Wine Picks LCBO Vintages Release Oct 27, 2018

The Oct 27, 2018 LCBO Vintages Release features Italian wines – and premium ones at that.  From now until the new year expect to see more and more premium wines on offer (which translates to higher and higher prices).  There are however many smart buys in this release with a few interesting Italian wines in the under $35 category and 2  chardonnays, scoring mid 90s for under $20.

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.

Or you can now order LCBO products on-line  .  Of late LCBO have indicated all release wines are available for on-line  ordering.

Here are my picks for some of the best value wines under $35 in this release.

Fortified

OFFLEY 10-YEAR-OLD TAWNY PORT (Portugal)

297788   (S)    Score: 90 – 92      $26.95

decanter.com notes:   A ripe, open-knit style with fig, date and raisin in abundance, ferrying onto a rich, caramel toned finish. Not especially complex, but pleasurable and uniform.  Sweet

Whites

SIDEWOOD CHARDONNAY 2016 (Adelaide Hills, South Australia)

186346      (XD) Score: 95      $17.95

James Halliday, winecompanion.com.au notes: Wild-fermented in French barriques, matured for 10 months. The intensity and length of the fruit is exceptional, and has swallowed up the French oak without even blinking. The accent is slight more on the citrus (grapefruit) side than the stone
fruit (nectarine, white peach), the finish as fresh as a spring day. Drink By: 2024. Full-bodie  d & Rich

CATHEDRAL CELLAR CHARDONNAY 2015 (WO Western Cape, South Africa)

328559  (XD)      Score: 94       $16.95

Notes from Decanter World Wine Awards, 2018: 100% Chardonnay. Rich opulent nose of sweet lemons, butterscotch and vanilla wood spice. Palate is vibrant and fresh, great energy and a long, plummy finish.  Full-bodied & Rich

CAVE SPRING CSV RIESLING 2016 (Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ont, Canada)

566026    (XD)     Score 94     $29.95

Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast tasting note:  Produced from the estate’s oldest
vines, this is a worthy reserve. This wine shows impressive depth and intensity, with powerful fruit flavors led by Satsuma orange and Meyer lemon. There’s a touch of spice and an underlying minerality. A sensational value … Editors’ Choice.    Aromatic & Flavourful

PIERRE SPARR RÉSERVE GEWURZTRAMINER 2016 (AC Alsace, France)

747600   (D)Score: 91     $18.95
Natalie MacLean, nataliemaclean.com note : A terrific Alsatian white wine with classic Gewürztraminer aromas of lychee, rosewater, grapefruit and baking spice. Pair with spicy and Asian dishes. Drink Date: 2017-2021. Best Value Wine.  Aromatic & Flavourful

REDSTONE CHARDONNAY 2015 6( VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ont, Canada)

398966     (XD)   Score   91     $19.95

Vintages panel note: Starting as a spinoff of Niagara’s iconic Tawse Winery, Redstone was named Canada’s Winery of the Year for 2017 at the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada. Aged 12 months in French oak, this wonderfully balanced Chardonnay shows floral, apple, pear, creamy vanilla and butterscotch notes in interplay. Pair with pork chops and Mexican
street corn.  Full-bodied & Rich

BANFI PRINCIPESSA GAVIA GAVI 2017 (DOCG Piedmont, Italy)

250696   (XD) Score: 91  $19.95

Natalie MacLean, nataliemaclean.com tasting note: Pure lemon sunshine in this zesty Italian white wine from Vigne Regali (Gavi)! Finishes crisply with notes of chives and lemon. The ancient story says that the Principessa Gavia, daughter of the King of the Franks, had a village and a wine named after her. Clean, crisp and refreshing with terrific mouth-watering acidity for seafood and salads … made from the local Cortese grape and offers lots of
refreshment. Lots of minerality and acidity. Drink: 2018-2020. Best Value Wine.   Light & Crisp

HERVÉ AZO CHABLIS 2016 (AC  Burgundy, France)

