Wine Picks LCBO Vintages Release Aug 4, 2018

The Aug 4, 2018 LCBO Vintages Release  is padded with 90+ scoring wines under $25. There are a number of high scoring good value Chardonnays, including a Burgundian Chardonnay hailing from very close to Pouilly- Fuissé and one from Leaning Post Wines who just were awarded a Platinum medal for one of their Chardonnays by the National Wine Awards of Canada.

Leaning Post was one of 3 Ontario wineries to win National Wine Awards Canada Platinum in the Chardonnay category  for their Leaning Post Chardonnay Wismer Foxcroft Vineyard 2015.  So –  not the Platinum winner on offer but I am curious to try the Leaning Post The Fifty Chardonnay 2015.

Use this link to check out availability of wines closest to you – LCBO store locator. Just enter the product number and 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.


MURVIEDRO LUNA ORGANIC BRUT CAVA (Traditional method, DO, Spain)

Gold Medal Winner 2017 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles

547224  (XD)                  $17.95

Vintages panel notes: ‘this organic sparkler is made with 100% Macabeo and has a complex interplay of apple, citrus, peach and apricot juxtaposed against a toasty lees character. Pour it
alongside grilled parsnips dusted with cinnamon and coriander. Medium-bodied & Flavourful


TESSELLAE ROSÉ 2017 (IGP Côtes Catalanes, France)

Gold (Concours Général Paris, 2018)

450817 (XD)               $16.95

Vintages note:  A great value, this will be a fun, vibrant wine offering peach, apricot and nectarine flavours with the area’s characteristic underlying herbal notes. Sip it on its own or pair with herbed chicken breast or grilled sausages.  Easygoing & Fruity

CHÂTEAU DE NAGES VIEILLES VIGNES ROSÉ 2017 (AP Costières de Nîmes, France)

496919   (XD)    Score 91  $19.95

Joe Czerwinkski of says ‘An 80-20 blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre, the 2017 Costieres de Nimes Rose Vieilles Vignes is a zesty, dry wine that shows the affinity these two varieties have for rosé production when grown in proximity to the Mediterranean. Medium-bodied, it delivers scents of red berries, barely ripe melon and citrus, underscored by bright acidity and a distinct, briny-citrus zest edge to the finish. Drink Date: 2018. Medium-bodied & Dry


AUNTSFIELD SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 (Southern Valleys, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand)

663286   (XD)    Score 94   $21.95

Bob Campbell, MW of says ‘Attractive, vibrant sauvignon blanc capsicum, gooseberry, apple, rockmelon and passionfruit flavours. The wine has a silken-smooth texture
and pleasantly tangy finish. A concentrated wine with good varietal character. Drink Date: 2017-2020.  Aromatic & Flavourful

DASHWOOD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 (Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand)

465989   (XD)      Score 93      $18.95

Sam Kim of says ‘Grapes were sourced mainly from the Awatere Valley for this charming and delicious wine. Lifted aromas of white stone fruit, feijoa, rockmelon and lime zest lead to an intensely fruited palate that is juicy and flavoursome. Beautifully
poised and delightfully appealing. At its best: now to 2019. Aromatic & Flavourful


918805  (XD)    Score 92    $19.95

Natalie MacLean of says ‘Laura Catena and chief winemaker Alejandro Vigil
sourced from three vineyards and altitudes to create this blend: Agrelo (950 metres), Villa Bastias (1,120 metres) and Gualtallary (1,450 metres).  A full-bodied Argentine white wine made with classic Chardonnay grapes that has been oak aged. Aromas of green apple and vanilla spice. Balanced, rich, luscious and lasting. Pair with roast chicken. Full-bodied & Rich


372482   (XD)   Score 91+        $18.95

Monica Larner of  says ‘The Donnachiara 2015 Fiano di Avellino is a remarkable wine with a fantastic level of freshness and energy. This excellent value wine opens to sharp lines with citrus, white peach, Golden Delicious apple and crushed flint. The finish is smooth and the wine offers good density in terms of mouthfeel. Drink Date: 2017-2020.’ Aromatic & Flavourful

BOYA CHARDONNAY 2016 (DO Leyda Valley, Chile)

569665  (XD)   Score 90     $14.95

Tim Atkin, MW, of says ‘Refreshingly unoaked, in more than one sense, this value for money Chardonnay is made entirely with the fruity Mendoza clone. Wild yeast fermentation and lees contact add complexity and texture to the pear and citrus fruit flavours. Drink Date: 2017-2019.’  Light & Crisp

ROBERT OATLEY SIGNATURE SERIES CHARDONNAY 2016 (Margaret River, Western Australia)

