The April 30 2022 LCBO Vintages Release is the time to stock up on good value Sparkings, among other gems.
Dow's LBV Port 2012 $24.95 VINTAGES#:533364 Portugal, gets a 93 from James Molesworth of winespectator.com. Look for black currant, fig, spice with a commendable finish. Drink now through 2027.
There is a bonanza of good value Sparklings on offer this month.
Casa Boher Extra Brut Sparkling $19.95 VINTAGES#:18562 Mendoza, Argentina is a Pinot/Chardonnay blend 70/30 with 18 months on the lees. Dirceau Vianna Jr. of Decaner.com gives it a 92 and describes cranberry, pomegranate and citrus on the nose, a rich creamy palate with refreshing acidity. Drink 2020-2022 with oysters, calamari or pastry appetizers.
La Jara Brut Prosecco 17.95 VINTAGES#:402438 Prosecco diTreviso, Italy gets a 92 from the Falstaff review. Vibrant mousse, citrus and hint of flinty saline on the nose with a fresh juicy palate. Great for toasting on its own or starting off a brunch buffet.
Bernard-Massard Cuvée de L'Écusson Brut Sparkling $20.95 VINTAGES#:970970, Luxembourg got Best in Show: Best Value Sparkling from Decanter World Wine Awards 2017 and a 95 score. 45% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Blanc and 15% Pinot Noir is not the usual blend we see. Fruity, with citrus and pineapple and fresh. I was wondering if it had stood the test of time when I saw the awards and notes were from 2017 but tastings as recent at Jan 2022 continue go give it high praise and scores accordingly.
Crémant d'Alsace is a bit of a feature this month all showing well. Pick your price and score!
Pierre Sparr Brut Réserve Crémant d'Alsace $19.95 VINTAGES#:388603 gets a 90 from Anne Krebiehl of Wine Enthusiast who describes a floral and apple nose with a creamy , elegant palate with orchard apple and a dry finish.
Wolfberger Brut Crémant d'Alsace $19.95 VINTAGES#:460832 got a 94 from tastings.com and a 90 from me. 'This is lively pale, pale yellow sparkling. A bit of ginger and spice on the nose. Lovely fine fizz, clean and dry on the palate. Medium finish. Pair this with saltiness - potato chips or caviar!' All agree it is good value.
Izadi Larrosa Garnacha Rosé 2021 $16.95 Rioja, Spain is made frm old vine Garnacha (Grenache). Look for vibrant ripe red fruit, some herbal notes and good acidity. Enjoy with Strawberry Spinach Salad or Strawberry Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches.
Follas Novas Albariño 2021 $18.95 VINTAGES#:488981 Rias Baixas, Spain. This wine shows well year after year. This is from free-run juice from the winery's best vineyards and was aged on the lees to add complexity. Expect lively floral notes on the nose, citrus on the palate with hints of spice and almonds. Enjoy with white fish, calamari or poached chicken.
Saint-Roch Vieilles Vignes Côtes du Roussillon Grenache Blanc/Roussanne 2020 VINTAGES#: 175232 Roussillon, France. Saint-Roch targets the sweet spot of quality and price in the mid-teens $ range. Old vines here promise depth and richness. White Genache promises peach and honeyed tones. Enjoy this with grilled chicken or Creamy Seafood Pasta.
Gadais Vieilles Vignes Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 2018 $17.95 VINTAGES#:444406 Loire France. I am so glad to see a regular offering of Muscadet Sèvre et Maine in the stores! This one gets a 90 from Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast who describes ripe lemon concentration with good balance, fresh acidity and a mineral edge. Enjoy this with Beet and Burratta Salad, Herbed Zucchini Bites, salmon, shrimp or poultry.
Gewurz fans will want to know about Joseph Cattin Gewurztraminer 2019 $17.95 VINTAGES#:224626 Alsace, France . It won Gold at the Concours International de Lyon. Off-dry with a floral nose and lychee and pear on the palate with some trademark spice notes. Enjoy with Curried Chicken Salad with Pickled Ginger.
Stadt Krems Grüner Veltliner 2020 $18.95 VINTAGES#:295626 Kremstal, Austria. Grüner Veltliner is one of Austria's signature white grapes. Dry with a good acid seam, some apple with tropical fruit notes and an underlying saline quality. This one gets a 91 from Peter Moser of falstaff.at. Enjoy with food - schnitzel or Chicken Piccatta.
