The June 24 2023 LCBO Vintages Release is loaded with good value wines in all the categories! Now is the time to stock up for summer!
As the on-line/Flagship trend continues with more premium wines now is the time to take advantage of the good value wines in this Release! Buckle up.... it might get expensive!
PITARS MILLESIMATO EXTRA DRY PROSECCO 2021 Italy, Vintages #16611 $16.95. A solid extra dry that gets a 90 from James Suckling. Perfect to have on hand for patio sipping, brunches and lunches. Look for hints of peach and lemon. Fresh and balanced. Enjoy on it own or with Salmon and Shrimp Sandwich Cake if you're feeling fancy. (D - 14 g/L)
PONGRÁCZ BRUT CAP CLASSIQUE SPARKLING CHARDONNAY/PINOT NOIR WO Western Cape, South Africa Vitages # 404111 $17.95 This is a reliable choice year after year. David Lawrason of winealign.com gives this a 91 and describes it as fairly complex with baked apple, honey and spice notes. ' Not quite as fine as the average Champagne, but sure delivers similar complexity and depth. At an unbelievable price.' Perfect for Champagne Chicken or Champagne Jelly. (XD - 8 g/L)
STARS BRUT NATURE RESERVA CAVA 2019 Spain Vintages #515221 $17.95 Cava represents good value bubbly. This one offers fresh green apple, pear, apricot and citrus with tongue-tingling acidity. Use it for Champagne Risotto. Score - 90 (Peñín Guide to Spanish Wine, 2021)
(D - 2 g/L)
VINELAND ESTATE ROSÉ 2021 VQA Niagara Peninsula, On, Canada Vintages # 21457 $16.95 This is my best value pick for Rosés this release. It is scoring consistently in the low 90s. 'Vic Harradine gives it a 91 and calls it 'Exceptional Value'. Look for herbal aromas with hints of ginger, citrus and fruit. A tangy, fruity palate 'with plenty of nerve and verve'. Try it with Herb Crusted Salmon with Lemon Cream Sauce. (M - 6 g/L)
BAGLIETTI ORGANIC ROSÉ 2022 Italy, Vintages # 32401 $15.95 This is the 'cheap and cheerful' choice this release. It is a 'quirky' blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Raboso. Lively on the tongue with white flowers, summer berries, white peach and citrus notes. Sip on its own on the dock or deck or with a platter of strawberries and Brie. (XD - 7 g/L)
SOHO WHITE COLLECTION HARRY ROSÉ 2022 Marlborough, South Island NZ Vintages # 19545 $21.95 Sam Kim of wineorbit.co.nz gives it a 93 and describes watermelon, lemon zest, red apple and floral aromas and a bright, fruity palate with a lingering finish. Enjoy it with Chinese Duck Salad. (XD - 4 g/L)
THORNBURY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2022 Marlborough, South Island, NZ Vintages #734798 $18.95 I stocked up on this last time it was release and I was glad I did! Look for fresh gooseberry, tropical fruits and citrus with subtle grassy/herbal tones. Finish is quite respectable. Natalie Maclean calls this Best Value Wine, Score - 92.
HENRY OF PELHAM THE DRY RIVER ESTATE RIESLING 2021, Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ont Canada Vintages #557165 $19.95 Vintages notes say 'Henry of Pelham was one of the first wineries to plant Mosel Riesling vines in Ontario and they did
so with research and care, which is clearly reflected in the wines they produce.' This is crisp with grapefruit, lemon, peach, tangy lime and a long finish. Drink now through 2026 or cellar even longer to get a Riesling with more mature character. Enjoy with Company's Coming Seafood Pie. (D - 16 g/L)
FERRO 13 HASHTAG SAUVIGNON BLANC 2021 Italy Vintages # 31167 $19.95 One of the biggest surprises I had at James Suckling's Great Wines of Italy tasting in New York last year was an Italian Sauvignon Blanc. The crisp, lean style for Italian whites lends itself well to SB. Add in the herbal salinity that Alto Adige lends to its grapes and it was pretty impressive. This one gets 3.9 from Vivino - not a lot of professional reviews out there but for the price I would be willing to take a chance on this one. Vintages notes say to look for 'vibrant tropical fruit, stone fruit, green apple, white flowers and fresh herbs.' Try it with Poached Salmon With Dill Sauce. (D - 9 g/L)
INVIVO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2022 Marlborough, South Island Vintages #14199 $19.95 Sam Kim of wineorbit.co.nz gives this a 94 and describes it as instantly appealing with passionfruit and lime zest notes followed by a vibrant, concentrated palate with excellent persistency. Enjoy with Honey Mustard Chicken Cutlets. (XD - 6 g/L)
HIDDEN BENCH ROSOMEL VINEYARD FUMÉ BLANC 2021, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, On, Canada Vintages # 68825 $29.95 You don't see an oaked Sauvignon Blanc every day in our LCBO so if you are a fan of oaked Sauvignon Blanc wines of Bordeaux and Pouilly-Fumé you are in luck. It is 'concentrated, ripe, smoky wine, with vivid tropical fruit, gooseberry, grapefruit, orchard fruit, and a neatly defined minerality.' Enjoy with Juicy Grilled Pork Chops or grilled fish tacos. (XD - 3 g/L)
SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE ORGANIC CHARDONNAY 2018, Niagara Peninsula, On, Canada Vintages #172338 $24.95 I am a fan of South Brook through and through. This solid Chardonnay leans toward the warm weather style. It is creamy and balanced with subtle oak, vanilla and spices. Enjoy with One Pot Pasta with Mushroom White Wine Sauce.
