May 27 2023 LCBO Vintages Release -Wine Picks <$40

The May 27 2023 LCBO Vintages Release features Rosés at good prices and some promising BBQ wines.

Fortified Wine

ALVEAR PEDRO XIMENEZ DE AÑADA 2018, Montilla-Moriles, Spain Vintages #499152 375mL $25.95 Dessert wine aficionados will want to know about this one. Pedro Ximenez is not available routinely in the LCBO. For this one the grapes are picked early to retain acidity but then sun-dried for 24 months to concentrate sugars and flavours. The result? Look for peach, nectarine, apricot, dates, fig, lemon pie, orange zest and hayloft. Enjoy through 2030 and beyond with the perfect partner – Burnt Basque Cheesecake.
(S – 463 g/L)


PENINSULA RIDGE BEAL VINEYARD CABERNET ROSÉ 2022 VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, ON Canada Vintages #177840 $16.95 Cabernet Franc makes for great soft, juicy, fruity rosés. Look for watermelon, cherry, redcurrant, and red bell pepper. This will stand up to a range of grilled pizza, salmon or Sour Cherry Glazed Ribs. XD – 5 g/L)

SUSANA BALBO CRIOS ROSÉ OF MALBEC 2022 Valle de Uco, Mendoza Vintages #32026 $17.95 Score 93 from James Suckling who describes this as bone dry with a bright notes of cherries, stones and a hint of rose water. Refreshing with a satsifying finish. Enjoy with Salmon and Shrimp Sandwich Cake. (XD – 2 g/L)

LE BIJOU DE SOPHIE VALROSE ROSÉ 2022 IGP Coteaux de Béziers, Languedoc, France Vintages #20012 $17.95 Critics agree this is very good value hovering around the 90 point mark. A blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Caladoc and Syrah from vines 25-50 years old, planted in volcanic soils. It’s finessed, fresh and round with wild strawberry, citrus, floral and spice tones. (XD – 6 g/L)

MALIVOIRE LADYBUG ROSÉ VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario Canada, Vintages # 559088 $17.95 This medium-bodied wine is ‘bursting with red cherry and wild strawberry’. Zesty and refreshing – plan to enjoy with salmon dishes or Strawberry Chicken Salad Sandwiches. (XD – 3 g/L)

FAMILLE PERRIN RÉSERVE ROSÉ 2022 Cotes du Rhone, France Vintages # 719062 $17.95 This Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah blend offers a complex, elegant wine with ‘superb balance’. Enjoy it with any of these picnic friendly recipes. (XD – 2 g/L)

IZADI LARROSA GARNACHA ROSÉ 2022 DOCa Rioja, Spain Vintages # 490961 $18.95 100% Garnacha from 50-year-old vines, offers up red flowers, red fruit, savoury herbs, and good acidity. Plan to enjoy it with summer charcuterie or perhaps the Ooh La La Burger.
(XD – 2 g/L)

DOMAINE MABY LA FORCADIÈRE TAVEL ROSÉ 2022, Rhone, France Vintages #701318 $23.95 This is scoring low 90s consistently among critics. A complex blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache Blanc, look for red fruit, red-pepper jelly,
watermelon and a fine herbal undertones. (XD – 2 g/L)

White Wines

JOSEPH CATTIN PINOT GRIS 2021 AC Alsace, France Vintages # 196956 $16.95 This off-dry perennial favourite won Gold at Concours Général Paris, 2022. Notes indicate it is ‘spicy and smoky, with suggestions of apricot, honey and gingerbread.’ Lovely to sip on it’s own or with Creamy Shrimp Tart (D – 18 g/L)

ROCCA DELLE MACÌE CAMPO MACCIONE VERMENTINO 2021 Tuscany, Italy Vintages # 30120 $17.95 Score 91 from James Suckling. Go for a taste of Italy with this medium-full bodied, crisp white. Look for layers of fruit and a bitter-lemon and pear on the finish. Enjoy with Chicken Piccata or seafood.(D – 2 g/L)

PIERRE SPARR GRANDE RÉSERVE RIESLING 2020 AC Alsace, France Vintages #959361 $18.95 Score – Gold Concours International de Lyon, 2021 Another perennial favourite for those who appreciate Alsace wines. Look for juicy mango, elderflower, lemon peel, cardamom and mineral. Enjoy with Melon and Crispy Prosciutto Salad. (XD – 6 g/L)

