Wine Picks LCBO Vintages Release June 8, 2019

The LCBO Vintages Release for June 8, 2019  features a good selection of aromatic and flavourful  whites.  France also has lots of good value on offer this release.

I was not able to attend the advance tasting for this release so there will be no The Best and The Rest for 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

LA COPA VERMOUTH, Jerez, Spain
491712  (S)      Score 96    $22.95

Beppi Crosariol, theglobeandmail.com says ‘ … aromatized with such classic ingredients as wormwood, cinnamon, cinchona bark and orange. Medium sweet, it’s richer than the big brands and yet, to my taste, more sippable on its own (preferably on the rocks) than even top-notch Italian brand Carpano Antica Formula, which costs more than twice the price. The layered experience delivers notes of cola, raisin, ginger, leather and roasted nuts and
the texture is smooth. Try it in a Manhattan cocktail …’
Sweet

Sparkling

CAVE SPRING BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT SPARKLING Traditional method,
VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario

213983 (XD)    Score 92   $29.95

John Szabo, MS of winealign.com says ‘ Cave Spring seems to be off of the main radar when it comes to traditional method sparkling wine … Yet they are quietly making some of the finest bubbles in Ontario, and this latest bottling of Blanc de Blancs continues the streak of deliverance. This is marvellously fresh, complex and complete, creamy and richly flavoured, featuring a fine mix of white-fleshed orchard fruit and gentle toasty-autolytic
character, almonds and apple blossoms. At the price point, this over-delivers, easily equalling much higher priced traditional method sparkling wine.’
Medium-bodied & Flavourful

White Wines

SUSANA BALBO SIGNATURE BARREL FERMENTED TORRONTÉS 2017
Uco Valley, Argentina

384339  (XD)     Score 95       $19.95

Tim Atkin, MW of timatkin.com says ‘… tastes like a Torrontés crossed with a top Sauvignon Blanc, such is its focus, minerality and acidity. Tangy and saline, it’s skilfully oaked, with new wood folded into the wine. The source – Paraje Altamira – is everything here. Drink Date: 2018-2022.’
Aromatic & Flavourful

CASABLANCA NIMBUS SINGLE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2017
Casablanca Valley, Chile

638411 (XD)     Score 93    $24.95

Patricio Tapia of  Descorchados says ‘As with the Nimbus Sauvignon Blanc, this Casablanca chardonnay comes exclusively from the Santa Isabel Vineyard (now called Nimbus) planted on steep slopes in Western Casablanca and is the winery’s main source of fruit. This chardonnay is full of fresh notes. With its intense, piercing acidity, this wine makes no concessions to the tropical fruit that’s often associated with the valley; what’s here instead is crunchy citrus fruit.’
Aromatic & Flavourful

HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE RIESLING 2017, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario

557165 (D)      Score 91   $19.95

Michael Godel of winealign.com says ‘The vintage was a different one, more than most in Niagara and riesling might be the white grape affected most. The heat of September and October made for some long developed riesling ripeness and flavours. It really shows in this Pelham Estate rendition and who knows what sugar munched petrol will develop as a result. The year 2017 will be remembered for great riesling variance which is just what we should want from the great chameleon. This is lovely in its sweet herbal fragrance and lime powered flavour. The great Short Hills Bench length
tells us to seek out more and continue to learn. Drink:2019-2024.’
Aromatic & Flavourful

 

COTES DE POMAR BLANC 2016, Paso Robles, California, USA
644500 (XD)    Score    90+   $23.95

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW of robertparker.com  says ‘Blended of 40% Roussanne, 40% Grenache Blanc, 20% Viognier, the 2016 Cotes De Pomar Blanc features pretty white peach, spiced pear and orange blossom scents with wafts of acacia honey and nutmeg. Medium-bodied, finely played, elegant and refreshing in the mouth, it has delicate layers and a long, minerally finish. Drink Date: 2017- 2021.’
Aromatic & Flavourful

Red Wines

LOS CLOP RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015
Paraje Altamira, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

668327 (XD)     Score 97     $23.95

Patricio Tapia, Decanter says ‘When Altamira is good, it’s simply great. This has deep flavours of blackberry and strawberry, allied to a magnificent tannic structure.   A wine for the cellar. Drink Date: 2017-2024.’
Full-bodied & Firm

DELAS SAINT-ESPRIT CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2016, AC Rhone, France

729962 (XD) $17.95

Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2017  note:  ‘ 60% Syrah, 40% Grenache. Lovely rich opulent and floral, black berry and plum nose, the palate is big with well layered fruit, attractively firm but soft tannin and hints of oak, a big wine with a lovely finish.’
Medium-bodied & Fruity

PERTARINGA OVER THE TOP SHIRAZ 2015, McLaren Vale, South Australia

490052   (XD)     Score 95    $28.95

Jane Faulkner of winecompanion.com.au says ‘Thankfully this isn’t over the top, rich, ripe and commanding, certainly. Deep, dark crimson colour as with the fruit of plums and berries, but there’s an overlying savouriness to this, a whisper of black pepper, cinnamon quills, crushed juniper and dark chocolate. The oak is well integrated with powerful and composed tannins and everything in balance. Drink By: 2030.’
Full-bodied & Smooth

