The Sept 19 2020 LCBO Vintages Release has a couple of Sparkling wines worth checking out. Australia and South Africa also make a great showing this month.
Quick reminder that as we get closer to Christmas and New Year’s holidays more and more premium wines are on offer so if you are looking for good value start looking at stocking up on some of the wines in the next few releases.
Pitars Millesimato Extra Dry Prosecco 2018 VINTAGES#: 16611 $15.95 Prosecco, Italy gets a 90 score from James Suckling. Here is why I will be stocking up on this one for Brunch Mimosas, holiday toasts, serving with appetizers, cooking in various champagne sauced recipes – a) great price b) great score c) extra dry d) described as fruity and dense.
Cygnus Organic Brut Nature Cava VINTAGES#: 352856 $17.95 Penedès, Spain. Wine and Spirits Magazine gives this a 92 and suggests it is punching way above its price level. Rich, elegant with citrusy acidity and orchard notes and a touch of creaminess. Another one to stock up on.
For the whites we are going to South Africa. Tim Atkin recommends
Sutherland Chardonnay 2018 VINTAGES#: 146423 $19.95 Elgin, South Africa as drinking like a more expensive wine with citrus and stone fruit flavours and well integrated oak.
Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2019 VINTAGES#: 610907 $13.95 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Producer Simonsig and Stellenbosch both bode well for this wine. Chenin Blanc is one of South AFrica’s signature grapes and this wine is described as impressively complex with floral aromatics along with peach and passion fruit, grapefruit and minerality. Great value with ‘pleasing character, length and intensity.’
South African Sauvignon Blanc tends to be nicely herbaceous with grapefruit flavours and good minerality. Neil Ellis Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc 2019 VINTAGES#: 673913 $17.95 Darling, South Africa is ticking all those boxes and gets a 91 from Tim Atkin.
Austria has a premium Gruner Veltliner on offer in Winzer Krems Ried Kremser Wachtberg Reserve Grüner Veltliner 2018 VINTAGES#: 15704 $24.95 Kremstal, Austria. Wine Enthusiast gives it a 92 and describes ripe mandarin orange and a zesty citrus edge; dry, rounded and very juicy. I would expect this to be a step above the usual Gruner Veltliners we see on our shelves.
here is a chance to pick up a dry Alsace Riesling at a very good price. Pierre Sperry Coeur de Granit Riesling 2018 VINTAGES#: 15523 $16.95 Alsace, France, wone Gold at the 2019 Concours Général de Paris. Floral, dry, fresh acidity with lime, lemon, green apple and good minerality. Also include a long, refreshing finish!
A couple of notable French offerings:
Maison Roche de Bellene Vieilles Vignes Bourgogne Chardonnay 2017 VINTAGES#: 299867 $23.95 Burgundy, France is a chance to pick up a classic (entry level) white Burgundy. John Szabo or winealign.com describes white-fleshed fruit with very subtle wood influence… lively and stylish. All ‘totally correct’. Expect French elegance in a glass here. PS… if you search LCBO for Roche de Bellene you will see their name followed by many of Burgundy’s most respected parcels – Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, Volnay, Gevrey-Chambertin for example. So this one is simply ‘Bourgogne’ but these people really know what they are doing so I expect their lowest tier is still better than many other’s top tier.
Bernard Fouquet Domaine des Aubuisieres Cuvée Silex Vouvray 2018 VINTAGES#: 15615 $20.95 Loire, France is a classic Chenin Blanc from Loire. (Have fun and compare it to the South African Chenin above). Jamie goode of wineanorak.com gives it a 91 and calls it powerful, stony with herbs, cheese and hay as well as apple, pear and lemon. Classic.
Montes Limited Selection Pinot Noir 2018 VINTAGES#: 37937 $14.95 Casablanca Valley, Chile. Montes is a well known premium Chilean producer. Their Limited Selection label is an indicator this wine has received a little more love and attention in the making. James Scuckling gives this a 90 score and describes fresh, red-cherry and some spicy oak. I wouldn’t expect this to have the finesse of a French Pinot Noir but if you are after the medium bodied, cherry profile of a Pinot Noir for everyday drinking then this one’s for you.
Okay… it seems I circled every one of the Australian reds on offer! So any of them are good bets but here are a couple I will highlight:
Bleasdale Frank Potts 2016 VINTAGES#: 619999 $29.95 South Australia, Australia. Won Gold at the National Wine Show 2017; got a 96 score from winecompanion.com.au. It s a Cab dominated red blend with red and black fruit, fine tannins and ‘judicious’ use of oak. Special Value
Glenlofty GO Shiraz 2015 VINTAGES#: 16235$23.95 Victoria, Australia. International Wine Challenge 2019 gave it a 94 citing mint chocolate, coffee, eucalyptus, spice and tobacco. ‘Complex and charismatic.’
Layers Shiraz/Tempranillo/Mourvèdre/Grenache 2017 VINTAGES#: 138883 $16.95 South Australia, Australia. Look at this value from Peter Lehmann, Barossa Valley. Described as plush, complex with dark fruit, earth, herbs, spice and chocolate.
Tommasi Graticcio Appassionato 20187 VINTAGES#: 338939 $15.95 Italy- the ‘graticcio’ here refers to the bamboo racks used for air drying grapes after harvest. This one starts with the Corvina, Rondinella components we know from Valpolicella, but then they add Merlot. Expect easy-drinking, smooth with fruit, leather and chocolate.