The Nov 19 2022 LCBO Vintages Release is dominated by good value red wine and Ice wines in particular.
That will be fine as the nights get more wintery and the fireside more inviting!
Ontario whites and Ice Wine make a good showing this release as well.
La Copa Vermouth Rojo Jerez, Spain $21.95 LCBO#: 491712. I have become a fan of Vermouth on the rocks with a slice of orange so I am looking forward to this one that Beppi Crosariol of theglobeandmail.com gives a 96. He describes it as medium sweet with cinnamon, orange, cola, raisin, ginger, leather and roasted nuts. Lovely on its own or sip with some roasted nuts or stuffed dates.
There are 3 highly rated Ice Wines in this release that would make a great gift or after dinner drink. 3 different wine bases offer up lots of choice here.
PondView Gold Series Vidal Icewine 2021 200 mL $19.95 VINTAGES#: 390351 gets a 93 from Natalie Maclean who describes tangerine, peach, honey and spice flavours.
The Hare Wine Co. Frontier Collection Cabernet Franc Icewine 2017 200 mL $29.95 VINTAGES#: 30313 gets a 97 from Ultimate Wine Challenge, 2019. Look for red fruit, herbs and spice and a long finish.
Lakeview Cellars Gewürztraminer Icewine 2019 200 mL $34.95 VINTAGES#: 547703 gets a 92 from Rick VanSickle of winesinniagara.com. Look for grapefruit, lychee, apricot , mango and ginger.
Flat Rock Riddled Sparkling 2020 Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, On $34.95 VINTAGES#: 383315 is scoring low 90s among critics and award givers. Riddled is a nod to the traditional method and is only made in exceptional years. 2020 was one. Look for a creamy palate, nice mousse, lemon and cookies.
Joseph Cattin Riesling 2020 Alsace, France $15.95 VINTAGES#: 259788. This won Gold from gilbertgaillard.com. Classic Alsation Riesling with apple, lemon and some floral hints. Dry, with good acidity and structure and minerality on the finish completes the picture. Enjoy with Lemon Oregano Pork Tenderloin.
Domaine du Haut Bourg Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu 2019 Loire, France $18.85 VINTAGES#: 426619. If you are serving a crowd turkey dinner during the holidays and would like the wine to flow without breaking the bank – look no further. This gets a 95 from Decanter World Wine Awards, 2020 who describe ‘Pure and elegant aromas of lemon, white flowers and grilled peaches. Mineral on the palate with vibrant acidity and juicy fruit. Burstingly complex finish.’
13th Street June’s Vineyard Riesling 2020 Niagara, Ontario $19.95 VINTAGES#: 147512 This is a classic Ontario Riesling, dry with great acid and structure. Michael Godel of winealign.com gives it a 90 and decribes ripe, concentrated fruit and said great structure. Enjoy with blue cheese or tilalpia anything!
Cave Spring Estate Chardonnay 2019 Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, On $19.95 VINTAGES#: 256552. Ontario does Chardonnay well and Cave Spring is among the best. Jamie Goode of wineanorak.com gives this a 93 and describes ripe pear and white peach notes with hints of spice. Full-bodied and rich with a bit of salinity on the finish. Enjoy with Roast Pork with Maple Mustard Sauce .
Diora La Splendeur du Soleil Chardonnay 2019 California, USA $25.95 VINTAGES#: 24293. This ranked #9 on Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wines of 2021. Delicate buttery, almond and floral note on the nose with acidity balancing the buttery, toasty flavours. Sounds like a lovely balance. Enjoy with Chicken in Vinegar Sauce.
Lirica Primitivo di Manduria 2017 Puglia, Italy $17.95 VINTAGES#: 326710 gets a 91 and ranked #89 on Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wines of 2020. Look for ‘luscious fruit’ good acidity and polished tannins. Enjoy with Braciole.
