The May 21 2022 LCBO Vintages Release follows the new format of an on-line-order-release only. After reviewing the offerings I have to say I believe the driving force here is to offer more premium wine without having to physically stock them across the province.
The good news here might be that we may all get a crack at getting the wines since we are not limited to the local LCBO bricks and mortar inventory. I may also start saving a lot of money because - I found the selection to be rather sparse and uninspiring.
The bad news is... I am suffering from sticker shock here.... Some familiar faces have jumped $5 or more for the same wine and the unfamiliar ones seem to have rather obscure, low profiles. Little to no information on line for many of them.
Of 42 wines on offer this 'release' only 13 were in the <$35 range and the majority of those were $25 and up. No Sparklings, no Rosés, no Fortified - still Whites and Reds only.
So folks, if look for the occasional special occasion wine give it a browse. I can only hope the in store releases continue to offer a good range of wines in both quality and price.
CHÂTEAU THÉBAUD SUR LIE MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE 2014, Loire France $25.95 LCBO#: 24613. Wow... my beloved Melon de Bourgogne- my summer lunch work horse wine. I was surprised to see a 2014 on offer - I assumed you would always drink them young. (Also with age comes price..... ) Jim Budd of decanter.com gave it a 96 in 2017 and it is still getting high praise in 2021/2022. Citrus, lime, wet gravel and minerality seem to sum up the descriptions. Enjoy with oysters or calamari.
Blank Canvas Grüner Veltliner 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand # 22874 $31.95 got a 95 from The Real Review and ranks low 90s among other reviewers. I can tell you New Zealand does an excellent job of Grüner Veltliner - a good NZ one would beat out an entry level Austrian one IMHO. So, if you are a fan and are looking for a premium example of the fresh, citrus, spicy, sometimes smoky profile of a good Grüner Veltliner, then consider this one. Bob Campell says it is one of the best local exampes he has ever tasted and describes mandarin, ginger and some complexity from the oak and lees. Enjoy it with chicken cutlets or - of course-schnitzel. A green salad with citrus notes would work here too.
Château Vincens Origine Malbec 2017 Southwest, France $19.95 LCBO#:343400. Jeb Dunnuck of Wine Enthusiast gives this Malbec a 93 and describes a serious, dense wine with lots of dark fruit (blueberries) and lots of tannins. Drinking window he suggests is 2022 through 2025