1.La Bise Wines The Thief Grenache-Shiraz-Mataro 2015 Barossa Valley, +534768 April 28 Vintages $24.95: a nifty wine from Oz that's been marketed as pairing with beef and pizza. That makes it a "guy" wine ready now. Mataro is also the name given for Mourvedre and Monastrell – expect jump-out flavours of berries (on the nose) resolving to mushrooms and forest floor with a long length. I suspect the evolving nature of this wine (good for a few more years) will lean towards more aged characteristics. Some 25-year old Shiraz is used; all three grape have been vinified separately in a spicy oak program. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2.Luigi Bosca Gala 2 2014 Mendoza, +542647 Vintages, $36.95: a Bordeaux-styled blend of cab sauvignon (85%), and equal amounts of cab franc and merlot [but not always; there is wiggle room for different annual proportions of these last two]. While each variety is vinified separately, only the cab sauvignon is aged 14 months in oak with malolactic. The other two are stainless. It's definitely a New World take on Bordeaux, but with upfront jammy and partially baked black fruit (berries, plums) and spicy wood. The producer says it should cellar well for 15 years; try it after two more. A good competitor to similar California wines but better adaptable to food with is long length. 14% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
3.Dievole Novecento Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2014, +213926 Vintages, $37.95: a very sound, firmly based Chianti Classico Riserva for the cellar, could be aged 10 or more years. Fifteen year old vines, 13.5% ABV. Stored in untoasted French oak for about 17 months. Typical Chianti complexity but with more minerals and a longer length. Red fruit such as dark cherries dominates the richly concentrated flavours. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
4.Pelee Island Vinedressers Meritage VQA South Islands 2016, +317933 Winery, $24.95:
typical MVC for a Bordeaux-styled blend (50% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot and 20% cabernet franc), with black fruit and toastiness. Some mocha tones and forest floor. But it needs more time, certainly, to fully enjoy. One to lay down, or do a double-decant and taste over several days: then try it with a roast or mushrooms. 13.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
5.Pelee Island LOLA Cabernet Franc Rose 2017 VQA South Islands, +552497 $15.95 April 30 LCBO: as a major new player in the Ontario domestic rose category, this rose is derived from Pelee Island vineyards on the island itself at 42 degrees North latitude, similar to appellations in Spain, France, Italy and California. Stainless steel, all cabernet franc, residual sugar of 9g/l for that mid-weight feel. A good touch of strawberries with a off-pink colour. Tastes fresh all the way to the long finish. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
6.Chateau des Charmes Pinot Noir 2016 Estate Grown & Bottled VQA NOTL, +454967, $16.95 LCBO: A nifty young wine, with some forest floor and mushrooms to complement the red fruit of strawberries. Estate grown and bottled. Good written notes on the back label are spot on. Just under some subtle oaking, with a moderate intensity of medium flavours. It could use more time in the bottle. Cork closure, 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.