I am so excited about the June 27, 2020 LCBO Vintages Release and all the interesting good value wine! Be prepared… this may be a long one!
Excellent Rosés from all around the world on offer, a couple of very reasonable, true to type Burgundian Pinot Noirs, and perhaps most of all an array of lesser known Italian whites.
I have said before that after I was approved to attend the LCBO media tastings and sample/review many of Vintages wines for each release, one of the biggest takeaways for me was how many interesting, lesser known Italian wines there are.
So I am particularly excited about the feature this release of ‘Crisp Italian Sippers’. Rich, round and aromatic they can be a match made in heaven with a pizza bianca, creamy seafood pasta, fish, chicken. So I encourage you to venture out beyond the immensely popular Pinot Grigio category and check some of them out.
Here are my picks for good value wines < $35 from this release.
Two excellent choices from premium Niagara producers in
Hidden Bench Locust Lane Rosé 20197 VINTAGES#: 68833 $24.95– medium bodied, dry, and elegant with wild strawberry, orange, apricot and flower tones.
the ever charming offering of Southbrook Triomphe Organic Cabernet Franc Rosé 2019 VINTAGES#: 279117 $19.95. Cab Franc adds a little extra substance to a Rosé and this one lends ‘zippy raspberry, cherry and a savoury mineral quality’.
Rosés from France are well represented with some classic Provence Rosés such as
Hecht & Bannier Coteaux d’Aix Provence Rosé 2019 VINTAGES#: 10931 $24.95 – Extra Dry with enough acidity to pair with food and enough red fruit to sip on its own. Easy going and approachable.
or a zesty, spicy sipper with ripe orchard fruit, tropical fruit and wild herbs in
La Cadiérenne Cuvée Grande Tradition Bandol Rosé 2019 | VINTAGES#: 119453 $24.95.
Portugal gets the award for value, as it often does, in Cabriz Rosé 2019 VINTAGES#: 30445 $14.95. Described as vivid and refreshing with bright cherry and raspberry.
Kew Vineyards Old Vine Chardonnay 2016 VINTAGES#: 438374 $19.95 Ontario, Canada seems like a steal at this price. Rich, round, superb balance with apple, pear, custard, caramel and spice.
A classic Gewurtz from Alsace, France in Hunawihr Kuhlmann-Platz Vieilles Vignes Gewurztraminer 2018 VINTAGES#: 169474 $19.95. Gewurtz is a very distinct grape, very aromatic but a perfect match for Thai or Chinese food. This one- off-dry- has peach, pear and lychee.
Can’t not mention this chance to pick up some of my favourite Muscadet Sèvre et Maine!
Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2018 VINTAGES#: 363150 $16.95 Loire, France. This one has extra texture from the ageing on the lees. Tried and true, crisp and clean; a perfect side for seafood or chicken.
And now on to those Italian Whites I am so excited about! A hint- Italian wines are typically made to go with food so if you are experimenting try it first with food and then decide if you think it might be a sipper on its own as well.
The white wine of choice in Calabria, Statti Greco Bianco 2019 VINTAGES#: 13928 $17.95 is almost as aromatic as Gewurztraminer but drier. Think white flowers, pear, tropical notes and hint of herbalness. Try it with creamy pasta or chicken.
Another chicken match in La Fortezza Taburno Falanghina del Sannio 2018 VINTAGES#: 527630 $15.95 Campania, Italy. Aromatic, well balanced acidity with bright citrus pear and lime.
Fontanafredda Gavi di Gavi 2018 VINTAGES#: 366948 $21.95 Piedmont, Italy is on the lighter, crisper side with tangy and savory stone fruit. Apple, lemon and honey-dew notes.
If you have visited the tourist town of San Gimignano chances are you have tasted Vernaccia di San Gimignano, thought to be some of the best examples of the Vernanccia grape. Poggio Alloro Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2018 VINTAGES#: 14025 $17.95 is described as crisp, mineral-driven with stone fruit and citrus. Balanced and pleasant. Good with food or on its own.
Sister’s Run Epiphany Shiraz 2017 VINTAGES#: 269464 $17.95 South Australia, Australia. Sister’s Run is always a reliable choice. This one is a standout because The International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) Sommelier Challenge rated it a 94. Features ripe dark fruit with ripe tannins.
There are 2 Burgundy Pinot Noirs that display all the requisite features of a Burgundian Pinot Noir at a very good price point. Think cherry, earth, hint of mushroom in a refined package. A great way to get a feel for the classic Pinot Noir profile.
Blason de Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2018 VINTAGES#: 648428 $18.95 Burgundy, France
Roche de Bellene Cuvée Réserve Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2018 VINTAGES#: 299859 $23.95 Burgundy, France
More good value from Portugal. Wine Enthusiast ranked this wine #11 in its Top 100 wines of 2018. Concentrated, dense, black fruit. Full-bodied and firm. José de Sousa 2016 VINTAGES#: 494153 $17.95 Alentejo, Portugal
The Best and The Rest will return when LCBO media tasting resume.