Wine Picks LCBO Release Dec 9, 2017

Holiday party sippers, dinner wines, toasting bubbly and gift suggestions- here are my picks for the best value wines under $35.00 in this release.

The 2 wines of the month Joel Gott Zinfandel 224139 Score 90 @ $24.95 and Convento San Francisco (Tempranillo) 206409 Score 91 @ $20.95 are both good value. (Obviously why the were chosen Wines of the month!)

Use the product number and  this link to check for stock in the LCBO nearest you.

Sparkling

LABOURÉ-GONTARD BRUT CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE Traditional method, (AC, Burgundy, France)

401018  Score 89/90   $20.95

Tim Appelt of winediscovery.ca calls this ‘an enticing example of Crémant de Bourgogne made from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Fresh floral, lemon and apple aromas are enhanced by light notes of brioche, toast and almond paste. The wine is dry, with bracing acidity, modest alcohol, and a slightly creamy texture. Lots of freshness with red apple ripeness on the palate, and the finish is crisp, tart and toasty. Very pleasant and well-made.’

ENTERIZO BRUT NATURE CAVA Traditional method ( DO, Spain)

516716  $14.95

Spain is always good value in ‘everyday’ sparkling wines. At this price you can use it in mimosas or serve it for toasting and cocktails. Vintage panels says ‘Primarily Macabeo with Xarello and Parellada, this Cava offers tremendous value. Sourced from limestone and clay soils, it is floral with a notable grapefruit citrus tone on the nose and baked bread autolytic notes. The plate is fresh and crisp, with stone fruit and mineral tones. Excellent integration and balance with good length. A nice value alternative to Champagne for your holiday celebrations.’

White Wines

DOG POINT SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 (Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand)

677450 Score 94 $26.95

This wine is getting consistent ratings in the 90s around the web. Mike Bennie of  winefront.com.au says ‘Opens with that sexy, flinty, smoky scent, all crushed rocks and minerals amongst green melon, lime and lemon rind, floral things. The palate is tight, racy, scintillating for acidity and its, again, mineral-charged feel. Amongst the skeletal, mouthwatering feel, a drizzle of juiciness to keep you hounding at your glass. It’s pure, driven, ultra-refreshing, brilliant drinking. Drink: 2017-2021. ‘

TRIMBACH RIESLING 2015 (AC Alsace, France)

734517  Score 91  $22.95

This is an interesting wine that you can drink now or cellar if you are a fan of rich, petrol-y aged Rieslings.  Ian D’Agata of vinous.com describes ‘Bright straw-green. Peony, mirabelle and mint on the enticing nose. Crisp and fresh in the mouth, with very high but harmonious acidity nicely shaping the ripe flavors of peach and lychee; is there just a trace of super-ripe grapes thrown in the blend here? Manages the neat trick of tasting lemony fresh and very light on its feet while delivering sneaky concentration and depth. Outstanding entry-level Riesling wine. Drinking window: 2017-2026.’

OYSTER BAY PINOT GRIGIO 2016 (Hawkes Bay, North Island New Zealand)

326090 Score 90  $19.95

Natalie MacLean of nataliemaclean.com  says ‘Cool climate viticulture from the North Island shows through in this zesty Pinot Grigio. Bone-dry with lime lift through the mid-palate. Good mouth-watering acidity for seafood or an aperitif. Zippy and refreshing with aromas of lime and grape- fruit. Ends on an up note of lime and lemon zest and springtime energy. Drink: 2017-2019.

VALTEA ALBARIÑO 2016 (DO Rías Baixas, Spain)

518019 Score 90  $22.95

I became a big fan of Alarino wines this summer. This one looks perfect for New Years celebrations involving seafood!  Vintage panel notes: ‘This is floral, with nice tropical aromas alongside the pear, white peach, apricot andmineral tones. Fresh and juicy with superb acidity, the palate has well-articulated citrus, apple and mineral. Balanced and long, this is perfect for lobster or a stew featuring scallops, haddock, mussels and all your favourite seafood.

ROYAL TOKAJI LATE HARVEST TOKAJI 2015 (Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary)

517375 Score 90   $19.95 (500 mL)

While not classified as a dessert wine this is a sweet, botrytis affected wine that would go well with a lovely final dinner course with the likes of  figs, dried apricots, nuts and cheeses.  Alison Napjus of winespectator.com says ‘This is lightly sweet and zesty, with mouthwatering acidity and flavors of melon gelée, ground cardamom and candied pink grapefruit peel. Ample minerality shows on the finish. Drink now through 2022.’

