WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for JULY 25, 2020
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing firstname.lastname@example.org. My "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
These notes for good wines available through LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis) can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca or at http://www.deantudor.com No winery can buy their way into – or out of – this publication.
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone would taste like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
Currently, the wine media have no access to the 50 or so tasting samples usually provided to us in the LCBO lab on a fortnightly basis. This will go on or some time. HOWEVER, the wine media will still have access to the advance spreadsheet of the wines to be released. So I know what is to be released and when. SOME (but not many) of these wines I have recently tasted since January 2020 or so, and I can comfortably recommend them based on this prior sampling.
Some New Wines Tasted Over the Past Fortnight ---
1.Stel + Mar Premium Red California +14775 LCBO, $4.95 for 250 mL can: is actually a pretty decent 100% zinfandel from Lodi, vintage 2018 (not listed on the can), with cherry-berry all the way, accented with notes of mocha-vanillin tones. Typically California. The package holds about two glasses, perfect for one or two people on a picnic or back yard, and is the equivalent value of a 750mL bottle selling at $15. 13.7% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 87 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2.Stel + Mar Premium White California +14776 LCBO, $4.95 for 250 mL can: is actually a very good 100% unoaked chardonnay from The North Coast, also 2018 vintage (not listed on the can). 2019 will in stores soon. By properly making cuvees of the many chardonnay vineyards available, it was possible to get the most out of the wine. It shows some vanilla minerality with some lingering toffee tones, so it goes well with food. Typical ripe orchard fruit on the main palate. Chills really fast. 14.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
3.Stel + Mar Rose Tetra California, +15515 LCBO, 3 Litres (6 x 500mL in tetra, $45.95): Simple, easy to drink Californian smooth rose, good with picnics of course. The size is right – two-thirds of a bottle, 17 ounces (four drinks). A good idea for a picnic. Pretty basic wine with proper (and quick) chilling. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
4.Stel + Mar Sparkling Rose California 250 mL can (not yet available at LCBO): The Sparkling Rose (12.5% ABV) is off-dry, but the bubbles are an added attraction. Apparently it is their basic rose (see above, the Tetra) but with bubbles. Bubbles make it so much better. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
5.Toro Centenario Malbec 2019 Mendoza, +12452, $9.60 LCBO: newly arrived with its twist top access. There is only one word needed to describe this wine: plump. It comes from FeCoVitA, one of the largest co-ops in the Argentine (over 5000 winegrowers and producers). In producing a low-cost entry level wine, the co-op got it right with plum, blackberry and black cherry flavours. Nothing fancy, just pure plumpness at 12.5% ABV and a modest sugar level of 7 g/L finishing dry on the palate. Great for today's summery patios. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS --
Sparkling+515254 VILARNAU BARCELONA RESERVA BRUT CAVA Traditional method, DO, Spain $15.95 MVC/QPR: 90
ROSE for the Summer --
Rose+388702 THE FOREIGN AFFAIR AMAROSÉ VQA Niagara Peninsula 2019 $19.95
Rose+15273 ST HALLETT DRY ROSÉ Barossa Valley, South Australia 2019 $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89
Rose+491019 CHÂTEAU D'ESCLANS WHISPERING ANGEL ROSÉ AC Côtes de Provence 2019 $62.95 MVC/QPR: 90
Rose+15135 MAESTRAL ROSÉ IGP Gard 2019 $16.95 MVC/QPR: 91
W+80234 FEATHERSTONE BLACK SHEEP RIESLING VQA Niagara Peninsula ESSENTIAL $18.95 MVC/QPR: 90
W+707158 ZENATO SAN BENEDETTO LUGANA DOC 2019 $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89
W+389767 THE FOREIGN AFFAIR CONSPIRACY BIANCO VQA Niagara Peninsula 2018 $17.95 MVC/QPR: 89
W+520668 CREW FLAGSHIP CHARDONNAY VQA Lake Erie North Shore 2017 $19.95
R+247882 HENRY OF PELHAM FAMILY TREE RED VQA Ontario 2017 $18.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+24117 ST HALLETT GAMEKEEPER'S SHIRAZ/GRENACHE/TOURIGA Barossa, South Australia 2018 $17.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+434373 CANTINE DUE PALME ETTAMIANO PRIMITIVO IGP Salento 2018 $19.95 MVC/QPR: 90
W+425322 WESTCOTT LILLIAS CHARDONNAY VQA Niagara Escarpment 2019 $24.95
May we all have 2020 vision.