May 21 2022 LCBO Vintages Release -Wine Picks <$35

The May 21 2022 LCBO Vintages Release focuses on Rosés just in time for the summer warm up. There are also a good number of 90 point wines under $20.

The theme of this release is going to be – if you see something you like at a good price – stock up! Prices are going up quickly. I heard glass has been affected by the supply chain disruptions – orders that used to take 2 weeks are taking 4 months and the price has gone up significantly. You can be sure we are going to see that reflected in our end prices!

Sparkling Wines

Great value here in Cave de Beblenheim Cremant d’Alsace Brut Blanc de Noirs $19.95 LCBO#: 25070. Traditional method, 100% Pinot Noir and it got a 95 from Decanter World Wine Awards 2020. Decanter notes describe a complex nose of vanilla, tropical fruit and spice. Gentle mousse, rich with depth and a long finish. Stock up!


In the cheap and cheerful category Featherstone Rosé 2021 $15.95 VINTAGES#: 117861, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario. Scores range from high 80s to 92. Fruity, with strawberry, cherry and raspberry. Some hint of savoury. Bright and vibrant according to Vintages notes. This would an easy sipper dockside or enjoy with salmon or Strawberry Cream Cheese Bites.

Confidencial Reserva Rosé 2021 Lisboa, Portugal $15.95 VINTAGES#: 19846. Portugal is a great source of value wines. Vintage notes describe this one as intense and floral with red fruity, herbs, orange citrus and juicy acidity. Dry – good for sipping or lunching!

Locust Lane Reserve White Merlot Rose 2020 Beamsville Bench, Ontario $19.95 Vintages#: 26890 gets a 92 from Rick VanSickle of He describes currants, strawberries and raspberry on the nose with blood orange, ruby grapefruit and some bitters that add tang. Balanced, persistent with ‘a boatload of charm’. Enjoy with trout or goat cheese salad. (Note – specs list 27 g/liter or residual sugar. Perception of sweetness will depend on the amount of acid to balance. No references to off-dry or medium sweet here but I would expect it to be off-dry if not ‘off-dry +’.

Château d’Aquéria Tavel 2021 Rhone France $24.95 VINTAGES#: 319368 is getting 90-92 scores around the world. Tavel only produces Rosé wine so they know what they are doing! Vintage notes call it a rich, savoury wine with ‘excellent concentration and presence. Look for raspberry and strawberry, minerality and herbal notes. Dry, ripe, round and 5 year + age worthiness. Enjoy with salmon or seafood.

White Wines

Garciarévalo Finca Tres Olmos Lias Verdejo 2020 $13.95 VINTAGES#: 218354. Discover Verdejo for summer! Fresh and aromatic with stone fruits. Refreshing according to Rod Phillips who gave it a 92!

Boya Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Valle de Leyda, Chile $14.95 VINTAGES#: 389726. This is getting high 80s to a 91 from Patraici Tpia of Chile does a great job on Sauvignon Blanc, especially Leyda Valley. Expect a crisp Sauvignon Blanc wih citrusy acid. Light bodied – refreshing for a hot summer day!

Famille Perrin Réserve Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2020 Rhone, France $15.95 VINTAGES#: 499509. This is being acknowledge as good value with a number or reviews in the 90/91 range. A classic French blend of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier, it will be round and rich. Vintage notes describe citrus and tropical fruit. Plan to enjoy with roast chicken or pork.

Fontanafredda Pradalupo Roero Arneis 2020 Piedmont, Italy $18.95 VINTAGES#: 577700. Arneis might be a new grape for many people. This is a good example to try it out. It is getting 90 across the board with respected reviewers. Hallmarks are peach, apple, pear, honey, almonds and this one has them all wrapped up with some salty, citrus acidity. Hazelnut on the finish according to Kerin O’Keefe.

A great value Chardonnay, Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay 2020 Columbia Valley, Washington State $19.95 VINTAGES#: 232439. Natalie Maclean gives this a 90 and describes a buttery nose with pear and vanilla. Palate is full-bodied and smooth with ripe apple and tropical fruit. Topped with a hint of buttery caramel and oak spice on the finish. Enjoy with Spicy Salt-Rubbed Chicken.

Red Wines

Babu Reserva 2018 Vinho Regional Tejo, Portufal $14.95 VINTAGES#: 617175 get a 90 from Roger Voss. Rich, strucured, ripe tannins balanced with ‘generous black fruits’. Full bodied with integrated texture. Enjoy with meaty lasagne or BBQ.

12 e Mezzo Primitivo del Salento 2020 $14.95 VINTAGES#: 395053 from Puglia is fan favourite for easy quaffing. Look for dark cherry, raspberry, a bit of smoke all delivered on a silky smooth palate. Think burgers, pizza, cheese.

