Wine Picks LCBO Vintages Release April 13, 2019

If you want high scoring wines at great prices the LCBO Vintages Release April 13, 2019 is made for you! It  has lots of interesting gems in it: 5 great high scoring whites under $20; a good Bordeaux selection along with a French Viognier and Sancerre and Sparklings worth stocking up on.

A port and sherry worth stocking, a classic California Zinfandel, 2 Viogniers that you could compare. Lots of variety for your fridge or cellar. There really is a little something for everyone in this release!

Use this link to check out availability of wines closest to you – LCBO store locator. Just enter the product number in the search field in the upper right corner. When the product page comes up 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.

Here are my picks for some of the best value wines under $35 in this release.

Fortified

WARRE’S WARRIOR FINEST RESERVE PORT (Portugal)
197202      (S)       Score 90         $19.95

Kim Marcus of winespectator.com describes ‘A fruity style, with luscious plum, raspberry and cherry flavors that are deep and rich. Asian spice and dark chocolate notes linger onthe fresh, minerally finish. Drink now through 2025.
Sweet

Sparkling

EMILIANA ORGANIC BRUT SPARKLING Traditional method (DO Casablanca Valley, Chile)

536607        (XD)  Score  92       $19.95
James Suckling of jamessuckling.com says ‘The largest organic and  biodynamic producer in the world, Emiliana has been crafting wines through organic and biodynamic practices since the 1990s. This sparkler is ripe and elegant, with superb acidity and pear character.’
Medium-bodied & Flavourful

CAVE DE HOEN MAUSBERG BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT CRÉMANT D’ALSACE
Traditional method  (AC, Alsace, France)

171785   (D)  Score     90       $18.95

Natalie MacLean of nataliemaclean.com  says ‘Toasty and refreshing with an expensive looking label which is always a plus at fancy get-togethers where you don’t want to blow the budget but serve good stuff. White peach and melon and baked bread. The Alsace wine region is right next to Champagne, so it shares many similarities in climate and soil, and thus style. Pair with sushi and shellfish. Drink: 2017-2020’.
Medium-bodied & Flavourful

BERNARD-MASSARD CUVÉE DE L’ÉCUSSON PINOT NOIR BRUT ROSÉ
Traditional method (Luxembourg)

369074  (D)    Score 90   $19.95

Natalie MacLean of nataliemaclean.com says ‘Love the 100% Pinot Noir in this curious sparkling wine from (wait for it) Luxembourg! We’re not hung up on pedigree, just taste right? Strawberry fields forever! Robust [and] flavourful and so very non-beige.’
Medium-bodied & Flavourful

White Wines

GLENELLY ESTATE RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2016
(WO Stellenbosch, South Africa)

382200 (XD)   Score   95     $18.95

Tim Atkin, MW of timatkin.com  says ‘What a difference a year makes. 2016 wasn’t the easiest vintage for white wines, but this is a revelation. Sourced from three small parcels on the Simonsberg, it’s toasty, elegant and stony, with flavours and concentration that are very Burgundian. Drink Date: 2018-2024’.
Full-bodied & Rich

YALUMBA ORGANIC VIOGNIER 2017 (South Australia)

288217 (XD)    Score 93      $16.95

Bob Campbell, MW of therealreview.comsays ‘For every hectare dedicated to vines, Yalumba sets aside at least one hectare of natural vegetation. They have planted thousands of trees over the years. This Viognier is stylish, rich and luscious, with honeysuckle, mango, ginger and some spicy oak.’
Aromatic & Flavourful

 

CHÂTEAU LES HAUTS DE LAGARDE BLANC 2018 (AC Bordeaux, France)

387787 (XD)    Score  92  $17.95

Vintages note:  ‘This blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon, both organically grown, is sourced from hillside-planted vines in clay-limestone soils. It was vinified in stainless steel to preserve even the most delicate fruit and floral tones. Look for a ripe, bright, lively wine with honeydew, citrus, apple, pear, peach and a characterful herbaceous note. This has a luxurious mouthfeel. Perfect for grilled salmon.’
Aromatic & Flavourful

FLAT ROCK GOOD KHARMA CHARDONNAY 2016 6 (VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ont. Canada)

