Wine Picks <$35 from LCBO Vintages Release Oct 16 2021

Lots of tried and true producers are in the lineup for the LCBO Vintages Release Oct 16 2021. Look for an outstanding Australian Riesling and some Rhone good values among others.

Fortified Wines

Got a Port lover on your Christmas list? Dow’s 10-Year-Old Tawny Port VINTAGES#: 246967 $34.95 would make the perfect gift. James Moselworth of gives it a 92 and describes hazelnut, fig, plum cake, dried cherry – all very desirable traits in a tawny!

Another novel dessert wine is Gonzalez Byass Nectar Pedro Ximénez Dulce Sherry (750 mL  bottle)    VINTAGES#:  87577 $25.95 Jerez, Spain. Decanter World Wine Awards rated this a 95 and the notes call it ‘elegant and inviting’ also describing aromas of dark bitter chocolate, burnt orange and barley sugar. Look for toffee, caramel and espresso on the palate. Serve lightly chilled with this Caramel Bread Pudding or Crème Brûlée. This stuff is very sweet so you could even think Pecan Pie. Or go for a sweet/salt contrast and serve it with salted roasted almonds, dried apricots, blue cheese or aged Cheddar or Manchego.


In the Sparkling category there are two stand out Crémant de Bourgogne. Same method and grapes as Champagne but can’t be called Champagne.

Louis Bouillot Perle d’Ivoire Brut Blanc de Blancs Crémant de Bourgogne VINTAGES#:  48801 $19.95 Burgundy, France gets a 90 from David Lawrason of He describes ‘generous apple/pear chardonnay fruit aromas’. The requisite toasty notes are there along with a light mousse. Good value as a Champagne substitute.

Another best buy according to Anne Krebiehl of Wine Enthusiast, who gives it a 90, is Labouré-Gontard Brut Crémant de Bourgogne  VINTAGES#:  401018 $21.95 Burgundy, France. She describes creamy, yeasty, lemon aromas with a fresh, lively palate. Requisite yeasty notes and a gentle texture add to the enjoyment.

White Wines

South Africa offers value in an every-day sipper with Forager Western Cape White 2020  VINTAGES#:  21114 $14.95 Western Cape, South Africa. 82% signature Chenin Blanc with Grenache Blanc making up the other 12%. Expect citrus and peach aromas with a full, balanced palate. Good acidity and a long dry finish put this firmly in the good value category!

Looks like somebody from the LCBO went shopping in the Rhone region for good value!

Bord Elegance Laudun Côtes du Rhône-Villages Blanc 2019    VINTAGES#:  644385 $17.95 Rhône, France gets a 91 from James Molesworth of A Grenache Blanc blend, he calls it a fun wine with melon, peach, apple and light honeycomb and ginger accents.

Gabriel Meffre Laurus Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2018   VINTAGES#:  376574 19.95 Rhône, France is a predominantly Viognier, Rousanne and Grenache blend. Jeb Dunnuck of gives it a 90 and describes it as rich and opulent with honeyed, floral otes on the nose; medium to full-bodied and elegant. Try it with this healthy Vegetable Lasagna.

Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2019   VINTAGES#:  459552 $19.95 California, USA made #45 on Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Best Buys of 2020. Expect bright, ripe fruit, tangy citrus and apricot.

Riesling enthusiasts will want to know about Sons of Eden Freya Riesling 2019   VINTAGES#:  12652 $19.95, Eden Valley, Australia. James Halliday of gives it a 96. Expect ‘intense, pure lime/lemon fruit’ with ‘ juicy yet crisp/crunchy acidity on the palate’. Enjoy this with light cheeses or Herb Crusted Salmon with Lemon Cream Sauce.

Closson Chase historically makes a delightful Pinot Gris so I expect the same from Closson Chase K.J. Watson Vineyard Pinot Gris 2019    VINTAGES#:  469445 $24.00 Ontario, Canada. Vic Harradine of gives it a 91 and notes aromas of honeysuckle and stone fruits. Medium bodied and tangy with a textured palate of lemon curd and grapefruit along with pear and some minerality. Throw in a long, refreshing finish and you have yourself a nice pour! Enjoy with Caramelized Onion Pizza, pastries or Air Fryer Cod Loins with Jezebel Sauce.

