The Feb 18 2023 LCBO Vintages Release has a little something for everyone from Sparkling to Sweet, Red and White.
France – Champagne to be exact, is featured this release so prices are mostly 3 digits. If you are looking for a reasonable Sparkling this release here is your answer:
Collalbrigo Extra Dry Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Veneto, Italy VINTAGES#: 30579 $ 17.95 This won a 95 score from the International Wine & Spirit Competition 2021. Tasting notes call it driven and fresh with clean fruit, lime and juicy apples and pears. A satisfactory, refreshing finish. Enjoy with brunch.
Fans of dessert wine or a foie gras/blue cheese charcuterie board will be interested in Anselmann Ortega Beerenauslese 2020 Germany $19.95 375 mL. You don’t see a Beerenauslese on offer every day. Similar to a Sauternes – late harvested; affected by Botrytis, look for complex citrus, apricot, peach aromas and flavours. Well balanced sugar and acidity. This won Gold at Vinalies Internationales, 2021.
In the cheap and cheerful category this release –João Portugal Ramos Loureiro Vinho Verde 2021 Vinho Verde, Portugal $13.95 VINTAGES#: 28608 is scoring high 80s. Having said that – for the price- you may be happy to have this on hand when the first signs of spring bring you out to your deck. Enjoy with seafood or soft cheeses.
Soho Ziggy Pinot Gris 2022 Marlborough, NZ $19.95 VINTAGES#: 536169 New Zealand does a great job with Pinot Gris- usually showing some aromatic fruitiness with a good acid backbone. Sam Kim of wineorbitz gives this a 93 and says it is ‘beautifully composed and expressed’. Look for pear, jamsine and lemon aromas, generous fruit on the palate with fine texture. Enjoy Thai Shrimp Bisque.
Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay 2021 Western Cape South Africa $17.95 VINTAGES#: 328559 This full-bodied and rich Chardonnay gets a 91 from Tim Atkin, who calls it sylishly oaked with citrus, peach and good acidity. Pair it with Chicken Fricassée.
Sue-Ann Staff Robert’s Block Riesling 2019 Niagara Peninsula, Ont, Canada VINTAGES#: 231415 $26.95 Fans of Ontario Riesling will be happy to see this. Every vintage scores consistently in low 90s. The 2019 gets a 94 from the International Wine Challenge 2022. Look for kerosene and peach aromas and juicy nectarine on the palate. Enjoy with Lemoncello Chicken.
Tarima Monastrell 2020 Alicante, Spain $13.95 Vintages #310151. This gets a 90 from James Suckling. Look for black fruit, pepper, chocolate and vanilla. This is robust, rich, ripe and ‘chewy’. Enjoy with Tapas.
Casa Santos Lima Colossal Reserva 2018 Lisboa, Portugal $16.96 Vintages # 548867 Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast gives this a 91 and calls it ‘big, bold and spicy’. Good weight and concentration make it a good candidate to enjoy with Tuscan Ribs with Balsamic Glaze.
Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva Syrah 2018 Valle del Limari, Chile $17.95 VINTAGES#: 19236 James Suckling gives this a 92 and describes dark cherries, herbs smoke, mint and hints of vanilla. Medium bodied, velvet tannins and fresh acidity complete the palate. ‘Spicy and layered’. Enjoy with Venetian Duck Ragù.
Colio Reserve Merlot Niagara on the Lake, On, Canada $19.95 VINTAGES#: 31739 Sara d’Amato of Wine Align gives this a 91. It took a Gold at the National Wine Awards of Canada in 2022.. Look for raspberry, plum and cocoa with some tobacco on the finish. Good length, full-bodied and smooth.
Hollick Tannery Block Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Coonawarra, South Australia $19.95 VINTAGES#: 26873 It’s hard to go wrong with anything from Coonawarra. Sam Kim of wineorbitz gives this a 92 and describes ripe blackcurrant, cherry, olive and nutty notes on the nose. The palate is plump and supple with a lingering finish. Enjoy with Sirloin Top Roast With Bordelaise Sauce.
Zingari 2019 Tuscany, Italy $19.95 VINTAGES#: 244228 This Sangiovese blend gets a 92 from James Suckling who descibes sour cherries, plums, herbs and mushrooms. Generous fruit and gentle herbs on the palate. Medium bodied and fruity enjoy with Eggplant Parmigiana or Basil Pesto Pizza.
Cave de Roquebrun La Grange des Combes Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun 2020 Languedoc, France $19.95 Vintages #155804 This scores 90ish consistently year after year. A Syrah dominant blend with Grenache and Mourvedre, it is complex and layered with dark blue fruit, black olive, mocha, spice and earthy notes. This is a robust, earthy wine best enjoyed with a hearty stew or Irish Whiskey Short Ribs.
Brigaldara Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2019 Veneto, Italy $22.95 Vintages #: 16090 This gets a 90 from Monica Larner of robertparker.com. Bright, smooth and polished, look for cherry, pear and apricot aromas. Tobacco and spice and roses emerge on the palate. Enjoy with steak.
Zuccardi Q Malbec 2021 Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina $22.95 VINTAGES#: 723478 Aaron Roman of Wine Spectator gives this a 91 calling it a Smart Buy. Look for violet, coffee and blueberry on the nose and palate. Add in some hints of wild berry and slate and smooth tannins for an enjoyable pour. Enjoy with Osso Buco Milanese With Gremolata.
El Enemigo Cabernet Franc 2018 Mendoza, Argentina $26.95 VINTAGES#: 11813 El Enemigo wines in general are popping up on ‘Best of’ lists all over the place. This Cab Franc gets a 93+ from Luis Gutierrez of robertparker.com. He describes spice, pepper and floral notes on the nose and plate. Fresh and vibrant with fine tannins and a lifted finish. ‘Superb Cabernet Franc at an unbeatable price.’ Enjoy with Ribs With Spicy Blackberry Sauce.