MATHILDE CHAPOUTIER SÉLECTION 2017, AP Languedoc, France

644468    (XD)     Score   92    $14.95

Jeb Dunnuck of  jebdunnuck.com says ‘ From vines north of Pézenas and all from schist soils, the 2017 Languedoc boasts smoking good notes of black olives, blackberries, peppery herbs, and underbrush. It’s rich, concentrated, supple, and beautifully pure on the palate, and at 14 bucks, has to be one of the best values in wine out there. Made from equal parts Syrah and Grenache brought up in concrete tanks, it should drink brilliantly
for 2-4 years.’
Full-bodied & Smooth

DOMAINE LAFAGE CUVÉE NICOLAS VIEILLES VIGNES GRENACHE NOIR 2017,  IGP Côtes Catalanes, Roussillon, France

354191 (XD)  Score 91-93   $19.95

Joe Czerwinski, robertparker.com says  ‘It was exciting to see that the 2017 Nicolas, all old-vine Grenache from three terroirs, was showing more red fruit and freshness than the 2016. It’s still rich, deep and velvety in texture, but it’s livelier and should be a similarly rocking value once it’s released. Drink Date: 2018-2023.’
Full-bodied & Smooth

WAYNE GRETZKY WHISKY OAK AGED RED 2017, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario

617738(D)   Score  92   $19.95

Vic Harradine of  winecurrent.com  says ‘ This is a gorgeous Bordeaux blend – the two cabernets and merlot – at an attractive price. Only 25% was aged in whisky barrel, after maturing in French and American oak, so not at all overdone … Aromas of ripe, dark berry fruit, smoke and sweet vanilla abound. It blankets the palate with a medium-bodied, nicely textured river of black currant and kirsch liqueur interwoven with baking spice, both dark and milk chocolate and wisps of vanilla. There’s plenty of tang, good structure and appeal. It finishes balanced and tasty.’
Medium-bodied & Fruity

SPY VALLEY PINOT NOIR 2015, Southern Valleys, Marlborough, South Island, NZ

734681 (XD)   Score   92   $24.95

James Suckling of jamessuckling.com  says ‘A smart pinot noir with plenty on offer in terms of fresh flowers, fresh leafy nuances, red cherries, orange zest and oak spice. The palate has an attractive bed of fine-grained tannins and neat resolve. Drink now.’

MaryAnn Worobiec gave this wine a score of 90 points and suggested a drinking window extending through 2028. (winespectator.com, Sept. 30, 2018)
Medium-bodied & Fruity

CHÂTEAU DE TRÉVIAC CORBIÈRES 2016,  AP Midi, France
670505 (XD)  Score 91     $16.95

Gold Medal winner at the 2018 Berliner Wein Trophy.
International Wine Challenge, 2018 tasting note: ‘ Rich creamy roasted coffee notes, combined with rose and violets. Mineral, crushed stone with a layered subtle richly textured palate.’
Full-bodied & Smooth

CLARENCE DILLON CLARENDELLE RED 2015, Inspired by Haut-Brion, AC Bordeaux, France

028837 (XD)    Score 91      $23.95

James Suckling of  jamessuckling.com says ‘ Fresh nose with berries and chocolate with hints of hazelnuts. Sandalwood. Medium-bodied, linear and focused with fine tannins and a delicious finish. Drink and enjoy.’
Medium-bodied & Fruity

BORSAO BEROLA 2015,  DO Campo de Borja, Spain

371518 (XD)    Score 90       $18.95

Gold Medal winner at the 2018 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.
James Suckling of jamessuckling.com says ‘ Light and crisp, but also full of character with some nice red-cherry aromas that pull you back for more and, with each sip, the wine seems to expand a bit more. Drink now or hold.’
Full-bodied & Smooth

WAKEFIELD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2016, Clare Valley, South Australia

744235  (D)    Score    90     $19.95

Gold Medal winner at the China Wine & Spirits Awards Best Value 2018.
Steven Creber of winecompanion.com.au says ‘Fermented in stainless steel Potter tanks, then pressed to oak to complete mlf, and subsequently matured for 12 months in a range of new and older French barrels. Very clear varietal expression on show, with blackcurrant, cedar and mint prominent. Full and supple on the palate with some sweetness of fruit, it finishes strongly with lingering flavours and ripe tannin. Special Value. Drink By: 2026.’
Full-bodied & Smooth

CHÂTEAU DE PITRAY 2015, AC Côtes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
405688 (XD)    Score 90    $22.95

Roger Voss of  Wine Enthusiast says ‘This ripe, fruity wine has soft tannins and a generous, warm character that makes it already drinkable. Better, however, to wait until its full potential is realized, from 2019.’
Full-bodied & Firm

ALVEAR PALACIO QUEMADO LA ZARCITA 2016
Single estate vineyard, Vino de la Tierra de Extremadura, Spain

