards. It’s also been aged more than twice as long as regulations require (3 to 4 years as opposed to 15 months) allowing the development of some complexity in appearance, aromas and flavours. This pours a rich golden colour in the glass and delivers a mélange of aromas including, brioche, white flowers along with some leesy notes. It offers a refreshing attack of citrus, apple and pear with a wonderful mousse and a steady stream of small bubbles. The finish is lengthy and layered, adding on a flavour of delicious white peach. It’s refreshing, well-balanced and flavourful. There are a very few bottles of this in LCBO stores. However, if you’re too late to get those a new shipment will be arriving mid-December and you can place your order now, by the case of 6, direct from the agent Philippe Dandurand Wines at 1-888-820-2087. (VH)

**** drink now
Taittinger ‘Brut Prestige Rosé’ Non-Vintage Champagne
AOC Champagne $72.95
Blended with 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, the vibrant colour is achieved by blending in 15% still red wine (Pinot Noir) from the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay. The lively nose delivers delightful aromas of freshly picked strawberries and pink grapefruit. The palate offers a medium texture that carries along tangy and refreshing flavours of currants and red field berries. The finish is balanced, and medium in length with flavours of strawberry and raspberry to the fore. Serve this as a wine to welcome guests. A very limited allotment of 20 cases will arrive in December, but you will need to place an order soon as it sells quickly. Order from Pacific Wine and Spirits 1-416-622-8000. There’s no minimum order and no delivery charge in the GTA. (VH)

Italy
**** drink or cellar
Vietti ‘Tre Vigne’ Dolcetto d’Alba 2004
DOC Dolcetto d’Alba
It’s a striking ruby red in the glass, with lovely intense aromas of plum, cherry and spice, with distinct notes of smoke and bacon. The meaty notes drop off on the palate, where you get cherry, plum and pepper, wrapped in a tangy texture. It’s dry with light tannins and makes an excellent partner to red meat or veal in a tomato-based sauce. Order from Rogers & Co. at 416 961 2294. (RP)