Bleasdale Mulberry Tree Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 South Australia $19.95 VINTAGES#: 661892. This gets a 95 score and a spot on James Halliday’s Top 100 Wines for 2021 (Top Reds Under $40). Cassis dominates the nose and palate with some savoury bay leaf and olive notes. Enjoy with a steak through 2032. Wow…. and under $20!!
Pérez Cruz Limited Edition Cabernet Franc 2019 Valle del Maipo, Chile $19.95 VINTAGES#: 10591 This gets a 92 from Luis Gutiérrez of robertparker.com. He calls it subtle and elegant with ‘good purity and integrated oak.’ Enjoy with Cassoulet or Molasses Baked Beans.
Kaiken Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 Mendoza, Argentina $20.95 VINTAGES#: 135202 Kaiken is always reliable quality and Kaiken Ultra even moreso. This gets a 93 from James Suckling who describes dark fruit, cedar and chocolate aromas and a beautifully balanced and concentrated palate. Enjoy with Wine Braised Oxtail Stew.
Pata Negra Tempranillo Crianza 2018 Ribera del Duero, Spain $20.95 VINTAGES#: 26495 This gets a 96 from Decanter World Wine Awards, 2021 who call it ‘terrific value’. Look for cherry, strawberry and vanilla. ‘Generous and classy’.
Best’s Bin No. 1 Great Western Shiraz 2019 Victoria, Australia $22.95 VINTAGES#: 222323. This gets a whopping 95 from James Suckling. In a departure from what you may know as Australian Shiraz this is made in the cool-climate style, so less jammy than some. Look for lots of spice, plum, raspberries and chocolate. Complex and elegant and shows promise for the next 10 years! Enjoy with charcuterie or Mushroom Lasagna With Ground Beef. If you can’t find this one look for Richard Hamilton Little Road Shiraz 2019 $20.95 VINTAGES#: 16056, another bold fruity choice with velvety tannins.
Brotte Grosset Création Cairanne 2018 Rhone, France $21.95 VINTAGES#: 33852 This Châteauneuf du Pape wannabe will give you a lot of the Châteauneuf du Pape experience at a fraction of the price. Look for smoke, dark berries and firm tannins. Medium-bodied and fruity, enjoy with Beef Bourguignon. Another similar good bet is Delas Saint-Esprit Côtes du Rhône 2020 $19.95 LCBO#: 729962. Fruity, spicy, concentrated with a long ‘penetrating’ finish.
Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel 2018 Lodi, California, USA $24.95 VINTAGES#: 59113 Zinfandel fans will want to know about this one. Jim Gordon of Wine Enthusiast gives it a 92. Look for the signature rich fruit and spicy oak notes. Full-bodied and smooth, enjoy with Ribs With Spicy Blackberry Sauce.
Meiomi Cabernet Sauvignon California, USA $24.95 VINTAGES#: 20765. This has a fan following who love the rich fruit and velvety, balanced tannins. Highly approachable, enjoy with charcuterie of a fine steak.
Roche de Bellene Cuvée Réserve Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2020 Burgundy, France $26.95 VINTAGES#: 299859 David Lawrason of winealign.com gives this a 90 and describes cherry jam, violet, spice and vanilla aromas. Medium bodied, generous with very fine tannins and excellent length. He suggest stocking up in advance of anticipated price hikes from Burgundy. Enjoy 2023 through 2028 with Crispy Duck with Cherry Port Sauce.
I am going to take some licence here and sneak one in ‘over the wire’. Château Maucamps 2006 Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux, France $35.95 VINTAGES#: 22950. When John Szabo of winealign.com gives out anything 90 or above I pay attention. So this one’s 94 score has me fired up! A left bank Bordeaux (Cab dominated bend), he says its flavours, aromas and complexity compare with more expensive cru classés. He calls it ‘stately and aristocratic’ and amazing value. At or near its peak in 2021 when he tasted it, it will still keep another 4-5 years.