Lots of Good Value in August LCBO Release

August 2016 Wine Picks

Why spend $20-$30 on a bottle of wine you don’t know anything about when there are wines scoring 90+ for less than $20?

I was trying to narrow my selections in the August 6th, 2016 release down to a reasonable level but  it wasn’t to be!  There are a lot of fantastic value wines in this release.  I will summarize a few groups below that I found interesting. I wish they could all be on my shopping list but I will have to try to continue to zero in on my final purchases.

Sparkling Wines

Cathedral Cellar Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine 2010

LCBO # 462762  $16.92

I know Cathedral Cellar mostly for their red wines but I find them to be pretty reliable producer for my tastes. This one caught my eye because it is 100% Chardonnay and fermented in the bottle.  Tasting notes suggest a mixture of yeast and apple, pear.

Laboure-Gontard Brut Cremant de Bourgogne

LCBO 401018  $20.95

I think this is a close to real champagne as you can get without the price tag of real champagne.  The grapes are grown just south of the region of Champagne, the blend and method are the same as traditional champagne. All this for $20.95!! Tasting notes say it is ‘rich, fruity..satin, smooth mouth feel…divine aftertaste’… I’m in!

Exceptional Value Wines- Red

Kilikanoon Killerman’s Run Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2013

LCBO #412189    Score 95    $19.95

Tasing notes from Campbell Mattinson, winecompanion.com.au sum it up as a ‘Beautiful wine at a beautiful price.  Balanced, bright-fruited, spice-laden’.  At this price I would buy a few and try them now and over the next 5 years.

Piattelli Reserve Malbec 2013

#452029  Score 90  $14.95

Kim Marcus of winespectator.com describes this as ‘lively acidity behind dried berry, cherry pomegranate..medium grained tannins, seductive spicy notes on the finish’ .

Fattoria Le Pupille Morellino di Scansano 2013

LCBO# 455659  Score 91  $16.95

Sounds like a Tuscan gem.  According to Ian D’Agata, vinous.com there are cherry, berry notes on the ‘knockout’ nose. Cherry/Berry balances with tarry and earthy notes. Finishes smooth, long and clean.’

Exceptional Value Wines- Whites

Framingham Sauvignon Blanc

LCBO #606848  Score 95  $18.95

‘Rich texture..good concentration..bone dry.. currant bud, stone fruit and subtle stony mineral flavour … balanced with power and length (excerpt from Bob Campbell.nz)  What more can you ask of a Sauvignon Blanc?

Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling 2015

LCBO # 080234  $16.95

Tasting notes here  talk of a blend of floral, mineral and citrus,  sweet and tang..purity of fruit, balance, monumental long and refreshing finish.  (Vic Harradine, winecurrent.com)  This would be interesting to try now and lay another down for a few years.


Cellar Suggestion

Confidencial Reserva 2012

LCBO #452789  Score 92   $14.95

Portugal always provides good value. This one is described as ‘oozing with blackberry fruitiness as well as a balanced layer of dry tannins.  The wine is fruity and rich while keeping it’s elegance.’  Drink from 2017

(Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast)


June Wine Finds

Bo Ya Value Wine

June was a banner month for wine discoveries! (Okay…it seems every month is a banner month…) I would love to hear what you think of my picks.  If you decide to try them leave a comment below and tell me what you think!

Our group of 12 avid wine-tasters enjoyed a warm summer patio dinner with 5 flights of wine pairings.

We started with a number of appetizers including Spicy Pumpkin Seeds and Shrimp on potato chips served with a ‘Champagne’ flight. The preferred  sparkling was Graham Beck’s Brut Rose 2010. LCBO #4080 $21.95 Continue reading “June Wine Finds”



Vermouth is actually an ancient drink using wine as a base and a variety of roots, herbs and spices, wormwood in particular. Wormwood was believed to treat stomach issues and intestinal parasites.  The name Vermouth derives from the German Wermut (wormwood).  Modern Vermouth, a fortified wine, is traditionally from the Turin area of Italy (think Cinzano),  but France(Noilly Pratt)  and other countries also have their own versions.  Wormwood has been banned as a drink ingredient in many countries.  In general Italian vermouth tends to be the sweeter red version and French vermouth the drier white version.

Continue reading “Vermouth”