Wine Picks LCBO Vintages Release March 30, 2019

The LCBO Vintages Release March 30, 2019 offers a great opportunity to zero in on some of the most popular grape varietals. This release also includes the Ontario wine voted ‘The most thrilling Niagara white wine for 2018’.

Vintages have showcased a pair each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Gris(Grigio), Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah. Most of the selections chosen highlight the difference between old world and new world, or at least 2 different continents. There is no value in my repeating the descriptions and characteristics here so if you want to take advantage of this chance to train your palate you can access the Vintages New Arrivals publication and head to page 4 to get started!

Fortified Wines


538983 (S) Score 93 $18.95
Ultimate Wine Challenge, 2017 notes: ‘Aromas of fig, dried red berries, and burnt sugar are bright and focused. The deep flavors carry the sweetness well on the palate, offering concentrated notes of roasted fig, caramelized apple skin, and lightly toasted walnuts. Complex and delicious. Excellent. Highly Recommended. Great Value.’

BODEGAS BARBADILLO PASTORA MANZANILLA PASADA Unfiltered (DO Manzanilla – Sanlúcar de Barrameda , Spain)
515965 XD) Score 95 $15.95
Decanter World Wine Awards, 2017 notes: ‘100% Palomino. Appetising concentrated nose showing characterful fruit, orange skin, white flowers, and intense nutty aromas; a rich palate, complex, with lots of apples and a touch of sweet miso. Delicate and open, with [a] long finish, a gorgeous manzanilla. Platinum – Best in Show: Best Value Dry Fortified’ Dry

Sparkling Wines

CYGNUS ORGANIC BRUT NATURE CAVA Traditional method, ( DO Penedès, Spain)
352856 (XD)    Score 90     $17.95

Vintage note:  “Brut Nature” indicates that this wine was made without dosage, which is the sweet wine added to traditional-method sparklers just prior to bottling to offset the high acidity. Brut Nature wines are therefore exceptionally crisp and bright with bracing acidity. It is not a style for everyone, but these are unquestionably compelling wines. This one will be bone-dry and sophisticated, with notes of toast, mineral and piercing lemon-lime. Try this with fish pie or spicy garlic shrimp.’ Medium-bodied & Flavourful

VINCENT BARON ET FILS BRUT CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE Traditonal method, (AC, Burgundy, France )

624908 (XD) $22.95
Vintage Panel notes: ‘ Crémants de Bourgogne are wines of significance and class that deliver a notable regional specificity. This one is racy, with lemon citrus, apple and toast tones and just the merest hint of sweetness. Fresh and delicious, this will be a great sipper, but will also be superb with seafood.’ Medium-bodied & Flavourful

White Wines

TWLK: Chile has surprised me a few times with some outstanding Sauvignon Blancs -tautness, minerality and saltiness indistinguishable from premium New Zealand offerings. Based on that the Tabali below looks like a very interesting example! Even if the 97 score has a touch of ‘home town proud’ it looks like you can’t go wrong here.


542241 (XD) Score 97 $22.95
Patricio Tapia of Descorchados says ‘[Translated from the Spanish] Tabali bought the Talinay vineyard in 2008 … Ten years later, there is no doubt that our cellars get their best wines from Talinay, such as this Sauvignon – Tabali’s best – born from a selection of the most calcareous soils of Talinay, which have a great impact in its character. This wine is made of stone. There are no fruits. If you taste Pedregoso and Vetas Blancas (of the same vintage), you could feel this same mineral effect, but not at such high levels. Austere; hard as rock, with a sharp acidity that cuts like a knife. But fresh, so fresh that it entices you to drink it, especially paired with Limari River shrimp, which are abundant thanks to the recent local rains.’ Aromatic & Flavourful


2027 CELLARS WISMER VINEYARD FOX CROFT BLOCK CHARDONNAY 2017 VQA (Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment Ont, Canada)

