Wine Picks LCBO Release Sept 14, 2019

The LCBO Vintages Release  Sept 14, 2019 offers a chance to explore some aromatic whites, a high scoring Port and an interesting Vermouth.

Good Bets Under $35



11087   Sweet  Score 95    $24.95

TASTING NOTE: Rod Smith MW: A fruit-forward nose embellished by a nutty and dried fruit complexity, reinforced on the palate with notes of molasses and caramel. Rich and long with a syrupy but balanced sweetness. Demetri Walters MW: Subdued aromas slowly showing nascent complexity, then a building intensity of fig and date notes on the palate.
Score – 95 (, Jan. 2018)


482869  Score 92      $28.95

TASTING NOTE: An interesting newcomer to the U.S. market, the base of this vermouth is rich, nutty Sherry – 80% amontillado and 20% Pedro Ximenez, to be precise. It has a coffee-brown hue and a bright dried-herb scent. The
palate wows with sticky toffee, dried apricot, orange peel and cocoa. Ideal for adding complexity to drinks featuring dark spirits. Rated #78 in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Spirits of 2016. Score – 92 (Kara Newman, Wine  Enthusiast ,Nov. 1, 2016)

White Wines


TAHBILK MARSANNE 2018     Central Victoria, South Africa

117945   Score 94    $17.95

TASTING NOTE: Tahbilk knows marsanne like the back of its hand, having long established the varietal-site bond. This is akin to a 1yo semillon, but with a greater span of aromas and flavours. Honeysuckle and straw on the bouquet, then pear and Granny Smith flavours bound by citrussy acidity. Drink By: 2028. Part of James Halliday’s Top 100 Wines of 2018. Score – 94 (James Halliday,, Nov. 1, 2018)

Aromatic & Flavourful


606772  Score 91  $19.95

TASTING NOTE: The 2017 Chardonnay Aconcagua Costa was produced with grapes from their Chilhué vineyard in Quillota that is located 12 kilometers away from the Pacific Ocean, in the coastal part of Aconcagua. It fermented with native yeast in oak barrels, where the wine matured for 11 months. It has moderate alcohol (13%) and remarkable acidity. In the Aconcagua Costa region, 2017 was cooler than 2016, and they were able to harvest the grapes early and keep a vibrant palate with crisp acidity and clean, focused flavors of great purity. It’s subtly floral, and the oak is perfectly integrated in the wine, which comes through as elegant and balanced. 55,272 bottles produced. It was bottled in October 2017. Drink Date: 2018-2022. Score – 91 (Luis Gutiérrez,, Oct. 31, 2018)

Here is a chance to  explore Pinot Gris, the same varietal as Pinot Grigio but vinted in a more flavourful, aromatic way.  The Alsace offering is the text-book  style while the New Zealand will be more of a new world style.



983395   $18.95

This will be elegant and textured with peach, pear and citrus tones with a subtle sweetness that will make it a fine partner for tough-to-pair foods like ginger pork or chorizo tacos.
Aromatic & Flavourful

MARISCO VINEYARDS LEEFIELD STATION PINOT GRIS 2017  Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand

148437  Score 90     $17.95

TASTING NOTE: 100% Pinot Gris. Cooked pears, hints of honey and fresh citrus aromas. Creamy, spiced and savoury on the palate with a hint of exotic fruit. Good value. Score – 90 (Decanter World Wine Awards, 2018)

Aromatic & Flavourful


667782    $16.95

This is one of the best value dry white wines available in my opinion.  Perfect for seafood, quiche, poultry etc. And this selection is based on old vines and spent 6 months ageing on the lees.

TASTING NOTE: …. It’s complex and ripe, with suggestions of apple, pear and cream and a long, lingering finish. It’ll be perfect for mussels or freshwater fish. (Vintages panel, Nov. 2018)   Light & Crisp


Red Wines


LUCA OLD VINE MALBEC 2015   Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

167312   Score 95      $34.95

Uco Valley – one of the best sites for Malbec and from 2 of the best parcels… This should be a treat.

Gold Medal winner at the 2017 International Wine Challenge.
TASTING NOTE: A stunning Malbec that combines fruit from the two best appellations in the Uco Valley – Paraje Altamira and Gualtallary – this is a heady, aromatic, thrillingly well-balanced red with notes of tangerine, fennel and blackberry fruit, filigree tannins and stylish oak. Drink Date: 2018-2026. Score – 95 (Tim Atkin, MW,,  Argentina Special Report 2017)

Full-bodied & Smooth

SISTER’S RUN EPIPHANY SHIRAZ 2017     Epiphany Vineyard, McLaren Vale, South Australia

269464   Score 91   $17.95

TASTING NOTE: Natalie MacLean awarded this wine 91 points: “… a great value, medium-bodied Shiraz under $20.
Immensely drinkable with juicy blackberry, dark chocolate, savoury herbs and toasty oak all delivered on a velvety palate. With ripe blackberry, red berry jam, plum, cocoa, savoury herbs and toasted nut flavours on the palate. Shiraz does well in the cool-climate of the McLaren Vale and is the wine region’s most popular wine grape. Pair this beauty with a striploin beef steak.” (, March 14, 2019)
[The 2018 IWSC Sommelier Challenge did not include a tasting note.] Score – 94 (, 2018)

Full-bodied & Smooth



951889  $17.95

If you are a fan of Zinfandel this one is from old vines, premium producer, prime region.  Doesn’t get any better than this….

TASTING NOTE: Lodi is known for its old-vine Zinfandel, and this one is a great example of the style at a remarkably approachable price. This wine is grown on vines over 45 years old, and it’s perennially popular among Vintages
customers who appreciate its fruit-forward blackberry and blueberry flavours and soft, easygoing texture. Great with beef burritos, meat pies or burgers.

Full-bodied & Smooth


Click on the wine name above to  link to that product on the LCBO site so you can read the full review and check for availability.  To find that wine in your area just click on the Select Store button on the right margin.  A dialogue box will come up. Add your postal code to get a list of stores closest to you that have it in stock.

Or you can now order LCBO products on-line  .  Of late LCBO have indicated all release wines are available for on-line  ordering.


The Best and The Rest  will return in October.


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