There are a number of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs on offer this release and all are a reasonable choice for quality. The value award goes to Babich Black Label Sauvignon Blanc 2020 19.95 VINTAGES#:9142. It is getting low to mid 90's among various critics. Cameron Douglas of decanter.com gives it a 95. Everyone comments on the fantastic bouquet of orchard and tropical fruit with some herbal tones. The palate has a striking minerality and flavours that mirror the nose. A delicious, complex finish rounds it out. Enjoy with Fettuccine Lemoncello or Herb Crusted Salmon with Lemon Cream Sauce.
Terres Secrètes Les Préludes Saint-Véran 2019 $21.95 VINTAGES#:16725 Burgundy France. Saint-Vèran is known for good value Burgundian wines as the 'little sister' of Pouilly- Fuissé. Look for rich citrus, stone fruit and mineral undertones. Enjoy with Dijon and Tarragon Grilled Chicken or Argentinian Grilled Shrimp.
Château Le Grand Retour Plan de Dieu Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2019 $16.95 VINTAGES#:224592 Rhone, France. An impressive value from 45 year old vines- perfect for patios and BBQs. My review from 2020. Carolyn Hetke rated this wine as 89/100 with the following review:
|This Grenache Syrah blend is a nice expression of a typical Rhone blend. Good fruit concentration with a hint of mint on the nose. The fruit on the palate is rich and just tastes like more. A bit of earthiness adds complexity to the finish. Good value. Pair with prime rib or burgers. Tasted February 2020. www.thewineloverskitchen.com|
Duca di Saragnano Governo 2019 17.00 VINTAGES#:25399 Tuscany, Italy. This Sangiovese is getting good points for value. Expect cherry, balanced acidity and spice. Pair with Spaghetti and Meatballs or Pork Osso Buco.
Sister's Run Old Testament Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 $18.95 VINTAGES#:478271 Coonawarra, South Australia. Sister's Run is always reliable good value targeting just under $20 Canadian yet delivering consistent quality. This one is rich, plush and smoky with ripe black fruit, mocha, spice and some herbal notes. Lots of 'Best Value' wine awards here. Enjoy with BBQ steak.
There are several Australian Shiraz available this release and all are a safe bet but Angove Family Crest Shiraz 2018 $19.95 VINTAGES#:12842 McLaren Vale gets the value award, scoring low 90s consistently around the web. Full bodied and smooth with wild fruits, spice, violet and clove. Some meaty notes also detected. Rhone style so should be refreshing. Enjoy with lamb or tenderloin.
Cave de Roquebrun La Grange des Combes Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun 2019 $20.95 VINTAGES#:155804 Languedoc, France is geting solid low 90 ratings among critics. This GSM blend is dark and intense with forest floor, violets and spice on the nose and palate. Tannins are firm so plan to enjoy with charcuterie of beef or lamb.
Quadrus Red 2015 $22 .95 VINTAGES#:440305 Douro, Portugal. John Szabo of winealign.com gives this a 91 and describes 'a riot of ripe black and blue fruit' on the nose. A broad and balanced palate with ripe, dark fruit. Can be enjoyed now but will also cellar nicely for a few years. Enjoy with Braciole or steak.
Château de Montfaucon 2019 $24.95 VINTAGES#:15447 Lirac, Rhone, France. Lirac is a cru designation that offers affordable Rhone blends (GSM). This one is getting consistent low 90 scores. Look for vibrant berry fruit. Elegant with a long finish. Drink 2022-2026. Enjoy with spicy ribs or beef bourguignon.
Casa Santos Lima Colossal Reserva 2018 $16.95 VINTAGES#:548867 Lisboa, Portugal. Roger Voss gives this a 91, calling it 'big, bold and spicy' with concentration and aging potential. Enjoy it with hearty stew or cassoulet in a year or so.
Susana Balbo Signature Malbec 2019 $20.95 VINTAGES#:79798 Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina. This is a big wine, firm and a bit chewy with blackberry, olive and fennel notes. Tim Atkin of timatkin.com gives it a 93 and suggests a drinking window of 2023-2032. Enjoy with hearty stew or grilled beef.