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Wednesday, March 17, 2021


WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for MARCH 20, 2021
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 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 Fortnight ---
1.Gerard Bertrand Terroir An806 Corbieres 2018 $17.95 +394288 Vintages: In this Terroir Corbieres (from the Narbonne), Bertrand uses traditional fermentation for the grenache, syrah, 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 leading on to the very full and ripe finish. Needs hearty food. 14.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2.Parker Station Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Paso Robles $24.95 +17684 Vintages [wine of the month for April 17, 2021]: an affordable Cali-Cab, but only 5,000 cases made. Part of the Fess Parker winery unit, the US SRP is $17. Aged six months in all French oak resulting in typical cabby spicy mocha flavours, blackberry/plummy fruit (and with a leathery hint suggestive of syrah), vanilla finish. My wife said "yum", which is her description for a juicy palate. Changed for better complexity over time with stoppered exposure and a double decant. Smooth but dry with a long lingering finish: great with food. 14% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
3.Lazzara Rosato Secco NV VQA Ontario $17.95 +18248 LCBO Seasonal Rose April 1 release:
this is the Speck Brothers' rose version of the Lazzara Bianco Secco, which was made in the style of prosecco. It has the palest of pale "rose" colour and is incredibly fresh at this point. Off-dry but barely, with enough stuffing to wow my wife who loved it. Typical melange of cherry-berry flavours. Very well-priced. Stainless steel, Charmat process (but with very tiny mousse bubbles). 12% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90-91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
4.Three of Hearts Pinot Grigio 2020 VQA Niagara Peninsula $19.95 +20374 Vintages July 24, 2021 [currently at winery]: this is a highly competitive category, and Three of Hearts goes up very well against the other grigios in Ontario, especially with its slight yellow colour. Typical nuances include off-dry orchard fruit (peach, pear, apple) with some aromatic melon-ish overtones. It is refreshing on the mid-palate, finishing with slightly bitter citric notes. That makes it both a sipper and a food wine, suitable for a pre-prandial in the summer. There is some Ontario cranberry tartness and some melon sweetness, but also with some peach notes. Stainless steel all the way. Part of a team with Three of Hearts Rose (same bottle shape, same cork closure). 12.5% ABV. Is a sparkling pinot grigio coming? Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
Under $20
Sparkler+485920    CHEVALIER MONOPOLE BRUT ROSÉ SPARKLING    Traditional method, Burgundy    $16.95     MVC/QPR: 89
W+557165    HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE RIESLING    Sustainable, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2019    $19.95 MVC/QPR: 91
W+206714    CHÂTEAU LA GRAVE D'ARZAC BLANC    AC Graves    2019    $15.95 MVC/QPR: 89
W+18252    GREEN LEAF ORGANIC RIESLING Qualitätswein 2019 $14.95  MVC/QPR: 89
R+17264    LAPIS LUNA ZINFANDEL    Pauli Ranch, Mendocino, North Coast    2018    $19.95
R+723742    DI MAJO NORANTE CABERNET    IGT Terra degli Osci    2018    $17.95 MVC/QPR: 89
Over $20
Sparkler+256289    BENJAMIN BRIDGE NOVA 7 SPARKLING    Nova Scotia    2020    $24.95
W+149302    FEATHERSTONE CANADIAN OAK CHARDONNAY    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2018    $21.95    MVC/QPR: 91
W+733501    ALAIN GEOFFROY BEAUROY CHABLIS 1ER CRU    AC    2018    $40.95 MVC/QPR:  89
W+639641    QUAILS' GATE STEWART FAMILY RESERVE CHARDONNAY    BC VQA Okanagan Valley    2017    $44.95 MVC/QPR: 89

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