185736  (XD)   Score  91     $27.95

Vintage notes:  Sourced from an east-facing site and from vines over 30 years old, this is a wine that always demonstrates Chablis’s characteristic crispness and minerality. Look for a wine with citrus and peach notes and a sharply
detailed saline minerality. This will be superb with seafood dishes, but will also have the presence for pairing with roast chicken. Light & Crisp

CRAGGY RANGE TE MUNA ROAD SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 (Martinborough, North Island, New Zealand)

466011   (XD)     Score: 90  $26.95

MaryAnn Worobiec, winespectator.com tasting note: Polished Key lime, green apple, peach and melon flavors have an appealing saline note that adds to the mouthwatering quality. Smooth and lush on the finish. Drink now. Smart Buys.
Aromatic & Flavourful

 

Reds

SAN PEDRO 1865 SELECTED  SAUVIGNON 2015
(DO Maipo Valley, Chile)

037911  (XD)  Score 91-93     $19.95

Kim Marcus of winespectator.com designated this wine as a Smart Buy,
giving it 91 points: “A refined red, with impressive length to the intense red plum, cherry and raspberry flavors, supported by crisp acidity. A powerful undercurrent of dried herbs extends into the minerally finish.
Drink now through 2022.”
Patricio Tapia of  Descorchados rated it 93 saying ‘A good vintage in the Alto Maipo has given delicious freshness in this wine made for braised meats.
Full-bodied & Smooth

SEGHESIO SONOMA ZINFANDEL 2016 (Sonoma County, California, USA)

94215  (XD)    Score: 93  $29.95
Tim Fish, winespectator.com note: Loaded with rich, jammy fruit, this plump Zin is a pleasure to drink, with bold accents of wild berry, spicy cinnamon and licorice that glide dynamically toward plush tannins. Drink now through 2025. Smart Buys.  Full-bodied & Smooth

CHAPILLON SIENDRA 2015 (Calatayud, Spain)

417675    (XD)   Score: 92     $15.95

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com note: Rich and ripe dark fruits as sell as a dark, braised, meaty edge. The palate has dense dark plum fruit cast in laid-back tannins. A ripe and convincing dark stony finish. Drink now.
Full-bodied & Smooth

CLOUDLINE PINOT NOIR 2017 (Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA)
159970     (XD)   Score   92    $25.95

Vintages note:  The Drouhin family of Burgundy fame know a thing or two about great Pinot Noir. So impressed were they by the Willamette Valley’s potential for Pinot that they started this winery there. Expect a sleek, elegant
wine showing bright red berry fruit and earthy shading, and pour it alongside roasted beetroot salad with goat cheese.
Medium-bodied & Fruity

HALOS DE JUPITER CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2016 (AC Rhone, France)

276956  (XD) Score: 91    $17.95

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com note: The 2016 Côtes du Rhône is more
elegant, as well as structured. Notes of dried thyme, saddle leather, peppery garrigue and both black and blue fruits, it’s medium to full-bodied, concentrated and nicely focused on the palate. It will keep for 4-6 years.  Full-bodied & Firm

CUVÉE SABRINE CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES 2015 (AC Rhone, France)
538496     (XD)    Score 89-92  $15.95
Jeb Dunnuck, robertparker.com note:   A year in, year out killer wine … (80%
Grenache and 20% Syrah) … loaded with Provençal charm and offers lots of ripe black raspberries, spiced cherries, garrigue and leather aromas and flavors. It’s slightly more layered, concentrated and complex than the Feraud Brunel release, and has medium to full-bodied richness and sweet tannin, all suggesting it will drink nicely for 4-5 years. Drink Date: 2016-2021.
Full-bodied & Smooth

MAS DES BRESSADES CUVÉE TRADITION 2016 (AP Costières de Nîmes, France)
143099  (XD) Score:  90     $16.95

Joe Czerwinski, robertparker.com note: A 50-50 blend of Grenache and Syrah, the 2016 Costieres de Nimes Cuvee Tradition Rouge continues the estate’s history of delivering great value. Black cherries and blueberries soar from the glass, while the medium to full-bodied palate adds more savory notes of espresso and black olive. The tannins are present but supple, while lingering spice notes persist on the finish.
Full-bodied & Smooth

