John Szabo’s Vintages Preview for November 24th 2012

A Pre-Preview; Winter Whites and a Trio of Chardonnays

John Szabo, MS

John Szabo, MS

November 24th is a massive release of fine wine, spirits and gifts for the holidays. So big is the release, that the LCBO had to spread the trade tastings over several sessions with the final one scheduled for November 20th.

Rather than have you wait until next week, here’s a little Pre-Preview highlighting the Vintages white wines which have already been tasted. (I will post a follow-up piece on Nov 23rd.)

Take a look at this trio of top chardonnays, including two from Ontario.

Le Clos Jordanne 2009 Le Grand Clos Chardonnay, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Twenty Mile Bench

The 2009 Grand Clos is evolving beautifully, still holding on to youthful citrus and lemon custard notes while the wheat, wet hay, honey and wet limestone notes are beginning to take the lead. The palate is mid-weight, balanced on a pin-point between crunchy acidity, moderate alcohol and significant flavour depth. Excellent length. Very classy to be sure.

Philippe Colin 2008 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumées 1er Cru, Burgundy, France

Here’s a classy, textbook white Burgundy of a very high level, with tremendous complexity and depth. The intense minerality is more reminiscent of Puligny than Chassagne, pronounced and intense, as opposed to the often rounder fruitier style of typical Chassagne, but I’m hardly complaining. Terrific length; top notch and enjoyable now, but this has the structure and acidity to carry forth to the end of the decade and beyond.

Malivoire 2009 Moira Chardonnay, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville Bench

Here’s an elegant, refined, minerally example, with a terrifically broad palate and notable chalky mineral taste and texture. Wood is well integrated and forms a subtle backdrop to citrus and tree fruit, though it’s really the limestone that dominates – a very good thing. Excellent length. Drink now or hold mid-term – this has the structure to improve. One of Malivoire’s strongest chardonnays to date.

Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Chardonnay 2009Philippe Colin Chassagne Montrachet Les Chaumées 1er CruMalivoire Moira Chardonnay 2009

All of the wines from the November 24th release, including these white wine reviews, are posted on our site as usual. However, you will have to wait until next week to see the red wine reviews and the Top Ten Smart Buys.

Come down to the Gourmet Wine & Food Expo and do some pre-release tasting for yourself.  We would love to meet you at the WineAlign booth #222.


John Szabo, MS

John Szabo, Master Sommelier

All November 24th Reviews


Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Rosehill Wine Cellars