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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for MAY 2, 2020 (plus others)....

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for MAY 2, 2020
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing 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 since 1994.
These notes for good wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at  or at 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 until mid-May. 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 prior sampling.
Under $20
Sparkling+370361    TAWSE SPARK LIMESTONE RIDGE ORGANIC SPARKLING RIESLING     Traditional method, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario  NV  $19.95 MVC/QPR: 92
W+43281    FLAT ROCK RIESLING    20??  VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment    $17.95    MVC/QPR: 89
W+ 446427    BARON DE HOEN RÉSERVE RIESLING    AC Alsace    2018    $16.95     MVC/QPR: 90
W+12174    CHÂTEAU HAUT-RIAN    AC Entre-deux-Mers    2018    $14.95     MVC/QPR: 89
Rose+117861    FEATHERSTONE ROSÉ    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2019    $15.95 MVC/QPR: 89
Rose+493171    OYSTER BAY ROSÉ    Marlborough, South Island    2019    $19.95    MVC/QPR: 89
R+434464    CHÂTEAU SAINT-ANTOINE RÉSERVE DU CHÂTEAU    AC Bordeaux Supérieur    2016    $16.95    MVC/QPR: 89
Over $20
Sparkling+78055    CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES SPARKLING ROSÉ     Traditional method, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario    2014    $34.95 MVC/QPR: 90
W+181289    DOMAINE LE VERGER CHABLIS    AC    2018    $26.95     MVC/QPR: 90
R+209148    MARQUÉS DE MURRIETA FINCA YGAY RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    2015    $29.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+172692    VINOSIA SANTANDREA TAURASI    DOCG    2014    $29.95     MVC/QPR: 89
1.Henry of Pelham Riesling Speck Family Reserve 2018 VQA Short Hills Bench, +643361 Vintages June, $27.95 [now available online and at winery]: absolutely delicious MVC intense riesling in a Rhine style, with an off-dry palate but a dry finish (good acid levels on the finish); broad fruity strokes of peaches and flowers on the mid-palate; quite a blazing riesling with intense pleasure, sip or food. 10.5% ABV, cork closure, from HOP's oldest Estate vineyards (35+ year old riesling vines, handpicked). Try with rich bivalve dishes or porchetta. Should improve in the bottle over the years. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2.Gerard Bertrand Grand Terroir La Clape Syrah/Carignan/Mourvedre 2016 AOP Coteaux du Languedoc La Clape, +370262, $19.95 Vintages June: the South of France bargains continue at the LCBO with this southern Rhone clone emphasizing aromatic red fruit (with some black) and garrigue. Nice long finish for that heavy meat dish. 14% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
3.Gerard Bertrand Terroir Corbieres 2016 $17.95 +394288 Vintages: In this Terroir Corbieres (from the Narbonne), Bertrand uses traditional fermentation for the syrah, grenache and mourvedre. It is an appealing Rhonish G-S-M, with one-third of the blended wine aging in wood for nine months before bottling. Very firm with some very dark fruit on the very full finish. 14% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
4.Quails' Gate Chardonnay 2018 BCVQA Okanagan Valley +377770 $24.95 Vintages Essential:
from one of the leading producers of Chardonnay in BC. Soft orchard fruit (pear, apple, peach), some citrus tones. Soft and versatile, with a medium balance good to accompany any foods. 13% ABV, Residual Sugar 1.0 g/L. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
5.Westcott Vineyards Temperance 2018 VQA Vinemount Ridge $19.99 winery [and SAQ +14209964]: this is a passtoutgrain-styled wine (as found in Burgundy) which is very popular in France, made from 50% Gamay Noir and 50% Pinot Noir grapes. There is a 30-day maceration, with a stainless steel all wild and malo-lactic fermentation. Very soft, fleshy, fruity (despite a low residual sugar of only 1 g/L), good for the patio and deck. It would be excellent with all kinds of soups. 12% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
6.Westcott Vineyards Brilliant Traditional Sparkling 2013 VQA Vinemount Ridge $39.99 winery, licensees: this is a still-fresh terrific sparkler done up in the traditional style of long lees contact (75 months here), hand riddling, and disgorgement for a secondary fermentation in the bottle. 667 cases were produced of this pinot noir (66%) and chardonnay (33%) blend from their own estate in Vinemount Ridge. It's got a complex basket of flavours, ranging from orchard fruit through to citrus, with the lightness of the chardonnay being balanced off against the heavier tones of the pinot noir. It stays this way right from the entry through to the long finish, and the latter makes this a pretty good food wine too. You'll need to put some down for 2025. 12.9% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
7.Westcott Vineyards Lillias Chardonnay 2019 VQA Niagara Escarpment $24.99 +425322 Vintages: a bright and fresh Chardonnay reflective of the vintage. Tank fermentation and storage with full MLF to soften, and six months lees contact. No oak. Slightly off-dry feel despite 1.8 g/L residual sugar, but a rounded mid-palate. Very stylish with a light lingering finish, great as a non-appetite-provoking aperitif, which makes it a fab cocktail party white wine. Emphasis is on fresh orchard fruit (apples, pears, peaches): it could change over the next two years, which would make it more versatile in being also a first course wine. 12.9% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

May we all have 2020 vision.

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