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Thursday, September 1, 2022

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for SEPTEMBER 10, 2022 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for SEPTEMBER 10,  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 for 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 Weeks  ---

REPORT FROM The Living Vine Acid Trip: portfolio tasting & try-and-buy, June 15, 2022
The Date and Time: Wednesday June 15, 2022 11AM to 3PM for trade
The Event: The Living Vine Acid Trip: portfolio tasting & try-and-buy
The Venue: Birreria Volo, College Street
The Target Audience: sommeliers, wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are in stock. There was a two page order list, divided by country (France, Italy, Spain, New World, Hidden Bench).
The Quote/Background: It was a great weather day, so all the tables were set up outside Volo in the street patio area, with umbrellas for shade.
The Wines: There were 66 wines, ciders and no-al; I did not taste all of them. Prices are licensee. Delivery is free in Toronto, $6 a case outside Toronto. Wines listed are either 6 packs or 12 packs.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Clos Roussely L'Escale Sauvignon Blanc 2020, $20.66
-Terres Dorees Beaujolais Le Ronsay, $17.96
-Fattoria Sardi Pet-Nat [sparkler], $23.36
-Massimago Garangega 2021, $26.96
-Raimones Orange NV Spain, $31.46
-Alta Alella Pet-Nat Rose 2021, $27.86
-Portal del Priorat Luno Montsant 2020, $23.36
-Bodegas Comenge Biberius 2020, $19.76
-Nikolaihof Terrassen Gruner Veltliner 2019, $25.16
-Mouflon Muscat 2021 [partial skin contact], $24.98
-Mouflon Pinot Gris+Riesling 2021 [orange], $26.79
-Mouflon Viognier60+Chardonnay20+Marsanne20 [orange, magnum], $56.35
-Bordlet Sidre Brut Tendre [France], $17.96
-Cambridge Road Peche Naturalist 2021 New Zealand, $33.36
-Folklore Chardonnay 2019 Western Australia, $15.99 [Vintages +19905 $17.95 retail]
-Hidden Bench Bistro Riesling 2017 VQA, $15.05
-Hidden Bench Bistro Chardonnay 2019 VQA, $19.71
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Langelier Polaris Muscadet 2020, $18.86
-Terres Dorees Bourgogne Pinot 2020, $26.96
-Orsogna Lunaria Ramoro Pinot Grigio, $19.76
-Cirelli Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo Rose 2021, $23.36
-Antica Enotria Bianco 2020, $18.86
-Finca Fabian Sparkling NV [sauvignon blanc, viognier, chardonnay], $15.26
-Alta Alella GX Garnacha 2020, $20.66
-Meinklang Gruner Veltliner, $22.46
-Decideret Hip Hop Cider [dry hopped], $31.46
-Folklore Shiraz Western Australia, $17.65
-Jumpin' Juice Sunset [orange] NV, $33.26
-Jumpin' Juice Riesling NV, $33.26
-Alpamanta Breva Pais Pet-Nat Criolla 2021 Mendoza, $29.66
-Hidden Bench Bistro Pinot Noir 2019 VQA, $20.71
-Hidden Bench Locust Lane Rose 2021 VQA, $19,71
-Hidden Bench Nocturne Rose 2021 VQA, $19.71
-Hidden Bench Sauvignon Blanc Beton Methode 2021 VQA [concrete egg], $22.10
-Rachis & Derma Chardonnay 2020 VQA, $27.88
The Food: no food, but there was water.
The Downside: no food (bread cubes would have helped)
The Upside: "taste and try before you buy" – as the song says...
The Contact Person: or
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89
From Sopexa ===

