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Limited Ontario wine release at Vintages Saturday: Rosehall Run, Featherstone, Kacaba, plus the first 2012 Burgundy from Bachelder

chardThe province’s booze monopoly is still trying to shake off the cobwebs of a busy Christmas season and hasn’t really cranked up the Ontario wine releases at Vintages stores in 2015 yet.

Only a few Ontario wines are being featured in Saturday’s release while international bargain wines continue to flood the market.

There are some interesting Niagara wines to look for, and also a tasty Chardonnay from Prince Edward County, plus the first of Thomas Bachelder’s 2012 wines, a Chardonnay from Burgundy.

Here’s what I can recommend:

cq5dam.web.1280.1280Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling 2013 ($17, 89 points) — A consistently delightful Riesling from Featherstone with a nose of peach, lime, grapefruit and mineral notes. The palate reveals sweet-tart citrus fruit peach and a core of slate minerality. Love the mouth-watering acidity and energy through the finish.

Kacaba Cabernet Franc 2011 ($19, 88 points) — A savoury nose of dried herbs, bay leaves, black currants, cherry and cigar box cedar. A typical cool-climate Cab Franc on the palate with a lean profile that shows interesting flavours of savoury spices, herbs, dark fruits, smoky notes to go with rounded tannins.

From Prince Edward County

original_rosehall-run-hungry-point-unoaked-chardonnay-2013-207605-bottle-1408834656Rosehall Run Hungry Point Unoaked Chardonnay 2013, Prince Edward County ($20, 89 points) — Hungry Point in PEC is so named because of the difficulty growing cash crops in the drought-stricken area. But Chardonnay vines thrive in the elixir of calcareous limestone, well-drained soils and temperate growing conditions. This is a lovely expression of pure Chardonnay with a nose of green apple, tropical fruit and integrated citrus zest. It’s clean and fresh on the palate with mouth-watering green apple and lemon-lime citrus all perked up by racy acidity.

The first of Bachelder’s 2012s released

Bachelder Bourgogne 2012, Burgundy ($36, 89 points) —An inviting nose of baked apple, pear, toasted vanilla and lovely harmonious spices. The ample pear and apple fruit is joined by a lovely vein of citric acidity that provides freshness on the finish.

Released but not reviewed:

Tawse Sketches Cabernet/Merlot 2011 ($21)

Some hidden international gems under $20

Chateau Hauchat Fronsac 2011, Bordeaux ($16, 87 points) — This estate is located just west of Pomerol and is made with 100% Merlot. The nose shows meaty red fruits, ripe cherry, toasted spices and vanilla. It has round, ripe fruit on the palate with soft tannins. Affordable baby Bordeaux.

Fattoria di Piazzano Chianti 2012, Chianti ($15, 89 points) — A great value Chianti with a nose of cherry, raspberry and fresh summer flowers. It has wonderful freshness on the palate with pure cherry fruit all lifted by bright acidity. Pair with a nice charcuterie plate.

Chakana Maipe Malbec 2012, Mendoza ($15, 88 points) — An interesting nose of plums, cherry, spice, violets, vanilla and a minty nuance. It’s soft and round on the palate and loaded with ripe plums, cherries, strawberry, spice and smoky wood notes. Pair with roasted red meats.