WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for NOVEMBER 27, 2021
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
These notes for good wines available through LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis) can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca or at http://www.deantudor.com 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 I Tasted Over the Past Fortnight ---
Chateau des Charmes Gewurztraminer 2018 St.David's Bench VQA, $21.95 Vintages +453472 (also at winery and online): from older vines (22 years) in the St. David's Bench vineyards, done up in stainless steel. Alsatian in style, with concentrated fruit, off-dry on the mid-palate, spicy with a tad of bitter on the finish, great with Asiatic foods. Or wonderful as a sipper/aperitif by the deck/patio/pool/terrace/balcony. Cork finish, and it should improve over the next five years. 6 gm/L residual sugar. 12.6% ABV. 229 cases produced. Quality/price rating 91 points by Dean Tudor.
Chateau des Charmes Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine Methode Traditionnelle 2017 VQA Niagara on the Lake, $34.95 +423111 Vintages [also at winery and online]: one of Ontario's top-rated MT sparklers, nicely aged at four years. 100% chardonnay. Bottle aged on the lees for at least 2 years, with orchard fruit notes, some buttercream, citrus aromas, fresh bread, excellent mousse. Vintage dated from the 2017 harvest. 550 cases. 1.35g/L residual sugar. 12.7% ABV. The wine is still young and could use
more time for resolution. Quality/Price rating is 93 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
REPORT FROM ABRUZZO [ITALY] WINE TASTING AT CASA LOMA NOVEMBER 15 2021 --
The Date and Time: Monday November 15, 2021 1PM – 5:30PM
The Event: Tasting of Abruzzo wines via The Charming Taste of Europe campaign.
The Venue: Casa Loma
The Target Audience: wine writers, sommeliers, wine trade agents
The Availability/Catalogue: wines are available through the LCBO, or by consignment, or by arrangement with an agent. Some wineries were looking for Ontario agents. The catalogue listed all full values: name of wine, varietal, vintage, number of bottles annually, percentage composition, winemaking process, aging process, colour, bouquet, palate, ABV, food pairings, retail price on the market. Best catalogue layout I have seen in quite some time.
The Quote/Background: Seventeen wineries participated. We did not wear masks when tasting, although the agents and pourers usually did. Note: minor conflict of interest – my maternal grandparents immigrated to Ontario from Abruzzo. The region has about 6,000 grape producers, 35 co-ops, and over 250 wineries.
The Wines: I decided to taste white wines and aged reds. The red wines are largely montepulciano d'abruzzo, the whites pecorino and trebbiano d'abruzzo. Some agents are listed after their wine.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Cantina Tollo Mo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2016 $19.95 Jan 2022 Vintages Eurovintage
-Ciavolich Divus Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2017 $29.95 Tifa Wine Inc
-Ciavolich Aries Colline Pescaresi Pecorino 2020 $28.95 Tifa Wine Inc
-Collefrisio In & Out Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2015 30E
-Collefrisio Semis Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2013 30E
-Jasci & Marchesani Rudhir Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2018 $45 SI, LCBO
-Fattoria la Valentina Spelt Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva 2017 $40 – 45 Mondo Vino
-Masciarelli Villa Gemme Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva 2015 $100 STEM Group
-Nic Tartaglia Colline Pescaresi Pecorino 2020 $30 Oikades
-Tenuta Secolo IX Moscatello Passito Colline Pescaresi Passito 2015 7.9E
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Biagi Rerum Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo 2020 Rose
-Biagi Pecorino Colli Aprutini 2020 $25 – 30
-Bosco Nestore Pan Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2017 $24.95 EPIC
-Bosco Nestore Lnea Classico Colline Pescaresi Pecorino 2020 $12 EPIC
-Cantina Tollo Pietrame Terre di Chieti 2020 $12.95 Rurovintage
-Ciavolich Fosso d'Abruzzo Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2015 $49.95 Tifa Wine Inc
-Ettore Galasso Corno Grande Premium Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2017
-Masciarelli Castello Di Semivicoli Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2018 $33 STEM Group
-Masciarelli Marina Cvetic Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva 2017 $40 STEM Group
-Nic Tartaglia Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2017 $30 Oikades
-Novaripa Rocky Marciano Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2014 $24.95 March 5 Vintages
-Novaripa Monaric Amber Terra di Chieti Pinot Grigio 2029 $19
-Orlandi Contucci Ponno Abruzzo Pecorino Superiore 2020 $24.95 EPIC
-Orlandi Contucci Ponno Colle dellecorte Trebbiano d'Abruzzo Superiore 2020 $21.59 EPIC
-Paride d'Angelo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva Organic 2016 $21.50
-Tenuta Secolo IX Fonte Grotta Colline Pescaresi Bianco 2020 7.9E
-Tenuta Terraviva Mario's 46 Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2018 20E Alta Wines
-Tenuta Terraviva Giusi Rose Corasuolo d'Abruzzo 2020 15E Alta Wines
The Food: all of the food was brought to us via platters: individual servings of eggplant parmigiana, cheese risotto arancini, shrimp tempura, porketta sliders. All four were outstanding. Each table had a platter of I Bibanesi's "gusto pizza": pizza flavoured breadsticks with EVOO, cheese, tomato, and oregano. Addictive!!
