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Wednesday, December 8, 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: Monday November 22, 2021  1PM to 6PM
The Event: This was the big tasting – Gambero Rosso Trebicchieri award winners and other Italian wines.
The Venue: The Liberty Grand, CNE grounds
The Target Audience: wine media, sommeliers, agents
The Availability/Catalogue: the catalogue was available via QR Code, or, if you did not have a smartphone, on special request for the PDF. It was more a brochure, with a table listing by alphabetical agent and then name of the wine. Specifics were addressed at each tasting table (price, availability channels, etc.).
The Quote/Background: Gambero Rosso was back in Canada to present an exclusive selection of Tre Bicchieri rated wines, awarded in the large Vini d'Italia Guide ($30).
There were a number of masterclasses (about five), running every hour on different regions of Italy, from North to South. I did not attend, preferring to spend my time at the tasting tables – especially before the crowds surged at 3PM
The Wines: I tasted what I could, but there were so many wines – I gave preference to sparklers and white wines, with some older, more expensive reds. Wines are listed by my rating points, followed by an agency name.

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Val d'Oca Valdobbiadene Rive di Santo Stefano Extra Brut 2019  [ALLIED WINE GROUP]
-Masi Amarone della Valpolicella Cl. Costasera Riserva 2015 [AUTHENTIC]
-Masi Lugana Lunatio 2020 [AUTHENTIC]
-Masi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Mazzano 2012 [AUTHENTIC]
-Varvaglione 12 e Mezzo Primitivo 2020 [CALIBER]
-Varvaglione Primitivo di Manduria Papale Oro 2019 [CALIBER]
-Collezione Privata Cosimo Varvaglione Old Vines Negroamaro 2019 [CALIBER]
-Sorelle Bronca Valdobbiadene Frizzante Sui Lieviti Difetto Perfetto 2019 MID$30 [CRU]
-Sorelle Bronca Valdobbiadene Rive di Rua Brut Particella 181 2020 [CRU]
-Sorelle Bronca Valdobbiadene Brut $20.95  [CRU]
-Franciacorta Brut Cuvée N. 7 - Lo Sparviere  [EPIC]
-Enrico Serafino Barbaresco Sanavento 2018  [MAJESTIC]
-Enrico Serafino Barolo Monclivio 2016 [MAJESTIC]
-Cantine di Verona Valpolicella Sup. Brolo dei Giusti 2015 [MAJESTIC]
-Cantine di Verona Amarone della Valpolicella Torre del Falasco 2017 [MAJESTIC]
-Francesco Tornatore Etna Bianco Pietrarizzo 2020 [NICHOLAS PEARCE]
-Panizzi Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva 2016 [WINE LOVERS AGENCY]
-Toblino Trentino Nosiola Largiller 2013  [LCBO CLASSICS, $65]
-Toblino Trentino Gewürztraminer 2020
-Toblino Trentino Chardonnay Foll 2018
-Tenuta Mara Vermentino di Gallura Petrizza 2020 - Masone Mannu
-Poggio Le Volpi Frascati Sup. Epos Riserva 2018 [WINE LOVERS AGENCY INC.]
-Velenosi Offida Pecorino Bio 2020  [PROFILE WINE GROUP]

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Santa Margherita Valdobbiadene Brut Brut Rosé [DANDURAND]
-Tenuta di Angoris Collio Bianco Langor Giulio Locatelli Riserva 2019[ARGENTUM WINE IMPORTS]
-Tenuta di Angoris FCO Ribolla Gialla 2020 [ARGENTUM WINE IMPORTS]
-Famiglia Cecchi Maremma Toscana Vermentino Litorale Val delle Rose 2020[CHARTON HOBBS]
-Enrico Serafino Gavi del Comune di Gavi Grifo del Quartaro 2020 [MAJESTIC]
-Enrico SerafinoLanghe Nebbiolo Picotener 2019 [MAJESTIC]
-Toblino Trentino Lagrein Las 2018
-Scuderia-Italia Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2015
-Scuderia-Italia Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2015
-Scuderia-Italia Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore DOC 2016
-Val d'Oca Valdobbiadene Dry Uvaggio Storico [ALLIED]
-Canevel Spumanti Prosecco Brut Rosé 2020 [AUTHENTIC]
-Canevel Valdobbiadene Brut Setage 2020  [AUTHENTIC]
-Canevel Valdobbiadene Brut Campofalco 2020 Organic  [AUTHENTIC]

