April 2 2022 LCBO Vintages Release -Wine Picks <$35

The April 2 2022 LCBO Vintages Release is studded with Sparklings and good value whites to launch spring patio season.

Fortified Wines

Two Ports on offer this release – both good value.

Poças Jr. LBV Port 2015   VINTAGES#:  642058 $31.65 Portugal is an unfiltered Late Bottled Vintage. Mark Squires of robertparker.com puts it in the 89-91 range (because it was the final blend but still in the cask when tasted). He calls it elegant with ripe fruit and a long, ‘delectable’ finish. Optimal drinking window is now through 2035. It will continue to evolve in the bottle.

Barros 10-Year-Old Tawny Port   VINTAGES#:  964353 $28.95 Douro, Portugal got a 95 from Decanter World Wine Awards 2018. They describe wonderful depth, nuts, caramel and creme brulee flavours. Rich and ripe but balanced with a fresh finish.

Sparkling Wines

Pongrácz Cap Classique Rosé   VINTAGES#:  646968 $18.95 South Africa – John Szabo of winealign.com calls it an impressive value with some complexity, toasty notes. Palate is flavourful and dry with fresh acidity and a long finish. Stock up for summer- this will take you through celebratory toasts, summer lunches or some shrimp on the ‘Barbie’.

Enjoy all the finesse of Alsation winemaking with Joseph Cattin Brut Crémant d’Alsace  VINTAGES#:  281329 $19.95 Alsace, France. Anne Krebiehl of Wine Enthusiast give is a 91 and describer ripe apple and pastry aromas with juicy, ripe yellow plum on the palate. Fine mousse and balance, fresh and dry. Enjoy with afternoon tea, appetizers or salmon in pastry.

Nino Franco Rustico Brut Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore  VINTAGES#:  277574 $23.95 Prosecco, Italy. I stocked up on this the last time it was in Vintages and was glad I did! It ranked #1 in the 2019 Wine Enthusiast Top 100. Kerin O’Keefe gives it a 94 and describes pear and citrus aromas, a vibrant, energetic palate with apple, lemon and orange notes, along with a refined mousse.

Cygnus Sador Organic Brut Nature Cava   VINTAGES#:  352856 $18.95 Penedes, Spain got a 92 from wineandspiritsmagazine.com who suggest this is weighing in as a more expensive Sparkling. Expect citrus, apple and creamy notes.

White Wines

Value award this release goes to Château de la Grange Vieilles Vignes Côtes de Grand Lieu Sur Lie Muscadet 2019   VINTAGES#:  637868 $ 13.95 Loire, France. This is 100% Melon de Bourgogne and one of my favourite ‘work horse whites’ for any lunch, brunch or seafood repast. Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast gives it a 90 and calls it a rich wine with vibrant acidity and fresh green fruits.

Another Melon de Bourgogne La Cave du Coudray Réserve du Chiron Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 2019   VINTAGES#:  413757 $14.95 has lemon and some pine notes. Concentrated with orange zest on the finish according to Decanter World Wine Awards 2020 who gave it a 90.

No Es Pituko Chardonnay 2020  LCBO#:  952175 $16.95 Curicó Valley, Chile is scoring low 90s consistently. 35 year old vines increase concentration. Expect pear, apple, peach and citrus with some vanilla and spice. This would be great with grilled chicken with a fruity BBQ sauce or a fresh summery salad.

In the mood for an everyday French Sauvignon Blanc? Thierry Delaunay Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2020   VINTAGES#:  391847 $16.95 Loire, France is ranging 87-91 among reviewers. All agree it is good value for everyday drinking. Expect gooseberries, lychee and mineral notes. A fresh palate with good acidity. Pair with light cheeses, salad or seafood.

d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier/Marsanne 2021   VINTAGES#:  662775 $17.95 South Australia, Australia is a perennial favourite and scores consistently in the low 90 range. Vintages notes indicate delicate florals, tropical fruit, honeysuckle with citrus, ginger and minerality. Medium bodied yet crisp, enjoy with Asian dishes or spicy shrimp.