356873(D)      Score 90     $16.95
Vic Harradine of winecurrent.com describes ‘Alluring aromas of exotic spice, floral notes and wisps of minerality abound on the nose. This is near-full bodied with [a] creamy-smooth mouthfeel. A delicious, balanced flow of flavour – ripe apple, racy citrus, honeyed tropical fruit and a cornucopia of mixed orchard fruit – washes over the palate infusing the finish with ripe fruit, excellent tang and acidity from citrus notes and a boatload of charm. Stock up.’  Full-bodied & Rich

JEAN GEILER PINOT GRIS 2016 (AC Alsace, France)

315119 (D)      Score  Gold     $19.95

Vintages panelnote : Peach, pear, apricot and flinty character here, with brilliant acidity and just a touch of spritz keeping things lively. A good choice for lightly spiced pork.
(Gold: Grand Concours des Vins d’Alsace, 2017 GCVA did not include a tasting note)  Aromatic & Flavourful

Red Wines

MATETIC CORRALILLO SYRAH 2015 (DO San Antonio Valley, Chile)
146407  (XD)      Score 95      $26.95

James Suckling of jamessuckling.com: describes ‘Aromas of blackberry, blueberry, slate and stone. Full body and lovely fine tannins. Long finish. Fantastic. Drink now. ‘ Full-bodied & Smooth

M. CHAPOUTIER BILA-HAUT OCCULTUM LAPIDEM 2016 (AC Côtes du Roussillon-Villages Latour de-France)

643239 (XD)     Score 93-95   $26.95

Jeb Dunnuck of robertparker.com describes ‘ A big, rich, concentrated, unctuous effort that’s not for those looking for lightweight aromas and flavours … (50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 5% Carignan and 5% Mourvèdre) offers up a smorgasbord of cassis, black currants, peppery herbs and crushed violets. Rich, full-bodied and even tannic, it should improve with a year or so in bottle and keep through 2026. Score: 93-95 (April 28, 2017)
Full-bodied & Smooth

****

TWLK: There is no other wine like a good California Zinfandel.  Pedroncelli is one of the leading Zin producers so this one promises to be a real treat for Zin lovers.

PEDRONCELLI MOTHER CLONE ZINFANDEL 2015 (Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA)

473744 (XD)      Score: 93    $26.95

Virginie Boone of Wine Enthusiast  says ‘This wine is aged in American oak and blended with 12% Petite Sirah. Concentrated blackberry fruit rides a foundation of soft, silky and well-integrated succulence, with touches of leather saddle, black pepper, smoke and brick. While full bodied, it manages to drink light on its feet. Editors’ Choice.’
Full-bodied & Smooth

MANOS NEGRAS ATREVIDA MALBEC 2016 (Mendoza,Argentina)

494518 (XD)  Score 92      $17.95

James Suckling of jamessuckling.com describes ‘A juicy and fruity wine with berry and cherry character. Firm and silky tannins. Tight and focused. Always excellent. Drink now.’  Full-bodied & Smooth

ZONTE’S FOOTSTEP CHOCOLATE FACTORY SHIRAZ 2016 (McLaren Vale, South Australia)

396481 (XD)       Score 92   $18.95

Campbell Mattinson of  winecompanion.com.au says ‘Fruit is the hero here. Pure, dark, berried fruit, laced with licorice and splashed with salt bush. It’s mid weight but it feels generous. It feels tidy and well-managed. It tastes good. Drink By: 2028’  Full-bodied & Smooth

GLENELLY ESTATE RESERVE RED BLEND 2011 (WO Stellenbosch, South Africa)

652289   (XD)       Score   92         $19.95

James Molesworth of winespectator.com says ‘Features alluring fresh espresso and smoldering juniper notes out front, followed by a rich, polished core of cassis and blackberry fruit, with a serious spine of licorice root and a long tarry edge to the finish. This still has ample grip, but there’s enough development here to begin drinking now. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2020. Smart Buys.’
Full-bodied & Firm

RIVERA IL FALCONE RISERVA CASTEL DEL MONTE 2012
(DOCG Puglia, Italy)

177295 (XD)    Score 92      $24.95

Alison Napjus of winespectator.com  describes ‘A bright and harmonious red, set in a medium- to full-bodied frame, with fine-grained tannins supporting finely meshed layers of ripe mulberry, delicate dried marjoram and fragrant leather, revealing an undertow of fresh earth and mineral. A beauty that should open nicely in a decanter or with time in the cellar. Drink now through 2027.’ Medium-bodied & Fruity

