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Wednesday, November 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 I Tasted Over the Past Fortnight ---


The Date and Time: Wednesday November 3, 2021   11AM – 1PM – 3PM - 5PM
The Event: Drink Chile Wine Expo 2021 Canada, Toronto Trade Show
The Venue: Arcadian Lofts
The Target Audience: wine media, agents, sommeliers
The Availability/Catalogue: It was a mix of wines already at the LCBO, or coming to the LCBO, and some "maybes". 17 wineries were at the show, with over 100 wines total. The catalogue was typical, with lots of text on the various grapes and appellation valleys. The wines were sorted by wineries, about 4 – 6 each, with a brief description but no prices.
The Quote/Background: There was a masterclass but I decided not to attend. In the organization of the event, we were all seated six feet apart with no masks, while our masked servers and winery principals asked us what we wanted and then delivered it.
The Wines: Very few of the principals had order forms with Ontario prices, but I did manage to nab a few quotes. There was a mix of wines already at the LCBO and others in transit or here on spec. I did not taste every wine.

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Vina Arboleda Cabernet Sauvignon Aconcagua 2019
-Aresti Trisquel Series Vichuquen Costa Chardonnay Curico Valley 2020 $24.95           
-Vina Chocalan Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley 2019, $15.99 retail Cons. STEM
-Cono Sur 20 Barrels Chardonnay Casablanca 2019
-Cono Sur Sparkling Rose Pinot Noir Bio Bio    
-Vina Errazuriz Villa Don Maximiano 2017 Aconcagua
-Vina Errazuriz Don Maximiano 2017 Aconcagua
-Vina Errazuriz Don Maximiano 2018 Aconcagua
-Vina Errazuriz Don Maximiano 2012 Aconcagua
-Garces Silva Family Boya Sauvignon Blanc Leyda 2020
-Garces Silva Family Catalino Pais Cauquenes-Conde de Maule 2019
-Montes Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva Colchagua 2020
-Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua 2019
-Vina Perez Cruz Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva Maipo Andes 2019
-Vina Perez Cruz Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Edition Maipo Andes 2019
-Vina Santa Carolina Gran Reserva Chardonnay Itata 2018
-Vina Santa Carolina Reserva de Familia Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo 2018
-Siegel Family Unique Selection Colchagua 2018
-Siegel Family 1234 Red Blend Colchagua 2019

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Vina Arboleda Chardonnay Aconcagua Costa 2019
-Aresti Trisquel Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc Leyda Valley 2020 $19.95
-Aresti Trisquel Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley 2019 $19.95
-Aresti Trisquel Gran Reserva Carmenere Curico Valley 2019 $19.95
-Vina Chocalan Reserva Chardonnay Maipo Valley 2019 $15.99 retail Consignment STEM
-Vina Chocalan Gran Reserva Origen Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley 2018 $19.99 +21467V
-Cono Sur Organic Chardonnay San Antonio 2021
-Cono Sur Bicicleta Rose Pinot Noir
-Garces Silva Family Amayna Sauvignon Blanc Leyda 2020
-Garces Silva Family Boya Pinot Noir Leyda 2019
-Garces Silva Family Boya Rose Pinot Noir – Garnacha Leyda 2020
-Miguel Torres La Mulas Cabernet Sauvignon Central Valley 2021
-Miguel Torres Andiva Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Itata 2019
-Miguel Torres Cordillera Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo 2019
-Montes Alpha Chardonnay Sauvignon Aconcagua Costa 2019
-Vina Santa Carolina Reserva Chardonnay Casablanca  2020
-Siegel Family Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua 2018
-Siegel Family Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc Leyda 2021
-Siegel Family Gran Reserva Viognier Colchagua 2021

The Food: mine was a Bento box of creamy cheese, sliced strawberries, grapes, crostini, and water biscuits. Just right, and just enough. We ate while we tasted.
The Downside: we were asked to get there early for check-in, but almost nobody was there except check-in staff. We still had to wait until 11AM to gain admission to the show, which started late. I managed to get a catalogue so I could at least check off what I wanted to taste while waiting for the trade show to start.
The Upside: sitting down and tasting and comparing wines at my leisure. Let's have more of this!! It was very much like being a wine judge...
The Contact Person:
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 91.

** Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections (Vintages Essential)...these  are good value...on sale  from Nov 13 through Sunday Nov 28...
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
W+328559    CATHEDRAL CELLAR CHARDONNAY  Western Cape 2020 $17.95  MVC/QPR:  90
W+471284    CURVOS LOUREIRO    DOC Vinho Verde    2020    $13.95    MVC/QPR: 89
R+516765    JEAN-PIERRE MOUEIX BORDEAUX    AC, France    2016    $17.95    MVC/QPR: 89
R+17232    CHOMBART & SPECK CAVE MYSTÈRE MERLOT    AC Bordeaux    2018    $19.95 MVC/QPR:  90

Wines Over $20
W+149302    FEATHERSTONE CANADIAN OAK CHARDONNAY    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2019    $22.95     MVC/QPR: 91.
W+142240    LOIMER GRÜNER VELTLINER    DAC Kamptal    2019    $22.95  MVC/QPR: 89
R+21812    POÇAS RESERVA RED    DOP Douro    2016    $29.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+172692    VINOSIA SANTANDREA TAURASI    DOCG    2014    $27.95    MVC/QPR: 89.
R+155408    MARCHESI DI BAROLO BARBARESCO DOCG 2017    $39.95     MVC/QPR: 89
R+13421    HENRY OF PELHAM LOST BOYS LIMITED EDITION BIN 106 BACO NOIR    Sustainable, VQA Ontario    2020    $34.95 MVC/QPR:  89
Fizz+234161    JACKSON-TRIGGS ENTOURAGE GRAND RESERVE BRUT SPARKLING    Traditional method, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario    2016    $29.95      MVC/QPR:  92.
Port+21813    POÇAS COLHEITA PORT    Aged in cask, DOC, Portugal    2008 $36.95    MVC/QPR: 89

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