If you are a fan of a classic Alsation, dry Riesling look no further than Dopff au Moulin Cuvée Europe Riesling 2019   VINTAGES#:  22705 $16.95 Alsace, France. Subtle citrus, racy acidity and a seam of minerality – all classic Alsace. Enjoy with seafood or grilled chicken.

Professor Black Sauvignon Blanc 2021 VINTAGES#:  24248 $16.95 Stellenbosch, South Africa gets a 92 from Tim Atkin of timatkin.com who describes passionfruit and grapefruit with lees adding some weight and compexity. Floral and herbal aromatics. Enjoy with calamari or scallops.

If you are in the mood for a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, check out Marisco Vineyards The King’s Favour Sauvignon Blanc 2020 VINTAGES#:  374165 $19.95 Marlborough, New Zealand. It is a perennial favourite among NZ Sauv Blanc lovers. Look for ripe citrus with tropical gooseberry and guava. Herbal but not too grassy. Pair with calamari, shrimp or white fish.

Zenato San Benedetto Lugana 2020   VINTAGES#:  707158 $19.95 Veneto, Italy is back and scoring low 90s. James Suckling gives it a 92 and calls it a full-bodied white with rich, ripe fruit under apple/pear herb and mineral aromatics. This is a substantial white and will stand up to swordfish or shark or roast chicken.

On the premium end of whites we have Viña Muriel Reserva 2013    VINTAGES#:  25079 $31.95, Rioja, Spain. A white Rioja is a lovely thing! 100% Viura, this gets 96 from Sarah Jane Evans of Decanter, who describes ‘crisp lemon acidity’ layered with creamy oak, fresh herbs and a salty finish. A fine example of what a white Rioja can be. Enjoy with calamari, tapas, Spanish tortilla.

Red Wines

Croix de Bonpas Côtes du Rhone-Villages 2019  VINTAGES#:  22283 $17.95 Rhône, France is getting scores consistently in the low 90s among reviewers. Decanter World Wine Awards gave it a 91 and describe it as plush and polished with spicy plum notes and a textured palate.

Another Grenache dominant blend Château de Montfaucon Côtes du Rhône 2017 VINTAGES#:  13439 $18.95 Rhône, France is getting low 90s from very well respected critics. Look for ‘succulent, fleshy red and black fruit’ some pepper and herbs. Silky smooth with good length according to John Szabo of winealign.com.

Reviews suggest Casa Giona Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2018   VINTAGES#:  22980 $18.95 is punching above its price point. Look for hints of cherry, wild berry, some spice and silky smoothness. Enjoy with spaghetti Bolognese or pizza.

Angove Crest Cabernet Sauvignon 2018   VINTAGES#:  20886 $19.95 South Australia, Australia is ‘ described as a ‘sensational’ wine. Decanter World Wine Awards 2020 gave it a 93 and describe it as silky, smooth with notions of violet, spice and blackberry over an oaky palate. Another good wine for BBQ season.

Dandelion Vineyards are known to reliably offer well made wines at a reasonable price. Dandelion Vineyards Menagerie of the Barossa Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2019   VINTAGES#:  399899 $20.95 South Australia, Australia is right in the ballpark. Look for juicy, plummy fruit and well balanced acidity. Aaron Brasher of therealreview.com calls it ‘…. deliciously drinkable’.

James Halliday and Decanter are calling Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2018   VINTAGES#:  998476 $22.95 South Australia, Australia Special Value. Look for an explosion of dark fruit on the palate, wood spices and soft-grained tannins.

Don Jacobo Reserva 2015   VINTAGES#:  313270 $24.95 is drinking well right now. Guia de los Vino y Aceites, 2020 give it a 95 and it is getting low 90s among other reviewers. Expect ripe fruit, spice, tobacco, lots of body and very good length. Seems like a good steak would be in order here…

Montes Alpha Special Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon 2019  VINTAGES#:  649160 $24.95 Colchagua Valley, Chile, from one of Chile’s premium wineries, is a big wine by all accounts. Full-bodied and firm with lots of black fruit and spices, oaky but well-balanced. Plan to enjoy with a BBQ steak or stew now and for next 4 years or so.

April 2  2022 LCBO Vintages Release -Wine Picks <$35April 2  2022 LCBO Vintages Release -Wine Picks <$35

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