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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for JUNE 13, 2020

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for JUNE 13, 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 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:
16.Featherstone Estate Winery Canadian Oak Chardonnay 2018 VQA Niagara Peninsula $21.95 +149302 Vintages May: one of my faves, and occasionally an LTO at under $20. Over the years it has simply gotten better as the grapevines have matured. Wild indigenous yeast is used. Good mid-tone oaky component (it is very easy to say it is mid-way between French and US oak) from the use of nearby Canadian oak trees. 10% new oak, 90% 1 to 5 year old. Terrific ripe orchard fruit aromas and palate. Plus vanillin and cream after the mid-palate leading to citric food-friendly finish. Needs more time for balancing, but then at that time it will be awesome. 13.2% ABV. Only 0.26 g/L residual sugar. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
17.Featherstone Estate Winery Four Feathers 2019 VQA Niagara Peninsula $14.95 +341586 August 22 and Dec 12: a summer social sipper or quaffer, combining 50% riesling and 40% chardonnay with 8% sauvignon blanc and 2% gewurztraminer – all highly aromatic grapes. Stainless steel fermentation. Typical fruit flavours to be found include pineapple, melon, lemon, some mango, and some sweet parts of citric tones near the finish. 12.1% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
18.Featherstone Estate Winery Black Sheep Riesling 2018 VQA Niagara Peninsula $18.95 +80234 Vintages Essential: more in the Mosel mode than Rhine wine, this delicious sipper is loaded with a nose of citrus highlights (lemon, lime, grapefruit) evolving to orchard fruit on the mid-palate with some minerality and a long lean-ish finish which also makes it nifty food wine for Asiatic dishes of all sorts. Medium body but not dry. Suitable for aging, to get that "petrol" character. 10.1% ABV. RS 20 g/L. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
19.Featherstone Estate Winery Cabernet Franc 2018 VQA Niagara Peninsula $19.95 +64618 Vintages Essential: a blend  of 86% cabernet franc and 14% merlot. 100% US oak was used – 25% new, balance in 1 to 4 year old barrels. Full malolactic fermentation. Medium-bodied with an assortment of berries, plums and cherries. Long, long finish showing tart-ish food-loving acid balances. Should go well with BBQ or other fatty meats. Keep for another few years (I tasted it daily) or do a double-decant. 12.7% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
20.Featherstone Estate Winery Red Tail Merlot 2018 VQA Niagara Peninsula $19.95 +131540 Vintages May: Merlot is still recovering from its dissing by Pinot Noir in the movie "Sideways". But a lot of wineries are still making it. David Johnson the winemaker has here produced a delightfully fruity but dryish (RS 1.4 g/L) drop that is also affordable. Aged 10 months in French oak, 100% malolactic fermentation. Expect black fruit cherry-berry complexity, headed by black currant. Both a patio sipper and a food wine, and ready now for current drinking and accompanying any kind of comfort food. 12.4% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
Some interesting rose wines and fortified wine from the June 13 release include --
Sherry+15390    HIDALGO PASTRANA PASADA MANZANILLA SHERRY    DO Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain    $21.95    MVC/QPR: 92
Rose+451906    SAINT AIX ROSÉ    AP Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence    2019    $25.95    MVC/QPR: 89
Rose+319368    CHÂTEAU D'AQUÉRIA TAVEL    AC    2019    $24.95 MVC/QPR: 90
Rose+14833    UP ULTIMATE PROVENCE ROSÉ    AP Côtes de Provence    2019    $27.95 MVC/QPR: 89
Under $20
W+398966    REDSTONE CHARDONNAY    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2016    $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89
W+928580    SANTA CAROLINA GRAN RESERVA CHARDONNAY    Certified carbon neutral, DO Itata Valley    2017    $18.95  MVC/QPR: 89
R+63537    CHÂTEAU HYOT    AC Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux    2016    $16.95 MVC/QPR: 91
R+161398    LANDER-JENKINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    California    2018    $19.95 MVC/QPR: 92
Over $20
W+341792    CREEKSIDE BACKYARD BLOCK SAUVIGNON BLANC    VQA Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula    2019    $22 MVC/QPR: 89
R+643361    HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE RIESLING    Certified sustainable, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2018    $27.95     MVC/QPR:  92
W+13315    WATERBROOK RESERVE CHARDONNAY    Columbia Valley    2017    $26.95 MVC/QPR: 89
W+974527    VILLA MARIA CELLAR SELECTION SAUVIGNON BLANC    Certified sustainable,
Marlborough, South Island    2019    $21.95 MVC/QPR: 89
W+127290    THE FOREIGN AFFAIR RIESLING    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2013    $23.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+261784    PAPALE LINEA ORO PRIMITIVO DI MANDURIA    DOP    2016    $24.95  MVC/QPR: 89
R+395855    HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE CABERNET/MERLOT    VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2015    $24.95     MVC/QPR:  91
R+426833    COLCHESTER RIDGE CREW MERITAGE    VQA Lake Erie North Shore    2016    $21.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+14739    CHÂTEAU DE LA BOTTIÈRE JULIÉNAS    AC    2017    $20.95 MVC/QPR: 89

May we all have 2020 vision.

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