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Wednesday, March 2, 2022

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for MARCH 5, 2022 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for MARCH 5, 2022 release.

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 ---

I've been tasting a whack of Chardonnays for the past two years, and I have found some good quality wines for under $20. These are on General List or they are available on a Rolling Release basis. Check to see which LCBO locations have them. Vintage dates do not seem to matter; their style is mainly some nuances of oak, vanilla, orchard fruit, and tropicality with a long citrus finish. Sometimes they go on LTO sale (at $2 off). In order of current price --

-Spier Signature Chardonnay [South Africa] 2g/L residual sugar +487181 $13.05  QPR 89 pts
-Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Chardonnay [France]  5g/L RS +375071 $16.40  QPR 89 pts
-Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay [South Africa] 2g/L RS +367698 $16.95  QPR 92 pts
-Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay [South Africa] 2g/L RS +328559 $17.95   QPR  92 pts
-Santa Carolina Gran Reserva Chardonnay [Chile] 4g/L RS +928580 $18.95  QPR 90 pts
-J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay [California] 5g/L RS +258699  $19.95  QPR 91 pts

There is one consignment Chardonnay that I have made my house white wine:  Darling Cellars Reserve "Quercus Gold" Chardonnay [South Africa; 100% bush vine chardonnay, left on lees for 3 months for fuller mouth feel and complexity]  $14.60 per bottle,  minimum one case: $175.20 cash or cheque, free delivery in Toronto. For queries and orders, email

** Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these  are good value for price...on sale  through Sunday March 27:   
[red] +149237       The Foreign Affair The Conspiracy VQA normally $19.95, now $16.95, save $3.
[white] +608653  Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Ranches Chardonnay normally $27.95,  now $24.95, save $3.
[splurge] +995910  Remo Farina Amarone della Valpolicella Classico normally $39.95, now $37.95, save $2.
[rose]+12641  REMY PANNIER ROSE D'ANJOU AOC normally $ 15.05, now $14.05, save $1.
[fizz] +85316 BLU GIOVELLO PROSECCO, normally $16.30, now $14.30, save $2.
Featured this release:  TUSCAN wines

Wines Under $20
W+21984    ATAMISQUE SERBAL VIOGNIER Tupungato, Mendoza     2019    $16.95    MVC/QPR: 89
W+225557    ERADUS SAUVIGNON BLANC    Awatere Valley, Marlborough, South Island    2020    $19.95    MVC/QPR: 89
W+107128    DOMAINE DU PRÉ BARON TOURAINE SAUVIGNON BLANC    Sustainable, AC    2020    $18.95 MVC/QPR: 89
W+484139    DOMAINE DU TARIQUET SAUVIGNON BLANC    Vegan, sustainable, IGP Côtes de Gascogne    2020    $13.95    MVC/QPR: 89
W+311563    CANNONBALL CHARDONNAY    California    2020    $19.95     MVC/QPR: 89.

Wines Over $20
R+48884    COUDOULET DE BEAUCASTEL CÔTES DU RHÔNE    AC    2019    $29.95    MVC/QPR:  89.
Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus Ryerson School of Journalism

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