CAPE POINT VINEYARDS NOORDHOEK SAUVIGNON BLANC 2022 WO Cape Town, South Africa Vintages # 31123 $18.95 This Bordeaux style Sauvignon Blanc (with a touch of Semillon) has some ripe green flavours and a hint of stone fruits. 6 months on the lees adds texture and interest while barrel fermentation adds complexity. Enjoy now or over next 5 years with Artichoke, Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts. (XD – 2 g/L)

NOVELLUM CHARDONNAY 2021 France, Vintages # 390781 $19.95 Score – 90 from Joe Czerwinski of Widely recognized as good value this elegant Chardonnay is lightly oaked and textured from aging on Viognier lees. Full-bodied and rich, look for peach and pineapple offset by gentle oak. Long satisfying finish. Enjoy with Tartiflette or grilled chicken. (XD – 5 g/L)

PADDY BORTHWICK SAUVIGNON BLANC 2022 Wairarapa , North Island NZ Vintages # 361220 $21.95 This gets 93 from He describes a well made, nicely balanced profile of soft herbs and stone fruits. Good acidity makes it vibrant with some underlying minerality. Enjoy with Salmon with Citrus Cream on Angel Hair Pasta. (XD – 2 g/L)

DOMAINE QUEYLUS TRADITION CHARDONNAY 2019 VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, ON Canada Vintages #417774 $29.95 This gets a 91 from John Szabo of This is an example of some of Ontario’s finest Chardonnay offerings. It is complex with creamy, nutty notes; showing some wood but not overly oaky. Nice texture and impressive length and depth. Enjoy with Chicken Marsala or grilled anything. (XD – 2 g/L)

Red Wines

TERRA LENTA PREMIUM 2020 DOC Alentejo, Portugal Vintages #646083 $13.95 Rod Philips gives this a 91. This may well be the best value in the whole release for red wine lovers. A blend of traditional Portuguese trincadera, aragonez, and alicante bouschet that delivers concentrated dark fruit, clean acidity and generous texture. Enjoy with anything from your grill! (D – 4 g/L)

MIGUEL TORRES ANDICA ORGANIC GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2020 Valle del Itata, Chile Vintages #25933 $17.00 This is being widely recognized as terrific value scoring high 80s into low 90s. It is displaying dark fruits, earthy forest notes, spices and powdery tannins. Plan to enjoy with charcuterie or Brisket.(XD – 2 g/L)

LA POSTA PIZZELLA FAMILY MALBEC 2021 Mendoza, Argentina Vintages # 166298 $17.95 Another solid choice at a great price. This gets 93 from James Suckling who describes blueberries and cherries with walnuts, a creamy texture and firm tannins. Enjoy with ribs or steak. (XD – 3 g/L)

FINCA MONICA CRIANZA 2019 DOCa Rioja, Spain Vintages #574368 $17.95 Score – Gold –, 2020 According to show notes this is a beautiful fresh, easy drinking Rioja. Light oak notes with generous blackcurrant and strawberry. Enjoy with Bar-B-Barn Copy Cat Ribs. (XD – 3 g/L)

MAXWELL SILVER HAMMER SHIRAZ 2019 McLaren Vale, South Australia Vintages #89599 $19.95 This gets a 93 from Sam Kim of He calls it ‘splendidly fruited and immediately appealing with dark plum, sweet cherry, floral and vanillin oak
characters’. Plump and generous and highly enjoyable.Pair it with burgers of Juicy Grilled Pork Chops. (XD – 5 g/L)

If that is not available then look for PETER LEHMANN THE BAROSSAN SHIRAZ 2020 Vintages #522235 $21.95- another classic good choice.

