LCBO : GENERAL LIST / VINTAGES ESSENTIALS Reviews

16 Mar 2021

Every so often I get enough wine amassed to create a helpful little guide of some of the best wines avaialable in the "Generla List" section of the LCBO ... here are some of the bottle worth grabbing:

 

Alario 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
$8.45 - Chile - LCBO 638247 … (General List)
Simple yet tasty... this bird labelled wine from Chie is the usual minty, raspberry and black fruit you see in Chilean Cabs at an everyday drinking price.  (***+)

Barone Montalto 2018 Nero D’Avola Cabernet Ter Sicilane
$9.50 – Italy – LCBO 621151 … (General List)
A pleasurable red that has notes of balsamic and black cherry … tasty, if maybe just a little too simple.  (***+)

Bersano 2017 Barbera D'Asti Costalunga
$14.30 – Italy – LCBO 348680 … (General List)
This beauty delivers on all the right levels for a Barbera ... The first thing you notice is the acidity, which keeps things fresh and lively - those "things" are the red currants, cranberry, spiced-cherry and even a hint of pencil shavings - once fully opened (about an hour) that red fruit just kicks everything up a notch, while the acidity keeps things really fresh and in balance.  (****)

Calmel & Joseph 2019 Chardonnay Villa Blanche Calmel & Joseph
$15.25 - France - LCBO 375051 … (General List)
This is one Chardonnay that really surprised … it had all the right notes of Chardonnay: creamy mid-palate, lots of butter and apple, a touch of vanilla and even some floral and subtle spice. The acidity wasn't aggressive, but by the time you realized that half the bottle is gone. A tasty little surprise from a region not known for Chardonnay (Languedoc).  (****)

Castano 2019 Monastrell
$9.00 - Spain – LCBO 635771 … (General List)
Simple and tasty with notes of raspberry, coffee bean and even some dried strawberry.  (***)

Cavit Collection 2019 Moscato Pavia
$13.95 - Italy - LCBO 277210 … (General List)
One of those quietly pleasing wines you're going to secretly love and hide in the basement or back of the fridge – away from prying eyes. Peach orchard and pineapple puree with just a little light fizz that darted in and out (sometimes it was there sometimes it wasn’t). Oh goodness, oh joy.  (*** ½)

Cesari 2017 Mara Valpolicella Ripasso
$16.95 - Italy – LCBO 506519 … (General List)
Mocha, black cherry and heavy of other dark fruits, but there's also oak, red cherry and earthy notes to add a little complexity.  (*** ½+)

Chateau de Courteillac 2018 Bordeaux Courteillac
$14.45 - France – LCBO 360552 … (General List)
A Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon blend that hits so many good notes for not a lot of dough … floral, dark fruit, hints of mocha and lovely black cherry all coalesce on the palate offering up great structure and nice tannin backbone. Age 5 years plus in the cellar.  (****)

Chateau de Gourgazaud 2017 Minervois
$14.10 – France – LCBO 22384 … (General List)
Plenty of mocha and black cherry with cassis backing.  (*** ½+)

Chateau Lacour Tourny 2018 Bordeaux
$11.85 - France – LCBO 17447 … (General List)
Smooth and silky Bordeaux that's ready to go right now... It has a little blackberry, black cherry with hints of white pepper and coffee.  (*** ½)

Concha y Toro 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Casillero del Diablo
$13.95 - Chile – LCBO 278416 … (General List)
Coffee, mint and even some blackcurrant – not a lot of complexity here but it's worth pulling one out on a weeknight maybe even two.  (*** ½)

Concha y Toro 2018 Devils Collection Reserva Red
$16.00 - Chile - LCBO 436956 … (General List)
Decent flavours and aromas, there are some tannins backing up the dark fruit, but this one is a really simple, easy drinking pleasure - emphasis on simple.  (***+)

Cusumano 2019 Nero d'Avola
$13.00 - Italy - LCBO 143164 … (General List)
Kicks off with lots of pepper and spice then integrates some dark / black fruit into the mix.  (*** ½)

Dona Paula 2019 Los Cardos Sauvignon Blanc
$11.95 - Argentina - LCBO 11943 … (General List)
Pretty typical Sauvignon Blanc with its grassy, herbal and peachy notes.  (***+)

Fontella 2018 Chianti
$15.10 – Italy – LCBO 230797 … (General List)
Simple yet successful Chianti with good fruit plus smoke and spice … turns out by a fluke I found out it was a good match for ranch chips.  (***+)

Francois Labet 2019 Cotes du Rhone "Dame Alix"
$13.95 - France – LCBO 630657 … (General List)
Really juicy and red fruit forward with a hint of chocolate and cherry on the mid-palate that leads to a lengthy finish ... Both the tannins and the acidity add depth to what would otherwise be a simple wine.  (*** ½+)

Frank Hellwig 2017 Shiraz Grenache
$17.95 - Australia - LCBO 15514 … (General List)
This wine is the tail of a little bit here and a little bit there - nice fruit, but not in your face, good acidity with gentle tannins so as not to put pressure on the delicate fruitiness, namely blackberry, cherry and raspberry with mocha and smoky notes all touched with peppercorns; but the middle lacks definition. It's tasty and satisfying but there's obviously a "but" here.  (*** ½)

Giulio Straccali 2019 Chianti
$10.95 - Italy – LCBO 621227 … (General List)
The layers of this straight on Chianti make it very interesting - the foresty notes, the balsamic, the red currants and the hint of strawberry all create an enjoyable wine.  (*** ½)