The Downside: Casa Loma is not easy to get to via walking: you either go up the Baldwin steps or you walk down from St. Clair.
The Upside: a great chance to re-connect with old friends at ICE, and to taste wines not commonly found in Ontario.
The Contact Person: email@example.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 93
** Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections (Vintages Essential)...these are good value...on sale through Sunday Nov 28...
[red] M. CHAPOUTIER LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON-VILLAGES
AC, Midi, +168716 (XD) 750 mL $15.95 regular NOW $13.95 Save $2.00 through Nov 28
[white] HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE CHARDONNAY VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment,
+68817 (XD) 750 mL regular $29.95 NOW $27.95 Save $2.00 through Nov 28
[fizz] LAURENT-PERRIER CUVÉE BRUT ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE AC, Champagne +158550 (D) 750 mL $102.95 regular NOW $92.95 Save $10.00 through Nov 28
[splurge] STERLING NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON Napa Valley +314575 (D) 750 mL $44.95 regular NOW $39.95 Save $5.00 through Nov 28
Wines Under $20
Fizz+53215 BELCANTO DI BELLUSSI EXTRA DRY PROSECCO DI VALDOBBIADENE SUPERIORE DOCG, Veneto, Italy $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
W+232439 CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE CHARDONNAY Columbia Valley 2020 $19.95
W+214460 LAWSON'S DRY HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC Vegan, sustainable, Marlborough, South Island 2020 $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89
W+485656 LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON BLANC AP 2020 $15.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
W+147975 GÉRARD BERTRAND RÉSERVE SPÉCIALE VIOGNIER IGP Pays d'Oc 2020 $14.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
R+413245 GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR LES ASPRES SYRAH/MOURVÈDRE/GRENACHE AP Côtes du Roussillon Les Aspres 2018 $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+131540 FEATHERSTONE RED TAIL MERLOT VQA Niagara Peninsula 2018 $19.95
R+21117 CHÂTEAU LANBERSAC AC Puisseguin-Saint-Émilion 2018 $17.95 MVC/QPR: 89
Wines Over $20
Fizz+593483 GRAHAM BECK BRUT SPARKLING Traditional method, WO Western Cape, South Africa $22.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
Fizz+363655 MEGALOMANIAC BUBBLEHEAD SPARKLING ROSÉ Traditional method, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario $34.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
Fizz+315200 HENRY OF PELHAM CUVÉE CATHARINE CARTE BLANCHE ESTATE BLANC DE BLANC Traditional method, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario 2016 $49.95 MVC/QPR: 90.
Fizz+528752 BENAJMIN BRIDGE MÉTHODE CLASSIQUE BRUT SPARKLING Traditional method, Nova Scotia $32.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
W+643361 HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE RIESLING Sustainable, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment 2019 $27.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
W+424507 WESTCOTT ESTATE CHARDONNAY VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula 2020 $29.95 MVC/QPR: 91
W+22138 ENRICO SERAFINO GRIFO DEL QUARTARO GAVI DEL COMMUNE DI GAVI DOC 2020 $24.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
R+657874 HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE PINOT NOIR VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment 2019 $34.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
Dean Tudor, Prof Emeritus Ryerson School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com