LCBO Sale Wine of the Week: December 22

Pago de Cirsus  Vendimia Seleccionada 2012 (Navarra, Spain)

Sale $14.95, Regular $16.95
Discount (until Jan. 1): $2.00
LCBO #461319 | 750 mL bottle

Tastes like: Big rich/ripe chocolate, mocha, black cherry and plum. Smoky and oaky, plush and velvety. Quite delicious. And huge.
Pairs with: Prime rib, venison stew, osso buco, fatty burgers.
Good for: A long winter’s night.
Alcohol: 14.5%
Drink: Now to 2022.

Why we're drinking this
You want fine Spanish wine? You want Pago. No, it’s not a brand. It’s the designation of level of quality. And Pago is the tops. Theoretically, anyway. As in all things, theory and reality can be at odds. However, this is a pretty good wine for the price — if you like the style, which is big, plush, rich and woody. “Pago” generally means that a winery has taken extra steps to upgrade the quality of its wines by, say, lowering yields. As well, all the grapes must be grown on the estate. Confusing, it can be. But for us Canadian wine drinkers, we can generally trust “Pago” as a designation of elevated quality.

Tasting note

This is a big chocolate/mocha/tobacco bomb. If you like ’em rich, fleshy and juicy, look no further. Tempranillo and Merlot weigh in at 35% each, with 30% Syrah. So there’s something for everyone here. At 14.5% alcohol, there’s more than a little heft. Velvety and sumptuous, with lots of chocolate, plum and black cherry. Smoky from a generous dose of oak, likely mostly new. Fairly soft, ripe tannins. Long finish, fruity and chocolaty. A big serious wine for big serious winters… like the one that’s coming (according to The Farmer’s Almanac). A big wine like this is a bit tiring to drink on its own, but give it some massive meats and it’ll sing for its supper. A superb value — stock up and get that prime rib roast ready. Your Christmas starts now.

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