The Best and The Rest – LCBO Vintages Release Nov 9th, 2019

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.

Nov 9th, 2019 LCBO Vintages Release

As the holidays approach the LCBO tends to stock premium wines and the prices go on an upward trajectory until the wine gods take pity on us and feature value wines in January. All this makes for a lot of ‘The Best’ and only a few of ‘The Rest’!  There is outstanding value in Roche de Bellene Mâcon La Roche Vineuse 2015 from Burgundy for $20.95 and in Palacios Remondo La Montesa Crianza 2016  Rioja, Spain at $25.95.

The Best


 Bacalhôa Moscatel de Setúbal 2016

 Setubal, Portugal  750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  996181 $14.95

An interesting sweet wine offering up cinnamon, nutmeg, anise and in a lightly perfumed package. Good acidity gives it some zest. A real treat at this prices. Enjoy with chocolate covered almonds or fruit cake. Excellent value.  Tasted October 2019.   90



Kopke Colheita Port 1999   Douro, Portugal    

750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  10903  $64.95

This 20 year old Tawny Port is a delight from start to its long, ,lingering  finish.  Nutty aromas of caramel and marzipan greet you on the nose and those notes carry to the palate where they mingle with some dried apricot and fig. Delightful on its own it could also star alongside your Christmas pudding with toffee sauce. Tasted October 2019.     91

Giulio Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino

Piedmont, Italy       750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  461913  $29.95

This Vermouth offers a lot to curl up with on a cold winter evening. Tons of personality here with nuts and dried orange peel and toffee floating on a savoury, slightly herbal base. The finish just keeps on delivering too. Tasted October  90



Roche de Bellene Mâcon La Roche Vineuse 2015

Burgundy, France    750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  648485 $20.95

An outstanding value here in this Chardonnay.  Citrusy notes of lemon and orange float above toasty, nutty and smoky notes.  It has a silky, smooth mouthfeel with lots of lemon and orange toasty notes. Well balanced and elegant.  Savour with herbed Cornish hen.  Tasted October 2019.  93

Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2017

  California, USA  750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  26682  $64.95

This full-bodied, complex Chardonnay has a generous nose of toasty lemon, smoky mushroom topped with hints of ginger. Lemony toasty notes on the palate offset by a hint of earthiness.  There is a lot going on in this glass all crowned with a deliciously long finish. Chardonnay like you dream about….Tasted October 2019. 92

Donatien Bahuaud Les Grands Mortiers Vouvray 2018

Loire, France    750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  140889   $21.95

This off-dry Vouvray is full of fruity melon and apple tones, along with some balancing citrus and floral blossom notes.  Slightly waxy on the palate with a medium plus finish. Serve with scallops or shrimp.   Tasted October 2019.   90

Red Wines

Masi Mazzano Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2012

Veneto, Italy  750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  597476 $129.95

This Amarone will haunt you with its silky, smooth offering of raisins, figs and cinnamon.  Beautifully balanced, it is elegant and remarkably fresh. A delight from start to finish. Tasted October 2019.  93

Palacios Remondo La Montesa Crianza 2016  Rioja, Spain

    750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  674572  $25.95

This wine is testament to the attention to detail that is Alvaro Palacios is famous for.  Beautiful aromas of fresh raspberry and violets eventually give way to hints of chocolate. Red plum, red cherry and violets play on the palate of this Grenache dominated blend. Tannins are a bit grippy -this wine is no wimp.  Overall well balanced with a long, delicious finish.  Excellent value.  Tasted October 2019.  93

Stags’ Leap Winery The Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

California, USA  750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  142844  $119.95

Coming to you from the iconic Stag’s Leap Winery this Cabernet Sauvignon is full of peppery black fruit and toasty notes along with wet leave and stones.  Tannins are fine and chalky.  Serve with pepper steaks.  Tasted October 2019.     93


Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2017

Rhône, France    750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  711317  $93.95

