The Best & The Rest- LCBO Vintages Release May 25, 2019

Here are the highlights of the wines that I  tasted and reviewed from a sub-set of wines Vintages put on offer for review from the May 25, 2019 LCBO Vintages Release.  The Best are the highest scoring  based on my tasting experience.  The Rest are the remaining wines reviewed and include wines of interest and value.

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The Best

Southbrook Framboise Ontario (375 mL) #341024 $19.95
What a treat this Framboise is! Beautiful candied, cherry pink in the glass. Fresh raspberries literally jump out of the glass. And the palate does not disappoint. Raspberry, raspberry, raspberry through and through, both sweet and tart. It starts off sweet but then the alcohol and acidity balance out the sweetness on the finish. It would be great with chocolate or pastries and whipped cream but if you don’t have dessert – don’t despair. This treat is dessert enough on its own! Tasted May 2019      93

Southbrook Heather’s Home Vineyard Riesling 2017 Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A. #650135 $22.95
This opens with delightful light notes of petrol and diesel-just enough to announce itself as a Riesling. Hints of petrol carry over to the palate that then offers up lime and citrus. It starts off silky on the palate and then texture takes hold to grab your attention. It is nicely structured and balanced with a touch of perceived sweetness mid palate. Good length. An Ontario Riesling to be proud of. This is a delight on its own but also would stand up to a schnitzel or breaded fish. May 2019. 91

Primo Du Château La Clide 2010 Bordeaux #636746 $$57.95

This 95% Cab Franc, 5% Merlot Gran Cru comes from 40 year old vines. Nine years in it is still a vibrant plum colour with a fresh nose mildly reminiscent of woodsy, cedar. The palate is clean and all elements are beautifully integrated. Mature tannins extend the finish. An elegant wine that would pair well with rack of lamb or duck confit. Tasted May 2019. 91

Château Gaumaran 2014 AC Médoc # 634014 $17.95

This 60% Merlot 40 % Cabernet Sauvignon blend has an interesting ‘meaty’, slightly smoky nose. Palate is savoury with grippy tannins. This is a perfect accompaniment to the busiest charcuterie platter you can dream up with dry cured sausage, old cheeses, paté – you get the picture! There is a lot going on here at this price. Excellent value. Tasted May 2019. 90

Santa Margherita Stilrose 2018 Lombardy, Italy 659565 $24.95
The beautiful salmon colour sets the stage. A clean nose that eventually gives up lovely rose notes. It is on the heavier end of light bodied. The palate is silky and dry, just short of savoury. A pleasant medium length finish. Try it with chicken or seafood. Tasted May 2019. 90

Andrea Biasiotto Extra Dry Millesimato Prosecco 2017 516559 $17.95
Effervescent and almost clear in the glass. Lots of tropical fruit-pineapple and coconut- and white flowers on the nose. It is fruity, zesty and refreshing. This would make a fun sipper on its own or serve with light cheeses. At this price this fun sparkling deserves to be at all your spring celebrations and festivities. Excellent value. Tasted May 2019. 90

Stéphane Aviron Vieilles Vignes Morgon Côte Du Py 2014 Beaujolais #424804 $23.95

The edges are starting to show some aging. Mild smoke on the nose initially but opens to raspberries and light red fruits. Raspberry defines the palate. Smooth with a bit of dusty tannin on the finish. Drink now with lamb spiedini or tenderloin. Tasted May 2019. www. 90

Cambria Clone 4 Chardonnay 2016 California #104851 $34.95
This California Chardonnay is rich and powerful. A bit of golden apple on the nose and palate. Aging sur lie has added nice weight and complexity Some minerality and wet stones also on the palate. Serve with grilled chicken and fruit salsa. Tasted May 2019. 90

Portlandia Pinot Gris 2017 Oregon #633735 $24.95
The nose starts with hints of petrol. Smooth and round mouthfeel with good acidity. Lots of citrus from start to the long, lingering finish. This would easily cut through a Caesar salad or goat cheese souffle.Tasted May 2019. 90

