There are a few stand outs in the LCBO Vintages Release Sept 18 2021 – some great value and some that are more rarely available. Bordeaux lovers take note!
We are going to South Africa this release for value and Europe for classic elegance.
The best bang for your buck in this category, in my opinon is Le Contesse Brut Prosecco VINTAGES#: 516583 $17.95 Prosecco, Italy. Vic Harradine of winecurrent.com give it a 90 and calls it ‘a sleeper, over-delivering in flavour, tang and value…’ Stone fruits and citrus notes with a fine mousse. Great for sipping on its own or serve with appetizers or light lunch.
Sauternes are not readily available and I have never seen a bad one… so I highlight them whenever I see one on offer! Note this is 375 ml bottle. Castelnau de Suduiraut 2006 375 mL bottle | VINTAGES#: 29694 $23.95 Bordeaux, France.
Waterkloof Circle of Life 2017 VINTAGES#: 284588 $21.95 Stellenbosch, South Africa is a Chenin Blanc based blend with fresh silky texture and gets a n 94 from Angela Lloyd of Platter’s South Africa Wine Guide, who calls it a standout.
Kamptal is a mainstay of Gruner Veltliner production so Gruner Veltliner fans will be pleased to see Laurenz V. Friendly Grüner Veltliner 2019 VINTAGES#: 66225 $19.95 Kamptal, Austria on offer. Anne Krebiehl of Wine Enthusiast gives it a 91. Expect note of pear on a fresh, bright palate.
Fans of Gewurztraminer will want to know about Anselmann Gewürztraminer Spätlese 2020 VINTAGES#: 21028 $19.95 Pfalz, Germany. Note that it is a Spätlese so your are getting well beyond off-dry to sweet here. However that will not deter fans of this quirky grape (that I happen to enjoy immensely!). Expect lychee, rosewater, apricot. Enjoy it with a charcuterie board with blue cheese, dried apricots, apricot Stilton etc.
Look to Burgundy for Domaine Les Vieux Murs Pouilly-Fuissé 2019 VINTAGES#: 241117 $33.95. Enjoy this old vine Chardonnay that promises French integration and elegance. Expect notes of apple, melon and fig with hints of wet stone and gentle oak.
South Africa has two value standouts one Cabernet Sauvignon and one Syrah, both of which South Africa does really well.
Boschendal 1685 Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 VINTAGES#: 631549 $19.95 Coastal Region, South Africa gets a 94 from Christian Eedes of decanter.com who describes dark berries, vanilla and some vegetation on the nose. A balanced palate with good fruit and smooth tannins.
For your next BBQ or patio party consider Man Family Skaapveld Syrah 2019 VINTAGES#: 71332 $ 14.95. – silky smooth with chocolate, pepper and spice. Vintage notes say it has structure to carry it through 2025.
There are 3 Bordeaux on offer from good vintage years, 2014 (Left Bank), 2015 and 2016..
Château Fontaine de Genin 2016 VINTAGES#: 349910 $15.95 Bordeaux, France won Gold in the 2017 Concours International de Lyon. Described as classic Bordeaux elegance with dark fruit and woodsy character at an ‘astoundingly affordable price.’
Château Pierre de Montignac 2015 VINTAGES#: 437954 $23.95 has an intense nose with toast, smoke and fine oak. A dense palate with weight and grip, plentiful but ripe tannins leads to a ‘long, muscular finish’.
Château Larose-Trintaudon 2014 VINTAGES#: 297945 $28.95 Bordeaux, France. 2014 was a good year for Medoc as Neal Martin of robertparker.com attest to in giving this wine a 91. He describes a ‘well-defined’ bouquet with blackberry, wild strawberry and minerality. A pure clean, vibrant palate that builds nicely to a sophisticated finish. Drink through 2030. Where do I sign up??
Famille Lafage Lieu Dit Narassa 2017 VINTAGES#: 483313 $23.95 Roussillon, France gets a 94 from Jeb Dunnock. Note the ‘Lieu Dit’ designation here. Lieu Dit is used as an indicator of quality when the wine comes from a specific part of a vineyard recognized for its own specificity. 82% Grenache/18% Syrah, Jeb Dunnock calls this ‘Almost too good to be true’ with white pepper, black olives, black fruit and cedar on the nose worth 3 or 4 times the price (!).
From the home of the Super Tuscans – Guado al Tasso Il Bruciato 2019 VINTAGES#: 674135 $26.95 is from one of the most respected names in Italian wine. Expect a bold wine with plenty of complex dark fruit and structure. This blend of Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah has fans coming back for this one year after year.
Another blend of Sangiovese and Cab Sauv, Tenuta della Luia Cilestro 2018 VINTAGES#: 13521 $15.95 gets 92 from Rod Phillips of rodphillipsonwine.com. Full-bodeid with concentrated flavours and spiciness. He says there is a fresh, clean acidity and nicely integrated tannins. Enjoy with hearty fare such as lamb or stew thorugh 2026. At this price- pick up a few!
Spain is offering a Reserva Rioja that gets 93 from Thomas Matthews of winespectator.com. He describes Muriel Fincas de la Villa Reserva 2015 VINTAGES#: 276030 $19.95 as ‘ripe and round with ripe tannins and orange peel acidity.’ Expect cherry, dried currant, licorice, vanilla and spice. Enjoy with tapas through 2030. What more can you ask of a wine under $20??