The Sept 10 2022 LCBO Vintages Release is a treasure trove for Sauvignon Blanc lovers.
Also check out the Bordeaux that got Decanter’s Best in Show for $20.95!
Campo Viejo Brut Reserva Cava Spain $17.95 VINTAGES#: 25911 gets a 90 from James Suckling. Cava is a reliable good value. Look for bright lemon and nectarine an some minerality on the finish.
Pierre Sparr Brut Rosé Crémant d’Alsace Alsace, France $19.95 VINTAGES#: 39016. Look for a well made Sparkling with strawberry and spice on the nose and ruby red grapefruit on the palate. Elegant and charming according to Vic Harradine who gives it s 92.
Kylie Minogue Rosé Prosecco Italy $19.95 VINTAGES#: 26324 gets a 90 from decanter.com. This is an elegant party sipper with cherry and a hint of floral. Just off-dry but well balanced.
Pierre-Luc Bouchaud Sur Lie Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 2020 Loire, France $15.95 VINTAGES#: 82461. I’ll be stocking up on this one…. a perennial favourite to serve with light lunches or seafood pasta. Look for white peach and crunchy apple delivered on a nice crisp stream.
If you are a fan of the aromatic, florality of Torrontes then you will want to know about Zuccardi Serie A Torrontés 2021 Salta, Argentina $17.95 VINTAGES#: 389262. James Suckling gives it 92 and describes perfumed orange zest, peaches, lychees and white blossoms with some underlying minerality.
Invivo Pinot Gris 2021 Marlborough, New Zealand $19.95 VINTAGES#: 367771. New Zealand makes outstanding Pinot Gris and this one is no exception. Sam Kim of wineorbit.co.nz gives it 93 and describes notes of apricot, poached pear, white floral and lemon zest on a fleshy palate. Enjoy with Chicken in Vinegar Sauce or pastry appetizers.
Aresti Trisquel Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Leyda Valley, Chile $19.95 VINTAGES#: 17611 gets a 96 from Decanter World Wine Awards, 2021 and confirms that Chile’s Leyda Valley has perfect conditions to produce characterful Sauvignon Blancs. They describe a juicy, vibrant, rounded palate with vegetal notes. Enjoy with Dijon Salmon or quiche with lots of herbs.
Have some fun and compare the above to Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Marlborough, New Zealand $19.95 VINTAGES#: 214460. It got a 95 from New World Wine Awards, 2021. Look for all the hallmarks of a Marlborough Sauvignon Blance – lime, gooseberry, passion fruit, herbs, high-toned floral notes and a gravelly mineral tone.
For a few dollars more Sam Kim has awarded 95 and 96 points respectively to Villa Maria Wairau Valley Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2020 $24.95 VINTAGES#: 536201 and Rapaura Springs Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2021 $23.95 VINTAGES#: 388421. Both promise a concentrated palate with excellent weight and juicy fruit intensity.
Further along the Sauvignon Blanc premium spectrum there is:
Domaine Tinel-Blondelet L’Arrêt Buffatte Pouilly-Fumé 2020 Loire, France $29.95 VINTAGES#: 169730. Roger Voss gives it a 91 and describes it as rich and warm with tangy acidity playing against the fruity ripeness.
Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Genèse Sancerre 2020 Loire, France $32.95 VINTAGES#: 189126. It gets 92 from John Szabo, MS of winealign.com who describes it as true to classic style with stony, citrus and wet stone character. Excellent depth and length and elegance make it one of the best.
Here is a treat for Grenache lovers – Sekeida Mountain Vineyard Granacha Ibérica 2018 Calatayud, Spain $13.95 VINTAGES#: 26535. James Suckling gives it a 93 and describes it as vivid and fruity with dark berry, orange peel and creamy tannins. Enjoy with burgers or Spaghetti and Meatballs.
Château Camplong Grande Réserve Corbières 2020 $13.95 VINTAGES#: 12990 is another great value out of Languedoc. 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 15% Carignan it gets a 90 from Decanter World Wine Awards, 202. Perfumed raspberry, violet and black olive aromas are followed by plum, blackberry and elegant tannins on the palate. Time to start thinking about stews or Pistachio, Black Olive Crusted Beef Steak.
Alceño Twelve 12 Meses Monastrell 2017 Jumilla, Spain $13.95 VINTAGES#: 398925 makes for a rich pour. James Suckling gives it 92 and calls it a juicy red with plums and chocolate and hazelnut undertones.
Michele Chiarlo Le Orme Barbera d’Asti 2020 Piedmont, Italy $15.95 VINTAGES#: 265413 is perennial good value if you are looking for a smooth, low tannin pour. Look for tangy cherry and easy sipping here. Enjoy with pasta or burgers or lamb.
