Wine Picks LCBO Release Sept 16, 2017

This release features Ontario wine and winemakers and also includes some good value Australian wines.  Australia’s Wits End Luna Shiraz 2015 is back – Score 95 @ $17.95! Also a great chance to stock up on some bubbly before the holiday prices shoot up. Check out which one André Proulx says ‘may be one of  the best bottles of sparkling wine in the province right now.’  Hint- 2027!


Belcanto di Bellussi Extra Dry Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore (Italy)

53215  Score 92  $19.95

Carolyn Evans Hammond of Toronto Star calls this a ‘vibrant yet mineral expression of upper-tier Prosecco with both power and finesse. Intense green pear core is shot through with steely, stony minerality that tapers to a long, slow finish of white mushroom and lime…Much concentration and complexity for the price.’

Cave de Lugny Cuvée Millésime Brut Crémant de Bourgogne 2013 (France)

183764   $21.95

This is a Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend.  According to Kurtis Kolt of it ‘comes in at about half the price of the more inexpensive Champagnes in our market, so for similar quality, you can think of it as a two-for-one bargain.’

There are 3 Sparkling wines featured from Ontario that are highly regarded:

2017 Cellars Queenston Road Vineyard Blanc de Blancs 2013 (St. David’s Bench,Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario)

520619    4 1/2/5 stars   $29.95

André Proulx says ‘This is nice and complex on the palate with citrus leading the way. Under the lemon notes you find golden delicious apple and a mineral note that pushes its way through the bright, crisp palate cleansing acidity. This may be one of the best bottles of sparkling wine in the province right now.’

Cave Spring Blanc de Blancs Brut Sparkling  (VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario)

184309  Score 91  $29.95

Vintage notes say ‘This is a brilliant example of Ontario’s prowess for sparkling wine. This is an elegant traditional method Chardonnay that delivers great depth of apple, pear and bread tones, in a crisp and long package.’

Trius Brut Rosé (VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario)

184309  Score 91  $29.95

This won Best Sparkling Wine of the Year from the 2013 All Canadian Wine Championships. Ted McIntyre of describes ‘Refreshing flavours of white currants and white cranberry flavours dance on the elegant framework with cherry, white currant, wild strawberry and yeast notes lingering on the finish.’

White Wines

Closson Chase K.J.Watson Vineyard Pinot Gris 2016  (Ontario)

469445  Score 92  $22.95

This wine is made in Prince Edward County with grapes sourced from Niagara. Sara d’Amato of calls it an ‘arresting pinot gris, opulent but dry and vibrant. Lush stonefruits, racy acids and great purity are expressed on the palate. Impressively balanced, with a very stony character, stylish and elegant.’

Flat Rock The Rusty Shed Chardonnay 2014 (VQA Tweny Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment)

1552    $26.95

Vintage panel notes say this is’ An expression of Flat Rock’s best parcels of Chardonnay matured in their best barrels, this wine is whole-bunch pressed and hand-plunged every six hours during fermentation to extract deep, complex flavours of apple, apricot and citrus. It’s got a creamy texture and beautiful, bright, balancing acidity. A touch of vanilla adds an extra flourish.’

Ryder Chardonnay 2015 (California, USA)

458638  $17.95

Vintage panel say this is ‘a balanced, gently toasty wine offering ripe melon and pear fruit.  Good value in a Cali Chard.’

Red Wines

Wit’s End Luna Shiraz 2015 (McLaren Vale, South Australia)

311258  Score 95  $17.95

The 2014 vintage scored in the low 90s last year and it was a smooth, fruity sipper. The 2015 is described as exceptional quality and great value, a ripper and a bargrain  by Jane Faulkner,  of….  ‘brimming with such bright fruit-dark plums and blackberries interspersed with licorice, dark chocolate, dried herbs and florals.’

Bleasdale Frank Potts 2013 (South Australia)

619999 Score 95  $29.95

James Halliday of describes this Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, malbec, petit verdot, cab franc and merlot as a  beautifully balanced array of predominantly black fruits, but not to the exclusion of some juicy plum and red sparklets.’

Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (Clare Valley, South Australia)

744235 4 1/2/5 stars  $19.95

Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson of Winnipeg Free Press describes ‘On the dry but fruit-forward, full-bodied palate the fruit is dark and chewy, highlighting blackberry, raspberry and plum notes while supported by anise, mint and secondary woody notes. Overall this is a sophisticated, silky Cabernet Sauvignon that brings mild tannins and a smooth, pleasant finish that’s drinking beautifully now.’

Tenuta Di Burchino Il Burchino 2010 (Toscana, Italy)

515460  Score 93  $22.95

James Suckling of describes ‘Blueberry and light flower aromas follow through to a full to medium body with a cola, berry and light chocolate undertone. Very long. Gorgeous.’

Alceno Premium 50 Barricas Syrah 2014 (Spain)

398933  Score 92  $14.95

Tasting notes from describe ‘Ripe fruit notes on the nose coupled with a very elegant sensation of spice and oak. A savoury, acidic and fruity wine on the palate with fine tannins and refined toast. Excellent.’

Two Hands Angels’ Share Shiraz 2015 (McLaren Vale, South Australia)

9480  Score 92  $24.95

MaryAnn Worobiec of describes it as ‘Thick and lush, offering indulgent flavors of dark chocolate, espresso, marzipan, vanilla and rsyrup. Stylish and harmonious, with velvety tannins and spicy accents that linger on the impressive finish.’


Trapiche Finca Las Palmas Gran Reserva Malbec 2014 (Argentina)

186668  $16.95

Grapes for this come from selected vineyards in my ‘beloved’ Uco Valley! Notes suggest ripe red fruit, mine and balsamic notes.

Cellar Suggestions

Cune Reserva 2012 (Rioja, Spain)

417659  Score 93  $26.95

Thomas Matthews of Wine Spectator says ‘This sleek red offers cherry, licorice, mineral and smoke flavors that mingle harmoniously over light, firm tannins, driven by lively acidity through the savory finish. Discreet, but shows depth and intensity. Drink now through 2025. Highly recommended.’  Based on the firm tannins and lively acidity I would give this a couple of years in the cellar.


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