JULIAN HITNER TORONTO WINE CONSULTANT

"For love of everything that is wine"

WINES OF THE WEEK FOR SATURDAY, JUNE 2, 2007

Wines for Celebration:

Whenever one thinks of a wine to have for a celebratory event, the first item that comes to mind is Champagne or sparkling wine; and anyone who claims otherwise is a fool. This being said, however, one need not confine one's importantly-marked days to bubbly. Rather, a special occasion can be recognized by all sorts wine-type beverages.

For my tastes, on days of especial significance (happy ones, that is), I like to open up something expensive and openly tasty, like a really high-grade Aussie Shiraz or a premium German Riesling of sweeter extraction. On the other hand, for more somber events (which, in themselves, I opt to celebrate rather than mourn), I prefer to drink items (not necessarily expensive items) that tend to produce a sensation of contemplation and reflection, like a solid-grade Bordeaux or Burgundy.

This week then, I offer some wines to enjoy for celebratory occasions.

RED WINES

(1) Château Beychevelle
      -St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
      -Vintage 2004 (HOLD)

      - L.C.B.O. PRICE: $52.00
       (should be coming to
       Vintages mid-late-2007)
     
-8.75/10



COMMENT: With prices of premium Bordeaux going through the roof, there are still a few estates that aren't out to screw true wine enthusiasts over. A very complex wine, the 2004 Beychevelle is something I would personally open up to commemorate a less-than joyous event. On 'nosing' this wine, one cannot help but to sit back and think of perhaps-better times.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Leg of lamb --- enjoy!

(2) Peter Lehmann ('Mentor')
      -Barossa Valley, Australia
      -Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Shiraz
      -Vintage 2001 (DRINK NOW OR HOLD)
      -L.C.B.O. PRICE: $40.95
       (a good number of bottles are still
       floating around at larger stores)

      -8.5/10



COMMENT: A very special winery, Peter Lehmann wines are, at all levels, top-notch. The 'Mentor' is one of the estate's premium blends, and it is simply delicious. With lovely floral scents and a very chewy palate, I would argue this wine is somewhat underpriced. 'Cheerful' in tone, I am certain it would make a superb celebratory wine.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Smoked pork tenderloin(s) --- enjoy!

WHITE WINES

(1) Weingut Dr. Loosen
      -Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Mosel, Germany
      -Riesling Auslese
      -Vintage 2003 (DRINK NOW OR HOLD)
      -PRICE: $35.00, approx. (currently
       unavailable --- "Thanks, Dad!")

      -8.75/10




COMMENT: Though Not available at the L.C.B.O. at the present time, I ought to point out that any vintage of this stuff tends to be excellent, so if you find it somewhere else (such as in the U.S.), buy it! With great acidity, some lemony fruit, and awesome elegance, this is a superb wine to open up on an all-smiles special occasion.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Chicken with curry --- enjoy!

(2) Henry of Pelham
      -Niagara, Canada
      -
Sparkling wine ('Cuvée Catherine')
      -Ros
é
      -NV (non-vintage)
      -L.C.B.O. PRICE: $30.15
      -8.5/10



COMMENT: For those few people who absolutely insist on having sparkling wine to observe any event, this sparkling rosé from Henry of Pelham ought to do the trick. With light grapefruit notes and fantastic toastiness, it tastes pretty much like a Champagne. More importantly, at $30.15, it is an absolute steal!

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Salmon fillet --- enjoy!

ANY QUESTIONS?

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