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Wednesday, April 14, 2021


WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for APRIL 17, 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..Chateau des Charmes Cabernet-Merlot Old Vines 2017 VQA Niagara-On-The-Lake, $24.95 +222372 at winery and online: a substantial wine made from plots planted beginning in 1983-1985 and then again in 1992-1996 (in all four of their vineyards) – about a third each of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot, coming in at 12.6% ABV after 15 months time in French oak. Expect some intricacy with its medium mocha, cedar, vanilla and cassis, but double-decant the bottle before serving. The extra airing will help soften it and give it a longer length from the older vines. Tasted successfully over a number of days. 485 cases. Residual sugar 1g/L. It should outlast the pandemic. Quality/Price rating is 93 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
Under $20
W+286377    CAVE SPRING ESTATE RIESLING    VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment    $19.95    MVC/QPR: 89
W+341586    FEATHERSTONE FOUR FEATHERS    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2020    $14.95
W+458687    NOBLE VINES COLLECTION 446 CHARDONNAY    Monterey County    2018    $18.95     MVC/QPR: 89
Rose+19509    CAVES D'ESCLANS WHISPERING ANGEL ROSÉ    AC Côtes de Provence    2020    $17.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+19903    HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE GAMAY    Sustainable, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2019    $19.95  MVC/QPR:  90
R+39925    CUNE CRIANZA    Vegan, DOCa Rioja    2017    $15.95     MVC/QPR: 89
R+394288    GÉRARD BERTRAND GRENACHE/SYRAH/MOURVÈDRE    AP Corbières    2018    $17.95     MVC/QPR: 91
Over $20
Sparkling+213983    CAVE SPRING BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT SPARKLING    Traditional method, VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario        $29.95 MVC/QPR: 89
W+184549    LE CLOS JORDANNE LE GRAND CLOS CHARDONNAY    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2017    $44.95     MVC/QPR: 89
W+368050    PLUME CHARDONNAY    Napa Valley    2018    $29.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+17684    PARKER STATION CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Paso Robles    2017    $24.95  MVC/QPR: 91                   
You get old and you realize there are no answers -- just stories.

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