WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for NOVEMBER 14, 2020
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing email@example.com. 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 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 100 or so biweekly released 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 Month ---
1.Gerard Bertrand Terroir Languedoc Red 2017 +413237 Vintages Essential, $16.95: the last vintage here was 2015. It's a blend of syrah and grenache, promising both black fruit and red fruit tones at an affordable price. Local garrigue is apparent, complemented by some fennel. Part of the wine is transferred over to 225-litre oak barrels where it is aged for roughly 10 months. 14% ABV. Good price. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2.Fess Parker Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2018 +16750, $21.95, Vintages Nov 14: basically a light wine with the dryness found in Santa Barbara reflected in tropicality and citric tones with a dose of apples and some toast (with butter?). No unnecessary sweetness as most ripe California chardonnays appear to be exhibiting. Some unctuousness can be felt and the finish lends itself to food. But it could go either way or both ways. An adaptable wine at 14.1% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
3.Lamothe de Haux Chombart & Speck Cave Mystere Merlot 2018 Bordeaux AOC, +17232, $18.95 Vintages, Nov 14: This is a collaborative wine effort by Henry of Pelham (Speck family) and Chateau Lamothe de Haux in Bordeaux (Chambart family) using rich, ripe pre-selected merlot grapes from the Cadillac region, part of Entre-deux-Mers. It's very Mid-Atlantic in style (New World flash, Old World elegance). Cultivated on limestone soils. Supple, with red cherry-berry and mocha notes and fine balanced tannins. It's on the lighter side of medium-bodied after being in French oak barrels for 18 months. Ready soon. 14.5% ABV. Residual sugar is just 1 g/L. Tasted over several days. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
4.Taittinger Domaine Carneros Brut Vintage Cuvee 2016, +301655 $49.95 Vintages: Cool climate Carneros fruit is perfectly adaptable to sparkling wine done up in the traditional method of double fermentation in the bottle. This is the signature wine of the company's California holdings – with three years of bottle age before release. Content is chardonnay 51%, pinot noir 47%, and pinot gris 2%. Expect a typical yeasty nose from sitting on the lees, moving on to baked spicy fruit and ending with citric tones. It's jumped in price since last year ($42 in June 2019 Vintages) and the vintage has jumped three years as well. The company encourages "food friendly" for those bright, white appetizers of soft cheeses and shellfish. 12% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
5.Quails' Gate Pinot Noir 2018 BC Okanagan VQA, +585760 Vintages November 14, $34.95: typical cool climate approach to pinot noir, emphasizing its savouriness: yellow flower aromatic notes, candied red fruit, sweet green herbals and black pepper on the medium- soft juicy-citric finish. 93% Pinot Noir, 7% Gamay (although this varies from year to year, usually within a percentage point). Aged in French oak barrels for 10 months. Astounding residual sweetness of 0.28 g/L. 13.5% ABV. Tasted over several days. Probably best with any Christmas fowl. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS --
430561 HENRY OF PELHAM RIESLING ICEWINE VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario $49.95
558288 INNISKILLIN RIESLING ICEWINE VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario 2018 $79.95
301655 DOMAINE CARNEROS BRUT CUVÉE SPARKLING Traditional method, Napa Valley, California 2016 $49.95
W+398966 REDSTONE CHARDONNAY VQA Niagara Peninsula 2016 $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89
W+634162 J. BOOKWALTER READERS CHARDONNAY Columbia Valley 2018 $19.95 MVC/QPR: 91
W+928580 SANTA CAROLINA GRAN RESERVA CHARDONNAY Certified carbon neutral, DO Itata Valley 2018 $18.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+11152 COUTADA VELHA SIGNATURE RED Vinho Regional Alentejano 2018 $15.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+17232 CHOMBART & SPECK CAVE MYSTERE MERLOT 2018 AC BORDEAUX $18.95 MVC/QPR: 90
Sparkling +310334 FEATHERSTONE JOY PREMIUM CUVÉE SPARKLING Traditional method, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario 2014 $34.95 MVC/QPR: 91
W+643361 HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE RIESLING Sustainable, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment 2018 $27.95 MVC/QPR: 92
W+616466 HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE CHARDONNAY VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment 2018 $29.95 MVC/QPR: 91
W+16750 FESS PARKER SANTA BARBARA COUNTY CHARDONNAY Santa Barbara County 2018 $21.95 MVC/QPR: 91
R+594002 JACKSON-TRIGGS GRAND RESERVE MERITAGE VQA Niagara Peninsula 2017 $25.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+585760 QUAILS' GATE PINOT NOIR BC VQA Okanagan Valley 2018 $34.95 MVC/QPR: 92
R+995910 REMO FARINA AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO DOCG 2017 $43.95 MVC/QPR: 90