Wine Picks LCBO Vintages Release May 12, 2018

The May 12, 2018 LCBO Vintages Release features Bordeaux wines and Rosés.  Lucky for us on both counts.

The Liqueur and  Fortified Sections also hold some interesting offerings – a Raspberry Liqueur, high scoring Vermouth and Sherry and another high scoring Late Bottle Vintage Port. All very reasonably prices so a good chance to add to your cellar or round out your bar!

Here are some of the  Best Value wines in this release under $35.00.  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.



LA GUITA DO Manzanilla – Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain
337022 (XD)   Score 91    $15.95

James Molesworth of  wine describes ‘Distinctive, with verbena and tarragon notes leading the way, followed by lemon pith and jicama flavors. Flashes of gooseberry and talc run through the finish. Bottled June 2016. Drink now.’


087551  (S)   Score 92  $18.95

Mark Squires of  says ‘The 2011 Late Bottled Vintage Port is an unfiltered field blend that comes with a bar top cork. It comes in at 108 grams per liter of residual sugar and was bottled in 2016, according to the label. Rather gorgeous, this fresh, tight and powerful
Fonseca is perfectly focused, extracted and tightlywound, finishing with intensity of flavor laced with some herbs and a hint of garrigue. Yet, everything is always in a very controlled fashion brilliantly supported by its structure. This is a beauty, another super 2011 LBV. Drink Date: 2016-2027.’



542852 (S)    Silver Medal (International Wine Challenge, 2016) $15.95

Vintage notes: ‘Vermouth is the new big thing in Spain. Many traditional Sherry producers are now crafting their own examples, while companies such as Guerra, who produced this Vermouth from 1879 until the 1960s, are relaunching classic expressions. Try this over ice as a classy aperitif or digestif, or as part of a wide range of cocktails. TASTING NOTE: Chocolate, dried fruit on the nose.
Pinewood spice on the palate. Melon rich finish.’


414896   $23.95

This could be dessert on its own! Or you could bake it into this Raspberry Liqueur Cake!

Vintage Notes: ‘An intense nose of raspberry manifesting as raspberry pie and raspberry tea.
Sweet and dynamic on the palate, with, you guessed it, concentrated raspberry notes. Well priced and very well made, this is a great digestif, or you can pour it over ice cream for a truly decadent experience.’


While the release features Rosés from around the world, The French ones that were rated were coming in with ratings in the high 80s.  The standouts of those rated were 2 from Ontario!

MALIVOIRE VIVANT ROSÉ 2017  (VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada)

498535 (XD)      Score 91   $19.95

John Szabo, MS of, says ‘ … made from pure pinot noir grown on the Beamsville Bench, and the ripeness and balance have been nailed perfectly. Like the previous
editions it’s crafted in a pale, bone-dry, Provençal style, with fruit firmly in the tart red berry, citrus-lemon, green apple and white grapefruit spectrum. Acids are terrifically bright and lively on a mid-weight, crunchy frame, and the finish lingers nicely … Great value. ‘
Medium-bodied & Dry

THREE OF HEARTS ROSÉ 2017  (VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada)

552562 (D)  Score 90     $19.95

Vintage Panel notes: Three – it’s the magic number. This 100% Pinot Noir rosé from one of Ontario’s foremost producers brings to life the adage that good things come in threes. After all, the formula for the perfect brunch or dinner wine = great grapes + great winemaking + great style. Dry, bright and lively with a vivid ripe red fruit character and an underlying rhubarb note, this would be a brilliant sipper or a great pairing for garlicky grilled shrimp.’ Medium-bodied & Dry


FLAT ROCK RIESLING 2016 (VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada)

043281 (M)   Score   91  $17.95

Dave Isaacs of says ‘The very pale-gold appearance of this wine belies the fascinating nose of herbs, peach and pear with wisps of petrol aromas. It’s medium bodied and slightly off dry with flavours of pear and peach accompanied by a delightfully lemon tang.
The lemon hangs on through the finish, making the entire tasting experience crisp and refreshing. This will go very nicely with a plate of spicy pad Thai drizzled with lime juice.’ Aromatic & Flavourful

MOMO ORGANIC PINOT GRIS 2017 (Marlborough, South Island, NZ)
163535   (XD) Score 89 -91  $19.95

Bob Campbell, MW of describes ‘Soft, fruity pinot gris, with classic
pear and apple flavours together with a hint of spice.  acidity with fine, peppery tannins adding
back-bone while promoting a fairly drying finish. Drink: 2017 to 2021.’ Full-bodied & Rich


606772  (XD)   Score: 90+      $19.95

Luis Gutiérrez of says ‘… It fermented with native yeast in oak barrels where the wine matured for ten months. It has moderate alcohol (13%) and remarkable acidity, very clean aromas and flavors. It’s very dry, with a sharp texture and very fine acidity. ‘ Light & Crisp

(Sur Lie, AP  Loire, France)

534396 (XD) Score   91    $19.95

Muscadet Sevre et Maine is one of the most consistent  best value wines on the market in my opinion.  Excellent examples can be had in the $15 dollar range so I am expecting big things out of this one!  They are a sure bet for a crisp, clean wine to accompany fish, seafood and salads.

