Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for MARCH 19, 2022 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for MARCH 19, 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.

1.Cantina Goccia 3Q Rosso 2018 Umbria IGT $16.95 LCBO +22878: a basic entry level "SuperUmbrian" wine made with unoaked sangiovese, cabernet and merlot grapes. So there is some red and black fruit and some dark chocolate, augmented at 2 g/L residual sugar. It is available only in a recycled paperboard bottle; there are instructions on the Frugalpac bottle on how to recycle if you are not bringing it back to The Beer Store for a deposit return. It's a great idea, first launched in Italy in June 2020. And it's a more sustainable form of packaging [packaging and transportation is more than half of the wine carbon footprint]. Frugalpac bottles are 94% recycled paper, and are used (with a separate liner) for wines, spirits and olive oils. 13.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

2.Windrush Estate Hockley Valley Jim Warren Classic Chardonnay 2018 Foxcroft Vineyard VQA Beamsville Bench $65 at winery, only 80 cases made [2019 is $49.95]: these are indeed the latest Jim Warren Classic Chardonnays available for sale. His chardonnays embrace both an opening aromatic nose and a terrific mid-palate taste of what he is known for: rich stone fruit, some tropicality and orchard fruit, a judicious use of oak, ending with a citric minerality for a strong food wine. Bearing in mind what you get from California and Europe that costs much more, this is a great price for value. 3g/L residual sugar. 14% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 94 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

3.Colli Vicentini Romeo Prosecco DOC Extra Dry LCBO # 21434 - $14.95 (on LTO to March 27 $1 off):  this is a cute pairing (see also below), with the regular prosecco as Romeo and the rose prosecco as Juliet from the appropriate Italian region. Off-dry, frizzante style, aperitif or party wine. 100% fruity Glera grapes used, promotes an intense rich floral scent of citric tones and apples. 11.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

4.Colli Vicentini Juliet Prosecco Rose 2020 DOC Extra Dry LCBO # 20979 - $14.95:
  the rose version has the minimum 85% fruity Glera content to allow for 15% addition of pinot nero (noir), and it is vintage dated. Lovely rose colour after a short maceration period. Here we have floral orchard fruits such as peaches, apples, and some pinot quality raspberry tones. Excellent as an aperitif or first course wine with seafood or fish. 11.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

5.Sensi 1890 Collezione Chianti DOCG 2020 LCBO # 20060 - $12.25: About 70% sangiovese grapes with %30 other varieties as allowed by the DOCG rules; these can be balanced in different vintage years. Aged in steel and on its lees for six months, using the micro-oxygenation technique. No wood. Fresh red cherries (slightly sour), spices, useful as a basic entry level wine at this price. Youthful – reminds me of the fiasco di vino that once was used. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

6.Passion of Chile Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Reserva 2020 LCBO # 20904 - $9.95:
opening notes of blueberry, strawberry, caramel. Long finish, great with succulent stew meat dishes. Still needs time to resolve, a hefty thick wine that dominates. Do a decant to open it up. Best for carnivores? You decide.  13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

7.Cantine Carlo Pellegrino Marsala Superiore Garibaldi DOC LCBO # 16180 - $13.80:
just that right touch of carmelized alcohol for a dessert wine full of baked vanilla and figs. Works well with creamy chocolate, eggs zabaglione, shortcakes, ice cream.
18% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

** 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] +21434 Romeo PROSECCO Veneto, normally $14.95, now $13.95, save $1.


Wines Under $20
W+389262    ZUCCARDI SERIE A TORRONTÉS IP Salta  2020 $16.95 MVC/QPR:  89
W+599274    DR. L RIESLING    Qualitätswein    2020    $15.95     MVC/QPR: 89
Fizz+311738    VALLDOSERA BRUT NATURE CAVA    Traditional method, DO, Spain $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+328567    CATHEDRAL CELLAR CABERNET SAUVIGNON    WO Western Cape        $18.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+209874    COLUMBIA CREST H3 MERLOT    Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley    2018

Wines Over $20
W+461640    WILLIAM FÈVRE CHAMPS ROYAUX CHABLIS    AC    2019    $30.95  MVC/QPR: 89.
R+261784    PAPALE LINEA ORO PRIMITIVO DI MANDURIA    DOP    2017    $21.95 MVC/QPR:  90
R+616433    HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE CABERNET/MERLOT    VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2019    $39.95     MVC/QPR: 89

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

No comments: