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Wednesday, August 18, 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.Domaine Martin Cotes du Rhone 2018, +18642 Vintages, $17.95: 80% grenache and 20% syrah. Typical density of southern Rhone with a preponderance of grenache tones followed by syrah flavours: spices, anise, some burnt caramel, ripe, but a long penetrating finish, some tannic tightness in the structure. Mouthfilling. Ripe, fresh and fruity with black berry and cherry plumminess. Not filtered. 13.5% ABV, 2g/L residual sugar. A top-scoring wine at the Decanter World Wine Awards. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2.Chateau Pesquie Terrasses AOC Ventoux Rouge 2019 +577196 $21.95: I first ran into wines from Ventoux when I was at a tasting in Edinburgh – they were being promoted as a lighter-styled Cotes du Rhone wine. I have not followed them since that time but obviously climate change has impacted the wine: Ventoux are heavier now. Pesquie has 60% grenache and 40% syrah, certified organic and vegan, with biodynamic practices. The cool climate of Mont Ventoux appears to be lessened, which now puts the wines into competition with regular southern Rhone wines. Expect an aromatic nose of spices and garrigue and lots of red berries mainly from the grenache. Fresh all the way, not aged at all, with a long, long floral bone-dry finish. 14% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
3.Michel Gassier Nostre Pais AOC Costieres de Nimes Rouge 2018 +295410 $23.95: complete with an assortment of local red grape varieties -- 50% grenache, 20% syrah, 20% mourvedre, and 5% both carignan and cinsault. Their version of the popular GSM wines. About 43% of the wine from the region is red, and 41% of the region's total wines are exported. Gassier has certified organic farming. 12 month barrel aging in used French oak for half the wine, the other other half in concrete tanks. It's a dark wine, emphasizing the black fruits (cherry, blackberries, plums) with mocha tones and anise garrigue. Tannins will be resolved with another year of aging. Good value. 3g/L residual sugar, 15% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
I can also recommend one red, one rose, one white wine, and one fizz from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...some are good values (see below)...on sale  through Sunday September 12, 2021...
[red] Gran Feudo Reserva DO Navarra Spain +479014, on sale to September 12 , now $16.95, down from $18.95 [save $2]
[white] Susana Balbo Crios Torrontes Argentina Dominio del Plata +1834, on sale to September 12, now $12.95, down from $14.95 [save $2}
[rose]  Muga Rose DOCa Rioja Spain +603795, on sale to September 12, now $13.95, down from $15.95. Buy a case [save $24].
[fizz] Louis Bouillot Perle D'Aurore Brut Rose Cremant de Bourgogne Traditional Method Burgundy +48793, on sale to September 12, now $20.95, down from $22.95 [save $2]
Aug 21 wines Under $20
W+669531    MICHEL GASSIER EMBRUNS DE VIOGNIER    IGP Pays d'Oc    2020    $18.95   
MVC/QPR:  89.
W+958736    MUGA BARREL FERMENTED WHITE    DOCa Rioja    2020    $17.95     MVC/QPR: 89.
W+20599    FEATHERSTONE PINOT GRIGIO    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2020    $17.95   
MVC/QPR: 89.
W+19635    ALBINO ARMANI CORVARA PINOT GRIGIO    DOC Valdadige    2020    $17.95   
MVC/QPR:  89.
$18.95  MVC/QPR:  89.
Aug 21 wines Over $20
R+161398    LANDER-JENKINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Sustainable, California    2019   
$21.95  MVC/QPR: 90.

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