The Wine Lover’s Picks LCBO Vintages Release Feb 2, 2019

LCBO’s Vintages Release of Feb 2, 2019 is another opportunity to stock up on good value wines, including a Portuguese wine for $13.95 that ranked # 50 in the 2016 Wine Spectator Top 100! Wine Enthusiast’s  #55 of  Top 100 2018 is also on offer at $16.95.

Check out the Evel Tinto 2014 in the Red Wines section and Chateau Lamothe De Haux 2017 in the White Wines Section for full details.

Use this link to check out availability of wines closest to you – LCBO store locator. Just enter the product number in the search field in the upper right corner. When the product page comes up click on the Select Store button on the right margin.  A dialogue box will come up. Add your postal code to get a list of stores closest to you that have it in stock.

Or you can now order LCBO products on-line  .  Of late LCBO have indicated all release wines are available for on-line  ordering.

Here are my picks for some of the best value wines under $35 in this release.

Sparkling Wines

CONDE DE HARO BRUT CAVA 2015 (Traditional method, DO, Muga Spain)
168559 (XD)      Score: 90  $19.95

Michael Schachner of  Wine Enthusiast describes ‘Lime, melon and brioche aromas send this Cava from Rioja in the right direction. A zesty palate braced by citric acidity is juicy and displays ample energy. Snappy lemon, citrus and green-apple flavors finish crisp, with tension and focus.’ Medium-bodied & Flavourful

White Wines

 

REDSTONE CHARDONNAY 2013 (VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada)

511428     (XD)   Score: 92    $25.70
Platinum Medal winner at the 2017 National Wine
Awards of Canada.

Rhys Pender, MW,  of winealign.com describes ‘ Beautiful texture up front and some complex nut, popcorn, lemon and stone fruit before the long, elegant, crisp and refreshing finish kicks in with a pleasant light phenolic grip.’ Full-bodied & Rich

CHÂTEAU LAMOTHE DE HAUX 2017 (AC Bordeaux, France)

635698 (XD)   Score: 90   $16.95

Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast says ‘ A blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle, this wine offers ripe fruit and a rich texture. Apricot, pear and warm fruit flavors are well cut by the acidity and mineral texture. It is balanced, rich and fruity, crisp at the end and hinting at a more herbal character. Drink the wine now. Best Buy. Ranks #55 in 2018 Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Best Buys.’  Aromatic & Flavourful

FAMILIA SCHROEDER ALPATACO CHARDONNAY 2017
(Patagonia. Argentina)

629428    (XD)    Score: 90       $16.95

Tim Atkin, MW of  timatkin.com says ‘There’s no wood at all on this San Patricio del Chañar Chardonnay, made without malolactic fermentation for maximum freshness. Zesty and crisp, it has notes of wild, aromatic herbs and a sappy, refreshing finish. Drink Date: 2018-2022.’  Light & Crisp

Red Wines

 

TWLK:  Luca Maroni is an Italian wine critic/writer whose scores for Italian wines are consistently about 5 points higher than most other wine critics in the world score them.  He has developed his own rating system based on 3  indicators or ‘overall pleasantness’ of the wine. You can  learn more specifics of his rating approach here if you like.

LORNANO CHIANTI CLASSICO 2013 (DOCG, Tuscany, Italy)

211599    (XD)   Score: 90 from Lisa Isabelle of winecurrent.com and  97 from Luca Maroni       $17.95

Luca Maroni of  lucamaroni.com notes (Translated from the Italian): It has been a long time since a Chianti has so appealed to the senses. Gorgeous with rich and fleshy purplish fruit and an intense colour. Silky with pure blackberry and a vein of sweet spices. Careful attention to detail has resulted in no loss of freshness to oxidation and no loss of purity or character through the  winemaking process. Floral notes combine with wild forest touches. Creamy, warm and long. Exceptional harmony. One of the best Chianti Classico.’ Medium-bodied & Fruity

 

COUDOULET DE BEAUCASTEL CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2016 (AC Rhone, France)
(Famille Perrin)

48884    (XD)  Score 94   $29.95

James Suckling of jamessuckling.com  says ‘This has a very plush, luscious and
generously fleshy feel. Cherry compote, raspberries,  blackberries and plums. Tarry elements, too. Smooth, velvety, pure and even. Succulence, elegance and
clarity. Such value here. Drink or hold.’  Full-bodied & Smooth

PASO CREEK CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 (Paso Robles, Calfornia, USA)

161141      (XD)        Score 92     $19.95

Natalie MacLean of  nataliemaclean.com says ‘Complex, balanced and structured: this Californian Cabernet offers lots of pleasure but also has great elegance and length on the finish. Aromas of dark fruit, spice and smoke. Layered and concentrated. The Paso Robles wine region is more southern than Napa Valley in the state of California, and so wines there ripen longer and develop terrific intensity. Pair with a rare filet mignon. Best Value Wine.’  Medium-bodied & Fruity

CATENA APPELLATION SAN CARLOS CABERNET FRANC 2016 (Mendoza, Argentina)

450106      (XD)   Score   92       $19.95

TWLK:  Cabernet Franc is one of the up and coming varietals in Ontario as well.  Here is a chance to check out another cool climate  prime example from Argentina.

