JULIAN HITNER TORONTO WINE CONSULTANT

"For love of everything that is wine"

WINES OF THE WEEK FOR SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2007

'CHOCOLATE' AND 'LEMON' WINES:

Going over my 'wine notes' for the past few months, I could not help noticing that a good deal of wines that I have sampled seemed to possess interesting notes of 'chocolate' or 'mocha' (for reds) and 'lemony' notes (for whites). And so, this week, I thought it might be nice to suggest some wines that offer some of Mother Nature's most delightful scents!

PLEASE NOTE: Starting this week, 'Wines of the Week' are going to be posted bi-monthly, so be sure to check my website on April 21 for some great suggestions ... as usual!

RED WINES

(1) Alvaro Palacios
      -Priorat, Spain
       ('Les Terrasses')
      -Grenache/Carignan/
       Cabernet Sauvignon
      -Vintage 2003

      -L.C.B.O. PRICE: $38.95
       (unavailable --- "Thanks, Dad")
      -8.5/10



COMMENT: When I tried this wine about a year ago, I was truly amazed at its quality and overall uniqueness of flavours. Boasting light chocolate and lots of raisins, this is a very plumy, chewy wine, with a very long finish. Right now, it is not available within the L.C.B.O. system, so it would be prudent to (via my large web database) to search for other stores within Canada that carry it.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Middle-East-style chicken --- enjoy!

(2) Torbreck
      -Barossa, Australia
       ('Woodcutter's')
      -Shiraz
      -Vintage 2005
      -L.C.B.O. PRICE: $23.95
      -8.5/10



COMMENT: A 'perennial favourite' of Robert Parker (*I really despise that expression*), this wine always seems to stand out year after year. Containing lots of warm mocha notes, spicy plums, and red licorice, the 2005 'Woodcutters' is a real beauty. Unfortunately, it is also pretty much impossible to find within the L.C.B.O. system, so it ought to be nice and hard to fine it ("Thanks, Dad").

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Marinated Peking duck --- enjoy!

WHITE WINES

(1) Weingut Gunderloch
      -Rheinhessen, Germany
       ('Jean Baptiste')

      -Riesling Kabinett
      -Vintage 2005
      -L.C.B.O. PRICE: $15.95
      -8.25/10



COMMENT: Made by one of the most-respected estates within the Rheinhessen winegrowing region of Germany, most wines made by Gunderloch are absolutely superb. The 2005 'Jean Baptiste' is a lovely, underpriced wine, with light-lemony fruit and an overall-elegant and understated structure. It should be available within the L.C.B.O. system sometime in 2007.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Crab legs --- enjoy!

(2) Leasingham
      -Clare Valley, Australia
       ('Magnus')
      -Riesling
      -Vintage 2004
      -
L.C.B.O. PRICE: $16.15
      -8.25/10



COMMENT: Several months ago, I used this wine in a private tasting, and most people were in agreement that it was definitely 'interesting' in style. Personally, I think it is a lovely Riesling, made in a country that, with each passing vintage, seems to understand the grape better and better. Carrying delicate lemony scents, the 'Magnus' is a wine driven by crisp acidity and notes of kerosene. It is also still available within the L.C.B.O. system, so buy some if you can ("Thanks, Dad!").

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Homemade chicken noodle soup (trust me) --- enjoy!

ANY QUESTIONS

Email me at julianhitner@hitnerwine.com

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