Wine Picks LCBO Vintages Release Sept 29, 2018

At this time of the year you may be asking ‘What Wine goes with Turkey?’ The LCBO Vintages Release Sept 29, 2018 has many good value wines and lots of them are turkey-friendly.  The Riesling feature will delight riesling lovers with several good value examples including a Canadian riesling and an Alsace Grand Cru.


What Wine Goes With Turkey ?

Let’s talk turkey for a minute  since many of us will be enjoying a Thanksiving feast  with family and friends.  The simple answer is -whatever wine you like will pair with your dinner but some wines will balance with the turkey and spices better than others.

Turkey Whites

In the white department a rich Chardonnay may balance the rich gravy, buttery side dishes nicely.  If you are a fan of rich Chardonnays that may be the combo for you.

A Sauvignon Blanc may be crisper and the herbal notes may enhance the savoury spices in your dressing and sides.

A crisp chardonnay, pinot grigio, pinot gris, a dry riesling or chenin blanc may cut through the richness of the meal and refresh your palate.

One of my favourite combinations for holiday turkey meals is Puilly Fuissè, a French chardonnay typically with a hint of savoury notes.  (That is in the splurge department – they typically run in the mid $30 and up.)

Turkey Reds

In the red department, a full -bodied, high tannin red wine will probably overpower the flavours of you meal and the leaner protein that is turkey won’t do much to soften or enhance a heavy red wine.  Light or medium bodies reds such as Pinot Noir,  Beaujolais,  a GSM, Cote du Rhone and even a Syrah should work well with the spices of the meal and not overpower the turkey.

Turkey Sparklings

And don’t overlook the possibilities of a sparkling wine. A ‘methode traditionelle’ with descriptors of toasty, yeasty and/or nutty would cut through the richness of the meal and pair well with the savoury notes of the turkey, dressing and side dishes.

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.

Sparkling Wines

WOLFBERGER BRUT CRÉMANT D’ALSACE Traditional method, (AC Alsace, France)

460832   (XD)   Score 94       $19.95 notes: ‘Straw color. Bright, fruity, creamy aromas of green apple pastry, peaches in cream, and lemon chiffon with a supple, tangy, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, amusing,
medium-long white nuts, lime-pineapple sorbet, and minerals finish with no oak. A refreshing, tangy sparkling wine that will shine at the table. Exceptional.’
Medium-bodied & Flavourful

2017 Traditional method, ( WO Western Cape, South Africa)

130047   (D)    $18.95

“Méthode Cap Classique” is South African shorthand for the very same time-tested traditional method used to make Champagne. An incredible value, this pink example blends 85% Pinot Noir and 15% Chardonnay sourced from a 300-year-old farm. Look for tangy red berry and citrus notes, and sip with crispy duck breast or your favourite early-autumn appetizers.’
Medium-bodied & Flavourful

White Wines


COLOMÉ TORRONTÉS 2017 (Calchaquí Valley, Argentina)

357913 (XD)   Score 93   $15.95

Note : Torrontés is a very specific aromatic grape.  It is not to everyone’s taste but this is a good value  example of the varietal. For my taste it is more like a base for a white sangria where you add and dilute and fruit it up.  This is not meant to detract from people whose taste run toward the aromatic, flowery and fruity.

Andy Howard of says ‘A benchmark Torrontés with an intense, perfumed nose followed by a balanced palate that’s full of concentrated ripe fruit and freshness. Zesty notes of grapefruit are apparent, combining with subtle floral hints and crisp citric acidity to create a very fine example, which emphasises how special Calchaquí is for this variety. Drinking
Window: 2018-2021. ‘ Aromatic & Flavourful

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

043281       (M)    Score 93+          $17.95

Carolyn Evans Hammond of The Toronto Star describes ‘Fruit, herbs and maturing petrol notes. Residual sugar is perfectly matched
by crisp acidity to keep this lively and balanced.’  Aromatic & Flavourful

WAIMEA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 (Nelson, South Island, New Zealand)

714295 (XD)   Score 93    $19.95

Sam Kim, says ‘Beautifully fruited and intensely fragrant, the powerful bouquet shows passionfruit, lemongrass, lime zest and feijoa characters. The palate is punchy and lively, and offers excellent fruit
purity and fine texture, brilliantly structured by mouthwatering acidity. The wine is classically expressed and instantly appealing. At its best: now to 2019.’
Aromatic & Flavourful

VOLCANIC HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 (Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand)

