1.Henry of Pelham Old Vines Baco Noir 2019 VQA Ontario, +459966, $19.95 LCBO General List: Same price as the last vintage. Low yielding grapes come from 1984 and later plantings in the Short Hills Bench area. As with their previous baco noirs, HOP has maintained both the rich jammy black currant spicy character and the low price – under $20. Both new and older (one/two year old) US barrels are used for initial aging before transfer to 5000L oak foudres. Total aging: 1 year. It is still needs another two years for proper aging, but with decanting it can be enjoyed now. 13.5% ABV. One of the top baco noirs at the LCBO for under $20. Works best with pronounced meats such as pork/boar, lamb, wild game – all either braised or grilled. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2.Sartori Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore DOC 120th 2015, +15084, Vintages September $29.95: this is a limited release, to celebrate the company's 120th anniversary. The mix includes corvina veronese (55%), corvinone (25%), plus croatina and rondinells. It was done up in stainless steel fermentation to which malolactic fermentation was employed. And then the second fermentation of ripasso began on the unpressed skins of the Amarone leftover. It was all aged in medium and large oak casks for 24 months, and then blended with a cuvee selection. Red fruit dominates, especially ripe cherries and a twist of savouriness near the deep, deep finish. Great with red meats and older cheese. 14% ABV. If you're going to spend $39 on a better ripasso valpolicella, then this is the one to get. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
3.Henry of Pelham Riesling Estate 2019 VQA Short Hills Bench, +557165 Vintages, $19.95 Vintages September: intense riesling in a Rhine style of cool fermentation, with very off-dry palate but dry finish (good acid levels on the finish) – broad grapefruit and lemons on the mid-palate, sip (mainly) or food. 9.8% ABV, 19.5 g/L RS, twist top, from HOP's oldest Estate riesling vineyards (planted 1984). Should also age well. Try with fish that live in water but die in wine. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
4.Ferraton Pere & Fils Samorens Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge 2018 AOC +168708, $16.95 Vintages September: a very good bargain wine (it costs a lot more in the USA), especially for its depth and intensity. Very meaty on the approach and full of saturated flavours on the mid-palate. Grenache is the main grape (85%), with syrah (10%) and cinsault (5%). Yet it does not have that papery taste of most French grenache .. it is more like Cannonau di Sardegna. Red fruit dominates. 14.5% ABV. There is also a very aromatic Blanc wine, not yet available in Ontario. Quality/Price rating is 91 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.
6..Saintly The Good Sparkling Rose Gold 2019 VQA Ontario, +16767 LCBO, $18.95: an all-purpose medium-body off-dry styled wine for patios, terraces, decks, etc. with nuances of strawberries and melons. Grapes include 46% Chardonnay, 46% Cab Franc, 4% Sauvignon Blanc, and 4% Syrah (the grapes and percentages could change from harvest to harvest).
Very light-pink in colour, persistent mousse from the cuve close Charmat method. Extended lees contact leads to a creaminess in the body. In three words: fresh, fruity, dry. What more could you ask for in a very pleasant and consistent all-occasion celebratory drink? 3 g/L residual sugar. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
7.Saintly The Good Sparkling [white] Gold 2019 VQA Ontario, Wine Rack only $18.95: another all-purpose medium-body off-dry styled wine for patio, terrace, deck, etc. with nuances of orchard fruit (apples, pears, peaches) and citric tones. Grapes include 82% Pinot Gris, 15% Muscat, and 3% Chardonnay (the grapes and percentages could change from harvest to harvest). Persistent mousse, Charmat method, extended lees contact – all contribute to a creamy style. What more could you ask for in a very pleasant and consistent all-occasion celebratory drink? 10g g/L residual sugar makes it "dry to off- dry". 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
8..Campbell Kind Wine Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Marlborough, $22.99 consignment through selectwines.ca: Steve Campbell, of www.campbellkindwines.com, has the world's first international range of sustainable, carbon zero wines. International wineries and winemakers craft environmentally-friendly wines for their retail partners. Campbell Kind Wine currently has several varieties of wines in play, which include Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, Syrah and Chenin Blanc from South Africa, Tempranillo blend from Ribera del Duero, Montepulciano blend from Abruzzo, and IgT Rosso Veronese from Verona, and others. I sampled the savvy: made by Steve Smith, New Zealand's first MW, of Smith and Sheth among the Marlborough riverbeds. It's a dynamic wine made from some 30-year old vines, with a medium-body and lower levels of MVC (Modal Varietal Character), especially tropicality and orchard fruit, but with more minerality and citric lemon tones, leading to a higher crisp finish. It's ideal with fried foods. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
May we all have 2020 vision.