Montes Limited Selection Carmenère 2019 Valle de Colchagua, Chile $15.95 VINTAGES#: 256685 . Carmenère can have a green, vegetal profile but the style has been getting fruitier of late. James Suckling gives this a 92 and it is scoring consistently in the 90s around the web. Suckling describes dark plum along with the typical blackberry leaf on the nose. Palate is structured, rich and flavourful with coffee on the finish. If you are not familiar with Carmenère -this is a great chance to try a good one without breaking the bank. Try it with food – charcuterie or beef off your BBQ!

Ravanal Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 Valle de Colchagua, Chile $15.95 VINTAGES#: 542183 – scores vary here from high 80s through to 93 from Jame Suckling who named it # 64 in his Top 100 Wines of Chile 2021. He describesit as medium to full-bodied with black fruit, cedar, nuts, mocha and herbs on the nose. Fine grained tannins, fresh acidity with concentrated dark fruit and chocolate on the palate. Honestly – I don’t think you can go wrong at this price! This would be a great choice for Red Wine Braised Beef… at this price you can afford to put it in the pot and drink it as well!

Porca de Murça Reserva Tinto 2017 $17.95 VINTAGES#: 684753 – was my house wine in Portugal!! This one gets a 91 from Roger Voss who says it is ripely mature, rich with soft tannins. Concentrated and dense. This is very versatile. It will go with beef or Black Bean Quesadillas.

Xavier Vignon Côtes du Rhône 2020 Rhone, France $17.95 VINTAGES#: 297317. Xavier is always good value. James Suckling gives this one 91 and describes full black fruit, a ‘generous body’ and herbal freshness. Good length. Stock up!

Roger Voss gives Vieux Château des Rocs Cuvée Tradition 2016 Lussac- Saint-Émilion $18.95 LCBO#: 23982 a 90 and describes a rich wine with dense layers of black fruit and softened tannins. He says ‘this ripe wine will be delicious from late 2020.’ This wine is perfect for Sirloin Top Roast With Bordelaise Sauce.

Here’s another in the Top 100 ‘hit parade’. James Halliday gave Bleasdale Mulberry Tree Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 $19.95 VINTAGES#: 661892 a spot on his Top 100 Wines of 2021 (Reds Under $40). He describes cassis on the nose and palate with some savoury and black olive. Enjoy with Marinated Flank Steak Flavour Bomb.

Wakefield Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 Clare Valley Australia $19.95 VINTAGES#: 744235 has a spot in the Top 10 Red Wines under $20 from the 2021 World Value Wine Challenge. Notes describe eucalyptus and other herbs on the nose a full-bodied tannic palate. Robust, and dense with a long, comples finish. This is a BIG wine…. plan to enjoy with a steak or charcuterie platter.

Concannon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Paso Robles, California $21.95 VINTAGES#:10039 Previous vintages score low 90s. This is chance to enjoy a California Cab for a reasonable price. Notes describe cassis, red and black fruite with vanilla, spice and a touch of cocoa. Enjoy with Ribs With Spicy Blackberry Sauce.

Kaiken Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 Mendoza, Argentina .$19.95 VINTAGES#: 135202 gets a 93 from James Suckling who describes dark berries, cedar and chocolate on the nose. Medium to full-bodied with ripe tannins. ‘Beautifully balanced and concentrated’. Kaiken is always great value and the ‘Ultra’ is your hint to a further notch up in quality. Stock up!

If you are inclined to go to the top of our $35 snack bracket this wine is for you ! L’Orme de Rauzan-Gassies 2016 $35.95 LCBO#: 24211 won Best in Show at Decanter World Wine Awards 2020. That means it beat out thousands of other wines in the same price range. If you need more, according to Decanter Notes, look for rich, dense fruit with great depth and length. Drink now through 2027.

Cellar Suggestions

Lua Cheia Old Vines Red 2019 $15.95 VINTAGES#: 266882 gets a 90 from Richard Voss. Look for concentrated black fruits with some minerality, good tannic structure and a fresh edge Drink from 2023.

Chateau Magnol 2018 Cru Bourgeois AC Haut-Medoc, France- This is getting consistent 90s and recognition as well structured with fine tannins and attractive black-currant fruit, plums and cherries. Good oak underpinnings. Probably best after 2023. Enjoy with beef stew. (At the time of writing a search on LCBO returned no entry but the web-site update has lots of glitches so let’s hope it actually made the shelves.)

May 21 2022 LCBO Vintages Release -Wine Picks <$35May 21 2022 LCBO Vintages Release -Wine Picks <$35

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