MAS DES TANNES ROUGE 2017 (IGP Pays d’Oc, Languedoc, France)
(Domaine Paul Mas)

645317 (XD) Score 90  $15.95

Decanter World Wine Awards note:  Mas des Tannes converted to biodynamic viticulture in the 1990s. In 2006 it was acquired by Jean-Claude Mas, one of the pioneers of Languedoc’s resurgence and a leading voice in organic farming. This red features intense dark fruit and blueberry, with thyme and oak spice.’
Medium-bodied & Fruity

Cellar Suggestions

 

M. CHAPOUTIER BILA-HAUT OCCULTUM LAPIDEM 2016
(AC Côtes du Roussillon-Villages, Latour-de-France, France)

(XD)     Score 93-95       $26.95

Jeb Dunnuck of  robertparker.com says ‘A big, rich, concentrated, unctuous effort that’s not for those looking for lightweight aromas and flavors, the inky colored 2016 Côtes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France Occultum Lapidem (50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 5% Carignan and 5% Mourvèdre) offers up a smorgasbord of cassis, black currants, peppery herbs and crushed violets. Rich, full-bodied and even tannic, it should improve with a year or so in
bottle and keep through 2026.’
Full-bodied & Smooth

LA LEGUA EL TRANSFORMADOR TEMPRANILLO/CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014 (DO Cigales, Spain)

645812 (XD)   Score 92      $18.95

James Suckling of jamessuckling.com says ‘A big ripe wine with a touch of caramel alongside the big black plum note. A massively tannic but relatively plush wine that has a certain freshness. This ought to age well. Better from 2020.’  Medium-bodied & Fruity

HERDADE DA PIMENTA TOURIGA NACIONAL/TOURIGA FRANCA/ALICANTEBOUSCHET 2013  (Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal)

445114 (XD)     Score 92     $19.95

Roger Voss of  Wine Enthusiast says ‘Serious wood aging has given this concentrated wine power and great aging potential. For now, it is firmly tannic, but rich black fruit tones and juicy acidity are there, waiting to develop. It will be an impressive wine after 2018. Editors’ Choice.’
Full-bodied & Firm

GEORGES DUBOEUF DOMAINE MONT CHAVY MORGON 2016
(AC Beaujolais, France)

276477(XD)   Score 92   $20.95

James Suckling of jamessuckling.com says ‘A neat, fluid and very composed palate that has good detail and fruit depth, pushing the raspberry flavors into fine, long and fresh tannins. Drink now. ‘
Light-bodied & Fruity

CHÂTEAU SAINT HUBERT 2010 (AC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé, Bordeaux, France)

647065(XD)    Score   92      $34.95

James Suckling of  jamessuckling.com says ‘A big and rich Right Bank red with plums, chocolate mousse and berries. Full and round with soft tannins and a fresh finish. Almost New World in style but remains bright and fresh on the finish.’  Medium-bodied & Fruity

LAGAR DE ROBLA PREMIUM 2012 (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León, Spain)  (Viños de Arganza)

439729 (XD)     Score 91    $14.95

Thomas Matthews of winespectator.com says ‘This firm red is reserved, but shows depth and integration, with mulled plum, licorice, mineral and smoke flavors that mingle over well integrated tannins, giving way to the juicy finish. Drink now through 2022. 35,000 cases made. Smart Buys.’
Medium-bodied & Fruity

CHÂTEAU LAROSE-TRINTAUDON 2009 Cru Bourgeois (AC Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux, France)

297945 (XD)  Score  91    $29.95

Neal Martin of robertparker.com says ‘I was intrigued to re-taste the 2009 Larose-Trintaudon having bestowed a glowing review almost five years ago. Now at seven years old I find no reason to change that view. It has a gorgeous bouquet of blackberry, bilberry and cedar, very well defined but perhaps needing another couple of years in bottle to forage for more secondary aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity, excellent balance and weight, leading towards a competent, harmonious finish with abundant black fruit mixed with black pepper and tobacco. What a fantastic Cru Bourgeois, one that is going to give punters 15-20 years of pleasure judging by its
“sedate” evolution.’ Medium-bodied & Fruity

RIOJA VEGA CRIANZA 2015 (DOCa Rioja, Spain)
Gold Medal winner at the Mundus Vini Spring Tasting 2018.

