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Saturday February 22, 2020 - Vintages Release Report

20 Feb 2020

 

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Key to the 5-star rating system:
5 = Outstanding … 4.5 = Excellent … 4 = Very Good … 3.5 = Good

Wine colour indicators - Red, Whites, etc.

The Foci … 13 Wintry Reds (13) & Award Wining Local (AWL)

The New Normal … The LCBO has curbed our tasting of Vintages releases by almost half – they are “curating” what we taste, so instead of finding those gems from the full list of wines being released the LCBO is telling us what they want us to taste and then we are to pick the gems out of those wines …

33 wines were NOT offered for tasting –
plus 3 (all) “Flagship Exclusives” (aka. In Store Discoveries)

The Skinny … The LCBO decided to pull out some Big Reds for winter in this release, and they do have some good wines to choose from; the other surprise is a wine from Uruguay that finally shows some promise for the future of that wine growing / making country – or it shows that the buyer(s) finally picked something better than just “good”, either way you need to check it out, and for under $17 it won’t break the bank to get 2 or 3.

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Argentina …
Salentein 2017 Reserve Malbec ($17.95 - #640854) – nicely structure with dark fruit like cassis and blackberry with mocha and spice.  (*** ½+)

Australia …
Monterra 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #012835) – gentle fruit of strawberry and cherry with spicy white pepper backing; finishes with good acidity and good tannins.  (****)
Sister’s Run2017 Epiphany Shiraz ($17.95 - #269464) – good wine and solid value: spicy plum and Christmas cake.  (*** ½) … 13
Torbreck 2017 Old Vines Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre ($24.95- #010223) – raspberry, mocha, spiced-cherry, cinnamon, smoke; lots going on here with exceptional length.  (****+) … 13

Canada (British Columbia) …
Burrowing Owl 2016 Athene ($44.95 - #371336) – lots of peppery goodness along with smoked-cherry, mocha, and blackberry – finish is layered with fruit and smoke.  (****)
Canada (Ontario) … click on wine name for full review
Creekside 2016 Laura’s Red ($25.00 - #117960) - ****+ … (13)
Creekside 2017 Iconoclast Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon ($23.00 - #520627) - *** ½+ (AWL)
Southbrook 2017 Triomphe Merlot ($27.95 - #418830) - *** ½ … (13)

France (Bordeaux) …
Chateau de Ribebon 2016 ($16.95 - #012281) – smooth with coffee and cassis plus a dash of floral.  (*** ½)
France (Burgundy) …
Cuvee Joseph Talmard 2018 Macon Chardonnay ($16.95 - #392712) – delicate peach, apricot, apple and lime; with good acidity – good value Chardonnay from a good producer.  (****)
France (Loire) …
Chateau de la Grange 2017 Vieilles Vignes Cotes de Grand Lieu Muscadet ($13.95 - #637868) – crisp mineral, lanolin and even a tad waxy.  (*** ½)
France (Midi) …
Chateau Saint-Roch 2017 Chimeres ($19.95 - #119354) – pretty with upfront floral and reddish fruit and a nice peppery bite.  (*** ½+)
France (Rhone) …
Chateau Le Grand Retour 2017 Plan de Dieu Cotes du Rhone-Villages ($15.95 - #224592) – dark fruit, delicate spice with strawberry, raspberry and chocolate.  (*** ½+)
France (Southwest) …
V3 2018 Sans Sulfites Ajoutes ($14.95 - #013398) – see full review here … (*** ½)

Italy (Marche) …
Fontevecchia 2017 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore ($14.95 - #011140) – subtle bitter note of grapefruit pith along with lemon and lime.  (*** ½)
Italy (Piedmont) …
Enrico Serafino 2017 Picotener Nebbiolo ($38.95 - #012736) – violets, cherry and smoke. (*** ½)
Italy (Tuscany) …
Scaranto 2017 Chianti ($15.95 - #013454) – dark fruit forward with coffee bean backing.  (*** ½+)
Tolaini 2015 Al Passo ($29.95 - #164954) – spiced-fruit, cedar, smoke and blackberry.  (*** ½)

New Zealand …
Mud House 2018 Sauvignon Blanc ($19.95 - #190454) – gooseberry and grapefruit with a nice zest note.  (*** ½+)
Toi Toi 2018 Clutha Pinot Noir ($27.95 - #012607) – earthy with sour cherry, white pepper with a little herbal note on the finish.  (*** ½)

Portugal …
Burmester 10-Year-Old Tawny Port ($29.95 - #223958) – Multiple tastes of this wine will bring you to the same conclusion: I need to get me some of that: burnt cherry and toasted orange peel with plenty of spice and acidity but the kicker is the chocolatey-walnut finish you won’t soon forget - nor will you want to.  (****)

Spain …
Senorio de la Antingua 2015 Finca Cabanela Mencia ($13.95 - #481549) – light and juicy with delicate raspberry and cherry fruit.  (*** ½)
Torres 2015 Salmos ($39.95 - #450734) - see full review here … (****+)

Uruguay …
Garzon Estate 2017 Cabernet Franc/Tannat ($16.95 - #012651) – tasty with tobacco and spice plus cassis and black pepper; solid with good backbone and well-priced.  (****) … 13

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If You Can Afford It:  wines worth their high price …
Beringer 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($59.95 - #091058) - ****+ … (13)
Il Poggione 2013 Brunello di Montalcino ($72.95 - #551176) - ****


Best Values in this Release - (February 22, 2020) …
Garzon Estate 2017 Cabernet Franc/Tannat ($16.95 - #012651) – Uruguay
Monterra 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - #012835) – Australia

 

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