VINTAGES Buyers’ Guide – June 22th, 2019

Loire Variety Comparisons, New Wave Aussies, and Smart Buys

By John Szabo MS, with notes from Michael Godel

The entire WineAlign crü is still reeling from the National Wine Awards of Canada, an extraordinary five days of tasting last week in beautiful Prince Edward County. 21 deeply experienced judges from Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia sipped, weighed and appraised the merits of 1,831 wines and ciders from almost every province in the land, in what is surely the most well-organized, professional and fair wine competition I’ve seen anywhere in the world. The annual NWAC Award winners, including the top wineries of the year, will be revealed in mid-July, so lovers, and future lovers of Canadian wines stand by for the definitive guide.

In the meantime, the June 22nd VINTAGES release features “Loire + New World Sisters”, a collection of benchmark chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc and cabernet franc from France’s Loire Valley, and their varietal equivalents from the rest of the new world. Students of wine, this is your opportunity for some compare and contrast of old and new world paradigms. I’ve lined up three interesting pairs for you to consider. Australia is the mini feature, and Michael and I have picked out a trio smart buys representing the current wave of surprisingly fresh and balanced wines emerging from Down Under. And to round it out, we’ve also found you some other miscellaneous smart buys worth mentioning from France, Spain and Hungary.

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Frei Brothers Sonoma Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 

Vintage’s Buyer’s Guide June 22nd: Compare & Contrast White Loire Varieties

Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2017, WO Stellenbosch, South Africa ($17.95)
John Szabo – Outside of the Loire, South Africa is the place to seek out excellent chenin blanc, and Ken Forrester is an acknowledged master of the grape, also a founding member of the Chenin Blanc Association of South Africa, which now counts over 130 members. This old vine reserve is a little fleshier and riper than Loire examples, also showing the delicate touch of wood (old casks), a wine of tremendous character and depth for the money – a value that’s near impossible to beat. …


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That’s all for this report. See you around the next bottle.

John Szabo, MS

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Frei Brothers Sonoma Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015