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Tuesday, August 18, 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 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 Great ROSE Wines Tasted Over Summer, still available ---
These rose wines are either at the LCBO (CSPC given) or the winery or consignment/private order. Here are my personal faves; wines that I will actually buy. Scores are 91+  !!
**DEAN'S CHOICE BEST VALUE - Bodega Argento    Argento Rose 2019    $10.95 +13245  Mendoza    85% syrah/malbec/cabernet franc, 14% pinot grigio 12.5% LCBO Seasonal Rose (92+)
**DEAN'S CHOICE BEST DOMESTIC – a tie! WITH The Foreign Affair Winery Amarosé 2019    $19.95 Vintages +388702  Niagara Peninsula Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gamay Noir    12.2%  July 25 (91)
      and Flat Rock Cellars Pink Twisted     2019    $17.95  +39974 Niagara Peninsula    Pinot Noir, Gamay, Riesling, Gewurztraminer    11%    LCBO (91)
**DEAN'S CHOICE BEST IMPORT - Caves d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rose     2019    $62.95 +491019   AOC COTES DE PROVENCE  13% LCBO Vintages 11-Jul-20  (93)
**** BEST ROSE WINES -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
Producer    Product Name    Vintage    Price    LCBO #     Country    Region    Grape Varieties    Alc. %
-Chateau d'Aqueria Tavel Rose    2019    $24.95     +319368    France    Rhone Valley    Grenache    13.5%    LCBO Vintages
-Caves d'Esclans    Whispering Angel Rose     2019    $62.95     +491019    France     AOC COTES DE PROVENCE     13%    LCBO Vintages    11-Jul-20
-Caves d'Esclans    ROCK ANGEL     2019    $49.95    +491027    France     AOC COTES DE PROVENCE    14%    LCBO Vintages
-When Pigs Fly    Rose    2018    $19.95 Ontario VQA Vinemount Ridge    pinot noir Vieni Vineyard    13%
-Caves d'Esclans    THE PALM BY WHISPERING ANGEL    2019    $24.95    +562595    France     AOC COTEAUX D'AIX EN PROVENCE    13%    LCBO Vintages
-AIX Rosé    2019     $24.95     +451906    France    Provence    Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault    13%    LCBO Vintages
-Bieler Pere & Fils     Sabine Rose    2018    $18.95    +867358    France    Provence    Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Cab Sauv, Rolle    13%    Consignment, always available    P. Dandurand
-Faulkner Wines  Jules Rose    2018    $19.99     NA    France    Provence    Cinsault, Carignan, Cabernet Sauv, 12.5% Consignment, Always available     Noble Estates Wines & Spirits
-Vignerons de Chusclan    MAESTRAL ROSE    2019     $16.45     +15135    France    IGP GARD    Grenache,Syrah,Merlot    13.50%    LCBO Vintages
-Frescobaldi    Alie     2018    $22.95    +865147 Tuscany    Syrah with a touch of Vermentino    12.5%    Consignment, Always available     Dandurand
-Sacred Hill     Whitecliff Hawkes Bay Rose    2019     $14.95  +13297    New Zealand    Hawkes Bay     12.5%    LCBO
-Kim Crawford    Rose    2019    $18.95    +650325    New Zealand    Hawke's Bay    67% Merlot, 29.5% Sauvignon Blanc, 1.3% Pinot Gris, 1.2% Malbec, 0.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 0.3% Cabernet Franc    13%    LCBO
-Bodega Argento    Argento Rose    2019    $10.95    +13245     Mendoza    85% syrah/malbec/cabernet franc, 14% pinot grigio    12.5%    LCBO    Seasonal Rose
-Charles Smith Wines    Band of Roses    2018    $11 USD        Washington State            12.5%           
-Saintly    The Good Rose    2019    $17.95        Niagara    12.5%    Wine Rack        
-Huff Estates Winery    County Roads Rose    2019    $25    PEC (VQA PEC)    Pinot Noir     12%    Winery/Online
-The Foreign Affair Winery    Amarosé    2019    $18.95    Vintages +388702     Niagara Peninsula    Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gamay Noir    12.2%  LCBO by July 25
-Flat Rock Cellars    Pink Twisted    2019    $17.95    +39974     Niagara Peninsula    Pinot Noir, Gamay, Riesling, Gewurztraminer    11%    LCBO
-Gerard Bertrand    Hampton Water    2019    $29.95    +667337    Languedoc    syrah, cinsault, mourvedre,grenache    14%    LCBO Vintages     2020-07-11       
-UP Ultimate Provence    Rose    2019    $27.95    +14833    Provence    grenache, cinsault, syrah, rolle    12.5%    Vintages            
Under $20
W+328559    CATHEDRAL CELLAR CHARDONNAY    WO Western Cape    KWV    2016    $17.95       
MVC/QPR:  93
W+650275    JACKSON-TRIGGS RESERVE SPARKLING MOSCATO Charmat method, VQA Ontario 2019    $19.95    MVC/QPR: 89
W+341586    FEATHERSTONE FOUR FEATHERS    VQA Niagara Peninsula        2019    $14.95    MVC/QPR: 90
W+958736    MUGA BARREL FERMENTED WHITE    DOCa Rioja        2018    $17.95 MVC/QPR:  91
R+328567    CATHEDRAL CELLAR CABERNET SAUVIGNON WO Western Cape  KWV        $15.95    MVC/QPR: 90
R+272575    GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR TAUTAVEL    AP Côtes du Roussillon-Villages 2018    $19.95    MVC/QPR: 90
R+15977    PLANTAGENET LIONS' CIRCLE SHIRAZ    Great Southern, Western Australia        2017    $17.95    MVC/QPR: 89
Over $20
W+268342    HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE CHARDONNAY    VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment    $21.95     MVC/QPR: 92
R+382325    RODNEY STRONG RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Sonoma County        2015    $69.95 MVC/QPR: 91
R+297945    CHÂTEAU LAROSE-TRINTAUDON Cru Bourgeois, AC Haut-Médoc 2009    $30.95    MVC/QPR: 92
W+378570    SPERLING VISION SERIES CHARDONNAY    BC VQA Okanagan Valley        2017    $34.95    MVC/QPR: 92
R+976662    FAUSTINO I GRAN RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    2008    $31.95     MVC/QPR: 91

May we all have 2020 vision.

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