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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for MAY 21, 2022 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for MAY 21,  2022 release.

The New Moon LCBO release of wines --

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 ---

1.Featherstone Estate Winery Four Feathers 2021 VQA Niagara Peninsula $14.95 +341586 Vintages on May 21 and again on November 19: a summer social sipper or quaffer (and for Thanksgiving too), combining 54% riesling and 18% chardonnay with 15% pinot grigio and 13% gewurztraminer – all highly aromatic grapes. The percentages change from vintage to vintage depending on vineyard conditions. Stainless steel fermentation. Typical fruit flavours to be found include pineapple, melon, lemon, some mango, and some sweet parts of citric tones near the finish. A popular seller with 1282 cases. Incredibly fresh and fruity tones for summer. 14g/L residual sugar. 12% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

2.Featherstone Estate Winery Rose 2021 VQA Niagara Peninsula $15.95 +117861 Vintages May 21 and again on September 10: over the years, this rose has had different and varying amounts of grape varieties – all dependent on what wily winemaker David Johnson sees as the best possible blend. In the past it has had pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon, as well as gamay noir, merlot, chardonnay, and cabernet franc. This latest vintage (2021) has cabernet sauvignon 33.3%, gamay noir 60%, and pinot noir 6.7%. It's extremely useful for any event, any occasion, with any food, or just alone as a sipper on the beach/patio/deck/terrace/backyard/porch/balcony – even in front of a roaring fireplace (as I did just this week when the snow dropped in High Park North a few days before Earth Day). Expect plenty of red fruit tones in its deliciousness. Great price. 1662 cases. 7g/L residual sugar, 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

3.KACABA CABERNET/SYRAH 2017 +26424 Vintages May 21, $30.15 also at winery and online: this is a blend of cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon (27% each) with syrah (46%), the latter being the oldest planting in Ontario. At one time it was a blend of cabernet/merlot/syrah, but this changes every year depending on the grapes available and the harvest conditions. Matured in French and American oak barrels for 13 months or so. You'll get a whiff of anise and red fruit, and with the franc it is a bit savoury. Definitely a red meat wine. What I usually do is make a double-decant, taste, and then leave it in a re-sealed bottle for a week or so, with daily tastings. The wine itself will be at its peak in a few more years. 5.4 g/L residual sugar. 12.8% 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...on sale  through Sunday May 22...better get them now!
NOW: $14.45  SAVE: $ 1.50.
[rose]CAVE SPRING DRY ROSÉ VQA LCBO +295006 WAS: $ 15.95 | NOW: $ 13.95 | SAVE: $ 2.00
[white]    PENINSULA RIDGE INOX CHARDONNAY VQA LCBO +594200 | WAS: $ 15.95 |
NOW: $ 13.95 | SAVE: $ 2.00


Note: This is what I call the "New Moon" release...A once a month release of physical wines to the LCBO shelves, unlike April's Blue Moon releases (three last month!!)...I'll cover mostly the in-store wines since the "Online Curated Assortment" has only small quantities...If I do mention an online order wine, then it will have OCA initials and date in front of it.

Wines Under $20
W+341586    FEATHERSTONE FOUR FEATHERS    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2021    $14.95           MVC/QPR:  90.
W+389726    BOYA SAUVIGNON BLANC    Sustainable, Coast Zone, DO Valle de Leyda    Garcés Silva    2021    $14.95     MVC/QPR:  89.
Rose+177840    PENINSULA RIDGE BEAL VINEYARD CABERNET ROSÉ    VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment        2021    $15.95    MVC/QPR: 90
Rose+16250    THE TRAGICALLY HIP FLAMENCO ROSÉ    VQA Niagara Peninsula    Stoney Ridge Estate Winery    2021    $19.95 MVC/QPR:  89
Rose+117861    FEATHERSTONE ROSÉ    VQA Niagara Peninsula 2021 $15.95 MVC/QPR: 90
Rose+19846    CONFIDENCIAL RESERVA ROSÉ    Vinho Regional Lisboa 2021    $15.95    MVC/QPR: 89
R+ 542183    RAVANAL GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Valle de Colchagua        2019    $15.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
R+395053    12 E MEZZO PRIMITIVO DEL SALENTO    IGP    Varvaglione    2020    $15.95 MVC/QPR: 89

Wines Over $20

OCA May 14 - +19618    MUDDY WATER CHARDONNAY    Waipara, South Island     2018    $39.95    
OCA May 14 - +19622    MUDDY WATER PINOT NOIR    Waipara, South Island     2018    $39.95    
OCA May 14 - +24613    CHÂTEAU THÉBAUD SUR LIE MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE    AC, Loire, France    Domaine Pierre-Luc et Valérie Bouchaud    2014    $25.95
W+181289    DOMAINE LE VERGER CHABLIS    AC    Alain Geoffroy, prop.-vitic.    2019    $26.95     MVC/QPR:  89
R+26503    SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE GAMAY    Vegan, VQA Niagara Peninsula        2019    $27.95    MVC/QPR: 89
R+213132    LA PIEVE BAROLO    DOCG        2018    $39.95    MVC/QPR: 89.

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

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