The Best and The Rest Jan 11, 2020 LCBO Vintages Release

Here are the highlights of the wines that I sampled at the media tasting for this LCBO Vintages Release.  This is based on the sub-set of wines Vintages put on offer for review.  The Best are the highest scoring based on my tasting experience. The Rest are the remaining wines I happened to review and include wines of interest and value.

The January 11, 2020 LCB) Vintages is loaded with excellent value wines. There are 12 recommended here with 90+ points under $20, some well under. So..if you received an LCBO gift card for Christmas you are in luck. Consider stocking up!

There are 2 cru Beaujolais under $20 and many others just over the $20 mark.

Jan 11th, 2020  LCBO Vintages Release

The Best


Domaine de Joÿ Envie

France   VINTAGES#:  10927  $14.95

Great value here in this Colombard, Gros Manseng and Ugni Blanc blend that may be somewhat unfamiliar to many of us. Aromatic notes of somewhat steely, smoky grapefruit.  Citrus defines the palate with some minerality in play. Nicely balanced and structured. Serve with lemon chicken or pasta primavera. Excellent value. Tasted Dec 2019.  90

Riolite Il Poggio Guerriero Falanghina Beneventano

Italy  VINTAGES#:  10950  $15.95

Lovely minty nose with petrol undertones which opens to citrus and blossom. Tangy orange and ginger notes on the palate.  Nice balance and weight. Respectable finish. Serve with seafood pasta or veal.   Tasted Dec 2019.   90

Noble Vines Collection 446 Chardonnay 2016

California, USA  VINTAGES#:  458687  $18.95

Rich, buttery and oaky on the nose.  Ripe pear and oaky texture on the palate  Rich and unctuous.  Typical California Chardonnay but not over the top.  Pair with veal in cream sauce. Good value.  Tasted Dec 2019.    90

Red Wines

Domaine Tano Péchard Les Bruyères Régnié 2017

France, VINTAGES#:  11355  $16.95

This won a Gold medal at the International Gamay Competition 2018.  It is earthy with spicy notes  and a bit of barnyard on the nose. The palate is smooth with mildly gripping tannins.  Nice structure and acidity.  Nice, lingering finish.   Pair with beef tenderloin. Excellent  value! Tasted Dec 2019.     93

Camille Cayran Cave de Cairanne Le Chêne Noir 2017

France  VINTAGES#:  10006  $17.00

A blend of 50% Grenache/30% Carignan/20% Syrah. Concentrated with a generous medley of red and black fruit on the nose and palate.  Silky, smooth with good depth. A long finish makes this a delight from start to finish.  Pair with prime rib. This drinks like a wine easily twice the price. Excellent value.  Tasted Dec 2019.   92

Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Baco Noir

Ontario, Canada  VINTAGES#:  461699   $22.95

Deep, deep purple in the glass. Opens with enticing notes of mint and red plum.  Dry, tart plum and fresh raspberry on the palate.  The nose and the palate evolve to smoky notes and more fruity blueberry layers.  A very satisfying complex pour.  Enjoy with short ribs or a juicy steak.   Tasted Dec 2019.  92

Agamy Louis Tete Les Petites Pierres Régnié

France  VINTAGES#:  11910  $14.95

Amazing value for a hand harvested, cru Beaujolais.   Lifted aromas of raspberry and strawberry. Generous fruit on the palate with fine tannins. Medium body with good acidity.  Pair with beef bourginogne. Excellent value.   Tasted Dec 2019.     91

Château de Montfaucon Baron Louis Lirac

France  VINTAGES#:  13438  $29.95

This Grenache dominated blend has Cinsault, Syrah Carignan an Mouvedre adding interest. Still tightly wound, it eventually gives up notes of leather and spice. Good depth and concentration on the palate with very fine tannins adding texture. Pair with rabbit stew or cassoulet. Tasted Dec 2019.    91

ViNO Rosso 2016

Washington, USA  VINTAGES#:  514927  $17.95

Washington State goes Italian with this 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Sangiovese. An interesting nose of raspberry with toasty notes.  Concentrated fruit on the palate with the 30% Sangiovese providing some brightness and lift.  Peppery and vibrant. Great structure and acidity. Serve with meaty spaghetti or lamb shanks.  Excellent value.  Tasted Dec 2019.    91

Granite Hill Old Vine Zinfandel

USA  VINTAGES#:  10483   $19.95

This is a wonderful Lodi Zinfandel example with lifted aromas of dried red currant, raspberry and plum. Nice concentrated fruit on the palate. Well balanced, smooth and silky.  Very approachable with a long enjoyable finish.   Very good value.  Tasted Dec 2019.    90

Château Saint-Louis La Perdrix L’envol

France VINTAGES#:  10514  $12.95

A blend of 30% Grenache/50%Syrah/20 Mourvedre this opens with fresh wet stones and mixed red and black fruit on the nose. Bright black cherry on the palate with delightful pepper notes mid palate. Smooth and easy-drinking this will be popular with many.  Pair with appetizers or beef bourguignon. Excellent value. Tasted Dec 2019.    90

Marques de La Concordia Viña Alarde Reserva

Spain   VINTAGES#:  10548   $17.95

Enticing smoky, tobacco and old leather notes on the nose.  The palate is relatively smooth but still showing good acidity and tannic structure. Makes me wish I smoked cigars! Will pair beatifully with pepper steak or braised shortribs. Excellent value.  Excellent value. Tasted Dec 2019.    90

Luciano Arduini Classico Superiore Valpolicella Ripasso

Italy  VINTAGES#:  12407  $20.95

Ripe fruit  dominated by black cherry on the nose and palate.  Smooth and easy drinking with generous fruit on the palate.  Nice long finish. Pair with eggplant parmigiana. Good value.  Tasted Dec    90

Rcabernet Sauvignon

USA   |   VINTAGES#:  13181   $19.95

Black cherry notes on the nose here with caramel and mint floating on top and some earthy forest floor underlying.  A fruit driven palate with sandy tannins. Full-bodied and nicely structured.  Pair with lamb ragu or hearty beef dishes. Very good value. Tasted Dec   90

Ravel & Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon

USA    VINTAGES#:  13667  $34.95

Classic black raspberry with layers of cedar, mint and barnyard on the nose. Earthy black fuit on the palate.  Smooth and concentrated Candied black cherry on the nose and palate that evolves to include some hints of barnyard. Smooth and well balanced. Good acidity with am edium finish.  Pair with duck confit. Very good value. Tasted Dec 2019.  www.thewineloverskitchen.comTasted Dec 2019.   90

Brella Pinot Noir 2014

USA   VINTAGES#:  514786  $16.95

Candied black cherry on the nose and palate that evolves to include some hints of barnyard. Smooth and well balanced. Good acidity with am edium finish.  Pair with duck confit. Very good value. Tasted Dec 2019.    90

The Rest


Flat Rock Pinot Noir

Ontario, Canada   VINTAGES#:  1545   $21.95

 This Ontario Pinot has a subtle nose of dried cherry and raspberry that carries to the palate.  Soft with a medium finish.  Pair with duck breast or veal.  Tasted Dec 2019.   88

Fogolar Riesling

Ontario, Canada   VINTAGES#:  11953  $16.95

Delicate grassy notes open on the nose with blossom floating atop. Pronounced ripe orchard apple on a somewhat off-dry, floral palate.  Feminine and approachable. Silky and round. This will be very versatile to enjoy on its own or with pork tenderloin or poultry.  Tasted Dec 2019.    88

The Foreign Affair The Conspiracy

Ontario, Canada  VINTAGES#:  149237   $21.95

Using the dried grapes of the ripasso method gives this concentrated dried fruit on the nose with inviting raspberry and warm hay notes that carry to the palate.  The tannins are chalk y and  fine.  Slightly tart on the finish. Pair with grilled beef or vegetables. Tasted Dec 2019.    88


Pierre Sparr Sol Calcaire Riesling

Alsace, France  VINTAGES#:  10683   $18.95

Honey, peach and stone fruit on the nose that carry to the pal  with scallops or shrimp. Good value.  Tasted Dec 2019.   89

LaCheteau Muscadet

Loire,  France  VINTAGES#:  10697  $13.95

This is the ‘work horse’ of French white wine to me.  Always reliably clean with crisp acidity. This example has a clean nose with just a hint of wet stone and citrus.  Nice tension on the palate that reflects the aromatics.  You can’t beat this price for a perfect accompaniment to grilled white fish or lemon chicken.  Tasted Dec 2019.   89


