Wine Picks LCBO Release Feb 17th, 2018

Wow… this release could be expensive.  There are many 90+ scoring wines on offer at very reasonable prices.  This is a great chance to stock up!

There is a great opportunity to explore Gamay (aka Gamay Noir) with a Morgon Beaujolais and 2 award winning Gamay wines from Niagara… and all for under $20.00! Check out the Red Wine section below for details!

Use this link to check out availability of wines closest to you – LCBO store locator. Just enter the product number and your postal code to get a list of stores closest to you that have it in stock.



069930 (S)              Score: 95                 $41.95

Okay… very first recommendation  and it is outside my target range of $15-$35.   But…. a 1995 port scoring in the mid 90s is too good to pass up for a few dollars  outside the range.  So.. I thought you might like to know!   Decanter tasting notes say ‘A luscious but accessible wine, with splendid aromas of fruitcake, walnut, prunes and spice. There’s an astonishing level of extract to the palate, with its silky apricot fruit and darker tones of coffee beans, nuts and burnt caramel. This is a fresh, tangy, textbook Colheita and tremendous value to boot.’


(Mendoza, Argentina)

539080 (XD)                 Score 90                $16.95
James Suckling of describes “A sparkling wine with a very nice fruit and acid intensity that refreshes your palate with bright acidity and clear fruit at the same time. Drink or hold.” Medium-bodied & Flavourful

(DOCG, Veneto, Italy)

517862 (D)  Score 90           $19.95

Decanter World Wine Awards notes: ‘100% Glera. Creamy brioche nose with charming hints of lilac and wisteria, and real presence on the palate: lush, deep and concentrated, with notes of ripe pear, nectarine, melon and lemon. Has a pleasing sweet-and-salty tang on the finish.’ Light & Fruity


VILLA MARIA RESERVE WAIRAU VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 (Wairau Valley, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand)

536201 (XD)     Score 94      $24.95
Bob Campbell, MW of says “Quite a concentrated sauvignon blanc showing good purity and a mix of flavours from the greener gooseberry end of the spectrum to riper
tropical fruits. Fruity acidity helps drive a lengthy finish. Attractive complexity with layers of flavour,
including a suggestion of gunflint. Drink 2016-2021.’ Aromatic & Flavourful


542365  (XD)     Score 92   $16.95

James Suckling of  describes ‘Some cooked apple with vanilla and lightly toasted almond character. Full-bodied, round and flavorful. Tangy finish. Generous chardonnay. Drink or hold.’ Full-bodied & Rich

REDSTONE CHARDONNAY 2013  (VQA Niagara Peninsula, Canada)

511428  (XD)   Score 92    $25.70

Platinum Medal winner at the 2017 National Wine Awards of Canada.  Rhys Pender, MW, of says ‘Beautiful texture up front and some complex nut, popcorn, lemon and stone fruit before the long, elegant, crisp and refreshing finish kicks in with a pleasant light phenolic grip.’ Full-bodied & Rich


340893 (XD)  Score 91 $25.95

James Molesworth, describes ‘Alluring, with hints of jasmine, talc and honeysuckle, backed by a core of lemon peel, wet straw and gooseberry. A flint edge adds cut on the finish. Drink now through 2020.’ Aromatic & Flavourful

524942 (XD) Score 90      $32.95

Here is a chance to experience a 1er cru without breaking the bank.  This will be classic French chardonnay style – much lighter and more minerally than say California or Chile chardonnays.

Vintage panel notes:  ‘The Vaucopins premier cru is a steep south-facing slope with rich deposits of Kimmeridgian soils. These soils make Vaucopins unique in the area and are responsible for its
designation as a premier cru. The wines produced here are notably fresh and intensely mineral. The Domaine Bègue-Mathiot is sourced from vines more  than 20 years old. This 2014 has the profound mineral note the region is known for, with apple, lemon, flinty smoke tones and a bright acidity. Try it with salmon grilled in butter with fresh garden herbs’.  Light & Crisp

SNAPPER ROCK MARLBOROUGH PINOT GRIS 2016 (Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand)

536185 (XD) Not rated  $16.95

The first Pinot Gris wine that made me sit up and take notices was from New Zealand’s Whitehaven winery.  It was aromatic and round, juicy and lovely.  After exploring the grape further I have also fallen in love with the taut minerally style Alsatian Pinot Gris is famours for.  I am hoping, while different from the classic, this one will be reminiscent of my first Pinot Gris experience.

Vintage Panel Notes:  ‘As New Zealand branches out from its superb foundation of Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, we are going to encounter more and more gems like this amazingly priced Pinot Gris. This is aromatic, with delightful floral notes and lots of candied pear, white peach and citrus. It has a big mouthfeel that offers up a juicy, ripe, fresh flavour package. A nice choice for gently spiced pork ribs.’ Aromatic & Flavourful



FINCA SOPHENIA RESERVE MALBEC 2016 ( Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina)

066837 (XD)  Score 96  $19.95

Paz Levinson of Decanter describes ‘Intense aromas of floral-tinged black cherry and blueberry fruit, with a beautiful length and elegance of herbal and floral black fruit on the palate. Drink: 2017-2024.’ Full-bodied & Smooth

CHÂTEAU SÉNÉJAC 2015 ( Haut-Médoc, France)

962977 (XD)    Score 92-93     $29.95
James Suckling of  says ‘This shows density and structure for a 2015 with ripe tannins and bright fruit character. Full body. Chewy texture. Extremely well done for Médoc.’  Full-bodied & Firm

Compare French Beaujolais and Canadian Gamay

Here is a chance to experiment and educate your palate.  There are 2 award winning Canadian Gamay Noirs, the same grape that Beaujolais has made famous.  This is a perfect chance to compare the difference in French and Canadian wine making style and terroir.  Not to mention that that a Morgon at $17.00 is almost unheard of.  Fantastic value here if you are a Beaujolais fan.