Humante 2018 Garnacha
$9.70 - Spain - LCBO 11705 … (General List)
The big beard on the front label is distinctive, as is the fresh bowl of raspberries both on the nose and palate with its subtle sweetness ... It's a hit of fresh fruit that's very welcome in your glass.  (*** ½)

Julia Florista Red
$8.95 – Portugal – LCBO 532358 … (General List)
This easy drinking Portuguese non-vintage wine has delicate floral, plum and cherry notes made with quaffability in mind.  (*** ½)

Laurent Miquel Pere et Fils 2019 Chardonnay
$13.05 - France - LCBO 157909 … (General List)
This south of France Chardonnay is dry with a mineral / stone fruit notes and some bitter apple on the finish.  (*** ½)

Masi 2017 Campofiorin
$22.05 - Italy – LCBO 155051 … (General List)
Good tannin structure gives backbone to cigar box, tobacco, herbal and even tomato leaf notes ... The fruit is in here somewhere and it'll come out – but right now it's closed and secondary characteristics focused.  (*** ½+)

Montes Alpha 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon
$19.95 - Chile – LCBO 322586 … (Vintages Essential)
This usually “very good” wine is simply “good” this year. The mint, blackberry, and blackcurrant are all their - it's easy and pleasant ... yet the wood backing seems prevalent at the moment - it'll settle, but this review is a snapshot of now... The plus in this review score is a nod to the future.  (*** ½+)

Ogier 2019 Ventoux Rosé
$14.55 – France – LCBO 134916 … (General List)
Candy apple, fuzzy peach with a hint of raspberry.  (*** ½)

Peljesca 2018 Plavac Mali
$13.55 - Croatia - LCBO 460873 … (General List)
A very drinkable Plavic MAli from Croatia that's juicy and flavorful: raspberry, cherry and vanilla dominate with subtle sweetness that lingers on the back end.  (***+)

Ruffino 2019 Pinot Grigio Lumina
$13.95 - Italy - LCBO 589101 … (General List)
Fresh peach and apple with just a hint of lime to balance that sweetish fruit upfront ... Quite refreshing.  (*** ½)

Slow Press 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Slow Press
$18.95 - California – LCBO 15760 … (General List)
This is pure Cali-Cab soft, simple and satisfying: vanilla, black cherry, juicy fruit with good non-aggressive tannins and a pleasant mocha finish.  (****)

Stel + Mar 2019 Premium Rosé
$8.95 / 500ml - California – LCBO 17654 … (General List)
A friendly rosé I tried the end of last year’s rosé season: strawberry, rhubarb and lime; quite friendly and drinkable.  (*** ½)

Tarapaca 2019 Sauvignon Blanc Reserva
$13.90 - Chile - LCBO 634402 … (General List)
Lots of grassy, green pepper and hints of grapefruit pith.  (***+)

The Crusher 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
$18.95 – California – LCBO 647404 … (General List)
A simple, easy drinking Cali-Cab that sits on the general list and is a real palate pleaser for those fans of red-fruited California Cabernet.  (*** ½)

The Pavillion 2020 Chenin Blanc Pavillion
$11.95 - South Africa - LCBO 281311 … (General List)
A real pleasant Chenin that has aromas a beeswax, floral and honeysuckle while the palate doles out peach and pear notes.  (****)

Tokaji 2017 Szamorodni Sweet
$15.90 / 500ml – Hungary – LCBO 460493 … (General List)
Slightly sweet notes that are a real pleasure on the palate: honey, apricot, floral even some baby’s breath and banana finishing with a hint of praline – lovely complexity.  (****)

Tom Gore 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon
$19.95 - California – LCBO 451336 (Vintages Essential)
Juicy blackberry, black cherry, mocha, tea leaves and vanilla - really a pleasing sip.  (*** ½+)

Vicente Faria 2019 Animus Douro
$11.95 - Portugal – LCBO 535641 … (General List)
This is one of those dark core wines that provide layers of pleasure: dark fruit like plum and black cherry plus mocha and coffee bean ... It's a wine to enjoy all night long and I am sure that you will.  (****)

Villa Wolf 2017 Pinot Noir Villa Wolf
$15.00 - Germany - LCBO 291971 … (General List)
From the Pfalz region of Germany, not a place you think of for Pinot Noir, but they making some great version of wine from this grape. The concentration here is subtle but exactly what you expect from Pinot Noir: cherry, raspberry and really good subtle spicing that's just a really delicious on-point bottle of Pinot Noir.  (****)

Wente 2019 Morning Fog Chardonnay
$19.95 - California - LCBO 175430 … (General List)
This longtime general list Chardonnay has returned to its fruit roots and jettisoned the over oakiness but has hints of vanilla for sure, but also pineapple, peach and apple ... Tons of fruit and nice acidity - that's what wins one over every time with Chardonnay.  (****)

Wines of Substance 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon
$23.95 – Washington – LCBO 419770 … (Vintages Essential)
Now on the Vintages Essentials list at the LCBO, this popular Washington Cab delivers vanilla, cherry, mocha, chocolate and even some floral elements on the nose. Good character, easy drinking, soft tannins … tasty.  (****)

Yealands 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough Yealands
$17.00 - New Zealand - LCBO 277731 … (General List)
This Savvy B hits all the right notes without getting all green, green grass … yellow grapefruit and white peach charged with a subtle hint of grassiness. A real delight for Sauvignon Blanc drinkers and a real push towards summer enjoyment.  (****)

 

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