You can find all you Valentine wines in the LCBO Vintage Release Feb 6 2021 including a good choice of Sparklings and classic good value Burgundy Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Here are my picks under $35 from this release:
Three good choices to that will brighten up your Valentine’s Day… You may want to stock up for spring and summer celebrations or sipping.
Pongrácz Cap Classique Rosé VINTAGES#: 646968 $18.95 Western Cape, South Africa
Cap Classique is South Africa ‘speak’ to indicate the ‘méthode traditionelle’ of Champagne was used and is an indication of quality. John Szabo of winealign.com gives this a 90 (and he is very discerning in his ratings) citing ‘full-flavoured…palate… dry styling,..fresh acids and long finish’.
Família Oliveda Jove Brut Cava VINTAGES#: 647883 $15.95 Catalunya, Spain
Cava is always a good value bubbly and David Lawrason of winealign.com is calling this one ‘particularly noteworthy’ with ‘good complexity, structure and intensity’ for the price, with green olive, nuts, spiced pear on the nose and lime and nuts on the palate; great acidity, fine mousse and excellent length. What else could you ask for??
Villa Conchi Brut Rosé Cava VINTAGES#: 632265 17.95 Catalunya, Spain James Suckling gives this a 90 score describing it as fruity and layered with ripe strawberries and candied lemons. Full-bodied and creamy and a delicious finish. This will be perfect with Valentines courses with strawberries and chocolate.
Ontario is making a good showing in this release with
Flat Rock Good Kharma Chardonnay 2019 VINTAGES#: 356873 $16.95 Ontario, Canada. Vic Harradine of winecurrent.com gives this a 90 score and describes tropical fruit and citrus aromas with a tangy palate of green apple ripe pear, lemon and grapefruit. Good balance and length- Exceptional value.
Vineland Estates Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling VINTAGES#: 38117 $19.95 Ontario, Canada is one of my favourite Ontario Rieslings. Expect an enticing tension from good acidity and balance with juicy lime, peach, apple and seam of minerality.
New Zealand has 3 Sauvignon Blancs on offer this release which are all highly rated and reasonably priced. The value standout for me would be the Matahiwi Sauvignon Blanc 2019 VINTAGES#: 402677 $18.95 Wairarapa, New Zealand that gets a 93 from Bob Campbell of therealreview.com. He describes in balanced, intensely flavoured wine with a fruity profile of nectarine, lime and passionfruit.
Chenin Blanc fans will enjoy Stellenbosch Manor Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2018 VINTAGES#: 17443 $19.95 Stellenbosch, South Africa. It got a 96 and the International Trophy for Best Chenin Blanc from the International Wine & Spirits Competition 2019. Notes describe a spicy palate perfectly oaked with orchard and tropical fruit and quince. Balanced with fresh acidity, a hint of mineral and a long, lingering finish. Yum….
If you are looking for a workhorse of a lunch wine or seafood wine consider Boeckel Blanc 2018 VINTAGES#: 18155 $14.95 Alsace, France. You will get the elegance of Alsace winemaking along with ‘lemony freshness on the palate… with yellow plum, baked apple and earthy tang’ according wot Anne Krebiehl of Wine Enthusiast who gave it an 88. So -not stealing all the wine awards but should be a reliable lunch wine.
Classic Burgundy Chardonnay is on offer in Louis Max Beaucharme Bourgogne Chardonnay 2018 VINTAGES#: 492900 $22.95 Burgundy, France. Notes say to expect ‘vibrant citrus and orchard fruit with a striking mineral undertone’.
Ironstone Merlot 2018 VINTAGES#: 704353 $17.95 California, USA gets a 91 score and a Best Value nod from Natalie Maclean of nataliemaclean.com. She describes ‘plush dar, spiced plum and mocha’ aromas with ‘black plum compote, savoury herbs and ..smoky vanilla and sweet oak spice flavours’.
.Los Haroldos Reserva Malbec 2015 VINTAGES#: 646612 $16.95 Mendoza, Argentina gets a 93 from Tim Atkin of timatkin.com who describes is it as ‘perfumed, poised and refreshing’ with chalky nuances and a long finish.
Bethany Creek Shiraz 2017 VINTAGES#: 16487 $19.95 South Australia, Australia. This is getting high praise among wine writers. Sam Kim of wineorbit.co.nz gives it a 92 and cites dark fruit, violet, mixed spice and roasted hazelnuts on the nose. Palate ‘succulent and supple’ with fine, grainy tannins. ‘Fabulously drinkable’ now – 2025.
Zonte’s Footstep Canto Sangiovese/Lagrein 20177 VINTAGES#: 289967 $18.95 South Australia, Australia. Sam Kim gives this a 94 saying it is fabulously fruited showing dark plum spiced cherry, vanilla with excellent depth and intensity on the palate. Superlatives like gorgeous, seductive and delightful abound.
Good value from South Africa in Glenelly Glass Collection Syrah 20177 VINTAGES#: 493841 $15.95 Stellenbosch, South Africa that Tim Atkins gives a 91, praising the 2017 vintage in general and this one in particular. ‘Clove spice and texture from 60% whole bunch fermentation, supple tannins, violet aromas, fine oak and a balanced finish.’ All that for $15.95.
Burgundy lovers will want to know about Nuiton-Beaunoy Le Prieuré Hautes Côtes de Nuits 2018 VINTAGES#: 18146 $26.95 Burgundy, France. Located close to the iconic Cote d’Or escarpment, Hautes Côtes de Nuits offers great value for ‘the shrewd wine lover’. Expect tangy red fruit with some earthiness and minerality. Here is a chance to get in on a classic Burgundy without breaking the bank.
Le Pupille Morellino di Scansano 2018 VINTAGES#: 455659 $18.95 Tuscany, Italy gets a 93 from James Suckling who cites complexity with cherry, chocolate and walnut aftertaste. ‘Medium body, soft tannins and a savoury finish’. Mostly Sangiovese blend with ciliegiolo and alicante Heading for the kitchen to start the ragu!
Monasterio is always a good bet for value and plenty of features and this one is no exception. Monasterio de las Viñas Reserva Garnacha/Tempranillo/Cariñena 2015 VINTAGES#: 166579 $14.95 Cariñena, Spain gets a 90 from International Wine Challenge 2019 calling it rich with stewed plums and damson.
Viña Tarapacá Gran Reserva Merlot 2018 VINTAGES#: 17132 $17.95 Maipo Valley, Chile
Patricio Tapia of guiadescorchados.cl gives this a 92. It is still a big young wine after 4 years and they are still suggesting 2 more years in the cellar to soften. Lots of structure here with black fruit and some menthol, tannins are still sharp but has good concentration.