Monthly Archives: February 2012

Château Bastor-Lamontange 2007

Château Bastor-Lamontange 2007
France, $25 +692715
Sauternes has been on the ropes lately as tastes move away from sweeter dessert-style wines, which means what was once rarified is now accessible. Take this half bottle by Bastor-Lamontagne, an excellent smaller label. It’s full of blood orange, lychee and apricot flavours but not cloyingly so. Serving it with the last course shows that the meal is an occasion and drizzling a few ounces on a roasting ham might be a nice trick as well.

Falesco Pesano Merlot

Falesco Pesano Merlot
Italy, $19 +494351
This Umbrian Merlot can stand up to any kind of red pasta sauce and then some. It’s a deep purple in the glass and, compared to the occasionally insipid Merlots from California, has a Southern Italian wallop of coffee beans and spice on the palate to let you know what’s up. It’s also a deal at under $20 so do yourself a favour and pick up more than one bottle.

Rocky Gully Shiraz Viognier

Rocky Gully Shiraz Viognier
Australia, $27 +34926
In our May issue we wade into the wonderful things that happen when you add just a touch of white grape viognier to burly syrah/shiraz grape. The French pioneered it with their magical Côte-Rôties but the Aussies have brought the concept to the masses-i.e. you and me. At first blush this cute-labeled bottle from Rocky Gully looks like just another quaffable offering from down under, but inside lurks a silky, smoothly balanced wine that evokes nothing so much as a bowl of peppered peaches. A wolf in sheep’s clothing.

St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur

St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
Germany, $64.99 +874107

As summer nears there are few more perfect poolside drinks, and none easier, than the St-Germain Cocktail. The hardest part used to be smuggling the St-Germain across the border but now that it’s widely available there’s really no impediment. Take two parts dry sparkling wine, two parts St-Germain, two parts club soda and stir. That’s it and even then the proportions are more of a guideline than anything else.

Cupcake Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Cupcake Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
California, $14.99 +744375

Forget the name (which might have been cute three years ago) and overlook the fact that these guys make 80,000 cases of this wine (that’s almost a million bottles for you English majors), and instead focus of the forgotten pleasures of basic California Cabernet: fleshy and fruit forward with a jammy, cherry bite and a strong American oak background. This is not for aging or for cooing over with your friends, and frankly, given it’s modest acidity, it’s better on its own than with food. But around a campfire this makes for a nice glass of wine-isn’t that enough?