350900  (XD)    Score 90     $18.95

Vic Harradine of  describes ‘Powerful aromas of toasty oak andspice on the nose precede a balanced and beautiful flow of sweet-tinged Golden Delicious apple, ripe pear and Mirabelle plum nicely juxtaposed with a glorious rush of racy lemon acidity on the back palate
and persisting through the long finish – clean, crisp and refreshing. This is medium-full bodied with good texture and delivers a price-quality balance tipped wildly in your favour. Pour with roast bird and all the extras.’  Full-bodied & Rich

13TH STREET JUNE’S VINEYARD RIESLING 2016 (VQA Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada)

147512 (D)   Score 90  $19.95

David Lawrason of says ‘From a warm Niagara vintage and maturing vines, this [has] a nicely generous, ripe peach, lemon and spicy nose that reminds me of riesling from Germany’s more southerly Pfalz region. It is medium weight, off-dry, quite rich yet lively with
pine-apple, green herbs and spice on the palate. Not as nervy and steely as many Niagara rieslings, but it is well balanced, a touch spritzed and it shows excellent length.’  Aromatic & Flavourful


Gold (Concours de Vins Macon, 2017)

016725     (XD)        $20.95

Vintages panel notes:  “Saint-Véran” is a must-know name for both fans of white Burgundy and those who are curious. The wines are noted for their value and their pure minerality. Saint-Véran lies to the north and south of Pouilly-Fuissé and shares much in common with this storied region. This Chard is loaded with lemon citrus, apple, peach, pear and spice, with a hint of vanilla. Creamy and appealing, with a crisp soul and a spine of refined minerality. This will be perfect for herbed chicken, or salmon steaks.’  Full-bodied & Rich



578864    (XD)      Score 90    $21.95

Rick VanSickle of  says ‘The wine is 100% barrel fermented with partial malo and then transferred to stainless steel, so no barrel aging, with 10 months on the lees. It has a pronounced mineral nose with notes of apple skin, pear and soft tropical fruits. It’s creamy with
chalky minerality and texture that highlights the ripe orchard fruits. Nothing is lost with the lack of oak in this wine; it’s a pure expression of Niagara Chardonnay.’  Light & Crisp

SEVEN FALLS CHARDONNAY 2014 (Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley, Washington, USA)

385773  (XD)   Score 90      $21.95
Harvey Steiman of says ‘Broad and supple, expressing a range of spice and citrus flavors, centering on pear and fig notes. Finishes with polish. Drink now through
2019’ Full-bodied & Rich



TAHBILK CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 (Nagambie Lakes, Victoria, Australia)

138818 (XD)  Score 94         $23.95
James Halliday of says ‘Established in 1860 and run by the Purbrick
family, Tahbilk operates by the principle that innovation and sustainability should go hand in hand. This Cabernet offers ripe blackcurrant, black olive and bay leaf notes.’  Medium-bodied & Fruity



597237 (D)      Score 94         $27.95

All of Benziger’s wines have been certified sustainable, organic or biodynamic since 2006. Look for pure blackcurrant and dark cherry flavours in this big, burly Cabernet Sauvignon. (San Diego International Wine & Spirits Challenge)  Full-bodied & Smooth


(AP Midi, France)

343517    (D)    Score 93  $19.95

Jeb Dunnuck of says ‘An incredible value from Jean-Marc Lafage is the 2015 Tessellae Old Vines Grenache Syrah Mourvedre, which is 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre from 70-year-old vines and brought up all in concrete tank. A ripe, expansive,
full-bodied and undeniably sexy red that has beautiful notes of kirsch liqueur, blueberries, pepper and violets, it has ripe and present tannin, straight up fabulous purity and a great finish. This is another one of those wines where you just have to tell yourself you spent more than you actually did. The wine really is this good. Drink Date: 2017-2022.’  Full-bodied & Smooth

ZENATO ALANERA 2014 (IGT Rosso Veronese, Italy)

451724 (D)   Score: 93       $19.95

James Suckling of  james  says ‘This is a delicious new red from Zenato with plenty of dark berry, chocolate and spice. Walnut undertone. Full body, round and velvety texture. Blend of merlot and corvina. Drink now or hold.’ Medium-bodied & Fruity


674135   (XD)    Score: 93     $ 25.95

James Suckling of  describes ‘Aromas of black currants, black berry and wet earth follow through to a full body, dark and juicy fruit and a long and flavorful finish. Layered and rich with a lovely ripe tannin mouthfeel. Shows the opulence of the outstanding 2015 vintage.
Full-bodied & Firm