Stemmari Nero d’Avola

Italy      VINTAGES#:  12165   $14.95

Ripe raspberry with some minerality on the nose here.  The palate is bright and fruity with good body and weight. Easy drinking but enough body to stand up to pizza, pasta, BBQ burgers or ribs.  Good value.  Tasted Dec 2019.   89

Collavini Pucino Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso

Italy  VINTAGES#:  12408    $15.95

Fresh, bright berry notes define the nose and palate.  Straightforward and fruity, smooth and well balanced.  This could be your go-to wine for pizza night or burgers or pasta.  Tasted Dec 2019.   89

Farina Valpolicella 2018

Veneto, Italy   VINTAGES#:  492561   $14.95

Based on a very typical Veneto blend of  Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Molinara this has interesting meaty aromas balanced with dried fruit and even a hint of floral. Dried, stewed fruit on the palate give it depth.  Quite pleasant.  Pair with burgers or pasta.  Tasted Dec 2019.    89

Mezzacorona Trentino Riserva Pinot Grigio 2017

Alto Adige-Trentino, Italy   VINTAGES#:  32714  $17.95

This is an easygoing wine with a clean nose and palate. Nicely balanced, with a citrus seam. Silky and smooth. Pair with salads, quiche or poultry.  Tasted Dec 2019.     88

New Zealand

Matahiwi Estate Me Pinot Noir

New Zealand   VINTAGES#:  12606   $19.95

This premium Pinot Noir opens with a  lightly perfumed nose of roses and cherry. Delicate cherry defines the palate.  Medium body with good acidity and a medium finish. Pair with duck in cherry sauce.   Good value.  Tasted Dec 2019.      89

The Doctors’ Riesling

New Zealand   VINTAGES#:  12321   $19.95

Powdery and soft white blossoms on the nose with pronounced peach, apricot and a citrus seam on the palate. Aromatic and tropical with generous stone fruit.  Very versatile. Pair with scallops or seafood. Tasted Dec 2019.   88


Ferreirinha Esteva Red

Douro, Portugal    VINTAGES#:  11156  $12.95

A generous fruity blend here.  Smooth with good power and length.  Highly approachable and easy drinking.  Will go well with salami, sausage or stew. Good value.  Tasted Dec 2019.   89

Solar dos Lobos Tinto

Alentejo, Portugal  VINTAGES#:  13512   $12.95

This is one of my favourite Portuguese wines.  A more modern approach to the blend, not to mention the cartoon label. Fresh berries float on smoke on the nose.  It has good fruit concentration on the palate. Tannins lend structure without any rough edges. It is smooth with a decent finish.  Drinks like twice the price!  What’s not like here?   Tasted Dec 2019.      89

Arca Nova Vinho Verde 2016

Portugal    VINTAGES#:  292029  $13.95

Vinho Verde tends to be the epitome of light and lively, clean and crisp. This one is no exception. It has nice acidity and is highly approachable to sip on its own or pair with chicken or pasta primavera.  Tasted Dec 2019. 87

South Africa

Tussock Jumper Chenin Blanc 2017

South Africa    VINTAGES#:  480764  $12.95

The nose here is quite a cameleon with hints of grass, chamomile, peach.   The palate offers up hints of wet stone and citrus as well.  Pair with pizza bianca.  Tasted Dec 2019.   87


Barahonda Barrica Monastrell/Syrah 2012

Yecla, Spain   VINTAGES#:  378869   $16.95

Smooth , fruity and spicy.  Dark  plum and berries abound on the palate with fairly grippy tannins. This wine would pair well with cassoulet or hearty stew.   Tasted Dec 2019.   89

United States

SeaGlass Pinot Noir 2016

USA    VINTAGES#:  539163   $23.95

This elegant, old-world styl Pinot has bright light cherry  notes that define the nose and palate.  Delicate and refined, this would pair well with veal or duck.  Tasted Dec 2019.      89

Noble Vines Collection 181 Merlot

California, USA   VINTAGES#:  226530   $19.95

Spicy red plum and sandalwood open on the nose with dried red fruit showing on the palate.  Smooth and approachable.  This will please a wide audience.  Pair with beef stew or meat pizza.  Tasted Dec 2019.    88

Bogle Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel

USA  VINTAGES#:  13246   $22.95

Waxy raspberry bramble on the nose. Warm, dry red fruit on the palate. Very approachable with soft tannins.  Tasted Dec 2019.    87


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The Best and The Rest  Jan 11, 2020 LCBO Vintages Release

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