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Wednesday, July 7, 2021

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for JULY 10, 2021

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for JULY 10, 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 Unoaked Chardonnay 2020 VQA Niagara Peninsula, LCBO & Grocery +326975, $15.95: fruit-driven aromatics come from the bouquet of orchard fruit which clearly shows on the mid-palate, finishing off with a slight citrus tang, thus making it perfectly adaptable to a first course food offering such as seafood or light salad. It can also be used as a social drink for the patio/deck/terrace/balcony or party. The balanced fruit-acid here is very nicely placed. Stainless steel cold aging [no oak]. Also available in 60 grocery stores. 13.5% ABV. 7 g/L residual sugar. Twist top. Good value price. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2.Kacaba Vineyards & Winery Cabernet 2020 VQA Niagara Peninsula, LCBO & Grocery +499384, $15.95: a blend of 71% cabernet franc and 29% cabernet sauvignon. The ratio of the cabernets can change from vintage year to vintage year. There is a melange of both red and black fruit, such as cherries, raspberries, cranberries followed by cassis and blackberries. From the short wood aging comes some vanilla, coffee-toffee, and woody spices. Medium in mouthfeel and well-balanced all the way, just what you want from a party red wine that can also extend through to the cheese course. 13.5% ABV. 14 g/L residual sugar. Capable of aging for a few years. Tasted over several days after a double-decanting. Twist top. Also available in 60 grocery stores. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
3.Kacaba Vineyards & Winery Jennifer's Pinot Gris 2020 VQA Niagara Peninsula winery and online only, $19.95: one of the "summer series" and also more Alsatian in its complexity with orchard fruit (pear, peach, apple) and no oaking. Some melon notes too. Medium weight and finishes dry, but can be used either as a social drink or with first-course food such as chicken or seafood. Grapes come from a vineyard located on the Lincoln Lakeshore. 12.9% ABV. 5.4 g/L residual sugar. Made in stainless steel. Twist top. 400 cases produced. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
4.Kacaba Vineyards & Winery Pinot Noir 2019 VQA Niagara Peninsula $32.95 at winery & online: and here we enter the realm of upscale Ontario pinot noir. Kacaba has been making it for decades – Winemaker Jim Warren worked with pinot noir for Kacaba as early as 1999. This time, 300 cases were produced after aging 14 months in new and old French oak (88%) and acacia barrels (12%). A savoury wine (aromas of forest floor) loaded with red fruit such as tart red currants, Ontario cranberries, strawberries, and woodsy complexity from the oak and acacia suggestive of cedar spices and even some tobacco leafiness. Double-decanted and tasted over several days to simulate aging. The producer suggests white meats such as chicken, veal or pork, or sip on its own. Cork closure. 13% ABV. 3 g/L residual sugar. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
I will also try to recommend one red, one rose, one white wine and one sparkler on the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these are good wine values...on sale through Sunday July 18...
[red wine]  CONCHA TORO CASILLERO DEL DIABLO RESERVA PRIVADA CABERNET SAUVIGNON  Chile LCBO 570754 WAS: $ 18.95 | NOW: $ 15.95 | SAVE: $ 3.00. Buy a case of 12.
[white]  ANGELS GATE SUSSRESERVE RIESLING VQA LCBO 620104 WAS: $ 13.95 | NOW: $ 11.95 | SAVE: $ 2.00
[rose]  HENRY OF PELHAM ROSÉ VQA LCBO 613471 WAS: $ 14.95 | NOW: $ 12.95 | SAVE: $ 2.00
[sparkling] COLIO LILY SPARKLING WINE VQA LCBO 418657 WAS: $ 17.95 | NOW: $ 15.95 | SAVE: $ 2.00
Under $20
W+286278    FLAT ROCK CHARDONNAY    VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment        $19.95     MVC/QPR:  90
W+203877    SUTHERLAND SAUVIGNON BLANC    WO Elgin 2019 $14.95 MVC/QPR: 89
Rose+85126    MEGALOMANIAC PINK SLIP ROSÉ    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2020    $19.95
Rose+668426    VILLA AIX EN PROVENCE ROSÉ    AP Coteaux d'Aix en Provence    2020    $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89
Over $20
W+417774    QUEYLUS TRADITION CHARDONNAY    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2018    $29.95   
W+20455    LE CLOS JORDANNE JORDAN VILLAGE CHARDONNAY    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2019    $24.95    MVC/QPR: 89
W+377770    QUAILS' GATE CHARDONNAY    BC VQA Okanagan Valley $24.95 MVC/QPR: 89
Rose+667337    HAMPTON WATER ROSÉ    AP Languedoc 2020    $29.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+395855    HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE CABERNET/MERLOT    VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2016    $24.95  MVC/QPR:  91
R+73817    RUTHERFORD RANCH CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Napa Valley    2018    $42.95 MVC/QPR:  89
Port+18459    VIEIRA DE SOUSA VINTAGE PORT DOP, Portugal 2016 $59.95    MVC/QPR: 89
You get old and you realize there are no answers -- just stories.

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