Roger Voss of  Wine Enthusiast says ‘It’s the old vines that are behind the concentration of this wine. It is rich, tight and dry with a really crisp texture and strong minerality. The acidity and the great lemon and grapefruit flavors are delicious and refreshing. Give this wine another few
months for the best effect and drink from 2018. Editors’ Choice.  ( Dec. 1, 2017)’  Aromatic & Flavourful

LAXAS ALBARIÑO 2015 (DO Rías Baixas, Spain)

021477   (XD)   Score 91   $19.95

Michael Schachner of Wine Enthusiast says ‘Stony lime aromas are lightly floral and appealing. This feels smooth and slightly round despite showing firm acidity. Nectarine and melon flavors end with lasting minerality and a stone-fruit character. As per usual, As Laxas doesn’t disappoint.’ Aromatic & Flavourful


LICENCIADO RESERVA 2012  (DOCa Rioja, (Burgo Viejo), Spain)

370023 (XD)   Score 95     $24.95 notes say ‘Bright nearly opaque medium violet color. Bright, fruity aromas and flavors of boysenberry tart a la mode and mocha gelato with an vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a tingling, intriguing, medium length spiced cherries, toffee, and cedar finish with fine, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A fantastically flavorful, supple, and vibrant Rioja. Exceptional. Cellar Selection.’
Full-bodied & Smooth ** Note cellar comments are from 2016.  It is now considered to be Drink or Hold**


936971 (XD)    Score 95      $29.95

(James Halliday of says ‘Matured in 50/50% French and American oak (8% new) for 20 months. It’s odd how the co-fermentation of viognier can appear to intensify
the regional signature, it’s certainly written large here, but there’s a spark of fresh fruit with a different pitch to its note. All this adds up to an impressive example of this key wine in the d’Arenberg menagerie. Drink By: 2032. Special Value.’  Full-bodied & Smooth

ELEPHANT HILL PINOT NOIR 2013 (Central Otago, South Island, NZ)

309583    (XD)  Score 93      $29.95

Sam Kim of says “Generous and succulent, this is a richly fruited and textured pinot showing dark cherry, floral, cedar and spice characters. The wine is concentrated and beautifully weighted with excellent harmony and integration, finishing long and supple. At its best: now to 2020.’ Medium-bodied & Fruity

ALAMOS SELECCIÓN MALBEC 2014 (Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina)
322800 (XD)     Score 92    $16.95

James Suckling of  says ‘A rich and flavorful red with blueberry, spice and walnut character. Full body, lots of fruit and a soft and balanced finish. This one is always delicious. Drink now.’  Medium-bodied & Fruity


HUNTER’S PINOT NOIR 2014 (Marlborough, South Island, NZ)

586115     (XD)      Score 90      $24.95

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW of  describes ‘Pale ruby colored, the 2014 Jane Hunter Pinot Noir offers delicate kirsch, red currant jelly and potpourri notes with a waft of lavender. Soft,
fresh and elegantly fruited with perfumed red berry preserves notes, it has a lovely quiet intensity that really holds your interest. Drink Date: 2017-2021.’ Medium-bodied & Fruity

Cellar Suggestions

CHÂTEAU LA PRADE 2015 (AC Côtes de Bordeaux – France)
527283   (XD)   Score 92   $29.95

James Suckling of describes ‘A soft and juicy wine with plums, chocolate and some violets. Medium to full body and a round and caressing tannin texture. Flavorful finish.
Drink in 2020 but already gorgeous.’  Medium-bodied & Fruity

CHÂTEAU PIERRE DE MONTIGNAC 2010 (Cru Bourgeois, AC Médoc, France)
437954 (XD)  Score 89-91 $24.95

The tasting notes published quote Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast from a 2013 tasting where he rated this at 89.  More recent tastings are rating this in the low 90s.  David Lawrason of rated it 91 saying it is ‘medium-full bodied and fairly dense and generous..all kinds of tannin…punches above its price class.’  He recommends aging another year or two.



The May 12, 2018 LCBO Vintages Release features Bordeaux wines and Rosés.  The Liqueur and  Fortified Sections also hold some interesting offerings. All very reasonably prices. A good chance to add to your cellar or round out your bar!

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