421362 (XD) Score 94 $22.95

Awarded the Most Thrilling Niagara White Wine for 2018 by Rick VanSickle (
Rick VanSickle of says ‘ … 100% whole cluster pressed, wild fermented with 100% French oak aging (30%, new oak). The nose is mind-blowing … the sharp river rock scents combining with gunflint, pear, fresh-picked bin apple, fine elegant spices and lemon/ citrus accents … It’s fresh and lively on the palate, a lean and lively cool-climate Chard that combines layers of pear and apple with elegant spice and all that flinty goodness that is kept fresh by racy acidity. A sensational Chardonnay that clocks in at $23, for goodness sake. $23??? Crazy.’ Full-bodied & Rich

MATCHBOOK OLD HEAD CHARDONNAY 201(Dunnigan Hills, Yolo County California, USA)

205492 (XD) Score 92 $17.95
Jim Gordon of Wine Enthusiast says ‘…. A very soothing mouthfeel and generous, but not overt, flavors make a great combination in this creamy, yummy and full-bodied wine. It has everything from toasty oak and lemon curd to mild marzipan nuances that interlace with good acidity for a balanced palate and a lingering finish. Best Buy.’ Full-bodied & Rich

CLOSSON CHASE K.J. WATSON VINEYARD PINOT GRIS 2017 VQA (Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake , Ont, Canada)

469445 (XD) Score 92 $22.95
Vic Harradine of describes ‘Honey-dipped pear, apricot and exotic spice aromas are precursors to a luscious balanced and beautiful gusher of racy lemon curd and pineapple interwoven with tingly spice on the palate and a dry, lip-smacking finish. This is medium weight and unoaked with plenty of creamy-smooth mouthfeel and mouth-watering, mineral-laced aftertaste; it’s crisp, clean and refreshing. Pour with prawn ceviche or mussels steamed in white wine and leeks.’ Aromatic & Flavourful


711556 (XD) Score Gold $16.95
Vintages notes: ‘Gold Medal winner and Best of Show Australia white at the Mundus Vini Spring Tasting 2018. Expect a boldly forward Chardonnay with tropical fruit flavours, along with the bright acidity characteristic of cool climate Clare Valley…….’ Full-bodied & Rich

Red Wines


WATERSHED SENSES SHIRAZ 2014 (Margaret River, Western Australia)

73767 (D) Score 95 $26.95
James Halliday of wine says ‘Night-harvested, 4 days cold soak, small batch-fermented for up to 2 weeks, matured for 8 months in American (27% new), Hungarian (7.5% new) and French (5.5% new) oak. Deep colour; a very complex shiraz, in terms of flavour and structure; oak plays a significant role in the mocha/dark chocolate/ spice components, but the purple and black fruits are more than a match, assisted by tannins in creating the stimulating texture on the back-palate and finish. Drink By: 2039.’ Full-bodied & Smooth


DECERO CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014 (Remolinos Vineyard, Agrelo, Mendoza , Argentina)

195677 (XD) Score 92 $19.95
James Suckling, says ‘Extremely fresh and clean with currant, lavender and other flowers. Full body, silky and beautiful tannins and a rich finish. Shows intensity. Drink now or hold.’ Full-bodied & Firm



675223 (XD) Score 92 $19.95
Huon Hooke of describes ‘Deep, dark, dense colour, with a fairly oaky bouquet, the palate adding a slather of sweet, ripe berry flavours. It’s dry and savoury, but also lush, with richness, density and fleshy extract to burn. A big, generous, solid wine with ageing potential. Outstanding value. Drink Date: 2018-2036.’ Full-bodied & Firm


EMILIANA COYAM 2015 (Los Robles Estate, Colchagua Valley, Chile)

63891 (XD) Score 94 $29.95
James Suckling of describes ‘A bright and lifted nose of blackberries and fresh flowers. Full body, polished and focused tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Shows precision and panache. A blend of syrah, carmenere, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, mourvedre, garnacha, tempranillo and petit verdot. Drink or hold.’ Full-bodied & Smooth