DOMAINE ALLIMANT-LAUGNER PRAELATENBERG GEWURZTRAMINER 2018, AC Alsace Grand Cru, France Vintages #30350 $35.00 On the premium end, I gave the 2020 vintage a 92 on this one. Decanter World Wine Awards, 2022 gave the 2018 a 95. The extra couple of years aging have intensified the aromatics and stone fruits. Look for complex honeysuckle, rose petal, ripe peach, yellow apple, spices, quince and lychee. Balanced with a very long finish. ' Delicacy remains the watchword; perfect length and balance. In exceptional shape from every angle.' Note this is a sweet wine even for Gewurtz fans. Enjoy on its own or with foie gras and blue cheese. (S - 53 g/L)
ROC DES TEMPLIERS PLAN DE DIEU CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES 2021, France Vintages #539916 $16.95 Putting this in the cheap-and-cheerful-but-respectable category. This 70% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre from an award-winning cooperative is showing plum, cherry, cassis, and vanilla spice. Try it with burgers or pizza. (XD - 3 g/L)
ZUCCARDI SERIE A MALBEC 2021 Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina Vintages #167619 $17.00 A great value here. Look for fresh black cherries and blueberries with violets and herbs. Fruity and spicy. Perhaps a bit rustic - best enjoyed with food. Try it with charcuterie or Ribs With Spicy Blackberry Sauce . Score - 92- jamessuckling.com (XD - 3 g/L)
PARINGA SHIRAZ 2019 South Australia Vintages # 632083 $17.95 This is scoring consistently low 90s. Mike Bennie of Wine Business Magazine calls it a 'ripper value red' akin to Wine Enthusiast naming it a Best Buy of 2021. Big, bold, fruit forward with some smoke and spice. Perfect for your summer BBQ or winter stew. Enjoy with Brisket! (XD - 4 g/L)
COURTOIS LA GRANGE VINSOBRES 2018, Rhone, France Vintages #526632 $18.95 Vinsobres red wines were given AOCstatus in 2005 and represent good value for well made Southern Rhone wines. This Grenache/Syrah blend gets a 91 from James Molesworth of winespectator.com who describes spicy notes over a core of plum and blackberry fruit with some earth and tobacco on the finish. Enjoy with Spicy Black Pepper Beef. (XD - 3 g/L) 750mL
CHÂTEAU MONTFOLLET VIEILLES VIGNES 2018 Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux, France Vintages # 27398 $19.95 According to Roger Voss, Score - 91, this is a ripe, luscious wine where tannins have disappeared into the rich, black fruits. 2018 was an excellent year for the Right Bank so enjoy! (XD - 5 g/L)
POTENTE 2019 Montsant, Spain Vintages # 10682 $19.95 From right beside the respected but pricey Priorat region, I am hoping this will show similar characteristics given the climate and blend similarities. James Suckling gives this a 92 and describes it as vibrant, medium bodied full or red and dark berries, chestnut and sweet spices. Regardless - it sounds delicious! Enjoy now with Steak salad. (XD - 3 g/L)
Speaking of Priorat!