469627 (XD) |Score 92   $16.95

Josh Raynolds of describes ‘Bright violet. Pungent dark berries, violet and a hint of candied licorice on the highly perfumed nose. Sweet and penetrating, offering intense blackberry and cherry flavors that unfold and pick up a spicy element with air. Powerful yet lithe, showing strong closing thrust and smooth, even tannins that build slowly and add shape. I suspect that this wine will enjoy a long, steady curve at maturity. Drinking Window: 2018-2023.’  Light-bodied & Fruity

Updated 16 Feb 2018 – This was a deep burgundy in the glass. The nose was fruity with a bit of alcohol which eventually blew off. The palate was fruit forward, with hints of strawberry and raspberry and smooth.  This was very lively on the tongue. There were actually tiny bubbles on the edge of wine. The vibrancy on the palate allowed it to stand up to a steak dinner. If you are a fan of medium weight, fruity, non-tannic wines this would be a good choice for you.

13TH STREET GAMAY NOIR 2016  (VQA Niagara Peninsula, Canada) Gold Medal winner at the 2017 National Wine Awards of Canada.

177824 Score: 90     $19.95
David Lawrason of says ‘This is quite lovely, combining ripe candied gamay fruit with complex pepper, herbal and slightly meaty notes. It is smooth yet juicy with fresh tart-edged acidity, a touch of sourness and very good to excellent length.’ Medium-bodied & Fruity

MALIVOIRE GAMAY 2016 (VQA Niagara Peninsula, Canada)

591313  Score: 90   $17.95
Gold Medal winner at the Gold Medal winner at the 2017 National Wine Awards of Canada.
John Szabo, MS of says ‘Here’s a juicy, fullish, succulent gamay with a fine measure of typical red berry fruit, if riper than the mean for Ontario. Indeed alcohol is a touch warming, but this remains balanced and fresh. An excellent example.’ Medium-bodied & Fruity

THE FOUNDATION STONE 2014  (Western Cape, South Africa)

444521 (XD)  Score: 91    $19.95

Michael Godel of says ‘The blend of five French varieties is weighty and intense with a decidedly hematic, ferric and pencil-graphite set of aromas for early strength. Plenty of fruit emerges and continues onto the palate with an equal match by energetic acidity. The shiraz
begins with a peppery jolt and the mourvedre delivers strength. Grenache the juice-giver is joined by fresh cinsault and finally finished with the cimmerian catalyst tannat. This has great presence and less funk than expected. Would love to see this age for a few years for tannin resolve and further integration. Will freak some folks out at the 10 year mark, perhaps even later. Drink: 2018-2024. ‘  Full-bodied & Smooth


461699 (D)     Score 91      $24.95

Rick VanSickle of says ‘A nice warm vintage brings out the best in Baco with a concentrated nose of plums, blackberries, bacon fat, herbs and smoky/spicy notes. The fruit turns to cherries and raspberry on the palate with a supporting role from plums, blackberries tasted oak spice, savoury herbs and good acidity through the finish.’ Medium-bodied & Fruity

526368 (XD) Scoe 89-91   $32.95

Jeb Dunnuck of describes ‘a modern-tinged profile of sweet black raspberry,
currants, toasted spice and hints of vanilla bean, the 2014 Crozes Hermitage Laurus is medium-bodied, supple, nicely textured and downright charming. It should drink well for 6-7 years. Drink date: 2016-2023.’ Medium-bodied & Fruity


Cellar Suggestions

(Barossa, South Australia)

167189 (XD)  Score 94                         $21.95

James Suckling of says ‘This is very decadent and rich with blackberry, spice, meat and earth character. Full body, dense and juicy yet always refined and fresh. Classy. Needs a year or two to soften.’   Full-bodied & Smooth

ANZIVINO GATTINARA 2010  (DOCG Piedmont, Italy)

534909 (XD)      Score 93       $29.95

Kerin O’Keefe of  Wine Enthusiast describes ‘Enticing scents of perfumed berry, violet, dried herb and cake spice take center stage along with a balsamic note. The palate is firmly structured
but elegant, offering tart red cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon and licorice. It’s well balanced
and young with taut polished tannins and fresh acidity. Drink: 2018-2030’ Medium-bodied & Fruity

BENMARCO CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014 ( Los Árboles, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina)
232637 (XD) Score 92    $18.95

Tim Atkin, MW of MW, says’ Like the Ben Marco Malbec, this wine
can’t be faulted for lack of ambition. It’s a blend of grapes from Gualtallary and Los Arboles, built to age in bottle. Compact and quite firm, it shows notes of mint, capsicum and blackcurrant, with an overlay of French oak. Needs time. 2017-2024.’ Full-bodied & Smooth


981787 (XD)      Score 91    $32.95

Joe Czerwinski of robert Rich and chocolaty, the full-bodied 2015 Gigondas, off of the estate’s sandier soils, displays plummy fruit and velvety tannins. Already approachable, it should continue to drink well for up to a decade.’ Full-bodied & Smooth


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