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2016 Rhône By Roger Sabon – 14.5% Alc./Vol.               $19.30/$115.80 for 6  LCBO Product No. 466234

The 2016 Rhône By Roger Sabon is a truly superb Côtes du Rhône. It is made from 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 10% Cinsault. The grapes were destemmed and hand sorted. It is a brick red colour with pure aromas of raspberries, ripe cherries, smoked meat, Provençal spices and minerals. It is well-balanced with silky tannins and lots of red and black fruit flavours – it is very elegant! Medium to full-bodied, it will go perfectly with grilled meats, barbeques and charcuterie. It is ready to drink now and will hold beautifully for another four to five years. If you are in the Toronto area you can try this fine wine at Le Sélect Bistro.

2016 Lirac By Roger Sabon – 14.5% Alc./Vol.                          $28.80/$172.80 for 6 LCBO Item No. 466242

Robert Parker noted that Domaine Roger Sabon is one of only five “Excellent” Lirac producers. He goes on to say, “A sleepy village next to Tavel, Lirac appears to be emerging from the shadows of oblivion. More and more of the top estates are producing better and better wines.”

“Somehow Roger Sabon has captured joy in a bottle. His 2016 Lirac By Roger Sabon boasts subtle spice and vanilla shadings upfront, then elevates the mood with easy-to-drink ripe cherry fruit that’s concentrated yet never seems heavy on the palate. This medium to full-bodied wine is lush and fun to drink, ending with softly dusty tannins that lend a welcome savory edge to the long finish. It should drink well for close to a decade.” (91/100) Jeb Dunnuck, ‘The Wine Advocate’ October, 2017

2016 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc ‘Renaissance’ – 14.0% Alc./Vol.    $53.60/$321.6 for 6       LCBO Product No. 466259

Made from 50% Roussanne and completed with Clairette, Bourboulenc and Grenache Blanc, this beauty offers up aromas of honeysuckle, pears, peaches and fresh flowers that seem to leap from the glass. It is a full-bodied stunner, crisp, clean, subtle and elegant that sees no oak. This wine is meant to be drunk young – over the next year or two. If you like white Châteauneuf du Pape, you’ll love the 2016 ‘Renaissance’ from Domaine Roger Sabon. It simply doesn’t get much better than this.

2015 Châteauneuf du Pape ‘Les Olivets’ – 14.5% Alc./Vol.               $48.75/$292.50 for 6            LCBO Product No. 466267

Les Olivets’ comes from an 8.5 hectare plot of vines averaging 45 to 65 years of age. It is made from 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 10% Cinsault and is aged in oak foudres for six to eight months.

“The 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Les Olivets is made from 80% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah and Cinsault (vines averaging 45 to 65 years of age), aged in foudre, concrete tanks and tronconique tanks, its deep ruby/purple color is followed by a medium to full-bodied, textured red that has lots of red black fruits, roasted garrigue and hints of meatiness, sweet tannin and outstanding length. This is a great vintage for this cuvée that should drink well through 2025.” (90 – 92/100) Jeb Dunnuck, ‘The Wine Advocate’ October, 2017

Please note that the description of this wine on LCBO.com is incorrect at time of writing; however, the price is correct and you will be getting the 2015 Les Olivets.

2015 Châteauneuf du Pape ‘Réserve’ – 14.5% Alc./Vol. 
750 ml $57.95/$347.70 for 6
LCBO Product No.: 750 ml - 466283
Magnums $127.90/$383.70 for 3
LCBO Product No.: Magnums - 466291

750 ml :

Magnum :
Made from 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre (with vines averaging sixty-five to eighty years of age), the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Réserve comes from two terroirs: la Crau and la Grenade. It’s aged 60% in foudre and the rest in larger oak tanks. Elegant, medium to full-bodied, with ripe tannic structure, it has lots of scorched earth, darker berry fruits, smoked herbs and licorice aromas and flavors. It’s not a massive wine, but it shines for its purity and length.” (93 – 95/100) Jeb Dunnuck, ‘The Wine Advocate’ October, 2016

I would give this marvellous Châteauneuf a couple of years before broaching and expect it to evolve wonderfully for the next fifteen years or so.

Brut 1er Cru – 12.0% Alc./Vol.   LCBO Product # 926617                 $48.35/$290.10 for 6

This is great Champagne at a great price. The grape composition is 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay (all Premier and Grand Cru). A pale golden colour with a delicate nose of fresh green apples, white flowers and hazelnuts, it has a very fresh, deep structure and is well-balanced with good length. What a great way to start any party and also a wonderful accompaniment for white meats.

Here’s what Alison Napjus said about it in the December 31, 2012 edition of the ‘Wine Spectator’ – “Firm and focused by racy acidity, this is lightly chalky in texture, offering tightly knit flavors of ripe Gala apple, anise, black currant candy, fresh ginger and biscuit. Fine balance. $63 (wow, note the price – US$!!) – 91/100”. Robert Parker rated it a 90!

And, it costs much less than you would pay for regular mass-marketed Champagne. Here are some examples of the prices of ordinary Champagne currently available at the LCBO (not a 1er Cru in the bunch, let alone one with Grand Cru juice as well):

Piper Heidsieck Brut
Möet & Chandon Brut Imperial
Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut
Veuve Clicquot Brut

Ain’t it wonderful when you don’t have to support all those expensive advertising campaigns?

Rosé Brut 1er Cru - 12.0% Alc./Vol.   LCBO Product # 926633         $53.50/$321.00 for 6

This is the Champagne for those most festive occasions. It is also an ideal apéritif. Its rose colour comes from adding a touch of red wine from Brouzy to the Forget-Brimont reserve cuvée. The grape composition is 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay (Premier and Grand Cru grapes only!). In the glass the beautiful light salmon colour provides an ideal backdrop for its steady stream of tiny bubbles.

Alison Napjus had this to say about it in the November 15, 2012 edition of the ‘Wine Spectator’ – “This offers lovely balance, a finely detailed texture and delicate acidity that focuses the subtle flavors of ripe plum, wild strawberries, and melon fruit. A hint of almond-tinged financier and mineral notes add complexity. $67 (note the price in US$!!) - 91/100

At least $25 less than anything comparable at the LCBO.

Extra Brut 1er Cru - 12.0% Alc./Vol.   LCBO Product # 926625         $52.40/$314.40 for 6

This is really excellent apéritif Champagne in a delicate and refreshing style. Comprised of 50% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay, (all 1er Cru and Grand Cru grapes) this crystal-clear Champagne possesses delightfully persistent tiny bubbles. Aromas of white flowers, citrus, pears and honeysuckle carry through in the mouth. It is beautifully fresh and lively with a long finish. This lovely fizz would be a special treat with lobster, oysters or caviar. Decanter magazine gave it a Five Star rating.

2006 Millésime 1er Cru Brut - 12.0% Alc./Vol.    LCBO Product #458835     $69.20/$415.20 for 6

The 2006 Champagne Forget-Brimont Millésime 1er Cru Brut is a true delight. The grape composition (all from the very good 2006 harvest) is 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay (1er and Grand Cru grapes only!). In the glass, the beautiful luminous golden colour provides an ideal backdrop for its steady stream of tiny bubbles. It has a complex nose of stewed fruits, toasted bread, hazelnuts, almonds and vanilla. A wonderfully mature, round wine with a silky finish, it would be perfect with chicken, foie gras or sweetbreads with morels.

Note: The prices for the Brut 1er Cru and Rosé Brut 1er Cru are a bit higher than the last time we offered them due to the strengthening Euro to the Canadian dollar.