 

Cellar Suggestions

SAN FELICE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2015 (DOCG Tuscany, Italy)

28299   (XD)       Score: 91    $19.95

Bruce Sanderson, winespectator.com note: Rich and dense, with bright black cherry, earth, tobacco and tar flavors fanning out through the long finish. There’s plenty of fruit, but also depth and harmony. Sangiovese, Colorino and
Pugnitello. Drink now through 2023. Smart Buy.
Medium-bodied & Fruity

LAN GRAN RESERVA 2010 (DOCa Rioja, Spain)

928622 (XD)   Score: 93      $34.95

Tim Atkin, MW, timatkin.com, Rioja Special Report 2018 note: An impressive follow up to the 2008 tasted for last year’s report, this intensely coloured
Gran Reserva is still very youthful, reflecting the freshness and concentration of the 2010 vintage. Modern, aromatic and stylishly oaked with glossy
blackberry fruit. Drink 2019-2026.  Medium-bodied & Fruity

LA VITE LUCENTE 2016 (IGT Toscana, Italy)

747030  (XD) $34.95

This, the second wine to Frescobaldi’s iconic Luce, is a blend of Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon and is matured for 12 months in French barriques. Always a huge hit with Vintages customers, it serves up ripe berry and currant fruit accented by mocha and spice. It’s built to last a decade or more, but will impress tonight with firm cheeses or red meats.
Full-bodied & Firm

Good Bets

The wines highlighted below may not have been rated by critics but are wines that come from consistently high quality producers or regions that epitomize the characteristics of a certain varietal or style. In other words… good value wines that I would gravitate to without hesitation!

 

ZENATO VALPOLICELLA SUPERIORE 2016 (DOC Veneto, Italy)

995704   (D) $18.95
Vintages note:This blend of mostly Corvina Veronese with Rondinella and Corvinone is hand-harvested and fermented in stainless steel before being aged in oak for one year. You can expect an easy-to-enjoy wine with raspberry,
clove, smoke and pepper notes. This will be an elegant, silky wine that will provide marvellous versatility at the dinner table. Try it with grilled meats, stews or your favourite pasta dishes. Medium-bodied & Fruity

MAISON LES ALEXANDRINS SYRAH 2016 (AC Rhone, France)
526442  (XD) $19.95

Vintages panel note: The minerality and rich red fruit and spice tones in this wine come from the Syrah, while the roundness and finessed feel are courtesy of a dash of Viognier. This is youthfully dense and intense, tangy and superbly approachable. Pair this with grilled lamb kebabs or a stew. Full-bodied & Smooth

 

CHÂTEAU DE L’AUMÉRADE CRU CLASSÉ CUVÉE MARIE CHRISTINE ROUGE 2015 (AC Côtes de Provence, France)

282459    (XD) $20.95

Vintages panel note: Château de l’Aumérade is one of a select group of 18 estates in Provence designated as cru classé. The term was originally applied to 23 estates, in 1955, but five of these no longer produce wines. From a region most often associated with rosé wines, this is a fun, cheerful red. Elegant and tasty, with mixed red fruit, this blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan will be wonderful tonight with a charcuterie platter.
Medium-bodied & Fruity

 

 

COMPLICES DE LOIRE TERRES DE CAILOTTES POUILLY-FUMÉ 2016
(AC Loire, France)

557488   (XD) $31.95

Vintages panel note: Francois-Xavier Barc established Maison Complices de Loire in 2010. This 2016 Pouilly-Fumé begins quiet on the nose but really
picks up on the palate (the nose picks up too, with some time and air). There’s a wonderful freshness and drive here, with tones of white flowers, citrus and
smoky mineral. Try this with king crab or roast pork.
Aromatic & Flavourful

The Oct 27, 2018 LCBO Vintages Release features premium Italian wines, smart buys and 2 chardonnay scoring mid 90s for under $20.

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