MOSS BROTHERS CABERNET/MERLOT 2019 Western Australia Vintages #30848 $19.95 Sam Kim, gives this a 93 and describes cassis, spiced cherry, dried herb and cedar characters with excellent weight and length. (XD – 4 g/L)

GÉRARD BERTRAND AN 806 CORBIÈRES 2019 Languedoc, France Vintages #394288 $18.95 A Grenache and Mourvèdre and Syrah blend that is being very well received by critics, scoring high 80s/low 90s. It is smooth drinking with ripe berries, and mocha, coffee notes. (XD – 3 g/L)

FARINA MONTECORNA RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE 2019 Veneto, Italy Vintages # 56267 $21.95 Ripasso is one of the best ‘bang for you buck’ wines in my opinion. It benefits from the appassimento process, similar to Amarone which concentrates flavour, without the price tag. James Suckling gives this one a 93 and describes a balance of sweet and savoury from mixed berries and hints of dried herbs and balsamic notes. Enjoy with Venetian Duck Ragù With Bigoli. (D – 9 g/L)

TIBERIO MONTEPULCIANO D’ABRUZZO 2020 Abruzzo, Italy Vintages # 14005 $22.95. This Montepulciano is getting rave reviews around the web. It gets a 93 from Eric Guido of who describes it as ‘a simply stunning and a perfectly complete Montepulciano.’ Look for classic aromas of crushed rocks, violets, lavender, hints of blood orange and nuanced strawberry fruits. It is showing ripe wild berries with some minerality and. Full-bodied and firm yet well integrated, plan to enjoy with Fennel and Sausage Pasta.
(XD – 2 g/L)

Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina Vintages #50849 $23.95 Kaiken is always good value and Kaiken Ultra is an even better bet. Look for blue fruit and flowers, crushed stones, dark chocolate and sandalwood aromas. Full-bodied with firm, powdery tannins a solid fruit core. James Suckling gives it a 94 and calls it ‘gorgeous’. Try it with Double Bourbon Bacon Burgers. (XD – 4 g/L)

CELESTE CRIANZA 2019 DO Ribera del Duero, Spain Vintages # 210872 $23.95 This is a perennial favourite, scoring low 90s year after year. Look for dark plums and black cherries with some black pepper and olives. A medium- to full-bodied with fine-grained tannins and vibrant, juicy plums. Drink now or hold another year or so. Enjoy with Tuscan Ribs with Balsamic Glaze. (XD – 3 g/L)

PRIMARIUS PINOT NOIR 2020 Oregon, USA Vintages #402180 $26.95 This is scoring low 90s consistently among critics. A classic Oregon Pinot Noir – smooth with spicy, meaty, herbal, leathery flavors. Enjoy with Lamb Ragù. (XD – 7 g/L)

CREEKSIDE ICONOCLAST SYRAH 2020 VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON Canada Vintages # 471797 $25.00 This gets a 92 from Michael Godel, This is a classic Ontario Syrah from a terrific vintage. My introduction to it was a pleasant pour with generous fruit and wafts of smoke. Nicely balanced, textured and structured. Enjoy with Montreal Spice Marinated Lamb Chops. (XD – 2 g/L)

MARQUÉS DE CÁCERES GRAN RESERVA 2014 Rioja, Spain Vintages # 976670 $29.95
This gets a 97 from Guía Proensa, 2021. Gran Reserva is the highest category of Rioja wines so this promises to be a treat. 90% Tempranillo and 24 months in French oak barrels result in a ‘spiced bouquet over a base of red fruits, notes of tobacco and natural coffee, with a background dyed with tint and black truffle.’ This is a substantial wine so plan to enjoy with substantial fare such as tapas, steak or something like Malloreddus alla Campidanese (Sardinian Gnochetti). (XD – 3 g/L)

Cellar Selections

CHÂTEAU GUILLOU 2020 Montagne-Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France Vintages # 140483 $24.95 Bordeaux lovers may want to stock a few of these at this price. Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast gives this a 91 and calls it a rich wine with integrated but powerful tannins. Generous black fruit and concentration, plan to enjoy from 2026 with Marinated Flank Steak Flavour Bomb (XD – 4 g/L)

If you are looking for a reasonable classic Chianti consider CASTELLI DEL GREVEPESA CLEMENTE VII CHIANTI CLASSICO 2019 Tuscany, Italy Vintages #421388 $22.95 It gets a 92 from James Suckling who describes ‘Aromas of blackberries, nuts and sliced, fresh champignons’ on the nose and palate. Tannins are firm so plan to enjoy in 2024 with Osso Buco Milanese With Gremolata.(XD – 3 g/L)

May 27 2023 LCBO Vintages Release -Wine Picks <$40May 27 2023 LCBO Vintages Release -Wine Picks <$40

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