Wakefield is another reliable producer and they seem to have outdone themselves with Wakefield Jaraman Chardonnay 2018    VINTAGES#:  18921 $24.95 Australia. Vic Harradine of calls it Exceptional Value and gives it a 95 score. Baking spices on the nose with citrus and flint- he calls it ‘gorgeously textured’ and ‘show-stopping’. Lemon, grapefruit intertwine with ripe quince, nectarine and Mirabelle plum. This would show well with roast pork, this Spicy Salt Rubbed Chicken or even roast turkey or duck.

Red Wines

You may want to pick up a few of Tom de Baton 20177    VINTAGES#:  363168 $16.95 Douro, Portugal. It gets a 93 from Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast who describes it as rich and powerful with concentrated black fruit. It needs more time in your cellar so plan to enjoy it from 2022 with Peppercorn Steak, roast beef or bean stews.

Look to Vinsobres for good value with its fairly recent cru status (2006). Famille Perrin Les Cornuds Vinsobres 2019   VINTAGES#:  566844 $18.95 Rhône, France has cherry, raspberry and violet notes. According to Vintages notes it it beautifully structured with good depth and a decent finish. This one might deserve pairing with Chateaubriand with Mushroom Sauce or Crispy Duck with Cherry Port Sauce.

Bastide Miraflors Syrah/Vieilles Vignes Grenache 2018   VINTAGES#: 320499 $19.95 Roussillon, France gets a 95 from Jeb Dunnock of A blend of 74% Syrah and 26% Grenache he calls it a ‘knockout bottle of wine’ with black fruit, herbs, peppery meat. Full-bodied and rich with ripe tannins and ‘ ‘blockbuster finish’. Makes me want to make this Pistachio, Black Olive Crusted Beef Steak.

Australia has some of the ‘usual suspects’ in the good value category on offer this release.

Kilikanoon Killerman’s Run Cabernet Sauvignon 2017   VINTAGES#:  675223 $19.95 South Australia, Australia gets a 93 from Jeni Port of who describes a ripe Cab Sauv true to type. No rough edges and ready to go. Enjoy now through 2026 with beef roasts (I seem to have beef on the brain at this point!) or charcuterie.

Kaiken is not to be outdone this rlease. Kaiken Ultra Malbec 2018  VINTAGES#:  50849 $19.95 Mendoza, Argentina gets a 93 from James Suckling who calls it juicy and delicious with blackberry, dark chocolate and hazelnut.

Torres Celeste Crianza 2017  VINTAGES#:  210872 $21.95 Ribera del Duero, Spain gets 92 score from Julie Sheppard of She calls it ‘bold but balanced’ with intense black fruit, elegant oak and fresh acidity. Spicy notes on the nose and finish. Drink now through 2026 and enjoy with hearty stews or ribs.

Huon Hooke of calls Longview Vista Shiraz Barbera 2018   LCBO#:  633056 $22.60 South Australia, Australia a ‘serious bargain’ and gives it a 91. Soft plums on the nose with a smooth, elegant palate. Fruit forward and highly approachable. Shiraz and Barbera are among some of my favourite grapes but I have never had them together… can’t wait to try this! Think meaty pasta, spicy pizza with tomato sauce or Lamb Ragu.

Stock your cellar with Les Hauts de la Gaffelière 2018 AC Saint Emilion Grand Cru  VINTAGES#:  648923 $26.95 Bordeaux, France. It gets a 92 from Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast. Full-bodied and firm still, this will benefit from at least another year in the cellar. Rich with blackberry and spice and ageworthy tannins. Pair with protein like steak, beef, salami when ready to enjoy.

Wine Picks <$35 from LCBO Vintages Release Oct 16  2021

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