You will have to be patient for about 5 years before you can truly enjoy this concentrated Chateauneuf-Du-Pape full of red cherry and raspberry, spicy notes and light smoke. Silky and smooth, beautifully balanced.  Enjoy (eventually) with Chateaubriand.    Tasted October 2019.     92

Luce 2016      Tuscany, Italy

   750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  685263  $119.95

This is a complex, big wine showing raspberry and bramble, smoke and hints of savoury.  Firm and tannic at this point but it will be stunning after a few years of cellaring.  Enjoy it eventually with grilled steak.  Tasted |October 2019.    91

Pinino Brunello di Montalcino 2013

Tuscany, Italy  750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  32508  $59.95

This Brunello will command your attention with its cherry notes floating over smoke and tar. It has a smooth mouthfeel even with the still firm tannins. Enjoy with lamb shanks. Tasted October 2019.       90

Belle Glos Eulenloch Pinot Noir 2015


California, USA   750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  10095 $59.95

This silky smooth, highly quaffable Pinot Noir offers up ripe fruit flavours of black cherry and black plum along with some mushroom notes on the nose.  On the heavier end of the Pinot Noir body scale it will pair nicely with short ribs or roast beef.  Tasted October 2019.    90

The Rest


Laurenz V. Friendly Grüner Veltliner 2016

 Kamptal, Austria    750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  66225  $19.95

Crisp, light and dry, this Gruner Veltliner offers up some blossom on the nose that gives way to hints of mint and fennel. The palate features gooseberry and pears.  Well structured and racy this will liven up chicken dishes or your salad course. Tasted October 2019.  87


Ilok Cellars Classic Grasevina 2017

Continental, Croatia      750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  517474  $14.95

While blossom and honeysuckle dominate the  nose of this Grasevina the palate is dry and  savoury and with tangy lemon and grapefruit. There are light hints of kerosene floating around as well.  Serve with Asian cuisine.  Tasted October 2019.  88



Bois de Menge Gigondas 2017

 Rhône, France  750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  10508  $31.95 

Lots of raspberry and an element of medicinal black cherry on the palate here.  The tannins are fine but the alcohol dominates and challenges the finesse we have come to expect of a Gigondas.  Serve with lamb or duck. Tasted October      89

Georges Duboeuf Château des Capitans Juliénas 2017

 Beaujolais, France  750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  11359  $21.95

This Juliénas Beaujolais has more structure and weight than many Beaujolais.  Red fruit, black currant and wet stones offer up interest on the nose and palate. Nicely balanced.  Serve with ribs. Tasted October 2019.  88

Cave de Lugny Brut Rosé Crémant de Bourgogne

  Burgundy, France   750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  297846  $22.95

Orchard apples, roses and blossom abound on the nose and palate of this lovely sparkling.  Refreshing with some interesting flinty notes on the finish. This could be a party sparkling or brunch/lunch choice.  Tasted October 2019.


Bischöfliche Weingüter Trier Dom Spätlese Riesling 2011

Mosel, Germany  750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  11651   $21.95

This Riesling eight years in is showing delicious notes of honey, petrol, ripe peach, apricot on the nose and the slightly waxy palate. On the sweeter end of the Spätlese spectrum you could enjoy this on its own. Tasted October 2019.   89



Ferrari Brut Sparkling

 Alto Adige/Trentino, Italy     750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  352153  $24.95

This opens with pastry and apple pie spices on the nose.  The palate is juicy and citrusy and a touch of apricot on the finish.  Lively with fine effervescence it would be a good choice for holiday parties or toasting. Tasted October    89



Barón de Ley White 2018

Rioja, Spain    750 mL  bottle   |   VINTAGES#:  145995  $14.95

 This light and refreshing blend of Viura (aka Macabeo of Cava fame) offers up lemon, grapefruit with some underlying wet stone minerality. Oh to be sitting on a patio is Spain sipping this white Rioja with some calamari!  Good value. Tasted October  88


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The Best and The Rest -  LCBO Vintages Release Nov 9th, 2019

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