560292     (XD)   Score 93   $23.95

Sam Kim, wine says ‘It is delightfully fragrant on the nose
displaying passion fruit, green rock melon, nectarine and lime zest characters. The palate delivers excellent fruit purity and intensity, wonderfully supported by fine texture and bright acidity. The wine is immediate and delicious, and finishes long and refreshing. At its best: now to 2019.’
Aromatic & Flavourful


061176    (XD)     Score 93   $29.95
James Suckling of describes ‘A complex herbal and spicy nose. Rich yet rather cool and understated, this is a sophisticated dry riesling with some serious tannins at the long mineral finish. With a little more polish,
this would have been rated even higher. Drink or hold.’  Aromatic & Flavourful

2027 FALLS VINEYARD RIESLING 2016 (VQA Vinemount Ridge,
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada)

294041 (M) Score 91   $18.95

Vic Harradine of describes ‘Racy lime and ripe pear, lip-smacking vibrancy and an electrifying acidity make this sharply defined Riesling effortlessly food-friendly.’ Aromatic & Flavourful

KIM CRAWFORD PINOT GRIS 2017 (Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand)

369850  ( XD)    Score 91     $19.95

Natalie MacLean of   describes ‘A fresh, crisp New Zealand white wine made from the Pinot Gris grape. We generally
associate kiwi whites with Sauvignon Blanc, but Pinot Gris is equally refreshing and also does well in a cool climate. This 2017 Kim Crawford Pinot Gris offers aromas of lime, Asian pear and lemongrass.
Pair with seafood, shellfish. Drink: 2018-2020.’  Light & Crisp

Wairarapa, North Island, New Zealand)

361220   (XD)  Score 91   $19.95

Joe Czerwinski of says ‘Lively redcurrant aromas emerge on the nose of the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc. There’s pink grapefruit as well in this medium-bodied, slightly creamy-textured Sauvignon Blanc. It avoids
any vegetal notes, delivering a mouthful of bright, refreshing citrus and a long, crisp finish. Nicely done. Drink Date: 2018-2021’. Aromatic & Flavourful

FEATHERSTONE CANADIAN OAK CHARDONNAY 2016 (VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada)

149302     (XD)    Sore 91     $21.95

Louise Boutin  says ‘This medium-gold robed 100% chardonnay showcases delicate ripe pear, peach, vanilla and a touch of fresh citrus aromas on the nose. It’s even better on the palate with an ample
and round mouthfeel combining well-merged acidity with rich orchard fruit flavours for a medium-length peachy-vanilla-buttery, über-delicious finish. A
good-value, genuine Canadian gem to enjoy now with chicken à la King’.
Full-bodied & Rich

CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE RIESLING 2016 (Columbia Valley, Washington, USA)

685651    (M)   Score 90     $16.95

Notes from, Oct. 2017: A terrific wine for the price, this riesling’s best feature is its freshness; it’s a high-toned,
leesy white leading with scents of apple blossoms and a hint of lime. The flavors are at once crisp and round, supple and generous, with the body to pair with seafood, like octopus or squid.’ Aromatic & Flavourful


539965  (XD)  Score: 90    $16.95

Jeb Dunnuck of says ‘The medium-gold-colored 2015
IGP Pays D’Oc Elite D’Or Blanc is made from 100% Chardonnay and was raised in 50% new barrels and 50% once-used. It offers classic notes of buttered stone fruits, toasted bread, spice and white flowers to go with a rich, beautifully textured style on the palate. Drink this richly fruity, balanced, thoroughly enjoyable white over the coming 2-3 years’ Full-bodied & Rich


Score 90   (XD)       Score    90     $22.95 

Jeb Dunnuck of says ‘The 2016 Chardonnay Sonoma
County is a smoking value. Lemon curd, guava, honeysuckle, and plenty of citrus notes all flow to a pretty, seamless, elegant white that shines from its balance and purity. It’s impeccably made and would make a great house white to enjoy over the coming year or two.’  Full-bodied & Rich

(AC (M. Chapoutier, Midi, France)

485656  (XD)   Score 89-91         $15.95

Jeb Dunnuck of  says ‘… 60% Grenache Blanc, 20%
Macabeu and then smaller amounts of Marsanne and Vermentino. From a mix of estate terroirs (schistes, clay, limestone and granite), it has racy, vibrant aromas and flavors of lime, salty minerality and white peach. Medium-bodied, seamless and incredibly drinkable, it’s absolutely worth buying. Drink Date: 2017-2018.’  Full-bodied & Rich

Red Wines

WITS END LUNA SHIRAZ 2016 (McLaren Vale, South Australia)