CHÂTEAU MAISON NOBLE CUVÉE PRESTIGE 2015 (AC Bordeaux Supérieur, France)

633198 (XD) Score 91 $20.95
Decanter World Wine Awards, 2017 notes: ‘75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. Smoky aromatic nose, cherry and herb notes. Luscious rich fruitiness on the well-rounded palate, complex minty, spicy oaked long finish.’Full-bodied & Smooth


CHÂTEAU MAUCOIL 2016 (AC Côtes du Rhône-Villages, France)

638502 (XD) Score 90 19.95
Joe Czerwinsk of robert says ‘A lovely, quaffable red to enjoy now and over the next few years, Maucoil’s 2016 Cotes du Rhone Villages delivers ample black cherry fruit and hints of cocoa. It’s medium to full-bodied, with a lovely silky texture and softly dusty finish. Drink Date: 2018-2023.’ Full-bodied & Smooth

Cellar Suggestions


LA ROSA TINTO 2016 (DOC Douro, Portugal)

933101 (XD) Score 91 $22.95
Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast says ‘This is a ripe wine full of broad black fruits. Smoothed by the wood aging and with plenty of acidity to balance, it is rich and structured. The tannins in this wine from the de la Rosa estate are already enmeshed in the fruit. This wine could be drunk now for its fruit, although it will be better from 2019. Cellar Selection.’ Full-bodied & Smooth

Good Bets

LUZADA ALBARIÑO 2017 ( DO Rías Baixas , Spain)

625970 (D) $14.95
TWLK: You may want to ‘test drive’ this one as you new summer wine! As noted Albarinos are fresh and exciting sippers!
Vintages panel note: Albariño is most commonly found in northwest Spain and Portugal, where it is also known as Alvarinho. It produces super-popular whites, and this one offers amazing value, along with refreshing, mouthwatering acidity and citrus notes accented by tropical tones of banana and pineapple. This is a wine for seafood; try it with a Mediterranean seafood stew. Aromatic & Flavourful



82305 (XD) $16.95
An exceptional value in Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley, this wine consistently delivers crisp grapefruit and lime aromas and flavours. Lightly chill and pair with fish, green salads, goat cheese or Camembert. Score: Gold (Concours des Vins du Val de Loire, 2018) Aromatic & Flavourful



644419 (XD) $19.95
Vintages panel note: From one of the great names in Alsatian wine, this Riesling is subtle and floral with impressive peach, grapefruit citrus, honey and mineral tones and a touch of licorice. Fresh and crisp, this will be a fine pairing for grilled or roasted chicken. Aromatic & Flavourful


641753 (XD) $19.95
Vintage panel note: AC Saint-Bris is the only area in Burgundy permitted to make Sauvignon Blanc. The wines of this tiny appellation are quite rare and are always as interesting, flavourful and expressive as they are unique. This one will offer the characteristic lemon citrus, apple and stunningly articulated minerality, with a bracing, crisp acidity. Always a real treat. Pair this wine with a shrimp and-mango ceviche, or halibut and grapefruit in a white wine sauce. Aromatic & Flavourful


224204 (M) $20.95
Vintage panel note: Cave Vinicole de Hunawihr, is a co-op based in the heart of Alsace and was created in 1954, back when a night out at the movies might involve A Star Is Born, On the Waterfront, Rear Window or La Strada. This wine is sourced from chalky vineyards and vines averaging over 20 years of age. Expect apple, peach and citrus character and pair the wine with pork chops and sautéed chanterelles. Aromatic & Flavourful

JOEL GOTT PINOT NOIR 2016 (California, USA)
633701 (D) 95
Vintages panel note: This 2016 offers suggestions of crushed rose petals, lush red strawberry and raspberry fruit, sweet spices, cassis and mineral. The fruit is so ripe that, though dry, the palate hints at sweetness. Lovely and surprising. Pair with grilled salmon, duck or even mildly spiced ribs. Medium-bodied & Fruity



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