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Wednesday, March 31, 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.Kacaba Vineyards & Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2019 VQA Niagara Escarpment, Vintages, +19899 April 3, $19.95 [only 30 cases available, sold out at the winery]: very light and pale in colour, but full of flavours such as an herbed-induced introduction to Ontario fruit (gooseberries, nectarines) and florals. A very nicely developed bone dry drink for late spring and Easter. Cold stainless steel fermentation accentuates the dried tropical fruit component. 12.1% ABV, 3 g/L residual sugar. A good little savvy that will take you all the way through from the table's first courses to the fresh cheeses. Twist top. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2.Kacaba Vineyards & Winery Rebecca Rose 2019 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Winery Only [320 cases], $19.95: I have really enjoyed previous vintages of this wine. The grape here is gamay, as in light and fruity Beaujolais. So it's a typical light, refreshing, and fruity drink with low alcohol and low tannins. Cold stainless fermentation helps it retain the strawb and rasp berry nature of the grape, as well as some of that typical Ontario cranberry taste. Best on its own as a patio/terrace/deck party drink or with a light platter of first course foods. 12.3% ABV. Twist top. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
3.Abeille-Fabre Chateau Mont-Redon Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2017, +959627, $53.95 Vintages April 3, 2021: the 2016 was here in September 2020; the 2017 is still too young to consume unless you double-decant and drink it over a few days. Half of the wine was made in Burgundian 228-litre-barrels, the other half in vats. A selection of the better barrels is made with the vatted wine into a single blend, and after 18 months together they are bottled. It will be nicely well-aged after another 10 years. Of the 13 permitted varieties, grenache, syrah, and mourvedre are dominant, with cinsault, counoise, muscardin, and vaccarese also used. Still tight but plenty of black fruits and spices. 14.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90-91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
4.Sacred Hill Whitecliff Hawkes Bay Rose 2020 New Zealand, $14.95, +13297 April 1 LCBO Seasonal Rose Program: this Kiwi wine has been here before, with great sales and tasting success. The previous (2019) vintage was 91+ points in my scoring of roses from the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada Seventh Annual Rose tasting held last June, 2020.  Expect some intense cherry-berry fresh fruits as a summer patio/terrace/deck social party wine. Or an in-house aperitif before the main event. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91-93 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
5.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.
Under $20
W+278333    BON COURAGE PRESTIGE CUVÉE CHARDONNAY    WO Robertson    2019    $15.95            MVC/QPR: 92
W+19899    KACABA SUMMER SERIES SUSAN'S SAUVIGNON BLANC    VQA Niagara Escarpment    2019    $19.95     MVC/QPR: 90
R+17529    PAOLOLEO AGRICOLO VINO BIOLOGICO PRIMITIVO    IGP Salento    2018    $17.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+18691    CHÂTEAU BOURDIEU NO.1    AC Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux    2016    $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89
Over $20
W+441089    ROMBAUER CARNEROS CHARDONNAY    Carneros  2019  $63.95 MVC/QPR:  89
R+585760    QUAILS' GATE PINOT NOIR    BC VQA Okanagan Valley    2019    $34.95    MVC/QPR: 89
R+959627    CHÂTEAU MONT-REDON CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE    AC    2017    $53.95 MVC/QPR:  91
R+639658    QUAILS' GATE STEWART FAMILY RESERVE PINOT NOIR    BC VQA Okanagan Valley    2018    $59.95 MVC/QPR:  89
Your health depends on my health. We cannot escape one another in these perilous times.


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