The March 4 2023 LCBO Vintages Release has lots to offer fans of Sauvignon Blanc and Ontario whites are showing well.
MICHELE CHIARLO NIVOLE SEMI-SPARKLING MOSCATO D’ASTI 2021 Vintages #942888 Piedmont, Italy $19.95 This is a sweet Sparkling that gets a 91 from Decanter.com. Peach, pear and apple in a creamy mousse make this a fun pour. The 5% alcohol may be attractive to some folks. Pour this with ripe, sweet strawberries and whipped cream or Strawberry Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches. (S – 128 g/L)
VOGA ROSÉ PROSECCO 2020 Vintages # 27125 Italy $19.95 Someone at the LCBO is thinking ahead to summer! This is a refreshing Sparkling with delicate yeasty tones along with flint and citrus. Light, fruity and juicy with a good length, it gets a 90 from falstaff.at. Enjoy with Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches or your Easter Brunch. (XD – 16 g/L)
COLIO RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2020 Niagara Lakeshore, Ontario Vintages #32024 $19.95 This won Double Gold at The All Canadian Wine Championships 2022. That means it got the highest score in its category (using an average of the aggregate judges scores). Look for apple, pear, some tropical fruit and a touch of honey. Rich andfull bodied pair it with Chicken in Mushroom Brandy Cream Sauce. (XD – 3 g/L)
DOMÄNE WACHAU TERRASSEN FEDERSPIEL GRÜNER VELTLINER 2021 Wachau, Austria Vintages #31534 $20.95 This is the second category of Gruner Veltliner- so a little more body and complexity than the Steinfeder category. Nice to see this category in the LCBO for a change! Look for apple and spice on the nose. The palate will be zesty with fine acidity. Clean and crisp with a long, dry finish. Score – 90 (Stephen Brook, decanter.com. Enjoy with – you guessed it – Schnitzel! (XD – 2 g/L)
SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE ORGANIC RIESLING 2021 Niagara Peninsula, Ontario Vintages #25647 $22.95 It is hard to go wrong with anything from Southbrook winery. This Riesling is showing off its terroir (Laundry Vineyard in Vinemount Ridge) with its distinct mineral core. Bright, balanced, silky, harmonious… look for apple, apricot and citrus along with the expected hints of petrol. Off-dry, pair with a charcuterie of dried apricots, nuts and mango Stilton. (D – 10 g/L)
ERADUS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2022 Marlborough, South Island NZ Vintages #225557 $21.95 Sam Kim gives this a 94 and calls it ‘fabulously aromatic with passion fruit and citrus. Concentrated and fruity and ‘gorgeous’. Enjoy with Herb Crusted Salmon with Lemon Cream Sauce. (XD – 2 g/L)
BABICH BLACK LABEL SAUVIGNON BLANC 2021 Marlborough, South Island, NZ Vintages #9142 $23.95 camdouglasms.com gives this a 93, calling it classic and elegant with ‘sophisticated complexity’. Look for mango, grapefruit and spice on the nose and peach, apple and savoury herbs on the palate. Refreshing, good acidity and some minerality add interest. Enjoy with Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Asparagus and Hazelnuts. (XD – 4 g/L)
LEANING POST THE FIFTY CHARDONNAY 2020 Niagara Peninsula, Ontario Vintages # 578864. $24.95 Critics agree that this well crafted Chardonnay is great value for the complexity it delivers. Consistent low 90s scores, look for ripe apple, nougat and spice. Medium bodied but powerful with a lengthy finish. Enjoy with Cider Brined Pork Chops With Cider Sauce. (XD – 4 g/L)
LOUIS BERNARD LOUIS CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES 2020 Rhone, France Vitages #561290 $17.00 Score – 90 James Molesworth, winespectator.com. Look for ripe cherry and plum with anise and toasty apple wood notes. Highly approachable. Enjoy with Ooh La La Burgers. (XD – 4 g/L)
There are four Argentinian Malbecs in the release and all are a good buy but the value award goes to FINCA SOPHENIA ALTOSUR MALBEC 2021 Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina Vintages #13113 $17.00. It got Best in Show. Score – 97 at Decanter World Wine Awards, 2022. It is dense and has abundant plum notes; is textured and balanced. Sounds like a big wine best enjoyed with food so fire up the BBQ and treat yourself to a steak or some ribs! (XD – 5 g/L)
For a few dollars more you can up the elegance with FINCA DON CARLOS CALATHUS ROBLE MALBEC 2018 Vintages # 168435 $25.95 Look for more plum, prune, spice and chocolate notes with ‘elegant tannins’ and ‘freshness on the palate.” ] Score – 95 Decanter World Wine Awards, 2021 (XD – 2 g/L)
WAKEFIELD JARAMAN CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2020 Vintages # 142398 and ZONTE’S FOOTSTEP BARON VON NEMESIS SHIRAZ 2019 Vintages # 212936 are both always reliable quality but inflation has pushed them up to $24.95 and $26.95 respectively.
TRENEL BEAUJOLAIS-VILLAGES 2021 Beaujolais, France Vintages # 487140 $18.95 Old vines and sandy-loam and granite soils of the sloped south- and southeast-facing vineyards of two villages feed in to a well structured wine with ‘lifted notes of violet and black fruit and a thoroughly authentic character. Very fresh and long.’ (XD – 2 g/L) This may be a candidate for your Easter ham or Lamb Roast.
JIP JIP ROCKS SHIRAZ/CABERNET 2020 South Australia Vintages # 186114 $19.95 Score – 93 Sam Kim, wineorbit.co.nz. Look for blackberry, black currant and cloves on the nose and a beautifully weighted palate that is balanced and harmonious. Enjoy with Ribs with Spicy Blackberry Sauce. (XD – 4 g/L)
MCMANIS MERLOT 2021 Lodi, California USA Vintages # 17674 $21.95 Ranked #28 in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Best Buys of 2022. Score – 90 Jim Gordon, Wine Enthusiast.
Ful-bodied and smooth with generous plums, cherries and subtle vanilla and cinnamon notes. ‘Full in body and light in tannins, it’s easy to drink. ‘ (XD – 5 g/L)
FALERNIA TITÓN SINGLE VINEYARD RESERVA SYRAH 2017 Valle del Elqui, Chile Vintages # 27198 $22.95 Score -95 Decanter World Wine Awards, 2021. Some classic Syrah notes here with woodsmoke, dark fruit, olives and cured meat nose with peppery undertones Well balanced with a long finish. (XD – 4 g/L) Enjoy with Montreal Spice Marinated Lamb Chops.