311258     (XD)    Score 96    $17.95

James Halliday of says ‘ Includes a dash of barbera. Starts ticking the boxes with its bright colour, and continues to do so through the fragrant, gently spicy dark berry bouquet, thence the medium-bodied palate. It derives its quality through its freshness, the purity of its fruit flavours, and its supple mouthfeel. Drink By: 2023. Special Value.’ Full-bodied & Smooth

BEST’S BIN NO. 1 SHIRAZ 2015 (Great Western, Victoria, Australia)

222323   (XD)  Score 95/96     $21.95

James Suckling gave this wine a rating of 96 points: “What great depth and the peppery finish and shimmery, glossy tannins hold long and flawless.”
(, Jan. 11, 2017)
James Halliday of ‘ Bright crimson-purple; fragrant
spice, fruit and oak nuances are all on parade from the first whiff. The elegant, medium-bodied palate throws additional light on the complex array of cherry,
plum, licorice and oak flavours; supple texture and silky tannins tie the bow on a lovely, dirt cheap shiraz. Drink By: 2030. Special Value’ Full-bodied & Smooth

(DOC Veneto, Italy)

451666     (D)       Score 95   $23.95

Luca Maroni of says ‘A blend of Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella repassed over Amarone skins to enhance colour, body and flavour. You can expect this to be a complex, charming Ripasso with touches of cherry, black fruit and spice and good grip to the tannins. This is typically a ripe, dark, smoky wine that works well with grilled meats or stews featuring lamb or beef.’ Full-bodied & Smooth

H.J. FABRE GRAN RESERVA MALBEC 2014 (Mendoza, Argentina)

568949   (XD)    Score 95   $24.95

Decanter World Wine Awards, 2017: ‘ 100% Malbec. Spicy nose with a
very juicy and pure palate awash with concentrated flavours of blackberries, blueberries and violets. A very fine, balanced wine with real personality.’
Full-bodied & Smooth



444430 (D)   Score 94   $24.95

Patricio Tapia, Descorchados: (Translated from the Spanish):
Produced from vines planted in 1997 at Las Majadas, located 720 m above sea level in Pirque. Much has been said about the style of wines originating from Alto Maipo, at the base of the Andes. Rather than the notes of mint indicative of certain areas of the region, aromas of bright, fresh red fruits take centre stage here. Nervous, yet medium-bodied, with remarkable finesse. An exemplar of the region’s style. This wine is composed of 13% cabernet franc.’
Medium-bodied & Fruity


574251 (XD)   Score 93  $19.95

James Sucklin of says ‘ I love the clarity of this wine with
blackcurrant, licorice and raspberry character on the nose and palate. Full-bodied yet so refined and polished. Pointed acidity. Excellent all around. Pure
sangiovese.’ Full-bodied & Smooth


515460    (D)      Score 93    $24.95

James Suckling of  describes ‘Blueberry and light flower aromas follow through to a full to medium body with a cola, berry and light chocolate undertone. Very long. Gorgeous. Drink now or hold.’
Full-bodied & Smooth


ROBERT OATLEY SIGNATURE SERIES GSM 2016 (McLaren Vale, South Australia)

489658      (XD)   Score 92    $19.95

Jane Faulkner of says ‘Awash with dense sweet spicy
fruit, some raspberry confection, musk and eucalypt mingling with cedary oak and warm earth notes. Fuller bodied, concentrated with slightly raspy tannins. Drink By: 2024. Special Value.’
Full-bodied & Smooth

(Bodegas Trapiche)

568865    (XD)     Score 92   $19.95

James Suckling of describes ‘ A cabernet with plenty of tobacco, chocolate and berry character. Medium to full body
Flavorful finish. Delicious. From old vines planted in 1960. Drink now or hold. ‘
Full-bodied & Firm


576066     (XD)  Score 90-92     $19.95

Luis Gutiérrez gave this wine a rating of 90 points.

Patricio Tapia, Descorchados note: Maquis is a specialist in cabernet
franc, and this year’s is a robust red with great freshness and acidity. For lamb. ‘
Medium-bodied & Fruity

CLOS DE TAFALL 2015 (DOQ Priorat, Spain)

574616 (XD)    Score 91     $19.95
Thomas Matthews of says ‘ Generous yet lively, this red
shows cherry and berry fruit flavors that mingle with mountain herb, mineral and vanilla notes. Well integrated tannins and tangerine acidity keep this
focused. Grenache, Carignan and Cabernet. Drink now through 2025. Smart Buys.’ Medium-bodied & Fruity