Catena Chardonnay 2017 Argentina #918805 $19.95

Oaky, buttery, creamy tones on the nose. Smooth with light oak on the palate. Approaching the California big, bold & buttery style but restrains itself just in time to avoid being overpowering. Long, pleasant finish. Pair it with strong cheeses or caramelized onion flat breads. Tasted May 2019. 90

The Rest

Creekside Iconoclast Syrah 2016 St. David’s Bench, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario V.Q.A. #444034 $25.00
Bright plum colour in the glass. It has an enticing, complex nose of smoke and leather. Dark fruits are smooth on the palate and then it winds up with a firm, tannic finish. This will happily spend a year or two in the cellar. Enjoy now or later with steak or braised short ribs. Tasted May 2019. 89

TRIUS BRUT ROSÉ Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A. # 184309 $32.95
Pale salmon colour with a fine mousse. Effervescent and mildly toasty on the nose. Lively acidity on the palate. Toastiness carries over to the palate with subtle hints of strawberry. Serve with salmon or pastry appetizers. Tasted May 2019 88

Pale gold in the glass with orchard aromas on the nose. Very finely textured mouthfeel with hints of green apple. Nicely balanced. This would work well for toasts on its own or serve with black pepper potato chips! Tasted May 2019. 88

HIDDEN BENCH FUMÉ BLANC 2017 Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., #68825 $29.95
Dusty nose with elements of green grass. A hint of floral undertones. Smooth drinking, herbal tones dominate the palate. The fumé aspect is very subtle with the oak just lending a touch of texture and body. Overall nice blance and medium finish. Try it with swordfish or pickerel. Tasted May 2019. 88


Vasse Felix Filius Chardonnay 2018 Margaret River, Western Australia #416511 $24.95
Light oak on the nose with hints of buttery popcorn. The palate is silky smooth with a bright acidity that keeps this chardonnay in the light and crisp category. Great food wine — try with cream sauces on chicken or fish. Tasted May 2019. 89

Ravanal Gran Reserva Carmenère 2017 Colchagua Valley #638429 $15.96
Dark cherry coloured. There is a pronounced herbaceous nose with bell pepper and earth tones that opens up to mildly oaky caramel. Deliciously smooth and juicy with soft, soft tannins and medium length. This is very pleasant to sip on its own or serve it with burgers, pizza, or pasta. Good value. Tasted May 2019. 89

Marie-Pierre Manciat Brut Crémant De Bourgogne Burgundy #402362 $24.95
Pale gold in the glass. An interesting nose of baking bread with a subtle nuttiness and underlying white flowers. Nicely balanced with an elegant, substantial finish. Pair with scallops and foie gras. Tasted May 2019. 89

Louis Jadot Chorey-Les-Beaune 2013, Burgundy A.C. #725804 $34.95
Despite some indications of age from the brick edge and dried fruit on the nose the palate is still fresh. Fruit has receded but leaving a dry, savoury palate. Mature tannins on medium long finish. Tasted May 2019. 88

Marie-Pierre Manciat Les Petites Bruyères Pouilly-Fuissé Burgundy A.C. #374553 $34.95
Restrained elegance here typical of Pouilly-Fuissé. Light citrus on the nose and palate. Slightest hint of oak mostly lends texture to the otherwise silky palate. Serve with salad, scallops and calamari. Tasted May 2019. 88

Domaine De La Gaverie Sec Vouvray 2017 AC Loire, # 635847 $19.95
Candied pineapple and tropical fruit on the nose that carry to the palate. Nicely structured, this simple, cheerful Vouvray could be a patio summer hit. Tasted May 2019. 87

Lorgeril Gris De Garille 2018 Cité De Carcassonne, Midi I.G.P. #667311 $13.95
Pale, pale, almost clear in the glass. Fruit and flowers abound on the nose and palate of this rosé, making it seem less dry than the 2 grams of sugar per Litre would suggest. It has a soft mouthfeel but the alcohol gives the finish legs. Try it with salads highlighted with strawberries or other fruits. Would also make a fun sipper on its own. At this price you can have a lot of fun with it! Tasted May 2019. 88

Marchesi di BaroloGavi Del Comune di Gavi 2017, Piedmont D.O.C.G # 155382 $22.95
Highly aromatic floral, fruity nose. Nicely balanced acidity and a hit of salinity make this juicy and refreshing. Clean and crisp. Try it with spicy, creamy pasta. Tasted May 2019. 89
Stefano Farina Dolcetto Di Diano D’alba 2017,Piedmont D.O.C.G. 638304 $16.95
Dolcetto is the work horse of the Piedmont region. It ripens early and typically has deep colour and agressive tannins with low acid. It is meant to hit the market early while the Barolo and Barbaresco are aging. This one is no exception. A deep black cherry colour in the glass. There are lifted notes of lilac and violets on the nose. The palate displays fruity blackberry and lots of tannins. Best enjoyed with food. Try it with osso bucco, lamb ragu or spicy sausage. Tasted May 2019. 88

Marchesi di Barolo La Tradizione Barolo Piedmont D.O.C.G #168179 $42.95

This Barolo has already mellowed out to a brick orange colour, with a raisiny nose and dried fruit on a smooth palate. A bit of heat on the finish. Barolo had excessive rain during the 2014 vintage and this may be the reason this example is not showing the depth and complexity you would expect from a Barolo. Drink now with steak tartar or wild boar. Tasted May 2019. 88

Ca’ De’ Rocchi Monterè Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2015 Veneto D.O.P.# 668491 $23.95
Plum coloured in the glass. This ripasso has a subtle nose with just a hint of barnyard. The palate shows mature fruit and nice medium weight. Time has smoothed out any rough edges here. Medium length finish. This is fairly restrained as ripassos go but makes a nice relaxing pour. Try it with spicy pasta. Tasted May 2019. 88

Michele Chiarlo Palás Barbaresco 2014 Piedmont D.O.C.G #636688 $29.95

This Barbaresco is showing its age from the brick coloured rim through the subtle nose of dried hay. The palate is smooth, low fruit and finishes with dusty tannins. Drink now with salty prosciutto snacks. Tasted May 2019. 87

Labrusca Lini 910 Lambrusco Rosso Emilia-Romagna D.O.P #632208 $17.95
Lambrusco to me is the ‘wild child’ of sparkling wines. This one is true to form – startlingly dark cherry in the glass. It is dry and zesty with tart cherry on the palate. Lambrusco is not a sparkling for sipping or toasting – it is designed to go with food. Tame it with hard, old cheeses and charcuterie. Tasted May 2019. 87

Casa Monte Pío Albariño 2016 Rías Baixas D.O. #629824 $18.95
This lovely clear, pale gold wine offers up golden apples on the nose. It has a nice silky, smooth, round mouth feel with just enough acid to keep it interesting. This would be refreshing summer wine for docks and decks or as a base for white sangria. Tasted May 2019 89

La Crema Pinot Noir Rosé 2018 California # 668376 $27.95
Pale salmon coloured. The nose is dried berries. Very soft and round mouth feel. Pronounced fruit. Dry with a substantial finish. Perfect for salads, shrimp, salmon. Tasted May 2019 89

South Africa
Waterkloof Circle Of Life 2015 Stellenbosch W.O. #284588 $19.95
This Sauvignon Blanc has notes of white flowers with some underlying minerality and salinity. It is fairly lean, almost austere on the palate. The minerality extends to the medium, long finish. Overall quite pleasing if you lean toward the less herbaceous Sauvignon Blancs. Serve it with chicken or pork tenderloin. Tasted May 2019. 89

Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2018 Coastal Region W.O. #999821 $12.95
If you lean toward a dry, non-fruity rosé stock up on this one. Dry and savoury, this is light to medium weight with a medium finish. Try it with grilled shrimp, light pasta or gourmet pizza. Good value. Tasted May 2019. 88

Pongráz Cap Classique Rosé Traditional method Western Cape W.O. #646968 $18.95
This is a party in a glass! Bubbly, pale strawberry in the glass. The palate is dry with more dried strawberry notes. Nicely balanced and will appeal to a broad spectrum. Perfect for Spring and Summer bridal showers or luncheons. Tasted May 2019. 88


The Rest

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