Valcatrina by Santos Lima 2020 Alentejo, Portugal $15.95 VINTAGES#: 25249. Roger Voss gives it a 90 and describes it as rich and full-bodied with a spicy touch of pepper and big bold black fruit on a smooth palate.
Alamos Selección Malbec 2018 Mendoza, Argentina $16.95 VINTAGES#: 322800 is always a reliable choice for good value. James Suckling gives it a 93 and describes it as rich with ripe purple berries and plums on a smooth palate. Good length and purity.
Check out Chile’s finesse with Syrah in Falernia Gran Reserva Syrah 2017 $16.95 VINTAGES#: 16793. Tim Atkins gives it a 92 saying the value here is hard to beat. Look for smoky pepper spice with understated wood, impressive concentration and plenty of colour and blackberry fruit intensity.
Laya 2020 Almansa, Spain $16.95 VINTAGES#: 132605 gets a 90+ from Luis Gutiérrez of robertparker.com. This 70% Garnacha Tintorera and 30% Monastrell blend is balanced, harmonious and serious. Enjoy with steak or tacos.
Linajes 12 Tempranillo Crianza 2017 Ribera del Duero, Spain $19.95 VINTAGES#: 10688 got a 93 from Decanter World Wine Awards, 2020. 100% Tempranillo – look for a vanilla and oak bouquet with juicy black berry and mocha on the palate and grippy tannins. Enjoy with food – stew or roasts.
D.V. Catena Historic Red Blend 2019 Mendoza, Argentina $19.95 VINTAGES#: 555466 This Malbec/Bonarda blend gets a 94 from James Suckling who calls it ‘briliant blending’ resulting in a plush palate with red berries and plum and a fresh, juicy finish. Medium bodied- enjoy with Ribs With Spicy Blackberry Sauce or burgers.
Bastide Miraflors Syrah/Vieilles Vignes Grenache 2019 Roussillon, France $19.95 VINTAGES#: 320499 is a perennial favourite and always good value. Sam Kim gives it a 94 and describes it as fruity and spicy, well structured and approachable. Enjoy wth charcuterie, lamb shanks or BBQ.
Famiglia Castellani Sangiovese 2018 Tuscany, Italy $19.95 VINTAGES#: 14374. 100% Sangiovese can be a lovely thing! This one gets a 92 from James Suckling who describes cherry and plum with some chocolate and cream. Polished and focused but it needs another year or 2 in the cellar. Enjoy in 2023 or after with spaghetti or lasagne.
Rock Point Pinot Noir 2019 Oregon, United States $19.95 VINTAGES#: 463018 gets a 91 from Sara d’Amato of winealign.com. She says it is ‘brimming with complexity’. Look for earthy aromatics, a lightly peppered palate and a long finish. Enjoy with rack of lamb or Crispy Duck with Cherry Port Sauce.
Have some fun and compare the Rock Point to the Burgundian benchmark, Edouard Delaunay Septembre Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2019 $26.95 VINTAGES#: 17485. It gets a a 90 from Bruce Sanderson of winespectator.com, who describesit as ‘silky and elegant, with cherry, sandalwood, smoke and spice flavors’. Balanced and showing all the French elegance you would expect.
Château de la Chapelle 2018 Bordeaux, France $20.95 VINTAGES#: 25385 got a whopping 97 and Best in Show from Decanter World Wine Awards, 2021 ! Merlot dominant blend and unoaked- look for pure fruit, soft tannins and juicy acidity along with the freshness that the Atlantic imparts to Bordeaux wines. Doesn’t get better than this folks!
Domaine de Fabrègues La Villa 2018 Languedoc, France $19.95 VINTAGES#: 25322 gets a 95 from Decanter World Wine Awards, 2021. The 60% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre blend ha savoury aromatics and expressive blackberry, leather, cinnamon and eucalyptus notes on the palate. Enjoy with charcuterie or pepper steak.
Chianti lovers will want to know about Castello di Radda Chianti Classico 2018 Tuscany, Italy $21.95 VINTAGES#: 16448. Decanter World Wine Awards, 2021 gave it a 92 and describe ‘intense soft cherry and black cherry nose with cedar notes and complex mineral nuances.’ Enjoy with Tuscan Ribs With Balsamic Glaze.
Canneto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2016 Tuscany, Italy $29.95 VINTAGES#: 12126 gets a 94 from Bruce Sanderson of winespectator.com who describes it as ‘ saturated with black cherry, blackberry, wild rosemary, thyme, leather, iron and tobacco flavors’. Cellar for a couple of years and enjoy 2023-2038 with Red Wine Braised Beef.