Wine Picks <$35 from LCBO Vintages Release May 2nd, 2020 with a Twist

I’ll get to my recommendations for the LCBO Vintages Release of May 2nd, 2020 in a minute. First – you can save yourself a trip to the LCBO with the twist I am putting on my wine recommendation for this newsletter. 2027 Cellars is a very highly respected Ontario winery

and honestly – anything Kevin Panagapka makes and bottles is a good bet in my opinion! Good bet doesn’t actually do his wines justice though. The majority are outstanding and consistently score in the 90s. Delivery is free with the code Free10 or after a minimum order of $100.

Kevin’s wines are usually single varietals, often showcase the terroir of single vineyards and typically have a delicious balance and tension that set them apart.

  • He has just released his 2019 Falls Vineyard Pinot Gris ($25) which is getting accolades for its aromatic, stone fruit and citrus profile.
  • The 2018 WISMER VINEYARD – FOX CROFT BLOCK CHARDONNAY ($27) is absolutely outstanding with spice, pastry shop and fruit notes.
  • 2027’s Rieslings are highly acclaimed -even winning best Ontario white wine status from Rick Van Sickle one year. The 2019 WISMER VINEYARD-FOX CROFT BLOCK RIESLING could well be in the running again. At $23 this is truly value for the money.
  • And… in a departure from the single varietal focus 2027 is offering the Contrary White Blend ($16) . A blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay that Vic Harradine has scored a 93 and describes as ‘coats the palate with a well-textured flow of white peach, mineral notes and lemon curd surfing on crisp, clean and refreshing underpinning.’ Wow…

It is getting tougher and tougher to get a jump on the Vintages releases – media tasting for the LCBO releases have been discontinued until further notice, the Vintages circular promoting the new releases is not being printed until further notice and even on line you just get a search result of all the wines that are slated for release on a given date.

But I did manage to scour through the list and can highlight a few wines that I believe would be worth the money and the trip to the LCBO.


Note this is a 375 ml bottle but it still gives you a chance to experience a highly acclaimed 10 year old Tawny without breaking the bank. Decant World Wine Awards gave this a 95 score and describe nuts, red fruit, cream and Christmas cake. Kopke 10-Year-Old Tawny Port  VINTAGES#:  14049 $17.95 Douro, Portugal

White Wines

Sidewood offerings generally score in the 90s and this hand picked, French oaked Chardonnay is being called ‘exceptional value’. Expect peach, melon and well-integrated oak. Sidewood Chardonnay 2017  VINTAGES#:  186346 $18.95 South Australia, Australia

Viognier is generally a refreshing wine. James Suckling gave this one a 93 and describes creamy pear, lemon curd and apple. d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier/Marsanne 2018  VINTAGES#:  662775 $17.95 South Australia, Australia

An Alsatian Pinot Gris is always a treat and this highly rated one promises to be no exception. Cave de Turckheim Collection Terroirs Pinot Gris 2016   VINTAGES#:  12114 $21.95 Alsace, France

Another white Burgundy on offer from old vines in a respected region. Floral peach and mineral notes sound promising. Terres Secrètes Les Sentinelles Saint-Veran 2017   VINTAGES#:  11902 $21.95 Burgundy, France

Red Wines

James Suckling gave this Grenache/Syrah/Carignan blend a 94 and talks about licorice, blueberry, other black fruit, taut and precise. Looks like a smooth drinking, approachable blend at a good price. Edetària Via Edetana 2017   VINTAGES#:  132613 $19.95 Terra Alta, Spain

Here is a chance to enjoy the fruity, silkiness of a Paso Robles Cab at a reasonable price – Clayhouse Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  VINTAGES#:  57869 $18.95 California, USA

Here is a fun, reliable Portuguese blend that could be easy sipping over summer BBQs, elivering Portuguese value. Symington Family Estates Altano 2017  VINTAGES#:  579862 $13.95 Douro, Portugal

Isole e Olena is one of the most prominent wineries in Chianti Classico and are credited with starting a major push toward improving quality and consistency of Chianti wines. Their flagship Cepparello was one of the early Super Tuscans. Most Isole e Olena wines are well into the 3 digit price range so my instinct that they will deliver quality in any endeavour they take on makes me curious to experience this (highly rated) Chianti Classico. It is a Cellar Recommendation. Enjoy from 2021-2036. Isole e Olena Chianti Classico 2016    VINTAGES#:  704346 $34.95 Tuscany, Italy

Wine Picks <$35 from LCBO Vintages Release May 2nd, 2020 with a Twist

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