ROCO GRAVEL ROAD PINOT NOIR 2014 (Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA)

575431 (XD)   Score  93       $27.95

James Suckling of says ‘This pinot noir shows blueberries, raspberries, cherries and hints of hazelnuts. Medium body, velvety and ripe tannins and a beautiful and long finish. I like the finesse here. Delicious now.’  Medium-bodied & Fruity

LA POSTA TINTO 2016 (Mendoza, Argentina)

555789     (XD)   Score: 92  $14.95

James Suckling of  describes ‘A juicy and delicious red with plum and berry character and hints of chocolate and spice. Full body, round tannins and a savory finish.
Drink now.’  Full-bodied & Firm


569681     (XD) Score: 92     $15.95

Patricio Tapia of Descorchados says ‘Some of Chile’s finest Carménère wines come from Peumo, including this one, which uses old vines that were planted there some 50 years ago. It has a rich red fruit flavour, like other new-school, freshness-focused Carménère wines coming from the
region. The wine offers an interesting tension between tannins while being very juicy at the same time. It goes well with aged goat cheese.’ Full-bodied & Smooth


384305 (D)   Score 92    $17.95

James Suckling of  says ‘This is a very aromatic red with plum and hot stone and some chalk. Dried flowers, too. Full body yet bright and vivid. An energetic red. A blend
of cabernet sauvignon, malbec and petit verdot. Drink now.’  Full-bodied & Smooth

SILVERN A GREENOCK SHIRAZ 2015 (Barossa Valley, South Australia)

289959  (XD)  Score: 92     $18.95

Ned Goodwin of says ‘This is bouncy, floral, bumptious and very easy to drink. Satsuma plum, black cherry, anise and violet notes ricochet across a medium to full bodied palate, dutifully supported by relaxed acidity and dusty, easy-going tannins. A dollop of grenache is thrown in for aromatic fireworks and generosity.’  Medium-bodied & Fruity

HOWARD PARK FLINT ROCK SHIRAZ 2015 (Great Southern, Western Australia)

558726  (XD)  Score: 92   $22.95

Campbell Mattinson of  says ‘Shiraz grown in both the Mt Barker
and Frankland River areas of the Great Southern, almost in equal measure (slightly favouring FR). Yes. It hits the mark nicely. Plums, peppercorns, deli meat and creamy oak. Enough fruit, enough ‘interest’, a silky feel to the palate and just enough ‘oomph’. No hesitation in going here. Drink: 2017-2025+.’ Full-bodied & Smooth

DOMAINE BOUSQUET RESERVE MALBEC 2016 (Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina)

055244 (D)   Score 91     $19.95

James Suckling of jamessuckling.comDomaine Bousquet is dedicated to organic farming and biodiversity as the best way to preserve the land for future generations. Their Reserve Malbec delivers lovely berry fruit with notions of mushrooms and stones.’   Medium-bodied & Fruity

Cellar Suggestions


555797   (XD)    Score 94    $20.95
James Suckling of  describes ‘Precise and bright aromas of dark fruit, fresh mushrooms and hints of walnut shell. Full body, super fine tannins and a gorgeous fruit finish.
Very long and focused. Drink in 2020, but already exciting to taste. ‘  Full-bodied & Firm

QUINTA DA MURTA WHITE 2015 DOC Bucelas (Portugal)

380279 (D)   Score: 90     $14.95

Mark Squires of says  ‘Nicely concentrated, this has beautiful freshness. The structure is excellent, too. There is zing and zest on the finish, just a hint of a tart edge in this wine’s youth that the ripe fruit easily balances. The acidity nicely lifts the fruit, but never overwhelms it. We’ll see what direction this goes in and we’ll be a bit conservative just now, but this should wind up being the best regular Branco from Murta so far. It will age pretty well and it is a fine
bargain, too. Drink Date: 2016-2026.’   Aromatic & Flavourful

MANOS NEGRAS RED SOIL PINOT NOIR 2015 (Patagonia, Argentina)

555748  (XD)   Score: 92     $19.95

James Suckling of  describes ‘A dense and flavorful pinot with stone, rust and dark berry character. Full body, chewy tannins and a fresh finish. Tight and intense.
Compacted and tannic. Solid. Drink in 2020.’  Medium-bodied & Fruity

BRANCAIA TRE 2015 (IGT Toscana, Italy)

164715   (XD)  Score: 91   $24.95

James Suckling of says ‘Lovely density and vibe to this 2015 red with cherry, strawberry and orange peel character. Medium body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Drink now or hold.’  Medium-bodied & Fruity

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