471854 (XD)    Score    89-90   $16.95

Sara d’Amato of winealign.com says ‘A zesty, well-balanced Rioja, clean and juicy. Great freshness here despite its full-bodied profile. A blend of 80% tempranillo, 5% mazuelo and 15% garnacha. Not unlike many Crianza, it has
been aged 12 months in American oak which feels appropriate and balanced. Tannins add just the right amount of texture without harshness or bitterness. A solidly built wine that could benefit from another 2 years in the bottle. Very good length and value.’  Medium-bodied & Fruity

Good Bets

The wines highlighted below may not have been rated by critics but are wines that come from consistently high quality producers or regions that epitomize the characteristics of a certain varietal or style. In other words… good value wines that I would gravitate to without hesitation!

MAISON CHANZY BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR 2017 (AC Burgundy, France)

408153 (XD)      $25.95

Vintages panel note:  An affordable taste of quality red Burgundy from a respected producer, this little stunner is soft and approachable with suggestions of red berry and cherry. Pair with grilled chicken or duck breast, or traditional turkey dinner.’  Light-bodied & Fruity

CLOS BEL-AIR 2016 (AC Montagne-Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France)

633040  (XD)        $22.95

Vintages panel note:  The 2016 vintage in Bordeaux contains some under-the-radar gems for those who look closely, and our panel was excited by this particular find. It’s floral and earthy with cherry, raspberry, blackberry and forest floor notes wrapped in solid yet supple tannins. Savour it over the next decade alongside beef tenderloin with rosemary and wild mushrooms.
Medium-bodied & Fruity

PAUL MAS ESTATE VIOGNIER 2017 (IGP Pays d’Oc, Midi, France)

370098 (XD)      $13.95

Vintages panel note:  Made from 100% Viognier grown in clay and limestone at the winery’s Nicole Estate in the Pézenas commune of southern France, this offers alluring notions of ripe peach and spices wrapped in a soft, easygoing package. Good value, and a wonderful pairing for roasted or grilled chicken.’
Aromatic & Flavourful

L’AVENIR FAR & NEAR CHENIN BLANC 2018 (WO Stellenbosch, South Africa)

556365 (XD)      $15.95

Vintages panel note:  This Chenin from a celebrated producer offers aromas of lanolin, white flowers and lime. The palate is young, crisp and bright, with lots of refreshing acidity, green apple, grapefruit and a refined stony mineral note. Pair this with chicken fajitas with escarole salad and ceviche.
Aromatic & Flavourful

TWLK:  Ever had a white Tempranillo?  Me either… so I want to try this one….

PG ZAUMAU TEMPRANILLO BLANCO 2017 (DOCa Rioja, Spain)
628867 (XD)  $18.95
Vintages panel note:  Vinos Terruños was launched in 2003, but the Gilbert family has been associated with raising the profile of natural winemaking in Spain through their wine business since 1980. This Tempranillo Blanco is bright and lifted, with white flowers, tangy tropical fruit, citrus, stone fruit and mineral.
Aromatic & Flavourful

WILLIAMS & HUMBERT WALNUT BROWN MEDIUM SWEET SHERRY
437467 (S) $14.95

Vic Harradine of winecurrent.com  says’ What a treat, what a bargain. Dark amber with tinges of green on the edges; the aromas are divine – Oloroso means ‘scented’ in Spanish – with dark raisin, caramel and fig predominant. Warm and sweet on the palate, look for the aromas to follow through to flavours plus some lovely spice and nutty notes. The long sweet finish of this dessert wine cries out for spiced nut cake or ginger snaps.
Exceptional-value wine.’
Medium

JOSEPH MELLOT LA CHATELLENIE SANCERRE 2017 (AC Loire, France)

525154 (XD) $29.95

Vintages panel note:  This family estate has been making wine in the Loire Valley for over five centuries (since 1513, to be exact). Their latest expression of Sancerre is expertly balanced, with suggestions of green apple, grapefruit and gooseberry underpinned by crisp acidity and a beautiful mineral quality. Pair with roasted chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese and herbs, and roasted asparagus.
Aromatic & Flavourful

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *