New in Vintages

Spirits: Liqueur

**** drink or cellar
Luxardo Excelsior Maraschino Liqueur
Product of Italy $25.95 (57448) 32.0% alcohol
Family-owned and managed since 1821, there are few more-recognizable labels or bottles—the latter wrapped in ‘raffia’—on LCBO shelves. Distilled from Marasca (sour) cherries, it’s clear in the glass, sharp and distinctive on the nose with intense red cherry, spice, white pepper and notions of nuttiness. This is warm, smooth, sweet and delicious on the palate with concentrated sweet cherry dominant throughout. It’s used in classic cocktail recipes and über delicious over fresh, fruit salad. (Vic Harradine)

Table Wine

**** drink now
Anselmi ‘San Vincenzo’ 2011
IGT Veneto, Italy $14.95 (948158) 13.0% alcohol
Primarily Garganega, this is a Vintages Essentials wine, always available in select stores. Honeyed pit fruit, spice and ripe apple one nose, it bathes the palate with a balanced and beautiful, brimming-with-flavour river of white succulent peach, tangy citrus and banana yoghurt. It’s mid bodied with a silky-smooth texture and a long, lip-smacking aftertaste. Pour on its own or with roast chicken or pan-seared white fish or white pizza. (Vic Harradine)

***1/2 drink now
Boasso ‘Meriame’ Dolcetta d’Alba 2011
DOC Dolcetta d’Alba, Italy $15.95 (303461) 13.5% alcohol
Tobacco, roasted herbs mingling with black cherry and plum aromas herald a lively splash of sour cherry and tangy red berry fruit infused with spice and savoury herbs. It’s mid weight and nicely textured with a drying aftertaste. Pour alongside pasta in tomato sauce or meat-laden red pizza. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar
Château de Monturon Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2010
AOC St-Émilion Grand Cru, France $23.95 (171017) 13.5% alcohol
Deep ruby, this is a blend of Merlot and Cabernets. Enjoy the lovely rich aromas of sweet, spiced vanilla, red and black fruit, cedar and caramel. Dry, mid-full weight, it’s showcasing delicious flavours of cocoa, black cherries and plum merging with delicate nuances of pepper, herbs and spice. Exhibiting a lovely velvety texture, the ripe tannins, refined oak and refreshing acidity create a wine of balance and lasting toasty flavour. Serve with braised chicken thighs. (Susan Desjardins)

**** drink now
Fattoria di Piazzano ‘Rio Camerata Riserva’ Chianti 2006
DOCG Chianti, Italy $24.95 (301929) 13.5% alcohol
Showing age on the orange-hued rim, there’s a lovely bouquet of rose petals, leather and sandalwood interwoven with rich, black plum compote. It’s medium bodied and silky smooth on the palate with a profusion of tangy flavour—dark berry fruit, roasted herbs and charred toast. It finishes dry and lengthy with notions of red berry fruit and blueberry garnished with cherry and menthol. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar
Tabalí ‘Reserva’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
DO Maipo Valley, Chile $ 14.95 (58446) 14.0% alcohol
Inky purple, the grapes were hand picked, the wine aged 10 months in French oak. Herbal, earthy notes waft from the glass intermingling with aromas of rich, dark fruit and hints of cedar and vanilla. Dry, full bodied, quite round yet firm, the dark fruit is rich and concentrated, notes of toasty oak, dark chocolate and pepper adding interest and complexity. The flavours bathe the palate and linger on the finish garnished with a tangy note of coffee bean. Serve with grilled meats and root vegetables. Good value. (Susan Desjardins)

There are still a few bottles of this Viognier in Vintages—go figure! It’s also available by the case or mixed case, for daily home or office delivery from Fielding.

***** drink now Exceptional Value!
Fielding Estate Viognier 2010 

VQA Niagara Peninsula $25.95 (142323) 13.5% alcohol 

Awarded ‘Best Viognier’ at Cuvée 2012. Alluring aromas of nectarine, sweet spring flowers and spiced poached pear provide segue to a creamy-textured explosion of palate-coating flavours. This is concentrated and brimming with depth and complexity; honey-infused musk melon, apple crumble and marzipan run rampant over the palate and lingering aftertaste. Amidst this array of texture and charm, there’s balance and a refreshing finish. Winemaking wizard, Richie Roberts, waves his magic wand. (Vic Harradine)