Wine Picks <$35 from LCBO Vintages Release May 16th, 2020

Some interesting value selections from Puglia and Sicily in the May 16th 2020 LCBO Vintages Release.

Here are the wines that caught my eye from this release.

Dessert Wine

This is one of my favourite dessert wines! The bright raspberry just pops in your mouth. I tend to grab a couple every time I see it! Note it is a 375 mL bottle but a little goes a long way. Southbrook Canadian Framboise   VINTAGES#:  341024 $19.95 Niagara, Canada

PS- I can’t resist pointing out that it goes REALLY well with this Frozen Raspberry Torte because we had them together last summer and it was a match made in heaven!

Rosé

By the time you are shopping the May 16th release we are supposed to be enjoying summer-like temperatures so this Medeiros Rosé 2019   VINTAGES#: 451385 $13.95 Alentejo, Portugal should look rather enticing! Described as fruity (strawberry, raspberry, stone fruits) and food friendly. It is dry at 3 grams residual sugar per litre.

White Wine

If you are a fan of Sauvignon Blanc that is a bit fruitier than the savoury Marlborough style, this Marynissen Platinum Sauvignon Blanc 2016  VINTAGES#:  472506 $19.95 Ontario, Canada has apple, peach, guava gooseberry along with savoury herbs and minerality. Expect crisp and flavourful.

Organized Crime Limestone Block Chardonnay 20177  VINTAGES#:  11951 $21.20 Ontario, Canada won Gold in the National Wine Awards of Canada. David Lawrason of winealign.com gives it high praise and describes toast, light smoke, lemon custard and crisp apples with good intensity, focus and length.

It could be fun to compare these 2 highly rated Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs. The Matakana Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2018 VINTAGES#:  12693 $19.95 has a spicy fruity profile while the Villa Maria Clifford Bay Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2018   VINTAGES#:  12631 $24.95 Marlborough, New Zealand has a more herbal and mineral profile.

This Bruce Jack Chenin Blanc 2018  VINTAGES#:  13357 $13.95 Western Cape, South Africa, is being touted as exceptional value with its orange blossom, peach and melon tones. Check it out- maybe Chenin Blanc will become your summer sipper this year!

Red Wines

Paso Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2017    VINTAGES#:  161141 $19.95 California, USA is a chance to enjoy a California Cabernet without breaking the bank. Described as big and bold with ripe dark blue fruits and vanilla. Plan to enjoy with a steak or something off your grill.

Bonarda from Argentina is a fun treat. Aranwa Reserve Bonarda 2016   VINTAGES#:  14433 $17.95 Mendoza, Argentina is described as juicy and fresh with lots of red fruit. This will have wide appeal – sturdy enough for steak but approachable enough for chicken and salmon.

Xavier Vignon Lirac 2016   VINTAGES#:  636183 $23.95 Rhône, France comes highly rated as most Xavier wines do. Joe Czerwinksi of robertparker.com says this one is on the upper end of the Xavier quality scale, which says a lot! He describes raspberries and cherries with hints of leather and licorice, a velvety palate and a long finish. Lirac is prime real estate nestled between Chateauneuf du Pape and Tavel.

Cantine due Palme Sangaetano Primitivo di Manduria 2018    VINTAGES#:  536532 $17.95 Puglia, Italy is described as silky with dried plum and spice and gorgeous. Approachable with wide appeal -what’s not to like?

This I Balzi Nero d’Avola 2018    VINTAGES#:  14007 $14.95 Sicily, Italy is a rich, fruity wine with tobacco and pepper notes. Best enjoyed with food so fire up your grill with this one.

Cellar Suggestion

Cotes de Bordeaux offers good value in this Château Labesse 2016 VINTAGES#:  11454 $16.95. A Merlot/Cab France blend, James Suckling gave it 91 and describes spicy dark plum and cocoa, dense and concentrated flavour. Save til 2022.

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