Luis Gutiérrez of robertparker.com says ‘ … produced with grapes from the most fashionable red variety at the moment. It is from 20-year-old vines in El Cepillo, one of the cooler places of San Carlos in Valle de Uco. Furthermore, 2016 was a particularly cool year, so the wine is really a “cool climate” example. It matured in French oak barrels for one year before bottling. It has tons of black pepper aromas and flavors, balsamic and with perfect ripeness. 2016 has produced outstanding wines in this Appellation range. Drink Date: 2018-
2023.’ Medium-bodied & Fruity

QUINTA DA REDE RESERVA 2013 (DOC Douro, Portugal)

431742    (XD)   Score 91     $17.95

Roger Voss of  Wine Enthusiast says ‘ Rede is at the western, cooler end of the Douro vineyards and it shows in the fresh feel to this wine. The tannins are softer as well, creating a wine that is much more about fruit than about structure. Black fruits show well freshened with acidity and balanced with the dry, final tannins. Drink from 2017. Editors’ Choice.’ Medium-bodied & Fruity

PENINSULA RIDGE BEAL VINEYARD RESERVE MERLOT 2016 
(VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada)

257311     (XD)  Score 91   $19.95

Vintages panel notes: Aged for 16 months in French oak, this single-vineyard Merlot serves up juicy cherry, blackberry, cedar and spice with wisps of chocolate and vanilla. Lovely intensity, texture and length. A great
choice for beef tenderloin. Medium-bodied & Fruity

JOSH CELLARS PASO ROBLES RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015
(Paso Robles, California, USA)

412320    (D)   Score 90       $24.95

Vintages panel notes:  Josh Cellars sources fruit from several of the top appellations across the state. This Cab comes from the warm, dry climate of Paso Robles and offers big, bold fruit, dark chocolate and sweet spices wrapped in soft, velvety tannins. Pour with burgers or barbacoa tacos.’
Full-bodied & Smooth

MASI BROLO CAMPOFIORIN ORO 2014 (IGT Rosso Verona, Italy)

976092 (XD)     $26.95

Alison Napjus awarded this wine a score of 90 points, calling it “A well-knit, medium-bodied red, with fine-grained tannins …” and suggesting a drinking window extending through 2028. (wine spectator.com, July 31, 2018)

James Suckling of jamessuckling.com describes ‘A firm and silky red with a berry and hazelnut character. Medium body, silky tannins and a flavorful finish. Drink now. ‘ Medium-bodied & Fruity

EVEL TINTO 2014 (DOC Douro, Portugal)
190694  (XD)   Score: 90    $13.95

Kim Marcus of winespectator.com describes ‘A lithe red, with good cut to the red berry and plum tart flavors, supported by fresh acidity, showing notes of pepper and hot stone on the minerally finish. Offers impressive purity to the fruit components. Drink now through 2020. Ranked #50 in the 2016 Wine Spectator Top 100’  Medium-bodied & Fruity

Cellar Suggestions

FONTANAFREDDA BARBARESCO 2014 (DOCG Piedmont, Italy)

631077    (XD)  Score: 93       $29.95

Bruce Sanderson of winespectator.com  says ‘ Distinctive for a sweet cherry aroma and flavor, accented by mineral and wild herb notes. Light-bodied and expressive, with dense, well-integrated tannins. The fine length evokes green olive hints. Best from 2021 through 2033.’  Medium-bodied & Fruity

MARQUÉS DEL PUERTO RESERVA 2010 (DOCa Rioja, Spain)

638767    (XD)   Score 92    $23.95

Michael Schachner of Wine Enthusiast says’ This wine’s ripe berry, vanilla, toast, raisin and cedar aromas set the stage for an intense palate with choppy tannins. Its blackberry, caramel and vanilla flavors are rich and ripe, tasting pure on the finish, with a strong punch of chocolaty oak. Drink through 2024′
Full-bodied & Firm

MOMMESSIN GRANDES MISES SAINT-AMOUR 2016 (AC Beaujolais, France)

630053 (XD)    Score 91   $24.95

Josh Raynolds of vinous.com says ‘(made with 50% whole clusters) Bright violet. Fresh and energetic on the nose and the palate, displaying sappy red fruit and floral pastille qualities and a hint of musky herbs. Sappy and precise,
picking up hints of licorice and allspice as the wine opens up. Fine-grained tannins build slowly on a long, incisive finish that emphatically echoes the mineral note. Drinking window: 2020-2025’  Light-bodied & Fruity

 

Good Bets

The wines highlighted below may not have been rated by critics but are wines that come from consistently high quality producers or regions that epitomize the characteristics of a certain varietal or style. In other words… good value wines that I would gravitate to without hesitation!

IRONSTONE OLD VINE ZINFANDEL 2016 (Lodi, California, USA)

951889 (XD)              $17.95

Vintage notes|:  This wine is crafted using fruit from four vineyards, and
vines ranging from 40 to 60 years of age. If there is an epicentre for California Zinfandel, Lodi is a leading candidate for the title. This Zin is an ever-welcome, popular sight on Vintages shelves. Customers have long enjoyed its reliable crowd-pleasing style and approachable black and blue berry tones. It’s a gimme for beef fajitas or pulled-pork sandwiches.
Full-bodied & Smooth

CLINE CASHMERE BLACK MAGIC RED 2016 (California, USA)

539213 (D)    $22.95

Vintages panel notes : A blend of Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Alicante Bouschet aged for about a year in French oak, this wine is ripe and round with a gorgeous interplay of lavender, eucalyptus, red and dark fruits and sweet spices. Pour with smoked duck, or baby back ribs crusted with a rub of ancho chili and savoury herbs. Full-bodied & Smooth

Good Cellar Bet

TESSELLAE OLD VINES GRENACHE/SYRAH/MOURVÈDRE CÔTES DU
ROUSSILLON 2016 (AP Midi, France)

343517    (XD) $18.95

This blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre was aged in concrete. Expect a ripe, plush Côtes du Roussillon with touches of dark chocolate underlying the fruit, pepper, herb and floral tones. This soft, round, seductive wine will reward 3-5 years’ patience. Try it with a charcuterie platter or grilled lamb. Full-bodied & Smooth

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