==M.Chapoutier Belleruche Blanc Cote du Rhone 2021, +245340 LCBO, $17.55 NOW on sale at $14.55 (save $3 a bottle) until September 11: "Belleruche" is French for "beautiful beehive". Chapoutier's company, which follows biodynamic principles such as night harvesting, has many beehives scattered throughout their sustainable properties in the Cote du Rhone. This is one of my fave white wines; my wife loves Belleruche Rouge with its grenache noir and syrah, also at the LCBO. The white uses grenache blanc, roussanne, viognier (with some light skin maceration), clairette and bourboulenc grapes, with the first two varieties dominating its vinous character. The nosing is strong, with botrytis-inflected bouquets of voluptuous flowers and aromas of grapefruit, pear, and melon leading to a mid-palate tasting of red fruit and honey (those bees!). On the nose, it seems sweet, but the residual sugar is a low 2 grams per litre. There is a modest acidity but some intense flavours from the wine being aged on its lees for half a year – just perfectly right for a refreshment on a hot summer day on the patio/deck/balcony/terrace/porch/beach etc. Also, some anise on the finish makes this a compelling accompaniment to grilled or poached fish. But do not overchill. It's one of the better values at the LCBO, and made even more so with its temporary price reduction of $3 a bottle. It is certainly worth buying by the case. 14% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 93 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

==Vinho Verde from Portugal...
Adega Ponte de Lima Grande Escolha Vinho Verde DOC 2021: this is a terrific vinho verde from a co-op that rises above the usual FFLLCC designation (Fresh and Fruity, Light and Lively, Crisp and Citrusy). It is all that and more, coming in at a reasonable 12% ABV with only 5 grams of residual sugar per litre. As an aromatic balanced blend of loureiro and alvarinho grape varieties, the latter contributes more than its share of complexity of tropical fruit, pear, and linden. The addition of alvarinho is a definite upgrade. The loureiro is from the Lima River valley while the alvarinho is from the Lima River slopes. Initial aromas are floral and citric, followed on the mid-palate with some passion fruit, and a long finish with some pear and lemon tones. Very refreshing for that patio/deck/terrace affair, or with light finger food such as sushi or shrimp, white meat skewered kebabs, or cold pasta salads. It's a winner. 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 September 11, 2022...
[red] Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo +337238, regularly $23.95, now $20.95, save $3.
[rose] Tawse Sketches of Niagara Rose VQA Niagara Peninsula +172643, regularly $18.95, now $16.95, save $2.
[white] Flat Rock Riesling VQA Twenty Mile Bench +43281, regularly $19.95, now $16.95, save $3.
[fizz] MARTINI PROSECCO DOC +384651, regularly $15.95, now $13.95, save  $2.
[splurge] Sterling Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon +314575, regularly $46.95, now $41.95, save $5.

MAJOR THEME:  Ontario Wines
Note: This is what I call a New Moon release...A once-a-month release of physical wines to the LCBO shelves, unlike the Blue Moon releases of three-a-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 a date in front of it.

Wines Under $20
W+483834    CREW Riesling    2019    VQA Lake Erie North Shore    $16.95     MVC/QPR: 89
W+82461    Pierre-Luc Bouchaud Sur Lie Muscadet Sèvre et Maine    2020    AC    $15.95    MVC/QPR: 89
W+485532    Château Saint-Nabor Côtes du Rhone Blanc    2020    AC    $15.95     MVC/QPR: 89 W+25249    Valcatrina by Santos Lima    2020    Vinho Regional Alentejano $15.95  MVC/QPR: 90

Wines Over $20

W+20455    Le Clos Jordanne Jordan Village Chardonnay 2019    VQA Niagara Peninsula    $27.95
W+155382    Marchesi di Barolo Gavi del Comune di Gavi  2020 DOCG $23.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+157347    Enrico Serafino Sanavento Barbaresco    2019    DOCG    $29.95     MVC/QPR: 89
R+922054    Tenute Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino    2016    DOCG    $49.95    MVC/QPR: 89
R+14002    Biscardo Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2016    DOCG    $43.95 MVC/QPR: 90
R+133033    Mas Estela Quindals    2016    DO Empordà    $21.95    MVC/QPR: 89

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