April 2021 - January 2022 Vintages Releases + Bonus Wines

02 Dec 2021

Since there are no Vintages tastings at the LCBO head office these days, I must rely on what comes to the door for my tasting notes … These are the bottles I recommend that were released, from January 2022 all the way back to three bottles released in April 2021 ... plus there are some General List offerings and some "agent only" wines.



Gerard Bertrand 2020 Change Merlot
$15.95 - France - LCBO 22499
A really nice smoothness, but with good acidity onto the finish. There's a subtle chalkiness with blackberry and cassis and a touch of cinnamon and spice. For the price, this is a gem of a Merlot.  (*** ½+)



Alvear 2017 Pedro Ximenez de Anada
$24.95 / $375 ml - Spain - LCBO 499152
This grape is usually used in sweet sherries, but this time it's a straight-on dessert wine: thick and mouth-filling pulled together by great balancing acidity. Notes of toffee, candied pecans, floral, grilled peaches and so much more. Almost chewy in the mouth - this is one really tasty dessert all on its own.  (****)

Joliesse 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
$17.95 – LCBO 16564 - California
Juicy with sweet California red / black fruit on the nose - palate shows vanilla and cherry, plus some raspberry notes - not complex, but very tasty.  (*** ½+)

Luigi Bosca 2018 Malbec Verdot Field Blend - Finca Los Nobles
$60.00 - Argentina - LCBO 20328
This is one of those wines that really grows on you ... the more you sip the more you’re gonna love it - it also develops over the course of a few hours into something “wow”. Starts out smooth, supple and subtle - it has a little of a lot, but not too much of anything: dark fruit, pepper, mocha, charcoal, floral with a blueberry-esque finish, reminiscent of Brookside Dark Chocolate Covered Wild Blueberries ... And it just lingers and extra long time. Give it 5 years in the cellar before drinking or, if drinking now, decant.  (**** ½)

WakefieldWakefield 2019 Jaraman Shiraz
$24.95 – Australia – LCBO 377036
This is one of those tasty wines that just keeps getting better the more you sip on it. Plenty of plum, blackberry, cassis and white pepper upfront and on the nose, which then repeats full-force on the palate - plus it's super-juicy. The more you sip the more the pepper begins to materialize on the palate, and while the fruit stays constant and concentrated that pepper note balances the fruit along with some silky tannins. The finish is also long and luxurious. Another delicious Wakefield wine.  (****+)


FerratonFerraton 2018 Le Parvis, Chateauneuf-du-Pape
$56.95 – France – LCBO 638551
Of course, the wine is yummy and could use a few more years in the cellar; but if opened now you'll find plenty of smoky plum, both sour and black cherry plus a peppery punch on the finish – rounded out by with good acidity - plus there is a pleasant linger of cinnamon and licorice on the finish.  (****)

Jean Max Roger 2020 Cuvee Genese Sancerre
$32.95 – France – LCBO 189126
Smooth and silky mouthfeel and everything is subtle from the grassy to the grapefruit (both white and yellow) with plenty of juiciness.  (*** ½+)

Rock Point 2019 Pinot Gris
$16.95 – Oregon – LCBO 22497
A basic version of Gris showing notes of apple, lime zest and mineral – which, when brought all together does have quite an appeal.  (*** ½)


Donatien Bahuaud 2019 Les Grands Mortiers Vouvray
$21.95 – France - LCBO 140839
A dash of sweetness brings together pear, peach, delicious apple and even a delightful minerality.  (***+)

Juve y Camps Pinot Noir Brut Rosé Cava Juve
$24.95 - Spain - LCBO 385088
Very pretty rosé, with notes of strawberry and cherry on the tongue - with lemon drop on the finish ... Also a deep reddish color than one would expect from a rosé bubble. (*** ½+)

Lealtanza 2011 Gran Reserva Rioja
$32.95 – Spain - LCBO 453548
Earthy and sour cherry characteristics join dried fig and strawberry notes with a subtle smoky note on the finish.  (*** ½+)

Meiomi CabMeiomi 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
$24.95 – California – LCBO 20765
Finally, Meiomi has labeled the wine correctly - once the Zinfandel of Pinot Noir, now this “Cab” is finally named right: mocha, black cherry, plum with great Cali-sweetness of fruit with just the merest hint of spice - it tastes like they are so-called "Pinot Noir" - but finally it’s labeled with the right variety. It's easy to see people crave this style of juicy, dark fruit and supple tannins. So grab some friends, because they're also going to love the chocolate, cherry and blackberry finish. This is what Meiomi drinkers are looking for. (****)

Sister's Run 2019 Old Testament Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon
$17.95 – Australia – LCBO 478271
As expected, there's lots of juicy, smoky - raspberry, blackberry, cassis and even a mocha linger all leading to a boysenberry finish. The Sister rarely disappoints.  (*** ½+)

Thierry Delaunay 2020 Sauvignon Blanc (Touraine)
$16.95 – France – LCBO 391847
Good notes of grassy and peach with nectarine playing a backup roll ... Very fruit forward with nice acidity for balance.  (*** ½+)


Escudo Rojo 2019 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Escudo Rojo CS
$17.95 - Chile - LCBO 13434
This is a spot-on Chilean Cab in my opinion, and with that kick on the finish it takes it to another level. Mint and menthol show up and blend with a bunch of dark berries plus some smoky-vanilla notes and even some burnt and charred black cherries fresh off the grill. This one will need another 5 years to be smooth and silky - but still a fine wine right now. Feel free to use a big glass; in fact, I’d say it’s required.  (****+)