SANGENÍS I VAQUÉ DARA 2019 Priorat, Spain Vintages # 31379 $24.95 This is an entry level Priorat wine made with 45% each Garnacha (Grenache) and Cariñena (Carignan) and 10% Merlot. You don't see Priorat wines in the LCBO every day so if you are fan you will want to know about this one. It is a bold meaty, savoury wine hinting at smoked game, dark berries and woodsmoke. Try it next winter with Cassoulet. (XD - 2 g/L)
ERNIE ELS BIG EASY 2020 Western Cape, South Africa Vintages #220038 $21.95 Decanter World Wine Awards, 2022 gives this Syrah dominant blend a 94 and describes it as 'Beautifully perfumed with notes of violets, cherry liquor, blueberries, and herbs/fynbos. An intricately constructed blend which balances coolness with muscularity. (XD - 2 g/L)
BEST'S BIN NO. 1 GREAT WESTERN SHIRAZ 2020 Victoria, Australia Vintages # 222323 $21.95 This gets a 95 from Stuart Pigott of jamessuckling.com who describes it as 'a traditional Australian shiraz in the best sense'. Fruity, well structured with fine tannins and a long, spicy finish. What's not to like here?? Excellent aging potential for a decade or so but you can also enjoy now. (XD - 2 g/L)
DIOS ARES CRIANZA 2018 Rioja, Spain Vintages # 305912 $21.95 I am including Luis Gutiérrez' (robertparker.com) commentary since this Crianza is not your typically style. 'This is ... Tempranillo from the Sonsierra, matured in French barriques for 12 months but in a completely different style - here, the fruit takes the leading role. This is a super-drinkable style of Crianza, with the oak in the background (or even further back…) with clean fruit and a vibrant palate with great freshness.' Enjoy on its own or with Tapas. Score - 91 (XD - 2 g/L)
MCMANIS PINOT NOIR 2021 Lodi, California, USA Vintages #570739 $21.95 This wine ranked #28 in Wine Enthusiast's Best Buys of 2022 with a score of 90 from Jim Gordon. This seems like a perfect match for anything off your grill! Gordon describes it as a 'warm, generous and rounded wine' with plums, cherries and subtle vanilla and cinnamon notes. ' Full in body and light in tannins, it's easy to drink.' Try it with Beer Can Stuffed Burgers. (XD - 6 g/L)
CHÂTEAU DES TOURS BROUILLY 2020 Beaujolais, France Vintages #637835 $22.95 Roger Voss Wine Enthusiast gives this a 90 and describes a bright wine with depth, cherry flavours and some aging potential. Drink from 2023-2026. Score - 90 (XD - 3 g/L)
WAKEFIELD JARAMAN SHIRAZ 2020 Clare Valley/McLaren Vale, South Australia Vintages # 377036 $24.95 Jaraman is always a reliable good value choice. David Lawrason of winealign.com gives this a 90 and describes aromas of blackcurrant, violet and mint with toasty/lightly smoky oak and spice. Medium bodied but bold on the palate with firm acidity gritty tannins and weighing in at 14.5% ABV. Lawrason observes it 'actually behaves more like a cabernet sauvignon than a shiraz.' Drink now or throughout the next 10 years. This seems to deserve a flavourful Steak with Peppercorn Sauce. (XD - 4 g/L)
LUNA ESTATE PINOT NOIR 2019 Martinborough, North Island Vintages #17544 $27.95 If you are in the mood for a NZ Pinot Noir... look no further. This gets a 93 from Cameron Douglas, MS of camdouglasms.com. He describes notes of dark berries, cherries plum and black currant on the nose and palate. The palate is somewhat chalky with floral and spicy notes. Well made, youthful with excellent length. Enjoy with Crispy Duck with Cherry Port Sauce. (XD - 3 g/L)
VIETTI PERBACCO NEBBIOLO 2019 Langhe, Italy Vintages # 15087 $37.95 am calling this the poor man's Barolo. Made from the same grape sourced from mostly Barolo-designated vineyards- without the name or premium on the price. Antonio Galloni of vinous.com gives it 92 and describes it as ' Rich, sumptuous and layered, with terrific depth'. Look for raspberry, mint and blood orange. Pair it as you would a Pinot Noir - perhaps with Duck Risotto. (XD - 2 g/L)
MONSARAZ RESERVA 2020 Alentejo, Portgual Vintages # 20711 $16.95 Rod Phillips gives this a 93 saying it needs a little more time to discover its mature character. I am a fan of alicante bouschet blends. This one is showing lots of dark fruit with good depth and complexity. Balance and tannins are well under control. Give it a year in your cellar and then enjoy with roast or pizza. (XD - 5 g/L)
QUINTA DOS ACIPRESTES TINTO 2017 Douro. Portgual Vintages # 703561 $19.95 Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast gives this a 92 and describes a rich, dense, young wine with young tannins as of 2022. Drink from 2024 with Spaghetti or stew. (XD - 3 g/L)