645044(D)   Score    90      $22.95

Luis Gutiérrez of robertparker.com  says ‘ … fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts followed by malolactic and eight months in new and second use 500-liter French oak barrels. It’s very floral and perfumed, with a  captivating nose. It’s still a straightforward red but with more depth than in previous vintages and especially great freshness. 2016 seems like a very good vintage in the zone. The palate is approachable and soft, with very good acidity. And it’s a bargain! Drink Date:2018-2020.’
Medium-bodied & Fruity

Cellar Suggestions

 

MIGUEL TORRES CORDILLERA DE LOS ANDES CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015,  Maipo Valley, Chile

541169 (XD)     $22.95

Vintages panel notes:  ‘This wine is grown in the arid foothills of the mighty Andes mountains, where the plentiful daytime sunshine and dry soil is ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a bold, concentrated, structured wine showing complex notions of cassis, redcurrant, earth, coffee, mint and spice. One to savour over the next five or six years with chacareros chilenos (Chilean steak-and-green-bean sandwiches) or grilled beef-and-veggie skewers on cilantro rice.’
Full-bodied & Firm

MORANDÉ GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015
Single vineyard, DO Maipo Valley, Chile

389254(XD)    Score 93     $19.95

James Suckling of jamessuckling.com  describes ‘Orange rind, citrus, freshly-picked blackcurrants and a lovely floral edge of violets and herbs. Tight and firm with attractive tension and spice undertones. Polished and focused. Drink now or hold. ‘
Full-bodied & Firm

MAZZEI POGGIO BADIOLA DI FONTERUTOLI 2016
IGT Toscana, Italy

330951 (XD)   Score   92    $19.95

A blend of 65% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot.

James Suckling of jamessuckling.com describes ‘Ash, black cherries, dried spices and some plummy notes are what predominate on the nose. Full body, medium-chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Drink in 2020.’
Full-bodied & Firm

Good Bets

FLAT ROCK UNPLUGGED CHARDONNAY 2018,
VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada

068015 (XD)     $17.95

Canada’s wine regions are cool-climate and produce crisp, refreshing white wines that are perfect for summer. Flat Rock is one of the masters of Chardonnay in Ontario, and this unoaked Chard is always a winner, with its plush, ripe orchard fruit and the underlying pure minerality for which Niagara is so renowned. Perfection on its own, it would also be a great pairing for lake fish or grilled chicken breast.
Full-bodied & Rich

LANGLOIS-CHÂTEAU SUR LIE MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE 2017
AP Loire, France

635896 (D) $17.95

Vintages panel note : Owned by Champagne J. Bollinger, this estate has been growing wine since 1885. The wine comes from a certified sustainable vineyard and offers crunchy pear, fresh herbs and stony mineral with plenty of crisp acidity and a lively spritz. A good choice for shellfish or green salads.’
Light & Crisp

CAVE SPRING ESTATE GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2016, Cave Spring Vineyard,
VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada

302059 (D) $18.95

Vintages panel note: This is always one of the top Gewürztraminers produced in Ontario. This version is from the warm 2016 vintage, and the season’s heat has been translated into noticeable fruit ripeness on the palate. Baking spice, ginger and gorgeous floral and lychee tones round out the flavour profile. Textured and long, this will drink well for 2-3 years and will be a fine pairing for chicken curry or spicy barbecued shrimp.
Aromatic & Flavourful

MICHEL GASSIER LES PILIERS VIOGNIER 2018
France

669531 (XD) $18.95

From a popular producer, this 100% Viognier was grown in clay and limestone. Expect plenty of peach, pear and apple, lovely aromatics and a rich texture. A perfect wine for lobster or white fish, with the crisp acidity to pair with cream sauces.
Aromatic & Flavourful

ANTICHE TERRE VENETE RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA 2016
DOC Veneto, Italy

178459  (D) $18.95

“Antiche Terre Venete” translates as “ancient Venetian lands,” which makes sense for a 100-year-old winery in a 3,000-year-old wine region. This is an excellent value in Ripasso, which is a wine style that uses dried grapes in its alchemy to add extra texture, depth and complexity. Pour this one with Asiago-and-mushroom risotto or bitter dark chocolate.
Medium-bodied & Fruity

BLASON DE BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR 2017
AC Bourgogne, France

648428  (XD)      $19.95
It’s always a treat to find quality Burgundy at an approachable price. This little beauty offers tangy red cherry, bright acidity and some earthy character. It’s quite elegant, and the finish is satisfyingly long. Pair with roast beef sandwiches, beef bourguignon, or grilled beef-and-mushroom skewers.
Light-bodied & Fruity

CHATELAIN LES VIGNES DE SAINTLAURENT L’ABBAYE POUILLY-FUMÉ 2017,  AC Loire, France

958801  (XD) $26.95

Vintages tasting note: This wine comes from a historical vineyard once tended by the monks of Saint-Laurent abbey. It’s 100% Sauvignon Blanc from vines aged 25-30 years grown in clay and silica soils and it’s crisp and wonderfully balanced, with complex grapefruit, passion fruit and minerality. Brilliant for chicken breasts stuffed with herbed goat cheese.
Aromatic & Flavourful

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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