Wow… The August 21, 2021 release is full of great value wines – many in the 90s for well under $20! Some can be laid away for a few years so now is your chance to stock up on interesting easy pours this release.
You don’t need to look any further for great value in Sparklings this release – Pongrácz Brut Cap Classique Sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot Noir VINTAGES#: 404111 $16.95 Western Cape, South Africa gets a 91 from David Lawrason of winealign.com. Traditional method, with generous baked apple, honey and spice. While he describes it as ‘medium-bodied, tart, bold and grippy on the palate’ he also describes complexity and depth at an ‘unbelievable price’.
Ontario’s own Vineland Estate Rosé 2020 VINTAGES#: 21457 $14.95 Ontario, Canada is clocking in a 92 points according to Vic Harradine of winecurrent.com. He describes rhubarb, strawberry and cherry on the nose and pomegranate and cherry cordial on the palate. Cherry cordial is your clue that this is in medium sweetness category although he still describes it as crisp. Would be easy to sip on or serve with Asian food or shrimp.
The Tavel AC can only produce Rosé wines – so couple that with a solid producer like Famille Perrin and you are always guaranteed a winner. Famille Perrin Tavel 2020 VINTAGES#: 680801 $19.95 Rhône, France – expect generous red fruit, citrus and herbs. Extra Dry with good acidity makes this a great choice for salmon, grilled vegetables with roasted peppers or seafood.
Paul Mas Single Vineyard Collection Reserve Viognier 2019 VINTAGES#: 370098 $14.95 Languedoc, France just misses the 90 point mark but at this price it still offers intense character and an ‘opulent smooth texture’ with hints of honey, pear and citrus according to the Vintage notes. Sounds like a solid choice to sip alongside chicken with grilled peaches or Brie with peach salsa.
I always recommend Touraine Sauvignon Blancs when they appear in a release. Baby sister to Sancerres, they offer outstanding value. Le Grand Cerf Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2019 VINTAGES#: 20414 $16.95 Touraine, France is no exception. Expect gooseberry and grassy notes with assertive acidity and ‘steely minerality’. Best enjoy this one with food – think grilled fish or goat cheese salad.
A white Rioja is always welcome at my table and Muga is a great choice. Muga Barrel Fermented White 2020 VINTAGES#: 958736 $17.95 Rioja, Spain is full -bodied and rich (so weightier than the typical Alabriño). Expect texture and complexity with apple, pear, citrus, herbs notes. Well balanced with good concentration and acidity according to Vintage notes. This would be a great choice to lay away for your Thanksgiving table or any roast chicken meal. Veal or Pork Stroganoff would also be a good choice.
Another classic white Burgundy this release in Closerie des Alisiers Bourgogne Chardonnay 2019 Vintages # 20911 $18.95 Burgundy, France. Decanter Word Wine Awards gave it a 90 in 2020 and describes it as bright with mineral notes and candied citrus and melon while lively and assertive. Sound like it is calling for Fettucine Alfredo or chicken in a cream sauce.
I feel like I haven’t shown much love lately for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. While any on offer this release will be a reliable choice I think the most bang for your buck will be from Hãhã Sauvignon Blanc 2020 VINTAGES#: 388363 $19.95 Marlborough. Sam Kim of wineorbit.co.nz gives it a 94 (other are lower 90s) and calls it ‘stunning and delicously appealing’ with passionfruite, green rockmelon, lemon and lime. Powerful aromatics and palate with excellent concentration and length.
Ps – Vale do Homem Branco 2020 VinhoVerde, Portugal VINTAGES#: 21522 $12.95 won’t get written up in any awards categories butit will be a pleasant sipper. As a Loureiro, Arinto and Alvarinho blend it will have a bit more presence than a straight Alvarinho Vinho Verde. Expect some floral notes and crisp acidity. Enjoy on your dock or deck with light appetizers – shrimp, calamari or soft cheeses.
Vic Harradine of winecurrent.com calls Le Noble Cuvée Réserve 2018 VINTAGES#: 18782 $12.95 exceptional value with a 90 score. It is an 80% Merlot/20% Cab Sauv blend with a lot going on! ‘Rich and complex’ with pronounced dark berry and wild herbs on the nose. Black raspberry and dark cherry with hints of chocolate and cassis on the palate. Drink now or hold for a couple of years (since you might be stocking up on this one!) Get me a steak for the Q with Bordelaise sauce!
Another exceptional value find from Vic Harradine – Cave de Pazac Le Pigeonnier 2018 VINTAGES#: 20950 $13.95 Rhone, France. He gives this Syrah blend a 92 and describes a nose with cherry/berry and exotic spices. It is smooth, medium plus-bodied with cherry, bramble berry and red currant on the palate. ‘No rough edges’. I think the cherry notes would work with Crispy Duck with Cherry Port Sauce.
Sidewood is always a reliable label. You can’t beat Sidewood Stablemate Shiraz 2017 VINTAGES#: 12846 $16.95 South Australia, Australia, for value at this price with scores consistently in the low 90s. A bright, fruity Shiraz with plum, clove, thyme and toasted almond notes. Silky and smooth – what’s not to like here?
Vinsobres AC is becomong a more common sight in the LCBO and good for us. Southern Rhone wines known for rich blends of Grenache and Syrah that are substantial but easy drinking. Expect dark fruit, spice, good acidity and noticeable but integrated tannins. Courtois La Grange Vinsobres 2016 VINTAGES#: 526632 $16.95 Rhône, France gets a 93 from Rod Phillips of rodphillipsonwine.com. Good for us it is so reasonable because it will hold in to mid 20’s so feel free to stock up! Try it with Bar-B-Barn Copy Cat Ribs!
Salentein is offering a reserve Malbec under $20. Salentein Reserve Malbec 2018 VINTAGES#: 640854 $17.95 Mendoza, Argentina also is consistently scoring in the low 90s. Expect a smooth and fruity pour with a hint of floral. Enjoy with ribs, or sausage on the BBQ.
Here is one for your cellar and at this price you can buy a few and compare them over the next couple of years. Château Hauchat 2018 VINTAGES#: 123489 $17.95 is a Merlot dominated Bordeaux the David Lawrason of winealign.com gives a 90 describing ripe black raspberry with some violet, vanilla and cedar on the nose. The palate is fairly smooth but dense with dusty tannins and ‘good to excellent’ length.
California doesn’t often make it in to my value equations but Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant Cuvée Oumuamua 2018 VINTAGES#: 18516 $19.95 California, USA is scoring consistently 90 or above. Expect plum, pepper and mint with a bright palate of ‘hibisucus, anis and a curry-like spice according to Matt Kettman of Wine Enthusiast. This is #19 in Wine Enthusiasts Top 100 Wines of 2019. Has structure to drink now or can carry through 2028. Enjoy with burgers, ribs or pizza.