The Food: in common with other trade tastings of late in this era of covid-19, all foods were on platters carried by wait staff. These included copious amounts of pesto panini with cheese and meat, arancini and cheese balls with tomato dipping sauce, prosciutto wrapped bread-sticks, polenta and mushrooms, tomato caprese salad, pizza (cheese and herbs), pasta with a light fresh sauce, cold skewers of veggies and mushrooms, followed by desserts of cannoli and tiramisu.
The Downside: the desserts came out too soon, and there was just one half table with coffee. Also, the catalogue was a bit short on details.
The Upside: the show was nicely orchestrated with agency tables close to hand, and the flow of traffic was well-paced.
The Contact Person: Giovanni Silvestri <>
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.

** Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these  are good value...on sale  through Sunday January 2, 2022:
[red] LOUIS M. MARTINI NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON VINTAGES 232371  WAS: $ 44.95 | NOW: $ 39.95 | SAVE: $ 5.00 through January 2, 2022.
[rose]     CONO SUR SPARKLING PINOT NOIR ROSÉ Chile  LCBO 365205  WAS: $ 14.95 | NOW:
$ 12.95 | SAVE: $ 2.00 through January 2, 2022. Buy a case.
[white] JOSH CELLARS CHARDONNAY California LCBO 561100  WAS: $ 18.95 | NOW: $ 16.95  SAVE: $ 2.00 through January 2, 2022.
[fizz]     CAVE SPRING BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT SPARKLING VQA VINTAGES 213983 WAS: $ 29.95 | NOW: $ 26.95 | SAVE: $ 3.00 through January 2, 2022.
[splurge for NYEve] CHAMPAGNE VICTOIRE BRUT PRESTIGE LCBO 190025 WAS: $ 42.95 | NOW: $ 39.95 |SAVE: $ 3.00  through January 2, 2022.

Dec 11/21 Wines Under $20
Fizz+21049    MASI MODELLO MILLESIMATO BRUT ROSÉ PROSECCO    DOC, Italy    2020    $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89
W+341586    FEATHERSTONE FOUR FEATHERS    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2020    $14.95        
          MVC/QPR: 90
W+231282    KEN FORRESTER OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC    WO Stellenbosch    2020 MVC/QPR: 90
R+523001    CAVE SPRING CABERNET FRANC    VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario    2019    $17.95     MVC/QPR: 89.
R+999946    REMO FARINA RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE    DOC, Veneto, Italy    2019    $18.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
R+354134    CHÂTEAU BELLEVUE LA FORÊT AP Fronton    2018    $14.95     MVC/QPR: 89

Dec 11/21 Wines Over $20
R+395855    HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE CABERNET/MERLOT    VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2019    $24.95     MVC/QPR: 90
R+213132    LA PIEVE BAROLO    DOCG    2018    $39.95    MVC/QPR: 89
R+438572    CASALE DEL BOSCO BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO    DOCG    2016    $51.95             MVC/QPR: 89.
R+73817    RUTHERFORD RANCH CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Napa Valley, California    2018    $42.95  MVC/QPR: 90
R+642496    BARÓN DE LEY GRAN RESERVA    DOCa Rioja, Spain    2014    $29.95 MVC/QPR:  92
R+269357    CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Columbia Valley    2018    $21.95     MVC/QPR: 89
R+597476    MASI MAZZANO AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO    DOCG    2012    $134.95  MVC/QPR: 91                   

Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus Ryerson School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada

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