Wine Picks LCBO Vintages Release May 26, 2018

This LCBO Vintages Release features female wine makers and sparkling wines.  There are lots of high scoring wines in the $20 and under range.  A great chance to stock up on summer sippers!

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.


¡HOLA! BRUT CAVA (Traditional method, DO Cava, Spain)

545848 ( XD)  Score: 92   $16.95
Decanter World Wine Awards notes: ‘% Macabeo, 40% Xarello, 30% Parellada. Soft green apple and citrus characters show on this harmonious nose. The palate is textured with baked apple pie notes, white fruits and clean citrus, ensuring a fresh and mouth-watering finish.’Medium-bodied & Flavourful


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

One of the standouts in the sparkling category is from Canada’s own Cave Spring!

213983   (XD)  Score 92    $20.95
Sara d’Amato of says ‘A nicely defined, elegant and sophisticated blanc de blancs – vibrant and toasty. Mid-weight with the freshness of chardonnay that cuts the unexpected richness on the palate. Well-balanced, with both charm and refinement. Impressively complex
at a steal of a price. Re-tasted Sept. 2017.’ Medium-bodied & Flavourful

LOOSEN BROS. DR. L. SPARKLING RIESLING (Char mat method, Germany)

296095  (M)        Score: 91     $14.95
Anna Lee Iijima of Wine Enthusiast describes ‘Exuberant green floral perfume, melon and peach abound on this profoundly aromatic sparkler. It’s delicate in mousse with soft, persistent bubbles and deeply penetrating flavors of stone fruit and tangerine. Vibrant and spine-tingling, it’s a remarkably elegant sekt with a gentle price tag. ‘  Light & Fruity


CHÂTEAU DE BERNE TERRES DE BERNE ROSÉ 2017 (AP Côtes de Provence, France)

278861  (XD)                  Score 90    $17.95
Vintages panel notes: This elegant pink wine blends Syrah, Cinsault and Grenache Noir and serves up aromas and flavours of juicy apricot, fresh apple and wild Provençal herbs. It’s quite impressively structured around a firm backbone of brilliant acidity and culminates in a dry, savoury finish. Serve chilled with barbecued herb-crusted chicken.èMedium-bodied & Dry

950576  (XD) $16.95

This little gem is not officially rated but Mas de Bressades offering are always commendable!

Rosés from Costières de Nîmes must comprise a minimum of 60% Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, with Carignan and Cinsault in support. This one is a perennial customer favourite, beloved for its charm and depth of expression. From one of the most reliable names in the Southern Rhône, it will offer vibrant, juicy, sunny fruit with savoury herb and garrigue tones. Perfect for grilled seafood, this will delight, plain and simple.’ Easygoing & Fruity

White Wines



275552  (XD)        Score 94       $26.95

Monterey International Wine Competition notes: ‘A crowd pleaser of a Chardonnay that rides the line between lean and fat perfectly. You get the plush butter and oak spice, but thanks to bracing
acidity, the lemon crème and tropical fruit flavors shine through, with the finish melding all the elements together in lip-smacking fashion. A great price on a quality bottle.’  A Platinum Award winner at the 2017 Monterey International Wine Competition.  Full-bodied & Rich

VERUM CHARDONNAY 2016 (Alto Valle Del Rio Negro, Patagonia, Argentina)

552042  (XD)                Score 93     $16.95
James Suckling of describes ‘Layered and fruity with pretty fruit and cooked apples. Medium-to full-bodied, layered and phenolic with a lovely texture. Drink now.’
Full-bodied & Rich

VASSE FELIX FILIUS CHARDONNAY 2017 (Margaret River, Western Australia)

416511 (XD)    Score 91      $26.95

Vintages panel notes: From a vintage that was the coolest and latest in 10 years, this saw eight months in French oak and on the lees. This is crisp and intense with high-toned tangy melon, apple, lemon citrus and a delicate vanilla undertone. Zesty and fresh with a delectable hint of spice on the end. Great mouthfeel and intensity. A classy, refined wine. Perfect for grilled chicken, pork chops, lobster or crab cakes.’  Light & Crisp

ROBERT MONDAVI FUMÉ BLANC 2015 (50th Anniversary, Napa Valley, California, USA)

