The LCBO Vintages Release March 6 2021 features Argentina and multiple good value wines. Portugal is also offering some Alentejo wines that are of interest.
Here are my picks for good value wines under $35 from this release.
If you try any of these wines leave a comment below to let others know how you liked it! Or if you have found another gem in the LCBO share that too!
Barros 10-Year-Old Tawny Port VINTAGES#: 964353 $28.95 Douro, Portugal gets a 95 from Decanter World Wine Awards 2018 and it is a great price for a tawny. Expect nutty, caramel and creme brulee with a bit of raisin.
There seems to be a good value Prosecco in almost every release.
Belcanto di Bellussi Extra Dry Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore VINTAGES#: 53215 $19.95 Prosecco, Italy. You might remember it from the November 2020 release. From one of the most highly esteemed DOCG for Prosecco, it is Extra Dry which I find lends a bit of gravitas to the pour. Expect pear, minerality, good acidity and concentration with a commendable finish with some earthiness and lime .
Hidden Bench makes some of the best Chardonnay in Ontario. Rick VanSickle gives Hidden Bench Chardonnay 2018 VINTAGES#: 68817 $29.95 Ontario, Canada a 93 and says it may be Hidden Bench’s best to date in this price range. Expect, pear, lemon, vanilla and spice on the nose. The palate is showing stone fruit, citrus, vanilla, mineral and spice as well. Maybe a bit of a splurge but its a good bet for a special occasion wine.
Chile’s Leyda Valley is their premier site for Sauvignon Blanc. I have had some Sauvignon Blanc from there that you would be hard pressed to distinguish from some Of New Zealand Marlborough classics. Montes Limited Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2019 VINTAGES#: 32060 $14.95 Leyda Valley, Chile is well reviewed, while not overly complex it delivers on citrus, tropical fruit and grassy, herbal notes. At this price it is a respectable everyday sipper.
Ohau Woven Stone Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019 VINTAGES#: 17552 $17.95 is from the newly dclared subregion of Ohau on New Zelanland’s North. Reviews are consistent around 90 points. This has the fruity Sauvignon Blanc profile with passionfruit, stone fruit and citrus descriptors. Good acidity and length.
If you are a fan of Alsatian wines you may already be familiar with the Sylvaner grape. Gustave Lorentz Réserve Sylvaner 2019 VINTAGES#: 18160 $16.95 Alsace, France is being described as full-bodied and rich, dry with apple, peach and pear and good acidity. Serve with seafood or quiche.
Zenato San Benedetto Lugana 2019 VINTAGES#: 707158 $19.95 Veneto, Italy is getting solid reviews citing apricot, apple, with peach, ginger. Full bodied with good concentration of fruit, some minerality. Plan to serve with creamy pasta, seafood, chicken.
Portugal has Muralhas de Monção Vinho Verde 2019 VINTAGES#: 80374 $15.95 Vinho Verde, Portugal lined up for a great patio sipper or lunch choice. This Alvarinho (Albarino) dominant Vinho Verde will offer up fruity grapefruit, lemon and apple with lively acidity.
Argentina is featured this release and 2018 was a good year for Argentina in general and Malbec in particular. Any of the wines from Uco Valley promise fruit and freshness. And lucky us – we have a Malbec, a Cabernet Suavignon, a Cabernet Franc as well as a Cab Franc/Malbec blend. The standouts for me would be:
BenMarco Malbec 2018 VINTAGES#: 657601 $19.95 Mendoza, Argentina Score 94 from guiadescorchados.cl
Catena Appellation Agrelo Cabernet Sauvignon 20187 VINTAGES#: 484303 $21.95 Mendoza, Argentina Score 92 from Luis Gutierrez of robertparker.com.
Catena Appellation San Carlos Cabernet Franc 2018 VINTAGES#: 450106 $19.95 Mendoza, Argentina Score 93 from James Suckling.
Portugal is also showing well this release for good value. I am a big fan of wines from Alentejo.
So I am looking foward to Herdade Peso Trinca Bolotas Tinto 2019 VINTAGES#: 431064 $16.95 Alentejo, Portugal- a blend of Alicante Bouschet, Touriga Nacional and Aragonez (Tempranillo). Decanter World Wine Awards gave the 2018 97 points and other reviews of the 2019 suggest it is great value for a mix of dark and red fruit with hints of spice and tobacco. A long spicy finish. Not bad for the price!
Portas da Herdade Reserva 2017 VINTAGES#: 404418 $19.95 Alentejo, Portugal gets a 93 from Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast for its intense richness, concentration and fine, juicy red fruit. This is a Syrah dominated blend with Trincadeira and Touriga Nacional.
Cabriz Colheita Selecionada 2017 VINTAGES#: 247973 $14.95 Dão, Portugal will be a brambly, robust blend that will go well with stews or slow cooked meat dishes.
Fans of California Zinfandel will enjoy Four Vines Old Vine Zinfandel 2017 VINTAGES#: 17157 $19.95 California, USA described as unassuming but flavourful with dark fruit and spice. Might be a good match for the first BBQ burgers of the season.
Sister’s Run is always a reliable choice for a solid sipper and Sister’s Run Epiphany Shiraz 20187 VINTAGES#: 269464 $17.95 South Australia, Australia is no exception. It is scoring consistently in the 90 ish range with descriptors like fruity, approachable, easy-going. Another great choice for BBQs or ribs or sipping on its own.
If you are looking for an easy drinking, fruity medium bodied red consider Michele Chiarlo Le Orme 16 Months Barbera d’Asti 2018 VINTAGES#: 265413 $15.95 Piedmont, Italy. Expect tart cherry, some floral notes on the nose and good acidity to pair with pizza, risotto, burgers.
Wine Spectator is calling a Smart Buy for Castelli del Grevepesa Clemente VII Chianti Classico 2016 VINTAGES#: 421388 $18.95 Tuscany, Italy giving it a 91 score and citing black cherry and plum with shades of tar, tobacco and iron. Complex lingering aftertaste.