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Thursday, June 16, 2022

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for JUNE 18, 2022 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for JUNE 18,  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.
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 !!).
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 Month  ---
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.SUNDAY SAIL SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island    2021  +22850  $19.95 Vintages: this is an exceptionally fresh savvy just loaded with citrus peel zest character (think lime, grapefruit, lemon) and that distinctive Kiwi herbal taste base. Just released at Vintages, and perfect for summer patio/deck/bbq/outdoors imbibing. Make sure you get some before they run out! Try as a refreshing sipper or (because of its long finish)  with first course foods. I had mine with an herbal salad of microgreens and piquant leaves, chopped hard boiled eggs, and some squash soup with house made croutons. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
3.Chateau des Charmes Rose Cuvee d'Andree 2021 Estate Grown VQA NOTL, $18.95 +333260 at winery, online, and LCBO: this fresh and vibrant rose (named after Madame Andree Bosc) continues to please year over year as I have said before. It is still 100% pinot noir, dry "old style" as in Europe, but loaded with Ontario cranberry, red fruit strawberry, and some discreet black cherry tones from the hot summer, coming in at 12.2% ABV. Stainless steel fermentation of course, and twist top. Refreshing. A previous Ontario Wine Awards Gold Winner in 2016. 4.2g/L residual sugar. Vegan friendly: no animal products used in filtering. 675 cases produced. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
4.Chateau des Charmes Pinot Noir 2017 Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard VQA St.David's Bench,
+332858, $44.95 at winery and online: Quite a powerful wine, lots of stylish Burgundian forest floor (mushrooms, earth) to complement the red berry fruit. It was last produced in 2016. Needs some time, maybe three more years. 13.5% ABV. It will also show better with food such as Asian salmon preps or veal or lamb. Cork closure. Residual sugar is 1.2g/L. 1200 cases produced. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
5.Chateau des Charmes Chardonnay 2020 Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard VQA St David's Bench, +287268, $34.95 (online and winery): one of several chardonnays at different price points from Chateau des Charmes. My last vintage tasted was the 2016. Barrel fermented and barrel aged in French oak for almost a year, with lees stirring. 30-year old vines. Expect soft balance with nuances of minerality and some muted tropicality, served up with orchard fruit and melons. Cork closure. Long finish. One of my fave chards, but do not serve overchilled. 474 cases. 0.4g/L residual sugar. 12.2% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 93 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
6.KACABA IRRESISTIBLE SPARKLING 2019, $30.15 winery and online: [also known as Joanne's Blend, formulated for Joanne Kacaba herself] an amazingly "irresistible" sparkling rose with fresh aromas of strawberries and summer peaches. The blend is 66% chardonnay, 20% pinot noir, and 14% pinot meunier, fermented separately and blended in stainless steel for 22 months. Then it was transferred to a Charmat tank for two months, aging on its lees. A great aperitif for the patio/deck/balcony/terrace/boat, or paired with light cheeses (especially a baked brie). Off-dry complexity. 12% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
7.KACABA Rebecca Rose VQA Niagara Peninsula 2021+227025 July 16 Vintages, $20.15: a nicely pale-coloured gamay wine (formerly a blend of  cabernets), coming in at 11.7% ABV. Dry (3g/L residual sugar) style red fruits: strawbs, red currant, sweet cherries, cranberry (hey, it's Ontario) with a touch of pink watermelon for added complexity. Stainless steel used for storage. Goes with just about everything. A nicely balanced rose which reminded me of Provence. And it gets high scores at the Wine Writer's Circle of Canada rose tastings. 60 cases at the LCBO, more at the winery. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
8.KACABA Susan's Sauvignon Blanc VQA Niagara Peninsula 2021 winery and online at, $20.15: another summer series wine, quaffable in its tropicality and lowered zesty herbaceousness. Good mouthfeel, nice dry finish for appetizers on the patio/deck/balcony/porch. Stainless steel storage. No malolactic fermentation, thus the crispness and freshness has been preserved. It has Good Memories of Sauvignon Blanc, making it another social wine for the patio or with first-course food. 3g/L residual sugar. 10.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 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  June 19 (just a day away!)
WAS: $ 17.05 | NOW: $ 14.05 | SAVE: $ 3.00
[white]VILLA MARIA PRIVATE BIN CHARDONNAY EAST COAST New Zealand LCBO 13293 WAS: $ 18.05 | NOW: $ 16.05 | SAVE: $ 2.00
[domestic white]ROSEHALL RUN CHARDONNAY VQA Rosehall Run Vineyards LCBO 303776
WAS: $ 15.95 | NOW: $ 13.95 | SAVE: $ 2.00
[rose]SAINTLY ROSÉ VQA LCBO 14882  WAS: $ 19.00 | NOW: $ 17.00 | SAVE: $ 2.00
[fizz]TRIUS BRUT VQA LCBO 284539  Was: $ 29.95 Now: $ 26.95 Save: $ 3.00
Until June 19, 2022
MAJOR THEME:  Southern Hemisphere
Wines Under $20
W+734798    THORNBURY SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island    2021    $18.95
W+328559    CATHEDRAL CELLAR CHARDONNAY    WO Western Cape    2020    $17.95 MVC/QPR:  91
W+23098    FILAREE ITALIA RIBOLLA GIALLA    IGT Venezia Giulia    2020    $14.95 MVC/QPR:  92
Rose+650655    REDSTONE ROSÉ    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2021    $17.95     MVC/QPR:  89
Wines Over $20
W+20455    LE CLOS JORDANNE JORDAN VILLAGE CHARDONNAY    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2019    $24.95 MVC/QPR: 89
W+172338    SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE ORGANIC CHARDONNAY  Vegan, VQA Niagara Peninsula    2018    $24.95 MVC/QPR: 92
R+155408    MARCHESI DI BAROLO BARBARESCO DOCG 2018    $38.95     MVC/QPR: 89

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