Mont Redon 2019 Cote du Rhone Blanc Reserve
$17.95 - France - LCBO 18602
The nose launches with floral and a whiff of freshness, while the palate doles out a multitude of flavors in the yellow and white fruit spectrum: apple, melon, pear, nectarine then - adding in a gentle spice and a good hit of acidity ... plus, there’s that length to the finish that just keeps on giving back.  (****)

PlumeValley of the Moon 2016 Plume Cabernet Sauvignon
$39.95 - California - LCBO 287367
Some kick-ass Cali-Cab here with a juicy and dense dark fruit core with a hint of cherry, blackberry and plum ... There's some subtle grit, but for the most part it's smooth and silky, and a real treat. If this was from Napa it'd be double the price - but since it's Alexander Valley ... You benefit.  (****+)

MAY 2021

Barton and Guestier 2019 Le Petites Parcelles Vouvray
$16.95 – France – LCBO 232264
This Chenin Blanc retains a touch of sweetness with notes of pear and mango on the palate.  (***+)

Chateau de La Grange 2018 Cotes de Grand Lieu Sur Lie Vieilles Vignes Muscadet
$13.95 – France – LCBO 637868
A long name for a simple wine - beeswax and melon meets a touch of citrus.  (***)

Fonseca 2015 Late Bottled Vintage Unfiltered Fonseca LBV
$23.95 - Portugal - LCBO 87551
This one needs time to mellow - and yes even late bottled vintage can benefit from time. Lots of tannins here with dark and dense fruit: cassis, blackberry and pomegranate seeds, plus notes of coffee and when mixed with those tannins gives a slight bitterness to the finish. Three to five years should help that out.  (*** ½+)


APRIL 2021

A to Z Wineworks 2018 Pinot Noir
$27.95 – Oregon – LCBO 229781
Basic Oregon Pinot Noir with all you have come to expect from this locality: earthy, raspberry, strawberry and subtle spices.  (*** ½+)

Michael and David 2018 Seven Deadly Zins
$24.95 – California – LCBO 59311
Sweet fruited Zin with plum and black cherry - and that just follows onto a really juicy palate, that dials back the spice and acidity to pump up that fruit-forward nature of this year's version of this Sinful Zin.  (*** ½+)

ArtemisStag's Leap Wine Cellars 2018 Artemis
$89.95 - California – LCBO 708982
Lovely spiced-plum and black cherry with robust tannins and a long finish - it opens showing notes of Christmas cake spices and mocha, finishing with dark chocolate, dark fruit and a gentle spiciness all backed by good acidity.  (****+)





Badel 1865 2019 Peljesac Red
$13.95 – Croatia – LCBO 460873
Unoaked Plavic Mali that's stainless-steel aged (for softness) for one to two years before bottling and grown on the Peljesac peninsula - where the wine takes its name from. Fresh red fruits of plum and cherry with lovely acidity. It’s a chill and enjoy red - perfect to pair with anything you'd use Beaujolais Village or even Pinot Noir with (which is what it surprisingly resembles).  (*** ½+)

Chateau D'Aiguevlle 2017 Cotes du Rhone Villages D'Aigueville CdR
$16.55 - France – LCBO 544031 (on sale $2 off till Jan. 2, 2022)
A Rhone Valley blend of Grenache (50%), Syrah (30%), Carignan (10%) plus other unspecified grapes … the nose is pretty simple with white pepper and dark/black fruit, but the palate is layered with smoky, dark berry, spice, blackberry, cassis, plus nice tannin backbone and a peppery-coffee finish, buy a bunch for the cellar (and for now).  (****)

Fonseca 2019 Periquita
$10.95 – Portugal – LCBO 25262
A native Portuguese grape blend of Castalao / Trincadeira / Aragonez; nice floral and cherry lift on the nose with good fruit across the palate and some nicely balanced tannins to help give it structure - simple but really tasty. (*** ½+)

BellerucheM Chapoutier 2019 Belleruche Cotes du Rhone
$16.70 - France – LCBO 17779
For an under-$20 per bottle this delivers on so many levels. Dark fruit and floral notes hit the nose ... then it repeats on the palate, while adding in white pepper, mocha, black cherry, blackberry and a layered finish that shows nice depth and age-ability, but it’s also something worth drinking right now.  (**** ½)

Parlez-vous 2019 Sauvignon Blanc - Val de Loire
$9.60 – France – LCBO 647099
This Loire valley white is loaded with notes that join sweaty and grassy notes with waxy and nectarine characteristics. Interesting.  (*** ½)

Santa Carolina, 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva
$13.95 – Chile – LCBO 275925
This Chilean Cab starts off a little rugged, but does manage to become quite the quaffer by the time everything rolls through. Lots of mint with a little char of wood, subtle smoke and some red fruit notes on the finish.  (*** ½)

Santa Carolina, 2020 Chardonnay Reserva
$9.45 – Chile – LCBO 259192
Basic: vanilla, lemon, peach with some acid backing - it'll do the trick for those Chardonnay friends coming over.  (***)

The Big Bill 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
$13.95 - South Africa – LCBO 457119
I have this wine in the past, or something similar, and have been less than impressed. This time. It's a little different: earthy, cassis, blackberry and spice with good acidity and a hint of tar on the finish. Not great, but perfectly passable as a barbecue red.  (*** ½)


Pearce Prudhomme 2020 Cinsault / Syrah Pearce Prudhomme
$19.95 – South Africa – Nicolas Pearce Wines
Two Canadian gents who got together to create wines from their favorite regions - one's an agent, the other’s a sommelier (sounds like the start of a sitcom) ... This offering is from South Africa. Here they've created a pseudo-Rhone Valley blend of Cinsault and Syrah: black and red currants, red berries and black pepper and each plays a role with the addition of black plum and mocha. Nice texture, mouthfeel and tannin structure. Easily sippable or paired with a simple dinner.  (****)



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