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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Ch¢teau Brangelina

Power couple's new ros© joins the celebrity vintage shelf

Posted: 06/15/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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When you've got more money than you know what to do with, why not buy a winery? Such must have been the thinking when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie purchased the $60-million Ch¢teau Miraval in France in 2008.

The power couple's first vintage as proprietors, a 6,000-bottle run of a 2012 dry ros©, sold out within hours. I'm looking into whether it'll make it to Manitoba, but don't hold your breath. Globe and Mail wine columnist Beppi Crosariol, however, discovered the wine is set to hit B.C. liquor stores in June and the LCBO in August. The wine will be in the $25-30 range, and will sell out immediately. If we can't have the Brangelina wine here in Manitoba, so be it. In fact, there are plenty of other big names from sports and entertainment making wine that's in our market.

FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA

This isn't just a legendary director throwing his name on a wine label to move some units. Francis Ford Coppola's family has long been involved in the wine industry. He entered the scene in the late 1970s using proceeds from The Godfather to purchase the Inglenook winery, producing wine under the Niebaum-Coppola label before adding more property and the Francis Ford Coppola winery.

Coppola's Geyserville winery includes a pool, restaurant, gift shop, bocce courts and a movie gallery sporting some of the director's many awards.

Francis Coppola 2011 Diamond Collection Ivory Label Cabernet Sauvignon (California -- $24.99, Liquor Marts and beyond)

Bright cassis, cherry, vanilla and blackberry notes show well here, with a hint of white pepper and earth on the nose. It's a medium-plus bodied red, with up-front, plush dark berry flavours on backed up on the palate by vanilla and spice notes from oak aging. There's not as much depth and complexity as, say, the Godfather trilogy here -- think more along the lines of Tucker: A Man and his Dream. In my dream, people enjoy this wine with a steak, burgers, or ribs. (87/100)

JOE BASTIANICH

Best-known as the bald, scowly judge of Fox's MasterChef, Joe Bastianich's menacing glares are the yin to Gordon Ramsay's expletive-laden yang.

The Bastianich family has a history in food -- his mother Lidia's a long-time TV food personality -- and Joe's interest in wine and food is serious. He's an accomplished restaurateur -- often partnering with Mario Batali -- who owns four wineries (three in Italy, one in Argentina) and has authored books on Italian wine to great critical acclaim.

Bastianich 2010 Adriatico (Colli Orientali Del Friuli, Italy -- around $18, private wine stores)

The Friulano is sourced from Friuli, one of the northernmost regions of Italy. Complex nut, floral, peach, pear and red apple notes on the nose make way for hints of spice and honey. It's a medium-bodied, viscous and vibrant white, with bright pear, peach and red apple notes delivering the faintest hint of honeyed sweetness as the mineral, floral and nutty notes add depth. Try with grilled white fish, pasta in oil with herbs, lighter pork dishes -- it's excellent stuff. Available at Kenaston Wine Market and likely other private wine stores -- there are other Bastianich wines around town. 90/100

MIKE WEIR

Mike Weir could learn a thing or two from his wines. While the Canadian southpaw's golf game isn't what it once was -- it's been a long slide since winning the Masters 10 years ago -- his wines have shown great consistency and quality, especially for the price.

He's one of many golfers past and present with his name on a wine, including Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Arnold Palmer and Ernie Els. Weir, however, is the only one based out of Canada; he makes his wines with Niagara's Ch¢teau des Charmes, and a bricks-and-mortar winery is in the works, which will also house some of his golf memorabilia.

Profits go to children's charities via his foundation, so that's a good thing.

Mike Weir 2010 Underdog White (Niagara Peninsula, Ontario -- $13.95, Liquor Marts and beyond)

I had a tough time tracking down the 2010 blend, but the 2009 Underdog White was Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Auxerrois and Gewºrztraminer. The 2010 likely isn't much different, as the wine shows delicate lemon candy, tangerine, spice, melon and floral aromas. It's a light-plus bodied, off-dry white with ripe peach and tangerine flavours balanced by juicy lemon notes that provide mild acidity. Try with curry, Thai fare or sushi. Good value. 87/100

uncorked@mts.net Twitter: @bensigurdson

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 15, 2013 D14

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