221887 (XD)  Score 90   $22.95
David Lawrason of says ‘ … This is quite full bodied, intense, dry wine with well woven, complex aromas of roasted herbs (rosemary), toast, vanillin and vaguely tropical
guava/gooseberry jam fruit. It has some heft at 14.5% alcohol, plus very good acidity. The finish is lemon-lime, herbs and toast, hitting excellent length. Ideal [for] grilled white meats and fish.’ Aromatic & Flavourful

Red Wines


546424     (XD)                  Score 94        $21.95

James Suckling of  james suckling.comsays ‘This is really beautiful with blueberry, violet and graphite aromas and flavors. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins. Classy.’
Full-bodied & Firm


672931   (D)               Score 93       $24.95

James Suckling of says ‘What a delicious nose of brambleberries, vanilla, mocha-scented oak, spice box, plum liqueur, licorice and milk chocolate. Full-bodied and
rich with plenty of dense fruit and fresh acidity that carries this to a long finish. Almost verges on too much but pulls back.’ Full-bodied & Smooth

KLOOF STREET 2016 (WO Swartland, South Africa)

460964  (XD)   Score 90     $19.95

This wine is getting high praise consistently around the web.
Vintages panel notes : Crafted to proffer a juicy, berry-led flavour profile, this is elegant and structured, with velvety texture and silky tannins. This is a perfectly pitched barbecue wine with great versatility and broad appeal.Full-bodied & Smooth

Honourable Mentions

There are a number of wines where the scores are ranging from high 80s-low 90s at very reasonable prices so I am pointing them out.  They would make an good and  economical addition to any backyard BBQ.

FRANKLAND ESTATE SHIRAZ 2015 (Frankland River, Western Australia)

552133  (XD)   Score 95   $26.95

James Halliday of  describes ‘Bright, full crimson-purple; the variety and the terroir seek to impose each one’s stamp over the other, both failing in their attempt, the
perfect win-win outcome. Blackberry fruit, spice and black pepper lead the way on the bouquet and medium-bodied palate alike, French oak (subtle) and tannins (ripe, but fine) completing a great portrait of cool-grown shiraz. Special Value. Drink by: 2035.’ Full-bodied & Smooth

SISTER’S RUN EPIPHANY SHIRAZ 2015 (McLaren Vale, South Australia)

269464  (XD)      Score 91  $16.95

James Halliday of describes ‘Full colour, both depth and hue; a medium to full-bodied that takes McLaren Vale shiraz from a good vintage, the winemaking simply taking best advantage of the fruit quality. Blackberry, plum, bitter chocolate and briar all contribute to
a savoury palate and finish. Special Value. Drink By: 2025.’  Full-bodied & Smooth

TAR & ROSES SHIRAZ 2016 (Heathcote, Victoria, Australia)

282731   (XD)    Score 91   $19.95
Campbell Mattinson of says ‘Easy shiraz to like. Well flavoured, a bit of spunk, fresh fruit and just generally more-ish. Black cherries, plums, peppercorns and vanilla. A slip
of creaminess but really it’s the fruit holding the floor. One glass and you’re definitely up for a second. Lick of anise doesn’t hurt either. Good stuff. Drink: 2017-2023.’
Full-bodied & Smooth

Cellar Suggestions

Gold Medal winner at the New Zealand International Wine Show 2017.

358127  (XD)  Score 94  $13.95 (Note this is 375 ml)
James Suckling of says ‘This is very decadent and rich with blackberry, spice, meat and earth character. Full body, dense and juicy yet always refined and fresh. Classy. Needs a year or two to soften.’  Full-bodied & Smooth


018721 (XD)   Score 93    $17.95
James Suckling of says ‘Blackberry, blueberry and flower aromas follow through to a full body, layered fruit and silky tannins. Very pretty wine. Solid as always. Drink or hold.’ Full-bodied & Firm


702381   (XD)   Score 91   $29.95
Jim Gordon of Wine Enthusiast says ‘Big, bold and tannic, this layered and nicely ripe wine is an iron fist in a velvet glove. It smells like espresso and dark chocolate, tastes equally roasted and rich, but backs its darker flavors with blueberry and blackberry notes, finishing smooth. Best after 2019.’
Full-bodied & Firm



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