13.Dusted Valley Boomtown Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Columbia Valley Washington State, +220376, $23.95 Vintages: Washington state cabbies are the most value-driven of all the US cabs. They are consistently overachieving but often underappreciated. They taste "above their raisin'" and are exceptional value. The Boomtown (no relation to the Irish Rats band) with its screw cap and 14.2% ABV, delivers consistent notes of black fruit (cassis, cherry). 6% Merlot and 3% Malbec have been added. It's versatile enough for summer sipping, parties or family meals. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
14.Henry of Pelham Cabernet-Merlot 2010 Estate VQA Short Hills Bench, +395855 Vintages, $24.95: made from Pelham's oldest Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot vineyards. Aged in US and French oak, 40% new for 18 months. An early wine will be slightly tannic but this can be fixed by aeration; I also enjoyed this wine over a week after opening. Needs more aging to appreciate some nuances while tasting, otherwise the wine is useful now so long as it has been paired with traditional food such as roasts or grilled meats and veggies. 13.5% ABV, vinified from heavy cropping and selection, held back four years before release. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
15.Henry of Pelham Family Tree White 2012 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +251116 Vintages, $17.95: another Ontario white wine blend, made from Pelham grapes and from other vineyards in the appellation. 40% estate grown, 40% barrel fermentation and eight months barrel aging (no malolactic). Grapes: chardonnay 60%, viognier 20%, gewurztraminer 11%, and sauvignon blanc 9%. Grapes and their percentages can change year over year; the blend goes well with chicken and as a sipper. Fruity on mid-palate, more lean on the finish. 13% ABV but with a cork closure. A winemaker's wine for summer patios or first course entertaining.
16.Thornbury Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough NZ, +734798 Vintages Sept 19, $18.95: zesty with lots of citric and green tones (herbs, grass, gooseberry, beans, typical low ripeness). Very much a Kiwi Savvy with minerality and a sense of place in Marlborough. Some juiciness near the end, but basically this is a food wine, great at lunch with salad, sandwich, soup. 13% ABV. Standard screw cap. Well-priced in its category. A medal winner at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2014. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
17.Mare Magnum Mauro Chardonnay 2014 Puglia, +404491 LCBO, $11.50: a new General List entry sure to start a sizzle with its screw cap, slick label design, and 14.5% ABV. The fact that it has won a few awards for previous vintages plus the most recent Citadelles du Vin Gold 2015 (for this vintage) is icing on the cake. It is an all-purpose white, going up against the $15 - 17 California-Latin America-Ontario chardonnays (but priced at a more modest $11.50). It's got that appley-lemon-vanillian off-dry oaky feel – all in perfect balance. It's obviously a winemaker's wine, dominated by balance and usefulness as an aperitif or first course white. Here's a chance for you to save a few dollars if you like the mid-priced chardonnay range. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.