352039 (XD)    Score 91    $24.95

Josh Raynolds of says ‘ (aged for nine months in a combination
of stainless steel tanks and used barrels): Ruby-red. Intense, sharply focused red currant, cherry pit and floral scents are complemented by deeper suggestions of licorice and musky rhubarb. Stains the palate with black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that become weightier and sweeter
with air. Smoothly combines power and vivacity, finishing chewy and long; fine-grained tannins add grip. Drinking window: 2018-2023.’
Full-bodied & Smooth


FORIS PINOT NOIR 2015 (Rogue Valley, Oregon, USA)

937128    (XD)     Score 90         $24.95

Josh Raynolds of  describes ‘Light bright red. Fresh red berries,
pungent flowers and a hint of white pepper on the fragrant nose. Juicy, gently sweet strawberry and orange zest flavors deepen slowly with air. Clean,
focused and light on its feet, showing seamless texture and a long, tannin-free finish that strongly echoes the strawberry and floral notes. This graceful, nicely delineated, almost weightless wine delivers superb value for Pinot Noir. Drinking window: 2019-2023.’ Medium-bodied & Fruity

Cellar Suggestions


713354    (XD)    $31.95

Sourced from a variety of sites planted between 320 and 420 metres and ranging from 12-45 years of age, this 100% Nebbiolo saw 30 months ageing in
oak before bottling. It will be a characteristically floral, elegant wine with red fruit, clove, dried fruit, mineral and spice notes. It will be approachable young, certainly younger than Barolo, but will reward a further 8-10 years’ patience.’
Medium-bodied & Fruity



557710 (XD) $34.95

Vintages panel notes : Sourced from a five-hectare vineyard with vines up to 45 years of age, this Chablis has a refined, pure minerality with ample apple, stone fruit and white grapefruit and some tropical pineapple tones. Crisp and refreshing with good intensity and length. Enjoy this tonight with grilled chicken or give it another 3-5 years in your cellar. Aromatic & Flavourful


Good Bets

The wines highlighted below have not been rated by critics but are wines that come from consistently high quality producers or regions that epitomize the characteristics of a certain varietal or style. In other words… good value wines that I would gravitate to without hesitation!

CHÂTEAU PLAISANCE 2006 (AC Bordeaux Supérieur, France)

404285 (XD)    $20.95

Vintage panel notes: A great value for maturing Bordeaux, this is mostly Merlot with equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. It’s showing development, but there’s some youthful exuberance here yet.
Delicious flavours of cherry and cassis, with touches of autumn leaves and earth. This is drinking beautifully.

Full-bodied & Smooth


HENRY FESSY GAMAY NOIR 2016 (Product of France)
Silver Medal winner at the International Gamay
Competition 2018

556571   (XD) $16.95

Vintages panel notes: The Henry Fessy Gamay Noir 2016 is aromatic and pretty with impressive flavours of cherry, strawberry and smoke. Juicy and long with great appeal and plenty of Gamay character. Really
nice. ‘ Light-bodied & Fruity



948059 (XD)    $16.95

The Perrin family are long-time leaders in organic winemaking, and their wines are among the most popular at Vintages. This wine offers tremendous
value, and you can expect it to deliver an impressively layered, complex array of dark fruit and berries, with smoky and savoury undertones. Enjoy with grilled meats or lamb stew.
Medium-bodied & Fruity


297317 (XD) $17.95

Vintages panel notes : Xavier Vins was founded in 2002 and is renowned consultant winemaker Xavier Vignon’s micro-négociant company – he works with select wines to create exceptional Rhône blends. Crafted from equal parts Syrah and Grenache, with Mourvèdre rounding out the blend, this is rich and round with smoky dark and red cherry, spice and a lingering mocha note on the close. Really, really nice. The Grenache was planted nearly 100 years ago and it certainly comes through. Pair with lamb chops or burgers.
Full-bodied & Smooth

ZENATO PINOT GRIGIO 2017 (IGT delle Venezie, Italy)

037648 (D) $16.95

This Pinot Grigio from Zenato tends to lean toward the riper, more intense end of the PG spectrum. You can expect it to deliver a satisfying array of floral
tones accented by lemon citrus, white-fleshed fruit and a pure mineral tone. It will be crisp and lively, and if antecedence is anything to go by, it will have
a steely finish. Enjoy with grilled fish or chicken, or simply sip and savour.
Light & Crisp

At this time of the year you may be asking 'What Wine goes with Turkey?' The LCBO Vintages Release Sept 29, 2018 has many good value wines and lots of them are turkey-friendly.  The Riesling feature will delight riesling lovers with several good value examples including a Canadian riesling and an Alsace Grand Cru.

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