Red Wines

ELDERTON BAROSSA SHIRAZ 2014  (Barossa, South Australia)

 Score 94  $24.95

Campbell Mattinson of  winecompanion.com.au says ‘This would blow your hair back. It offers a whoosh of syrupy soft flavour. It’s all plums and cloves and smoky oak; twist the top and the scents and flavours are at you at a rate of knots, like they have pleasure to sell and the faster the deal is sealed, the better. It will cellar, but there’s no need to. Drink by: 2026.’

TERRAZAS DE LOS ANDES RESERVA MALBEC 2015 (Mendoza, |Argentina)

029280  Score 92  $ 19.95

James Suckling of jamessuckling.com says ‘A go-to malbec with berry and plum character and hints of flowers. Full-bodied, round and soft. Lovely juicy finish. Energetic. Drink now.’

DAC TINTO 2014 (DO Dão, Portugal)

523589  Score 91  $16.95

Tasting notes from wineandspiritsmagazine.com  say ‘Alvaro Castro is one of the rare creative geniuses in the wine world who designs outlandish concept wines … and also manages to put out pretty, beautifully grown, inexpensive reds that would make any sensible wine buyer rush to the store for the latest release. DAC is part of the latter category, a blend of touriga nacional, jaen, tinta roriz and alfrocheiro, local varieties Castro tends organically at vineyards his family has owned for centuries, 1,600 feet into the foothills of the Serra da Estrela. There’s nothing pushed or challenging about it, just the clarity that granite soils bring to the wine’s red raspberry, pomegranate and plum flavors, light, pretty and cheerful.’

FEUDO MONTONI LAGNUSA NERO D’AVOLA 2014 (DOC Sicilia, Italy)

523738  Score 91 +  $$22.95

Monica Larner of robertparker.com says \Here is a fabulous value wine from a great vintage … a rich and penetrating wine with a full load of primary fruit. The wine flaunts its youth and its freshness with vibrant notes of blackberry, plum, black currant, simple spice and toasted almond. What I love about this gorgeous Nero d’Avola is that it delivers varietal intensity and purity. It is never weighed down by those burnt pistachio aromas you sometimes get with the grape from less fortunate sites. Instead, this property with clay limestone soils on a high plain near the center of the island offers uniform growing conditions for consistent and very fruit-forward wines. Named after the Sicilian word for lazy (“lagnusa”) because of its low yields, the Lagnusa cru is a vineyard to watch in the future. Drink date: 2016-2022. ‘

CANNONBALL MERLOT 2014 (Sonoma County, California, USA)

342824 Score 91  $24.95

Natalie MacLean of nataliemaclean.com describes ‘Lots of mocha and dark chocolate on the nose from generous, but balanced oak aging. Some black fruit underneath and mouth-watering juiciness for a wide range of dishes from steak to grilled pork chops. Make a splash with Cannonball at your next potluck gathering. This Californian red wine features bing cherry, fig, spice, anise and dark chocolate on the nose … Drink: 2016-2021.’

 VAUCHER PÈRE & FILS FLEURIE 2014 (AC Beaujolais, France)

534339 Score 90  $16.95

This is light enough to serve with your turkey dinner if you are a red wine fan or sip at a party! At this price it won’t break the bank to serve a lot of guests! Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast describesa ripe, Burgundian take on Beaujolais. This creates a full, plum and black cherry flavored wine where the tannins have been cushioned by the generous fruit. It does have the typical acidity and freshness of the year to give a lift. Drink now. Best Buy.’

SPERI PIGARO RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE 2015 (DOC Veneto, Italy)

205286  Score 90   $22.95

This is gettting consistently high ratings among various reviewers.  Vintage panel notes say ‘The 2015 Pigaro has a pretty nose that suggests pure fruit, spice, earth and a hint of smoke. The palate is silky, balanced and structured. The earthy tone from the nose is present but plays a secondary role to the fresh fruit. A tasty, complex wine. Very nice. Enjoy with braised meats and root vegetables’

Cellar SugGestion

FORTIFIED PORT QUINTA DO PORTAL LBV PORT 2011 DOP (Portugal)

473041  Score 93  $31.95

This would make a good gift suggestion for a wine lover who doesn’t mind cellaring their gems! This is a chance to give a really good quality port at a reasonable price if  they have the time and patience! Mark Squires of robertparker.com says ‘This has big fruit and big flavor and a nuanced finish with plums, rhubarb and herbs…. There’s a hint of a high-toned note, but it folds into the whole readily and disappears. The tannins are there, too, but well integrated. Add nice concentration in the mid-palate and this LBV is built to age and develop … It doesn’t have to be held like a true Vintage Port … but it will certainly be better in five years than it is today.’

TRIMBACH RIESLING 2015 (AC Alsace, France)

734517  Score 91  $22.95

(See notes above)

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