Wine Picks <$35 from LCBO Vintages Release Oct 3 2020

The Oct 3 2020 LCBO Vintages Release is full of turkey-friendly wines and some specialty fortified and dessert wines.

This Release makes me think Christmas can’t be far off now. 3 digit premium wines starting to appear along with some rare choices that will be perfect to have on hand for holiday celebrations or gift giving.

Fortified Wines

Perez Barquero Los Amigos Pedro Ximenez Sherry (500 mL  bottle)  VINTAGES#:  14048 $19.95 Jerez, Spain

This sweet aged Sherry will be fun to curl up in front of the fire with an array of blue and aged cheeses, dried figs, apricots, nuts etc. At 285 grams of sugar per liter – this is going to be in the ‘lusciously sweet’ category, like Icewine. You don’t see these every day in the LCBO so now is your chance.

Dessert Wine

Cave Spring Indian Summer Select Late Harvest Riesling 2017 (375 mL bottle)   VINTAGES#:  415901 $24.95 Ontario, Canada

While not as sweet as an Icewine, this late harvest Riesling with 97 grams sugar per liter will be an after dinner sipper. This one has ripe stone fruits and honey and gets a 93 from Paul Gregutt of Wine Enthusiast. Peach pie anyone?

This is the real gem of this Release. I am going to stretch my $35 limit for this one. Puklus Pincészet Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2013 (500 mL  bottle)   VINTAGES#:  47209 $35.95 Hungary

You don’t see Tokaji in the LCBO every day either and this one – a Tokaji Aszú is even rarer. They only release Aszú in exceptional years when the conditions are right for noble rot (botrytis) to be wide spread. It is not unusual for pickers pass through the vineyard several times, handpicking individual grapes botrytised grapes. This is Hungary’s answer to Sauternes. Expect the 138 grams of sugar per liter here to be balanced with good acidity, and look for notes of honey, orange, apricots etc. Enjoy with foie gras, blue cheese, nuts and dried fruits.

Sparkling Wine

La Fleur de François Brut Crémant de Bordeaux    VINTAGES#:  648170 $16.95 Bordeaux, France. Traditional method Sparkling from Bordeaux that wonG old at the Concours de Bordeaux 2019. Expect grapefruit, apple, pear. Described as food friendly so think Brunch or appetizers.

Turkey Wines

Whether you are cooking a turkey, Cornish Hens or roast chicken for your Thanksgiving dinner here are some wine suggestions that should stand up well to fowl and stuffing.

Kew Marsanne/Viognier 2017   VINTAGES#:  485334 $19.95 Ontario, Canada. This got a 90 score from Brent uller of who describes lemon and orange stone fruit and a hit of spice.

Hidden Bench Estate Chardonnay 2017  VINTAGES#:  68817 $29.95 Ontario, Canada. Hidden Bench are masters of Ontario Chardonnay. Sara D’Amato of gives this a 92 and describes ‘refined oak’ nuttiness and creaminess, almonds an pear. Good glancy and length.

Craftwork Chardonnay 2018    VINTAGES#:  458646 $19.95 California, USA gets a 91 from the Sommelier Challenge International. The apple, butter and oak spice sound like a good match to a roast turkey and all the trimmings.

Echeverria Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2018    VINTAGES#:  485292 $15.95 Colchagua Valley, Chile. This one gets a turkey nod for the peara, grapefruit, passion fruit and toast notes described by Vintages staff.

Moving on to Riesling – Best’s Great Western Riesling 2019  VINTAGES#:  688259 $19.95 Victoria, Australia gets a 95 and Special Value tag from James Halliday of Looks like the attention to detail in the winemaking process – whole-berries, wild-fermented, matured 7 month on the lees – has paid off.

Another interesting choice – Langmeil Three Gardens Viognier/Marsanne/Roussanne 2018  VINTAGES#:  15113 $19.95 South Australia, Australia gets a93 from Decanter World Wine Awards 2019 where they describe peachy fruit flavours, balanced acidity and an herbaceous finish.

Domaine Les Salices Viognier 2019   VINTAGES#:  14031 $15.95 Languedoc, France is good value with pear, peach, honey and whitepepper. Silky mouth-feel and a long finish. Not bad for the price.

Three of Hearts Rosé  VINTAGES#:  552562 $19.95 Ontario, Canada is a Pinot Noir/Pinot Gris blend with strawberry and orange citrus notes so may be an interesting non-white choice for roasted bird.

If you bird is duck or Cornish Hen this Cloudline Pinot Noir 2018   VINTAGES#:  159970 $26.95 Oregon, USA could be a good choice. Cloudline is a project of Burgundy’s Drouhin family so – well pedigreed.

Red Wines

Vignamaggio Gherardino Riserva Chianti Classico 2015    VINTAGES#:  16403 $30.95 Tuscany, Italy. JamesSuckling of gives this a 94 and describes plums, cherry, cedar, tobacco, licorice and tar; an energetic and bright palate. ‘Long and beautiful’.

Still in Chianti-land, James Suckling of gives Lornano Chianti Classico 2015   VINTAGES#:  211599 $18.95 Tuscany, Italy a 92 and describes wild plums, elderberries and earth with a spicy palate.

Patrick Galant Cairanne 20177   VINTAGES#:  15521 $16.95 Rhône, France. this got a 95 from Decanter World Wine Awards 2019. Cairanne is close by Chateauneuf-du-pape so you can approximate a Chateauneuf-du-pape at a fraction of the price. Notes reference strawberries, violets with a peppery spice on the palate and velvety tannins. Can’t beat that for the price!

Château Teyssier 2016    VINTAGES#:  226035 $24.95 Bordeaux, France gets a 93 from James Suckling of for this Merlot dominant blend. He describes berries with cedar and sandalwood, full body and chewy tannins.

Sidewood Shiraz 2017    VINTAGES#:  446146 $19.95 South Australia, Australia. Sidewood is always a reliable choice and gives this one a 97 and Special Value tag. Carefully harvested and crafted seems to have paid off.

Wine Picks <$35 from LCBO Vintages Release Oct 3  2020

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