LCBO Vintages Release Dec 11 2021 is the last release of the year. As predicted this one has lots of luxury wines on offer-gems were a bit harder to come by but there definitely are some.
As an Alsation Crémant I would expect excellent tart tension in this Cave de Ribeauvillé Giersberger Brut Crémant d’Alsace VINTAGES#: 183624 $25.95. As 70% Pinot blanc, 30 % Auxerrois (a grape related to Chardonnay) expect a floral green apple profile with lots of acidity. Good with appetizers, brunch and poultry. It got a 90 from Decanter World Wine Awards 2019.
If you want easy-going and versatile check out Vilarnau Barcelona Reserva Brut Cava VINTAGES#: 515254 $15.95. Cava is always good value if you are willing to forego a refined mousse for rounder, more exuberant bubbles. Not a bad trade off at times! Expect hints of nuts, stone fruit and a bit of yeast. Scored 90 by Bob Campbell of therealreview.com.
If you are looking for a good value white to go with turkey or lobster, consider – Mas des Bressades Cuvée Tradition Blanc 2020 VINTAGES#: 701094 $17.95 Rhône, France. Anna Lee C. Iijima of Wine Enthusiast gives it a 90 and calls it: ‘Unoaked and pure in fruit quality … with lip-smacking, concentrated flavors of pear and Mirabelle plum lifted by lemon acidity.’ Drink now with any of your holiday parties or meals.
Italian White wine aficionados are in for a treat this release. There are a couple of Luganas and a Soave Classico of note in this release.
Pieropan Soave Classico 2019 VINTAGES#: 946848 $19.95 Veneto, Italy gets a 94 from Kerin O’Keefe of Wine Enthusiast who describes it as fragrant and delicous with white spring flower, citus and tropical fruit. Tangy and savoury grapefruit, white peach, lemon drop and a saline finish. Great for calamari, white fish or white pasta.
Selva Capuzza Selva 2019 VINTAGES#: 20161 $23.95, Lugana, Lombardy is a Trebbiano based blend that gets a 92 from Kerin O’Keefe of Wine Enthusiast. He describes floral, stone fruit aromas with some herbal notes. Crisp acidity, pear, ctirus and almond before a saline finish put this it the Light and Crisp category.
Zenato San Benedetto Lugana 2020 VINTAGES#: 707158 $19.95, Veneto, Italy is in the ‘rich and flavourful’ category with apples, pears, some herbs, flowers and minerals. James Suckling gives it a 92 and calls it delicious with ‘a rich vein of ripe fruit all the way through to the end’. Enjoy with white pastas, poultry, seafood.
Meiomi Chardonnay 2019 VINTAGES#: 410712 $21.95 California, USA produces predictable reliability in any of its offerings. If you are in the mood for a warm climate, fruity Chardonnay (think ripe orchard fruits) with some tropical notes this one is for you. A great choice with your turkey dinner.
If New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is on your wish list there are a few to fit in every price range.
Invivo X by Sarah Jessica Parker Sauvignon Blanc 2020 VINTAGES#: 14278 $21.95 gets a 94 from Sam Kim of wineorbit.co.nz who describes pristine and intense fruit with kaffir lime, crunchy apple and a long finish.
Rapaura Springs Rohe Sauvignon Blanc 2020 VINTAGES#: 12647 $24.95 gets a 93 from camdouglasms.com who describes a sophisticated bouquet and palate, defined by salty minerality with soft grass and herbs – ‘loaded with texture and mouthfeel’.
Another consistent good value is Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2020 VINTAGES#: 231282 $17.95 Stellenbosch, South Africa. John Szabo of winealign.com gives it a 92 and calls it ‘an improbably stellar value’. He credits the almost 50 year old vines for ripe pear and orchard fruit and light oaking for a smooth texture with energetic but ripe acids. You can’t beat this for a holiday sipper or server -especially if you are serving a crowd.
In the splurge category – Chardonnay fans will be interested in Chartron et Trébuchet Pouilly-Fuissé 2019 VINTAGES#: 10489 $33.95 Burgundy, France. Pouilly-Fuissé is a ‘small but mighty’ AC in Burgundy known for its clay and limestone soils (not to mention prestigious houses with centuries of winemaking expertise) that impart elegance and minerality to the wines. This one is rich but ‘linear’ so think of it as clean and bright with citrus and tropical fruit notes. Note this is a real entry level wine from Chartron et Trébuchet so this is a chance for us to experience the elgance of their house and vines without breaking the bank.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 VINTAGES#: 269357 $21.95 Washington, USA gets a 91 from Sean Sullivan of Wine Enthusiast. It also ranked #1 in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Best Buys of 2021. Look for rich black currant, some dried herb and spice. Full bodied and smooth.
Argentina’s H J. Fabre Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 VINTAGES#: 646844 $18.95 gets a 95 from Decanter World Wine Awards 2020. 100% Cab offers up notes of black currant, cherries and chocolate spices with a balanced palate and good finish.
Sidewood Shiraz 2018 VINTAGES#: 446146 $19.95 South Australia, Australia represent consistent value as well. Lots of detailed attention to the wine making – cold soak, wild yeast ferment with whole and partial whole berry – pays off in complex fruit and forest notes and texture. Enjoy now through 2028 with lamb, stews or roasts.
If you are looking for a classic Pinot Noir Invivo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2019 VINTAGES#: 466029 $24.95 Central Otago, New Zealand offers good value. It gets a 92 from David Lawrason of winealign.com who calls it delicious and well made. Expect strawberry and cherry with dried herbs and moderate oak and spice. ‘Flavour intensity is impressive; the lengh is excellent.’ This would be a candidate for red fan’s Christmas dinner.
If your holiday meals include a roast you will find good value in Château Couraze 2006 VINTAGES#: 21284 $26.95 a Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Fronsac, Bordeaux France. Produced from old vines in a good vintage, look for dark black and blue fruits, some minerality and great structure. Enjoy with food – charcuterie, roasts, lamb, stews.
Michele Chiarlo Cipressi Nizza 2017 VINTAGES#: 19873 $24.95 a 100% Barbera from Piedmont is geting high praise among critics. It ranked #35 in wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wines of 2020 and gets 94 from Kerin O’Keefe. He describes blueberry aromas with graphite and underbrush tones. Chewy, delicious and concentrated with black cherry, blacke berry star anise and a hint of game with velvety tannins. Makes me think I need to put some braciole on the menu!
Give Château Mirambeau Papin 2016 VINTAGES#: 435651 $22.95 Bordeaux, France another year in the cellar ( and maybe 5) before enjoying with beefy stews. Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast gives it a 90 and describes dense, ripe fruit and spices with solid tannins.
Château Saint-Didier Parnac 2020 VINTAGES#: 20419 $16.95 is a Malbec from Cahors. This is a big chewy wine that will give way to layers of complexity as it ages for another 3 years or so in your cellar. Enjoy then with hearty stew or cassoulet.